Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Recap: A Year in Review and God's Grace

This year. Went by. SO fast.

People aren't lying when they tell you life goes by faster with kids.  And I only have one.

This year has been HUGE for me.  I don't mean with money (um...definitely no. I stopped working haha).  I didn't gain 50 pounds (thank God).  I didn't get some mega promotion (bummer).

No, this year has been sincerely rewarding in so many ways and in so many avenues.  I continue to be married to the most amazing man on this planet, and I gave birth in May to my healthy, happy and especially handsome Jace Alexander.  I have experienced some new friendships that are very rich and filled with spiritual health and growth.  I was able to finish grad school with my Family Nurse Practitioner, and I am getting prepared to sit for boards.  We started Tuttle Family Farm, where we are raising pasture-raised chickens and quail and getting to enjoy the fulfillment of helping other families eat high quality organic.  I was able to develop my blog more and become an administrator for The Snap Mom, which has got to be one of my most favorite jobs ever!  I got to grow my Young Living business and help me use these incredible oils to naturally help their families.  Even more importantly, I have seen God continue to carry me through health challenges and through my healing journey for my gut and autoimmune symptoms.

Not a bad year right?

I tell you, being a mother changes your life.  I don't know how to describe it.  To think that a year and a half ago being pregnant was the last thing I wanted to have happen to me...I was so physically sick and just overwhelmed.  And now I sit here in awe.  How did God know this is what I needed?  How did I become so deserving to get pregnant, without even trying, and carry to full term and deliver naturally a healthy baby boy?

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord.  "Plans to prosper you, not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

This verse has resonated with me for several months now.  Applicable for many different people for many different situations.  For wherever you are in your journey.  God has taught me more and more (and thanks to my husband and some friends) to truly live in the moment and appreciate each day.  I used to be riddled with anxiety and worry, consumed with planning and being so structured.  Freedom from that has also provided additional healing from my previous eating disorder and that phase in my life.

We are all on the journey.  Choose carefully the company you keep for it and dare to take a step into faith.  Try new things, enjoy each day to the fullest.  Let God carry you when you are weak.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Dream Big.  Stop stressing out. And let God lead you.  From my family to yours,

Happy New Year <3



God is good <3

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Creamy Broccoli Dip

Do you find keeping to your diet challenging during the holidays?  Doing paleo, AIP, GAPS or whatever your body requires can be tough- especially when it comes to family meals.  I know for me, I don't have as much of a challenge with this since we don't have as much family down here- most of my challenge comes with getting bored and wanting to come up with new recipes.  I get tired of having the same things- even for the holidays!

This can be especially true if you have food sensitivities.  Your menu might be pretty limited.  When I started doing AIP and modifying my Paleo based on what I have seen work best for my gut, I really missed good dips.  For years, I had put mustard on everything.  Even organic paleo dressings from the store had carageenan, xanthum gum, or other thickeners and fillers that I couldn't have.  Don't even talk to me about spinach artichoke dip (salivating....!)!  So I had been using guacamole and avocado almost daily for a dip for my meats, sweet potato name it!  Avocado is a great fat but not everybody can tolerate it.  In addition, I was getting BORED.

Rather than finding safety and sanctuary with my beloved mustard,  I decided to make another dip to rotate out with guacamole when I get bored.  What was important to me this time was to come up with something that was uber simple to make and with only a couple ingredients.

So I created a creamy broccoli dip that is not only AIP safe but easily gets you additional servings of veggies.  All you need is a blender or food processor and a handful of item.  It can be served warm or cold, and is quite filling and tasty as a dip.  In addition, you get ample fiber, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C from this super vegetable.  Give it a try, and season it to your liking!

Creamy Broccoli Dip (AIP, paleo, GAPS, SCD, GF, DF, soy-free, nut-free)

1 head broccoli, cooked
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (can use more or less depending on how thick you like your dip)
2 tspn fresh garlic or garlic powder (optional)
1 tsp himilayan sea salt
1 tsp cilantro (optional)
1 tsp basil (optional)
1 tsp tumeric (optional)

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and puree.  Serve warm or cold.  Enjoy!



Saturday, December 19, 2015

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Giveaway!!!

     Christmastime is one of the most wonderful times of the year, but it can also be a time when we can over-indugle and lose track of our health goals!  It’s ok to treat yourself of course, and God knows I’m good at that!  But you can’t lose focus of the importance of being and staying healthy.  Rather than be part of the millions of Americans plagued by colds and sickness each winter and holiday season, it is important to keep your body healthy and strong to support the immune system and combat illness.

     One of my favorite ways to do this is through regular supplementation with gelatin and collagen peptides.  I have been buying these products from Vital Proteins for over a year now, and I could not be happier with the product. 

     What are collagen and gelatin?  Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is key to the construction of all connective tissues.  It also provides the infrastructure of the musculoskeletal system.  Collagen peptides are natural, highly bioavailable, and digestible, and can ensure the cohesion, elasticity, and regeneration of skin, hair, tendon, cartilage and joints.  Both collagen and gelatin have similar amino acid profiles and nutritional benefits.

     What’s the difference?  Collagen peptides mix well with both hot and cold liquids without “gelling”, but you cannot use them in recipes that call specifically for gelatin.  Collagen goes great in smoothies, juice, water, coffee, and I have used them for oatmeal, pancakes, and no-bake cookies to boost protein content.

     Gelatin, on the other hand, “gels” in cold liquids.  It’s ideal for more hot preparations and is great to add in soups and broths as a thickener or natural protein booster.  You can also use it for baking and making ice cream, yogurt, and fruit gelatin snacks.  Gelatin takes longer to digest, coating the small intestine, which makes it especially advantageous for those on the GAPS, AIP or SCD diet.

     What I love about the Vital Proteins products is that they are sources from pasture-raised, hormone free bovine hides from Brazil.  These cattle are raised on standards in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership 5-step animal welfare rating standards, and each animal gets 2.67 acres to graze on.  Talk about giving animals a good life!  All Vital Protein’s products are made without high heat to preserve the enzyme process.

     Can you take these products while pregnant?  Absolutely!  In fact, consuming collage while pregnant is critical because it provides essential proteins that our bodies utilize daily that promote optimal health AND a growing baby.

     Vital Proteins is kind enough to collaborate with me this Christmas season by giving one of my blog followers a FREE 20 oz collage peptides case!  This is a $41 value!  Entering is easy.  This contest is open to all U.S. residents 18 and older.  The contest will go from today to Wednesday, December 23rd, 8PM EST.  The winner will be notified Christmas Eve.  Check out the rafflecopter below by scrolling all the way to the bottom of this page, and good luck!