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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.

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

What Grade Would You Give Your Food? I give mine a B!

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That’s why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

I like to be a good steward with my finances. I look for the best deals when I shop for food and health and beauty products. But that’s not the only factor to consider.

Quality Matters

I could buy a grocery cart full of really cheap food…and pay for it with my health. Instead I look for the best quality that fits within my budget.

My decisions about what to feed my family and what to use on our bodies and in our home are not just about organic vs. non-organic. They go deeper. I love to support companies that are using their business as a force for good. That means they are having a positive impact socially and environmentally.

If you’re like me you don’t have time to research every company to see how they do business.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

Do They Make the Grade?

That’s why it’s so nice to have the B Corp certification. You can simply look at the product package to see if you are supporting a quality company.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

Certified B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.

Who’s in this great group? There are many B Corp certified companies (you can find a list here). I recently got the chance to try a few. They include:

  • Stonyfield Yogurt (we LOVE their whole milk grass-fed yogurt)
  • Pukka (tulsi tea is great for women)
  • Preserve (all of my kids wanted this toothbrush…but I told them mama gets it)
  • Purely Elizabeth (granola is one of my absolute favorite foods…this one is amazing)
  • King Arthur (as an avid gluten free baker this gluten free blend comes in handy)
  • Method (the kitchen is where I spend most of my day…which means my kids do too…and we have plenty of opportunties to wash hands!)
  • Pete and Gerry’s (I could eat eggs every single day. They are a nutrient powerhouse. But for me quality is so important when it comes to eggs since we use a lot of raw yolks.)

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.
I’ve been a fan of Stonyfield for many years (and my kids sure love trying all their products!! They fought over our yogurt). I love knowing we are getting organic dairy.

Some of these companies are new to me. It’s always fun to be introduced to new companies and products that are high quality and making the world a better place.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

My Favorite

Of all the products my favorite was the Pukka tulsi tea. I’m working hard right now to balance my hormones and supercharge my diet to replenish nutrients after breastfeeding for 2 1/2 years (!!). Just days before receiving this package a friend suggested trying tulsi tea. You can imagine my great delight to find some on my doorstep!!

I’ve been combining the Pukka tulsi tea with a few other herbs like hibiscus, red raspberry leaf and nettles to really give myself a boost and support my hormones. This tea gets both an A+ and a B from me!When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

Are you using your dollars to support companies that meet a high standard in addition to delivering quality food? It is important not only for our bodies but also for our children’s futures.

The next time you go shopping make sure your food makes the grade. Make sure it scores a B!

Want to learn more? Find out about B Corp certification here.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt 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.

Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Spice Cake

Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Sometimes you just need chocolate. Am I right?

And sometimes you need dark chocolate…with a twist.Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Something New

I recently got to try the new Stonyfield double cream yogurt and some fun spices from Simply Organic. I paired these unlikely sidekicks in a unique dark chocolate spice cake.

The cake is very mildly sweet with a hint of spice. But plenty of chocolate!Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Kid-Friendly

My kids couldn’t get enough. I thought they would be hesitant to try chocolate with cumin added. Boy, was I wrong. They could hardly wait for me to take pictures before they tried it.

And of course they all wanted to help make the cake. My toddler did a lot of sampling.

I also added some mini chocolate chips (this is the brand we love because it is allergen free) to provide another burst of chocolate and some texture.Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Change It Up

We enjoyed it plain as a light dessert. Dark chocolate spice cake would also be very good topped with a simple butter cream or homemade ice cream (vanilla, chocolate or salted dark chocolate would all be great choices!).Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Yogurt and Spice and Everything Nice

I’m so glad we got to try the double cream yogurt from Stonyfield. It is just what it says…double the cream (you know I’m always in favor of more healthy fat!). It’s like yogurt and sour cream had a baby…super creamy and mildly tangy. The perfect combination.

On the down side now regular yogurt (even though we buy full fat) doesn’t seem as creamy.Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

I’ve been using Simply Organic spices for quite some time now. But I’m pretty boring. I stick the same basic herbs and spices. So I was excited to see some unique blends like adobo and garam masala. Looks like I’ll be doing more experimenting!Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Allergy Friendly

If you’re looking for a chocolate-y treat that won’t give you sugar overload try my gluten free dark chocolate spice cake. It is loaded with healthy fat and real ingredients but free of gluten, nuts and eggs.

