Where has the time gone?

21 Feb

I’ve Been Busy…

Yes, I have been busy to say the least, but also super excited to be posting again. Are you wondering what in the world could have kept me from blogging these past few months? This post really could be many posts since I have much to talk about and explain, but for now I’ll keep it short (relatively??) and revisit the same topic again another day.

I’m pregnant!! Yippee, A Miracle, Amazing, and best of all…ALL NATURAL.

Truthfully just being pregnant was not enough to keep me from posting these past months, but we’ve had a lot of stuff going on and I was struggling with when and how to share the news online. Here are the basics: Baby is due in the spring, I’ve had a normal pregnancy as far as my body is concerned and it happened without us even trying. An oops you could say, but a very exciting and welcomed oops.

Let’s get into some background of why I’m amazed I got pregnant naturally. First, as long as I can remember I’ve had irregular cycles, bad cramping, no cramping, 3-5 month stretches of no cycle, migraines, you get the picture. I was able to conceive naturally with my first child, but it took us 3 years of “trying” without conventional medical help. I say conventional medicine, because prior to getting pregnant I was grasping for straws and opted for an herbal tea blend and progesterone cream. Low and behold within 3 months I found myself pregnant.

After pregnancy things returned to normal and again with the irregular cycles, migraines, etc. and when we started thinking about baby #2, a fertility doctor checked out my chart and history and suspected I did not even ovulate. In case you are wondering…If you do not ovulate you cannot get pregnant! Doctor prescribed Clomid and after just one round we were pregnant. It appeared we at least knew the cause of infertility, but ohhh was that only the beginning.

If you’ve read my beginning posts you know that I first started blogging about REAL food because I could not seem to lose the weight from baby #2, I’m continuing to discover changes in myself and family as we are going on 1.5 yrs. of eating whole, real food, minimizing processed foods, being careful about our selections and eating the way our bodies were meant to eat. You see it really is soo much more than weight loss, which is why I’m thrilled to share another side effect; returning your body to its intended functions and for women we should be regular, migraine-free, and fertile!

I’ll end this post with this- A year and half ago I began to be increasingly frustrated with commercial options for weight loss and the many promises that all these diets claimed. I really began meditating on what “food” really is and after much prayer and consideration I came to the conclusion that food is a gift from God, a gift with a very specific purpose. Food’s purpose is to nourish our bodies, so we can do amazing things and when you begin to break down what nutrients are in food you realize some are much better for us than others and some food is downright poisonous! In this day of technology, industry, and medical advances, food is one area, we still cannot get right. I say we go back to the basics, strip out the numerous technologically advanced choices (otherwise known as processed, refined, chemically enhanced) and try for a much more nature-based diet, food that actually helps our body, who knows, maybe you too will become fertile again :)

Is Gluten-free Healthy?

10 Jul

“Gluten-free,” it’s hard to miss these two words as you stroll through your grocery store. It seems “gluten-free” is popping up everywhere and with all the hype and publicity the undiscerning eye might assume this is a new health craze, opting for some of these “gluten-free” items as a “healthier” choice.

Unfortunately, gluten-free does not equal health, in fact I’d argue that if you opt for any of the packaged or pre-made gluten-free items found on your grocers shelves they can be quite un-healthy! I’m well aware that there is a growing number of gluten sensitivities and increased Celiac disease diagnoses and for these people going “gluten-free” is not an option. However, my inspiration for this post are the many Americans who are choosing gluten-free thinking they are choosing a healthier option. Even if you NEED to be gluten-free I still do not recommend what the grocery store has to offer as “gluten-free” is actually healthy.

Most products labeled as gluten-free are made with a variety of starchy, high carb, high glycemic, refined, high sodium, etc. non of which are a “healthier” choice. In general, stay away from packaged foods both regular and gluten-free neither are healthy and the gluten-free options can sometimes be worse…they have to make all those ingredients taste better somehow :). While you may not find MSG or HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) you might find some other ingredients we don’t need. The stuff you find in the store labeled gluten-free contains soy, corn, white rice, potato starch, xanthan gum, sodium, sugar, you get the point :).

