In our house, we love meatballs. With a little bit of beef and a few other ingredients, you can make so many different combinations of them. They are also always a hit with the kids. I think the bite-size portion of meatballs make them kid-friendly and fun. I saw a recipe similar to this is Clean Eating Magazine and wanted to try out these sesame tamari meatballs. I love Asian flavors so I was hoping they would taste awesome the kids would love them too. We didn’t have all the same ingredients that the recipe called for, so I made some substitutions. I also served the sesame tamari meatballs over quinoa to give a different texture than regular brown rice.
My oldest daughter turned 5 a couple weeks ago. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t have even done a party since I am at the end of my third pregnancy and had just been diagnosed with symphysis pubis dysfunction and could hardly walk. But, five years olds won’t allow such things and it really wouldn’t have been fair to her anyway, so we decided to do a small party. Last year, we held her party at the house (a create-your-own pizza party!), but I just couldn’t see having a lot of guests over this year. She wanted to invite her whole class and everyone she knows but I made a rule that she could pick 3 of her best friends this year. I told her that she could choose any activity to do with those 3 friends and we would make it happen (excluding a slumber party ;)). She chose going to Defy Gravity (a local trampoline gym) and then lunch at Chick-Fil-a.
One of my favorite treats in the fall and winter is hot cocoa (and apple cider!). I used to drink the store-bought Swiss Miss brand mix when I was younger and didn’t know any better. I assumed it was just sugar and chocolate. Well, after starting our real food journey I took a look at the ingredients label on the Swiss Miss package and was shocked at what I saw. I decided that it was easier (and cheaper) to make my own hot chocolate mix where I know exactly what is in it and there are no extra ingredients.
I posted on Facebook recently how I was thinking of getting a convertible standing desk and I wondered if anyone had one and liked it. I received a ton of feedback and decided to go ahead and try one out. I work in a typical American office that is full of cubicles, no natural light, and leaving your cube for too long is frowned upon. After working a fairly sedentary job as an analyst programmer for the past 4 years, I decided I needed to do something to feel more active at work. Whenever I would come home, I always felt so exhausted and achy even though I had just been sitting all day. I loved the idea of a desk that could go between standing and sitting, so I didn’t have to stand all day long either. I also wanted to try out a ball chair since sitting in my regular chair all day was causing soreness in my hips with this pregnancy.
I usually make smoothies around here when I want the kids to eat a little bit more fruits and vegetables. In all the smoothies I make, I almost always add vegetables. The fruits hide the taste and it is a great way to get some more nutrients. In my tropical smoothie, there is a giant handful of spinach but you can’t even taste it! We do juicing in our house too, but smoothies have the benefit of keeping all of the fruit and vegetables’ fiber. I had bought fresh strawberries and some local carrots at the farmer’s market and came up with this delicious strawberry carrot smoothie recipe.
My kids absolutely love when we make pancakes or waffles for breakfast. Since the weekday mornings are always so hectic trying to get the kids out the door to daycare, we usually save foods like pancakes for the weekend which makes them an extra special treat in their eyes. When my husband is making the pancakes, he usually makes Kodiak Flapjacks, but I like to mix it up with different ingredients like my spinach pancakes. We usually go out on the weekend mornings and do something active, so I like my kids to get lots of filling protein in them. That is when I decided to try a peanut butter pancake recipe made with fresh peanuts and almonds. The protein would give them an extra boost of energy to get them through the morning without begging for a snack.
Most people know the real food website, 100 Days of Real Food, written by Lisa Leake. It is one of the best resources for healthy eating on the web, and Lisa is one of my inspirations for my own blog and a great example for all moms who are trying to navigate the grocery store and feed their families real food. She just published her first cookbook this week called: “100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love.” I was chosen as one of Lisa’s cookbook ambassadors to receive a copy of this book and review it on this blog. I had also already preordered it on Amazon before even knowing that I would have the honor to review the book. This cookbook is the best real food cookbook that I have read and it is perfect both for people just starting out eating real food and for people who are real food veterans.
Muffins are the perfect snack for kids. They are already in single serving sizes and you can put all kinds of ingredients such as carrots, zucchini, and more into them. You can also experiment with different types of flour and it is easy to make them gluten free. Many of these recipes are gluten free (and even more of them might be, I only marked the ones I knew for sure were free of gluten), dairy free, and nut free. I also only included recipes that call for small amounts of refined sugar or no refined sugar all. All of these healthy muffins are made with real food ingredients and are easy to make. The awesome thing about muffins is that they are usually very freezable. You can wrap the muffins up and put them in the freezer, then they are ready anytime you need a quick snack or a supplement to a school lunch. Which of these 40 real food muffin recipes are you going to try?
I love ice cream and I especially love making homemade ice cream. This homemade vanilla ice cream recipe is the base for most of the flavors that I make (including my strawberry ice cream recipe). When I first bought my Cuisinart ice cream maker, I was worried that it was a silly purchase. But, we have made so many different ice creams in it and used it way more than I expected. We have hardly bought any grocery store ice cream in the last year. I love that I know what ingredients are in my ice cream and there are no fillers, artificial flavors, or extra sugar. Only real food ingredients.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. I remember being in Tokyo and thinking all of the desserts there looked so delicious. But every time I tried one, they did not taste sweet enough for me! That is when I began to realize that Americans add way too much sugar to everything. I can eat really well most of the time, but I always seem to crave a little bit of sugar in the afternoon or after dinner. Since beginning this real food journey, I have almost completely cut out processed sweets and I have switched to healthier versions of my favorite sweet treats. I rarely use regular white sugar in my baking and not use unrefined sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup most often. Sometimes I even use fruit juice to sweeten up a recipe, like my banana bread cookies. However, sugar is really bad for you no matter what form it is in. Sugar wreaks havoc on the body and I am writing this post as a way to help myself curb my sugar consumption even more.