Thursday, October 24, 2013

5 Easy Ways to Improve Gut Health - What is all this probiotic talk about anyway?

Gut health, gut flora, probiotics, these are all “buzz words” floating around the health community these days.  More and more people are realizing they should be adding probiotics to their supplement regiment, but what is this all about and why is it important?

What is the BIG DEAL about gut health? How does it affect me?

  1. Brain Health you have two nervous systems the Central (brain and spinal cord) and the Enteric (your gastrointestinal tract).  These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen.  Did you know your gut and brain were that connected?  Just think – do you get butterflies in your stomach with you are nervous? or have you had an upset stomach when you were angry or stressed?  That is your brain talking to your gut.  It is a two way street, so, what do you think your gut tells your brain? Your gut can cause mental illness, attention disorders, anxiety, depression, and has even been linked to autism.
  2. Immune System - Your gut is the body’s primary contact point with the world. Everything you swallow – good and bad – arrives there first.  It may surprise you to learn that 70% of your immune system is in your gut. When the digestive system is working properly it serves as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and pathogens of all kind.  If you find your family suffering from “24 hour flus” this is a big indicator that their digestive system is not working properly.
  3. Diabetes – recent studies in Denmark show evidence suggesting that there is a link between metabolic diseases and bacterial populations in the gut, regardless of the individuals BMI. They noted that levels of bad bacteria were much higher in patients with diabetes.  If you or someone you know is suffering from diabetes, been told they are pre-diabetic, or hypoglycemic, this is an indicator of poor gut health. Do you suffer from “light headed ness” between meals or first thing in the morning?
  4. Obesity – Proper gut health will likely help you lose weight. It has been proven that the make-up of gut bacteria in lean vs. obese people tends to differ.  According to Dr. Mercola and his arcticle on the gut brain connection, this one of the strongest areas of probiotic research to date. When the digestive system is working properly it serves as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and pathogens of all kinds. 
  5. Your skin - We know that a compromised gut (or unhealthy gut) can contribute to a permeable gut (leaky gut) and therefore inflammation. Inflammation spreads differently for every person. For some it can manifest as IBS, poor vision, headaches, or an autoimmune disease; for many it has a direct effect on the skin. According to Carla Hernandez a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) that is also a fellow blogger at  she states “Although it’s possible to have acne and not have gut issues, it is very rare that I have seen this with my clients. Even when there are no obvious digestive symptoms, I will still work on supporting the gut, and there is always an improvement in the skin.”

Why might you have poor gut health?

Lots of things can alter the good and bad ratio of bacteria in our system leading to poor gut heath:
  • Poor Diet- rich in sugars and carbohydrates processed/ refined food, caffeine, alcohol, rancid oils and fats.
  • Stress- physical, emotional, mental.
  • Lack of Sleep- alters cortisol levels, creates stress and weakens the adrenals.
  • Medication/ Antibiotics- Even the birth control pill which was used by 67% of young women ages 18-24 in 2008 effects gut health. Read more here on (Why You Should Avoid Hormonal Birth Control)
  • Poor Digestion- Without the proper ability to digest our food thoroughly, this will create toxins and contribute to the load of bad bacteria in our system, adding to the cycle.
  •  Food Sensitivities- Even healthy food can be damaging if one is reacting to it. Listen to your body, if you are feeling bloated, have heartburn, or other “side effects” from eating certain foods, give your body a break from those foods while you heal your gut 

What Can you Do?


5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Gut Health:

  1.  Reduce refined sugars and grains – “Bad bugs” love sugar!  We do not want to feed the bad bacteria; they stop the good bacteria from multiplying. Sugars and refined grains feed the growth of yeast like Candida.  Cutting out these refined foods (or reducing them greatly) from our diet is a major step towards winning the battle of gut health. It has been proven the "picky eaters" aka kids that just like plain noodles, chicken nuggets, and other bland/white foods have an over population of bad bacteria that is "craving" these highly refined sugary foods.  Fix the gut and you will find hope in changing your child's eating habits. 

