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Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

Grain and Nut Free Mineral Rich Hummus

Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

It’s time to get back to routines, back to school, back to nourishing lunches! If you haven’t set any goals, a good one is to make sure your kids are being nourished every single day at every meal.

It may sound daunting, but it’s not. Real food is actually quite simple. Want a snack? Have a pear. Have some pepper slices. Simple.

Want to know what else is simple?

My grain and nut free mineral rich hummus!

It’s so simple my kids can make it themselves. Just a few ingredients tossed in the blender. Done in less than five minutes.Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

If you want to avoid using canned beans, the easiest way to cook chickpeas is in your Instant Pot!

But what makes it mineral rich?

In addition to the usual chickpeas and oil, I like to add pumpkin seeds. They are loaded with zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin E!

The seeds are ground right into the hummus, so you’d never know they’re there. But they really boost the nutrition. You could also use sunflower seeds and/or hemp seeds to vary the minerals.Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

Allergy Friendly Hummus

I like to keep my hummus very allergy friendly. No grains, nuts, dairy, eggs, soy or corn. Veggies with hummus is my go-to dish to bring to a family gathering. I have kids with allergies and a niece and nephew with allergies. So I try to make sure I bring something everyone can (and will!) eat.

My kids will eat hummus by the spoonful. I like to keep some on hand for easy snacks and lunch additions. If I have pepper and cucumber slices prepared, my three year old will grab a pile with the whole container of hummus and start dipping away.

This year make nourishing food a priority. But don’t stress yourself. Keep it simple with easy foods like fruits, veggies and my five minute grain and nut free mineral rich hummus. You never know, it might just be the trick to turn your kids into raw veggie lovers!

Are your kids adventurous eaters? They might like my pesto hummus!Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

Grain and Nut Free Mineral Rich Hummus
Serves 10
A simple, mineral rich dip for veggies or crackers.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (cooked, boxed or canned), drained, liquid reserved
  2. 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  3. 6 Tbsp. bean liquid or water
  4. 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds (or sunflower or hemp)
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  8. 1/4 tsp. dillweed (optional)
  9. 1/4 tsp. desiccated liver (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend on high until smooth. Add extra liquid/water if needed.
  3. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate (up to one week) until ready to serve.
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.

Don't let the stress of the holidays alter your real food plans. Here are my simple tips to cook real food for a crowd without any stress!

How to Cook Real Food for a Crowd Without Stress

Don’t let the stress of the holidays alter your real food plans. Here are my simple tips to cook real food for a crowd without any stress!Don't let the stress of the holidays alter your real food plans. Here are my simple tips to cook real food for a crowd without any stress!

Is it just me or is the end of the year crazy busy? The last thing I want to do is spend half of my time in the kitchen. Especially when I’m with family.

I’m the queen of making things as easy as possible (like this Instant Pot mac ‘n’ cheese). We just hosted Thanksgiving…and I was able to take a nap in the afternoon before the big meal (being pregnant had something to do with that)!

No rushing around. It was so laid back.

And yet we had quite a feast that I prepared completely by myself (well, my kids helped with chopping veggies and making the desserts since they are experts in the kitchen after doing the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse).

My Secret to Entertaining Without Stress?

Do as much prep ahead as possible. My goal when cooking for a crowd is to make as much food as I can ahead of time and just put things in the oven/crockpot/Instant Pot the day of. I tackle one or two projects a day leading up to the festivities. So I’m not overwhelmed.

Then I get to take it easy and spend time with my guests on the day of the party. No shortcuts with packaged food necessary.

I even have the added work of hosting for several days since my family is all out of town. So it’s more like meal prepping for three full days of meals instead of one big meal. But it’s still totally doable! The only thing I had to make at the last minute this year was the gravy. Everything else for our meal had been prepped hours or days ahead.

First Step to Cook Real Food for a Crowd

The first step is menu planning. Do this a few weeks in advance so you have time to shop for supplies and gradually work through your list. Then figure out what can be made weeks in advance, days in advance or the morning of. And go from there.

Here is my course-by-course breakdown of how to create a delicious holiday menu that you can prepare in advance. Your guests will be amazed by all of the real food goodness and you’ll get to enjoy spending time with them. Pick and choose from each category for your best holiday feast ever!

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing all of my stress free entertaining tips!Don't let the stress of the holidays alter your real food plans. Here are my simple tips to cook real food for a crowd without any stress!

