Food Friday: Holiday Food Preparation

This was going to be a post about Holiday Cookie Exchanges, and how I was going to make mine paleo, but then I realized there was so much more to do than that. There is so much more to do with holiday food on this, the 10th of December ! The time is now to get prepared. I share my list with you ! 

First things first: Make a list of all the food requirements that must shortly be met. 

  • Determine donation at the door for upcoming holiday party- canned goods ? T-1 day 
  • Order turkey from the organic people so I will not have to worry about them selling out. ASAP
  • Order fruit boxes for gifting.( Make fruit box list !) ASAP ! 
  • Raid pantry for homemade jams for neighbors on Christmas eve or Christmas day. Decorate jars. T-10 days 
  • Decide on thank you gifts for office- tea and chocolates in gift bags. By Monday 
  • Decide on thank you gifts for “ helpful people” list: ( First review the helpful people list for this year, i.e. UPS man, insurance lady, dentist, eye doctor, etc. ) Maybe also tea and chocolate depending. By Monday 
  • Try to pull together people who are interested in a Paleo cookie exchange. Tomorrow 
  • Decide what cookies I would like to make for the cookie exchange. Next Wednesday 
  • Decide menu for office holiday party, and see what I can get purchased before the rush. This weekend.
  • Buy decorations for homemade chocolates. ( Amazon !) Tonight ! 
  • Assess the current collection of stocking stuffers for family members and what still needs to be obtained. Be sure to get the correct chocolate percent to each of the kids (Chocolate snobs-all of them ! ) This weekend 
  • Plan the baking and assembling of the “ Buche de Noel” or Yule log, in chocolate and buttercream with piped meringue mushrooms. - Talk to my sous-chef son Forest : ) - Do the Saturday before Christmas. 

It seems like a lot, but I do it because it’s fun and because it brings people together. 

Take at look at your fun list for this holiday season, and have some fun with food. Just make sure to keep up with your workout in the event that there are a few extra calories on the holiday menu. 

Wellness Wednesday: Wellness Gifts

Still searching for that perfect gift ? Why not give something that promotes health and wellness ? I propose considering a “ wellness gift”. Here are some useful categories: 


1. Books on health and wellness. These could be books on mental or physical health. 

The Seven Habits books by Stephen Covey are some of my favorites. 

2. DVDs for exercise, yoga or meditation- Try those by Gaiam or Jillian Michaels. 

3. Basket of healthy drinks: herb teas, decaf coffees, matcha, or chai

4. Basket of healthy foods 

5. Healthy cookbooks ! - Try the Mayo clinic cookbooks, as well as the series by Jonny Bowden PhD, CNS. 

6. Tuition for a series of health classes, but only if you are sure they want them. 

7. Cool workout gear, or a gift certificate for it. 

8. Certificates for spa treatments, massage, or even a personal trainer session.


Spread cheer this season with some of these worthwhile wellness gifts. 

Food Friday: My labor basket

The time has finally come for my daughter to have her labor induced. She is overdue and it is time. And, since gift giving is one of my "love languages" I was inspired to create a "labor basket" full of goodies. 

Now I know as well as any Obstetrician that one is restricted to clear liquids during induction of labor. This is because a patient under induction should, at any time, be prepared to go to C section. C sections are much safer when the mother has a virtually empty stomach, or only clear liquids on board. This is because pregnancy, labor, anesthesia, and C sections all make patients more likely to aspirate, which means to breathe in something they should have instead  swallowed. It is basically choking, and it can lead to pneumonia. The other reason is that clear liquids absorb quickly, and should the patient become nauseous, she will have an easier time getting rid of it. She will feel less badly. 

So my labor basket for my daughter contains the finest clear liquids I could find. First, I got our favorite: Perrier, in three flavors: plain, grapefruit and lime. Next I got a couple flavors of IZZEs, peach and blackberry, the ones which were truly clear and had no visible particles. To round things out, I picked up some of her favorite tea, Earl Grey decaf, and then, lest she be tired of all the sweetness, some seasoned organic chicken broth in little single serving containers. Finally I found some nice stainless insulated mugs. 

Then I considered the whole environment. We had covered taste, so I decided smell was also important. I chose some natural citrus body spray. Then I tucked in our favorite body cream called Booda Butter. No kidding it smells just like chocolate, but looks and feels like soft butter.

 Then, I covered sound. I know she has her Pandora on her phone, but I didn't think headphones would work. So I sprang for a little USB powered waterproof bluetooth speaker. And, being the veteran mom that I am, I enclosed a 12 foot USB extender cord for convenience. For sight, I put it all in a pretty green picnic bag and brought a blooming orchid along as we prefer living plants to cut flowers.  

I was tempted to overdo it since I had all kinds of other ideas. For example, you could include a cozy throw for mom, as long as its washable. You could tuck in some healthy chewing gum. The best idea I have seen was from the very cool older patient I had many years ago. She brought a bag of beautiful textiles and draped them all over her labor room, i.e.  over closet doors, etc. The room looked like a Casbah. And last week I had a lovely patient who used an aromatherapy atomizer with essential oils in her labor room. 

Your gift may not fit in a basket. You may be asked to help in the labor room, but only if she asks. Perhaps she will need help with her other children or pets while she is in the hospital. You may also be needed afterwards, helping with chores. Baskets are great, but perhaps the best gift of all is to be present.