Green Living

March Meal Challenge

Posted on by Susan Posted in Food, Green Living | Leave a comment

Here we are: It’s almost the middle of March and as mentioned before, I decided to return to the stove to finally cook most of our dinners again.

Home-cooked meals have been missing in our home lately. I am so, so tired of overpriced, not-great-tasting takeout, and I don’t even feel like dining out right now (with the exception of Indian food tonight – yum!). So, in an attempt to save money (and calories), I decided it was time to whip up a rough, tentative dinner schedule, which I could always change if I wanted to. Check out last weeks eats:

  • Monday: leftovers (pasta bolognese) + Hawaii 5-0 on the side ;)
  • Tuesday: spicy black bean soup

    *recipe coming soon* :)

  • Wednesday: Dijon-crusted chicken, steamed veggies and a blue cheese and pear salad on the side

    Love blue cheese and pears together – sweet and salty…

  • Thursday: ok, I failed on this one, but I had to submit come schoolwork, so we got Subway
  • Friday: Ocean Wise* Cod a la Bordelaise, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies  (unfortunately the fish “filet” was filled with bones :( )
  • Saturday/Sunday: I usually keep weekends unplanned, because we can spend time together as a family, go out and eat, or just order in. Same for this weekend.

*as scuba divers, we want to help protecting maritime environments and Ocean Wise is a great program by the Vancouver Aquarium, promoting seafood sustainability. From their website:

“Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood.”

It is a pretty successful program, with many Vancouver restaurants now offering Ocean Wise seafood and fish options, and I am lucky to live in a city with such awesome food choices.

I’m also so, so excited about the return of veggies: I can tell you it is hard to try and eat healthy while taking care of a little one! I’m finally able to make smoothies again, because we bought a new blender, so this is an easy way for me to sneak in one or two servings of veggies.

Quick breakfast: a scrambled egg, slice of walnut & onion bread and a GREEN smoothie!!!

Alright my friends, since this week is almost over already, I will get back to you with our tentative meals for next week instead. The plan is to cook most of our weekday dinners, but weekends are wild cards with the option to eat out or order in.

Do you plan your meals? Can you stick to the plan or do you change it frequently (like I do)?

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!

xoxo, Susan

The Return of Meal Planning

Posted on by Susan Posted in Baby, Food, Fun, Green Living | Leave a comment

Hey guys! How are you?

We had a pretty successful week, food-wise. Our little man had his first solid foods during this past week and the introduction went pretty well, I have to say! :)

After exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months (as recommended by his pediatrician and the WHO), we now have the opportunity to experience a different way of “meal planning’. We want to introduce the little man to a variety of different foods, so that 1) he won’t get bored of the same food and 2) to accept different kind of foods, so that he can get all the nutrients he needs to grow and develop. This is the order on how we introduced these new tastes to him last week:

mashed avocado in his awesome bamboo baby feeding bowl

  • Monday: mashed avocado (+mommy milk)
  • Tuesday: same as Monday
  • Wednesday: mashed banana (+mommy milk)
  • Thursday: same as Wednesday
  • Friday: – attempt #1 (morning) – mashed avocado + mommy milk – he didn’t feel like it and wanted to nurse instead (who can blame him, he already ate avocado twice this week. ;) )
    - attempt #2 (evening): steamed mashed pear (+mommy milk) – success!
  • Saturday: -#1: baby cereal (oatmeal) mixed with mommy milk
    - #2:  steamed yam
  • Sunday: steamed mashed pear + cereal

This week he also had some steamed mashed carrots, which were rejected. His favourite foods are yam and pear so far!

Everything (except the avocado on day 1) he ate so far has been organic. I felt a little guilty – not that there’s anything wrong with conventional avocado, since it’s not part of the dirty dozen, but it was his first food and I wanted it to be organic so badly. That day, I went to two different stores for ripe organic avocado, and I even sent his daddy to another one on his way home, but they just had the brick-hard ones, which had to wait a few days to become edible. Conventional had to do. :-?

I have mentioned this before, but we usually try to eat as much organic as possible (have for a few years now), and of course that includes baby food, too. So you can imagine, I was a little disappointed in myself for not planning ahead better and getting an organic avocado a few days ahead of time, so that it would be ripe when we need it…

Anyway, all in all we are happy he likes to eat.

Mmmh, yummy food!

This past week has also marked the return of actual meal planning for us, so stay tuned for our tentative meal plan this coming week!

