Monday, January 16, 2017

Gluten & Dairy Replacements

Hey friends!  I've been meaning to do this post for a while now.  We've eaten gluten and dairy free for several years now and I know when you first start out this can be overwhelming!!  Many of you might be wanting to give up gluten or dairy for the New Year.  Eating plant-based can be a great way to cleanse and start fresh!

Here's a resource for you if you are trying to give up one or the other (also all these products are also egg-free if you have sensitivities to that too!).  These are our favorite products that many people who aren't GF/DF love too when they come over ;)

Austin is a great place where we have access to many health goods and gf/df/vegan grocery items.  If you don't live in Austin, then I've included Amazon links to all that I recommend for ease of buying!

Breakfast and baking Staples

GF/DF (and most are vegan and non-GMO!)
  • Love Grown Foods, we particularly like the Strawberry Power O's and the three kid's cereal, these are gluten-free and vegan and bean based so low-glycemic and t.a.s.t.y
  • Little Northern Bake-house, can be found at your local Sprouts and we love the Millet Chia Bread
  • Young Living Pancake & Waffle Mix, we use that around here as an AP flour and it's my favorite flavor- not too strong gf, but uses healthy gf, non-gmo grains
  • Katz Donuts- these do contain eggs, but are a tasty occasional treat around here for those of us who tolerate egg OK on occasion.
  • King Arthur GF AP flour, this 3-pound size on Amazon is the best deal by far- only $3 more than the 1 pound-er!
  • Neat Egg for egg replacement- I prefer using this to flax eggs in recipes 
  • Enjoy Life for all allergen-free chocolate recipes.  They have dark chocolate morsels that I love for baking
  • Domata seasoned flour for frying 
  • Wholly Wholesome frozen GF pie crusts

Dairy Replacements

Dressings and Sauces

  • Follow Your Heart Vegan Dressings like Cesar and Ranch
  • Tessamae's line of Dressings
  • Fabanase line of vegan mayo flavors- we love chipotle
  • Just Mayo, great vegan mayo that can be found anywhere!
  • Salsa, Guacamole, and Hummus are also all great choices everyday ;)


  • Do you miss sour cream and onion chips?  For these type items we love Earth Balance Brand.  (the cheese squares are not gluten-free thought- fyi!)
  • Go Raw for snacking- seeds and dried goods are great for road trips!
  • Snap Pea Crisps - these are affordable and a great on-the-go snack
  • Glutino Pretzels, hard to find gf/df pretzels!
  • For more snack ideas check out this post on my blog from last year.  These are all great for lunches too! 

Quick Meal Ideas

  • Lundberg boxed rice meals
  • Tamales (these are generally found locally, but almost always gf and can be found df and vegan too!)
  • Ian's (not vegan, but the kids love chicken nuggets or fish sticks occasionally!) brand frozen- can be found at target even.  Bub's loves the turkey corn dog nuggets ;)
  • GF noodles + DF tomato sauce (check your tomato sauce can for Milk, many store bought- even organic ones, contain milk as an ingredient!)
  • Smart Flour pizza crusts + tomato sauce + df cheese (see above)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tyranny of The Shoulds

It's a little pretty here, but an oh-so-ugly word!  I first heard this term in Grad School.  It's a term coined by Karen Horney, a psychiatrists from the early 20th century, and later developed by a dude named Albert Ellis, who used "should-ing" and other strong language around the topic.

The Tyranny of the Shoulds.  

These Shoulds can be fierce dictators, tyrannical voices ruling our thoughts and decisions, how we see and feel about ourselves.

As soon as I heard this, almost 5 years ago now, I decided I'm done with Should-ing....I will not use that word with myself or any other human.

And I actually stuck to it for a bit and didn't.  I also just replaced it with a bunch of need to/ must/ have to/ if I only/ if I just....It goes on and on from there.

Shoulds are sneaky that way.

Should is a powerful word.  It can be incredibly shaming and incredibly manipulative.  We use it when we want others to do what we want or what we think is best; we use it when we feel like we need to be better/ more worthy; we use it when we shame ourselves even!

In fact, I would argue that the Inner Should-ing is where it's at.  We love to tell ourselves all the things we should do to get happier, more healthy, be a better parent.

