Ryan and I are CrossFitters and train out of CrossFit Distinction and Yes, Lucy comes with us. I try to go at least 3 days a week and Ryan is a coach there so she’s exposed to fitness on a regular basis.
Lucy loves to be out and about and truly takes it all in. She sits and studies everyone, watching what they are doing.
We are told all the time what a good baby she is. The community of athletes are so supportive and they all love seeing Lucy.
So why do we bring her along? What we put in our mouths is SO very important but staying active is important too. I hope by exposing Lucy to fitness at this young age that it will become this natural part of her life.
No matter what she decides to do, run, swim, bike, dance, CrossFit, etc… we will support her. We just want her to stay active throughout her life.
I encourage you all to expose your kids to physical activities and do them together. Take walks, go for hikes, get in the pool with them… A family that trains together stays together ; )

On a side note – I’m going to take a few days off to allow you to catch up, contemplate and do some research. With Lucy getting more and more mobile each day you’ll see that my post may not be everyday. I encourage you to follow via email so you don’t miss an update.

Things to come
• nutrition and nursing
• recipes
• safely involve kids in the kitchen

Eat Real – Jen


Mommy Guilt


Today I took a few hours for myself while Lucy hung out with her Daddy. I went and got my hair done, which took about 4 hours from the time I walked out the door to when I got home. This appointment couldn’t have been better planned. Lucy caught a cold and had a rough night last night. I was tired and needed some ‘me’ time.

When I left Lucy had just finished her breakfast so I knew she would be going down for a nap shortly after I left. Turns out Lucy had a hard time with me not being there. She put up a big fight and would not nap for her Daddy. Ryan said she would look around for me through tears and sobs and was really sad. So he played with her and walked her through the yard to keep her occupied until I got home.
She had a big smile for me when I came home and was fascinated by my hair (it was blown dry straight when I normally wear it curly) but mostly she wanted to nurse and sleep.

Let me just say Ryan was great, he didn’t let on that she was having such a hard time with the separation so I could enjoy my time at the salon. He told me after I got home. After I laid her down for her nap I immediately felt guilty for being gone for so long today.

I hated to think of her crying and looking for me, wanting the comfort of nursing before her nap. I don’t want to feel guilty for taking care of myself. Lucy was in perfectly capable hands. Yes she was sad and I realized that I have to be ok with her being sad from time to time (she’s going to get in trouble and will be punished when she gets older). So today was a lesson for both Mommy and Baby.

Mommy’s take time for yourself! Your babies will be ok and will hopefully learn how to cope with change by changing up their day from time to time.

Eat Real – Jen

I Don’t Think That’s Paleo


I’m pretty confident that paint chips aren’t paleo! Lucy likes to chew on her crib. Even though they say the paint is non-toxic I’m still concerned with the amount she consumes. So I’m hunting down a plastic cover.

Did you know coconut milk is paleo? It is one of my go to condiments in the fridge. When Lucy was having issues keeping breast milk down in the earlier months I removed cows milk and eggs from my diet (this solved the issue and is another topic for another post). For several weeks I thought my chai tea latte was going to become a distant memory. But thanks to my sister-in-law, she suggested that I try to make it with the coconut milk. Success!!! I had my morning tea back, Lucy was keeping her meals down, and all was right in the world.
Coconut milk is also a healthy fat source. I use it when I feed Lucy egg yolks (not a whole egg, only the yolks as most babies can have allergic reactions to egg whites). I simply scramble several egg yolks with just a dash of coconut milk and cook them in some olive oil or a touch of good bacon fat. She gobbles them right up. I also use the coconut milk in the grown up eggs as well.

Egg yolks are a great first food since they can be gummed into mush that can be swallowed, are a good fat source which your growing baby needs.

Just another quick and simple example of how easy it is to eat paleo.

Eat Real – Jen

Tell Me About Your Meat…

Sunday has become our day for the farmers market. We live out in “farming country” so there are a ton of road side stands and markets. We have been to a few in the area but we enjoy going to the one in Chagrin Falls. It’s small, all farmers (no one hocking their yard sale crap like some city markets allow) and they all know where their stuff comes from – THEIR FARM! I mention this because there is a market out this way that sells items on their property and you assume all the items are from their land – my Mom asked them where their apples came from because their farm does not have an orchard and they said the apples come from PA! So I don’t go there anymore, I wonder what else they have shipped in?

