Track out: week two



So far this week I have used the following phrases:

Annabelle, “Stop drinking the dish soap.”

Maddy, “Don’t eat the saran wrap.”

William, “Please do not color on your shirt, the wall, the table or anything other than paper.”

Cameron, “NO!” This is the response to many questions…including, Mommy can I have the code to under the house?


We have shared many adventures, in fact, every day is an adventure! Really, I mean that! I am so grateful for my health and function! If I did not nourish myself with movement and quality nutrition everyday, I could not handle it! Everyday starts with either or swim or ViPR training session including a run or cycling. Every morning, no excuses. Usually Cameron appears in the garage around 5:15 with a big smile ready to start his day.


Then we are off to a bike ride. One of the most beautiful things for me is seeing my kids enjoy movement and knowing that I am feeding them all of the raw materials to fuel strong connective tissue.

The kids love to create and help in the kitchen, especially Annabelle. We have created some fun new recipes and enjoyed lots of nourishing treats and meals together.

The girls love to be outside and are determined to do everything their brothers do.


One of my strengths is determination and one of my weaknesses is determination. That is, when I set my mind out to do something I truly commit 100% to it and give it my all. I want so many things for my kids and I want to be this great Mom. It is easy to miss some of the little things that REALLY matter most with all of the work that goes into achieving those goals.

So, there are days when I have a list of 30 things, but I have done what is really hard for me and put them aside. Wow, those have turned into the BEST days!! Simple things, like collecting acorns in the neighborhood and turning them into a story at home.

Or, letting the girls open every drawer in the kitchen and explore what’s inside, organizing the sandwich bags and eating coconut chips in the living room.

Next up, I want to share our track out menus! And, coming soon, the boy’s real food Birthday Party!


Adventures in “twin land”



I have so many adventures to share from the boy’s first nine weeks of kindergarden. We managed to walk every day to and from school which added up to a total of 45 miles! I think that is pretty cool. We survived everything from shoe malfunctions, you know when the shoe is not tight enough and too tight at the same time, to emergency potty breaks in the woods. Hilarious…now, at the time, not so much.  The sweetness of two little buddies walking hand in hand into school was awesome to see. Their teachers said they hold hands when they walk down the hall together.



I had the privilege and joy of volunteering for both classrooms. How cool is it to watch lightbulbs come on with the excitement of learning. I was even able to create a FABULOUS new recipe, applesauce bread from the leftovers from Johnny Appleseed Day.

Along with all of these joys also came a lot of challenges. I will call them challenges and not ridiculously difficult situations. At first, I thought we escaped the anticipated kindergarden emotional surges. The boys came home and were simply delightful for the first couple days. And then…the roller coaster began. Big emotions plus being super tired resulted in lots of big time surges in feelings. I learned a lot from these little episodes. I learned that I could handle a lot more than I thought I could, I also learned that you absolutely cannot rationalize with a tired and emotional kindergardener and finally I learned that I am very glad that I did not have triplets.

The girls and I shared many adventures of our own at home! I remember saying to myself…now that the boys will be in school all day, I will have lots of time. Well, that was so far from the truth. The girls have amazingly strong personalities with lots of curiosity. I always have a little buddy following me around or climbing on something. I cannot do anything while they are awake. So, that means cramming in all of the household chores into a very small napping window.

Being the Mom of two sets of twins is a huge gift and I am grateful for them every day. Watching them grow and interact is amazing. The girls are learning so much from their brothers. Sometimes this is good and, well some times this is not so good. Our house is very loud at times and the girls are learning that the best way to be heard is to get loud. How do you discipline a 2 year old…how many times during the day do I say, “no no.” Does anyone else get tired of hearing your own voice at the end of the day?

One of the most important things I have learned is to foster the connection that the boys have with the girls. I encourage them to “take care” of their sisters.

They typically do a great job. But, there are moments when emotions take over and life becomes a competition for attention or a toy or whatever is irritating them at that moment.

Life is a gift and my kids have helped me learn a lot of things about myself. I am honored to be their Mom and help them grow.

Applesauce Bread


This was perhaps the most delicious bread that I have ever made. It was created after I overbought apples for Johnny Appleseed Day at the boys’ school. I had a gallon sized ziplock bag full of cut and peeled apples and I decided to make applesauce bread instead of banana bread. It is worth every minute that it has to bake…SUPER YUMMY!!


3 cups unsweetened applesauce (I pureed about 6 cups of chopped and peeled apples in the Vitamix)

4 eggs

4 Tbsp ground chia seeds

1 and 1/4 cup water

1 cup pumpkin seed butter

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 and 1/3 cup coconut flour

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Line two 9″x5″ loaf pans with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine applesauce, seed butter, chia seeds, water, coconut oil and eggs and mix well. I did this in batches in my Vitamix to fully incorporate the ingredients. Add the coconut sugar, coconut flour, spices, baking soda, powder and salt to the wet ingredients and mix well. Carefully pour the batter into the prepared pans and spread it evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 90 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean and the top should spring back slightly when pressed. If you touch the top and it feels wet or sinks down at all, it’s not done yet. Keep baking, it’s worth it!! Finally, remove it from the  oven and allow to cool completely before taking the loaf out of the pan.


Kindergarden Lunches


Hello All! I have been eager to write this post for a long time. The boys have started kindergarden. I thought I would have more time to write…I was wrong. The girls have simultaneously upped their activity level and it is virtuously impossible for me to do anything other than play with them while they are awake. That is not such a bad thing though.



The boys have enjoyed two weeks of kindergarden thus far and everything has gone great! They love their school and really like their teachers! One of my goals when they started school was to maintain a healthy eating pattern. I knew that they would have to take on more responsibility for making good choices than they did in preschool. We were very lucky to have had great preschool teachers who would contact me whenever there was a birthday treat or a food based activity at school. That way I could send in a special treat for the boys. In kindergarden that is different. Birthday treats are handed out at lunch time and I there is no advanced notice. So, my strategy…the birthday bar! I put a store bought Trader Joe’s fruit bar in the boys’ lunchbox every day. If there is a birthday treat handed out, it is their choice whether they eat their birthday bar or the treat. William chose the gummies handed out one day and had such an upset stomach that he realized that was not the best choice. They excitedly come home to tell me that not only did they make a good choice but they politely declined the treat! So, it can be done!!


Here is a sample menu that I used to organize the boys’ lunches. I typically have everything ready one day in advance which makes it very easy to assemble as soon as they come home from school. If there are leftovers from lunch, they know to eat them as their afternoon snack before dinner. We don’t waste any food in our house!!  :) They have a morning snack before lunch which is written in all caps. Snack is only one hour before lunch so I always pack something small.

I took pictures of almost all meals. Here is a little strategy behind the meals…

Friday: Lunch–Hard boiled egg, avocado, tomato, kiwi and olives; Snack–Plantain chips and applesauce.

This one I did not take a picture of because it actually evolved into egg salad with avocado oil mayo and avocado. They still had tomato and olive salad with olive oil and kiwi for desert.

Saturday: we skipped on the board because it was a hunting land day with Dad. Lunch was a collection of leftovers and fruit salad


Sunday: Hot ham and cheese sandwich with broccoli and tomato salad with olive oil.

The hot ham and cheese sandwich was prepared on my new buckwheat and teff flour bread. I will post the recipe soon!🙂 I use Costco boiled ham and raw milk cheese from Miller’s Organic Farm. A simple salad alongside a treat sandwich is always an easy meal.


Monday and Tuesday: Lunch–ham and cheese roll ups with beets, avocado and olives; Snack–new muffins

I had to use up the Costco size package of ham from Sunday so we did roll ups. Beets are simply boiled until soft, peeled, chopped and mixed with olive oil and balsamic. I paired it with a small avocado and olive salad. Their snack were another new recipe of banana teff and buckwheat flour muffins. (recipe to come).


Wednesday: Lunch–salmon salad with broccoli and apples, along with cantaloupe; Snack–Plantain chips and applesauce

I use Costco’s wild caught canned salmon and mix in chopped apple, spinach, red onion, fresh basil and avocado oil mayo. It’s super easy and an explosion of flavor for the boys. Cameron chose watermelon instead of cantaloupe. I give the boys 10 plantain chips each, so a bag will last us three snack days.

Thursday: Lunch–fruit salad, olives and carrot sticks; Snack–snack stick and apples

Simple and straight forward, here. I put the protein in the snack  and extra fat at lunch with the olives to keep their tummies satisfied.

Friday: Lunch–mac and cheese with spinach and bell pepper; Snack–banana

This lunch is super fun. The pasta is made wholly from lentils! I simply add sautéed chopped bell pepper, red onion, swiss chard and raw cheese for a super power mac and cheese. The snack turned into a sliced apple and a sea snack instead of banana.🙂

Saturday and Sunday: Lunch–hamburgers and sweet potato fries

This lunch plan was nixed because the boys were on the road again with their Dad. I typically make the organ meat mix burgers and bake them in the oven. I season them with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Sometimes I lightly coat the pan with left over bacon grease for a little infused flavor and it helps to keep them from sticking. Sweet potato fries are baked in the oven for 30-50 minutes on 375. The time depends on how thick I slice them.


Monday and Tuesday: Lunch–turkey meatballs with raw carrots; Snack–seed cookies

I did not capture the deliciousness of this lunch! I made a garden sauce for the meatballs that was amazing!! I sautéed 6 spring onions (greens and all), 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, 2 eggplant and 6 very ripe roma tomatoes in grass fed butter until soft. I let the veggies cool a bit and then put everything into my VitaMix along with a can of anchovies drained of oil. I let the vitamin do its work and presto…veggie garden sauce. For the meatballs, I used Costco’s organic ground turkey and added about 2 TBSP of nutritional yeast, 2 minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper. I baked them in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. I warmed 8 meatballs along with 1/2 cup of sauce on the stove in the morning and it was still hot at lunch!! YAY! The seed cookies are a super yummy treat that is barely a cookie and more a nutrient powerhouse. I found some black grapes on sale over the weekend and added it to the snack.

Wednesday and Thursday: Lunch–Lentils with “hotdogs” bell pepper, onion, spinach and fruit salad; Snack–muffin

I forgot to photograph the lentils😦. I use the colorful lentil blend but you can use any color lentil. I soak them overnight in salted filtered water. Drain and rinse the lentils the next day before cooking. I cooked the lentils in some of the broth I had frozen from a previous batch for added nutrition. To cook the lentils, bring the broth to a gentle simmer and add the lentils. While the lentils are cooking, sauté bell pepper and onion in coconut oil until soft then add in chopped spinach. I had some carrots and two redskin potatoes to use up, so I added them too. Cook the lentils and veggies together in the broth for about 4 hours. I bake 2 pasture raised bratwurst from South Chestnut Farm in the oven and added them to the lentils. To serve, I heat the lentil and “hotdog” mixture on the stove and add to the thermos. The fruit salad was a combo of mango, kiwi, pears and peaches. This snack also evolved into muffin with black grapes and toasted pumpkin seeds.


Friday: Lunch–Tuna salad with lentils, spinach and rice; Snack–applesauce

This tuna salad actually turned into Friday and Saturday lunch. When I make tuna salad, I actually include 3 fishes: tuna, salmon and sardines. I mix them together with chopped apples, red onion, spinach and avocado oil mayo. I chose not to serve them with rice and instead added fruit salad. I also added toasted nuts and coconut to the applesauce snack…big hit!!

Strategies: My goal for school lunches and food in general is to provide my kids with the raw materials their bodies need to grow. The meal plan chalkboard gives me a framework from which I can work. If I need to modify things I can but I have a plan and that makes it a lot easier. The recipes are very simple and can be easily adapted to suit taste preferences. Having a meal plan also allows me to compare the lunch menu to the dinner menu so I can avoid repetition. I also strive to not waste food. That means I have taught the boys to tightly seal their thermos if they don’t finish something to keep it warm or cold until they arrive home. That way it is still safe to eat for a snack. They also know to eat the perishable foods first at lunch time. This stuff works…real, whole food that tastes good! With some planning real food can be done…even for kids!

Please share your thoughts! I love to learn from other awesome Moms out there!




Oat Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sesame Seeds and Coconut


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


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.


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 add the coconut chips, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds  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.


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.




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.


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



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.


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!


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.