Collagen Powder: What is it and should I use it?

Collagen powder, also called collagen protein or collagen peptides, is a VERY popular supplement. Have you heard of it? Read to learn about what exactly it is, and how to know if you should use it. 

What is collagen?

Collagen is a structural protein found in the connective tissue, skin, and bone in animals. In plain terms — it is a type of protein.

Nutritionally speaking, collagen and gelatin are basically the same thing. Their differences come in with their chemical properties. Collagen is more broken down, and will dissolve easily in liquid. Gelatin, as you probably know, can form a gel-like substance.

Collagen, and all proteins we eat, are basically just a combination of building blocks called amino acids.

Although a lot of our body is made up of collagen, we don’t need to EAT a ton of it to maintain the collagen in our body, though the people who sell these supplements will obviously tell you otherwise.  Continue reading

Make Ahead Recipe: Paleo Skillet Pizza Shepherd’s Pie

Paleo Skillet Pizza Shepherd’s Pie comes together with a handful of kitchen staples for an easy weeknight meal that fills your kitchen with the intoxicating smell of pizza, without all the grease!

Paleo Skillet Pizza Shepherd's Pie | mamaknowsnutrition.com

You can thank my pregnancy for this recipe. So far, my only real craving has been cheese. No, there’s not any cheese in this recipe (although I bet it would be delicious if you added some in!). There was no cheese left in the fridge, because I’ve been eating it with basically every meal every day.

BUT, I was craving pizza, so I figured I could fool myself into it with some italian seasoning and pepperoni. IT WORKED. This was a perfect no-fuss weeknight meal that satisfied my pizza craving without calling in a delivery order.

It’s like a shepherd’s pie, but with pizza flavors. You on board??  Continue reading

Picky Eating: Help! My toddler only wants snacks

Picky eating is one of the most common complaints about toddlers, preschoolers, and young kids. But you CAN make it better! This is part of a series on picky eating where I’ll be sharing different strategies to reduce picky eating and make mealtimes a little easier.

This morning I asked my son, “are you ready for breakfast?” And you know what he said to me? “No! Snack!” (In his very defiant toddler voice, I might add.)  Continue reading

Recent Toddler Meals and Healthier Cinnamon Roll “Rainbows”

School’s out, which means a lot more meals at home for us. My son is at an age where playing is waaaay more fun and exciting than eating, so I’ve been rolling with the “quick and easy” theme for toddler meals in our house lately. Although, I’m pretty much always in the “quick and easy” mode.

I thought it would be fun to show you a few recent toddler meals that I happened to snap photos of!  Continue reading

Listeria During Pregnancy: Everything you need to know

What is the deal with Listeria during pregnancy? Is it really that bad? 

There are so many things you are told to avoid while pregnant. Don’t lie on your stomach, don’t lie on your back, don’t exercise too much, don’t you DARE get a massage during your first trimester. (That last one really irks me.) And then we get to all the food restrictions. Don’t eat deli meat, don’t eat soft cheese, don’t eat undercooked meat, don’t eat runny yolks…

Yeah, if you’re pregnant or ever have been, you totally understand. Personally, I’m a “why” person, so I was always curious to know the reasoning behind a lot of these restrictions. I know that ultimately it’s all for the health of mom and baby, but we should be able to understand why certain foods are potentially harmful. Most of these things are part of our daily non-pregnant lives, so why exactly do we need to skip out on them during pregnancy?

When we look at the food restrictions, the scariest one to me is the threat of Listeria during pregnancy.  So we’re going to take a closer look at Listeria to understand what the deal is and why we need to avoid it.  (Let me know if you’re curious about the other foodborne illnesses that can affect you during pregnancy and I’ll write another post.) Continue reading

A Meal for a Friend with a New Baby

My friend Brit had her second baby a few weeks ago, and he is the cutest, snuggliest little guy! I always forget how tiny newborns are until there’s one right in front of me. I wanted to make a meal for her since I know that cooking is one of the hardest things to find time to do when you have a newborn. I’m always looking for good ideas of meals to bring to a friend with a new baby, so I thought I’d share what I brought over.

Brit already texted asking me for the recipes right after she ate dinner, so I know she loved it!

Continue reading

5 Favorite Toddler Snack Recipes

Try these toddler snack recipes for your family this week!

A few months ago, I started a little tradition of making a snack recipe every week to pack for my son to have at daycare. I’m not 100% consistent, but I make it happen most weekends! I used to love baking, and it’s kinda fallen by the wayside (like many other things in my life) since having T. Some weeks are total fails, like the time I decided to wing it with a baked oatmeal snack cup without a recipe, and you know how baking without a recipe typically turns out. Total gloppy failure. But I’ve also come away with a few favorites, so my ego can handle a few fails every now and then. 😉

I’ll post another time about some of my favorite packaged snacks, since we use those plenty often as well.

The great thing about a lot of these recipes is that I can freeze part of the batch to pull out on a day when I don’t have anything fresh on hand.

Here are some of our recent faves! Continue reading