styleberry BLOG » where pretty meets practical

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Where did these two years go?! We’re almost packing boxes again. This is crazy!!

Several months ago I shared with you my big decision to say YES to a large Interior Styling project and since then, life has looked a bit different. This blog has stayed stagnant (despite the promise of a revival). My floors are a little messier. I am cooking bigger meals, less often. & there has been a shift. A shift of my focus, my heart and my hands. & it hasn’t included much of the internet. I have taken to my new Instagram to share tidbits of my life, but in an ever decreasing “face time” world, I have found myself seeking these real life interactions more than ever. Face to face work, not behind the computer work. & My work is steady, and it has nothing to do with the computer. To say this website is a few steps behind my real life work is an understatement, but one I am strangely proud of. Face to face work is what is filling my soul right now.

styleberry_creative 1 As we are ending the hardest chapter of our medical training life in a mere 84 days, life is going to change yet again. We still have no official orders back to Texas, but that is where we’ve been verbally confirmed for my husband’s next assignment. Despite all logical thought, I keep taking on projects that I know will make me smile–and they do. They are squeezed, squished and snuck in my three days a week without kiddos running around and I truly feel like I have found my life’s work, beyond mothering. I have so many color stories to tell. So much inspiration that needs to come out of my head and into a home. I love making homes beautiful. I love the challenge and the puzzle that each space is–and I love helping families create functional, beautiful spaces. Pretty & Practical is always my motto. & making spaces pretty & practical is what I LOVE to do. So that is what I am doing. & even though it is quiet around this internet space of mine, there is nothing quiet about my life. (Except my daily 5am yoga practice. THAT is quiet that is non-negotiable!)

So thank you for popping back in! Thank you for still cheering me on. Thank you for continuing to share my ever evolving message that finds its way from me to you on this blog, or most likely, Instagram. May you be ever-evolving & sharing your talents, too!

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Much of my blogging & internet time has been replaced with books. Real books from the library. & a few inspirational magazines that I love. I have read a few books that I HIGHLY recommend–& you might enjoy them, too!  styleberry_reads

  • The Fringe Hours (an excellent nudge toward making time for you, despite busy mama life.)
  • The Four Agreements (a good reminder of how to “be a better person.”)
  • Flow Magazine (an inspiring, creative haven)
  • How to Raise an Adult (the BEST, BEST book I have read in a long time. This qualifies as one of the very few books that I want to own. It has changed me, how I parent, and how I look toward the future education of my children. If you read one book this year, let this be it! The second half is the best.)

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How can you argue with THAT?!

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As we wrap up our time here in St. Louis, I am a very mixed bag of emotions. This season has given us some pretty spectacular relationship lows (as most resident/fellow wives can relate, especially as you weather the eighth year of solo life + parenting). But our stay here has also been rich with programs and museums and nature to enjoy with young children. Have I mentioned how GREEN it is here?! It is really a very beautiful city, with a lot of complicated social issues that permeate the culture. I will look back on this time grateful to be in a place where we had so much to do, but very excited for what comes next for our family. I’m not sad to leave. I am elated/relieved/nervous about the end of 6 yrs of a surgical residency and two years of fellowship. It is time to be done. We must move on. I will most certainly be doing a Mom’s Guide to STL, much like I did for San Antonio before we left. We have done SO much here! & I can’t wait to update the SA one, now that we are in big kid land & all we need to be happy is grass and maybe some sticks, wildflowers to pick and trees to climb. Big kid life is pretty freaking awesome.
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Bit-o-housekeeping:

  • The stylebabyLOG is still available! You can purchase here. I will be disabling purchasing as it gets close to our move & during our transition, likely through summer 2016. So if you need it before next Fall, now’s the time!
  • My passion for child literacy is keeping my Usborne Book Group hopping! I feature a book a week & share what we love about it. You can join the group here–it is zero pressure. My only goal is to help you get awesome books into the hands of curious kids. If you’d rather skip the group and go straight to shopping, you can shop here.
  • I am not booking any more Interior Styling projects in STL, but plan to open my calendar in San Antonio starting Fall of 2016. I have several projects lined up already, but you can email me if you’d like more information (or to get on my client list) anytime at shawna at styleberrycreative dot com.

Happy Spring!!

Xoxo.

  • Allyson howard - I have been a loyal follower for years and want to commend you with your ability to not only juggle all of your responsibilities but to do it with such grace. As much as I miss your regular posts, I’m more than happy to take a backseat as a blog reader so you can prioritize everything you need to do in order to be a happy and healthy woman, wife and mother. Thank you for the inspiration and I look forward to following along with the next set of adventures your family embarks on!ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - Thank you, Allyson!! Some days are much more graceful than others! Mostly, it’s just a juggling act that I never quite master. ;) Xo.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Fulton - Can I just say that EVERYTIME you post something, I find it deeply profound? I’ve been following your blog since I was in the early part of grad school (I got my master’s in counseling) and even though much of what you talk about is a very different type of stage of life than me, you touch on common themes. I remember PRAYING that school would be over, that internship (like residency) would be OVER and that I could just move on with my life…and your blog would talk about a never-ending baby or dealing with pain and loss. It’s not the same life, but you popping up a couple times a year deeply encourages me & I wanted you to know that :)ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - That is SO nice to hear! & pretty much the only reason that I come back here. We are not alone!! Xo.ReplyCancel

Back in the day I used to do a lot of DIY tutorials around here. It’s been awhile since I walked you though one and after sharing it on IG & getting some “yes, please teach me!” feedback–I thought I would do a super simple one. I love easy projects. & this is such a great one for this time of year!

DIY gaiter by styleberry3

It’s cold out & the kids want to play outside. Their little faces get cold despite all the bundling & I don’t know about you–but I am not a big fan of scarves for kids. All that extra fabric and years of preaching “don’t tie ANYTHING around your neck” led me to a better option. Could I buy one? Sure. Maybe that’s what works for you. Go for it! But just as all my sewing projects come to be, I arrived here out of necessity. Do I love sewing? NO. But… (a) I couldn’t find the color I (they) wanted & (b) I could make it waaaaay cheaper than I could buy it. & I need a few. Quickly. So here’s how we did it!*

*I am a self taught sew-er and I am sure there is a better way to do this/explain this, but this is my version!

