Yearly Archives: 2011



New Years, Fresh Beginnings

I used to mouth off to anyone that would listen that resolutions are ridiculous.  Why would we not choose to be the best we can be ALL year?! Why would we wait until January to quit smoking or to lose weight?  What is wrong with RIGHT NOW??  As most of us do, I mellowed and grew with every year that passed me by.  Looking back I can see that I was so ANTI-resolution because they never went well for me…hence the reason I thought they were silly.  😉 As we approach 2012, I feel excited and hopeful for the upcoming 366 days.  For me personally, the word Resolution is related to not following through with a goal….I much prefer to plan my Fresh Beginnings.  New habits, new rituals to take care of myself, new ideas – all to be launched in the New Year!  Striving to be the best you can be regardless of the time of the year is important, but let yourself be swept away by the anticipation of a new calendar year.   It’s exciting to plan and create our 2012 self.  So get a piece of paper and get busy, with the extra day in the coming year we just *might* have time for it all!  Happy New Years!!!! One of my Fresh Beginnings is a monthly newsletter for my work as a Life Coach.  I envision it as a helpful resource, full of valuable information for my audience.  If you would like to receive it please enter your email here.  Much gratitude!

Getting Your Kids Involved

Getting your Kids Involved Get your kids involved in with food – growing it, buying it, preparing it, eating it and cleaning up! Home economics isn’t taught in schools anymore, so many teens are sent off to dorm-life only knowing how to cook Kraft Dinner. Think of cooking & appreciation of food as a skill you should be teaching your children as they grow. They will thank you when they are older (and so will their spouse!). Here are some things you can do to get your kids involved. As a bonus, getting young children involved means they will be more likely to actually try the food they helped grow/choose/prepare. – Ask each family member to pick out what they would like for dinner one day of the week, to help meal plan. – Grow a garden. Even herbs in little planters! – Visit a u-pick or farm, so your kids know where their food comes from. – Let them pick out a new fruit of veggie to try at the store. – Let them help cook. Even little kids can rinse lettuce or stir muffin batter. Teens can each be responsible for cooking one night per week. – Get them to help you with setting the table and clearing it. And then, most importantly EAT with your family!! Children who have regular family meals not only have better nutrient intake, but they are less likely to have eating disorders, they do better in school and are less likely to be involved with risky activities like drugs and alcohol. This is not necessarily all due to proper food intake, but family communication, which is especially important as your babies and toddlers grow into adolescents. To get in the habit, start family meals when your child stats solids, if possible. I see many moms who feed their baby first, and then eat after by themselves or with their spouse. One drawback of this is that the concentration is 100% on your child eating, and this can lead to too much pressure on your child to eat and picky eating battles.

On the Go with your Toddler

Life with a toddler is busy! From early mornings, to preparing meals and snacks, to playing…there is never a moment to stop. In our home, my little man and I are always on the go. Because we live out of the city in a rural community, any trip we take is at least 30 minutes in the car, which means we are usually never home for lunch. In the summer I pack a picnic and wherever we end up we have a delicious, healthy, home cooked meal. Our picnics usually occur in our favourite parks, depending where we are, and always include water. We both love being by the water and enjoy sitting on a blanket, usually under a tree, eating and watching the water. Bliss. Here’s a peak at what it usually looks like once I have prepped our picnic and we are ready to go: As you can see, our Wean Green cubes always head out with us. On this particular day, they were filled with cashews and a homemade muffin. Inside the large tiffin was a salad for me, raw vegetables, hummus and crackers and fresh fruit. The smaller stainless containers held snacks – a crispy rice square and more fruit. It doesn’t matter where we are; my little man and I always enjoy a wonderful lunch together. And just in case you too are leading a busy life with your toddler, here’s an easy to prepare kid friendly snack which can be taken on picnics, in the car or enjoyed at home. Crispy Rice Squares! ½ cup brown rice syrup 1 tsp vanilla 2 tbsp coconut oil ½ cup almond butter, cashew butter, pumpkin seed butter or tahini (could also use a combination of these) 5 cups organic brown rice crisps cereal ¼ cup sunflower seeds ¼ cup pumpkin seeds 2 tbsp hemp seeds 2 tbsp chia seeds 2 tbsp sesame seeds Heat brown rice syrup, vanilla and almond butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat until the mixture is easy to stir.  Remove from heat.  Working quickly, add the dry ingredients and stir well to coat.  Divide mixture into a baking pan and press flat.  Let cool and cut into squares.  Extras keep well in the freezer. Enjoy!

