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Et tu, quinoa?

Quinoa is a very interesting little seed that has gained popularity as whole grains have been vilified recently. It is tasty, filling, a decent source of protein, and can be used in baking as well as savory dishes. Hence, I keep trying to include quinoa in my diet.

BIG mistake for me!

It took me a while to make the connection, but each time I eat quinoa, it is fine for a day or two, and then all of a sudden it’s like my gut is rotting. Huge, nasty, sulfur-tasting burps. Along with the other usual symptoms — gas, pain, brain fog.
I have been trying to find a milk substitute without added sugar, natural flavors, gums and thickeners (it is getting more difficult every time I go to the grocery store). I stumbled on Suzie’s Organic Quinoa milk. Very little in the way of additives (still a few). I thought, “I know I can’t eat whole quinoa, but maybe it’s the fiber in it that is a problem for me. Maybe the milk will be fine. I’m sure I won’t have a problem with that!” (Dun, dun, DUNNNNN!!!)
The quinoa milk smelled a bit like, well, quinoa, was not as satisfyingly thick as my son’s almond/coconut blend, but it was delicious, absolutely lovely with a cup of Oregon Herbal Chai. Two days feeling like a normal beverage-consumer.

AND THEN — yep, you guessed it. The burps are back.

However, I highly recommend it for anyone who has no problem with quinoa. Least adulturated commercially produced milk alternative that I have found lately.


Been busy…

Well, what can I say?  Been busy having a baby.  Totally enjoying the baby, and my son’s unending delight with his little sister.  At times his adoration is a little too exuberant for my laid-back, quiet babe, but she seems to adore him equally anyway.  That’s the good news!

The bad news is:  HELP!

Since my last post, I’ve been able to resume eating fruits and some vegetables, but have had to back off the chocolate and caffeine!  (Kind of a “duh” when I put it that way).  I’ve been trying to expand my repertoire of foods I can eat, since breastfeeding a baby requires large amounts and variety of nutrients, as well as calories.  Thankfully, breastmilk is made in such a way that my baby will not be lacking those nutrients due to my dietary limitations.  I on the other hand may be severely lacking if all of it goes to making milk!

This leads me to the problem:  every time I try to introduce a new food to my diet, even if I tolerate it alright, it seems to bother my baby.  She starts spitting up profusely and through her nose (that cannot feel good!)  Now when I say profusely, it is relative — she usually spits up very little, and the “profuse” amount is enough to get both of our shirts a bit wet.

Today, however, brought a whole new level of “profuseness” to her spitting up.  Three times within 10 minutes, she spit so much out of both mouth and nose, it completely drenched her and her car seat.  Luckily I had only just begun grocery shopping, and I hightailed it out of there so I could get her cleaned up.  The amount coming out her nose was staggering. She is not sick, no fever, doesn’t even seem uncomfortable in between her bouts of spitting (which has continued off and on this afternoon).  But I can hear her stomach gurgling as it forces the contents out.  Sorry, a bit graphic, but it really is a new extreme to her “spitting up”.

So it could have been the heat today.  It might have been my chocolate splurge yesterday.  I did have strawberries in a smoothie this morning, I sometimes feel she reacts when I eat strawberries but never like this.  Maybe it’s completely random, I don’t know.  What I do know is that I am completely at a loss right now as to how to get myself back on a healthy, varied diet without affecting my baby.  I’d go to formula except that a) I believe that breastmilk is still better than formula, even with this difficulty, and b) the one time she had formula she didn’t have a poo for more than two weeks.

As a mom, you always hope to give the best of everything to your kids; to nourish them into happy, healthy adults someday.  I seem to have given my kids terrible digestion/allergies/intolerances.  Sorry, kids.  Maybe we’ll all figure out how to get over or deal with that someday.  Stay tuned as we give it a go.

Here’s a resource I will be checking out:


So nice to have an easy way to have a sandwich, dip, or whatever. So simple, stays together without eggs too!
I actually followed the recipe without modification from Health Starts in the Kitchen. Enjoy!

They’re cookies to me!

Here’s how it goes every now and then in our house:

“What are you making?”

“I’m making cookies!”

“Oh great I haven’t had cookies forever!”

12-20 minutes in the oven later….

“Here, try this.”

(Excitedly nibbles, then face drops)

“I thought you were making cookies!”

Well, that’s what happens when maple syrup and honey are not the same thing as crystally sweet cane sugar.  Sorry hun.

Then I tell my wonderful husband he can make his own cookies.  Well, that hasn’t happened since we were dating.  Of course, I’m pretty sure he gets cookies at his mom’s house, at the office, at other random social gatherings…it’s not like he’s cookie deprived.  It’s just that the idea of his wife making him fresh-baked cookies is for him an elusive, barely-sweet crumbly unsatisfying dream.

So, since it’s Christmas time and we’re going to attempt to finish putting up lights and other decorations tonight, I decided to make some sugar cookies (pretty good low-additive recipe here).  But first, I made these, so that I am not too tempted by “their” cookies:

No-bake almond and coconut cookies

One substitution — almond butter instead of coconut butter.  I don’t like the texture of too much of that coconut stuff.

One thing I’ve discovered, for me anyway — there is only one chocolate out there that I can tolerate.  And still, I try not to have too much, because chocolate does apparently contain sulfur in some amount.  The chocolate is this:

Theo Pure 70% Dark Chocolate

Only the plain, dark chocolate variety.  None of the fancy flavored ones, they all give me headaches, but this 4-ingredient beauty I can eat.  And I do.  Way too often.  If my husband knows I’m having a stressful week, he makes extra sure I am stocked up on these babies.

I attribute my tolerance of it to the fact that it is made with ground vanilla bean instead of extract, as I cannot have vanilla extract.  It also, by the way, is GMO free.

T’s discovery of the day!


Latest harvest


From our lone coffee tree! These beans from our first three cherries have been growing since December or close to it.  No more for this year.  But just for fun we’ll figure out how to prepare them and we’ll roast them.  Not sure how we will sample them — not even enough to grind!  Oh well, we’re still happy to see beans from our little tree we brought home from Hawaii.

Downsizing is so goood

Out with the espresso machine…in with manual pour! Now there is more room to stack our clean dishes.