The Elimination Diet; a Reflection and Recommendation

It started with a scream.

A scream that lasted for hours.

Many hours each day.

Like 18.

Or more.

For me breastfeeding was important for a few reasons.  Now - don't get me wrong - I am NOT judging you ok?  

Just step off.  I am telling you about me.  

It was important to me because it failed for me with my first child.  It was important because I knew it was good, because after I had a VBAC I KNEW anything was possible (especially with a Doula- and I had the best one), it was important to me because if my sister could do it, surely I could.  

It was important to me because it was cheaper.  

Now I LOVE to spend money.

On Starbucks.

Cute baby clothes.

Organic toys.

A new car.

But I felt like if I could do something for free, I should.  Especially since I was taking the year off and not working.  So I told myself I was going to give breastfeeding a real shot.  

Welp.  It was EASY for a while.  So much milk I was pumping 4 ounces before I even nursed E (the complete opposite problem than the one I had with D).  

Then at the 3 month mark, it started.

The screaming.

I knew I had to do something, and in the crunchy circles I travel around (at the very far outer edge of) I had heard of this thing called the Elimination Diet.  So one day, at my parents' house, I just jumped in.  Head first.  

You should know, I don't do anything halfway.  

When I started buying organic, it's all I buy.  When I started downloading fonts to make my handouts cuter, I needed ALL the available fonts.  When my husband bought me a new laptop to blog, I blogged constantly.  When I decided to start a non-profit with the best girls around, we had to do it in 2 weeks.

When I started the diet there was just NO way I was going to cheat.

So... here is what I ate:



That's it.

Much to my dad's dismay, I wasn't going to stray.  It was hanging in his kitchen so he would stop asking me if I could have butter, garlic, tomatoes, oreos (jk gross).

I tried to make the best of it - Turkey legs for breakfast, pear juice and seltzer spritzers.  But it was rough!

It went from rough to - seriously hungry FAST.

If anyone ever wants a tip for how to lose all of their pregnancy weight in two weeks, this diet is it.  Seriously.  ALL OF IT.

Again, I continued trying to make the best of it with some creative recipes, but man was it hard.  I kept telling myself it was worth it.  And on day THREE it became worth it.

On day three he stopped screaming.

He stopped being uncomfortable when he was eating.

He started smiling again.

One day three it became totally worth it.  Which is why I can't stop talking about it.  YELLING about it, to every mom who can't sooth their baby.  I am happy to talk about it with you too.  Seriously.  Message me.  Find me on facebook.  I WILL respond because I want to help.  Since I originally posted about this, a few moms who I hadn't connected with in a long time - messaged me and asked about it - I honestly tell them how hard but rewarding it was.

There is another aspect that non-crunchies get a little crazy about.  I was so depressed about not eating anything, especially when I usually eat so well, that in a rash quick decision I also gave away about 100 ounces of my pre-diet pumped milk - my kid wasn't going to use it... so I figured why shouldn't someone else's.  I only mention this because I didn't know it was an option, or something people did when I had D.  So there - now you know - it's an option.  Might not be for you (or for me for that matter) but now you know.

So as my baby continued to be happy:



I added, very gradually, things back into my diet.  

You know what?

By the time I added everything back in (it took about 2 months after 1 month of keeping to the diet... I went fast... a few things a day... which is not exactly what Sears suggests... don't tell), HE WAS FINE.

No allergies.

No intolerances.

Just a happy babe.

SO worth it.

Check him out now all chubby and cute:




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The Poop Maker, A Smoothie

What your kid doesn't poop?

You don't want to see a post about it?!

FINE.  Keep moving... You'll come back when you need it.

If there is anything I learned about being a mom, it's that if you have a kid under two, talking about poop in public is TOTALLY accepted.  Even encouraged.

Color.

Consistency.

Frequency.

It's disgusting.

However, when your precious little bundle ISN'T pooping - all of a sudden you're turned into a lunatic.  Calling the doctor, searching the mommy boards (which have 100s of threads on the topic), calling your mom, HOW can you help?!

Look no further parents.

I give you... 

The Poop Maker.

Guaranteed to work within the day (and in our case... the hour... while still at the table).

Be ready people.



Looks delicious right?

JK, it looks gross.  I did taste a spoonful (without effect), and as it turns out it does not taste gross :) the good thing about a smoothie is that you can put it into a SQUOOSHI (click there for how I fill one mess free).  I know, it's been like a week since I talked about them... If you're interested (and you should be...) check out their website and their facebook.  

Here's what you need for the Poop Maker:
We use all organic ingredients.

4 Dried Prunes
4 Dried Apricots
1 1/2 Cups of Whole Milk Yogurt



So the first thing you need to do is soak the dried fruit in water.  I did this for about an hour.  Once everything is squishy again, drain the water (don't go crazy, I just put my hand over the top of the glass and dumped it over the sink... man everything about this seems like poop talk... squishy, dump... I am 10 again).

Mix the ingredients however you blend things.  I use my immersion blender because it's so dang easy to clean.

Put into your squooshi pouch (or feed to your kiddo with a spoon...).

<my kid kept asking for more... he ate ALL of it... you've been warned>

Wait for... results.

With a diaper.

In your hand.

And wipes.

This post has been featured here:
The Chicken Chick

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Crock Pot Sloppy Joes & Home Made Buns


By now... you may have heard that I HATE the crock pot.  With that said, it would seem as though... I don't hate everything about it.  Most recently these really yummy Sloppy Joes.

Growing up - I just thought sloppy Joes were some gross, mystery meat, cafeteria lunch.  That might still be true for most sloppy Joes, but NOT these.  These are delicious, sweet, tangy, organic, and the ingredients are no mystery. 

Make these.

Right now.

You won't be disappointed.

Now - honestly - this recipe is a little annoying.  I hate the crock pot - but the convenience has lately outweighed the hate.  This recipe is not all that convenient at the beginning   You have to cook meat in the morning.

Gross.

I promise it's worth it though.

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
We use all organic and or local and or fair trade ingredients 

1 pound (or more) of grass fed ground beef (sometimes I don't like the taste of grassfed beef - although it sounds terrible, the antibiotic, drug fed, fatty beef - just plain tastes better.  This recipe for some reason - it tastes GREAT).  You could also use turkey or chicken.
1 green pepper
3 carrots
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can water (use after you dump tomatoes... why dirty something else)
3 big cloves of garlic
1 onion
1/2 can of tomato paste
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of BRAGG apple cider vinegar (you can use something else - but it won't taste the same - this stuff is soooo good)
a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce (if you know of an organic variety - let me know! I couldn't find any)
1/2 cup of ketchup 
1 tsp molassas 
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt/pepper
olive oil

In a skillet - fry ground beef with olive oil, after a few minutes add in garlic.  When meat is brown remove from heat (dump it all into the crock pot)

Chop onion and pepper and put in crock pot.

Grate carrots and put into crock pot.

Put the rest of the ingredients into the crock pot.  It should look something like this:

If your kids don't eat/like veggies - you could really add anything grated - ie: zucchini, chopped up spinach, pureed butternut squash, whatever.

Cook the whole thing on low (or high if your crock pot runs low) until everything is soft.  Remove lid and cook on high until it is the consistency you like (and won't run off your bun).  You can't overcook it... I think.


We used these home made buns - the recipe was super quick and yummy.  I did use half whole wheat flour and they came out just fine!  I was also wearing a screaming baby - and they STILL turned out fine.  They would have been even quicker if someone didn't find where they were rising...


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Sesame Chicken Lo Mein

When I was making this, D asked me if sesame seeds come from Sesame Street.

How logical.

As it turns out I don't know where they come from... so to keep up with my three year old... I had to do some research.  According to wikipedia - Sesame seeds come from this plant:

File:Sesamum indicum 2.jpg

According to wikipedia - last year the country that produced the most sesame seeds was Burma.

Hmmm.  Easing brutal military rule, letting one of the most renowned human rights activists out of jail, and taking over the Sesame Seed market... big year for Burma! (that's right... in my real life I am a history teacher... it just crept in here).

Thanks, D, for the tangent!

Anyyyyhow.

So.  I found some organic, whole wheat, Lo Mein at Big Lots (ick) - so that is why I made Lo Mein.  So here you have it!  It was a big hit.  

Small side note - because the recipe included honey, and we use unprocessed, local honey, Dylan would remind you that E cannot have it.

I left him a serving (ok a huge serving) plain.  

He loved it even without all the fanciness.


