What We Ate Wednesday: Wild Kingdom

April 24th, 2013 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

The wild Harley-dog in his natural habitat, enjoying his breakfast.

On the day I took these pictures, Waits and I slept in (ie, woke up late – oops) (totally worth it) so our morning was all a bit of a flurry. Mornings are always sort of hectic (I will never be a morning person, never ever) but this particular Tuesday was particularly chaotic.

Waits’s breakfast oats with cinnamon and raisins.

Waits [sort of] ate this while I threw together a smoothie and packed up the rest of his lunch. I’ve stopped drinking breakfast smoothies since they just don’t fill me up (some people swear by them and say they stay full forever – but I just get hungry an hour later), but I still love them for Waits because they’re so dang healthy, and I can add in all sorts of sups.

This mixture had full-fat canned coconut milk, kale, half a banana, a scoop of peanut butter, Sun Warrior vanilla protein powder (the BEST), blackstrap molasses (for iron), sunflower lecithin (for choline), Deva Cal-Mag Plus, and vitamin K-2. And YES, I know I need to write a post about why I supplement the way I do!

A tablespoon of blackstrap just for me.

Preschool lunch, from left to right: Half a peanut butter sammie on sprouted wheat bread // the smoothie in a sugar skull sippy cup // roasted garlic pistachios // leftover quinoa with olive oil // carrot, bell pepper, and cucumber slices.

Rushing rushing, I had to take my tea to go. (and that’s my air plant hanging from the rearview mirror!)

I dropped Waits off at paradise preschool (can you tell I’m jealous he gets to spend his days there?), and headed back home to get some work done. Waits had barely touched his oatmeal, so I polished it off, along with the last of my tea.

“Woman – why you always standing on chairs taking pictures of food?”

I worked all through the morning, mostly grading papers. Around noon I grabbed the last half of a bottle of Kevita (so not as good as kombucha!)

I took the last few sips with me when I went to pick up Waits, as a treat for him. I like to bring him a little something special when I pick him up – a date or a strawberry or something. I forget more days than not, but I do try.

We got home, watered some flowers, mucked about in the yard for a bit, and then I got him down for his nap. Lunch time for me!

Romaine and spinach, shredded carrot + chopped bell pepper + chopped cucumber (all preschool leftovers), red onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, and red wine vinegar, all tossed together and topped with about a cup of navy beans and half an avocado. Can I get an AMEN?!

The first rose I’ve ever grown – ain’t she purty?

I worked some more until Waits woke from his nap, at which point – juice time! He nibbled on some organic corn chips, and helped me put together his favorite juice blend.

Cilantro, kale, lemon, and tangerine. Amazing.

And then we were off . . .

These days, the kid does not travel without GEAR.

. . . to pick up Damian for a fun family hike on a gorgeous warm evening. This time I saved my shoulders the pain, and packed the Ergo.

Yes, he is wearing a hard hat and work gloves, and carrying a hammer, on our hike. Because obviously.

We had such a great time! And met LOTS of new friends, like:

This fat froggy prince.

This super giant grasshopper.

Aaaaaand a baby rattlesnake. Eek! The babies are the most dangerous (by long shot), but man it was cool to see one. Cold fear and total fascination. They are so gorgeous!

Holding hands and running, the whole way back down.

After the hike we dropped Damian off and headed home for some very-well-earned grub. Dinner was easy-peasy since I had a ton of leftover quinoa from a dinner party I’d attended the night before.

Quinoa, black beans, red onion, sweet corn, bell peppers, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, basil, and oregano.

For my dinner, I just melted some Daiya over organic corn chips in the oven, and then used them to scoop up the quinoa concoction. Waits is more apt to eat anything when it’s stuffed inside a cheese-covered taco shell, so that’s just what I did for him:

After dinner the night quickly degenerated, with a contentious bath time, a battle over teeth brushing, and a bed time that stretched until well after 10 pm. I totally forgot about my camera, though in the interest of honesty, I’m pretty sure I had a glass of wine once the kiddo was asleep. Ha!

  • Shannon

    Yikes…it’s the beginning of rattlesnake season here and it makes me sooooo nervous when I’m out gardening. Eek. On another note, I recently contacted SunWarrior for some free samples, which they were totally happy to do. I’ve been trying the Vega powders, and I haven’t been able to get over the chalky-like texture, but then I noticed that they contain extra goodies like Chlorella etc. What’s your take? Have you tried the Vega stuff?

