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Scattered Sundays

I wanted to take a pause for a moment and say thanks.

And you’re like “take a pause”? This thing just got started.

Shut up.

If you read my post on 2018 in Review, you may remember I mentioned that I’ll be leaning into more paleo and Whole30 recipes for 2019. Not because I think they’re for everyone (they’re not. A lot of times I put cheese all over my serving of the dairy-free meals I’m posting after I take photos), but because I am committed to trying to help Jack figure out some digestive issues he has.

When he was a baby I knew something was wrong with him. He was angry, pukey, and sometimes had streaks of blood in his diaper. Even as a first-time mom, it was obvious that not all was right with this kid.

The sweet little smile hid a lot of pain for poor Baby Jack

When he was four months old, his pediatrician told me bluntly “he has milk protein-induced colitis and since you are nursing you need to stop consuming dairy immediately”. My love of dairy was so strong that I had a moment of “well, do I really? Like really? Couldn’t he just deal with this?” after she said that.

Troy vowed to support me by giving up sugar in solidarity. That promise evaporated faster than a fart on a hot skillet when literally two hours after we left the pediatrician’s office I caught him eating ice cream cake at our niece’s birthday.

For the record, ice cream cake is the only kind of cake I like and I get two slices a year at most.

So, I was dairy-free until after he was one. And then when he had intussusception he was on a low FODMAP diet for a month. He got the go-ahead to go back to normal eating with a warning to watch how he was feeling and reacting.

Troy comes from a linage of delicate little butterfly stomaches who have reactions to certain foods that are bizarre and I constantly make fun of him. “Really Troy, avocado makes your throat itch”?

He will say things like “yeah I remember my stomach hurting every day when I was little” in reaction to Jack saying his stomach is upset.

I’m not a doctor (don’t be shocked), but none of this seems normal to me. But, I’ll be honest with you in that I’ve been dragging my feet on doing anything real about it because it’s harder work than I was interested in doing because he seemed okish. Mom of the year over here.

Still, I committed in December that as of January we’d be shifting to more paleo/Whole30 to try and figure this out. And then this week Jack told me if he had a genie that would grant him three wishes, one of his wishes would be that his stomach didn’t hurt and he could eat whatever he wanted.

And then my heart exploded into 3,810 pieces and the bile-scented feeling of guilt puked itself up into my throat.

If you’re interested, the other wishes are that he could play any video game he wanted and that everything was made of candy. Even the trees.

Don’t try to tell him that Candy Land would be sticky. He’s not interested in reality with this.

So yeah, you’re definitely going to see more gluten-free, dairy-free, blah, blah, blah-free recipes coming from this site. And while the posts I’ll be sharing will be 100% delicious, I’m can’t tell with a straight face that I won’t be adding cheese to my plate in the kitchen or wanting to eat a stick of butter like an apple.

We’re keeping our Friday night popcorn nights. For now.

If this feels weird for you, you’re not alone. Heck, I own a wheat grinder and make my own flour! I am the baker of the communion bread for our church.

This is strange for me and I appreciate your grace as we work through it.

At the end of 2017, I made it a goal to not buy any new clothes in 2018 except for underwear and socks. I didn’t need any new bras because let’s be clear, my bras don’t wear out quickly because they don’t really do any actual work. It would be like getting an elephant a waist trainer – pointless.

I’m proud to announce that except for one purchase I stuck to my guns. What broke me was the need for another pair of fleece-lined leggings to wear under dresses. And I’m not the least bit sorry I bought them because I wear them twice weekly.

I found some amazing “new” clothes at Goodwill, consignment stores, and ThredUp (use this link to get $10 off your first order). And I realized how much I actually hate shopping for clothes. It’s the worst and I’m pleased to keep buying used because it is more affordable and helps close the loop on the wasteful fashion industry.

Side note: if you’re interested in sustainable and ethically made undergarments, I buy from this brand. If you’re interested, use this link and you’ll get 20% off your own order.

I do really need some new workout clothes so I’ll be in the market some new pants and sports bras (again, not really a necessary item…) and then I just keep maintaining and editing my wardrobe to make sure each item is loved and useful.

Yesterday morning I went and got a truckload of free woodchips for the yard. I mucked out the chicken coop yard and hauled sooooo much chicken compost to a corner of their space. I replaced all of it with the wood chips and spread some more in a few places in our garden.

It was a beautiful day and that is the kind of work I love. I would rather my arms feel exhausted and dead from hauling chicken crap than ever going to a gym. And plus I had a little helper who added a lot of “value” to the situation. Like randomly dumping dirt on the walkway for no reason.

It’s funny that a kid who doesn’t ever want kale on his plate will totally eat leaf after leaf directly from the garden. Check out the kale ‘stache.

With the United States government entering its fourth week of the shutdown, I wanted to take a moment and remind everyone about the huge impact that targeted kindness can have. Regardless of your political affiliation, chances are you or someone you know will be or has been impacted by the shutdown.

If you’re in a place to help others, donations to food banks/pantries can be especially helpful, including toiletries. Many churches (including ours) have resource offices that help distribute food, emergency funds, and other items to the broader community.

Dropping off some gift cards, canned goods, or new socks can mean a lot to the recipient of those items.

And if donating isn’t in the plans right now, think about the people in your life who may be struggling. Is there a neighbor who is required to report to work without the promise of a paycheck? Maybe a family member who is furloughed without pay? It is fairly painless to invite them over for a big meal to catch up (and then send them with leftovers) or bring by an “extra” batch of soup you made.

There was a four-year streak where Troy and I were really broke. We were never poor (we always had access to food, I had a job with health insurance and we were able to afford necessities) but we were definitely broke and stretched thin. A well-intentioned meal or random gift of necessities that seem like luxuries meant so much during that time.

Let’s look out for one another m’kay?

Comment/Review of the Week

This week’s review of the week comes from Karen who left a five-star review on Chicken Gyro Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes:

OK, you wore me down and I purchased an Instant Pot (6 quart). Holiday sales, coupons, and gift cards got me to a price I could live with.

Made your tortilla soup first (yummers) and then made these chicken gyro/sweet potato thingys. My word, they are soooo good and of course fast. So for now since it’s properly winter here in Connecticut, I’ll be working my way through your soup options. I don’t recall how I found your site (back when it was at the OG ‘Frugal’ address.) but it’s been just amazing. Really enjoying it and your Instagram feed. I know it was a big step to do this full time, but well done!

You can all see that Karen learned an important lesson here. I’m tenacious and like a dog with a bone when it comes to convincing people to do what I want them to do. It’s just a matter of time before the rest of you are all rocking Instant Pots! You’ve been warned.

Drink the Kool-Aid; it’s delicious.

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

21 Easy Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners – 21 healthy and delicious Easy Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners to help you learn to make amazing quick and simple meals. Tasty dinner, soup, breakfast, and other recipes to get you started on the road to Instant Pot expert. {Pin this}.

five easy instant pot recipes for beginners

Chipotle Instant Pot Turkey Chili {Whole30, Paleo} – Cozy up to a bowl of this amazing and easy Chipotle Instant Pot Turkey Chili! This recipe contains no beans for a Whole30 compliant and/or healthy paleo meal. Thanks to fast pressure cooking, your delicious turkey chili is ready in a flash. It’s like a hug in a bowl! {Pin this}

Two bowls of whole30 instant pot turkey chili with toppings and cilantro

Instant Pot Paleo Beef and Broccoli {Whole30, Paleo, Gluten-Free} – A hearty takeout copy cat, Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli is the perfect weeknight dinner. This easy and healthy dish is Whole30 compliant, paleo, and gluten-free. {Pin this}

two bowls of instant pot paleo beef and broccoli with hot sauce

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

We have a new guest in the top five this week! Check out those zucchini chips making their first ever Scattered Sundays appearance! Is it zucchini season in the Southern Hemisphere?

  1. Instant Pot Sous Vide Egg Bites Recipe {Whole30}                   {Pin this}
  2. Best Ever Trader Joe’s Whole30 Shopping List                          {Pin this}
  3. Healthy Orange Chicken {Whole30, Paleo, Instant Pot}          {Pin this}
  4. Whole30 Bruschetta Chicken {Paleo, Whole30, Instant Pot} {Pin this}
  5. Healthier Fried Zucchini Chips                                                      {Pin this}

Hop in the DeLorean

Last year the top post from this week was: How to Make Simple Beginner Quilts {Pin this}

Meal Plan

Monday:: New recipe I’ve been working on.

Tuesday:: Chicken Gnocchi Soup, but I’m reworking it make it dairy and gluten-free. And in the Instant Pot!

Wednesday:: Fritatta and salad.

Thursday:: Leftovers (or breakfast for dinner if there aren’t enough leftovers.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Whole30 Potato Soup with salad on the side.

Sunday:: Family dinner

What We Bought This Week

Trader Joes: $14.16. The cauliflower was free because the stuff I bought last week went bad within a day. They comped me this stuff, no questions asked.

Butcher Box: $129. We got our Butcher Box order this week (monthly grass-fed, pastured, and organic meat delivered to your house) and it was a good haul. Right now they’re giving away 2 pounds of wild Alaskan salmon with all new subscriptions. {Click here to get the deal for yourself}

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

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24 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I’m super excited about your current focus. In July our family went Keto, so this falls right in line and I will be able to try more of your recipes! I’m still not sold on the InstaPot yet- but maybe eventually.
    Thanks for all you do!

  2. I am so sorry Jack, and all of you, are struggling with food. It’s such a hard thing to go through. It took me a year after realizing Emma had gluten and dairy issues to REALLY get it completely out of our diet. And yeah, when your kid says to you, “I had no idea my tummy could feel this good!” when they are 5, it makes you feel like a shitty mom for missing it all those years.
    Jack is incredibly lucky to have you for a mom. Your kitchen skills will ensure that even if his food options are limited, at least they will be delicious!
    On a selfish note, I am insanely happy that we can eat even more of your amazing recipes! The Instant Pot gets added to our budget for next month…

    • The food issues in your family are a constant moving target!

      So excited you’ll be getting the Instant Pot next month. I bet Emma will like using it too!

  3. I offer this as support, because you know, I know “It’s not all about me” (I think and hope I know that anyway).  Last July, when I went “Keto” in solidarity with a friend dealing with cancer , I didn’t know how I could give up all grains (bread, really?) and sugar, but I did and I felt good. Six weeks ago, when I decided to go dairy free (except from homemade goats’ milk kefir) to see if it would help some annoying health issues, I didn’t know if I could  “be Keto” without cream and cheese…I love cheese as much as bread. I feel so good, and heck, look so much better. It is very much worth it. I don’t promise myself I will never, ever have these things which is a help psychologically. It has been huge for me to give up fruit (I love fruit) except for tiny bits occasionally, and basically three or so other food groups, but I’ve become rather used to it and am not suffering. I eat a lot of vegetables.  I’ve always loved food. I am famous (in my neighborhood) as a great cook and baker. Things change. On a different subject, You are an inspiration. Thank you.  Big hug,

    • You’re a great friend for doing that! How is your friend doing with her/his journey?

      I’ve been dairy-free for almost a year and gluten-free off and on for months at a time. The thing is it doesn’t change anything for me to remove those things from my diet. That is what makes it so hard. But I know it’s better for the boys so I just need to do it.

  4. I’m looking more closely at Paleo and Whole 30 snacks for my son too. He eats what we eat for dinner but other than that he was eating whatever. I’m trying to see if cutting back will help his ADHA. We had a rough second quarter at school so here’s to the new year.

  5. Hi Sarah! So sorry to hear about Jack’s ongoing tummy troubles. I too have had a lot of digestive issues over the years and have been trying to to figure it out for a good 10+ years now. One protocol that really helped me was the GAPS protocol. I’m sure you’ve heard of it already, but just in case you haven’t, I wanted to toss it out there. It’s pretty gnarly, and I’m not sure how Jack would do bc it’s really really restrictive for a time. BUT I do credit it with a lot of really amazing healing and I think it has really helped me in my journey. The other thing that really really helped was the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). There’s a ton of great resources out there to help walk you through it. This is a little less restrictive, so it may be a better place to start. I wish you the best of luck!! <3 Tiff

    • Yep, I’m familiar with GAPS. Not sure how I could ever get Jack to do it, but I do know people have had lots of success on it. I think my cousin did a version of it after she was diagnosed with Celiac. I’m so glad it was helpful for you!

      I know a bit about AIP but should do some more research.

  6. Well girl, so glad to see your love of gardening develope. Certainly was dormant in your adolescent years.

  7. Wow, this was such a timely post for me! I actually stopped by your site to look for your Larabar recipe because my boyfriend and I are starting an elimination diet today. I’ve had digestive issues for quite a while, but they’ve  been bothering me a lot more recently. With no diagnosed food allergies and a clean bill of health from a gastroenterologist, I suspect I have a sensitivity to one or more foods, but I can’t figure out which, so I’m eliminating the most common problem foods for 2 weeks and then slowly adding them back in to see how I react to each. Fingers crossed it works! I really hope Jack feels better, as well. Belly issues are no fun.

    • Good luck Katie!

      Based on what I know about food sensitivities, most of them take 21 days to really clear your system. If you have the time to do a 3-week elimination you *may* get more definitely results.

  8. I’m not going to lie, I’m more than a little excited about the gluten-dairy recipies that will be coming our way! We, (mostly me) as a family try to avoid both and it’s a struggle. Your recipies never dissapoint.

  9. My husband also remembers his stomach hurting all the time when he was a kid.  As a young adult he was diagnosed with chronic fatigue.  And then we figured out that he’s gluten and dairy intolerant.  Now he sleeps well, doesn’t have belly pain, and doesn’t have fatigue.  My oldest daughter is also very sensitive to dairy.  The other three of us can eat anything, but we enjoy living with people who aren’t in pain all the time, so we adapt!  All that to say, I really appreciate good paleo recipes!

    • It is challenging when only a few of the family members need special diets. I’m sure it is a learning (and patience) curve for everyone involved to get to a happy place for everyone.

  10. I might make some of your whole30/paleo meals more often to see if it will help my husband with his acid reflux. We went to a gastroenterologist last summer and they said he needed to cut out coffee. He promptly gave that option the finger and has just been popping xantac like tictacs for clowe to two years now. I hope a change in diet will help. Plus it might help me lose my baby weight from my daughter. 

    • Mallory, I had to switch my husband to half caff. I think Maxwell House and Folgers may have an option too. Decaf coffee deserves two middle fingers, but this is actually pretty good – Green Mountain half-caff. I always use the auto delivery or get it when they have sales. You have to stock up in bulk for the free shipping but it’s worth it. Also, everything except half and half deserves the finger, so if it’s that and not the caffeine that’s the problem I’d have to learn to deal with it and keep it down to a cup a day. Good luck!

    • I have a friend with acid issues and she finds cold brew is much more gentle on her stomach. Has he tried that as an option before?