Thursday, 26 May 2011

Another day at the park

I took these at the park a couple weeks ago- I meant to post them... oops.
We had a great time with good friends, and sweet kids. We are so blessed to be able to spend our days like this.

My girl!

Isaac and Ben; New buddies

Skylar. (Sophie's big sis)
I love how their mom, Lori, put the same hats (that we got them for Christmas) on the girls. So, naturally we went to the car and got Bella's on her so she could match too!
A rare quiet moment for Ben

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Ben's Journal entry- May 13.

I keep a journal for both of my kids. Here was Ben's entry from the other day.

Hi Babe,
I love you- you're such a cute, sweet little guy!
You're adorable. And SO affectionate. You play this game with me where you tackle me. You push me over, and you love it! You, then, either bounce on my tummy, or snuggle in. When you snuggle, you tuck your hands between us- at your tummy. It's so cute. You also kiss me (sometimes really long), and then say "mmmm-wah"
Lately you have been pretty disobedient and naughty. Yesterday- you ran away from me outside, broke a flower pot, dumped all our snacks on the floor (that I made to take to a friend's house for our playdate- just as we were leaving), while we were at our friends- you ran to the road, and would not turn around, pulled apart my new flowers, ripped leaves off our little tree, knocked over Dad's laptop, put your (coughdrop)sucker in the toilet, then licked it, dropped my camera, threw your porridge bowl- and made the biggest mess, refused to clean up ANY messes all day, and then we put you to bed- and you cried and wouldn't sleep til 930 (you went to bed around 8).  Then, - -- so sad, through the night, you got up a ton, and puked through the night and morning.  
I need a nap.
Love mom


I think that sometimes I may come across preachy. If I do- I offer my sincerest apologies. I really am just so passionate about some things- and am so excited to learn and share. I hope that you appreciate my little bits of info.

Monday, 16 May 2011

T. Colin Campbell, PhD - A Delicate Balance

Right now I am in the midst of reading T.Colin Campbell's "The China Study", which has been highly recommended. He conducted the longest running, and most important nutritional study.
The other day when I was asked about it by my sisters and mother in law, one of them said they'd like the "Cole's notes" on it!!! So this video is my "Cole's" answer to what I have read so far (about a quarter in- its long). (There are so many more videos by T. Colin Campbell on Youtube)

It is sooo important to take our own health into account. I feel that we are in such a fast paced, money driven, more is better, lets cover up the symptoms, and ignore research and problems- type of society that we need to educate our selves... and make it our job. Nobody is going to do this for us. Mainstream health information is lacking, biased, and I feel is so deep in their own crap that they can't get out. It seems that the norm is buying into ideas without questioning them, and almost feeling apathetic to our health.
I believe that there are natural answers to our ailing health. I believe that if we make the best choices (based on our learning) our bodies will benefit greatly. What we choose to eat (and not eat) is the biggest factor in our overall health.. so I know its worth the time, money and effort- at least for me to look into, and do the best I can for myself and my family. I want to know that I did everything possible to deter diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and the biggest one we're all afraid of... cancer. The research says that these diseases can be prevented, and even reversed! How cool is that?
Other cool resources we should check out?

My babes... Twins?

Bella and Ben are 19.5 months apart. Ben's always been a little bigger, and Isabella- more petite.  Ever since they were old enough to sit side by side in the shopping cart, I have occasionally been asked if they were twins!  And I got asked again today. I could see how you would maybe say that if you didn't try to communicate with them. 
Ben and Bella (watching Nemo) all cuddled up! And matching. :)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Strawberry Muffins

My darling friend Karina posted this recipe on her adorable blog a while back. It sounded sooo yummy.  So finally I made them, with a few changes (I'll post both recipies).  Karina's look a little more appealing than mine though.

