nutrition


Ohhh Sweet Honey! (honey at Cafe Bliss)

Something that my intuition and my body has always told me is now being confirmed by some of the very people who worked so hard to bring agave to the mainstream: agave is the worst “bandito” of all sweeteners!

I bought one bottle of agave about 4 years ago after seeing pictures on David Wolfe’s site of a beautiful young woman pouring it down her throat, straight out of the bottle! I thought, wow, a sweetener that is so good for you that you can drink it like water!?

I tried it, I didn’t like it at all. It tasted like corn syrup to me, and made me feel awful. So I went back to what I have always used and loved, honey. Over the years since then, I have had many opportunities to enjoy raw treats made with agave. While I do enjoy them in my mouth, everything after that point is a mess. Or should I say, I am a mess! Katrina + agave = basket-case. I feel edgy, anxious, hungry, grumpy, and all those unpleasant things that go along with blood sugar imbalance. So I do my best to avoid the stuff.

If you are still using agave in your household, please read the following articles and then go and pour it down the drain!

The Agave Blues by David Wolfe

This “Tequila” Sweetener is Far Worse than High Fructose Corn Syrup by Dr. Mercola

Agave Nectar, the High Fructose Health Food Fraud on Natural News

So, that brings me back to honey! I felt inspired to write a little ode to honey….. Honey is magical. Bees are magical. Flowers are magical. Eating honey makes me feel magical.

In Organic Farming and Beekeeping, it becomes a partnership between bee and honey farmer. The symbiosis is beautiful, and as a honey eater I feel tapped into a beautiful, life affirming circle. And, honey is LOCAL! We get our honey from Babe’s Honey Farm, and it is beautiful, and it gives me a pleasant, gentle buzz.

And did you know that bees will produce up to 3 times the amount that they need to survive? In ethical beekeeping practices, both the bees and the honey eaters benefit.

I love visiting honey farms and listening to the hum of the bees. See if you can find a honey farm near you and start to visit whenever you need a little sweetness.

Honey is expensive (at least compared to conventional sugar) but in my mind this is a good thing. It just means we use less of it and are more careful of our consumption. When it comes to sweetener, a little mindfulness is a very good idea! It also means we are paying the honey farmer a living wage rather than paying pennies for sugar grown by people living in abject poverty in countries miles and miles away.

Of course there are other alternatives to sweeten you treats, and honey may not be the one for you. If you are working with blood-sugar issues such as diabetes or candida, you will want to be even more aware of your sweetener choices. The above articles do a good job at listing out other sweeties to choose from.

In closing, if you needed another reason to start buying organic, this might be it. Saving the Honey Bee Through Organic Farming.

I’d love to hear your experiences with agave, and what your household’s sweetener of choice is!

Advertisements

Green Smoothie Baby!

Sophia is nine months old! Nine months in, nine months out (of the belly!) Here are some of the things my little 19lb gem has been eating:

~Lots of sweet Mama Milk, whenever she wants it. Right now she likes to nurse about every 2-3 hours, all day and all night, but will sometimes go for 4 hours between.

~Green Juice. Simple ones are best, she loves cucumber and celery with one of the following leafy greens: lettuce, parsley, kale or spinach. I let her drink her juice out of a small glass that she helps me hold, preferably when she is naked because green juice stains and she dribbles and refuses to keep her bib on.

~Green Smoothies: Sophia gets to share my green smoothie every morning and it is one of her favorite foods! We have a beautiful glass straw that she loves to use (see above photo) to drink her smoothie out of, and scrunches up her face in happiness between each sip going “mmmmmmmMMMmmmm” In her smoothie she has been getting: blueberries, strawberries, parsley, kale, lettuce, nettles, apple, orange, and pear.

~Baby Puddings: I usually use 1-3 different ingredients for these. Sophia gets to practice using a spoon with these and I can really tell when she likes something or not because she will open her little mouth like a bird, or clamp it shut and push the spoon away. Here are some examples:

  • avocado and pear
  • avocado and cucumber
  • apple, cucumber, and blueberry
  • apple and blueberry
  • pear and strawberry

~Baby Chewies: These are excellent for “toothie” moments, and because babies love to chew and suck on just about everything. Well, at least this baby does! I always make sure to keep a close eye on her when she is having these finger foods because she can get off some nice big pieces with her two bottom teeth. Although she seems quite good at gumming the little bits as chewing practice with out actually trying to swallow them (they usually end up on her face and all over her belly!) I like to scoop the bigger pieces out. NOTE: Every baby is different with this one, I have a friend with a daughter who will try to swallow all the little bits and they make her cough and choke. If your baby does this, best leave these out!

