My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs. My links above are all new and current.

I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

Readers enjoy your feedback and Reviews (82!) on amazon. Kindle Version Available!

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Friday, January 29, 2010

What Raw things I ate This Week.

Smoothies- are a complete meal when I drink 4 cups and have spinach or other greens in it. Sometimes I add aloe from my garden for B12 or powdered supplements.

Salad- My salads vary. Some examples are raw kale toss (heart), chard mixed in with lettuce for color and texture, ginger carrot, cucumber dill, tomato basil.... I don't add egg, cheese, or croutons anymore. I haven't in a long time.

If a have one smoothie and one salad a day I am 2/3 there. For the past 2 years, I am in the routine of doing this on most days.
Citrus is in season. I love juicing grapefruit and oranges together for fresh juice. I like the taste of the different varieties mixed together.

I have a worn out breville juicer. I didn't use it much this week. I had pears and bok choy from co-op and a left over beet. I juiced them together.
Vegetable patties-- I've been wanting a veggie burger recipe for a while and who knew I'd find a raw recipe I liked. First I made it as April describes. The second time I modified it to my taste. I put a zucchini, delicata squash (from co-op), carrot, onion and apple in my food processor. I mixed that with avocado, sesame seeds, and seasoned with taco seasoning. I really liked how this came out. I put the finished burger on a lettuce bed with slice tomato topped with avocado and cilantro and lentil sprouts. The photo is before they went in the dehydrator.

Salsa and Guacamole are both easily made raw. I never ate either in my SAD days, so I do not know if there are heated recipes for this out there. All I know is the unheated version and I love them. Both of my recipes came from green smoothie girl 12 step program.

I made corn chips* to go with my S & G. I sliced the corn off the corn myself. In did this before. I never ate raw corn. It is delicious. I will be eating raw corn again. In fact I saved a cob so I can slice off some corn for a salad or pattie. The corn went in to the blender with flax seed, cilantro, and lime. I spread it out on my dehydrator trays. And hours later I had deliciously sweet corn chips. I will be doing this again.

I made apple sauce in my blender. It's easy to add supplements to apple sauce.

Chia pudding. I suppose this is a knock off of rice pudding. I never liked rice pudding. Chia is interesting how quickly it absorbs the liquid and becomes pudding. It's very filling. I made it with the holiday spices the first time and than the next time made it with carob powder. I will be making this again.
Banana Hemp shake. I sliced and froze my bananas. to prep ahead of time. The texture of this is better than a frosty (which I have not had in years and don't miss). It tastes great too. I wish I had frozen bananas right now to make one. The author of chia and banana hemp is pregnant now and doing a high raw diet.

Carob Delight made from sprouted almond milk. This was a frozen treat, I made in my ice cream maker. My kids loved it! Everyone loved this one including John. What a healthy dessert.
When you make almond milk, you have left over pulp. I put the pulp in my dehydrator and made raw cookies. (Ok they are not oreos, they are not even Back to Nature Cookies, but they did provide me with something to nibble on.

Apple Pie. Honestly, I never ate much apple pie before and I like the healthier version. I've made this several times already in the past few years. When I haven't had enough nuts, I have substituted some raw oat groats.

Seasoned Spouted Sunflower* seeds with Tamari seasoning.
The worse thing was my sour kraut. I've tried it several times. I must be doing something wrong.

One disclaimer-- some of my powdered seasonings may not be truly raw. I started stocking up on more seasonings, chia, hemp, carob, cacoa powder and nibs, tamari, while doing sugar-free. Most are high quality, but not all are specifically raw. When I need to stock up, I will pay closer attention.

To answer some questions you guys sent me:
My sons tried most everything I made. Scott is right on board with me. He wants to continue including raw food into his diet especially up to his black belt exam.

John hates everything I make. I figured if he is never happy with what I cook anyway, what did I have to loose, by telling him I am not cooking for 2 weeks. He has tried most everything. But he is more happy, if I don't cook, it's his chance to eat pepperoni pizza, steak, oreos, frozen twice baked potatoes.... if he does it himself. None of this appeals to me. (Well, maybe the oreos, but I am not intellectually interested...) I be happy to have his support, but it is what it is.

William tends to eat what John serves. I am sure he eats more fruit than many teens. He ate a lot of fruit this week.

David has a tiny appetite. Just tasting things fill him up. So he ate some of my good stuff but unfortunately goes to the dark side with John and William.

Overall, I feel my job is to prepare healthy meals. I did my job. I am not obligated to serve garbage. I don't expect my boys to go all out like me so I did prepared hard boiled eggs, chicken with the left over Tamari seasoning from the sunflower seeds, and had yogurt available to them and lots of fruit, raisins, nuts. I don't want their only other choice to be John's food. I did not make totally separate meals for each meal. I told Scott as an 11 year old growing boy his needs may not be like mine. He needs to eat what I prepare, but he should also eat other foods and see how he feels. I think he is doing very well as far as nutrition goes.

As far as protein goes, This week, I had chia, hemp, sesame seeds, sprouted lentils, spinach, kale, avocado, sprouted sunflower seeds, and sprouted almonds. (Sprouting is easy.) I probably had too much protein and should juice more greens! I certainly had higher quality protein than John. I don't see any reason to think I am not getting enough calories. You can look at me and know I get enough calories. :) But I do feel lots better. I am intrigued on what other people say about their raw diets and have been working towards collecting enough recipe to sustain this for a bit. I want to know why other people stick with this 100%. This was a good month since I had no travel obligations.

* From Eating without Heating by teens Sergio and Vayla Boutenko

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Produce Day

I haven't posted about Produce Day in awhile. It's definitely a good thing for me to keep journaling about the produce and keep up with what I receive and how I use it. I find myself not using it up as fast if I don't keep track. I do like looking back at my blog for recipe ideas.

We got:
broccoli crowns - dipping this in dip from Kristen's Raw newsletter
carrots - same, also juicing
baby bok choy - my least favorite green. Juiced some and will put some in a smoothie. The rest I gave away.
cucumber - cucumber dill salad with an oil-free vinaigrette
red leaf lettuce - salads and wraps
cremini mushroom - gave away, but I FINALLY have an idea for the next time how to disguise them and eat them
russet potato -
shallot - I hardly ever use these and I am looking forward to trying a different kind of onion where I would normally use onion.
sunchoke(jerusalem artichoke) - would like suggestions please.
roma tomato
braeburn apples
navel orange
atsuma mandarin

Fruit Share: Kent mango, bluberries, and kiwi.

I've been so fortunate to have some produce from friend's gardens. I have enjoyed kale, chard and herbs especially. I love Raw Kale salads and adding chard leaves to my colorful salads.

During the holidays and not wanting to be an extra burden on all our relatives and friends sharing their cooking with us I deviated much more from my rigid eating program than I usually do (still with lots of salads and smoothies as the other meals). I definitely felt heavier.

One of my friends told me that after the holidays she was going on a juice cleanse for two weeks and she wanted a partner to keep each other accountable. I am a tough accountability partner. I am not sure she really wanted to live up to my standards of accountability. :)

But anyway after the holidays I am back to my green smoothies, salads and overall healthy dinners. I am doing my workouts while the boys are in karate. And I get a message from my friend while I am in Publix. She tells me she started her juice thing and was hoping I was in. I had a good day so far of sticking with my program and I left Publix clean without ANY processed snacks or food requiring cooking (just because of her message). I can't remember what I ate that night, but it was a Raw day and I was feeling good. With produce day the next day and knowing I was getting all the things above, I saw the potential for two Raw days in a row, maybe even three... Well, three days has turned into 9 days.

I've been burning up my Blend Tec, and food processor and dehydrator and enjoying quite a variety of new recipes which will be another post. To say the least I have had no problem losing the holiday pounds. I feel my endurance at the gym amazingly improving. I can't attribute it all to "training" because I haven't been "training" very long. I have energy because I am eating so amazingly healthy. I have even run. I haven't run since about 17 weeks pregnant with William(14 years ago). Tonight I did 30 minutes on a cybex elliptical/stepper kind-of-machine and another 3o minutes on the treadmill--I walked for 2-3 minutes and than ran 2-3 minutes kept alternating. The hour seemed to go by fast.

