Whole 30 Round 3

Summer has really gotten the best of me! Between attempting to keep three kiddos busy and entertained, working, and taking care of all the day to day tasks around the house and on our little farm I somehow lost my way. I gave into all the craziness and took the easy way out with our eating at times. We ordered out, strayed from our clean eating, and my digestive system has definitely been suffering! So what do I turn to when I need the ultimate reset? The Whole 30 Program of course!

 

I discovered the Whole 30 program a little over three years ago.  At that time I was a few months postpartum from baby number two and just starting my journey to better health. I read the book It Starts with Food and it was mind blowing. I am a nurse and have a health and science background and from that standpoint everything made sense. You need to read the book! Life changing! I discovered the foods that I am eating and feeding to my family, are actually having a huge negative impact on the way my body is functioning! Bloating, headaches, skin problems, digestive troubles…all of these things that have been plaguing me for years can be directly related to the foods I have been eating. Seriously?!

 

After my first round of the Whole 30 I felt amazing! Headaches… gone! Skin… clear! Bloating and tummy troubles… not an issue anymore! When I am doing a Whole 30 I tend to feed my family that way as well, I refuse to make two dinners! So not only do I feel great at the end of the program there is also a noticeable difference in the behavior of my children.  The listen a little better, go to bed a little easier, and temper tantrums are at an all time low. It’s amazing the difference fueling yourself with real food has on every system in your body!

 

As I slowly started adding dairy and grains back into my diet I learned how not good they make me feel.  As time goes on I tend to lean more towards convince and start adding these foods back into my diet.  And low and behold all these old problems start rearing their ugly heads again.

 

Established by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, the Whole 30 is a short term way to reset your system. In those 30 days you cut out sugar, dairy, grains and legumes, all of which could be wrecking havoc on your system without you even knowing! Check out the Whole 30 website for all the nitty gritty details on the program, or better yet read It Starts with Food! The book goes into detail on the science behind the program, the stages of the program, and gives lots of helpful recipes!

 

So I’m starting my third round of the Whole 30 program tomorrow! My husband is giving me crap because it’s right before Labor Day and we have several picnics to go to.  But I’m ready now, and I am a little Type A and need to start on the first of the month. So be sure to follow me on Instagram and stay tuned here for all my updates! Wish me luck! I would love to hear all of your Whole 30 tips and success stories! Here are a few things I find helpful to do before you start you first Whole 30!

 


My Pre Whole 30 Tips

  1. Read It Starts with Food or go through The Whole 3o website to be sure you really understand the program and what foods you can and cannot eat. The website is extremely helpful in helping you determine if a food is Whole 30 compliant or not.
  2. Meal plan and grocery shop before you start the program. I cannot stress this enough! Plan out what you are going to eat each day so you are not tempted to turn to non compliant foods because you are hungry! Pinterest is a great tool for finding Whole 3o recipes!
  3. Meal prep. Cooking during a Whole 30 can get very time consuming, especially if you are use to eating out. Do as much of the prep work ahead of time and always have foods you can eat on hand.
  4. Prepare your friends and family! You can get a little cranky during the program, especially when you are detoxing from sugar so mentally prepare those around you!
  5. Stick with it, even though it gets tough and you really want to eat that doughnut or enjoy the foods everyone else is at your family party. It is all worth it in the end and what you learn about your body not worth that doughnut!

 


 

Oook there you have it! My top tips for starting a Whole 30 successfully. Stay tuned for all my updates and if any of you are starting a September Whole 30 tomorrow, Good Luck!!

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Banana and Egg Scramble with Cinnamon

Little Miss Abbie is quickly approaching 9 months and she’s starting to get more and more frustrated with me spoon feeding her. Seriously, I cannot get it in her little mouth fast enough. We do use the reusable food pouches but she is itching for more things she can pick up and feed herself. Considering she still has no teeth things have to be easy to gum.

 

Enter this super easy, nutritious and delicious baby breakfast recipe. I threw this together a few years ago for my older two. We had one too many ripe bananas and I was not in the mood to make banana bread! My older kiddos call this recipe “Mush Mush”, but I may need to come up with a more appetizing name than that! It sounds like a weird combination but it is seriously delicious!

 

This recipe combines protein, carbohydrates, and fat with sweetness from the banana and spice from the cinnamon! Delicious and soft enough for gummy mouths to chew easily. It can get a little messy so bath time may follow!

 

 

Banana and Egg Scramble with Cinnamon

Serves 1

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe Banana
  • 1 teaspoon Grassfed Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

 

  1. Melt butter or oil in pan
  2. Mash banana and add to pan with melted oil
  3. Stir in cinnamon and cook banana for about 1 minute
  4. Add egg and scramble
  5. Cook till desired doneness

 

It’s best to let it cool a little and then I give it to Abbie right on her highchair tray. Sometimes, if I’m trying to avoid a mess I will feed it to her. Whatever works! Hope your little enjoys this as much as mine do! My 3 and 5 year old still request this!

