Thursday, June 28, 2012

Feeding Our Faces part 3

Here are the resources I promised you! I don't have many just yet, but at this point I prefer quality over quantity and I like the resources I am using.

These people seem down to earth and have great recipes
Nom Nom Paleo
The Clothes Make the Girl
Multiply Delicious

It Starts With Food (I got it yesterday and finished it today-great read)
Well Fed (mine is in the mail!)

There are also a ton of other great books and resources out there, but I am still finding them. If you know of one, let me know!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Feeding Our Faces part 2

What does a typical paleo meal look like?

Last night I made taco salad out of the left over crock-pot beef. We filled our bowls with lettuce, tomatoes and a few other veggies than slapped some taco-seasoned shredded beef on top. Jared added salsa to his and I remembered to add avocado to the last 1/4 of mine.

Everyone liked it (except Emma, but all she could think about was the fresh raspberries and blackberries we bought at the farmers market that day).

For breakfast, I just discovered an awesome homemade grain free granola that is killer in a bowl with some almond milk (or moo juice in Jared's case) poured over it. Emma prefers her granola with raisins. Before that, I just ate leftovers. 

Lunch is typically a huge salad for me with some sort of protein on the side. For Emma, she gets what we call a sample platter, and has for probably the last 5 months or so. It is exactly what is sounds like, a little bit of whatever we can find. Fruit (fresh, frozen, canned, or dried), fresh veggies (usually carrots, but lately she has been eating kohlrabi, cauliflower, peppers, snap peas, etc.) and some sort of protein (tuna, hard boiled egg, left over salmon or other left over meat, nuts, or peanut butter). She usually has a glass of chocolate almond milk with lunch as well.  

I try to make sure that there are a few different protein sources cooked and ready to go at all times. Right now we have hard boiled duck eggs (for me and Emma) as well as hard boiled chicken eggs (for Jared). Until last night's dinner we had shredded beef and salmon available as well (Emma ate the salmon for supper).

I have a freezer full of different types of meat- Lamb Roast, Ground Beef, Ground Bison, Venison Steaks, (and last week we ate some elk which we all loved). Oh, and I have a whole turkey thawing in the fridge that will go into the crock-pot today.

Later this week I should be getting some duck and goose meat from one of the farms that my boss, Kristin, works with on a regular basis, and there is a good possibility I will end up with a bit more elk from Kristin as well.

I am pretty excited about that ;0)

For veggies and fruit, the sky is the limit. We try to shop at the local farmers market every Tuesday and Friday. Some weeks we do better than others. I was super excited today when we found the raspberries and blackberries among a bounty of delicious veggies. In the back yard we are growing tomatoes (6 different plants), peppers (4 different kinds), cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, mixed lettuce greens, kale (2 different kinds), onions (bought before I realized I can't eat them), and a few other things I can't remember. Oh, we bought a blueberry bush and raspberry plant from The Berry Patch Farm in Nevada before we left and those are planted in our back yard as well. We have actually already eaten a few blueberries. Yum!

If I had been on the ball when we first moved here, we would have a lot more growing. Oh well.

Whatever we can't find at the farmers market or in the back yard, we typically pick up at the food co-op. We try to buy organic when we can. Yes, it does cost more, but when you factor in that we are purchasing less processed crap and that we are healthier (which = less doctors visits and otc meds), spending a bit extra for organic is not a big deal.

All in all, I think the paleo lifestyle will work pretty for me. I am considering switching Emma as well, but I have not decided. Jared may take a little while to convince, but I think if I can come up with enough replacements for the things he eats regularly, he may be willing to give it a try. 

Life would be so much easier if we all followed the same eating lifestyle...

If you stop by tomorrow, I will have a list of paleo resources for you to check out. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me or leave comments below!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feeding Our Faces part 1

In case anyone missed it, a while back Emma and I started following a gluten free lifestyle. We blogged about it over at Mama is Emma's Mama if you want to go back and read those posts. There are other food related posts over there as well.
Take 2

In the last few weeks (about the time we thought we had this gluten-free thing sorta figured out), I realized that I was getting headaches every time I would eat something with rice in it. For those that are not familiar with gluten-free items, rice flour is usually the #1 ingredient.

Major bummer for me.

Close to a 200 foot vertical climb.

Really, it was a major bummer for everyone because now I had to figure out how to cook all over again. For the third time (1st- when we needed to drastically cut back on sodium for Jared, 2nd-when we went gluten free, and now this).
Posing for the picture.

When desperation sets in, where do you turn? Me, I go to google. I decided to forgo all grains for a while which lead me to search for grain free recipes. Grain free recipes led me to a thing called Paleo.

There are other names for the lifestyle (because it really isn't a diet); Eating like a Caveman, Eating like our ancestors, primal eating, and more that I am sure I don't know about.
I was pretending to pick my nose for the camera. Really, I was pretending.

What does the eating part of the lifestyle consist of you wonder? Meat, veggies, some fruit, and healthy fats (nuts, certain oils, etc.).

There are a lot of no-no's in the paleo lifestyle (no dairy, no grains, no legumes-to include peanuts, no added sugar, etc.).

I am totally fine with the first two, but I struggled a bit with the thought of not eating beans (because I LOVE making crockpot chili with a bunch of different types of beans), but the reasoning behind no legumes makes sense to me, so I will go with it.

Jared had a lot of fun with the camera today. 

Here are some reasons why I like the paleo lifestyle and why it makes sense to me.

1. After reading about and experiencing first hand the effects that gluten has had on me and Emma, I can see where grains could pose a problem.

2. Eating meat, veggies, fruit, and nuts means less processed foods.

3. I feel better when those are the categories I eat from.

But really, it is so hard to know what the right "diet" is. I was just reading an article on why humans were not meant to eat meat, and so, should be vegetarians. Trying to be open minded, I read through most of the article and I realized that a lot of what the writer was saying made sense.

Reading State Quarters while waiting for Da to finish in the Subway bathroom. 

So I guess I could look into becoming a vegetarian except that I know I can't eat grains, onions, celery, or cucumbers. They all cause some sort of problem (mostly headaches). Oh, and I like eating meat :0)

Emma was in Da's seat, so he decided to get into her seat. 

Buckle Check!

Oh no. I am SO not ready for this. "Can you even see where we are going?"

This post was getting really long, so I decided to make it a multiple part post. If you are interested in finding out what our typical meals look like, and how we stock our fridge and pantry, and some of the resources we use, check back tomorrow!
Guess it's a good thing she didn't drive after all. 

p.s. I hope you enjoyed the random photos from our adventure today :0)

Monday, June 25, 2012


I work Saturday-Monday now. I like it. Three days of work and four days off is pretty nice. Here is what we did on Friday. 

 Hiking at Dunning Springs in Decorah, IA. We think that the trails should be marked better. Headed up at a pretty steep angle, and when we decided to head down, we picked the wrong trail (I wanted to take more pictures, but...) This was a CRAZY steep trail. Thought about turning back, but it would have been just as crazy trying to go up as it was to go down. When we got to the bottom, there was a sign that stated, "Not a Trail, Stay Off!" Would have been nice if that sign was at the top of the trail as well...

Oh well, off to play in the water.

Man that water is cold!- Dunning Springs

No we didn't fall. 

And no, we were not practicing synchronized water walking (but "Hey, hey were the Monkies!").

 While I was working on Sunday, Jared and Emma were busy. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Jared Update

I realized this morning, as I was watching Jared exercise on his trainer (bicycle set up inside), that I haven't posted an update about him in a while.

All is going well. He started physical therapy 2 weeks ago. He had x-rays done last week and he found out that the bone is healing well, and all the muscles and ligaments look good. The physical therapist expects him to be cleared to do whatever he wants on July 6th.


He also found out on Wednesday that he can ride his bike again, which of course he is VERY excited about. He can't do any off road trails for a bit (he plans to wait until after he is commissioned anyway), but he is cleared to ride on the paved trails, on the street, and in the back yard (where he has a skills track set up and ready to go).

Jared has already started doing the exercises necessary to get ready for his physical fitness test. On top of the exercises give to him by the physical therapist, he has been doing sit ups, and he has been riding his trainer (which will build up his endurance). Thankfully he was in pretty good shape before he broke his clavicle, so this part shouldn't be too hard.

By law, Jared has 45 days after being cleared before he has to take the test, but if he thinks he is ready, he can waive the 45 days and take it whenever.

So, fingers crossed, he may be commissioned by the end of July!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Coming to My Senses

Hello. My name is Tina and I have a problem.

When life looks like it might be settling down and getting a bit, well, easy, I have a tendency to throw a monkey wrench into the works.

Apparently getting a (basically full time) job, planning/setting up for a garage sale, and getting a puppy ended up being too much for me. I wasn't getting any sleep, I had zero patience with Emma, I didn't have time to get meals planned for Emma and myself (which meant Emma was living on frozen fruit and gluten free bread, and I wasn't really eating), and I couldn't tolerate much where Hawk was concerned (despite the fact that he is stinking cute!).

Oh, and we have to start planning for our move in October.

We decided that the best thing to do was to find Hawk a better home (and cut my hours back). Hawk needed a home where he would be more useful (as a guard/herding dog-not just a pet), have more space, and have a more patient owner.

This elicited lots of tears from me and Emma, for very different reasons. She wanted to keep Hawk, but once I explained to her that I felt like I was being a horrible mom to her and to Hawk, I think she understood. We were both still sad about it though.

