Striding into 2015

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How can it be that we’re entering another YEAR? Has a whole year really passed? Do I really have a walking, talking little man in my house? Apparently so. I blinked and 2014 happened.

And here we go – STRIDING into 2015. Look at that determined face on Finn – he is so excited to learn and explore and experiment. I can learn a lot from him. The photo above was taken just a few weeks after he took his very first steps. Now he’s so strong and confident! How quickly humans grow.

His confidence is contagious. I am spending my days at home with him and will continue to do so this next year. It’s been a long back-and-forth conversation in my own head – do I spend the money on childcare so I can fully focus on my work? The answer I keep coming back to (and that I’m ultimately listening to) is NO. I will never get these days back with my son, and I’m treasuring them. There is time for work one day, but not now.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m doing only toddler-friendly stuff these days.

Winter Renewal Detox

The Winter Renewal Detox has made a comeback for 2015, and I’m so excited to offer it once again! I’ve made several changes to the program, most importantly the length – it is now just 14 days. Two weeks to take back your health.

  • The start date is January 12th, 2015 (but you’re welcome to start any date you like)
  • Cost is $89, which includes…
  • A beautifully designed e-book, with meal plans, recipes, and lots of helpful advice
  • Daily emails with extra tips and recipes
  • Access to private Facebook group for support with other detox participants

If you’d like to join me, send me an email mollyrobsonwellness@gmail.com

And the Renewal Detox will continue through the year, one for each season. So if you’re not ready to do it right now, it’ll be back in April!

Enough business talk.

How about some New Year’s resolutions? Here are mine for 2015. Short and simple. I’d love to hear yours too. Happy New Year!

  1. Practice yoga weekly.
  2. Offer the Renewal Detox 4 times this year with the seasons.
  3. Write blog posts as often as possible on The Particular Kitchen.
  4. Take more photos of Finn.

Fridge Sneaky Peek

I’m completely guilty of being nosy when it comes to food – I love checking out people’s shopping carts full of groceries, or what lies inside the fridge or freezer of a friend’s house. (I’m nosy but not judgmental, I promise! It’s a fascination…)

Anyway, there must be other weird people out there like me so I thought you might like to see what’s going on in our fridge and freezer this week. The contents don’t change much week to week, especially now – but I imagine as Finn grows bigger and hungrier for real food, we’ll have to stock all his favorites! (His faves right now: blueberries, strawberries, avocado, eggs, sweet potato, mac & cheese, hummus, Happy Puffs, teething crackers)

So here we go… and apologies for the crappy phone pics!

Fridge 1

 

TOP SHELF: organic cream cheese, plain YoBaby, pine nuts, Trader Joe’s hummus, greek yogurt, organic almond butter, organic tahini, maple syrup, pizza sauce, homemade purple cabbage salad with Trader Joe’s tahini sauce (SO GOOD – just those 2 ingredients mixed together)

MIDDLE SHELF: Martinelli’s sparkling cider, strawberries, Ezekiel tortillas, half an avocado for Finn, cut up mango, leftover frittata, Trader Joe’s goat yogurt, cooked sweet potato (in the foil, for Finn), organic tofu, ground up flax, Medjool dates

BOTTOM SHELF: farm eggs, whole wheat bread, cooked apple oatmeal fingers for Finn, sun dried tomatoes, cooked organic mac & cheese for Finn

CRISPER DRAWERS: organic spinach, organic carrots, celery, organic bok choy, organic salad greens, cucumber

DELI DRAWER: tofurkey, Trader Joe’s turkey, chicken sausages, organic tempeh, manchego, pecorino, Trader Joe’s Spanish cheese sampler, goat brie, cheddar (we like cheese…)

fridge right door

TOP SHELF: black truffles from Italy (a gift), Thai green and red curry pastes, Bonne Maman raspberry and apricot jams, Gerber Soothe probiotic drops (awesome when Finn was 2-3 months old)

MIDDLE SHELF: honey mustard, pineapple chutney, yellow mustard, blueberry jam, organic mayonnaise

BOTTOM SHELF: beers, white wine, lemons, limes, ginger

fridge left door

TOP SHELF: organic butter

MIDDLE SHELF: coconut water, Boddington’s beer, Fever Tree tonic, organic ketchup

BOTTOM SHELF: raw milk, OJ, sparkling water

 

And in the overpacked freezer…

freezer 1

 

Above: Trader Joe’s shrimp gyoza, mango sorbet, coconut ice cream, Trader Joe’s grass-fed beef patties, brown rice bread, gluten-free pizza crusts, english muffins

Below: Ezekiel bread, various coffees for Phil and guests, Dr Praeger’s veggie burgers, Welsh tea cakes and soda bread, almond gelato, organic spinach, berries, organic corn, homemade vegetable stock cubes

freezer 2

 

A total mess! But we have a newfound appreciation for our freezer since becoming parents.

