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How to Prevent Picky Eaters from the Start

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It’s no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I’m going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Picky Eaters.

It’s something all parents struggle with at some point. But did you know that shouldn’t be the norm? Really. Picky eating is a symptom. Not a condition. It’s the whole purpose of my blog – to help deal with picky eaters and get kids to just take a bite!

How to Handle Picky Eaters

Trust me. I’ve dealt with every kind of eating struggle you can imagine…and come out on the other side. I dealt with the root cause. Which got rid of the picky eating symptom. But it wasn’t easy!

I have ways of dealing with picky eaters in my book “Why Won’t My Child Eat?!” But today I’m sharing a little secret with you. The best way to prevent picky eaters is right from the start. From the first taste of solid food. Actually even from the time baby is in your womb and breastfeeding!

If you are pregnant, make sure you eat a wide variety of nutrient dense whole foods. Baby does taste what you’re eating! Then when baby is breastfeeding continue a nutritious diet. Your milk will change flavor based on what you eat and give your little one a taste for real food.In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Prevent Picky Eaters from the First Bite

Then comes the really important step – introducing solids. You can’t wait for it with your first child. You kind of get annoyed with it by your second child. But eventually you get to or you have to (however you look at it). And what you feed your baby can create or prevent picky eaters.

I’m a huge fan of letting baby lead when it comes to solids. But that doesn’t mean a food free-for-all. It just means I offer a variety of nutrient dense food and let baby decide what and how much to eat. In general I offer baby what the rest of the family is eating. Here are my basic guidelines.

  • No added sweeteners
  • No food coloring or artificial ingredients
  • Lots of healthy fats
  • Let baby chew
  • Offer variety – a mix of fruits, veggies, proteins and fats
  • Stick to a gluten free or grain free diet for at least the first year

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Some of my favorite first foods include:

  • avocado chunks or lightly mashed
  • banana chunks or lightly mashed
  • ripe pear chunks
  • egg  yolk lightly fried in butter, coconut oil, tallow or lard or hard boiled egg yolk
  • whole milk yogurt
  • ripe mango chunks
  • beef or chicken liver
  • peas
  • sardines
  • roasted chicken
  • ground beef

Keep in mind baby is not born with an affinity towards sugar and brightly colored foods. If you skip those baby will not feel dissatisfied. On the contrary, you will be giving baby one of the best gifts ever! The gift of a taste for real, whole foods.

If you do need a few tricks to get the healthy habits going check out Think Baby.

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Help With Feeding Baby Made Simple

I’m thankful there are good companies like Stonyfield Yogurt and Once Upon a Farm that have the same philosophy on feeding little ones. Companies that combine the need for simple, yet nourishing foods.

Stonyfield’s YoBaby banana mango yogurt is made with whole milk and has NO added sweeteners! As a mom of soon-to-be four kids (in less than two weeks!!) I’ve been waiting a while for this. An infant does not need sugar added to their yogurt. Honestly. They will eat it plain. Or you can mix in some fruit if you like.In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

We recently tried the banana mango YoBaby yogurt. Even my 10 year old loved it! I’ve even been eating it. Here is some other cool info straight from Stonyfield.

  1. Yobaby is the #1 pediatrician recommended yogurt for babies and kids 6 months to 2 years.
  2. Stonyfield YoBaby was the first yogurt made especially for babies.
  3. Yobaby now contains the probiotic culture BB12. In addition to live active cultures, Stretococcus Thermophilus, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidus, Lactobacillus Casei, and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, YoBaby® yogurt now contains the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis lactis BB-12® that has been shown to have a digestive health benefit when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. BB-12® is a registered trademark of Chr. Hansen.
  4. Our texture is thick and creamy. It is thicker and isn’t as runny as other organic baby yogurts. This helps with less mess for moms while feeding AND especially for babies/toddlers that are starting to self-feed.
  5. We use PLA cups (meaning, made from plants!) because we heard from moms that they were concerned with polystyrene packaging – PLUS plant-based packaging has a lower carbon footprint.

