Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Weekend Warriors

Gluten-free Coconut flour Birthday Crepes filled with ricotta and berries, topped with dragon fruit, chia, bee pollen, coconut, and an arugula side salad dressed with fresh squeezed orange juice 

We just had a very full Spring weekend - finally warm enough for long hikes in Vermont and Western Massachusetts!  We celebrated my man's birthday by staying a night in Brattleboro, Vermont with it's small-town charm, covered bridges and mountain ranges.  It was a much needed respite from city streets and a long winter of cabin fever into cleaner air and natural green, mountain-top beauty.  My daughter really enjoyed the hikes saying, "In my heart I didn't think I would like hiking, but now I really do."  Recently moving from Brooklyn, NY, it's been fun sharing with her the love for New England that my husband and I have had since our childhood here.  I got some delicious new organic loose leaf herbal tisane at a cute tea shop in VT and we, of course, had some maple syrup.  We were stoked to visit the Brattleboro Co-op Grocery store- which is now our favorite one we've ever seen, as it has so many healthy, organic options, great prices and a wide selection of bulk items--- from oils to grains to honey, vinegar, soap, shampoo, and kombucha- it's so great to see a more environmentally friendly/ sustainable choice- bring your own reusable container and create no waste!

  Vermont has a high focus on local food and small farm community and has recently been in a legal battle with major food industry as the state desires to make GMO labeling mandatory.  Monsanto threatened to take the state to court over it, and VT has such a limited budget, they wouldn't be able to pay for the legal case.  It is discouraging to see such a beautiful state, full of hard working citizens and organic food growers who just want to keep their families healthy, facing such opposition.  I hope that the food industry giants in this country will somehow get what's coming to them for what they've done to our food supply, to the detriment of our nation's health.  In the meantime, all we can do is stay informed and try our best to avoid the so-called man-made genetically / chemically modified "foods" that they market to us, causing a large rise in national health issues in the past few decades.  We can take back our food health by educating ourselves on whole, natural, non-engineered foods.  (For more on this, see the book "SALT, SUGAR, FAT" by Michael Moss.)

  We also went to our first Northeast Native American powwow as a family on Sunday, as my husband & daughter are of Nipmuc tribal heritage and we hope to pass along an appreciation for their natural way of life to our girl.  I loved the opening ceremony, in which sage herb was burnt and a circle of gratitude for "warriors", veterans and mothers took place.  The host explained that warriors are not just soldiers, but anyone who fights to teach others about the struggles of life that we all face- including mothers who fight to bring life into this world and nurture it.  It was a moving emotional experience for all of us, and my daughter enjoyed seeing the dances, the drumming and the trade blanket where she exchanged foraged berries for a piece of leather.  She left smelling like sage smoke, humming and singing her own chants based on what she had heard and asked us to read her the story of Sitting Bull at bedtime.  She's been talking about natives ever since.  We also learned this weekend that our new neighbor friends have Native American Comanche heritage and we were able to spend more time with them, realizing how much our parenting styles coincide with one another (they went to a powwow the day before us).  We celebrated their daughter's birthday with them on Monday.  It was a great, long weekend for us!





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