Wean Green’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide

Perfect Personal Portions

For those of you looking to keep your food in portions in check this is the perfect solution. It’s not about counting calories, but rather being mindful of what a true portion size is, even for the average adult. Whether your goals are lose weight or just to have an efficient metabolism a good collection of wean green containers can help you get on your way. Some containers may appear to be on the small side, but fear you not, as you can build them into quite the meal by using multiple containers   Let’s just say. In one container you’ve got your all in one soup all ready to go. Filled with lentils and cumin and hearty veggies. Not to mention this is an all-in one meal – making it very easy for meal planning this wintertime. Then to make it more complete have some kale or another whole grain in another container and it’s all portioned out. These containers make it very easy for you to mindful with your meals while keep your personal portions in check and filled with delicious food!   Lentil Cumin Soup 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1.5 cups diced yellow onion Pinch of sea salt 2 carrots, peeled and diced 1.5 cups celery, peeled and diced 1 tablespoon garlic 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 cups red lentils, rinsed well 8 cups water or homemade vegetable stock 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup How It’s Made 1. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and pinch of salt and cook until golden brown. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds 2. Add the cumin, lentils and pinch of salt 3. Add the broth and bay leaves. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are softened and the lentils have cooked through, about 30 minutes 4. Add lemon juice and maple syrup, and serve   Delicious Knowledge by Marni What I love about lentils is that they don’t need to be soaked overnight. So if you are in a pinch and wanted a bit pot of lentil soup for dinner, cook them right into your broth! This soup has a flare of Indian spices that are warming and satisfying. Complete your soup with a bowl of basmati rice and steamed greens!        

Mom Talk Radio Interview

We had such a great time at the ABC Kids Expo in Louisville Kentucky and were lucky enough to stumble upon Maria from Mom Talk Radio. Whilst completely unexpected we were excited to speak with Mom Talk Radio!

Trim your Waste

It takes approximately 20 seconds to put our food into take out containers. As the packaging can remain in our landfills forever, how can that possibly be considered convenient?! 3 things you can do to fill your stomach, but not the landfill: ReFuse Unnecessary Stuff When taking out, refuse the unnecessary packaging! Think about the containers, spoons, forks, straws, and napkins that you get served (why do they give you enough for a family of 20 when eating alone?). Ask yourself, “Do I really need all of this?”, “Am I going to be eating this right away?” (If so, why take the bag or the napkins?). ReTake Your Own Reusables Bring your own reusables (BYOR) and you won’t need to use the can – garbage, that is. Bring your own containers (like Wean Green), straws, cutlery, mugs, bottles and bag – check out this Guide for ideas on how to pack eco-delicious lunches – http://bit.ly/uqCZxG . ReConsider Your Habits It’s easy to fall into a routine, so why not create a new one? Reconsider and readjust your habits and adopt healthier eating strategies – it might be challenging at first – but it will save you time, money, your health, and our world. The bonus? You’ll feel like an eco-hero and will inspire others around you to follow suit. Together we can change the outrageous amount of unnecessary waste we create everyday as well as drastically reduce it. Take action and join the TakeOutWithOut Campaign (www.takeoutwithout.org). You can eat up and fill up, and leave our landfills alone.  

How We Raise ‘Em!

From birth, we watch over our children with a fierce protective instinct.  We love them, we nurture them, we gently guide them as they grow.  Wean Cubes are a great example, doing our best to eliminate toxins from their food while protecting the environment we pass on to them. There is NO question that we love our kids, but what do we model for them, what do they see?  Do we show them how to set themselves up for a life complete with a healthy body and overall wellness?  Do we model a physical, well rounded lifestyle?  If we do model it, which many of us do, I believe another important question to ask ourselves is…do we include them in it? My honest answer to this question is not always.  I have three girls, Grade 6, Grade 5 and a Kindy.  When they were younger and I went out for a run, I wanted solitude, this space was sacred to me…is sacred to me.  I planned all of my activity sans children.  I would see Mom and Baby classes and said ‘No thank you!’.  During the crazy years when the kids were all small, exercise was my getaway.  Not that there is anything wrong with that..in fact, it kept me sane during those years!  But as our family evolved, my fitness wasn’t just about me any longer.  I started to feel guilty as I headed out the door and they were watching Sponge Bob. As they grow, there is no excuse for me to leave them behind….and now, I have three blue-eyed sidekicks!  We go to the park and all try pull ups…we sprint with the dogs, we do insane little intervals of jacks, squats and crunches.  I drag them to nutrition seminars, I involve them in choosing and preparing our foods.   And when I run, I invite them to ride their bikes with me….well sometimes I invite them…running is still my ‘alone’ time… My intention for my girls is that they know how good it feels to take care of their health, and that as adults they that don’t even have to think about how to live a healthy life – they just do it, it’s ingrained in them, it’s just how they were raised. 🙂 Stevie

What prizes fit under your me wee tree?

