Sunday, December 28, 2014

Meal Planning?

Are meal planning services worth the hype?  I think so!  Last year I tried out one that was great for family friendly and gluten free ideas.  It was great, the family loves when I still cook some of those recipes but they were not always the healthiest and contained many highly processed gluten free products!  I'm trying to get healthier in food choices, the kids are growing up and are apt to eat better as well, but it's a constant struggle to sneak healthy things in their diets!  Plus I work full time and devote a lot of time and energy in my essential oil business. Cooking is one of my favorite things to do in life and if I could get buy cooking all day I would.  But it's like being a rock star, not realistic for me or my family.  So I turn to any help I can get with planning my weeks meals out and sticking to a budget!  Well I've found a really nice service, Real Meals!

The links I am going to post are affiliate links, but I never talk about products I don't stand behind or haven't tried, so I'm telling you, this one is nice!  It might be a little more time consuming or contain some staples that you might not have on hand always than other services, but planning makes it so much more manageable. I found out about this services from my friend Jackie of The Paleo Mama Blog:  and signed up to try it out!  I later found out from her that it is run by another blogger that I follow Emily from Holistic Squid:  I've been following these ladies for several years so I know the stuff they post is wonderful!

First, when you sign up, you can choose what plan you are needing for your families needs, Paleo, Traditional or Vegetarian.  The Paleo option is what I chose and it gives you an option to include primal ingredients like dairy! When you log in, you are started off with your weekly meal planner that includes all the meals for the week.  It has a timeline tab that tells you what to do during each day to prep if needed.  Suggestions include, when to defrost your meats, when to prep condiments, even tips like hit up your local farmers market!  Next tab is a customized shopping list with options to print or email.

Second is the Recipe box, It shows all the meals included for the month.  So if you don't want to eat fish today, and you don't see anything else on your weeks plan that you want to substitute, go and get a recipe out of the box and substitute!  Genius idea!

Third is the All Meals Tab, this shows me what is planned for the entire month.  A quick reference with links to the recipes!

Fourth is the Support Tab and it has FAQ's and videos!  Also instructions on how to import your own recipes into the planner.  Who does that?  This is great for me because I find that many paleo planners include tons of seafood.  My family can eat it, but I can't so if it's a recipe I can't sub anything for, I either scrap it or cook something else. So importing my own is awesome!

Fifth is the change tab, it's your profile and billing information.  Sixth is the Getting Started Tab and this is a great source of information and cute little videos! The last tab is the Switch to Mobile Tab and this is a great feature to have because I can just take my phone with me to the grocery store and check off items on my shopping list and have the recipe there!

Don't think that this is all just some boring dinners, you get some cool extras!  Several deserts, condiments and even things like cocktails are included!  Here is a sample of New Years Eve's Plan: Bacon Wrapped Dates, Deviled Eggs, Shrimp Cocktail and Rosemary Infused Sparkling Cranberry Cocktail!

Here is the Paleo link:
Here is the Traditional link:
Here is the Vegetarian link:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Great Deal From The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2014

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

I got this deal earlier this year and they have sweetened it for the holidays! 

Hi Everyone,
How many times have you “tried harder” to improve your health? How many times have you “tried harder” than the last time, only to fail again?
You probably beat yourself up afterwards. You probably told yourself that if you just tried harder the next time around, you’d succeed.
Here’s a secret: no you wouldn't. Trying harder has never been your issue.
Instead, you should be trying different. Trying simpler.
Most people over complicate the process of improving their health. They think the silver bullet is in the complexity, in the personal trainers, in the protein shakes, in the gym memberships.
But it’s actually the opposite.
The silver bullet is in you. In the knowledge you have. In the decisions you make. In the consistency you achieve.
So we’re going to make things simpler for you today. We’re going to make improving your health a no brainer.
Join me in the FREE 4-Day Healthy Living Challenge: 4 simple steps to a healthier, better you. Each step will take you no more than 5 minutes a day.
The challenge is so easy, so simple, yet so effective. Most of all: it will change your life.
Learn more and sign up for the challenge here:
You’ll thank me next year at this time because of it. This offer is totally free and from Ultimate Bundles which I am an affiliate of! They will be offering the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle  which I purchased earlier in the year with some wonderful e-books! They have some great healthy living ideas, recipes and even essential oil uses! 
Rebecca Rogers
P.S. Taking these 4-steps in 4 days will be one the easiest things you’ve ever done to transform your health. Sign up for the challenge now:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Autumn Essential Oils Facebook Summit!

Just a quick update!  My Essential Oils Team is having a Facebook Summit with different topics each twice a day over the next week or so!  My class is about baking and I do have several gluten free recipes or adaptable recipes in my chat! Mine takes place tomorrow October 13th at 9 PM EST or 8 PM CST!  Here is the link to join:

To view the full schedule of the Summit go here:

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Gluten Free Costco Shopping

I'll admit it, I've never been to Costco!  The closest wholesale store near me is Sam's.  We do have a membership, but I've never really used Sam's for anything more than toilet paper and a few other household necessities.  I do save on somethings while I'm there, I still am 2 years into a box of plastic spoons.
I know  from the online world that Costco has some amazing gluten free items!  So Kid X's Grandma and I went on a shopping spree.  And big thanks to Grandma, for getting a membership!  Our plan was simple, find a bunch of gluten free snack options that Kid X can eat!  Her can't do a ton of fruits due to his FODMAP sensitivities so I found as many healthy and slightly unhealthy snacks that a toddler could enjoy!
First off, Kirklands signature cashew clusters  These little nuggets are crunchy and sweet!  We also got Kirklands mixed nut blend, unsalted!

Some things I can't actually remember the brands or find an image of are some natural beef jerky, it was gluten free and didn't have any extra preservatives, which I love!  Kid X doesn't do well with all that nasty gunk added. Also gluten free brownie mix! Elizabeth Hasselbeck has a line of protein bar nuggets and that was Kid X's choice, all he was seeing was chocolate bar!  So that will be his big treat for school days!
Ancient Harvest had some cool grain mixes or as I tell Kid X, it's rice!  Because explaining what quinoa and amarath are is really hard to do to a 3 year old!

Also who couldn't leave without Udi's Bread! They sell a "normal sized" loaf (like all of the gluten containing brand sizes) at Costco for the same price as the small loaf you can find at your local grocery store!

I will have to go back not on a busy Saturday and perhaps childless to explore more.  There were several items I passed up to hurry up and get out of the store because Kid X was ready to eat his snacks!

Unit next time Costco!  Thanks for being really gluten free friendly!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Family Approved Gluten Free Meal!

I thought I'd post a recipe today from "Gluten Free Family Approved Recipes" by Pam Jordan.  Kid X loves this meal.  The original recipe calls for chicken breasts.  Kid X loves when I make meatballs out of this recipe.  So I've modified her recipe for meatballs! I cook something several times a week from this cookbook, I may modify somethings but my family is generally happy when I make something from her cookbook! My family hates leftovers and there is usually none left when I make this recipe!

One Dish Wonder

2 Lb ground chicken or turkey
2 cups frozen green beans
3/4 cup carrots(sometimes I use frozen corn)
3 red potatoes, cubed
1/2 stick melted butter
1/2 packed of Gluten Free Italian Seasoning Mix(I use the safeway brand of Italian Seasoning/Dressing Mix)
Gluten Free Bread crumbs(I use Italian style)
1 Tablespoon chopped onion
Salt and Pepper to taste
Season Salt and Garlic Powder to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Use a 9x13 cooking dish, I don't use cooking spray, but used a bit of melted bacon fat or ghee instead.  Place all the veggies in the dish.  In a separate bowl, mix the ground chicken, breadcrumbs and add the Italian seasoning.  You don't have to add the breadcrumbs, but I do for extra texture, I use about 1/4 cup. Shape the mix into small meatballs and add to dish.  Cover with salt, pepper, season salt and garlic powder.  Melt butter and pour over dish. 
Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.  I then take off the foil and cook for 10 more min to make the meatballs a bit brown.  

You can order the cookbook from Pam Jordan here at:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The FODMAP Issue

There has been lots of news recently about people not really having gluten sensitivity.  Maybe its FODMAPS that are the issue and people with non celiac gluten sensitivity's problems are "all in their head." For many struggling with this condition, this type of press can cause major frustrations for the sufferer.  I frequently have people posting these studies that "debunk the mystery" on my facebook wall or send me a link to the "latest scientific study"
FODMAPS are, "short-chain carbohydrates, named FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols) these short-chain carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly fermented by bacteria in the gut. The production of gas by these bacteria is a major contributor to symptoms." For the sake of time, these include a lot of high sugar fruits, vegetables like onion and garlic, and legumes. Kid X was doing well with his gluten free lifestyle until after a terrible sinus infection.  All of a sudden after being treated with very strong antibiotics, Kid X began to show GI symptoms again.  His abdomen would get tight and swollen, vomiting, diarrhea and malaise set in.  It seemed any fruit, vegetable or bean would cause this reaction.  Immediately I cut out beans, this was one of his favorite vegetables.  I figured, this might be contributing to his swollen tummy. But even with several once tolerable fruits like bananas and apples, the same reaction would occur.  After doing more research I found that suffers with IBS and other GI issues sometimes had improvement by getting rid of foods that were high in FODMAPS. Couldn't hurt right?  So by trial and error, I eliminated foods that caused Kid X to have increased GI symptoms.  I kept a log of what fruits and veggies were tolerated and which were to be avoided. There was a pretty clear pattern of foods high in FODMAPS causing his symptoms.  Foods with low FODMAPS seemed to be tolerated very well.Could his issue just be leaky gut or a depleted good bacteria in his gut from antibiotic therapy? Maybe, but as time as gone on, even trying these foods again has not been successful.  With all the confusing research and studies out there, who knows what is right and what is wrong.  As time progresses we find out things that are bad for us were really good all along, and things that we considered good for us are once again labeled bad.  Speaking to others with similar conditions, are a good start.  I've learned some other signs to look out for just by listening to what other celiac and gluten sensitive people are able to eat or not eat.  I cook gluten free and FODMAP free for the most part for the entire family.  I do make exceptions with some of the FODMAPS for the rest of us that don't seem to be bothered by it.  I want my garlic and onions sometimes!  Kid X does very well with the fruits and veggies he can eat and doesn't seem to complain.  He loves strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.  Even limes and lemons!  I can easily occupy him at restaurants with a lime or a lemon.  The other day he ate 5 slices of lemon at his grandmother's house! Being 3 years old, he is finding his voice, able to tell teachers and friends that he can't eat that banana, apple or enjoy those baked beans.  Having substitutes while everyone else indulges doesn't even phase him.  His children's day out has been wonderfully accommodating.  When snacks or food related projects come up, we bring a substitute.  During the last week of school this year, the class was doing a project with sugar cookies.  We brought sugar cookie mix for the entire class to use instead of  just bringing Kid X a gf version.  He got to mix up his "special" cookies with the class!  For my family, we will continue to cook gluten free, FODMAP free just as we have been doing since finding out about Kid X's diagnosis.  I will continue to read all the latest studies and newest trends, but continue to do what works for my little man.  So friends, continue to post studies, even post all those things that you think will debunk this so called fad.  I do not wish for you ever to have to go through what my child has gone through. Food allergies and sensitivities are real and the best thing to do is be compassionate for those families that are affected whether you thing it is real or not.  I am thankful that this is diet controlled for my little one! Just as I have to abstain from seafood so I won't have an anaphylactic reaction, those that suffer with gluten issues have to abstain as well.  Though the immediate  reaction might not be as "severe" as other food allergies, they are just as life threatening. Plus there are a lot more things in life to be concerned with and thankful for than trying to prove someones diet as wrong. Whatever future studies will or won't prove, I don't think eating real fresh foods, cooking more and eating less processed, sugary, carbohydrate rich foods ever hurt anyone. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Kid X Diagnosis

