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FamilyNutrition, Life Thoughts and Adventures

Hi, I'm Coreen Ward. Welcome to my blog. 

I am a mother to one sweet boy, wife to one supportive husband, owner of one crazy hairless cat, and an explorer to one adventurous life.  

I teach pilates and am a nutrition enthusiast with a fascination for functional medicine. 

I love sharing nutrition tips, recipes and creative solutions for the whole family.

Health /Nutrition

  • Coreen Ward

In 2005, there was a US study done that found 200 chemicals in newborn baby's cord blood. Granted, this was years ago, but I do not believe we have taken measures to change these numbers and...

CORD BLOOD!? Come on!

287 different chemicals were found and EVERY baby tested in the study had over 200 of these chemicals

  • 180 chemicals cause cancer in humans or animals

  • 217 chemicals are toxic to the brain and nervous system

  • 208 chemicals cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal testing

This means before these babies even saw light they were bombarded with toxins.

Then you add more toxins like...

  • soaps and lotions that are full of chemicals

  • clothing made and washed with chemicals

  • vaccines with adjuvants that load their immune system and detoxification system which isn't fully developed yet

  • antibiotics that can damage gut and immune function

These poor babies don't stand a chance.

No wonder we have children with...

  • Allergies

  • Asthma

  • Autism

  • Anxiety

And these are just the issues that start with the letter A!

This is why I am in this line of work.

This, right here, is why I quit every thing I knew and began a lifelong pursuit to help change families with functional medicine and nutrition.

What's my story?...

When Josh and I were adopting Max, we knew his birth mother had an opioid addiction.

We accepted that during the duration of her pregnancy she would be on Methadone, which is a narcotic used to treat drug addiction.

I took workshops to learn everything I could. I even went to my local methadone clinic to meet with a social worker on the subject. I did everything in my power to gain knowledge to help provide for our future baby.

When Max was born, so much was out of our control. Max was born addicted to methadone. He was under the care of his birth mother, nurses and staff.

Choices felt like gifts most new parents received. Josh and I waited for our time.

When we took Max home from the hospital, that June day (Josh and my anniversary to be exact) we couldn't wait to make choices for our future.

I knew providing a healing environment would help with Max's withdrawals.

  • We had chiropractors come to the house

  • We chose not to overload his system with vaccines

  • We used breast milk as a form of withdrawal support

Knowing what I know now, I would have done so much more.

But I take pride in... When you know better, you do better!

As a parent, you realize very quickly that there are few things you CAN control.

I decided nutrition for Max was my way.

I read book after book and made every meal for him from scratch.

Keeping grains, sugar and processed foods out for the first year of solid foods.

I fed him raw dairy, which I had to join a co-op to legally buy in NJ.

Today, he is healthy and happy and eats adventurously healthy foods.

Of course, he is still a kid. I let him have cake and pizza, but keep the basis of his diet real, unprocessed, whole foods.

Max is not your typical chicken tender kid.

I knew I was passionate about this subject and decided one day at Wegmans to make it my career.

I was shopping like any normal day and ran into a friend of mine.

She was stressed about what to feed her two year old twins and I offered her some of my time and suggestions. In that exact moment I knew... this is what I want to do for my life.

I want to help children and their parents thrive.

Sometimes I am super excited about positive change in our world.

Some days it is depressing to know so much needs to change.

I have my good days, I have my hard days.

Right now, as I write this blog, Max is having an epic meltdown about some toothbrush catastrophe.

I breathe and accept that I can't control everything.

I can't fix everything.

I can't help everyone...sometimes, even my own kid.

  • Coreen Ward

"In a perfect world, no one would need supplements. But given the stress of our modern life, the poor quality of our food supply, and the high load of toxins on our brains and bodies, most of us need a basic daily supply of the key, raw materials for all our enzymes and biochemistry to run as designed."

-Dr. Mark Hyman

I am all about eating your peas and carrots.

