Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Live Below The Line--Day Two

The pretty girl with the bouncy ponytail and the contagious laugh brought a large black garbage bag of clothes through the door. She chattered on with my mom about who knows what while my I dove into that bag. I was the first one to get my hands on it and I was closest in size to the generous girl we called "cousin". I yanked out a blue sweater and held it up to me. I squealed inside and thought, I won't be embarrassed wearing that old red one anymore. My salvation had come in the form of a fashion rescue and I was giddy with delight. Hand-me-downs were sunshine on a cloudy day at our house and I couldn't wait until school started.
I've been having flashbacks of my teenage years as I participate in this challenge with my family. As a child, so many emotions were involved with our financial struggle that I could barely dog-paddle in the deep waters of stress. It's true, I never felt destitute, as I mentioned yesterday, but there were specific moments when I sensed I embodied deficiency. I'm sure peer pressure and hormones played a large role in those feelings but they were there nonetheless. Today, as my children became a little more accustomed to what they were "allowed" to eat, I reminded them there's an end in sight for us, but perhaps not for others. We talked about how some children may never be able to escape a life of poverty and that they need to think about that when they're tempted to complain about the nutritious egg they had for breakfast. Every moment, every day we do this, it's sinking in a little more, for them, and for me.

Our meals today consisted of eggs and porridge, leftover homemade pizza, a handful of veggies, roasted chick peas, a little fruit, a hot dog and some milk. Each child had a cookie for a snack and I have coconut bread baking in the oven for tomorrow. Besides the odd meals that I can't buy organic or whole grain (and hot dogs are a rare treat they did not complain about :), I've surprisingly been able to feed my children healthy food. A quick text to my sister, Holly, confirmed this pleasant finding as she elaborated on the deals she was finding on delicious, nourishing food. I found it humbling and inspiring when she described how she and her husband would be giving grocery cards to those in need and ensuring those stores were on a bus route. We were both grateful we have an abundance of knowledge on health and nutrition because beginning the challenge with that awareness greatly affected how we spent our tiny budget--another scrap of a mentorship idea to tuck in our back pockets.

Just for you...

My Mom's Coconut Bread:

350 degree oven
-2 1/4 cups whole grain flour (we use spelt or coconut flour normally)
-2 tsp baking powder
-2 tsp cinnamon
-2 2/3 cups unsweetened coconut
-1/2 cup agave syrup, honey or soaked dates
-1/3 cup goat's butter or coconut oil
-2 eggs
-1 1/4 cups brown rice milk or coconut milk 
-1 tsp vanilla

Grease a loaf/bread pan (or use parchment paper). Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream wet ingredients in another, then add to the dry mixture. Fold into loaf pan and pat into place.
Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
Optional, for a treat: Drizzle with a lime glaze (1 squeezed lime, 1/4 cup cane sugar, 1/4 cup coconut milk).

This is a dense, delicious bread that can be tweaked with various types of ingredients. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Camille said...

I'm in for this bread....thank you for sharing the recipe. And...this challenge? It's got me thinking...thank you for that, too. XOXO