Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Puddle of Tears



I know the Super Bowl is over now and many people have already moved on. For our family though, football season ended in the second round of the playoffs. We are HUGE Cowboys fans!  Did you see the game against the Packers?!? Did you see the Cowboys amazing comeback, to then lose in the last 3 seconds of the game? Ahhh, it was heart wrenching! Well, this family did. 

We watched, we paced, we yelled, we jumped up and down hysterically, we threw high fives till our hands hurt, and we bit off all our nails. Yet, in the end all our good vibes, superstitions and yelling like they could actually hear us, didn't work. 

The whole family was here, even my parents who claim to be Seahawks fans. We know they are closet Cowboys fans though. We grilled wings, made mules, the kids swam, and we watched hard! It was a gut wrenching game but it was also a blast!

Our 8 year old daughter, Taylor, held down a chair front and center of the TV the entire game. Wearing her favorite Cowboy hat she barely left her chair. Taylor loves Cowboys football. She is like she is with most things in life- ALL IN!! 

At the end of the game when we lost and realized that was the end of our road for this season. Some of the adults got quiet. Some said things like "heck of a season, we'll be back next year!" You know, the things you say as a mature adult. But, Tay, our sweet Tay was standing there with her head hung low in a puddle of tears- absolutely devastated! She ran to her Gdaddy, probably because he looked as distraught as she was. He scooped her up and just  held her!  

As her mom, my first instinct was to immediately console her and explain and teach her it's just a game. To give her the lesson that in the grand scheme of the world it doesn't really matter and it isn't that big of a deal. It is really just for entertainment and fun. Ideas that come with a certain level of maturity- but then I stopped. Does she need to learn those things...yes, absolutely she does! However, in that moment it dawned on me the more important lesson is that she needs to be allowed to feel exactly what she is feeling and trust that was she is feeling is real and true to her. 

If the adults around her are telling her it isn't a big deal yet she feels so much, she will learn to ignore and push aside those very real feelings. She won't trust that what she is feeling has validity.  If the grown ups around her tell she is overreacting or that her emotions aren't the socially appropriate response, she won't feel it is ok to be honest with how she feels. I don't want her to numb out her emotions. I want her to listen to herself and trust how she is feeling first and foremost. 

"We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions" - Brene Brown. 

This little 8 year feels big and loves hard and is so sensitive! She feels all the feel and my husband and I can both attest that it can sometimes be really exhausting to parent.

What happens if we squelch that? To me that seems detrimental. I don't want anyone- especially me- telling her whether her emotions are good or bad. They just are! 

I would much rather teach my kids to get curious about what their emotions are telling them. My job is show them that emotions aren't directions they are just data. Tune into what they are really saying. If I don't let them feel it all and express it then I will miss out on real authentic conversations with both of them. I won't ever get the chance to learn what really matters to them. 

So on this night of Cowboys loss, Jon and I decided to let her be exactly where she was. In a big puddle of tears. We refused to make her see the bright side, the silver lining, or scooting her along to positivity so everyone around her felt more comfortable. Instead, we chose to hold her up and listen and what we learned in the days that followed as we processed how she was feeling was the real depth of those tears and emotions. 

For Taylor the loss of that game meant the end of the season of gathering our family every Sunday night. She expressed how much she loved our whole family being together and how happy that makes her. She expressed how she loved that we were all cheering for the same thing and even wearing all our Cowboys gear at the same time. She was showing us her heart! What really matters to her! What is important to her! 

This kind of emotional intelligence is something I am still working really hard at. Trusting what I am truly feeling without pushing it aside or saying the socially acceptable thing and really acknowledging what the depths of me is saying is a daily practice for me. If I can teach our precious 8 year old to tune in, get curious and keep feeling all the feels I think maybe, just maybe, she will be really ok in this life. 

Lots of Love,

Lauren 



Friday, August 19, 2016

Tequila...You may have tried Mezcal...but do you know Sotol?!?!

