Category Archives: Farm and Garden

Early C Section in Arkansas

What’s a Doula? You have Options.

When it came to birthing babies, I knew I didn’t want to do it in the hospital.  I had all 4 of my sons at home with my dear midwife who is still one of my best friends almost 20 years after the birth of my first son.

Pregnant with Ben 2005
Pregnant with Ben 2005

Now I can’t remember how I knew that I could have a midwife assisted birth.  It seems to have been something I knew about all my life.  I realize that many people don’t even realize that birth doesn’t have to be done in a hospital setting, and probably even less realize that you can hire a Doula to help you with your birth whether you choose a hospital or a home birth.  I didn’t know what a doula was until I was in my late 20s, early 30s.

Before we go any further I want to say that I am grateful that we have hospitals in the event of complications in the birth process.  It is tremendous to know that if something goes wrong there is a place where people are trained to handle those emergencies.

The midwife assisted c-section rate in Arkansas is 3%.  Nationwide the midwife assisted c-section rate is between 3 to 4.4%.

That means 4 women out of 100 have major cesarean section surgery with a midwife.  Nationwide.  Pretty good odds.

Here in Arkansas in hospitals, the rate of c-sections (in 2012) was 35.7%.  That’s 11,486 general anesthesia, cesarean sections in one state in one year.

That means 36 women out of 100 (or more than 1 in 3) have major cesarean section surgery if they give birth in a hospital.  Wow. 

Zach holding Baby Ben just before he was born.
Zach holding Baby Ben just before he was born.

There are lots of reasons for that that I won’t go into right now.  Suffice it to say that just with those numbers if you are in your child bearing years, you might want to weigh your options.  Or maybe you didn’t know you had options.

In Europe, midwives attend over 70% of births.  In the U.S. 7.9% of births are attended by midwives.

The United States is 36th in the world for infant mortality rate among developed countries.

What are we doing wrong?

Well, it’s complicated.  I won’t go into depth about the complexities right now, but I will say that our babies are coming too early.  Whether it is a planned cesarean, or a poverty stricken mother unable to carry her baby to term.  We need to care for our mothers better and stop treating birth like an emergency (unless it is one), and more like a process.

Newborn Ben, born at home
Newborn Ben, born at home

I knew I wouldn’t be able to relax in the cold white, cement block walls of an institution with people I didn’t know running in and out of my birth room on their own agenda, peeking up under my carriage and feeling around whether I was ready or not, telling me I had to lay down so they could monitor my progress from the nurses station.  Giving birth was the most primal thing I have ever done in my life.  I wanted to do it at home, moving around at will, standing, squatting, pacing, surrounded by people I love (my mom, husband, kids, friends, midwife), while my mom baked cinnamon rolls.

That’s how we do birth at the Finn house.

And I’m loud when that baby is coming out.  There is a sound that comes out of a woman when she is giving birth that is like the portal between two worlds.  If I hear that sound now it makes me cry.  I’ve heard a similar sound in the wailing after the passing of loved ones.  It’s uncanny, and I could never imitate or recreate that sound again.  It’s like something opens up inside of you that is not of this world.

I can’t imagine doing that in a hospital.

I can imagine that if I were in a setting where I didn’t feel free to open up my body and turn completely inward, supported by the people I love, that I would be more susceptible to needing a c-section.  If I couldn’t move about the way my body wanted me to, if I had to submit to timed cervical examinations, if I were self conscious about what was happening, I know I would have been more susceptible to having a c-section.

Some people just feel more comfortable with the idea of giving birth in a hospital where all the emergency equipment is (midwives also carry emergency equipment, but not for major surgery).  And we’re lucky now to have more options with the Birth Center that just opened up in Northwest Arkansas.  That way you get the best of both worlds, a medical facility with mama and baby centered care in a comfortable setting.

Early C Section in Arkansas
Early C Section in Arkansas

On April 28, 2014, Arkansas Medicaid Director William Golden said “nearly half of the babies born in the hospital statewide in 2009 were born prior to 39 weeks because of elective delivery. Frankly, the data was pretty bad,” Golden said.

