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Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Are You REALly Ready for a Baby?

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

I knew nothing about real food and natural living when I got pregnant with my first child. And there was nothing natural about the process of fertility treatments with no explanation why my body wasn’t working.

Fast forward a few years (and more treatments and another child) to when I got pregnant naturally with my third. I knew so much more. My lifestyle was so drastically different (like drinking raw milk and eating raw liver instead of being terrified of anything raw during pregnancy).

It was almost like for the first time I was REALly ready for a baby.

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

What Was Missing?

As I look back on all three pregnancies there is one thing I wish I had had – a week-by-week guide based on a traditional way of living.

For all you mamas-to-be you are in luck! It does exist now!!

The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide To Pregnancy and Childbirth has everything you ever wanted to know – from what’s going on during the first two weeks (that you aren’t actually pregnant) to natural birthing options, placenta encapsulation and best stroller options. For real, it has everything!

Genevieve Howland (author and founder of mamanatural.com) has helpful tips on easing morning sickness naturally, what nutrients you and your baby need at different stages and the benefits of breastfeeding.

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Great Read

I’m a Type A person that wants to read every little detail about what’s going on during pregnancy. I sometimes wish there was a day-by-day or hour-by-hour handbook (seriously, I’d read it). So it’s been so fascinating (even when not pregnant!) to read this amazing resource.

In fact, it’s so cool I’ve caught my nine-year-old reading it!! I’m just careful about which parts she’s reading.

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Get Yourself Ready

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or know someone else who is this book is a MUST! Grab a copy for yourself and one to give away.

Looking back on my baby shower there are really only a handful of things I needed – cloth diapers, a good baby carrier (love my BabyHawk!), a bouncy seat…and a pregnancy guide that showed me how to do things the REAL way.

Are you REALly ready for a baby? That’s kind of a loaded question – nobody is really. But whether you feel ready or not, the Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth is for you!

I have been compensated for my time to write this review but all opinions expressed are my own. I have not been paid to post a positive review.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Should You Force Feed a Picky Eater?

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

I am a big fan of gentle parenting. I like to let my kids make decisions, learn from their mistakes, listen to their bodies and follow their passions.

Really it is a great way to parent.

I want my kids to mature and be independent thinkers, not control their every move.

But that went out the window with my youngest when she was struggling to eat anything. She couldn’t listen to her body anymore because all she heard was fear.

Food meant pain. Food meant allergic reaction after allergic reaction. And she was too little to communicate how she felt. So she simply stopped eating.

What did I do?

I forced her to eat.

Now, before you become alarmed let me explain.

When my daughter was at the point of being afraid to eat I had to convince her brain and her belly that food could be safe. Which meant getting a few bites down.

Sometimes that meant giving her a few tortilla chips. Sometimes that meant offering her a cookie. The actual food didn’t matter. Just getting something in her empty stomach was the key.

But sometimes there was no food that would entice her enough to take a bite. And yes, sometimes I did have to try physically pushing a little bit of food into her mouth to get past the initial fear. But she sure is good at dodging that!

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Enter my Secret Weapon – Nourishing drinks!

Often with picky eaters or children having allergic reactions half of the battle is the chewing process. So I skipped that and started offering delicious drinks. To my great joy my daughter started drinking them!

Want to know what happened next?

She started eating solid food again! Simply getting some safe, nourishing food in her system was enough to replenish nutrients and stimulate her appetite. And that is such a critical point.

To be clear, this did NOT happen over night. This was a long process with many setbacks like new reactions and illness. Then it was back to square one of living on nutrient-dense drinks until she was refueled enough to eat again. This has been a two year journey!

he idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Variety is Key.

One key to using drinks for nourishment is variety. We all need an assortment of vitamins and minerals every day and every week. This is especially true for kids with allergies that need to rotate food.

Picky eaters are at risk for nutritional deficiencies. In fact, these deficiencies often cause picky eating in the first place! 

