Tuesday, May 31, 2011

a reality check from perez hilton


I think I have briefly mentioned here and there throughout this blog that I was born and raised a meat-eater. Although as the years go by my taste for meat has diminished, every so often I hum and ah about how I’d like a taste of some bacon or steak or chicken. I imagine buying an organic piece of meat and cooking it up with love and gratitude... but although ‘organic’, this term has no implications about the way an animal is treated. Generally speaking animals raised ‘organically’ might live with a bit more space and health than their non-organic counterparts, but when it comes to the killing day they all go to the same slaughterhouse. More on the question of whether organic meat is a more humane choice here if you’re interested.

Last night I wanted to remind myself of the primary reason I am a vegetarian- animal rights. So I went to the PETA website for some inspiration. Easily distracted I saw the headline, ‘Perez Hilton, What are Factory Farms Trying to Hide?’ and was of course intrigued. I had no idea Perez Hilton of all people was an animal activist. So I naively clicked on and began to watch his presentation. Within 30 seconds- THIRTY SECONDS- I had to turn the video off. I was sick, I felt nauseas, I was horrified with the undercover footage I saw. I immediately closed all PETA windows and any prior meat cravings immediately became non-existent. Putrid to even think about.

These images and videos aren’t one-offs that those 'crazy animal activists' got their hands on. Large-scale farms cannot and do not humanely kill animals. Can you humanely kill? Isn't that why the death penalty was abolished in Australia, Canada and beyond? I just don't understand how a person who massacres all day long, everyday for their living can feel happy, empathetic, compassionate... just plain normal. I don't want to create the demand for a job like this. In the words of Pythagorus, "For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."



Thank you Perez for this reality check. I am so glad that I am not consuming the kind of negative energy that is within these dead bodies. If an animal has experienced and is filled with adrenaline, fear, pain and suffering are we not a part of that when we consume it? Are we not consuming that prana?

You may not be a vegetarian yourself, but surely by now we all know that this age-old saying is true: ‘We are what we eat’.

xo m.

For more information from me about vegetarianism see these popular posts-


Saturday, May 28, 2011

mama hugs

If you haven't seen this precious moment yet (wait for the 30-40 second mark to have your heart melted) please have a little look. This is motherhood in its entirety.


Have a beautiful weekend filled with love and hugs.

xo m.

Friday, May 27, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.-soulemama


nine months old to the day
standing without support
just like her brother was
...only this time I am not quite as encouraging as I was with him!

xo m.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

his headscarf

One of my oldest friends, Sarah, used to wear these gorgeous headscarves to school everyday. They were handknit by her Mum and became quite the fashion accessory even through University. With a bunch of thrifted yarn and a pair of needles, I tried my hand at my first ever headscarf for North. He loves it. The beauty is that you can wear it as a cowl/neckwarmer too, but North is pretty determinded that it is for his head.


Pretty irresistable, right?


Forget Indigo, I'm next in line for one.

xo m.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

high protein breakfasts


I was talking to a friend of mine about how loopy North gets in the mornings if we haven't been out of the house by 9 and she suggested giving him something to eat that is high in protein. This really struck a chord with me because I have noticed he is most off the wall in the mornings after breakfast and most days his breakfast is actually the highest carbohydrate/sugar laden meal he has. Most often he has a bowl of porridge with berries and maple syrup. But instinctively, I have been trying to give him a boiled or scrambled egg around 10am because I feel that his body is craving some protein. Which has got me thinking- how can we start our day with protein rich foods, enabling all of us to stay full longer without any great bursts and then dips in energy?

Here is a list that I now have posted on the fridge of protein-rich foods that are suitable for the whole family for breakfast:


almond milk and pea protein powder smoothies with fresh or frozen fruit and honey

sliced apples with nut butter

homemade berry friands with nut butter

scrambled tofu with tomato, avocado and toast

eggs and toast with tomato, avocado

baked beans and toast with tomato, avocado

hummus with dippy bread fingers

pancakes made with chickpea or buckwheat or quinoa flour

multigrain-porridge made with oats and quinoa flakes

baked/boiled sweet potatoes stuffed with baked beans and veggies


The printable version of this list is here- take it for your fridge if you want to.

Any other suggestions? What do you use for your morning protein hit?

xo m.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

reading...



Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children from Birth to Seven
by Barbara J.Patterson and Pamela Bradley.

This has been on my reading list for ages. I bought it at the local Steiner school fair on Sunday and finished devouring it today. I loved it even more than I thought I would. But it has left me thirsty for more. Next on my list is 'You are Your Child's First Teacher' by Rahima Baldwin Dancy.

