Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cleansing Cole Slaw

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ― Hippocrates

Don’t you just love summer? Even if you’re busy with work and family, the long, warm days make everything seem just a bit more relaxed and laid back. One of my favorite things about the season is the abundance and variety of produce that nature gifts us with.  The possibilities for flavorful and nourishing dishes are endless.  I like to take old favorites that are traditionally less than healthful and re-imagine them as delicious and nutritious dishes for my family to enjoy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hide It Under a Tree? Oh, No!

There's an old song I like to sing and the lyrics go like this: 

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."

Ten gentle words wrapped in a simple tune, easy to learn and fun to sing.  Yet, we shouldn't underestimate the truth and power they contain.  We are, each of us, born with a light that makes us a unique expression of life, unlike anyone who ever was or ever will be.  That spark is easiest to see in babies and small children. The wonder in the eyes, the immense delight found in small things, the utter lack of self-consciousness.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

From Little Things, Big Things Grow

I’m a multi-tasker. And not just because, as a mom and business person, I need to be.  I actually really love taking an action that results in multiple benefits. It’s like bargain shopping, only instead of saving money on things, I’m investing time that brings big rewards into my life.

One of my favorite “bonus buys” is container gardening. With the most minimal of materials, I get so much value. My children and I choose our containers, fill them with organic soil and plant seeds for yummy veggies we will all enjoy. But, just like on the late-night infomercials, there’s much, much more.  You see, while we are elbow-deep in the cool brown soil, we talk about the day’s events, or a book we’re reading, or what we plan to do in the future. Somehow, our worries and small grievances meld with the bits of earth that slide between our fingers, and we feel renewed and replenished through our work. By nurturing the seedlings with the regular watering and tending they require, my children learn, in a very concrete way, that their actions matter. And when we harvest and eat the fruits of our labor, not only are we getting fresh, organic food that nurtures our bodies, but we also feel the connection between the workings of nature and what ends up on our plates.

Need more convincing? How about this. Instead of sitting in front of a screen and engaging in virtual activities, my children go outdoors, breathe fresh air, get the benefits of sunlight and move their bodies in real space.  Remember that healthy habits are best started in childhood, so if you don’t want to grow your very own couch potatoes, get your children up and out of the house early and often.

One of the easiest ways to get started is to plant carrots. Here’s how.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Waste Not, Want Not

I have a certain fondness for animals. Not just the cute and cuddly ones - I love them all. One of my favorites is the dung beetle. These prehistoric-looking little troopers spend their entire lives searching for, collecting, eating and living in dung. They even use it for reproducing. In fact, the beetle is so compelled by the odor of manure, he will fly up to 10 miles in search of just the right variety. Nature is a funny and surprising force, isn't it? If you've never seen a dung beetle rolling around his ball of waste, here's a little treat for you.

Like the beetle, people spend a lot of time pushing poo around.