Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays!

 Photo courtesy of

I was planning on getting a post in before Christmas holidays but between being sick and leaving earlier than we expected for our trip home it didn't quite happen...

I want to wish all of you a wonderful Christmas, New Year's and a fantastic 2011!

See you again in the New Year :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Kitchen Goal for December

My kitchen goal for November was to try soaking grains before cooking them.  I was out of town for most of the month, so I didn’t get around to much cooking, but I am happy to say that I did succeed.  Last month I made homemade tortillas (twice) and homemade banana bread muffins.  The grains for both of these recipes were soaked in water with some kefir water added instead of whey (I still haven’t been able to get my buttermilk culture starter to work).  I never got around to making the soaked oatmeal recipe but will definitely do that soon!  A lot of stores near me have also started carrying a brand of organic and sprouted bread which is fantastic.  We have now tried their bread and bagels and really enjoyed them.  Eventually I’ll make our bread but until then they are a much better substitute!

Since November was so hectic I plan to get a little more relaxation in this month before we head out of town again.  My kitchen goal for December is to replace the treats I normally send with Cody to give to his coworkers with healthier versions, hopefully they won’t be disappointed!  Instead of my normal chocolate chip cookies, which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for all the refined sugar, I think I’ll try sending sugar cookies, gingerbread men and chocolate-coconut truffles (all from Nourished Kitchen’s Happy & Healthy Holidays e-course).

This post is part of Kelly the Kitchen Kop's monthly kitchen goals.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Babywearing Confession

When I was pregnant I decided that I wanted to babywear, it felt natural to me to keep my baby close and convenient as well.  The more I researched the benefits, the more important it became to me.  But things didn’t end up working quite as I had hoped.  Kaiden never really enjoyed being worn and to this day is usually only happy for 5-10 minutes in a carrier. 

It’s funny because for the first couple of months of Kaiden’s life he was hardly put down because he just wasn’t happy if he wasn’t in someone’s arms.  I didn’t mind, I love snuggling with him and I was lucky that Cody was home for the first 6 weeks to help me out.  But you would think that he would love being worn, nope, apparently it’s just not the same as being held on my shoulder.  He even went through a stage where he loved being carried like a sack of potatoes!

Now that he’s a little bit older, his favorite place is still in our arms but he now also enjoys his stroller.  I can’t lie, it makes me a little sad that he’ll go for long walks in his stroller, even sleep in it, but he can’t make it more than 10 minutes being worn.

I’ve tried different carriers and different positions, but have had no luck yet!  I am going to keep on trying because I am convinced that one day that he’ll grow into it and loving being worn.  At the end of the day I remind myself that being baby led means listening to your little one.  Maybe he will always prefer his stroller to any carrier and if that is the case, I am okay with it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Super Easy Rib Recipe

As you know from previous posts I am a big fan of ribs so I thought I would share my favorite recipe as part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday.  The ribs turn out extremely tender and are super easy to make.


Ribs, I usually use baby back ribs
Onion, skin on and cut in chunks
Garlic cloves, smashed
Nutmeg (I prefer freshly grated)
1 tbsp Pickling Spice, wrapped in cheese cloth
Salt and pepper
Your favorite BBQ sauce

If you are using baby back ribs, make sure to peel the skin like layer off the bottom if your butcher hasn’t done it for you, it makes a huge difference.  Put salt, pepper and nutmeg on both sides of the ribs and then place them in a pan.  Put the onion and garlic around the ribs in the pan, then fill with water to about half way up the ribs and put the pickling spice in.  Cover the pan with a lid or tin foil and bake in the oven.  I have baked it at 350F for 2.5 hours and 250F for 4 hours, both ways it turns out great but I think it has a more buttery texture at the lower temp. 

When the ribs are done you can take them out and add your BBQ sauce.  You can also wrap them in foil and put them on the BBQ at this point for a BBQ'd feel.  For a time saving tip, cook a bigger batch, add your BBQ sauce, wrap in foil and freeze.  Then when you want to cook them simply poke a couple holes in the tin foil and heat in the oven or on the BBQ.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Detoxifying the Kitchen

Detoxifying my home is something that has become more important to me since Kaiden’s arrival.  It was important before but now it’s extra important.  I’ve wanted to write about it for a while but it is a huge topic and can be overwhelming, so I decided to tackle it one area of the house at a time!  Today I’m going to write about detoxifying the kitchen as this seems to be the one room that requires to the most effort and money to me.  It is taking me a long time to reduce toxins in my kitchen and it is an ongoing battle!  Here are the steps I’ve taken or that I plan to take:

1.       Eliminating non-stick/Teflon and aluminum cookware – both of these are unsafe options for cooking.  Better options are stainless steel, ceramic, cast iron and enamelled cast iron.  So far I’ve gotten rid of all my non-stick cookware and am using stainless steel.  The only thing that I haven’t replaced is my frying pan... but hopefully Santa will bring me some enamelled cast iron cook ware!
2.       Plastic containers – with all the talk about BPAs we definitely know that it is possible for chemicals to leach from our plastic containers.  Eliminating plastic tupperware, baggies, etc and replacing with safer options such as glass containers and baggies with safer containers or reusable sandwich bags.  If you still have plastic containers (can’t lie, I still do) making sure to never put hot/warm food in them and never heat food in them is a good first step.
3.       Cleaning products – I am not a big fan of any anti-bacterial products and don’t use them in my kitchen or in my house (except for CleanWell which I use at diaper changes as there is no close sink).   Soap and water does a good job but it can be hard to find a truly green dish soap or cleaning product.  Right now my favourite dish soap is by Seventh Generation but I am also a big fan of the Miessence Bio-Pure cleaning concentrate which I’ve just started using.  And always remember that just because something says it is natural or organic doesn’t mean that it doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals.  The EWG has a useful resource for checking your products.
4.       Plastic utensils – similar to plastic containers, eliminating plastic utensils and replacing with better options such as wood or stainless steel.
5.        Bakeware – instead of using aluminum or silicone bakeware, switch to stainless steel.  I am still looking for a local source of stainless steel bakeware so I’m holding off on any purchases until then.

Those are a few steps that I know of for removing toxins from your kitchen.  I would love it if you would share some of your ideas as well!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Kitchen Goal for November

I'm participating in Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Kitchen Goal of the Month for the first time.  I have read a lot about soaking grains and know that it makes the grains more digestible and nutritious.  Despite having every intention of soaking grains and trying to make my own bread, I haven't succeeded so far.  Since we have recently listed our home I don't think delving into the world of making my own bread is a good idea at the moment... but I can't see why I can't try soaking some rice or grains for things like oatmeal.

My goal for November is to make homemade whey & buttermilk and to start soaking my grains.  I am looking forward to filling my fridge with even more jars, this time filled with whey & buttermilk, and to try this baked oatmeal recipe!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Kaiden is not a Starbucks Fan!

The other day when Kaiden and I were on our way home from a walk when I decided to treat myself to some Starbucks and got myself a Java Chip Frappuccino (I know, not a very healthy decision).   Immediately after I finished my drink I felt really bloated but didn’t think much of it.  Fast forward to 5am that morning and Kaiden woke up with an incredibly upset tummy, it took him almost 2 hours to settle down, poor little guy, at that moment I knew that there was no more Starbucks in my future.  When we changed his diaper what did we end up seeing, the infamous red ring around his bum that is indicative of a food reaction.  I’m not sure which ingredient he reacted to, if it was the so so non-fat milk, the syrup & chocolate which I’m sure is full of HFCS or the caffeine.

Now it’s not surprising that Kaiden reacted to me having some Starbucks but what is interesting is that I can enjoy each of its ingredients in their real food form and Kaiden has no issues what so ever.  I drink organic standard (non homogenized) milk & use organic heavy cream in my homemade ice cream, both are from pastured cows.  I can also eat good quality organic chocolate that has no nasty ingredients and he doesn’t react to that or the caffeine in it.  I can combine them all, and I do in my chocolate ice cream and again no problems.  It is amazing that the difference in the quality of ingredients even affects Kaiden through my breast milk!  I wanted to share this as part of Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that Kaiden doesn’t enjoy Starbucks, lol.  From now on when I have a coffee craving I’ll enjoy my water processed decaf coffee with some standard milk and Panela. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Coincidence or not....

Today’s post is related to my previous post about changes I’ve noticed since starting my real food journey.  This first part is a bit of history and a little boring, my apologies!!!  For the past 13 years I’ve been on thyroid medication due to Hashimoto’s disease (autoimmune with underactive thyroid) and on a fairly high but consistent dose.  During pregnancy my levels were monitored and my meds increased, which is pretty normal and right after returned to my pre-pregnancy levels.

On Monday I had a follow up appointment with my endocrinologist and he was officially stumped!  It ends up my TSH levels were extremely high and that we had to lower my dose significantly.  It was so high we are lowering my dose down to a level I haven’t been on since I was 19, which is pretty crazy!  He kept telling me how strange it was for my levels to change so much especially as they’ve been consistent for so long and asked if I was doing anything different.  I told him I was eating healthier and he completely brushed it off!  Can you believe that he wouldn’t even consider it as an option!

The two things that have changed since Kaiden’s birth is that i) I am eating a real food diet and ii) I started seeing a chiropractor.  I personally believe that helping my body heal, work more efficiently and providing it the nourishment it needs to function has led to my thyroid improvement.  Could it be a really crazy coincidence, maybe but I think it is way more likely that my body is healing and learning how to function properly.

I am really interested to see how this unfolds over the next few months!  Wouldn’t it be crazy if I ended up not needing thyroid medication anymore!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On my way to 80/20

I started my real food journey about 7 weeks ago and my first goal is to get to an 80/20 ratio of eating real food.  I can’t lie, I’m not quite there yet, I would say that I probably average out to around 50/50 right now.  I have days where I do absolutely great but I still have days where those old habits and cravings take over.  Chips and chocolate are still my two main weaknesses and I’ve definitely indulged in them a little too much!

Although I haven’t been perfect I’ve already started to notice some changes, which is great!  As part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday’s I thought I would share some of these changes with you.

1.       More Energy:  Right now I have more energy off of 5 hours of constantly disrupted sleep (thank you Kaiden) than I had when I was getting 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I find this incredible!  I can’t even imagine how tired I would be if I was still eating like I used to.  :)

2.       More Laughing:  I know this must sound strange, but it’s true.  I have always been knows to say “that’s funny” when I find something funny instead of laughing and I didn’t really laugh that much.  It’s not that I was grumpy or unhappy, I just didn’t do it.  I realized the other day that I laugh a lot now and really laugh when I get going!  Who knew just how great laughing so much would feel!  And I can’t remember the last time I said “that’s funny”.

3.       Lost Weight:  For the past 8 years I have had this weight that I just couldn’t get under, I would get close but I just couldn’t break it.  I tried tons of diets and lots of exercise and nothing worked.  Even after Kaiden’s birth I lost my birth weight and a few extra pounds in 6 weeks due to breastfeeding, but since then I have hovered above that one number.  About a week ago I dropped below and keep dropping!  I couldn’t believe it, especially as I am eating amazing food and not depriving myself one bit!  Even Cody was surprised to find that he’s lost weight too! 

I can’t wait to see what other changes I notice as I continue eating real food and get closer to my 80/20 goal!  What kind of changes have you seen since you started your real food journey?