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Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

Inviting You Into My (Blessed) Mess

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I’m inviting you into my (blessed) mess.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

Let’s get REAL.

I don’t mean real as in real food. I don’t mean real as in natural health. I mean real and as in honest, real life with all of it’s mess and chaos.

Like my sweet, little girl that has turned into a threenager over night. Or my son that has returned to daily stomach aches. Reality.

If you follow my blog you may have noticed that it’s been pretty quiet around here lately. No fun, kid-friendly recipes. No meal plans. Silence.

Well, life has been messy. Literally one big mess. Let me show you what I mean.

My house.

This is the current status of our school room. As you can imagine, not much schooling is happening here. Don’t worry, we’re still doing plenty of school work. It has just moved to the living room and dining room.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

And this…this is my kitchen floor. My children have decided it’s a place to throw whatever they like. I can barely walk through without tripping on shoes (even though the kitchen is right next to the mud room…where shoes belong).

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

This is my daughter’s craft area – that has been very unsupervised for a while now apparently. I keep telling myself I’m letting her be creative.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

The Living Room…

Now we come to the living room. A messy coffee table is not that abnormal, right? This one is unique in that it’s been my table, my desk, my everything for the last two months. I’ve been parked on the couch with severe “morning” sickness.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

Yes, all of this mess has been for one very good reason. God has blessed us with another miracle!! Next April we will welcome baby four into our family.

I am so grateful for all of the people that brought meals and helped take care of my kids. I am thankful for my family giving me grace in the midst of this chaos.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

True humility.

Sometimes it’s in this chaos that God has to humble us too. You know I’m a big fan of real food and nourishing your body. I’m the lady that eats stir fry, roasted veggies and avocado for breakfast (normally). I’ve been gluten free for years. I avoid all things processed. And yet for the last two months I’ve lived on cereal, frozen pizza and canned ravioli. It’s hard to even say that out loud.

I’ve had to give myself grace and just eat whatever I could keep down. Any attempt of fruit and vegetables was met with a trip to the bathroom (or if that was too far I always had a bucket by my side). I couldn’t even think about meat without gagging. I tried every natural remedy out there. None of them made any impact. I have even been on anti-nausea medication. But I still was barely functional. Carbs and cheese. That’s about all I’ve been eating for months.

I managed to only lose one pound during the first trimester. So I call that a win. And I am rejoicing that I am finally starting to feel a little better and able to eat some real food again. I can keep squash, beef and Brussels sprouts down! What a blessing.

As much as I love a natural lifestyle, there are times when life gets messy and you have to just let go. Real food is great. But so is being real. This is our reality right now.

My time on the couch has taught me a few lessons.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

Being sick is lonely!

I was still with my kids every day. I still talked with my husband every day. But it was different. Until a few days ago I couldn’t sit at the table to eat a meal. I felt like an outsider to my own family meal times. Most of the time my husband had to put the kids to bed (something I usually do). I missed out on those precious bedtime chats. I even missed taking care of my house. I just had to sit back and watch life happen. And watch the mess pile higher and higher.

Mess = Stress

I’ve realized just how much the mess in our house is the source of a lot of stress. For the whole family. Just a few days ago my oldest asked me, “Why am I so angry all the time lately?” I told her we all are..because our house is so chaotic.

The first item on my to-do list when I’ve regained my strength and energy is organizing and de-cluttering. I recently read an article about highly sensitive people. And it really resonated with me. I feel so much more peaceful when my house is simple. I honestly don’t even like many decorations on the walls. Having kids with sensory processing disorder I know it will help them as well.

I’m ready to do away with the nightly meltdowns about picking up toys because my kids don’t even know where to put anything. I’m ready for a clean, clear space to do our school work so my kids can truly focus. I’m ready for a play area that encourages my kids to read and explore without overwhelming them with options.

I’ll have to take it one room at a time. But I’ll get there. Simplify is the plan. More peace in our house is the goal.

I know life will be messy again when the new baby arrives. In the mean time I’m hoping to eliminate a lot of the mess in the house.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

Kids are capable.

I’ve also learned how much my kids are capable of doing. How much they can work together and learn from each other. My oldest has been my backup teacher and mother lately. And she’s so good at it!! I think the kids listen to her better than they listen to me. She even took care of me when I was at my worst, making me food and helping around the house.

