Converting Recipes to Real Food

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I didn’t truly know how to cook until I transitioned my family to a real food diet a few years ago. Sure, I could follow a recipe and put a nice dinner on the table. But I didn’t really have to think. I didn’t know how to make substitutions. I didn’t know how to adapt recipes if I was missing some of the ingredients. I couldn’t look at a bunch of leftovers in the fridge and figure out how to pull together a meal with them. Switching to real food taught me how to think in the kitchen. Now I make substitutions almost automatically, and I switch out ingredients without worrying that things might not taste right. I’m constantly playing with recipes, and I’d like to share some guidelines that … [Read more...]

Ten Healthy Easter Basket Ideas

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This time of year, I’m on the lookout for healthy Easter basket ideas. My children will get some of their candy favorites in their baskets, but I don’t want to bring a month’s worth of candy into the house. There are so many healthy alternatives to fill up Easter baskets. Here are ten ideas that will appeal to a variety of ages. Healthy Easter Basket Ideas Fruit infusion water bottle: This device helps make water taste more like a treat. Easter Eggstravaganza Mad Libs: This activity book is a fun way to pass the time if you’ll be on the road for Easter. EOS lip balm: My daughter loves this lip balm, which is shaped sort of like an egg. She'd love this limited edition spring … [Read more...]

Saving Money on Real Food at Costco

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Warehouse stores can save you a lot of money. But in many cases, these big box stores focus their inventory on highly processed food. A three-pound box of Oreos might sound like a good deal at $9, but it’s not the best type of food to stock in your pantry. If you’re looking for a warehouse store that has a good inventory of organic, real food groceries, Costco is a great place for you to shop. I recently joined Costco when they offered a Living Social deal with a discounted membership. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to join at first, so I asked my Facebook fans if there was enough real food at Costco to make it worth the trip. The response was overwhelming. People from all over the country … [Read more...]

Kitchen Organization Tips

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Cooking most of your family’s food from scratch can be quite a task. If you want to keep your sanity, you need to maintain an efficient kitchen. I don’t have the perfect kitchen or the perfect collection of every foodie device you could imagine. But I do have a decent kitchen space that my husband and I try to keep organized. As our needs have changed over time, we’ve adjusted what goes where. You can’t set up your kitchen once and forget it. New kitchen items come into the house and toddlers turn into teens. To keep things running smoothly in this household hub, I recommend taking several steps each year to maintain good kitchen organization. Examine Kitchen Work Triangle When designers … [Read more...]

Five Habits for Eating Clean

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The new year is a great time to evaluate your eating habits. If you’re like me, December is not your best month for eating clean. We still have a few sugary goodies floating around from Christmas stockings and cookie swaps. It’s fun to enjoy these special treats now and then, but my body is ready to focus on real food again. If you’re new to eating an unprocessed diet or you’re just trying to reset your system, these habits will help get you on track. They’re all simple, common sense practices that you probably already know you should be doing. Whether you eat a vegan diet, a paleo diet, or anywhere in between, making a commitment to these five habits will help keep you healthy and … [Read more...]

Non-GMO Cookbook + Whole Foods Giveaway

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It’s the season of giving, and I’ve got a great giveaway for you! The Non-GMO Cookbook is a fantastic resource for anyone concerned about genetically engineered ingredients in their food. If you want to shop for food without GMOs, Whole Foods Market is the place to go. Whole Foods has more Non-GMO Verified products than any other retailer in North America. I’m celebrating the release of this new cookbook by giving away a copy of the book along with a $50 gift card to Whole Foods. There’s no better place to shop for the ingredients in this cookbook’s delicious spread of healthy recipes. Non-GMO Cookbook The Non-GMO Cookbook: Recipes and Advice for a Non-GMO Lifestyle is a great guide for … [Read more...]

Once a Month Shopping at Trader Joe’s

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One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to go shopping less frequently.  Some people are organized enough to do all their grocery shopping in one day to cover their needs for the entire month.  I admire this approach of "once a month shopping," but I don’t think I could ever achieve that level of organization.  However, I have been trying to cut back on the frequency of my trips to the store for "just a few things."  Several months ago I decided to pick one store where I would only shop once a month, and Trader Joe's was the perfect choice. Once a Month Shopping at Trader Joe's Trader Joe’s has a relatively small, consistent inventory.  I developed a master list of all the … [Read more...]

Homemade Peanut Butter

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ChopChop Cookbook Review ChopChop is a wonderful cooking magazine for children, and my eight-year-old daughter gets so excited every time a new issue arrives in the mail.  When friends come over for a play date, they always want to make something from ChopChop.  She’s a pro at their smoothies, and she loves to try new recipes from each issue.  We were both very happy to receive a copy of Sally Sampson's new ChopChop cookbook so I could review it.  On the day ChopChop: The Kids' Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family was delivered to our mailbox, my daughter got her hands on it shortly after it passed through the front door.  She quickly developed a long list of recipes she wanted to … [Read more...]

Raising Healthy Eaters

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Hello Food Lovers! My name is Danielle Shea Tan, Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach and Founder of Healthy Mamas for Happy Families. Annemarie was kind enough to invite me to write a guest blog post about how parents can raise healthy eaters. I’m very excited to share my thoughts with you, so please enjoy! In your children’s eyes, you are superwoman (or man). At tumbling class, they think you’re Mary Lou Retton.  At the pool, you’re Michael Phelps. And, in the kitchen, you’re Julia Child whipping up five star meals while they were out playing.  Your kids think you’re the best thing since sliced bread. They want to be you. These are big shoes to fill, especially when it comes to … [Read more...]

Ten Tips for Real Food on the Road

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With summer upon us, many families are gearing up for fun summer road trips.  My family loves traveling, and we tend to travel by car.  Living in the Boston area, we can drive to so many great places without the need to buy airplane tickets.  From Quebec to the Jersey shore, Cape Cod to the Berkshires, the mountains of Vermont to the Adirondacks, we’re able to appreciate so many types of natural beauty.  When we go on vacation, I appreciate the freedom of having our car with us and being on our own schedule. Our food philosophy relaxes a bit when we’re traveling.  We end up eating more treats and processed food on the road.  However, I still like to find plenty of nourishing food for my … [Read more...]