No Bake Chocolate Protein Bars

These no bake healthy homemade chocolate protein bars are the perfect treat. They’re gluten free and packed with protein and calcium. All of the great taste you love without the guilt!

Easy chocolate protein bars are a perfect healthy snack. This gluten free recipe is packed with protein and calcium!

Healthy Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars 

Have you ever tried making homemade chocolate protein bars? They are so good and no baking required! Seriously, I could eat the whole batch!  It’s hard to believe that it’s already Back to School time! I love back to school ideas by some of my favorite bloggers and happy to feature them here on Living Locurto. You might not think of chocolate as a healthy back to school snack, but this recipe is just that!

I’m drooling over these No Bake Healthy Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars by Heidi from Parties for Pennies! A great homemade healthy school snack or quick breakfast and something moms will love too! Enjoy this delicious recipe.

Originally published August 20, 2014

No bake homemade chocolate protein bars are the perfect healthy snack. Gluten free easy recipe packed with protein and calcium.

How to make No Bake Healthy Chocolate Protein Bars

Hi Living Locurto friends! I’m Heidi, lover of champagne and watermelon bubblegum. I adore entertaining and throwing beautiful parties on a budget. Thanks so much to Amy for letting me share a fun little recipe with you.

These Healthy Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars are the perfect before or after school treat. No worrying about high-fructose corn syrup. They’re gluten free and almost vegan (just the chocolate chips). And bonus – they’re packed with protein! The only problem you may have is that they’re so delicious, you may want to hide them for your own treat stash.

No Bake Healthy Chocolate Protein Bars. Gluten Free Recipe.

Before we start with the recipe, here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients –

  • Dates
  • Walnuts
  • Gluten Free Oatmeal
  • Cashew Meal (Found mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • Organic Maple Syrup
  • Salt
  • Dark Chocolate Chips

Kitchen Supplies –

  • 9×9 pan (glass or metal)
  • Parchment paper
  • Food Processor
  • Small Roller
  • Spatula
  • Glass or Oven-Proof Bowl
  • Stovetop Pan (that’s smaller than the glass/oven-proof bowl)

Watch how easy these Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars are to make!

Easy homemade Chocolate Protein Bars recipe! Gluten Free and so good!

Enjoy this Healthy Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars Recipe!

No Bake Chocolate Protein Bars

Easy homemade chocolate protein bars are a perfect healthy snack. This gluten free recipe packed with protein and calcium has the taste you love without the guilt!

  • 2 Dates (pitted)
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free Oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup Cashew Meal
  • 2 tablespoons Organic Maple Syrup
  • 1 3/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • pinch of salt
  1. In a food processor, mix the dates, walnuts, oatmeal and cashew meal until ground together.
  2. Add maple syrup, salt and mix until it forms a dough.
  3. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.
  4. Pour the dough into the pan and smooth it out with a spatula or small rolling pin.
  5. Create a double boiler by bringing water to boil in a small pan and placing a heat-proof bowl that is slightly larger than the pan over it. Pour the chocolate chips into the bowl and stir until completely melted.
  6. Once the chocolate is melted, pour over the cookie layer in the pan.Slightly shift the pan back and forth on the counter. This will help you achieve a smooth chocolate layer.

  7. Place the pan in the refrigerator or freezer until completely hardened.
  8. Remove the protein bars by pulling on the sides of the parchment paper. Cut into squares or bars and serve.

Add more maple syrup for sweeter bars.

Make this recipe? Share a photo on Instagram and use the hashtag #LivingLocurto


Not interested in making your own Protein Bars? Here are the best bars for every diet.

Check out these great Back to School ideas!

Back to School Teacher Interview Card Free Printables

Back to School Free Printable Teacher Interview Cards

Back to School Party Using School Supplies


Jazz up your school supplies with DIY Notebook and Pencils and these Dip Paint Herb Planters would make great teacher gifts.

Heidi from Parties wtih Pennies

Heidi Rew shows you how to throw caviar-type parties on a hot dog budget through her blog, Parties for Pennies. She grew up the oldest of four kids, where her father was an elementary school teacher and her mom a stay-at-home parent. Having to pinch pennies growing up, helped to steer her creativity. Her background is as a radio personality in Atlanta, GA but her love for throwing fabulous Parties for Pennies established her as a professional blogger. Cultivating a community of party people, Heidi also contributes to Mohawk Flooring’s blog as well as featured on the nationally syndicated Better TV Show. 

Follow Heidi on: Facebook , Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram.


You’ll also like these Strawberry Cashew Oatmeal Bars!

Strawberry Cashew Oatmeal Bars with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Easy homemade recipe with whole grain. Make for a snack or breakfast bar with fresh strawberries.


