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Category: Food allergies

Does one (or all!) of your children have food allergies? Sadly this is no longer a rare thing. More and more kids struggle with food allergies now than ever before.

I’ve been there too. Skin testing, blood work, epi-pens…the works. It can be challenging or down right scary.

But you don’t have to live in fear. And you don’t have to just accept food allergies as a life sentence. There is help!

My son went from over twenty food allergies and an epi-pen to being able to eat just about anything. Even nuts!

There are ways to heal the gut and nourish the body so your child can get back to a normal life. Food allergies have so many underlying causes. Once you figure out the root problem and treat it the body will begin to heal.

Don’t let food allergies define your life. I’m here to help you and your child heal.

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.

Help for Food Freedom

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 in Nourishment

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.

Balanced Nutrition 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 Food 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.

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 Food for Kids

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.

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!

Accidental Caramel

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!

Metabolism Boosting 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.

Easy Toddler Treat

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.

Metabolic 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.

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!).

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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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/
Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Breakfast Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Simple, Whole Foods!

Looking for a way to get your winter dessert fix without reaching for ice cream? Turn breakfast into a special treat with these Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits!

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

I have fond memories of eating lots of Neapolitan ice cream and spumoni ice cream growing up.

Of course I was like most kids and really just wanted the chocolate! Who doesn’t want chocolate?

Updated Neapolitan and Spumoni

I have recreated these classic flavor combinations in a healthy breakfast treat. Did I mention they are super easy to make too?

Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits use plain, whole milk yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit, organic cocoa powder and pistachio nuts. You get the flavors you love without any high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or food dyes.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Unique, Kid-Friendly Breakfast

My kids went crazy over these parfaits! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them eat  yogurt that quickly. I can’t blame them. What’s not to love about vanilla and chocolate yogurt combined with sweet strawberries?

Kids can help prepare Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits. It only requires pouring and mixing. They love the assembly part too.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Holiday Breakfast Parfait

I love how festive these parfaits look. Hosting guests for the holidays? Prepare the parfaits the night before. Then wow your guests with a special treat in the morning. Wine glasses make fancy serving dishes.

You could even use these as a special Valentine’s Day dessert.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

This winter spruce up Saturday morning breakfast with a classic dessert flavor. Try both parfaits and see which one you like best. Or combine them to make a four layer parfait that includes chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and pistachio.

Are you ready to try something new for breakfast (or dessert!)?

Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits are simple and nutritious. Plus they are packed with flavor.

Looking for an actual dessert that captures the Neapolitan flavor? Try my grain and dairy free Neapolitan ice cream cake.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Neapolitan Parfait
Serves 1
A yogurt parfait with the classic Neapolitan flavor of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
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Vanilla layer
  1. 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  2. 1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
  3. optional: 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla extract
Chocolate layer
  1. 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  2. 2 tsp. organic cocoa powder
  3. 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  4. optional: 2 tsp. mini chocolate chips
Strawberry layer
  1. 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the vanilla layer ingredients. Let sit 1 minute.
  2. In a small bowl combine the chocolate layer ingredients. Let sit 1 minute.
  3. Layer the vanilla yogurt, chocolate yogurt, chocolate chips and strawberries in a serving dish.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Notes
  1. The cocoa powder and maple syrup can be replaced with 1 Tbsp. homemade chocolate sauce.
  2. If using frozen strawberries allow them to thaw for a few minutes before serving.
  3. The cocoa powder can be replaced with carob powder.
  4. Coconut yogurt can be used in place of the whole milk yogurt.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
 Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Spumoni Parfait
Serves 1
A breakfast parfait with the classic spumoni flavor of chocolate, strawberry and pistachio.
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Chocolate layer
  1. 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  2. 4 tsp. organic cocoa powder
  3. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  4. optional: 3 tsp. mini chocolate chips
Strawberry layer
  1. 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Pistachio layer
  1. 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the chocolate layer ingredients. Let sit 1 minute.
  2. Layer the chocolate yogurt, chocolate chips, strawberries and pistachios in a serving dish.
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Notes
  1. The cocoa powder and maple syrup can be replaced with 1 Tbsp. homemade chocolate sauce.
  2. If using frozen strawberries allow them to thaw for a few minutes before serving.
  3. The cocoa powder can be replaced with carob powder.
  4. Coconut yogurt can be used in place of the whole milk yogurt.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Crockpot Candy Corn Potatoes and Carrots

Holidays aren’t just about the sweets. Candy corn potatoes and carrots is festive and healthy! You won’t have any problem getting your kids to eat vegetables when they look like dessert.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

I love fall.

I wish it could last longer. Mild temperatures. Beautiful colors. All things pumpkin.

Fun, Fall Food

I recently shared my candy corn finger jello recipe as a nod to fall and a tribute to my grandparents. In that same spirit I have another fun play on candy corn today. But this time it is savory!

Candy corn potatoes and carrots is a fun and healthy side dish. You can modify it to meet your dietary needs too.

Fall Vegetables

The base recipe uses white potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. But if you don’t want to use roots or don’t like quite that much starch (or have a crazy sensitivity/allergy to them like my daughter) then you can use pumpkin or squash (yellow/orange) and cauliflower (white)!

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Quick Crockpot Side Dish

The preparation for candy corn potatoes and carrots is so simple because the crockpot does most of the work for you. Toss all of the veggies in the crockpot. Once they are cooked you simply puree and layer them.

The entire dish can be prepared in advance and just warmed before you eat. The warming can even be done in the crockpot!

Naturally Sweetened Sweets - A Community Cookbook

Sweet and Savory Fall Vegetables

I love how versatile candy corn potatoes are. You can add any seasoning, spices or even sweeteners you like.

My kids love a little sweetnes on their carrots and sweet potatoes. So I add just a touch of maple syrup or honey to the bottom layersy . But if you like things really savory adding salt, pepper and herbs would be just as delicious. Or you can find a happy medium by adding a pinch of cinnamon.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Go ahead and choose which color to put in which layer. I like the dark to light effect. But you can go with the traditional candy corn yellow, orange, and white scheme too.