  • Linda E

    I am amazed at Wait’s lunches; that a toddler would like all the vegetables. Your lunch salad looked delicious! In fact, your salads always look delicious; better than mine! I am 64 and I have never, ever been a morning person either. I retired 15 months ago and “slept in” for the first 12 months.

  • Rachel Fesperman

    What type of corn chips/taco shells do you use? They look so delicious!

  • http://twitter.com/lovalatte1 Emily

    I love reading your blog! And the food looks just so wonderful!!!

  • Alexa

    I LOVE your blog!! Out of curiosity, does Harley eat vegan as well? It was just a thought that popped into my head when I saw his bowl of food.

  • B. J. Lee

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful blog posts, esp. WIAWs. It was the bright spot of my morning as I dealt with newborn breastfeeding woes and getting through to EDD to get my maternity leave pay woes. I love borrowing your toddler food ideas and trying them on my more picky toddler. And I love your photos!

  • Emm

    Ha! I have that same “Ride bikes, grow food” sticker on my planner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692392402 Joselle Palacios

    I love kombucha so much more than kevita too and also am hungry super soon after a smoothie. I usually only drink them on a day I’ve skimped on veggies and need to get a lot of greens in. Otherwise, I need to chew! That rose is gorgeous!

  • Bianca-Vegan Crunk

    I love all the natural light that comes into your kitchen. Makes for beautiful pics!! And the corn chips with Daiya and quinoa sounds amazing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/graham.p.smith.3 Graham Phillip Smith

    Love your blog , made me hungry and in need of some tasty vegan food

  • Lili

    I love that you try to bring Waits a little something when you pick him up. My dad used to do that with my siblings and me when he picked us up from school every single day. It was something to look forward to after a long school day. Sometimes it was juice, other times cereal, cookies, a smoothie or fruit, but it was always something special. It is one of our fondest memories..

  • Karen

    Love Waits’ handyman outfit. Brought back memories. My now – 20 year old wore a pirate outfit everywhere for weeks when he was that age, and my now-15yr old was a kangaroo for so long it started to worry me (joey down his trou and a belt hanging out the back!) Just love pre school boys and their imaginations!

  • Sheena

    Yes, please write a post about your supplements! I am breastfeeding my 10-month old daughter, who seems to be intolerant to soy, peanuts, and chickpeas (she has digestive problems when I eat them) and, so far, mildly allergic to avocado, banana, and butternut squash (she breaks out in a rash when she eats them). Kristen Suzanne’s recent posts about her vegan-turned-omnivore diet have me a bit freaked out that I can’t provide my daughter with all of the nutrients she needs with a vegan diet, especially with her intolerances and allergies. I would much appreciate any thoughts you would offer about your own experiences.


    PS. My family is moving to California in a few months and I love hearing about how much you love it there!

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com/ Monika {windycityvegan}

    I’m also looking forward to a future post about your supplement hows and whys! The best way for me to get any supplements into my family is via smoothies – the trick is figuring out which supps are best suited to a green vs. citrus/tropical vs. berry vs. banana/nut butter concoction.

    Both of your salads looks amazing. Of course. I may give a similar quinoa salad a go tomorrow night; Ni will eat almost anything if it’s rolled up in a spinach tortilla or added to a tofu scram!

  • Heather B

    Hey Sayward,

    What are the containers you use for Waits’ lunches? I’ve been looking to rid my life of plastics, and am interested in the tin sandwich/snack boxes, but all the ones on amazon seem to get poor reviews. Thanks!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I have two different brands. My very favorite is the EcoLunchbox, which is just a fantastic company. I have the 2-piece oval set. Then I also have a Lunch Bots split container. Lunch Bots tiffins don’t hold up quite as well, but they’re still great and I really love that they have all different sizes and compartmenting. =)

    I just saw that EcoLunchbox has a 3-piece rectangle set that looks awesome! I am such a tiffin junkie . . .

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com/ Monika {windycityvegan}

    I was going to suggest the Lunch Bots split container – but I see that Sayward already did so, plus a couple of other suggestions!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I have tried Vega. I like the nutrient profile of Vega, especially if you don’t otherwise take a multivitamin. But I agree, their taste/texture is not the greatest. Also I find it prohibitively expensive, for me.