Sometimes Sotol is referred to as "tequila's crazy little brother" and we have decided we like him a lot!


The two bottles we ordered arrived just in time for this weekend!  We kick off my favorite person on the entire planet heading into his birthday week and our kids are back in school! With all the feels and prep we are cheersin' this weekend with sotol! 

Here is a little education, but feel free to skip this part if you just wanna know how sotol tastes. I get it, but my inner nerd is fascinated by this part so if your like me go ahead and keep reading. 

Sotol  is a distilled spirit made from the Dasylirion wheeleri, Asparagaceae (commonly known as Desert Spoon or, in Spanish, sotol), a plant that grows in northern Mexico, New Mexico, west Texas, and the Texas Hill Country. It is known as the state drink of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila.



It's not actually agave. Though dasylirion was first classified as an agave by John Hutchinson in 1934, it took another sixty years for an American Ph.D. student named David Bogler to conduct DNA tests that revealed it should properly be classed in the Nolinaceae family. Sotol takes its name from the Nahuatl word “Tzotolin,” meaning “palm with long and thin leaves.”
Dasylirion grows wild in desert regions, requiring up to 20 years to mature, at which point the plant is harvested, the heart is cooked and the juice is fermented and distilled, with some sotol going into oak barrels for aging. Like tequila, young plata sotol is clear, while the golden reposado is aged several months, and the light amber anejo may have up to two years of age.
It’s one of the most transparent plants out there, because it gives you what it feeds on,  Forest-grown sotols tend to be pinier, with notes of mint and eucalyptus, while desert ones have mineral, leather and earthy notes.
Because the plant can take so many years to mature before it can be harvested for sotol  and an entire plant is needed for a single bottle of sotol, scaling beyond small-batch levels is sotol producers' biggest challenge. So it isn't easy to get your hands on. However, with a little determination we have tried a few.  Ordering online (Hacienda de Chihuahua) this is the one we got first! We found another one which our incredibly awesome friends helped us find and order:





We tried some at a restaurant in Mexico earlier this month:






Flavorwise, there's a distinct family resemblance between tequila and sotol: both have an herbaceous brightness and a gentle, fruity sweetness. But while tequila (especially younger styles) has a distinctive peppery snap, sotol is more grassy, with gentle layers of floral notes in lieu of tequila's spicy bang. We liked it sipped on its own, its gentle, savory vegetal flavor makes clear it deserves to be tasted on its own merits. 

We had it neat in Mexico and I had it with some orange slices and warming salts on the side but Jon didn't bother with the accoutrements. He didn't feel it necessary. We have experimented with some fun drink recipes as well:


This one is:
Sotol
Kings Ginger liquor 
Cointreau
Lime 
Tajin Mexican seasoning (either on the rim or sprinkled on top) 



This one is:
Sotol
Creme de Cassis
Fresh Lime
Fever Tree or Goslings Ginger beer
Mint and lime garnish

Hope you have something good to celebrate this weekend... If you don't... Find the good in today... Find something to celebrate! 

Much Sotol Love,
Lauren


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Orlando- My Home

72 hours after the devastation we all woke to in Orlando and every where I turn there is a sadness, a heaviness, pain, devastation, bewilderment and fear. Every place I turn there is also love, solidarity, compassion, help, and strength. I see images like this:











I well up and I have knots in my stomach, a lump in my throat and I feel heartbroken. I feel exhausted and I am walking around with my head in a fog. I see images like this:













To which I well with all sorts of other emotions. I have immeasurable love and pride for my city and these big hearted people. I feel honored and humbled and the tears flow for a whole slew of other reasons. I feel so much hope and so proud of the evolution taking place. The outpouring of love in my city and I do think for many it is probably their first real public outpouring of love to the LGBT community. It moves something deep in me when I see images like this:










Knowing only hours ago Orlando wasn't even on their minds and now they are taking time to stop and mourn with us. To gather in masses and say we are with you. Your pain is our pain. Even from so far away they are not distant observers but fully participating in this horrific tragedy.

