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I Weigh Less on the Moon, So That’s Something

Since my big freak out a few weeks ago my partner has removed the scales from the bathroom and been teaching me to chant my new mantra “I am on my way to getting into the shape I want to be in.” Since I started this journey, fitness reboot, or reconnection to movement – whatever I am calling it instead of working out/dieting/losing weight – I have been to the gym to workout 2 times, been to the gym for a yoga class 1 time and hit our apartment’s fitness center 2 times.  It has been a little colder than I like which keeps me from walking the 2-3 miles to the local grocery stores for shopping though I did manage taking the boy to camp for the past two weeks via stroller.  I thought maybe I had missed a few days but then I remembered my partner tried to take him to camp but he came running in to bounce on my sleeping body and begged me to walk him there – I may have missed one morning but I was too tired to register it.

I give you alien germs!

I give you alien germs!

I have also made sure to take some indoor walking excursions to places like Target – its basically a giant indoor track, if you can avoid spending money on tidbits.  I even dodged buying a “My Size Elsa” for the little gal, she wasn’t even with us I just thought we could pick it up for her and blow her three year old mind when she saw it.  Amazon lists the same one for $249 and Target had it for $59 – seemed like a bargain! I was vetoed. My other big walking adventure is to OMSI.  The kids love it there and I get a chance to walk around, its a small walk from the streetcar to the museum and then walking around exhibits, etc.  Today I even hopped on the scale that measures weight on different planets – I really like my weight on the moon.  Sharing walking adventures and trips to the museum have made this winter break fun and educational.  There is nothing more important that I can show my children than that I value movement, education and eating healthy.

I find these last few days I have been craving proteins like a brain starved zombie – I just can’t get enough of anything with tofu – especially these lemongrass and ginger tofu wings from a local vegan place – broke down for takeout only once, and hey – that was last year.  On the other nights I just pine for them, but I keep my distance, attempting to cook at home.

The best part is that my digestive tract is doing better.  I have no idea what was wrong, I had everything tested from all ends of me and everything came up a dead end.  My naturopath thought I may have a hernia based on the distended belly button, but it seems the ultrasound came up with gallstones (again) and my little pancreatic cyst.  I’ve been taking GABA for anxiety (and I say an active therapist) and it seems to work, Vitamin D for a variety of things, b12, and chanca piedra again for the stones.  It was also recommended to make a castor oil warm compress when my stomach hurts.  After 2 weeks of the regiment, and of course the almost 2 years of eating no garlic, gluten, onions, chocolate and limited nuts – I finally can eat regular old food again.  Though garlic seems to give me that “I just inhaled menthol” feeling slightly so I have been trying to avoid it.  But chocolate is back, so is gluten and no problems so far – to be safe I am limiting my intakes to one meal a day. I just made some Penzey’s Cocoa Hot Cocoa for me and the little ones with coconut “whip” cream.  It was yummy.

I received the gift of 8 new Life Factory 22 oz water bottles I fill them daily with cucumber slices and lemon wedges, or orange slices and leave them in the fridge.  My goal is to drink half of my body weight in fluid ounces daily – which is what the average person needs to stay hydrated – so far I get pretty close to that.  I never would have bought these bottles myself which is sad because they are helping me to drink more water which is key in the long term to health.

What kind of other things can facilitate healthy living, things that may seem extravagant (like 8 new water bottles), simple (like parking farther from your destination), or something I just haven’t thought of yet…hmmmmmm??

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Singing Your Way Through Stress a New Parenting Tip

Puppet Show

Puppet Show

Today was the same as most days, I started off with lofty goals of no yelling, compliance with requests and at least one nap.  There were no total screaming moments on my part, but I couldn’t control what the kids did with their volume.  On a more worrying note my younger son, due to stress I believe, has begun to make sucking noises after he speaks.  The type of noise that comes from pressing the tip of the tongue to the soft palette and then sucking in breath, to punctuate his words.  Everyone in the family is growing weary of this action and its loud sound.  His other new tick is chewing on things; Legos, sheets, collar of his shirt – basically anything a five year old can stick in his mouth that may have germs on it.  These two habits join his already disturbing habit of rolling and chewing on his tongue which all add to my stress because they are signals of his stress. As my husband reminded me tonight on the phone, last time we made this awkward trip he started picking up odd idiosyncrasies, and they diminished once my husband was with us. My main concern is that with epilepsy these types of temporary self-stimulating stress relief techniques can become permanently wired pathways and truly long term habits.  This puts stress levels on high for me in a new way, a parent never wants to permanently mar their child in any way.

Our day proceeded on packed with driving and fun – and because this is a typed format I can’t tell if I mean that sarcastically. I know the first part of the day was not fun as I dealt with a teenager who is a really great guy who makes some poor choices at times.  For example, I asked him to accompany us down the elevator since I was pushing two strollers by myself and holding two cups of tea.  He instead went his own way then watched from inside the mall window as his sister spilled her tea on herself, I had to remove her from her stroller and make sure the other stroller wasn’t in the street – before getting in the elevator without us.  I thought of a way to handle this without much yelling and decided on a discussion of natural consequences that went down like so, “A natural consequence of not wanting to be a part of our family and help out means that you are on your own, so I guess you need to find a way to pay for your private lesson.” That didn’t go over well and  a more heated discussion of what had transpired ensued. The little ones and I went for a stroll before I watched his morning lesson. While I watched our skater the little ones watched Super Why next to me.  This is one of a few times when they really do share and act calm with each other, they take turns holding the phone, making sure the other one can see the screen and co-operatively determine which episode to watch – yes I know it is TV but a psychologist recently told me that the current TV viewing guidelines are unrealistic and must have been set by 60 year old psychologists who still believe in Freud and don’t have children (his words, seriously).  That being said, I do limit my children’s screen time as much as I can while preserving my sanity and I have found that less flashing shows (such as Super Why) don’t stimulate them in the same negative way as brightly, garish shows.  The best shows are realistic shows such as Chopped or Cutthroat Kitchen.  The main concern with screen time of any type is my younger son.  He really loses all self-regulating capability when given screen time outside of these parameters. I digress, on to the rest of our day…

Shuttle Bus to the Museum Campus

Shuttle Bus to the Museum Campus

After the ice rink drop off the younger kids and I headed off to the Portland Children’s Museum again.  This time we split our time between the indoor grocery area and the outdoor adventure area.  My thesis paper for my

Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor Adventure

Montessori certification delved into the levels of parental engagement and developmental purposes of different play areas, including an observational study of play areas at the Children’s Museum – my findings were that realistic play areas create better engagement and have more developmental purpose / positive interaction outcomes so I always try to get them to at least one of these areas per visit.  Of course, I should temper that motivation with knowledge of whether or not we have extra clothing.  Suffice it to say, it was a soggy and oddly dressed ride back to the car on the shuttle with both of my kids wearing oversized, recently purchased museum t-shirts.  Getting them away from the Outdoor Adventure took a great deal of parenting wit to accomplish without screaming “Let’s go” so instead I relied on singing.  I sang a song about me leaving and sure enough they moved along – I was like the parenting piped piper.  I used it all the way to the shuttle to avoid having to carry anyone. To the tune of the “Ants Go Marching” I sang “my kids go marching” and they actually marched in line to the shuttle to the bemused smiles of other parents. Win for me!

