Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Miscarriage shouldn't be a taboo subject, no one should have to suffer alone

Miscarriage shouldn't be a taboo subject. No one should have to suffer alone. Only by talking about it and opening up can you really heal and get the support you need from others who have been there. 1 in 4 women have been here, be there for each other. This is my story, its raw and unfiltered, you have been warned. Maybe you can relate, maybe who know someone who can. Talk, share and support each other.

The Beginning of an end

Can a healthy, young, energetic, vegan, organic eating, runner have a miscarriage? The answer would seem to be no. But the truth of the matter is yes, yes even the most healthy and on top of their body and on top of the exercise game woman can have a miscarriage.

It seems like one of those things that would happen to anyone else but me, I know my body better then any one, I trust my gut, I know when things are not right. But this is one time I heard by body loud and clear, my gut was yelling at me to listen but I didn't want to listen. "I have had 3 fantastic births to 3 full term babies that were easy and no complications even after, why would this pregnancy be different?" Life likes to put you in your place, humble you to make sure you know that you are indeed not in full control. 

This pregnancy was different from day one, with all the kids I knew that before a test could agree with me that we were caring a child. I know deep in my gut so that when the test was taken there were no surprises. This time was different, I had no idea I was pregnant. We were trying for a baby but I thought my window of fertility has passed and I was waiting patiently for the confirmation of that to come. It didn't come, the days passed and I finally took a test and to my surprise it was positive! The shock was something I had never felt with the other kids, I was genuinely surprised and not sure how far along I was. 6 weeks. The symptoms were so weak in comparison to the other pregnancies that my gut was warning me, "something is off'", I didn't want to listen. The weeks passed and the morning sickness was so light it wasn't even sickness. My gut said "This baby won't last", I didn't want to listen.  With all the kids I wouldn't loose a hair! My head was full and lush and not till about 3 months post birth would I start loosing hair. With this baby I was loosing hair left and right. Again, I didn't want to listen.

Days passed, we took announcement photos with the other boys so we could share the joy with friends and family. Those pictures are something I can't even look at right now, its like a parallel universe that existed but I left.

My gut was warning me

I was listening to a NPR broadcast about a woman who was a reporter and at 20 weeks lost a baby and when listening to her story instead of wanting to turn if off my mind was taking these morbid mental notes and I couldn't figure out why. More warning signs that I should have seen. The pregnancy progressed to the point of the exciting 10-11 week visit for the heart beat and the whole family came. I had a small stomach and was confident I was pregnant. My midwife who has been there for the other 3 kids and knows me like I know myself  was there to find the heartbeat and do the normal first visit stuff.  She gets the doppler and starts looking for the amazing sounds of the galloping heartbeat of this tiny baby living inside you. She looks, nothing. Looks more, nothing. Gets a stronger doppler, still nothing. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life and yet some how I wasn't surprised. My gut turned to look at me with a "I told you so" face and walked away in triumph. 

The discussion began of how sure was I that I was pregnant, how strong were the symptoms. I told her that the morning sickness was light and that was all I had. She listened with that look on her face that I knew was not good. We continued the visit with taking a blood draw, routine for the first visit, and sending it the labs for my HCG levels. Maybe my timing was off, maybe baby was only 6 weeks and that is why we couldn't find a heartbeat. I knew that wasn't it... but I wanted to hold on to a shred of hope. That light at the end of the tunnel to hold on to, even though the darkness was greater then the light.

So the spotting begins

The Friday after our visit to the midwife I stared spotting, something I never had with the other kids. I called the midwife and told her, I asked if this was something to worry about. She explained that its common for a lot of pregnancies. But I told her "Its not me! This is not my MO!" It was almost as if I was looking for confirmation for what my gut was saying. She couldn't tell me either way of course, but said  to keep her informed and check in everyday. She told me "I don't have a good feeling about this." "Neither do I", I told her.

Every single long 24 hour day I waited to see something happen or stop happening. Waited for the pain, waited for more blood, waited for a miracle. Nothing.

The weekend passed, I started Googling my symptoms and that made it worse. I was either still pregnant or dying from ovarian cancer. My emotions were on a roller coaster and I couldn't hang on. Before this I was a very logical, stable and not at all emotional person. I wish someone had told me this was not going to stay. Now I would cry at the drop of a pin, every piece of maternity clothing I saw made me cry from my gut. Thinking about losing the baby, sobbing. Thinking about how we would never know the gender, know its name or see it play with its siblings, on the floor as a sobbing mess.

Monday came, finally, we did more blood draws. The numbers came back that the HCG had dropped by 7,000 which meant it was a non-viable pregnancy. The nice term they use for miscarriage. I started asking the midwife assistant who had 3 losses what to expect, what it was like. She gave me at the time some really great advice but I realize now that it  was sugar coated and I realize that after being on the other side. I wanted the truth, I wanted to know what was to come. How soon? How bad is it? No one could prepare me for what was to come.

The days wore on, nothing had changed. The light spotting continued and I was tired of being a recluse and living my life in fear. I wanted normalcy, I was determined to carry on with life and pick my sobbing self off the floor. The midwife had no definable answers for me and said that every miscarriage was different. Sometimes the spotting goes on for 4 weeks. 4 WEEKS! Are you serious? Forget this! I need a run, I need to just get back to normal! The kids start school on Monday I am going full throttle on that.

All this time I was keeping in contact with 2 friends who also experienced a loss. They were exactly the support I needed. The confirmation that I wasn't crazy. The hug I needed when I needed it.

Sunday Night, a week and 3 days after that first visit to the midwife. It finally happened. After going to bed I was feeling different, no pain but not comfortable. I woke up at 11pm to feeling 'wet' and I decided to stand up and go to the bathroom. That was the start of the most gruesome experience in my life.

The horror movie

The amount of blood and tissue was like a horror movie. It was everywhere, all over the carpet, the bathroom floor, me. I was disgusted and happy at the same time. I was happy it was over and happy I had a final answer. The bleeding continued and I went back to bed. An hour later I got up again to another gush of blood and more tissue. More blood on the floor and more mess to clean up. Another shower and more pads. Then it didn't stop, the bleeding was like a river and I was getting scared. I called the midwife on call and she said to go to the ER to be sure. By this point the pads were pointless and I was using a baby diaper and huge chucks pads. The kids were all asleep so we called my mom to come over and watch them while we went to the ER. The baby was waking up and I was praying he would be ok while I was gone. There was no way I could watch him in the ER and deal with this.

I had given birth to 3 kids and never bled this much, so in my mind I had something wrong with me. I had called the ER and warned them we were coming so they nicely met me at the door with a rolling bed and we got right in. I was afraid I was loosing to much blood, needed a D and C, something drastic.

My inner midwife wanna be came out and I gave the nurses and doctor all the stats, numbers on iron levels and HCG at last check. My blood type and my medical history, all before they asked. Being a vegan my iron levels were always high and never a problem, thankfully this time they were as well. All my numbers came back good and they did that dreaded exam. Apparently seeing the birth of his 3 children never made my husband light headed but sitting next to me when I had the exam done, that did him in! In the middle of the exam my husband said "I'm going to faint" he turned whiter then normal and passed out!  Not something I was expecting for sure. They had to wheel him off to another room and keep taking care of me. We later joked he was jealous and wanted to be the center of attention.

They said everything looked good and I was free to go. The blood was not pooling and my body was doing its job.Thank goodness! So after I walked around a bit and no light headed feeling we were sent home.

The end?

The would seem to be the end of this horrible tale, but it wasn't. This was the miscarriage that never ended. The bleeding got less but it never stopped. 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks... still going. I kept in contact with the midwife and told her. She didn't seem concerned and just told me some take longer then others to heal. Everyone is different in how they deal with it emotionally too, whatever you need to do to help yourselves heal. Do it! Make a memorial book, piece of jewelry, plant a garden. Whatever it takes! Those weeks that the recovery dragged on, the emotional roller coaster kept going. I wanted off! I wanted to move on! But everyday the same story. And to top it off I couldn't do anything to help it heal faster! No running, my stress relief. No picking up my 2yr old (he is 27lbs). So just more waiting.

The month of the miscarriage was horrible and the following month was no better. We had a major hurricane hit the area and we had no power and water for a week. So living at my parents house was a must. While we were there the bleeding got worse! Then one night I lost a huge piece of tissue. That was why I kept bleeding! Now after that it could finally recover. No... sorry... it keeps going.

The weeks grew... 5 weeks post miscarriage, 6 weeks, 7 weeks, still spotting lightly but never 100% gone. The utter exhaustion of waiting and wanting a life of some kind of normalcy back was killing me slowly inside. I called the birth center and the said to go for an ultrasound. Fri it went, the tech said everything looked normal. There wasn't anything off and that I just had a thick lining. Celebration! An ending! Now just tell my body that! They needed to get the final results from the radiologist but I would know more Monday.

When they finally got the results back on Tuesday I was expecting the same answer that the tech gave me. Life is never easy like that. One of the other midwives there at the birth center got the results and tells me via text Wednesday morning that I will likely need a D&C. What?!? Where did that come from? "Why? What did the radiologist say?" She tells me that I have a think endometrial lining and that it means I will more then likely need a D&C and to call her later for a care plan. No! I don't want a D&C! The recovery for that is weeks, I will be starting back over from 7 weeks ago! No! Aren't there any other options? She says no, but I won't stand for that. I will find a way. Never in my life have I ever had surgery or taken medications or had been put under and this was not how I was going to start.

 I call her a couple of horrible hours later, long enough time for me to research it and all the complications and how it will be more recovery time. I felt sick to my stomach. She spares no details of how I will be put under, my cervix will be dilated and they will scrape out my womb. This time I don't want to know that much information. I want to throw up and run away all at the same time. I have to go in that same day for blood work to check HCG levels and my iron levels. I walk in and wait in the little room, my midwife that I loved so much walks in the room and just gives me a hug. That was what I needed. She sits down and says she just got off the phone with their consulting OB and they don't think I need a D&C. "What!" I exclaim and fall back on to the bed. "Why did the other midwife say I needed one!?!" At this point I'm over joyed I don't need medical intervention yet I really wanted to yell at the other midwife for putting me thru an awful 2hrs of stress. She did't know why but said that the other OB looked at the ultrasound and knew my history and said its just a wait and watch thing now. The thick lining wasn't a cause for concern and my body will do what it needs. If there was sign of tissue or other signs of infection then they would go another route. So not to worry and just trust your body. I wanted to hug her again, so I did. She said lets see what the HCG levels and other test levels come back as and go from there. But not to worry.

I feel like that put my mind at ease and finally the bleeding stopped. The next day was nothing! It was like the end was finally here! My levels came back normal, the HCG was level was back to normal and my iron levels were still high! So happy and so ready to move on to a normal life again. The bleeding stopped for a full 5 days and I was finally in the clear. This was truly the longest miscarriage ever.

Will you get thru it? Yes! Will you be the same? No. You will be a stronger and better person. More compassion and empathy for others and now a shoulder to lean on for others too. You don't really know unless you have been there. Don't let miscarriage be a taboo subject, talk! Be there for each other!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Minimalist Baby registry: What you really need

So you are a new mom, maybe you have Google searched 'Must Have Baby Items' or 'Most Used Baby Items' and you have stumbled across my blog. Well, welcome!

If you are reading this before you set foot in a baby store, good for you! If this is the desperate search you are doing after the horrible overwhelming ordeal. I am sending you a hug from one mom to another.

My recommendations come from experience of having 3 kids (maybe more in the future) and my our own run ins with registry shopping, and what experience has taught me for what you REALLY need and what goes in the trash or local thrift store. (if you really want to know what NOT to get go find a local baby resale store and look at what the shelves are filled with and DON'T register for that!)

You are a new mom, registry shopping sounds so fun! When you did your wedding registry it was a blast! Now its cute lil baby stuff oh you can't wait, right? I'm here to tell you that baby stores will humble you and make you question your very ability to become a parent.
 Do you know what that whole wall of blankets do? Why so many options? Do I need a swaddle blanket? Holy cow why so many car seats? Do I value my child's life enough to buy the $500 seat? Am I a bad parent for only spending $300 on a stroller?

Yes that is a whole section of baby bottles and pumps, you ready for this? No... no you are not. 

My best advise? Bring a friend who's parenting style is similar to yours and has had a baby in the past few years and bring her along. She will help you weed out the crazy with the sane. The useful with the junk. 

Done? No... not everyone has that luxury of a close mom friend who you can shop with, so consider me your friend for the day.

Start with the big stuff:

You will be so emotional, hungry and overwhelmed at the end you will make bad decisions at the end of the day. It's better to make a bad decision on a pair of socks then a car seat. 

#1. Car Seat
You can not ride in a car in the United State with out one. You will see there are different kinds: Infant, Convertible, All in One, Combination, Booster... My favorite? Diono
You use it from Birth to Drivers Ed. 5 lbs to 120 lbs. It goes rear facing to 45-50 lbs, converts to a booster and folds in half for easy travel on a plane. Safest seat on the market and steel framed. We have 3 for our kids. Easy to clean. You want more reasons? Just ask in the comments below and I can answer them.

Yeah this is 3 Diono seats all folded and in a folding wagon being toted around the airport.

#2. Diapers

Cloth? Disposable? Pros and cons to both. For us the best was cloth, we went with prefolds and one size covers. Bought one set and it cost us around $400 and we have used it with all 3 kids. Money saving? Yes I think so. We did Seventh Generation disposables for vacations. You can't go wrong with diapers and wipes. Are there a million options? Yes! If you are going disposable decide if you are doing the normal kind or organic no dyes etc.. then just pick what your store has. Honestly you kid poops in them so the best thing you need to know is if it will keep the the poop explosions in or not. That comes with time and testing out different brands.

#3. Baby Carrier

I am not your normal 'buy infant car seat and the travel kit' mom. The one you see lugging around the big bulky infant carrier in the store, putting it either dangerously on the top or filling up the grocery part with baby car seat and no room for groceries. Why? This purely my experience. WASTE OF MONEY! The infant carrier is so small that if you use it for a year that is shocking. After spending $200 for one seat then have to turn around a buy a second seat for another $200 or more! For what? So called 'convenience'? Do you really want to carry a baby in a seat and a huge baby bag? (More reading on that can be found here)
You wish you would look this fab!
Wouldn't it be better to have your baby close to your chest, bonding and even nursing when needed? Then if you need that baby bag you have 2 arms to chose from to hold it. So baby carrier, registry must! What kind? I have tried a bunch of different kinds, Moby, slings, you name it! My favorite? Tula. Yeah yeah It's kind of a cult. But once you have one you too will be shouting "Tula in the Wild" to other baby wearing families.

It is built in such a way that the weight is evenly distributed on your back so that there is no pain! I have carried my 27lb almost 2yr old all over Disney and walked away not feeling any issues! 
We bought my hubby one too and he used it for walking all over Roatan :)  We have put the 4yr old who is 40lbs in the toddler one. He loves it! Again, no pain, no issues and free hands. Win win!

#4. Books
Reading to your child is a must! Go to the library and do the $1 or 50cent books and start building a library. Register for a ton! Can't go wrong with books.

#5 A good stroller

This is only for those that are really going to use it. We got one for baby #1 and wanted a cheap jogging stroller. Got it, good. Used it a ton! He came running with us a lot and we ended up using it quite a bit. Not everyone is like us though. If you are a runner and a mom I highly recommend getting a stroller. But unless you have season passes to Disney or live in a big city where you need it. Don't worry about the stroller and get the baby carrier instead. When baby #2 came along we invested in a Phil and Teds. Those are amazing strollers for the casual runner and the mom on the go. We loved that stroller!  I did an amazing deal where I got it for free... yes free. Read about that here.

Then after baby #3 came we realized how much we all run together as a family and how we needed a more serious running stroller. Sorry Phil and Ted's... So after some hunting a lots and lots of research we decided on a BOB stroller. LOVE IT!!!! Another fab deal I got... more on that later.


#6. Good soft blankets
I love the bamboo ones, just get like 6 of those and you are good. Trust me you will be washing a ton once the baby comes, those blankets will go in and come right back out and be used. Why get a huge stock pile? Do you really want MORE laundry then you need? The bamboo ones area great breastfeeding covers because they are breathable and baby won't sweat as much under there.

That is it!! 
"What about a crib? What about a dresser? Changing table? Baby monitor? Bottles?" I hear you... We cosleep, no crib needed. Buy them a twin mattress when they are ready for their own bed. Get a dresser off craigs list. Changing tables area waste of $$ change the baby on the bed, on the floor or the couch. You have a built in baby monitor, its called your mothers intuition. I can to this day tell when any of my kids are about to wake up. We never bottle fed so I am no help for that department sorry.

Any questions? Let me know! Would love to know your thoughts!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Before baby, life with one kid and now 3 kids later... the comparison

I was looking back at old posts from when I had our oldest son and the cute little innocent list I made of how I thought life was different ... well 3 kids later I updated that list!! ('Then' is when our oldest was 3 months old) Enjoy
Before baby:
I cut coupons and would use them when I remember.
I not only cut them, I also print them out and bought a coupon organizer! Woo hoo! And then get excited with all the money I saved.

Now: Are you kidding me? Coupons with kids? Ain't no mommy got the sanity for that! Have you tried grocery shopping with 3 kids? If I leave with what I came in there for it was a good trip, it normally ends with me throwing my credit card to the cashier begging them to check me out faster before the kids run out the door.
Before baby:
Saw cute lil babies and would just smile at them and say "how cute."
I see babies and think "he is going to be that big soon! No stay a baby!! Where is he I miss him?!" (he is attached to me in my moby wrap)

Now: I still make goo-goo eyes at babies and then hold them in one arm while I take care of my own. Can't have to much cuteness! I have issues I know...
Before baby:
I would sing along to songs and not think much of the lyrics most of the time.
I heard a song the other day and was singing it to him and cried! (What happened to me!!!!! I was never that sappy before!!)

Now: "Can't listen to that song" "Nope the kids don't need to know that word" Ok the baby stops crying for Smashing Pumpkins so we listen to that now...
Before baby:
Laundry was just a once a week thing.
The washer and I have become good friends, his name is Chuck. All day long I 'chuck' laundry into its mouth.

Now: I swear more people live in this house then I know about, how do we have that many clothes? I never stop doing laundry! Forget folding it, all it does is sit there till we need to wear it again. If it doesn't smell musty from sitting in the washer to long I reward myself with a a glass of wine at night

Before baby:
Showers were nice and relaxing.
Then: I panic when I hear the baby fuss and my showers have become energy efficient!
Now: Its a party up in here! Do you really think I need all 3 of you in the shower? Oh now your dad too? *eye roll*
Before baby:
The house would get cleaned when ever I had time or people were coming over.
Then:The house can't be clean enough! No germs and cat fur allowed near my baby!
Now: HAHAHAHA! I can't believe I said and did that! Really? I am constantly cleaning up after the tornado that is having kids. There is no end.. and it looks like I never began all at the same time.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Norwegian Cruise Vegan friendly?

 We went on a family vacation in the middle of April for 7 nights aboard the Norwegian Jade. This was not our first rodeo.. I mean cruise. We are not those 50 cruise under your belt people but we aren't new either. So this time was different for me though. The last time we did a cruise I was a vegetarian, not a vegan. Was Norwegian up for the challenge? We will see...

The first day we got on board we imminently went for lunch in the buffet area, I was impressed with the signs for 'Vegan' or 'gluten free' in all different locations. The first thing I tried was their offer of 'Veggie burgers available' so I asked. That sent the kitchen into a panic.. they were asking each other "where is it?" After a bit of a scurry they found it and made it on the grill. The taste was better then expected! You could see the vegetables in it so it wasn't a Boca burger... Thank goodness!
 So lunch buffet was a win for them and it continued to be so for the entire cruise. They had awesome Indian food every day for lunch and man was it spicy!!! Asian food one the one side was all labeled 'Vegan' so I was happy that I could freely choose and not worry.

Our little cruisers found plenty of options too, pasta bars with different sauce options (vegan also). Every morning for breakfast there was fruit, breads or all sorts, a fresh juice bar (that was extra $) and plenty for me to choose from! 
My coffee is a must in the morning so I brought my own coconut milk in case the cruise didn't have any non-dairy milk options. However I saw one day someone asking for soy milk and low and behold they had it!! So the next morning I chose a random staff member in the breakfast buffet area for soy milk. That sent a look of panic on her face as she asked someone else where it was, they motioned to the back and she left for at least 15min as I stood there looking like an orphan child with my plate of food and no where to go. Finally she returned and poured me a nice glass which I was happy to have :)
I learned that they keep it in the area where the cereal is at... no need to run to the back.. but neither one of us knew that I guess.
My final verdict? Yes Norwegian Cruise Line is vegan friendly!! Give them a try!!

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Adult Chicken Pox how to survive and what helped

Can adults get chicken pox? Is it really worse to get them as an adult? Yes and YES!!

Since going through this horrid ordeal I realized that if adult chicken pox could be used to get the truth out of someone, man would it work!! "Anything! I'll give you anything you want just make it go away!"

 It starts off as a low fever, 101° for me, and just not feeling well for a day or 2.

Then BAM the next morning you wake up with some lovely red spots on your stomach and back. Not many, 20-30 and think to yourself "These itch, but hey it's not so bad. I bet the only difference is as a kid you can just lay around and watch TV all day but as an adult you still have a house to clean, dinner to cook and kids to take care of." So you take your 4,000mg of Vitamin C and sit in the sun and down the probiotics hoping it hurries this along.

Next day: Now they are all over your face, every uncomfortable place on your body, scalp and mouth included. You want to run away from your own skin till it passes. The pain, the itching and other overall feeling of bugs crawling on you will make a sane person go into the nut house.

That night: You CAN'T SLEEP! You lay there wondering what you did to deserve this torture, you are so tired but laying there feeling like you want to unzip you skin and run away doesn't help you relax into a peaceful slumber. You toss, then turn, then itch, then get a drink, then lay down, then start wondering when it will be morning only to realize its 11:45pm.... You beg your body to let you sleep, you start bargaining with it "What do you want? More rest on the weekend? Vegan ice cream every night?? What?! Just tell me!" "Why in the world does it feel like bugs are crawling on me? Are there bugs on me?"

To add to this all you are now an adult, so you have little humans to keep alive while you slowly die inside (or so you think). The baby wants to nurse A LOT! He thinks your stirring around means he should do the same, so you are nursing him what feels like every hour for at least 30 minutes. "Don't itch, don't do it! Oh great the baby just pulled his razor blade nails out and scratched a pox on my chest! So now he is going to get sick!" Thus begins the new dialogue for the next hour in your head imagining the whole family getting as sick as you and you never getting any better and still being the one to take care of them.

The next morning you get out of bed having never slept and look more like a horror show. You kindly remind your husband that its 'death till you part' and that if he winces again looking at you the death might come sooner for him.

The kids want breakfast. You also want to eat but realize that your throat now has a pox in it and hurts like fire when you swallow. Oh joy now there are more in your mouth too, it hurts to eat... the only comfort you had is now torture. Where is the fast forward button?

That night you get a brilliant idea. Wine, you think wine is a great idea! The comfort of that bottle of sangria, just pour a glass and relax.. ahh yes.. finally some comfort. Anything to ease the pain and torture.... "FIRE! LAVA! WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!" Open sores in my mouth and I pour an acidic component on them? Genius idea! That lack of sleep is catching up with me.

Finally you get sleep and over the next few days start to turn a corner, some of the pox are drying up and getting a crust on the top. They don't itch anymore and those nighttime or anytime oatmeal baths have paid off. You are trying everything to get rid of them! Dr. Google continues to be your go-to for advice and by the end of this horrible experience you have a new found sympathy for others that get chicken pox as an adult. You also feel like an expert on all things chicken pox and can tell everyone what to do to help it move along. So being the new expert that I am I will share with you what worked for me.

  • 4,000mg Vitamin C daily - I took Emergen-C
  • Probiotics - anything helps to build up your gut
  • Apple Cider vinegar - it helped ease the itch and dry out the pox at the same time, use it topically
  • Nelsons: Pure & Clear Acne Treatment Gel - I used this on my face and it was great! Helps clear up the pox the fastest then anything else I tried! It is meant for the face so it was gentle yet strong
  • Oatmeal baths with baking soda and lavender - it helped with the itching and relaxed me as well
I hope it goes quickly for you!!!
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Monday, January 16, 2017

Review of Nourishing Meals Cookbook by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, MS, CN

3 forks out of 5

I love a good cookbook that is meant for larger families and for those like us who eat healthy. This one didn't grab me as much as I wanted it too. Every week I would pull 5 recipes from it hoping I would love it, hoping that it would become a new favorite but it just didn't. While she appealed to my vegan family this was not a vegan book, there were a good number of recipes in there that were happily already vegan but others that I had to convert or just pass over all together. None of the recipes that I tried were a 'winner' in this house, no requests for "Please make that again!" or "Mom this is the best!" they mostly were forgotten and after a few weeks so was the book. The writer seems like someone I could be friends with, she has a large family and really wants them to eat healthy and convinces her audience that they too can be like them! For those reasons I love the heart this cookbook has. But the recipes just didn't make me want to keep coming back. So there it will sit on my shelf, I may open it from time to time looking for a recipe I forgot was in there, but over all it will just sit there.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review