Cafe Gratitude Review
Cafe Gratitude has six locations all of which are sadly in California. I discovered the location in Newport Beach, CA on a recent and very relax 4 day kid free get away. As many of your know my husband and I eat a mainly Whole Foods Plant Based diet; this diet can making being away from home some what difficult and stressful. So travelling to California I was hopeful but a little apprehensive about dining out. Our first night in Newport Beach I asked at the hotel if there were any good vegan restaurants around and they recommended Cafe Gratitude. We look at the menu and decided to try it out in the morning.
We arrived at Cafe Gratitude at 10 expecting it to be open and serving their lunch menu but it turned out they didn’t open until 11am so we went around to Gratitude To Go and decide to come back to the cafe for an early dinner later. On the To Go side of the building is a small store front and about four tables outside (which when the wind blows the wrong way smells of garbage). We ordered Content which is a Cast-iron quiche. Garbanzo flour frittata, Kalamata olives, tomato, red onion, cashew Feta, toasted almond romesco, gluten-free crostini for $12 and Bonita a Breakfast taco plate. Sprouted probiotic brown rice or quinoa, black beans, pico de gallo, avocado, cashew nacho cheese, spicy pepitas, corn tortillas for $13. The Content was amazing with a quiche like texture and satisfying flavor. The Bonita came with a plate of fillings and 4 corn tortillas on the side so you could make your own tacos. It was nice but I would prefer to eat tacos at lunch or dinner and have the Content for breakfast. I also tried some of the other To Go goodies over the next few days. The Holy a gluten free donut ($5) was wonderful with a rich chocolate sauce and blueberries topping a flavorful sponge textured donut that paired excellently with a cup of coffee with almond milk. The Beautiful a gluten free muffin which one days was blueberry lemon and the next day raspberry chocolate were large and delicious, I preferred the blueberry lemon one. These are large muffins and cost $5.50 but because it was vacation worth every penny. I also tried a cookie and piece of coconut pie neither of which were to impressive and the cookie was a little burnt.
As we enjoyed breakfast so much we came back for early dinner the next three afternoons. Between 4-6 they have happy hour specials. During these three trips we tried the following $6 apps Sharing Nachos. Black beans, cashew nacho cheese, pico de gallo, avocado, spicy pepitas, escabeche. Fierce a Crispy tortilla bites. Jerk marinated portobello, roasted garnet yams, cashew queso fresco, pinto beans, roasted tomatillo dipping sauce. And Intuitive a Pomme frites. Purple potato and sweet potato fries, moked salt, gremolata, choice of chipotle ketchup or spicy cashew aioli. All of which were yummy my favorite was the Fierce with its cornie crisp outside and sweet mushy inside. For entrees we tried Magical ($16.00) CG Double Double. Housemade black bean patties, tomato, red onion, chipotle ketchup, cashew macadamia Cheddar, gluten-free amaranth and millet bun, roasted garnet yams. Smokin' ($16.00) Chili bowl. Smokey red bean and tempeh chili, cashew sour cream, crumbled jalapeño biscuit, spicy chopped pickle, scallions. Elated ($16.00) Mole Abuelita enchiladas. Black beans, grilled portobello mushroom, braised butternut squash, salsa verde, avocado, Mexican coleslaw, escabeche. Resolved ($16.00) Southern soul food. Red beans and dirty rice, blackened jerk tempeh, smashed maple yams, spiced collards, coleslaw, jalapeño Cheddar biscuit. And Bountiful ($16.00) Blackened tempeh Bolognese. Quinoa shells, cashew Mozzarella, Brazil nut Parmesan, spinach. My favorite was the Elated with the rich sauce covering the outside and the moist flavorful filling of the enchiladas it really hit the spot. My husbands favorite was the Bountiful the shells were cooked but not mushy and the cashew mozzarella really complemented the sauce; his only complaint was more tempa in the sauce would have been nice. I also really enjoyed the cheddar biscuit and cashew sour cream. All of the dishes were delicious and I would order all of them again!
I wish there was a Cafe Gratitude or the like in both Chatham and Cambridge! Have you been to Cafe Gratitude before or know of any good vegan restaurants on Cape Cod?
Team Leader and Educational Consultant
Usborne Books & More
By: Sarah R.
As a mom, our lives are CRAZY busy right?
BUT, have you ever given real thought to what is inside of all those bottles throughout your home? You know - your shampoo, mascara, lip gloss, sunscreen, let alone all the products you use on your kids?
What if I told you there is a link between the ingredients in those products and your health and happiness?
Serious health diseases like cancer, autism, infertility, allergies, obesity, depression etc...yes, all of these and more- can be linked back to most of the products we are using every. SINGLE. DAY.
And that, is NOT OK.
(And yes, even those “organic”, “all natural” and “doctor-recommended” brands we are lured by - usually contain harmful ingredients!)
I sure was when I first learned what was really in my products and what they were doing to my body. I was so ticked that I had (literally) bought into all the marketing schemes of the “big brands” that I had blindly trusted, and even some of the lesser known brands that made all kinds of wonderful “claims” about being “safe” and “non-toxic” or “natural.” All that money down the tubes (along with the nasty toxic chemical laden products), and there I was scratching my head.
Geez, we shouldn’t need a PhD to choose safe products for ourselves and our families!
Turns out we don’t. There IS a solution out there - a 100% non-toxic, truthful, trustworthy line of products. And the best part is - they WORK. And they don’t break the bank either. I get so pumped sharing this information with people, and helping to empower them to lessen the toxic load on themselves and their families!!
So what are these awesome products?!? Where do they come from?
It’s called Pure Haven Essentials, a local based in the good old U.S.A (made in our USDA Certified organic facility in Warren, RI). I would be completely remiss if I did not bring this incredible company and their products to your attention because everyone deserves safe, effective, affordable products. (Not to mention a life changing opportunity!)
So, are you ready to make a change for the better?
Your journey to a safer, healthier, and non-toxic life for yourself and your family starts today.
Want to learn more? (Of course you do!)
I will send you a FREE "Did you know?" brochure when you fill out the form below!
Healthy Corn Soup
On Friday I really wanted something warm and different for dinner so I decided to make some corn soup. A couple years ago my mom had made a yummy corn soup but I didn’t have the recipe or fresh corn. I did a quick google search but none of the recipes I found were what I was looking for so I decided to just to try my own thing based of what I had seen and had available at home. It turned out well and I served it with millet and steamed kale... yum.
Healthy Corn Soup
*3 cups of frozen corn thawed
*3 cups of cold water
*¼ tsp of salt
*2 TBS of cashews (14g) soaked in enough water to just cover them
In a Vitamix puree 1 ½ cups of corn with 3 cups of water. Pour mixture into pot with rest of corn bring to a boil. Once boiling add salt and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes put soup back in Vitamix with cashews and blend for about 30 seconds then enjoy. Makes about 5 ½ cups of soup.
Have you tried any new recipes recently?
Usborne Books & More Independent Educational Consultant
I am always looking for people to join my Usborne team, host parties (Facebook or home), or just share these wonderful books! For more information visit my website or contact me at email@example.com.
Plus follow me on Instagram www.instagram.com/mollyhubnersusbornebooks/
This Weeks Food Discovery Healthy Cookie Dough
Since I stopped eating raw eggs about 5 years ago when I was pregnant with my son and now eggs altogether I really missed cookie dough. So this past weekend I tried making a healthy version of cookie dough modified from Katie Chocolate. Both my kids and I love the recipe and think it tastes like “real” cookie dough. If you are not use to less sweet recipes try this one. This is how I made my cookie dough:
*One 16oz can of chickpeas drained
*1/8 tsp baking soda
*1 tbsp plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
*1/4 cup peanut butter
*1 and 1/4 cups (7 oz) pitted dates
*1/3 cup chocolate chips
*1 cup oats
In a bowl, cover the dates with 1/2 cup water. Let this sit for at least 8 hours or microwave for 1 minute then let sit for 10 minutes. Then add all ingredients (including the dates’ soaking liquid), except chocolate chips, to a food processor (for best results, not a blender) and process until very smooth. Hand mix in chocolate chips. Chill for at least an hour
What are your favorite dessert/snack recipes that use beans?
Usborne Books & More Independent Educational Consultant
I am always looking for people to join my Usborne team, host parties (Facebook or home), or just share these wonderful books! For more information visit my website or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plus follow me on Instagram www.instagram.com/mollyhubnersusbornebooks/
So after last weeks blog post you may be wondering what does my family eat for meals/snacks. I will break it down by meal. But first we mainly buy grains and dried beans in bulk from Amazon Subscribe and Save and Purcell Mountain (only beans) for produce, other fresh goods and frozen goods we mostly get from Trader Joe’s.
During week the adults eat oat groats with cinnamon (ceylon) and a banana (we like the Bob’s Red Mill ones). The kids eat a fruit with chunky monkeys, oat bars, peanut butter packet, rice cake, Larabar or like, frozen whole grain waffles or Barbers whole grain animal crackers.
On weekends the adults oat groats or eat tofu scramble (tofu, caramelized onions, mushrooms and greens sauteed together) with homemade muffins or whole grain homemade waffles/pancakes. The kids have fruit and the waffles or pancakes (we always freeze the extras for another weekend).
I eat Peanut Butter sandwich, a fruit and a veggie (usually Santa Cruz PB, TJ’s sprouted grain bread, an apple, and a carrot).
My daughter eats lightly salted corn chips, Midel Graham Crackers, or lightly salted rice cake with a fruit and sometimes a nut protein.
My son fruit and corn chips, crackers, bread, rice cake or a bar of some sort.
My husband eats dinner leftovers and/or PB sandwiches.
We usually eat beans, a whole grain and a green or other veggie. On the weekend we might have lentil loaf with squash or a home made Indian or tomato sauce dish.
The kids have to choose a veggie and grain or bean (they like chickpeas best) but when we have lentil loaf with squash or a home made Indian or tomato sauce dish the kids have a veggie and pasta or a little meat.
The beans we like are chickpeas, Christmas Lima beans, Jacob’s Cattle beans, Giant White beans, lentils, black beans, Borlotti beans, split peas, Scarlet Runner beans and Baby Lima beans.
Our favorite grains are quinoa, millet, buckwheat and bulgar but we also enjoy rye berries, spelt, brown rice and Sorghum.
The adults favorite green is TJ’s Organic Tuscan Kale. We try to eat lots of different veggies as well as sweet potatoes, and squashes.
A snack always starts with a fruit/veggie or something that contains a fruit. Here is a list of store bought snack we get.
We drink mostly water, water with apple cider vinegar, and seltzer water. I do drink a cup of coffee every morning with homemade almond milk (I like it better than store bought). For more great Whole Food Plant Based healthy eating tips check out Dr. Greger.
What are your go to healthy meals?
Usborne Books & More Independent Educational Consultant
I am always looking for people to join my Usborne team, host parties (Facebook or home), or just share these wonderful books! For more information visit my website or contact me at email@example.com. Plus follow me on Instagram www.instagram.com/mollyhubnersusbornebooks/
Are you tired of your children begging for junky foods? Does processed packaged food seem to find a way back into your kitchen? Are you feeling like you need to do a diet clean up? Now is a great time to clean things up a bit. That's why I am participating this new online program called, The Family Spring Cleanse. I am super excited about this program because I have not seen anything like this before. Most cleanse diets are created with an individual person in mind but this program was created with the FAMILY in mind. It is safe for everyone to participate, has delicious kid-friendly recipes, and has a simple step by step get started guide. Let's face it, we're Moms, and we don't have time to make separate food for everyone. That's why this program is perfect for busy Moms and their families. All recipes have been kid-tested so you don't have to worry about trying to negotiate with your children to eat "weird" food.
