Lifestyle

Vitamin D and its Importance

Vitamin D and its Importance

Hello sunshine! Let’s talk about vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. New research shows that vitamin D plays a role in the prevention of chronic diseases.  These include cancer, heart disease, depression, autoimmune disease, and type 2 diabetes. According to the latest research, over half the population could be deficient in this important Vitamin.

Vitamin D and its Importance: Sources of Vitamin D

The sun is a great source of vitamin D, but unfortunately with our modern society many of us do not get adequate exposure. We also have to worry about the damage that the sun may cause.  Skin cancer is scary and when we protect ourselves from the sun with sunscreen, we are also blocking our vitamin D exposure. Additionally, many individuals may find that they have genetic mutations that prevent proper synthesis of vitamin D. This may make them continue to test low in vitamin D despite sun exposure.

Vitamin D and its Importance: How to Test Levels

Vitamin D is  fat soluble, meaning it can be toxic if taken in excess in supplemental form. It is important to have your doctor check your levels to make sure you are within the desired range. The best lab test is a 25 d hydroxyvitamin d blood test. You can get this through your regular doctor or if you prefer, you can order this without a doctor.   Check out quest diagnostics for more information.  There are also tests that can be done with a finger prick and sent off without having to go to a lab, if you are interested in this click here. 

Vitamin D and its Importance: Supplementation options

I choose safe sun exposure, limiting the amount of time I am outside and avoiding mid day sun, as it is the strongest.  I also supplement with vitamin D3 and added K2 as these two vitamins work synergistically for better absorption. I am linking a few of my favorite supplements below. After supplementing be sure to continue to check your levels, especially during the winter as they can drastically change. As always please be sure to contact your doctor before taking this or any medication.

https://amzn.to/2YyufW0

Vitamin K2 + D3 with Organic Coconut Oil for Better Absorption | 2-in-1 Support for Your Heart, Bones & Teeth | Vegan Certified, GMO & Gluten Free (60 Veggie Softgels)

https://amzn.to/2YslMnc

Vitamin D3 with K2 Liquid Drops, All Natural, Non GMO, 1208IU D3 and 25mcg K2 (MK7) Per Serving, Strengthen Bones, Boost Immune System and Energy Levels, with or Without Peppermint Oil

I love that this is an oil which is great for those who want to avoid taking a pill. One drop is 303% of your daily value.  This is great for those who may only need around 1000 IU, or need more on the days where they are not exposed to sun and less on the others.

Check out my previous post on Magnesium and how to get more of it.

Whats up Wingo:

I hope you all have had a great week so far.  Stay tuned for Friday’s Foodie Friday post as I have a recipe that you wont want to miss.  Keep the conversation going let me know how you all are doing and what you have been up to this week.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link. Thank you for your support.
Recipes, Uncategorized

The Best Gluten Free Salmon Cakes

White plate salmon cakes and remolaude dipping sauce

The Best Gluten Free Salmon Cakes: for Foodie Friday

I hope everyone has had a good week and is looking forward to the weekend. Today I have a recipe for you that features the best gluten free salmon cakes. Growing up my mom frequently made salmon cakes and they were always a big hit. I didn’t realize just how simple and healthy those lovely golden brown patties could be. Now that I am gluten free I find these as a super easy go to meal when I need to get a little more fatty fish into my families diet. Stay tuned for the recipe, but first I’m going to tell you a little bit about why you need to make these cakes.

The Best Gluten Free Salmon Cakes: High in Omega 3s

Salmon is considered a fatty fish and it is high in Omega 3s. As I have mentioned in a previous post Omega 3s are essential to our diet. Essential fatty acids are those that can not be made within the body but instead are obtained through our diet. Eating fatty fish a few times a week is a great way to ensure that you are getting adequate levels of omega 3s. The only problem with this is cooking fish the same old way can get super boring. In comes the Salmon Cake to the recipe rut rescue.

The Best Gluten Free Salmon Cakes: Family Friendly Recipe

This recipe is not only healthy and easy but is family friendly. It can be difficult to get kids to eat fish at times especially fish with a stronger flavor like Salmon. This recipe is definitely kid friendly and once you add my Remolaude sauce it will be a big hit.

The Best Gluten Free Salmon Cakes: Ingredients

cutting board with sliced lemon garlic and red onion

For this recipe you will need the following:

For the cakes: Serves four to six

  • four 6 oz cans salmon skinless boneless. Wild caught is the best
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 1 egg
  • salt pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • a splash of lemon juice
  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1 tbsp parsley dried
  • 1 tbsp old bay seasoning or seafood seasoning of choice
  • 1/3 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs plus more for dredging
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil for frying the cakes

Remolaude Sauce ingredients: You may want to double your recipe its just that good

  • 2 cloves garlic finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion finely diced
  • 1 tbsp relish I used dill
  • dash hot sauce. I prefer franks
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • dash of pepper and old bay seasoning

The Best Gluten Free Salmon Cakes: Directions

Remolaude Sauce:

This sauce can be made ahead and actually tastes better if done so. However if you are in a hurry it is still delicious if made right before serving.

Finely dice 2 cloves garlic and two tablespoons onion place in a medium bowl. Add relish, mayo, Dijon mustard, dash of hot sauce, half of lemon that is juiced, and spices. Stir all to combine.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

bowl of remolaude sauce on counter top

Directions for the Cakes:

Start by draining your salmon place into a medium to large bowl. To the bowl add one egg, 1/2 cup diced red onion, splash of lemon juice, spices, and salt and pepper to taste.

Next add in 1/2 cup of almond flour and 1/3 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs. Combine the ingredients and refrigerate for about 10 minutes. After refrigeration If you find your mixture to be do dry add an extra egg or if to moist add addition bread crumbs. Use your hands to form into patties however large or small you prefer.

Fill the bottom of a plate with some additional bread crumbs and dredge your patties in the bread crumbs and press to coat flip and press on additional side.

To Fry:

Put two tablespoons of coconut oil in a frying pan and heat to medium high heat. If you do not like the taste of coconut use refined coconut oil instead of unrefined. You can also use a different oil of choice.

Once your oil is warm add your patties in a single layer pan fry until golden brown. Flip and fry on additional side.

Once cooked through and golden brown place on paper towel lined plate to absorb extra grease.

Serve along side coleslaw or sweet potato fries and enjoy!

Check out my other recipes for more salmon inspiration.

Foodie Friday: Cobb Salad With a Twist

Whats Up Wingo

I hope you all had a great week and enjoy your weekend. We plan to do some swimming this weekend and I hope to get my closet organized. We recently bought a Eufy which is a robotic vacum cleaner for the upstairs Ill place a link below if you are interested.

https://amzn.to/2ywAPN4

As you can see I am feeling the need to purge and clean. Coming up next on the blog I have a few posts planned. One is all about vitamin d and my breastfeeding series is still in the works. Hope you all have a great weekend let me know in the comments how you plan to spend it.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link. Thank you for your support.

Recipes

Ten Minute Dinner

White bowl filled with chicken cheese salad and dressing

Ten Minute Dinner For Foodie Friday

Today for Foodie Friday I am bringing you a super simple meal. Sometimes you need to get dinner on the table in ten minutes or less. This is typically when we reach for take out or fast food. This can be expensive and can unravel all your good intentions of having a healthy wholesome meal on the dinner table. If you are wanting a ten minute dinner that is still healthy and doesn’t break the bank, I have got you covered.

Ten Minute Dinner: Utilize Convenience foods.

Although you can prepare this meal in a super fast fashion, you can make it even faster if you utilize some prepackaged ingredients they include.

Rotisserie chicken or precooked chicken breast Costco has a great option

Hard boiled eggs private selection brand from Kroger is great

Bagged lettuce choose organic whenever possible. You can also use spinach or spring mix

Chopped onions I choose red.

shredded cheese I choose organic whenever possible

Bacon bits choose the option with the fewest ingredients

sunflower seeds stick with options cooked in their own oil and not soybean or corn if possible

Ranch dressing choose an option with canola oil over soybean if available.

If you utilize these resources all you have to do is combine, add some dressing and dinner is complete. It is easy as that. Don’t let your busy night keep you from getting a delicious meal on the table in record time. Dinner doesn’t always have to be difficult or fancy. The most important part is taking the time to sit around the table and share a meal.

Be sure to check out my previous salad post here

While bowl with shredded carrots lettuce olives, sour cream and salsa

Whats Up With You

I hope you all have a great weekend. Let me know what you are cooking up this weekend.

Recipes

All About Smoothies

Hand holding blender full of frozen mango, banana, spinach, berries, avocado, and almond milk.

All About Smoothies: For Foodie Friday

Happy Foodie Friday! As I type this Amelia and I just got back from the Zoo with my good friend and her boys. I just checked the temperature and it is 102 degree heat index. The pool is calling my name and I just can’t be bothered to cook. Therefore, I am posting all about smoothies. Included in this post are some of my favorite Smoothie combinations. I also include things you can add to boost the nutrition of your smoothies. I hope you enjoy, and stay cool out there!

All About Smoothies: How I think About Building My Smoothie.

When building my smoothie the first step I think about is if its a meal or a snack. If I want a quick snack i don’t worry as much about the ingredients. When a smoothie is my meal I include some good fats and protein for blood sugar stabilization, this will help you feel fuller for longer. The different categories of my smoothie include fruit and or vegetables, greens, fats, protein, and extras. I will go into more detail in the information below.