I also want to read something about parenting boys in particular. Any recommendations? I know there is a book called "Raising Boys" but have a feeling this might be too mainstream for me. Thoughts and suggestions very much appreciated!

xo m.

Monday, May 23, 2011

sticks and stones


When North was born I swore I wouldn't pigeon-hole him into a gender sterotype. That he would have dolls as well as trains, aprons as well as balls, a pram as well as a big dig. Two-and-a-half years later, he has all of these things and he still seems to naturally gravitate to wheels and balls.

But he is most passionate about sticks and stones.

I must admit, I am one of those Mums that lets her child freely play and roam with varying sizes of sticks in hand. The reason I feel so confident letting him play with them is because I watch him like a hawk and I know he would never use a stick as a weapon. Our rules regarding sticks are- they are not to be used as weapons (although he doesn't really know what a weapon is yet); they need to stay low to the ground and the larger they are the more open the space must be.

To me, sticks are nature's ultimate toy. They can become anything- a little animal house, a teepee, a writing utensil, a fork, a stirring spoon, a hammer, a nail, a peg, some porridge, a walking stick... North could go on and on.

Sadly, I've noticed a lot of Mums discouraging their children from playing with sticks. Of course, I realise they are worried about their child's safety and the danger of eyes being poked and prodded. But, I just don't feel right telling North to put one down as long as he is using it safely and with a gentle intention.


Where do you stand on the sticks and stones issue? Where do you draw the line? Do I sound like one of those Mums you tut-tut under your breath at the park?

xo m.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

today I am grateful for

:: Spontaneous bushwalks ::


:: Healthy, plant-based food made from scratch ::


:: Naturally grown mohawks ::


:: The smell of fallen leaves ::


:: Last-minute, portable snacks ::


:: Life, love and family ::

xo m.

Friday, May 20, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.-soulemama

xo m.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

day five: the vegan kitchen

Today's the last day I'll be sharing our vegan recipes (for a little while). Tomorrow I'll post the usual Friday "This Moment" and go from there. I hope you enjoyed these recipes and even if you don't use them, perhaps they inspired you to try something new or to investigate an ingredient you've never heard of, At the very least, perhaps they reminded you that there are many delicious and healthy meals that you can create for your family without having to inflict pain and suffering on another being.

lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu


may all beings everywhere be happy and free


and may my thoughts, words and actions contribute in some way to that freedom and to that happiness for all
***
Miso Noodle Soup
**ie. There's nothing left in the fridge because tomorrow is our organic box delivery day**



Ingredients
1 inch piece ginger of grated
2 cloves of garlic, crush
1/2 onion, diced
6 cups water
2 tbs miso paste of your choice
splash of tamari
2 tsp sesame oil
cubed tofu
seaweed of your choice
soba or rice noodles
sesame seeds
coriander

Directions
Saute ginger, garlic and onion for a few minutes.
Add remaining ingredients except coriander and sesame seeds.
Bring to a boil and then simmer until noodles are cooked and seaweed is soft.
Top with sesame seeds and coriander.

xo m.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

day four: the vegan kitchen

whatever's in the pantry muffins
- the recipe I follow basically in my head for cakes and muffins is:
2 cups flour to 3/4 cup wet sweetener to 3/4 cup milk substitute to 1/4 cup oil -

This particular batch (measures approximate as I just kind of do it by feel- if the batter seems too dry I add more oil and milk substitute)

Ingredients
1/4 cup flax seed oil
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup coconut milk (left over from the dahl)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 cup spelt flour
2 tbs baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
frozen rasberries
frozen blueberries
dark chocolate chips
pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)


Directions
Mix dry ingredients
Add wet ingredients
Stir until smooth
Pour into greased muffin tray
Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes at 190˚C

xo m.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

day three: the vegan kitchen

Simple Dahl with Coconut Rice

Add chilli if your kids can tolerate it. This is a huge hit with little ones- even our 9-month-old begs for more.


  • Ingredients

    1 cup red lentils, rinsed

    1 inch piece fresh ginger, diced

    olive oil

    1/2 red onion, finely chopped

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    2 tsp turmeric

    1 tsp cumin

    1 tsp ground coriander

    1/2 tsp garam masala

    juice from one lime

    1/2-1 tsp salt

    3/4 cup coconut cream

    2 1/4 cups water

    cooked basmati rice soaked in 1/4 cup coconut cream


Directions
Saute the ginger, red onion and garlic in a generous amount of olive oil
Add the spices until fragrant
Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, turn down and simmer for 30 minutes until lentils are soft
Serve on rice, garnish with cashews and coriander

xo m.

Monday, May 16, 2011

day two: the vegan kitchen

Soba (buckwheat) Noodles with Broccoli, Chickpeas, Peas and Peanut Sauce



This is something you can whip up within 20 minutes. It's a very healthy filling lunch and you can replace the veggies in this recipe for whatever you have in the fridge

Ingredients
1/2 package buckwheat noodles (serves approx 3 adults and 1 child)
olive oil
2 crashed garlic cloves
1 head of broccoli
1 can of chickpeas
1/4 sup of frozen or fresh peas

Peanut Sauce-
1 lemon or lime, juiced (lime is much preferred for ideal taste)
2 inch piece grated ginger
1 tbs sesame oil
3 tbs tamari
3 tbs all natural peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
water for desired consistency

Directions
Make the peanut sauce first- mixing all ingredients together and stirring until smooth
Boil a pot of water for noodles
Saute garlic in olive oil for a minute, then add remaining ingredients (except noodles) and stir fry for no longer than 3-4 minutes just until broccoli is bright green. Remove from heat.
At this point the noodles should be boiling in the water, and should be ready within 5 minutes.
Toss all ingredients and 3/4 of the peanut sauce together carefully so the noodles don't break up too much.
Serve and drizzle remaining sauce on top. Garnish with extra lime wedges, cilantro, and/or peanuts.

Bliss Balls


Ingredients
2 cups pitted dates
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup almonds
1 tbs dark cocoa powder
paste from 1/2 vanilla bean pod
dessicated coconut

Directions
Process the first 5 ingredients in a strong food processor for 30-45 seconds
Remove from processor and roll into small balls
Roll the balls in the coconut
Store in the fridge or freezer

xo m.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

a week of vegan meagan

We stumbled around today trying to recover from a lovely and much-needed weekend with friends who came to visit from Melbourne. They have children of a very similar age to ours so fun was had by all. "Fun" also involved too much of everything from champagne to deep fried food to dairy to sugary sweets. So, last night, as I lay curled up in a tipsy state with a tummy ache I swore this week's theme would be about cleansing and nourishing ourselves with family friendly, fresh, plant-based meals.

And why not share the week's recipes with you each day? Until Thursday get ready for a sneak peak into our vegan kitchen.

Now for today's lunch-
:: Simply Sweet Potato Soup ::

Ingredients
olive oil
1/2 brown onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chilli powder (more or less depending on the children)
2 curry leaves
4 small organic sweet potatoes, cut into small chunks
1 green apple, quartered
4 cups vegetable stock

Directions
Saute onion and garlic until soft, add spices until aromatic
Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and then simmer until sweet potatoes are soft (approx. 30 minutes)
Combine in a food processor until smooth


:: Rainbow Bread ::

Separate your regular bread dough into thirds and add chopped spinach to one third and grated beetroot to another. Roll out and braid bread, then roll into a circular shape.


xo m.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

{this moment}

One day late, as blogger decided to take a holiday yesterday:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.-soulemama


Happy weekending!
xo m.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

thank you very much, but next time please don't throw out your toys!

In Australia, once every so often a big truck comes around to collect the garbage that you can't put into the regular weekly bins. They call this "hard rubbish". People leave out furniture, toys, applicances and everything in between. I get the car once a week to drive to playgroup and today the Gods must have been smiling down upon us because to my utter delight we found this on the side of the road:


You can imagine the excited squeal I let out when I saw this sitting on the side of the road. The house is in such beautiful condition I actually rang on the doorbell to make sure it really was hard rubbish- "Yes, take it" they said, as they peered out the window and watched me stuff it in the boot frantically in case they decided to change their minds.

As much as I am overjoyed and grateful for this discovery, I can't help but be horrified that someone would put this out for trash instead of donating it to goodwill or finding friends who might be interested in it. Please people- give your toys away! It's better for the environment and better for our wallets.

Now, welcome! Come inside and look around.

The dolls and furniture were with it too- it breaks my heart to imagine this magical world in a dump!

xo m.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

simple natural fabric softener




The combination of cold weather and air-dried laundry makes for some very scritchy scratchy sheets and towels. I like my towels a little rough because it feels like they're exfoliating in preparation for moisturising, but the little ones do love snuggling up to a nice soft towel.

The most simple and natural fabric softener is of course, the Star of all natural cleaning concoctions- white vinegar.

Directions:
Add 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to the machine during the final rinse cycle

Easy and truly works wonders.

For a homemade natural laundry detergent recipe see this past post.


For directions and information about strip washing cloth nappies see this previous post.


May all your washing days be blessed with warm sunshine and a cool breeze.

xo m.