Friday, November 26, 2010

Menu plan for week of 11/28/2010

Sunday, 11/28
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: Crock pot oatmeal made overnight with shelled sunflower seeds, honey & cinnamon.
  • Morning snacks: Nuts (cashews or peanuts), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin or flax), and yogurt (protein stuff)
  • Lunch: Meatballs (no sauce) with frozen organic veggies (broccoli or green beans)
  • Afternoon snacks: Veggies (carrots, celery, zucchini, etc.), and fruit (pears, melon, etc.)
  • Dinner: Beef & Vegetables on Polenta altered to remove the marinara sauce and rather than polenta, serve it on top of mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, or rice. :)
Tonight, you'll need to make your leftover oatmeal muffins. Freeze whatever is left, but leave out enough for snacks (or breakfast) during the week.

Monday, 11/8
  • Pre-breakfast: yogurt
  • Breakfast: Frittata with zucchini & onions
  • Morning snacks: Oatmeal muffins, banana w/peanut butter
  • Lunch: Turkey (or tuna, or chicken) salad on GF bread with a green/lettuce salad
  • Afternoon snacks: Veggies (carrots, celery, zucchini, etc.), and fruit (pears, melon, etc.)
  • Dinner: Veggie Chili (if you are not Feingold, this is fine by just removing the bulgar wheat) but we're going to make White Chili with some ground turkey (and minus the cheese).

Tuesday, 11/9
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: eggs with nitrate/nitrite and all other allergen-free bacon
  • Morning snacks: Nuts (cashews or peanuts), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin or flax), and yogurt (protein stuff)
  • Lunch: Deli ham & turkey rolls with green veggies
  • Afternoon snacks: Veggies (carrots, celery, zucchini, etc.), and fruit (pears, melon, etc.)

1 Tbl. roasted garlic butter with olive oil (we'll be replacing this with plain ole EVOO)

1 pound chicken tenders (we'll be using boneless thighs cut into strips)

1/4 cup sliced green onions (we'll be replacing this with diced yellow/sweet onions)

1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

1 cup grated zucchini

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1 (14-1/2 oz.) can of chicken broth

1-1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1-1/2 cups uncooked instant white rice

  1. In a 10-in skillet, melt garlic butter (or rather, heat the EVOO) until sizzling; add chicken and onions. Cover over medium-high heat, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink (6-8 minutes). Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.
  2. In same skillet, combine mushrooms, zucchini and carrot. Cook over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender (3-4 minutes). Add chicken brother and Italian seasoning. Continue cooking until mixture just comes to a boil (5-7 mins).
  3. Stir in cooked chicken and rice. Reduce heat to low. Cover; cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (5-6 mins). Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Wednesday, 12/1 CHANUKAH!!! (We have lots of Jewish friends)
  • Pre-breakfast: yogurt
  • Breakfast: GF pancakes (making extra for the freezer)
  • Morning snacks: crackers, potato chips, banana w/peanut butter
  • Lunch: deli ham and turkey rolls (Hormel Natural Choice is safe) with some carrots
  • Afternoon snacks: veggies, fruit
  • Dinner: Roast Chicken with Vegetables. And we'll TOTALLY be doing one of these latkes! Make them with potatoes, sweet potatoes, or carrots & parsnips! In fact, I think I may make some of the carrot/parsnips and freeze the extras for quick & easy side dishes!

Thursday, 12/2
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Morning snacks: nuts, seeds, yogurt
  • Lunch: Tuna salad in steamed, hollowed potato halves with carrot/parsnip latkes.
  • Afternoon snacks: veggies, fruit
  • Dinner: I seriously can't figure my way around the marmalade in Hot & Chili Chicken but if you're not Feingold--go for it. I think we'll just make some drumsticks coated in some Italian dressing (put dressing in ziploc bag, toss in chicken, close & shake). We'll have some spinach and oven-roasted potatoes with it.

FRIDAY, 12/3
  • Pre-breakfast: yogurt
  • Breakfast: Quiche--no clue what I'm putting in it yet. Whatever I have around, I guess. But I'll be sure there's enough for tomorrow morning, too. In fact, I can cook this ahead of time and freeze it. LOVE that about quiche.
  • Morning snacks: banana w/peanut butter, potato chips, crackers
  • Lunch: Leftover chicken. If it's mostly meaty breast meat vs. pieces, I could make chicken salad made with safe mayonnaise (canola-based from Whole Foods or Spectrum brand) on some GF bread and served with some salad.
  • Afternoon snacks: veggies, fruit
  • Dinner: Savory Meat Loaf using GF breadcrumbs and minus the evaporated milk (we don't even substitute anything for this), ketchup, and red bell peppers--but adding some chopped, fresh mushrooms. Sides of mashed potatoes and steamed carrots.

  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: Leftover quiche from yesterday
  • Morning snacks: coconut milk yogurt, nuts, seeds
  • Lunch: Leftover meatloaf with green veggies
  • Afternoon snacks: veggies, fruit
  • Dinner: Woman's Day has Guilt-Free Lasagna, but as most of us here know--unh-uh. But in the spirit of pasta, we could instead have some rice pasta with pesto and crumbled sausage!

I'm going to cheat for December...

Okay... so, meal planning seriously kills me. But as I do it, I see how easy it is to slip into repetition with foods. Of course, doing this blog and seeing that monotony is what got me to meal planning in the first place.

But here's the thing: MANY of the existing recipes "out there" could be altered to be perfectly fine. And since Woman's Day creates an entire month of dinner ideas, I'm going to blog about altering THOSE for dinners. Let's see how it goes at least...

I'm also going to attempt to make a printable for your fridge. Not sure if it will work, but again--gonna try. I think I picked the wrong time of year to try to tackle this stuff!

Ah... leftovers

I have to give props to my friend, Paulo, who pointed me to this awesome way of using all the leftovers! If I had regular mashed potatoes, I might actually do it since I'm going to cart my leftovers to my neighbors house tonight and that might be a great way to get the kids to eat them! :D

But dinner went really well yesterday. It was, by far, the most relaxed holiday meal we have ever hosted. Everything was done a touch early and the kitchen was cleaned in waves, as needed. Our guest has a 12yo adopted son (he's been with her since he was a baby) who is a profoundly picky eater. She told me she'd feed him before they came, but when they arrived, he hadn't eaten--he was going to try our food. We were all pretty surprised! INCREDIBLY gentle and polite child, but a seriously picky eater. I felt HORRIBLE that he picked at the turkey on his plate and asked for ketchup--and we didn't have ANY! UGH! And his mom was equally, visibly heart-broken that she didn't think of it, either. To be honest, we usually DO have it in the house. *sigh* They brought a small container of milk for him to drink and she drank our lemonade. It worked out well!

I have seriously no clue if the turkey turned out okay. Because I'm "sample sizing" as a means of portion control for the holidays, I couldn't fit turkey. :/ And I made this recipe for mashed sweet potatoes with coconut milk. It was yummy. The stuffing turned out way better than I thought it would. We wound up using regular bread vs. GF (although it was Breadsmith--so the ONLY allergen was gluten, which we are not completely free of at all times). I had gotten the GF bread cubed and dried only to find that it wasn't supposed to be dried! GAH!!! I couldn't find a recipe using dried bread that took less than an hour--so I had to cave and use gluten bread. :( And it desperately needed salt. I also threw all the spices into the cooking veggies instead of waiting... and I used more than they asked for because I had rosemary, thyme and oregano in the house.

This morning, I ate the three remaining crostinis with balsamic roasted pears and gorgonzola for breakfast. Mike and the kids ate eggs (worthy of note that Mike ate the rest of the crostinis plus half of a brie en croute last night after the kids and I went to bed >:( ). I figure the cheese was protein for me.

Also worthy of note that the Whole Foods stuff used canola oil. When Mike placed the order, he said they read all the ingredients to him and he "cleared" them, but couldn't remember specifics. Mike is pretty spot-on with knowing what's a problem, so I wasn't worried about it--but I WAS curious what kind of oil it was. :)

OH! And my pumpkin pies didn't cook well because stupid me didn't read that it said to use LIGHT coconut milk and I used the regular/really thick stuff. Oy... Mike dug into it last night, though, and said that the center was just very creamy. I haven't looked at it yet, but I'm anticipating a flood in the spot left by his piece because when I stuck a butter knife in the center, it was way more liquidy than pudding-y. Live and learn. But he said it was absolutely delicious. Good to know.

I'm going to wait until tomorrow to make broth with the carcass. I had no idea how critical bone broths were to good health, but I'm learning (and ordering bones from the butchers). More to come on that topic. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving... so far...

Has included a piece of panettone between me and my little guy. I couldn't resist. Neither could he. It is a FULL. BLOWN. ADDICTION for me. :/ And it's full of stuff that neither of us should be eating (wheat, butter, raisins & citrus) but no soy or corn--which are the worst offenders for us.

My pies are in the oven... LATE. And I dried out my GF bread chunks only to find that the recipe didn't call for dried out bread. Likewise, I didn't read the frozen GF pie shells to see that they needed to defrost to room temperature before using them. Thankfully the dishwasher just finished "dry" mode and about 10 minutes in there did the trick! :D I did not, however, follow the pie directions properly: I added the spices, honey & brown sugar to the beaten eggs instead of to the pumpkin... and then noticed that most of the brown sugar stayed behind when I poured it all into the pie shells. Oy... I'm batting a thousand--right?

