Nightshades, Who Knew?

vegetables photopotatos photoeggplant photoSo what started as a 2 week dairy free challenge turned into a full on elimination diet when my husband had a severe reaction a TINY bit of egg. We realized that perhaps there were things we ate every day and thought we had no reaction to that could be causing issues in our lives. We decided to go all out and determine what those things were and, boy, have we been surprised!

We meant to introduce nightshades last Sunday but inadvertently introduced them on Friday, because I forgot my yummy homemade refried beans had a little bit of jalapeno and jalapeno juice in them. Over the weekend, collectively as a family, we were EXHAUSTED, irritable, emotional, and achy. It wasn’t until Sunday that I put together that we have big issues with nightshades.

Sunday was a dear friends going away lunch party and there was free, delicious Turkish food involved. The Turks love their nightshades which is why we thought this would be a good day to introduce them, so on Sunday we loaded up on tomatoes in many yummy forms and likely some salca (a red pepper paste, sort of like our tomato paste) in the kebab’s and coating the chicken. Boy did we pay for it.

We later found out that my son got a headache right away. The rest of us had no digestive upset so I just thought we were all fine. By the time dinner came I was so nauseous all I could eat was the rice and left my chicken and broccoli untouched. During a family movie my son started moaning and raced to the bathroom to throw up. He got one of his awful violent migraines. After he purged his stomach a few times, he thankfully fell asleep fast. The next day I awoke with a migraine as well. This may sound terrible but the whole reason we were going dairy free was to help my monthly migraines and I am hopeful that we are uncovering the triggers. I was SO tired the next day as well and my daughter got a painful red rash around her mouth and my husband had digestive troubles.

After two days I felt like a new woman, I awoke feeling light and had energy and was no longer cranky. Then I had the brilliant idea to embrace our no nightshade lifestyle and made a fun nightshade free pasta sauce. It smelled and looked amazing and tasted pretty good too. While eating the dinner I started to get really tired and really irritable and my daughters rash on her mouth started to flare. I excused myself and went upstairs to be by myself for a bit, no small feat for a homeschooling mama married to a military man. While I was thinking and praying it struck me that I had used some of my stored up chicken broth from the freezer.

Before this whole no nightshade thing we ate hot wings once a week as it was a family favorite. With the bones we made chicken broth. So there WERE nightshades in out nightshade free tomato sauce to my disappointment. We all reacted again, that night I got nauseous again and the next day I was exhausted again. I have to say I have very mixed emotions about this. I am incredibly thankful to have uncovered something that causes such extreme reactions in us but I have NO desire to be on any kind of restrictive diet ever again and to be a burden to those around me and feel like we can never eat anywhere but home. I am hopeful that we can heal our digestive systems though and not have to be so careful.

Here’s a list of some of our crazy nightshade reactions over a 4 day period:
Migraines
Vomiting
Nausea
Achy joints (knees and elbows)
Stiff Neck
Allergies; runny, itchy nose, swollen feeling
Weird feeling on lips and in mouth, like after swimming in really salty water
Red rash around mouth
Slight itchy feeling around elbows and on face
Weepy
Downright meanness
Fatigue
Possibly insomnia (could be caused by stress)
Irritability (like the Hulk right before he becomes the Hulk)
Really stinky gas

So while I will miss rosti’s with ketchup, hot wings, etc. considering the list above, we are happy to donate any leftover nightshades in our fridge and pantry. After having such extreme reactions, and NOT expecting to, I started doing some research into nightshades and was amazed at the information I found. Basically nightshades are heavily linked to arthritis and migraines and headaches are common side effect as well. I am going to share some really interesting links below. If you can only read one link, please read the first one.

http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/nightshades/
http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/06/23/nightshade-free-survival-guide/
http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/nightshades/
http://www.noarthritis.com/nightshades.htm

Have you ever tried removing nightshades, how did it affect you?

Cod Liver Oil: Does Fermented = Rancid?

fishing photoI should start out by saying that I am not trying to place my flag. I’m just trying to get my thoughts down as I sort through all the information on the recent report of fermented cod liver oil pointing to it really just being rancid pollack oil. Please, don’t take what I say or think as gospel and PLEASE, if we’ve learned anything from this whole fiasco DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH on any subject or supplement. Now, having said that; here are my current thoughts…

I started taking FCLO on the advice of friends and the recommendation of WAPF and their community. My family  noticed  a significant decrease in how often we got sick but my husband mentioned last night that we also virtually stopped eating pork among other things. I do still believe the cod liver oil and it’s high Vitamin A content decreased our frequency of illness. My question is, did it also cause other damage? I also had menstrual cramps go away immediately with a very large dose. But then I also started having chest pain around this time and was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse a few months later. It could certainly just be a coincidence. Shockingly my vitamin D levels were very low after consuming FCLO for years and I was prescribed a Vitamin D supplement. A big part of the reason I was taking fermented cod liver oil is because it was supposed to be THE real food source for Vitamin D!

