Friday, March 30, 2012

Food For Thought

I recently watched this video via youtube:HUNGRY FOR CHANGE. I haven’t watched the whole dvd, just the trailer.

Taken from the website:

“Hungry For Change” exposes shocking secrets the diet, weightloss and food industry don’t want you to know about. Deceptive strategies designed to keep you craving more and more.

Could the foods we are eating actually be keeping us stuck in the diet trap?

It really made me think. Are people really that gullible? Do people really believe that “diet” drinks, powders, foods etc are going to help them???!!! Make them happy even?? Make them look and feel better?

Honestly I'm sick of seeing and hearing perfectly healthy women, not girls, wanting to loose weight. And how stupid they are trying to do so. No carbs, no sugar, no fruit etc etc.

Why can’t we enjoy fresh healthy food? But also have a treat now and then? Why is food looked at like the enemy?

Life is so short, why would you want to pollute your mind, body and spirit with crap food? Why would you want to feed it to your kids? There are so many wonderful healthy fresh foods out there. And you can eat and be full and satisfied. And not have to eat packaged and processed All. The. Time. 

How is having a diet packaged meal in a box thing, better than making a super fresh healthy salad? Making a salad is just as quick. Don’t get me wrong I have my lazy days too. I always have frozen fish and vegetables in my freezer. I try to make sure that I know the ingredients on the back of the box, and that there are not any numbers, 621, 620 etc, that I don’t know or care to eat. I do this with all the food I buy and feed my family. I want to know what I'm eating and what they are eating is fresh, healthy and nutritious.

When my daughter started solids, I was constantly barraged with “advice” about how and what to feed her. It was always about packaged food. Now I'm not saying that all of the packaged food for little ones is bad, actually it mostly is not. The point was I love making her food, knowing exactly what goes into her tummy. She tries new flavours and foods all the time. And I'm satisfied knowing what my child has eaten. I try to make it balanced, fresh and healthy for every meal. She has had grains, pulses, yoghurt, cheese, fresh fruit, vegetables plus fish and different cuts of meat. I base her food, on what I love to eat. So if I'm eating a greek yoghurt with fruit as a snack, then Georgi does too, and loves it.

I think the reason why this gets to me so much is cause I'm raising a daughter. I do NOT want her to have food hang-ups. I want her to be healthy and happy, and yeah, have a HOMEMADE cupcake or banana bread every now and then. I also wouldn’t want my daughter missing out on the joy that is Zumbo either. I think its all about moderation.

The Husband said something the other night to me that was exactly how I feel about junk food. He said that he doesn’t want to “treat” Georgi to McDonald's or whatever for the sake of a treat. He doesn’t want that kind of food, to be seen as a treat and/or reward. And I have to say I agree COMPLETELY. I have a very intelligent hubby ;) 

This no sugar thing makes me want to scream every time I hear about it. Sugar is not the enemy, you are. We need sugar, just not the quantities some people are consuming. 

I am by no means perfect, but im trying to set a good example for my daughter. Hopefully she will grow up with a love of all kinds of food, just like her mumma did.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baby G is Growing up

Oh my little one is growing so quickly. She is now 8 1/2 months old, and still NO TEETH!!!! But man can she crawl. She zips around the house, very confident and quite cheekily grabbing at everything she shouldn't. Georgi also loves to stand. She pulls herself up and stands against a foot stool, mumbling her baby gibberish, mauling all the remotes, even though she has a million toys.

I am anticipating teeth, cause she loves food so much. She loves to chew her food, even without teeth, munching away with those gums. I give her little bits of pasta or rice through her pureed food, and she loves it, she gets the biggest smile, new textures, new tastes.

It saddens me to say Georgi is weaning herself off the breast. I had dropped a couple feeds during the day a few weeks back,  she seemed disinterested, and much more keen on sitting up playing, or looking around. She would whinge when i put her in a cradle hold to feed her, she hates this hold at the best of times. She started feeding sitting up, this was uncomfortable for me, but meh she was happy. I never thought that i produced enough milk in the first place, besides what all the "expert" breastfeeding nurses and mid wives said.

I was more than happy to drop the during the day feeds, it made getting out and about during the day, much easier and lots of fun. I take her homemade food with me, and we have lunch out and about. Georgi loves to people watch, it is the cutest thing to see.

G loved her evening feed. She has a whole routine we stick to like glue. Play time, bath, boob + bottle (I know, she loves her food) then bed.

What used to take Georgi an hour, hour and a half for feeding, now takes a few minutes.

I loved the night feeding the most. We got to snuggle before bed time, she was so happy and sleepy on the bf, the bottle acted as a top up.

Seems like she is now done with the night feeds too :( A few night's ago, I tried to put her in the cradle hold to feed her, she just whinged, and wanted to sit up. So i tried to sit her up and feed her, but nope, not interested.

Seems like my baby girl is growing up, moving on to big girl food only. She doesn't need her mummy's food anymore. I am so teary about this. I know I should be happy, we are moving into a new phase of her new life, but I still haven't had enough time to get my head around it.

I will need to learn to keep up, with this little ball of sunshine. I think I'm the luckiest mother on earth to be blessed with such a gorgeous, easy going, intelligent and determined little girl.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hanging On By A Thread....Barely

I have now been living with the In Laws a little over 4 months. It feels like so much longer. It doesn't feel like it is working out at all. This was meant to be a time that the Husband and I could save a little money, to help give us a boost. So far it seems to not be working out, mentally anyway.

All this has made me a horrible person. Has made me question so much about myself.
Is it the mumma gene taking over? Am I becoming, what I have always dreaded? A mother that doesn't like anything her In Laws do? That is a little too over protective of her child?

When it is just Georgi and I, i find I am at my happiest. No anxiety, we have so much fun together. She is always laughing at her mumma, and I don't question myself, EVER. I think I am a good parent. She is a wonderful baby, honest. She eats and sleeps very well. And she's generally a happy baby.
Most of the time I think, let it go, let them do whatever they want, the kid won't remember. But sometimes, my blood just boils and I get so angry! I need to learnt to calm down. Take a breath, walk away from it. Why do I get so upset? So frustrated, tired, anxious, angry, so teary? Is it part of being a parent? Or am I the only crazy lady?

I am so over my living situation that I have wanted to walk out many times, on everything and everyone, the only problem is I have no where to go. And I need to think about Georgi first. Not my own selfish needs to get away.

I have been told I am a sensitive person. I disagree to a point. I think yes, I am sensitive, but sensitive to negativity ALL. THE. TIME. The whole reason why we moved around so much was to get away from it all. Now I'm right in the thick of it. Again. *sigh*

I understand that people can't always get along, but they can be civil, or at least pretend? Can't they?
There is only so much a person can take before they SNAP! I feel it on the horizon, and I'm trying my best to keep it at bay. I have been going for long walks to help soothe my crazy mind, even if it is out to shopping centres, this is great for G she loves to people watch, she is super nosey my little girl.

OK. END OF RANT, now deep breath Leah...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sour Cherry Cheesecake

Mum's Birthday Cake.

My mother celebrated a special birthday yesterday on the 7th March. It was a lovely day, filled with babies, laughter, tea and cheesecake. As a family we received some horrid news, that I may or may not go into another time. So the day felt a little dampened not only by the crappy wet weather Sydney has been having over summer, now Autumn, but by this horrendous news. I'm sure things will be better soon.

I usually make a sponge cake, or something similar for someones birthday, but this time i wanted to make something a little different.

I know my mum loves cheesecake, baked cheesecake to be precise. I'm sorry but the cheesecake that you chill just doesn't cut the mustard. It HAS to be bakes or don't bother, otherwise it just tastes like sweet cheese in the form of a cake. When a cheesecake is baked, it has a light fluffiness too it, that i find hard to resist.

This cake is not overly sweet, some would say not that sweet at all. That's just the way my family and i like it. It has a sourness from the cherries, if you prefer things sweeter, add 1/4 cup more sugar to the cheesecake, and more sugar to taste, omitting the lemon completely, to the cherry topping.

My inspiration to make this came from one of Steph's, from Raspberri Cupcakes, recipe link here. If only I could make my cakes look as wonderful as she does, how amazing is this lady??!! :) Which in turn was based on one of Nigella's.

1 packet of Grantia biscuits
80 grams melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons cinnamon

2x 250grams block of Philly cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1/4-1/2 cup caster sugar, I used 1/4 cup
1/2 vanilla bean
2 tins cherries
4 tablespoons flour
120 grams dark chocolate, best quality you can afford, with a high cocoa %.

1 tin cherries
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 lemon squeezed

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Pulverise the biscuits with the butter and cinnamon in a blender, until it starts to come together. Add the almond meal and pulse until mixed through. Sometimes I add a splash of water to help it come together, I know you should add more butter, but I don't like to use too much.
Press into a foil and then baking paper lined tin, about 20cm. Chill in the fridge til the filling is ready.

Blend the cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar, 1/2 vanilla bean pod and all, 1 tin of cherries until smooth. Add the flour and dark choc and pulse until they are choc bits.
Pour onto the biscuit base. Add a tin of cherries to the cheesecake filling, pressing them into the cake.

bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I used an oven without a fan force, so it generally takes longer to bake. Turn the oven off and let it cool in the oven with the door ajar.

Once chilled make the sour cherry topping. Pour a tin of cherries into a small saucepan, adding the vanilla beans and the lemon and sugar to taste. Boil this for about 20 minutes on medium heat. Pour over cooled cheesecake. Place into the fridge to chill and set the topping into a jam.

I like to serve cheesecake at room temperature, not chilled.
This was definitely a favourite with mum and I yesterday. The smooth creamy filling, with the bitter dark chocolate bits and whole cherries, was amazing. And the sour but sweet cherry topping was perfect with the cheesecake.

             It still managed to crack even though I was super careful :(

 I am so happy that I listen to Steph about the chocolate ganache, I think it would of been far too rich.