Sunday, February 27, 2005

Brown rice, millet, quinoa - oh my!

Having a child can make you examine your own eating habits a bit more closely. It's true that Ava is only consuming breastmilk and baby food at present, but soon will come the day when she's eating table food alongside Jody and me and I want that food to be as healthy as possible. Also we just found out Jody's cholesterol is a little on the high side, so that's another motivating factor for me to attempt to cook a bit more healthfully.

I have to say that for the most part our eating habits aren't that bad. We rarely eat fast food (thanks in part to how turned off we were after watching "Super Size Me" - definitely worth watching if you haven't yet seen it) or when we do it's Taco Bell, and I try to make a lot of our meals from scratch though I do use box mixes or prepared foods as well.

I'm happy to say that since an organic co-op market opened up in our neck of the woods, I've been buying more of our food there (at least what I can afford). And I've discovered the wonders of bulk items like brown rice, millet and quinoa. I feel like a kid in a candy store filling up my bags full of these things. Hee hee. I used to be all about buying boxed instant brown rice, but now that I've made slow-cooked brown rice I'm never going back to instant! There's a huge difference in the taste and texture of it. Slow-cooked is so much tastier! :)

It's thanks to some of my friends that I've added words like millet, which is a grain, and quinoa (pronounced keen-wah, who knew?!), which is like a grain, to my vocabulary, and now I even know how to prepare them. (Woohoo!) Both are very healthy and I didn't even know they existed. I have a feeling there are a lot of healthy foods out there that I've been missing out on. ;)

So far I've made the millet in a stirfry, using it as a substitute for brown rice. It's really tasty. The texture is kind of crunchy, and I guess it feels almost like a nut. I made the quinoa with black beans which we used as a filler for burritos. It was pretty good, but I think I prefer the millet over the quinoa.

Anyway, I'm excited to have come across this grain and pseudo-grain. Now I need to go scour the 'net for some recipes to incorporate them into our diet in new ways. :)


At 3/01/2005 9:37 AM, Blogger Tanya said...

Thanks for that article Amy :) Sure does feel good to be validated ;) I just recently had a conversation about just letting Bell way! Unfortunately some people have higher expectations of babies and children and expect to form them to fit convienently into their life, rather than adusting themselves :(

Right now Bell is a perfect mix of dependant and independant :) Adri is my proof that being "attached" promotes independance ;) I know comforting our babies/children is the right thing to do. Too bad these sort of articles aren't more widely spread.

At 3/01/2005 3:30 PM, Anonymous jms said...

Just a side-note, you posted your message under the wrong story.

Just because some parents choose to let their little ones cry it out tanya, doesn't mean we are trying to "form" them to "conveniently" fit into our lives. "Crying it out" worked fabulously with my son and we have done it with my daughter too. My son is now 5 and he is completely independent and emotionally stable. I do not agree with letting your kids sleep with you on a regular basis. For one, it is unsafe. I don't think I need to tell you how many stories there are about smoothered children, even at the age of 2. And whatever happened to being alone with your husband? If a child is constantly in bed with you or lying on the floor on a mattress, what kind of privacy is that for a husband and wife. A child needs to know that there are rules and sleeping in their bed, in my opinion is an excellent rule. And it is not meant to torture the child. If you don't get them used to it when they are young, they'll be sleeping with you until they move out of the house. I'm not against the occasional sleeping in bed with the parents when a child is scared at an older age from a dream or loud storm, but all the time? It just doesn't seem right to me. I don't agree with an hour long screaming session, as I would never let them cry that long without comfort, but a good half hour cry a handful of times in a childs young life has never proven to cause any kind of mental instability. I know two people very close to me who have young children between the ages of 4-7 who still sleep in bed with their parents and they both regret ever letting their kids sleep with them on a regular basis.

At 3/01/2005 11:23 PM, Anonymous vital spark said...

jms, maybe this is the wrong blog for you. You seem to disagree w/ just about everything that's been posted on it.

You mentioned that there are safety concerns w/ co-sleeping aka family bed but I'm sure you have read abt the dangers of crib sleeping too. Children have been smothered by heavy blankets, stuffed animals, etc and have also died from SIDS in cribs. Yes, there have been deaths from co-sl too and they could have been caused from the same safety issues that crib sleeping have caused.

I tried to let my son CIO (cry it out) once and vowed I would never do it again. I only let him cry for abt 5 min but when he started to turn a shade of dark pink...almost purple...I decided it was the worst thing *I* could do.

I don't believe that children *need* to become dependent while they are so young...7 years old I would agree isn't *so young* anymore but under the age of 4 is in personal opinion...because they still *depend* on you for food, shelter, diaper changes and emotional stability. I think that the arguement that they will be sooo dependent is silly bc they ARE dependent on you. My son is 15 months and is very bright but I don't see him making his own meals, changing himself or getting a job to provide a roof over his head.

You said that they will never leave the family bed but what high school boy have you seen sleeping next to his parents at night?? You said that there is no privacy for the parents...I'm sorry but I don't believe intimacy only has to happen in a couple's bed. We have had to become creative and that's not a bad thing. There has been nothing better than to wake up hear my son say "papa?", roll over see him and see me and laugh and give us hugs and kisses. It's the perfect way for *us* to start the day.

So, my question is...why are you so concerned abt how ppl live their lives? If I'm not mistaken Amy didn't say that non co-sleepers are wrong so why are you saying that we are? We respect your opinions to let your child CIO (even though I don't agree with it) so why do you have to state that we are wrong in doing what our hearts say is right for us and our children?

It's fine to have opinions but in having them you owe everyone else the right to have theirs...respectfully...just as we are letting you have yours.

At 3/02/2005 5:21 AM, Anonymous jms said...

I was also speaking my mind and what I believe, which is what I think this blog is for. I didn't make any references to Amy at all, I was responding to tanya's post. I will continue to read this blog because Amy is an old friend of mine and I have since made peace with this website and some recent issues Amy and I had. So just because I don't agree with a lot of the things on here, does that mean that I can't post my opinions? I don't think so. I have a strong mind and don't always think before I speak, I will admit that. I can tend to get quite vocal about my beliefs as well. I do try to not attack anyone, but my fingers get the best of me when I start typing. So if you feel like you are being attacked, I apologize.

I would hope that parents who put their baby's in their cribs to sleep would use enough common sense not to put heavy blankets or stuffed animals in their beds. I just don't understand why a parent would take the unnecessary risk of putting their child in bed with them. Yeah, in a perfect world, it would be great to wake up, roll over and see your precious little one in bed with you, but I just feel it is not a safe habit to get into, that's all.

The relationship that Amy and I have has had its ups and downs, and I care about her and Ava very much. If she posts something that she is doing with Ava that I don't agree with, I want to give her some things to think about, and I read her blog so I have something to think about too. I have two kids and as Amy posted earlier in her blog, my mind has turned to "mush" since having kids and this is my way to connect with the "outside" world and think a little. What is the point of this blog if you can't voice your opinion, whether it be negative or positive?

At 3/02/2005 10:07 AM, Anonymous vital spark said...

jms, I agree w/ most of what you posted in your last response. I understand abt your fingers typing faster than your best judgement at times bc I have done the same thing before. :)

As for posting your opinions and feelings on this blog...I think that's exactly what this blog is for. (Is that true Amy?) However, I think that there are ways you can state your opinions, post your concerns w/o making ppl out to be the bad, unsafe parent. For example, I can understand co-sl not feeling right for *your* family but you state that you don't get why Tanya would do it all bc it "just doesn't feel right" to you at all. It seeems to feel right to Tanya for her family and crying it out doesn't. That's ok...we can all have differing opinions as that's what makes America America. :) We can agree to our info nicely and let the other decide how that feels to *them*. I am guessing that Tanya is well read, as am I and I know Amy is so it's not like we are making our parenting decisions blindly...just as I'm sure you're not. :)

As for our family's co-sl dh and I are fairly small ppl so I don't worry abt one of us rolling on top of ds, smothering him. He has always disliked being covered w/ blankets and has *always* kicked them off. He pushes the covers down if they are on his chest so they never even make it to his face. Last week I had food poisoning but didn't know that it was spread once it was airborne. Ds got it and I found that out in the middle of the night while he silently vomited while he slept. I could feel him doing it though so I woke up and could sit him up quickly. If I hadn't been sleeping next to him I don't know what could have happened.

There is a TON of material out there supporting the benefits of co-sl, bfing, etc, etc just as there is a TON of info for pro crib sleeping. It just depends on who's doing the study and what they stand to gain from it. I definately appreciate you giving your thoughts on the safety issues, etc. bc those can be valid. You said that you would hope that parents using cribs would use common sense when placing their child in a crib so as not to have them become smothered. I say the same thing abt co-sleeping families. There are families that practice unsafe co-sl habits and those tend to be the ones that have death or injury happen. You trust ppl to use their best judgement to keep their children safe but no matter what choices they make...if they don't use the proper judgement their children will suffer. So, I agree with you that co-sl *can* be unsafe just as you agreed that crib sleeping can be unsafe.

As for feeling attacked...I do feel that you state your opinions in a way that make ppl with differing opinions and parenting practices seem like they are wrong, not in touch with reality and so on. I am also a friend of Amy's and I have the opportunity to see Ava and she is a very happy, healthy little girl. I think that Amy and Jody are very in touch w/ her and her needs. I think that they are making the best (and safest) decisions for her at this time. I know that Amy read's extensively on varying decisions that she makes in regards to Ava and that she doesn't make most decisions lightly. She is always sending me info she's found bc it's so important to her to have knowledge so she can make those decisions. I;m just saying all of this so that you don't have to worry abt how Ava is growing up. :) I know you don't get to see her often unfortunately so I can see why you would be concerned.

I have to take ds to the park now so I have to close. I just want to reiterate that I'm all up for letting ppl have their own op's but maybe instead of stating so emphatically that one or the other of us is wrong..we can ask ?'s as to why we do things and then pose ?'s that we have concerns with. Example: "hy do you co-sl? Are you worried that your children will sleep with you forever or that your love life will suffer?" I totally wouldn't feel attacked by that but would see that you are curious and would like some answers abt why we do the things we do. Than you could ask..."aren't you worried abt safety?" Just my thoughts on how to make this all work to where we can learn from each other respectfully. :)

At 3/02/2005 10:26 AM, Anonymous jms said...

Thank you for your suggestions...I will definitely try to incorporate into my posts! :)

At 3/02/2005 12:11 PM, Blogger Tanya said...

For the record; I do not co-sleep and never mentioned anything about co-sleeping. I think it can be a great thing, it just doesn't work for me and my baby.

JMS, there are ways to get your child to sleep without enduring CIO and it works, without the heartache from both, parents and child.

My statement about "some people have higher expectations of babies and children and expect to form them to fit convienently into their life" does apply to some people. Maybe not you, but in the case I was talking about (while having this paticular conversation on the topic) I can see this is the case exactly.

I feel it is hurtful to allow a friend or spouse to cry on and on alone when I could be there to comfort them (or they could easily come to comfort me)...I just don't understand if I feel this way as an adult, how I could possibly let my little baby or child cry alone for an extended amount of time :(


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