A staple meal – brown rice, vegetables, protein

What is a staple meal? A food or meal that is eaten routinely and so often that it dominates over other options in a given population. Usually energy packed with high nutrient content, a community can live on only 2 or 3 staples. Usually inexpensive, accessible, and suitable for long periods of storage, staple foods provide one or more powerful macronutrients needed for survival and ultimate health: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Usually plant based, staple foods consist of- grains like wheat, barley, rye, millet, quinoa or rice; root vegetables like potatoes, yams, taro, and cassava. In some cases, fishing serves the community as the primary source of nutrition, therefore; fish may be considered a staple.

We just got back from New York City. Spending a good amount of our vacation budget, we needed to carry out the week with a strict budget in mind. We decided to use up the items in our freezer, fridge and pantry with one stop to a new market before it closes for summer (Phillip Estate Wednesday Market). About once a week, brown rice & veggies with some form of protein is on our menu. This is our staple. It is flexible, healthy, and budget-friendly. What is yours?

Brown rice – My history with brown rice began a few years ago when I heard it was a better choice over white rice. So I began choosing it when available at local sushi and asian style restaurants. Never really researching for myself, I thought “according to Oprah, just say no to all starches that are white – flour, bread, rice, etc.” Now in present tense, when my severe abdominal discomfort & bloating came into play, my elimination diet relied on the great grain. Great because brown rice has all bran layers intact, holding on to its naturally present nutrients. Brown rice contains the highest amount of B vitamins out of all grains. This great grain is high in fiber; contains iron, vitamin E, amino acids, and linoleic acid. In many cultures around the world, brown rice is eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

BUYING & STORING

  • Good quality may contain a small amount of green grains and that is a good sign!
  • When buying in bulk, store in an airtight glass jar in a dark cupboard. When not buying bulk, make sure to read the package as it may advise refrigeration.

SOAKING & COOKING

  • Recently, I started soaking grains before cooking. For years I thought it was silly and not possible for busy people. Yet now with a little more time to slow my flow, I see the benefits through the texture after cooking and digesting after eating. DEFINITELY WORTH A TRY TO SEE IF SOAKING MAKES A DIFFERENCE FOR YOU! I soak 1 cup of brown rice in enough water that the rice is covered with a splash or two of apple cider vinegar.
  • Over the last 2 years I am taking the easy route of cooking rice….a rice cooker. 🙂

DSCN3129

CHARACTERISTICS

  • Promotes good digestion and is gluten free
  • Quenches thirst
  • Balances blood sugar and controls mood swings

Vegetables – We use whatever vegetables we have at the time and throw in to our meal. Last night we had squash, sweet peppers, leeks, and lacinto kale. Another night we might have mushrooms, broccoli, peas, and carrots. Use what is local and seasonal, have fun! A great way to get kids to enjoy vegetables. Take it from me, my son is an extremely picky eater which emphasizes his strong personality yet he knows if its rice & veggie night its time to get down on whatever veggies are around. And recently, he’s pretty ok with it.

DSCN3136

Protein – We mainly use plant based protein sources in our meals. However, if my man is feeling like he needs a change he will add chicken or fish to his dish. Last night we used tempeh which is personally my fav. My son does ok with tofu. So choose what works for you.

DSCN3133

Cooking oils – For this meal, we mainly stick with sesame oil (sometimes toasted), maybe a little ghee if we have. Always adding flavor with spices and garlic or ginger.

DSCN3138

Viola! Unfortunately, we were very hungry and pressed for time so I did not take pics of the finished product! HA!

a day to celebrate mothers

As I’ve stated before, “celebration days” are a thing of wonder in my mind. Not in a pessimistic way. In the way of…questioning the tradition of choosing one day out of the year to put someone or something or some tradition on a pedestal. Yet over the past year, I see it more of a way to set an intention. And as a parent, an opportunity to learn, mold as needed, then lead the way, with hopes that my offspring will eventually think and reflect rather than blindly follow the herd.

There is something to say about mothers using this day as a way to shine, or shout out loud their deepest wants and needs. And for some, that may simply be to sit in silence. Yet I can’t help put think of how many women in the world don’t have this opportunity or end up being the very source of providing whatever this shine or shout is. As a daughter, I have spent the days leading up to mothers day preparing a gift or a day of fun, always with a thoughtful written note. As a mother, I have spent mothers day’s with my spirit locked in a room too scared and insecure to come out. And I have spent a couple mothers day’s with heart ache and grief. Through it all, it is important to remember that our visions (desires, dreams, etc) become clear only when we look within. It is when we look outside that we loose the clarity of that which we seek. So fellow momma’s, today I wish for you all to have the space and time (even if 10 mins) to turn within and investigate the crevices of you. I wish for you to have the courage to stand in your truth and live the life you want to. Being the greatest example to your children.

On a personal note…last years mothers day, something clicked. My son collected a bunch of rocks from his schools grounds as my gift. Gratitude for simplicity overwhelmed me in the moment of unveiling the rocks. When we spoke about the rocks, he explained it was all he had…all he could come up with. And he said this in a matter of fact way, in a “well its the truth” way. No fear of judgement. No anxiety about an outcome. I could hardly find the words to express that the rocks were more than enough. The thought of him stopping his day of work and play to collect rocks of different size and color. The thought of him finding time to pause within his day to think of me. That…is enough. In fact, I believe this world could use a whole lot more of this simple act. Pause more. Feel less. Think and reflect more. Revel in the simple things. Drop the complicatedness.

This year, with a much more free spirit, I voiced the following:

  • breakfast in bed sounds lovely
  • a day at the beach…family, sand, salt water, sunshine, spring/summer foods
  • a break from social media

Although plans changed a bit, the day was so full and yet so simple. Just the way momma likes it!

DSCN1722

DSCN1720

DSCN2919

Cleansing/Detoxing: Part 1

The new year is now 4 months in and we may start hearing the words DETOX or CLEANSE ALOT! Many people (including myself and sig other) are setting the intention to lighten the dietary load on their bodies and there is no better time to do so than SPRING almost SUMMER. “Spring cleaning” is not just for the things that build up in our closets, cabinets and such; it is also for our bodies, minds, and spirits.

A detox or cleanse is a way to LIVE and EAT cleanly, ridding the body of toxins and pollutants by introducing only high-nutrient, whole foods. Our bodies know how to cleanse and restore, so by detoxifying we are giving it a helping hand. With the MANY varieties of detox’s or cleanse’s, the goal is to get rid of toxins that have been stored (in our fat cells) for who knows how long, giving our organs (think skin and liver which play major parts in the detoxifying process) the chance to revitalize. Yet it is not just about diet. Hydrotherapy, facial exfoliation, skin brushing, manual lymphatic drainage massage, and deep breathing exercises will all help expel toxins by improving circulation and enhancing lymphatic flow. And what about the toxic thoughts and feelings that occur in the mind? Did you know adrenaline and other chemicals our bodies produce in reaction to stress cause the body to produce toxic substances and free radicals?

I first heard of cleansing while growing up with a catholic grandmother. What is known as fasting, I saw as cleansing. In my younger years I saw my devoted grandmothers ways a way of service, to her faith and her self. This thought was so inspiring to my young mind. Then in college, The Master Cleanse was brought up in discussion and I have yet to take on the challenge. Nowadays, there are juice, RAW foods only, or soup cleanses.

What I have learned and put in to practice is that there are things that should be considered before, during and after all cleanses. Below is a guide based on juice cleansing. NOTE: If you are on medication, have a serious illness or are pregnant please consult your healthcare practitioner. Here’s to squeezing out the old and letting in the new!

BEFORE:

  • Plan ahead and stock up. Whether you are making your own juices or ordering from a cleansing company, its a good idea (and cost effective for shopping) to plan ahead. Maybe make up a meal plan to guide throughout the allotted cleanse time. When shopping, stock up on herbal teas because you can have as much as you like before, during and after cleansing. Take a look at your calendar and limit social engagements. Unless you are super strong and can resist usual temptations at social gatherings.
  • Purchase a dry brush. Sound crazy? Trust me! Dry brushing is known for pumping up the lymph system and getting rid of dead skin cells. Want your skin to glow in time for summer? Start with dry brushing by removing the top dull, dead layer of skin and encouraging new cells to regenerate. There is a certain technique. Make sure your brush is one of natural bristles and has either a handle or straps to reach those hard to reach places (SEE BELOW FOR ROUTINE).
  • Purchase a journal if you like that sort of thing. Journaling will help get out your thoughts and feelings wether postive or negative just get them out! Writing shit out may also spurt creativity that has been locked away.

5-minute skin brushing routine:

KEY PARTS- Preferably in the am BEFORE showering and in a warm room. Start at feet and work upwards towards the heart.heart-hands-karl-addison

  1. Place towels underneath where you will stand or sit comfortably. Begin with the sole of your Right foot. Using firm, rhythmic strokes, brush the sole several times. Then move to the top of your foot, brushing upwards toward your ankle. Then go on to your lower leg, making sure you cover the whole surface-shin and calf. Always brush in an upward direction. Stand up and brush the area from your knee to the top of your thigh. Make sure you cover the whole area several times, using long rhythmic strokes. Brush your buttock area as far as your waist. REPEAT the whole procedure on your Left leg, starting with the sole of your foot.
  2. Starting from the top of your buttocks, brush the whole of your back several times all the way up to the shoulders.
  3. Next, brush your right arm. Start with the palm of your hand, move to the back of the hand and then brush from your wrist up to your elbow, always upward. Brush your upper arm, working from your elbow towards your shoulder, again covering the whole surface of the arm. REPEAT on your Left side.
  4. Very gently, brush your abdomen in a clockwise circle. Cover the area several times but with less pressure than on your arms and legs. If at any time this feels uncomfortable, stop.
  5. The neck and chest are also very sensitive so be gentle, always working towards your heart.

Next week, tips “during” a cleanse.