Moms’ burning question, answered!

Moms’ burning question, answered!

The burning question: “But what about my kids’ needing their daily glass of cow’s milk? “

Cow's milk not natural

I think that we mothers (or anyone taking care of themselves or others), believe we make food choices based on ‘solid fact’ or what we’ve ‘learnt’. Only problem is who’s teaching us? Supermarket shelves? The feel-good blurb on milk cartons? Media messaging? Your mother’s assumptions? Schools?  Well, listen up, and update your knowledge!

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A beautiful place to LIVE!

A beautiful place to LIVE!

 

Peace. Truth. Passion. This is what I saw and felt among the human and non human animals at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. I’ve visited some small farms over my years, met some good meaning, caring farmers who say, and I believe them, that they love their animals. Only thing is, it’s conditional love. They then send their ‘loved ones’ off to slaughter.

Here though, the injustice and horrors of their lives are behind them. Each animal has a name, is loved, known and respected for their individual personality and idiosyncrasies. Just as there are strong fighting spirits present in us humans, those determined to overcome illness and pain, so too have these precious rescued beauties.

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A Poem for Mummy, written by ‘yours truly’ (in audio too)

A Poem for Mummy, written by ‘yours truly’ (in audio too)

I began writing this poem in 2009, forgot about it, then finished it this year. Inspired by our darling daughters, Isabelle and Lillian, my teachers of love!

I dedicate it to all mothers and their children, knowing full well that each mother/child relationship is unique and special.  For easy listening to the poem click on the below

A poem for Mummy, writen by Lynette Cowie

Please share if this touches you.

She’s such a cow!

She’s such a cow!

Yes, I’m a cow!  Well if not one, I do feel a deep affinity to these docile, beautiful, and maternal animals.  So it seems natural that my surname is Cowie!

By the time our first daughter was born I felt proud and rather cow-like. I was feeding my hungry little baby the best of what a mother can offer her own offspring; her breast milk.

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A recipe for ‘Make Believe’ – less making, more believing!

A recipe for ‘Make Believe’ – less making, more believing!

It’s fun to stir things up. Especially when you’re not the one doing the stirring!

I chuckled at this
I chuckled at this

Although this past week was filled with spontaneous suppers out, new savoury and sweet recipe trials, the best experience, by far, was having our home transformed into the imaginary ‘Blue Bird’ restaurant.

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Stop telling your kids, “eat your veggies!”

Stop telling your kids, “eat your veggies!”

Demanding that is ‘so last generation’!

Exasperated you might ask, “How then do I get my family eating more veggies without being a task and taste monster?”  Well, for starters, if the definition of insanity is: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, I’d recon it’s time to change the way we do things.

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Instead of instructing them, how about teaching, empowering and joining them?

After all, aren’t kids of today savvy, enlightened and capable enough to take on a lot more than “because I say so”? We need to update our own knowledge, recipes, presentation and attitudes to encourage veggie-strong meals. Then pass on the enthusiasm, knowledge and compassion to our children.

Like it or hate it, the research is undeniable; veggies reign supreme on providing our bodies with an abundance of vital phytonutrients, dietary fiber, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. So how best to feed your family?

Get going with my 10 veg-friendly tips:

1. Get them into the kitchen:

Begin simply by making a smoothie, veg pizza, pasta with mushroom & tomato sauce, veg sushi or their favourite soup. This gets them selecting, slicing and eating their choice of veg. Their buy-in is vital.

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2. Update your recipe repertoire :

It’s time to tap into today’s abundant veg scene. 2012 was herald ‘the year of the vegan cookbook’,  so there are ample recipes the teach you how to make delicious veg meals.  From wraps, kebabs, pita pockets, veggies burgers to sweet potato fries.  Allow kids to enjoy these awesome tastes without making a fuss about them being veg-only.

3. Let them drink:

Go online to find super smoothie recipes. Select those that use water or plant-based dairy for a truly healthy snack. If they’re resistant to veg, initially use predominantly fruit, with a touch of veg, then gradually increase the veg content, and reduce the fruit, (dark leafy greens being vital).

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4. Get munching:

Sharing your preparation time, learning new recipes, and your job is still not done. It’s time for you to also lead by example! Snack on long slices of cucumber (offer them a stick and ask them if they prefer the skin on or off). (Another way to get their buy-in). Sticks of carrots (or do they like the ‘baby’ carrots?), dipped in hummus or a red pepper dip perhaps? (Yummy and better for our waistline than the customary cookie or crisp). Diced oven baked sweet potato and carrots is another alternative to packet crisps.

5. Spices things up rather than cheese things over:

You’ll be doing your kids a disservice by drowning the veggies in high dietary cholesterol ‘foods’ like milk, yoghurt and cheese.  Learn from chefs and authors who offer 100% plant-based recipe ideas, as they know how to get the best out of veggies, using herbs, spices, oils and more.

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6. Go shopping together:

Get them to choose some of the veggies. Make it fun by suggesting that they then get to challenge you to cook them differently, nothing like you’ve done before. For instance, adding oil, syrup, raisins, pistachio nuts, garlic and caramelised onions to brussel sprouts, actually makes them tasty! (and that’s making good of a veg with a bad reputation!)

7. 24/7:

Don’t leave the beginnings of taste battles to last thing at night, when you’re all weary. Make fresh fruits and veg easily accessible during the daytime by pre-preparing them and showing kids where to find these easy-to-grab snacks.

8. Ask yourself why & let them ask too:

Know why you’re eating and encouraging veg and fruit. Let this not be a vague concept you remember and mouth-off from generation to generation. Become informed, involved and enthusiastic about the health benefits of eating whole foods.  Be honest with yourself by assessing how much you really do know about how and why different veggies can significantly boost your family’s health.

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9. Tap into their areas of interest and vanity:

Share the direct benefits to eating healthfully. For instance, maybe they’ll relate to wanting especially shiny hair, reducing their acne, growing strong nails, or need a healthy way to increase their protein for muscle-building. If you find your own knowledge lacking, then you’re the first to need thorough convincing. So get reading, learning and experimenting. Then share!

10. Make it fun for all: 

This 2-minute video illustrates how naming veg kid-friendly names and presenting it to them in kid-friendly shapes dramatically increases consumption.

Beyond knowing the benefits of feeding your family lots of healthful foods, check that your attitude reflects your desire to encourage them. It’s not a chore once you get your head, heart and shopping list well oiled to serve wholesome foods.

You’re sure to perk up some plates and palates!