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.

Christmas is just around the corner. What should you get for the real foodie in your life? Here are my top picks for the perfect real foodie gifts that will help promote natural health and well-being.

My Top Picks for Real Foodie Gifts

Christmas is just around the corner. What should you get for the real foodie in your life? Here are my top picks for the perfect real foodie gifts that will help promote natural health and well-being.Christmas is just around the corner. What should you get for the real foodie in your life? Here are my top picks for the perfect real foodie gifts that will help promote natural health and well-being.

If you’re like my kids you want to listen to Christmas year round. If you’re like me you don’t mind the music, but you kind of dread all the hustle and bustle of buying gifts and all the other to-do’s for the holidays. And you tell yourself every year you are going to start early…and then Thanksgiving rolls around and you haven’t even started.

Don’t panic! (I’m saying that for my own benefit.) Today I’m sharing my top picks for gifts that any real foodie would love. Don’t forget that Black Friday is coming up in a few days. There will be great deals on pretty much all of these!

Desiccated Liver

Yes, liver tops my list!! Maybe I’m crazy. But that’s how much I love it. I use the Perfect Supplements brand desiccated liver. And I am so thrilled that they now carry it in powder form instead of just capsules.

I put liver in literally everything we eat because it is so nutrient dense and has more Vitamin A than just about anything else you can eat. I add it to meatballs, tacos (my son has his own taco seasoning recipe with liver), salads, smoothies and even caramel!

Whether you are a fellow liver lover or you’ve never tried it, now is a great time to stock up. Get 10% off using the code TAKE10. I might just try to stock our pantry with desiccated liver for the year! No, I’m not even joking. With little kids and trying to focus on prenatal nutrition we go through a LOT of liver. I’d gladly take it as a present. It’s like getting the nutritional equivalent of gold.

Grab your liver and other Perfect Supplements products here.

Slow Cooker

The tool I use most often in my kitchen is my slow cooker (a.k.a. Crockpot). I know everyone is crazy about the Instant Pot these days, but I’m still a slow cooker fan. I like to do my meal prep in the morning and be done for the day. Especially on the days where we are gone in the afternoon and don’t get home until dinner time. Or on Sunday mornings when everyone is starving as soon as we get home from church. It’s a life saver.

Some of my favorite slow cooker recipes are sweet and sour meatballs, meatloaf, split pea soup, mashed potatoes, sausage and lentil chili and pork and beans. And you can never go wrong with a roast, whole chicken or ribs in the slow cooker.

I use my slow cooker so often that it never actually gets put away. It has a permanent place on my counter top.

This is the kind I have been using for years. Though a larger one like this would be nice!

Tea Strainer

This may be a small, simple kitchen tool, but it’s another one I use daily. I love herbal teas for helping all sorts of things like supporting your liver, adding minerals and balancing hormones. I buy loose leaf teas in bulk and then make my own mixes depending on what my body needs.

Right now I’m drinking a lot of nettle dandelion tea. I also love to make infusions for myself and for my kids. Add some fresh or frozen fruit to a jar and let the tea steep over night. Such a refreshing and nourishing drink! Nettle is my go-to for just about everything, especially seasonal allergies.

I’m thinking about putting a tea strainer on my list again this year so I have a second one. Then I can make multiple infusions at once!

This is the one I love.

Crunchy Balm

Winter in our house brings about DRY skin. My husband and two oldest kids especially are prone to super dry, itchy skin. Our favorite remedy is Crunchy Balm. It’s made with whipped tallow and essential oils. It is so soft and creamy and really works.

Crunchy Organics has plenty of other amazing products too, like their face cream made with frankincense and a whole line of natural makeup.

I’m not sure how many jars of Crunchy Balm we have laying around the house. I just like knowing there is always plenty on hand. If you deal with eczema or any kind of skin irritation I highly recommend Crunchy Balm.

We do also love Cheshire Fields products. And the creator, Michelle, is so nice. She even made custom products for us to work around allergies! It’s hard to find natural products without coconut!!

Immersion Blender

I’m not really sure how I survived before I had an immersion blender. It is my go-to tool for a lot of food preservation during the summer and fall. I use it to puree applesauce, pearsauce and squash.

Making homemade mayo or Miracle Whip is a cinch with an immersion blender. It literally takes five minutes, including the time it takes to get the ingredients out. 