Have you ever mixed chocolate and spice? What combination would you try?Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Spice Cake
Serves 12
A mildly sweet dark chocolate cake that combines cocoa, cumin and cinnamon for a unique twist.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup white rice flour
  2. 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  3. 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp. cumin
  6. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  7. 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  8. 2 tsp. grassfed gelatin
  9. 1/4 cup cold water
  10. 1/4 cup hot water
  11. 1/2 cup Stonyfield Double Cream Yogurt
  12. 2 Tbsp. honey
  13. 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8" baking dish.
  2. Combine the gelatin and 1/4 cup cold water. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, cumin, salt and baking powder.
  4. Add the 1/4 cup hot water to the gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve.
  5. Add the gelatin water, yogurt and honey to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 min.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. Serve plain or topped with ice cream, butter cream or vanilla yogurt.
  2. For extra flavor mix whole raspberries into the batter before baking.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
 I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and Simply Organic spices on this post. I have not been paid to provide positive comments.Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

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.

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

*This post is sponsored by Stonyfield Yogurt and Unreal Candy. I was compensated for my time commitment but I was not paid to publish positive reviews. All opinions expressed are my own.*

My oldest has been begging me to make frozen yogurt for about a year now. The only reason I haven’t obliged is because three out of five of us can’t eat it. And I have so many other things to make from scratch to keep us fed.

I don’t often take the time to make a special treat for just one child.

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

The Right Time.

But when we got some Unreal candy to try I decided it was the perfect time for both – frozen yogurt as a special treat just for my daughter (well…my husband has been getting plenty of it too).

This is an easy, healthy version of traditional moose tracks ice cream.

I used Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt combined with some of our fresh raw milk cream as the base. Pastured egg yolks added extra creaminess. And a healthy dose of maple syrup and vanilla for a sweet flavor. Don’t forget the unrefined sea salt to really bring out the sweetness.

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Then comes the star of the show – bits of Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I also added some mini chocolate chips for extra chocolate (because you can never have too much!).

There is no cooking involved. You can have the frozen yogurt in the mixer (this is the one I use) in about five minutes. I actually let my eight-year old make it herself!

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Unreal moose tracks frozen yogurt maintains a little tang from the yogurt. But it is nicely balanced with the sweetness of the maple syrup and candy.

It makes the perfect treat any time of year!

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

More To Love.

Unreal candy has some other great options besides the peanut butter cups. I think my favorite is the basic – candy coated chocolates. But these aren’t colored with dyes that will make my kids go crazy. They are colored with foods like cabbage and beets!

If you’re craving something sweet and a bit indulgent but want to skip the processed junk food, make a batch of Unreal moose tracks frozen yogurt. Use peanut butter cups, almond butter cups or whatever candy you like.

What is your favorite flavor of frozen yogurt?
 In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt
Serves 10
A creamy frozen yogurt filled with peanut butter cups and bits of chocolate.
Write a review
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups plain, whole milk yogurt
  2. 1/2 cup whole milk
  3. 1/2 cup cream
  4. 3/4 cups maple syrup and/or organic cane sugar
  5. 2 pastured egg yolks (optional)
  6. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  7. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  8. 5 - 8 Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cups, cut into pieces
  9. 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Combine the yogurt, milk, cream, syrup, yolks, vanilla and sea salt in a blender.
  2. Blend on high for 30 seconds to mix well.
  3. Process in an ice cream mixer according to manufacturer's directions (this takes about 20 minutes using my Kitchen Aid attachment).
  4. Transfer the frozen yogurt to a freezer-safe container.
  5. Gently fold in the candy and chocolate chips.
  6. Cover and freeze until firm.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

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

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

Does a Negative Allergy Test Put You In The Clear?

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

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

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

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

Not Always Accurate

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

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

Food Sensitivities

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

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

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

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

My Son

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

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

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

Making Progress

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

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

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

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

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

Not Fixxed

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

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

More Testing

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

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

And we got a huge shock!

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

Nuts, dairy, wheat…everything…negative.

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

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

Now what?

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

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

Digging Deeper

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

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

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

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

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

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

Experimenting

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

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

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

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

This list could go on and on.

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

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

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

So now what?

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

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

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

Healthy Kids

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

Beyond Allergy Testing

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

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

And here are some potential treatments.

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

 

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

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

Baby Steps

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

Apple Crisp Steel Cut Oatmeal

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

I am working with Bob’s Redmill and Stonyfield for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But all opinions are my own.

I love the start of fall. The leaves are changing colors. There is a crispness to the air. And some of my absolute favorite produce is in season – squash, pumpkin, pears and apples!

There are so many ways to use apples, including canning homemade applesauce and turning them into sweet, cinnamony apple crisp (with homemade vanilla ice cream of course!)

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar. The perfect healthy breakfast.

Dessert For Breakfast

I don’t always have time to bake apple crisp. But I do always have time to make apple crisp steel cut oatmeal.

Soak the oats in whole milk plain yogurt a day ahead to make them easier to digest. Then add freshly diced apples, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a bit of coconut sugar for a sweet breakfast treat. The coconut sugar adds a great maple flavor that pairs beautifully with the apples and cinnamon.

Don’t forget to top your oatmeal with your favorite granola (ours is kettle corn granola!) for that crunchy apple crisp topping.

Steel Cut Versus Rolled

Even if you are not a big oatmeal fan you have to give this a try. I grew up hating oatmeal. I wanted to like it so badly. But I couldn’t handle the texture.

Then I tried steel cut oats. What a world of difference! Once you try them you won’t want to go back to the rolled variety. Steel cut oats keep their texture and don’t get mushy.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

All around apple crisp steel cut oatmeal is a great breakfast. It does take about fifteen minutes to cook. So if you are pressed for time on weekdays you can save it for a weekend treat. Or just cook a big batch at the start of the week and reheat it on the stove or in the oven for a quick breakfast.

Make It Your Own

My husband loves to eat his oatmeal with fresh, raw milk on top. My daughter likes a dollop of vanilla yogurt on hers. It’s almost as good as apple crisp with ice cream!

Are you in need of a delicious fall breakfast that the kids will love?

Grab some Bob’s Redmill steel cut oats and coconut sugar and Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt. Then hit up your local orchard for your favorite variety of apple. You’re already half way to an amazing breakfast.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

Apple Crisp Steel Cut Oatmeal
Yields 4
A hot breakfast of steel cut oats, sweet apples and coconut sugar.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup steel cut oats
  2. 1 cup warm water
  3. 1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  4. 1 3/4 cups water
  5. 1/2 cup coconut sguar
  6. 1/2 cup peeled and diced apples
  7. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  8. pinch unrefined sea salt
  9. Optional toppings: milk, yogurt, granola, raisins, dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the oats, 1 cup water and yogurt. Let sit 7 - 24 hours at room temperature.
  2. When ready to cook, combine the oat mixture, 1 3/4 cups water, coconut sugar, apples, cinnamon and salt in a medium sauce pan.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook on low, stirring frequently, until the oats and apples are cooked, 15 - 20 minutes.
  4. Serve warm, plain or topped with milk or yogurt and granola.
Notes
  1. You can prepare the oatmeal in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat on the stove or in the oven with extra water added.
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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Better Way.

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

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

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

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

LatherMitts make bath time so easy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perfect For Everyone.

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

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

My toddler thinks they are great toys as well.

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

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

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

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Teach Your Kids About Nutrition To Banish Picky Eating

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don’t just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

I’ve had my kids in the kitchen with me since my oldest was a baby. It has been such a blessing for for all of us!

I love the special time together. I love teaching them life skills. But one thing that has really amazed me is how much of what I teach impacts their willingness to eat nourishing foods.

I can tell my five year old, “Eat your spinach. It’s good for you.” Or I can say, “Try your spinach. It will help you run really fast and help your muscles grow big and strong.”

I bet you can guess which method works better. For what it’s worth, my son is not a fan of spinach. But we’re getting there. And every time he has to try it the information about its health benefits gets reinforced!

A New Resource On Nutrition

Needless to say my kids already know quite a bit about nourishing food. It’s a way of life for us. I talk to them about the importance of eating real food all the time.

So I was very excited when I had the opportunity to read Kathryn Kemp Guylay’s book Give It  A Go, Eat A Rainbow. She and her son wrote and illustrated the book together! How awesome is that?

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

The pages are filled with bright colors, beautiful produce and a wealth of information on the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables. It was even educational for me!

Now when I make a smoothie and add squash and spinach, instead of trying to hide that fact I excitedly tell my kids, “We have orange and green in here!” I then add cherries and blueberries and tell them, “We have FOUR different colors in one smoothie. What a nutritional punch to start the day.” They really do get excited.