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Don’t Forget the Fat!

We have been eating Stonyfield yogurt for many years. But Once Upon a Farm is new to us. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and flavor of the ingredients!

Just real, whole foods. A variety of fruits, veggies, seeds and healthy fats. Exactly what little brains and bodies need. And as a mom of kids with a variety of allergies I was happy to see there are flavors each of my kids can enjoy.

According to Once Upon a Farm, “We use High Pressure Processing (HPP) to keep our food as close to the farm as it gets. HPP is a revolutionary technology in food, the kind that those unrefrigerated brands don’t use. It allows us to keep the flavors, aromas, colors, textures and nutrients of the food intact, leading to optimal taste and palate development in infants.”In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

One of my favorite qualities of Once Upon a Farm pouches is how the ingredients are combined.

“We synergistically combine ingredients to create optimal absorption and bioavailability of nutrients. Most baby foods are devoid of fats, especially high quality ones. At Once Upon a Farm, each recipe contains a healthy fat for stable energy levels, nutrient absorption and optimal brain development.”

That is so important to me! Kids need plenty of healthy fats for absorption and brain development!!

I know these are for little ones, but I’d happily serve them to kids of any age…or eat them myself! My kids wanted to eat them all in one day.

Skip the Sugar!

If you skip the sugar from the start your kids will not crave it and be dependent on it as they get older. They will enjoy foods in their natural state. My kids describe their vegetables as sweet! Yes, with a palate free of sugar they can enjoy sugar snap peas and carrots fresh from the garden and consider them a treat.

We do have the occasional sweet here, like homemade graham crackers or homemade ice cream. But those are not part of our daily diet. And they are not given to the little ones. Plus when I make them at home I can keep the sugar content down even in my baked goods!In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

You can start this process at any age. You are never too old to learn to enjoy real food.

But the best strategy is to teach your kids about whole foods from birth. Skip the sugar in first foods to teach kids how to enjoy foods in their natural state and prevent picky eaters.

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and Once Upon a Farm for this post. All opinions are my own.I have not been paid to post a positive review.

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.

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

I’m Slowing Down…

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

I’m slowing down.

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

Here’s the problem.

Life is not.

In fact life is going in the complete opposite direction.

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

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

Full Time Work.

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

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

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

No Big Deal?

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

But I’m struggling.

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

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

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

What Happened?

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

I didn’t listen to my body.

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

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

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

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

Three Years Of Worry.

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

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

I was so happy, and the pregnancy went smoothly.

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

Wait, It Gets Worse?

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

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

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

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

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

Allergies.

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

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

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

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

Waiting For Our Dream.

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

Deeper Thoughts.

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

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

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

Taking Its Toll.

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

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

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

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

My adrenals are really being taxed on a daily basis.

Adrenal Health.

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

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

I always thought sleep was my biggest problem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So…

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe you want to join me?

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

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

Life Is Still Crazy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Plans.

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

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

I feel more changes still to come.

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

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

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?

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie: Jam Packed With Nutrients!

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

School is under way. That means two things.

  1. Mornings are busy.
  2. The germs are spreading.

That doesn’t mean throw in the towel, buy boxes of cereal and say a prayer your child stays healthy.

No way! Now is the perfect time to get smart and start the day with a nutrient boost that supports the immune system. It also provides critical vitamins and minerals for focus and energy.

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

The Ultimate Energy Drink

Kids need fuel for both their minds and bodies. Get it all in this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie. Fruits, vegetables and loads of vitamins and minerals.

I serve smoothies for breakfast several times a week. They are easy. And you’d be amazed how much good stuff I pack in there. This blueberry spinach smoothie is no exception.

Don’t worry – even with all that good stuff it still tastes great! All of my kids approve.

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

What makes it so nutritious?

