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Month: May 2016

Zesty Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie

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It’s officially strawberry season here in B.C and my little family is loving it! We have been blending, baking and enjoying our body weight in strawberries these days.  Adelaide is especially fond of these beautiful red treats and the delicious snacks that have been filling her day. As the days get warmer, we tend to eat lighter, fresher and more local based meals. It has been our goal over this last year to really enjoy the foods that are in season and can be accessed easily. So as the berry bushes start filling up, we are not only using these items daily, we also are filling our freezer and getting ready to prepare for the colder, dryer months.

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This Zesty Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie is a delicious start to any morning. I came up with this smoothie after my friend ” Justine  ” sent me a little gift of essential oils. For awhile now I’ve been starting my morning off with a warm cup of water and lemon essential oils to give my gut the proper jump start it needs for the day. I recently started experimenting with adding these delicious and healthy oils to my recipes and I’m loving it! Just 1 drop of lemon adds the perfect amount of zest to this traditional fruit smoothie. If you’re interested in more information on essential oils, check out  Alowellness.com  

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Ingredients:

Photography By: Abbie Rose

All of my ingredients have been purchased at our local farmers market and Natures Fare Kelowna.

  • 1 drop of doterra lemon essential oils
  • 2 cups watermelon chunks
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 4 tsp chia seeds
  • fresh ground ginger to taste
  • organic maple syrup or raw honey to taste

Directions: Place all ingredients in blender and mix till smooth. Serve chilled with a fun straw~~*

 

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Strawberry Watermelon Summer Salad

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Lighter, earlier and seasonal. This is our current goal. I recently started taking a course called “Align and Thrive,” which my good friend Dana leads.  The goal with this course is to gently re-train your body to break old habits and re-create healthier ones that actually stick! Dana has a much lovelier way of describing the course..Sorry Dana!  I’m currently in week #5 and it’s working. Once again, I was trying to think of a much cooler way of telling you it’s working, but it’s just as simple as that..It’s working! Every week we are given something simple and attainable to work on, that in turn helps us start to realize what things we may be practicing or holding unto in our life that really aren’t the best for our health.  If you want to sleep, eat, and feel better this is most definitely the course for you. One of the first habits we worked on was eating a lighter dinner. The science behind a lighter dinner is that it gives our digestive system a chance to take a break and we sleep better because our bodies are not working as hard during the night to process those big dinners.  When I heard this habit come up in the first session, I immediately went into all the excuses why it wasn’t the habit for me. I’m breastfeeding. I train late. I believe snacking is good..blah,blah,blah you get the point. But I had decided before I signed up for the course that I would stay committed for the 9 weeks. I would follow the habits even for just 1 day and see if I saw a difference . I instantly saw a difference with my sleep! Previously, I was having restless sleeps and waking up feeling over tired, foggy and pretty overwhelmed. Within the first couple days of switching my dinner to a 6:30p.m finish and not eating until breakfast, I saw a huge change in my sleep. My sleeps were deep, restful and I woke up feeling positive about the day I was about to take on. I was hooked. Troy saw such a huge change in my energy that he actually got right on board and has been following this habit with me for 4 weeks now. We do break it here and there based on situations that come up in life, but I can honestly tell you that it has been such a huge shift for both of our bodies that we actually try to avoid it as much as possible.  Our lunches are the heavier meal of the day and we have switched our dinner to light and fresh.  Things like delicious salads, soups and small amounts of protein are now what you will see on our dinner table.

Photography By : Abbie Rose

edit-0088This delicious salad is a recent creation that we are just loving! It’s fresh and the perfect blending of flavours.

Strawberry Watermelon Salad

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  • 1 cups watermelon
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Jersey land raw feta cheese
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • edit-0081Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • Directions:

Combine your cubed watermelon and strawberries in a medium size bowl. Add your chopped basil leaves and raw feta. Grind fresh black pepper to taste and serve cold.

