Meat/Egg lovers Breakfast

Over the years I have had many people ask me what I eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner if I don’t eat flour or sugar. I wanted to share some of them with you here in case you are trying to transition into healthier meals. If there are certain foods you love or hate and want ideas of how to incorporate or avoid those foods let me know so I can add more recipe ideas for you!

Meat Lovers Breakfasts

The easiest way to avoid carbs during breakfast is to stick with eggs and meat. This may not be for everyone but if it is, you know who you are. When I am eating very clean I find that my metabolism gets a boost and I get very hungry come breakfast time. A good hearty breakfast can help hold you off until your next meal and control your eating throughout the day. Here are some common Meat Lover breakfasts we enjoy at my house.

But before we get to meat, lets talk about Eggs- Lots of eggs.

If you hate eggs than let me know and we’ll come up with a solution for you. But eggs are a wonderful source of protein and can be made a plethora of ways.

  • Scrambled*
  • Fried*
  • Poached
  • Boiled
  • Made into an Omelet*
  • Quiche*
  • etc

Depending on your fat allowance for the day you can eat whole eggs or separate the whites from the yolk to increase protein without increasing fat. If I am eating predominantly eggs for a meal I’ll use one whole egg and maybe two egg whites scrambled together with a little bit of my favorite meat.

*Our Favorites

Andersen Omelet

If an omelet is made at our house it usually includes:

  • 4-6 Mushrooms Chopped
  • A handful of Spinach
  • Gary likes to add peppers or onions to his omelets. I prefer just the mushrooms and spinach.
  • Sliced Turkey meat/sausage/or cut up bacon pieces (maybe a 1/4 cup of meat)
    • put into a pan with a bit of olive oil and cook until spinach is wilted and meat + mushrooms are cooked.
  • 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites (Gary likes to add a dash of milk and water to his eggs to make them light and fluffy)
    • mix in a bowl and pour over the veggies and meat
    • cook until eggs are firm enough to flip
  • Add cheese to cooked side (if desired)
  • Salt/Pepper
    • fold in half and enjoy!
  • Top with avocado, salsa, hot sauce, etc

Here’s where I get weird. Instead of eating salsa or cheese on my eggs I’ll usually put a scoop of cottage cheese on top instead. It adds a bunch of protein and helps avoid the taste of dry bland egg in my mouth. Feel free to knock it after you’ve tried it 😉

Favorite Meats

Whenever I make eggs I usually combine them with a meat I’m digging that week. Some of my favorites are:

  • Uncured Bacon
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Low Fat Ground Turkey
  • Ground Sausage
  • Deli Turkey
  • Ham

Cook up a fried egg and slap that on top of any of these meats and I call that a great breakfast.

Andersen Scramble

My house is also the castle of scrambles so we’ll throw a bunch of meat and veggies in a pan, scramble in eggs and maybe some cheese and we’re set. The scramble came about because I suck at perfecting the omelet (while Gary’s omelets look like works of art). I ruin the omelet every time when I try and flip it. It either gets stuck to the bottom of the pan or I turn it too soon to avoid “dry egg” from overcooking it, blah, blah, blah, I gave up. The easiest solution? Mix all that shit together.

Our favorite scramble includes:

  • 1 yam/sweet potato peeled + diced
    • Cook in the pan first with 1 T olive/coconut oil until sweet potato begins to get soft
  • Add 4-6 mushrooms chopped
  • Add 1/4 cup of your favorite meat- ground or cut into bite size pieces
    • Cook the potatoes, mushrooms, meat  & any other veggies until the meat is cooked and potatoes are soft.
  • Next you can either scramble in your egg/egg whites/milk/water mixture or remove the “hash” from heat and fry up some eggs to put on top (my favorite).
  • Top with salt/pepper/salsa/hot sauce/or Katie’s weird low-fat cottage cheese.

Meal Prep- Breakfast Quiche Muffins

Growing up my Nana made the BEST quiche and if there was ever a brunch party I looked forward to that delicious egg-pie-thing that I knew would be served. Obviously this quiche had pie crust in the bottom and became off limits when I started paying attention to the amount of flour I ate. But I found a solution, quiche muffins!

