Oprah and Weight Watchers: What’s Wrong with it All?

Young woman dissapointed on a medical weight scale.

I recently read and shared this amazing open letter to Oprah, written by Dr William Davis, Author of Wheatbelly. This was a well written letter that explains why her endorsements of weight watchers and eating bread is contributing to the demise of our health as a culture. I won’t get into details as you can read this amazing letter in the link provided.

When I shared this letter on my facebook page, the Oprah worshipping haters chimed in:

“I follow the WW plan and find it encourages great nutrition, take your holier than thou attitude somewhere else. You are able to criticize without knowledge. How amazing!!!”

There were several other’s, one telling me that in fact I was just a fad. Sigh. As a blogger I learned to deal with and let go of hateful and fear based reactions from people. It’s never easy to hear, but I understand where it comes from and have learned to let it go.

The truth is these people are believing a celebrity. A multi-billion dollar industry that does not care about you or your health. Holier than thou? Who is the person that our culture is worshipping and following verbatim? I hate to break it to you pretty lady, but it isn’t me. I wish I could say I am making a bigger difference. I wish I could say I was reaching as many people as she is. However, I am swimming up a strong waterfall all the while grasping at slippery rocks. I haven’t drowned. I’ve touched a few lives. I don’t make much money. I just make it by. I actually care about your health, and trying to reach people to make a difference. I’m not going anywhere. I’m still swimming. I care about sustainable farming practices. I care about the health of organisms, soil, where our food comes from. I care about nutrient density, and digestive healing-the root of health. I believe that by removing processed foods and eating real food, including delicious healthy fatty foods like pasture raised bacon, you will feel amazing. By addressing core issues in your body, you can heal and lose weight.

What scares me the most about Oprah promoting WW, is the fact that our culture is so brainwashed to believe everything we see on popular tv or read in a magazine. We still believe “whole grains” are healthy because what, Oprah says so? The government food guide based on shady research funded by big agriculture and big pharmaceutical? Oprah is a HUGE influencer, and she has essentially sold her soul to the devil, for the almighty dollar. The mentality in our culture is that “Oprah can do no harm.”  You are sadly mistaken. She can, and is doing a lot of harm.

What we fail to recognize is the actual harm to our health that she is promoting. Health is not only about weight loss. Anyone can diet and lose weight. Cut calories and lose weight. Count “points” and lose weight. Diet’s fail. Someone very near and dear to me successfully lost a ton of weight following weight watchers. Then subsequently has a triple v-fib arrest. Health is about nutrient density, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Promoting the consumption of bread for money, does not automatically make bread healthy. We focus on all the wrong things. We focus on the scale. We focus on measuring ourselves and aesthetics.

 

 

Young woman dissapointed on a medical weight scale.

 

 

It isn’t just obesity that the person is struggling with. There are so many factors at play here. Hormones, sleep, microbiome, thyroid, and adrenals, to name a few. It isn’t all diet and exercise. It just isn’t. Losing weight through cutting calories and running on a treadmill is the primary focus in our culture, but that does not improve the core health of the individual. In many cases, the person is obese, yet nutrient deprived. or even skinny, yet nutrient deprived. Their cells are starving for nutrients like healthy fatty acids, magnesium, selenium, Vitamin A, and iodine. These people are hungry, irritable, and obsessed over counting and measuring their food, measuring their wasteline. Stepping on a scale. Walking on a treadmill. Wishing and hoping. Emotions running high, ups and downs. In my professional opinion, this is not health, and not healthy.

 

 

Portrait of young woman measuring her waistline

We see pictures like these depicting measuring and skinniness, and inches ^^^ This is what we idealize. Skinny does not equal healthy.

Skinny does.not.equal.healthy.

 

The truth is, it doesn’t have to be this way. It really doesn’t.

Processed foods, sugar, corn syrup, grains, pastas, etc… these typical addictive American food items are making us sick. Yes, even “in moderation” (the most frustrating cop out of a term). Our mindset is that anything less than this is depriving. People (like myself) who actually go against this core belief system are being told WE have an eating disorder. The cultural belief is that grains have to be a staple in our diet and without them, we are depriving our body of nutrients. Little do we know that we CAN in fact get nutrients from real unprocessed foods. Vegetables contain minerals and fiber that we can actually absorb without grains. Little do we know that the phytates and lectins in grains bind to nutrients, and render them unavailable for our body. There is no money to be made in knowing this.