All of these things just to say that you have options.  Just because the majority of births happen in the hospital in the United States doesn’t mean that it’s been good for our mortality rates.  More information is better.  And we are fortunate to live in an area with a thriving community of midwives, doulas, and educators about birth.  (But we also live in an area where the medical school UAMS has a 39% c-section rate, and one of the main birthing hospitals has a 35% c-section rate).

Which brings me back to what I really wanted to talk to you about in the first place.  I love Jessica Crass.  She has worked with us at I.M. Spa for 3 and a half years and we are so lucky to have her.  She is a talented massage therapist, ex-social worker, traveler, and farmer.  Last year after helping a good friend through her birth process, the attending midwife, Jennifer Creel (from Terra Tots) mentioned that Jessica should consider training as a Doula.

Jessica is a member of DONA International and Northwest Arkansas Doula Connection.  She has one more birth to attend to be a certified Doula, trained to offer physical, educational, and emotional support during the months leading up to birth, as well as during the birth process.

If I were ever going to have a hospital birth I would definitely want a Doula, somebody who knows my birth plan, who knows what I want and don’t want, somebody whose sole job is to help me make it through the marathon that is birth.  I would want somebody who knew the ropes sticking up for me when I’m not in the best position to stick up for myself.

And if I were to have another home birth(which ain’t ever gonna happen again praise the lord.  I love the birth process, but enough is enough), having a Doula would be icing on the cake in the supportive atmosphere of my home.

If you are examining your birthing options, don’t rule out a midwife assisted birth, because it is by the numbers the most reliable, best track record kind of birth you can have.  But also, consider hiring a Doula.  There is so much to learn about birth, and there are so many decisions to make.

Giving birth is like running a marathon.  You need a support crew on the way.  You can do it!  Go team!  Go team go!

Our whole family after the birth at home
Our whole family after the birth at home

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

A Spa Day in the Life

A spa day in the Life.

Woke up this morning, homemade raw granola with almond milk for breakfast.  Drove to the food co-op to refill the spa water jug and bought a Kale, Lime, and Apple juice drink.  Pulled into work at the spa.  It’s Farmer’s Market today so big crowd downtown and all the local shops have outdoor sales today because it is the Dog Days of Summer sale.  Dark Star Visuals, Flying Possum Leather, Swift’s Jewelers, Town and Country, Terra Tots, The Mustache.  These are the people that make up the fabric of our community.  I love them.

Went by Little Bread Company to pick up chocolate covered strawberries for a spa girl party at I.M. Spa.

Farmer’s Market with beautiful bouquets walking by, babies in strollers, dog’s on leashes.  Music on every corner.  Fresh blackberries, cause you know it’s July.  Zucchini, lettuce, TOMATOES!  Lots of tomatoes.  Good tomatoes.  Beefsteak tomatoes.  Basil and rosemary, and everything that smells like summer.  And did I mention bouquets?  Big, beautiful bouquets.

At work we did a spa party for 10 year old girls while their moms walked the market.  We did another spa party for a bride to be and 5 of her friends.  I did a foot massage for some poor sweet neuropathic feet.  I did a stress point massage for an aerial dance teacher who had no idea how tight her teres major, teres minor, and subscapularis were.  Another hour and a half massage for somebody whose 12 year old daughter conspired with relatives to buy her some spa time, how awesome is that?

Body waxes and duets happened in our space today.

A friend came by with her daughter and we dreamed about going to Tahoe for a girl’s week.  I got to see an employee whom I have not seen since she had her baby.  I love her.

Another friend came by to see if she had money on her account.  She didn’t want to use it, she’s just saving it for a rainy day.  Her baby is due soon.  She’s waiting, but she is happy  knowing she has a gift certificate.

Another woman bought $500 worth of gift certificates for 3 of her employess with gift bags of soaps as a beautiful addition.

Had C.H.E.W. (Clunk’s Hungry Express Wagon) deliver some sushi while I balanced the drawer.