If your kids are reluctant to make the switch to veggies and meat going to the farmers market is a great  way to get your kids involved in the food prep. They can help pick it out and talk to the farmers. They may be willing to try new things if they got to pick it out. It’s worth a try right.

Ryan and I enjoy our stroll through the market with Lucy. It’s crowded most mornings and some people are rude but I like talking to the hard working people who raised, grew, and harvested the food I am going to eat. I like creating relationships with these people and would much rather pay a “friend” for healthy clean food. I typical start my conversations by saying “Tell me about your meat”, or “Tell me about your garden”. Granted I don’t buy all my food from the market, I wish I could. But today was a good haul.

We keep $40 of the weekly grocery budget for the farmers market. Here is what $35 got me today (I didn’t spend it all):

* One bunch of Portuguese Kale – I have never had it, hope it makes good Kale chips. If not I will wilt the rest down in some cider vinegar and feed it to Ryan.

* A quart of grape tomatoes – I have bought a quart of these each week. I go to the same kid.  I have found that store bought grape tomatoes have no taste but these are delicious, sweet, firm and yummy.

* A quart of peaches – I bought them from the same stand as the tomatoes. I have had their peaches before and so has Lucy, she loves them.

* 3 pounds of grassfed ground beef – The farm I got this from is right around the corner from our house. Their pickles are to die for so I thought I would try their ground beef. I am making Taco Soup tomorrow. (Not 100% paleo but I’m working on it)

* 1 pound of pastured nitrate free bacon – I got this from the same place we got the beef. Their price per pound was cheaper than the other guy who sells bacon at the market. It also wasn’t precut. I can cut it as thick or thin as I like.

* 1 watermelon – The melon was so good. I cut it up as soon as we got home so Lucy could have some for lunch. She was covered in juice and she loved it!

ALL THAT FOR JUST $35 and quality time with my family!

After we shop we walk down to the coffee shop and get a coffee for Ryan and a tea for me. It’s a nice way to start the morning and the week. I build our menu for the week off what we get at the market and then buy whatever else is needed at the big chain super market.

If you aren’t sure if your area has a market, or you don’t like the one in your area,  ask around. My parents have lived in this area for 10 years and never knew that The Falls had a market on Sunday mornings. By asking some members at the Crossfit gym we go to we learned about several markets in the area and which farmers to seek out. All you have to do is ask…..

Eat Real – Jen

My Kids Wont Eat That!

I was recently asked about the paleo diet by a family member. She was interested in the info for herself and I asked about her kids. I asked her “If you don’t want to eat that stuff any more, why would you feed your kids that”? With that question I got her thinking!!! (Love you L) I also had a comment on one of my posts that said “I don’t even know where to start”… This is for all those who are asking and unsure where to start.

EAT REAL FOOD. Did it have a face? Can you grow it in your garden or on a tree? If you can answer yes to those two main questions then you have the basic make up to a paleo diet. Also, READ, “THE PALEO SOLUTION” by Robb Wolf. His website is a great place to start as well. robbwolf.com

If your meals are coming from boxes and the middle isles at the grocery store, odds are they are far from good for you. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. That’s where all the good stuff is.

Instead of getting into the nitty gritty of the paleo diet, that’s what Robb’s book is for I would rather share one families journey towards the paleo diet. My brother-in-law and his wife were vegetarians. They had been for years, dare I say a decade give or take a year, and raised 4 beautiful kids as such (we call them “The Crowd”).  Admittedly their diet was more grain and soy based but that has all changed. FOR THOSE WITH KIDS: Did you catch that, they have 4 kids who really didn’t like veggies. I won’t go into the why behind their lifestyle change, that’s not my story to tell. I think how they did it is what’s beneficial here.

At first they tried to introduce veggies a few nights a week with dinner and that went over like a ton of bricks. We tried everything (as a family we all supported the parents and the kids through this change). We counted for the younger ones “count to three and I’ll take a bite”. We had them race each other, who could finish their small portion first. Dessert was dangled as an incentive. “You are going to have it for breakfast” was even said… I remember being told that as I stared at a cold slab of grey liver smothered in ketchup on my plate as a child (no one had veggies or liver for breakfast). There were good nights and then there were not so good nights. No parent wants to battle their kids over food. Dinner is family time and should be enjoyed, so this was hard for the kids and the parents… AND this was just the vegetables. The kids had never had meat. Three out of the four kids had a hard time with the meat, the second oldest – all he needed was a piece of bacon and he was sold. My kinda kid! At this point the family wasn’t on a strict paleo diet. The introduction of the veggies and meat was just the start.

It wasn’t until a year or so later that my sister-in-law read Robb’s book and told her family they were going paleo. She got rid of all the non-paleo food in the house and went cold turkey! She also took the time to educate her children as to why this way of eating was good for them, why they would not be eating cereal for breakfast any more, or have beans and rice for dinner on Tuesday’s anymore (I miss beans and rice night). She showed them what they would be eating instead and got the kids involved in making the meals when it made sense.  I forgot to mention that The Crowd had grown by one just before all this started so at this point the youngest was just starting to eat solids and was eating the meat and veggies quicker than you could fill his plate. The second youngest whose favorite line a year earlier was “I hate bechtables” was asking me “Aunt Jen, are you and Uncle Ryan paleo? Because we are!”. The kids were proud of what they ate. I am sure there were some tough mornings, or dinners when they were trying something new but my sister-in-law stood strong and stayed committed to the choice.

When people tell me that’s it’s to hard and they are to tired to fight with their kids over eating meat and veggies I think of The Crowd and what a HUGE lifestyle change they made with 5 small kids and they made it through. What’s harder? Having a few nights of “I don’t want it” or sitting in the Dr’s office over and over again because your child is sick or worse, in the hospital because they are really sick?

IF you clean your out your cupboards of the junk (cereal, crackers, cookies, candy, juice, pasta, mac and cheese, fruit snacks – all those things that don’t grow on trees, in a garden, or had a face) and the only options are REAL FOOD, the kids learn pretty quick that there are no other choices. It’s when you continue to stock these items in the house that you start to lose the battle.

As a kid, in our house dessert was a real treat. We had it once in awhile. Now it’s part of the nightly routine for most American’s. My sister-in-law treats her kids to non-paleo surprises now and then but it’s hardly a regular thing.

I hate to read about parents and children struggling with digestive issues, chronic ear infections, colds, reflux, and the likes. I wish they would understand that this is NOT NORMAL. I want to ask them how long are you going to let your medicine cabinet fill up with medication and your calendar fill up with Dr’s appointments before you take some personal control of your own health and well being?

All I ask is that you do some research. Read the book, poke around on Robb’s website and educate yourself on what you are putting in your body instead of just putting crap in your shopping cart because you have a coupon for it and it’s double coupon day at the store.

I’m reading a friends book right now, “Your Best Just Got Better” By Jason Womack, and his phrase to help motivate people is “Just Get Started”…. Just get started people! You are on the computer or your smart phone right now. After you like this post ; ) and click on follow (so you can be notified when I post again) do some research, order The Paleo Solution, decided to do something TODAY!!!!

OH and did I mention that The Crowd will be growing by one more this November – that makes 6 babies. Paleo is also beneficial for baby making, Robb talks about this in his book… for those folks who have been trying and trying – take a look in your pantry first!

Thank you R and X for the inspiration for this post. You are an amazing family!!! Miss the hell out of you guys!!!! xxxxxxxxoooooooo (hug and kiss for everyone)

Eat Real – Jen

Lucy’s 1st Halloween costume. My husband drew on my belly for Halloween, Lucy was born a week later!

Infant Swim Resource (ISR)

I was introduced to the Infant Swim Resource program this past spring while watching the CrossFit regional competitions. I knew we were moving to a property that had a large pond and thought I should look into some water safety.