So I set out to create an assortment of delicious drinks that covered a broad spectrum of nutrients to alleviate the picky eating. And I want to share it with you!

If you struggle with any of the following in your child, this book is for you!

  • picky eating
  • oral sensory processing disorder
  • allergies
  • refusal to eat certain textures
  • slow weight gain/underweight
  • won’t eat many fruits and vegetables
  • won’t eat meat
  • craves starch/carbs
  • holds food in mouth/struggles with chewing

Want to know who else it’s for? Any parents that want to boost their child’s nutrition! Yes, this book really is for everyone.

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

What’s in it?

I offer simple, nourishing drinks to help get any picky eater back on track to full health and appetite. Kids and adults alike will love these drinks that include fun flavors like apple pie a la mode and peach cobbler. The recipes in Easy Nourishment For Picky Eaters work for those with allergies. They are even safe for children as young as 6 months. Don’t let picky eating get in the way of good health. Drink your way to a well-nourished body.

Yes, there are some days that I still have to “force” my daughter to eat…just get her to take one bite and remind her that food is not scary. Her favorite way is with a “chocolate shake” loaded with healthy fats and gut-healing collagen. That is my kind of force feeding!

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

It can be hard to feed an undernourished child. But take heart! He can be nourished with simple, nutrient-dense drinks. The best part is he won’t even know.

Do you have a picky eater? Did you know there could be a root cause?

Boost those nutrients and watch that picky eating turn around!

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Looking for more than nourishing drinks? Check out my other book Why Won’t My Child Eat?! that has in-depth information about how to assess and deal with a picky eater.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

There are so many components to good health and natural living. But some get in the way of others. Is is possible essential oils are detrimental to you natural lifestyle?

When Essentials Oils Are Detrimental To A Natural Lifestyle

There are so many components to good health and natural living. But some get in the way of others. Is it possible essential oils are detrimental to you natural lifestyle?

There are so many components to good health and natural living. But some get in the way of others. Is it possible essential oils are detrimental to you natural lifestyle?

What does a natural lifestyle mean to you?

That’s actually kind of tough to answer when you really think about it. There are so many components of a natural lifestyle. Sometimes so many that it’s overwhelming!

Essential Oil Boom

One aspect of natural living that has really grown in recent years is the use of essential oils.

When I first started this journey over six years ago that was not a term I had ever heard. Now it seems that every other friend is selling them.

I love seeing so many people feeling the pull towards a better way of living! It is so encouraging.

A Big Problem

There is just one glaring problem I see with essential oils.

THE USERS.

I see someone post a picture on Facebook of their current diffuser blend (usually some sort of stress relief for themselves or calming for their kids). The next post is of their hyper children with blue-stained faces from candy or neon-colored crackers.

Anybody else see the irony there??

There are so many components to good health and natural living. But some get in the way of others. Is it possible essential oils are detrimental to you natural lifestyle?

There’s more.

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing my thoughts on the down side of essential oils.

>>>READ THE REST HERE.

Then let me know what you think! Do you use essential oils? How large of a role do they play in your lifestyle?

 

 

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Does a Negative Allergy Test Put You In The Clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Allergy tests are great for pinpointing food reactions. All three of my kids have had multiple rounds of testing done.

Sometimes the test confirms a suspicion I have about a trigger food. Sometimes it helps me figure out a random allergy that I never would have guessed.

Not Always Accurate

But allergy tests are not 100% accurate. An IgE skin prick allergy test only checks for a reaction to the protein in the food. You could have a strong reaction to the sugar in a food (lactose intolerance is a great example) and test negative for an allergy.

An IgE blood test is even less accurate. It checks for antibodies in the blood to a specific food. It can help confirm a diagnosis after a skin prick test is positive. But it is not a very good diagnostic alone.

Food Sensitivities

IgG blood tests are a bit controversial. Some say they are great for detecting food “sensitivities”…actually called latent allergies. Others say this test can give different results every time. You could draw blood three times in the same day and get varying results.