  • cucumber slices (thicker is better)
  • apple slices (pealed)
  • dried mango slices
  • whole carrot
  • frozen strawberry

Sophia was almost exclusively breastfeed until she was six months old. When she was around five months old, her first taste of anything besides breast milk, known as ‘nana’ in our house, was strawberry. One evening when her teeth seemed to be bothering her more than usual, I got a frozen strawberry from the freezer and held if for her to suck and chew on.  She loved it!

We talked about starting to give her solid food more regularly around the time of that first strawberry and it made me cry! I’m not sure why exactly, but I think it was just because it is such a clear indication of how fast she is growing up. Solid food, already!?

We did wait until she was six months, when her digestion was stronger, to start introducing regular solids. Until then, Sophia dabbled in green smoothies, sitting in our laps and sucking on our fingers dipped in green smoothies. All told she was probably getting about 1/4 of a teaspoon at a time, and often she didn’t seem interested at all so we would skip it.

She is still quite a dabbler in solids, some days she has only nana, other days she has a little something at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

At the moment, she is not enjoying anything with avocado, but it has also been an obvious favorite at times. If I make her something and she doesn’t go for it, I am always happy to eat it myself, a few spoonfuls of goodness!

I have also started giving her egg yolk in the past few days and she love this too! Steamed sweet potato and brown rice congee are also things she has tried once or twice and liked both. There is a claim that raw foodists love to make that the first time babies have any cooked food they get runny noses, but I have not found this to be true for Sophia. She is happy and healthy as ever!

There you have it, the menu of a nine month old! Everything organic, made at home with love, for one happy little baby.

POSTSCRIPT: Some of you who may know me from my role in promoting Juice Feasting may be wondering about the egg and the cooked food in my daughter’s diet. I’d like to write more about this soon, and about how my orientation to food has evolved and changed over the past 18 months.

In a nut shell, LOCAL is my new food passion. I want to start eating from the soil that I live on and keep my farmers in the same country, if not the same province. I am going to give myself time to make this shift, but slowly, surely, I plan on becoming more “Locovore” than anything else.

I have just finished reading “The 100 Mile Diet” by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Kieth, and am dipping into “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon.

Phew. Talk about a re-orientation for this tropical fruit loving girl! I can’t avoid it though, if I am living here, I should be eating from here. And I have a feeling that eating from my home soil will feel just as deep and meaningful as eating raw did, if not more so.

That is all I’ll say about that for now, but please know that I still fully endorse the practice of Juice Feasting and raw foods as amazing healing and cleansing technologies! My health and well-being continue to benefit from all of the beautiful, vibrant raw foods that I now know to access, and I will never leave that behind.

I actually feel like I am standing on the shoulders of my raw food self, looking out over the horizon of the next adventure in dietary evolution, the Local Adventure!

If you have read any of the three books mentioned above, I would love to hear your thoughts! You can leave a comment or email me at katrinarainoshek@gmail.com.

With love and banana-free green smoothies,

Katrina


December 17, Wednesday. Journal Excerpt.

Week # 13

Well, it has been a few weeks since I wrote. We are very happy in our new home, but I am still trying to get used to these lower levels of energy, drive, motivation, and inspiration. I keep thinking “I don’t feel like myself,” and then try to replace it with “I feel exactly like my glorious pregnant self!” I said the other day that I felt like a creative void, as though any creative energy had disappeared from me with a flash of magic. My Dad replied:

“What if you are engaged in the most creative act possible? Creating a new being!”

Of course! A much better way of thinking about it, and it is as though every last bit of my energy is going towards the wonderful event of baby building right now.

I woke up this morning feeling not so positive, feeling mad about all the things I am not doing and think I could/should be doing. So, I wanted to focus here instead on all the wonderful things I am doing!

Beautiful and Wonderful things I do for Baby and Me:

~  Have a green smoothie every day

~  Take folic acid, Vit. D, Vit. B12

~ Vitamineral Green (this is what I took in place of a pre-natal vitamin supplement)

~ Drink raspberry leaf tea and nettle tea

~ Get lots of rest

~ Go for long walks

~ Stretch and do yoga occasionally

~ Cuddle

~ Spend lots of quality time with friends and family

~ Read about pregnancy and childbirth

More Beautiful and Wonderful things to do when I wish:

~ Do yoga more often and walk more often

~ Swim (by the end of my pregnancy I was swimming 3-4 times a week)

~ Sew comfortable clothes

~ Meditate

~ Do kegels more regularly

~ Accept dreaminess and appreciate pregnant energy

~ Journal more often

Yes, of course I am having a beautiful pregnancy. I feel much better now, hey, it is OK that I took four days to go get the laundry from the basement and that I had to put “go get laundry” on a to do list to motivate myself to do it! I am pregnant! I am going to enjoy this time and trust that my edge and creative (mental) flow will return.

We watched a movie with Finn while also watching the snow fall outside. A beautiful day.

November 16, Sunday Journal Excerpt

Week # 9

Ugg. Everything is making me feel queasy today. Every raw thing I’ve eaten makes me feel sick, blah!

David and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary yesterday and it was lovely. We spent all day together, computer free, starting with morning cuddles, green juice and papaya breakfast in front of the fireplace.

IMG_2047IMG_2048IMG_2054

That night….I could not sleep. I had eaten 4 little squares of chocolate at the movie (James Bond: Quantum of Solace, not a good movie to watch as a pregnant one, far too much action) and I think this was the main reason, but I’ve also noticed that on days when I go on long walks my body is more restless at night and I get so much energy building in my hips I can’t lie still. Last night I lay there feeling my heart racing, feeling claustrophobic, feeling like my body was going to explode with energy! I finally got up and came downstairs and rolled out my yoga mat and started moving and stretching to release the energy. That felt better. David came downstairs to see if I was OK and then went back to bed where I finally joined him and was able to fall asleep around 4:30am. Feel very tired today, perhaps why I also feel so queasy?

Chocolate and pregnancy = NEVER AGAIN!! Nope, not for me.

(NOTE: After the first trimester was over I was quite fine doing small amounts of cacao and enjoyed it very much)

Little June Bug is 9 weeks today! What is interesting is that I am not gaining weight, I just don’t seem to have much of an appetite, I have actually lost about 4 pounds. Food and taste are very different for me right now. It is hard to explain but I feel like I have both a heightened sense of taste and like I have wool in my mouth, preventing me from tasting anything. It is like being able to taste every little flavor in your mouth so distinctly that you can’t tell what the thing you are eating actually tastes like. Sort of like hearing many clear notes but not hearing the music. (NOTE: This passed with the first trimester as well.)

Oh I can’t wait to go to bed tonight!

October 23, Thursday 2008 Journal Excerpt

Week #5

GVJ = Green Vegetable Juice!!

I am having another “I can’t believe I am pregnant” day. I am grieving my small breasts, my changing body, my maidenhood soon to become motherhood. My breasts feel so big and swollen already, how can they possibly get bigger, they will burst! Yet I know they, and my belly, have just begun to swell…

I had a green smoothie (Spinach/strawberries/banana) for breakfast that made me feel mildly nauseous. Then David and I went out for a walk in the sunshine and I felt better. Just had some green juice (red leaf lettuce/cucumber/celery/bok choy/ parsley/ fennel/ carrot/ apple/ ginger) which always makes me feel wonderful.

(During my first trimester of pregnancy, green juice was the only way I could stomach greens. Salads and green smoothies turned my stomach and made me want to run away from them. Happily this aversion ended with the first trimester and the end of month number three saw me fully enjoying green smoothies and salads again.)

green juiceDrinking GVJ during the 2008 Global Juice Feast

Sunday, September 21, 2008 Journal Excerpt

Home again home again, rejoice! We arrived home from Raw Spirit Fest in Sedona on Thursday. Well, my September period has come and gone. This time it arrived just as I was going to get up on stage to announce the next speaker (David and I were MCing one of the presentation stages) and I realized I couldn’t or I would be in tears again. My dear husband covered for me, and no tears were shed this time!

Among the many inspiring presentations that we listened to, my favorite speaker this year was Brigitte Mars, who I went to listen to as much as I could! One of her talks was on the subject of color therapy, and I asked her about colors for fertility. She said: Walking in full spectrum lighting (sunlight), eating nuts and seed (full of fertility and life force!), wearing an acorn in a medicine bag round your neck (strong life force in an acorn, the acorn creates the oak tree!), eat watermelon and chew the seed, ORANGE, eat orange foods, eat seaweeds and dark colored foods (high in minerals)img_1424www.BrigitteMars.com

(I do all of these things already, apart from wearing an acorn and chewing watermelon seeds, and so I left feeling very joyful and fertile.)

Sedona was magical as it always is.

img_1321img_1489img_1554Sedona

Back on Salt Spring Island, I have spent most of the day in the kitchen dehydrating tomatoes, pears, plums, and making delicious raw rosemary onion rings. We are still getting lots of blackberries from the bushes.

We have the woodstove going today for the first time this year. I can tell I am going to have a magical winter in this house.