Tuesday, June 23, 2009

granola playdate

Check it out. I had this super fun playdate with my good friend Hadley, who is 6, and her brother Hayes, 4. We made this simple recipe for a yummy granola that is packed with good-for-you Omega-3s. It was such a fun time and we made something good for us to eat! The kids loved it, I loved it, and Molly, their lovely mom, loved it too.

Omega-3 is a fatty acid that is crucial for all of us, but especially important for kids as it is an essential element for a healthy brain. Here's a great and concise bit from about.com if you want more information: http://nutrition.about.com/od/askyournutritionist/f/omegacooking.htm.

For our playdate, I brought over all of the ingredients and had my young friends break up the walnuts and dates into small bits while I measured the other ingredients and put them together in the bowl. Their small hands were great for this task and they were so excited to be playing with their food. They also love granola but didn't know how it was made, they were pretty sure it comes from a granola bar :)

They were great and enthusiastic about mixing and really good at spreading it out on the cookie sheet, it's really fun to get your hands into food.

While it was baking we had some time to decorate our own jars to keep our granola in! Be sure to do a better job of washing your jar than I did, I washed it like 3 times and just couldn't get the salsa smell out!

This was a really fun project that took us about an hour... a great way to spend a rainy afternoon if you're looking for a fun and creative activity to share.

It made a really great snack with some yogurt!

Here is the recipe that we made, it is from www.epicurious.com, with a few adaptations... like raw or organic agave nectar instead of brown sugar. I hope you try it, it is totally good! hope you are well, xxtbone

Quick Omega-3 Granola

  • 4 tablespoons walnut oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon (scant) coarse kosher salt
  • 3 cups organic old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup walnut halves, broken in half
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal*
  • 1 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped or torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • optional, a handful of whole flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush heavy large rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil. Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, agave, egg whites, and salt in large bowl. Add oats, walnuts, and flaxseed (and optional seeds); toss well.

Spread mixture evenly on prepared sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Using metal spatula, stir granola. Bake 15 minutes longer. Stir again. Sprinkle dates over; drizzle with honey. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Stir to loosen. Transfer to clean baking sheet to cool completely. Keep chilled in airtight container.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

for the ladies

I know all of you have received an email at least once about how tampons are full of toxins and going to kill you or some similar mumbo-jumbo; you got scared for a minute and then forgot about it. I've been doing a little research of my own on this topic and have found that this website does a pretty good job at dispelling or explaining the various myths on the topic: http://www.center4research.org/wmnshlth/2005/tamponsafety.html if you want to check it out. Personally, I can't say for sure whether or not there is asbestos or rayon or dioxins or chemicals in the tampons that you're using or if you're going to get Toxic Shock Syndrome from them (which I was certain I was going to get every month as a teen and well into my 20s)... but here's what I do know:

I know that I would notice certain things about my body after I had one in for a while, such as muscle and joint aches, back pain, difficulty sleeping through the night because I would just begin to feel uncomfortable after a few hours and sometimes a piercing headache would tell me it was time for a change. Sorry, I'm not trying to gross you out here... I just want to share with you what I have noticed over the years and thought it was just how it was going to be. For me, all of these symptoms would come and go based on changing my tampon so I knew it wasn't just a period thing and knew it had to have something to do with tampons in general. I have tried different brands just like anyone based on where I was, or what was on sale, different absorbency, applicator or non, etc. nothing seemed to really change to any degree that I noticed. Until I tried ORGANIC! I know, it seems crazy and you probably think it's just because I've been on this greenie hippie health kick lately and just can't stop talking about "organic" this and "holistic" that, but seriously, this could change your life so pay attention.

These organic tampons are made from organic cotton, and cotton only. No rayon, no pesticides in the growing of the cotton, no chlorine bleaching, no added chemicals, just plain old cotton. On first trial, my whole world changed. I didn't know that I didn't have to feel achey all over or that my tampons could actually be adding to the cramping. And, I could comfortably sleep through the night! Turns out, I don't actually feel as bad as I thought I did during my period. I just needed to eliminate the addition of these unnecessary and unnatural elements from this very sensitive area. I mean, it makes sense to me... cotton happens in nature, my body knows how to adapt to and handle things that happen in nature and not freak out. And, given the option I would rather not stick potentially cancer causing agents in my hoo-hah... but maybe that's just me. Give it a try, see if it works for you... you can get 100% organic "feminine products" at most natural food stores, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, order online, etc. This brand, Natracare has a cute website about their products if you want to check it out: http://www.natracare.com/index2.htm (The "monthly matrix" is an adorable explanation of what is happening to your body each day of the month) Hope you're well, big kiss, xxtbone

Thursday, June 4, 2009

sweet smile

I picked up this new toothbrush at Trader Joe's the other day and am sooooo into it. I had no idea that I was unhappy with the design of my old toothbrushes, but now that I've tried this one I know that I was working way too hard before. There is something about this design that just makes brushing more streamlined and ergonomic. According to their website: http://www.preserveproducts.com/products/toothbrush.html these brushes are made from recycled yogurt cups and gives you an opportunity to return your brush for recycling when you're done with it. I also learned from their website that you can recycle the kind of plastic that yogurt cups are made from (#5) at several Whole Foods locations, where you can also recycle used Brita filters... good to know! Or you can send a box full of these used plastics directly to the company if you want. Thanks for being a cool company Preserve, you rule.

Regardless, of your personal recycling interests or if you're feeling more or less green these days. The design of this toothbrush is just plain cool. And, might I suggest its use with a great natural toothpaste such as one from Tom's of Maine. I am currently obsessed with the Spearmint gel, I really like it's freshness and smooth texture with the soft bristles of my new brush. I know, I'm a nerd, I'm just saying... it's like a nice burst of Springtime in my mouth. Hope you are well, big kiss xxtbone.