what we ate: feb 22-28

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Hey! Thanks for all the sweet comments on Zoe’s 1 year letter here, on Facebook and in person. I didn’t really have much intention of writing it, it just naturally happened and I’m so glad it was shared with you all. :)

We celebrated a family filled fun day on Saturday at the Oregon Zoo!  We all had so much fun and the sunshine was perfect.  Just a little cool but sunny, I love it! It couldn’t have been better.

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Now let’s see what we ate for dinners last week!  As always, when there is a recipe to link to, you’ll see it.  The asterisk next to a day is to help me remember when Jacob loved a meal or wanted me to write it down.

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Sunday – crockpot coconut curry lamb + jasmine rice + steamed broccoli

Monday – whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce + beefalo meatballs + spaghetti squash + roasted asparagus

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Tuesday – sausage and brussel sprout quiche + salad

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Wednesday – fish tacos + feta coleslaw + steamed carrots and cauliflower

Thursday – flank steak + cheesy pasta and cauliflower bake + shredded sautéd brussel sprouts

Friday – cheeses + sausage + crusty bread (date night in!)

Saturday – thai zucchini beef meatballs + whole wheat pasta + steamed broccoli

Our bake element died a couple months ago (someone named heather maaaay have caught it on fire a little) so I had been living with a half working oven for quite some time, but Saturday we got it fixed! It was a true team effort – my mom helped me find the model number, I picked up the new element then Jacob installed it. Baking in a fully working oven is nothing to take for granted, so glad to have it working once again!

What is your favorite way to cook/eat lamb, if you eat it?  I absolutely love it, but normally more from restaurants.  I need a good lamb recipe.  Please share if you have one!

Heather

Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015

February 15-21, 2015

dear zoe {year one}

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Happy birthday Zoe! One year ago today at 6:09am you swam into our world. You were full of beautiful dark hair and the cutest wrinkly body. You started loud and continue to be very vocal (a nice way to say you are one LOUD chica).

Birth

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1 month

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2 months

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3 months

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4 months

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5 months

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6 months

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8 months

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9 months

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10 months

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11 months

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12 months

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You have many favorites in your life and food is one of them. I like to call you little miss piggy at the dinner table because you shove food in your mouth by the fistful. It is so fun to watch you enjoy so many different foods, but your first food that got you hooked on chowing down – ground beef – is still your go to favorite. You love pretty much everything though. I think you’re going to take after me and have a deep love for food (and eating).

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I’m not surprised that you still have no teeth (your brother was the same way). A lack of teeth sure doesn’t hold you back from eating!

We still share our special nursing sessions in the morning and before bed. And also when you wake me in the middle of the night. Okay, and sometimes in the afternoon when you wake up really sad from your nap.  I’m a softie when you’re sad and know it’ll comfort you.  You just love nursing and cutting out your mid morning and afternoon ones were much tougher than it was with your brother.

Even though you are now a big one year old your nighttime wakes still randomly happen. Although the random seems to be more often than not, especially this week.  I still love you even when I sleep less.

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You have been sharing a room with your brother consistently for a few months now. You two have so much fun playing, laughing and talking together when you’re supposed to be sleeping. I only see that fun growing as you two become older.  Speaking of talking, your first word (other than the normal dada, mama and bye) was taggie (sounded like aggie). You love your taggie blanket. Anytime you see it in your crib or downstairs from the top of the stairs you cry until you get it. Then your thumb promptly goes into your mouth and all is good again in your world.

Just this week we made the switch to one nap a day. Your afternoon naps were getting shorter and not that great so now you’re going down closer to 12:30/1pm and napping for 2-3 hours. If we are in the car between 8-9am you tend to take a short 5-20 minute nap, but then you still take an awesome afternoon nap.

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Hunter is your number one bud. He makes you laugh, let’s you attack him, shares sweetly and if you are upset he gives you toys to make you feel better. I know you two will have such a great bond growing up together.

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If Hunter is your number one bud, daddy is your main dude. You get the biggest smile and squirm around when he walks into the room. Your best snuggles and cuddles are with him. He loves you like crazy and you have him wrapped around your little finger.

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You are so close to walking! You’ve taken two half steps and then even one full step without falling right away. Any day now and you’ll be off! Some of your favorite toys are stacking bowls and cars, and a favorite game is tossing anything and everything out of baskets.

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Zoe, you bring so many smiles to my life. You are such a sweet, happy, funny and joyful girl. This past year has flown by. It feels like just yesterday I was roaming the hospital halls with you in my belly. Now you are growing up right before my eyes and I just want it to slow down. You are so loved baby girl.

Mama

what we ate feb 15-21, 2015

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Hi!  How’s your Monday going?  I started out with this delicious plate of strawberry whole wheat yogurt pancakes, apple chicken sausage and extra strawberries plus some raisins on the way to teach.  On Mondays I teach Body Pump and fitness yoga.  The perfect combo to start out my week!

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Here’s a look at what we ate for dinners last week.  As always, when there is a recipe to link to, you’ll see it.  The asterisk next to a day is to help me remember when Jacob loved a meal or wanted me to write it down.  Good wifey right here. ;)

Sunday * – herb-crusted tri-tip roast + roasted potatoes, zucchini and asparagus + skillet kale chips

Monday – asian chop salad + cashew crusted pork + steamed broccoli

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Tuesday – beefalo tomato veggie sauce + spiralized sauted garlic zucchini + whole wheat penne mixed with cheese and sour cream + roasted cauliflower

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Wednesday * –  baked lemon pepper salmon + jasmine rice + skillet kale chips + steamed broccoli + sriracha mayo

Thursday – leftovers

Friday * – herb-crusted tenderloin steaks + cheesy cauliflower and quinoa bake + green salad

Saturday – baked chicken thighs + roasted curry sweet potatoes, sweet chili caulifower and beets

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here lately.  I spent most of Saturday outside doing yard work and we made sure to get out on a family walk + a trip to the play ground later in the day yesterday.  The sun and blue skies are deceiving though, there’s still a chill in the air, but I’ll take it over rain and clouds.  The PNW is the best. I just love being outside and soaking it all in!

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Did you get outside over the weekend?  Have you ever heard of/tried beefalo?  It’s a crossbred mix of a cow and buffalo and is absolutely delicious grass-fed meat.

Heather

Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015

 

8 ways to have a toddler help in the kitchen

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One of my favorite ways Hunter and I spend time together is in the kitchen.  We started young normally doing some kind of baking (these bean ball treats were a big favorite).  He would sit on the counter by the food processor and we’d prep away.  I’d let him pour whatever I measured out into the bowl and we’d bake together.  Remember this little guy at 19 months?  More of his baking cuteness from this post.

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Now that he’s getting closer to 3 (in May!) he can do so much more.  Pretty much anytime he sees me working on something in the kitchen (which is often, do sure do love to cook) he starts pulling a chair in to help me prep.  I just love it.  Here are 8 of of my favorite ways Hunter helps me in the kitchen.

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chopping soft foods

He’ll use his kid table knife and dice up whatever I give him.  Whatever is semi-soft makes it much more fun for him since he can actually dice it (tofu, bananas, melons, pear, avocado, etc).  He’s also designated the small wood cutting boards as his – they’re just mini versions of the ones I use.

IMG_4873measuring ingredients

This one is usually messy, but the more kiddos practice the better their precision for scooping and pouring gets. 

mixing ingredients

It goes along with measuring – once the ingredients are together you’ve gotta mix them.  And just like with measuring, mixing skills and not being super crazy with it get better with practice.

rolling out dough

It may look like a mini rolling pin, but it’s actually a wood muddler for mojito making.  Perfect for little hands.

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We made crackers and after rolling the dough out, Hunter worked on making nice smooth sides along it.

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flipping pancakes (with help!)

This one is new – we’re working on getting the whole quick flip with the wrist but he’s getting better!

spiralizing veggies

I recently pulled my spiralizer out of the attic and boy did Hunter love helping with this one.  He cranked it while I added a little pressure so that the zucchini would continue to push through.  Since the spiralizer has sharp blades it’s one to be used with caution!

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washing dishes

When you make a mess, it must be cleaned up, right?!  We were on an Ikea run and he really wanted to pick something out so I let his choose his own scrubbing brush for himself.  He went with blue.  Good choice since we didn’t have that color at home yet.  He’s actually pretty great at scrubbing dishes clean.

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Sometimes I’m in a rush or cooking something that needs my full attention so I can’t have him help.  In those cases if he still really wants to be involved I’ll have him watch, but normally he understands that the stove/oven is hot and he’ll get an opportunity the next time.  I love the excitement he gets to be in the kitchen with me.  Start em young and foster a love for cooking!

Do your kids cook with you?  How do they love to help in the kitchen?

Heather

what we ate feb 1-14, 2015

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Heyo!

Here’s a look at what we ate for dinners over the past couple of weeks. My secret recipe club reveal (the yummy baked pumpkin oatmeal) took my normal Monday post date so instead of throwing it in sometime later in the week, I decided to combine them together.  A double dose of dinner ideas for ya! Like before, when there is a recipe to link to, you’ll see it. I tend to cook as I go along without too much of a plan ahead of time. It keeps my dinner making a bit easier that way and helps me use what I have already in the house.

