by Meri on August 5, 2015



It’s been a long while since I posted here at 3 Tomatoes because I’ve been busy redesigning my business Real Living Nutrition Services. Between kids, new consulting gigs and the redesign, something had to give. Because Real Living is now blog centric I’ll be writing over there from now on.

If you’d like to continue receiving posts from me please head on over to Real Living Nutrition and sign up for our email newsletter list. I’m throwing in our Fresh Start Cookbook and Pantry Guide as a gift when you sign up.


 We’ve got great new contributors to the Real Living blog so I hope you’ll come over and take a look around.

Here are a few of our recent posts to get you started:

Quinoa with Arugula and Peaches


 Carrot Mango Smoothie

Carrot Mango Smoothie-1

 Time for Grilling: Our tips for healthy grilling


Thank you for following and being part of my journey.  I hope to see you over at Real Living Nutrition!


Bentgo Green (4)

Disclosure: Bentgo provided me one lunch box to test at no cost. They did not pay me any monetary value to write this review, opinions are my own based on my experience using the lunch box.

With my kids starting Transitional Kindergarten this year it’s my first experience with packing lunches. I let them pick out their lunch bags with their favorite characters and bought all sorts of tiny containers and reusable bags. What I thought would be a fairly simple thing, packing lunches for 5 year olds, ended up being such.a.headache. I don’t usually do product reviews on this blog but got the opportunity to test out a Bentgo kids lunch box and wanted to share my experience with other parents out there who share my aversion to tiny containers and messy lunch bags. Here’s why I love this lunch box for little kids…

I have run into several issues with the whole lunch situation. First, the containers. I’ve purchased three different styles of containers and my kids have struggled opening all of them. Poppie in particular has issues with fine motor strength (which we work on regularly) but there is such limited time and assistance at lunch time she often doesn’t eat items because she simply can’t open them. I have to close them part way, which leads to the items spilling all over the bag. She gets mad, I have to clean it up. I switched to using reusable snack bags but those often bust open in travel. She gets mad, I have to clean it up. Sometimes she throws the bags in the garbage forgetting my pleas and reminders that they are reusable. 

I dread opening up their lunch bags when they get home from school because of all. those. little. containers. I know this probably sounds lazy on my part and maybe it is but I hate cleaning all those little containers and reusable bags not to mention how much space they take in the dishwasher. Let’s just say I’m not super fond of doing dishes and leave it at that. Don’t judge me!

For me, the Bentgo box is solving a lot of issues we’ve had. The box has an easy clasp for small fingers, probably the most important part for us. Poppie opened it easily on the first try and there’s only two clasps to open. The trays are sealable so food stays where it should and I don’t have to dig food crumbs, left over smooshed apple and cheese from the corners of the bag. The best part…it has one tray that pops out and goes into the dishwasher. That means going from 12 to 15 little containers to wash down to 3 trays. Problems solved!

If you have little ones and find packing lunches with a million little containers dreadful or have a child with weak hand strength, this may be a solution for you! Check out the flyer below for details on how to get your own box or go to







Kids Planning Dinner

by Meri November 13, 2014

I’m always thinking of different ways my kids can get involved with meals. In my experience whether they help with shopping or meal prep, it’s a great way to get them more excited about trying new foods especially during these picky years. I decided to let them each plan their own dinner where they can […]

Read the full article →

French Lentil Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

by Meri October 1, 2014

I have a bad habit of stocking up my cabinet with things like quinoa, dry beans, lentils and canned goods. It’s nice that I always have something on hand to create a meal but I often forget about them until my cabinet is literally over flowing. My mother used to be somewhat of a food […]

Read the full article →

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

by Meri September 8, 2014

I love my crockpot. No really…I LOVE it. I get this amazing feeling of satisfaction when dinner is ready to go at the end of the day, kitchen clean, and all we have to do is a few additional steps to get a healthy meal on the table. The crockpot is one of the most […]

Read the full article →

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

by Meri August 28, 2014

I realize I’m pushing the envelope a little posting a pumpkin recipe. It’s equivalent to walking into Target and seeing Halloween items displayed while you’re searching for the sunscreen to take your last summer vacation before school starts. Can’t help it though…I’m so ready for Fall. It’s my favorite time of year with leaves changing […]

