No Child Left Inside

Remember how awesome it was to be a little kid? How you spent so much time in your own head, imagining that your backyard was a pirate ship, your bike was a horse and the woods were your make-believe home? My bestie and I would spend hours on her acre of wooded property, making forts and sneaking into the neighbor’s yard to feed apples to their horse.

Yeah, my youth was pretty idyllic.

I am not sure that outside-all-day, berry-picking, lost-in-the-woods, be-back-by-dusk childhood is all that common anymore. Maybe that is why the childhood obesity rate is 16.9% and why it isn’t uncommon to see seven-year olds with Iphones. What a strange world we live in.

I have decided that if I have kids they will wear recycled pillow cases (fashioned into draw string like dress bags), they will play with wooden toys, live on a farm, play in the dirt and never interact with the outside world. Which means I will live on a commune or be a part of a cult…?

Never let me have children.

I think about kids a lot because I work at a hospital; a hospital that only treats kids. A place where there are a lot of kids who are really sick. It makes me think about how many kids there are that aren’t battling cancer, that aren’t going through chemotherapy every other day, but are still slowly decreasing their chances at a healthy life because of the world and society around them.

Heavy stuff this morning, I know.

All of these thoughts led me to sign up as a running buddy for an incredible organization. Girls on the Run is an international non-profit that runs a 10-week after school program for 3-5 grade girls. It teaches them about positive body image, self love and trains them for a 5k. Basically, it rocks my world.

I spent my Monday afternoon running (let’s be real, it was mainly walking and then sprinting down hills) 3.5 miles with two 3rd grade girls. They were the cat’s pajamas. We talked about school, family, pets, their hopes to go to college together, live together and work as zoo keepers together (bless). It was the best way to spend a Monday. It reminded me that kids are resilient. That perhaps there is a bit of hope when it comes to the next generation.

To top all of this magic off, it is spring and that means rhubarb and asparagus (I am lacking a smooth transition today, oops). After eating a breakfast of vegan, gluten-free banana pancakes with homemade nutella (what?!? So delish) at my favorite spot for a bestie’s birthday we popped by the Ballard Farmers Market.

Perfection looks like bundle after bundle of fresh asparagus. It looks like baskets of fern fronds and bushels of arugula. Perfection is the realization that we are entering the time of year when eating local produce is easy. SO. MANY. VEGETABLES.

Thank heavens.

I bought the rhubarb on a whim. Mainly because it was so beautiful and my excitement got the better of me. This spontaneous purchase resulted in making a batch of rhubarb compote—one of the easiest things to make in the world. This delicious, honey sweetened concoction is best when plopped on coconut milk yogurt or ice cream. Highly recommended.

It is quite the way to ring in the spring. (Rhyming! Huzzah!)

Honey Sweetened Rhubarb Compote

4 cups rhubarb

½ cup water

¼ honey

Juice of ½ lemon

-Wash and cut up rhubarb into thin chunks.

-Place all ingredients (except honey) in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

-Reduce to a simmer and cook down until rhubarb is soft—about 15/20 minutes—stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

-After the compote has cooled, pour through a fine sieve to get rid of the excess liquid.

-Add the honey and stir everything together.

-Put in an adorable jar and pop on whatever tickles your fancy.

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