Oat Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sesame Seeds and Coconut

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Our new trail cookies! Here is why you will love these cookies:

  • Super easy to make
  • Freeze well
  • Refined sugar free
  • refined oil free
  • Nutrient powerhouse

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I get most of my ingredients from Thrive Market online. You can adapt the recipe by swapping out the chia eggs for whole eggs. It changes the texture from a chewy cookie to a more crunchy cookie. The coconut is not detectible in flavor but if you really don’t want it, just add more oats. I always make a huge batch whenever I bake, so feel free to cut the recipe in half.

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5 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats

1/2 cup coconut chips

1 Tbsp baking soda

pinch of real salt

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 /4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup chia seeds (or use 6 large eggs)

3/4 cup water (omit if using eggs)

5 large ripe bananas

1/4 cup coconut nectar

 

1/2 cup dairy and soy free chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Grind chia seeds and oats in a high speed blender until they become a fine powder. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Next grind the rolled oats down to a flour and put into the large bowl along with baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl mash the bananas fully and add the water and coconut nectar. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly. Next, fold in the sesame and sunflower seeds. Finally, add the chocolate chips.

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Using a small cookie scoop, drop the batter onto a large baking sheet covered with parchment. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. The cookies will not spread so you can put them close together.

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Conversations

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I cherish so many moments with my children. I wish I could capture them all and save them for later recall. We have shared some hilarious conversations lately. The questions kids ask priceless. On today’s ride, the questions ranged from what are buggers made of to are there still dinosaurs in Africa. My favorite by far is the circular conversation of what is invisible fencing. Have you ever tried to explain that to a toddler? William asked if the fence pops up when the doggy comes out into the yard. Awesome! What creativity! IMG_6445.jpg

One of the many benefits to having twins is the buddy system. The boys always have a playmate. Whether it’s building chair forts with EZ chair booby traps to plotting the best way to cover up someone’s wall art. There is never a dull moment in a house with two sets of twins.

Our summer days start early and stay busy until bedtime. I involve the kids in the household duties as much as I can. Because we are a team and they really enjoy helping out…most of the time. I start my day at 4:30 for a workout. At 6:15 the boys are up and ready for a smoothie. One of my strategies to staying on track with nutrition is planning. Smoothies are assembled the day before and ready to be blended without fuss early the next morning. The typical summer smoothie for the kids includes: swiss chard/carrot tops from the garden, fresh basil and mint, frozen berries, sliced cucumber from the garden and half a banana. I also add hemp, chia or sunflower seeds, greens powder, gelatin, magnesium, vitamin C and probiotic. All I have to do in the morning is add water, blend and put a straw in it.

The boys drink their smoothies while I nurse the girls and get them dressed. Then it’s off for our bike ride! I always have baked pork liverwurst slices in the fridge which makes for a great pre breakfast snack for the girls on our bike ride. I pull the girls in the wagon so I can have a free hand to assist two little cyclist on really steep hills. The boys ride between 3-3.5 miles which takes us 45-60 min, depending on how many stops we make.

Typically it’s Cameron’s keen eye who finds little treasures along the way. Like a box turtle or a giant leaf or a dead worm covered in ants. Then of course as the ride goes on and it starts to get hot there are the inevitable itches that come up. Today for example, William had 3 itches so great that his helmet had to be removed for him to access the itch. Conveniently it was right in the middle of a hill. Now as a parent with two sets of twins I have learned to use my limbs in many ways. For example to accommodate the itch which of course required a sudden stop on a steep hill I had to block the wagon with my left foot and maintain support William’s bike with my right hip while giving Cameron an extra boost with my right hand. Talk about a core workout!! Have you ever tried pulling 50 pounds in a well used wagon while alternately boosting two tired little boys up a steep hill!

