Monday, September 29, 2014

homemade applesauce and muffins

so i went a little crazy with the organic apples we picked from avalon organics.
the kids are eating tons, and if you happen to come for a personal or patient visit, you will likely leave with a tasty snack.
so today, i made some applesauce.
i did not have a recipe. i chopped up a pot full of apples. added some cinnamon, a splash of water and a glug (i love how jamie oliver uses this term) of maple syrup. i cooked it until the apples looked done and then pureed with my stainless steel braun handblender. easy and tasty.
i then used a cup of this applesauce into these muffins.
1 1/2 cup spelt flour (you can use a gluten free blend)
1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
mix all of the above dry.
in a separate bowl mix 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 cup applesauce.
i then added in some vegan chocolate chips, which then melted as the applesauce and coconut oil were hot. kids didn't seem to complain.
i baked at 375 for about 12 minutes.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

the juggler.....

i'm not sure when i mastered the art of juggling. i don't mean the kind where you juggle 3 balls. this kind of juggling i'm doing is alot harder. it's the kind where you toss endless responsibilities into the air and try to carefully catch each one as they descend. not letting a single item hit the ground.

this is what i believed the "art" of being a perfect working mother was all about.

i thought this september would be easier as the kids went back to school. nope. it was crazier. timely drop offs and pick ups. playdates and programs. perfect lunches and healthy dinners. homework and assignments. and then one day your son gets bit by a mink and you spend the night in ER. ahhhh.....

oh, and let's not forget i work. i am so fortunate to love being an ND. september was a super busy month. 3 natural births, patient visits, corporate work and teaching at CCNM. and then there's social media to keep up with. i know it's the busy energy of the fall and i'm grateful, but it adds to the art of juggling.

we also experienced 2 sad losses this month. an old friend (as in years known) and our old dog (as in aged). it's only been a few days without our beloved dex, but adjusting to our house without the sounds of the clickety clack nails is harder than i thought.

so, all this being said, i thought i would share 5 simple tips that deal with stress and bring forth calmess.

herbal teas: i love tea blends. i usally go to a health food store and pick up loose herbs and mix them together. my favorites are chamomile, oatstraw, lavender and nettles. these help calm the nervous system, aid in digestion and are rich in vitmains and minerals, which are in higher demands when your body is stressed.

exercise: i don't seem to have enough hours in my day, but i can't go without being active. for me, it's yoga and tennis. it can be anything you like. just find something you enjoy and move your body. it calms the mind, releases endorphins (happy hormones), and keeps your blood and energy moving at a time when things feel hectic. i prioritize these.

healthy food: a good friend teases me for all my chopping. it's true. i chop alot. i find it therapeutic and enjoy making heathy eats. it's not fancy food, at all. it's simple and fresh. cutting up fresh fruit or vegetables, making a quick stir fry, or soup. i'm mindful of sugars, processed foods and additivies. when our bodies are fueled with good nutrients it helps us power through the tasks at hand.

adrenal support: our adrenals support our bodies in times of stress. a simple b-complex taken daily can help maintain energy levels and keep us balanced in stressful time. there are endless herbs and products for the adrenals so ask an expert for what is best for you.

learning to let things fall. i try to be the perfect mom for my children. i try to be the best and most attentive ND for my patients. i'm realizing, i can still be those things without pushing myself to my limit.

i'm now practicing the art of not being the perfect juggler and realizing it's ok.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

herbal infused oils

i really love these "DIY" herbal home creations. they are super simple to make and are very useful. so, i wanted to share my creations here! If you make anything let me know how it goes and feel free to share.
This week......i made some infused oil. Once you have the tools (ie. mason jars) and ingredients (herbs and oil), really quite simple, you are set to go.....

I picked up this organic olive oil at costco. I believe it was 13$ for 2 bottles. can't beat that price.
the lavender i collected from the cottage we were at in august. the 3 other herbs i picked up at Noahs at bloor and spadina (my old stomping ground)!
i decided to make 2 separate jars. 
one soothing, the other more healing
the first is calendula and lavender, both soothing. 
calendula is bright yellow/orange and is very well known for its healing properties to the skin. it is wonderful for inflammation, cuts, bruises, burns and even diaper rash. i mixed it with a bit of lavender for its aromatic and soothing properties. once the herbs are in the jar (fill them to the top), cover the herbs with olive oil until it reaches the top of the jar. done.

the next jar is 3/4 comfrey and 1/4 chickweed. comfrey brings healing to any part of the body in about half the normal time it would take. so topically, it is wonderful for minor wounds to the skin, bruises, and even to broken bones. it also has wonderful facial benefits as it is able to tighten and moisten the skin, really acting as a wonderful anti-aging agent. chickweed also reduces inflammation for minor burns, skin irritations and also speeds up the healing process. i then did the same and topped this jar with olive oil.
i am going to let the jars sit for the next month so the herbs can infuse as i'm not in a rush. if you wanted to speed the process up you could place them on the base of a heat plate for a few days or place the jar in the oven on a low heat ie. 200F for about 3-4 hours.
once the oil is infused, you can cheesecloth the oil out and use it as is. you could also combine it with some shea butter or cocoa butter to make a salve. i will get to that part when my oil is ready!