Imagine your family happily eating nutritious whole foods and feeling satisfied with their new choices.
Here's What People are Saying About Past Programs from The Holistic Mama
Getting Your Family On Board:
"I've been dabbling with real foods for a few months now, but your challenge has given me more focus. I could eat this way with no problems whatsoever; I was raised mainly on a real food diet. However, the rest of my family...not so much. I really wanted to show my daughter that there are many yummy options other than junk. Thanks for your daily guidance!" - Lisa Belles
Trying New Things:
I believe that this challenge has led me on a road to more discoveries. I plan to purchase only real foods from now on, at least the majority of the time. I will incorporate some items I already have in the cupboards (that are not real) until they are used up. A couple of new purchases that I have never tried before were coconut oil, chia seed and brown rice flour. There are so many new choices out there and I plan on continuing to try new items to see what I like and what I don't. - Jodi Cooney
So, What is The Family Cleanse?A simple, easy to follow, cleanse program made with Families in mind. You will have a system to follow to help you save time and get the process started as soon as you download the cleanse guide. You will also have some AMAZING support during this program - not only from me - but also from all of these fabulous bloggers:
Option # 1 (Free)Join us and make the commitment to clean up your diet and get rid of processed packaged foods. Work on your own to create a meal plan full of healthy real food - heavy on the veggies, low on junk. You will receive:
you will have the option to upgrade to the premium option anytime before May 28th.
Option # 2 - Premium Membership ($49)You will receive:
How to Make Cinnamon Honey Grain-free Granola
How to Make Fermented Fruit Leather
How to Make Yogurt in a Dehydrator
This is a group program that starts on May 28th through June 6th.
Are you ready to clean up your family's diet??
$500+ of GiveawaysThis program includes the chance to win one of these wonderful prizes from our sponsors. This giveaway will go live once the group program begins on May 28th. Also, as a participant of this program (free or paid) you are entitled to enter the giveaway for the chance to win some prizes from our real food sponsors! These are some of the things you can win:
If you have any questions about this program please don't hesitate to Contact Roxanne.
By: Liz S
As a parent and a nanny, I have spent years of my life working with children to get them to their next milestone or goal. Whether it is crawling, walking, talking, weaning them from a bottle, potty training, sleeping in big kid bed, learning letters and numbers, or having good manners, you name it, there is an endless to-do list for parents. Our little ones just reach one goal only to have another one facing them. Such is the life of a parent or care giver. Our role is to teach, support and encourage all facets of a child’s development.
My daughter Charlotte is 9 years old and in fourth grade. My husband and I have seen her successfully navigate through all those early childhood milestones and start to be a more independent being. But now is not the time to rest on our laurels, oh no. There is still so much to be done. And time continues to fly by, weeks at a time, doing homework, playing sports, having play dates, doing chores and more. I often say how much faster time flies by now that I have a child. And although I would love to savor each milestone and achievement as it happens, life moves on and there is always more to be done. This brings me to my Ah-Ha moment from the other night…take the win.
Let me explain. About 6 months ago I was determined to get more vegetables into my daughter’s diet. It is a simple mothers wish and I hear this a lot from other families too, “How can we get the kiddos to eat better?” Well, this was my goal and I knew I had a bumpy road ahead. My daughter would eat salad (with Caesar dressing and croutons of course) and had come to like summer squash we had grown in our garden, but that was it. No broccoli, carrots, corn, peppers, onions, or mushrooms- you catch my drift. No veggies. I had sent her to school with carrot and celery sticks and if I was lucky she would dip them in some ranch dressing, but who knows if it was really eaten. I have always put our nightly vegetable selection on her dinner plate and had tried some bribery and threats along the way to get her to eat them. I guess I was looking for her to not only eat them on occasion but perhaps even enjoy them? Dare I think that was possible? We took our pediatricians advice to always have a variety of color on our plates to get the best nutrition. We never made two dinner options, one “kid friendly” and one for the adults- she ate what we ate. We tried to expose her to many ethnic food choices (she has loved hummus since she was 2 yo) and not always go for the chicken fingers or mac and cheese.
After talking to Charlotte about her veggie likes and dislikes I dug a bit deeper and asked why she did or did not enjoy these foods. I had been pushing some sweeter vegetables on her thinking that would be an easy sell, offering corn, carrots and butternut squash. Turns out she did not like the combo of hot and sweet. She would eat raw carrots but not sautéed. I also found out she did like snow peas. I also heard her when she said absolutely no broccoli. I had tried to sneak broccoli in on many occasions thinking if she only had more exposure to it, she would come around. That never happened by the way, so I changed my tactic. I used snow peas as a base for my nightly veggies and started making a stir fry type of mixed veggies. I used onions, peppers, mushrooms, scallions or anything I had on hand. I picked out a yummy soy teriyaki sauce from Trader Joes to ease her into it and we were on our way. Charlotte would help slice and chop the vegetables and started eating vegetables each night. I noticed she would pick out less and less “unwanted” veggies from her plate and there were no bribes or threats to be had. I guess I took this in stride as I had most of our other parenting victories. Until Saturday night. Some new friends invited us to their church’s family night pot luck dinner. As Charlotte was sitting with some other girls her age, the parents noticed her plate. She had taken more vegetables, salads and healthier options that some of the other girls, which sparked a conversation. My friend said, “I wish my daughter would eat like that”. Charlotte proceeded to tell the adults at our table how much she likes onions, peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables. She went on and on about her love of red onion and how she has come to enjoy Greek salad. I sat there nodding, as it was all true, then I noticed the surprised parents faces. They looked at me like I was so lucky to have a child who wasn’t a “picky” eater and would eat veggies. That is when it struck me. I was partly responsible for helping Charlotte expand her food choices and eat vegetables. I had set out with a specific goal and we had accomplished it. And I should take the win. I should celebrate this, even just with myself, that I made a positive impact on my daughter and ultimately her health.