Read the full article →

First Days of School and Tortellini Soup

by Meri August 17, 2014

My kids started transitional kindergarten last week and let’s just say it was a bit of a “transition” indeed. We had a rough start complete with Poppie hiding under the table, Mr. crying “mommy” at orientation, and Birdie having a meltdown costing her a “time-out” in the classroom. I know in the big scheme of […]

Read the full article →

Grilled Chicken and Veggie Skewers

by Meri August 7, 2014

It’s time for a new grill. We once again used our grill so much it broke down. This will be the 3rd grill in the last 3 years! My husband and I have a bad habit of buying cheaper end grills which I’m sure is fine if you grill like a normal person. We don’t. […]

Read the full article →

Honeydew Mint Slushies

by Meri August 3, 2014

This weekend was rainy for the first time in forever (I obviously listen to the Frozen soundtrack too much). I loved it and all I wanted to do was spend time in the kitchen. While the kids were busy making tents in every room of the house (using every blanket in the house) I decided […]

Read the full article →

Get More Use out of Fresh Herbs

by Meri July 31, 2014

Mr (4-year old son): “Are you cutting those leaves and eating it????” Me: “Yes!” Mr: “I want to eat some leaves” ———————————————————————————————————————————————— I’m a big fan of growing fresh herbs in or outside of your house. I’m writing about this topic again because the grocery stores have made it just too easy! Most stores are […]

Read the full article →

Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Fresh Dill

by Meri July 26, 2014

Summertime means you can finally find fresh fish around town. If you know me well or have followed this blog for awhile you’ll know I’m a fish snob. It’s my father’s fault as he was an avid sports fisherman and we always had fresh fish. When I first started purchasing fish I lived in Seattle […]

Read the full article →

Peanut Butter, Banana Smoothie Popsicles with Chocolate Chips

by Meri July 22, 2014

We’ve been on a frozen treat kick around here experimenting with frozen yogurt pops with fresh fruit. As we were enjoying our last creation, Frozen Yogurt Popsicles with Berries, Poppie suggested we try Peanut Butter Smoothie pops. Then she turned with excitement in her eyes and exclaimed, “I have a great idea!!! We could add […]

Read the full article →

Food Porn is Good for your Health

by Meri July 17, 2014

Food blogging is quite a popular niche right now bringing us the most amazing images that make you want to pluck the tasty looking meals right off the pages and onto your plate. Food Porn (delicately put) is the term used to describe this striking food photography. I love combing food blogs and Pinterest to […]

Read the full article →

Frozen Yogurt & Berry Pops and Frozen Yogurt Bark

by Meri July 13, 2014

  90 degrees all month…it’s hot here and I’m not a big fan of hot anymore. When I was young I thrived in hot weather and could play outside all day with just a quick run through the sprinklers to cool me off. Now…I. just. don’t. like. it. My kids even struggle with the heat […]

Read the full article →

Grilled Chicken Tacos- Great way to use leftovers

by Meri July 9, 2014

Do you ever get in a lunch rut? Or have a night where you just don’t feel like cooking? Me too. This is why I’m a huge fan of making leftovers work in unique (you may think strange) ways. For example when we grill chicken I always make enough for leftovers for a few days. […]

Read the full article →

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes

by Meri June 30, 2014

Me: Grilling that lovely rustic portobello mushroom oozing with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Grant: WHAT is THAT?! Me: a Portobello Mushroom Grant: Are you going to eat it???!!! Me: In Deed I get it…not everything is kid friendly but exposing them to all types of recipes and cuisines helps them acquire a broad acceptance […]

Read the full article →

When Life Hands you Tomatoes, Make Salsa!

by Meri June 22, 2014

Ok…I know you’d think in my American-Italian ways I’d say sauce instead of salsa but it’s hot outside and the men of this household, well…one man and one small boy, are eating a jar of salsa every couple of days. So salsa it is! My father in law decided to plant 4 small tomato plants […]

Read the full article →

Herb Infused Grilled Corn

by Meri June 8, 2014

My kids are officially big kids now. They graduated from preschool and will be headed to Transitional Kindergarten in the Fall, which is somewhat hard to believe. I enjoyed all of the parties and very official ceremonies complete with graduation caps and the graduation walking march (which Birdie continues to hum each day).  Age 4 […]

Read the full article →

Using Microgreens in your Meals

by Meri May 22, 2014

We’ve been experimenting with planting our own microgreens using a hydroponic kit I found online and now we are using them up in our meals! The kids and I planted 3 varieties. Wish I could tell you more about which one they actually are in the picture above but my kids took the labels I […]

Read the full article →

Growing Micro Greens Inside Your House

by Meri May 15, 2014

I’ve been using more and more microgreens lately. I love the flavor and love how simple they are to add nutritional value to a meal but hate the price! These little buggers can get expensive in the stores so I decided to grow our own. Or at least attempt it! If you’ve never used microgreens […]

Read the full article →

Everything Under the Kitchen Sink Egg Scramble

by Meri May 8, 2014

  One of my greatest pet peeves is wasting produce! I’m not sure about your household but we always seem to have a small amount of veggies here and there that didn’t get cooked or got cooked, but not eaten. Lately my answer to this problem is to throw it in some eggs in the […]

Read the full article →

Simply Roasted Vegetables

by Meri April 14, 2014

                   I’m finding more and more that my friends and family are under-utilizing their roasting pans. Roasting is one of my all time favorite go-to cooking methods, especially for vegetables, because it’s easy and I don’t have to put a lot of thought into it. And it […]

Read the full article →

Pirate and Pixie Birthday and My Sugar Rant

by Meri September 28, 2013

This last week we had our 4th birthday celebration which is somewhat hard to believe. I now have little kids…not toddlers. Thank goodness they all agreed on a Pirate and Pixie party seeing that they are obsessed with Peter Pan and everything pirate. I have to say…this made the crafter in me excited. Treasure hunts, […]

Read the full article →

The 10th (or 30th) Carrot- Getting Kids to try New Foods

by Meri August 1, 2013

I’ve learned over the years as a dietitian and now as a mom that it’s important to continuously introduce the same food over and over to small children. Eventually they’ll try it. This worked quite well when my kids first started exploring foods as 6 month olds. After a few introductions they would play with […]

Read the full article →

Roasted Pork Loin with Apricots

by Meri July 6, 2013

As I mentioned in my previous post, apricots have been on our menu lately to assure we use them all up! This recipe was a no brainer to prepare since it’s one I had handy from my Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies. This recipe is great to serve to guests since it makes a beautiful […]

Read the full article →

Apricot Smoothie

by Meri July 2, 2013

                  I definitely have a little learning curve with my apricot tree. While it’s a wonderful tree to have in your back yard the fruit is extremely delicate and only lasts for a couple days. It also starts rotting on the tree if you wait one second […]

Read the full article →

Harvest Time- Getting Kids to Try New Foods

by Meri June 25, 2013

                        We bought a house last summer that includes several fruit trees on the property. Lucky for us! One tree is a beautiful grafted plum and apricot tree which is ripe and ready to harvest. I love growing our own food and have plans […]

Read the full article →

50 + Ingredient Milkshakes. Sigh…

by Meri June 20, 2013

Yesterday was one of those days. It was late afternoon and HOT. The kids were getting that weird agitated heat thing complete with fighting, whining and what I call “scream play”. You know where they all think it’s hilarious to scream at the top of their lungs while playing. I needed to do something to […]

Read the full article →

Grilling Veggies with Simple Flavor Combinations

by Meri June 11, 2013

                        Me: getting veggies on the grill Poppie: “Oh…are you cooking salad for dinner? ” Me: “sort of…I’m cooking some veggies” Poppie: a few seconds later…”here you go” as she hands me rose petals and leaves to cook. ————————————————————————————————————— The blow up pool is […]

Read the full article →

Broken Computers and Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

by Meri May 29, 2013

I haven’t written a blog post in awhile and the above photo is my excuse. Birdie has taken a liking to plucking the keys off the computer as she learns her ABC’s. She quietly takes the keys upstairs and exclaims, “p p p is p!!! p p p for puppet!!!” This is the 4th time […]

Read the full article →

Cooking Light- The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook

by Meri April 12, 2013

              Do you ever read Cooking Light magazine? It’s one of my favorites. I’ve always loved the articles and tips, and the recipes are exactly my speed. One of my colleagues, Janet Helm, recently wrote a new cookbook called Cooking Light The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook and I was […]

Read the full article →

Date and Walnut Drops

by Meri April 1, 2013

  I love sweets. So much that I need to find ways to incorporate healthy ingredients and less sugar and fats so I feel satisfied and not deprived. I also like that my kids are exposed to different types of sweets. While there’s a time and place for an Oreo or cake, my kids love […]

Read the full article →

Orange and Fennel Salad and One of my Favorite Nutrition Apps (Fooducate)

by Meri March 25, 2013

                The last few weeks I’ve had some great opportunities to write a few guest blog posts for some outstanding companies. I love collaborating with others and sharing products and recipes that can really help facilitate healthy choices. One of those companies is Fooducate. I am a huge […]

Read the full article →

A Tale of an Orange

by Meri March 6, 2013

                        I was reading a colleague’s post about the recent Mediterranean diet craze in the media. His opinion is we are focusing too much on regions or specific foods instead of focusing on the point that other cultures simply eat more real food and […]

Read the full article →

Mediterranean Diet in the News…Cheers to Decreasing Heart Disease!

by Meri March 1, 2013

Well…if you haven’t heard the news yet, some pretty significant research on the Mediterranean diet was released this week. While there is a good body of research supporting the Mediterranean diet this particular study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is the first of it’s kind significantly linking diet with a decrease in […]

Read the full article →

Crazy Meal Times

by Meri February 22, 2013

I love reading tips on new kid friendly recipes and getting them more involved with meals. Heck, I’ve even posted my own successful tips here on this blog. Recently I was reading a blog post about meal time and I noticed in my mind it conjured up this image of delightful kids sitting at the […]

Read the full article →

Slow Cooker Spicy Black Bean Soup

by Meri February 13, 2013

When my kids started part time preschool last January everyone warned me we’d be sick all the time. Holy cow! No kidding. We’ve been sick with a cold or a flu bug since mid-December. We ended this last one with an ear infection (our first one…ouch!)  for Birdie and hoping this will be the end […]

Read the full article →

Sick Days

by Meri January 16, 2013

Well…it’s that time of year again. Poppie and Mr. informed me yesterday, “I’m sick”, “me too” and then the fevers and overnight coughing party began. We’re on our third cold of the season with no break. These poor kids pick up everything especially now that they’re all in preschool. Parenting is a strange 24 hour […]

Read the full article →

Making Time for Resolutions

by Meri January 5, 2013

It’s that time of year again where everyone is fired up about their goals for the new year. Health and career seem to always be at the top of the list, which I can tell from my facebook and twitter feeds buzzing like crazy. I actually enjoy the energy in the air this time of […]

Read the full article →

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

by Meri December 28, 2012

Growing up my parents threw a big, swanky adult New Year’s Eve party every year. The adults would dress in formal wear and they’d feast on salami and cheeses, olives and fettucini. We were allowed to hang out for the early hours but usually had to go to bed before midnight (whey Auntie Faye would […]

Read the full article →

Holiday Food Traditions

by Meri December 23, 2012

If you’ve read this blog or any of my books you’ll know that I love family food traditions. I think their a unique part of your family history that you can continue to pass down over the generations. Some may be new traditions and others may be passed down through your families’ culture. Lots of […]

Read the full article →

A Walking Sort of Family

by Meri December 19, 2012

We are lucky in Southern California that the weather never gets too cold even in the evening so we can get out to see the Christmas lights on hoof instead of the car. I do miss a white Christmas but it’s been quite enjoyable going out for an evening walk especially during the witching hours […]

Read the full article →

Orange, Chocolate and Pistachio Biscotti

by Meri December 14, 2012

I really wanted to attempt to make my grandma’s Christmas Scaleda recipe this year, but chickened out. It’s an enormous project that includes making dough, braiding it, deep frying it like a doughnut and dipping in hot honey. I was crazy motivated and wanted to charge head first into those wonderful family traditions from my […]

Read the full article →

Roasted Turkey Breast

by Meri December 7, 2012

                I’m a big fan of roasted turkey and will admit that one of my top 10 favorite foods is a very simple turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with a small slab of mayo and a slice of cheddar cheese. Not very fancy I know but I […]

Read the full article →

Window Sill Herb Garden

by Meri November 28, 2012

                  I planted some fresh herbs in pots to grow on my front porch but…as expected, I didn’t remember to water them. I thought by the time my kids hit 3 years old I’d be able to tackle more of my yard and keeping things alive. Apparently […]

Read the full article →

Being Grateful is Good for your Health

by Meri November 21, 2012

As my kids’ language is budding I’ve been really surprised (and impressed) how nice manners are also coming into play. While they form their new sentences I hear a lot of “thank you”, “please” and Poppie’s favorite line, “no thank you”. She uses this phrase quite often. For instance: me: “Poppie, why don’t you try […]

Read the full article →

Cocoa Roasted Almonds

by Meri November 14, 2012

                I’ve been on a snack kick this week and these cocoa roasted almonds were calling my name. I’m blessed that we have no nut allergies in this house and everyone, including Poppie (the pickiest eater) loves nuts and of course anything to do with chocolate. However, I think […]

Read the full article →

Chili (or Curry) Roasted Chickpeas

by Meri November 12, 2012

                      I’ve been searching for new snack ideas that don’t include “wheat”. I don’t have an issue with wheat but I do believe strongly in getting a variety of grains and with small kids it seems like we’re stuck in a rut. Of course they […]

Read the full article →

Music is good for the soul

by Meri November 9, 2012

                It’s interesting to see the traits your kids pick up from you. Of course you can see the family resemblences and certain mannerisms but sometimes it’s surprising to see things emerge you wouldn’t expect. Birdie loves music. Ever since she could sit up she’s been playing preprogrammed […]

Read the full article →

Auntie Faye’s Roasted Potatoes

by Meri November 2, 2012

                Growing up one of my favorite dishes was from my Auntie Faye. She wasn’t my real aunt, she was a close family friend of my parents. She was the one who always had fun games to play and would sneak food into our rooms at midnight during my parent’s […]

Read the full article →

Dogs on the Bus- Finding small ways to relax your nerves

by Meri October 31, 2012

So, this morning was one of those mornings. You know the kind, when events occur that you couldn’t possibly imagine, sending you into a tail spin. I had one of those mornings with that cute fellow in the picture being the instigator. Birdie qualifies for a special preschool because of some communication delays and she takes […]

Read the full article →

Crustless Pumpkin Pie with Oatmeal Crumble Topping

by Meri October 24, 2012

Ahhh toddlers. I took Poppie and Mr. to a “gym” class today while Birdie was at her preschool program and it was, how do I put this…complete mayham. While all the other toddlers sat in circle time Poppie ran around the room screaming  “NO HONEY, I want to play with toys”. She calls me “honey” […]

Read the full article →

Pumpkin Dip

by Meri October 19, 2012

Fall is my favorite time of year and for some reason it makes me want to cook like a mad woman. It’s as if during the summer I have little interest in doing a lot of kitchen time but once October hits I can’t seem to stop and all I want to do is watch […]

Read the full article →

Pumpkin Patch, Making Fun a Priority for Health

by Meri October 17, 2012

                  Last weekend we visited the pumpkin patch with our close friends complete with pony rides, corn maze, train rides and petting zoo.  As you can see above, a little chicken chasing did occur but I assure you, no chickens were harmed during this outing and in the end Birdie […]

Read the full article →

Pesto Chicken Nuggets

by Meri October 12, 2012

                This last weekend I experienced one of those significant parent milestones…leaving my kids on an overnight trip. I went to Philladelphia for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo helping my friends over at FoodCalc promote their new App, EveryoneEat! I had loads of […]

Read the full article →

Strawberry, Banana and Kale Smoothie

by Meri September 28, 2012

                        One of the dreadful things that goes along with a picky eater is the risk of iron-deficiency anemia. I’m pretty sure Poppie (new nickname for Tiny) and her picky ways is now facing anemia. All she wants to eat these days is cheese, […]

Read the full article →

Birthday Celebrations

by Meri September 26, 2012

                  I was recently interviewed for a magazine article about celebrations. Should you plunge in and eat sweets and fatty foods or try to stick to your guns and restrict yourself? I’m a big believer in moderation and enjoying the foods that come along with celebrations (keeping […]

Read the full article →

Eating Mediterranean Style with Convenience Foods

by Meri September 12, 2012

Some how life just picked up the pace right after we moved (still don’t have pictures hung yet…sigh). Mark and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and the little one’s 3 year birthday is right around the corner. Birdie and Mr. are being evaluated to see if they qualify for various programs through the school […]

Read the full article →

A Non-Recipe Kind of Cook

by Meri August 29, 2012

My sister-in-law found a meal planning site that she really likes called, As a dietitian I’ve seen lots of meal planning sites and I agree with her (she’s also a dietitian), this one looks great! However, I immediately thought it wasn’t for me. The funny thing is I couldn’t figure out why. I do meal plan every […]

Read the full article →

Simple Turkey Burgers

by Meri August 17, 2012

                Moving is wearing me down. I truly can’t believe how hard it is to move into a new home with toddlers running around. Every time I think I have time to unpack a box or hang a picture someone is in need. A diaper change, fight, arm […]

Read the full article →

Frozen Fruit Smoothie Pops

by Meri August 1, 2012

                Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? I say make it into a frozen treat.  I find it’s a simple way to provide a great healthy snack for my kids and provides a fun frozen popsicle. Bottom line…they’re really excited to eat them! You can do this with any smoothie recipe you have, which means you […]

Read the full article →

Stressing Out

by Meri July 19, 2012

Stress is a topic that has been on my mind recently. I’m feeling a lot of it having three 2-year-olds running around while moving into a new house. My cortisol levels are on over-drive and it affects my mood and sleep. In my opinion, dealing with toddlers all day isn’t the same type of stress […]

Read the full article →

Grilled Zucchini- Simplicity at it’s Best

by Meri July 5, 2012

Over the last 18 years of being a dietitian one of the biggest hurdles I’ve seen my clients face is finding ways to get more fruits and vegetables in each day. I find myself struggling with it as well. I have no problem getting in a few fruits and a couple veggies, but my goal is […]

Read the full article →

Grilled Fennel

by Meri June 26, 2012

                  I talk a lot about my picky eaters, but today I want to salute my little adventurous eater, Birdie. I love watching her eat. She’s always so excited with new foods and explores them thoroughly. She reminds me of myself when I was little. I loved […]

Read the full article →

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad

by Meri June 22, 2012

I love taking a few moments here and there to look through all the great recipes that come through Pinterest. A few weeks ago this Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad caught my eye. I actually had corn in the house and was ready to go until I realized I was missing, oh…4 other ingredients. Sigh…story […]

Read the full article →

Keeping Active- Lessons I Learned from my Italian Grandma

by Meri June 14, 2012

                  My grandmother was a big influence on my life in many ways and continues to be even after her passing. That’s a photo of us circa 1985, don’t judge…it was the 80′s afterall.   One thing that has resonated with me recently is the great role model she was for […]

Read the full article →

Teriyaki Salmon Kabobs

by Meri June 8, 2012

                I love grilling. I really love grilling fish, but if you know me by now you’ll remember I’m a bit of a fish snob. Ok…I’m a huge fish snob. Growing up my father went fishing for fun so we always had fresh fish in our house. Whether it was […]

Read the full article →

Blueberry Picking

by Meri June 4, 2012

                  We had a fun weekend adventure to the blueberry farm near our home. Five minutes away for a perfect afternoon getaway with 2-year-olds. I have to thank my friend Monica for letting me know about this little farm as it’s just the type of thing I […]

Read the full article →

Oil and Vinegar

by Meri May 31, 2012

                I grew up having a side salad for dinner every night no matter what else was served and my grandmother and mother always made their own dressing. As an adult I started buying store-bought dressings, but was never really satisfied. Most of the time I find them […]

Read the full article →

Potty Training

by Meri May 19, 2012

We started potty training and I’m very much regretting my decision to try to train all 3 kids at the same time. Although to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if it’s potty training all three of them or simply that I may not have the right personality for this whole thing. You see, when I’m […]

Read the full article →

Real men drink tea

by Meri May 15, 2012

It’s been interesting having one boy in my triplet mix. When you’re pregnant you don’t think too much about toddler gender equality. You paint their room neutral colors like green and yellow and decorate with zoo animals. People buy your boy blue clothes and the girls pink clothes. One day Mr. wanted to have the pink […]

Read the full article →

Mediterranean Diet Month- Setting the Path

by Meri May 8, 2012

May is National Mediterranean Diet Month, which is right up my alley! This month long campaign was established by Oldways and the Mediterranean Food Alliance, resources that provide education and awareness about the Mediterranean diet and foods from the region. Personally, I am passionate about this way of  life and recently coauthored the book, The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies, a […]

Read the full article →

My personal story with preeclampsia

by Meri May 4, 2012

May is an important month. It’s not only time to celebrate Mother’s Day, but it’s also time for the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. I am a survivor of Preeclampsia. It sounds sort of dramatic I know, but I guess that’s what you officially call someone like me. Preeclampsia is a life threatening disorder that occurs during […]

Read the full article →

Cheesy Quinoa with Spinach and Pine Nuts

by Meri April 27, 2012

Ahhh…I love the flavor of quinoa and I have a real love affair with goat cheese, put them together and you have a winning combination! This is a very quick and easy side dish that goes great with any meal. Quinoa is actually a small seed and a member of the spinach family although most […]

Read the full article →

Pantry stocking

by Meri April 24, 2012

I’ve always prided myself on a well stocked pantry and freezer even prior to kids. I feel strongly that the way to stay on track with eating healthy foods is to assure you have a back up plan for when your day goes crazy and cooking that Lemony Chicken Stir Fry is no longer a reality. Every […]

Read the full article →

Mediterranean lunches to the rescue

by Meri April 17, 2012

                  After two years, I finally feel like my eating is back on track. During year one of triplets I felt like I didn’t focus much on my food choices and ate sporadically. I was still eating somewhat healthy foods, but I wasn’t thinking much about the […]

Read the full article →

Living in the moment with Sesame Street

by Meri April 13, 2012

The moment you have kids the one message you hear the most from other parents is “enjoy the moments, it goes quickly.” Since so many people have uttered these words to me I’ve tried to take them to heart. It’s just been recently that I’ve truly understood what they’ve been saying. As my sister in law […]

Read the full article →

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

by Meri April 10, 2012

                It’s not quite tomato season yet, but I wanted to make these for my parents while they are still in town. It is one of my favorites! While this recipe isn’t as simple as steaming some veggies or throwing together a salad, it does offer both a […]

Read the full article →

Baking grandma’s easter bread

by Meri April 6, 2012

                  “No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.” Laurie Colwin Today was Easter Bread day, one of my Grandma […]

Read the full article →

Kale Smoothie for Kids

by Meri April 4, 2012

Ok…I know I’ve been on a bit of a smoothie kick lately, but I’m determined to get more nutrients into these three picky 2-year olds I have. So far every smoothie is working beautifully! I found this one yesterday and as I read the author’s post about getting 50 children to drink and enjoy this […]

Read the full article →

Getting out of my shell

by Meri April 3, 2012

Spending time with friends has been high on my list of health goals this year and I’m happy to say last weekend we spent both Friday and Saturday evening catching up with great friends. I know this may sound like a strange health goal, but I can honestly say I’ve seen the effects of experiencing […]

Read the full article →

Peanut Butter Breakfast Shake

by Meri March 30, 2012

As I was perusing pinterest the other day I found this recipe from some of my favorite colleagues, The Meal Makeover Moms. It jumped out at me because of an ingredient I’ve come to love… peanut butter. Having three toddlers the same age I’ve gotten a chance to see how very different children can be with their eating […]

Read the full article →

Beware of the ducks

by Meri March 27, 2012

                  My parents are in town, renting a house across from a lovely lake. Ok, it’s Southern California…it’s a man-made pond, but it’s a big one. I thought, it would be a lovely idea to take the kids to feed the ducks. One of my health goals is to […]

Read the full article →

Chicken wrapped in phyllo

by Meri March 23, 2012

                 It’s so nice having my parents here. I have to say the temper tantrums have decreased significantly and it’s nice to have some extra hands and company during the day. You forget how much you miss adult interaction when you are surrounded by 2-year olds most of […]

Read the full article →

Parental guidance

by Meri March 20, 2012

My parents are here! My parents are here! Just when I thought I couldn’t take the terrible twos one more day the calvary arrived! Each year my parents and their trusty dog Lindy (my lab Finn’s significant other) drive down and rent a house for a month. It is such a nice time for me […]

Read the full article →

No-bake Peanut butter lentil granola bars

by Meri March 17, 2012

                      Happy St. Patrick’s day to you! On my agenda today is to make shamrock sugar cookies with the kids. While I’m not Irish, my kids are so we need to represent! Sure…I might just have a beer later on as well! Cooked cabbage? Yes, I can do that. […]

Read the full article →

All red meat is bad…have you heard the news? At least that’s what the media is saying…

by Meri March 16, 2012

A recent long term study by the Harvard School of Public Health has my facebook and twitter pages buzzing all week long. The main outcome of the study was that consuming any amount or type of red meat can significantly increase your risk of premature death. I’ve heard opinions from both sides of the fence all […]

