Month: December 2014

One Super Good Year

There has been a serious lack of posts around here lately. As you know we were visiting with my parents in Calgary over the Christmas holidays. My in-laws arrived last night, so now we have house guests. I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday as I spent the majority of the day lying on my bathroom floor. I was really sick. I haven’t been that sick in a long time. I don’t get sick too often, but when I do, I turn into the biggest baby in the world. I feel bad for Josh because I am such a suck and so needy. It was really hard yesterday because I was home by myself with Lochlyn. I think it took me half an hour to change her diaper because I kept having to run to the bathroom. I ended up changing her with a bucket handy just in case. Poor baby. I am feeling a lot better today. My stomach is still a little off, but sooo much better than yesterday!

lochlyn playing bow

I actually didn’t want to spend the last day of 2014 telling you guys tmi about how sick I was yesterday. It doesn’t really seem a fitting way to end the year. I thought about setting some goals for 2015, but to be honest, I’m just not really feeling the goal setting thing at the moment. I am still working on my winter goals, and right now that is enough for me.

I find it interesting that so many people set health goals for the beginning of the year. For some reason, a new year = a new start. It is the one day that we allow ourselves to start over, and press the reset button. I have been thinking about goals lately as being more about the journey, and less about perfection. I still have goals, but I don’t have to be perfect day in, and day out, in order to fulfill them. For me, in the past, a new year meant I was going to stick to my diet and exercise goals perfectly. I was going to spend exactly xx amount of time reading my Bible, and xx amount of time loving my husband. I would keep my house perfectly clean, cook xx amount of meals a week, etc. etc.

This year, I think my goals would lean more towards getting out and doing fun things with my family, running a half marathon, working on intuitive eating, and strengthening my relationship with God. I don’t feel a need to achieve my goals perfectly day in and day out. I want to be able to look back at 2015 and feel like I have grown throughout the year.

2014 has been such a good year for me. To highlight a few of its best moments…

  • The birth of my sweet baby girl Lochlyn of course

newborn lochlyn

  • Attending a local mom and baby group regularly
  • Gong for long walks with Lochlyn while she napped (such a good memory that I will always cherish)

unnamed-27

  • Starting to exercise at the gym again, and challenging myself to lift heavy
  • Learning about intuitive eating
  • Our family vacation to a cabin in British Columbia
  • Starting this blog
  • Visiting my in-laws in Manitoba for Thanksgiving and my father in-laws 60th birthday

grandma grandpa and baby

lochlyn opening piano

Some of my favorite blog posts

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napping with mommy

 

This has seriously been one of the best years of my life. I have been blessed with so many memories that I will cherish forever. I am so thankful for what God has done and so excited for what he is going to do. Seriously, God is so good to me and my little family. I am one blessed little lady.

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose”. Romans 8:28

God has made everything in my life work out for good and I couldn’t be more grateful.

 

What is one of your favorite memories from 2014?

 

Lochlyn’s First Christmas

Happy Monday everyone! It feels like I have been away from this little blog forever! I think it feels extra long because so much has happened since the last time that I posted. I meant to come at you all with a post on Saturday, but I ended up being pretty busy with family, and my high school reunion, and … let’s be honest, sleeping.

I hope that you all had a good Christmas. Mine was amazing. I had so much fun spending the past few days with family and friends, and most especially this little one. Christmas is so much fun with kids (or babies!).

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at our house for the first time ever. I loved it even though I found myself pretty busy the days leading up to it, with getting the house ready, and packing for our trip to Cochrane.

christmas tree

On Christmas Eve, my parents arrived at our place at around 4:00. We visited and played with Lochlyn until dinner time. We have this great tradition with my parents on Christmas Eve. We order in sushi! No dishes, no cooking, and sushi is my favorite so it works out awesome.

christmas eve sushi

 The only picture I took turned out blurry – sorry guys!

Dinner was fantastic. We ordered from a local sushi place called Tokio Sushi and I am always pretty impressed when we get food from them. Their prices are great, and their servings are generous. Most importantly, everything is fresh and delicious. We ordered a couple assorted trays that included some maki rolls, nigiri, and sashimi. I also ordered some extra salmon and tuna sashimi for everyone to share.

mom dad sushi

After dinner, Lochlyn went to bed and we ate Christmas baking with my parents, and opened stockings. We decided to open our gifts on Christmas Eve since Christmas morning was going to be pretty rushed, and Lochlyn had a ton of gifts to open. Also, we knew we would all be pretty focused on Lochlyn in the morning.

grandpa and lochlyn

On Christmas morning I was awake bright and early at 5am. I get so excited for Christmas that I can’t sleep – I am such a kid at heart. Everyone else woke up around 7:30 – we are all early risers I guess. After I fed Lochlyn, she opened a huge pile of presents from my parents, and Josh and I. She is such a blessed little girl, and got so many great things. She loved the present opening, especially tearing the wrapping paper off of boxes.

lochlyn opening piano

After Lochlyn went down for her nap, it was breakfast time for the rest of us. I made this bread pudding, and it was so good! It is technically baked french toast, topped with a cinnamon and brown sugar crumble. I highly recommend it. I served some christmas-y looking fruit salad. In true family tradition, we also had mimosas (except not me, since I am still breastfeeding).

christmas bread pudding

After breakfast we got all ready to go, hopped in the car and headed to my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Calgary for Christmas dinner. On the menu was a full turkey dinner, with lots of Christmas baking for dessert.

christmas baking

Lochlyn loved playing with all of her great aunts and second cousins. She also got to spend some time with her great-grandma. She is such a social butterfly and never makes strange with anybody. She loves having everyone’s attention and she got a lot of it, especially since she is the first grandchild on both sides of our family.

playing with blocks

After dinner Josh and I called it an early night and headed to my parent’s house to get Lochlyn to bed. I was nervous that she wouldn’t sleep well in her playpen, but she fell asleep right away, and slept awesome!

