Dharma Momma

I’m a Buddhist and a Mother. This is what I do.

Recipe of the Week #1 September 24, 2008

Filed under: health,recipe — mandora @ 7:52 pm

I need to make this blog cooler and more full of ‘stuff’… my other blog was cool and full of stuff but it just wasn’t what I ‘wanted’ in a blog.  It wasn’t fulfilling me.  I LURVE the layout and design of this one so much… I’m excited to post everytime I come here because I love the cool little rounded boxes that each and every post is encapsulated in.  Problem is, I can’t get any of my usual ‘extras’ to work because wordpress is the devil.

On that note, I’m going to start something new.  Recipes!  Anyone who knows me knows how important healthy awesome food is in my life.  It’s sort of a passion – to create really good for me food that tastes like it ISN’T good for me.  And if I can do that with organic, wholesome, local foods, all the better.  I try to eat vegan whenever I can, and since the rest of my family (with the exception of my daughter) are all dedicated and proud carnivores, it can be a challenge finding vegan friendly items that they’ll also eat.  I’ve totally done it with THIS recipe though.  I originally was trying to find things that would be high in protein and other good things for pregnant ladies.  But aside from being super high in protein and omega-3, these bars are DELICIOUS.  I substituted agave nectar for the rice syrup, so I halved the amount, and it turned out great.  I urge you, even if you aren’t a vegan, TRY THIS recipe.  It’s not like, crazy and full of tofu or lentils…you wouldn’t even KNOW they’re good for you.  😉

Omega Bars

Full of brain food Omega 3.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or 1/2 cup more peanut butter + 3/4 cup chopped almonds)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed (flaxseed meal)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 cups brown rice crispies

Directions

Heat syrup, canola oil, and nut butters over medium heat until soft and smooth. Stir in nuts, seeds, and rice cereal. Press into a prepared 9 x 9 pan.

Cut into 16 pieces and chill.

These bars have 1.8 grams of Omega 3 per serving and 7.8 grams of protein. Can cut into 8 pieces and have over 3 grams per serving!

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Filed under: animals — mandora @ 12:30 am

Right now I’m watching an episode of Survivorman. This is a show that I highly recommend, and have started watching again with some regularity after a series of dreams that I had about a month ago reminded me of its existence. This episode is really interesting to me – he’s in Labrador, running sled dogs. Since I live with one genuine, bonafide sled dog, I know the particular challenges of day to day existence with an animal that has it’s own ideas about what should happen, and the complete and total lack of hesitation to use it’s teeth on any animal that gets in it’s way. Don’t get me wrong – my sled dog would never turn her anger on a human, not ever, but other canines will not get much more than a perfunctory warning when she’s upset. This is just a normal ‘sled dog’ behavior that I really wish I had been aware of before I agreed to adopt this dog over 7 years ago. Watching the dogs on this show fighting amongst themselves for no reason other than ‘he looked at me funny’ really underscores what life with these very primitive beings can be.

What you can’t understand from watching a show like this is the absolute LOVE that huskies can give you. They are creatures of emotion – and while they do have tempers and won’t hesitate to express displeasure, when you’re in the path of husky love, it’s like nothing else on earth. They are very simple beings – if you are their leader, they look at you like God. Whatever you say is gospel truth and they honestly relish being able to do what you ask. This absolute unconditional love is the reason that I don’t think we’ll ever be without a husky again… or at least why I think my husband might fight me tooth and nail should I ever decide to be. 🙂

 

September 21, 2008

Filed under: family,parenting — mandora @ 12:03 am

Why is the family so forgotten now days? It seems to me, that in times such as the ones we are experiencing right now – tumultuous times, if you will – we all NEED a safety net to fall back on. Should we not be valuing the family even more than before? Should we not be investing in this very basic human need? For some reason we are not.

As a woman, I’m so struck by the fact that I feel the NEED to provide the groundwork for this family unit. I feel a real drive to take care of my husband and my children. To make sure that they are fed and happy and safe. I love my husband unconditionally and with my whole being. Fifty years ago these things were EXPECTED. Today, I’m likely to be branded anti-feminist for voicing these things here. However, I feel it is because of my feminist spirit that I feel so strongly about these things.

