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Believe it or not carrying a bottle and drinking water all day long could be sabotaging your health improvements. I'll tell you why!

Drinking Water Is Making Me Fat And Tired

Believe it or not carrying a bottle and drinking water all day long could be sabotaging your health improvements. I’ll tell you why!

Believe it or not carrying a bottle and drinking water all day long could be sabotaging your health improvements. I'll tell you why!

Get up. Shower. Get dressed. Put on makeup.

And fill my water bottle. That was me.

Then remind myself periodically throughout the day to take a drink. Refill and repeat. Keep track of how much I drink. Make sure I’m getting my eight glasses at a minimum.

Sound familiar?

At the same time I was getting up super early every day to have time to get things done, nursing a little one full time, exercising every day, running my own business and following the GAPS diet. All good things, right?

Not So Good.

A few years ago I learned that was not the case! I quickly became more and more fatigued. My weight started going up. And my body temperature (along with my metabolism) plummeted. As in I’m not even sure how I was functioning. At times my temperature was 92 or 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Some evenings I could barely walk up the stairs carrying my son because my muscles were so weak.

I thought I was doing all the “right” things. But my health was quickly declining. Something had to give. But what?

Believe it or not carrying a bottle and drinking water all day long could be sabotaging your health improvements. I'll tell you why!

I did two simple things to turn my health around.

  1. Stop eating grain free/ditch the GAPS diet.
  2. Stop drinking so much water.

Wait, what? Adding grains and drinking less water made me healthier? You bet! And I’ve never looked back.

Curious why you might be drinking too much water too?

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing my thoughts.

Then come back and share your thoughts with me! Do you try to drink a certain amount of water every day in the name of good health? Or do you listen to your body? I’d love to hear.

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.


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 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!!

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?!).


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?

Simple Honey Oat Bars | Just Take A Bite

Simple Honey Oat Bars

When little tummies are recovering from illness it’s best to keep food simple and skip a lot of fat and sugar. These honey oat bars come together easily and are gentle on the tummy.

Simple Honey Oat Bars | Just Take A Bite

Did I mention my son was sick? That seems to be an ongoing battle this winter. My poor boy that has such a sensitive digestive system.

He had the recent stomach virus that went around. But unlike most people that were over it in a day or two he struggled with it for a week. And he could hardly eat that whole time. He spent his days either on the couch or in the bathroom.

BRAT diet doesn’t exist here.

Add all of his allergies on top of trying to keep his diet bland and starchy and you’ve got a real challenge. No gluten, rice, corn, potatoes or bananas.

Simple Honey Oat Bars | Just Take A Bite

We decided to try oats. He basically lived on oatmeal for a week. And just when he thought he couldn’t handle another bowl of oatmeal I came up with these simple honey oat bars!

I wanted to keep them very low in fat to keep his tummy settled. So I used grass-fed gelatin in place of eggs. I also kept the sweetness low with just a touch of cane sugar and honey.

The combination of whole oats and ground oats helps the bars bind together.

Oats to the rescue.

My son loved them! And they kept him going. There was starch but also protein. Not to mention the gelatin was helpful for healing his upset tummy.

My daughter tried them too and thinks they’re great…even if she’s not sick. They make an easy, low sugar breakfast to keep stashed in the freezer for busy week days.

Get your oats soaking and whip up a batch or two of these simple honey oat bars. Always have some on hand to put upset bellies at ease.

Don’t forget to add activated charcoal to the diet as well to really stop the stomach upset.

What is your go-to food when recovering from a stomach virus?

Simple Honey Oat Bars | Just Take A Bite

Simple Honey Oat Bars
Yields 10
A simple, low fat oat bar that is perfect for settling little tummies after illness.
Write a review
  1. 1 cup oat flour (grind rolled oats in a blender)
  2. 1 cup rolled oats
  3. 1 cup warm water
  4. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  5. 2 tsp. grass-fed gelatin (NOT collagen)
  6. 1/4 cup hot water
  7. 1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
  8. 3 Tbsp. honey
  9. 2 Tbsp. melted butter, coconut oil, lard or tallow
  10. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  11. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  1. Combine the oat flour, oats, warm water and lemon juice. Cover and let sit for 7-24 hours (24 hours is best for oats).
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line with parchment paper an 8" square baking pan.
  3. Add the gelatin to the hot water and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add all of the ingredients to the soaked oats. Mix well.
  5. Spread in the prepared pan.
  6. Bake 35 minutes.
  7. Cool and cut into bars.
  8. Store in a covered container for up to a week at room temperature, two weeks in the refrigerator or one year in the freezer.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
 In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Zebra Striped Yogurt For Sensitive Tummies

When your child is recovering from a stomach bug or an allergy flair give them a special treat that is both delicious and calming. Zebra striped yogurt combines cultured dairy and charcoal to ease the pain.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

There are two tricks I have learned in the last year to help get a little tummy back on track after a stomach bug or an allergy flair.