We spent the next few days in Calgary visiting with family and friends. On boxing day we went to my Uncle’s (my dad’s brother’s) house for leftover turkey dinner. Am I right in saying that turkey leftovers taste just as good the next day?! Dinner was so good I couldn’t believe that it didn’t come right out of the oven. My uncle has only met Lochlyn once before so I was glad he got the chance to spend some time with her. He has a daughter who is 3, so we had fun playing with her too!

grandma and l

On the 27th, my Grandpa (my Dad’s dad) came to my parent’s house for brunch. My mom served two amazing crustless quiches. I wish I took photos, but I was too busy eating them. It was great to visit with my grandpa. He lives pretty far away from us, so we don’t get to see him often.

lochlyn playing blocks

In the afternoon I went for a quick run by my parents’ house. It was actually the first time I have run outside since the summer, and it was hard! My parents live in a really hilly area, and I am used to running on the flat treadmill. My total elevation gain during my 5k run was 519 ft. I think I need to spend some more time running hills, because I am sore today.

cochrane run

After my run, I started getting ready for my high school reunion. I know I briefly mentioned it on the blog, but I had my 10 year high school reunion this year. Crazy hey? I ended up going to the reunion with my best friend, Steph, from high school, while our husbands stayed home since they didn’t know anyone.

reunion dress

 

My graduating class was somewhere between 400-500 people. Steph and I didn’t even recognize most of the people at the reunion. The venue also wasn’t the greatest. It took place at a large pub, which was fun, but extremely loud. It was hard to have a conversation with anyone. Not very many of my old friends made it out, but it was good to see some familiar faces. It was also interesting to see how much some people have changed, and how much some people haven’t changed at all. I am glad that I made it to the reunion, but I wouldn’t exactly say that it was a great time.

high school reunionCan you find me? Hint – I am the whitest one in the photo! My friend Steph is to my right.

I didn’t make it home on Saturday night until 1am. I am usually in bed by 10, so it was a late night for me. The next morning, Lochlyn woke me up nice and early and Josh, Lochlyn and I drove to Steph’s house to meet for brunch before the drive home. Lochlyn loved playing with Steph’s little pomeranian. I wish I took pictures because they had so much fun together!

After brunch my little family finally made the trip home. We had such a good holiday, but it is so nice to be home again. One of the best things about travelling, is it makes you love home so much more. We have another busy week ahead of us this week with Josh’s parent’s coming. They get here tomorrow evening, and are leaving on Friday. We are planning on celebrating Christmas with them all over again. I know Lochlyn is excited!

lochlyn with card

 

How many days do you usually end up celebrating Christmas?

Did you, or would you go to your High School reunion?

 

Merry Christmas

merry christmas 2014

 

I hope that your Christmas, is filled with love, happiness, and peace.

I will be gone from HonestlyAngela for a few days, while I celebrate the gift of life and grace with family and friends.

Much love,

Angela

Intuitive Tuesday: Discover the Satisfaction Factor

I am so glad that this is the Intuitive Eating principle that we are discussing right before Christmas. This is just what I would like to focus on during the holidays; being satisfied and truly enjoying my food!

Before I go any further, welcome to Intuitive Tuesday. This is a little series on my blog where I talk all things living intuitively. Right now I am focusing on the Intuitive Eating principles as discussed in the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. To read about the other principles, you can click the links below. Also, if this is something that interests you, I highly recommend reading the book!

Principle 1: Reject the Diet Mentality

Principle 2: Honor Your Hunger

Principle 3: Make Peace with Food

Principle 4: Challenge the Food Police

Principle 5: Feel your Fullness

intuitive tuesday

 

Have you ever found yourself with an intense craving for something “bad” that you thought you shouldn’t be eating. For example, maybe you craved a big bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream, but you didn’t let yourself eat it. Maybe this food didn’t line up with your diet, maybe you thought it was too “unhealthy” or that it would make you fat. Maybe you didn’t allow yourself to eat this food because you were afraid that once you start eating it, you just wouldn’t stop and you would get completely out of control and turn into the ice cream monster.

lochlyn eating blueberries

Yah, I have been there. I have not allowed myself to eat a certain food because of all of those reasons. To satisfy my craving, I would turn to whatever else I could find in the house that was healthier, but that slightly resembled my craving. Instead of ice cream I would have a bowl of plain greek yogurt, with artificial sweetener and peppermint extract. When that didn’t work, I would find something healthy, like a smoothie that I could cover in cocoa powder. Next up would be my husband’s cereal, maybe toast with honey, a handful of raisins or dates. Anything I could find that would satisfy that sweet craving! You know what? Nothing worked. At the end of my kitchen rampage, I would still be craving that same bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Just now I would have a full tummy and not feel so great. I am sure I had eaten like 5 times the calories I would have had in a bowl of ice cream if I had allowed myself to eat it in the first place.

mint chocolate chip

 

Source

Okay, let’s try another scenario. Have you ever sat down to eat an incredibly delicious meal or snack, and turned on the TV, or grabbed your cell phone to scroll through social media as you were eating, only to look up and discover that your food is pretty much gone. You inhaled the food without even paying attention to the fact that you were eating it. Maybe you have gone to a movie, ordered a bag of popcorn, or your favorite candy, ate the whole thing without realizing it, and then wanted more. I love reading and eating. I also love being on my phone while eating. It is the ultimate escape. Food + distraction = pure bliss … until my food is gone and I don’t even remember eating it. Then I want more of the same food so that I can actually experience it, but then turn back to my distraction to eat, and the cycle just repeats itself.

Discovering that satisfaction factor while we are eating is about eating what we want, when we want it. If you want a bowl of comforting pasta, but you order a salad, you aren’t going to feel completely satisfied after eating that salad. If you want a salad, but order steak and potatoes, that steak is most likely going to sit too heavy in your stomach and you aren’t going to feel that great.

The satisfaction factor is also about taking the time to really enjoy what we are eating. The theory is that if you are truly satisfied, you will eat less later. With cravings fulfilled, you won’t have to keep going back for more food to fill that void. I think this is the perfect principle to focus on over the holidays. I want to enjoy my favorite holiday foods without having to eat huge servings. I also want to eat what my body is craving, not what I feel like I should eat. I don’t want to feel obligated to have a huge serving of my grandma’s homemade casserole, when what I really want is stuffing.

Intuitive Eating offers five steps (pp 136-145) to help you have a more pleasurable and satisfying eating experience. I know that I am going to want to keep these handy during this holiday season!

Step 1: Ask yourself what you really want to eat

Pretty self explanatory. Make sure that you are giving yourself unconditional permission to eat what it is that you want. Limiting certain foods, or restricting them, can trigger overeating and feelings of guilt, which leads to (you guessed it) overeating. I challenge you to eat only the foods that you really want this holiday season. If you take something and then decide you don’t want it, leave it on your plate!