We as women have given up over the years, all those things which make us different and unique beings. Instead of embracing our ability to give life to babies, and to nurture our families and to provide a safe spot for our loved ones to come home to, we saw it as a weakness…something that needed to be avoided. We were told be to behave more like ‘men’. And in doing so, all of humanity has become a sort of asexual, homogeneous personage and no one knows where they fit. Just look at the incidence of depression!! As I sit at the midpoint of my twenties, I don’t know where to go from here, because the strong yearning that I have to be a wife and a mother and a leader of the homelife of my family isn’t a viable option for women of my generation.

Well, I am taking this back for my generation. The women of my mother’s time fought to free themselves of the home, but I think they lost something integral. They lost what makes us, as women, unique. I am PROUD to be the child-bearer, the nurturer and the one who fixes my family’s problems. I am content to let my husband go out each day and ‘hunt’ our necessities. My strength comes from my connection to countless generations of women before me, and I hope that my daughter after me will feel this strength, and take up this cause. And yes, I am proud that I have the option to go to work, the real sense of equality that I feel… but in pretending the differences do not exist, we’ve lost a major source of our strength as women. And I, for one, will embrace that strength!

 

September 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — mandora @ 7:43 pm

Ok, I really don’t mean to undermine the seriousness of the aftermath of hurricane Ike, but this article really hit me. It’s just ridiculous. It’s like Americans just don’t GET how seriously prosperous their nation is compared to the rest of the world.

I submit the following quotations, to prove my point:

“Wanda Hamor, 49, of Orange, was fifth in line with her 21-year-old son William…. “He’s diabetic and he has to eat four times a day,” she said of her son.”

or, how about:

“Mary Shelton, 71, and her neighbor Letha Wilson, 78, sat in their sport utility vehicle waiting to get supplies at a distribution center in Houston. “We need some ice. What are going to drink? Hot water?” Shelton said.”

Again, I really am not trying to diminish the hardships faced by the folks in Texas. Indeed, I know some people down there, and I’m very sorry for what they’re going through right now. But seriously, if I showed this article to probably 80% of the world, they’d be baffled. In a survival situation, you’re seriously concerned about the temperature of your water? I’m sure the folks in Darfur would be happy to drink your tepid water. And I bet about half the people on the planet would be happy to eat even ONCE a day, let alone FOUR.

Gawd.

It constantly strikes me how little we in north America pay attention to the world around us.  And while I genuinely feel for the people in Texas, and the hardships they’re facing, I feel like for some reason we just don’t understand ‘hardship’ until it happens close to home.  It’s like that article they make you read in first year soci classes, about watching the world through a television, and how as long as things are happening on tv or in the news you can pretend they aren’t real…that those ‘people’ are just ‘people’, and are somehow different from you.  It amazes me when something devastating like this happens in north America, and we’re indignant about it, that somehow we should be ABOVE this sort of suffering.

Everyone, your homework tonight is to go listen to Vicarious by Tool.  Followed shortly after by Aenima. 🙂 (now THAT was insensitive)

 

I said I wouldn’t do this, but, September 10, 2008

Filed under: politics — mandora @ 2:49 pm

I HAD to post this article. When I started this blog I said I wasn’t going to reference or re-post materials belonging to others, but I thought that this article was just so spot-on, that I couldn’t resist it.  To my American friends, take heed.

 

Birth Preparations – Part Two September 5, 2008

Filed under: birth,healing,pregnancy — mandora @ 2:26 pm

Someone asked me yesterday what I was going to use as a coping mechanism during the upcoming birth of my son.  I should mention that I plan to have a homebirth, with as little intervention by ‘outsiders’ as possible.  I would love to have an unassisted birth, and I do think that I could handle it, but I know my family would be more comfortable with someone ‘trained’ attending the birth, and so, I’ve made that decision.

Regardless of where I’m birthing or who will be helping me, I still need a reliable method of getting from beginning to end without a total mental breakdown.  I will say that having gone through one birth so recently that it is still fresh in my mind is acting as a sort of motivator.  Anyone who hasn’t given birth (and maybe even some people who have) wouldn’t think that being able to vividly recall another birth would be a sense of motivation or calm, but it is.  Birth – the actual process whereby I brought my daughter into the world – was not difficult or ‘painful’ at all.  Sure it ‘hurt’, but it was a good, productive kind of hurt.  It is a different sort of pain than anything else you can experience – it has an element of utility behind it that motivates you to work WITH the pain, instead of against it.  At least it did for me.  When I was pushing my daughter out, all I could think was ‘it hurts! that means she’s almost here!  I need to push more!’

And it is because I can so vividly remember thinking that that I know this time I’ll be even more prepared to let my body do it’s thing.  And so, in answer to my friend, I will be using a sort of mindfulness meditation to help me through labour.  It is a combination of ideas culled from various different birthing courses and coping techniques, combined with my own ideas about childbirth and healing.  Unlike so many coping devices, I have no intention of escaping from the pain.  To me, it is a strong motivating force.  Trying to ignore it is counter productive.  I strongly believe that it was my decision to focus on and work with this pain that made my daughters birth go from zero to ten in a matter of minutes.

I also plan to use herbs and traditional practices to strengthen my labour.  I already drink a daily infusion of red raspberry leaves to help tone and strengthen my uterus.  Once I get closer to the day of delivery I will also start taking evening primrose to help prepare my body, and when I’m in active labour plan to take blue and black cohosh to help move the contractions along.  I believe strongly in the abilities of herbal medicine, and see no reason why THIS time I should submit myself or my babe to anything else.

So, that’s my plan everyone.  I have no preconceptions about what the labour will be like (I think my biggest downfall last time), but I do have strong opinions about the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to move forward with it.  And now, I’m off to hang upside down in an attempt to dislodge my son from my tailbone and to encourage him to flip around.

 

Birth Preparations – Part One

Filed under: birth,healing,pregnancy — mandora @ 12:12 am

I’m finding that as the birth of my son draws closer and closer, I’m experiencing a lot of mixed emotions. Not about the arrival of my son – I’m very much looking forward to meeting him (and not being pregnant anymore). But, I’m finding that I’m becoming much more determined and strengthened than I was when I gave birth to my daughter. On the one hand, I’m really trying to recognize that sometimes birth just isn’t predictable, and that even the most careful planing may be pointless. It was certainly the case with my daughter, and my failure to recognize that led to a lot of emotional grief in the days, weeks and months after her birth. However, I’m finding that the more I try to recognize that, the more my mind keeps going back to the idea that birth is a natural process. It may not be predictable, but it is something that women are designed to do.

When I gave birth to my daughter, as hard as it is for me to admit this, I didn’t fully believe that my body was capable. I have been raised in a society that highly values doctors and alopathic medicine, and the ‘passive patient’ model of care. But, the birth of my daughter really helped me to understand that this is such a backwards way of thinking about healing, particularly healing during pregnancy. The book ‘Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth’ really drove the point home for me, when Ina May, a self trained midwife, talking about all of the births she attended in her early years, before any real training, says that birth cannot be seen as something that needs to be treated, as most doctors see it. In fact, if it wasn’t a normal, natural process, how could she, a lay person, have helped so many women safely bring their children into the world? Doctors see birth as a medical emergency which needs immediate management. Obviously, as Ina May so deftly points out, this cannot be the case. No other event which is so highly medically managed can also be so easily UNmanaged. Women can birth their babies at home, by themselves, just as successfully as any doctor in a hospital, nearly every time.

So, there in lies my source of conflict. We are a part of a society that places such value on our ready access to medical care when we need it. But, I’m am starting to see, so very often that that supposed ‘care’ is the source of the problems in the first place. And, while I know that there are some issues which really are best handled by doctors (i.e. REAL medical emergencies caused by problems with a birth), I really do remain unconvinced that the ideal I was striving for with my daughter is not the best option. If anything, the experience that we had during my daughter’s birth has strengthened my conviction that a hands-off approach to birth is the best and safest way. And so, while I had such a difficult time in coping with our highly medicalized birth last time, I just simply cannot prepare myself for the same eventuality this time. It is so far outside my understanding of what is ‘right’, that i just cannot conceptualize having to go through that again.