United States of Motherhood: February 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Guilt Money: Our Tooth Fairy Sucks

The tooth fairy sucks at this house. In painting and  organizing my 6th grader's room, we found FOUR teeth that were ne'er rewarded. 

I swear there were probably even more sucked up in the vacuum cleaner.

 It sucks to be a third child. I am certain the tooth fairy was way better with his older brother. 

So instead the tooth fairy paid...with interest!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Raising Clean Eating Families with @Tessemaes All Natural: Bringing It Back Home #bringinitbackhome

A look back at my cleaning eating roots. Brought to you by Tessemae's All Natural.

In my family's California garden as a toddler in the 70's

Bringin' It Back Home.

Home.  Such a loaded word.  Welcoming.  Going back to the basics. A basis of shared love and  family. I think back to sharing our food and day's endeavors as a family of eight (twelve with foster kids for a few years)  over conversation.

When I think of home, my thoughts go back to my hippy-skippy granola California childhood full of huge vegetable gardens supplemented by fruit and nut co-ops picked up in the cool evenings in a neighbor's garage.  My duties included feeding our Rhode Island Red chickens all the snails and roly-polies I found under every crevice then scooping up those still warm speckled brown orbs and cleaning the coop.  

There are flashes of a memory of my dad in his bee-keeper's suit. 

And yes following that same dad around every spring with the smell of fresh earth and gasoline wafting from his rototiller. The smell of tomatoes ripening on the vine. Needing a snack and grabbing grapes feet from our back door on an hand-hewn arbor or sharing an apple bite for bite with my beloved pup right off a branch in the backyard.

Nature's fast food.

It sounds like the urban farmer lifestyle today, but they were ground breakers in the early 70's in the suburbs. Nestled between California's San Joaquin Valley "food basket of the world" to the east with the first wineries in California just blocks away, Livermore was a sleepy cow town. Grinding their own wheat. Raising rabbits and ducks for food. Buying 1/2 a cow or a spring lamb. You know back when grass-fed was the norm? I don't think I ate a commercial jam until I was in my 20's.  Instead hot, hot summers were spent making plum and apricot jams from the huge number of trees my father planted in our Bay Area backyard.

And I remember being embarrassed. 

I wanted to eat the chemical, processed crap everyone else was eating.  The Tang. The Jello.  The canned peaches diced into unrecognizable squares instead of the mason jars gleaming in my parent's food storage room.  Yes, we had shelves of sweet and sour pickles, pureed plums, buckets of raw honey. I wanted those rabbits as pets, not food.

Silly me.  After two decades of eating crap?  As a mother, my friends, I am bringin' it back home. Clean eating. Gluten-free. Paleo. Organic. Even canning my own fruit spreads and jams when I can!

And my kids, like I did, resist.

They want the processed breads, the commercial ketchup, the fast food, and convenience. Always convenience. Yet, I think we all know eating dirty takes it's toll.  Weight gain.  Exhaustion.  Depression. Inflammation. Nothing good comes from it.  You let it slide as a young adult, but when kids come in to play, you want better for them.  Healthier.

Enter Tessemae's All Natural.

So I was really incredibly excited to meet with the fantastic brand Tessemae's All Natural here in Seattle in January that offers my kids both. Clean. Sugar-free.  Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Vegan even.... and convenience.

Dressings and sauces that can make any plate zing without the accompanying potions and chemicals that started the food revolution of the late 70's.  Gone are the fructose, corn, soy, wheat, chemicals you can't pronounce. In their place are whole foods with dates for sweeteners. Sea salt. Olive oil.

This little company from Baltimore also had family beginnings and their hope this year is for all families to bring it back home:

"As the mother of three athletic boys, Tesse had to figure out a way to get them to eat their veggies while staying healthy. Pouring on a dressing full of artificial ingredients was not an option, so over the years she made and perfected her own. When oldest brother, Greg, realized how great the dressing was, he said “Mom, let’s go into business together and make it for the world!” As Tessemae's All-Natural grows its product line around the globe, the commitment to healthy eating and healthy living remains the core of the company's mission."

The story even goes one of the son's college roommates would routinely steal his tupperware of dressings delivered lovingly by his mom and I believe it.  They are zesty.  They are delicious.  Most importantly, you can taste than they are real.  I am bursting with new products that are coming soon.  If you know me, you will know that which makes my palate sing...coming soon!

In the meantime, the sauces are now in Safeway for us on the west coast.  Safeway! They are also in Whole Foods. Mosey on down to the refrigerated section.  Yes, you heard me right.

These are REAL sauces with REAL ingredients so no preservatives.

The ONLY bottled dressing in our home!  The wing sauce and bbq sauces are divine!
The Lemon Chesapeake has become my favorite on kale salads.
Full flavored and clean!

For us clean eating, paleo, organic, vegan, lactose intolerant or gluten-free types?  This will be a revolution.  I have no doubt this company will soon earn a cult-like following. I am not joking.  Their natural, sugar-free BBQ sauce? Crazy good....and totally paleo, Whole 30 and Whole Life Challenge acceptable. And more importantly to my BBQ-fiend of a daughter?  Teen approved and delicious!!

Their product line includes BBQ Sauce, Zesty Ranch, Southwest Ranch, Italian, Balsamic, Hot Hot Sauce, Ketchup, Lemon Garlic, Honey Mustard, Mild Hot Sauce, Cracked Pepper, Soy Ginger (not Paleo), Lemon Chesapeake, Lemonette, Raspberry Vinaigrette, Red Wine Vinaigrette, BBQ Sauce,

It got me making tuna on carrots flavored up a notch with  followed by a vegan dinner (gasp).

Bright flavors.  Guilt-less.
Super fast & easy Paleo appetizers tonight: Spicy peppered tuna on a carrot "cracker."
Thinly slice a carrot or two. In bowl mix can of tuna with Tessemae's BBQ or Hot wing sauce.
Crack in some fresh black pepper. Add a drizzle of sesame

Never heard of Tessemae's All Natural before?  Get ready PNW and west coast, Tessemae's will become your new favorite.  On the east coast, lucky you.  It's been there for a while! Somewhere else, the good news is you can still buy some on their website.

Seattle Tessemae's Blogger & Social Media Influencer Dinner

Disclosure: An awesome bunch of Seattle bloggers and I met with the Tessemae's All Natural marketing team over a beautiful dinner to learn about their product earlier this year. After tasting their sauces and falling in love with them all, we worked out a partnership for me to honestly review their products without any editing or input from their team whatsoever.  I was compensated for this post as Tessemae's All Natural feels bloggers should be paid for their work (yay for companies like this), but shhh...don't tell them that I'd have written this for free.  I LOVE their product that much! Seriously go get some!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Roasted Tilapia with Zesty Chimichurri and Crispy Proscuitto Tuile

I'm lucky.  I know it.  My husband CG loves to cook.  Now cleaning up?  Not so much.  Tonight I didn't mind though because he made our family this.

Tonight's dinner was delicious, fresh, and a perfect blend of zesty bold flavors with crisp salty textures. You could pair it with broccoli or  a fresh salad and call it done:

Roasted Tilapia with Zesty Chimichurri Sauce
& Crispy Prosciutto Tuile

5-6 Tilapia Fillets
1 tbsp Avocado Oil
Sea Salt
Cracked Black Pepper

7-8 slices Prosciutto (yes at least 1-2 of these are attrition from wife tasting- impossible to resist )

1 Bunch Parsley
1 Bunch Cilantro
2 Shallots, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1-1/2 tbsp Cider Vinegar
1-1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375. Brush fish on both sides with avocado oil and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Place on baking sheet on top of silpat or parchment paper and roast for 25-28 minutes or until fish flakes.

While fish roasts, place sheets of  prosciutto on baking sheet lined with foil. Add to oven the last 10-12 minutes of fish roasting. What should result is a crispy sheath of delicious salty goodness.  Taste to be sure!

In food processor, add parsley through garlic cloves. Pulse until finely minced.  Add vinegar through olive oil and blend until well combines.  Chill while fish cooks.