We fail to recognize the connection grain consumption has on our health…all aspects of our health!

“Another very important issue that you should be aware of with your reliance on wheat- and grain-based products: Be prepared to have a future of health problems. Populations who do not consume grains enjoy freedom from autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and psoriasis; type 2 diabetes; hypertension; acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation; coronary heart disease; depression and suicide; and bear a far lesser burden of cancer and dementia. These are the “diseases of civilization” that plague modern humans eating modern diets, but not societies that do not consume such Western foods. With your dietary approach, you have in effect endorsed a style of eating that can, with difficulty, achieve weight loss, but propagates risk for all of these modern diseases.” -read more.

You can try to beat me down. You can keep following the big money influencers, because it’s within your comfort zone. You can keep attacking me with your fear based remarks and beliefs. You can lose weight on these diets-but it’s temporary, and you will continue to struggle with your health. I’m going to continue to teach and touch people who want to help themselves. I’m not going to let the haters beat me down. I have been in all of these places, and experienced loved ones go through it as well. If I hadn’t gone down the path I am on, I would be overweight right now, no gallbladder, on antidepressants, antacids, rushing to the bathroom after meals, and the list goes on and on. I was heading down that road. I will never look back, and I will continue to help people to move forward in the right direction.

 

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, Health and Fitness from Westfield University. Her Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling and Disability Studies, from Springfield College. Kathryn specialize in healing digestion, balancing blood sugar, balancing hormones, and autoimmune conditions.

Kathryn offers worldwide skype consultations! 

My Services

Contact Me: primalblissnutrition@gmail.com

 

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Bacon Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

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baconbolognese

 

 

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!

 

 

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!

 

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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:

 

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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:

 

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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.

 

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

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Girl Scout Cookie Remakes…The Real Food Way!

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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:

 

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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!”

 

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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!”

 

 

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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!”

 

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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!”

 

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

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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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:

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and these Asian meatballs over fresh cabbage slaw…

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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

 

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.

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!!!

 

 

Thoughts On Feeding Our Children With Love

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As parents we want to nurture our children-keep them healthy and strong. We want to shape their taste buds so they crave the foods that nurture their bodies. However, from day one we are undermined and that can shake our confidence and make us second guess our choices.

When I wouldn’t give my 1 year old ice cream at a party I was told “you don’t want him to feel deprived” and when I wouldn’t buy him a sugar covered blueberry muffin I had a friend tell me that he will go off to college and binge on junk food if I don’t let him have it now. Seriously?! It can be very overwhelming. On top of that we are busy, rushed, and believe that we don’t have the time to commit to our children’s nutrition. Our understanding of what real food is has shifted and what we think of as food really isn’t. “Snacks” as we know them come in a package with colors and health claims such as “heart healthy” “made with whole grain” or “100 calories”. Our Children get use to having snacks that come in a package or a box. We buy into this marketing-It says it is healthy so therefore it must be. We associate “treats” and packaged snacks with love and happiness. So if you don’t give it to your kids you may feel guilty-like you are somehow depriving them. That is NOT the truth! We are very much addicted to processed foods and refined grains. Food does not equal happiness or love (wish I could underline that 3 times). The saddest thing to me is the lack of confidence that we have in ourselves to make healthy choices for our children. We constantly look to medical professionals and books to answer all of our questions. However, the Doctor and the Author do not know your child like you do. We have lost trust in our instincts and ourselves. We don’t believe that we can do it, and that to me is very disheartening.

Our children are bombarded with mixed messages about food on a daily basis. The messages are everywhere-and come from TV, magazines, family, friends, stores, packaging. They even discuss “nutrition” with students at school, even though I don’t agree at all with what they try to teach them. We don’t want our children to have a bad relationship with food. Yet images and voices are everywhere and it can be overwhelming. As moms we judge each other constantly-“so and so won’t give her son food options and only offers what she cooks!” “So and so gives her son way too many options and now he is so picky”

So how do we feed our children with love and confidence so that they may grow to have a healthy relationship with/understanding of food? This is the bottom line-it is what we all want to do.

Here are some tips that I think may be helpful:

* Don’t listen to the peanut gallery. Remember the saying “water off a duck’s back”…let it roll off. Ignore nay sayers. Change the subject. Do not try to convince people why you choose what you choose (unless they ask and really want to learn from you). You will not change their mind. You are the best parent for your child. You were chosen to be their parent for a reason, and you know what is best for them. You know their personality-no book, other family member, or stranger knows your child like you do. If you didn’t ask someone for his or her opinion, kindly change the subject. You do not owe ANYONE an explanation for your choices. You know your child best of all. We all know the people who feel the need to judge you do so because they have insecurities within themselves.

* Feed your child with love and respect. Food is meant to nourish us, and it can be pleasurable as well. However, I think the best way to show love is to feed your children foods that you know are nourishing their body. Feed them real, whole foods. Not because a TV commercial, family member, or a package said so…we fall for marketing big-time. Marketing is all about sales and the health claims are false. Feed it to them because you know it is real food. It’s challenging, but take it one day at a time. I’m still learning as I go. They do learn to trust their body and how different foods make them feel inside. This past generation put a great deal of pressure on children to “finish everything on your plate” and fed into the “good eater/bad eater” mentality. You cannot force feed a child-that is just plain old wrong. Teach them to listen to their own body. Don’t guilt them with “what? You don’t like my cooking?” “Why aren’t you eating this?” etc. Don’t hover over and watch them eat. Don’t tell them how proud you are of them if they eat their food. A child is not good or bad for eating or not eating. This creates guilt, fear and uncertainty around food. Children learn to feel the sensation of fullness and stop eating when they are full. They actually learn to trust their own body. Make the experience of trying new things pleasurable and calm. You can ask what they thought of certain foods-but don’t get upset with them if they do not like it. It can take SEVERAL attempts for a child to actually decide they like something.

* There is no need to offer several different meals to a child-or make them exactly what they want for each meal. In my opinion, that does create a “peanut butter sandwich” everyday kind of eater. They do not yet fully understand what is healthy for their body. I’ve had several people ask me how do you get your children to eat these healthy foods? I choose to be firm, yet flexible. My boys are use to getting what is offered at each meal. If they are hungry, they will eat something from the healthy choices on their plate. There just aren’t other meal options. With that said, they get several different choices on their plate (and I try to include something I know they enjoy)-healthy meats, veggies and fruits to choose from. Now when they have an excess of processed foods (like say at a birthday party) they tend to get a bellyache and say, “why did you let me have that?” Kids adjust and learn to find healthy foods palatable. Trust that they will.

* Stick to your guns, yet pick your battles. This is the hardest part of raising children-outside influences. I have the hardest time with this over everything else. Birthday parties. Public schools. Family. I have this conversation frequently with my friends. Everyone has a different opinion on this. Some choose to avoid these types of outings all together. Some take their children but pack their own food. I personally do not agree with the amount of processed “food” that we as a culture feel is okay to give our children. You go to a “play place” (ie: bowling alley, bounce place, birthday party place) that says no food or drink allowed, yet all they serve is food cooked in rancid vegetable oils, processed junk, and soda. However, I know my children cannot live in a bubble. I have to believe that if the foundation for healthy eating is created at home, they will continue to eat that way in the future. We don’t have much of that stuff in my house, and they know that. We do, however, let them eat food provided at friend’s houses, birthday parties, and when we visit family. I do speak up if I feel uncomfortable. For example-I am opposed to my children having soda. That is me listening to my gut, and knowing something is not right. Don’t ever feel bullied into someone feeding your child something that you do not feel okay with.

* One of the things I was recently discussing with a friend are the mixed messages children today are receiving such as processed food advertisements everywhere; yet at the same time everyone focusing on the obesity epidemic, dieting, and healthy eating. That must be so overwhelming and difficult for children to process. It is for me as an adult. I try to teach my children about real food, and knowing exactly where their food came from. I want them to understand how animals are treated, how to grow food, what GMO’s are…who monsanto is. My hope is that they will be educated about food, but not overwhelmed and stressed about it. Instead of placing the focus on healthy eating, diets and nutrition, I shift the focus to a basic understanding of what is real food, and what is not. I will build upon that, as they get bigger. We plan to visit the farm where we get our meat from this Spring when the babies are born.

