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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.
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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.

Every year I take steps towards breaking the chains of anxiety and OCD. Every year I learn more about myself and grow closer to God. This year...I'm going all in.

Going All In This Year

Every year I take steps towards breaking the chains of anxiety and OCD. Every year I learn more about myself and grow closer to God. This year…I’m going all in.

Every year I take steps towards breaking the chains of anxiety and OCD. Every year I learn more about myself and grow closer to God. This year...I'm going all in.

2016 was quite a year. There were so many amazing things that happened (I wrote about it here).

That doesn’t mean 2017 will be a let down. Far from it! I have some fun goals for this year. More importantly, God has good plans for me.

Fun Things Ahead.

Here are a few of the things I want to accomplish this year:

  1. Write a new book! I already have the topic. I just need to find time to make it happen. You’ll be the first to know when it’s ready.
  2. Settle into a home school routine. We’re starting fresh this year now that my son is home too. So we’ll be seeing what does and doesn’t work, figuring out the best layout for our classroom and finding some fun ways to learn.
  3. Have fewer doctor appointments. I am thankful that lately this hasn’t been too much of an issue. My daughter is now going to the orthodontist only once every six weeks. And we’re still deciding if she needs to continue with the functional neurologist. Aside from that it’s just regular check ups or a trip to the ped if a child is really sick. My goal is no allergist appointments this year!!
  4. Get the house totally unpacked and settled. I’m amazed at how much we accomplished in three weeks here. We’re down to odds and ends boxes left to unpack. We’re still adding a few decor items.
  5. Adjust to farm life. I think come spring it will hit me a little more that we live on a farm. We’ll be cleaning the barn, starting a garden and hopefully getting chickens. Maybe a few bunnies too. Then reality will sink in!
  6. Make new friends. It’s my priority this year to make sure my kids have plenty of interaction with friends even though we home school. Plus we want to meet the people that live around us and develop new friendships when we find a new home church. It’s exciting and scary for this shy introvert!
  7. Spend more time together as a family. Now that we don’t have cable, we’re not as busy and we home school my prayer is that we have a lot more family time. We’re already trying to figure out where to go on vacation! I’m including in this extended family too – just yesterday I talked on the phone with my dad for a while. He broke his knee cap and had surgery a few days ago. I don’t live near by so I can’t really help much, but I can talk to him!
  8. Make sleep a priority. I probably say this every year. But I really mean it. I know it is the missing piece to my health puzzle. Now that my toddler has been sleeping through the night regularly for a month I am amazed at how much better I feel. I need to allow myself to sleep in sometimes and go to bed early sometimes. To-do lists can wait. I kicked this off yesterday with a nice Sunday afternoon nap. And going to bed early!

Setting My Sights High.

Probably my biggest goal is to finally slam the door shut on my anxiety and OCD that I’ve battled for years. I have made huge progress on them over the past ten years. But I’m ready to say goodbye completely.

This is only possible by the grace of God. Last year he laid it on my heart to be fearless. And that is my goal heading into 2017 as well. Following God’s path is not always easy, but it leads to blessing beyond measure.

Every year I take steps towards breaking the chains of anxiety and OCD. Every year I learn more about myself and grow closer to God. This year...I'm going all in.

My Words This Year.

Every year I pick a word for the year to focus on (or should I say God picks a word for me). This year I have two:

FEARLESS

HUMBLE

Last year I felt lots of change coming. This year feels like it will be calmer. But still big. I anticipate more time just being still and quiet instead of constantly on the go. I look forward to the blessings and surprises God has in store for myself and for my family. And I pray that I will approach everything fearlessly and with humility.

Lest I question this choice, my sister-in-law bought me a “Be Fearless.” sign for Christmas and just yesterday after I had just finished writing this post my toddler was walking around saying “humble, humble, humble…”. Sometimes God speaks loud and clear!

This year I’m going all in. I pray God will guide me through the challenges and the joys that lie ahead.

Do you have any goals for this year? I’d love to hear about them!!

Every year I take steps towards breaking the chains of anxiety and OCD. Every year I learn more about myself and grow closer to God. This year...I'm going all in.

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.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

I Let My Toddler Use Knives

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it’s worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That’s why I let my toddler use knives!

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Getting my kids in the kitchen is nothing new to me.

All three of my kids have been in the kitchen with me since birth…makes sense seeing as I spend half my day there!

I let my kids get involved as soon as they are able. My oldest was baking cookies with me at nine months.

Something New.

But I never really taught my kids a set of skills. I never really let them take control.

Until I started doing the Kids Cook Real Food ecourse from Kitchen Stewardship!

I started with my older kids (ages 7 and 4 at the time). They love it! And I love watching them gain confidence and asking to help in the kitchen.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Toddlers Can Do It Too!

Little sister has been sitting on the sidelines observing until recently. She turned two in August. And she was more than ready to join in the fun!

We started with knife skills (try them FREE here!). That may sound strange, but it really is an important skill and one that even a toddler can do. She loves to slice bananas any chance she gets. Every time we walk by them sitting on the counter she puts in her request.

I can teach her proper techniques while keeping her safe (cutting bananas with a butter knife is fairly harmless). And all of those banana slices she makes either go in her mouth or in the freezer for a delicious dessert or to add to smoothies later.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

More To Love.

We are now moving on to other skills like measuring and pouring. She LOVES pouring beans or water back and forth in containers. Big brother does it right along with her to sharpen his skills. Then they make homemade fruit snacks on their own! Sometimes we use molds. Sometimes we make them in a pan so they can practice knife skills again by cutting them into cubes.

What five-year old do you know that can make his own healthy fruit snacks instead of eating the artificially colored and flavored waxy things out of a bag?

It really is possible.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Helping Mom And Dad.

My older kids (now 8 and 5) are always willing to lend a helping hand with dinner preparation. Which is such a blessing to me! And I get the pleasure of giving them praise and boosting their confidence.

My eight-year old has a goal this year of being able to make a whole meal on her own. Right now our goal is confidence and safety cooking at the stove. And now that we are home schooling we are adding it right into our curriculum. It’s so much fun.

She is even starting to create her own recipes and keeps begging to start her own blog. Did I mention she’s only eight?!

You really will be amazed at just how much kids can do in the kitchen when you give them a chance.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Get In On The Fun!

Yes, even a two-year old can be helpful in the kitchen and start learning life skills. By the time my kids are teenagers I’m afraid I may be out of a job!
Are you ready to have some help in the kitchen?