It’s a mess.

Real life is messy and chaotic at times. But it’s also full of joy and lessons learned. I’m thankful for our mess. I’m thankful for a little more energy to deal with the mess.

And most of all I’m thankful for my whole family, including our newest member on the way!!

All glory and honor go to God for this miracle. He is the author and creator of life. And we praise Him for his goodness to our family.

Sometimes life can get a bit chaotic. Today I'm inviting you into my (blessed) mess. Come see what life has been like lately.

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.

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.

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.

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

The Best Christmas Gift

I was challenged by Stonyfield to write about the best Christmas gift I ever received. After thirty five celebrations it’s hard to settle on just one! Mine comes in a small package.

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

When it comes to gifts the most significant ones for me always seem to revolve around babies.

Lately I hear a song on the radio a lot called “A Baby Changes Everything.” Every time I hear it I pause and reflect.

The most important birth was that of Christ Jesus. Long ago in a stable in Bethlehem. That baby sure changed everything! What an amazing gift that God sent to us. He is the reason I am even writing this post. There is no Christmas without the birth of our savior.

I received another “baby” when I was five years old. It was a birthday present. My first Cabbage Patch Kid. It was all I wanted.

Every store was selling out as soon as the dolls arrived. Finally one day just before my birthday a store nearby got a few. My mom called to ask…there were ten in stock.

By the time we got there only five were left!

It took me all of ten seconds to choose the one I wanted. She had a little tuft of blonde hair and a pacifier. She was mine. I named her Caroline Rebecca. I never wanted to let her go.

From that moment on I knew (even at five years old) that all I really wanted to do when I got older was be a mom.

I took her with me wherever I went. I played with dolls any chance I got. I pretended to nurse her, feed her, change her. She was my world.

Fast forward about twenty years. Happily married. Ready to start a family and have the children I have been wanting for so many years.

But it would not be that easy. In 2006 we started our long, lonely walk through the world of infertility.  The one thing I had dreamed about since I was five years old seemed like just that, a dream. I didn’t know if it would become a reality.

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

But in 2007 God gave us our first miraculous gift after various fertility treatments.

I found out I was pregnant in August and my daughter was born in April of 2008.

We started the journey again in 2009. After five emotionally and physically draining rounds of IVF we found out in September of 2010 that I was pregnant. My son was born in May of 2011.

Two precious gifts.

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

Yet I knew my family was not complete. I had dreamed since I was five years old of having a big family. I always wanted four children.

In 2013 we did our last round of IVF. Unfortunately it ended in a miscarriage. My dreams were crushed.

But after 6 months of hard work, a lot of physical challenges and healing and days and nights of prayer we got our best Christmas gift.

In December of 2013 I found out I was pregnant. We got to share the good news with our children and extended family as a special Christmas surprise. My oldest was the first to find out. Her reaction at only five years old was priceless (as you can see in the photo at the top).

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

In August of 2014 my daughter was born. She has changed my life in so many ways. She has brought me down a path of healing. A baby was the only motivation strong enough to get healthy. She has taught me what it means to truly sacrifice as I have had to give up a lot to keep her nourished and thriving over the last sixteen months – food, time with friends, outings with my family, travel. None of it was as important as taking care of my little miracle.

She has taught me about contentment and true joy.

Johanna means “God is Gracious.” He is indeed. And she reminds me every time I get her out of her crib and she gives me a big hug, every time she runs over, hops in my lap and snuggles, every time she comes up behind me and gives me kisses on my back, every time she laughs so hard she almost falls over.

A baby really does change everything. A baby (all of them) has been the best Christmas gift I ever received.

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

Whether or not there are any more precious gifts in my future I don’t know. Whether or not my childhood dream of a large family is part of God’s plan I don’t know. That is in God’s hands. His plans and his timing are perfect. I just know that the miracles He has entrusted to me so far have truly changed my life.

It is said that good things come in small packages. I wholeheartedly agree. From a tiny little baby in Bethlehem to the precious little ones sleeping upstairs as I write this. God has been gracious and changed my life through the miracle of a baby. It is the by far the best Christmas gift ever.

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.

Bedtime Beverage

Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple PieDo you have trouble falling asleep at night?  Or maybe your kids have a hard time winding down at the end of the day?  Mine sure do!

Except for one…the baby.  How does she go to sleep?  She nurses and falls fast asleep.  Mother’s milk is warm and has the perfect balance of nutrients to help a little one nod off to sleep.  It is comforting and nourishing.

So how does that translate to everyone else?  Surprisingly ice cream (the kind made with real, whole ingredients) is about the closest thing we have to breast milk in terms of its nutrient profile.  It has a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat.

You could definitely indulge in a dish of ice cream to see if it helps you get sleepy.  But I have a drink that might work better.  It’s like warm ice cream!

Raw cream or whole milk is the ideal base for this drink.  If you can’t have dairy you can use full fat coconut milk and add a little extra gelatin for the protein balance.Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Egg yolks are added because they are packed with vitamins (especially B) and a little bit of protein.  The cream or milk has lots of healthy fat.  Gelatin gives more amino acids and protein.  Plus the gelatin makes it all easier to digest.  The sea salt helps you absorb everything and adds trace minerals.  The syrup also helps digestion (sugar is easily absorbed) and gives balance to the drink by adding carbohydrates.

At bedtime you need your adrenals to settle down for the night.  Having a balance of sugar, salt and fat will help your body accomplish that.   You can also add a small starchy snack along side the bedtime beverage to really balance out the components.  A couple soaked graham crackers or even a slice of sourdough bread are perfect.

This bedtime beverage is like a nutritionally boosted version of the warm milk you grew up drinking at bedtime (yes, there was some truth behind that).  It’s almost as comforting and calming as mother’s milk.  It tastes great too!

This drink can also be very helpful during the first trimester of pregnancy.  Even if you can’t get much else down this will give you a nutrient boost and may be soothing to an unsettled stomach.

There is no fancy equipment required for this drink.  Just a small pan and a whisk.  It only takes a few minutes to make.  Don’t forget to save your egg whites for baking.  They store well in the refrigerator or freezer for a long time.  I like to use them for making gluten free bread!

You won’t have to convince your kids to drink this before bed.  Offer a soothing bedtime beverage that tastes like ice cream and I’m sure they will gladly oblige.  Then watch them settle down and drift off to sleep.  Mother’s milk is wonderful for helping little ones get to sleep.  Now everyone else can do the same.Bedtime Beverage | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Bedtime Beverage
Serves 1
A warm drink to help you sleep at night.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup heavy cream, coconut milk or whole milk
  2. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1 - 2 tsp. collagen or gelatin
  5. 1 - 2 egg yolks
  6. optional: 1 - 2 tsp. cocoa or carob powder
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. If using gelatin let the mixture set for 1 minute.
  4. Gently warm the mixture over low heat. Do not let it boil or you could curdle the milk or cook the egg yolks.
  5. Pour into a mug and enjoy before bed.
Notes
  1. This can be made with just the cream, syrup and salt.
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.

Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry

Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry || Homemade Dutch Apple PieIt’s that time of year – time to get back on track with nourishing foods.

So this month I’m doing a simple smoothie series.  Smoothies are a great way to pack in nutrition, and they can be tailored to meet any dietary restrictions.  Plus kids love them!

The other great thing about smoothies is that they can be prepared in advance and are great for on the go breakfasts or lunches.  They can even be frozen to make a breakfast popsicle your kids will love.

If you have a little one just starting solids you can spoon feed a thick smoothie.  It’s an easy way to give them things like probiotics and cod liver oil.  Be sure to leave out the honey if giving it to a child under one year of age.

A smoothie can be a meal on its own.  I personally need to have a salty/starchy component to my meal or else I will feel cold.  So if I drink a smoothie (which has lots of fat and protein) I like to pair it with a muffin or slice of bread or bowl of rice with salt.  That gives a good fat/protein/carbohydrate balance and a good sugar/salt/saturated fat/starch balance – both of which are ideal for good health.  It is especially important for adrenal health.

My first simple smoothie is kiwi strawberry.  It’s perfect for the winter months.  Kiwi is readily available in the store.  Then add some strawberries from your summer freezer stash.  It’s a delicious combination that is rich in vitamin C.

