Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

Get The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle--Hurry: Sale 6 Days Only!
By popular demand, 100+ homemaking bloggers are bringing back The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, and it's better than ever!
The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is a complete library of great eBooks on homemaking—a truly valuable knowledge base you’ll use for many years to come.
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Or, for just an extra $10, you not only get the full set of PDF files, but also a bonus set of Kindle editions, perfectly formatted for easy Kindle reading. This has been a popular request over the years and I'm excited to say it's now available!
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  • Work-from-home & blogging
  • Pregnancy & babies
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See the full list of 80+ eBooks, audio files, eCourses & printable packsincluded in the sale.
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This huge wealth of information and guidance will be right there on your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or Kindle, whenever you need it.
Here's what you need to know about the sale:
When? 8 a.m. EST Wednesday, April 23 until 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, April 28
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Buy the PDF BundleBuy the Kindle Bundle


Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, April 23 to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, April 28th.
Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions  about the bundle.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

5 Tips to Make Cooking with Your Kids More Enjoyable

Making the change from a fast and processed food diet to our real food lifestyle has brought about some unexpected happy side-effects.  One of them is we now spend more time at the dinner table together.  Dinner is my favorite time of day.  We use the time to reconnect as a family and talk about our days.  My children all have different personalities.  Some really like to talk and the others would just sit back and listen. To make sure none of them were left out, I adopted the practice of "Roses and Thorns".  We go around the table and take turns telling each other about the best and worst parts of our days.  We usually discuss each rose and thorn so this really keeps the conversation going through dinner.  I love to hear that the worst part of the day was "not enough recess", but I'm also prepared that there might be something more serious.  I always have my SuperMom cape with me so I'm ready for action!

5 Tips to Make Cooking With Kids More Enjoyable

Another pleasant side-effect of our real food lifestyle is cooking.  I've discovered that I really enjoy cooking.  I find it a nice way to unwind from the stress of work.  I also really enjoy cooking with my kids.  I try not to raise my children to be stuck in gender-specific roles, but I'll be daughter cooks with me the most.  My oldest son who is away at college most of the year probably cooks with me the second most. 

With  Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day coming in May, I've been giving a lot of thought to cooking with kids.  Don't know about Food Revolution Day?  You can read my post about it here or check out the Food Revolution Day website.  Here are some of my thoughts to make cooking with your kids more enjoyable.

1.  Prepare yourself mentally. aren't going to war here, but they are kids.  You know they make messes, ask a lot of questions and easily get distracted.  Keep in mind that each time they cook with you they are learning skills that will last a matter how slow the progress seems to you.

Children's Cooking Lesson - Let the mess begin!

2.  Pick a good time to have the cooking lesson.  The last thing you want to do is add stress to your life.  Don't pick the day that you only have a few minutes to get dinner to the table and run back out of the house.  Pick a time when you and your child can really relax and have a good time.  Avoid right before naptime and other times when your child is more cranky than usual. 

3.  Don't cry over spilled milk.  Avoid recipes with expensive ingredients and be prepared to laugh when they make a mess.  I don't let my kids pour the maple syrup as I view this as an expensive ingredient.  I really hate to see $10 of syrup laying on my counter.  I avoid the stress by pouring it out myself.  The other day I gave my daughter a bowl of dry ingredients to stir.  She dug right in and gave it a big stir.  As a result, she scooped about half the ingredients right out of the bowl.  I certainly could have yelled at her to be more careful.  Instead, I laughed and said, "Well we know better than to do that next time." She relaxed and seemed to understand that it is OK to make mistakes in the kitchen as long as we learn from our mistakes.  I will never forget my baby boy's (yes, he is 7) first attempt at cracking an egg.  I took a picture of it so I would never forget.  It will always be one of my fondest memories.  Not the mess, but the fun time we had learning to cook together. 

Don't cry over spilled milk........or eggs.

4.  Make sure they know the rules of the kitchen.  Figure out based on their age what they are and are not allowed to do.  I allow my daughter to cut foods, but my youngest still needs supervision.  I do not allow the younger ones to use the "power tools" without my supervision.  I don't want to end the cooking lesson with a trip to the emergency room.  If you lay down the ground rules ahead of time, you won't have the constant "No, No, Nos" that can really make the lesson stressful for both you and your child.