Needing foods pureed for a little one? The immersion blender makes it so easy. Cook some veggies, add broth and puree.

We also love to make pureed soups like our favorite squash and sausage soup. I eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner!

There are so many neat brands now. It’s hard to choose which one to get!!

Young Living Essential Oils

Are you new to a natural lifestyle? Essential oils are a great way to help boost your family’s health. I started using essential oils about three years ago. I started with the Young Living Starter Kit. And I’ve been using them ever since.

My favorite oil is Pan Away. I have battled hormone headaches for many years. The only way to ease them was with OTC medicine. But now it’s so rare that I have to take any medicine. I use Pan Away at the first sign of a headache and it usually subsides shortly after.

Essential oils support your health and work well for cleaning your house safely. I love diffusing oils both during the day and at night. Interested in getting started? Grab your starter kit here!

Vitamix

The Vitamix is definitely one of my favorite kitchen tools. Sometimes I use it three or four times a day. It makes perfect smoothies (like the ones you will find in my book Easy Nourishment for Picky Eaters), even when most of your ingredients are frozen solid!

Hummus only takes minutes in the Vitamix for a quick snack or lunch.

I even use it to grind flour and make homemade powdered sugar. Some years I use it to puree our applesauce, peels and all! It makes such an amazingly smooth sauce. My kids would say that homemade ice cream is the best thing that comes from the blender. The batter is ready in under five minutes. There really isn’t much the Vitamix can’t do.

Probably one of the things I love most is how easy it is to clean. That only takes seconds too. Talk about fast work in the kitchen.

Grassfed Collagen/Gelatin

Need a powerhouse ingredient to add to those delicious smoothies? Grassfed collagen is a great source of protein. I never make a smoothie without it.

I also use grassfed gelatin to make homemade fruit snacks and all sorts of real food jello salads. You can find all of my recipes using gelatin here.

I love both Perfect Supplements and Vital Proteins brands. Don’t forget to stock up on your Perfect Supplements products 11/24 – 11/27 at 45% off using code TAKE10! You can also get some FREE collagen from Vital Proteins 11/24 – 11/27. Use the code PEACELOVECOLLAGEN at checkout for a 5 oz. canister of collagen when you spend $75.

Cast Iron Skillet

Want a juicy burger, a perfectly cooked steak or the best scrambled eggs you’ve ever tasted? You need a cast iron skillet! A kitchen tools that has been around for centuries is definitely a keeper.

I was nervous when I got my first one. I thought they were hard to use and care for. WRONG. How to use – get it HOT. How to clean – wipe it down when you’re done and wipe a little oil on. That’s it.

You may want to get a few in different sizes. I love my small skillet for making a batch of scrambled eggs for the kids in the morning. My large skillet is great for steaks, burgers and even taco meat.

Still on my list is a cast iron griddle. That would make some awesome pancakes and bacon!

Grab your favorite size cast iron tools here.

Real Food and Natural Health Books

Last on the list, but definitely very important – you need knowledge to know how to use your kitchen tools and natural health products. That’s where books come in. Whether ebooks or hard copies these are some of the best around. Some are part of my personal library. Some I’m still hoping for! You might notice a theme…nourishing yourself and your family.

Family Table (by Shaye Elliott)

Easy Nourishment for Picky Eaters (by Mary Voogt)

Nourished Beginnings (by Renee Kohley)

The Nourished Metabolism (by Elizabeth Walling)

Why Won’t My Child Eat?! (by Mary Voogt)

Healthy Snacks To Go (by Katie Kimball)

The Paleo Approach (by Sarah Ballantyne) 

Nourishing Traditions (by Sally Fallon) (this is the book that started my real food journey and completely changed the way I looked at food)

Christmas is just around the corner. What should you get for the real foodie in your life? Here are my top picks for the perfect real foodie gifts that will help promote natural health and well-being.

Keep it Simple

I could probably add about thirty more items to the list. There really are so many good ones. But these top my list.

Remember, some nice tea, a cute apron, a night off from cooking, a back rub or a few hours of quiet also make perfect real foodie gifts. And won’t break the bank.

You can also keep it simple with homemade hot cocoa or a big bag of kettle corn granola.

What’s on your real foodie wish list this year?

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.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

I don’t know about about you but when June rolls around I am so ready to get my salad on! I actually love eating salads year round. But something about the warm, summer weather makes me crave salad.

