Monday, December 29, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

I'm loving the holiday break.  Enjoying having a looser bedtime, relaxed mornings, and plenty of family time.  I hope that your holiday season is going well, with plenty of memories making their way into your heart.

Here is my menu plan for the week, because when I have a plan I have less stress.  Which means that I can be more present to enjoy those memories while they are happening!

Monday (beef)
Breakfast: turkey sausage, biscuits, green smoothie
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: chili bake

Tuesday (fish)
Breakfast: waffles with raspberry syrup
Lunch: beef dogs
Dinner: crispy lemon cod, green beans, roasted beets

Wednesday (pork)
Breakfast: cranberry apple coffee cake
Lunch: tuna melts
Dinner: italian sausage with peppers and onions, fried cabbage, herb roasted potatoes

Thursday (vegan)
Breakfast: cinnamon roasted butternut squash, bacon
Lunch: sausage balls
Dinner: carrot ginger soup with lentils, kale salad with pomegranate arils, bread sticks

Friday (turkey)
Breakfast: sweet potato hash
Lunch: hummus wraps
Dinner: turkey pot pie

Saturday (lamb)
Breakfast: apple sausage muffins
Lunch: turkey noodle soup
Dinner: lamb bolognese, peas

Sunday (fish)
Breakfast: french toast
Lunch: leftover bolognese
Dinner: sesame ginger salmon, brussels sprouts, applesauce

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Educate, don't attack, when missteps are made.

There is quite a lot of outrage about an article that was published on Buzzfeed by Quaker.  "50 thoughts every mom has at snacktime."  

It caught the eye of the allergy community in a big way when it included:

 "The kids will be home soon, and they’ll be hungry.  Are they bringing that friend with all of those allergies?  I really hope not. I mean, I like her, but come on."

If you read through the entire 50 thoughts, I think it is a very real flow of consciousness.  It's silly, it's serious, it's distracted, it's an honest glimpse into a mom's scattered thoughts on a chaotic day.  There are no disparaging words said about the child, or her allergies, only the implication that coming up with a snack that would be safe is more effort than she wants to put forth in that moment.  

Let's be real: it *is* hard to feed a child with multiple allergies.  It takes effort and forethought.  That is what I hear from this mom.  Lord knows there are days that I don't want to deal with the effort and MY daughter has multiple allergies.  It's hard.  Especially for someone who doesn't live with it.  I think it's sad that they chose this to use in their ad, but it is a reality for a lot of moms, and their goal was to be relatable.  I hate that it is hard for others to have my kiddo over for a playdate, but I accept that it is a reality for the other mom. 

It's a reality that some of our children are hard to feed.  Quaker pointed it out.  It was not the most elegant or polite way to handle the situation.  Yes, they could have done the same with any disability- they could state that they 'hope the kid with the wheel chair isn't coming because it's so hard to get him up to Tommy's bedroom' and she 'hates bringing all the toys down to the living area', she could state that she doesn't want 'the ESL kid to come because she feels awkward when she doesn't understand what is said'.... All of those things are real thoughts that mothers can have, but we shut them down with a) reality, and b) compassion.  We know that hosting someone who is differently abled can be a challenge, but we typically realize that building a bond of friendship is worth a bit of extra effort, and people who are different are worth it just because they are human.  So it was a stream of consciousness, but it is one that few moms with social etiquette or taste would ever share.  One of those thoughts that may race through your head but you would never give voice to.  We can all acknowledge the truth in it, but there is no need to speak some truths out loud.

As a community we need to step in and call out the insensitivity.  We should ask for an apology, even a retraction.  We should not lambaste them and shame them for making a misstep.  That is not the example I want to show my children.  I ask for mistakes to be corrected, I occasionally ask for apologies, and I try to do it in a way that allows for them to step up and do the right thing, to become aware rather than feel defensive.  

We are quick to demand empathy, accommodation, and acceptance.  We are slow to offer the same empathy, kindness and education needed to raise awareness when there is a public misstep.

Many of the comments on the article were angry, and many were in a tone that I'm certain the author would not use with a person they knew and had to look in the face while speaking in such a manner.  Most wouldn't walk into the school and talk to a teacher about a problem in this manner, and school often makes mistakes that we are in charge of handling.  We talk with a respectful tone.  Make them feel educated, not attacked.  When people feel attacked they shut down and can not hear the message you bring, and this message is too important not to hear.

We can not call for compassion and understanding without offering it.  Quaker spoke an ugly truth out loud.  It is poor form in that it helps to perpetuate bad attitudes toward accommodating those that living with food allergies.  Feel free to educate them. Be kind when you do it. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

I'm always amazed at how much more smoothly my week goes when I have a menu plan in place.  Last week I tried to wing it, and I was a mess!  Trying to come up with a meal three times a day, with the ingredients I have on hand... It's too much stress for me.  When I have a menu plan in place I can coast through the week with grace.  I take the plan with me grocery shopping so that I have all the ingredients I need, and I never have a last minute debate about what to make.  (Of course, I do make last minute changes when life gets crazy, but one or two changes in the plan is pretty easily managed.)

I don't want to stress about my holiday week, so here is my plan.

Monday (vegan)
Breakfast: cream of buckwheat made with hemp milk
Lunch: turkey wraps
Dinner: mushroom stroganoff over pasta, peas

Tuesday (beef)
Breakfast: apple coffee cake (from *the best* allergy friendly cookbook), green smoothie
Lunch: hummus wraps
Dinner: beef burger on bun, roasted beets, garlicky spinach, sliced pears

Wednesday (fish)
Breakfast: buckwheat pancakes with berry reduction
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly
Dinner: fish sticks, rosemary shrimp, roasted cauliflower, applesauce

Thursday (pork) Christmas with the in-laws!
Breakfast: overnight cinnamon rolls
Lunch: sausage balls
Dinner: ham, potato salad, green beans, dinner rolls, veggie tray with hummus, cookies

Friday (lamb)
Breakfast: bacon and sautéed veggies
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: lamb burgers, broccoli, grapes

Saturday (vegan)
Breakfast: sunbutter coffee cake
Lunch: potato leek soup
Dinner: pizza

Sunday (turkey) Christmas with my family!
Breakfast: parsnip muffins, green smoothie
Lunch: hahahaha!
Dinner: turkey with gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, veggie tray with hummus, apple pie with whipped coconut cream, whatever my family brings to share...

I hope your family has a fantastic Christmas!  May it be merry, safe, and surrounded with love.

(As always, I try to link to the original recipe.  It may not reflect the changes I make to adapt the recipe for our dietary restrictions.)