Play it Forward Piano at the Entrance

Play it Forward Piano at the Entrance

We piled into our rental car super soggy and super sleepy -viola! one goal met, both children took a nap.  They were completely exhausted and we headed back to the rink to pick up our skater.  From the rink it was a short trip back to the hotel to jump in the pool; because sure enough those naps were short lived. I can still feel the effects of our pool visit – three kids hanging on me, jumping on me and requesting to be thrown into the air has taken its toll on my back and provided me with a really strenuous water resistance workout – I may never hit the fitness center here and I am okay with that.  Our pool jaunt reaffirmed my

Plumb Tuckered Out

Plumb Tuckered Out

belief that loud areas are not conducive to small children following instructions.  I think that the cacophony of the filters, the hot tub and the echo in the pool enclosure is way too over stimulating and of course this results in a failure to comply with requests which in turn escalates the requests in my world.  My younger son decided to throw a pool towel into the pool, the older one threw it back, this went on for five minutes during which time I used positive phrasing “pool towels are for drying ourselves, you may put the towel away” etc.  None of these worked, I yelled – and I kicked them out of the pool – again it started with a calm request “you may sit on a chair” and then after my requests went unanswered I yelled for them to get out of the pool. If you are keeping track I have a pitiful winning streak by this point in the day but ever a glutton for punishment (or feeling my own inadequacies as a parent) I proffered up a trip to Washington Square Mall to visit the puppies and the Lego store.  

The pet place, Hannah, always gives me a weird vibe having participated for many years in pet rescue and having worked as a vet tech.  They claim to be a pet society of some sort and set you up on a monthly payment plan, of more than $100,

Soft Play Area

Soft Play Area

for the lifetime of your pet which includes vet and food; however as our visits have been frequent, I get the distinct feeling it is nothing more than a dressed up pet shop and far less than a pet rescue.  They always have puppies and really hard sell – which is not what rescues normally do.  Not to mention today Michael F asked “are you looking to adopt a pet” while holding a tiny bundle my daughter wanted to pet – and before my no stopped resounding he had haughtily walked off to a corner of the “store” for no other reason than to make a point that pets were for petting by people who were interested in this scam. We left without a new pet, thankfully, because we are not ready for one which is sadly a thought I had for many of the people who were easily gaining quick access to “adoption”.

Angry,Contemplative? Who knows.

Angry,Contemplative? Who knows.

Never chagrined by others, my daughter gayly ran off to the soft play area for a bit. I didn’t fare much better at the next stop. The Lego store didn’t involve any yelling but it did involve a return before we left the store and a discussion with my older one who dropped a pouty face several times.  I’d like to say that I don’t understand him some days, but its more like every other hour I call into question my understanding of the world and human behavior, as well as facial cues. Being the parent of a teenager is pretty stressful at times which is why I am sure Montessori suggested Erdkinder and the idea that teens should live on the land away from family learning life skills.

Veggie Grill and Lego Building

Veggie Grill and Lego Building

The mall is just down the road from Veggie Grill, a place I know all of the kids will eat something and I can order off of their garlic-free menu with ease. Last time we were in I was sure to grab their app which allows you to snap photos of your receipt and earn points.  So far we received a free appetizer for signing up and have 300 points good for a soup or dessert – I’m accruing them for a free entree.  As usual the kids ate “wings” and mac n cheese.  I dined on the All Hail Kale, mashed cauli-potatoes and gave the new street corn a try – it was great.  Everyone finished their meals and we decided to walk over to New Seasons to pick up detergent for hotel laundry night. If you have every been to Meijer you know how easy it is to get sucked into general merchandise purchasing, or even little bits of things you don’t really want or need – well New Seasons takes this to a whole new level because everything looks adorable, handcrafted and high-end decorative.  That we have not left with tiny gurgling fish pitcher shot glasses on our last four trips is completely a feat of ultimate will power – everyone in our family wants one.  We walked back to the car singing once again a song about how everyone was walking – this is a favorite of my youngest, she adores any song about what she is doing. 

In retrospect my day was a huge win.  There were dozens, maybe hundreds of other interactions with my children when I was able to keep my cool during bouts of crying, screaming, stomping or all three.   

 

 

Figuring Out How to Stress Less – Finding a Way on Our Second Day

Our second full day in Portland started at 6am with a private ice skating lesson for my oldest, of course without another adult this became an early morning for all three kids, an idea I realized I did not relish late last night.  The first alarm went off and I jumped out of bed and began getting everyone ready, cleaning up the piles of Legos on the floor to facilitate cleaning by housekeeping and again returning to wake everyone up.

Sound Asleep

Too Early

Not the most easy beginning to a day but definitely not stressful.  In an attempt to keep my day relaxed I preplanned some work arounds for our family’s common pitfalls including brining the anti-epilepsy medication with, including a cookie to take the medicine with, bringing drinks and strollers for both younger ones.

We arrived at the rink and the younger ones were still tired, they didn’t even stay up to play in the soft-play area.  When the lesson was over I carted everyone to Bob’s Red Mill Restaurant – probably one of the best kept vegan secrets in Oregon.  We had a breakfast feast for $21 which included 3 giant flapjacks, 2 large pieces of English Muffin Toast, Tofu Scramble, Country Potatoes, Silk Chocolate milk and Nantucket Nectar Lemonade – more than enough for leftovers and everyone was happy. My little gal loves checking out the watermill outside and my older son, who is on a mission to complete an axel, is obsessed with jumping up to touch signs – so both were elated by our breakfast spot today.

Getting some serious air

Getting some serious air

Lots to Learn

Lots to Learn

Vegan Flapjacks

Vegan Flapjacks

After breakfast we dropped our ice prince off at the rink while the three of us checked out a brownstone in NoPo.  It was nice enough, the problem is the somewhat scam-like way that rental agencies operate here.  If you find a listing, you have to file an application paying $45 per adult.  Even if you are approved, they will not let you rent because they want to show the place to as many people as possible – for several weeks, each person paying the application fee.  It doesn’t seem like much but I have been at open houses that have a line of 15 people, to be told there are two applications ahead of mine (so what was the point then?!) Today was the same, I couldn’t leave a deposit or secure a home because they had other showings for the weekend and next week and wanted to get all applications in before making a decision.  Think about it, a 3 Bedroom could have up to 7 people living there – at $45 per application of adult that is $315 per set of applicants (all adults must pay) and with about 5 showings a day for even 2 weeks that is over $15,000 to show one townhome – it really is a racket out here and only one group can actually get the place.  I probably sound mad, but this is reality and it is really inconvenient and it seems unethical. Add to this that the rent is $2500 for 1500 square feet and no A/C, and you get why I have been a bit stressed, this place was the best deal and largest for the money.  Our first day here we stopped at a new complex that had bedrooms so small you could not fit a toddler bed in them at $2495 for 950 square feet. 

After our disappointing home showing we headed back to the mall for some time at the soft-play area – it was a hit but I was tired and I finally convinced everyone to head back to the hotel after a quick stop to pick our skater up some veggie sushi at Mio Sushi.  After much distraction I was able to take a short nap.  When I awoke I made the kids quesadillas before we headed back to the mall and the ice rink.  We hung around until 9pm, everyone had Auntie Annie’s pretzels and lemonade and finally we packed up for the night.

Finding Friends

Finding Friends

I am even keeping my cool as I look at a completely sheet free bed, calmly explaining to my eldest why you want the sheets on for sanitary reasons and asking him to use a calm voice when talking to his overly hyper brother who is jumping during the bed making.

The whole day has been about stressing less – actively.  Things are not necessarily less stressful, I am just choosing not to react to them in a negative way and instead focusing on the positive.

 

My Apocalyptic Life and Finding Gratitude

Hectic is an understatement. I recently graduated in May from an AMI accredited training program as a Primary Montessori Guide. Two weeks later my family packed up our small (895 sq ft) apartment and headed to Baltimore, Maryland so I could finish an intensive Masters of Education program at Loyola. We stayed in the Charles Village neighborhood a block from Hopkins and two blocks off of York Road which puts the phrase “night and day” in new perspective. On one side of the Victorian painted lady we were occupying (without air conditioning in 100 degree weather) were preppy young co-eds and on the other side, a lower socioeconomic neighborhood that had lines of police cars with rollers on stationed at each corner come 5 pm and helicopters circling above all night. It was a little surreal.