The post No Bake Chocolate Protein Bars appeared first on Living Locurto.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops Recipe and De’Longhi Livenza Convection Oven Review

Need a little extra help for the holidays?  This amazing little toaster oven is just the helper you need!  I never have enough room in my oven to bake everything at the same time during the holidays and the De’Longhi Livenza Convection Oven is perfect for warming and cooking my appetizers while the main dish bakes in my oven.  This countertop oven can serve as a second oven when cooking tons of dishes.  It’s a true European convection oven!

De’Longhi Livenza Convection Oven

The Livenza Oven System allows you to prepare the yummiest foods with ease. This compact, high-efficiency countertop oven cooks faster and more evenly, leaving you with more time and more flavor. Roast, broil or bake your favorites including whole chicken and pizza with the precision of convection cooking for perfectly prepared meals, every time.

De’Longhi Livenza Convection Oven

One of my favorite appetizers that’s quick and easy and sure to please a crowd is these bacon wrapped scallops.  I absolutely love seafood, especially this time of year and these little bite sized treats are decadent and filling.  You can serve them with a chili butter sauce, lemon aioli, or even raspberry jam!  The recipe is simple and easy in the De’Longhi Livenza Convection Oven:

Bacon Wrapped Scallops Recipe


  • 1 lb Bacon
  • 15 Scallops
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika

De’Longhi Livenza Convection Oven


  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Rinse scallops under cold water.
  3. Cut bacon strips in half.
  4. Wrap each scallop with 1/2 strip of bacon.
  5. Skewer 2–3 bacon-wrapped scallops per skewer.
  6. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, seasoning both sides.
  7. Grill for 5-7 minutes.
  8. Flip, then grill for an additional 5-7 minutes.

De’Longhi Livenza Convection Oven

De’Longhi Livenza Convection Oven Key Features: 

  • Three Heating Areas: Whether baking or roasting, the oven distributes heat evenly with its three specific heating areas
  • Insulated to Maintain Heat: An innovative heating system maintains consistent heat due to insulated constriction and a double glass door
  • Eight Preset Programs: Whether you want to make a pizza, roast a chicken or bake cookies, one of the eight preset programs is perfect for the job
  • Cooking Functions: the internal temperature check guarantees that you are cooking with the right amount of heat for every meal
  • Dedicated Recipe App: inspiration is only a tap away. Find more than 50 different recipes in the dedicated app available in Google Play and Apple’s App Store. 

De’Longhi Livenza Convection Oven

And did you know that De’Longhi is a partner to a wonderful nonprofit—Cookies for Kids’ Cancer—an organization that has granted nearly $15 million to research for new, less toxic therapies for kids battling cancer. You can help by visiting and finding out how to send cookies, host and event, or donate outright.

Such a great way to use your De’Longhi oven!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of De’Longhi Group. The opinions and text are all mine.


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3 Nourishing Whole30 Recipes for the Postpartum Mama

We are offering an exclusive discount to Today’s Mama’s readers. Enter code HMHBLOVESTM to take $40 off a lifetime membership to our program.

Recipes by Sarah Steffens, Whole30 in-house recipe creative

Nutrition plays a big role in postpartum health. Pregnancy, labor and delivery, and breastfeeding can deplete your nutrient stores, so it’s important to be mindful of replenishing them throughout pregnancy and postpartum. These Whole30 compliant recipes are specifically designed to nourish the postpartum mama. Two of these recipes are freezer-friendly, so if you’re pregnant, you can spend some time cooking as you prepare for baby and stash these in the freezer for after baby comes. Or maybe you have a pregnant friend and know that you will want to bring her a meal after she delivers. She will appreciate the care you took to bring her a meal, and as a bonus you can slip in a card explaining the health benefits of the dish.

Healing Bone Broth Soup (AIP-Friendly)

Highlighted ingredient: Bone Broth

Warm broths are rich in minerals and amino acids that help repair tissues and accelerate healing. Broth can also serve as a source of liquid to keep mama hydrated, especially if she’s nursing. Herbs, spices, and vegetables added to the broth (such as turmeric, ginger, onion, and garlic) boost the immune system and counter inflammation to help mamas recover from birth. Traditionally in Eastern medicine soft, warm foods are encouraged as they may be more easily digested.  Be mindful of how you feel and see what works best for your body.

Serves 4


1 Tbs. coconut oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tsp. sea salt
2 bunches of baby bok choy, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, peeled
1 Tbs. fresh turmeric, peeled
4 cups baby spinach
4 cups of bone broth (look for an AIP-Friendly brand)


ADD coconut oil to a large stockpot and bring to low heat. Next, put diced onion, celery and sea salt and sauté until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add baby bok choy and continue to sauté for 2 minutes.

USING a microplane zester, grate fresh ginger and turmeric into the pot and stir well to combine. Add baby spinach to the pot and stir well, and then add bone broth and increase the heat to medium-high, until the soup is hot enough to serve.

