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healthy eating

Activities & Crafts Marriage

30+ Bonding Fall Date Ideas for Couples & Kids

October 31, 2021
fall date ideas - biking

Fall is my favorite season! I love the crisp coolness and the anticipation of the holiday season. It’s the best time for outdoor activities. If you’re looking for some fun fall activities to do with your spouse or even for a special activity with your kiddos, here are some of my favorite fall ideas:

For more date night ideas, check out 52 Stay-at-Home Date Ideas!

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipes Chronic Pain Tips

4 Simple Lessons I Learned From a Detox Elimination Diet

October 18, 2021
detox elimination diet tips

If you’re considering trying a detox & elimination diet, I highly recommend it! I’ll tell you up front it won’t be easy and is best to do under the supervision of a doctor or dietitian.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed medical provider with any questions you may have before undertaking a new health care regimen. Please do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

What is a detox elimination diet?

Detoxify simply means to remove toxic substances. Our body does this naturally – no juicing required! 😆

When a substance enters our body, our digestive system filters out toxins using the liver and kidneys. You can read more about this process here: Information on Detoxification

When we partake in a detox diet, we’re simply supporting our body’s naturally occurring detoxification process by lessening the amount of toxins we consume. Additionally, we’re adding in foods that help our bodies optimize the naturally occurring detoxification process.

Detox diet: reducing toxins + increasing detoxifying foods = support your body’s natural detoxification process

An elimination diet is the process of removing common allergenic foods for a period of time and then adding them back in one at a time so you can rule out certain food sensitivities.

For example, to test if you’re sensitive to dairy, you can eliminate dairy for 10 days and then add it back into your diet to see how your body responds. An elimination diet is one of the most effective ways to test yourself for food sensitivities because you’re eliminating most allergenic foods (except fruits and vegetables) and testing them one at a time.

A detox elimination diet is the combination of the two at the same time – so you’re boosting your detox powers AND testing for food sensitivities all together!

Why should I do a detox elimination diet?

I did my detox elimination diet for many reasons. I suspected I had several food sensitivities but I wasn’t sure which foods were irritating me. The elimination diet allowed me to narrow that down.

I like to think of this as a “reset” time. A cleanse, but without all that annoying juicing. This can help give our bodies an extra boost, to re-energize us and get us focused on what we should be filling our bodies with.

I found that when I did my detox elimination diet, the foods I ate energized me more than the normally do. Perhaps because there wasn’t a bunch of toxins weighing it down or because I wasn’t consuming foods I was sensitive to!

Detox & Elimination Diet = food sensitivities FOUND + focus on energizing foods.

What should I eat on a detox elimination diet?

The short answer: lots of fruits and vegetables.

You should not consume foods that you KNOW you are allergic or sensitive to, or foods that you suspect you’re sensitive to. The whole point is to give your system a break from those foods, and then test them to confirm or rule out sensitivities.

There are lots of different ways to go about a detox or elimination diet, but I’ll share with you what I did:

During my detox elimination diet, I removed all meats, refined sugars, processed foods, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and known/suspected allergies or food sensitivities.

Throughout the 10-day detox, I removed one at a time – gluten, all grains, nuts and seeds, and legumes – until I was only consuming fruits and vegetables for a few days. Then, I tested each potential allergenic food group one at a time – first legumes, then nuts and seeds, then grains, gluten, and so on. I did not mix any of the allergenic foods with each other until I had completely reintroduced all of the foods.

For example, if I wanted to test out if I was sensitive to legumes AND gluten, I wouldn’t eat them both on the same day. I would eat legumes (and not gluten) for one to two days, and see how my body responded. Then, after I had finished that test, I would stop eating legumes and then reintroduce gluten for one or two days to see how my body responded. That way it’s clear which food groups my body is having sensitivities to.

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Parenting

8 Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy During the Holidays

October 5, 2021
keeping kids healthy during holidays

If you’re concerned about how to keep your kids healthy during this holiday season, read this guest post by Leslie, the mom behind the keyboard at Super Mom Picks! Leslie loves to help moms in this amazing, yet scary journey of raising a successful family.

The holidays are a time of fun, love, and celebration, but they may also bring sniffles, sneezes, and stomachaches. It might be challenging to stay healthy during this season of cold weather, flu viruses, and sweet snacks. Luckily, you can do a few easy things this Holiday period to increase your chances of keeping your children (and yourself!) healthy. Engaging in healthy habits with your child over the holidays can help to ensure that your child’s health is in tip-top shape throughout the year.

Disclaimer: we are not medical professionals. The information in this blog is not a substitute for medical advice from a licensed medical professional. If you or your child have a medical problem, you should consult your physician or your child’s physician.

Free them from Gadgets

We frequently hear requests for gadgets from our children (ranging in age from babies to teenagers), mainly when we’re engaged in other activities. Our instinct is to either say a reluctant ‘YES’ to get them off our backs or a vehement ‘NO’ to show who’s boss. In any case, you, the parents, are the losers! Establish clear rules for the use of electronics with the children. Set a limit of 30 minutes to an hour in front of the television during the holidays. Make sure your kids understand the need for moderation.

For more on this, check out the Mayo Clinic’s recommendations on screen time: Children and Screen Time.

Keep them Moving

The holiday season can be an excellent time to spend with your children and perhaps even let your inner child loose. It’s a good idea to plan ahead of time for the holidays and develop a list of activities to keep the kids occupied. 

Check out my favorite activities to wear out your high energy kid!

activities for high energy kids

Set aside time each day to walk, ride bikes, play backyard tag, jump rope, play soccer, dance, or swim as a family. It all adds up to the 60 minutes of activity that children require every day, regardless of the season.

Get Enough Sleep

We all know how important sleep is, but it’s easy during the holidays to let that slide. According to studies, school-aged children (6 to 12 years old) need 9 to 12 hours per night. However, many children get only 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, and in some cases, even less.

When we’re not getting enough sleep, we become irritable and, over time, sick. It’s especially crucial for kids because the effects of sleep deprivation can last a lifetime.

For more science behind this, read this and and this.

So minimize those late-night sleepovers and stick to a strict bedtime schedule. To make things easier, consider the following: 

  • Maintain a consistent dinnertime schedule
  • Ensure that your kids get plenty of fresh air and activity throughout the day
  • Before going to bed, turn off all screens 1 hour before bedtime

Eat Healthily

Everyone enjoys the holidays because of the festive lights, time spent with family, and, of course, the delicious holiday feasts. When presented with tempting temptations, holidays such as Halloween and Christmas are an excellent time to teach children to make healthy choices. Given that Halloween is rapidly approaching, we must prepare nutritious Halloween treats for our children. Bring a healthy side dish to the dinner table to ensure that there are healthy foods available. Getting children involved in preparing a recipe is a great approach to encourage them to eat a healthy diet and nutritious foods.

Check out my favorite anti-inflammatory diet holiday side dishes for healthy holiday alternatives!

Prepare Healthy Snacks

Your child’s stomach is relatively small. They most likely consume less food at meals than you do. Smart snacks can help your child consume adequate calories and fluids throughout the day. Adults find it difficult to avoid favorite holiday dishes at classroom parties, visiting relatives, and home customs. It’s even more challenging for children! 

You can prepare some healthier versions like:

  • carrots or peppers with hummus
  • easy-to-peel clementines
  • 100% juice
  • grapes
  • string cheese
  • no sugar added yogurt topped with fresh fruit
  • whole grain crackers with goat cheese
  • peanut butter and apples or bananas
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • homemade smoothies with fresh greens and fruit

When you keep these foods on hand, it’s much easier to give healthier snacks when you’re in a rush rather than reaching for that plate of cookies on the counter.

If you need help getting your picky eater to eat healthy, check out these 10 tips for raising healthy eaters!

picky eaters healthy eating

Start the Day Right

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A well-balanced breakfast of protein and complex carbohydrates is beneficial to brain function and maintains a consistent energy level throughout the day. 

Children who eat breakfast daily are more likely to get essential nutrients and consume less fat and cholesterol. Similarly, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin D levels are 20 percent to 60 percent higher in kids who eat breakfast daily than those who don’t.

Focus on Food

Make the most of your children’s extra free time by involving them in preparing their meals. Plant a garden together or go to a farmers market to choose from all the fresh produce in season. Allow them to select tomatoes, melons, or peppers before preparing dinner together. According to studies, children who learn to grow and prepare their meals to eat more fruits and vegetables.

For more inspiration on healthful foods for the whole family to enjoy, check out Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meals for the Whole Family!

Visit Your Doctor 

Do you know that children should see a doctor at least once a year?

It is critical for children’s providers to keep track of their overall health as they get older. Annual wellness checks are essential for keeping your children healthy since they keep track of their vaccines, ensure healthy teeth, and monitor their physical development. It’s a chance to ask the doctor any issues that have arisen throughout the year and discuss health and school or learning concerns. It’s an opportunity for you as a parent to work with your doctor to reinforce your child’s good lifestyle choices. And if you have been busy the whole year, the holiday season is a good time to do so.

To read more about this, visit here.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to love about the holidays. Naturally, the same factors that make the holidays so joyful can also hurt your children’s health. But, the holiday season does not have to be a vacation from good health! I hope these tips will inspire and help you to make healthy choices this holiday season.  

Remember: It is critical to establish healthy behaviors at a young age. Most kids look up to their parents, so it’s best to lead by example. Maintaining a good attitude and being supportive can help kids gain confidence and build healthy habits for the rest of their lives.

Leslie, the mom behind the keyboard at Super Mom Picks!
Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipes Chronic Pain Tips

11+ Best Kitchen Tools for EASY Healthy Eating in 2021

May 5, 2021
Amazon products for eating healthy

If you’re trying to eat a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet, but are overwhelmed by how difficult it can be, I’m here to help. These meal prep products are my must-haves for maintaining a consistent healthy lifestyle and eating healthy. So keep reading to find out what kitchen tools you can use to help make healthful meals more consistently! For an even easier way to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, don’t forget to check out my 7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan & Guide.

Are you looking for an easier way to make healthy meals? I’ve got several awesome kitchen tools for healthy eating. Keep reading…

I made this list because we all need more items on our Amazon wish list! 😉

I started following an anti-inflammatory diet after getting so fed up with my chronic joint pain and endometriosis pain. I had gone from doctor to doctor with no real answers and only solutions with boatloads of side effects. I was in debilitating pain and feeling helpless.

That’s when I decided to take my health care into my own hands. I’ve learned that you have to be your own best advocate for your health.

One of the things that has helped me recover my health is following this anti-inflammatory diet. It’s not a quick fix or a cure-all, but it has made a huge difference in my life.

However, when I first started it was HARD. I had a difficult time finding meals that my family would actually eat and most of the recipes I found were very complicated and took a ton of meal prep.

Through years of trial and error and a ton of research, I’ve formulated meals that work for my family and that are simple to make. If you’re interested in those meals, check out this post about The Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Meals for the Whole Family as well as my Simple 7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan & Guide. I created these resources to help moms in chronic pain like me – but without all the frustration that I went through to find what worked for me and my family!

However, I would be remiss to tell you all about the recipes I use without giving credit to my amazing kitchen tools! This is what helps me actually follow through with making these meals without all of the daunting meal prep tasks.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission when you buy through the links on this page.

Cutco Knives

Having good knives REALLY makes a difference in your cooking experience. Especially when you’re chopping lots of vegetables – it pays to have the right tools. My mother-in-law gifted us a set of Cutco knives for our wedding and they have been invaluable. I even bring them with us when we travel because I hate using dingy knives at vacation rentals!!

One of the nice perks about having a Cutco knife is that you can get it sharpened for free and their warranty is amazing – they really back these knives. Last year I sent in my knives and kitchen shears to be sharpened, and they replace the kitchen shears completely because they were slightly bent (I didn’t even notice!). That’s pretty amazing.

For an introductory knife, I recommend the trimmer, the shear utility set (which comes with the trimmer and the kitchen shears), and/or the hardy slicer.

My kitchen scissors are used for everything – from quickly chopping pasta or meat to kid-safe sizes to all of its ‘normal’ uses.

– Jenny, homeschooling mom of two

Instant Pot

I can’t describe to you what a game changer this thing is for a busy mom. I love that I can prep a meal when I have a few minutes of free time during naps and then set it and forget it. It’s has all of the benefits of a slow cooker sped up – and more.

We actually have TWO instant pots now – the larger 8 quart one and the smaller 3 quart one. I’ll often use the larger one to make a big batch of dinner and the smaller one to make farro, risotto, rice, oatmeal or other starches.

I’m working on adding Instant Pot instructions to all of my anti-inflammatory meals. Stay tuned!

My air fryer! I put salmon, broccoli and cauliflower in there and it’s an easy, healthy meal. 20 minutes and it’s done. The kids love it!

– Julianna, mom of two (and my neighbor!)

My air fryer is my new best friend. My favorite so far has been making chicken…it’s amazing, it cuts the cooking time in half. Helps so much when trying to get dinner on the table quickly after a long day.

– Clarice, boy mom of two

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Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipes Parenting

10 Unique Healthy Eating Tips for Your Picky Eater

March 30, 2021
how to encourage my toddler to eat healthy

In this post, we are discussing how to get your picky eater to eat healthy – whether that’s your toddler, preschooler or your husband! I share my favorite methods for encouraging my picky eaters to eat healthy foods.

Hey there, friend. You’re probably reading this because you want to know how to help your child to eat better, healthier, and more consistently.

First of all let me say that I am NOT a medical professional or dietitian. I’m just a regular ole mom like you who has struggled with the same things. This is what I’ve learned through experience, tons of research and consulting with doctors, nutritionists and registered dietitians. If you or your child has a health issue, please consult with your doctor.

Dr. Justin Coulson at Happy Families – a psychologist and father of 6 (!!) daughters – remarks that some of the most common mealtime mistakes are:

So, what do you do when you fall into some of those pitfalls? I know I have done ALL of those things at one point or another.

Tip #1: Take a deep breath.

Seriously. Take a deep breath. I’ll wait.

Now, hear this: your kid will be okay. They will not starve. They will not grow a third ear because they refuse to eat their broccoli. Let’s have some perspective on this.

One thing my doctor mom would always say: eating is not a learned behavior.

We are not taught to eat, it is something that we are biologically programmed to do. Yes, we learn bad behaviors and unhealthy habits – but starving ourselves is not typically one of those!

Recently, we realized that dinnertime had become a struggle for us with the kids. They just weren’t eating their food! We bribed them, cajoled them, throttled them (just kidding)…after weeks, we decided that they simply were not hungry at that time. So we adjusted their snack schedule and then finally made the decision that they did have to sit with us during family dinner, but they didn’t have to eat at that exact time. However, they couldn’t choose to eat something else: they had to eat a reasonable amount of dinner if/when they wanted a bedtime snack or treat.

I can’t tell you what a stress reliever this has been for our family. We’re able to have fun, light-hearted meals without battling over food. The kids still eat their dinners – albeit, later than we would like – but they eat when they’re hungry and oftentimes they eat ALL of their dinner and more!

This all started with us taking a deep breath and gaining some perspective. What mattered was that our children ate and that they ate reasonably healthy, filling foods. It doesn’t HAVE to be on “our” schedule and it may not look like what we want it to, but we’re accomplishing our goal: happy, healthy children.

Tip #2: Don’t bring food into the house that you don’t want your child to eat.

If your kid only wants to have hot dogs and macaroni for dinner and cocoa puffs for breakfast – just don’t buy it anymore. If they fill up on Doritos and Chewy bars all afternoon long and then aren’t hungry for dinner – there’s a simple fix for that.

Look, I’m not saying this is easy to do…but I am saying it’s simple.

We recently stopped purchasing applesauce pouches – not because they were unhealthy, but because that was the only thing my son wanted to eat! We were spending more money on pouches than on any other category of food each week. So, I stopped buying them.

Now, let me tell you that at first he was devastated. It broke my heart. But, as kids do, he moved on. He doesn’t even ask for them anymore and is perfectly happy with the other snack choices that we offer him.

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Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipes Chronic Pain Tips

Easy Mexican Cauliflower Rice Bowl

August 5, 2020

Today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite anti-inflammatory diet meals: my Easy Mexican Cauliflower Rice Bowl. This is another crowd-pleaser in our house. The boys eat it up with a big spoon!

Reasons why I love this Easy Mexican Cauliflower Rice Bowl:

  • It’s sneakily healthy – swapping out cauliflower rice for white or even brown rice means that you’re eating lots of veggies in each bite…and you don’t even know it!
  • It’s a simple, quick weeknight recipe. I typically make a double (or even triple) batch of this during the week and it’ll take me less than 30 minutes from beginning to end. Cauliflower rice cooks so quickly and you can just throw all the ingredients together!
  • This is a low-carb, low-calorie option if you’re looking for go-to low-carb or low-cal recipes!
  • It’s versatile – I can easily make this meal with shredded chicken, ground beef or turkey, or vegetarian. I’ve also easily swapped cooked white rice for the cauliflower rice when making this for large groups (with people who may or may not like cauliflower rice!) and it’s so yum.
  • My boys love it – Tyler loves this recipe because it’s super filling while also being low-calorie. Both Finn and Justus will gobble this down as soon as I put it on their plates.
  • Toppings galore – this dish is easily personalized depending on what toppings you like. I love to put avocado, an extra squeeze of lime juice and more cilantro on mine. Tyler appreciates covering it in cheese and sour cream, and Finn does all of the above! Whatever your eaters like, this meal can offer it.

How to cook cauliflower rice

There are three options for making cauliflower rice:

  • Buy cauliflower heads, chop them and put them in a food processor to make the “rice.” This is the most time-intensive option.
  • Buy a pre-chopped cauliflower head. With this option, the cauliflower is already “riced” for you. Typically you can find this in the produce section where you would find other bags of pre-chopped vegetables. This is the simplest, quickest option.
  • Buy frozen cauliflower rice. This option allows you to save the cauliflower rice for longer – I usually buy a large bag from Costco so I can use it whenever I want to. However, it takes slightly longer to cook all the way through (about 10 minutes instead of 5).

Any of these options work – obviously if you want to rice the cauliflower yourself, it will take longer. Also, if you purchase fresh cauliflower (either a whole cauliflower head or a bag of fresh cauliflower rice) it will cook quicker than the frozen cauliflower rice.

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Devotionals for Moms

Your Postpartum Body Image: 5 Surprising Questions to Ask

July 20, 2020
postpartum body image

Your postpartum body image: is it just a physical issue, or a spiritual one, too?

Have you ever felt disappointed with your postpartum body? Today we’ll be discussing how God wants us to view our postpartum bodies.

Recently, my mom and Finn were reading a book called “My Amazing Body,” and they were  on the page where it shows how mothers carry their children before they’re born. It had an image of a pregnant woman with a flap to lift so that you could see the growing child inside.

My mom told Finn, “God made our bellies to stretch and grow so that we could fit a baby inside! Isn’t that amazing?!” 

From across the room, I commented, “Yeah, and those bellies never go back to normal.” 

We laughed, but the interaction made me pause: I realized that my comment was actually detracting from God’s glory in the childbearing process. It is amazing that our bodies can expand to hold another living being! And by grumbling about the flaws in my own body, I was diminishing God’s incredible design. 