Things to love about quiche muffins:

  1. East to meal prep and have on hand for on the go breakfasts
  2. No Crust
  3. So versatile! Quiche muffins can be different every time and will help use up whatever leftover meat/veggies you have in your fridge
  4. Fun for kids to help make and eat. Great for little people portions too

Ingredients: 
Spinach/Kale, Mushrooms, Favorite Meat, Favorite Cheese, Eggs, Milk/Cream, Salt/Pepper

Directions:

  • Get a regular sized muffin tin and either grease it with butter or fill with muffin wrappers.
  • Begin filling with the veggies. fill about 1/3 of the cup with pre-cooked veggies. Some of our go-to’s are
    • spinach/kale
    • mushrooms
    • peppers
  • Add meat (if you are a meat lover…which you should be if you are still reading this post). Fill the cups another 1/3 of the way with Pre-cooked meat. This is best for quiche because you’ve been able to remove excess moisture and grease before adding it to the muffins.
    • Crumbled bacon
    • Ground Sausage
    • Diced Ham Steak
    • Chopped Deli Meat
    • etc
  • Add Cheese – fill the rest of the cup with shredded cheese. Use your favorite cheese. If I am trying to cut back on fat I’ll use low-fat mozzarella cheese or maybe not even add cheese. Some delicious/flavorful cheeses are
    • Swiss
    • Smoked Guda
    • Sharp Cheddar
    • Pepper Jack if you like a bit of a kick
  • Eggs- Your egg mixture will change depending on your fat allowance. Anyone doing keto can dump the cream or whole milk into their eggs and be just fine. Those of you trying to cut out some fat, I suggest using a low fat milk (dont use fat free milk, you might as well just add sugar water and it wont add any creaminess).
    • Depending on how full your 12 cups are you probably only need 4-6 eggs. If you want to cut out more fat then you can sub egg whites for some of the yolks. But the consistency will definitely be better if you just use the whole egg.
    • Add 1/4 teaspoon and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • Add a 1/4-1/2 cup cream/Milk to your eggs and beat until the consistency is smooth.
    • Fill each cup up to the top with your egg mixtur & put in the oven

* Bake at 375 degrees for 30 min-1 hour…once the muffins are firm to the touch you’ll know they are ready to come out. The amount of fat/water in each batch will alter baking time. Let muffins cool completely before wrapping/covering and putting in the refrigerator. These should be good for about a week:)

What about Hash Browns?

If you grew up like Gary and Me you are probably used to having some sort of carb or starch with your breakfast. That can be a hard habit to shake! The easiest way to change your eating habits is to substitute what you are used to for something healthier. The Hash brown substitutes we use are:

  • Sweet potatoes or yams instead of white potatoes
    • Peel uncooked potatoes and use a cheese grater to make your own hash browns. Cook them in a bit of oil just like you would with regular hash browns and carry on as usual.
  • Spaghetti Squash
    • Yep, here is a weird Katie thing again. Go ahead and knock it after you’ve tried it. Spaghetti squash is such a simple substitute for regular hash browns and tastes SO good! So much more flavor.
    • The easiest way to incorporate this food is to plan a bit in advance. The night before, cut the spaghetti squash in half, gut the seeds, cover in a bit of oil + bake at 400 degrees until soft. Eat one half for dinner the night before and then refrigerate the rest for hash browns the next morning.
    • Scoop the squash out the next morning and “fry” them up in a bit of oil or butter the way you would usually make hash browns. They taste delicious if you get them a bit crispy too.

Did I forget something? Let me know if there are other Meat Lover breakfast you like that I can add to this list! And share any of your own variations of quiche muffins, favorite omelets, or scrambles that you love! Enjoy!

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Crazy Goat Lady

There, I said it, I am a Crazy Goat Lady. The truth is, we’re all a bit crazy but we each get to pick our kind of crazy, right? Well, goats are part of my crazy.

When Gary and I were looking for a piece of land to build our home on we decided one of our non-negotiables was a somewhere we could have animals. Gary grew up with horses, dogs, birds, etc, and after I moved out of my suburban house my mother raised chickens and rabbits. We both agreed that teaching our children to care for animals and have responsibility over another life was important to us. We weren’t quite sure what animals we wanted first but we knew we at least wanted the option.

