I have this unique ability to not hear anything going on around me when I type or read and when my oldest child Mac told me I was getting "too much screen time", well, I realized something's gotta give. This lovely little blog was the beginning. I started it after my sister came in town on Labor Day 2012; Katie gave me a frame with fabric embroidered inside, "to the mullies" giving homage to the make believe land we used to "swing" to after we jumped off our swing set. She and her family are here now vacationing with us for a lovely looooong week. Writing here helped get me through our life altering family food change... boy have I learned a lot. Perhaps I will post again after the Summer, perhaps I will not. In the meantime, you can find me with my family and friends swinging to the mullies on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and on YouTube. Most especially, keep up with all of us in the Lake County Food Revolution on Facebook and Twitter cuz food is forever.
I'm having way too much fun smashing it with other ambassadors and foodie friends alike. Turns out I super love making videos cooking with my kids:) I taught myself how to splice footage and edit videos together on my iphone and taking a break from the blog will give me a chance to see how much trouble we can get into showing how this American FoodRev family is swinging her bat. Thumbs up, sideways or down... Single, double, triple or a home run... Let's cook tried and true recipes from all over the nation and globe together... I hope you too will gather a little team and try cooking along with me - that way we won't feel so alone if our busy lives and kids give us the finger to sit the bench. The game goes by way.too.fast and I'm only sitting to catch my breath.
Here's our latest, just in time for your 4th of July picnics and barbecues!!!
Recipe sent with love from Food Rev Haarlem, Netherlands by Food Rev Ambassador Terri Salminen. She and I are having a blast communicating over the ocean and getting to know each other "on the line". We have become fast friends and I feel so lucky to be connected with her! I cannot wait to see what we smash up next:) I decided to post her recipe as she wrote it to me, as it's so terribly simple and delicious and I want her voice to be here with me. I had enough to make three last cocktails yesterday for the arrival of my sis and bro-in-law. I added some vodka, cut strawberries and stirred it up in some gorgeous copper mugs. Oh I'll be making this one again and again:)
Hello there Lindsey -- This is what I did: cut three large stalks of rhubarb into chunks and put them in a sauce pan, just covering them with water (about 1 liter). Squeeze the juice of one lemon, and drop the lemons in the pan with a whole vanilla pod. Bring the ingredients to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Let the rhubarb cook 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and strain the rhubarb through a sieve. Return the juices and the vanilla pod into the pan, removing the cut lemons. Now -- this is the fun part. Simmer the rhubarb juice to half its original quantity (about 20 minutes) on low heat. When cooked down and turning dark pink, add two to three tablespoons of honey -- sweetening it to taste. Let the rhubarb juice cool -- keeping the vanilla pod in for flavor. It's wonderfully tart and delicious -- especially with a splash of San Pellegrino mineral water, some cut strawberries and fresh mint leaves. xxxxxxTerri
So with that, here's my parting thoughts on this glorious 4th of July week. I'm thinking about my beloved America, about becoming a Food Patriot and it's such perfect timing.
I started this blog with a question: Will this family food change help improve Abbie's symptoms and avoid an ADHD diagnosis with subsequent medication? I'm signing off this Summer with my theory on why our family food change helped Abbie shed the ADHD and sensory processing symptoms. Was it the reduction in refined sugar? The elimination of artificial color and preservatives? The removal of gluten? Or was it something else that connected these elements? Today I'm going to talk about GUTS and connect some dots.
Here we go...
The effects of ABX on our gut bacteria are known by most of us. Use them too often and they kill off the good AND bad guys in our guts; Think Vietnam agent orange carpet bombing. Throughout our lives (starting in the womb), we get numerous, sometimes unnecessary (sometimes life saving) doses of ABX. In addition, our factory farmed animal meat is loaded with it. ABX make animals big and fat fast and they help animals survive the unnatural conditions of crowded factory farm barns. How much ABX is left in the meat when we eat it? More than we think.
Filtering the GMO debate
GMOs have really come into the limelight over the past two years. I certainly had no idea about them when I started looking into our food. One must separate genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) first so that we can talk about our guts. Think of what humans do in GEO's as forced plant sex... we've been doing it by hand in fields and in laboratories for centuries. On the other hand, GMO's are created when scientists splice a class of herbicides such as glyphosate (the active ingredient in the popular weed killer "Roundup") with the plant seed's own DNA so that every cell of the plant gives off the neurotoxin. These crops are classified as systemic neoniconitoids (SN-GMOs) and were approved in the glorious 1980's. Because they are cheap, these crops overwhelmthe ingredient lists of our processed food and new research is showing these crops have put the world food supply at risk. But how could they have been approved in the first place?! Here's what happened: These herbicides cause a fatal neurological pathway disruption (the shikimate pathway) in plant and bacteria cells which kills them. This pathway does not even exist in our human cells so it was deemed safe back in the 80's because industry scientists and the FDA were not paying attention to the bacteria in our guts. Like the tobacco industry, SN-GMO safety has been determined by its own GMO seed industry research, not by independent research = big red flag. Also, their testing trial length is 90 days = not an appropriate length for human safety standards.
Are you still with me?:)
Enter in the science of Microbiology and the Human Microbiome Project.
Since the 1980s, we have learned much about the microorganisms that inhabit our bodies. To this day, we have only scraped the surface on the association between our gut bacteria in both healthy and diseased individuals. Here's the nitty gritty (and read more in this book): Our gut bacteria outnumber our human cells 10-1 in our digestive track. The loss or weakening of our gut bacteria lining in our intestines = Dysbiosis or "leaky gut syndrome". Food proteins can then sneak into the blood and these foreign proteins stimulate an immune response in our body = food sensitivities & allergies. In addition to digestion, we are learning that gut bacteria handles mood regulation, neurotransmitter production (the ADHD brain?) and immune function. The gut-brain relationship is a glorious new scientific frontier. Bottom line: Bacteria = the building blocks of earthly life. Bees, farm animals and humans all have gut bacteria and these little buggers keep us alive.
Connecting Roundup, SN-GMOs and ABX
Common non-SN-GMO crops such as wheat and sugar are doused with Roundup to kill the crop and hasten the harvest. Remember that Oregon Farmer who discovered illegal SN-GMO wheat in his fields a few years back? (Monsanto had planted and tested SN-GMO wheat in OR, but alas it was never approved by the FDA). Imagine the farmer's shock when he sprayed his crop with Roundup and the wheat didn't die... So, not only do we have Roundup and other harmful herbicides INSIDE the DNA of our food protein, but we also have it sprayed all over the OUTSIDE of super common conventional food crops + we may not be able to STOP this crap from spreading in the wild. Yum. The combination of toxic herbicide load, SN-GMO foreign food proteins and ABX overuse is altering and wiping out our gut bacteria which is leading to a wide range of unintended physical and mental health issues, unique to each person's own DNA. Our food change worked. Eating and cooking with real food (and choosing cleaner, organically processed food) helped repair Abbie's guts... all of our guts. We will continue to avoid fake foods - artificial color and preservatives, SN-GMOs and heavily herbicide ridden foods like the dirty dozen, wheat and refined sugar. Abbie has food sensitivities to these foods which was causing her symptoms. We do cheat and symptoms come back, though never as severe. Turns out we all feel better when we eat clean, and we're certainly slimmer (Me, Chris and my parents have lost a grand total of 75+ pounds with no "dieting"). It's the key to our continued, imperfect success and it's the common thread connecting all of the amazing health success stories I read about every day. Each of our food maps look different and I'm hoping to give my Abbie, Mac and Tommy a foodie pen so they can write without me someday. So where do we go from here?
Spread the word birds: Russia just completely banned GMOs. And Europe has always either labeled them or banned them (Europe also puts labels on food with artificial color explaining it causes hyperactivity in children). Americans are unknowingly stuffing our faces with SN-GMOs & fake food because we have no labeling laws and we innocently trust our pisspoor FDA regulated food industry standards. Read about how the famous Seralini Study has been republished after three rounds of rigorous scientific peer review (after being retracted by an editor who was a former Monsanto employee). I hope we continue to reach out and hold the hands with the rest of the gathering world on GMOs and labeling laws. You know what they say, "open hands are hard to hold on to anyway"... I super hate the ending of Titanic.
I hope you enjoyed and were able to follow my somewhat simple, geeky synopsis. We have a light on the path that is much brighter than when I started two years ago. I'm so glad I didn't wait to try cleaning up our food and I'm here to cheer you on. Go balls out for real food with me. You.have.nothing.to.lose.
Don't let the torch go out. Find your inner nerd. Read and google about how to achieve strong, stellar gut... Find your inner athlete and start practicing in the kitchen. Don't give up on your meal planning and bring your kids along on some fun cooking runs... Become a Food Patriot and start changing the marketplace with every purchase towards food companies you can trust. YOU make a difference no matter how small a change you are making...
2 organic mangos + 1 can whole coconut milk + the 5 strawberries left in the fridge + 1/2 c of frozen raspberries forgotten in the freezer + a few swirls of coconut nectar (maple syrup or honey will do too!)
blend it until smooth and creamy.
fill your fun pop molds and freeze.
happy breakfast bonus this morning! the kids give them super high and wide thumbs UP.
i joined jennifer and jeff spitz at chicago's amudsen high school to experience a food patriots student showcase event. weeks ago, the high school screened food patriots. biology students then chose from a multitude of options to fulfill a "food health service project" (if you are a teacher, insert your class here: sciences, consumer economics, english, reading, math, technology... it's a core curriculum's dream). i had the pleasure of walking around, listening and speaking to the 200+ biology students who presented their short film documentaries, photo displays, poems, rap songs, skits, powerpoint presentations, research and countless science projects eclipsing around what they took away from the food patriots film screening.
i pinched myself a few times. "this is actually possible"... "this is actually happening" ...
i was blown away. i even had tears in my eyes a couple of times as these kids weren't just teaching each other, (students poured in each class period to talk to the biology students and "vote" on the most impactful projects in a variety of categories) they taught me. being in the gym, experiencing this from both a food ambassador and a coach's perspective, it's hard not to see the food education parallel with athletic training. you proudly (sometimes painfully) master one aspect and you're off to another... and another and another until it's "way more than just a 10% change". the connectivity in and outside of the school was electric. each student had something personal to share on how their 10% change was growing bigger every week. talk about a fun way tofood ed swap and get kids teaching kids!
i am a dreamer. i like to be around dreamers like jennifer and jeff. i have so much hope for the lake county food revolution and this infectious food patriot thang. time and time again, this film is proving to cross political, socioeconomic, ethnic and racial boundaries. people of all ages and sorts are leaving the food matrix inspired to gather and sit at the same table. food patriots are up for the challenge of improving america's food.
with our 3rd successful food revolution day in the books, i'm looking forward to the next: making more cooking videos with my kids, working alongside the food revolution & food patriots to bring food education into every lake county school, community and workplace we can!
i've made sweet potato gnocchi before, almost a perfect year ago (why i haven't made for awhile i have no idea)... here is an old post from last june when i made it without the food processor. the food processor sure makes a gorgeous smooth and creamy consistency! my girlfriend briana has a wickedly tasty version that is stuffed with manchego cheese (swoon).
there are so many great gnocci recipes out there and this one here was made with gumption... NO RECIPE OUT! just my memory. no guts no glory. i did not carefully measure anything... so guess what? you don't have to either:)
the mullies sweet potato gnocchi
2 lbs organic sweet potatoes (pierce with a fork and roast whole on a cookie sheet for 45 min at 375)
4 cloves garlic minced
3/4 tsp nutmeg (eyeballed)
1 tsp sea salt (eyeballed)
pinch of white pepper
-wiz above ingredients in a food processor until super smooth and creamy (orangy and luscious). dump in a large bowl and mix in 4 cups gf flour. since it was still too wet, i added around another cup until i got a slightly tacky dough to the touch (5 cups total?). (since there are a lot of flour options out there you just have to go with the feel and touch of the dough.) cover your surface with a dusting of flour, roll out some logs and have a party with your smooshy balls. boil up some salted water. plop them in and when they float to the top, they are done! use a slotted spoon to get them out of the boiling water. it took about three batches.
we made these in the morning, so i placed my cookie sheets in the fridge until dinner time.
fresh sage and ghee sauce
recipe inspo found here
4 T ghee (or grass fed butter)
juice from a half lemon
8 sage leaves from our kitchen garden
melt the oil in a pan for a few minutes (i heated it up for too long and had a volcano of hot lava spitting at me... don't do that). remove from heat and add the leaves and lemon juice. pour over the smooshy balls and mix it all up nice and pretty.
season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. topped it off with some lovely raw, 12 month old manchego (sheep's) cheese.
the mullies kitchen diaries = cooking with my family and friends. the plethora of cookbooks, the massive culinary talent and inspiration out there is mine to experiment with and learn from... i'll never run out of material with jamie and his foodtube & drinkstube out there:) the global food revolution is my home and my niche is testing out sweet recipes, sharing the moments, the loveliness of cooking with your kids... the hilarity, the music, the pain.in.the.ass.moments which capture the reality of us, of the current generation of parents getting back into our kitchens and the massive task teaching our kids to do the same. i am a food patriot and i hope to help bring back the energy, the spark and the enjoyment (+ frustrations) of "from scratch cooking" mixed in with the grocery shopping, the adventures in gardening and the escapades of eating out.
and with that said...
here's how dinner turned out!
my parents brought over freshly grilled fish and white wine. i made my grandma millie's cucumber salad and roasted broccoli (a fam favorite). above is a picture capturing tommy scooping up his 3rd helping. did he eat more because he made it with me or because the gnocchi was just.that.good? i think it was a little of both;) it's so fun to eat smooshy balls!
after dinner, the boys made these for me. it's made the foodmatrix we've escaped from so very worth it... so.very.lovely.indeed.
next up, my visit to a student showcase with the food patriots. i have never been more inspired by food education and what could be in store for our lake county schools!!
so i thought i wasn't going to post anything until after FRD... but then i made a latte this morning and decided to get funky with my phone again. trrrrrrrrrrouble.
let's get cooking with jamie and the 9000+ schools that will be joining him to break a world record! it'll be live tomorrow at 8am CST here. clearly, i'm not excited at all... :) make sure you sign up for food revolution day and shout out your participation by using #FRD2014!
a major shout out to lake county's stevenson high school as they will be joining in the rainbow warp cooking festivas led by ambassador christina erickson and gourmet foods teacher sara lohrmann. rock it out for lake county girls!!
see the rest of you at the all ways healthy #FRD2014 festival tomorrow and saturday!!
we are in 6th gear for food revolution week here in lake county! we had so.much.fun cooking the rainbow salad wrap up with our kiddos and we hope that after this #FRD2014, you are inspired to do a little more chop chop in your kitchen too.
food ambassador christina erickson and i have quite a week planned and here is our starting line up:
wednesday, may 14th - a food patriots screening at stevenson highschool! sara lohrman's gourmet food class has prepared quite a spread for us and i cannot wait to taste their delicious food! filmmakers jennifer and jeff spitz will be on hand to discuss the movie afterwards and announce our new joint campaign to bring food patriots and their student engagement program to every school in lake county. can't make it but want to donate to the outreach program too? well, you can just go here my dears.
it's pretty darn exciting.
2nd up: all ways healthy presents: a free 2-day food revolution day festival!
and check out this sweet suntimes article highlighting what christina and her co-worker sara lohrmann are doing at stevenson high school on friday - ROCKSTARS!!
check out our festival flyer and schedule! i'm so excited that two local food ambassadors are joining us on saturday! i cannot wait to see sarvin haghighi (chicago) and katy vodicka (lisle)!!!!
helllerrrrrs, i'm gonna learn so much stuff!
FRD dinner and a movie night! come on, you need a date night and why not celebrate with us!?
the RSVP is closing down tomorrow night 5/14, so pick up your phone and dial fast:) or RSVP online here. jennifer and jeff will be dining and discussing the film with us and you do NOT want to miss julio's most excellent cooking: **ticket price includes tax and tip which is pretty snazzy indeed**
last but not least, i'm prepping up some pretty sweet rainbow wrap kits this week. it's your kiddo's first cooking kit! it includes everything your child (or yourself... ) needs to make a rainbow wrap (minus the food). my parent's basement is completely trashed and here's where i'm at with them so far... i can't wait till they're all cellophaned wrapped and tied with a pretty red bow. we'll be selling these for $35 at the festival and i've only made 48 of them so come grab them while they are still around!
i can't wait to see you ALL for #FRD2014!
...and i'll see you again after the dust has settled:) should have some super fun stuff to recap!!
here's my fab mother's day recap:
at the race track with my chimmie and her superstar engineering husband's race team. i got to meet their new rookie driver jack hawksworth and not only is he the most talented driver ever... he's british, so of course he's gonna win the indy 500. he's the best thing that has ever happened to indy car. i'm not biased at all.
and then i got home just in time to put in my purple boat and celebrate with my lovely mom.
to the mullies we gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!
i made that sucker on my iphone... can you believe IT!? that toy is my joy... and mac tells me almost everyday to put it in our phone jail. point needed and taken... :)
you can find the rainbow wrap recipe here at www.foodrevolutionday.com with loads of other recipes to try out with your kids!
when i was thinking about doing this video, i originally wanted to do it to this song... hence the goober pics of me touching my girlfriends with my red spoon to spark them UP. well, when i put the music to it, with all of us smiling like fairy-food-godmothers, mac was sitting next to me: we looked at each other with our brows furrowed and he so eloquently stated, "mom, this is NOT going to work... it's way to hard core..."
so i started marinating on another song choice and remembered the free songs for a healthier america album that i downloaded for last year's food day 2013 in october (i played the songs in my kids' school lunch periods for our big apple crunch). i literally started jumping in the driver's seat of my van when i got to "stronger"... i new immediately that it was my golden child. what a hip album for kids and what better way to get them thinking about moving and eating better together in the kitchen!!!
megan and stacey are my red-headed wonder twin girlfriends. they brought their kids (6 in total) and christina (the other half of lake country food revolution) brought her two girls. together with my three rug rats, we had a party of 11 and they all rotated in and out, stayed when they wanted to, left when they wanted to. the boys were the most interested which rocked our worlds. megan took the majority of the pictures (her photography skills kill me) and we took turns picking up my iphone to get video here and there. i think we all share the same brain sometimes!
all three ladies are teachers. meg and stace are elementary school teachers and christina is a high school gourmet food teacher and clothing design teacher. they were with me for the very.first.cooking.video (their brother paul put that one together for me!) which still gives me goose bumps when i watch it... the song, the ages of our kids, the beginning of it all... they are pretty special gals and i'm so lucky & happy to be spreading our energy for food education together!!
more than anything, i hope this video inspires you to cook with your kids more often... to get messy, to experiment and to connect in the kitchen. start with one day a week and see where it takes you:) i'd love to hear how it goes!!! and just remember, even thought this night was a huge success, i've had plenty that have blown.up.in.the.face so stick with itand you'll get what you're looking for... i promise!
needing something to eat for our food patriots screening on wednesday?!
well, i think you should make my salad of course!! (thanks for the perfect name jeff) i made this eggsellent creation as a pot luck dish to take with me to a food patriots screening last week at my alma matter, northwestern. cluckity cluck cluck!
mix 3/4 c real mayo/vegenaise + 1/4 c plain yogurt (greek or sheeps is best!) + fresh juice from 1/2 lemon + pinch of sea salt & pepper + 1/2 tsp of each: garlic powder, onion powder + 1/2 T of each: chives, parsley, basil & 21 seasoning salute blend from trader joe's.
want it spicy? add old bay seasoning, siracha, hot sauce... whatever makes your nose run!
top and eat yourself full with spinach and veggies!!
double, triple, quadruple etc for your crowd...
and remember, this movie is always BEST when you can watch it with others:)
see you wednesdsay, online at 1pm CST!!!!
i can't wait to tweet.my.little.heart.out.with.you after for the #FoodPatsChat