Even kids like Paleo

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This is a picture of my daughter, Aeriella. Her lunch consisted of grass fed ground beef in marinara sauce, over green beans, and a slice of coconut almond bread.

So many times, I hear mother’s making the excuse “It’s hard for me to eat healthy with kids in the house. I have to keep snacks around for them.” REALLY?!! Um, shouldn’t you want your children to eat healthy? If you know YOU “shouldn’t” have those sugary fruit snacks and Mini Oreo’s, then WHY are you letting your child have them on a daily basis? I just don’t get it. Ok, rant over. Time to educate.

When I decided to go all out Paleo, I knew it would be a challenge to get my husband and 22 month old daughter on board. My husband eats very healthy, but enjoys his bread, pasta, and brown rice. My typical toddler also loves bread and “noonles” (noodles). She also loves the whole grain goldfish snacks. While all of these things are considered healthy, I really believe the bad reputation grains and legumes have in messing with the digestive system and leading to various illnesses.

My husband is an athlete, and I also consider myself to be an athletic person. Paleo is by far, the best lifestyle for us. It fuels your body with what you need to recover after intense workouts, and affords you with an incredible amount of energy to go about your daily routine. As a mother of newborn twins and a toddler, energy is something I need. I feel fantastic, I’m never hungry, and I easily lost all of my pregnancy weight (nearly 50 lbs!).

Okay, back to the topic. Even kids like Paleo. As all of you parents know, children have a lot of energy and their minds are little sponges. They are learning so much at such a fast pace, and are just trying to soak it all in. How do we keep their minds strong, alive, and equipped to retain what their learning the best way possible? How do we keep their bodies fueled properly so they don’t “crash” and get fussy and whiney? Simply feed their bodies properly. Healthy fats work wonders for brain development. Healthy fats are also crucial to energy levels. Carbs help with energy, you say? You are wrong. Healthy fats provide more than twice the amount of energy to the body than carbs do. It’s a fact. Look it up.

Back to transitioning my daughter… Some Paleo followers allow the addition of certain dairy products into their diet. For children, it is very important to have milk and other dairy (greek yogurt, certain cheeses) in their diet until age 5. I personally don’t consume dairy, mainly because I don’t like it. I don’t like milk, cheese (except mexican queso), and am not really an ice cream fan, so I choose to keep dairy out of my diet. My daughter however, is lacto-paleoithic.

Making meals for her is easy. She basically eats what my husband and I eat. I find that the hardest are snacks. She does love fruit, so fruit and greek yogurt, or just fruit is an easy solution. But usually I just opt for having her eat 4 meals throughout the day, and eliminate the snacks all together. Now that I am better with cooking all things Paleo, I have been making my own bread and baked goods. She loves the almond butter chocolate chip cookies. She also loves “PB&J” on my coconut almond bread. My next mission is learning how to make jelly (I know it can’t be that hard, I just need to look it up!).

Anti-Bullying Program at CDS- Week 4 (By Josh)

Week 4 – Martial Arts And Anti-Bullying Program At Community Day School In Squirrel Hill

We are four weeks into teaching basic martial arts and anti-bully methods at Community Day School, Pittsburgh’s only inclusive and pluralistic Jewish day school, located in Squirrel Hill. After several introductions and meetings with both administrators and support staff, CDS decided to implement a martial arts program as part of the Physical Education requirement in the Middle School for students of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. The aim of this project is to teach effective methods to deflect bullying while building self-confidence through knowledge of basic self defense.The martial arts concepts being taught at Community Day School are derived from Zach Whitson’s Counterpoint Tactical System, also known as CTS. CTS at the youth level provides the perfect blend of self defense training for children which includes four main areas; empty-hand basics; falling and rolling basics, grappling basics, and stick conditioning. The curriculum is fun and effective in teaching young students to be respectful of others and capable of protecting themselves from unwanted aggression. As for the anti-bully concepts being taught, they’re derived from Dr. George Thompson’s Verbal Defense and Influence, of which I represent here in Pittsburgh through the Pittsburgh Bully Expert Program based at Ryer Martial Arts Academy. This anti-bullying program is being used all over the world to empower children to bully-proof themselves.

Looking back on the last four weeks, we have made really good progress exposing students to basic footwork, falls, and ground mechanics as well as the three essential “ingredients” for anti-bullying. The three “ingredients” I have taught are the Art of Representation (who and what do you represent), Mushin (having a calm, cool mind), and Anger Guards (recognizing your weaknesses and building strength around them). Much like physical self defense training, before students can learn different techniques they must possess certain qualities like awareness, control, and a certain level of fitness. The same idea is applied to our anti-bully methodology in that before students can learn how to deflect bulling, they need to possess qualities like good behavior, a calm mind, and they must recognize what triggers their anger.

This week will mark a new turn in our training as we begin teaching verbal deflectors or “Word Blocks” to the students alongside an introduction to basic stick conditioning. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Continue to follow our progress by visiting the Ryer Academy Lounge at http://www.ryeracademy.perfectmind.com/SocialSite/Lounge!

Cavemen ate cereal?