I’m over at Kitchen Stewardship sharing this fool-proof way to get your child’s day started right. Bonus – it’s great mama fuel too! I make a blenderful in the morning and have some for my breakfast. Then when the kids get up I just puree for a few seconds again and their breakfast is ready. It really doesn’t get any easier.

Check out the full recipe here!

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

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.

This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

Metabolism Boosting Salted Caramel {With A Secret Ingredient!}

Looking for an easy way to get some liver down the hatch? This metabolism boosting salted caramel is easy to make, tastes great and is loaded with Vitamin A!

This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

This recipe was an accident.

For about a year now I’ve had so many things I can’t eat while breastfeeding that I stopped making salad dressing. I can’t do tomatoes, dairy, nuts, peas, coconut, mustard, garlic, eggs, vinegar. Seriously.

Getting creative.

But I LOVE salad. And I was not about to eat plain lettuce. So I would just put some olive oil, honey and salt on my salad and call it good.

After a while I decided to experiment a bit and added desiccated liver (this is the brand I use). Who knew I’d actually love the taste?! And it’s so healthy for a slow oxidizer like me with high tissue calcium levels. I need all the Vitamin A I can get.

I’m not one to mix up a bottle of dressing. I always just add the ingredients directly to my lettuce and mix it all together. But one day I tried mixing up the dressing first to see if it was easier.This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

Not what I expected.

Imagine my surprise when instead of a dressing I ended up with a thick, gooey salted caramel! And my kids gathered around like baby birds begging for bites.

That is how my nutrient dense salted caramel came about.

It tastes great, is easy to make and my kids love it. Want to know something else? It’s great for boosting your metabolism too!

The perfect combination.

If I am low on energy or haven’t gotten enough sleep this is the perfect pick-me-up. A little salt, a little sugar, a little fat and some vitamins.

This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

My girls and I all have slow metabolisms and are in need of some serious rest and recovery. So this salted caramel makes a great snack for all of us.

A toddler favorite.

In fact, my toddler eats half of the lettuce and cucumbers out of my salad just because of this dressing. She’ll suck it off and then eat the vegetables. It’s that good!

You can eat the salted caramel with a spoon. I like to dip banana in it. Then you even get some starch with your sugar, salt and fat. It’s the perfect combination for a metabolic boost. Any fruit you like will work.

A long road to recovery.

My journey with healing my metabolism has been a long one. You can read about what happened to me in 2013 and all of the things I learned in the process.

One thing that was pivotal for healing was The Nourished Metabolism by Elizabeth Walling of The Nourished Life. I have recommended this book to more people than any other book or real food resource.

I’ve probably read it five or six times myself. And I learn something new every time. I’m so glad I have a hard copy now! It’s a great reference.

Elizabeth is running a sale on The Nourished Metabolism now until June 30, 2016. You can get 20% off using the coupon code SUMMER20.

I’d snatch a copy before the sale is over! I think just about everyone could benefit from Elizabeth’s advice. Especially all of my sleep-deprived mama friends. Even children and teens these days that are over scheduled, over stressed and under nourished need some help with their metabolism (have you checked your child’s body temperature lately? You might be surprised how low it is…it’s supposed to be 98.6!).
The Nourished Life
Whip up a batch of salted caramel (with liver!). Grab a spoon, your favorite fruit or even a homemade graham cracker for dipping. Then dive into The Nourished Metabolism. Trust me, you won’t be able to put it down. I read it almost cover-to-cover the first time through.

Have you assessed your metabolism lately? What are you doing to keep it running at full speed?

Try some salted caramel and all of Elizabeth’s tips in The Nourished Metabolism. You’ll be amazed at how great you feel.

This post is linked to Allergy Free Thursdays.

