Adoption journey

Over the past year, the Lord has been growing, teaching, and challenging our family in so many ways! We are responding to the Lord's leading and are expanding our family through the adoption of a precious baby!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Eating Clean on a Budget: Lunch

I realize that boys are known for eating large amounts of food... but my kids always want to eat! My 8 year is always ready to eat! He had just eaten a large meal and was "stuffed" but walked into Whole Foods and said, "I'm starving!! I mean, I'm stuffed, but I'm starving too!" Love my funny boy! :)

 Lunch is my toughest meal to plan. I'm usually finally past breakfast and digging into school with my boys. Many days, lunch is a "snack" lunch of veggies and hummus, fruits and nitrate free deli meat.

These ham and spinach roll ups are simple and a great finger food for my boys! It's just ham with spinach and guacamole or homemade dip (Just Mayo with garlic, onion, salt and pepper) rolled up.

I'm a big fan of bacon (nitrate free) and like to make a meal around that main ingredient! This bacon spinach tomato wrap with homemade guacamole on Paleo Wrap was wonderful!

 One of my sons who eat grains enjoyed this BLT on Ezekiel Bread.
"Build your own salad" is a common lunch at our home. We throw together spinach or lettuce from the garden, leftover meat from dinner, chopped veggies (peppers, carrots, cucumber, zucchini), and sunflower seeds. Dressing choices are ACV & olive oil, simple "ranch" with Just Mayo and seasonings, or guacamole.
Guacamole chicken salad is super healthy, easy and amazing!! Throw together leftover cooked chicken, an avocado and seasonings (sea salt, pepper, garlic, onion & cayenne) and serve with lettuce, veggies or sweet potato chips! A simple tuna salad is great too!
A favorite simple hot lunch is cut up hot dogs (all beef nitrate free) or smoked sausage, bell peppers, onions and potatoes (works well with white or sweet potatoes). Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes.
Peanut butter (or cashew butter) logs are a family favorite! 
We make these on apples, bananas or celery!
We read about peanut butter roll-ups in a Berenstain Bears book and they have been a hit for years! We've shifted from using wheat wraps, to using Ezekiel wraps or Paleo Wraps
Pizza is a rare and wonderful treat at lunch! Cauliflower pizza crust or Anna's Bread Pizza Crust is wonderful with tomato sauce, pepperoni and sauteed veggies.
Leftovers are also a great hot lunch! We throw together leftover chicken and quinoa or Tolerant Pasta for a quick lunch. 
What are your favorite healthy lunches??

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Eating Clean on a Budget: Breakfast

I don't know about your family, but my boys wake up crazy hungry!! They're ready to eat bright and early!! Most days, they not only eat breakfast, but they come back for "2nd breakfast" around 9:30am. Many mornings I feel like I never leave the kitchen! So I needed to simplify and plan ahead for these big boy appetites!

One of our favorite starters is a "shake"! For some reason, we've always called smoothies, "shakes". Our smoothies are packed with Vitamin C (acerola), greens, fruit and protein... and our boys love it! I hope you enjoy this recipe too! While I'm making breakfast, I'm either sipping my lemon GGMS drink or kombucha.
Zucchini bread

While we are grain free, we still enjoy Zucchini bread (Against All Grain recipe), biscuits, pancakes, and Blueberry skillet breakfast cake! The zucchini bread is great to make the night before so it's ready for my hungry little dudes!
Blueberry skillet breakfast cake
Blueberry Skillet Breakfast Cake
2 cups blanched almond flour (I use Honeyville)
1 tsp organic baking soda (do not cook with Arm & Hammer!)
1/2 tsp pink sea salt
1 tsp (heaping) cinnamon
1/2 tsp organic stevia extract powder
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, stevia, and salt. Stir together using a fork until well combined.
  2. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the coconut oil, vanilla, and eggs. Stir together by hand until combined then add the egg mixture to the almond flour mixture. Combine together using a wooden spoon or whisk or beat on low speed using an electric mixer. Stir in blueberries. Cover and let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, or until cold and firm.
  3. About 10 minutes before the cookie dough is done chilling, adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 10-inch (25-cm) cast-iron skillet or two 6-inch (15-cm) mini cast-iron skillets; set aside.
  4. Transfer the cookie dough into the skillet(s) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.

My Plaintain Pancakes are super simple!! I used to make these with bananas, but the plantains are firmer and make better pancakes... as well as having a lower sugar content.
Plantain Pancakes
1 plantain
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
stevia (optional)
Combine ingredients in Vitamix, blend and pour onto coconut oil greased griddle (between 350-375). I quadruple this recipe:)

When I have more time to make breakfast, my boys LOVE sausage or bacon with eggs and Pioneer Woman hashbrowns.
homemade breakfast sausage
I recently learned how easy it is to make your own breakfast sausage! I take 1lb of local ground pork, add 1 tsp salt, ground pepper and 1 drop of Young Living Sage VITALITY oil. Form patties and fry in coconut oil!

I usually eat the same things as my growing boys, but I also try to nourish my body without too many carbs. I enjoy simple Trim Healthy Mama S breakfasts, such as avocado and bacon/sausage, bacon wrapped asparagus, or a chocolate protein smoothie (similar to above recipe, but omit the banana, strawberries and add cocoa powder, vanilla and spoonful of peanut butter). A yummy breakfast that feels like I'm eating dessert is Trim Healthy Mama's Secret Agent Brownie with Superfood icing!!

My friend, Jeanette, made this amazing sausage and sweet potato hash for us when we visited her family! We've been making our version of this hash every week and our family LOVES it! I cook ground turkey or pork, add sea salt, pepper, a drop of YL VITALITY Sage oil. I saute onions and then add chiopped sweet potatoes, stirring often. Enjoy!

Leftovers are a great breakfast option too! I'll be having leftover fried cabbage and bacon for breakfast tomorrow!

While we try to nourish our bodies with real food, I make sure to boost my body systems with my antioxidant filled 1-2oz shot of NingXia Red!

I hope these recipes help you to nourish your bodies in the morning!!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Eating Clean on a Budget: Intro

Most of our friends know that we eat a kind of "crazy" real food/paleo diet. While, I've always enjoyed cooking meals from scratch, our family's food intolerances has taken cooking from scratch to a whole new level! As my 9 year old says, "we eat only things that grow in the ground or animals" and that is completely accurate! We eat meats, vegetables, fruits, seeds, beans and nuts. We eat little to no processed foods, grains, dairy or soy. Feeding a family of six, with four growing boys, without breaking the bank, is quite challenging!!

I wrote another blog on where we source our food, but it has changed slightly since moving to South Carolina. We order from, Vitacost and Amazon Prime. Our family typically shops at Aldi, Sam's Club, and go to the Soda City Farmer's Market for goat milk, eggs, meat and vegetables. We get lots of stares at the farmer's market as we parade down the street with our collapsible wagon full of 5 gallons of goat milk, 3 overflowing boxes of produce, 8 dozen eggs and meat! We eat a lot of food and are quite a sight!!

This series will share breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and drink recipes from our home! I hope these recipes hope your family eat clean while keeping a budget!