Kid-Friendly Holiday Side Dish

Are you wondering what to serve for a holiday dinner that kids will actually eat? How about roast beef paired with candy corn vegetables and candy corn finger jello?! Your kids will love it. Plus they’ll fill up on nourishing foods and won’t crave a bunch of sweets later (can I get an Amen?!).

You could even turn this into a one pot meal by adding seasoned ground beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey between each layer. Candy corn casserole!

Surprise the kids with this delicious treat. Candy corn potatoes and carrots (or squash and cauliflower) is a healthy way to enjoy the holiday.

Do you have any creative holiday traditions or treats?

If not, start one with a festive dinner your kids will request year after year that includes candy corn potatoes and carrots.

Candy Corn Potatoes And Carrots | Just Take A Bite

Crockpot Candy Corn Potatoes and Carrots
Serves 6
A fun, fall side dish filled with vegetables.
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Ingredients
  1. Orange layer: 3-5 sweet potatoes OR 1 orange flesh squash (pumpkin, butternut, kabocha)
  2. Yellow layer: 6-8 large yellow carrots OR 1 yellow flesh squash (acorn, spaghetti)
  3. White layer: 3-4 white potatoes OR 1 head cauliflower
  4. unrefined sea salt to taste
  5. water, broth or milk (enough to puree)
  6. optional: brown cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, herbs, cinnamon, spices
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut vegetables into large chunks.
  2. Place the vegetables in glass containers with a small amount of water or broth. Place the containers directly into the crockpot.
  3. Add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the crockpot.
  4. Cook on high about 3 hours, until vegetables are tender.
  5. Remove containers from the crockpot.
  6. Add salt and any sweetener, herbs or spices and puree with an immersion blender (or in a blender). Add water, broth or milk if needed.
  7. Layer the vegetables in desired order in a see-through oven safe dish.
  8. Serve immediately or place in the crockpot on warm or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to heat (in a 350*F oven for about 20 minutes).
Notes
  1. If using squash it can be roasted whole in the crockpot or oven, then cut open and the flesh scooped out. You can keep it as is or puree it at this point.
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This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

How I Gave My Daughter A New Start: Natural Remedies to Help Mouth Breathing

Does your child seem to sleep poorly or wake up grumpy? There are many causes, one of them being how your child breathes. There is natural help for mouth breathing to get a well-rested child.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Every parent does it. Every night.

Before you get in bed, you check on your sleeping child.

You stand there for a minute watching them lay there so peacefully.

Unless your child is a mouth breather.

Then you see covers strewn about and a child tossing and turning. You hear snoring and snuffling.

Sleeping While Mouth Breathing Looks Anything but Peaceful

Not only does it look bad, it is bad. Mouth breathing has a big impact on health and behavior. Here are some of the effects of mouth breathing.

  • Restless sleep/change positions constantly.
  • Lack of clean oxygen to the body (that comes through the nose).
  • Bad breath and body odor.
  • Sensitive teeth/chewing problems/dental problems.
  • Adrenal fatigue/lack of sleep.
  • Sleeping problems/hard to settle down/inability to nap.
  • Lack of focus/symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Mood swings/tantrums/meltdowns.
  • Oral sensory processing disorder.
  • Narrow mouth/palette.

This list of symptoms should not describe any child. But it does. My daughter included. She had displayed every single symptom on this list at only seven years old.How do I stop mouth breathing in my kids? We are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion. #mouthbreathing #oralspd #kidshealth

Why do Kids Mouth Breathe?

Mouth breathing happens during the day and night and can have a variety of causes. For my daughter the root issue is environmental allergies.

Her first symptoms started at a very young age with chewing problems and sensitive teeth. She needed pureed foods until age two. But things really started to get worse around age three when she stopped napping and could no longer settle down during the day.

We played around with diet and removed gluten and anything artificial. We saw some improvement, but not enough.

How Allergies Impact Mouth Breathing

At five years old we had her tested for allergies and discovered severe dust mite and mold allergies. The allergist put her on a steroid nasal spray. Although hesitant we tried it for a while with no improvement. So we turned to more natural remedies.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Natural Treatment Options for Mouth Breathing

My daughter is now 13 and breathing through her nose most of the time. It is quite amazing to see the difference in her health, mood, and behavior. She has been given a new start after years of mouth breathing.

Every child is different and responds differently to treatments. But if your child is a mouth breather it is important to figure out what works for him or her and find a way for him or her to get quality oxygen and sleep. Here are the treatments we have used.

  1. Speech therapy – We saw a speech therapist for three years. It is great for calming the body, integrating reflexes, and training the mouth. Being able to do exercises at home that open the nasal passage is also wonderful.
  2. Remove food allergies – Allergies to food can cause inflammation anywhere in the body, including the nose/airway. You can figure out allergies through formal testing, an elimination diet, muscle testing, or trial and error. Cut the offending foods out completely while you work on healing.
  3. Craniosacral therapy – Sometimes breathing problems are due to a restriction in the body. CST releases tension and alows the airways to open naturally (learn more about CST here).
  4. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis – When a child is lacking in minerals, is out of balance, or struggles to detox heavy metals, he or she can have numerous symptoms, including inflammation, allergies, and breathing difficulties. HTMA helps get to the root of the problem and get the body back in balance (learn more about HTMA here).
  5. Clean the whole house and clear out the bedroom – Dust and mold allergies are some of the biggest offenders. Dust mites live in mattresses, pillow cases, couches and stuffed animals. Dust collects quickly on dressers, toy boxes and bookshelves. There are some simple solutions.
  • Use dust mite covers on the mattress and pillow case.
  • Change bedding weekly and wash it in hot water.
  • Remove stuffed animals from the bed.
  • Clean the floor regularly. Wood floors are ideal. If possible remove carpet.
  • Remove as much clutter from the bedroom as possible.
  • Dust regularly in the bedroom and the whole house.
  • Keep windows free of mold.
  • Diffuse essential oils – Essential oils can provide a tremendous improvement in breathing. A blend of lemon, lavender and peppermint diffused through the night is effective for clearing airways. Purification is great too.
  • Palette expansion.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Palate Expansion for Mouth Breathing

Palate expansion has had the biggest impact on my daughter’s health. Her mouth breathing has caused her palate to gradually become narrower and narrower. We found a naturally-minded dentist that focuses on expansion plus reshaping the jaw. It is not just the typical expander for a few months and then move on to braces.

There are a few different methods of expansion. We are using Biobloc Orthotropics. It is a three-year process with several phases. First the mouth is widened to allow room for all of the teeth and to open the nasal passage. Then the jaw is reshaped.

My daughter is breathing through her nose more in the night and getting better quality sleep. She is using mouth exercises to practice keeping her mouth closed during the day to retrain her jaw. No more sitting with her mouth wide open!

We also use tape over her mouth at night. I know it sounds strange, but our orthodontist suggested it…and it really works! You can buy special tape already cut in strips or use a hypoallergenic medical tape. Just avoid it if your child has a cold or is really stuffy. You can read more about mouth taping here!

No more bad breath! She is also much more efficient at eating. Instead of a meal taking an hour she can finish in about ten minutes.

Mouth breathing is just one challenge that originates in the mouth. There are many conditions that start with the mouth! So how do you know what it is? Use this quick and easy Mouth Assessment Guide!

How do I stop mouth breathing in my kids? We are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.Can you Eliminate Mouth Breathing?

We have many days now of greatly improved focus and attention and with less hyperactivity. She is able to quickly get herself ready for school in the morning and stay on task at school.

Her adrenal health is gradually improving as she gets more sleep and we continue with a nutrient dense, allergen-free diet. Her hair and nails are stronger. She has not had severe skin problems this winter for the first time in years.

The mouth breathing is not 100% gone, but it is drastically decreased. We are still using tape at night and doing mouth exercises during the day.

Is Your Child a Mouth Breather?

Don’t let it go untreated. It will change the shape of the face and impact overall health. Find the root problem (i.e. allergies). Then seek appropriate treatment to eliminate it.

Finally, consider palate expansion to undo the structural damage, keep the nasal passage open, and create a beautiful smile with enough room for all of your child’s teeth. I’m so thankful we stopped the mouth breathing in its tracks, and my daughter has been given a new start. Her smile says it all.

Help for Mouth Breathing

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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

I Let My Toddler Use Knives

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

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

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

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

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

Teaching Kids Life Skills

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

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

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

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

Toddlers Can Use Knives!

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

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

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

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

Kitchen Skills for Kids

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

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

It really is possible.

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

Kids in the Kitchen

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

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

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

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

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

Kids Can Cook

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

Are you ready to have some help in the kitchen?Kids Cook Real Food

 

Try the knife skills lessons for FREE!

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

More Cooks in the Kitchen

It’s hard to believe I wrote this post over five years ago! I have now added another budding chef to the mix. My current toddler also loves getting messy in the kitchen with me. He is a big fan of washing dishes. That is another important skill!

My other chefs are 13, 10, and almost 7. They love to help plan meals every week and participate in dinner prep often.

I love that they are empowered to make healthy food choices and gain essential life skills. I have no worries about them taking ownership of their health as they get older.

But even after all these years we still go back to the Kids Cook Real Food ecourse for a refresher periodically. It’s great practice and motivation!

Adventurous Eater

Do you let your kids help (or take over) in the kitchen often? Has your toddler learned to properly use a knife yet?

Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Dairy-Free Zucchini Cheese

Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Within one week of my youngest being born I was 100% dairy-free.

I had been through this with my previous two babies. So I knew the signs of a dairy reaction right away. There was no easing into it. I went from eating ice cream pretty much every evening while pregnant to strict no speck of dairy almost overnight.

It’s not fun to have to cut out dairy. But I knew how to do it. I have another son that is still dairy-free, so I just added two more family members to the mix.

Unfortunately our food reactions did not end there.

I cut out so many foods, trying to help my son’s silent reflux. We had his tongue and lip tie clipped.

What finally made a significant difference in his ability to nurse and eat was learning about histamine intolerance. I switched to a low-histamine diet and it was like magic.

What wasn’t magical was the amount of effort it took to keep the two of us nourished, and our lack of food options.

During the summer we basically lived on zucchini and ground beef as I tried to calm our bodies. Our garden was overflowing with zucchini, so I sliced and roasted some pretty much every day.

The ground beef was nourishment that I could actually digest. Plus I could cook up some burgers for us and freeze extras for another meal (an essential part of a low-histamine diet – not letting meat sit in the fridge).

I’m thankful I am an Analytical Eater that truly does not mind eating the same foods over and over. In fact, that is what I love. But I was really lacking in texture with all that soggy zucchini. My mouth needed more!

My solution? Zucchini cheese!

What are the Health Benefits of Zucchini?

Although often overlooked, zucchini really does pack a punch in terms of nutrition. This fruit, used as a vegetable, contains:

  • potassium
  • phosphorus
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

Zucchini also has a really high water content in addition to its minerals so it is great for hydration!Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

What Can I Do With Too Much Zucchini?

I often joke with my husband that there is no such thing as too much zucchini.

Every summer we grow an absurd amount of zucchini. And every summer I use it all up! Sure, we give away a few here and there. But I truly do my best to not let any go to waste (though the chickens get the baseball bat zucchinis that we inevitably miss).

It’s easy to use up quite a bit of zucchini by roasting it for a family dinner. My kids will devour roasted zucchini covered in herbs and garlic.

Some other fun ways to use zucchini include:

Of course we can’t eat all of our zucchini fresh. Somtimes we pick 20 in one day! So I love to freeze all of my extra zucchini.

