Love Means Letting Go

Bird tattoos come to life, freedom concept

Love Means Letting Go.

Bird tattoos come to life, freedom concept

I use to believe that love meant holding on. Grasping tight. Stinging, wrenching, painful. Holding that fear. Holding uncertainty. Holding hurt. Holding intensity. Holding an image, an illusion, a facade, beauty, perfection. Holding it all together. It required a whole lot of glue, all that holding. It could break apart and crumble at any time, under all that intense pressure.

 

In my journey of discovering love, I learned that love actually requires a whole bunch of letting go…

 

Letting go of fear.

Letting go of expectations from the other person.

Letting go of needing, wanting, and trying so hard.

Letting go of preconceived ideas about how it should be.

Letting go of vanity, appearances, and facades.

Letting go of jealousy, anger, and resentment.

Letting go of illusions.

Letting go of cultural expectations.

Letting go of perfection.

Letting go of grand thoughts and idealizations.

Letting go of doing, and just being.

Letting go of the past.

 

 

Love requires a whole bunch of letting go, so a whole bunch of authentic and raw love can flow in. So you may fly freely together!

 

Let go, and love. 

 

To My Children: It’s Not Your Fault

An unhappy woman sits in a child's bedroom with her head in her hands. She is holding a soft toy that belonged to her child. The bed in front of her is empty.

An unhappy woman sits in a child's bedroom with her head in her hands. She is holding a soft toy that belonged to her child. The bed in front of her is empty.

 

I’m sorry I am not a perfect mother. But I know I am the perfect mother for you! I may not keep a perfect schedule. Or a perfect house. Sometimes I have no idea what to make for you to eat, and I feel paralyzed. I don’t always have all the answers to your questions. Sometimes I say the wrong things. Sometimes I cry. 

 

It’s not your fault.

 

I’m sorry it made you feel sad, when you saw me crying. Or saw me hurting. I want you to know what it’s like to really feel, and not pretend to you that this world is always a happy place. I want you to know that emotions are not something you must fear and avoid, but rather experience, and grow from. Allowing yourself to feel, makes you a stronger person. But sometimes it can be too much for your little mind, and you don’t know quite how to handle it.

 

It’s not your fault.

 

I’m sorry for the times I get angry, and raise my voice. Sometimes parents get frustrated because there are a whole bunch of big people things we have to do, and sometimes it feels like too much. And sometimes getting loud feels like a good release.

 

It’s not your fault.

 

I remember when I was your age. And when I felt the tension and anger from my parents. I remember thinking that I must be a bad person. That they must be angry because of me. And I started to believe that I must be bad. And that stayed with me for a very long time.

 

It wasn’t my fault. And I’m not bad.

 

Sometimes parents hurt. Sometimes we feel angry. We want to stay strong all the time, because we want to protect you. But when we try to stay strong all the time, well sometimes the feelings inside build up, and just come right out!

 

It isn’t your fault. And you are not bad.

 

I’m sorry that I’m not a perfect mother,

but I know that I’m the perfect mother for you

The ONE Supplement I’m Endorsing!

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Let me start out by saying I’m not much of a salesperson. Look, quite frankly, I suck at selling things. I never want to be that person who is pushing the “next big thing.” It’s not in my character.

Over the years as a blogger I have been asked to endorse many different supplements… and oils… and gadgets. Truth be told, most products I try, well, they just don’t delivery as promised. As an Nutritional Therapist, I feel the best thing you can for yourself is minimize stress, sleep, eat real food, and use your body. I will always advocate for this lifestyle first and foremost. Without a good foundation, nothing will get better. Had to say that first and foremost.

So why am I choosing now, and this supplement, to put my name behind?

A few months back I had someone locally approach me with this product Keto OS (exogenous ketones). You take the ketones, and it puts you in a ketogenic state fairly quickly, and for several hours. I was skeptical. Really skeptical. But she gave me a packet to try so I figured, why not? And guess what?

I felt kind of amazing!

That day I had so much energy and just felt really good. However, I was still skeptical. Plus, didn’t really know the person who gave it me (and wasn’t entirely sure I could trust her), so I put it in the back of my head.

Fast forward a few months and some people in the ancestral health community who I did know and trust, reached out to me about this very product. I was floored that these people, who I had so much respect for, were also behind this product. I was also thrilled because I remembered how great I felt after taking it, and I wanted to test it out again to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. I was really hoping I wasn’t imagining thing.

I tried the product again, this time for a full week. To my delight I felt just as great as I remember after the first time. I won’t go to deep into the science of this stuff, but if you’re interested, I interviewed an expert on Ketones which you can read below. The short version is this: Apparently this product nourishes your mitochondria and “feeds” your brain. It’s kinda like rocket fuel for your metabolism.

Order Here

I don’t want to say I felt like a superhero… but I will tell you this…

That week I hit a 30lb deadlift max increase. I went from 185 to 215. I also hit a sub 8 minute running mile. I had more energy at CrossFit, and made it 5 times that week! I didn’t crave any afternoon carbs. I felt more focused while writing. I felt less anxious. I didn’t have that afternoon “slump” feeling. I had sustained energy.  Then I ran out of the stuff.

That sucked.

I needed this stuff back in my life. I wanted to feel the improved energy, strength and focus again. And I want that for you too!

Look, you’re sitting here reading this and you know my primary focus is on lifestyle changes to improve health.

You know I don’t like all this sales stuff.

You know I wouldn’t tell you about a product unless I honestly believed in it and felt great about taking it myself.

Not only did I instantly feel better, but I was able to see a difference in how I felt when I had to go without it. On top of that…this stuff is backed by credible scientific research.

In the past I have tried going ketogenic (aka ultra low carb and high fat). However, as a female with thyroid issues, I actually feel my best consuming a moderate amount of carbs (such as parsnips, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots), and even (gasp) white rice on heavy lifting days. Often times women don’t do as well as men going super low carb. I don’t advocate very low carb for that reason. The cool thing about exogenous ketones is that you can still eat a moderate amount of carbs, and reap the benefits. I tend to eat a high fat and low carb meal prior to my morning workout, and add some carbs in after my workout. I still eat real food. I don’t eat processed foods. So to be completely transparent here, if you’re looking to take a magic pill that allows you to eat a diet full of processed junk food, this definitely not for you.

One of the things I hear a lot about from people in the community with this product is weight loss. I will not be endorsing this as a weight loss product. I never weigh myself. I don’t even own a scale. I have no idea what I weigh actually. I love my body, and I take care of it. Just like I will never count macros, or obsess over my food, I will never start weighing myself. With that said, fat loss may be a benefit some people experience, due to decreased inflammation and overall health benefits. I noticed my inflammation went down-and just feel better overall when I take them. However, I will not endorse this (or any) product as a weight loss aid. Fat loss comes by addressing the foundations of your health-the ones I mention above. Sleep. Stress. Nutrition. Movement. Microbiome.

Order Here

Interested in the science behind this stuff? Read my interview with Keto Expert, Mike Kuhn, below.

I’d also like to check out the recent webinar I hosted!

We Discussed The Potential Benefits Including:

• Fat loss

• More energy

• Better focus

• Better exercise recovery

• Decreased cravings

• and more!

And now, on to the interview…

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My colleague and friend Mike Kuhn has been studying exogenous ketones for some time now! I took some time to interview him on the topic, so I could learn a little more about how exogenous ketones work, particularly their function in the brain.

Mike is a high-level athlete who competes in Mixed Martial Arts. Oh, he’s also a Doctor of Health Science Candidate, with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition, and an Undergrad in Biology and Exercise Science. No big deal.

You can check out his awesome website: www.mikethecaveman.com Mike also shares daily videos and tips on Instagram @mikethecaveman!

 

 

What is your background?

“Grew up in the natural medicine scene after my dad got super sick with candida when I was a kid and became a Naturopathic Doctor. Always was interested in health, fitness and nutrition. So I did my undergrad in Biology & Exercise Science on the DPT tract, took some time off before going back to get my Master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Now working on my doctorate as a Health Care Clinician with a focus on immune dysregulation.”

 

How long have you been studying exogenous ketones?

“I have been interested in a ketogenic approach even back since my undergraduate days. I always found I did better on the lowish carb end. I began playing around with an functionally ketogenic Paleo & daily intermittent fasting around October 2010. However, I began using a true ketogenic protocol, particularly for my fight camps (I am an MMA fighter), after linking up with Dr. Jayson & Mira Carlton. I first encountered exogenous ketones after eating lunch with Dr. Dominic D’Agostino at AHS13 and attending his poster presentation (back when no one knew who he was). I always kept an eye out on them for performance purposes, but they really came back on my radar following illnesses in both my family, and in the family of my good friend Michael Roesslein of Rebel Health Tribe.”

 

What exactly are exogenous ketones?

“Exogenous ketones are generally some combination of the ketone bodies, β-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate, as well as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are added to help increase endogenous production, β-hydroxybutyrate, while not technically a ketone (chemically) is the most physiologically active of the three primary compounds produced endogenously when the body enters the state of ketosis (along with the aforementioned acetoacetate and acetone).”

 

How do they work?

“They work in the brain as an alternative fuel source to glucose. In fact, the brain, heart and muscles perform better on them overall. However, they also assist cognitive function by way of reducing inflammation and improving mitochondrial function, making cells more resistant to oxidative stress.”

 

Why do I feel so good when I take them?

“As we said before, it provides a cleaner, more sustained energy. They also reduce your inflammation and improve your bodies ability to respond to free radicals. They improve insulin signaling and overall blood sugar regulation, resulting in improved hunger vs satiety signaling.”

 

Do you take them?

“Yes”

What difference have you noticed?

“Improved cognition and performance in training.”

 

Anything else you want to say about them?

“Try them!”

There you have it, Mike Kuhn. I agree. Try them!

Please check out my webinar!

In it we discussed:

• Fat loss

• More energy

• Better focus

• Better exercise recovery

• Decreased cravings

• and more!

ketoos

 

 

Mike discusses more about the science of exogenous ketones, my colleague Michael Roesslein talked about about his experiences with exogenous ketones.

 

Want to Try The Product Now?

             Go Here For More Information!

 

Before I Become Invisible to You

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invisiblePhoto Credit: Myla Gonzalez,  Cheeky Boudoir Photography. 

Someone very and near to me recently said something to me that shook me to the core and really made me think. She said at her age, she now feels invisible. She said when you reach a certain age, people stop noticing you. It’s as if you become invisible. She wasn’t upset about it. She even said she was starting to accept this, as a natural part of aging. Then I thought about how I have viewed the ‘older’ generation in my mind. I’ve looked right through them, labeled them in a sense, and forgotten that each and every one of them has a life story to tell. Some of fought in wars. They’ve fallen in love. They’ve been heartbroken, and they have broken hearts. They have dealt with loss. They have kissed passionately, baked cookies for their family, danced at weddings. Cried at funerals. They’ve gone on many bike rides, they’ve worked jobs, raised families, experienced trauma in one form or another. Their souls have amazing stories to tell, each an imprint with different yet rich life experiences. Each learning and growing with every breath they take, every interaction. Still learning. Always learning.

 

This lovely lady? She is one of the most beautiful people I have known, inside and out. She is in her 60’s, yet when I look at her all I can think is how much I aspire to be more like her. She is always glowing, and smiling, and youthful and I thought to myself “What makes her shine so beautifully to me?” She thinks she is becoming invisible, but I still very much see her. And I wanted her to know that I see her. I see how she still has a playful soul that still loves to sing and dance. I see how she recognizes what makes her feel good, and she goes out and does it. She no longer really cares what you or I see, and that makes me see her even more. She sees it all within herself. She loves herself! She speaks her mind about what is important to her, and doesn’t worry about what anyone else thinks. So even though she may appear ‘invisible’ to you, she is very much an intricate part of all of us. All of us that desire to experience all of the richness and beauty this life has to offer. She is very visible to me. I hope as I age, I am become more like her.

 

In our culture we value youth, appearances, and beauty. That is what we notice and recognize in people. We label what “real beauty” is. As if one body type is beautiful, and another is not. ‘Strong is Sexy’ ‘Skinny is Sexy’ ‘Curvy is Sexy.’ Why does the media get to tell us what sexy is? We worship airbrushed magazine models and porn stars. We’ve been socially ingrained to do so. We sell sex with everything, yet we are uncomfortable with embracing our own sexuality, as if it is something to be ashamed of. We see sex everywhere. But we won’t dare talk about it.

 

I think about the elderly lady in line at the grocery store. The one that is always in front of me, counting out her coins and coupons. She may no longer be turning the heads of young men. But I thought about how important it is for you and I to notice and recognize her, in all her beauty and strength. She is all of our experiences combined! Her blueprint and legacy are part of us. She is heartbreak, she is loss, she is a million hopes and dreams, some met and some shattered. She is secrets and lies. She is a past filled with love, hurt, betrayal, loss. Happiness, sadness, moments of bliss, and moments of despair. She is marriage, divorce, anniversaries, friends moving away, pets coming and going, houses, surgeries, illnesses, deaths, survival. A beautiful painted canvas rich with her own vibrant colors telling the story of her life. She has picked flowers, climbed trees, sang songs, and laughed so hard she that she peed.

 

I thought again about my beautiful friend, still full of vibrancy, yet starting to feel invisible. She is in a transitional phase in her life, and on the verge of holding on to her youth, and letting go at the same time. I can see the fear in her eyes, but I also see her grace and acceptance of these changes. It’s all coming together. Pivotal. She is taking time for herself to make beautiful handmade jewelry. She is eating real food, she is exercising, she is socializing with friends, decorating her personal space with things that inspire her. Some of her closest friends are much younger than her, some older. She knows the soul has no age. Connection has no age. She is finding the things that make her feel happy, and doing them. I thought about all the ways in which I still needed to grow as a person, so I can be more like she is.

 

Before I become invisible to you…

 

I need to realize that not everyone will see me when I walk into a room. I may not always shine. And that’s okay. My skin will change. My body will change. You will look at me one day, and see a little old white haired lady. And that may be all that you see. I can fight it all I want, but this will happen. I can learn to accept my aging as beautiful, and graceful. And I will turn the heads of those who peer into my soul, and see my true beauty. It may be only one or two people. It may only be me. However, those are the only heads I will need to turn.

 

I will continue to use my voice and my writing to motivate and inspire people. To teach. To help people reach their full potential. I will love myself for all the battles I have been through. All the learning. All the growth I’ve experienced. All the passion and love, and fire in my heart. All the pain and sorrow and loss I’ve experienced. My body may begin to change, it already has. I will love my body it for all it has done for me, and continues to do for me. I will to take care of myself. I will continue to nurture my body with real food. I will continue to read books, and strengthen my mind, and I will get to know myself better, and start to do the things I wish to see done in this world. I will be a beacon for change. I will tell the people I love, that I love them more often. I will work on connecting more with the people that matter to me, and connecting less with screens. I will spend more time in nature, taking in all the natural beauty and sounds around me. I will try to stay in the moment, each moment. I will work on being more present, and less distracted. And take pleasure from the things that matter most to me. I will still play, sing, dance, laugh, and be silly.

 

I will no longer care how I am seen by you.

 

You may think I am careless with my money. Or messy. You may think I take too many selfies, and must be insecure. I leave too many empty cups in my car. You may see me as a bad mother, because I parent differently than you do. I don’t have my children with me all the time. You may think that makes me a part-time parent. But I know I am not. I don’t talk about my children constantly, and worry about every single aspect of their life. I still love them just as much as you love your children. You may judge me because I do not follow your religion, and because I have been through a divorce. Because my family dynamics are very different from yours. I will no longer get angry with how you see me, and internalize myself as bad or wrong based on your views and how you internalize your world. I know I am a good mother, and a good person. It doesn’t matter anymore how you view me, or whether you even see me at all! Because I see all this goodness in myself. So I apologize in advance, but your small mindedness will no longer have any effect on me.

 

At 40 years old I am beginning to really love myself, and the person I am now becoming. All of me. I look back at 20…even 30 year old me, and I want to scoop her up and hug her. I want to tell her to love herself more, and stop trying to find value in myself through all the wrong avenues. Shallow relationships, and clinging to what feels safe. I now see my true beauty. I love my body, the beautiful parts as well as the flawed parts. I love my very small breasts that nourished two babies, and I love my strong butt and legs that can rope climb, and deadlift heavy weights. I love my vagina. Yep. I said it. It has birthed two babies, it has been torn and sewn. It’s still beautiful. I embrace my sexuality, and I don’t see it as something that I need to be ashamed of, or embarrassed about. I love my half brown and half green eyes, and I’ve even learned to like my large nose that I use to loath. I love how small my hands and fingers are. I love the mole on belly, the dimples on my lower back, and the freckle on my big toe. I love and accept all of me. I walk funny sometimes. I’ve had several people ask me why I was limping. But I just walk funny sometimes, because I have tight hamstrings. And I love that about me. I have learned to love my flaws and imperfections, as part of me.

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Photo Credit: Myla Gonzalez,  Cheeky Boudoir Photography. This is me, no makeup to hide behind, my hair is not done. Just me. 

 

How I let that pile of laundry builds up on the couch every week until I finally tackle it. And it feels really good when I tackle it. How I rarely make my bed, yet still love and feel at peace with my space. How I make time every day to bring my dog to the dog park so she can get her energy out and socialize. I love seeing her run freely and smiling, it brings me happiness. How I drive almost an hour to train with my favorite CrossFit coach, even though I could go right down the street. How I make these horrible sounding concoctions to drink because I know they are good for my body. How I’ve begun to schedule time in for my passions, singing and writing. How I allowed myself to be vulnerable, and signed up for voice lessons. How I’ve opened myself up to strangers, and gone out of my way to get to know people that I would normally avoid. People who are different from me. People who don’t internalize the world the same way in which I do.

 

I love how I read with my boys every night that I have them, and how we go for family walks and have impromptu dance parties. How each night we talk about something we are thankful for. How I swear like a frat boy when I’m hanging out with my sisters. How I tend to leave the tops off of everything, and shove things out of site so that my drawers are exploding with random items like screwdrivers and sunscreen and single earrings. I love that I am not perfect. That I don’t pretend to be perfect. That I don’t need facades just to please you. That I am impatient and moody at times. That I get really angry sometimes and yell at my children, and sometimes I hurt the people I love the most. Sometimes I say stupid things, and I can never remember people’s names. I’m bad about writing Christmas cards, birthday cards, anniversary cards, and thank you cards. Sometimes I do them. Sometimes I’m stretched thin, and I don’t. I’d rather just say thank you to your face, and hug you. You may see this as unacceptable, bad or wrong. That is how you internalize it based on societal norms. That’s okay. It’s who I am. I forgive myself. If I were perfect, then I probably wouldn’t even be here. I’m here to learn. I get really nervous before every single work out at CrossFit, and have to pee several times. I am socially awkward at bars. I sing out loud at the grocery store, and embarrass my children. I am enough. I am still enough. I will always be enough! 

The more that we love and accept ourselves with all our imperfections, the less we will judge others. Judging comes out of our own perceived fears and insecurities. Usually we see something in the person we are judging, that mirrors something in ourselves. Something we are afraid of facing. Or something we secretly desire, but feel is out of reach for us. It’s easier to judge and even blame someone, and place them in a negative space in your mind, then it is to take a deeper look at yourself. The more we love and accept ourselves with all of our flaws, the less fearful we will become in general, and we will begin to lead deeper, more enriched lives. We begin doing what makes us happy, not what we feel will make everyone else happy with us. When people see you doing this, it may make them uncomfortable. Why? Because how dare you be happy, in a world where being miserable and complacent is better than facing yourself, and following your deepest desires. Think about all the people you are inspiring, just by loving and respecting yourself. Think about the deeper, more meaningful connections you are forming just by being true to you.

 

That little old lady you walk right past-she has all her own stories as well. She is years of cultivated relationships. Thousands of moments in time, joyful and sorrowful. Thousands of conversations. Laughing. Fighting. She is crying herself to sleep at night. She is a million tears. She is slow dancing in the arms of someone she once loved deeply. She is collecting seashells along the beach, and giggling with her friends in church. She is four seasons over and over, with winds of change taking her life in many different directions.
She once turned the heads of young men, but now she is much too beautiful for that! In a disconnected shallow culture, it is important to be visible to yourself. To notice all of the things that make you who you are, and to love yourself for them, and accept yourself for them. Then one day when you do feel like you are invisible to everyone else…well, it really won’t matter one bit! You will still smile that beautiful smile of yours, and know that you are the most amazing person in the world, and that you alone are enough.

Mother Dirt Product Review

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As a huge advocate of restoring the microbiome, I was thrilled to try Mother Dirt skin products! Mother Dirt products restore and maintain good bacteria on the skin. In our culture, we are very big on sanitizing and cleanliness. However, there are beneficial bacteria in dirt that help to maintain the health of our skin! I try not to shower too frequently or use soaps that can strip away all bacteria, and leave us open to skin issues. I was thrilled to find a product that can make me feel clean, yet restore the delicate balance of flora on the skin. The packaging these products came in was very beautiful! I almost didn’t want to open them up. 🙂

 

The products we tried were the shampoo, the cleanser, and the AO Mist.

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The shampoo comes out in a foam with a pump. I have 2 little boys and I used it to wash their hair a couple times a week. They HATE having any type of soap in their hair. This product was lightweight, and had a nice clean and mild scent. The best part was that it didn’t drip all over and into their eyes. It was easy to control, and foamed up nicely. It left their hair very soft and “clean” feeling. I’m happy because of the good bacteria we are putting back onto their skin. My older son struggles with scalp issues and skin build-up on his scalp. We try to avoid most products on him. We used this in his hair several times, and it did not cause any issues for him. We are very happy with the shampoo and plan to continue to use it!

The cleanser is also foaming and mild. I liked to use it for shaving! I rarely like to use soaps of any kind. This did not feel like a soap. It was very gentle, and worked great to shave with. I was happy to not be stripping my skin of beneficial bacteria while shaving my legs. It’s always been a struggle to find something that I felt comfortable with using!

Finally the AO mist is an all-over body mist to restore microbiome on the skin. We all struggle with dry skin here in Upstate NY winters. I sprayed it on myself and the boys after our bath. It feels like a mist of water, but leaves the skin feeling very soft! As I am working to balance my hormones, I sometimes struggle with neck acne before my cycle. I am working with a Functional Medicine provider to balance my hormones. I started misting this on my face and neck and noticed a huge difference this cycle! I also CrossFit and take hot yoga. I don’t always have time to shower right after, do to hungry kids or a dog that needs walking. This mist actually kills off the bad bacteria in sweat, and replenishes good bacteria. This is great for people who struggle with sweat-induced acne!

As an advocate of primal living, and caring about our beneficial bacteria (we all should be), this is a must have product line. For me, it takes away the anxiety of what to use for both myself and my children. I’m thrilled that this product has been developed, and plan to continue to use it for my family! I give this product line 5 stars and 2 thumbs up!

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5 Interesting Facts About the Human Microbiome

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The human microbiome is fascinating! There has been a HUGE paradigm switch over the past couple of years, as we are beginning to realize just how important our diverse colonies of microbes are for our body. We went from fearing ALL bacteria, to realizing how much we need it to thrive and survive.

 

LOVEBUGS@

Here are 5 interesting facts you may not have known about our collective “bugs” or bacteria known as the microbiome!

Our body holds more than 100 trillion bacteria all over our skin, all over our body, in our mouths, ears, nose, armpits, and throughout our intestines. They live in diverse bacterial communities collectively known as (or the new trendy term) “The Human Microbiome.”

What exactly does the microbiome do for us? These tiny buggars communicate with each other, and can synthesize vitamins and minerals, act as a “soldier” or “gatekeeper” in our gut to help keep pathogens out, boost our immune system, help us to digest our food, helps with our mood (some important brain chemicals like serotonin are actually synthesized mainly in the gut), helps prevent GI disorders like IBS and Crohn’s Disease…and science is constantly finding more roles these beneficial bacteria play. The health of the microbiome has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even heart disease. Our bugs are pretty important, and we need to take care of them!

Here are 5 Facts you might not have known about the amazing microbiome:

1.  Our microbiome can weighs as much as an organ…approximately 3 pounds but can weigh up to as much as 5 pounds…5 pounds of microscopic bacteria that are working together in large communities to take care of YOU!

 

2.  Our microbes need to eat to survive too! This is where the concept of “prebiotics” comes into play. We take probiotics to replace beneficial bacteria, we take prebiotics to essentially feed that bacteria so it can survive, thrive, and colonize. Prebiotics are found in fiber rich foods-such as plantains and bananas, as well as asparagus, garlic, and onions. Prebiotic fiber is not digested, but rather works symbiotically with probiotics to increase the population of good bacteria. One form of prebiotics are resistant starches. Resistant starches are starches that we do not digest, but rather are utilized in the GI tract to feed bacteria, and have been shown to have many other health benefits. Resistant starch forms in foods after cooking and cooling. One example is using potatoes-cooking and cooling them forms resistant starch.

 

3.  The way your baby enters the world has a permanent affect on their microbiome! Scientists are finding that pregnant women pass significant microbes onto their infant while the infant passes through the birthing canal.  One study examined the changes in vaginal microbiome during pregnancy.  As early as the first trimester, the diversity of vaginal bacteria changes immensely. Species that were once quite abundant dissipate, and new species of bacteria arrive. One species that forms in the vagina, Lactobacillus johnsonii is usually found only in the gut, where it produces enzymes that digest milk. Changing conditions in the vagina during pregnancy encourage this strain of bacteria to grow.  During delivery, the baby will be covered by Lactobacillus johnsonii and even ingest some of it. This prepares the infant to be able to digest breastmilk. When passing through the birthing canal the baby swallows and is bathed in bacteria and even some feces. Babies are born down by the anus for a reason! There are colonies of beneficial bacteria down there. Babies born via cesarian are more likely to struggle with health problems like asthma, allergies, eczema, type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.

Some cesarian sections are necessary. What can a parent do to ensure baby gets bathed with this beneficial bacteria? One way to pass beneficial bacteria on to a cesarian delivered baby is via vaginal seeding, a way to bath the baby with bacteria from the vagina upon delivery. Skin to skin contact with a parent vs being swaddled continues to pass bacteria to baby. Breastfeeding is also extremely important to continue to inoculate baby with beneficial bacteria.

 

4.  Let your kiddos get their hands dirty and even taste a little! We are obsessed with hand washing, sanitizing, and cleanliness in our culture. This is not necessarily always a good thing. There are beneficial bacteria in soil. Babies put everything in their mouth for a reason, more than just exploration. Many cultures actually eat dirt and they perceive eating dirt as a normal thing. It helps strengthen the immune system and build up our resistance to pathogenic bacteria.

In fact, our cultural fear of dirt is having a negative impact on our microbiome!  According to Chris Kresser, author of Your Personal Paleo Code:

“Our culture’s obsessive attention to cleanliness, sanitation, and hygiene may actually be having unintended consequences on our immune system. While a sanitary environment may be crucial in areas such as hospitals or food production, our general avoidance of dirt, bacteria, and other infectious agents may be causing our under-stimulated immune system to become over-reactive to benign antigens.”

“Eating dirt” is associated with protection from chemicals, parasites, bad bacteria and toxins. So don’t fear dirt so much! Go ahead and let your kids dig, play, and get dirty.

 

5. Obese individuals tend to have a makeup of bacteria in their intestine that is different from that of people who are of normal weight. Recent evidence suggests that there is a link between metabolic diseases such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes and the bacterial populations in the gut. The proportion of two major groups of bacteria in the large intestine, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes may play a large role. In this study comparing the distal gut microbiota of obese mice and their lean couterparts the researchers found that the obese microbiome has an increased capacity to harvest energy from the diet. Obesity was associated with changes in the abundance of bacteroidetes and firmicutes. They also found that the trait was transmissible:

“colonization of germ-free mice with an ‘obese microbiota’ results in a significantly greater increase in total body fat than colonization with a ‘lean microbiota’. These results identify the gut microbiota as an additional contributing factor to the pathophysiology of obesity.”

The human gut microbiota is an extremely complex and important system that affects human health. Up until recent times we have disregarded it’s existence and treated all bacteria as pathogenic. This has had a profound affect on our health, and the health of our offspring. We need to “water the flowers” and take care of our microbiome, so these trillions of bugs can in turn take care of us!

*Up next week: Ways you can nurture your microbes!

LOVE YOUR BUGS!!!

Five Ways to Recover Faster after CrossFit

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Heavy lifting such as CrossFit can be very taxing on the entire body. Most people do not realize that physical stress, (not just mental stress) can also trigger adrenal fatigue. Not only do the muscles need to recover, but the entire body needs to heal from the stress induced by heavy lifting. Some of the most amazing athletes know that they need to rest and recover in order to maintain their strength, stamina, and ability to perform at their best. What are some things you can do now to speed the recovery process and heal faster?

 

1. Magnesium.

Magnesium plays an important role in the production of energy. Being deficient in magnesium can have a negative effect on sports performance. Magnesium is a calming mineral, and can turn the body from being in a stress-state or sympathetic state into a parasympathetic or relaxed state. According to this study, magnesium supplementation reduced the stress response in the body for the athletes. There are different many different forms of magnesium, but to help with muscle recovery and overall relaxation after a tough workout, transdermal magnesium massages and magnesium bath soaks are both great solutions! Soak for 20 minutes after a workout for best results.

 

2. Include gelatin in your diet.

All that heavy lifting can be taxing on your joints and cartilage! Although gelatin protein doesn’t necessarily support initial muscle healing (you need to include nutrient dense sources of protein, such as pasture raised meats and wild seafood which contain all essential amino acids), gelatin is great for the joints, and helps with stiffness and pain associated with heavy lifting. Gelatin contains high amounts of glycine and proline, which are both anti-inflammatory and great for joints. According to this research, gelatin was beneficial for symptom relief of osteoarthritis, and can stimulate change and enhancement of cartilage tissue. Try adding it to your morning coffee or tea, or even as part of your recovery drink.

 

3. Prioritize sleep!

In our ‘rush rush’ culture, sleep is often not a priority. Sleep is perhaps one of the most important means to recovery. When we are asleep, the body can heal and renew. Most of us are not getting enough sleep. For athletes, not getting enough sleep makes for slower healing time, increased stress, and decreased recovery. According to this research,  adapting appropriate sleep hygiene and healthy sleeping habits are important for optimal athletic performance. Sleep needs to become our number one health priority, rather than our last. A few things that can help ease into a good night’s sleep are to stay off of all screens 2 hours before bedtime, and to have a routine that includes reading, gentle stretching, a warm bath, or something you find relaxing. It’s important to keep the same routine and bedtime every night.

 

4. Take yoga.

There is no better way to stretch out those fatigued muscles and improve recovery than by taking a yoga class. Yoga enhances strength, stamina, and flexibility. According to bodybuilding.com:  

‘Yoga is the best medicine for preventing injuries and aiding muscle recovery and repair. When the muscles and surrounding tissues are lengthened and relaxed during yoga asana (Sanskrit word for postures) it creates more room for blood to flow.’

Yoga also forces you to take time to just ‘be’ without thinking. This can help significantly with emotional stress, which is also taxing on the body. Even one yoga class a week can really help athletes with recovery and performance!

 

5. Eat a sweet potato instead of an apple!

Glycogen depletion can cause fatigue for athletes. Low glycogen can be a limiting factor in both performance and recovery. It’s important to get glycogen directly to the muscle during recovery. Adequate carbohydrate during the recovery period is important in this metabolic process. However, the type of carbohydrate consumed actually makes a big difference! Fruit sources of carbs contain fructose, and fructose does not help with restoring glycogen nearly as much as glucose does. These researchers studied muscle recovery with glucose vs fructose. They found that glucose restores muscle glycogen 40% faster than fructose! They believe fructose is absorbed slower in the intestines, blood glucose is significantly higher with glucose vs fructose and therefore higher plasma insulin results in increased glucose uptake. Finally, fructose gives rise to more liver glycogen than glucose. This lowers muscle glycogen directly available for muscle glycogen synthesis. -Read more.

Fructose is found in fruit like apples, pears, peaches, oranges, etc. The better thing to reach for when recovering are starchy vegetables like tubers, sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, beets, carrots and squash. These are all great ‘read food’ way to get glycogen to the muscle. Some athletes find that white rice right after a workout works great for them as well.

*Remember not to overtrain, and to listen to your body. It’s counterproductive if you are not getting adequate sleep and nutrition, yet still training.

 

Pulled Pineapple Pork in the Vitaclay Slowcooker, Plus a Giveaway!

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This was my first experience using the Vitaclay Slowcooker, and I was a little skeptical about how it would work out. The company claims to cook in less than half the time as traditional slow cookers, but still yield a tender, juicy, delicious meals. I decided to make a simple pasture raised pork with garlic and pineapples. I was blown away at how easy it was to work with the Vitaclay, and how amazing my meal turned out. I’m excited to try making a chili next!

According to Vitaclay:

“We created VitaClay because we are committed to whole, real, non-toxic living in every aspect of life. One big aspect, especially for the real food community, is cooking at home. It can be difficult (and expensive) to find non-toxic cooking options! And we want to make cooking traditionally as easy and affordable as possible. Our clay pots are tested and verified free of any toxic contaminants, including heavy metals and chemicals. Our pots are non-stick, but not because we added any chemical non-stick coatings! We use a proprietary high-temperature water glazing process that strengthens the clay and gives it a non-stick, chemical free surface. Our pots are a great alternative to aluminum chemical-coated pots and pans, as well as low-grade stainless steel pots widely available today. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever cooked with clay before, but once you try it you will never go back! The taste! The texture! The nutrients! You won’t believe your mouth. Our electronic housing unit makes it easy and safe to cook while you’re not in the kitchen-you could be asleep or not in the house at all. Our newest models have special settings for yogurt as well!” 

