(This post contains affiliate links that support this blog with no additional cost to you. See more info here). Have you been eating enough fish? fish I really feel that, no matter where you fall on the diet spectrum, none of us really are. The truth is, I just don't love cooking fish at home. The best way I've been able to regularly get it into our diet is canned, wild salmon or wild-caught frozen seafood.  Let's face it, going into a fish market is pretty much impossible with two babies and a mammoth double stroller. I think we've all seen articles and heard the news about fish and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 are good for your heart, omega-3's are in fish...ergo, eat more fish. Well, why aren't you? The truth is, fish really isn't a staple of the Standard American Diet - perhaps unless it's Lent and you're in the Drive-thru line for a patty of mystery marine-life. Instead, in our world, we are assaulted with the omega-6 fatty acids. They're what you'll find in almost any processed food product - and are heavily present in vegetable (soy) oil, canola oil, corn oil, etc. There are so many studies about why omega 6 oils are ruining our health. Humans need to maintain a more favorable ratio of omega 3:omega 6 fats - the ideal ratio should approach almost 1:1. Most americans are consuming a ratio of omega 3:6 somewhere between 1:10 or 1:20! (see more on this here). Several studies in the past year alone indicate the detriment of manipulating this ratio in the favor of unsaturated, omega 6 industrial oils. For example: an unfavorable ratio is related to depressive symptoms in women (1), abnormal mental development in the fetus (2), obesity in childhood (3), and onset of high blood pressure in childhood (4), and an imbalanced ratio is also implicated in the progression of coronary artery disease (5). This is just a snippet of the litany of research supporting that processed foods are destroying our health and begin affecting our offspring in-utero. I've seen ads on TV lately for corn oil, claiming its "heart healthy" and it makes me sad. I'm really sad that we've let it get this far. We've let multi-billion dollar agribusiness corporations tell us that their industrially derived oils are safe -  and not only safe, but beneficial. It's pretty much impossible to even get lunch at Whole Paycheck without everything being crusted in canola oil. The small amounts you consume daily, that you think aren't detrimental, add up and gradually overwhelm our systems. Every cell membrane in your body is made up of fats, and the types of fats you eat matter much more than you think. We've spent 60 years demonizing cholesterol and developing drugs to antagonize its synthesis, and not nearly enough time and energy on these dangerous polyunsaturates. What am I doing to protect my family from this imbalance? I'm consuming as much pasture raised meet as I can find. According to this article, grass fed beef is 2-5x higher in omega-3s than grain fed beef, and much lower in omega-6 content. As of right now, I'm trying the best I can, with what I can find. I truly believe in the benefits of eating responsibly raised animals and I'm looking forward to raising them myself. (check out eatwild.com for resources near you). This also applies to dairy products from cows. Cows that are pastured produce milk fat with equal ratios of omega-3 to omega-6 (source). I've actually been finding grass fed milk, cream, and butter at my local amish market. There is a huge difference when butter is pastured because the color is a rich, deep yellow. I will always choose grass-fed and local over "certified organic" - because organic certification is very expensive and many small farms cannot afford the designation. Also, anything that is 100% grass-fed or pastured is raised properly and technically "organic" anyway. grass-fed dairy I'm finding easy ways to incorporate more fish. My favorite thing to do lately with canned salmon is to mix it with an egg, some salt, pepper, paprika, and ground mustard. I'll heat up a skillet with butter, and fry the mixture into a salmon "cake" until browned on both sides. It may sound weird, but it's honestly SO good. My twins will often split a whole can of salmon between them. If you want to step it up a notch, add some fresh dill and some sour cream or plain greek yogurt (if you do dairy). salmonI'm really loving it right now served over some lightly dressed greens (with a mixture raw honey, olive oil, and raw apple cider vinegar - if I'm giving my girls some of the greens, I'll sub the honey for maple syrup since they haven't had honey yet). Not only is canned salmon good for you, but it's very economical. I bought the can pictured below at my local store for around $3.50, it's 7.5 oz, BPA free, and sustainably sourced. I also try to monitor the toxin content of the fish we eat - luckily, canned wild salmon is on the very low end