Take out fish. Drizzle generously with sauce.  Top with crispy prosciutto tuile. Dinner in about 30 minutes!

Extra sauce only gets better as it sits.  Thin it with olive oil and use as a dressing.  Of course, it is always perfect on top of a flank or rib-eye steak.  Mmmm drooling!

Serves 5-6.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Is This the Message Biggest Loser Wants To Send: Did Winner Rachel Frederickson Go Too Far? (video) #biggestloser

Source: NBC

Oh my. 

Okay Biggest Loser fans?

Did Rachel go too far?? Size 20 to size zero? I will be honest that I thought she looked great before she left the ranch and was already at 19% body fat. 

On the finale, I was for the first time shocked in a negative way. She was gaunt. Bony. Channeling concentration camp chic. Bob and Jillian also seemed shocked. I am so hoping it was all for the $250k and she will put back on 20 lbs in muscle. Reports put her anywhere from 5'4" to 5'6" and whatever it is, 105 lbs seems too low. Is this the message that Biggest Loser wants to send?

Source: Trae Patton/NBC

As someone who got down to 111 lbs. at 5'8.5" in high school and now struggles on the opposite spectrum, as a mom I am worried for her.

Another thing to consider is that she was already very fit/muscle bound, so I can image her body fat is sooooo low that it could stop her period and cause infertility. It happens. It has happened to people I know. Would that be worth $250,000? I dunno...

Your thoughts?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Marathon Mondays: 2014 Seattle Rock 'N' Roll Marathon Here I Come


So it begins! 

I am so happy to announce I am training for and working with  Rock 'N' Roll Seattle Marathon and 1/2 MarathonMy first official training run was Sunday with my running partner and awesome husband CG.

Holy crap only 136 days to go!

My friends, I am not a natural runner.  I never have been, even when I was super fit and running track my freshman year of high school.  I didn't last the season. I hated running in the Army. Despised it especially in formation. I never learned to love it, but I am hoping to this time. Moreover I want to increase my aerobic base and burn some calories so I can eat more yummy food without guilt.  It will always totally be about the delicious for this foodie,  right? 

More miles run? More bacon!!

So my first run?? It was sunny and freezing. I ran in my yoga pants and this short sleeve shirt. Yes, I run hot. My husband wore gloves, long sleeves and a knit cap. We passed two guys running on the boulevard wearing the same as CG and they commented that it was winter running season pointing to me, "Not summer!" Ha! They clearly didn't have a layer of insulatory padding. Silly Pacific Northwesterners!  

So as a crossfitter, I am all about community. Want to train with me? Pretty please?

I plan to lay out a weekly training plan every Monday for those of us who can jog 2 miles (as always check with your doctor first and modify according to your fitness level), but find the idea of running 13-26 more than daunting. Yeah I am going back in forth between the idea of half or full marathon.  Either way, this will be a slow and easy gradual ramp up. Listen to your body!

This week's goals:

Tuesday - run 2 miles at very easy pace 
Thursday - run 2 miles at easy pace
Sunday - run 2.5 miles at easy pace

For the record, I am continuing to fit in at least 3-5 crossfit workouts as well. 

Want to know more? The Rock 'N' Roll Marathon series can be found nationwide and internationally.  I counted over 30 cities! Likely there's one near you. Stay tuned as I have a marathon entry giveaway coming soon!! In the meantime, ready to sign up now?  Use my discount code "SCOUTSHONOR"  valid for $10 off any half or full marathon until June 15th, 2014.  

Want to watch and take it all in for a bit? 

Follow me on Twitter @scoutshonor and on Instagram @unitedstatesofmotherhood . 
Then  on Twitter and Instagram, look for @RunRocknRoll and the hashtag  #RNRSEA .

We got this!! Join me!

Disclosure: I was provided free entry, merchandise and products as compensation for this post and future weekly posts.  I approached this company for this partnership because I had heard glowing reports of their events.  As always I only review and cover products and events I love or want to try out and review them honestly. Love it or hate it, you'll hear about it. 

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