  1. Yogurt
  2. Activated charcoal

Sensitive Tummies

Last year my son had a really bad stomach bug with constant vomiting. Once that part ended he refused to eat. As parents my husband and I were very concerned. We let our fear turn to frustration.

We would try to force him to eat. And it would all come back up. After days of this process we took him to the doctor who suggested yogurt.

My son was having reflux from such an empty stomach and all of the vomiting. He finally got back on track by taking a couple bites of yogurt every 30-60 minutes to ease the pain. Eventually he could tolerate more and more.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Since then yogurt has been my go-to when he has tummy troubles. Whether it be after an allergy flair (which gives him a stomach ache and keeps him from eating) or after a stomach bug (once any kind of vomiting or diarrhea has subsided).

If your child is allergic to dairy you can try coconut yogurt. I have not personally tried to see if it has the same effect.

Allergy Relief

During the last year we have also dealt with allergy flairs over and over and over as we tried to figure out what was bothering my youngest. A friend suggested activated charcoal. It has been a life saver!

It helps absorb any toxins or allergens and flush them out. It also helps stop vomiting and diarrhea.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Every time my daughter was screaming from an allergic reaction I would take charcoal. It was like magic. The next time she nursed my milk was safe again.

Today I’m sharing a fun way to combine these two secret weapons. Zebra striped yogurt looks cool, tastes great and is very calming to the tummy. In fact, I made the dish of yogurt I photographed the day my son had a stomach bug. He was definitely happy to be my taste tester (even if he does look a bit worn out).

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Depending on your child’s age, tastes and severity of reaction you can keep the yogurt plain or add a bit of sweetener. I use maple syrup in the black yogurt and organic cane sugar in the white yogurt.

The next time your child is recovering from a stomach upset of some kind whip up a zebra striped yogurt to ease the pain and get them back to full health quickly.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Zebra Striped Yogurt
Serves 1
A black and white striped yogurt for settling tummies.
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
  1. 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt, divided
  2. 1 - 2 tsp. maple syrup
  3. 1 - 2 tsp. organic cane sugar
  4. 1 capsule activated charcoal
  5. pinch unrefined sea salt
  1. In a small dish combine half of the yogurt, cane sugar and a pinch of salt.
  2. In another small dish combine the other half of the yogurt, maple syrup, charcoal (emptied from capsule) and a pinch of salt.
  3. Layer the white and black yogurts in a dish.
  4. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  1. If you are short on time you can just make the "black" yogurt or you can add all of the ingredients to a blender and make a smoothie.
  2. Maple syrup can be used in place of the cane sugar, but it may give the yogurt a little color.
  3. You can adjust the dose of charcoal based on your child's age/serving size.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
 In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses Tonic

In need of a warm drink that not only tastes good but is packed with essential minerals? Molasses tonic is the perfect warm up and pick-me-up drink for cold weather.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

I like warm drinks. Do you?

Even on the hottest summer days I still start the day with a warm drink. It has a calming effect on my mind and body. In fact I’m sipping on one right now while I write this post!

I’ve never been a coffee drinker. I usually go for tea.

But these days I pretty much drink one of two things. Either healing hot chocolate or molasses tonic. Both provide minerals in a great tasting, soothing beverage.

You may be wondering, what’s so great about molasses? Isn’t that just sugar?

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses is actually packed with vitamins and minerals.

It contains:

  • potassium
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • iron
  • vitamin B6
  • niacin
  • pantothenic acid
  • choline
  • phosphorus
  • zinc
  • copper
  • selenium
  • chromium
  • cobalt
  • sodium

It has also been shown to be helpful with a variety of health issues from PMS, headaches and acne to bone health and constipation.

What’s not to love?

Well, maybe the flavor.