This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

Metabolism Boosting Salted Caramel (With A Secret Ingredient!)
Serves 1
A simple gooey caramel that will boost your metabolism and your nutrients with liver!
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Print
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 Tbsp. honey
  3. 1/8 tsp. unrefined sea salt (adjust to taste)
  4. 1 capsule Perfect Supplements desiccated liver
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until well mixed. The mixture will thicken in about a minute.
  2. Eat with a spoon, with fruit for dipping or with graham crackers.
Notes
  1. This can be used as a salad dressing if you increase the oil to make it thinner.
  2. You can add one capsule of Organic India moringa to the mixture when using it as a salad dressing for extra nutrients.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

Simple Health Tips For Sleep-Deprived Moms

When you’re caring for little ones it’s hard to make time to care for yourself. Here are some simple health tips for sleep-deprived moms to keep you going.

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

The early days of motherhood are filled with joy, wonder and lots of snuggles. But they are also filled with sleepless nights, round-the-clock feedings, gassy tummies and lots of diaper changes.

Could you say that again? I was nodding off.

Being a mother of young children is exhausting to say the least. They require all of your attention and energy.

But that doesn’t mean you have to put your health and well-being on the back burner. Whether you just gave birth or you’re still nursing an energetic toddler there are some simple strategies any mom can use to stay healthy during this tiring phase.

You don’t need to add to your to-do list, buy special equipment or see an assortment of doctors. Follow these five simple health tips to keep yourself healthy and better able to care for your precious child. Plus I’ve got a bonus tip for those with older kids!

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

1. Do not diet.

It’s tempting. You want to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes. You want to get back in shape. But dieting is not the way to maintain your health. In fact, quite the opposite is true. When you have an infant or toddler, especially if you are breastfeeding, it is critical that you consume sufficient calories every day.

Your body needs energy to recover from pregnancy and birth (calories = energy!). You also need all around nourishment, including a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. There is no way to get what you need if you are cutting calories.

Dieting will also slow your metabolism, making you feel even more tired. Make sure you are eating plenty of food to meet your body’s needs. There is no set number of calories, but most women should consume a minimum of 2,000 calories a day just to maintain normal bodily functions. Increase that if you are breastfeeding or even mildly active.

2. Move your body gently.

Exercise is good. There’s no doubt about it. But what is better is movement. And during the infant stage your body does not need extra stress in the form of strenuous exercise. Instead try gentle movement throughout your day.

This can mean taking baby for an easy walk outside, doing a short yoga session or simply playing with your kids.

The goal postpartum is to allow your body time to recover. Recovery does not happen during periods of stress, which includes hard workouts. Save the marathon training and ab sculpting for when your kids are older.

One exercise routine you should include is core strengthening that is safe for diastasis recti to support your back and internal organs.

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

3. Get some sleep.

You may be laughing at this suggestion. It sounds simple yet impossible when you have a little one. But it is often overlooked. Make sleep a priority. During sleep is when the body works on reparation and healing.

Nap when the baby naps. Go to bed by 10:00 pm. Ask for help so you can rest.

You will feel better and recover faster.

4. Make your food count.

A calorie is not a calorie. You need to make your food count with a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Most moms in this phase are dealing with poor adrenal health. This means adequate carbohydrates and starch are essential. Carbohydrates can be anything from bananas and sweet potatoes to white rice and sourdough bread. Whatever works for your body. But no low carb diets.

Most of your food should be nutrient dense and give your body important vitamins and minerals. Some easy power packed additions to your diet include:

Your vitamin and mineral stores will be replenished by eating enough nutrient-dense calories every day. This will also help with milk supply and energy.

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

5. Stay home.

One of the biggest mistakes moms make is trying to get back to their normal routine as soon as baby arrives. This does not allow your body enough time to recover.

It’s ok to stay home and decline invites or even say no to visitors. Focus on your kids and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. Don’t jump back into the rushed pace of life. It doesn’t matter if your neighbor has five kids and a new activity planned every day. Take the time to enjoy this short phase of life and not add extra stress.

Simplify meals, schedules and to-do lists. You and your children will be happier. When you are rested and recovered you’ll have fun being out and about. But when you are exhausted and undernourished it’s ok to just stay home and rest.

The infant and toddler stages are hard and tiring. Take care of yourself. Nourish yourself. Remove stress. Enjoy your little ones before you blink and they are not so little.