Breakfast was eggs today because I have no clue why, but I didn't do the oatmeal last night.

Mother of the year--right?

Kids had yogurt for snack already. Both of them. Remarkably, the baby FINISHED one! YAY!

Okay... gotta prep the bird, 'cause the MINUTE those pies come out, the bird goes in. Company comes at 3:30pm and I had planned to eat at 4:30pm the latest. I'm not sure if I can keep to that schedule yet, but I THINK I can if I get off the computer RIGHT NOW to prep that bird!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Brining... who knew?

Okay... so I VERY last minute asked myself what the heck brining is. Fast forward and as I type, this Alton Brown brining recipe (using ground allspice instead of allspice berries) is cooling on my front porch (which is cold and concrete--so it can't be destroyed by a hot pot). I'll make the rest of it replacing the apple in the turkey with a pear.

I am currently cooking my turkey/chicken Italian flavored sausage with white navy beans, swiss chard and garlic in EVOO while the rice pasta cooks. That's tonight's dinner.

I haven't made the pumpkin pie yet. Nor the Yellowberry sauce. I'm going to make them tonight and just stay up late. I'm also going to bake my sweet potatoes (they take FOREVER) and do whatever other stuff I can do tonight.

Hot cocoa

It seems almost a right of passage for a child to have "Snowman Soup" (hot cocoa with little marshmallows floating in it).

No different in my house.

I warm up some vanilla flavored coconut milk (because I happen to have it, not because the vanilla flavored version is actually necessary).

We are not anaphylactic allergic, so getting cocoa where the label says "May contain trace amounts" is currently acceptable for us. As a result, we are using Lake Champlain Chocolates "All-Natural Traditional Hot Chocolate" (which "may" contain trace amounts of a lot of our "no" foods). We also have in the house some Ghirardelli "Natural Unsweetened Cocoa" (which "may" contain trace amounts of soy).

Ah!laska makes a completely safe syrup. I just picked some up at the store. Score--no chocolate powder "bubbles" when using syrup, either.

I put the required amount of cocoa in the bottom of the cup, and because I hate those little chocolate bubbles, I add a TINY, TINY, TINY bit of the coconut milk to the powder and stir it up for almost a full minute. You'd be shocked at how far those little drops go. And by having more powder than liquid in there, you allow the liquid to soak into the powder instead of overpowering it and creating those little bubbles of powder. Once all the powder is wet and kind of creating a "slime" of chocolate, you're safe to pour in the rest of the milk. :)

We're using cut pieces of Whole Foods 365 brand of vanilla marshmallows. They now contain corn starch, so I'm actually going to find out how to make my own damn marshmallows. It also contains dextrose and after researching dextrose (this is a great article about it) I'm glad we only do this once or twice/season given the spike to insulin levels that this whole delicious snack will cause. :/

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Menu plan for the week of 11/21/2010

Sorry about last week! :( It was really rough. And without a menu plan, we definitely suffered. WAY fewer vegetables consumed, and although we didn't eat out any more than usual (our Saturday morning breakfast), I gained 2 lbs. So I'm back to being dedicated.

HERE'S A PDF DOCUMENT FOR THIS WEEK'S MENU TO HANG ON YOUR FRIDGE! (I moved this to Scribd on W-11/24 because there were more options on how to download/view/alter it)

Sunday, 11/21 (I'm posting at 3:13pm on Sunday and would like you to know that this did not go as planned because pretty much, nobody ate all day due to illness)
  • Pre-breakfast: banana (he ate maybe half)
  • Breakfast: Mike and I eat leftovers from Saturday morning out. The kids eat scrambled eggs. Water and coffee for drinks (this actually happened, but we haven't eaten anything since)
  • Morning snacks: pear slices (baby did eat these)
  • Lunch: totally skipped... kids ate breakfast around 10:30am and have been sleeping since about 12:30pm. :/
  • Afternoon snacks: coconut milk yogurt, sunflower seeds
  • Dinner: Is going to be some of that canned, safe, rice noodle chicken soup. I sent my husband out to get it.
Tonight I will cook the remains of a whole chicken that I roasted for dinner Friday night and make some broth--possibly some soup.

Monday, 11/22
  • Pre-breakfast: melon cubes (cantaloup, honeydew & watermelon)
  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with pieces of Applegate Farms chicken & apple sausage (which is not Feingold-safe due to the apples). Water and coffee for drinks
  • Morning snacks: celery with peanut butter, pear slices, baby peeled carrots
  • Lunch: tuna on gluten-free bread with some salad.
  • Afternoon snacks: coconut milk yogurt, sunflower seeds
  • Dinner: Red lentil chili (from freezer) with white rice.
Take out enough hamburger meat for a meatloaf, lunch burgers and empanadas for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, 11/23
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: Eggs for Mike and the kids with zucchini & onions. Half of a broiled grapefruit with some honey & Sucanat on top for me. Water and coffee for drinks
  • Morning snacks: Nuts (cashews or peanuts), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin or flax), and yogurt (protein stuff)
  • Lunch: kielbasa with sauerkraut and mustard for mommy & daddy. Matthew might opt for more canned chicken noodle soup from Gluten-free Cafe.
  • Afternoon snacks: Veggies (carrots, celery, zucchini, etc.), and fruit (pears, melon, etc.)
  • Dinner: Italian "peasant food": some chard with white beans and crumbled sausage over some rice pasta with EVOO and garlic. My grandmother used escarole, but chard is fine.

Wednesday, 11/24
  • Pre-breakfast: melon cubes (cantaloup, honeydew & watermelon--this should finish them up).
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal made overnight in the crockpot. This is controversial where gluten is concerned, but we're going to go on it being gluten-free. I'll add some sunflower seeds (shelled, of course), honey and cinnamon to it. And I'll be eating the same broiled grapefruit as yesterday. Water and coffee for drinks. Eggs will be on standby in case the kids hate oatmeal. :/
  • Morning snacks: crackers, potato chips, banana w/peanut butter.
  • Lunch: Hamburgers on GF bread with frozen, organic string beans.
  • Afternoon snacks: Veggies (carrots, celery, zucchini, etc.), and fruit (pears, melon, etc.)
  • Dinner: Meatloaf with oven-roasted potatoes and collards.
Bake pumpkin bread for rest of the week.

Thursday, 11/25 - Thanksgiving
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: Leftover crockpot oatmeal (assuming it went alright last time). Water and coffee for drinks. If they hated it, we'll just make scrambled eggs and I'll have my grapefruit.
  • Morning snacks: pumpkin bread made from Breads by Anna.
  • Lunch: Leftover meatloaf on GF bread with salad.
Prepare GFCF breakfast casserole for tomorrow morning.

Friday, 11/26
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: I'm going to make this GFCF breakfast casserole with some frozen organic hash browns and some of the leftover kielbasa (or Applegate Farms safe sausage) or leftover turkey.
  • Morning snacks: if there are leftover appetizers, we'll have those. Otherwise, we'll have some baby carrots. Oh--or leftover pumpkin pie (if there is any!)
  • Lunch: Hamburgers with green beans on GF bread.
  • Afternoon snacks: Veggies (carrots, celery, zucchini, etc.), and fruit (pears, melon, etc.)
  • Dinner: LEFTOVERS!!!
Prepare breakfast Bread Pudding and lunch GF pizza dough.

Saturday, 11/27
  • Pre-breakfast: pumpkin bread
  • Breakfast: I'm testing myself today. Instead of going out, we're going to stay home and I'm going to attempt making this Savory Ham Bread Pudding using some of my GF bread, unflavored coconut milk and unflavored coconut yogurt. Wish me luck!
  • Morning snacks: Nuts (cashews or peanuts), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin or flax), and yogurt (protein stuff)
  • Lunch: I'm thinking some variant of pizza... maybe pesto pizza. I loved it pre-gluten-free and I have a jar of pesto in the pantry. Thinking I'd need more, though.
  • Afternoon snacks: Veggies (carrots, celery, zucchini, etc.), and fruit (pears, melon, etc.) Maybe I'll try a hard-boiled egg yolk with the baby. Or some deviled eggs--we LOVE them.

Hosting for Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving week and we will be hosting a formerly only-online friend and her 12yo son. They have no food allergies and also have no family in the area. I'm hoping it goes well! Since they asked what they could bring, I told them beverages. I'm realizing that this is an area that we totally fall short on. It's now been so long that we haven't had traditional/mainstream beverages in the house that I no longer know the best stuff, and frankly, I don't want to waste my money on something that won't get used if there's left over after company leaves. So I generally tell people to bring beverages that their family would drink--and I tell them that we have water, lemonade, coconut milk and wine... nothing else. This has really worked out well.

I like to host because then we control the menu. That being said, we occasionally offer "unsafe" foods. In the case of Thanksgiving, I'm serving an "unsafe" soup by Matthew's standards--and I feel okay doing this because Matthew hates all soup except for chicken noodle. So I don't have to worry about restricting him because he will naturally restrict himself. :)

Same goes for appetizers. There was one that I'm actually ordering because I couldn't resist. But I can do that because the rest will be "safe" foods.