What’s always in your fridge and freezer?


Very Inspiring Blogger Award

The very lovely Laura of Texas on Thames (via Singapore!) has nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! I’m honored, flattered, and confused, all at the same time…

But I love a good opportunity to pay it forward, so here goes…

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The Rules

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this blog and link to their pages.
  5. Notify these bloggers of the nomination and the awards’ requirements.

7 Things about Myself

1.) I’m a dual citizen of the UK and the US, which came in very handy when I fell in love with a British man while living in California!

2.) Before becoming a nutrition enthusiast, I was a radio station promotions assistant, a novelty t-shirt company marketing assistant, a concert photographer, and an SEO account manager.

3.) My best friends in the world all live in completely different cities: San Francisco, London, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, DC, Denver, Omaha, Nashville, Chicago, Austin…

4.) I can’t wait to meet my baby this summer! Phil and I have had names picked out since I found out I was pregnant (and some we had talked about years ago!) – we won’t be finding out the sex, so it will be a lovely little surprise.

5.) The first cookbook I ever received was Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson. It still sits on my bookshelf!

6.) I have an ongoing wishlist on Amazon for cookbooks which currently holds 54 titles. Another wishlist for nutrition books totals 180!

7.) I’m really looking forward to teaching my child how to cook and getting messy in the kitchen. That’s probably the thing I’m most looking forward to about having kids.

 

15 Nominees for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award

1.) Texas On Thames – the wonderful Laura!

2.) Two Blue Lemons

3.) Gluten Free Travelette

4.) My Green Diet

5.) Wine & Butter

6.) Good Things Grow

7.) Cookie and Kate

8.) The Nourishing Gourmet

9.) The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

10.) A Harmony Healing

11.) Whole Promise

12.) Pickles N Honey

13.) Nature Nourishes

14.) Alex Eats Green

15.) Bauman College

 

And here’s a new recipe for good measure!

I discovered the bones of this recipe via the aforementioned Sarah of Two Blue Lemons. Her Warm Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad really appealed to me, so I made it the other night with a few tweaks. Turns out, so did she! The original comes from Casa Moro, one of the cookbooks from the founders and chefs of the fabulous Moro restaurant in London, one of my favorites!

This is a wonderful warming yet light dish for a winter dinner or hearty lunch. I incorporated farro to give it a bit of bulk and used adzuki beans instead of chickpeas. Any beans or legumes could work well in place of the adzukis.

Lots of cilantro is essential for brightness – sorry if you’re a cilantro hater!

Warm Butternut Squash, Adzuki Bean & Farro Salad

Warm Butternut Squash, Adzuki Bean & Farro Salad

by The Particular Kitchen

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Keywords: roast simmer entree salad wheat free vegetarian vegan sugar-free nut-free fall winter

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Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 butternut squash, seeds removed and cut into small cubes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup farro
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 15-oz can adzuki beans, drained and rinsed
  • handful fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the butternut squash pieces on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Bake in the hot oven for 30-40 minutes, tossing and turning every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.

Cook the farro according to package instructions (mine took 15 minutes by simmering a cup of farro with 3 cups of water with the lid off). Drain if necessary and leave to cool slightly.

Make the dressing by whisking the tahini with 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp water, lemon juice, garlic, and some salt and pepper.

Add the squash and farro to a large bowl and gently fold in the beans and cilantro. Toss with the dressing and serve warm.

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30 Wishes For My Baby

I turn 30 on Monday. It’s a birthday that carries a lot of weight for most people. There’s so many “30 things to do before you’re 30” lists floating around that I’ve always admired and felt inspired by, but now that the day is here, I’m feeling like I should mark it in some way other than cake and balloons. Maybe not balloons.

This year, celebrations are different than in previous years. Being pregnant has forced me to look at celebrating in a different way – and I suppose it will always be different going forward with a little person to look after.

The list I’ve decided to make for my 30th birthday is one of looking forward, not behind. It’s a list of wishes, hopes, goals for my unborn child. Not just for this year, but for the rest of his or her life. Might be a little corny, but my priorities are shifting! Suddenly, writing a new recipe each week doesn’t seem that important. But don’t worry – there will be plenty more recipes to come…