And when it comes to dressing I am not a traditional girl. Ranch? No thanks. Italian? Blech. I used to always eat honey mustard (I even have over four versions of it on the blog!!), but when I had to give up mustard for two years I lost that taste too.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

My New Favorite

These days my salad dressing usually contains desiccated liver, fermented kale or aquatic greens…or all three if I’m really feeling the need to boost nutrients.

But there is one thing I always love on my salads – pesto! I usually make a really mild and simple version of pesto with peas (super kid friendly!!!).

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Recently I had the opportunity to try some Taylor Farms organic salad mixes. I went right for the baby spinach and popped it in the blender with olive oil, Stonyfield whole milk yogurt and seasoning. Amazing!

I served it with dinner on a bed of Taylor Farms mixed spring greens. The family loved it! My six-year old still isn’t a fan of lettuce salads. So he had cucumber, avocado and parmesan cheese topped with the creamy spinach pesto.  He sure was happy with his salad – and even asked for it again the next day!

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Kid-Friendly Greens

Creamy spinach pesto is a great way to get your kids to eat their greens. It does not taste like eating spinach (my son will vouch for that!). Plus it is combined with healthy fats like whole milk yogurt and extra virgin olive oil to help utilize the vitamins and minerals in the spinach.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Even if your kids aren’t big salad eaters yet this creamy spinach pesto works well for dipping veggies or even chicken nuggets. We also like to eat it on noodles (pesto pasta!).

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Sometimes I’m sneaky and add a little desiccated liver. My kids don’t mind the taste since I add it to everything. It really boosts the Vitamin A content!

If you’re like me and craving a good summer salad this dressing is for you! Grab a big bowl, some Taylor Farms organic salad mix, your favorite salad toppers and a big helping of creamy spinach pesto! Summer has officially begun.

What is your favorite salad dressing? Do you make your own dressing creations?

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing
Serves 6
A creamy green dressing the whole family will love!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups tightly packed spinach
  2. 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  3. 2 Tbsp. plain, whole milk yogurt
  4. 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  8. optional: 1/8 tsp. desiccated liver, 1/8 tsp. fermented kale powder, 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Run warm water over the peas to thaw or let sit on the counter to thaw.
  2. In a blender combine the spinach, peas, yogurt, oil, salt, garlic, onion and optional ingredients if desired.
  3. Blend on high until smooth, scraping sides as necessary.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator up to one week.
Notes
  1. This dressing works well on salads, as a veggie dip, on pasta or for chicken nuggets.
  2. This recipe makes one cup of dressing and is easily doubled or tripled to serve at a picnic.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and Taylor Farms for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions expressed are my own.

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.

We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

How Much Do Your Kids Know About Their Food?

We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question…how much do your kids know about their food?We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

We have a little joke in our house about corn.

Whenever I serve corn with a meal my husband asks, “Why did you make two vegetables?” – referring to the corn and whatever vegetable I’m serving. To which the kids quickly reply, “Corn is NOT a vegetable, Daddy! It’s a grain!”

The sad thing is that far too many people don’t actually know that. My husband and I both grew up thinking that corn was a vegetable (now he says it just to tease the kids). It may be laughable at our table, but the reality is so many kids are so disconnected from where their food comes from that they don’t even know that corn is a grain. Or that an egg is not dairy (it comes from a chicken, not a cow!).

Kids today see food that comes in boxes and bags without any idea of its origin.We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

How Will They Learn?

We are blessed to live in the country, raise our own animals and grow our own produce. Every day is a lesson in agriculture for my kids! (Though I am curious if some of the neighbors that have large corn fields know they are growing grains??)

But not everyone has that opportunity. That is why I am thankful for resources like the book Where Does a Rainbow Grow? by Kathryn Kemp Guylay. In it she uses bright colors and easy-to-read text to explain to kids where their food comes from and what to eat to stay healthy.

Real Colors!

As a family we made a decision over five years ago to cut out food dyes 100%.

No exceptions. It has made a world of difference in the neurological health of our children. So when I opened this book and the first page talks about avoiding fake colors I was hooked.

My kids love to look at the pages with brightly colored produce. They also like to answer the questions and try to name every fruit and vegetable.We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

Ever since reading Guylay’s first book Give it a Go, Eat a Rainbow my kids and I have enjoyed pointing out how many colors we eat each day. Just the other day when I put some spinach on my son’s plate he asked, “What is green good for?” It makes me so happy to know at six years old he is already learning how his food impacts his health. Green is great for bones and teeth!