I have done an IgG blood test for myself before. I had mixed feelings about its accuracy. So I’ve never done it for my kids.

All this to say that allergy tests absolutely have their place. And they are quite helpful for diagnosing allergies that range anywhere from mild to severe and life-threatening.

But just because an allergy test is negative does not mean you can throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want.

My Son

My son has been dealing with various degrees of allergies for many years. It started from birth with some reflux. Then at age two he developed bad eczema on his legs. Thus started our journey with allergy testing and food elimination.

Every time he is tested a slew of foods shows up. We cut them out, work on healing for a while and retest. 

But every time this has happened things have gotten a little more challenging. For example, rice showed up on his first allergy test. We cut it out. Six months later when he was retested the rice allergy was gone. Yet three years later he still can not eat rice without noticeable reactions.

Making Progress

In spite of some foods still causing problems we were making progress narrowing his list of reactive foods. Then in early 2016 after the onset of stomach aches and an inability to eat much he was retested.

To our shock he had a back full of welts. We were given a prescription for an epi-pen. And he was diagnosed with potentially anaphylactic allergies to nuts, dairy and a few other foods.

Wait, what happened over the last year that made his allergies go from mild and healing to life threatening??

Even though we didn’t have an answer to that question we moved forward, removing the necessary foods, always carrying an epi-pen, doing our best to keep him safe.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Not Fixxed

He had some reprieve for a bit. We were so happy to see him get an appetite back and really start growing.

But before too long he started having a lot of stomach aches again. Gradually they started to become more frequent. They prevented him from sleeping. They stopped him from eating well.

More Testing

It was back to the drawing board. We started by going to the pediatrician. We did a CBC and metabolic panel. We did urine and stool tests. All normal.

So it was back to the allergist for another round of testing, fearing another laundry list of foods to avoid.

And we got a huge shock!

Every single skin prick was negative. Not even a tiny bit of reaction. So we did the blood test. Again, all negative.

Nuts, dairy, wheat…everything…negative.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Although it was good news I was more confused than ever! The allergist (a new one) said his old test was likely inaccurate because foods were tested at the same time as airborne/environmental allergies.

Now what?

Do I just throw out his allergy list and let him eat whatever he wants? Do I trust the tests?

My husband and I both see glaring evidence of food reactions.

Digging Deeper

Well, I did what I do best. I observed, experimented and researched.

The thing is food reactions are a sign of a deeper issue.

Just because an allergy test is negative does NOT mean you can eat a particular food.

This is something I am very passionate about and believe so many parents could benefit from.

Behavior, digestion, skin, emotions…they are all impacted by the food you eat. Even healthy, nourishing food can create a negative reaction.

Case in point – my whole family (you can read more about it in my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!).

Experimenting

We gradually let my son try a few foods he’d been avoiding. His stomach aches increased in frequency. His mood declined. He started wetting the bed. He developed bad breath.

Then we let him try some goat’s milk. Wow.

The result was horrific meltdowns, almost as if he was a psychiatric patient. Anything and everything caused him to scream, cry, hit himself and berate himself. It’s a parent’s nightmare.

No amount of comforting him and trying to talk through his feelings helped. If his big sister wouldn’t play with him – meltdown. If I told him I was reading a book his little sister picked out before the book he picked out – meltdown. If he wasn’t crazy about some of the food on his plate – meltdown.

This list could go on and on.

After some charcoal and a few days off of dairy he returned to a more stable state.

Sadly it’s not just dairy that does this to him. There are quite a few foods, all with varying degrees of reactions.

I could also go through our entire family listing foods and reactions. Yet we all test negative for food allergies.

So now what?

What do you do if allergy tests are negative but food reactions are present?

You get help from others who have been there. You find doctors and practitioners who are willing to dig deeper and find a cure instead of simply avoiding certain foods.

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

Healthy Kids

In my book I teach you how to observe your child and not just accept the poor behavior. Find a root cause and fix it. Say goodbye to picky eating and temper tantrums.

