Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Finding Freedom Within Motherhood




This week we’ve hunkered down and hidden ourselves away from the blistering cold weather and flu bugs that are so easily being passed around from family to family. We decided to use this time to potty train our two year old, which we quickly discovered that it’s not an easy feat. I’ve spent the last few days feeling anxious and feeling trapped, imprisoned if you will, at times in my role as a mother. How quickly I’ve found myself getting lost in all the mundane ordinary days of spending every 20 minutes rushing a toddler to the potty or staying home to tend to a sick toddler as the world around me keeps spinning. Feeling the sting of my discontent heart burn as I see the incredible travels and accomplishments of my friends as I sit here with 4 day unwashed hair, mismatched socks, and snot covered sweats.  When did motherhood begin to feel like a prison? How can it be the most joyous role in my life, but also one of the weightiest?

For the past few weeks, my husband and I have been reading morning devotions together out of “ The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas A Kempis. A few days ago, we entered into the book on self-sacrifice. In the chapter of “Self-Denial”, my heart was struck by this passage, “My friend, you cannot possess perfect freedom unless you completely deny yourself. Many are enslaved by riches, love for themselves, selfishness, curiosity, discontentedness, and by the search for creature comforts. These selfish things, which people continually plan, devise, and seek after are not my things and will pass away. Hold fast to this short but essential saying: “Give up all things and you will find all things; give up your lust and you will find rest.”

I realized that the imprisonment that I have been feeling isn’t necessarily motherhood in and of itself, but rather my desire to seek after a life of pleasure. Motherhood is a daily sacrifice of ones own comforts for the sake of another. Each day it requires of us to pour ourselves into providing safety, nourishment, love, and mental energy which often leaves us feeling mentally, emotionally, and sometimes spiritually drained, too drained to pour ourselves into much else.

The discontentedness that rises in my heart as I watch the friends and family travel the world, create successful photography/videography businesses, or enjoy the freedom of having no responsibilities is rooted in not seeing just how great and valuable my role is as a mother. I’m blinded by what the world holds as valuable and completely missing the great depth of meaning that my role is in this world.

Matthew 16:25 says, “If you try to hang onto your life you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” I’ve truly come to believe that the work that we do as mothers is a way in which we give our lives to the Lord. We are tending to his creation and being obedient to his will in our lives. The way in which our self-denial is liberating, is that it doesn’t take away our monotony. The routines and mundane days stay the same, but self-denial opens up a higher form of life, namely, an opportunity to participate in Christ.


Motherhood doesn’t have to feel like imprisonment. There is freedom in the self-sacrifice. There is immense joy in giving your life up to another. As I enter into a new year with new intentions and resolutions set before me, I’m choosing to remove the chains that I so often feel in the mundane and ordinary days of motherhood and set my eyes upon the freedom and growth of obediently sacrificing myself up for another. This year, I seek after the richness of joy and love as my toddler reaches a new milestone, rather than focus on the efforts it took to get him there, I will be kind to myself and give myself grace when the days are long and hard, and I will acknowledge the value of my work as a mother.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Birth PTSD + How It's Affected This Pregnancy


Waking up with another night terror and my pillow is soaked in sweat--it's the same dream all over again. I'm being wheeled into an operating room, my arms are tied down, I'm cold, shaking uncontrollably and I'm worried Jack won't be able to be with me during the surgery. I can feel the tugging, hear the chatter of weekend plans, and in that moment I do not matter--my birth is another number and my skin is just another stitch that they have to make. 

This dream haunted me for months, almost a year even. The dust has settled and Jackson has been in our arms for almost 2 years. The dreams have faded, but the fear has not. 

I fought with every fiber in my being to birth naturally. 40 hours and 3 hours of pushing a child that was sunny-side up and tilted into my hip bone. I felt alone, abandoned, and weak (was that the reality of my birth? Was I truly abandoned and alone other than my sweet husband and hands-on nurse? I'm not sure, but that is how I felt and perceived my experience.) My doctor didn't shift me side to side nor try to assist the baby to turn. I lost strength, was tired, lifted my white flag, and was whisked away to the operating room.

I was terrified inside. So frightened that I refused to open my eyes as we pushed passed the door and I felt the cold sterile air hit my body. My contractions at this point had melted into one another. They sat me up, my tender nurse held my face into her hands, and the anesthesiologist resident took directions from the anesthesiologist on how to put in the spinal block. She poked three different parts of my spine asking me to let her know which one was the center. I finally felt a prick and then relief spread into my body. 

