real life

#EPICfaiL #Vegan #parenting & #pizza

Monday was great. I was taken out for salad.

Tuesday I heated up beir rocks.

Wednesday… Epic Fail I was exhausted. Only got 3 hours of sleep. In the morning I at dolmas, a banana, and Oreos… Yes, Oreos are vegan. Then the afternoon came around. I had both kids alone… I ordered Pizza. The pasta without sauce with mushrooms, onions, and spinach for the kids.

But I ate the spinach, Feta, and mozzarella cheese bread. God, I’m paying for it. My body is achy and my stomach feels like a train is tunneling through it at full speed. My emotions are crazy strong I started to cry out of the blue. God dairy hormones are intense when you eat it for the first time in a long time.

I’m not sure why I wanted Pizza so badly. I guess the convenience won me over… a screaming one year old who had been screaming from teething pain for 4 hours straight ended my will power at about 4:45 PM.

That is one of the reasons I feel like crap right now. I spent money on things that I do not want to perpetuate… I bowed my ass over to a consumeristic mentality and took the easy way out. I could have easily tossed more beir rocks into the oven or made a salad, or any number of quick fixes like a bowl of cereal. But I didn’t.

Now I am paying for it.

So what do you do when you mess up or miss read a label or in general epic fail at being vegan?

Skinny Bitch #BookReview #Vegan

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

Okay, so I read this book a while ago. It was a good read and the whole time I listened my brain gave the authors the voice of Fran Dresher. I sidestepped the ethical issues because originally I became vegan for two reasons; a girl and my health.

It is well written, well researched and pretty funny. The book takes the approach of as the title implies, Vegan=Skinny. Now over the years, I did slim down considerably and when I dropped the Vegan lifestyle I did balloon and got really fucking sick. As in so sick, I had a bed pan sick.

How does a person who became vegan for health reasons become that sick? By ignoring food allergies and by having a genetic disease and for me at least by falling off the vegan bandwagon.

I digress, Skinny Bitch talks about nutrition and how the crap we put in out bodies on  SAD (Standard American Diet) is literally killing us. To this day the thought of drinking a diet soda ( which I never did before reading and never will after reading) makes my skin crawl and feel like I should look for a copy of arsenic and old lace.

 

Click the link to grab a copy. It is a good read if you are just going out to the VEGAN Ballpark and want to take a turn hitting the bat.

skinny bitch

 

 

Ranch Dressing #Recipe #vegan

I like Ranch Dressing. For years I have made it at home. It is a pretty simple recipe but if you don’t want to make it and want to buy it try, Follow Your Heart High Omega Vegan Ranch Salad Dressing.  It is a pretty good Ranch overall. 

On to the Recipe.

You will need:

1 cup of either Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise, or Follow Your Heart Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise, or Follow Your Heart Soy-Free Vegenaise

1/8 cup of non-dairy milk I prefer almond.

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp garlic powder (use more or less dependant on your preference.)

two small stalks of fresh dill finely minced (about a tablespoon and 1 tsp last I had fresh dill)

1 Tbsp of parsley ( I like fresh but dried will do fine)

2 tsp of dried onion powder (or if you feel fancy 1/4 of a small fresh onion grated finely)

1/4 tsp of pepper

2 stalks of chives ( one tbsp dried)

salt to taste

 

Directions

Wisk till mixed well.

Bottle and enjoy. Should keep for 2 weeks.

Can you do #VEGAN without a Blender?

Eight years ago I had a beautiful food processor and an amazing blender. Now I have neither. The food processor had a date with the floor that ended in heartbreak. Every blender I have had since then has been burned out or dropped.

I miss pecan ground “meat”, nut cheeses I make myself and the ease of making cookie dough in a food processor. Smoothies, blender pancakes, and smooth mashed potatoes… The mashers broke my last blender.

Alas, it is fucking hard to go vegan without a blender and pretty rough without a food processor… That said if my rice cooker broke today I would cry.

However, it can be done.

So scratch the hummus and smooth creamy soups off the list. Seriously just buy Trader Joes Hummus, it is worth driving an hour to buy. Cut your veggies super small and push it through a sieve if you want a smooth soup.

Stick to whole foods and forgo the transition foods altogether. Start with the basics. Learn what food tastes like. Each vegetable and each grain have a unique flavor. Can you tell the difference between ground cinnamon and ground cardamom? Can you taste the difference between a yellow summer squash and a zucchini? What is the difference between a yellow, red or white onion? There are definitely differences.

Steam up some broccoli and cauliflower. Test a few different dressings.  Steam some cashews until fork tender and then use a knife to smash them with some roasted garlic,  a little salt, and NUTCH, then add a little olive oil and whisk. It is a killer simple sauce.

You don’t have a whisk? I recommend this one.   A good whisk can do amazing things when it comes to sauces. you can use it to make ranch, chia eggs, flax eggs, suds up the water to convince the kiddo to do dishes or splatter paint all over the house (More on that in a later post.)

Now as to the giant knife in the photo… Make sure you have at least three good knives, A paring knife, a bread knife and a good larger knife. I do almost everything with the beasty in the photo. I have a teeny tiny paring knife that kiddo uses and an old but amazing bread knife. I also have two other knives that keep showing back up in my kitchen when I have put them in the donation box a few times.

My brain is a little on overdrive right now so I will get back at yall later.

Peace, Love, and Great Vibrations,

Steffi AKA Ben’s Mom

#specialneeds #parenting #coaching

I pointed proudly at the bottle of liquid soap in the bathroom. It had been a stretch to get it, normally we only used bar soap. The home visit from the nursing company was going to be a regular and frequent event. Baby boy was home from the hospital for the first time and it had been almost two months getting a nurse to the house. He was trached and on O2, the doctor expected him to have nursing within days of us being home.

Looking back on that day I feel absolutely absurd. The poor nurse wasn’t a caseworker from child protective services, though in my mind any worker who visited was treated with the same care.

So how did I survive IN-HOME nursing and people in my house for therapies, services, and drop-ins?

  • I kept the house as clean as I could.
  • I treated them like human beings.
  • I used the therapist to learn how to be a good parent and take care of my kiddo to the best of my ability.
  • I reminded myself that no matter how poor I was they were not going to take my child away because I didn’t have a new (insert consumeristic B.S. here)
  • I reminded myself that the specialist who was in my house was there to HELP ME help my child grow and develop in the LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT.

 

 

If you like what I write and want to support my son’s painting habits or life in general click HERE.

Peace Love and Great Vibrations,
 

Steffi

#parenting #coaching #Autism & getting shit done

A year ago I hung up the phone with a coach’s parting words ringing in my ears, “I don’t know how you get anything done.” My son had been screaming in the background home sick that day and Hubby had been vying for my attention because he needed help with his client. I couldn’t reschedule with the coach due to her tightly booked schedule so I plugged through the phone consult repeating myself frequently and hearing her irritation grow. I decided that when I pick a coach they need to have a kid or be the oldest in a gaggle of kids.

 

Months ago I took my son to therapy with me. My therapist’s words still ring in my ears, “You can describe something but sometimes you just have to see it to understand.”   I took him with me today because he was already having a rough morning. The day after  Christmas we didn’t open the front door at all. He, like his father, loves to be on the road and hates being cooped up anywhere. I guess she understood why I asked for weekly therapy sessions. Then again, I fired her.

SO how do I get shit done?

  • Set alarms
  • skip sleep occasionally
  • eat highly nutritious food
  • drink lots of water
  • laugh a lot
  • know that I’m not gonna get everything done… unless I skip sleep. Even then… It isn’t all gonna get done.
  • lists, lists, lists and more lists
  • visual dream boards
  • I breathe

 

If you like what I write and want to support my son’s painting habits or life in general click HERE.