Parents: When did you start introducing solids to your baby? What were your baby’s first foods? I’m curious…

Non-parents/everyone: Do you buy organic? Do you think it is worth the extra cost? We sure do: milk, meat and apples for sure, everything else depends on if it’s in season and available locally.

See you soon,

Susan

 

(Cloth) Diaper Duty

Posted on by Susan Posted in Baby, Green Living | Leave a comment

Hi Everyone!

This post might not interest you, if you’re not having or planning to have kids anytime soon… If you are a new mom or dad (or will be soon), however, cloth diapering may have crossed your mind. Whether it’s for environmental or economical reasons, cloth diapers seem to make a big comeback lately (or maybe they already have, but I never paid attention to it before becoming a mom…).

Some of my favourite cloth diapers: Tinyfit by Bummis (5 on the left), Fuzzibunz Perfect Size X-Small (mint and blue in the middle), and some Bummis prefolds (right)

My parents used cloth, but parents nowadays have the choice of countless different types and brands of disposables. I didn’t even know that such thing as cloth diapers still existed until a little while ago. But then I got pregnant and I stumbled over several blogs and videos that mentioned cloth. I instantly got hooked and said that this is what I want to do, when our little one arrives. I loved the idea of not exposing baby’s bum to chemicals (the absorbent gel in disposables), while being environmentally conscious and saving money. So off I went, researching cloth diaper types and brands and towards the end of my pregnancy I went ahead and purchased some different cloth diapers to try. Here’s what I found out and tried so far:

  1. Prefolds: When I was researching cloth diapers first, I really liked Bummis. They basically are pieces of cloth that are folded and then put inside a waterproof cover. Pros: they’re the most economical type of cloth diaper ($19 for 6 diapers), they have cute covers ($10-$15, depending on print and style) and they’re organic - no harmful substances touching baby’s butt. Cons: It’s a little more time consuming, considering the extra steps of folding/stuffing diapers, and they are super bulky if you have a tiny baby.

    My son (7 weeks) wearing Bummis prefolds and a jungle print cover (newborn size) – they are huge on him!

  2. Fitted diapers: I only have one Kissaluv (size 0). These diapers look like disposables, only made of cotton or fleece, or another absorbent material. Since they are not waterproof, they also require a cover. Pros: No folding. Cons: a little pricier ($15 for one fitted diaper without cover) and also quite bulky.
  3. All-In-One (AIO) diapers: I bought a Tinyfit AIO diaper, as well as two Grovia, one newborn size, one one-size to try when I was still pregnant. They are super easy to handle, no folding, just put them on and you’re good to go! They are pretty much the environmentally friendly version of disposables. Pros: super easy to use. The Tinyfit still requires you to stuff the attached absorbing layer inside, but that’s no big deal for me. The Grovia has nothing to stuff, but it comes with an extra booster pad, in case you have a heavy wetter on your hands. Cons: AIO’s are more expensive and can run anywhere from $15 to $30+, depending on brand and style.

    Grovia AIO (NB size, 4-12lbs) – super easy to use and great fit

    Grovia AIO (one size) – I love the print, but it's still too big for my guy

    Tinyfit – my favourite so far – I love the velcro closures, it seems a little more flexible size-wise

  4. Pocket diapers: These  are very popular, and there are many different brands, including Bumgenius, AMP, Fuzzibunz, and many others. I have one AMP and a few Fuzzibunz. They basically have a wicking material lined inside the diaper and you stuff an absorbent insert into a pocket. The Fuzzibunz are among my favourites, simply because they are the least bulky and the stuffing takes the same time as stuffing the Tinyfit AIO (which have the insert attached, but it flops out when washing, so it needs to be re-stuffed).

    Fuzzibunz x-small vs small – they are the least bulky of all cloth diapers I tried so far

The verdict: It takes a little experimenting and trying out to see, what works best for you. At this time, I love the idea of cloth diapering for such reasons as no chemicals on my little guy’s skin, less impact on the environment, and at the same time saving a little money. However, most of the time we’re out and about, we’re still using disposables. Being a mommy is new for me, and cloth diapers need wet bags and take up much more space in a bag than a travel pack of wipes and a few disposables – we do use a mix of green and (somewhat) environmentally friendly brands though… This is what works for us right now, but I’m sure things will change once our little guy grows. I’m not sure if we will ever be “full-time” cloth diaper users, or if we will go back to disposables completely. We’ll just go with the flow for right now.

Are you using/planning to use cloth diapers for your child? If yes, what are your favourite types/brands? I definitely like the Tinyfit and Fuzzibunz best so far.

Happy Diapering! :D

Susan