Use What You Got Cabbage Wraps

Cabbage Wrap with fresh veggies
Cabbage Wrap with fresh veggies

Sometimes you need to just get in your refrigerator and pull out whatever you have. Start thinking of flavor combinations that you like and go for it. That is what I decided to do tonight. I had a protein I needed to cook and I just worked my way around that.

 

I had some really lovely ground grass-fed beef and a craving for some fresh raw veggies. I looked in my fridge and saw green cabbage, zucchini, rainbow carrots, orange bell pepper, onion, and red cabbage. I did a quick peruse of the pantry and grabbed my 2 cans of coconut milk with spices like curry, ginger, onion and garlic powder.

I just started prepping for a coconut curry ground beef cabbage wrap with fresh raw veggies on the inside. I have never made this before and had no real recipe in my head. I decided it was would be best to shred all the veggies, except for the pepper which I cut into thin Julienne type strips. I got the meat going the cabbage cooking and in less than 20 minutes the entire meal was cooked. It came out so good. I love getting in the kitchen and just letting a vision inspire you, with no real direction you just create.

I often find the more you stress on cooking something perfect, the more likely you are to “mess” it up. When you create food with love and inspired visions and you just cook, it usually comes out really good. The love and inspiration come through in the food, and those who have the pleasure of eating will feel that with each bite.

 

I really love this new recipe. You can omit the beef and use organic ground turkey or chicken, you could use fish or shrimp, you could use lentils or even just keep it all veggie on the inside.

 

I also decided the next time I make this recipe I will thinly slice and roast sweet potato. Sliced almost like a chip and cooked until soft. I think the sweet potato will add contrast in texture and flavor. I will do that the next time I make the wraps. Until then feel free to try it yourself.

 

Ingredients

1 Head of Organic Green Cabbage

1-2 lbs of protein of choice(grass-fed beef, chicken or fish)

1 large organic zucchini

2 large organic carrots

1/4 of head Organic Red Cabbage

1 large Organic Orange Bell Pepper

1 tsp of sea salt(you can add more if needed)

2 cans of coconut milk(full fat)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp of pepper

2 tsp of ground ginger

2 tsp of garlic powder

2 tsp of onion powder

2 tsp of curry powder

Siracha is the perfect hot sauce for this dish, if you like it hot!

Directions

Cut off the bottom 1/4 of cabbage to expose the core. Add the cabbage to a large stock pot filled with water. Bring the cabbage to a low boil. You can use tongs to judge when the leaves are ready to peel off. When you get to that stage turn the heat off and leave the cabbage for a few minutes. Drain the cabbage and set aside to cool. When its cool you can easily separate all the leaves.

 

Boiling cabbage to separate the leaves.
Boiling cabbage to separate the leaves.

 

Next prep all your veggies. I grated the zucchini, red cabbage and carrots. I Julienne cut the bell pepper.

Veggies for Cabbage Wrap
Veggies for Cabbage Wrap

Place your coconut oil in to your hot pan and brown your grass-fed beef, or protein of choice. After it has browned at this stage add in your zucchini.

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Once the zucchini has softened you will begin to add your coconut milk, salt, pepper and spices.

Coconut Curry Grass Fed Beef
Coconut Curry Grass Fed Beef

Now comes the fun part. Assemble, warp, cut and eat. So yummy. If you like it hot add some Siracha to the inside of the wrap. I promise you will love these. Kid friendly too!

Cabbage Wrap with fresh veggies
Cabbage Wrap with fresh veggies

Don’t “Should” on Yourself

Many of you will read the title of this blog and immediately know what I am talking about. I don’t think it is just a “mom” thing or a “woman” thing, although I do think mothers are prone to the “should” in life. I know I feel that pressure and that is where this blog came from. It was really as Oprah would say, my “a-ha” moment.

 

What if I let go of all the “should” in my life?

I am a mother, a wife, a health coach, a blogger, a friend, a sister and a daughter. I am no different from you.  Many of you out there also juggle wearing many hats. I sometimes find at the end of the day saying things to myself like, “I should have gotten more work done” or “I should have cleaned the house” or “I should have gotten to the gym” or “I should have not yelled at the kids this morning.” I don’t know who writes the should list. I don’t know where it originated. I just know that I am often shackled by this master of all lists that I need to be checking off everyday. I find that the should list leaves me feeling defeated, less than, and often times as if I have failed.

I don’t want to feel like that. I won’t feel like that!

What would my life look like if instead of my should list I celebrated everything as a victory, instead of focusing on the should  list that I didn’t accomplish.

I declared yesterday the first day in my victory revel.

I got out of bed, I am magnificent. I got my children out of bed and fed them breakfast. Yes, I am awesome. My kids got to school with clothes on, socks and shoes and underwear that isn’t on backwards. I am a superhero, yes it’s true. I kissed both of my kids goodbye and told them I loved them, I am on fire today. 

What if that is all that I did that day? What if that is all that I was capable of accomplishing?