Mostly, I have heard love and support and a feeling of- I just want to help. What can I do so these families know I am with them in their grief? I know there are hateful people out there but the overarching feeling I have witnessed in my immediate community is that of I just want to be useful and compassionate. I just want to support and love my neighbors who are hurting and do it well.

I did however hear a few mentions of people who were tired of hearing it in the news constantly and they needed to feel light again, they were worn down. They were ready to laugh again. It was all too much for them. My immediate thought was there are 53 people still fighting for life in the hospital and 49 dead with countless numbers of family, partners, friends feeling what we are feeling thousands of times over. It's only been 72 hours. Aren't we all still in shock?!? I am not saying that to shame these people ... I get it...I understand the feeling. You may have thought the same thing.

My instinct is to want life to get back to "normal" to not have to see such pain and suffering. To go back 72 hours earlier where we were sitting with friends eating fish tacos, drinking margaritas, laughing, and literally having a conversation about how to raise children who love and respect all people in this world. Truly that was our conversation over watermelon margaritas on Saturday night.

That is my instinct as well, just like you, I don't want to feel the deep sorrow either. It hurts! However, I feel that my greatest act of love is to feel it all. There is a reason we are weary and exhausted and we feel like we want it to all end. Because what happened was evil, and horrible and fills us with fear and anger and questions and sadness and despair and yet,  I want to tune into what that really is. I want to call it what it is. I don't want to run. I don't want to gloss over it. I think it is appropriate to feel the horrible feelings and exhaustion and sadness. Can we slow down and  sit with the victims and their families and their friends and partners and Aunts, Uncles, and their siblings, and your neighbors and friends? Can we sit with them and mourn and grieve and not try to find the silver lining for them but just be in it with them. In our human solidarity it is all our loss, all our pain.

Our society is fast, we want instant gratification and lightning fast results, quick fixes and the media and our lives move so rapidly, it's scary. Before we have finished one thing we are already on to the next. I feel scared to allow these things in this space here. I feel we have to fight hard against this tendency so engrained in our culture. I feel that if we turn away because we can only handle so much we are missing the whole human experience... we need to be here and now in this terrible gut wrenching place and carry it all together. So we care for and honor the victims well. So they feel love and support like never before. So we evolve.

Yes, down the road do we need to speak up and change things and fight for our future. Yes! Eventually we need solutions. Yes, we are going to move forward and our lives will go on and we will celebrate Father's Day and I am so thrilled to celebrate new life at a baby shower this weekend. But, we need to feel all the feels. We need to be in solidarity. Solidarity and solutions are not the same. We need to sit in the pain and tune into it together. We need to enter into the full experience of such loss. There is no "fixing" the lives already taken. This was unspeakable and we see this evil, we feel this evil. We are with you in this pain. Let us carry each other, let us sit with each other, let us love each other well.

The task of comforter is hard and it is so much easier to tune out, numb, distract ourselves, and try and move on. I have decided that I refuse to let this just brush over me. I will sit with you on the mourning bench Orlando. Orlando, our neighborhood, our city, our state, our country, our nation, our world, our universe. I will sit.

Much Love for Our Orlando,

Lauren


Thursday, May 5, 2016

These are the women who have carried me....these are my Mothers!

