Apple & Sunbutter Sandwich Donuts


We have three more days left in our Whole30 journey as a family, where we have forgone all grains, legumes, dairy & sugars for 30 days.  And I can honestly say that I have felt so much more invigorated since the arrival of Caprice.

She is still not anywhere close to sleeping through the night, and around Day 4-6, I got this peak of energy.  No 2:00-3:00 slump.  I wasn't in need of caffeine.  Rather, my body was responding from the sugar coma I had stupified it with.  

Our girls have asked for candy at daddy's work (there's a candy dish) or milk.  But our answer, "No, you can't."  They've asked why?  To which, "because we're not eating sugar, milk, or any of that right now as a family.  We are saying no together."  

It seems like we are vigilant by other's standards; but, I liken it to teaching our girls (and us) how to recognize our bodies cues.  How to know when one is satiated.  How to distinguish between a good eating choice and a poor one.  How to view food not as evil, but very good.  


Where are we going to go from here?  

Well, I plan on creating an eating plan, similar to a menu plan.  My body responds really well to eating Paleo.  In fact, my milk production is better.  Caprice is less fussy (except the bedtime hour).  Although I am not working out at Jogo, I am already back into my pre-pregnancy jeans.  I plan on continuing to eat this way by adding in planned concessions through the week.  

Think about it.  It's like a food budget.  If you had $50 free spending money once a month, decisions of spending would be done more conservatively.  Same goes with the food budget, in order to not slip back into patterns that create aches, anxiety & weight load.  I'm convinced that the food we put into our bodies can either fuel it to run the marathon or cause us to peter out in a sprint.  

All that to say, the hardest part of eating this way for the whole family is the extra food prep & cooking load put upon me.  I am constantly thinking of new ways to do snacks for the girls, as raw veggies in the winter are unappealing and not as accessible locally.  What I have discovered is Apple Sandwiches.  The girls LOVE them!  In fact, when I have forgotten to defrost the meat for dinner, which meant no leftovers the following day...these sandwiches have saved me for V's lunch.  


Apple & Sunbutter Sandwich Donuts (printable recipe)

I use Once Again Organic Sunbutter, which has no salt or sugar added from Azure Standard.  


One apple (or however many you'd like), washed and sliced into 1/4 inches


Various fillings: coconut, raisins, cinnamon, chopped cashews,


Thinly slice the top and bottom off the apple (discard from sandwich making, or when you're not looking your child grabs to eat).  Slice the apple into 1/4 inch slices.  Take a corer and remove the middle of each slice.  Spread generous amount of sunbutter on one side.  Fill it up how you like.  Top with the other slice.  Slice in half like a sandwich, remove the top of one and eat them separately like Tay does.  

Eat them as a lunch, snack or breakfast accompaniment.  

On Crossfit, Eating & Being Pregnant: Part 1

I'm approximately 35/36 weeks pregnant here going on an easy hike with our friends in Winthrop, WA.

I'm approximately 35/36 weeks pregnant here going on an easy hike with our friends in Winthrop, WA.

Today marks my official due date, which also marks the very real prospect of going past due for the first time ever in all my pregnancies.  And how do I feel about that?

Honestly, I feel at peace with it.  I'm not conflicted with impatience, even though we are all eager to see when labor will kick in to meet this little one; rather, I view each day without a third child as a day I'm given to lavish in being a mama to the two cuties I have grown to love.  I know this baby is going to come.  I will not have the gestation of an elephant.  I would prefer the baby not stay in too late, in order to avoid pitocin inducement.  I know that there are so many things I could worry about, but I will not allow those thoughts to take away these moments right now of what I do know.

And so I get the common questions or remarks at 40 weeks pregnant.  "You look like you could be pregnant for a long time!"   This is meant as a compliment, I think.  Really it's because there isn't this grimacing, ogre look on my face as I walk hunchback with a snaggletooth.  

I get why women are uncomfortable in the latter part of the third trimester.  I get that some women have body structure's that aren't as accommodating for pregnancy as others.  My take is that my body has always enjoyed pregnancy.  And, honestly, I think being pregnant is one of the few times in life where having this big protruding belly is the most gorgeous of sights.  

This third round of pregnancy has been even easier on my body, due to my consistent physical involvement and eating habits, which is really phenomenal considering I'm 33 years old (four & six years older this go) this time around.  At 25 weeks pregnant I posted pictures of what I was doing at Jogo Crossfit, and tagged it on Facebook.  I mentioned in the tag post, "pregnancy isn't a sign of illness."  As a current pregnant mama, I wanted to take these last couple days or hours while baby is still inside to share my encouragement & thoughts on misconceptions of pregnancy health & fitness in the next day or two.  

What questions do you have about exercise, specifically crossfit, eating well (I lean towards Paleo) and being pregnant?  If I don't go into labor in the next day or so, I will answer them in the next post.  

Cooking, Baking, & Eating Paleo (well, kind of)


I realized that I haven't discussed much about how our family eats, or why we eat the way we do.  It was a year ago where Ben & I took on a challenge for 30 days, where we eliminated all dairy, grains, legumes (yes peanuts too), & sugars (both refined & natural sources like honey & maple syrup).  

How We Began Eating This Way

We workout at Jogo Crossfit, which I have talked about before.  Many Crossfitters eat Paleo, which is essentially eating optimum meat products, veggies, limited fruit & nuts, and good fat sources.  A year later I have found muscles I didn't know existed, inches diminished, & stomach problems ceasing, which were normally blamed on anxiety.  I have found that what I have chosen to put into my body is critical to my output.  Not only my body, but our daughters as well, specifically our nearing five year old.  

Why Eliminating Foods Should Be the First to Evaluate

One of the best questions we as parents can ask, when our children have learning delays or emotional/behavioral problems is, "What am I feeding them?"  Our oldest daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder.  With children and/or adults with immune disorders, SPD, ADD/ADHD, we can see how gluten & casein can be enemies to their system.  For us, eating this way is more about optimum health & continuing development.  Too often, one might disregard grains, dairy, legumes or sugar as culprits, because their symptoms are not "typical" (i.e. diarrhea, weight gain/loss, hives, headaches); rather, it might be in anxiety, depression, dull aches, etc.  I would encourage eliminating foods like grains & dairy.

What I Found Out About My Body

I found myself suffering from constant anxiety & fear, due to consistent stomach knots in the evening.  Once eliminating these inflammatory foods, my stomach knots & anxiety ceased.  Sugar is huge for me.  It's about finding out what affects our body & what does not.  Corn can tear my system up, while rice instantly causes bloating.  Gluten affects my reproductive system (the feeling of needing to nurse with the last nursing over a year & half ago).  I was only able to find this out after eliminating grains/legumes/dairy/sugars.  I also have found that I can tolerate soaked legumes, mild doses of refined sugars, heavy whipping cream or whole milk (in smaller doses).  

What CAN I Eat?

Well, I can eat anything I want.  The real question is what I choose to eat.  Do I follow a strict Paleo diet? No I don't.  Our journey began by following Whole30 of the Whole9blog, but I'm not willing or wanting to follow the guidelines they have set out (more on that later).  And although I've been eating this way for over a year, I still have to explain that our eating isn't as constrictive as one might think.  This is in part, due to my love of cooking & baking.  Eating this way does require one to prepare & cook many foods from scratch, which puts more work on me & there are nights where we are eating eggs again.  However, I do enjoy a cooking/baking challenge & creating recipes.  We eat:


  • pastured eggs from our friends & a local farmer, with beautiful orange yolks. Pastured eggs are from chickens who eat off the open pasture.  Eating the buggies allows for eggs rich in Omega-3. Don't believe the lies of eggs being bad for your cholesteral. Pastured eggs are excellent for increasing your good cholesteral.
  • grass-fed beef & pastured pork. Our meat coming from grass-fed and/or pastured farms, ensures that the animal is getting what nature intended.  Cattle was never meant to eat anything other than grass.  By eating grass, they are providing their bodies with Omega-3 rich meat, which in return is providing us with the same.  
  • vegetables & in season & local is first priority, winter months we get a veggie delivery
  • fruits are ones in season & local as well, but I make some exceptions. We try to stick to buying & eating berries in the summer, apples & pears in fall & early winter, & utilize frozen fruit as well.  
  • limited nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, & cashews (which are technically a legume), the best is to soak all nuts to break down the phytates, which are enzyme inhibitors.
  • Fats: Extra virgin coconut oil is our fat of choice.  Although it has a low smoking point, due to coconut's origins in the tropics, it can withstand extremely high heat.  It is a monosaturated fat, which means it is a one bond fat chain & your has the ability to break it down.  We also use full fat coconut milk. Avocados & nut butters.
  • Extra virgin olive oil sold in metal cans.  We don't cook with olive oil over high heats, because it has a low smoke point & leaches off free radicals/toxins into the air you inhale & your body through ingestion. Once the smoke point reaches 200-225 degrees, the toxins begin releasing.  Olive oil in anything other than metal tins deteriorates, due to light exposure.  Buying it in metal tins protects it from turning rancid.
  • Dairy: Grass-fed unsalted butter, pastured heavy whipping cream
  • Sugars: honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, some dried fruit (particularly dates)
  • Bake: using blanched almond flour, almond meal, coconut flour, 
  • Additionals: I use baking soda, arrowroot flour in place of cornstarch

***My Disclaimer: Our family doesn't always eat strict Paleo in the Whole30 sense, or even the Paleo sense.  I can have cheeses that don't upset my system & dairy.  I make my own cultured yogurt, buttermilk, and have begun in other cultured dairy arenas.  I have the occasional ice cream as well.  When not pregnant, I drink wine.  We find what works for us and then pull in the reigns when what we think was working...doesn't.   

This is what we've found what works for our family.  In the last year I went from weighing 194 to 164.  I have decreased my Body Fat% & increased my lean body mass.  With Crossfit & the heavy emphasis on weighlifting, one's protein intake is needed to rebuild their body, specifically through animal protein.  I have never felt better than in my 30s, and I know it's due to exercise & eating real foods.  

Please feel free to ask any questions, or share your own story of success!