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Breastfeeding And Doing You

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two days this little lady of mine turns eleven months! Together, we have battled workouts, sleepless nights, and teething difficulties, and we are still breastfeeding buddies! I never thought I would be able to say I breastfed for this long, but here we are celebrating eleven months of solely breastfeeding, and it doesn’t seem like Adelaide will be wanting to stop any time soon.

I previously wrote a little blog post regarding my journey with breastfeeding, so I’m not going to cover that tonight. If you are interested in my rollercoaster experience, you can read my blog post here. The journey with Adelaide was full of ups and downs for months. The milk would come; the milk would go. Adelaide would be satisfied some days, and other nights she’d be crying because I didn’t have enough that day. As I felt my milk supply start to decline, the memories of my previous experiences with McCarthy and Bennett kept creeping into my mind. Maybe I’m not made for this; maybe my body doesn’t know what it’s doing. This is too stressful. I want to give up! I could give you a hundred reasons for why I wanted to give up! But I would also be able to give you the same number of reasons for why I wanted to keep going.

If you are reading this article and you have chosen not to breastfeed, know there is no judgment coming from this mom. This is my story, my experience, and the choices I made were right for me. I know the battles we face as moms daily! We need to support one another, rally around each other’s situations, and celebrate when someone else makes a breakthrough.

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So Adelaide and I pressed on, and I was determined to try everything I could to keep the milk flowing. I love reading blog posts that are short and to the point that give me the information I need without a lot of words. So that is exactly what I’m going to do! Rather than drag you through the emotional mess of my stressed-out-breastfeeding-mom experience…I’m going to fast forward and tell you what did work for me!

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Eat your fat:

Fat is amazing because it makes us feel positive, packs nutrition into our bodies, and tastes delicious! When breastfeeding, our babies are feeding off our fat stores and depleting us every day if we are not refueling properly. When people hear “fat,” they often think that eating it will slow down our baby weight loss or make us fatter. This actually couldn’t be more wrong. When we eat healthy fats, our bodies function better. Our bodies know how to burn healthy fats, and our cravings for negative food choices actually are depleted when we eat healthy fats. Drinking coconut milk, for instance, made a huge difference in my milk supply. Coconut milk is packed with delicious fats, and my body was craving more sustenance. I started making protein shakes every day to help my body get more liquid as well as the fat it was craving.

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Work out less:

If you would have told me this with babies #1 and #2, I would have told you where to put your opinions. But we live and learn, right? With Adelaide, I definitely noticed a change in my milk supply when I did any workouts over 40 minutes. I started realizing that my body just couldn’t balance breastfeeding and these extended workouts, so I ditched them. I shortened everything to 20-30 minutes a day—quick and powerful—and I saw results. The baby weight kept coming off, and my milk supply increased! Though I believe working out is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body post-baby, there are times when you can overdo it. So set your clock, ladies, for 20 minutes and go! This is the type of workout that will leave you gasping for air and sweating your ____ off. Don’t take it easy on yourself because you’re a mom and you’ve worked hard enough already today! Yep, you heard me! Move your butt and remind yourself who are and why you will not take the easy road.

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Let your friends feed your kids:

Okay, this may seem weird to some of you, and that’s okay! When I was in the depths of breastfeeding struggles, I enlisted the help of my sister-in law and my friend Rebecca, who are milk machines, to help me feed Addie while my supply increased. You will never know how thankful I was for those bags of milk and the amount of stress it took off this mom. Struggle is a real thing, ladies. It happens to all of us at some time or another in our lives, so to pretend we have it all together is just way too stressful. Be open, be honest, and trust the people you know have your back with your story…and maybe even let them feed your babies. J

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Do what brings you life:

Dear Mom,

I know in this craziness of having a baby and not being to think straight, the only thing you want to do is sleep. So do that! But then I want you to write down one thing that brings you life and go do it! If your partner is not available, enlist a friend to hold your baby or babies. When we relax our minds and feed our souls, the body responds in positive ways. If we are always running on fumes, our bodies will know it, and so will your baby. Stress does kill your milk supply, and it also can make the flavor of your milk change, causing your baby to be a poor eater. Whether it’s taking 10 minutes in the morning to throw some music on and clear your head or getting your nails done once a week, you do you! This is so important because you’re Mom, and the joy you carry with you is so important to the ones around you.

