LIVER: the perfect food for picky eaters (and tired parents)

LIVER: the perfect food for picky eaters (and tired parents)

  Geesh. Being a Nutritionist comes with some guilt. I know I should be feeding my family super nutrient-dense foods like bone broth, organ meats, fermented veggies, etc.  However, I seem to stumble back to my safe place with our favourite foods. Don’t get me wrong, we eat really well (lots of veg, quality proteins, and very few packaged foods) but if I were being judged by fellow Holistic Nutritionists I might get a B+. If I know what I should be offering, why am I not doing it?  For lots of bad reasons… Mainly I’m unwilling to venture to the unknown.  I’m aware of the risk that organ meats and fermented veggies may not get eaten. My girls are adventurous however, these nutrient dense foods come with powerful flavours. But hold on!  My girls love olives, pickles, kombucha, and spicy sushi, which aren’t exactly mild tasting foods.  I told you my reasons were poor.  Naomi proved me wrong - here she is eating another piece of liver meatloaf (see below) with salad.  Mackenzie looks intrigued. Then the universe spoke to me… Not only was beef liver on sale at our local butcher Rowe Farms.  But I also stumbled on an article about organ meats.  Both in the same day. Whoa universe…I get the message! It was time to walk the “picky eating expert” talk.  Just as I ask other parents, I had to ask myself: how can kids learn to like {insert new food} if they don’t see or try them? It was time to add a few more things to our list of nutrient-dense foods - starting with good...
4 Ingredient Protein Powder Cookies

4 Ingredient Protein Powder Cookies

There’s something about recipes with less than 5 ingredients that really excites me. We just returned from yet another weekend away (you know how much we love being out and about).  After I unloaded a van full of stuff, I do what I always do.  Open my fridge door to check out the food situation, and it’s never pretty.  In this case, I had a half container of organic cherry tomatoes, a bag of carrots, eggs, mostly eaten tub of hummus, and two lonely avocados. I had some frozen entrees in my freezer (thank goodness!) from Farm to Table Meals. So we were fine for dinner and lunch box leftovers. It was the snack situation I needed to figure out. Quickly. Sienna has karate every Tuesday and Thursday right after school, and it’s critical she has something to nibble before she puts on her gi. If not, I’m dealing with irrational meltdowns…either because I didn’t tie her karate belt at the right angle, or I took off her left sock before her right one.  She will find something to tear up about with that satiating snack. And as you know, those snacks have to be balanced with protein and/or fat and fibre.  [p.s. Check out the Balanced Lunch Box Cheatsheet for mix and match ideas]. Given that I had unpacking to do, three bedtimes to manage, and another nutrition presentation to finalize, my window of ‘snack prep’ time was limited last night. So I pulled out the colouring books and gave Mackenzie a teether to chew on while I went into creative mode. Thanks to my list of healthy...

The 4th trimester: 10 things that saved me as a mom of three

While I was pregnant last year, I spent all of my time preparing for the labour.  Admittedly, even after experiencing two births - one at home and one at the hospital – I was still super nervous about her arrival. . The length of the labour. The contractions. The ring of fire (they call it that for a good reason)! The risk that something could happen. . Especially when people continued to tell me that 3rd babies were “wild cards”.   . Grrreat.  . Needless to say, in the final months of my pregnancy I did lots of work to get ready for the birth.  Then on November 8th, Mackenzie, our sweet little girl arrived.  We were now a family of five (whoa!).  . The birth was an amazing experience - it was speedy, she was healthy, and her freaked-out mama survived! (here are my 3 birth stories)  .  . Sure, labour is physically and emotionally challenging. However, it is only a blimp in time. . It’s the s#$% that comes AFTER the birth that is reeeeeeally hard.    . That “ring of fire” I was dreading for months only lasts minutes in most cases. The transition of an unpredictable newborn in the 4th trimester lasts for months. . Even though I had been through the ‘new mom’ phase before (twice), I forgot how draining the 4th trimester can be!  . I felt like a sleep-walking zombie. I had to redefine productivity (showering 3x a week = success). I felt terrible not being able to give as much attention to my older girls. I cried (a lot).  I had no motivation to cook.  . But...
Pinpointing Family Food Intolerances (4 steps)

Pinpointing Family Food Intolerances (4 steps)

  Up until a year ago my quirky 2 year had that soft, supple baby skin.  But one day I noticed a patch of rough skin just above her cute little tush.  Then those spotty patches moved to her back and arms.  The alarm bells starting going off in her mommy’s head (as a parent there’s aaaaaalways something to worry about right?). Being a Certified Nutritionist, I knew her body was reacting to something so I went into investigation mode.  And I quickly figured out dairy was the culprit.  It was a pesky food intolerance that was triggered on the inside, but showed up on the outside. Our body has an amazing way of trying to tell us something is up.  But often we chalk it up to not being a problem and our new ‘normal’. For your family it might be… Cravings Irritability and tantrums Inability to lose weight Inability to gain weight Autoimmune disease Fatigue Headaches Migraines Muscle or joint pain. These are all symptoms of a food sensitivity or intolerance. Let me explain!   What is a Food Intolerance? It is important to not confuse a food intolerance with a food allergy as they are two separate conditions. A food intolerance is the body’s digestive system’s response to a disagreeable food. Unlike a food allergy, which produces an immunological mechanism after consuming an allergen, a food intolerance produces a non-immunological reaction. For example, a person may have digestive issues after drinking cow’s milk because they are unable to digest the sugar lactose — this would be called a food intolerance. If they had an immunologic response to...
The BEST Family-Friendly Cauliflower Recipe EVER

The BEST Family-Friendly Cauliflower Recipe EVER

Let me set the tone here for this recipe (and why I was so bold to say it’s the “best family-friendly cauliflower recipe”). …In my husband’s words “this is the best cauliflower I’ve ever had“. …In Sienna’s words (my 4 year old) “YUM!”. …In Naomi’s words (my 2 year old), complete silence as she rammed piece after piece in her mouth. …And 15 minutes after sitting at the table, this is what we had left of it tonight. So yeah, this recipe was OK.  (wink wink) We eat a lot of cauliflower as evidenced by the recipes on my website like this Dairy-Free Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole and this Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce.   But every once in a while I get the urge to get creative in the kitchen.   Because like our kids, I’m a little fickle and get bored of our usual go-to recipes. Even if your child, or partner, or you dislike a food - preparing it in different ways makes it a different food altogether!  Alter the taste, the texture, the smell, and you may all find a new favourite in an ‘old’ food.  For me, I could take or leave steamed or raw cauliflower (or broccoli).  Yet once we add some spices and bake it, a whole new side of cauliflower comes alive! It’s Friday night, and we just returned from Mexico.  Coming back to minus degree weather, I needed some food for comfort.  Something really yummy.  Something so good it almost tasted ‘bad’ for us. Our protein dish was already lined up (good ol’ turmeric and lemon wild salmon), but it needed a veggie side.  I...