We made a couple changes...
Instead of using butter, I used half Earth Balance buttery spread, and half coconut oil (still equalling a half cup)
Instead of using 3/4 cup of sugar, I used 1/2 cup agave nectar (when you substitute agave nectar for sugar, you use the same amount, ie. 1/2 cup sugar =1/2 cup agave nectar.... I used less, I figured these would be sweet enough with the strawberries, so I cut back a bit on the sweetness.  Also if you are baking.. for each cup of agave nectar you use, you are supposed to add 1/2 cup extra flour to make up for the added moisture)
Instead of the egg, I made a flax egg (see here ) (The site says to grind your own flaxseeds, I used flaxseed meal.  This didn't alter the muffin at all. You couldn't taste the flax, and it added extra health goodness without using an egg)
I used whole wheat flour- but added an extra 1/4 cup to make up for the moisture of the agave nectar.

* Mine turned out just fine. They looked a little burnt- though they were cooked perfectly. Apparently that happens when you use agave instead of sugar. Maybe next time I will try some other things. Like maple syrup to sweeten, and apple sauce instead of all the butter/oil.

Vegan macaroons


I found this recipe here. I was out of cocnut milk, so I used soy or almond instead (can't remember now).  These were SO delicious!! We loved them. A lot!!!

  • 1 1/3 cups coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups medium unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (if making chocolate macaroons)
Preheat oven to 350F. In a saucepan on medium high heat, combine the coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk in the arrowroot powder and whole wheat flour. Continue whisking until the mixture becomes thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. Add the shredded coconut and cocoa powder if using and mix until well combined.  Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until beginning to brown. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Ben's asking for "more" (signing) while his chipmunk cheeks are stuffed!

Monday, 9 May 2011


My wonderful mother in law made these on the weekend. We really liked them. I haven't made them yet, so I can't tell you how easy it is, or how long they take. I thought I should share the link for the recipe anyways. They're a nice healthy alternative to ice cream. Thanks Darlene!

To make this an easier recipe I would even consider just making the inside.

April showers... and May showers... It's okay if you've got cute boots!

My favourite boots are on sale today...
Seriously, if you need rain boots, now's the time.

There's more selection of Dav rainboots online- but the sale won't last long.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Sweet Potato and Beet Chips

I think that these are more delicious than kale chips, but they are also more work.
They are also pretty easy to make, though they need a little more time in the oven than Kale.

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil.
1 meduim sweet potato. OR 1 beet.

Preheat oven to about 325* (I used a star b/c there's not a degree symbol)
Peel the skin from your veg of choice. Discard.
Now, use the same peeler and peel the entire vegetable, to get thin slices of either sweet potato, or beet (which is a little messy). Once you get it mostly peeled and you're holding a stubby piece- slice very thinly.
Very thinly peeled slices of sweet potato

Melting my coconut oil.
I didn't use a microwave cos we ditched ours.
You can though. It should take about 10 secs.
Toss with coconut oil.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet, and bake.

You would have to use about five baking sheets if you didn't let them overlap. So let them a bit. When you do this some actually cook together making bigger chips. It took me about an hour to get the chips crispy. About halfway through, lightly flip chips so they cook a little more evenly. Watch them- so they don't burn. Take them out when they are no longer soft,-- when they are chip-like.

Now, some other ideas.... You can sprinkle a little fine sea salt on before baking. Or, a little cinnamon sugar, or curry powder  would be excellent too.

Let me know if any of you try these.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Kale Chips

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables, and is the healthiest of the leafy greens. (Read waaay more here)
We make Kale chips at least once a week. Our whole family loves them! Its one of my best ways to get my kids to eat veggies (not that they have a problem, they are actually quite great eaters).
To make kale chips:
~Wash and really dry kale (preheat  oven to about 275)
~Tear into chip sized pieces, discarding the hard stem

~Coat in oil (I use olive. I bet coconut would be delish), I use about a tablespoon.
I either do this in a bowl, or in a large ziplock bag (this coats it well, with no dishes, or oily hands, and the kids think its great that they can shake the bag).
~Place on parchment lined baking sheet. When I do this I try to do one layer, though some pieces overlap.

coated in oil and balsamic,
on parchment lined baking sheet
ready for the oven!
~Sprinkle lightly with fine sea salt. (I don't use much; like a pinch- maybe 1/4 tsp)
~Place in oven. Keep an eye on them. I honestly don't keep the best track of the time. It probably takes about 20 mins.

