Through Kahlo's Eyes
Kahlo is named for Frida Kahlo, an incredibly strong, creative, warrior (my words!) Mexican painter whom I have always admired a great deal. She is also named for my paternal grandmother who carried great grace and strength in her lifetime as well. I believe that my abuela is my guardian angel and Frida Kahlo is a goddess, so I couldn't think of a better pair of names to bestow on our miracle baby. Glad her daddy agreed!
From the moment Kahlo took her first breath, crawled up my chest screaming, and found her way to my breast, I began seeing the world through her eyes. I had waited many years to become a mother, in fact I thought my time had already come and gone, but then she chose me and the universe allowed it. My body miraculously grew her inside me -- despite my age, despite my misgivings, despite my fears of failing at holding (to me) one of the most important roles in life. Perhaps she grew because I wanted nothing more and the ancestors and God saw fit to bless me. Whatever the reason, I am forever grateful. I have never been more "me" than the day I became her mother.
Every week I was in awe of how my body changed in order to support this little one's needs. Also, I was in awe of how much my body was no longer just mine. I was in culinary school and my mind was like a sieve. One day I actually showed up to class when a very important paper was due and I had completely forgotten about it. To make it worse, I had already written it the week before but had simply left it untitled and never printed it out. The worst! I actually left class and cried for 10 minutes. Hormones! So, while I was blessed with an incredible pregnancy, I was incredibly tired and absent-minded.
I looked to what I was eating, and feeding my child, to combat the fatigue. It started simply: I made smoothies every morning, with a base of avocado and banana, that would sustain my body and my mind (recipe to follow). My only "craving," if I can call it that, while pregnant was fruit. I ate a LOT of it. After she came into the world, I continued to consider what I was consuming because I wanted my milk to deliver all the nutritional (and flavor!) punches it could. I ate healthy portions of protein, a lot of veggies and fruit, and kept up with my grains and carbs. Breastfeeding is no joke! I could never eat enough to satisfy my hunger. (I don't know who these women are that said they lost weight when they were breastfeeding, curse you! JK!) When Kahlo began eating solids, I made my own baby food from organic fruits, veggies and chicken. I did not realize I was creating food traditions with her, teaching her through her palate, but I was indeed. And please know, I am no Suzie Homemaker. I just had this desire to provide the best that I could for my little one. It was the only thing driving me.
After culinary school, and when Kahlo was almost one, I went back to work full-time. I would get home later than I wanted from my new food retail job (not ready to go back to the kitchen yet!). The bedtime routine with my daughter had changed and not in a good way. I wanted to create a better one. Plus, I could only rub her feet for so long to make her sleepy (thanks Daddy for starting THAT trend!) so I considered the tradition of telling stories. Only, I realized that I really did not have a repertoire of stories to tell. I made a few up, which she enjoyed, but then I decided one night to search the internet for something even more meaningful. Because of my particular interest in food and my Peruvian heritage, I did a search for Peruvian legends and myths. I stumbled upon this beautiful video called El origen de la quinua on YouTube (this is also posted on our video page!) and this became one of the our go-to bedtimes stories. It is also the inspiration for my going back to school.
Recently, I came to understand that all my loves and interests are slowly converging into one tangible purpose: a storytelling mama. The only way I could figure out how to express it all was by creating a blog and a YouTube channel with Kahlo. She was, and is, that secret sauce that brings it all together. My interest in food history and food sovereignty, paired with the ever-growing love I have for my daughter, our love for cooking with one another, and the lengths I go to feeding my child (not always an easy task!) and making it fun has finally found a home here. I hope, as our stories and experiences unfold , you will stay along with us for this journey. We would love to hear your comments! Saludos a todos!!
Forgetful Mama Smoothie - one serving
1/2 cup whole fat yogurt (You're growing a baby! Or, you're feeding a baby!)
1/4-1/2 cup 2% milk
Handful blueberries or papaya* or guava (this part you can use any kind of fruit you'd like)
1/2- 1 Teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
Honey to taste (optional)
Using a single-serving cup and your blender, place all ingredients in cup and blend the heck out of it. Serve. How easy was that?
*Papaya helps breastfeeding moms produce more milk, they say!
Pro tip: For other forms of protein you can also blend in some cooked quinoa or pinto beans! Changes the texture a bit but it's still tasty! Also, adding greens can be nice but since I tend to have an issue with forming bladder stones, no spinach for me!