DIY gaiter by styleberry

DIY KIDS GAITER

Supplies

  • fleece: I found ours on sale super cheap at Hobby Lobby (check the remnants bin!) & I bought 1/2 yard for each child. I let them choose their own patterns so they’d be able to pick them out of the pile of snow gear at school
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • measuring tape
  • scissors
  • pins

Directions

  1. Cut fabric into a rectangle.
    • For my 3yo, I cut a 17″ x 21″ rectangle
    • For my 6yo, I cut a 19″x 22″ rectangle
  2. Fold fabric in half, so the short (17/19″) sides are touching, right sides together. This will be the seam up the back of the neck, as the longer length will make the circle around your child’s neck.
  3. Sew down the short side. Double check that the right sides are together before you sew.
  4. Now fold your “donut” so the seam you just sewed is half on the inside, half on the outside of your folded donut. (It kind of looks like a tortellini) The ends of the seam you just sewed will touch, causing the fabric to be open on one side and seamless on the top, where it will touch your child’s face.
  5. Check to make sure you can get the “donut” over your child’s head.
  6. Now it’s time to sew it shut.
  7. Fold the unfinished fabric under, top and bottom. Pin both folded sides together, as pictured.  DIY gaiter by styleberry2
  8. Sew up this seam. I used a zig zag stitch on my machine for this part & pulled the stretchy fleece fabric a bit as I went, so it was a little wider at the bottom than the top, for ease of getting over heads.

There you have it! Now my kiddos are ready for their winter adventures! I spent $1.85 on each half yard of fabric–from which I can get 2-3 gaiters– making these workhorses well under a dollar each. Since noses get extra snotty when it’s cold, it’s awesome to always have a clean one on hand.

DIY gaiter by styleberry4

Any questions?

Oh, & we made the headband she is wearing too! Click here for the DIY Non Slip Headband. :)

Happy sewing!!

  • Sarah - Thank you for a great post/how to! I made one for my son’s 2nd birthday as we have a sledding adventure planned. Turned out great and the directions were perfect. Thank you!ReplyCancel

Hi Friends! Happy Friday!! Is is WHITE & SNOWY where you are?! We got our first round this week and it has been FUN! We love the snow and can’t wait for it to arrive. We are outside as much as we are inside when we are lucky enough to get a nice snowstorm and nothing can quite compare to coming back in & warming up with some delicious Hot Chocolate.

Last year, when I made all my big food changes, what I missed the most was a hot creamy beverage. I used to live for lattes. Weaning off them was hard but now that I am on the other side of my whole milk, double shot espresso lattes, I am never going back. I have finally found a local coffee shop that makes the most delicious almond milk lattes I have ever found, but I had never had success heating almond milk myself. Turns out, I was heating it too hot (my sweet barista just explained something about proteins breaking down past 140 degrees & such. More on that here). But enter cashew milk, and it was a whole new ballgame!

My friend Dr. Christine Maren turned me on to the benefits of cashews–not just in their natural state, but also blended into cream and soaked and made into milk. & they have become a staple in our family’s diet ever since. So when my parents gifted me a Vitamix last year, I couldn’t wait to get experimenting. As many of you know, high speed blenders have the capability to warm the contents if you blend it long enough. This is annoying and also totally awesome, but mostly the latter during wintertime! So I am going to introduce you to my perfected dairy free, gluten free, not-quite-sugar free, Cashew Milk Hot Chocolate. & I promise you will not miss that dairy. (or how it makes you feel!!) I have even tricked my whole milk loving husband into enjoying it. He swears he can’t tell the difference anymore & that…well…THAT pretty much speaks for itself! :)

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CASHEW MILK HOT CHOCOLATE

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of Cashew Milk (you can make it, but I buy the Silk brand at our local health foods market)
  • 1/3 cup of chocolate chips (I prefer DF/GF Guittard & in this 1/3 measuring cup, I mix 1/3 milk chocolate & 2/3 dark chocolate chips–our favorite blend!)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla (not pictured, whoops!)
  • marshmallows (if you like them, we get DF/GF/SF Dandies which are too sweet for me, but my kids love them, of course)

Directions

  • set high speed blender on the soup setting (as per your manual’s instructions) & let her whirl!
  • serve immediately for the creamiest, frothiest hot chocolate!
  • ENJOY!

2016_hot chocolate collage Look at that beautiful, frothy finished product!

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I can almost taste it. YUM!


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This is THE BEST warm treat for those of you who are looking for a healthier, gluten free, dairy free hot chocolate! I am now a HUGE lover of vitamix hot chocolate. YUM!!  2016_cashew milk hot chocolate_3web & hey–have you found me on Instagram yet?? Turns out, I really dig the microblogging thing. I can share all the little things that inspire me without ever sitting at my desk. It’s pretty fun! This week we talked a lot about food. & Kids stuff. & Yoga. FUN! Join me? IG: _styleberry_ I am there a LOT more than here. ;)

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& two friendly reminders:

  • the stylebabyLOG is back in stock. YIPPEE! You can find it right up there to the right, in the sidebar. Thank you all for your orders this week!! Every order that has been placed has SHIPPED! So look for those in your mailbox any day now. XOxo.
  • You will now find also find direct links to my Usborne Books & More Website & a link to my Usborne Book-tique group on Facebook in the sidebar on the right, just under the new little glimpse at my IG feed. I am helping you peek inside a book-a-week throughout 2016, since the website doesn’t do these books justice & I want you to SEE exactly why we are SO passionate about these amazing books! All titles covered can be searched by name in the FB group, so you can use it as a resource whenever you’d like! You can join me here. Thank you for shopping with me!! & I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful books!!

Hey mamas!! After much anticipation (and hard work and legal paperwork and printing headaches…!!), I am finally able to share some pretty exciting news: the stylebabyLOG is BACK!

Well. For now. As I sat and really evaluated my business goals for styleberry moving forward, I have decided that I am going to make this the very last print run of the stylebabyLOG. I LOVE this product. I could not have survived my kids infancies without it. I believe in it and I have absolutely LOVED sharing it with you.

But it is time to close a chapter and move on to the next. This is what happens in business. You listen to your gut and follow your passions. & when they shift, and you see new opportunities that make you heart skip a beat, you listen. & that’s when all feels right with the world. :)

So whether you’re a soon to be mama who loves to be organized, or a seasoned mama who loves to write stuff down (because who can remember when you last fed the baby?!), or maybe you are a really great friend who is always looking for a unique baby shower gift–here’s your last chance at my beloved stylebabyLOG! When I am out of inventory, I will be out for good.

I want to thank each of you who have supported me over the last FOUR (ohmygosh!! How has it been that long!!) years since I first launched this third baby of mine. It’s been fun. & amazing. & so so rewarding. & I have absolutely LOVED it.

So thank you! Thank you for cheering me on & coming back here to share how much your stylebabyLOG has helped you. THAT is what makes it all worth the late nights and early mornings. Knowing somethings I dreamed up, made a difference for you. & hopefully, made life with a newborn just a but smoother.

