Primal Mustard and Dill Salmon

Day two of the Primal Blueprint 21 Day Challenge and my son wanted salmon. He LOVES salmon and sweet potatoes, so that’s exactly what he got.

Luckily this was another meal that was super simple to prepare, so it didn’t take up much of the time I needed to spend with the kids. Earlier in the day I was able to make a great broccoli salad with Primal Kitchen mayo (another dish that my son can’t get enough of). Potatoes went in the oven and stayed there until after bedtime for Rowan and bath time was over for Griffin.

I served the salmon with broccoli salad and baked sweet potatoes covered in butter.

Mustard and Dill Salmon

Mustard and Dill Salmon

Ingredients

  • 1 – 1.5 lb. Salmon
  • 3 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Avocado Oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425. Mix all dry ingredients together, then add in avocado oil. Spread evenly over salmon and place on a baking pan with a non-stick rack (not necessary, but allows the excess fat on salmon to drip down instead of congealing and looking all white and slimy). Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on how done and flaky you prefer your salmon.

Primal Enchilada Chicken

When my husband really likes a meal I’ve made (and let’s be honest, I’m a great cook so he loves them all, right?) he tells me to remember the recipe so we can keep in on regular rotation. Which I ultimately fail to do. The recipe gets lost among the other thousand I’ve pinned to Pinterest, and never gets placed upon our table again.

But with the Primal Blueprint 21 day challenge in full swing at our house, combined with my need to simplify and spend less on everything including our grocery bill, I’ve had to get creative and attempt simple, tasty meals that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and are super healthy to boot. A task many would say might be near impossible.

But I was up for the challenge!

This week I’ve made three winners that are going to be on regular rotation not only because they fulfilled the above requirements, but because they were so easy that I wasn’t spending all afternoon cooking – which is pretty much a requirement when two small children are in the house.

First up was a recipe a friend of mine had texted me Monday morning, as I was on my way to the grocery store frantic that I didn’t have a meal plan. She said they cook it all the time in her household, and that the end result tastes just like enchiladas without the tortillas.

CheddarIt was so simple I was almost worried it couldn’t possibly taste good, but it did! It’s one of those recipes that doesn’t have precise ingredients, because it’s all about doing what’s simple and to your taste.

We ate this with roasted broccoli covered in butter. Mmmmmmmm.

Enchilada Chicken

Primal Enchilada Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 pounds chicken thighs or breasts (whichever is your preference – we chose thighs because of cost)
  • Salsa of Choice (We used Trader Joe’s Organic version)
  • Organic Tomato Slices
  • Grassfed Cheese (Dubliner or Trader Joe’s Grassfed New Zealand Cheddar works well)
  • Scallions (Optional)
  • Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper as desired.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Slice tomatoes to about 1/2 inch thickness. Season chicken to your liking and place in an 8×8 casserole dish. Arrange tomato slices on top, then pour your choice of salsa over this. Cover with as much cheese as you like; I sliced up about 10 strips from the block of Grassfed New Zealand cheddar I had and simply arranged that way. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken, and when cheese is very golden and starting to brown. Enjoy!

The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Challenge

Although I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, there really isn’t a better time to kick off some good habits.

This holiday season was very overindulgent for me, maybe for the simple fact that I was sleep deprived and stressed with the new additions and responsibilities of a bigger family. I ate too many sweets, too many foods that slow me down and make me grumpy, and most likely had a few too many glasses of wine some nights, as well.

Last week I purged the house of all that holiday junk, and this Monday began the Primal Blueprint 21 Day Challenge. Jeremy is doing it with me and so far we’ve been pretty much spot on. I can already tell a difference in my energy level! I can also tell a big difference in the way my pants fit when I don’t eat sugar, corn, or gluten free cheat foods. I do so well on a primal diet, and need to just stick with it instead of slowly letting treats creep in (like popcorn at the movies and tortilla chips at a Mexican restaurant).

I’ve been told before that I’m too regimented – too disciplined sometimes. But I don’t see it that way at all. My body tells me very quickly when I eat something that isn’t optimal, and it’s much easier for me – and my family – if I just stick with what I know works.

I can also see a big difference when I let a lot of cheat foods come into Griffin’s diet, as well. When he eats primally, with lots of vegetables, fruit, quality meats, and raw, organic dairy, he doesn’t have as many chaotic times. He’s more level-headed and fly off the handle quite as much. Of course, this is a 3 year old we’re talking about, so all that’s all relative.

I know for a fact that our entire family benefits from living Primal, and that includes Rowan. Not just in regards to the quality of my breast milk, either. Because Primal isn’t just about food. It’s an entire lifestyle that includes getting the right amount of sleep, quality sunlight every day, moving our bodies and not being sedentary, and PLAYING.

Play is such a huge aspect of the Primal lifestyle that many people overlook. But our best moments as a family are the times that Jeremy is playing the guitar and Griffin and I are having a dance party around Rowan, who kicks his feet and looks in wonder at what he knows his body will eventually be able to do.

So today is day 3 of the 21 day challenge and we are flying high. It allows us to really connect as a family, get as healthy as our bodies can be, and simplify life to include what’s really important.

It’s all about simplifying right now, and this is just one more way we can do that.

Primal Challenge

Revisiting Minimalism as a Mother of Two

The more I acquire, the more I seem to want to simplify. Now that I’ve acquired another child and we’re a family of four, this has hit me with greater force than ever.

BrothersThe need to declutter goes hand in hand with my need to destress as much as possible. Is that even possible in this season of life? I’m not sure – at least about the stress level. But what I can control are my family’s possessions, and that doesn’t just mean the tangible “things” all over the house.

Our possessions have also shown up in the form of anxieties, frustrations, over-abundance of food and convenience products, and unnecessary cultural expectations (decorating the house and keeping it immaculate for any unexpected guests that may arrive).

This past weekend was Griffin’s third birthday, but it was his first that I didn’t allow the party to completely take over my life. Yes, it was still a great party with tons of food and everyone having a great time. But I didn’t go all out like I have in the past. This could be partly due to the lack of brain cells needed to do that – having a two-month-old hasn’t allowed me to focus entirely on any one thing. But the decor was much more scaled down than in the previous two years, and I didn’t worry as much about topping myself from previous years.

I compare myself to myself more than anyone else, always attempting to one-up the previous me and what her accomplishments were.

Griffin's BirthdayI’ve found it interesting that on the days when this need to simplify really strikes me the most, I will have a mental relapse and find myself shopping online for something frivolous, or going to the grocery store and loading the cart with pre-cut fruit and vegetables. I can certainly cut a sweet potato myself and save us money in the process, but the allure of having the produce guy at Whole Foods do it for me is too strong sometimes.

I also want to cultivate a minimalist wardrobe for myself – an overhaul of my current closet, to be replaced with quality pieces that are interchangeable and can be worn over and over. But that would require alot of time and money to get started, and I fall into that trap, telling myself I’m simplifying when what I’m really doing is online shopping.

These things are all an ongoing process, just like everything else where simplification is concerned.

It’s all about this idea of experiences over “things.” Having our family spend our time and money on what is lasting – on memories we will share and always have, versus things that are merely meant to be looked at or compared with someone else’s. Franklin, Tennessee is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, and we constantly have to watch ourselves from falling into the comparison trap. I want my sons to grow up knowing other cultures, other ways of living.

I never want them to belong to this entitlement society, even if they do live in it.

BeachSo I’m trying something new, and with a new year approaching I think it’s coming at the perfect time. We will not be spending a lot of money on things to make our new home more magazine-worthy; rather, we will be spending our money on experiences, starting with a two-month cultural immersion experience in Dublin, Ireland this summer.

More details on that to come!

 

 

Rowan’s Birth Story

Rowan Lochlan Coleman White arrived at 2:05pm on September 10th. He was quiet, observant, and quite a little helper to mommy as she worked to get him into the world.

Newborn ShootWe were supposed to check in at the hospital at 6am, so Jeremy and I left the house before the sun was up and started out in a car laden down with bags that had been packed 6 weeks before. Not wanting to arrive after anyone else that may have a scheduled induction, I asked Jeremy to speed up a bit. Approximately 30 seconds later we spotted flashing lights in the rear view mirror.

