When it comes to craving comfort, whether it’s due to a rainy day, a sickness, a stressful or nerve-racking time, etc…your belly needs something gentle yet full of vitamins, minerals, warmth, and love. And a whole lot of it. This veggie-packed bone broth soup will help heal the soul and the bod, whether it needs a little TLC or not.

Rainy Day (or Any Day)

Healing Bone Broth Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sticky white rice, brown rice, or rice noodles (or gluten free noodles), cooked
  • 2 packages of organic chicken bone broth (if vegan or vegetarian, use veggie stock)
  • 1 large head of organic broccoli, washed and chopped
  • 1 large head of organic cauliflower, washed and chopped
  • 4 large organic carrots or 2 cups organic baby carrots, washed and chopped
  • 1 large organic zucchini
  • 1/2 small organic onion, chopped large, or 2 tablespoons dried + chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional: 2-3 heads of organic + non-GMO corn, cooked and kernels removed from head of corn (or use frozen)
  • 6 tablespoons gluten free Tamari
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small bundle organic parsley, chopped
  • 1 small bundle organic basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • Optional: add cooked protein of choice (chicken, pork, beef, bacon, tofu, Tempe, etc.)
  • Optional: fried egg

Directions:

  1. Steam carrots, broccoli, and corn until al dente
  2. In a large pot, bring bone broth to a slow simmer. Add Tamari if choosing to do so.
  3. If adding protein, add now
  4. Add herbs and seasonings to broth (leaving our basil and parsley)
  5. In a large pan, add all veggies + avocado oil + pinch of each seasonings you added to broth and sauté until slightly browned (but not over-cooked)
  6. When veggies are done, add to broth
  7. Add your starch of choice (rice or noodles)
  8. Simmer on low for a half hour
  9. Serve into bowls and top with fresh basil and parsley.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste
  11. If adding fried egg, top bowl with fried egg
  12. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea and eat up!

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There’s no prettier place to make homemade chocolate chip cookies than in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. That’s where we are for the next week; our happy place that we’ve been coming to the same time, same place, since I was a baby. We honor my grandpa who wanted to retire here, but unfortunately never was able to (PSA – don’t smoke cancer sticks). Thank you to my grandpa and my mom for instilling the love of the west coast and the Tetons within our hearts and our souls…

On vacay, I’m a firm believer in eating whatever you want, but with my back injury and my endometriosis, I really have to limit (like 99.9% of the time) dairy and gluten due to inflammation of my body, and the fact it just cannot handle it. Because of that, I have to cater to my sweet tooth (especially when everyone else is), so I find my go-to ingredients and whip up my favorite things, like chocolate chip cookies. But, these gems are gluten free, dairy free, and vegan optional (sub the egg).

Dairy-Free + Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Best when served warm right out of the oven

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free baking flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter or dairy-free butter, whipped
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs or egg substitute (flax egg or applesauce)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 cup organic applesauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons nut butter or pumpkin purée

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Add dry ingredients to large bowl and mix
  3. Whip coconut butter or dairy-free butter. Add egg or egg substitute.
  4. Add wet ingredients to “butter” mix and mix together. Add dry ingredients.
  5. Mix everything together until dough-like consistency forms
  6. Add chocolate chips and fold together
  7. Scoop 1 1/2″ balls on to non-stick cookie sheet
  8. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until soft yet cooked in the middle
  9. Serve while warm solo or with dairy-free ice cream

You Know You Have Endometriosis When

You know you have endometriosis when…

1. Your life revolves around your heating pad, especially at night

2. You’ve tried all the anti-inflammatories and pain relievers, and they all do nothing, so you give up on NSAIDs and any prescription(s)

3. Because of #2 and lack of treatment options for endo, you likely lose hope in Western medicine, and find yourself at a naturopath office (and/or saying your prayers there’s a treatment sooner than later to make symptoms and pain more tolerable).

4. Then because of #3, you try all the tinctures and natural options; herbs, teas, oils, acupuncture, bio-feedback…basically anything and everything that may help. Gimme all the crystals, mantras, and all the hippie shit — if it can even make endo 10% better, you’ll take it.

5. You visit the ONGYN and the GI on the reg because your issues “down there,” are REAL. You may have chronic BV or yeast infections, so probiotics are your go-to morning ritual.

6. You probably alter your diet to an anti-inflammatory meal plan (because your GI symptoms and discomfort may be ruling your intestines.) So you give up dairy, gluten, red meat, alcohol, and caffeine. You may have IBS, diarrhea, nausea, and/or food allergies.

7. The irony about giving up caffeine is that endo makes you chronically exhausted and fatigued, so you’re always so tired, and people don’t understand why you give up coffee then. (Insert eye roll).

8. Your friends and family don’t understand your endo pain and symptoms, so at times you feel completely misunderstood, and like everyone thinks you’re crying wolf or an over-exaggerator.

9. You may struggle with infertility depending on your endo level, fibroids, cysts, or other endo grows gone rogue. Speaking of cysts – holy shit, you learn all too well how painful these are.

10. You find yourself Googling “chronic abdominal pain” ALL.THE.TIME. Hoping one day you’ll actually find something that says endo can be cured and treated.

11. You get educated; you learn a hysterectomy or a laparoscopy without excision won’t be a long term “fix.” Neither will that birth control your OBGYN keeps prescribing (it may make your periods a little more regular and tolerable, though. But, endo means you’re most likely estrogen dominant and lacking progesterone, so birth control may make things even worse).

12. You’ve tried alllllllll the essential oils, and if one more MLM seller or “friend” tells you YL or DT oils can “cure endo,” you might just tell them to go you know what.

13. Castor oil and meditation apps become your new BFFs.

14. You’ve been through the ringer of hospital tests and feel like a guinea pig; you’ve had countless ultrasounds, MRIs, a laparoscopy (or a few), have tried acupuncture, and have most likely visited the ER a few times thinking you have appendicitis or something else seriously wrong.

15. Is that a period or are you literally hemorrhaging? You either have periods that completely overflow super plus pads and tampons and last like two weeks (not too mention how debilitating the cramps are before and during your periods), or you may have unpredictable cycles, spotting all month, or perhaps, no period at all. Oh the joys of aunt flow when you have endo.

16. You may struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues due to chronic pain and symptoms that are REAL.

17. What is a healthy, normal sex life? Endo makes sex extremely painful, making you lose your sex drive or be horrified of anything even coming close to you down there…

18. You feel like a flake because it’s nearly impossible to make plans in advance when you have endo. Your flare ups are either unpredictable, or are 24/7, so being a social butterfly is next to impossible (even when you once were).

19. Because of #16-17, you find your friendships and relationships have a huge amount of stress on them.

20. Among GI and pelvic issues and pain, you also may suffer from lower back pain and sometimes painful urination. Although endo most commonly affects the lower body, in sever cases it can also affect upper abdominal areas, and rarely, but sometimes, even the lungs.

If you’re reading this and either think you have endo, or know you do from a confirmed diagnosis from a laparoscopy, you are a FKING warrior and goddess. You still get up each and every day and manage to LIVE. You walk by thousands of strangers in your lifetime who have no clue how much you’re suffering, but you are a queen for battling a disease with no cure or true effective treatment options. You are so brave and so strong. Try to never lose hope – in yourself, your future, or others who may not understand. You are (and have to be) your own advocate 💗

What is endometriosis?<
ccording to the Endometriosis Association, “Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease that affects at least 6.3 million women and girls in the U.S., 1 million in Canada, and millions more worldwide. It occurs when tissue like that which lines the uterus (tissue called the endometrium) is found outside the uterus — usually in the abdomen on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments that support the uterus; the area between the vagina and rectum; the outer surface of the uterus; and the lining of the pelvic cavity. Other sites for these endometrial growths may include the bladder, bowel, vagina, cervix, vulva, and in abdominal surgical scars. Less commonly they are found in the lung, arm, thigh, and other locations. This misplaced tissue develops into growths or lesions which respond to the menstrual cycle in the same way that the tissue of the uterine lining does: each month the tissue builds up, breaks down, and sheds. Menstrual blood flows from the uterus and out of the body through the vagina, but the blood and tissue shed from endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body. This results in internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood and tissue from the lesions, and inflammation — and can cause pain, infertility, scar tissue formation, adhesions, and bowel problems.”

“Endo belly” (left is normal, fit stomach; right is swollen)What causes endometriosis?<

he exact cause of endometriosis is unknown (nice, right?!). The Endometrosis Association writes:

“The retrograde menstruation theory (transtubal migration theory) suggests that during menstruation some of the menstrual tissue backs up through the fallopian tubes, implants in the abdomen, and grows.  Some experts believe that all women experience some menstrual tissue backup and that an immune system problem or a hormonal problem allows this tissue to grow in the women who develop endometriosis.Another theory suggests that endometrial tissue is distributed from the uterus to other parts of the body through the lymph system or through the blood system. A genetic theory suggests that it may be carried in the genes in certain families or that some families may have predisposing factors to endometriosis.Surgical transplantation has also been cited in many cases where endometriosis is found in abdominal scars, although it has also been found in such scars when accidental implantation seems unlikely.Another theory suggests that remnants of tissue from when the woman was an embryo may later develop into endometriosis, or that some adult tissues retain the ability they had in the embryo stage to transform reproductive tissue in certain circumstances.Research by the Endometriosis Association revealed a startling link between dioxin (TCCD) exposure and the development of endometriosis. Dioxin is a toxic chemical byproduct of pesticide manufacturing, bleached pulp and paper products, and medical and municipal waste incineration. The EA discovered a colony of rhesus monkeys that had developed endometriosis after exposure to dioxin. 79% of the monkeys exposed to dioxin developed endometriosis, and, in addition, the more dioxin exposure, the more severe the endo” (Endometriosis Association, 2017).<
f you or a loved one is suffering from endometriosis, talk to your doctor, your therapist, your friends, and your family. While there is no cure or treatment plan that proves to be extremely helpful (or a major relief), it's important to not isolate yourself, not give up hope, and at least try to find a treatment option that works for you.

Source:

http://www.endometriosisassn.org/endo.html

I’m a huge advocate of mindfulness and positive thinking, so I live 80% of my single mama life with that attitude, and not feeling sorry for myself. I browse through Pinterest in the evenings, feeling uplifted by motivational quotes and chats with friends, and scroll through Facebook reading varying articles on motherhood, where generally, I feel inspired. I also write about single parenting often on my blog/Instagram, Seashells and Sit Ups, and usually chat about the funny moments. However, I also have to admit to the other 20% and how it’s real, too— the 20% of single mama life that is super overwhelming; the part that sometimes puts a pit in my stomach, extra dark circles and bags under my eyes, or a teeny bit of woe-is-me into my soul (because let’s be real; you can rub all the crystals you want, say alllllll the prayers, but sometimes we just need to feel a little sorry for ourselves before recharging our batteries). and that’s the 20% where I admit that being a single mom is EFFING HARD. Like, really exhausting, patience-testing, and just downright lonely and difficult, at times. Like anything, there are incredible moments as well – we get to experience almost every single milestone (depending on our co-parenting timeshare), get extra cuddles, and our hearts are filled with SO much pride and love.

Let me start by saying this – us single mamas don’t want people’s pity or others to feel sorry for us, but we also don’t want anyone to shame us. We all come from different walks of life, different backgrounds, or different situations that lead us here to solo mom life. The biggest thing as single moms, is we just want to be understood, and looked at as an equal when it comes to motherhood and parenting. We know it can be hard to totally grasp the life we lead being a single mom, but we want you to have a little piece in your heart or your mind of what our day is like, and that sometimes, it’s just really hard, and that’s okay. We also know that parenthood and motherhood, in general, is exhausting and difficult, so we get that, Mama. But, being a single mom takes those normal feelings up a notch…

So, if there were a list of things we could tell our happily married friends (or our single friends without kids), it would be the following:

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Photo by London Scout on Unsplash
  1. Please give us grace. We will probably always be at least 20 minutes late, to like everything. Because when our little(s) demand on one more snack, or we have to cater to a poop that simply cannot wait, or our little love-bug throws a show out the window, or insists on bringing 123 more toys wherever we’re going, we’re a one-woman-show behind the scenes of a circus tamer.
  2. Know that we sometimes have a hard time at family get-togethers and functions, because it’s hard not to feel different when everyone else is “normal.” But, pretty please, never stop inviting us to them, or it’s easy to feel like we’re being left out because we aren’t your stereotypical “family.”
  3. When you come over for a playdate or a dinner date, we will probably never admit that we’d actually love if you helped clean up any mess(es) you made, or help do any dishes you used. Even if we say “don’t worry about it!” we’re the only one ever cleaning up or doing dishes, so even a 5 minute break from any additional de-cluttering or cleaning would be totally amazing. Every mom could use a little fairy godmother sometimes.
  4. We pinky promise, we NEVER want to go after your husband, and it hurts us that we’re ever seen as some type of weird “threat”. Equally, we don’t need to be “hooked up” with all of your single friends or yoga instructors. We dated and were married once, so #wegotthis. Buttttt, on second thought, if you do have a hot (I mean, totally sweet and kind) pilates instructor, feel free to show them a picture of us and give them our number…and then please offer to babysit if they ask us out 😉
  5. When we say we’re too tired to make it to something, we promise we’re not being a flake. We actually are. We do every pre-school drop off, pick-up, make every lunch box, do every bath, read every bedtime story, play good-cop/bad-cop on our own, clean, cook, and play soccer mom (and our work never stops, 24/7). So when we get a free night or weekend, sometimes all the energy we have is to entertain our munchkin(s) at home, or be in PJs by 8pm.
  6. We know everyone is on a budget, but sometimes we can’t afford to do the fun “luxury” moms events or mamas-night-out. We don’t have a husband to watch our babe(s) for a night out, and if we don’t have family that lives nearby, that means we have to pay a sitter every time we need a break. Say we grab dinner and a drink with girlfriends and we’re out for 4 hours; The average sitter costs $15/hour, so for babysitting alone, that’s $60. It’s likely our dinner + drink tab is about the same, so that’s over $100 just for a night out of the house. That adds up quickly, especially when you’re on a one-income household!
  7. We totally know how hard it is to be a solo parent, but when your husband is out of town for a work trip for a few days, it’s just not the same as being a single mom, so please don’t say you “know what it’s like to be a single mom!”. While your hands may be physically full while your partner is away, you still have someone to lean on for emotional support and/or financial assistance. Being a single mom means you have no partner; no one to be there for you physically or emotionally, and therefore, single parenting is not the same as solo parenting for a short amount of time. (but, to military spouses and mamas, we respect you and know how hard that must be, too. In fact, we know how momin’ it is so tough, in general, and we love and respect all the different hardships about being a mom – single or not). But, that being said, unless you’re truly a single mom, you are not a “single mom” because of a traveling hubs.
  8. If we’re dealing with postpartum anxiety or depression, please please please be there for us. Just come over and sit with us. Make us get out and do something. Call us. Text us. Just be present. Personally, I chronically worry about something happening to me, and that my little cub would be all alone if it did (knocking on wood so hard RN). Not having a partner or roomie to look out for you can feel scary, so we really rely on our friends and fellow mamas to just be there for us when we’re feeling anxious, sick, or scared.
  9. …and when we’re sick, we don’t get to just take it easy and rest. We know the same is true for 98% of moms everywhere, regardless if they’re in a loving relationship or not. But we don’t get to clock “out” when Dad comes home at 5pm and take a nap or have someone else cook dinner, so we often get even more run down. So when you say life is hard when you’re sick, as moms, oh how we get it. But if you happen to be in our area when we’re sick, yes, we’d love some of that chicken soup you offered to drop off (that we probably said “oh, no worries – I’m okay, but thank you!” to.)
  10. Lend a listening ear or offer to celebrate with us when a milestone or achievement occurs. We don’t have someone waiting at home to talk to about a raise, success from a project, or how our little(s) earned a friendship badge at school. Pop bubbly with us. Give us a hug. Offer to take us out to celebrate since we don’t have a better half besides our kiddo(s). Or help our munchkins make a card for us – that would mean the world.
  11. If we’re venting about a tough day at work or a shitty guy, be mindful. AKA – probably not the best time to boast about your babe(s) 6:30pm bedtime because your husband is “sooo amazing” and puts the rug-rat(s) to bed while you get to relax with a glass of wine in peace. As a working single mom, I’m lucky if my little rascal is even in bed by 8:30 (especially in the summer when it stays light so late). By the time I get off work, get back from pre-school pick-up, make dinner for two, do bath, stories, teeth brushing, and bedtime, it’s nearly 9pm. So, personally, I end up going to bed at the same time my little guy does. Relate to our situation and realize you are hashtag #blessed to not have to do everything. always.
  12. There’s no such thing as one single mom being more of a “real single mom” than another. Whether a mama has 50/50 joint physical and legal custody and collects spousal and child support, or mama has 80/20 and gets child support only, or another single mom has 100% full legal and physical custody with minimal (or no) child support, THEY ARE ALL REAL SINLGE MOMS. Doing the best they can, with what they can. Of course, all circumstances are different, no matter who you are, where you are, or what you have. But from one single mom to another, we all know the hustle (and struggles) are real – despite a time share, what court paperwork says, or what $ amount gets put into our account every month (to not).
  13. Help us when you can. It’s really hard for us to ask for help, so when we do, we really need you. Of course, we would never expect anyone to drop what they’re doing for our need(s), but what we’re trying to say is it really does take a village to raise littles, especially when you don’t have a better half to lean on. So if we ask for a favor, we probably exhausted 34234 other options before asking you, and would really love your support or help if you can offer it.
  14. Please don’t judge us and please feel free to never stop telling us we’re doing a good job. We get it – it’s annoying and hard to hear about our life’s constant chaos. But, that’s motherhood, in general. So, if you don’t have kids and think our life is a train wreck, just wait 😉 You’ll see how tough it is one day and how much of a juggling act being a parent is. So, as single moms, we know our conversations aren’t always the peppiest, happiest, or most relatable, but we need our friends to love us anyway.
  15. Yes, you can totally steal our phones and “see what Bumble and Tinder are really like.” We may be stuck in this weird in-between phase between our friends who are married with a toddler and a baby and our friends who are newly married with no babes yet, but #mamasstillgotit….because we have to still wash our hair, shave your legs, and keep updated photos on dating apps if we ever want to go on a date again someday. We know you’re “soooo thankful to not be single in today’s dating world,” but kindly remember, we wish we weren’t, because online dating these millennials really is a train wreck. So, give us some good right swipes and some prayers 😉

 

Cheers to ALL THE SINGLE MAMAS out there, and even bigger Xs and Os to the friends that make us feel normal. Accepted. Comfortable. Loved. Valued. and appreciated. We adore you, always.

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When it comes to periods, it’s often considered “gross” or “TMI” to talk about it. But recently being diagnosed with endometriosis, talking about periods is my new normal. Does that make talking about periods the new black? When it comes to U by Kotex® FITNESS*, it sure does…

Nothing should get in the way of fitness – from bad cramps to heavy flow, to emotional ups and downs that come thanks to hormones. U by Kotex® FITNESS* understands that each woman defines fitness in her own unique way. I define fitness as being healthy, emotionally and physically, while doing activities that enhance my body + spirit equally.

 

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When it comes to working out around your period, it’s important to listen to your body. For me, my flows are SUPER HEAVY, so I enjoy yoga, walking, and stretching. It’s next to impossible for me and my endometriosis to do anything physically excruciating while Aunt Flow comes to visit. So, I personally love these moves by Yoga Journal when it’s that-time-of-the-month. I also lean on Heal with Food’s recipes for reducing menstrual cramps which you can find here. 

What are the best meals to eat while on your period? The ones that are “supercharged with anti-cramping nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, calcium, zinc, magnesium and B vitamins” (Heal with Food, 2017).

 

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So, back to going with the flow (literally)..the new U by Kotex® FITNESS*’ products feature dual-flex zones on pads and liners and are packaged so cute (and practical) with a FITPAK* for tampons and a little drawstring-top packaging so no pads ever escape into the abyss of your purse or luggage.

 

Find your FITNESS* and get a FREE SAMPLE at UbyKotex.com

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GIVEAWAY!

For your chance TO WIN, enter to win a LEGIT U by Kotex® FITNESS* Prize Pack…head HERE and let me know what steps you take to make sure nothing gets in the way of you and your fitness goals! Up for grabs:

U by Kotex® FITNESS* Ultra Thin Pads With Wings Regular (15 count)

U by Kotex® FITNESS* Folded & Wrapped Liners Regular (40 count)

U by Kotex® FITNESS* Compact Tampons, Regular, Super, (15 count)

#FindYourFITNESS

 

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Visit U by Kotex® FITNESS* for more info on their new products

Source: http://www.healwithfood.org/menstrualcramps/recipes/#ixzz4oT25GpY9

I was compensated by U by Kotex®, but thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of U by Kotex®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Clearly weekends = homemade, healthy donuts in our house 🙌🏼🍩

Here's another one of our fav recipes when taking Sunday mornings slow…

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Vegan-Optional Apricot Pecan Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup pecans, shelled
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut butter, softened
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened tangerine juice or freshly squeezed tangerine or orange juice
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Chosen Foods avocado oil
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. In a high-powered blender, add pecans and dried apricots and crush until finely chopped. Remove and set aside.
  3. In the same blender, add banana, coconut butter, and Justin's hazelnut butter. Blend until creamy and a mouse-like consistency.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients.
  5. Add pecans + apricots and banana mousse to dry batter
  6. Add wet ingredients to bowl
  7. Mix everything together until smooth (will be slightly chunky with the pecans, but mix until well blended).
  8. Spray donut mold with Chosen Foods sprayable avocado oil
  9. Distribute batter evenly to donut molds
  10. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes
  11. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes
  12. Serve while still warm and enjoy!

I woke up to a tiny human asking if we could make donuts this morning, and after a long and stressful week, of course my answer was YES. I love that Tan values a slow morning at home playing with 16283 of his "favorite toys," playing outside, watching a show, and helping be my sous chef. Those are definitely a few of my favorite things when it comes to Saturday morning.

With that, I made Rocky Road Donuts and Strawberry Ginger Donuts; both dairy and gluten free.

ROCKY ROAD DONUTS (RECIPE 1)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or water
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia + flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons ground pecans
  • 1 egg or egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup GF marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon GF cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon Chosen Foods avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

ROCKY ROAD DONUTS (RECIPE 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups GF flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons flavor God chocolate glazed donut seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons ground chia seeds
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 cup ground pecans or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons GF mini marshmallows
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2-3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Add all dry ingredients into mixing bowl; stir
  3. Add wet ingredients, and blend everything together
  4. Pour into silicone donut molds (optional: line molds with sprayable Chosen Foods avocado oil)
  5. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes
  7. Remove from molds and enjoy while still warm

STRAWBERRY GINGER DONUTS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or water
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia + flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons ground pecans
  • 1 egg or egg substitute
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon fresh shaved ginger or ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Chosen Foods avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8-10 strawberries, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Add all dry ingredients into mixing bowl; stir
  3. Add wet ingredients, and blend everything together
  4. Pour into silicone donut molds (optional: line molds with sprayable Chosen Foods avocado oil)
  5. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes
  7. Remove from molds and enjoy while still warm


[Pre-Chorus]

‘Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell

I had to learn how to fight for myself

And we both know all the truth I could tell

I’ll just say this is I wish youfare well 

[Chorus]

I hope you’re somewhere praying, praying

I hope your soul is changing, changing

I hope you find your peace

Falling on your knees, praying

Sometimes you just hear a song, and you think HOLY SHIT MY LIFE. The magic about music, is it evokes feeling. Pain. Sadness. Euphoria. Happiness. #allthethings. Music is magic; it transforms, transports and feeds the soul, sometimes healing it, even if just for a couple minutes.

I remember when my ex told me he wanted a divorce, I was a fucking wreck. I literally crumbled in my heart, my soul, and physically. The only thing that kept me sane was fitness. I remember my best friend Courtney telling me to listen to By the Grace of God by Katy Perry, and holy woah. That song played on repeat in my car for months. Literally. There were nights I rocked my baby to sleep and would collapse in so much sadness and pain and disbelief that this was my life. That overnight the rug was pulled out from under me, and every single thing I “knew” felt like a lie – an alien – a bad dream. Infidelity and selfishness from all angles destroyed me, my trust, and everything and anything I thought marriage and “normal” life was supposed to be like. To this day, I still feel jipped, but I’m no longer curled up on the bathroom floor asking the sky why this is my life (okay maybe sometimes I still ask that; I am a human being, and being a single mama is exhausting). I feel grateful and hashtag blessed for my sweet baby boy and the freedom I now have to be the kind of Mama he needs, in a judgement-free, emotionally safe place. I know it’s so fucking hard, but try to at least find a couple positives when it feels like your world is a war zone.


On top of going through divorce and custody rocking my world, I also have chronic back issues (4 herniated discs in my lower back) and most recently, also found out I have endometriosis. I struggle with anxiety and depression facing two chronic diseases (one of the spine and one of my abdomen), and get so frustrated I keep feeling like I take one step forward and go 179 back. BUT, those situations and diagnoses DO NOT DEFINE ME. I am strong. My mom and best friends and sister are my outlets and my rock. And I know that I’m being tested, but this is not the end. Hopefully it’s just a really really unlucky couple of years; there is beauty in the breakdown, so I’ll be here patiently (ahem, not so patiently, let’s be real) waiting for the light. But at the same time, never forgetting to light my own flame.


From “Praying”: 

Am I dead? Or is this one of those dreams, those horrible dreams, that seem like they last forever?

If I am alive, why? Why? If there is a God or whatever, something, somewhere, why have been I been abandoned by everyone and everything I’ve ever know? I’ve ever loved?

Stranded.

What is the lesson? What is the point?

God give me a sign or I have to give up. I can’t do this anymore.

Please just let me die, being alive hurts too much.”

So, whether you’re suffering from mental illness, from a breakup, from a divorce, leaving an abusive relationship or situation, or just trying to find peace from any sort of chronic plague coming at you in any shape of form….you have to listen to this new song by Ke$ha. Holy moly, if you’ve been through any hard shit, grab a tissue and que waterworks. Please, know you’re not alone. You’re not crazy. And damn it, keep the faith. For yourself.


https://youtu.be/v-Dur3uXXCQ

This song is so powerful, and you can be “praying” for anything or anyone. Because your peace deserves all the attention, respect, and effort first and foremost.

When I hear the lyrics, “And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known. I’ve been thrown out, I’ve been burned…” I think of my endo, and how there’s no cure or true treatment; I think of my back and how many times it’s failed me and what I want to actively do; I think of my divorce and I want a re-do button. But I also think that I have my whole life ahead and will never stop fighting for peace and pain-fee days, emotionally and physically.


Cheers to anyone and everyone going through hell and back. I hope this song empowers you. You are worthy and you are strong and you are a fighter 🙏🏼🙌🏼

*all photos screenshotted from Ke$ha’s “Praying” video on her YouTube channel

shelley and tanner

Photo by Bubba Durket

The more I’m surrounded by today’s hustle and bustle and modern day living where every 30-something neeeeds an “epic Bali adventure”, a “sickkkk vacation to Europe”, or constant nights out, I find myself asking repeatedly, “What if I’m okay with living the simple life now? What if I’m totally okay with not booking an ‘epic’ international getaway? What if I’m okay with not getting a babysitter on the weekends to go out? What if I’m okay with a tiny little boy who still crawls into my bed to co-sleep and take up my entire king-sized bed, leaving me a little sliver of space? What if I’m content and totally okay with the fact that my weekends now consist of waking up before 8 a.m. to a toddler jumping on my bed or poking my eyeballs with a Batman figurine? What if I’m okay with giving up fancy dinners and staying in to watch Moana and eat mac-n-cheese in sweat pants? What if I’m HAPPY because I’m living that simple, ‘boring’ mama life?!”


You see, I’m a single mom. And for the first couple of years, I parented solo most of the time. Now, I share every other weekend, and some of those weekends start on Thursdays, so Thursday to Sunday feels like an eternity. Add three-week-long vacations to that shared co-parenting time where my son is often across the country, and each of those weeks basically feel like a month. I get used to my tiny human roomie best friend 24/7. I get used to feeling like I can never catch my breath or catch up on errands, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, or…life. I get used to feeling anxious. I get used to feeling like I never have enough time, enough patience, or enough love to go around. Because I get used to feeling SO MUCH LOVE. Like, an infinite love. A mother’s love. A real, human love I’ve never felt before – to the simple life. To my little boy. To my “boring” life.


Amongst the chaos of “just” being a mama, I also work full-time for FIT4MOM, am a freelance writer, and run my own blog, where I wanderlust through mom-life and document it. I may have a really messed up back, a handful of gray hairs, fresh crow’s feet that have blessed my blue-eyed face, and a mind that never seems to turn off to let me sleep more than 6ish hours a night; but even with those “broken” parts of me, I am grateful. I am happy. I am positive. And I love the little, simple moments that make up each and every part of my life as a mom. My life as a 29-year-old. My life as Shelley, “the mama.”


So, what if I don’t want to spend my free time backpacking through the fiords of the South Pacific? [Actually, that sounds pretty nice, but hear me out…] What if I don’t want to feel like a world away from my little one…ever? What if I don’t want to worry about not having cellphone service in a third world country that may mean I can’t wifi my son every morning and evening? What if I never want to worry that I am further than a few hour plane ride away from my little cub? What if I find the most pride, the most happiness, and the most fulfillment from being a true local where we live, exploring every nook and cranny of San Diego? What if right now I can’t commit any free time to volunteer for the PTA or donate extra money to school fundraisers? What if sometimes I feel weird at other toddlers’ birthday parties because I’m a single parent and it reminds me I don’t have an adult teammate? What if all of that is SO normal, SO okay, and SO judgement-free from others? What if that is part of my world, because my little guy IS my whole wide world?


Because, right now, he is little. L.I.T.T.L.E. He is three. He is a toddler. Which means, three years ago, he was still kicking me in the ribs and hearing my beating heart from the inside. A brand new little being who appeared on this planet with bright eyes and his whole life ahead of him that hadn’t been written yet; hadn’t been influenced; hadn’t been persuaded by anything or anyone in the “outside” world. He could – and can – be whoever he wants to be. He can believe in whatever he wants to believe in, dream whatever dreams he wants to daydream, set whatever goals his heart desires. A year ago he was two, and therefore, still a baby.


Because of that, I’m 1000% more than okay with being “simple.” With giving my whole heart and my whole wide world to these moments, right here, right now. I know one day, his tiny squishy hands will turn into little boy knuckles and hairy fingers; his cute little baby-teeth-filled-smile will one day have little gaps and teeth that await the Tooth Fairy. His doll-sized clothes will eventually take up more than just a couple dresser drawers. His bad dreams will fade and his confidence will blossom, and he will eventually no longer crawl into “our bed” for comfort. Eventually Disney movies will turn into going to the movies with friends. Our special weekends, just the two of us, will someday be filled with sleepovers with little boys who run wild and the shuffle between soccer and baseball games and surf contests. One day he won’t want night-night kisses, snuggles, and 23947 bedtime stories, or “just oneeeee more show.” I know all of that. I know this babyhood – toddlerhood – and little-boyhood will fade. He will grow. As will I. So THAT is why I don’t need an epic international adventure right now, when I have my greatest adventure of all right here at home. That is why I’m content, excited, and thrilled to be a mama of a little boy who’s making memories with me and creating our little life. In our home. In our yard. In our local area, or on the staycations or vacations we plan, together. We explore and enjoy our favorite hobbies, things, foods, and adventures as a unit. As a family. I treasure this time being present in our “plain”, incomplex, transparent little life full of love, experiences, and the comfort of our routines that make a house a home and our a life an adventure. And an incredibly epic and peaceful one at that.

 

Also previously shared by Shelley Cameron on FIT4MOM

 

Ahhh, motherhood. Sweet, sweet motherhood. Behind the lack of sleep and momnesia, there’s so much beauty within everyday moments and memories. It’s no secret our littles grow way too fast and suddenly turn into 2 and 3-year-olds who seem to be going on 13…whether it’s getting through a new growth spurt, a new bedtime routine, beginning potty training, enrolling in preschool, or the little cherub who decided it’s a good idea to phase out of naps at 2 ½…we get it. The list of questions on howdoisurvivethis grow. We’ve been there. We feel for you. We support you. And the daily or weekly glass of wine or workout that gets you through the ups and downs. With that, here’s our round-up of how you know you’re a mama to a toddler, and the firecracker that they are.

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1. You soon learn that Legos are your worst nightmare, and you fear stepping on one more than you fear stepping on a bee.
2. You’re lucky if you (ever) get anywhere on time, which is basically a half hour late according to the mom clock.
3. You traded designer handbags for grab-and-go-rough-and-tough durable bags back in the infant days, and make sure those mini suitcases are filled with wipes and snacks – at ALL times. Because Lord help you if you head out for errands and forget snacks for the hangry monster that will appear out of nowhere; even if they ate all their breakfast!
4. You basically do not own any white or nice item of clothing, because what’s the point? The risk of every and all kinds of stains will find their way right to you – smears of any kind have become a dangerous look to any wardrobe these days.
5. Speaking of stains – forget only packing a change of clothes for your mini. You probably keep a spare set of clothing (and if you don’t, you should) in your car since toddlers are basically little drunk people who are a liability to any outfit.
6. When you get in someone’s car who doesn’t have kids, you’re literally shocked at how clean it is. “Is this brand new? It looks so clean and smells so nice.” “No, Mama, it’s like four years old…..” Wait, what? Cars can look this clean when they’re not fresh off the lot? Mind. Blown.
7. You might think you’re the boss, but you’re definitely not. Your toddler is the king or queen of your castle, and won’t let you forget it.
8. When your friends without kids spend the day with you, they’re home asleep by 5pm or pouring a glass of wine beforehand, wondering how in the world you manage the chaos all day. Oh, those sweet little things and how innocent they are pre-parenting.
9. Is it bad to want noise-silencing headphones or dream of quiet, uninterrupted bathroom breaks, showers, or meals? No, most definitely not. What is silence? That’s a thing?
10. The toddler tornado is SO real. Or, also known as a category 5 hurricane that blows through with gusts up to 100mph, with no predictable weather pattern. You feel it. Your house feels it. And your partner or family never fails to walk in the door during the eye of the storm and ask, “What have you been doing all day and why is the house so messy?!” The. Nerve.
11. You sing Hallelujah and say a prayer for your former favorite TV shows to Rest In Peace. Perhaps you’ll remember to DVR them and manage to get through a series within a year. But they’ve most likely been replaced with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Princess Sophia, Blaze, or some other annoyingly lovable, quotable show on Disney Jr. or Nick Jr.
12. Your sanity and appearance will be questioned daily, and probably like 16293 times within a 12-hour span. But your heart has never been so full (or your hands). Good thing under-eye concealer and eye-brightening shadows can help mask three years of sleep deprivation.
13. Speaking of sleep…are there people who truly sleep for 8-10 hours uninterrupted and in peace without flailing limbs knocking them in the face or body parts throughout the night? Because let’s be real, you probably haven’t slept in or so solidly since college. The toddler who originally falls asleep so sweet and angelic, magically seems to turn into an octopus-like creature with 8 arms in the middle of the night. All of which end up on you or smacking you.
14. No small item is safe. They’re either trying to eat it or throw it at your face. You become a ninja overnight and have all-star catching abilities.
15. Is there such thing as a car ride where shoes stay on? As if you weren’t running late already, now you get to wrestle the little cat in your backseat and try to put their shoes back on (for the tenth time of the day).

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 10.59.44 PM.png
16. You have to reheat your tea or coffee at least 5 times throughout the day, because heaven forbid you get to finish a cup in one sitting. Do they make caffeine IVs yet? And you don’t even remember what eating a warm meal is like since you have to chop your mini’s meal up in little chunks prior to even considering sitting down in front of your plate.
17. You immediately panic when your kids are present, not napping, and there is silence. They very well may be coloring the walls, “painting” the dog, setting a new makeup trend by using all of yours, re-organizing your cabinets (that you just sorted), or jumping into the piles of your freshly washed and folded laundry. They say silence is golden, but that goes out the window in toddlerland.

 

18. Little white lies sneak up on your tongue….that food you don’t want to share? “Sorry, buddy, it’s soooo spicy.” “Wayyyy too hot.” “You’re allergic.” #shameless

 

19. You listened to your pediatrician and kept your little angel away from electronics until they were two years old.  But now that they throw the most insane tantrums in the middle of grocery aisle number 8? “Hey, want to watch a show?” You have to stay home from work because they had to stay home from school? Cartoon marathon so you can get through emails. No judgment. Just understanding that sometimes a few minutes of peace are worth any cartoon in the world.
20. You realize how weird and downright wacky some bedtime stories are. What the heck were some of these authors on?! Of course, most are beautiful and full of warm and fuzzies, but some are more bizarre than you ever remember hearing when you were little. and there’s no chance you’re getting past bedtime before reading at least 5-10 books since toddlers all seem like they just downed a cup of coffee right before bedtime.
21. Things that would have completely and utterly disgusted you pre-parenthood have become your norm. They’re still awful, of course, but the thought of getting peed on or boogers flicked on you when you were in your 20s versus surviving infanthood and now toddlerhood, does the word gross even have meaning anymore?
22. Your house is no longer properly feng shuied or decorated with tasteful items on your coffee table. Magazines get shredded, vases get broken, and picture frames get chucked across the room. Because of that, there isn’t one thing that’s left under 3’ shelves. Except dirty hand prints. and you immediately regret going over to friend’s houses who don’t have kids, because your little monster, ehem, angel, probably just detroyed all their most valuable, prescious things.
23. You once dreaded going to the park in fear of awkwardly socializing with other moms, or being surrounded by little monsters you don’t know. But now, if you don’t make it to the park or a strenuous activity, you’re stuck with what feels like a rabid dog in a cage the rest of the day.
24. You question who on earth invented the mini potty-training toilets. Why do they come in ten pieces? Why are they so hard to clean? Why do boys pee on every inch of the bathroom EXCEPT in the potty? Why do toddlers take poops as big as grown men? We’ll never know….oh the bathroom mysteries.
25. Happy hour is no longer at 5pm involving drinks with girlfriends. It’s more like happy ten minutes; the interval between when your kids are finally asleep and before you pass out by 9pm.
26. You follow a healthy lifestyle. Wine is made from fermented grapes, so it’s basically a fruit, and you’re fully convinced it most definitely counts as a daily fruit serving.
27. You turn into superwoman when you’re running errands. Remember the days you used to poke in Target for an hour and actually enjoy yourself? Now you have the superpower of getting in and out within 20 minutes. BUT, that being said, you also sneak away to Target when you’re kidless and happily enjoy trying on clothes, getting a caramel latte, and buying $100 worth of things you don’t actually need.
28. People actually shut the door when they need to use the bathroom? Peeping Toms are frowned upon? Cue Justin Bieber’s, What Do you Mean?
29. Speaking of Justin Bieber, when did he turn into an adult? Does that mean we’re old now? Wasn’t he our age? I’m so confused. And you’re confused who any modern pop star is. Because they’re like 12. And we’re like….shhh.
30. You have to buy wrinkle cream, under-eye lifting serums, and dye your gray hair. Hair starts to grow in weird places, skin begins to sag, and when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, you realize you’re slowly resembling your mom. Here’s to hoping she has good genes!

 

31. Your phone used to have like 20,000 photos of your newborn napping peacefully, accomplishing all their “firsts” and special milestones, crawling down the hallway, etc. Now, you’re lucky if you snap one photo a week of your active toddler, since you’re too busy chasing after them and making sure your phone isn’t being flushed down a toilet.

 

Originally written by Shelley and shared on FIT4MOM‘s blog