Kids Cook Real Food

Try the knife skills lessons for FREE!

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

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.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

I’m Slowing Down…

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

I’m slowing down.

Whether I want to or not. I am. My mind is. My body is.

Here’s the problem.

Life is not.

In fact life is going in the complete opposite direction.

I have three very active children that seem to keep growing…don’t they know they’re supposed to stay little forever?

With those growing kids come more and more activities like soccer, t-ball, piano, church activities, time with friends, etc. As each child starts the activities multiply.

Full Time Work.

Then there is work. I work from home. I started my blog shortly after my oldest was born as a hobby. But it has grown into more than just a hobby. I have to work on it daily. And it’s a LOT of work. But now instead of just my own blog I help with someone else’s blog and write for several other blogs and magazines. Those hours add up very quickly. And none of them include child care.

I also started home schooling this year. Which I absolutely love and can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. But it does take work. I have to be more organized and I don’t have as much free time during the week.

Did I mention we are moving to a 10 acre farm by the end of the year? That means we’re in the process of packing and cleaning right now. Soon we’ll be selling our house and then doing the big move…during the holidays. Yeah, it’ll be busy.

No Big Deal?

This all sounds like normal stuff. Most people can handle it.

But I’m struggling.

It’s not something I like to admit. But I am.

I am the kind of person that likes to say yes to everything and everyone. I also don’t like to ask for help. Those two traits don’t go so well together.

I also don’t have any help aside from my husband. We don’t have close family in town. If life is feeling crazy and hectic I just have to deal with it. I can’t call Grandma to take the kids for a few hours so I can catch my breath. Instead I get a few minutes of nap time to scroll through Facebook or Pinterest before jumping back in.

What Happened?

The thing is I used to be able to handle more busyness. So what happened?

I didn’t listen to my body.

I wasn’t honest about my struggles. I never accepted help. I never asked for help. Not even from my husband!

I’ve had a lot of really big stressors in my life over the last fifteen years. Bigger than I realized. And they took a toll. Major colon surgery. Years of infertility and treatments. Years of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder and working with a psychologist.

I thought I was over a lot of the major stuff after that. So I didn’t even realize until just now how stressful the last three years have been.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

Three Years Of Worry.

In mid 2013 I went through my last (7th!!) round of IVF…which ended in a miscarriage. The miscarriage lasted over a month. And my adrenals and thyroid went haywire. My whole body was swelling. I was gaining weight every week. Things were out of whack. I was trying hard to make huge lifestyle changes.

And just when I was making some progress I got pregnant with my miracle baby…the thing I had been working towards.

I was so happy, and the pregnancy went smoothly.

But it caused me a lot of anxiety. I worried about the health of the baby every day. But I just dealt with it. As I did my adrenals continued to suffer.

Wait, It Gets Worse?

After my daughter was born things were good for a bit. Then she had multiple severe vaccine reactions. And I spent the next year and a half fighting for her life. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alone than I did during that time. I worried about her and cried about it almost daily.

Her malnutrition and fighting to keep her nourished through nursing impacted me so much that even now, at 2 years old, every time I nurse her I have heart palpitations. Even though she only nurses a couple times a day and is a great eater. It’s my body’s natural response…worrying she won’t get enough.

To add to the stress of the last three years we’ve dealt with health issues for my other two children. It started as allergies and general gut health and has now turned into neurological issues.

As I’m typing this I’m still trying to unwind from a morning of my five year old constantly screaming at me and responding to everything I say with an extreme negative. Sometimes to the point where he shuts himself in the closet and screams over and over that he wants to kill himself.

It’s exhausting, disheartening and just overwhelming at times. All I can do is keep praying.

Allergies.

It is also a lot of work to cook for my family. With so many varying allergies I always have to cook multiple meals and make just about everything from scratch…even if I don’t have time.

There is no such thing as ordering pizza or going out to eat when I just don’t have the energy. Or even pouring a bowl of cereal when I can’t even think about breakfast.

It is a huge responsibility on my shoulders. If I don’t do it my kids can’t eat.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

Waiting For Our Dream.

Over the last year we have had some huge ups and downs in our house search too. We have had multiple offers accepted but then things not work out for one reason or another. It’s been very emotional and at times has felt very similar to our infertility journey. We are praying this house is really the one and we can move past this by year’s end.

Deeper Thoughts.

When I was growing up my mom dealt with anxiety and depression. At about the same age as I am right now she had a nervous breakdown and was in in-patient care at a mental health facility and was on lots of medication. We got to visit her once in a while and had to have my grandparents help take care of us. I was in third grade. My little brother was in kindergarten. Right now my daughter is in third grade and my son is in kindergarten. Yeah, it really makes me think about how things could go if something doesn’t change. I don’t want that to happen to my kids.

I’ve also always thought I’d have four kids (just like my family growing up…girl, boy, girl, boy. Right now we’ve got girl, boy, girl). From the time I was five all I wanted to do was be a mom…and have four kids. There were times during my infertility journey I wondered if I’d ever be a mom at all. But I still held on to that dream of having four kids.

Now here I am with three kids…and the desire is still there, stronger than ever. But I also know my body is not healthy enough right now for another baby. And I’m not getting any younger. And life isn’t getting any easier. It weighs heavily on my mind almost daily. Though I try my best to remember that God’s plans and timing are perfect. We’ll see what the future holds.

Taking Its Toll.

Through the last few years of pregnancy and breastfeeding and stress my body has become extremely depleted. Which really doesn’t do good things for you, trust me.

Over the last few months I’ve started having more and more heart palpitations (which freak me out). I have started to gain weight in my abdomen over the last nine months (something I’ve never dealt with).

I thought maybe my thyroid was getting worse. I had my levels checked…perfect. I still tried increasing my medication just to be sure. No luck. If anything it made me feel worse.

So I did a 24 hour saliva cortisol test. It’s really not bad. My levels are in the normal range most of the day. But I think they are working very hard to stay there.

My adrenals are really being taxed on a daily basis.

Adrenal Health.

So I’ve been doing some research on adrenals. A few of the things that always come up:

  1. Get more sleep and go to bed by 10 pm.
  2. Don’t skip breakfast and eat a good balance of protein and carbs.
  3. Reduce stress.

I always thought sleep was my biggest problem.

But I don’t really think it is. I go to bed at 10 every night. I have for many years. I’m not a night owl. And although I am an early riser I get about 7 hours of sleep a night. So I could improve, but it’s not horrible.

I never skip breakfast. I am ready to eat the minute I get out of bed. I’ve been that way for many, many years. And I eat a big breakfast.

I also don’t skimp on calories throughout the day. So I’m not restricting in any way when it comes to quantity…a huge bonus for adrenal health and your metabolism.

Oddly enough the things that are a hindrance to most people are the things I’ve been doing right for years.

Sleep and morning routines are great. It’s the rest of the day I have to figure out.

It comes down to two things – stress and a limited diet (due to a nursing toddler with allergies).

So…

So now what? I can’t just stop life. Can I?

Well, not exactly. But I can make some changes.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

My body is getting older and slowing down. Life is getting busier. I’m ready to switch that around.

So I’m making a few goals for myself. And if I share them with you it will help me stick to them.

Maybe you want to join me?

These are goals for my myself as an individual and for my family.

  1. Lay down during the day for 5 – 15 minutes. Resting isn’t always enough. Physically laying down can really help recharge your body.
  2. Eat a snack in the afternoon to help with blood sugar regulation (I can’t wait to learn more about this in the Fix Your Blood Sugar course!!)
  3. Eat less before bed to give my body time to rest and truly recharge at night instead of working on digestion.
  4. Change my exercise routine. Try more T-Tapp and yoga and do less cardio.
  5. Sleep in on the weekends (this is a HARD one for me…but I am really going to try)
  6. Take time off from work (another really hard one…I love sharing my stories and my food with you…but it’s a lot of work…I may be MIA here and there over the next few months/years…it’s because I’m heeding my own advice). Keep the weekends more open for family time.
  7. Use our move to get the house organized and more functional for us so we spend less time with chaos and cleaning.
  8. Start using some hormone-supporting essential oils (still researching these a bit).
  9. Start the big kids on some herbs that help with calming their nervous system and a cleanse to get rid of parasites.
  10. Continue to have my oldest work with the functional neurologist to also improve the nervous system. And possibly have my son start as well.
  11. Take time for my marriage and connecting with my husband (it’s been over 2 years since we’ve been on a date due to the above situations…I think it’s about time!!)
  12. When my toddler is done nursing I can add a few more to this list – hormone level testing and another hair tissue mineral analysis to see where I’m at. Then go from there with flooding my body with the nutrients it needs.
  13. Read as many of the books and take as many of the courses in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle as I can. After I download them I’ve got them for life. So I can take my time. But for once I am going to make the time. There is just such a wealth of knowledge contained in the bundle. It may take me a few years to get through it all. But I really hope to. I’m starting with the Perfect Periods course and the Heal Your Gut Summit. Then I think I’ll switch over to some of the books on kids’ health. Maybe I’ll even include it in our home school curriculum and read it with my kids!!

Life Is Still Crazy.

I know the next two months are still going to be pretty stressful with moving. But I know that up front and am going to take measures to deal with it as best as I can.

I also know that there is much more to the root issue than adrenals. I’ve got to work on hormone balancing and overall gut health.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

Then once we get settled I’m ready to start a new lifestyle.

One that includes home schooling all of my kids, starting a farm and watching them learn about raising animals, getting away from the busy pace of life and just slowing down. Having that goal in mind keeps me going.

If I can remember I hope to do an update on this in a year. I love to look back and see how much has changed. See where God has led me and how He has directed my path.

God’s Plans.

Even this post was not one I had planned to write at all. I just sat down in front of the computer and started typing. Really. I wanted to share a piece of me with you today. And that is one last goal. To do more of that moving forward.

At the start of this year God really laid it on my heart that this would be a year of huge change. I had no idea what. But I knew stuff was coming. He also told me to be fearless. And I am trying my hardest (though it is REALLY hard for this natural worrier). So far He has been true his intentions. If you had told me at the start of the year I’d be nursing a healthy toddler, home schooling my oldest and getting ready to move to a 10 acre farm I would have said you were crazy. But God is good.

I feel more changes still to come.

Including even more change in focus in my writing. I’m not even sure what that means. But I trust God does. And He’ll guide me.

Do you have any goals you’d like to share? Did any of this resonate with you? I’d love to hear about it!!

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.

A Simple Cure For Picky Eaters | Just Take A Bite

A Simple Cure For Picky Eaters

Sometimes picky eating is a much deeper problem than it seems. But sometimes it’s not. Here is a simple cure for picky eaters…that aren’t really that picky.

A Simple Cure For Picky Eaters | Just Take A Bite

I wouldn’t call any of my kids picky eaters.

Wait a minute. Isn’t this whole site devoted to feeding children that struggle with eating? Yep! And I learned it all from my kids.

But none of them is picky.

To me a picky eater is a child that is truly just wanting to have some control and make his own decisions about his food.

A picky eater is not a child whose diet is limited to noodles and crackers. That is a much deeper problem related to the child’s health (be on the lookout for my book on how to deal with that soon!!)

My kids all have other root causes for their eating issues. When they are feeling good they are all wonderful eaters.

Today I’m talking about the kind of picky eating that is more a battle of wills than taste buds.

If your child is a picky eater there is a simple cure. Teach your child to cook!

I can’t tell you how many times my kids have practically inhaled a meal because they helped prepare it. They feel such a sense of accomplishment.

Great idea! But how exactly do I teach my kids to cook?

Katie at Kitchen Stewardship has put together an amazing course for both parents and children to teach kids of all ages to cook.

My kids and I have been previewing the course over the last couple months. Not only are my kids absolutely loving it and learning a lot, I’m learning too!

I’m learning basic skills I was never taught as a child. I’m learning how to teach my children and how to work with them in the kitchen.

So far my kids’ favorite part has been using knives (of course). You can preview the knife skills for free right now.

But there is SO much more to learn. My four year old is already starting to crack eggs. My seven year old is very anxious to try making a detailed recipe on her own. She actually made today’s breakfast (she even planned it) of strawberry parfaits.

Kids Cook Real Food is a way to get the whole family on board with healthier eating and put that picky eating to rest. Who knows, you may have a budding chef on your hands!

The course is open for enrollment this week.

Check out the free videos and get ready to end the picky eating by teaching your child to cook. It is a skill that will benefit both you and your kids for life.

Does your child have strong opinions about what she will or won’t eat?