As another variation that we like, after coating chips with oil, toss in about a tablespoon of vinegar (balsamic, white, tonight I used apple cider vinegar) to make "salt and vinegar". Also, kale can be salted before or after they go in the oven.
Also, I find one bunch usually does two baking sheets.

I'd really like to make the vegan cheezy kale chips, but haven't gotten around to it yet (lots more work). Does anyone make their kale chips differently? What do you season yours with?

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Voting Day!!!

Tomorrow is the day to vote! Are you voting? For which party?
I will be voting GREEN tomorrow. Big surprise, eh?
My husband (organic apple farmer) was wondering why I would choose them.
Here is one reason why (okay, more than one...):
(I copied this right from their website- Green party food and agriculture policy paper)

Canada needs a Forward-Thinking Food Policy

The Food Policy of the Green Party of Canada builds a strong agri-food sector by carefully balancing the social, environmental, and economic needs of our farmers, our citizens, and our country to produce high quality food and maintain the capacity and the right to grow food into the future. The Green Food Policy is a blueprint to build the energy efficient, democratic food economy Canadians want with commonsense policies that work.

The Green Vision -  think local, choose organic, know your food, support your farmer

The Green Party works to decentralize food production, bringing the processing jobs back to local communities and the profit back to the farm. We recognize the link between food quality and healthcare and we chose to pay the farmer, not the hospital. We work to end hunger by teaching people to grow food for their communities and helping them access foodland. In this time of global change, the Green Party builds diversity and resilience into our food system to limit the effects of crop failures and trade disruptions.

ü  Provide affordable and nutritious food, safe from disease and chemical contaminants
ü  Produce 85% of Canada’s food on Canadian farms
ü  Require that food imports meet Canada’s health, environmental and labour standards
ü  Invest in local food processing mills, bakeries, canners, abattoirs and creameries to cut food transportation and bring jobs back into rural communities.
ü  Design appropriate food safety regulations for small direct sales operations
ü  Expand the food supply by investing in research of innovative organic management techniques
ü  Wean food production off its oil dependence and contribute to solutions for climate change by removing the impediments to organic production
ü  Invest in on-farm energy generation
ü  Treat farm animals with respect
ü  Bring profit back to the farm by developing a Best Practices Handbook to reduce the need for expensive inputs
ü  Invest in Young farmers with an Interest Free Succession Plan program to facilitate intergenerational farm transfers without the burden of bank interest charges.
ü  Clamp down on absentee land speculation
ü  Shift taxpayer subsidies to reward the small, productive family farms and small local businesses Canadians want
ü  Protect Canada’s reputation for high quality exports by preventing the hormone, antibiotics and GMO contamination which our trading partners don’t want.
ü  Regulate the railways to provide efficient service at a fair cost
ü  Give farmers control of their Canadian Wheat Board and facilitate cooperative marketing.
ü  Renovate Supply management to promote new entrants and niche markets by removing the cost from the bottom tier of quota.
ü  Require Honest food labels which detail origin and processing of each major ingredient
ü  Require Honest labelling which identify genetically modified foods
ü  Restore and protect our precious soil, water and biodiversity so that all generations maintain the resources to feed their families

I think these are some good reasons to vote green. There are more, and I have to say that I haven't done a ton of homework on all of the parties this year, as I have done in the past. But I know enough to confidently cast my vote this way.

If you're undecided it would be great if you'd join me.  I would love to see more GREEN representation-even if we don't see Elizabeth May as our next prime minister, I'd like to at least hear them speak at the next debates.