Category Archives: whole foods

Tabloids (and motherhood)

tabloids-blog

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. M is actually home all day (he works Friday and Saturday nights… as well as full-time Monday through Friday) and I am well rested and eager for errands etc.

This morning, V slept in until 7:30. Holy God, was I ever happy! I spent all day yesterday at Epcot and was totally exhausted last night. How people come to Florida and spend days at the parks, I will never know…

Good sleep, check! V sleeping in, check! And a planned trip to Whole Foods (which is pretty much my Mecca). How could it get any better! Not only that, but at Whole Foods, I found Gluten-free chicken nuggets by my favorite kids food brand Happy Baby. Totally organic, wheat-free and not only that, but it doesn’t taste like crap. Bliss. I practically skipped through the checkout and drove home on a cloud, sort of ala Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

M was awake when I got home, happily taking V from my arms and leaving me free to go to the gym. My other favorite thing about Sundays. For some reason, Saturdays never work for that. Too many things going on, I guess.

Shorts and headband on, ipod clipped to tank-top and Melissa’s latest podcast uploaded, I happily tra-la-la’ed off to the gym to spend some quality time with my favorite treadmill.

About halfway through my treadmill routine, someone else entered the gym, asked me if it was OK if they put on the TV and hopped on the elliptical trainer. She skipped around until she found one of those ‘Forbes 15 Hottest Celebrity Moms’ and about 30 seconds into the program, I was seriously annoyed.

Let me see if I can explain why… or perhaps you already know?

I hate seeing motherhood displayed like this on national TV. I hate even more pairing it up with Forbes, as if to say “very clever people who are associated with Forbes clearly think hot celebrity mums are headline worthy’. And most importantly, I hate that they continuously ‘show’ regular mums how easy it is!

Parenthood is a piece of cake! No problem! You can easily have 3 kids, lose that post-preggo weight instantaneously. Head back to work 6 weeks postpartum… no problem! Because you love your job that much…

Puh-lease…

30 minutes of watching all about these hawt celebrity mums and I was ready to throw up. Personal chefs, 1-3 nannies a household, chauffeurs, personal trainers…. how on earth can us regular mums complete with that?

It is pretty much all that is in the tabloids, on the entertainment news shows and screaming out at you from every magazine cover.

“How Sarah-Jessica manages 3 kids”

“A peek inside Brangelina’s crazy household”

Ah! I can’t even continue to think of examples. So annoying.

If I could also have a personal chef, trainer, a few nannies, an extremely rewarding job that puts me pleasantly in the public eye (like, oh, famous museum curator, award winning blogger, novelist….) I am sure that I would not be that concerned about how much sleep I was getting.

Or about how to handle V’s wheat and peanut allergies by yourself without consulting with a nutritionist, allergist or personal chef. Or how to afford it as well.

And other exciting things like how to manage working full-time and still finding time to look for new daycare, since the in-home daycare that you used went into foreclosure and the owners are not returning your call (V was home with Daddy all summer, since M is a teacher and our attempts to return to the facility we were using before has been met with, well, with resistance, random hang-ups when calls are attempted and some gibberish from husband about how his wife will call us right back. Right)

I bet J.Lo isn’t worrying about that. And neither is Victoria Beckham. Bastards.

I am sure that these women work hard at whatever their jobs are. I don’t care. At all.

I am both fascinated and tired by seeing them in magazines. Mostly tired though. It makes it too easy for women to look at themselves while reading these ‘stories’, compare themselves and, well, maybe feel like they should be doing things different. Or losing more weight. Or having a fancier nursery. Or be happier about returning to work (and let me remind my fellow Canadians that we only get 12 weeks down here in the ‘Sauth’). It never is a happy thing to head back to work while your first born is 10 weeks old (like mine was). Especially when you hand him off to someone that now, a year later, turns out to be the worst choice ever. And maybe someone who is a lying, Jesus-obsessed psycho… This might be a bit of an exaggeration. But since I now hate the daycare lady….. don’t care…

Oh how marvelous it would be to pick and choose your work hours and schedule. Personal chef/trainer. Nanny. Ahhh.

Magazines, can you please give us regular women a break?! We frankly have neither the time, energy or fortune to compete with the women you feature. Or the inclination. We are too tired from lack of sleep and busy toddlers…

We have no time to read your magazines… we are too busy chasing our kids around, multitasking clever and healthy meals (without a personal chef) and trying to find time to fit in the gym.

Like we are apparently supposed to… Ah..bastards…

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Filed under annoying, celebrity, cloud nine, cooking, epic, glorious, happy, havoc, health, Holy Grail, holy mother, Love, Orlando, parenting, peanuts, public, The South, Toddlers, Uncategorized, West Coast, what the?, wheat, whole foods

Wheat

wheat-blog

Now that we have moved completely away from formula in the last few months and well into the land of Dairy, we are going further than that.

As you may or may not know, V is allergic to Wheat and Peanuts. I capitalize them because it is necessary. I need to take notice of all things Wheat and Peanuts in his (and our) world. They are Important. Especially the Peanuts. Peanuts are a super huge issue. A ‘turn his face red and hot to the touch’ issue. Wheat is an issue, not as severe, but one that still necessitates careful monitoring.

So we have embraced a Gluten-free lifestyle for Little Man. I know we will eventually for us as well, but haven’t yet. Wheat=Bad

We decided to try and integrate it into his diet to see how his more mature system reacts to it. Perhaps, since it’s been almost a year since we discovered the issue, his little body would have developed a tolerance to it? That’s what we were hoping anyways. And our Pediatrician agreed that it was a good idea, done in moderation that is.

So we started introducing Wheat Chexs as we felt that it would be the safest . A few during breakfast and dinner…carefully monitoring his reaction day by day.

It took about 12 days before a reaction showed up. Itchy red cheeks and dry skin patches on upper back. Total wheat reaction. However, he went almost 2 weeks before anything really showed up. This is a bonus!! Before it used to be instantaneously!

So based on this, I feel confident that gentle steps towards increasing the amount of Wheat will gradually improve his tolerance. And as he gets older, just imagine, he might even be able to eat a piece of toast. Or a piece of pizza. Or cake. The types of ‘pieces’ he could eat… oh my brain goes wild at the thought…

And then I grow sad at the thought that my bi-monthly trips to Whole Foods would be eliminated…

It’s a double-edged sword.

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Filed under allergies, awesomeness, dream, family, food, health, Orlando, parenting, peanuts, sanity, The South, Uncategorized, wheat, whole foods

WME

happybaby-blog

I got home today thinking that things were pretty much in order….

Sped home, picked up V, dashed to Publix and got home at a reasonable time. 6 pm. Not too shabby!

Dinner preparations began. First some peas….

I heated them up, cooled them off a little, walked over to him and slowly spilled them onto his highchair top. He giggled. I guess the sight of all those peas rolling around was quite funny.

Peas are his new favorite vegetable to eat whole. He happily picks them off his tray and stuffs them into his little mouth. During this stuff-in time, I add some cubed Edam cheese while I heat up a veggie pattie in the microwave.

My new favorite foods for him are from *surprise* WholeFoods! I know thats a huge shocker… But they do have the best gluten/wheat free selection I have found in town, and also have an interesting selection of gluten-free toddler food.

My current favorite? HappyBaby‘s HappyBites. The veggie-tots are what are currently swinging around our kitchen…

I cooled the veggie-tot down on the counter, pick ed it up and hand delivered it to V’s table, to his apparent delight.

One piece in. No problem. And chewed to evident delight.

Number 2 hit that little mouth and the screams that issued after could seriously have woken the dead. I spun around, only to see V clawing at his little mouth.

Oh. My. God.

I quickly figured out that it was just too hot for that tender little palate. I swear I temperature tested it before hand…. bad mummy. I felt so horrible. That little face was so red and those little eyes were clenched shut. I did an ‘extraction’…. which means that I scooped that little mess right out of his mouth. Oh man. There was a hidden chunk of potato that was hotter than everything else. Oh that poor little mouth…

But problem solved… he has such a good temperament that he quickly moved past it and went on to stuff something else in there. Oh great. Same thing. Veggie tots. Hot.

Scream. Wail. Shriek. Claw at face. Turn red. Awesome.

By this time I was almost crying myself…. more mad at myself than anything. How could I have missed that piece that was slightly hotter than everything else? So much for my temperature testing skills…..

And then…..*sigh* it happened again.

Clearly I can’t tell temperature at all. Seriously!

This time it was so hot that those little chubby fists shook with frustration while those finger tried to claw everything out of that mouth.

Again, how did I miss this. Or was it just hot enough that, piled on top of the other hot things it pushed everything over the limit.

I felt awful. AWFUL.

Bad mummy. I completely checked everything temperature-wise…. perhaps I just…. oh… I don’t know…. I still feel awful. I gave him some ice-cream to cool that little mouth of his down. We brushed his teeth and off he went to bed.

Worst Mummy Ever. Total WME event. Embarrassingly enough, on top of all of this I felt the need to share this with random Internet-slash-family.

Clearly I am just looking for punishment…

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Filed under bed-time, boys, epic, family, Florida, health, holy mother, icecream, Love, Mummy, parenting, patience, peas, sanity, The South, tired, whole foods

Brick-like

bricks-blog

I just got a chunk of waffle tossed into my hair.

Since this is not breakfast-time, I know you are surprised. I was.

It was unearthed in Chewies Dog-bed (which really is a cat-bed. Even though he’s a dog). Chewie has this tendency to bury things he won’t eat in his little bed.  I just found it a few minutes ago and thought it was funny. Ever since M became ‘Mr Mum’ I have found a lot of random bits of food all over the house.

Now part of it might be that we are doing a lot of ‘wheat-free’ cooking. Tapioca bread and wheat-free waffles. Tapioca bread does not toast well. If you make it golden brown, that actually means ‘brick’ in the language of toast.

And M is such a good Mr Mum. He toasts things to perfection, a lovely golden-brown. Which might make for deliciousness in our wheat-filled world. But actually means ‘cobble my sidewalk with your toast pieces’ in the land of the wheat-free.

I have accidentally stepped on it. I know. It is as hard as a m-f’er.

Apparently Chewie is not interested in our new wheat-free life-style. In the evenings, when I am home and M is off at his summer evening job of serving…. I find little morsels in corners of all the rooms. Waffles in the living-room. Biscuits in the bedroom. Toast everywhere. Chewie hates toast. Well, wheat-free toast anyways.

At least, this wheat -free toast. I think he would have liked what V was eating in Canada. We needed a dog in Canada to clean up the mess V made.

So, unbeknowest to V, wheat-free sucks. It sucks as even the dog won’t eat it.

And then, Chewie did something that surprised me. In retrospect though, it shouldn’t have.

He ate the waffle. So I guess, in hindsight, it wasn’t that bad. I just wish M hadn’t thrown it at me first……

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Filed under allergies, amazing!, annoying, breakfast, epic, health, holy mother, Mad skills, Morning, Mummy, parenting, patience, random, Summer of Dad, Uncategorized, what the?, whole foods

Dedication

dedication-blog

Shopping at Whole Foods the other day (I might as well add them as a sponser I am there so much) looking for peanut butter substitutes.

See if you can follow my logic here. Peanut-butter substitutes are mostly for people who are allergic to peanuts. Correct? Or for people who have wide and adventurous palates… perhaps?

OK, so lets say we swing with the allergy folks, we know there are lots of you out there. If you are like me, you read the ingredients because just saying that it’s peanut-free on the label is not enough for me. I need to check and see for myself. When I see things like…. oh…. I don’t know, perhaps an addition-slash-warning on a label that says something like “Made in a facility that uses machinery that also processes peanut products“….

DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!!

Seriously…. I am disappointed in you. Why would I let my child eat a product that quite potentially has come in contact with something he is really allergic to? Do you think I am stupid? Or perhaps you think I don’t read?

This was what I noticed as I carefully perused the ‘nutbutter’ selection at Whole Foods. I know there are sunflower butters and soy nut butters. Yes, yes… I know all about these…. but what I am looking for is something that actually tastes good.

A few months ago I bought soynut butter. The first few tastes were pretty good. V even liked it!

It makes me gag. For real. There is an awful after-taste of soynuts that, it turns out, make me heave even thinking about it. AND I like roasted soynuts. Just something about the butter, I guess. And looking at the sunflower butter made me think similar things. I like sunflower seeds. I don’t want them to be ruined for me too.

And that is when I started thinking about hazelnuts, almonds and other yummy nuts. Especially hazelnuts. Hazelnut butter sounds divine.

Guess what? All the brands that Whole Foods stocked were all processed in plants that also process peanuts. So thats the end of that.

I left sooooo mad. Not at Whole Foods, but at the brands out there that aren’t looking at the whole picture. You can take the step to branch out to an area that you will have success in, but are incapable of seeing beyond that little area.

Dedicated factories man…. now thats what I am talking about. Come on, be ballsy…… take that next step….

To read about a family being nut-free (and egg-free), check this out. It certainly is interesting to read about what a family with a pretty serious situation does. My kudos to them for find new and interesting ways to make it work with little kids…

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Filed under allergies, annoying, Florida, parenting, patience, peanuts, whole foods

Canadian Training

training-blog

V is currently sleeping with blankets. I am calling this ‘training for Canada’ as it is not as warm as it is down here in Florida. Let’s face it….. nothing is….

I even bought him long pajamas for those ‘harsh Canadian summers’ (as M terms it). But it IS cooler!

AND I even bought him shoes. Shoes that fit (although one pair looks ridiculously large on those little fat feet). There was no way that we were flying into another country with my child barefoot. And also no way that I would be paying $25 for a pair of baby-crocs. It’s bad enough that I spent $25 on a metal water bottle. I can use that forever. But $25 on a pair of shoes that, let’s face it, will only last him 10 days is hard to handle….

The reason I was looking at Crocs is that they apppeared to a sort of ‘multitasking shoe’ and I am all over the multitasking idea. Sort of a summer*slash*winter (in FL, that is)with socks shoe, that won’t suddenly not fit him overnight (because of the heel strap, I am thinking). But $25? I think not. I almost got sucked into the ‘Whole Foods’ web of entrapment on Saturday…. I managed to walk past the expensive water bottles (because lord knows I couldn’t excuse a second one) and walked right into the baby-Crocs aisle. But I resisted…. stayed strong….  I would have been laughed at forever if I returned from Whole Foods with another expensive purchase.

Blankets…. check!

Shoes….. check!

He is now conditioned for those rough Canadian summers. He wears shoes like a champ and can snuggle with blankets like a pro…

He is on a Maple syrup diet too, and smells deliciously sweet all the time. I really could lick his little cheeks everytime I smell the syrup on him. Such a delicious way for small children to smell. And taste.

Just wait until he tries it on Nanna’s wheat-free pancakes…. And she gets a whiff of that delicious smell on his cubby little face. She will lose herself in love with him just like I am…..

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Filed under Canada, family, parenting, Uncategorized, West Coast, whole foods

Charles Schultz

peanuts-blog

This morning I took a trip to Whole Foods. Have I mentioned before that it’s my favorite place ever? Well, if you didn’t know that, you do know.

I love Whole Foods. I would move in there and set up a tent in the produce section. I went there this morning without makeup and also pre-shower and not only that but my hair was barely brushed. V, of course, looked immaculate and flirted with all of the ladies.

And of course in the state I was in, I randomly ran into an old co-worker I hadn’t seen in a year and a half. That is just the way that Life throws it these days. Good times.

So as you may know from previous posts, V has some allergy issues. Wheat and peanuts. They are sort of mid-range in strength. According to my pediatrician the peanut allergy is ‘partially my fault’ as I ate too many peanut m&m’s post-preggo. I 50-50 believe this. I did eat a lot of peanut m&m’s. A LOT. But whether it’s totally my fault or whether he would have had allergies anyways? Who knows.

Anyways, it was easy-peasey to deal with when he was young, but as he gets older it gets trickier. Toast, sandwiches, cookies, cake, pizza, chips, sauces, fast-food etc etc. Wheat is my enemy. Sometimes it’s hard not to get frustrated with it all. A few weeks ago, one of the girls at daycare wanted to share her cookie with V and did it behind Ginette’s back. A few hours later, his face broke out in an awful rash. *Sigh*

Anyways, Whole Food’s has a Gluten Free section that I am all over. Today I found cookies, cookies kinda like Oreos, but gluten-free. Awesome. And cereal, sadly though it was made in a factory that also processed peanuts so that’s a no-go as far as I am concerned. Dedicated factories are the way to go baby!

When I find things like this, it makes me feel like I can bring some kind of normalcy to V’s diet. Make it less of a ‘big deal’ to feed him a meal or organize lunches for him. I totally high-five myself (mentally) and am pretty sure that no-one is as excited as I am to find gluten-free mac and cheese and tapioca bread. But I expect you to be. Just so you know.

With his 1st birthday on my mind, birthday parties weigh heavily on me.  I keep thinking about the years to come, his little friends and the dietary issues that will arise at sleep-overs, sports events, parties etc etc.

Challenging is not even the right word to describe it. Even more so with his Italian background. How will he enjoy Great-Grandma’s lasagna or eggplant parm? Or even Gramma’s? I have a feeling that rice-lasagna noodles either don’t exist or aren’t as good. Man.

So anyways, from time to time there will be more allergy related posts. I am fascinated by wheat and peanut allergies, dedicated factories and gluten free products. It’s quite interesting.

Anyone with interesting tips on sites with products that are wheat and peanut free, or allergy info in general…. I am looking for more sites, info, blogs, anything…. please email me with any info.

