Eat Local Challenge: day ten update

Over the last week I’ve definitely been stretched in my ability to find and acquire foods for my family.

Some things are very easy, like milk and beef and produce. Everything else seems SO hard.Like chicken. The farmer I mentioned previously called me later that day (figures) and I was supposed to meet him at the farmer’s market yesterday. And he was not there.

So instead of doing chicken twice a week like usual, we’ve either had more beef, or (much to Todd’s chagrin) not had meat at all.

We also decided that with salsa season upon us, that we would purchase tortilla chips. A Michigan made brand from a local store. not perfect, but since fresh salsa is our favorite thing ever, it’s what we’re doing.

We also had a birthday on Monday here in our house, so we also had cake and ice cream. Yes, yes we did.

I’m learning how difficult it can be to shop for food when you don’t just head to the nearest super market!

How are you doing buying local foods? What have been your biggest struggles?

Yet another local breakfast consisting of eggs. #eatlocalSuper fresh salsa! #eatlocalA quick late lunch, mostly local. #eatlocalA mostly not local breakfast....... Extra tired this am, plus it's rainy out, equals oatmeal. #eatlocalLocal grub. #eatlocalFrom the garden! #eatlocal
Our local food haul for the day! Fresh milk, potatoes, sweet corn, pastured eggs, grassfed beef, and garlic. All from within 5 miles of my house. #eatlocalFinishing up the last of the homemade pizza for lunch with garden cukes and market watermelon. #eatlocalPicked 20 minutes ago! #eatlocalA mostly local breakfast, fried egg with homemade gf muffin and watermelon. Need to stop at the farmers stand for more kale! #eatlocalOnly half local (and totally not balanced), but after puppy training class I'm starving! #eatlocalA lunch of leftover pizza (local pepperoni and veggies) and farmers market carrots and watermelon. #eatlocal
A garden fresh snack. #eatlocalMy #eatlocal breakfast! Eggs fried inside a sweet pepper ring with a peach on the side.Birthday boy wanted pancakes and @wbdairy sausage for breakfast this morning! #eatlocalI don't think someone is quite understanding the eat local challenge! :-) I needed flour for a birthday cake (yes. I make came for birthdays.) but the other? :shakes head:Dinner: zucchini potato soup. It was eh. #eatlocal"Leftover lunch": our eggs, cucumber, and venison, and local veggies in rice. #eatlocal
So disappointed! This farmers market peach was not sweet and juicy at all. #eatlocal #failA breakfast of local peaches and potato plus venison from our freezer. And unsweetened coffee with fresh cream. #eatlocal What local foods are on your plate this morning?From the garden today. #garden #eatlocalDinner! #eatlocalAn all local dinner! #eatlocal #GRWhy you wash broccoli before you eat it. #extraprotein #eatlocal

Eat Local, a set on Flickr.

 

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Eat Local Challenge: I need your advice

It’s been two and a half days since starting the eat local challenge, and I’m beginning to get stumped.

I have a farmer that I reserved some chickens with that hasn’t called me back yet. I don’t want to eat beef everyday (of which I have a good source for) and we’ve eaten our last local fish.

The peaches I bought at the farmers market taste gross – pretty sure they picked them much to soon!

And Todd wants snacks, a.k.a. chips.

We’ve been eating quite well, most meals consisting of 90% or more of local foods, and I love how fresh everything has tasted.

Day one:

breakfast – scrambled eggs, one of our last oranges, and unsweetened coffee with fresh cream

lunch – hardboiled eggs (we ate at the park) and garden cucumbers

dinner – local beef, farmers market sweet corn and potatoes, and garden broccoli

Day two:

breakfast – same as day one……..by request of my kids

lunch – hardboiled eggs, cherries, and cucumbers (at the lake)

dinner – fried local fish, farmers market green beans, and veggie rice with garden veggies

Day three:

breakfast – farmers market baked potato and peach, leftover roast venison (from our freezer)

lunch – “leftover lunch” roast venison, veggie rice, garden cucumber, hardboiled egg

I know I need to pull out some meal ideas from our grain free days, maybe make some soup for dinner tonight. And I do have a few ingredients left in my pantry to use, but I did not stock up before beginning this challenge. Not to say that I won’t buy any pantry essentials, but I’d like to keep them to a minimum if possible.

I’d love your advice in two areas!

1. What snacks do you regularly prepare? We did popcorn last night, but I don’t have much left and would rather not have to make it each night. I may also find some Michigan made chips for Todd, lest he go nuts. Plus once my tomatoes start ripening in the next week or so we’ll want to start eating chips and salsa while I can make it nice and fresh!

2. I also need some recipes and meal ideas! What are you eating right now? I’m finding that it’s hard to meal plan because I don’t know exactly what I’ll be able to find at the market.

I definitely feel like I’m learning about food all over again.

If you’re on Instagram or twitter, use the hashtag #eatlocal to show us what you’re eating! Below are the pictures I’ve taken so far this week with that hashtag. (hold your mouse over them to bring up the titles)

[instapress userid=”donielle” tag=”eatlocal” piccount=”11″ size=”250″ effect=”fancybox” title=”1″ paging=”1″]

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Free Fertility Foods Checklist

Subscribe to Naturally Knocked Up and I’ll send you a link to download the Foods for Fertility checklist!food for fertility checklist

This convenient checklist can help you figure out what to eat, as well as give you a weekly look at your food intake. This checklist covers most of the basic foods that are nutrient dense and good for balancing hormones and boosting fertility. And I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time getting in everything, every day – so this is an easy way for me to make sure that most of the boxes are checked off by the end of the week.

And while we have offered this checklist before, it just hasn’t been as pretty. My friend and fellow blogger Fran, from Small Bird Studios designed this one for us. So if you’ve downloaded it in the past – it’s time for an upgrade!

I use this checklist myself every few weeks, to make sure I’m on track. It’s also been helpful in busy seasons, where I’m more apt to forget different foods day after day or get into the habit of eating quicker foods.

Of course, nothing is perfect. And there is no “perfect diet” for fertility, so some of your food items will need to change based on food allergies or intolerances. There are also a few lines for you to write in the specific foods you need, to customize it a bit.

 

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

My Bulk Herb and Spice Order, part two

A few days ago I covered my order from Mountain Rose Herbs, today I’ll talk a bit about my order from the Bulk Herb Store.

I’ve been a lurking fan of the Bulk Herb Store for some time, paging through their catalog, searching their site, and finally placed my first order.

I was not disappointed.

The quality of the herbs is phenomenal, the order came very quickly, and it was free shipping.
BHS Herbs_04_040612

Beginner’s Tool Kit

I started with this one since it contained a lot of the herb mixes I was wanting to try and they offer it at a steep discount compared to buying them all separately. It includes:

  • Snooze Tincture – this mix comes with all the herbs you need to make your own tincture. (mine is currently in the cupboard steeping!) It’s supposed to help calm a person during stressful situations and allow for better sleep.
  • Less-Stress Herba Smoothie Mix – these herba smoothie mixes are a great way to get in medicinal herbs without swallowing a bunch of pills.
  • Cough Tea – we’ve already been using this one as it seems everyone in my family but me, has come down with a bit of a cold/cough. It’s tasty and has definitely seemed to help in the expectorant area.
  • Double-E Immune Booster – an herbal mix that includes elderberry and echinacea, I’ve used it as a tea and will also make a tincture for use in the fall/winter season.
  • Red Rooibos Spice Chai Tea – a great tasting, naturally decaffeinated tea. I found another brand in the stores this last winter and really enjoyed the change from a black tea chai. I love having a jar of this on my counter!
  • Peppermint Leaf – I’ll be finding some new uses for peppermint I’m sure, as it came with quite the large bag. I usually just use it to flavor other teas, so if you have some recommendations – let me know.
  • Rise and Shine Tea – I’ve been drinking this tea in the mornings and it is delicious. I’ve noticed good energy without the spike and fall of coffee. (not that I ever drink that…….)

BHS Herbs_09_040612

ImLife Tincture

“ImLife is a combination of nine different herbs containing natural antibiotic properties to help boost the immune system and fight infections. “

I’ve got this one sitting in the cupboard as well, steeping for another week or so before I strain it out.

