valancystirling: (Default)
Ice skating

Food/Farmers Markets/CSAs/You-Pick/Coops, etc.,-122.047119&spn=18.871181,28.87207&z=5&om=1

Restaurants/Cafes/Food Places !!!!
Sahagun Chocolate Shop
10 NW 16th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209
10am - 6pm
There is ONE way to get here by car:
From W. Burnside, turn onto NW 17th Avenue.
Take an immediate right onto NW Couch.
Take another immediate right onto NW 16th Avenue.
Sahagun is on the left as you near W. Burnside.
There is ALWAYS metered parking on SW 16th Ave. along Monte Shelton Jaguar. Otherwise, street parking is wherever you can find it.
8409 SE Division Street, Suite A
Portland, OR 97266
(503) 208-3195
Mon: Closed
Tues to Sun: 11am to 9pm
2921 NE Alberta Street
Portland, Oregon 97211
411 SW 3rd Ave. | Portland, OR 97204 | 503.228.5686

Activities, Events, and Places to Visit

Public Gardens, etc. LIBRARY
Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District
15707 SW Walker Rd, Beaverton, OR 97006
503/645-6433 PDX KNIT BLOGGERS

Parenting resources HOMESCHOOL RESOURCE
Office Hours During Class Terms
Beaverton Tuesday-Thursday 9:30AM to 3:30PM
Beaverton Campus
5150 SW Watson
Beaverton, OR 97005
503-597-9100 WALDORF SCHOOL

Toy/Baby/Book/Kid Stores
Portland's Pearl District at 1031 NW 11th Ave, between Lovejoy and Marshall.
1031 NW 11th Ave
Monday through Saturday 10:00-6:00
Sunday 11:00-5:00
1600 ne alberta street
portland, oregon 97211
503 954 2354
mon-sat: 11am-6pm, sun: 10am-5pm
263 East Main Street
Hillsboro, OR 97123
Monday-Friday 10-6
Saturday 10-5
4431 SE Woodstock
Portland, OR 97206
(in Safeway Shopping Center)
Closed Monday Tuesday - Saturday 10-6 Sunday 12-5
Grasshopper Store
1816 N.E. Alberta St.
Portland, OR 97211
8621 N. Lombard St., Portland, OR 97203
TUESDAY 10:00 TO 5:30
WEDNESDAY 10:00 TO 5:30
THURSDAY 10:00 TO 5:30
FRIDAY 10:00 TO 5:30
SATURDAY 10:00 TO 5:30
503-432-8732 !!!!!!
3808 N Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97212
7956 SE 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97202
Mon-Sat 10-6
Sun 11-5
7784 SW Capitol Hwy Portland OR • 503-245-3936
10-6 Mon-Sat, 10-5 Sun

Baby Works DIAPERS, ETC.
2537-A NW Upshur St.
Portland, OR
Phone: 503.645.4349

Child's Play
907 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR
Phone: 503.224.5586

Goodnight Room
1517 NE Broadway St.
Portland, OR
Phone: 503.281.5516

Kids At Heart
3445 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR
Phone: 503.231.2954

Paint The Sky Kites
828 NW 23rd Ave.
Portland, OR
Phone: 503.222.5096

Children's Resale Shops
LilyToad, LLC
7322 N. Leavitt Ave.
Portland, OR 97203
Ph: 503.285.8623
We’re located in downtown St. Johns
Tuesday through Saturday
2751 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232
11-5 M-Sat, 12-4 Sunday
Mon thru Sat 11 AM to 6 PM
Tel: 503-963-8548
2700 SE 26th Ave
Portland, OR 97202
(Corner of SE 26th and Clinton)
Monday through Sat 10am to 5pm
Sunday 11am to 4pm
8685 SW Canyon Rd., Portland OR 97225
Phone: 503-296-605

Green Resources
819 SE Taylor Street
Portland, Oregon 97214
Telephone: 503.222.3881
Monday through Friday:
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday:10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday:11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CHIROPRACTOR !!!!!1720 NW Lovejoy St. #119
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: 503-241-5404

Fun Stuff for Me!

Planet Bead
Store Hours:
M,W,Th,F 10am - 6pm
Tues 10am - 8pm
Sat 10am - 5pm
Sun 12pm - 4pm
244 E. Main Street
Hillsboro, OR 97123

Knitting Bee
Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday Noon-4pm.
Open until 8:30pm Wednesdays for Knit & Crochet Night and Late Shopping
We're located north of Tanasbourne in West Union Village at the
intersection of 185th and West Union Rd.

Kathy's Knit Korner
337 East Main Street
Hillsboro, OR 97123

Mabel's Cafe & Knittery
3041 SE Division
Portland, OR

Naked Sheep Knit Shop
2142 N. Killingsworth
Portland, OR 97217

Northwest Wools
3524 SW Troy, just off of the intersection of SW 35th Avenue and SW Capitol Highway
Portland, OR 97219

Farmhouse Knit Shop !!!!
15770 SW Farmington Rd (at 158th), Beaverton
(503) 520-1219
Monday-Saturday, 10-6

Waldorf Supplies
2418 E. Burnside St.
Portland, Oregon 97214
Phone: 503 233-4807
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11-5
5915 SE Division Street #2 Portland, OR 97206
(800) 360-0220
(503) 777-1251
Monday through Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm
Telephone: 1-503-788-3396 or 1-866-788-3396
Portland, OR
Portland Waldorf School
2300 SE Harrison, Milwaukie, 97222-7527
503-654-2200 x208 or store(a)
Store Hours during school year
M, T, W, and F: 8:15 am – 3:30 pm
Thursdays: 8:15 am – 2:00 pm
valancystirling: (Default)

Waldorf background--it is believed that children under age 7 are more i"in their bodies" as opposed to "in their heads". Teaching is done via example and through movement and hands-on activity. Giving kids big ideas is thought to be counterproductive, and anything academic is put off till age 7 or 8. I can see how some of the big ideas surrounding food--particularly in our current industrial food climate--is too much for a little mind to absorb, and that those choices are better left to the parents on their behalf.

Having said that, I disagree with much of this article because I view making correct food choices as being as essential to survival in this modern world as teaching kids not to play in the street. That's a pretty big idea too, really, but it's necessary. I would absolutely love to have a set-up in which my kids weren't exposed to any differing views about food until they were already old enough to be involved in intelligent discussion about it. But that is not the case, probably for anyone outside a commune of like-minded people. And so every time we are out in the world, at the grocery store, at a playdate, at a birthday party or a holiday dinner, we are faced with handling how we present the rationale of our own food choices to our children, generally with a hostile audience watching intently.

In our case, our food consciousness began in earnest when we discovered that Topaz was "colicky", only further investigation suggested that for her and probably millions of other babies, the cause of that was food-related. She had sensitivities to dairy, corn, and soy. As I was exclusively breastfeeding, that meant she was sensitive to what I was eating. A visit to any grocery store in the country would reveal the difficulty with working around these sensitivities. Even in an organic store, almost every food product has some derivative of dairy, corn, and/or soy in it. This led to a whole other list of questions about our food supply, but more directly led to our choosing a whole foods diet--one in which we buy single ingredient foods and mix them however we want, knowing there are no additional ingredients to worry about.

Over time I have learned more and more about the flaws of our food system, and have become increasingly convinced that it really does take constant vigilance to ensure that I don't expose my children or myself to dangerous toxins. I believe very strongly that children need a foundation of good health, and that it's the parents' job to build it. Toxins build up very quickly in little bodies, and with such rapid development taking place, those toxins can have a huge, seemingly disproportionate impact on their growth and overall health. We have been conditioned to believe that so many "childhood illnesses" are normal and reasonable, and that they just happen, with no cause and no contribution on our part. I don't buy into that, and I am always trying to minimize exposure to chemicals and toxins in my home and anywhere near my kids.

This constant vigilance is fine and well in our own homes, and I am reminded every time we leave our house just how differently we live from the majority around us. Grocery stores are full of "food products" that are not really food. Well-meaning (are they?) friends and family push their food on us and take deep offense when I decline to accept it, even when I offer no meaningful excuse other than, we just ate, or simply, no thank you. I think human beings have many unspoken rituals surrounding food. Someone comes to your home, you offer them food. It's like breaking a secret code of conduct to refuse under any circumstances. And so, frequently, without meaning anything of the kind, I cause offense and negative feelings simply because for own personal reasons I am choosing what to put in my own body or my child's.

