Mothers Day Brunch Meal Plan

Mothers Day BrunchMeal Plan

Sharing my Mothers Day Brunch Meal Plan

As a mom to four kids I know first hand how crazy the days can be. Motherhood although a beautiful gift is certainly no walk in the park. It can be hard and draining – lets keep it real. We work tirelessly to meet the needs of our children in hopes of one day seeing the fruit of our labor. We try to remain faithful to our calling even on those day’s we wish we could resign from our position.

Then, there are those day’s we are smothered in hugs, kisses, and cuddles – making all the hard days more than worth it.

Now, since we are being honest – Mothers Day although great ‘in theory’ is truly just another day. Not to crush all those who delight in Hallmark holidays {I said I was keeping it real} – its just another day! Another day waiting to be explored  – everyday is a gift in my book. I don’t need a ‘special’ day to recognize my efforts – everyday is filled with little gifts; but, it is up to us to find them.

So, all that said – Moms I think you are great! Moms, we are raising the future leaders and world changers of tomorrow – you have one of the hardest job on the planet and you are so loved by all who come into your path.

And, to the tired mom, I hope you find rest in your day of ‘crazy’ and are showered with hugs, kisses, and love – may you be filled with the kind of ‘peace’ that fills your heart to the brim and doesn’t require special recognition because you know your special each and everyday!!

And, because I know I am special…I will likely be cooking up this meal plan myself and, that is o.k.{I’ll just make them clean up the mess…hahaha}

Happy Mothers Day to all those Rock-Star- Momma’s out there…enjoy your day and eat good food!

Mothers Day Brunch Meal Plan

Mothers Day Brunch Meal Plan

Easy Cheesy Egg Casserole by Gimme Some Oven is very similar to a recipe that I make for Christmas morning at the homestead. The only difference is I use the shredded hash browns and layer it like a lasagna. It’s basically eggs, cheese, sausage, pepper, onions, and hash browns all mixed together and then baked. It is a great make ahead meal everyone will enjoy.

This Ham and Herb Quiche by Chocolate Moosey jumped out at me while I was looking for the perfect Mothers Day brunch meal plan fixins- I will be using one of our homestead pre-made gluten free pie crusts but, if you’re short on time store bought works just the same!

Mothers Day Brunch Meal Plan - When Moms Happy Everyone is Happy

Mix Eggs, ham, herbs {rosemary, thyme, and parsley}, onions, milk, heavy cream, salt and pepper poured in a pie shell – I think we can do this, right moms? {Chocolate Moosey’s recipe only calls for 2 eggs for a serving size of 8-10 that doesn’t quite seem right? 2 eggs will likely not be enough to feed my family of 6 so I will likely be adding 4-6 eggs to ours.}

I love orange poppy seed dressing ! So, this Orange Poppy Seed Fruit Salad by Natashas Kitchen totally sold me!

What's on the Menu? Mothers Day Brunch Meal Plan - Orange Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

Photo Credit; Nathasha’s Kitchen

No brunch is complete without some kind of quick bread, donut, or muffin – right?

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Banana Bread

And, because we don’t normally drink juice or anything other than water around here – I think our kids will get a total kick out of having a ‘fun drink’ with their Mothers Day Brunch {after all it is because of them I am a mom- so why not make it special for them too}.

This Cranberry Brunch Punch by Gather for Bread will surely win my little crew over.

Cranberry-Brunch-Punch - Mothers Day Brunch Meal Plan Idea

Photo Credit; Gather for Bread

Cheers – to a Happy Mothers Day and Having a Meal Plan!

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Homemade Elderberry Syrup a Natural Remedy for Those Pesky Cold and Flu Viruses

Elderberryrecipe

It’s about that time of year; you know that time when the weather changes and everyone gets  sick. With four kids I dread it! If you ever wanted to know how to lose a month of your life – have four kids that get sick. It is the quickest, sure fire way to lose days on end.

Now that said, I am a total crunchy momma {as most of you know} and I try my hardest to build up our immune systems here to prevent such scenarios from occurring. Every year I seem to add something ‘new‘ to my bag of tricks and this year it is ‘Homemade Elderberry Syrup’! In the past I only used the ‘magic syrup’ to help calm coughs and congestion in my littles – but, that was only until I learned about all the immune boosting properties that these tiny berries had.

Homemade ElderberrySyrup

Elderberries are…

High in Vitamin C {have more vitamin C that oranges in fact}

Very High in Quercitin {an antioxidant}

Are a Natural Anit-Inflamatory {calms those inflamed lungs during coughing spasms something wonderful}

They are antiviral in nature preventing those pesky colds/flu bugs from occurring

So with out further a due – Here is the Recipe I use;

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Ingredients

  • 2/3 Cup dried elderberries
  • 31/2 Cups of water
  • 2 Tbsp fresh or dried ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cloves or clove powder
  • 1 Cup raw honey

Instructions

  1. Pour water in medium sauce pan, add dried elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves {care to not add honey quite yet, as it will destroy some of the honey's medicinal benefits}
  2. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer - simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour {approx until liquid is half}
  3. Remove from heat
  4. Pour through sieve in a glass bowl or I prefer a mason jar. {I use a canning funnel like this}
  5. Discard the elderberries and let the syrup cool
  6. Once it is no longer hot you can then add the 1 cup of honey, and stir.
  7. When the honey is well mixed, store the elderberry syrup in the fridge - it will last for months {unless, you are like us and use it daily - it never lasts that long}
http://jennyirvine.com/homemade-elderberry-syrup/

Usage/Dosage;
1/2tsp-1tsp for kids, 1/2Tbsp. – 1 Tbsp. Adults (once daily)
If flu or cold are present use dosage above every 2-3 hours*

*The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications.

5 Reasons Your Family Should Avoid Artificial Food Dyes

Health, Food, Artificial Food Dyes, Kids, Parenting, What you need to know about a rainbow of risks

We often hear the saying “eat the rainbow” referring to a variety of fresh colorful fruits and vegetables- and whenever possible organic is a bonus. However, what about the other rainbow of foods- you know, food dyes. Food dyes have been linked to an entire rainbow of risks from allergic reactions to hyperactivity in children.

Food dyes are used to make processed foods look more appealing- in fact, they are often dyed the same colors as that of their healthier counterparts. Considering how easily these dyes can be replaced with a healthier option such as ‘real fruit‘ and ‘real vegetable‘ juices- is it really wise to cut corners on our health and that of our kids just to save a few pennies?

I have always been aware of food dyes in our food but never actually witnessed a noticeable change in ones behavior- well, that was until my 3 (now, 4 year old) started acting out verbally and physically ironically after eating those chewy little treats kids love so much- you know those little things also known as fruit snacks. My kids eat pretty healthy most of the time and with all of their food sensitivities I never to be honest gave it a second thought. What’s the big deal- it’s just an occasional fruit snack.

Well, it was a big deal- a very big deal. He was out of control and verbally running his mouth in very unacceptable ways especially towards me. Who was this kid? This was not the same little boy that always hugs his momma and snuggles- this was clearly not my kid. It was as if I were reliving the gluten-free nightmare all over again- but how, he was already primarily on a gluten-free diet.

This time, my husband was the one that put the pieces together- Red 40. It was the dye- no sooner did we eliminate the problem and amazingly enough got our happy, loving boy back. He is still full of spunk but that is who he is- not the verbally belligerent child that we were witnessing after the consumption of artificial food dye.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest – Red 40 is among the most widely used of food dyes- it has been found to trigger hyperactivity in some children and cause allergy like reactions in others.

“Dyes are complex chemicals that were originally derived from coal tar, but now from petroleum.” Do you want to go eat some Fruit Loops now? Just kidding.

It is often said “we eat as much with our eyes as we do our stomachs” Companies like using dyes because they are cheaper and more vibrant than their natural counterparts.

How else can one cover the dull appearance of a bunch of basic processed ingredients?

