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Friday, January 20, 2012

Let us find a NEW reward!

We have gotten in a bad habit (as a society) of making food and drink the reward for everything. From good behavior, weight loss goals, raises, job interview, birthdays, marriages, divorces...etc., we have figured out a way to make up a reason to eat or drink about nearly ANYTHING!  To quote a friend of mine as we were discussing this...most people say, "Let's go grab lunch...not, let's go for a jog!"...and she is right.  We use food  as a way to feel connected to people and I say it's high time to replace that "reward" with something else!

Rewards should be tailored to each individual family, their interests and the things that really get them jazzed up.  For my seven year old, I would say that a family walk or nature walk would easily be a bigger reward to her than ANY food we could make.  Is it easier to hand her a snickers and give her a pat on the back....well sure BUT easy isn't the goal! I can guarantee that if I offered her candy or a nature walk, she would choose the second. Kids are smart....but we have to set the right examples and put them on the right path. We don't raise our kids to be lazy....so we shouldn't be lazy raising them in the first place!!!  I challenge everyone to go a week without using food as a "reward" or as incentive to get something done.  Ask your kids what they would like for a reward...if they choose a food, steer them in a different direction. Not only will it keep them from loading up on junk food....it will teach them that there are more important things in life than food.

I'll love to hear what great ideas your family comes up with for alternatives to food rewarding!  Let me know!!

Birthday Cake


I was determined to have a healthy alternative to traditional birthday cake and as we are trying to eat more raw food these days....this "cake" seemed the perfect way to go.  It's a combo of grapes, honeydew, cantaloupe, blueberries and watermelon.  No artificial sugars or junk....just good old fashion yummy fruit!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Diet effects EVERYTHING!

Good article on Diet!

"many cases still show incredible success in reversing ADHD/ADD symptoms by simply decreasing or eliminating intake of refined sugars, for instance, or any foods that contain synthetic sweeteners, preservatives, or colorings"


This article really hits home for me as our family has had a challenge with my step-daughter's diet when she is not with us.  There has been talk of placing her on ADHD/ADD medication and for me that is just a band aid for the real problem.....bad diet.  She is a victim of what so many kids today are as well.....lazy eating.  I'm not judging because before really sitting down and making a conscience decision to change this behavior, I was just as guilty.   The problem with this type of diet is that for kids....it can be the difference between A's and C's, being able to focus in school or constantly being in trouble for not paying attention and many other typical problems that people today have blamed on ADHD/ADD or "kids just being kids".  Kids are little sponges....not only their brains but their bodies as well.  We have to properly feed these kiddos if we want to see them achieve their full potential!  Instead of giving them sugar filled cereals, donuts and "junk food" food for breakfast, focus on providing a well balanced meal....because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I know that sentence seems almost like it doesn't need to even be said but if you did a survey of a class of 10 kids, I would bet that at least 7 of them would have eaten a meal that was not  balanced meal and did not properly prepare them for the school day.  

The more fresh food we can give our children...the better. Try to avoid packaged meals, heat-ups and other "easy" foods. Remember, these are your children and they deserve the best.  If getting up 30 minutes earlier means that your child can make better grades, focus better in school, have less sick days and be healthier and happier....I think it's a no-brainer! :) 


If you have recipe examples and good ideas...send them my way!  We are still mostly doing "baby" meals at our house in the morning....so it's much easier then battling the older kids who become "choosy" about what they eat! My goal is to start posting recipe examples and weekly meal plans as we come up with them!  Thanks for being patient!

Things to Avoid

WHAT NOT TO EAT

In this fast paced world that we live in....I know we are all guilty of that quick meal. The meal that we can just grab quickly and not really think about.....but in this case please just make an educated decision.

What we feed our children and ourselves is so important.  It is the fuel for our body. Pumping our body full of poison will only result in one outcome....failure. Failure of our body to achieve it's full potential.  This article is a quick read....just look over it. With preparation, we can always come up with fast, easy snacks to help us avoid the temptation of "chicken nuggets" and other scary non-food items.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Key Ingredients!

It's important to have a good list of things for your "safe" list when going grocery shopping.  As a rule....I try to make sure that if I can buy organic I do and I also look for the Non-Gmo Project label as well.  I have found a few items that we use and can rely on....and it's good to have that list for yourself as well.  I have found that Central Market items are organic and non-gmo.  The key for us is to maintain a balance and not completely eliminate all snack foods, so some of the foods on this list may not interest some of you...but that's ok. We are all different!  I am just providing a list of things that I keep on hand or in my mind when I go shopping.  The key to a successful shopping trip is to plan ahead of time and know what you are looking for.  It is easier to buy based on your needs if you map out a gameplan first.

