This blog is going to try and answer the million questions I get about how I manage to afford eating paleo with six kids and "What do you EAT?!" and the even more asked question of "What do your kids eat?!", throw in an occasional "How do you have time to cook three meals a day?" We live a normal and crazy life with a house full of crazy kids, endless laundry, weeds in the garden, and a growing desire to not be satisfied with poor health. I homeschool, garden, Crossfit, eat paleo, have SIX kids, three dogs, lots of chickens, love the Lord, and am trying to honor Him through finding true health both physical and spiritual.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Time Saver Tip - Roasting Frozen Veggies

I hear a lot that I must spend forever in the kitchen. I really don't. unless I'm making salmon cakes. Argh that takes a long time. Last night we had rosemary roast and roasted spicy bacon green beans. And let me say it was downright amazing. I just finished up a bowl of it for breakfast with my bulletproof coffee.

The roast I threw in the crockpot the night before so that was cake. When it came time to make the green beans they took about I'll say... 2 minutes. And yes they're frozen. And yes that makes life easier. And yes when they're in season at the farmer's market I will spend more time on green beans. But for now I embrace the frozen green beans. We need to let our kitchen work for us instead of us working hours in it when you have a large crazy family like mine.

Cooking enough green beans for a family of six went like this.....

- Dump two bags of green beans on nice seasoned Pampered Chef cookie sheet.
- Drizzle with bacon grease
- Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, garlic powder, and salt

*notice that A. I don't worry about them being a single layer, they are piled kind of high. B. How icy and cold they look and C. my little 3yo helper who decided raw frozen green beans with bacon grease on them was delicious. He ate more than just that one. *

Bake in 350 degree over for about 40 minutes.

Eat. Nom nom. Honestly the bacon flavor on the green beans is just delicious! And that little spicy kick? Yum.

So dinner last night took me basically enough time to set up my meat the night before, and throw in a huge batch of green beans. When you throw them in frozen they get somewhere in between steamed and frozen. They start kind of icy so they steam a little and the ones on top get all roasty from the bacon grease and heat.I spent about 5 minutes in the kitchen cooking last night. Tops.

I've done this with frozen broccoli as well and you can't pile it quite as high or the bottom ones get soggier than I prefer. But I will roast some tonight and see how long it took to cook.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Review - Becoming a Supple Leopard

I'll admit before I review this that I've been geeking out pretty badly on all sorts of food and exercise science lately. And I also know most everyone else out there isn't. I didn't think I'd review it here because I assumed it would be a geeky mobility science book to feed the nerd in me. I knew before I started reading this book that I'd love it. BUT I wasn't sure how practical it would be for everyone else in the wide wide world. In fact I know that KStarr can be quite technical in how he presents concepts as well as quite strict in his beliefs about movement so I was pretty sure going into this book that it wouldn't be one I'd recommend to most of my friends. I mean I'm kind of a boring stay-at-home mom with mostly homeschooling stay-at-home mom friends. Giant books about mobility aren't everyone's cup of tea. So I was pretty sure I would only have about three people I'd recommend this to and one is a black belt martial artist stay-at-home mom and another is obsessed with kettlebells. :)

Boy was I wrong! I'm convinced that everyone should own this book even to just keep on the shelf in case of injury. I know so many people with all sorts of health books on the shelf and this one should be sitting up there with them even if you aren't a Crossfitter or aren't into weight lifting at all.

First let's just say this isn't a cheap book. In the era of kindle books we can get a bit turned off by expensive books these days. The price on Amazon has been hovering around $35. But it's a BIG hardback book. And while I can see a day where I might want the info on my iPad I am beyond glad to have the big gorgeous book in my hands. I think of it price-wise as a giant reference book. I will use it basically for the rest of time. But you don't know why yet so this is all babble right?

KStarr (Kelly Starrett) can be intense. He is someone beyond passionate about his love of human movement. So often on his website I found him quite intense. And he's such a force I think I'd be quite nervous in his presence and do the worst squat in the history of squats or forget how to just pick a barbell off the floor properly. I feared I'd feel that way about this book too. But the tone is conversational and down-to-earth while still digging deep into the mechanics of movement.

I'll be honest and say not all of this book will be of interest to everyone I think should own it. Does that make any sense? The first part really gets you excited and explain human movement, why we have pain, how we develop certain injuries, and truly convinces you why you should care about your ability to move and move WELL. It inspired me for sure.

