What’s Up Wednesday #6


It’s been way too long (like almost a year *palm to face*) since I’ve done a What’s Up Wednesday post!  Zero excuses for it.


Currently my garden is just pumping out the goodness!  Mostly zucchini. Probably because we planted a zillion of them.  I’ve been giving them away and finding ways to preserve and use them.  Zucchini bread=check. I came up with a recipe for the bread that used the pecan pulp from the milk I made.  It was SO good too!  Look for it on the blog soon!  Zucchini chips in the dehydrator=check.  Zucchini cut, steamed, and frozen for smoothies=check!  Zucchini noodles aka zoodles=check.  Zucchini sautéed in olive oil=check check check.  Zucchini fritters=check.


I’ve been getting an overload of cucumbers too!  My fave way to eat them is with grape tomatoes and my balsamic vinaigrette.


We’ve had a garden the last two years but this is the first year that I’ve been really enjoying it!!  I put in my earbuds, crank up a podcast (currently addicted to Do Something Beautiful by Leah Darrow on iTunes), and pull weeds till my back might break.  All while my chickens follow me around or I chase them away from the tomatoes.


Last Saturday my oldest daughter (11) entered the 4H bake-off at our County Fair.  It was her first year entering and she was so nervous!  Thankfully we have some really sweet, neighbor girls that have done it before and gave her all sorts of pointers.  She has to bring literally every-single-thing to make the cookies expect the oven.  She got started, we looked on and then I turned to my husband and said “OH No! She forgot the coconut oil!”  I stood back and watched as she so brilliantly thought to add extra honey.  The contest lasts an hour and when she I was finished she brought us some cookies to try.  They were perfect!!  Talk about proud mom moment!!  She got her results Monday…BLUE RIBBON!


Oh and the cookies she made were totally Paleo. For anyone who hasn’t tried gluten free baking, it’s tricky!!  Not very forgiving like wheat flour is.  Here’s the recipe she used for Uber Fluffy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  These are a huge family favorite!

Product I’m digging right now… MuffinElse Paleo muffin mixes!  These little babies are so delicious!  But what’s really cool about them is they are individual packets that you pour into a mug, add water and microwave.  So simple, so good, all Paleo!  They also came out with a pancake mix that looks amazing!  I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite flavor because they are all THAT good.  And FYI, I don’t endorse products that I don’t also use and love.

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Save Money on Paleo Foods by Shopping at Aldi


I won’t sugar coat it, eating a strict Paleo diet can be more expensive than a standard american diet (SAD).  There are definitely ways to cut costs and make it work with your budget though.  Like eating a diet heavy in vegetables and avoiding processed foods (even the Paleo kind!).  I wont get too in depth with it since there are literally entire blogs by people about just this subject.  What I will tell you is that you should be doing some of your shopping at Aldi!

Seems kinda crazy right?  In the past Aldi was laden with pretty much only junk food.  Things have really taken a turn though and the tides have changed.  As of January 1, 2017 Aldi has committed to removing 8 pesticides from all items in their stores.  As well as really increasing the amount of organic and gluten free items they carry.  Sure I can’t get all the items I need from their, but being able to go every few weeks and stock up on certain things has helped keep my grocery budget in check.

I took a trip there yesterday and picked up some things.  Below are pics and prices for what my store offers.  There are still many more things that are Paleo at Aldi than what I was able to snap pics of.  So be sure to check it out and save yourself some loot!  Side note:  be sure to bring a quarter for the grocery cart (no worries you get it back when you return the cart!) and bring your own bags too!

They don’t have a huge produce section but they actually offer quite a bit and a section of it is even organic.  One way I save money is by working off the dirty dozen and clean 15 list from the EWG.  I buy the produce listed on the clean 15 and only organic for those on the dirty dozen.

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Organic bananas= $.59/lb  Avocados= $.59/each  Cabbage= $1.09  Green onions=$.69/package  Cauliflower=$2.29

Seafood should always be purchased wild caught and not farmed.  Basically farmed seafood are swimming in a concentrated pool of their own filth.  Juuust let that sink in for a second.  Gross.  Aldi carries wild caught salmon, scallops and a few other fish such as tilapia.  They are even sustainably caught!  Heck yeah!