Lärabar-http://www.larabar.com/about/special-diets

I can't say enough about Lärabar!  This is a great product!  Check out the link above to see their information on special diets.  Always make sure to check the individual bars to make sure they meet your needs...but know that this product is always organic and the ingredients are raw....meaning they haven't been cooked.  They are great for a snack or an addition to a small meal!

Kettle Potato Chips- You can check out their "Natural Promise" here: http://www.kettlebrand.com/about_us/our_natural_promise/

When we want to snack on a chip (in moderation of course ;) ) and we are tired of corn chips....these potato chips provide a great alternative!  I have also incorporated them into recipes as a substitute for bread crumbs. :)

Earth Balance Products-http://www.earthbalancenatural.com/#/heart-health/

We currently use the "butter" but I will be looking into their mayo as well.  We don't use a lot of butter...but it is very handy for recipes!  Earth Balance is non-GMO and dairy free!

Pacific Natural Foods-http://www.pacificfoods.com/our-foods/special-diets

Check out the above website for a variety of soups, broths, beverages, etc.  Pacific has a great selection of dairy free, gluten free, kosher, vegan, low sodium and fat free options.  The above link will take you there!  There are a few soups that are dairy and wheat free...and we really enjoy those.  Plus, Pacific is organic! :)


I will be adding to this list as I find more "staple" items. We are still searching for a non-GMO hummus and if you have any gluten free, dairy free and non-GMO suggestions....send them my way!  I welcome your ideas and would love to see what items make your list.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baby Bites!

I have recently been trying to come up with creative ideas for finger foods for my 10 month old daughter as we move away from pureed food. She has picked up finger eating so quickly that I am struggling to keep up with her. I am trying to keep her mostly on fresh fruits and veggies....but I want her to have a variety in her diet so I decided to use the puree that I have been making in the Baby Bullet and combine it with her Organic puffs to create little baby bites!  Thus far I have done different combinations with sweet potatoes, brocolli, grapes, asparagus, carrots, apples and pears. 

First, I like to use Happy Baby Organic Puffs or Plum organics, which I am able to find at our regular grocery store, HEB,  as well as the Natural Grocer that we also use.  These puffs are organic, non-gmo and the plastic used in the container is BPA and PVC free.  Also, of the five varieties of puffs from Happy Baby, two of them are gluten free for anyone avoiding gluten. 

1. Cook whatever veggie you have chosen and puree it into a texture that you are comfortable with. For this example I used carrots and sweet potatoes.  The first few times I did this, I used the full puree, but you can use whatever texture your tiny one is eating. :)

2. Place your puffs in the blender, food processor or baby bullet.  If you have a Baby Bullet, you can use the milling blade to blend it up into a fine powder.





3. Slowly add the puff powder (you can using anything for the powder that you have milled**) to the puree mix until it creates an almost gummy substance. 

4. Make bite size balls and you are done.



**You can mill quinoa, rice, oatmeal, wheatgerm, etc and use in place or in combination with the puff powder.



Let me know if you try this out! I'd love to hear what combinations you tried and how this worked out for you. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Products I Love!

Nutiva cold pressed Coconut Oil is a must have.  I use this in lots of things! From cooking to toothpaste...coconut oil is awesome! I prefer this brand because it is cold pressed, not expeller pressed. Cold pressed oil maintains more of the coconut flavor and I prefer the texture as well. It is also organic, unrefined, unbleached, chemical free, undeodorized, unhydrogenated, contains no solvents and guaranteed non-GMO.  I was turned on to coconut oil as a treatment for stretch marks after my pregnancy and I was shocked to find that it completely erased the few stretch marks that popped up after I had my daughter....I was hooked!  https://store.nutiva.com/coconut-oil/


Yes To Blueberries face wash.  This face wash is paraben, petroleum and SLS free. It also contains coconut oil.....of which I am obviously a big fan!  For those of us used to using a SLS face wash, body wash and shampoo, we are used to that "foaming" to feel like we're getting clean.  This face wash does not do that because it is SLS free.  SLS is used in most products because it is inexpensive and it dries out the skin and can cause irritation. http://www.yestocarrots.com/category/age-refresh?category_id=0000026


The Natures Gate products are great as well and I use the shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste as a backup when I am out of my homemade coconut oil toothpaste. The shampoo, conditioner and body wash are all organic and sulfate free!  http://www.natures-gate.com/


I'd love to hear what products you use and I welcome all suggestions. We avoid parabens, sulfates and we try to get organic when we can!  I will probably have many "Products I Love" posts as I find more things to add to our collection!  I am still guilty of using my typical Secret deodorant...mostly out of fear of being smelly or sweaty at work.  If any of you have a suggestion....I would love to hear it and test it out.