Beautiful, whole foods are what our body craves and deserves.

But what if you have a pea intolerance? What if, God forbid, the carrots are not organic?!

All jokes aside, sometimes food doesn't cut it for everyone. Many people have low stomach acid, or stressful lives, or even genetic disorders that keep them from absorbing the full nutrition that whole foods provide.

Not to mention, top soil erosion, bigger produce without added nutrients, and hybrid produce that look good and is more convenient to grow but is significantly less nutritious.

I am not a pill pusher, but I also know my limits. I personally have a genetic mutation that I discovered after going through a failed trail of IVF.

I have MTHFR. And no, I didn't just curse at you.

In basic terms, MTHFR keeps me from detoxing all sorts of toxins and makes me at greater risk for things like cancer, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune.

Folate and B12, along with other vitamins are very important for me.

Also, avoiding things like folic acid(the synthetic version of folate), processed foods, and heavy metals helps as well.

Everyone is different, so my three top supplements may not serve everyone the same.

And remember to always check with your doctor before starting anything new.

But if someone cornered me on the street and asked me to pick my top three supplements, this is what I would say:

Top Three Supplements I Love

• Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium is my overall favorite! The only issue with most magnesium supplements is that it is in the Citrate form, which is great for treating constipation. If constipation isn't your problem, try a different form like Glycinate or Threonate and you'll get better absorption.

I use Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate before bed to help me sleep.

  • 70% of americans are deficient in magnesium

  • bone health

  • prevents spasms

  • manages blood sugar

  • nerve function

  • brain function

  • gene maintenance

  • relaxing to body and brain

  • low magnesium and insulin resistance go hand in hand

  • needed for vitamin D absorption

• B Complex

I like the B vitamins for all the energy they give. Who doesn't need more energy?

Also, since they are water soluble, you pee out anything you don't need.

Fun fact: the bright yellow color is made mostly from B2 (Riboflavin) and it is not related to your absorption in any way.

Jarrow B- Right is a great, inexpensive brand.

  • increase energy level

  • supports metabolism

  • brain function

  • prevents infections

  • helps to detox body

  • helps with mood

  • cell health

• Probiotic

Probiotics work in a number of ways to help with digestion and health. They are not responsible for all the microbes within your body because most will all die out eventually. What probiotics do is helps your immune system relax. Every strain of bacteria is helpful for different issues. I never broadly recommend a probiotic without finding out about someone's health history.

Fermented items are a fantastic choice. The prices and variety of probiotics are endless. try for a braod spectrum (8+ strains) But here is a basic full spectrum that you can start low and slow. Klair Labs Ther-biotic Complete

  • digestion

  • protects the gut

  • relaxes and supports immune system

  • helps to detox body

  • helps with yeast overgrowth

  • helps with skin issues

  • mental health issues

  • helps with certain allergies

Look how many strains of bacteria and all the specific locations

What about Vitamin D?! you ask...

This vitamin is very popular. Even people who take zero supplements will proudly announce that they do take vitamin D.

I'm a big fan but there is more to vitamin D than you may realize.

  • Vitamin D needs ample Magnesium for absorption

  • Vitamin D is fat soluble so you can't just pee out the extra

  • Vitamin D3 acts as a steroid hormone (night sweats anyone?)

  • Excess vitamin D can cause immune suppression

  • Vitamin D3 does help with bone health but needs K2 in conjunction

  • It is usually deficient due to upstream causes like low magnesium, gut absorption issues or even problems with kidneys converting to active form.

I am happy you take your vitamin D, but add some magnesium to the mix and if your levels aren't going up for some reason then there may be something deeper going on.

Eat more greens! Go outside! Try something fermented!

And don't be afraid to supplement where needed.


All information you read on Eat Your Peas & Carrots is for informational and educational purposes only. Information is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. Statements within this site have not been approved by the FDA. These are my opinions and should not be interpreted as an attempt to offer a medical opinion. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medications, please consult your health care practitioner.

  • Coreen Ward

You lika' da meatballs? Well, this is my vegan version.

I know this sounds like an oxymoron but these Vegan Meatballs are yummmm! Even my veggie self-deprived hubby loves them.

I am trying to go vegan for three weeks while addressing some hormone imbalances.

So far, so good.

I am the only one in the household that is trying, so when it comes to dinner I gotta cook something tricky.

I was a vegan for a year after my final endometriosis surgery. I cut gluten and did low sugar.

I even took sugar out of my daily coffee.

(I impressed myself with that one.)

Sugar is a big craving for people with endometriosis.

I went a little hard core with my diet but it helped me to heel. I gradually started introducing food back in. That was years ago.

Now, I am mostly curious if I can pull off veganism again. I ain't gonna lie. I love food, all kinds, that includes bacon.....mmmm bacon.

But I am also very conscious of the hormone disruptors in meat and dairy. I am estrogen dominant and I am currently tackling it with some supplemental support and taking away meat, dairy and sugar for the most part. Gluten was already out of our diets due to the hubby being gluten sensitive.

So fun facts for you all. Here is a list of other items that mess with your hormones:

  • BPA-in canned food- especially with tomato which is an acid

  • Triclosan- in toothpastes and soaps

  • Oxybensone- in sunblock

  • Dioxine- mostly in meat, fish, milk, eggs and butter

  • Atrazine- in non organics mostly corn and unfiltered drinking water

  • Phthalates- in some plastics, fragrance- called “death-inducing signaling” in testicular cells... enough said

  • Perchlorate- in produce and milk- nearly impossible to avoid. Combat with iodine.

  • Fire Retardants- they are everywhere, whatcha gonna do?

  • Lead- little known fact, lead is stored in bone so when women have bone loss of any kind they may have an influx of lead coursing through their body

  • Arsenic- in unfiltered water, rice and juice concentrates- it is a natural occures in soil and ground water but we don't need a ton!

  • Mercury- in Silver Amalgam fillings, fish, and some adjuvants of vaccines- again it occurs naturally in nature but it loves to rest in fat cells...like your brain!

  • Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs)- in non-stick cookware. Try a cast iron skillet, you can actually gain iron and less PFC.

  • Organophosohate Pesticides- in non organic produce. Was originally used by Nazis for chemical warfare... Thanks NAZIS!!!! 😲

  • Glycol Ethers- in paints and cleaning products

Don't get scared. Crap is all around us. We have to be diligent and minimize what we can. Read labels now and then.

Okay! Now that I have scared you all from ever going outside of your house again.

Here is my recipe:

Vegan "Meatballs"

  • One peeled and cubed Eggplant

  • One 6 ounce carton of Baby Bella Mushrooms- finely chopped

  • Once small Onion - finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup Vegan "Bread Crumbs" (Chickpea Crumbs like Watusee)

  • 1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed- in place of egg

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO

  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder

  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano

  • 1 Tsp Dried Parsley

  • Salt and Pepper

If going vegetarian:

  • Feel free to use regular bread crumbs or Panko

  • Add Parmesan if you are feeling dairing- get it? dairy...daring

Heat oven to 400℉

In medium pot, put cubed Eggplant in with an inch of water. Cook with lid until tender- 10 or so minutes. While eggplant cooks, heat a medium pan with EVOO. Cook your Onions with salt and pepper until soft. Add chopped Mushrooms.

When eggplant is soft, put in mesh strainer and drain out moisture.

When Onion/Mushroom mix is soft, put in mesh strainer and drain out moisture.

Put Egglplant into mixing bowl, mix in Ground Flaxseed, salt and pepper. Add cooked Onion/Mushroom mix. Add spices and Bread Crumbs to the flavor and consistency of your choosing.

Wet hands to form 1 inch balls. Place on oiled cooking tray. Cook for 20 minutes. Flip and cook for additional 10 min. They should be brown and crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.