School Wellness……Perfection

In being honest with you all, from month to month I struggle with what to share.  Simply, because being on the “front lines” of health and wellness, I as well live your life.  I am well aware of the challenges facing many families; time management, health choices and keeping our families healthy, carving out quality time for our immediate and extended families.   Our desire for balance and making the right choice can be overwhelming with the information that comes at us.  We seek perfection.

Ahh, perfection;   “the state or quality of being or becoming perfect”.  The buzz word here is “becoming”.  I have noticed over the last couple of weeks how someone else’s interpretation of perfect has affected my world.   Caused stress within myself which needless to say overflows to my interactions with those around me, my family.

Do you remember holding your newborn and thinking “perfect”.  Perfect in every way.  Fingers, toes……perfect.  I’d like to encourage everyone to just slow down a bit and look into the eyes of your family with the same admiration, wonder and glory of them “becoming” perfect.

One of the best ways to slow down your world in a carefree way is to spend the time in kitchen.  The many jobs in preparation can be delegated age appropriately.  We’re talking about team work, planning, start to finish creation, sense of contributing to a family, opportunity to talk about the foods we eat and how they do (or don’t) support our health.

This month I would like to share a recipe that got everyone involved.  It celebrates the harvest of this time of the year well past the seeds, the pumpkin.  It is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E. Vitamin A alone is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for vision.

The other powerhouse is the staple; chick pea.  Chickpeas are quite low on the glycemic index, mineral rich, containing calcium levels comparable to dairy products, high manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and zinc and the very important component of protein called tryptophan, needed for the happy hormone serotonin and the sleep hormone melatonin, is found in abundance in chickpeas. Who doesn’t need or have a child that could just a little more sleep.

Although the canned versions are called for in these recipes, I highly encourage the use of dried beans and the use of a fresh pumpkin which gives a higher level of the nutrients mentioned above.  Besides, it just gives another layer of involvement for our “tribe”.  Information on how to prepare dried beans and fresh pumpkin can be easily found on the web.

This recipe (from the Food and Drink Autumn 2011) is great for a lunch, afterschool/on the way to the game/or late night studying or entertaining snack.

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp tahini
1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1. Place chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, water and tahini in food processor. Whirl until smooth. Add pumpkin and seasonings. Whirl. With motor running drizzle in olive oil until blended. Taste and add more lemon juice or cayenne pepper if needed.

Rather than store bought crackers, serve with:
Tortillias OR separated pitas brushed with olive oil and your favourite customized seasonings.  Bake until crispy, 7-12 minutes.

****One more thing……lemons……use fresh rather than the bottled.  Their rich in dietary fiber, yet more vit A and antioxidants and they contain healthy amounts of minerals like iron, copper, potassium, and calcium.

Make one change this month in “becoming”

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