Month: May 2012

Book Review-The Dinner Diaries

The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread WorldThe Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World by Betsy Block

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really related to this book. Many of us start the food wars with our children while they are still in utero. We try to get every gram of nutrients reccomended by What to Expect When You Are Expecting, even though we really want the most awesome preggo dinner ever, which is a bucket of ribs, topped of by using nutter butters as a spoon for chocolate frosting from the can.

Then the baby arrives and we feel guilty if we don’t breastfeed, and defensive if we do, especially if your baby does not want to eat on the magical schedule of every 3 hours. I especially had this problem with my daughter who was (and still is a grazer).

We really dream about being able to be the smug mommy on the playground, who can give her child broccoli on the playground while the other children are having oreo’s and just be able to smile that smug mommy smile and talk about how you are so lucky that little Jimmy prefers fresh veggies and organic, free range salmon to anything sweet.

We read articles in parenting magazines about the wonderful children who eat anything. Barbacoa! Kimchee! Passion Fruit Smoothies! Kale.

Then you actually have the small children. Small children who only want pasta and chicken nuggets. Children who point to a box of Trix and try to argue that its healthy because its Fruit Flavored and you find yourself telling your daughter no actual fruits were harmed in the making of Trix. You buy fresh produce with every intention to lovingly prepare it, but you either forget that its in there or you get so discouraged from the constant negotiations about the amount of produce that actually has to be eaten, that you sigh and reach for the box of Mac-n-cheese.

Then you comfort yourself by telling yourself that no one really wants to be friends with the sumg mommies and try to think of what the diaper of a kid that eats kale and kimchee, and free range organic salmon must look like.

Betsey Block has also felt our pain. And she took the time to write a book about it. With good humor she takes us through a year of trying to get everyone to eat healthfully. From experiments with whole grain baking, to eating organic to really getting to know her meat, she takes you through the journey, never taking herself too seriously and giving you some good ideas about how to do a family food makeover yourself.

I would really love a follow up book to see if she and her family have kept up the healthy eating, or have moved back to their previous habits.The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World

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Paleo Without Pity-End of Paleo Challenge

On Monday, March 5th my husband and I began our Crossfit Box’s Paleo Challenge.  This weekend we finished it.  We both lost about a dozen pounds, and are seeing the difference in how our clothes fit.  At the beginning of the challenge I was doing crossfit twice a week, and am now up to three times, and I would go more often if my schedule permitted.

I have to admit, that I did have a hard time with the challenge, because I was a HARDCORE carb junkie prior to starting the challenge.

After doing the Paleo Challenge, I can now emphasize with people who have problems giving things up because I am a bread addict.

I can give up booze with barely a thought. I found I do not miss pasta.  I miss the ease of making pasta, and the joy of making a meal that I know everyone loves and will eat, but I do not crave pasta.

I also thought I would miss dairy, since I love cheese. However, I found that as I stopped eating cold cereal, cookies, baked goods, french toast, waffles and pancakes, that I don’t miss dairy.  I missed the foods that went with the dairy.

I don’t even miss the baked goods too much, because I recognize that one cookie is too much and a dozen cookies are not enough, especially if they are my chocolate chip m&m oatmeal cookies, warm from the oven. (Ok-I miss baked goods a little)

And I don’t even miss bagels, chips, or crackers.

But real bread is hard.  Some sourdough baguette, a nice semolina loaf, warm pita, or a slice of pizza and I am drooling.

But I also must admit that I feel like shit after eating pizza, so I think if I can remember the pain prior to dialing I will be ok, but bread is still tough.

The other big challenge are trying to get the kids to come Paleo too.  I find that I am frequently cooking more than one meal, or several sides so we can have a dinner in peace.  I also find that there is a bit more involved cooking (and cleaning)  with this diet, since the quick pasta dinner is off the table.

 What I Learned:
  •  A whole new way of cooking, and have enjoyed searching the internet for new recipes and look for ways to adapt what I do cook.
  • I discovered new vegetables I might never have tried, like sunchokes and parsnips.
  • Artichokes in the crock pot are made of awesome.
  • The many joys of bacon
  • If I am serving turkey breast for dinner that I need to serve some sweet potato with it, or the whole family is hungry an hour later, and susceptible to bad food choices.
  • After I have served my kids a Paleo meal and they eat it, to NOT point out that its a Paleo meal, because then they won’t eat it again, because they are trying to kill me.