They laid me down, prepping my body for surgery. I was still alone listening to surgeons talk about weekend plans and Jack was still not by my side. I had yet to open my eyes and I felt the pressure of them cutting my skin before they allowed Jack in the room. I began to panic until finally he was by my side. 

I replay the scenes in my head often and the fear is like a loud bell clanging in my head. My body tense and palms sweaty. I suffer from birth PTSD. 

I never knew birth PTSD was a real condition. I had never once met someone that openly shared it. It is termed Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

An article from the Atlantic reads, 
"Many people, including doctors, confuse postpartum PTSD with postpartum depression, even though the two disorders are quite different: Mothers with postpartum depression generally don’t suffer from the intrusive memories and flashbacks that plague PTSD sufferers. Instead, they most commonly deal with things like sadness, trouble concentrating, difficulty finding joy in activities they once enjoyed, and difficulty bonding with their infants."
After reading this article (and searching out other experiences like mine) I realized that what I thought was postpartum depression was actually something much deeper. 

How common is postpartum post-traumatic stress syndrome? 

Studies have shown that 9 percent of women suffer from PTSD after a traumatic birth experience. (Birth Trauma: Definition and Statistics by Penny Simkin, PT, PATTCh Founder) 

What are the symptoms? 
"The diagnosis is based on the following criteria that have been paraphrased from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (9): at least nine symptoms, from the following categories, lasting for at least one month:
  • Intrusive recollections, such as:
  • Nightmares; flashbacks; feeling the traumatic event is recurring; intense psychological or physiological reactions when reminded of the event
  • Avoidance/numbing reactions, such as:
  • Avoiding thoughts feelings, location or people associated with the trauma; Avoiding situations in which it can recur; amnesia of parts of the event; diminished interest in significant activities; detachment from others; inability to feel loving feelings; sense of foreshortened future.
  • Hyperarousal, for example:
  • Difficulty sleeping; irritability or angry outbursts; difficulty concentrating; hyper-vigilance; exaggerated startle response; panic attacks or symptoms
  • Functional impairment, such as:
  • Significant distress in social, occupational or other areas of functioning"
After Jackson was born, I struggled internally with bonding. That huge rush of immediate love never came, although I did love my sweet newborn I struggled because it wasn't at all how I pictured that love would be. I felt broken and I felt as if I hadn't earned my Motherhood badge because he was pulled out of an incision instead of being birthed into the world. The next day, I was terrified of any little thing the nurses were doing--any IV being fed, the catheter being pulled out, and I couldn't dare look at the incision. It took two and a half weeks for me to look at my scar or even touch it. I couldn't bare the thought of it. 

How It's Affected This Pregnancy

I am 31 weeks pregnant with another little boy. I find myself facing flashbacks and being fearful of something terrible happening in the pregnancy or at birth. This pregnancy was a surprise, one of the best surprises, and from the moment we found out I feared we would lose the baby and worse I've feared that I will die in birth. It wasn't until a few months ago that I realized that I suffer from birth PTSD. 

This pregnancy has been beautiful and easy thus far. There has been very little morning sickness, only a handful of headaches, and I've been able to maintain a healthy diet and exercise through out it. There hasn't been any red flags from my doctors and I've been cleared for a VBAC and yet fear has me wound in its grip. I'm terrified I'll be wheeled into the operating room all over again. 

I've spent the last several months praying, seeking prayer from others, and reading many positive natural VBACs. Every day that passes, I'm reminded of that fear, but I'm also focused on my strength. God alone is my strength. Fear can't hold me down because I find my rest in Him. 

I have no grand solution on how to beat birth PTSD, nor do I think that it is something that I can recover from quickly, but everyday I choose to push through it and fight for a healthy mindset. This is a condition that so many women choose to not talk about or quite possibly don't even realize that what they're experiencing has a name. My goal in sharing my experience is that I can spread light into this darkness and help someone else understand their own experience. It's not something to be ashamed of, but rather something that can be shared in order to start the healing process. 

What's your story? Do you struggle with birth PTSD? How have you been able to overcome it? Did affect your other pregnancies? 

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Best Sweet Potato Chili


I cringe at the thought of the dreary cold weather that is making it's way toward us, but one thing that has helped make the cold bearable is a delicious pot of homemade chili. After recipe testing several chili recipes, I have finally found one that puts all other chili recipes to shame. My sweet potato chili is bold in flavor, packed with protein and veggies, and hearty enough that you won't even miss the meat!

