2000 beautiful calories

Not sure what 2000 calories looks like? We promise you, you’ll be surprised.

The Green Challenge – Day 16

Join me on this Green Challenge – Thirty Days of Serious (and Silly) Green Commitments! Each day, I’ll challenge myself to introduce a new green thing in my life, and I invite you to get on the bandwagon to make a difference. If all goes well, we’ll be living a greener life that will continue well beyond this Earth Month!

It’s important to me that my children understand where food comes from. As a result, I make it a habit to take them with me to the farmer’s market so that they can mingle with the farmers, ask questions, and see food the way it actually looks when it comes out of the ground—a little dirt is a good sign, in my books. This year, I intend to do a little more, and it started this afternoon.

I am helping my kids develop their green thumbs this spring by having them plant a few seeds. I know, I know, the gardening experts out there are probably screaming at their screens that it’s a little late in the season, but nevertheless it is an important development, even if a bit late! We started with squash seeds and will keep them in the house for the next couple of weeks so that my kids can watch them sprout and grow. I know how much I enjoy the thrill of seeing new life pop out of the ground, so I look forward to watching my children’s reaction in the adventure as well.

Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace.
– Kent Nerburn

– Lucy

The Gratitude Challenge – Day 26

I’d like to invite you to take the Gratitude Challenge with me. Every day during the month of January join me in setting an intentional attitude of gratitude by writing about one thing you are grateful for. Hopefully our new attitude will last beyond January and carry us throughout the year. Email your gratitude to me at AuntB@MamasHealth.com or write below in the comments.

Day 26

I found this site that talks about the last meals of famous and infamous people. It made me think about just how pleasurable food can be, and of course, what my last meal would be if I had to choose.

What the heck Aunt B! What’s all this last meal stuff got to do with gratitude?

By the way, you sure do talk about food a lot!

I thought first about éclairs and tiramisu, sweet potato pie, fudgy brownies, pistachio ice cream, yeah, I’d have desert first, I mean on my way out right? What does it matter? Then I thought about the pastrami from Oinkster’s in Eagle Rock, the grits with sausage and tomatoes from Auntie Em’s, the curried chicken from The Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park, my mom’s gumbo.

This is all nice and nostalgic Aunt B, but can you get to the part where you talk about what you would have as your last meal.

And for the love of all things good, what does this have to do with gratitude?

My last meal though and the food I’m most grateful for is:


Brown rice with almond milk, butter and honey
Seedless grapes
Home fried potatoes with peppers and onions
Hot buttered sourdough toast

Pretty simple eh? Yep.

– Aunt B

Mama Wants to Help: List of homeless shelters, food banks, and winter resources

Mama wants to help: A list of food banks, homeless shelters, WIC program, and winter resources.

Serena the Wanna-Be Vegetarian – Vegetarianism According to Janet Jackson Songs

Janet Jackson evolved from her self-named debut album in 1982 to the princess of pop whom she has become. Evolution is a process, so I figured out how I can keep myself moving toward my vegetarian goals by listening to Janet Jackson songs.

“What Have You Done For Me Lately?” – Yes meat, what have you done for me lately? Eating red meat increases a person’s chances of developing certain cancers and heart disease. Two things I never want to hear from my doctor.

“Control” – Is what I need to get through this. I’m not trying to save every animal on the planet; I’m trying to live a little longer than expected. Or in the words of Miss Jackson, “Don’t wanna rule the world, just wanna run my life.”

“The Pleasure Principle” – The hardest part for me is realizing how much of my life is centered on food. Easter ham, Thanksgiving turkey, gumbo at Christmas time made by my favorite aunt, not to mention the bbq’s, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

“Miss You Much” – I think this title says it all.

“That’s The Way Love Goes”—To have anything worth having, and that includes good health, usually means that one has to learn moderation and discipline. While I love my In ‘N Out burgers, I love my family and myself more. That’s the real way love goes.

“You Want This” – Why yes, Ms. Jackson I do. I’m willing to make the sacrifices to have health too.

“Any Time Any Place” – I’m learning that I can find a vegetarian option.

“All For You” – This is for me, it will be gift to my children and hopefully for their children too, to be conscious about what goes into their body. We only get one.

– Serena

Serena The Wanna-Be Vegetarian – Fast Food Strikes Again!

Throughout this change my family is making, my husband has been the most flexible. Usually men are pretty fickle about what goes on their table and into their stomachs. We talked about not eating meat before we brought it to the kids, and he was pretty agreeable and thought that it would be better for the family’s over all health too.

So imagine my surprise as I’m running errands and see Mr. This-is-so-easy-I-could-do-it-seven-days-a-week-standing-on-my-head standing in front of Meaty Meat Ribs and Bar-be-que chomping on a beef rib with this buddies. Mmm-hmmm. I slowed my car and tooted the horn and made a “peace” sign and pointed to my eyes and then at him. I mouthed the words, “I see you.”

I’m not the only one falling off the wagon.

“I just don’t feel full,” he said when we finally talked about it.

Organic food tastes like it has bird poop in it.”

At this point the only one that has stayed true is my daughter, the burgeoning PETA member, unless she has a deal with the Hamburglar.

So do I dive into the fake beef products to transition my family over? I look at the Boca products (burgers, sausage) and the Morning Star products (‘meat’ crumbles to nuggets). How healthy are they? Are they worth the extra cost? To be honest they’re pretty expensive, be it what it may, but the cow is cheaper. Not only is it expensive, I’ve found that trying to eat healthy, means I’m in the kitchen a lot more.

I did find this that I’ll talk to my family about. Since they can’t stay away from fast food, let’s talk about what our options are. Right?

– Serena

Easy Ways to Start Eating Animal Friendly and still eat meat

Mama loves animals. Almost everywhere I go, I end up rescuing a furry little critter. Just the other day while visiting my parents, a straggly little dog came up to me and rolled over so I could rub his belly. After playing with him for a little while, I found his owner a few houses away.

One of the things I sometimes wonder about is eating meat. If I love animals so much, how can I justify eating them? Well, I have an animal friendly diet that includes meat. It sounds like a contradiction…but it can be done.

If you want to begin reducing meat in your diet in the hopes of supporting animal welfare, then I have some easy ideas for you for delicious meat substitutions. I promise, it will be quick and painless!

  • Use Meat in Smaller Amounts. If you want to start reducing your meat intake, start by using smaller amounts in soups, pastas, or stir frys. Resist the urge to buy a 12 ounce rib eye steak (yum yum) for dinner.
  • Buy Animals treated with humane conditions. Look for cage free and free range eggs, USDA organic meats, and Certified Humane labels on chicken, pork, or beef. These labels mean that certain standards were met and verified showing humane standards for the animals. What really goes on behind closed doors in the food industry is shocking, disturbing, and outright mean.
  • Try Tofu. Tofu is a great substitute because it takes on the flavor of whatever you’re cooking, so you can scramble it as eggs, use it in a lasagna, add it to salads, try it on kebabs, the list goes on and on.
  • Use Veggies as Main Dishes. You may be surprised to find out that there are many hearty vegetables that can be prepared as an entrée. Try Eggplant Parmesan, for example, or even grilled or stuffed mushrooms.
  • Try meat substitutes.Nothing will ever completely replace the taste and texture of meat. But, adding meat substitutes to your meals will give it a new taste and will still fill you up.

Go out on a limb, try it.

– Mama

Sushi: Mama’s new favorite food

While nothing will ever come close to tasting like my mom and dad’s home cookin’, I have found a new favorite food, Sushi. But not just any sushi. There’s one type of sushi that really makes my mouth water: eel avocado rolls. If cooked right, eel avocado rolls have a crisp, but yet buttery flavor. Yum yum.

– Mama