Holy Guacamole! (or How Taste Buds Can Change)

Holy Guacamole! (or How Taste Buds Can Change)

I never really liked avocado. But somewhere in my teenage years I heard that taste buds change every three years, so I kept on trying avocado despite it being a “thumbs down” for me each time. And while the research I’ve done recently on taste buds and taste development does not support this theory of the three year turn over, I am happy to say that somewhere in my twenties, because of my commitment to continue trying foods I wasn’t fond of, I began to love avocado! It all changed with this amazing guacamole dip that I tried deep in the heart of Texas. I have three small children — 7, 5 and about to be 2. What I’ve learned about taste from them is that it is possible train a child’s palate. Many parenting books tell you that kids may need to try foods anywhere from 10-15 times before they will accept the taste and texture as good to them. It may have something to do with the sensitivity of these new “taste radars” they’ve been equipped with. My kids eat pretty much everything under the sun. I credit this not only to consistently trying all different kinds of foods with them during their toddler years, but also to having a dinner table rule that says they must try at least one bite of everything on their plates. Even if the last time they ate it they didn’t like it. Like magic, salad has become acceptable on the dinner plate! And, remarkably, things like broccoli and spicy foods and coconut curry have always been on the menu for them. As we go through pregnancy and menopause (ladies) and as we age our taste...
GF Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (and Why I Love Oats)

GF Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (and Why I Love Oats)

        I’m posting this recipe for gluten free banana chocolate chip muffins today in celebration of reaching 100 Likes on the Facebook page. (Woohoo!) Thanks for being a part of getting us here! I chose this recipe because it’s my most popular one. My kids and family absolutely love these muffins, I take them to church, I make them for holiday brunch spreads and I send them to people as gifts. Everyone seems to love them (except my friend Lisa, who is allergic to bananas — Boo!). And no one even knows they are this “specialty” bakery item called gluten free. I’m in the camp that believes gluten free cannot mean subpar in taste or texture. I believe anything gluten free must be delicious and satisfying in its own right. And my kids serve as the perfect taste testers for this benchmark! I make these muffins with certified gluten free oats. I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free rolled oats. I can find them at my local Publix, but when you buy them in bulk, you definitely save money ($9 at my local store vs. $6/pkg when you buy a case of 4 on Amazon). So why am I so hopped up on oats? I’ve had a condition called Irritable Bowel Syndrome (“IBS”) for most of my life. You’ve probably heard of it since the NIH reports that between 15-20% of the adult population in the United States suffers from the condition (although only 7% seem to have received a firm diagnosis). IBS isn’t an easy definitive diagnosis to come by because it is primarily a collection of symptoms...
“You Can Do This” Chicken Bone Broth

“You Can Do This” Chicken Bone Broth

I want to start with this simple (and true) statement: YOU can do THIS! Practically with your eyes closed. Not even kidding. You just need a few ingredients, a big pot, a stove and time. That’s it. First, let’s start with the Why: Bone broth is extremely healing, especially for those who have gut issues, joint pain, allergies or brain related issues like ADHD and Autism. The primary benefit of bone broth is its ability to rebuild the gut lining and connective tissues in the body; collagen and various minerals being released from the bones and connective tissues are responsible for these regenerating qualities. Check out this post by Paleo Mom to read more about the specifics of why it is so healing. And if you want a little more in general on the topic, check out this post by Wellness Mama. I’ll just say that I have had digestive issues for most of my life and have found that just one day of consuming bone broth significantly calms my symptoms. It’s really that powerful. There are many recipes out there, but I’m going to give you one for a chicken bone broth that you could do in your sleep (in fact, it does most of its cooking while you do just that — sleep!). You can also make a bone broth from beef bones or fish bones and shells. With beef bones you will want to roast them in the oven for a bit before you boil/simmer them with veggies and herbs and spices, and then you’ll want to simmer it for up to 48 hours. Yes, 48 hours. Chicken...
Tasty Rubs for Steak, Chicken or Fish

Tasty Rubs for Steak, Chicken or Fish

Over the years I’ve collected and perfected a number of different rubs that we use on steak, chicken or fish. Since we’ve gone Whole30(ish) this past month, these rub recipes have become super important! Here are our favorites . . . Blackening Rub (covers 2 lbs. steak, chicken or fish) 1 tsp. paprika 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 1/2 tsp. thyme 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 1/4 tsp. onion powder Chili Rub (makes about 12 Tbl of rub) 2 Tbl. chili powder 2 Tbl. ground cumin 2 Tbl. paprika 1 Tbl. oregano 1 Tbl. dried coriander 1 Tbl. garlic powder 1 Tbl. onion powder 1 Tbl. sea salt 1 tsp. cayenne (adjusted for heat) 1 tsp. crushed red pepper (adjusted for heat) 1 tsp. ground black pepper Outback Rub (covers 2 lbs. steak, chicken or fish) 4 tsp. sea salt 4 tsp. paprika 2 tsp. ground black pepper 1 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (adjusted for heat) 1/2 tsp. ground coriander 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric Ribeye Rub (covers 2 lbs. steak) 2 Tbl. chili powder 1 tsp. cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper London Broil Rub (covers 3lbs. steak) 2 Tbl. chili powder 1 Tbl. oregano 1 Tbl. paprika 2 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. sea salt 1/2 tsp. ground black...
Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

  We’ve been on a bit of a diet journey these past two weeks as we endeavor to keep Jacob off prednisone during this allergy season. We started on the Whole30 about ten days ago and saw an almost immediate impact. We were able to cut down some of his medication and we also saw his symptoms — watery eyes, runny nose, swelling, and cough — lessen. But there were a couple of symptoms – like a rash he generally develops – that weren’t abating. So when we visited our doctor a few days into the program, we were sure to ask about dietary adjustments. It was then that I was reminded that both Jacob and I do not do well on nuts. In fact, Jacob is allergic to a number of different types of nuts. I have been on this health journey for quite some time and am just a few months away from finishing my health coaching certificate and yet, somehow, I overlooked the fact that my son and I weren’t going to do well on a diet that used nuts so much! We immediately made some changes. We gave up on the nuts – and our kids’ favorite Larabars – in favor of adding back beans to our diet. We also brought in certified gluten free oats so Jacob would have some options for breakfast (he can’t stand eggs). With these changes we seem to be doing okay. Jacob’s symptoms have stabilized into a certain zone we are comfortable with for now. We’ll just have to see if staying consistent with the diet for a week...