Elemental Kids: Food in the Home

Happy New Year to ALL.  We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.  

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I started a New Year tradition and wrote about what I learned in 2018 then what my intentions will be 2019.  One intention I set was to cook more. Preparing a meal in the kitchen allows me to get out of my head, tap into my creative side, and overall makes me happy. Do you and your families want to mix it up in the kitchen?

For the next 5 weeks Emilie and I are coordinating to help the WHOLE family try new foods, discuss the benefits of cooking together, providing fun recipe ideas to try at home, and a few more ideas we want to keep a surprise for now.


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There are a variety of foods we ALL can try.  Choose my plate is a wonderful visual resource to remind the whole family of what is needed in our daily food intake to keep us feeling good mentally, physically, and emotionally. Check out my blog post on Back to School Mindset for more on the benefits food can have for the whole family.


It doesn’t have to be just gold fish, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and, cookies.  Food fuels our body and mind. Some foods(packaged and processed) just don’t do that for us.  They may taste amazing, but they can leave us feeling tired, upset stomach, headaches, and affect our overall health in the long run.

 I completely understand children and even ourselves can be PICKY when it comes to eating, but I promise it is possible to provide yourself and your family with delicious, quick, easy, inexpensive, and nutritious meals .

Have each person in the family try one new food a week to add in their lunch or to the family dinner menu.

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Here are a few food swap ideas:

Kid-approved energy bites!

Kid-approved energy bites!

  • Slices of cheese instead of goldfish

    • (Emilie’s Tip!) try a good quality brand, like Apple Gate. White cheddar & muenster are both known for their probiotic qualities, so let the little ones try them both. If they are picky - avoid letting them see the package before their first taste :)

  • Energy bites for cookies( i just made some energy bites with peanut butter, honey, oats, chocolate chips, and chia seeds… they taste like a dessert! And I don’t joke about desserts!

  • Peanut butter/banana or honey sandwich for peanut butter/jelly sandwich

    • (Emilie’s Tip) Snag the small packets of different nut butters & have your kiddo(s) sample the various flavors. Cashew butter is a creamy treat and sunflower butter is super decadent & sweet, while almond butter is a bit more savory. Kids LOVE to make their own choices.


Again, I know it can be difficult to have your children and even yourself try a new food(I am a preschool teacher by day,so trust me I get it), but I promise food swaps can be simple. Go back to the basics and build from there.

Leave Emilie and I a comment below and we will be happy to help you and your families any way we can.

Yoga for ALL

Love for ALL

Food for ALL

Laura

EmL + Hepzibah Farm

Hey hey! I'm really excited to tell you about my new Veggie Box CSA from Hepzibah Farms. A few years ago, I subscribed to a weekly veggie box from Freshfully, a local grocery. It was a total game changer. I attribute the majority of my health and dietary changes to green smoothies and veggie boxes. Finding a farm I trust and purchasing a CSA membership has been on my to-do list for over a year now, so I am thrilled to partner with Hepzibah Farms and check this off my list!

Eating seasonal, local produce is important to me and having a weekly box overflowing with fresh, local fruits and veggies makes it fun and easy to do. Most boxes range from $20-$25; so financially, I found they save me money and trips to the grocery. Centering meal planning around what produce is available that week ensures that I'm working with healthy, plant based recipes on a daily basis. I love being introduced to produce I've never tried and learning about the different cooking methods. So far, I think persimmons were my favorite veggie box surprise! 

I understand there is a certain level of uncertainty involved in making full, nourishing meals from a box of veggies. It definitely gets easier with practice - PROMISE! Below is a snapshot of a dinner I made from Week 2:

  • Grilled Eggplant - dusted with olive oil, salt & pepper
  • Spiralized squash lightly sautéed in butter with onion*, tomatoes, and garlic (*I already had butter & onion on hand)
  • Ground Beef - this was left over from the hamburgers made over the weekend, so it was super easy to add into the mix!
The Hepzibah Flower CSA + my poorly photographed veggie box meal.

The Hepzibah Flower CSA + my poorly photographed veggie box meal.

Each week, I will share photos, recipes, nutrition, or general information about the produce from my CSA to help you guys see how easy it is to make a veggie box work for your household! Please share comments and questions! I'd love to chat with you! 

Cook Once, Eat Twice: How to Optimize your Time in the Kitchen

I've been sick and generally low energy for over a week. Like a good holistic yogi, I tried all the go-to home remedies first. Young Living Essential Oils, elderberry syrup, hot teas, rest, even suffered through a daily nasal rinse with a nettypot. (Ladies: using a nettypot can be super effective, but as you may imagine, nasal draining is NOT.PRETTY. If you want to keep romance alive in your house, close the bathroom door during this practice.) 

Impressive, over the top breakfast: Scrambled eggs, sautéed collards, onions, mushrooms in coconut oil with a side of fresh avocado and tomato slices. 

It took me nine days to finally cave and go to the doctor. Turns out, my simple cold had spread into a nasty upper respiratory infection - glad we caught it! Fortunately, I don't get sick too often and rarely have to take medicine so, when I do, it works. Fast. I woke up bright-eyed and bushy tailed feeling like the energizer bunny. Happy to be feeling well, I was a regular Chatty Cathy. Unfortunately, Mr. Maynor didn't share my 6am enthusiasm to talk about the joy of life and lovingly suggested that I shift my glorious energy elsewhere. So, I went to the kitchen to fix an unusually big breakfast: scrambled eggs, sautéed onion, collards and babybella mushrooms, garnished with 1/2 an avocado and fresh tomato. Totally over the top for a Wednesday morning, I know, but I'd rather think of it as opportunistic. When life offers you an energy boost, ya gotta do something with it!

I've found over the years that eating well on a consistent basis is not just about planning ahead, it's about using your time and energy wisely. To do that, I use a simple rule to optimize my time in the kitchen: Cook Once, Eat Twice. It's really as simple as it sounds, if you're already spending a bit of time in the kitchen, cook enough for another meal. Perfect example, our breakfast this morning was also prep for dinner tomorrow. I cooked double the amount of veggies we needed  and plan to toss them on pasta tomorrow night for a quick dinner. I didn't spend any extra time cooking today, and tomorrow's dinner will be all about boiling water and melting butter. BOOM. It's that simple. 

Here are a few ideas to help you implement this time-saving tip at home:
1. Dried Beans - cheap and low maintenance = no brainer! Throw a bag of beans into the crockpot along with your favorite seasonings and let them cook overnight. Voila! You wake up to a healthy, protein packed food that will make your cooking load so much lighter through the week. I really like pintos, cannelloni or great northern beans, myself. 
2. Rice - I keep a huge bag of brown rice from Costco on hand all the time. Making a big serving at the beginning of the week saves time and gives you options. (Really, any grain would work well here!)
3. Boiled Chicken - Boiling 2 chicken breast on Sunday evening, while I'm cooking saves me tons of time and increases meal flexibility. Once cooked, chop or shred the chicken and use it to top salads, add to pasta or wraps. You can check out this Behind the Scenes with Nourish post to learn more about prepping chicken ahead of time! 
*Keep healthy wraps or pita pockets on hand for a quick lunch. Throw the beans, rice and chicken in with a light sauce or dressing and you've got yourself a delicious, low effort, home-made lunch!