We're ordering two other sides (assuming Mike finds they're completely safe when he goes to order--I've listed our alternatives if they're not) just to make life easier. I'm typing this in my bed as my almost-7yo sleeps off a fever. So I'm not anticipating having a ton of time this week. :/

There will be 3 adults and 3 kids (12, 6 and 2)

So here's our menu (with some suggestions & other recipes in case you want to do some other stuff at that bottom):

  • "safe" potato chips
  • celery & carrot sticks
  • garlic flavored hummus
  • unflavored coconut milk yogurt with safe, dried Italian dressing to make a "dip" (or onion if I can find it)
  • Crostini with roasted balsamic pears and gorgonzola cheese (this is being ordered from Whole Foods and mimics Mike's favorite of my own figs & gorgonzola on crostini)

  • Squash bisque (this is also being ordered from Whole Foods and has cream in it)
  • Salad (which is just lettuce, EVOO, some white vinegar and salt)
  • Turkey (coated with EVOO and seasonings)
  • Green beans with shallots & fresh herbs (also ordered from Whole Foods as long as Mike confirms that they're either steamed or cooked in EVOO--otherwise, I'll make fresh or frozen steamed green beans or this recipe with carmelized onions using EVOO instead of butter... or better yet, this one with some bacon - no alterations necessary!)
  • Stuffing made at home (see recipe below)
  • Roasted winter veggies (parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, carrots, brussel sprouts--ordered from Whole Foods as long as any oils are "safe"... otherwise, I'll make baked acorn squash with maple syrup if I'm strapped for time, or Roasted vegetables with rosemary :) )
  • Mashed sweet potatoes (although, if I'm making the acorn squash, I'll switch to making some greens wilted in EVOO with garlic & pine nuts with whatever greens I can find... chard, spinach, kale, collards... whatever)
I'm going to actually make a "Yellowberry" sauce for Matthew in lieu of cranberry sauce, but I may offer up cranberry sauce also for our guests. That might get tricky. Here's the recipe for the "Yellowberry" sauce:
  1. Drain well a can of crushed pineapple, pouring the juice into a little saucepan. Add enough water to make one cup.
  2. Sprinkle on 2 packages of unflavored gelatine.
  3. Heat and stir until dissolved (not long). Refrigerate
My stuffing will "Sheila's Stuffing" from an old Feingold newsletter that I found freely online. :) She offers up a rice version, so if I can't find "safe" GF bread squares, that's what I'll be doing. That link is also where I got the "Yellowberry Sauce" recipe as well.

For dessert, I'm grabbing a gluten-free frozen pie shell and making this pumpkin pie recipe with coconut milk and replacing the cornstarch with Arrowroot. Obviously not using the pie shell in the recipe. WAY too lazy for that. I could go with this recipe, too (which doesn't need altering)

We'll also have some coconut-milk ice cream available, and some cubed melon (cantaloupe, honeydew & watermelon).

Okay, but here are some really awesome recipes I found in my hunt, btw... I'd totally be making all of this if I had a lot of company this year! Most are from Woman's Day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Have I mentioned?

That I quit Jenny Craig? I did. I was feeling so horrible. I was losing weight slowly, but man, did it take a toll on me. For one, it SO clogged my system from all the dairy. For another, I was just getting sick over and over. I was fighting it off with my remedies, but I don't think I've been so chronically fighting something off. In reality, that could be being in a new place around people getting FluMist (our neighbors)... whatever. I couldn't handle the ingredients.

It was a learning experience, none-the-less. I did learn that my portions were way too big. It was reinforced that we should be eating way more veggies as a portion of our plate than anything else.

So, I'm off of Jenny Craig. I have managed to lose another pound in the week since I've been off of it by just eating MUCH smaller portions--like so small that my 6yo son actually eats more (and admittedly, he can challenge my husband). But I'm eating "real" food now. ;)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Menu plan for the week of 11/7/2010

Sunday, 11/7
  • Pre-breakfast: banana (for Matthew--age 6, who gets up way too early)
  • Breakfast: Mike and I eat leftovers from Saturday morning out. The kids eat scrambled eggs with bacon. Water and coffee for drinks
  • Morning snacks: celery with peanut butter, pear slices, baby peeled carrots
  • Lunch: sushi out (lunch will be late because we're trying a new church with service at 11:45am)
  • Afternoon snacks: coconut milk yogurt, sunflower seeds
  • Dinner: Rice pasta cooked. Take some of the frozen shrimp and set it in warm water to defrost. Fry up some minced garlic in olive oil and then add fresh spinach until wilted. Mix everything together. Voila--dinner!

Monday, 11/8
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: I'm actually going to make rice congee with "safe" chorizo and some sweet potatoes.
  • Morning snacks: cashews, sunflower seeds
  • Lunch: tuna fish in steamed potato halves hollowed out a bit. Served with raw zucchini sticks (minus "dip"--which wasn't a big winner)
  • Afternoon snacks: pear slices, celery with peanut butter (if you're not Feingold, add a few raisins for "ants on a log")
  • Dinner: Grassfed-beef from the freezer steaks with kale and some Acorn squash broiled with maple syrup. I didn't make all the squash like I meant to last week, so I'll make the rest now and then just mash and freeze what doesn't get used.

Tuesday, 11/9
  • Pre-breakfast: coconut milk yogurt
  • Breakfast: eggs with nitrate/nitrite and all other allergen-free sausage from Wellshire Farms. I will have half of a red grapefruit broiled with some honey because I still have some left. Mike can't have citrus in the morning (grapefruit is actually Feingold safe) because it counteracts his ADD meds.
  • Morning snacks: pear slices (we're overrun with pears), carrots
  • Lunch: hamburgers with salad. No bun.
  • Afternoon snacks: celery, sunflower seeds
  • Dinner: A slightly altered recipe for "Chicken with Confetti Rice":

1 Tbl. roasted garlic butter with olive oil (we'll be replacing this with plain ole EVOO)

1 pound chicken tenders (we'll be using boneless thighs cut into strips)

1/4 cup sliced green onions (we'll be replacing this with diced yellow/sweet onions)

1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

1 cup grated zucchini

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1 (14-1/2 oz.) can of chicken broth

1-1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1-1/2 cups uncooked instant white rice

  1. In a 10-in skillet, melt garlic butter (or rather, heat the EVOO) until sizzling; add chicken and onions. Cover over medium-high heat, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink (6-8 minutes). Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.
  2. In same skillet, combine mushrooms, zucchini and carrot. Cook over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender (3-4 minutes). Add chicken brother and Italian seasoning. Continue cooking until mixture just comes to a boil (5-7 mins).
  3. Stir in cooked chicken and rice. Reduce heat to low. Cover; cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (5-6 mins). Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Wednesday, 11/10
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: scrambled eggs. Mommy will probably finish the grapefruit.
  • Morning snacks: pears, melon
  • Lunch: deli ham and turkey rolls (Hormel Natural Choice is safe) with some carrots
  • Afternoon snacks: coconut milk yogurt, nuts & seeds
  • Dinner: I'm going to bake a whole chicken and serve it with steamed asparagus plus potato wedges baked in the oven coated with some EVOO and salt... mmmm. The bones from the chicken will make chicken soup.

Thursday, 11/11
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: pancakes (Bob's Red Mill Biscuit & Baking Mix with some honey in it)
  • Morning snacks: coconut milk yogurt, melon pieces
  • Lunch: pea soup from the freezer. This was a big hit with the boys.
  • Afternoon snacks: pear slices, celery with peanut butter
  • Dinner: Red lentil chili from the freezer over rice with some broccoli on the side.

FRIDAY, 11/12
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: I'm thinking congee again, but this time with sweet potatoes and possibly some squash and cinnamon.
  • Morning snacks: coconut milk yogurt, carrots, melon
  • Lunch: Chicken salad made with leftover chicken from Wednesday night's roast and safe mayonnaise (canola-based from Whole Foods or Spectrum brand). I'm going to throw some celery in it and maybe I'll overcook some broccoli and throw that in it, too. Serve with salad.
  • Afternoon snacks: pear slices, nuts, seeds
  • Dinner: Ooooo.... we're going to try Filipino Ponsit with some bean thread noodles I found at Whole Foods on sale!! And I'll use my mock soy sauce recipe find! Can't wait!!!

  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: Either scrambled eggs with some sausage or bacon if we don't eat out at our "safe" place
  • Morning snacks: coconut milk yogurt, carrots, melon
  • Lunch: maybe some rice pasta with pesto. Or aglio oglio minus the cheese (and with soft pasta--can't stand al dente!)
  • Afternoon snacks: pear slices, nuts, seeds
  • Dinner: Grassfed beef roast in a crock pot with onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes; served with some broccoli and mock mashed potatoes (mashed cauliflower).
  • Dessert: PUMPKIN PIE!!! I found this awesome whip cream spray made with rice ingredients called "Rice Whip" by Soyatoo that I'm hoping will be delicious enough to make my grandmother's pumpkin chiffon pie. I'm going to start with this GF/CF recipe (that happens to be safe all around for us) and then I'm going to add the rice whip into the filling until it's light and fluffy. Hope it works! I love pumpkin pie!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Renee's Rockin Red Lentil Chili

I have to tell you that I am VERY much a carnivore, but even I will eat this. As do most of the people I know. In fact, I make it with veggie broth if I need a vegan-friendly potluck dish. :) I'm not sure how it's going to taste minus tomatoes, so we may just make it with tomatoes and suffer. I'm not sure.

Kind of spicy, but you can also modify that to taste. It's a different kind of "chili" (don't think beans and hamburger), but so incredibly hearty and yummy.