After our bike ride, we record our distance. Can you believe these two little boys have ridden over 160 miles since mid April! Next the boy’s get to choose their breakfast which is typically frittata with garden veggies, fruit salad and either pancakes or sausage. Now, it sounds like a lot of work for a kid’s breakfast, why not just have a bowl of cereal or a bagel?  I want to make eating fun and I feel like it encourages them to consistently make good choices. They love fritatta so I make sure to add in a few chopped eggplant, peppers and onions along with fresh herbs. That way they get use to both the texture and the flavor. IMG_6064.jpg

The day before I always make sure to have the fruit salad prepared so it makes assembly easy the next morning. I have a fantastic teff and buckwheat pancake recipe that I will share soon. It’s easy to make and freezes really well. Sometimes breakfasts are olives, avocado, pancakes and yogurt. It all depends on their “mood”.

After breakfast we either have errands or kitchen work.

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The new favorite job is pitting cherries! It doesn’t always work but more often than not, if the boys are involved in their food prep, they are more likely to eat it. I hope everyone out there reading is enjoying your real food prep time with your kids! They are paying closer attention than we think!!

 

The Beach and more

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We are headed back from another great beach vacation. My very generous in laws invited us to the beach again and we had a great time. The days were filled with nutritious food, tons of movement and and sun. I loved watching the girls (now 18 months) move between the dry, deep sand to the dry, wet sand and then into the moving wet sand.

Each time they moved from one environment to the next they would pause, take it in and move forward! So cool! I loved watching them handle the crashing waves getting up each time they would get knocked down. They are so persistent and happy! Could I love them more…no way!
The boys learned how to boogie board.

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Each day they got more brave going out a little further. It was a real joy to see their little bodies learn how to relax and use the water.
Mornings started early…I was up a 5:00 to nurse the girls which does not take long now, only about 20 minutes. I woke up my two little training partners, filled their water bottle, packed up one seed bar for each little and we headed out to the beach with our ViPR.

Each morning the ViPR patterns were different but all were done in the environment of wet, moving sand. Here are some of my observations from beach training.

Training in the water is a huge challenge and a unique load:

Moving sand sinks the feet deeper with every rep slowing down motion from the bottom up and allowing more motion top down. This is a really excellent tweak for increasing internal rotation at the hip.

Tilt patterns combined with outdoor flips load the bottom of the ViPR with wet sand before flipping creating another unique load. The wet sand makes the bottom of the ViPR heavy and one end light.

Moving over moving sand creates a unique visual challenge stimulating the senses.

After about 30 minutes of both loaded and unloaded movement training we headed off for some beach jogging, agility work, or seashell hunting. It was a perfect beginning to our day.


After some movement training we headed back to the house to get our suits on for the beach and make some breakfast.
I had a game plan for all of the food we brought, so breakfast was a breeze. Every morning we had a little bit of each of the following: pastured pork sausage and liver wurst, sautéed Swiss chard, Jackie’s pancakes, banana buckwheat, millet and teff muffins, pastured eggs, blueberries, pears, cantaloupe and peaches.
Once the girls were fed and dressed we headed out to the beach for some seropious beach play. The girls lasted about 2 hours in the morning before we headed back to the house for nap time. It was excellent to have help from my mother in law! Transporting, washing and feeding two sandy and tired babies is not an easy task.

Once the girls were asleep, I headed back out to the beach for a solo jog which was truly divine! What a treat to have the ability to move athletically and enjoy movement…kid free for a half hour!
Next it was time to prepare lunch for the kiddos. We had oyster nachos with plantain chips:

We also enjoyed left over mahi, left over pizza and a seed bread grilled cheese. Traveling is a great way to use up leftovers!
My mother in law kept the girls at the house after lunch while Kevin, the boys and I headed back out to the beach.

This allowed us to have some more free time with the boys. We boogie boarded, built sand castles and dug in the sand for shells. Kevin is such a great Dad! Watching him play with the boys was really cool! Love him!

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The kids had a blast and were big helpers packing up the supplies to head back to the house.
Dinners were great. We enjoyed some great NC seafood from the fish market, grass finished burgers, amazing smoked pork and Brisket from our cousins, organic chicken and tons of fresh veggies. Eating well while on vacation is not pretty easy to do with planning. There is nothing better than feeling good on vacation!


This time I planned a delicious veggie and organ meat lasagna for dinner when we arrived home. So, I can enjoy a little mountain biking with the kids in the afternoon and not worry about fixing dinners.

 

25 years old!