Learning basic knife skills

5.  Pick a shorter recipe to start with.  You don't need anything too complicated to have a really great lesson with your child.  Make cookies, pizza, salad dressings. Whatever you choose will be fine as long as it only has a few ingredients and doesn't take too long to prepare.  You can add more complicated recipes as their attention span and cooking skills increase.

Have fun cooking with your kids.  It is so much fun watching their kitchen skills increase and see the pride they have in knowing they did a good job.  My daughter actually gets a little jealous of the others if she is left out of the cooking.  She now likes to be right by my side when the fun begins.   

I've talked long enough.  Now I want to hear from you! What helps you to keep your cool when working with kids in the kitchen?  What is your favorite recipe to cook with kids?  We all like to laugh........tell me your kitchen nightmare stories.  Anyone else have eggs on the floor?

The Juggling Real Food and Real Life Newsletter is Coming!

Make sure you subscribe by email so you don't miss a single issue. Facebook is showing you less and less of what I post there. The only way not to miss a post is to subscribe by email. You can subscribe by entering your email address to the right of this page. Just wait to see what I have coming. Please also follow us on our various social media. You can easily find me there if you have questions. Twitter is a great place to chat. Follow me @jugglngrealfood and introduce yourself. The Juggling Pinterest Boards are crammed with lots of great information and recipes. Check them out! Come back each Friday for our Let's Get Real Friday Party. The best bloggers from across the web link up their favorite posts from the week. It's quite a treat!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo – all a Fad?

If you have been following me for a while you might remember the incident that happened at my daughter's cheer party.  You can find the post here if you missed it.  There was lots of good conversation around the topic.  One of the things that matters to me most is taking care of children.  I take care of my 4, my Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, my Sunday school get the picture.  I decided that I needed to know more about gluten-free diets so that I would be in a better position to help a child should a similar situation pop up again.  I turned to my friend  Cindy Santa Ana, AADP Certified Health Coach for help.  I found her expertise to be very helpful and asked if I could share it with all of you.  

Take it away Cindy............

Cindy Santa Ana, AADP Certified Health Coach

There’s no quicker way to get an eye-roll from a waiter than to ask for a gluten-free menu these days.  But, they need to learn that if they want that 20% tip, it’s time to get on-board this new diet train. But is it a fad or a dietary necessity? You can’t go anywhere these days without hearing about another celebrity-gone-Paleo or a new blog, cookbook or website devoted to a gluten-free lifestyle.  In fact, a new grain-free cookbook, Against All Grain, is currently one of Amazon’s best sellers and is struggling to keep inventory in stock! 

 According to a recent poll, 30% of American adults are trying to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets.  Even food manufacturers are getting on the band-wagon labeling foods that never even had gluten to begin with, like potato chips and hummus.

So, it’s popular. Paleo is hot. Gluten-free is hot, which in turn, makes everyone hate it because it’s so popular.  But why is it catching on, really? It’s probably because thousands of people are experiencing profound health changes by removing gluten from their diet. They’re losing weight and strange health maladies like eczema and migraines are disappearing! The truth is many people are gluten-intolerant or sensitive and might not know it. I’m not talking about those with Celiac disease who have a true immune response after consuming gluten – the protein found in wheat.  Although, Celiacs and those with a gluten-intolerance share many of the same symptoms:
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Eczema
  • Headache
  • Foggy brain
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Joint pain
  • Numbness in the extremities
And, sometimes your symptoms may not include those above. I for one would suffer from a lot of mucous after eating wheat – same thing with my dad. Twenty minutes after a meal and we would start clearing our throat and coughing. So how do you know if you have Celiac Disease or just an intolerance to gluten? There is a blood test that can determine if you have Celiacs, albeit somewhat untrustworthy since it can produce false-positives. But if you really want a cheap, easy way to determine if gluten is your poison, just eliminate it from your diet for at least 3 weeks. Then, slowly reintroduce the food and monitor how you feel. Ask yourself if any of the above or other strange symptoms occurred when you added it back in.  Do you feel bloated after you eat a meal of breads, pasta or cereal? Do you have to unbutton your pants after eating? You may have a gluten-sensitivity.

I went on vacation this summer and strayed from my gluten-free diet. I enjoyed a true Southern biscuit, half of my daughter’s pancake, a roll with dinner and perhaps ingested some hidden gluten, but that was enough to cause tummy troubles, a cough, a few extra pounds and a strange case of eczema on my neck!  I truly suffer from the effects of gluten – no expensive doctor’s office visit required!

So, how does one get started with a gluten-free diet when cake, bread, pizza and pasta are staples in the American diet? There’s a right way and a wrong way for sure!  The problem lies in those who start a gluten-free diet by replacing gluten-free versions of all their staples.  A lot of these products contain refined, alternative flours like rice flour and corn and potato flours. Talk about fattening one up! One GF breadcrumb package even had high fructose corn syrup! That’s one ingredient that should be banned from everyone’s diet.  If you feel you could just never give up bread, there are some decent GF breads out there, but they are to remain frozen or they go bad very quickly. Then, you have to toast the bread, then it’s very crumbly and basically by then, I’m over it. I did wean myself this way, but I was finding myself just as bloated after a meal using GF alternatives full of potato starch and corn flour. The key is to read the product labels and watch for things like corn meal, corn starch, canola and soybean oil, and maltodextrin – these genetically modified ingredients are dangerous and can lead to more stomach issues than before along with some added belly fat and muffin top! After all, how do you fatten up a cow? Corn!  You should also be aware of hidden gluten sources that aren’t as obvious as looking for white flour on a label. You’ll want to avoid malt flavoring, regular soy sauce, hydrolyzed proteins, beer and grain alcohol, some spices (flour added to prevent caking), rennet (used in making cheese), and flours processed in factories that also mill wheat.

Once you start a gluten-free diet it sort of lends itself to becoming Paleo. You’re eating fewer grains, more meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and a few legumes, which in turn can only improve your health and your waistline. I encourage you to try a gluten-free or better yet, grain-free diet for a few weeks if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.  You may be surprised at the results! And, if you need some support, recipes, tips and guidance along the way, give me a call or email. Visit my website,, for more info. 

Hop on over the Cindy's website.  She has an incredible amount of information over there that is sure to be of help to folks.  Have you tried a gluten-free diet?  Do you know someone who eats a gluten-free diet?  Have you ever had problems with restaurants because of your food preferences...........whether it be real food, allergies, or gluten?

The Juggling Real Food and Real Life Newsletter is Coming!

Make sure you subscribe by email so you don't miss a single issue.  Facebook is showing you less and less of what I post there.  The only way not to miss a post is to subscribe by email. You can subscribe by entering your email address to the right of this page. Just wait to see what I have coming. Please also follow us on our various social media. You can easily find me there if you have questions. Twitter is a great place to chat. Follow me @jugglngrealfood and introduce yourself. The Juggling Pinterest Boards are crammed with lots of great information and recipes. Check them out!  Come back each Friday for our Let's Get Real Friday Party.  The best bloggers from across the web link up their favorite posts from the week.  It's quite a treat!


One year ago:  Falling in Love With Your Crock Pot

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Let's Get Real Friday Party #35

Welcome to our Let's Get Real Blog Hop!

Woot! Woot! Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

**This week you can enter to win next week's special co-host spot. If you are interested in co-hosting next week, please enter the rafflecopter give-away. We would love to have you join us for the week.**

Let's Get Real Friday Party
A Big Welcome to our Special Co-Host Chrystal from    YUM eating! Make sure you give her a big Let's Get Real welcome.
Chrystal YUM eating
I'm not big on rules (since this is what I do for fun), but I do have a couple of guidelines.

1) Follow all your co-hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.

Christina: Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google +
Nicole: Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google +/Instagram
Chrystal:Blog/Twitter/Facebook/Google +

2) Please don't link and run! Follow and comment on at least 3 other blogs. The more effort you put into getting to know everyone, the more you will get in return. Everyone is here to get more readers and traffic to their blogs so let's show them some love!

We will be pinning our favorites!!

My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:

(Drum Roll Please!)

Chickadee Says

Chickadee Says

I have been trying to make cheese sticks for a while now and they just haven't turned out right.   Kait has figured it out and share her secrets for success here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway