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?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

BBQ Sauce... how I will miss thee

I don’t tend to use too many packaged condiments but if there is one thing that I love it is slow roasted ribs smothered in BBQ sauce!  My favorite sauce is made by a small restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri so it’s not too easy to get.  I usually make my parents bring some up when they visit which isn’t often.

We’ve been making our BBQ ribs the same way for around 6 years but tonight we decided to live on the edge and try Guinness BBQ Ribs.  I was lying in bed with Kaiden waiting for him to fall asleep when Cody snuck in to tell me the bad news.  The first ingredient in my oh so yummy BBQ sauce is… high fructose corn syrup!  Noooo…  One of the first things I learned in my Real Food for Rookies Class lesson on sweeteners was how bad HFCS is for you so there was no way we could use this BBQ sauce any more.  The only other BBQ sauce in our place had HFCS as the fourth ingredient, still not ideal as we’re trying to eliminate it completely, but having ribs without BBQ sauce was just not an option tonight.

It’s a reminder of how crucial reading every label is which I should have learned after our Thanksgiving dinner last week.  I was making pumpkin pie and happily using lard knowing it’s better than Crisco when I glanced at the ingredients in my package of Tenderflake.  That is when I discovered that my lard also included both BHA and BHT which are food preservatives that we want to avoid.

Now I am on a mission to find a good homemade BBQ sauce recipe along with some preservative free lard.  If you have a good recipe and would like to share it, please comment below!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Our Farm Adventure!!!

Today Kaiden and I went on our first farm tour! 

About 2 months ago one of my Facebook contacts posted an article on the importance and health benefits of eating pastured meat.  At the time I briefly looked at the article and quickly decided that it seemed a little extreme.  I figured that all was good as I was purchasing only free range eggs and our meat came from a local butcher.  Eventually I started to learn more about pastured meat and learned that cows should eat grass and that both pigs and chickens were actually omnivores who enjoy their bugs, worms, etc.  I phoned up my butcher convinced I was going to hear the answers I expected but that was not the case.  Ends up the cows that I thought were happy and spending their time outside in the sun frolicking were actually from feedlots and fed grain.  My chickens and pigs weren’t pastured either and were fed only vegetarian diets.

Now came the task of finding local sources of pastured meat.  I was convinced that this was going to be hard and that it might not even be possible.  How wrong I was!  I went to and was able to find local farms within 5 minutes.  I quickly contacted two of them to enquire about tours.

Our first tour today was at North Valley Farms (  All their cattle are pastured, fed grass and are not finished with grains.  This sounded great, but I knew that it was important to check out the farm first had which is about 45 minutes from us.  When I arrived I was quickly greeted by Lori, her daughter and a bunch of happy chickens.  Lori gave me a tour of their entire farm, I got to meet their egg chickens, food chickens and the new batch of chickens.  All live outside in pasture with mobile coops that they move to ensure that they get access to fresh pasture.  Kaiden thought that they were interesting although I’m pretty sure he was annoyed with how sunny of a day it was.

Then it was off to find the cows.  They have access to an open barn for shelter if they choose and have tons of grass to eat.  But I couldn’t see a single cow, so off we went to the back of the property where there is a wooded area.  As we approached I was able to see all the cows chilling in the shade in the woods, these were definitely not feedlot cows!  As we got closer they all got up and came over to visit and Lori gave me a rundown of all the different breeds.  It’s neat that in a month and a half one of the cows we met will be in our freezer!

I have to say I was impressed, it was everything I was looking for in a local farm.  I happily ordered my 1/8th of a cow and left with a couple dozen eggs!  Lori was great and told me to email her if I want any recipe ideas for some of the different cuts of beef.  I am excited to get our order in November, I just wish it was sooner. 

The benefits of grass fed include a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids, lower fat, more vitamin E & C.  For a quick overview see

Friday, October 8, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

I have officially decided to take the plunge and start blogging!  I can’t lie, I’m a little nervous, I’m not really known for being good at expressing my thoughts on paper (ok... I guess a screen in this case) but I’m going to try!

I recently became a mom and my little guy Kaiden is now almost 3 months old.  For the past 10 years my husband and I swore left, right and center that we would never have kids.  About a year and a half ago I had to go off of birth control (and never plan to go back on it) and it started me thinking.  Eventually I realized that I really want to start a family and soon enough I had my husband agreeing with me.  

All of a sudden life changed and I knew that I wanted to do my best to create a happy and healthy home for my little guy.  I started to learn about natural birth, natural parenting, toxins in our products, nutrition, etc and I felt like a whole new world was opening up to me.  It’s been overwhelming but I thought I would share my journey with you.  I hope that you enjoy sharing my adventures as a mom with me!