While at dinner in the mountains in Italy one night, Ceci and her family told us we were having a meal known as “Kilometer Zero.”
You will heal. I will help.
I was recently forwarded an email with subject line, “Healthy School Lunch Information.”
With all the recent buzz about fake news, I couldn’t help but correlate the content of this email to the concept of “fake news.”
Here is a snippet from the email,
To this end:
Try to include a protein, vegetable and a fruit each day. You will not always succeed, but at least try to get either a fruit or a vegetable included. A healthy carb is also a good item to include, bagels, biscuits, sandwich bread are all good carbs. Chips are not as healthy, but it is certainly better than a sugar snack. A little treat is nice to include, but please try to make it cookies or a granola bar, not donuts or super sugary snacks. For drinks, we highly recommend water! This will help with the cost of lunch as well.
With all this in mind, we need to ask that certain items are not included in your children’s lunches.
Thank you so much for your help with this!
I didn’t know if I should write this post because I know that in the mamahood community, thoughts and opinions around food tend to get fairly heated.
But I just had to because it’s such fake news, and parents all over the country could be receiving information like this.
And maybe more than anything, you should know that reason I felt okay writing this is because I’m far from the dogmatic food-mama most think I am.
I am a real food mama, but I don’t believe that children should follow any specific diet (unless medically necessary, which I have had to deal with).
My children eat the way they do because they want to eat like Ryan and me, because I make eating “healthy” things taste good, and because this is just the way we choose to live our lives. But did they eat 17.5 pieces of horrible candy on Easter? Yes. Do they eat things I would never buy when they leave our house? Of course. Am I concerned? Nope. Not overly. (Then again, after Ryan read Gary Taubes’ book, The Case Against Sugar, we are thinking even more about sugar – for all of us.)
Back to the email.
It’s fake news. So on that….
Click HERE to save this post for later.
Dear school lunch director,
To this end:
Thank you for reminding everyone that including a protein, vegetable, and fruit each day is good practice. You are absolutely right, and I wish that all children could have plates filled with each of those at every meal.
I am, however, concerned with various “healthy” tips in your email.
First, I am assuming you are well aware that (albeit mostly lower in overall value) vegetables and fruits are carbohydrates. If we accept that, then it might be more accurate to note “an additional healthy carb is also a good item to include.”
But beyond that, (most) bagels, biscuits, and sandwich bread hardly qualify as healthy carbohydrates for the average consumer. If you would like some ideas of wonderful high-carbohydrate sources you might start with that resource. Kids also love rice, and that’s something cheap and easy for parents to send along.
However, this statement is very confusing and inaccurate, “A little treat is nice to include, but please try to make it cookies or a granola bar, not donuts or super sugar snacks.” Candy, sodas, and donuts are not the only things that constitute a sugary snack. Sugar is everywhere, and these days those “simple” cookies and granola bars are also packed with sugar. The average family could read this and say, “Alright, I’ll send Jimmy to school today with just three Oreos and a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar.” By doing so, they think they have made such a great decision with minimal sugar, and yet with just a few bites, Jimmy has just eaten 21 grams of sugar (enough for the entire day).
And yes, thank you for recommending water! Since we are mostly made of water, I appreciate that you mentioned this for all parents to take into consideration.
I would be more than happy to speak with you at length on providing parents the best and most accurate information. I am happy to put together several lunch and snack ideas that you could send out to parents. I am even happy to help field any questions about “what makes a healthy lunch” from parents who may reach out to you with questions.
Thank you for all that you’re doing to help our children.
Mama always on a mission
p.s. For the record, if I was sent an email like this from my child’s school, I would absolutely respond this way. Furthermore, I would absolutely be more than willing to help provide the “how-to’s” to help parents navigate because I know it’s not easy if you’re not as passionate about food as I am. If we want our children to truly thrive all day long without crashing and burning, then accurate “healthy” information must be shared.
If you open your eyes (and your mind), it’s easy to see how our everyday habits become a metaphor for life. For me, this past week….habits, coffee cups, healing.
