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On weight, dieting and having the perfect body

kerihans:

I’m over here on my good friends insightful, spiritual, real, and wise blog. Check out my post there if you like, but also–I encourage you to check our previous posts on The Barefoot Family’

Originally posted on The Barefoot Family:

Is anyone immune from all this craziness?  I don’t even mean just women but men, too.  I have several men in my life right now who are on health kicks.  Their routine involves 2/day workouts, protein shakes and budgeting calories for beer.  As for me, well, I’ve just been thinking a lot about how I think about all that “body” stuff.  (Also wishing I’d lose 10 pounds before my husband’s high school reunions–2 of them–this summer.  So it’s not all rational self-analysis here, folks.)  With all this, I naturally turned to a wise and beautiful friend, Keri Hanson, who also happens to be a health coach, fitness instructor and all-around expert in these things.  Then I convinced her to write a post here, which is awesomeness!  You can also check her blog, With Love from Colorado.  Enjoy!

Scale

Weight. It’s a heavy topic. Loaded with tons of to-do’s in order to measure up…

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Nourishing Practices and Sesame Seed Milk

IMG_0738My apologies for my absence in this space! We are now in our second week in a new house and new city, and I needed all the attention and time and energy I could muster for keeping my health coaching practice going while also packing and moving with a toddler. Things are finally starting to calm down enough for me to not only spend time in my kitchen, but also to blog about it.

Additionally, I’ve taken a break from my group coaching in order to align myself to the Ayurvedic practices in which I’ve been trained. Many of them were put on hold to push through a stressful season of life when I needed them most. A time that left me feeling weak and vulnerable, which was magnified by some unkind words from a distant friend. It’s forced me once again to recognize the power that words do have and how very responsible we are for how we use our words when we speak to others.

This raw, vulnerable, weak time has also painfully aggravated my already vata-like tendencies, so I knew that before we were even fully unpacked, it’s time for some ojas building food and daily practices. It was also time for me to cut out distractions in my life that took me away from my center. So I snuck away from all of our duties for the day and headed for the mountains. I’ve transitioned from a challenging vinyasa yoga practice to be half rejuvenating and half restorative. I’ve been digging in the dirt with my son and planting flowers and seeds. I’ve been taking time to focus on a breath and meditation practice each day. I’ve made my own bath cures and soaked, and been taking time to dry skin brush and do self massage with warm coconut-sandalwood oil.

IMG_0719IMG_0727IMG_0726I’ve also made some beautiful Spring dishes. I’ve been soaking beans and making warm hummus to top salads on warmer days and cooking vegetables and making soups and kitcharis on the cold, rainy days we’ve had.   I feel like we’re definitely in the transition season of Spring–the days fluctuating between feeling like early summer and the next cold enough for snow. Our food choices have followed, and again, I really have been trying to focus on nourishing my body with as many powerful nutrients as possible. Warm, not overcooked vegetables with coconut oil or ghee are so nourishing to the body. So too is the sesame milk that Easton and I have been enjoying lately.

IMG_0742This morning we had warm buckwheat porridge topped with mangos, hemp seeds and this coconut pecan probiotic breakfast boost. Both of us couldn’t get enough, and it feels so good to know we are nourishing our bodies with food that is so nutrient-rich. Buckwheat is  loaded with manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc, which are great for the immune system. Hemp seeds and the breakfast boost contain a healthy dose of blood-sugar stabilizing Omega 3 fatty acids. And sesame seed milk is high in calcium and good for bone health, along with a host of other benefits. Here are a few of the many links touting the health benefits of sesame seeds.

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sesame-seeds.html

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/open-sesame-10-amazing-health-benefits-super-seed

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=84

Check them out if you have time, and if you don’t, you can still make a batch of sesame milk in your own home. It doesn’t take long at all, and you can store your milk for 4-5 days in your refrigerator. As a new mom with a son who doesn’t seem to digest dairy well, I’ve been worrying about all the additives in nut milks that can be purchased at the grocery store. Additionally, I want to be sure his growing bones are getting enough calcium! We both love the taste of this recipe:

Sesame Seed Milk

*1 cup sesame seeds

*4 cups purified water

*1/8 tsp pink Himalayan salt

*Sweetener of your choice (2 soaked dates, 1/4 cup soaked raisins, 1 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey)

*a cap full of vanilla extract (optional)

Soak the sesame seeds in enough water to cover them overnight. We keep ours in a glass container. The next morning, strain and rinse your sesame seeds. Put the rinsed seeds in a high speed blender with 4 cups water and the salt. Blend for 1 minute. Then strain your milk again over a large bowl or pitcher using a cheesecloth (I use this kind). You can save the sesame pulp for other recipes or discard. After you have your milk, rinse your blender and put it back in with the sweetener of your choice. We used raisins in this batch because we had them on hand! Store in glass containers for 4-5 days.

It has a very nutty flavor–and is a tiny bit bitter without the sweetener added. But Easton and I both still love it plain. we enjoy it in smoothies, to make oatmeal or porridge with, and also for chai or turmeric tea in the evening. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Be well <3

Keri

Sweet Potato-Parsnip Muffins and Snow Days

IMG_9776We had a typical Colorado winter storm over the weekend, and there’s a little over a foot outside on the patio right now. Before baby, I wouldn’t have thought much about it. Actually, before we moved to the Denver area. Snow in a small town with less traffic isn’t as big of a deal. I don’t mind snow if I have nowhere to go, but I hate driving on snowy roads because the choices of other drivers terrifies me. So on these cold days with no desire to drive around in the city, we have baked these muffins three times and perfected the recipe. They are perfect for a toddler who refuses to eat orange veggies (what kid hates sweet potatoes?!).

And with a cup of coffee and smeared with almond butter, they make a great breakfast for Mommies–or women and men without kidlets? They are tasty. And fairly guilt free:

Ingredients:

1 large parsnip or 2 medium parsnips, baked

1 large sweet potato, baked

2 tbsp flax meal (or three + 3 TBSP water  if you want to make these vegan and omit the egg)

1 egg

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup coconut palm sugar

4 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger (fresh grated was best, but we used powdered on one round, and they were still fine)

1 cap full of vanilla extract

2 heaping cups oat flour (we make our own in the nutri-bullet) Make sure to get GF certified oats for truly gluten free muffins.

Directions:

Bake the sweet potato and parsnips. I think it’s easiest to wrap them in tin foil and bake at 375, then run cold water over them to peal them. Throw both in the blender (add a splash of water if you need), then add the apple sauce and spices. You should have about 2.5 cups of veggie and applesauce puree.

Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, add your puree, and the egg or flax eggs. Mix well. Add in melted coconut oil. Then add in baking powder and flax. Stir well. Fold in the oat flour. We added more like two heaping cups of flour instead of perfectly measured cups to get the right consistency. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before serving. We topped ours with regular oats after 18 minutes of baking :)

IMG_9768Enjoy!

xoxo

Keri

Love.

IMG_9639Love.
For most of my life I’ve sought after it. Believed that I had to earn it, to do or be something more than I was in order to have the love that I wanted. I spent my teens and twenties desperately scratching at surfaces. Believing that if I were beautiful, intelligent, fun, cool, mysterious enough, I’d be loved. It was such a thin existence.
I don’t blame myself. It was the best logical choice available at the time. All my life I’d learned how to earn approval and accolade. It came with work, and I never minded the energy or effort it took for control of my world. Why would love be any different?

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, things shifted. Space was made. Room created. For a body, for a soul, for his light, for new ideas and beliefs, for love.
There is no calculating how your life will change through motherhood. Your body is no longer your own. Every cell breathes life into a new little being and also a new way of being. There is nothing you can do but surrender to this new existence–you cannot control it or earn it or shape it in anyway. It shapes you. It softens you–in body and mind. If fills what was empty, and spills around you into all areas of your life. It is messy–gooey cheerios stuck to carseat, legos strewn across the floor, runny nose, sticky hands, dirt loving, exhaustion causing messy. It is more. The life of a mom means doing more than you have ever done before–and being more because of it.
Motherhood has taught me love isn’t earned by something that you do, it is what you do. It isn’t something you have, it’s something you are. You embody it. With each late night nursing session, with each caress, with each diaper change, with each changing day, with each admiring glance at your partner, with each gentler glance in the mirror. We embody love by doing love. In the smallest actions–each every day.

With Love,

Keri

Taco Night Married Up.

IMG_9326I cannot get enough purple cabbage lately. So when I say this Food 52 recipe for Lentil Walnut Tacos with Cabbage-Lime Slaw, I had to make it. But, as usual, I never follow recipes exactly. I planned to do my best following this one, but then I made it home from the grocery store without limes or poblano peppers. Sigh.

And I can never just make one meal if it involves lentils, since my husband won’t eat them. So, since I married a meat eater, I married the meal. Here is his plate:

IMG_9319Sorry about the light. This took a bit longer than I had anticipated to make, and natural light in the winter in Colorado is hard to come by in the evenings. Here is a look at my plate that I had for lunch the next day (and dreamt about the day after that….and the day after that….)

IMG_9332Oh my good. These are just so dang tasty! Even Aaron, who turned up his nose and said, “I don’t want that cabbage crap on mine,” was eating seconds of the cabbage slaw on the side.  Since I didn’t have the lime needed for the Food 52 recipe, I just went rogue and created my own slaw.

So here is how you make this meal–one for a meat eater and one for a vegan all in the same night. I’d pick a night when you have a bit of extra time, since it took me about 50 minutes from start to finish.

1. Cook the lentils on the stove top. Their recipe called from 1 and 1/2 cups (which I put in dry), but I used 1 cup of cooked lentils and had leftover lentils for another recipe later in the week.

2. Make the slaw. It’s the same for both eaters, so here is my recipe and method:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, thinly shredded and tightly packed
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly shredded and tightly packed
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • dash red pepper flakes (or to taste), optional

Method.

Chop the veggies. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and spices well. Drizzle over cabbage & peppers and stir, stir, stir. At the last minute, I threw in a handful of tamari sunflower seeds as well 😁.

