Photo from PaulaDeen.com I think I found a new favorite sandwich!! I tried this the other night for dinner and it was a big success at our house. I also had it for lunch today because it was that good. [...]
I love lasagna but all the preparation steps and layering the ingredients, not to mention waiting 45 minutes or more to cook, just make me not ever want to make it. That all changed once I learned the super easy [...]
This is one of our favorite dinner recipes when I’m not feeling very creative. We love the combination of flavors and you can mix it up to make it different ways. We always have enough for leftovers (which I love!) [...]
I’ll admit it…while I know sugar is bad, I do have a sweet tooth! Sometimes you just need a little treat. When I do indulge though, I like to make sure what I’m having is as good as possible. My [...]
I love snacks! Especially being pregnant now, I eat a lot. Some days I feel like every time I turn around, I’m snacking again. I love to have healthy snacks and that can sometimes be difficult when traveling. My husband and [...]
Our little princess surprised us totally out of the blue 8 days early! Her birth was everything I ever wanted it to be and I couldn’t be happier. I’ll be telling my story with lots of detail so if you are turned off by that, you’ve been forewarned. Here is how the day went…
I woke up around 4:00 a.m. to go to the bathroom, as was the norm during my pregnancy. I went back to bed and instead of falling asleep like I normally did, I was suddenly wide awake and didn’t see sleep anywhere in my near future. I eventually fell back into a light sleep only to be awoken by what I would describe as menstrual cramps around 5:00 a.m. I got up again to go to the bathroom and noticed, even in the dim light of my Scentsy, that there was some light bleeding on the toilet paper. Well this looks like something could happen soon! Trying not to get too excited, I went back to lay down since there was really nothing else to do.
Of course I definitely couldn’t sleep at this point, so I grabbed my phone and started searching the internet. My mom and I were supposed to go to mass and get manicures but as I laid in bed and listened to my body, I had a feeling those plans were not going to happen. By about 6:00, the cramps (which were actually contractions) were picking up in intensity so I decided I’d take a nice leisurely shower. Because we were having a birth photographer, I had big plans to do my hair and makeup in early labor so that I would look and feel good. Those plans were thrown out the window when I finished my shower and ended up on the bathroom floor, on my hands and knees, yelling for my husband to come time my contractions. As I sat there on my hands and knees on our bathroom floor, Aron actually said “What do you think is going on?” to which I replied (trying not to be too snappy) “Umm, our baby is coming, that’s what’s going on!”
When we timed the contractions, they were lasting anywhere from 1-2 minutes and were anywhere from 2-4 minutes apart. Things felt pretty intense at this point so I called my mom to let her know what was going on. My husband called my OB to fill him in and see when we should go to the hospital. I was starting to doubt my ability to have a totally natural labor at this point so I was a bit worried. Knowing I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, I couldn’t believe it when my doctor said “Now would probably be a good time to head into the hospital.”
Aron ran around the house grabbing last minute things as I bounced around on our exercise ball and worked on breathing through contractions. It was getting harder to talk and focus and I was so worried we’d get to triage and I would only be dilated a few centimeters. This was intense! Would I really be able to birth like I wanted to? I know I prepared for it, but I had no idea where I was in the journey. We finally hopped in the car about an hour after calling my OB and headed to the hospital. Luckily we live about 8 minutes away, so I knew we didn’t have to be in the car too long.
We had to go through the ER first and it was crazy trying to sit there and answer questions and sign a few papers. I even preregistered! Someone from labor and delivery finally came down to take us upstairs and we headed to triage. They wanted me to give a urine sample…really?! I just couldn’t go! I turned on the water, tried some squats…no such luck. The nurse finally said it was okay and I got up on the table to be checked. It took a few minutes as I worked through the contractions but I made it up there. She asked me a ton of questions!! I thought I’d just be there all day answering questions. Why didn’t they ask this stuff on the preregistration forms?! That sure would save some time.
