12/30/18

Simplifying My Way Into 2019

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Image from our last trip to Friday Harbor, WA. Click HERE to view more

I always strive to find the perfect balance and seek simplicity. Several of my posts and writings seem to always circle back to a common theme; a goal of minimizing the clutter in my life (both literally and figuratively) and focusing on how to embrace the simple life that is filled with meaning and purpose.

So what do all these words exactly mean?
What exactly is balance? What does it mean to simplify your life?

Honestly, I don't have an answer. It's something I take a day at a time and figure out as I go.

I do know one thing, I have made a conscious effort to minimize the amount of "stuff" in my home and this progress has brought me a sense of calmness. With less clutter in your life there is less anxiety and stress. These days, I make mindful purchases. I always ask myself, do I like what I am buying, do I need this item, does it serve a purpose to me, my home or my family? If the answer is no, then chances are I don't really need to make that purchase. Yes, it is partly about spending my money wisely, but it is also about respecting my home and only bringing in items that I enjoy and need. Bringing new items into my home should offer joy and excitement.

One area I need to concentrate on is being more mindful of those around me. While we can simplify the environment that surrounds us, we can also simply our relationships. Just like our home, those too can become cluttered. And as I mentioned above, often times with clutter comes anxiety and stress. My goal for 2019 is to release any expectations that I have of others. I often find myself getting upset with others because of their actions or lack of actions, for the words they choose to use or not use and the simple fact that their priorities don't align with mine. I need to accept others for who they are, I need to accept all of their qualities. And if their values differ than mine and if they bring negativity into my life and my family, then it's okay to give that relationship space.

We've all heard the quote "Think positive, be positive & positive things will happen." Well, yes, that is true. But it is more than that. You can think away all you want, but you need to act. If you want positivity in your life, go out and make it happen. Make changes. Become a better person. Surround yourself with positive people. Eat healthy. Get fit. Live intentionally. Live with a purpose.

And if doing this takes simplifying and clearing away the clutter in your life, whether it's objects or relationships, then make that change happen.

"If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living."
Gail Sheehy

12/13/18

Holiday Bliss Balls | SCD* Paleo

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*This recipe was originally featured in Babiekins Magazine 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Now that the holidays are here that means our homes will be filled with plenty of sweets and treats. As a healthy alternative, we love to keep bliss balls on hand! These healthy treats are a great snack that can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer, making them the perfect grab-and-go holiday dessert. They are packed with fiber, minerals and vitamins and are an excellent source to incorporating nuts, seeds and healthy fats into your family’s diet.

HOLIDAY BLISS BALLS
Yield: 24 balls

INGREDIENTS
1 cup almonds, cashews or macadamia nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
20 medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbs coconut oil
¼ cup cocoa powder*
optional toppings: pistachios, almond slivers, dried rose petals, sea salt, dark chocolate*, cacao powder*, coconut flakes, dragon fruit powder

DIRECTIONS
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Add all the ingredients to a food a processor and pulse until fully combined. The mixture should be slightly sticky and hold together when pinched between your fingers.
3. Roll into one inch size balls and roll in your desired toppings or dip in melted chocolate and then sprinkle your toppings on top.
4. Place bliss balls in the frig or freezer to set.
5. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month.

**Omit these items to make SCD compliant

12/5/18

A Holiday Gift Guide With Petit Collage

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Now that the holidays are here, I strive to stay focused on the true meaning of the season. But I fully admit, I absolutely enjoy shopping for others, yet I often catch myself purchasing items just to buy something for someone. I have decided that I don't want to fall into that trap this year. I want to center myself around meaningful purchases that are not only unique and special, but ethical and sustainable. By choosing environmentally-friendly materials, we are focusing on high quality, eco-friendly products.

Petit Collage founder, collage artist Lorena Siminovich, created an earth-friendly company that focuses on materials crafted from recycled cardboard to FSC-certified wood and soy-based inks. Petit Collage avoids plastic and their products are designed with the health of children, and the planet, in mind. They have so many beautifully crafted products to choose from, and below are just a few of my favorite!

