Wednesday, August 28, 2013



Reality is truly starting to settle in. The summer is coming to an end and soon the school bells will ring. I am excited for my eager five-year-old who can not wait for all her Kindergarten adventures. But I am also full of 1,000 worries. I am sure I am not that unlike every other parent sending their little ones off to school for the first time. One thing that has got me wringing my hands with worry is sending my healthy eater out into the world. (In case you missed it, here is the blog version my panic attack!) Since there isn't too much I can do about it, I started planning. Step one was ordering some Planetboxes for Big Sister and Brother. Brother is going to Saturday school with his older sister so I thought he could use it then. 

Step two was creating a little buzz about having cool new lunch boxes and getting to eat in school. The Planetboxes were a huge hit and the olders dug right into the checking them out! 

Big Sister chose the horse and rider magnets. Fitting. 

Brother picked the rocket ships. 

Step three was a test run! We were excited to try out our new lunch boxes. I packed them up for a special picnic today. But sadly, it ended up pouring rain. (Poor planning, Momma.) So, we moved our picnic indoors for today. 

Even though we had a change of plans, the novelty of eating out of their new Planetboxes made it pretty fun. Maybe sending my healthy eater to school will be ok! I think we are off to a good start for September. 

Have a great school year to all the school-going kids! Thanks for reading! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Six Mile Run

Six Mile Run

I don't like to think about it but the summer is drawing to a close and quickly. It makes me feel a little frantic about letting a weekend pass without getting in a good hike. Not that we don't hike through the gorgeous Fall season and even the brisk days of Winter, of course. But thinking about the bundling up in the crisp, chilly weather, the shorter days, the more hectic schedules, it sure is nice to be able to just pack up a few water bottle, a few healthy snacks and head to a trail. 

Today's destination was Six Mile Run. There are a few different parking lots for the trails on Six Mile Run as well as a number of different trails. We found trail parking right off of Jacques Road in Franklin Township, NJ. The first 0.3 miles of the trail we took was on this open portion. It was filled with butterflies and a whole lot of big, blue sky.

There was some geocaching to be done on this trail. Big Sister and Brother hunted this cache down along with the Daddy. They emerged from the trees with a treasure in hand! 

Here is Little SIster enjoying the ride. Its neat to listen to her vocabulary expanding on our hikes as she points out "water", "flower" and "puppy". (There were lots of dogs on the trail today and she was loving it.) 

Less than half a mile on the open path led us to this covered portion of the trail through the trees. This was when the hike went from flat and grassy to steep and full of hills. This was everyone's favorite part of our hike. It was completely engaging and moderately challenging. A novice hiker could negotiate the path well enough but the steep hills and roots make it impossible for strollers. 

The entire hike through the woods ran parallel to this stream. It definitely added to the charm of the trail. 

Look at Brother go! This is a good upward march for the little guy, but he loved it.The steep hills make this trail popular with mountain bikers, so it is best of be aware of approaching riders and move over to let them pass. 

I just love how a beautiful trail can transport you into your own peaceful world. Its is almost hard to believe we are only about 20 miles away from our house. This is a hike I would definitely recommend! The summer isn't over yet so grab your little ones and get out there!  

Thanks for reading everyone! See you soon! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Beet Green Chips

Beet Green Chips

We are all getting pretty savvy in our knowledge of the amazing benefits of greens. When thinking about healthy greens, do not forget to include beet greens. Beet greens are full of chlorophyl (which has awesome benefits for our blood), fiber, iron, protein, calcium beta carotene and vitamins A, B, and C. The next time you buy beets, chop off the greens, wash and prepare! 


Greens from 4 beets, cleaned, de-stemmed, ripped into "chip" size

2 teaspoons of olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

How I did it:

1. After you clean the beet greens, pat them dry with a towel. Then add all of the remaining ingredients. 

2. Toss with your hands until all the greens are covered with oil and seasonings. 

3. Place beet greens in your dehydrator. Be sure all greens are laying in a single layer. 

4. Dehydrate for 1-2 hours. Check on your beet green progress after an hour. 

No dehydrator? No problem!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. After preparing the greens, lay them out, single layered, on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven for 8-12 minutes, or until the edges begin browning and the leaves are crispy. Still soggy? Put them back in. Then enjoy! 

Everyone in our house LOVES beet green chips, even Little Sister. I tried so hard to get a picture of her stuffing her mouth full but all I caught was the aftermath.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

D&R Canal, Kingston

D&R Canal, Kingston

Our days can be so busy, rushing to appointments, hustling though the grocery store, dropping by the post office, getting home to prep the next meal, making time for the baby's nap, the laundry, the housework....ugh. I saw a day full of that for me today. And I think I actually felt my soul cringe a little just thinking about it. Of course every one of those tasks are necessary and important. I usually feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction, even happiness, taking each one of those tasks on and caring for my family. But today had a bigger calling. I could look around the house and make a mental list of all the things I really needed to get to today, but some other part of my brain was saying, "No way. Just get outside." That other part of my brain knew that a good hike would be so, so good for my soul. We just had to do it. 

