Oct 17, 2012

Turning the Corner with Healthy Habits

It has taken nearly one year to make adjustments into my home in terms of healthy eating after my third pregnancy....the pregnancy where I was working a full-time job and taking care of a toddler all while being nauseous from the moment I got out of bed to the moment I crawled into bed.  By the time 4:30pm hit and was heading home all I could think about was which drive-thru it would be that night.  I only lived 7 minutes away from school, but in those 7 minutes, if I didn't have something in my stomach, I'd more than likely be pulling over to the side of the road.  And sure, I could've been prepared in the morning with a healthy snack, but that just didn't happen in my world. 

What happened to my healthy-eating daughter was pretty much disastrous!  She was not only used to eating out, but she was used to eating junk.  There were many burgers, french fries, pizzas and ice creams.  I think I even went so far as to have the "Cake Shake" from Portillos a couple of times.  YIKES!  It's almost embarrassing how awful I was to my body in terms of food, but much of that was stressful eating. 

When my son was about 2 or 3 months old, I decided to start slowly shifting our diet back to raw/vegan.  I knew my daughter was hooked on her burgers, so I still bought ground meat, but always made sure it was pastured, grass-fed meat.  After a few more months, we invested in a veggie and fruits chart from "Today I Ate a Rainbow", which helped her to monitor her intake during the day.  Well, my son is now 15 months old - today - and our progress has been slow and steady, but we are definitely back on track.  Results are the following: 

1 - We only eat out once a week, if that, and it's usually at a place that serves healthy options.

2 - My daughter has significantly increased her veggie and fruit intake...going from 1 serving a day to 5 or more.

3 - There are no longer any arguments about eating out, therefore my daughter is quite happy with the meals provided at home.

4 - Green smoothies are finally being accepted again by the 4yo! 

5 - Kale chips are preferred over Cheddar Bunnies

6 - Quinoa is the new favorite grain, which is the new favorite meal.

7 - My favorite one of all, "Mom, McDonald's hamburgers and french fries are really unhealthy for you and really gross."  My response to that was, "Yes, but you always like to eat them anyway when you are with your dad."  Her response, "No, I'd rather have a hamburger you make because it's healthier."  (Hamburgers show their face on a minimal basis in the house, but I love the awareness.)

This goes to prove that transformations are possible with persistance, hope and the willingness to never give up.  I am the mother of this household and I care about what my kids put into their bodies.  My grocery cart only accepts items that will foster health.  I didn't take away everything all at once, but I replaced things one by one until finally we were back on track.  We are not 100% raw/vegan, but we are a heck of a lot healthier than we were over a year ago.  

Oct 2, 2012

Making Sprouted Grain Flour

Yes, can you believe it?  I make my own flour...who does that, right?  You're thinking, "She's crazy!"  I have to say, I am one step away from buying 100 acres of land and some John Deere tractors so that I can grow fields of grain.  Just kidding.  I worked on my grandfather's farm - that was good enough!  However, I feel VERY earthy about sprouting my own grains and grinding them into flour.  It just makes everything I make with it taste 100% better.  I believe in this little thing called, LOVE.  When love goes into food, it just tastes better and I feel better.  Hence the reason why I don't eat out much because that guy in the back who is making my food probably doesn't love me all that much and he's more than likely stressed out, so when I eat his stressed out food I gain stress.  Single mom of little ones....I think I'll pass on the extra stress.  Thanks! 

Anyway, making flour from a whole grain is so, so, SO simple that it's just ridiculous.  And it really doesn't take much time on your part at all. 

Here's how it goes.  Ready?

Step 1:  Soak your grains overnight in purified water.  I usually soak them in a sprouting jar (mason jar with a screen top).

Step 2:  Rinse your grains the next morning in a strainer and return to jars with screen.  Place jars slightly on their side to drain any excess liquid.  Repeat again before going to bed.  Do this step for 2-3 days in a row or until you see buds on your grains. (Wheat berries usually take only 1-2 days to sprout.)


Step 3:  Rinse grains thoroughly, then place them on dehydrator trays using the teflon sheets.  Dehydrate at 115 degrees overnight or until dry.  (This is an example of sprouted buckwheat.)


Step 4:  Place all grains in a high-speed blender and blend until a fine flour is created.  (Takes seconds.)  **You can also store the grains in a glass container in the refrigerator and blend when you are ready to use.  (This picture shows a food processor.  You can use a food processor, but a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix, will process it into finer granules.)

Step 5:  Keep in a sealed glass container and place in the refrigerator.  Lasts about a month.  

Sprouting grains are more alkalizing to the body and inhibits phytic acid from blocking many important minerals from absorbing in the body.  It also increases vitamin content.  You can lightly steam sprouted grains and add it to casseroles, breads, etc. or you can grind it into flour for later use as I've shown above.  For just a little bit of time, you will gain more nutritional value in your food!  SNAP!