11 hour day in the life of a spa girl.

Now to put on my Nursing Student Cap.  I have a test over 6 chapters of pathophysiology on Monday.  Better get cracking.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.


Meet the I.M. Spa Girls

Our Lovely I.M. Spa Crew at Cosmic Cafe
Our Lovely I.M. Spa Crew at Cosmic Cafe

On our work retreat Spa Girl Travel escape to Dallas, we set out to 1.  Spend many hours at a spa lounging, 2. Explore Raw, Vegetarian, or Vegan restaurants, and 3.  Spend time with each other, not passing each other in the hallway on the way to our next treatment at work (we work at I.M. Spa).

Jennie, Julie, and Katie at our Hotel
Jennie, Julie, and Katie at our Hotel

We really have a great crew.

Jennie is our quilting queen who flies the front desk and makes sure all of our appointments come together as planned.  She writes the newsletter for the quilter’s organization in Northwest Arkansas in her downtime.  And she’s a joy to everyone she meets.  She loves this picture she took outside of the Cosmic Cafe Vegetarian restaurant in Dallas when we were there.

Cosmic Cafe Smiley Face
Cosmic Cafe Smiley Face

Julie is our sports massage gal from Iowa.  She just got married, lord help her.  Hope is in the air.  It’s a beautiful thing.  She loves to upcycle old decrepit furniture and make it beautiful again, especially if she can do it with her family members.  She’s like the stealth bomber.  We never really know when she arrives at work because she’s so stealthy.  And she has an amazing smile.

Katie is our certified skin nerd.  She loves skincare, body waxing, skincare products, and anything to do with skin.  She spends her downtime traveling to awesome concerts across the country, even as far as Boston.  We have songs on our playlist in the treatment rooms at I.M. Spa that Katie and I have to control ourselves to keep from just outright dancing during a session.  So yes, while your eyes are closed during your facial or massage appointment, we might just be dancing while we work.

Lisa is our professional people poker. (Acupuncturist or Doctor of Oriental Medicine if you prefer).  She is so zen that sometimes I just sit next to her to catch the vibe.  She’s a no drama mama of 2 from New York who had a miraculous recovery with acupuncture, couldn’t believe that people didn’t know about it, and decided that that was what she wanted to do with her life.  Pretty cool.

Jessica Crass is our powerhouse farmgirl from Missouri who traveled the world, got an education in social work, went to massage school in New Mexico, and settled in to Northwest Arkansas to have a family farm, raise a family, and build community.  When people ask me if the therapists at I.M. Spa give a deep enough massage I tell them that Jessica drives a tractor for crying out loud.  Yep.  And she’s a Doula to boot.  Hard and soft all at the same time.

Jessica. Gotta Love a Tractor Driving Gal.
Jessica. Gotta Love a Tractor Driving Gal.

Jessica Patterson, Nora, and Andrea couldn’t make it with us on the trip to Dallas.  Nora, who’s been with me since 2006, just had her second son, so she’s tied down for a while in attachment parenting land.  Nora is solid and steady as a rock.  She’s a ‘can do’ woman who loves gardening and making tinctures, crafting, and projects (like re-upholstering a chair).

Andrea, our gymnast, Ultimate playing, massage therapist trained in Oregon is similarly tied down with her sweet one year old son.  And these days we only see her intermittently.

And Patterson, our multi-talented esthetician/massage therapist is still adapting to her move to Fayettevelle from East Arkansas and needs to put down a few more roots before any travel plans can be made.  Maybe they’ll make it with us on the next trip.

These are the amazing women who make I.M. Spa tick.  They are funny, grounded, community serving, hard, soft, loving, determined, creative, flexible, beautiful, and excellent at their jobs.  They are integral threads in the fabric of our community, and I’m honored to be able to work with them and have them in my life on a daily basis.

Fayetteville is a better place because of these women.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.


Be Raw! Live Long! A Raw Food Review.

We Spa Girls from I.M. Spa, as a work retreat, just traveled to Dallas to relax at the spa and discover excellent raw food and we were not disappointed!  Even though Dallas sadly only has one Raw Food restaurant (that I could find) the food there was beautiful and delicious, and the service was spectacular.

Be Raw!  Live Long.
Be Raw! Live Long.

When I’m checking out a new raw food restaurant, what I’m looking for is something that I’m not already doing myself.  What does this restaurant do that is different and awesome?  It turns out that while Be Raw covers the the standard spaghetti and meatballs, the Pad Thai, and Taco Salad, this dish, the Coconut Kale Enchiladas, stole the show.

Raw Food Coconut Kale Enchiladas
Raw Food Coconut Kale Enchiladas

Not only is it beautifully presented, but it is so yummy and complex.  Marinated Kale wrapped in coconut meat wraps, and drizzled with 2 types of raw cashew cheeses.  And yes those are green and red picos on the side.

If you have never encountered coconut wraps before let me just tell you that they are not easy to prepare at all.  To make them you have to use a cleaver to open a Thai coconut, scrape out the meat, whiz it up in a blender with your spices, and dehydrate them.  It’s a process.

I felt very decadent eating such hard work.

And for dessert?

Raw Food Brownie
Raw Food Brownie

Be Raw has some amazing desserts and this one was fantastic.  I have not yet ventured into the world of brownies with my raw food time in the kitchen, but this one certainly gives me something to aspire to.

What the other Spa Girls were having?

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Raw Food Lasagna
Raw Food Lasagna








Raw Food Taco Salad
Raw Food Taco Salad


Pad Thai
Pad Thai

Chocolate Cashew Cheesecake!  AAAAaaauuuuuuggghhhhh!  To die for!

Raw Food Cashew Chocolate Cheesecake
Raw Food Cashew Chocolate Cheesecake
Service With Enthusiasm
Service With Enthusiasm

Our server was fabulous.  Animated, enthusiastic, and educating everybody who had never been there before about what it means to eat raw.  You can’t see his shirt completely, but it has a picture of a dinosaur on it with text that says Lacinato Kale (dinosaur kale).  And in the teeth of the dinosaur he had colored in bits of green to show that the dinosaur had in fact been eating kale.

The I.M. Spa Girls, not including me, putting a smile on even though I am keeping them from eating.
The I.M. Spa Girls, not including me, putting a smile on even though I am keeping them from eating.

We all loved our food and  Jessica and I were still stuffed when we arrived home 5 hours later.  We also went to King Spa and Cosmic Cafe during this trip.  Details yet to come!  Fun Fun!

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.


Working, Student, Mom

This week has been intense.

What I have done this week:

  1. Completed the 2nd week of Pathophysiology class, finished reading 8 chapters, 3 quizzes, and 3 chapters of learning objectives, and reviewed for our first exam (which will be tomorrow.  Yes, I’m nervous).
  2. Cooked 2 huge tuna casseroles for my two middle children who were celebrating their Half Birthday because I couldn’t plan their party in January because my schedule was too intense then–haha!

    Birthday For My Two January Boys Who Had to Wait Till June to Celebrate!
    Birthday For My Two January Boys Who Had to Wait Till June to Celebrate!
  3. Prepared 2 huge bowls of raw pad thai for the party.
  4. Made raw carmelized onion bread and spread.
  5. Took the whole family (plus my cousins and uncle who came to visit from Texas) blueberry picking.  It’s a tradition and we love it.

    My Fabulous Uncle Rufus Picking Blueberries!
    My Fabulous Uncle Rufus Picking Blueberries!
  6. Made raw blueberry cobbler for everybody.
  7. Hosted 2 nights of parties for my 2 half birthday boys.  On Friday night we had three extra 15 year olds over to spend the night and they were having airsoft wars in the dark until 3 in the morning.  On Saturday night we had three extra 12 year olds over and they were wrestling in the living room until 3 in the morning.
  8. Worked at the spa on Friday and just a little bit on Saturday.
  9. Payroll, data entry, and two interviews for work.
  10. I’m pretty sure I’m missing some stuff, but that’s a pretty good representation.

A friend saw me while I was out picking up the birthday cake for the boys and suggested we catch up over tea.  I may have time for that next summer.  Time passes so fast at this pace.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

Keep on Strolling-Junk Food and What is Normal in our Culture

Made it through the first round of tests at school with all A’s but one B (88% bah!).  I’ve got all my business taxes taken care of and just need to finish my personal taxes.  The spa is trucking right along.  We made it through an amazingly busy Valentine’s week and had the biggest grossing day in the history of the business.  (I think everybody getting released from the ice and snow helped push that along).  I did 22 massages that week and it was the week I had 3 tests.

9 more days till March and about 2 and a half months till final exams.

With the weather change I’ve been able to run everywhere with my stroller.  Today I had to eat at the Union because I didn’t pack enough food and a woman stopped me before I could get out because she wanted to ‘see the baby.’

There is no baby.  Yes I push a jogging stroller everywhere I go, and the baby is my baccalaureate of science in nursing.  So if you see me in public, I’m the weird lady pushing a stroller full of business clothes, computer, school books, and raw food.  Cuz when I leave the house in the morning I have many hats to wear, and they all gotta come with me.

Zachary got his braces off this week.  He’s so happy.  And his teeth are so straight.  While I was waiting for him to get done with his 2 hour appointment, I watched Khan Academy videos about Metabolism and tried not to fall asleep.  When Zach came out he had a bag of ‘goodies’ for doing such a great job.  In the bag?  Candy.  Tons of Candy.

Yes, I was speechless.  No, I don’t want to be the food Nazi, but seriously?  The reward for getting your braces off is that you are now free to destroy your health as efficiently as possible.  Congratulations.  No thank you.

I took Zach to Penguin Ed’s, a local restaurant, for one of their homemade cookies as a consolation prize for giving all the junk food back to the Orthodontist.

I think I will forever be known as the weird unstable mom in that office whenever I go back again.

It’s very surreal living in this culture, knowing what I know about food and clean burning fuel for my body, and jogging with my weird jogging stroller past these ‘normal’ stores that probably don’t have one piece of fresh, real food in them, but are filled with snickers bars, cheetos, m&ms, kellogg’s nutri grain bars, etc. etc.  Walls full of garbage, stores full of poisonous fake food.  It’s surreal living in a culture where it is normal to reward kids, actually today one of my teachers actually rewarded our class–a class of adults, with candy.  It’s surreal living in a culture where I feel strange drinking strawberry, banana, coconut oil, cashew, and dates out of a mason jar, but I would feel ‘normal’ if I had a throw away Starbucks cup and a Snickers.

Wow, I had no idea that huge soap box was just going to jump right out on the page, but there it is.

Keep on strolling.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

We’re All Addicts

Addict-1.  to cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit forming substance.  2.  To occupy (oneself) with or involve (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively. From the

Two weeks ago in Sunday school for the teen group, one of the youth leaders, Hershey Garner said, “We are all addicts.”  I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  It’s so true.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s heroin overdose this week is another tragic reminder of how hard it is to be in a body on the planet.  For me it is crucial not to look at Phillip Seymour Hoffman from the outside and say, ‘sucks for him.’  It sucks for all of us.  For me it’s crucial that I recognize that I’m no different than him.  No, I’m not a heroin addict, thank God, but I’m a human in a body, dealing with addiction.  We all are.

Whether it’s shopping, eating, working, gambling, alcohol, drugs, drama, or (here’s a good one) the way we repeat our behaviors in relationship, we’re all addicts.

I don’t watch much TV, so  I’m not familiar with Russell Brand’s work.  But I did see a piece he wrote about addiction that was spot on.  I love that the answer, at the end of the piece, his salvation, is another addict.  We’re all addicts.

Another TV reference I’m more familiar with, I have been known to stay up late and watch him because he makes me laugh out loud, is Craig Ferguson.  Craig did a monologue one night about alcohol addiction that is so brutally honest and fabulous.  He speaks as Russell did about the daily life long vigilance it takes to remain substance free.

