Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Blogging for Books: Finally Focused


Finally Focused is a guide about some of the factors that lead to ADD/ADHD behaviors and how natural remedies can help to manage those symptoms or the symptoms of medication. What I found most interesting about the book is the historical background about the syndrome. I had no idea that cases dated back to 1902, which, unsurprisingly, were thought to be a defect in moral character rather than biological/environmental. The most important aspect that the author focuses on is that ADD/ADHD is really a subset of behaviors that may have one or more cause, so there is no "one size fits all" solution. He uses his 30+ years of experience to outline cases that he has successfully treated. 

Though I found the book to be an interesting read, I did not find the data that he provided to be sufficient enough to persuade me that his methods are sound. For someone who had over 30 years of experience treating cases, it felt like he offered only a few case studies and no large scale trends to further understand his treatments. I do think it is worth reading for someone to get more information and perspective or feels like they may have "tried everything" to help their child or themselves when managing the difficulties presented in ADD/ADHD. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Blogging for Books: In A Different Key


In A Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker is a comprehensive history about autism. Using biographical narrative the book explores the struggles regarding defining, diagnosing and treating autism as well as what that meant for human rights for those individuals. The stories are touching and hit to the core of compassion and intrigue.

I highly recommend this book how knows or loves anyone on the autism spectrum as a means to not only understand the condition, but also to understand how far the movement has come and still needs to go. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Crookpot Thai Curry Soup

Anyone who knows me knows that it is no secret that I love Asian flavors. Particularly Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese (in that order). The flavors are fresh, bright and are feeling without causing too much chaos in our diet. I especially like that the flavors are easy to achieve with a few simple staple ingredients.

Because today was Mothers' Day, I wanted to enjoy those flavors without spending all day in the kitchen or having to spend a bunch of money going out (not to mention the crowds!). So, the obvious choice was to make it in the crock pot, which is especially ideal because you will get the slow development of flavors with little to no supervision.

What you will need (keep in mind that these are items I always have on hand and anyone who loves this flavor profile should invest in stocking the pantry with the same -- It will be money well spent!)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 TB red curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder
  • 2 TB of Better Than Bouillon chicken stock base
  • 1 TB fish sauce
  • 1/2 TB soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic chili paste 
  • 1" piece of fresh ginger grated
  • 1-2 grated carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 half gallon carton of coconut milk (I used Blue Diamond)
  • 1 bag of frozen peas
  • 4oz of vermicelli noodles
  • cilantro, scallion and peanuts for garnish
  1. Turn your crock pot to high then halve your onion lengthwise (so slices look like arches) and thinly slice. Add to crock pot along with all your spices and still until well combined.
  2. Add ginger, carrots and celery and stir again. 
  3. Add all your coconut milk (you can use two cans of traditional coconut milk with two cups of water, but I find this easier and results in the same flavor and consistency). NOTE: I used the one that is only coconut milk, not the one that is half almond. I don't see why you couldn't but almond usually adds a sweeter and nuttier taste. 
  4. Leave on high for 4 hours and stir occasionally. 
  5. Reduce to low and add peas and cook for another hours
  6. Add noodles (I use half an 8.8ox pack or two of the smaller 2oz bundles) and leave for 30 minutes. I then use kitchen scissors to cut into manageable strands. 
  7. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro, scallions and/or unsalted peanuts. 
This dish is so easy and is the perfect combination of salt, sweet and heat as well as creamy. Hope you enjoyed as much as we did!