Browsing Category

health

1 In food/ health

Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet

This post is sponsored by Else Nutrition but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Eating a plant-based diet can be really good for you! Rick and I are really trying to be more healthy about our food choices  for our own personal goals and to set a good example for the kids. And while we haven’t gone fully plant-based (everything in moderation), we are trying to be more mindful.  Our behaviors are trickling down to our kids and it’s been great because not only is it healthier, but I don’t have to make 3 different meals at mealtimes. Below I’m sharing my tips on transitioning your kids to a more plant based diet.

What is a plant-based diet?

Plant-based eating means eating foods that mostly come from plants such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts.  Eating a whole food plant based diet gives your body nutrients from natural minimally processed foods. There are a few types of plant based diets, the most common being a Mediterranean diet (which also includes fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, a few times a week) and vegetarian, which there are many different versions of.

Benefits of plant-based eating

The benefits to going plant based are well documented.  Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce or reverse chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, metabolic diseases and depression.  There is also evidence to support that plant based eating helps with weight management and obesity. In addition, it is also more sustainable so better for the environment.

Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet

Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet

Now I am of the mindset “everything in moderation”.  So do we still eat chicken, eggs, meats, cheese, etc? Yes we do. However with that being said, we’re being more conscientious and making an effort to incorporate more plant based meals into our diet. Here are some of my tips to help your family transition to a more plant based diet.

  1. At least one night a week, have a vegetarian meal for dinner. In our house we try to do “Meatless Mondays”. Our favorites is Zoodles with tomato sauce or chickpea pasta.
  2. Fill the majority of your plate with veggies and healthy grains. This is my tip for my husband who is a big meat eater. It’s all about changing your perception. Instead of making meat the focal point of your meal, make it about the plants with a side serving of meat.
  3. Incorporate a nutritional drink for the kids – Recently, we tried Else Nutrition. It’s a complete clean-label nutritional drink for kids ages 12-36 months made with whole foods. Endorsed by leading pediatricians, it’s a great alternative for children with lactose intolerance, sensitivities or families looking for options free of dairy or soy. My kids love their “breakfast smoothie” – almond milk, Else nutrition, a banana and some fresh berries, but it’s also great by itself.  Scroll to the bottom for a special offer for my followers/subscribers.Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet
  4. Have fruit for dessert – If you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, you probably crave something sweet after dinner to cleanse your palette. Instead of my usual ice cream, I have a bowl of berries or I make “nice cream” – blend a frozen banana with a splash of almond milk and add in some nuts and a few chocolate chips.
  5. Start small and be kind to yourself – When making any change, it’s normal to want to go full out and give it all 110%. But start small. Instead of cutting out meat and dairy completely, try just doing 1 meal a week or 1 meal a day at first. For your little ones, you can also try incorporating Else Nutrition a few days a week. Recognize that you are making a conscious effort to be better to your body and give yourself a pat on the back.

 

Click to check out Else Nutrition and use code “TINYNEST25” for 25% off.

 

Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet

 

0 In health/ Recipes

How to make homemade kombucha

how to make homemade kombucha

This post contains affiliate links meaning I make a small commission.

Kombucha. A yummy fizzy drink that is good for your gut health but at about $4 a bottle, it’s not so great for your wallet.  So I decided to make my own. At first, I was a little intimidated after reading about the process and what the heck was a SCOBY? But it was actually very easy to make, just time consuming. Read on to learn how to make your own homemade kombucha.

Benefits of drinking kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea that has several probiotic benefits.  The main ingredient that gives the drink it’s healthy benefits is what’s referred to as “the Mother” or a SCOBY – symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It’s a flat, mushroom-looking thing that floats around the jar. So how does one acquire a SCOBY? If you know someone who makes homemade kombucha, you can ask them if you can use on of their SCOBY’s, or buy one online or from a health food store. You can also grow your own.

(If you really want to make it easy on yourself, check out this Kombucha starter kit on Amazon. It has everything you need to make your first batch including a SCOBY and starter tea.)

