Clean Eating, Mom Life

Healthy Eating + Kids

I’m often asked if our boys eat like we do. Short answer: yes and no. When we are home, we eat the same meals with small modifications, but it hasn’t always been this way.

Rewind to 2012, I was pregnant with our youngest son Jett, and Rush, our oldest, was in Kindergarten. What seemed like out of nowhere, Rush started constantly itching all over. He couldn’t run down the soccer field without stopping to scratch his arms and legs and his teacher reached out to let me know the itching was impacting him in school.

I took him to our pediatrician after trying everything I could think of – including changing laundry detergents and bath soaps – and her recommendation was to put him on steroids.

In my gut, I knew putting my 35 pound, 5 year old son on steroids was not the right call.

Mike and I had completed our first Whole 30 about a year before and decided we should try one with Rush. Let me tell you, this was no walk in the park. Five-year-old Rush was a mac and cheese – pizza – hot dog – eating kind of kid who wouldn’t dare come near a vegetable, so a nutritional reset rocked his little world!

We eased into it and once we got half way into the reset, the itching had not only lessened, it was completely gone. We knew something he was eating had caused the skin irritation.

During reintroduction we were able to pinpoint certain gluten-containing grains as the culprit. Had we followed the doctor’s recommendation to put him on steroids to mask the symptoms, and not addressed the root cause, he would still be struggling! Now, thanks to this nutritional reset, Rush clearly understands how the foods he eats impact how he feels.

Fast-forward to today: Do my kids eat the way we eat? Yes and no. They eat what I make with small modifications. For example, neither have a dairy intolerance, so they both drink grass-fed whole milk and eat cheese. (See the bottom of this post for sample meals.)

I’m not a food Nazi kind of parent, but my kids both know that the foods they eat will either make them more healthy or less healthy. Rush can read labels to determine added sugar content and knows the foods that will make him stronger, healthier and faster and the ones that will not. (Jett is still learning to read but knows the difference between healthy foods vs. unhealthy foods.) They eat what I make at home and (for the most part) are able to make good choices about food when they are out. Now, they are typical kids – so when offered a choice, they will absolutely go for the ice cream over an apple 😉

Rush knows if he goes to a birthday party and chooses to eat a commercially prepared cupcake, his skin will likely be impacted and he will deal with the consequences later. He is able to decide for himself when foods are worth it and when they aren’t. The fact that he is 11 years old and armed with that knowledge is powerful!

My best advice, when addressing your children’s nutrition, is to make changes, one at a time. A complete overhaul will likely end in a struggle of wills and potentially create an unhealthy relationship with food.

I highly recommend that as a parent, you model good nutrition for your children starting with breakfast. If you are having a cup of coffee and skipping food altogether in the mornings, I can promise they notice.

Protein and healthy fats for breakfast will set you and your child up for a successful day. Most mornings, my boys eat chicken nuggets, apples and a spoonful of peanut butter. Thinking out of the box and not limiting yourself or your kids to typical breakfast foods is a great place to start!

I have many friends who tell me they regularly prepare two different meals for dinner – one for their kids and one for themselves. Now, I know there are special situations with some children, however I encourage you to cook one meal for your family with small modifications. This not only saves time and money, but also teaches children to eat a variety of foods.

Here are a few dinners that are in my regular rotation with examples of how I slightly modify for my boys:

1. Roasted Salmon (The best recipe from the Pioneer Woman!) with Cauliflower Rice (Jasmine or white rice for the boys) + Roasted Broccoli topped with Tessemae’s Creamy Ranch.

2. Burgers on Sweet Potato Toast (on an Udi’s brand bun with cheddar cheese for the boys) + Sweet Potato Fries (made in the air fryer.

3. Sweet Potato Chili topped with avocado + scallions (topped with shredded cheese for the boys)

4. Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs (Meatballs with whole wheat pasta for the boys)

5. Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice (Shrimp, broccoli + white rice w/coconut aminos for boys)

6. Taco Bowls with taco seasoned ground beef (or any meat!) salsa, lettuce, guacamole and cauliflower rice (Siete brand tortillas with taco seasoned ground beef + shredded cheese for the boys)

Photo from Wholesomelicious

7. Sweet Potato Stuffed Sloppy Joes (Sloppy Joes on Udi’s gluten-free bread for the boys)

What foods or healthy eating strategies have you found to work with your children?