I talked last week with someone from a project I hope to be soon involved with. As we were talking, I told my story of how my little man was diagnosed.  I'm grateful this was not years of struggling to figure out what was wrong with him since so many others are misdiagnosed.  It was still an ordeal and a process, one which will continue to have it's ups and downs, but hopeful he will grow up happy and healthy with few bad times.
When Kid X was born he weighed 7 pounds.  Great and healthy weight. However the first week he went down to about 5 pounds 11 oz. The pediatrician thought I must either not be feeding him correctly or there was something wrong with my breast milk. So I was referred to a lactation consultant.  My breast milk analysis was perfect, my feeding times and log were spot on. I left with a, "You're doing everything right." But no answers.  Kid X continued to be severely underweight and new symptoms started at  age 1 month.  Projectile vomiting.  I didn't worry, he was eating so much and the pediatrician said it was just GERD, he prescribed prilosec.  Although I was very reluctant to start something like this, I decided to try.  There was no relief in vomiting and very loose stools started.
Around 3 months, Kid X broke out in a strange, blistering rash on his face.  I attributed it to something I was eating, so I backed off all dairy and breads.  I ate basic veggies, fruits and little spices to my meals.  The rash cleared up. Meanwhile the vomiting continued.  Kid X slept a lot.  By three months he was sleeping all night with only one feeding.  It worried me but he was up during the day with naps and eating well.  This was when his first ear infection happened and I noticed that his eyes were turning in.  He focused intensely on his hand for hours at a time.
The next 7 months were nothing but more ear infections, stronger antibiotics, more GERD medications, constant vomiting, diarrhea and frequent doctors visits.  X was still below the tenth percentile in weight. The staring at the hand worried me at first but then the pediatric ophthalmologist assured me this was just due to poor vision and lazy eye.  The problem could be corrected with eye patching to train the weak muscles in the eye.  Kid X was eating solid food, many didn't seem to agree with him, anytime he was put down on his back, coughing and projectile vomiting would occur. By one year, X was still not walking but trying his hardest to balance and stand.  He was very clumsy and uncoordinated.  The year ended with ear tube surgery as the constant infections were becoming harder to treat.  I hoped this would help his balance and maybe stop some of the other undesirable problems.  I was tired of being embarrassed when out at others homes when a "super diaper blow out" would occur or have to apologize for a massive vomiting accident.
Despite the surgery, it still took another round of antibiotics to clear the infection in his ears.  Finally Kid X stated walking at about 14 months.  Very clumsily, but it was a relief since this skill seemed a little late to come compared with the other kids developmental progress.  Constant vomiting and lose stools, trips to the eye doctor continued until about 15 months.  X had eye surgery to help his lazy eye.  It was successful. My pediatrician left the practice and I was forced to find a new one.  Kid X was still low in weight but eating tons of food, bread seemed to be the only thing that he would eat.  I think it calmed his tummy.  My new pediatrician suggested something might be wrong since GERD symptoms should be gone by now.  She suggested trying no dairy for 2 weeks.  This slightly improved the vomiting but not much.  Next she said try no wheat for two weeks, but before we started, she did a blood test for gluten sensitivity. One week in this trial and I had an entire day of no vomiting.  By two weeks, only one episode at bedtime. During this time I got a call saying that 2 labs came back off the charts and one was normal.  We finally had an answer.  My pediatrician gave a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity and gluten ataxia because of his poor balance.  She encouraged me to get a biopsy for an actual celiac disease diagnosis.  I politely declined.  2 surgeries in a year was enough.  Plus he would have to eat gluten for up to a month.  The diet was working, I wasn't going back to having a sick child.  He was also starting to know what made his tummy hurt.  My pediatrician also thought his lazy eye may have been a symptom of the neurological damage gluten can do, but couldn't say this was entirely the case.  X was doing great, thriving.  He still had some vomiting mainly at night when put down to rest for the night.  I attribute this to weak gag reflex, it runs on my husband side of the family. In a few short months after diagnosis, he gained weight back to the normal range.  Right before age two, Kid X had a horrible sinus infection.  Afterwards, the disease took a different turn and vomiting, loose stools and horrible bloating returned.
So that's how a mom found out that her son was gluten sensitive and more than likely, celiac. May is Celiac Awareness Month.  I want to share my story so that if you are struggling with strange symptoms, maybe you will be inspired to continue your search for a diagnosis and also try the gluten free lifestyle.  In my next post, I'll continue the story of the new and unusual symptom that Kid X displayed and how I figured out what was wrong.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kid X

I have a wonderfully bouncy three year old that has inspired me to blog.  He loves trains, owls, cars and Mickey Mouse.  He sings "wheels on the bus" and "eye of the tiger song" or as Katy Perry calls it, "Roar" incessantly.  My kid X could read books all day long or slide on the playground all day.   He's a normal three year old.  But kid X has gluten sensitivity issues and well as issues with fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols. Or as the abbreviation goes FODMAP foods.  I want to share my experiences with parents that are struggling to figure out "what the heck should my child eat?" when finding out that they are celiac,  gluten sensitive or struggling with food allergies.
My husband and I are in this wonderful awesome family with Kid X, our three year old,  Kid R, his daughter and Kid I, my older son.  So as you can imagine,  nobody wants to eat the same thing!  So as I set this blog up there will be more stories,  ideas,  recipes and survival tips of a mom and her family coping with gluten, FODMAP's and my own seafood allergy!