And, use code: Elizabethmjacob to save an exclusive 15% off at petitcollage.com.

1. Pop-out and Build Pirate Ship Playset
2. My Crafty Toy Camera Kit
3. Forest 5pc Bamboo Mealtime Set
4. Outer Space Puzzle
5. Carnival Play Set
6. Wooden Xylophone Musical Toy
7. Little Miss Mermaid Growth Chart
8. You Know What I Love? Picture Book
9. Mighty Dinosaurs Stickers
10. Pop-Out and Build Paris
11. Bunny Organic Chime Ball
12. Superheroes Magnetic Builder


Petit Collage | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
*This post is created in partnership with Petit Collage

11/28/18

A Day In Chicago | Eating SCD + Paleo

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Last year, Jonas had the opportunity to play with a national premier soccer team. It was an exciting adventure that he fully embraced, even though it came with several challenges. Our home field was about 45 minutes from our house, but we often practiced at various locations in Cleveland, which was easily an hour plus drive. But the good thing about driving to a city is that I could hit up Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, which I did often. Probably too often. Another one of the perks of this elite team was the travel, although at the end of the season I certainly was not calling it a perk. We traveled to Minneapolis, St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and even as far as Dallas for a showcase. But for some reason, it seemed like we visited Chicago the most.

One of our final games of the season happened to fall on the last week of school, and you guessed right, it was in Chicago! We decided to pack up the car on a Thursday night, take my mom with us, and head for the Windy City. While the drive is very doable in one day (about seven hours) we stayed in South Bend so we could wake up early and drive straight to the city. One thing I learned from this year of intense travel was how to pack efficiently for an athlete who follows strict dietary guidelines. We ate breakfast at the hotel and lunch on the road, the cooler was packed and we were loaded up with tons of snacks, all of which met the requirements for SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet.)

BREAKFAST
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 almond flour pancake topped with butter and honey
Strawberries, blackberries, bananas
*This was prepared at home before we left.
Here is my recipe for waffles, which could easily be made into pancakes, although I have yet to try.

LUNCH
Turkey & cheese sandwiches made with Liberated Specialty Foods bread, lettuce and Primal mayo
Carrots and sliced cucumbers
Homemade trail mix
Frozen grapes

SNACKS
Fruit Strips
Freedom Bars
Homemade Bliss Balls
Oloves

We headed straight for the Field Museum and spent about three hours touring there. Since we had a hearty lunch in the car, we knew we could squeeze in another activity so we decided to visit the Shedd Aquarium. Doing two museums back-to-back makes for a long day, but it was worth it! Make sure to check with your local museums about a discount at affiliate locations. With our membership to the McKinley Museum, we receive entrance into the Field Museum for free!

After a long day, we knew we needed some healthy fuel for the drive to the hotel. We embraced our Spanish heritage and sought out a tapas restaurant. Tapas Valencia was a short distance from the museums and offered creative Spanish tapas, unique cocktails and a lively atmosphere with walls adorned in multi-colored mosaic artwork reminiscent of the art of the great Spanish artists Joan Miro and Antoni Gaudí! I spoke with our server and went over the details of our lifestyle of eating and they were extremely accommodating to our needs! Everything Jonas ordered was cooked special to avoid any non SCD ingredients.

Eating out with strict dietary restrictions is very doable! I have been working on a post for some time and hope to share it here soon, but if you have any questions about eating out while on the SCD, Paleo or other clean-eating lifestyle diet please ask away! I will make sure to include a Q & A in my post.

10/25/18

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie | SCD, PALEO, AIP

SCD PALEO Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
SCD PALEO Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
SCD PALEO Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
SCD PALEO Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Move over apple season, it's now pumpkin season! This Pumpkin Pie Smoothie makes the perfect after-school-treat because it is loaded with healthy fats and nutrients and only takes five minutes to prepare. We all love the rich scents of autumn and, of course, the spices that accompany this season. But do you know all the great benefits of pumpkin?

Health Benefits of Pumpkin
+ It is extremely high in vitamin A, which is key for good vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth.
+ Pumpkins contain antioxidants, which can neutralize free radicals, stopping them from damaging your cells and may protect against certain cancers.
+ Pumpkin is a good source of potassium and vitamin C, which have been linked to heart health benefits.
+ They are a good source of fiber, which helps keep you feeling full and promotes healthy digestion.
+ The phenolic phytochemicals in this superfruit have been shown to control blood sugar levels, and in turn, lower the risk for diabetes.

*More on phytonutrients here.

PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE
SCD, Paleo, AIP, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
2 bananas
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg*
1 tsp vanilla
1 can coconut milk
1 cup ice
2 scoops collagen, optional
2 Tsp. MCT oil, optional

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or vitamix and blend until smooth and creamy.
2. Divide among two glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon.
3. Serve and enjoy!

*Omit the nutmeg to make AIP compliant. Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves are all on the AIP Diet, but nutmeg is a seed.

10/24/18

Rustic French Apple Tart | SCD, Paleo

SCD PALEO RUSTIC FRENCH APPLE TART
SCD PALEO RUSTIC FRENCH APPLE TART
SCD PALEO RUSTIC FRENCH APPLE TART
SCD PALEO RUSTIC FRENCH APPLE TART
SCD PALEO RUSTIC FRENCH APPLE TART
SCD PALEO RUSTIC FRENCH APPLE TART
SCD PALEO RUSTIC FRENCH APPLE TART
"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
F. Scott Fitzgerald


The days are cooler, the evenings darker. The small hints of warmth and summer that have lingered are now officially gone. Just weeks ago, we were sweating under a blazing sun while roaming through the apple orchard filling our baskets far too full. Our freshly picked apple supply is just about gone and we have replaced the blazing sun with the glow of our fireplace.

Over the past couple weeks I have made several batches of applesauce, roasted apples with a butter, caramel sauce, I've made made apple chicken salad, apples baked with brie and, on the simpler side, sliced apples with raw honey.

But what I really wanted to bake was a rustic French apple tart. The perfect dessert for these crisp, autumn days.

The French "tarte Tatin", or tart, was accidentally created at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, about 100 miles south of Paris. This apple pastry was born in the early 1900s by two sisters, Caroline and Stephanie, and soon became a signature dish served at the hotel. While there are some inconsistencies in the history of the tarte tatin, one thing is certain; this upside-down pastry is now a popular dessert served all over the world.

I baked this tarte using Melrose apples, which are a cross between the Jonathan and the Red Delicious.

RUSTIC FRENCH APPLE TART
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free

INGREDIENTS:
Crust
1 egg yolk
2 cups almond flour
8 Tbs unsalted butter (1 stick) cut into small pieces
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs honey
coconut oil to grease the pan

Filling
6 large apples
2 Tbs butter or ghee
3 Tbs honey
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using coconut oil, grease a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. I used a 14 x 4 inch tart pan.
2. In a food processor, combine the almond flour and salt and pulse to combine. Add the honey and cubed butter and process until it resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Add the egg yolk and pulse to combine, but be careful not to over process the dough.
4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Pat the dough evenly over the bottom and sides of your prepared pan or roll the dough between two sheets of parchment and flip into the pan.
6. Par bake crust for 7-10 min, I suggest using pie weights, although it is not necessary. The dough will rise a bit, gently press back down with the back of a spoon.
7. While the crust par bakes, prepare the filling. Using 5 of the apples, peel and cut into pieces. Add 2 tablespoons of butter of ghee to a pan over medium heat and cook the apples down. Add the salt, vanilla and honey and continue to cook until they are soft.
8. Strain the apples. You can save the access liquid for a syrup or baking.
9. Add the cooked apples, which will resemble a chunky applesauce, to the tart. Top with the remaining apple, making sure it is evenly sliced and peeled, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
10. Bake for another 10-12 minutes. If you notice the sides are browning you can wrap them in aluminum foil.
11. Store in an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap (Bees wrap is even better- for the earth at least!). It will last for up to a few days in the refrigerator, although ours never made it that long!



