meal planning

What the Paleo?!?


Tis the season for resolutions. Adie wrote about some resolutions HERE. But I wanted to talk about one in particular that I’ve tried (along with my husband) that absolutely changed my life: changing my eating habits to paleo.
Adopting a paleo lifestyle was very hard work in the beginning. When you are used to eating every “food group” under the sun,it seems a first that you are being deprived…
until I looked up paleo recipes on Pinterest!!! You can make ANYTHING into a paleo dish. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Yes, it takes more prep, and yes it can be more expensive, but aren’t you and your loved ones worth it? Would I rather spend tons of money a year on medical bills and drugs, or take preventative steps by spending a little more money on food and supplements that will keep disease away and heal your gut? I know which one I would pick (and HAVE picked). Food is medicine.

For those of you who may not know what a paleo diet is all about, here is the gist: plants, nuts, and meats. Yep, that’s it! No processed foods like sugar, grains, or dairy, and no legumes. Some of you are already saying “No way,” or “I’m out! I can’t survive without my cheese.” And to tell you the truth, I was the same way! But do your research and hear me out. There are so many resources you can use to make it feel like you are not being deprived ONE BIT! In fact, the alternatives you use to replace the processed foods are so great for you that there is REALLY zero guilt when “treating” yourself to a paleo chocolate cupcake or almond butter and chocolate truffle. :)

When I first began the lifestyle change, I did as much research as possible. I read books and looked up websites. Educating yourself on WHY this is a good decision is just as important as the decision itself. My favorite website is by Julie Bauer over a Please visit ASAP! As soon as you scroll through and see the yummy foods she prepares, you will see how possible this is for you!



Now here is how it changed my life: I was sick for years and didn’t even know it. In fact, most of our society is sick in some way. Processed sugar, grains, and dairy feed the bad bacteria in our gut and cause overgrowth. This overgrowth damages our gut and allows toxins to get into our bodies through the blood stream (leaky gut).  This overgrowth and imbalance in the body leads to an endless list of issues.  Many issues we think are just part of who we are:  joint pain, acne, digestive issues, head aches…

But the truth is, we can change those symptoms forever.  That’s what they are:  SYMPTOMS.  Symptoms flaring up in your body because of imbalance, bad bacteria, and toxins taking over.  Our body doesn’t know how to process processed-foods and gets chronically inflamed when putting them into our body day after day, meal after meal.

If you are not willing to put in the time and effort to prepare for this change, then this is not for you.  It does take work and getting used to, but it does get easier.  If my rural in-laws from a town of 500 people, no health food stores, no book stores, no NOTHING, can do it, so can you!  (My father in law lost 30 pounds in 4 months by JUST changing the way he eats.)


This won’t work if you are a family who asks “What’s for dinner” every night at 5 o’clock.  You must PREP with meal plans and grocery lists to be successful and stay on track.  Not to mention most of the food is NOT your average household items that are already in your pantry and fridge.  It’s WHOLE FOODS that are fresh, new, different, interesting, and WILL go badif you don’t eat them soon after buying it. That’s a good thing!

I’m not saying that I am a “strict” paleo.  Especially during pregnancy I’ve eaten my fair share of GF pretzels and bland, starchy foods.  But what always brings me back to the paleo way of life is how WELL I feel, how FIT I feel, and the changes I’ve seen in my mood, body, and health while following this lifestyle.

I encourage you to open up your mind and try this paleo lifestyle. You are worth the extra time and money and you will feel 100% better about yourself.  I promise!

If you want more information or want to join my “Heal Your Gut” challenge starting Jan 6, to help kickstart your paleo adventure and heal that LEAKY gut of yours, please email me at

If you’ve ever tried the paleo lifestyle, I would LOVE to hear what you think!  Leave a comment below.

Signature Maggie

The Busy Mom’s Go-To Healthy Grocery List



It’s no secret I’m busy.  I barely have time to shower.
But I have a system and I make it work.  I have my priorities.
And some days it’s not showering.  Sad, but true.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day.
It’s what you do with those 24 hours that are important to being successful in anything in life.
Whether it’s your health and fitness, happiness, parenting or your career.

I see it daily in my everyday life and within my fitness business world: people unwilling to invest the time, energy and money into their health.
How can they afford healthy food? How can they make time to make pancakes rather than buying frozen preservative-filled ones from the grocery store?

Now, when you think of whether or not you are “healthy” I bet you usually think of your physical health.
Am I right?
This is an important part of our well-being, but WHY do you want to be healthy?

Do you wish to be healthy in order to enjoy your life and so you can live life to it’s fullest? I sure hope so!
Because true wellness is an integration of physical, mental AND spiritual health which allows us to accept and love ourselves for who we are.
Not how we look in the mirror.  This is exactly what I work on with my clients every month in my challenge groups.

I help my clients realize the key to vitality is balancing body, mind and spirit and the fact that investing time and money NOW into a healthy lifestyle, and healthy REAL foods, will enable us to invest in our future so our quality of life will not degrade as we age.

Today, I’d like to give our readers a little glimpse into my weekly grocery list.
To show you all how we invest now in our health and our quality of life in the future.
I will share just a few of our staples and what we tend to buy weekly and almost always have in stock around Haus of Girls.
I keep a copy of this list on my husband’s phone, as well as mine, so we can pull it up and get shopping.

Family Photo 2013 Thanksgiving

And in case you were wondering…..
We are not fancy.
We don’t teach our children that food needs to be glamorous and pretty with tons of sprinkles, sauces, colors and foo-foo extras.
Food is food.  Food is not for show and excitement.  It’s not about a mascot.
It is about eating….. to nourish and heal our bodies.

And to give you a little background on where we are coming from regarding our food journey….
Almost one year ago, back in January of 2013, Steve and I sat down and had a conversation about food.
We both agreed that we were done buying pre-packaged, processed, chemical laced foods.

I had read a book titled “Why Can’t My Child Behave,” by Jane Hersey regarding the negative effects of preservatives and food additives and dyes on children and their behavior a few years prior to Steve and I’s conversation, and the information on those pages always stuck with me.
It taught me a lot about the negative effects that chemicals, dyes and preservatives in foods have on humans and how so many of our bodies simply can’t process these things.  They are linked to behavioral issues, learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD and so much more.

The food colorings found in some foods, like fruit snacks for example, are red 40, yellow 5 and blue 1.
Red 40 and blue 1 were originally manufactured from coal tar, but are now mostly made from petroleum.
Those two colors have been banned previously in many European countries including Denmark, Belgium and France, though are now widely used in countries belonging to the European Union.
Despite their attention in Europe, they’ve been used in the U.S. without too much resistance.
This, my friends, is sad to me.

Yellow 5, however, is a different story. This food coloring, also know as tartrazine, has been known to cause serious allergic reactions (particularly for people who are allergic to aspirin). In 2008, the Food Standards Agency issued a warning about yellow 5 causing hyperactivity in some children. And according to board certified family physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman, yellow 5 poses risks of cancer.

Facts like these are another reason why preservatives are something we try to stay away from.
By no means are we perfect.  We are a real family with a lot going on.
And we may or may not like to indulge in Cheetos on occasion… of our gluten free treats.
And Steve has been knows to go hog-wild with slushies in the summer filled with Red Dye #40.

Boy do we see the effects on our girls.
They turn into these small, but powerful, hyperactive, alien-like beings with an increased amount of strength and vocal ability.
Not in a good singing kind of way, but in an intense shrieking manner that makes me want to lock them outside for a few hours.
For real. I have done this.  Locked the door and all.

Along with food dyes, preservatives in foods also cause behavioral changes, especially in young children.
According to the Archives of Disease in Children, “in a 2003 double-blind study of 1,873 children the consumption of food additives and preservatives led to significant increase in hyperactive behavior. Removing the preservatives or using a placebo didn’t lead to these behaviors, which were measured by both parental and objective reporting. The researchers coordinating the study noted that whether the children had been previously identified as hyperactive didn’t matter in terms of the effects of the preservatives and additives on their behavior.”

Interesting, huh?

So in January of 2012, we decided that instead of buying preservative filled cookies, we would make our own.
Same for waffles, granola bars and more!

Fruit snacks? Never again. We would eat REAL fruit.  What a concept for the year 2013.
I mean just because society tell you it’s ok to eat sorbitol, corn starch, mineral oil, carnauba wax, vitamins A, C, and E, and food colorings, does this mean you need to do so?

Soon after my chat with Steve we sat the girls down and had a talk with them explaining that we, as a family, would from this day forward choose a healthy lifestyle filled with “food from the Earth.”  Not from packages.


2013-11-13 14.00.33

It went much smoother than we thought and we have never looked back since.
We have even overheard them saying things like, “is this from the Earth?” about certain foods to each other.
The best.

Now, a lot has happened at Haus of Girls since January with the diagnosis of Celiac disease and gluten is now a thing of the past as well.
But I will get into that story another day……

Today I just want to share some of my staples and it’s my hope that this will help you when deciding how to shop for your family.
It may not seem easy at first, but I assure you the concept is simple.
Buy real food.  The less food in packages, the better.

Here we go!

Haus of Girls Typical Grocery List:

Veggies: avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, kale, spinach, salsa (all natural FRESH), baby carrots, shaved brussels sprouts, celery

Fruits: bananas, apples, oranges/cuties, blueberries, lemons, limes, grapes, pineapple (watermelon and strawberries in summer) dates, pears, frozen blueberries for smoothies,

Nuts: raw whole almonds, raw sunflower seeds unsalted, unsweetened coconut, raw almond butter, all natural peanut butter, sunflower seed butter

Starches: gluten free brown rice, gluten free rolled oats, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, all natural popcorn, rice cakes, chia seeds,

Proteins: pasture raised eggs, no nitrate all natural bacon, antibiotic and hormone free fresh chicken breast, ground beef and turkey

Others: no sugar added almond milk (contains twice the amount of calcium than cow’s milk!) Kerry Gold butter, full-fat coconut milk, coconut milk coffee creamer, coconut milk yogurt, almond milk yogurt, stevia extract liquid, vanilla extract, Kombucha tea drinks, olive oil, coconut oil, Apple Cider Vinegar,

Bonus items: gluten free pretzels and gluten free Chex cereal to add in trail mixes I make on occasion and chocolate chips.  I also love dark chocolate with sea salt and red wine. And Steve is known for his Cheetos buying skills……

These are just a few of our weekly faves.
Yes we add in new things and don’t always buy these items. No we are not perfect.
We are just two parents trying to do the right thing for our girls.
We don’t want to have any regrets about what we could have done better when it comes to their health.

I hope this list helps you in some way!
If you have any questions, please leave a comment as I’m always here and happy to help.

Try stocking your home with whole foods and minimize the food dyes and preservatives so your family can be as healthy and happy as possible.
Currently at Haus of Girls, we are limiting dairy products, as you can tell by our list, as I am in the process of determining if dairy is what keeps triggering my bloating and some other symptoms, as well as our youngest Gracie’s itchy skin.

We as a family removed gluten this past May and I can’t tell you the changes I’ve had personally.
I will be sharing our journey regarding Celiac and gluten with you all very soon!
If I can help just one person and prevent them from going through what I went through, then I will be so happy.

Signature Marta


3 Annoying Things About Living Gluten Free

My ONE YEAR anniversary of getting sick is coming up in December.  Since going gluten free in April, I have never felt better than I do now.  I will NEVER go back to eating wheat because of how sick I was and how amazing the benefits have been to my body.  That being said, living gluten free has its annoyances.  I want to take the time to share and vent about the daily battles living gluten free has.

gluten free

1. Our uneducated society. Due to our country’s diet trends a fads, “gluten free” has become at the top of the list. Many fad dieters eat gluten free because they believe it is better for you than products with gluten, which is true, but there’s a catch. Your diet needs to be full of gluten free foods without eating a diet full of “gluten free” foods. Here’s what I mean: I like to eat eggs and bacon for breakfast, homemade chicken, veggie and brown rice soup for lunch, and salmon with asparagus for dinner…all of which are NATURALLY gluten free; whereas others have the misconception that eating a gluten free diet should look like this: gluten free cereal for breakfast, a grilled cheese on gluten free bread and gluten free chips for lunch, and gluten free pasta with gluten free alfredo sauce for dinner. Just because some SAYS “gluten free” on a package does not mean that is not refined and processed like any other packaged food. Many do not understand that gluten is a protein that wreaks havoc in a gluten intolerant persons’ gut. I would be sick for days if I consumed something with gluten, which is why those packaged gluten free foods are a treat for me. Just like any dieter should occasionally treat themselves to a cupcake, donut, or salty snack, I like to do the same when it comes to “gluten free” foods. I will take my own gf pretzels or cupcakes to a party that I know I will need a snack or dessert. I go through phases (especially during pregnancy) where I get tired of eating eggs every morning so I will throw in a GF chia waffle. It’s all about give and take like any other diet. But just because it says “gluten free” does NOT mean it is healthy for you.


click on the pic to see some of the different symptoms you could be experiencing!

2. Going out to dinner. This ties into the first one of our society being uneducated about gluten and its effect on the body. Going out is ROUGH…especially when the restaurant everyone wants to go to is just not a good fit for the health conscious. The part that many restaurants do not understand is that cross contamination is what GF people worry about most (unless you are doing this for the fad). I can have potato skins and French fries and salads and a lot of other things on the menu. But I can’t have French fries that are fried in the same fryer as your BREADED chicken strips. And I can’t have that salad that the cook just “removed” the croutons off the top. The trace amounts of gluten will make me sick…and this is why I have issues with the “FAD.”  The fad dieters, who do not get the same reaction, say they are gluten free but are actually getting a lot of gluten and don’t even know it. It’s just a lack of understanding on WHY someone should be gluten free or not. I think EVERYONE would benefit from a gluten free diet, but our society does not understand WHY and that’s where the problems come into play when going out.


3. “The (snobby) Fad.” I can’t tell you how many looks and stares and eye rolls I get when someone hears me say that I have to be gluten free. I do my best to not let it bother me, because that person has NO IDEA how sick I could get from the smallest amount of gluten, but in all honesty, it does bother me. I didn’t CHOOSE to be this way. People don’t get eye rolls for having a peanut allergy! But I again, blame it on the FAD. Gluten has gotten so much publicity over the past year that many people who don’t know my background don’t truly get it and will place a stereotype on the type of person who might live gluten free by choice (which isn’t right either). Some of my coworkers (although joking) make comments at me and poke fun because I brought my own lunch to our staff meeting while everyone else eats 4 slices of Papa John’s pizza (yes a blessing in disguise, I know). But the truth is, people just don’t get it! They don’t understand what the disease is all about. I have a good relationship with my coworkers now where I don’t care if they poke fun, but it’s so interesting to me that they make jokes about me one moment and then a moment later, ask for peanut free candy bar options for one of our coworkers with a peanut allergy. LACK. OF. KNOWLEDGE. Because of the fad, people think that I choose to live a gluten free lifestyle. I’m NOT blaming any of them. It’s nobody’s fault! It’s just SO interesting to me the reactions of our society to different intolerances.

Like I said before, I don’t have a problem with people who choose to be GF without having Celiac or Gluten Sensitivities. In fact, I think it’s great! I think it would benefit every type of person…if done CORRECTLY. People need to understand the reasons and science behind it before living this lifestyle.

What do YOU think? Be brutally honest! Do you put a stereotype on people who choose to be gluten free vs. need to be gluten free? How do you know if they are CHOOSING or not? Would you ever try living a GF life?

Signature Maggie