    I like Sun Warrior because it’s more versatile, blends better, and I find it delicious, I’d rather add in the extra sups and superfoods myself. ;-)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    It’s funny, most parents struggle to get their kid to each veggies. But mine loves his veggies, and pretty much any other extremely low calorie foods. I’m like “Please! Eat some fat, eat something heavy!” Haha

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I use the Trader Joe’s brand for both, they’re organic and CHEAP! =D

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, thank you!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Harley does not eat vegan . . . YET. The dogs were vegetarian/mostly vegan for a period in Portland, but Crash had major reactions to soy and wheat and a few other things, and it got to be too much for me. That was back when I was sick/depressed and Damian and I were going through all our stuff, so I let it drop and went back to regular dog food. But now that Crash lives with Damian I just have Harley, and I want to get him back on a vegan diet. That’s definitely on the agenda coming up soon.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Love that sticker – and love Herbivore! ;-)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yeah the Kevita has a weird aftertaste to me, almost metallic. Glad to know I’m not the only one who isn’t sustained by liquid food. ;-)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks, I love love love my new kitchen for just that reason. And the quinoa-corn chip-Daiya concoction was epic. I took pics but it was night and hance no natural lighting . . . they were too crappy to post. Oh well.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Eat tasty vegan food! <3

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw I love hearing that. Hopefully he will remember too and it will be something special from his childhood. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yes! They come up with the best outfits. At preschool waits is fond of a life vest/swim flippers/racer helmet combo (pants-less of course). That kangaroo get-up sounds soooo adorable!

  • juana

    i love wiaw’s! love them. beautiful, inspirational… i am so frikin envious of your little waits, though! man, those lunches!!!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I am writing a post on sups for next week! I’ve been following Kristen’s story and I can’t say I’m surprised at what happened. She ate an *incredibly* restrictive diet. All these stories (including mine) have some interesting common threads. I’m piecing together a theory that I’ll hopefully be able to articulate some day.

    Anyway, I understand why her story would shake you. As parents raising vegan children, we do need to be able to be honest and admit that this is all one big experiment. I believe that children can grow and thrive into abundant health on a vegan diet; that a vegan diet is appropriate for every stage of life. HOWEVER, I also recognize that there is still a whole lot we don’t know about nutrition, which means there might be something that *some* vegan diets are accidentally missing.

    Anyway, honestly? I use Waits and his own health as a barometer. And right now, he is incredibly healthy; strong; agile; and exceptionally intelligent. He is above average height and below average weight, which I keep an eye on. IF his health ever became a concern, I would be willing to re-examine his diet and possibly include some animal foods if I felt I needed to. I doubt that will ever happen, but I’m open to it. I want to be completely honest about that. I will never put dogma/my own personal beliefs, no matter how deeply they are held, before my child’s health. Luckily that has never been an issue!

    But every kid is different. I’ve met a lot of vegan/vegetarian kids and yes, some of them have seemed not-so-healthy to me. Of course, that can be said of omnivorous kids as well! I’m constantly looking at children and searching for all my little markers of health. So far I have not been able to detect any patterns, except that vegan children generally do tend to be on the thinner side overall than omni kids, and also they seem to have a bit more energy! Anyway, this is a long and rambling comment. I’ll write more in my post next week, but I just wanted to reach out and empathize. Raising kids is hard and doing it outside the mainstream takes a lot of courage. If you want to chat feel free to email me!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Supplement post next week!

  • Shannon

    Okay, I’m glad to hear that they don’t have to taste that way! I too like the nutrient-rich content, but I’m definitely looking forward to trying out the SunWarrior.

  • Taylor

    Man, your meals look so tasty! I have been in the throw of final papers and projects, that I can’t really find time to eat… but when I do, it’s usually something fast and lacking nutrition. You inspire me to take better care of myself!! Thanks!

  • Heather B

    Thanks so much!

  • Sheena

    Thank you so much for your supportive reply! At this point, my daughter is a bit below average weight (as in, she has fallen a few percentile points in her growth curve) and she has so much energy! I do take comfort in how well she appears via her activity levels, etc. I’m looking forward to your post next week, and to reading about your theory someday.