Beyond Allergy Testing

If allergy testing isn’t giving you answers, here are some other conditions to consider.

  1. Overall gut dysfunction/leaky gut.
  2. Parasites – they are more common than you think. They tend to really act up around a full moon, so if your child is worse during that time it is something to consider.
  3. Slow metabolism.
  4. Thyroid disorders.
  5. Lack of sleep
  6. Mineral imbalance/nutritional deficiency

And here are some potential treatments.

  1. GAPS diet (Gut And Psychology Syndrome)
  2. Parasite cleanse
  3. Probiotics
  4. Digestive Enzymes
  5. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

 

You can also treat food reactions from a more neurological and physical perspective. This includes:

  1. Functional neurology
  2. Chiropractic care
  3. Craniosacral therapy
  4. Osteopathic manipulation therapy
  5. Energy healing
  6. Muscle response testing

Baby Steps

I don’t have all of the answers for you. We are still in the trenches with my son’s reactions, trying to find the correct path forward. 

I know we will keep digging until we find the problem and the solution. We will restore my son to full health. We will find health for our whole family!

A negative allergy test does not give you free reign on food.

You have to dig a little deeper. It’s more work, but so worth it! In the end you will be able to eat more of the nutritious food your body needs.

Have you or your children been tested for allergies? Was it helpful or confusing?

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

Make Bath Time Fun And Safe With LatherMitts! {Plus A Giveaway}

Want to make bath time fun and safe? Hold your baby tight with LatherMitts!

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

I have been compensated for my time commitment to review this product, but I have not been paid to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

I remember the first time I gave my oldest a real bath. It was exciting. It was an event.

Of course both mom and dad both had to be there. We got the little tub all set with some warm water. The towel was neatly laid out. A brand new wash cloth was ready and waiting. Clean clothes and diaper? Check.

Then we put her in. Whoa! Wait, you mean she might wiggle around while she’s all wet? Nobody ever told me how slippery a wet baby is!

Don’t worry, she didn’t wiggle out of my hands. No surprise dunks that day.

Of course with time you get better at it. And at some point they are big enough to sit up in the tub and the occasional dunk is pretty funny.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

A Better Way.

But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to keep a safe hold on your child and get them clean without fumbling around with a tiny wash cloth?

A creative mom Sarah Stapp invented LatherMitts to do just that!

LatherMitts fit snugly on mom or dad’s hands so you can hold your little one tight. No slippery hands! What’s even better is that the gloves are the wash cloth! No searching for a cloth in the bubbles.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

LatherMitts make bath time so easy!

They don’t just work for infants, though. I use them with my toddler and even my five year old. It’s so fun.

The only trouble we had is that my son said it tickled when I was washing his belly. I might have done that partly on purpose…

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

If you know me, you know I want quality when it comes to taking care of my kids. I especially  have to be careful with a son that has latex allergies. LatherMitts pass my test! Here are some of the features:

Safety: The gentle neoprene grip that lines LatherMitts’ thumb and forefinger ensures that squirmy, slippery kids are secure and safe in your hands. Neoprene, commonly used in wetsuits, is hypoallergenic, non-slip and is naturally resistant to oil, mildew and mold.

Quality: The rest of the glove is made of white organic cotton, perfect for a baby’s sensitive skin.

Dexterity: The glove design of LatherMitts allows you full use of both hands and all ten fingers, making it easy to get into hard-to-reach places like behind ears and under chins.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

Value: LatherMitts can be rewashed and reused again and again the same way you would use a washcloth. Bonus: since LatherMitts require no special care, you can throw them in with your towels.

Options: LatherMitts come in sizes small to extra large, so mom, dad or any caregiver can cover bathtime duties.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

Perfect For Everyone.

LatherMitts make a great gift for someone that is expecting or that just had a baby. They are unique and practical.

And yes, they do work for dads too. My husband even uses them.