 

How to make homemade kombucha

To make a SCOBY

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of loose leaf black tea or 2 black tea bags
  • 2 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 1 16oz of bottle of raw unpasteurized kombucha

Directions

1.) In a small pot, bring water to a boil.

2.) In a clean glass jar, combine hot water and tea, and let steep for at least 5 minutes.

3.) Remove the tea bags or strain out the tea. Stir in the sugar and let cool until room temperature.

4.) Pour in kombucha and stir well making sure to combine all the sediment from the kombucha. Cover with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and keep in a cool place out of direct sunlight. (Ideally you want the temperature to be between 75-80 degrees).

5.) Eventually, a glossy film will start to form on the surface. This is your SCOBY. Once your SCOBY is about 1/4″ in thickness it is ready to use to make your own kombucha (this can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks about). Save your SCOBY and existing tea mixture to make your first batch of kombucha.

 

To make Kombucha

You will need

  • 16 cups of filtered water
  • 7 black tea bags
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • SCOBY
  • 1-2 cups of starter tea
  • gallon glass jar
  • cheesecloth or coffee filter
  • rubberband

Directions:

1.) Bring 16 cups of filtered water to a boil.

2.) Add your tea bags, then with a wooden spoon stir in 1 cup of sugar. Let steep for 10-15 minutes then remove tea bags. Let liquid come to room temperature.

3.) Pour into a gallon glass jug. Add your starter tea and carefully place your SCOBY on top.

4.) Cover with a breathable cloth cover. Let sit for 1-3 weeks out of direct sunlight (again about 75-80F. If the temp is too cool, your SCOBY will grow mold.)

5.) After a few weeks, pour your kombucha into glass mason jars or pitchers and add whatever fruit and herbs you wish for tasting. (My favorite combinations are strawberry-mango and strawberry-lemon but there are endless pairings). This will be your secondary fermentation and what gives you the carbonation. Seal tight and once a day be sure to “burp” to release excess carbonation. Once you reach your desired level of carbonation, (about 2-3 days), bottle and refrigerate.

6.) Save some of the leftover kombucha and SCOBY as this will be your starter tea for your next batch.

 

Cheers!!!

 

How to make homemade kombucha

Pin for later

how to make homemade kombucha

3 In health/ intentional living/ Motherhood

10 ways I practice self care daily since becoming a mom

There is no job more exhausting than being a mom. Don’t get me wrong, it’s extremely rewarding but it’s also downright exhausting. All of our energy goes into caring for our families and making sure everyone is healthy and happy. As mom’s it’s natural we’re always doing for everyone else that so often our own self care takes the back burner.  But it’s like they say when you board the plane “put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others”. What good are you to everyone else if you’re not at 100% yourself?

If you go on the internet, you’ll see the term “self-care” all over. But self-care is more than just massages and bubble baths. (I love those things as much as the next woman trust me.) Self care is anything that re-fuels or re-charges you, mentally, physically or spiritually so that you can continue to give your best self. I’m sharing some simple ways you can add self care to your day to day routine.

Here are 10 ways I practice self care daily since becoming a mom:

 

1.) Enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea by yourself – That first morning cup of coffee, alone and in silence, it’s sacred. That’s my me-time. My husband knows that if he or my son happen to wake up early, to stay in bed and give me my time alone.

 

2.) Get dressed in the morning – I don’t get all fancy, but putting on jeans and a top, doing my hair and throwing on some concealer and mascara makes me feel like a decent human. Think of when you were on maternity leave, hadn’t showered in a week and wore that same pair of leggings for the 5th day in a row how you felt. The power of a hot shower, real clothes and a little makeup does wonders for your mental health.

 

3.) Clean or organize something – For me, having a clean home is like my xanax. Now, don’t get confused, my house is in no way spotless. I’m not on my hands and knees scrubbing or vacuuming every day (that’s why I have a Roomba). But daily I go through our common living spaces and put things away to get rid of the clutter and keep it organized. Looking at things scattered around my house makes my brain feel scattered and anxious vs when things are orderly bringing a sense of calm.

