Sunday, March 22, 2015

{Sugar Free Chia Jam}

This month, March, is celebration month in our house. We have had a lot of food, a lot of sugar and a lot of quick & easy meals on busy nights whilst hubby travels or whilst we recover from my sons surgery.
I'm feeling it too. I feel bloated and just that heavy feeling. I need to kick my butt into gear. 

It's time to get back on the wagon of eating clean, cutting out refined sugar and feeling myself again. I fell off the wagon hard this fact I don't even know where the wagon is! 

Whilst grocery shopping on the weekend, I picked up a bargain bulk buy of strawberries. 
Then we had a beautiful cool change come through with some rain and I love being in the kitchen in that type of weather. 
I felt inspired to create some sugar free chia jam that I pinned ages ago. 

3 cups berries (fresh or frozen)
3 tablespoon sugar free maple syrup or rice malt syrup
3 tablespoon water
5 tablespoon chia seeds 
(I added a split vanilla bean, cinnamon quill and some lavender flowers)

1. Place berries, water, syrup and chia seeds in a blender/ processor. 
2. Once it's blended, place in a saucepan on a medium heat until mixture bubbles. 
Reduce the heat to low and stir for a few minutes until thickened. 

3. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for a week. 

Ideas for use (some suggestions may defeat the purpose of a healthy sugar free diet - hehe):
1. Serve on freshly baked scones with whipped cream.
2. Spread on warm buttery toast.
3. Use it to turn a vanilla biscuit recipe into jam drops. 
4. Make healthy pancakes (1banana and 1 egg) and top with 'jam' and Greek yoghurt.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

{Family Verse of the Month}

We are mainly focusing on the second half of our verse from 1 Peter 3:8 this month. "Love one another, be compassionate and humble."

Do you have a family verse cycle? Weekly or monthly? If so, what's yours right now? 

Lauren x

Sunday, March 8, 2015

{Family Sick Bucket}

If the kids are going to ever catch a bizzare tummy bug, it often comes without warning? Am I right?

I remember once (or twice) being woken up by a sort of a yelping or wailing sound coming from their room or a random shadowy figure standing right next to you as you sleep that whispers " tuuuummy feeels fuuunnny". The timer starts then. You never know how long you have until your cleaning up after a sick child. One of the glamourous parts of a parents job description.

I decided to put together a little bucket full of supplies that I could call on when needed. Usually in the middle of the night. 

So here is my bucket which is now stored in the linen press. I chose this location as it's upstairs and central to all 4 bedrooms.

A bucket (obviously)
2 plastic bags (I line the bucket with this when they are sick which makes cleanup much easier).
Vinyl tablecloth (this is handy to place next to bed on the floor to help contain the mess).

Cleaning items:
Packet of tissues
Hand sanitizer
Paper towels
New clean toothbrushes
Carpet and furniture deodoriser and sanitiser. 

Replenish and Re-Hydrate:

Bottle of hydro lite or other electrolyte drink (I chose the tablets as it's easier). 
Packet of sugar free lollies to get rid of that taste in their mouths
Dry crackers and Apple sauce with a spoon
Coconut Water
Probiotic Tablets

Now, this is one project that I'll be happy if we never use. However, when and if we are hit by a yucky bug, everything is in one place. 

Is this something you would use? Is there something else you would add to the supplies? 

Lauren x 

{Bone Broth}

For many years now I have suffered with digestive issues that have been quite frankly a bit of a mystery. 

Every now and then I do some reading up when things catch my eye with things I haven't tried. 

When reading Sarah Wilsons blog (founder of 'I Quit Sugar' movement), I was fascinated with the claims that she made about bone broth. It's not the first time I've heard of it having digestive benefits, but it could my attention. 
Not only does she explain the benefits of the broth on your GI system but also on your joints. I have had done recurrent pain in my left knee for a few weeks now that I can't seem to shift. 
The main benefits she lists of making and using the bone broth are 
1. Our immune system loves it
2. It's great for arthritis and joint pain

3. It's a digestive aid
4. It rebuilds the gut
5. It combats stress and inflamation
6. It's great for thyroid issues
7. It's great for nails, hair and women generally.

Read more about these on her blog by clicking {here}
Worth a try right? 
Worst case I've made something from scratch that is delicious and healthy. 

So I started to assemble my ingredients. 

I turned on the slow cooker and added the above plus some vinegar (1/2 a cup - essential to have the acid component) and some fresh thyme. 

Most recipes just use the bones. If using meatier bones (e.g. beef) they are roasted first. However, my aim in using the whole free range chicken, was to firstly slow poach it for a few hours and then remove the meat to use in a meal later on in the week. 
Afterwards, I will then leave the bones in the broth and let it continue to do its job until I go to bed or maybe even the next day. 

Have any of you been regular fans of a bone broth? I think I am going to make a batch of this a week and see how adding it to my diet regularly helps me. 

Lauren x

Thursday, March 5, 2015

{Lunchbox Life}

How is it that a small box made of plastic can evoke such strong feelings of fear or apathy in the average school Mum. I am in fact talking about the lunch box. Many mums I speak to dread the packing of lunches and love the freedom that the school holidays bring when we get a few weeks 'off' this chore.    
When I started Kindy there wasn't a lot of variation the actual lunchbox itself either. 
I seem to remember mine looked a bit like this. This was before the days of 'naked lunch' (no plastic wraps), bento boxes and lunchboxes with insulated bags and characters. There 

Image result for decor lunch box and drink bottle
There also weren't as many rules about what you are allowed to pack inside the lunchbox back in my day either. Things sure have changed. I frequently get asked what I pack in my kids lunch boxes. I try my hardest to find food that is healthy and balanced, food to keep them interested but not going so far as to create a ridiculous edible artwork. Like this:

My children, I love you dearly. But I will never be the mum that creates a Disney character out of Swiss cheese, rice, an edible food pen and strategically placed poppy seeds. I'm just not that that mum. Something tells me you'll cope though ;) 

However, a new sandwich alternative has been a big win here this week. And it's easy too. A lot of days it's a jam, ham or Vegemite sandwich, which they are happy with. But these 'wrap sticks' have won 2 big fans here. 

I just used some mountain bread and rolled it up with ham and cheese. Cut the wrap into 4 pieces and thread onto a skewer (I cut the ends off so there weren't sharp pointy edges). 
I included some cherry toms and carrot sticks also. If this was at home I would have added some homemade tabouli...but that's too messy for school. 

Morning tea was pretzels, dried strawberry cubes, and an apple. Some blueberry yoghurt for after lunch too. Both lunchboxes came home empty which is the biggest tick of approval I could ever get! 

Q: What's something new you've tried in lunchboxes recently?
Lauren x


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