Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Epiphany & Recipe Updates

Yesterday I had an epiphany.

You know those Mommy moments (introspection moments, really) where you look back at your day and wonder if you did your best?

Essie and Samuel (with friend, Kira) at Samuel's birthday party last Saturday.

After tucking my kids into bed, I looked at their angelic, sleeping faces and I wondered - Ashlee, did you give it your all; do the cumulative moments of the last 16 hours foster greatness?

And then my knees hit the floor.

I pondered how I could do better. What could help me be more sensitive and aware of my children's needs without losing balance, or completely neglecting myself or my home?

After rising again, I headed upstairs to my kitchen to finish the dishes and put away dinner. Slowly and quietly, a peaceful feeling entered my heart. An answer.

Take better care of yourself.


And then a list.

You didn't eat breakfast, even though you were hungry.
You didn't exercise.
You didn't shower; you just threw on some jeans and went out the door.
You didn't nap when you were tired in the afternoon.

How can you expect to be sensitive to others' needs if you choose to completely ignore your own?

And then a promise.

I promise to do better. To rise early and exercise, to eat healthy, hearty meals when I am hungry, to shower in the morning, and to allow myself a short nap when I hit my brick wall.

And then I am going to try a couple of new recipes -- it's what keeps me excited about whole foods.

Now you know what I'm up to today. What are you up to?

P.S. I've updated my weight loss story to include pictures!

P.S.S. For all you Mac N Cheese lovers, I've been messing around with the recipe. Alisa commented that using only one cup of coconut milk, instead of the whole can, tasted great. I tried it out, adding 1/2 of a roasted red bell pepper. BINGO. It pushed the cheesiness level over the top!

And just one more P.S.S.S! I made chocolate chip cookies with chia seed gel again and realized that I had not previously followed the rule of replacements for oil. I made some changes, trying it out in the recipe. The result? A crunchier, chewier, oil free chocolate chip cookie!

I hope you have a great day!!! What motivates you to do better?


  1. I love this post. Love it! As young mom's we need to take care of ourselves! Also, when I make those cookies they are really dense and cakey. I am going to try it again with only 2 tbsp of chia seed gel and see how it goes! What is the rule for using that gel?

    1. Oh, thank you so much Katie, you make it so worth it!

      I edited the post for chocolate chip cookies to reflect the recipe changes.

      Any oil replacement used in recipes (except for nut butters) should be cut in half. For example -- the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of oil; use only 1/4 cup of oil replacement. I can make this a post...

      Also, I should edit this post -- the picture above of C.C.Cookies was made for my children. I specifically include small portions of coconut oil in their food on purpose. That particular picture was with 2 tbsp. oil and then 1 tbsp. of chia seed gel, replacing the 4 tbsp total of oil that the recipe called for. Does that make sense?

      I have also since discovered that the best thing for oil replacements in cookies is nut butter. Almond butter, cashew butter, or peanut butter work the best. If you don't want a PB cookie, use almond butter. I haven't tried cashew or macadamia butter yet, but I want to. Hopefully this helps; it really should probably be a post, huh?

    2. I just wanted to clarify (sorry I get carried away!: When making these cookies for myself, and I want them to be oil free, I would just halve the amount of oil called for and replace that with chia seed gel. Should be less cakey. I want to try these with nut butter (don't halve nut butter...should be pretty good!

    3. Awesome. I have almond butter, so I will give it a shot. I have been wondering about whether or not I am giving my 2yr old enough fats in his diet. A lot of times I find that we have been eating the same things, and my food has almost no fat in it. I have started buying coconut yogurt even though it is ridiculously expensive to get some fats in his diet. What is your rule of thumb for getting fats into your kids diet? Do you have a general goal that you try to hit? I haven't been able to find good info about that in my searches.

    4. I don't have a rule of thumb, really.

      Whenever I think that they would enjoy one of my recipes more, with added fat, I add it separately to their own plates.

      Funny thing I am discovering -- they don't like it. Samuel even dislikes butter on his toast and prefers jam. The only time they really like added fats is in their kids' hummus, for frying tofu, or their own cookies. Even then, they love the oil replacements just as much.

      So, I may diverge and continue to feed them whole plant fats, not the refined oil derived from plants. I dunno. I am going to keep watching them...and experimenting on them. Poor kids!

      I think as long as children are getting plenty of nuts, seeds, tofu, avocados, olives, nut butters, and these kinds of whole fats, that they will be fine. Your only real concern is if they are not gaining weight. My kids are gaining and growing like gang-busters, so I am not too worried about it.

    5. Thanks for the help - you gave me some good ideas.

  2. This makes me miss you and Samuel and Essie! And it makes me want to take better care of myself :). Sometimes I have to recored everything I eat and what I did to take care of myself because I get so busy that you could ask me what I did at the end of the day I would hardly be able to re-count all the important little details. This is why keeping a food diary has been the only way I have ever successfully stablized my weight. I would also like more info on replacing oil! (esp. chia seed jell instructions). Tell us exactly how you made your cookies taste amazing! :)

    1. It's so easy to believe in the importance of taking care of other people, and then decide that it is not important to take care of yourself at all. I can't believe how this epiphany struck me! Of course my children will have a harder time eating breakfast if I am not eating breakfast myself! Of course they are not going to get exercise if I am not exercising. Taking care of oneself can carry right over into taking care of other people. It is awesome!