24 November 2017

Embracing Childhood + Tea Collection Black Friday Sale

Tea Collection
Tea Collection
Tea Collection
Tea Collection
"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again."
Elizabeth Lawrence

Childhood. A time of innocence and freedom. A time to spread your wings and fly into each and every precious moment without a care in the world. A time to get lost in play and wrapped up in wonder. As an adult, don't you ever wish you could travel back in time to this place of purity, to this place that is free from the clutter of our daily lives, and just enjoy the simplicity? I know I can't toss all my responsibilities to the wayside, but I can gently nudge them out of my day for at least a small period of time. I can learn from my children. I can learn to live in the moment. I can learn to embrace imagination. I can learn to clear my mind and just be present.

Ever since my children were babies, I have fully supported Tea Collection, a globally inspired clothing line that produces well made, beautiful pieces. Their clothes are designed for all of life's adventures, big and small, and they are the kind of clothes kids love to wear. Honestly! Their styles are original and inventive yet fun and approachable. They are colorful and bold, playful and wearable. While I am a Tea Collection Ambassador, these opinions are completely my own. There are very few companies I have been loyal to for so long, but Tea is certainly one of them! Their clothing line is functional, wearable, fashionable and affordable. What else could a mom ask for?

As a Tea Ambassador, I'm excited to share with you Black Friday Sale! Shop dozens of outfits (Like these!) for just $15 and under at Tea’s Black Friday Sale, now through 11/25. You won't want to miss this opportunity to stock up on some beautiful pieces for your little one! And maybe even cross off some holiday shopping.

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*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

20 November 2017

Baked Brie with Cranberry Chutney + Almonds | SCD

Baked Brie with Cranberry Chutney
Baked Brie with Cranberry Chutney
Baked Brie with Cranberry Chutney
Baked Brie with Cranberry Chutney
Baked Brie with Cranberry Chutney
“Give me a good sharp knife and a good sharp cheese and I’m a happy man.”
George R.R. Martin

No holiday party is complete without an appetizer of brie cheese. Because this cheese is mild and versatile, it's the perfect choice for holiday cheese platters and pairs well with acidic dressings, like this cranberry chutney recipe below. To compliment the richness of this cheese, pair it with a creamy, subtly oaked Chardonnay and you will have a foolproof hors d'oeuvre to serve!

My kids always ask if they can eat the white rind of Brie cheese and the answer is yes, the rind is edible and is a matter of preference. While some people enjoy the earthy and nutty flavor it gives to the cheese, others, like my kids, prefer the creamy insides instead. While Brie cheese is allowed on the SCD diet (the Specific Carboyhyrate Diet) it is advised to eat it in moderation.

SCD, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free
yield: serves 6-10

1 cup water
12 ounces cranberries
1 Tbs orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup honey
1 wheel of Brie cheese
1/4 cup almond slivers
rosemary twigs for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are throughly cooked.
3. Set aside to cool.
4. Place the Brie in a small skillet or round baking dish (I used this Brie baker)and top with the cranberry chutney.
5. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the Brie has started to melt.
6. Remove from the oven, garnish with slivered almonds and rosemary twigs.
7. Serve with these Gluten-Free Rosemary Crackers.

16 November 2017

Gluten-Free Rosemary Crackers | SCD + Paleo

Gluten-Free Rosemary Crackers
Gluten-Free Rosemary Crackers
Gluten-Free Rosemary Crackers
Gluten-Free Rosemary Crackers

One of the most difficult challenges we face on the SCD diet (the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) is the absence of a good sourdough bread or a crisp cracker. I'm sure if you asked my son he could easily add to the list of foods we miss, but the occasional bread and crackers are high on my personal list. While we love our clean eating lifestyle, baking with almond flour just isn't the same, and my son knows it. While this space is dedicated to our journey with Crohn's disease, clean eating and healthy foods that heal I also need to be honest with you and with myself. I've tried several bread recipes and I always end up with the same conclusion; my son doesn't like bread made with almond flour. I've tried a couple cracker recipes and I got a shrug of the shoulder and a "They're okay," reaction. Fair enough. I know when to stop and put the flour away.

But here we are with the holidays right around the corner. Cucumbers make a great alternative to crackers for dips or charcuterie and cheese boards, but it would be nice to serve these artisan dishes with something of a bit more substance and texture. Almond flour makes a good base for SCD and paleo breads and crackers, but cutting it with another nut flour is always a great alternative. With these crackers I decided to try hazelnut flour which has a rich, buttery flavor and would compliment the almond flour and spices well. Hazelnuts are high in vitamins E and B. While vitamin E is important in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails, the B vitamins are important in proper cell function and allow our bodies to stay energized all day. Hazelnuts are also a rich source of potassium, calcium and magnesium.

SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegetarian
yield: 2 dozen crackers

1 cup hazelnut flour
1 cup almond flour
2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary

1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
2. Gather the dough into a ball and place between two pieces of parchment paper.
3. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle shape that is 1/8 inch in thickness.
4. Remove the top parchment and carefully transfer the bottom parchment to a baking sheet.
5. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the edges of the dough to make straight edges and then score the dough into a grid so it is made up of several small squares.
6. Bake the crackers at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven. Make sure they are nice and brown but not burnt.
7. Remove and let cool. Break the crackers into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

15 November 2017

Butternut Squash Casserole | SCD + Paleo

Butternut Squash Casserole
Butternut Squash Casserole
Butternut Squash Casserole

The holidays are right around the corner and I'm trying my best to come up with new ideas and recipes for the season. We are more than two years in to following the SCD diet and we continue to adhere to it. Our long term goal still remains the same; get off the meds and use diet alone to control my son's Crohn's disease. A goal that I firmly believe is attainable. Unfortunately, while the holidays bring joy and excitement, they also bring anxiety, temptation and serious discipline while following a strict anti-inflammatory diet. As a parent, I try and make this season as easy as possible for my family, even if it means working extra time.