All About Smoothies: Organic or Conventional Produce

When purchasing produce for a smoothie I try and stick with organic whenever possible. This is especially important when buying fruits with thin skin, or skins that you eat like berries, stone fruits, and greens. However, I am less worried about bananas, watermelon, oranges and things that I peel.

All About Smoothies: Making them Sweet without Sugar

I like to add a frozen banana to my smoothie as it makes it a lot sweeter and gives it a smooth texture. I keep a zip lock bag in my freezer and whenever I have a banana that is getting too ripe I unwrap it and throw it in there. Then I have a steady supply of bananas for banana bread or my smoothie. Bananas are great frozen and they even break off effortlessly into chunks to make it easier on your blender.

I also find oranges and the juice from them to be fairly sweet. Their sweetness is a great addition to your smoothie. You can add a little pineapple juice for a more tropical sweetness. I have been known to throw in a little Stevia from time to time if needed. This can be especially true when I have a smoothie that is heavy on greens.

All About Smoothies: Why I Add Fat

Many of us are afraid of fat. When you add a good source of fat to your smoothie it not only helps with the texture and creaminess but your fullness factor as well. Your smoothie will stick with you longer and it can be helpful in balancing out the high carbohydrate load. My favorite fat choices include avocado, coconut oil, and coconut milk.

All About Smoothies: Protein Options

In addition to fats, if you are wanting your smoothie to be more filling adding a protein source can be very helpful. Some of my favorites are grass fed Stevia sweetened or unsweetened protein, Hemp protein with Stevia, collagen peptides and amino acid supplements. I also like to add in nut butters like peanut, almond, cashew, and sun butter. Greek and regular yogurt are another great addition, grass feed, organic and full fat are my favorites.

Here are a few of the protein powders I prefer.

All About Smoothies: Adding Greens

I add greens to almost every smoothie I make. If you are looking for a more mild flavor stick with spinach. I also love to use kale, and the super green mixtures. I always choose organic and it doesn’t matter if they are frozen or fresh.

blender filled with spinach and avacado

All About Smoothies: Tips and Tricks

If you have fresh fruit or greens that are about to spoil freeze them and put them in your smoothies. For Berries or other fruits lay them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Once your fruit is frozen add them to a bag so this way they won’t stick together.

If you have a favorite recipe go ahead and portion out your ingredients. By placing them into smaller bags you are setting yourself up for success. That way on a busy day you can put it into the blender add your liquid and your done!

Always add the liquid to the bottom part of the blender. As a result your blender will blend effortlessly for a smooth consistency.

If you have left over smoothie put it in ice cube trays and once they are frozen add instead of ice to additional smoothies in the future.

If you cut up a avocado and don’t use it all freeze it. Place slices or chunks on parchment paper and once frozen throw it into a smoothie.

If your smoothie is to thick to drink pour it in a bowl add some coconut and chia seeds and eat it with a spoon!

Smoothies are a great way to add in additional ingredients or what I like to call extras. I add many of the following:

coconut oil

fiber through chia seeds

probiotic powders

Spirulina

turmeric

Ginger

and any other super food you want to boost up the nutritional value.

Don’t be afraid of veggies. For instance you can easily add carrot, greens and even cauliflower to your smoothie without even knowing it. If you are concerned about blood sugar please don’t be afraid to experiment with these non starchy options.

Check out this previous post

If you are looking for more information about feeding your toddler check out my blog post here. I include a link to these adorable pouches that are definitely a must for toddlers’ smoothies.

smoothie pouch with pig on front for toddler.
Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

Now on to the Recipes!

Tropical Smoothie

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup Greek whole milk yogurt

add organic frozen tropical mix (pineapple, mango)

Add 1/2 frozen banana

handful of spinach

1 small grated carrot

1 tbsp coconut oil

Blend and enjoy

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

1/2 cup milk of choice

1 scoop chocolate Tara’s whey protein powder or protein powder of your choice.

1 banana

1 tablespoon peanut butter or nut butter of your choice.

1 handful of spinach

Blend and enjoy

Very Berry Smoothie

1/2 cup milk of choice

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

mixed organic berries

handful of spinach

1 avocado

1/2 frozen banana

1 scoop of vital proteins collagen peptides.

Blend and enjoy

Almond milk, avacado, blender with smoothie on top of a cutting board

Whats up with You?

I hope you all have a great weekend and please let me know if you try and like these smoothies! Above all have fun with it.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link

Lifestyle

Breastfeeding Essentials

Infant baby girl wrapped in white sheet with pink bow in hair.

