Meal Pinning Monday

June 29, 2015

This week Harrison has been meeting his great grandparents from Texas, the lucky little thing get to have my Pop as well as Jeremy's grandparents. So we're cooking up a storm. 

Next his Gigi is coming into town, and little does she know it's Whole30 July starting Wednesday... so I'm making everyone whole 30 with me. 


[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Roasted Paleo Citrus and Herb Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes

Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - Taco Salad

Thursday - Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion, and Potato Hash

Friday - Grilled Chicken with a Grilled Onion Blossom & Roasted Green Beans

Saturday - Ribs with Paleo BBQ Sauce, Potato Salad, BBQ Beans (for Jeremy), and Watermelon cake

Sunday - leftovers
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I Heart Pinterest Wednesday

June 24, 2015

Pinterest seems to take up a lot of my middle of the night nursing time. 

Here's what I've been obsessive over this week, the link to pin in below the image. 
(I desperately hate the widget thing Pinterest created and really miss the old way!)

I really love this mudroom idea. It would work great in a house like ours that possesses no actual mudroom and would keep me from putting my purse on chairs. 

Plus you can get these crates for $10 at Michael's, I've actually seen them.

We're redoing the kitchen table sometime soon, the light stain just isn't my cup of tea anymore. What I'm really struggling with is whether or not to strip the bottom of the table and stain the whole thing a dark walnut or just chalk paint the bottom. 

I've heard chalk pain is pricey, so this tutorial could come in handy. 

If we end up keeping the painted bottom this is the direction I would like to go. It's Annie Sloan Country Grey over their White with a dark wax over it. 

It pains me to spell out words all day every day, especially the same words for the same children. Since our district has basically nixed Spelling as a class I'm thinking this would be a great idea for their ELA journals. 

One of my favorite bloggers (Lambert's Lately) shared her cleaning schedule and I started following it this week! I definitely needed a better way to clean instead of just cleaning like a mad woman all day Saturday. 

I really want some wood slices for who knows what, but now I know how to seal them at least. 

When I ordered the canvas of Harrison's newborn picture I accidentally ordered a bit small. So now I'm trying to think of something else to go on the wall with it, since it just looks so small. I'm thinking about getting some acrylic paint and making one of these for that space. 

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Baby Wise & Baby Led Weaning

June 23, 2015

I know both of these topics can bring some interesting comments, Baby Wise gets a bad rap. In all honesty though, that viral "I hate BW" post that floated around Facebook was kind of garbage. I'm not sure the writer even read the book.

At the same time though, scheduling isn't for everyone. My mother and sister didn't schedule. My mom was a Le Leche League lady all the way, and honestly that book and my own mother's knowledge of nursing have helped me tremendously.

But demand nursing isn't for me for a few reasons. I'm a religious scheduler, right this very minutes I have my cleaning, blog, and weekly schedule right next to me in my overly organized planner. On our fridge is [this] print out of our meal plan.

Scheduling is comforting to me.

So before you bite my head off over it, hear me out. This post is mainly intended to help someone else in my current mothering situation. Not to spike controversy. I just had to dig and read and read for a couple of weeks to find the answer I was looking for and I hope this eventually helps someone else out.

So with all of that said, we'd followed Baby Wise (BW) down to nearly a T, minus the Cry It Out. I haven't been able to bring myself to CIO. Granted he's had to in the car, and once when I was in the shower, but in general we haven't had a huge need for it.

H tends to understand the sleep routine and doesn't usually fight me too much. As long as I set him down when he's nice and drowsy he will rustle around to get comfy and then he stays out until he is honestly done with his nap.

That may change, and the second child may be different; but right now we haven't implemented CIO.

The schedule though, we've been on those since day 2 and a few days after we got home we started waking him up at our "start the day" time of 6 AM. It's really worked great for us, and he usually wakes up within 10 minutes of the next feed and is very well adjusted to the schedule.

Baby Wise actually suggests demand feeding the first month, but there's too much mental stress tied to it for me. Granted we did a few cluster feeds when he was hungry, and it took maybe a good month to really have him on the schedule like clockwork (where you could tell his little metabolism was set to eating at those times - I had to wake up that newborn a few times to get him to eat because he slept so much).

Now this is where I ran into a problem, at this point in the game Baby Wise suggests starting purees. That's nothing odd, your doctor will likely say the same thing about your 4 month old baby.

I however want to do Baby Led Weaning, which I'll really get into in another post as a book review, and you don't introduce solids until 5 1/2 - 6 months.

Now at 16 weeks you begin Merge 5 in Baby Wise where you drop a day feed because the infant is now taking solids.

I tried and tried to do this merge, but it wouldn't work. After a lot of reading I figured out why.

At the beginning of last week I started trying to implement it, even though it didn't seem right to drop a feed with us not starting solids until the end of August at 5 1/2 months. His naps were terrible, he was all out of whack in general... and then I did my usual 3am Google fest during the night feed and finally, FINALLY, found a BW blog that mentioned that you don't move from Merge 4 to Merge 5 until the baby has started solids.

You aren't supposed to move to the 5th schedule (merge) in Baby Wise until the child starts solids. 

Finally my question was answered! 

I'd been scanning blogs for two months trying to figure out how to merge my love of schedules with the demand feed Baby Led Weaning book. Simply telling me the baby will drop milk feedings on his own when I have this child down to the clock so much so that he wakes within 5-10 minutes of the next feed time (until he's exhausted) was a little scary. 

So in case you're wondering - if you follow the Baby Wise schedule don't move onto the 5th Merge (feed schedule) until you've started solids. So somewhere around 27-28 weeks we will start solids and it is completely possible that we will shorten the time BW suggests for the 5th Merge and then move onto the 6th since that Merge occurs around 28 weeks. 

But I'll be sure to blog about how that is going when the time comes, because like I said I haven't found a single blog that did the BW scheduling and then introduced food to their infant the BLW way. I'll also be sure to use this space to journal how BLW goes, I have high hopes for it and considering how fiercely independent our nearly 4 month old is already showing to be I think it will work well for him. (I've also found a few products that I think will work great for BLW)

In case you're wondering what our schedule looks like now, and how it will look until H is about 27 weeks old (because remember we aren't introducing purees and we are going straight to solids) here it is ::

6am - feed
-straight back to sleep without wake time
8:30am - feed
9:30-10am ish - put down for nap
-this is a shorter nap usually and he wakes up early
11:30am - feed
12:30pm - go down for nap
-longest nap of the day and he doesn't usually wake up until time to eat again
2:30pm - feed
3:30- 4pm go down for a nap
5:00pm - feed
-stay awake until next feed or cat nap (he has a little witching hour at this point so we will go outside, take a bath, or just wear him in the carrier where he will cat nap while I clean the kitchen in the evening)
7:30 - 8pm - feed, depends on how fussy and tired he is as to whether or not we eat before 8. 
- read book, sing, and go down for the night
3:30 am - feed (I don't wake him up at night, this is just the time he wakes up like clockwork to eat)

Now a little bit more about how BW is going for us in case you're feeding your baby at 3AM and curious:

Baby Wise talks a lot about Dream Feeds, after he got to be about 1 1/2 months old I quit doing them. I've experimented with Dream Feeds with Harrison and they don't make a difference with when he gets up to eat at night. 

Initially he was waking up at midnight and 4am to eat, when I would Dream Feed he was still waking up at those times. Eventually he merged those two feeds himself to 3:30am, to which I tried Dream Feeding again in hopes of having him sleep through the night. 

It didn't happen. 

I just got less sleep because I woke up a sleeping baby to nurse for what took double the usual time to eat when he's actually motivated to eat at night. Then he still work up at 3:30am. 

So I've pretty much nixed the concept of DF-ing with this child. If he eats at 8pm he will maybe rustle around once and I can pop the paci in and he will immediately go back down and not stir again until time to eat at 3:30am. 

Which means more sleep for both of us. 

Maybe the next kid will be a Dream Feed baby, and maybe yours is... this particular one just views it as a snack between the last evening feed and the 3:30am ritual feeding he insists upon having every night. 

Oh and I'll be 100% honest with you before I quit rambling for the day. Baby Wise swears you can have your child sleeping through the night by two months, but if you read the what even the BW bloggers say... many of them don't have their babies sleeping through the night. Exclusively breastfed babies tend to hold onto one night feed for a long time (trust me I've looked this up a million times hoping it just wasn't true) because breast milk is just easier to digest. 

Yes, formula fed babies will more likely sleep through the night. But it's because it takes longer to digest, not because it's better for them. I'm not hating on formula, some people don't have a choice or they just prefer it, but it isn't an option for me. So therefore I just have to accept that we will be waking up once a night to eat until we start solids, more than likely. 

Hopefully this helped someone else out there who is in my boat and wants to dip in both the scheduling and demand feed pool that is BLW. 

If you have any experience with the two I'd love your input on how it went for you and your child. 
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Meal Pinning Monday

June 22, 2015

Giving myself the break from Whole30 last week was not good. 

If you read this post where I talked about how it was going for me, health wise, everything completely digressed. So this week I'm going back to my Paleo whole food ways before venturing into another Whole30 for July (they are having an official one this month). 

Granted the only thing I'm doing that it's Whole30 this week is some stevia in my coffee and a bit of Yonana frozen fruit. Our AC is out and who knows when they are coming to fix it (thank you home warranty) so frozen fruit is my saving grace come 9pm when the baby is out for the night. 


[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Chicken Cacciatore

Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - Asian Crack Slaw

Thursday - Plantain Beef Pie

Friday - Sunday - Grilling meats and veggies to make it easy while Jeremy's grandparents are in town. (Hopefully our air is back on so they want to be here lol)

Breakfast - 2 eggs with sauteed onions and peppers with either sweet potato with coconut oil or a peach

Lunch - Grilled Chicken Tenders with Kale sauteed with garlic and ghee with a small red potato, or the same chicken with a kale salad & the Balsamic dressing from the other day. 

Snack - hard boiled eggs, almonds, olives, fridge pickles, or Lara Bar (or in the late evening if I'm buring alive from no AC I'm putting half a frozen banana and a cup of tropical mix frozen fruit through my yonana maker with a sprinkle of chia seeds)
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Balsamic Chuck Roast

June 19, 2015

Right after we had Harrison our friend Julie brought over the absolute best roast I've ever tasted. 

So of course I had to ask for the recipe. 

And then I had to make it Paleo friendly, because... baby weight and insane sugar cravings that have GOT to go. 

She made hers with balsamic salad dressing and not the straight up cup of vinegar the recipe called for. I never actually found out what dressing she used, so I bought a bottle of Ken's and was still terribly in love with this roast. 

I'm not kidding you when I say I told Jeremy he couldn't eat the leftovers of what she brought because I was hoarding them for myself. 

The only issue with Ken's Salad Dressing... tons of junk in it. Considering I'm trying to clean up how I eat and get back to eating whole foods like I did before having the baby I knew I had to figure out a replacement. 

And straight up balsamic vinegar wasn't going to jive with Jeremy. I'm doing good if I can open a bottle around him. Ha! He really isn't a vinegar person, which is a shame because I'm all about some vinegar. 

So says the 4 jars of cucumbers soaking in vinegar in the fridge right now. 

I came up with my own dressing recipe and have to say I'm pretty happy with it. After making the roast and using a whole recipe of the dressing I immediately made a second batch to use in salads for the week.

Balsamic Chuck Roast

1 recipe of homemade balsamic dressing (recipe below)
3-5 lb beef chuck roast
1 tsp Italian Seasoning herbs
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves of garlic (or 2 tsp of minced)

Balsamic Dressing::
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake to make the dressing. Set aside. Place the chuck roast in a crock pot, sprinkle Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic over the roast. Next pour over your entire jar of balsamic dressing. Set crock pot to low and cook for 8 hours, or on low for 4-6.

I'm not kidding you when I say this is my favorite meal, with a side of roasted carrots and potatoes I'm in heaven. I'd also be lying if I didn't say I loved it so much I could actually drink the gravy in the bottom of the crock pot.

Which by the way, if you aren't worried about all purpose flour at all I suggest using the drippings to make a legit gravy. 
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Whole30 Update

June 16, 2015

I'm not done with Whole30, but I thought I'd give a little update today. 

With Father's day coming up, and having Whole30'd through our anniversary I decided to take a week off. I cheated twice last week, must be hormones. And then this week I didn't plan as well as I thought I did and I noticed that when I'm not getting enough protein I tend to crave sweets more.

When in reality I could just munch away on beef and almonds.

There is an official Whole30 starting July 1st so I'm giving myself the space to have a few cheats the next week before starting up full fledged again. I think I'll be more motivated then.

Now what killed my Whole30 this time? A few factors: 1) I hosted our girls night and had ice cream on hand that lingered around the house. 2) We went on a date to a coffee shop. And 3) I was super stressed and ate a brownie at Small Group.

Granted 2 ice cream treats and a brownie aren't nearly as bad as what I was doing during pregnancy and for the 3 months following, but it still wasn't good.

As soon as I ate those things I noticed a difference, the brownie didn't cause a problem... but I'm lactose intolerant and apparently the baby appreciates it when I don eat dairy either.

I got a terrible stomach ache and wouldn't you know he woke up every single hour with gas pains.

There were also a few things that really changed because of Whole30 >>>
1) (For this one you should know I exclusively breastfeed and that's why this change has occurred) Harrison's gassy issues subsided. He rarely needs gas medicine and is sleeping much longer stretches during the night. Which has made me decide that aside from the teaspoon of half & half I like to have in my coffee it's straight Paleo/Primal until I'm done nursing. At least in an 80/20 format. I will likely eat more around a 90/10 but I've gotta give myself the Lewie to have treats so I'm not DYING for treats.

2) This is totally TMI but after having the baby I was suffering, and I mean suffering from hemorrhoids. 3 months of bleeding to the point that I was ready to call the doctor and after 2 weeks of Whole30 that completely healed itself.

***Before getting pregnant I ate Primal (basically Paleo with some dairy) and never had the issues that pregnancy and all my prego junk food brought with it.

3) I lost a little bit of weight. Roughly 5lbs, which makes a total of 50 lbs lost after having the baby and only 10 more to go. The slight weight loss made it so that I could wear a few non maternity pants I have in the closet.

I'm hoping that after this week break, which isn't really a break, that I'll be ready to go for the official Whole30 in July. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are still all Whole30. I'm just allowing myself a little of the cake I'm making Jeremy for Father's Day and to eat what everyone else is when we go hang out with some friends for Father's Day on Sunday.

My biggest issue is having a partner in crime for such events, when Jeremy was all in I did great. As he quit I struggled to stick to it.

So there we go, 23 days of Whole30 with a minor slip and I've already got positive health changes.

Who all is planning to participate in the official group Whole30 in July? 
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Meal Pinning Monday

June 15, 2015

I swear I would love to have every day as relaxed as summer.

It's another week of meal planning around here and the last week of Whole 30, however I'm going to keep to the Paleo meals until we are done nursing. I might even do another Whole 30 in July before school starts back up, especially since I picked a bad month and had a dessert cheat or two.

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Roast with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots (recipe to come)

Tuesday - Leftovers

Wednesday - Kalua Pig (but chicken) with Roasted Broccoli

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - BBQ Chicken Salad (with some things left out for Whole 30)

Saturday - Buffalo Chicken with Oven Fries

Sunday - Kitchen closed - but making a Milk Cake for Jeremy! 

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Five on Friday

June 12, 2015

I'm super pumped that it's Friday, not that it actually matters because every Summer day is technically Friday for the next few weeks while Jer and I are both off work. 

What I'm excited about is that I've got a hair cut scheduled today... all the way in Lafayette... and I'm going without the baby. Other than work I've been without said child twice. 

I need to bite the bullet and actually have someone watch him one evening so we can go on a date, but that isn't easy for me to do. If my mother was here it would be easier, then there wouldn't be any guilt in asking someone to watch him for two hours. However, something in me just doesn't easily ask for help of any kind and I've worn the child to every date we've had. Even though he is far too alert for such things now. 

For example, we went on a coffee date with Harrison last Saturday at a time where he should have slept. He did no such thing. In fact to make it more interesting he had a complete explosion of a diaper than led to both of us stripping him naked in a parking lot and cleaning every known surface in wet wipe, all while he screamed his head off because Jeremy was basically dangling him in the air while I tried to wipe the poop off of the limbs that were kicking me and getting poop on more things. 

Definitely wasn't my top 10 dates. 

Especially since the coffee shop was far too hipster for me. I just want decaf coffee in my life and they wanted me to order something picked by orphans in the moonlight of Kenya at a steady temperate of 98.4. 

It was just too much. 

And it didn't taste good. 

So umm, how's Whole 30 going? 

I had a little cheat this week, which wouldn't be a cheat if I were still in the 30 day range. I'm more of a 80/20 kinda gal myself and need a snow cone to survive Louisiana summers once a week. I had brownies though. Hot, gooey, delicious brownies. To be very clear I don't regret a single thing, I needed it. 

I really don't think it derailed anything at all. I'm going to finish it out and then blog about the changes... which there have been quite a few. 

I hate to say it, but those Banana Bread Lara Bar I made... total flop. 

The texture of the dried banana wasn't great and it needed vanilla. 

We played in the kiddie pool this week, only to be majorly disappointed to find out that little babies can't wear sunblock. 

I envisioned a summer of playing in the water and potentially getting myself a little color, nope. 

Not gonna happen. 

We will just be playing in the water late in the evening when the UV risk is very low. 

At the end of April Harrison had started to roll from stomach to back, well after I went back to work and he wasn't doing quite as much tummy time that quit happening. 

Finally this week I got him to do it again! 

You might also notice the bedding set in the pic, that's right, after 6 year of marriage we finally bought a complete bedding set. 

I had every intention of having a Shabby Chic set from Target when we were first married, but wanted a quilt instead of a comforter and could never land king size shams. It was a source of major disappointment that I convinced Jeremy to resolve after pointing out just how worn out our quilt was. 

I have to say, it's kind of nice to have a real bedding set. It makes the room look a little more intentionally decorated... especially since I haven't hung anything on the walls in there. 

 Timehop reminded me that it's been a year since we flew into Puerto Rico.

I'm dying to go on a trip this year but can't imagine doing anything with such a small baby. Plus with my tiny check after maternity leave and the lovely hospital bills you get for having a child, this just isn't the year.

So I'm looking at other things I can do, like hiking near my hometown, that will give us some adventure without the adventure price tag.

Let's just go ahead and claim this as the Summer of Staycation around here. 
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Old San Juan

June 11, 2015

Timehop alerted me today to the fact that it's been a year since we flew into Puerto Rico. So obviously it's high time I finish uploading the pics onto the blog. 

If Italy was any indication we should all be well aware that I take forever to get travel posts up. 

After touring Castillo San Cristobal we decided to wander around Old San Juan and search for lunch. 

I wish I could remember where we ate, but we got the recommendation from the police officer in front of San Cristobal.

I highly suggest somewhere local (no chains on this trip), and I highly suggest getting Mofongo while in San Juan.

We ate our Mofongo while watching the World Cup amongst a bunch of locals. However, if you recall any of my earlier posts... Spanish speaking places don't eat as early as we do. By the time we were finishing lunch the locals had starting pouring in to eat.

If ever you see an ice cream cart, or one of the snow cone type carts like we visited in Ponce, jump on it. Puerto Rican street carts and roadside vendors were beyond delicious every single time we stopped.

I'm a sucker for detail.

I just love the iron gates and Mosaic tiles all over the island. Much prettier than Louisiana. New Orleans is the only place you see such things here.

Small streets and big trucks don't mix. 

Also, I'm still trying to figure out why we never went to Zombie Espresso. 

Now for the final thing I loved, there were still telephone booths in San Juan! 

There's also a free trolley that drives around Old San Juan. The wait for it is terrible, the locals even said that the drivers tend to do what they want and don't stay on schedule. 

That being said, if you're in a large group - even our group of 7 - it's hard to get enough seats that you can all ride. One or two people wouldn't have a problem, but we weren't going to separate the group. 

Driving isn't all that bad, just prepare to park in the public parking and walk around. 
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Meal Pinning Monday

June 8, 2015

I'm posting a little late in the day, but here's this week's Whole 30 menu >>>


[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Amish Ground Beef & Cabbage

Tuesday - Grilled Chicken & Baked Potatoes (we are having company in town, gotta make it easy)

Wednesday - Leftovers of some sort for me and everyone else is eating out. 

Thursday - Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Friday - Curried Chicken Thighs & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Saturday - Paleo Mini Meatloaves with Mashed Potatoes (yes I know I've potatoed half to death this week)

Sunday - Leftovers

Breakfast - Eggs cooked in ghee with a baked sweet potato or banana
Lunch - grilled chicken with sauteed kale
Snacks - hard boiled eggs or Lara bar
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Whole 30 Approved Breakfast Sausage

June 4, 2015

I'm currently on day 11 of Whole 30 and feeling really good. One of the big positives is that I've seen Harrison have to take less gas medicine. 

So who knows if it's the dairy, wheat, or beans... but he isn't having quite the trouble he previously was. Granted I still give him one dose at bedtime, but it's not at nearly every feed like it was two weeks ago. Plus his diapers have become more regular and it's seems to be easier for him to go. 

But enough about baby poop. 

The issue I tend to run into with Paleo or Whole 30 is the fact that I just can't afford to have top of the line organic and free range died happy everything. 

The Paleo approved prepacked brands of meat everyone raves about are out of my price range and no where to be found around here. I just can't stomach driving 30 minutes to find a grocery store than carries other things. 

So we make do. 

And make we did when I grabbed a package of ground pork and made breakfast sausage that was Jeremy approved. 

And not much is Jeremy approved. 

Whole 30 Breakfast Sausage

1 lb ground pork
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika (or use whatever kind you have on hand)
a few dashes of cayenne pepper to taste

Brown meat with all seasonings mentioned above on medium heat in a large skillet until cooked through. 

**We aren't nutmeg people, but some people are. If you want to add a dash of nutmeg that would be right up there with store bought breakfast sausage taste. 

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