Friday, January 27, 2012

a poem and pictures

A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than a pachyderm,
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race
His childish pride he often pleases

By giving people strage diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.
 By Ogden Nash

Poor little girls.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Document: menu planning

Menu planning. It really works.

I used to have a very flexible biweekly menu plan because I liked the freedom to try new recipes, new techniques, and fun ingredients. Cooking was my creative outlet. But as I got more sick and tired, all that flew out the window. Now, I try to make sure my artistic self can be expressed while I'm sitting or lying down (not kidding--but maybe that's another blog post).

This is how I do menu planning now. 

I read this article by Dr. Thomas Cowan about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and suddenly everything clicked. Since reading this (and with lots of help from his book Fourfold Path to Healing), I've been concentrating on a diet that is:
  • easy to digest
  • has enough iron to address my anemia
  • lots of broth and leafy greens to restore bone density
  • focuses on my specific vitamin deficiencies like B-12 and zinc
  • and will hopefully increase general health for not just me, but my husband and our two little girls, too.
If you don't have an autoimmune issue like I do, it's still a very healthy way to eat, and can be easily modified to be GAPS- or Paleo-friendly. I've been tweaking it since about September, and it's become my masterpiece. It works great... when I'm not too tired to cook, that is. (Oh Irony, you get me every time!)

My mom asked me if I would blog this, and ever the obliging daughter, here it is in its entirety. If this is too weird for you, or you have different nutritional needs, I highly recommend susbscribing to KerryAnn's menu plans at Cooking Traditional Foods. I also like the "Everyday Gourmet" menu plan from Eat Fat, Lose Fat (bad title, great book).

Okay, so here's what our family is eating....

Breakfast: Sauteed Veggies and Pastured Pork Sausage
Dinner: Crockpot Chicken, Ginger Carrots, Kale, Baked Potatoes

 (making yogurt in the crockpot)

Breakfast: Egg Muffins (with leftovers from Monday's breakfast) and fruit
Dinner: Chinese Chicken Salad (leftovers from Monday's dinner) over shredded Napa cabbage and Egg Drop Soup (made from broth from Monday)
or Chicken Tacos (leftovers from Monday's dinner) with Cortido and Tomato Soup (made with broth from Monday)

(making kimchi)

Breakfast: Baked Apples and Meatballs
Dinner: Salad Nicoise (with very rare grilled tuna steaks) and Carrot Soup (made with broth from Monday)
or Grilled Tuna Steaks (again, very rare) with Napa Cabbage Slaw and kimchi

(the finished kimchi)

Breakfast: Pork Jowls and Cabbage, Applesauce
Dinner: Miso Chicken Soup, Stir Fried Veggies, Asian Steak Tartare (Recipe from Nourishing Traditions, see explanation here)

 (a vat of chicken stock)

Breakfast: Sauteed Chicken Livers and Applesauce
Dinner: Corned Beef with cabbage and carrots, Homemade Saurkraut

Breakfast: Soaked Oatmeal or Gluten-Free Pancakes
Dinner: free night
or Curried Lentils and some sort of curry with a protein and Homemade Chutney (Recipe from Nourishing Traditions)

Sunday (our busiest day)
Breakfast: leftovers
Dinner: leftovers

Our lunches are the same every day to give me a break from all that food prep. The girls get gluten-free PBJ's, fruit, and yogurt. I have a smoothie or leftovers. My hubby makes his lunches on Sunday, usually grilled chicken and something green like salad or sauteed kale. This is my master list, but it's very flexible week to week. Some days, we just have scrambled eggs and yogurt for dinner, and that's okay. But having a guideline helps me get back on track faster, keep grocery costs lower, makes shopping easier, and generally helps life go smoother--for all of us.

What about you? Do you menu plan? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Document: my outfits

I feel like I'm just now--at age 32--finally hitting my stride. I'm recovering from a long illness and my kids are not quite as demanding as when they were born, and at last I have the capability to be interested in things like growing my hair out, having cute shoes, and just generally trying to avoid looking like a hot mess.

It's hit or miss most days.

 (iPhone photo taken yesterday by my four-year-old daughter!)