Try Something New

Seeing all of the pictures has reminded me that, although we eat a wide variety of and a large quantity of produce, we still have plenty of foods we haven’t tried. Maybe we’ll grab a few new items the next time we go to the store and experiment with them.

Where Does a Rainbow Grow? would make a great addition to a home school curriculum. Or it would be a wonderful gift to share with your child’s classroom.

I firmly believe that the more knowledge we have about our food, the better choices we make and the healthier we become.

Let’s raise a generation of kids that understand where their food comes from and how they can use food to feel good. Reading Where Does a Rainbow Grow? Is a great place to start!We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

If you want to get your kids more involved with their food and learn how to cook check out the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse.

I was compensated for my time to review this book; however I was not paid to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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 science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Parfait and a Trip to the Zoo!

Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

My kids are true animal lovers. Just one more reason we moved to the country to start our own farm a few months ago!! But it’s not just farm animals. They are fascinated by just about any animal.

Science In Action

This is our first year homeschooling…and we chose to study land animals for science. They really, truly love animals! So when I heard that Stonyfield Yogurt was promoting World Penguin Day and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) program I knew we had to see what it was all about.Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

We took a trip to our local zoo (John Ball Zoo) to see the penguins up close. I’ve been going to JBZ ever since I was little. Whenever I visited my grandparents they took us to the zoo, and we each got a balloon. It is one of the best (and only) memories I have of my grandparents (I was very little). But I cherish those memories. And I love that I get to take my own kids to John Ball now!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

As luck would have it when we walked into the zoo they were just about to feed the penguins. So we hurried right over and got to see penguins swimming all over and enjoying fish. My kids thought it was great.

The fun didn’t end there. We spent the rest of the morning exploring tigers, bongos, spider monkeys, goats, chickens, chimpanzees and more. My animal-loving kids could have stayed all day. They really had fun on the new funicular. And, of course, we took a snack break and enjoyed some Stonyfield yogurt!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Fun

We can’t wait to go back to the zoo again this summer when we have more time to explore and more animals are active. But leaving the zoo didn’t put an end to our celebration of World Penguin Day.

At home we went on a waddle walk to see just how hard it would be to walk miles and miles like penguins do. The kids were out of breath after waddling across the yard. I don’t know how the penguins do it!

Later that day we watched some videos about penguins and learned about Emperor Penguins by watching Planet Earth. The kids were glued to the tv, fascinated by how the male penguins care for the eggs and wait for the females to return with food.Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

A Special Yogurt Treat

In honor of all of our Penguin Day fun we decided to make a special snack – a penguin parfait! This fun treat is easy to make and reminds us to do our part in keeping wildlife safe. I combined Stonyfield yogurt with tummy calming activated charcoal to create a black and white parfait you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or a snack.

Yogurt has a great balance of sodium to potassium which is great for your heart! This parfait also contains a nice mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Activated charcoal is my go-to supplement for settling tummies after an illness or an allergic reaction. I sometimes give it to my kids to help with gentle detox as well. It’s great for tummy maintenance once in a while. So this parfait is more than just a delicious treat. It’s filled with nutrition too.

I encourage you to help your kids explore and discover God’s beautiful creation. Take a trip to your local zoo and learn about the animals and how you can help protect them (don’t forget you can earn FREE zoo tickets when you buy Stonyfield yogurt!). Then enjoy a penguin parfait!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Parfait
Serves 2
A simple yogurt parfait to celebrate World Penguin Day.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup full fat plain creamy or greek-style yogurt
  2. 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  3. 1 capsule activated charcoal (260 mg)
  4. 1 medium-size ripe banana, halved and sliced
  5. 2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine the yogurt, honey and charcoal. Mix until charcoal is fully distributed.
  2. Divide the yogurt between two cups.
  3. Top the yogurt with a layer of banana slices and 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips per cup.
Notes
  1. You can replace the yogurt + honey with two YoKids yogurt in your favorite flavor.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt on this post. I was compensated for my time but all opinions expressed are my own.

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 diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

How to Find Joy in Nourishing Your Body

There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I’ve experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I’m so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

“You have to be healthy to eat healthy.”