Sesame Chicken Lo Mein

1 Package of Organic, Whole Wheat Lo Mein
1 pound of Organic Chicken Thighs (any boneless cut would work - this is just what we happened to have out of the freezer)
1/2 cup Organic Unbleached Flour
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I'm still Italian, even if the recipe is not)
1/2 cup of Reduced Sodium Organic Soy Sauce (if I had to pick between organic and reduced sodium, I would pick organic, half the amount and add water to make up the rest... don't get me started on CONVENTIONAL, GMO LADEN, SOY.)
1/4 cup of local yummy honey
1 Tbs of Organic Ginger (fresh would be better, but I didn't have any) plus 1 tsp
1 tsp of Sesame Oil (a little goes a long way)
1 tsp of Organic Garlic Powder
1 Cup of Organic Home Made Chicken Stock (click here for my recipe)
3 Organic Carrots
1 Cup of Grated Organic Zucchini (we still have some from the garden this summer in the freezer!)
1 Cup of Organic Spinach (ours was frozen - but fresh would be better - just chop it up)
Organic Corn starch
Organic Sesame Seeds for sprinkling! 

Chop up the chicken into small pieces (maybe 1/4 inch or 1/2 an inch).  Dredge in the flour and 1 tsp of powdered ginger.  Go around the pan with your olive oil a few times and heat it up to medium high heat.   Put half of your floured chicken in and brown.  It doesn't have to be cooked all the way through because you're going to cook it again in the sauce.

While that's going boil some water for your lo mein.

Take the chicken out and set aside, more olive oil around the pain, second batch of chicken in!

While the chicken is cooking let's make the sauce!  Mix soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic powder, sesame oil, and chicken stock together with a whisk.  

Remove chicken from pan and put carrots in.  When they are semi-soft add the zucchini and spinach.  Cook until soft and add in sauce.  Put chicken into sauce.  The sauce should thicken. If you want a thicker sauce mix some corn starch with a little bit of cold stock and combine with sauce.

Cook lo mein according to the package (but a minute or two short of finished).  When almost finished drain and toss with sauce until finished.

Serve topped with sesame seeds :)

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Cinnamon & Sugar German Pancake



When I say this you can't judge me.

Well I mean obviously you can, but you shouldn't.

Sometimes we don't eat breakfast.

There. It's out.

Before you get all "it's the most important meal of the day" and "people who eat breakfast loose more weight" and "eat this bowl of special K" (ick loaded with gmos) or whatev - I have ALWAYS hated breakfast.  

I don't like breakfast food.

I don't like the smell of breakfast food.

Since I had an opinion and voiced it, I have never liked eating breakfast.  In high school I begged my mom just to let me drink a glass of milk because the thought of smelling breakfast made me sick.

With that said, imagine my surprise when I (and more importantly my kiddos) LOVED this German Pancake.

Let me start off by saying I think the reasons we liked it are different.

I liked it because it takes exactly 24 minutes to make.

Do you know what else takes 24 minutes?

Every Disney Junior or Sprout on demand show.

Mickey.

Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

Thomas.

All 24 minutes.

You know what else takes 24 minutes?  (well not 24, more like 15... I have to make and put the pancake in the oven first) - showering, getting dressed, putting on eyeliner and mascara, brushing my teeth, and putting the baby down for a nap.

My how time has changed. 

Anyhow - the kids scarfed the whole thing.  I did eat one "no thank you taste" and it was good, I mean if you like breakfast, but my kids housed the whole 8x8 pan.  

So you probably want the recipe... here it is:

1/3 cup of Organic Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 cup of Organic Unbleached Flour
2/3 cup of Organic Whole Milk
4 Farm Fresh (from farm school...) HUGE Eggs
1 tsp of Organic Cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 Sprinkle of Sugar (yup, a sprinkle)
1 Hunk of Organic Salted Butter (yup, a hunk)
Powdered sugar and cinnamon mixed together for topping.

Put on any kids on demand show for your kids.  

Preheat oven (with your baking pan in it) to 400.  Mix up everything but the sugar and butter.  It's very liquidy, much more so than regular pancake batter.  When the oven is up to temp, throw your hunk of butter in the pan until it's all melty and bubbley.  Dump in your pancake mix, sprinkle top with sugar, set your timer for 20 minutes, grab the baby, put him down for a nap, and jump in the shower!

Ok, the last part is up to your discretion.

And the first part.

When you take the pancake out - it will be huge, like a pop-over.  As soon as you take it out it will start to shrink, you haven't done anything wrong, that's just what happens.  Cut, sprinkle with your cinnamon and powdered sugar and serve!  It tastes like a delicious, dense, pop-over.

The kids loved it - especially the littlest one when he woke up from his nap, he ate the most.

Maybe I will make this whole breakfast idea a daily thing.  

Eh.  Maybe not.



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