Sometimes I get comments on my blog that tug at my heart strings. There are some people out there who are utterly encouraging and sweet to thank me for my hard work on this blog that no one pays me to do. It is all I have to keep going. I want to use my experience and culinary knowledge to help other people acheive their goals, learn some new flavors and techniques in paleo cooking and, ultimately, live a healthier life. I received a comment from a woman named Kim yesterday. She commented on my pollo rellenos post the following message:
I am feeling more and more guilty everyday, though. I feed my family (husband and 3 kids, ages 7, 5, and 2) mostly good, homemade food with a nice variety of vegetables and fruit. There is, however, too much junk food in my house. I get waves of nausea and self doubt when I pour them a bowl of their requested Lucky Charms in the morning, for example. Last night, my 5 year old son ate 4 pumpkin muffins, homemade yes, but loaded with sugar and wheat. (He has cancer, so I am absolutely terrified about sugar, but I also know that, due to chemo, he can't eat/taste many foods, and he's losing weight, so what to do?)
I would love to hear what your favorite recipes are....I see so many that I want to try (and will) but it's always great to hear what another person's family finds that works for all.
Thank you for taking the time to blog, it must be tedious at times. Know that your commitment to the task makes life easier for people like me.
First of all, Kim, I am heartbroken that your son is battling cancer. As a mother of a four year old boy, I could never, in a million years, imagine the horror of that diagnoses for your child. How precious our children are. It makes no sense and no fairness that something like this has to exist, especially in the innocence of childhood. I have so much respect for you that you are able to stand strong in your own health while taking care of your family who needs you. My mom went through chemo last year and I remember times when she would have no appetite and couldn't taste certain things. There were times that everything but a plain baked potato tasted like metal. I can't imagine that, either. Trying to feed your son must be a huge struggle. I do understand the sensation of guilt and self doubt when feeding your family the foods they are programed to want to eat. My advice to you is to worry first about feeding them real, whole foods. Here is a great way to start: If it went through a factory, throw it out. Your guilt about throwing away a perfectly good box of lucky charms will be totally squashed by the proud moment when you realize you are taking a step towards keeping your family healthy. Feeding your family real, unprocessed, high-quality, nutrient-dense foods is about love. You want them to be happy and healthy because you love them and have their best interests at heart. That doesn't mean you have to be a health nazi 24/7, but you can do little things to move towards good health.
In response to meals that the whole family is sure to enjoy, I have to say that meatballs are your best friends. They are easy to take on the road, easy to sneak in veggies, easy to eat as leftovers, to freeze, etc. Anything we put on the grill seems to be a hit for everyone in the family. We especially like the chicken wings (they are fun for the kids to eat with their hands), the asian pork tenderloin, paleo spaghetti and lemon rosemary chicken. We also eat a lot of eggs for dinner. They are easy to tailor to your family member's individual preferences. If your family likes soup, my caramelized butternut squash soup is both easy to make and a crowd pleaser. The easiest salmon recipe is a great way to introduce your family to this nutrient-rich fish as it has a nice crunchy crust. You can find all of these recipes in my RECIPE INDEX.
As for your pumpkin muffin-loving son, I wrote a recipe for him this morning that may be a better option than one "loaded with sugar and wheat." This is a great recipe for the whole family. I can't wait to have one tomorrow morning with my coffee. I tested out the recipe on my little boy, who is pretty picky himself. He loved it! I hope your son does, too.
Paleo Pumpkin Scones
Makes 12 scones
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp canned coconut milk
1/4 c pure maple syrup + more for drizzling
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick of high quality, grassfed butter, frozen
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup unsweetened, dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 425º and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Make sure you have your butter in the freezer--it needs to be rock solid. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, egg, coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Grab your butter out of the freezer. Using the large holes of a box grater, quickly shred the butter over the almond flour mixture. Use your fingers to quickly and gently incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. Next, stir the pumpkin mixture into the almond flour mixture until well incorporated. Don't stir too much that the butter melts. You want it to stay cold. Stir in the cranberries. Using an ice cream scoop, drop 12 nicely shaped mounds onto your cookie sheet. Using the palm of your hand, gently squish the mounds so they look like little hockey pucks. Bake for 20 minutes. Drizzle with more maple syrup (or honey) for serving.
Oh yes, I have more to say. Cancer sucks. I mean it really sucks. I received yet another awesome comment from a fellow blogger, Layla on my post about the Stiletto Stampede (a fundraising event I am committed to that raises awareness and benefits the new Seton breast cancer center here in Austin):
"Hi, so glad I found your blog as I'm sure you have heard a hundred times. My husband and I just started our second month on paleo and that is pretty big considering we never committ to anything! Anyways, I don't live in Austin, but I do have friends that live there and will pass on the blog post. I wanted to know if I could host a charity event for this Austin event with you and your bloggers. I applaud you for making people aware that October is cancer awareness month."
I don't know what happened but I didn't receive this comment until today (blogger/email glitch!), the day after the Stiletto Stampede. I would love to work with Layla and other bloggers to raise money for the Stampede. Even though the event is over, there are still ways we can help. Stiletto Stampede is in the process of organizing other events throughout the year to continue to raise awareness about prevention and early detection. I will continue to blog about them and petition you to help! In the meantime, members of the blogosphere, stay healthy, stay aware. Keep doing your monthly self exam and keep having your regular mammograms. And spread the word. Remind your mother, sister, best friend to do the same. Thank God for the health that you have and for the health of your family. Cherish it and feed your body the nourishing foods it needs to maintain it.
As a Texas nonprofit organization, your donations are essential to the year round success of the Stiletto Stampede organization, and the Stiletto Stampede event. You can easily donate to our fund by sending a check made to Stiletto Stampede:
P.O. Box 9969
Austin, TX 78766