  2. Drink less with meals  - this one might surprise you, I know it surprised me. Water dilutes the hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach.  HCL helps aid in digestion and is the 1st line of defense in our stomach to fight off bad bacteria and pathogens. Try to drink 30 mins before or after eating, or sip bone broth, kombucha, or raw milk.

  3. Homemade bone broth – there is a reason your grandma made you soup when you were not well, and I bet she made it from scratch too! Use the broth in soups, stews, or to boil veggies making them super foods. Drink it warm in a mug with or between meals. My husband and I love sipping warm broth from a mug; it is very comforting and tasty. This frugal homemakers BFF, is healing and soothing to the gut.  It is a cheap and easy, and when made properly is a powerhouse for gut-healing gelatin and nutrients. 

  4. Fermented Foods – I cannot say enough about fermented foods.  They are a natural way to help your stomach break down what you eat.  It boosts good bacteria and when you prepare them properly, or buy the right brand they are SUPER tasty!  We enjoy these on a daily basis: kefir (no sugar added), yogurt with live and active cultures (no sugar added), kombucha, lacto-fermented pickles (affiliate), and sauerkraut (affiliate)  Incorporate at least one of these fermented foods with every meal; it will make a notable difference.  For example have some kefir or yogurt with breakfast (we put it in our green smoothie), drink kombucha with lunch and have sauerkraut or pickles with dinner.
  5. photo via

  6. Take a supplemental Probiotic – the last of the five easy steps in taking a supplemental probiotic. In our house we take very few supplements because we like to get our nutrition from our food.  However, fermented cod liver oil and probiotics are the two that we do take. Due to the Standard American Diet (SAD), chlorinated water, and the overuse of antibiotics, we need to be proactive in order to repopulate our gut with good bacteria.  Taking a probiotic can help with this. I have heard only good things from these brands.  Every person is different so you might have to try a couple before you find the one perfect for you:
  • Bio-kult (affiliate)
  • Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotics - (affiliate)
  • Udo's Choice Probiotics (affiliate)
  • Innate Response Flora 50-14 (affiliate)
  • Prescript Assist (affiliate) 

    I hope you find these 5 easy ways to improve your gut health helpful.  Practicing these in our house has made a huge improvement in not only our typical "gut" type symptom, but mood, energy, weight, and especially skin have improved.

    To your health!

    Yuppie Farm Girl


    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Paleo Southern-Style Collard Greens

    On a Paleo Diet (heck... even the Standard American Diet (SAD)) we all need to ensure we get all our needed calcium.  You can read more about getting your needed calcium on my post Dairy Free Calcium Sources.  Collard Greens are at #1 on my list for a great way (more than a glass of milk) to get calcium.  This underrated cruciferous vegetable is also cholesterol lowering and super high in vitamins K, A, and C (read more here) .  Can we get a wowzers for collard greens - who knew?

    My favorite way to prepare collard greens is with bacon, well my favorite way to cook most things is with bacon, I try not to discriminate. This slightly spicy and oh so yummy recipe is also great prepared with a left over ham hock.  

    Even if you think you do not like collard greens, I dare you (ya.. I am so in 5th grade) to try THESE collard greens.  They are spicy, a little salty, and smokey....umm southern goodness. 

    Paleo Southern-Style Collard Greens Recipe:

    2 large bunches of collard greens
    1 lb gluten free bacon (if you only have half a package because you ate other half for breakfast - that is ok!)
           OR - you can used diced smoked ham or a left over ham hock
    1 medium size yellow onion
    1 teaspoon sea salt  - this is a good one (affiliate)
    1 tablespoon hot sauce - I like this one (affiliate)
    1 tablespoon granulated garlic - I like this one (affiliate)
    1 quart homemade stock (this works with chicken, beef, or marrow stock), or water if you must.

    Dice the onion and bacon and saute it in a large stock pot. You should not need to add oil to the pot as the bacon will release all its yummy goodness and make it so nothing should stick. However, if you are feeling like you need a little oil, olive oil would be great.

    While the onion and bacon are having a party, clean and chop your collard greens.

    I take a chef's knife and run the blade down the woody center of the greens to remove the leafy part from the stem.

    Then I stack the leafy part (and slice them intro strips).  I place the stems in my "chicken bucket" aka the food scrap bin that gets taken out the goats and chickens after dinner. 

    Once the greens are cut into strips, I chop them into large bite sized pieces.  You want them about 2inches by 2inches.  

    Now check on your bacon and onions.  They should be browned and yummy.  The bacon should be crisp, but if you are not patient (like me), it is ok to hurry this step... you just want to make sure it is fairly cooked (don't worry you will be boiling this for a couple hours).

    Add in your salt, hot sauce, and garlic.  Stir until fragrant and evenly distributed. 

     Now add in your chopped greens to the party and stir to coat with all the yummy bacon and onions.

    Now add your broth (or water if you do not have broth).  It should just cover the greens. If not add a little more (it can be water) until they are swimming in a nice bath.

    Bring to a soft boil, then cover and reduce heat to low (keep a slight simmer) for 1.5-2 hours.  The greens will be nice and soft, and the flavors will be to die for.  I had no idea that I liked greens, I LOVE them!  Who would have thought an Italian farm girl from California would like down home southern collard greens. 

    I love to serve these in a big bowl (with the juices) as a hearty side for ribs, pork chops, or bbq chicken. Slurp the juices as you eat the greens, serious nom nom.

    Do you like collard greens? Is this something you grew up eating?

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Help me choose the November giveaway!!

    Ok so the last giveaway was a huge hit, you guys went nuts over the Le Creuset giveaway (heck - I don't blame you - I tried to enter myself, but my hubby said that was cheating... ughh he is such a rule follower lol).  So I decided to team up with my fellow bloggers again offering another giveaway - woot woot!
    But, we need your help!  We can’t decide what to give away next month, we all love kitchen tools, but we decided to throw in a few more enticing items - I think you all will be pleasantly surprised.
    So, click on the links and comment below with just the option number so we can quickly tally!
    Where applicable you’ll of course be able to pick a color!
    Help Me Choose the November Giveaway!
    Option 1- $350 -

    Why do I have a sneaking suspicion Option #1 and #5 will be the top of the list for you guys?  

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013


    It was super fun participating in my first giveaway!  You all planned to make some YUMMY dishes with this awesome cookware, can I come to your house for dinner this week?  Special shout out to the 9 other bloggers that made this HUGE giveaway possible - show them some love:

    Without further adiau, the winner of the Giveaway is....
    Jessamyn Herbert!

    Congratulations Jessamyn!! You have 48 hours to email Jakie Ritz at she will coordinate with you to claim your prize. 

    1) Treat yourself to the 5 Piece Le Creuset Cookware or if you are looking something a little more affordable I have one of these that I use everyday, plus there is free shipping right now! (affiliate link)

    2) OR... you can keep your eyes peeled for the next giveaway!! This one was so much fun I think I might have to do another.  Any ideas for what I should giveaway? 
    Now don't be sad if you did not win this giveaway you can always 

    Friday, October 11, 2013

    Baby Farm Boy's Birth Story - One year ago today

     At 9am I was in complete denial that I was really in labor.  I kept telling my mom (who flew in the night before, thank God), "I am not in labor, stop being so dramatic".  Silly girl....listen to your mommy, she has had four kids...   Ignoring her, we drove to the firehouse to be sure the car seat properly installed. 

    I should have known I was in early labor when the only thing I could hear was the sweet lady telling me that "I was going to have that baby soon".  I guess I should have listened to the complete stranger too! 

    My mom was thinking ahead, she asked me to go through the drive through to get her a snack (she knew we were headed into "work mode").  After getting her snack, I had to drive with the windows down the rest of the way home because the smell was making me nauseous.  By the time we got home I had to sit on the exercise ball to be comfortable. Mom kept saying "umm are you going to to call Cliff? Are you going to call your Doula?
    I said, "No mom... I am fine..I am not really in labor" ...see I was thinking that they should hurt much more and be more obviously spaced apart... being a totally rookie mom, I was in complete denial.

    Finally mom convinced me to call both of them.  I told them both "my mom wants me to tell you she thinks I am in labor and that the contractions are about 2 mins apart!".   She had been timing them from the beginning (without telling me).... I still did not believe her.  My husband is hilarious and asked me to go feed the goats in case we would not have time later... so I did.. I got stuck out there breathing through a few contractions.  Our female goat (for the first time) rested her sweet head on mine while I leaned against the fence.  Mama's know!

    Cliff rushed home from work (thank goodness I called him when I did because he was headed into a meeting where he was going to turn his phone off!!) and found me laboring in the bath room.

    Minutes later our Doula arrive and asked how long I had been like this.  I STILL was saying... I don't know how serious this labor is... I think we have time.  THANK GOODNESS my doula (LOVE HER!) grabbed me by the face, looked me in the eyes and said (with the sweetest but stern voice) " Lisa, we need to go to the hospital, you are going to have this baby, and I think it is going to happen fast, let's go now".  Umm.. OK... I can't really argue with that.

    So we drove... I hung my head out of the window like a dog.  The cool air on my face was the only thing to get my mind off the stronger contractions

    We arrived at the hospital, made the long trek down the hall, up the elevator to the OB triage area.  There was no way I was sitting in a wheel chair, so they used wheel chair to carry our stuff and pushed it next to me.  I had to stop every couple minutes to breath through a contraction. 

    When we arrived upstairs they checked my cervix, I was at a 6 and my contractions were 2 minutes apart and very strong at this point.  They confirmed that my water had broken (it happened at home,but I thought I just peed extra! ha - such a rookie) and they needed to get me a room fast.   I asked them to fill a labor tub for me and could not wait to get in that tub!

    Sadly they were filling a HUGE tub with a tiny garden hose from the sink.... so I needed to labor a little longer out side. At this phase I found it easiest to labor on the toilet leaning against my husband.  These contractions kept making me feel like I had to pee! 

    As you can tell, at this point my awesome friend (aka best photographer ever  arrived to document his birth.   

    Ahh finally they filled the tub enough for me to get in.  There was quite a bit of relief, but I was now in hard labor, transition... there is really no such thing as relief in transition when you are doing a natural child birth.  I had already been having the urge to push at this point and was saying things like "I just can't get comfortable" my doula laughed at me.  She was pouring water on my back as my amazing husband was caressing me and telling me how great I was doing.  I had the best team!

    As things started to get more serious (an hour later) my doctor came in to check on things. He asked me to get out of the tub and I said no... "I am not getting out...sorry".  He said (in the most understanding voice) "Lisa, the babies heart rate is dropping with each contraction, we need to get a better monitor on his heart rate and then you can get back in".  

    He is a smart man, he knew I would not get out unless it was for my little baby.  He also knew it was getting close to time to push the baby out and he was not allowed (by the hospital) to deliver in the tub.  So I got out (reluctantly) and they attached the regular monitor. 

    As they attached the monitor, the nurse says "ummm, she is crowning!".  Contractions stopped for what seemed like the greatest break ever - thank you LORD!  looking back it was only 3 or 4 mins, but it felt like the greatest gift. I felt things changing and then the biggest urge to push.  A few big pushes (I think 3 or 4) and our little man arrived!!

    BEST MOMENT EVER! Seeing my little man for the first time, knowing he was safe and sound, and labor (for the most part), was over!!

    He was chunky, healthy, and had a full head of hair!

    Daddy was so proud, we just looked into our little boys eyes and cried happy tears. 

    My heart was bursting at the seams with love.  Seeing my husband, the man I love more than anything, hold our little boy was the most magical moment.  I never knew I could love him THAT much. 

    My little Farm Boy
    Born 10-11-12 at 12:47pm 8lbs and 21 inches long (just 3.5 hours after his mom did not think she was in labor)
    Perfect and full of life.  Ready to teach his mom and dad just how much they can love.

    Happy Birthday son, I love you to the moon and back. 

    This post was shared on:

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    Breastfeeding: A Lesson in Humility

    So this blog post has been something I have been avoiding… something I didn’t think I would be able to write, but knew I had to. When I would consider writing it, I would paralyze with fear thinking you all would think I was a fraud or hypocrite.   Then, something interesting happened, I had a phone call with a great friend that quickly put life into prospective.  I realized by not sharing this story I was being selfish, I would have truly been a fraud. So here goes nothing…
    Where do I begin…?
    I remember when I first found out I was pregnant, ohh the flooding of advice you receive. The great stories and the ugly stories….The solicited and un-solicited comments that you just can’t even imagine people would really say out loud…let alone to a first time mom.  Thankfully I felt pretty grounded and confident in my journey to motherhood and had a great support system that enabled me to let the bad things go and embrace the good.  I was sure of two things 1) I was going to do everything in my power to bring this baby boy into the world healthy and safe 2) I was going to breastfeed as long as I could for sure for the first year, hopefully two years.

    By the grace of God I had a fairly easy pregnancy and enjoyed an amazing birth that I did not deserve, it was gift that only He can provide.  I got #1 done. My 8lb baby boy was delivered and laid on my chest immediately, he we was perfect in every way and latched on and began nursing just like nature intended.  IT WAS MAGIC or at least it felt that way.  I was overwhelmed with the fact that he just did it, like the books say he will, but I had been convinced by lots of moms it would be hard; I was convinced we would have to work at it; I was in disbelief that it could be that easy.

    For the first 24 hours while we were in the hospital I was obsessed with charting, when he ate, how long he ate, how he was latched on, if he was doing it right…. I begged the nurses to bring in a lactation consultant because – there was no way, me, a first time mom could possibly be doing this right... Now please, please do not take offense to me saying this. I KNOW that breastfeeding can be a challenge, I KNOW this is NOT the case for everyone, that is why I was convinced I was doing it wrong.   The nurse kept telling me I was fine and to look at the wet and soiled diapers that we perfect.  Finally I gave in, reluctantly, and left the hospital without seeing a lactation consultant, but confident that they must be right.

    Months passed and my little one was a speed eater, he was on a schedule, and we were doing it!  He would drain a boob like it was his job …. Ok I guess it kind of was his job.  I was able to lend advice to other moms and felt so blessed and lucky that our breastfeeding journey was so natural.  Of course I had moments of “wait…did he get enough?”…”why is his poop neon green?”….”ughhh when do I get my freedom back… ? is he seriously hungry AGAIN!”….it was so wonderful and so demanding all at the same time.  I remember thinking; we got this, 1 year – easy, 2 years, pretty likely.  I had pictured what it would be like to nurse him when I was pregnant with my second.  I pictured what weaning would look like.  I thought of donating my extra milk supply to a milk bank.  

    But then… at 6 months many of these thoughts started to disappear. My confidence disappeared as quickly as it had come. I had been back working 3 days a week and pumping every 3 hours while at work.  I was dedicated and determined to supply my little one 100% breast milk until he was fully weaned.  There was NO WAY I was giving him chemical laden poison (aka formula).  Yup that is totally how I felt and it is what kept me motivated to hook up the pump with my chair pressed against the only door that had a lock (but I didn't trust it) in my office.   I hated feeling like a Jersey Dairy cow and hated that I had to tell my male dominated field of co-workers and clients that I needed a “mom break” when we were in meetings or out surveying.  However, I LOVED giving my son the best milk he could have, the perfect start for his life, I was proud to bring in bags of breast milk to day care, and snuffed at the cans of formula that lined the shelves for other kids.  I was not humble…. I needed a lesson in humility and I got it.

    From about 6 months on, my son’s demand far surpassed my supply.  My freezer stock was being used to supplement what I was pumping at work. I could not keep up… he wanted more and more… and I was producing less and less.  I tried everything: supplements, more water, waking up at 4 am and pumping while he was still sleeping, increased calorie intake, more breastfeeding, pumping after every nursing, pumping until my nipples were sore….   Thankfully we introduced solids at 6 months (that is for another post), and we limped along until he was about 9 months old.   At 9 months, I did not have 1 drop of pumped milk to send him to day care, I was beside myself. 

    Crushed, confused, mad, sad, frustrated, hurt, lonely… how could this be happening to me?  And there inly the problem… I thought this was about ME…. I attached all this emotion to something I obviously did not have control over. Something that was starting to hurt my son.  I felt I had this image to uphold.  Here I was the one that always preached about breastfeeding, natural parenting, REAL food, not eating/drinking processed crap.  Now I was going to have to give my kid, the one thing I NEVER wanted to give him and admit to people that I did it.  I cried and sobbed into my ever supportive husbands arms, as much as he did not understand, he tried, he tried to understand what it was like for a mom to feel inadequate to provide their son the nutrition he needs.   He tried to tell me it was ok and that so many moms give their children formula that they are just fine.  I would argue with him that “I am not other moms and those kids are not fine!”…. ohhh how low of a point that was.   It is so hard for me to tell you this story, to admit that this strong, tenacious, educated, natural farm girl, mama is soo very weak.  Thank you for giving me grace, thank you for understanding that even when someone seems to have it all together… they too carry a cross… we all carry our own cross…
    So at 9 months… my son had his first bottle of formula and he loved it, he sucked it down as if it were the greatest thing he ever tasted and wanted more.  My poor baby had been hungry and my pride got in the way of what was best for him.
    Moving forward I still pumped, I still pushed myself to produce as much milk as possible, but he needed at least 1, sometimes 2 bottles a day of formula.  I researched and researched the best brand and settle on this one (  Looking back,  I probably should have made my own, but I will wait for another post to dive into that. For a store bought formula, I am happy with my choice.   I was in such denial of the situation I would try to hide giving my son formula (yep… hello crazy!)…
    A couple more months passed and I notice my supply was continuing to reduce, my son started to refuse to nurse and would even avoid laying down on my lap in anticipation that I was going to have him nurse.  It was heartbreaking!!   It was so far from natural I couldn’t comprehend what was happening.   I would get well meant advice to just keep trying (which I did), take a day and just nurse as much as possible (tried…), but nothing was working.  He was weaning himself before my eyes and he was only 11 months old.   He was done nursing and there was nothing I could do to make him continue.
    As I write this post, it has been 3 days since he truly nursed, I have gotten him to suckle a little in the early morning while we snuggle in bed together, but once he realizes what he is doing… he quickly sits up and plays with my face laughing and chit chatting. He is done… and I am not.
    This was not how it was supposed to end, this was not my plan…but I have no choice, you can’t force a baby to latch on, when they decide it is over, you are at their mercy.   Ohh how humbled I have been.
    My mom has said since my son was just days old “this boy is either hot or cold, on or off, he knows what he wants”.  Boy did she call it.  Once he decided he was done, he was done… he does not miss it, he does not put his hand down my shirt, he does not ask for it… it as if he never was that perfect breastfeeding baby I used to describe.   He is now even started to give up on formula and just eat solids, it all happens too fast!
    So what is the moral of this story, why did I feel I had to write it? I am here to say, I was the biggest advocate of breastfeeding and did all I could to nurse my son until he was at least a year, but I couldn’t…. I have come to grips that I didn’t fail… I didn’t give up… sometimes babies just make up their mind and there is nothing we can do.  If I had to do it all over again I would, no regrets, it has all be a humbling, eye opening, sympathy creating experience.  If this had not happened to me I don’t know if I would be as good of a mother, friend, blogger, wife…   as hard as this was for me emotionally… I am better for it.

    I might be judged by others…. But I vow to never judge myself for making a good, informed, decision for me and my family! 

    Le Creuset Cookware Giveaway - Closed

     I'm so excited to have my first giveaway on the first day of my little boys first birthday month!  ok ok... can you tell I am a first time mama? So sappy!
    How can you blame me? Look at this cute fella! 

    You might remember, last week I polled you all on Facebook asking you what you would want to win. Many of you asked "How are you giving away such a BIG item for your first giveaway?".  Well here is the AWESOME news: 
    I am joining forces with some incredible paleo/real food bloggers and offering you a HUGE giveaway for my first giveaway!  They were all so supportive and just as excited as I was to bring this to all of you!  After polling you all on Facebook and asking what you would want to win, the item that came in first place was: the 5 Piece Le Creuset Cookware

    This set includes:
    • 3 1/2 qt. Signature Round Dutch Oven with Lid
    • 1 1/4 qt. Iron Handle Precision Pour Saucepan with Lid
    • 9" Signature Iron Handle Skillet.
    Le Creuset is an enameled cast iron that will last FOREVER. This type of cookware can be handed down to your children, it lasts THAT long! Cast iron provides even distribution of heat when cooking and stays warm for a long time. The enamel protects the cast iron from acids like tomatoes and vinegar. I have a tradition cast iron pan that I love as well, but the enameled cast iron is over the top amazing!  It is great for roasting, stewing, baking, frying, sauteeing, etc..I could go on and on.  I is a must-have for every kitchen!

    Le Creuset is the cream of the crop and I have been wanting a set like this forever!  I have a 3 1/2 qt. Le Creuset casserole dish that was given to us for a wedding gift and I use it at least 3 times a week, I am sure you have seen it on many of my recipe photos. I LOVE it. Do you wish you had this set too?  Your votes said YES! So here is your opportunity to WIN IT FOR FREE! This set is valued at $400 on Amazon. Seriously, go check it out RIGHT NOW and if you are like me and love a good sale and have no patients... you can actually buy it now (on sale on for 25% off!).  Then if you win you can give one of the sets away or heck - have two!  These will be the only pots and pans you will need in your kitchen and after using them, you're gonna want to donate all your old ones.  I gave my mom one of the Signature Road Dutch Ovens for Christmas last year and she told me "don't buy me anything else ever again... just keep adding to this set!"  OK - OK Enough - how do I win? 

    Enter to win this 5 Piece Le Creuset Cookware Set ($400 value)!


    1) Click to take a closer look at this set at this set! Winner will get to choose their color.
    (After reading about it come back here to complete steps steps 2-5.)

    2) Subscribe to Yuppie Farm Girl, my newsletter highlighting the latest posts from me! I will not share your email address with a third party. It is solely used for my newsletter and updates from The Yuppie Farm Girl. 

    3) Leave me a comment and let me know the first thing you will make with your new Le Creuset Cookware set!

    4) Use the Rafflecopter widget below to confirm your entries and unlock more! 
    You can earn extra entries by following the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget. This giveaway is open to everyone, but the Le Creuset set will only be shipped to U.S. or Canadian residents. Winners who live outside of these areas will receive an Amazon gift card in the amount of the item sale price on Amazon.

    5) Be sure to check out this giveaway's co-hosting bloggers for more chances to win! It is all because of these lovely bloggers that I was able to bring you this HUGE giveaway.  By showing them some love, you get extra entries!! Yes, you heard me right. You can go to each blog below and enter again:

    One winner will be chosen via We will announce the lucky winner on Tuesday, October 14, 2013. The winner will have 48 hours to contact (thepaleomama at gmail dot com) with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.