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Sunday * – new york strip steak with compound butter + baked potatoes/sweet potatoes + roasted green beans

IMG_4875.JPGMonday – crockpot teriyaki beef + feta coleslaw + rice

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Tuesday – twice baked teriyaki beef potatoes + salad + roasted sweet chili cauliflower (recipe coming soon – so good!)

Wednesday – sesame soy tofu + peanut butter soba noodles + sauted kale (this recipe but made with peanut butter)

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Thursday – sausage, spinach and cheese omelets + leftover feta coleslaw with rice

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Friday – cheddar beer fondue + crusty dutch oven bread, sausage, mushrooms and broccoli for dipping (at home date night!)

Saturday – almond crusted halibut fish sticks + roasted carrots + roasted broccolettes

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Sunday – asian pork + rice + sauted cabbage

Monday * – crockpot tomatillo salsa beef + homemade naan + sauted asparagus and mushrooms + fried plantains

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Tuesday – crockpot split pea soup with sausage + whole wheat cheddar biscuits

Wednesday – veggie hash (potato, cauliflower, onion, mushroom, kale) + sausage + fried egg + pear

Thursday – cheese and onion omelette + leftover split pea soup and a biscuit

Friday – chicken and kale whole wheat noodle soup

Saturday – ground beef corn tacos with pinto beans, bell peppers, tomatoes and avocado

My favorite meals of the past couple weeks were the steaks with compound butter, the crockpot tomatillos salsa beef with homemade naan and the sweet chili cauliflower side dish. Mmmm beef has been a big favorite, especially since Jacob has been pretty anti-chicken.  I’m also going to start adding an asterisk next to a day when Jacob specifically asked me to write the recipe down, or that he’d like it again.  Totally making my future meal planning easier since I often times forget what he really liked.

What are you eating this week?

Heather

Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

 

how I made housework something to look forward to

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As I was sitting folding laundry today I realized that I didn’t hate it. And that is definitely not the norm when it comes to laundry. Typically I feel this overwhelming sense of dread when I get around to mundane house tasks, but I actually didn’t mind it this time. Then I got to thinking about other household tasks. Normally I tend to put them off until the last minute and only do the least amount that I have to (wash dishes but leave them on the counter to dry, spot sweep, pick up toys but leave clothes laying around, etc.), but things have changed. Now I feel extra good about helping out my family with the work I do to make our living space better for us. Want to know what I realized?

The housework is my job I signed up for in our marriage.  It’s the job I chose when I was blessed to stay home with the kids.

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I knew it was my job all along, but finally it clicked in my head and I look forward to doing these tasks that not only keep our house a touch nicer (don’t be fooled, it will never be one of those pristine houses), but I know my husband will come home to a comfortable place instead of a home where he feels he needs to pick up and clean after a long stressful day of work. I want him to feel that he can actually relax in our home without a chaotic mess all around.

Growing up in school when all the feminist talk was going on I remember hearing so much about ‘marriages being equal’ and ‘men need to do half the work around the house’ like it was bad that women kept houses clean. Jacob is the leader in our house and by me contributing I can not only serve him but bless our house.  I’m not saying I don’t appreciate when Jacob helps around the house (he still does daily but I try my best to get as much done as I can so he doesn’t need to), but for me I don’t want to feel like he needs to. I don’t want to resent doing dishes nightly, instead I want to feel like I’m fulfilling my duty to serve my house how I chose to and how I am blessed to do.

Let me tell you, it’s amazing and freeing finally realizing this. It’s the slightest shift in mindset but for me it’s made such a difference.

Where do you stand on household tasks? Dread them or enjoy them?

Heather

baked pumpkin spice oatmeal {SRC}

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Hello and welcome to a fresh week!  Today I spent all of the kid’s nap time doing food prep for the week.  Here’s what I prepped:

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  • roasted tomatillos and onions to be blended for a sauce
  • cleaned and chopped grapes, strawberries, red cabbage, celery, carrots and onion for munching and cooking
  • made a batch of peanut butter coconut hemp-oatmeal bars
  • chopped pork for dinner
  • hardboiled then peeled eggs
  • made a batch of cheddar broccoli egg muffins
  • baked salmon for lunches throughout the week
  • made a snack box for the hubs (grapes, cheddar sticks and celery with peanut butter)

It’s going to be so nice to have all the fruits and veggies chopped along with other easy to grab snacks.

On to more food prep with my Secret Recipe Club reveal!  I was assigned Amy’s Cooking Adventure.  Amy is a mama of two like me!  Here’s what she says about herself: “I’m a SAHM of two, foodie blogger, & lover of books.  I cook healthy meals, but I always save room for dessert!”  Her family is just too cute, you’ve gotta check em out.

So as I was perusing her recipes I decided I needed a breakfast recipe.  I was immediately drawn to the green pancakes but ultimately decided on the baked pumpkin spice oatmeal for two reasons.  First I already had a can of pumpkin open in the fridge, and secondly once a week I leave the house early before the kids are awake so I like to have breakfast prepped the night before so I don’t have to cook in the morning.  Okay and thirdly I really wanted to bake in these adorable individual polish pottery bowls my brother gave me.  They are my favorite and I use them pretty much every single day.

IMG_4744The oatmeal batter came together super quickly and since I already had the oven going for dinner, I just threw them in with it.  The substitutions I made were to use a chopped up ripe banana in place of the honey, and I also did not add the chocolate chips or walnuts.  I really try to keep breakfast sugar free since we don’t need it and I find for myself extra sugar first thing in the morning will make me want more of it throughout the day.  Plus the banana added just the right amount of sweetness.  My little kiddos know no difference so they don’t mind. :)

IMG_4749The texture was perfect and the flavor spot on.  I ate mine (rewarmed up) with a spoonful of almond butter.  I loved that it was way less messy than oatmeal for Zoe since she normally eats our standard custard oats with her hands.  The time savings alone in the morning makes me want to add baked oatmeal to my food prep routine.  I’m thinking little muffins though instead of individual ramekins.  It was an awesome recipe I’d definitely make again!

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Baked Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

serves 2

recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ripe banana, diced

 Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat 2 ramekins with oil spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine the oats, spices and baking powder.  In a smaller bowl whisk the milk, pumpkin, egg and butter together.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Stir in the diced banana.
  4. Divide the batter between the two ramekins.  Bake for 30-33 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden and the oats have set. Remove and allow to cool slightly before eating.

What are your go-to oatmeal flavors?  Have you ever tried baked oatmeal?  Do you prefer regular cooked oatmeal or baked oatmeal? 

Heather

baby-led weaning: toddler vs baby

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Hello there!  Hope Thursday is going superb for you.  It’s my extra fun and busy day with many classes to teach.  Today I’m joining in on Munchkin Meals with Brittany from A Healthy Slice of Life.  I wanted to talk about baby-led weaning for toddlers versus babies.  But first, I just have to give a shout out to Brittany.  She just released the book A Mom’s Practical Guide to Baby-Led Weaning.

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I am so excited for her!  First off, I think it’s going to be a well used and much needed book for parents interested in baby-led weaning.  Now that I’ve been doing the whole BLW thing for a while, it’s much easier, but for first time moms beginning to feed their kids it would be a super helpful resource.  Heck, I’m sure there are things in it that I would totally use and benefit to read about now too.  It’s going on my must read list and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.  Congrats to you Brittany!

Now onto toddler versus baby feeding.

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Since Hunter is 2.5 years old, I really don’t call his eating baby-led weaning.  He’s fully weaned and really it should just be called eating, cause that’s what it is.  He is still a wonderful eater (as he always has been).  He eats fruit, veggies, meats, breads, grains, nuts, seeds, drinks whatever he can get his hands on (which is usually just water) and is normally willing to try new foods.  His favorite meal is breakfast.  That boy puts so much food down.  More recently he’s been eating crunchier foods like seeds and nuts.

Also more recently he’s been voicing his opinions more about food.  He is getting somewhat pickier, but honestly I think it’s more of a control thing.  Sometimes he’ll say he doesn’t like something before even trying it, Jacob or I will get him to try it, then he says ‘that’s good!’.  I don’t make him eat everything, but I do make him at least try a bit because normally he’ll eat more of it.  He eats breakfast, a snack mid morning, lunch, maybe an afternoon snack, then dinner.  Dinner is always when we have the most challenge, but I try and look at the balanced day.

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Zoe is 11 months old and devours everything.  She LOVES food.  Sometimes she even eats more than Hunter.  Actually, pretty much every dinner she eats more food than Hunter.  This girl loves dinner and eats so much that I’m sure her stomach is just about to explode when she finishes.  Since she still has no teeth everything needs to be gummable.  I feed her mostly soft foods of whatever we are eating.  If I’m giving her something that’s not very soft (like bell peppers) I chop them up into small pieces.

She is at the stage of throwing food, but it’s only when she doesn’t like things, or she’s just over eating them.  Last night we had tofu, udon noodles in peanut sauce, sauted kale, pear and black beans.  She shoveled everything into her mouth, but then once she wasn’t as hungry, she would pick and choose what she really wanted and anytime tofu was back in front of her she would just chuck it.

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She eats everything with her hands and is insanely messy.  The hardest part right now is eating away from home and trying to keep her mess under control.  Thankfully almost all meals are at the table.  Zoe eats breakfast + nurses, lunch, an afternoon snack + nurses, dinner and then nurses before bed.  I’ve been working hard to cut her nursing down from about 6 to 3 times this last month.  She loves food and also loves to nurse.  I’m glad she is such a great eater!  I feel so blessed by our great eaters, but I also believe in the baby-led weaning approach.

More of my previous baby-led weaning posts here:

Plan for introducing solids

Baby-led weaning part 1

Baby-led weaning part 2

Baby-led weaning Zoe at 7 months

What feeding stage (or stages) are you in?  What areas are easier or harder?  What are some of your kid’s new favorite foods right now? 

Hunter has been loving walnuts, almonds and we just made some almond crackers he (and I) really, really like.  Zoe turns nothing down, but she recently tried wheat berries and sauted mushrooms and could not get enough of them.

Heather

10 of my favorite fats

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One thing I’ve noticed with my eating is that I really enjoy more fats in my diet.  Fats keep me fuller longer, I become naturally full while eating (when I eat slowly), they make food taste fabulous, they make me feel great, and they are so good for your body too.  Not all fats are created equally though.  I keep trans-fats away from my diet and stick to natural forms that come from plants and animals, not from a lab.  And that includes saturated fats and cholesterol for sure.  And in case you wondered, no they are not bad for you like it has been said in the past.

Here are 10 fat filled foods that I love and keep as staples in my diet.

coconut oil

use for cooking/baking + stir into warm oatmeal

try this recipe for peanut butter coconut no bake oat bars

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organic unsalted butter

use for cooking/baking and spreading on yummy bread

try this recipe for whole wheat cheddar crackers

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extra virgin olive oil

use for cooking/baking

try this recipe for sweet and salty olive oil granola

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nuts/seeds

use for snacks, add to salads, use in cooking/baking, top warm breakfast bowls

try this recipe for almond, date and coconut energy balls

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hemp seed

sprinkle on salads, add to baked goods, stir into oatmeal

try this recipe for fluffy chia and hemp seed breakfast quinoa

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chia seed

sprinkle over oatmeal, add to smoothies, use to thicken dishes, use with overnight oatmeal

try this recipe for blueberry chia seed baked oatmeal

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nut butters

slather on bread, stir into oatmeal, make a savory sauce/dressing

try this recipe for 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies

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avocado

eat as is, put on toast, make guacamole, put on basically anything and everything

try this recipe for chocolate avocado pudding

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fatty fish

go for salmon, tuna, trout, herring, sardines and mackerel

try this recipe for savory tuna and cheddar quinoa patties

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whole eggs

scramble, make into an omelet, poach, fry, cook into your oatmeal, add to cooking/baking

try this recipe for cheddar broccoli egg muffins

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BONUS: olives

I am not really a fan of olives, but my kids love them and it’s easy for their little fingers to grab

What are some of YOUR favorite fats?  Do you make an effort to include fats in your diet?  How do they make you feel?

Heather

what we ate jan 25-31, 2015

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Hello!  Hope your weekend was great! We had a fabulous weekend with no real plans on our agenda, which is a pretty great way to start the weekend. We went on a coupon family walks, went to river maiden for coffee and hot cocoa (my first time checking it out), got Hunter his first fish (a betta named Bruce) and I went to my friend’s GRIT strength filming to get my butt officially kicked in 30 minutes flat.  It was pretty much just perfect.

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It’s time for another edition of what we ate last week! I tried to throw a bit more variety into our meals while also using ingredients we already had in the cupboard and/or in the freezer.  I’ve linked to a couple recipes I used, but I mostly just threw the meals together from my head and prayed they turned out well.  And thankfully they did!!

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Sunday – dinner at in-laws – they served up pork + salad + bread + steamed veggies

Monday – bobotie (made with beef) + quinoa + sauted mushrooms

Tuesday – BBQ beef meatballs + cheesy potato and cauliflower bake + cucumbers

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Wednesday – almond dijon crusted salmon + edamame sesame soba noodles + kale chips

Thursday – blueberry yogurt whole wheat pancakes

Friday – hawaiian pulled pork (crockpot meat portion from this recipe) tacos with avocado and cheese, + roasted brussel sprouts

Saturday – homemade pizza topped with leftover pork, green bell peppers, onions and mozzarella + fresh salad with vinaigrette

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How was your weekend?  Do you typically follow recipes or end up cooking from your brain?

Heather

Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015