It’s something I often say to people frustrated with trying to eat the “right way” but still not feeling great. There are so many diets that promote real food and healing. They all have merit, but that doesn’t mean they work for everyone.

I know this because I’ve tried them (read some of my thoughts HERE). And the only thing I got was severe obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, more food intolerances and infertility. But no healing.

The real problem is they all include rules. Specific diets place restrictions on what you can eat and categorize food as good or bad. When a food is deemed bad or forbidden guess what happens? You want it! You are left with this constant decision making between doing the right thing or the wrong thing. And feeling guilty if you choose wrong. Or worse food starts to cause anxiety.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

It took me the last twenty years to move past feeling like food is either good or bad. But I did it.  And I love it! It is so freeing to finally enjoy food.

Sound Familiar? There’s help!

Are you hung up on trying to find the right diet for you? Are you wondering if low carb or grain free or high fat is right for you? Does it make you stressed just thinking about it? Here are some simple tips to get past the fear and back to joy.

  1. Start listening to your body.
    Take note of how you feel when you eat certain foods. Keep a food journal for a week or two if need be. If nuts bother your stomach, take a break from them. If you feel better eating more carbohydrates and less fat then go for it. Eat what makes YOU feel good, not what helps your neighbor or your favorite blogger. If you are dealing with an autoimmune disease or allergies that will impact what foods hurt or help.
  2. Get rid of the rules.
    Stop viewing food as good or bad. As long as it’s real food it’s ok. Enjoy a piece of homemade chocolate cake and ice cream. Make a big stack of pancakes with butter and real maple syrup for breakfast. When you restrict foods because you think you shouldn’t eat them (instead of restricting because they actually make you feel bad) they create more stress. Ditch the diet and rigid rules.
  3. Start focusing on nourishment.
    This is where the fun begins. When you let go of unnecessary rules and you’re not constantly debating between eating a salad and digging into a container of ice cream you can focus on really taking care of your body.

Finding Joy

I spent far too many years trying to eat the perfect diet. Only to feel stressed, anxious and deprived. Then I had to go the other direction of eating anything and everything to try to restore metabolic health (you can read about my journey HERE and HERE). All to find a place of balance. Now I find great joy in nourishing my body. Not because a diet tells me to. Because I want to.

I heard someone recently say that happiness is external and joy is internal. Being happy comes from your circumstances, but joy is a state of being that comes from within. And it’s true. Good food does make me happy. But it’s the joy and peace I have inside that motivates me to make healthy choices every day.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Balance is Key

Today eating is like an exciting adventure for me. I try to pack as many nutrients into my food as possible. I add desiccated liver and fermented kale to smoothies and salads. I eat sardines and anchovies a couple times a week. I eat pastured meats and eggs regularly. I aim for a rainbow of vegetables and plenty of healthy fats daily. I drink herbal teas for added minerals and to support my body and get my hormones back in balance. It’s almost like a fun game to see how many vitamins and minerals I can get each day. I feel good and the joy comes pouring out.

But I also enjoy a dish of ice cream when I want it. Sometimes I eat a bowl of mashed avocado and tortilla chips for breakfast (quick and delicious…and it’s easy to add liver to avocado!). I like to bake with my kids and make special sweet treats together (like gluten free Oreos® and salted honey chocolates). It’s even rare that I go a day without at least a little bit of chocolate.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

There is no more should or shouldn’t with food. There are no rules. There is no restriction. Which in turn eliminates cravings (imagine that!).

Now I love to fuel my body, and I love how it makes me feel. That does not mean my diet is perfect. Not every single bite of food has to be nutrient packed. And less healthy foods here and there don’t negate all the good stuff I put in my body every day.

Let go of the Guilt

There is no guilt or feeling of reward for eating a certain way. I just truly love to eat nutrient dense food. No rules or special diets. I don’t eat GAPS or Paleo or AIP or low carb or any other specialized diet. I just eat real food that makes me feel good and that I know is helping me take care of my body. One day I might eat grain free while the next I might need some extra starch. And they are both just fine!

It’s very freeing to let go and find joy in nourishment. And it’s the healthiest I’ve ever been!

I am very blessed that I do not have an autoimmune condition or severe allergies. But I do have some sensitivities and health issues I’m still working through. But I try not to let them get me down. I nourish my body as best I can with my limitations and keep striving for full healing.