This simple thing really resonated with me. I look back on all we have been through as parents and thought maybe time is flying by in part because we have not taken the wins as they came. Acknowledging, reflecting and yes even celebrating that milestone is important. It could help parents increase their confidence and support our desire to parent in a more conscience and engaging way. Parenting is a life long journey and commitment. You can feel like a hamster on a wheel. One day, one month, one year can roll into the next. If you have recently had a win in your family, I urge you to celebrate it. Did your little one give up his binky? Is your child now sleeping through the night? How about getting rid of all those diapers- woo hoo! Is that transition from a crib to a toddler bed finally paying off? No matter your children’s age and ability, there are milestones to be met and celebrations to be had. I do not want to look back on Charlotte’s childhood like a blur. I need to slow down and take the wins.
Cape Cod Mommies was given this opportunity from NaturallySavvy.com to review the Free e-book: Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid's Lunch Box. We received no compensation for this review and the thoughts and opinions belong to the author.
“As parents, we’re not immune to temptation… It’s easy to be drawn in by conveniently packaged foods promising to save time, especially in the morning rush.”
I would say that quote from Andrea Donsky and Lisa Tsakos’ eBook, “Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid’s
Lunch Box” sums up my personal relationship with packaged foods nicely. I want to provide nutritious and
healthy meals for my son. I make efforts to minimize packaging, keep sugar low, and offer a variety of veggies and fruits with his meals. I am also lucky as my son, while picky at times, is a pretty adventurous eater and broccoli is one of his favorite foods. That being said, it can still feel overwhelming to keep up on all of the things one should or should not be feeding their child. Growing up in the 80’s when Velveeta cheese was a staple ingredient in at least one of my weekly dinners and my lunch box included a can of Coke and a bag of Double Stuffed Oreos, it is easy to rationalize that, “I turned out fine” and avoid thinking too much about ingredients.
But a lot has changed since I was a child. As consumers we are able to more easily arm ourselves with knowledge (thanks to the almighty Internet) and manufacturing processes continue to incorporate more and more artificial ingredients into foods (to make more money) while packaging and marketing them towards our
What I like most about this eBook is that well first, it is FREE, and second it condenses a whole bunch of information into an accessible and easy-to-read format. You are not lectured or made to feel guilty.
The authors are not out to build themselves up as the Ultimate Moms leaving you feeling like an inadequate parent as you read along. The eBook is designed to empower you with information and teach you some
quick ways to be a better label reader. For all the parents out there with smartphones, you can reference the
eBook right in the aisle of the grocery store.
The eBook includes their list of the “scary seven” ingredients to be mindful of in packaged goods. I totally agree with every item they list and appreciate how they have itemized things to explain why they are worth avoiding for parents who may be less familiar with the negative nutritional impact of a specific ingredient.
You are then provided a side-by-side comparison of similar products, such as two brands of whole wheat bread, to show you how to read product labels and make better choices. I already considered myself pretty knowledgeable regarding their “scary seven” list of ingredients, but when I got to the first product comparison I discovered an ingredient I had not paid much attention to before. DATEM. From the way they describe it this nasty, man-made fat somehow manages to avoid being included in the calorie or fat count on the product
I hopped onto the internet to do a quick search for DATEM, since it was not something I was familiar with.
Several websites come up that describe the chemical structure but none of them discussed any of the claims about hidden fats that the eBook contends. When doing my own research on claims like this I strive to find not-for-profit sites (addresses ending with .org, or educational sites ending with .edu). There were not a lot of those options to choose from. I then noticed that the eBook provides a citation associated with each of
their claims about DATEM. I was able to follow the link about hidden fats to the Weston A. Price Foundation. As a side note, if you are not familiar with the Weston A. Price Foundation nonprofit charity, I highly recommend you read their mission statement.
So my personal conclusion on DATEM is that I would avoid it based on the rationale provided in the eBook, but want to point out that the source they cite is from a 2004 magazine article. While I believe the Weston A. Price Foundation (publisher of article) to be a reputable source of information, it is far different from a peer-reviewed scientific article that follows strict testing standards. Going back to the citation for a minute
though, one of the key points of the article was:
Currently the levels of trans contributed by MGs and DGs are relatively low [NOTE: “trans” is referring to trans fat and “MGs” and “DGs” are other names for DATEM], even when they appear several times in the ingredient list. However, as the public becomes more aware of the dangers of trans fats, the industry may be tempted to add more MGs and DGs containing trans fats in order to obtain the qualities they want in a food without having to list trans fats on the label.
This article was written nine years ago. Trans fats were only added to food labels four years ago in 2009. So I would be highly suspect of any food containing DATEM today simply because the public is FAR more aware of trans fats now than when the article was written. I just pulled out the whole wheat bread I used to make my son’s sandwich this morning and guess what, it contain DATEM. Gross.
So where is this tangent going and why should you care? This DATEM tangent illustrates how much time it takes to investigate and research ONE ingredient that appears on a food label. I did it to make sure that
the conclusions outlined in the eBook follow my own line of thinking when it comes to avoiding ingredients. The point of Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid’s Lunch Box is to save you time and condense a lot of research and information that can be difficult to find into an easy-to-read format. They do not shy away from providing sources for each claim, so should you want to do your own additional investigating into a specific ingredient they flag, you can. I appreciate this kind of transparency as it makes me feel confident that
the authors of the eBook are truly out to help parents without any hidden agendas or off-the-wall claims that have no merit.
The eBook is only 27 pages long, so it is pretty easy to read through it, especially since much of the information is organized in bullet points or brief paragraphs. I expect it to be a resource I will refer to a lot as I go about finding products that do not contain any of the ingredients I want to avoid. First up for me is to find a new whole wheat bread.
Let's face it, getting kids to eat their vegetables requires some creative thinking and a lot of patience at times. Vegetables are a crucial necessity for every child's diet but often kids turn up their noses at even the most deliciously prepared meal! We know a lot of you parents out there are SUPER CREATIVE in how you incorporate the veggies into meal time or snacks, so we want you to share the ideas with everyone so parents who are struggling can try new things!