My toddler thinks they are great toys as well.

Do you want to try LatherMitts? Sarah is so generously offering a pair to THREE of my readers!!

No more slippery baby! Hold your little one tight and get him clean with LatherMitts.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

Chocolate Filled Frozen Banana Bites

Sweet, creamy and a little taste of chocolate added in. These chocolate filled frozen banana bites are allergen friendly, easy to make and even great for teething toddlers!

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

With summer in full swing it’s nice to be able to give the kids a cold treat without loading them up on sugar. I do my best to make sure we have lots of time outside instead of spending a bunch of time inside the kitchen preparing food!

These frozen banana bites are fun to make and fun to eat. But so, so easy.

Knife skills.

Let your kids practice their knife skills by slicing the bananas. Then use a straw to make holes. Add a sucker stick or popsicle stick if you like and you’re halfway done with the preparation…and a three-year-old can be in charge!

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

A Safe Sweet.

My favorite part about chocolate filled frozen banana bites is that they are allergen friendly. Well…mostly. My son is allergic to both bananas and cocoa. But those allergies aren’t as common. Just be sure to use dairy free chocolate chips if you have dairy allergies (this is the brand I use).

Also use caution if you have a latex allergy as bananas can be cross-reactive.

Ready to get your kids in the kitchen and make a delicious, healthy treat? Check out the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse where your kids will have so much fun learning knife skills (among many other skills!). And whip up a batch of chocolate filled frozen banana bites together.

Now click here to head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing the recipe!

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

Looking for more cool summer treats? Try one of these:

Black Forest Popsicles

Blueberry Cheesecake Pops

Nectarine Squash Pops

Grain Free Peach Cobbler Creamsicles

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

Dairy Free Thin Mint Cookie Ice Cream

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

Simple Health Tips For Sleep-Deprived Moms

When you’re caring for little ones it’s hard to make time to care for yourself. Here are some simple health tips for sleep-deprived moms to keep you going.

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

The early days of motherhood are filled with joy, wonder and lots of snuggles. But they are also filled with sleepless nights, round-the-clock feedings, gassy tummies and lots of diaper changes.

Could you say that again? I was nodding off.

Being a mother of young children is exhausting to say the least. They require all of your attention and energy.

But that doesn’t mean you have to put your health and well-being on the back burner. Whether you just gave birth or you’re still nursing an energetic toddler there are some simple strategies any mom can use to stay healthy during this tiring phase.

You don’t need to add to your to-do list, buy special equipment or see an assortment of doctors. Follow these five simple health tips to keep yourself healthy and better able to care for your precious child. Plus I’ve got a bonus tip for those with older kids!

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

1. Do not diet.

It’s tempting. You want to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes. You want to get back in shape. But dieting is not the way to maintain your health. In fact, quite the opposite is true. When you have an infant or toddler, especially if you are breastfeeding, it is critical that you consume sufficient calories every day.

Your body needs energy to recover from pregnancy and birth (calories = energy!). You also need all around nourishment, including a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. There is no way to get what you need if you are cutting calories.

Dieting will also slow your metabolism, making you feel even more tired. Make sure you are eating plenty of food to meet your body’s needs. There is no set number of calories, but most women should consume a minimum of 2,000 calories a day just to maintain normal bodily functions. Increase that if you are breastfeeding or even mildly active.

2. Move your body gently.

Exercise is good. There’s no doubt about it. But what is better is movement. And during the infant stage your body does not need extra stress in the form of strenuous exercise. Instead try gentle movement throughout your day.

This can mean taking baby for an easy walk outside, doing a short yoga session or simply playing with your kids.

The goal postpartum is to allow your body time to recover. Recovery does not happen during periods of stress, which includes hard workouts. Save the marathon training and ab sculpting for when your kids are older.

One exercise routine you should include is core strengthening that is safe for diastasis recti to support your back and internal organs.