Simply slice into rounds and place on a baking sheet. Freeze and bag. Peeling is optional. You can also freeze grated zucchini to use in bread and muffins.

Last year I froze at least five gallons of zucchini. I lost count. It’s been such a blessing to be able to enjoy it all year.

What Can Be Made With Frozen Zucchini?

Frozen zucchini works well in soups, stews, and stir fry. Frozen grated zucchini is great for zucchini bread, muffins, or scones.

But mostly I use my frozen zucchini to make zucchini cheese. I have some in the fridge at all times.

I love that I don’t have to do any peeling or slicing when I use frozen zucchini. Just put a big pile in a saucepan to cook for a few minutes and it’s ready to go!

Though you can make zucchini cheese with fresh zucchini too. That is how I do it all summer.Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Dairy-Free Zucchini Cheese

Back to our low-histamine diet. I was really getting bored with roasted or sauteed zucchini. I had heard you could make “cheese” with zucchini. So I found some recipes and started experimenting.

The first one I tried used lemon juice. That was a big disaster. I think it all went in the trash. Even the kids couldn’t stomach the flavor.

Over time I figured out my own version of zucchini cheese that has been a staple in my diet ever since.

Zucchini cheese gets it’s texture from a combination of healthy fat (like butter or coonut oil) and grassfed gelatin. Now that my son tolerates butter I tend to use it for zucchini cheese. But coconut oil works just as well!

I use a small loaf pan to create a taller block of cheese that I can slice.

We use zucchini cheese on salads and sandwiches. It’s delicoius on crackers. Or I often just eat it plain.

 

Dairy-Free Zucchini Cheese

Servings 10
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups zucchini sliced, peeled or unpeeled, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter
  • 4-5 Tbsp. gelatin
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder optional
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder optional
  • 1/4 tsp. tumeric optional
  • 2 Tbsp. non-fortified nutritional yeast optional

Instructions

  1. Place sliced zucchini and a small amount of water (enough to cover the bottom) in a small saucepan. Turn heat to high until water comes to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer until zucchini is cooked, about 5-10 minutes.

  3. Drain the zucchini and place it in a blender with the coconut oil and salt.

  4. Blend on high until smooth.

  5. Add the gelatin and blend on high until smooth.

  6. Taste and add seasoning/yeast as desired. Blend.

  7. Pour into a glass or ceramic small bread pan. Chill in the refrigerator until firm.

  8. Slice or cut into sticks to serve. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Recipe Notes

  • The flavor will become milder as the cheese firms, so add a little more salt/seasoning than you think you need.

Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Healthy Veggie Cheese

While zucchini works very well for making a faux cheese because of its neutral flavor, you can defnitely change up the flavor with other vegetables!

This is really important for the Adventurous Eaters that need variety. Plus you get a different array of nutrients.

One of our favorites is squash cheese. It has such a beautiful orange color! Not to mention it has a bit of sweetness to it. So kids really love it. It has a taste reminiscent of American cheese, so it’s often a great transition for kids that are used to a Standard American Diet (SAD).

Cauliflower is another great option if you want a white cheese with a kid-friendly flavor.

You can go a little more bold with peas and create green cheese!

What to Feed a Child Who Doesn’t Like Meat

One of my favorite things about zucchini cheese is the nutrition factor. It has a combination of protein (gelatin), healthy fat, and carbohydrates with fiber (zucchini). Lots of Real Salt adds essential trace minerals.

Sometimes I really boost the nutrient content by adding non-fortified nutritional yeast and turmeric.

So many selective eater kids struggle with eating meat. Whether it’s the texture, the chewing, or the inability to digest it, getting adequate protein is a struggle for many.

Gelatin is a great solution! And zucchini cheese is an easy way to get a big dose of easy-to-digest gelatin down.


Perfect Supplements is the only brand of gelatin I trust. It is grassfed and certified 100% glyphosate free!

Stock up now. Take 10% off with the code TAKE10 HERE!


Zucchini cheese is also great for the kids that only want to eat cheese and starch all day. You can get a great dose of both macro and micronutrients in while they still enjoy their favorite food.Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Easy Toddler Snack

When I first started making zucchini cheese it was really for myeslf. Did I let my kids try it? Of course! But I was the one needing something creamy and salty.

But soon it turned into one of my favorite toddler snacks. My almost-three-year-old has been enjoying zucchini cheese with me since he could eat solid food!

I cut it into thick slices and then into sticks. Easy to hold. Easy to chew. Easy nourishment. That equals an easy toddler snack! And a great way to get little kids interested in veggies.

Is your toddler like mine and only wants to snack all day? Zucchini cheese is the way to go. Snack away!

What is the Best Diet for Picky Eaters?

Each child has unique, bio-individual needs. Which is why I am so passionate about Nutrional Therapy for Kids! That being said, all kids need a balanced diet. This is especially important for those “picky” or “selective” eaters.

A balanced diet includes whole food sources of protein, fat, and carbohydrates with fiber. An easy way to think of this is meat, oil, fruits, and veggies.

Zucchini cheese meets all of the criteria! So it is a great addition to a picky eater’s diet. And getting that balance will help alleviate those picky eating symptoms.

It is also great for those “hangry” kids that crash when they haven’t eaten in a while. Zucchini cheese is a ready-to-go snack when they need something quickly!


Need more dairy-free substitutes? Grab your copy of 10 Simple Dairy Substitutes with recipes for everything from milk to yogurt to ice cream!


Allergen-Free Food on a Budget

One of the hardest aspects of having a child with dietary restrictions is the cost of the food. Have you ever compared the price of regular cheese to dairy-free cheese? Or the cost of wheat bread to gluten-free bread?

If you have, you know that allergen-free food can add up very quickly!