For me this means lying in bed at night and going over all the things I should do tomorrow to achieve all my dreams.  Or lying in bed going over the previous day and replaying how I could have handled several things better and what I should have done.

How many times a day do you say "I should have_____" or "If only I could____" or "I just need to_____" or "I've GOT to get better at_____"??

Sound familiar?  You say these things to yourself a lot.  I say them to Me a lot.  To give you an idea of a typical day inside my head, here is just a random example that would probably never happen ;)
  • (Wake up, getting out of bed) I should be a better mom, more available to the kids.
  • (1 hour into the day) I just need to learn how to listen better- this will help my kids know I love them.  I should sit and listen to each of them and their hopes and dreams.
  • (5 minutes later) I've got to get better at time management, then I will have time to sit and listen to my kids.
  • (later, after succeeding at 0 of my Shoulds) If I could just take a nap and check out for a while...then I will be better and then can be a better mom.
  • (5 minutes post-nap) Ok, now I can be available to the kids, I'm gonna rock this...
  • (5 minutes later) I should have been better at that mom thing; I freaking even had a nap!

I am should-ing/ must-ing/ if-only-ing all over myself.  And guess what?
The Should-ing prevents the desired outcome of the Should.

I'm so confident in this statement that I think it could be proven scientifically or through quantum mechanics or something!  It's so very true.  The more I live out of and give voice to my "Shoulds", the less and less I get done, the more cranky of a mother I become, the less energy I have to work, and the cycle continues and continues.

So here is my proposal:

Let's Call a Spade a Spade, or in this case, A Should a Should.  Let's speak these out loud to each other, lets catch our should-ing in the process!
My motto for me when I catch myself saying "I need to/have to/got to/ should_____" is this:  I do not have to do anything.  I am enough.  (I know you are thinking here, well you have to eat, breathe, feed the kids, blah blah, and yes, these things usually require doing.  However, I'm choosing to say I get to do these things that seem mandatory, like breathing, eating, and mothering.  And I get to do them from a place of fullness and enough-ness.  This perspective helps me.)

And here is what I want to say to you, dear friend:  You do not have to do anything.  You are OK exactly as you are.  You may not feel it or think it's true.  It is.  You are enough.  I recognize your enough-ness; I see it in you!!!

Are there things that will need doing?  Sure.  Do you have to do them from a place of Should-ing?  Absolutely not!  Why?  Because those shoulds do not come from you, dear friend.  Those shoulds come from a place that does not belong in our heads.  They are put there by some other person who is not us, or some other force that is not for us.

What would it look like to go through your day feeling no pressure or hidden shoulds, manipulations, or expectations (from yourself or others).  Can we even imagine a world like that?  I can, and I think it might be pretty spectacular!

If you are an oil-lover, guess what?  There is an oil for that(this!) too ;)  This resource has been a big help in my road to emotional wellness, and it suggests lemongrass right at the back of the head where I carry my stress.  I use this affirmation with it too: I am guided by (God/Flow/The Spirit).  For more info message me or visit here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Clean Home

If you have been following along, for a while, you know that I'm familiar with Sensory Issues...the kids and myself have them fo sho!  Here are the bottom line reasons why we have been working towards a Greener Home:
  • According to the EPA, toxins are now higher inside the home than outside the home. (1)
  • Kids (and grownups) with a trauma history tend to have a harder time lessening their toxic load (2); therefore, in a path towards more freedom, I want to lighten as much of that load as possible!
  • Kids who struggle with sensory issues can get easily triggered by heavy solvents in many traditional cleaning products.  Therefore, I want to have my home have simple cleaning ing. throughout!
  • As a sort-of Minimalist a greener home is a simpler home and it's another way we have freedom with less around here.
I've included this video that shows you how I searched the products that were in my home and now I have fewer products that I keep around (love having one bottle for all basic cleaning jobs!) and fewer things that trigger my family/ add to in-home toxicity!

We use Young Living in our home.  If you haven't gotten started with Young Living yet, we have a beautiful community, The Golden Drop Society, which is an online oily place for recipes, ideas, and support!  this is my page on how and why we use YL and love it- a great place to start!

Clean Home with Young Living from Eryn Jones on Vimeo.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Gluten Free Vegan Lasagna

Ahhh lasagna.  The freezer-to-oven version of this dish was a staple my first five years of marriage.  I was one of those with a freezer full of Stouffer's.  Loved popping those in the oven after we both worked all day.  However, not a dish that is very Gf/Df friendly!

Enter the age now where there are gluten-free noodle alternatives everywhere and lovely wonderful alternatives to cheese, even ricotta!  This gf/df/vegan friendly lasagna is super easy to whip up and takes 10 min prep time max!  So not freezer to oven quick, but almost just as fast....and it bakes faster too ;)

This dish is now a weekly staple that we love, love.  If you are a meat lover, you can also make this an omnivore meal very easily by adding 1 lb. high quality, browned, grass-fed beef to the tomato sauce and veggies before layering.

Gluten-Free Vegan Lasagna

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan-friendly
makes a 9 x 13 deep dish lasagna, serves 6-8 people easily 


  • 2 packages gluten-free lasagna noodles, no boil kind
  • 2 medium jars favorite organic tomato sauce (I use 1 1/2 25 oz. jars or two 16 oz. cans would also work)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 6 oz. package Tree Line Scallion Cashew Cheese
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk  
  • 1 package/ bag shredded vegan mozzarella 


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Stir the chopped onion and red pepper with the tomato sauce (feel free to add other veggies....if not for my kids I would add zucchini but they are not squash fans ;).
  • Blend together the scallion cheese with the milk and half the vegan mozzarella shreds.
  • In a 9 X 13 casserole dish, start the first layer, about a 1 cup of tomato mixture.
  • Then layer the no-boil gf lasagna noodles on top of tomato layer.
  • Next, spoon the cheese/milk mixture until just covering the noodles.
  • Repeat this 3-4 times with the last layers being noodles, cheese mixture, sauce respectively.
  • Then top the whole dish with all the remaining shreds of vegan mozz.
  • Cover with aluminum foil (important to not over-crisp the noodles!) and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake an additional 10 min.
  • Remove from oven, cut, and eat!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Vegan Chocolate Caramel Cookie Pie

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free Cookie Pie?  Yes please!!!  Also, meet my new best friend:

This stuff is crack.  If you have a Sprouts, a Whole Foods, or a local organic co-op you most likely can find it there.  It's a new product that came out just in time for this pie.  In my opinion it's just as good as sweetened condensed milk.....hello dairy-free caramels, Thai coffee, and more!!

Ok, moving on.  But seriously, dairy-free people rejoice ;)

This pie is a treat, my in a very rich, special-occasion-type, give-you-the-sugar-sweats-super-yummo treat!  I wouldn't recommend fixing this if you are on a low-sugar trend; however, you may remove the chocolate ganache layer for a less-rich dessert <3

chocolate caramel cookie pie

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan friendly 
this pie has several easy layers- best stored in refrigerator for up to one week


(first layer)
(second layer)
(third layer)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
(top layer)
  • Coco-Whip 
  • Extra ganache for decoration or vegan chocolate chips/ shavings


(first layer)
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  • Mix all dry ingredients together with fork, then add vanilla, butter.
  • Mix until just combined with a fork and a cookie-dough forms, add in chocolate chips.
  • Press into bottom of frozen pie crust and bake for 16 minutes.
  • While this bakes, mix the second layer:
(second layer)
  • Mix melted butter and can of sweetened condensed coconut milk.
    bubbly and crusty goodness
  • When cookie layer is done baking, remove the pie and add the condensed milk layer over top the cookie layer.
  • Sprinkle nuts, making sure they are covered by the caramel-condensed milk layer to prevent over-browning of the nuts.
  • Bake at 350 for an additional 25-30 minutes. (it should look like the picture to the left when removed from oven:)
  • Allow to set and cool for about 30 minutes while you make the third layer. 
(third layer)
  • Over a double boiler or in a heat-safe bowl over simmering pot of water, heat chocolate and coconut milk until melted and stir to make ganache.
  • Pour over set caramel layer and refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
  • When chocolate ganache layer is set, top with cool whip and extra ganache and nuts or chocolate chips if desired.
  • Refrigerate when not eating.  Can be eaten right away once chocolate is set!  
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