Follow some simple health tips to go from sleep-deprived mom to energetic mom.

Let the kids help!

If you have more than one child a great way to not feel so stressed is to get everyone involved in the day-to-day duties. That includes cooking!

The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse has open enrollment next week. My kids LOVE the course. They have learned so much (and so have I!!). You can get a little taste of it with these FREE knife skills videos.
A sleep deprived mom can improve her health with simple changes that will have a positive impact on the whole family. Make the time to take care of yourself and invest in your kids by teaching them responsibilities too.

What have you done today to care for yourself?

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Squash Cherry Smoothie

Winter, spring, summer or fall this squash cherry smoothie packs a nutritional punch and is bursting with flavor. Plus it’s safe for those with allergies.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Smoothies are pretty popular these days. For good reason. You can add a lot of healthy stuff to them without kids complaining.

Smoothies are tough with allergies.

But when you have a lot of allergies the list of typical smoothie ingredients dwindles quickly.

I had to get creative to make smoothies for my youngest two. No dairy or dairy substitutes. No avacodo, banana, nuts or seeds. No eggs. Not too many options.

Instead of writing off smoothies I used what foods we can eat to create a delicious breakfast beverage that is full of nourishing ingredients.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Secret ingredients.

This squash cherry smoothie contains fruit, vegetables, grassfed collagen (I love this brand) and probiotics (I use Megaspore). I also sometimes add desiccated liver (this is what I use) and broth!

One of the best parts about this smoothie is that you prepare it the night before. In the morning just blend and pour! So simple.

This is a great way to use some of the cherries that we freeze in the summer.

Great for kids and adults.

My four year old LOVES this squash cherry smoothie. And he can be picky! You don’t taste all of the “extra” ingredients. You just taste cherries.

I serve squash cherry smoothie in a cup with a straw for my big kids. For my youngest I put it in a straw sippy cup. Then I can take it with us when we are running errands or driving to and from school. It is a great way to add calories and nutrients for her.

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

But don’t think this is just for kids. I love squash cherry smoothies for breakfast too! It is so refreshing. Plus it’s great for busy mornings. I always pair it with some kind of starch for balance and to keep my metabolism going. But the smoothie is where I pack the nutrients.

Have you ever put squash in your smoothie?

It adds a natural sweetness and is great for thickness.

Cherry season will be here again before we know it. I’ll be using up last year’s freezer stash by making lots of squash cherry smoothies!

This squash cherry smoothie is so refreshing and free of allergens.

Squash Cherry Smoothie
Serves 1
A refreshing and allergy friendly smoothie packed with nutrients.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups frozen cherries
  2. 3/4 cups frozen or cooked squash
  3. 2 Tbsp. grassfed collagen
  4. 1 - 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/2 cup water or mild broth
Optional
  1. up to 1 capsule powdered probiotic
  2. 1/2 capsule desiccated liver
  3. 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Instructions
  1. Place the water, squash, cherries, syrup and salt in a blender.
  2. Add the collagen and any optional ingredients.
  3. Store the blender in the refrigerator over night.
  4. Blend until smooth. Adjust sweetness if necessary.
  5. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. This makes enough for one adult or two children.
  2. Activated charcoal can be added to the smoothie to settle an allergy flair.
  3. The ingredients can separate if the smoothie sits for too long. Drink immediately after blending or keep in a cup with a lid and shake before serving.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
New Year's Goals Everyone Should Have | Just Take A Bite

New Year’s Goals Everyone Should Have

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get more rest.

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

No restrictions or diets.

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

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

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

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

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

Move your body.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strive to nourish your body every day.

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

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

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

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

Make time for yourself and for others.

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

Extend grace to yourself and others.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make time for fun.

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

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

Take joy in the little things each day.

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

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

Put down the phone!

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

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

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

It’s all about balance.

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

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

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

Pick your word.

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

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

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

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

Personal goals.

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

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

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

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

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

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.