Clay is the most traditional cooking material there is, and we believe it as also the best cooking material!”

I’m sharing this recipe today, and also excited about giving away a Vitaclay Slowcooker to a lucky winner!

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Ingredients: 

1 pasture raised pork shoulder (approx 2-3lbs)

1 can of Native Forest organic pineapple chunks (juice including)

2 TBS apple cider vinegar

3-5 cloves of garlic chopped

1/4 cup of chicken stock or water

Sea salt, smoked paprika, and black pepper to taste

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Directions:

Place everything in the clay slow cooker, cover, and cook for approximately 3 hours.

 

Enjoy! (yes, it really is as simple as that). Clean up was a breeze as well! No sticking!

 

 

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I have teamed up with Vitaclay, and we will be giving away one of these amazing clay slow cookers to one lucky winner!

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Enter here:

 

The contest starts 11/25/2015 at 12am EST, and ends on 12/2/2015 at 12am EST when we will announce one lucky winner!    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Why Flexible Dieting/Macros Didn’t Work For Me-Guest Post

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Let me start by saying I am a Nutritional Therapist. I work with clients on healing their digestion at a foundational level, with an emphasis on health, and sustainability. Real food. Quality food. Enough calories. Eating until satiated. No measuring. No counting. Therefore, counting macros to have abs for a short period of time has never been (and never will be) my forte or cup of tea. One of my clients recently had a bad experience with counting macros, and did this guest piece for me talking about how is was not right for her. I think it is important to consider this when trying for that “perfect physical appearance.” In my opinion, health is always the most important thing. The weight coming off, that is secondary, and will come as your body heals.

Here is her experience:

Why Flexible Dieting/Macros Is Not Right For Me

A few months ago, I completed a paleo elimination diet for 30 days to address some digestive health concerns. I eliminated all potentially inflammatory foods and took healing supplements and exercised very little. During this time, I noticed that I had lost some weight which was a welcome side effect of this nourishing diet!

Shortly after the elimination diet, I came across information about Flexible Dieting on the internet. The idea is that you or a coach set your daily macronutrient ratios and calorie intake and you log all of the food you eat in an attempt to “hit your numbers” each day. The successful before and after pictures of people who had used this method were enticing so I decided to give it a try. I sought the services of a coach who set my macros. I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as it fit into those set macros.

I tried this method for two weeks and noticed some positive things at first. As someone with a history of binge-eating, I noticed that I was able to eat a small handful of potato chips without binge-eating the entire bag. I also noticed that I had more energy, my brain was sharper, and I was actually funnier than usual. But after a week of eating this way, I realized that this surge of energy was a strange high from being malnourished, almost like a caffeine buzz on an empty stomach. And I noticed that I was accidentally, mindlessly eating much more than a small handful of potato chips at a time. I realized that I was so excited about the idea of eating whatever I wanted, I lost focus on what had helped me stop binge-eating in the first place: real, whole, nutritious foods. I used the MyFitnessPal app to log my food and eating pre-packaged processed food with a barcode to scan or nutrition information and serving sizes on the label are the most convenient foods to eat on a flexible nutrition diet. Otherwise, you need to weigh and measure all of the food you eat. This is problematic for anyone with a history of eating disorder or a tendency to obsessive behavior.

Another issue I had with this diet was the small amount of calories it was suggested that I consume.

This was my breakdown prescribed by my Coach:

Calories:  1,330

Fat:  40-50g (approximately – I don’t remember the exact number)

Carbohydrate:  133g

Protein:  100g

The basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories one would burn in a day at complete rest. My basal metabolic rate is 1,374 calories. This is the amount of calories that I would need to exist each day.  That is more than the calorie intake suggested by the coach who set my numbers with the knowledge that I was Crossfitting, spinning, and walking regularly!  That is not enough food to me.  I also found that the allowed fat intake was so low, that I barely had enough fat to cook my vegetables.  And everyone knows that fat makes vegetables extra delicious.

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is associated with insulin resistance. My blood sugar spikes and drops drastically when I eat too many carbohydrates at one time, especially processed, refined carbohydrates. I’ve noticed over time that my body prefers more fat over carbohydrates as a fuel source. Fat helps the body process carbohydrates better. The macronutrient amounts set for me were higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat than I was used to. This sent my body through a rollercoaster of blood sugar spikes and drops.

Because I wasn’t focusing on real, whole, nourishing foods, I was getting far less nutrients than in my previous diet. And the decrease in fat intake made it difficult for my body to absorb the few fat-soluble nutrients I was consuming. This led to me feeling malnourished. I felt shaky and alert, but fatigued at the same time, like that caffeine buzz on an empty stomach I mentioned before.   found much more hair in my hairbrush in the morning and noticed that my fingernails were peeling rapidly. My mood was unstable and my anxiety became out of control. The lack of nourishment was affecting my mental health and my body’s systems.  I quickly realized that this way of eating was not for me.

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I decided to say goodbye to the turkey bacon and 2-second coconut oil sprays and return to my beloved bacon and ghee. Within a day, I started to feel better! While tracking nutrients and calories occasionally may be helpful to get a general idea of what you are consuming, the daily measuring and tracking is not right for me and may not be right for everyone.

Here is a quick reference to why flexible dieting may not be all it’s cracked up to be:

  • It is not flexible in its numbers depending on varying amounts of exercise from day to day
  • It lacks focus on whole, real, nutrient-dense foods
  • A coach setting your numbers might not be a certified nutritionist and may not have the knowledge to take any health issues you may have into consideration
  • You may not be giving your body enough calories to function at its best
  • You may not be giving your body enough fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins
  • You may be giving your body too many carbohydrates than it needs which could lead to inflammation
  • Real bacon is way better than turkey bacon!

-Anonymous friend 🙂

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I agree with this individual on everything she stated. Her insight and body awareness are quite inspiring. I really don’t understand how someone with no nutritional education can prescribe nutrition, but that is common now. Those success stories and before/after pics? I’d like to know what happens after the after? Like when the person actually starts consuming enough calories again? It worries me that people fall into these quick fix traps, that are never sustainable for health. Some Macro coaches boast about eating GMO filled crappy cereal in order to get their carbs in. To me, this is not health.

Why is macro counting not for ME?

  • Many advocates of IIFYM pay no attention to food quality. In fact, I see a lot of bragging about eating industrial/factory foods. Yes, you can eat processed food and look good if you are counting your macros. I get that. However, In my opinion, food sourcing and quality is almost everything. In fact, I truly believe by ignoring food quality, we are destroying our planet and our health. When you are young and don’t have inflammatory disease processes YET due to leaky gut from years of eating factory foods, it’s easy to not understand this. Food quality matters. It just does. Gut health/gut integrity is everything, well almost everything (sleep and stress are high up there). Unless you’ve had your gallbladder removed, been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, or struggled with joint pain, irritable bowels, fatigue, skin issues, etc, you wouldn’t understand. Sometimes even with these and many other conditions you still won’t understand. I’m definitely the minority in my thinking. I’m okay with that. If I can change one person’s way of thinking, I have made an impact. The disregard for food quality is probably my biggest issue with this approach.
  • Obsessing and counting. I like to eat. I love good food! Eating paleo/primal/ancestral (whatever you call it), makes it easy for me to remain fit and healthy and believe it or not, I DON’T obsess over my food. I love this about my lifestyle. Sure I love to take and share foodie pics on instagram. That’s because I love to share my passion with the world. I know what I need to avoid food-wise to feel good and be healthy, and I’ve gotten to a point where it’s fairly easy to avoid it. I don’t need or crave packaged foods. It wasn’t always easy, but regaining my health was/is my priority. Sometimes I follow a more strict paleo or Autoimmune protocol so that I can re-set myself (like I’m currently doing), if I notice I have become more sugar adapted or my autoimmune symptoms flare up. That takes a little more thought/fine tuning. However, counting macros (how many exact grams of proteins, fats and carbs I consume) everyday would create for me a disordered way of thinking and obsession over food…not healthy..again, for me.

For me, health and sustainability wins every time. There is no diet that can beat eating real food!

 

 

 

The Real Heart Healthy Diet

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This topic is particularly important to me, as I think there is so much misinformation out there regarding heart health, and an optimal diet for heart health. Heart disease is one of the most wrongly treated diseases. Outdated recommendations are still being made by “authority” organizations and medical Doctors are still advising for eating nutrient void foods, avoiding healthy fats, as well as increasing grain consumption (which actually increases inflammation and decreases mineral absorption). In the past, I worked as an exercise physiologist in a cardiac rehabilitation clinic. I talked to patients all about the importance of avoiding saturated fats and cooking with polyunsaturated fats (PUFA oils) like canola oil, as well as eating a low-fat or fat-free diet. I use to make a canola oil pie crust and bring the patients homemade apple pie with this crust. This was the nutrition paradigm I was taught in school. Sadly, even though proven to be wrong in study after study, this information is still out there, and is still being presented as a “heart healthy” diet.

So what is the real way to help your heart function optimally through diet? Heart disease is known to be caused by inflammation. To protect your heart, you want to try to keep your body in an uninflamed state.

Let’s Learn a Little About Inflammation…

The body needs to be able to be both inflamed and uniflamed and this is done through the formation of prostoglandins. Prostoglandins are hormone-like substances that are made from essential fatty acids (EFA’s). Prostoglandin formation from omega 3 fatty acids, saturated fats, and omega 6 fatty acids help to keep the inflammation in the body balanced.

The difference between good and bad fats is not what you have been taught it to be.

Saturated fats are not “bad fats” and they are not the cause of heart disease. I think I may need to repeat this…Saturated.fats.are.not.bad.fats.

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This study done in 2009 pooled together data from 21 unique studies that included almost 350,000 people, about 11,000 of whom developed cardiovascular disease (CVD), tracked for an average of 14 years, and concluded that there is no relationship between the intake of saturated fat and the incidence of heart disease or stroke.

According to Dr James J DiNicolantonio (2014),  “Not only has the condemnation of saturated fats led to an increased consumption of carbohydrates, it has also led to several dietary guidelines recommending replacement of saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, without specifying which polyunsaturated fatty acid (ie, Ω-3 vs Ω-6). The recommendation for increasing polyunsaturated fat stems from pooled analyses of data looking at increasing Ω-3 and Ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials showed that replacing a combination of trans-fats and saturated fats with Ω-6 polyunsaturated fats (without simultaneously increasing Ω-3 fatty acids) leads to an increased risk of death.These results were corroborated when data were recovered from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and included in an updated meta-analysis.” Read the full piece here.

PROCESSED fats however, are bad fats.

Plastic bottle of cooking oilProcessed fats such as canola oil, shortenings, and vegetable oils are not in their inherent or natural form. They are heat and chemically treated thus destroying any “omega 3” properties that might have been in the original plant. They are unstable, and pro-inflammatory. They disrupt the prostoglandin balance in the body, and create…get ready for it… INFLAMMATION!

What is the root cause of heart disease again?

INFLAMMATION

So Why again is canola oil or vegetable oil bad for my heart?

Canola oil is a highly processed rancid oil. It is a chemically extracted oil, through the use of harsh solvents. Canola oil is genetically modified, and pesticide laden. Consuming these oils will actually contribute to inflammation, not reduce it.

According to Mark Sisson,

Once harvested and graded, seeds are heated to facilitate oil extraction. Most canola oil is chemically extracted using the harsh petroleum-derived solvent hexane. Even when expeller pressing is used, a process common to organic brands, the massive force of industrial presses still produces heat. True “cold-pressed” canola oil (extracted with millstones) does exist but can be hard to find and is more expensive.

Following extraction, canola oil must be de-gummed to remove unappealing solids that settle during storage. The process involves heat and sometimes the addition of acids. Next stop, the oil is then bleached and separated. Finally, the oil (known for its stench) must be deodorized through heating methods that use temperatures as high as 500 FahrenheitRead more here

 

What fats should I eat to keep my fatty acids balanced?

  • You want a nice mix of Omega 3’s, Omega 6’s, and saturated fats
  • Omega 6’s to omega 3’s should be 1:1.

Food Sources of Omega 3:

  • wild caught fish
  • grass-fed or pasture raised meats and eggs including beef
  • small amounts of nuts and seeds (most nuts are very high in omega 6 as well, so you do not want a staple diet of nuts, but rather in small amounts).

What about Omega 6?

Our typical diet is very high in Omega 6 fatty acids. We want to try to reduce the amount of Omega 6 fatty acids in our diet. Avoid all processed oils and try to keep nuts to small amounts.

 

Saturated Fat Sources to INCLUDE in a healthy diet:

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  • Coconut oil
  • Grass-fed butter or ghee
  • Palm oil
  • Animal Fats from pasture raised animals such as: tallow and lard

What’s the deal with cholesterol?

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  • All of the cells in your body need cholesterol.
  • Cholesterol metabolizes all hormones and fat soluable vitamins.
  • Your body manufactures most of it’s own cholesterol and a little bit comes from food.
  • Cholesterol forms and maintains cell wall structures.
  • Cholesterol is used by the nerve cells for insulation.
  • The liver uses cholesterol to produce bile.
  • Cholesterol is also needed for your body to make Vitamin D.
  • Much of what you may think about cholesterol is wrong.
  • Cholesterol is found in the arteries, but it is mistaken as the culprit in heart disease. Cholesterol travels to arteries in order to heal the body–as a  “patch” or “bandage” to the lesions caused by underlying inflammation. This underlying inflammation is from a diet high in inflammatory foods likes sugars, processed grains, and oxidized oils.

 

What are the real underlying causes of Heart Disease?

  • inflammation
  • adrenal issues from stress
  • sugar imbalance from high carbohydrate and low fat diet
  • poor mineral intake or absorption
  • fatty acid imbalance
  • leaky gut
  • thyroid issues
  • depression/anxiety
  • obesity
  • lack of movement

 

What should my “heart healthy diet” look like?

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It shouldn’t look like a “diet”, but rather nourishing your body with nutrient-dense real foods most of the time!

  • Try to get a good mix of healthy saturated animal fats, as well as monounsaturated fats (like olive oil, and avocado oil). Use saturated fats for high heat cooking, and pressed olive oil for light sauteeing or cold use.
  • Eat wild caught fish, like salmon and sardines, as well as oysters (oysters are an excellent source of minerals).
  • Eat pasture raised animals (animals out eating their natural diet) such as beef and pasture raised chicken, including pasture raised eggs. Animals out eating their natural diet of grass are much higher in Omega 3 fatty acids, and contain CLA, a potent cancer fighter.
  • Avoid processed foods…foods that come in a box or package and are made with canola oil, shortening, or other highly processed oils.
  • Don’t fear eggs. Don’t fear animal fats from pasture raised animals. These myths have been proven wrong.
  • Manage your stress levels through yoga, mindfulness, and meditation.
  • Try to get adequate sleep.
  • Work to heal your gut through avoiding processed foods, and consuming fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, fermented beets, fermented carrots, kefir, or kombucha tea.
  • Use your body! Get up and Move.
  • Get outdoors, and connect with nature.

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About Kathryn:

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Kathryn Kos is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)  through The Nutritional Therapy Association, and a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor through The University of San Diego. Her undergraduate degree is in Movement Science from Westfield State College. Her Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College. She specialize in healing digestion, balancing blood sugar, balancing hormones, and autoimmune conditions.

Kathryn offers worldwide skype consultations! 

My Services

Contact Me: primalblissnutrition@gmail.com

 

PaleoF(x) 2015!

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Why should you save some of your tax return money for the most awesome weekend getaway ever?

 

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Not only are you making a long-term investment in your health, and the health of your family, but you are meeting awesome leaders in the Paleo and Primal community! 

Paleo f(x) is a huge exciting event for everyone in the paleo community, as well those new to paleo and wanting to learn much more about the paleo lifestyle. There are many reasons to attend Paleo f(x): The exciting location, the cutting edge speakers and topics, the innovative fitness demos, the social and networking opportunities, and the valuable information that you can immediately use to improve your health.

 

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The Experience.  Nowhere else in the Paleo world can you find three days that add up to a life-changing experience of information and inspiration, connection and friendship, than at Paleo f(x).  And nowhere else can you find the diversity and combined quality of speakers—athletes, scientists, physicians, nutritionists, trainers, bio-hackers, sustainability activists, and more—than at Paleo f(x).  Paleo f(x) encompasses every facet of paleo/primal living — there is something here for everyone!

I’m so excited to announce that I will be speaking on the On Ramp Stage at Paleo FX! 

 

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If you want to learn all about infant and childhood nutrition, when to start your baby on solid foods, signs baby is ready to eat, as well as how to feed busy toddlers, come see my talk!

 

 

I hope to see you at Paleo FX 2015!

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Cauliflower, Golden Beet, and Leek Soup

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This soup is perfect for cold Upstate NY winters, with -10 degrees the last couple of days. Creamy soup warms the bones and this creamy soup is dairy free! I found these beautiful golden beets and thought they would add a unique flavor. The taste was amazing, and beets are great for detoxing the liver and thinning the bile, so fats are better digested. Better digested fats=more nutrients=healthy hormones=happy person! Win win! This soup is also autoimmune friendly for those cutting out dairy, nightshades, nuts, and seeds.

 

Look at these beauties!

 

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This soup is soup-er easy to make :p

 

Ingredients:

(1) TBS solid cooking fat (ghee, coconut oil, or bacon fat)

(2)  leeks rinsed well and chopped

(3-4) cloves of garlic minced

(4) cups of chicken bone broth (chicken feet broth adds the most amazing flavor)

(1) can of full fat coconut milk. I prefer Native Forest brand as it has the thickest layer of fat on time which makes for a very creamy soup)

(1) golden beet peeled and chopped

(1) head cauliflower chopped

Pink salt and white pepper to taste (don’t use white pepper if following an Autoimmune Protocol)

 

Directions:

1. Heat cooking fat over medium high and saute the garlic and leeks until soft and fragrant.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 30-45 min or until beets are tender.

3. Puree (I used my Ninja blender).

4. If you so desire, add chopped bacon to your bowl.

 

Enjoy!

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Grain-Free Paleo Banana Cinnamon Muffins

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It’s a cold snowy morning here in Upstate NY. The kiddos and I were sitting by the fire in our feet pajamas, and I was craving something comforting and warm from the oven. I had some ripe bananas and decided to create a banana muffin. These make a great breakfast or snack. The kids loved them! These contain no grains or refined sweeteners!

 

Recipe:

Oven to 350 degrees

Wet Ingredients (combine in a mixing bowl):

(2) large or (3) small very ripe bananas mashed

(3) eggs

(1) tsp vanilla

(3) TBS maple syrup or raw honey melted (add a little more if bananas are not very ripe)

1/4 cup of melted ghee or coconut oil

 

Dry Ingredients (whisk together):

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

 

1. Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.

 

Optional Fold-ins: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips (gluten, dairy, and soy free)

 

2. Scoop mixture into greased muffin pan (greased with ghee or coconut oil). Alternatively you can line the pan with paper muffin liners.

 

3. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees

 

Cool and enjoy!

 

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5 Foods To Avoid Introducing to Children

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There are many foods out there that are marketed to parents and children. Companies produce fancy packaging, loud commercials with happy kids, and buzz words for parents like:

“part of this nutritious breakfast”

“part of a balanced meal”

“18 vitamins and minerals included”

“healthy whole grains”

We are HUGE consumers here in the U.S. and we fall for much of this marketing. Foods are even packaged to appear healthier, by using colors that consumers view as a healthy color…like earthy greens and browns.

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It’s all marketing.

Here is a piece I wrote all about the marketing of food in our culture.

Many of these processed convenience foods have added vitamins and minerals. However, these vitamins are synthetic forms and therefore are not assimilated and utilized well in the body. Real vitamins and minerals come in real food (meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy fats) and do not need to be synthesized or added to food.

Synthetic Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A: Acetate and Palmitate
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin
  • Pantothenic Acid: Calcium D-Pantothenate
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • Vitamin B12: Cobalamin
  • PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic Acid
  • Folic Acid: Pteroylglutamic Acid
  • Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
  • Biotin: d-Biotin
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid
  • Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosteral, Calciferol
  • Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate

List taken from: The Global Healing Center

 

Most processed foods in general will keep your child’s blood sugar spiking and plummeting. Your child craves more sweets and sugary foods, and never feels satiated. In the primal community this is known as being “sugar adapted”. Yes, children do need carbohydrates for energy. I’m not suggesting a low-carbohydrate diet for children. There is a huge misconception that people who follow the primal lifestyle eat low-carb. That just isn’t the case. Most children consume massive amounts of processed carbohydrates on a daily basis, and this is considered the cultural norm. Therefore anything less than that is automatically viewed as low carb. It starts with parents being told by medical authorities that they should start their baby on nutrient void rice cereal to fill them up. Next it leads to drinkable sugar laden yogurts marketed to babies, then cute little plastic toddler cups filled with finger sized crackers and cookies, then it leads to big bowls of sugary cereals. Removing these processed foods from a child’s diet and offering real food to children does not make you a bad, rigid, or depriving parent. You may feel like a fish out of water at times, but you are making the right decision for the health of your children, both now and in the future. Children can get adequate nutrients from a real food diet of meats, vegetables, fruits, and small amounts of refined sugar-free treats made with natural sweeteners. Yes it might not be as convenient as we are use to in a rush rush culture, however, the future health of our children depends upon us making changes in the right direction.

 Pictured:  Burgers On A Stick with dipping sauce!

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What are MY top 5 suggestions of foods to avoid giving to children?


1. Cereal

Any and all cereal. Rice cereal for babies, cold cereals, quick oats, etc… Here is a blog post I wrote about cereal. In a nutshell: Cereal is made with grains (usually with added sugar and food dyes), and grains are broken down into the body as sugar. Yes, you do need carbohydrates in your diet, but there are more nutrient rich sources that will not leave your child’s blood sugar to spike and plummet. Eating a bowl of cereal makes the child’s pancreas work extra hard in order to process it all. It also fills them up with little nutrients or healthy fats. I also wrote a Primal Feeding Guide for Babies and Toddlers which explains why rice cereal is not a good first choice of foods for infants.

*low nutrients

*synthetic vitamins added

*anti-nutrients that can affect digestion

*high sugar

*low in quality fat and protein

 

 2. Kid marketed crackers and cookies like those little golden fish crackers, and little bear cracker cookies, etc.

Just like the cereal above, these small toddler marketed crackers and cookies might look exciting and fun, as well as easy and quick. Kids may love the taste of them. However… for all the same reasons mentioned above regarding cereal, these crackers are full of artificial ingredients, synthetic vitamins, food dyes, high amounts of sugar, and are very low in quality nutrient-dense fats and proteins that children need to feel satiated, happy, and stable. Again, this gets children sugar adapted and reaching for processed carbs vs real food. Did I say avoid all carbohydrates for children? Absolutely not. Here is a post I wrote all about healthy snack ideas for children.

*low nutrients

*synthetic vitamins added

*low in quality fat and protein

*high sugar

 

3. Most commercial yogurts:

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Commercial yogurts contain as much sugar as a bowl of ice cream or other sugary desserts. One 8-ounce serving of low-fat or fat free sweetened yogurt can contain as much as 47 grams of sugars. This amount of sugar is equivalent to almost 12 teaspoons of sugar. People think because it’s yogurt, it must be healthy. Most yogurts should really be treated as a dessert rather than a nourishing snack or meal. It is difficult to find yogurt that does not have some or all of the fat removed from it. Fats are nutrient dense sources of energy for growing brains. However, yogurt manufacturers are still removing fat from yogurt, and adding sugar and food dye. If you are going to give your child yogurt, the best option is raw (unpasteurized), unsweetened, full fat yogurt. Plain yogurt does not contain any added sugar, but still contains naturally occurring milk sugars called lactose. An 8-ounce serving of plain yogurt still contains approximately 12 grams of sugar. This amount of sugar is equivalent to 3 teaspoons of sugar. Homemade plain yogurt that has fermented for 24 hours, does not contain sugar. The lactose is digested by beneficial bacteria, bringing the amount of sugar down to nothing. Raw yogurt has beneficial enzymes and probiotics to help with digestion, and can help colonize the gut with good bacteria. It can be sweetened with a little fruit or drizzle of raw honey.

*very high sugar

*food dye

*low in quality fat unless full fat

 

4. Kid Marketed “Energy” bars:

 

These “power” or “energy” bars marketed at kids contain a long list of ingredients that can be harmful on the gut, and contain a high amount of refined sugar. many contain as much sugar as candy bars, even organic ones. Please note… not everything that is labeled “organic” is necessarily good for your body. An organic pop tart is still a pop tart. It still contains high carb, low healthy fat, low protein. We want our kids to power up with nutrient rich healthy fats and proteins!

Here is an example of ingredients from a popular brand of energy bars targeted at kids:

INGREDIENTS: Organic Oat Blend (Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Oat Flour, Organic Oat Fiber), Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Chocolate Chips (Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Fruit Paste Blend (Organic Date Paste, Organic Fig Paste, Organic Raisin Paste), Organic Cocoa, Organic Soy Butter (Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soybean Oil, Salt), Organic Chocolate (Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Natural Flavors, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Baking Soda. VITAMINS & MINERALS: Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Ascorbic Acid (Vit. C), Ferric Orthophosphate (Iron), Zinc Oxide, Niacinamide (Vit. B3), Beta Carotene (Vit. A), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vit. B1), Riboflavin (Vit. B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vit. B6), Folic Acid (Vit. B9), Cyanocobalamin (Vit. B12). ALLERGEN STATEMENT: CONTAINS SOY AND TRACES OF DAIRY. MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS, WHEAT, AND TREE NUTS.

As you can see the bar contains mainly grains and sugar (both cane syrup and fruit sugar), soy, processed oils and synthetic vitamins and minerals.

If your child is participating in sports and needs extra boosts of carbohydrates, try making homemade energy bites or balls. You simply process nuts with dates, shredded coconut, and coconut oil. Here is my recipe for Blood Orange Coconut Balls.

 5. “Whole Grain” breads:

 

The breads today are not the breads of our ancestors. Our earliest ancestors did not eat bread. Approximately 10-12 thousand years ago (note that we’ve been around for over 200,000 years in our human form) grains were introduced into our diet. Many traditional cultures did not have bread as such a huge portion of every meal. They did not eat sandwiches daily. They also knew how to properly prepare breads (soak, sprout, and ferment) so that the body can digest and assimilate nutrients from it. The issue related to bread consumption is not only just the buzz word “gluten” that we hear. Yes, gluten is a huge offender to many people. Probably more than we can begin to realize. However, there are many other components to bread that can also have an affect on our health. Breads that are not properly prepared contain phytates and lectins, also known as anti-nutrients that can bind to minerals and render them unavailable to our bodies. These anti-nutrients also contribute to inflammation and leaky gut. Leaky gut can lead to allergies and autoimmune conditions. There are proteins found in bread other than gluten that may also have a profound affect on many people. Just like cereal, cookies, and crackers, eating bread as a staple keeps children sugar adapted, and not feeling satiated.

So what can I give my child in place of bread?

Some suggestions: Applegate Farms (GF, dairy free, soy free, and humanely raised) deli meat roll-ups, bun-less Applegate Farms grassfed hotdogs usually cut up with toothpicks and dipping sauces, bunless burgers or lettuce for the bun. Almond or sun butter used as a dip for apples or carrots rather than on bread. On the occasions my children do have bread, I make sure it is the Sprouted grain kind. However, sprouted or not it is still digested in the body and broken down to sugar. Therefore, eating several slices a day would still have a profound affect on the sugar handling of a child.

*anti-nutrients

*low in quality fats and proteins

*high in sugar

*pro-inflammatory

In a nutshell… carbohydrate rich processed foods tend to be high in sugar and low in nutrients. It might not be easy to cut these foods out and replace them with real nourishing foods, but try in steps.

What are some tips to getting your children to enjoy real food?

 

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*Involve them in the process of cooking. If your child helped prepare the meal, they are more likely to enjoy eating it.

*Children love to eat things on platters with toothpicks.

*Children love to forage for food! Take them apple picking and berry picking. We also love to collect fiddlehead ferns in the Spring.

*Explain to them the reasons behind your decisions.

*Lead by example. If those processed foods are not an option, they will start to enjoy real food more.

 

About Kathryn:

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Kathryn Kos is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)  through The Nutritional Therapy Association, and a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor through The University of San Diego. Her undergraduate degree is in Movement Science from Westfield State College. Her Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College. She specialize in healing digestion, balancing blood sugar, balancing hormones, and autoimmune conditions. 

 

 

I am speaking at Paleo FX! Get your tickets here to see my talk!

 

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* Please note: This is a personal blog.  All data and information provided on this site is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitution for professional medical advice.

 

 

 

 

 

Owl Mug Giveaway!

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It’s my two year Anniversary of blogging at Primal Bliss! What a whirlwind it has been. I had no idea what I was doing, and still have much to learn. I kind of just dove in and started doing it…and, well, here I am at two years, doing what I love and killing it!

In most of my instagram breakfast pics I feature these adorable owl mugs. I found (4) of them at the Christmas Tree Shoppes in Cape Cod, MA a couple of years ago. They were a couple bucks each. I’ve received so many compliments on them, and followers have asked where they can get them. For the past couple of years I have searched on-line and at The Christmas Tree Shoppes trying to find these exact mugs, to no avail. Thankfully my set of 4 is still alive and kicking. I enjoy my tea in them every morning.

The other day, on a whim, I stopped at Pier One Imports. When I walked in the door, there were those exact designs on owls mugs! The mugs are taller than mine, and have a fancier lip. They have a Pier One inscription on the bottom, unlike my Christmas Tree Shoppes mugs. However, they have the EXACT same owl print on them! I picked up two of these bad boys to raffle off to one of you!

 

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Enter Here to win these two awesome mugs:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on February 14th at noontime, when one lucky winner will get two lovely Pier One owl mugs. Good luck and thank you for the support!

 

Check out my other social media pages:

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

All About Grass-Fed Ghee

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What is ghee?

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Ghee is clarified butter-the butter is heated and milk solids (proteins) have been removed. The protein casein found in dairy is difficult for many people to digest. Casein is a large foreign protein that can pass through the human gut easily, contributing to what is known as “leaky” or permeable gut. When these proteins pass through the gut, they contribute to inflammatory conditions in the body. Many people think they cannot digest the lactose in dairy, but may in fact actually be reacting to the protein casein. Because the casein is removed from ghee, ghee is much easier for many to digest than butter.

 

Ghee is a stable, healthy, saturated fat. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Contrary to what you’ve probably heard in the past, these are the most beneficial fats for our body! These fats are fully saturated with hydrogen bonds (NOT to be confused with hydrogenated oils). Saturated fats are stable, and do not easily oxidize (break down) or go rancid. They can be heated to higher temperatures, unless liquid vegetable oils that have been highly processed. Saturated fats include fats such as lard, tallow, butter, suet, ghee, duck fat, coconut oil, palm oil. Saturated fats are beneficial to the body. These fats insulate myelin in the brain (memory, mood stability, alertness), strengthen the immune system and help to regulate hormones for normal hormone function. Ghee contains short-chain fatty acids as well, that are easily metabolized by the body. What this means is that the body can digest and utilize these fatty acids efficiently, reaping benefits to the body.

 

Ghee contains omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids, along with Vitamins A, D, E, and K.  According to Chris Kresser, “There’s a common misconception that beta-carotene found in fruits and vegetables is the same thing as vitamin A. It’s not. Beta-carotene is the precursor (inactive form) of retinol, the active form of vitamin A. While beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in humans, only 3% gets converted in a healthy adult. And that’s assuming you’re not one of the 45% of adults that don’t convert any beta-carotene into vitamin A at all. This means that – contrary to popular wisdom – vegetables like carrots and red peppers are not adequate food sources of vitamin A. Vitamin A is found in significant amounts only in liver and grass-fed dairy. You’d have to eat a huge amount of beta-carotene from plants to meet vitamin A requirements during pregnancy. For example, 3 ounces of beef liver contains 27,000 IU of vitamin A. To get the same amount of vitamin A from plants (assuming a 3% conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A), you’d have to eat 4.4 pounds of cooked carrots, 40 pounds of raw carrots, and 50 cups of cooked kale!” -Chris Kresser, The Healthy Baby Code.

 

Grass-fed or pastured ghee is a very high source of CLA, aka conjugated linoleic acids. CLA is  a potent cancer fighter. The digestive systems of grass-fed ruminants produce CLA. CLA is associated with superior heart health, suppression of tumors, reduced belly fat and overall increased fat loss. Pasture raised (grass-fed) cows lead to dairy CLA levels 3-5 times that of grain-fed cattle! Always look for grass-fed butter if you are making your own ghee, or grass-fed ghee if you are buying it.

 

Ghee is excellent for nerve conduction and insulation of the brain. Ghee is great for skin, eyes, and joints-it is rich with antioxidants and boosts the immune system. Ghee is high in butyric acid which has anti-viral properties and may inhibit tumor growth.

 

How do you use ghee? Ghee is great for all your cooking and baking needs. It adds amazing flavor to sauteed or roasted veggies! You can melt it and bake with it. You can serve it on top of potatoes just like butter. Grass-fed ghee is an all around healthy superfood that adds superior flavor and healthy benefits to all your dishes!

 

Pictured: Sweet potato crisps roasted in ghee

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What is my favorite ghee?

 

I LOVE and highly recommend OMghee brand ghee! The taste is superior to any other brand out there, and the texture is creamy!

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About Kathryn:

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Kathryn Kos is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)  through The Nutritional Therapy Association, and a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor through The University of San Diego. Her undergraduate degree is in Movement Science from Westfield State College. Her Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College. She specialize in healing digestion, balancing blood sugar, balancing hormones, and autoimmune conditions.

