Thursday, September 30, 2010


I completed my first health history Tuesday night.  I was concerned and excited about doing it, but was so glad I did it.  I learned quite a bit about myself as well as a whole ton about someone else.

What did I learn (or was reminded of)?
- I am shy about asking highly personal data (even though most of this is highly personal)
- Most people love to talk about themselves
- Listening well is hard, but rewarding
- Apparently I have a soothing phone voice (could have used that in other potential careers?)
- This job is going to rock
- My own life experience, while quite unique, can lead me to the same place as others
- It is fun learning/meeting new people
- I'll stop here - this list is starting to get inane

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I just finished reading a great book by Isabel Allende (who I love) about Haiti and Louisiana in the late 1700 and early 1800s.  Slavery of course was a main theme in the book as the characters were mostly slaves, free blacks and slave owners.  That isn't the point of this post though.

What I find interesting is when they mention the fact that slaves would wear their babies on their back and breastfeed their children, keeping them attached to them for the first 3-6 months until they were cared for by an older women on the plantation.  Meanwhile the white people would birth a baby and it would almost immediately be taken away to a slave who would breastfeed it.  If the the baby wouldn't take the milk then it would be given a rice or amaranth grain milk.

And this separation between mother and child of the upper classes continued through the revolution, the 1800s and 1900s until the 50s or 60s when the La Leche League and other groups of mothers got together and changed it. 

Now what is in vogue?  Attachment parenting, increased preference given to breastfeeding and if that doesn't work, a grain-based formula... How interesting that we are now living in a time that is trying to get back to what was natural in the 16, 17 and 1800s!  From locavores to urban farming to attachment parenting we are trying to simplify our lives and stop being so detached from the cycle of life.

Good for us, but what has taken us so long?

Friday, September 24, 2010


So I find myself in the same place I was one and a half years ago - looking for a new yoga instructor.  It is a bit frustrating, really, because I am drawn to strong personalities and those are not easy to find.  I need my yoga instructors to be dynamic, adventurous and fun.  I have loved my two instructors dearly and can't imagine finding replacements.  Searching around I actually found a few classes that look promising at yoga pearl, but the classes are at 4 or 4:30.  What, do only working people go there?  Or just SAHMs who have nannies?  I don't know, but that is frustrating.

I was beginning to think that maybe it was time to move on, but what could I do?  I really enjoy triathlons and other races, but they don't give me the calming, centering, grounding, yet exploring experience I love.  Pilates seems like a step back.  Soccer just doesn't seem right anymore. Until Mason's team needs a coach, that is.

Where are the other adventure yogis out there?  And what are they doing?

Because thinking about giving it up makes me sad.  I'm just not done with it yet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nuts about

Nuts of course, so you can surely imagine how much I like my almond flour.  I do! I am already excited about making my almond flour pancakes again this weekend, but will try to sub coconut milk for the heavy cream (my lactose enzyme is lacking).  I eat nuts most days, so when I forgot to soak my chickpeas for the chickpea, kale and tomato salad last night I was at a loss for a moment until I thought of adding walnuts.  Et, voilà !  I made a new recipe.  All on my ownsome.  I am super excited.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  Oh, and it is good for lunch the next day too.  Oh, and it is warm so it is super yummy for winter too.

Here is the original since it rocks too:
And the nutty one:

Put the joy in

I spent the weekend with my parents and on the drive from the airport my mom told me about a friend of hers who she is a little concerned about.  It seems that she lost some weight on WW two years ago and is so concentrated on maintaining that weight loss that she obsesses about food.  This makes it hard to eat around her sometimes for all her rules.  Two years is a long time to be obsessed.  And I really don't want that to be me.  And this sounds a bit like me now.

Dinner has long been a battle around here.  My son hates my dinners.  Why?  Because they are healthy.  And for a while now I've felt like that battle isn't worth it.  Will he be malnourished if I give in a little bit?  Probably not.  Look at my husband.  He didn't grow up with good food models and he seems to be just fine.  I'm the fucked up one.

I've lost the joy in making food and sometimes recently even I think the food tastes too healthy.  And this shouldn't be its primary function.  It should provide nourishment, yes.  But eating dinner together should be a positive shared experience.  I think I need to put the joy back into the food.  Make it primarily yummy and have healthy be the secondary function.

I read recently that the mood you are in impacts the speed of digestion.  Sadness slows it down.  I don't want to be sad while I eat.  I want to put the joy back in.  Balance, as ever, is key.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This month in being a woman

Being a woman has its distinct advantages. However, the disadvantages come in a monthly package. Monthly I deal with emotional spikes and consequential eating issues. This month there is a new twist - I have increased acid in my esophogus causing almost constant heartburn. YAY! I never had heartburn pre-pregnancy, but my short-waistedness and firery child inside made it a 5 month joy of popping crystallized ginger and tums. Now it is back. Yay! Luckily I found some deglycyrrizinated licorice root extract (dgl) and it has helped a ton.

That leads to my second issue the month. Overeating. Weirdly there is a variant to the norm of shoveling sweets down my throat at night. This month I am just overeating. Nuts. Weird. Back away from the nuts, Brooke.

I wonder what next month will bring?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When in Doubt

Throw a chutney at it! This is quickly becoming our family joke after spending the weekend jarring and Saturday night's Salsa Festival. We sure know how to have fun, don't we?

Fresh veggies to start with become:

Two kinds of salsa and peach chutney ready for winter!

I am so excited that I am making foods now that will taste great outside of their season. The blueberry jam was a hit so now we moved on. Not sure what is next. Ideas?

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Beginnings

For the past year I have been experimenting. I have spent my time concentrating on health and nutrition. I have sought out new ways of eating; ways of eating that satisfied my body and mind. Today I registered at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, a program I learned about a year ago from a friend from high school. At the end of the twelve month program I will be a certified health and wellness coach and will be on my way towards a new career. A career that aligns well with my current interests and a lifetime of finding ways for my eating habits to support my interest in healthy movement.

I played soccer for 25 years, have been a yogi for 10 and a triathlete for three. I have worked out regularly for the past 15 years and have always worked hard to do things that were good for my body. But, I was always embarrased that my body on the outside didn't match how it felt to me on the inside. I started doing cleanses 10 years ago to help clean out my vital organs and eventually began Weight Watchers. I spent 8 years trying different diets (I gained the WW weight back after achieving Lifetime status - I think I still have the key somewhere :).

After losing weight last year I spent so much time reading about nutrition and different ways of eating. I began to feel that I had something to contribute in the field and started this blog and eventually the recipe wiki. When I heard about the IIN I loved that they say that there is no one diet that is right for everyone. That really stuck with me and over this past year I have spent time looking at various diets and the benefits they might have. And that my past experience isn't a waste, it was the path I needed to be on to find out what worked for me. This research will now serve me well as I begin a new chapter in my life.

I don't know exactly what I'll do once I finish the program. Perhaps I will look at sports nutrition, nutrition for yogis, nutrition for children. Who knows? But how exciting!