Molasses is an acquired taste.

At least for me. If you are not a fan just start with a small amount and work your way up to a full tablespoon.

You can even do half molasses and half maple syrup to start. Maple syrup has minerals too!

As you can see molasses is very nutritious. You could just take a big spoonful once or twice a day.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

I like to combine it with some other nutrients in a hot drink to really give my body a boost.

So you can add any or all of the following to create a molasses tonic:

  • stinging nettle (allergy relief, reduce inflammation)
  • grass-fed collagen (easy-to-digest protein, gut healing)
  • unrefined sea salt (trace minerals, hydration/electrolyte balance)
  • cocoa powder (magnesium, iron, fiber, manganese, zinc, flavonoids)
  • carob powder (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium)
  • maple syrup (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, zinc)
  • butter and/or coconut oil (healthy saturated fat, helps balance the protein and carbohydrates)

When you put all of these together molasses tonic can practically be a meal replacement! And if you have a super busy morning here and there it could be. I drink it after a meal. Though it is best to wait an hour after eating to let your food settle/start digesting first.

If you don’t have time or all of the ingredients to make the full molasses tonic you can simply add molasses and sea salt to hot water. You’ll still get a big nutritional boost and feel hydrated.

The next time you need a hot beverage skip the coffee. Instead whip up a power packed molasses tonic.

This is great for kids too. Add some whole milk or coconut milk to their molasses tonic for a creamy drink.

Do you consume molasses regularly? What is your favorite way to use it? 
Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses Tonic
Serves 1
A warm drink packed with vitamins and minerals
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  1. 1 1/2 - 2 cups boiling water
  2. 1/2 - 1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
  3. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  1. 1 tsp. nettle leaf
  2. 1 Tbsp. grass-fed collagen
  3. 1 tsp. organic cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. organic carob powder
  5. 2 tsp. grade B maple syrup
  6. 1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
  7. 2-4 Tbsp. whole milk or coconut milk
  1. If using nettle leaf, use a tea strainer or cheesecloth to steep nettle leaves in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove the leaves.
  2. Add the remaining boiling water and ingredients.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Allow to cool enough to drink or add ice cubes or milk.
  1. This can be served warm or cold (iced molasses tonic).
  2. This can be placed in a water bottle and packed for school lunch.
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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.

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

Stuffy Noses, Tangled Hair and Allergies: A Natural Remedies Review

When the cold or flu hits, when allergies flare or when kids can’t settle down don’t reach for a pill. Instead try some simple natural remedies.

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

When it comes to natural remedies I am definitely a novice.

I know food backwards and forwards. But herbs, oils and spices? Salves and tinctures? Come again?

Keep it simple.

You can imagine my delight when I flipped through Natural Remedies for Kids and saw just how easy it is to make so many natural treatments at home!

And I really do mean easy. Because if they weren’t I would have just put the book back down.

Natural Remedies is so easy to follow and find what you need. The advice is practical and straight forward.

Easy tips.

There are common sense tips like braiding long hair to keep it from getting tangled at night. Yes, I used that one immediately on my daughter! Then there is no need for any detangler (though if you need one there is a recipe for it).

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

Allergy treatments.

I have talked a lot about my daughter’s environmental allergies and struggles with clogged sinuses. Natural Remedies has an easy recipe for allergy syrup that is on my to-do list.

In the mean time we’re trying nettle tea. I had no idea it was so good for allergies.

There is really some kind of remedy for just about every common concern. It includes respiratory ailments, colds, flu, skin and hair issues, bumps and bruises and even emotional problems (like hyperactivity and anxiety).

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

Start small.

I am slowly building my supply for my natural medicine cabinet, starting with some of the more common and cheaper ingredients (like turmeric and nettle leaf). I will gradually add on as I become more familiar with and more comfortable with natural remedies.

One of the things that I love so much about finally going down this path (aside from the fact that it was one of my goals for this year that had been going by the wayside) is that I can make things that are safe for my youngest. Pretty much all OTC medications (both conventional and natural/homeopathic) contain some form of palm or coconut.

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

Save money.

You can still get Natural Remedies for Kids at a discount price right now. I’d snatch it up! This will be my go-to resource this winter.

And if you have a child like mine that is a sponge and loves to read anything and everything let them take a look and learn right along with you!

