Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/29/4232629/html/index.php:3) in /home/content/29/4232629/html/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/wp-cache-phase2.php on line 62
May 2011 - Page 2 of 4 - Shivaya Naturals — Page 2

May 2011

The Calling

May 27, 2011



I heard my own voice today.

I can choose to listen, or I can choose to turn away. 
The pull of a new direction, a new journey is taking shape. 
Will I walk the path, or will I stand still?
The choice is entirely mine.

My inner voice has been a bit chatty lately, and with it my silence has come to this space. We all have had those moments in life where we know that we are standing in a space that has to shift, and yet the direction that life needs to go has not yet become fully clear.

When I was in my last few weeks of pregnancy with Landon, I knew that a transition was coming to my family, and perhaps the biggest transition that we had yet faced together. All of us seemed to shift in those weeks leading up to welcoming another soul into our lives, and I think that somehow even the kiddos knew that something beyond the birth of their brother was taking place.

My older sons seem to be embarking on new adventures, and while my heart sheds a tear, I know that the days of their early childhood are now behind them. They are both so determined to live every adventure that they can find, to overcome challenges that they face, and to enjoy the world that must seem so full of possibility.

My husband has settled into his own as a father, embracing his role not as the secondary parent, but as a major force in our kids lives. My boys idolize him, the baby adores him, and I sit back in awe of the journey that he has taken to get to this place. With Landon’s arrival came the time where he stepped out of anyone else’s shadows and fully came into his own. That is such a powerful moment to witness.

As for me, I am attempting to put a lot of fears and insecurities aside by taking some risks and a mighty big leap in my professional life.

For a brief period, I wondered if I should stay writing this blog. I feel as though I have had trouble writing here, or more I have had trouble knowing what to write, in the past few months. Do you ever have those periods in life where you feel like you are full of thoughts and ideas, but totally unable to put them to paper (or keyboard)? I am sure that it is a normal part of the process, but that is where I have been.

As the direction that my life is heading is becoming a bit more clear, I find myself once again excited to return to this space. When I think about why I write here, why I want to write here, it always comes back to the connection and the community of people that I have met and gotten to know. I have learned more through the this community than any book, magazine, or manual could have taught me, and it remains a great source of inspiration as a mom and an artist.

Our theme for our summer studies is exploration, and I am excited to return next week dedicated to that idea. While my kids might be in the prime of their exploration, I am relearning the concept on many different levels myself.

I wish you all a weekend full of exploration and fun!

{ 17 comments }

Finding Nourishment

May 24, 2011

Nourishment is a good word. It is a word that feels positive and life sustaining, and nourishment is what I have been trying to find for my family in these past few months.

Like so many of you, I spend an enormous amount of time in the kitchen. I know that room like the back of my hand, it is my comfort zone and the space where so much more than food preparation happens. The kitchen is where I cook a meal, but also where I bring my family together to settle the day, where I find inspiration for health and healing, and where I search for that which will bring a small amount of joy to a long day.

When Jacob was diagnosed with celiac disease four years ago, I thought that changing his diet meant simply eliminating gluten from all that he ate. Over the past four years, I have learned that almost all of my kids health issues have a food component, and even their day to day behavior is greatly effected by what they eat. That might seem like it should be common sense, but it has taken me a while to really see the ways that certain foods react in their system, especially when paired with other foods. To say that it has been eye opening would be an understatement.

On my nightstand is a variety of books that talk about the ways that food influences day to day behavior of children (and I am sure it can be applied to adults as well), especially in the area of ADD and ADHD. While the boys do not seem to suffer from traditional symptoms of either of these, I was becoming increasingly aware that at certain times of the day they had less ability to focus on tasks that they were doing, and their fighting and bickering was coming up like clock work each afternoon. Beyond that, Jacob has been suffering from tics for the past 4 years, and after getting little help from his doctors I decided to see what a total overhaul in diet would do.

After reading Dr. Sears The Healthiest Kid in The Neighborhood, and The NDD Book, I realized that while I always fed my kids well, especially at meal time, I was not always feeding them the right foods. Dr. Sears goes deep into the connections between behavior and food in children, and I came to learn that the balance of carbs and protein, as well as feeding kids primarily from the major “super foods” list, is what brings about true balance in the body.

As always, I was a bit skeptical not to buy into the whole radical transformation of my child ploy, but I have to say that the shift in diet that we took after reading this information has had a major impact on both of my older boys, and myself as well. Feeding them small, high protein meals, accompanied by fruits and veggies seems to keep their blood sugar stable, their mood a bit more even, and certainly the focus and fighting has almost disappeared (they are 7 and 5, so I am not expecting them to just play nice every minute of every day). Perhaps the greatest physical change is the reduction of tics in Jacob. He notices, I notice, everyone notices that his body seems to be calmer and a lot less reactive to his environment.

What really makes me stop and take pause is the fact that as I mentioned, I really felt like I was feeding the boys great food before this. We ate good healthy meals, and they had healthy snacks. Organic crackers, rice sticks and pretzels seemed like good, low sugar snacks. Replacing those snacks with walnuts, tofu, hummus, and other high protein snacks changed things so quickly that it gave even my 5 year old the ability to understand that what he was eating was having a major impact on how he was feeling.

I am not advocating any one type of diet for children. The ways that we changed our diet really worked for us, but those same changes may not be appropriate for everyone. What I do believe is that diet and our children’s well being, both physically and behaviorally, are interconnected. The exploration of that connection is a journey that is fascinating to take, and I learned a lot more about my kids than just what foods they like and dislike. I also feel so much more connected to the ways that food is grown, packaged, and consumed, and while I thought that this journey would take us to a more complicated “system” of eating, it actually simplified everything.

Jake and Elwood have been closely involved in the process of changing our diet, and we have been reading them excerpts from books and articles that we find beneficial. From that involvement have come a few snacks and meals that we have come up with that have become staples.




Herbal Healing Broth

This broth is something that I made right after Landon was born, and that the boys have loved ever since. We make a batch up every few days, and then add chicken or tofu to it for protein. This broth is really great for anyone with a cold or flu as well, and the more garlic added, the more healing takes place.

Ingredients
1 cup of cooked beans (I use kidney)
A handful of chopped herbs
4 garlic cloves, skins removed, slightly smashed
1 bay leaf
2 strips of dried kelp

Place the herbs, bay leaf and kelp in a soup pan and cover with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add garlic and beans and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove the kelp, cut it into small strips and return to the soup. Remove the soup from the heat, and using a blender or a hand mixer, blend the soup.
This is the broth base, and anything that sounds good can be added to it. I do not use additional salt because the kelp gives a salty flavor to the broth, but extra can be added.

Morning Protein Shake

The morning meals seem essential to start the day off right, and I like this shake a few times a week just as a cool and refreshing way to pack SO much goodness into. This is really where I add in everything that my kids need for the day, like probiotics and oils that are harder to get them to take.

Ingredients
1 cup of yogurt (I use coconut)
2 tbsp of NuDe Raw Nutrition
3 tbsp of nut butter (I use raw almond or cashew butter, but even sunbutter works great)
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 tbsp flax oil
1 tbsp probiotic powder
1 cup of coconut or almond milk

Blend and enjoy!



Coconut and Chocolate Lara Bars

I LOVE Lara bars. They are my energy bar of choice, but they are just way too pricey for my budget. Our favorite flavor is Chocolate Coconut Chew, and this is my homemade version. There are tons of recipes out there for other versions and flavors, and they are so quick and easy to make.

Ingredients
1 cup of chopped dates
1/3 cup of cashews (soaked for at least 3 hours)
1/3 cup of almonds (soaked for at least 3 hours)
1 tbsp of raw unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp of raw coconut butter
1/4 cup of coconut (shredded or flaked is fine)

Put all ingredients into the food processor and process into it begins to stick together. Pat down into a pan to desired thickness, and cut into bars. Refrigerate (I only make enough for about 2 days worth so that they are always fresh).

Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Pate
I love the idea of making something ahead of time. This is the easiest recipe to put together, it can be used with a variety of fresh juices, and is a great way to get a serious helping of protein into your family.

Ingredients
1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup of almonds (or other nuts. If not using nuts, just add more seeds)
1 tbsp flax meal
Fresh juice (I normally use apple carrot).

Place the first four ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and grind until it resembles course meal. Place into a ramekin or bowl and add enough juice to create a thick paste. Refrigerate over night and enjoy with sliced apples, etc. in the morning.

Blueberries, avocados, any kind of nuts, tofu, hummus, veggies and salmon also make great small snacks throughout the day.

Enjoy!

You can download the recipes in PDF form here

{ 36 comments }