The northern hemisphere gave us a mild winter this year, which made school runs all the more bearable. Juggling two children between school, naps and extra activities ment I spend most of my life in the car. As my hushand calls it, my second home, and bigger handbag. Yes, I really do spend that many hours driving around, which I can say is not doing my environment any good. So you can imagine how excited I got as the summer approached, knowing that I would get at little break form a least one run of the day.
Well summer is here, and 1 week into the school holidays, reality has began to set in. Yes, I no longer have to do the daily drives and pick ups while trying to coordinate mr 10mths nap and gentle transfer into his car seat hoping he stays asleep for the quick drive to school and back. No, that is no longer something I have to worry about. What I have now is school holidays. Hours that need to be filled with entertainment, projects and lots of talk for the next 3 months before school starts again.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and I enjoy spending time with them, but as a work from home, stay home mum, with a no TV policy for young minds, this means keeping two little ones busy from 7am-7pm, with very little time to get any of my work done. So It’s been a week which has felt like a month, we have relaxed, free ranged, de stressed from the routine of regular school, and now we are ready to conquer the summer. To keep you busy this week, you can have a go at the paint project. We love to paint. This is fantastic for ages 9 months – adult! Make sure that you stay next to your infants and toddlers as non toxic does not meant its ok to eat. And we know how much they like to eat EVERYTHING! this project was designed to keep both my children busy at the same time, but also help them work on their hand eye coordination, and concentration.
Soo here are the list of things we used
- non toxic paints ( red, yellow, blue, white) is all you will need as you can make secondary colours from them
- non toxic fabric paint
- paint brushers
- rolls of paper
- Plain tee from goodwill
- Old news paper
- paint rollers
- bowl of warm soapy water
- old rag tea towel
For 9months and up
- start by placing old news paper on table. Dinning tables are good as you can set infants in high chair to work.
- Mix paint for additional colours, you can put paint in the cups of egg carton ( a tip I learnt form the Wilson family) or place them in plastic paint cups, or compostable paper plates.
- cut a large amount of paper from roll. Tape paper to news paper
- Secure infant in high chair close to table and let them go wild
For 4 yrs and up
- on same table at least an arm reach and half away from any other arms, mix fabric paint. Place on paper plate
- Place folded news paper inside T shirt
- place roller in white paint first, roll excess paint off on news paper and roll over tee shirt. Continue the same steps till you have cover the area you wish to paint
- Next wash roller in warm soapy water and dry with rag cloth.
- Next choose another colour till you have completed your art.
- Place aside to dry.
- once paint is dried, tee is ready to wear.
- Wash like normal.
Have fun with it and tag me in your FB and Instgram pics of your end results!
So like everything else in my life, I am obsessive about what goes into my body. I am very limited with my breakfast these days, as I am always pressed for time (professional procrastinator) , so I like to know that I can eat something healthy and small whiles juggling an infant and child, my house, and work.
A little history. In 2005, I came across a little white book, issued by green peace to help you buy foods which were GM free. I was shocked to find that both my favorite go to breakfast cereals were in the red. So began my journey to GMO free eating and introduction to the organic life. Any way, lets just say I found a new love for muesli and porridge, with the regular sunday treat of homemade pancakes.
As the time went on, I spent more money on toasted muesli than I’d care to think about and all the while wishing they would put less sugar, or more nuts, or just give me more for what I was paying. Over time they ingredients got better but so did the price increase. Healthy eating was in and at a hefty price.
I was never satisfied with the ingredients and wanted more of a zoe friendly version. Just to remind you, the zoe friendly version would consist of the following:
low GI, low sugar, high protein ( up to 10g per serve), high fiber, dairy free, wheat free, Organic, GMO free, preservative free, high anti oxidant, pesticide free. That is not asking for much, right?
In 2011 we moved to the States, and that is when it all changed! Toasted muesli did not exists, at least not the way I knew it. I found the granola very sweet and limited in almost all things Zoe friendly. That is when I re introduced myself to the bulk bin. I have not looked back since.
Zoe Friendly Homemade Muesli
You will need the following
1 mixing spatula
2 baking trays
ingrediants: all organic if possible
4 cups of rolled oats
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1 1/2 cup cashews
1 cup pepita seeds
1 cup flaxseed/linseeds
6 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
3 Tbsp real maple syrup (grade b)
alternative for nuts – peanuts, brazilian nuts, pecans, hazelnut, sunflower seeds
alternative for cranberries – rasins, sultana, dried blueberries, dried cherries, chopped dried apricots
alternative for maple – honey, agave
alternative for oil – coconut oil
Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Next add 3 Table spoons of olive all or your alternative oil. Next add your molasses, followed by the remainder of your oil. Now add your syrup or alternative syrup. Mix it all together and place in the freezer for 5 -7 minutes. This will allow the syrup and oil to harden and leave your end result a lot crisper. Set your oven temperature at 185 – 205 degrees c or 365 – 400 degrees f. Remove mix from freezer and spread evenly on trays. Do not oil trays, do not put baking paper on trays. If you let mix in freezer in too look because you were checking your fb and now its frozen, let it stand for a few minutes to warm than spread. Place in oven. Set timer for 3 minutes. Stay off your fb! Take out after 3 minutes, fluff with fork and put back in oven for another 3 minutes, set timer again incase you ignored my fb warning. Remove after 3 minutes and fluff once more. Turn off oven and put trays back in for a final 3 minutes. Remove and let stand for about 30minutes to cool. Store in glass or BPA free container. ENJOY
In my 18yrs of being vegetarian and than vegan and than vegetarian again, than wheat free, than vegetarian lactose free eating out has been interesting. I have been fed the staple salad diet by many who think all vegetarians and vegans lived on lettuce and tomatoes, the dry baked goods with enough sugar to make you the first vegan/vegetarian with type 2 diebetes, because being vegan meant we feared moist food and need lots of sugar because the foods we like can be tasteless and soo many more.
I will be fair and say that Asian cuisines have been kind to me , both flavorsome and hearty, even when I avoided the MSG, oyster sauce, fish sauce and conola oil(because I don’t do GMO). However, one can only eat the same dishes on a regular basis before starting to want new and different; after all eating vegetarian/vegan/ vegetarian lactose free does not mean eating thai and indian only. What happens when you feel like a pizza, or banana bread, or chilli? Yes chill!
I always self explanatory that to make a vegetarian option or vegan option you just had to leave out the meat, meat products and/or dairy. EVERYTHING else stayed the same. It seems for some, I am wrong! After all how can you make a chilli if you don’t eat meat?
My quest to make awesome chilli that was naturally Zoe friendly (organic, GMO free, vegetarian, lactose free, little to no wheat) started with my visit to a cafe in down Seattle. Once again my options where limited for what I could eat. I managed to find a cafe/shop that was Zoe friendly or so I thought. My only option was a vegetarian chilli, which turned out to be a watered stock with tomatoes and some mixed beans. I felt I could do better, so I went home and did! Have a go at what I came up with and share your end result.
6-7 roma tomatoes
1/2 purple onion
2 -3 teaspoons tomato paste
4 -5 garlic cloves
3 cans of mixed beans or 4 cups of boiled mixed beans
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Tabasco chipotle or a smoked pepper sauce (organic)
Begin by chopping your onions small. You can do it chunky too if you are brave, but just remember to cook well. Next turn on the stove to mid to low setting.
1. Place the oil in the pot and add onions. Yes, I know, I know , but I like the oil to heat up with the onions so I am not leaving the oil at a high temp for longer than it needs to.
2. Next stir. Ok, so now we want to leave the onions on low heat for 5mins or till you start to see onion soften. Add tomato paste. now we can tend to washing our tomatoes.
3. Place the tomatoes in a bowl with hot water and wash. Use a veg wash if you can and a veg brush. If these items are not in your cupboard right now try bicarb soda and vinegar or lemon. These are good for taking of dirt and wax as well. Once you have finished washing your tomatoes, chop into small pieces. Don’t forget to remove any sticker labels on the tomatoes.
4. When you are finished chopping the tomatoes, add them to the pot and stir. Do not add water, or stock! Stir and cover. The steam from the pot will help build moisture in the pot so don’t panic. Cover and set stove setting to med/low
5. Next get your tofu and break apart, I like to use my hands but you can use a fork
6. Place tofu in a frying in pan and add some olive oil. Cook until light brown.
7. whiles tofu is cooking, empty cans of beans in a sieve and rinse until, thick fluid from can is removed. If you have boiled and cook your own beans. rinse the fluid from the beans.
8. Add beans to tomato Stir, making sure the tomato stew coats the beans..
9. add your tabasco chipotle or smoked pepper sauce. Don’t over do it, start small, and add to taste.Cover and lower heat
10. peel garlic and chop or crush, which ever way you like it. add to beans and tomatoes. Stir
11. Add your tofu. Stir, cover and leave for 5 – 7 mins
Serve with avocado and organic corn chips or organic corn tortillas
Eyes wide open. This post really got me thinking about how the organic farming industry has changed and where it is going to lead to in the next 5yr to 10yrs. It makes me really sad that the original purpose of organic farming is getting swallowed up by the need for bigger profits and lack of patience. I truly respect the small growers that stay true to the cause and open we all start to show more support for our local organic farmers who are also what I would consider in the agriculture business small business owners. Get to know your local organic growers by visiting organic farmers market. They have a lot to teach us.
Following on from my last guest post, The Insanity of Biotech by biochemist Paul Little, Mike Bendzela is the author of this guest post. These guest posts have been tangentially exploring similar subjects I have in my book, but in different directions; and this post explores organic farming. In S3: Science, Statistics and Skepticism, I lightheartedly tackle the naturalistic fallacy and use some bad (and funny) statistics that purposefully confuse correlation with causation, intending to teach a lesson. As I was writing the book, Mike Bendzela reached out to me with his organic story that sprouts off from that Correlation chapter, and it is a supremely informative read. (A bit long, well worth it, and you’re used to long articles from me anyway.)
Why I’m Through with Organic Farming
“It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you;
you are defiled by…
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