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

3. Get some sleep.

You may be laughing at this suggestion. It sounds simple yet impossible when you have a little one. But it is often overlooked. Make sleep a priority. During sleep is when the body works on reparation and healing.

Nap when the baby naps. Go to bed by 10:00 pm. Ask for help so you can rest.

You will feel better and recover faster.

4. Make your food count.

A calorie is not a calorie. You need to make your food count with a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Most moms in this phase are dealing with poor adrenal health. This means adequate carbohydrates and starch are essential. Carbohydrates can be anything from bananas and sweet potatoes to white rice and sourdough bread. Whatever works for your body. But no low carb diets.

Most of your food should be nutrient dense and give your body important vitamins and minerals. Some easy power packed additions to your diet include:

Your vitamin and mineral stores will be replenished by eating enough nutrient-dense calories every day. This will also help with milk supply and energy.

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

5. Stay home.

One of the biggest mistakes moms make is trying to get back to their normal routine as soon as baby arrives. This does not allow your body enough time to recover.

It’s ok to stay home and decline invites or even say no to visitors. Focus on your kids and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. Don’t jump back into the rushed pace of life. It doesn’t matter if your neighbor has five kids and a new activity planned every day. Take the time to enjoy this short phase of life and not add extra stress.

Simplify meals, schedules and to-do lists. You and your children will be happier. When you are rested and recovered you’ll have fun being out and about. But when you are exhausted and undernourished it’s ok to just stay home and rest.

The infant and toddler stages are hard and tiring. Take care of yourself. Nourish yourself. Remove stress. Enjoy your little ones before you blink and they are not so little.

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

Let the kids help!

If you have more than one child a great way to not feel so stressed is to get everyone involved in the day-to-day duties. That includes cooking!

The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse has open enrollment next week. My kids LOVE the course. They have learned so much (and so have I!!). You can get a little taste of it with these FREE knife skills videos.
A sleep deprived mom can improve her health with simple changes that will have a positive impact on the whole family. Make the time to take care of yourself and invest in your kids by teaching them responsibilities too.

What have you done today to care for yourself?

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Never be without an easy grab and go snack with this simple, allergen free ground beef jerky.

Simple And Nourishing Ground Beef Jerky {Allergen Free!}

When you’re working around allergies it can be hard to find easy and nutritious snacks. This ground beef jerky is easy to make and safe for the whole family.

Never be without an easy grab and go snack with this simple, allergen free ground beef jerky.

One of my biggest struggles having children with allergies is finding easy sources of protein. Our allergies include nuts, dairy, beans and eggs. So basically it’s meat or nothing. And I just don’t feel like cooking meat for every meal of the day!

Limited options.

I do let my kids have sunbutter (we LOVE this brand that is made in a peanut and tree nut free facility!). But it really doesn’t have that much protein. And I only give it every four days to stick with our rotation diet. I also do sardines and anchovies about once a week. Although they are super nutritious that gets expensive!

When it comes to lunches and snacks I stick to easy. And the usual easy protein sources aren’t options. Most days there is enough leftover from the previous night’s dinner that it’s not a problem.

But sometimes there’s not. My solution? Beef jerky!

This simple and nourishing ground beef jerky makes a great snack that is free of allergens.

No soy, please.

I did some research to find a recipe…and couldn’t find one. Most of them use either soy sauce or coconut aminos. When you can’t use soy or coconut that just doesn’t work. Plus I really had no desire to go to the store or buy specialty items.

So I came up with my own recipe using just a few simple and nourishing ingredients. To my great delight this ground beef jerky turned out great!

A snack for the entire family.

My biggest surprise…my one year old was the child that liked it the best! She ate almost the whole batch (don’t worry, not in one day). My husband and I love it too!

It is so easy to stick in the diaper bag when running errands. No mess. No refrigeration. Just a simple, healthy snack that is free of allergens and easy enough for a one year old to eat. Perfect!

Make it your own.