This realization, as well as the chapter on postpartum body image in Risen Motherhood, encouraged me to dig deeper in the scriptures and in prayer to figure out how God wants me to view my postpartum body. 

This is the fruit of that investigation. Here are 5 questions for us to ask ourselves about our postpartum body image: 

#1: Why do I want a better-than-before-baby body?

Before we have kids, we think, “I’ll be the bounce-back mom! No one will ever know I had a kid!” But once we actually have a child, life doesn’t look the way we thought it would. Our bodies don’t cooperate the way they used to. Our schedules aren’t as neat as we thought they’d be. We find ourselves disappointed in ourselves and the bodies that just carried us through the miracle of life-giving.

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Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipes Chronic Pain Tips

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Simple Meals for the Whole Family

May 20, 2020
anti-inflammatory meals for the whole family

For this post, we will discuss the anti-inflammatory diet: meals, recipes and ideas for beginners, picky eaters and kids! This lifestyle can be beneficial for those with IBS, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromylagia, endometriosis, PCOS, and general chronic pain. Please discuss any diet or exercise changes with your doctor or a registered dietitian.

If you’re looking for more help with following an Anti-Inflammatory Diet, check out my course on Anti-Inflammatory Meal Planning!

After battling with chronic pain in my joints and endometriosis for several years, going from doctor to doctor, medication to medication, I turned to more natural methods in a desperate attempt to control my pain. Today, I am healthier and more functional than I have been in 8 years through a combination of eating an anti-inflammatory diet, exercising regularly (even when I’m in pain!), and finding the right medication balance for me. This is just my personal experience, but it has made such a difference in my own life that I believe it can help others, too!

Don’t forget to download the Anti-inflammatory “Eat This Not That” List – you can post it on your fridge or use it for meal planning to help you get started with your inflammation-fighting meals.

I’ve spent a lot of time searching Pinterest for anti-inflammatory foods that I could consistently eat AND feed my family at the same time. It was tough to find! Most of the recipes I found were inaccessible, difficult to make on a regular basis or just wouldn’t appease my picky eaters. However, over the past several months I’ve accrued a collection of some of my favorite anti-inflammatory recipes and wanted to share them with you!

What is the anti-inflammatory diet?

First of all, “the” anti-inflammatory diet is not a diet plan. It is a lifestyle and way of eating. I don’t like calling it a “diet” – I call it my eating regimen.

The point of an anti-inflammatory regimen is to cut out inflammation-causing foods and incorporate as many inflammation-fighting foods as possible. These foods are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols – which are protective compounds found in plants.

Since different people will respond differently to various foods, the anti-inflammatory diet will look a little different from individual to individual.

Generally speaking, there is not “one way” to do an anti-inflammatory diet. Yes, you should absolutely cut out red meat, sugar and processed foods and then focus on foods that will reduce inflammation in YOUR body. What that will look like for each individual person is a little different.

One example: I am allergic to apples. Apples have lots of anti-inflammatory properties, but in my own body, they cause inflammation.

Does gluten cause inflammation?

Yes and no.

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Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipes

One Pan GF Chicken Tenders with Broccoli & Sun-dried Tomatoes

February 26, 2020
One Pan GF Chicken Tenders

I LOVE one pan meals. Anything that can help with the ease of preparation and clean up is a win-win-win for me! Lately, because of my chronic pain, I’ve been doing an anti-inflammatory eating regimen (essentially cutting out dairy, gluten, white sugar and adding as many inflammation fighting foods as possible) so I’ve been experimenting with different alternatives to typical meals. This one pan gluten free (GF) chicken tenders recipe with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes is a big hit in our house.

Because of my chronic pain, I’m also committed to creating meals that are anti-inflammatory – packed with inflammation fighting foods and devoid of foods that cause inflammation. To read more about this, check out my post Anti-Inflammatory Meals for the Whole Family.

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