Eating real food is easy. There are limitless options. Eating real food that meets your needs can be hard. But once you figure out how to do it you’ll love how you feel.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Foods That Nourish

Some of my favorite nutrient dense foods are ferments. They are packed with natural probiotics. What I really love is how easy they are (take a big scoop and enjoy!) and how much my kids like them. My toddler can’t get enough sauerkraut. While we do make our own sometimes, I don’t always have time to pound cabbage.

I recently got the chance to try sauerkraut and fermented pickles from Cultured Guru.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Both the kraut and pickles have just a few simple ingredients and taste amazing! Using traditional fermentation these products are teaming with probiotics. They make great additions to a meal or are the perfect quick snack.

My oldest can’t get enough of the pickles. She has oral SPD and doesn’t tolerate any amount of spice. So even though she likes pickles it’s rare we can find any she’ll eat. But she loves the Cultured Guru pickles! She loves the sauerkraut too. Another rarity for her.

If you want to try some Cultured Guru ferments you’re in luck! You can get 25% off off using coupon code PROBIO.

I’ll be stocking up too. My kids and I can’t get enough!! Such a blessing when working on healing allergies!There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Super Charged Bites

Another super food that tops my list is a traditional staple – organ meats. I get mine by adding Perfect Supplements desiccated liver to just about everything. I even make caramel with it! I also love the fermented kale, collagen and aquatic greens from Perfect Supplements. I add them to most of our smoothies.

You can get 10% off any of these Perfect Supplements products with the coupon code TAKE10.

Some of my other favorite foods include sardines, salmon, eggs, raw milk, butter, lard, tallow, pastured meats and a rainbow of vegetables. They all make my body smile.

You have to be healthy to eat healthy.

I’m so excited to finally be healthy so I can enjoy eating well and nourishing my body every day.

Are you ready to let go of rules and enjoy eating again? Ditch the diets and find joy in nourishing your body.

Today is my birthday, and I’m starting it with pure joy. Joy that I’m taking care of myself and this beautiful body God gave me.

Want to see what I eat for my #nourishingbreakfast #nourishinglunch and #nourishingdinner? Follow me on Instagram! It may inspire you…or it might gross you out. In my husband’s words, “You eat that for breakfast?!”There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Disclaimer: I am working with Cultured Guru for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions are my own.

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.

Enjoy your holidays AND serve a healthy breakfast with this nutritious candy cane smoothie bowl. It's so easy to make your kids can do it!

The Christmas Breakfast You Need – Candy Cane Smoothie Bowl

Enjoy your holidays AND serve a healthy breakfast with this nutritious candy cane smoothie bowl. It’s so easy to make your kids can do it!

Enjoy your holidays AND serve a healthy breakfast with this nutritious candy cane smoothie bowl. It's so easy to make your kids can do it!

I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas from my childhood. We’d go to church for a candle light service on Christmas Eve. When it was time for presents my three siblings and I would sit in a line, and my dad would hand them out one at a time. There was so much joy and excitement.

Then we would visit out-of-town extended family. It was great to see grandparents and cousins that we didn’t get to see very often.

Of course after all of the celebrations were done it was time to play! We played with our new toys and spent hours outside building snow forts. That’s what Christmas break is all about, right?

Then I Grew Up…

Now I’m a parent…and I still love Christmas. But it doesn’t quite bring the same joy and excitement as it did when I was a child. I dwell on all of the stuff on my to-do list. The packing, traveling, buying, wrapping, cooking, baking, cleaning and hosting. It’s more crazy than calming. More stressful than joyful.

So by the time all of the chaos is over I’m just plain worn out. I don’t have the energy to prepare a fancy breakfast for my family.

Enjoy your holidays AND serve a healthy breakfast with this nutritious candy cane smoothie bowl. It's so easy to make your kids can do it!

My Solution?

This super simple candy cane smoothie bowl!

IT’S LOADED WITH NUTRIENTS BUT REQUIRES VERY LITTLE EFFORT…ISN’T THAT WHAT WE ARE ALL LOOKING FOR?

A candy cane smoothie bowl is festive and fun. It is so easy to make I actually let my kids do most of the prep work! The older kids practice their detailed cutting skills they learned in the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. The younger ones pick out pomegranate seeds.

All of the preparation can be done the day before (great afternoon project for bored kids!!). Even the smoothie ingredients can go right in the blender and be ready for morning.

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing the recipe. Christmas breakfast planning done!

Get the recipe here!

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.