Emmett Till, Michael Brown, and…Jesus Christ?

As we get closer to Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter), I want to take a look at The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone, Professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York and the founder of Black Liberation Theology. It’s an engrossing read, and even though the subject matter – America’s legacy of lynching and how that can help us relate to the crucified Christ of America’s dominant religion – is incredibly heavy, I highly recommend it.

I also want to thank those of you who have given to Puncture the Silence Cleveland! We have officially crossed the $100 mark and are on our way to raising $1,000 for this great organization! Thanks so much for your support.

This book might not be for everyone, and I’ll warn you that some of my words in this post will be somewhat graphic, but it does two critically important things.

First, it looks head-on at America’s shameful past of lynching (mostly) black Americans, starting after the Civil War and continuing to an alarmingly late date. Cone exposes the hypocrisy of white “Christians” who claimed to follow a crucified Christ while treating black brothers and sisters the way the Romans treated their very savior. He makes the case that we really need to look critically at the history of what happened and the implications that has for black and non-black Americans, and particularly for Christians. Continue reading

Spring Haikus

March
In like a lion
Out like a lamb. Come April,
In like a kebab?

_________

Spring Cleaning
Here’s that missing sock!
And there’s that snow day tontine!
‘Twas a long winter…

_________

The Second Cruelest Month
April showers bring
May flowers. June, just sit there
And don’t mess it up.

_________

Fashion
Hey it’s people’s knees!
Elbows too! Eew exposed feet.
Bro, it’s not summer.

_________

Pollen
As the flowers bloom,
I sneeze, give rebirth to my
Nasal passages

_________

April Fools Day (Part 1)
Clear Saran Wrap
Right over the toilet seat
Ha ha April Fools!

_________

April Fools Day ( Part 2)
Hour long swirlie
In aforementioned toilet.
I regret nothing.

Parenting for Introverts

There was a time in my life when I wondered if I would be alone forever. Now, as a mother of two, I am assured daily that I will never, ever be alone. Ever. From showering with an audience to washing dishes with a kid hanging off my leg to viewing Downton Abbey while nursing an infant, life has been a group venture lately. And while I’ve been able to handle the logistics of this setup so far (haven’t ever forgotten to pick up my kid from preschool–Self High-Five!), the implications of it escaped me…until recently. You see, I had an epiphany of sorts. As much of an epiphany as a woman operating on minimal sleep and brain function can (picture less light bulb, more flickering candle). That epiphany had to do with an aspect of my personality that I am just beginning to understand, thanks to Susan Cain’s research and my own extensive writing on the subject.

Every new mother has been warned about the possibility of post-partum depression. The obstetrician asks barely-veiled questions about whether we have a hard time getting out of bed (seriously? Because the answer is yes, always) just before giving us the green-light to engage in the activity that got us here in the first place. Rather than declaring our lady parts to be game-day ready, maybe OBs need to do a personality screening for their patients. Because I have it on good authority (mine) that introverts such as myself are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to adjusting to life with kids.

If introverts draw energy from time spent alone, then the math works out like this: introverted mom + dependent and ever-present children = one drained woman. It took awhile for me to admit this was happening in my own life because, come on–am I such a jerk that my introversion applies even when it’s just my family around, and that family has needs? (And by needs, I mean turn the TV on or remove a now-disgusting but once favorite food from a dinner plate). Then I noticed my short fuse, my constantly flagging energy (even once I started getting sleep), and a nagging sense of despair coupled with a need to escape–and it all felt really familiar. Like a party I had attended too long that was too loud and too crowded. Continue reading

The Realistic Dietitian #5: Winter’s Last Stand

As I write this, I realize that I really didn’t have much of a “theme” when cooking this week. The closest thing would be “stuff my husband likes.” I lightened up a buffalo chicken salad, made some Chorizo tacos, used Sriracha when making a Thai fresh noodle bowl, and made a sweet-potato-and-lentil stew. Okay, that last one was mainly for me. I blame the weather—one day it snowed, the next it was 60 degrees. I was confused. Should I make comforting, warm meals, or light, fresh, springy meals? So I did a bit of both. In the coming weeks I’m excited to start cooking more springy dishes using seasonal veggies like sugar snap peas, asparagus, ramps, rhubarb, berries, and summer squashes. This week I still have some winter dishes (the stew), but in honor of the first day of spring this week, I kicked off the season with a springy dessert: berry lemonade bars!

Since I’m lacking a theme, I’ll briefly discuss a topic I am frequently asked about: snacking and meal spacing. To begin, I can’t stress how important it is to eat something within an hour of waking up (two hours at the most). I’ll save my breakfast speech for a future breakfast-themed post, but for now I’ll just say that breakfast kick-starts your metabolism for the day. Evidence also shows that people who eat breakfast are less likely to impulse-eat and snack on unhealthy options later in the day. More generally, I recommend eating something every four to five hours to maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin levels, encourage an active metabolism, and keep energy levels up. Going longer than that can lead to intense hunger cravings (when your blood sugar drops too low), and overindulging at the next meal. Snacks should be nutrient-dense and should contain a carbohydrate and a lean protein. Examples of balanced snacks include an apple and 1/4 cup almonds, hummus and baby carrots, edamame beans, plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, crackers and part-skim cheese, or a high-fiber granola bar (made without high fructose corn syrup, with three-to-five grams of fiber or more, less than eight grams of sugar, and at least five grams of protein—Larabars, Fiber One Protein bars, Kind bars, and Kashi Granola bars fit the bill). Snack size depends on the person and the nutritional needs, but keeping them at 200 calories or less is a good bet for the average person.

You may not need a snack between breakfast and lunch, but most people go more than four-to-five hours in between lunch and dinner, so that would be an optimal time for one of the above suggestion. Speaking of dinner…. enjoy this week’s recipes! Continue reading