Step 2: Discover the pleasure of the palate

Live in the moment and enjoy the experience of eating. Focus on all the individual aspects of food. To help you out, here is a list of what to pay attention to while eating (Tribole, Resch, pp 138-139).

  • Taste – Is it sweet, salty, bitter, or sour. Are you enjoying the taste of the food at that moment?
  • Texture – How does the food feel in your mouth? Is it appealing to you?
  • Aroma – How does it smell while cooking? Right before eating?
  • Appearance – Is it visually appealing?
  • Temperature – Do you feel like warm food or cold food? What temperature is the food you are eating?
  • Volume/Filling capacity – How dense is the food? Is this what you are craving right now? How will it make you feel afterwards?

The above characteristics of food are good things to consider when you are trying to figure out what you feel like eating, and to help you enjoy your food. For example, if you are craving something cold and crunchy, then maybe a salad is in order. If you want something warm and smooth, maybe you are better off with a bowl of soup. If you ignore your desires and eat whatever is in front of you, chances are you will leave the eating experience feeling unsatisfied, and probably start searching around for something else to eat – in my case that would be dessert!

Step 3: Make your eating experience more enjoyable

I visited Spain a few years ago. We stayed in a small fishing village. I loved the experience, but one thing that was hard to get used to, was that the whole village shut down for a few hours around lunch time. All of the grocery stores, and all of the restaurants and shops were closed. One of the reasons this happened was because it was so hot out in the middle of the day, so people took a break from working. The other reason? The village shuts down so that people can eat! Lunch is the biggest meal of the day in Spain. When the bars are closed, you can see families and friends gathered together behind closed doors taking the time to savour large meals together. Pretty much, in Spain, people get a 2 hour lunch break, minimum. There isn’t the rushing through 10 minute lunches while multi-tasking, like we do here in Canada and the US. When you rush through your meals, it is very difficult to pay attention to, and enjoy, the different aspects of your foods that we discussed in step 2.

Make time to appreciate your meal. Make sure you enjoy it in a pleasing atmosphere. Try to eat sitting down rather than standing up at the fridge, or chasing after your toddler. Try to eat slowly and taste each bite of food that goes into your mouth. Take a time out from eating and check your fullness levels and ask yourself if the food is still enjoyable or if you are done eating.

Step 4: Don’t settle

If you don’t like what you are eating, you don’t have to finish it. Maybe you thought you wanted that dessert, but when you took the first bite, you realized that you didn’t really like it. Intuitive Eating uses the motto “If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savour it” (p 143).

I find this step pretty difficult. For example, yesterday I made a not so good sandwich. My baby was sleeping and about to wake up any minute. I didn’t take the time to make it how I really wanted it, and with my first bite I realized that I didn’t really like the sandwich I had made. I could have easily fixed it by adding some more vegetables to it to make it more appealing. Instead I just gobbled it down, trying to ignore the fact that it didn’t taste very good. Laziness gets in the way for me here. This is something that I really want to work on this holiday season and in general.

Step 5: Check in: Does it still taste good?

Most often, when you are eating something delicious, the first few bites are the ones that truly taste amazing. After those bites, the experience diminishes, until we get too full or too accustomed to the taste, and we stop enjoying the food we are eating. Check in with yourself while you are eating, and determine whether you are still enjoying your food.You may want to stop eating for the moment. You can always finish eating the rest later.

chicken and biscuit casserole

Keep in mind that just like everything with eating intuitively, you don’t have to follow these steps perfectly 100% of the time. These are guidelines only! If you are at a family member’s house, and you don’t want the food they are serving, please don’t refuse to eat anything and watch while everyone else eats! You also do need to honor your hunger and fuel your body. Eat what is put in front of you mindfully, and promise yourself a more satisfying experience at your next meal.

Happy eating this holiday season! I hope you really enjoy it and are satisfied by what you eat!

 

What do you feel like eating at this moment? I want something sweet, warm, and filling. It’s breakfast time and I am feeling coffee and a big bowl of oatmeal!

Do you find that you are usually satisfied after eating? What step is the hardest one for you? I find step 4 really challenging – I tend to eat what is easy, even if I’m not really enjoying it.

 

Let’s Talk Traditions

This was one busy weekend for us. It was filled with rushing around getting all the last minute details ready for Christmas, and getting our house ready for guests.

I was going to post a weekend recap, but there wasn’t very much interesting that happened, so instead I am going to talk about what our Christmas is looking like.

Christmas is different this year. Actually the last few years it has really changed. My brother moved overseas to the UK and he hasn’t come home for Christmas in a couple years. He won’t be coming home this year either. My brother, David is a musician, and Christmas is his busy season, so he stays home to work. I miss him a lot, but he is visiting in February!

david playing guitar

My cousins are getting older (not that old – I am still the oldest!). They have girlfriends and boyfriends, and other families to visit. They can’t always make it family gatherings. My grandparents are also getting older and it is getting harder for them to come to family gatherings, or to stay very long.

grandparents and lochlyn

I also have to consider Josh’s family during the holidays. They live in Manitoba, which is a VERY long and boring drive away. We fly there when we go and visit them, especially during the holidays. Spending holidays with Josh’s family was actually something that was very difficult for me to adjust to, and I have to admit that I am still adjusting. I only see my extended family during the holidays and Christmas has always been a huge family time for me. Before getting married I had never spent a Christmas away from home.

When we got married, Josh wasn’t very big into Christmas. He didn’t always go home, and it wasn’t that important to him. Since then, he is getting closer to his family, and it is getting more important to him to spend time with them. I am really happy about this, but it is still a big adjustment for me. I love seeing my in-laws, but I don’t love making the trip during Christmas and being away from my family. I am thankful that this year, we are in Calgary, but it means that next year we will likely travel to Brandon, and I am already getting sad about it.

grandma grandpa thanksgiving

Obviously, another big change that we have this year is Lochlyn. Of course she is a good change, but still a change that is going to affect our Christmas. I am so excited to watch her experience the holiday. I know that each year will get even more fun as she starts getting excited for the big day. It also means that Christmas is more busy. Everything takes longer when you have a little one to think about! It also means that our extended family really wants to see her. They don’t get a chance to see Lochlyn that often (a few times a year).

Dealing with changes around the holidays is difficult. I loved all of our old family traditions and I wish they could stay the same. At the same time, I am excited that Josh and I have a family of our own now, and we will get to create our own traditions together.

lochlyn and eeyore playing under tree

This year I am learning the importance of setting boundaries with family and friends, and making sure that Josh, Lochlyn and I get time together too. We are pretty much maxed out this holiday, meaning we can’t fit one more thing, or person in. We have had to say no to seeing people. This is really hard, especially when it is family. I felt really guilty about it because my favorite part about Christmas is all of the family time. I think that if we tried to see everyone and do everything, we wouldn’t get a chance to spend time with each other, which is really important to me. It also would be really busy and not fair to Lochlyn. I want her to have a good Christmas.

This year we are spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at our house. Josh has Christmas Eve off work, and we have plans to exchange gifts with each other, and then go skating with some friends. My parents are coming up in the afternoon and spending the night with us. We will be ordering in sushi and spending the evening with my parents.

Christmas morning is going to be a bit rushed. We will celebrate it here, before we drive out to Calgary to have Christmas dinner at my Aunt’s house. We are staying a few nights at my parent’s house in Cochrane, which is a town outside of Calgary. On boxing day, we have plans to visit with my Dad’s side of the family. On the 27th we will see my grandpa, and then in the evening I have my high school reunion. On the 28th, we will drive back to Sylvan Lake and get ready for Josh’s parents to come stay with us. That means groceries, meal planning, and cleaning. They get here on the 30th.

That is about as busy as I want to be this Christmas. I would like a chance to spend some time with Lochlyn and Josh, and it is going to be hard to squeeze that in. I am excited for this new way of celebrating Christmas, but I do miss the way we used to celebrate it.

lochlyn's first christmas present

Another thing that has made Christmas really different, is not having my grandma with us anymore. My dad’s mom passed away about 7 years ago, and my family still really feels the change. Christmas was her birthday, and it was always a special time for her. I miss her a lot at Christmas, and it always seems like the perfect day to spend remembering her, even as we celebrate.

I didn’t get a chance to post my meal plan for the week on Saturday, so I thought I would share a couple recipes that I am planning to make during the next couple days with you guys. I will also let you in on Lochlyn’s new foods! I’m not cooking too much this week, too many other things to do!

Recipes for the week

Lochlyn’s New Foods

  • Beef (we actually tried this last night, she loved it!)
  • Lentils
  • Chick peas

Food Prep

  • Prep breakfast food for Lochlyn for while we are out of town
  • Cut up cheese, sausage, and veggies for easy Christmas day lunch

 

Do you have a hard time with changing traditions?

What are you having for breakfast Christmas morning?

 

Our Greatest Baby Challenge

I am tired this morning. I just almost made coffee using protein powder. Oops.

Today I want to talk a little bit more about Lochlyn’s naps.

For those of you that have been around for a while, I am sure you have heard me rant a bit about our nap time struggles. From around when Lochlyn was four months old, she would sleep in her car seat. In order to get her to sleep, I had to carry it around the house, sometimes for almost an hour. I would drape a blanket over it, turn the vacuum on for some white noise, and walk around our living room. Lochlyn was starting to get pretty heavy and this was a lot of work. Also, she was starting to not fall asleep very well while we carried her. It was getting to be a pretty big problem, and we knew we needed to change how she fell asleep.

lochlyn's airport nap

Josh putting Lochlyn to sleep at the airport. It’s blurry because you can’t stand still!

At around seven months I decided to sleep train Lochlyn. I wanted to take a gradual approach, so I stopped carrying her around for more than a couple of minutes in the car seat, and set it down while she was still awake. She fell asleep a couple of times this way, and then it stopped working. She would cry and fuss and I couldn’t get her to calm down until I picked up her car seat and started carrying it again.

Not too long after I started this gradual method, Lochlyn got sick. I gave up sleep training for the moment, and did whatever I could to get her to sleep so she would get better. She was sick for four weeks (felt so long!). Around eight months old, when she was finally better, I picked up the sleep training again. This time I made a list of all of the things that Lochlyn relied on to fall asleep. My list look liked this:

  1. Car seat
  2. Movement (being carried around)
  3. Not being able to see (car seat cover)
  4. White noise (vacuum)

I decided that I wasn’t going to use any of these things to help her fall asleep anymore. I didn’t want to take the gradual approach this time, so I got rid of all of these things at once.

I replaced Lochlyn’s sleep aids with a nap time routine. Our routine looks like this:

  1. Diaper change
  2. Change into pj’s/comfy clothing
  3. Put on sleep sack
  4. Read story
  5. Turn on sleep sheep (noise machine)
  6. Cuddle and pray
  7. Put in crib, give belly rub and pacifier

This is the same as Lochlyn’s bed time routine, and she was falling asleep by herself at night, so I decided to use it.

happy in crib

I would watch Lochlyn for sleepy cues and keep an eye on the clock. For her first nap I would try to start her routine within two hours of her being awake. She usually doesn’t start showing sleepy cues until at least the two hour mark. Then she starts rubbing her eyes and yawning. It took me awhile to figure out the timing to put Lochlyn down, but she does well going down at about two hours and 15 minutes after waking up.

I would lay Lochlyn in her crib, give her a belly or back run, and then quietly leave the room. The minute the door closed, she would cry and fuss. The first few times she either didn’t sleep at all, or it took her over an hour to fall asleep. I would check on her every five minutes to make sure that she was okay, and calm her down. When I checked on her I wouldn’t pick her up, but I would rub her belly or back and she would stop crying right away. She wasn’t really upset, her cries were usually more fussing, and she rarely had any real tears.

The five minute check-ins gradually stretched to ten minutes. During the first week Lochlyn fell asleep a couple of times right away, and one time she slept for two hours. For the most part it was taking her around 40 minutes to fall asleep. This was hard on me, but I could see progress. The fact that she was falling asleep in her crib at all was amazing so I kept at it. I found lots of ways to distract myself while she was crying. I would take the monitor and head to the basement where I couldn’t hear her (I kept the volume off and check on it regularly until she fell asleep).

baby sleeper

Soon Lochlyn was falling asleep within half an hour. Often she would fall asleep right away and I wouldn’t even have to check on her. This is pretty much where we are at right now. She is falling asleep about 90% of the time, and most of the time she goes down within ten minutes. I find that she doesn’t always fall asleep if I wait too long to put her in her crib and she gets overtired. She also has a hard time falling asleep if I have to go in and change her diaper after putting her down.

I am not going to call this method “cry it out” because I don’t want to put a label on it. I originally planned to follow a book, and headed to our library to find one. Crazily enough, all the baby sleep books were checked out of the library. Someone else must have been having sleep problems too! I ended up trusting my gut and doing what felt right for us.

If you are having sleep issues with your baby, and you are like me, you may feel completely lost and like you have no idea what to do. I would really encourage you to trust your mommy instincts and do what feels right. I tried letting Lochlyn cry when she was younger and it didn’t feel right at all. She would get so worked up and be so upset, and I would always regret my decision to let her cry. This time, it was still hard, but it felt like the right thing. I knew that she was done sleeping in her car seat, and she needed to learn how to sleep in her crib.

Nap time has been a big challenge for us since Lochlyn was about a week old. I always said that Lochlyn would be the perfect baby if she could learn to nap by herself. Now that she is napping by herself I have nothing to complain about. Now that I no longer have to carry her around in her car seat, hold her for naps, or cuddle up to her and let her breastfeed to sleep in the middle of the night, I can look back on those times with nostalgia. They are all great memories. I actually am crying a little bit typing this. I think those times just contributed to how perfect she is, and really strengthened the bond I have with her. She was already the perfect baby, whether or not she was napping by herself.

napping with mommy

Babies just need their mommies, and it is amazing to be so needed. I can’t believe that she has already grown up enough to be able to sleep without me. So sad and happy at the same time. I am so crazy in love with this girl

newborn nap on chest

 

 

Mom’s what has been your greatest challenge with your little one? How did you overcome it?

Mom’s-to-be, what is your greatest fear?

Thinking Out Loud: What is Your Elf Name?

It’s Thursday and I am back on board with the Thinking Out Loud link-up today. Thank you Amanda for hosting!

thinking out loud

1. Okay, so I know this is probably what most people’s “Thinking out loud” will begin today, but … It’s almost Christmas!!! I am getting excited, but also starting to feel the pressure of getting the last few little things done before it gets here. Mostly I just have to get my house clean. My parents are staying with us on Christmas Eve, and Josh’s parents are staying with us from Dec. 30th – Jan. 2nd. I won’t have time to clean much in between visits because we will be staying in Calgary with my parents. Time to clean all the things!

clean all the things

Source (Have you guys read this comic before? Unfortunately it is so me)

I also have to finish wrapping presents and plan an awesome and easy breakfast for Christmas morning. We usually have cinnamon buns at my parents’ house, with fruit salad and eggs and bacon. I was thinking about making homemade cinnamon buns, but I am not going to have time to make breakfast in the morning because I will have to get Lochlyn ready to make the drive to Calgary. I am considering bread pudding in the crock pot, with warm fruit salad to top it. I have made this before and it is so good!

 

2.  In other news, I have discovered my elf name. elf name

Source

In fact, not only did I discover mine, but I proceeded to work through the list to figure out elf names for my entire family.

Josh: Puddin Mcjingles

Lochlyn: Tinker Plum-Pants

Eeyore: Squeezy Toe-Balls

And my personal favourite. Mine! Perky Pickle-Pants. Ha!

3. I was having a really bad day yesterday. I have just been feeling a bit down about having to go back to work. I really want to stay home full-time with Lochlyn Tinker Plum-Pants. It sounds like I am going to have to work quite a bit more than I wanted to in order to get enough hours in. I had a lot of fun at my work Christmas party on Monday night, but it made me realize that I have to go back so soon.

Anyways, I was feeling really sorry for myself, and then I realized that Tinker Plum-Pants was saying something that I have been trying to get her to say for a couple weeks now. “Mama!”. She has been saying “Dadadada” for awhile, but I haven’t heard her say Mama before. I was pretty much instantly happy! I don’t think she knows what it means yet, but I don’t care if she is just babbling. My week has been made.

lochlyn playing

 5. I need your guys’ fashion advice! I ordered a dress for my high school reunion online, and I received it a couple of days ago. I also found some shoes to wear with it. My problem now is that it is pretty cold here and I am thinking tights might be necessary. I just can’t decide what color of tights would go best with my dress and shoes. This is the dress that I am going to wear:

high school reunion dress

I am really happy with it. The spots are a little bit less white then they look in the photo, but it is still really pretty. I love the fit of it as well. The skirt is really flouncy and full, which makes it pretty fun.

These are the shoes I am going to wear.  Any suggestions for tights? I was thinking about just wearing nude-colored nylons, but my skin is so pale, and those nylons are about 1000 shades darker than my skin tone. I also kind of like the look of the model’s pale skin with the navy dress in the photo. (Is that weird? I like pasty legs?). I am leaning towards nude fishnet stockings, but I haven’t been able to find any. Any other ideas about what would work? Do you think I should suck it up and not wear tights at all?

 

6. With all the Christmas baking I have been doing, I have probably eaten a pound of butter over the past week or so. Everything I made seems to be laden with extra buttery goodness. The awesome thing about it though is that I haven’t felt much guilt around eating all of the baking in our house. Sure sometimes I hear that voice in the back of my head that tells me I should made healthier choices, but I don’t think that voice is always necessarily bad as long as it doesn’t make you feel guilty. I don’t feel bad about eating a few treats when I really want them, and when I want something healthy, I don’t feel bad about eating that either!

date squares 5

You know what is awesome about this? Giving myself permission to eat the Christmas baking if I want to, has meant that I haven’t binge ate any of it, or even overeaten it this year. It is a lot easier to stop eating because I know it will still be there when I want it later and I will allow myself to eat it. Another motivating factor to stop eating it has been that I know I am going to the gym later in the day, and working out when you are full of nanaimo bars and date squares doesn’t really sound that fun!

 

7. Eeyore aka Squeezy Toe-Balls is being especially bad lately. Whenever we have new and exciting things in our house she can’t even handle it. Right now we have the Christmas tree, presents, and just more clutter in general that she can’t stay away from.

This is pretty much a daily occurrence in our house. Most of the time she gets wrapped up in the Christmas lights and can’t get down. This also explains why I can’t buy new ornaments. Ours keep getting wrecked.

christmas tree cat

I have found her on the kitchen counter a lot more lately too. She isn’t allowed up there, but here is the evidence:

bad kitty

Another bad thing that she does? Biting and wrestling. Squeezy Toe-Balls likes to play like a dog.

eeyore play fighting

Josh Puddin McJingles thinks that Squeezy Toe-Balls purposefully teases me by being bad just to get my attention. During the day, while I am in another room, I will hear her playing in the Christmas tree. I will run into the living room with a water gun (yes I discipline her with a water gun) and she will book it up the stairs and proceed to run all around the house like the crazy cat that she is. Then this whole process will repeat itself over and over until I can’t handle it and throw her in the basement. I am sure it is a game for her.

Cats are so ridiculous. I love her, but seriously she is crazy.

And I am out of thoughts for today. Not really, I am still thinking, but I am done typing my thoughts for the moment anyway! Happy Thursday everyone!

 

What is your elf name? Can you top Perky Pickle-Pants?

Any suggestions for tights/nylons that would work with my dress? Should I suck it up and not wear any?

WIAW – Feeling your Fullness

For someone that wasn’t sure about writing WIAW post, there has sure been a lot of them around HonestlyAngela lately. The reason being is that I think they fit in nicely the day after my Intuitive Tuesday series. WIAW is a good way to practice what I preach and also demonstrate how some of the intuitive eating principles work. So, before I go any further, I am linking up with What I Ate Wednesday over at Peas and Crayons. Thank you Jen for hosting!

what i ate wednesday

 

Yesterday I talked about the fifth intuitive eating principle from the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. Basically the fifth principle involves paying attention to your body, especially while you are eating, in order to figure out when you are comfortably full.

Intuitive Eating recommends using the “Fullness Discovery Scale” (p. 126) to help you gauge how full you are while eating. This scale is really similar to the “Hunger Discovery Scale”  except it is used to discover your fullness level rather than your hunger level. Kind of sounds the same right? It sorta is, the “Hunger Discovery Scale” is used throughout the day, and helps you determine when you need to eat. The “Fullness Discovery Scale” is typically used while you are eating, and helps determine when you are satisfied and should stop.

This is the scale I used:

  • 0-1: Empty
  • 2: Ravenous
  • 3: Set
  • 4: Pangs
  • 5: Neutral
  • 6-7: Satisfied
  • 8: Full
  • 9: Stuffed
  • 10: Sick

I paid attention to this scale while I recorded my eats yesterday, to help determine when to stop eating. I think that it helped a little bit, but this is something that I really need to work on. I did find it useful, not necessarily to help me stop eating, but as a tool that I can use to look back on my day and see how I can improve my eating habits.

Yesterday I dragged myself out of bed at 6:00, which felt way to early after staying up late for my work Christmas party the night before. I worked on yesterday’s blog post for awhile before deciding I was hungry and tired and needed a coffee

6:45 am: I poured myself a decaf coffee (I pretend it has caffeine) and added a big splash of almond milk “Noel Nog”. I am loving fake eggnog in my coffee in the mornings! Yes this is a recycled photo from last week, but my coffee looked pretty much the same except in an uglier mug.

eggnog coffee

 

fullness level – 4

I sipped my coffee and finished my post. Soon I heard Lochlyn wake up, so I quickly hit publish and went upstairs to nurse her. After breastfeeding and changing her, I brought her downstairs to make breakfast.

9:00 am: Oatmeal, made with 1/2 cup of oats, 1/4 cup of egg whites, 1 cup of almond milk, 1 banana, and topped with a large scoop of peanut butter. I love oatmeal. You can see Lochlyn’s food in the background too :)

banana oatmeal

fullness level – 7.5

After breakfast, I cleaned Lochlyn up and then we headed upstairs to do some laundry and start getting ready. I put Lochlyn down for a nap and finished getting ready, and then started prepping yesterday’s dinner. I also cut up a tray of nanaimo bars that I made on the weekend and picked at all of the crumbs in the bottom of the tray – sorry I didn’t take a picture of that! Lochlyn was still napping (yay!), so I wrapped a couple of Christmas presents before she woke up. Then I threw together a sandwich for lunch. I heard her waking up just as I was finishing it, so I brought it upstairs, along with a handful of baby carrots to eat while I nursed her.

11:15 am: roasted turkey breast sandwich with goat cheese, pickles, and mustard. A handful of baby carrots. Guys this sandwich was ugly and seriously lacking. I love a lot of veggies in my sandwich, but for some reason, today’s sandwich was completely veggie-free. Here is a picture of my ugly and not very delicious sandwich for you. Also, despite being not very delicious I still ate the whole thing while feeding Lochlyn. Maybe I should have added some more to it to make it taste better.

ugly sandwich

fullness level – 7

12:00 pm: After nursing Lochlyn I threw together a quick lunch for her. I kept thinking about those nanaimo squares that I had cut up earlier, so I grabbed one out of the fridge and ate it without taking a picture. You should probably see a picture though, let me go and snap one right now!

nanaimo bars

fullness level – 7.5

After lunch, Lochlyn and I headed to the gym and I did a leg workout. My legs have felt a lot more tired since I started running, and yesterday was no exception. Once I got into the workout however, I really enjoyed it. After the gym we headed home and I put Lochlyn down for her second nap.

2:30 pm: I made myself a blueberry smoothie to enjoy while stretching. My smoothies are boring – this one contained blueberries, almond milk and protein powder. It tasted good though!

blueberry smoothie

fullness level – 7.5

After drinking my smoothie, I jumped in the shower and then wrapped a couple more presents. I actually LOVE wrapping presents. I love almost anything creative, and I find wrapping presents so mindless, and the finished product so pretty.

Soon I heard Lochlyn waking up, so I went upstairs to breastfeed. After feeding Lochlyn I got a couple of chores done around the house, including cleaning the bathroom and doing some laundry (laundry never ends with a baby – especially when you are using cloth diapers!). I heard Josh come home, so I headed downstairs to start dinner and feed Lochlyn her dinner.

5:45 pm: I ate another nanaimo bar. Here is the same picture as before because again I didn’t snap one. Sorry!

nanaimo bars

fullness level – 5

6:15 pm: We sat down to eat. Dinner was super easy to throw together and actually turned out surprisingly good, even though my photo doesn’t look it. We had turkey sausages, quinoa, and kale chips. I dipped my sausage in mustard and really enjoyed it.

turkey sausage dinner

fullness level – 6.5

After dinner I finished cleaning the bathroom, then nursed Lochlyn and put her to bed. The rest of my day involved typing up some information that my boss needed before I go back to work, and getting some reading done. I was in bed, lights out by 9:30. I love early bed times!