Then it delves into diagnostics. Diagnosing weaknesses in knees or ankles or back flexibility won't matter to everyone. And at the same time it's deep and extensive enough to excite and challenge all who do care whether they are elite athletes or a simple Crossfitting or martial arts mom.                                           

Then it moves into something I didn't expect though I should. A huge part of the front half of the book is devoted to breaking down the steps, correct form, and mistakes/faults of all the basic human movement exercises of anything you can think of from overhead squats to pullups to rowing or kettlebells. Everything! He lists them in progression of how to do and learn them and is a great resources for anyone to have.Take the squat. So it shows you not only the proper form but the common faults and how to fix them! *note, I'm keeping this image and other images small so they can't be read *

Then comes the really good stuff. The next part of the book is why I think everyone should have this on their shelves as a reference book. Everyone. Midwives, moms, elite athletes, older people, younger people, coaches, everyone.

The second half of the book is a reference manual. It's a diagnostic and mobility manual. I'm in love with it right now. It has the body broken into 13 parts. It looks like a book from medical school!

Then each section gets broken down into diagnostic, then different mobility exercises some that use bands, others balls, or foam rollers, and even friends. He tells you how each muscle relates to injuries or pain in your joints and how to work on the mobility in the right places to help alleviate pain in joints. It's a must have. I think we often get aches and pains and just accept them instead of doing everything we can to help heal and prevent them in the future. This book would be great to just pull off the shelf whenever you have any sort of movement pain. Though in theory we should be working on mobility always to prevent aches and pains.

So that's that. I knew I would love the book but didn't expect it to be something for everyone. I can see friends having it sit up there next to their books on herbal medicine or nutrition. It's that kind of book. A must have!

The original book picture is linked to the book but here's another link to the book if you want to buy it. 

I haven't been asked by the author or anyone but ME to review this book. It's one of those books I feel like most everyone I know hasn't even heard of and here I am calling it a must-have. And Lorri, if you're reading this I should say that I think it would really be an amazing resource for you as a teacher of movement!

*my Amazon links do go through my affiliate program and I earn a tiny bit off every purchase made through my blog. I haven't really made anything so far so it's not like it's a lucrative business but I'm out of magnesium and could use some from Amazon LOL. I wanted to be open about that in terms of writing a review*

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cheap Eats - Homemade Coconut Butter

I'll admit to sometimes get a bit down at how expensive some of these amazing paleo recipes seem to be all over the net. 2 cups of almond butter, a whole cup of coconut cream concentrate or coconut butter, etc. etc. Oy it feels impossible sometimes! I have a smaller budget than many with a family this size and am trying to do the impossible like have paleo treats, things like that.

That brings me to my desire to try and learn to make changes to some of the more expensive recipes and make certain things myself.

Which brought me to.... homemade coconut butter.

I've bought coconut butter before. It's not insanely expensive but out of my range for making thing like cookies for my family. I will say it's DELICIOUS. I ate the last jar with just a spoon. It's smooth but a little gritty and sweet without sweetener and just decadent and yummy. It's not crazy expensive and worth it to treat yourself with a jar for nibbling. (pictures are links to buy them if you want to)

And what about this stuff? I'm not an agave fan so I may just make my own this week. But MAN that looks yummy eh?

Basically coconut butter is coconut ground into a smooth butter. I figured it can't be THAT hard to make right? I used this coconut: from Tropical Traditions. I get it from our local co-op and with tax and whatnot it's $10.
I didn't do the food blogger thing and figure exactly how many cups are in my package, etc. to give you the true cost of my homemade coconut butter. If you can forgive me, keep reading, if not, I'll try better next time. All I will say price wise is that I didn't even notice that I took any out of my bag of coconut. So 6 ounces of coconut butter and I didn't even notice that I used coconut. My guess would be I could make a couple of quarts with that $10 bag.

I started with 2 cups of shredded coconut.

It is really as simple as processing in the food processor. Really. That's it! After about 4 minutes I had to scrape down a little. Every couple of minutes after that I scraped it down. After 10 minutes it was smooth and creamy and............. homemade coconut butter!

I ended up with 6 ounces of coconut butter. Warm from the food processor it's smooth and soft.

A while later in our cool house it was solid.

You can stick the jar in warm water to soften it to use in recipes, etc. Tomorrow I'm going to grab some Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips at Kroger and try a recipe with the coconut butter.

I'm on a mission to try and figure out the cheapest ways to enjoy treats for the kids. Hope this helps someone!