Which is why I love making zucchini cheese. Zucchini is a very affordable vegetable that you can buy in bulk in the summer and store enough for the whole winter. Visit any farmer’s market in the summer and you’ll see piles of zucchini. Or just ask a neighbor with a garden. They probably have extra.

Stock up on gelatin with a bulk discount or when it’s on sale HERE.

You can also watch for good deals on coconut oil.

Now you have all of the ingredients for healthy, dairy-free cheese on a budget!Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.

Is Dairy-Free Cheese Healthy?

I’ll be the first to admit that we do buy some dairy-free cheese. It’s nice to have something that melts like real cheese when making a pizza or grilled cheese.

But I can’t say I’m thrilled about the ingredients. While not horrible, it is still a processed food with some gums and fillers.

That is why I love making zucchini cheese. I control the ingredients. And they are all whole foods that I serve my family regularly.

Is dairy-free cheese healthy? It is if it’s homemade zucchini cheese!

Is your family dairy-free? Do you miss chees? Give zucchini cheese a try!

What is HTMA for Kids?

What is HTMA for Kids?

HTMA for kids is a non-invasive test that uses a small hair sample for Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. The goal of HTMA for kids is to rebuild and balance minerals while removing toxic metals in a safe and gentle way so your child can feel his or her best!What is HTMA for Kids?

I recently talked about the health struggles we faced with our oldest. But through it all I was never concerned about her not getting enough to eat or her overall physical health.

Unfortunately we entered the world of stress, anxiety, and severe feeding challenges when my youngest daughter was born.

Being my third child, I felt pretty confident. I knew how to handle breastfeeding, sick babies, diaper blow-outs, etc.

But I was not prepared for the journey to come.

From day one my daughter could not breastfeed well. Three minutes was a “good” feed for her. She was often uncomfortable. And she slept a lot more than my other kids did as infants.

Although she was my biggest baby at birth (nine pounds!), her chubby baby status didn’t last long.

During her first year of life we learned about the profound impact of tongue and lip ties. We had them clipped twice.

I also had to restrict my diet to such a severe degree that I feared we would run out of safe food. But it was the only way she could breastfeed without screaming. And no formula was safe, so that was not an option.

She developed an allergy to coconut and all things from palm trees. Even if I took a vitamin that contained Vitamin A Palmitate she would not nurse. She would scream in pain. I could not get one speck of coconut, dairy, and many other foods in my mouth or she would react. I even stopped eating gluten-free because most gluten-free grains were off the list and we both needed to eat.

Sadly, I learned the hard way the dangers of Big Pharma’s favorite way to introduce toxic substances and heavy metals into children (I won’t use the word here). Had I not made the connection when she turned one, our outcome would have beeen much different. As it was she was convulsing in my arms, her tongue was swelling, and she could not eat.

At 18 months old my daughter was nursing every 45 minutes just to try to keep her alive. And those feedings were each just a few minutes. She rarely had a wet diaper. She hadn’t gained weight in months. I fed her a lot by syringe. But the pediatrician would not help us. He simply looked at her and said, “She looks fine to me.”

That was when I learned I had to be my duaghter’s doctor. Nobody wanted to help us.What is HTMA for Kids?

Feeding Challenges in Infants

My daughter’s story is sad, but what is even worse is that I’m not alone in my experience. I know so many other moms have been through extreme health and feeding challenges in their infants but have not gotten the support and help they need.

What do feeding challenges in infants look like?

  • colic
  • reflux/GERD
  • silent reflux
  • tongue and lip ties
  • resist solid food
  • inability or difficulty breastfeeding
  • failure to thrive
  • dehydration
  • delayed development

Most pediatricians do not know how to properly diagnose or treat these symptoms.

Some may prescribe antacids, which do more harm than good in the long run. Some may suggest ways to supplement. But that is about it.

For the most part, Mom is left to struggle through on her own.What is HTMA for kids?

Feeding Challenges in Childhood

As your child gets a little older, things may get easier. But the feeding troubles may persist or even get worse.

What do feeding challenges in childhood look like?

  • refusal to eat
  • refusal to try new foods
  • can’t handle certain textures
  • will only eat a handful of foods
  • food allergies or sensitivities
  • oral sensory processing disorder

If you have a child that is labled as a “picky eater,” “problem feeder,” or “selective eater” you know what it’s like. You know the day-to-day struggles and stress.What is HTMA for Kids?

Common Childhood Disorders

What many doctors and parents don’t realize is that the picky eating is actually just the tip of the iceberg. It is a symptom of something much deeper.

It’s very rare that I have a client that struggles with feeding that does not also have one or more of the following common childhood disorders and symptoms:

  • speech difficulties or delays
  • developmental delays
  • low weight
  • rings under eyes
  • sick often
  • ADHD
  • food allergies
  • anxiety
  • neurological disorder
  • weak bones and/or teeth
  • learning difficulties
  • slow/stunted growth
  • overweight

Though these may seem like separate issues on the surface, they are all connected.

Nutritional Balancing for Kids

Sadly, we have a generation of very sick kids. Although children grow up in different homes, different environments, and different cultures, the root cause of their health problems are the same.

Two of the biggest culprits of childhood disorders, including feeding challenges, is mineral imbalance and heavy metal toxicity.

This also includes overall mineral deficiency.

While I am not a fan of oversupplementing our lives, most kids these days are getting very few nutrients in their diets.

Typical kid food is void of nutrition. Then we add stress and sugar on top to deplete any minerals that were available. Even most vegetables are lacking in vitamins and minerals because our soil is so depleted of its mineral content. It’s a downward spiral into poor health that is happening at younger and younger ages.What is HTMA for Kids?

What is HTMA for Kids?

HTMA stands for Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. And it can be a life-saver for kids.

When digging for answers, most doctors run blood tests. And that can be helpful.

But when it comes to certain minerals and heavy metals, a blood test is not accurate enough. It only gives you a snapshot of that one moment in time when the blood was drawn. And some levels fluctuate throughout the day. So you could get signficantly different results depending on when the blood was drawn.

HTMA, however, shows mineral and heavy metal patterns for a three-month window. It’s like getting an in-depth look at your child’s health.

In addition, the body will do whatever it can to keep blood levels in a very narrow range. This is a survival mechanism. If blood levels are low, the situation is serious.

But looking at tissue levels (hair), you can see if the body is actually putting the minerals where they belong or if the body is storing heavy metals.

For example, a child may have a normal blood calcium level. However, an HTMA for kids may show a very high tissue calcium level. This means that although the child’s body is maintaining a sufficient level of calcium in the blood, his or her body is also dumping calcium instead of putting it into the bones.

HTMA for kids uses a small hair sample to assess mineral and heavy metal status. It is a non-invasive procedure that is ideal for kids.What is HTMA for Kids?

What is HTMA Used For?

Many kids these days are deficient in key minerals, have minerals that are out of balance with each other, or have heavy metals stored in their tissues at toxic levels.

Unfortunately, when minerals are not present, heavy metals take their place, making it harder for the body to remove the metals.

The goal of HTMA for kids is to restore the balance of key minerals and support the body in removing heavy metals.

This is not a detox program.

This is simply giving the body what it needs in order for it to function properly and remove what it does not need. In other words, the goal is to balance and restore.

Heavy metals and mineral imbalance can both contribute to a host of symptoms, such as those mentioned above. They can also be the cause of food reactions. Rebalancing a child’s minerals allows him or her to think better, feel more energetic, and act like a kid.

Child Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

When my daughter was one, I was searching and searching for answers and help. I came across HTMA.

At the time I was really struggling with my own health as well. I could hardly eat anything due to my daughter’s restrictions, and I was so stressed that I had daily heart palpitations. I knew I was so out of balance.

I started by doing HTMA for myself in order to get both my daughter and I back in balance. We made slow progress because there were very few safe supplements and such a limited diet.

But I did learn some key information about how Vitamin D suppelements were harming us. I was able to add desiccated liver (use the code TAKE10 for 10% off) to our diets, and it was truly a life-saver for my daughter.

By doing HTMA I was able to make some simple changes that had a profound impact. My daughter got some key nutrients while allowing her body to remove some heavy metals.

As we turned the corner we were able to gradually add more foods to our diet and continued to make progress.

A couple years later I did HTMA for my daughter herself. Once again we were able to keep balancing her minerals and watch her health steadily improve.What is HTMA for Kids?

She is now six years old and a very active and energetic little girl. She has almost completely eliminated her food restrictions.

What could have turned into a tragic story instead became one of hope and healing.

Mineral Balncing for Kids

Even though we have come so far from that little infant struggling to survive, we still have work to do. My daughter is my only child that battles severe leg pains at times and has some cavities (likely due to Vitamin D supplements). We will continue to use HTMA to get her minerals in balance and remove toxins. But I know that she has a bright future thanks to HTMA for kids!

Does HTMA sound like a good fit for you and your kids? Are you ready to end the constant worry and struggle when it comes to nourishing your kids? I’d love to help!

Learn more about my HTMA programs HERE!

You can also email me or schecule a 15-minute Clarity Call to learn more.

Book a clarity call!Contact me

So far we have talked about the foundations of good health, Nutritional Therapy for kids, and HTMA for kids – the physical aspects of health. But there is still more! Next up I’ll be discussing more of the mental aspect of eating. Even as an infant, a child can develop psychological blocks to eating well. Stay tuned!

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Divine Chocolate Cake

When it comes to Valentine’s Day nothing beats chocolate. Get your fix with this divine chocolate cake that can be mixed by hand and made gluten free!

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

I am working with Stonyfield and Divine Chocolate for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But the opinions and ideas are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

Stop what you’re doing and run to the kitchen.

Wait, read this post first. Then run to the kitchen to make this divine chocolate cake. Trust me, your family will be singing your praises.

Chocolate is the Best!

When it comes to sweets I always pick chocolate anything. Especially for Valentine’s Day. So naturally I like to make chocolate treats for my family.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

When challenged to create something with Stonyfield yogurt and Divine Chocolate, my first thought was to simply eat a dish of yogurt with big chunks of chocolate in it. That’s my idea of great treat!!

But that isn’t much of a recipe.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Divine Chocolate Cake

Instead I created a chocolate cake that uses melted chocolate for flavor and whole milk yogurt for moisture. I don’t go overboard with sugar either. The end result is a light chocolate cake that you’ll go crazy for.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

I made two versions. One gluten-free for my kids and one with wheat for my husband. Both cakes were so delicious! If my husband approves of a gluten-free cake you know it has to be good.

My daughter even shared some with a friend at school (who is not gluten-free) who raved about it.

For the gluten-free divine chocolate cake I used my favorite gluten-free flour mix. It worked perfectly! No gums or binders required.

If you are dairy-free, you can use coconut milk yogurt in place of the dairy yogurt.

Reduced Sugar Chocolate Cake

But you can’t have cake without frosting! So I added a light chocolate buttercream and shavings of dark chocolate. Yep, I had some pretty happy kids.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

The great thing about Divine Chocolates is that there are quite a few flavors. So you could change up the flavor of the cake. Simply shave flavored chocolate on top or add it right to the cake batter. The mint or raspberry would be amazing!

Are you looking for an easy and delicious dessert for your family?

This Valentine’s Day give your loved ones a special treat by creating your own divine chocolate cake using Stonyfield yogurt and Divine Chocolate. Everyone will feel the love!

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Divine Chocolate Cake
Serves 12
A light, moist chocolate cake made with dark chocolate and yogurt.
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Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup chocolate of choice (see notes)
  2. 1/4 cup butter
  3. 1 Tbsp. carob powder (optional)
  4. 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder (optional)
  5. 1 cup organic cane sugar
  6. 2 cups AP flour or gluten free flour mix (see post for link)
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp. salt
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla
  11. 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350*F. Grease and line with parchment paper two 8" or 9" round cake pans.
  2. Melt the chocolate, butter, carob powder and cocoa powder in double boiler. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla and yogurt. Stir until combined.
  5. Add the melted chocolate. Stir until well mixed. The batter will be thick.
  6. Divide the batter into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
  9. Frost and serve.
Notes
  1. For chocolate you can use any flavor of Divine chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
 Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Light Chocolate Buttercream
A simple, light chocolate buttercream.
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Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup butter at room temperature
  2. 1/3 cup organic palm shortening (or more butter)
  3. 1 cup organic powdered cane sugar
  4. 1 -2 Tbsp. organic cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Beat all ingredients together in a large bowl until well mixed and fluffy.
Notes
  1. To make powdered sugar simply blend organic cane sugar in a high powered blender until powdered.
  2. This makes enough to fill and top a two layer cake. Double the recipe if you also want to frost the sides.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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

Foundations of good health

The Essential Foundations of Good Health

There are so many opinions these days when it comes to what is and isn’t healthy. In this post I’m breaking down my essential foundations of good health, layer by layer.Foundations of good health

I struggled with digestive dysfunction, an overactive bladder, and anxiety from the time I was very young. I can still remember at five years old being scared to get in the car because I knew I’d have to use the bathroom as soon as we got on the road. Even if it was just a short drive to church or the store. And my dad hated to stop.

That anxiety around basic bodily functions that were out of my control gradually grew over time. In junior high there were days I was in pain and could barely sit up in class. I would just watch the clock until it was time to go home so I could lay down and get relief.

High school ushered in disordered eating to try to feel some sense of control in my life and to manage my symptoms.

But as I journeyed into my twenties my anxiety reached a head, turning into panic attacks and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My digestive issues came right along with it!

But I had no clue how to get out of the vicious cycle. I feared I would have to suffer this way for the rest of my life.

Being a natural problem-solver, I couldn’t accept that answer. So even though no doctors could tell me what was wrong, I kept on searching for answers.

Is There a Way Out of Poor Health?

Over the course of the next fifteen years I gradually found most of the avenues I needed for healing. But it took a lot of trial and error. It took a lot longer than it needed to.

Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels on a healing journey?

Maybe it’s your own health that is suffering. You have…

  • no energy
  • joint pain
  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • brain dysfunction
  • poor digestion
  • life just seems sort of blah.

Or maybe it’s for your kids. They…

  • only want to eat sweets
  • can’t focus in school
  • have extreme mood swings
  • struggle with skin reactions
  • have daily stomach aches
  • can’t sleep well.

Nobody wants to live this way. It’s hard to really call it living. It’s more like surviving.

Is there really a way out? And where do you even begin?

What is your first step in order to get your life and health back on track?Foundations of good health

How to Begin the Healing Process

Let’s start with the symptoms of poor health. They truly are that – just symptoms. Just like picky eating is a symptom of much deeper issues, most bothersome symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg. It is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong at a deeper level.

But the solution is not found in treating symptoms. Sadly, that is exactly what allopathic medicine does. And it keeps you chasing symptoms while remaining sick.

Before you can start the healing work, you must get to the root of the problem first.

How to Improve Health and Wellness

When it comes to helping the body function better, I have discovered four essential foundations. These are the layers that you must work through to support the whole body. Not just physically, but spiritually and mentally as well.

Healing is sort of like peeling an onion. You go through it layer-by-layer.Foundations of good health

There are four layers in my essential foundations to good health.

  1. Spiritual life
  2. Diet and lifestyle
  3. Emotional and mental health
  4. Supportive and maintenance modalities

Each layer impacts the others. And you will go back and forth between them on your journey to better health. Let’s dig a little deeper into each foundation.

How Does Faith Impact Your Daily Life?

I believe the most important foundation in your life is spiritual health. This is central to everything else. Without a sense of purpose and hope, it is hard to want to make change.

For me spiritual health means faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Everything else I do in life stems from my faith.

Having a central focus – a solid foundation – is essential.

What you believe in is a very personal decision. But it is the first step towards a healthy life. And I encourage you to start with this foundation, no matter what physical and emotional symptoms you’re dealing with.Foundations of good health

Healthy Lifestyle Habits

The next step on your journey towards wellness is getting your lifestyle in check. This includes:

  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Stress-management
  • Movement
  • Sun exposure

All five of these components are important.

Nutrient-Dense Diet

A healthy diet includes nutrient-dense, whole foods that your body tolerates. It does not have to include overly-restrictive eating or cutting out whole food groups. Simply eat Real Food that meets your bioindividual needs.

If you’re not sure how to tailor a diet to your body, Nutritional Therapy can help!

Sleep

Sleep is just as important as what you eat. You can’t out-eat lack of sleep! Trust me, I’ve tried.

How much sleep is essential is different for every person. An Intuitive Eater tends to need extra sleep, while an Active Eater may be able to thrive with less.

Sleep is very restorative to the body. While you sleep your body works through emotional stress. This is also when your body does a lot of its healing work since it does not need to put energy into all of the functions that are needed during the day.

Stress Management

Stress affects the body both mentally and physically. While you can’t always eliminate the stress in your life, you can learn to be stress resiliant. Foundations of good health

Movement

It is essential to move your body every day. This does not mean you have to become a marathon runner. In fact, it’s healthier to be active and incorporate movement into your daily life than it is to sit all day and then do an hour of intense exercise.

Find ways to walk more, move your body in unique ways, and stand instead of sit. Having meaningful work at home helps as well. This can include landscaping, gardening, house repairs, raising animals, painting, cleaning, lawn mowing, and organizing. Keeping your body moving throughout the day is the key.

Sun Exposure

Finally, sun exposure and getting outside are foundational to your health. There is a lot of talk about Vitamin D supplements these days. While I’m not a fan of Hormone D supplementation in most cases, I do think everyone should get outside daily. Even if it’s just for a short time. Fresh air and sunshine are so healing to the body.