Should you need or choose to go gluten-free, do so with great care and seek out “nutrient-dense” options rather than whatever frozen, packaged, or pre-made option your grocer is offering. Make your own food from scratch, this ensures you are truly getting gluten-free and it’s much healthier. There are many foods that are naturally gluten-free no additives necessary.

Final thoughts: Gluten-free does not equal healthier, especially when it comes to packaged and pre-made items in your grocery store. My family eats a relatively low gluten diet naturally, simply because we eat a whole/Real food diet. If you stop buying packaged items at the store you will significantly lower your gluten intake because gluten can be found in nearly everything. If you suspect you have a gluten sensitivity then test it out-note: if you suspect Celiac Disease please do NOT test it out and seek a doctor. If you want to test it out, go off of gluten for a little while, then re-introduce it. If you experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, headache, etc. chances are you have a sensitivity and it would be wise to continue on a low to no gluten lifestyle. Being sensitive does not mean you can never have bread products, many people who have gluten sensitivities find that soaking, sprouting or souring grains reduces sensitivity. Additionally there are many great recipes using nut flours and bean flours that not only taste good, but they greatly increase the nutrition of your muffin. Don’t go gluten-free just because you think it’s healthier, and continue to buy all the snack items, bread products, packaged mixes, etc. instead try a Real-food diet, which is indeed good for you :).

Lemon Poppyseed Scones with Coconut Cardamom Glaze

16 May

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I was in need of 2 cups of coffee to start the day and I can’t just have coffee without something yummy alongside. So here’s what I came up with this morning… Lemon Poppyseed Scones with Coconut Cardamom Glaze. They hit the spot and as usual I’m continuing the food adventures of Real Ingredients to make Yummy Real Food, that also happens to be Really Good for you! (ha, are you sick of me using “Real?”).

Here’s the Recipe: Lemon Poppyseed Scones with Coconut Cardamom Glaze
2 cups of Almond Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1/2 cup of Bean Flour (you might have to play with the amount a bit to get the right stickiness so the scones do not fall apart when baked)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Poppyseeds
2 Eggs
1 cup Butter
1/2 cup Cream (1/2 n 1/2 also works, but cream is the better:) )
1/4-1/2 cup Honey
Juice and zest of 1 Lemon

Coconut Cardamom Glaze:
1-2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2-4 Tbsp Coconut Sugar dust (see tip below) or you could use Whole Sugar dust
1/4 tsp. ground Cardamom

Directions: Cream together the Butter, Honey, Eggs, Cream, and lemon juice. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients including the lemon zest and poppyseeds. Add wet ingredients to dry and let the dough rest for a few minutes while the oven preheats and you mix the glaze. The dough should stick together, but not be stiff, if it’s too thin add more Bean flour a Tbsp. at a time until the dough is thick and sticks together. Bake at 350 Degrees for 10-12 Minutes. Let cool, then drizzle glaze on top.
Direction for Glaze: mix Coconut Sugar dust and Cardamom, then slowly add the lemon juice until a thick syrup is formed. The mixture should pour easily off a spoon. With a spoon or fork drizzle glaze over scones in a zig-zag pattern.

*Tip: Glazes always add a little something extra to your scone, cake, etc. but when sticking to Real Ingredients a glaze can be tricky (most are made with Powdered Sugar). While the Glaze comes out super white and pretty, I’ve opted to come up with a different option using Real Ingredients. If you are using Whole Sugar or Coconut Sugar it is grainy. BUTTT have no fear, in order to get it to mix in well with your liquid simply put it in your blender and whiz it up until you create sugar dust. Now it is fine and will mix easily into your liquid. I’ve also done this when making baked goods where I wanted no crunchy granules of sugar.
With love from, The Honest Mom’s Kitchen

Cookies!!