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Wild caught jumbo scallops=$9.99/12oz     Wild caught pink salmon fillets $7.39/2lbs

Pasta sauce can get really pricey when you start getting into organic no junk added sauces.    I’ve seen many jars upwards of $6-8/jar!  Ideally we’d all make our own but lets be real, most of us aren’t going to do that.  I’m hoping to this summer but until then I will keep buying the Aldi organic brand and add some extra dried herbs and olive oil to make it taste homemade.

Organic pasta sauce $1.99/jar

Frozen produce is not only a cost saver, it also can be a lifesaver on busy nights or when the fridge runneth empty!  They don’t have a huge selection but they have brussels sprouts and even organic berries!

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Frozen Brussels Sprouts $.99/bag 12 oz

A new find was this salsa!  They have always carried some really cool varieties but they only recently came out with an organic one and with pretty clean ingredients!

Organic Salsa $2.29/jar

I normally don’t shy away from healthy oils for cooking. I use a generous amount in my food.  However, there are times that using an oil spray is just needed, such as on a waffle iron, or in a muffin tin.  Every oil spray I have seen, that doesn’t also have soy lecithin in it, (Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray does have this) is about $5/bottle.  I was so excited when I spotted this olive oil spray that only has olive oil in it and a steal at $2.49!!

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Olive oil spray $2.49/bottle

Nuts are typically something most Paleo people keep on hand.  Aldi offers a wide selection of them, just be sure you buy raw ones that don’t have added oils.  They also have cashew butter and almond butter!

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Shelled Pistachios $4.99/6oz bag

This past year I discovered I don’t react to goat milk products!  It’s been so wonderful being able to eat goat cheese and goat milk yogurt.  I usually snag a few goat cheeses while at Aldi and found a cool red wine variety this trip!

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Red wine infused goat cheese $3.99   Garlic and herb goat cheese $1.99

A few other things to grab…

  • Coconut oil
  • Guacamole
  • Raw honey
  • Organic applesauce and squirt applesauce pouches
  • Organic baby food pouches (I take these when we travel for times there is literally nothing else to eat)
  • Rice pasta
  • Kerrygold cheese varieties
  • LaCroix is even there on occasion!
  • Organic ketchup (it has added sugar so if you’re looking for squeaky clean Paleo, skip it)

They are always getting new products in and have one time specials so there are many more things than just the ones I listed!  Check them out and let me know what you think!

2016 Health Nut Christmas Gift Guide


I am so excited to share this post!  It is loaded with really amazing gifts for any health nut in your life, both men and women alike.  The items marked with an asterisk * by the number would also make great stocking stuffers! 


1)  Bioshield Smart phone Quantum Protector Shield     This is something that is at the top of my list!  Our cell phones and tablets are constantly emitting EMF radiation that disrupt our body in many negative ways.   This shield simply sticks to  your phone case and gives complete protection from EMF’s without disrupting service.  At only $19.99 it’s a steal!

2)  Defender Laptop Shield      This is the laptop equivalent to the shield for your cell phone.  This one is a little bit pricier but if you or someone you love is always sitting with your laptop on your lap, it’s definitely worth the investment.  Especially if you are looking to have children.


3) Yoga mat    A great gift to go along with this would be a gift certificate for yoga classes!


4) Yoga Wheel    I have this exact yoga wheel and LOVE it.  I didn’t realize how much I would use it, but it’s truly amazing.  It helps open your back by laying on it and rolling.  As well as doing plank rolls to strengthen your abs.  The possibilities are endless.

5) Essential Oils and Diffuser   Something any natural living person can’t live without is their essential oils and a good diffuser.  It’s also nice to have multiple diffusers for different rooms in the house.  The link will take you to my sister-in-laws essential oil Facebook group, she can help you order and pick oils for your needs!


6) Acupressure Mat     I received this last year for Christmas and use it all the time.  Similar to acupuncture, it helps reduce back pain, muscle tension, and stress.  While increasing circulation, energy, endorphins and improving sleep.  Not bad for a cushioned mat that only costs $19.99!


7) Rebounder Mini Trampoline    Rebounding has many benefits, such as increasing bone density, detoxifying the lymphatic system, increases muscle tone, balance and coordination.  All while being gentle on the joints.  There are many rebounders on the market, I linked to one that was decently priced.


