Easy organic sweet potato bisque with crispy bacon (Paleo)

  Soup season! If you have the extra time to make your own broth from chicken bones, you are adding natural immunity boosting properties. Much needed this time of year! This delicious little treat is a Sweet potato bisque made with homemade chicken bone broth and paleo (no sugar added) chopped bacon bits. Paleo friendly Sweet Potato Bisque with Bacon 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped. (totaling 3-3 1/2 pounds) 1 red pepper, halved and seeded (optional) 1 large onion, chopped 1 inch piece of ginger, chopped 1 garlic clove, chopped 6 cups of homemade broth 1 tsp coconut oil 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk 1/2 tsp black pepper Pedersons paleo bacon ( ook as needed) Sea salt to taste Directions: Heat the broth and add the coconut oil. When at rolling boil, add the rest of the ingredients, leaving out the garlic. Simmer for approx 30 minutes. Add the garlic and summer for an additional 10.  You can also roast the sweet potato for a slightly yummier flavor. When the sweet potato is ready, take the soup off. Let cool about 20 mins. Scoop equal parts of veggies and broth into your blender/vitamin and add 1/4 cup coconut milk. Blend until slightly thick but not chunky. Add sea salt to taste. Crisp up that bacon and serve steamy! Enjoy!  

 

Soup season!

If you have the extra time to make your own broth from chicken bones, you are adding natural immunity boosting properties. Much needed this time of year!

This delicious little treat is a Sweet potato bisque made with homemade chicken bone broth and paleo (no sugar added) chopped bacon bits.

Paleo friendly Sweet Potato Bisque with Bacon

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped. (totaling 3-3 1/2 pounds)
1 red pepper, halved and seeded (optional)
1 large onion, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
6 cups of homemade broth
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 tsp black pepper
Pedersons paleo bacon ( ook as needed)

Sea salt to taste

Directions:

Heat the broth and add the coconut oil. When at rolling boil, add the rest of the ingredients, leaving out the garlic. Simmer for approx 30 minutes. Add the garlic and summer for an additional 10.  You can also roast the sweet potato for a slightly yummier flavor.


When the sweet potato is ready, take the soup off. Let cool about 20 mins. Scoop equal parts of veggies and broth into your blender/vitamin and add 1/4 cup coconut milk. Blend until slightly thick but not chunky. Add sea salt to taste.

Crisp up that bacon and serve steamy!

Enjoy!  

Eat real food.

Is it just me? Or are you as confused by that long ass list on the back of your kids snack box (that says 'all natural'). Yeh right. Take a look at this when you get another five minutes http://mphprogramslist.com/50-jawdroppingly-toxic-food-additives-to-avoid/

More and more chemicals are being used in (and on) American foods. Its almost as though the FDA is letting it  through and having a 'lets see' approach.  Lets see what happens. Let's hope nothing happens to the american people. Our kids. Grrrr.

Photo from http://mphprogramslist.com/

Photo from http://mphprogramslist.com/

The best thing you can do for your family is EAT REAL FOOD. I get it, sometimes a donut is GREAT! I agree! But when your kids (or your diet) is made up of nasty fake stuff, like artificial colors or artificial flavors, you are not doing yourselves any favors. Lets not even talk about the preservatives and sweeteners (corn syrup) etc.

There are a number of local companies in the Bay Area that can help you get on track. Real Food Bay Area is one of them. Real Food Bay Area carries ONLY natural items that are sustainable and locally sourced, From grass fed meats, to probiotics.  They have sourced these items so carefully that you dont have to. This is a company you can trust. http://www.realfoodbayarea.com/home

There are many companies spreading the love, locally. Good Eggs and Grub Market are two more options. Grub Market works with a number of local food artisans and farms and promises 20-50% off what you would pay at other premium grocers. 

Now is a great time to switch out what is in your cupboards and start over. Give one of these companies a try and EAT REAL FOOD! 

 

Sharon

xo


 

 

Insomnia and Formula

If you think your tots insomnia could be linked to the formula or diet you are following, this one is for you.

4 years ago our youngest son woke up EVERY HOUR!  And no he wasn's singing and cooing like most. He was in extreme pain and very upset. As were his parents :(

Yes he is a cute one. But his frequent wake up calls were SO loud. We were desperate. 

Both our kids were non nursers. Blame me. Its ok.. and I will leave out the sordid details and get right into what started the sleeplessness. FORMULA and all other dairy. I think we tried them all, even shipped them over from the UK. Atrocious reactions, super constipated and cranky. Finn developed a permafrown  way before he needed to. Poor guy. We started with Enfamil. No dice. Then Similac, then Gerber. 

