Tag Archive | "organic family"

I have become my grandma

I love my Nana. She is loving and kind and generous and wonderful in so many ways.

She is also 44 years older than I, which is why this personal metamorphosis is a bit shocking.

But there really is a lot of wisdom to be learned from our elders, isn’t there? Not just life experiences, or world perspective, but also how our grandparents organize their days.

And, how our grandparents have a weekly menu.

You know what I am talking about — if it is Monday, it must be meatloaf for dinner, Tuesday chicken, Wednesday Italian, etc., etc. Bor-ing. Who wants to eat meatloaf every.single.Monday. for the rest of your life? How could that even be satisfying? Can’t you just insert endless jokes into this scenario?

Ha. Not so funny anymore. I have a weekly dinner menu. And lunch menu. And even breakfast menu.

And I l.o.v.e. our weekly menu. Seriously. It has changed my food world.

The kids complain less. We waste less. I spend less. We eat out less. I go to the market less. We are bored less. And, I don’t stress about what to cook.

I started the weekly menu because I was tired of the kids complaining about meals – “sandwiches again?” “This is gross!” “We never eat what I like!” and the ever nagging question of, “what’s for dinner?” Does that happen at your house?

I have never been a short order cook, but the kids were welcome to make a pb&j if the meal offerings were not to their liking. But, golly, sometimes I’d make a meal, and only my husband and I would be eating it! That is not cool.

So, I made a list of the kids’ favorite meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts — and then laid out a schedule. Plenty of variety, favorite foods featured, everyone knows what is coming, and, violá! No more complaining!

Okay, maybe just greatly reduced complaining.

I planned the meals with an eye towards using left-overs, too. For example, Wednesday is roasted meat night, and so Thursday is soup night — see how I did that? Thursday’s soup stock is made from Wednesday night’s carcass. And Friday night is Chinese food because I need to use up all the old veggie bits to make room for the fresh produce pick-up on Saturday morning (you can hide ANY vegetable in a fried rice!). Pretty nifty, huh? Less food waste.

I go marketing every 2 weeks, and, armed with a menu, I know exactly what to buy. Not so tempting to buy extras anymore, and we spend less.

The triple whammy of my desire to nourish my family with healthy victuals, plus the no-think menu, plus a kitchen full of food, practically eliminates any allure of eating out. Why eat fat-laden, sodium rich, mass produced food-like stuff when my fridge is bursting with deliciousness?

And, contrary to what one might think, we have no food ruts. The rotating variety of meals keeps everything fresh. Who’d a thunk grandma’s boring routine was anything but?

Now, I can just look at the menu in the AM, and know what to pull out of the freezer for dinner. Ah…it is almost a Calgon moment when I don’t have to expend any brain cells over what to cook for dinner.

Curious about our meal plans? I’ll share ours, but don’t just copy it — create your own weekly meal plan around your own favorites, and find inspiration on Fit Meals Mondays!

If you haven’t taken the pledge to be a Fit Mom with Fit Kids, do so now and spread the word!  We haven’t reached our 10,000 mark yet but we are on our way!  Sign up on the right side of the page.  Also, SUBSCRIBE! We need your help to reverse the trend of obesity in America.  It starts with YOU Fit Mom!  We can do it!

Easy chicken soup

– chicken carcass, with attached meat, skin and congealed juices
– 2 onions
– 6-10 cloves of fresh garlic
– 5-6 stalks of celery
– 4-5 large, whole carrots
– any other veggies that you desire (bell pepper, zucchini, green beans, tomato, corn, kale, spinach, etc.)
– Celtic sea salt
– black pepper
– dried za’atar, or oregano
– 2-3 bay leaves
– additional seasonings, to taste
– pasta OR brown rice OR lentils OR potatoes, if desired

Place chicken carcass in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for more than 2 hours.

Strain out chicken carcass, set aside to cool. Add to the stock all hardy vegetables, chopped (ie, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, potatoes, etc.) Add seasonings to taste. Add pasta OR brown rice OR lentils, if desired. Simmer for at least an hour.

When carcass is cooled, pick off meat, and add to the soup. Throw away bones and skin.

After an hour, taste soup and adjust seasonings. Add delicate veggies (spinach, kale, any veggies you want to stay crisp and retain their colors).


Lori Rivas, organic homeschooling mama to 4 great kids

photos credits:
Photo by Weslie and Chelsey Totten
Grandma’s kitchen tin from: http://www.grandmasuniquegiftshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=1331560&products_id=17042394
family meal image from: http://blog.americanfeast.com/2007/04/
weekly menu by L. Rivas
chicken soup image from: http://dreadfullysimple.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/chicken-soup-for-the-minnesota-snow/

Posted in FMFK Blog Team, News, Organic MomsComments (2)

countdown to cavities

Halloween. Fall Festival. All Saints’ Day.

Doesn’t matter what we call it. Our kids know it by one name only.

Gobs of Free Candy Day.

I remember my 7th grade Halloween: trick-or-treating with friends, followed by a sleep over. Totally unsupervised, we ate a ton of candy.

That Halloween was epic.

I also remember the holiday when my mom “went healthy” and gave us carob treats instead of milk chocolate. FYI, carob = bletch.

Now, as a parent, I find myself wanting to strike a balance between good health and good times. I don’t want to cross into carob territory, if you know that I mean. I also don’t want to acquiesce to a candy orgy.

Have you looked at the ingredients for Halloween candy? High fructose corn syrup . Sugar . Food coloring. And hydrogenated oils. Nobody should ever be eating hydrogenated oils, which are, essentially, poisons that will kill you over time .

We are not Spartans. I want my kids to be part of American cultural traditions. I am a proponent of good old-fashioned fun.

So, we’ve worked out a compromise.

After a night of trick-or-treating, my kids have free reign to eat their candies for 30 minutes, or so. The trading is furious. The consumption is near nauseating.

The next day, I give each of my kids a plastic sandwich bag, into which the child may load favorite candies, to keep and eat at leisure.

Then I pay $20 in exchange for the remainder of each child’s candy.

Because what do kids like even more than candy? Cold, hard, cash. It is an easy swap.

Yeah, it is a little pricey, especially with four kids. I want to make the trade attractive to my kids, so that they won’t miss the candy. I look at it as an investment in my kids’ health.

Lastly, I donate or throw away the exchanged candy because, you know, if that candy stays in the house, who is going to eat it? Me. I have no will power around chocolate and sugar.

With this barter system, my kids fully enjoy Halloween. I have peace of mind that my kids are not gorging on pounds of toxic candy. And my own waistline remains unchanged.

Its a win-win-win situation, I think.

The no recipe closing:

Only give out candy that you would serve your own kids. Here are a few suggestions:

Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops

Trader Joe’s lollipops

Endangered Species fair trade chocolate bars

Divine Chocolate fair trade chocolate coins

Glee gum

Annie’s Fruit Snacks

If you haven’t taken the pledge to be a Fit Mom with Fit Kids, do so now and spread the word!  We haven’t reached our 10,000 mark yet but we are on our way!  Sign up on the right side of the page.  Also, SUBSCRIBE! We need your help to reverse the trend of obesity in America.  It starts with YOU Fit Mom!  We can do it!

Lori Rivas, organic homeschooling mama to 4 great kids

Photo credits:

Photo by Weslie and Chelsey Totten
kid eating bag of candy image from: http://www.kalebnation.com/blog/tag/nom-nom/
candy pile image from:http://www.healthkicker.com/715732535/fighting-the-urge-to-eat-more-halloween-candy/
Peanuts Great Pumpkin image from: http://www.robertxgillis.com/?cat=40

Posted in FMFK Blog Team, News, Organic MomsComments (4)

you are what you eat

It’s better to pay the grocer than the doctor.
– John Forti, quoting his Italian grandmother

If you are really serious about being healthy – about raising healthy kids – you need to put your money where your mouth is.

And that means buying the most nutritious food available.

Look, exercise can be free. Sleep is free. Laughing is free. Reading books from the library is free. Play is free. Volunteering is free. Conversation is free. Hugs and friendship are free. So many things necessary for good health are free.

Food is not free.

So, why do we spend gobs of money on stuff we can get for free, and then try to skimp on the food that nourishes and sustains us?

It is a different mindset, to invest your money on things that others cannot see, on things that aren’t flashy and pretty and trendy and new. But your body demands nutritious food.

Start small — don’t overwhelm yourself. Begin by switching to organic produce, prioritizing the dirty dozen, a list of conventional fruits and veggies that show higher levels of pesticides even after washing. This simple change can rid your body of up to 80% of pesticides. Amazing, isn’t it?