One morning recently and I had fallen asleep unusually early from the exhaustion of the day and so I woke up at 3am and my mind started looping so many thoughts. One of the thoughts was about a conversation I had overheard the day before. I had been at the car wash and I overheard two women talking, they were talking about a mom they must have both known. One women says to the other " it just isn't natural for her I guess, mothering." Obviously, I know nothing about what they are talking about or the circumstances and that is all I heard so I can't judge really in any way. But, something about that sentence literally stopped me listening and my thoughts started going in a million directions. I felt something well up inside of me- MOTHERING- NATURAL do those two words go together?!? Natural for who?!?! Is it really natural for any of us... Aren't we all just doing the best we know how based on our own stories, life circumstances, personal strengths and challenges. There have been so many days I have gone to bed at night wondering if I could have handled the hard situation better or I think yep, today is the day they will mention in counseling when they are older (don't worry we are saving for counseling and collegešŸ˜‰) and then there are some days I think maybe just maybe I have this whole thing figured out and then bam, something changes. This ever evolving, ever changing thing that has so humbled me, natural?!? It is growing me and challenging me, and changing me as a person and I am loving that, but nothing about it feels natural to me. Am I alone in this feeling?!

With the approach of Mother's Day I started thinking about the moms I know and interact with on a daily/weekly basis others not always because of distance etc. However, they all in some way have inspired me, moved me or challenged me to be more of my truest self. They have been kind when my "natural" response was a super sucky one. They have mothered me in a way simply by just being who they are. Not intentionally, but by observing or doing life along side them I have felt carried. Not one of them alone would stand and claim to be a perfect mother or have it all together, in fact so far from it and I love them for that. They have been honest and vulnerable with me in the shortcomings and victories and getting to witness that is a beautiful thing. All of them collectively have shown up in strength and wisdom and all sorts of inspiration in my life. They aren't famous or being written about or even out impacting millions of people..nor are they trying to. They are just trying to do them and live life and love their families well. Because of that they are impacting me, and their families and their children and by simply being who they are, probably impacting more people than they even realize.

I wanted them to know how they have impacted me and how grateful I am for their presence and vulnerability and advice and compassion and love in my life. So I sent each of them a text over the course of this week leading up to Mother's Day and asked them if I could share the text I sent to give you a small glimpse of who these ordinary, extraordinary women are. Of course the types of mothers in this world are countless and the things they do is expansive but these women are my mothers and this is how they have been with me on my journey this far. Who are yours?!?!

These are mine:

With their permission I asked if I could share. I started each text the same...

With Mother's Day approaching I have been doing a lot of thinking about the Mom's in my life who inspire me I wanted you to know how you have impacted me!

Diana-
Mom, I say so often to my children "I love you no matter what!" I can say that fully and wholeheartedly and know the gift that is to them because that is what you have done for me. In my hardest and darkest and most joyous and happy times in my life you have without a doubt loved me no matter what!

Caron-
The gift of loving my husband, your son, for exactly who he is and allowing him to be his truest self with you. From the very beginning and even now for continuing to ask him who he is and discovering him and loving him versus telling him who he is, is a precious gift to us both and something I have watched and will do my best to gift to my own children.

Catie-
Your intentionality with your boys inspires me and your endurance to keep seeking to hear and understand them in the moments when it would just be easier to move quickly past the circumstance moves me to be in the moment with my children and seek to listen and understand more and "tell" less.

Sarah-
Your go with the flow, laid back attitude in allowing your kids to be kids has taught me to let go a little. Even when you guys are walking through hard times as adults your boys just get to be kids and there is such a light hearted joy about them because of that!

Rachel-
Your vulnerability and honesty in parenting is refreshing. Hearing you say you apologized to your daughter, now that she is an adult, for mistakes you made early on and your humbleness has taught me that it isn't about getting it right or perfect but being honest and humble in the journey and seeking to love yourself and your children well through that journey. What a gift to your kids to get to witness that firsthand!

Joy-
I know you didn't have the mom you needed and hoped she could have been to you and I know that is so hard and painful and I know the fear is real as you bring this precious new baby boy into the world! But, I can tell you the work you have done on yourself and the care and love you have already have for your baby before he has even entered the world is breathtaking. You are already and amazing mom!

Lindsey-
I have watched you in the most chaotic and stressful moments have this calm about you and communicate with your children in such a peaceful state even when they are losing it and I am just in awe of that. It is absolutely inspiring to watch and everytime I see you do it, it reminds me to keep working at it.