Natural Remedies for Kids is a resource that will benefit the entire family and help promote a natural lifestyle and overall health. If you are new to natural remedies or just looking to expand your knowledge this book is for you.

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

I have been compensated for my time commitment to review this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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.

Cherry Rhubarb Jello

Cherry rhubarb jello is the perfect kid-friendly way to use fresh produce and welcome summer weather.

Cherry rhubarb jello is a dye-free, allergy-friendly treat that all kids love. The perfect finger food.

We have two rhubarb plants in our garden. Most years we get a few decent stalks from them that I use to make a special dessert like crisp, ice cream, cake or even cheesecake!

This year our rhubarb plants were huge! After making three strawberry rhubarb crisps there was still plenty left. That means it is time to experiment with new ways to use rhubarb.

What Flavors Go Well With Rhubarb

I came up with cherry rhubarb jello. This is the perfect, nutritious way to use fresh, spring produce in combination with last year’s freezer stash (we still have a couple gallons of sweet cherries left!).

The cherries give sweetness and a deep maroon color while the rhubarb gives a hint of tartness. It’s the perfect combination.

Cherry rhubarb jello is a dye-free, allergy-friendly treat that all kids love. The perfect finger food.

Cherry rhubarb jello makes a great finger food lunch addition or snack for kids. The fruit provides vitamins while the gelatin provides easy-to-digest protein (Use the code TAKE10 for 10% off your gelatin purchase HERE).

Allergen-Free Cherry Rhubarb Jello

An added bonus is that cherry rhubarb jello is very allergy-friendly. Not to mention there is no food coloring or artificial flavor (food dyes are connected with behavioral issues). So it makes a unique and healthy treat for everyone.

Are you looking for a dish to pass at your next potluck or picnic? Cherry rhubarb jello is just the thing. You can make it in advance and both kids and adults will enjoy it.

Sometimes I even serve this for breakfast. My oldest can take her time eating in the morning. If we need to get out the door on time jello is great. It is soft and easy to chew.

Don’t forget the really important part – cherry rhubarb jello is so easy to make! Just cook, puree, add the gelatin and chill. It takes about five minutes of hands on time. Who doesn’t love that?!

Before rhubarb season ends grab a few stalks and make this fun treat to celebrate the end of the school year and welcome summer.

Cherry rhubarb jello is a dye-free, allergy-friendly treat that all kids love. The perfect finger food.

Cherry Rhubarb Jello
Serves 12
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  1. 2 cups sweet cherries (fresh or frozen)
  2. 2 cups rhubarb, peeled and chopped
  3. 3/4 cups organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 2 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin
  1. Combine the cherries, rhubarb, sugar and salt in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.
  3. Pour the mixture into a blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
  5. Dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water. Let sit 1 minute.
  6. whisk the gelatin water into the hot puree until dissolved, about 1 minute.
  7. Pour the mixture into an 8" square pan or a bowl.
  8. Refrigerate until firm.
  9. Scoop or cut into squares to serve.
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The Hows and Whys of Preparing Grains

The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple PieOne of my goals this year is to get back on track with properly preparing my grains. I’ve been doing it for years now, but got off track with pregnancy and a new baby.

Some may say to just avoid grains. But I tried that and learned that my body needs them! The most unhealthy I’ve ever been was when I went grain free.  Grains can be a very healthy part of a real food, traditional diet. Even Nourishing Traditions and GAPS mention the benefit of properly prepared grains.

So to help us all get to where we need to be I’m sharing some information about why you need to treat your grains in a special way if you are going to consume them and how it’s done.  I actually wrote most of this a couple years ago! But never shared it here. It’s a good reminder for myself. Hopefully it’s a great starting point or reminder for you as well.

In the weeks following this introduction I’ve got some basics and some fun recipes coming that all involve properly prepared grains. I hope you enjoy!

One of the oddest and most confusing aspects of real food is the idea of soaking grains. Switching to butter instead of margarine? No problem. Drinking raw milk instead of pasteurized? You bet. Using honey instead of corn syrup? Done. Get your flour wet before using it? Say that again? Wet flour? How could that work? And why would you want to?  But if you understand why you might find yourself turning your favorite baked goods into healthier soaked versions. The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

It turns out there is actually a good reason to soak grains. Little things called phytates. Grains contain anti-nutrients as a protective mechanism. This protects them from weather and animals. But it also makes them difficult to digest. Your digestive juices are enemies of the grains just like any external enemy. Grains also have compounds that prevent active enzyme activity in your digestive system. This puts stress on your pancreas. 