So, on Sunday, I brought Hawk to work with me as usual and I had a heart to heart with Kristin. Yes, I cried, again. I felt like a looser, like I was ruining Hawk's life and causing him abandonment issues. Kristin truly understood and assured me that he would be fine.

When I left on Sunday I was so afraid I would see this little ball of white fur running after the car, but thankfully I didn't.

Hawk was super happy to see me on Monday though, which made me feel a bit sad. He followed me around all morning while I did my chores on the farm. That is, he followed me around until he found a comfy spot and went to sleep.

I left really early on Monday because I was EXHAUSTED! I could barely lift me arms, I was falling asleep while I was working. Everything from the past 2 weeks had finally caught up with me I guess. By 10 a.m. I was headed home. Kristin called as I was getting ready to leave to see how everything was going and to let me know that she was sick and wasn't going to come out to say 'hi' because she didn't want to get me sick.

Which I appreciated.

So, today I sent Kristin a text to see how she was feeling (I had the day off). She called to let me know she was feeling better, and to let me know that Hawk found a new home already. He is now with a family that owns something like 133 acres, 400 head of ewes (sheep), and has 4 kids 7yo and younger. Their last dog lived to be 15yo and they waited until he passed away before getting a puppy. So Hawk will be responsible for guarding and possible herding around 400 sheep. He will protect the flock and the family.

I feel like we made the right decision, that Hawk will be much happier with a farm and some critters to protect.

Kristin let me know that when the oldest son and one of his parents came out to see the pups, they were immediately drawn to Hawk because he was the most calm and well behaved. Kristin assured me that Hawks time with us was the reason for that.

Which I also appreciated.

The family may even keep his name. They like it and he responds to it fairly well.

So while we were all sad that we were not the best choice for Hawk, we are happy that we made the right decision to let Hawk have the chance to find a better home. Despite the fact that we had Hawk for less then 2 weeks, he taught me a lot. Puppies really are like babies. It's important to nap when they nap so that you have the patience to work with them when they are awake. He also taught me not to bite off more than I can che.

Thank you Hawk, for making our lives richer in just 2 short weeks of having known you. We wish you a long and happy life doing what you were meant to be doing.

Until we are ready for another dog, meet Pepper. Soft, snuggle, doesn't bite, eats very little, and never has to pee or poop. And best of all, he sleeps through the night.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Crazy Busy- In a Good Way

It has been crazy busy around here, but as the title says, in a good way. I have been working 5 days a week (and loving every minute of it). At first I was working 8 hour days, but once we threw a puppy into the mix, I couldn't hang much past 6 hours at work.

Aside from being a mom and a wife, I would have to say that this is the most fulfilling job I have had. The woman I work for truly appreciates all my help, doesn't mind my 5,000 questions every day, and only laughs at me a little when this city girl can't figure out the country ways (thankfully I am a quick study and I also like to laugh at myself).

For the most part I help with morning chores; turning lights on in all the bird buildings, letting some birds out, feeding and watering all the birds, as well as collecting eggs.

Kristin has ducks, geese, turkeys and chickens. The majority of her birds are heritage breeds and on the rare or endangered list. I love the work she does, and the way she does it.

Some days I have to haul feed from the hoop house to the different buildings. Other days I may clean out a chicken pen. Man is that a work out! And man do I love how strong I feel lately. Who knew I actually had muscles stashed away in this old body?

Like I said, my boss is awesome and is happy to have me for however many hours I can manage, so lately I have worked from 0630 to about 1300 (1pm). Because I take Hawk to work with me, we leave super early. The poor pup is hungry as soon as he wakes up but I don't want to feed him before we drive for 30 minutes so we leave early and he eats at work. Usually we are home by 2 at the latest.

A puppy really is a lot like a baby! Hawk wakes up every 2.5-3 hours to pee (and sometimes poop). For the most part we are able to get him to go back to sleep, but come 4 a.m. he is WIDE AWAKE and looking for some serious play time.

And for anyone who has not raised a puppy (that would be me raising my hand) puppies like to play with their teeth. We are working on it, but man is it tough! We seriously need to up our arsenal (a.k.a. doggy toys). If you know of any particularly good ones, we are all ears (or eyes if you e-mail).

We have yet to figure out if Hawk has a natural routine/rhythm to his day, but we may start trying to figure it out. He seems to be asleep more than he is awake, but it could just be we are not really noticing it all that much.

For the most part, he does pretty good at night. Course waking up every 2-3 hours really sucks, but the good news is that it won't last forever and getting up is easier than picking up a mess.

Emma made the comment today that having a puppy is a LOT of work, just like we told her it would be, but that she LOVES having Hawk in the family.

I would have to agree with her.

Although in all honesty, I am really looking forward to getting past this mouthing phase. My arms could use the break.