1 May

Cookies, Num, Num, Num, Num, Num! I love to bake and I certainly know my way around a cookie recipe, but for some reason venturing into Real-food has totally thrown my baking mojo. I have tested many recipes and failed many times. I do not want to compromise my tastebuds, texture, and look of many foods we thoroghly enjoyed before Real-food. Most people coming from a “normal” diet would probably agree. I was beginning to think it was a lost cause for a healthy cookie to taste and look like its white-flour, white-sugar counter part.
BUT…By Golly I think we have a winner!! Cookie lovers rejoice. I came up with this recipe the other night and tested it immediately. They surely looked like chocolate chip cookies, the house smelled like chocolate chip cookies, and…they tasted like chocolate chip cookies!! YUMMMMMM!REAL-good chocolate chip cookies
Before I get into the recipe, I would like to say that these cookies made me excited for several reasons…1. They really did look and taste how I wanted them to, 2. They are quick and easy. If you’ve read my blog you know I am all about sprouting/soaking my flours, which let’s be realistic, sometimes you don’t have time for all that and you just need a cookie ASAP!! 3. This recipe is Gluten-free (so I can make it for my friends who have to be Gluten-free), it’s grain-free so there’s no overload on carbs, and it can be GAPS-diet friendly.
Recipe for Chocolate chip cookies
2 c. Almond Flour
2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1/4-1/2 c Bean Flour (I like Garbanzo. Add more flour for “cakier” cookies)
1/4 c Flax meal (can be omitted, but I like the flavor and added omega 3′s)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 c Chocolate chips
1/2 c Walnuts
1/3 c Honey
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
1/2 c Melted Butter or Coconut Oil (I like the butter, it gives it that, “yup, these are chocolate chip cookies” taste)

Directions: Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine together. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and then flatten out with fingers. These cookies do not spread out, so make them the size and shape you want prior to baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy! Let me know what you think of the cookies once you try them.

Easter “Sugar” Bunny

10 Apr

Easter, a glorious holiday, one we most definitely celebrate in our household. However, I doubt the first Easter was marked by pounds of candy (yes people pounds…that is what my son’s Easter basket weighed filled with candy)-not the one we gave him of course!! When did Easter become about stuffing our children with sugar until they are literally hanging from the chandelier? This year I heard the excuse…”It’s only once a year, let the kids be kids.” Funny because I’m pretty sure I heard that line at Halloween this year and positive I heard it at Christmas. So in reality it’s not just once a year at minimum it is 3x’s a year and for me that is 3 too many.

I love Easter, but not for the “choco-chums and sugar balls” (Too Much Junk Food,a favorite berenstain bear book in our household :)). I love it for the gathering of families, for resurrection, for family favorite recipes, for spring-i-ness (yes, I made that up!), for loads of bubbles and the joy of chasing and popping, and delight of hunting eggs (yes, children will hunt for prizes just as much as candy). Easter should be celebrated and it should be filled with delight and joy, but what message are we sending if all that delight and joy is centered around CANDY?

So, what is a mom (or dad for that matter) to do? I’ll tell you-recognize that we live in the real world and cope the best we can. Hah, you thought I had some genius answer, right?? Well, not exactly, but it is good advice, advice I myself had to come face to face with before Easter day even arrived (Easter party at my son’s school and treats from relatives). We have learned that my son cannot handle his sugar, but I don’t want to totally deprive him either. I’m not a fan of likening my son’s “sugar” behavior to alcohol induced behavior in adults, but for lack of a better analogy… it’s like someone who “can’t hold their liquor.” We’re talking crazy high’s (if we had a chandelier, I’m sure he would be swinging from it!) and down right ugly lows. Normally my son is very well behaved, polite, sweet, etc. but beware of the “sugar” behavior!

This year we came up with a game plan before. I am not one to bribe my kids, but this is what we came up with this year and I have heard other real-food moms doing something similar. We put a monetary value on each type/item of sweet treat he might collect and after Easter we would survey all the items and he could trade in most of them for money, money which he could keep in his piggy bank or we could take a special trip to the toy store (he is now the proud owner of yet another “Lightning McQueen”). So here comes the real world part; seeing all the candy of course made him anxious and begging for everything. Fear not, we agreed he could have one piece of candy right after the “egg hunt” and when we got home he could choose 4 pieces to eat (not in one sitting of course).

One of the more acceptable items given to my son this year.

So far, so good. One more Easter under our belts as we continue on our Real-food adventure, a short-lived melt down over candy and a new “Lightning McQueen” (bringing our McQueen total to 6). I’ll take 6, heck even 10 “McQueens” any day in place of the “Sugar” Bunny!

Sugar’s mis-information

26 Mar

This is just a quick post because I needed to say my peace about sugar. In a previous post I put a link to some other articles I’d been reading, one was on sugar…fast forward to today and in my inbox courtesy of my MIL I got an article entitled “Is Agave Syrup Smarter Than Sugar?”.
As you can imagine it got my attention, but after reading the article I was a bit dissapointed; I know, I know what was I hoping for?? Well, I was at least hoping for accurate information and then a direct stance on whether Agave is better or worse than sugar.
It appears like many widely published sources, they are not only publishing wrong information, but then leave their readers with no suggestion as to what the “right” choice would be.
In the article they gave information about Agave which was clearly biased (not in support of Agave) and while they did not say whether sugar was bas or good, by comparing the two it appears they are in support of sugar (Grrrrr!!!).
Even your doctor will tell youto choose natural sweeteners over sugar, because your body can handle natural sweeteners better than white sugar. Personally I do not opt for Agave simple because I am not a fan of it’s flavor. I usually go for date paste, honey or maple syrup in recipes (muffns, pancakes, banana bread, etc). Occassionally I will choose palm sugar or coconut sugar, but neither melt well, so not great for baked goods, but pretty yummy in coffee. In some recipes, like treats (which are rare in our house) I use Whole Sugar (sugar that has not been refined, bleached, etc.).
So here’s the basics: We all know we need to limit sugar in our diets. When you need a sweetener or want a treat, choose options that do not need a lot of sugar in the first place and whenever possible choose a natural sweetener, despite what you see on tv or read in a magazine, white sugar is NO GOOD!!

Vitamin E

2 Mar

I decided to post on Vitamin E for several reasons, 1, to satisfy my curiosity and 2, to answer a question my Mother-in-Law had about Vitamin E.
The question: Why is vitamin E in my fish oil and what is it used for?
Answer: To preserve your fish oil freshness.
Seems pretty straight forward right, ha! That did not satisfy my curiosity at all, yes it’s a simple answer, but too simple if you ask me, so I decided to research a bit further…
Fish oil is a food and therefore subject to “going bad” or in the case of oil “rancid” (Ewww!!). Fish oil is delicate and damaged easily, which is why many supplement companies use something else to prolong the shelf-life of fish oil. Most of the time you can find Vitamin E as a “natural preservative.” in many oil blends. Now, no one wants rancid oil, but at what cost? Do you want an oil to last months?? Sure your pocket book does, but fish oil should not last months. The “natural preservative” listed is most likely Vitamin E from soy oil, which we really do not need extra amounts of soy because it’s already in everything.
Furthermore, your fish oil should be taken straight, nothing else added (ok maybe flavoring, but no preservative necessary). If you are really concerned about a Vitamin E deficiency (which is extremely rare I might add), then get your Vitamin E from in its complete form, not an extracted version of it. Vitamin E, like many other Vitamins occurs naturally in many foods and when eaten in the food you are getting the whole Vitamin (often referred to as the Complex…Ex: Vitamin E Complex), which leads to better intake of that Vitamin.
Vitamin E found in vitamins and supplements can be either “natural” or “synthetic.” Always stay away from synthetic since there is just not enough research about synthetic vitamins and when in doubt choose the least processed version. The “natural” Vitamin E in supplements is often listed as “alpha-tocopherol,” which as I stated above is only a portion of the Vitamin E complex.
Final Thoughts: Vitamin E is necessary, but don’t get it from a supplement, instead from food sources. Here are some examples: Avocado, Dark green leafy veggies, 100% cold-pressed Olive Oil, Hazelnuts. You are much better off to eat your vitamins than take them in a supplement.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: