Day 1 of 100 days with no sugar or processed foods

Our first day of no sugar or processed food is coming to a close, and it went well!  I really think we’re going to be able to make it 100 days.

What we ate today:

Breakfast was these whole wheat pancakes  reheated from yesterday (with a slight variation, honey instead of sugar).  They were served with warmed frozen organic raspberries and strawberries and chunks of pear.  These are always a huge hit, so we made a triple batch yesterday, and they kids fought over the last one.

Lunch was whole wheat bread with hummus with a side of rainbow carrots and green peppers.  This was a flop, and the kids ate only a few bites… but I’ll chalk that up to having soooo many pancakes for breakfast.

For dinner, I made chicken, bacon, bean, cheese and veggie quesadillas.  I threw these together with things I had around the kitchen.  On the side, I served some avocado.  The kids had a few bites, but weren’t wild about them.

The snacks they got today were popcorn with salt and plain yogurt with leftover raspberry and strawberry sauce from breakfast with a touch of honey.

So far, I have found planning and prepping in advance are making the biggest difference to feeding the crew.

The prep I did: Yesterday, when I had a few minutes, I threw a pack of organic bacon into the oven at 350 (all spread out) for about 20 minutes.  I used some bacon for quesadillas, I’ll use a little tomorrow for macaroni and cheese, and the rest is frozen to use as a topping for pizza this weekend.  First thing this morning, I threw 3 chicken breasts in the slow cooker with a little salt and pepper, and shredded it around 4pm.  Half of that went into quesadillas, half will be a pizza topping, along with some veggies I chopped.

The planning: during the month of december, between all the craziness of the holidays, I put together a 7 day meal rotation that suits my time constraints (three itty bitty kids), our preferences, budget and fits the rules of the 100 day challenge.  The meal plan is posted in my kitchen, and although I love to cook on the fly… these days, if I don’t prep and plan… we don’t have dinner!  So I’m hoping the convenience of sticking to the meal rotation will overcome my desire to be spontaneous.

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deep thoughts from a lazy saturday

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The boys had a morning out, so us girls decided we should have a pajama morning.  This mainly consisted of me trying to keep Elise from poking Belle in the eyes. The incredible quiet gave me a few minutes to reflect on the past 5 years.

Five years ago, almost to the day, I thought I was going to die.  Brian and I went to see my doctor to get the medical ok to have children.  This appointment did not go at all as planned.  My heart was not functioning properly.  I needed to have very extensive surgery, stop working, and get my affairs in order.  …not exactly the fun day imagining our future children we had in mind.

The year that followed was the hardest year of my life.  But, I got better and that hard time, laser-focused my priorities.  I wanted to get healthy so I could serve my family better.

October is lung health month, so I encourage you moms (and dads) to make your health a priority too.  Is there anything you can do around your home this month to increase your family’s lung health?  Are you still burning candles indoors, using incense, or plug in “scents”?  Give it up for a month.  Could you vacuum a little more, or add a HEPA filter to your vacuum?  For those with asbestos in the home, read this for what you should and shouldn’t do.  Asbestos can cause a type of cancer called mesothelioma, if not handled properly.  If you are smoking, make this the month to quit!  Did you know that If you were to stretch out the breathing surface of your lungs, it would be the size of a tennis court.  That is a heck of an area to expose to the yuckies in the air.  Also, women and children take more breaths per hour than men do.  That’s even more reason we moms need to make sure our air is clean.

This week, the kids and I are going to go for a walk in the forest and talk about how the trees clean our air.  We will also blow up balloons to learn about how lungs work.  We’ll then use the balloons for indoor “volley-soccer”…because that’s what you do when your oldest is 3 years old.

Kids hate squash?? No more.

We have a local organic farmers around here that delivery mixed fruits and veggies each week.  This week, we got spaghetti squash.  I know it’s healthy, but we are not huge fans of squash around here.  However, I’ve found a recipe that gets the kids eating it by the bowlful!

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Preheat your oven to 350F.  Cut your squash in half.  Have the kids scoop out the seeds and squishy stuff.  Rub the insides with butter, a couple tbsps of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Place the halves, cut side up.  Cover in aluminum foil.  Bake for about 90 minutes, until soft.  Use a fork to scoop out.

You could try broiling it for a couple minutes without foil  to caramelize the top.  I also might swap brown sugar for maple syrup next time… no idea how that would turn out though.

Enjoy!

Cookies for Breakfast??

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We are having some real challenges getting to church on time lately.  …. we’re not getting there a few minutes after it starts  …we’re barely getting there before it’s over.

Last weekend, we tried getting up earlier… but with all the last minute stuff we needed to do… pottying, drink, dirty diaper, nursing…. all of a sudden, late again.

This week, I want to try dressing the kids before breakfast, and having a no-mess breakfast.  The answer: breakfast cookies.

We test drove the recipe today, and evidently, a bunch were gone before I could even take a picture.

Pecan Maple Breakfast Cookies

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 c rolled oats (we used quick oats)

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 c applesauce

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp of butter (softened)

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375F.  Grease a cookie sheet (we used parchment paper instead).  Whisk dry ingredients, except pecans.  In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to mix wet ingredients.  While mixing on a low speed, add dry to the wet.  Use a spatula to blend in pecans.  Drop onto prepped cookie sheet, and bake for 8-9 minutes, until golden.

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This recipe can be found, along with many amazing recipes, on a favourite recipe website of mine www.100daysofrealfood.com.

These cookies were delicious! It was also easy enough to let the kids help.

Postpartum belly band… worth the investment?

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Have you had a baby or are you about to pop that first baby out?  Have you checked out the post baby belly picture gallery on babycenter.com?  After looking at some wrinkly, stretch marked, pendulous tummies you might be scared. … dare I say it… for good reason. *gasp*

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(but clearly totally worth it!)

You may or may not have heard about this trend of wrapping your belly post partum.  Is it going to undoubtedly get you back into your pre-baby jeans a few weeks later.  I’m going to go with – no.

This pregnancy, facing my third c-section in 3 years I wanted two things.  I wanted people not to innocently ask me “when are you due”, while I am holding my 1 month old baby.  And I wanted less back pain postpartum.  With my first two pregnancies, within a few days of leaving the hospital, I was in tears putting on my underwear, (not just cuz they were that uh-gly) and needed help walking to the bathroom.  … giving birth is so glamorous.

I dove right in to this trend.  I bought the least expensive option though.  It went on as soon as I got home from the hospital.  I noticed right away that it really helped reduce the uterine bulge within days.  So I didn’t look pregnant!!  I felt a lot more confident leaving the house.  Mission accomplished.  I also felt a lot of relief on my back, and had little to no back discomfort.  When I wasn’t wearing it, I really noticed how much support it was providing me.  The long stashed away chiropractor inside me was smiling.

The negatives I found were that it was very weird to wear the band underneath clothes.  There were a lot of strange lumps and bumps.  There were also a few times that I found it irritated my c-section incision.

When I ordered my belly band, I also got a hip binder.  I would not recommend wasting your money on this.  I really really really wanted to love the product, because these hips just keep widening to prepare for natural births that never happen.  These hips DO lie (ack, sorry, couldn’t resist).  I could never get it to stay in place, and it was too annoying to remove every time I had to use the bathroom. … let’s face it, with 2 toddlers and a newborn, this lady does not need any more hassles trying to pee!

Now, at just over 6 weeks postpartum, do I look any different than the other two deliveries? …. Nope. But would I do it again? Definitely. I was a lot more comfortable chasing little people around.

As a disclaimer, I wore the belly band 24 hours a day, from about 3 days postpartum, until I hit 5 weeks postpartum. At 5 weeks, I started to wean myself of the postpartum wrap.  At 6 weeks postpartum, I was happy to completely ditch the belly band.