31 Days to Veganize: Day 3

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Nightly Meal: Bread and Fake Butter. *We were fasting and praying last night with our church. To help the kids, we skipped a large meal for bread and butter.

 

I have two kids, my son is eleven and my daughter is 8. My kids are fairly used to my food antics. As a whole, we have been on one food extreme to the other. I have been very open with them on why we are going vegan, making sure they know that this decision is to help our bodies become more healthy and energized. My son freaked out! Literally had a melt down. He was sad to loose his bacon. It’s hard giving up things we love, even if they are not the best for us. Here is what I have found to be helpful in transitioning our family.

Include Them:

I talked to my kids and I am working hard to make them apart of the process. I asked them for input on the recipes I put on the meal plan. I have also explained what a plant based diet vs. other diets means for us as a family and for our bodies.

Give Choices:

I gave my kids the option of eating non-vegan when they are at friends house or if we are out to eat. It’s ultimately their choice on how they treat their bodies. I can control this in the house, but if they have the option outside of home they won’t have the pressure to rebel against the idea and may choose to keep with eating vegan. **This is an experiment, just like anything when raising kids.**

Don’t:

Call meat or dairy alternatives fake! My son is going around calling everything fake. Fake butter, fake bacon, fake apples. Everything is now fake. It sounds so wrong. I explained to him that the alternative is still real food and just made with ingredients other than meat.

Know:

Every meal is going to be a risk until you know what your family likes. Don’t be afraid to try something new. When I served pumpkin tamales for dinner the other night, I was sure my daughter would hate them. Boy was I wrong! She loved them and wants them again and again. Kids will surprise you.

William

William at the farm

 

Birana and Her Violin

Birana and Her Violin

31 Days to Veganiz: Day 2

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Tonights Meal:Tacos made with soy crumbles, cheddar(trying to use up), lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and salsa. Dessert: Green Tomato Cake *For the cake I subbed regular flour for oat flour and for the eggs flax)

I have two words for you, recipe research and two more, meal plan! It’s been helpful for me to put together a two week meal plan. To do this I have called on a fellow Veganite and I have spent a bit of time on Pinterest.

One of my treasured friends is an experienced vegan, wife, and mother to four girls. She has blessed me with her time by sending me her favorite recipes with tips and tricks. Also, she has recently taught me to preserve food and make tamales, but more on that another day.

Pinterest is great for recipes. It’s like creating small personalized cookbooks with the bonus of having a picture with each recipe. I’m not very good at creating dishes from scratch, so a recipe is imperative for my family to have a tasty meal.

Below is my current meal plan, with links.

Day 1: Bulgogi Style Tofu served over Rice and a green veggie

Day 2: Vegetable Lentil Loaf with salad and broccoli

Day 3: Pumpkin Alfredo with salad

Day 4: Onion Rings with sliced red peppers and salad

Day 5: Tempeh BLTA

Day 6: Summer Vegetable Tian

Day 7: Satay Pizza

Day 8: Vegan Mac and Cheese

Day 9: Unfried Green tomatoes on Sandwhiches

Day 10: Spiced Chickpea Jackets 

Day 11: Chow Mein

Day 12: Quinoa Tacos

Day 13: Mac and Cheese, again. This is a different recipe(in attempt to find the best one).

Day 14: Black Bean and Vegetable Cottage Pie

If you would like to follow me on Pinterest, there is a little button to the right that will bring you to my boards. I am trying to make it more attractive, but this is a work in progress.

31 Days to Veganize Day 1

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Vegan: The Practice of abstaining from the use of animal products particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. The follower of veganisn is known as a vegan. Wikipedia

My personal definition:

Excluding meat, animal fats, dairy, and (mostly) eggs and gluten. I will include honey and occasionally chicken eggs from happy fat hens raised by my friends.

Am I allowed to call myself a vegan with these exceptions? I like to be humored, so let’s say yes.

Along with this diet transformation, I would like to make an overhaul on household and hygiene products by making them at home with safe ingredients.

For the next 30 days I will walk you through my journey of revamping my diet from a little bit of everything to a whole lot of fruits, veggies, and grains. I am a take it slow gal and I am most likely to achieve my goal by slowly processing the steps to take. My food stock pile currently has animal products mingled in, in an attempt to keep from wasting food, I will use up the ingredients and disregard purchasing it again or find replacements for the ingredients.

Did I mention I will be bringing my husband and two kids along on this adventure with me? I want, my kids especially, to learn how to take care of there bodies and part of that is learning self control, portion control, and denying their taste buds of the desirable. If they can learn to sometime say no to their third sweet serving of the day or to listen when their stomachs are satiated, they will have longevity in their healthy eating habits.

Is this a permanent lifestyle change?

I don’t know. It will mostly depend on how my body reacts. From the time I was 18 until 21 I was vegetarian and at my heaviest. That said, I didn’t exercise and I ate tons of cheese and pasta. My plan is to wait and observe.

Challenges:

  1. Finding alternatives to our favorite meals
  2. Kid lunches
  3. Finding alternatives to certain ingredients
  4. Finding adequate recipes
  5. Getting over the one protein two veggies and a starch that I am used to mimicking my menu to
  6. Eating out or at a hosts meal
  7. Fear of the unknown(I hope it taste good)

Thank you for joining me!

31 Days to Veganize

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Tonight marks a new series that will follow my journey on revamping my diet and transforming to the world or vegetables! Join me as I move from a diet of animals to not and how it effects my body, family, and outlook on food.

Parenting Q&A

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Last Friday, I helped organize an event hosting a Q&A panel of parent experts. This followed a small group study on the series Hearts on Fire by Diane Comer. This series focuses on rearing children in the early years in preparation for the more challenging teen years on into adulthood.

Here are the notes I took during the evening. **All questions and answers are paraphrased. **Suitable for moms with young children.

Q: When my child/(ren) are down for a nap, is it ok for me to veg out or should I be devoting that time to reading my bible?

A: -It’s ok to veg out, but it’s also important to remember to allow space for your mind and heart to be and stay awakened to God.

-You don’t have to wait until the children are asleep, it is possible to create a quiet time with your children around. Train and teach them to have a quiet time with a book or a quiet activity. Have a bin full of quiet activities handy for the children to engage with, used only during quiet time.

-One thing you can do during your quiet time is listen to worship music and sketch or draw the words you hear or images that come to mind.

-The bible app has an audible option. Listen to the word while washing dishes, folding laundry, or knitting.

-Guard yourself of time robbers like smartphones, FB, and Instagram.

~One purpose of the awakening is to store up treasures you glean while engaging in the word and during worship. You will need these treasure when your children are older.

~Reading the scripture is important, but the bible repeats often to meditate on the word. Post scripture around your house and pray for wisdom.

Q: Is it ok to have children read their bible diligently or will this deter them from wanting to read the word when they are older?

A: Think of this like brushing your teeth. Did you stop brushing your teeth when you became a teenager or adult. No, of course not. If anything, we brushed them more often. This is the same for teaching your child to have a quiet time or to read the word.

~Be approving. Children seek our approval.

Q: Is it ok to correct a child with scripture.

A: Yes, but make sure it is in context. Also, use Kingdom language. “In the Kingdom we act different.” Be a partner with your child, help them succeed.

~Book suggestion: Shepherding A Child’s Heart

Q: Do some children need harder spankings then others?

A: Yes, but you never want to leave a mark. The purpose of the spanking is not to correct a behavior. It is to allow the child, when he/she is older,  a moment of awareness while the child is faced with a decision between right and wrong. A way to strengthen the conscience, so the child is questioning wether or not there is a consequence to the choice he/she will make. Spanking should teeter off around the age of 6-7. A note for boys: let dad take over the spanking after a time. There is something demeaning when a mom does it with a slightly older boy.

~In the series Diane addresses this in more detail.

~Book Suggestion: Lean In

Some things that resonated with me.

-Being a great couple(you and spouse) together is one of the best things you can do for your kids.

-Your husband is a hero and your kids need to see this. When he comes home in the evenings, treat him as a hero coming home from battle. He is battling for you to stay home, to eat, have clothes, and provide a home for you. Honor him for what he is doing.

~Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect, is coming out with a new 8 week study called Respectfully Yours.

When I first heard Diane’s series, the way I parented was immediately challenged, in a great way. I loved her principals and I am able to see the fruit in her 4 grown up kids. I hope this series inspires you and refreshes your parenting skills.

 

 

How To: Whiteboard

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and inexpensive it was to create my own whiteboard. It was a one stop shop at Home Depot, they carried all three items I needed.

  • 1 Shower board
  • 1 roll of Scotch decorative duct tape
  • 1 package of 3m velcro hanging strips

A 4×8 whiteboard can cost upwards of $300. My whiteboard was about $25!

Here’s the secret, go to Home Depot and ask for a shower board, I can not tell you where in the store it is, this is not a place I frequent. **Tip** Decide before hand how big you want your board, I went with 4×6. The boards come in 4x8s, but they can cut them down to a specified measurement. I kept the cut off part and gave it to my husband for him to use as an “idea” board for when he is coming up with new designs.

I also picked up a roll of decorative 3M tape.

Use this a boarder for the whiteboard.

Use this as a boarder for the whiteboard.

Be creative with your work space! In my case, I worked in the dining room.

Be creative with your work space! In my case, I worked in the dining room.

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Hang board with 3m velcro strips. They won’t damage the walls when you are ready to rearrange or move.

 This board has been great and we use it everyday all throughout the day.

Playroom Re-Design Schoolroom

To accomodate our homeschooling needs, I spent a few days revamping our playroom into a schoolroom. This room now houses our curriculum, computers, and mediums to work out our day. It took a while to go through the kids toys and get rid of stuff they don’t play with. Luckily, they are old enough that they are willing to let go of a little of their childhood. I actually had a harder time releasing some of the things they loved playing with when they were little. Growing up is hard on us mamas, am I right?

During the process of filtering and reorganizing.

During the process of filtering and reorganizing.

It took many attempts, changing the layout before I decided on how I wanted this room to sit. I wanted a space for my daughter, my son, me, a book shelf, and for my sewing shelf.

This bookshelf is holding the Sonlight curriculum and some supplies. To the left is my work area.

This bookshelf is holding the Sonlight curriculum and some supplies. To the left is my work area.

Pictured is my desk, William's desk/area, and my sewing shelf.

Pictured is my desk, William’s desk/area, and my sewing shelf.

Against the window is Briana's desk and on the wall to the left is our whiteboard which measure 6x4.

Against the window is Briana’s desk and on the wall to the left is our whiteboard which measures 6×4.

This room is pretty small, but it meets our needs perfectly. In a few days, I plan on sharing an easy tutorial for making the white board that cost less than $25! When creating spaces, I like to remember what The Nester always says, “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”

Homeschooling with Sonlight

DECP-lToday we started our new homeschooling curriculum, Sonlight. A friend of mine introduced me to Sonlight and I fell in love with it immediately. It’s a very well put together resource, meaning I don’t have to do any planning. Sonlight is very user friendly, all I need to do is check my teacher handbook and calendar and it tells me exactly what we are doing for the day. Another thing I like about Sonlight, is that it is very big on reading, I mean look at all those books in the kit pictured! My son loves to read, so this is going to be great for him right off. With this curriculum we are studying American History, Language Arts, and Bible. Also, we have incorporated into our day Singapore Math, Math Teaching Textbooks, Spelling to Read and Write, and learning to write with cursive handwriting. I am gaining a whole new appreciation for homeschooling, I admit, in the beginning, I was nervous and pretty much dreaded the thought of homeschooling. Now, I find myself excited to start our day and eager to dive into our materials. To help with our transition, I recently transformed our playroom into a school room. I will post about that later with a few pictures.

 

 

What exactly is a pin-up workshop?

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Well, it’s an event created to teach you how to play dress-up. Where heavy makeup, fun clothes, and posing is a must. The day started with makeup, this process took about an hour and a half to complete. Beginning with heavy foundation to give the skin a flawless appearance, dark eye lined upper lids with very exaggerated fake eyelashes, colored in eyebrows, pink cheeks, and a very bright red lip. After makeup, hair. My hair took about an hour, due to me having to curl it. My friend was kind enough to help me with the victory rolls. I like how she put them more to the side, as apposed to the middle, it helped me to know which way to angle my body toward the camera. If you get an itch to take yourself back in time, here is a tutorial on how to do the victory rolls. Next, wardrobe, the style was geared toward the 50′s. I had brought a dress that I wore during Christmas that had that vintage feel and paired with sparkly silver/gold heels. The photo shoot only lasted a few moments, I was able to give the perfect pose about the 5 picture in. I was anxious to get away from the camera. I won’t give away the props in the photo shoot, I plan on gifting it to my hubby for his birthday. I will say it was very conservative/sexy and I was taken back in time. Doing this workshop left me feeling very beautiful and inspired to explore different styles and looks and to play with makeup more.

Dinner… Our Place or Yours?

For about 3 years, on Friday evenings, it has been our custom to have dinner with guests. Wether it is at their house or ours, it has become our tradition. Each week I look forward to Friday night. I start planning what I will prepare, sometimes it’s left overs or a soup that I have thrown together with what ever scraps I have in the fridge. Other weeks, I will attempt extravagant fixings, for example, this week I am making three new recipes! That, I know, is a big no no. As awful as it is, I am feeling adventurous. We have invited our friends over this week, two of which have gluten sensitivities. This spurred on my Pinterest hunt, scavenging for the perfect gluten free fare. Specifically, I searched for recipes that use Polenta. I recently order a big bag of polenta from Azure Standard and it needs to be used up. Polenta is a great gluten free alternative.

ce118_jpg_100x100_q85Polenta!

Here is what I have decided on for this evenings meal.

Four an appetizer Polenta Crostini, credited to Michael Chiarello. I will also have a veggie plate with dip(store bought) and guacamole(homemade) and tortilla chips.

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For our main course we are having an Artichoke-Rosemary Tart, thank you Food Wonderings.

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Accompanying the tart, a Kale, Fennel, and Apple Salad by Honestly Yum.

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This evening is sure to be delicious and enjoyable!

 

**Images from websites mentioned above**