Squirrel!! And Other Reasons We’re “Messed-Up”

Hi, I’m Stacy and this is my Messed-Up Kitchen.

Why is it so messed-up?  Well, I call it that for a couple of reasons.

One, there are four kids, ranging in age from 8-14 who mess it up with their dirty dishes, school papers, arts and crafts, iPhones, tablets, dirty socks (yup) and overall drips and drops.  This is the “actual” mess in my kitchen on a daily, on-going basis.


Two, and the reason I decided to start this blog, is our messed-up menu.  For years I have listened to my friends lament about picky eaters and making multiple meals, and while I could sympathize, I was unable to empathize.  My kids always ate well, even veggies, fish, chicken, pretty much just about whatever I put in front of them – except tomatoes, but that’s for another day.  But my day has come…

We are the “MessedUp” Kitchen because, well, now I try and feed six people within the following parameters:

  1. Gluten free (x1)
  2. Lactose intolerant (x2)
  3. Vegetarian (x1)
  4. Adaptable (with 8 soccer practices, 2 baseball practices, a piano lesson and a tennis lesson each week our meals have to be able to travel AND/OR be eaten at home and definitely re-heatable)
  5. Efficient (see above)
  6. Budget-friendly (do NOT see me for advice on this, but I do know people you can talk to)

For example, if you are ever in the neighborhood and in need of a “weird”, diet-specific ingredient, I can almost bet you I have it in my messed-up pantry.

Keto you say?  Why yes, I have MCT oil, coconut butter, collagen peptides and nutritional yeast flakes.

Paleo?  We always have a ton of pasture-raised, farm-to-table chicken eggs, grass-fed beef, coconut oil and Ghee on hand.

No meat for you?  Black beans, Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burgers and rice at your service!

Gluten got you down?  What kind of GF pasta do you like?  Macaroni?  Spaghetti?  How about GF banana muffins and Udi toast?  Need to borrow Almond or rice flour, I got’cha covered.

Cleansing with Joe on an all juice diet?  I’ll get out my juicer and veggies!

Smoothie breakfast?  At some point I decided I needed a Vitamix and have a freezer full of frozen fruit and usually an overly ripe banana on my counter.

Lactose free zone?  Do you prefer Almond or Coconut milk in your cereal?  Or perhaps soy or almond creamer in your coffee?  (Recently my Daiya shredded cheese expired, sorry.)

I even have some Advocare Spark and breakfast shakes if you want them…no I do NOT sell it, you can just have mine. 😉

And I am NOT joking – you can find ALL of the above, in my fridge, freezer or pantry at this very moment.


So we are pretty messed up.  And why did I titled this post “Squirrel!”  Well, have you ever seen Pixar’s “Up”?  If so, you for sure remember when Doug, the dog, gets distracted every few minutes and yells “Squirrel!”  I’ve decided that is my life motto and what adds to the messiness of my kitchen repertoire.  I am every telemarketer/pyramid schemer/fad dieter’s dream girl.

“What?! You have been successful doing “xyz”?!  Well, I was all-in on the Keto thing, but…sure!” (Squirrel!)


My brain pretty much goes:

“I should definitely eat Keto, I just read the Keto Diet and it just makes so much sense!  Plus, it’s backed by science.”

“Wait, we shouldn’t eat dairy.  Have you read about casein and what it does to your body?  I just read Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Diet and the Skinny Bitch cookbook- it’s all in there! Oh, and by the way, I might be Vegan now too.  Plus, it’s backed by science”

“I just finished reading Wheat Belly and …guys, guys, did you know that PLANTS are killing us and the environment?!  Science says so!”

“I just watched Forks Over Knives…guys, guys, did you know that ANIMAL MEAT is killing us and the environment?!  Science says so!”

2018-12-04 12.25.42


How’s a girl suppose to put a fast, packable, budget-friendly, lactose-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, sugar-free, chemical-free, environmentally- and gut-friendly meal on the table for the six of us who, obviously, all sit down together to eat as a family because science says it will help me raise good kids, kind of dinner!?

You can shove it science! 

I mean, I love science and all, but do you know what my poor brain does now every time I go to the grocery store?  The internal debates I have about whether or not I’m killing my kids one meal at a time if I don’t choose organic, or make everything from scratch, not to mention delicious and cheap!  Maybe grocery stores are like Vegas casinos where they pump extra oxygen in so I feel like Betty-frick’in-Crocker, the kitchen goddess, when I’m there, only to realize, usually less than 24-hours later, that I am NOT and I’m pulling some processed something out of my freezer or running through a drive-through…again.

So, that’s my my messed-up kitchen.  My hope is I can help you and me find a place where we can find a little bit of something for everyone.  Even if it’s just sanity.  We are not a one-size-fits-all family and neither are you.  Own that messed-up kitchen of yours!  And remember – cereal definitely counts as dinner.


Books: The Keto Diet, The Kind Diet, Skinny Bitch, Against All Grain, How Can It Be Gluten Free, Make Ahead Paleo, Rocco’s Healthy and Delicious**Don’t forget your local libraries are GREAT places to check these books out before you buy!**

Muffins: Healthy Banana Oat Muffins (I used King Arthur’s GF All Purpose Flour as a replacement) (GF, V) *There is brown sugar, but no white sugar*

Cake Stand: Home Goods




The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Why I created this space:

I spend way too much time searching around for a site that offered information and insight for families that had varying dietary needs, like ours, and were as chaotic and messy as ours.  What I found were lots of recipes with specialty foods, tons of ingredients, a sink full of dirty dishes and a pantry chock-full of left over one-dish ingredients.  Time researching, time shopping, time prepping, time cooking, minimal time spent eating said meal, time cleaning up.  It was exhausting.  I sooo tired of hunting down recipes that would feed a family of six, where one was a vegetarian and one was keto/paleo/no gluten (p.s. we totally disregard the lactose intolerance at this point and just take lactaid).  PLUS, most nights it had to be easy to make or travel well to soccer, baseball or tennis.  HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?  Did I mention that it’d be nice if it was healthy, budget-friendly and something everyone would eat.

Disclaimer: we USE to be a non-fussy family.  My kids weren’t/aren’t picky (although I feel a bit like a fraud saying that now-a-days).  They eat brussel sprouts, salmon, most green veggies (with a little coaxing).  They don’t usually care for tomatoes and my husband is the only one who really likes things super spicy, but other than that, we were “normal” eaters.  UNTIL, my second oldest daughter decided (for humane reasons) that she was a vegetarian (almost a year ago) and my doctor told me I had NCGI (non-celiac gluten intolerance) and insulin resistance.  Oh, and recently diagnosed with Diabetes and high blood pressure.

Now our home has, quite literally, become….the hunger games.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton