Fast Times

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I’m in the middle of a weeklong  Master Cleanse fast and just realized I have spent the last half-hour browsing recipes for golden lentil soup. I guess this would be a good time to collect my thoughts and feelings about how this fast is going so far. Time to refocus the mind!

Although this fast has become trendy among a certain celeb set, I first heard of the cleanse eleven years ago when it was still something only the crunchy hippies in our circle of friends were doing. And I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.

After watching my husband go through the, um, process for a week, I decided to give it a try. While it’s true that you can lose a fair amount of weight (mostly water and…some other stuff), that wasn’t my primary motivation. I had just had my second miscarriage and was feeling pretty down about it. We had been trying for years and just couldn’t make it stick. When I heard about the cleanse I thought it might help me “clean out the pipes” so to speak, set the right conditions for trying to conceive again.

I should mention here that going into my first cleanse I was a stone-cold caffeine junky. I could easily have 6-8 cups of coffee a day. It really bothered me to feel so enslaved to something. I knew it would be hard to give it up for the fast, but I also knew that I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t really need it. Continue reading »

Don’t Eat That Shirt

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IMG_0004Keeping growing kids clothed can be a full-time job. I just love getting hand-me-downs for our kids. We are lucky to have good friends whose two boys, ages seven and nine, keep my four-year-old clothed in cool threads for much of the year. But what you can’t find at consignment shops or other second-hand stores, you just have to break down and buy.

My son, having gone through a recent growth spurt, seems to have no pants that actually come down to his ankles. Fleece capri pants on a four-year-old boy? Not a good look. So, on our way home from an appointment yesterday, we noticed that a local Gap store was having a major pre-spring sale. Since saving money comes in second only to saving the planet when it comes to our purchases, we decided to see what we could find.

Well not long after we set foot inside the store, my son found some t-shirts with superhero themes that he just…had…to have. What kid his age wouldn’t go for a batman t-shirt with built-in cape? I mean, come on. I almost wanted one for myself. [Future DIY project: make t-shirt that reads “BatMom”.]

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Turning Over a New Leaf

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My daily smoothie

Deciding to eat better at the flip of the calendar to a new year is cliche, I know. But it’s become so for a reason. The older I get the more I realize that there is less time left for me to become the person I want to become (a healthy and fit one) and live the life I want to live (running around after my kids and actually keeping up with them). Maybe turning 42 recently has jumpstarted this desire. Or perhaps it’s having just had my third child and finding it three times more difficult to get back to my healthy self than it did with my first two babies. Hmmm, probably both.

These days with our household so busy and my sleep so scattered, I’ve been working in triage mode. Feeling hungry? Grab whatever you can shove down in the five minutes you get to yourself. Need exercise? Push the stroller as you run (in a completely stressed-out manner) the six blocks to school with the other two in tow trying desperately not to be late. While that second one works in a pinch, the stress of the rush in the mornings likely cancels out any benefit of the sprint down the street. Sometimes we’re in such a rush that I leave without even eating anything. And as a breastfeeding mama, that leaves two of us really unhappy.

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Putting a Spin on Dinnertime Disasters

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My first frittata!

Until the seventh month of my pregnancy with my first child, I had been a vegetarian. That means I ate no meat for much of my adult life. It also means that as a thirty-three-year-old woman who hadn’t eaten chicken since she was sixteen, and who had never eaten fish growing up (unless you count frozen fish sticks, and I don’t), I had no clue what to do with either.

While I’m still not keen on preparing birds with bones— I know, I know, if I’m going to eat it I ought to be authentic, but I just can’t go there—I will readily cook the boneless, skinless variety. Over the years I’ve amassed quite a few chicken recipes, but after awhile, one can only eat so much chicken—no matter how it’s prepared.

In an attempt to mix things up a bit, I resolved last year to introduce more fish (sustainable, low mercury varieties) into our weekly meal rotations. The problem is, though, I have even less expertise when it comes to cooking fish than I did when I started eating chicken again. For some reason, fish really intimidates me. It could have something to do with the time my husband and I went to dinner with our friends Guy and Kym to this fancy-pants restaurant in Berkeley,CA. Kym, who is a worldly sort, ordered a fish entree. When her dinner arrived it looked as if it were poised to swim upstream. On the plate was no mere fillet—it was the whole fish, complete with scales and eyes. So, Kym, my well-traveled friend, sent the plate back in horror and ordered something else. The way I see it, if Kym couldn’t handle fish, then I’m really in the deep end. Maybe the key is to not attempt to eat or to cook a fish that’s staring you down.

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