There you have it, that was my eats for the day. Like I mentioned above, I found this process useful because writing it all out allowed me to see what areas I need to work on. I think overall the day went pretty well. I did notice that I allowed myself to get really hungry in the morning before I got around to making breakfast. Then I ate a lot of breakfast and got a little bit on the fuller side. I think a morning snack with my coffee might help with that problem.

I also ate too much before I went to the gym. I have been doing that a lot lately and it leads to not having the best workouts. I like to have food in my stomach before I work out, but I don’t like to be very full.

You will notice a lot of numbers ending in 0.5 above. I am thinking that is my way of not having to round up and acknowledge that at times I ate a little bit too much. Nothing major, but according to the fullness discovery scale, you want to eat until you are at about a level 6 or 7. I didn’t do too bad, but I could have stopped eating earlier at times.

I think that recording my fullness did help me pay more attention to my body. I liked doing it, but I don’t think it is something I would do everyday.

Have you ever recorded your hunger or fullness levels throughout the day? If not, would you?

Have you ever had a nanaimo bar? If you haven’t I highly suggest you try one ASAP! Let me know if you need a recipe :)

Intuitive Tuesday: Feel Your Fullness

Good morning and happy Tuesday! I was out late at my work Christmas party last night. It was very difficult to drag myself out of bed this morning. My Christmas party was a lot of fun though so it was worth it. I wasn’t sure about going because I don’t know very many people, but I am glad that I did. My parental leave is over in a couple of weeks (crazy!), and then I am going back to work part-time. I guess it is time to start getting to know some of the staff.

For the party, my work rented out my favorite local Thai restaurant and ordered a  bunch of appetizers and entrees for everyone to share. This was great because I typically always order the same thing. All the different side dishes meant that I could taste a little bit of everything! I think some of the other people had a hard time with all the spiciness, but I thought it was delicious! After dinner we played games and did a gift exchange. Our team won the gift wrapping contest! I walked away with a yummy smelling candle, and a snowboarding beanie. I was pretty happy with my loot.

prizes from christmas party

Anyways, lets get on with today’s subject shall we. Tuesday means it’s time for ….

intuitive tuesday

 

For those of you that are new here. Intuitive Tuesday is where we chat a bit about living intuitively. Right now I have been going through the Intuitive Eating principles described in the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. You can click the links to read past Intuitive Tuesday posts. Principle One, Principle Two, Principle Three, Principle Four.

The Intuitive Eating principles are designed in the order that people typically go through while taking the steps. For example, Principle One is Reject Dieting, Principle Two is Honor Your Hunger. You will have a hard time fulfilling Principle Two, if you haven’t rejected dieting yet, as dieting tells us to honor the dieting rules, rather than our hunger cues. You don’t have to 100% follow the principles in order, or tackle one principle at a time, they are simply guidelines to help you listen to your body.

Today’s principle, is where I am at right now in the process, and what I have been paying extra attention to lately. What is principle five? Feeling Your Fullness.

crock pot oatmeal

It is easy to get this principle mixed up with Principle Two: Honor Your Hunger, but they are actually different. Principle two is about eating when you are hungry, today’s principle is about paying attention to your body and eating until you are satisfied.

Before I read the Intuitive Eating book, I thought that part of Intuitive Eating was only eating when you are hungry, and stopping when you just start to get full. I thought that intuitive eating wouldn’t work if you didn’t stop eating when you were full, or ate something for another reason than being hungry. That isn’t the case at all. The book recognizes that sometimes we eat for other reasons besides being hungry, it just asks you to pay attention to them. That is what this principle is really about. Listening to your body and what it wants/needs, rather than listening to other voices in your head.

I am sure that a few of you have heard of the “Clean Plate Club”. I am guessing that some of you even belong to it – I know that I do. The “Clean Plate Club” is full of those of us that like to pretty much lick our plates clean at every meal. We don’t listen to our body’s hunger and fullness levels, but the portions that are sitting on our plates. Guaranteed, I will eat everything on my plate 90% of the time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is a good indicator that I’m not listening to my body. I know that most of the time when I am eating, I forget to pay attention to my body the moment I start shoveling food in!

sushi platter

So, why do we clear our plates and forget to listen to whether or not we are truly hungry? For many of us it is because we have dieted so much in the past. Dieting tells us that at meal time we have license to eat. We don’t have to feel guilty about eating at the set and preconceived times that we have deemed as permissible. Dieting makes us feel that we need to eat while we can, while we are allowed to. Often, while trying to lose weight, we don’t eat enough calories and find ourselves always hungry. We are rarely truly satisfied by a meal. When we do allow ourselves to eat, we shovel it all in as quickly as possible without even thinking. Most diets call for ridiculously small portion sizes so of course we are going to eat every last bite on our plates.

Another way that dieting has increased the “Clean Plate Club’s” members is by making us feel entitled to eat every single thing on our plate. A lot of us that have dieted for more than a few days know that dieting promotes the habit of eating everything that our diet allows us to. I know that there were times when I was dieting where I would go through what I ate that day over and over in my head, checking to make sure I had eaten everything that I possibly could on the diet.  I was hungry and didn’t want to miss even a bite.

eaterbug

While I was heavily into dieting I was so protective and possessive about my food. I would not even share a taste of what I was eating with my husband, or anyone. I was so hungry and I wanted to get every little last bite that I could. I remember that when I would make an omelet, I would scrap and scrape the pan after cooking it, to make sure that I had eaten ALL of the food. I didn’t even really like the slightly burnt egg that stuck to the pan, but I was entitled to eat it, so I was going to.

Does any of this sound familiar? If so, you may be a member of the “Clean Plate Club” yourself. There are so many ways that each of us can become members. I know many of us were told as kids by our parents that we had to eat everything on our plates or no dessert. Our parents also may have told us that it is rude to not eat every last bite, or that “there are kids in Africa that are starving and would love to eat what you are eating”. This may be true, but eating every bite on your plate isn’t going to give the kids in Africa more food.

Another factor that can lead us to the clean plate club is the financial one. I am partly guilty here. I feel bad throwing out food that I have paid good money for. I feel like I need to eat every bite since I don’t want it to go to waste. Really though, what difference does it make if you throw out the last little bit of food or eat it? You paid for it either way. Also, listening to your body and throwing food away or setting it aside for later when you are full could actually help you save money. You will become better at knowing how much food you really need and over time will adjust your portions accordingly.

We also tend to over eat when we let ourselves get too hungry. I know that we have all been there. We wait until we are super ravenous, and then shovel everything in our mouths without even paying attention. I am guilty as charged. Obviously to fix this, we need to start eating before we get to the point of starving.

eating yogurt

I do want to point out that eating everything off of your plate isn’t bad. It is perfectly fine and good. Just remember to pay attention while you are eating to make sure that you are still hungry.

Intuitive Eating offers a few tips to help you eat consciously that I know I personally need to work on (p. 124):

  • Pause in the middle of eating for a timeout. Check with your body and your tastebuds and make sure that you are still enjoying what you are eating. Also pay attention to how full you are and how satisfied you feel by your food.
  • Determine your fulness level. When you are finished eating. Check to see how full you are.
  • Identify your last bite threshold. This one is hard to do, but once you start paying more attention to our satiety levels, you will begin to be able to find that last bite, where you are satisfied and full, without over doing it.
  • Don’t feel obligated to leave food on your plate. You can eat everything on your plate. You can opt to overeat. If something is deliciously amazing, and you want to, go ahead and eat it all. Just pay attention to your body while doing it!

It can be really difficult to listen and pay attention to how your body is feeling at every single meal all of the time. I know that I eat most of my meals on auto-pilot without paying enough attention. Intuitive Eating also offers some tips for how to increase your consciousness while eating (p. 127-128).

  • Eat without distraction. I know I have mentioned this before, but eating while watching TV, reading, or even running around the kitchen trying to put things away, makes it very difficult to pay attention to your body. I am the queen of multi-tasking, and I love escaping into a good book with a delicious plate of food. I have slowly been working on removing distractions while I eat, and I have been loving it. I suggest you give it a try. Keep in mind that you don’t have to remove distractions at every single meal, just do what works for you. You can still go to the movies and order popcorn if you want to-just keep in mind that it will be difficult to pay attention to your fulness level while you are watching a movie.
  • Reinforce your decision to stop eating. When you are done, do something to remind yourself that you are no longer hungry. For example, push your plate away, clear it off and pack up your leftovers, or put a napkin on your plate. Do whatever will serve as a visual cue that you are done eating. It is easy to pick at what is on our plates when we aren’t even hungry if we keep it in front of us.
  • Don’t participate in obligatory eating. Practice saying, “no thank you” if someone is pushing food on you and you are full. I personally don’t ]struggle in this area too much, but if you have food pushers in your life, I can only imagine the challenge. Don’t feel bad saying no, and tell the pusher that you will eat it later if it will make them feel better. Explain you are too full and move on.

Feeling my fullness is something that I struggle with and an area that I would really like to improve in my own eating habits. I now that my membership to the “Clean Plate Club” was guided by a lot of different factors, and it make take awhile to undo them all. Some of the above tips I have already started to integrate into my daily eating habits, and some of them I still need to work on. Check out tomorrow’s post for a WIAW dedicated to feeling my fullness!

This was a long post – thanks for sticking with me guys!

 

How good are you at feeling your fullness? Any tips and tricks for the rest of us?

Are you a fellow member of the “Clean Plate Club”?

 

 

Gluten-Free Date Squares

I was planning to do a weekend recap post for you guys today, but the truth is, my weekend was pretty unexciting. I think I can probably summarize it up in about a paragraph, so that is all it is going to get!

I spent the weekend baking, cleaning up the house, and running errands like a crazy person while I had Josh to stay home with Lochlyn. The Christmas busyness is here in full force, and I am not a fan. Yesterday I went to Walmart, Sobey’s, and Shoppers Drug Mart, and when I got home I was so done. Good thing I am officially done my Christmas shopping!

lochlyn playing in crib

Okay, that’s enough talk about my weekend. I told you I could summarize it in a paragraph. Today I have another recipe to share for you all. This one is one of my very favorite Christmas baking recipes. One of our first Christmases together, I asked Josh what I should make for Christmas baking. Of course his first suggestion was gingerbread. His second was something along the lines of “I forget what they’re called, but they have dates in them”. I asked him a ton more questions to try to figure out what he was talking about, and decided he meant date squares.

date squares 1

I don’t think I had ever had a date square before. To be honest, they didn’t sound all that appealing, but Josh wanted them, and being the good newly married wife that I was, I made them for myself him.

date squares 6

Turns out I absolutely love date squares. These ones are extra soft and chewy, with a thick layer of sweet, date filling. The buttery, oatmeal crumble on top takes these up an extra notch to full-on amazingness.

date squares 2

This year I decided to make them gluten-free. As you probably already guessed, I am not gluten-free at all. A lot of my family members stick to eat a gluten-free diet though. Both my parents, my grandma, my aunt, and a couple of my cousins, all prefer to eat gluten-free. I decided to cater to their preferences with these date squares, and to be honest, I can’t even tell the difference between these and my gluten-y version.

I always make these squares at Christmas, but they would be delicious any time of the year. Here is my super easy recipe:

date squares 3

 

Gluten-Free Date Squares

  • 3 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup cold salted butter, cut into 1/2 inch sized pieces
  1. Place dates and water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until the water has been absorbed (apx. 8-10 mins)
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla
  3. Leave dates to cool to room temperature, then puree until smooth in blender
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Line a 9″x13″ pan with parchment paper or tinfoil, and then butter or spray the liner lightly.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, mix together oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon until combined
  7. Add butter and cut it into the mixture using a pastry blender. Continue to cut in until the mixture appears crumbly. The majority of the crumbs should be between the size of a raisin and a pea.
  8. Press 1/2 – 2/3 (maybe like 3/5’s!) of the mixture into the base of your pan.
  9. Spread date filling onto crust
  10. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Crumbs may not fully cover date filling. They will spread out once they are cooked
  11. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Edges and top should be just slightly browning.
  12. Allow to cool on a wire rack
  13. Once completely cool, cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge to set for at least one hour. I like to leave mine overnight.
  14. Cut into squares

Recipes make 24 good-sized squares. These keep well in the freezer.

date squares 4

date squares 5

Let me know if you try these!

 

Have you ever tried date squares? What did you think?

Do you prefer to eat gluten-free? If so, how come?