Meet Karolina. She lives in the East Village of NYC with her husband and two boys, Phoenix, 4, and Soren, almost 2.
Before having children she worked as a private chef. Her background is in whole food and holistic cooking with a focus on specific dietary needs. These days she is the creator of Freaky Health Chocolate, in between running to the playground and slicing grapes. Here’s what she feeds her kids and herself on an average wintery day.
Between 6-7 AM: On a great day I wake up well before the kids so I can clear my head, meditate, and calmly look over my calendar for the day. The day begins with lemon water. Sometimes I splash some chlorophyll in it, sometimes apple cider vinegar, and often I’ll add a flower remedy from Alexis Smart. She makes one called Unburdened that really helps me find ease. When Phoenix was born my day began like this: COFFEE. ALL DAY. The end. I quickly realized that by dinnertime I would be a shaky, anxious mess. My adrenals were fried. These days I usually start my day with a Matcha tea with homemade almond or sesame milk. Sometimes black tea with a little grated fresh ginger. It’s lovely on a cold morning. Often I’ll mix in one of my favorite Sun Potion herbs like He Shou Wu or Reishi.
7 AM: Kids are up and it’s my favorite time of day. Everything is still open to possibility! The kids each get their “morning water” after brushing teeth. It’s usually lemon and sometimes has chlorophyll as well. I’ve been giving them green juices and green smoothies since they were babies so they are used to it. After water it’s almost always warm oatmeal in the colder months. We switch up the toppings and today they are tahini (I’m addicted to all things sesame at the moment), chopped dates, chia, and cacao nibs. I feel like when I have something on the sweeter side in the morning, it gets my sugar cravings out of the way for the rest of the day. It seems counterintuitive but when I allow myself to indulge in cravings in a healthful way (like eating oatmeal with dates or maple syrup in the morning as a treat) I feel more in control of my sugar intake, rather than wondering what my treat will be that day.
12 PM: Phoenix has school in the afternoon so the three of us have lunch together before we take him to school. During cold months I am adamant about following the Ayurvedic practice of eating warming foods. It’s so easy for the kids to catch colds this time of year so I try my best at filling their diets with immune boosting foods as well as foods that keep their little bodies warm. Today we have a typical lunch, which is a mash up of leftovers and other bits. A slice of roasted vegetable frittata, a side of chopped avocado with lemon, and apple slices. I also have some garlicky kale with my meal.
1:30 PM: After dropping Phoenix off at school and putting Soren down for a nap I sit down to do some work and have a cup of tea. Sometimes I’ll grab a cortado at a coffee shop by school but today is a tea day. Phoenix loves baking and so we usually have a bit of a sweet in the house that’s perfect for an afternoon pick me up. Yesterday we made these intense ginger cookies with dark chocolate chunks. The recipe is from one of my favorite cooking blogs, 101 Cookbooks. They are amazing and perfectly warming on a cold day. I have one with a Genmaicha tea.
4 PM: Picked up Phoenix from school and all the kiddos congregate outside swapping snacks. It’s hilarious seeing who has the desirable snack of the day amongst the four year old crew. Today it’s a friend who’s mom brought him a muffin (major treat!) from the coffee shop. Luckily this group is pretty generous so muffin friend doesn’t mind trading some muffin for grapes, cheese, olives, and seaweed snacks. Phoenix and Soren munch on some of everything plus bananas and rice cakes.
6 PM: Getting dinner ready usually involves two tiny sous chefs. Most nights they are adorable. Phoenix has always loved being in the kitchen and happily chops carrots next to me on his step stool with his designated knife. Tonight we are having a really simple meal of chickpeas and spinach stewed in Ras el Hanout (a spice blend) and tomatoes and carrots over couscous. We have a cucumber salad on the side also. The kids love dolloping yogurt over their meal and with the promise of a piece of chocolate after they finish, they gobble it up. The chocolate is sugar free (sweetened with mulberries) so I’m not worried about it making them bonkers before bed time. Also it’s loaded with immune boosting herbs like Reishi, Chaga, and Ashwaghanda.
8 PM: More Chlorophyll water before bed and Alexis Smart Dream Boat for the kids.
9 PM: After the kids are in bed, I usually make a tea blend for my husband and I to sip on while we unwind. There is a fantastic shop in my neighborhood called Flower Power. They have every kind of root and herb you could need. The folks there are super knowledgeable and can come up with a blend for anything you are looking to remedy (sleeplessness! anxiety! hormone imbalance!). Tonight we have nettle, ginger, and mullein. A great blend for digestion and keeping lungs clear.