The OB resident finally came in and said she was going to do a cervical check and assess my progress. That was totally uncomfortable. It was the first one I had since I opted out at all my prenatal appointments. She looked at me, looked at the nurse and said “She’s a 7, let’s get her into a room now.” 7 centimeters?! I couldn’t believe it! Now my confidence totally surged again. I could do this! I was so close to the end already! They asked if I wanted the room with the tub which was music to my ears since they told us on the tour they only had showers in every room. My dream had been to have a water birth or at least labor in the water so I was even more excited at this point.
I walked down the hall to the room with Aron, my mom and our birth photographer in tow. I couldn’t believe this was all happening so fast. I was nervous and excited and feeling pretty good. I leaned on the bed and kept up with my breathing while they filled the tub, which seemed to take forever. I was so excited to get in that water! All of a sudden, I felt that wonderful transition nausea hit me. I told my mom and she rushed around trying to find something but my body had other ideas and the floor got it. After that, I felt more relaxed and the tub was almost full. The nurse helped me get in and it was heaven!
I labored in the tub for about an hour or hour and a half. I’m not sure how long because I truly had no sense of time. My mother-in-law showed up by this point so everyone who would be present for the birth was there. Well, except for my wonderful OB who was rushing to get to the hospital. Laboring in the tub was so relaxing and wonderful. I enjoyed that last bit of time with my daughter inside me while I prepared to bring her into the world. The nurses and Aron took turns bringing me water and I sipped away and occasionally made small talk. Mostly though, I was in my own little world and didn’t care at all what was going on around me.
Not too long later, I felt all that pressure that precedes pushing. I’ve heard some people say they didn’t know when it was time to push but there was no doubt in my mind! It was a lot of pressure and I told my nurses I felt like I had to push. One them came over and checked me again and I was at 10 centimeters. I was almost at the end of this journey and ready to meet our baby girl!!
They called the OB resident and told me Dr. Cavallo was pulling into the parking lot. When he got into the room, he still couldn’t believe how fast I had progressed. I love the fact that he let me push in the position I felt was comfortable, as opposed to just the traditional laying down with legs up in the stirrups. I did a few good pushes kneeling on the bed and Dr. C asked if he could break my water as he had a feeling I would deliver her any moment. Although I wanted no interventions, at this point I didn’t see a big problem with it and figured I would save everyone a trip to Sea World by letting him break it for me instead of while I was pushing One of the things that helped me not have any tearing (thank God!) was Dr. Cavallo using lots of oil and doing perineal massage as I was pushing. By helping the tissues stretch out while I was pushing, I avoided natural tearing as well as an episiotomy.
I eventually did end up pushing on my back and even though I thought I would hate it, I got some good pushing done in that position. Everyone in the room was cheering me on and telling me they could see her head. After just a few more pushes, I looked down and saw my daughter’s beautiful face. It was the most amazing sight!! Before I knew it, her whole body was out and they were placing her on my chest. The emotions I felt at that moment were indescribable. It was so surreal that she was actually here. Aron and I shared a kiss and he told me how proud he was of me. It was so fantastic to have our little family.
After some time bonding together and enjoying the moment, Dr. Cavallo helped me prepare to deliver the placenta. It was very easy compared to delivering a baby! It was a great, healthy looking placenta but I was bleeding a little more than Dr. Cavallo wanted to see. He pushed on my uterus to try to get things clotting and that was definitely not enjoyable! Talk about tender. I finally had to get a shot of something to stop the bleeding and within a few minutes, all looked well. We called our doula to come pick up the placenta for my encapsulation and enjoyed settling in as a family. One of the things I really love about the hospital we delivered in was that they don’t worry about doing all the exams right away. The most important thing is for mom, dad and baby to bond and everything else can wait. She wasn’t weighed and measured until she was well over an hour old. She was 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 19.5 inches long…and absolutely perfect!
It was amazing how good I felt after the birth. Natural birth is such an amazing high! I was able to get right up, walk around and go to the bathroom. I also felt such a great sense of accomplishment for bringing our daughter in to the world exactly the way I wanted. I had so many people doubt me and tell me that there was no way I’d deliver naturally and that I’d be begging for the epidural. I can now say (trying not to be too smug, of course) that I was able to deliver naturally and I will do it for any and all children I have. It’s all about preparing yourself mentally and knowing what is important to you.
Our little Nora is two weeks old today and I can’t believe how fast the time is going. It’s wonderful to see her grow and change every day. She is such a little princess and we couldn’t be happier. I feel so blessed to have her here with us and for the doctors and nurses who helped make her birth such a wonderful experience for me. I also couldn’t have done any of it without the unending support from Aron, who was my rock through everything and always supported and believed in me. I could not love my husband and my daughter any more!
Here is me with Nora on what would have been my due date or exactly 40 weeks pregnant. She was already 8 days old.
I think I found a new favorite sandwich!! I tried this the other night for dinner and it was a big success at our house. I also had it for lunch today because it was that good. Plus, I love that it’s super simple to make and packed full of yummy nutrients. This could easily make a great breakfast, lunch OR dinner, so it also wins in the versatility category.
You can mix it up a few different ways for your tastes but my two suggestions that I tried are below. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Fried Egg, Avocado and Tomato Sandwich
Ezekial organic sprouted bread (I like it toasted)
Goat cheese or organic cheddar cheese
Organic tomato, sliced
Bacon from pastured pigs (optional) I didn’t have bacon so I didn’t use it but I imagine it would just make this sandwich even better!
Melt bacon grease in a skillet. Once heated, add your egg, break the yolk, season with salt & pepper and cook until the edges lift up. Flip over and cook the other side. If using cheddar cheese, melt on top of the egg in the last minute or so of cooking. If using goat cheese, spread generously on your bread. Lay the avocado and tomato slices on the bread, add bacon (if using), top with the egg and enjoy!
I loved it with goat cheese and cheddar so enjoy it with either one. I’ll definitely be adding bacon next time!
I love lasagna but all the preparation steps and layering the ingredients, not to mention waiting 45 minutes or more to cook, just make me not ever want to make it. That all changed once I learned the super easy art of Skillet Lasagna. Anything that equals less work, time and dirty dishes for me is a win-win-win situation. This is precisely one of those meals.
Besides all the reasons I listed above, I also love this meal because my husband and I eat it for about three days. That’s a great way to stretch the grocery budget! This may vary for you depending on the size of your family but you’ll definitely have at least one day of leftovers.
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
1 28 oz. jar of organic pasta sauce or (better yet) homemade
1 box of your favorite organic pasta (or if you are
Organic ricotta cheese
Organic mozzarella cheese
Organic green beans or other veggie of your choice (optional)
Salt and pepper
Onion and garlic (I use organic onion powder and organic minced garlic but you can use fresh for both as well)
Brown your beef in a large Dutch oven or skillet. Season with Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. If using fresh onion, you will want to add it in when browning the beef.
While the beef is browning, boil the water for your pasta. Once beef is browned, pour in the pasta sauce, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. I don’t really use measurements for this, I just go with what looks good. We like a lot of cheese and you can definitely adjust this recipe to suit your personal taste.
When the water boils, add in your pasta to cook. If you are adding veggies to this dish as we like to do, toss them in with the pasta in the last few minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and veggies and throw them into the Dutch oven with the meat, cheese and sauce. Stir it well to combine and allow everything to heat through. Once it is heated, you are ready to serve and enjoy your lasagna!
I serve this with homemade garlic toast made with sourdough bread. It’s fabulous!t
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I’m promoting a fun giveaway. Good luck!
We Welcome you to the Maggie Bag and Sibu Omega 7 Chocolates Giveaway
The Giveaway is Hosted By Oh! My Heartsie
Thank you to My Co-Hosts For Helping Me To Sponsor
Best of luck to all who enter. Make sure to follow Diva Goes Organic for all things organic, including recipes, beauty and health information and industry happenings!
One Lucky Winner Will Win a Maggie Bag Butterfly Bag as Pictured and
Sibu Omega 7 Chocolates
Should You Decide To Purchase From Maggie Bags Receive:
|Sibu Omega 7 Truffles|
I have been working with Sibu now for a while and was offered to try their Sibu Mega 7 Chocolates Truffles. There are 16 pieces in each box with 2 as a serving. There are two flavors one in Dark Chocolate and the other Milk Chocolate. The chocolate are individually wrapped/branded chocolate truffles. They are a custom made with a special proprietary Belgian liquor chocolate blended with 240 mg of Omega-7-rich sea buckthorn oil in each truffles.
Read More Omega 7 Chocolate Review
I received no compensation for this post and Diva Goes Organic is not responsible
for prize distribution, it is the responsibility of the companies to direct ship to winner
by notification or Oh! My Heartsie once winner is confirmed
Ah my poor, sweet, neglected blog! I have certainly not been the best blogger lately but I have a good excuse. Well, I think it’s a good excuse. With the countdown on until our little girl arrives (45 days until my due date!), we’ve been so busy around the house trying to get last minute projects done. Between finishing painting in the nursery (which only took me 3 weeks because of my ambitious project), refinishing our kitchen cabinets, re-trimming our entire upstairs and painting the basement, we’ve been pretty busy!
Add to that all the cloth diapers I need to wash and prep (and learn to use!), the crib we need to set up, the dresser we need to purchase and set up and the clothes that need to be washed and put away…you can see how we’ve had our hands full. I promise not to be so neglectful and be more consistent with bringing all of you valuable information and recipes!
This is one of our favorite dinner recipes when I’m not feeling very creative. We love the combination of flavors and you can mix it up to make it different ways. We always have enough for leftovers (which I love!) and it reheats well. I happened to use jalapeno cheddar sausages and mixed organic vegetables the last time I made this. The combinations are endless!
Cheesy Sausage & Potato Casserole
2-3 high quality sausages or brats (we get ours from our local butcher and our favorites are apple sausage or jalapeno cheddar)
Organic potatoes, diced and slightly cooked (I leave the skins on and I eyeball this based on how many I think we need but typically 3-5 medium or large potatoes works)
4 Tbls organic butter
4 Tbls organic flour (I use whole wheat)
2 cups raw milk or organic milk (raw is best!)
1/2 – 1 block of organic, sharp cheddar
Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
Organic veggies of your choice (we like to use peas or mixed veggies with corn/green beans/peas/carrots)
Brown your sausage in a pan until fully cooked. I like to slice mine up into bite size pieces once cooked but sometimes I slice it up before cooking too. While the sausage is cooking, get your potatoes boiling until not quite fork tender. You don’t want to overcook them since they’ll continue to cook in the oven. If using frozen veggies (which we typically do), toss them into the boiling water just before draining the potatoes. Add the sausage, potatoes and veggies into a casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 350.
This is everything in the casserole dish before pouring the cheese sauce on and mixing.
Melt butter in a saucepan and add in the flour. Stir well and cook for a minute or two. Add the milk, bring to a boil and stir until thickened. Once the roux has thickened up, season it and add in the cheese. We shred our own cheese from blocks of cheese and if you do the same, you can also just cut it up in small pieces. I did this last time and it worked just fine. Just make sure it all melts and gets fully incorporated. Once the cheese sauce is fully melted, pour it over the other ingredients in the casserole dish and mix well. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and enjoy!
Is this the most attractive looking, photogenic meal? Not by a long shot. But does it taste great? You better believe it!
I’ll admit it…while I know sugar is bad, I do have a sweet tooth! Sometimes you just need a little treat. When I do indulge though, I like to make sure what I’m having is as good as possible.
My husband had been saying he wanted some s’mores for quite a long time (pregnancy craving, perhaps?). I decided I’d make some s’mores for him but with a twist. I had seen a recipe for S’mores Brownies on Pinterest but of course it used a box of brownie mix, canola oil, and other yucky stuff. I knew I could make a delicious and outstanding brownie all from scratch using all organic ingredients.
I started by making my homemade marshmallows with this great recipe from Wellness Mama. I used to use a Martha Stewart recipe but it unfortunately had corn syrup. I thought I might never be able to enjoy homemade marshmallows again so I was thrilled when I came across this recipe. They taste so yummy! I ended up not using marshmallow root and probiotics since I didn’t have any on hand and they still turned out great. Since the marshmallows need time to set up, you may want to make them the night before the brownies or make them in the morning to allow plenty of time to firm up.
Once the marshmallows are ready to go, it’s time to get the brownies started. I used an awesome brownie recipe from Kitchen Stewarship’s awesome Smart Sweets book. If you are like me and like your sweets to have a little something going for them, you’ll love this book! You can get all of Katie’s great eBooks here.
1 3/4 cup organic white whole wheat flour (I blended my whole wheat with all purpose)
1/4 cup raw milk
1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup organic, unsweetened applesauce OR 1/2 more melted fat (I ended up using coconut oil for this and butter for the 1/2 cup above)
5 farm fresh eggs
1 3/4 sucanat OR organic sugar
1 tsp Real Salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup organic cocoa
Homemade marshmallows (from recipe above) ripped into pieces. You can use as few or as many as you want
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional) I didn’t use chocolate chips and mine turned out just fine
Organic graham crackers
**I increased the cocoa powder to 1 cup and reduced the flour by one cup. If you like a little extra chocolate taste, you can take this step or follow the recipe as listed above.
Preheat oven to 350. Add all the ingredients, except marshmallows and chocolate chips (if using), to your stand mixer or a large bowl and mix well. Once combined, toss in the marshmallow pieces and chocolate chips. Look at that delicious batter!
Grease a 9 x 13 pan (I used coconut oil but butter would also work) and crumble some graham crackers into the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and add a few graham cracker pieces to the top of the batter, pushing down slightly. It should look something like the picture below.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Take your marshmallow pieces and lay them across the brownies. Pop it back into the oven just until the marshmallows are nice and melted. Mmm! Don’t those look delicious?!
As good as they looked, after trying one I felt like something was missing. That something was more toasty, melty marshmallows. Easy fix! Just add some more.
I couldn’t wait for them to fully cool before digging in and I must say, they are outstanding still warm! Also, when serving these, you may need to pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to reheat the marshmallow. We tried them not heated and the marshmallow was a little difficult to chew through.
These are so delicious and made a treat we really enjoyed! I didn’t feel too awful eating them because I used high quality gelatin from grass-fed cows and all organic ingredients. They were outstanding and I’m sure we might be enjoying them again soon.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Kitchen Stewarship’s eBooks and will receive a small commission from the purchase of any books through my link. However, I love and use her books and would not promote them if I didn’t believe they were well worth it.
Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate and will receive a small commission if you purchase the above products from my link. They are all products that I use in my kitchen and my home.
This recipe is part of the amazing Real Food Wednesday blog carnival.
On December 21st, 2012, the FDA stated in their Environmental Assessment draft that GE (genetically engineered) AquaAdvantage salmon “pose no risk to the environment” and “will not have any significant impacts on the quality of the human environment of the United States.”
I don’t know about you, but genetically engineered salmon (which would be the first of its kind approved for human consumption) does not sound at all appetizing to me! According to the Organic Consumer’s Association, “AquaBounty Technologies, a biotech company, created AquaAdvantage genetically engineered salmon by injecting a fragment of DNA from an ocean pout fish (a type of eel) along with the growth hormone from the Chinook Pacific salmon into a fertilized Atlantic salmon egg. This produces a salmon which will produce the growth hormone all year long, instead of just during warm weather.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a science experiment gone horribly wrong! And people are actually going to eat this stuff?!? (Source: Organic Consumers Association)
This creates a whole mess of problems, a significant one including disruption to the environment and natural ecology. Khushi Desai, attorney for the group Earthjustice, points out that the “FDA’s narrow analysis fails to seriously consider the risks these GE fish could pose to our natural environment. If these fish mix with wild salmon, the ecological harm could be devastating. This GE fish puts the entire U.S. salmon industry at risk, and most importantly, it could threaten the very survival rate of our native salmon populations.” (Source: AlterNet)
The other big issue is that because GMO and GE labeling is not required, consumers won’t be able to tell if they are subjecting themselves to this science experiment when purchasing salmon. For those who feel strongly opposed to consuming GMO foods (and that should be everyone!), this may cause a decline in the purchase of any salmon for fear of not knowing what is on our plates. This will be a big hit to the wild salmon industry and the fisherman who rely on wild caught salmon to provide their income.