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Can I just say… DELICIOUS! Every once in a while I get hungry for granola. I was trying to find a paleo friendly cereal or granola, but was not having any luck. Until I stumbled upon this recipe. It is absolutely delicious. I had mine in almond milk, but it also tastes great as just a snack with no milk. Also, the recipe calls for grapeseed oil, although coconut oil is a bit more “Paleo.” Whip some up, you won’t be disappointed!

Caveman Crunch Cereal

(Recipe is compliments of Civilized Caveman Cooking)

  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 cup slivered or sliced almond
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil ( or any other oil but it can affect stickiness and bake time)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325*. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork. Use a small bowl for all the wet ingredients. ( a good trick is to measure the oil then the honey so that it glides out of the measuring cup). Microwave the wet ingredients for 30 sec to melt the honey. Stir and add to dry ingredients. Mix all together thoroughly with a fork. Spread mixture evenly on to a tinfoil lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 min then pull it out and mix it up with a fork then bake for 5 more minutes. ( note I have a gas range and I find I only need the first 20 min, especially with olive oil that seems to cook faster). Let the pan cool which allows it to get crunchy. Break it all up as you remove it from the foil and store in an airtight container. Enjoy with your favorite type of milk. ( note I like to eat mine as soon as soon as I put the milk on because the oil tends to separate with the milk after a bit. It still tastes the same but looks a little gross)

Music Class

Josh and I decided to enroll all three kids in a music class. Originally, I really wanted to take them to The Whittaker Music Room in Murrysville. I have heard great things from a few parents about them. I had all three kids set up to try a Sample Class, but I had to squeeze in another doctors appointment for my back, and Josh’s schedule was just crazy this week, so needless to say, I had to cancel. I decided to do some more research, and found that there was a Kindermusik class in Wexford, very close to where we live. They also had a time that worked in our schedule (imagine that!).

I had my reservations because I really wanted to take them to Whittaker because I heard it was amazing. Murrysville is quite a hike for us, but I figured I’d make it work. But the more I looked at what we have going on now, maybe the closer option is the best. It’s not that I can’t always switch at a later time. Also, Kindermusik is only $55/month for all 3 kids! Our accountant always says “Cheap pastries aren’t good, and good pastries aren’t cheap.” That was the first thing that popped into my head. Ha!

Anyway, we gave it a try. And it was fun! The boys LOVED it. I didn’t think they’d really care or pay attention, but they were laughing and interacting with everyone. They loved the music, singing and bouncing around. Aerie was a little weird at first. She’s not used to a class setting, so she thinks everyone should just follow her lead. She warmed up after a little bit, and was just being Miss Independant. At one point we were singing a song, and the kids were supposed to be bouncing on their parents laps. Well, Little Miss Sunshine took it upon herself to go right to the middle of the circle, and bust a move! She was doing jumping jacks, dancing her heart out, and of course breaking out the pushups.

The class ended with story time, and Aerie LOVED it, especially since the book had a moon in it. She truly is an amazing little peanut.

All in all, it was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to going back next week, and seeing how the class progresses. I wish I would have done something like this sooner with Aerie because I was really surprised how well the twins took to it.

Apples & Honey Festival and CDS

Josh started teaching his Anti Bully Program at the Community Day School a few weeks ago. It was an instant hit. The teachers, especially, are really empowered by what he is doing.

We went to the Apples & Honey Festival that was held to celebrate the Jewish New Year today, and I got to meet a lot of people involved with CDS. They were all completely gushing to me about how amazing Josh is, and the positive influence he is having at the school. It made me really proud that all of his hard work, focus, passion, and his good heart has really turned him into a person that so many people look up to. I know I look up to him. I heard this quote once that said “Be the kind of person that if someone talks bad on you, no one will believe them.” Josh is that person. He has such a good heart, is very considerate of those around him, he’s fun, and he inspires people to look within themselves and be a better person. Boy, are our kids lucky to have such an amazing dad!

Hello. Kristy? Where have you been?

OMG, I can’t do it. Having twins and a toddler is so hard. I sit and cry all day because everyone else is crying and I just cant manage!

Just kidding! We are all doing great. I’m just busy training, researching, and trying my best to be a kick a** mom. We are still surviving, and having a great time.

Sure, having newborn twins is hard. Who thought it wouldn’t be? Sure, there are times where everyone seems unhappy, there are (were) sleepless nights, your arms are full with babies, everyone’s diaper needs changed and the dishes need done. But you know what, you put on your big girl pants and you suck it up. I truly believe that I won’t be given more than I can handle. Not everyone is blessed with twins. Josh and I were “chosen” for a reason, so we are going about it with a big smile on our face and our best foot forward.

One of the best pieces of advice I can give to mothers of multiples (or any mom struggling) is just be patient. Take a deep breath and tackle the task at hand. If you are frustrated and stressed, your baby will pick up on that and they will be just as upset. So before you go giving your baby gripe water or colic calm or whatever your friend swears by, remember that they are babies and they’re going to be fussy. It doesn’t mean they’re colicky or there is something wrong with them. Take a deep breath, smile to yourself, and do it! Give it a try and see if it makes a difference.

Honestly, I really feel like I have a good handle on everything. Everyone is managable. I still have time with Aerie to do “lesson plans” and read books (her favorite thing). It’s also worked out that I have one on one time with each kid throughout the day. I am also LOVING this stage of the boys smiling and giggling all the time. They are such happy babies.