 

Egg scrambleBaby

 

 

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Easy Homemade Baby Food and Oats, Banana and Sweet Potato Puree Recipe

I am a mom to three beautiful, crazy kiddos. I have always wanted to make my own baby food and have now successfully done it for all three. It really is very easy, does not require a whole lot of equipment, can save you a ton of money and can actually end up being pretty fun! My youngest is a little over 8 months and still has no teeth… so we are still using some purees as well as adding soft foods she can pick up and feed herself.  Here I am going to include some of my tips and tricks for making your own baby food along with a few recipes.

 

When we started our oldest on solids I did not do very much research and went based on our Pediatrician’s guidelines. So we started her on rice cereal at about 5 months, progressed to veggies and fruit, then added more foods according to the guidelines we received from them. She did just fine but can be a little picky of an eater at times.

 

Fastforward to baby number two… At this time I was adjusting to having a baby and a toddler. I was also doing tons of research into leading a healthier lifestyle.  So this time we delayed solids till after six months, skipped rice cereal all together and started with simple mashed, ripe avocado as his first food.  We did some purees with him but did more of a baby lead weaning approach with him and just fed him bits and pieces of what we ate. To this day he is a very adventurous eater!

 

Now onto baby number three and I am taking the same type of approach as with my son. Abbie eats a brad variety of food and we still haven’t found a food she doesn’t like. This is the first season we purchased a CSA share of a local farm. So this has made making Abbie’s food a little easier. I have just been steaming up combination from our weekly basket and throwing them in the Vitamix, and voila dinner!

 

OK here are a few tips I have when making your own baby food.


  1. Try a single food for a few days to be sure baby does not have an allergic reaction. With Abbie we started with only avocado, tried that for a couple days then moved on to squash then sweet potatoes and so on.
  2. Try veggies first, and offer each new food a few times, even if baby doesn’t seem to like it. This is all new to them and sometimes takes a few tastes!
  3. Don’t be afraid to try new combination. Spinach, Pea and Pear? Sure! Squash, beet and apple? Of course! Get creative and your baby will thank you for all of the amazingness!
  4. As baby gets older add a little texture. Don’t puree the foods all the way smooth, leave a little chunk.
  5. After 8 months or so start adding some spice. Develop those taste buds! Cinnamon, curry, garlic, ginger, lemon and so many more can add to baby’s food. Follow the same rule when introducing spics as when introducing new food, try one for a few days then move on to the next. And keep a close eye for rashes, tummy upset or other signs of an allergy.
  6. Have fun! Starting solids with your baby is an amazing adventure for both you and your baby. Show them all the wonderful tastes and textures fresh, wholesome food has to offer!

 

And an EASY recipe good for babies over 8 Months…

 

Easy Oatmeal, Banana and Sweet Potato Puree

For breakfast we usually do some form of this oatmeal.  I mix up the fruits and veggies based on what I have on hand. This usually makes enough for about a week and I mix in a little plain yogurt from our local Dairy for some gut promoting probiotics.

baby food

Ingredients: 


2 bananas

1 large sweet potato

1 cup of Steel Cut Oats (We use an organic and gluten free variety)

2 cups of water

 

Special Equipment:


  • Steamer Basket
  • Food Processor, Blender or Food Mill
  • Ice Cube Trays
  • Gallon Sized Freezer Storage Bag
  1. Peel and dice sweet potato
  2. Boil in two cups of water until soft
  3. Remove from heat and add oats, let sit unit oats are soft. It will seem like there is too much water but once pureed the water will be absorbed and it can end up a little thick
  4. Combine oats and sweet potato in blender with banana
  5. Puree until desired consistency
  6. Add extra water if puree is too thick
  7. Can keep in air tight container in fridge for up to 4 days, freeze in a ice cube tray and transfer to gallon zip lock bag for more long term storage

OatsIMG_4191

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Hopefully your little one enjoys this as much as mine does! Stay tuned for more to come! I look forward to your comments!

 

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Surviving Night Shift

I am very fortunate to have a job I love. More importantly, that job offers a non traditional schedule allowing me to have a little bit of both worlds. I consider myself a stay at home mom during the week and a working mom on the weekends.

 

As a nurse there are so many different areas to work in, with a variety of different schedules. I am currently a “Weekender,” which means I work 12 hour shifts on Friday and Saturday nights. Then have off Sunday through Thursday. This is awesome because it gives me the opportunity to be home all week. I can take the kids to school, do homework, go on field trips, stay home with the baby and all the other fun things stay at home moms get to do.

 

It also allows me to bring home an income and work in a profession that I truly love. But to be completely honest, night shift sucks. So I have thrown together a list of the things that help me to survive and perform at my best, even when I’m really feeling like a zombie.