So what do I teach my own children about food? Because our "issues" began with real sensitivities with such visceral consequences (let's all pause for a moment and imagine a young mother up with a tiny tortured, screaming baby for hours and hours every single night, feeling helpless and alone and panicked here), I took it very seriously and made severe changes to our family's diet overnight. And as Topaz grew and was old enough to go grab a cookie off a plate at someone's house, I decided to educate her as simply as I could that not all foods are equal and that asking questions is a good thing. I have taken many different stances on this issue. I have tried to tell her very simply that people do things differently in different families, and we do such and such thing. Or that what's okay for one person isn't always okay for everyone. Which is unarguably true. However, as she's gotten older and asked more questions--Mom, WHY can't I have Halloween candy like all my friends???--I have gone more in-depth with my answers. Yes, it stems to her food sensitivities (which, incidentally, she seems to have outgrown, or at least those things don't keep her up all night screaming), but it goes way beyond that. People preach at me, moderation! moderation! I don't buy into that either. When is it the right time to consume high fructose corn syrup? When is it a good idea to give my kid red dye? How is it a "treat" when giving it to her decreases her health? That seems like a punishment to me. I wouldn't let my kid drink moderate amounts of Clorox, and I feel the same way about foods with additives and non-organic foods of unknown and dubious origin. They all come from the same factory, plastics, chemicals, and food additives.

So. Back to the original question. Does this come down to what we teach our kids, or how they take that information and present it to the world?

Teaching our kids tolerance is an important thing. Certainly we all do things differently and a certain amount of backing off and respecting people's choices is called for. However, I have a problem with tolerance taken too far. In our society, we are constantly being told to be tolerant. But I think this has led to us tolerating the intolerable. I certainly don't feel that people are overwhelmingly tolerant of MY food choices, despite the fact that they are probably far more thought out than their own. Perhaps I would have a greater feeling of tolerance for people making their own bad choices if they weren't constantly bashing me for making mine. I will respect that your kids eat oreos washed down with a can of coke, if you respect me and don't keep insisting that my kids share it. (This is why we usually bring our own food to playdates, which also seems to be an inflammatory gesture--can't win.)

I think manners are a big part of it. Be the change you want to see in the world, and all that. So while Topaz is well-versed on the evils of corn syrup and red dye and would happily lecture anyone about them, I have taught her that it is not polite and we let people do what they do, and we do what we do. The only problem with this is that she is afflicted with the same urge I am to share the joy of knowledge and help people. When she sees a kid eating a piece of red candy she is genuinely upset because she wants everyone to be healthy and feel good. But yes, sometimes we get more worked up about it than is strictly necessary. Even my mom frequently mistakes my enthusiasm for whatever piece of food news I've just read for an assault. So I try to make it a non-issue even though it hurts me to see people I care about doing what I think is self-destructive. If you had the cure for cancer, you'd want to share it with the world, or at least people you care about, right? This is how we feel.

I could go on and on about this, but it's enough for now.
valancystirling: (Default)
My neighbor across the street asked me about transitioning to more healthy food. Of course, I tend to get a little verbose on this subject, so I decided to write some of it out once and for all.

So. General guidelines to incorporating healthier foods.

The goal is to get closer to whole foods in their original forms. Aim for foods with single ingredients, identifiable Prepackaged and convenience foods are definitely convenient, but a quick look at the label will often reveal an endless list of ingredients that are unrecognizable as food. My rule of thumb is, if I wouldn't cook from scratch with that ingredient in my own kitchen, I don't want to buy it. So, for example, since I don't keep bottles of MSG in my pantry...I don't buy packaged foods with MSG on the label.

Gradual changes. I recommend choosing a couple of things and focusing on them initially. Decide what you care most about, and switch to a healthier or organic alternative. A lot of people start out by switching to organic milk. Another good place to start is looking at the Dirty Dozen list, for the top 12 most and least pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables. Choose one or two things per week, or per shopping trip. Remember, though, organic or not, fresher will always taste better, and produce that's in season will be cheaper. So look for local and organic and in season, ideally.

Personal health aside, there are many other reasons to switch to organic. This list briefly discusses some of those reasons, including why organic farming practices are better for the environment. In fact, that entire website has a lot of useful information about organic foods. This article offers advice on how to save money and decide which organic foods are especially worth buying. My personal recommendation for something to switch right away is eggs. I suggest buying pastured organic eggs fresh from a local farm. You will be truly shocked at the bright orange yolks and amazing taste. You'll feel like you had never really had eggs before. Farmers markets and food coops are great places to get eggs.

There's a lot more to healthful eating than simply organic foods. One of the first changes you can easily make is to switch from highly refined grains to whole grains. I swap out whole grain flour for white flour, brown rice for white, and have explored the man whole grains available in bulk at health food and grocery stores. There are great recipes out there for grains like quinoa (a favorite in our house), teff, amaranth, spelt, and the more commonly known wheat, oats, and barley. All of these are simple to prepare, and even easier using a rice cooker--or, I've been told, a pressure cooker. We recommend this rice cooker. I started out by using different grains where I would normally have just used rice. Here is a useful chart for cooking times of different grains.

Another simple step is simply adding an extra serving of fruits and vegetables every day. My kids prefer fresh fruit over anything else, and generally if I offer a cookie or strawberries, they'll choose the strawberries every time. Some especially sweet fruits, like bananas, raisins, dates, mangoes...all these can be given as snacks instead of candies or other sweets. Over an especially long winter, we discovered how many fruits are available dried, and the kids love to snack on banana chips, prunes (!!!), and figs. Fruit leathers are a big hit too, and contain no added sugar in most cases. These can also be incorporated into baking--dates can be pureed and used instead of sugar--to minimize less healthy ingredients.

On the subject of baking, lots of things can be done to add nutritional benefits to baked things. One day I ran out of eggs but wanted to make cookies. I found a mention online of replacing eggs with flaxseed meal, and had to try it. Now i do this all the time, even when I have eggs, just as a way to increase fiber and of course add some of the many known healthful attributes of flaxseeds. As mentioned before, I use whole grain flours instead of plain white, and put oats in a lot of my cookies and muffins. For sweet, I use something like turbinado sugar or sucanat, or maple syrup or honey, and now I'm experimenting with agave nectar. Date sugar is good too, and I've been meaning to try stevia in baking. I thought this was an interesting run-down of some of these alternative sweeteners. To be honest, for the most part I never even remember I've used anything other than plain white flour and sugar. Perhaps I've just gotten used to it, but I remember being surprised when I first made the flour switch, that it was just no big deal at all.

Also available in bulk, we buy a lot of nuts and beans and lentils. We keep a lot of these things in clear glass canisters in our kitchen, and they are very appealing to look at, all the different colors and shapes and textures. There are so many different kinds of beans and nuts and lentils out there, and they all bring something different to the meal. All of these foods have a high fiber content and are filling. Nuts have a reputation for being fatty, but overwhelmingly they are good fats, and it has been widely reported that moderate amounts of nuts are excellent for helping control appetite. Here is some info on the benefits of eating nuts. Since these foods are also high in protein, we have actually inadvertently found ourselves eating less meat, which is also good for the budget!

And speaking of meat. We've cut down on our meat consumption in the past year partially as a result of becoming aware of so many other sources of protein, but also because organic meat is fairly pricey. Or at least, more expensive than conventionally produced meat. And since I feel very strongly that grass-fed beef is healthier (for the animals and those who consume them), I am unwilling to compromise and buy regular grocery store beef. Because my concerns about food are farther-reaching than simply their nutritional composition, I prefer to buy only locally produced meats from people who I trust to treat the animals well and maintain high standards in all their practices. My philosophy is that if I can't pop in on a farm, I am not interested in buying food from them. Also, we avoid any processed meats, organic or not, that contain nitrates and nitrites, which are known carcinogens.

Which brings me to the really fun topic of things NOT to eat. Going back to the whole foods concept, we actively avoid artificial ingredients of any kind. Colors, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers, fillers, all of it. So many of these ingredients are known to be unhealthy by varying degrees--many are linked to such illnesses as cancer, ADD, diabetes, and many others. I have a little guide I kept with me when I first tarted really reading food labels. I highly recommend something like this to consult while at the grocery store or even while examining your own pantry. One of the more controversial food additives is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). I view this ingredient as unnatural, and that is reason enough for me to avoid it. It is worth learning about, as HFCS is unbelievably prevalent in our food system. Read your labels--it's in EVERYTHING. If you don't think it's worth the research, consider how much of it you are probably consuming without even realizing. You'll find that if you actively avoid all these food additives, you'll be well on your way to a very healthy, whole foods diet.

So, where to get all this stuff? Increasingly, I'm seeing organic and bulk foods at regular grocery stores. I buy a lot of grains and staples there. For the fresh stuff, produce and dairy and eggs, I try to get as close to the source as possible. Food coops are awesome for supplying often local healthy whole foods. When they are open for the season, farmers markets are undoubtedly the best source for local, fresh foods, and often organic vendors supply everything from fruits and vegetables to honey to meat and eggs. For the very freshest foods, and to learn all about what goes into your specific foods, make a visit to a local farm. It's exciting to take the kids, and you get a real, visceral sense of where your food is coming from and who is involved in its production. I find it so easy to be truly grateful for my food when I have a relationship with the people who made it happen. To find farms and farmers markets, check out Local Harvest.

Many books and websites address these issues and many more related ones. For an introduction to the concept of food as something worth paying attention to, I highly recommend starting with Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food; and Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable Miracle. Michael Pollan's website also has a list of interesting references.

I hope some of this has been helpful and makes adding healthful foods to your diet seem simple and doable.
valancystirling: (Default)

breakfast: oatmeal with maple syrup (all out of cream, ack!)
lunch: quesadillas with Dubliner cheese and sauteed onions?
snack: apple/pear
dinner: the beef and veggie stew I tried to make in the crockpot today that wasn't ready in time for dinner. oops.


breakfast: scrambled eggs and toast
lunch: leftover stew
snack: yogurt with maple syrup and granola, fruit
dinner: salad with shallot vinaigrette and quinoa with garlic and carrots, root vegetables
for tomorrow: set out chickpeas to soak

Sunday (Philip's birthday!)

breakfast: french toast
lunch: braised leeks with warm vinaigrette, carrots cooked in butter, roast chicken?
snack: fruit, veggies with hummus
dinner: salad, leftover stew with barley thrown in; banana cake!
for tomorrow: set out ground beef to thaw


breakfast: cereal and fruit
lunch: pasta with olive oil and garlic and whatever veggies look good
snack: fruit or yogurt
dinner: meatloaf and mashed potatoes, steamed spinach


breakfast: pancakes
lunch: leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes, steamed frozen peas and carrots
snack: fruit
dinner: brown rice and french lentils, salad


breakfast: yogurt with maple syrup and granola or fruit
lunch: leftover lentils and rice
snack: cheese and bread
dinner: salad, quiche with leeks and spinach
for tomorrow: set out white beans to soak


breakfast: eggs and toast
lunch: quinoa with carrots/garlic/onions/spinach
snack: yogurt with maple syrup and granola
dinner: white bean soup with garlic and kale

We shall see.
valancystirling: (Default)
I think the most important thing is that you model whatever food and lifestyle choices you want your child to follow. Then it won't be an issue at all. That's been my approach.

I feel like if they have a strong foundation of good food and healthy habits/balance at home they'll police themselves, so to speak, when they're older/out in the world at school. At least, this is how I was raised and how I am raising my kids. It's easy to have these good intentions, but I'll be the first to tell you that over time you simply have to make choices on how to handle those situations when your kid might be the freak of the group. I wanted desperately to live with my kids in a bubble, controlling every detail of their lives, and it's just not possible. My kid is 3 and has never heard of a happy meal, and the only junk food she eats is what I make from scratch with all organic ingredients. This is not to say that it's all healthy--it's organic and free of additives and artificial anything, but I use butter and sugar and there you go.

The key is to have a set of standards. Truly believe in them, live them yourself, make them a nonissue, and teach your child WHY you make the choices you do. Then in the end, even if they don't make the same choices, they'll understand and respect yours and have a grasp on the thought process required to MAKE choices, which I think is far more important than any of the rest of this.

So, decide what elements are really important to you, make that your foundation, and then don't worry so much when they go off to a birthday party and eat crap, because you know it's a blip and they'll come home and pick right up where they left off with the good stuff.

This hasn't come up for us yet, but I like the idea--instead of forbidding things, let the child indulge in something when they specifically request it. Like twinkies. I would never in a million years buy twinkies, but if we're at someone's house and they want one, I might consider doing something like letting them have it, but explaining to them that they might feel yucky afterward and it's not something we choose to buy for our healthy house. Then stand back and see how they feel--let them learn for themselves. But my real feeling is that the stuff I bake at home is so freaking awesome that a twinkie really is crap in comparison. My kid is enough of a foodie to figure that out for herself even at three.


valancystirling: (Default)

December 2010

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