8) Glass water bottle    BPA free is great, but most companies that make plastics have just swapped that out for other plastics that are just as harmful.   One way around this is to use glass, or stainless steel.  I own a water bottle similar to this one and love it.  It also helps keep your water tasting like water and not plastic!

9) Stainless Steel water bottle    I own two of these awesome water bottles.  We used them at Disney in July (100° + weather) and it kept the water icy cold all day!  Plus it has a little mesh ice screen so as you drink ice doesn’t fly up the bottle to smack you in the face.  Even better this can be used HOT or COLD!   It doesn’t sweat or burn your hands.  Prices range from $13-$22 and they are worth every penny!


10) Shower Filter    This is also at the top of my wish list.  Eventually I’d like to get a whole house water filtration system, but until then a shower filter is a great investment.  Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs what we put on it, including shower and bath water.  Hot water only opens our pores allowing more to be absorbed.  If you click the link, it will take you the description with more info about the benefits of this than I could put in this post!

11) Berkey water filter    Known as the best drinking water filter on the market, this baby is worth its weight in gold.  A quick google search would land you on hundreds of blog posts as to why this is a need.  Be sure to purchase the fluoride filters to go with it too!


12) Fitbit-Blaze    Much like an Apple watch, the Fitbit Blaze does many of the same things and comes in some really pretty colors (or manly if it’s for a guy!).  This is at the top of my wish list this year!  You can also purchase different bands to dress it up or down or just change the style.

13) Foam Roller    Indispensable tool for anyone who works out, or wakes up feeling tense and achy.  I love my foam roller and use it all the time.


14) Himalayan Salt Lamp   These have become pretty widely available and with good reason.  They have tons of benefits!  I have one in every room of our house.

15) Dry Skin Brush  Dry skin brushing is an incredible tool to add to your healthy lifestyle.  It helps detox, reduce cellulite, wrinkles and exfoliates dry skin.  I wrote a blog post last year on its benefits.  Here’s the link.

*16) Electric Hand Milk Frother    I have a travel size milk frother that I use every day.  I would love to use my ninja to make my blended coffee but it wakes everyone up.  One like this is great because it still does a great job of frothing the milk, and blending things like MCT Oil until it’s good and creamy!  At only $12.99 this is great for any coffee lover!


*17) Badger Lip Balm   Every woman loves lip balm and these are incredible.  They have great, all natural ingredients and really moisturize without feeling greasy.


*18) Beeswax Essential Oil Candles     Most candles have artificial fragrances and are made with petroleum.  Both of which are seriously bad for us.  Finding high quality candles that are made with either non-GMO soy, coconut oil, or beeswax can be difficult but they are out there and worth the money for someone who loves candles.


*19) Blue Blocker Glasses    These may look super dorky but they serve an amazing purpose.   Quoted from the site “Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses feature an orange lens with Spectrum Control Technology (SCT) to absorb 98%+ of your computer’s blue light. This improves your focus, reduces eye fatigue, and helps inhibit vision problems like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.”  They also make other styles that are varying price points (and better looking).

*20) EarthPaste toothpaste    This is the only toothpaste I use!  It only has 5 ingredients that are all safe for consumption.  The majority of toothpastes on the market are laden with things that are unsafe and cause more harm than good.  This makes a great stocking stuffer, and given to the natural living person they will appreciate the thought behind it.


*21) High Quality Chocolate     Do I really need to explain this one?  Chocolate.  Without the bad ingredients.  Also, be sure you buy chocolate that is NOT processed with alkali.  That removes the flavonoids (aka the good stuff that makes chocolate healthy!)


*22) Tulsi Tea   This tea, also known as Holy Basil, has endless benefits and is really delicious too!  If you or someone you love has trouble falling asleep they make a nighttime blend that is truly magical!


*23) Charcoal Bar Soap   Women love luxurious bath products.  This charcoal bar is no different and it has benefits like removing impurities from the skin.


*24) Acure Brightening Facial Scrub   I’ve been using this face scrub for a few months now and love it!  It makes my skin so soft and smooth and has a great rating on EWG site.

*25) Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet    Also at the top of my wish list!  Not only is this bracelet really pretty, it serves a purpose!  It’s an essential oil diffuser.  You simply put a drop of whatever scent/oil you want on the felt pad and it’s like wearing perfume!  Without all the endocrine disrupting, cancer causing ingredients of regular perfume.  Plus essential oils have health benefits.  The link will take you to this exact bracelet but there are many other styles available.


*26) Mini Car Essential Oil Diffuser    One more fun way to use your essential oils is with a car diffuser.  I have this and it definitely makes driving more enjoyable.


*27) Subscription to Paleo magazine   A subscription to any favorite magazine!  There is just something special about holding an actual book or magazine in your hands compared to reading a recipe off a computer.  However, you can also get a subscription for a kindle for those peeps that prefer that!

What’s Up Wednesday #5


Crazy to think November is here already!  Even better that by the time you read this the election will be over and all the horrible mud slinging too.  It is utterly painful to listen to the radio and all the ads. Almost all of them highly inappropriate for young children to hear.  Even Instagram is flooded with ads about it.  I cannot wait for the election to be over!

God bless America. We need it.

I switched this post to every other week.  Things have been crazy busy here and it allows me to really focus on giving you guys great content!  No fluff!  Since the last post, Halloween happened.  My kids aren’t huge candy eaters, but they still love to go trick-or-treating.  My solution to all this newly acquired garbage, I mean candy, was to trade them their bag of candy for a high quality chocolate bar.  My girls were thrilled and so was I!

I dressed up as a scarecrow. First time in years I dressed up. Halloween just isn’t my jam.

Last weekend we hosted my oldest daughters volleyball team for a slumber party!   A group of ten year old girls and their teen coaches came over to eat, play, and spend the night.  I made a trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joes to buy all the food.  It was a make-your-own pizza night!  The party wasn’t strict Paleo but I kept it fairly clean and it was all gluten free.


Here’s a run down of all the food and toppings:

Pizza’s

  • Trader Joe’s gluten free frozen pizza crusts.  They come in a two pack and have super clean ingredients!  At only $3.69 a pack it’s a steal too!
  • Muir Glen organic pizza sauce.  My personal fave aside from homemade!
  • Organic shredded mozzarella, quattro famaggio, and white cheddar cheeses from Trader Joes.
  • Nitrate free pepperoni
  • Ground pastured pork sausage
  • Uncured Bacon
  • Natural black olives
  • Sautéed organic mushrooms
  • Sautéed organic bell peppers
  • Diced Pineapple

Snacks and Desserts

  • Organic snap peas, grape tomatoes, and baby carrots
  • Organic grapes and bananas
  • Boulder Canyon Avocado Oil potato chips
  • Skinny Pop
  • Trader Joes Gluten Free Brownie Mix made with a dairy free, berry cream cheese swirl
  • Rice Krispy Treats made with organic rice puffs, marshmallows from Whole Foods, and ghee.
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies-this recipe will be on the blog soon!

Breakfast

  • Simple Mills Chocolate Muffin Mix
  • Trader Joes Gluten Free Pumpkin pancake mix.  The girls got to create their own design with this.  I put the batter into a squirt bottle and let them have at it on the griddle.  Served them with real maple syrup.
  • Breakfast sausage links
  • Eggs from our chickens, made however they wanted.
  • Organic strawberries and blackberries

TREATS!

My girls had a fog day off school yesterday.  I looked up how to arm knit to give my kids something fun to do!  If you suffer from adrenal fatigue or are going through a lot of stress, then try taking up knitting or crocheting.  It’s been proven to help reduce stress and heal from adrenal fatigue.  NO excuses either, you can look up videos on youtube or take a class somewhere.  Then you’re also left with a beautiful project you created!  My girls and I all made scarves and I love them!  I think we are going to make a bunch for Christmas presents.  Here’s the link to the video we used.

Our new arm knit scarves

That’s it for this week.  I will leave you with this… No matter who you voted for or how you feel about Donald Trump having won the election, the most important thing we can do now is support ALL our fellow Americans.  Many are celebrating and many are grieving.  Give love to all.  Pray for all our newly elected government officials to serve our country well.  Have faith that God’s plan is greater than anything we can imagine.  FAITH. HOPE. LOVE.