7 healthy foods I ALWAYS have in my kitchen (and on my grocery list)

7 healthy foods I ALWAYS have in my kitchen (and on my grocery list)

Prepping meals can be a royal pain in the ‘you-know-what’ when you have a family.  So I try to simplify for my own sanity when hunger strikes.  One of my sanity saving strategies is to always have a few key healthy kitchen staples on my grocery list, and in my cupboard or fridge. I can easily throw these foods into some of my favourite recipes when our selection is running slim, and I can’t make it to the grocery store.  It helps that these healthy kitchen staples also have a long shelf-life, so there’s no food waste. A win win! When the food supply is running thin for families, that’s when they are more likely to get convenience foods, like a frozen pizza, french fries, or takeout.  But because these staples are also nutrient-rich, you can throw most of them together and have a healthy meal. Even as a last resort, we are still getting a dose of vitamins, minerals, etc… everything you need to ensure you have the energy to go grocery shopping tomorrow! Without further adieu, meet my must-have family foods… My 6 healthy kitchen staples:   Tahini and sunflower seed butter (other butters) Because we use ‘butters’ almost daily on our rice cakes/crackers, in smoothies as an alternative to protein powder, in energy balls (a perfect grab-and-go snack that can also be school-safe), baked goods (mmm….paleo pumpkin cookies), and even some of my favourite meals (like this noodle-free pad thai)…I try rotate my nuts/seeds to avoid intolerances/gut issues. There are 3 reasons I love sunflower and sesame seed butters (tahini) in particular: Great alternative as I...
One mom. Three birth stories.

One mom. Three birth stories.

Labour. Without a doubt, it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Our first year of parenting was a doozy.  You’d think, if I could survive the daily vomiting, growth restrictions, nonexistent sleep, mealtime stresses, picky eating, a month at Sick Kids and two heart surgeries - I could handle a few hours (maybe days) of labour. …Nope! You’d think that after having a natural birth with my second daughter, I would be totally ready and confident about having another. …Wrong! From the moment I found out we were pregnant with a third baby, I went on an emotional rollercoaster for the next 9 months. I was elated...I loved big families and being pregnant.  And we were about to have a family of 3 littles! I was in shock…I didn’t think it would happen so quickly, or at all being someone who had PCOS years ago. And I was freaking right out...another baby meant another labour, which meant another contraction - yikes! What was I afraid of?  Good question. Everything that could or would not happen.  I was full of fear - fear of something happening to the baby, something happening to me, etc.  Plus I continually heard from other parents and specialists that third babies were “wild cards”.  So no matter my history, nor despite being active and taking care of myself throughout the pregnancy (and most of my life)…this birth was going to be unpredictable. I had 3 very different birth experiences - from hospital, to home, to birth centre. It’s through these experiences that I learned the 3 things that make me a better...