Earlier this month I somehow managed to cut my finger pretty badly in the car, and of course I didn’t have a bandage or anything handy! When I got home and patched myself up, I decided I needed to get a first aid kit to keep in the car or diaper bag.

I needed something portable, in a hard case, with all the essentials, but also lightweight- God knows juggling a diaper bag & heavy baby seat is hard enough without adding extra pounds! Luckily, I found the perfect solution!

Sumpri Mini First Aid Kit

The great case contains Burn Gel Pack, Alcohol Pads, Sting Relief Pads, Antiseptic Cleaning Wipes, Iodine Wipes, Multiple sizes of Bandages, Tweezers, Scissors, Emergency Whistle, 3X Gauze, PBT Bandage, Silicone Tourniquet, and more- totalling 80 pieces!

My favorite part of the kit is the clip- I can hook it in my diaper bag with my keys & not have to root around in a dark, stuffed bag for it!
You can snag yours here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TC7B26G

I received this item at a reduced price to facilitate this blog review, the opinions stated above are my own. 

So I have been quiet lately, as the last 5 months have been quite the trip.

5 months. 15 hospital visits. 8 prescriptions. 4 hospital admissions. 2 sets of x-rays. Countless blood draws & ekgs. Endless ER visits & doctor appointments. I’ve been overlooked, dehumanized, humiliated, broken, bruised, & bloodied, but it’s all worth it to have our precious baby girl.

And that’s just for me! It doesn’t include the appointments for the kids, or having to go in to sort insurance & the like. As you can imagine, being sick has left me with little time or energy for blogging. I have recently entered the hypo phase of the illness, so while I don’t feel good, I do feel better. Of course, it comes with another set of symptoms, a change in medication, and a different diet, but I will save all that for another post. I’ve now made it to one full month without having to go to the hospital, aside for blood draws. WHOOHOO!

I hope that you are having a happy & healthy 2020!

Vegan Sausage & Gravy- gluten free, dairy free

Whoo! Another “cooking from the cabinet” recipe to accompany yesterday’s gf, df biscuits.

I refuse to pay $8 for a tube of breakfast sausage-flavored texturized vegetable protein. What an unappetizing name. The beauty of breakfast sausage lies in the spice blend. Fragrant fennel paired with smoky paprika, salty with a delicious hint of sweet maple syrup…drool…What’s not to love?! These meat-free patties are tasty, and I say this as a die-hard sausage lover. I suggest prepping the mix the night before so they’re ready to cook in the morning.

These sausages are not soy free, but they are gluten free, nut free, & dairy free. AND they didn’t cost $8 to make. Aside from the aminos, I already owned all the ingredients used for the sausages.

Vegan Breakfast Sausage

serves 4
  • 1 C cooked brown rice (cook in veggie broth for more flavor!)
  • 3/4 C rolled oats
  • 1/4 c onion, diced very finely (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp GF flour or oatmeal flour
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed (or 1 egg, if you aren’t vegan/dairy free)
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil + enough to oil your pan
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (you could use coconut aminos IF you can have sea salt)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (add less or omit if you want mild sausage)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  1. Stir together flax & water, set aside (needs 5 minutes)
  2. Puree onion & garlic with the olive oil, transfer to mixing bowl (you could saute in the olive oil first, if you prefer. Or you can omit the onion entirely & simply add the garlic into the rice mix in step 4)
  3. Add oats & rice to food processor & pulse a few times. Transfer to mixing bowl with puree.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, including the flax, to bowl. Mix with clean hands  until very thoroughly combined.  Taste a small amount and adjust seasoning as needed.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (can refrigerate overnight if desired).
  6. When ready to cook use dampened hands form balls a little larger than a golf ball (like a golf ball & a half. Super precise measuring here, lol). Flatten between two plates to 1/4 for a wider, thinner patty that’s great for breakfast sandwiches -or- use your hand to flatten into a 1/2-inch thick disc that’s better for crumbling. Repeat with remaining mix. I got 16 medium-ish patties.
  7. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add enough oil to coat the surface.  Add patties to pan, but don’t overcrowd.
  8. Cook for about 4 minutes each side, until browned. Flip gently to avoid breakage.

The dough is sticky, but it’s important to use damp hands to keep it from sticking to you, but not dripping wet hands because then it becomes slimy. They hold together great & pleased my entire meat-eating family. I served them with these gf,df  “cooking from the cabinet” biscuits and a simple gf, df white gravy, recipe posted below.

 

GF, DF Vegan Southern Gravy

Serves 4
  • 1/2 lb Vegan Sausage crumbles (optional)
  • 1/4 c Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 c Almond Milk
  • 3 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt , or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  1. Heat oil in pan. When hot, whisk in flour. Allow to cook for a few minutes, stirring often. This prevents your gravy from tasting like raw flour.
  2. Whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth.
  3. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Stir in sausage if desired.

biscuitsandsausagegravydfgf

I served my gravy over these gf, df oat biscuits, with the above sausages crumbled in. Separately everything was great. Together, it was a great flavor but the rice made the combo somewhat gummy. It probably would be better over a more traditional biscuit but wasn’t bad at all with the oats. Still, family ate it without complaint, as a  whole it was easy to throw together, & aside from a few ingredients the entire thing was made with stuff I already use.

5 Ingredient Drop Biscuits|Gluten & Dairy-Free

WHY is it so expensive to be gluten & dairy free?! A few slices of gf vegan cheese is $6, a small loaf of gf bread is $7 (I couldn’t even find a dairy free variety). How’s a gal supposed to eat?!

Being that I’m a stay at home mama in a family of 5 I don’t have the grocery budget for $7 bread, so I’ve been searching everywhere for inexpensive, doable recipes. And by doable I mean quick & easy- Remember, on top of  my health I’m also breastfeeding a newborn, trying to manage my home, and juggling my older kids’ schoolwork & activities, I don’t have time to search for exotic ingredients, baby a dough, or wash 400 different bowls.

Enter Robyn from Real Food Whole Life’s 5-Ingredient Drop Biscuits. YAY! A gf, df biscuit using just 6 simple, standard ingredients that tend to be staples in all homes, gf or not?! Yeah, I know the title says 5, but take up the typo with Robyn. Just a few cup of oats, a lil’ baking powder & baking soda, a pinch of salt, coconut butter, & milk- in my case almond. And they come together in a jif, using just. one. bowl & no special equipment? Ok, I’m sold!

I made the unsweetened version because I wanted a biscuit to help kill my bread cravings, and I needed to “cook from the cabinet.” It’s not my recipe, so I won’t publish it here (here’s the link again), but I will review it. So what did I think of the recipe?

The work-

First off, one cup of liquid was too much! Don’t pour it all in at once, but mix in a little at a time. Secondly, this recipe is so fast to make. I spent maybe 3 minutes total putting it together. I skipped the egg wash because it always just seems so unnecessary on a drop biscuit. All I needed was a bowl, a fork, two measuring spoons, & a measuring cup. Score! My bake time was 17 minutes.

The reward-

My biscuits were quite flat, but no biggie. I certainly can’t open them to  spread with jam or anything, but that’s a drop biscuit for ya. Great texture & taste. A little salty, but in a pleasant way. BUT I did kinda want them to peanut butter cookies. They just seemed like fluffy pb oatmeal cookies, minus the sweetness. I blame the smell of the baked oats. Maybe one day I’ll tweak it to contain an unsweetened nut butter, cuz that would be delish! Would also be amazing with butter or honey, but I can’t have that so (((sad face)))…

dfgfoatbiscuits

What I would do differently-

Definitely scale the milk back closer to 3/4 c. Next time I’m going to throw 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of garlic powder & a hearty pinch of parsley & basil in there, yum!  I honestly think the oat biscuit would be a BOMB base for a cheddar bay copycat. Siiigh I miss food. Besides scarfing these babies plain, I also served them warm with hot (previously frozen) blueberries topped with a dollop of almond milk froth and it was divine!

Do I recommend?

Yes, absolutely. This is a very affordable gf, df biscuit recipe & required nothing I didn’t already have prior to going on this restricted diet. They also fulfilled my bread, and strangely my cookie, craving.

 

 

 

Hyperthyroid Diet

It took seeing 5 doctors since the diagnosis and me asking multiple times to be told I really need to stop eating high iodine foods. This is something I should have been told the very first night I went to the ER & was hospitalized!

Foods I should no longer eat due to the iodine content-

Egg yolks, dairy of any kind

baked turkey breast, organ meats, meats injected with salt water or broth

iodized/sea/himalayan salt,

seafood (including kelp), tuna or cod

prunes, bananas, strawberries, cape cod cranberries, goji berries

Lima beans, black eyed peas,

potatoes, peas, canned corn

apple juice, Raisin Bran cereal, white bread

red Dye #3, erythrosine, carrageen…

I also must avoid ground meats because they may be tainted with thyroid.

No gluten either because a large percentage of people suffering from hyperthyroidism also have Celiac disease.

And because hyperthyroidism causes crazy anxiety I also have to avoid chocolate, coffee, & other sources of caffeine.

Hopefully I never need to add something to this list because I’m running out of stuff I can eat! 

Foods I should eat because they suppress thyroid function-

Cruciferous vegetables, soy, grapefruit, flaxseed 

It’s very restrictive & expensive diet but even after just a few days I am feeling better so it’s working!

hyperdiet

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, and nothing on this blog should ever be taken in place of professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor first. 

Pumpkin Lactation Muffins

  Happy Halloween! To celebrate the holiday, I whipped up a batch of Pumpkin Lactation Muffins to enjoy,

These muffins come together in a jiffy and are delicious- dense but not heavy, not too sweet. I used maple syrup and, as written, I actually think they’re a bit savory & work great in place of a regular dinner roll or biscuit alongside a plate of turkey or chili. If you prefer a sweeter muffin try using honey or brown sugar, instead. When I tested this recipe I didn’t use muffin liners, I just oiled the pan with coconut oil and they popped right out with no problem.

These muffins freeze well, so you can make a big batch & save some for later. They’re effective, too! I only had one from the first batch & had noticeably more milk. The flavor of  brewer’s yeast isn’t noticeable to me, but some may be more sensitive to it. If that’s the case try decreasing the yeast by half a tablespoon &/or mixing in some yummy extras such as chocolate chips, dry cranberries, pecans, etc.

No one in your home breastfeeding? No problem, just leave out the yeast, no other adjustments are needed.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c almond or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
  2. To a large bowl, add the pumpkin, applesauce, syrup/honey, eggs, milk, vanilla and oil. Whisk until combined.
  3. In a smaller bowl mix the flour, oats, baking soda, spices, yeast, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Don’t over-mix, you just need to stir until combined. Batter will look somewhat grainy.                                                                                          *If you’d like to add any mix-ins, like chocolate chips or walnuts, now’s the time to do so.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into the cups.
  5. Bake the muffins for 20-22 minutes, until tops spring back when gently touched.
  6. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, or they might fall apart.
  7. Enjoy!

 

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