Friday, February 7, 2014

The Two Roads Project: Nourishment

Sarah (left): I have always been struck by the notion that there is no English phrase equivalent to "Bon Appetit," as though the English were too fixated on progress and spear-heading an Industrial Revolution to bother slowing down and enjoying food. In my life, food is central. Food dictates where I'd like to travel, my energy level in the morning, how I treat health conditions. My days are fast-paced, but I make it a point to slow down and enjoy my food. Nourishment has been a literal concern for me these last few weeks, as Hailey and Robin continue their yogurt-only diet (self-created, of course) and Summer begins eating her first solid foods (pureed carrots, pablum with cinnamon so far). On the one hand, food is art: experimental, colourful, textures, pairings, creativity. On the other, it is fundamental: the essential ingredients help our bodies function. I am conscious of this dichotomy, as I teach my own girls to approach a variety of foods while understanding a nutrient's role in her well-being. There's only so much appreciation I can garner among the under-six crowd, though. Sometimes eating a plate of seasoned couscous with wilted greens is too much to ask of my little gourmands in the making.

Johanna (right): Where we live can pose it's challenges when it comes to providing nourishing food for our family. Our closest grocery store is a two and a half hour drive away, and that little grocery store isn't always all that well stocked. When we get into our major city center ( a five hour drive, I'd like to add), we buy upwards of a month's worth of groceries, so needless to say, fresh produce is not always on hand for us at our home.
Most people have the luxury of going to a grocery store and getting fresh produce whenever they please. Don't even get me started on those extremely fortunate folks that go to local farmer's markets and buy free range/organic/locally grown you name it. Don't get me started. 
But when you are faced with the challenges of living in an isolated community, you learn to become creative, resourceful and very appreciative of helpful neighbours who bring your back fresh produce when they go to town (this is actually how we maintain a pretty well stocked fridge). 
Enter the smoothie. Yes, popular as they may be, smoothies are a life line for our family. They provide us with our daily quota of fruits and I even sneak some veggies in there too (avocados are so creamy in a smoothie!). I love that I can buy frozen fruit mixes and sometimes we can even score organic fruit mixes - double score! When our produce selection is low, at least I know that we can always have a yummy and nourishing smoothie. 
Here is my recipe for our morning smoothie. 

Morning Smoothie
1 frozen banana cut up
1 cup of mixed berries 
half an avocado (I have mine precut and frozen)
2 tablespoons of Greek plain yoghurt (great for protein) (add an extra half of an avocado if you don't like yoghurt)
1.5 cups of milk (you can substitute with any alternative milk)  
note: on occasion if I have fresh baby spinach or baby kale, I sneak about 1/4 cup of it into the blender. 

The well-known poem by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken ends, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
Two women, who became friends via the magic of the Internet, were both living life on roads less traveled by. Circumstance had them both live in Whitehorse for a short time, where they became best friends. Life's map has them currently in differing geographic locations, but their connection and camaraderie continue as they continue on paths of motherhood, friendship, creativity and discovery. The Two Roads Project is our effort to reconnect with each other and our inner artists on a weekly basis, each Friday. (Or thereabouts. We don't always know which day of the week it is). 

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