 

4.) Cook or bake something – For some people this may seem like more work so if that’s you, then don’t do it. I love being in my kitchen. On my days off I love to either bake a yummy treat to have in the house (try my version of Joanna Gaines’ lemon poppyseed bread) or try a new recipe for dinner. It’s fun for me and makes me feel like I accomplished something.

 

5.) Practice gratitude – Each morning, usually during my morning coffee, I think about the things that I am grateful for and everything I have. When things start to go a little sideways, I bring myself back to that mental list and remind myself of all I have to be thankful for.

 

6.) Read a book or listen to a podcast – Reading is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I love to lay down with a good book and flip through the pages, getting lost in the story. It doesn’t have to be a book. You can read a magazine or a few articles from a favorite blog. I love The EveryMom and Nesting With Grace. You can also listen to a favorite podcast.

 

7.) Do some goal setting or daydream – I do this during my morning coffee (see why that time is so sacred?).  Sometimes it’s just daydreaming about a nice vacation or thinking about projects I want to do around the house to make our home my dream home. Other mornings it’s literally writing down things that I want to accomplish that day.

 

8.) Laugh – whether it’s laughing at myself or something my son said or did, I try to find the humor in daily situations.

 

9.) Say No – This was something I was lucky to learn a few years ago at a time when I felt like I was being stretched too thin. I’m a natural people pleaser and I like to make people happy. But if it doesn’t make you happy or stresses you out, it’s ok to say no to things.

 

10.) Go to bed early – Nothing recharges you like a good night’s sleep which since entering motherhood is few and far between. A couple night’s a week, I go to bed early before anyone else, leaving my hubby to do bedtime duty. I’ve been doing this since I was in college. When I was home from school it was a little joke with my parents that “I was retreating for the night”.  But that’s just what it is, my retreat. Some nights I read or meditate or doing nothing at all and just let my mind veg out. It’s a nice way to end the day and quiet the mind from all the constant thinking and worrying.

 

What are some of your favorite ways to practice self care?

 

Check out my post on

Why Every Mom Needs a Solo Night Away

 

10 self care ideas for moms

6 In Baby/ health/ parenting

How to boost your baby’s health with probiotics

This post is sponsored by Evivo but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

babys gut health

Have you ever heard the saying it all starts in the gut”? It’s true.  Your gut health is responsible for your overall health and wellness. As moms, we want to give our babies only the very best and protect them from harm.  But have you ever thought about protecting your little one’s gut?  I know when I was planning for the birth of our baby, I was busy researching the safest cribs, carseats, you name it but I never thought about baby probiotics and gut health.

 

october baby

The Importance of a Healthy Gut

Our bodies have a mix of tiny microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and yeast) which makes up our microbiome.  This microbiome contains healthy bacteria which helps to push out any of the harmful bacteria therefore strengthening our immune systems and aiding in a healthy gut.  More and more studies are showing that a healthy gut has been linked to fewer cases of allergies, eczema, obesity and diabetes.  But how does one acquire a healthy gut?

Babies acquire their gut health mainly from mom.  More specifically, babies acquire a healthy bacteria known as B. Infantis during birth as they pass through the vaginal canal and from breast milk.  However, today 9 out of 10 babies are missing this healthy bacteria.

How Evivo Can Help Restore Your Baby’s Microbiome

 

baby gut health

Evivo is the only probiotic that’s clinically proven to restore baby’s gut and repopulate it with the good bacteria that are missing. During a clinical trial, babies who received Evivo mixed with breast milk had their gut 100% repopulated with healthy bacteria.

Once daily, just mix the contents of one packet with some breastmilk and feed to your baby in the syringe provided.

pregnancy

I wish I had known about Evivo sooner.  For those who are new here and may not know our story, Maxwell was born via csection and we struggled with breastfeeding.  Had I known about it sooner, I definitely would have used Evivo to help replenish his gut flora.  But I must say, we are extremely lucky to have such a healthy, happy baby!

breastfeeding
 (This was his 1 month photo! How is he going to be 2 in October???)

 

Save Money on Evivo Products Now

Use Code BLOG8211 for $10 off your 4 week starter kit or
Use Code BLOG 8212 for $20 off your 8 week or greater starter kit. 

For more info about Evivo products click here