Kathryn and her son share a cute story about finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Plus there are questions for kids to answer to reinforce what they learn.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Kids Are Smart

As a mom of three I have learned a very important lesson. Kids are smart! Much smarter than we give them credit for. There is no need to dumb down nutrition. Give It A Go, Eat A Rainbow gives sound nutritional facts that kids can understand.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Teach your kids about nutrition at a young age to help ensure a lifetime of good health. While they are young mom and dad get to make food choices. But as they grow they take over the decision making. Equipping them with knowledge will go a long way.

Do you struggle to get your kids to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables?

I highly recommend reading Give It A Go, Eat A Rainbow with them. You might be surprised with how much they understand and the great choices they make.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

If you’re still struggling with picky eaters after teaching your kids about nutrition check out my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!. There could be a deeper issue.

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.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Creamy Zucchini Egg Muffins

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that includes plenty of protein, healthy fat AND vegetables? Creamy zucchini egg muffins combine nutrient dense eggs with creamy whole milk yogurt and fresh summer veggies to create a simple and delicious start to the day.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

I am working with Stonyfield, Le Creuset and Kitchen IQ on this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been paid to provide positive feedback.

Is your zucchini starting to pile up in the fridge like mine? I’m always looking for new ways to use it.

I love making chocolate zucchini cupcakes, zucchini crackers, soaked gluten free zucchini bread and especially zucchini cake! Our whole family enjoys it grilled, roasted and sauteed. I try to freeze some as well.

Yet no matter how diligent you are it seems there is still more. I’ve got a fun, kid-friendly recipe that will get your kids to eat zucchini for breakfast!

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Eat Your Veggies…I Mean Eggs!

In my house the zucchini is not the hard part…it’s the eggs. Three of us can’t even eat eggs. My oldest can (lucky girl!). But she has always struggled eating eggs. She picks at them, holds them in her mouth, complains about the texture.

But I did not hear a single complaint about these creamy zucchini egg muffins. In fact, she told me she really liked them!

There are two secret ingredients.

  1. Whole milk plain yogurt – it really adds a rich creaminess to the eggs.
  2. Cane sugar – I know what you’re thinking. Add sugar to eggs? Don’t worry, it’s only 1/2 tsp. But it really does something to the flavor.

A little back story on the sugar in eggs. When I was little and had the chicken pox I didn’t have much of an appetite. The only thing I would eat was the scrambled eggs my big sister made (multiple times a day for me). There was something different about them. We called them “oops eggs” because she didn’t make them right. But I loved them. We figured out later that she added a touch of sugar to them!

She was probably only about twelve years old. So she did a great job taking care of her little sis!

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

The final component of these eggs is the vegetable. Sauteed zucchini and onion really boost the flavor of the egg muffins. When you put the yogurt, sugar, sauteed veggies and eggs together you create a flavorful, healthy breakfast (or lunch or dinner) any kid will love.

New Kitchen Tools Are Fun!

One thing I loved about making creamy zucchini egg muffins was using my new cutting boards and measuring spoons from Kitchen IQ. The cutting boards come in four colors. Can I just say that as a mom of kids with different allergies that is so cool?! Everyone has a color. No cross contamination. It’s great!

I love the bright colors…and so does my toddler. She frequently grabs the cutting boards off the shelf just to play with them.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Even more than the cutting boards I love the measuring spoons. It is so easy to level them. And they nest together for easy storage. Who knew that measuring spoons could make such a great toddler toy too? My one year old loves trying to stack them over and over. She also loves to help me cook and bake with them.

Is your zucchini still going strong?

Give creamy zucchini egg muffins a try. You just might be adding sugar to your eggs more often.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Creamy Zucchini Egg Muffins
Yields 6
A high protein, veggie-packed egg muffin perfect for busy mornings.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 pastured eggs
  2. 4 Tbsp. Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt
  3. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar
  5. optional: any additional herbs and spices
  6. 1 cup diced zucchini
  7. 1/4 cup diced onion
  8. 1 Tbsp. butter, olive oil, tallow or coconut oil
  9. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Sautee the zucchini and onion in 1 Tbsp. fat of choice (about 10 minutes). Season with salt. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat the oven to 400*F. Grease a muffin pan.
  3. In a medium size bowl combine the eggs, yogurt, salt, sugar and seasonings. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the cooled vegetables.
  5. Divide the egg mixture into 6 greased muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool 3 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. You can bake these in advance and eat cold, room temperature or warmed.
  2. You can freeze these muffins for up to a year. Thaw and heat 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.