Saturday, January 29, 2011

Seeing the change and the recipe my husband says I just have to share!

Today made a weekly trek to the Grocery Store and as we were checking out to things hit me one I hate having to go searching around the store and the city for ingredients I need for living Gluten Free and the other was I looked at what we had purchased and there was very little that wasn't either organic or as healthy an option as we can afford to purchase. I am firm believer that eating healthy is important but so is a healthy budget! My one splurge item I am very excited about is an over the sink cutting board, we have wanted one for a while but hadn't found one we really liked. My lovely husband made us one last year and worked except it was made out of wood and it warped but this one we purchased today is made out of bamboo so it won't warp and it has a cut out for a strainer for rinsing veggies and fruit, it's great and only $20!

So the recipe that my husband says I absolutely must share is my meat loaf creation, it's a recipe from Maximized Living Nutrition plans but I changed it a little and made it Gluten Free. So here it is;

Beef Meat Loaf

1 Pound Grass Fed and Free Range lean or extra lean Ground Beef
1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped finely
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tbs Organic Gluten Free Onion Soup mix
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
1 Cup Gluten Free Rice bread crumbs
2/3 Cup Organic Tomato paste
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper

For Topping I use
The Tomato paste as suggested but I mix it with Tony Romas BBQ Sauce

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, combine chopped onion, garlic, onion soup mix, egg and 1/3 cup of the organic tomato paste. Add the bread crumbs and beef. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Place mixture in a 6 cup capacity loaf pan (8x4 inch) or simply shape into a loaf in a glass baking dish. Pat gently to make a rounded top. Do not pack. Bake meatloaf for 50 mins. Remove from oven; brush with remaining tomato paste and BBQ sauce equal amounts of each. Return to the oven; Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads 160 F, approximately 10-20 mins. Cool loaf for 10 mins in pan before slicing.

I like to serve it with mashed potatoes and some kind of steamed veggies, my husband would like to recommend garlic bread but I have yet to master that Gluten Free so that will be for another day.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Big Thanks!

Just wanted to send out a big Thanks to all of you for viewing my blog I am so excited to see so many people reading it! Now please sign up to follow me on the right hand side and feel free to leave me some comments to, but most of all keep coming!
Blessings to you and your family!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Just had to share this recipe before bed So Good!

This one that I adapted to make it Gluten Free and changed a few of the ingredients to make it healthier.

Carrot Apple Loaf

  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour ( I used the same but just G-free flour mix with 2 tsp xanthan gum)
  • 3/4 c light brown sugar ( I used Organic Sucanat instead)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp each of ginger and allspice
  • 2/3 c of apple juice
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter( I used 6 tbs unsweetened organic apple sauce)
  • 2 lg eggs, beaten
  • 1 lg granny smith apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 c grated carrots
  • 1/2 c coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 9x5x4 inch loaf pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the apple juice, melted butter, and eggs. Gently fold this mixture into the flour mixture to combine. Use your hands to squeeze every last drop of moisture from the grated apple and carrots then add to the mixture, along with walnuts (optional) to combine.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared sprayed with non-stick pan, and level the top. Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted in the center of the apple bread comes out clean, 1-1 1/4 hours. ( I baked for only 1hr and 5mins)
  5. Leave the loaf to cool in the pan for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  6. Slice as you would bread to serve, enjoy!
To see the original recipe follow this link.

This and That

It has been a busy week despite being ill and kids being out due to being ill, I keep telling myself that next week it will slow down but it never does I can hope I guess. I must say I am really looking forward to Spring making it's appearance these longer days are nice but I am looking forward to being able to play in the yard or take the wagon to the park for some playtime. It has been an ok winter but being stuck in the house with multiple kids is wearing and I can only come up with so many fun ideas. I got a call Tuesday asking if I would be available to come in on Wednesday to see the Sports Dr who does my cortisone injection for my hip bursitis, I was really hoping to not need that injection and to have sorted out this issue on my own with Yoga but that didn't happen for many reasons. Anyways I scrambled around got my medication for the injection and my husband took a couple of hours off work so that I could go and get this done, it went well last night was painful as expected but with a little help from a couple of T3's I was able to get in about 6 hrs sleep and today I am ok today more stiff than anything. So now I just have to be careful what I do until the snow melts and the ice is gone so I don't slip again. We also found out this week that my husband has about 7 days of holidays left that he didn't use and if he doesn't use them by the end of February he will lose them so he is going to book Fridays off until the end of February and I will be able to go to Physio therapy for a little while and hopefully that will help my hip recover and I will not need further injections. It is only a few days until our baptism we are finishing up some last minute preparations for it today and then should be ready for the big event on Saturday. We are also heading out to our friends farm early in the day on Saturday to help them celebrate their little girls first Birthday, I will be baking her a cake tomorrow afternoon which is sugar free mostly I am still working on an idea for icing. Speaking of baking haven't been doing to much lately just too busy with everything else to take the time. I have been finding the housework lately to be a little overwhelming and taking a lot of time which I don't really enjoy so I need to get on top of that and slow some other things down. I am almost ready to start crafting headbands and post them up on my Etsy store which is exciting just waiting for the last few pieces to show up. Finances this month need a little bit of work to dig out of the overdraft but I am confident that will happen in time. We also need to work on getting our trailer sold I would like to see that happen before April but who knows? I do have a gluten free chocolate cake recipe to share with you all it is very good especially because I used Bernard Callebaut Cocoa Powder to make it, Yum Yum!

