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Month: May 2017

Cassava Flour Pizza: Mommypotamus Recipe Review

Cassava Flour Pizza: Mommypotamus Recipe Review

Pizza is my weakness! What about you?

I love pizza! It really is my favorite food, and as a runner, I loved having it after long runs. However, after switching to a real food diet, getting take out pizza wasn’t happening anymore. I eat mostly gluten-free and try to keep my family that way. But, let’s be honest, sometimes gluten-free recipes aren’t good.

Then, I found this recipe. 

It tastes great, and it makes two pizzas, which is great for a family.

We topped it with bacon, broccoli, pesto, and tomato. Noah, Brendon, and I loved it! It tasted a lot to me like the pizza you make when you use one of those dough packets you can get at the grocery store.

Watch Noah and I make the recipe!

Recipe

Here is the recipe for the dough.

Review

I definitely recommend putting oil on your hands to shape the dough on your baking sheets. I started out not having oil on them, and it just wasn’t working well. 

I think it is great that the recipe makes two because for a family with various tastes you can make one that should please everyone. Plus, it doesn’t taste gluten-free! It tastes like a typical pizza that even the pickiest eater would love! I love that it bakes well and doesn’t seem like it would be very likely to be screwed up.

Want natural, organic, nutrient dense baby and toddler food, shop www.mama-bear-naturals.com!

Batch Cooking Sample Menu : 2 hours of Cooking for 5 Weeknight Dinners

Batch Cooking Sample Menu : 2 hours of Cooking for 5 Weeknight Dinners

2 Hours of Cooking for 5 Weeknight Meals

 

Are you a parent that doesn’t have time to cook? Or doesn’t want to cook?

I’ve talked with many parents, and they have several struggles  when it comes to feeding their family. Two main struggles are finding the time to cook healthy meals and cooking food their kids will actually eat.

Well, here is my solution, batch cooking and meal prepping for the week! You may have heard those terms before, but without having done it before, it may seem intimidating. However, here is a plan to get dinner on the table every night of the week that feeds your family nutritious food, save money, and saves you time that you can spend with your family

So, to prepare, find time on the weekend to buy your groceries and find a few hours to cook. I make sure all my proteins are organic and pastured, and I can find these cheaper at my local farmer’s market. I know weekends are busy, but this could even be a fun night time activity with you and your spouse and a glass of wine.

Let’s look at the weekly menu and then the shopping list. This will be enough for a family of 4. These meals are simple recipes that do not require fancy ingredients, lots of preparation, and these staples are options that kids love! I have tried so many Pinterest perfect recipes with my picky step-daughter, and I always go back to recipes like this because they remain her favorites. Every meal offers variety, and there is even one on the go option for those nights where you have to run to an event for your kids.

 

MENU:

 

Monday: BBQ pork chops, mashed sweet potato, carrots

 

Taco Tuesday: Ground Chicken Tacos with paleo wraps, cauliflower

 

Wednesday: Egg omelette with a banana chocolate smoothie

 

Thursday: Tuna salad, grain-free crackers, carrots, strawberries

 

Friday: Beef Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Broccoli

 

Shopping List:

  • 5 lb bag of sweet potatoes
  • 2 lb pasture-raised ground chicken
  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 bags of carrots
  • 1 bag of favorite paleo approved tortilla wraps
  • 4 5.5 oz cans of sustainable tuna in water
  • Avocado oil mayo
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Natural relish
  • Sugar free BBQ sauce
  • 1 dozen pasture-raised eggs
  • 1 bunch of bananas
  • Cocoa powder
  • Almond butter
  • Coconut milk
  • Grain free crackers
  • Strawberries
  • Natural taco seasoning
  • cinnamon

 

Here are the steps to get everything prepped for the week. Then, during the week, you can reheat or put everything together. During the week, you will need to cook and blend your smoothies on your breakfast for dinner night, and you will need to put your meal on the go containers together if there won’t be room in your fridge for those at the beginning of the week.

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Fill a pot with water, place on the stove, and heat on high until boiling.
  3. Peel and chop your sweet potatoes. Cut 4-5 sweet potatoes into cubes, and 4-5 into long sticks.
  4. Cover the sweet potato sticks with a little oil, and bake it for 30 minutes.
  5. Place the cubed sweet potato into the boiling water, and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Place pork chops on a baking sheet. Cover in BBQ sauce, and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Heat two more pans on the stove on medium heat, and add coconut oil or ghee to the pans.
  8. Form 4-6 burgers with the ground beef and sea salt. Cook in one pan on each side for 5-7 minutes.
  9. In the other pan, brown the ground chicken, and add taco seasoning.
  10. Pull the meat and sweet potatoes off the heat.
  11. Boil the broccoli, and drain.
  12. Boil the carrots, and drain.
  13. Boil the cauliflower, and drain.
  14. For the cubed sweet potato, dump it into a blender and mix with 1 cup coconut milk and 2 tsp cinnamon.
  15. For the tuna salad, mix 4 cans of tuna, 1 cup avocado mayo, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and 2 TBSP natural relish in a bowl.
  16. Store your meats, vegetables, and starches in containers in the fridge. Then, pull each component out for the right night of the week.
  17. Peel the bananas, place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, store in a plastic bag in the freezer.When you make the smoothies, here is the recipe:

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

1 frozen banana

1 tsp almond butter

1 cup coconut milk

1 TBSP cocoa powder

 

  1. Clean up the kitchen.

 

So, within a short amount of time, you were able to prepare healthy, delicious meals that will save you time of cooking and cleaning throughout the week. Enjoy!

 

Want natural, organic, nutrient dense baby and toddler food: www.mama-bear-naturals.com

 

Nacho Night

Nacho Night

Need a healthy, fast meal option your kids will love?

I know nachos have a stigma of being unhealthy, and when, you get them at a restaurant on a huge greasy tray, they are. However, by looking at the quality of your ingredients, you can make delicious nachos with healthy ingredients that your kids will gobble up and beg for because they are so fun to make!

 

With nacho night, you feel like you spend even less time in the kitchen because you will put bowls out of all the toppings, and kids can make their own on their own tray to bake. So, this meal doubles as family quality time. We love doing this meal in combination with a family game night. So, it is a great theme meal. It can be thrown together in minutes because you can keep the ingredients on hand that are already prepped for you.

Ingredients
  • Way Better sprouted sweet potato chips
  • Sprouted black beans
  • Ground turkey or chicken (or pre-cooked organic chicken strips to cut down on time)
  • Organic, grass-fed shredded cheese
  • Frozen corn
  • Salsa
  • Avocado
  • Organic, Grass-fed Green Yogurt (or sour cream)

Side options: fresh fruit, carrot sticks, organic unsweetened applesauce, peppers

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Have everyone spread out chips on a section of a baking tray.
  3. Have everyone sprinkle toppings and cheese onto their nachos.
  4. Bake the nachos at 350 F for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the nachos are warmed through.
  5. Top your nachos with salsa, sour cream, or avocado if desired.
  6. Serve the nachos with your side of choice.

Looking for more recipes: check out our E-book!

Shop natural, organic, nutrient dense baby and toddler food: www.mama-bear-naturals.com

4 Easy Meals for Busy Parents Who Don’t Have Time to Cook

4 Easy Meals for Busy Parents Who Don’t Have Time to Cook

Do you ever feel like you don’t have time to cook? Do you just not want to cook?

Me too. As parents, we would love to have time to cook meals from scratch that are perfectly balanced and nutritious every single day, but that isn’t reality.

This past weekend, I was talking to a mom of 5 who works full-time and volunteers frequently with the Willow Tree Family Center, which is a local center for moms and babies. She talked with me about how she has no time to cook and is so tired at the end of the day that she doesn’t want to cook. She desperately wanted to have her family eat healthier. She said her family ends up eating take-out most days and doesn’t know if anyone in her family even eats a vegetable.

So, I started to think, what if I was someone who REALLY had no time to cook or didn’t want to cook? What would I feed my family? I thought of some of my go to meals when the meal plan doesn’t go as planned (we all have those days), and then, Noah and I went to the store to look for some healthy options.

These 4 options that I have laid out take less than 10 minutes each to put together and would cost LESS than take out. Most of these options cost less than $10 for a family of 4. To order pizzas, would cost at least $20.

All these meals have healthy protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and some source of produce (fruits and veggies).

Keep Reading or Watch Me Demo All for Easy Meal Ideas!

Meal #1

Meal Components
  • Organic Rotisserie Chicken
  • Steamer Bag of Carrots
  • Natural Mashed Potato Packet
Instructions:
  1. Heat rotisserie chicken in the oven.
  2. Steam bag of carrots.
  3. Boil water, and stir in powdered mashed potatoes.
  4. Serve chicken, mashed potatoes, and carrots.

Meal #2

Meal Components
  • Clean Plate Chicken Burger (pre-cooked)
  • Against the Grain Gluten-Free Bun (or Udi’s Gluten Free)
  • Steamer Bag of Cauliflower
  • Organic Unsweetened Applesauce
Instructions:
  1. Warm up the chicken burger.
  2. Steam bag of cauliflower.
  3. Pour applesauce into a small bowl.
  4. Place burger on bun.
  5. Serve chicken burger, applesauce, and cauliflower.