A Simple Cure For Picky Eaters | Just Take A Bite

There really is a simple cure for picky eaters. Get them in the kitchen! If that doesn’t work. Come back and see me when my book is ready and we’ll talk more!

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.

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.

New Year's Goals Everyone Should Have | Just Take A Bite

New Year’s Goals Everyone Should Have

Don’t get caught up in the January frenzy of diets and grand resolutions. I’m sharing some New Year’s goals everyone should have that won’t leave you stressed and burned out by February.

New Year's Goals Everyone Should Have | Just Take A Bite

I’ve been making goals for myself every year for quite some time. At first they were so lengthy and detailed because my life was a mess and there was so much to work on.

Every year I scale back as I get healthier and can take more time to just enjoy life.

This year I decided to change things up again and create goals not just for myself. Instead I came up with new year’s goals everyone should have!

My goals do not include dieting, reaching a number on the scale or trying to be more crafty. Those are fine if that is what you like to do.

But for most people they just leave you burned out and feeling defeated and stressed by February.

Here are my New Year’s goals everyone should have.

New Year's Goals Everyone Should Have | Just Take A Bite

Get more rest.

This can mean sleep or just down time. Either way, we are all overworked and overstressed. Take a day off each week or aim to get to bed earlier a few nights a week. Rest and sleep are so critical for good health.

No restrictions or diets.

Make this the year to stop following the latest food trend (i.e. paleo, primal, GAPS, Whole30, HTM, low carb, high fiber, low fat, Atkins, etc.) and start listening to your body. Nobody can tell you what to eat to feel your best. Only you can figure that out.

Really pay attention to hunger signals and nutritional needs. This changes with each season of your life and even day to day. No prescribed diet can tell you if your body needs some extra protein or starch today.

Listen to your body and make choices each day based on how you are feeling and what your body needs. Restricting (whether particular foods or calories) whether it’s for a few months or just a few weeks or even days will have an impact on your metabolic health. Each time you restrict you are creating more work for yourself down the road to get your metabolism back to full strength.

If you need help with knowing what your body really needs I highly recommend HTMA.

New Year's Goals Everyone Should Have | Just Take A Bite

Move your body.

Notice that I did not say exercise. Try to move your body more each day. Movement incorporated throughout the day is more effective than sitting all day and then jogging for thirty minutes.

If you have a desk job get up every hour and take a little walk. Or keep pedals at your desk and pedal while you work. If it works for your job a treadmill desk is very effective for moving while you work (and is on my wish list!).

Strenuous exercise is just that – stress. And any stress on your body will have an impact. So don’t strain yourself and force yourself to work out. Just add movement to your whole day. A moving body is a healthy body.

Also move according to your health and ability. If you are nursing a little one or recovering from adrenal fatigue now is not the time to push yourself. Simply working around your house and taking a slow walk is sufficient movement without burdening your body.

I tend to sit a lot during the day whether I’m writing or playing on the floor with the kids or driving kids here and there. But I notice that on days where I put away laundry or grocery shop and have more movement all morning I feel so much better. I am not forcing myself to jog five miles. Just moving.

Yoga, walking and weight lifting are all great ways to move your body.

New Year's Goals Everyone Should Have | Just Take A Bite

Strive to nourish your body every day.

Pick one thing you can do each day to add nourishment to your body. Try adding one food like liver, egg yolks, probiotics, sardines, gelatin or broth each day.

Make sure you are getting a good balance of protein, carbohydrates (including starch, not just sugar) and fat that works for your body and your current health status. Figure out your metabolic type and pay attention to how different ratios of macronutrients make you feel. Then aim to get the right balance each day.

For me, that means a lot of carb/starch right now. Being a sleep deprived mom that is still nursing a 16 month old full time and being a slow oxidizer I need a LOT of starch in my diet. So my meal may look unbalanced to you since I’ll have two or three big slices of sourdough bread that make up half my meal. But if I don’t eat that way I feel rotten and cold all day and have no energy. I do balance that with lots of vegetables, pastured meats and healthy fats for all of my vitamins and minerals.

Give your body the balance and the nourishment it needs each day.

Make time for yourself and for others.

This year make people a priority. Whether that means self care or setting aside the to-do list to play with your kids or making time to connect with your spouse. People are what matter. Build relationships. Cherish them.

Extend grace to yourself and others.

We live in a very critical society. We judge others. We are bombarded with ideas of what you should or shouldn’t look like in the media. Pinterest images make us feel like we should be whipping up a new craft each day.

Let’s stop the criticism and instead show love. We all want to feel accepted and loved. So start by loving yourself and extending that grace to those around you. You can’t control how other people behave but you can be a light to others.

This also means being vulnerable. Stop hiding behind masks. Be real. Nobody is perfect. We all have flaws. And we’d all be a lot happier if we let those flaws show, accepted help where we are lacking and helped others with our strengths.

New Year's Goals Everyone Should Have | Just Take A Bite

Take time for reading God’s Word, prayer and listening.

I go in phases with making devotional time a priority. But every time I do I am amazed at how I see God at work and feel so much more at peace.

But the thing I haven’t always done is taken the time to really listen. Read your Bible and pray. Then just be silent. You can’t hear God if you don’t listen! I encourage you to slow down and keep eyes and ears open to hear God throughout the day.

Make time for fun.

There is so much pain and trouble in the world. It is important to take time to do fun things and see the good and beauty around. Go on dates with your kids. Have a family game night. Go for a walk in the woods with your spouse. Read a good book. Try something you’ve never done before. Life is often very serious. Make time for fun.

New Year's Goals Everyone Should Have | Just Take A Bite

Take joy in the little things each day.

Don’t get so busy that you miss out on the little things each day – your child’s smile, a special note from your child, a beautiful sunrise, a refrigerator  filled with food, drawers full of clean laundry, running water. There are so many things to be thankful for.

This year we could all complain less and find more joy each day.

Put down the phone!

I try my best to keep my use of electronics to a minimum when I’m not working. But I’m sure I could do even better. Put down the phone or tablet or whatever is in your hand to be able to follow through on the other goals – making relationships a priority, finding joy, having fun, listening to God.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want my kids’ memory of me to be with a phone in my hand staring at a screen instead of playing with them.

Let’s put that phone down and talk to people face to face.

It’s all about balance.

After writing all of these goals I realized I made quite a list! Which is kind of the opposite of my intention. But they are all great. Pick the ones you like or maybe just one and see if it helps you feel better in 2016.