Clean Eating, Recipe, Super Bowl, Whole 30

10 Super Clean, Super Bowl Recipes

Last year, Super Bowl fans consumed an estimated 1 billion chicken wings, 11 million pounds of potato chips, 325 million gallons of beer and 120 million pounds of guacamole!

I’m down for some homemade guac, but considering I’m just coming off my January Whole30, the other stuff would wreck my gut!

Photo credit TFR.

I created a Super Bowl Recipe Round Up for those of you who want to enjoy some delicious game day eats without consuming loads of junk! These recipes are from some of my favorite food bloggers (and if you aren’t already following them, you should be!)

1. Homemade Guacamole from The Real Foods Dietitians

Serve with sweet potato or plantain chips and fresh veggies!

2. Buffalo Chicken Dip from The Defined Dish

Serve with fresh veggies like carrots, celery and sliced bell peppers.

3. Bacon Wrapped Dates from Our Savory Life

4. Southwestern Deviled Eggs from Primally Inspired

5. Buffalo Chicken Jalapeño Poppers from

Plaid + Paleo

6. Sweet Potato Rounds with Guacamole + Bacon from The Roasted Root

7. Irresistible Wings from Real Food with Dana

8. Loaded Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Nachos from Real Food with Dana

9. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs from Paleo Running Momma

10. Spinach and Artichoke Dip from Real Simple Good

Clean Eating, Recipe, Whole 30

Whole 30 Chicken Chili Two Ways (Fast and Slow)

{Stove Top or Slow Cooked}

You’ll need

-1 Plain* Rotisserie Chicken (Pulled off the bone and shredded; use 2 rotisserie chickens if they are smaller sized)

-1 large sweet potato, diced

-1 yellow onion, diced

-1 red bell pepper, diced

-2 jalapeños, seeded and diced (omit if spicy is not your thing)

-1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

-2 T olive oil

-2 cups chicken bone broth

-2 tsp paprika

-2 tsp chili powder

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1 tsp cumin

-1 tsp sea salt

-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Avocado, jalapeños, cilantro or scallions for garnish, if desired

{FAST} Stove Top Method:

1. Add olive oil to a preheated soup pot (over medium high heat)

2. Allow to heat for a few minutes and then add sweet potatoes and onions. Cook until they begin to soften (4-5 minutes)

3. Add red pepper and jalapeños to pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add chicken and stir mixture well.

5. Next add bone broth, tomatoes and spices. Stir until spices are well incorporated into chicken mixture.

6. Allow to cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Serve alone or garnish with avocado, jalapeño slices, cilantro or scallions.

{SLOW} Slow Cooker Method:

Reduce bone broth to one cup. Put all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve alone or with avocado, jalapeño slices and scallions.

*Be sure to carefully read the ingredients on your rotisserie chicken. Many are not W30 compliant. Whole Foods’ Naked Rotisserie Chicken is W30 Compliant. Harris Teeter’s Plain Rotisserie Chicken is also compliant.

Clean Eating, Recipe, Whole 30

Sheet Pan Salmon + Bacony Brussel Sprouts

You’ll need…

• 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved

• 1/2 pound W30 compliant bacon (like Pederson Farms)

• Parchment paper

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• sea salt + pepper, to taste

• 2-4 filets of salmon (~1 total pound)

• Tessemae’s Creamy Ranch, optional

• Lemon, optional

Method…

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Prepare sheet pan with parchment paper.

3. Put brussel sprouts in a bowl and add olive oil. Stir until well coated and then spread evenly on sheet pan.

4. Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch chunks and add them to the sheet pan. Try to disperse evenly across the brussel sprouts.

5. Season pan with salt and pepper.

6. Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, drizzle the salmon filets with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

8. After 15 minutes, remove brussel sprouts from oven and gently toss them around the pan and then push them to create spaces in the middle for the salmon. Add the salmon filets to the open spaces on the sheet pan.

9. Place back in oven and bake for 12-14 more minutes (This may be less depending on the thickness of your salmon – watch closely until salmon is cooked to your liking)

10. Remove from oven, drizzle salmon with lemon juice or Tessemae’s Creamy Ranch if desired.

Enjoy 😊

*Recipe modified from Defined Delish Green Goddess Salmon.

breakfast, Clean Eating, Recipe, Whole 30

W30 Sweet Potato + Chorizo Frittata

Frittatas and breakfast bakes are my jam! I usually make them on Sundays then slice and store for quick and easy breakfasts during the week. Here’s one of go-to’s plus links to some of my other faves!

You’ll need:

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 pound chorizo sausage

– 2 cups sweet potatoes, shredded or finely chopped

– 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced

– 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk

– 10 eggs

-1 big handful spinach, fresh

-2 Roma tomatoes, sliced

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron (or oven safe) skillet over medium heat.

3. Add chorizo, sweet potatoes and onion and sauté until chorizo is fully cooked.

4. Crack eggs and whisk with milk. Season with S+P. (I like to throw this in my blender to quickly mix.)

5. Sprinkle spinach over chorizo mixture then pour egg mixture on top. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes.

6. Arrange sliced tomatoes on top.

7. Bake Frittata in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked.

Some other meal prep breakfast favorites:

•Easy Breakfast Casserole from PaleOMG

•Buffalo Chicken Frittata from Thyme and Joy

•Enchilada Breakfast Bake

Clean Eating, Recipe, Whole 30

Whole 30 Shrimp Fried (Cauliflower) Rice

I’ve made so many cauliflower fried rice recipes over the years and I’ve finally come up with a variation that is as fast to prep as it is delicious. A win in my book 🙌🏻

You’ll need:

•1 pound wild-caught peeled + deveined raw shrimp (thawed if purchased frozen)

•1 bag frozen cauliflower rice

•1 small yellow onion, diced

•1 clove garlic, minced

•1 cup carrots, diced (I used frozen!)

•2 cups broccoli florets (fresh)

•3 eggs

•1/2 cup coconut aminos (I like @bigtreefarmsbali)

•olive oil

Method:

1- Steam cauli-rice according to package.

2- Roast broccoli (Tossed in a little olive oil, seasoned with S+P at 400 for about 15 minutes)

3- Over medium heat, sauté garlic, onion and carrots in olive oil.

4- Add in steamed cauliflower rice and allow to cook together for 2-3 minutes.

5- Push mixture to one side of the pan and crack eggs in open space. Scramble and then incorporate into rice mixture.

6- Again, push rice mixture to one side of pan and add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turns pink and then stir to incorporate into rice mixture. If cooking the shrimp in the same pan freaks you out, just sauté in another pan and then add in once fully cooked.

7- Add broccoli to the pan.

8- Pour in coconut aminos and stir until completely incorporated.

9- Taste and season with S+P as desired.

Let me know what you think!

Clean Eating, Recipe, Whole 30

Instant Pot Coconut + Curry Butternut Squash Chili

I love chili, especially during a Whole 30, but lately, my go-to recipes seem boring.

I decided to take my favorite chili base: ground beef, fire roasted tomatoes and bone broth, and add in totally new flavors: red curry paste, coconut milk and butternut squash.

It was just what I needed. A chili game-changer.

You’ll need

2 lbs ground beef

1 butternut squash, cubed

1 each red, yellow, orange bell pepper, diced

1 whole yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup beef bone broth

1/2 cup canned full-fat coconut milk (solid parts)

1 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, drained

3 tablespoons red curry paste (you’ll find this on the international aisle in grocery store)

2 heaping tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

Sea Salt

Method

1. Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot and wait for the metal insert to heat up.

2. When hot, add ground beef and a sprinkle of sea salt. Break apart and cook until no longer pink.

3. Stir in vegetables, add a bit more sea salt, and cook for about 5 minutes.

4. Next, stir in the tomato paste, red curry paste, minced garlic and cook until fragrant.

5. Add in spices, bone broth, tomatoes and coconut milk last. Stir well to make sure liquid reaches the bottom.

6. Lock the lid and cook under high pressure for 15 minutes. (Press the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button and set the time for 15 minutes under high pressure.)

7. Once finished cooking, allow pressure to come down naturally.

8. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Notes:

•If cooking on stove top or in a slow cooker, increase beef broth to 1 1/2 cups and coconut milk to 1 cup.

•This makes a lot! Cut recipe in half or plan to freeze half.

Recipe, Whole 30

Whole 30 Slow Cooked Balsamic Chicken Thighs

Easy Meal Prep Protein.