Meal #3

Meal Components
  • Egg Omelette
  • Smoothie
Ingredients for Omelette:
  • Egg
  • Butter
  • Omelette additions: ham, bacon, cheese, spinach, tomato, broccoli
Ingredients for Smoothie:
  • Fruit of choice: strawberries, banana, blueberries, pineapple, raspberries
  • Nut butter (optional)
  • Milk of choice
  • Protein powder (I like collagen or bone broth protein)
Instructions:
  1. Heat a pan to medium heat and put 1 TBSP of butter into it.
  2. Scramble two eggs in a bowl and add any additions you want.
  3. Cook the eggs.
  4. In a blender, combine fruit, milk of choice, protein powder, and nut butter, and blend. Pour into a glass. (My favorite smoothie is 1 scoop chocolate bone broth protein, 1 banana, 1 cup almond milk, and 2 TBSP organic peanut butter).
  5. Serve omelette and smoothie.

Meal #4

Meal Components
  • Egg Salad
  • Blue Diamond Hint of Sea Salt Crackers (Gluten-Free)
  • Baby Carrots
  • Grapes
Ingredients for Egg Salad:
  • 6 store-bought hard boiled eggs (found in deli section)
  • 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Mayo OR Full-fat organic, grass-fed plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
Instructions:
  1. Dice the hard boiled eggs.
  2. Mix the eggs with mayo (or yogurt), salt, pepper, and paprika.
  3. Wash grapes, and remove from the vine.
  4. For smaller children cut the carrots for easy chewing.
  5. Serve egg salad, grapes, carrots, and crackers.

Looking for more recipe ideas, check out our E-book!

Shop natural, organic, nutrient dense baby and toddler food at www.mama-bear-naturals.com

 

Interview with Dr. Kellyann Petrucci about Healthy Eating for Kids

Interview with Dr. Kellyann Petrucci about Healthy Eating for Kids

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing naturopathic doctor and celebrity nutritionist, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci about healthy eating for kids. She is the author of Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet and Paleo Cookbook for Dummies. Check her out at drkellyann.com!

She has amazing knowledge of nutrition and functional medicine. Plus, her and I share the same passion for healthy kids. It is the REASON and WHY that we both do what we do.

The Interview

In our interview, we chat about meal planning strategies, best foods for babies, and she was even so kind enough to say such sweet things about Mama Bear Naturals baby and toddler food products.

Check it out!

  1. Why do you think bone broth should be in the diet of babies and children?

Bone broth supplies young children with gelatin, which helps to build a healthy gut, and it loads them with anti-inflammatory nutrients like glycine, glucosamine, and chondroitin. It’s also a good source of minerals like magnesium, and it’s rich in the building blocks of collagen—the “glue” that helps build strong skin, bones, and connective tissue.

One caution, however: Home-made bone broth may contain levels of certain nutrients, such as iron and vitamin A, that are too high for infants. So if you’re going to feed broth to a baby or young toddler, I suggest buying a broth that’s especially designed for them.

2. What would be your top recommendations for foods for babies and children? Also, why are these foods best for children? What benefits would foods like wild-caught salmon, grass-fed butter, egg yolks, and grass-fed liver provide for children?

My biggest recommendation is to focus on quality pastured proteins, fresh vegetables, and healthy fats (which are so crucial for early development). I recommend pastured and wild-caught proteins because they come from healthy animals eating a natural diet—and that translates into greater nutritional value.

 

  1. What are the top nutrients for growing children?

I tend to think less in terms of individual nutrients and more in terms of nutrient-dense foods. For instance, pastured beef contains crucial nutrients like iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Fresh vegetables contain a host of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that work hand-in-hand. Pastured eggs are loaded with choline, B vitamins, vitamin D, and minerals. Clarified butter is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K. Pastured liver, of course, is a powerhouse of nutrients. When children get foods like these, you’re supplying them with all of the nutrients they need in the correct proportions.

  1. Looking at www.mama-bear-naturals.com, do you see any benefits to these foods compared to the current baby foods on the market?

Absolutely. I love the emphasis on high-quality proteins, organic vegetables, and healthy fats like coconut. And I love that these foods are free from additives, artificial flavors, and artificial colors. This is the pure, beautiful food that children should be eating.

  1. In your practice, what impact have you seen in regards to gut health and childhood development?

Kids with sick guts are more likely to have illnesses, behavior problems, sleep issues, learning problems, and obesity. Healing their gut can dramatically improve their physical and their emotional health, as well as their academic performance.

  1. What are your top tips for cooking healthy meals for busy families?

I’m a huge fan of batch cooking. Once every week or two, I schedule an afternoon in the kitchen and cook like crazy. I’ll boil a dozen eggs, brown several pounds of hamburger, and maybe roast one or two chickens and freeze the meat. In addition, I’ll wash veggies for salads and freeze packets of veggies and fruits so I can grab them fast to make protein shakes.

And that’s another tip: Make shakes, not just for breakfast but sometimes for lunch or dinner. All you need is a high-quality pastured protein, a little bit of fat (I like to add some avocado or some coconut milk), some berries and greens, and maybe a little monk fruit or stevia. It’s quick, easy, and nutritious, and the cleanup is a breeze.

  1. Do you have any recommendations for how to get kids to eat liver?

One trick is to grind it up, mix it with ground beef and spices, and make burgers out of it. What kid doesn’t like a burger? Add a little bit of liver at first, and up it gradually to see how much you can get away with.

  1. For those that don’t want to drink bone broth, what are other ways that they can incorporate it into their diet, especially for picky eaters?

Simple! You can sneak it into soups, stews, and chili, or cook veggies in it.

  1. What are your top snack recommendations for kids on the go?

I’m big on coconut chips, dark chocolate, blueberries, high-quality beef jerky, and non-grain trail mixes like my Tropical Trail Mix.

  1. What are the top 3 switches families should make to get their kids onto a healthier diet?

First, start cooking again! Simply switching from processed foods to home-cooked foods will have a dramatic impact on your kids’ diets. And get your children involved in cooking, because kids who become confident cooks won’t be dependent on junk food for the rest of their lives.

Second, limit or completely eliminate sugar, grains, highly processed seed oils, foods with artificial colors and flavors, and soy “Frankenfoods.” All of these put your kids at risk for serious health problems including obesity and diabetes.

Third, make sure your kids get plenty of high-quality protein AND plenty of good fats like coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk, avocados, avocado oil, fatty fish, olives, olive oil, ghee, and nuts. The worst thing “experts” ever did was to demonize healthy fats, which are absolutely crucial to staying slim and healthy.

  1. What are families biggest struggles in eating a real food diet, and what are your recommendations?

I know that one struggle is money. When that’s an issue, I tell people to look for the least expensive high-quality proteins—for instance, pastured eggs, pastured chicken legs (save the bones for broth!), and hamburger from pastured cows. Also, shopping at farmer’s markets or big-box stores is a great way to get organic fruits and vegetables at a lower price. You can also save money by buying less-polluted fruits and veggies in non-organic versions. The Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen” lists can help you make the best choices.

Also, getting kids to like healthy foods can be a challenge if they’re used to junk food. The good news is that while they may kick and scream at first, most of them eventually learn to appreciate the taste of good food and stop craving the junk. Many parents find that the “two bites” rule works well—that is, requiring a child to eat two bites of a new healthy food at first. Of course, your best bet is to introduce children early on to healthy foods—like your Mama Bear Naturals meals—so they appreciate good food from the start!

Cheap, Fun Birthday Surprise for Your Significant Other

Cheap, Fun Birthday Surprise for Your Significant Other

With Brendon’s birthday this past weekend, I was racking my brain about what special thing to do for his birthday. It is hard to find that special time to celebrate when kids are around (and we don’t pay for babysitters if we don’t have to). Plus, we are not gift people. We are experience and doing things for each other people. If you haven’t, I would totally recommend reading The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.

Anyway, I was having a busy week with the Greater Lansing Baby Fair coming up to promote Mama Bear Naturals and was low on creativity. Then, while listening to Chalene Johnson’s podcast on dating your mate, I heard her talk about sometimes making her and her husband’s bedroom a sanctuary for a date night. Then, the light bulb went off. Brendon would love this. 

So, I searched Pinterest for some inspiration. I was seeing some great ideas, and I decided I would do the following:

  • champagne and our flute glasses from our wedding (I got a Barefoot Brut)
  • make chocolate covered strawberries (with Stevia sweetened chocolate)
  • dollar store tea light candles
  • rose petals
  • a hand written card
  • helium balloons in romantic colors (red, maroon, and cream)
  • pictures of us together to weight the balloons down a bit

I had to spend some major time cleaning our room with clothes that weren’t put away and toddler toys. However, it really wasn’t that much effort to get the supplies and put everything together once the room was clean. Plus, between balloons, candles, champagne, printed pictures, and roses, I definitely spend less than $50 for a real wow factor look.

He loved it, and it made him feel very special. That is better than any gift I could have bought at the store.