We also have no idea what effect this will have on the nutritional value of the salmon. How can we know that GE salmon will provide any nutritional benefits, let alone all the wonderful nutritional benefits of wild caught salmon? This is a big mistake and I truly hope the FDA will not approve this Frankenfish! You can take action by signing a petition below and reading more about Frankenfish.
Tell the FDA: NO Frankenfish! Make sure to watch Senator Murkowski’s great video!
So could pigs be next? Sadly, it’s not that far out of the realm of possibility.
Sometimes around the holidays, I can get stressed about trying to follow my normal, healthy routine of eating. I’ve since learned that while eating real food is important as often as possible, so is spending enjoyable time with family. Since my family doesn’t quite eat the way my husband and I do (understatement), there is often a disconnect. While I don’t love eating breads made with white flour and possibly hydrogenated oils; dairy products that are not organic; and other questionable products (certainly filled with GMOs), I can truly say that sometimes sacrifices have to be made.
However, there are a few things you can do to make things a little better. I try to combat the bad stuff as best as possible by making items that are the most important to use high quality ingredients. We celebrate Christmas at my parent’s house with my family and my MIL’s family. I make sure my parents buy a good selection of meat from our favorite local butcher so I know the meat is hormone free, antibiotic free and raised humanely. That’s a great start! My MIL is pretty health conscious and good about what she eats so I know what she brings will be semi-healthy. I also make sure my dish (au gratin potatoes this year) uses all the real food ingredients I normally cook with. My dish will include organic potatoes, raw milk, organic flour, organic butter and organic cheese. I’ll feel good about eating that for sure!
My husband and I will compromise on the bread and dessert but at the end of the day, we’ll be better off by not stressing out about it and just enjoying our time with family. Remembering the true meaning of Christmas is important when stress starts to creep in about your food choices. When you take the time to consider the humble beginnings of our Lord and the miracle of Christmas, the food we consume for one day is really small in the bigger scheme of things.
From my family to yours, I wish you a very blessed and enjoyable Christmas holiday!
I’m pretty lucky to have a strong immune system and I don’t get sick very often. I attribute it to my diet full of real foods that are loaded with nutrients, such as raw milk, healthy meats and organic produce and dairy. Unfortunately, I did get sick recently from my mom. We went on a bus trip to Chicago together and sat side by side for two hours there and two hours back, in addition to being together all day long. I’m sure my immune system is slightly weakened from being pregnant so the odds were against me.
I don’t like to take medicine because it’s often loaded with unnecessary ingredients like artificial colors, preservatives and other random stuff. I always like to use natural remedies which help my immune system work through the illness and ultimately make the immune system stronger. I was so relieved to find this great cough syrup recipe to help soothe my sore throat while I worked through whatever yucky germs I had. It certainly doesn’t taste great (it is cough syrup after all) and has a little bite to it but it did the trick for me after just a few “doses.” It’s important to use raw honey (not regular honey from the store) and raw apple cider vinegar for the healing properties they offer.
In addition to using this cough syrup, I made sure I ate plenty of bone broth and also did a saline rinse for my stuffy and runny nose. Many people use a Neti Pot but I just did my own version. I mixed 8 ounces of warm water with a teaspoon of Real Salt and a sprinkle of baking soda. The baking soda will help take the edge off of the salt so it won’t burn. Mix together well, fill a syringe and flush out your nasal passages. I did this a few times a night and got good relief.
My mom, dad and brother were all sick for over 2 weeks! (Poor family!) I was only sick for 3-4 days and my husband didn’t get sick at all. I finally got my mom to make some bone broth and she and my brother started feeling better shortly after consuming it (go figure!).
The best thing you can do is prevent yourself from getting sick by eating well, avoiding foods that are bad for you and staying active. However, if/when you do catch something, consider trying some natural remedies first. You might be pleasantly surprised!