So, one last time I can say, you can get yours by clicking the little yellow button below or in the side bar! When they are gone, they are gone. So stock up if you need to. I swear I will not have a secret stash. I have read way too much from Marie Kondo to ever do that! Thank you for the joy, stylebabyLOG. Now off to happy homes, you go! Xoxo.

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  • Christina - Yay, I am so excited!!! I started reading your blog YEARS ago, and always kept it saved so that I could use it as a reference for when I became a mother… and now I am expecting :) Such perfect timing! Can’t wait to use the log, use your baby food tutorial and so much more! Thank you :)ReplyCancel

Hi friends! Happy New Year! I hope you made your holidays as joyful as possible & enjoyed that extra time with your kiddos. I hope you’ve taken some time for YOU to sit and reflect on the opportunities you took advantage of in 2015 and made peace with those that you let go. I know I am not sad to see 2015 behind me, and am radiantly looking ahead at a huge year of change for our family!

Much of my reflection this year came back to this blog. I so want to be here, but there is a stumbling that occurs every single time. I have the best intentions…but then…life. Much like that goal we have to do that online yoga practice for ONE WHOLE HOUR…and then that big chunk of time becomes intimidating. So we come up with reasons why we can’t. & instead of accepting that all we have is time for a 20 minute practice, we skip it all together. & poof. A month goes by & we don’t move. Well, at least in one important area of life. This is one of those areas that keeps getting the shaft from me. My computer is now tucked in my closet since we downsized when we moved and there is no natural light and I really only have a few hours to myself with part time preschool this year and I want to do this and that and blah blah blah. You know the story. So this brings me to a decision that I made. How can I still be part of the creative community in a way that feels right and good and keeps me connected to all those who inspire me or help me feel connected to the community that I adore? & where can I share so many things that I want to share, but never do? Well. Instagram, of course!

Several years ago I made my personal IG private (leaving it for my friends and family only) and then blocked thousands of people who, as lovely as they may be, just didn’t need to see pictures of my kids with underwear on their head. My children deserve some privacy, too. But as the years go by, IG is continually the biggest source of daily inspiration for me. I have learned SO much from people that choose to share with me & I want to get back into the conversation. I have been holding back on my personal feed because I like business/personal boundaries & didn’t want to flood my friends with anything but kids pictures. But there’s more to my story. So my new IG…well..we’ll call it microblogging. (there’s a hashtag, but I have no idea if that is really a thing. HA!) I really don’t like sitting at my computer during this season, but I do love my iPhone, in moderation. I saw these words flash by several times this week and they’ve made me think–as so often, Instagram does.

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So, without further adieu, you can locate me on Instagram under the name _styleberry_.

Have several goals over there:

(1) to add to the beautiful community of encouragement.

(2) to make you think. to make ME think. to share tips and tricks for making life flow a little easier. maybe you get inspired to do more? move more? cook more? explore more? make more? let’s learn from & inspire each other!

(3) to connect. so much of blogging is pseudo connections. Blog comments just don’t really do it for me. I am best nourished face to face, in moderation. But with IG, I can connect to real businesses and real places and if you are there and so am I, please say “hi.” St. Louis has an extraordinary local business community and it’s a pleasure to have so many mom & pop operations as part of my life here. I want to introduce you to them. & then I want to rave about more when we get back to San Antonio and I get to experience the opposite of Texas suburban life. Because living in the city now has helped me learn that suburbia is just not for me. :)

(4) to remind you that you aren’t alone. I promise not to sugarcoat. My life is challenging right now. I solo parent and am six months away from another big move that I will plan for and execute myself and I am hardly the picture of balancing it all. But I am trying to keep my positive voice. Let’s do that together. All we can ever really choose is our attitude, right? It’s ok to say “life is shitty right now, but here is what I am still grateful for…” and intentionally create a positive spin on what is less than stellar. Or sucks. A lot.

(5) to share the pretty. Decorating is what I love. It is what I love to look at. I can’t wait to share my projects, personal and professional, with you.

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Head on over to IG @_styleberry_ to learn more about one of my new favorite quarterly publications, seen here!! Alongside my favorite local almond milk latte.  :)

Helloo!! When it rains it pours. Suddenly flooded with fun opportunities, I have been busy, busy. In a really great way!

So you know I love books. If you read this blog regularly, you have seen image after image of me and my kids with books. It’s a small obsession of ours and we take reading very seriously around here. Our weekly trips to the library consist of picking 30-40 books to read, in addition to the titles we own, so I have been able to enjoy quite a bit of what is out there & see what really sticks with my kids.

One of the publishers we LOVE is Usborne. I always bought the activity books & a few titles from B&N but I always wanted more than I could find locally. I had NO idea they had consultants, who offered the entire collection, until recently. & after attending a totally online Facebook party that was run in the most beautiful way–I knew I had to be a part of it. Mostly, to build my own library up, but also to help share our favorites with friends. I never, ever thought I would sign up for something like this (because I do have a business to run!!)…but I did. Because books are EVERYTHING. & these books are something special. The more kids who have awesome books, the better. & they absolutely, completely saved me on my 2000 mile road trip with my kids last week. Seriously.

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A couple weeks ago I hosted my kick off Book Bash. & while I will not be making this a big thing (I envision a Holiday & Summer online Book Bash) what I would like is to make myself a resource for YOU, to help you find the best books for your children that meet them at their reading level as they grow. My kick off with my friends was so fun & I got such amazing feedback–especially as the books arrived in homes around the country–that I wanted to bring it here. So I am hosting a second Usborne Holiday Book Bash just for my blog readers, this week!

SO…Please join me on Wednesday December 9th at 8:30pm CST for a fast and fun online party, completely on Facebook! I will be continuing to kick off my partnership with Usborne Books & More, publisher of many of our long time FAVORITE books (I couldn’t fit them all on the stack in the picture…). I cannot wait to share some of our tried & true, most loved titles with you—just in time for holiday travel & gifting! There’s no better gift than something wonderful to READ on Christmas morning!!

Usborne Books is the 2014 Children’s Publisher of the Year, offering over 1700 books for babies through young adult.

This is the perfect excuse to stock up on gifts and fun activities that keep kids entertained and boost brain power in the process! We’ll explore some best-sellers, newly released titles, and recommendations personalized to YOU and your families. Books start at $5. I thought about sharing some here…but I am going to save all the good stuff for the night of the Book Bash. You can catch up the following day if you miss the event. December 10th will be the last day to order to ensure Christmas Delivery–so if you are looking for something last minute–I’ve got you covered! & I will be doing some fun things in my personal Usborne Book-tique year round to keep you sane and your libraries fresh.

There will also be prize drawings during the book bash, so make sure to RSVP right away to stay in the loop on opportunities to earn raffle tickets! (Click GOING on Shawna’s Usborne Holiday Book Bash event page so you don’t miss out!) Looking forward to “seeing” you online soon! :) Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 10.24.56 PM

  • Mary - Ok, I NEED the “See Inside Trains” book. My boy would LOVE that!!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - I feel so validated :) I just signed up to be a consultant – only to get all these awesome books at a discount…we homeschool and need them!!!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Hi Shawna,

    I am so excited that you are back to blogging! You have helped me through many mommy issues ever since 2012! I finally pursued my passion of writing my own children’s book, How to Sell Your Sister for Fun and Profit. The book should be ready by the end of January. Would you like me to send you a complimentary copy? Please feel free to email me. I was having a hard time tracking down your info :)ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Do you have a good library book tracking/management system at home you can share? We always come home with a ton of great books & then we enjoy them all around the house & then the morning they are due back I find myself frantically searching every room in the house and the car for all the books. It’s gotten so bad, I have developed an aversion to the library & all the stress it inevitably causes!ReplyCancel

When we moved into this rental, our very first rental, I took seriously every word of The Nesting Place and made it home, ASAP. We knew we were only here temporarily, so I went crazy when we first moved in. Within two months, my house was DONE. I mean, nothing left to hang & no wall left to paint (so grateful for a landlord who said “go for it!” when I offered to repaint the whole thing…!). It was so weird. I had planned and planned and gathered all my supplies and decor to make this as seamless as possible. & since we knew this was just a short season in our lives, there was no need for tweaking & I was certainly not going to buy any furniture or much decor to make this place “just right.” What we had worked and worked pretty well. But I was DONE. I was usually never done. But here I was. There was nothing left to decorate.

& then I stopped creating in the way I am used to. It’s taken me a good year to realize how much of myself I lost during that dark year, but now that I am resurfacing, I can see how I redirected my energy. Reading Big Magic opened my eyes to just that. My creativity was never dormant. It was still alive. I had just used it all to create my Paleo-ish kitchen. Food got all my energy. & back then, that was ok. I had something new to learn about and focus on.

But as I started to get the hang of the whole Paleo thing & learn my shortcuts and favorites, I yearned for more.

& at the very time I was reading pg 37 in Big Magic, the part on saying yes or no to creative inspiration & what happens when you choose one or the other, I was presented with a big opportunity. A friend from school who had been to my home, and raved about it, asked me to help her decorate hers. Like, she wanted to hire me to do it.

Woah, woah, woah. This was all floating in my head and exactly what I envisioned when I ramped things back up again when we moved back to Texas, next Summer. But I hadn’t finalized my business plan or my process or built my spreadsheets and I have not yet wrapped up my stylebabyLOG business (psst! back in stock in a couple weeks!!) and…and…and…

…I said yes.

So here I sit, a couple weeks into the largest design project I have been a part of, on the largest budget I have ever been able to play with and it is SO MUCH FUN. I have learned so much along the way, but mostly, that this is exactly what I need to be doing right now. I LOVE making a house a home. I LOVE curating pretties for a room. & I LOVE making a highly functional space, that is easy on the eyes. Pretty & practical. Business and creativity. Everything I love all wrapped up into one job. That doesn’t feel like a job.

You guys. I think this is IT.

So I thought I would finally share Caroline’s room, to bring some decor back here. It’s been awhile. :) When we left her beautiful nursery, she asked me specifically for a Rainbow Room. As we narrowed down the specifics, and colors, she asked for one wall “the color of Elsa’s cape.” She’s since declared herself “totally over princesses” and purged her room of anything related to Frozen, but the wall is still there. Not the color I would have chosen (turquoise! coral!) but it is her room. & I wanted her to feel ownership over her space. So alas…welcome to Caroline’s Rainbow Room. This is quite possibly the cleanest it’s ever been. Don’t be fooled…this girl is a tornado and she can’t keep a room clean for more than five minutes. She is a maker and her hands are in projects all over the place. You can see them all over her colorful walls! Just the way she likes them. :)

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I think the biggest thing I learned about decorating a “rainbow room” is to keep the rainbow in the accessories. Everything major is neutral. All you need is little pops of color!

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I insist both my kiddos have my favorite DIY bookshelves for their books. I love that they can see all the titles. If you are not into DIY-ing them, you can always get a ledge from Ikea!

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Oh, this QUILT!! I saved up all of Caroline’s special favorite baby clothes and found the perfect keepsake. Each strip of fabric on this quilt came from an outfit, sleeper, blanket and even her beloved playmat that she used as a baby! It is so, so special to me.

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Have a daddy that works a lot? Yeah. We do too. Most days she doesn’t get to see him. So they write notes. This is just a frame with some scrapbook paper cut to fit behind it. Glass works awesome with dry erase markers. & pom poms make great erasers.

& below, that’s a thumb tack (decorative furniture nail, to be exact), a ribbon & some clothespins for the most recent art. Lifesaver.

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I learned the hard way that simple art supplies create the best work. One kind of marker. One kind of paper. The mess stays a bit more contained. You’re welcome.

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styleberry_decorating_8 For her second birthday, I painted and scrapbook paper-wallpapered this gorgeous dollhouse. I found it on sale on one of those awesome GILT sales & it is still so well loved. We even expanded to the basement, recently. We LOVE it. & they have awesome customer service. We learned this when this was set on the opposite side of the dresser and she accidentally slammed the door shut on the open dollhouse and it was a catastrophe. Like, major breakdown. But we all survived. Thanks to PlanToys and their excellent replacement service!!!
styleberry_decorating_07 & some of the specifics that I know you’ll ask about:

  • Duvet: Pottery Barn Teen
  • Bed: Pottery Barn Teen Outlet
  • Dream Colorfully: Pottery Barn Teen Outlet
  • Herringbone Quilt (it’s made out of her baby clothes!) & Custom Name Pillow: Anna Joy French
  • Flower LED Lights: Ikea
  • Wall Shelves: DIY
  • Victorian Dollhouse: PlanToys
  • Desk stool: Target

The rest of the fun treasures have come from years of collecting from all over. :)  & I cannot find the paint chips for her room. If you really want them, I will dig. But I am not sure I’ll ever use either of these colors again…so I tossed them! ;)

& Lastly, because books are everything (!!), the chapter book series on her dresser is her current favorite, Magic Treehouse. It’s a really great chapter book for young readers that covers a vast array of Non Fiction topics, but is a fictional series. We could not possibly love it more! She’s on book 46, and is so sad to be almost done. I highly recommend! We got a great deal on ours through Scholastic. We also love the thorough non fiction Fact Trackers that accompany the series, that provides a deeper look into some of the subject matter. Definitely her favorite books, so far!

 

  • Angie - This room is adorable! I love everything you’ve done and all the little details make it so special. One of my favorites is the quilt you made from special baby clothes.. LOVE that idea! We are currently building our home and I cannot wait to decorate each of my girl’s rooms.. Thank you for the inspiration, and I’m so glad you’re BACK! :)ReplyCancel

  • Louisa - What a gorgeous room! You definitely have quite a talent for putting a room together! Love all the small details and I am itching to steal a few for my little girl!ReplyCancel

  • Mahina - I am obsessed with her dollhouse! Did you paint and wallpaper it? If so how did you do it?ReplyCancel

  • Amber Berkoski - I cannot wait to see your interior decorating work!ReplyCancel

  • Candice - What a beautiful space! Would you consider putting some things from your kids Christmas list on your Amazon link? I have kids about the same age as yours and you always have the best ideas! Happy Holidays :)ReplyCancel

  • Lana - First time I’ve been to your blog (linked from Baked Bree) and I am smitten! My children are now having children, but you had me at your reference to BIG MAGIC!

    I attended a writer’s workshop with Elizabeth Gilbert. Not to learn how to become a writer, but to find out how to tap into my creativity now that I have an empty nest and have reached a “certain age.” All my adult life has been spent raising children and I know there’s more to life than working and paying bills.

    I’m so glad you realized that your creativity was just redirected for a time and that you are back to designing. You are obviously very gifted!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - Very excited to see how you move forward with the decorating. We’re in a rental now too for a bit and I’ve just started reading the The Nesting Place to get me inspired.
    My son LOVES The Magic Treehouse as well. He either borrows from the library or we have a lot of them downloaded from Audible on an old iPod of mine.
    So, did you make the quilt yourself or did you give your fabrics & pattern to someone else to sew for you? I’ve saved a lot of my son’s clothes and had the idea to do something similar with them, but I’m not confident I would be happy with the outcome if I tried sewing it myself.ReplyCancel

  • Sara - Oops! Meant to say another favorite series of my sons is the Boxcar Children.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - Shawna, I’m late to the party and a longtime follower, but so happy you are back! I LOVE everything about this room so much! It’s so personal and fun without being tacky or cluttered with stuff just because it matches. It’s meaningful and sweet. I’d hire you to do my whole house in a hot second if you could just move to Cinci, lol! I’m so excited for these new design opportunities you are embarking on and cannot wait to follow along. Anyway, welcome back!ReplyCancel

  • Valery - Oh my goodness I love your style! I love the gallery wall. Someone you know (my old boss), Brandon (from Colorado lol) introduced me to your blog a few months ago and I pretty much read it all! Love it! Keep posting!ReplyCancel

  • Almost over. » styleberry BLOG - […] months ago I shared with you my big decision to say YES to a big Interior Styling project and since then, life has looked a bit different. This blog has […]ReplyCancel

It was the dead of winter. The holidays had passed & I was left with the January gloom. But this year, it was more than my usual post-holiday blues. My house no longer glowed from the Christmas lights and I was staying up late, not accomplishing much and living on lattes. Granted, this has been a really rough couple of years on our family, as anyone in their eighth year of a surgical residency/fellowship training experience will tell you, but something more was going on. & I was determined to get to the bottom of it.

I started looking at my life and what I could change. Why was I feeling so run-down? How could I make some small changes to feel better? Where could I find knowledge I could trust? How could I even find the time and energy to make my life better right now, as we’re going through one of the toughest seasons of our life as a family?

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I am a one woman show around here, and my kids deserved a better me. It was scary & felt like a lot of work to make some of the changes I had in mind. But it was time. I could not live like this any more. Latte to latte. Crashing in between. Flopping into bed feeling unaccomplished at night, then beyond irritated to be woken up in the morning by a child that really, just wanted a hug. Or a granola bar. Either seemed annoying at a pre-dawn hour, when I had stayed up too late. I was not a pleasure to be around and I needed something to change in a really big way.

The first change, as I talked about before, was my sleep overhaul. I gave up my beloved nightowl habits and started getting up early. It started with a six am wakeup and every week, I pushed that up fifteen minutes. It took some tinkering with, but I learned that for whatever reason, my body’s rhythm doesn’t like an alarm in the 5am hour. I can’t get out of bed. But 4ish? That’s my sweet spot. I get up, without engaging with my phone, and drink my 24oz cup of (sometimes lemon) water while I am getting ready. My reward is my cup of coffee (a 6oz pour-over style is all it takes anymore!) & I am ready to do what I need to before my early riser is up to join me.

These days I am a 4:30am kind of gal, who is in bed by 9:30. I know, I know. I would have laughed at myself so hard a couple of years ago. But seriously. Having quiet time to myself (and that cup of coffee!) before my kids get up has been life changing. It also provided me with the time to read. To learn. & to understand why my brain was feeling so foggy. It may seem insignificant, but this sleep change really has been instrumental to my “lifestyle overhaul” if you want to call it that. It’s when I carved out the time to learn.

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THE WHY

I am not going to walk you through the true “why” of a Gluten Free or Dairy Free Paleo-ish diet. I am not an expert. I have taken the time to read a lot, from sources I have deemed trustworthy. Together, they have opened up my eyes to nutrition in a way I was never open to before. Forget fads, forget the word “diet.” Healthy living is really a lifestyle, in my opinion. & I wanted to understand the WHY before I could dive into the HOW. Here’s what I read–some are books I checked out at the library & some are great articles that you can read now:

  • Wheat Belly–for a fascinating understanding of what wheat does to your body, and an explanation of the inflammation response that can be so problematic. “Inflammation” is a buzz word amongst everything I read–basically I aim to consume foods that decrease or don’t increase inflammation. This book describes, on a very deep level, how the new version of wheat we consume today, causes inflammation.
  • It Starts with Food–by the creators of the Whole30 program, which is an elimination diet that helps you determine what foods make you feel good/bad. I have not done Whole30, but I do try to eat in a way that closely mimics the Whole30 guidelines. An important quote that I LOVED from this book was “The food you eat either makes you more healthy, or less healthy. Those are your options.” and that has been a real factor in my daily food decision making.
  • Why I am a Pegan–or Paleo Vegan–& Why You Should Be Too! by Dr. Mark Hyman— This is SUCH a great article, packed with links to other articles to help understand some of the scientific findings behind why considering food as medicine is so important. I spent a lot of time on his site, reading his articles.
  • How Soy Can Kill You and Save Your Life by Dr. Mark Hyman–a really balanced overview of the claims and data. I choose not to eat much soy, if any at all.
  • Got Proof? Lack of Evidence for Milk’s Benefits by Dr. Mark Hyman–a great synopsis about recent data on dairy consumption. He has several other articles on his site on the topic worth reading.
  • 3 Important Reasons to Give Up Gluten if You Have an Autoimmune Disease by Amy Myers— A great overview. Dr. Myers has so much great information on her website. I gathered a LOT of my information from her thorough explanations.
  • 4 Steps to Recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by Dr. Amy Myers–I like how this article is organized. She is all about autoimmune disease and gut health, and how to fix them both!
  • Calcium, Vitamin D & the Milk Myth by Dr. Christine Maren–Christine is one of my dear friends, and THE person who I credit for all of my dietary changes. She shares the most informative articles on her Facebook feed and her blog has taught me so much about all the things I care about, nutritionally. She also has a passion for childhood nutrition, which is a major bonus for us health nut moms!!
  • Wheat and Endometriosis–A super fascinating spinoff hypothesis for those of us who deal with monthly flaring of Endo symptoms. My experience below!

So…NOW WHAT. WTF do I eat?! Is that what you are thinking? Because that is pretty much how I felt. I shouldn’t eat bread and pasta and crackers or peanut butter and milk and cheese and yogurt and and and…the list seemed to go on. Um. That’s mostly, with some added meat/vegetables, all I ate. So whaaaaaat do I do?

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THE HOW

There was a quote in one of the food documentaries that I watched that encouraged people to make food changes with this mindset: “Instead of focusing on what you are cutting out, just focus on the really amazing things that you are adding in.” Then it went on to say that eventually you’d grow to like the new, healthier things so much that they would naturally take the place of the junk, and you wouldn’t even want it anymore.

& I believe that to be absolutely true, based on my experience.

The very first thing I did after I decided that I was going to make the big lifestyle change, was get two new cookbooks. For the first month, I ditched every single recipe in my evernote folder and ONLY cooked out of:

What this did was introduce me to absolutely delicious new foods, and in the process, cut out all dairy, gluten and sugar, because the recipes I was using were all “safe” and free from the ingredients I was trying to avoid. These two books also walked me through new ingredients to me–like coconut sugar, arrowroot powder and coconut aminos. Danielle Walker is a gifted chef, educator and photographer, so while the books are filled with BEAUTIFUL & inspiring images, They are also full of really helpful explanations of all the “new foods” that replace the old staples. My daily menu looked a little like this: Eggs for breakfast, leftovers or a meat + vegetable for lunch, dinner was a new recipe from the book.

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I gutted my fridge and pantry and sought to only buy “compliant” foods. This was going to be a huge experiment and I didn’t want to derail my results by accidentally eating something that included the ingredients I didn’t want to have anymore. I snacked on GF crackers and avocado. I carried nuts everywhere I went. I started forcing my body to live off of healthy fats, instead of so many grains.

A HUGE change for me was when I ditched my 2x/day lattes and forced myself to drink my coffee black, with a tiny splash of cream to start. Eventually I weaned off coffee completely, but I decided that I do just really, really love coffee. So once I didn’t need it anymore, I added it in a tiny bit at a time to get to a comfortable amount, daily. It’s always been my vice, but this was a cleaner version. Philz Silken Splendor, black, is my favorite!

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Over time I have added in recipes from trusted blogs like:

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WHAT HAPPENED

Well. A lot happened. & it’s really, really wonderful to be on the other side of this lifestyle experiment. A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease and she was devastated. I swore to her, up and down, that once she gets through the really hard couple of weeks of eliminating all the gluten, and emotionally accepting the fact that all those foods associated with holidays and big events are no longer part of her life, that she would not want any of the foods that trigger her symptoms because she would feel so good. I so strongly believe this to be true. I do not, for a second, miss the bread and pasta and milk that I used to consume, ever. It plain and simply, made me feel like shit. & I didn’t know I could fix it until I did. I have undergone testing, and while I do not have Celiac Disease, there is no doubt that I have a sensitivity to Gluten. & once you start really learning about what it does to the body, I think it would be safe to say it would be a good thing for most people to avoid it in its current state.

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As far as specific changes I have seen:

  • Brain Fog– mine disappeared. Like, I could finally think clearly all day. That was a VERY real symptom for me and was very present in the hour or two after I ate or drank a latte. Wheat Belly explains this phenomenon (lack of blood sugar stabilization, is the short answer). There is even a book, that I have yet to read, called Grain Brain. I am SO glad it’s gone–and is one of the first symptoms that returns if I consume something with wheat in it now.
  • Bloating–every night before I went to bed I used to look at my distended belly and wonder where the flat one I had in the morning had gone. Well. That problem is certainly not a problem anymore. Cutting gluten has resulted in pretty much no more bloating for me–all day long!
  • No Food Cravings-Since I don’t have the glycemic swings that I used to, I don’t crave much. Certainly not sweets. I will say, that I do sometimes crave vegetables though! That’s a new one.
  • Stable weight & endurance-I never started this to lose weight. I am at a good place in that department, and I exercise regularly. I used to run out of steam during my workouts and I have found that my endurance has improved since the change in nutrition. I don’t count calories and I don’t really measure portions. I eat what I eat, move a lot and everything stays pretty much the same, except I keep getting stronger. :)
  • Endometriosis-This was a shocker for me & something I didn’t read about until I was several months into this lifestyle change and noticed a marked reduction in my monthly Endometriosis symptoms. The cramping wasn’t as bad and my periods lightened up a bit. It was awesome. Since I gave up Gluten and most Dairy at the same time, I am not sure which to attribute the changes to, but I don’t want to go back to the other side!! It’s certainly worth an experiment if you suffer from the monthly endo pain that just plain sucks.
  • Tastebuds-Mine have changed. Big time. Some of the things I used to enjoy, I just don’t anymore. There isn’t a drink at Starbucks, even the coconut milk version, that I enjoy. I can taste the wheat in things that used to taste good to me if I choose to have a bite here and there. Even some fruit is too sweet for me these days. It just proved to me how much our bodies adapt to what we feed them. When sweet potatoes are enough, sugar that is often loaded on top, tastes awful. I really believe we can teach our bodies to love food in its natural state–we’ve just been consuming it in certain ways for so long that those ways, sweetened and artificially flavored, become the norm. But they don’t have to be!

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IS IT STILL WORKING?