If you are interested in a free phone consultation to see how I can support your healing, contact me!

 

 

* Please note: This is a personal blog.  All data and information provided on this site is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitution for professional medical advice.

 

 

 

To The Bully Mom Who Belittled Me

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I was going to just let it go. I tried so hard to let it go. I repeated to myself over and over that she is not worth the tears. I actually hate drama and usually do everything I can to avoid it. What happened hurt me. I still tried to let it go. Then I thought about all the other parents who have to deal with bully moms like this. Parent’s who just want to feed their children real food, but are constantly undermined by insecure people who can’t handle other people’s decisions. I decided that writing about this traumatizing experience will not only help me to heal from it, but will help other parents to know that they are not alone, and to stay strong in their convictions. I remember another dear blogger friend writing about his experience being bullied by another adult because he would not eat cake at an adult gathering. It’s sad to think that some adults really do sink this low. I have experienced this to a lesser degree on several occasions, but never to this extent. I remember being told by another mom that my son would go off to college and binge on junk food if I didn’t buy him a muffin at 2 years old (a muffin that he wasn’t even asking for or interested in). I remember being told by another parent that my children were at risk for rickets because I was not giving them cows milk.

 

 

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The situation:

 

I met this new mom who I will call “Bully Mom” whose son is friends with my son at school. Bully Mom invited me over her house for dinner. I thought that was thoughtful as I am going through some major transitions in my life, and was having a very rough day. She had gone to my recent talk on ancestral health, and knew that I followed this lifestyle with both myself and my children. After the talk Bully Mom made sure to come up and tell me that she eats grains. Which is fine. Believe it or not, I don’t judge people for eating grains! Really, I don’t. People are welcome to take what they want from my talks, my blog, my FB posts etc, and leave the rest. I appreciated that she came, and thanked her for coming. Most of my friends do not follow this lifestyle, and are still very good friends. We laugh together, and love each other. That is really what matters.

 

Back to the situation. I too my 5 year old along with me to Bully Mom’s house for dinner, and to play with her children. Before coming over we stopped to get sushi for my son who was very hungry. He loves sushi, and I thought that would take the edge off of his hunger.

 

It started with several comments from Bully Mom while Jonah was eating his sushi about how “her children eat processed foods” and “how children can handle processed foods.” I didn’t comment. I simply nodded and changed the subject. I am use to being questioned by people for my choices and I usually just change the subject. Her son was asking about the sushi and she hushed him and said to him “no, you don’t like that.”

 

Then Bully Mom gave my son 2 slices of pizza and a plate of pasta. She did not ask me first. She asked him. Of course he said yes. I did not say anything. She was making separate meals of pizza and pasta for all the kids, and a different healthy meal for the adults. Usually in these situations I let go, and allow my children to have whatever it is. They do not have food allergies. I even let loose with them at home. I am not militant in my lifestyle, I do the best I can in the context of our culture. Even though I knew it may upset his stomach, I knew he would still be okay. I understand that he will have to learn to make these decisions and how different foods affect how he feels. I can’t control everything. I understand that. I was thankful that she was cooking a nice meal for me, and that I wouldn’t have to worry about dinner.

 

After finishing his meal some other friends arrived with Doritos, and my child started eating them. Again, I didn’t feel great about it, but I let him have some. However, as it became closer to his bedtime, I didn’t want him to wake at night with a bellyache. So I told him that was enough Doritos. He was fine with it.

 

Bully Mom disagreed. She took my son by the hand and led him to her pantry. She came out with him holding a bag of cheetos. He opened it and started eating them. I felt a pit in my stomach for being undermined, but still did not speak up. I let him have a few. Then I said to him “that is enough for tonight, we can finish these later” and closed up the bag.

 

Bully Mom disagreed. She yelled (yes, she spoke loudly in front of my other girlfriends and my son) “LET HIM HAVE THOSE! It’s not like he gets them all the time!”  I replied “It is my child, and my choice. He has had enough.” I had enough too. I packed up and left. As I got in the car I felt the pit in my stomach that rose up and my eyes welled with hot tears. I sobbed. I was treated like less than a person simply because of my lifestyle. I will never let someone treat me this way again.

 

 

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The next day I found out that Bully Mom had unfriended and blocked me on facebook. Why? Well simply because she is insecure with her parenting choices, and needed someone to take it out on. I was her scapegoat. I feel for her, and after getting all of this out of my system, I will forgive her. I am letting it go.

 

However, I’m tired of pretending that it is okay to treat people this way. It’s not okay. If you disagree with someone’s lifestyle choices that much, then don’t invite them over to dinner! Do not undermine other parents by feeding their children things you know they are not comfortable with. If you are a parent trying to feed your child real food, you are not depriving neglecting, or hurting them. I’m sorry that we have to live in such an eff’d up culture that people truly believe this. Believe it or not kids can enjoy real food. You are also not alone.

 

 

 

 

Five Tips for a Happy Paleo Holiday Season

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There are hundreds of blog posts written about “surviving the holidays.” Such advice as “avoid the snack table at all cost” “eat before the party” “it’s okay to binge during the holidays-just let go” “only eat veggies at the snack tables” and the list goes on and on. Everyone has tips that might indeed work for them. However, their suggestions may not work for you! Here are my tips that are centered around empowering you to make the best decisions for yourself!

 

1. We all have different things that work for us and things that don’t work for us. Why? because we are bio-individuals. Some of us get very sick if we eat even the smallest amount of gluten. Some just feel better without it, but can manage small amounts. Same goes for other foods. Some of us have emotional eating patterns that require a different way of processing eating. These individuals may need to let loose for their emotional well-being. There is no one approach to surviving the holidays. My advice is to listen to your body and your personal needs (both physical and emotional). Think about the decisions you are making, keeping your mental, spiritual, and physical well-being in mind. Think about what works for YOU and no one else. Don’t let people pressure you into eating something that you know will have you buckled over in pain an hour later. That is not respecting yourself. Don’t avoid eating something you want to eat if you know your body can process it. Be in tune with yourself.

 

2. If you react to a certain food and it makes you feel sick, consider avoiding it or making a substitution. If you think you can handle it, then enjoy it. If you think you will feel terrible after eating it, don’t eat it. Or eat it and take some digestive enzymes with it to help your body process it. Don’t overthink it. Either way, you will be okay. Just keep “you” in mind when making these decisions.

 

3. Remember that holidays are not only about food!  Our culture puts a very strong emphasis on food. In fact, I think we are in the midst of a national eating disorder. We just don’t know what to do. We *think* holidays are all about food, and must include gluttonous amounts of it. However, there are so many other things we can make emotional connections with over the holidays, and we CAN let go of that notion that is socially entwined in our being. That notion that there needs to massive amounts of sugar laden treats for every holiday get together. Savor the beam in your child’s eyes when they look at the ornaments on the tree, instead of savoring the plate of cookies. You might realize that you are just doing what you are accustomed to doing, and that they aren’t as joyful as some other senses you can experience over the holidays. Be in the moment. Experience the laughing and joke telling. Experience the smells of the pine. Listen to the music. Take pleasure in the sites, scents, experiences. Re-establish some of the connections in your brain that are use to old ways. This might help you to be more in tune with yourself. You will start to show yourself  some kindness, love and respect. Create one tradition that does not involve food.  Take the emphasis off of food, and enjoy some of the other aspects of the season. 

 

 

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4. Take the time to prepare dishes that you know will not make you sick. Bring these dishes to holiday get togethers. Most people just aren’t aware of the versatility of eating real food. The holidays are a great time to teach others you can survive without some of these culturally normal food items that cause more harm to the body than good. I have a client of mine who is proudly hosting her first Paleo Thanksgiving. There are so many amazing and inspirational recipes out there! People think this lifestyle is restrictive because they do not know very much about it. We are fearful of what we don’t know. We are fearful of what is different from what we’ve been taught. Once we realize that eating real food really can be amazing, bountiful, and flavorful, we settle down. So take this opportunity to teach. Not in a “preaching” way. Just bring some awesome real food and watch your family enjoy it! People learn by example.

 

 

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5. Smile more, and let it go. Enjoy this short season, and stop trying to be perfect for everyone, while being angry with yourself. Be true to yourself. “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor. It will keep you very scared and restless your entire life if you do not awaken, and fight back.”-Anne Lamott 

 

 

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Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie

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Ingredients for the crust:

2 cups of almond meal

1/3 cup of coconut flour

3/4 cup of coconut oil

6-8 TBS water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp sea salt

Directions for the crust:

Set oven to 400 degrees.

I did not melt the coconut oil. I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mashed it all together with a whisk or large fork (a pastry blender would probably work better, I just didn’t have one on hand).

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Roll out dough on a surface dusted with almond flour-or between parchment paper that is dusted with almond flour, and place it in the bottom of the pie pan. This dough is not easy to work with and breaks easily. Try not to get frustrated. I had to do some patching and pressing. It doesn’t have to look perfect. There will be extra dough as this recipe is originally for the type of pie with a top and bottom crust.

Having the extra helped make it easier to work with.  🙂

Bake the crust for 10 at 400 degrees.  Remove from oven, and turn oven up to 425 degrees.

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Ingredients for the filling:

1 (15 ounce) can of organic pumpkin puree

1 (13.5) oz can of Native Forest Organic coconut milk

2 large eggs

1/2 cup of Grade B Maple Syrup

3 TBS coconut flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

 

Directions:

MIX:  cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl.

BEAT: eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, maple syrup, and spices. Fold in the coconut milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for an hour or until knife inserted near center comes out clean (mine took a little over an hour). You may need to gently cover the edges with foil if they start to brown too fast.

***Cool on wire rack for 2-3 hours. This step is necessary for it to firm up!

Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Top with whipped coconut cream!

 

Whipped Coconut Cream:

Refrigerate 2 cans of Native Forest coconut milk (not the reduced fat kind). Open the can and take the cream off of the top and place it in a bowl.

 

 

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*you can save the watery part for other recipes-you could even use it in place of water in dough for the pie!

 

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Whip with beaters until whipped cream consistency with 3 TBS Grade B maple syrup and 1 tsp of vanilla.

 

 Enjoy!

 

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Paleo Squash Soup with Bacon, Leeks, and Pumpkin Seeds

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Ingredients:

4 cups of chopped squash.

***I strongly dislike chopping squash and have almost lost a finger a few times…so I purchased a pre-chopped mix of acorn, winter, and butternut squash. Any squash would work, even pumpkin! I like the mix because butternut alone is too sweet for my liking.
4 cups of filtered water
3-4 slices of pastured bacon
2 leeks chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
sea salt, black pepper to taste
fresh oregano-a few sprigs chopped
roasted pumpkin seeds

 

 

Directions:

Directions:

1. Crisp the bacon in a dutch oven, remove from pan and chop it up. Set bacon aside with chopped oregano and pumpkin seeds (these will top the soup at the end, and add nice taste and crunch)

2. Saute the leeks in the bacon fat until golden and crispy.

3.Add the celery and squash to the pan, top with water.

4. Add sea salt and pepper to your taste, as well as the teaspoon of thyme.

5. Bring to a boil and then simmer until squash is tender (approx 15-20 min).

6. Puree the soup! The easiest way is with a handheld immersion blender. However, mine broke so I used a regular blender.

 

 

Enjoy! 

Fall Paleo Recipe Contest! Savory Sauerkraut and Apple Slow Roasted Ribs

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Do you like tangy sauerkraut, garlic, apples, and fall apart tender savory pork? This dish is everything fall. It is easy to make and sure to please! You can make it right in the crock pot. You can start it early, and have it ready for dinner on a cool fall night. I am planning to make it for my son’s Halloween birthday party!

 

I submitted this recipe for Paleo On The Go’s

Fall Recipe Contest

 

 

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Get the full recipe and please vote for me

HERE! 

 

With your vote, you also get a change to win a Paleo On The Go sample pack!

If I win, Paleo On the Go will be featuring this dish on their menu!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten and Dairy Free Pumpkin Mousse

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Fall is all about pumpkins! Here is my quick and easy pumpkin mousse recipe 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

1 can of Native Forest brand Coconut Milk, refrigerated overnight

1/3 cup of Organic Pumpkin Puree

3 TBS Grade B Maple Syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon  +a little extra to sprinkle on top if so desired

 

Directions:

**Be sure to refrigerate the coconut milk over night**

1. Remove the thick cream layer from the top and place in a mixing bowl with vanilla. Whip with beaters on high speed until cream consistency.

2. Slowly drizzle in the maple syrup and continue to whip.

3. Fold in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.

4. Scoop mixture into (4) small serving dishes, or (2) large.

5. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon or pumpkin spice on top.

 

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

Healthy Thyroid Diet: 4 Recommendations From A Nutritional Therapist

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In past pieces I discussed Autoimmune Thyroid disease, and how your immune system is attacking your thyroid gland. Many people believe that medication is the only answer, and many more suffer in silence because they are told by their physician that their thyroid is functioning normally. Autoimmune thyroid is not black and white. It is one of the more difficult autoimmune conditions to get under control and feel good. However, there ARE changes you can make to heal leaky gut, and support the health of your thyroid. You can make changes to help slow down and in some cases stop the attack on your thyroid. With that said, you have to be willing to make big nutritional changes.

Culturally, we are accustomed to eating for comfort and we are very much attached to processed foods and grains as primary fuel for our body. However these foods keep us on the blood sugar roller coaster and also do not provide the nutrients we need to make the precursors for proper hormone formation, and to keep the body in a non-inflamed state.

Processed foods contribute to what is known as “leaky-gut” or permeable gut. What this means is that large proteins (undigested food) pass through open junctions in the small intestines and cause inflammation in the body, the root of modern disease. Some proteins like gluten are often mistaken as thyroid tissue. Chains of amino acids in gluten share the same molecular structure as thyroid tissue. So when gluten is consumed, the immune system recognizes it as a foreign invader, and attacks the thyroid tissue as well. It can take several months for the immune system to bounce back and stop attacking the thyroid. Therefore, I recommend that individuals with hashimoto’s avoid all gluten, including small amounts or occasional gluten. There may be other foods that can cause the same reaction, in some individuals. Avoiding processed foods is a huge step you can take in the right direction. 

 

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The best way to try and stop the attack is to get to the root cause and heal it. This is where it is not all black and white. Some people may have increased cortisol from stress, affecting hormone balance. There may also be an excess of xenoestrogens (known as estrogen dominance) which also affects the thyroid, others have toxins in their body. There are many different ways the thyroid can be affected. In a previous piece I discussed the importance of finding a Doctor who will run a full-thyroid panel, which will help give a more clear answer on the etiology of how the thyroid is being affected. However, healing the gut, and getting the body to digest foods properly is HUGE in terms of halting an autoimmune attack on the thyroid. We want to fully digest our foods so that these proteins are not escaping through the lining in the gut, and attacking our immune system. 70-80% of our immunities are found in the gut. We want to keep our immune system strong (remember, autoimmune diseases are an attack on the immune system of the body, meaning the body is seeing itself as an invader and attacking). We also want to support our adrenal health through lifestyle changes and possible adrenal support supplements, as chronic stress affects our hormone formation and balance.

Below am going to suggest some dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and supplement recommendation that I support my clients with as a Nutritional Therapist. The thyroid is a very complicated endocrine organ. It is important to work in collaboration with your Doctor when making lifestyle changes. I never recommend stopping medications. I am not a Doctor. Rather, I recommend supporting the health of your thyroid through dietary and lifestyle changes, thus healing the root cause while working with your Doctor to adjust medications. With that said, I feel it is also important to be your own advocate, and research, research, research. Don’t put your Doctor on a pedestal. Work as a team. This is YOUR body.

 

Thyroid Dietary Recommendations:

  • Follow a gut-healing dietary protocol. There are a couple different ones out there. The two that I most recommend are the GAPS protocol and the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol). Both involve removing from the diet all grains (including corn), dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, eggs, legumes, and nightshades. Both involve slowly reintroducing foods with larger proteins. The GAPS protocol involves some raw dairy. However, with autoimmune thyroid I recommend avoiding all dairy. Dairy proteins are large and tend to not digest easily therefore passing through the gut. It may sound like a restricted diet when you compare it to what you are accustomed to. However, there are many many amazing cookbooks and blog recipes out there, and it is very do-able.  Some of the restrictions beyond gluten, dairy, and soy may be reintroduced after a period of time to see how your body reacts to each particular food. The key is to increase your healthy fat intake and get your body to start digesting good fats. Stick to eating well cooked meats and vegetables with stable saturated fats. Don’t be afraid of getting these fats in your diet. Fats are healthy for hormone formation and necessary for so many functions in the body.

 

Here are my book suggestions for getting started:

The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body, by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD

Gut and Psychology Syndrome, by Natasha Campbell-McBride

The Autoimmune-Paleo Cookbook: An Allergen Free Approach to Managing Chronic Illness, by Mickey Trescott, NTP

Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilippo (Autoimmune Chapter)

 

I also recommend:

  • Drink bone broth daily.
  • Include fermented foods daily such as raw sauerkraut and kombucha tea.
  • Chew food thoroughly (enzymes in saliva help to pre-digest foods).
  • Drink 1/2 body weight in ounces of water each day-sip throughout the day. Consider adding lemon to your water to support cleansing the liver.

 

Lifestyle Recommendations:

  • Keep exercise at light to moderate (walking, yoga, stretching, tai chi) while the body is healing. Over stressing the body may feel really good, but also causes an increase is cortisol output, which put extra stress on the adrenals and thyroid.
  • Try to get enough sleep for your body. I don’t like to recommend a certain number of hours. We are all different. Some people feel their best at 6 hours, others need 8. The key is to to turn off all stimulating activities and electronics in the evening (at least an hour before bed). Keep these screens and devices out of the room you will be sleeping in. Try to go to bed earlier if you can, as sleep in the early part of the night is restorative.
  • Find new activities that bring you joy and passion, but do not jeopardize the health of your body. I highly recommend yoga and meditation. I love to go fishing 🙂

 

Tyroid Supplement Recommendations:

There are also specific minerals that support the thyroid, and supplement recommendation for healing the intestines. However, many of these recommendations are dependent upon the persons bio-individual needs. I recommend working with a Nutritional Therapist to get on a protocol that meets your needs!

Here are a couple recommendations I make to most of my clients who are struggle with autoimmune thyroid and need gut healing:

Selenium and Zinc (minerals that support thyroid health)

Fermented Cod Liver Oil (contains Vit A and D)

L-Glutamine (rebuilds the mucous layer of the small intestines to help seal the gut, helps with sugar cravings)

Digestive Enzymes (helps to breakdown proteins, fats, and sugars more thoroughly, so less large proteins can pass through the gut). I highly recommend Digest Gold by Enzymedica, taken with every meal.

Probiotics (good bacteria to help with digestion). I recommend Prescript Assist brand probiotics.

*I am not affiliated or paid for any of the above brand selections.

Get a free nutritional therapy consultation

 

My hope is that this information will open your eyes to some important changes that you can make now to help support your thyroid health. If you are interested in a free phone consultation to see how I can support your healing, contact me!

 

About Kathryn:

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Kathryn Kos is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)  through The Nutritional Therapy Association, and a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor through The University of San Diego. Her undergraduate degree is in Movement Science from Westfield State College. Her Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College. She specialize in healing digestion, balancing blood sugar, balancing hormones, and autoimmune conditions. 

 

 

 

* Please note: This is a personal blog.  All data and information provided on this site is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitution for professional medical advice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

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Sauce: 

3 slices of bacon
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1/2 pound ground chorizo or ground pastured pork if you don’t like the spice
1 onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (look for organic/BPA free)
2 TBS of tomato paste (look for organic/BPA free)
1 cup stock or bone broth
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
fresh or dried basil (about 1 TBS dry or a few leaves fresh-chopped)
fresh or dried parsley (about 1 TBS dry or a few sprigs fresh-chopped)
2 bay leaves

Cook the bacon in a large sauce pan until crispy, remove from pan and chop. Add onion and ground meats to the bacon fat and cook through. Add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer until thick and bubbly. *remove bay leaves prior to serving

 

For the Squash:

Oven 350. Cut in half, remove seeds, put cut side down in a baking dish with about an inch of water in the bottom. Cook for 45 minutes and scoop out with a fork. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.

 

Enjoy!

 

Interested in taking the first steps to feeling better? Contact me for a free Nutritional Therapy Consultation!

 

 

Despite What Your Doctor Says, Your Thyroid Might Not Be Functioning Normally

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You have been experiencing thyroid symptoms, yet your Doctor told you your TSH was within a normal range.

Now what?

Now it’s time to find a Doctor who will request a FULL thyroid panel, including thyroid antibodies. This will give you and your care provider a more complete picture as to what is going on. 

Although Western medical Doctors including endocrinologists might not be educated on this (they are trained to prescribe medication rather than addressing and healing the root cause). They typically test your TSH level and it if falls within one particular range (usually 4.0 or under), they will tell you your thyroid is functioning in a normal range. However, you might still be struggling, and your thyroid might not be functioning optimally. People with TSH’s of higher than 1.5 can show symptoms of thyroid dysfunction.

What are some of the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction?

*Fatigue

*Weight gain or inability to lose weight

*Cold hands and feet (poor circulation)

*Depression

*Constipation

*Digestive problems

*Itchy dry skin

*Thinning in the outer third of the eyebrows

*Hair falls out easily

*Heart palpitations

*Inward trembling

*Insomnia

*Night sweats

*Difficulty gaining weight

There are more thorough tests besides TSH alone that can give real answers. There are lifestyle and dietary changes that you can make to help support the health of your thyroid. It is important to find a care provider who understands the affect your diet and lifestyle have on the the health of your thyroid, and are willing to work with you to make these necessary changes.

This first piece is just to describe the full-panel and what it means. In subsequent pieces, I will address some lifestyle and nutritional changes you can make to help support your thyroid. There are many factors that come into play, such as diet, health of your gut, exposure to toxins, hormones, and stress levels. There are natural ways to support thyroid function and stop further destruction of this delicate endocrine organ. It is important to work with a practitioner who understands the complexity and balancing act, and works with you and your bio-individual needs.

 

What is a full-thyroid panel?

Scientist Placing Test Tube In TraySource: Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests are Normal, Daris Kharrazian, 2010

TSH:

TSH is thyroid stimulating hormone or thyrotropin. It is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. Testing TSH levels is the standard that most endocrinologists use in determining thyroid function. However, your TSH could be considered “normal” by your Doctor, and you get told your thyroid is fine. However, you’re still experiencing thyroid symptoms, right? TSH alone does not give all the answers. This test fails to account for a host of other factors. Mine was in the “normal” range according the endocrinologist. However, it was actually in a higher range than I would have liked to see (the standard for what is considered normal at 4.0 or lower is questionable). Many people with a TSH in the higher end of that range are feeling pretty lousy, yet still told their thyroid is normal. I also had thyroid antibodies that the first Doctor did not test me for (more on antibodies below).

 

Total Thyroxine (TT4):

Measures both bound and unbound T4 levels. Thyroid hormones travel through the bloodstream bound to proteins fore they are released to enter the cells and thus becoming unbound.

 

Free Thyroxine Index (FTI):

Total T4 and T3 Uptake considered together, measures activity of free or unbound T4. Free Thyroxine Index should be within a normal range if thyroid is functioning properly.

 

Free T4 (FT4)

Measures the amount of free or active T4 in the blood. Factors that impact TT4 will NOT impact FT4. FT4 is high with hyperthyroidism and low with hypothyroidism.

 

Free T3 (FT3)

Measures free T3 hormone and is the best indicator for measuring active thyroid hormones available to receptor sites. This test is rarely requested in conventional western medicine, and gives a great deal of info as to what is going on.

 

Reverse T3 (RT3)

Measures the amount of reverse T3 produced. This test helps with determining if high cortisol/stress/adrenals are playing a role in affecting thyroid function. Increased production of T3 is due to inability to clear reverse T3 and from high cortisol.

 

Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG)

Measures the amount of proteins in the blood that carry thyroid hormones to the cells. Elevated Testosterone and Estrogen can cause a change in the TBG, thus producing hypothyroid symptoms.

 

Thyroid Antibodies:

I made this one the biggest. One thing I will never understand is WHY Doctors fail to check antibodies for the thyroid. Most people with thyroid issues have undiagnosed Hashimotos (Autoimmune Thyroid). If the TSH level is high (by western medical standards), the individual may be put on a synthetic thyroid hormone replacement (usually T4 only). If it’s not high, the person may struggle with symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, hormone issues, and mental health issues for years and never get a diagnosis. Meanwhile, their thyroid is being attacked by their own body. Thyroid antibodies means that the bodies own immune system is attacking the thyroid. This is true for both hyper and hypo autoimmune thyroid. This is an autoimmune condition, meaning the individual needs to make huge lifestyle/dietary changes in order to stop the attack on their own thyroid. Most western Medical Doctors fail to recognize this, and will wait until the thyroid stops functioning or in some cases even needs to be removed. Thyroid antibodies in the blood indicate a positive autoimmune thyroid condition. Make sure to request having your thyroid antibodies checked.

 

I was told I had thyroid antibodies by a receptionist, who said my thyroid was fine now (because my TSH was under 4.0). She said once my thyroid stopped functioning at an “ideal” (according to their standards) level, they would put me on a medication. In the meantime, it is expected that I would just struggle with weight gain, fatigue, and mood changes that go along with the swings between hypo and hyper thyroid as the body is attacking itself. Through my own intense research I was able to find answers and change the course of my life. It is my goal to help as many people as possible to stop struggling and to find the right answers. As a Nutritional Therapist, I work with my clients to heal their gut and stop the autoimmune attack on the thyroid.

 

My take-home message is to always be your own advocate. You may need to switch care providers, and do a lot of work yourself. In subsequent posts I will discuss lifestyle changes and ways to support the health of your thyroid. I will also share some good gut healing protocols that I support my clients through.

Get a free nutritional therapy consultation

 

About Me:

About Kathryn:

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Kathryn Kos is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)  through The Nutritional Therapy Association, and a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor through The University of San Diego. Her undergraduate degree is in Movement Science from Westfield State College. Her Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College. She specialize in healing digestion, balancing blood sugar, balancing hormones, autoimmune conditions, weight loss, and feeding infants and children.

“My own health struggles occurred through years of following mainstream western nutritional advice led me down this path. I was eating what I thought was a very healthy diet (following conventional medical advice). However, I was struggling with feeling good inside and out. I ended up being diagnosed with several Autoimmune Conditions. I was having horrible gall bladder attacks and living on antacids. My thyroid was enlarged, and I struggled with anxiety and insomnia. My endocrinologist wanted to wait until my thyroid stopped functioning, and put me on a medication. That was the only solution offered. Doctors wanted to put me on medications. My philosophy is to find and heal the root cause of the problem, rather than fix the symptoms by taking a medication or removing an organ.Through my own intense research, I began my real food journey. My health changed drastically and my autoimmune markers went way down. I started to feel amazing and wanted to share my experience on a big level. I am so excited to share my knowledge with you!  I am dedicated to helping you realize what your bio-individual nutrition needs are, and giving you the tools to make positive changes in your life!”

-Kathryn Kos, NTP

Kathryn sees clients worldwide through skype and google hangouts!

Contact Kathryn to schedule a free phone consultation:

(518) 260-9749

primalblissnutrition@gmail.com 

Pork Fried Cauliflower “Rice”

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Ingredients:

(1) head of cauliflower “riced” in a food processor

(1) pork tenderloin chopped into small pieces (about 1/4 inch)

(1) egg beaten

(1) large leek finely diced

(3) cloves of garlic minced

(1) carrot shredded

*any other veggies you find in the fridge that you want to add, chopped.

(3) scallions chopped

(2) TBS ghee or coconut oil

(3) TBS coconut aminos

(3) TBS coconut vinegar

(1-2) TBS fish sauce 

pink salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. Rice the cauliflower in a food processor, and steam it for a few minutes (I used a rice steamer, but a pot works as well):

 

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2. Saute the meat and veggies (minus the scallions) in 2 TBS ghee or coconut oil with pink salt and pepper in a large skillet until meat is browned and veggies are tender.

3. Fold in the riced cauliflower and add the coconut aminos, coconut vinegar, and fish sauce.

4. Add the beaten egg and stir until fully cooked.

5. Season with pink salt and black pepper to your liking.

6. Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Tuna Zoodle Casserole with Smoked Paprika

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Per reader request, I “paleo-ized” a traditional tuna noodle casserole with zoodles and a dairy free sauce. It came out thick, creamy, and flavorful!

 

I used Wild Planet brand tuna:

 

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Ingredients:

(2) cans of Wild Planet tuna fish

(2) zucchini’s made into zoodles with a vegetable spiralizer

(1) small onion chopped

(3) cloves of garlic finely minsed

(1) celery stalk chopped

(3) TBS ghee divided

(1) TBS arrowroot powder

(1 1/2) cups of almond milk or (1) can of full-fat coconut milk

pink salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Oven to 350 degrees

(1) Make the zoodles out of the zucchini with a vegetable spiralizer:

 

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(2) Saute onion, garlic, and celery in 1 TBS ghee, pink salt, and fresh cracked pepper until veggies are golden:

 

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(3) Make a roux by mixing (2) TBS ghee with (1) TBS arrowroot over med low heat until thick and bubbly. Add pink salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in almond milk or coconut milk until thick and bubbly.

 

(4) Mash the tuna with a fork and mix it in with the veggies and zoodles. Put tuna mix into a casserole dish. Pour the Roux over and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

 

 

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Enjoy!

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Paleo Moussaka Recipe

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Paleo Moussakka

You asked for it…

Here is my paleo version of Greek moussaka. I have to admit…I have never tried real moussaka before. I asked my readers for some of their favorite dishes they would like to see “paleo-ized” and a few requested moussaka. So I spent a couple days looking over Traditional Greek Moussaka recipes, and came up with this. I took out some ingredients and added a few. I have nothing to compare it to, but I hope you find this fills your cravings. I found it to be very creamy and bursting with flavor. I love eggplant and meat sauce. The creamy top just made it incredible. I was nervous about using almond milk for the bechamel sauce, as traditional recipes call for full fat milk. I did not want to use coconut milk as I did not think the flavor of coconut would marry well with this recipe. I was pleasantly surprised! This will be a new regular for me!

 

Ingredients for Base:

(1) large eggplant thinly sliced

(3) TBS grassfed ghee or coconut oil divided

(1) pound grassfed ground beef

(1) small onion chopped

(3) cloves garlic minsed

(3) TBS organic tomato paste (I used Muir Glenn)

3/4 cup water

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

 

Directions for Base:

oven to 350 degrees

1. Thinly slice the eggplant and sprinkle each slice with pink salt. Place them on towels and let them “sweat” out the moisture for about 30 minutes.

2. While eggplant slices are enjoying their hot yoga sweat routine, brown up the ground beef in (1) TBS ghee or coconut oil with the onion, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Once browned add the tomato paste and water. Mix well and simmer until thick and bubbly.

3. While meat is simmering, brown the eggplant on each side in (2) TBS ghee or coconut oil over med high heat.

4. Lay the eggplant covering the bottom of a casserole dish like so:

 

Paleo Moussakka Base

5.Place a layer of the meat mixture over the eggplant, then do one more layer of each:

 

Meat mixture over eggplant base - paleo moussakka

Ingredients for the creamy layer (aka bechamel sauce) :

(2) TBS ghee or coconut oil

(1) TBS arrowroot powder

1 1/2 cups of almond milk

1 pinch nutmeg

pink salt and white pepper to taste

 

Directions for Bechamel Sauce:

1.  Create a roux with the ghee and arrowroot. In a small sauce pan over med heat mix the ghee or coconut oil with the arrowroot until thickened. Pour in the almond milk and whisk until thick and bubbly. Mix in the nutmeg, pink salt, and white pepper to taste.

2. Pour sauce over the base layer:

 

bechamel sauce for paleo moussakka

 

3. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for one hour.

4. Let is set for about 20 minutes before serving.

 

Enjoy!

 

fresh from the oven - paleo moussaka

singel serving - paleo moussaka

Get a free consultation

Why Avoid Peanuts

Peanut in a shell and cleared

Peanut in a shell and cleared

 

I’ve had a couple recent clients mention that they eat a lot of peanut butter. They wanted to know if there is a reason to switch out of it if they were not allergic. There are many reasons why advocates of the paleo/primal/realfood lifestyle avoid peanuts, and I will try to cover all of them. Many people think that peanuts are nuts, however, they are actually legumes! What is a legume? legumes are seeds within a pod such as beans, chick peas, and beans.

 

What is the difference between a nut and a legume?

 

Nuts usually have one seed within a shell, legumes tend to have multiple seeds within a casing. The focus on this piece is peanuts which are legumes.

 

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Some people in the paleo community eat small amounts of legumes, some avoid them all together. The reason why some (including myself) choose to avoid legumes is because they contain anti-nutrients (phytates and lectins) that help protect the plant from being eaten by bugs. These anti-nutrients can contribute to inflammation in the body, digestive issues, and leaky gut. You would want to avoid legumes if you have autoimmune conditions. However, when properly soaked and sprouted many of these anti-nutrients can be removed, making legumes easier on digestion. Some legumes are also high in complex carbohydrates which is not good for those struggling with balancing their blood sugar. However, they do contain fiber to slow the absorption of sugar in the system. So legumes are not the worse thing you can eat. They are not the best source of nutrients in terms of nutrient density, but in my opinion are better than many of the processed food options out there if properly prepared (soaked, sprouted).

 

Now onto peanuts…

 

Peanuts (in my opinion) might not be a good choice even if you are keeping some legumes in the diet.

 

According to Dr. Mercola:

  • Peanuts are high in omega-6 fats that distort the omega 3:6 ratio. High omega 6 consumption leads to inflammation in the body.
  • Peanuts are contaminated with a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin
  • Peanuts are one of the most pesticide-contaminated crop (unless organic)

 

My take:

In our culture we eat a very high omega 6 diet, and low omega 3. Many of us are not consuming grass-fed/pasture raised meats which have a better fatty acid profile (higher in omega 3). We also consume high omega 6 vegetable oils. Here is a piece I wrote about oils (which to avoid and why). Even when you try to avoid the “bad” oils at home, you still consume them when you go out to eat. Very few restaurants cook with healthy oils. So why eat even more omega 6 fatty acids by eating peanut butter regularly? Just something to think about.

Some experts link the mold on the shell of the peanuts to peanut allergies. Some deny the link all together. Regardless of the trigger for allergies, peanuts are still very high in aflatoxin, and that is another reason to avoid them.

 

According to the FDA:

“Aflatoxins produce acute necrosis, cirrhosis, and carcinoma of the liver in a number of animal species; no animal species is resistant to the acute toxic effects of aflatoxins; hence it is logical to assume that humans may be similarly affected. A wide variation in LD50 values has been obtained in animal species tested with single doses of aflatoxins. For most species, the LD50 value ranges from 0.5 to 10 mg/kg body weight. Animal species respond differently in their susceptibility to the chronic and acute toxicity of aflatoxins. The toxicity can be influenced by environmental factors, exposure level, and duration of exposure, age, health, and nutritional status of diet. Aflatoxin B1 is a very potent carcinogen in many species, including nonhuman primates, birds, fish, and rodents. In each species, the liver is the primary target organ of acute injury. Metabolism plays a major role in determining the toxicity of aflatoxin B1; studies show that this aflatoxion requires metabolic activation to exert its carcinogenic effect, and these effects can be modified by induction or inhibition of the mixed function oxidase system.”

 

According to Mark’s Daily Apple:

“Peanuts are high in aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are naturally occurring fungal toxins, or mycotoxins, produced by certain members of Aspergillus, a type of fungus found pretty much everywhere throughout the world. Aspergillus tends to colonize any monosaccharide and polysaccharide it comes across, as long as the conditions are right, but peanuts are particularly susceptible. Most crops are colonized after harvest and during storage, but since Aspergillus is found in the soil (among other places) and peanuts grow underground, peanut colonization often occurs well before harvest. The result is that peanuts are among the most contaminated crops, along with corn and cottonseed.”

Read more

 

My verdict:

There are alternative nut-butters such as almond butter or nut-free seed butter like sun butter (made with sunflower seeds), I use these for dipping fruit and carrots in rather than peanut butter. I also occasionally bake with them. Remember, nuts contain anti-nutrients (phytates and lectins) as well, which is why you want raw soaked/sprouted nuts and seeds to ease digestion. However, they are not heavy on the molds like peanuts. When our ancestors started consuming nuts/seeds, they knew how to prepare them properly to ease digestion. It was harder for them to forage and shell them, so they weren’t consuming massive amounts from the food industry like we are today. If you are switching to alternative nut/seed butters do so in moderation or consider making your own with soaked nuts. If you are one of those peanut butter lovers who just cannot give it up, I suggest cutting down on the amount you are consuming, or try converting to an alternative nut/seed butter. Now that I am more in tune with my body, I notice that I get very bloated after eating almonds and almond butter. However, sunbutter doesn’t bother me. Listen to the messages your body is sending you!

Get a free nutrional therapy consultation

About Kathryn:

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Kathryn Kos is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)  through The Nutritional Therapy Association, and a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor through The University of San Diego. Her undergraduate degree is in Movement Science from Westfield State College. Her Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College. Kathryn is a nutrition blogger over at Primal Bliss Nutrition, where she shares whole food recipes and articles pertaining to health and wellness. She specialize in healing digestion, balancing blood sugar, balancing hormones, autoimmune conditions, weight loss, and feeding infants and children.

“My own health struggles occurred through years of following mainstream western nutritional advice led me down this path. I was eating what I thought was a very healthy diet (following conventional medical advice). However, I was struggling with feeling good inside and out. I ended up being diagnosed with several Autoimmune Conditions. I was having horrible gall bladder attacks and living on antacids. My thyroid was enlarged, and I struggled with anxiety and insomnia. My endocrinologist wanted to wait until my thyroid stopped functioning, and put me on a medication. That was the only solution offered. Doctors wanted to put me on medications.

My philosophy is to find and heal the root cause of the problem, rather than fix the symptoms by taking a medication or removing an organ. Through my own intense research, I began my real food journey. My health changed drastically and my autoimmune markers went way down. I started to feel amazing and wanted to share my experience on a big level. I am so excited to share my knowledge with you!  I am dedicated to helping you realize what your bio-individual nutrition needs are, and giving you the tools to make positive changes in your life!”

-Kathryn Kos, NTP

Kathryn sees clients worldwide through phone, skype or google hangouts! She also sees clients locally in her Ballston Spa, NY office.

Contact Kathryn to schedule a free consultation:

(518) 260-9749

primalblissnutrition@gmail.com 

Banana Cinnamon Pecan Parfaits

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The other day I was in a store that was selling these gorgeous banana cream pies. I thought…hmmm….how can I create the taste of bananas and cream without gluten or dairy. These parfaits came to mind! They are easy to make with whipped coconut cream. I love how pecans and cinnamon taste together. These were a real hit with the kids, and I felt good about them having this summertime treat!

 

I found these cool glass mugs at Target and they make great parfait dishes!

 

parfait1

 

Ingredients for 4 parfaits (use half for 2):

 

  • 2 cans of coconut milk refrigerated over night. As someone with many failed attempts at whipped coconut…see if you can find this brand:

 

parfait5

 

I like Native Forest because it has a lot of cream in it and the cream gets very firm. Other brands I have tried are more watery, and won’t whip up nice.

 

  • 4 TBS Grade B maple syrup
  • 4 bananas sliced
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 4 TBS chopped pecans

 

My little pecan chopper focusing:

 

parfait2

 

1. Scoop out the top fat layer of coconut cream from each can, and place it in a large mixing bowl. Do NOT include the liquid at the bottom. Just use the fat layer.

 

parfait6

 

2. Add the maple syrup and vanilla to the cream and whip it up good 🙂

 

parfait7

 

3. Layer the coconut cream and bananas in the parfait dishes. Top with cinnamon and pecans, and enjoy!

 

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About Me:

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My name is Kathryn…I am a mommy of two beautiful little people, a nutritional therapy practitioner, a lover of music, and I am passionate about using my body and staying strong. I am an avid reader/researcher about the science of nutrition, and how food affects the chemistry of our body. I also love to read about and explore spirituality. I try not to follow mainstream ideology, and I always look for more than one answer to things. I believe that it is important to take risks, and push your boundaries. We are capable of so much more than we believe. I feel it is important to reconnect with our ancestors-to get back to what makes us human, and what makes us really feel content and happy. We get so far removed from our roots at times that we seek short-term pleasure in foods and activities that give us a temporary high, yet leaves us feeling empty. Please join me on my quest to reconnect with life and each other at a deep and meaningful level. Take risks…find bliss!

 

What can a Nutritional Therapist do for you?

 

The payoff of hiring a Nutritional Therapist is that you will have the tools necessary to heal your digestion, balance your blood sugar and hormones, increase your energy, increase your self awareness, decrease inflammation, feel younger, stabilize your moods, and the list goes on and on!

Check out my Nutritional Therapy Services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paleo Herb Vinaigrette Dressings

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A big pet peeve of mine is store bought salad dressings. They are full of bad oils (soy oil, canola oil, and vegetable oils) that can increase inflammation in the body. Here and Here are some pieces I wrote about why you should avoid these oils. Yes, even the organic ones have bad oils in them. It’s not too difficult to make your own dressings. If you use fresh herbs your salad will be bursting with flavor, much more so than with these store bought dressings.

 

paleodressing17

 

I wanted to show you how easy it is to create many different flavors with various herb combinations. In this piece I created four different vinaigrette dressings. Are you a big fan of creamy ranch? Here is a recipe I create last year for a creamy bacon and caramelized onion ranch dressing/dip.

 

I bought these cool little dressing bottles at AC Moore for like $1 each:

 

paleodressing1

 

For the dressing bases I used extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut vinegar (for a less acidic dressing), and apple cider vinegar for those who like more of a bite. Either will work! I tend to prefer coconut vinegar, but some people prefer apple cider vinegar.

 

paleodressing2

 

 

Ginger Lime Cilantro (and garlic of course):

FYI: This is my favorite, and also makes a great marinade for wild salmon 🙂

 

paleodressing6

 

Mix up and pour into bottle using a small funnel:

 

5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
3 TBS avocado oil
5 TBS coconut vinegar or ACV
juice from one lime
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1-2 cloves finely minced garlic
2-3 TBS fresh chopped cilantro
1 tsp pink salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

 

Thyme and Sage:

This is a nice savory dressing that accompanies poultry well.

 

paleodressing10

 

5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
3 TBS avocado oil
5 TBS coconut vinegar or ACV
juice from one lemon or 3 TBS filtered water for less bite
1 TBS fresh chopped thyme
1 TBS fresh chopped sage
1 tsp pink salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

 

Garlic and Chive:

This was made with fresh garlic and chives from my awesome neighbors!

 

paleodressing9

 

5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
3 TBS avocado oil
5 TBS coconut vinegar or ACV
juice from one lemon or 3 TBS filtered water for less bite
2 cloves garlic finely minsed
a handful of fresh chives thinly sliced
1 tsp pink salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

 

Basil and Oregano:

Fresh parsley is good with this combo as well. This a great Italian medley 🙂

 

paleodressing11

 

 

5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
3 TBS avocado oil
5 TBS coconut vinegar or ACV
juice from one lemon or 3 TBS filtered water for less bite
2 cloves garlic finely minsed
1 TBS fresh chopped basil
1 TBS fresh chopped oregano
1 TBS fresh chopped parsley (optional)

 

Refrigerate these dressings and use within a couple of weeks. Mix well before pouring! There are endless combinations you can make with all different herbs and seasonings. So play around and have fun making your own creations. Don’t bother with junkie store bought dressings, marinades, or dips. Just make your own! Amazon sells sorts of neat little dressing containers to bring your dressings to go with you.

 

Hope you found this helpful! Let me know if you try out any of the recipes.

-Enjoy!

 

Kathryn Kos, NTP

What is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner?

Nutritional Therapy Practitioners are integral members of the holistic health community. We believe a properly prepared, nutrient dense whole food diet sets the ultimate foundation for optimal health and healing. We work in concert with your other medical care providers to find areas of deficiency or imbalance in the body, and  correct them. We find these deficiencies through a thorough assessment including a functional evaluation. We address these weaknesses through a whole food nutrition and supplementation protocol. Nutritional Therapists know that there are other important factors for health outside the scope of nutrition. We are here to help you find balance as you work towards your nutritional goals. Nutritional Therapists use an approach that is science/evidence based down to the cellular level.

 Check out my Nutritional Therapy Services!

 

 

6 Paleo-isms (Things The Paleo Community Likes Alot)

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The paleo/primal community is amazing. We are changing the way people make decisions about what they are putting in their body. We are making big strides world-wide, and I am proud to be a part of this movement. However, there are some funny “paleo-isms” (things the paleo community likes to say/talk about). I’m here to explain why we say/talk about these foods all the time. There is a reason!

 

Here are 6 paleo-isms and my musings on them 🙂

 

1. “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle”:

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I’m still an advocate of this saying even if it sounds cliche, and I’ll explain why. Some of the people who preach paleo…but don’t like to admit they preach paleo tear it apart. They don’t want to be considered “paleo” because the word it’s dogmatic to them. I disagree. I still like it. It’s the truth. No, I’m not 100% paleo, and I don’t think this saying advocates that either! What this saying means to me is that by making these changes in the foods you choose to consume, you are not going on a “diet.” It’s not like the atkins diet, or south beach, or weight watchers. We don’t want it categorized that way, because it is very different. In my professional opinion, the term paleo also encompasses thinking about your emotional and physical well-being as well. It is about making conscious lifestyle choices about what you put on and in your body most of the time, and how you treat your body. It doesn’t mean you can’t make less than desirable choices and carry on. Those other choices make up most everything around us– it’s very difficult to avoid them. In the paleolithic days these choices didn’t exist, and so yes, we were all “paleo.” Those days are gone. Far gone. Even though it is still in our genes, the other choices are everywhere and engrained in our social being. So yeah, sometimes we make them. I don’t get a dogmatic vibe from this saying at all. So for those who still like this saying, I’m on board with ya. Because yes, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. It’s my lifestyle. And I am proud of it. I’m also proud of the word paleo and all the lovely people in our community making positive changes.

 

2. Bacon bacon bacon:

 

Prunes in bacon

 

Paleo folks talk about bacon a lot. Why? Well, for one, it’s very tasty. Pasture raised bacon is a good source of healthy fats for your body. Bacon has been demonized in Western culture the past what? 30 something years? for no good reason, and we know the truth about it! We want you to enjoy it as well. Because it tastes really good, and provides nutrients for your body, and contrary to what you may have heard, bacon does not clog your arteries or make you sick like processed grains do. It’s just the opposite. The fats in bacon are about 50% monounsaturated fats (like olive oil), 40% saturated fats, and 10% polyunsaturated. So you don’t want to burn bacon as it does contain some PUFA’S. As long as you aren’t consuming vegetable oils, you should be fine. Why no vegetable oils?  Heat, light, and oxygen break these oils down and render them chemically unstable. The volatile chemical structure (from the process of being heat extracted releasing free-radicals) can wreak havoc on the body at a cellular level, and cause chronic inflammation…the root of modern diseases. Vegetable oils are not stable. Bacon has a small amount of PUFA’s, so again, just don’t burn it or reuse the oil over and over.

So yeah, we’re big on bacon. We’re going to wrap everything in bacon. We’re going to mix bacon with chocolate. We’re going to wear bacon t-shirts. and post bacon meme’s. and share bacon recipes. and eat bacon with every meal. Totally kidding. Just some meals.

 

3. Coconut everything:

 

coconuts

 

Coconut oil. Coconut flour. Coconut cream. Coconut milk. Coconuts. Coconut water. Coconut aminos. Coconut manna, shredded coconut. Why all the coconut? Yes we tend to be big on the coconuts. Coconuts are amazing, that’s why. Coconuts contain medium chained triglycerides which are metabolized quickly and are used as a quick source of fuel and aids in weight loss. Lauric acid in coconut kills bacteria and viruses. Coconut oil is a stable saturated fat so it can withstand heat without oxidizing quickly. Coconut reduces inflammation in the body. It helps the body to absorb calcium and magnesium. It is also high in vitamin E. It is great for the skin and hair as well. You can make deodorant with it. and use it to help heal superficial cuts and burns. and use it as a sunscreen, and moisturizer, and make up remover, and hair treatment. Coconut rocks!

 

5. Saturated fats/Animal fats: 

 

butter is saturated fat

 

The paleo/primal community stresses the consumption of saturated fats because, like bacon, these fats have been wrongfully demonized as artery clogging-heart attack inducing-avoid at all cost fats. This led to the overconsumption of low-fat, high carbohydrate processed foods and increased obesity and health struggles in our culture significantly. Saturated fat is necessary for so many functions in the body!

  • Saturated fats are solid at room temperature.
  • Contrary to what you’ve probably heard, saturated fats are the most beneficial fats for our body. These fats are fully saturated with hydrogen bonds (NOT to be confused with hydrogenated oils).
  • These fats are stable, and do not easily oxidize (break down) or go rancid.
  • Saturated fats include fats such as lard, tallow, butter, ghee, coconut oil, palm oil.
  • Saturated fats are beneficial to the body-these fats insulate myelin in the brain (memory, mood stability, alertness), strengthen the immune system and help regulate hormones.

I wrote a blog piece on this! 🙂

 

6. Fermented Cod Liver Oil:

 Fresh atlantic cod fish

You hear a lot about Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO) in the paleo/primal community. You might wonder why anyone would want to consume fermented cod livers. FCLO is a pretty amazing superfood. It contains fat soluble Vitamins A, D, and K2 necessary for maintaining a healthy gut/immune system. It aids in gut healing to help reverse autoimmune conditions. It is great for the brain, eyes and skin. Green Pastures brand is traditionally fermented cold, and not heat treated. Therefore all nutrients and vitamins are not destroyed. The cinnamon tingle is actually very palatable. My kids even take it no problem.

According to Green Pastures:

“The gold standard in pure fish fat/oil from the liver of the cod fish extracted through fermentation rather then cold/hot temps or chemical extraction as the rest of the industry uses. Deep dark rich color equals real life giving nutrients”.

I hope you found this piece helpful!

What are some of the paleo-isms you have noticed?

Get a free nutrional therapy consultation

About Kathryn:

Kathryn is a Nutritional Therapist through The Nutritional Therapy Association, and a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor through The University of San Diego extension. Her undergraduate degree is in Movement Science from Westfield State College. Her Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College. She specialize in healing digestion, balancing blood sugar, balancing hormones, autoimmune conditions, weight loss, and feeding infants and children. She sees people locally in her Ballston Spa, NY office and worldwide via phone and Skype. 

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* Please note: This is a personal blog. All data and information provided on this site is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitution for professional medical advice.

Primal Bliss Nutritional Therapy Services

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What is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner?

 

Nutritional Therapy Practitioners are integral members of the holistic health community. We believe a properly prepared, nutrient dense whole food diet sets the ultimate foundation for optimal health and healing. We work in concert with your other medical care providers to find areas of deficiency or imbalance in the body, and correct them. We find these deficiencies through a thorough assessment including a functional evaluation. We address these weaknesses through a whole food nutrition and supplementation protocol. Nutritional Therapists know that there are other important factors for health outside the scope of nutrition. We are here to help you find balance as you work towards your nutritional goals. Nutritional Therapists use an approach that is science/evidence based down to the cellular level.

 

What is the difference between a Nutritional Therapist a Registered Dietician?

Dietitians hold degrees in dietetics. Primary Doctor’s tend to refer patients to an RD if the individual is struggling with obesity, diabetes, failure to grow in children, or other conditions where they believe medical dietary intervention may help to control a condition. They would help change the diet (usually based on western medical dietary guidelines) in order to control the condition.

Many medical Doctor’s do not link disease with diet so people find they have to seek help elsewhere. For example, an individual who is always fatigued may get a diagnosis like chronic fatigue or depression, and get treated with medications to help control the issue. Nutritional Therapists focus on the link between health and nutrition, with an emphasis on identifying the root cause of a health problem, rather than trying to keep symptoms at bay or suppress the condition. For example, fatigue may be because of unstable blood sugar, or a thyroid issues. Once the root cause is identified, nutritional therapists help come up with a nutritional plan that may include supplement recommendations to help fix underlying cause of the symptoms.

The payoff of hiring a Nutritional Therapist is that you will have the tools necessary to heal your digestion, balance your blood sugar, increase your energy, increase your self awareness, decrease inflammation, feel younger, stabilize your moods, and the list goes on and on.

Some of the symptoms I can address as a Nutritional Therapist:

  • fatigue
  • joint pain
  • irritability
  • moodiness
  • frequent hunger
  • sugar cravings
  • indigestion/heartburn
  • other digestive issues such as colitis and constipation
  • skin problems
  • food sensitivities
  • weight gain or inability to lose weight
  • autoimmune conditions
  • hormonal issues

“Before working with Kathryn, I felt very out of touch with my body and what it was trying to show me. I was lethargic, cloudy, fatigued and overall just felt very ‘blah’. Kathryn was very thorough with her assessments and recommendations and I am now well on my way to a much happier, vibrant and healthy life. I feel excited to continue on this journey and am so thankful to her for her compassionate expertise. She is truly a master of her craft!”-Theresa

 

“I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism several years ago and had gotten used to the idea that I would always be on medicine, I would never have energy, and my life just wouldn’t be what it used to. But I heard about Kathryn through a reputable business that i frequented and thought it might be worth a try. She was very nice and made me feel comfortable discussing all of the issues I was having. She is obviously very educated and well-informed about nutrition, but it was her personal experiences with an auto immune disease that really made me trust her. She is willing to work at whatever pace her client needs, and for the first time in a long time, I had hope that things could be different. Kathryn immediately got me started on a regimen of supplements with a guideline for foods to avoid and consume, but she also suggested multiple cookbooks and other reading materials so I could learn more about why I was making these particular changes. I felt confident in her approach and within weeks, I had more energy than I could remember. I appreciate how available she makes herself in between appointments, via email and phone- it makes me feel like I’m not in this alone and helps me make better choices on a daily basis. I would highly recommend Kathryn to anyone looking to better themselves through nutrition and wellness, but specifically, I wish everyone who was ever struggling with an auto-immune disease had the opportunity to work with her. In just a short amount of time, it has changed my life.”- Katie

 

– See more at: http://primalblissnutrition.com/my-services/#sthash.QdNPGinF.dpuf

 

About Kathryn:

Kathryn Kos is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)  through The Nutritional Therapy Association, and a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor through The University of San Diego. Her undergraduate degree is in Movement Science from Westfield State College. Her Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College.

“My own health struggles occurred through years of following mainstream western nutritional advice led me down this path. I was eating what I thought was a very healthy diet (following conventional medical advice). However, I was struggling with feeling good inside and out. I ended up being diagnosed with several Autoimmune Conditions. I was having horrible gall bladder attacks and living on antacids. My thyroid was enlarged, and I struggled with anxiety and insomnia. My endocrinologist wanted to wait until my thyroid stopped functioning, and put me on a medication. That was the only solution offered. Doctors wanted to put me on medications. My philosophy is to find and heal the root cause of the problem, rather than fix the symptoms by taking a medication or removing an organ. Through my own intense research, I began my real food journey. My health changed drastically and my autoimmune markers went way down. I started to feel amazing and wanted to share my experience on a big level. I am so excited to share my knowledge with you!  I am dedicated to helping you realize what your bio-individual nutrition needs are, and giving you the tools to make positive changes in your life!” -Kathryn Kos, NTP

Kathryn offers worldwide Skype consultations, and different packages are available based upon her client’s needs.

Call (518) 260-9749  or e-mail primalblissnutrition@gmail.com to book an appointment.

 

 

Kathryn Kos, NTP

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Primal Bliss Nutrition
(518) 260-9749

Website: www.primalblissnutrition.com

Social Media:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/primalblissnutrition
Twitter: www.twitter.com/primalbliss
Instagram: @primalblissnutrition

 

 

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5 Things to Avoid at “Health Food” Stores

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Are "health food" stores selling healthy food?

I went to check out the new Fresh Market in town and I was quite disappointed. I came to the realization that these “health food” chains/stores glorify junk food and people buy it. Sure it’s a nice experience. The store is neat and clean. There is nice music playing. The displays are beautiful. The ceiling is vaulted. There are flower bouquets, and even flower bouquet holders in the shopping cart. It’s all about marketing. However…the produce was mostly conventionally grown produce, except almost double the cost. I went to the butcher and they had no grass-fed beef. Maybe they do carry it other days, but I was disappointed.

 

There were 2 HUGE candy displays like this:

"healthy" candy

“healthy” candy?

 

I could not find a salad dressing without canola oil or soy oil in it…and that is when I had my realization. I think people really do buy these organic labels or beautifully displayed foods at a “health store” and truly believe it is a more nourishing product.

The only local “Healthy” store that I enjoy is the Healthy Living Market here in Saratoga. I am not an affiliate to them.  Although they still offer a great deal of less than desirable and conventional products (they kind of have to cater to the vegetarians who eat all processed foods and believe they are healthy, the people who still believe canola oil is good for their heart, as well as the general public looking for healthier ingredients). However, they still offer a huge variety of fermented vegetables, kombucha on tap, roasted seaweed made with coconut oil and olive oil. They offer grass-fed and local pasture raised meats and eggs at a reasonable price. They have a huge selection of Applegate Farms products, including the breakfast sausage that my kiddos love. The pasture raised eggs they sell are also soy free. That is a rare find! They have the meat sticks that I love in several different flavors, as well as many kinds of grass-fed beef jerky without soy in it, and they carry my beloved wild planet sardines in a variety of flavors. They have a huge variety of local meats, and some exotic meats.  My kids call it the “paleo store.” I go there for all my special things that I know I couldn’t find a regular store. I am so happy this local gem opened up!

With that said…

I wanted to share with you my top 5 health store pet-peeve foods that you should avoid buying and consuming, and why. These products are also found in the “health food” or “natural products” aisles at conventional grocery stores. Stop buying them!

 

1. Soy Anything. 

soy beans

Soy is not a health food. I repeat. Soy.is.not.good.for.your.body.at.ALL. Sorry, but I get so frustrated at the variety of soy based products out there claiming to be a great meat alternatives. Or the amount of soy placed in items that claim to be meat-like items. Or soy oil in dressings and marinades.

Or the strange chips made out of soy like these:

 

soychips1

 

So why must you avoid soy?  I could write it all out but these awesome bloggers already did so:

Here is a well-written research based piece by The Healthy Home Economist

Here is another well-written piece by Grassfed Girl

and one more well-written piece by Food Renegade

In a nutshell:

1. Most of the soy the US is genetically modified, even some organic and “natural” brands.

2. Soy is a major hormone disruptor leading to hormonal imbalances and fertility issues. I nearly destroyed my thyroid consuming soy when I use to think it was a health food.

3. Soy contains anti-nutrients (known as phytates) which block mineral absorption. Soy proteins can be difficult to digest contributing to leaky gut, inflammation throughout the body, and autoimmune diseases.  Soybeans are very high in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Consuming large amounts can lead to fatty acid imbalances.

 

Read food labels. You will be surprised at the amount of organic food-products sold that contain soy!

real food labels

 

2. Canola Oil Products.

I find it nearly impossible to find a salad dressing (sometimes I get lazy and don’t want to make my own) that does not contain canola oil! It is also in packaged products that would have otherwise been a great product if good oils were used.

 

salad dressingcanola oil

People still want to believe that canola oil is good for the heart. Canola oil is a highly processed rancid oil that causes inflammation in the body. Canola oil actually contributes to heart disease, as do vegetable oils.

Canola oil is a polyunsaturated oil:

  • Poly (many) of the bonds are unsaturated with hydrogen.
  • Polyunsaturated oils are liquid at room temperature and in the refrigerator.
  • Polyunsaturated oils include: vegetable oils and industrial seed oils, such canola, corn, soy, sunflower, cottonseed, and safflower.
  • Polyunsaturated oils are highly processed.
  • These polyunsaturated seed oils are very high in omega 6 fatty acids and low in omega 3’s.
  • Heat, light, and oxygen break these oils down and render them chemically unstable. The volatile chemical structure (from the process of being heat extracted releasing free-radicals) can wreak havoc on the body at a cellular level, and cause chronic inflammation…the root of modern diseases.
  • These oils are not stable.
  • Contrary to what you might have heard, these oils should be avoided! It is not easy to avoid them when you go out to eat, but don’t buy them! These oils are also found in packaged processed foods like potato chips-including those you buy at the “health food” store.

Here is a blog post I wrote about which oils to consume, which to avoid, and why.

Here is a video of canola oil being processed in a factory.

 

3.Glorified Candy

 

rock candy

Candy is sugar. Fancy organic candy is sugar. It will have the same response in the body as non-organic candy. It will stress the pancreas, liver, and adrenals just like regular candy. American’s consume an average of 170 pounds of sugar a year from processed foods, soda, and candy. Buying fancy organic candy is not going to take away from that.

 

4. Energy Bars

Protein bars

Most “energy” bars contain the same amount of sugar as candy bars, contain less than desirable oils, contain soy, wheat, and other less than desirable ingredients. It’s very easy to make your own energy bites with ingredients like coconut oil, shredded coconut, dates, ground soaked nuts, raw honey, flax seeds, etc. Then you know what is in it. Homemade energy bars can be great for athletes. However, steer clear of this aisle in stores that claim to be health-food stores.

 

5.  Agave Nectar

agave nectar

Same blood sugar response as high fructose corn syrup. Yet I’m still seeing it in the sweetener aisle, and in many products like this Organic dressing: It contains soy oil and agave nectar. Agave is still being touted as a healthy sweetener. Stick with molasses, raw honey, or maple syrup in small amounts.

 

french organic dressing

 

My take home message is that health claims are all about marketing. There is also a ton of bad health advice going around from biased sources with agendas. My only agenda is I want you to nourish your body with real food. Stick with real food. Eat foods that our early ancestors would have hunted and gathered. Real food has not been processed or altered. It doesn’t usually come in a box or jar. Sure we can’t all live like cave people. I get that. I love to bake. I love occasional treats like these Hail Merry tarts. Just read the ingredients and think about what you are putting into your body. Don’t believe the hype or the health claims. Some conventional grocery stores contain more real food then these health food stores.

Get a free nutrional therapy consultation

Paleo Italian Lemon Ricotta “Cheese”cake with Blueberry Sauce

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paleo italian lemon ricotta 'cheese'cake

 

A reader actually e-mailed me a recipe for an Italian lemon ricotta cheesecake and asked if I could convert it to a primal recipe. I love a good challenge and actually had a lot of fun making this. The ricotta “cheese” is made with soaked macadamia nuts!

 

yes, one serving please

 

Macadamia nuts are an excellent source of Vitamin A, iron, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folates. They also contain moderate amounts of zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Macadamia contains antioxidants like polyphenols, Amino acids, flavones, and selenium. They are great for thyroid health!

 

macadamia nuts

 

Macadamia Nut Ricotta:

For the ricotta I mostly followed Nom Nom Paleo’s recipe, but soaked the nuts overnight and tweaked the amounts of each ingredient to make enough ricotta for the cheesecake.

 

Here is what I did:

2 1/2 cups of raw macadamia nuts, soaked over night and drained

1 teaspoon salt

juice from one lemon

3/4 – 1 cup of water

 

Process in a food processor slowly adding water and scraping down the sides until creamy and ricotta cheese consistency.

Set oven to 325 degrees.

 

Ingredients for crust:

2/3 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup OMGhee melted

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

zest from 1 lemon

pinch of sea salt

Ingredients for Filling:

All of the macadamia nut ricotta

3/4 cup of raw honey melted

2 TBS coconut flour

6 eggs

1/2 tsp cinnamon

zest from a meyer lemon (or regular lemon would work)

2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla

pinch of salt

 

Directions:

For crust: Combine all crust ingredients with a fork, and press onto the bottom of a greased 9 1/2 inch springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until browned. Cool.

 

paleo 'cheese'cake crust

paleo 'cheese'cake crust out of the oven

 

Using a standing mixer mix macadamia nut ricotta, honey, and coconut flour until very smooth. Add eggs one at a time incorporating into mix. Add vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest, and salt. Mix well and pour batter into the crust.

 

 

paleo 'cheese'cake batter

 

Turn oven down to 300 degrees. Bake in the center of the oven for approx 75-90 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. A knife should come out clean.

 

Cool cake, cover, and chill.

 

paleo 'cheese'cake right out of the ovenpaleo 'cheese'cake coolingpaleo 'cheese'cake ready to serve

 

For the Lemon Blueberry Sauce:(also makes an excellent sauce for grain-free pancakes!)

 

paleo lemon blueberry sauce

 

2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup of water

1/4 cup raw honey

juice from 1/2 a lemon

1 TBS arrowroot flour dissolved in 2 TBS water

1/2 tsp vanilla

zest of 1 lemon

 

Directions for sauce:

 

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, water, honey, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Mix in the arrowroot mixture and simmer over low stirring until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and lemon zest.

 

 

paleo lemon blueberry in sauce pan

 

paleo lemon blueberry sauce ready to serve

 

Pour sauce over cooled cheesecake and enjoy!!

 

paleo 'cheese'cake with lemon blueberry sauce

 

single serving

customer review while eating: one thumb up

 

non-verbal customer review

 

 

Offer someone a piece if they will clean up the mess for you! 🙂

 

 

the mess and cleanup

 

 

 

 

 

Southwestern Sweet Potato Hashbrowns

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These hash browns were easy to make and you can play around with different spices and flavorings. I am slightly obsessed with smoked paprika, so I had to use it in these hash browns. They make a great side to any dish, not only breakfast. You can top them with salsa, guacamole, tomatoes, or like I did with avocado, scallions, and chopped cilantro.

 

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Ingredients:

3 TBS ghee (divided)

1 large sweet potato peeled and shredded

3 scallions thinly sliced (divided)

2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 a ripe avocado chopped into small cubes

1 egg

2 TBS arrowroot powder

1 heaping TBS smoked paprika

1 TBS dried parsley

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp white pepper

 

Directions:

Shred the potato into a bowl and squeeze some of the moisture out with paper towels or a clean towel so the shreds are not wet.

 

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Add the egg, arrowroot, 2/3 of the sliced scallions, spices, and 2 TBS melted ghee. Mix well with hands and form into approx 4-5 patties.

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Put a large skilled over med/high heat and heat the last TBS of ghee. Fry the patties until browned, carefully flip them and fry until browned on the other side.

 

Top with remaining sliced scallions, avocado cubes, and chopped cilantro:

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Enjoy!

 

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I served mine with some local grilled kielbasa!

 

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Crispy Chinese Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs

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I was really craving Chinese food tonight and wanted to create something similar without the bad oils, GMO soy, gluten, MSG, and sugar. These came out amazing! It was not too difficult to make, and makes for a great weekend meal. I served these with sauteed asparagus on the side. The kids loved them!

 

Ingredients:

1 dollar store rubber chicken

 

chicken1

Sorry, couldn’t resist…but yes, they still make these!

 

OK…real ingredients:

2 lbs chicken thighs

1 cup plus 2 TBS arrowroot flour

1 cup coconut oil

2 scallions thinly sliced

2 large eggs beaten

1 TBS seseme seeds

 

Marinade:

1 cup of chicken stock (homemade chicken broth)

juice from 2-3 large oranges (about 3/4 cup of juice)

1 TBS orange zest

1/4 cup raw honey melted

1/3 cup of coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup coconut aminos

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 TBS fresh ginger root minced

2 tsp sriracha sauce

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

 

Whisk all of the above ingredients together and in a large bowl marinade the (2) pounds of chicken thighs with 1 cup of the marinade for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Place remaining marinade in a medium sized saucepan on the stove.  *This will be used to form the glaze at the end.

 

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After chicken in done marinating, drain it and toss the marinade:

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heat the 1 cup of coconut oil in a large pan over med/high. Dredge the chicken first in the beaten egg, and then in the (1) cup of arrowroot flour

 

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I cooked only 2 thighs at a time because you do not want them over-crowded in the hot oil. Cook until both sides are golden brown and crispy, and chicken is no longer pink in the middle. It will take approx 5-7 min per side.

 

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While chicken is cooking try to ignore the big mess in the kitchen, and focus on the glaze!

 

chicken3

 

For the glaze heat up remaining marinade over med. low until it starts to bubble. Whisk remaining 2 TBS of arrowroot powder with 1/4 cup of water and add to the marinade. This will thicken it to a nice glaze. Stir until thick and bubbly, remove from heat.

 

Now just drizzle the glaze over the fried chicken, and sprinkle with scallions and seseme seeds:

 

chicken12

 

Enjoy your chicken and THEN clean the kitchen. Or make someone else do it.

 

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Cilantro and Scallion Salmon Cakes with Sriracha-Lime Mayo Sauce

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This dish was super easy and delicious! It makes for a great quick lunch or dinner, and it is extremely tasty! You can add different herbs based on your liking. I love cilantro and fresh cilantro adds great flavor!

 

For the Salmon Cakes:

2 TBS OMghee for frying

1 can of Wild Planet Brand sustainably caught wild salmon

2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro

2-3 thinly sliced scallions

1 TBS coconut flour

1 egg

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

 

wildplanet

 

salmon3

 

Combine all ingredients (except for the ghee) in a bowl and mash well with a fork.

 

salmon4

 

 

Form into 4 burger-like patties. Melt the ghee over med heat and cook patties until crispy on each side (approx 5 min per side)

 

salmon6

 

 

salmon8

 

 

Sriracha-Lime Mayo Sauce:

 

I LOVE Nom Nom Paleo’s Homemade Mayonaisse. This recipe is easy to follow and yields great results for me! I used this for the base. I put about 3 TBS of this mayo in a bowl with a couple tsp of sriracha, juice from 1/2 a lime, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp white pepper, and 2 TBS chopped cilantro.

 

*If you don’t want to use commercial sriracha, Nom Nom Paleo has a paleo sriracha recipe as well!

 

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Mix all ingredients with a small whisk and serve with the salmon cakes! Amazing!

 

salmon13

 

 

For the flower radishes:

 

radishes

Thinly slice a radish, cooked beets, or carrots (I used radishes) cut into shapes with small cookie cutters!

 

 

Enjoy!

 

salmon11

 

 

 

 

 

Primal Life Kit!

hero-primal-life-kit

hero-primal-life-kit

April 21st – April 28th Only

Primal Life Kit: 49 Paleo and Primal Products and 14 Discounts for $39

 

 

What’s The Primal Life Kit?

The people at PaleoPlan.com have put

together a really exciting opportunity for you! When you purchase the $39 Primal

Life Kit, you get over $1500 worth of the most popular and life-changing Primal and

Paleo products:

  • 35 Paleo and Primal eCookbooks and Informational eBooks ($498 Value)
  • 3 research papers by Dr. Loren Cordain ($15 Value)
  • 1 Online Cooking Club subscription ($39 Value)
  • 3 Fitness Programs ($67 Value)
  • 2 Paleo Challenges ($44 Value)
  • 2 Meal Plans ($69 Value)
  • 2 Online Magazine Subscriptions ($36 Value)
  • 1 Bonus Video about Eating Paleo on the Road
  • 14 Discounts ($757+ Value)

TOTAL VALUE $1500+ for just $39!

These educational and potentially life-changing Primal and Paleo products are being

sold for just $39 – more than 97% off their original retail value – this week only

(April 21st through April 28th).

All the ebooks are in pdf format, so you can read them on your

computer or the e-reader of your choice. This $39 kit will give you all the tools you

need to eat, cook, work out, and live Primally.

 

21 Paleo and Primal Recipe & Meal Planning eBooks ($221

Value)

  • Chowstalker Community Cookbook by Ron& Patty Strilaeff, the masterminds behind Chowstalker ($19 Value)

 

4 Autoimmune and Inflammation eBooks ($132 Value)

  • Paleo Autoimmune Protocol Quickstart Guide by Sarah Ballantyne of ThePaleoMom.com ($18 Value)

 

3 Paleo Research Papers by Dr. Loren Cordain ($15 Value)

6 Informational eBooks ($75 Value)

1 Online Cooking Club ($39 Value)

  • Good Food for BadCooks Online Club Lifetime Membership by Liz Wolfe ($39Value) – Learn kitchen basics, meal planning and more in a stress-freeonline community. By the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, author of Eat The Yolks, The Skintervention Guide, and blogger at RealFoodLiz.com.

2 Success Stories eBooks ($31 Value)

  • Real Life Primal Transformations by PrimalBlueprint at http://www.marksdailyapple.com ($5.95 value).

2 Kids and Paleo eBooks ($21 Value)

  • 3Phase Paleo (SNEAK PEAK) by Stacy Toth and MatthewMcCarry of PaleoParents.com ($11Value) – This is a shortened 60-page sneak peek version of the full ebook.

3 Fitness Programs ($67 Value)

  • Everyday Paleo Lifestyle andFitness Program 1 Month for $.01 by Sarah Fragoso andJason Seib at EPLifeFit.com ($20 value) – You will not be automatically signed up or charged for this program by purchasing the Primal Life Kit. You Must cancel after first month to avoid being charged for subsequent months.

 

2 Paleo Challenges ($44 Value)

  • 1 Free Month ofPaleo Bootcamp by Paleoaholic ($7 Value) – With over 300+ Paleorecipes, Paleo meal plans, and shopping lists, the end result is a weight loss plan andshopping guide system that’s now helped over 10,000 people drop the pounds andkeep them off.
  • OPENutrition Challenge by Heather Kelly ofOPENutrition.com ($37 Value) – Inthis 5-Week Paleo challenge, you will receive daily email support, a sample mealplan, and you’ll learn what to eat in order to improve your health, boost athleticperformance, and shed fat while adding lean muscle mass.

2 Meal Plans ($69 Value)

  • Primal Blueprint Meal Plan 1 Month for$.01 by Mark Sisson of PrimalBlueprint.com ($9.99 value) – You will not be automatically signed up or charged for this program by purchasing the Primal Life Kit. Must cancel after first month to avoid being charged for subsequent months.

2 Online Magazine Subscriptions ($36 Value)

  • Paleo Living OnlineMagazine 3-Month Free Subscription($15.96 Value) – Get 4 regularissues of Paleo Living, the premier ONLINE magazine for living a perfect Paleo life.More info at paleomagazine.com.

1 Bonus Video

  • Sneak Peek at Fat Loss Masterclass Video Home Study Course from Jonathan Bailor and Abel James (Free Sneak Peek Bonus) –Abel (FatBurningMan.com) andJonathan (author of The Calorie Myth at thebailorgroup.com) dive into the do’sand don’ts of foraging your best options for eating on the go.

14 Discounts (Over $757 Value)

  • Upgraded Self(Bulletproof Coffee) – Get 10% off products at Upgrade Self, the official store forBulletproof Products. Expires June 10th. UpgradedSelf.com
  • New AMRAP Bar – Get aFREE SAMPLE (you just pay shipping) of the all-new AMRAP Bars. Also get a 50%coupon on any purchase of the new bars up to $100 (a $50 value). amrapbar.com

 

Get all of this (retail value $1500+) for just $39.

Seriously.

That’s normally the price of just one or two of these products! After you purchase

the kit, you’ll be sent an email with a link to all of the downloadable products, as

well as the coupon codes for all of the discounted products.

NOTE: You will not be shipped any physical goods with

your purchase of the Primal Life Kit. These products are downloadable

ebooks, online magazine subscriptions, and discount codes. There will be a 30-Day

Money Back Guarantee if you are not satisfied with your purchase. Please contact

neely@paleoplan.com with any questions about the Primal Life Kit.

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Tallow Fries with Sea Salt and Coconut Vinegar

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If you are craving fries but do not want the bad oils (vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils, soy oils etc as typically used in restaurant french fries) you might want to try cooking in tallow! Tallow is a stable, healthy saturated fat. It is rendered beef fat. You just want to make sure you get it from a reputable source. I tried Fatworks kettle rendered grass-fed tallow, and I am impressed with the quality of this product!

tallow1

 

 

You can saute and cook anything in tallow. It is great for roasted vegetables as well! Here are some tallow health benefits:

Tallow has a high smoke point! What this means is it won’t release damaging free radicals (that can create inflammation in the body like vegetable oils) when heated at high temps.

Grass-fed tallow is high in CLA, which is protective in the body against cancer.

Tallow is brain-food! Saturated fats help insulate the brain and protect the neurons.

Saturated fats like tallow help keep your hormones balanced, helps regulate blood, and helps keep you satiated.

 

For the sweet potato spiral fries I used my new vegetable spiralizer which I absolutely love!

 

spiralizer spiralzier2

 

My boys helped to turn the handle and we spiral cut 2 sweet potatoes!

 

tallow3

 

 

Then we heated up some tallow over med/high heat in a dutch oven. I used a good amount in order to deep fry the fries (I would say a good couple of inches deep of hot oil). I fried a small amount at a time, turning them a couple of times until crispy!

 

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Joshua and his friend carefully helped monitor them 🙂

 

tallow4

 

Once done we removed the fries from the oil and sprinkled with sea salt and coconut vinegar. You can season them however you like. Next time I am going to do a bbq seasoning mix!

 

 

coconutvinegar

 

Then we placed them in these cool french fry cones and the kiddos enjoyed their fries!

 

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I’m looking forward to cooking more creations with my tallow, and having more fun with my spiralizer!

 

Looking for kiddo school lunch and snack ideas? Check out my e-book Joshua’s Primal Lunchbox!

 

$550 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

 

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Great things happen when bloggers unite… like this giveaway, for instance. 🙂

Are you ready to win a $550 Amazon Gift Card?

We can hear your inner voice: “Well, duh! How do I enter?”

Step 1: Click on the link below

Amazon.com (affiliate link)

If you were to win the gift card, what would you purchase? Let us know in the comment section! It’s VERY possible that what you choose will be on our list for future giveaways. 🙂

Step 2: Sign up for my free guide on the side bar of my blog.

Already subscribed? You may move on to step 3.

 

Step 3: Rafflecopter Time!

Fill out the rafflecopter widget saying that you have signed up for my free guide. Rafflecopter will be choosing the winner at random so don’t forget this step!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Step 4: Visit the blogs who contributed to this giveaway!

For more entries and thus an increased chance of winning, be sure to visit and subscribe to all of the blogs responsible for this giveaway. You can like them all on Facebook too! Your odds of winning will increase, so why not? 🙂

A winner will be chosen via rafflecopter.com. We will announce the lucky winner on Thursday, May 1, 2014. We will email the winner using the email address provided when entering the giveaway via the rafflecopter widget below. The winner will have 72 hours to respond of which then we will email the gift card. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone.

Sharing is Caring

We would love to give you extra entries for sharing this giveaway on Facebook, but it’s against Facebook’s rules. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t share it on Facebook regardless…we just can’t reward you like we want to. But, the more people that enter this giveaway, the more giveaways we will do, and the more valuable they will become.

And don’t be afraid to plus one this giveaway on Google Plus, too. We are giving away a $550 Amazon Gift Card after all!

Good luck!

Paleo F(x) is Coming to Austin TX!

LiveStreaming

austin_0

Paleo f(x)™ Austin is the single largest Paleo conference in the world.  This signature event includes the following lineup for 2014:

 

  • Dozens of world-class speakers including physicians, nutritionists, research scientists, professional athletes, coaches, trainers, bloggers, podcasters, sustainability and food activists, biohackers, and more.
  • Many speakers are leaders in their fields and include New York Times best-selling authors, professional athletes, and renowned activists in diverse fields.
  • Confirmed speakers:  Robb Wolf,  Chris Kresser,  Mark SissonSarah FragosoDallas & Melissa Hartwig,  Nora Gedgaudas, Michelle TamDr. Terry Wahls,  Nate Miyaki, John Durant, Diane SanfilippoLierre Keith, Molly Galbraith, and dozens more, plus many exciting additions TBA.
  • Five stages: two premiere stages for presentations and Mastermind panels, the Strength and Conditioning stage, the Cooking Demo stage, and the Paleo On Ramp stage.
  • Something for everyone: a variety of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced sessions, including Paleo 101 talks by experts, designed to introduce beginners to Paleo.
  • The Strength and Conditioning expo floor with demos and workshops lead by master trainers and natural movement experts.
  • The Paleo f(x)™ vendor and sponsor fair — an array of health-conscious, paleo-friendly vendors and sponsors.
  • Post-event Video on Demand, so that you can catch some of the sessions you might have missed, after the event.
  • Located at the Palmer Event Center, a premier event space in downtown Austin, with close proximity to many of the city’s finest restaurants, bars, and cultural attractions.

Premiere tickets and Expo tickets are available.  Register Now

 

For press inquiries, or to request press passes, contact press@paleofx.com.

 

Can’t make it to TX this year, but don’t want to miss all the great speakers? I am personally excited to see the “Robb and Mark show!” I learned all I know about the primal lifestyle from Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf. How exciting is it to have them speak together about ancestral health. You can watch from your home via livestreaming!

“Paleo f(x) is livestreaming their event, check it out!”

 

French Braised Beef, Red Wine and Vegetable Stew

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This is a paleo re-make of a classic French braised beef recipe. Usually it would be served over a pasta, however this was amazing just as is. No pasta needed! If you feel you need pasta with this dish, I would include veggie noodles (carrot or zucchini), or a rice pasta for those who still keep rice in their diet. I loved it just as it was. The next day is was even better. The flavors married overnight and the taste was incredible. The house smelled amazing while this was cooking. This is no ordinary beef stew! This dish is not 100% paleo as it does have some red wine in it.

The red wine combined with the garlic and ghee gave this dish such an intense flavor and tenderness. The meat just fell right apart. This is perfect for serving dinner guests. You can’t go wrong with it!

 

 

ovenroast3

 

Ingredients:

2-3 TBS OMghee

1 head of garlic or 12 cloves finely diced (I used a small food processor)

1 (2-3 pound) grass-fed boneless chuck roast cut into cubes

sea salt and black pepper

1 cup of organic red wine

1/2 cup bone broth or beef stock

2 cups of chopped carrots

1 large vidalia onion chopped

1 TBS muir glen organic tomato paste

1 (14.5 oz) can muir glen organic diced tomatoes

1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 tsp fresh chopped thyme

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Chop the veggies. I put the garlic in a mini food processor like this:

 

garlic

 

The carrots, onions, rosemary, bay leaves, and thyme were chopped and combined in a large bowl for easily dumping into the stew:

 

 

carrots

Take the beautiful piece of meat and do not cut the fat off!

 

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Cube it into 2-3 inch cubes, and sprinkle generously with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper:

 

beef6

 

Heat 1 TBS OMghee in a dutch oven over low heat. Add garlic to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant and then remove garlic from the pan and set it aside. Increase heat to high. Add the beef cubes and brown them on all sides. Remove beef from pan and set aside.

 

The bottom of the pan is now glazed with beef juice, ghee, and garlic. It looks all shiny and crackly. Now it’s time to loosen the brown bits and deglaze the pan!

 

glaze

 

wine

 

Keeping the heat on high, I poured 1 cup of organic red wine over the glaze, and scraped it to loosen the bits. Bring wine to a boil. Then add back the garlic, beef, and remaining ingredients. I also added another tsp of salt and a couple cranks of fresh cracked pepper. Put remaining 2 TBS OMghee on top:

 

ovenroast2

 

 

Bring everything to a boil and then put the cover over the dutch oven.

Bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours or until beef is tender. Discard the bay leaves. Garnish with fresh thyme if desired!

 

 

Enjoy!

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“We Love Paleo”, A Documentary!

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I recently corresponded with the film makers of an upcoming documentary called “We Love Paleo!” I am very passionate about this cause, and wanted to support them.

Please consider spreading the word or donating so they can meet the funds to move forward with this! We need to change the way we view food, and this movement needs all of our support!

 

“We Love Paleo” Page

What’s so special about your feature documentary, We Love Paleo?

Our film project is the world’s first crowd-funded documentary on Paleo. Besides, there was only one other feature documentary that implicitly advocated for Paleo which was The Perfect Human Diet. Here, instead of shying away from the term ‘Paleo’ (which is sometimes albeit disenfranchising) we show our colours right away.

Why are you making this film?

Three main reasons…

We want to spread throughout the world, what we think is a worthwhile message: the existence of the Paleo lifestyle. So many people need to know about it still. As a matter a fact we even have plans to translate the film in FRENCH, SPANISH and GERMAN and that’s reflected on our campaign page at the bottom under ‘Stretch Goals’. We want people to be informed about this healthy alternatives to the Standard American Diet. So building awareness through the medium of film is our first big motive…
Our second motive is that,  I have heard SO MANY falsehood about this lifestyle. It’s crazy! Every Paleo person out there can remember a conversation where the whole concept of Paleo living had been completely misinterpreted and practically made up. My most recent conversation about this was with someone who clearly had no idea of the Paleo main tenants and thought we ate 75% meat! What complete nonsense. The debunking aspect of it is therefore also a strong driver. We don’t claim to be able to eradicate all misconceptions but we can help this process with a documentary for sure. And the last reason is to inspire people you know… Hopefully some people will use this as an introduction and be inspired to seek the truth for themselves and try it out!

Who’s in it?

We’ve really teamed up with people who will, in our eyes, contribute a great deal to the film! Amongst them there’s Dr. Cordain (US), Dr. Briffa (UK) but also some big names in the food, nutrition and fitness community around the world such as our the passionate guys at The Naked Ape, Darryl Edwards (UK) from the Fitness Explorer, Michelle Norris from Paleo F(x)™, Irena Macri from Eat DrinkPaleo (Australia) and several more! The complete list of participants can be found here.

What are some of the perks? 

People will receive in exchange for their donations: the film’s final cut as a download, tickets to Paleo F(x), Ecookbooks and print books, cinema tickets, Skype chats with the filmmakers, health/fitness consultations with the panel of participants and much more!–I know everyone says this, but seriously people should see for themselves cause we have much more stuff on there!)

How can the Paleo community help?

People can go to this page and click on ‘Contribute Now’ to donate whatever they feel comfortable donating right now. We truly believe that only the Paleo community as a whole can and will make this happen! The second way they can help us is to share this campaign to others using the link at the bottom of our video on our Indiegogo page: http://igg.me/at/welovepaleo/x/1793889 Thanks a lot for helping us spread the word and thanks to every single person who helps us get the world’s first crowd-funded documentary on Paleo made!

Why this documentary needs to be made:

Each and every one of us has (or knows) a friend, relative or acquaintance that is either diabetic, overweight, has chronic heart disease or God forbid, all three at once. Then, there’s the rest of us who think we lead healthy lives, conducive to well-being and longevity. The thing is, most of these ”healthy lifestyles” aren’t healthy at all!

This, summed up, is what drives our whole team to make this film. The topic of this film touches everyone.

  • We mainly intend to spread the message about Paleo and raise public awareness of the existence of this healthy alternative to the Standard American/Western Diet (SAD).
  • Reinforce the link between optimal health and what we put in our bodies.
  • We also want to give people basic tools and advice on how to start converting their lifestyle to Paleo if they feel inspired to do so. (And we bet they will!)

Our dearest wish is to engage people and inspire them to adopt healthier lifestyles. The healthier the world gets as a whole, the better off we will all be.

 

Are you a paleo/primal blogger?

The film makers are currently searching for key on-line bloggers, or influencers who are able to write/blog/facebook share about their film, in return for social media support!

 

 

welovepaleo

Meyer Lemon and Garlic Roasted Chicken Thighs

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These chicken thighs were easy to make, cost effective, and very tasty! I love playing around with different marinades. The original plan was to grille them, but with a foot of snow on and around my grill, I decided to roast them in the oven instead. They still came out very flavorful! Meyer lemons are slightly sweet, slightly sour and a nice lemony taste.

meyerlemons

Marinade Ingredients/Directions:

Oven 375 degrees

Juice from 2 meyer lemons (if you can’t access a meyer lemon, a regular lemon or an orange would work)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp of coconut vinegar (ACV would work as well, but this is less acidic and nice flavor)

3 cloves of garlic sliced

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

coconut vinegar:

coconutvinegar

Process all ingredients  in a food processor:

marinade

Place chicken thighs (I used (2) 1 lb packages) in a large bowl and pour marinade over:

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Let chicken marinade for at least 1 hour. Place in a baking dish and bake for approx 35-40 minutes until chicken is golden brown and cooked through:

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Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Smoked Paprika Cottage Pies

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sweet potato cottage pies

easy to make sweet potato cottage pies

I wanted to make individual little meat and potato pies. I thought the kids would really enjoy these, and they did. Instead of white potatoes I used sweet potatoes. I am a huge fan of smoked paprika, and that added amazing flavor to these. These were a real hit and I will definitely be making them more often. The cool thing about these is you don’t need many ingredients, and you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. These make for an easy and tasty weekday meal!

Ingredients:

3 TBS Ghee (preferable OMghee because it’s the best ghee you can find anywhere)

1 pound of grass-fed ground beef

1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed

veggies I used: (really, you can saute any chopped veggies you have on hand in with the meat)

2 stalks of celery finely chopped

1 carrot finely chopped

3 spears of asparagus chopped

1/2 a small onion finely chopped

2 TBS smoked paprika

2 tsp onion powder

sea salt, and fresh cracked black pepper to your liking

Directions:

Oven to 400 degrees

Put cubed sweet potatoes in a pan with some water, bring to a boil and turn to a low boil for about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.

boil cubed sweet potatoes

Using this awesome mix n chop masher, I mashed the potatoes with a big old dollop of ghee, sea salt, pepper, and 1 TBS smoked paprika

mash the potatoes

While those potatoes were cooking, I browned the meat and vegetables in 1 TBS of ghee with some sea salt, black pepper, and 1 TBS smoked paprika (using my mix n chopper again). 🙂

browned meat and veggies

I used (4) individual ramekin bowls. These were under $2 each at Target. I’m sure you can get fancy ones too, if so inclined. I put the meat and veggie mixture in each bowl about 3/4 way full:

individual ramekin bowls

Then I topped each bowl with the mashed sweet potato:

top each bowl with sweet potatoes

Then I sprinkled on some more smoked paprika:

sprinkled on smoked paprika

I popped them in the oven for about 20 minutes, and then carefully (using oven mitt) took them out to cool slightly. I sprinkled some chives on top of each ramekin:

in the oven for about 20 minutes

Enjoy!

sweet potato cottage pies served

Beef and Broccolini Paleo “Flat Bread”

pizza4

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pizza4

I wanted to create something that was similar to pizza in texture, but without the gluten, dairy, and marinara. I was craving something savory and garlicky with loads of veggies. I found a bag of fermented garlic from Trader Joe’s, and it all came together.

Directions:

First I made the flat bread crust.

For the crust I mostly followed the pizza crust recipe from The Preppy Paleo:

Paleo Traditional Pizza Crust
1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
3/4 cup arrowroot powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease a cookie sheet. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, whisking to combine.

Add eggs and almond milk to the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Use a spatula to spread batter onto greased pan and bake crust in preheated oven for 8-12 minutes.
Remove crust from oven and top with sauce and desired toppings. Bake for another 10 minutes.

I wanted my crust to be less like pizza, more like a flat bread (thinner and crispier). I did not use the almond milk, I used water. I added more water so the crust was thinner and more flat. I also did not use oregano, and added some garlic powder to the crust. I still oiled the cookie sheet I cooked it on, and used a big metal spatula to un-stick it when it was done cooking. Once it has cooked, remove it from the oven, un-stick it from the pan, but leave it on the pan and set aside. Keep the oven on at 425!

It looks a little different, but the taste and texture was great!

crust

For the fermented garlic spread:

I used Trader Joe’s fermented garlic (my favorite):

garlic3

When you break it open, it is black and creamy like a thick paste:

garlic2

I poured 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive olive into a small bowl and ‘squeezed’  the garlic into the oil. For those who handle/enjoy balsamic vinegar, I added a splash (maybe 2 TBS) of that as well and whisked it all together with some sea salt and pepper to taste:

garlic1

**If you don’t have access to fermented garlic, raw garlic would work too. You would push the raw garlic through a garlic press. Fermented garlic is just milder and slightly sweet.

I whisked it all together in the bowl, and spread it on the flat bread:

crust2

Toppings:

1/2 lb grass-fed ground beef

1/4 a red onion thinly sliced

a few crowns of broccolini or broccoli rabe sliced

2 brown tomatoes thinly sliced

2-3 basil leaves thinly sliced

First I browned 1/2 a pound of grass-fed ground beef with 1/2 tsp sea salt and a sprinkle of pepper:

I crumbled the meat with my favorite meat masher (the mix and chopper)…a MUST HAVE!

groundbeef2

Then I thinly sliced a red onion (about 1/4 of it), 2 brown tomatoes, and some broccolini. Broccoli rabe or regular broccoli would be just as good.

Optional toppings: crumbled feta or goat cheese, or mozzerella if you can handle dairy.

pizzaveggies2

Finally I placed all the toppings on the flat bread (including the basil) and sprinkled some salt and pepper on top:

pizza1

I popped it in the oven and roasted it at 425 for about 10 minutes, then I broiled the top to crisp the veggies for another 5-10 minutes.

pizza3

Enjoy! 🙂

Summer Dream Whipped Coconut Fruit Dip

whippedcoconutfruitdip

whippedcoconutfruitdip

It is about 10 degrees out today in Upstate NY. We have over a foot of snow coming on Monday. Brrrrrrr…..

I have been thinking about summer. Not finding coats, boots, matching mittens, hats, snowsuits, etc…EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  Getting sunshine on my skin. Not freezing to death every time you step outside. Not shoveling snow. Not looking at dirty snow and gray skies. I don’t ski. I don’t ice fish. I hate being cold. I live in the wrong place!

Come Spring I will decide I live in the best place in the world…just as soon as those tulip and daffodils start poking up, and the blossoms are on the trees.

I dream daily of catching big bass, kayaking, swimming, hiking, playing in the grass and running through the sprinkler. Summer nights on the porch, listening to the crickets chirp and watching fireflies.

Summer cannot come fast enough!

In the meantime…

I made this last summer and it was a real hit. The kiddos loved it! They loved using toothpicks to dip the fruit 🙂

“Summer Dreaming”  Whipped Coconut Fruit Dip:


Directions:


Refrigerate 1 can of full fat coconut milk overnight. This step is imperative! Otherwise the fat will not firm up and the cream will not whip (I have wasted many a cans, lol).

Scoop the firm fat from the top of the can and whip it with a handheld blender for 3-5 minutes, fold in 1 TBS raw honey and a splash of vanilla.

Cut the pineapple in half and scoop out the bottom to form a bowl. Leave the juice in the bottom of it (juice will form).

Pour the coconut cream into the bowl and fold in the pineapple juice.

Serve with fresh cut fruit and toothpicks!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

whippedcoconutfruitdip

Pork, Cabbage, and Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry

porksaute4

 

porksaute1

 

 

For lunch today I made a pork tenderloin, cabbage, and broccoli slaw stir-fry!  This was extremely easy and flavorful. You could also use chicken or beef…even shrimp!

 

Ingredients/Directions:

Take a local pork tenderloin and cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Sprinkle the meat with pink salt, pepper, and Trader Joe’s 21 spice mix.

Fry the pork in a large wok or frying pan over med/high with a 2 TBS of coconut oil until meat is no longer pink.

Add to the pan 2 cups of Trader Joe’s broccoli slaw and a bag of shredded cabbage. You can also shred a small head of cabbage, and add shredded carrot or any other veggies you enjoy. This filled the pan to the top. Turn the heat down to medium.

Add 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic, and put a couple TBS of ghee or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top of everything.

*As it cooks down stirring becomes easier.

 

Let it cook over medium heat until the slaw and cabbage are cooked down and tender.

 

At the end add  1-2 TBS fish sauce, 2-3 TBS coconut aminos, and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Fold in a bunch of chopped fresh cilantro (approx 1/4 cups) and juice from 1/2 a lime.

 

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

Ancho-Lime Chicken Legs!

ancholimechicken

ancholimechicken

Ancho-Lime Marinated Chicken Legs!

For the marinade:
1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
1 small onion or half of a large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
juice from 1 lime
1 TBS ancho chili powder
1TBS smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp white pepper


ancho lime marinade

Directions:

*Place garlic and onion in a food processor until finely diced.

*Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.

*Pour over chicken and mix-give it a couple hours and then grille.

*I grilled over high heat for 2 minutes on each side, then lowered to med low until cooked through, turning frequently.

Crispy Italian Paleo Cauliflower Poppers!

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paleo fried cauliflower poppers

Growing up my mom would make us fried cauliflower. She would dip it in egg, and Italian breadcrumbs…and then fry it. It was dreamy and delicious. I wanted to create a grain-free version of this with some yummy dipping sauces! These came out amazing! The kiddos devoured them as an after school snack. There are many ways they can be changed up.

I was just thinking these would be great coated in buffalo sauce, minus the Italian seasonings!  Play around with different variations. I will give you the recipe I did, but feel free to change it up to your preferences! At the end of this I will list variations.

It all starts with a big ole head of cauliflower!

cauliflower - take a bite

head of cauliflower

I chopped it up into 1-2 inch pieces:

chopped cauliflower

Then I used a pot with a steamer basket and cover. I steamed the cauliflower over med high heat until tender (approx 8-10 min)

steam the chopped cauliflower

I set the cauliflower aside to cool, and made the batter.

Ingredients for Italian fried:

2 eggs

sea salt and pepper to taste

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS dried parsley

1 TBS dried basil

1/2 cup of tapioca starch

1/2 cup of Tropical Traditions red virgin palm oil or unrefined coconut oil for frying

Directions:

Whisk the 2 eggs with some sea salt and pepper:

2 eggs, sea salt and pepper

Mix the seasoning in with the tapioca starch:

seasoning in tapioca starch

Warm the oil for frying over med-high in a frying pan (notice palm oil is red, hence giving the cauliflower a red hue):

oil for frying

Next dip the pieces of cauliflower in the egg, and then dredge them in the tapioca mix:

dip and dredge them

dip like this

dredge like this

Finally, fry the cauliflower in the oil flipping to brown on all sides:

fry that cauliflower

Finished cauliflower:

fried cauliflower fresh out of the frierfried cauliflower served

Dipping sauces:

This Paleo Ranch dressing that I created over the summer:

paleo ranch dressing

I also used marinara sauce:

marinara sauce

Happy Snacking!!!

mmm tasty

paleo fried cauliflower

Variations:

Instead of Italian, you could make Indian inspired fried cauliflower with turmeric and curry. You can also make “buffalo” style with red pepper and dip in buffalo sauce before serving! There are plenty of ways to play around with seasonings to put in the the tapioca!

 

 

try different dipping saucestry different variations

Mommy’s Club!

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For those like-minded parents who want to use toxic-free products, I had the opportunity to meet Chelsea Depot. She introduced me to the Mommy’s Club products, and I had a chance to try some of them out!

My name is Chelsea Depot I am 26 years old. Currently I am a stay at home mom to my two handsome boys Adrien (5) and Asher (1). I am a former nationally ranked gymnast (USA Gymnastics) and silver medal junior Olympic competitor (AAU Gymnastics), also ranking 3rd in the nation all around my senior year in high school (High School Gymnastics) and stay connected by coaching a tumbling class one night a week at the gym I grew up in. I hold a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. My boys are my world and I want them to have the best life possible. Our family is very tight knit and we care tremendously about the health & well-being of ourselves and others.

 

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With that being said, while in business school I studied green energy, self sustainability and ways to make the world a better place. One of my goals in life was to be the quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world!”. Throughout school I didn’t know how I was going to become the quote, (if you will). And a year later I now know how I am going to do so: through Mommy’s Club. Our company is an online wholesale company. We pride ourselves on our all natural certifications: our products are for the whole family and are Toxic free, organic, EcoCert, BPA free, non GMO, made in the USA, and animal cruelty free! Our top quality products are beyond what is available by being toxic free and our prices are comparable to market competitors. Our line speaks for itself. We are so excited to make the home a healthier place to raise a family. This is going to be an amazing movement to a toxic free life style. We are backed up by a stellar medical team who spent over 2 years formulating the products.

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I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful company and more so for my little family to be safe from harmful toxic ingredients in everyday products. I’m blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with the friends I have made through the club as well, families with the same goal as ours, to live a toxic free life and to better the lives of my boys. Please watch this awesome eye opening video.

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(One may just want to be a member but there are also amazing financial opportunities if one chooses to be a sales representative. By being a member one can gain points and cash rewards just for using the products and referring friends and family.) Live simply, Live toxic free!