 

Sleep When you can

I have to put this as number one. As a new mom I think we all have been told, “Sleep when the baby sleeps!” Sleep is essential in making you feel human, and when we don’t get enough it is seriously hard to function. So, my number one piece of advice is to sleep when you can! If you are a mom and have someone who can watch the kids for a few hours so you can sleep, take advantage of that.

If you work a schedule like I do and have an amazing husband that is home during the day before work, pass off the kids and sleep! Or if you have kiddos that still nap, leave the dishes in the sink and sleep when they do!

Things like black out curtains, a sleep mask, and a white noise machine can also really make sleeping during the day easier.

 

Exercise

For me life is all around easier when I am able to keep up with an exercise routine. I sleep better, have more energy and all around feel better about myself. With my schedule now I am able to get workouts in on weekday mornings and Sunday evenings. Some of my other coworkers plan their workouts into their days before or after work. I notice when I am not exercising I feel sluggish, run down and overall lazy, so I make it a point to make time in my day.

Also I recently purchased a Garmin VivoActive HR watch for my half marathon training and have been wearing daily to track my steps as well. I think I have created a monster with this and have become slightly obsessed with meeting my 10,000 step a day goal. This has helped me get through those long nights at work because if I’m feeling really tired I now feel compelled to get my steps in and will take a few laps around our unit. Just that little bit of exercise is usually enough to give me some energy to finish out the night.

I think I am starting to be labeled as the crazy nurse on our unit though! During my breaks I can now be found in the stairwell getting in my flights of stairs as well!

 

Drink TONS of Water

And avoid the energy drinks, I should add! Caffeine really does not have much of an effect on me, so I am not one downing coffee to get through my shift. Water just makes me feel better, and keeping hydrated makes it easier to function. Those energy drinks pack a huge punch but also leads to a big crash and they aren’t easy on the wallet either! Staying adequately hydrated helps you to maintain a more steady energy level. Many of my coworkers swear by their coffee and if that’s what works for you, drink it! Just try to avoid it too close to the end of your shift as it may affect your ability to sleep when you get home!

 

Eat Real Food

I almost always pack a real dinner to eat at some point during my shift. Usually this is whatever I cook for dinner for the family before I leave for work. This prevents me from snacking throughout the night and keeps my energy levels more even. Try to avoid processed foods full of sugar, saturated fat and salt as these will just make you feel like crap in the long run.

 

Find a Job and Coworkers you Love

Seriously, I could not make it through some nights at work if it wasn’t for the amazing people I work with. I look forward to going to work because I know I am surrounded by my second family. If you have to spend time away from your family, doing something you love with a group of people you know you can count on makes it a little bit easier.

 

Find a routine that works for you

These are just some of the things that make night shift a little bit easier for me. I am lucky to have the same schedule week to week. This allows me to get myself into a routine that I can stick with. It is all pretty much trial and error until you find out what works best with your body and your life.

 

 

Well there you have it, my tips to survive night shift. Night shift isn’t for everyone, but if you are one if the millions of people working this schedule for one reason or another hopefully you find something here that helps you get by. Some days it is really a struggle but knowing I am helping to provide a better life for my family really helps me push through. I would love to hear what helps you all survive this crazy schedule!

 

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Clean Eating Gumbo

This is the first year we have signed up for a CSA share. This is an amazing way to support your local farmer, get great produce at a great price, and try a wide variety of vegetables not available at your grocery store. So far this season we have tried hakurei turnips, sweet potato greens, tomatillos and okra for the first time! Here is a recipe that uses some of those CSA basket veggies and is a filling and satisfying meal for the whole family! This recipe also makes a great freezer meal for those who like to plan ahead!

 

Clean Eating Gumbo with Rice 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Serves 4 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Kielbasa (sliced)
  • 1 cups cooked chicken (diced) *I used leftover grilled chicken thighs
  • 2 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small green pepper (diced) *CSA Veggie*
  • 1 small onion (diced) *CSA Veggie*
  • 2 cups sliced okra (fresh or frozen) *CSA Veggie*
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 3 cups chicken broth (divided)
  • Sriracha to taste
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt (divided)

 

  1. Brown Kielbasa in dutch oven
  2. Add cooked chicken, diced tomatoes, green pepper, onion, bay leaf, creole seasoning, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt  and 1 cup of chicken broth to dutch oven and let simmer for 1 hour
  3. While Gumbo is simmering cook rice. Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil, add butter and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  4. One boiling add rice, turn heat to low and simmered covered for 20 minutes. Then removed from heat and let rest, still covered for 5 additional minutes. Removed lid and fluff with a fork.
  5. After one hour add okra to gumbo and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, add Sriracha to taste. Find and discard Bay Leaf
  6. Serve Gumbo warm over rice

 

Hope you all enjoy! We had this for dinner tonight and our 3 and 5 year olds cleaned their plates! First time they both had Okra as well. I say this one is a Mom Win! It made enough for two adults and two children with leftovers for lunch tomorrow

Gumbo

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