I like to call the way I run my kitchen “Paleo-ish” for a specific reason. Strict rules are hard to follow. I like some things in moderation. & my whole family is from Wisconsin…which means that I really happen to like cheese. &…we like the occasional ice cream or donut date as a family. So I have added back in foods here and there to balance it all out so it doesn’t feel so rigid. I do my best to not eat gluten and I don’t drink milk, but we have balance. Sometimes, I’ll have a little bite of something that breaks all the rules. My kids still eat whole grain crackers & bread. My husband still insists on having real milk in his hot cocoa, despite my claims that cashew milk tastes just as good. & we still use a little organic raw sugar in our favorite cookies. But mostly, we eat really, really healthy. Do my kids always love it? No. But I make them take a “no thank you bite” so maybe, a little at a time, they can learn to love the things I do.

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One of my favorite reads, recommended by my sister in law Kim (who also happens to have a business that helps overwhelmed women create a new normal & transform their lives through simple food & lifestyle changes,) is The Plantpower Way. They have a really gentle approach to nutrition that celebrates real food in a beautiful way. & what I really appreciate is the encouragement of balance. I don’t think anyone can argue that our goal should be to add as many plants as we can to our diet. That seems like a no brainer. My family adds meats and nuts and seeds, too. & sometimes, cheese. & occasionally ice cream and donuts. I don’t want to paint an inaccurate picture of our life. But we do our best, and learn as much as we can, and make the choices we do with the knowledge we believe to be true and valuable.

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As we start to see powerhouse medical programs like The Cleveland Clinic roll out new ventures like The Center for Functional Medicine, I think there’s going to be more focus on preventative care that includes nutrition as a core element of treatment for disease. My husband, who is a cardiac surgeon, sees the debilitating effects of heart disease on a daily basis. He often shares his frustration about the lack of heart disease prevention resources/education & desire for patients to take their health seriously. The gap between doctors and food seems to finally be getting some attention as we see more Integrative and Functional Medicine physicians seek certification and produce data to help those of us who really care about using food as medicine to prevent whatever we can. But it does take discipline and a lot of effort, in a world that often makes it really, really hard to eat good food.

So that’s when I rely on my favorite Maya Angelou quote to sum it all up:

Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, DO better.

Do you have a favorite Paleo/Vegan/GF recipe?? Let’s get a thread going! I’d love some new meal inspiration! :)

 

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Leigh K - So great to hear such a success story. My husband and I have read Eat To Live after it was recommended by his cardiologist. We’ve had 2 false starts with switching our eating habits- I bookmarked some of your links to check out. It really is a large commitment and shift in food thinking and I just haven’t figured out how to do it for weeknight meals with 2 little kids.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this! I did a whole 30 earlier this year and loved it, but had a really hard time making a moderate transition back into “normal” eating- for me, it’s a slippery slope once I start adding sugars back in. That being said, you certainly can’t argue the benefits of alleviating them. Given that you’ve been doing this for a while now, can I ask if/how it affected your grocery budget? Do you find it grew significantly?ReplyCancel

  • Marci - Hi Shawna! I’ve never commented on your blog but wanted to say I love to see that you are back, and love love that you wrote this! We have, in the last year, started eating Paleo-ish and I want to shout it from the rooftops- I won’t ever go back. As a mom of three little kids, it is essential that I have a lot of energy, and this way of living/eating gives me that. I agree with every single thing you say above- I absolutely adore Against all grain- her cookbooks are the best cookbooks I have ever used and so flavorful and diverse. Anyways, I loved seeing that you have found this way of living too!ReplyCancel

  • -shawna- - Jenn, I think that if I look at the big picture, we are coming out even. Eating this way means that I don’t buy much in packages–I buy local, sustainable, organic meats/fruits/veggies when possible. So while that can feel expensive, I am truly not that hungry or craving the junk that eats your budget. We also hardly ever eat out–because I really don’t care for most of the offerings at a restaurant. I can make it better & cheaper myself. We may eat out once a month, maybe, so that is also huge. I no longer spend any money at starbucks, so I get that back in the budget, too. No “treats” when I am out and hungry. My groceries are pretty much my entire food expense–nothing in a restaurant. & when you look at overall health costs–I swear real food consumption keeps you out of the doctor’s office. :)ReplyCancel

  • Lea - I’ve been waiting for this post and loved reading it. Thank you for the lengthy post and all the information you provided. I, also use the same cookbooks that you have mentioned, but not exclusively at this time.

    We love this soup, my 2.5 yr old loves it too.

    http://meljoulwan.com/2012/11/05/silky-gingered-zucchini-soup/ReplyCancel

  • Kris - Hi Shawna,

    I feel compelled to tell you the books and sources you are relying on for your information is poor, profit driven, and contradictory to science. Feel free to email me if you want more information, but here is a link to get you started:

    http://scienceblogs.com/?s=Mark+hyman+

    I have no problem if people want to go Paleo/Gluten free simply because they enjoy the recipes. But the health benefits to these diets are no more than any healthy, well rounded diet unless you have Celiacs or true food allergies to the removed foods. In fact, if you don’t have a medical necessity to removing specific foods but you go ahead and avoid them because it’s a fad, your body can become intolerant of them down the road when you realize you want to reintroduce them. People mistake these reactions as their “proof” they have some sort of intolerance, but they are, in fact, typical. For example, science has shown there is no such thing as gluten intolerance. You either have a true allergy, Celiacs, or no reaction. And if you take anything out of your body long enough, you need time to get it acclimated again once it is reintroduced.

    My advice is to look beyond the people selling books (since they have an ulterior motive) and dig into the actual research with the real experts (such as contacts from a food science program at a research university).

    Good luck,
    KrisReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - Kris, I hesitate to publish your comment because I am very sensitive to the tone of my blog, and that includes the comment section. Anyone who speaks in absolutes rubs me the wrong way, your comment included. I am publishing it because I think it warrants a discussion. As I said, I am not an expert and I have chosen to follow science that I believe to be valid and trustworthy. I am not sure what your credentials are that lead you to be so strong in your conviction, maybe you can elaborate? I called upon Dr. Maren, a practicing Functional Medicine Physician who is dedicating her life to this data, to take a look at what you shared. You can read what she has to say below. Books with this data are often the only reason we (the general public) learn anything about it. So to exclude anything in a book, because it earns someone a paycheck, doesn’t sit well with me. Researchers can certainly hold bias and work with ulterior motives, too. It’s hard to ever know who to trust, but we do the best we can. I wish you the best in your fact finding mission, and will close this discussion by respectfully disagreeing with you.ReplyCancel

  • Emily W. - Wow, we’ve been on similar journeys for very different reasons. I had complications after delivering our second child this summer, which western medicine completely failed to treat. Eastern medicine, though, with an emphasis on diet has really helped.