There was a time when Gerber used to be all-natural, organic, and GMO free. However, all of that changed when Gerber was purchased by Nestlé. For many organic-supportive sites, blogs, and communities, this formula is the most questionable. It frustrates the heck out of me and I wish there was more education out there for new mums.

Not nitpicking every single ingredient in that grand buffet of a formula, but I will point out that the majority of the formula is made up of corn syrup solids. Most corn syrup is loaded with laboratory fructose, fake sugar that is notorious for causing diabetes. Also, most corn syrup comes from GMO corn these days. Is it any wonder our american kids have more neurological problems than the rest of the worlds developed countries? And tell me.. would you sleep 'like a baby' with your stomach pumped full of syrup?. Probably not. 

Sketch by Natalie Dee

Sketch by Natalie Dee

Here you will find a super helpful link to Food Babes detective work http://foodbabe.com/2013/05/28/how-to-find-the-safest-organic-infant-formula/ and a very helpful guide from The Non GMO Project http://www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo/search-participating-products/?catID=24

Now just turned five, he is way past formulas but seeing the new options you guys have out there for you, I cant help but feel cheated. Honest Company formula looks like a great option and gets rave reviews, but still contains corn syrup. So yes, they are much much better that the ones listed above, but still not amazing.

In order of preference, the best infant formulas, in my non-doctor opinion, are:

  1. Holle
  2. HiPP
  3. Baby’s Only
  4. Honest Company

We ended up with Baby's Only Organic. Mainly because the great Formulas of our  time are european and not readily available.  Finns issues went away and shortly after, we started a peaceful sleep plan with awesome results. Here is a link to the formula. If this one works for your bub too, I am sure Baby's Only would love to hear from you. http://www.greennbrown.com/organic-lactose-free-toddler-formula.html?gclid=Cj0KEQjw0fOoBRDn88Pol8bqhN0BEiQARGVJKrwbIRNGI0fEgBYLIobdHdwB68PVGgxXTK32bXBM0MIaAj948P8HAQ

Wishing your family and your baby, a peaceful nights sleep.


Guest post on Food Allergies - By Alison Blair

When people find out how many food allergies and intolerances my daughter has, the first question out of their mouths is always “Yikes. What does she eat?” I have to admit that her list of food restrictions seems daunting: milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat/gluten, corn, soy, bananas and blueberries. Corn and soy are in everything, right?

 

Well, I didn’t get here overnight but I now have regular go to foods for her that keep her full and give me peace of mind that there is always food around that she can enjoy and she won’t feel like she is missing out. Even if your kids don't have food restrictions, I want to show you that it is still possible to feed them real food and not spend all day in the kitchen.

The core of her meals is usually the same: protein, veggies, fruit and a healthy fat. But life isn’t perfect and she doesn’t always eat everything on her plate at every meal and that’s ok. And sometimes I am too tired to steam a vegetable or we just don’t have one because we haven’t been to the store yet.

Breakfast

Who says that you have to have breakfast foods for breakfast? Because of her allergies, traditional breakfast foods like cereal, eggs and toast are out. I suppose I could give her Rice Chex and almond milk but I try to stay away from packaged foods with preservatives, as much as I can (but not always, I will get to that later). She loves meat and fish so I usually just feed her for breakfast what I would feed her for lunch or dinner: salmon or grass-feed beef with some fruit and veggies and a little avocado for a healthy fat. We like to mix it up!

Sometimes she gets bacon if I happen to have that made too. Do I get up early to cook up all of this meat for her? Heck no! I try to cook a couple of meats on Sundays and have them ready for the week so I can put them into her breakfasts and lunches as needed. That way I can give her a little variety without having to be a short order cook. And some mornings she just wants a few raisins and a squeeze pack and because she doesn’t have that every morning, I am ok with that sometimes.

Lunch

I try to feed her a different kind of meat for lunch from what she had at breakfast. So if she had salmon for breakfast then maybe she would have grass-fed beef or organic chicken with fruit and veggies for lunch. For personal reasons I am trying to keep her away from grains (but do make one small exception with snacks) so I don’t venture into gluten-free bread for sandwiches, although that is an option.

But for a sandwich-like lunch I like to get Applegate Farms turkey slices and use those as the “bread” and make turkey roll sandwiches. So I will cut up cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, carrots and avocado and make a few different “sandwiches” and roll the veggies into the turkey slice like a burrito. She loves them and it’s a fun alternative to her usual meals.