These are men who see their addiction for what it is and are hitting it head on.

Today in my twitter feed I saw this article from Good Morning America referring to the “biggest study of its kind,” a study linking sugar intake to heart fatalities.  My first reaction was indignation (my own compulsive behavior at work).  ‘How many studies do they have to do to prove this?  Seriously?’  That’s what was happening in my brain.  We have huge buildings across the country filled with poison labeled as food (grocery stores).  In particular I’m fascinated with gas station ‘foods.’  Skittles, M&Ms, Doritos, doughnuts, hot dogs, corn dogs, pizza.  It’s enough to send a raw food gal into post traumatic stress disorder.  And still we have to have more studies to show that it’s causing heart fatalities?

We have a whole country full of nonfood disguised as food, and hospitals full of sickness as a result of nonfood ingestion, so it’s good we have people doing these studies to keep drawing awareness to our food (or nonfood as the case may be) addictions.  According to the Center for Disease Control heart disease is THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH  in the United States.  Hopefully more and more of us will see our addiction for what it is, like Ferguson and Brand, hit it head on, and reclaim our lives.  We are all addicts.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.


I.M. Spa Girls on the Road!

We had a staff meeting at I.M. Spa, my favorite workplace in the whole wide world, the Friday before I started classes at the University of Arkansas to study Nursing.  In addition to talking about what we needed to do to pull together while I was time challenged (to say the least) with classes, we also talked about what we would do to celebrate when we made it through to the end of Final Exams in May.  And no I won’t be completely finished then, I will still have 4 semesters to go.  We’ll have to travel after every semester I think.

All of us I.M. Spa girls are going to all pile into my minivan for a road trip to Visit Dallas to steam it up at King Spa and whatever other cool spa like places and Raw Food Restaurants we can discover.  I’m going to need some serious relaxation after working at the spa, being mom to my 4 boys, and going to school full time.

To make it more interesting though, we need suggestions for where to go on the way and while we’re there.  So if you reply on the bottom of this blog post with a great suggestion for where we can go and we’ll put your name in a drawing to win $100 worth of Spa Services at I.M. Spa, or, if the winner is not close to Fayetteville we’ll send them a $100 gift basket.  We’re interested in–Spas, great independent bodywork places, hot springs, Farmer’s Markets, Raw Food restaurants, yoga studios, independent businesses that make Dallas unique, and must sees.

For instance our friend Alpha, who is like the sun shining so bright, mentioned an amazing foot massage place in Frisco.  I’ve got to get with her to get the name of that place.  Suggestions like that are gold to us.

  • So here’s the deal:
  • get together your favorite places in Dallas, or in between Dallas and Fayetteville. Spas, independent businesses, hot springs, yoga studios, raw food restaurants, or things that you’ve heard about but haven’t been to yet. Each one can be a separate entry.
  • post them in a reply at the bottom of this blog post
  • or post them on our Facebook Page
  • or post them on our Twitter Account.  We’ll hashtag #itouchpeople on our trip so you can see what we’re up to.
  • we’ll draw for a winner when we SURVIVE Spring Semester at UofA and come back from Dallas!
  • look for our upcoming posts for pictures and a full report!

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

Raw Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Pumpkins are huge.  Big cheap food.  Loaded with good stuff.

Beta carotenes, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folic acid.  All that blood building, cancer fighting goodness.

I bought a ginormous pumpkin to play with for $5.  Raw pumpkin pie, pumpkin smoothie, and this amazing pumpkin chili.  I had no idea that you could make chili with pumpkin.  But it’s 40 degrees outside today and this pumpkin chili is warming me up from the inside.

5 cups pumpkin

2tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

2 Tbl Chili Powder

1 tsp onion powder

2 cloves garlic

1/2 onion

1 thai chili

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

2 stalks celery

Blend it in the blender till it’s nice and warm, adding water as necessary to get the right consistency.  When it’s smooth and warm, add fresh corn for texture and cooling effect.  It’s pretty spicy!