BHS Herbs_10_040612

Liver Cleanse Tincture

“The Liver Tincture is a combination of herbs that purify the blood, are high anti-oxidants, nourishes the livers, help with liver enlargement, help to rebuild the liver, helps with detoxing and the stress it has on the body, helps to level the hormones, stimulates your digestive system and more.”

This murky looking tincture is quite strong. It’ll put some hair on your chest for sure – or give you some bragging rights at least. But while you can add cleansing foods to your diet, and take herbal teas, a tincture is going to go right to your liver – bringing the herbs with it. So when you’re specifically looking to cleanse the liver, this is a great option. (and you can add the tincture to water to reduce the strong flavor)

 BHS Herbs_11_040612Extras

Beeswax – this is for adding to my herbal salves and chapsticks to thicken them up, making the oil more of a solid.

Strainer – already used quite a few times, this strainer will be perfect for putting my tinctures into those little bottles and I’ve grabbed it while making tea as well.

The new household apothecary.

My new apothecary all set up!

*I’ve also been asked about the jars I used – some are mason jars, the sealed jars with the flip-up tops are from Ikea (they have  3 sizes – I love them!), and the two large, square ones on the bottom are from Target. And the bottom shelf has almond flour, popcorn, rice, oats, and sugar.

*Some herbs and herbal mixes are not safe for pregnancy and therefore you should also use caution when trying to conceive as well. Please read the full information before purchasing.

*Links are affiliate links, thank you so much for your support as you purchase items to better your own health.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Gluten Free Bread {recipe}

I don’t often miss bread anymore after our family has been gluten-free for almost two years. When asked by someone contemplating a gluten-free diet how we do meals without bread……well, we just do!

But at first it seemed agonizing.

We had pancakes or muffins for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and rolls with dinner.

I had mastered my homemade whole wheat bread, the smell of it wafting through the house, calling us to the kitchen with its intoxicating aroma.

But when Todd had to go gluten-free, we all went gluten-free. Since it’s not a necessary food for survival, we could all stand to do without. Plus we had been having some health issues with our kids as well and decided that it would be best for them to go without it for a time. (and while I remain 98% gluten-free, the rest of my family is still completely gluten-free)

Meals were tough at first, learning how to replace wheat with other flours in recipes seemed mind-boggling. And for the most part, we just go without breads now, save for some whole grain pancakes on the weekend. I just found that while eating gluten-free – replacing our normal foods with gluten-free options also meant that we were eating more refined flours than we had for a few years. So we added in more vegetables and some whole grain dishes made with rice or millet instead of the bread and rolls.

Every once in a while though, maybe once a month, I make a loaf of gluten-free bread. It’s not a health food per se (because of the ‘white’ flours/starches), but a great substitute for a light and moist loaf of bread. A facebook friend of mine gave me the recipe a few months back and we’ve enjoyed it ever since.

It’s not as pretty as a loaf made with whole wheat, but it sure is tasty!

gluten free bread recipe

Gluten Free Bread

(makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients

3.5 cups brown rice flour
2.5 cups potato or tapioca starch (you could also use arrowroot flour)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
5 Tbsp whole cane sugar, divided
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter or lard
2 cups warm water, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp yeast
4 eggs, pastured preferred
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Method of Preparation

1.Place the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water-1/2 cup milk along with 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for about ten minutes. (I use hot water and cold milk – hot+cold=warm)

2. In a stand mixer (or use your muscles) mix together the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, 4 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt together until well combined.

3. Mix together the yeast mixture, the softened butter (not melted!), the eggs, and the apple cider vinegar.

4. Add the additional warm water while mixing to get the right consistency. We’re looking for something like cake batter. It will be spoon-able, not knead-able like wheat breads.

5. Spread into two greased bread pans, about half full. One option I use regularly is to make a loaf of bread, a pizza crust, and use any leftover for breadsticks.

6. Let sit in a warm area for 20-40 minutes. Keep and eye on it as you don’t want the bread in the pan to get to high as it will bake over the sides and fall to the bottom of the oven. I like to run my stove on just enough to warm it, turn it off, and then place the pans inside for the bread to rise.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until 190 degrees in the center.

8. Let cool and remove from pans. Best eaten the same day or seal in airtight container and keep on the counter for another day or two. (refrigerating seems to make it dry out faster) After that you can chop it up to make bread crumbs or croutons!

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.