After rolling down the window and yelling to the officer that I was in labor (much to Jeremy’s consternation), the officer shown his light into my passenger side window and questioned our reasons for speeding at such an early hour. Clearly he hadn’t heard me the first time. Jeremy calmly told him that I was in labor (only a minor embellishment), to which the officer shone his light directly on my belly before asking Jeremy his age. We laughed about this random questioning afterwards, wondering if he wanted to see if Jeremy would fumble under pressure, or if we both simply looked too young to be having children. The officer must have received a satisfactory answer either way, because after a warning to be careful and drive slower, we were on our way once again.

We arrived at the hospital and were very quickly taken to the room. I got comfortable in my green gown and hospital bed and the nurses came and hooked me up to a few machines. We waited for the doctor to arrive, she broke my water at about 8:30am, and they gave me a small amount of Pitocin.

DSC_0663An epidural nurse arrived and gave me the run-down on what to expect when I decided to get the drugs. He then gave me a bit too much information, telling me that in the off-chance that the needle was inserted too far I would most likely get a raging headache within 24 hours that could last 2 days. Being prone to migraines and not wanting the first experiences I had with my new child to be spend in a drug-induced haze, I was a little concerned when the nurse told me that he would be administering the epidural himself if I was ok with that. I asked if he felt confident in his abilities, and he let me know that he was very comfortable, as he had been doing it for a grand total of 4 weeks now.

He left and I resolved to get an actual doctor in the room when the time came for that large needle to enter my spine.

Soon the nurses came in to check my progression and turned off the Pitocin almost as soon as it had been turned on. I had progressed to 6cm dilated. After a total of 17 contractions I called for the epidural because it was starting to get a little more painful than I could manage.

The nurse and doctor arrived surprisingly quickly, and I just as quickly let them know that I wasn’t comfortable with 4 weeks experience. I’m so glad I made that decision, because I would have worried myself to death about an impending headache otherwise. Once the epidural had been given, I started to get the disconcerting numb feeling in my legs that would soon lead to dead weight from the torso down.

In a matter of only a few hours, I was ready to start pushing. But once I started they had me stop – he was already crowned after just one big push!

The doctor arrived quickly (thank goodness), and after 3 more pushes, Rowan very graciously stuck his arm out first, which narrowed his body and let him come right out. What a gentleman!

DSC_0725He arrived at 3:05pm with a head full of dark hair. He was also much bigger than anticipated at 7lb 12 oz, 20 1/4 inches long, and was immediately hungry and ready to latch.

Our time getting to know him while in the hospital was made even sweeter when Griffin came to meet his little brother and throw him his first birthday party. He ran down the hallway carrying huge balloons and excitedly yelling, “I get to meet my little brother!”

I hope they will always be that enthusiastic about one another.

Going Home

 

Life Lately

I will be induced on Thursday morning, arriving at 6am and starting the entire life changing process at 7:00. By the end of this week we will have an addition to the family that will draw us all closer than ever before.

The last two weeks have been a waiting game, to say the least. Every night I take a shower and shave my legs, just in case my water breaks and we need to rush to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. Every morning I wake disappointed that the baby didn’t decide to come sooner than our deadline.

But I know that it’s really not the baby – it’s God. He’s up to something and certainly knows more about this child’s timing and birthday than I do.

As we wait for Griffin’s little brother, we are having fun in the process, soaking up the last days of being a family of three. Perhaps the most fun we’ve had was Friday’s Family Movie Night. It was Griffin’s first experience with so many things, and he absolutely adored it! As it was really his first movie experience, it was also his first exposure to Mary Poppins. What a wonderful movie to start with! He loved all the songs, was enraptured by Mary’s magic, and talked about Jane and Michael all weekend.

It was also his first taste of popcorn, and of course he loved that, too! I chose to purchase an heirloom variety they had at Whole Foods. Called Tiny but Mighty Popcorn, it produces smaller kernels and has a thin hull that disintegrates when popped. This meant I didn’t have to worry about anything stuck in Griffin’s teeth, but more importantly, about his choking! It is also much easier to digest. During special occasions will be using this brand from now on!

Family Movie Night