I also checked my lipids today. My cholesterol has always been around 156- 165 for the past 20 years whenever I check it (which of course is good on the standard american diet). Today it was 140. My triglycerides were 56, HDL 47, VLDL 11, LDL 82. All those values were much better compared to previous checks including while doing sugar-free. Obviously now I am sugar-free and heavy on the plant based products.

I am checking the boy's profiles too. I have Scott's back. He is the best eater and now he is wanting to eat like me. His chol is 147 and he had very low tri, VLDL, LDL. I wasn't really too concerned about him, but now that's it done, I am glad he has a baseline and has another reason to justify eating healthy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

He Hasn't Changed a Bit!

William found his hospital newborn photo.
He hasn't changed a bit.
Just 200 pounds bigger.
Still the same exact hair. Amazing.
I wanted to cut it then (and did)
and I want to cut it now (but he won't let me).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bedwetting, Homeschool, Dyslexia, Round 2 Barton,

David has continued to wet the bed almost nightly (what a way to start this post). Sometimes, if I get him to pee a few times before he falls asleep AND he didn't have a lot to drink, he'd make it through the night dry. But mostly not. I have followed a behavioral bedwetting program that I like a lot. I'd been following the success of it for many years on-line and within the practice. I like that it is does not require medication. David won't sleep with the alarm attached. Since that is one component of the program, I couldn't progress him. Today he had a kidney and bladder ultrasound at Diagnostic Imaging (for John's sake) and it was normal. Tonight he got his first dose of DDAVP an oral medication to help him keep dry. We'll see...

As far as school goes:

David likes to do a few minutes a day of school work. He likes to be like his brothers ( I wouldn't mind if he wanted to be UNSCHOOLED for awhile longer. In reading and spelling we are working on the sounds of the small letters. He has completed most of the procedures in Level 2, Lesson 1 of BartonReading. I was pleasantly surprised that when I dictated, map, bam, pap, bat, and nonsense words, fas and baf, he could hold his pencil and spell them correctly and eagerly on paper from memory. It's taken a lot of practice to sound out these short words. For example he'd sound out "map" as Maaah Aaaaah paaaah. It's easy for me to see confusion.

b p confusion--yes

f t confusion--yes

h n confusion--yes

But I know how to deal with it and with lots and lots and lots of practice, he gets it. Sure many kids his age (6 1/2) can read, but David will never be behind. Nor will he ever been in a situation where is is competing with book worms in the classroom damging his ego until it is his desire to be in group settings.

What a difference a year of studying with BartonReading has made with Scott! We started mid February last year. Scott came to work with me this morning. It was his first day on the job. He is going to assemble charts and do some odd clerical chores around the office. He wants to come in one morning a week (with Max). He did a really good job this morning. He has a few things he wants to save his money for and he is very motivated to work. After we are settled into the new house, I am thinking Max and Scott will be good sitter for toddlers. And he likes to walk and care for dogs.

Scott reads daily now. While I get him through the double digit multiplication lessons, I probably won't forge ahead with fromal reading lessons too much. He could probably handle it, but I can only handle so much academics. He picks up quickly.

Finally William made it through his fractions module. It dragged on and on.... I don't really like the 7th grade FLVS math curriculum. It's the first class I have not liked. I AM THE ONE WHO CAN'T WAIT FOR WILLIAM to be done with it.

It's the third week of attending karate three times a week. Three more weeks till black belt testing. The boys are very excited.

The boys have a tuxedo occasion coming up. Uncle Ed is getting married. He gave the boys choices of what to wear. Unanimously they voted on tuxes. They WANT to look nice.

David is in the photo sitting in one of the newly bedrooms.

We are very excited about all that is going on.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Two things I never do:
Use the chat on facebook. I don't have time.
My family (mom and sister) doesn't call me at the office (unless its an emergency).

So.... when my sister started receiving IM from my on the fb chat stating that I was in trouble in London, she recognized immediately that it was not me and called me at the office.

