whole foods kitchen course | nourishing habits

Six years ago, when my oldest child was approaching his first birthday, I all of the sudden had a realization that soon he would be eating the same meals that I was “preparing” for my husband and myself. And by “preparing” I mean pulling out of the freezer and popping in the microwave or oven or stovetop. I didn’t cook. I hated cooking, I didn’t know how and I didn’t know where to begin. We ate out a ton and our diets were filled with processed foods and preservatives. We just didn’t know better. But I wanted to do better for our children and to raise them up on nourishing food.

At the time, I turned to 100 Days of Real Food and participated in her real food challenges. It was a slow process, but over the next 2 years I taught myself to cook and to actually enjoy being in the kitchen.

Almost 4 years ago, in search of a Traditional Soaked Whole Wheat Bread (that I blogged about here), I ran across The Elliott Homestead Blog and quickly fell in love with her REAL food recipes that featured farm fresh foods. She also has an endearing writing voice and is an overall pleasure to follow. Her first cookbook, From Scratch, has been used so often that the pages are falling out.


She has just released a new cookbook, Family Table, which my dear mom pre-ordered for me for my birthday. It is filled with gorgeous photography and delicious recipes featuring wholesome ingredients.

But the best part? With any purchase of the Family Table cookbook before October 4th, you get FREE ACCESS to Shaye’s new Whole Foods Kitchen Course. Shaye will walk you through learning how to stock a whole foods pantry, how to batch cook and prep, and provide the resources you need to prep and plan.

Shaye will help you:

1. BRING whole foods, health, and wellness into your kitchen through basic recipes, techniques, and tools of the trade

2. FIND joy in cooking and meal preparation

3. PRODUCE delicious food your family will actually eat by sourcing quality ingredients and eliminating the garbage

4. PLAN your meals to bring peace to cooking schedules

5. STOCK your pantry with real food items that will nourish your body

Check out this fabulous introduction video here. Then go order your book before October 4th and you will get access to this course for FREE ($129 value!)!



Celebrations Cookbook | nourishing habits

A few weeks ago, I ran across an amazing opportunity. Danielle Walker, an incredible cookbook writer known for her gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, paleo recipes is launching her new cookbook, Celebrations Cookbook. I have her second cookbook and I cook from it regularly, so I quite happily applied for her launch team and was selected!

I received a free copy of her new book and the opportunity to preview it and cook from it. And I have to say, I’m in love.

Her second cookbook, Meals Made Simple is a great every day, weekly meal planning book. The meals range from simple to complex, but are all delicious.

What is so special about Celebrations, is how she has remade all those iconic meals that you eat during holidays and celebrations, but into healthier, paleo versions. She has recipes for New Year’s Eve, Game Day, Valentines, Easter, Mother’s Day luncheon, Father’s Day Cookout, Birthday Parties, Fourth of July Barbecue, Summer Shower, Halloween, Autumn Dinner Party, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Pictured below is one of the 7 BONUS recipes you receive when you pre-order (before the 27th!)- the Chewy Molasses Cookies. They were a huge hit in my house! img_20160921_140402

Not only does she include incredible, well tested, reliable recipes, she also has filled the book with so many tips and tricks. Most recipes have tidbit notes on how different brands of paleo products fair in the recipes, or make-ahead tips to simplify a party prep. The front of the book is filled with more grain-free recipe tips and ten wonderful tips for effortless entertaining.

And just like her other two books, she includes an extensive ingredient glossary and substitutions and her recommended kitchen gear. The recipe index in the back makes for simple holiday meal planning. You can access all the nutritional data for each recipe online.

This Gingerbread Latte is so good, you can not tell that it is dairy free. The molasses has such a rich flavor! img_20160921_140518

One of my favorite little perks- this cookbook LAYS FLAT ON IT’S OWN. Which is basicalyl mind-boggling to me and makes cooking so much easier. From now on, I refuse to buy a cookbook that won’t lay flat! ha!

These Mini “Corn” Dog Muffins were SO SIMPLE to make and absolutely delicious. The kids inhaled these. I’m also over the moon about her dairy-free Herb Ranch. Oh how I have missed ranch!img_20160916_144012

I went dairy-free for Jocelyn, and we still try to limit the dairy intake for Jonah and Jean, which is how I dipped my toes into the paleo lifestyle. I’ve done a few Whole30 food challenges (cutting out dairy, wheat, sugar, grains, alcohol, and caffeine) and have found that my brain and emotions fare much better when I am gluten and grain free.

Most of all, I have missed a creamy coffee creamer- but Danielle has knocked this Pumpkin Spice latte out of the park. It’s creamy, light, flavorful, and exactly what I have been missing. img_20160916_143326

Jace is a huge fan of deviled eggs and these incredible little dairy-free Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs hardly lasted 2 days in the fridge- he ate one every time he opened the fridge! This deviled egg recipe has 4 variations- I can’t wait to try another. 20160909_144323

One of the ways I found Danielle was because she was a fellow baby-loss mama. She lost her daughter Aila. So with Job’s birthday approaching, I used her birthday cake recipes to make a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free chocolate cake with a dairy-free vanilla buttercream frosting. It was delicious and so special to share it with friends. IMG_20160918_171200.jpg

My very first recipe to try out of the cookbook were these delectable lemon bars. They tasted so creamy and buttery- but without the butter! 20160903_182101

Every single recipe out of this cookbook was a hit and I can not wait to keep trying more.

Pre-order (or order) yours here– if it’s before the 27th, you get 7 bonus recipes! You won’t regret it, I promise.

**For those of you with specific dietary needs, she also includes a comprehensive list of which recipes are nut-free, egg-free, nightshade-free, and meet SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) or GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet).

elderberry syrup | nourishing habits

There are so many ways to support our bodies in their natural processes. In his graduate courses this semester, Jace is studying Pharmacognosy (the branch of knowledge concerned with medicinal drugs obtained from plants or other natural sources) and I am currently digging more into the science behind essential oils and homeopathic remedies. Our conversations at night after the kids go to bed involve discussing the various stages of plant metabolism, HA!!

But in my quest to learn more about natural health and wellness, I stumbled onto a fantastic blog, Raising Generation Nourished. I am in LOVE with all her recipes and her thoughts on feeding her children. I’m also in love with her information on supporting her children’s immune systems!elderberry-syrup-1

Let’s be honest, kids are GOING to get sick. Even kids who eat the best they can, have tons of immune support from essential oils, quality vitamins and herbal remedies. You simply can’t avoid the germs. And we are entering GERM SEASON. We are busy, we spend time with other small children at least 3 or 4 days out of the week, and I’m not willing to just stay home to avoid catching colds. But I can support their immune systems to give them a little boost when they need to fight off the current round of germs. And Elderberry Syrup is a great way to do that! elderberry-syrup-2

Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell.elderberry-syrup-3

Elderberries contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitaman A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries.elderberry-syrup-4

We’ve been adding a small amount of the syrup to their yogurt and granola in the morning, to our kombucha, with my daily dose of Ningxia Red, and to anything that pairs well with the slightly fruity, earthy taste of the Elderberry syrup. You can also just take a tsp full several times a day during acute times.elderberry-syrup-6

I followed the recipe over on Raising Generation Nourished, so hop over there to see it yourself.

We did use her recommended combination of elderberries, rose hips, and honey. Get your own elderberries here and rosehips here.


iTOVi | nourishing habits

Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday!

Today I am sharing about my newest piece of technology- the iTOVi scanner!


The iTOVi is a personal body “scanner that combines bioimpedance, pressure sensors, temperature, and Bluetooth technologies to generate personalized wellness evaluations.”

  1. Electrical Frequencies: Every biological or non-biological thing has a unique energy signature that vibrates at certain frequencies. iTOVi has measured and recorded each unique frequency as it relates to biopoints and the vitamins, minerals and oils from Young Living. Through the electrodes on the iTOVi scanner, these frequencies are sent to the body, inducing a measurable response from the body.
  2. Bioimpedance: During the scan there are 273 biopoints that are introduced to the body by passing small electrical currents through the skin to measure the skins resistance. Each biopoint and supplement has a natural energy frequency, which is easily recognized by the body.
  3. The boy’s response: Bioimpedance relies on the body’s autonomic nervous system which is the body’s central command system, connected to every other part of the body and can, therefore, be relied upon to give us reactionary results. There are lots of ways to measure those results (i.e. blood pressure, blood flow, skin or body temperature, breathing patterns, eye dilation, sweat glands/skin moisture, etc.) One particular way to measure the reaction is the tissue will become more or less resistant to electrical current flow. Changes in temperature can also help us understand how the body reacted. During an iTOVi scan hundreds of frequencies are sent to the body, one at a time. The body has a unique reaction to each of these frequencies. As the body reacts to the electrical current flow, iTOVi measures these reactions.
  4. Algorithm: iTOVi uses a complex algorithm to organize the data from the reactions. This process is often referred to as the translation process. The iTOVi algorithm translates what your body is communicating to you. While running one scan, the iTOVi scanner is actually running the algorithm several times to find the body’s true response.
  5. Report: As the iTOVi scan runs, your body will naturally react to these foreign frequencies and the scanner will record these changes, identifying them as unresolved biopoints. Biopoints are simply parts of the body, such as organs, vertebrae, or other biological systems. If a recorded frequency falls outside a predetermined range, it is classified as “unresolved”. As the scan ends, the number of unresolved biopoints are recorded, analyzed, and compiled into a personalized iTOVi report. Based on the information gathered during each session, the iTOVi App will recommend the oils or supplements to which your body had the best reactionary response. These recommendations are presented in your report, ordering each product by the number of unresolved biopoints. Using the recommended oil or supplement will then help reduce that frequency to fall within that particular range, bringing your body and its frequencies back to its optimal state.
    (information from iTOVi website).


We have all really enjoyed getting to scan and see what products we scan for and what might benefit our bodies. The kids in particular love that they have scanned for their “Ninja Red Juice” and ask for it daily! I usually make them a little diluted roller of whatever they scanned for and let them apply it to their feet a couple times a day. itovi-4

I am more than happy to offer free scans to anyone local- just let me know! And then we can walk through the products it suggests and methods of application!


Want to learn more about the science behind how the iTOVi works? Read the many articles here discussing bioimpedance! itovi-6

Interested in getting your own? Please use my referral link: https://goo.gl/34NZtAitovi-7

VitaFlex | nourishing habits

Ok, things are about to get really hippy around here for our Wellness Wednesday. Are you surprised? ha!

Let’s talk VitaFlex. I’ve mentioned applying oils to your feet, because the skin is less likely to have any sensitivity reactions, but also because there are points on our feet that lead directly to many places in our bodies.

“VitaFlex uses the reflex system of internal body controls to release tensions, congestions, and maladjustments. When properly applies through specific application of hand rotation movements and control points, a vibration healing energy is released along the neuroelectrical pathways to an exact point. This healing energy is created by the contact between the fingertips and and the reflex (contact) points. The resulting spark of energy follows the neuro pathways of the nervous system to where there is a break in the electrical circuit. Upon reaching the break, any necessary changes are made automatically.” (Reference Guide for Essential Oils).

The basic approach to using VitaFlex on feet to apply oils is to drop one to three drops of the desired oil on the foot, then use your non-dominate hand and place the pads of your fingers on the corresponding area according to the VitaFlex chart. Leverage can be achieved by placing the thumb of that same hand on the opposite side of the foot. Applying smooth, consistent, strong pressure, curl your fingers from the pads over to the nails. Release immediately and repeat 3-5 times in the desired area.

And guess what, I have a free download for you of a VitaFlex chart, created by Pen & Paint.

vita flex pen and paint-page-001.jpg

To download your own copy of the graphic, click here. Printable sized as two 5.5 x 8.5 images, print on 8.5 x 11 paper. Personal use only, do not alter, reproduce for sale, or redistribute. Printable created by Pen & Paint, all right reserved.

Still not sure where to start? I recommend rubbing lavender on the edge of the big toes, right over the VitaFlex point leading to the cerebrum, and settling in for the night! Sweet dreams!

Want your own oils? Join me in learning about natural wellness here.