We just partnered with these companies!

My website is www.mommysclub.com/cdepot18 Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have!

We tried the baby shampoo and baby foam wash! I was impressed with how gentle/mild these products were. My kids have sensitive skin and it did not bother them at all.

babyshampoo-mainfoamwash-main

We also tried the vitamins and fish oil. I liked that the vitamins contained a probiotic as well. That is great for surviving the winter! The fish oil has a mild lemon flavor, and is very palatable.

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Overall I definitely recommend checking out Chelsea’s page and her products! Feel free to contact her with any questions you may have.

 

 

 

 

Girl Scout Cookie Remakes…The Real Food Way!

samoas

girlscoutcookies

It’s Girl Scout cookies time! I was a girl scout myself for many years. I remember going from door to door with the little slip! Oh the excitement!  Now you get mass e-mails, phone calls, and even facebook pages devoted to selling them.

 

This is me circa 1983:

 

girlscoutme

It’s too bad these delicious tasting cookies contain so many harmful ingredients such as: GMO corn and soy products, food dyes, artificial food dyes, artificial flavors, and worst of all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. The shortbread cookies do not even contain any butter!

The 2 most popular kinds that I myself enjoyed most were samoas and thin mints…so…

 

I wanted to share with you some links to recipes that real food bloggers did to re-make healthier versions of these classic cookies!

 

Make sure you drop by their blog-sites and show them some love!

The first ones are samoas that come from Rising Moon Nutrition!

 

“These are sweetened only with dates, and there is a super awesome secret ingredient: sweet potatoes! They add a wonderful texture and flavor to the cookies, and also contribute some sweetness.  The almond butter and dates create the caramel effect and flavor, and the chocolate drizzle is pure, unsweetened dark chocolate. The bitterness of the cocoa is a nice balance to the sweetness of the rest of the cookie..I, of course, enjoyed mine with a nice cup of black coffee…like any good dessert should be!”

 

samoas

 

The next recipe is from my friend over at Life Made Full!

“If you haven’t heard, Girl Scout cookies have GMOs (genetically modified organisms). These grain-free, dairy-free  Thin Mint Copycats don’t. And they’re flippin’ awesome! Seriously, it was just like biting into one of THESE grasshopper cookies, but without any of THESE nasty ingredients!”

 

 

paleothinmints

 

The next are thin mints that come from Orleatha Smith over at Level Health and Nutrition!

“Be it for yourself or for someone else, these cookies are sure to satisfy even the most loyal thin mint fan — I threw in lemon balls (which I would likely flatten next time) and shortbread. Be careful, these are all highly addictive! Enjoy!”

 

paleothinmints2

 

and Finally Raw Vegan Paleo Samoas from BettyRawker.com!

 

“I used to wear my little Brownie uniform and sash full of badges with so much pride (pictured below)! I remember slinging those not so good for you cookies with my troop in front of supermarkets too. I also remember learning how to make raw style “no-bake” cookies, but oh, looking back, they had the worst ingredients! I recall crunchy peanut butter, non fat milk powder, refined sugar…ick!”

 

paleosamoas2

 

Thanks to my friend over at Just Eat Real Food for links to the recipes 🙂

 

 

 

 

My first “Dark Dinner”

darkdinner1

wishingwell

Have you heard of a “Dark Dinner?” I had not…

darkdinner1

I just had to write a little something about this experience…because it was super creative and fun! As a full-time mama it’s not too often I get to go out and enjoy a fancy dinner. My friend Susan’s family owns this beautiful quaint old restaurant called “The Wishing Well” in Saratoga Springs, NY. She invited me to attend a dark dinner! What exactly is a dark dinner? Well you are actually blindfolded through the entire meal. Each year there is a different theme.  This years theme was their spin on popular dishes served from the 1920’s through present. The chefs were able to use their creativity and recreate some popular meals of the time.

Once the blindfold came on, you couldn’t peak through the rest of the meal. They even escorted you to the bathroom. The waitstaff placed the dish in front of you and guided your hand to it. I ate with my hands 🙂 Each dish was paired with a cocktail! I’ve heard you use your other senses more when you don’t have use of one…I believe this! Or they are just really good chefs, but the dinner was amazing. So amazing, that I just had to share this with my readers! They were really good about keeping everything gluten free for me, and that did not take away from my experience. Why? because they served real food.  I was unable to get pictures of my meals…well…because I was blindfolded. I was able to get a few shots afterward!

The first food they brought out was a “Relish Tray” paired with a Classic Bloody Mary from 1921. They actually blended flavorings into ice. The flavor was intense and paired perfectly with the bloody mary. Can I just say that this was the most flavorful bloody mary I ever had? I would have been perfectly content sipping those for the rest of the evening. Sadly I did not get a pic of it. However, back to the relishes…there was an intense flavor of cucumber and sea salt in one, and a sweet and tangy flavor in another. These were so refreshing! These would make for a great summertime appetizers or hors d’oeuvres.

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There were several other courses throughout the night, paired with drinks. My favorite two were the lamb chop skewers and veal wrapped white asparagus! The veal wrapped asparagus came with a crab purse and a bearnaise sauce. Fancy right? Amazing!  I’m excited to try recreating some of these dishes. Oh…and they had proscuitto wrapped pineapple served with a 1944 Mai Tai drink. Again, amazing.

Here is a pic of the lamb chop skewer:

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Here is a pic of the menu:

menu

If you are ever in Saratoga Springs, NY check out the Wishing Well restaurant. Or…try hosting your own “dark dinner” for family or friends! It is so much fun to hold conversations while blindfolded 🙂

You can find the wishing well at:

www.facebook.com/thewishingwellrestaurant

and

www.wishingwellrestaurant.com

Jamaican “Brown” Stew Chicken

Stew chicken FB post photo

I would like to introduce my friends over at “Jamaicanitpaleo!”  They did a guest recipe for me and I am so excited to try this stew out. It looks amazing!

 


Jamaican It Paleo is a new website ran by a husband and father named Alex who created it along with his wife to originally chronicle their family’s recipes for their children.  When his wife had to make some dietary changes, due to her health, they decided to make the focus of his cuisine the focus of her new found paleo way of eating and living.  Originally from Kingston, Jamaica and a US transplant, he was amazed at the way of eating and living in his new country.  Jamaican It Paleo seems like a catchy phrase, but honestly, in Jamaica, they don’t do paleo…they just eat real food…and they COOK! In Jamaica, they love, they work, they cook and they eat—it’s that simple.  Jamaican It Paleo is combination of food, culture and simple living tips about family, money, wellness and organization.  It’s a “likkle-bit-of-dis-an’-a-likkle-bit-of-dat”.  Above all, Jamaican It Paleo seeks to inspire others to live a more simple and delicious life.

To learn more aboutJamaican It Paleo, visit www.jamaicanitpaleo.com or LIKE them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jamaicanitpaleo.

Some of us call this stew chicken and others call it brown stew chicken.  Either way, it is chicken (usually dark meat) ‘stewed’ in a rich gravy made from its own juices and the seasonings.  Many of us use a whole chicken too and cut it into smaller pieces to cook with this recipe, but for ease of preparation, we usually will use some thighs or legs.  Us Jamaicans have to season our meat before cooking it and we won’t settle for nothing less.  My wife likes to meal plan and she helps with making sure that we know what we are cooking and defrosting so we can marinate or ‘season the meat’ at least overnight.   If you are not as organized and do not have time, you can give it at least 1 hour to season.  If you haven’t ‘stewed’ meat before, you need to try it.  Check out more information on our stewing page for that.  You can really make this dish spicy if you mince up the scotch bonnet pepper (aka-habanero pepper), but we chose to leave it whole to make it less spicy. Check it out!

For this recipe, we used our dutch oven, chef’s knife, cutting board, and silicone spatula and brush set.

Jamaican “Brown” Stew Chicken

 

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 lb of chicken thighs, legs or breast

  • 1 tsp. of salt

  • 1 tsp. of pepper

  • 2 tsp. allspice

  • 1 onion (chopped)

  • 3 scallions (chopped)

  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper/habanero pepper(whole)

  • 1 green pepper (chopped)

  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)

  • 1 tbsp. ginger (minced)

  • 2 tsp. of dried thyme

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil for frying

  • 1 cup of water

 

Instructions:

 

1. Gather the onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger and scallion and get them ready to chop.

2. Chop all of the vegetables and get them ready for the marinade or to “season the meat”.

3. Season the chicken by rubbing in salt, pepper, coconut aminos, thyme, onion, scallion, peppers, garlic, and ginger and allow it to marinade for 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.

4. Add the cut up vegetables to the chicken and allow it to marinade for at least 2 hours or in the fridge overnight.

5. Heat the oil in the Dutch oven on high heat and when it is ‘screaming hot’, remove only the chicken to fry in the oil and leave behind the vegetable marinade.

6.  Cover the pot and allow the chicken to brown on one side for about 5 minutes (leave covered).

7. Uncover after 5 minutes and brown on the other side, add the remaining vegetable marinade, the whole scotch bonnet pepper, cover and cook on medium high heat for 20 minutes.

8.  After 2o minutes, add the water and let simmer for another 10 minutes or until the gravy thickens.

Serve with irish potato, okra, coleslaw, green banana, plantain, sweet potato or a green salad.  Enjoy!

 

For more recipes like this, visit www.jamaicanitpaleo.com and for updates, free recipes, meal plans and more, like us on FB at www.facebook.com/jamaicanitpaleo.

10 Things I Learned About Blogging In The First Year

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It’s my 1 year anniversary of starting Primal Bliss this month! It has been a fun year for me, and I learned so much about blogging, and about myself. I wanted to share some of the things I learned as a primal foodie blogger 🙂

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1. Don’t misspell simple words like soppressata. You WILL have a follower from Italy who WILL call you out on it. Sorry for offending you man from Italy. I am Italian too. I will work on my horrible spelling.

2. Don’t spell anything wrong for that matter. Spell correcting people are everywhere…and they will tell you. Yes I know, they have every right.

3. Be yourself. Haters are going to hate-simply because they have hate in their heart. Or they are angry about other things in their lives…or maybe they just really don’t like you. That is okay!  Everyone does not have to like me. It’s a good lesson to learn. I like me, and that is what matters. Which brings me to…

4. Develop a thick skin. There are a couple really mean types of followers. Feel free to block them. You should not have to deal with these people. You are not getting paid to deal with them. The first type are the angry ones who completely disagree with your lifestyle, yet still feel the need to follow your page and post angry comments. The second type agree with your lifestyle, but stick with it 100% and will call you out on anything that is not 100% the lifestyle. These mean people will tell you that you are poisoning your children because you posted a food item with an undesirable ingredient. Or they will tell you the butter you use is not 100% grass-fed. They will be relentless. They will try to embarrass you right on your page, rather than sending a nice message. Just block them. You don’t have the time or energy to feed that nonsense. Look…I’m far from perfect. I make many mistakes. Don’t get me wrong here…I appreciate constructive criticism. With that said, most followers are awesome and supportive. Most followers will like what you have to say, and are aware that you are not an expert and that they need to do their own research.

5. Instagram is not just “chicks” posting selfie shots and food. Okay, so you either love or hate seeing selfie and foodie pics. I never imagined myself using the words selfie and foodie. Most people probably dislike it. I get that. I kind of dislike it when I hear it. However, as bloggers we want our followers to connect with us, and see our lighter side. Instagram is the place to share funny pictures, pictures of your cat, inspirational quotes to motivate and inspire, or shameless selfies after a sweaty workout…because we want to connect with you, and we want you to see the real us. Some of us are funny, some of us are serious, some of us are quirky. We want you to connect with our followers and instagram is a place for that. If you don’t like it or don’t see the need in it…don’t use instagram.

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6. You will post something short and silly and expect no response…and you will get a huge response. You will post something that you spent days researching and working on. You will put blood sweat and tears in it, and expect it will spread like crazy. You feel so proud and accomplished. It will get 1 or 2 likes. Go figure.

7. Bloggers need to support each other and stick together. We may have different views, different lifestyles, and different opinions and different number of followers. However, we are the most successful when we support each rather than knock each other down to make ourselves look better. You just end up looking like an ass.

8. It is not unusual to take like 100 pictures of a meatball in just the right lighting. It’s just not.

9. You better have a damn good idea of what you are sharing or discussing. People like to ask questions. They want to know more. They like learning from you.

10. You will reach out to some big bloggers who inspire and motivate you. Some will respond, but others will not and that may make you feel really small. You are NOT small. They are just “too big for their boots.”  Keep reaching out. The ones that matter will connect with you. The number of followers you have does not define how awesome you are. The content you post is what matters. Many bloggers pay to promote themselves or spend numerous hours “liking” pictures in order to get more followers. Others chose to do it organically, and whatever will be will be. Either way is great! There are benefits to having more followers. However, it does not define you as a “better” blogger.

Okay, I lied 11 things… You will learn a great deal about yourself. You will grow as a person and realize that blogging is a real passion. Don’t expect to get rich doing this. I do it because I love to inspire, teach, and motivate people. The money will come eventually.

I hope you enjoyed these. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year of blogging, and feel very lucky to have this amazing group of people in my life. Happy Blogging! 🙂

 

 

The 21 Day Sugar Detox Program Guide and Cookbook Review!

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With the New Year approaching people start to want to make changes to feel better. I often have people ask me about specific diets and programs. I am not in support of diets, and never will be. I am in support of leading a simple, healthy, real food lifestyle. With that said, most of us are addicted to sugar. Our bodies are adjusted to using sugar for energy, and we crave a constant flow of carbohydrates. When your body adjusts to using more fat for energy and less carbohydrates, you become more satiated between meals. Overall you look and feel better. The goal is to stabilize your blood sugar and get off the blood sugar roller coaster that leaves you jittery, moody, and frequently hungry. Even though the program is 21 days, it gives you the tools to make a lifestyle change, and start eating nutrient dense, real foods.

The 21 Day Sugar Detox Program book written by Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC is an amazing 21 day program that kick starts this for you. The book comes in 3 program levels with special considerations for athletes, pregnant and nursing moms, pescetarians, and autoimmunity.The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook contains over 100 recipes for any program level!

 

 

the21daysugardetoxguide

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The 21 Day Sugar Detox Guide is helpful in determining where you are now and which level is best for you. There is a quiz that helps you to determine which level is best for you to start with (3 levels). It gives meal plans for each level, and a list of yes and no foods for each level. This makes it easy to stick to your goal! There are tasty and delicious recipes that go along with each meal plan, and the recipes have beautiful pictures to go along with them. This guide contains complete program details, the science behind sugar detoxing, what to expect, a preparation checklist, supplement recommendations, frequently asked questions, a daily success log, a replacing food guide, a guide to sugar synonyms, a guide to fats and oils, a guide on dining out, where to find special ingredients, and much more!

I made some of the recipes from the guide.

I made these delicious bacon wrapped pork tenderloins:

bacontenderloin

and these Asian meatballs over fresh cabbage slaw…

asianmeatballs

and the leftovers made a great lunch for my son Joshua 🙂

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I also made a ginger-garlic beef and broccoli, and this herbed almond “cheese spread (I brought this to a party with cut veggies for dipping. It was a HUGE hit!

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The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook contains over 100 recipes that work for any of the 3 levels in the guide. It is an awesome complement to the guide and gives many more amazing recipes! I tried a few of these recipes as well.

I made these cabbage wrapped dumplings with Asian dipping sauce. These were very tasty and they were not too difficult to make.

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I made this creamy cilantro garlic sauce which I drizzled over my taco salad! I looooove cilantro, and the flavor married well with coconut milk.

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I also made this satiating carrot-ginger soup. Perfect for wintertime in upstate NY.

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Now…for my favorite recipe from the Cookbook…

Caramelized brussels sprouts and onion(Aka…heaven) with bacon:

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There are so many more awesome recipes in this cookbook…you will be amazed!

My birthday is January 6, and I have decided to join the largest group of people starting this program…on my birthday! It is a great way to kick start the year. Eating tasty, amazing, easy to make recipes while getting yourself off that crazy blood sugar roller coaster. Please join me 🙂

Who is in with me?

Link to Diane Sanfilippo’s blog: www.balancedbites.com

Link to purchase the guide and cookbook:

The 21 Day Sugar Detox Guide

The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook

 

Dark Chocolate Orange Holiday Button Cookies

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Nothing beats tiny bite-sized cookies that you can pop right into your mouth! I also love the taste of orange and chocolate married together. There is something very nostalgic and Christmas-y about those two flavors. I wanted to create a grain-free and refined sugar free crumbly small cookie, perfect for packaging up and giving out at Christmas time (or just keep them for yourself and avoid all the grain and rancid oil filled cookies).

I love to bake, and I love to challenge myself when it comes to baking, so I made these without referring to any recipes. My kiddos loved them, as did I! They were not too sweet and the right amount of chocolate. They are definitely going on a platter this Christmas. Santa might appreciate these too!

I was lucky to have two amazing four year old helpers! They helped measure, mix, stir, and taste test. We listened to some Christmas music, and baked away.

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Ingredients for Cookies:

1/2 cup of virgin coconut oil or ghee (not melted)

2 eggs

juice of 1 orange

1 tsp bourbon vanilla

1/4 cup of maple syrup or raw honey

1/2 cup plus 1 TBS of coconut flour

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

Ingredients for Chocolate Drizzle:

4 oz of darkest chocolate you can find (green and blacks 85% dark works great)

2 TBS raw honey

2 TBS coconut oil

1 tsp bourbon vanilla

1 tsp finely grated orange zest

Directions for Cookies:

*oven to 350 degrees*

1. In a standing mixer with cookie paddle mix together the coconut oil or ghee with the eggs, juice of (1) orange, 1 tsp bourbon vanilla, and the maple syrup or honey.

2. Slowly add in (while mixer is on low) coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda. Mixture will form into cookie dough.

3. line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and roll dough into 1/2 tsp sized balls.

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4. Press each ball into a flat little “button.”

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5. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.

Directions for Chocolate Drizzle:

Place dark chocolate, coconut oil, maple syrup or raw honey, bourbon vanilla, and orange zest into a small pan and heat over low heat until melted.

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Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. You can also cover each cookie completely in chocolate, if that is your preference.

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Enjoy!!

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A Week of School Lunches!

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Here is a week of Joshua’s school lunches!

The lunchbox I use is called a Planetbox. I love this lunchbox! It is durable stainless steel and last for years and years. It makes it easy to pack real food vs processed snacks. It helps get children use to eating healthy nourishing lunches. People complain about the cost, however, you are using this same lunchbox through their entire school education!  Otherwise would be buying different plastic bags, plastic containers and lunchboxes each year, and probably spend much more in the long run!

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Day 1: Leftover Paleo Shepherds Pie, avocado, pomegranate, peppers, carrots, and a Trader Joe’s 3 Ingredient Honey Mint (dark choc liquor, honey, and peppermint oil).

I carmelized a sliced onion in OMGhee ghee until golden brown. I added 3 cloves of finely minced garlic and 1 package of chopped portobello mushrooms (chopped by the kids). Saute until the garlic is fragrant and mushrooms are tender. I added chopped rainbow swiss chard and 2 chopped brown tomatoes. Simmer while browning the meat in a separate pan with sea salt and pepper. Add meat to veggie mixture and place in a casserole dish. Cover with steamed and mashed butternut squash (I mashed it with OMGhee ghee, salt and pepper). Sprinkle with smoked paprika and bake in the oven for 30 minutes! Easy and delish! Thanks Kelly Ross for the awesome dinner suggestion!

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Day 2: Grass-fed Burger Sliders with spicy mustard, sweet potato, pomegranate, cucumbers, peppers, and a Trader Joe’s 3 Ingredient Honey Mint (dark chocolate liquor, honey, and peppermint oil).

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Day 3: Left over Teeny Tiny Meatballs with marinara, peppers, berries, cucumbers, and a Trader Joe’s 3 Ingredient Honey Mint (dark chocolate liquor, honey, and peppermint oil).

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Day 4: Local Pasteured Pork Sausage with sauteed mushrooms and spicy mustard for dipping, cucumbers, berries, and a Hail Merry brand chocolate macaroon (GF, DF, soy free, refined sugar free).

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Day 5: Crispy Pork Tenderloin, pounded thin and crisped in coconut oil with Trader Joe’s 21 Spice Mix, avocado with pink salt, berries, fermented ginger carrot, and a date roll with shredded coconut.

Primal Feeding Guide for Babies and Toddlers

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Baby and Toddler Primal Feeding Guide

I’ve had several people ask me about feeding babies and toddlers. I wanted to create a guide to help you make the best decisions for your children. This particular area is very challenging because we live in a culture where we put a great deal of trust in western medical Doctors. Western medicine can be great and there is a time and place for it. However, medical Doctors do not get real food nutrition training (well, minimal and probably based on the old high grain and low fat government recommendations). Many pediatricians are not even aware of the effect that real food (or lack thereof) has on a growing child. Proper nutrition is the core for a healthy body. It affects all other areas of our children’s lives and well-being. We want to start our children out with the best foundation possible. We want them to feel good inside and out, and establish the roots for them to have a lifetime of health.

What makes it challenging is that we as parents are undermined from day one. We are undermined by well-meaning family and friends, by hospital staff who are not properly trained to help breastfeeding mamas. We are undermined by the marketing of artificial baby milk and baby foods. Then as they get older we are undermined by pediatricians, schools, well-meaning family, friends, and marketing. We put a great deal of trust in all the wrong places, and we lose trust in ourselves and in our children. We do have the innate ability to feed our children. Our children have the innate ability to feed themselves. Somewhere along the line we were grossly misdirected. We need to start doing our own research, and making decisions that do not involve people who are not directly involved in your child’s life.

Have you heard the term “bio-individuality?” We are all different. That includes babies and children. We develop the ability to start solids at different points. We develop tastes for different things, and those tastes change. My 4 year old often says to me “mama, I don’t like it because I do not have the same taste buds as you!” He is correct, he does not. My point is that this is a guide to help you make the best decisions for your particular child, keeping in mind they are an individual. They will crave what their body needs. Trust in that.

I have a great deal of valuable information and recipes that will be included in my book about feeding babies and toddlers. However, this guide will cover some of the more common questions I hear, and hopefully give you some answers as to how to start. I incorporated some of my reader’s questions, and my answers to them. I hope this helps to answer some of your questions as well. I can’t explore everything I would like to, but I will do my best to cover some of the most common questions. If you have any that I have not answered here, feel free to drop me an e-mail anytime!

primalblissnutrition@gmail.com

A little about breastfeeding:

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I am not here to judge your decision to breastfeed or not breastfeed. I feel it is important to educate people on the benefits of breastfeeding. I understand that it doesn’t workout for everyone for a variety of reasons, and this post is not to create conflict, but to discuss some obstacles and how to overcome them.

When a baby is born, his/her stomach is the size of a small marble. It is big enough to hold that tiny bit of colostrum that coats and seals the infant gut, preventing pathogens from entering. Some refer to colostrum as baby’s first immunizations. It is rich in vitamin A giving it a dark yellow color. Many mother’s are led to believe (by misinformed people) that their child needs to be supplemented in the hospital. When a newborn baby is fed more than the size of a marble on that first day, the baby is being overstuffed, and the stomach stretches. Sometimes baby will spit it up as well. Keep in mind that if you are feeding baby early and often, you are giving your body the cues it needs to make enough milk for your baby. Removing baby from you to be cared for by nurses, getting tons of visitors, and supplementing with formula interferes with that bonding process, messes with your confidence, and sends you down a road you do not want to go down.

Breastfeeding is a learned behavior. Back when breasts were not culturally taboo, infants were fed freely everywhere. Children observed family members breastfeeding, and they were taught what to do. We had an innate ability and we had confidence. In this day and age it is important to surround yourself with supportive people, who respect your decision to breastfeed.

If you are having difficulties with breastfeeding or need help with re-lactating, you can find a Lactation Consultant here. My favorite resource for breastfeeding mamas is www.kellymom.com. You can find many answers to all your breastfeeding questions and concerns on this website. Here is a blog post I wrote about the amazing ingredients in human milk. If breastfeeding does not work out for you, the second best option is milk from either a milk bank or community milk sharing. Human milk is species specific, and easiest on the infant’s immature gut. Eats on feets is a great resource for obtaining donated breastmilk from a trusted community. There is a Chapter for most areas. The difference between milk bank milk and donated milk is that milk from a milk bank has been pasteurized, and you will have to pay for the milk. However, some people do not trust milk sharing (donated milk). This is where you have to talk with the milk donator, ask important medical questions, and go with your gut. The milk will not be pasteurized, and it will still have all the live enzymes and probiotics. If you go with milk from the milk bank which has been pasteurized, I recommend supplementing with a good human strain infant probiotic. The last option is artificial baby milk (aka formula). There are options to make your own formula with raw goat’s milk here. Goat’s milk proteins are smaller and more easily digested than cow’s milk proteins (casein). If you do decide to go with a cow’s milk pre-made formula, I highly suggest using a liquid one that has pre-digested proteins (a hypo-allergenic formula). The casein is predigested and poses less of a stress on the infant gut. I would also recommend supplementing this formula with a good human strain infant probiotic. I never recommend soy formula…ever. Soy is not a health food.

When do I start solids?

The burning question. Your mother or mother-in-law thinks your baby is hungry and bugs you about starting him or her on cereal. Your pediatrician says “at (6 week…4 months, 6 months), you should start rice cereal” Your baby is reaching for food at the table. You are excited to take pics of that first meal! So when do you start? Here is what I was taught from my training as a general guideline. You start solids sometime around the middle of the first year. I know that sounds very general, but every baby is different. There are however, telltale signs that baby is ready to start playing with food. Remember there is nothing more nutritious, high in calories and nutrient dense than breastmilk or quality formula.

Signs that indicate readiness:

*baby can sit up on his own

*baby no longer has the tongue thrust and gag reflex. When you put something in her mouth, does she try to push it out with her tongue? If yes, she is not ready for solid foods.

*baby is still hungry after breastfeeding for a period longer than a week (normal growth spurt period)

*baby can pinch with her finger and thumb (pincer grasp)

*BIGGEST SIGN: baby is picking up pieces of food and putting it in his mouth by himself

Signs that do not necessarily indicate readiness to consume solids:

*more frequent nursing-this may simply be a growth spurt (which are temporary and last a week or so), baby nurses more frequently during growth spurts to help increase your milk supply to their demand

*size of the baby-big or small babies do not necessarily need extra food. Humans come in all different shapes and sizes. Their size does not indicate their body is ready for solid foods.

*not going straight to sleep after nursing. We always assume baby is hungry, but sometimes their sleep cycles are different from what we would like. Sometimes they are just awake during the night.

*reaching for your food on your plate or watching you eat -She is most likely just curious about what is on your plate, and want to mimic what she sees you doing. Giving her a utensil to hold or play with may suffice.

What is baby led weaning?

In my personal opinion, baby led weaning means giving your baby control over what they will eat and how much. Obviously you supply the food choices. However, the past generation spoon fed babies, shoveling in every last bite in the baby food jar or bowl of rice cereal. It is very invasive to have a spoon shoved in your face repeatedly. Babies are not good or bad eaters. They are not “good” if they eat all of the baby food forced into their mouth. We need to let go of the “good baby” and “good eater” notions from past generations. Let go of the idea that how your baby is eating tells how good of a parent you are. These instilled misconceptions only hinder your ability to trust in yourself, and trust in your baby. Provide soft little pieces of food for them to pick up. Offer purees on a spoon that is near your baby’s mouth, and allow them to open their mouth and reach for it. Do not invade baby’s mouth with a spoon over and over.

 

How much do I give my baby?

The general guideline to follow is from 0-6 months 100% breastmilk or formula. 6-12 months 75% breastmilk or formula. Start introducing solid foods sometime around 6 months. At this time, food is mainly for exploration-they want to play with it…feel it…taste it. Most of their nutrition and calories should come from breastmilk or quality formula that first year. So just give small amounts and let baby have fun with it, no stress. My son literally lived on breastmilk for like 2 years. It was what he wanted. Sure I offered what we were having at every meal, but he was not ready to wean. Keep in mind that bio-individuality. Every child is different and will be ready at a different time. Also remember, your pediatrician will most likely push rice cereal early on. Pediatricians are not trained on breastfeeding or nutrition. Let me repeat this. Pediatricians are not trained on breastfeeding. They also don’t have all the answers. They just don’t. Have some trust in yourself, and stop placing your trust elsewhere! I cannot stress this enough.

According to “Counseling The Nursing Mother, A Lactation Consultant’s Guide” by Judith Lauwers and Anna Swisher, The profession of pediatricians emerged when formula emerged. Mother’s needed a prescribed amount of formula to give their baby. The pediatric profession is still very much influenced by the infant formula and baby food industry. Many of the training pediatricians receive are funded by formula companies. I’m sure there are many great pediatricians out there. However, only you know your child. Don’t place your child’s health in someone else’s hands. No one knows your child like you do.

What are the best foods to start my baby on?

You want the most bang for your buck when it comes to feeding babies. Think nutrient-dense real foods. If you are eating these kinds of foods while breastfeeding, your baby is already exposed to the taste of them. Breastmilk taste changes based on what you are eating. I’m going to list the top 10 best foods I think are great for introducing to baby when baby is ready to start solid foods. Again, the first year is mostly experimenting and tasting different foods. Most calories and nutrients can be obtained from breastmilk or quality formula.

1. avocados-depending on baby’s ability to chew and swallow, you can puree, mash, or give soft chunks. Avocados are nutrient dense and loaded with good fats. Infants need a high fat diet for their developing brain, eyes, and neurological system. You can also make guacamole for baby!

2. egg yolk from pasture raised eggs-pediatricians might warn you about starting eggs early because of possible allergies. The egg white does contain many different proteins that pose a risk to an immature gut. However, the yolk is actually gentle on the gut and loaded with healthy saturated fat and nutrients for growing babies.

3. liver from grass-fed or pasture raised animals- you would want to give tiny pieces or puree depending on baby’s ability to chew and swallow. Liver from pasture raised animals is extremely rich sources of B vitamins, vitamin A, and iron. The iron in liver is bioavailable-meaning it will be digested and assimilated by baby’s body, unlike the iron fortified cereals and baby foods. Fish and liver can be made into pate’s for baby!

4. sweet potato- Loaded with vitamin A and good carbohydrates, palatable taste. Nice for mixing with a stronger meats like liver and fish.

5. grass-fed beef- niacin, iron, choline, high in good omega 3 fats, nutrient rich. You can make a baby bolognese sauce with ground grass-fed beef, veggies such as carrots, spices, and marinara sauce (preferably homemade or a brand with no sugar in it).

6. bone broth or bone marrow- Teething babies love to suck/chew on bones! As long as the bone does not have pieces sticking out that they can choke on, it can help them teeth and they can suck nutrients from it. I remember my younger son loved chewing on a chicken leg. Make sure the bone is from a grass-fed or pastured animal. You can scoop out the nutrient dense marrow from roasted marrow bones and serve it mixed with a little avocado or sweet potato. You can also mix some bone broth with a little meat, avocado, or sweet potato.

7. salmon (wild caught sustainable only)- Excellent source of good fatty acids for brain development, also rich in vitamin D.

8. sticks of cooked vegetables- like zucchini that they can hold and chomp on- again, make sure the tongue thrust reflex is gone (usually after 6 months). Steam until tender and give them the little sticks to hold. **You never want to leave a baby unattended while feeding themselves, and use common sense. You will be able to tell if they can handle it or not, based on the readiness signs listed above

9. mashed roasted squash or pumpkin- again, high in vitamin A-great for mixing with grass-fed beef or liver

10. seasoning and spices- Get that baby use to different flavors! Play around with cinnamon, cumin, garlic, ginger, curry, dill, oregano, sage, thyme, basil, mint, lemongrass, pepper. You want them to enjoy flavorful food just as you do. Don’t assume baby food must be bland. Babies of different ethnicities can enjoy the flavor of ethnic foods just as adults do. My children love spicy foods and garlic, and have since they were infants.

Bonus! add fat and lots of it. Babies brains need fat, especially healthy, stable saturated fats. Fat insulates the brain, helps develop good eyesight, and satiates baby. Raw full fat grass-fed milk (after 1 year), full fat yogurt or kefir (after 1 year), a spoonful of ghee (the milk proteins have been removed, so it is just the fat-high in CLA, and fat soluable vitamins, great for a growing brain), and coconut oil. You can also cook baby’s veggies and meats in pastured lard and tallow. Do not give your baby, toddler, or child anything labeled low-fat or fat free.

Why would I not want to give my baby rice cereal?

The myth of rice cereal is so irritating to me. Rice cereal is digested by the body and broken down as sugar. The iron in it is not all bio-available, therefore baby might not be assimilating all the iron. The form of iron is very constipating. It is a stripped, processed food that contributes to the epidemic we now have of people not handling or processing the large amounts of grains and sugar we consume. There is not much in it in the way of nutrients. There is a longstanding misconception that baby will sleep better with rice cereal. Sure it fills their tummy, but it is filling them with a nutrient-void food like product. It is not real food. Breastmilk is far superior as are the other nutrient dense foods listed above. Don’t buy into the rice cereal nonsense. It’s just not necessary…at all.

Once baby turns one and you are no longer breastfeeding, what do you give them instead of cows milk?