You’ll need…

1 t Garlic Powder

1 t Dried Basil

1/2 t Salt

1/2 t Pepper

2 t Dried minced onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 T EVOO

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts

Fresh parsley for garnish if desired.

Method…

1- combine first 5 dry spices in a bowl and then spread over chicken on both sides

2- pour olive oil and garlic in bottom of slow cooker

3 – place chicken on top of olive oil and garlic

4- pour balsamic vinegar over chicken

5- cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

I served over mixed greens with blueberries, slivered almonds and hard boiled egg then tossed in EVOO + balsamic vinegar. Also delicious with roasted potatoes and broccoli 👌🏻

Clean Eating, Recipe, Whole 30

W30 Egg Roll in a Bowl

All the deliciousness of an egg roll minus the greasy, unhealthy fried wrapper.

I discovered the idea of “egg roll in a bowl” a few years ago during one of my Whole 30s and since then I’ve made about 10 different variations (probably 10 times each!) I’ve even shared a couple of these recipes online, and today I’ve got a new one for you that I think is the best yet!

This recipe is a modified version of 40 Aprons Egg Roll in a Bowl. I love the mix of ingredients they put together and the delicious Creamy Chili sauce.

I changed the method a bit to reduce the greasiness from the ground pork, took out a few ingredients (ones I thought many people wouldn’t have on hand) and added scrambled eggs to the mix!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small bunch green onions sliced, green and white parts divided
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground pork (ground turkey or chicken could also be used)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons Whole30 compliant hot sauce (I like Franks RedHot Sauce)
  • 14 ounce bag coleslaw mix
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 3 eggs

Garnish (optional)

  • green parts of sliced green onions from above
  • Sesame seeds

Creamy Chili Sauce (optional)

  • 1/4 cup W30 Compliant Mayonnaise  (store-bought or homemade. I like this recipe.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons W30 compliant hot sauce

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet and place over medium heat.

  2. Add white parts of green onions, diced red onion, and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until red onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. In another large skillet, brown ground pork and drain excess fat.

  4. Add onion mixture, grated ginger, and hot sauce to pork skillet and allow to cook together over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

  5. Add coleslaw mix and coconut aminos. Stir until well combined. Cook, stirring regularly, until cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1-2 tablespoons compliant hot sauce. (Totally unnecessary, but if you want to make your plate pretty, place creamy chili sauce in a small plastic sandwich bag to “pipe” when serving.
  7. Once pork-cabbage mixture is fully cooked, push mixture to one side of the skillet and crack eggs in open space. Allow eggs to cook for a 2-3 minutes then scramble gently and incorporate into pork-cabbage mixture
  8. To plate: Spoon a helping of the egg roll mixture in a serving bowl. Either spoon some of the creamy chili sauce on top or snip off the corner of the sandwich bag with the sauce and drizzle over egg roll mixture. Garnish with green parts of the green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

Let me know if you try it!

Clean Eating, Whole 30

The Perfect Roasted Veggies

One of my saving graces during a Whole 30 is having lots of roasted veggies on hand. They are the perfect thing to throw together with chicken sausage or left over ground beef in a pinch for a filling, healthy meal.

I typically roast a variety of veggies on Sunday and then eat them through the week.

My favorites to have on hand are sweet potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts and peppers.

Here are my tips for making the BEST roasted veggies:

1- Roast veggies in a hot oven (I always roast at 400 and sometimes up to 425!)

2- Drizzle a little olive oil or avocado oil, salt and pepper before roasting.

3- Roast on a flat pan (not one with sides as they will hold in heat and create a steaming effect – which produces mushy veggies – yuck!)

4- Roast on parchment paper, not aluminum foil for best results. Parchment paper better absorbs the moisture in the veggies allowing them to get crispier.

5- Space out the veggies on the pan. Overcrowding does not allow for even cooking.

6- For an extra crispy effect, turn the oven to broil for the last few minutes of cooking. You have to watch closely though as they will burn quickly!

7- When storing, be sure veggies are completely cooled before closing in a container and be sure to store like veggies together. For example, you wouldn’t want to mix roasted tomatoes with sweet potatoes as tomatoes are very watery and would change the flavor of your sweet potatoes.

Happy Roasting!