The hacker tried to have the same conversation with another friend of mine who emailed me about the same time. I imagine it was scary for her. Unlike my sister who knows I wasn't out of the country, she wasn't sure.

I changed my password and deactivated my account for the afternoon. I signed back in tonight (but I am logged out) now that I have a chance to look at it. From my perspective my page looks okay.

Two night ago, I received many friend requests from the same person using different names. Maybe that was the start of it? I never accepted any of the requests. I am not aware of opening any. I change my settings so my email won't get notified of any friend invites. Not a big deal. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My facebook page was hacked

My facebook account is hacked. I deactivated the account until its resolved. Someone claimed I was mugged in England and is asking for money on the chat. I am safe. My family is safe. My profile, networked blogs and, my pages won't show up until its resolved.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Progress at the Construction Site

I admit, I was breathless when I came into the house today to see how much had been done in 2 days, especially in the main area. I love the color! The house had no floor boards at purchase, an eight foot ceiling and no crown molding. The tile is new as well as the columns and arches. This is the first time I saw it with so much detail. John gets credit for picking out the tile insert at the door (and the view). My mom picked the color Cordial. All that white still needs to be painted. We have been living in a place with all white walls. This will be a big change.

If you can't remember what the entrance foyer and great room looked like before, you can go here. You don't want to miss it if you can't remember.

And this is another before photo I found.
Putrid Green.
We are going to have some green rooms,
But NOT that shade of GREEN. Off subject-- This is David bundling up in his winter coat.

Just wanted to let you know, it has been cold in the tropics.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Excercise Schedule

I've been struggling with what to do with myself while my boys are in karate three nights a week 'til the black belt exam. The location of the karate class moved 20 minutes away. It use to be in my neighborhood and I would walk or come home and make dinner or have time to myself. Before daylight savings I walked on the beautiful trails at the new location. After the change, it made it hard to take walks in the dark. I don't want to watch the boys in class for 90 minutes while I do nothing but sit and grow (and first come home with the need to still exercise). I want an invigorating workout. I spied a local gym near the karate facility. I felt for sure John would be against it. But when the cold weather set in last week, I finally asked him what he thought if I joined. I expected a ton of resistance. He simply said, "Good idea, I've been thinking about joining myself." Whew.

While driving to karate that night, we talked about what kind of gym it might be. He said he didn't want a meat head gym. "Why, you jealous?" He got himself out of it explaining he wanted more than free weights and grunting. I warned him that this wasn't LA Fitness or South Beach. It's small and close to where we will be spending a lot of time in the upcoming weeks. I'd be happy with a few machines and an elliptical for a total body work out.

We get to the gym. John is reminiscing how being here tonight is like when we were dating. (In other words, I work out and he hangs out.) He has a favorite story from dating. He was spotting me on the incline bench press. He looked down my tank and while I am pressing, he says, "Nice view from here." While pressing I automatically replied, "enjoy the scenery," and kept on going with my reps without interruption. It's not that funny, but John thinks it is.

It's not a meat head gym. It's not crowded. We got in a good work out. The three nights a week John and I bring our boys down we have something constructive to do, together. It felt so good to have the satisfaction of a good workout. As we leave the owner tells me they have a spinning class the next night, which is not a karate night. I've enjoyed spinning in the past and lit up. John saw how happy I looked and agreed that I could take the time to myself the next evening.

It turns out, I got out of the office timely and our friend Mary said she would take the boys to her house while I was gone (and they had a great time). John seemed to still be busy at the hospital. So with the path clear, I headed to the gym. Very excited to be going to my first class in 10 years, I started wondering what ever happened to my workouts and why I stopped going. I took spinning classes at MM when William and Scott were babies. I recalled that I was the mother who was often called out of class to console (and nurse) my kids. Now they are way past that, I should be able to fit this in. On my way while driving, I received phone calls. Not relaxing. It didn't seem like the rest of the world knew I needed this time. The traffic was heavy and despite being on the phone, I made it in time. I even text my sister where I was going because I wanted her to be a part of it. I knew she would be happy for me.