I'm trying out some new recipes this week and attempting to get creative in the kitchen! Wish me luck. If you have any suggestions or requests I'm all ears. This is my butternut squash casserole recipe from last year. I thought about switching it up, but the kids gave it a thumbs up so it remains the same.

SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegetarian
yield: 8-10 servings

3 medium butternut squash, cut in half and de-seeded
3 tbs. olive oil
1 can full fat coconut milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup honey (you can use more if you prefer a sweeter dish)
1 tsp. Himalayan salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup organic butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Place the butternut squash halves on cookie sheets and drizzle with olive oil. Cook at 385 degrees until soft when pierced with a fork.
2. Once the squash has cooled scoop out the insides and place in a mixing bowl or food processor.
3. Add the coconut milk, eggs, spices and honey and mix with an electric mixer. I like to use my food processor for this step.
4. Place the mixture in a 9 x 12 casserole dish.
5. To make the topping combine the ingredients and mix, crumble the topping over the casserole.
6. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden on top.

10 November 2017


photo by Mallory + Justin Photography

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
Thomas Edison

The Weekly Roundup is a well-curated selection of insightful articles related to health, clean-eating, the gut microbiome, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, a Paleo lifestyle, simple living, positive parenting and delicious recipes.

We did it! We officially made it through our insanely busy fall season. In a matter of five weeks we traveled to Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Dallas and Chicago for Jonas' Internationals Academy soccer team. And if that's not crazy enough, our other son traveled for his soccer team and we still managed to keep up the good grades, play piano, squeeze in a session of gymnastics and ballet for Jessica. Sometimes I think we're absolutely insane, but then I see the look on Jonas'face when he takes the field and the determination in his eyes and I know we made the right decision. This transition to a new premier team has challenged and pushed him in ways he needed. And most importantly, he's healthy and capable of balancing the strict requirements of soccer and the demands of school.

Enjoy the weekend! No traveling for us, just a couple local soccer games and ballet rehearsal for the Nutcracker performance.

1. This video is a great preview to Internationals Soccer Club Boys U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Jonas tried out for the U13 Academy team over the summer and when he made it we made the decision to go for it. The travel is challenging and the practices are not exactly convenient because they are far away, but it's been a good transition.

2. Now this is scary! Glyphosate Found in All 5 Major Orange Juice Brands. For those who don't know what glyphosate is, it is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant. It is an organophosphorus compound, specifically a phosphonate. It is used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops. It's also known as Roundup. It's a hot debate on whether glyphosate poses a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through food. I encourage you to do your own research, but personally my family STEERS CLEAR of this herbicide. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to pass on my glass of OJ that's blended with chemicals.

3. What drug is the most addictive, least regulated, and most widely endorsed by our culture? Not heroin or cocaine. Not tobacco. Not even alcohol. Can you guess? Read this article and learn more about America's drug of choice.

4. Harvard study shows how intermittent fasting and manipulating mitochondrial networks may increase lifespan.

5. Modified is a first-person documentary-memoir that questions why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not labeled on food products in Canada and the United States, despite being labeled in 64 countries around the world. I'm looking forward to watching this film as it continues to spread the word on GMOs and the food industry. You can follow along on Facebook for updates and info on releases.

5. Nine Year Study Finally Explains The Relationship Between Sugar And Cancer.

08 November 2017

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup | SCD, Paleo

SCD Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
SCD Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
SCD Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
SCD Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
“People who love to eat are always the best people.”
Julia Child

There is a crispness in the air that lingers throughout our days and the nights are getting darker well before dinnertime. Winter is approaching and the season for comfort food and hearty meals has arrived. With the change of the season comes the change of our schedule; outdoor soccer turns to indoor and futsal, ballet focuses on the Nutcracker performance, basketball starts and we slowly prepare for ski season. While the bitterness of winter wears on me, there are some moments of this snowy season that I absolutely enjoy. The magical excitement of the Nutcracker, early mornings huddled under fleece blankets and hot coffee in hand to watch the first soccer game of the day, a quick afternoon getaway for a solo cross-country ski adventure in the park, the warm glow of the fire, the scent of vanilla and holiday spices.

But with these seasonal treasures we juggle a chaotic schedule with activities every single day. Our hearty meals and comfort foods need to be easily prepped, made ahead of time and sometimes taken on the go. My go-to meals for winter are filling soups and anything made in the crockpot. This Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is so rich and creamy you'll find it very filling and full of flavor. To make it vegan, simply omit the ghee and honey and swap out vegetable broth in place of bone broth.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
SCD, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan (optional)
yield: 6-8 servings

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped in large pieces
2 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 apple, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbs ghee or butter
2 cups bone broth
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
1 Tbs honey
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbs cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

yogurt blended with 1 tsp honey
coconut milk
toasted pepitas

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. On a roasting sheet, layout carrots tossed with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. On a second baking sheet, place the squash face down with 1/8 cup of water.
3. Bake the carrots and squash until soft when pierced with a fork and slightly golden. Scoop the squash out of the skin and set aside.
4. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
5. Once hot, add oil, onions and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Add the apple and cook until soft.
7. Add butternut squash and carrot mix and season with salt and pepper, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the butter, stir and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Add bone broth, coconut milk and honey. Bring to a low boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Allow the soup to cool and transfer to a blender, I like to use my Vitamix, and purée until creamy and smooth. Return soup back to pot and heat up if needed.
9. Taste to adjust seasonings. You can also adjust the thickness by adding more bone broth.
10. Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk or a dollop of yogurt and toasted pumpkin seeds.