*Notes: This soup can be made in bulk and stored in the freezer for when you need a fast, healing meal ready in just the time it takes to defrost! Serve this soup with your favorite Whole30 compliant protein, or add pre-cooked, shredded chicken to the soup when you add the bone broth.

Lemon Roasted Salmon (AIP-Friendly)

Highlighted ingredient: Wild Salmon

Wild salmon includes the important nutrients of DHA/EPA, Vitamin D, B-vitamin, and trace mineral benefits. The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are the most well-researched nutrients when it comes postpartum depression and nutrient depletion. Early observational studies consistently show that serum and dietary omega-3 fatty acid levels are low in depressed patients. Postpartum mamas are encouraged to eat wild salmon or supplement with fish oil as a way to ensure proper DHA and EHA levels! Have questions about postpartum depression? Read our answers to some FAQs here.

Serves 4


2 Tbs. olive oil
1 – 1.5 lbs. wild-caught salmon (skin-on is OK)
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced (skin-on is OK)
2 Tbs. coconut oil
½ tsp. black pepper (Omit to keep this recipe AIP-Friendly)
2 tsp. sea salt
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
½ cup fresh parsley, to garnish


PREHEAT your oven to 400 degrees.

ARRANGE diced sweet potato on a baking tray or cast-iron skillet lined with aluminum foil and parchment paper (the foil and parchment paper is optional but will speed up your cleaning time!).

TOSS sweet potatoes with coconut oil, 1 tsp. of sea salt, ½ tsp. of black pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, tossing after 15 minutes.

WHILE your sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare your salmon by drizzling it with olive oil and arranging thinly sliced lemons and sea salt over each filet.

AFTER your sweet potatoes have roasted for 30 minutes, place each filet in the same pan as the sweet potatoes, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve between 4 plates, garnishing with fresh parsley.

*Note: This recipe can be prepped 1-2 days in advance and roasted just when you need a Whole30 meal!

Slow Cooker (or Pressure Cooker) Carob Sirloin Stew

Highlighted ingredient: Red Meat

Red meat is rich in iron which helps new mamas replenish what was lost during birth. Eating foods rich in iron (such as red meat, oysters, and liver) will help your body form new red blood cells, boost your iron stores, and help you stay energized and strong during postpartum.

Serves 4


1 – 1.5 lbs. of organic beef sirloin, diced in 1” cubes
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
4 oz. canned tomato paste
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. black or white pepper
1 large sweet potato, diced
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
¼ cup carob powder
½ cup fresh parsley, to garnish
1 whole minced scallion, to garnish


Slow cooker option:
ADD all ingredients except the parsley and scallion to a medium or large slow-cooker.
COOK on low for 8-10 hours.
REMOVE the slow-cooker lid and serve between 4 bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and scallion.

Pressure cooker option:
ADD all ingredients except the parsley and scallion to your pressure cooker.
PRESS the “Meat” button and adjust the timer to 20 minutes.
ENSURE the steamer valve is set to “Sealing.”
WHEN the timer has reached “0” minutes, allow the steam to release naturally for at least 30 minutes (Simply allow the timer to reach 30 minutes, you don’t have to do anything except that!).
REMOVE the lid and serve between 4 bowls with fresh parsley and scallion.

*Note: This stew can be made in bulk and stored in the freezer for when you need a fast, heathy meal ready in just the time it takes to defrost!

Connect With Us!

What are your favorite meals to bring to a mama postpartum? Join the conversation with us on Instagram or send us an email. For more information on postpartum depression and nutrition, check out this blog post from Steph, a registered dietician and co-creator of Whole30 Healthy Mama, Happy Baby.

Our goal at Whole30 HMHB is to give you the information you need about pregnancy nutrition and health without the judgment or fear-mongering that is so commonly directed at expecting mothers. For more information on our program, find us at and on Instagram @Whole30HMHB. We are offering an exclusive discount to Today’s Mama’s readers. Enter code HMHBLOVESTM to take $40 off a lifetime membership to our program.

sarah-headshotSarah Steffens has a B.A. in Business Administration, Public Relations from The Master’s College in Southern California. After years of experimenting with nutrition and recipes in her own kitchen, she now works as a Personal Chef in Los Angeles, cooking meals that support her client’s intention to physically and mentally thrive. She has catered several independent film sets, making it her goal to optimize the energy and well-being of each creative crew. She is the in-house recipe creative for the Whole30, and the creator of the Savor and Fancyblog. When Sarah is not cooking Whole30 and Autoimmune Protocol meals, she is likely exploring mid-century sites in L.A., taking photographs, listening to an audio book or hiking at Griffith Park.



How To Add Collagen To Your Busy Life

This post is sponsored by Dr. Axe, all the words and opinions are mine. Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional. I’m not here to diagnose anything. I have a marketing degree, not a medical degree. So we’re just friends swapping stories, okie dokie?

Been hearing more and more about collagen?

This nutritional supplement has been getting a fair amount of attention—at least on my Instagram feed, which is admittedly full of accounts devoted to health, wellness, fitness and paleo nutrition.

I’m not naturally a “health-minded” person. I’m naturally a “donut-minded” person.

But earlier this year my health took what can only be described as a nosedive into a muddy ditch. I was not doing well. My digestive system was a disaster. I felt awful and run down.

A visit to the doctor and host of tests would reveal—a gluten allergy, hypoglycemia, leaky gut, and Hashimoto’s.

I was grateful to have not one, but several reasons for why I was feeling so trashed. But I was also overwhelmed. My doctor recommended that I work with a nutritionist and I was directed to remove grains, sugar, and dairy from my diet.


I felt great. Except when I worked out, I had ZERO energy.

The mandate came to “eat more protein.”

But can I toss out something here? PROTEIN IS SORT OF A PAIN.

Especially if you’re like me and need to steer clear of whey and soy-based proteins.

I mean, I gave daily bacon a solid try, but I don’t think that’s what my nutritionist was suggesting when she mentioned “more lean protein” and “healthy fats.”

And friends, I’ve tried A LOT of protein powders. I’ve scoured the aisles of regular and natural food stores. I’ve bought powders online. And you bet your sweet tushy that I’ve given them a good solid try, because protein powders are an investment. And some of them taste awful. I’m sorry, but they do.

Now…back to collagen. I was looking for two key things:

  1. A good protein source (that didn’t upset my tummy.)
  2. Anything and everything to help heal a leaky gut.

With those two priorities, collagen kept rising to the top of my “to try” list. But there are more possible benefits to collagen.

Great protein source.

I love Dr. Axe Multi-Collagen as a protein source because I’m able to add it to my regular food. My coffee, soup, or smoothie, without committing to, or altering, the flavor. Think about that. Most protein powders come with a pretty strong taste. Not here.

Helps keep hunger in check.

This was true for me. A scoop of collagen in my coffee mixes right in and I didn’t notice the taste, but I did notice that my morning cup of coffee left me feeling fuller with the added bonus of 7 grams of protein.

Supports a healthy gut.

I wish “leaky gut” had a more legit name. This feels made up. But the symptoms, I can assure you, are very real and, for me, following nutritional protocols intended to repair the gut have helped me mightily in the last few months. Including the use of collagen my diet.

Great for your skin, hair, and nails.

Collagen supports healthy tissues so your joints, skin, hair, and nails can benefit from this critical supplement.

Dr. Axe Multi Collagen Protein comes packaged in several ways that make adding it to your favorite foods super easy—the full-size canister holds 58 servings and the single-serving stick packs are fantastic for traveling or adding to coffee, smoothies, juice, or soup on the go. And for an extra layer of convenience—capsules.

If you’re curious about collagen you can read more about the benefits of Multi Collagen here

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dr. Axe – Food Is Medicine. The opinions and text are all mine.


5 Ideas for a Candy-Free Halloween (for Celiacs, Diabetics and More!)

My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes back in July and even with it being mid-summer one of my first thoughts was “what are we going to do about the holidays?”  I have heard this same concern with Mother’s of children with a gluten intolerance, dairy allergies, peanut allergies and more.  I put these concerns on the back burner for a few weeks until my daughter came home with a handful of candy from church.  Each mini-candy bar was 10-15 carbs each, meaning she needed a unit and a half of insulin just for 3 pieces of candy!!  Suddenly the realization of the upcoming holidays seemed a little more overwhelming and the necessity for Candy-Free Halloween (or at least, less-candy) came to light.

Candy Free Food Allergy Memes for Halloween

With Halloween being a holiday completely centered around candy, I am anticipating our first holiday with our little diabetic being a rite of passage.  The Halloween’s of sitting on the living room floor after trick-or-treating all night and gorging on as much candy as possible are definitely over for us but preserving as many of our usual Halloween traditions as we can is very important to me.  I do not want my daughter to feel like she’s missing out or treated differently during one of her favorite holidays, including trick-0r-treating.  A quick Pinterest search and asking around for advice gave me some really great ideas for a Candy-Free Halloween, and I’m hoping that sharing these will help out you other Mamas with your children.

*I’m just going to add this little disclaimer-diabetics are absolutely allowed to have candy, they just need to give themselves insulin to go with it.  I’m concerned about burning through that much insulin and also how difficult it is to manage the sugar spikes that candy can cause.


1. Buy Back the Candy Yourself

This idea always seemed crazy to me, but now that we’re dealing with diabetes it doesn’t seem as crazy.  The idea is that you set a price per piece and then offer to buy your kids candy after trick or treating.  This allows them to participate in trick-or-treating but ideally not to gorge on candy.  This way if they have a few pieces that they really want to keep it’s all their decision about what they sell and what they don’t.  Knowing my children, this would work amazingly well.


2. Participate in a Halloween Candy Buyback

I had heard of dentists participating in this program and I didn’t realize just how widespread the idea is! On their site you can search by zip code to find a participating retailer or dentist in your area to buy back your Halloween candy by the pound.  They take that candy and send it to the troops overseas.  Not only are you eliminating the candy from your home, it’s going to soldiers missing their families around Halloween!

Candy Free Food Allergy Memes for Halloween


SEE MORE:  Ten Spooky and Scary Halloween Crafts for Kids


3.  Create a Trade-in Store

Instead of involving money, you could trade your kids for things like movie tickets, a trip to the zoo or a new stuffed animal.  This idea would work particularly well on younger children that may need a more tangible thing to trade for.

Candy Free Food Allergy Memes for Halloween

See more Healthy Halloween Ideas Here.


4.  A Halloween Party

Another suggestion was to skip trick-or-treating all together and just have a Halloween Party for your children on Halloween night.  This way you have complete control over what is served at the party and don’t need to deal with the large amounts of candy that trick-or-treating provides.  I love this idea particularly for older children that are starting to lose interest in trick-or-treating anyway! 

Candy Free Food Allergy Memes for Halloween


SEE MORE:  The 10 Best Halloween Makeup Tutorials on YouTube {For You!}


5. Help Out Others in Your Situation

I recently compiled a list of ideas for non-candy treats and from here on out every year we will be offering alternatives to candy.  I can’t promise we’ll abolish passing out candy altogether, but I will ALWAYS have some other sort of fun surprise for those children that come to my door unable to eat candy.  If you haven’t heard about the teal pumpkin project, putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions.


Candy Free Food Allergy Memes for Halloween


I hope this offers some hope, help, and solidarity to all of you parents out there managing a child with special needs.  If you’re a Mama that has a child with food allergies, diabetes, or other candy related issues, what has helped you during Halloween and the other holidays?  Share in the comments below!


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Gluten Free Desserts

Seven Mocktails for Mama

We are offering an exclusive discount to Today’s Mama’s readers. Enter code HMHBLOVESTM to take $40 off a lifetime membership to our program.

Are you planning a party menu? If you’re Whole30-ing, pregnant, or breastfeeding, you’re most likely not planning to partake in adult beverages. But, we think you still deserve to kick back and put your feet up while sipping a refreshing, healthy drink. We’ve got you covered in this post with our round up of seven mocktails for mama. Cheers!

Coconut Mojito Mocktail

from Laura of @cookathomemom on Instagram
(makes 2 servings)

½ cup coconut milk
1 small lime
1 can La Croix Lime
15-20 mint leaves
¼ cup flakey sea salt (optional, for salt rims)

TO salt rim the glasses (optional): Cut the lime in half and run one piece along the edge of each glass. Pour sea salt in a shallow dish and dip each glass in.

DIVIDE the mint leaves among 2 tall glasses. Juice the lime and pour half into each glass. Muddle the mint leaves into the lime juice, then pour ¼ cup of coconut milk into each glass.

ADD ice to the glasses, then top off with lime LaCroix until full (be careful as you pour… bubbles!). Garnish with extra lime slices and mint.

Beauty Lemonade

mocktails for mama

from Food Matters
(makes 2 servings)

8 oz fresh strawberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups coconut water
1 cup kombucha (choose your favorite flavor!)

BLEND all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into two glasses. Enjoy!

White Sangria Mocktail

mocktails for mama

from La Croix
(makes about 4 servings)

4 cans of lemon LaCroix sparkling water (add to taste)
6 oranges (sliced) or substitute 2 cups of orange juice
2 lemons (sliced)
2 limes (sliced)

POUR LaCroix in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the orange, lemon and lime into the LaCroix.

 TOSS in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible).
CHILL overnight. If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled LaCroix and serve over ice.


Watermelon Lime Slushy

mocktails for mama

from @smithfamilykitchen on Instagram
(serves 1-2)

1 cup diced watermelon (remove seeds)
Juice from 1 lime
Lime sparkling water
Salt (optional, for salted rim)

RIM glass with salt, if desired.

BLEND watermelon and lime juice. Pour into glass, filling about halfway, and then add sparkling water to fill. Enjoy!

Other options we love:

The Dark and Not-so-Stormy from

Bonus for pregnant mamas: limes are loaded with vitamin C, molasses is chock full of iron, calcium, and potassium, and ginger is a tummy soother for any nausea that ails you.

Detoxifying Water from Whole Sisters

Check out these potential health benefits just from sipping on this one! Cucumbers and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties, mint is known to ease nausea, and lemons are a refreshing addition that can also support digestion.