ISR teaches infants as young as 6 months and children how to rescue themselves if they were to fall into a pool, pond, jacuzzi, etc. The children are never thrown into the pool. At Lucy’s age (she started at 7 months old) an entrance into the water that simulates how she may end up is used (example, crawling over the edge, sitting too close and falling in backwards). As I researched this I learned that it would cost $100 a week, the sessions are 5 days a week, 10 mins long (it’s hard work and the short one on one lesson is for your child saftey), and the closest class was about 40 mins away.

When friends and family learned about what we were doing with Lucy we received varied reactions. Some of which were, “That’s awesome, tell me more”, “Wow that sure is a lot of money for 10 mins”, “You drive all that way for 10 mins”, “Why are you putting her through that? Babies already know how to float”… My response was very simple:

Lucy’s safety and my peace of mind are well worth the hour + spent in the car each day, the money spent each week, and the detailed daily log that needed to be kept. I could never live with myself if something were to happen to her and I never took advantage of the resource available to us, sacrificed that meal out at a restaurant that week so we could afford the class, and not made the time to get her there each day. Her life is priceless and if babies already know how to float why do so many of them drowned each year or have severe brain damage because they could not rescue themselves?

Winter clothes float

In 6 weeks I watched Lucy learn how to roll onto her back and float. She first learned to do this in a reusable swim diaper. To test her ability to do this in a real accidental fall she showed off her skills in her summer clothes and her final test was her winter get up. She had on a regular diaper, footed PJ’s, and a winter hat. She passed with flying colors. It was hard to watch some days. When her teeth started to come in she just didn’t want to be on her back and she protested the entire 10 mins. I had to keep telling myself that she isn’t scared, if she were scared she wouldn’t be playing with the instructor in between floats. She was learning something new and it was hard, of course she would complain about it!

I encourage you to check out the ISR program and enroll your infant/child as soon as possible. Floaties will NOT keep your child afloat. Babies and young children do not have the strength or skill to swim like an older child/adult and floaties only hinder their ability to learn how to get onto their back and float (which is the safest position for them to be in, it expends the least amount of energy) until help arrives.

Their website  is   http://www.infantswim.com

This video shows how easy it is for an accident to happen and how useful the ISR training is. (Before you get all worked up, there is someone in the pool with Miles, you just can’t see them until the end)

Eat Real – Jen

Not Interested

Let me start today’s post with an update. Lucy LOVED the pork rib bone. It was so fun to watch her explore and nibble and chew and tear the remaining meat off the bone. (See the picture below) She had a good time and the dogs were really hoping she would drop it. She didn’t!

With that said I thought I would make tonight’s blog about, what do you do if your child won’t eat a meal. Meaning, what do you do if they protest their dinner, or breakfast, or lunch or a portion of it? It’s especially frustrating if it’s a meal/food they have had before so you know it’s not a matter of new food. Tonight I had that very thing happen.

I prepped burgers for Lucy last night and she had some for breakfast and lunch. Now I know plain ground meat is dry and not fun but Lucy never seemed to mind. So when she just looked at the bites on her tray and cried I was at a loss. I put a few bites of banana down hoping she would start with that and then go for the meat. Nope! She wanted nothing to do with it. She may have eaten a few pieces but nothing worthy of a serving. I tried to give her another rib bone I had saved. She played with that for a little bit but soon tired of it. I heated up some of her veggies, carrots, I know she loves those. She had a few bites and became cranky again. All she wanted was the banana. She ate a whole banana!!

I worried that she didn’t have enough to eat but trusted my Mommy gut that she had it under control. If she were hungry she would have continued the complaining.

So what do you do when they balk at a portion of the meal? Don’t sweat it! So she ate a banana and some veggies with a few bites of meat for dinner. She didn’t go to bed hungry. I am thinking she had a belly ache and that’s why she didn’t eat much. Bedtime was a little rough tonight but with some patience, a few stories, snuggles, nursing, and eventually (after an hour of trying everything else and in and out of the room) some Motrin, she fell asleep.

I wanted tonight’s blog to be about a summer activity we put Lucy in, but given the rough night it will have to wait until tomorrow.

So until then –
Eat Real

(Don’t forget to check out and follow My Paleo Baby on Facebook for more pics and hopefully some videos)