It all boils down to balance in all areas of life. Slow down, focus on gentle movement, take time for rest, eat balanced meals without extremes or restrictions, enjoy life, pursue passions, take time for others and for God.

New Year's Goals Everyone Should Have | Just Take A Bite

Pick your word.

In addition to goals, every year I choose a word to focus on. Something God lays on my heart. Last year was GRATITUDE. The year before was LOVE. And before that ACCEPTANCE.

This year I am choosing to focus on PATIENCE. There are so many things I want to do and accomplish. There are so many things to try to squeeze in each day. I usually feel so overwhelmed by all of the need-to-dos and want-to-dos in my head.

I am working on patience and trusting in God’s plans and timing. I pray he will develop my passion for his purpose. And that I will be more patient with my children. I don’t usually enjoy a season of waiting. But I feel like that’s where I’m at right now in so many aspects of my life. So I’m going to be patient. I know God has big things planned for me when this time of waiting is over. But he has work to do on me yet while I wait.

Try picking your own word this year. What would it be?

Personal goals.

I do have a few personal goals this year. I am writing my first book and my goal is to finish it. It is something I’ve wanted to do for YEARS. But wasn’t sure exactly what to focus on. Now I know. And I’m excited (be on the lookout!).

I also want to focus on healing for my kids. They each have a ways to go to be at full health.

Finally, I want to work on my character. I want this to be the year with no more shouting and being vulnerable and letting people see the real me.

There it is. My list of New Year’s goals everyone should have. Plus a few personal goals (notice that I kept that list short so I can actually do it!).

What are your goals this year? I’d love to hear them!

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway!

Take one simple step towards better health this year by updating your health and beauty routine. I’m so excited to share my Cheshire Fields review and giveaway of some amazing products!

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

I am working with Cheshire Fields to blog about these products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to review these products. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Just about everyone is on the lookout for simple ways to improve their health. Especially as the new year starts.

I’m not big on diets or spending a lot of money to feel good. I don’t know about you but I also don’t have a lot of extra time to learn to make my own health and beauty products.

But I do love when there are affordable, homemade, high quality products that are in line with my views on health.

I recently got to sample some products from my friend Michelle at Cheshire Fields. She has an assortment of handmade soaps, shampoos, balms, sprays and more that are 100% natural (and I really mean that…not just labeled organic or using the term natural without much meaning behind it).

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

When it comes to natural health and beauty most people jump to coconut oil. It is amazing stuff.

But since I have a toddler with a coconut allergy I try to keep our house pretty much coconut free. That means just about every soap, lotion and shampoo is out.

I was thrilled to find out that Michelle has many products that are not only coconut free but also dairy and nut free! Natural products that are safe for my family. I didn’t think they existed!

Tallow Balm

The first product I tried as soon as it arrived was the tallow balm.

I haven’t been able to use lotion in over a year! A year!! Can you say dry skin?

I was thrilled to try the tallow balm and was not disappointed. Just a tiny bit goes a long way and creates soft, smooth skin. Plus it smells so good with all of the essential oils added.

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

I love that it is safe to use on my entire family, even my kids with allergies. It also comes in a compact case that is easy to take wherever you go. We brought it along for all of our holiday travel.

My oldest likes to use it on her hands at bed time and wear socks on her hands (thanks to Michelle’s suggestion!). By morning she has super soft skin again instead of dry, cracked hands.

Sinus Balm

The sinus balm was a Christmas present for my seven year old. That might sound strange to some. But she has struggled with environmental allergies and mouth breathing for years.

Having another natural tool for helping her breathe better at night is a huge blessing.

It is also made with olive oil and is very safe. The scent is pretty strong. But that is how it works.

My son had a stuffy nose the other day and told us he had to breathe with his mouth open. We put some behind his ears and on his neck. He didn’t wake up once in the night!

Disinfectant & Freshener Spray

With young kids in school I don’t have to tell you how excited I am to have a safe disinfectant spray! It is so easy to use. Just shake and spray.

It makes my house smell wonderful (thieves will do that). Plus I can freshen things in a matter of seconds.

No need to use chemicals to clean your house. This spray can be used directly on surfaces to get rid of the germs.

I was so glad to have it around after my daughter had the flu. It has also come in very handy for the potty seat that sits in our bathroom. It is almost impossible to keep that clean and free of bad smells. The freshener spray worked wonderfully.

Tea Tree + Lavender Freshener

The tea tree + lavender spray is one of Michelle’s new products. It is similar to the disinfectant spray, but with different oils.

I can’t decide which one I like better. The tea tree and lavender combination is very floral and leaves the whole house smelling bright and fresh. I will be using both all winter long!

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Itch Relief Remedy

When you have a child with eczema there is a never ending search for products to help calm the itching. So I was very excited to get to try this.

It comes as a powder that you can make into a paste. It has a very mild scent and soothing ingredients. Just a pinch goes a long way so this will last a long time.

Chamomile Lavender Dry Shampoo

I wash my hair every day. Otherwise my hair gets so oily. It is fine and thin.

When Michelle told me about her dry shampoo I was so excited. I can actually get by without washing my hair once in a while with this product. Simply rub it into the scalp to absorb oil. Plus it smells amazing!

For those mornings where my little one just doesn’t want to sleep and let me take a shower this dry shampoo is a life saver! I can leave the house without feeling like I look unshowered. It is even great for days that I wear my hair down. By afternoon it already looks greasy. Just a bit of dry shampoo and I’m looking good again and smelling good too!

The chamomile lavender is great for light colored hair like mine. There is another one specifically for dark hair.

I was so impressed with all of these Cheshire Fields products. I even bought a bunch for Christmas presents for the women in my family! But you don’t have to wait until Christmas. They make great gifts any time of year.

Plus this is just a small sample of all of the great products Michelle has to offer. She is so passionate about sharing homemade, natural products.

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Michelle has generously offered to give away a hair care bundle to one of my lovely readers. It includes:

  • Henna Shampoo Bar
  • Hair Oil
  • Dry Shampoo (you choose light or dark)

I don’t know about you, but I could use some serious hair pampering this year!

Can’t wait to see if you’re the winner? Head over to Cheshire Fields right now and use the code MYNEWYEAR to get 10% off your whole order all month long!

I hope you check out all of the Cheshire Fields products. Come back and let me know what looks good or what you’ve tried.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work?

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work? I’m sharing my story about HTMA and whether or not it worked for me.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

As a continuation of health updates and yesterday’s post on why I stopped eating gluten free, I’m talking about my experience with hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA).

This is actually my second HTMA. I did my first with my local NP a few years ago. But this post is about my most recent HTMA.

I had intended to write about it much sooner since I did my HTMA in May! But I really didn’t have anything to write about for a long time. This has been such a slow process for me. And discouraging at times when I hear of other people that see improvement in a matter of weeks.

Here we are six months later…and not a whole lot has changed.

What is HTMA?

But before I get into the details of my story I just wanted to quickly mention what HTMA is.

According to Dr. Wilson,

“Hair tissue mineral analysis…is a soft tissue mineral biopsy that uses hair as the sampling tissue.

The test measures the levels of 20 or more minerals in the hair with an accuracy of plus or minus about 3%.  This is about the same level of accuracy as most blood tests, or a little better.”

“Minerals are sometimes called the ‘sparkplugs’ of the body.  They are needed for millions of enzymes as co-factors, facilitators, inhibitors and as part of the enzymes themselves.  As a result, they have a great deal to do with the health of our bodies.  By analyzing mineral imbalances in the body, one can learn a lot about the causes and correction of hundreds of common physical and mental health conditions.

A specific class of minerals, the toxic metals, are also extremely important today due to a nutritionally depleted food supply and the presence of environmental toxicity almost everywhere on planet earth.  Studying toxic metals is thus very important today to monitor their spread and learn about their many damaging effects upon the bodies of human beings, animals, plants and other organisms.

Even more can be learned about human and animal health by studying the ratios of the major minerals in the body.  This is a more complex area, but a very important and fruitful one.  Finally, by studying more complex patterns of minerals in the body, one can learn even more about human health and disease.”

Basically HTMA gives a window into your body, your mineral levels and how they all interact with each other. This information can help you supplement (without guessing) to get things in balance.

My results.

I did my HTMA in May with Lydia from Divine Health From the Inside Out. I was not the least bit surprised when the results came back that nothing was in the normal/ideal range for me.Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work? | Just Take A Bite

Just about everything was low…except the two things I thought would be low. Calcium and magnesium were high!

Having all of these lows and highs creates major imbalances and my mineral ratios were way off.

I got a whole write up and game plan to address these imbalances. Great! I’m on my way to better health.

But things are never that easy for me.

Have I mentioned before how abnormal my body is? I never follow the norm or what is “supposed” to work (i.e tolerating gluten and corn but not rice or quinoa).

My dilemma.

I wanted to get my vitamin and mineral levels up because I am breastfeeding. But my daughter’s allergies made that more of a challenge than I had hoped. It’s a double problem…I’m deficient partly because of her…and I can’t do anything about it because of her. When I want to do something about it FOR her!

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

All of this was happening at the same time my daughter had just developed a new round of allergies and wouldn’t eat and it seemed like I was cutting things out left and right. My poor baby was literally starving.

(It’s actually hard for me to even look at this picture because I know she was so hungry and in pain. This was about our lowest point.)

I couldn’t tell what was bothering her. And adding supplements on top of that did not help.

I started a special multivitamin…only to realize it had Vitamin A PALMitate. Not so great for a baby with a palm allergy. She was screaming in pain after I took that.

I started a new hcl supplement to help digestion. Again, major issues. I stopped taking them and after more research discovered the betaine comes from beets. My daughter can’t handle any kind of root.

I was supposed to take a vitamin A supplement but never even got started because it too was from palm.

I started a new probiotic and had severe die off reactions and had to take a break and start MUCH slower on the dose.

Basically nothing was working. I couldn’t take any of the supplements. Plus I just didn’t have the time or energy to focus on myself when my daughter was in such rough shape. She was barely eating and I had to put all of my time and energy into her health. And I couldn’t risk trying anything else new.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

A new start.

Here I am, six months later. I’m no longer in a daze from being up all night with an infant and under constant stress and worry about a baby that is undernourished and unhealthy.

It is finally time to give my own health some attention.

I have gone over my HTMA game plan quite a few times. Most recently I made my own chart of how all of the different minerals and ratios relate and what health issues they contribute to.

What I learned.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned both from Lydia and from my own research.

  1. I am a slow oxidizer. This means my body requires a lot more oxygen and energy to digest food. Basically I have a slow metabolism. So I need roughly 60% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 15% fat in my diet. This is HARD for me since I love healthy fats and know just how beneficial they are. Not to mention I think breastfeeding moms need plenty of fat.
  2. It doesn’t matter how healthy a food is – if you can’t digest it, it doesn’t do you any good. For a slow oxidizer like me this relates to fats and protein. Both are full of vitamins and minerals. But they are so hard for me to digest. Until I improve digestion I need to keep my intake of both on the lower side.
  3. The first step in my healing journey is to improve digestion through betaine + hcl and probiotics. I have started the probiotics. I need to find a betaine supplement not made from roots.
  4. With such a high tissue calcium level I can’t take any vitamin D. That means NO cod liver oil! Instead I need to really increase vitamin A to assist this. And since most vitamin A supplements are from palm that means I need to eat more liver!
  5. I also need to get sodium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, chromium, phosphorus and selenium levels up. This would be so much easier if I could eat any food I wanted.

What I didn’t like.

Here are a few things that I didn’t completely agree with.

  1. One size fits all diets don’t usually work for me. While the slow oxidizer diet is pretty broad, it still is too restrictive for my current required diet. I wish I could eat according to the suggested diet. But for now I have to do the best I can with the options I have. Which includes eating gluten.
  2. The diet recommends a little too much water and fiber in my opinion. For someone with a slow metabolism (i.e. a slow oxidizer) water intake should be quite low. And any liquids should be salted. Also, my body can’t handle much fiber at all. I can’t do any kind of whole nut/seed/grain. The bran must be removed or I am in a lot of pain. Yes, we do need some fiber. But I don’t think we need large quantities. It can aggravate an already inflamed digestive tract.
  3. Although slow oxidizers need a lot of carbohydrates, the diet suggests mostly low starch carbohydrates. I need a lot of starch in my diet else my body temperature will plummet and I’ll have no energy. That is why I need plenty of grains in my diet. Along the same lines the diet says that if you feel  hungry after a meal you ate too much starch. That seems kind of silly to me. If you are hungry after a meal it means you need more food! It doesn’t mean you ate too much. I almost always keep munching while I’m cleaning up dinner. And I don’t gain an ounce. I just needed more food. I actually tried cutting back on starch a few days ago to see how it would go. I could barely walk up the stairs to put my kids to bed in the evening because I had no energy. It felt like I was climbing a mountain and my legs couldn’t go any farther. I’m not a fan of the low starch idea.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

The verdict.