When I cut back on coffee, I simply changed the coffee cup I was using each day in order to feel like I was still drinking the same amount when I knew I wasn’t. I went from the standard large coffee cup to our classy, Apilco Beaded Hemstitch Porcelain Cups from Williams-Sonoma (which actually could be more of an Espresso cup).
We got this dish set for our wedding, but like my desire to cling to the “newness” of traditional towels, I was too scared to use the cups for a very long time.
I pulled them out this past year and began using them daily. They are lined up, stacked 2 high in my shabby chic cabinet. There are 12 of them, but each morning I use the same cup (or nearly each morning). The reason is because after final use of it the day before, I wash it then leave it out to dry on our drying rack. I don’t know why, but I never seem to put my coffee cup away. Instead, I leave it there for the next morning, when I can do it all over again.
That was until very recently.
I began to notice that that one cup is starting to get a little discolored (you know, like how your teeth do after years of drinking coffee).
It happened fairly quickly, relatively speaking, because I use it every single day, and fill the cup 2-3 times with fresh, super dark coffee.
I realized what a creature of habit I am. And then I realized how this is both okay and then again not okay.
Simultaneously, I began realizing how much better I felt when I ate a little of many things vs. a few things many times. Did you know that by eating a particular food over-and-over again you can become intolerant to it?
For so many years I was afraid of food. Subsequently, I stuck with eating approximately 10 different things, and ultimately many of those things I became intolerant to for a very long time.
Upon truly feeling the pinch of the situation from my coffee cup experience, I began buying a little of many things. My trips to the grocery store and Farmer’s Market look so much different these days. Additionally, I subscribed to a Farm Fresh to You box every other week.
At any given moment, you will find a wide variety of all food groups in our kitchen. I still won’t do gluten and rarely ever dairy, but everything else is fair game, even if it’s just once in awhile. (p.s. I still believe in the early days of healing, you must adhere to everything I teach via The Gutsy Girl’s Bible, but those teachings should not last for life.)
For dinner on Saturday night, we had ‘Taco Bowls.” Romaine lettuce, onion, Heirloom tomatoes, red pepper, ground beef, cilantro, parsley, basil, avocado and a Cilantro dressing. This, of course, meant I had nightshades, high FODMAP foods, vegetables, meat and more. But I had a little of many things vs. bowls and bowls of the same thing.
Sometimes #smoothiebowls. Best times -> #Taco bowls. . . Romaine + #heirloomtomatoes + onion + beef + cilantro + parsley + basil + avocado…all drizzled with a homemade #Cilanto dressing. Just amazing. ???? . . #titosvodka not pictured. ???? #glutenfree #dairyfree #Soyfree #cornfree #organic #IIN #dinner #eatrealfood #Huffposttaste #instagood #Feedfeed
A photo posted by Sarah Kay Hoffman (@sarahkayhoffman) on
I woke up on Sunday morning feeling fantastic.
I grabbed my coffee cup (not one I had used during the previous week), poured a cup of coffee, added coconut milk and honey, then headed outside to the porch to enjoy the peace, quiet, and stillness of the morning.
Through coffee cups and healing, I am learning so much more about habits and about life.
It seems like I’ve hinted at this recipe for 8.25 years now, but alas my AIP Bread recipe is finally here!
Click HERE to get it now or get it FREE with The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut, 3.0.
Click HERE to save this recipe to your Pinterest.
I have made this AIP Bread recipe probably 500 times.
I have perfected it, and we now make it at our house about 2-3 times per week.
This bread recipe is so good that even those who do not need to follow AIP or other “diet” will fall in love with it. (Just ask my toddler, husband, babysitter….)
The recipe is gluten free, dairy free, grain free, soy free, corn free, egg free, Paleo, AIP and free from all additives and preservatives. The recipe is also low FODMAP (but not FODMAP free), since per slice there is very little coconut flour.
My AIP Bread contains 6 ingredients tops! You can choose if you do or don’t want 2 of them.
What’s even better? By using the exact same 6 ingredients you can make this bread in two different ways:
Your taste buds.
Guys, AIP is hard, but I have always set out to prove that no matter your circumstance or situation, you can still eat, heal and thrive all while loving each and every moment.
In other words, you can totally have your bread and eat it, too.
Get the AIP Bread recipe now, and enjoy your first few
batches pieces all weekend long!
p.s. Need some buns for your burger?! Yes. Those, too!
Samarah helped make the “buns” aka my AIP Bread recipe for our burgers ???? + grilled veg dinner tonight. I don’t even need to be #AIP anymore, but this bread…. ???????? . . . #wellness #iamwellandgood #dairyfree #eatrealfood #momof3 #life #expoblogger #paleo #iin #organic #glutenfree #paleoishmama #foodphotography #foodphotographer #soyfree #kideats #foodie #whole30 #feedfeed #sibo #ibd #wellnesscommunity #foodiesofinstagram #grainfree #autoimmuneprotocol #autoimmunedisease #autoimmune
A post shared by Sarah Kay Hoffman paleoishmama (@sarahkayhoffman) on
I attended the 2016 Natural Products Expo West this year for the 3rd time on the official blogging team, and even though my top 3 products from the show were announced recently, today I have put together my 2016 Natural Products Expo West favorite brands and products.
But first, my general show thoughts….
Click HERE to save this list for later.
But, by far, my main overall recap thought and ah-ha moment came when I found myself perusing booth after booth and hearing companies utter phrases like, “100% natural, super clean, healthy.” I would then simply pick up said “100% natural, super clean, healthy” product and check out the ingredients, only to feel let down.
Ingredients don’t lie, and the use of buzzwords are confusing consumers. During all of those moments (because most of the times were convenience/packed goods), I decided to launch The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a travel and convenience snack guide companion. The project currently hosts over 150 items….and I would guess it could hit 300 or more!
HERE was my pre-Expo hot list.
Did you attend the show? What were your favorites? Are there any of these products you’d like to know more about?!
p.s. Reading this in 2017? Check out my Top 15 Overall Expo West 2017 Finds.
My Magic Bullet recently completely just fell apart on me. I’m sure I could have spent the time trying to figure out a repair method, but because I think it was a motor issue and cost me only $39.99 originally, I decided to move on and buy something new. In the process, I thought it might be helpful for me to put together 18 essential kitchen items I think you might enjoy for consideration.
There was no time to waste since my baby food making days are back and strong as ever….and I love it! So a few days ago, I went out and grabbed the Nutri Ninja Pro. Last night I whipped up the first batches of baby food with great success. (I do have intentions to share with you what I make/combine and how I do it in the near future.)
Getting the new kitchen gear reminded me of a section in The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut, 2.0 where I talk about some of my kitchen essentials, and I thought I’d share them with you today!
If you came to my house for a meal, you’d quickly realize that:
Everyone is always asking what my top recommendations are for the Gutsy Girl’s Kitchen.
Whether you are able to go out and purchase all of the below now or save for them over time, I strongly recommend each and every single one of them.
Click HERE to save this post for later.
Hands down, this is my favorite item to use in the kitchen. I use the Calphalon 7 qt. Digital Slow Cooker. You will notice that a lot of my recipes use the slow cooker. My favorite thing in the whole world (currently anyways) to make is fresh, Organic bone broth. I have always made mine via the slow cooker. It’s the best and most convenient way. Learn how!
Once you purchase a slow cooker and practice a little with it, your life will forever be made.
Having a fresh juice and a fresh smoothie are not the same thing, especially if you are Gutsy. Why? A regular blender will not remove skins and other roughage. The juicer will. (Read: Is My Fiber Helping or Hurting Me? The Gut Healing Process, Still Getting Nutrients & Juice Recipes.) My juicer has not only saved me a few times from misery, but it also provides a ton of nutrients for optimal health that you might not get otherwise. I have and I recommend the BELLA NutriPro Juicer.
I would guess that I now do about 35% raw vegetables and 65% steamed or cooked in some way, shape or form. When I was first starting out, though, I probably had about 95% of my vegetables steamed. The steamer is brilliant. It is just as simple as I made it out to be HERE.