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This week I celebrated my 25th (37th) Birthday! The day started with a fabulous walk to the pool while I listened to my latest audio book, The Power of the Extraordinary Mind. It’s a great book about challenging yourself to look at your life as it is now and assess what you need to change. One of the topics they discuss is how adopting societal rules as absolute truths can really hamper your life. Applying this concept to my own life has been really beneficial, especially when considering situations with the kids. When you let go of some “rules” it’s amazing how freeing it can be.

Next, a 2 mile swim in the outdoor pool while I watched night turn to day. Swimming has always been huge part of my life. Being in the water is truly transformative. Training in the water is a unique load that creates a lovely compression while challenging your body from all angles.

Then a short run home where I was greeted by my little artist, Cameron eager to show me what he had made me. He took an old picture of me and glued it to a folder along with his favorite feathers bordering the picture. Inside the folder he had drawn a stoplight five different arrows in his favorite colors. He also used a closepin to attach a “piece of money” from his piggy bank to the folder, which he promptly took back. Awesome!!!

I went up to greet my little loves and nurse them before heading out on our morning bike ride. The five of us completed a very sweaty 3 mile excursion before heading home for breakfast. I whipped up a breakfast for the kiddos…soaked oats for the girls and eggs, sausage and fruit salad for the boys. Next it was off to Madelyn and Annabelle’s 18 month check up. My Mom joined me for an extra set of hands while the boys hung out at home with Kevin while he worked.

As soon as we arrived home, the boys and I were off to another adventure by car to pick up some ingredients. Next came lunch and then meal prep. The kids enjoyed some soaked lentils and seed bread. After clean up, it was on to the meal prep for dinner, smoothies for the next day, veggie chopping and salad prep for dinner. The boys LOVE playing with their sisters and were great entertainers for 2 hours. I gave the girls a bath and laid them down for nap. I vacuumed the upstairs, put away the laundry, packed the boys for the beach and put away the dishes in anticipation of dinner prep.

Then, the boys and I headed out again to check out a BMX/skate school. As I described in my last post, they have developed strength on the bike. I am eager to encourage further development of that skill! Finally, off to Target for a couple more odds and ends.

The girls were awake when we arrived home and it was time to prep dinner. I had Kevin preheat the oven on the way home so all I had to do was bake the chicken wings and steam the carrots. Everything else was done earlier! As the wings were baking, Cameron and I took out the compost and harvested the ripe berries and veggies from the garden.

Birthday dinner was not my first choice but it’s ok because the rest of the family enjoyed it. Which as a Mom, at mealtime is often more important. After dinner, we all enjoyed some left over coconut milk chocolate fudge swirl ice cream. Super yummy! Overall, it was an awesome day.

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100+ miles!!

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We started logging pedal bike miles in mid April. This week both boys crossed the 100 mile mark. During the last two months we have shared many adventures together during our rides/walks.

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For two months I have lifted William back onto his bike about 30 times every ride. His bike was just a little too big for a push off without a boost. Although he got a little frustrated…he never gave up. This week he finally got it!!

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One moment I saw him off his bike and the next moment, he was going again!! He did not even realize what he did until I said, “William, did you see what you just did?!” He was so excited!! FREEDOM! This meant he no longer needed me to help him as much.

Over the last two months the boys have gotten stronger and more brave. Hills that were once too steep to pedal up without a little boost are now not so bad. They are proud of their time and strength. They have great handling and skill…I see two future racers!

As I stated in a previous post…I am soaking in these days. Training, cooking and playing. I am encouraged every day by my children. Sometimes they drive me crazy but there is not a moment that I am not thankful for that.

I am hugely grateful for everything they have taught me.

In our next post…our adventures in planning for school lunches. There have been several successes so far! The latest “treat” creation lunch box clusters.

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Just hanging out

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Annabelle 17 months

Right now I am on my back deck enjoying an amazing late spring evening. I am trying to soak in every second of the next couple weeks before kindergarden starts. The boys graduated from preschool two weeks ago and start kindergarden in July. I am filled with excitement for them. So, for the next couple of weeks we are do a lot of “hanging out”.

Two weeks ago we brought the kids to the beach. It was the girls’ first time at the ocean. They had a great time.