Another long-standing myth in our culture is that you need to drink milk past infancy-namely conventional cows milk. Here is a blog post I wrote about conventional cows milk. I don’t think it is necessary to include in a child’s diet. In my opinion, raw goat or grass-fed cow’s milk can be a good nutrient dense alternative for toddlers. The casein is partially digested by the live enzymes, and therefore is easier on the gut. Raw dairy is completely different from processed grain-fed cow’s milk. However, some still have difficulties with the proteins even in raw milk. I don’t think it is necessary. I discuss that in the blog post as well. Did you know that from 1 to 2 years of age human milk becomes less copious and is more thick and nutrient dense? Every feeding your milk changes to accommodate your growing toddler. However, if your child has weaned, pasteurized cow’s milk is not an appropriate replacement. Stick with raw dairy or nutrient dense foods (listed above).

Should I wean my baby to cow’s milk at 1 year?

What do we believe magically happens at the first birthday that means the child has to suddenly wean? Child-led weaning happens on it’s own. Your child will not go off to college breastfeeding, I promise you that. Sure there is a stigma associated with breastfeeding past one. However, up until about 50 years ago, it was completely normal for toddlers to still breastfeed for 3 years and beyond. It is sad we have this cultural expectation, because the nutrients and benefits for your child go up as the baby becomes a toddler. Here is an informative piece on breastfeeding past infancy. If you are no longer breastfeeding at 1 year, I recommend researching raw goat or cow’s milk, kefir or yogurt or increase the nutrient dense foods you are offering. Also include a good infant human strain probiotic supplement to help with digestion and nutrient absorption. Pasteurized cows milk is not necessary in my educated opinion.

If my child is sick with a stomach bug, what should I feed them besides the typical “brat” diet (bananas, rice, apples, and toast)?

If you are breastfeeding and your infant has the stomach bug, breastmilk can help re-colonize the infant gut with beneficial bacteria, and the closeness soothes baby. However, limit to a small amount as they will most likely vomit it up again. If your child has the stomach bug and is fully weaned from breastfeeding, I do not recommend the “brat” diet, or sports drinks. I recommend slowly sipping bone broth and introducing a good probiotic once the stomach has settled enough to hold down the bone broth. Then once child is feeling better, add soup with fully cooked veggies or well-cooked tender meat, as well as a good probiotic until the stomach is recolonized with good bacteria and can handle other foods.

Which veggies can be given raw, how often do they need veggies?

Don’t over-think it…offer a variety of healthy meats and veggies plus occasional fruits. Stick with real food, not food that comes in a package. I do recommend cooking veggies until tender, especially when just starting solids. See how they handle it. Remember the first year is just for experimenting with different flavors. Always breastfeed or formula feed first during the first year of life. If they are not satiated after that, then offer small pieces of food to experiment with. There is no magic number to the amount of veggies. Just offer small pieces of what you are eating with each meal.

Does introducing meat too early put a strain on their kidneys?

I don’t believe the small amounts of meats they are eating as babies will put any sort of strain on the kidney. They are not devouring an entire beef liver on a daily basis. Their tummy is the size of their little fist. Your baby is utilizing his different senses.  He is tasting small amounts of food, and learning about eating. I do not recommend meats that are not from grass-fed or pastured animals. This piece from Mark’s Daily Apple discusses the protein and kidney myth. This piece also puts to rest some of these protein/kidney myths.

What are some healthy finger foods for toddlers?

You have to plan ahead when you go places and plan to pack real food snacks with an icepack. It’s not as easy as a boxed or packaged snack, but you will adjust!  Some ideas I have are: sliced up hard boiled eggs, steamed veggie sticks (until tender), oven roasted sweet potato fries or jicama fries, small cut up pieces of chicken or other tender slow cooked meats, avocado slices with pink salt, applegate farms deli meats rolled up, roasted cauliflower, kale chips, sea snax (roasted seaweed), and berries. Here is a post I did a while back with some “kiddo” snack ideas. As they get older and can chew more, we get grass-fed beef sticks as well.

How do you deal with the stigma of not giving pasteurized grain-fed cow’s milk to your children? What other options are there?

Be strong. Stick to your guns.  Again, here is my article on cows milk. I don’t believe a child needs to drink their nutrition. The most important drink for a child is filtered water. If the child has no issues with milk proteins, raw grass-fed dairy can be explored. No other species of animals continue to drink milk from another species after weaning. It is purely cultural (and some pushing from the dairy board and the influence they have on the government). If you feel you must give some milk yet your child cannot handle the proteins in raw milk, almond milk and coconut milk are options, but filtered water is the best form of hydration.

Is it safe to breastfeed while eating paleo/primal?

Absolutely. Paleo is a nutritious lifestyle. It is how our early ancestors ate for thousands upon thousands of years. As with any breastfeeding mama, you want to make sure you are consuming enough food for both you and your baby. Remember, your baby gets the nutrients you consume first…it all goes to the milk. Whatever is left goes to you. So baby will not be the one who suffers. You want to take care of yourself though so you have energy and feel good. Breastfeeding burns a lot of energy. Eat to hunger and drink water to thirst. Include starchy veggies as a good source of carbohydrates.

What are some good fats to give my child if he won’t eat avocados, nuts or nut butters?

If your child can handle dairy proteins raw cheeses are an option, as is goat cheese. My kids love broccoli slightly steamed and sauteed with duck fat and pink salt. Also roasted cauliflower with coconut oil is a favorite of my kids. If your child is allergic to almond butter, sunbutter is a good option. Grain free baked snacks with coconut oil are an option too. However…do keep trying avocados! It took almost a year of offering everyday with many refusals, but my 4 year old loves them now. Cook with stable saturated fats as well.

I hope this guide was helpful to you! Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me any other questions you have!

primalblissnutrition@gmail.com

Social Media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/primalblissnutrition

Twitter: www.twitter.com/primalbliss

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/primalbliss

Instagram: www.instagram.com/primalbliss

About me:

My name is Kathryn. I am a mama of 2 boys ages 7 and 4.  I am a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor (CLEC) through the University of San Diego. I have an Undergraduate Degree in Health, and an M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counselor. I am currently studying to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through The Nutritional Therapy Association.

References:

1. Baby-led Weaning; Helping your baby to love good foods, Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett, Copyright 2008

2. Counseling the Nursing Mother, A Lactation Consultant’s Guide,  Judith Lauwers and Anna Swisher, Copyright 2022 by Jones and Bartlett Learning, LLC

3.  www.kellymom.com

* Please note: This is a personal blog. I am not a Doctor. All data and information provided on this site is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitution for professional medical advice.

TASTYFACE Organics Giveaway!

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WE HAVE A WINNER!!! ybus you have won the product of your choice!

 

 

In the past I have struggled with my skin. It tends to be dry, yet I break out during my cycle. Diet plays a huge role. Cutting dairy out ended my struggle with acne. However, I have had a difficult time finding a skin care line that I feel is safe enough to put on my skin. Our skin absorbs what we put on it into the blood stream, and I do not trust mainstream products. Recently I was introduced to TASTYFACE organics! My friend Kelly makes these amazing products in small batches. I tried the products and my skin fell in love. I get told all the time that my skin is glowing!  TASTYFACEorganic products are organic, small batch crafted, and smell amazing. These products are also edible! She uses all natural ingredients and it makes it much easier for me than trying to make my own combinations.

 

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My favorite product is the Coconut Vanilla Cream Cleanser. I take a small amount and rub it into my face. Then I get in the shower and let the steam work it in further. At the end of my shower I use a gentle cloth to clean it off my face. Then I finish with the daily moisturizer. I was really surprised with the results!

 

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WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!  ybus! you are the winner! Congratulations! We will be in touch with you to send you your free product!

For this week enter the coupon code: PRIMALLOVE15 for 15% off your order!

 

Try these products out, you won’t be disappointed!

Feeding Your Pets the Primal Way!

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It is my pleasure to introduce my friend Spencer, an animal nutrition consultant! She did this awesome guest blog post for me all about the benefits of feeding your dog or cat a raw and species specific natural diet. Did you know that dogs and cats do not do well with corn, soy, and wheat either? My little furbaby Finley will appreciate this!

 

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What is a Raw Diet?

The purpose of a raw diet is to re-create the way our animal companions’ ancestors ate when they hunted for their food.  A typical daily diet for a carnivore would involve catching (or finding) and eating another animal.  Often this animal is an herbivore (plant and grass eating animal) like a mouse or rabbit or a deer.
 
Why Feed Raw?
We are feeding carnivores.  Carnivores by definition:
  • Carnivores have the teeth and digestive tract to deal with a diet of animal origin.
  • Carnivores are dependent upon their prey to digest plant matter and convert it into usable, highly nutritious and easily digestible muscle meat, organs, bones, etc.  This dependence is critical to their survival.
  • Carnivores have short, simple digestive tracts.  They do not have the type of teeth needed to break down plants, nuts, seeds or other non-meat sources of nutrients on their own.
When a carnivore eats an herbivore (plant and grass eating animal), it consumes some muscle meat, some bone, some organ meats (liver, heart, kidney, etc.), and a small amount of the vegetation contained in the digestive tract.  It should be noted, carnivores will shake out the stomach and intestines of their prey, before they eat it.  The consumption of partially digested vegetation is minimal. 
 
The main components of a good raw diet are:
  • Raw muscle meat
  • Uncooked bone
  • Raw organ meats
  • A small amount of green vegetation
 
The key to good nutrition for any species is bioavailability.  Unfortunately, there is very little independent, scientific research available on dogs and cats:
  • Bioavailability is very different than digestibility – digestibility studies measure amount of input (food consumed) and amount of output (fecal matter).  The studies do not address whether or not the food source is readily available and usable by the body.
  • The key to good nutrition is not nutrients per se.  It is the usefulness of the nutrients. 
  • A raw diet returns our pets to a diet rich in biologically appropriate ingredients.
  • AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) does not deal with bioavailability of nutrients in any way. 
Raw, natural, bioavailable ingredients may contribute to a longer, healthier life for many pets.  An overabundance of the wrong ingredients may serve to satisfy a hungry pet, but they may also contribute to long-term health problems. 
 
 
Advantages of the Raw Diet
Feeding a diet that mirrors nature can return our animal companions to a healthier state.  Many of the foods being fed to our pets may sustain life, but may not promote health.  Feeding a raw diet may result in:
  • A longer life span
  • Decreased occurrence of debilitating disease at an earlier age
  • Lower veterinary bills and dental problems
  • An overall increase in energy
  • Shinier, healthier skin and coats
  • Cleaner teeth and fresher breath
  • Better weight control
  • Improved digestion
  • Reduction of allergy symptoms
  • Smaller, less smelly stools
  • Decrease in abnormal hyperactivity
  • Increased mobility in older animals
 
How to Transition to a Raw Diet
It is important to research and understand what it means to switch to a raw diet.  The process can be very daunting in the beginning.
 
When making any changes in food, the pet’s digestive system may be disrupted. It is always best to make a gradual change in foods.  10 to 28 days will allow the pet’s system time to adjust comfortably without upset. 
 
Things to buy in preparation for feeding raw:
·         A probiotic (acidophilus) combined with enzymes – begin adding these to the pet’s food prior to starting the raw diet.  After years of consuming processed foods, the pet’s body may not be able to adequately produce digestive enzymes.  The probiotic will return the good flora and fauna to the digestive tract.
·         A good scale to accurately measure the raw food
·         A good knife for cutting semi-thawed rolls of raw food
·         Zip lock bags for storing proportioned raw food
 
Are Raw Diets Safe?
Handling a raw diet for your dog or cat is no different than handling the raw food you prepare for yourself.  Any food that is not handled properly, stored properly or processed properly has potential health risks.  Dogs and cats should not be looked at the same as humans.  As humans, we can eat onions and dark chocolate – they can’t. As humans, raw meat can be very problematic to our systems.  As carnivores, dogs and cats have very short digestive tracts.  Food passes quickly, before the harmful bacteria has a chance to multiply and cause problems.  Carnivores also have a very high level of acidity in their digestive systems.  The high acidity allows them to process raw meats and bones, and creates an environment hostile to bacteria.
 
Cats and a Raw Diet
Our domestic cats are still very much strict carnivores – even more than dogs. They must eat animal protein in order to thrive.  They have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates, so grain-based foods are less than optimal for a cat.  A raw diet made with fresh, approved meats and bones provides cats with healthy, natural nutrition.
 
Cats can be difficult to switch to raw.  They imprint, at a young age, on the specific smell, taste and texture of the food they are used to eating.  The rare cat will switch quickly and willingly. 
 
The key to success with cats is to go very slowly – it can take several months to gradually switch them to raw.  CATS MUST EAT!  Older, overweight cats can get into serious liver trouble if they do not eat regularly. 
 
“Cats are obligate (strict) carnivores and are very different from dogs in their nutritional needs.  What does it mean to be an ‘obligate carnivore’?  It means that your cat was built by Mother Nature to get her nutritional needs met by the consumption of a large amount of animal-based proteins (meat) and derives much less nutritional support from plant-based proteins (grains).  It means that cats lack specific metabolic (enzymatic) pathways and cannot utilize plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins.”  Lisa A. Pierson, DVM
What brands do I recommend?
Bravo is based in CT, Stella & Chewy’s is based in WI, both can be found at specialty pet retailers. In addition to these and several other brands of Raw Diets, there’s also Co-Ops for raw feeders. For example, theres a Co-Op based in the NY/PA/CT area called Raaw Energy. Basically, you join the co-op and the person preparing all the foods takes order requests once or twice a month, and distributes it to the co-op members who offer to host a pick-up. You’d go to the appropriate pick up spot that day and get your food.
Bravo
S&C
www.PetFoodDirect.com and www.Wag.com are online retailers that sell Raw Diets. People can visit www.StellaandChewys.com, www.BravoRawDiet.com, www.Primalpetfoods.com or www.NaturesVariety.com and search by zip code to find the closest retail store that sells their products, though the websites don’t specify if the stores carry the raw diets or the freeze-dried raw treats so it’s best to call ahead. For the people wanting to feed raw, but don’t have freezer space to accommodate the food change, there are convenient freeze-dried food options from Stella & Chewy’s, Primal Pet Food, and an air-dried version from ZiwiPeak (www.ziwipeak.com) that I LOVE because you don’t have to rehydrate the food before feeding. I keep this one on hand for the days I forget to defrost my pets food (oops!)
About Spencer:
I am a companion animal nutritional consultant managing an independently owned and operated pet supplier specializing in species-appropriate diets. I’m a primal/paleo foodie, mom to my Golden Retriever, Eli & my Bengal, Sparta and a reality TV junkie! Besides being a member of the United States Eventing Association and working with horses for many years, I’ve spent much of my time in this field volunteering at shelters, working with animal rescue groups and educating people on appropriate pet nutrition.
spe

 

Sweet Potato Jack O’ Lantern Crisps!

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These cute little pumpkins are not difficult to make, and you can play around with your favorite spices on them!

Oven 350 degrees

Ingredients:

1 Large sweet potato sliced on the thinnest setting with a mandolin slicer, or thinly sliced by hand

3 TBS of melted ghee or melted coconut oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cinnamon *or for a more smoky taste, skip the cinnamon and use smoked paprika*

Directions:

1. Slice the sweet potato:

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2. With a small sharp knife, carve the face into each pumpkin (this is not as difficult as it looks, I actually did it fairly quickly. Poke the faces out. I saved the pieces I cut out for another recipe (can be sauteed with other veggies, mixed with eggs, etc)

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3. place on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and pour melted ghee over coconut oil over the pumpkins:

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4. Roast in the oven for approx 25 minutes or until crispy (flipping them once halfway)

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Transfer to a plate and serve! My kids devoured these as an afternoon snack. They make a great side to dinner as well 🙂

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Wholeme Brand Bars and Cereal Review

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I was asked to review wholeme grain-free cereals and bars! This company makes grain free, dairy free and gluten free cereal and bars. They have trendy names for their products, and nice packaging.

The cereal is called “eat me”

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The cereal comes in a pouch bag. It is grain free, gluten free, and dairy free. It is made with almonds, unsweetened coconut, honey, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, natural extract and salt. It looks exactly like clusters of granola. The taste and texture is amazing! It has a very “almondy” flavor. I’m guessing the extract added is almond? Either way, I love the taste of almond. It reminded me of Christmas cookies. The texture is very similar to cereal-namely granola, but without the oats! It is sweet, crunchy, and satiating. It would be the perfect snack for those times when you are traveling, or out hiking and do not want to reach for unhealthy convenience foods. It is also great for those paleo eaters who still crave a bowl of cereal. This would be great with almond milk or even coconut milk poured on top, and eaten with a spoon. Overall I give this cereal two thumbs up!!

Wholeme also makes bars! There is one called “wake me” and one called “date me.” The “wake me” bar contains dates eggs, almonds, pecans, cacao nibs, coconut oil, flax meal, expresso, baking soda, salt, natural extract and cinnamon.

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This is a great bar for getting you going in the morning! Especially if you are the type of person who needs a little pick me up-it has expresso in it. I think it would be perfect for those who need a little boost before or after their morning workout. I am avoiding coffee at the moment so I had a friend try it. My friend gave it two thumbs up as well! She said they were delicious and would make for a great accompany to morning coffee.

The “date me” bars contain dates, pecans, eggs, almonds, coconut oil, natural extract, baking soda, and salt.

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These would also make for a great “on the go” snack when you are out and about and do not want to reach for convenient foods that do not have desirable ingredients.

***The packages do mention “thoughtfully” produced in a shared kitchen. Therefore if you have severe allergies to gluten and/or dairy, you would want to avoid consuming these products for the risk of cross contamination.

When you visit their website you can see that they also sell some cute apparel! Overall I am impressed with the product line and the taste/texture of the products!

Check them out:

www.wholeme.com

e-mail: hello@wholeme.com

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The Lost Art of Being Human

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I would like to welcome my friend Meredith from From This Day Forward Health Coaching! She wrote this blog post for me discussing human traits. As a primal blogger I feel that it is important to think about our “humanness,” and remember our roots. Often times we get caught up in the computer/phone world, and we disconnect from things that are important. We are over-stressed, over worked, and not grounded. Take the time to remember that you are a human, and you have ancestral roots. Meredith presents us with some great food for thought!

 

social life 

That banner that says “Social Life” up there is from the Smithsonian’s webpage on ‘What does is mean to be human?

Take a moment to really soak in that image… take your time. It’s worth a ponder.

What is your primal instinct telling you right now?

I’ll cut to the chase. According to the Smithsonian, there are specific traits that, over geologic time (from ~6 million years ago to the present), uniquely identify certain primates as human beings. Those traits include:

  • The ability to walk upright as a primary mode of locomotion
  • Increasing brain size through time
  • The use of tools to make other tools for hunting and cooking
  • Complex language & written history
  • Evolution of specific body morphologies
  • Complex Social Structures

It’s no secret that we have come a loooooooong way. Our human-ness today is very different from that of our early ancestors. Technically, we still fit the definition of human-hood – we should, we defined it. But on a more emotional and physical level, are we losing the art of being human? Let’s gain some perspective and review these traits.

Walking Upright – This is a very important distinction for human beings. We are the only primate that walks upright as our primary mode of locomotion.

As a result of human ingenuity, we have homes, offices, cars, electricity, we have a global transportation and e-commerce network to bring everything easily within our reach. We now have to go out of our way to NOT live sedentary lives. Fact is, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Our ancestors evolved a specialized mode of locomotion – and today, our health suffers, our muscles are atrophied, our bones weakened, our circulation sluggish – primarily because we aren’t fully utilizing those fine legs and curved spine that make us human.

Opportunity: Increase your functional movements. Use that body more often like your ancestors did.

Larger Brains – Scientists interpret from the fossil record that early humans evolved larger brains, starting around 6 million years ago. The largest relative increase in brain size occurred during a period of extreme climatic fluctuation AND during a time when our ancestors began to use fire to cook food.

I now call your attention to this article, entitled “If Modern Humans Are So Smart Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?” from Discover online. And I quote John Hawks, a University of Wisconsin Anthropologist:

“Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion.”

So what’s going on here? Popular theories for brain shrinkage include global warming selecting for smaller skeletons, malnutrition due to the advent of agriculture & the introduction of a grain-heavy diet, changes in population density, and the domestication of the human species. Whatever the actual cause, we are now seeing a dramatic shift in the long-term brain-size trend that characterizes human evolution.

Is there an opportunity here?: Maybe. Although it depends on what brain size means. Is a bigger brain evolutionarily advantageous? Does it matter what your brain size is if your neurons aren’t firing? Of the theories of brain shrinkage listed above, you have the most control over your nutrition and perhaps how ‘domesticated’ you are. Go get some fresh air, follow your primal instincts, and then donate that brain of yours to science. 🙂

Tools & Food – Early humans used hand-crafted tools to make other tools. Early humans – as early as 2.6 million years ago – made tools to hunt for and butcher animals for food.

Early tools were created & powered by early humans. Their own functional movements (running, jumping, throwing, climbing, sawing, digging…) were key to utilizing those tools. Our modern tools are still created by other tools – but are powered by clicks, swipes, switches, or even more fundamentally by electricity and gasoline. These technological advances create an entirely new set of human functional movements – capitalizing instead on our fine motor skills.

As far as our food supply – well, this is one of the main drivers of Paleo/Primal/Ancestral Health movement. The short story is that in an attempt to maintain a healthy human population, we have decreased the diversity, nutrient density, and microbiota of our food supply, all while increasing the quantities of food we ingest and our toxic load. Ironically, only the healthiest humans (who are probably the most primal of the modern humans) can withstand this burden. The increase in our overall toxic load (whether it be from processed food, pesticides, herbicides, fragrances, household & industrial chemicals) coupled with our decrease in movement has, over multiple generations, resulted in our offspring being weaker & weaker (increase in diabetes, obesity, behavioral problems, asthma, allergies, chronic illness, you name it).

Uh-oh humans…

Opportunity: There is a great opportunity to get crafty. Use your human ingenuity to solve problems. While we’re not all out hunting for food these days, we can increase our functional movements through play – and manual labor around the house. And finally, decrease your toxic load by opting for whole foods and by avoiding man-made chemicals aren’t native to our bodies.

Language & Symbols – Humans are unique among primates because we have developed so many different ways to communicate with each other. We also have the ability to write it down, to leave a written historical record.

This is one aspect of human-ness that we’ve capitalized on pretty well. According to Wikipedia, there are at least 7000 different human languages. Modern humans are now busy creating computer languages too. Our diverse physical and virtual communication skills are awesome.

That said, the bulk of our written language/history these days is in the form of data. One estimate (as of 2010) is that we create as much data every 2 days, as we did from the dawn of civilization up to the year 2003. Every minute, “YouTube users upload 48 hours of video, Facebook users share 684,478 pieces of content, Instagram users share 3,600 new photos, and Tumblr sees 27,778 new posts published (Neil Spencer, 2012).”

 If this trend continues… our personal communication skills are likely to atrophy right along with our muscles.

Opportunity: Take it offline. Bone up on your story-telling skills. Use your imagination. Create artwork to share. Exercise your verbal communication skills every now and then. Practice physically writing – perhaps a hand-written note to a friend or family member.

Evolving Bodies – Human bodies have changed in size and shape from short & wide to tall & narrow. Scientists speculate the change in morphology is based on changes in diet and/or changes in climate. Based on the short size & wide shape of their bodies as well as their skull structure, the earliest human species (around 6 million years ago) are interpreted to have had a plant-based diet. By about 1.9 million years ago – our human ancestors were taller & narrower, coincident with warming climates and a change in diet to include meat and other more quickly digestible foods. Taller, narrower bodies are thought to dissipate heat more readily, an adaptive strategy for life in warmer climates, whereas more compact human species were better suited for colder climates.

Today, we can live in all climatic conditions thanks to insulation/shelter, heat, light, and transportation. For the most part, we’ve eliminated that physical stressor. But by doing that, we’ve also eliminated a pretty major evolutionary force – our interaction with the outside world. We’re changing our relationship with the sun, with the earth, with day & night. Who knows how we’ll eventually adapt to this…

Today, humans of all sizes and shapes have vastly different dietary approaches. We have the luxury of choosing what food to eat – nevermind whether or not it’s actually fit for human consumption. When in our evolutionary past did we have this opportunity?

Opportunity: Get outside more often, spend time in nature, get some sun. Challenge yourself to be a locavore, you’ll be eating whole, seasonal foods like your ancestors did.

Social Life – While most primates have social structures, humans have developed an extreme social structure with its roots in human child rearing. Human babies take nearly twice as long to mature to independence as our closest living relatives (chimpanzees). To ensure survival of the species, humans developed communities to work together for the benefit of the group. There is evidence of campfires or early hearths beginning around 800,000 years ago. This may have been an important place for socialization.

Our ancestors may have been a part of 1-2 different groups in their lives. There were strong bonds in those groups. Their lives depended on those groups.

So, how many groups do you belong to these days? The social structure of modern humans is so incredibly complex, informed by our diversity, and it’s getting more complex every day. Our social structure now involves families, extended families, and step families, hundreds (if not thousands) of religious groups, countless local community related groups… and then we get to virtual communities… I personally belong to 26 groups on Facebook and I’d bet that’s well below average. Our expanded definition of ‘community’ today is dizzying.

Opportunity: Trim some fluff. Focus on building & maintaining meaningful relationships.

Which brings us full circle. Take another look at that image at the top of this post. From that page, you can ‘like’ or ‘tweet’ or ‘email’ to all of your peeps and their peeps about the importance of the social network of early humans from the comfort of your chair in a one-way electronic conversation. The new story telling.

We are human – and we are not exempt from the process of evolution. Our human-ness today is very different from that of early human species.

Maybe being human is not so much a lost art as a new media. Maybe I’m just being nostalgic. But let’s not forget about our uniquely human traits and consider a wider, deeper perspective to inform our lives – and our health – going forward.

 

About Meredith:

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Meredith Rhodes Carson is a geologist and a health coach who is deeply informed by ancestral health. As a result of her own wake-up call, she has developed a free 52-Week Kick-In-The-Ass email series to prove to women who are tired of their own status quo that they have more control over their health & wellness than they were taught to believe. She has also started a newsletter to give you a new, bigger picture perspective about your health called ‘The Monthly. (A Periodical)’. It’s written in a way that only a geologist turned health coach can and delivered to your inbox on the full moon. Ladies, you can join the revolution at

Pumpkin Pie Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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pumpkin seeds (4)

 

 

Pumpkin seeds are filled with lots of minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and copper. They are a good source of vitamin K, vitamin E, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B-6, and folates), and zinc. Pumpkin seeds also provide protein and fat. One cup of pumpkin seeds provides 39 grams of protein, 63 grams of fat and only 1.8 grams of sugar. Not that you would eat a whole cup in one sitting, but this shows that pumpkin seeds are a good source of nutrients!

I grew up carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds with sea salt. I wanted to try something with a little bit of sweetness and Fall spice to it. These came out great and the kiddos loved them!

 

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

1 pumpkin (any size)

2 TBS ghee (clarified butter) melted

1 TBS pumpkin pie spice

1 TBS of coconut sugar, date sugar, or maple syrup

Directions:

Oven 350 degrees

Carve the pumpkin and save the seeds!

My 6 year old carved this pumpkin and my 4 year old helped me separate the seeds.

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Separate the seeds from the  pumpkin “guts” (as my kids like to call it):

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Spread the seeds on a cookie sheet. Pour melted ghee over the seeds, and sprinkle with coconut sugar, date sugar, or maple syrup. Sprinkle on the pumpkin pie spice and stir well.

Roast in the oven stirring frequently for approx 20-25 minutes (or until golden brown and crispy)  stirring frequently.

Let them cool and enjoy!

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Happy Halloween!

We Have a Winner!!!

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The winner of Eric Hulse Nutrition and Primal Bliss Nutrition’s Planetbox lunch box competition is…….

Heather Stevens!

 

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Awesome job Heather, for packing a colorful nutrient dense lunch for your son! We hope you enjoy your new Planetbox.

 

All of the top 5 candidates had lots of votes. It was a close call!

 

Thanks to all that participated, we had a great time. Eric and I will be having more giveaways soon 🙂

 

Top 5 Finalists, Planetbox School Lunch Competition!

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As you know Eric Hulse and I are running a school lunch competition and someone is winning a free Planetbox brand lunchbox!

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Eric and I received many beautiful pictures of school lunches. I am very impressed with what I have seen. This gives me hope that people are realizing the affect processed foods have on their children. Eric and I  narrowed it down to our top 5 favorite colorful, nutrient dense, and creative lunch combinations! We are excited to share our top 5 finalists with you, and you get to pick who wins the Planetbox by voting in the comment section!

 

Please vote by tomorrow, Sunday September 15th 2013 at 9pm EST!!! Just comment on my blog or Eric’s Blog as to which lunch is your favorite. The lunch with the top votes will win the Planetbox!

 

 

1. Crystal’s Paleo Sushi Rolls:

“My daughters lunch we call it paleo “sushi” rolls it is sliced chicken breast with shredded carrots and cucumber and avocado stuffed inside. Mango on the side and raisins, cranberries and cashews mixed”

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2. Carlene’s Eggs and Chicken
“Eggs, Brazil and macadamia nuts, broccoli, carrot, capsicum, grape tomatoes, mandarin and strawberries, grilled chicken and sweet potato”

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3. Heather’s Eggs and Sausage

“Boiled egg, fresh sausage that we processed ourselves, and red/green/yellow peppers. I also added some berries and some leftover sauteed squash. He came home asking me to pack him the same lunch tomorrow!”

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4. April’s Egg Rolls

“This one is “egg rolls” omelet style egg, rolled up with nitrate free ham and organic sautéed spinach, nitrate free bacon and organic guac “bites”, organic strawberries and grapes, organic baby carrots and half a hard boiled egg per my sons request ;)”

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5. Louise’s Mexican style egg muffins

“Mexican style egg muffin,  grass fed beef, unsweetened  apple sauce and fruit snacks.  Happy lunch.  This was at the start of school.  Figs are in season so he has been very happy this week.  Thanks for your inspiration.”

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Please let us know in the comment section which lunch is your favorite! The winner will be announced on Monday!!! Good luck to our finalists 🙂

A Sweet Find!

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What is in that ripped open bag of goodness you ask?  ^^^

When sticking to the paleo/primal lifestyle, it is important to avoid as many processed foods as possible in order to feel our best! It is also important to cut down on sugary treats and desserts. One of the biggest mistakes people can make when converting to this lifestyle is to buy all these “gluten free” processed treats and desserts. They are usually loaded with sugar and keeps people on that blood sugar roller coaster.

However, every so often it is nice to have a little something sweet, that isn’t going to take away from the nutrient dense variety of foods we are eating, and isn’t going to leave us feeling drained. I see nothing wrong with this. I found these Trader Joe’s 3 Ingredient mints and wanted to share them with you. There is literally only 3 ingredients in them! However, they taste exactly like a peppermint patty or junior mints…it’s that melt in your mouth chocolate/minty taste sure to satiate that sweet urge. I store them in the freezer and at times when that need for sweetness comes along, one of these suckers does the trick!

These mints do have 17grams of sugar per 3 mints. However, the sugar comes from pure honey which is a more natural source of sugar. I limit my sugar intake, and try to stick with eating 1 (and that really does do the trick for me). I also pop one in my son’s lunchbox as an after lunch minty treat. He really enjoys them, and it is something I feel okay about giving him.

So what are the 3 ingredients?

Honey, Chocolate Liquor, and Oil of Peppermint

I like that there is no soy lecithin, no other crazy ingredients. These can probably even be recreated at home with cacao and raw honey (maybe my next endeavor?).

 

Here is what these shiny little nuggets look like on the outside:

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Here is what they look like on the inside:

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and they come in this adorable shimmery green wrap 🙂

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Where can I find these?

These are Trader Joe’s brand and can be found at Trader Joe’s. I did check on amazon and wasn’t able to find them on there. So for those of you who do not live near a Trader Joe’s, ask a friend that does to ship you some!

 

 

 

 

 

 

School Lunch Contest and Planetbox Giveaway!

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Hey everyone! I am so excited to announce this contest I am running with my dear friend Eric over at www.erichulse.com.

 

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Eric is a holistic health and lifestyle coach, Author, and teacher. Eric sees first hand the affect that eating processed foods has on today’s children.  We are both passionate about nurturing today’s children with real, nutrient dense, whole foods. Eating real food nourishes your child’s body so they can not only function throughout the day but also feel good. Eating real food helps to develop their eyesight, memory, concentration, focus, and gives them energy while they go about their day.  Many children muddle through the day and get by. They get use to feeling tired, sick, or even a little off. It is our job as adults to change this, and take care of their little bodies. We want our children to feel their best. They learn through what we teach. By feeding them real foods you are NOT….I repeat you are NOT depriving them. They will learn the difference in how they feel, and will learn to enjoy a variety of healthy, real foods. I guarantee they will surprise you!

 

It is challenging because culturally we are so far removed from real food, that we truly believe packaged food is real food. We blame all these sicknesses, diseases and ailments on “aging” and “getting old” It may be convenient and less expensive to buy this stuff, but it is hurting our children and setting them up for lifelong struggles that could easily be avoided. I was saddened by the “healthy snack” list at our school, which included go-gurts and graham crackers. This might come across as bold, but I am tired of playing nice and turning the blind cheek when it comes to this. Eating foods like these just makes children feel more hungry, because they are not getting the nutrient absorption their bodies need. The blood sugar spikes and plummets leaves them feeling drained. Not to mention the toll these foods have on their gut, setting them up for future autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, psoriasis, celiacs, asthma, diabetes, lupus and the list goes on and on. Just because something is marketed as “whole grain” or “healthy” doesn’t mean that it is. “whole grain” is a loaded term that means nothing. Grains are digested as sugar, and also block nutrient absorption. We have been brainwashed by the media, and it’s time we stop this nonsense and nourish our children with real food. It may cost more and take more time, but overall you are avoiding years of unnecessary struggling.