Sarah-
You will always me a mom of two and your honesty in the unimaginable pain of losing your baby boy and then such a juxtaposition of the joy in raising your precious daughter makes me awestuck. Your vulnerability in being able to share the emotions and go through grief and yet share and be so present and available and loving with your daughter is something to behold. Allowing yourself to feel ALL the emotions and getting to be witness to that has taught me so much!

Leah-
Your continued effort to grown in who you are as a person and evolve and the way you have taken your kids on that journey alongside you in the last couple years has given me incredible relief to the panic that I need to have it all figured out, that I need to know exactly who I am and instead be in the constant ever evolving process and teach my kids along the way.

Rebecca-
Watching you tell your own truth no matter what and continually trying to find tools to improve the quality of life for your family and as of recently knowing the next right step for your family was to pick up and move across the country! Knowing there was risk involved but trusting that it was the next right step and following your dream and embracing the adventure to be in a new place has been so fun to watch. To go knowing it wouldn't all be easy, and may be hard in moments and sad for you and the people you were leaving behind but the bravery in going and following a dream and doing the hard thing because you knew it was the right thing for you guys is so cool to witness and has taught me so much just from watching at a distance... more that you probably realize!

Franki-
I have loved our time and conversations and I feel like we could talk for hours and hours and we usually do! But, every time I leave refreshed and having learned something I never knew before! You are a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to me and I never feel judged! I know that your journey to motherhood has been a rough rough road and I know that what Mother's Day means today is so joyful but so different then it was years ago and I am so thrilled to celebrate that with you. Your heart and outspoken love to women who you know are still waiting is so touching. I am grateful to bear witness to your amazing love for your children. Your whatever it takes attitude in loving and providing a life where they can truly flourish and right along side that your heart for women who desperately want to be called "mom".

Corinne-
So many days I think of you when I am having a tough day and I think of the amazing capacity you have to do it all as a single mom, business owner, sister, friend, daughter, aunt, boss and it all falls on your shoulders and so many people count on you and while you are literally doing it ALL you are still so intentional, loving and constantly growing and evolving. Your energy astounds me! To me you are my vision of the fiercest warrior mama!

Debbie-
I know you are not a mom yourself.... But the way you have counseled me and taught me and challenged me and often times saw better in me than I even saw in myself. You are teaching me to look inward, dig deeper, and connect with myself in ways I never thought possible. To get to know and love myself has been a gift to me, my kids, and my husband and has given me a drive and passion to be ever evolving and connected to my emotions like never before. You may have been counseling me, mothering me, whatever you want to call it but I would not be where I am today with out your guidance and nurture for my soul!

Kristin-
I tell people all the time how much I admire you as a mom and as a woman and so often think how incredible it would be if we didn't live at opposite ends of the country. But, I love watching you mother even from a distance and because of you have found freedom to seek to better understand my deepest self in order to be a more connected mom. Your highly sensitive nature, the thing you felt held you back as a younger person, yet now have a greater understanding of it, is truly your super power as a mom. I love that you make choices for your family and yourself because they are best for you guys and are often contrary to the rest of the worlds ideas. I have sometimes felt isolated in making decisions that go against the norm and watching you has given me strength to go against the grain.

Britni-
Something Jon and I say to the kids and each other is that there is enough room in this family for everyones dreams! I think watching you be an amazing mom and and so powerful in business is where that belief came from! I know that there is constant struggle in balancing the two and a give and take on a daily basis and I know it is not easy but I know that this has always been a dream for you! I love that your family has made space for your dream! The lesson you are teaching your babies to make space in this world for the people they care about is priceless. You inspire me to work to achieve the exact life I desire, whatever that may be for whatever season that may be!

Sonja-
You are such a fun mom and when I am around you in allows me to lessen the control freak nature in me and reminds me to be more fun! Recently when I called you in a panic your first words to me were "you are an amazing mom and this is no reflection on you as a mom" I mean seriously, what an amazing generous gift! You have no idea what that meant and how that made me feel!