We have decided to issue a 14 Day Eat Your Veggies Challenge!
One Cape Cod Mommies Reader will receive a:
$100 Gift Certificate to Stop & Shop!
How to Enter:
It is really easy and you can enter your submission by simply posting a PICTURE of your creative way to incorporate Veggies on either Facebook or Twitter (or both if you'd like).
Post your submission with the following:
Getting #healthy with @Capecodmommies & @StopandShop #VeggieChallenge
When you post the picture you MUST tag both Cape Cod Mommies, Stop & Shop and #VeggieChallenge.
Contest will open on Monday August 5 and will end on Monday, August 19, 2013. Cape Cod Mommies will select the TOP 3 submissions and post them on the blog on Tuesday August 20, 2013. Readers will cast a vote for their favorite submission (more info to come when Final 3 are announced). Voting will close on Aug 22nd at 11:59pm. A winner will be chosen and announced on Friday August 23, 2013! Stop & Shop is responsible for delivery of prize.
Join me in welcoming the newest addition to our Cape Cod Mommies Advisor Team: Maurene Merrit, RN! We look forward to her blogs and expertise!!!
Maurene Merritt, RN is a holistic practitioner, teacher, and writer. She has an extensive background in holistic childbirth education including developing and teaching the first partnered yoga childbirth education program in a major Boston Medical center. Presently she is an employee of Falmouth Hospital where she serves as a maternity nurse and is active with the integrative medicine department. She also has a private practice where she calls herself CapeYogaGirl.
Visit her website: www.birthblessingsyoga.com or www.birthblessingsyoga.blogspot.com
7 yoga practices to help us move beyond...
We get stuck. On our mats, it is called "inflexible", on our birthing beds, "failure to progress", and on paper, a "writer's block". And whether it's our bodies not opening or our paint brush or words not flowing, our desires can lead to unimaginable frustration. In such moments, we are tempted to force the outcome, or in the case of our creative expression where sheer force would only hinder progression, we either give up after reaching a multitude of dead ends or worse yet fail to begin the exploration.
However, when we look to our ancient, sister yoginis who journeyed the long, narrow road to enlightenment, consider that it would be beneficial for us to breathe, listen, and wait. More often than not, when we begin something new, change is slow, even barely perceptible. It is when we persist with confidence, at some point, soon after we have allowed ourselves to move beyond our feelings of hopeless and despair, it happens. What is a ordinary perception of our selves wanes and we become privy to our granduer. In such precious, unbound moments, our bodies fold into our creation and we give birth to our babies, books, and elation!
We look back on the fruits of our labor and like our lovely Heather Benway of the circle declared of her
birth story, want to hear the words over and over again. We feel awe, how could something so amazing, so brilliant, so original come out of us! Consider that our effort in waiting is well worth our creation.
Below are 7 yoga practices to help us move beyond.
1. Close the door. Surrender requires feeling safe.
2. Breathe. Keep your breathe fluid and even. There is a synergistic relationship between the mind and the breathe. When the breathe is balanced, your mind will follow.
3. Focus. Give your attention to something that you love that is still like a plant, coat, or perfume bottle.
4. Listen. You know more than what you think you know.
5. Change. Do something different if you don't feel movement frequently.
6. Feel. Allow your desire to drive your effort.
7. Persevere. Never give up, keep the course until the very end.
*reprinted with full permission from http://www.birthblessingsyoga.blogspot.com/
Fall is in the air and pumpkins are everywhere! This week for Tasty Tuesday we have decided to feature a favorite fall delicacy: PUMPKINS!!!
Pumpkins are incredibly rich in fiber, vital antioxidants, and vitamins, especially Vitamins A, C & E. Vitmain A is a particularly essential vitamin for children as it promotes healthy growth!!! Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.
Without further adieu, here are two top kid friendly dishes to create from pumpkins!
Pumpkin Mac & Cheese (we made this yesterday after my toddler decided to smash one of our pumpkins we picked!)
1 box (8 oz.) whole wheat macaroni pasta
2 Tablespoon unsalted butter2 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed
1 cup pureed pumpkin* (You can always use pureed sweet potatoe or butternut squash as well)
1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Quinoa Pumpkin Pancakes
Cook 1/2 cup quinoa (1/2 c raw + 1 c water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15min. Start it and mix the rest of the stuff and it will be ready to add in at the end.)
In a bowl mix:
1 cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2tsp ground ginger
2 eggs, 3 tbs melted butter or oil, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 tsp lemon juice, and the cooked quinoa.
Mix it all up and adjust the consistency as needed. Cook in pan, top with maple syrup, some pecans or whatever you like.
Eggplant... mmmm one of my favorite foods! Most people are turned off by this vibrantly purple vegetable (in the cooking world but a fruit in the world of botany). Eggplants are currently "in season" from August through October, making them a great buy at the store or at farmer's markets. Remember to always buy in season produce, as The Savings Momma says, to keep it affordable!
Eggplant has some pretty amazing health benefits too! It is considered a brain food because it protects lipids in your brain, keeping nutrients in and waste out. They are also rich in phenolic antioxidant compounds which are great for digestion. Eggplant is also great for your heart, reducing cholesterol and excess iron which decreases risks for heart disease and cancer. Because of the bitter taste, many people stray away from it, however the vitamins and nutritional benefits are clear and this is a food you want to incorporate into your diet and your child's diet.
If you ask around, most people only have had eggplant as part of an egglant parmesan pasta dish coated in tomato sauce. Recently I took the idea and put a slightly new spin on eggplant parmesan to make it more toddler friendly!
Check out the video at the end to see my toddler's reaction to his favorite tasty new treat!
You will need the following:
1 Eggplant, olive oil, 2 eggs, flour, and 2 cups crushed up veggie sticks, parmesan, and gloves to keep the mess to a minimum. Preheat your oven to 400 degress.
1.) Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil.