I will keep up with the eating plan, and continue to make my sweet husband his daily cooler since it keep him on track.

The only changes I will make is to incorporate some greek yogurt into my diet and the occasional bowl of oatmeal, since I really love plain oatmeal with fruit.   I am also thinking of doing a 30 day Paleo challenge, as I felt the grind of an 82 day challenge was a bit much, and I did cheat several times.  I think on average I was 75-80% Paleo each day, and I am going to shoot for 85-90% going forward.

So thanks to Glen, Linda and John at Crossfit Synergistics for showing us a new way to eat.

If  you look on the blog, there are several yummy Paleo recipes.  As I discover new recipes they will be up right here.






Special Needs Ryan Gosling

This has been a tough week. My sweet boy is getting very stressed about our impending move to Maryland and has been acting out. He had been trying to keep a good face on things since we have all been stressed about the move.

I’ve been having anxiety dreams where I get a report card of my parenting skills and all the grades are a D-.

So I am very, very, happy that today is Friday and its a long weekend. I am happier that the school year will be ending soon. I will be happiest when I get a decent cocktail in my hand. But I think that Ryan understands the need to get away from it all.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Book Review-Mad Women

Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and BeyondMad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ’60s and Beyond by Jane Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I am a big Mad Men fan and was interested in hearing a real-life behind the scenes story. I was also curious to see how she juggled everything. I have to admit that everytime I see a successful professional woman with children and a shred of her sanity the first thing I wonder is how she does it.

Jane Maas explains exactly how; by putting her career 1st, husband 2nd, and children last. That and having live in help during the week, and a true partner for a spouse.

However hearing about the history of advertising in the 60’s and 70’s and her role in it was good (and quick reading).

However, while I enjoyed the book, I am glad I borrowed it from my local library and did not spend $12 downloading it from Amazon.Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ’60s and Beyond

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Special Needs Ryan Gosling

To say its been a busy week has been an understatement.  Lets just say that I completed my 40 hour work week by 10am on Wednesday.  However its Friday and I am still working.

I also have an initial consult with a woman who has an Autism Spectrum Consulting practice.  I never knew there was such a thing or what she does, but I will find out on Monday and report back to you lovely people next week.  I am thinking that since my son’s diagnosis is less than a year old, We’ve been flying without an IEP and are moving to Maryland this summer, it would be good to speak with a professional.

Anyway, enough of that, lets break out the juicy Ryan goodness.


Happy Friday Everyone!

B1G1- Is Buy One Get One Free- just for those who may not have had enough coffee prior to blog hopping.

Paleo Without Pity-Chicken Meatballs (And My Sitter is Better Than Your Sitter)

Everyone knows that the secret to sanity as a parent is to have a good baby sitter so you can go on dates with your spouse, which helps keep the marriage happy.  We have always been pretty lucky to have good sitters that we have found though the Daycare, but our sitter Lisa is really the tops!

She not only watches the kids and does fun art projects with them, but when we go away for family trips she house and dog sits as well.  Our dog is happy because she is not in the kennel, and we are happy because the kennel is expensive and Lucy is always mad at us after she goes there.

In addition to taking care of the house and dog, Lisa often cooks for us and leaves things in the fridge.  Before we went Paleo we used to come home to a couple dozen fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, but this time when we came home, we came home to awesome chicken meatballs and eggs and veggies in muffin cups.  I don’t have the egg recipe yet, but I have these perfectly paleo meatballs.

So Lisa, thanks for your awesomeness!  We will miss you when we move!

Turkey/Chicken Vegetable Meatballs (Serves 4-6)

1lb ground turkey or chicken

2 medium carrots (or a handful of baby carrots)

1 bell pepper (you choose the color)

5 large white mushrooms

handful of fresh parsley

1/2 yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

2TBS Italian Seasoning

1/2 tsp ground pepper

2tsp garlic salt (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350

2. Combine all veggies in a food processor or blender and process until small chopped

3. Empty veggies in lage bowl, add meat and seasonings, mix completely

4. Form into balls and bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until golden brown all over and fragrant.

I liked the meatballs as is, although the veggie chunks were too obvious for the kids.  I would not cook these for a long time in sauce unless you want a meat & veggie sauce, but I added a can of diced tomatoes to the meatballs in the fridge and microwave them briefly to warm and the tomatoes really add some nice flavor.

So there you go, perfectly paleo meatballs and indisputable proof that my sitter is better than yours (sticks out tongue)