Bottom line from the report: the labs do show the butter oil to be rancid, the cod to be Pollock, and trans fats to be present in the product when they should not be. There is controversy over what the fatty acids actually mean but some lab managers quoted in the report said the fermented cod liver oils was the most rancid fish oil they had ever seen.

Price warned of the toxicity which is partly why he said to take it with food, with butter oil and in SMALL doses. He recognized that polyunsaturated fatty acids went rancid very easily. And yet he still saw great benefit in small doses. I recommend reading PPNF article that quotes Price on everything he said about cod liver oil. *Hint* He NEVER talks about fermenting it, in facts, places emphasis on finding the freshest source possible.

The brown is oil is rancid and putrefied according to history. It was just basically a byproduct of the cod industry that happened to help achy joints when rubbed on them ,externally that is (at first). Many had issues with it alongside good results.

Polyunsaturated fatty acid’s go rancid very easily. I cannot think of a process that would keep them fresh other than extremely careful processing and refrigeration! I haven’t seen any mention of any refrigeration coming from Green Pastures. This makes me think of the poem: There was a little girl (cod liver oil) who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead, when she was good she was really really good, but when she was bad she was horrid (rancid PUFA’s).

Also, consuming essential oils is generally NOT a good idea at all. Much less giving them to yourself, and your children, and people who are ill, DAILY. Although there is an essential oil free version of fermented cod liver oil.

And if there is ANY doubt, or even none, why spend so much on this product? If you trust WAPF they recommend many other CLO’s under their “best” category and some have much better prices. When in doubt leave it out. There are some good food sources of Vitamin A. You can get high Vitamin A from beef liver and chicken liver pate. Although it is faster to just swallow a tsp. of cod liver oil than to down a half ounce of liver.

Archies history of CLO is pretty compelling. It even seems like perhaps the light vs dark oil history is playing itself out again. See if this sounds familiar “Even with this improved process, it took almost 40 years for the Möller method to take hold. There were several reasons for this delay. Many loyal followers of brown oils believed that “clear” oil lacked iodine, which at the time was considered an important component of the oil’s healing properties. Further, brown oil distribution channels were well established, so those heavily invested in the success of brown oils were not as likely to switch processes. And for many practitioners and distributors, it was difficult to accept that cod liver oil could be healing without the nasty taste so long associated with brown oils.”

Many are upset about the nondisclosure of the labs, and I was too, but since GP didn’t send them the product the labs have no way of knowing if Kaayla left the product in the sun for a year before submission and that is why it’s rancid so I can see why they wouldn’t want their name to be in the report. Also I have seen comments complaining that Kaayla’s attacking GP and not other FCLO producers but Green Pastures is the ONLY maker of FCLO.

I like many of the things WAPF puts out and they have done some great things for real food but WAPF doesn’t follow Price very closely, he never said anything about sprouting or soaking grains (although to be fair all grains were probably made with traditional sourdough which is far superior to either soaking or sprouting). Price only placed emphasis ( and great emphasis) on freshly ground grains which I have never seen WAPF do.

There are people starting to come out of the woodwork with poor reactions, it seems many just thought they, themselves, were the problem because EVERYONE  “knew” the product, itself, was great. Maybe the Emperor really has no clothes on? But in this case it could be a lot more serious than naked kings. GP might very well be the koolaid of the WAPF community. I will keep following this and for now, no fermented cod liver oil in this house. I think I’ll check out Rosita’s or just stick with my Swanson capsules.

I highly recommend taking the time to watch Cheeseslave’s interviews on this topic, starting with this one http://www.cheeseslave.com/fermented-cod-liver-oil-scandal-exclusive-video-interview-with-whistleblower-dr-kaayla-daniel/

And here’s some more interesting reads on this topic…
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/9f4e9213ba7dd05546c3b0748/files/Cod_Liver_Oil_Ebook_Vol_6_Final_Aug_2015.pdf
http://evclo.com/history/
http://www.drrons.com/kaayla_daniel_fermented_clo_report.htm
http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com.tr/2013/01/why-we-stopped-taking-fermented-cod.html
http://www.brianpeskin.com/BP.com/publications/featured/2014-fish%20oil-0314_Brownstein.pdf
http://blog.ppnf.org/cod-liver-oil-a-historical-perspective/

Now that you have your homework, come back in a few days and share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Christian Herbalist

creation photoThink Christianity and herbalism don’t go together? Think again. Who exactly created those herbs? God did! “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Genesis 1:29.

Now where herbalism tends towards being pagan or New Age is by those “who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator” Romans 1:25 style. Once you realize this, it is very easy to take the meat and spit out the bones.  I am not saying we don’t need to walk circumspectly as in all things but truly these herbal gifts come from above. There are many NONChristian resources that don’t push this agenda with their teachings as well.

As a Christian when I come across information about herbs and the ways they interact in such amazing ways with our bodies, spurring them on to good works, I am thankful to God, the one who created them and gave them to us for our use, rather than to the herb itself that has no more to be proud of than we do. I certainly didn’t wake this morning and give myself breath!

We might even venture to see that God will choose to use herbs to heal our bodies at the end of the tribulation! “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:2

Now while you might feel a bit alone in herbal circles with all this pagan and New Age slant to herbalsim, rest assured there are, and were, many Christian herbalists. A quite famous and prominent one was Samuel Thompson, founder of Thomsonian system of which Eclectic medicine was an extension.  Shonda Parker is a Christian Herbalist and has written many lovely books. A recent favorite of mine is Shoshanna Easling from Bulk Herb Store (affiliate link). I love, love, love learning from her, not only does she sell great herbs but she has some super fun and free YouTube videos I highly recommend you check out. Of course there are many others so if you have a favorite PLEASE share in the comments.

So, if you are feeling like Elijah (1 Kings 19) in the herbal world, “I, even I only, am left,” have no fear there are others who recognize God as the giver of these beautiful herbal gifts! Truly we are naturally blessed.

 

The Best, Most Inexpensive, MULTIVITAMIN Anyone Can Recommend

multivitamin photo

I am amazed by nutritive herbs. I love how Susun Weed puts it, she say that most herbalists are interested in poisonous herbs because they have faster actions. Poisonous herbs have detrimental effects on the body but they DO work great when you need them. Any herbs that smell have essential oils and should only be used in tea or tincture form. However, some the best herbs are the nutritive herbs and the best way to use them is in the form of herbal infusions. When you use a bulk amount of a nutritive herb in water you get a lovely liquid, easily digested multivitamin!

Herbal infusions are so very easy to make, all you do is measure 1 ounce of dried herb into a quart jar and pour boiling water all the way up to the very rim. Give it a little stir and top it off with some more water then put a lid on it and let it sit a minimum of 4 hours. My favorite way to do this is to do it before you go to bed and then in the morning it’s ready to drink throughout your day.

I have long been interested in finding the perfect multivitamin for my body. Man made multivitamins have a few issues, the good ones are expensive, the cheap ones are useless. No matter how “whole food” it is, it is still a man made product whereas nutritive herbs are God made products and God knows the EXACT proportion of vitamins and minerals that we need in combinations. Multivitamins are hard on the stomach and the digestion and for me personally they make me nauseous, not to mention, by the time you get all that you need you don’t want dinner anymore because you are full of pills; ask me how I know?

It is claimed that you can notice a difference from herbal infusions in as little as ten days so I say “take THAT Flintstones!” For my experiment I I will use all the nutritive herbs I have on hand and rotate them with an emphasis on nettle. I will try nettle, comfrey, oatstraw, red raspberry leaf, dandelion leaf, red clover and linden for 10 days each and record my families results. Not only are we getting a multivitamin but there are many amazing side benefits to these herbs.

Ok so my nerdy math side came  into this and I sat down with my Nutritional Herbology book and calculated the numbers for these “vitamin supplements.” I went through each infusion herb I am considering and figured our which has the highest amount of each vitamin and mineral. A quart of infusion often meets the FULL RDA. Keep in mind the ones that are listed all fell into the high or highest range as a source of that nutrient, meaning that other herbs may supply it as well but only in an average way. Also not all nutrients were listed in the book so just because some are missing does not mean they are not in the herbs.


Here’s the breakdown of the herbs HIGH or HIGHEST in these vitamins and minerals from greatest to least:

Vitamin A: Red Raspberry Leaf, Comfrey, Nettle, Dandelion, Oatstraw
Thiamine: Nettle, Red Clover
Riboflavin: Comfrey,  Nettle
Niacin: Red Raspberry Leaf, Red Clover, Comfrey, Oatstraw
Calcium: Nettle, Comfrey, Oatstraw, Red Clover, Red Raspberry Leaf
Magnesium: Oatstraw, Nettle, Red Clover, Red Raspberry Leaf
Zinc: Nettle
Selenium: Red Raspberry Leaf, Nettle
Manganese: Red Raspberry Leaf, Nettle, Dandelion
Chromium: Oatstraw, Nettle, Red Clover, Comfrey, Red Raspberry Leaf
Potassium: Red Clover, Nettle, Comfrey
Silicon: Oatstraw, Nettle, Comfrey
Phosphorous: Nettle, Dandelion, Red Clover
Protein: Red Clover, Nettle, Dandelion


Clearly those herbs have our bases covered so let’s see what the results are in my upcoming Multivitamin Infusion Series! Are you planning to try out some infusions? Is there anything in particular you’d like to learn from my experiment or like me to talk about?

Love Your Breasts! Forget Pink Ribbons…

cantaloupe photoI have never quite understood all the rage behind the pink campaign that everyone pushes. Many of them promote products that are carcinogenic in and of themselves. And where exactly ARE all these cures for breast cancer we have been fundraising for?  Honestly this campaign makes me feel a little ill, profiting off of cancer. Shame on them. And, oh the irony of a pink KFC bucket! This is a neat website and article that uncovers a little of what I am writing about.

Another thing that makes no common sense to me is radiating some of the most sensitive tissue in your body on a regular basis. Mammograms do not prevent cancer, in fact, radiation causes cancer! Also, they cannot even tell if the mass is cancer, only a biopsy can do that. Not to mention, if that lump is cancer, is it a good idea to go around squeezing it? Some better options, if you must use a machine, are an ultrasound, which is what they would use anyway if you are younger or thermography, which should ideally be done when you are healthy to establish a baseline. There are, of course downsides to both, including the fact that only a biopsy can tell if something is cancer. Here’s a link to another perspective on mammography by Susun Weed.

Now breast cancer is the leading cause of death for American women, so what’s a girl to do? We need to know and love our breasts. We need to perform regular periodic exams of our breasts as most women are the first to find a lump. Generally it’s recommended to do it at least once a month but NOT around your menstrual cycle because this causes normal fluctuations in breast tissue. It’s much better to do it a few days to a week before menstruation. Personally I can’t remember to do something once a month unless, like most women, my breasts remind me by swelling so I think a better habit would be to do it each time you take a shower or bath and really get to know your melons. There are many websites that can teach you how to do this examination.

Now once you’ve gotten to know the ebb and flow of your breast tissue it’s good to know what types of findings can be concerning; 80% of all cases of breast lumps are NOT cancer. Lumps that are generally questionable  are usually firm and immovable, they do not swell and shrink based on the menstrual cycle. They can be irregular in shape. Another thing to consider is if you have any nipple discharge; bloody, dark or clear and sticky would be of concern.

All of the above is merely about detecting a problem if it’s already there but I prefer to think in terms of prevention. Some great resources to learn about are http://www.polishingstone.org/articles/susunweed-kylie.html and her book listed in the article. Also another fascinating read relating to this topic is Dr Brownstein’s book, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It.

One more fun resource is the video below. If you or someone you know has breasts it’s well worth the 36 minutes. The first part is more of an introduction and then they start talking about the topic around 7:30. Keep in mind that she is nearly 70 in this video!

I will certainly be incorporating more lentils (17:10), flax (18:24), and red clover infusions (19:40)! How about you? I’d love it if you have any wisdom to share on this topic as it is important to all women.

Day 3: Dairy-Free and a Fall Cleanse

Today is the last day for our Fall cleanse. It really has been great but at the same time it would be hard to continue much longer, the cravings are getting strong. I do have so much more energy but still feel like I am coming down with a slight cold. I know it’s just my body releasing toxins which is a very good thing because my body rarely does. When my family gets a violent 24 hour flu I end up with malaise for weeks and just feeling generally miserable. My detox pathways don’t work very well so anything that can get things moving is great in my book.

This morning we made our smoothie with coconut water instead of almond milk because I was out and strawberries for the berries to mix things up. The children loved it and were drooling over me as I made it but then one of my children got very whiny and desperate for something else, anything else. They proceeded to be very emotional throughout the day so I suspect they are having a detox reaction as well with very strong cravings. For the despairing cravings it helped to have them look our almond flour cookbooks to find a recipe for breakfast; it gave them something to look forward to.

Lunch was leftover stir fry from the night before and we threw in some eggs because we had eaten most of the chicken the night before and needed some protein. Eggs were not on the plan but eggs are healthy and we are about done so I didn’t mind at all. It seems as though my husband had a bad reaction to the eggs so he will need to eliminate them for longer. That might be a little tough but it’s also great to see that his body let us know so quickly

I have really loved the daily juicing. There is something relaxing about chopping loads of colorful produce and drinking it all down. I plan to continue this with a raw V8-type recipe every day to get more vegetables in. I love that my large cart was half full of produce 2 days and I need to go shopping again. Not because it went bad and got lost in my fridge but because it’s inside our bodies nourishing them!

blueberries photoFor dinner we had fish, rice, peas, and broccoli, fish is always a hit with these kiddos. Everyone but me had a treat of blueberries. It’s amazing how thankful my children can be over a small dish of blueberries when on a specific meal plan. It’s always good to remember to be thankful for the little things.

It has been really nice to have such simple meal planning. The hardest thing to deal with was the meal planning and sometimes people’s crankiness. Overall the benefits have been great so far. I actually have some energy this evening. Normally when the kids go to bed I cannot even fathom cleaning the kitchen or doing anything but finding an immediate place to lay down. I am so excited to have found a way to get energy back and perhaps a little scared that I will need to eat this forever. I know that’s not really the case because I have a great healing path ahead and I am excited to see where the roads leads.

How about you? Have you tried juicing or an elimination diet what were your results? Ever reacted to eggs? What did your reaction “look” like?

Day 2: Dairy-Free and a Fall Cleanse

Last night was very interesting, I had energy during the day and then in the evening I was SLEEEEEEPY. I went to bed a little early and in the middle of the night I awoke and my right sinus was pouring out. I’ve had this happen once before, right after I had an infected root-canaled tooth pulled. It was as if my body was saying “hurrah you’ve relieved a burden now we can clean junk out.” This morning I woke and felt as if I was getting a cold.

I had energy again today but by the afternoon I. WANTED. BROWNIES. As I was warming my potassium broth I went to a neighbors to get back some essential oils I had loaned her when she had pneumonia and she had made me a plate of brownies! I went home in a dilemma as to whether or not this whole elimination diet was worth it the face of brownies? The brownies would have won had my husband not been stronger than I. Later that night he craved pizza and I returned the favor by being stronger than him. Perhaps all elimination diets or cleanses should be done with a partner; a threefold cord is not quickly broken!

We made our smoothie with raspberries this morning and it was delicious. Lunch was an SCD fish recipe that my children LOVED with rice and roasted local Turkish peppers. The peppers made me nauseous. For dinner my wonderful husband made us stir-fry with chicken, bokchoy, carrots, garlic and ginger, he used some potassium broth to make the rice and it turned the rice this beautiful yellow color. My husband weighed himself and he has lost 3 pounds stuffing his self with nutritious food, it makes me wonder how much of his weight is actually inflammation.

Since we are continuing past the 3-day fall cleanse with dairy-free and gluten-free as an elimination diet we started making a plan for how we wanted the reintroduction phase to work and talked about meals and substitutes for dairy in case we indeed do need to eliminate it. This was super important because while we are great at getting up the nerve to do restrictive diets our personalities are very “all or nothing” and we tend to binge on everything we did without the day the diet is over. NOT a good plan. Another benefit of doing the 3 day cleanse first is we are all really looking forward to some other things we can have again even though we will still eliminate dairy and gluten/ Two days down and one more to go!

How about you; have any tips for effective cleansing. elimination dieting, or how to come off of one without binge eating?

 

Day 1: Dairy-Free and a Fall Cleanse

vegetables photo

Today we are starting our 2 week dairy-free diet and are kick-starting it with this 3 day cleanse. It’s always good to reset your taste buds but it can be a little painful.

Since this was day one I’ll share what we ate, what we did, and how we felt.

We started of the morning with a yummy smoothie for 4. Last night I soaked some almonds for some easy almond milk and then this morning it was very easy to just blend it up and strain it. My favorite means of straining is paint strainer bags. It makes it SO VERY easy to strain the almonds. I actually have a fancy shmancy nut milk bag but I might die before it actually lets any liquid out; now that I think of it, the fancy nut milk bag just looks like a giant tea bag and I may just re-purpose it for herbal baths! Ok back to the…


ALMOND MILK

I soaked:
4 cups of spring water
A good pinch of Celtic sea salt
1 cup raw almonds

I let it sit overnight and then in the morning I blend it really well and strain out the yummy liquid.


cashew milk photo

Next step…


SMOOTHIE

2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup flax seeds
2 cups frozen banana
1- 8 oz package frozen organic blueberries
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup gelatin (added while all of the above was blending)


almond milk photoThis was really yummy and a good way to start the day. I must say, I usually have to drag myself out of bed and make myself eat breakfast but this wasn’t too much work and tasted delicious. I was a little worried about the taste of nut butter and blueberries but it was a good combo. Tomorrow I will substitute raspberries instead since I have an American palate and love variety.

Right before a trip to the store to gather half a large cart full of produce I thought I best make our morning juice for energy. We have this incredible juicer, an OmegaZRT and it is so fun to use. I actually had lots of energy and somehow I just feel lighter than normal as if my shoulders aren’t as tense. Apparently some digestive strain I didn’t even realize I had has been relieved. It will be interesting to see if it’s the lack of dairy.  Another symptom I am hoping to see go away is chronic throat clearing.

After I returned home with our bountiful produce we had broiled salmon and steamed white rice. I quickly sauteed up some zucchini and summer squash. Half the family was very excited about this veggie but the other half… not so much. Sorry people we can’t JUST eat broccoli for three days.

After lunch was nap time and we crashed. It was lovely. I had thrown together a pot of potassium broth to boil before the nap and woke to a wonderful smell and was STARVING and while broth didn’t seem like it would do the trick it definitely took the edge off and I think I can make it to dinner which will look a good deal like lunch but with chicken and different veggies.

What about you? Have any detox plans in your future, what are your favorite nourishing cleanses?

 

My 21 Meals – Dairy Free Dinners

 

 

I am about to embark on a dairy free journey for 2-4 weeks in hopes of seeing if this is a trigger for menstrual migraines. My family had implemented the GAPS diet years back and I had thought I might have had a slight processed dairy intolerance when adding it back in. It certainly makes my seasonal allergies flare at times.

In my Herbal Medicine for Women studies with Aviva Romm  I have discovered that dairy can potentially be a menstrual migraine culprit and since I am learning all about gut healing and elimination diets right now I figured I’d give it a shot!

When going into any time of restrictive meal choices it’s always more successful if one plans ahead rather than frantically racing around for dinner ideas (especially since our “frantic dinner ideas” are usually chips and homemade queso dip or loaded nachos!). I love moisture in my meals and cheese tends to add that so I change things up with creative saucy ideas like homemade mayo and guacamole.

I love making a list of ideas because then when I am tired and cranky or when I have an emergency run to the store I can refer to the list and quickly plan some meals. Shooting for 21 gives me three weeks worth of meals and stretches my meal planning just enough to give us more variety and options. These are some of the meals we will be enjoying.


 

  1. Easy Teriyaki Chicken, rice, steamed broccoli
  2.  Homemade Burgers, sauteed onions, In-N-Out sauce instead of cheese, homemade sourdough English muffins for buns.
  3.  Hot Wings, homemade french fries, broccoli with olive oil
  4. Tacos with Chipotle guacamole instead of cheese.
  5.  Thai Coconut Curry Soup  (we love to make this with these pad thai noodles and then it’s gluten-free too!)
  6. Steak, pilaf, and salad with homemade dressing
  7. Turkish Tava, pilaf
  8. Rosemary lamb chops. carrot souffle
  9. Spaghetti, homemade spaghetti sauce
  10. Chicken curry, naan, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower
  11.  My mom’s ham bone soup (but since we avoid pork , it’s now lamb bone soup 😉 )
  12. Sushi, wasabi, miso soup, chopsticks 😉
  13. Pretzel dogs, mustard, carrot sticks
  14. Taco salad, fritos, homemade dressing, guacamole
  15. Chicken stir fry with loads of veggies, rice
  16. Chicken nuggets, broccoli, baked sweet potatoes
  17. Chili, sourdough cornbread ( I like to sneak lot’s of veggies in the chili)
  18. Fish sticks, green beans, homemade french fries
  19. Bulgogi, steamed rice, miso soup
  20. Crock pot roast, potatoes, carrots, onions
  21. Kofte, naan, humus, grilled veggies

Bon Appetit!