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    • Big News!

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    •  1/31/2012 9:34:42 AM
    • So this might not be BIG NEWS for you...but I have some BIG NEWS about ME to share!

      I am pregnant!  YEAH!  Yes, VETERAN MOMMY is pregnant...and very happy.

      This will be my 4th child and my children are super thrilled about this announcement.


      So I am excited to share some of my pregnancy journey with all of you.  Is there any pregnant Mommies out there?  I would love to hear from you!  This will be my 3rd pregnancy eating mainly a whole food plant based diet...and now it is definitely a way of life for me.  I am excited to share many things I am going in particular- I AM SO HUNGRY!  Normally I don't think about FOOD that much during the it is constantly on my mind (crazy!).  I am learning to deal with this and find ways to eat the healthiest I can.


      Anyone wondering about PREGNANCY NUTRITION?  Below is information from a prior blog of mine when I was pregnant with my 3rd child.  Thought it would be a good review for me, and hopefully can help other new mommies out there.

      Hope you enjoy!  Much love!  Veteran Mommy


      "The time to begin paying attention to a child's health is long before birth. Even the mother's diet twelve months before conception can influence the child's future health. It is important to eat healthfully prior to conception as well as once pregnancy has begun. Proper nutrition and good health habits are more important than ever during pregnancy and can help in maintaining good health for both mother and baby." (Disease-Proof Your Child, Joel Fuhrman, M.D.)


      I thought that I would blog about PREGNANCY NUTRITION- being that I am currently pregnant with my third child. Before I start explaining what I should be eating and why- I would like to ask the question...


      Does anyone else find it hard to eat nutritionally excellent while being pregnant?


      My first trimester was the hardest.  I have great pregnancies over all- the one small side-effect I feel (only in the 1st trimester) is feeling tired most of the day.  Combine that with feeling hungrier than usual- makes for some not so good eating days.  I have definitely changed my ways and have really tried to focus on eating right…but at times I still feel like I am falling short.  I have stayed away from highly processed foods, dairy and I eat animal protein sparingly (all disease causing foods) but am I getting enough of the good stuff? 



      What is the good stuff?

      As you can guess- the best diet for a pregnant woman is a WHOLE FOODS PLANT BASED DIET consisting of Vegetables, Fruits, Beans, Nuts and Seeds.  This is the same nutrient dense diet that is recommended for everyone.  BUT…there are a few additional foods that are essential when pregnant or nursing.


      DHA and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
      Nutrition for the brain.  These nutrients are essential for optimal brain development for the unborn child as well as a nursing infant.  Since the brain is mostly made of fat- it makes sense that we need to consume the right fat to help a healthy brain develop.
      Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts are great examples of great brain food that can maximize human potential.  Berries and vegetables are also rich in brain-favorable nutrients.
      I try to eat walnuts and flax seeds (ground using my coffee grinder) every day, in addition to a Vegan DHA supplement (purchased from


      Pregnant women need more daily protein in their diet for growth of muscles, bone, blood vessels and nerves in both mom and baby.  The great thing about eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet is that I get plenty of protein when I eat my cooked beans (1 cup cooked beans = 15 grams protein) and my nuts and seeds (15 grams = 1 cup walnuts or ½ cup sunflower seeds), and my dark leafy greens (11 grams per 100 calories).
      I try to focus on eating 2 ounces of nuts and seeds daily, have beans in at least one of my meals and always try to eat dark leafy greens- whether in my green drink, in a salad, or mixed in with my meals.


      This nutrient is needed to make baby’s teeth and bones.  Again- very easy to consume enough calcium when eating a nutrient dense diet.  I get my calcium the same way cows get their calcium…green vegetables.  Beans, sesame seeds and even oranges contain lots of usable calcium, without the problems associated with dairy.
      I try to focus on eating my GREENS daily and I also take an herbal calcium supplement a couple times of week.