If you are looking to improve your health, I definitely recommend trying HTMA. It will give you a good picture of what is going on in your body and where you are lacking.

Here are a few tips that just about everyone can use to improve vitamin and mineral levels and digestion.

  1. Chew each bite of food very thoroughly, at least 15 – 20 times, before swallowing.
  2. Eat in a relaxed environment. Sit down and take your time. Sitting on the floor to eat can help.
  3. These are easy sources of lots of vitamins and minerals. Include the ones you tolerate in your diet weekly.

My take away.

So here I am with pretty much the same health status I had six months ago when I did my HTMA. Does that mean it didn’t work? No. I just couldn’t do much to change my health.

I know I haven’t made much progress due to dietary and supplemental restrictions. But I’m doing what I can. I am trying to move forward right now by increasing my liver consumption to get more vitamin A. I continue to increase my probiotic dose. I take molasses daily for potassium. I use Natural Calm for magnesium. I try to eat plenty of vegetables and carbohydrates.

I know I could use more sleep. Hopefully that will improve as my little one gets older.

I would love to do a retest at some point. I would also love to get all of my family members tested. I’m sure my kids have some imbalances.

It is nice to finally focus on my health now that my daughter’s allergies are under control and she is thriving.

All of the information I’ve been given makes more sense now that I’m not in a fog from an infant and constant stress. So I can start making progress with healing.

I’ll end the way I started.

Does hair tissue mineral analysis really work?

Absolutely!

Does it mean you’ll be feeling great in a few weeks?

Probably not. Especially if you are like me and have multiple set backs.

But it is definitely worth it to assess your health!

Have you ever done HTMA?

I’d love to hear your story!

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

(My heart overflows with joy and gratitude looking at this picture of my happy, healthy, little fighter. She is a true gift and a miracle.)

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.

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.

My 2015 Goals

My 2015 Goals || Homemade Dutch Apple PieIt’s that time again.  Time to start a new year and set some goals!

I’m not a fan of vague resolutions like losing weight or getting in shape.  I like to come up with a list of some specific goals that are attainable and help me stay focused through the year.

Last year I didn’t even post my goals until March because the first two months of the year I was so sick with morning sickness I could hardly function.

This year I’m a mother of three little ones and working on improving my health.  I’m not searching for a new diet or the latest fad.  I know all the basics and what works for my body.  This year it’s about digging deeper into many aspects of health (for myself and my family), relationships and my writing.

So here we go.  I’ve got a lot I want to do and learn in 2015.  This is a longer list of goals than last year.  But many of them are related, and there is so much to learn!!  After my recent dentist visit and discovering I have seven cavities I started to research solutions and have already learned a lot.  But there is more to go.  Most importantly I want to see what God has planned for me and how He wants to use the gifts and talents He has given me.My 2015 Goals ||Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

FOOD/HEALTH

This year I want to really dig deep with my knowledge of nutrition and health.  Plus I want to put what I learn into practice and continue to teach my children about true health.

1. Learn more about natural remedies – essential oils, herbs, homeopathy

2. Focus on properly preparing foods (soak, sourdough) and incorporating ferments.  I will be trying some recipes from Nourishing Traditions and making some new ones.  This also involves understanding different varieties of grains and how each one should be prepared as it relates to phytic acid content.  I will be looking into possibly using rye, spelt and kamut and making a sourdough starter again.  This will be a big step to decide if we stay 100% gluten free or not.  None of us is allergic to wheat/gluten or has celiac disease.  And after a long stretch of being 100% gluten free for healing we might be ready to add some in to add nutrients to our diet.

I have actually been in prayer about this for a while (about what direction to head with my kids) and God has brought all this to my attention.  It may be time for some changes and getting back to a full traditional diet.  This does not mean I won’t make plenty of gluten free things.  But it would mean adding more variety to our diet.

Nourishing Traditions does not promote a gluten free diet for good health for everyone.  It tells of numerous cultures that thrive on a variety of grains.  Even the GAPS diet book says this in regards to pregnant and breastfeeding women: “If your digestion is normal you can have potatoes, sourdough bread and whole grains cooked at home in moderate amounts. Remember that all these carbohydrates must be consumed with good amounts of natural fats to slow down their digestion and improve their nutritional value.”

I went down the gluten free path to deal with infertility and hypothyroidism for myself and to deal with behavioral issues and allergies for my kids.  But it might be time to expand our diets now and see how it improves or impairs our health.  More experimenting.

I am a bit nervous about this one, but I feel like it’s the direction God is leading me.  So I’m moving forward trusting that He is in control and knows what we need.

3. Perfect my gluten free bread recipe and create gluten free sourdough – this will depend on how my decision about gluten ends up.  But I will probably still do it so we can have variety.

4. Understand vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  Restore levels for myself and my kids.  This will include taking digestive enzymes and/or stomach acid, fermented cod liver oil and fish oil.  It will also include making sure my kids get probiotics, ferments and nutrient dense foods (like butter, coconut oil, egg yolks and liver) most days.  It is also related to properly prepared grains.  When I was sick I got out of the habit of preparing grains the right way, and now I’m paying the price.  I am rereading Nourishing Traditions and GAPS to better understand this.  I will also do other research.  I would love to read Cure Tooth Decay and Nourishing Broth.  I think they will be on the top of my birthday list!  This NT book for children would be wonderful for my big girl!  Part of my research on grains is related to making sure my kids are not deficient.  Sometimes I wonder if gluten free is limiting their intake of certain nutrients like vitamin B.  Also, the lack of proper preparation of even gluten free grains has not been good for them.

5. Study environmental allergies and find solutions for my daughter to breathe and sleep better so she can focus better.  This will include looking into things like chemicals, chlorine, dust and mold.  It will also be related to my study of vitamin and mineral deficiency.

6. Continue to work on healing for my son’s allergies and continue introducing foods.

7. Work on healing my cavities.  Again, this is related to vitamin/mineral deficiency, properly preparing grains and boosting my nutrient supplies while breastfeeding.

8. Start solids for my little one.  I’ve got a couple months yet, but I’m already thinking about first foods.  I will stick to grain and sugar free for the first year and focus on very nutrient dense foods.  I will also be watching for signs of allergies and see if she tolerates dairy.

