Monday, November 18, 2013


Once in a while I just have to share a great find. We've been looking and looking and looking for a "best" option for water bottles.  Not only do the kids use them daily but Mike and I try to carry water with us all the time as well.  I have always had an acute (understatement) sense of smell and taste when it comes to water so I'm usually put off by most options. At home I actually drink from a pitcher of water with lemon all the the time - the lemon at least masks the taste of anything that might be in there.
We have selected BPA free options for the kids, and yet when I have had to drink from their bottles it tastes so much like plastic I have to spit it out. Don't tell me nothing weird is getting into the water if it tastes that bad.  And the aluminum options just don't keep the water cool for long enough.
Enter the solution:

So I went to one of our funky earth friendly stores in town and found the answer. LifeFactory glass bottles.  I was excited but skeptical. I like glass (even used glass baby bottles) but of course it is heavy and scary to have the kids take it to school.  So I bought ONE and had Kaelyn try it (went with the 16 oz with the straw).

She LOVES it.

She has always been a great water drinker but she has at least doubled her intake.  It is definitely heavy. And she knows it. But I ask if she's okay carrying it around and she proudly says yes.  She loves it.

So we bought a smaller one for Andrew (12 oz with straw).  And he loves it equally well.

They actually don't drop them much (although I'll admit my kids aren't very clutsy so this may be a factor)...but the occasional drop has ended well - no breakage at all.

Of course, they are pricey -but we have limited our bottle collection to 1 per person. So not only do our cabinets have more space (actually, they're always in use so really, they are never even in the cabinet) but the price evens out - not to mention I imagine we won't have to replace them as often as you do with the plastic and even the aluminum).

No- I'm not getting paid for this advertisement. Just looking to make life a little easier for you, if you happen to be in the market for the "best water bottle option"....this one gets my vote...and Kaelyn, and Andrew, and Mike's!

Keeping it real! Kathy

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pancakes with a twist

I am really having a hard time getting food into Andrew lately - especially protein.  His favorite food, that he would eat every day all day, is pancakes.  In my opinion, one of the less nutrient dense options.  So I'm playing with getting more of the good stuff inside and thought I'd share today's winner...

Can you guess what is inside?  Kinda purple....kinda green??
Here is the recipe for a double batch of my
Blueberry Spinach Pancakes

3 cups organic whole wheat flour
7 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder (this is what makes them fluffy)
1 teaspoon kelp (yep - you read that right - I sub kelp for salt if I can hide it! It is a great source of Iodine)
1 banana
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup milk (I use coconut milk)
2 pastured eggs (please find and use pastured eggs - you get natural omegas from these good guys)
6 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted

In a blender, mix banana, milk, spinach, blueberries, and eggs till liquidy.
In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, and kelp.  Then quickly and gently mix in the blended ingredients.  The baking soda really gets going and it thickens and expands quickly.  Before it's all mixed together mix in the coconut oil. The only reason I add this last is b/c coconut oil can harden when it gets warm and you want it to stay melted.  Then if the batter is too thick, I add more milk to get it to a wetter consistency that will spoon out well onto my griddle.

Then scoop the batter and place onto griddle, cooking each side for about 2 minutes. I find these are so fluffy I have to smash them down a little to keep them flatter and cooking quicker/all the way through.

Add your choice of toppings - we use real maple syrup and a little bit of pastured butter.

Andrew also loves making the batter - here he is excited to mix in the blended wet ingredients which promised to make a fun purple pancake!

Obviously if your kids wanted a pink or red pancake you could use strawberries or raspberries.  Just know that green items (aka spinach) turn it brown.

Keeping it real! Kathy

Monday, September 30, 2013

Favorite "Squash Bread" recipes

I have a couple of go-to recipes for fun breads that I thought I'd share. The first is super simple and always delish.
It is designed to be a Pumpkin Bar/Muffin.

Pumpkin Muffins 
1 c pumpkin puree

1 c almond butter (I use raw creamy from Trader Joes)
1/2 c raw honey
2 eggs
1 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t vanilla extract

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t nutmeg

1/4 t cloves

Simply mix it all together and stick it in the oven.  350 degrees - 15 mins for cupcakes or 30 for bars/bread.  They are super moist.  The only negative is that it doesn't make that many!  I have substituted butternut squash and they are equally yum.  You probably could do banana, but cut the honey or they'd be too sweet.  I will admit, I added 2 leaves of Kale to this batch. Can you see the flecks?  Can't taste it.  (I blended it in my vitamix first).

And here is a basic recipe that I tweak. I just try to keep the wet ingredients in the same quantity range.  When I'm swimming in meyer lemons I add one (zest and juice) and it does just fine. Today I added butternut squash.  Yum.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread
Adapted from: Marcus Samuelsson
Yields: 1 Loaf | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time:  55 minutes
2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

1 cup mashed banana

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 medium zucchini, grated

1 cup chocolate chips, raisins, dried fruit, nuts, or a mixture of any of these
Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a standard-sized loaf pan.
Beat together the eggs, honey, banana, brown sugar, and vanilla until well-combined.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Mix into the egg/banana mixture just until combined.
Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips, just until combined.
Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let rest for 20 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
For best results, store loosely draped with a kitchen towel. Wrapping your bread in plastic or foil will result in gummy texture.

I found this on this website:

Keeping it real! Kathy

Friday, September 27, 2013

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal Improved!

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal was one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast growing up. Last year I posted a homemade version here.

Since then I became a Dr. Sears LEAN Coach - which I'll tell you more about in a future post..but for now, I wanted to share what I did to improve the oatmeal now that I know so much more about what kids need to eat in order to fuel their growth.

The omega fats are a huge factor for healthy brains, and we already know how important protein is for energy and general growth.  Here is my oatmeal recipe to give the kids a great start to their day. Feel free to substitute with any fruit.  I use frozen blueberries when fresh fruit isn't a great option.  Always organic - everything (except I can't afford organic almond butter!).

1 cup oats
2 cups milk (I use rice or coconut milk but any milk will work)
1 T coconut oil
1 t cinnamon
2 peaches - peeled and diced

I put it all in at once and bring to a boil, then let it simmer till it's almost the right consistency (stirring occasionally).  Making it all at once makes it much creamier than when you bring the water to a boil first.  Then I add 1 T of almond butter.  If it makes it too gooey you can add a little milk to make it the consistency you love.

I top it with 1 T maple syrup (the real stuff).

The whole family loves this.  And it's super quick to make for those rushed mornings.  I make extra and serve it leftover the next morning sometimes.

Keeping it real! Kathy

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

When life gives you lemons...

Okay I know it's hokey but it's kinda our reality right now. I don't even want to talk about the "lemons" in our life right now but we are definitely trying our best to make lemonade!

We are working diligently to carve out our future life for ourselves.  I can tell you this much - it is going to include lemons. Lots of them.

Here are Kaelyn, Andrew and I getting started.... planting the seeds....

Keeping it real! Kathy