      Again- all the needed vitamins are found in whole foods.  Vitamin A= oranges and leafy greens.  Vitamin B = avocados, almonds and leafy greens.  Vitamin C = potatoes, citrus fruits and broccoli.  Vitamin D = sunshine.  Iron = apricots, dark leafy vegetables and raisins.
      I try to consume as many vegetables as I can.  I also take a multi-vitamin with all these essential vitamins.


      In summary...three words:  DARK LEAFY VEGETABLES!  These are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet (Kale, Collard Greens, Chards, Spinach, Bok Choy, Mustard Greens, etc.)  I really want to focus on eating these DAILY!

      Eating an optimal diet for pregnancy is very doable when eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet.  This blog has definitely been good to remind myself what foods are needed.  Have I eaten perfectly…No.  But I am trying :)  My mother gave me great advice that I try to focus on in my daily life:  To live in the present- try not to dwell on the past or even look too much to the future. To focus on eating well today... (not being concerned about yesterday or how well I will eat tomorrow) but how good I can take care of myself right now. That's the key when striving to accomplish goals- it really seems to work for me

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    • Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

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    •  1/24/2012 2:55:24 PM
    • As the other Whole Food Mommies know...I am SO not good at BAKING.  Luckily- we are not a household that desires a lot of baked goods...but then again, maybe my family would desire them more if MOM could actually bake something that doesn't fall apart, tastes good and/or is edible.  I have even been known to mess up brownies made from a box...SERIOUSLY.


      But I am realizing as my children get older, than more and more "baked goods" are ever present in their lives.  Mostly from school, family and friends homes.  They are starting to realize that something is missing in our home...namely COOKIES.


      So I have decided to bake a cookie that is simple, that my children will eat, that is made from PLANT BASED WHOLE FOODS, and can be in my home every once and a while and me as a MOTHER can feel just fine about it. 


      Here is my first attempt (and not a bad attempt I must say).  You will be surprised how simple the ingredients are (I had all of them on hand)...and how easy the recipe is.  I don't know about you...but I LOVE a chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.  So I am excited about this one.  AND I DIDN'T mess it up!  I'm sure maintanence mommy would have made them a lot prettier...but I feel good that I made them and my children LOVE THEM!  YEAH for me :)  Hope you enjoy!







      3/4 cup brown sugar

      1 cup coconut milk (I used LITE coconut milk, which worked- but feel the non-lite milk would have made the cookie more firm)

      3/4 teaspoon salt

      1 cup whole wheat flour (I ground my own wheat on the PASTRY setting)

      1 teaspoon baking powder

      1 1/2 cups quick oats

      3/4 cup raisins (I used chocolate chips instead because I know my children will like the cookies a little bit more)

      1/2 cup sliced almonds or choppped walnuts, optional

      1 cup diced fruit, such as peaches, apples, or pears.  I used APPLES and I diced them pretty little



      Combine brown sugar and coconut milk in mixing bowl, stirring until creamy.  Add flour, salt and baking powder and stir just until mixed.  Add remaining ingredients, folding in the fresh fruit last.

      Scoop onto a cookie sheet with a spoon or small ice cream scoop.  The mix should be soft, but firm enought to stay in small mounds.  When I first made these, I was worried that my batter was too runny.  But I just placed the runny batter on the cookie sheet and they cooked up just fine.  This is definitely a THIN cookie, but really good.

      Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned on top and bottom.

      These cookies freeze great- for a fun afternoon treat.


      Hope you enjoy!

      LIFE IS GOOD! 

      • Thank you so much for this delicious idea. I've baked a triple batch of my Sourdough Bread with Cranberries, Coconut Milk and Chocolate Chips but still had one cup of coconut milk that I wanted to get rid of. I made some changes to your recipe (hope you won't mind) and my cookies kept they
      • their "chunk shape". Please come and visit my blog, if you wish I've been baking and cooking from scratch from the moment I become a mother. I give great value to healthy ingredient and non processed food. Thank you again. I love your blog!
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    • Better Bean Burgers

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    •  1/9/2012 10:45:50 PM
    • This is a super easy bean burger recipe that you have to try.  It is flavored with ketchup and mustard so kids tend to like the flavor.  It is also a favorite of us Mommies as we love having them at our company meetings.  It is great for dinner as well as a leftover lunch.  The patties can stay in the refrigerator for at least a week and can be re-heated very easily.  Hope you enjoy!


      Better Bean Burgers



      1 can Pinto Beans (rinsed & drained)

      1 can Black Beans (rinsed & drained)

      1 pepper, minced (I prefer to use a yellow or red, but a green bell pepper works great)

      1/4 medium onion, minced

      2-3 cloves garlic, minced

      3 TBS ketchup

      1-2 TBS mustard

      1 TBS Wheat Germ (heaping)

      1/4 cup sunflower seeds, ground

      1 egg (OPTIONAL)





      Red Onion

      Red/Green Bell Pepper





      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Saute the pepper, onion and garlic until slightly soft (using a small amount of oil).  Mash the beans with a potato masher or in a food processor (leave slightly chunky).  Add the saute mixer to the beans along with the ketchup, mustard and wheat germ and mix together until smooth.  If you want to add an egg to help the burgers stay together, fold the egg after everything is mixed.

      Drop the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet into approx. 9 patties.  The consistency of the mixture will be slightly wet so the patties will not form easily.  Drop the mixture into the shape as best as you can.

      Bake for 25 minutes and remove from oven to let cool slightly. Then flip each pattie over and bake them for 10 more minutes.

      Serve on top of whole wheat buns and add all your desired toppings.  The patties themselves taste really good, but I find my family likes them so much more if we have all of the fun toppings.

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    • Recipes to HELP you!

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    •  1/4/2012 1:35:25 PM
    • As I have started this new year...

      I have made some goals on ways to increase the health of my FAMILY.  I am a working mother and there seems to be times (more than I would like) that dinners and lunches fall short because of my busy schedule.

      This is a blog for you as well as a blog for me to help remind us of some HEALTHY and EASY recipes that will HELP your new year's GOALS.



      This is a super easy recipe that is completely RAW.  The KEY to this recipe is the ORANGE PEANUT DRESSING!  This is a great side dish for lunches as well as a healthy snack that I love to have in my fridge.  Because it is mostly made from cabbage, it lasts a long time.  Two out of my three children will eat this without it makes the cut :)  I'm hungry just thinking about it!



      It's been too long since I have made these- and I am very excited to get them back in my freezer.  I have a 2 year old that sometimes I wonder if she is getting enough healthy fat.  These bars a great way to give your children the healthy fat they need.  You make a big batch and store them in your freezer (they tend to fall apart more at room temperature).  You can add some chocoate chips or raisins...make it fun!  Have your children help makes for a fun kitchen date :)



      This is a great recipe to sneak in a TON OF VEGGIES!  This recipe is made with our cashew cream sauce which goes so well with vegetables and the whole wheat dough.  My meat eating family asks for this's that good!  And if you aren't eating gluten...make it without the dough and serve it over a brown rice.



      My mouth waters when I think about this soup. if you want to try something a little different and spice things up (this soup isn't spicy by the way)...try Gypsi soup.  It uses turmeric and cinnamon along with sweet good! 


      Potato with GREENS

      There are endless possibilites for this recipe.  You can find our Sweet Potato Hash recipe here.  You can find our Potato Medley recipe here.  We also have our Kale Hashbrown recipe here.  All of these recipes combine the POTATO with DARK LEAFY GREENS and special flavors to make a mouth watering meal.  I love potatoes as well as my family...these are always a great dinner idea in my home.  And they are super easy!!!


      I hope the recipe ideas have helped you...they have made me very hungry!  Now the problem is...which one should I make tonight?


      Much love,

      Veteran Mommy

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