You can adjust the salt and sugar to your liking. I like a lot of salt. You can also add liquid smoke for a smokey flavor. If you really want to bump up the nutrition you can even add desiccated liver!

This simple and nourishing ground beef jerky makes a great snack that is free of allergens.

The other thing I love is how affordable this beef jerky is. I use grassfed ground beef. No fancy steaks. So a whole batch only costs about $6.00 (including the other ingredients)…and makes at least 30 good size pieces of jerky! The ground beef actually makes it a bit softer and easier to chew (trust me, I tried other meat first…and I can barely chew that batch).

Not a fan of beef? Swap it for ground pork, chicken or turkey!

This ground beef jerky is perfect for school lunches or summer picnics. Make a big batch and store it in the freezer. Grab as much as you need any time. It thaws in about sixty seconds.

If you’re like me and always trying to figure out an easy snack that is healthy, satisfying and free of allergens you’ve found it. Ground beef jerky is perfect for the whole family.

What are your go-to allergen friendly snacks?

Put ground beef jerky at the top of your list! Homemade lunch meat is a great option too.

This simple and nourishing ground beef jerky makes a great snack that is free of allergens.

Simple and Nourishing Ground Beef Jerky
Yields 30
A simple beef jerky made with ground beef, broth and seasoning.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. ground beef (or pork, chicken or turkey)
  2. 1/2 cup gelled beef broth (or pork, chicken or turkey)
  3. 1/3 cup sweetener (honey, maple syrup, molasses, brown cane sugar)
  4. 4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. optional: 2 tsp. desiccated liver
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 - 8 hours.
  2. Spread strips of marinated meat onto dehydrator trays using 1-2 Tbsp. of meat each (thinner is better when spreading. I just use my hands to spread it).
  3. Dry at 155*F for about 12 hours.
  4. Store at room temperature for up to a week, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to a year.
Notes
  1. Add liquid smoke to the meat mixture for a smokey flavor.
  2. Jerky can be eaten straight from the freezer.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Squash Cherry Smoothie

Winter, spring, summer or fall this squash cherry smoothie packs a nutritional punch and is bursting with flavor. Plus it’s safe for those with allergies.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Smoothies are pretty popular these days. For good reason. You can add a lot of healthy stuff to them without kids complaining.

Smoothies are tough with allergies.

But when you have a lot of allergies the list of typical smoothie ingredients dwindles quickly.

I had to get creative to make smoothies for my youngest two. No dairy or dairy substitutes. No avacodo, banana, nuts or seeds. No eggs. Not too many options.

Instead of writing off smoothies I used what foods we can eat to create a delicious breakfast beverage that is full of nourishing ingredients.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Secret ingredients.

This squash cherry smoothie contains fruit, vegetables, grassfed collagen (I love this brand) and probiotics (I use Megaspore). I also sometimes add desiccated liver (this is what I use) and broth!

One of the best parts about this smoothie is that you prepare it the night before. In the morning just blend and pour! So simple.

This is a great way to use some of the cherries that we freeze in the summer.

Great for kids and adults.

My four year old LOVES this squash cherry smoothie. And he can be picky! You don’t taste all of the “extra” ingredients. You just taste cherries.

I serve squash cherry smoothie in a cup with a straw for my big kids. For my youngest I put it in a straw sippy cup. Then I can take it with us when we are running errands or driving to and from school. It is a great way to add calories and nutrients for her.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

But don’t think this is just for kids. I love squash cherry smoothies for breakfast too! It is so refreshing. Plus it’s great for busy mornings. I always pair it with some kind of starch for balance and to keep my metabolism going. But the smoothie is where I pack the nutrients.

Have you ever put squash in your smoothie?

It adds a natural sweetness and is great for thickness.

Cherry season will be here again before we know it. I’ll be using up last year’s freezer stash by making lots of squash cherry smoothies!

