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Kitchen Spring Cleaning

That itch we feel to clean out and clean up our homes in the spring is approaching! If you’re like me, then you might be finding yourself digging around in your pantry for a snack or something to make as a side dish for dinner when you come across that chocolate Easter bunny from last year or that discarded bag of chip crumbs that was kept for a just-in-case midnight snack. It’s time for the crap to go!

One of the wonderful symptoms of spring and warmer weather is not just the need to organize and purge, but also to begin (or hopefully continue) eating right. We become increasingly aware of summer; and that our sweats will retire to the back of our closets and be replaced with shorts, dresses and bathing suits. That’s all the motivation I need to toss the tempting junk food I’ve hoarded for months and get back on track.

Let’s start with the junk in the pantry!

  • Toss the foods that are overly processed and high in sugar. Leave yourself a treat or two...
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Best MCT Oil, Product Review

As you may or may not know, MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) oil has many health benefits. So much so that I've written a whole blog post on what it is, you can read the "What is MCT Oil" article here. I use MCT oil on days when I am following a pretty low carb eating plan. The reason being because they are a great source of fuel for the brain and the body!    

MCT Oil is tasteless and odorless, but it is great to use in your favorite Fat Bombs, “Bulletproof” coffee, etc. I personally use it for:

  • My morning coffee when I am internment fasting, just pouring about 1/2-1 Tablespoon
  • My favorite fat bomb recipes, like this this keto peppermint fat bombs
  • Homemade salad dressings

I’ve tried & tested out a few different brands over the last year and half (or so), since starting to incorporate MCT oil into my diet, and here are the reasons why I prefer the Sports Research Brand:

  • Organic, Non-GMO
  • Helps push off the hunger when intermittent...
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Nighttime Snacking Struggles

Are you a big evening snacker?  Nighttime snacking is a common struggle for many reasons.  Emotions and habits play a big role.  It’s the end of the day, the kids are in bed, and you finally have time to relax. So you may grab a bag of chips or chocolate if you’re into the sweets and turn on the TV to unwind.  You’ve been focused all day, but now all you want to do is “check out” with a bag of chips in your lap!

It can be a real struggle to curb those cravings and habits, but it is possible. Keep your evenings interesting and find other ways to wind down. Find what works best for you and do them consistently to form new healthy, evening habits. Below are a some things to do instead of snacking.

1. Water.
Pour yourself a big glass of water. Make it fun and infuse your water with cucumber and mint or any fruit you have on hand.

2. Make a cup of tea.  
When water doesn’t do the trick, try a warm glass of caffeine-free tea. My...

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How to Help Your Picky Eater

"Your kids are such great eaters!"

"I wish my kids ate as good as yours!"

These are common statements I hear from other moms, either from daycare or just friends. Truth is, they don't have any other option but than to eat what I make for them. Thankfully they are only 3.5 and 1.5, and they have eaten this way since day 0, because I refused from the beginning to play the "short order cook" role. I don't have time for picky eaters. I could say the same thing about my husband. If he wasn't as happy-go-lucky as he is when it comes to food, he'd be SOL because he'd have to make his own dinner if he wasn't going to eat what I make for dinner each night. 

Thankfully, I do love cooking, I think I'm pretty good at it, and besides a few minor food avoidances, I don't have to worry about food allergies or anything like that. 

With Teagan, we do 99% gluten free, and unless we are out and about or it's a little treat, we don't do bread products/wheat products and we do very...

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One Pan Roasted Chicken & Veggies

This is a super easy family meal! I love it because it all cooks in one pan, I don't even have to get anything else dirty, it has all components of a healthy meal, everyone in the family loves it, and it is extremely versatile! This serves 2-4 people, double if you've got a hungry family or want more leftovers! ;) 

One Pan Roasted Chicken & Veggies

  • Chicken thighs- 1 lb
  • Brussels sprouts- 2 cups, trimmed and cut in half
  • Sweet potatoes- 1 medium, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil (great for cooking, can also use olive oil)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground turmeric (superfood ingredient)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon good quality salt 

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Put foil over baking pan for easy clean up, spray with cooking spray
  • To make super simple, place chicken and veggies on pan, drizzle with avocado oil and balsamic vinegar. Use your...
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Patrick's Survival Guide

My husband is a riot. Seriously, if you don't know him, you should. He has actually grown to be quite famous on SnapChat and is starting to grow his YouTube as well! He is a natural on camera! Please show him some support and subscribe to his Youtube!

He routinely gets questions on his survival bags, so some of his first videos are on that topic! He also gets questions routinely about brands and products, so this is a complete list of items he mentions throughout his YouTube videos.

  •  Compass:
    • Eyeskey Waterproof Multifunctional Military Metal Sighting Compass with Inclinometer for Camping, Hiking
    • $27
    • http://amzn.to/2EEFIcz 
  • Gun Cleaning Kit:
  • Reflective Signal Panel
  • Stainless Steel Canteen Cup
  • Medical Gauze
    • Bulk Pack...
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Gut Health 101

What IS Gut Health? How Do I Keep My Gut Healthy? 

The gastrointestinal tract (aka the gut) is composed of trillions upon trillions of live microorganisms commonly referred to as the gut microbiota. The gut microbiota has a very important job of keeping us healthy by fighting off bad bacteria and aiding in digestion.  A healthy, diverse gut microbiota is related to good overall mental and physical health. An imbalance or lack of microbiota diversity has been associated with an array of issues and chronic disease states such as…

  • Asthma
  • Obesity (Yep! Gut microbiota has been shown to have an effect on weight)
  • Mood
  • Neurological diseases (such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease)
  • Allergies
  • Autoimmune disease (such as rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Leaky Gut
  • Inflammation 

What Affects Our Gut Microbiota?

Everyone is different and everyone’s gut microbiota is different, and there are a number of factors...

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Packing Lunch for Your Toddlers. Part 2.

Incase you missed part 1, make sure to refer back to it! In this part 2, I'll share with you some examples of the lunches I've prepared for my girls! I personally use these containers from amazon because they are relatively inexpensive, I can buy them in bulk, dishwasher safe, they fit in their lunch boxes, it's okay if I throw them out, if they crack, etc. We don't heat them in the microwave, though they are BPA free. If something needs to be heated I put it in a separate container to be heated. 

Here are 12 examples of our lunches in pictures! Comment below if you find this helpful!

Leftover chicken & veggie stirfry, berries, nut/seed crackers, wholly guacamole packets.

Egg & spinach muffin, raisins, fruit, and canned green beans.

Frozen peas & carrots, organic cheese, baked chicken with ketchup, grapes & honeydew.

Shredded chicken, frozen peas & carrots, cucumbers, berries & wholly guacamole.

3 days worth for 2 kids.

Grilled chicken,...

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Packing Lunch for Your Toddlers. Part 1.

I love sharing what I'm feeding my kids (hence the passion behind Mommy Feeding Family), and I often share my meal plans, pictures and instructions for what I put in my kids' lunches, and more on social media. If you follow me on SnapChat (@AshleySweeneyRD) you've probably seen those cute lunch boxes I use... sSo what’s inside of those lunch boxes?  Deciding how to pack those lunches can sometimes cause some serious brain fog.  Let me help you navigate the lunch box dilemma! See Part 2 for examples!

Weekly Lunch Packing Steps:

  1. Get your lunch boxes ready.
  2. Plan your family dinners for the week.
  3. Determine which dinners would make for easy leftovers for lunches (for yourself and the kids).
  4. Pack bulk items into individual serving baggies (veggie straws, crackers, seeds, nuts, etc,)
  5. Wash, dry, chop and portion veggies into individual serving baggies or lunch boxes. 
  6. Keep extra veggies washed & chopped in the fridge for easy after school snacks. 
  7. ...
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Happy New Year's!

Well, 2017 certainly was an exciting one for us! With two moves, each taking us further and further west, we've landed ourselves in Sunny Southern California, and we are seriously loving every minute of it!

We began our year in Savannah, Georgia (Hunter Army Airfield), where Teagan was born, where we met amazing friends, explored great foods and enjoyed more of the Southern hospitality we love so much! (Picture below is our last night in Savannah, GA at Tybee Beach).

Then, Pat was promoted to Captain and we moved to Arizona for a 6 month course. In Arizona we lived closer to my sister, my niece and nephews, did a lot of hiking in the desert mountains, and enjoyed plenty of margaritas and guacamole!

In spring of 2017 I began working virtually with Chalene Johnson and creating what we called then, the Diet Beta Test. We tested our unique dietary approach with over 25,000 people, fine tuned it, tested again, perfected it and mastered it in preparation for the 131 Diet. 

...

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