I really enjoy fashion bloggers like Jessica and Ali and Reachel, but I would never flatter myself enough to think that I have any stylish insight to offer the blogosphere. Instead, I'm using my New Year's resolution of "document" to record my own outfits that I like, or feel happy wearing.

(iPhone photo taken yesterday by my four-year-old daughter!)

Yesterday, I tried to dress appropriately for my day but spent the whole time feeling like I was only vaguely resembling myself. I came home, changed a few things, and felt like I was finally me again. Super-stylish? No. Groundbreaking? No. Did I feel better? Yes!

  (iPhone photo taken today by my two-year-old daughter!)

I just downloaded an iPhone app called Cloth to help my record my sartorial highs and lows. I'll let you know how I like it, but until then, here are a few more inspiring bloggers who I really enjoy. 

A Beautiful Mess
Brooklyn Blonde
Lazy Saturdays
I Still Love Fashion

  (iphone photo taken by my two-year-old daughter!)

Here's to hoping 2012 sees all of us becoming better versions of ourselves, outfits and all!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday, Monday

Hoo boy.

This is going to be a busy week, and I'm trying to shake the feeling of inevitable doom.

I have a sick kid, an almost-sinus infection, no car this week, a gimpy stroller, a cold and wet weather forecast, a broken oven, and I already ate all of this week's chocolate rations. 

But on the bright side: my order from Galison arrived! I can finally resume functional to-do lists. I've spent the last three weeks writing on my hand, the calendar, old envelopes, and just trying really hard to remember stuff. I don't know why, but their writers' notepads are the only way I can approximate moderate productivity. My week is starting to look up.

I've been making lists as I hum this song. 

I hope your week is off to a good start!

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 resolutions: one word

Maybe you've heard of the one word resolutions?

In a nutshell, instead of trying to achieve lots of goals to change who we are, the intent of the one word resolution is not to do, but to be.

My one word this year?


I carry too much in my head and heart, and it's a burden I don't need. This year, I want to record all those adorable things my kids say, know exactly where I'm spending money, keep my to-do lists in better places, save all those pretty wine labels, keep correspondence from sweet friends, know how much protein I'm eating daily, and so on.


What's your resolution this year?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yup... still Christmas!

I wonder why I keep thinking about Christmas stockings?

And Christmas books?

 St. Nicholas Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and even Epiphany have all passed.

I guess I just have Christmas on the brain... and the mantel.

I haven't scheduled myself to do a deep clean of living room for at least another 2 weeks, so it will be perpetually Christmas in hearts--not to mention, Christmas in our house--for quite a while. I'm okay with that.

Ask me again in February, though.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Merry Christmas to me, 15 days later

Some parts of being a grown-up are great. Red wine! A bank account! Driving! You can sneak into the kitchen after dinner and eat ice cream and nobody will stop you! Hey, you can even have ice cream for breakfast if you want! (And let me tell you, if I didn't have kids watching me all day long, my entire grocery list would be nothing but ice cream. And red wine.)

But other parts of being a grown-up are not so fun. Taxes. Bank accounts. Nihilism. And Christmas is a very different experience.

It's an absolute joy to experience the wonder and celebration of Christ's birth through the eyes of small children. However, now I have to plan and shop for my own stocking, which isn't as magical as it was when I was little.

But let me tell you, when the mail came today, it was like opening a overflowing girly stocking on Christmas morning.

This BeautyBox by BeachMint is essentially a grab-bag of twelve items for $30, which I think is a fair price (you can purchase it here). Some products are by established brands and some are newbies, but I plan on trying them all. I'm especially looking forward to using the Weleda Wild Rose moisture cream and GoSmile teeth whitening pen.

Don't we all, as modern women, work really hard? And wouldn't we all like to have something surprising and girly delivered right to our front door? I think so. Do I think you need to treat yourself, Gentle Reader? Why, yes I do!

If this one isn't your thing, the Wall Street Journal reviewed four different companies and their offerings. If I were to do this again, I'd probably try BirchBox next. But for now, I'm going to see how many products I can use in one evening and then get some beauty sleep.

Good night!