Red Lentil Chili

1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
1/4 c vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (I use cayenne pepper and add to taste--maybe 1/4 teaspoon.)
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups lentils (I use orange split lentils.)
28 oz. diced tomatoes, in juice
2 red bell peppers
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tablespoons brown sugar

In a heavy pot, cook the onion in oil for 10 minutes over low heat. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, paprika, and pepper flakes; cook, stirring, for 3minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, lentils, and tomatoes; simmer for 40 minutes; add up to 1 cup water if the mixture becomes dry.

Add the peppers and celery (I ran them through a food processor first) and simmer until lentils are cooked and veggies tender, about 30 more minutes. Stir in the brown sugar toward the end.

Serve over basmati rice. It’s even better as leftovers!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Menu plan for the week of 10/31/2010

We're out of crackers of any sort this week; and only have beef & some shrimp in the freezer. Plus we have quite a bit of squash to use.

Update 10/30: I did a little more food shopping to accommodate this menu plan.

Sunday, 10/31 (yup... Halloween)
  • Pre-breakfast: banana (for Matthew--age 6, who gets up way too early)
  • Breakfast: gluten-free pancakes using Bob's Red Mill Biscuit & Baking mix with some EVOO and honey. Mike will make a double or triple batch and freeze. If we're lucky, some will have pear in them--but I'm not holding my breath. ;) I actually hate pancakes, so I'll be eating my leftovers from our "Saturday breakfast out" (where I order my food with a take-home container and as soon as it comes, I remove half). As usual, we'll drink water.
  • Morning snacks: celery with peanut butter, pear slices, melon pieces
  • Lunch: hamburgers with salad (my kids actually eat salad)
  • Afternoon snacks: coconut milk yogurt, sunflower seeds
  • Dinner: Stew from the freezer (grassfed chuck roast with potatoes, carrots, vegetable broth, seasonings dried from the organic coop & CSA) plus kale cooked in EVOO and garlic with whatever pine nuts are left.
  • Dessert: really? dessert? We'll see... this isn't necessary!!!
**I'll be cooking some pea soup all day today. Matthew isn't really big on soup, so I'm not exactly sure if/when this will be eaten by him.

Monday, 11/1
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: I'm actually going to attempt rice congee with some safe sausage that I need to buy or some shrimp that I have in the freezer with some fresh organic spinach and garlic (actually, that sounds a lot better for dinner, but I'm trying to expand my horizons here). OR (since we have an overabundance of squash that NEEDS to be used) maybe some squash with cinnamon... or sweet potatoes with cinnamon. That might be the better bet. Mmmmmmm.... I honestly never heard of it until a friend posted on Facebook that she was eating it. Here's what she wrote to me about it:
Hey Heather-

Everyone has a different recipe, but I like something simple: boil brown rice in water on med-high heat for about 15-20 minutes. Add whatever you'd like to it- seasoned ground pork is tasty, as is fish if you like seafood. I imagine a chorizo or an Italian sausage might be very interesting, too. Lower heat and cook for another 20-25 minutes until consistency is like oatmeal. If you'd like, add a poached egg for extra protein. A savory, hearty breakfast!

Consistency and texture should be based on preference so experiment with the water and rice proportions to find something you like. For example, Northern Chinese like very sticky congee made with plain rice and then having the accompaniments added while eating. The Cantonese like it very watery and cooked with the meat/seafood.

I also recently learned that the American Southern dish Chicken Bog is distantly related to congee so you can also look that up as a reference - though from what I can tell it's not as watery as congee.
  • Morning snacks: coconut milk yogurt, carrots
  • Lunch: tuna fish on GF bread accompanied with raw zucchini slices with an experimental dip: unflavored coconut milk yogurt mixed with a safe, dried Italian dressing mix. ;)
  • Afternoon snacks: pear slices, celery with peanut butter (if you're not Feingold, add a few raisins for "ants on a log")
  • Dinner: Grassfed-beef from the freezer steaks with chinese cabbage (I have a recipe for this) and some Acorn squash broiled with maple syrup. I'll make all of the Acorn squash and then just mash and freeze what doesn't get used.

Tuesday, 11/2... at this point, I'm feeling like menu-planning sucks and I don't want to do it. I'm also realizing that it is exactly the frustration I feel with menu-planning ahead of time that leads to last-minute screw ups in how we eat and buying stuff last minute. So I'm mustering on.

  • Pre-breakfast: I suspect Matthew will steal a coconut milk yogurt
  • Breakfast: eggs with nitrate/nitrite and all other allergen-free bacon. I may have half of a red grapefruit broiled with some honey. Mike can't have citrus in the morning (grapefruit is actually Feingold safe) because it counteracts his ADD meds.
  • Morning snacks: melon pieces, carrots
  • Lunch: peanut butter and rhubarb jelly (since all berries, peaches, apples, etc. are out due to Feingold). There should be veggies here. Possibly salad, but not exactly sure. If the zucchini went over well yesterday, I'll do that again and use up the "dip".
  • Afternoon snacks: celery, sunflower seeds
  • Dinner: Rice pasta (a very rare treat) with dairy-free pesto, canned organic black beans and I have to figure out what to put in there other than peppers (which is what the recipe originally called for). I'm thinking steamed zucchini would be soft and sweet like peppers without taking too much away.

Wednesday, 11/3
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: egg frittata with fried zucchini and onions... mmmmm.
  • Morning snacks: celery with peanut butter, sunflower seeds, coconut milk yogurt
  • Lunch: Thinking about potato pods with tuna and broccoli
  • Afternoon snacks: coconut milk yogurt, sunflower seeds
  • Dinner: We really only have beef in the freezer right now so I'm thinking we'll have meatloaf with whatever greens are left. I think chard or zucchini. Plus I need to find a recipe to use some of the Delicata squash. Will post that by Monday the latest.

Thursday, 11/4
  • Pre-breakfast: probably coconut milk yogurt
  • Breakfast: eggs with Wellshire Farms apple/chicken sausage patties. This is NOT Feingold Stage 1 approved due to the apple content. Maybe I'll give Matthew some chorizo.
  • Morning snacks: if any melon survives this far we'll eat that, carrots
  • Lunch: We should have some safe (Hormel Natural Choice) cold cuts with some broccoli. On or off GF bread
  • Afternoon snacks: celery, pear slices, raw zucchini slices with dip if that worked the other day
  • Dinner: Since I went out Saturday and bought some chicken, I'll make a variant of one of my formerly favorite dishes (Greek chicken) that included pasta. It's chicken pieces sauteed in EVOO and garlic with some onion (they call for red, I use whatever) and then adding some lemon juice, artichoke hearts and parsley. It usually has tomato pieces and feta cheese--all combined with the penne pasta, but I think all of this with some rice might be just as tasty! Maybe I'll throw some of the Butternut squash in there.

Friday, 11/5
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: If the congee went over well, we'll do that again. If not, eggs
  • Morning snacks: celery with or without peanut butter, sunflower seeds, coconut milk yogurt
  • Lunch: Homemade pea soup with a piece of GF bread
  • Afternoon snacks: zucchini sticks, carrots
  • Dinner: I'm going to try a variation on a Sesame Shrimp & Pineapple recipe that is minus soy sauce, orange juice and sesame stuff; and substituting pea pods with whatever greens I have in the house because I couldn't find them fresh OR frozen. If I make it to another supermarket during the week and find them--great; otherwise, I'll just throw in whatever I have left. The recipe is from an old, beat-up, paperback novel sized recipe book they used to sell at the grocery check-out lines called "Land O Lakes Healthy One Dish Meals". My previously referenced (and altered) Greek chicken and the pasta/pesto/bean dishes were also from this book. Looks like it may have been published in 1997. :)


1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks in juice
1/3 cup orange juice (I'm not doing this because we're eating Feingold Stage 1)
3 Tbl red wine vinegar
3 Tbl soy sauce (I'll be using THIS mock soy sauce recipe)
4 tsp cornstarch (I'll be using 2-2/3 tsp Arrowroot)
1 tsp sugar (I'll be using 1 tsp honey)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


1-2 Tbl vegetable oil (for us, EVOO)
2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbl sesame seed
6 med carrots (3 cups if you're buying them canned or frozen & already cut), thinly sliced
2 cups (8 oz.) fresh pea pods, tips & strings removed (we don't have these--so we'll probably use fresh spinach)


1 pound (20-24) fresh or frozen raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, rinsed, drained

Warm chow mein noodles or cooked rice

  1. Drain pineapple reserving 1/2 cup juice. Set chunks aside.
  2. In small bowl, stir together reserved pineapple juice and all sauce ingredients; set aside.
  3. In wok or 10-inch skillet heat vegetable oil and sesame oil (seriously? do you need both?); add sesame seed (add more oil as needed during stir-frying, but it doesn't say which oil). Cook over medium-high heat 1 minute. Add carrots. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add pea pods (or in our case, chard or spinach). Continue cooking, stirring constantly until vegetables are crisply tender (2-3 minutes). Remove vegetables from wok; set aside.
  4. Place shrimp in hot wok. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until shrimp turn pink (my shrimp are frozen & already cooked so I'll put them in some hot tap water for a while until they're not hard and then just cook them as directed for a few minutes to coat them with the oil and make them hot). Push shrimp from the center of wok. Stir sauce; add sauce to center of the wok/pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened (1-2 minutes). Return cooked vegetables to wok/pan. Add pineapple chunks; stir all ingredients to coat with the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through (1 minute). Serve over rice/noodles.

