My New Favorite Summer Drink Obsession

All Natural Eating Leads to Weight Loss

In January of this year, my youngest daughter started on a medical journey. It all shook us hard and made me take a close look at the food that was going into our bodies. When your child is diagnosed with a rare disease and it revolves around food, your life indeed changes.

This picture was from January of this year.

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This picture was from this past Saturday:

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Can you see the changes? M and I both have officially lost 20 pounds. I’m so proud of M for embarking on this healthy journey with me. Her blood pressure was 150 over 80 at the first of the year. This was not good at all. This past week, her blood pressure was 110 over 74. Isn’t that amazing? By now, you probably want to know what all we have changed in our diets.

First off, no drinks are allowed in the house. We all drink alkaline water that we purchase each week from our local health food store. Four gallons usually last us about 5 days. Other drinks of choice include boiling water for herbal teas and Madi will drink cold green tea as well.

Secondly, we eat all natural foods. No processed foods are allowed in the house. The diet we follow is more along the lines of the paleo diet. Giving up dairy was a big positive for me. After being diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer earlier this year, I did my own research to see what could cause gastritis and bleeding ulcers. I am now gluten free and dairy free. I still drink my coffee each morning but add the SO Delicious Coconut Creamer. M and my husband still have some dairy, mostly in the form of different types of cheese. At first, I thought I would miss dairy but do not miss it.

Thirdly, fresh fruits and vegetables along with almonds are our go-to snacks. When I said “our”, I mean Madi and I. My husband is not a fan of fresh fruits of vegetables so his go-to snack is all natural peanut butter. If a day goes by without my natural roasted almonds, I start craving them. My sugar cravings are completely gone. It’s amazing, friends! Your body feels so much better and your overall mood toward life is much more positive.

Each week, I will buy blueberries, strawberries, apples, cucumbers, celery, and peppers. My weekend consists of cutting or chopping up the fruits and veggies to put them in individual containers so it is easy to go to the fridge for a snack. I cook from scratch three meals a day. You may say, “you are too busy to cook from scratch”, but that is not the truth. I work full-time, go to school, homeschool our girls, travel to lots of doctor visits and still find the time. Finding the time is key. Organize your week, meal plan and make the time.  Exercise is non-existent for me at the moment. This is where I need to do better and incorporate a type of exercise into my day. If I am lucky, I will squeeze in a walk in my neighborhood each week but it is definitely not on a regular basis. We do have a gym membership at my work that I really want to strive hard to use more.

With all that being said, just look at what eating healthy can do for your body. Get in the right mind-set and say you are going to do this for your family. Stop buying junk or processed foods. Don’t bring it into the house anymore. If you don’t buy it, your family will get in routine of eating healthier.

Let’s see what the next six months will bring for our family in our “more healthy” life journey.

Allergen Free Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

As you all know, my youngest daughter was recently diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis. We have been hoping her motility would come back in her esophagus. The latter part of last week, we all wanted to jump for joy as she felt the motility was back! We figured out unfortunately, that she cannot have eggs. Her doctor was hoping she could do a top 4 allergy removal (dairy, soy, wheat, and tree nuts) and her known allergens (lemon, corn, and peanuts), but unfortunately she had a reaction to eggs this past weekend. It broke our hearts, so sad. We decided, we definitely needed to stick with the top 8 allergy removal (dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy) along with lemon and corn.

After another trip to Earth Fare, I found a muffin mix by Enjoy Life Foods. As their website says, all Enjoy Life Foods products are free-from the eight most common food allergens in the United States, as declared by the FDA — wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish. In addition, their products are made in an allergy-friendly facility, so there’s no chance of contamination. The foods also are free from Canada’s twelve priority food allergens, which include the top eight plus sulfites, crustaceans, sesame and mustard.

L decided she wanted pumpkin muffins. I came up with a recipe tonight and she really loves them. She has had three muffins this evening!

allergy free pumpkin muffins

We will continue to do this food trial and see if she has any reactions. With EOE, it is a delayed reaction. Please let these muffins do well with her esophagus!

Ingredients:

1 box of Enjoy Life Foods muffin mix
1 can of pumpkin puree
2 tbsp of ground cinnamon
1 tbsp of vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix all ingredients. Do not over stir. Put paper liners in your muffin pan. Spoon muffin mix into the liners. Fill 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. You can refrigerate the muffins up to 5 days.

Cookies Made With Vegetables?

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Is it hard to get your child to eat their veggies? Never fear, we have a possible solution. Give them a cookie that is made with vegetables! We were pretty eager to get these cookies to try them once Hidden Garden Foods reached out to us about reviewing their brand.

Here is a little back story on this brand. The founder, Catherine, was having difficulty getting her two young daughters to eat vegetables. All they wanted was to eat cookies, so naturally,  Catherine decided the best plan of action was to combine the two and Hidden Garden Foods was born! That was back in 2012. Now four different flavors of cookies are selling in grocery stores all across North America. The flavors are Chocolate Chip made with Pumpkin, Ginger Snap made with Butternut Squash, Red Velvet made with beets, and Cocoa Cherry made with Spinach. All of the cookies are certified Gluten Free, and made in a completely nut-free, peanut-free facility. The products are also all natural, made with ingredients that most people could find in their local grocery store or pantry at home.

I recruited my three-year old grandson to do a taste test with me. You don’t get a more honest opinion than a three year old. Check out our video to get his reaction. You will be VERY surprised when you see what flavor he picked as his favorite.

The video speaks for itself! You can purchase the cookies on their website or in health food stores across the country.

Have you heard about the new SNICKERS candy bar?

There are times when chocolate can solve many problems in life. Unfortunately, it can’t solve all the world’s problems but we have three problems that chocolate can help save the day. Specifically, the new SNICKERS Crisper Candy Bar!

Snickers Crisper Review

I’ve partnered with SNICKERS (MARS) and SheSpeaks to share with you the ways the new Crisper has helped us. You may laugh, but that is good for the soul as well. Click play to watch the short video.

Can you relate? We never know what each day will throw at us, but we can hide SNICKERS throughout the house and let them show up just when they are needed!

The Crisper is a delicious combination of crisped rice and peanuts topped with a layer of caramel and coated in creamy SNICKERS Brand milk chocolate. I will be honest and say this has always been my favorite candy bar. The addition of the crisp rice to the candy bar gives it a nice crunch. My husband loved the crunchy taste as well. Each FUN SIZE bar is only 100 calories which makes for a nice dessert in the evenings after a hard day at work, the gym, the doctor office, and the list could go on and on. You can opt to purchase the full size candy bar which features two pieces, each with 100 calories, allowing you for a snack for now and another for later.

SNICKERS Crisper are available at Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com and come in the following sizes: Single, 4 to Go and Medium FUN SIZE Bag (12 count).

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