Spring into Smoothies

Oh, how do I love you, smoothies. Let me count the ways.Pink Coconuts Smoothie

I love that I pack in nutrition even on picky eating days.
I love the pretty colors of the yummy fruit and greens.
And, that my family slurps them down while staying nice n’ lean.
I love how my son wants to press the blender button.
And, how even when I have two smoothies I don’t feel like a glutton.

(A riff off a favorite book in our family “How do I love you?” by Marion Dane Bauer)

As you can tell, the smell of spring peaking through the snow always gets me in a silly mood.

But, I couldn’t resist the rhyme after such a big week of smoothie making. Last week, I had a fabulous time blending up some new smoothie recipes for the Ultimate Mom’s Night Out event by Mommybites Boston.

Zico premium coconut water was a fabulous partner who sponsored all the healthy ingredients!

Today, I’m share my new smoothie recipes for your delight!

Pink Coconuts

Ingredients:

1 C coconut water plain
6 frozen strawberries
1 banana
2 Tbs. coconut cream
2 Tbs. shelled hemp seed
1/4 tsp. probiotic powder (optional)

Directions:

Blend coconut water, coconut cream + hemp seed well.
Add fruit and blend until smooth.

Green Cocolada

Ingredients:

1 C coconut water plain
2/3 C pineapple
1/3 C baby kale, packed well
2 Tbs. coconut cream
2 Tbs. shelled hemp seed
1/4 banana
1/4 tsp. probiotic powder (optional)

Directions:

Blend coconut water, coconut cream, baby kale + hemp seed well.
Add fruit and blend until smooth.

I’d love to hear your tips for making yummy, nutritious smoothies! Tell me what modifications or recipes you make for your family.

Ugh, The Dinosaur Camelbak Has To Go

Say-No-BPA-Free-AlsoLatest studies show chemicals used to replace “BPA” are worse for our health than BPA. My friends over at Mommy Business alerted me to this news in a recent blog post and I had to share with you. While thankful for the critical information, I’m grumbling over what happens next – finding a suitable replacement for the dinosaur camelbak that Evren snuggles with just about every night.

Back in 2007, when studies showed BPA mimicked estrogen in our bodies, I purged the plastic from our lives.That was pre-child days – so MUCH easier to use only glass though I still got flak from my family! Endocrine disruptors like BPA in our “food safe” plastic containers, found on receipts and more were being linked to lower fertility and increased cancer risk – two conditions I wanted to avoid as hopes of babies were in the horizon.

Fast forward to a few years ago when plastic manufacturers finally caved and committed to BPA-free, I started getting lax too. At first, it was just three stackable recycled BPA-free storage containers. Then, Evren started eating solid food and it was all over. The BPA-free plates cups and utensils snuck their way back into our cabinets AGAIN. Sound familiar?

Apparently, the plastic purge needs to happen once and for all because the latest studies have scientists screaming loud and clear “There’s NO safe alternatives to BPA.”

The latest animal studies showed exposure to common BPA substitutions like bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF) causing hyperactivity in animals. The worst part is researchers found low doses of exposure to be more harmful than larger ones. And, according to another recent article “In laboratory tests, 95% of hundreds of ordinary plastic products put through “real world” conditions, such as through a dishwasher or a microwave, tested positive for leaching estrogenic chemicals.”  I don’t know about your family, but I use plastic so I can put in the dishwasher.

Of course, plastic manufacturers are pushing back saying the studies aren’t rigorous enough. Well…

I think the founder of CertiChem (an endocrine disruptor testing lab), George Bittner said it best “If you went into a space with a radiation detection device and found radiation, would you stop to take additional time to find out where the radiation was coming from? It wouldn’t matter—you’d just want to get out.”

That’s all folks, we’re getting out of plastics!

Here’s my plan:

  • Search Target for more snapware since they go sale often (these are glass pyrex with snapable lids)
  • Stock up on stainless lunch containers  (pricey, but definitely worth it).
  • Take the plunge and purchase a Life Factory 9oz glass bottle for Evren (it costs an arm and leg, but we need a camelbak replacement pronto)
  • Add more cute wooden bowls like these – though I hate that they can’t go in the dishwasher, they’re a safe alternative that Evren likes using

Thanks to Melissa at Mommy Business for the push! Read more tips for getting rid of plastic and which items to substitute for your plastic favs from Melissa over at Mommy Business.

Now, for the sake of your kiddos’ health, what’s your plan to shed plastics?

Unhealthy ingredients in your “healthy” convenience foods

Okay – I’m kind of a lunatic when I find a new REAL food that comes in a package (a.k.a. convenience for a busy mama). Last week at the grocery store, I discovered So Delicious pulled the carrageenan out of their coconut milk. Yahoo!!! You should have seen me. I literally screamed at the top of my frickin’ lungs and catapulted into the air!! It was like I won the dang lottery or something.mommies jumping wild

The thing is I did win the lottery. The MOMMY lottery.

Buying coconut milk in the refrigerated section that’s already mixed will save my butt ~10 minutes+ each week. That’s 8+ hours a year that I won’t be opening cans, mixing coconut cream with separated coconut water to make milk. Hells yeah, I’ll take it.

It’s nice to find REAL foods that come in package because let’s face it: I can’t make everything we eat from scratch. Since I do need to rely on packaged foods sometimes, it just boils my blood when I read the ridiculously long ingredient labels that are laden with so called “natural” or “organic” additives.

Junky, FAKE ingredients lurk in food products marketed as “healthy” and good for your family. 

ingredient label with junky stuff

This situation is rampant. You can read about the sneaky unhealthy ingredients in our “healthy” packaged foods in my latest post on the get REAL for kids blog.

Before you learn more about these sneaky ingredients, promise me you won’t get overwhelmed! Instead, join me next week for some simple yet practical tips on how to slowly get the junk out of your pantry. It’s a process, mama, and it took me years.

I’d love to know which “healthy” packaged foods you’ve taken out of your pantry so far? Which ones still lurk? Let’s share our experiences in the comments.