 

Now that I have that off my chest, I’m going to announce our awesome school lunch contest and giveaway! We are so excited to have our readers involved with this…we hope to start a real food school lunch revolution! We can do this. YOU can do this! This is our first giveaway and we are just thrilled about it!

 

 

Eric and I will be giving away a planetbox lunchbox!

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Planetbox is stainless steel, durable, and lasts for many years. You no longer need separate containers that get lost or thrown in the trash. It comes with separate “dip” containers that are great for paleo dips and sauces to dip the meat in. Planetbox makes it easy to pack real food. Often times my son Joshua gets leftovers from dinner the night before. HERE is a link to a month of Joshua’s school lunches in the planetbox!

Eric and I will be giving away one of these amazing lunchboxes!

Here is how to enter:

1. E-mail Either Eric or I a picture and description of one of your home packed school lunches between Wed and Fri (the 11th through 13th) of this week. The deadline for entries is Friday the 13th 9pm EST.

Eric’s e-mail: erichulse.wellness@gmail.com

Primal Bliss e-mail: primalblissnutrition@gmail.com

2. Eric and I will narrow it down to our favorite 5 lunches. We will be looking for nutrient dense foods, variety, and of course fun!

3. We will then post our 5 favorite lunches on our blogs and let you vote on your favorite one in the comment section of our blogs throughout the weekend.

4. On Monday September 16th we will announce the winner that you chose, and send that individual their very own planetbox!

We also ask those that enter to “like” us on Facebook and Subscribe to our blogs!

Eric on Facebook: www.facebook.com/erichulsewellness

Primal Bliss on Facebook: www.facebook.com/primalblissnutrition

Good luck!!!

 

 

Book Review: The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking

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It was my pleasure to review the Cookbook “The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking” written by Hayley Mason and Bill Stayley. I enjoyed reading this cookbook and making some of the recipes! I highly recommend it!

 

In the first few pages The Author’s share several Paleo success stories with pictures. Each story tells the age of the person, their favorite paleo benefit, and their favorite paleo dish. These success stories are very inspiring and motivational. They also help you to realize that everyday people are benefiting tremendously by making these lifestyle changes!

 

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The book is broken down into 3 easy to read parts.

The first part of “The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking”  discusses what the paleo diet is, the difference/similarities between “primal” and “paleo” (in easy to understand terms). They describe what foods to enjoy, and what foods to avoid. They include aesthetically pleasing pictures. They also include a section on growing your own food. In the first section the author’s also list the key ingredients you would want to stock up on when eating a paleo diet. Following this are answers to many common questions.

 

Part 2 of the “The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking”  is a 30 Day meal plan that is broken down into weeks. This plan includes check lists and shopping guides. It doesn’t get any easier than this! They do all the planning for you. In the back of the cookbook are tear out guides that you can bring with you to the store!

 

Part 3 of the book is the recipes. They even include a page describing how to break down and read the recipes, and a informational “key” that lets you know the prep time and difficulty level for each recipe. I tried several recipes from this cookbook and they were all amazing. With these recipes you will feel satiated, and not deprived.

 

My favorite recipe from this cookbook was the beef and mushroom lettuce cups:

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Here is the recipe (with permission from Author’s to share)

2 lbs gr. beef

1 cup white mushrooms sliced

1/2 yellow onion, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 TBS BBQ Blend Spice

1 TBS salt,

1 TBS pepper

1/2 avocado

1/4 cup cilantro

1 head iceberg lettuce

 Brown beef over med-heat (in large dutch oven), toss in mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Top with BBQ spice blend, cook for 20 minutes stirring frequently. Place in individual lettuce cups and top with avocado and cilantro

BBQ spice blend: 1 tsp each of smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle powder, cinnamon, coriander, and black pepper

 

Some of the other recipes I enjoyed included;

* fajita lettuce wraps with chipotle aioli

*pressure cooker pork roast

*beef brisket.

 

All the recipes are amazing, and everything is laid out for you. If you want to try the paleo diet for 30 days, or if you are looking for new recipes to try. This is the cookbook for you!

 

 

You can order “The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Dieting” HERE

 

 

 

 

 

I was very impressed with this cookbook over all and highly recommend it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Clean Eating Teen Discusses “Back to School”

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First of all, I just want to give a HUGE thank you to Kathryn for giving me this wonderful opportunity to write for her blog. You rock!!

My name is Natalie Wester! I am a high school student from Texas, and run a health blog, Clean Eating Teen.

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Everyone who knows me, knows I am a HUGE health and fitness nut. I am known around family, friends, and school as the “hippie” chick. And they’re right! I have BIG plans to obtain a certification in holistic nutrition, as well as to become a certified yoga teacher and personal trainer. I’m so passionate about this field, that I’m usually seen carrying nutrition books around school campus.

I help my family and peers in any way I can, trying to help people obtain a healthy and active lifestyle. I make meal plans (with any donations I earn going towards yoga teaching tuition) and workout with those interested, and love to share anything I know about health and nutrition to those wanting to learn more.

It get’s chaotic sometimes, managing school work with a healthy diet and fitness regimen. But I don’t let my busy schedule become an excuse to neglect my body. That (along with grades, no doubt) is one thing I will NEVER let myself slack up on.

Before I started taking care of myself and nourishing myself properly, I was sluggish. I was not in shape, I did not eat well, and overall my performance was no where near as it is today. Don’t get me wrong, I always did my best and never fell behind… but since converting into a healthier, “clean diet” form of living, boy… are the differences HUGE! I feel better, have more energy… not to mention my skin cleared up, eyes whitened, and hair got shinier. I even lost some (healthy) weight!

Sometimes it gets difficult, but with proper preparation, it is more than possible to stay on track after it is time for the lazy summer time days to go away! This post is about how I keep up with my lifestyle during the school year… and how you, weather you are still in school or working, can too!

Exercise:   

 

My high school starts at 7:30 AM. I used to do my workouts after school, and that worked for a while. But eventually, I piled on after school activities, and before I knew it, I was lacking energy to work out after I got home from a long day.

My solution? Workout before school.

I am not saying that people can’t exercise towards the end of the day… actually, many prefer this! However, I have always been an early bird, and this was really the only time I found I had enough energy to get my body up and moving! Plus, it energizes me for the rest of my day.

I like having a pattern that I can rely on everyday, and I know for sure that my mornings will go un-interrupted for a workout. I could never say that about after school, because I never know when I need to stay for a project, tutorials, or another after school event.

            During school months, I wake up at 5AM. I workout for about an hour, until 6AM. Then I eat breakfast and am dressed and ready to leave by 7AM. I do this every day.

            In order to ensure efficiency, I prepare things the day before so I don’t have to waste time in the morning! I lay out my workout clothes. If I know I am doing yoga, I get my mat ready. If I am doing strength training or a DVD, I get out the equipment and have the DVD in the player. These simple tricks shave off precious minutes that you can use getting work done!

            This also includes knowing what you will be doing, routine wise, the day before. Are you going to be going on a run? Is it leg day, arm day? What DVD or routine are you doing? By knowing this, you take the guessing out of things and can mentally get yourself ready to tackle your workout.

            It is definitely a challenge to start this, but if you are passionate about staying active, you will make the adjustments needed. It only takes a few weeks before the habit sets in, trust me!

            Of course, because I wake so early, I usually go to bed by 9ish. I never have been able to stay up past 10PM easily anyway, so this wasn’t hard for me, especially after a LONG day of school, theatre, homework, ext…

            Now, I know that not everyone can get to bed this early. People have meetings, children, a spouse and family to tend to. I am just telling what works easiest for me, as an example to help you set your own goals with something of a path to fallow! J

           

            Here is a round up of tips for this category:

-Workout in the morning, or whenever time is easiest and most likely to be available and not interrupted.

 

-Go to bed earlier, regardless of when you workout, to ensure you have enough energy the next day.

 

-Lay out workout clothes and get needed workout equipment ready the night before.

 

-Have in mind what routine or workout you will be doing the day before you do it.

 

-Stick to your routine. Try to work out the same time each day to form habit, and stay committed! It get’s easier the more you do it. J

 

 

Food:

Everyone knows that school cafeteria food is… well, not food. It is actually a joke between my friends and I that everything the cafeteria serves is actually different shapes of ground horse hooves…

            Unless you are blessed to attend one of the few schools in the nation (or otherwise) which serves organic, homemade lunches… I HIGHLY recommend you make and bring your own. Actually, I don’t recommend it… I require it. I can’t tell you how many times my friends (who don’t even strive for a healthy diet to begin with) complain about the school’s slimy pizza or mock fish sticks.  If THEY have a hard time consuming it, I really don’t think it is wise for a health conscious student to put it anywhere near their lips!

            I also am astounded by how many people either A) Go without eating lunch (and not for monetary reasons) or B) Buy five cookies and a chocolate milk and call it a meal. This is also a big no no, and is another reason why bringing your own lunch is such a good idea. When you prepare your own food, you not only know what is in it, but you are guaranteed a meal that you like and that is nourishing. 

            This also goes for breakfast… some people do eat theirs at school, but most catch a bite to eat at the house before jumping on the bus or driving. Breakfast might even be trickier than lunch, because it is all too easy to forget about it until you pop out of bed late, and only remember it by the sound of your stomach growling while you frantically brush your teeth! Plus, most conventional breakfast items are no more than empty calorie sugar bombs: donuts, waffles, pop tarts and most cereals will not energize you for the long day ahead!

 

            I understand that making your own lunch may be time consuming, but this is where weekly food preparation comes in handy. If you don’t want to be making your lunch each night before, prepare a few containers of a basic, non spoiling lunch on a Sunday evening.

            Try making large batches of staples-it is a good idea to grill/bake/pan sear some ground turkey, chicken breast, pork chops, ext so that you can also have that on hand.

            I know many people, and many bloggers who post weekly about how they and their readers “food prep” for the week. A preparation can be as easy or as complicated as you would like. Heck, even if you just chop up some vegetables to have at hand for the week… that is better than nothing! Here are two examples of what you could do on a free weeknight to get ready for the rest of the week:

Ex 1. Say you are having grilled chicken for dinner, with a side of steamed broccoli. Instead of one chicken breast, go ahead and grill as many as you can… 6 or 7. While you are chopping the broccoli to steam, chop extra to toss into a salad for one of your lunches. Portion everything in separate containers, and then toss your broccoli with some greens and a chicken breast for a salad lunch. Easy peasy!

Ex 2. You are having breakfast on Sunday morning, hard boiled eggs with homemade (healthy-grain-free) pancakes. Boil as many eggs as you can (a whole dozen would be nice, for lunches and breakfasts!), as well as double, or triple your pancake batter. Peel all the eggs, and store them properly for easy morning protein, or chop them up in a lunch salad later. Use all the pancake mix, and (just like you would buy at the store), put them in portioned baggies and freeze them. You can heat them up in the toaster in the mornings easy enough, and if you are running out the door, eat them sandwich style with some almond butter between!

            Of course, these are just examples in which you make some extra of the food you already were preparing. You can also just make your week food separately! Don’t limit yourself to basic things either, even though they ARE easiest. Try making protein bars, meat patties, soups, stews, chiles… anything you can think of and have the availability to do!

            While prepping food is a great idea, it is also handy to buy a few items that don’t require much hassle to simple throw in a brown bag. I find that many companies carry “to-go” sizes of their products… I have also seen small individual bags of baby carrots, and of course pre-chopped fruit cups.

            Some ideas of ready-made, healthy choices would be:

-Unsweetened fruit cups

-Unsweetened apple sauce

-Pre sliced vegetables or fresh fruit

-Sliced, high quality deli meat or cheese (not pre packaged, sliced right in front of you by the butcher!)

-Organic cheese sticks or rounds

-No sugar added dry fruit

-Fresh fruit with a natural “to-go” method, like apples, bananas, and oranges

-Healthy chips (baked chips, sweet potato chips, kale chips)

 

Here is a quick round up for this category:

 

-Do NOT fall victim to the school cafeteria food line! Your taste buds AND your body deserve better than whatever they are serving. The extra time you put into making your breakfasts or lunches is well worth it.

 

-Prepare your food before hand! Be simple and simply chop vegetables up or make extra of staples you already need, or make actual things (protein bars, meat patties, soups) for future meals.

 

-Pick up some to-go sized items of your favorite healthy products,  as well as other things you do not have to prepare before hand and can just throw into your lunch bag.

 

Just for reference, here are a few ideas for meals at breakfast and lunch.

Breakfast:

         Pre made hard boiled eggs with an apple and nut butter

         Pre made grain free pancakes or waffles with nut butter or honey and fresh fruit

 EASY, Paleo, Sugar Free Gluten Free and Flourless pancakes (two main ingredients… a banana and two eggs! Recipe is on my blog)

         Banana with nut butter or sunbutter

One of my lunches since starting school this year! Lettuce wraps with leftover turkey meat, and some baby carrots with homemade hummus!

Lunches:

-Salad with pre-chopped veggies, balsamic vinegar and pre grilled chicken breast or hard boiled egg

-Lettuce wraps with large romaine leafs, left over meat, or veggies 

-Pre made soups or chile

-Half an avocado with a can of tuna or salmon and fresh tomato and cilantro on top

-Left-overs from last night’s dinner… the best! 😉

I KNOW it is easy to make excuses when school and work gets tough. Who has the time-or the energy, for that matter- to eat right and work out?

            The answer is simple… if you REALLY want something, you will do anything to make sure it happens. So in other words… do you want a wholesome, fit and active life? If your answer is yes… then you DO have the time!

How do you stay healthy during school?

What are some of your favorite go-to workouts or meals?

Natalie

Facebook: www.facebook.com/holisticmealplanning

Twitter: www.twitter.com/cleaneatingteen

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/cleaneatteen

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/cleaneatingteen 

Bacon, Carmelized Onion, and Chive Ranch Dip

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My kids love the taste of ranch. However, I don’t like to purchase store bought dressings because of the use of GMO soy oil and other highly processed oils that cause inflammation in the body. This ranch flavored mayo based dressing can be used as a dip, dressing, or spread on a burger. It is very flavorful! My kids enjoyed dipping veggies in it. It can also be used as a spread for steak.

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp sea salt plus extra for taste at the end

1 tsp white pepper

1 cup of macadamia nut oil, light olive oil (not extra virgin), or avocado oil

1 TBS vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

3 strips of bacon diced

1/2 onion finely diced

2 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of chives diced

*water to thin to desired consistency

 

Directions:

Cook the diced bacon over med heat until crispy, remove from pan and set aside.

 

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Put the onions in the same pan with bacon dripping and cook over med low stirring occasionally for a good 1/2 hour until golden brown.

 

 

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Finely dice the garlic (I used a mini food processor) and set aside:

 

 

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Finely dice the chives and set aside as well.
Pictured below is the bacon, chives, onions, and garlic:

 

 

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The base of this dip is mayo. You can follow any paleo mayo recipe. This is how I usually make mine:

Put the egg yolks, mustard  and 1/2 tsp of sea salt in a mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk or electric beaters mix until egg yolk begins to emulsify (thicken). Slowly add the oil a drop at time while beating-be very patient, you want it to get thick. Once you are about half way through the oil doing little drops at a time, and the mayo is thick, you can pour it in a stream and finish up.

***be patient, whisk hard, and it helps to have a partner helping to drop the oil in one drop at a time. It also helps to have a good mixer because your arm does get sore if you do it by hand. ***

Add the vinegar, white pepper, lemon juice, and more sea salt to your liking. If the mayonaisse is on the thicker side, add distilled water (a few drops at a time) until desired consistency. If you are using this to put on burgers or steaks, you would want it on the thicker side. If you plan to use it as a dip or dressing, thin it out more.

 

 

Next fold in the bacon, chives, diced garlic, and carmelized onions, and transfer to a serving dish:

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Enjoy!!!

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Paleo On The Go, Home Delivered Paleo Meals!

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On a recent visit to Florida I was lucky to have the opportunity to connect with Dave, Founder of Paleo On The Go.  Paleo On the Go is a service that cooks and delivers Paleo Meals to all 50 States in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. In my opinion, the prices are reasonable. The meats are grass-fed/pastured, and the ingredients are all fresh. I toured the kitchen where the food is prepared, met the cooks, and was able to taste some of the meals. I was very impressed and want to spread the word on this service!

 

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I taste tested the butternut squash lasagna. It was amazing! I was very impressed with both the texture and the taste. This lasagna uses a cashew basil “ricotta” and you really cannot tell a difference.

 

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The meals are delivered frozen and are easy to reheat.

 

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My kids and I ordered some food for our hotel room so we wouldn’t be eating junk all week while on vacation. The first night on our visit my son Joshua had a fever and sore throat. Thankfully Paleo On The Go came to my rescue with their homestyle chicken soup. It was enough soup to serve both kids a big bowl! Joshua ate all of it and I felt good knowing he was getting some goodness in him while feeling so lousy!

 

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While on vacation, I also ordered the chili lime chicken wings. I was really surprised that when you heat them up the taste and texture is not compromised as you might expect. The kids and I devoured these :). They were delicious!

 

 

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Here are some of the other meals they offer:

 

Ranch Cauliflower Dip

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BBQ Beef Brisket

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Autoimmune Friendly Herb Roasted Chicken

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Are you drooling yet? Wait…there is more!

Mustard Bacon Chicken with Mustard Thyme (I must try this, thyme is my favorite herb)

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Gyro Meatballs with zucchini noodles

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Dave is generously offering a free paleo treat to my readers 🙂

 

Use coupon code PrimalBliss for free paleo cookies with your order through Aug 31st!

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DaveRohdeAbout Dave Rohde: Founder/CEO at Paleo On The Go “I learned about the paleo diet in 2008 after joining a Crossfit Box. After going home and researching the paleo diet for many hours, I realized that the information made a lot of sense and might be the answer that I have been looking to help me with my health challenges and weird food allergies. A few years later, I founded Paleo On The Go to provide amazing fully prepared paleo food with unprecedented convenience and build a platform to help educate as many people as possible including people that are suffering unnecessarily with troubling conditions. In the year and a half being in business we have developed an expanding product line of paleo food that we are just thrilled about. Our newest development is a menu specific to meet the dietary needs of people with autoimmune issues. Check out our blogs, paleo tip of the week, and paleo meals and snacks at www.paleoonthego.com.

-Dave Rohde, Founder/CEO at Paleo On The Go

Connect with Dave/place an order:

Website and Blog: www.paleoonthego.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/paleoonthego

Twitter: www.twitter.com/paleoonthego

Instagram: www.instagram.com/paleoonthegodotcom

Crockpot Paleo Pork “Goulash”

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On a recent trip to Florida I tried some authentic German goulash. It was amazing! I wanted to try and recreate some of the flavors in the dish and this is what I came up with…

 

 

Ingredients:

2 medium sized pastured pork tenderloins (or 1 large would work)

1 1/2 cups of beef broth or bone broth

1 small can of muir glen diced tomatoes

1 onion chopped

1 red bell pepper sliced

8 oz of sliced mushrooms

5 cloves of garlic-thinly sliced

3 TBS apple cider vinegar

sea salt

pepper

paprika

fresh cilantro

2-3 TBS potato starch or tapioca starch (to thicken at the end)

 

 

 

Directions: 

Cube the pork into 1-2 inch cubes:

 

 

 

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Sprinkle pork generously with sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and paprika.

 

Place all ingredients except for cilantro and potato starch in a crockpot. Add salt and pepper to taste, mix it all up.

 

 

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Cook on low for 6-7 hours. At the end whisk in the starch to thicken the broth. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Citrus Grilled Shrimp Over Arugula Salad, with Meyer Lemon Dressing!

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I was looking for inspiration while at the grocery store today and found some Meyer lemons! Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons, but hold more tartness than an orange. The first thing that came to my mind was to marinade shrimp and make a salad dressing out of them. This was my inspirations for tonight’s dinner!

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RECIPE:

1 pound of raw shrimp, preferably wild caught, peeled and deveined

For the the marinade:

1/4 cup of melted coconut oil

zest and juice from 1 meyer lemon (a regular lemon, lime, or orange would work too)

3 cloves of garlic finely minced

sea salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and pour over shrimp. Marinade for approx 30-45 minutes (while preparing the salad)

For the salad:

1 small bunch or bag of fresh arugula

1 head of chopped red leaf lettuce

1/4 of a red onion chopped

1 avocado chopped

1 tomato chopped

1 bunch of scallions thinly sliced

chopped fresh basil or thyme (about 1 TBS)

Any other fresh veggies you would like to add!

For the dressing:

1 tsp finely diced meyer lemon zest

juice from 1 meyer lemon

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 TBS finely chopped thyme or basil (I used thyme as it is my fave)

sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare salad in a salad bowl and drizzle dressing over the salad.

Grille the shrimp over medium/high approx 2 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Place shrimp on top of salad, and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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“Labels Are For Jars, Let’s Just All Get Along” by Frank Hults

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My buddy Frank has been on the side line for a quite awhile. He outwardly supports many Real Food bloggers and is very active in the paleo/primal community. He has been watching, observing, learning and taking it all in. Frank is ready to take the plunge as a blogger! Frank just graduated from IIN and is now an Ancestral Health Coach.

We were recently discussing some of the ups and downs of blogging. Frank decided to to a guest post for me on some of the recent negativity going on in the paleo community. Not because he wanted to focus on negativity…but because he wanted to open the doors to discussing better ways for people to work together rather than attacking. This is true in this small community, but also in life. We do so much better when we support each other and work together, rather than trying to tear each other down. I believe that you truly gain the most respect and admiration by promoting your philosophies rather than attacking the philosophies of others. This is true in all aspects of life!

 

 

“Labels are for Jars, Let’s Just All Get Along”, by Frank Hults

You know what I love about Paleo?  The community.  It is such an open, helpful, loving, caring and interesting group.  These health seekers come from all over, from all sorts of backgrounds and from all walks of life. This community has been extremely supportive of me on my Health Journey. Friendly advice, kind words of support and encouragement. Just good old-fashioned nice.

Paleo has caught some media attention and is now a common gym-hold name. I have noticed a parallel  rise of trash talking, nay-saying, and denying of the paleo/primal movements validity. I see tried and true principles of health and nutrition (like the real stuff guys, not that USDA food politics) poked and bullied. This is not at all unexpected, nor is it enough to weaken my spirits, save that the offending spouters of this ridicule are indeed paleo people.  It appears that as the paleo movement gets more and more popular and less and less the underdog, it falls out of favor with some of its one time supporters.  You have the same people who have fixed themselves metabolically with real food and a paleo lifestyle, find one little non fundamental piece that they have an issue with, and they completely disregard the entire paleo movement.  It seems to me if you support the underdog, just for sake of it,  you separate and alienate yourself  from any core value or meaning.  Now that the paleo/primal/real food movement is gaining in popularity and getting some notoriety, its less and less of an underdog. Some paleo advocates whilst technically still overall supportive of real food and paleo, outwardly attack other bloggers. Some turn their back on it outright and rail against it, even as they continue to reap the benefits from it.

I once looked to the future and wondered if this was the beginning of new world of truth in dieting and lifestyle recommendations,  nutritional theory, general human wellness. I had visions of paleo eaters and Vegans, together, skipping and frolicking through organic kale fields as grass fed cows and pastured chickens played at our vibram covered feet. Some, not all, not even most but some of these real food bloggers needs a healthy dose of civility, respect and dignity with a side order of compassion, support and open-mindedness like Ryan Gosling needs Curtains after a matinée showing of the “notebook” during a bird watching convention.

I understand the use of humor as a tool to get your point across more than most, but I can’t help thinking there must be a better way to voice a difference in paleo, than attacking other’s philosophies.  The difference between funny and being an ass is NOT a fine line. Particularly if fueled by jealousy, ignorance, close mindedness pride or ego. When a person in the nutrition and wellness realm stoops to infighting about differing ideals or slight variant of views, it contributes to the dogma, confusion and hard earned credibility. That is the exact thing we are all working against. This is the stuff that got us here to the crossroads of “unhealthy” and “confused” in the first place. The message and the coaching then cease to be about truth and pursuit of knowledge and end up being about some silly little detail, or the argument itself.  Did Robb Wolf start a 30 pieces of bacon a day blog and get all “militant paleo” on Paul Jaminet over his recommendation of safe starches? No. because they are both adults and they act like it. They are humble professionals, with mutual respect, open minds and in control egos.

I would rather spend my time building something up that I believed in rather than tearing something down I disagreed with. I think we would get a lot further in this pursuit of nutrition, wellness and truth if, as whole, we spent more time building and nurturing than attacking and reacting.

There is no shortage of work to be done or people to help.  There is however a shortage of wellness practitioners that can help. The more we tear each down, the less effective we become and less professional we appear. The more we work together the greater our reach and positive influence and more powerful the benefits to our clients. There is a limited number of wellness practitioners and even fewer alternative and holistic practitioners. However what there is no limit or rationing on in this world is love, kindness, teamwork and respect.  I think Jerry Seinfeld said it best when he said “Look To The (glutenfree) Cookie”.  And still, somehow Foodie harmony eludes us.

🙂 Cheers, Be well my friends! and be well to each other. May your way be green and golden!

Warmly,

Frank Hults CHC

FrankHulse

Frank Hults is Certified Health Coach.

Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and certified through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
Utilizing a Real and Whole Foods approach for general Health and Wellness for body.Mind,and spirit
Frank incorporates Ancestral Health, Paleo, and Primal, lifestyle changes creating the most Optimal you possible.
” Tell a man what to buy, he eats well for a meal, Teach a man how to eat he becomes well for a LIFETIME” ~ Frank Hults
Email:                  frank@franklywell.com
Facebook:          https://www.facebook.com/FranklyWell
Twitter:               https://twitter.com/FranklyWell
Instagram :        http://instagram.com/franklywell

 

Grass-fed Burgers on Sticks with Cheddar Curry Dip

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I was trying to think of something fun to do with the grass-fed beef I had in the fridge. I love to change things up and make recipes I know the kids will find tasty and fun to eat. Burgers on sticks popped into my mind! The movie “Something About Mary” also came to mind…when they had the discussion about meat on sticks. I knew the kids would enjoy this. So I went to the local craft store and picked up some wooden popsicle sticks!

 

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I soaked them water for about 20 minutes-Why? Well I’ve read that you should soak skewer sticks in water so I did the same. I also didn’t want them to catch fire.

 

Next I put the grass-fed burger (about the size of a regular burger) on each stick, and sprinkled the meat with Trader Joe’s 21 Spice Mix, sea salt, and pepper.

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Set the grille to medium high heat until it is hot. Lay down foil under the popsicle sticks so they won’t light on fire. Turn temp down to medium and grille to your liking (approx 8 minutes per side give or take)

 

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Now for the cheddar curry dipping sauce recipe:

 

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1/2 cup of shredded melted grass-fed cheddar (I used Kerrygold brand)

2 TBS Homemade Mayonaisse (I love this recipe from nom nom paleo)

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/4 tsp of curry powder

a splash of almond milk or coconut milk

 

Melt the cheese in a small pan, whisk in the mayo, dijon mustard, curry powder, and milk…serve warm!

 

I served the burgers with potato crisps cooked in coconut oil.

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Using a mandolin slicer thinly slice potatoes, cover the bottom of a pan with about 1/2 inch of coconut oil, spread potatoes in pan and cook until crispy. Sprinkle with sea salt…drizzle with vinegar if you like that!

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ENJOY!

 

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From Farmer’s Market to Our Table-with Eric Hulse!

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It was my pleasure to have an opportunity to spend a day with Eric Hulse from Eric Hulse Wellness and his fiance Austin! We visited the Local Farmer’s Market here in Saratoga Springs NY, climbed trees, picked out fresh produce, had some wine, and cooked up a storm together. What a blast!

 

We started at the local Farmer’s Market

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Eric did some tree climbing with my kids!

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Eric tried the “Saratoga Springs” fresh mineral water

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and he found this awesome braided “super carrot”

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We picked out a bounty of amazing produce including different varieties of cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, basil, turnips, and garlic scapes. We picked up some homemade sauerkraut from a local farmer, and some swiss chard. We found some local pastured sausage.

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Then we came back to my place, poured some wine and started cooking…

Here we are doing some serious chopping!

 

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I worked on the roasted vegetables while Eric made the cucumber, tomato, and avocado salad…with fresh basil, sea salt, and cracked pepper.

 

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and here is the sausage and swiss chard:

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We also roasted some camera shy veggies on a cookie sheet in coconut oil: carrots, garlic scapes and turnips…we added some dill seasoning!

 

 

What do I want you to take from this?

Break out of your shell.

Visit your local farms and farmer’s markets!

Open your heart.

Buy local produce, get together with friends, and bond over cooking.

Cooking is pleasurable!

Don’t follow a recipe-create from your heart.

You are capable of more than you think.

Be inspiring.

 

What did I take from this? 

I made two amazing new friends…who enjoy bonfires as much as I do. What more could I ask for? Thank you Eric and Austin for an awesome day!

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” -C.S. Lewis

 

 

Grain-Free Blueberry Lemon Pie with Whipped Coconut Cream

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I LOVE blueberry pie! I love it with a hint of lemon and not overly sweet. I used the same crust recipe I created back in April for the strawberry rhubarb pie. I used berries that the kids and I picked last week and froze. The kids and I had half the pie eaten within an hour. It holds together best if you are patient and let it set. Otherwise you might be eating pie soup!

 

 

Here is what my kitchen looked like in the midst of pie making:

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*Note the small purple play doh rolling pin.I somehow miss-placed and lost my full sized rolling pin…so I had to improvise!

 

Here is the recipe! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients for the crust:

2 cups of almond meal

1/3 cup of coconut flour

3/4 cup of coconut oil

6-8 TBS water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp sea salt

 

 

Ingredients for the filling:

4 cups of frozen blueberries

3 TBS coconut oil

1/2-3/4 cup of raw honey (I used 3/4 as these were tart blueberries)

zest from one lemon finely diced (about 2 TBS)

3 TBS tapioca starch

1 TBS cinnamon

 

Directions:

1. Set oven to 375 degrees

2. make crust-I did not melt the coconut oil. I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mashed it all together with a whisk or large fork (a pastry blender would probably work better, I just didn’t have one on hand)

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3. make dough into 2 separate balls

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4. roll out dough from one of the balls on a surface dusted with almond flour-or between parchment paper that is dusted with almond flour, and place it in the bottom of the pie pan. This dough is not easy to work with and breaks easily. Try not to get frustrated. I had to do some patching and pressing. It doesn’t have to look perfect.

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5, Roll out the second ball of dough and cut it with cookie cutter to make shapes to go on top of the pie (I find this easier and more aesthetically pleasing than trying to do a full covered top)

 

6 Make the filling:

put the blueberries in a big pan with the honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Turn heat to med/low and cook stirring frequently until blue juice begins to form at the bottom of the pan, and blueberries start to break down some.

 

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 7.  Turn off the heat and pour the blueberry mixture into a bowl. Remove about 1/4 cup of the juice and put it in a small bowl. Whisk the tapioca starch into that “blueberry juice”

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8. Pour the tapioca mixture in with the blueberry mixture and stir well. Pour this mixture into the pie crust, and cover with cut out shapes.

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9. Put the pie in the oven and bake for approx 45 minutes to one hour. *tent with foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning of the outer crust.

10. Let the pie be!!! It needs to set. If you cut it too soon you will have blueberry pie soup! You can set it faster in the refrigerator.

 

Coconut Whipped Cream:

refrigerate 1 can of coconut milk (not the reduced fat kind). Open the can and take the cream off of the top and place it in a bowl. *you can save the watery part for other recipes-you could even use it in place of water in dough for the pies!  Add 1 TBS raw honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla and whip with beaters on high until stiff.

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*I put my whipped coconut cream in the freezer for a bit so it would be sort of “ice creamy” to have on top of the pie.

Enjoy!!!

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Beef, Bacon, and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers…Grain Free!

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I was not planning on making these into a blog post, so I apologize for the lack of step-by-step pictures. However, I had to share this recipe as it came out very tasty and was not too difficult to make. These are different from traditional stuffed peppers typically made with a tomato sauce and rice or cauliflower rice. I used cabbage and mushrooms. They were very tasty!

 

Ingredients

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1-2 TBS coconut oil

6-8 large peppers (kiddos wanted to pick out various colors) *I use organic peppers as these are on the “dirty dozen” list

1 lb grass-fed ground beef (highest in fat you can find)

3-4 strips of pastured bacon

1/4 -1/2 a cabbage (depending on size) thinly sliced

2-3 large carrots shredded

1 package of mushrooms chopped (I used organic frozen mushrooms and did not chop them…most people prefer smaller pieces though)

1/2 a large onion or 1 whole small onion finely diced

3-4 cloves of garlic diced

2 TBS of Trader Joe’s 21 spice mix (not necessary…I just love to add this to everything)

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Directions

 

*PREHEAT OVEN 350 Degrees*

1. Boil a large pot of water

2. Cut the top off of each pepper, remove the seeds and membrane inside

3. Blanch the peppers in the boiling water for one minute and remove with tongues, set aside.

4. Cook the strips of bacon in a large frying pan until crispy. Remove bacon from pan, and chop it up. Set it aside

5. In that same bacon pan add 1-2 TBS coconut oil to the bacon fat, and turn heat to med high. Add the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and seasonings.  Cook stirring frequently until veggies are tender.

6. Stir in the ground beef and the bacon.

7. Stuff the peppers with the filling and put their caps back on 🙂 Place them in baking dishes, and put a little water at the bottom of the baking dishes.

 

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8. Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until peppers are tender and meat is cooked through

 

Enjoy!

 

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Guest Post: Bacon Almond Butter Cups!

bacon almond butter cups