My Breastfeeding Journey

Today I am going to tell all you breastfeeding mamas about my must have breastfeeding essentials. This is going to be a multi part series about breastfeeding as I have been breastfeeding for just shy of 18 months. I have spent countless hours researching and have compiled a lot of good advice that I plan to share with you. This journey has had many ups and downs, tears and smiles. Breastfeeding might be one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it is definitely one of the most rewarding and biggest accomplishments of my life. I will go into my struggles and what helped me in future posts but this one is dedicated to my must haves so be sure to stay tuned.

Breastfeeding Essentials Pump and Pump Parts

Having a good quality pump is a very important breastfeeding essential. I received a Medela Pump in Style Advanced pump for my baby shower and have absolutely loved it. This pump is such great quality and that is key when choosing a pump. It is specifically designed to help with more breast milk expression. Be sure to get a good pump that is electric as manual pumps do not pull as much milk. Many insurance companies will pay for all or a portion of your pump. Heck get two if you are a working mom because lugging this thing around can be such a pain in the the butt! Below I am providing a link to my pump and a few others I have heard are good.

Pump Links

Medela Pump in Style Advanced
https://amzn.to/2lqsBTF
Spectra Pump
https://amzn.to/2lpCQri
Willow Breast Pump
https://shop.willowpump.com/pages/buy?kme=Google+Ad+Visit&km_Google+Ad+Id=340509355898&km_Google+Ad+Position=1o5&km_Google+Ad+Keyword=&km_Google+Ad+Matchtype=&km_Google+Ad+Network=g&km_Google+Ad+Device=c&utm_term=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwpavpBRDQARIsAPfTwizF5nK8pCGGiP1NtztNW0zUVsWbqDAVCwzTbFwWZiEvg75jtlVLTVQaAouiEALw_wcB

This is a very useful tool used to collect excess milk on the opposite breast while feeding. It is especially useful before your milk is regulated when you tend to leak often.

Breastfeeding Essentials Pump Accessories

The right accessories for your pump can make all the difference. When you spend so much time attached to your pump you will find it helpful to make the process as painless as possible.

You have to purchase this car adapter for your pump. The Medela comes with a battery pack but you will burn through those batteries in no time. If you are like me and don’t have a good place to pump or travel frequently this is a LIFESAVER! It works with several pumps but be sure to check to make sure it works with yours.

If you are struggling with pain you need to give these a try. Its made of soft silicone and definitely provide a softer feel while pumping.

Freemie cups are a must have! You can insert these into your bra without having to have a special bra and can pump completely hands free. I used these daily. They are a lifesaver and an absolute must!

These two pillows are the most popular. I did not have much success with the Boppy. I believe that my breast friend would have worked better for me. However some women swear by and really love these pillows.

https://amzn.to/2Sh7uiU

These nursing covers can be used as a car seat cover and a nursing cover. They are stretchy and are super comfy.

These are my favorite bags for storing milk in. I also used the up and up brand from target. I used an extra flange as a funnel for pouring the milk in to keep it from spilling.

This is another one of my favorite ways to freeze milk in 1 oz portions so you can be more precise as well as minimize your plastic. I freeze these then combine them all in one big zip lock or food safe cloth bag.

Breastfeeding Essentials Increasing/Decreasing Milk Supply

I am going to go into some ways to increase/ decrease your milk supply and let down in a future post but here are my must have items you need to purchase.

Fenugreek is great for increasing your milk supply and I have had great success with this. Please be sure to get the okay from your doctor before use.

Fennel is a great essential oil to use when increasing your milk supply. You can apply directly to the breast avoiding the nipple area and not during feedings. As usual please ask your doctor before use.

Peppermint tea can be helpful if you have an oversupply. Be cautious as to not decrease your supply to much and as always check with your physician.

Breastfeeding Essentials Breast Care

Stock photo

There are tons of different nipple balms and creams out there but my favorite is good old fashioned coconut oil. This is edible and there is no need to remove it before breastfeeding. It can provide lubrication to your nipple during pumping if you find it painful and is a great overall moisturizer. We grab ours in bulk from Costco.

You are definitely going to need some nursing pads. I love reusable ones as you can wash them, they are also safer for the environment and easier on your skin.

This massage tool is great for those who struggle with lumps and it helps to improve the flow of milk. I wish I had this at the beginning as I consistently had lumps and a lot of pain that was hard to work through.

Donation

I was able to donate over 500 ounces to those in need and I encourage you to look into this if you have an abundance of milk. I chose the Austin Milk Bank and will go into this at a further date.

Feeding Toddlers

Check out my previous post on what I feed my toddler for more information on providing sound meals and first foods in a thoughtful and healthful way.

Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

Breastfeeding Essentials Give Away

I am partnering with a mom of four including 5 month old twins in this giveaway. We will be giving away some nursing pads because you can never have enough. In order to be entered into the giveaway follow me on Instagram as well as her account on Instagram. Tag some mamas who need these nursing pads and a bonus entry is by following my blog. Give away ends Sunday night July 21, 2019 and the winner will be announced via Instagram on Monday July 22, 2019. Good luck to you all and I hope you enjoyed my Breastfeeding essentials.Breastfeeding essentials

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .

Recipes

BBQ Ranch Pork Chop Salad with Brussels Sprouts & Kale

Crunchy bbq ranch salad with pork

Foodie Friday: Recipe Adapted from the Real Food RDs.

Happy Foodie Friday! Today I am doing things a little different and featuring a recipe developed by the Real food Dietitians Jess and Stacie. I love the ladies behind this site! As a fellow RD it is so nice to see individuals that have similar thoughts on food and nutrition. As stated on their website they have gluten free and allergen friendly meals. BBQ Ranch Pork Chop Salad with Brussels Sprouts & Kale is the recipe I will be making today on this Foodie Friday.

BBQ Ranch Pork Chop Salad with Brussels Sprouts & Kale

Today I am taking a recipe from the Real food Dietitians website and putting a little different spin on it. Their recipe features a crunchy and super delicious salad made with green kale, and Brussels sprouts for extra nutrition and super crunchiness. If you are a fan of the combination of BBQ and Ranch you have got to make this recipe. The Brussels sprouts are shredded and are extremely mild in this dish. Before heading on over to their site for the directions I am going to walk you through the ingredients, substitutions, and changes I made.

Equipment Needed

For this recipe a really useful tool is a food processor with a shredded attachment and the regular blade also. This will definitely save you some time on cutting and chopping. I used the shredder for the Brussels sprouts and carrots. I used the regular blade for the red onion. I used a whisk for combining the BBQ sauce and ranch and a large bowl for combining the salad. I used a skillet to pan fry the pork chops.

Substitutions and Adaptations

For this recipe I did not have any golden raisins on hand so I didn’t include them in the recipe. I also used a different brand of BBQ sauce and Ranch. However Tesseme’s is a fabulous brand and you should definitely give their sauces and dressings a shot.

Ingredients Needed

Pork chop with kale salad with shredded carrots

You will need :

shredded carrots

shredded Brussels sprouts

red onion

Green Kale

toasted slivered almonds

Ranch and BBQ of choice.

Bacon or bacon bits

I added some cooked pork chops to add a little extra protein.

Check out the full recipe here

If you are looking for more Salad inspiration check out my previous Foodie Friday

crisp romaine lettuce in a bowl with a fork topped with seasoned ground beef, carrots, olives, topped with sour cream and salsa

Please go check out my fellow RD’s and their website. They have TONS of amazing recipes on their website that you don’t want to miss.

What I feed my Toddler

I often get asked questions about what I feed my toddler as a Registered Dietitian. I wrote a previous post about it here

Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

Whats up With You?

I hope you all have had a great week and have a fabulous weekend! Let’s keep the conversation going and let me know what’s up with you?

Lifestyle, Recipes

What I Feed My Toddler

Pink kids divided plate filled with cubed cheese, ham, and grapes

What I Feed My Toddler for Foodie Friday

Today I wanted to do something a little bit different for Foodie Friday. I am going to walk you through what I feed my toddler. As many of you already know I am a Registered Dietitian. I get questions quite often about what exactly I feed my daughter. These are my opinions and may or may not be what is best for your family. I hope I can provide some help to new moms who are looking for ideas on what to feed their toddler.

First Foods

When Amelia was six months old we introduced solids. Our first food was avocado. We chose this due to the fact that it was soft and not sweet. Ill let you take a look at the pictures below to see if you think she liked it or not.

As you can tell she was not a fan of avocado and still isn’t to this day. We stuck with a rule of one new food per three days. This was in order to determine if any allergies or intolerance may have occurred. This is such an important step when introducing foods. It can take a few days before you notice any changes in diapers, skin, etc. I kept a log so that I knew which foods we tried and the days in which we tried them. Needless to say she wasn’t too happy for a few days with just plain avocado. We decided to add in banana and mix it with the avocado and she loved it! Every few days we would add in a new food and continued with the old.

Food Textures

There are many different ways to start solids with little ones. This can include purees, baby led weaning or a little bit of both. Amelia did not do well with chunky textures at first. Gagging is unfortunately a normal part of learning to eat. It helps babies learn to move food back up to be further manipulated into more manageable pieces to swallow. We stuck with mostly smooth consistencies because along with the gagging she also vomited several times (TMI I know). I don’t know about you all but I HATE getting sick. Above all I wanted her to have association with food.