Flash forward three weeks and the kids and I were on a plane to Nashville, TN for a job in a small town school while my husband headed back to Oregon to facilitate the expansive and expensive move of our belongings via UHaul’s U Boxes. UHaul missed the mark at several stages during our move but here we are using them again because they are convenient, cost effective and offer onsite storage. My job did not pan out the way I had been expecting which was sad because I had gotten used to the smell of sweet grass as I cycled to work, a 2400 sq ft updated town-home, the donkey in the field behind our home, and had even resigned myself to living in a town without a library, where the biggest attractions were the fountain in our fabricated village neighborhood and the Sonic drive-thru. I had also secured a second part-time job teaching fitness and yoga classes at a local gym. I liked that when I was late coming home my husband had two places to look for me and could find me and my bike in under 10 minutes. What I could have done without fills a small part of my personal journal journeying my road to becoming a Montessori Primary Guide and I am sure I will never forget all of the reasons I left this job and town – but I am trying my hardest to bring my past life as a yogi into play and leave it all behind me.

Zip forward to the day after we unpacked our last box and then decided we were not going to stay in TN. Instead, we were headed back to Portland – the place I kept referring to as home. To solidify this idea we took a 6 hour car trip back to Illinois to visit our previous home and take care of some errands in person. Then back to TN after three days and onto a plane for Portland, OR -just me and the three kids. Not a big deal for most people, but I really abhor flying, think panic attack, white knuckled gripping of armrests fear – with three kids in tow.  I have a great game face.

So here we are; you, me and my kids on the end of my first full day back in Portland. I have not yet found a place to live, I have been to the ice rink more times than I care to recall in this day and a half but that knocks out steps to my older son’s dream of skating in the Olympics. I have watched and listened to my children deal with the stress of moving, uncertainty and a missing father with very open eyes and wounded heart. My own relations with them are strained more than I like because of all of the stress. I have been reading The Biology of Beating Stress: How Changing Your Environment, Your Body, and Your Brain Can Help You Find Balance and Peace and of course reading that stress could literally kill me, cause cancer, and obesity does nothing to help my mounting stress – I jest, a little. We tried a no yelling or screaming day, it lasted exactly one and a half minutes before one from the backseat yelled at one in the front seat as I tried to calmly diffuse the situation through gritted teeth. I realize more and more how having a second adult helps, my son commented “When daddy isn’t here I am a better son because I have to be, when he’s around I’m worse”. That prompted a discussion about independence and responsibility, I corrected him that all of them are the best thems they can be, but when daddy isn’t around they have opportunities to take on more responsibility. For example, I had to have the kids come with me to a job interview today because there was no-one to watch them my eldest did so by taking his younger siblings around the neighborhood and giving them snacks.

I want to cultivate gratitude so that I don’t get into this kind of situation again,  looking for something better and not appreciating what I have, but even more than that because I really do know the value of all that I have, sometimes I don’t have gratitude for myself or grant myself the time to just be.  I rushed to find the perfect job and what that boils down to is a lack of gratitude for who I am and the special talents I bring to any situation.  I hope to recognize all that I actually do accomplish and instead of playing it down or worrying what someone else thinks – I want to validate myself and be grateful for who I am.  Along this line I decided to document this next year, I hope daily,  to prove to myself that I am doing the best I can do and making the most out of my time with my kids.