More Mocktails from the Whole30 blog

This post from Whole30 has SIX mocktail recipes, but don’t miss the Lemon Lime Zinger, which uses citrus and ginger to create a refreshing (and potentially nausea relieving) drink.

join now!

Our goal at Whole30 HMHB is to give you the information you need about pregnancy nutrition and health without the judgment or fear-mongering that is so commonly directed at expecting mothers. For more information on our program, find us at and on Instagram @Whole30HMHB. We are offering an exclusive discount to Today’s Mama’s readers. Enter code HMHBLOVESTM to take $40 off a lifetime membership to our program.



mocktails for mama



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10 of the Best Non-Candy Halloween Treats

With my daughters recent type 1 diabetes diagnosis we are panicking a little about Halloween.  It’s a stressful holiday for us Moms with diabetics, peanut allergies, gluten allergies and other health concerns.  The unfortunate alternative could be just not trick or treating at all, but what fun is that?  Instead I started looking into ideas for non-candy Halloween treats.  My plan is to provide these for the kids coming to my door and also as a trade-in option for my little diabetic.


1. Glow Stick Bracelets

ideas for gluten free, dairy free, peanut allergy halloween treat ideas

These are the perfect Halloween treat!!  As the kids are out trick or treating they can be all lit up.  I haven’t met a child yet that doesn’t love glow stick bracelets!


2.  Sticky Hands!

ideas for gluten free, dairy free, peanut allergy halloween treat ideas

I would have never thought to get sticky hands, but these are my kids favorite thing to get out of 25¢ machines and they would love to get them for Halloween!


3.  Realistic Bugs

ideas for gluten free, dairy free, peanut allergy halloween treat ideas

I know that I don’t necessarily want these at my house as a Mother…but my children would LOVE them!


SEE MORE:  26 Awesome Pregnant Halloween Costumes


4. Glow in the Dark Eyeball Bouncy Balls

ideas for gluten free, dairy free, peanut allergy halloween treat ideas

Anything glow-in-the-dark is a win at hour house and these bouncy balls are so fun for Halloween!


5.  Halloween Finger Puppets

ideas for gluten free, dairy free, peanut allergy halloween treat ideas

I’m not going to lie, I actually want these for me!  I think they are so cute!


6.  Halloween Duckies

ideas for gluten free, dairy free, peanut allergy halloween treat ideas

I mean, can you even?  The skeleton duck?  Dead.


SEE MORE:  10 Spray Painted Pumpkin Ideas for Halloween


7.  Ghoulish Punch Balloon

ideas for gluten free, dairy free, peanut allergy halloween treat ideas

Endless hours of noisy entertainment.  But no gluten.


8. Halloween Play-doh

ideas for gluten free, dairy free, peanut allergy halloween treat ideas

Also hours of endless entertainment and it seems we’re always due for some fresh play-doh!


9. Halloween Wind-up Toys

ideas for gluten free, dairy free, peanut allergy halloween treat ideas

Aren’t these so cute?  The teeth!!


10.  Halloween Foam Gliders

ideas for gluten free, dairy free, peanut allergy halloween treat ideas

These teach science?  Ok, they’re just fun.  

Have you found some candy-free favorites?  Share in the comments below!


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The Best 15 Minutes of My Day (It’s Snack Time)

A few months ago I got some BAD news.

Rachael gave me her gluten allergy.*

For a cookie/cake/donut loving person like me, I took it pretty hard. I ate bacon for a week to soothe my sad soul. Then I had MORE than my fair share of lackluster gluten-free treats.

There was a treat-sized hole in my heart.


Let me introduce you to your new favorite food obsession.

Yes, I said “food obsession” —you know, the food items that you’re SO EXCITED about, that you plot and plan when you’ll enjoy them next.

Meet Oui by Yoplait French style yogurt.

A new, luscious French style yogurt that is deliciously thick and subtly sweet—the sort of spoonful that makes you look down, do a double take, and think…OH MY STARS, THIS IS GOOD.

And then take another bite to confirm that you weren’t, in fact, dreaming. AND THEN tell all your friends. Because something this good cannot be kept a secret!

Because you’re friends, they are probably exactly like you. Sitting through extracurricular activities and digging through their bag and eating kid snacks, or worse, leftover kid snacks. (Don’t tell me you haven’t been so hungry you’ve wolfed down stale animal crackers from a half-eaten bag in your purse. WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE.)

It’s time for something grown-up and indulgent. It’s time to take a few minutes of downtime for yourself. You’ll be AMAZED at how much 15 minutes can do for you.

Especially if you take that 15 minutes right before the school bus gets home, or perhaps after the kiddos are in bed. Or…my personal favorite, before they wake up in the morning.

Slow down. Have a delicious snack. Let your mind wander. Stare out the window at your favorite view. List three things you’re thankful for.

 Oui by Yoplait comes in eight delicious flavors—strawberry, blueberry, black cherry, vanilla, coconut, lemon, peach, and plain.

My personal favorite combo is coconut with a bit of granola (GF of course.)


*I’m kidding. I know you can’t CATCH a gluten allergy.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Oui by Yoplait. The opinions and text are all mine.





Tasty One Pan Italian Sausage And Veggies

One Pan Italian Sausage And Veggies

Feeling short on veggies? Seriously, in all the running around, trying to pull off dinner between all the kids activities and all of the things we adults need to get done, vegetables are like the last thing that makes it to our dinner plate.  The thing I love about this recipe is that it is DOMINATED by vegetables with just enough meat to round it out. 

One pan Italian sausage and roasted vegetables roasted with herbs and olive oil.


Our favorite weeknight dinner! Super easy one pan Italian sausage and veggies.

Pro Tip

The real reason that I think we are low on vegetables in our meals is the basic prep. I hate slicing and dicing.  If you want to skip that hassle, there are two things I’ve found to be amazing:

  • Go ahead and buy the pre-cut stuff from the store. Our local grocery store has so many options of vegetables that are chopped up and ready to go. 
  • Have a prep day! Once a week, or after I go shopping, if I’m on the my A game, I’ll sit down and cut all of the veggies at once. I’ll separate them out into gallon sized ziplock bags or containers and I know I’m set for the week.  Veggies are available for snacking, and even better, so easy to season and toss in the oven in a heart beat. 

The easiest {and tastiest} one pan Italian sausage and veggies dinner!

The Secret’s In The Sauce

The thing that really makes this meal is the seasoning.  It’s quick and easy, and you’ve probably got everything you need in your cupboards. 

Herb mixture for Italian sausage and veggies.


The secret to this One Pan Italian Sausage and Veggies recipe is in the sauce! A tasty blend of herbs you've got in your kitchen, drizzled and roasted to perfection!

Tasty One Pan Italian Sausage And Veggies

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Prep sausage and veggies. We’ve included a zoomed in photo of our chopped veggies above so you can see how we cut our veggies to ensure even cooking. 

  • 16 ounces Italian Turkey or Chicken Sausage (We like Aidell’s Chicken & Apple Sausage which by the way is also Whole30 approved)
  • 1 head of Broccoli
  • 2 Carrots (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Red Potatoes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 Zucchini (about 2 1/2 cups)

Spread sausage and vegetables across baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or wax paper for easy clean up. 

In a small bowl combine:

  • 1/2 tablespoon EACH: dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon EACH: red pepper flaxes
  • Optional: 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (you can also use grape seed oil)
  • Salt and pepper (desired amount)

Drizzle mixture across sausage and vegetables and toss to coat evenly. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes, removing pan every 10-15 minutes to toss veggies for even cookies.  Veggies should be crisp but still tender. We like just a little bit of black on the edges of our vegetables!

Serve alone or with quinoa or rice!

Our favorite easy to weeknight meal! Roasted Italian Sausage and Veggies!



Quick and easy one pan dinner: Italian Sausage and Vegetables


Huge thanks to our photographers at Sugar Rush Photography for this recipe inspiration! 



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Is it Safe to Whole30 During my Pregnancy?

 The information included in our Dear Steph series is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation, or if you have any questions regarding your healthcare plan. Have a question for Steph? Send her an email.


Dear Stephanie, Is it safe for me to do a Whole30 during my pregnancy? I’m nervous that my baby might not get all of the nutrients he/she needs, I’m not sure how to combat morning sickness without crackers and ginger ale. There’s no way I’m going to be able to not snack! Help! – Pregnant Women on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the entire Internet


Dear Pregnant Women,

You are not alone in wondering if a Whole30 is safe to do while pregnant. We (Whole30 co-creator Melissa Hartwig and myself) get these questions every day. In fact, this is the primary reason we created the Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program.

Your #PregnantWhole30 concerns are common, and they also show me how serious you are about your health and the health of your baby. As a registered dietitian, I’m happy to say that a Whole30 is perfectly safe for most pregnant women. And as a mom, I can lend you my support and encouragement because I did a Whole30 during my pregnancy. During pregnancy, it’s possible to complete a Whole30 exactly as outlined in The Whole30 program guidelines.  However, I have a few additional recommendations to make those 30 days as smooth and stress-free as possible:

  1. Listen to your body
  2. Make sure you are eating enough
  3. Enjoy smaller meals and snacks, if desired
  4. Consider your protein and carb intake

We hear the following concerns over and over again:


Concern #1 I’m afraid I’ll LOSE too much weight if I do a Whole30.


When you embark on a Whole30, you remove foods (grains, legumes, and dairy) that make up a large percentage of your total calorie intake. This is especially true if you’re coming to the program from a standard American diet. Not only are you potentially eliminating significant sources of calories, but you are replacing those foods with foods that promote satiety (non-starchy vegetables, healthy fat, and protein). During pregnancy, your body needs an additional 300-500 calories to promote the health, growth and development of you and your baby. Do you see how this scenario can set us up for potential weight loss or under-consumption of calories?

Pregnancy isn’t truly a time to eat for two, but your body does require additional calories. You want to make sure these additions come from nutrient-dense sources. Ideally, your meals and snacks should contain plenty of healthy fat (such as avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, and coconut products), protein, vegetables (starchy and non-starchy) and fruit. If you’re coming to the Whole30 from a low-fat or calorie controlled diet, you may have to make a conscious effort to include enough healthy fat with each meal. If you’re exercising during your pregnancy, be sure to purposefully include enough starchy vegetables (like potatoes and winter squash) and fruit to support your activity level.

At any point during your pregnancy, if you’re losing too much weight, or are feeling under-fed and exhausted, it may be time to take a break from your Whole30. Now isn’t the time to “push through it” or “Whole30 harder.” Listen to your body, take a break, and do whatever you need to do to get through the rough time. This may include eating a gluten-free bagel or some full-fat, grass-fed yogurt. As your energy levels increase and you feel better, check in with your healthcare provider, and consider restarting your Whole30 at a later date.

Our Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program addresses this in depth, and we include sample meal plans to give you plenty of ideas on how to eat well during pregnancy.


Concern #2: There’s no way I can eat that much protein, fat, and non-starchy vegetables at each meal!


While the recommendations of the traditional Whole30 program say to avoid/minimize snacking, you may need to ditch this recommendation during your pregnancy. This is especially true if you are dealing with morning sickness or are in your 3rd trimester. Having smaller meals every three hours may help alleviate some of the nausea you experience, which can be triggered by an empty stomach or low blood sugar. As your baby grows, you may not have the physical space in your stomach to eat larger meals. Do the best you can with the issues that pop up. Remember that everything you’re eating is nutrient-dense and healthy for your baby, which is the most important thing.

In our Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program, we give you meal plans, tips, and tricks designed to help you modify the Whole30 for pregnancy.


pregnancy whole30 whole 30


Concern #3: Should I modify the recommended portion sizes in the Whole30 Meal Planning Template?


Pregnancy is not the time to follow a very low-carbohydrate diet or go heavy on protein. You’ll want to add some form of starchy vegetables and/or fruit to most of your meals. This will ensure you and your baby receive a wide-variety of nutrients while reducing any additional stress on your body as a result of going too low-carb.  Consider sticking to the lower-end of the recommendations for protein as your body’s ability to safely convert protein by-products is less efficient during pregnancy.

Many women experience protein aversions during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. You may naturally find yourself consuming less throughout the day. A palm-sized amount of protein at each meal might seem impossible! You can try having smaller meals, use collagen peptides in smoothies or a cup of bone broth or whatever you need to do to make it work. Don’t stress about it too much. You’ll likely feel much better once the second trimester hits and can resume eating your normal protein staples.

In addition to tossing out the “no snacking” recommendation, you may also choose to ditch the Whole30 recommendation to limit fruit to two servings a day, eaten with your meals. I found myself craving fruit during my pregnancy and enjoyed it a few times a day. Pair fruit and starchy vegetables with protein or fat to reduce the impact on your blood sugar levels. Preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes means you’ll feel better and hopefully avoid developing pregnancy-related complications!


A Final Note


Know that Melissa and I would never advocate for doing a Whole30 for your entire pregnancy. You can still focus on the main principles outlined by the program and have a fantastic pregnancy without doing a #PregnantWhole30. Lastly, know that there is no such thing as a perfect Whole30 while pregnant. Your version of a a Whole30 may be very different from another pregnant mama’s, and that’s totally fine! The key is finding a balance of nutrient-dense, whole foods that works for your unique needs.

Pregnancy is a time to listen to your body, do your best with the curve-balls thrown your way, and enjoy the journey. I know you probably still have a million questions and that’s why I’m here! We provide tons of information, tools, and tricks in the Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program. I’m happy to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have. Follow us on Instagram @Whole30HMHB, or find my personal account @rockyourhormones.

Our goal at Whole30 HMHB is to give you the information you need about pregnancy nutrition and health without the judgment or fear-mongering that is so commonly directed at expecting mothers. For more information on our program, find us at and on Instagram @Whole30HMHB. We are offering an exclusive discount to Today’s Mama’s readers. Enter code HMHBLOVESTM to take $40 a lifetime membership to our program.


Steph Whole30 HMHBStephanie Greunke is the co-creator of Whole30 Healthy Mama, Happy Baby. She is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition who specializes in women’s health. She is a certified personal trainer and prenatal and postnatal corrective exercise specialist. Stephanie guides and supports women locally and globally through her web-based private practice,