When you see everything as a victory it takes away from all your perceived failures. I am still the most amazing mom, even if at the end of my day I could say that was all I did that day. I can still feel that my day is complete. When I go to sleep tonight I will think to myself, I did such a great job today at what I was able to accomplish, and not feel a sense of shame from what I feel I should have done better.

The bottom line is, it all comes down to comparison. If you weren’t comparing your life to someone else’s you might not have a should list. I think mothers especially have a should list that they feel will bring them closer to being the “right” type of mom, the one we see on social media. I started taking FB breaks, it feels really good. Do you ever feel sad or lacking after you scroll through your news feed? Do you think oh I “should” do more of x, y and z like Susie Q. I know I did. That is a huge contributor to my “should” list.

What if you only worried about your own life, not your life in comparison to your friends or family? What would that look like? How can you compare you life to another? Only you are walking in your shoes? Your life is unique, your children are unique, your situation is unique. You can’t compare snowflakes and you can’t compare your life to somebody else’s either.

I am the mother to a neuro-typical child and a special needs child. One of the biggest pitfalls in my life has been comparison with my special needs child. Even when you try not to do it, you do. I compared him in his younger years to his typically developing peers. Then as he got older I started comparing him to his special needs peers. Then comes the worst part, when I started comparing myself to the other mothers. Spending countless hours everyday thinking about all the things I ‘should’ be doing for my son, the things I ‘should’ be doing better, or what I ‘should be doing next. It is so exhausting, and honestly depressing. Every time I ‘should’ on myself I take a little part of my soul away. I take more of my happiness away and replace it with a feeling of regret and insecurity. I know so many of you can relate. I hear the same thing from so many mothers I know. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, rich or poor, this type of self sabotage sees no distinction in your age or class.

I created this imaginary should list in my head. I should be at they gym 6 days a week. I should be able to shuffle both my kids to their activities with a smile, even though I am exhausted. I should be able to handle the stress of PWS, because its been 8 years already.  I should finish 2 books a week. I should not ever eat anything bad for me, and my list goes on forever. I made these things so real and concrete, and guess what everyday I was failing at them and giving myself a reason to feel bad. That just sucks, and I was ready to be  done with all that.

I decided to stake my claim on my life, no more should and a whole lot of victories. I decided to stake claim on my “snowflake” and not worry about what the rest of the world is doing. I decided to not “should” on myself anymore.

This is one of my favorite quotes in the whole world

comparison

I want to challenge you all to do the same. Where in your life do you sabotage yourself with your “should” list? Where do you compare your life to another?

I challenge you to write a list of all your victories for the day. At the end of the night I encourage you to read them to yourself. As you settle in to bed enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and sense of self-worth.

Wayne Dyer talks about the how you spend the last five minutes of your day. What you think about in those five minutes is what you will marinate in for the next 8 hours while you sleep. Let it be about how victorious you were in your day. Let it be about how amazing you were in your day.

Don’t Should on Yourself!

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Not Your Mama’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

In my early twenties I dreamed of being a chef. I fell in love with baking. I thought it was an odd choice because I never baked anything growing up. My mother is an amazing cook. She never measured or followed recipes, she would just throw in a pot and then taste and, BAM! It was always something so good. I was always in the presence of great cooks. My aunts would cook the most amazing gravy on Sundays (for those of you who don’t know; Gravy is what some people call pasta sauce), the best roast pork in the world, and the most divine black bottom cupcakes. I was lucky. I just watched from a distance and my love of food began probably with my first bite as a baby.

When my father died unexpectedly in 1983 my mom went on a major health kick. I can remember being 6 years old and eating tofu, black beans and rice, and pizza made with a gluten free crust and soy cheese. I loved it all. I always loved what my mom made even if it seemed weird, including her famous “MUSH” as we called it. I was just a lover of food.

I loved my first experience with sushi, I loved eating real Mexican food on the beach in Mexico, I loved a truly authentic east coast pizza, and I really love a good marble cheesecake.

I began dreaming of a career in food. I saved my  money and planned on enrolling at the Art Institute of LA in the culinary department. Meanwhile I got busy baking up some seriously good tidbits and selling them to a whole bunch of local spots in Venice Beach, CA. Life came at me and the next thing I knew I was packed up and moving up to Berkeley, Ca. My food dreams got put on hold as I pursued a history degree in college.

I stopped baking and let that part of me go quiet. When my children were first born I cooked and baked all the time. I would bake a cake and decorate it with fondant and sugar art just for fun. That all changed when my sweet Blaise was diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome. My son is always hungry, really hungry, he literally could eat himself to death. Food is really the enemy in my house. My son also has to watch his carbohydrate intake. This means that all the food you see out in the world for kids, doesn’t apply to my sweet boy. As soon as he was diagnosed I hated the kitchen. I hated that food was the enemy in my house. I hated for what it did to my son. It took me a long time to get over that and fall in love with food again.

Finding the right diet to help my son, and eventually me, has led me to where I am today. I love creating new recipes full of flavor that are made with love. I love that there is a world out there where I can bake a classic cake but make it “clean, grain free and if I choose dairy free). I still can cook all the traditional stuff, but I really enjoy getting creative and cooking food that is perfect for even my Prader Willi Child. I stumbled upon a new grain free recipe for ginger snap cookies, and so it began. I found my love of baking again and its back with a vengeance. I am on a mission to create some truly awesome treats that I plan to share with all of you. I have been whipping up new classics. I love thinking outside of the box.  I really enjoy creating something from scratch and having it turn out to be delicious.

These cookies came from that. I really wanted a chocolate chip cookie. I wanted it to be simple to make and delicious. This is what I came up with. They took me about 5 minutes to make and 13 minutes in the oven. They are so amazing. Grain free and absolutely a new not so guilty, guilty pleasure.

 

IMG_0831

Cookie Ingredients:

2 eggs

2 tbs of molasses

2 tbs of maple syrup

1/2 cup of almond butter

2 tsp of vanilla

1/4 tsp of baking soda

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 1/2 cups of almond flour

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

1 cup of mini chocolate chips (I use the enjoy life brand)

 

Preheat Oven to 350degree

use parchment paper or silicone mat on a large baking sheet

 

In a mixer:

cream the eggs, maple syrup, molasses, almond butter and vanilla. Then add your dry ingredients, including walnuts and chocolate chips. Mix those all together for about 30 seconds on high to incorporate. Place your mixing bowl in the fridge and let the dough sit for 30 minutes.

 

Take the dough out and roll small balls on the baking sheet. Flatten out your balls with your hand to make the desired shape. It should yield you about 24 cookies.

 

Bake in your oven for between 11-13 minutes. Oven temps may vary. Do not over bake these cookies. Take them out and let them cool.

 

Grab yourself a nice glass of almond milk or beverage of choice and enjoy this twist on your childhood classic.

 

IMG_0827 IMG_0832

 

 

Be Careful When Judging

You must be the change you want to see in the world”
Ghandi

When you are out in the world, be it at a restaurant, grocery shopping, driving in traffic, or at the doctor’s office, and you see a child screaming and a mother losing her cool and grabbing that child by the arm and being stern: BE CAREFUL BEFORE YOU JUDGE THEM. 

Be careful placing judgment upon others, for you know not what battles they are fighting. 

It has been months since my family went out to eat.

We recently went out for a bite at a local, casual restaurant. Very loud, very kid friendly. Or so we thought.

At the end of the meal, the waitress, who was very sweet, became overwhelmed with her tables. A young man came in and was singing while playing the acoustic guitar, and a very unfriendly table had just sat behind us. Our little one was really struggling, so my husband decided to take him home, and our oldest son refused to leave and stayed with me. He wanted to see the guitar player, but I had to wait for the check.

That was when All Hell Broke Loose.

He started screaming.

The table behind us was in my face, and the large table of young twenty-somethings was looking at me as if they should call DFCS on me for grabbing my son and walking away. My son was screaming at the top of his lungs, and I put my hand over his mouth. At that time, he proceeded to bite my hand, almost breaking the flesh. All the while, the entire restaurant was staring. Let me point out that this hasn’t happened to me in quite some time, and, typically, it doesn’t bother me. This time it did.

As I left the restaurant, I wanted to walk back in and confront the two tables that were staring at me like deer in headlights. I wanted to say something like this:

It isn’t polite to stare, but since you are, let me break it down for you. This is my five-year-old son. He suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome and autism. Although he may look “normal” to you, I assure you that he is fighting many battles. Before you judge my behavior regarding how I handled my son, you should know this: I only slept for three hours last night. My son is sick, and when that happens, his behavior becomes more than any of you could understand. My husband and I are in the middle of the most difficult financial time of our lives, and I am dealing with my mystery medical issues that seem to elude my doctors. I am human; I am not a robot. I have one child with PWS and autism and a second with hyper-activity and mood dysfunction disorder. I may have looked like a crazy woman to you, but you couldn’t imagine that I have been up handling this since 4:00 a.m. today. 

As the parent of a special needs child, we are “supposed to stay calm and not lose our cool.”

I am not perfect, and I do lose my cool on occasion. That night was one of those occasions. I can say this with absolute certainty: Most people in the world could not walk a day in my shoes; most people could not even begin to comprehend what a typical day is for me, let alone these days when things are just not going well.

I write this essay not just for myself. I write for my thousands of extended family members. My family of parents, grandparents, and caregivers of those with special needs, I write for them. I come to you and challenge you to this:

When you see a situation like mine taking place, don’t stare. I challenge you instead to offer a hand. Offer your heart and see if that parent or caregiver could use some help. I will tell you that a smile goes a long way. A smile goes a long way in the heart of a special needs parent in the midst of a crisis with their loved one.

Help me spread the word and please share this blog with all of your friends.

Help me be the change.

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