Multiple Contests, Multiple Ways to Win! Wean Green’s Grand Prize 1. Download the app for your iphone or android. 2. Grow, love, feed and water your tree EVERYDAY. 3. When you get enough points you can start to decorate your tree. 4. Upload your awesome tree to our facebook page and encourage your friends and family to ‘like’ your tree. Every ‘like’ counts as a vote and the tree with the most votes will take home our awesome grand prize! Included in this grand prize…a new ipod touch! 5. Voting will be closed on December 15th and the most likes wins!! We will ensure we get this prize to you in time to get it under your wee tree! Weekly Giveaways 1. Download the app for your iphone or android. 2. Review the wicked app and ensure you include ‘wean green’ somewhere in your review. 3. Every Friday we will randomly draw a name from the ‘wean green’ reviewers and they will win. Super easy! You may even take home an ipod shuffle for under your tree! 12 Days of Prizes, Chance to win a ModMom Toy Box, Bugaboo Stroller and Wishbone Bike! 1. Check out Babybot’s rules and instructions on how you can take home the goods this Christmas! Wouldn’t it be great to throw a Mod Mom Toy Box filled with some of the best modern kids products from top companies like Boon, Skip Hop and of course Wean Green?!!   **HOW TO GET YOUR ME WEE TREE OFF YOUR PHONE AND ONTO OUR FACEBOOK TO WIN! iPhones: In order to take a screen capture of the iPhone or iPod, press and hold the Home button that is located at the bottom center of the iPhone and is more often used to return to the default screen of your iPhone. While your hold the home button, also press the Sleep / Wake key on top of iPhone and a screenshot of the existing screen will get saved to your iPhone or iPod photos folder. The iPod / iPhone screen will flash momentarily to indicate that a screenshot has  been captured. You can then either upload the photo straight from your phone onto our page OR you can email it to yourself and do it when you get back to the big screen! Android: Check out this tutorial! http://www.pcworld.com/article/208566/how_to_take_screenshots_on_an_android_phone.html

Making Your Baby Food

There are many benefits to making your own baby food: To start teaching your baby that homemade foods are enjoyable, and the easiest choice. To save money. If a jar of baby food is $1.50, and you go through even 1 per day from ages 6 months – 12 months, that’s about $270. To allow your baby to eat a greater variety of food. Do you see baby avocado or baby buffalo on the shelf? Thought not! To avoid additives and preservatives. Some of the store-bought baby food no longer contains these, but you still have to read the labels. I recently accidentally purchased 6mo+ “Organic Blueberry Dessert” thinking it was prunes. It contained many ingredients that I would not want a 6 month old to eat, including added sugars & dairy. You can mix homemade baby food with breast milk or formula, instead of water. This adds extra nutrition as well as giving baby a taste they are familiar with. Another major benefit of making your own baby food is to help make the change from pureed to mashed foods easier. Even higher “stages” of store bought baby food are quite mushy and pureed. It is far easier to add texture to your own baby food. Simply blend less and add less fluid to gradually increase the lumpiness of the food. Soon you won’t need the blender at all, and can just use a fork (i.e. to mash beans, canned salmon etc). There is a “window of opportunity,” around 9 months of age, in which it will be much easier for your baby to learn to accept different textures. Learning how to chew does take time and practice – be patient!  Use a proper chair and small spoons, in a relaxed atmosphere with no distractions to feed your baby. Some babies may prefer to use their hands, and this is ok! Your child will make a mess playing, and poking at their food, so be prepared and enjoy this exploration. Besides all of these benefits, making your own baby food easy! Here are the steps: 1)    Prepare: wash and peel fruits and veggies with tougher skin. Soon you will be able to leave peels on fruits like pears and apples, to add more texture to the food. Rinse canned beans. Trim fat from meat. 2)    Cook: I like to boil meat to add more moisture. Steam fruits and veggies in a steamer basket on the stove or in the microwave as opposed to boiling, to retain vitamins. 3)     Puree: in a blender, food processor or hand mill. Add breast milk or water – the more fluid you add, the finer the puree will be. 4)    Portion into your Wean Green cubes and freeze! Here are some examples of food cubes that taste great together: Peas and pork Green beans and beef Sweet potato and chicken Butternut squash and tofu Mango, Papaya and banana

Movember-More than Ugly Mustaches

Kevin, our token daddy blogger, has eagerly signed up to help raise funds and awareness for mens health and prostate cancer. Check out Kevin’s Mo’Bro page: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/2515572/

Quick Toddler Snack

With a ton of energy and a tiny tummy, your toddler needs at least two, or maybe more, snacks per day. Snacks should provide nutrients to support energy needs, growth and development and health and well being. Snacks should come from real food, in its natural state. I am not a big fan of the quick toddler snacks you will find down the baby food aisle, I just think we can do so much better for our children. So with that in mind, here is a quick toddler snack to provide quality nutrients and energy. Stuffed Dates Remove the pit from a medjool date. Carefully fill with nut or seed butter, close and serve. It really couldn’t be any easier. We served ours up with some fresh organic blueberries and raw organic cashews. Delish! Hope your toddler (or you, this makes a great mom or dad snack too) enjoys it!

Wean Team’s Token Daddy Blogger

Every blog needs one. The honest, unedited rantings of a daddy blogger. Kevin is a self declared urban farmer with roots in the Peace Country in Northern Alberta and now hails with the Wean Green mama and their two weaners in Calgary. His quirky type ‘E’ (engineer) personality keeps everyone in anticipation. Normally we don’t encourage his mumblings but since his last blog, Eat More Dirt, brought in nearly double the readers we decided to give him the floor every once in a while. This should be interesting….

Wean Team’s Eco Expert

Whether you live in Toronto or Vancouver chances are you have seen Lisa Borden’s articles in Huffington Post or flipped through her communications companies amazing gift guides with the best eco gifts! We are so excited to introduce the one and only Lisa Borden, our new Wean Team Eco Expert! Lisa Borden, owner of Borden Communications, takes a unique approach to holistically marketing eco-intelligent living and working. Some of her favourite titles (from a long list) include: Catalyst for Change, Enthusiastic Philanthropist, Inspiration Agent, Strategist + Catalyst, Mother of 3 and Wannabe Organic Farmer.  You can follow her on twitter @LisaBorden or learn more about her and her business at www.bordencom.com

Wean Team’s Life Coach & Personal Trainer

Stevie is a Life Coach, Personal Trainer and all around Whole Life enthusiast!  She scoffs in the face of societies ‘ideal body image’ and guides women through a journey that leaves them healthy, confident and jazzed about their lives!  Stevie’s love of leading others in fitness began while volunteering at her local YMCA teaching step classes.  This passion led to many certifications including one of her favorites- Stott Pilates and of course Personal Training Specialist.  The knowledge she has gained from CTI- Coaches Training Institute has inspired her as she continues the path to a fully certified Life Coach. Women both locally and long-distance have participated in Stevie’s ‘Body Bliss Coaching’ and those a little closer see her for some fitness face-time!  “I get to watch women as they quiet their inner mean girl, embrace a positive holistic lifestyle, all while shedding the padding that they feel is holding them back.  Seriously, for me it just doesn’t get any better than this.” Stevie believes that a holistic, healthy life includes decreasing toxins to our bodies and our environment.  If you peeked in her bag you would see a cube of protein powder, a cube of almonds and a cube of dates!  Always on the go with a great husband, three sweet girls and two crazy dogs, she spends her time living her dream life and building ideas to get people to theirs.

Wean Team’s Baby Food Super Mama

Jennifer House MSc, RD I am a Registered Dietitian and mom of two. With my help, moms-to-be and parent are able to nourish their growing family with confidence! Through personal nutrition consultations, meal plans, grocery tours, e-courses and group classes, my clients learn how to make nutritious food choices, and how to meal times more peaceful. Why are you excited to be a part of the Wean Green team? I love Wean Green products because they are environmentally friendly, stylish, and encourage parents to make their own food for babies, and bring along healthy home-prepared snacks when on the go. I am excited to be included in the diverse Wean Team expert panel to share ideas and have dialogue with parents about raising a healthy family in today’s world.

Wean Teams Expert Foodie

We are so excited to have Marni on our blog expert team! We asked her to introduce herself and let us know whey she is excited about Wean Green. Here is her response: Hi, I’m Marni Wasserman, a Culinary Nutritionist in Toronto. I am holistic nutritionist and natural chef with a strong passion for healthy eating and healthy living! I am the owner of Fully Nourished where I teach cooking classes, do private consultations, conduct workshops, write articles, ebooks and so on. My focus is stemmed around whole plant based foods, nothing processed, nothing refined! I am dedicated to showing people that everyday eating can be simple, delicious and fun! I am thrilled to be part of the Wean Green team, because I love to make food and I need containers to store it in. Since I advocate wellness and natural living, these products fit completely within my values. I love that I will get the chance to show people just how clean, simple and cute these products are and to get rid of their plastic! From dressings, to sauces, dips and other goodies – I will have a chance to feature some of my latest recipes being stored in these fabulous containers.

Wean Team’s Holistic Nutritionist

Kim is a practicing Certified Nutritional Practitioner, graduating from The Institute of Holistic Nutrition with First Class Honours. As a proud professional member of the International Organization of Nutritional Consultants she has earned the designations of Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner and Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner. Her practice, Your Green Baby, is a place for mom, baby and toddler. She assists you with preconception care, pregnancy nutritional needs, pregnancy issues and postnatal care. Kim’s pediatric nutrition services will help guide you to optimize your baby’s health and wellness, setting them up for good health and well being now and later in life. Kim has made guest appearances on Rogers Daytime, she is a regular contributor to Lakeridge Kids Magazine and she writes for blogs in Canada, the US and the UK.   Just recently, Kim completed writing her first book, Raising Happy Healthy Babies, which covers nutrition preconception through to toddlerhood with 95 recipes of mom, baby and toddler. As a holistic nutritionist, she is dedicated to inspiring and motivating moms and dads to make informed decisions regarding their child’s health and wellness through one-on-one consultations, workshops and cooking classes. She is a first time mom with a passion for health, wellness, real food and cooking and I love combining these passions to help moms and dads raise happy healthy babies. As a mom, she is passionate about raising her son as environmentally friendly as she possibly can, and Wean Green helps her do just that. “Being a part of the Wean Team Expert Panel is a wonderful opportunity for me to reach out and support other moms and dads as they too try to raise their children in a more “green” way. I hope to inspire, motivate and encourage Wean Green readers to make positive changes towards a healthier, happier, more environmentally friendly life” says Kim.  

We put the ‘Green’ in Wean Green!

In September I had the honor of writing an article for the Globe & Mail referencing the top 10 tips for building an environmentally sustainable small business. I have been very proud how we have managed to run our company with the environment always being upfront and center in our decisions. If you haven’t had a chance to read the article make sure you swing over to the Globe & Mail. Here are some easy ways we keep the green in wean green! 1. We strongly discourage printing! We like to do all of our communication online and ask the companies that we work with to allow us to ship without the paper packing slip and invoices. When we do print we use 3 paper options: elephant poo paper, plantable paper or just recycled multi use paper. All of our packaging is printed on 100% recycled cardboard and is 100% recyclable! 2. We donate 1% of our profits to the planet! I have to admit that the reason for Wean Green is not a profit driven reason. The main reason that Wean Green exists is because I wanted to offer mothers the choice of using glass containers for their weaners! Giving back and helping the environment as well as people! You will often see Wean Green staff offering their help for various causes, and I am proud to say I was one of the founders in an amazing initiative to raise funds that helped feed over 200,000 kids lunch! 3. Shipping has always been a bit of a thing for us. Obviously we want to get our products into our customers hands as fast as possible but we just couldn’t justify having Wean Green shipments go out all 5 business days in the week! We have changed the way we work so that we only ship on Tuesdays and Thursdays ensuring all orders are in the hands of our customers quickly without sacrificing extra emission from our delivery trucks. 4. Home Offices! All of the Wean Green staff has weaners aging from 3-16. I love that we can all work from home and not have to drive our cars downtown and add to the putrid exhaust smell. I hope this explains the children’s laughter in the background when you phone our office;) 5. Promote healthy lives and organic eating! I love connecting with customers who are just learning how to make baby food or are changing their school children’s eating habits. If there is one thing that I love best about my ‘job’ I would have to say it is the customers and the conversations that we get to have!! We recently sponsored a couple of baby food making classes and LOVED the feedback and response from the mamas. I would love to hear how you put the green in your lives!  

Happy 3rd Eco Birthday Talia!

Yes, it has been three years since our lives forever changed;) My youngest weaner, Talia was born on September 21, 2008. In the past 3 years our family has gone from sorta eco friendly to extremely eco crazy. Our newer eco crazy life has expanded from daily practices to traditional celebrations including birthday parties. We have had so much fun planning, celebrating and documenting all of Talia’s Eco Birthdays! Check out her first and second eco birthday parties! This year Talia was very active in planning and preparing for her birthday. In the previous years she just put on her dress and played with her friends. This year she was a little…..demanding in her birthday needs. We started with going to the store and picking out the craft, loot bags and cake pan. She was given options, although they were limited to things that would have as little impact on the environment as possible. This epic third birthday party is best captured with pictures, hope you all enjoy!