We stayed at my inlaws’ beautiful beach house which allowed us to cook all of our meals.  This saved lots of money as eating out with a family of six is very expensive. More importantly, it helped protect our family from the harms of restaurant foods. That way we could feel great on vacation and when we came home.

Every morning my buddy Cameron and I enjoyed an amazing ViPR workout on the beach.

What an excellent proprioceptive challenge to both the core and pelvic floor from training on the wet and moving sand. I get tremendous joy sharing my passion for movement and training with my kids.

I know they don’t quite know how powerful it is yet. But, I feel they know the importance of movement and how it goes along with nourishment through food. This year they were excited to learn that they inspired several friends to change their food choices. I too was thrilled to know that our family’s commitment to commuting by foot or bicycle as much as possible had inspired others to do the same. What an amazing gift to know that other’s will be improving their lives because of something they learned from us! LOVE IT!!

As kindergarden grows closer…our adventures will continue. Our mileage chart is growing as these amazing little kiddos continue to surprise me with their endurance and curiosity for the world around them.

Whether it’s finding great adventures hiking at local parks or gardening in the back yard.

I know that all of the hard work and long days are worth it. Please share your family’s inspiring health ventures. I love to learn from others!!

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Lunch Planning

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This was our menu for the first two weeks of May. I always plan for left overs. It’s so nice to not have to cook something every day. I tried some new dishes in this menu and incorporated our “changes”.

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Monday-Wednesday Lentils with spinach, carrots and hot dogs
This is a great dish that can be stretched by adding oatmeal or rice.
Sunday night: Soak 2 cups lentils in water, dice 5 carrots, 1 whole onion and 1 head of garlic. Monday morning, drain lentils. Saute carrots, onions and garlic in coconut or olive oil until fragrant. Add lentils to the veggies, cover completely with water or broth. Bring all to a simmer then reduce heat and add cumin, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 2 hours. Lastly add chopped spinach and hot dogs. Hebrew National is a great brand that can be found at Costco and Trader Joes. We use hot dogs from Miller’s Organic Farm who offers nationwide CSA membership. This is a great dish to make in a big batch and serve for a couple of days. The girls like it mixed with oatmeal along with added raisins.

Thursday and Friday Sardines, Oysters, Beets and Mac&Cheese
I work on Thursday and I need something that is quick and easy to assemble when I get home.
Wednesday night: Boil 3 medium red beets until tender. Rinse under cold running water and peel skin away with a paper towel. Dice the beets into 1 inch cubes and add balsamic or red wine vinegar along with olive oil, salt and pepper. The beets absorb all of the flavor and are excellent served cold. For the mac&cheese, I used lentil pasta from Thrive Market. Trader Joes carries rice noodles and a fun new black bean pasta. The lentil pasta holds together really well, better than the rice noodles. Next I add a grated raw sharp cheddar while the pasta was warm. Stir well to combine…Done! When we arrive home on Thursday all I have to do is open cans of sardines and oysters and add the beets and mac&cheese.

Saturday and Sunday
Elvis Sandwich with yogurt blueberries
The Elvis Sandwich is a fun lunch that is both yummy and nourishing.
Friday afternoon: make one loaf of seed bread. After I make the seed flour for the bread, I use the VitaMix to make the cashew, almond, pecan, pumpkin seed or sunflower seed butter for the sandwich. You can either slice the bread and freeze it or keep it whole and slice it on Saturday to serve. One loaf of seed bread lasts use a long time. Saturday morning I defrost a cup of frozen Organic blueberries (from Costco) in the fridge. At lunch, we assemble the “Elvis Sandwich”: toasted seed bread with nut/seed butter and sliced bananas. Serve with plain whole milk raw yogurt and blueberries.