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Squash Cherry Smoothie
Serves 1
A refreshing and allergy friendly smoothie packed with nutrients.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups frozen cherries
  2. 3/4 cups frozen or cooked squash
  3. 2 Tbsp. grassfed collagen
  4. 1 - 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/2 cup water or mild broth
Optional
  1. up to 1 capsule powdered probiotic
  2. 1/2 capsule desiccated liver
  3. 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Instructions
  1. Place the water, squash, cherries, syrup and salt in a blender.
  2. Add the collagen and any optional ingredients.
  3. Store the blender in the refrigerator over night.
  4. Blend until smooth. Adjust sweetness if necessary.
  5. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. This makes enough for one adult or two children.
  2. Activated charcoal can be added to the smoothie to settle an allergy flair.
  3. The ingredients can separate if the smoothie sits for too long. Drink immediately after blending or keep in a cup with a lid and shake before serving.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt

No need to give up yogurt just because you have allergies! This pumpkin yogurt only takes five minutes to prep and still packs a nutritional punch with protein and probiotics.

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

I’ve been dairy free for 18 months now, ever since my youngest was about a month old. This is not the first time I’ve had to go dairy free. But no matter how many times and no matter how long it lasts it’s never easy.

I LOVE dairy. Love it.

One of the things I miss most is yogurt. I used it eat it almost daily for breakfast or lunch. Add some granola…my happy place.

For most people there are some decent options to replace dairy yogurt – coconut, almond, etc. But those are all out for me too. We have that many allergies. So I’ve just gone without yogurt.

Until now.

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Problem solved.

My youngest it starting to notice when her siblings have yogurt and she keeps asking for it. Oh, how I’d love to give it to her!! It breaks my heart to have to say no. I feel so mean since she doesn’t understand why.

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So I came up with a solution.

I created pumpkin yogurt. It is creamy and slightly sweet. It has lots of protein from both grass-fed collagen and gelatin plus a healthy dose of probiotics (this is the one we use). Just like the real thing.

An added bonus is you also get a big helping of vegetables!

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

The first time I made pumpkin yogurt I added fruit and some crumbled homemade graham crackers. I was instantly taken back to my happy place. Finally! I can have yogurt again!

My little one loves it too. I gave her a small dish. Her response: “mrrrr” (more). That is all I needed to hear.

To my surprise even my four year old loves it. When I first told him I made pumpkin yogurt he made the “don’t come near me with that stuff” face. But after he tried it he had to have a second dish! Maybe me calling it pumpkin PIE yogurt helped a little.

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

More than just great taste.

Not only is pumpkin yogurt a nutritious breakfast it is also so easy to make!

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pour the mixture in a jar.
  3. Let it culture for about eight hours.

That’s it.

Pumpkin yogurt makes a great breakfast, lunch or snack. Eat it plain or add your favorite fruit and crunchy topping. It is perfect for school lunches too.

Have you had to say goodbye to yogurt due to allergies?

Even if you can’t have dairy…or coconut…or nuts…or rice…you don’t have to give up yogurt. Pumpkin yogurt is allergen friendy, easy to make and oh so delicious!

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Want to learn more about feeding children with allergies?

Check out my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?! It’s packed with feeding strategies, tips on pinpointing reactions and allergen friendly recipes.

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt
Serves 3
A creamy pumpkin yogurt that is free of common allergens.
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin (canned or fresh)
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 Tbsp. grass-fed collagen
  4. 1 Tbsp. sweetener (honey, maple syrup, cane sugar)
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
  8. 1 capsule powdered probiotic
Instructions
  1. Combine the pumpkin, water, collagen, sweetener, salt and cinnamon in a blender.
  2. Blend on high until smooth.
  3. Add the gelatin and probiotic.
  4. Blend for about 10 seconds.
  5. Pour the mixture into a glass jar with a lid.
  6. Put the jar in a warm place for 8-10 hours.
  7. Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Notes
  1. Setting the mixture on a counter that gets sunlight or on a stovetop with the oven on or in an unheated oven with the light on works well for culturing the yogurt.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
  In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.