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Do what works for you:

This is my last one, and for me it was the most important. I believe in sleep training and 100% support it, but it wasn’t the best thing for Adelaide early on. My milk dipped, and I panicked. I knew from previous experience that it might not go back up, so I made the choice to wake up in the middle of the night (sometimes many times) and nurse her to keep my body producing. This worked for me! I did wean her off of this at 10 months because I felt like I was solid at that point. Adelaide loves nursing (which was not the case in the beginning), and I feel like we are just the most special team together. Sometimes people’s advice is amazing, and other times you need to shelf it. This is your baby and your body, and you need to do what works for you.

 

I hope this helps encourage you in your journey. Feel free to leave questions or comments.

BOOMBALOO/Spring 2016

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BOOMBALOO magazine officially launched their spring issues today and surprised us with with the cover shot! Thank you Natalie, for support, encouragement and flexibility;) I love being a part of this talented and inspirational group of writers.

A special thanks to Abbie Rose, for delivering these beautiful photos! I can’t wait to work on another project with you.

Rachel~~*

 

Here is  little sneak peak at my article. Please feel free to leave comments, questions or feedback.

Enjoy~~*

What do we do when we are running out of air? We panic! We thrash, grab onto anything nearby for support, scream, look crazy, and gasp with exhausted relief once oxygen breaks through.

 This is what motherhood can feel like for me. I decided to write this article very honestly because I know I’m not alone. I also know there are millions of moms out there who love their babies with every ounce of their being and feel guilty for looking crazy and being crazy while we love them. My crazy is an overwhelming feeling that I must escape but I can’t leave or let myself leave. My panic is feeling I’m failing at it all and worrying that I might run out of air while I try to perfect this thing called motherhood. My exhaustion comes from comparing myself to everyone else and believing the lie that I’m in this alone. Today, as you read this article, I want to offer you a shoulder you can cry on, the motivation to continue running, and the inspiration to dig deep and remind yourself of the amazing strength you have been created with…Read more here

 

Easy As Pie…Blueberry Crisp

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“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing” he said.

A. A. MILNE, Winnie-the-Pooh

Photography By: Abbie Rose

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I love food and I love sharing its goodness with the people I love. A couple months back we started something in our home called “Community Night.” We decided that we have four walls, we love people and we want to create a place for people to rest, laugh and feel safe when life just is not that great. On Fridays, from 4-12am we leave our door open for friends and family to come share a meal with us, a quick glass of wine or just to bring kids to run in our yard and take a break. It’s potluck style, so everyone shares meals, ideas and I get to try my latest creations on my willing friends. I love creating in the kitchen and giving people the opportunity to try foods that are delicious, simple and healthy. This week’s crisp creation was a hit and is officially going to be a staple in our house and on the community table. It’s the perfect dessert to bridge the gap between your gluten free friends and the ones that make fun of the gluten free friends;)

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Final thought….

If you don’t have a community that you share meals, stories and your journey with, I highly recommend it. Your marriage, your children and your soul needs this! We were created to be story tellers, to share experiences and offer love to one another.  It doesn’t need to be fancy. All you need is food, a place to gather and garbage bags.  You will not be disappointed in the outcome….I promise!

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Easy as pie..Blueberry Crisp

You can find all of these delicious ingredients at your local Natures Fare.

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Crisp topping:
  • 2 cups gluten free quick oats
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour mixture or almond meal
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

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Instructions:

Mix together crisp ingredients. pour the berries into an 8 by 8 pan, and then layer with crisp topping.

Bake at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbling and topping is slightly golden.

Top with coconut milk ice cream and enjoy~~*