If you need help with any of these healthy lifestyle habits I’d love to connect! Nutritional Therapy addresses diet (tailored specifically to you!), sleep, stress management, movement, and sun exposure. Hop on a clarity call today to see if it’s the right fit for you and your kids!

Book a clarity call!

Emotional Vs Mental Health

The next foundational layer of good health includes your mental and emotional well-being. These are two distinct things. But I am going to put them together since they influence each other so much.

  • Mental health influences your thoughts and actions. It includes your psychological, social, and emotional well-being.
  • Emotional health includes your awareness of and expression of your feelings.

This is where many people get stuck in their healing journey, myself included.Foundations of good health

After you anchor your life on a spiritual foundation and adjust your diet and lifestyle, sometimes there is deeper work that needs to be done. This is because your brain and your body hold on to trauma and express it in a physical manner. You can’t talk or logic your way out of it. You can’t eat your way out of it either. Again, trust me, I’ve tried.

This is where some alternative therapies come into play. And you have to research and figure out which one or which combination will work best for you. My favorites include:

  • Craniosacral Therapy
  • Reiki
  • Tapping (EFT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Accupuncture

In all of these it’s about going really deep, past the logical brain and getting at the stuck thought patterns of the reptillian brain.

So if you feel like you’ve put in the work with diet and lifestyle but there are some symptoms that just never budge, it’s time to go deeper.

Here are some great resources to get you started!

How Does Diet Affect Mental Health

I mentioned earlier that these layers will overlap a bit, and you’ll go back and forth between them. The connection between diet and mental health is a great example.

Many mental health symptoms are caused by a nutrient imbalance or deficiency.

For example, lacking some of the B Vitamins can lead to depression and mood swings.

Low magnesium levels can be at the root of anxiety.

An imbalance between zinc and copper can cause mood swings, headaches, and hormonal imbalance…which definitely impacts your mental health!Foundations of good health

I prefer to adjust diet before trying to tackle the deeper emotional work because it can releave some of the symptoms. But each person is unique. Sometimes you may not have the ability to handle even small lifestyle changes if the mental health problems are severe enough.

This is where Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) comes into play. This non-invasive test gives great insight into your mineral levels, mineral ratios, and toxic load. Learn more about my HTMA programs HERE!
Foundations of good health

Natural Supportive Care

Finally, we get to the outer layer – the supportive care. These are modalities of wellness that many people think of as “natural treatments” or “natural remedies.” Some of my favorite forms of natural supportive care include:

  • essential oils
  • chiropractic care
  • homeopathy
  • supplements
  • flower essences
  • cell salts
  • herbs

These can be very helpful in many cases. But remember that they are supportive therapies. You can not rely on them alone.

For example, you may find relief from joint pain by using an essential oil topically. But it is not treating the source of your pain. You still have to get to the root of the inflammation and address that.

Natural supportive care often helps allieviate symptoms, but does not often address the root problem. Using these supportive modalities in conjunction with the other foundations of good health can make the healing process easier and faster.Foundations of good health

My Journey to Wellness

Over the past 15 years I’ve tried so many ways to get healthier. I waffled back and forth between the physical and mental aspects of my health.

I spent ten years doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with a psychologist. It helped. But it wasn’t until I changed my diet and lifestyle that I really made progress. I removed the nutritional barriers to healing, which allowed me to be able to process the mental aspects.

Now, fifteen years in, I’m moving into some much deeper emotional healing. It all started as a child with digestive and kidney dysfunction, that turned into something traumatic. I’ve carried this trauma with me my entire life, and I’m ready to let it go and eliminate the symptoms that nothing else can change. I can’t wait to share more of my journey as I’m able.

I am also utilizing HTMA to get my minerals back in balance and toxins out after years of processed food, fertility treatments, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and restricted diets. Even though some of those ended many years ago (like the toxic food and pharmaceuticals) the damage is still there. It took a long time to get sick. It takes a long time to recover.

But I fully believe healing is possible as I continue to get to the deeply rooted emotional source of my physical symptoms.

I have already put in the diet and lifestyle foundational work. It’s time to move to the next layer.

How to Begin Your Health Journey

I fully believe better health is possible for you and your family as well! And I want to help you get started.

As we enter this New Year with uncertainty and a heightened awareness of health, I want to give you a feeling of hope. There is always something you can do to feel better and make positive changes.

Where are You?

So where are you on the journey towards better health? Are you tired and overwhelmed on a daily basis? Are your kids struggling to simply feel like kids?Foundations of good health

If you are new to a natural lifestyle, start today by making one simple change.

  • Add vegetables to your lunch.
  • Put away the screens.
  • Get outside for a walk.
  • Get your hands in the dirt.
  • Take a nap.
  • Read a book.
  • Drink an extra glass of water.

If you’re ready to go deeper and start getting to the root of your symptoms, it’s time to look into Nutritional Therapy.

Stay tuned as I’ll be going into more detail about what Nutritional Therapy is in my next post.

But if you’re ready to get started now, join me on a clarity call to see how Nutritional Therapy can help!

Book a clarity call!

Better Health for Kids

I love working with fellow moms to get their health back on track. If you are not caring for yourself, it’s hard to care for your children effectively.

Foundations of good health

But my expertise is nourishing kids.

These foundations of good health apply to children as well as moms. And it’s never too late to get off the Standard American Diet train and give your kids the gift of clearer thinking, better focus, more energy, and overall wellness.

As you can see from my own story, intervention when I was young could have prevented years of struggles. Had my parents helped me get to the root of my physical symptoms right away, my life would be very different.

Don’t waste another day hoping your kids will “grow out of” their picky eating, lack of focus, or stomach aches.

Give  your kids the gift of better health NOW!

Take one step today towards nourishing your kids. Scheduling a clarity call to figure out if Nutritional Therapy is right for you and your family is a great first step!

Book a clarity call!