As she progressed and learned more about gumming her foods we attempted a thicker chunkier texture. If this lead to her getting sick we would not make a big deal about it and would try again later. As she reached around nine months she really wanted to hold onto her food. We introduced teething crackers which helped her learn how to chew and swallow even further. Amelia could feel them better in her mouth and learned what was too big of a bite. We continued with purees and slowly but surely went from puree to finger foods. By the end of her first year she could eat pretty much anything even without teeth!

To Make or Not to Make

It can be a tough decision when deciding exactly how to approach feeding your toddler. We made 99% of our baby food. It is cheaper, we had control of the ingredients, and we wanted to feed her what we ate. For example if were having Mexican sweet potatoes we would puree her up some sweet potatoes, and avocado. If chicken and broccoli are for dinner, broccoli puree it was.

I did some batch cooking for her to make it even easier. I would purchase the organic vegetables that were on sale. Bulk cook them and freeze them for later. I cooked grass fed ground beef added a little bit of broth and pureed that and froze it. This is a great way to make sure your little one is getting adequate iron. As we added in more food groups I made sure to provide more variety for optimal nutrients.

Spices, Garlic, and Fats Oh My

I was careful to be sure to include good fats like coconut oil and olive oil in my cooking. When she was still getting puree foods I mixed coconut oil in with her foods. She would sometimes take it straight off the spoon! Fat is excellent for brain development and I wanted to be sure she was getting enough of it. Currently we continue with healthy fats in addition to herbs, garlic, onions, spicy stuff and she typically gobbles it up.

Picky Eaters

We have been very careful to try and feed Amelia exactly as we eat. For this reason I believe we are blessed with a pretty good eater. There are times when some items are a little too spicy, tough, to chew etc. However for the most part she eats what we do.

I believe kids are picky in part because we allow them to be. Kids watch us and anticipate how to react even as young babies. If a parent doesn’t like a particular food and they make that known their children pick up on it. Now, I’m not saying you or your kid has to like broccoli. However I think its important to let our children decide for themselves if they like it or not. A prime example is grape tomatoes and black olives which I don’t care for. I am proud to say those are two of my kiddos favorite foods. I put my own bias aside and this has allowed her to develop her own opinion.

Clean your Plate

This is a controversial topic but I am going to give my opinion. A large reason why many people today have a problem with being overweight is due to being forced to clean our plates. Yes it is not good to waste but unless you are planning to donate your food it isn’t going to end up on the plate of those less fortunate anyway.

In my house we put an amount that we think Amelia will eat on her tray. She eats what she eats and we save the rest for later. It is as simple as that. In order to tell if your kiddo is full or not look to see if they are getting distracted. They tend to turn away and loose interest when they are done. As she has gotten older she will say “up”, or sometimes the food gets thrown on the ground. The biggest thing is to learn and pay attention to their cues.

I believe we are born with the innate ability to control what our body needs. If we are mindful we eat when we are hungry and stop when we are is full. Obviously you don’t want your kiddo going several meals without eating. If your child has skipped several meals, and you are worried please contact your pediatrician.

Links to some of the food items we used.

We bought a baby blender but found we didn’t like it as much as our regular blender. I know this is rather pricey but let me tell you its worth it! We have a Blendtec and I would repurchase again and again. If you are not looking to spend this much I have heard great things about the Ninja blender too.

Once we blended the food we would place in these silicone one ounce molds and freeze.

I purchased these reusable pouches which I still use today. We use them for smoothies and apple sauce. I also purchased these silicone toppers. I find they are more gentle on your little ones mouth and keep the food from getting everywhere.

We used this brand baby food if we needed to purchase in a pinch. I always choose organic and tried to stick with glass, and bpa free. Earth’s Best and Happy baby both make some great pouches and even Aldi has some good options.

These Creamies are awesome and they are full of really clean ingredients. They are also diary free for those babies who might not be able to tolerate diary.

These are my favorite teething “cookies” they are very clean and have very little sugar. They have a few different flavors and we like them all. I love that they are organic also.

Amelia loves freeze dried fruit. It can be hard to find organic but when you do its an awesome snack.

Here is a link to the divided plate pictured above

https://amzn.to/2Jhr2AJ

Food is For Fun

Remember the saying that before one food is just for fun. I tried to remind myself this on days where she didn’t eat as much. Remember to keep trying as tastes change, try and cook the item in different ways. I continue to offer the items that my daughter doesn’t like without force. One day I hope she will try it and decide she likes it. Take comfort in knowing that food is just for fun until one. Since you are breastfeeding or formula feeding for the first year its ok if a large amount is not consumed. Take this time to really experience flavors, textures and have fun with it!

If you have left over burgers from your fourth festivities and are looking for a delicious sauce try my tzatziki recipe. Add a little feta cheese and red onion and you have yourself a Greek burger.

Wooden bowl with metal spoon cucumber dip inside

Whats up with you

I hope you all have had a great fourth. Let’s keep the conversation going. Let me know what you feed your little ones.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualify purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .

Recipes

Taco Salad For Foodie Friday

crisp romaine lettuce in a bowl with a fork topped with seasoned ground beef, carrots, olives, topped with sour cream and salsa

Taco Salad for Foodie Friday

I hope you all had a good week. This week has been really busy for me and lets just say TGIF! This week I am sticking with a super simple recipe of Taco Salad for Foodie Friday. This salad is so tasty and with all the veggies it is definitely far from boring. Lets get on to the recipe.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 head of romaine chopped and washed.
  • 1 small can of sliced black olives drained
  • A whole carrot peeled and julienne
  • A pound Ground beef
  • 1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • Sour cream and salsa of choice to taste
  • cooking fat (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of this primal palate taco seasoning or seasoning packet of choice

Let’s Get Cooking

  1. First combine ground beef and taco seasoning cook through, add cooking fat of choice if needed.
  2. While your meat is cooking wash, cut and dry lettuce. Place in a bowl.
  3. Prepare your avocado, use peeler to julienne your carrot.
  4. Combine the avocado, carrot, sliced olives, and shredded cheese.
  5. Add your cooked ground beef.
  6. Top with salsa and sour cream to your liking.

serve immediately and enjoy

Check out some more salad inspiration https://whatsupwingo.com/2019/06/14/foodie-friday-cobb-salad-with-a-twist/

white bowl with romaine lettuce topped with salmon, cheese, bacon, boiled egg, and avacado

Whats up with you?

I am looking forward to the weekend and the fourth which is just around the corner. Keep the conversation going and let me know what is up with you. Happy Friday!

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualify purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .

Recipes, Uncategorized

Shrimp Alfredo with Asparagus

Shrimp Alfredo with Asparagus

Shrimp Alfredo with Asparagus for Foodie Friday

Welcome to the second edition of Foodie Friday Shrimp Alfredo with Asparagus. I am always on a mission to find the best alternatives to pasta. My favorites provide additional nutrients and are lower in carbs. I have recently discovered the use of asparagus instead of pasta and I love it! While I am a fan of zucchini noodles, and they definitely have their place, they can be a pain to spiralize. Because they put off so much moisture, they tend to make the sauce watery. If you are an asparagus and Alfredo fan you definitely should give this recipe a try! Not only is this a healthy alternative to pasta it is extremely tasty and I am willing to bet you might not even miss the pasta.

Asparagus

Asparagus is super tasty and an extremely healthy vegetable. It happens to be choked full of folate and vitamin C. In addition to this it is a low carbohydrate, non starchy vegetable with very few calories and a good amount of fiber. Folate is a very important nutrient during child bearing years and has been shown to help decrease the incidence of neural tube defects. Vitamin C is also considered an antioxidant and is an essential nutrient meaning that we cannot make it within the body.

How to Choose and Store Asparagus

According to realsimple.com the size of the Asparagus does not determine its quality and taste. Instead look at the color and firmness of the spears. You want a more purple tent to the tips and firm in texture not limp.

According to real simple you should trim your spears and soak in a wet paper towel or cup dipped in water in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life. Check out the linked article for all the info.

Ingredients Needed for Shrimp Alfredo with Asparagus

8 oz mushrooms sliced

1 bunch asparagus chopped to about an inch long

3 garlic cloves minced

1 and 1/2 tbsp butter divided

1 tsp olive oil

one pound shrimp raw, peeled, and de-veined.

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 oz cream cheese

1/3rd cup Parmesan cheese

Salt , pepper, and dried parsley to taste.

Be sure to check our my very first Foodie Friday where I made a Cobb salad with a twist.

Cobb Salad with a twist

Lets get Cooking

Recipe serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes

Total time: 15 to 20 minutes

Start by de-thawing your shrimp if you have not already done so. Salt and pepper liberally.

Place 1/2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil in your pan to heat up for a minute over medium to medium high. Cook the shrimp until they are pink and cooked all the way through then set aside in a dish.

Add remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan. Place sliced mushrooms in the pan to cook until they are browned.

After your mushrooms are browned add in garlic, and asparagus and cook until asparagus reaches your desired texture. We like to leave ours a little crunchier.

Next add 1 oz cream cheese and mix well allowing it to melt. Once it has melted add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream being sure to stir constantly. When the sauce begins to bubble and thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon add Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.

Asparagus with mushrooms cream cheese and heavy whipping cream

Add shrimp back into the dish to warm. Garnish with parsley and additional Parmesan if you desire.

Remove from heat and serve.

Shrimp Alfredo with asparagus in white bowl with fork

I like to serve mine with a salad. Today we chose Cesar salad made with organic baby romaine, Cesar dressing and Parmesan cheese. Simple and tasty.

Cesar salad and Shrimp Alfredo with asparagus on wooden tray

Whats up with you?

I hope you all have a great weekend. Keep the conversation going and let me know what you all are cooking up this weekend.

Lifestyle

Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Guide

Honoring all the Dads in our Life

The month of June is the month in which we celebrate all the dads in our lives. This is my husbands second father’s day. I am so grateful he is the father to my daughter. He does so much for all of us and really deserves to be thanked not only on father’s day but every day. My husband cooks dinner, does the laundry, watches our girl during the week, and is her DAD not babysitter. There is something so special about a father and daughter bond and I can not wait to see how theirs grows with time.

Father’s day: Grandpas

Amelia is so lucky to have two of the best granddads out there. They are both so loving and have always been present in her life. I am so grateful for my dad. I have many fond memories of his stories, always playing silly games like “walking on the ceiling with mirror” and even blowing dry my hair as a kid. My father in law has always been there for my husband and I, and we are grateful to have two of the best dads out there. Thank you to all Dads you are so important to the family dynamic and your support is immeasurable. I hope you realize how much you are loved and valued not just on father’s day but every day.

Gifts for Dad: Super Last Minute

If you are like me I am the worst at trying to find the best father’s day gifts. I want it to be thoughtful but not something to cheesy. I have gathered a list of a few items for you to give the dads in your life even if you are short on time.

Car Wash

Car wash! Take the dads in your lives car to the car wash. This is a super easy way to show them that you care. Or better yet wash their car at home and get the kids involved. Below is the car wash we use and it can be purchased most places like Amazon, Walmart, or automotive stores.

Free Father’s Day Interview Printable Card:

Father's Day Printable Books from Fun Cheap or Free
https://funcheaporfree.com/fathers-day-printable-gift-idea-interview-book/

Ladies if you have not already heard of Jordan Page, of Fun cheap or Free you are missing out. This lady is one of the smartest moms out there. Her and her husband are parents of six. They give tons of advice for living more frugally, paying off debt, budgeting, and shopping while saving. Such a great resource so go check her stuff out.

This interview card is such a sweet idea! This will be something you can repeat each year to see how your kiddos answers change. This is definitely one of the most thoughtful gifts out there and the printable is free!

Coupon Book:

This is a repeat idea from my mother’s day post. This is such a easy gift and I used to make this for both my mom and dad growing up. So here is how you do it. Get yourself some construction paper a hole punch and some string. Punch some holes and string your coupons together. Here are a few ideas for your coupon book. I owe you one free lawn mowing. Or something like one free dog walk. Or even as simple as breakfast in bed. This idea is so clever and if you have littles be sure to get them involved in this father’s day activity.

Dad Day:

Dedicate a day even if it is not on father’s day. Use this day to eat wherever, shop or go wherever the one you are celebrating chooses. This is a fun way to let them take control of the day and spend it how they want. I love this idea and its really fun for the whole family.

Outdoor gift package:

Get your dads an awesome cooler or tumbler. Yeti has a rotomolded type cooler, and awesome tumblers, and they are pricey but excellent. You can use them for fishing, camping, and all sorts of things during the summer. They really do keep things cold for days! Some reviewers even reported the cooler keeping ice cold for a week. There are plenty of videos on how to load your Yeti that will help lengthen the time in which it stays cold.

Here is a link to a video on how to pack your Yeti

They also sell Ozark trail mugs and coolers that are similar to Yeti but at lower price points at Walmart if you are interested.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-30-Ounce-Double-Wall-Vacuum-Sealed-Tumbler/171452737

Dinner and Movie at Home

https://whatsupwingo.com/2019/06/02/sous-vide-steak-our-first-attempt/

One of my favorite ideas is dinner and movie at home. You can go out and get some steaks, wings, or whatever your loved one prefers. Then cook it up on the grill. Be sure to make a movie gift package! In this gift include popcorn, movie, and candy if you desire or whatever your prefer when watching a movie. This is super fun and a great way to enjoy the holiday at home. Above is a link to my Sous Vide Steak a great way to make sure that you are getting a perfectly evenly cooked steak if you are interested.

What’s up with you?

What are you up to this father’s day weekend. I hope you all have a great weekend celebrating all the dads in your life. Leave a comment and keep the conversation going.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualify purchases. Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a commission if you complete a purchase after following the link .