Right off of Route 27 on the Princeton and Kingston border in NJ, you will find a parking lot and trail head. This is part of the D&R Canal trail that goes from Kingston to Griggstown. It is an "Out and Back" linear trail, so the distance you hike out, will be the distance you hike back to return to your car. The entire distance is 5 miles one way, or 10 miles to walk back to your starting point. 

The trail is an easy hike and perfect for a stroller. The path is wide like you see here in some parts, but also become more narrow in other points along the trail. 

The walk along the canal is really peaceful and serene. It is beautiful to look at and the children were engaged by all the creatures we spotted. We startled a crane, unintentionally, at one point. He hurried into the middle of the canal and then took off into the sky. It was quite a sight and the olders were awestruck.  

Everyone really loved this trail. Every way we turned there was something to point out to each other. While looking close to the water, Big Sister caught sight of a very large black snake, a black rat snake is my best guess. The kids were in awe once again. We also found animal prints, lots of insects and an infinite number of beautiful butterflies. All of the kiddies were so excited by all the discoveries they made. 

We spent an hour and a half on this beautiful trail. We hiked out a little less than a mile and a half before we turned around to head back to our car. The time together sharing the sights and sounds while here were just what our souls were craving. 

Thank you for reading everyone! See you again soon. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sending my healthy eater out into the world and this mom is freaking out

Sending My Healthy Eater Out Into The World and This Mom is FREAKING OUT

Ah, the end of summer is approaching. (Sniff, sniff) I really don't even want to think any aspect of what the end of summer will bring, but I have to. The main thing I need to think about is my little girl starting Kindergarten. Now, that topic has about 1,000 subtopics  that could each send me into a panic but that is also more than I could handle in one post. However, something that has really got my anxiety level shooting through the roof is the idea of sending my healthy eater out into the great wide world. Sure I plan on sending her to school with a big, pretty lunchbox filled with all the whole, healthy foods she is used to eating here at my kitchen table. Yes, of course, I am already going nutty on Pinterest searching for ideas to keep her lunches fun and exciting. But in a lunchroom where other kids might have orange powder covered chips and brightly colored juice boxes, the stress is not as much about what color lunch box to get and how do I make a cute little mouse out of an apple slice, some raisins and a cleverly slices piece of kale. My stress is really, truly about my complete panic about whether I have laid enough ground work to keep my healthy eater eating healthy! How does her lunch box, that I will work painstakingly on, mind you, going to complete with her classmates Lunchables and bologna sandwich, chocolate milk, bag of chips and Oreo cookies? I am not going to lie. I am consumed with this problem. 

Look, I have been fueling my daughter's little body with the most whole, organic foods I could find and afford since before she was born. My interest in nutrition took a big leap forward once my husband and I wanted to start a family. I tried to make all the right moves, I breastfed, made my own babyfood, I bought organic. We began our CSA organic farm share because we had children. I mean, really, I tried so hard to keep my daughter and all our children as toxin-free as possible and fueled by the healthiest food I could get my hands on. And now, I am just going to send her to the wolves. Maybe, I said maybe, that is an exaggeration, but I don't think so. Her lunchroom will be full of lots of strategically packaged goodies, lunches and juices, with their clever designs and mascots corporations choose simply because they will draw kids in and make them scream and kick until their desperate parents leaves the supermarket with a shopping cart loaded with their products. On one hand, it will be my little girl against Corporate America. Does she stand a chance? 

But on the other hand, it will just be a case of her vs little Susie who says, "Eeew, what's that?" when she sees her kale chips.  Have I given my little girl enough confidence to say, "Oh, they are kale chips. They are delicious and super healthy." Or is she going to come home, hating my guts for making her and her healthy lunch the oddballs. 

I suppose I need to accept that there is a balance. I think that balance is between continuing to do all I can to inspire all of my kids, including my soon-to-be Kindergartener, to eat healthy foods and accepting that she is about to make her own choices, good and bad. That doesn't make me feel all that much better but I believe that is the situation as it currently stands. Sigh. 

If you are a parent with some of these same worries, I wanted to write a post for you with all the answers on how to quell these feelings and anxieties, but I can't. All I can do is tell you that you are not alone. If you have some answers, oh,please, do share. But if you, too, are just full of worry how starting school is going to effect your healthy little eater, feel free to share that as well. Maybe our shared experience will reveal some great wisdom but if not, it will at least be nice to know we aren't alone. 

Thank you for reading, peeps! You all rock. 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Paleo Pork chops and Onions

Paleo Pork Chops and Onions

I love it when a plan comes together. I needed a new idea for pork chops and although this isn't a monumentally unique idea, it was really tasty so I just had to share. 