    To Shawna’s point, making changes this big require commitment and it’s easier to dig in and make the commitment when you know things cannot go on as they are for one more moment. It doesn’t work as well if you only kinda want it.

    Nicely done, Shawna! The one thing I’ll add to your list is the Vitamix. We purchased one and really enjoy it. We also really love the huge cookbook that came with it.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - Thank you for writing this!! I just recently went through blood work and tested for having a severe wheat intolerance. It’s changing the way I eat now and forever. I’ve dabbled with whole30 before but am not as strict anymore. I can’t wait to read wheat belly and grain brain. For now I’m still eating quinoa and brown rice since I don’t have an intolerance to that, but can’t wait to get rid of that too. Besides crackers, what snacks do you feed your babes for a normal week? I feel like I keep throwing them Annie’s crackers like I’m doing them a solid but yet I still know better and that I can do better. This article couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you once again for your inspiring post :)ReplyCancel

  • Brooke - I am so pumped up by this. I’m in a huge slump… Life….work… Family… It’s all so overwhelming right now and I have a feeling it’s mostly because I’m not taking care of myself and my health. Eating like crap… No time to exercise. Too much going on. Thanks for the insights and encouragement. Love your thoughtful approach to life!ReplyCancel

  • Christine Maren - Shawna, first of all… so glad you are back to blogging! You are an honest and talented mommy, writer, creative, cook, etc… and thank you for the mention! I love that we can learn from each other.

    I can’t help but respond to the comment from Kris. Unfortunately, food allergies and sensitivities are more common than ever. There is no definitive evidence as to why (plenty of theory, though), but there is no question that they are more prevalent. There is CDC data on this, but I think it’s pretty obvious (formal data or not)… you can’t even send your kid to school w a peanut butter sandwich anymore.

    Gluten sensitivity – whether that is celiac or non celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) – is very real. Like food allergies, it is not a fad. There has been a distinct change in our immune system and the way we are reacting to otherwise benign substances.

    Your reader says “science has shown there is no such thing as gluten intolerance. You either have a true allergy, Celiacs, or no reaction.” That is, in fact, totally untrue. Celiac is an autoimmune reaction. NCGS is not. The umbrella term is now gluten related disorders. There is a lot of literature on this. The scientist Alesio Fassano has done a lot of research in this area
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820047/#!po=0.510204

    All of that being said, a lot of people benefit from a Paleo style diet because it eliminates some common allergens – like dairy and wheat – which, along with sugar, can be very inflammatory to the many people who are sensitive. There is no one right diet for everyone, and I don’t think that *everyone* should avoid gluten. But there are A LOT of people who should (especially if they have an autoimmune disease).

    Thanks again!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - For those readers out there who are looking for answers give this a try and don’t feel better there could be another reason. Gluten and dairy aren’t always the answer. I suffered for over a year unable to recover from the norovirus. It was debilitating and let a whole lot of anxiety into my brain. After western medicine had told me that “this was my new normal” I switched to a naturopath. Although I was eating mostly paleo, 100% dairy free I couldn’t kick the symptoms. An intolerance test with the naturopath revealed that my body couldn’t digest eggs. So the paleo breakfast I was eating every single day was damaging my body. It took a couple months of a 100% egg free diet for the symptoms of inflammation to subside. Today I feel as if I were in your shoes. So to the readers out there who don’t find help with the paleo/gluten fee lifestyle I urge you to get tested.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - I’m glad this lifestyle is working well for you. I tried it at the beginning of the year and while I did feel good while on it, it became too restrictive for me, and the moment I ate sugar or wheat as a very occasional treat, it took me a week to get back on track.

    One thing to be careful about is the term “gluten free”. When eating crackers, etc. that are gluten free, the substitute they use for wheat in these are often times worse than wheat and can spike your blood sugar higher than actual sugar. This is something Dr. Davis talks about in Wheat Belly. “Gluten Free” is such a fad these days and people think that eating gluten free cracker, pretzels, cakes, etc is ok when it is not and unless they have celiac, eating the original version is actually better. You talked a lot about “gluten free”, so I didn’t want people to think that it is ok to eat any kind of gluten free product.

    Your quote from Maya Angelou is one of my favorites, among others of hers. If only it were that easy when it comes to food (coming from someone who has struggled with her weight and relationship with food since I was a pre-teen).ReplyCancel

  • Caroline’s Big Girl Rainbow Room » styleberry BLOG - […] to just that. My creativity was never dormant. It was still alive. I had just used it all to create my Paleo-ish kitchen. Food got all my energy. & back then, that was ok. I had something new to learn about and […]ReplyCancel

  • Kristina - Thanks for the interesting and informative article, I can’t wait to check out the links for more reading! I have been buying spiralized courgette at my local food store but I see you make your own- do you recommend a particular tool? Thanks for your awesome blog and positivity Shawna!!ReplyCancel

  • Kris - http://www.forbes.com/sites/kavinsenapathy/2015/12/03/the-toxic-chemical-hypocrisy-of-food-babe-joseph-mercola-and-mark-hyman/

    This is exactly why I don’t get advice from “experts” who don’t do/analyze real research and instead write books for profit.

    I’m an agronomist for a large research university. So maybe my point of view is biased, as I support GMOs because the science supports their safety. And while I don’t have a medical degree, I prefer to get my nutrition advice from true experts who dedicate their lives to research that will better our knowledge of nutrition. I don’t need a for-profit book to find the most scientifically valid information. I go straight to the source – the science. This is just my opinion and I probably won’t change yours. But I decided to give you a different perspective of how I feel about alternative medicine from inside the higher ed research institution system.

    Good luck.ReplyCancel

  • The Best Hot Chocolate | the Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vitamix kind » styleberry BLOG - […] year, when I made all my big food changes, what I missed the most was a hot creamy beverage. I used to live for lattes. Weaning off them was […]ReplyCancel

  • Amy Renea - Hi Shawna! I have been dabbling in something similar fo the past month or so….mainly following THM (trim, healthy, mama). There is a strong focus on whole foods, no sugar, no wheat (though healthy sprouted carbs, quinoa, etc are used). I have definitely noticed changes and twice when I ate white products, I felt horrible for 24 hours. I was honestly shocked. I don’t think the week or two without white bread would have been enough time to DEVELOP a sensitivity….but there’s definitely was one there. I am looking forward to a doughnut date (in the future), but can honestly say I do not really want candy anymore thanks to some healthy coconut oil “candy” that THM encourages. I never thought I would be able to eat like this and even errand this post when you originally rote thinking there was no way “I” could ever go that far. Now in retrospect, I AM going that far (though I am still including some dairy, such as plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese). Anyway…would love to hang out with you again someday and chat food!!ReplyCancel