A Cold, Mental Health Day

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While the temperature drops outside, my family remains inside – we are all still recovering from winter illnesses (but who isn’t).

With this cold weather, I deemed yesterday to be a ‘mental health day’.  A day when I allow myself to remain in PJ’s all day.  A day when playing, drawing and having fun with our Little One, is the only item on my to do list.

A large saved cardboard box was brought inside, to be made into a kid’s cubby.  Our Little One played inside while the white fluffy ‘crocodiles’ kept guard outside.

I savour these days – these ‘young’ days are fleeting.

Children’s Sustainable Nutrition for Fussy Eaters

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The waitress watched in disbelief “she is eating broccoli?” Our two year old was quick to correct her observation by responding “small trees yummy”.

There is no doubt that at times our Little One is fussy and picky.  However generally I would conclude that she is a good eater.  Generally it isn’t a challenge ensuring she is getting 7 to 10 proportions of varied fruit and vegetables daily.

Listening to parents share their toddler eating behaviour frustrations, puts me in a reflective mood.  Why them, why not me?

Short answer is I don’t know.  I say it is because of some luck and some good genes (I was a toddler garbage disposal – eating any veggies my older brother would not).  However I feel instinctively that there are two activities that have fueled our toddler’s love of eating a wide variety of nutritious food.

Firstly the simple activity of growing your own veggies.  From six months of age I have been gardening with her.  Now she will venture into the garden to eat sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, chick peas, snow peas or whatever is in season (without my prompting or help).

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Secondly the equally simple activity of cooking.  As our Little One showed interest in our cooking pursuits, we have encouraged her involvement with age appropriate tasks.  Always keeping in mind the bigger picture when she makes a mess, refuses to give back the pepper shaker or fights us for the spoon – short term annoyances allows for long term, life skills learnt.

Our Little One is planting seeds, watching them grow, harvesting food from the garden then cooking the produce.  This has to be contributing to her willingness to then eat the food, she has had envolvement in producing and preparing.

Food for thought.

Why Everyone Shouldn’t Eat Dairy with Spinanch or Meat?

Spinach grows all year, in our Australian temperate zoned garden.  Therefore spinach accompanied the sustainable fish we cook last night for dinner.

Here is my easy recipe for spinanch and other seasonal vegetables, that I cook regularly.  It is a surprisingly enjoyable recipe that even our toddler will eat.

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Thinly chop a clove of garlic and lightly fry.  Add the spinanch, some green string beans, cherry tomatoes, saltanas and pine nuts.

To ensure my body is able to absorb as much iron from the spinanch, I use Nuttelex dairy free butter for frying as dairy decreases iron absorbtion.  Being dairy intolerant is an advantage when it comes to iron absorbtion.

Adding cherry tomatoes not only adds a tangy flavour to the vegetables but also adds vitamin C to your meal.  Vitamin C helps with the absorbtion of iron.

I add other vegetables at different times of the year but the spinanch is always a constant. 

Good nutrition simple, easy and tasty.

What Are You Harvesting Now?

Up early this morning to capture the garden in the gentle morning light.

My lack of edible gardening posts at home, is a direct result of not venturing outside.  As much as I love being outside in the garden, sometimes life gets in the way of doing what you want.

I sense life is changing back to allow more time in the garden.  Bliss can once again return.

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Mandarins

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Snow Peas

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Spinach

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Flowering Rockett

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Broccolini

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Broad Beans

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Chilies

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Garlic

Do You Desire to be a Catalyst?

Within a chemical reaction, a catalyst will increase the speed of the reaction.  A catalyst does this with less energy and often with only a small amount of catalyst is needed.  The catalyst is never consumed.

The parallels between these chemistry characteristics and that of sustainable, visionary leadership, inspires me.  Inspiring ‘chemical reactions’ for positive change. 

Sharing the vision and promoting the possibility, then allowing others to be apart of and own the vision.  In so ensuring the vision spreads, grows and strengthens while ensuring one doesn’t  burn out or become consumed.

Being a visionary catalyst is about ‘giving birth’ to belief. Then like a ‘parent’ you will nuture, support and care for your belief ‘child’.   Your child at some point will mature and like a parent you will need to let go.   Micro managing is not the visionary catalyst’s role.  Micro managing will kill the visionary and vision.

Let go and trust your communication of the vision.  Trust those who believe and support the vision. Trust is empowering others to become leaders.

Regardless if you are a leader in a work situation or a leader in an environmental mission or voluntary community group, the lesson is the same. I wish I understood this lesson in my earlier leadership roles.

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Why is there a photograph of Autumn leaves accompaning this post? I can't think of a connection - I just like Autumn leaves.

Used Tissues a Useful Resource?

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Our Little One has been very ill with an aggressive bacterial respiratory infection.

I have cancelled everything with the need to quarantine her from the world (for her sake and the sake of other Little People).

Now our kitchen waste container, holds the magnitude of waste tissues created daily.

Did you know you can compost tissues?   In fact tissues are considered ‘high carbon’ material for your compost.

Admittedly I am not overly technical with my composting, instead just focusing on these two ‘Sarhn’ rules:

1)  Have at least three times the amount of carbon material (dead waste like dry leaves, newspaper, dry straw and tissues) to that of nitrogen material (green grass, kitchen waste, green garden waste and even urine).

2)  Turn the compost at least weekly.

Most people find it easier to gather nitrogen material, than three times the amount of carbon.  Therefore a bad cold, generating an abundance of tissues can be considered a ‘silver lining’ for gardeners (don’t get me wrong – I would prefer a healthy and happy Little One).

Your used tissues are not waste but a resource.