Monday and Tuesday
Beef Heart Kabobs with mushrooms, bell pepper, onion and pineapple
I order the beef heart from my local whole foods on Tuesday for pick up on Thursday. The grass finished cow shipment comes in on Wednesday so I call one day ahead to get the fresh heart. They trim it and cube it for free. It’s wonderful! Grass finished beef for $3.99 per pound. I usually have them freeze it for me just in case I don’t use it right away. Friday night, thaw the meat in the refrigerator. Saturday morning: divide the heart between two storage bags and add the following marinade: two oranges divided, 6 sprigs of: rosemary, thyme and oregano divided, one onion sliced and divided, one head of garlic crushed and divided, 1/2 cup olive oil divided and two tablespoons of grainy mustard divided. Add all ingredients into the bags with the heart, seal the bags and gently squeeze the oranges releasing the juice and massage them into the meat.
Sunday afternoon, chop the bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and pineapple into even sized chunks. Monday morning, soak the skewers or use metal. Assemble the kabobs in a meat, veggie, fruit pattern and store in the fridge until lunch. At lunch, preheat the grill over medium high heat and grill the kabobs about 2 minutes per side. The heart cooks quickly after being marinated.
Serve with steamed rice or green salad or nothing.

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Wednesday and Thursday
Chicken nachos with tomato, avocado, olive and cheese.
I roasted two whole chickens on Tuesday for dinner knowing I would use the extra meat for lunch nachos. This is one of those dishes where I incorporated a “change”. I used Late July tortilla chips from Thrive Market for the nacho base. Next, Shred some chicken, add diced tomato, sliced olives and shred some raw cheddar cheese. Broil for a couple minutes until the cheese is melted. Top with diced avocado. Presto! Homemade healthy nachos!!

Friday and Saturday
Salmon steak with sweet potato fries and broccoli.
Thursday night defrost six salmon steaks. I buy the individually frozen wild caught Keta salmon from Costco. Soak the frozen bags of salmon in a tub of water until the bag loosens from the fish then remove from bags and thaw in the fridge over night. If you forget this step, the fish cooks up well from completely frozen. Peel and slice four sweet potatoes into “fries” and store in a ziplock storage bag. Line one large and one small sheet pan with foil and set out to use on Friday. About one hour before lunch on Friday, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the bag along with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Shake bag well to coat and pour onto a pan. Roast potatoes for about 45 minutes. Serve with steamed broccoli and butter.

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Sunday and Monday
Parfait with banana bread.
On Saturday night I defrost 1/2 cup frozen blueberries in two pint size mason jars. Sunday morning I add 1 cup plain raw milk yogurt and two tablespoons of ground chia seeds. Then stir to combine. By lunch the chia seeds have gelled and the texture is similar to a blueberry pudding. I toast some coconut chips in a pan with a sprinkling of cinnamon and add them to the top for a bit of crunchy and sweet. The banana bread is extra yummy toasted lightly in the oven. It really does not need any butter…but for the active kids a good grass fed butter only adds to the nutritional value.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Black bean and lentil pasta salad with bell pepper, onion, spinach and chard
On Friday night I soak 2 cups of dried black beans in filtered water. Saturday I drain the beans and leave them on the counter rinsing them several times a day until they start to sprout. Sunday night I dice three bell peppers: yellow, red and orange along with a whole red onion and store it in the fridge ready to use on Monday. Monday morning I bring the beans to a strong simmer in either filtered water or broth along with a whole head of garlic crushed and a whole onion minced. I then reduce the heat and cook them on a low simmer for about 6 hours. Once the beans are cooked I drain the liquid and let them cool. I used the  elbow noodles from Thrive Market made completely out of lentils. It holds up nicely and has a lot of naturally occurring fiber from the bean. While the beans are cooling, I cook the pasta in either broth or filtered water. While the pasta is cooking I sauté the onion and bell pepper in coconut oil until soft. When the veggies are soft, I add chopped chard and spinach and wilt them in. The salad is now ready to be assembled. I mix everything together in a large bowl along with a splash of red wine or tarragon vinegar and fresh basil and thyme. Now I have lunch ready for four days!! Awesome!

So that’s the kid’s lunch menu along with a little strategy. When the girls were newborns I had a lot more flexibility with my time because they napped a lot more. They are 17 months now and really active. Along with their brothers, I have a lot less time on my hands and I have to be very organized and plan for every free moment. That is why I make things in stages and plan or the prep work to be done ahead of time. This makes life a lot easier. It is difficult but it can also be done. Please let me know if you have questions or want more info about anything.