Peace Love and Great Vibrations,
 

Steffi

#coaching #parenting #autism

My son is fascinated with power tools. Now he just turned seven, so on Sunday he decided to take his bed apart and proceed to show me a picture of a “loft bed closet” that he has wanted for years. It is on one of his vision boards.

I cued up youtube videos. He giggled and squealed at a few. I knew that building a bed was going to happen. At this point, I figured we needed to build something small.

With a handsaw, a drill, and an old cedar bench Ben helped me drill holes, screw in screws and watched me saw a chunk of wood. We built a town rack. Now we have a few more things to do to finish it but… It is a beginning.

Pictures to come when it is finished… Dad has the camera.

 

This is the Bed Ben wants to build. I figure Lowes will make most if not all of the cuts and between Dad, Unicorn and I we can get this thing built… We just have to figure out how to let Ben help. 🙂

Toaster Oven to the Rescue – September 8th 2012

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2012
Toaster Oven to the Rescue – September 8th 2012
My poor oven met its match. I used the electric timer one too many times and pushed the control paneling into the oven. The repairman said at this point it is best to replace it so as of now I am without an oven. However, two of the burners on the range still work. Apparently. I killed the burners by using the wok, pressure cooker and dutch-oven.

My oven has been dead for about two weeks now and I have fared okay. I have a toaster-oven.

The Baking Successes.
It makes beautiful banana bread, beautiful sandwich bread, delicious zucchini bread and great corn bread. All of the times had to be adjusted a bit but it worked. I successfully roasted root veggies and made a few casseroles.

The Baking Failures
I made three chocolate cakes every one of them failed spectacularly. One was the consistency of chocolate pudding, one was like a watery lava cake and one was as tough as a brick. I also attempted to bake beans in the toaster oven. I’ve had success when in the dutch oven in the big oven but after soaking overnight and baking for 3 hours at 450F they were still rock hard. I ended up tossing them in the crock-pot to make black bean soup.

The Surprise
i.e. No One Thought This Would Work Ever In A Million Years
I successfully baked a pumpkin, quartered and wrapped in foil for 2 hours at 450F.
I also made a very tasty spaghetti squash, whole wrapped in foil and baked for 2 1/2 hours at 450F.
Butternut squash is best cooked whole and seeded once it cools. 1 1/2 he at 400F.
Acorn squash is best halved and seeded then wrapped in foil for 90 minutes at 400F then stuffed with a warmed stuffing and baked again at 350F for 20 minutes.

 

** I miss my toaster oven. It died gracefully with a chocolate cake in it in March of 2013. **

raw oat – mess no more – cookies

9-8-12 raw oat mess no more cookies…

He loves raw oats. I’m not complaining but wow do they make a mess. A few years ago I decided to try and come up with a raw oat delivery system on a tight budget that would meet 4 requirements.

1. Ben would eat it
2. It was high in nutrients
3. It didn’t have a lot of sugar
4. It did not get scattered all over the floor while Ben tried to eat it.

He loved these cookies.

2 cups raw gluten free oats
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp sunflower seed butter
2 diced figs
2 tbsp coconut yogurt or coconut milk

Mix all ingredients together and form into balls/bars/cookies.

Butterfly’s Kiss #Poetry

A butterfly’s kiss is a terrible beauty to behold.
When the heat has abated.
Life will never be the same.

A truthful lovers kiss
passed and forgotten
till now…

A gentile touch
a soul arriving
kissed through the skin.

A quickening
truth dawns while the lover is gone
a new existences origin.

The cycle begins anew.

The butterfly lays its eggs
full of souls to be.
Hatch the caterpillars do
to eat
to ponder the life
the future body they will hold.

Fat satiated and contemplative
each a chrysalis to weave
metamorphosis begins.

Within its bed it will think again of life
to begin anew in search of fertile female
to bestow its soul.

Dedicated to Robin.