Saturday, March 27, 2010

Food for Thought

Red wine is good for your heart. It contains chemicals that boost good cholesterol, lowers bad cholesterol, and strengthens blood vessels. The healthiest wine....Madiran from the southwest Gascony region of France. Italian wines from Lombardy are also know for their high levels of antioxidants. Just another reason to drink to your health.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Food for Thought:: Butterflies in your Stomach

We all know what a gut feeling is...but do you know what causes it? I came across this article, "Think Twice:  How the Gut's Second Brain Influences Mood and Well Being" thanks to a recent tweet by my dear friend and positive living guru Tara Meyer-Robinson and it totally blew me away.  The lining of our digestion system contains more neurons than our spinal chord, and produces 95% of our body's serotonin.  Wild isn't it?

Our stomachs have more control over our brains than we could ever imagine.  That being said, it is so important to listen to our belly's signals.  There is always the "ate too much Chinese food" tummy ache but gastrointestinal illnesses are often triggered by stress in our lives.  Stress that our crafty brains may justify for money, career, love, whatever it may be...but our gut is a straight shooter...a real honest organ.  Listen to it, and treat it right.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Enjoy the Serenity

I tutor a 12 year old in creative writing every Thursday morning in a local coffee shop.  Today, as I was waiting for her to arrive an elderly couple asked me how far along I was.  I told them the doc said the baby should be here by the weekend.  The woman, an expecting grandmother, looked at me and said "Enjoy the serenity now."

The fact that I had already told her I had a 20 month old at home, and she still advised me to enjoy the serenity is just further confirmation how this new baby is going to rock our world.  Chef has noooo idea. But he will soon...she is definitely on the move.  I am sure she will be here by Saturday.

People have a lot of advice for huge pregnant women, but what we need most is help.  Last weekend an angel, namely my friend Heather Sparks...a beautiful Scorpio mama, came to visit.  She woke up with Lil' Bit every morning at 6:30...cleaned my house every day...did my laundry...helped me garden...cooked us was incredible.  I finally beat that head cold thanks to her kindness.  There is nothing like lady friends...they know.  Also last week, my dear friend and fantastic photographer Abby Liga sent me my maternity photos.  She posted them on her blog.  They are really lovely...just like Abby.

Last night I made Giada De Laurentiis Eggplant Puree Rigatoni.  Eggplant is not in season fact I purchased this eggplant at the farmer's market and thought to myself, strange. People swear Eggplant induces labor, and I am willing to try anything.  I brought the purple vegetable home and there was sticker on it that said it was grown in Mexico.  Duped.  

Note to self:  Always ask the farmer at the farmer's market to specify what they grew and what they bought in...some of their wares are far from local.

The ingredients for the pasta sauce are pictured above before roasting, and below after before I hit the pulse on the food processor.  I was going to include a final shot of the dish, but while it tasted totally delicious...the sauce was not so asethetically pleasing once pureed.  The flavors are subtle, and fresh.  Lil' Bit chowed down on it and Chef loved it.  He has a palette of champions... So when he says something tastes great it must. The mint in the sauce cut the heat of the red pepper perfectly. It is easy...done in less than an hour and is fabulous.

Right now I have a pot of red raspberry leaf tea on the stove.  When I say pot I mean a large sauce pot, not a little kettle.  Red Raspberry Leaf  has been used for thousands of years as a woman's tonic.  It tones the uterus making it stronger for contractions, and helps it return back to normal size post labor.  I will be sucking this stuff down for the next twenty four hours, and peeing every 45 minutes.  9 months is a long time and mama needs to see her toes again.  I have been pregnant since June.  Since June!

Tonight...Caprese salad with chicken.  Basil and Oregano both contain something in them that supposedly induces labor.

I am pulling out all the stops people.  This newbie will be here in the next few days...I can feel it.  That being said, the next few weeks I am going to take a little time off from cyber space.  I will be posting fun strange food facts to keep you entertained, and as soon as I am able I will return with lots of fodder for writing!

Wish me luck...Lil' Bit was 24 hours of natural labor.  I am hoping this sugar pie comes fast and furious!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chocolate before 7 am

Is it wrong to eat chocolate before 7 am?  Answer...No.  Not if you are absurdly pregnant with a head cold and are not drinking coffee and have just spent the past five minutes out in the pouring rain bringing in trays of seedlings before they perished in the torrent.  And is not like I dipped into the pot de creme in the fridge.  No, just a small bite from an organic chocolate bar to make me feel a little better.

Chocolate makes everything better.  That is my motto.  This may sound terrible, but when Lil' Bit is having a rough day and just can't seem to keep it together my last weapon against full blown temper tantrum is a little bit of chocolate.  It is amazing how she will go from sour to sweet with just a nibble.  I feel the same way.  Just a bite of chocolate and I too feel immediately better.

It is one of the world's most favorite foods for a reason, and it is not because of its looks if you know what I mean?  Studies show that it releases endorphins, increases blood flow, and relieves anxiety.  In other words, it makes you feel good.

I gave Chef a word of advice this week, "You realize that in about 2 weeks you will be the lone human male living with 3 women in a confined space for the rest of your days?  I have one word of advice, always keep chocolate in the house."

After my little pre-sunrise indulgence, I decided to go full force and had an English muffin with a nice scoop of...
Whatevs.  If there is one point in woman's life when chocolate should take precedent over basic nutrition it is at 38 weeks pregnant.