Laura-
I am so excited to get to be a small part of your big journey toward motherhood and talking and laughing and sharing worries and excitement for all that motherhood has in store for you has reminded me of the precious time when my babies were small and I loved so much and I wanted to cherish every thing in the moment, yet, I was tired and just surviving. Getting to go back and remember and talk about that time with you as you prepare for that has given me the opportunity to cherish those moments all over again in a whole new way. You are going to be an amazing mom and I can't wait to meet your sweet baby girl!

Thank you to these women and so many others who have moved me, inspired me, and kept me moving forward!

Happiest of Mother's Days to you all!

Much Love,

Lauren











- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone



Friday, August 21, 2015

Blender Oat Pancakes

School starts on Monday! If you are like me you insist your kids eat breakfast and you want it to be healthy so there little brains can function all day! Of course you do, you are a parent. I have a great pancake recipe for you that will do just the trick. But, you don't have to be a parent to enjoy these amazing blender oat pancakes and I promise you once you have them you will never go back to the box powder that gives you slim to nilch in the way of nutritional value. 

Here is the list of ingredients copied directly from the AuntJemima.com

Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix 
INGREDIENTS: ENRICHED BLEACHED FLOUR (BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, LEAVENING (SODIUM BICARBONATE, SODIUM ALUMINUM PHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), DEXTROSE, NONFAT DRY MILK, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, SALT, WHEAT GLUTEN, CALCIUM CARBONATE, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, SODIUM CASEINATE, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, LACTIC ACID.

Why would you eat this...when you can eat this! 

Blender Oat Pancackes

1 Banana
1 Egg
2 cups rolled oats
1 and 1/4 cup almond milk
1 heaping tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt

Put all ingredients in blender and you have your pancake mix! I make it the night before for convenience and pour it right into the pan in the morning! I always make extra and reheat them for the following days!

I use coconut oil to cook pancakes on medium to medium low heat.

I don't like syrup so I smash up a few raspberries on top. But, my kids do like syrup, so I use real maple syrup. Just a drizzle though! A drizzle of honey works great too. For added bonus you can add a few of your favorite things...walnuts, blueberries, flax, chia are just a few ideas. 

I promise your family will function so much better and you will too if you eat this and not Aunt Jemima! 

Happy First Day of School!

Much Pancake Love, 

Lauren 



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Prosecco Margaritas

Prosecco  Margaritas 


It's Tuesday at noon and I all want to do is take a nap! We had a super fun jam packed three day weekend but, I am really worn out and we may or may not have made quite a few pitchers of these Prosecco Margaritas over the long weekend!!

We were at a wedding in Birmingham and our friends made a comment in passing about Prosecco Margaritas and I swear, I couldn't stop thinking about them! So a three day weekend felt like the perfect time to try them out!

 I love making drinks like this in a big batch or pitcher so I don't have to run back to the kitchen and mix all the ingredients every time you need a refill or two! We love a good drink with lots of layers of flavors and Jon always says a two part drink is only for emergencies... But, it does require a little extra work so we found a big pitcher is just the answer! 

I hope you get to try this out on a hot day and share it with family or friends! Enjoy! 

3 ounces Patron Silver or your favorite Blanco Tequila ( or a little more depending on how strong you like it!)
3 ounces Cointreau 
4 ounces Simple Syrup
8 ounces lime juice ( you gotta go fresh real lime...it makes all the difference)
1 750ml bottle of your favorite dry Prosecco
Lime wedges for garnish
Salt to rim the glass

Much Margarita Love,

Lauren 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Healthy Habits

So I have picked up three new habits in the last six months that along with eating clean and taking barre classes (more on this later), have me feeling the best I have ever felt. So I thought I would share! 

First thing is drinking warm lemon water every Morning:

The very first thing I do when I wake up is squeeze half a fresh lemon into a luke warm cup of water. I drink it fairly quickly then wait 30 minutes before I eat or drink anything else. 

I have noticed my skin is clearer, my breath is fresher and I haven't been sick or even gotten the sniffles this entire cold/flu season. It wakes me up and I feel like I have energy first thing in the morning. I found this chart of the 15 reasons we should all be doing this! 



Drinking Bulletproof Coffee:

So, I am sure you have heard of this trend by now and many people have cringed at the thought but, tons have jumped on board for good reason. I have to tell you it is delicious and I love it! 

I overhauled the way I was eating and feeding my family a couple years back and I am continuing to make small changes as I learn new things. One of my last bad vices that I just couldn't let go of was putting coffee creamer in my morning coffee. When I heard about the bulletproof coffee way I knew I should try it but, I literally go to bed at night dreaming about my morning cup of coffee WITH my creamer - chock full of sugar and artificial flavors and chemicals. The thought of giving that up, that one last thing, even though I knew it was bad. I didn't know if I really wanted to! 

 I had decided that I would give up my Kuerig for waste and health reasons and switch to a Chemex pour over coffee method - so I figured now was the time to just switch it all over! 

I boil a small pot of water and pour it over fresh, low mold, fairly traded organic coffee grounds - which that alone tastes a trillion times better than the coffee sitting in K cups for who knows how long. Then I put one tablespoon of pastured butter - not to be mistaken for pasteurized (that just means heated). 

You want the health benefits of cows munching on grass. Kerrygold is the one I have used a lot. I also get one from the Farmacy (a little jewel, which I will share more on later) at my local Winter Garden Farmers Market that is really delicious, double the size, and cheaper than the Kerrygold. 

First things first, you have to unlearn what you were taught in the past about fats in general and particularly saturated fats.  The myth about saturated fat causing heart disease has been thoroughly debunked. The studies show that there is literally no association between the two. In fact, saturated fats can actually improve the blood lipid profile:

They raise levels of HDL (the good) cholesterol, which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
They change the LDL from small dense (bad) to Large LDL – which is benign and not associated with heart disease.

High-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows are among the best sources of Vitamin K2 in the diet. Vitamin K2 is a nutrient that most people don’t know about, but it is one of the most important nutrients in the diet for heart and bone health. My kids drink whole grass milk for the exact same reasons. 

Mainstream nutrition gets a lot of things wrong, but the insane advice to replace butter with trans-fat laden margarine and vegetable oils is among the worst. But, trust me I believed them too and did it for a long time! When we replace real, traditional foods like butter and meat with crappy, processed pseudo-foods, we get sick.

Then I add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.

Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it also contains saturated fat. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth.  Coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats. It contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length. Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized completely differently.

Then, I take a hand held frother my friend Leah bought me from Ikea and whip the coffee, coconut oil, and butter together! It comes out a carmel color with a frothy head on it! 



This "fatty" delicious coffee is so good for you, so you have to relearn a lot of things you were taught about fats and calories. Not all fats are bad and not all calories are created equal. 

After I had kids I wanted to lose the baby weight, I strictly counted calories and sure I lost weight but, I was starving and malnutritioned because the integrity of the calories I was eating wasn't there. I used to eat fruit and it didn't even taste sweet to me because I drank things like diet soda because the calorie count was zero. My other trick was 100 calorie packs of cookies to satisfy my sugar addiction. I later switched to eating real food, healthy fats, cutting out processed foods and sugars. I feel better than ever and I am never starving and my weight stays steady. I feel satisfied. Now that I know better,  I feel a thousand times better. 

Just out of curiosity I plugged in a few days of what I ate in the old calorie counter I used to use and it was giving me alerts for high fats, high saturated fats, cholesterol and sugar. The two over easy pastured eggs I cook at home with a little coconut oil that don't even need to be refrigerated because the membrane hasn't been washed off with fresh blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries is alerting me to high sugar - except they are natural sugars my body knows how to break down and eggs a high cholesterol food - however  the fat in egg yolks actually helps to reduce LDL (“bad” cholesterol). The combination of the yolk fat and protein in the white makes real eggs a nutritional powerhouse. Then just to see I plugged in an Egg McMuffin from McDonald's in the same app and it only alerts me to the high sodium intake. If you didn't know better you would eat some food like sandwich product because even the tools available to people who are trying to pay attention and potentially feel better or lose weight are measuring many of the wrong things. 

I didn't know better before either so when people cringe at my "fatty" coffee I know how I feel and what I have learned. 

Last of my new habits is I take raw probiotics daily:

I have given my family probiotics and taken them myself for years, but not all probiotics are created equal. So first things first why a probiotic?!?

Probiotics are a type of living bacteria that actually benefit your health when taken in the appropriate amounts. This friendly bacteria, located in the gastrointestinal tract, comes in a variety of forms. With more than 400 different bacteria living in the human gastrointestinal tract, the most common forms of intestinal probiotics are L. acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum.

These bacteria act as balancing agents for non-friendly, pathogenic, gut-bacteria such as Candida or E. coli. When the “good-guys” are not present enough, a number of bacteria-related health problems such as digestive upset, headaches, sluggishness, irritability, cadidiasis (an overgrowth of the bacteria Candida albicans), and even anxiety can ensue.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is, quite possibly, the strongest of our probiotic fighters. Studies show that L. acidophilus actually creates a natural form of antibiotics in the body. This increases our ability to defend against the pathogens in the food we eat, the air we breath, and the things we come in contact with. Stress, unhealthy lifestyles, and most importantly, unhealthy acidic diets, destroy our natural amounts of probiotics. 

I found a list that outlines the benefits with intake of daily servings of probiotics:

Enhanced immune system response
Alleviates negative affects of taking many types of antibiotics
Calms colon irritation following surgery
Helps to support healthy skin in youth
Increased ability to digest food
Therapeutic for upper respiratory complaints
Reduces lactose intolerance
Reduces incidence of yeast infections, vaginitis and candidiasis
Increases ability to assimilate the nutrients from food
Alleviates many common digestive disorders such as constipation, diarrhea and IBS

It is also important to know that 80-85% of your immune system in located in your gut! 

So why a RAW probiotic?!?

RAW means that all of the RAW Probiotics formulas are uncooked, untreated, unadulterated and contain no binders or fillers and no carriers such as maltodextrin or dextrose. They are all gluten-free and contain no soy allergens. 

The biggest difference between RAW and many other probiotics, is the number of colony forming units. 'Pearls' have only 2 billion CFUs and 2 strains. RAW has 85 billion & 31 strains. That's a huge difference. 

RAW Probiotics are to be kept chilled.  Enzymes die in heat.

We take Garden of Life probiotics and all of our additional supplements from this brand actually.  It is the most potent probiotic I have taken and, so far I feel best taking this one! 


This is the one I give to my kids! It super easy to stir into pretty much anything because it is powder form versus and capsule or tablet.


hope this was helpful to you in some way! Maybe you will pick a new habit or 3 and start feeling amazing! I actually didn't realize how bad I felt until I started changing things in my diet and was astounded at how much better I could feel. Keep in mind being very consistent has been the key with these things to really feeling the changes and feeling better!

I know I will keep learning and researching on this topic of food, natural health, and supplements because I am so passionate about it and I want my family to feel good and stay well! I will keep you updated as I learn new things because I know I don't have it all figured out for sure but I have certainly learned so much! I just started a new book called Whole, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Cambell, PhD and Howard Jacobson, PhD. It is all about the fact that modern nutritionists focus on single nutrients has led to mass confusion and tragic health consequences. It is about changing the way you think about food and, in doing so, improve our lives and save massive amounts of money in health care costs.   So I will share more info as I learn!

Much Health Love,

Lauren