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...
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...
Your Guide to Surviving Holiday Treats with Kids

Your Guide to Surviving Holiday Treats with Kids

With the kids jingle belling And everyone telling you be of good cheer It’s the most wonderful stressful time of the year.   Isn’t that such a bummer?  I used to love everything about Christmas.  Yet, since becoming a parent they seem to have become more of a headache. Our to-do lists get longer, our wallets get leaner, our kids get over-tired and poorly-fed.  Naturally, parents are stressed out about all the holiday treats with kids.   You’re probably worried about heading to that party this week…wondering what to do when your little one goes to town on the cookies.  But since becoming a mom of three little ones, I realize I can’t waste my energy on this stuff.  Speaking of 3 little ones…   [Let me interrupt this blog post with an important message!]   Meet our brand spanking new Mackenzie, who is the ripe age of 6 weeks today!  You’ll see more of her and our shenanigans in the coming months.  She’s a gem if I might say so myself.  Her older sisters on the other hand, they are the hard work!  Good thing they are cute.     [Back to our regular programming]   The holidays are one of those times I know I just need to chill out.  Especially when it comes to how to handle holiday treats with kids.   When I’m fixated on keeping my girls away from the goodies and filling them up on greens, it gets ugly.   I put pressure on them –> they resist eating –> I want to withhold ‘treats’ –> they want to indulge even more –> I get...