30 Wishes For My Baby

  1. A healthy life, starting with a healthy childhood.
  2. Love, in all its various forms, in abundance.
  3. Adventure-seeking and curiosity for the many wonders out there in the world.
  4. A creative outlet that becomes a passion.
  5. Appreciation for art & music (a family requirement!)
  6. An appetite for nourishing and exciting foods with an eagerness to learn how to prepare them.
  7. Friends who stay loyal from the sandbox to the first apartment (and beyond)!
  8. Fresh, clean air.
  9. Fresh, clean water.
  10. A strong and equal connection to both America and England, and your transatlantic family.
  11. A thirst for knowledge.
  12. The understanding that you’ll always be supported by your parents.
  13. A healthy sense of competition and sportsmanship.
  14. Respect and moral understanding.
  15. Enjoying playfulness and humor every day.
  16. The ability to laugh at yourself and be silly.
  17. Excitement for travels, whether its down the street or across the ocean.
  18. The ability to cope with the lows and appreciate the highs.
  19. The confidence to stand up for yourself.
  20. The importance of a family dinner, around the table, no distractions.
  21. Healthy movement, every day, in whatever form you choose.
  22. The value of a deep breath every now and again.
  23. Patience and the ability to trust in the belief that what will be will be.
  24. Plenty of days running around in the sunshine.
  25. A contagious laugh.
  26. Love and respect for all living things.
  27. A childlike enthusiasm for Christmas that doesn’t fade with age (just like your Dad).
  28. A heartbeat just as strong as when you were 16 weeks in the womb.
  29. Ambition, drive, and a long list of life goals for motivation.
  30. A smile that lights up the room.

That’s not too much to ask, right?


Particular Baby On The Way

I have some very exciting news to share – I’m 12 weeks pregnant! Philip and I are due in June and can’t wait to be first-time parents! At the moment, I’m told my baby is the size of a lime – an adorable little lime!

It’s been really difficult keeping the news quiet from friends and family, but we finally shared our announcement with everyone this week.

Last Friday, we heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, which was the most mesmerizing sound I’ve ever heard. I wish we could listen to it forever! So far, all is well. I’ve had a few bad days of nausea, but that seems to have disappeared now, so I’m feeling pretty lucky (definitely not experiencing anything as bad as Kate Middleton anyway!)

So what will this mean for the future of The Particular Kitchen and Molly Robson Wellness?

Naturally, I’ll be including pregnancy-related information as we get closer to the baby’s birth, and will most likely be offering up baby nutrition advice and recipes when the time comes. But I want to keep my blog suitable for all readers, whether they have children or not. So I hope this exciting new chapter in my life won’t scare you away!

And I’ll still be practicing as a nutrition consultant for as long as I can! At the moment though, I’m happy to keep things flexible. The Winter Renewal Detox in January will still be taking place as normal – I will be participating about 90% – it’s perfectly suitable for pregnant women. This time, however, while it will still be offered online for anyone around the world, I’ll be running it in person through Samadhi Integral Center in Newton, MA. We’ll meet weekly to share stories, recipes, and advice, with discounts on a fantastic detox-focused weekly yoga class with the wonderful Nina Miller. Email me ASAP if you’re interested (whether you’re participating online or in person)

2013 is going to be quite monumental: turning 30, buying a house, and becoming a mother in the same year!

I really hope to continue the pace of my blog posts, but I also hope you’ll understand if there are periods of quiet from time to time as life takes its natural twists and turns.

Nutritionally speaking, pregnancy has been very interesting for me. Here’s how my experience has gone so far:

  • My nausea was at its worst in the morning when I ate really starchy heavy foods the night before (like butternut squash or potatoes)
  • Green smoothies went out the window – not only because its colder now, but because I felt I needed something more substantial for breakfast with plenty of protein
  • I have had major cravings for sour foods: vinegars, lemons, pineapple, Granny Smith apples, etc.
  • The tea brand Yogi makes a wonderful pregnancy blend called “Mother To Be“. I highly recommend it for expectant moms – it contains raspberry leaf, peppermint, spearmint, nettle, dandelion, fennel, and cardamom. Great in the morning.
  • Most days during my first trimester, my energy has been super low and I’ve had no desire to cook. That’s odd for me!
  • My exercise routine has certainly changed. The last time I ran was a 5K race at the end of October. Now I’m taking long walks through the many beautiful parks nearby and practicing yoga (both prenatal-specific classes and gentle flow classes with modifications).
  • We’re working with wonderful midwives and hope to have a homebirth. We also live a few blocks away from a wonderful hospital just in case, but I’m really motivated to give birth in a calm, quiet, relaxed environment. That’s a long way from now! But in the meantime, it’s great getting to know my midwives and starting to plan our baby’s arrival.
  • Avoiding alcohol really hasn’t been hard. A great article in the most recent issue of Boston Magazine highlights this subject. I really like the message there: find other ways to relax!
  • My prenatal vitamin is fantastic and certainly one I’d recommend to future moms: Rainbow Light Certified Organics Prenatal Multivitamin. I love that it was made with organic fruits and vegetables, contains spirulina and antioxidants, and digestive enzymes.

So that’s the news! I’ll have a recipe for you next week but just had to share this with you today!