* Whatever you decide to do, be confident with your decisions-Your children know when you are not. They can read you just as well as you can read them. If you let them have something you really don’t feel good about, let it go. You let them have it, now move on. Don’t give it to them and then get stressed about it in front of them. They are counting on you to guide them confidently.

If you are accustomed to feeding your child processed foods then take baby steps and go easy on yourself. Slowly start transitioning to more and more homemade foods and shift away from the inner aisles of the grocery store.  Think outside the box (literally). Believe that you can feed your children real food, and you are not wrong, crazy, or overly strict for doing so! My next post will be all about real food snack ideas for kiddos 🙂

 

 

 

 

* Please note: This is a personal blog. I am not a Doctor or a Dietician. 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.

Grains are not a food group!

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There is a misconception out there that by eating “primal” or “paleo” you are on this diet that cuts out a “major food group”. First of all, primal eating is lifestyle…it is not a fad diet. Grains are not a food group! Eating primal does not mean eating “low carb.” It is not the same thing as Atkins. In fact, our bodies do need carbohydrates. We just don’t need the excessive amount we consume when we eat processed foods and grains. We need way less than we are accustomed too, and the amount we need varies based on our level of physical activity. So what exactly does primal/paleo/ancestral eating mean? It simply means eating real food. We are so far removed from what real food is in our culture that some of us have no idea where to start. Real food does not come in a box/package or have a label on it. It has not been chemically processed or altered.

Before eating this way I was eating what I *thought was a healthy diet.  Almost everyday I ate almond butter and honey sandwiches on 100% sprouted grain bread, pasta, beans, legumes…I avoided most animal products. I also did not feel good. I was having gallbladder attacks. I was anxious. My hair was falling out. I was diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. After a year of slowly converting to primal eating, my autoimmune “markers” are now very low, and I feel amazing!  My health has improved dramatically and I will never go back. I’ve discussed my autoimmune thyroid (which is related to grain and soy consumption) and plan to talk more on autoimmunity in subsequent posts. I’m feeling really good these days 🙂

Why do I avoid grains? On top of experiencing all I said above, I was having issues with unstable blood sugar. I was consuming most of my calories from “whole wheat” bread, and I thought I was eating healthy. However, I was having a ton of health issues that were snowballing and I was not in a good place. Something was wrong. When I cut gluten out I started to feel much better, but still dealt with blood sugar spikes and plummets, as well as hormonal issues. Now that I avoid grains, my blood sugar is stable and I feel at my best. It feels great to actually wake up every morning feeling healthy and strong. I no longer have brain fog. I feel happy. My hormones are balanced.

This link and this link were helpful in understanding some of the blood sugar/gluten issues:

“The paleo diet is not Atkins, nor is it zero-carb. The best research I can find shows that modern hunter-gatherers get perhaps 1/3 of their calories from carbohydrate, and Paleolithic hunter-gatherers somewhat less. This means vegetables, including root starches like sweet potatoes: grains were not a meaningful part of the human diet until agriculture, of which the earliest evidence is only 12,000 years ago. (This is a tautology: agriculture defines the transition from Paleolithic to Neolithic.)”

My hope is that people will do their own research and keep an open mind. I am a mom of 2 young boys, and want to feed them real food. I deal with a ton of negativity and questioning from people, but I plow on because I know I am doing what is best for us. One thing I don’t do is “preach to the choir”. I don’t judge other people for their food choices, I don’t try to change what my family or friends eat.  If someone asks me or questions me I do my best to explain my choice without being pushy. Here is an article I found helpful when dealing with family/friends who question your choices. What I have learned through the years is to limit your arguing…keep answers short and sweet, change the subject.

It makes such a difference in your life when your body just feels right. I network with many different paleo/primal people and belong to several different groups where we all learn from each other. I learn new things everyday. I’m sure some of it will change, but the basics remain the same. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge, and I really have no other motives.

So what exactly do I eat?

I eat pastured meats. Pastured simply means that the animal is out eating its natural diet. So cows eat grass. Chickens eat bugs. Not only is the animal happier, but the health benefit of pastured meats are huge. The animal is not couped or caged all the time and fed genetically modified feed (soybeans, corn, wheat to name a few).  I buy from the local Farmer’s Market. Some farmers will give discounts, and there are cheaper cuts available that are just as nutrient rich as fancy cuts, some even more so. I take my kids to visit the farms and get to know the farmers. Organ meats are very inexpensive and are extremely nutrient dense. Farmers sell all different cuts of meat-heart, liver, tongue, soup bones, you name it! You can also purchase a ¼ cow, ½ cow or a whole cow if you have a deep freezer. Sometimes friends will “split a cow”. It is cost effective and the meat can get you through several months. I also eat applegate farms deli meats, and occasionally buy meats at Trader Joe’s.

This is helpful

I eat grass-fed dairy (I am a sucker for kerrygold cheese). Dairy can be an issue for many people. The protein casein is large in molecular structure and can be hard on the gut. I react to dairy. I make the choice to occasionally eat it and pay the price.

I eat wild caught fish and seafood. I was never a fish person in the past. I actually just started eating and enjoying sardines (I am amazed at how much I enjoy the taste of real food after cleansing my body of processed foods). My kids like salmon so I try to make it for them at least once a week.

I eat pastured eggs- chickens are not vegetarians. They are omnivores-they love bugs! Pastured eggs are not the same as “cage free” or “vegetarian fed” eggs. I had a hard time finding them, and now purchase them at the farmer’s market as well.

This is helpful in understanding eggs!

I eat a ton of vegetables/fruit daily (mostly vegetables): avocados, garlic, herbs, apples, berries, carrots, greens of all sorts, bananas, parsnips, turnips, kale, beets, brussel sprouts, broccoli, spinach, salad greens, cauliflower, oranges…it changes based on the season. I stick with “the dirty dozen” when it comes to buying organic.

I don’t fear fat at all. You shouldn’t either.

I cook with coconut oil, ghee (OMGhee is my favorite) grass-fed butter (kerrygold is a good brand), tallow, and lard.  I use olive oil for cold uses. I do not limit my fat intake. This chart is helpful in explaining which fats to use and which to avoid.

I bake with coconut flour, coconut oil, tapioca starch, arrowroot flour, and almond meal.

I also snack on nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, healthy meat sticks (not slim jims), seaweed, sardines,  lara bars, veggies

There are a bunch of fabulous blogs/FB pages that I follow. Some are educational and others share tons of awesome recipes!

Here are some of my personal favorites:

www.nomnompaleo.com

www.balancedbites.com

www.everydaypaleo.com

www.facebook.com/justeatrealfood

www.marksdailyapple.com

http://chriskresser.com/

www.robbwolf.com

www.primaltoad.com

www.paleononpaleo.com

www.againstallgrains.com

*Some of the staples I load my pantry with for baking are coconut milk, coconut flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot, coconut oil, almond meal, enjoy life (GF/DF) chocolate chips, bourbon vanilla, frozen blueberries (I go blueberry picking during the summer and freeze pounds of them).

As I’ve said in the past I am not 100% and I am far from perfect. If you try to be, you will drive yourself batty and won’t enjoy your life. We live in a culture that is very much attached to grains, and that makes this lifestyle difficult without support. It’s not impossible…just difficult. It is important to reach out for support and take baby steps. I have good days and bad days. There are days when I stare at the fridge and think “what the heck am I going to make today?” I always figure it out and I am learning how to think outside the box! Scrambled eggs mixed with ground beef and seasonings tossed over salad greens makes an excellent meal. I found that by “liking” primal/paleo FB pages your newsfeed gets filled with awesome recipes to try, tips, and helpful information.

I started out by just cutting out gluten. That to me is a huge step. Then when I noticed the amazing positive changes I slowly converted to eating less and less processed foods. I still get the occasional gluten free sugary treat. I always feel lousy afterward, but once in awhile I do it anyway. I also like to have a gluten free beer in the summertime, and enjoy drinking wine with my friends. My weakness is dark chocolate-I try to find the darkest and lowest in sugar available.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask away if you have questions and I will try to point you in the right direction!

 

 

 

* Please note: This is a personal blog. I am not a Doctor or a Dietician. 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.