After we moved into our home in Fall of 2016 I started brainstorming about what sort of animal I wanted to get. Our neighbor joked with Gary about wanting to get fainting goats and Gary sounded like he’d be on board for that so I began researching goats. After a lot of research I decided that I wanted milk goats so I could convert my baby on to raw goat milk once I was done breastfeeding. I visited multiple goat farms, tried a lot of goat milk, and finally made the jump to buy a pair of Nigerian Dwarf goats. I put money down on two does (females), one of which was expecting babies in the spring! But….I didn’t have anywhere to keep them yet.

After making a few popsicle stick models of what I wanted my goat shed to look like my sweet husband and our close friend (who has carpentry experience), helped me build a fantastic shed over Thanksgiving weekend so I could bring my goats home in December!

Our experience over the last year has been fantastic! We have learned SO much! Gary let me know up front that this was going to be my project and its been a great project for me and my girls to have. In the last year we have been able to:

  • Kid 3 baby goats from Mamma 1 in March 2017
  • Get fresh, organic goat milk every single day to fill our families needs and then some.
  • Kid 1 baby goat from Mamma 2 in September 2017
  • Breed 2 more goats and expect “kids” in June 2018 from Mamma 1 and Little Mamma 3

Our goat count is at 4 right now and we plan to keep it between 4-6 from here on out. We kept the 2 baby girls we kidded and were able to sell the 2 boys to a sweet family down the road.

I’ll briefly highlight some of my favorite things about this experience so far.

Kids Kidding Kids

My 4 year old daughter has been with me in this goat business since day one. She came with me to see the goat farms. try the goat milk, and choose which goats to buy. She is such a wonderful observer and can tell you just about as much as I can about Nigerian Dwarf goats!

Since we purchased a goat already expecting babies we knew we needed to prepare for kidding and know how to do it! So a sweet friend we met through the “Goat World” allowed us to come watch/help her goats kid in February 2017. My sweet daughter was so tiny and it was SO cold during kidding season but she wanted to come along. When our friends doe was in labor we drove over late at night to come watch. It was a difficult birth and took some time. My sweet little girl sat on my lap for hours in her snow pants as patient as can be until the the goat finally had her babies. I’ll never forget her sweet willingness to just watch and learn with me that night.

As time got closer for our goat to Kid I let my daughter help me prepare a “birth box” with everything we might need when it came time to kid. She took such ownership over that job! Unexpectedly our goat had her babies quickly and in the middle of the day so we were hardly ready! When we checked on the goat to see how things were going and realized it was Game Time my sweet 4 year old knew exactly what to do and ran straight back to the house to get dad and the birth box while I caught the first baby to come out. She fearlessly stepped through the muck of birth to bring me towels, scissors to cut the umbilical cords, and even reminded me I needed to put iodine on them when I had forgotten.

To give my girls the opportunity to understand about conception, birth, life, and death through the lens of an animal has been priceless. The circle of life is normalized and their hesitation to participate in what some may consider “dirty work” is minimal.

Fresh – Raw – Organic Milk

Lets be clear, NOT all goat milk is created equal; and store bought pasteurized goat milk is not a good representation of what fresh, raw, good goat milk tastes like. I’ll be real with you, if you don’t like Whole Cows Milk you won’t like my goat milk. But if you DO like Whole Cows Milk, well then mine tastes better than that.

My household is divided on milk. My husband dislikes all milk but will tell you that our goat’s milk tastes just as good as any cows milk he’s had. I typically only use milk in cooking, protein shakes, and if I eat fruit ‘n milk (one of my treat alternatives). My girls drink milk as much or as little as they want. They drink it from a cup or use it in their oatmeal cereal.  The goats we have provide plenty of milk for us and enough to share with any friends or neighbors who are interested in trying some. We have a few neighbors who LOVE our milk and beg for any extras.

So why do I like goat milk? Honestly, I like knowing where the heck my milk came from and what the animal was fed that produced it. That is the main thing I love about having raw milk. I know exactly where it came from. Other things I love about it are the amazing health benefits, the ease of digestibility compared to cows milk. and the taste. Here is a quick link to some benefits of raw goats milk. Just be mindful though, because the FDA doesn’t endorse raw milk of any kind you will be hard pressed to find government backed studies that are pro raw milk. However, I believe that it makes much more sense to keep all the original vitamins and nutrients in milk rather than kill them off and then supplement them back in with fortified ingredients. That’s just me though. Also, with a clean milking process, “home grown” milk can have significantly less bacteria in it than the FDA’s allowable limit that you’ll find in store bought milk. 