2.) Prepare 3 containers
a.) Approx 1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour
b.) 2 whisked eggs
c.) 2 cups crushed up veggie sticks (instead of bread crumbs) combined with 1 cup of parmesan.
The result... a crispy yet still soft on the inside healthy treat! Feel free to add sauce or something of your own choosing as a dipping side, although these went so fast in our house, I barely got to eat even 1 before my toddler devoured them all!
I am a huge fan of avocado's! They are an excellent source of healthy fats and contain many oils, vitamins and minerals that are essential to have in your diet like potassium, Vitamin D, and fiber. The avocado also protect you from various types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, etc.
Needless to say avocado is one of my summer must have's and in all reality it is really a year round must have in our kitchen! A friend suggested that I try making a different version of my avocado spread by adding zucchini into it and with all the zucchini around this summer I jumped at the idea.
I researched online and found that there were various ideas and recipes for making a zucchini avocado spread, but I really like to take recipes and make them my own. I often experiment by swapping ingredients, changing the amounts recommended or adding something new. Since zucchini is one of those friendly green veggies high in vitamin A and folic acid (among other things), I decided to go out on a limb and add in the child fave: BROCOLI. Brocoli is one of my fave veggies to incorporate into our daily diet. Many of you know that I often finely chop up raw brocoli and sprinkle it all over my food especially pizza or pasta's. Brocoli is a great veggie that helps prevent cancer, is high in vitamin C and fiber and also helps promote healthy sleep.
I was excited to combine these 3 healthy wonders and was even more excited when it came out to be pretty tasty and was immediately gobbled up by my toddler as well as various friends and family. I waited until after they had heaped me with praise to reveal the extra ingredients in the spread though.
4.) Put the zucchini into the food processor and mash away. Slowly add in the chopped brocoli, then the onions, garlic, and cilantro. Mix it well!
5.) Add the mixture to the avocado.
6.) Sprinkle a little salt for taste and you are ready to serve it!
*** I personally add a little hot pepper to mine for the kick and spice but I don't recommend that for children who have not experienced that before.
You can serve this with chips, veggie sticks, as a spread on a sandwich, the sky is the limit! It still retains a guacamole taste but now we have added some major nutritional value that will keep your family happy and healthy! What types of ingredients to you add to your guac?
Cape Cod Mommies is excited to be co-sponsoring June's Giveaway with Bum Boosa Bamboo Products ! Bumboosa ws founded by fellow Cape Cod Mom, Sonja Sheasley. A few years ago, Sonja took classes at the Sandwich Village Herb Shop (now closed) in an effort to make natural lotions for her children due to their sensitive skin.
As many of you may know, baby wipes and the majority of mainstream baby products contain harmful chemicals. Many times these same products profess to be for "sensitive skin" or say they will clear up diaper rash. I have found those products to be very misleading, often times finding that those products actually further aggravated sensitive skin. I can usually be found on the weekend at local Farmer's Markets trying to track down homemade calendula oil or lotion to treat my son's excema and rashes. So I was thrilled when I had the amazing opportunity to try out the Bum Boosa products! Bum Boosa Products are eco-friendly anod not filled with ANY harsh chemicals! They get their bamboo from China but are made right here in the U.S.A. and I always think it is nice to support local business, especially a Cape Cod business!
Right off the bat, I was drawn to the fabulous smelling wipes! A baby wipe that actually smells good even after it has wiped an atomic size mess up is a winner in my book. The smell of lavender and citrus is beyond pleasing. In fact, at a recent family cookout, I kept receiving compliments over my scent: "Wow, you smell fantastic! Is that lavender?" Imagine their surprise when I informed them it was actually my sons' baby wipes! I even gave a wipe to my son to play with and he was super excited by it. He kept smelling it in true yogi style saying, "Mama, ahhhhh".
When I first opened the package of wipes, I thought it was smaller than a standard wipe, but I realized it was just folded and shaped differently. Oh Happy Day! Bum Boosa wipes still have the same surface area as standard wipes do! And I managed to make 2 packs of 80 ct wipes last me 3 weeks! Now that is bang for your buck!
I am also totally in love with Bum Boosa diaper cream! It is 100% natural and made from bamboo powder, oils and herbs! It is completely free of any preservatives, synthetic fragrances and dyes! This is a win-win and a little goes a long way! My son is so sensitive to so many products and foods that he often gets a diaper rash especially after citrus or tomatos. Since we started using a little bit of this cream, we have been rash free and smell fantastic!!!
To celebrate Summer, Bum Boosa has generously donated a swag bag for a Giveaway to go to ONE lucky Cape Cod Mom! The Eco Baby Gift Bag comes with (3) packages of their bamboo baby wipes, a 4 ounce bamboo diaper rash ointment, and a 10 ml bottle of pure grade lavender essential oil with suggested uses and safety information. This is valued at $39.99 and will be delivered free of charge to the winner. Bum Boosa will also be participating in the upcoming debut of the Cape Cod Mommies Discount Club (stay tuned for how you can save on Bum Boosa Products!) There are lots of ways to enter and you can enter multiple days! Goodluck and Happy Wiping!
My name is Ashley, and I live a half priced life. I live this type of life to survive, to feed my family, to save money for things I could otherwise not afford like unexpected car repairs or an emergency trip to the dentist. Sometimes I wish I had a "lavish life"-one where I wouldn't have to worry so much about my household budget, or how high the heating bill will be for a particular month. I do my absolute best in life in every aspect of my personal existence, but no matter how hard I try- I struggle with being healthy.
You see, sometimes I feel like "being healthy" is a luxury
In the modern world, women are not only the primary caretakers of their family; they are also contributors to the female workforce. Women face quite the conundrum when it comes to taking care of themselves. At the end of workday, after homework, dinner, bath time, and bed time- who the heck wants to exercise? Also, who wants to wake up at 4am before the kids to fit exercise in?