of the mercury spectrum. You can check the mercury content of the fish you're eating based on your body weight and frequency of consumption here. IMG_2587 salmon        IMG_2599IMG_2598 Wild, Alaskan cod is also reasonably priced and available frozen. (Just make sure it's wild caught!). "The Rock" basically survives on cod, because it's super high in protein. Lastly, another way I've found to ensure we're all getting our omega 3, vitamin D and vitamin A needs taken care of has been cod liver oil. This is not the nasty stuff you're thinking of. My twins actually love it and get upset when their daily dose is gone. IMG_2594 IMG_2592 There's been a lot of debate over the past year about cod liver oil. I don't think I could write about this topic without touching on it. When I started eating "primal," about 4 years ago, I took fermented cod liver oil from Green Pastures. It's very expensive. It's about $60 a bottle - and you can easily get through a bottle in a month. I always thought this was a quality product, but recently there has been some huge controversy about whether or not cod liver oil can actually be fermented. (If you want to really get into the nitty-gritty, here's a really well-written article). I've been pretty skeptical about this whole thing, to be honest. It seemed like all of the sudden, brands of "extra virgin" cod liver oil started appearing and people starting shunning the fermented product they had been touting for years. I'm not an expert, but I am a consumer - and honestly, this annoyed me.  I'm just trying to find the best option for my family and budget, not get involved in some sort of cod liver oil holy war.   I saw on the Weston A Price website that they had listed Nature's Answer cod liver oil on the "Best" list. I'm not sure why it has since been removed, but I checked it out and ordered it (link here). I'm on my second bottle of this stuff and I can honestly say I think it's a decent product. What I liked most about it is that the Vitamin A:Vitamin D ratio is 10:1. A lot of other brands have really high Vitamin A: Vitamin D ratios, which could cause you to overdose on vitamin A in order to get anywhere near the right amount of D per day. It contains about 500 mg each of EPA and DHA per teaspoon (which are types of omega-3 fatty acids). Nature's Answer is also very reasonable in price. I've also been looking into NutraPro brand cod liver oil, as that is also recommended by WAPF and is considered "virgin." This might be my next purchase once my current bottle of Nature's Answer is complete. If cod liver oil just isn't for you - there are other ways. Commercial fish oils can be rancid and contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins from the ocean, but they are easier to take in convenient capsules for those who can't stomach the idea of consuming a liquid. The Primal Blueprint website has a Primal Omegas line that looks like it's really controlled for quality and toxins. I've never tried it, but if you prefer capsules it seems like a pretty good option (also, if you use the coupon code Grok15, you'll get 15% off!) All in all, it can be very hard to get the proper amount of fish in our diets. Not only is it sometimes difficult to source, but most of the time - I just don't want to eat it. It's nice to have the ability to use supplements, like cod liver oil, and find grass-fed dairy/meat that will lend us the ability to balance our omega levels as well. Honestly, even just avoiding processed foods and industrial oils is a huge step in the right direction. I would love to hear your thoughts on this! How do you get seafood and Omega 3's into your diet? Have you ever tried cod liver oil? Want to subscribe to get email updates when I post something new? Click here!  

(This post contains affiliate links - please see what that means here). Ready for St. Patrick's Day? It's a little early, but hopefully this will give you a chance to plan ahead! I saw a recipe for grain-free irish soda bread on Satisfying Eats, and it inspired me to put my own spin on it. IMG_0001 In the past, when I've made regular irish soda bread, I always used Irish whiskey soaked raisins. This time, I subbed raisins for dates and whiskey for bourbon. I really think the dates and bourbon give it a really different twist and nice sweetness. Also, I had neither raisins nor Irish whiskey in my pantry... so there's that. IMG_0006 IMG_0005 This recipe also uses buttermilk, which is traditional. You can make this dairy free by subbing buttermilk for coconut milk and apple cider vinegar (1/2 cup + 1/2 Tbsp), or you could also use whole milk + ACV. I would definitely encourage you to try this one, totally not hard to make and very moist and delicious! It's pretty boozy, so probably best to keep this one for yourself after the kids go to bed. IMG_0007 [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:3]   Please let me know if you liked it!