Chocolate Cake

5 oz butter

6 oz dark brown sugar ( I used the organic Sucanat instead)

2 oz cocoa powder

3 ½ fl oz boiling water

3 medium eggs

5 oz brown rice flour

2 hpd tsp wheat and gluten free baking powder

Pre heat oven to 350˚ F

With an electric mixer beat the butter with the sugar until they are light and fluffy. Meanwhile, mix the cocoa powder with boiling water until you have smooth paste. Beat the cocoa into the mixture, then slowly beat in the 3 eggs, each accompanied by a spoonful of flour. Fold in the rest of the flour with the baking powder.

Pour the mixture into a well greased 6 or 8 inch round cake tin with a removable bottom and bake for 30 mins or until it is firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean from the middle. Cool Slightly, then turn onto a rake to get cold before cutting.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Illness comes knocking at our door

So it has happened we have been hit with one of the nasty bugs out there right now. I started feeling it on Friday and by Saturday is was truly coming and Sunday I was down for the day. Spencer and I seem to only have a mild version of what has hit the daycare. Both the kids who were scheduled for today called in ill and I was forced to put in place my 24hr symptom free policy, I know it may sound harsh but I have myself, my family and the two other kids who come to think of. As far as I know the other two are fine and no symptoms and we are holding our own with mild symptoms. We made a trip today to the wellness store to stock up on some natural remedies and also added some raw garlic on toast to our supper menu hoping to send this virus packing before it gets worse. I am also heading off to clean the toys too tonight so that the other two stay healthy.

We have done so well up till now at staying healthy especially since the onset of my Crohn's in October. On that note my weight is going down again which is nice but also means something is acting up although I feel ok and I am even sleeping better again so not really sure what it can be. I am going to break out the big guns tonight for cleaning not just the Norwex cloths I am going to use the natural cleansing cloths too. I hope all of you staying healthy and avoiding those nasty bugs they say wash everything including your hands often and eating raw garlic is one of your best defenses!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Upcoming Birthday

My Son is about to turn 5 in March, really how did that happen? I am going to Kindergarten registration tonight which I can't believe, he is excited and feels like he is growing up. Me I just don't know where the time has gone, it just doesn't seem like it's been five years already.
In fact I can't remember much about life before him.

For his party we are planning trying to do a scaled back eco-friendly party so instead of presents I am asking people to bring two of their own books from home wrapped up and then they we will put all the wrapped up books together and everyone will get to go home with two new books and also asking everyone to also bring a $5 donation for a charity that we will help Spencer pick. Now for family I have asked everyone to either make his gift personally or to purchase it handmade from someone else or take him to do an activity. He is telling everyone that he is not getting any presents for his birthday like I am a bad Mom or something but he really doesn't need another train to add to his very large Thomas collection! I am even going to make some birthday crowns out of felt and a birthday banner for him as well. I did purchase him one gift for his birthday and that is a Terra kids headlamp by Haba and the matching Trapper bag for our trip to the mountains this spring. I am also looking for some other hiking related gear for him. I think he will be happy with these gifts plus what ever else he receives, I know he is getting a wooden marble game from my Grandmother.

I really just wanted to start scaling down all things in our life especially with amount of things we buy! I have finally consigned all of Spencers' clothes from 6mths to 4T and the money that comes out of that will go towards our trip to Calgary to visit, go hiking and see Thomas the train again! I am hoping in time my Son will adjust to these changes and come to enjoy his new scaled down life.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baptisim and Adoption Hopes

Well we are going to be baptized at the end of this month into our church and become members of the Saskatoon LDS church. We are excited for this and glad to be finally joining the church. It's funny my husband and I were talking about the LDS church and it is the only church we have ever encountered where to become a member we were not asked to make any drastic changes to our life the only changes have been small superficial things like respecting the Sabbath day and not drinking coffee or any tea that comes from the tea leaf. We are also continually amazed at how the church came to us when we needed them the most and how for some reason we were willing to accept them at that moment. They have been the greatest blessing to my family and I hope to one day be able to return the favor to another family in need.

During one of our recent visits with the missionaries we discovered that they also offer adoption services here in Canada too and we will be pursuing an adoption through them when we are eligible, we have to be members for a year to earn temple recommends and then we can apply so maybe in a few years we will be able to add a new family member to household. That is very exciting because in our province our only choice is Family Services and it is not easy nor do you usually end up with a healthy child and definitely not an infant. Where as through the LDS church we may have a good chance at finding a healthy infant to join our family!