Some of the things we did and places we went today:

  • Mio Sushi – extensive menu for vegans with gluten free tamari and kids’ bentos.  I love the use non-dyed ginger, the wasabi is delicious and the kids like eating here.
  • Portland Children’s Museum- a great place rain or shine with newly opened outdoor exploration area.  You now have to pay for parking but it isn’t too bad.  Great little cafe with vegan options inside.
  • Llyod Center Ice Rink – a great place for kids or a date and reasonable rates to skate.  Located inside the mall so you don’t have to watch a lesson, you can shop!
  • New Seasons Market – one of our favorite places to shop, somehow it feels friendlier than Whole Foods, the stickers flow for kids and the Williams St. location has my children’s favorite cashier so we had to go and say hi today.
  • Back to Eden Bakery – gluten free vegan bakery serving soft-serve ice cream and some really great baked goods, the scones are scrumptious and the rotating selection always impresses with innovation.
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Olympic Dreams

The Vegan UnVacation with @VeggieGrill and @MMASpdx

Welcome back dear readers! I have now been in Portland, OR since we touched down on July 3, 2013.  I did the first two weeks alone with three kids and a rental car at the Courtyard Marriott in Beaverton, OR.  The train that ran right by our window and the sprinklers that went off at 3 am did not help our situation which was one tired mom and three kids in a queen room. To say that our hotel stay was a vacation would be a lie.  I saw plenty of families enjoying their “weekend” vacation, we met them in the small indoor pool (I would like to add that their hot tub was permanently out of commission) throughout the two weeks and they were all blissfully away from their homes.  Maybe my problem was I no longer had a home to go home to?

The staff was very friendly but the location was more appropriate for business travelers, there was no continental breakfast and instead an upscale bar area; however, we were only 10 minutes from Washington Park, the Zoo and the Children’s Museum.  We also found some great local places such as My Masterpiece Art Studio.  Alex took a 4 day three hour summer camp on comic book illustrating for $185 and we did some drop in studio with the Sampler Pack (3 pieces of paper and a lump of clay) which may not sound like much but it was able to keep 3 kids busy for 1.5 hours at a price tag of $18. Although I am sure most parents will love the fact that MMAS does not require the children to clean anything up, I still tried to force my kids to wash their brushes and clean their stations.  For moms and dads looking for a great activity that will nurture brain development, hand eye coordination and art appreciation this place has it all.  They also do birthday parties. We witnessed one during one of our trips to the studio and the kids were having a blast!

Regularly we ate at Veggie Grill because it was 2 miles away.  We ran into it by accident looking for a local grocery store chain.  When the grocer didn’t have the treats we wanted we drove through the parking lot and found the recently opened location.  Veggie Grill is a faster food restaurant similar to Native Foods but less greasy and less expensive for the kids meals.  The serving sizes are also larger for the kids meals. Full size portions are equal to, sometimes slightly smaller than Native Foods, but the big plus factor is consistency. I have eaten there more than a dozen times and it is the same quality each time, I could never say that for Native Foods which sometimes tastes as if it is a different recipe and other times is inconsistent in content (more or less seitan, etc).

My gluten and garlic sensitivity shifted into full swing when I was face to face with all the delicious options.  By day four when I could barely stand up straight I decided to ask what options there were that were garlic free, lo and behold (gluten free is readily marked) they also have a garlic free menu!! I have been rocking out with the All Hail Kale salad, I love the tangy mango dressing and their tempeh is pretty good as an addition, the cauliflower mashed potatoes and the Bean Me Up Chili. My kids love the “chikin’” fingers and that is saying a lot.  As Alex told their manager, “They have great texture” and come with a side, dessert and a drink for under $6 (other kids’ items available).

What Veggie Grill does lack is diversity in its menu – there are a lot of “chickin” items and sparse dessert options.  The BIGGEST disappoinment was in their downtown Portland location.  We ordered the “Grilled Cookie” dessert “handcrafted chocolate chip cookie, griddled and topped with chocolate pudding, VG Crema and chocolate sauce” notice that nowhere in there was mentioned nuts.  But YES, this is a chocolate chip nut cookie.  When I brought this to their manager’s attention (since DH is allergic to ingesting nuts) she haughtily asked if we had mentioned a nut allergy. No, we didn’t because nuts were not mentioned on the menu. She refused to refund the item so we left it uneaten.

Now, the Beaverton Veggie Grill is a different story.  I FORGOT, yes me – my fault – to say no gravy on the mashed potatoes, it came to the table with gravy and I know the manager overheard me mention my stupidity in forgetting this fact to my husband and my request that he eat the potatoes so they not go to waste – not two seconds later a second cup of potatoes arrived gravy free – now that is how you handle customer service and why I drive the extra 10 miles out of Portland to eat at this Veggie Grill. Plus the manager looks like Owen from Drop Dead Diva and I have a thing for celebrity spotting even if they are look a likes.

A Moving Hiatus for @FamilyCanBFit

We are in the process of moving our 3 kids 3200 miles from Naperville, IL (Chicagoland) to Portland, OR.  Thank goodness I am flying with the three kids instead of driving again. After our test drive out there for my older son to interview at ChildPeace Montessori I knew I had to work hard on my anxiety and panic attacks so I could fly.  I became very serious about my Svaroopa Yoga practice and took the Foundations training.  This made me a more peaceful parent, alleviated all my SI joint pain and as of right now put the cabash on the panic attacks.

This is just a note to let all of my readers, fans, friends, and past students know that we will be taking a small hiatus until we get situated in Portland. I will be posting photos on Instagram http://instagram.com/skyyogastudio , facebook http://www.facebook.com/skyyogastudio and pinterest http://pinterest.com/skyyogastudio/ . If you are interested in watching the 3200 mile trip unfold – my possible forthcoming insanity (I’ve never parented 3 alone) or some great photos from the road – be sure to keep in contact because the fun begins 9 am Wednesday July 3rd.

Thank you to everyone who contributed emotionally, financially and spiritually to my journey – without your support and kindness I would not be who I am and doing what I am today!

Are you Looking to Dine Vegan Farm to Table in Chicago Burbs?

VeganOatmealandHash On our way home from one of our many museum outings I started scanning the area on my smartphone for vegan restaurants.  I was shocked to find one of off Harlem Ave in Palos Heights, IL called the Harvest Room Restaurant.  It is a farm to table run business that sources the majority of its ingredients from local producers.  They offer a wine list, which I wasn’t interested in, and a tea list with an in house tea-ologist who blends herbs and teas to create cup or pot fulls of elixirs and tea concoctions.

They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, all with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.  Although our first visit here ended with a mix up in the vegan meal, the staff and management were quick to rectify the problems and make amends (something you don’t often find these days when dining out).  With such great food and service we decided to give it another shot.

I had the vegan gluten free tomato soup – it was delicious, not too heavy and perfectly seasoned, nice and mild with the freshness of the tomatoes able to shine through.  I also have the Warm Eggplant Parcel, the Spaghetti Squash and the Tofu Torque over Quinoa.  Of the three my absolute favorite was the Spaghetti Squash in a mint olive oil with mushrooms, snow peas and petite onions (I skipped eating these because I wanted to be able to enjoy the aromatic garlic sautéed and my stomach can’t handle garlic alone). My husband had a burger (blah, I’m not writing about his carnivore experience – but it did look goodEggplantParcel and he did smile).

We both split the Sorbet Trio, green apple, blackberry and fruta de bosco.  OMG! That is all I can say.  The sorbet was light and airy, fruity but not cloyingly sugary which I can’t stand.  It tasted like you were eating whipped frozen fruit.  Served on a long tray with 2 small scoops per flavor it was great for sharing.  Of course hubby had to also have the Chocolate Lava Cake – it did look non-veganly delicious and was covered in berries to offset the chocolate.

Our first visit I had their oatmeal, home fries and the Eggplant Parcel Salad. My kids got organic wheat pasta and my husband had a biscuits and seitan gravy breakfast.  Both times we were pleased with our meals and the service was wonderful. Our first visit was a Sunday at 2pm, still in time for breakfast and it was quiet. Our second visit was a Friday night 8:30 pm and they were hopping! Even busy our water glasses never remained empty and we were asked several times if we would like more pretzel bread.

TwoSistersBrews I highly recommend you try this hidden gem of a restaurant

7164 West 127th Street
Palos Heights, Illinois 60463