Other Benefits

  • The satisfaction alone that comes from being able to provide food for my family for only 15 minutes of extra work a day is a fantastic feeling that definitely fills my cup.
  • My goat project is cost effective, saves money on store bought organic milk, and can even bring in money if selling raw milk is legal in your area.
  • Low maintenance- my 3 lb Yorkie Terrier is more maintenance than goats.
  • Such fun pets. Baby goats are the cutest/most fun things in the world!
  • Goat manure and mulch are great for gardening
  • etc

I hope you enjoy learning about this little hobby of mine. We really enjoy having our goats! If you are thinking of starting your own little goat herd I’d love to answer any questions OR you can hope over to Weed em and Reap’s website for EVERYTHING goat…and chickens….and gardening.

 

 

Energy Balls

Let’s face it, I’m a sweets girl. I have a weakness for cookies, and chocolate. So when I’m off sugar and flour I definitely get my sweet tooth cravings. The longer I go without sugar and flour the easier it becomes to stay away from it but there are always those hard days along the way that really test my self control that I have to push past. For those days I LOVE to satisfy those cravings with Energy Balls! These nutrient packed “treats” are also great for taking on hikes or eating any other time you’ll need some satiating nutrients. My doula introduced me to theses goodies when she brought them to the hospital as a post delivery treat for me.This recipe is SO versatile I usually don’t even measure the ingredients; I just throw in a bunch of stuff that looks good and make sure it sticks together! I’ll post a fool-proof recipe below for you to try out. I’d love your feedback and your own personal variations!

Energy Balls

  • 1.5 Cups whole Oats (I get the big box from Costco)
  • 1 Cup unsweetened coconut flakes (Harder to find but I’ve seen unsweetened coconut sold at Walmart and Whole Foods stores. You can also order some Bobs Red Mill coconut online)
  • 3/4 Cups natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/3 Cups ground flaxseed (this helps the mixture to stick together. Use more/less as needed)
  • 1/3-1/2 Cup raw honey or agave (I usually play around with this quantity to get the most stick out of the least amount of honey as possible)
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla (this really makes a big difference in the taste so don’t skip this ingredient!)

Optional: Chocolate mmmm….

  • At the Whole Foods store you can find real dark chocolate chips that have no sweetener in them but still taste SO yummy. As much as I love chocolate my girls and I love these Balls even without it. When I put in chocolate I usually just end up picking out and only eating the chocolate 🙄

Directions: throw ingredients in a bowl and mix it all together. If you know how to stir you are certified to tackle this recipe. When ingredients are mixed evenly, use a tablespoon to scoop the mix out and roll into balls between your hands. They are ready to eat right away!

ut just in case these directions aren’t fool proof enough for you I took some glam shots today while I made my own batch! I hope you love these as much as I do and can find a way to make them your own by substituting other ingredients you love + then sharing!

Love, Katie

Super Bowl Snacks

One of the biggest sporting events is soon to be upon us and if you are like me, eating healthy isn’t too hard until there is a holiday…or birthday…or event…or someone brings cookies home…or I pass the baking isle at the grocery store…ok, so its never “easy.” It takes a lot of work to get into a good eating habit! One thing that makes eating healthy MUCH easier is identifying foods that you love that are within your personal eating plan. For me and my family we try to stay away from added sugar and gluten and try to incorporate veggies in every meal. Planning meals and snacks ahead of time also allows us another level of control over our diets; preventing us from caving when we are hangry and have to make quick decisions about what to eat.

In honor of the Super Bowl, one of those days where diet usually goes out the window, I thought I would share with you some ideas for super bowl food that I love that are sugar free & gluten free.

#1 Cowboy Salsa

Image result for cowboy salsaphotocred: tablespoon.com

My sweet friend SueAnn introduced us to cowboy salsa and we fell in love. Full of healthy fats and yummy flavor, this filling appetizer is a favorite at our house. Make this salsa your own by incorporating ingredients you love or prefer more than what I’ve listed.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 avocados diced
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed) substitute white beans or any other beans you love.
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes or 3/4 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1/2-1 purple onion diced (depending on how much you like onions)
  • fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • lime juice
  • salt/pepper/other seasoning
  • Chips: our new favorite chips are the Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Really like heat? add some minced jalapenos!