Well, as it turns out, all the spinning bikes were taken by a larger than expected turn out. So I did not participate in the class and it was quite sobering to realize how much effort I put into getting there and the co-operation I had from my family only to be disappointed. That's the reality of being a mother and wife, you don't always--you rarely--get to be selfish about your time.... I could barely get there on time, let alone early enough to reserve a bike. The stress of making it to spinning and/or any workouts at a gym get lost behind other priorities. It's been a week, tomorrow night is the class again and as a family we decided I am needed at home (in fact I need to be at both houses tomorrow night).

But keeping perspective, the real reason I joined this gym is so that three days a week I can exercise while my boys are in their class. John wanting to go with me even if we do our own thing is the bonus. And if he thinks the view is still great all the power to him and our marriage. Maybe another week will allow me the opportunity to spin (the remodel will be finished one day, they will be black belts, we will be done with fractions module...), but in the meantime Scott and Max will walk with me briskly in the evenings on nights opposite to karate. I do enjoy walking and talking to them and we can go out whatever time works for us without the stress of traffic and carving time away from my kids in my schedule.

And that is my current current exercises schedule....

PS- Black Belt testing, which involves self-defense fighting 10 guys (and girls) in succession, is scheduled for Friday, Feb 19th. at 6:00. Family and friends are invited.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Review on Kathy's Childbirth Education Blog

On the way home from the gym tonight, my blackberry buzzed with a new email. I love google alerts. It was notifying me that I had a new post to check out at Kathy's childbirth education blog. I knew I'd love what she'd have to say.

Kathy posted a review of Permission to Mother. You can find her blog and review here. I really like how she made the distinction that I wrote first as a mother than as a doctor, rather than as a doctor who is a mother. I like her distinction.

I also liked how she further explored what my subtitle beyond the standard of care means to her-- doing what everyone else is doing. And in terms of medical care doing what everyone else is doing because it's defensible. If you haven't enjoyed Kathy's blog before this is a great opportunity to check out her childbirth blog.

Thanks Kathy for sharing your insight!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Good Start of a New Year

John had coverage at the hospital this weekend starting Thursday morning and he sure was in a rush to get to his parents house. I on the other hand was thinking how much decisions I was suppose to turn into Steve, our contractor, to keep the remodeling moving forward. I took an impatient John over to the house early Thursday and to my surprise we got a lot done! And it is so much easier when your husband is there making some big decisions with you (It seems he is always working when I need to finalize something.). We finalized interior paint color, floor and bathroom tile layout detail, carpet choice in the bedrooms, interior door profile and style. With that in mind I could relax as we left town. RELAX. Yes, finally relax.

The practice had coverage and the house is left in good hands. We did go over to home depot by his mother's and look at light fixtures and door handles. I have a list of preliminary styles and hopefully we will be seeing the finished product real soon. The cabinetry will be installed this week.

We are low key on New years Eve. It's always a time to rest after a hectic December. We spent it at John's mother with his brother, his fiancee and her two teens. The adults were all sleeping to bring in the new year. The kids were playing a variety of board games.

Scott's been taking long walks with me. And it was nice that he walked 9o minutes with me yesterday after the storm stopped. I explained to him how my sister and mother go to Zumba-thons and some people do New Year's day marathons to bring in the new year. This was our version of a walk-a-thon. This morning he helped me harvest the citrus off Irma's trees. There is not as much grapefruit as last year. She gets the best lemons. They are bigger than a tennis ball and thinned skin and so sweet. Also we have a few fresh oranges and tangerines. She also grows sugar cane for the novelty. She showed us how to harvest the cane and suck the juice. I was looking on google to see if I can find anything else to do with the cane sticks. Use it as a stick to sweeten tea or other beverage? Scott really loved sucking the juice. And we all had to hear a story how John has memories of sucking cane on the high altitude trains in Peru as a little boy. David expected sugar cane to be about the same as candy cane so he was a bit disappointed. The cane should grow well at my new place, so we have transplanted some. For me, I always like trying new things. so it was fun entertainment.

John's brother is in the Mason's fraternity and William is attending a meeting with Ed this morning. I can't wait to hear what he has to say about it. being 13, I imagine he'll tell me it was boring. It wasn't XBOX live after all.

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