The Best Sweet Potato Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs Avocado Oil
  • 1 Red Onion, Diced
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Sweet Potato, Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Can Green Chilies
  • 1 Can Original Rotel
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 1 Can Pinto Beans
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Tbs Homemade Taco Seasoning
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Avocado
  • Onion, diced
  • Cilantro, Chopped

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium-high heat, pour oil and saute onion, orange pepper, sweet potato, and garlic.
  2. Pour all remaining ingredients into the pot, stir, and bring to a boil.
  3. Once chili begins to boil, lower the temperature to medium-low or low heat, cover, and let it cook for 35 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Top with cheese, avocado, plain greek yogurt, diced onion, and chopped cilantro.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Baking With Mama | Gluten-Free Caramelized Apple Crisp


I spent the afternoon with Jackson in one of our favorite places--the kitchen. He loves to climb up on the counter and help me cook. It has easily become one our favorite things to do together because I know that he is able to see my love for cooking and I am able to see his face light up when he discovers something new. I've had to learn patience and move at a much slower pace than I am use to, I've had to throw aside cleanliness and just embrace the sometimes chaotic nature of my kitchen, but most importantly I've had to learn how to acknowledge his interests and pour into those areas to continually build his interest. As long as he has a spatula, or two, he is perfectly content to sit.

In between, prepping ingredients and and caramelizing apples, Jackson discovered the left over bubbles in the sink. I watched as the sunlight danced through the window and kissed his sweet joyful little face. The joy those bubbles brought him, spread quickly over to me. 

We made a gluten-free caramelized apple crisp with a pecan, walnut, and date crust. It turned out being such a light and decadent afternoon treat, but the sweetest part of this treat was the experience that I was able to have with my curious little toddler. 

Gluten-Free Caramelized Apple Crisp 

  • 7 Dates, Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • Handful Of Pepitas
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil (Or Butter)
  • Handful Of Purely Elizabeth Granola
  • 2 Apples, Peeled and Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Tbs Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Purely Elizabeth Granola
1. Soak the pitted dates in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and pour into a blender.
2. Add nuts and olive oil into the blender/food processor and blend until everything begins sticking together.
3. Move to a bowl, add a handful of granola, and press into a baking dish. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and set your crust aside.
4. In a skillet, pour olive oil over medium-heat. In a bowl, toss sliced apples, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. Pour the apples into the skillet and stir for 2 minutes. Cover and lower the temperature to medium-low so that they can caramelize.
5. Once your apples are caramelized, pour them over the crust, top with granola, and bake for 10 minutes.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Crockpot Chicken Tacos


One thing that I've come to learn about being a mom is that with all of the many hats I have to wear, one is bound to drop sometime. Usually the hat that starts to drop for me is the one that comes at the end of the day--dinner. After chasing around a toddler with my six-month pregnant belly, doing laundry, cleaning the house, running errands, and just trying to keep our house in working order, I'm  exhausted. That's why that I've learned to lean on my crockpot a little more and save myself some time to just rest and eat at the end of the day.

Ever since my husband and I first got married, nachos have been a huge staple in our weekly meals. Let's face it, nachos are the perfect "poor man's" meal. It doesn't take a lot to make nachos delicious, but this crockpot chicken nacho recipe takes nachos to the next level. Make your own homemade pico de gallo and you've easily created a meal that will be a winner with your family.


In a crockpot, place 3 frozen chicken breasts, cover with 2 cans of original rotel, and 3 Tbs of homemade taco seasoning. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. When your chicken has about 30 minutes left, shred chicken, and add a can of black beans.


Chop 1 onion, 3-4 roma tomatoes, a handful of cilantro, and pour into a bowl. Juice 1 lime, mince 1 large garlic clove, crack fresh pepper, add a pinch of salt, and mix together.


Crockpot Chicken Nachos

Ingredients

  • 3 Frozen Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Cans Original Rotel
  • 3 Tbs Homemade Taco Seasoning (Recipe Below)
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • Greek Yogurt (Or Sour Cream)
  • Homemade Pico De Gallo
  • Shredded cheese
  • Avocado

Directions

  1. In a crockpot, place 3 frozen chicken breasts, cover with 2 cans of original rotel, and 3 Tbs of homemade taco seasoning. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. When your chicken has about 30 minutes left, shred chicken, and add a can of black beans.
  2. Chop 1 onion, 3-4 roma tomatoes, a handful of cilantro, and pour into a bowl. Juice 1 lime, mince 1 large garlic clove, crack fresh pepper, add a pinch of salt, and mix together.
  3. Now it's time to assemble your nachos! Over a bead of crispy tortilla chips, top with crockpot chicken, a handful of shredded cheese, a spoonful of greek yogurt, a scoop of pico de gallo, and sliced avocado.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tbs Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Pepper

Directions

  1. Mix in a bowl and store in an air tight container.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Finding Gratitude In The Not Yet


I spent the better part of my Wednesday bitter, angry about our circumstances, and wishing we'd be past this and into the place in life where we want to be. My attitude was terrible. I cried, I grumbled, and I felt very ungrateful. I spent the day dreading writing this blog because "Finding Gratitude In The Not Yet" just wasn't possible for me to muster up.

I just needed fresh air, to go outside and just be surrounded by people. I needed to go out and be a person, not just a mommy, wife or care taker. I just needed to be. My toddler just finished the biggest meltdown in public, I spent money on an over-priced coffee that was so bitter I couldn't enjoy it, and I felt like running from responsibility. 

While I was on my walk, I looked around, listened to my toddler point out the many things I wouldn't have noticed otherwise, and I was brought back to that place of joy. It wasn't that I needed to step out and be a person, I just needed to find comfort in living in all of the roles that I've been carrying. I needed to see the beauty of the right now--even in the muck. My toddler opened my eyes to that on Wednesday. I wasn't truly living. I was going forth, eyes blurred, just trying to survive. 

God used my toddler to show the areas that I lacked gratitude by showing me all of the little things that brought him gratitude. I may not be where I long to be in terms of location and finances, but this in between space is still life that needs to be well lived. There are plenty of things to be grateful for. Life isn't paused until we get to our end goals--it's moving forward. Time is passing, my babies are growing, and good things are still happening. I'm better because of my walk on Wednesday with Jackson. I feel free to be thankful in this place. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

3 Healthy Thanksgiving Dishes


I spent all afternoon in the kitchen with my toddler recipe testing, taking pictures, and teaching him to hopefully love cooking as much as I do. So far, it seems that my love of being in the kitchen is starting to rub off on him because everyday the first thing that he does is head straight for the kitchen, arms wide, and saying "I sit! I sit!" as he points to the counter. 

My kitchen was an absolute disaster, but it's there in those moments that we create memories. Listening skills are still a little hard to come by, but then again I can't expect much from an almost two-year old. He helped stir, pour, and hand me vegetables to cut. This went on for two hours and to my surprise (even with nap time being so close) we successfully, we meaning me too, didn't have any melt downs. 


There was a point during our time together in the kitchen, when I looked up at him while he tried to figure out the garlic press and my heart overflowed with joy. This child whom I created within my womb, quietly sits before me with his mind deeply engaged. When did he become a little person? I love this new stage. I love that I can slowly teach him about this world and all the beautiful things that we are capable of doing. This Thanksgiving I am grateful for the small wonders, the giggles, tiny hands lifted high asking to "siiit", the tiny baby growing inside of me, family, a home, bills that are paid, our health, and for the ability to create.

Today, this little toddler and I created 3 incredibly delicious healthy Thanksgiving recipes for you to add to your table this year. I hope these dishes become a staple in your home and that they are enjoyed with good conversation, joy, and an abundance of love from family and friends.

In a food processor, pour 1 cup of raw slivered almonds and grind until it becomes a chunky flour. Pour into a bowl, mix with 1 Tsp pepper, 1/2 Tsp salt, and 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder, and set aside. This is the "breading" for your crispy shallot topping.


 Now it's time to prepare your "creamy" sauce base. Begin by pouring 1 Cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 Cup + 2 Tbs raw slivered almonds, and blend until smooth. Set aside for later.


In a pot, pour 3 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in diced onion, celery, carrots, and minced garlic. Saute until the veggies are translucent and season with salt and pepper.


Add 1 package of frozen riced cauliflower and 2 cooked chicken thighs that have been shredded. Cook until cauliflower rice is hot and set aside.


In a skillet, pour 3 Tbs of water over medium-high heat. Once the water is steaming, add diced mushrooms, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and saute until the mushrooms are tender. Pour in the "creamy" sauce from the blender, turn heat to low, and let it simmer.


Pour the sauteed veggies into a baking dish, cover and stir in "creamy" sauce, add a splash of almond milk, and set aside. Have your oven preheated to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, toss your sliced shallots with 1 Tbs of olive oil, and then dust the shallots with the almond flour mix. In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute almond dusted shallots in 3 Tbs olive oil until fragrant and crispy. Cover the casserole with the crispy shallots and bake for 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 2 Carrots, Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Package Frozen Riced Cauliflower
  • 2 Baked Chicken Thighs, Shredded
  • Salt + Pepper
"Creamy" Sauce
  • 1 Cup + 2 Tbs Raw Slivered Almonds
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 6 Mushrooms, Diced
  • 3 Tbs Water
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
Crispy Shallot Topping
  • 3 Shallots, Sliced
  • 1 Cup Raw Slivered Almonds, Ground Into Flour
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pour 1 cup of raw slivered almonds and grind until it becomes a chunky flour. Pour into a bowl, mix with 1 Tsp pepper, 1/2 Tsp salt, and 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder, and set aside. This is the "breading" for your crispy shallot topping.
  2. Now it's time to prepare your "creamy" sauce base. Begin by pouring 1 Cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 Cup + 2 Tbs raw slivered almonds, and blend until smooth. Set aside for later.
  3. In a pot, pour 3 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in diced onion, celery, carrots, and minced garlic. Saute until the veggies are translucent and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add 1 package of frozen riced cauliflower and 2 cooked chicken thighs that have been shredded. Cook until cauliflower rice is hot and set aside.
  5. In a skillet, pour 3 Tbs of water over medium-high heat. Once the water is steaming, add diced mushrooms, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and saute until the mushrooms are tender. Pour in the "creamy" sauce from the blender, turn heat to low, and let it simmer.
  6. Pour the sauteed veggies into a baking dish, cover and stir in "creamy" sauce, add a splash of almond milk, and set aside. Have your oven preheated to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, toss your sliced shallots with 1 Tbs of olive oil, and then dust the shallots with the almond flour mix. In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute almond dusted shallots in 3 Tbs olive oil until fragrant and crispy. Cover the casserole with the crispy shallots and bake for 10 minutes.

Your Thanksgiving plate doesn't have to be boring or dull in flavor. This salad incorporates all of the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving without causing your cholesterol to sky rocket. This bed of beautiful greens is topped with roasted oven baked turkey, dried cranberries, crunchy raw crushed pecans, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and drizzled with a tangy homemade dijon vinaigrette dressing.

Ingredients

  • Handful of Mixed Greens
  • 1 Roasted Turkey Breast, Shredded
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Raw Pecans, Crushed
  • Parmesan Cheese
Dressing
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Lemon, Juiced
  • 1 Shallot, Minced
  • Cracked Pepper + Pink Salt

Directions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. It can be stored for up to a week in a sealed container.
  2. Assemble Salad and drizzle with the homemade dressing.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Dice up 1 loaf of Gluten Free Bread. (I found this gluten-free multi-grain loaf at Meijer's and it's hands down the best gf bread i've tried) Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pour onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.


In a skillet, Saute 1 package of Italian sausage until thoroughly cooked and set aside.


In a pot, pour in 3 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat, saute onions, garlic, celery, and carrots until translucent. 


Toss in freshly chopped sage, thyme and rosemary into the pot, stir until fragrant, and set aside.


In a bowl, whisk one egg with 2 cups of vegetable (or chicken) broth and set aside.


Once your gluten-free bread is crispy, pour into a bowl, add the cooked sausage, cooked veggies and herbs, and the broth mixture. Stir until all ingredients are well combined and pour into a baking dish. 


Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 Loaf Gluten-Free Bread, Diced
  • 4 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 2 Carrots, Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Package Italian Sausage, Cooked
  • Handful of Fresh Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary, Chopped
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Broth

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Dice up 1 loaf of Gluten Free Bread. (I found this gluten-free multi-grain loaf at Meijer's and it's hands down the best gf bread i've tried) Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pour onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.
  2. In a skillet, Saute 1 package of Italian sausage until thoroughly cooked and set aside.
  3. In a pot, pour in 3 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat, saute onions, garlic, celery, and carrots until translucent.
  4. Toss in freshly chopped sage, thyme and rosemary into the pot, stir until fragrant, and set aside.
  5. In a bowl, whisk one egg with 2 cups of vegetable (or chicken) broth and set aside.
  6. Once your gluten-free bread is crispy, pour into a bowl, add the cooked sausage, cooked veggies and herbs, and the broth mixture. Stir until all ingredients are well combined and pour into a baking dish. 
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes.