A Life Lesson from Nanny McPhee

My day started at 3 this morning.  With the little one asking for a glass of water.  This isn’t like her, I thought, but gave her the water and tried to get back to sleep, knowing that the Husband (and I) would be getting up for good an hour and a half later.

But at 4, she called for us again.  And a 4:30, she threw up.  My son, hearing noises and seeing that lights were on, decided to start his day at 4:30 too.  I will say, he demonstrated a great deal of compassion for his sister, and was more than happy to “just watch a little movie with her”.

In an attempt to keep them both on the couch and “resting”, I went to Netflix to find a movie we hadn’t seen before.  And without much thought, I put on Nanny McPhee returns.  If you haven’t seen it, it is a lovely movie for kids.  A nice break from animated movies.  And the story line is perfect for even really little ones.

Anyway, at the very end of the movie there’s a wonderful quote:

“that’s the thing about Nanny McPhee; when need her but do not want her then she must stay.  When you want her but no longer need her, she must go”.

I love this quote.  Because in the context of the movie it is quite beautiful.  And in the context of life in general, it is so highly applicable . . . how many times in life are we handed things we don’t really want, but that we need.  And how often do we have to let go of things we want but no longer need?

Through the course of the day yesterday, I had occasion to hear several stories of people who have fallen into ill health.  One of the stories involved a mom of two young kids and cancer.  After hearing that story, all I wanted was to be home with my kids. My heart hurt for this woman I have never met and for her husband and kids.  I am all too familiar with what they are going through and wouldn’t wish it on a soul.  So today, while I could do without washing icky bedsheets, I am quite happy to spend the day in the company of my little one.  It’s exactly what we both need.

On a lighter note, with the Husband and I back in our “clean” eating routines (the kids are along for the ride too), I’ve been working on coming up with some new recipes that everyone will enjoy eating, but that fall within our eating guidelines (no sugar, no gluten (for the adults, not so much the kids), no processed food).  I am happy to report that I hit it out of the park on Monday with this chicken finger recipe.  Even the little one gobbled up her entire dinner (a rare feat in our house!).  I made a double batch (mostly because I had thawed 2 packages of chicken tenders and wanted to use them all up) we ate the equivalent of a single batch, and I froze the rest – the kids had them again last night – re-heated in the oven – and they were a hit the second time around too!

Almond Flour Chicken Fingers

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1/2lbs chicken tenders (or just use an equivalent weight of boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips)

1 cup blanched almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tsp smoked paprika

salt & pepper to taste

2 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 425 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  (I actually experimented and did one batch right on the cookie sheet, one with a Silpat and one with parchment paper – they all turned out the same, so use whatever you have on hand).
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them until they are well mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine the almond flour, paprika and salt and paper.
  4. Take each chicken strip, one at a time, dip it in the egg, shake off the excess egg, and then dredge it in the almond flour mixture.  Again, shake off the excess and put it on the pan. Continue until all the chicken strips have been coated.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your chicken strips.

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