Read the full article →

Beer time with friends- a boost for health

by Meri March 13, 2012

                How could you have a mom blog and not talk about beer? I spent some valuable “beer time” with my friends who just opened up Rough Draft Brewery in San Diego. While alcohol certainly has some health benefits, spending time with friends can also be important for […]

Read the full article →

Curry chicken salad

by Meri March 9, 2012

                I enjoy my lunch time…A LOT! It is the one time of day that I have all to myself and it’s become important for me to shut everything off- phones, internet, etc and just enjoy what I’m eating and take a real break. With that being said, I […]

Read the full article →

Finding ways to exercise with kids

by Meri March 7, 2012

I’m always looking for ways to sneak in exercise during the day by focusing on activities I can do with the kids. Thanks to Birdie’s physical therapist her balance exercise can double as core exercise for me. She has me get on my back, load Birdie into sitting position on my stomach facing me and then […]

Read the full article →

Chicken Stew with Chickpeas and Plum Tomatoes

by Meri March 5, 2012

Can it really be March already? I feel like my time to make one pot chili and stew recipes is coming to an end. For some reason I have this weird mindset that these dishes are strictly for winter months. Of course you can make them throughout the year, they just seem to taste better […]

Read the full article →

Enjoying the chaos of family style meals

by Meri March 2, 2012

My triplets started eating solid foods around 6 months old and soon were picking up finger foods with confidence and excitement. I would say things went fairly smoothly until they hit their first birthday. Suddenly, Tiny stopped eating a large variety of foods and Mr. began being more particular with how things looked on his […]

Read the full article →

Finding time to meditate

by Meri February 29, 2012

I am a big fan of meditation for stress management and keeping your body healthy. Research supports that it can help reduce your risk of  heart disease, decrease chronic pain and boost your immune system. More and more I feel I need to make time for some sort of deep breathing or meditation because I have one of […]

Read the full article →

Blackberry and peach smoothie with a surprise vegetable

by Meri February 28, 2012

I love smoothies and they are such a great way to get a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables into toddlers. We use them as part of breakfast or as a mid-day treat. My kids are pretty good when it comes to eating fruit, but Tiny and Mr. aren’t so great with their vegetables so I’m always […]

Read the full article →

Blueberry Crisp

by Meri February 23, 2012

My friend and I were speaking recently about the topic of sugar. Let’s face it…we all love sweet tasting foods and our kids learn about sweet tasting foods quickly. The question is, how do you give them sugar and feel good about their health? I believe there’s quite a bit to think about behind this question. If […]

Read the full article →

One of those days…

by Meri February 21, 2012

This has been one of those days…oh you know the one. Somehow I had fooled myself into thinking we were growing out of the terrible twos. For weeks everyone’s been listening, they’re excited to be “helpful” and…gasp…they’re sharing. It’s been down right fun! Then today happened. I got blindsided. It started out with Tiny having […]

Read the full article →

Kale Chips

by Meri February 20, 2012

We all know that dark leafy greens are good for us, but for many the flavor is just too strong. While I love all veggies I live in a household with a whole lot of picky eaters so creativity is key. Kale chips are sort of a trend right now and for good reason. You can make […]

Read the full article →

Tiny packages of freeze-dried fruit

by Meri February 17, 2012

I’ve been on a mission to add more fruits and veggies to our day and one thing everyone in my family loves is freeze-dried fruit. They are tasty and so simple to give the kids as a snack or add as a side to their meal, especially when you are crunched for time (or energy). I […]

Read the full article →

Cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, my new best friends

by Meri February 16, 2012

One of my challenges with the kids is getting in a good amount of fruits and vegetables in each day. On the Mediterranean coast 5 to 9 fruits and vegetables are served a day in a variety of ways including both cooked and raw. It seems like my average for all of us is around […]

Read the full article →

Polenta Lasagna

by Meri February 3, 2012

I love polenta. I don’t know if it’s my Italian genes or that I just enjoy sweet flavors, but I can eat this creamy Italian mush anyway you prepare it. So, polenta lasagna it is for dinner tonight.  This recipe comes from one of my cookbooks, Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummies and offers a lower calorie […]

Read the full article →