10/16/18

PUMPKIN WAFFLES | Gluten-Free, SCD, Paleo

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*This post was originally created for Babiekins Magazine

There is something magical about autumn time in Ohio. The crisp earthy scent of leaves and wood that fill the air, the spices of vanilla and cinnamon that seem to always linger, and the bold, velvety colors that paint the landscapes. Autumn in Ohio is a true treasure that invokes all the senses. It’s only natural that we embrace this time of year and carry it into our homes, into our kitchen.

Since we don’t eat gluten in our home (and a long list of other foods due to my son’s Crohn’s disease and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that we follow) we came up with this simple, gluten-free pumpkin pancake recipe using almond flour, autumn spices and, of course, pumpkin!

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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GLUTEN-FREE PUMPKIN WAFFLES
SCD, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Refined Sugar-Free
yield: 4 -6 servings

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pumpkin
3 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
coconut oil to grease the waffle maker

Instructions:
1. Preheat your waffle maker.
2. In a medium bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, add the pumpkin, eggs, honey and vanilla and whisk.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix.
5. Grease your waffle maker and add 1/4 cup of the batter and cook until lightly browned.
6. Serve with warm honey syrup and enjoy!

HONEY APPLE CIDER SYRUP

SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup honey (more if you desire)
3 Tbs butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Combine all ingredients and blend well with a whisk.
2. Pour over waffles. Store remaining syrup in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

9/24/18

Grilled Lamb with Cucumber, Tomato, Feta Salad | SCD

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Did you know that vitamin B12 is absorbed by the terminal ileum, which is the end of the small intestine? The ileum also happens to be a common location affected by Crohn's disease. When the disease affects this portion of the bowel, it is very possible that the patient will not absorb enough B12 to meet their bodies needs. When Jonas was first diagnosed with Crohn's, he was deficient in several minerals and vitamins, including the B vitamins.

So why is B12 so important?

The human body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, nerves, DNA, and carry out other functions to keep the nervous system healthy. Like most vitamins, B12 can’t be made by the body. Instead, it must be absorbed from food or supplements. Plants don’t make vitamin B12. The only foods that deliver it are meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products, and other foods from animals. Strict vegans tend to be at high risk for developing a B12 deficiency, which is why they should include B12 fortified foods (like almond and coconut milks, nutritional yeast, cereals and grains) into their diet and consider a supplement. Conditions that interfere with food absorption, like celiac or Crohn’s disease, can cause B12 issues. Those who take prescribed heartburn medications are also at risk for B12 deficiency because the acid production is reduced in the stomach yet the acid is needed to absorb the B12.

Some common symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include: tiredness, lethargy, dizziness, breathlessness, change in vision and anemia. And more severe symptoms include: numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, difficulty walking, altered taste, difficulty thinking and reasoning (cognitive difficulties), psychological problems or memory loss.

In most, a vitamin B12 deficiency can be prevented. Try to include foods that are packed with this essential B vitamin. Beef, turkey, clams, oysters, chicken, trout, and salmon are all B12 superstars. Lamb is an excellent source of protein and vital nutrients like iron, zinc, selenium AND vitamin B12. If including these foods in your diet just doesn't cut it, you may want to consider a supplement. Remember, only take a supplement under a doctors guidance and only take what you are deficient in. Since Jonas' diagnosis in 2014, we have been able to transition from a straight B12 vitamin to a multi-vitamin. He currently takes Metabolic Synergy under the care of the Cleveland Clinic's Functional Medicine.

If you are concerned about a vitamin B12 deficiency, consult your General Practitioner or primary care physician and inquire about possible testing to confirm a diagnosis.

GRILLED LAMB with CUCUMBER, TOMATO, FETA SALAD
SCD, Gluten-Free, Paleo*
yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Salad
2 large tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 small red onion
juice of two lemons
2 Tbs. olive oil
salt + pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta

Lamb
4 lamb chops, I used a shoulder chop for this recipe
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne (more or less, depending on the level of spice you want)
fresh mint for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. In a small bowl, combine the spices and pre-heat the grill.
2. Brush the lamb chops with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with the spice mixture. Set aside while you make the salad.
3. Chop the tomatoes, peppers and onions and place into a large mixing bowl. Toss with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside while you grill the lamb chops.
4. Grill the lamb directly on the racks at a medium heat, about 5 minutes on each side.
5. Plate up each bowl by adding the salad, sprinkled with feta and mint, and adding the grilled lamb on top.
6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

*To make this dish Paleo, simply omit the feta.
*According the BTVC (Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall)fetal is illegal, but may be used after about 6 months of improvement. But used only in small amounts.

Make sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram and tag me using #kickncrohns

8/31/18

Summer Gazpacho with Heirloom Tomatoes | SCD, Paleo, Vegan

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One of the greatest treasures that Ohio has to offer are their fresh, homegrown summer tomatoes. Did you know that Ohio is the third-largest producer of tomatoes in the United States, harvesting over 6,000 acres of tomatoes annually? And that Ohio designated tomatoes as the official state fruit of Ohio in 2009 and tomato juice has been the official state beverage of Ohio since 1965?

In our family, tomatoes take on more meaning because one of our restaurants most famous dishes is the classic "Bender's Tomato," which consists of hand-selected tomatoes topped with dry blue cheese, basil, parsley, red onion and a homemade Italian dressing. Over the years of owning and operating the restaurant, my father-in-law has become a tomato connoisseur and has traveled all over Ohio in search of the perfect tomato.

With the current trends of farmer's markets, farm-to-table restaurants and eat local campaigns, almost everyone has heard the term heirloom tomatoes.
But what exactly makes a tomato an heirloom?

Characteristics of an Heirloom Tomato:
Heirlooms are open pollinated and must be able to reproduce from seed, which means they are pollinated by insects, bird and animals or the wind. Not by human intervention. On the other hand, hybrid tomatoes are pollinated with human intervention and are created for consistency, commercial characteristics and transport for distribution. Therefore, these hybrids are genetically modified.

The seeds of an heirloom tomato have been passed down from generation to generation in a particular region and are rich in history. Every heirloom variety is genetically unique and inherent in this uniqueness is an evolved resistance to pests and diseases and an adaptation to specific growing conditions and climates, making their characteristics dependent on the region of origin.

Heirlooms often vary in color, shape, texture and size and, depending on the species, flavors can be full, rich, meaty and sweet.

Be aware of what you are buying, especially since heirlooms come with a higher price tag. Large farms often market their tomatoes and piggy-back off the heirloom hype and sell an inferior product that most likely isn't even a traditional heirloom. Just because a tomato is labeled "heirloom" doesn't automatically mean that the tomatoes were grown locally, organically, or in any way that you might associate with the traditional traits of an heirloom. Know your farmers and try to stay local!

Even better, grow your own!

SUMMER GAZPACHO WITH HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan
yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:
2.5 pounds heirloom tomatoes, core removed and cut into large pieces
½ small white onion, cut into pieces
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into pieces
½ yellow pepper, cut
1 garlic clove, diced
1 small jalapeño, sliced (optional)
3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for garnish
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
salt
pepper
fresh basil, chopped

Garnish Ingredients:
Basil
cracked black pepper
chopped peppers
diced cherry tomatoes
drizzle of olive oil
Liberated Specialty Foods pizza crust, toasted in the oven and broken into wedges

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Add tomatoes, onion, cucumber, pepper, garlic and spices to a large bowl and toss with vinegar and olive oil. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature.
2. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth; about 2-3 minutes.
3. Strain through a coarse-mesh sieve into a large bowl or pitcher and chill until cool, about 1 hour.
4. Divide gazpacho among bowls. Top with garnishes of choice. Some options include: chopped basil, cracked black pepper, chopped peppers, diced cherry tomatoes, chopped radishes, a drizzle of olive oil. Mix and match to your palates desire!

Tomato Tip: never refrigerate tomatoes!

5/15/18

Petit Collage | Why I Buy Ethically

Petit Collage
Petit Collage
Petit Collage
Petit Collage
Petit Collage
Petit Collage
Petit Collage
*This post is created in partnership with Petit Collage

We strive to live a simple life. A life filled with clean, good food and quality sustainable products. The idea of a healthy lifestyle goes far beyond what we eat and drink. Our health is impacted by the world around us; the air we breath, the clothes we wear, the products we use on our bodies and the toys we touch and play with.

“But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
Rachel Carson

Part of our journey to live a simple, sustainable life has been to cut out and reduce our plastic consumption. While plastic is a functional and cheap material for toy manufacturing, it can be harmful to the environment and to ourselves, reasons why we try our best to avoid plastics. By choosing environmentally-friendly materials, we are focusing on high quality, eco-friendly products. Did you know that several of the chemicals used to give plastic their flexibility (plasticizers) have been shown to be endocrine disruptors and are linked to the development of tumors, birth defects and developmental disorders? No thanks!

Petit Collage founder, collage artist Lorena Siminovich, created an earth-friendly company that focuses on materials crafted from recycled cardboard to FSC-certified wood and soy-based inks. Petit Collage avoids plastic and their products are designed with the health of children, and the planet, in mind.

We had the opportunity to try a few of their new products, including the 5-piece Eco-Friendly Bamboo Mealtime Set, which is made from natural, renewable, and sustainable bamboo. It is shatterproof and plastic-free (yay!) and the perfect size for little hands. Bamboo is great choice for an eco-friendly material because this particular type of grass grows as tall as a tree in just three years. It has been used for many centuries in China for building furniture, homes and boats. Bamboo toys are perfect for kids because they are durable yet light, flexible and safe.

I also recommend the Animal Band magnetic play set, perfect for those long car rides (which we know too well) and dinners out. The characeters can be mixed and matched and are printed with non-toxic paints. Make sure to head on over to the Petit Collage website and check out all the products they offer!

With the release of their new product line, Petit Collage is also launching a very special campaign: #whyibuyethically. My family chooses to buy ethically because we want to avoid toxins and chemicals that are used in cheap materials, we want to support sustainable, eco-friendly products, we want to focus on renewable materials and we want to invest in pieces that are crafted with value and quality. Why are you passionate about surrounding your family with ethically made, well-designed products? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Petit Collage | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

5/11/18

MATCHA PISTACHIO BARS

MATCHA PISTACHIO BARS
MATCHA PISTACHIO BARS
The weekend is finally here, the air is now warmer and the sun is shining! It's time to celebrate - with matcha pistachio bars! While matcha seems to be on the trend these days, it's important to understand the health benefits that this green tea provides. Forget the green tea bags you purchase at any standard grocery store, matcha is a high-grade, finely ground, concentrated green tea that has been traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies for hundreds of years.

Benefits of Matcha:
+ Extremely high in antioxidants, which will help you to fight off infections and diseases.
+ Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among all the antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial and they are recognized for their cancer fighting properties.
+ It contains the amino acid L-Theanine, which helps balance out the caffeine, and gives a feeling of calmness without the drowsiness. Goodbye caffeine jitters.
+ Combats inflammation, oxidation, and aging.
+ The chlorophyll present in matcha is an excellent detoxifier which helps in cleansing the blood.
+ It is rich in vitamin A, C, E, K, and vitamin B-complex.

MATCHA PISTACHIO BARS
SCD*, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
yield: 6-8 servings

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 TBS coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup pistachios
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tsp matcha powder
1/8 cup honey

Optional for Coating the Bars:
6 ounces 100% dark chocolate
3 TBS honey
2 Tbs coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Blend all ingredients together (I used my Vitamix for this) with the exception of the ingredients for the cocoa coating.
2. Press into a square container lined with parchment. Freeze for one hour.
3. Cut into one inch squares. Enjoy like this OR if you can tolerate cocoa, melt the cocoa in a double broiler. Add the honey and coconut oil and whisk together. Dip the squares until covered. Sprinkle with Himalayan pink salt and crushed pistachios.

*To make these Matcha Pistachio Bars SCD compliant, omit the cocoa coating. You can easily substitute raw cocoa butter (you can purchase here) melted with honey and Himalayan salt.

This post contains affiliate links.

5/9/18

Liberated Specialty Foods Paleo SCD Waffles + A Honey Apple Syrup

Paleo Waffles
Paleo Waffles
Paleo Waffles
Paleo Waffles
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
Mother Teresa

Summer is on the horizon, and while it is so close and within grasp, it sadly feels so far away. We've come to that time of year where, mentally, I have checked out and I'm sure several of you moms out there can relate. I am tired of packing lunches, I'm tired of trying to keep up with the laundry, which I am failing miserably at, I'm tired of cooking and cleaning and I'm tired of driving all over the state (and other states) just to take my kids to sporting events. In fact, I'm just flat out tired.

Naturally, I have some goals for the summer that I would like to accomplish. I would like to take on some home projects; tackle the entry way and remove the wall paper, possibly prepare for some larger home projects, re-organize the pantry and rearrange some flower beds. But secretly? My main goals are to sit pool-side with a stack of books, to enjoy a casual run on my own time, to go outside and play basketball with the boys and not feel rushed, to sit down with my daughter and actually finish a craft together.

We have only today. Let us begin.

As the school year ends, I have decided to ease up on my workload so I can focus my time on my children and home. I love to set aside time to bake and cook in large batches for the week, but honestly, with our soccer schedule I have had no extra time. Thanks to Liberated Specialty Foods, I can still continue our tradition of sitting down to breakfast together without the hassle of cooking and cleaning and sacrificing hours of my time. For those of you who are not familiar with Liberated Specialty Foods, they are a company based out of Alabama who provide processed food that can be consumed by those on special diets like Paleo, SCD and GAPS. Founder Stacey Schlaman and her team of bakers provide you with quality products that do not contain starches, gluten, grains, preservatives, artificial sweeteners or binding agents. They sweeten their goods only with honey, fruit and/or vanilla extract. Not only do they avoid refined sugars, but they don’t use any complex sugars or low calorie sugar substitutes such as stevia, saccharine, aspartame, erythritol, or xylitol. And what you see on the label is what is in the product - no hidden ingredients or manufacturing agents.

I decided to combine Liberated Specialty Foods Waffles with some yummy toppings for the perfect breakfast/brunch that will leave you full and energized for the day. You can easily add any toppings you desire to meet your palette, but we used homemade yogurt blended with dragonfruit powder, pistachios and a mixture of fresh fruit all topped with my go-to syrup that we use year round for waffles and pancakes. From a moms point of view, these pre-made waffles made my life a little bit easier, but from a kids point of view, Jonas would say they are a two thumbs up in the taste department with little to no prep time - always a bonus!

Honey Apple Cider Syrup
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup honey (more if you desire)
3 Tbs butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Combine all ingredients and blend well with a whisk.
2. Pour over waffles. Store remaining syrup in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

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Look for Liberated Specialty Foods in your local health food store!
*This post is in partnership with Liberated Specialty Foods