We are truly excited to see where our life goes after becoming members of the church and all the blessing that come after receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost! This year has already been such a blessing to us in many ways bringing new hope and opportunity to our family! I hope that someday all of you will have a chance to experience the blessings of God as well for your life and your family. Please if you have a moment visit the LDS site and hear the message of the Gospel.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gluten Free Baking the Experiment

So one the changes I was forced to make was going Gluten Free as a result of my health troubles in October of last year. So I have been experimenting with different recipes but today I took the next step and took one of my old recipes and made it Gluten free and it worked! I was pleasantly surprised!!!

I thought maybe I would share this one with you:

Carrot Muffins

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup apple sauce
2/3 cup oil
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free flour mix
2 tbs Guar Gum
2 eggs

Combine all ingredients in a bowl blend until completely mixed. Bake at 325 for 25-27 mins.

I am really enjoying trying out all these recipes and I am finding some I really like. Saturday night I tried one from a fellow blogger, Gluten free Cinnamon Buns they also worked out really well too and I was even in a rush when I made them. Well I hope you enjoy one or both of these recipes and please if you have any to share let me know.

Friday, January 14, 2011


So a recent Facebook post has lead me to think that I should blog about my budgeting techniques not that I am great at it but maybe it will help someone. One of the big things I do is plan ahead, I am not a great meal planner but I plan ahead for birthdays and Christmas by purchasing those gifts ahead of time and I use the internet to find deals on things like using Ebay or doing price comparisons. Now that my Son is older I am able to buy the clothes for him for next year at the end of the year and get everything at 50% off or better which saves a lot but requires the time to go out and find them except this year I hit Old Navy online on boxing day and that was great no frustration or line ups and all the sizes I needed! One other drastic measure we took last spring was to turn off our cable and now we just watch the few shows we like online and for my Son we go to the library once a week and get movies to watch which is his TV time, this saves us *800/year. Also I recently learned that by going to my internet/phone providers website I could bundle my internet/phone service and upgrade my internet one speed level and make a slight change on our phone line and that saves us 50/month on our bill. This year I am planning on putting in a garden and I will blanch and freeze what I can to help with our food bill in the winter. We have also started trying to group our errands together and do them at one time rather than making multiple trips.

I won't say I am great at budgeting but those are some of the things that we do and are working on as a family. The handmade incentive I am hoping will also help our budget too. I have even stopped buying cookies for my husband instead he bakes them, that way he appreciates them more and consumes less because he has to make them.

If you have anymore tips to add please share I would love to hear what you do to help with your budget.

The Beginning

My awakening started when our Son was about 1, the whole BPA scare happened and then the lead paint closely followed as did our decision to try and have another baby. We required fertility treatments due to my husbands Bone disease and my Polycystic ovaries after a few cycles and no success I began to wonder if maybe the things that I was afraid of affecting my Son were also affecting me too. This is where the change all started and now with my most recent health troubles and being forced to go Gluten Free the change has gotten bigger. During this time we have also been reintroduced to the LDS church and have made the decision to become members and be baptized on January 29th.

So now we are moving towards living a Natural Lifestyle and trying to change things such as our eating habits, family life, spending and the way we earn our money. I made the decision in June of this year to leave both my jobs in the Health Region and move home to work opening a small Day Home. Looking back I am so glad we made that choice and even though it has been hard I look at our Son and it is all worth it. My husband also recently decided to start walking to and from work for exercise and reduce our use of our vehicle thus reducing our fuel bill and our carbon footprint too. One of our goals this year is to try and live within our community and limit our amount of driving to places for shopping or entertainment. Throughout all of our trials in this past year we have incurred a large debt and need to work towards paying that back by reducing our spending and increasing our self earned income. I am looking at doing some handmade projects and selling on Etsy as well as possibly the Farmer's Market too. We are also considering what to do as a family to earn a living so that my husband isn't pushing his body so hard anymore and can improve his health. There are a few ideas on the table one of which is my becoming a Yoga Instructor especially for children, there is one course I am very interested in taking but it is a bit on the pricey end for us but would be an amazing opportunity for our whole family!

One of the other commitments I have made this year is to support handmade and if I can't make it myself to purchase it from someone who did make it and is using that income to support their family. I am having fun with this option and again looking to Etsy for purchasing items I cannot make. I am really enjoying this commitment as I love spending time creating things and it is such an outlet of stress relief for me. My Son on the other hand is not as happy with this idea as he really loves Thomas the Train and especially the Track Master ones at the moment so when I informed him that he wasn't getting any presents from his friends this year at his upcoming birthday party well he was less than impressed. We are going to be doing a book exchange party so each child will bring a book from home wrapped up and get to trade it for another book so everyone gets something new to read.

Those are just a few of things we are working on and as I discover new ideas, items or recipes I will share them on here in hopes of helping another family making some great changes too!