Whole Foods for the Whole Family

In Search of Healthy School Lunches

Conscious parenting is about caring for the whole child: body, mind and spirit. Some days, the body needs to come first. Do you know what your child is eating for lunch today?

Okay, I know I'm way behind in my posts and I have lots of things I intend to write about, but here it is: School lunches are scary.

If, indeed, you are what you eat, my kids are pepperoni pizza. Or possibly tater tots.

I've been waffling for about two years now, not sure how I wanted to approach our local school district; reluctant to get drafted for another committee, but consistently horrified by what I see on the lunch menu -- when I am brave enough to look.

For example, the menu for next week includes cheese pizza on Monday, nachos with cheese and "cheesy refried beans" on Tuesday, grilled cheese sandwiches on Wednesday and a cheeseburger on Thursday.

What's up with all the cheese? When did nachos become a meal?

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Organic Food 101: What Every Parent Should Know

My eleven-year-old son was recently tasked with writing a “How-to” essay for his fifth grade language arts class. The topic he chose? “How to Live an Organic Lifestyle.” He asked me a few questions, wrote a draft or two, then typed it all up and stapled it into a beautiful cardboard cover. His teacher was happy, although she did make a couple structural suggestions, which we’ve incorporated here.  I asked for permission to share it with my readers and he said, “Uh, sure.” In case you wanted to know:


How to Live an Organic Lifestyle by my fifth-grade blogging partner

“To live a successful organic life, you need to know what organic means and where to find organic foods. Being organic is a lifestyle choice. It also means eating healthier and not eating processed foods.

First, you need to know why you are eating organic. My reason is my mom. She was having stomach pains so she went to a doctor, a nutritionist and a naturopath. Finally she found out she was allergic to bananas, wheat and sugar cane.

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Curse of the Monster Zucchini

How our vegetable garden is supporting our healthy eating habits, despite our best efforts to totally ignore it all summer.


So, we planted a garden this year.


I am using the term “garden” rather loosely. We have some potted herbs – cilantro, basil and parsley. In terms of vegetables, we have four tomato plants next to the porch and one zucchini plant behind some shrubs bordering the patio.


They’ve necessarily grown into pretty hardy little plants. With all of our travel this summer, our yard (and garden) received very limited attention.


Fortunately – in this case – we’ve had a fairly rainy summer. We certainly weren’t around to water anything.


Which is why I was rather surprised when the boys came running in from the yard two weeks ago, yelling. “Mom! Mom! You won’t believe what’s growing in the backyard.”


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A Presence Practice for Multi-tasking Overachievers


Hello friends. I have been trying to write, off and on all day long, but I just couldn’t concentrate. Maybe it was the weather. We had one of those hot sunny days, interrupted by a sudden, blustery storm that dumped buckets and buckets of rain.


The rain usually clears the air, but today it left me feeling kind of unsettled.


I had pretty much resigned myself to try again tomorrow, when I finally found some quiet space. I asked myself, “What? What do I need to say right now?”


This is it:


Conscious parenting is about slowing down and living in the moment; it is about finding the grace in every experience; it is about feeling gratitude for all the mysterious gifts that make up a lifetime.


Preferably, some of these moments will occur when your children are present.

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Glutton's Remorse: When You've Eaten Like There's No Tomorrow


So, one of the problems with attending a Super Bowl party when you don’t really care much about football, is that you tend to spend the entire evening hovering around the buffet table.


This would be the definition of mindless eating.


Which, of course, is the exact opposite of mindful eating.


Despite fifteen months of nutritional education and dedication to the Body Ecology Diet, I fell off the healthy eating wagon with a thump. Okay, to be perfectly honest, I kind of jumped.


It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, though. I was at my sister’s house, and she is always thoughtful enough to provide healthy options. There were fresh fruits and vegetables, which I enjoyed.


And meatballs in marinara sauce, cheese fondue, baked brie with raspberry compote, brownies and macaroons and Rice Krispie treats.


I could have resisted beer and chicken wings, but macaroons? Rice Krispie treats??

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The Post-Thanksgiving Pie Report

Wow, can you believe it is December already?  With our unusually late Thanksgiving this year, I feel like we are swinging directly into Christmas, with no room for a breath.

Or in our case, barely a moment to digest the entire buffet of goodies consumed over the Thanksgiving weekend.

I reported in my post last week, The Great Gluten-Free Pie Experiment, Part Two, that I had prepared a gluten-free, sugar-free apple pie for my family's Thanksgiving feast.

As promised, here is the post-Thanksgiving pie report:

My mother, who is the only other relatively committed gluten-free member of the family, liked my pie.  So did I.

My older son performed a blind taste test, at my request.  He preferred the traditional, sugar-laden pie over mine, but assured me that mine was "not that bad." 

Gee, thanks.

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The Great Gluten-Free Pie Experiment, Part Two

We are one of those families that are trying to become gluten-free.  Or, to be more precise, I am one of those mothers who are trying to make their family gluten-free. 


Thankfully, we are not dealing with the serious implications of Celiac Disease, but I have been largely off wheat for over a year.  I now follow the Body Ecology Diet as closely as possible, which advocates healthy, whole grains such as millet and quinoa.


Still, I have not yet found a millet or quinoa pie crust recipe.  With the holidays here, I need to either come up with something that will pass the family taste test, or give in again.


The Great Gluten-Free Pie Experiment, Part One


It should be noted that I tried to produce gluten-free pies last Thanksgiving, but none of my attempts received the stamp of approval from my sons.  We tried multiple recipes with a variety of ingredients, but to be honest, they really didn’t taste very good. 


The boys got pretty good at scraping the filling out of inedible pie shells.  They actually enjoyed my sugar-free pumpkin pie filling, but suggested it would be better served as a pudding.  Oh well.

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