Humans aren't rabbits, so why eat bowls full of salad day in and day out? Personally, I need variety and depth in my food. I need two bites of a brownie (if not three) to satisfy a chocolate craving, and gosh darn-it sometimes I need an ice cream sundae! Yet, I always feel guilty when I steal a naughty nibble because I know I'm not going to get the extra exercise I need to burn those additional calories.
Woman-guilt, it's a *bleep*!
So, what happens if you can't afford a membership to the gym, or a sitter to watch your kids while you go to the gym, or even someone to help with the kids so you can exercise at home or go out for a run? What happens if you don't have the money to purchase healthy foods all the time? What happens if you can't make the time, or find the time to exercise because your schedule is so busy with work and family that you can't even see straight at the end of the day? What happens if you don't have a family to care for, but work 6-7 days a week to survive, allowing you little time to pay attention to your own needs?
Being healthy becomes a luxury. I would love someone to prove me wrong on my theory, or at least give me magical
powers that will allow me to wake up at 4am without feeling psychotic. If you could also throw in a mute button for my extremely loud and co-dependent cat, who yowls at me, at the top of her lungs, waking up my kids the minute my feet
hit the floor- well that would be awesome too! Seriously though, this post is meant to generate response- whether you agree or disagree with my theory.
I want to know
Do you feel the same way I do? Or, do you have tips to share with readers who feel this way? Share with me the good and bad, the thoughtful and helpful, your opinions and point of views-on my site The Savings Momma
Please, don't misunderstand- I do exercise and I do eat as healthy as possible. I was just one of those people not blessed with amazing genetics, and for me- being healthy and staying healthy is an everyday struggle. I assure you, I do not sit on my duff, eating from my couponing stockpile, drooling on my couch. Promise ;)
Making healthy meals takes some planning. But that can be difficult for working parents struggling to get home in time to pick their kids up from their latest extracurricular activity, or trying to feed a child that only wants processed foods like macaroni and cheese or pizza at every meal. Do not fret. Small changes in daily routine, nutritional understanding and fitness awareness can make huge differences in your family’s overall health. Incorporating healthy and nutritious foods into your family’s bellies can be done, but it may take a little work.
We all have heard the harsh statistics about the growing obesity and diabetes rates in the developed countries, especially in America. Our children will live a two- to five-years' shorter life span than us . . . if healthy eating and
physical habits are not adopted at an early age. Eat fresh, live, organic and green foods with your child/ren to show them how to be healthy. They will mirror your behavior and feel positive about food. Have your child/ren help select their favorite fresh produce at the grocery store or farmers market, and prepare meals with you in the kitchen. Even washing the vegetables before cutting them up will allow them to be a part of the cooking process. Children love to taste foods they helped select and make. It might encourage them to try a new food!
As a parent, you want to provide foods that nourish your child while promoting brain and body development. Super foods contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy amounts of fats, carbs and proteins. Since such foods are nutrient-dense, even small servings pack a big punch, and with their minds and bodies growing at amazing exponential rates, they need the most nutritionally dense foods to help them develop optimally!
Below are the top SUPERFOODS for babies and toddlers:
This superfood is loaded with fiber, calcium, and plenty of vitamins and minerals, which helps child's eyesight and ward off cell damage. Eating it raw is the best way to ensure that your child gets all those nutrients, but that may be a tough sell to the little ones. Steam them for about five to eight minutes and drizzle parmesan cheese and olive oil or a little butter over the top. Let them dip them into salad dressing for fun.
2: Greek-Style Yogurt
Yogurt contains healthy live probiotic bacteria, which boosts your child's immunity and aids in digestion. Greek-style yogurt has two to three times more protein than regular yogurt--it also contains less sugar. To sweeten, add fruit, maple syrup or agave. Add a little honey if your child is older than 1.
3: Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder contains high concentrations of flavonoids, which improve blood pressure, as well as heart and oral health.
Flavonoids also may protect your child's skin from sun damage. Look for at least 70 percent pure cocoa--avoid products processed with alkali, which removes most of the flavonoids. Sprinkle cocoa on pancakes, waffles or French toast. Mix a
little cocoa with milk to create a chocolate drink.
4: Black Beans, Lentils or Garbonzo Beans
Beans are full of protein, fiber and calcium. They also help guard against heart disease and high cholesterol. Add black beans to quesadillas or salsa and lentils to soup. Mash the beans with salsa or olive oil to create a black bean dip for crackers or chips.
Blueberries are packed with brain boosting antioxidants. This small fruit may improve brain function and protect against
heart disease. Because of their size, blueberries are a natural finger food, and children may enjoy eating them plain. Use blueberries in oatmeal or cereal as well. Mix the fruit with yogurt and granola or put blueberries and yogurt in a blender to make a healthy smoothie.
6: Whole Grains
Whole grains can be found in bread, cereal and crackers -- all foods kids usually enjoy. They're rich in folic acid,
iron, zinc and B vitamins and some are fortified with vitamin D and calcium as well. Start your kids on whole grains, especially sprouted breads and pastas early, to give them a head start against heart disease. Avoid the pre-packaged products that contain unsaturated fats, better known as trans-fats. Read the nutritional information on the labels carefully.
Avocados are the only fruit laced with monounsaturated "good" fats that may lower "bad" LDL cholesterol, which can harm the heart. The avocado is also a super source of soluble fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar. And it's full of vitamin E, which protects your cells from free radicals. Mash avocado with a little lime or lemon juice and yogurt and using it on quesadillas or tacos — or as a dip for raw vegetables.
8: Wild Salmon
This cold-water fish contains healthful fats known as omega-3s that can lower the risk of heart disease. These nutrients
may also help improve mood and prevent memory loss. Choose wild salmon to reduce your child's exposure to toxic substances such as PCBs and mercury. Lightly crumb thin strips of salmon and bake them for healthy fish sticks.
9: Cage Free Eggs
Eggs are a clean protein. The protein in eggs is so beneficial that all other foods use it as the gold standard. Aside
from protein, eggs are full of more than a dozen necessary vitamins and minerals, and contain a huge concentration of choline -- a nutrient vital for brain development in young children. To boot, eggs are one of the most versatile foods on the planet. You can cook eggs many ways, but chances are your child has a favorite, whether it's scrambled or fried.