(This post contains affiliate links - please see what that means here). This recipe is great for when you have 6 bananas that all get too ripe at once. IMG_2279 This happens all too often for me. My twins literally will eat 2 bananas everyday at breakfast time. I'll usually to be proactive and buy two huge bunches at the beginning of the week. By the time Friday rolls around, it's banana bread time. I absolutely hate to waste food! Amazon had an amazing deal with the almond flour - I just bought a 4 pack of Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour and because it's part of "Prime Pantry" I received a discount for choosing slower shipping. Since I didn't need it right away, I will save $6 on a future Prime Pantry item  - I think this is pretty awesome and totally worth the wait. Anyway, this banana bread is super easy and a very forgiving recipe. You can literally dump it all in a bowl, mix, and bake with two toddlers hugging your legs (I know from experience). The best part about this - it actually tastes AMAZING once it's refrigerated. It has a very creamy texture that is almost like bread pudding. It also has no added sweeteners! The only sweetness comes from that of the bananas. It does have dairy, so be mindful if you have issues there. I have also substituted buttermilk many times for milk + apple cider vinegar with great success. Here's the full recipe: [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:2] I can imagine if you want to make this dairy free - I would substitute the butter for coconut oil (1:1) and use full fat coconut milk and apple cider vinegar instead of the buttermilk. Let me know if you try it!

(This post contains affiliate links, see full disclosure here) So, I wanted to make stuffed peppers for dinner with a lower carb count than your traditional recipe. Mixing in a bunch of rice with the meat doesn't do anything for me. Not only do I try to eat grains sparingly, but seriously - if I'm going to eat rice... I'm going to eat it plain and covered with butter. I want the full experience - not a bunch of rice hidden in a dish for no reason. With that being said, I wanted to keep the texture similar and add a nutritional boost. Enter in: baby kale, chard, and spinach blend IMG_2131 I LOVE these greens, and so do my twins. They are so mild tasting, yet still full of flavor with zero bitterness. If you think you don't like kale, try this. Anyway, I had the idea to chop some of it up, sautéing it with a sweet onion and some spices, and mixing it into the meat mixture for the peppers. I like to also add the seasonings here because I think sautéing them with the onion adds more flavor. IMG_2133 IMG_2134 IMG_2136 After hollowing out the peppers, I also didn't want to throw away the tops. Instead of being wasteful, I chopped those up to also use in the filling. IMG_2137 IMG_2138 IMG_2139 To bind the filling, instead of rice, I used a little bit of Coconut Flour. Coconut flour is a great binder because it sucks up a lot of moisture and you need very little of it. This makes it one of the more economical "paleo" flours. I've also used it in meatloaves and meatballs with great success.   IMG_2141 I mixed together 1 egg with the coconut flour, ground beef, and tomato sauce (I used jarred tomato sauce since this was a quick weeknight dinner - and the twins were not happy). Add in the cooled greens + onion mixture and the diced up pepper tops. Mix well with your hands and stuff the peppers. Add remaining tomato sauce around the peppers. These take about an hour, maybe more to cook. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. IMG_2142 IMG_2143 There you have it! You don't need rice to make this a super satisfying and filling meal full of vegetables. *Tip for your toddlers - I had some of the meat mixture left over, so I cooked it up in a frying pan on its own. I gave this to my twins because they were getting very impatient for dinner and obviously tomato sauce is kind of a mess for one year olds. They loved it! Here's the shortened (and printable!) recipe instructions: [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:1]