Now for the madness of cooking up two different but similar meals.

Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 2.47.04 PMScreen shot 2015-02-04 at 2.47.34 PM

Method to the madness.

In his pan add meat. In her pan, add lentils and walnuts. Brown meat and lentil/walnut mix for about 5 minutes on medium high heat. Then add the spices. Let brown a bit longer while you heat up some taco shells in a toaster oven. His is topped with shredded mexican cheese (I know–wood pulp cheese!), mine is topped with cabbage slaw. His is garnished with sriracha, mine with a little extra cilantro.

And both of us went to bed happy. If you’re a paleo/vegan family, ditch the cheese and serve these up on some extra cabbage leaves! (also omit the Bragg’s liquid aminos–use coconut aminos instead).

With love for meat eaters and plant eaters alike.

Keri

On Talents and Light Pollution

kerihans:

Dear Readers,

If you like me feel like a dim light in a world of bright stars in the blogosphere & beyond, this post was written by a beautiful friend, and it’s meant for us to see 💛

Originally posted on The Barefoot Family:

stars2

Sometimes, if you’re standing in a city at night you will look up and realize that you cannot see the stars.  They’re crowded out by all the other lights–lights that appear bigger and brighter.  These street lamps and house lights seem to be lights that really do light the world while the stars just softly twinkle in the distance, providing a little bit of atmosphere but otherwise not doing very much for anybody.

I sometimes worry about being a star trying to shine in a brightly lit city.  I sometimes worry that anything I could offer to the world will be overlooked due to the brightly shining lights of those around me, lights that appear to be bigger and brighter than my own.  It’s like light pollution of talent.  How can my small little twinkle compete with the brilliant shine of a halogen bulb or a meteor shower?  Sometimes the question plagues my days…

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Motherhood: Year One

IMG_8980I’m a week late in writing this, but he was a week and a half late in getting here, and if I’ve learned anything in this process, it’s that time works differently now. My sweet little boy is one year old! The last year has been the quickest and slowest year of my life. Some moments have required me to be so completely awake and aware and focused (even in the midst of severe sleep deprivation & hormones) that I feel I lived a year in each day.

When I was pregnant, I spent the year counting weeks, celebrating major milestones. Twelve weeks,twenty weeks, thirty-six weeks, forty weeks….Forty one and a half weeks. Then, in the  first few days, I remember counting the day out in hours. Twenty four nearly sleepless hours at a time, I worried and worked at nursing and changing and learning this tiny human’s rhythms and cries and smell and softness and needs. Each minute my love grew, but it took months for the love to be bigger than the worry.

IMG_8971Eventually, the hours became weeks and the weeks became months that I counted and celebrated. I wrote letters to him on each of the month markers–recapping our adventures, his likes, his learning, his life. In the last year, I’m amazed by how much he’s grown; how much he’s changed. He’s my favorite. I tell him this every day. He’s my favorite smell. My favorite sound. My favorite child (I can get away with this now :). My favorite little boy in all the world.

His favorites are swinging at the park. Playing chase around the furniture and hide and seek. Tractors–anything with wheels is a tractor, and he loves them. Toasted Nori strips & scrambled eggs & lentils & oranges & avocado toast. He loves mama in the evening, the moment when daddy walks in the door in the afternoon, being outside in nature. He needs a dog, they make him laugh every time he gets close to one. He’s fascinated by light & loves learning how things work. We’re fascinated by watching his mind work and in love with the light he brings to our lives.

IMG_9234Happy birthday to my sweet angel. The past year of my life has been the most expansive, most enlightening, most challenging, most awakening, most adventurous, most alive, most everything. I can’t imagine life without him!

This past year was the second year that I finally let go of any remnants of my negative eating habits and fat talk. It’s amazing what this kind of love can do. There’s no time to be negatively self-involved in those ways in my life anymore. This past year has been a time when making healthy living choices has become increasingly important to me. Limiting exposure to chemicals, eating the most nutrient dense foods I can find, slowly saying goodbye to sugar and quickly forgiving myself if I have a food fail day. I want to be the healthiest mother I can be so that I can set an example for my child. I’ve learned so much and lost so much in this journey:

IMG_929150 pounds to be exact. I’m not exactly my pre-baby shape, but I’m not working out nearly as much as I once did either. I love making time for running and fitness and yoga, but I don’t have the kind of time that I once spent. I could go on about what I’ve learned & the changes I’ve implemented, but I could go on for months. In fact, I do. I’ve started group coaching sessions via facebook/email/& phone. If you want to learn what I’ve learned and make small changes for big results, I’d love to have you in February’s group. Cost is $35, but I’ll cut $10 for any one who wants to join & messages me before Friday: keri.w.hanson@gmail.com.

This year is a year that I have so much planned–for myself, for our family, for my businesses. This year holds so much promise & so much change! Today, my intention of all intentions is to make choices that reflect my hopes instead of fears surrounding these changes. I know that once I was able to start doing this in the last year, things shifted for me as a mom. I felt more present, less frazzled, less worried and worked up over things that really didn’t matter in the end. I’m learning. And loving. Each day. With him.

xo.

Keri