Walnuts make a great protein snack, and you can add them easily to your child's lunchbox. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help brain function, fend off disease and lift depression. Chop up walnuts and add them to salad, baked goods or cereal.
Slice up some cabbage with carrots and broccoli bits and add a simple citrus vinaigrette dressing to make a healthy
coleslaw or boil them in some vegetable broth for a hearty soup. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, packed with phytonutrients to help with digestion and keep illness at bay. Kids will appreciate the crunch and relatively mild taste
that can be mixed into many dishes.
12: Kale, Asparagus, Chard, and other dark leafy greens
These leafy greens boast high amounts of iron and folate and are rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeazanthin protect the eye and aide in its development. These amazing leaves are top super foods because they contain a large amount of vitamin C and good amounts of calcium and vitamin K. Together the calcium and vitamin K are superb bone builders (studies show that vitamin K is needed to activate bone proteins) to help give your baby a strong skeleton.
An excellent source of iron, calcium, and folic acid, along with vitamins A and C, spinach is great for growing bones and
brains. This versatile vegetable has a mild flavor and cooks in a flash. It can be stirred into hot soups, toss it into tomato sauce or an omelet, and hidden into quesadillas.
14: Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes provide a great source of potassium, vitamin C, fiber, folate, vitamin A, calcium and iron. Treat sweet
potatoes just like you would any other potato. They can be mashed, grilled, roasted or made into a delicious sweet casserole. The best bet to get your kids to eat them may be to make oven-baked sweet potato French fries with a drizzle
of coconut oil, cinnamon, and agave on top.
This gluten free grain is a protein rich seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. In addition to being a complete protein (contains all 8 essential amino acids), quinoa is has a good amount of fiber and is high in nutrients such as manganese, magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also an amazing alternative to whole grain rice in many baby food recipes.
Postpartum depression can strike any woman, any time after birth. Some women suffer from the baby blues, a feeling of sadness after giving birth, but postpartum depression is much more severe and it can last for a much longer period of time. Postpartum depression can be a long journey, but one that doesn't have to end in sorrow.
The signs of postpartum depression include:
· Feeling restless or irritable.
· Feeling sad, depressed or crying a lot.
· Having no energy.
· Having headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations (the heart being fast and feeling like it is skipping beats), numbness, or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing).
· Not being able to sleep or being very tired, or both.
· Not being able to eat and weight loss.
· Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions.
· Being overly worried about the baby.
· Not having any interest in the baby.
· Feeling worthless and guilty.
· Being afraid of hurting the baby or yourself
· No interest or pleasure in activities, including sex.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, which can also include loss of appetite and anger, seek medical help. Admitting you need medical help can be scary, but it is also the first step in helping yourself.
A support network is also crucial to beating postpartum depression. Be it a group of friends, family, or an online forum, a support network can help educate the woman who is going through PPD. The support network you choose should begin with your medical professional who can point you in the proper direction to find groups in your area. He or she can also offer brochures, books, and other information regarding postpartum depression.
by Pamela Wills, Certified Professional Coach
Pamela specializes in helping people rediscover and express their true, authentic selves with practical life strategies
(like goal-setting and time management) and creative exercises (such as mind-mapping). Her clients usually decide to work with her after leaving difficult, codependent, controlling and/or abusive relationships.
There is no time like the present, right? Time to move on. Just do it. Get going. It’s time to stop talking and start walking. Today, I’m giving myself (and you) 6 steps to help with the moving on part of life.
1) Figure out what’s weighing you down. If you’re still stuck trying to let go, something heavy must have wrapped a chain around you. What’s making you feel immobile? Why haven’t you taken action? Are you still afraid of something? What is keeping you from taking that first step forward? Figuring out what it is will make the next step easier.
2) Ask yourself if these heavy things serve you. Once you figure out what is holding you back, ask yourself whether that thing is really doing you any good. For example, if you want to quit smoking so you can run a marathon (because running a marathon is on your Bucket List) and nothing is working, ask yourself whether smoking that cigarette really helps you to reach that goal. Your answer will help you move on to the next step.
3) Decide to let those things go and focus on something else. Once you have the answer to #2, it is time to make a decision. You can do this!!! Whatever it is, just let it go! Give up that old habit that no longer serves you OR your goal. Then forget about it and focus on something else. Drink water. Take a walk. Chew gum. Take a bath. Chop wood! Whatever — the important thing is to replace the old not so good anymore thing with a new improved exciting
helpful thing. Once you cross that bridge, making the leap to #4 will seem easier.
4) Focus on new stuff. Start focusing on what you want, what’s important and what can make your life better. Want to run a marathon? Well, if you’ve passed GO on #3 and let go of the smoking habit to focus on… hmmm… maybe gum
chewing? Then you’re probably ready to start training for that marathon. Focus on training for that marathon. Put all
of your extra energy into training for that marathon.
5) Create an action plan. Remember those S.M.A.R.T. goal strategies we covered a few weeks ago? Dust those off and come up with a plan of action to achieve the best version of you. Sticking with the Bucket List marathon example,
you need a training plan. Go! Get yourself a plan, a trainer, a coach to help you become a marathon runner. Pick a date. Pick a marathon. Start today! Then move on to Step #6.
6) Live in the present, in the now. We hear this all the time, but practicing it for real takes some real focus. Don’t let those negative chatterboxes in your head (the ones like my Nellie, Liz and Sarah) derail your efforts. Whenever you
feel yourself scrambling out on a limb with an anxiety producing line of thought, clamp down on your attention and bring it back to whatever task is at hand. So what if you don’t run 26 miles the first day you train for that marathon! =) You are training for it RIGHT NOW. Working on it RIGHT NOW. Boom, end of drama. Now is the only time and place there is. Be thankful for it all.
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