Sunday, September 23, 2018

Gastritis Diet Hacks and Update

"So...you're still dealing with this? How long is this going to last?" My dad questioned me as I looked for plain oatmeal in their pantry while explaining that even though my son and I had come over for dinner, I couldn't eat the dinner they were serving. Believe me, pasta, salad, and garlic bread sound a lot more appetizing than oatmeal. But, unfortunately, my stomach still isn't there yet.

But - good news - I am able to eat a larger variety of foods now. And along the way, I've found a few hacks and foods that I can tolerate. Some of these gastritis hacks are also "healthy alternatives" to some not-so-healthy foods. So even if you're not dealing with a damaged stomach, you may want to stick around to learn some healthy food hacks.

Disclaimer before I get into it - These are foods I can tolerate. Everyone with gastritis/stomach issues is different. I'm also about 7 months into treatment.

This first one is something you may already know if you follow me on Instagram. (Shameless plug - follow me @FloridaMommyDiaries.)

(Also, as I insert this post's photos I feel the need to say this post is not sponsored by or affiliated with any brand. I just really love the dairy-free Reddi-Wip!)

Easy Sweet Potato Dessert

It's super simple, quick, and easy to make. Just bake (or nuke) a sweet potato, cut it open, and add some Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Reddi-Wip on top. It tastes almost like a sweet potato casserole or pie. But way fewer calories/sugar. And gastritis friendly.

Oven "Fries"

French fries. I haven't been crazy about them since I had my son (I couldn't stand ANYTHING potato while I was pregnant).  But...of course once I can't have them, I want them. I now make a version I can tolerate at home. I cut up a potato into wedges, toss it in olive oil (an oil I can tolerate) and salt, and bake it in the toaster oven at 450 degrees for 45 minutes. They're so good that my husband even prefers them.


Banana with Coconut Sugar

This is a "dessert," although I like my desserts sugary with chocolate or ice cream...this is something sweet that I can tolerate. And it's a bit healthier than an ice cream sundae. I simply cut a banana lengthwise, sprinkle some coconut sugar over it, and toast it in the toaster oven until the sugar caramelizes.


Avocado 

I use avocado for everything. Mash it up and pretend it's a less flavorful guac. Avocado toast has become a staple. I also mash it up and mix it with salt and olive oil to make a creamy pasta "sauce."


Non-Coffee Coffee

The top three things I miss are the three C's - cheese, chocolate, and coffee. I haven't found an alternative to cheese yet. But I have found alternatives for chocolate (hang in there, I'll get there) and coffee.  Apparently, they make coffee alternatives that are caffeine-free.  Do they really taste like coffee? Eh. Kaffree Roma (I tried several brands, this was the one I liked best) tastes a little bit like airplane coffee (you know, that coffee you get on an airplane that ranges from awful to so-so). But add in some almond milk creamer (they even make a pumpkin spice flavor now!) and top it with either the coconut milk Reddi-Wip or almond milk Reddi-Wip and it's as close as you're going to get to coffee without having...well...coffee.



Carob

This is the chocolate alternative.  I remembered buying a dog we had years ago dog cookies made out of safe-for-dogs people food. They looked like chocolate chip cookies. But the "chocolate chips" were carob chips. So I set out to look for carob treats. Again, it doesn't taste like chocolate on its own. But a local grocery store (shout out to Publix) carries carob covered raisins and carob covered almonds. The carob covered raisins taste most like chocolate covered raisins. The almonds...meh. They're not bad but they definitely don't taste like chocolate covered almonds.



Random tips:

  • When eating out, look at the restaurant's menu online beforehand if you can. It will make it less overwhelming if you plan out what you're going to order ahead of time since, most likely, you will have to ask the server to leave out a few ingredients. (Or ask them to put them on the side - which is what I do.)
  • Breakfast is one of the easiest things to order when eating out. Egg whites are a good option. And if all else fails - pancakes.
  • Grab and go snacks can be hard to find. I can tolerate:
  1. Sunchips
  2. Pistachios
  3. Harvest Snaps Lightly Salted






Sunday, September 16, 2018

7 Ideas To Help Raise Environmentally-Responsible Kids

Written by a contributing writer 



As a parent, it's important to take your job seriously when it comes to raising responsible citizens for the future. It's essential to raise your children to be physically healthy, emotionally strong, and kind. It's also vital to instill strong values related to the environment in your children. Here are 7 tips to help you raise environmentally-responsible children.

1. Choose Eco-Friendly Products

Before you show your children how to appreciate the earth, you'll need to make some changes to your own habits and household usage. Start with your buying habits in your home. Swap out your paper products for eco-friendly items. Switch any old appliances out for energy saving options. Look for natural products produced by companies that are committed to protecting the environment. Some of these products may cost a bit more, but in the end, you could spend less on utilities.

2. Eat a Plant-Based Diet

You can also show your children your commitment to being environmentally responsible in your diet. Eliminate items such as red meat from your diet and focus on foods that are plant-based. Stop buying produce and other items that aren't in season and require excessive shipping and processing. Visit local farmer's markets and choose items that are grown in your area to show your children eco-friendly foods. You can also start your own garden to give them ideas about producing food.

3. Practice Recycling

Recycling is another big part of an eco-friendly household. Set up a system in your house that sorts items from the trash and into the recycling bins. Teach your children about which items are able to be recycled and which ones should be thrown away. Create a composting pile in your backyard and model using it with your kids. This way, you can reduce your garbage over time.

4. Promote Reusing Objects

Next, show your children how effective it is to reuse items instead of throwing them away. Instead of buying brand new clothes, toys, and household objects, visit yard sales, thrift stores, or other spots to buy secondhand items. You can also save money big time by avoiding the sticker shock of a brand new item. When your children outgrow clothing or toys, get them involved in the process of putting them up for sale or donating them to a good cause.

5. Reduce Water Waste

Modeling responsible water usage is another way you can show your children how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Explain the problem with water in the world today by showing them news stories and information about ventures like the Cadiz Water Project. Teach them how to take shorter showers and leave off the water when brushing their teeth. Encourage using rainwater collection ideas, such as a rain barrel for watering plants and the grass.

6. Take Field Trips

Field trips are another great idea if you want to expose your kids to all different types of environmental education. One eye-opening experience that could change your kids' perspective is a trip to the local landfill. Show your children the amount of waste that goes into the landfill each day to give them a real sense of what the planet is facing for the future.

7. Explore the Outdoors

Finally, it's also important to teach your kids to appreciate the beauty of the earth each day. You can do this by exploring different parts of your region's outdoor attractions. Check out local parks, forests, hiking trails, and more to give your children a better idea of what is at stake with the environment. When they see the raw beauty of the land, they may be more likely to work harder to protect it.
If you want to help the planet stay healthy for the next generation, you must work hard to teach children what needs to be done. Model these environmentally-friendly practices with your kids to raise children who appreciate the earth.