But where, oh where, does one procure the freshest, most tasty, least expensive organic produce?

There are several venues: a local farmer’s market, your own garden, a community garden, join the VeggieTrader, forage for fruit grown on public property, and, of course, the traditional market.

Our family subscribes to Abundant Harvest Organics (CSA). There are hundreds of CSA’s all over the US; check for one in your local area.

The beauty of a CSA is that farmers are paid directly – no market middleman profits from this exchange. CSA produce is super fresh, often picked a day or two before delivery, has minimal packaging, does not receive the chemical or chlorine rinse required for sale in a market, and allows for a personal relationship with the farmer.

With weekly CSA deliveries, I really like that our meals include an abundance of fresh produce, and tonight’s dinner was a shining example of summer goodies: vine-ripened tomato marinara sauce over pasta and a fresh peach cobbler.

So, who are you going to pay? The grocer, or the doctor?

If you like this article please click the share this button and share on facebook or twitter.  If you haven’t already joined us in taking the pledge to be a part of the thousands of moms committed to the Fit Moms Fit Kids revolution to take back the health of our families, please Take The Pledge Today and get your 21 Day Fat Flush Program FREE with a menu and 12 week workout plan!

Vine-Ripened Tomato Sauce

– 1 medium onion, finely chopped
– 1 or 2 bell peppers, finely chopped
– 6 or 7 cloves of garlic, minced
– tomatoes, 4 cups, chopped
– 3T olive oil
Celtic sea salt
– black pepper
– 1T dried oregano
– chili powder, a dash or two
– 1 bay leaf
– fresh basil, 3/4c. chopped

In a 12″ pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat, and add onion, bell peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder and dried oregano. Saute until veggies are soft. Add chopped tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring often, for at least 30 minutes, often more, until sauce is reduced and flavor is concentrated. Add fresh basil, and adjust seasonings. Turn off heat, and let stand for another 30 minutes, to allow flavors to develop.

Makes ample sauce for one 16oz. package of pasta.

You can finely chop and add any number of veggies to maximize the nutrient quota, such as leafy greens, summer squash, one or two carrots. Just be sure to puree the sauce when it has finished reducing, to blend and “hide” all the extras. Your family will never know the difference.

Summer Stone Fruit Cobbler

– sliced, organic stone fruit
– organic whole wheat flour
– organic Sucanat
– organic butter
– organic rolled oats (optional)

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Slice enough fruit to fill your baking dish, 3/4 full. Transfer fruit to a large mixing dish. Stir in Sucanat to taste — tart fruits, like plums, require more Sucanat, while sweeter stone fruits, like really ripe peaches, require far less. Stir in enough whole wheat flour to thicken the fruit juices, but don’t make the fruit completely dry. Transfer back into baking dish.

Dot the fruit with butter – I use about a teaspoon of butter every 2-3 square inches.

In a saucepan, melt 1/2 stick of butter. Stir in 1/4 cup of Sucanat. When combined, then add either whole wheat flour, or rolled oats, enough to soak up the butter. Crumble onto the top of the fruit mixture.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Let cool before serving.

Lori Rivas, organic homeschooling mama to 4 great kids

Photo credits:
Photo by Weslie and Chelsey Totten
box of produce image from: abundantharvestorganics.com/
tomato sauce image from: squidoo.com/TotallyTerrificTomatoRecipes

Posted in FMFK Blog Team, Organic MomsComments (2)

Mission Monday

If you’ve been following us the last couple of weeks you know that the Davis family has gone high raw for the month.  This has not been easy for us.  Read the Daddy Does it RAW! (week one recap) post to see why!  We are learning a lot along the way!  This week, to help us meet our goals of having not only raw, but fresh, local, organic, and seasonal foods Annett visited our local farmers market.  The kids had a blast!!!  Their favorite part was getting to taste all of the fresh fruits from the nice vendors.  We left with lots of old favorites, and some yummy new ones too!

Your mission is to visit your local farmers market.  Take the kids, try new fruit and veggies!  Let the kids pick one or two NEW things to eat, and you pick one or two too!

If you don’t know where your local farmers market is here’s some help.

If you are in  Southern California click here for a directory of local farmers’ markets.

You can also check here for a national directory.

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Posted in Events, Mission MondaysComments (0)

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