9. As my little one gets older I need to focus on getting more sleep again.  My metabolism has been suffering lately.  My temps have dropped and are usually in the 97’s.  I need to get back to 98.

10. Cut back on sugar, especially for my children.  I think it will help their overall health immensely.

 

My 2015 Goals || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

FAMILY/FRIENDS

1. Continue homeschool preschool with my three year old and get him ready for Spanish immersion preschool in the fall.  He has already been making such great progress in his learning over the last few months.  I know he’ll be ready in September.

2. Read more.  I have already started this in the last couple months, but I want to do it even more.  Most days I read while I walk or bike if my little one is taking a good nap.  This will also include spending more time reading the Bible and having more quite time with God.

3. Continue to focus on creating deeper relationships.  This pertains to my husband and my kids.  They are my priority.  But this is also about making friends and showing my children how to interact with friends.  I can’t expect them to understand how to behave in social situations if they never see their parents interact with friends.  This will include playdates and having friends over.

4. Simplify.  This was a big one last year, and I need to keep it going this year.  After another generous Christmas I want to clean and donate.  Part of this is related to my daughter’s allergies.  The less stuff sitting around means less dust collecting and the easier it is for me to keep the house clean.  Plus with a little one that will be on the move very soon I am going to need to keep the floors cleaner.My 2015 Goals || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

WORK

I already have a lot of ideas for my blog in the coming year.  Here are some possibilities:

more series, a newsletter, more infertility and allergy related resources, more research posts (grains, dust/mold allergies, vitamins and minerals), product reviews and giveaways, introducing first foods posts, postpartum nutrition, improving my photos and using my new dishes, working with Stonyfield Yogurt, continuing to write for Real Food and Health magazine, possible other contributor opportunities, update the look of my blog and update old photos/posts.

Of course there will be plenty of delicious new recipes as always!  I’d love to hear what you want to see as well!

And every time I read through my list of goals I think of something new.  So I’m sure I won’t run out of ideas as the year goes on.My 2015 Goals || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

WORD OF THE YEAR

The word that keeps coming to mind lately is GRATITUDE.  It’s something I need to work on and something I need to teach my children.  It relates to my goal of simplifying.  My kids just got a ton of stuff for Christmas…and the next day my daughter said she was bored.  That is a big red flag for me.  We have too much and my kids don’t really understand gratitude.

Gratitude is also the antidote for anxiety.  And that is something both my daughter and I struggle with.  This really stood out to me when I read the book 1,000 Gifts.

So as individuals and as a family I would like to focus on gratitude this year.My 2015 Goals || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

This is my starting point for 2015.  I have a lot to research and experiment with.  I have kids that are growing and need different things at the stages they are in.  I pray that God will give me the guidance to meet their needs, the patience to allow them to learn and make mistakes and the focus to give them the attention they need.  I want to be grateful each day for each person in my life and for the simple things.

I don’t know all that God has in store.  But I do know his plans are perfect and beyond anything I could imagine.  So here I go.  I’m ready to keep making progress in 2015.

How about you?  What are your goals for this year?

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2014 Goals Update

2014 Goals Update || Homemade Dutch Apple PieI know October is a little late…but better late than never.  It’s time to revisit my 2014 goals and see how things are going.  Since I didn’t actually post the goals until March I guess it’s not too bad to give an update now.

1. Get Back To The Basics With Nutrition.

I definitely got back on track in the summer.  It was so nice to have a break from school snacks and treats at every event my children attend.  I hate being bombarded with food and snacks that my kids don’t need and aren’t healthy.

I also made big improvements after the morning sickness was over.  After that the packaged food was gone.2014 Goals Update || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Now we are back on track with filling up on nourishing foods and sneaking in extra good stuff whenever possible.  Yes, it’s back to school and activities.  But I’m still staying focused on proper nutrition to keep my kids feeling their best.

I’m still working on healing for my little guy.  So I need to keep this a priority.

2. Simplify and de-clutter my house and my life.

This was a big one for me.  I did a major overhaul on most of the house in my pre-baby house makeover.  It is so much easier to keep the house functional now.  Of course things still get messy.  But the clutter isn’t so bad.  And it’s pretty easy to get things back in order.

I’ll be honest – I’d love to get rid of more stuff.  But all in good time. 

3. Make relationships a priority.

As usual this was my toughest goal.  It’s especially hard when you are sick and after having a new baby.  I do try to get out with friends once in a while.  But it’s definitely a challenge for me.  And something I will continue to work on.

My husband and I didn’t get to go on as many dates as I would have liked.  But we did squeeze in a few outings before baby.2014 Goals Update || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 4. Work on myself.

 Reading back through the details of this goal I don’t feel like I accomplished too much.  I still need to work on being a better example for my children.

I did keep my thyroid levels steady this year.  I also know what my body needs for balanced nutrition.  Sleep is not something I can control too much right now.  But before baby I was getting 7-9 hours each night/day.  And I do my best to keep my body moving in relation to my other health aspects.

Even postpartum I’m doing pretty well.  My body temperature is still staying between 97.8 and 98.6 degrees F!  I try to nap every day to make for a bit of lost sleep at night.  I’m just starting to get back to exercise.  I try to walk or bike a little each day and will gradually increase as my body heals and I am able to sleep more.

I can’t say I did that much reading this year.  But I did do some.  Baby steps. 

5. Focus on my writing.

For the first time in a long time I feel like I really made great progress on my writing/blogging.  I got my site updated.  I was constantly coming up with new recipes and ideas.  I was posting about 4 times a week.  It was fun!Gluten Free Dairy Free Zucchini Crackers || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Obviously baby slows things down a bit.  But I still have my passion and drive.  So I’ll keep working.

 6. Word for the year – LOVE.

 I have been focusing on love all year.  I am trying to love unconditionally.  I am the kind of person that gets annoyed easily and focuses on faults (both my own and those of others).  It’s not a characteristic I like.  But I’m trying to let go of that stuff and truly love people.

I’m also amazed every day by God’s love for me.  Whether it’s a scripture verse, a thoughtful drawing from my daughter or sweet baby snuggles, God is showing me his love every day.

 My main goals for the year were to simplify and love.  Neither is a goal that will ever be complete.  But I’m working on them every day.

Did you make goals for yourself this year?  How are you doing?

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.