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Filed under allergies, Mummy, parenting, peanuts, Uncategorized, whole foods

Licked clean

Imagine me with tapioca bread, soy-nut butter and grape jely.... yum!

Imagine me with tapioca bread, soy-nut butter and grape jelly.... yum!

So as V gets older, and as we get closer to his first birthday I am increasingly challenged by what to feed him. And this is complicated by his wheat and peanut allergies and my determination to not let him eat any baby ‘meat’ product (disgusting). And to add to the whole mess, I work full time, my husband works 2 jobs and finding time to make homemade food is tricky.

So this last week V had been eating a lot of ‘broccoli, cheese and carrots’ Gerber stage 3 jarred food at daycare. Pretty much it’s that or ‘green beans and rice’, or ‘green beans, corn and rice’. Those are the only stage 3 foods that do not contain wheat, wheat pasta or some kind of meat. Limited, eh?

The wheat allergy is challenging. There is a very limited selection of snacks that are wheat free and I pretty much have found all of them. But the few that that he likes are getting tired, and I am looking for new things.

And that is why Whole Foods and I are best friends. Huge selection of wheat free breads and other things (pasta etc). I found soy-nut butter which tastes pretty good. A little soy aftertaste, but yummy. The website is awesome and has some interesting info on allergies and other products. Check it out…

Today we tried tater-tots and ground beef. Hilarious. M came to me in the bathroom, while I was giving V his evening bath and showed me the dinner preparations.

“Never has a tater-tot been cooked with such skill and tenderness. I treated it like it was a T-Bone”, he proudly told me as he carried it back into the kitchen.

Clean and pj-clad we returned to the kitchen for dinner.

It was the quietest meal that he has ever eaten. We put it all on his high-chair and let him feed himself and didn’t hear a peep. Well, I heard a few “Mmmmmmmmmmm’s “, but that was all. And the tray was practically licked clean. Tater-tots and ground beef were a hit.

Tomorrow we are hitting some tapioca toast with soy-nut butter. Ener-G is the best brand that I have found so far for yummy tasting bread-substitutes,

Any thoughts from other mums out there on good, easy meal ideas? I am really on the look-out for easy meal and treat ideas…

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Filed under allergies, parenting, tatertots, Uncategorized, whole foods

Google or I am tired on Saturday night

I dyed Easter Easter eggs for the first time in maybe 25 years.

I did not make these...

I did not make these...

I am tired.

What?!

What?!

Whole Foods is a crack-like addiciton.

Whole food google result

Whole Foods google result

People are too excited about eating yogurt.

How ‘Hannah Montana The Movie’ got the tag “best movie of the year’ I will never know

Pre-Hannah Montana sweet mullet

Pre-Hannah Montana sweet mullet

And a lovely website I found while google-ing ‘Billy Rae Cyrus mullet’….. this might be the oddest thing ever. Be sure to read their ‘FAQ’s’. You will learn sooooooo much

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Filed under busy, fancy, Mad skills, random, Uncategorized, whole foods

Nag Champa


Whole Foods smells like Canada, or at least that’s what I thought when I walked in there this afternoon.

I was working in Winter Park yesterday and today, and didn’t know that there was one right around the corner from my office. I just about caused an accident when I saw it on my way to Publix. Who wants to go to Publix when they can go to Whole Foods instead?!

I grabbed a basket and strolled the aisles looking at expensive olives, organic grainy things, fancy mustard, really smelly cheeses and other lovely things.

But what reminded me of Canada was walking into the Health Food section. I took a deep breath and exhaled more relaxed than I had been in a while. Somehow that combination of vitamins, incense and essential oils took me back to Johnson Street in downtown Victoria. And then over to Chinatown, where I mentally strolled down FanTan Alley and stopped at that lovely bakery on the other side of the alley and bought a few red bean buns. And then went for some peanut satay at Ferris’s Oyster Bar (since closed I believe). And then over to Market Square where I bought some mini donuts, looked at second-hand clothing and then went into BeadWorld.

I emerged 20 minutes later with a bunch of organic baby food, and a really expensive steel water bottle (which apparently I justified by the fact that I will never buy bottled water again now that I have this fancy water bottle…..right…..).

And a pear.

It was a really good pear.

Perhaps the best I have ever had.

M has already requested that I not be allowed to shop there by myself…..
And to be honest, I am not sure if I trust myself….. I mean really…. did I really need a $25 water bottle? No…… So did I deserved the small lecture I got yesterday about being a little more frugal? Probably….

My new water bottle is really sweet though…. AND I didn’t buy any water today

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Filed under pears, whole foods