In the unsoaked state grains contain phytates, which makes the minerals in the grains unavailable to you. This can lead to mineral deficiencies and poor bone density (one more thing I learned the hard way when I found out I have seven cavities!). Both enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid can be mostly neutralized by soaking the grains. This makes them easier to digest and makes the nutrients available to your body. This process also begins to pre-digest the grains, breaking down complex starches and tannins that can irritate your stomach, as well as beginning to break down proteins like gluten.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

So without soaking the grains they are very difficult to digest and are actually harmful to your body. This holds true for gluten-containing grains like wheat and rye but also for alternative grains like oats, amaranth and teff. In fact oats, such a dietary staple for so many, has the highest phytate content of any grains!

Grains that are not properly prepared are harmful. So how do you make them healthy? It’s not as hard as you might think. And, honestly, soaking often makes baking easier! It breaks up the process into very short steps that only take a few minutes here and there. The main thing you have to be willing to do is plan ahead. Soaking does take time. So if you want soaked pancakes in the morning, you have to plan and get them started the day before.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The basic idea is that you use cultured dairy or another acid medium like lemon juice to soak the grains for at least 7 hours (ideally 24 hours) before using them. The length of time required will depend on the grain.

The easiest way to start is by using recipes that give exact instructions on what ingredients to use, how much and how long. Once you get the hang of it you can start experimenting. Simply replace the liquid in the recipe with a cultured/acidic medium (kefir, buttermilk, yogurt or warm water mixed with lemon juice), mix it with the grains, cover the bowl and let it sit. Then proceed with the recipe after the grains have soaked. You can also add the fat/oil during the soaking step.

Soaking can be used on all kinds of grains…wheat, oats, rice, etc. It is also used for lentils, beans and nuts. There are a few exceptions to the rule. Coconut flour, white rice, millet and flax seed are relatively low in phytic acid. Although soaking them will still be beneficial it is not as critical.

Although millet is low in phytic acid, it is goitrogenic. So limit your  millet intake if you have thyroid problems.

So what do you do if you don’t have time to soak your flour before baking, or what if you forgot to plan ahead? An alternative is to sprout the grains.  This is helpful for those times you have to do some last minute baking. Simply sprout the grains, dry them and grind them into flour. Then the phytates are already neutralized and you don’t have to soak it. You can buy sprouted grains if you do not want to make your own.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

A third option for dealing with phytates is sourdough. Sourdough also breaks down the phytates and makes the grains easier to digest. Sourdough can be used for all kinds of baked goods. If you want bread, sourdough is the way to go.

Soaking grains is a critical step in the baking process if you are not using sprouted grains or a sourdough starter. It is important for aiding digestion for everyone. It is especially crucial for anyone with a leaky gut, food allergies or food intolerances.  Even if you avoid some of the common grains like wheat and corn, you still have to properly prepare your food. If you have cut gluten out of your diet but have not noticed any improvement, try soaking the gluten free grains you eat. 

Some alternative grains and flours are teff, amaranth, tapicoa, millet, rice (white and brown), quinoa, coconut, hemp and garbanzo bean. These can be prepared in the same manner as their traditional counterparts. The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The next time you start baking ask yourself one question: “Is my flour wet?” If it is you’re on your way to a tasty treat that will be easier on your gut and provide your body with important vitamins and minerals.

Do you consume grains? What is your favorite way to prepare them?

When A Picky Eater Might Have More Going On – How To Cook For Oral Sensory Disorder

When a picky eater might have more going on || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie“Do you have a picky eater? Are meal times a battle? Before you get frustrated and assume your child is just strong-willed, take a closer look at what is really going on.

Yes, some kids truly do like to feel in control and may assert this behavior at meal times. In that case it is just a phase. But for many it is not a choice. There is a big difference.

Refusing to eat broccoli for a period of time is not a big deal. Being distracted one day by a new toy during lunch is no cause for concern. But if feeding your child is causing frustration at every single meal he or she may have oral sensitivities related to sensory processing disorder (SPD).”

Want to learn more?  I’m sharing my experience with a “picky eater” at Kitchen Stewardship!

You can also read about root causes of a picky eater here and some solutions here.