4 thick cut, boneless pork chops
onion powder
garlic powder
ground coriander
ground pepper
sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 large onion
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Let's get to it!

To begin with, turn the oven on to 350 degree. Then get out 4 thick cut, boneless pork chops. 

I didn't measure, I just sprinkled those beauties with garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, coriander, salt and pepper. 

I heated up about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan and browned the chops on each side, about 3-4 minutes on each side. I moved the pork chops from the pan to a casserole dish. 

I picked the biggest onion I had. This gorgeous girl came fresh from our CSA organic farm share the day before. I chopped this into long slivers. I used the same pan that I used to cook the pork chops. I just added another tablespoon of coconut oil. 

When the onions were cooking, I added 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos... perfection! 

The onions did not take long to cook at all and smelled yummy. :) 

Once they are softened, I put the onions on top of the pork chops. I covered the pan with aluminum foil and placed it in the oven.

25-30 minutes later, or until the pork is cooked thoroughly, you have something that looks like this! 

I served the pork chops with steamed cauliflower and sautéed eggplant, squash, mushrooms and onions. If you give this recipe a try, I hope you enjoy!!! 

Thank you for reading! See you again soon! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Keep 'Em Moving

Keep 'Em Moving! 

Everyone knows we love to hike and try to hit the trails as often as possible. But I am also a big advocate for the family neighborhood walks in between the opportunities we get to hike. It is so easy to carve out 30-45 minutes in a day to corral those little ones up and walk as a unit. I love to make time for this for a number of reasons:

* Everyone gets in some healthy cardio!

* Walks serve as a reminder to kids about limits, safety procedures, distance allowed away from the grown up which is important on hikes, too.

*Everyone keeps up their endurance


The kids were outside playing today but before I called them in to wash up, I put the baby in the stroller and led the mob out on a neighborhood stroll. For those who might think trekking through the same ol' neighborhood over and over can get boring, there are lots of way to keep the babes engaged. However, today, something fun presented itself to us. We discovered mushrooms EVERYWHERE! It became a game for the olders. They were on the hunt for mushrooms and searched for the coolest looking blooms they could. find!

Here are some of the amazing fungi they discovered!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Whole Happy Visit


Today was just awesome! The MOMS group of North Brunswick invited Whole Happy Kids to be a guest at their monthly meeting/playgroup. It was such an honor AND so much fun! 

Our main message was about helping busy moms find ways to move away from processed foods and toward wholesome, fresh foods. Being a stay at home mom of 3, I understand the conflict of wanting to make everything from scratch, keeping everything local and organic but feeling the pull of busy schedules, running on zero energy and the need for a few short cuts. Whole Happy Kids wants to support moms with ideas and recipes for whole, healthy eats. I want to provide enough support to make whole, healthy eating a little bit easier to achieve. I brought some easy to make samples of nutritious snacks like kale chips and pumpkin silver dollar pancakes. I think all the samples were a big hit. 

I was also able to talk to the group about introducing the little ones to hitting the trails! How exciting to be able to talk face to face with moms about some of the benefits of hiking with our kids! You will have to stay tuned for the post about our group hike next week! I can't wait! 

Some amazing moms checking out the samples and info. 

Thank you so much to the MOMS group of North Brunswick for inviting me and my actual, live and in the flesh Whole Happy Kids. It was wonderful to meet you all and I look forward to keeping in touch with all of you! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Caveman Pancakes


When I think of a perfect breakfast, some key ingredients come to mind: sweet potatoes, eggs and BACON. I mean, c'mon, you have the basics, a great, vitamin-packed vegetable (sweet potato), a pure, wholesome protein(egg) and BACON! 

I tend to like things simple. I like one-pot dinners and crockpot meals. For this breakfast, I took all the yummy basics that I love and tossed them together into one pancake. 

Here is what I used:


5 slices of bacon, cooked and put aside

1/2 onion, sauteed in a tablespoon of coconut oil

1 medium-large sweet potato, shredded

2 Tablesppons of maple syrup

3 free-range eggs

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons of coconut oil for the pan

The first thing I did was begin with cooking 5 slices of bacon

and began sautéing the 1/2 onion in coconut oil. Once the bacon and onions were done, I set them aside and began mixing the other ingredients. 

My next move was to shred this bad boy up.

I cracked three eggs into a large bowl and gave them a good beating. After that, I mixed in the shredded sweet potato, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, the onions, and chopped bacon. I season this mix with salt and pepper and I was ready the heat up the pan! 

Once your mix looks something like this, it is time to heat up the pan and melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. 

Scoop large spoonfuls into the pan and let each side brown. Once pancakes are cooked thoroughly, it is time to serve. 

Time to eat! ENJOY!!!!