Dinner

I have to admit that by the time dinner rolls around, I am not really feeling inventive when it comes to meals. So it is back to the meat, fruit, veggies and healthy fats. She is limited on her veggies right now and mostly eats broccoli and carrots but I’ll take it! Many times my husband and I make a different meal for us because we want to eat with a few less restrictions than she has but a couple of times a week we either throw veggies and meat into the crock pot for a meal we can eat together or make a meal from some of our favorite Paleo recipe books that she can eat as well. She loves it when we add spices to meat so we have been experimenting lately.

Snacks

I feel like snacks can be the most challenging because a lot of the grab and go food is not always safe for kids with allergies. And this is where I have lifted some of my restrictions on packaged foods because I just don’t want to stress myself out, ya know? For instance, my daughter is 2 and has teeth but sometimes she wants a squeeze pack for her snack. I try to stick to Earth’s Best and Happy Family fruit and veggie mixes. And of course I have to avoid the ones that have blueberries and bananas in them. I was excited to recently find at Costco that Happy Family has a line called Happy Squeeze and one flavor mix that she really loves is apple, pear, mango and kale. Some greens! We also routinely buy the GoGo Squeeze organic applesauce.

1val.jpg

Another quick snack is also from Happy Family and that is their gluten-free puffs. I try not to let her fill up on grains too much but when we’re out and about and she’s hungry, it’s an easy go-to snack. Raisins are good but I try to be careful with those because she would eat them by the ton if I let her and I try not to let her go too crazy on the sugar, even natural sugar. And occasionally I let her have some potato chips because life isn’t as fun if you can’t indulge sometime, right? I usually get the Kettle Sea Salt Potato Chips or Trader Joe’s Ridge Cut Potato Chips.

So as you can see, it doesn’t have to be some big, elaborate thing to feed your child real food. I like to keep it simple and easy and quick. If she doesn’t eat everything then I package it up and save it for a later meal that day or for her meals the next day. The important thing here is for her to see what a balanced meal looks like on a plate, even if she doesn’t finish it.

Struggling with finding healthy foods for your kids? Get in touch and I will happily guide you.

Alison Blair is a Health Coach who supports moms whose children are newly diagnosed with food allergies. She lives in Concord, CA with her husband and 2 ½ year old daughter. She loves reading, writing, travel, wine and trying new restaurants. She can be found at www.healthybellyhealthylife.com or alison@healthybellyhealthylife.com

Cast Iron cookware

I love me some great cookware.  How often have you splurged on pots and pans.  Now I look back and wonder what I was thinking. Teflon, aluminum. Yuk. Im all about the Cast Iron these days.

What is non stick cookware made of anyway? 

I recently read up on the dangers of using Teflon. There are a number of serious health concerns associated with it. In particular, a chemical that teflon releases in certain conditions called PFOA. Perfluorooctanoic acid is a polymerization aid that has been used for a long, long time. At certain temperatures it off gasses into your food, can build up in your body AND can cause an illness called Teflon flu! What? Yes its true. Heated teflon at high temperatures can cause flu like symptoms to appear. Very few people would make the association. So don't sear your steak at high temperatures in a non stick pan. 

 Good news.. PFOA is being phased out, but unless your cookware is labelled PFOA free, then its likely that your pans contain this chemical.

 

other Non-Stick Surfaces

  • Non-stick Calphalon cookware uses a proprietary polymer that is not Teflon (under suspicion as a human toxin when burned or flaked off a pan), but it may contain polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_5068137_dangers-calphalon-cookware.html

Which brings me to my darling Cast Iron pans. Amazing. Who would have thought a little, funny looking pan would bring me such pleasure? (and much needed iron in my diet). We can all benefit from iron in our diets. Quite a number of us are deficient. I know every time I have had my iron levels checked, Ive been deficient. Iron deficiency can cause extreme tiredness and not getting enough makes your body work too hard. Kids need plenty of iron too. Unless they are eating a very rounded diet, deficiencies occur. 

My husband is not too happy with my idea of phasing out our 6 month old pans, but if I just keep adding a cast iron pan or too and using the Lodge dutch oven, he will eventually get used to the idea.. that it is ALL eventually going in the camping box. 

You can pick up these beauties at your local hardware store. I got mine on amazon for $12. If you are local, the Cash and Carry in Pleasant hill has all sizes of the Lodge brand.  Here is the link http://www.cashandcarrywarehouse.com/ or other great brands like Le Creuset usually have sales going on. See here for a bargain http://www.lecreuset.com/specials