Saturday, 11/6
  • Pre-breakfast: banana
  • Breakfast: We'll be going out to breakfast at a place where we can get pineapple juice without corn syrup and eggs without milk. :)
  • Morning snacks: usually ditched on Saturday due to late breakfast, but possibly coconut milk yogurt
  • Lunch: Sushi while food shopping that does not have food coloring, wasabi or soy sauce. The kids eat California rolls (sometimes with fish roe on it) or cucumber rolls. Mike & I eat the raw stuff. We haven't had sushi for a while, so this will be a big treat.
  • Afternoon snacks: coconut milk yogurt, sunflower seeds
  • Dinner: At this point, I'm fed up with menu planning and I have to go see what we have available. I suspect that as long as I plan this dinner by Monday, I'll be okay. My standby will be hamburgers, whatever greens are left over and oven-roasted potatoes... which I LOVE.

Menu plans

Okay... someone recently posted somewhere about wanting menu plans. This is smack-dab exactly where I was headed--so here we go!!! This is going to be my menu plan for next week. Realize that I buy my meat in bulk and freeze it--so usually, I already have more than one type of meat in the freezer, but not always.

I'm going to work on next week's menu plan--which will undoubtedly NOT be very exciting, but at least allergenic and using the stuff I just bought plus whatever else is in the house. It's a lot harder to eat appropriately without a plan--whether you're trying to eat allergenically, just healthier, within a budget, or dieting. In your rush to figure out what to eat, you don't think methodically and are often stuck with what you can find. When you plan, you get the foods you need ahead of time or at least take inventory and plan accordingly.

And if you're thinking about bulk/freezer cooking, this would be a step closer to it: you have to plan your meals for bulk cooking, too. In fact, if you're menu planning now, why not plan in a meal that can be made in double or triple batches and plan to freeze it. Even having a single meal in the freezer can save you from a night of take-out. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

So very done with Jenny Craig... on to weight loss with healthy food

So, I just can't do it anymore. I can't resist reading the ingredients on the Jenny Craig food and it makes me insane. Not to mention that my body is in revolt with all of the cheese. :(

But this two week stint and my own posts have really slapped me in the face with a hearty "Duh--you can do this if you make some additional effort," and to that end, that's what I'm doing.

The one thing I noticed (and this is something I've griped to Mike about for over a year) is the meat-to-all_other_things_on_the_plate ratio. Seriously. I ordered Outback last night and got their filet with mushroom-wine sauce (which I didn't remember was cream-based) and it was cut in three pieces. Well, I only ate one of them and I think even then it was more meat than most of the Jenny Craig entrees.

This is kind of a great thing because meat is a huge chunk of the food budget--and that's without buying grassfed and/or antibiotic free. If we can stretch the meat further, we might be able to afford the good stuff more often.

Also along those lines, I have finally started participating in food preparation and enforced a "veggies with lunch" rule. So far it's been peeled baby carrots or green beans. But it's new, so I'm working on it.

I also don't snack. I need to. I need to eat every two hours.

And I need to add some fat to our diet. Not a ton because we DO get some fat from the egg yolks and meats in our diet, but I need to be sure it's there.

There's no way I'll enforce portion control on the kids: they can eat to their hearts content. I happen to have lean kids--the youngest of which barely eats solids even at 2yo. I have extremely mixed feelings about people enforcing portion sizes on kids. I think this is a prime example of a decision that should be made on a case-by-case basis. Make sure to balance your kids diet such that you know they're eating a LOT of veggies, some fruits, protein (from fish, meat, eggs or beans), and barely any refined sugars. We've not been great with that. It's lovely that everything they eat is (ingredient-wise) healthier than most, and certainly THEIR diet is a bit more balanced than Mike and I, but I need to look closer at their veggie intake because I don't think it's enough.

If you feel like they can't live a fulfilled childhood without marshmallows and ice cream (and truly--I'm WITH you on that!) then reserve it for Friday or Saturday night desserts. Make it a treat to look forward too--ya know? And if you make it a routine of doing it a specific night each week, they're not likely to ask for it all the time because they KNOW they WILL get it. And then make sure those things are as healthy as can be. We have a really hard time finding "safe" marshmallows, but Whole Foods carries them sometimes. I'm tempted to learn to make them myself.

It's work. But then, if it were easy, our country wouldn't be suffering from issues that are 80% attributable to being overweight. And we'd have fewer of us dying from heart disease (which is in the top 3 causes of death with cancer and MEDICINE! Yes, really--medicine is in the top 3 in the US! Can you believe that?!?!?!)

So... that's the goal. ONWARD!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Healthy food/ingredients does not automatically equal weight loss

Well, I'd like to set the record straight because there's an awful lot of "to do" about the fact that I'm overweight. People who feel I'm a hypocrite because I keep a blog on eating healthier when I'm fat.

Ummm... I keep a blog on eating around allergens. Eating around our particular set of allergens absolutely has us eating WAY healthier ingredients than most of the country.

Ingredients are not the only factor in weight loss. Jenny Craig's food is proof positive of this: there is a LOT of sugar and cheese in her food. Cheese is debatable as "healthy" but sugar--not by a long shot. Not to mention all the other additives in there.

Healthy foods/ingredients are a huge factor in your overall health. They are NOT, however, the ONLY factor in weight loss. So because you eat 100% organic foods and never touch a soda does not guarantee you will be thin. There's more to it than that. Like:

* Portion control: If you eat too much food and ingest more calories than you are burning off--you're going to gain weight. Period.

* Exercise: See the above in reference to burning off calories. And exercise is another component of overall health. It's not just about food.

* Balance: Do you know that if there's NO fat in your diet at all, you will have difficulty losing weight? Yes--it's true. And I recently found out just how little fat is in my and Mike's diet. The kids get some via coconut milk. Mike and I--notsomuch. Add to it that we're not really getting as much fruit and veggies as we should. More than most people? Yup. Enough? Notsomuch.

* Schedule: If you're not eating regularly (or regularly enough for your particular body's metabolism needs) then you're also not going to lose weight. For my body, I need to eat every 2 hours for my metabolism to stay high enough to really work well. Doesn't really matter what I eat--as long as I ingest something every 2 hours. Yes, it's true. Likewise, if you're someone whose body has "quirks" and your largest meal is about an hour or two before bedtime... yeah, you may have some issues.

To be honest, the idea that people could look at me pushing healthier food ingredients and believing I'm a hypocrite because I'm overweight is just glaring evidence of how insanely undereducated we are on weight maintenance, nutrition and overall health.

I'm hoping that this clears things up a little.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Shoot me now.... I joined Jenny Craig

Let me say a few things first:

1) I was on Jenny Craig about 15 years ago after battling my weight (and depression) unsuccessfully for 11 years (at that time). So I'm familiar with what it is and what it isn't. What it isn't is a system that teaches you how to eat properly. What it IS is a system that does all the work for you and near the end (during transition) gives you a little information on how to maintain what you're doing. Actually, they do what Weight Watchers starts out doing (teaching you how to eat) on a much smaller scale. But for people like me who actually KNOW how to eat and have studied it for years on end, but whose life has spiraled out of control--it's a fast fix to get you back to portion control, schedule and a varied diet.

2) I have no delusions that this will be healthy food. Sound ironic? Yeah... it's pretty ironic. But losing weight is predominantly about caloric intake and they nail that. I'm sure they've lined up the number of fats and proteins a certain way; but the food is mass pre-packaged and therefore FULL of crap we never eat. In fact, if you are dairy or corn allergic you cannot do Jenny Craig. Period. It's their own policy. Because you have to buy and eat THEIR food. If you want to learn how to balance the foods that you want to eat of your own free will, go to Weight Watchers.

3) Because Jenny Craig doesn't force you to really learn much, it's a lot quicker to lose weight than with Weight Watchers. Of course, because you're not learning much, what do you think the odds are of regaining?

4) About 7 years after I went on Jenny Craig, I was diagnosed with an insulin disorder (hyperinsulinism) that had been previously missed and misdiagnosed for 17 years. This was the source of both my weight gain, depression and (in the last few years before diagnosis--when I was extremely insulin-resistant) debilitating fatigue. Controlling my insulin levels fixed those things and made it possible for me to quit gaining.

I'm mentally in a place where I'm just not coping with anything well. I have about 50 lbs. to lose. Earlier this week I weighed in at 189 lbs. and I shouldn't be more than 140lbs. for my height to be at a BMI that doesn't register as "obese" (which affects getting life insurance, btw).

I've been on the Jenny Craig food for almost a week and so help me God, I'm not sure how long I can do this. I FEEL unhealthy. It's a lot of cheese and sugars. And if I go in on Monday night and they can't replace the sugar items, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I might actually just go another week and then see how they're going to deal with me being away before giving in. I guess it will also depend on how much weight I lose this week.

I don't think Jenny Craig is a healthy system when you look at the ingredients you are eating. I don't think lots of corn syrup, soy and preservatives are good for you. That's my own opinion. But I also think being overweight is extremely unhealthy... physically AND emotionally (for some). I just need help and I need it fast and I'm simultaneously trying to work through the losses of the last year--which are REALLY hard. We'll see how it goes.

I will continue to keep the blog because I'm also finding that in the last week, I have been motivated to do some of the cooking for my family. Weird. I KNEW I should've seen a shrink about that sudden aversion. I'm now wondering if it was connected to feeding myself and not feeling like I was worth it. :( But I missed our CSA pickup yesterday and went to Whole Foods this morning to shop for stuff we needed. And I spoke to Mike about how we eat. One thing I DEFINITELY learned in this last week is that we're NOT eating the variety or balance of foods we should be eating--that's for sure. I knew we were light on veggies, but...

Restrictive diet is really no excuse. It's work to learn how to do it, but it can (and should, and will) be done.

And then we'll tackle the budgeting of it.

Oh... and portion control. Mike is heavy, too. When I see the portion sizes of the main course of the Jenny Craig meals and what they tell you to add from your own kitchen to bulk it up, I get SO ANGRY that we haven't been doing that. And then I think of how much money it would save and I get even angrier. Blech...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

The plan: I'm going to try to stay with Feingold as much as possible since it's helping Mike so much (like REALLY helping him) and Matthew & I minimally--but helping none-the-less.

Pre-breakfast: banana.
Reality: this happened... along with 1-1/2 hours of TV while the not-feeling-well set slept in. :(

Breakfast: since Mike's molasses pancakes were a colossal bomb, I suspect they will be dog food and we'll need to eat something else. :) I made sure to get us eggs, so I'm guessing we'll eat eggs. I'm going to fry up some organic zucchini and an onion tonight for the base of a frittata tomorrow morning. I'm going to try to dice the organic potatoes we have laying around, too (for home fries--if not tomorrow, then the next day). I'm going to set the coffee maker to make some decaf to both mentally and physically wean myself off.

Reality: Ummm... no way. The best I can say is that we had eggs and I did half-caf coffee with pumpkin spice added to the grounds. Progress. As I type, I've just finished going through identifying the three types of squash we have with Matthew and the potatoes are in the sink and have been rinsed, but not scrubbed. The kitchen counter and stovetop were cleaned, though! :D

I'll have to remember the following supplements: (I'm going to highlight in green the stuff that actually happened)

Me: MetaGlycemx (my insulin-regulating stuff), fish oil, Vitamin D (2200 IUs), Vitamin C, B-Complex (for my PMS/PMDD) and enzymes (which help tremendously with sleep and energy, btw). In addition, because I feel bronchitis coming on, I need to take some Sambucus.

Matthew: fish oil, Vitamin D (1500 IUs via 3 500 IU chewables), an "immune booster" (it has A, C & E plus some zinc in it) chewable, probiotic, and preventative dose of Sambucus (admittedly, all of this was done at 12:21pm when I was updating this post :( )

Baby: fish oil, Sambucus and probiotic. I have yet to figure out how to get the probiotic in her, but I think I'll put the powder in the Sambucus and do it all at once. Ummm... yeah--no. The powdered probiotic dosing was 1 tsp and with 1 tsp of Sambucol it made paste. So she's sans probiotic at the moment. If she can chew the Vitamin D that Matthew takes, I'll give her one (500 IUs) of that, too. She not only took the Vitamin D, but also the "immune booster" chewable. Score. Why can't they make fish oil chewables?

Mike: pfffft... I don't know. Fish oil? At a minimum.

Snacks: coconut milk yogurt, possibly some S'morables GF & corn-free graham crackers

Lunch: Rolls of deli ham (Hormel Naturals are safe) with baby carrots and salad (which in our house is really just lettuce, EVOO, white vinegar and salt). I'll need to take another dose of Sambucus and enzymes (which are better before you eat, but I find they provide benefits whether I do it before or after--probably not the same, but noticeable none-the-less... and who the heck remembers to take something 30 minutes before they eat? Seriously? Not me... I'm lucky I remember that I have TO eat! Oh, and umm... feed the kids! :D )

Snacks: celery sticks with peanut butter. I have to go get peanut butter, though.

Dinner: meatloaf, broccoli and rice pilaf.

After dinner, I'll need to take another dose of MetaGlycemx, fish oil, Vitamin B (50mg because it's the first half of my cycle--this is for PMS/PMDD) and Sambucus. Nobody else needs to really take anything, but Mike should take fish oil.

Dessert is not a requirement. :)

All I can say is: the rest of the day went really well. I honestly can't remember what all we ate, I just remember thinking "This worked out way better than I planned". :)

The perfect storm...

Okay, so here's the thing... well, a few things:

1) For the last 7-ish years I have had a WICKED aversion to cooking. It's been so bad that I truly considered seeking help for it. No clue why, but I hate, hate, HATE preparing food in any way, shape or form. I am eternally grateful that I have a husband that not only picks up the slack, but A) doesn't complain about it; and B) works from home--so he often takes care of lunch, too.

2) We are ALL woefully out of compliance with any semblance of nutrition as we should know it. Food, supplements, budget--NOTHING is the way it should be.

3) We are all also woefully unhealthy. I'm overweight (I checked a day or two ago and I'm 189lbs. For my height, I should be no more than 140lbs.) as is Mike; Matthew has some kind of yeast issue (evident from the little red marks all over his bottom) in addition to ADHD, and the baby doesn't sleep and is still waking for a bottle at night at 22mo.

To be fair, this is just the dietary portion of our lives that I'm sharing with you on this blog. But in reality, this is just one facet of a family that is just completely out of sorts on many levels. We're renting a house and therefore not investing the money to fix it up the way it would make it organized and "peaceful" to live in--causing more mental discord. We're focusing on buying a house. We're not really in the best mental state to begin with having spent the last nearly 2 years going through three deaths (my grandmother who was pretty much my mom, my aunt that was the only person in my entire family I was strongly connected to, and a baby girl in the second trimester), an out of state court case for a former foster child (and living with the limbo of how many children we'd have), and a cross-country relocation (which put us in limbo about where we would live, whether we could sell the house, the timing of leaving the state if we needed to stay for the former foster child's case, etc.). Plus the traveling for the case and the relocation... with and without children. All of which forced me to hurry up and finish my Master's degree. Oh yeah, so add that to it.

It's been hell to say the least. Can you say "emotionally and physically unavailable parents"? Can you say "lots of tension and fighting"?

Needless to say, it was hard for us to maintain any semblance of health: nutritional, emotional, mental, or environmental.

We have a lot of work to do. Because we're in a rental and can't work on environment, I'm opting to start with nutrition. I'm going to tackle this blog a whole new way. I'm going to post my plan for the next day and then post the "actual" afterward and see how it goes. I'm tackling it like the project manager in me that simply won't die: research, plan, execute, evaluate, close-out (which often means handing something over to Operations to maintain).

Join me!!!

Relocation stinks in terms of food

Oy... so, we've been here since late July and I still don't know where to find a good co-op for produce. I'm not thrilled with the 1/8 of a grassfed cow we got (WAY too much ground beef) and the CSA we joined is absolutely NOT giving us enough food to carry us for a week. Although, I think that was the same back in NJ.

The thing is: here, I don't even know who to ask or where to turn with any of this. So I'm just bummed. :(

And I've been so upset trying to get into a routine and find my footing here that I haven't even been shopping well--so we're spending a LOT of money (on top of eating out more than usual).

The good news is that I am back to taking my insulin-regulating meds and I've found a chiropractor by multiple referrals who is spitting distance from where we're living. I'm going back. I just can't get over what a difference it made. I knew it was good stuff but never thought it was THAT good. My face cleared up, my back didn't hurt, and my hormones and insulin were in check. Man!!!

Okay... so that's where I'm at...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Matthew had a banana before breakfast again.

We went out to breakfast. We go to a place called Eggsperience Pancakes & Cafe. They keep a pitcher of iced water with a slice of lemon on every table. Score!!! Matthew and Mike had pineapple juice (they have some that is both corn-syrup free and Feingold safe :) ). Matthew had eggs with bacon. I honestly didn't check to make sure the eggs had no milk in them and whether the grill they were cooked on is dry or oiled with some non-allowable oil. I've been absolutely horrible lately with all of that, and I'm paying the price. So he had that plus a chunk of watermelon, a chunk of canteloupe, a chunk of honeydew and a piece of pineapple from the baby's side order fruit bowl (that also had strawberries, blueberries, a couple of red grapes and bananas--so really, she's the only one that could eat this for a while). I had veggie crepes: crepes with spinach, mushrooms and eggs. It's topped with hollandaise sauce, which is heavy on dairy product; but there's a sweet taste to their crepes so you don't really miss it. Honestly, I could squirt it with some lemon (I know, I know--sounds horrific, but the hollandaise has an underlying lemony taste anyway) and it would be awesome. Mike had (thinking)--OH! The corned beef and hash omelette. And I had coffee. I'm trying, I'm trying...

snack: coconut milk yogurt

lunch: grassfed beef hotdogs with organic baby carrots. Weird, but Matthew wanted to go eat his with the girls across the street picnic-style and this is what was portable

snack: we skipped. Matthew went to a birthday party. Family is usually gluten & casein-free; and Matthew noted that the cupcakes were corn-syrup free (which means he either asked, or they knew of our aversion and told him so he'd know it was okay)

dinner: we had some grassfed Porterhouse steaks. Grassfed beef is totally not as tender as crap-fed beef, but it was okay. God knows it was healthier. We also had some organic broccoli.

No dessert.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Breakfast: just eggs with nothing special; plus some water (and coffee for mom... BAD! BAD! BAD!)

Snack: garlic and onion flavored rice crackers plus some So Delicious coconut milk-based yogurt

Lunch: ham sandwich with Breadsmith bread (not GF), lettuce and Spectrum canola mayonnaise

Snack: celery with peanut butter; pear wedges

dinner: Mike made a pot roast with the grassfed beef, organic zucchini and onions. We're still woefully bad at the meat-to-everything-else ratio on the plate. He also didn't know to put some vinegar in the pot to tenderize the meat, but it was okay. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Breakfast: EnviroKids Organic Koala Crisp cereal with So Delicious vanilla flavored coconut milk. :)

Snack: mango chunks and a banana

Lunch: Hormel Natural Deli Ham and steamed, fresh, organic string beans

Snack: rice crackers and baby carrots

Dinner: sushi (we found some that didn't have food coloring in it)

Dessert: So Delicious ice cream bars and sandwiches

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Okay... we're back

We finally relocated to IL. It's been ROUGH. We are not taking any of our supplements regularly and eating has been absolute hell. And the kids are NOT sleeping well. It got so bad that I made a special trip to the store and bought fish oil to start them THAT DAY. Today will be day 4 and no kidding, last night Matthew slept through the whole night for the first time in a few months. The baby is taking the adult dosing and the last two nights she went to bed record early. Last night, I took someone's advice to make her use the potty just before laying down to empty her bladder (she's not fully potty trained yet, but if I sit her there, she will try) and sure enough she was out cold in less than 10 minutes. I honestly don't know if this is illness starting or teething or what. I remember having the same questions when Matthew started sleeping so well after the fish oil. Both are on Nordic Naturals liquid Complete Omega 3-6-9 (the lemon flavored--not the strawberry flavored kids version). Both take 1 tsp/day although the baby is probably only getting about 3/4 of that.

So far, we have been here for about 7 weeks and were able to get in 4 solid, rigid weeks of Feingold. True to form, like every other diet, you get used to it. Lots of melon and pears and kiwi and bananas. Coconut milk yogurt (holy fortune), baby carrots, celery with peanut butter and deli meat lunches.

Now, we're off Feingold somewhat. Matthew's only reaction to Feingold was (I THINK) a reduction in bedwetting. I had such HIGH, HIGH, HIGH hopes for Feingold with him. Seriously. Mike and I, on the other hand, DID respond to it. Mike felt a world better, less agitated and more focused. Within days of being off the diet, he was a complete mess and looking for a medication change before I pointed out to him his change in eating. That kind of hit him like a ton of bricks. And my constant, excessive urination disappeared. Sure enough, a few days back into eating salicylates, it's back.

So we're likely to eat SOME salicylate foods and just limit them severely. Leave ketchup/tomatoes and pickles/cukes off of salads and stuff. Maybe no so much PB&J (since pretty much all jellies are off-limits).

We're also trying to implement fruit and veggies with EVERY meal--not just dinner.

And I think we are going to go completely gluten free after the December holidays to see if it affects Matthew's ADHD. In the meantime, we're going to try some other holistic remedies that have been recommended, but I have not finished researching. The attention problems are seriously grating on everyone. He is homeschooled and all the "activities" started up in the last week. He has a Hip Hop dance class, two 45-minute swim classes, a 45-minute gym class, a 1-hour American History class and a 1-1/2 hour T-ball instructional league on Saturday mornings. So, mostly physical activity spaced through the week. The baby has a dance class that we missed, a "gymnastics" class and a swim class. It's really more about having time with her alone.

Mike is away this week, so it's been ROUGH!!!! But I've made a serious effort to cook. We've had:

Breakfasts: gluten-free pancakes that were made ahead and frozen with fresh berries and real maple syrup; and eggs that were made ahead and frozen with fresh-made GF, uncured (so no nitrates/nitrites) bacon. And, instead of just having water all the time, we've had non-organic, but no corn syrup lemonade. You can actually find it at Walmart or Whole Foods.

Lunches: have been hard. We found this awesome bread by Breadsmith that has, literally, like 4-5 ingredients in it maximum. So it's not gluten-free, but it doesn't have any of the other crap in it. So we've done a lot of homemade chicken salad, tuna salad, deli meats and now with the end of Feingold, Matthew requested PB&J with mommy's homemade organic Concord grape jelly. We often put some green beans on the side. Mike was trying to be gluten-free and made some deli meat rolls where he sliced the rolls and used the pieces to make a face with green beans making a moustache and hair. It went over pretty big.

Dinners: have been easy, but then, they always have. I'm trying to get us away from the quick and easy "meat and one veggie" plate. I don't usually cook, so this is my gripe to Mike--who doesn't really change it. I keep reminding him that meat should only be 1/3 of what's on the plate at most. And really, this would save an awful lot of money with meat being so expensive and all--ya know? So while he was gone, I made good use of the Near East Wild Mushrooms & Herbs Rice Pilaf Mix
we had in the pantry. :) It claims to have soy ingredients in it, but I took a chance because it was quick and easy and frankly, it had to get used. But we DO have the Near East Original Rice Pilaf Mix and will be using that up. You can cook it in broth for extra flavor. I bought THAT because Matthew saw some Rainbow Trout (the whole fish) at Whole Foods and decided we should have that for dinner one night. The guy behind the counter told me to slice some pears and line the inside of the fish, put some rice pilaf in, find a way to fasten it closed and grill it up. It was delicious. The trout had been fileted, but still had a backbone--so I highly DO NOT recommend this for smaller kids. It was awesome, but we won't be doing it again.

Desserts have been expensive. Allergenic s'mores, ice cream sandwiches and ice cream have just been ridiculous. We even found ice cream cones that were gluten-free.

It's also been hard because we've been on the road a lot looking for rental property in an area about 1-1/2 hours away one-way. It's made food difficult. We just need to plan and prepare better, really. We are NOT good about that and are often rushing around last-minute. >:(

Onward and upward!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Feingold week 1 recap

Yeah... because it was way too chaotic (not the diet, just our lives) to try to do daily.

We found out that our sushi was off-limits because they use food coloring. Likely in the fake crab meat in the California rolls that we give Matthew. Shoot me now--because this was our fast-food alternative.

We did okay otherwise, though. Our snacks were the biggest problems. Our favorite vegetable-flavored Edward's rice crackers have been replaced by potato chips. And our regular Lay's Kettle Cooked changed formulation such that they now use corn oil--so we had to switch over to Cape Cod brand kettle cooked. I haven't fully checked out the hummus, but Matthew doesn't eat it--so I didn't tend to that IMMEDIATELY.

Apples have been replaced with melon chunks. Carrots and celery are taking a way more active role in our snacking. Orange juice and ketchup have been really hard. Thankfully, we don't drink OJ often; but ketchup... holy moly. Now we kind of HAVE to make our eggs "with" something for flavoring. Usually the natural, uncured bacon from the farm co-op.

And removing grapes and all berries renders us without an option for jelly. Peaches & oranges aren't even an option on Stage 1. But there's a natural deli meat that's on the approved list for Stage 1. It's not the lowest sodium option--which is quickly becoming a problem for me (if not for the sodium content alone, then seriously for it's taste) so I need to look into that a little further. But that's been our PB&J replacement: deli meat--with GF bread or just rolled up. Plus some canned organic green beans or some carrots.

Dinner has remained relatively unscathed. THANK GOD! We don't do pasta often because rice pasta is so expensive so that's really non-issue. Otherwise, it's usually meat and veggies... sometimes rice or potato... always without "stuff" so it's really not an issue there.

Onward to week 2...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

So I've been on hiatus...

But fear not: Monday we go on lockdown. No, no--I mean it this time. SERIOUS lockdown. STOP CHUCKLING! GAH!!!

Starting Monday we are going fully gluten-free in addition to our corn, soy & dairy PLUS starting Feingold Stage 1. Feingold is most noted for dealing with ADD/ADHD; but in truth, it has the potential to resolve countless issues... sensory problems, irritability, migraines, bedwetting... even things people wouldn't realize COULD be fixed (because they're assumed to just be personality traits) like excessive talking. Entire families often go on the diet together to keep the family member in need from feeling ostracized only to find that everyone gets relief or resolve from some issue or another.

How bad is it?

Well, on the list of things to eliminate for 4-6 weeks (the Stage 1 period--which we will do for 6-8 weeks) are tomatoes, apples, oranges, grapes/raisins and all berries.

Have you read this blog? Are you already sensing the panic?

No... I've been reading and preparing for a few weeks. I've even had a trial run here and there. But we've been waiting for a clear streak of weeks--a period of time uninterrupted by holidays or travel. So after Easter, game on. I have to carry the full list with me, but the ones I listed above are the ones that are HARD on us.

To be honest, Feingold really only DRASTICALLY affects snacks for us. Ketchup has been kind of hard with our eggs because I'm trying to steer clear of Taylor ham because of the nitrates & nitrites in it. I've been getting natural, uncured bacon to use in lieu of and it's working.

Orange juice won't be HORRIBLY missed. Tomatoes and apples are huge staple snack items here. So we're now eating more carrots, celery and lots of melon (which is getting expensive and impossible to find organic). I also bought some mangoes, kiwi and pineapple for vitamin C.

See, the thing with dietary intervention is this: on one hand, you want it to work. On the other hand, you dread the idea of eating that way forever (or for many years). But in reality, you get used to it. And in a few months, you realize how easy it is because you're already used to it. I'm actually almost at that point just trial running it for 2 weeks. I'm still in the "carry the list" stage, though. For instance, while we don't like to have anything with nitrates or nitrites in our food, we've always made an exception for Taylor ham. I only didn't buy it yesterday because I didn't remember if those were preservatives that were not allowed on Feingold.

It will get easier.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Heading toward Feingold

Okay, okay, okay... I'm putting us on Feingold. Mike is pushing HARD to hold off starting until after our trip out of state. Meanwhile, I feel like if it will help our son's behaviors (which admittedly could have nothing to do with food--he's been through hell with us this last year as the family has suffered trauma after trauma) ... then we'd be better off starting now and hopefully making the trip easier.

The fresh foods we have to eliminate that will hit us hardest are going to be apples and tomatoes. They're like staples in our house. :(

BUT, I did sit down and figure out what we could eat for snacks that was acceptable. It was the snacks that were the issue since our main meals aren't affected quite as much. No more pasta unless we do it aglio e olio (pasta with olive oil and garlic).

Thankfully, there ARE plenty of options left for snacks--I just need to actually plan better. I think the biggest task is going to remove the forbidden foods from the house. Once that's done, it's really not hard. I just need to have a food shopping list with me and the "forbidden" list with me.

Stage 1 is only 4-6 weeks. I may keep us on it for 8 weeks. But after that, we can reintroduce these things one by one and see if there's a reaction. If there's not, then we can just add them back in permanently.

I'm all the more driven at the moment because someone on a message board noted that apples were causing her child's bedwetting. I'm wondering if it's possible that the salicylates could be causing Matthew's excessive bedwetting, too. Actually, I'm wondering if they could be the cause of my own "tiny bladder" issues. :)

So far, I've removed almost all of the tomatoes and apples. Those were the major offenders for us. Next is oranges--which weren't really a large portion of our diet, but a much-loved one.

Matthew is still getting bouts of pity party moodiness. At the moment, life is so chaotic that I'm wondering if it's just missing life as we knew it. :(

Gotta run....!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010 Valentine's Day!!!

early snacks: organic banana and organic pear wedges

breakfast (at Perkins): Matthew had their "classic egg favorites" of scrambled eggs, burnt (by request bacon) and we ask that they leave the potatoes off the plate. We bring our own ketchup and he drinks OJ. All of this is questionable, and coming to an end. He just got to choose for Valentine's Day since we weren't able to really decorate or anything and he was REALLY out of his mind with the holiday (very unexpectedly). Since we're just starting lockdown with the food, we gave in on this one. I had a Steakhouse Scrambler minus sauce, gravy and cheese with our ketchup and OJ AND coffee. Mike? Pffft... he'll be the last one to eat appropriately in this house.

Since we ate breakfast late (finished at noon), we didn't have lunch.

snacks: more pear wedges

dinner: coop soy-free chicken legs & thighs with organic broccoli

snacks: Mike & Matthew made heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie's using Bob's Red Mill mix.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Okay, well I DID plan my menu for the week but it went down the tubes because we had a family trauma which had us order chinese food and then eat it for leftovers which pushed out our meal plan a bit...

BUT... we ARE definitely going totally gluten-free now. Matthew's moodiness is beyond control and I'm sure part of it has been the chaos of the year; but we've also allowed more gluten to slip into our diet. So we want it COMPLETELY out for 3 months and then we'll start Feingold.


Okay... today

early breakfast: we've settled on a routine of having a banana because we can bring it upstairs and have it ready for Matthew upon waking. So we could actually let him eat the banana and play quietly in his room while we finish our beauty sleep. :D

breakfast: naturally cured and salted bacon from another coop (a new one with meat and dairy products including raw milk products) and then scrambled eggs cooked in the leftover bacon grease. Note: we are no longer getting eggs from the ladies... we're buying them. :( But we do buy ones that are not given steroids or antibiotics.

snacks: Satsuma tangerines. They're TINY. I think Matthew had 3 and I had 1. They're now all gone.

lunch: Matthew had PB&J on GF bread. I skipped.

snacks: organic grape tomatoes, an organic navel orange and a piece of organic celery... all from the produce coop.

dinner: chicken breast cooked in EVOO and Olde Cape Cod brand White Balsamic & Honey salad dressing that you could barely taste on the chicken. Also, organic broccoli (steamed) and mashed sweet potatoes (organic--baked yesterday and mashed today). DE. LISH.

snack: organic pear wedges

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today's produce

Let's try this another way. Let me tell you what I get and try to plan a week's menu around it. Then I'll let you know if I did it that way. We'll try it for a week anyway.

Today--full share of organic produce.

1 large bunch of kale (hoping it's Red Russian but can't tell)
1 small bunch of green onions/scallions that I never really know what to do with
1 bunch of celery (to add to the 2 in the fridge)
5 lbs of brown-skinned potatoes
1 lbs of small parsnips
2 heads of some kind of curly leaf lettuce
2 medium heads of broccoli
2 avocados (to add to the 2 still in the fridge and lots in the freezer *eyeroll*)
a bag of something like 1 lb. of these really small, nubby carrots. Like fat baby carrots
10 onions
3 tomatoes (2 very underripe)

16 of the smallest oranges I've ever seen
6 red delicious apples
1 large bunch of bananas
6 really nice sized pears
2 lemons

I'll take inventory of the rest of the food stores and plan tomorrow. Blah...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

early breakfast: banana

breakfast: scrambled eggs with canned peas

snack: pear wedges

lunch: pasta

snack: carrot, potato chips, candy cane (this was a reward for turning off the TV as agreed to without having to be told and not crying about it)

dinner: white chili (ground turkey, white kidney/cannellini beans, chicken broth, green chilis and some other spices) with rice

snack: BaTempte half sour pickles. We could go through a whole jar in a sitting--just Matthew and I. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

breakfast: eggs with taylor ham and Matthew had some coconut milk AND some orange juice in a little box that he opted to buy with his "Fun" money because mommy wasn't spending extra money on small boxes. *eyeroll*

snack: half a banana and half of a Bob's Red Mill GF chocolate chip cookie (made yesterday)

lunch: rice pasta leftover from Monday night

snacks: organic grape tomatoes, Fruitabu grape fruit roll, organic peeled baby carrots. Mariella actually ate an entire hot dog and some banana pieces. :O Oh... and Matthew had 3 gummy bears (from Natural Candy Store) as part of learning how to use a map (he had to find them using a map of our house--part of our homeschooling. He had no clue what prize he was finding).

dinner: leftover pork loin pot roasted (seared in EVOO with minced garlic) with organic sweet potatoes, organic onions and organic apples (all cooked in the pot) plus canned organic green beans. Mariella only ate sweet potatoes and green beans given her earlier hot dog.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

breakfast: scrambled eggs with Taylor ham. Matthew poured himself a small cup of coconut milk with vanilla in it, but didn't actually drink it. Mike and I had the evil caffeinated coffee. Mariella ate a giNORmous amount of eggs and later threw all of it up. :(

snacks: raw organic baby carrots and potato chips. Mariella eats the chips.

lunch: leftover chinese: steamed chicken & broccoli for Matthew (with some of the chicken for Mariella). Shrimp Chow fun and steamed dumplings for Mike and I.

snacks: peeled organic pear wedges. Also, more chips. Again, Mariella eats the chips.

dinner: overcooked eye round that was stewed on top of the stove with onions, carrots, sweet potatoes and possibly apples (all organic except the meat). Mariella eats the carrots and sweet potatoes.

snack: banana (not organic)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Adding the baby to the mix...

Our adoptive daughter, Mariella, is just about to be 16 months old. She has some kind of food issues because about the time she turned 1, we tried to wean her off of her allergenic formula (Neocate) and it did NOT go well.

The bulk of her diet right now continues to be formula. She eats pieces of whatever we have at the table most of the time, but she doesn't eat nearly as much food as some children her age. In fact, we had an 8mo foster daughter here for 3 weeks in Dec. who far out-ate Mariella. Mariella's diet wasn't HALF of what this child consumed in solids. And Mariella is very small. Very active, but small. And although she's been cruising and trying to stand on her own (on the bed only) for months, she still doesn't walk. At all. We suspect she'll walk when she knows she can run; but for right now, she's just not interested.

And now it looks like she may be allergic to apples. We have to look at this a little more closely.

Last but not least, she doesn't sleep the night; and I'm starting to wonder if it's just lack of calories during the day. I don't know.

We're going to start really pushing a little more food on her. *sigh*

The stomach bug has hit our house

Mercifully, it's short. If I'd been more vigilant with our probiotics... actually, if we'd taken them at ALL... maybe we'd have skated. :(

So today was an EXTREMELY light day on food.

Matthew started with a carrot that was promptly thrown up. He then had half of a banana and maybe 3 bites of scrambled eggs. He's slept on and off all afternoon with fever and I've ordered Outback for dinner--so he'll have a little Joey Sirloin (without seasonings and cooked on a dry grill--they usually cook it with butter unless you tell them not to) and a dry sweet potato. We have fresh organic beets already cooked (steamed) at the house.

I had the other half of the banana. Mike and I also had eggs with some taylor ham around noon. We haven't eaten since. We're getting meat and potatoes with salad and we'll have veggies from home.

I got sick late Wednesday night and am already feeling better this afternoon. Hoping Matthew follows suit. The baby has had diarrhea since Sunday and Mike gave her half a jar of bananas today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

early breakfast for Matthew: a handful of organic grape tomatoes

breakfast: Matthew had 2 eggs scrambled with taylor ham. That wasn't enough, so he then proced to have 5 gummy bears (from the Natural Candy Store), 4 teaspoons of peanut butter, and 1 banana. Mike & I had 2 packets of organic instant oatmeal (each of us had 2 packets... apple/cinnamon kind) and then each of us had half of a broiled grapefruit with some honey and sucanat on top. Worthy of note that Matthew is now asking for MORE food.

---to be continued---