Luckily, more consumers are demanding a change and making healthier more natural food choices in today’s markets- therefore causing companies to for-go such dyes or at a minimum change to natural safer alternatives- such as, beet juice, carrot juice, and paprika. (just an FYI paprika is in the nightshade family)

According to US Food and Drug Administration there has been a dramatic increase in food dyes since 1955 this being a fairly good representation of Americans increased processed food consumption over the years. 

Unfortunately, the US has done very little in the way of taking a proactive stance against food dyes despite recent studies of consumer risks- therefore, you must take action yourself- here are

5 Reasons Your Family Should Avoid Artificial Food Dyes

Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity in children- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) the consumption of artificial food dyes and children’s behavior has a definite link.

After a recent British study published in the Lancet the AAP concluded with the following editors note- “Dr.Schonwald writes; a recent meta-ananlysis of 15 trials concludes that there is ‘accumulating evidence that neurobehavioral toxicity’ may characterize a variety of widely distributed chemicals. Some children may be more sensitive to the effects of these chemicals”

Today, practitioners faced with hyperactive children have a reasonable alternative option  to offer parents- a preservative-free, minimally processed, dye-free diet has been found to be both safe and effective for the child who is without other medical, psychological, and emotional issues. Working closely with a practitioner to find other known triggers is essential step in having an effective treatment plan. In 1994, researchers found that 73 percent of children with ADHD responded favorably to an elimination diet that includes eliminating all artificial colors as well.

 Health, Food, Artificial Food Dyes, Kids, Parenting, What you need to know about a rainbow of risks

Aggressive behavior. I have read countless testimony’s over the years of parents swearing by there child(ren’s) irate, irrational, uncontrollable, and often time unexplainable behaviors being caused by a suspected dye in take. Red #40 and Yellow #5 seem to be the biggest culprits.

At the time I never had any personal negative experiences with dyes (at least not that I was aware of) but yet, I always found them interesting to read none the less. Fast forward a few years and ironically I now have my own story to share in regards to our sons behavioral outbursts- approximately an hour after consumption I can watch my sweet boy turn into a violent belligerent child I do not recognize. My parenting advice is pay attention to the foods your child(ren) are eating from breakfast cereals,  snacks, to sauces those dyes are added in the most unlikely of places. Lastly, when in doubt ask to see the label.

Health, Food, Artificial Food Dyes, Kids, Parenting, What you need to know about a rainbow of risks

Allergic reactions. Most food dye reactions are not true IgE (immediate type) reactions most are classified as IgG (delayed) and therefore, considered to be more of an intolerance. There is IgG testing to help identify sensitivity but these tests are often considered elective and are often not covered by insurance companies.

Back in 1960 Congress passed the Color Additive Amendment -according to the Federal Law it states that all dyes and colorants in food, drugs, and cosmetics must be tested for safety. Of the nearly 200 colorants used at the time very few survived the testing. Currently the FDA approves only 9.

It is often hard to pin point exactly which food dye might be causing the problem since there is no specific food dye allergy testing available- there is a whole host of allergic type responses from skin (eczema) issues to breathing problems to take note of. Reading labels and avoiding all foods with ‘catch phrases‘ such as- artificial coloring or added flavors is a good rule of thumb. Eat the real deal.

Cancer risks. James Huff, an associate at the National Toxicology Program said the following “Some dyes have caused cancers in animals, contain cancer-causing contaminants, or have been inadequately tested for cancer or other problems. Their continued use presents unnecessary risks to humans, especially young children. It’s disappointing that the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] has not addressed the toxic threat posed by food dyes.” Enough said.


Learning impairment and memory loss. A lot of Celiac and gluten free individuals will talk about a ‘brain fog‘- they often struggle to think clearly when gluten is ingested due to the chemical reactions occurring in the brain. Have you ever eaten something that just made you feel a bit off? Your ability to reason, think, and remember things can most definitely be affected by something you have consumed. Artificial food dye is no different- it has the ability to chemically alter ones ability to think, process, and focus.

So the next time you are tempted to send that dye filled fruit snack in your kids lunch- think twice, as you might unknowingly be setting him/her up for an afternoon of failure- ranging from behavioral, learning difficulties to unnecessary attention struggles.