An added bonus of using strawberries is that they are the best source of ellagic acid.  According to Nourishing Traditions, “strawberries contain a compound called ellagic acid, which is an antioxidant that helps detoxify carcinogens.”Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The yogurt or kefir in the smoothie provides probiotics and enzymes to help digest lactose.  The egg yolks provide so many nutrients – fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K plus calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

I add a pinch of sea salt to smoothies for trace minerals.  You can also add gelatin (use the non-gel form) and coconut oil.

Probiotic powder and liquid fermented cod liver oil can also be added in small amounts.  You can also add avocado for thickness and dates for sweetness.

The end result is a refreshing kiwi strawberry drink.  But when you look a bit deeper you see it is a nutrition powerhouse and a great way to start your day.

I sometimes make a large batch of smoothie on Sunday and pour it into individual cups.  Then I can use them as needed throughout the week.  If you are going to make the smoothies in advance leave out the coconut oil and gelatin.  They will change texture as they sit in the refrigerator.

This recipe makes enough for two adults (average size smoothies) or three to four children.

A few words of caution.  Do not add raw greens to your smoothies.  Most of them contain oxalates in their raw forms.  If you want to add greens be sure to cook them first.

Also, I don’t advise drinking smoothies every day.  It’s a good addition a couple times a week.  Change it up with other breakfasts throughout the week.

A strawberry kiwi smoothie is the perfect breakfast treat for the whole family.  Stay tuned for more delicious flavors.Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry
Serves 2
A power packed smoothie to start the day.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup total yogurt, kefir, sour cream, milk, coconut milk and/or coconut milk yogurt
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  4. 1 kiwi, peeled and cut up
  5. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  6. 2-4 Tbsp. honey and/or maple syrup (to taste)
  7. 2 tsp. gelatin (optional)
  8. 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil (optional)
  9. 1/2 small avocado (optional)
  10. 2 dates (optional - leave out some or all of the honey if adding dates)
Instructions
  1. In a blender combine the yogurt/milk, egg yolks, strawberries, kiwi, salt and sweetener. Blend until smooth.
  2. Adjust sweetness to taste.
  3. Add gelatin and blend.
  4. While the blender is running slowly pour in the melted coconut oil.
  5. Pour into glasses and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. If making the smoothie for a child under one year of age leave out the honey. It is not safe for a small child. They should not need extra sweetener besides the fruit. Or you can add a bit of banana for extra sweetness.
  2. If making the smoothies in advance leave out the gelatin and coconut oil.
  3. If you do not tolerate eggs you can make the smoothie without egg yolks. The taste will not change.
  4. You can substitute a different kind of berry if you do not tolerate strawberries.
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.

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.

Baby Is Here!

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The long awaited day has come.  Our newest arrival is here!  Johanna Ruth joined our family on August 21.  She is a healthy 9 lb. baby.  She looks like her big sister and loves to snuggle.

We praise God for this miracle!  Everything went very well with the delivery and recovery.  We are happy to be home and enjoying life as a family of five now.

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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 BEST Chocolate Ice Cream

This chocolate ice cream is rich and creamy, with no artificial flavors or fillers.  A combination of cocoa and carob creates a deep unbeatable chocolate flavor.The BEST Chocolate Ice Cream - Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

It’s no secret that I LOVE ice cream.

I think my daughter is following in my footsteps.  We could both eat it every day…and often do!  Especially when we  have delicious homemade ice cream using our fresh, raw cream.

I usually let my daughter choose the ice cream flavor of the week.  Recently she chose chocolate.

It’s simple.  But it is SO GOOD.  Everywhere we go my daughter tells people that our homemade ice cream is the best.

She’s right.  It is the best.  It tastes the best, and it is the best for our bodies.The BEST Chocolate Ice Cream - Homemade Dutch Apple Pie 2

It can be hard to achieve the rich flavor of a good chocolate ice cream without anything artificial added.  But I have.

This is the BEST chocolate ice cream you’ll ever have.

I promise.

I think we’ll be making this flavor very frequently.

Do you love chocolate ice cream?  Then this is for you!  

Are you dairy free?  No problem.  This can be made with cream or with coconut milk.  Either way it is divine. 

The BEST Chocolate Ice Cream
A creamy, homemade chocolate ice cream with dairy and egg free options.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups cream (preferably raw) (can be replaced with coconut milk)
  2. 1/2 cup whole milk (preferably raw) (can be replaced with coconut milk)
  3. 1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
  4. 1/4 cup carob powder
  5. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  6. 1 Tbsp. organic vanilla
  7. 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour
  8. 1 - 3 egg yolks (optional)
  9. 1/2 cup organic brown cane sugar or coconut sugar
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Mix until well combined.
  2. Process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
  3. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container. Freeze until firm.
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.

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.

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream I LOVE ice cream!  I make it almost weekly during the summer.  I usually try to create unique and fun flavors.

But there really isn’t anything better than the classic vanilla ice cream.

I love to top mine with gluten free hot fudge or dairy free chocolate sauce.  A little sprinkle of sea salt really adds to the flavor as well.

Vanilla ice cream goes well with just about anything.  Serve it with pie, on brownies or make a sundae.

It is also very easy to make.  Add all of the ingredients to a blender.  Mix.  Process.  It’s really that simple.

Through my years of ice cream experimentation I have perfected the classic vanilla ice cream flavor.  Now I’m sharing it with you!

The next time you want a refreshing summer dessert, go with a classic – pure, simple vanilla ice cream. It’s delicious and nutritious.
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream 2

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
A simple and nourishing version of classic vanilla ice cream.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups. cream (preferably raw)
  2. 1/2 cup whole milk (preferably raw)
  3. 1 - 3 egg yolks (optional)
  4. 1 Tbsp. organic vanilla
  5. 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour
  6. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  7. 1/2 cup any combination of sweetener (honey, maple syrup, cane sugar)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until well mixed.
  2. Adjust sweetness to taste.
  3. Process in an ice cream mixer according to manufacturer's directions.
  4. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container.
  5. Freeze until firm.
Notes
  1. For a very neutral sweetener flavor use cane sugar alone or a combination of half honey and half maple syrup.
  2. The cream and milk can be replaced with coconut milk for a dairy free version. You may have to increase the sweetener a little to get the desired flavor.
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.

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.

Meal Plans Week of 6-22-14

menu 6-22It’s summer!  For real now.  I already feel like it’s flying by.  There is still so much to get done before baby comes.

At least we are making progress.  Yesterday we bought a new pack ‘n’ play (it sure is strange to see that in our bedroom!).  We ordered new monitors.  I bought a going home outfit for the baby.  Now most of the “baby stuff” is set.  It’s all the other stuff that needs to get done.

This week will be another very busy one with an OB appointment, chiro appointment, speech therapy appointment and meeting a new pediatrician.  I also need to figure out when to grocery shop.  Hopefully we can find time for fun things too.

From now until baby arrives I’m hoping to prepare one meal and one snack to put away in the freezer.  Last night I started soaking flour for a batch of brownies.  I would have loved to make a few batches at once, but we are almost out of honey.  So I’ll probably be making more of these later.  After I get more honey I also need to make a few batches of graham crackers this week.

Produce is starting to come in.  We’ve started freezing strawberries.  But there is plenty more to come.

I’ve still been keeping up with my goal of eating seafood at least two times per week.  I’m trying to grow another smart kiddo 🙂

I was finally able to meet with my doctor last week to go over thyroid labs.  It was a great relief to hear that she thinks my levels are right where they should be.  So I won’t worry about thyroid again until after baby is born.

My body is definitely starting to slow down.  But I’m still doing my best to keep us all well fed and get our freezer stocked with nourishing foods.  Here is what’s on the menu this week.  What are you eating?

honeyed dew

***************MENU***************

Sunday
L – cp roast beef, potatoes, carrots
D – leftover baked spaghetti, salad
*bake brownies, dry strawberries, make coffee cake, make lemonade

Monday
D – salmon cakes, mashed potatoes, peas
*freeze strawberries, make fruit leather

Tuesday
D – (prep ahead) – cp meatballs, potatoes, mixed veggies

Wednesday
D – (quick prep) – hot dogs, tater tots, broccoli, fruit
*soak flour, skim cream, make ice cream

Thursday
D – chicken and vegetable stir fry over rice, honeydew
*bake breakfast cookies, bake brownies, make df ice cream, cut up fruit

Friday
D – bacon, muffins, fruit salad, roasted cauliflower
*bake/freeze muffins, make graham crackers, soak flour

Saturday
D – grilled burgers, fries, grilled zucchini
*make zucchini muffins

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.

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.