I mix all the first 5 ingredients together and then add cilantro, salt. pepper, and lime juice until it tastes just how I like it. Its different every time! My favorite seasoning for guacamole or cowboy salsa is Flavor God’s Himalayan Salt and Pink Peppercorn. It tastes so yummy and its the only seasoning you need for this dish. 

#2 Loaded Potato Skins

Image result for loaded potato skinsphotocred: delish.com

I love loaded potato skins! This is another delicious snack that fills you up and leaves you satisfied. The most nutrients in a potato are found in the skin so this is definitely the way to go when eating a potato. Plus there are SO many versions of loaded potato skins you can create to fit your families food preferences. 

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Cheese (pick your favorite, my husband has been loving smoked Guda lately but you could use a lower fat substitute like fresh Parmesan, mozzarella, etc. Others love low fat The Laughing Cow cheeses which could substitute your sour cream too!)
  • Uncured Bacon or turkey bacon. Cook before hand. (cured bacon contains added sugar)
  • Sour Cream (If you are on the cottage cheese train you can sub cottage cheese for sour cream. If that’s not up your alley, get low fat or fat free sour cream.)
  • Chives
  • Seasoning (we love all the Flavor God seasonings)

optional add-ins:

Directions: Wash potatoes. Bake at 350-400 degrees until you can stick a fork in them (I crank up the heat when I’m short on time). When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes in half and scoop out a majority of the inside of the potato, enough to leave a stable “shell”. Fill with your preferred meat or meat substitute, veggies, and top with cheese.Put in the oven on broil until the cheese is melted. When the potatoes have cooled add sour cream or dressings. 

Want extra flavor? Smoke these bad boys in a smoker (we love our Traeger) when melting the cheese on them. 

No waste: Use the insides of the potatoes to make mashed potatoes, potato salad, or breakfast potatoes the next morning for breakfast. leftover potato shells can be grated into hash browns for the next morning too!

#2 B (Healthier Options) Loaded Zucchini Boats

Image result for loaded zucchini skinsPhotocred: The Skinny Fork

Literally do the exact same thing as loaded potato skins except use zucchini instead of potatoes. However, in the case of the zucchini skins, I would recommend cutting the zucchini in half first and creating the ‘”boat” while the vegetable is still firm. It gets quite a bit weaker after cooking. Don’t overcook the zucchini or it will get soggy and wont hold its shape well. Bake @ 400 degrees for about 5 minutes. 

#3 bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos

Image result for stuffed jalapenoPhotocred: I Breathe I’m Hungry

Leave it to my husband to come up with the best bacon wrapped recipes ever! The first summer we were married we managed to grow a few plants in our tiny side yard and somehow the jalapenos were the most successful…ironic because I don’t care much for spicy things…but they were good! Just like the loaded potato skins these guys are as versatile as you want them to be. Load them up with your favorites and enjoy them for an appetizer on game day!

Ingredients

  • Jalapenos. The bigger the better (they fit more food)
  • Low fat cream cheese (1 package should do unless you are feeding a flock of people)
  • 1-3 cups Your favorite cheese or low fat cheese (we love parmesean)
  • 1 package uncured Bacon (or bacon substitute)
  • Your favorite seasonings. Flavor God “Bacon Lovers” & “Ranch” would pair well for these.
  • Optional: Bacon bits

These ingredients should give you enough food to fill about a whole cookie sheet with jalapenos. 

Directions: You may want to wear food handling gloves while preparing jalapenos…just to be safe. Wash and cut jalapenos in half. Remove all seeds with a small spoon or knife so you are left with a shell. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, cheese, bacon bits, and seasoning together until it tastes right to you. With a spoon, fill jalapenos as desired with the cream cheese mixture. Cut strips of raw bacon in half. Then wrap 1/2 piece around each jalapeno so that the contents of the jalapeno are wrapped in a delicious bacon blanket 😉 

My preference would be to smoke these guys until the bacon is cooked and almost crispy. If you don’t have a smoker, go ahead and bake them in the oven at 375 -400 degrees until the bacon is cooked. should be ready within 15 minutes.  Tip: if you don’t love the heat of jalapenos you can boil them before stuffing them to cook them and get some of the flavor out. 

#4 Stuffed mushrooms

Image result for stuffed mushroomsPhotocred: tablespoon.com
(note: this pic looks a bit different than my mushrooms look because I don’t use breadcrumbs in my recipe)

Our family eats a lot of mushrooms and often times I’ll make stuffed mushrooms as an entree for dinner. They are also great appetizers!

Ingredients

  • 1 large Costco package of mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb of  sausage (make sure to find a kind that has no sugar added, ask the meat department at your store what kinds they offer without sugar. If they only have an unseasoned version you will need to add your own seasoning) If I am trying to cut back a little on fat I’ll often times mix 1/4 lb of sausage with 1/4 lb of lean ground beef or ground turkey rather than use all sausage.
  • 2-4 oz shredded Parmesan cheese (or cheese of choice)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt/Pepper (add to taste)

Directions: Wash mushrooms and remove stems. You can choose to use the stems when filling your mushrooms, save them for breakfast the next day. or discard them. I like to include mine. Chop mushroom stems in to small diced or minced pieces and put them in a bowl. Add sausage, 3/4ths of the shredded cheese (leave the rest for topping), 1 egg, and anout a 1/2 of salt & pepper to the bowl. Mix with a spoon….or with clean hands if you can’t stand trying to mix it with a spoon, like me. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and use a spoon to fill each mushroom very full with the filling. Top mushrooms with cheese. Bake at 375-400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the sausage is cooked and the mushroom is melty and bubbly (I realize “melty” isn’t really a word). 

#5 Home Made Popcorn

Image result for home made popcorn
photocred: Brown Eyed Baker

This is definitely not an original recipe. But I think we sometimes forget that popcorn can be a great “munchy” snack that can satisfy our desires to fill our faces without consuming a ton of calories. I also consider making popcorn at home much healthier than buying a microwave bag of popcorn. Why? 1. I don’t use microwaves at all. We don’t even own one. (I’ll have to post some studies about microwaves later). 2. I get to see what goes into my popcorn. No preservatives, no fake cheese or butter flavors. 3. I think it tastes better

Ingredients

  • Popping corn – Good ole’ Orville R is  my go-to but brand doesn’t make a huge difference.
  • Your preferred cooking oil – Olive or Coconut oil are my main oils.
  • Salt

Get a large saucepan, cover the bottom with a layer of oil about as deep as one popcorn kernal. Turn your stove heat to medium-high and let the oil heat up. I put in one kernal to test the oil…when it pops its ready. Pour in a layer of popcorn kernals so they are covered by the oil. Put a lid on the pot……..wait……….pop………pop, pop, pop…when the popping is going crazy go ahead and turn your heat down to low to avoid burning. When the popping slows down with a few seconds in between pops dump the popcorn into a large bowl. Cover with salt to your liking. 

Sweet Tooth Cravings

Image result for berry medleyphotocred: Hopeful Things

I know the recipes so far have satisfied more of a salty sort of hunger so I thought I would list some of the things that help me overcome that sweet tooth craving. 

  1. Fruit: melon, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, clementines. Any whole food that is sweet is ok in my book (unless you have specific inflammatory limitations).

  2. Apples and Peanut butter: PB may not be low fat but it sure hits the spot sometimes when I pair it with apples. Use natural PB with no added sugar. Even better, go to a whole foods store and grind your own peanut butter or almond butter.

  3. Protein Ice Cream (more to come on that in a later post)

  4. Energy Balls (also soon to come)

  5. Home made 100% fruit juice Popsicles

  6. Fresh fruit smoothie or cold pressed juice

  7. Dessert flavored gum – my husband things I’m crazy but chewing on some delicious watermelon gum or any of the ‘dessert” flavor gum often times helps keep my mouth busy and my sweet tooth craving satisfied when I really need to ignore the dessert table.

These are just some of the MANY sugar free/gluten free foods I love to make but they were the first that came to mind when thinking of what I like to eat during a Super Bowl party. I hope you’ll try one of these recipes out in the near future and give me your feedback! If you like the recipe please share and if you don’t…just keep your mouth shut 😉

p.s. If any of you are freaking out because there are not specific quantities of ingredients in my recipes or specific baking instructions its because that’s just how I cook ha, ha. Every time is different because every day is different. Sometimes I’m in a rush so I crank the heat up, sometimes I’m cooking for just my family of 4, other times I have 10 or more mouths to feed, so its always different. If you don’t feel strong in your ability to improvise on your own or “guesstimate” when things are done just message me and I can give you more specific help.  Happy Eating!

Love, Katie

 

 

 

 

Why Mommy Goes to the Gym

Every morning at 5:40 am my alarm goes off. As I hurry to turn it off before it wakes my husband I begin the process of rationalizing my “need” to go back to sleep. “You are too tired today,” “Your sleep will make you feel so much better,” “You deserve to stay in bed another hour,” “You can do this tomorrow,” blah, blah, blah. The commitment to wake up an hour or two before my family is not the “fun” choice by any means. So why do I do it? Because Mommy needs to go to the gym.

Now lets stop right there. When I say I “need” to go to the gym it has nothing to do with my physical appearance. If you had asked me in college why I went to the gym my answer probably would have had something to do with my looks. But now, no way. When my 4-year-old is up early and asks me why I have to go to the gym the reason is clear, “So Mommy can be happy today.” And its true. The mental benefits I get from exercising 6 days a week far outrank the affect it has on the outward appearance of my body. Is the body boost a plus? Heck yeah, but it isn’t the priority anymore.

As a mom of one, two, or twelve kids you know that your life focus has shifted to be all about the little ones you are trying to keep alive and your own needs are an afterthought. But whatever your life circumstances, working mom, stay home mom, work at home mom, or maybe you aren’t even a mom yet, you NEED to have something for you. My something is the gym.

The research on the benefits of exercise on our physical and mental health is clear. Whatever your struggle, chances are regular exercise can help it. The type of exercise will obviously need to be personalized but what matters is that you MOVE your body. Nothing in the Universe happens, no progress is made, until something moves. Have you ever felt like you are Ron Burgundy stuck in a glass cage of emotion? I have, and I have a solution for you! Go DO something and move your body…and do it outside if at all possible.

The Mayo Clinic has published research about the benefits exercise has on mental health. 

“Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Research on depression, anxiety and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety.”

Other benefits of exercise on depression and anxiety include:

  • Releases feel-good endorphins

  • Takes your mind off worries

  • Helps you gain confidence

  • Allows you an opportunity for more social interaction (with non-children I might add..)

  • Helps you cope in a healthy way (I am an emotional eater…not a healthy coping strategy)

After my first daughter was born I experienced postpartum due to a sudden shift into mommyhood I didn’t quite feel ready for combined with hormone imbalance. Some of the very first things my hormone specialist suggested to me were to get outside, be in the sun, exercise, do yoga, meditate, and take a Vitamin D supplement. Since then I have found that I am my VERY BEST SELF when I incorporate that list of items into my life and stick to my commitment to exercise every morning getting those much needed endorphins. I just love them.

The picture above is of one of my favorite places, My gym. (ok it isn’t mine, I just go there). I have found a community, friendship, motivation, self confidence, and a love of waking up early to start my day off right. More to come on my favorite exercises and what I do to stay “in shape.”

If you are struggling to get out of your own head, experience anxiety or depression, are dealing with physical or emotional challenges, etc, I hope this might be another drop in your bucket to motivate you to move your body and find something active that you can do to take care of you and improve your mental health so you can be the best YOU you can be,

Love, Katie

Chocolate PB Protein Shake

Almost every morning I start my day off with a protein shake packed with flavors I love and macro nutrients that will help me reach my goals! I don’t count calories but being aware of the proportion of macro nutrients your body needs for your individual goals is key (more about that later). You can calculate your macro nutrient needs here .Typically my families diet is free of added sugar and gluten. This is a choice that we’ve found helps us to feel our best without being ultra restrictive. Chocolate Peanut Butter is my go-to flavor and I wanted to share the recipe with you! Try it out and tell me if you like it…and keep it to yourself if you don’t 😉

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

  • 1/2 cup milk your choice (I use raw goat milk from my cute little goaties)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 T Adams Natural PB or any PB substitute you prefer
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein. Jym Chocolate Cookie Crunch 
  • 1 cup spinach/kale

Blend

  • add 1-2 cups ice (depending on how thick you like your shake

Blend + Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Total Calories: about 390
Protein: 33.5 grams
Carbs: 20.5 grams
Fat: 14.5 grams