Avoiding Monosodium Glutamate: One Family’s Story

Three years ago after a day spent with the in-laws, I tucked my son into bed. Minutes after walking out of the room, he stumbled in the dark, unable to stand. From there he spiraled to losing his vision, and we headed to the emergency room, rushed through the double doors, a barely breathing shell of my child delivered to doctors.

In the next 18 months we would visit the hospital three times. Each time started the same and ended with an emergency room visit, intubation, drug-induced comas, and a stay in the pediatric intensive care unit.

For the past 17 months, however, we have stayed clear of all of those things.

The answer for us, temporary as it may be, came after a long drive and a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. While looking for answers and getting a “probable” diagnosis, I noticed that some research showed sensitivities to glutamates could be a cause of migraines. While not a cure, the doctor did agree that removing all instances of monosodium glutamate from his diet could help to decrease the frequency of the hemiplegic migraine episodes we were experiencing.

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9 photos that show my culinary journey

Aimee & Mateo with chickens

I‘ve just returned from a motivating and inspiring food blogging conference where I had the fortunate opportunity to speak on a panel and briefly share my culinary journey. It was such fun to dig up old photos and reminisce about my youth that I though I should share the images with you here.

Over the years I have alluded to my background in food, recounting stories about my bucolic back-to-the-land upbringing or hectic restaurant days; today you’ll have more of a visual narrative. These images are a really quick look at how my journey has shaped who I am today and why topics such as kids in the kitchen or urban homesteading are such a big part of this blog.

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Exploring food cultures around the world (and in our own homes)

pastries-up-close

Written by Stephanie of Keeper of the Home and EntreFamily Travels. Welcome, Stephanie!

As I write this, I’m staring out the window of a cafe on a cobblestone plaza in Northern Argentina. Directly in front of me is a white stone building with a terra cotta tiled roof, grand archways, and a statue of an austere looking fellow named Guemes.

I’m sipping on a glass of agua con gas (carbonated mineral water), a plate of Argentine pastries to my left, which were brought to me “on the house” for reasons I couldn’t understand. This country seems determined to send me away in a size more “grande” than the one in which I arrived.

Another round of cafe con leche (milk coffee) is on the way to boost my brain function from the lack of sleep due to attending a Carnival parade until 2 am last night.

our-family-in-argentina

Who am I and what in the world am I doing here?

It’s an honor for me to join the Simple Bites team. I’m a long time food, health and homemaking blogger over at Keeper of the Home, as well as a Simple Bites reader since its inception.

For the past three years I’ve been sharing my love for green and natural living on Simple Homemade, but a change of plans and scenery this winter caused me to shift gears.

You see, on January 21st our family embarked on a rather unusual and ambitious journey. Together with our four young children (ages 8, 5, 3 and just turning 1), my husband and I are traveling around the world for an entire year!

First on our itinerary is a 3 month stop in South America, which includes time in several parts of Argentina as well as Uruguay. Following our time here, we’ll travel around Europe for 8 weeks this spring, then settle in southern Spain for the summer. Then it’s off to Turkey for a month, then hopefully Israel, Africa, Indonesia, China and Hong Kong, Australia and who knows where else! [Read more…]

Six Reasons to Visit a Country Fair with the Family

Last weekend our family packed a picnic and escaped to the country for our annual visit to a fall fair. We go every year as a family for many reasons – corn dogs, arcades and cotton candy not among them – rather we use the fair as an opportunity to further our family food culture.

Since we know that the connection between source and food is integral to encouraging good eating habits, we make an effort to visit local farms, but a trip to the local country fair is another way to make that link between field and fork.

The fall fair is so much more than fair rides and chicken-fried bacon; in fact, we find that when the line-ups to the arcades and canteens stretch for yards, the barns are always cool, quiet and spacious. Perfect for resting on a bale of hay and watching the milking process on some of the prettiest cows you’ve ever seen.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for our outing and I kept the camera handy to capture the day’s events. Today’s post is going to be a little different, almost like a photo essay showing highlights from our day. I hope these six reasons inspire you to seek out a country fair in your area!

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Peko Peko: A Cookbook to Support Japan’s Recovery

The Fed-Ex fellow dropped off a highly anticipated package last week – my Peko Peko cookbook, hot off the presses.

Wait, Peko-what?

Peko Peko: Family Friendly Japanese Recipes is a collection of nearly 60 Japanese and Japanese-inspired recipes published by Blurb, 100% of the profits of which will be donated to charity relief in Japan. I was fortunate to be one of the food bloggers who contributed a recipe to the cookbook.

I hesitated a minute before opening the box. What if I didn’t like it? What if it was just okay? I continued, and a few seconds later, as the wrappings slid to the floor, I held in my hands the work of three talented curators and fifty bloggers.

It usually takes me about five second to assess if I’m going to like a cookbook or not. I can’t put my finger on exactly how all the right elements have to fall into line, but usually after a quick flip from cover to cover I’m either sold or – meh.

It was love at first sight for Peko Peko and me.
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