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Mother Essentials: Sara Forte

Written by Erin Feher

Need to spice up your dinner routine? Today’s Mother Essentials is for you. Sara Forte admits she is thinking about food pretty much all of the time—and we all get to reap the benefits. The founder of Sprouted Kitchen has spent ten years creating recipes for her popular blog, two cookbooks (one that is completely dedicated to meals in bowls, which we especially adore) and her new weekly meal planning program, Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club. She specializes in healthy food that’s easy to integrate into everyday life and stars mostly produce, whole grains, healthy fats, and natural sugar alternatives. Her happy test subjects include her 5-year-old son, Curran, and 4-year-old daughter, Cleo. We asked Sara what items she currently can’t live without—a.k.a. her Mother Essentials—below!

Clean Deodorant. “I’ve been using natural deodorant for awhile, but either got rashy or smelled funny by 10 a.m. Sure, I am still damp, but I feel good about what goes into these products and also love that it’s a female-owned, clean beauty operation. I ended up trying more products to get free shipping—unfortunately, that game works on me—and now also use the beauty cream and spray. I’ve converted my husband, too! I love the charcoal, he prefers tea tree.” Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant, $16, Primally Pure.

Foxy Robe. “This robe is so soft and sexy. I could just keep a bath towel wrapped around my chest, but when I put on this robe, I feel more confident in my own skin. Stone Cold Fox make beautiful long-sleeved options, but from a practical stand point, the short sleeve robes don’t get in my way while I’m trying to put on a little make-up and then go fry an egg for the kids.” Besos Robe, $148, Stone Cold Fox.

Reusable Snack Bags. “My kids LOVE to eat, so whether it’s for school or just heading out for a few hours, I come prepared with snacks in these. It saves on plastic waste and they wash easily. The larger ones are good for general food storage and I use the smaller size for kids’ snacks.” Stasher 100% Silicone Reusable Food Bags, $9.97–$19.97, Amazon.

Honey Mamas Bars. “Try one, and I promise you’ll be obsessed. Namely the peppermint flavor if you’re into mint. They’re like a fudge bar, but made with coconut oil so they’re dairy free and delicious and rich and…oh my goodness. Thankfully the closest health food store that sells them is 25 minutes away, so I can moderate due to inconvenience.” Honey Mama’s Cacao-Nectar Bar, Oregon Peppermint, $5.99, Instacart.

Serious Spin Classes. “I used to workout for vanity’s sake, but since becoming a mother, I find that moving my body in some way, every day, keeps me sane. It is what I do for my mental health, and if coincidentally my legs stay lean, that’s cool, too. Sometimes I walk with a girlfriend and I love a local Yoga Barre class, but if I need my butt kicked and really sweat, I go to spin.” Grit Cycle Spin Classes, 7 locations throughout California, Grit Cycle.

Tequila Cocktails. “Red wine in the cooler months, tequila + grapefruit + sparkling water in the warm months. We work at home, and happy hour is usually my transition from ‘you don’t work here anymore, now you just live here.’ I have also heard that if you’re going to drink, tequila is the ‘cleanest’ option for your skin and gut, so of course I applied that information. We also are partial to the Costco jugs for batch margaritas for dinner parties in the summer.” Casamigos Blanco Tequila. $45.99, Drizly.

Mandolin. “I make a lot of salads and have people over often. Making pretty food is important to me, and I’m always shaving vegetables thin for salads or uniformly for a root vegetable au gratin. This tool also saves time and has different blades for different shapes. I’m not one for many gadgets, but I use this baby daily.” Benriner Vegetable Slicer, $22.90, Amazon.

Own Your Work Workshop. “Fellow lady entrepreneurs, I know it is difficult to stay motivated and inspired all the time. If you got yourself here in the first place, it’s likely you’re a self-motivated, ideas person who also likes to get things done…and those qualities can be overwhelming when they co-exist. This online course helped me narrow my story a bit—it gave me a boost of confidence and helped me corral all my ideas onto paper, with intention. I can’t say I implement what I learned regularly, but that’s on me. I am grateful I have the tools in my toolbox.” Own Your Work Workshop, $50, Elyse Snipes.

Classic Apron. “It was not until I was wearing through all my t-shirts in the same spot from being at the counter and sink so much that I resigned to wearing an apron while in the kitchen. Sure it protects clothes, but it also serves as a place to wipe hands or tuck a spoon. I have been gifted about 20 aprons (apparently it’s the thing you give a friend who cooks) and this is the only one I wear. It washes well and is soft and comfortable. The midi style doesn’t feel like a bunch of fabric and does the job.” Midi Apron $29.40, Fog Linen

Practical Pottery. “I cook and test all the time for SKCC, so there are always leftovers. This gorgeous bowl works as a serving dish, has a lid that can act as a trivet, and then as a top to store. I have the medium and large and they are far and away the most-used pottery in my kitchen.” Sarah Kersten Covered Bowls, $70-$280, Sarah Kersten

Last Stop on Market Street. “I have enjoyed the conversations and questions that have come from reading this book. It has inspired me to research volunteer opportunities we can do as a family, and to stay aware of the effort it takes to raise compassionate people.” Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Peña, $10.49, Amazon.

Charming Necklace. “My wardrobe is pretty neutral and simple, so I love having a few understated, feminine pieces. The women who own this company give job opportunities and fair wages to the artisans who make the pieces. I actually like the jewelry, and feel good about the ethical purchase. I gift them all the time.” 31 Bits Dot Charm Necklace, $48, Thirty One Bits.

Box of Fun. “My son received a subscription as a birthday gift and I wish I’d ordered it sooner. There is a reason this company has grown so quickly. The directions are clear and thoughtful and my kids love having a craft—a parenting skill I do not care to excel in. I feel like they learn something and it’s a toy to keep them busy.” Kiwi Crate

Shoes Made For Walking. “Speaking of walking, my sister turned me onto these shoes, and while I never knew why people fell in love with tennis shoes, I now understand. These feel like walking on an ergonomic space cloud. The are both light and supportive, and call it placebo, but I love them so much they inspire me to walk faster!” Adidas Ultraboost Sneakers, $124.99, Zappos.

For more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with designers Anna WallackCynthia RowleyRebecca AtwoodDana HaimRachel Zoe, and Taylor Jay, Olympian Alysia Montano, Wiley Body founder Vanessa Wade, Partake founder Denise Woodard, model and muse Slick Woods, children’s author Serena Minott, clean living expert Kristian Henderson, June & January founder Amy Richardson-Golia, Bubbsi founder Sweta DoshiOakland retail queen Sherri McMullenShahidah Zareef of Bossmom NationJoanne EncarnacionLaTonya YvetteMorgan Walker of Make.doIguehi James, and more!

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