Azure Standard Winner!

 

We have a winner for our Azure Standard Giveaway!!!

Our winner is Christa who commented on July 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm:

Already a follower of Jack’s Crunchy Momma and liked both Azure and Convenant! Would love to try Azure Farm Garbanzo Beans, Chick Peas, Organic! Yay for homemade hummus for the baby.

I know you are going to love those chick peas! I just made some hummus with those very chick peas last night for little Jack!

Congratulations! You will be put in contact with a representative for CRT shortly.

 

Azure Standard Is Here!

This giveaway is still open for entries!

Jack's Crunchy Mama

Azure Standard Is Here In Baton Rouge!

I am so excited to be writing this post today about Azure Standard and Covenant Ranch Trucking. If you have never heard of this company, let me take a moment to explain to you what Azure is/does. Azure Standard is a company providing quality natural foods to communities by making drops in specified areas straight to the customers. Basically, everyone in an area places an order for their groceries by a specified deadline, and then those people all gather on a specific drop day and unload the truck of groceries together. Roughly two months ago this opportunity was made available to our community (Baton Rouge) and I am fortunate enough to participate in the last two drops.

Covenant Ranch Trucking is the trucking company that delivers the food from Azure straight to the customer. The driver helps unload the products, takes cash for…

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Azure Standard Is Here!

Azure Standard Is Here In Baton Rouge!

I am so excited to be writing this post today about Azure Standard and Covenant Ranch Trucking. If you have never heard of this company, let me take a moment to explain to you what Azure is/does. Azure Standard is a company providing quality natural foods to communities by making drops in specified areas straight to the customers. Basically, everyone in an area places an order for their groceries by a specified deadline, and then those people all gather on a specific drop day and unload the truck of groceries together. Roughly two months ago this opportunity was made available to our community (Baton Rouge) and I am fortunate enough to participate in the last two drops.

Covenant Ranch Trucking is the trucking company that delivers the food from Azure straight to the customer. The driver helps unload the products, takes cash for COD orders and provides a friendly face for the company. Check out this YouTube video about Covenant Ranch Trucking.

YouTube Video About CRT

There are two products that I have ordered on both previous drops and I am totally in LOVE!

#1. Portlandia Ketchup

This is the most delicious ketchup that I have ever eaten! And I hate to say it but, I am kind of a ketchup snob. Its not too vinegary or too sweet, perfectly balanced and stored in a GLASS jar instead of plastic! Its perfect!

#2. SnoPac Organic Crinkle Cut French Fries

If you know me at all, you know that I love french fries! Its definitely not a healthy food but nonetheless, I cannot part with them. These organic french fries cook up crispy and golden without any harmful preservatives or artificial additives.

Portlandia Ketchup+ SnoPac Organic Crinkle Cut Fries= PERFECTION!

If you are in the Baton Rouge area and want to get started ordering, join the Baton Rouge Azure Standard drop Facebook page and read the getting started with Azure document. If you are not in the Baton Rouge area but want to find a drop near you call Azure at (541)223-5640 and talk to a customer service representative.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY DETAILS!

Covenant Ranch Trucking and Azure Standard are giving away 1 FREE product to ONE of my readers and followers. The winner may choose their free product under these restrictions, product must be $10.00 or under, not perishable or frozen and must not be a bulk dry good over 5 lbs.

Drawing will be held 7/26/13 at 12 Noon CST.

THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS MUST BE MET TO ENTER:

1. Be a follower of Jacks Crunchy Mama

2. Like Covenant Ranch Trucking on Facebook

3. Comment below confirming the above 2 requirements and state which free item you would like to try

***Additional entries given to those who pin Covenant Ranch Trucking on Pinterest or Follow on Twitter. Make sure to add these in your comment upon completion***

Visit Covenant Ranch Trucking On Facebook!

Follow Covenant Ranch Trucking On Twitter!

Pin Covenant Ranch Trucking On Pinterest!

You can read the easy ordering guide by clicking here!

To join the Baton Rouge Azure Standard Drop group on Facebook click here!

To request an Azure Standard Catalog click here!

If you would like to know more about the history of Azure click here to read the story behind this awesome company!

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Here is a picture from our first drop in Baton Rouge.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Gluten Free Mama Pumpkin Brownies

Recently I ordered some gluten free all purpose flour from Azure Standard. This was a new brand for me, Gluten Free Mama- Almond Blend. They make a coconut blend that I also intend to try later on.

To try out this flour I decided to make Pumpkin Brownies from the Gluten Free Mama web page.

These brownies are super moist and have an almost pudding like center even when totally cooked. The texture is not of a typical brownie at all so don’t don’t expect a chewy cake consistency. These were simple to make and delicious.

The Recipe

Original Recipe Yield 16 squares

Ingredients

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup butter or dairy free margarine
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
***
¾ cup Mama’s Almond Blend or Coconut Blend Flour
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking power
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. xanthan gum
***********************************
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
8 oz cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1-3 Tbsp. milk (dairy, rice, nut, soy)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour 8×8 inch cake pan.
Using a double boiler, slowly melt chocolate chips and butter.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and xanthan gum.

In large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, sugars and vanilla. Mix well. Pour melted chocolate mixture into bowl. Mix well. Slowly add flour mixture until combined. Mix well.

Spread batter into pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool completely. Remove brownies from pan by placing a plate over the top of pan and flipping the pan upside down. Then place a serving plate on the top of the brownies and flip again to have brownies right side up.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until frosting reaches a spreadable and creamy consistency. Spread frosting generously over top of brownies. Cut into squares and serve.

To view the Gluten Free Mama web page and this amazing recipe click here!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Simply Organic Jambalaya Seasoning!

I just love Simply Organic cooking spices and seasonings! I use them pretty much on a daily basis in my home. I want to share with you one of my favorite products, the Jambalaya seasoning!

I live in the deep south, Baton Rouge, Louisiana where spice is king! But I am from the midwest, Missouri and Jambalaya was not on the menu growing up. When my husband and I moved here, he fell in love with the food. So I had to learn how to make some of these things of course. My Jambalaya is not even close to traditional New Orleans Jambalaya BUT it is very easy to make and quite delicious. I have my husband cook the meats on a charcoal grill outside 1-2 days before making this dish which simplifies it for me and saves time all around if we are already grilling for supper.

Heres how I make my Jambalaya. ( I also cook this in a cast iron dutch oven on the stove top! )

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of organic long grain brown rice

1 qt of chicken bone broth ( Here’s how to make your own!)

1 cup of water

3 tbsp of grass fed butter

a sprinkle of salt

1 package of Simply Organic Jambalaya Seasoning

1 lb of pre- grilled smoked beef sausage ( make sure it is MSG and Nitrate Free!)

1 lb of pre- grilled boneless chicken thighs

1 cup of tomato juice or a tbsp of tomato paste cut with 1 cup of water

Cayenne or any hot pepper to taste- I do not need mine any spicier so I leave that to my Husband to make his as hot as he needs. He likes to use Ghost chile pepper.

Directions

1. Cook the brown rice with the bone broth, water, butter, and salt until tender. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover about 25-35 mins.

2. While the rice is cooking, cut up the meats into bite sized pieces.

3. When the rice is finished, add the Simply Organic Jambalaya Seasoning and tomato juice stirring until fully combined.

4. Stir in meat and cook for about 10 mins for the meat to heat through.

5. Serve with brown or navy beans and buttered bread, rolls or my favorite- Cornbread!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jack Is Teething AND I Am Exhausted!

Little Jack is teething, and he has been in that stage for a long time now. The normal signs of biting everything in sight, drooling like Niagara Falls and whining. On the fourth of July, he started running a fever and his top left front tooth was bulging. Finally at just a few days short of 9 months, he was getting a real tooth!

I had no idea that getting a tooth could be such a dramatic and lengthy process. Now, on the 16th of July, there is still no tooth. He has been in a lot of pain, and very fussy with fever ranging from 99- 103. He is not interested in frozen washcloths, teething toys or anything else for that matter. So whats a Mama to do?

I have been consoling him the best I can with lots of affection and lots of Camilia.

Camilia is a homeopathic medicine designed for teething relief. It is manufactured by Boiron and can be purchased at most pharmacies, natural food stores and of course online.  I have used many other products from this company and have found all of them very useful and effective. This particular teething medication is free of many controversial but popular teething ingredients such as Belladonna or Benzocaine. I also appreciate the fact that it contains no artificial colors or flavors as well. SO I choose to give this to Jack and it works for us. This may be something for you to explore if your little one is having trouble teething.

Here is the list of ingredients from the Boiron Webpage which can be found by clicking here.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT:
  • Chamomilla 9C HPUS – Relieves teething pain accompanied by irritability
  • Phytolacca decandra 5C HPUS – Relieves painful gums
  • Rheum officinale 5C HPUS – Relieves minor digestive disorders associated with teething

The letters HPUS indicate that this ingredient is officially included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopœia of the United States.

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
  • purified water

THIS IS STILL A MEDICATION AND SHOULD BE USED AT YOUR OWN RISK! ALWAYS FOLLOW DIRECTIONS PER MANUFACTURER & CONSULT A MEDICAL DOCTOR. JACKS CRUNCHY MAMA IS NOT A LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL AND THIS IS NOT MEDICAL TREATMENT OR ADVICE, MEERLY AN OPINION. THANK YOU!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Fresh Avocado Salsa

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Fresh Avacodo Salsa

If you are looking for a fresh alternative to a traditional salsa or guacamole to serve at an upcoming gathering, consider this recipe for Avocado Feta Salsa. This chunky salsa is fresh and bright with creamy feta and tangy lime.

This is one of my husbands favorite recipes, he actually discovered this and I adapted the original to suit his tastes. Never be afraid to change a recipe, play with your food and discover for yourself what tastes good or not so good!

Remember to buy local, fresh and organic if possible!

Ingredients:

2 large avocados
2 medium sized tomatoes
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 small lime
4-6 oz of crumbled feta cheese

Now it’s really simple roughly chop tomatoes, parsley and shallot and place into bowl. Add minced garlic and oil stir gently to combine. Cube your avocados and add them along with the feta cheese. You want to do this last to preserve the size and consistency of these ingredients. This is a chunky salsa not a creamy dip. Squeeze 1/2 a lime over the top and fold with a spoon to evenly distribute all ingredients. Taste and add the other 1/2 lime if needed. Place the avocado pits in dish to help keep fresh.

Serve with tortilla chips, pita or crackers. Enjoy!

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Natural Birth Resources in Louisiana

Louisiana natural birth link

Most women think that they do not have many options when it comes to the birth experience but even more commonly than that, women do not even give it a thought at all.

The standard practice in the US is that a woman gets pregnant, schedules an appointment with an obstetrician, goes through a series of vaginal exams, ultrasounds and if she’s lucky escapes with a medicated vaginal birth. I say lucky because 1/3 of the women in the US will give birth via cesarean section. Which is necessary in some few cases. This has become the “normal” birth. But what is/ should be “normal” birth?
That is something that every mother must ask herself.

Do your research, know your options and decide for yourself what you want, are comfortable with and how you will feel about each choice. The only wrong choice is not choosing at all but relinquishing your body to a medical provider that many times does not practice informed consent.

Below is a list of natural birth educators, doulas, midwives and written resources. Most of these women will talk with you free of charge and help you discover what it is that you truly need and want for your birth experience.

Midwives

Emmy Trammell 985-974-2724

Alina Gardner Brmidwife@gmail.com

Sally Acosta 985-259-3557

Sherri Daigle 225-293-5836

Lynette Robinson at Gentle Choices birthing center 337-501-2916

Anne Lastrapes 337-278-4354

Doula/educational services

Lacey Hebert http://tolbirth.com/index.php/about

Nicki Pugh 225-819-7977 or visit her on Facebook at Old River Doula

Nola Nesting 504-655-1819 or visit them online by clicking here.

Jenny Dickerson 985-320-0016

Kira Smith 337-366-0303 http://www.motherbirthla.com/#2755

Rene Johnson Birth Help http://www.birthhelp.com/

My recommended reading list:

Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth
Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent
Pushed by Jennifer Block
Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

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My Breastfeeding Experience: A Difficult Journey

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My Breastfeeding Experience: A Difficult Journey

I thought that Breastfeeding would come naturally to me. I thought it would be easy because our bodies were created to nourish our offspring. I thought it would be this beautiful bonding experience. Everything I thought, turned out to be wrong.

I read lots of books about pregnancy, labor, birth and breastfeeding while pregnant with Jack. It was not even a question in my mind as to if I would nurse my baby. Of course I would, I was not going to give him an imitation when I had the real thing free and readily available in my very own body. I would never drink baby formula myself or even the first two ingredients – corn syrup & vegetable oil so why would I give that to my baby? So the decision to breastfeed for me was an easy one. What was not so easy, was actually doing it!

I had Jackson on a beautiful warm morning in October. My labor was a short but intense 6.5 hours resulting in a medicine free natural water birth. It seemed so easy and natural and as soon as I took my slippery pink son into my arms, he immediately began to root searching for my breast. I put him to breast before even getting out of the tub. I thought WOW! He’s already nursing like a champ, this is going to be great! We nursed a few more times before leaving the birth center to return home.

That evening it was my husband, myself and our new baby all alone. We had no idea what we were doing, and panic started to set in. Our baby cried all night long, he awakened every 30 minutes to an 1 hour around the clock. I nursed him on demand just like the book had said, and changed sides, just like the book had said. But something was just not working.

The evening of day four, my husband brought me a diaper and said “hey this looks kinda weird”. I looked at the diaper and saw my worst nightmare. A light red rust like substance lay there revealing the hard truth, my son was dehydrated. He wasn’t getting enough colostrum and my milk still had not come in. I felt defeated and totally lost. The next morning Jack had another diaper laced with urinate crystals and I was grief stricken. He was still crying day and night, hungry no doubt and it was all my fault. I contacted my friend Brigid who was nursing her sweet baby girl at that time. I asked her if she would be willing to give me some of her breast milk to feed my son, since I was not able to at that time. She brought milk over right away and even tried to nurse him herself, but he would not latch. We filled a small medicine syringe with breast milk and slowly filled his mouth. His face and whole body relaxed in satisfaction and he instantly fell asleep.

I pondered what I would do next? Would I start formula? Would I try to obtain more donor milk? What was wrong with me? Where was my milk?

Another friend visited me that afternoon to comfort and console me. As we were talking she looked over and asked me, “what is that on your nipple? IS THAT MILK?” Sure enough my milk had come just shy of 5:00pm on the 5th day after birth. What a relief! I could finally feed my son like I needed to. But my problems were far from over.

Over the following weeks, I continued struggling to feed my darling son. I suffered extreme nipple damage. Both sides were bruised, cracked and bloody despite the creams, soothie pads, and air drying, I was in constant pain. I cried every time I fed him, tears would stream down my face. It was so unbearable, I dreaded nursing him and he ate so often. Unknowingly I battled nursing a baby with a thick upper lip tie and light tongue tie. I was made aware of this after reaching out to a lactation consultant at a local hospital. Getting it surgically corrected at that time was out of the question. I was not in a proper emotional state to deal with that, so we waited.

And waited, and waited. I waited for it to get better like the ladies at the La leche league said it would. For the constant shooting pain to go away, and i waited to not HATE feeding my baby whom I loved with all my heart.

For two months straight, I took it day by day & nursing session by nursing session trying to keep our breastfeeding relationship alive. I stayed active on the local la leche league Facebook page and attended meetings for support. Finally around the 3rd month, I felt like things were getting better.

I practiced all the healthy habits to protect my milk supply. I never supplemented with formula to sleep, I drank water like crazy, took fenugreek, and ate a million lactation cookies. I also stopped eating dairy in an effort to help Jacks horrible tummy aches and extreme gas.

Jack is 6 months old now and he’s still nursing. It’s easy now and I don’t have any pain. The only problem I have is the occasional love bite, I say love bite because he’s always smiling when he clamps down on me. I’m proud of myself for enduring the pain and fighting for our nursing relationship. I am so grateful to be able to provide the best nourishment for him.

It’s hard for me to think on my breast feeding journey. I feel angry, robbed and ashamed. I feel angry because I wasn’t prepared like maybe I could have been. Angry because things did not happen like I wanted. Robbed because I did not get the deep intimate bonding that I thought I would have. Robbed of the enjoyment of my newborn son. Precious, unrecoverable time spent exhausted, in pain and constant despair. I had waited so long for him and then could not enjoy him, how sad?! Last of all I feel ashamed. Ashamed that I ignorantly allowed my son to get dehydrated before reaching out to someone for help. Ashamed because I hated nursing my baby, that I didn’t even want to look at him sometimes because of the pain I was in.

I do not have birth trauma, I have nursing trauma. This experience has scarred my heart and makes me question having more children. I hope that my heart will heal over time and that one day I will be able to let go and forgive myself.

If you have trouble with nursing please reach out to other wise women who have nursed children, your local La Leche league and lactation consultants in your local area. Know you aren’t alone in your struggle and you can get through it!

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