The Paderno Spiralizer is changing my foodie life (I am also considering buying Ali’s spiralizer). I use mine mostly to spiralize zucchini noodles. This is a current favorite recipe I developed for Nutiva. There are so many ways to use the spiralizer!
I wanted a Vitamix initially so that I could make all my baby’s food in it, but once we had it, I quickly adapted to using it for almost everything. Per the above, making smoothies and juices are different, but ultimately the gut should heal to a place where we can consume all the fiber a smoothie contains. Furthermore, having a Vitamix goes far beyond the smoothie. With the Vitamix, you can make everything from smoothies to dressings and desserts to sauces, main entrees and more! A current favorite recipe is from my friend Tess Masters (aka The Blender Girl): Tastes-Like-Ice-Cream Kale Shake. Bonus: If you have a Vitamix, I strongly recommend her book, “The Blender Girl Cookbook.”
I teach people daily how to cook in bulk, divide and then conquer for eating healthy to heal the gut. The Wok will allow you to create huge stir-fry meals. You can then divide and conquer them as you please.
You will definitely use a cutting board frequently. I use several. I had a client ask me what cutting boards I recommend. Hands down, I always say, “Epicurean.”
You must learn how to chop, slice, dice, de-skin, de-seed, cut and more when it comes to your fruits, vegetables, and meat. Know that many cutting boards are prone to trapping bacteria. The Epicurean ones do not harbor these bacteria. I currently have 2 non-slip cutting boards, a serving board and a small and regular-sized slate board from the kitchen series. I still need the Sink Strainer Cutting Board.
I received a food processor as a gift in February of 2013. I have done almost everything with my food processor, and having one will bring new meaning to “processed” in your kitchen. I make everything from soups to sauces, fudge to casseroles and more in my food processor. The sky is the limit with a food processor. In fact, I created a company from initial use of it! I have a Cuisinart 14-cup food processor. I recommend that you don’t go any smaller than that.
This will make your soups, sauces, puddings and (even) homemade applesauce super simple. I use the Cuisinart Hand Blender, and what I love most about it is how easy it is to use plus how minimal the cleanup is afterward. It’s small so even if you have a smaller kitchen, it can fit anywhere.
Portion control, snacks and more! If you have a mini and regular-sized muffin tin, your life can be transformed instantaneously. Muffin tins aren’t just for muffins anymore. See the recipes section of the e-book for some good muffin-tin eats.
I buy a ton of baking pans, but it’s not because I always use them for their intended purpose. Take for instance the “ice cream sandwich pan.” I recently started using this to make “buns” for my burgers. Take a peek! I do this also with the mini muffin pan, cake pop pan and more.
I have begun using Cast Iron in my kitchen. I will slowly, but surely, replace most of my cookware. Cast Iron (+ stainless steel) will come out as the shining star. You’ll be hearing a lot about me using these in future recipes.
Love garlic, but hate chopping it up all the time? Enter the Garlic Zoom. Simply place your (peeled) garlic in and roll (aka “zoom”). It has saved me so much time! Side note: I also use it to mince ginger.
There is not a Mason jar that I have yet to dislike. I love everything about the traditional Mason jar. You can buy fancy Weck Mason Jars if you want, but the truth is that any and all Mason jars will do the trick. I use these jars for storing and gifting mainly. I also use them for table decorations. Learn how HERE.
Lemon is a great addition to so many dishes. I use it in my daily dose(s) of broth. The lemon squeezer keeps it simple and clean.
Yes, from the Infomercial. I use this mainly to chop garlic and fresh herbs.
I know I just purchased this, but the reason it’s essential for our kitchen (and likely yours, too) is that it allows you to make smaller portioned blended items with less mess and clean up. I love how small the containers are, and that, if need be, can be portable. I’ll likely use this when I show you how I do smaller batches of baby food.
I could go on and on with things that are in my kitchen, but these are the main ones for today. The kitchen is really my jam, so perhaps I could do a follow-up to this post with even more things at some point!
What’s in your kitchen?!
Join thousands of people like you to receive the exclusive gut health and healing e-newsletter.
The email you'll look forward to receiving.