A Commentary about Sugar by John Oliver

I’m a big fan of John Oliver’s commentaries, as evidenced by this previous post about r vs. the food industry.  And while it may have been more appropriate to show a picture of John Oliver, it was more amusing to me to use the photo I used, and you’ll understand when you watch this video about John Oliver & his thoughts about sugar.

If you’re unfamiliar with what exactly the image is, it is in fact, a ‘Circus Peanut’ – a horribly sweet confection that is marshmallow-y in texture, and each one contains 22g of sugar. Watch and see how John Oliver uses it as a unit of measure.

 

Grain-Free Simple Sweets – Made with 5 ingredients or less!

I’ve partnered with recipe master (mistress? whatever…), Ashley Thomas of My Heart Beets. And if you don’t already know, this girl knows her way around the kitchen! Ashley is awesome at whipping together ‘fancy’ dishes (you MUST check out Ashley’s butter chicken, or heck, any of her Indian food dishes), but she can also do simple, yet very delicious. Together, Ashley and I have put together over 30 recipes for simple sweet treats that you can make at home – all made with five ingredients or less!

If you’re new to the Paleo grain-free lifestyle, you’ll know how hard it can be to make the adjustment and leave behind the processed food and sweets. When the craving hits, sometimes you kind of wish you had a little something… but what? Thankfully, this ebook is just the answer, as you can enjoy refined-sugar-free sweets that are really easy to make and help indulge that craving, but in a much healthier, guilt-free way.

For a LIMITED TIME, you can get this eBook for over 60% off!!! BUT, you’ve got to order soon.

So what can you find in this eBook? All kinds of desserts!

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweet Coconut Flour Bread
Mixed Berry Jam
Sunbutter Squares
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Buttery Caramel Sauce
Cinnamon Cookies
Salted Caramels
Pumpkin Seed Clusters
AND MORE!!!

 

Want to Supercharge Your Immune System? Start With Your Gut!

Cold and flu season is upon us and it seems like everyone has their own strategy when it comes to the best way to avoid coming down with something. Whether it’s frequent hand washing, extra vitamin C or oil of oregano every day, everyone is looking for a magic bullet to avoid being stuck in bed with a box of Kleenex and heating pad.

The fact is that 70 percent of your immune system is located in your gut. For this reason, it’s basically impossible to have a strong and healthy immune system when your digestion and gut health are struggling.

And if you have a sweet tooth, are regularly under stress, use birth control pills or prescription medication, or have ever taken a course of antibiotics then chances are your digestion and gut health are not as strong as they could be.

Here are three things you can do to start to rebuild your gut health to supercharge your immune system:

1. Add More “Good” Bacteria with Probiotics
There are billions of bacteria living in your gut. In fact, for every human cell in your body, there are 10 bacterial cells so they actually outnumber you 10 to 1! Ideally all the different kinds of bacteria live in harmony in your gut, keeping one another in check so that no one strain takes over.

However, when things get out of balance, because of one of more of the reasons I listed above, this delicate balance gets thrown off and certain strains of bacteria – the “bad” guys – take advantage and begin to take over.

A good way to start to kill off some of those “bad” guys is by bringing in more of the “good” guys to get them back in check. Probiotics are the “good” guys and there are a couple of different ways you can get more of them into your gut:

Probiotic supplements
Look for a high quality product (you typically get what you pay for with probiotics) that is refrigerated and that contains both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and as many bacteria as possible.

Fermented foods
These foods are packed with naturally occurring probiotics. They include: raw sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kombucha, kimchi, etc. If you like these and are able to find them or make them yourself, try having a few tablespoons every day with your meals. If you’re buying any of these foods, make sure the label says “raw” and “unpasteurized” since heating through pasteurization kills off the probiotics we’re looking for.

2. Include Prebiotics in Your Diet
Prebiotics are the foods that feed the “good” guys in your gut. These are non-digestible foods (also known as fibre). You can find them in supplement form, but they are also abundant in foods such as:

Leeks
Onions
Garlic
Jerusalem artichokes
Jicama
Bananas (especially green) and plantains
Potatoes – cooked and then cooled
Beans and legumes such as lentils
Uncooked rolled oats
Add as many of these into your meals and snacks as possible to encourage the good bacteria in your gut to grow and multiply.

3. Incorporate Gut Healing Foods
When you’ve had an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria for some time, there is usually a fair amount of inflammation and damage done to the wall of your intestinal tract. Luckily, there are some foods you can incorporate into your diet that are very healing on the lining of the gastro intestinal tract. These foods will help you start to reduce that inflammation and heal that damage:

Bone Broth
A good quality bone broth has amazing healing properties for the gut. Bones contain significant amounts of the amino acids proline and glycine which are important for a healthy gut and digestion and are almost non-existent in the muscle meat that most people consume.

Turmeric
This bright yellow spice has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. You can include turmeric in soups and stews, curries, as a dry rub on meats, and even make a tea with it.

Essential Fatty Acids
Essential Fatty Acids (especially Omega 3 and Omega 6) are excellent at reducing inflammation. Most of us get more than enough Omega 6 so concentrate on increasing your Omega 3 intake with fish oil, walnuts, chia, hemp and ground flax.

Want to learn more about improving your digestion and healing your gut?
Download a free copy of the 4-Week Probiotic Diet. You can also join the 4-Week Probiotic Diet Facebook Group to have your digestion and gut health questions answered and connect with others learning about how to rebalance their internal ecosystem.

Read more: http://www.healthyitips.info/want-supercharge-immune-system-start-gut/#ixzz6Gxs2BwXl

Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) friendly snacks

Living with food restrictions can BarefootProvisions_300x300_MelissaJnewfeel, well, restricting… especially when it comes to snacks. For those of us who are trying to lessen or eliminate chronic inflammation symptoms through the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), it can sometimes seem daunting to figure out what kind of munchy thing to eat when you’re feeling a little peckish. After all, lunches and dinners can be pretty much “normal” in terms of eating a meat, and a salad or veggies (free of nightshades, of course). Breakfasts are certainly a little more challenging if you’re looking for grain-free, egg-free breakfasts, but with a little practice, you can get used to eating dinner for breakfast. But what do you do if you’re looking for AIP snacks that go beyond a piece of fruit or cut-up veggies?

No worries – I’ve got you covered with both recipes and *gasp* store-bought, AIP-compliant snacking options. Recently, the awesome people at Barefoot Provisions provided me with some AIP and allergen-friendly goodies from their store, and I’ve included some of those in amongst this list of AIP-friendly snacks.

Fruit & Veggies
Okay, these aren’t recipes, but everyone knows that if you’re looking for some good phytonutrients, to help boost your immune system, reach for some non-nightshade veggies like the good ol’ veggie snack standards of carrot and celery sticks. But you can also diversify to things like cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes. If you’re like me, it’s much easier to eat raw veggies with a good dip (see below). Fruit is also a good snack option, but just remember that if you’re following AIP, you’ll want to make sure you don’t overdo it on the fructose. (Sarah Ballantyne, aka The Paleo Mom and author of The Paleo Approach recommends those with autoimmune and inflammation issues to limit their fructose intake to no more than 20g of fructose per day).

Dips recipes
In my humble opinion, dips make everything better. One of my favorite non-recipes for dip is chilling a can of coconut milk and using the coconut “cream” that forms, and just mixing that with plenty of sea salt and whatever herbs and spices I have on hand. So easy and delicious! If you’re looking for other more sophisticated dips, check these out:

Roasted parsnip hummus (omit sesame seeds if AIP) from Popular Paleo

Roasted beet dip from Autoimmune Paleo

Garlic ‘mayo’ from the Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Garlic cilantro vinaigrette from Predominantly Paleo

Avocado sardine tapenade from The Primitive Homemaker

Beef liver pâté from Gutsy by Nature

Blueberry balsamic beef liver pâté from The Primalist

Nightshade-free red salsa from He won’t know it’s Paleo

Avocado and lime vegetable dip from The Primitive Homemaker

AIP basil pesto from The Primordial Table

Persimmon salsa (omit jalapeño for AIP) from Stetted

Creamy turmeric sauce from Hollywood Homestead

Zesty ginger dressing from Cavewoman Café

Coconut milk caramel sauce from Simple Roots

Chips and crackers (good plain, or as crunchy dip enablers)
I thought AIP life without potato chips was going to be a sad, sad existence. And then I discovered some of these recipes that give the crunchy goodness of potato chips, but without the inflammation issues. A win-win, I say!

Sweet potato skins from Ditch the Wheat (Carol of Ditch the Wheat also has an excellent recipe for sweet potato chips in her book The Grain-Free Snacker! Just bear in mind that not all the recipes in her book are AIP.)

Plantain crackers from The Paleo Mom

Plantain chips (& easy guacamole) from Gutsy by Nature

Celeriac root fries from The Spunky Coconut

Baked sweet potato chips from Feed Me Rachel

Parsnip chips from I Breathe, I’m Hungry

Crunch Cinnamon Baked Banana Chips from Meatified

Green bean chips from Frugal Living Mom

Crispy snack pretzels from Predominantly Paleo

Butternut squash chips from Things My Belly Likes

Lemon dill zucchini chips from The Healthy Family and Home

Oven-baked banana chips from The Real Food Guide

Apple chips from The Real Food Guide

(If you’re looking to make ‘chips’ and other goodies with your dehydrator, check out these 25+ dehydrator recipes)

No time to make your own AIP chips, or need something in the pantry for when the cravings hit? I recommend:
Sweet Potato Sea Salt Potato Chips from Barefoot Provisions (these were seriously awesome and addictive).

Caramel Sea Salt Toasted Coconut Chips from Barefoot Provisions (I inhaled a bag of these waaay too quickly).

Tangy Pineapple Chips* from Barefoot Provisions

Olive Oil & Sea Salt SeaSnax from Barefoot Provisions

Wasabi SeaSnax from Barefoot Provisions (if you’re missing spicy heat because you’re AIP, wasabi is a good substitute!)

Coconut wraps from Barefoot Provisions (not exactly chips, but awesome for making hand-food/sandwich-like things!)

*If you’re AIP, remember that you should be mindful of how much fructose you consume. The Paleo Mom recommends that those following AIP limit the amount of fructose consumed to no more than 20g per day. So make sure to limit the amount of dried fruit and other ‘natural’ sweets you eat!

Chilled and frozen snacks
I love frozen and chilled snacks, because even when the weather cools, it’s nice to have something that’s refreshing. The bonus with frozen treats is that they keep for a long time, and they’re there for you when you’re in a snacking mood.

Mint chip ice cream from We Can All Scream for Ice Cream (an awesome eBook of 24 AIP-friendly frozen treats that I co-authored with Predominantly Paleo)

Cherry blossom popsicles from The Real Food Guide

Mango turmeric ice cream from LA Healthy Living

Two-ingredient pumpkin ice cream from Empowered Sustenance

Strawberry lemonade ice cream from Delicious Obsessions

Mango gelatin from The Real Food Guide

Lemon raspberry gelatin gummies from Autoimmune Paleo

Homemade fruit gummies from Predominantly Paleo

Balsamic blueberry gelatin gummy snacks from The Primalist

Citrus & pineapple gummies from Rubies and Radishes

Gelatin is great for gut-healing. If you’d like to learn more about gelatin and get some great recipes, go get The Gelatin Secret by Sylvie McCracken.

Meaty snacks
Before going AIP, I’d often grab a soft-boiled egg as a snack. Easy, portable and protein-packed. But since I’ve realized that eggs cause some serious skin issues with me, I’ve given them up and eat some of these meatier snacks instead. For things like meatballs, I like to make a bigger batch ahead of time, and freeze them. Then, when the mood strikes, I can reheat them in the toaster oven. YUM.

Bacon wrapped dates from The Real Food Guide

80+ Paleo Slow Cooker recipes to get you out of your winter rut

It’s winter, there aren’t any fresh, local vegetables to be seen around these parts (unless they’re greenhouse grown or stored root vegetables), and now that we’re at the peak of winter, and the holidays are over, it’s easy to slip into a ‘What’s for Dinner?’ rut. Same old, same old. It’s hard enough to get a good, warming meal on the dinner table that is both delicious and nutritious, but it’s even harder when you’re pressed for time.

Enter the trusty slow cooker (aka Crockpot). (Check out the table at the end of this post for a comparison of some popular slow cookers). With a little bit of forethought and planning, you can get your dinner ready before you head off to work. You come home to a hot meal that just needs to be plated! Are you stuck for ideas? Well, here are over 80 different Paleo slow cooker  ideas to get you out of your winter ‘What’s for Dinner?’ rut! And for any of you who follow AIP (aka the Paleo Autoimmune protocol; that is, a diet that is free of grains, dairy, nuts, seeds and nightshades), I’ve put a little asterisk* next to ones that are AIP-friendly. (Just to keep in mind that if you do follow AIP, you may be able to adapt some non-AIP recipes by leaving out things like seed-based spices, and using seasonings and spices that are AIP compatible.)

Got a favorite Paleo slow cooker recipe that isn’t listed below? Just mention it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list!

P.S. If you’re feeling adventurous and/or aren’t afraid of eating some nutrient-dense organ meat like beef heart, you’ll also want to check out my collection of Beef Heart recipes (many of which use a slow cooker).

 

Soups

Bone broth in a slow cooker from The Real Food Guide*

White acorn squash soup from Paleo Pot*

Easy butternut squash soup from Real Food Carolyn*

Creamy crockpot lemon chicken kale soup from AIP lifestyle*

Apple butternut curry soup from Enjoying this Journey*

Creamy curried cauliflower soup from My Heart Beets

Coconut curry soup from Beyond the Bite*

Pumpkin clam chowder from The Primordial Table*

Cold fighting chicken soup from Feed the Clan*

Tomatoless soup from The Primordial Table*

Veal Provençal Soup from The Primordial Table*

Beef tongue and onion soup from The Primoridal Table*

Super easy Paleo slow cooker taco soup from Popular Paleo

Crockpot jambalaya soup from Life as a Plate

 

Chilis

Spicy Paleo slow cooker chili from Oh Snap! Let’s Eat

Slow cooker green tomato garlic chili from Farm Fresh Feasts

Paleo chili from Life Made Full

Slow cooker chili verde from A Girl Worth Saving

Nomato “chili” from Salixisme*

AIP Beef chili from Cake Cooks Gluten-Free*

 

Sauces

Crockpot spaghetti sauce from Predominantly Paleo

Nomato sauce from A Clean Plate*

 

Sides

Slow cooker onions from Holistically Engineered*

Roasted sweet potatoes from Health Starts in the Kitchen*

Curried kale and green beans from Paleo Pot

Crockpot caramelized onions from Phoenix Helix

Sarson Ka Saag from My Heart Beets

Crockpot butternut squash from Empowered Sustenance*

Apple butternut curry soup from Enjoying this Journey*

Make Ahead Slow Cooker Mashed Cauliflower from Holistically Engineered* 

 

Beef

Beef short ribs from Holistically Engineered

Beef stroganoff from Kaiku Lifestyle*

Beef brisket from Elana’s Pantry*

Balsamic braised beef shanks from The Primordial Table*

Slow cooker beef short ribs with mushrooms from Kristine Rudolph*

Slow cooker Korean grass-fed short ribs from Nom Nom Paleo

Coconut milk beef stew recipe from The Real Food Guide*

Squeaky clean beef Bourgignon from The Healthy Foodie*

Slow cooker spicy Indian beef roast from My Heart Beets

Slow cooker Asian-style short ribs from Savory Lotus*

Bacon cabbage chuck beef stew from The Nourished Caveman* 

 

Pork

Cantonese ham and lotus root soup from My Heart Beets*

Slow cooker cheater pork stew from Nom Nom Paleo

Slow Cooker Shredded Pork from A Girl Worth Saving*

Stuffed pork chops with bacon, apples and garlic from Paleo Pot

Paleo carnitas on yuca cakes from Predominantly Paleo*

Crockpot pork and sauerkraut with apples from Domestic Soul*

Persimmon-apple pork tenderloin from Life Made Full*

World’s easiest pork roast from Life Made Full*

Slow cooker Kalua pig from Nom Nom Paleo*

5-spice slow cooker pork ribs from The Clothes Make the Girl

Pulled pork and roasted vegetables from Gutsy by Nature*

Savory slow cooker ham from The Domestic Man

Cranberry pulled pork from The Paleo Partridge*

Pomegranate Pork Belly from Mary Shenouda*

 

Chicken

Lemon garlic chicken from No. 2 Pencil*

Paleo slow cooker pad thai with veggie noodles from Paleo Pot

Honey garlic chicken wings from Off the Grain*

Slow cooker herb chicken from Holistically Engineered*

Honey garlic chicken wings from Off the Grain*

‘Rotisserie’ crockpot chicken from Predominantly Paleo*

Paleo slow cooker chicken from Sweet Potatoes and Social Change

Slow cooker honey garlic chicken from Sweet Potatoes and Social Change*

Slow cooker chicken, sweet potato and kale stew from Multiply Delicious

Chicken bacon crockpot chowder from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Crockpot chicken curry from My Heart Beets

Crockpot cilantro chicken with cauliflower rice from Honey, Ghee and Me

Slow cooker paleo thai chicken from Once a Month Meals

Onion garlic chicken from Sweet Potatoes and Social Change*

Slow cooker cranberry orange chicken from Sweet Potatoes and Social Change*

Slow cooker fennel chicken with orange from Empowered Sustenance*

Slow cooker chicken tikka masala from Popular Paleo

Slow cooker balsamic chicken and sausage from Popular Paleo

AIP Paleo slow cooker sage chicken with mushroom and herb gravy from Paleo Cajun Lady*

Roast chicken and gravy from Nom Nom Paleo

 

Ground meat

Paleo crock pot lasagna recipe from My Natural Family

Easy slow cooker taco meat from Rubies and Radishes

Triple hamburger/cheeseburger slow cooker meatloaf from Paleo Pot

Stupid easy paleo spaghetti squash & meatballs from Paleo Pot

 

Other

Slow cooker ghee from Holistically Engineered

Apple butter from My Heart Beets

Homemade cranberry juice from My Heart Beets*

Cranberry applesauce from Paleo Cajun Lady*

Paleo slow cooker n’oatmeal from Rubies and Radishes

Slow Cooker Comparison Table

 

Is Snacking Good For You?

Is snacking bad for you? Or is eating more often actually good for you? Which strategy is best? The articles in mainstream media are really confusing on this topic.  Like a lot of issues when it comes to nutrition, the answer is “It depends”.

The biggest issue with snacking is the type of foods people are reaching for. Packaged snacks, a muffin from the local coffee shop, or something from the vending machine is obviously not going to help you realize your health goals. We have access to cheap, convenient snack food everywhere, from the office to the gas station, and it’s designed to be addictive and keep you coming back for more. However snacking itself isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, if you have a long time between meals due to your schedule, work out intensely, are trying to gain weight, or are still growing (like kids and adolescents), a snack or two between meals can be beneficial.

Tips For Making Snacking Work For You:

  • Eat balanced snacks. Every time you eat, you should be combining more than one macronutrient – protein, fat and carbs – for optimum nutrition. This helps balance blood sugar, and keep you fuller longer. Reaching for a simple carb like a muffin, some crackers or even a piece of fruit will cause a quick surge in energy, followed by a crash as blood sugar levels plummet. Look for snacks that are high in protein and/or fat, and always eat least two macronutrients (protein, fat and carbs) at each snack. This will keep you fuller longer, and prevent an energy crash a little while later. Try an apple with nuts or nut butter, hummus with veggies, a hard boiled egg with cheese, or unsweetened greek yogurt with nuts and seeds.
  • Make sure you are genuinely hungry. Are you conditioned to eat at a certain time, because that’s when it’s coffee break time? Are you reaching for a bowl of ice cream after dinner just because your spouse is? Are you thirsty, lonely or bored? The more aware of your body and emotions you are, the better choices you will make.
  • If you’re not particularly active and find yourself consistently hungry between meals, you may want to do a food journal for a few days to ensure you are eating appropriate sized, balanced meals. Your meals should contain a balance of protein, fat and carbs to keep blood sugar balanced, slow digestion and keep you feeling full and satisfied for more than an hour or two. This is particularly important at breakfast, where I often see people choosing simple carbs like toast or cereal and skimping on the protein. Are you one of those people who says they seem hungrier when they eat breakfast than when they skip it? Chances are you’re not eating a balanced meal, causing your blood sugar to quickly go back up and then down. Adding protein and fat helps slow down digestion and keep you full longer. Try it!

It’s important to note that snacking constantly is relatively new culturally speaking; in the past eating “three square meals” a day was the norm, and other countries around the world don’t snack the way we do in North America. If you’re eating three good sized, balanced meals a day and feel satisfied, that is great. You don’t need to change a thing!  Contrary to popular belief, eating frequently does not “stoke your metabolism” or cause you to burn more calories. Eating frequency is not directly related to weight loss, although eating an appropriate amount during the course of the day – snacks can help with that – helps to prevent late night bingeing.

Eating frequency, like many things, is highly individual and can even change from day to day in the same person. You may require a snack on days you go to the gym, but not on your rest days. Or maybe you eat dinner late during the week due to a long commute, but eat earlier on the weekend. It’s all part of a bigger picture and it may take some trial and error to find what works best for you, depending on your personal needs and your goals. Remember that every time you eat, you have the opportunity to provide your body with the nutrients it needs for optimum health, so choose good quality food as often as you can!

10 Healthy Snack Ideas:

  1. Apple with nuts or nut butter (such as almond butter)
  2. A hard boiled egg and cheese
  3. Full fat greek yogurt with nuts and/or berries
  4. Hummus with vegetables or homemade vegetable chips
  5. A grain free muffin with butter or nut butter
  6. Guacamole and vegetables
  7. Guacamole devilled eggs
  8. Fruit and nut bars or balls (homemade or store bought with natural ingredients)
  9. Avocado based chocolate pudding
  10. Olives, vegetable sticks and grain free crackers

Looking for more snack ideas, but have food restrictions? Check out these 50+ Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) friendly snack ideas.

 

AIP Snacks giveaway!

Not too long ago, I wrote a post with over 50 different AIP snack ideas. Many of these were recipes you could make at home, but I also included some really tasty, AIP-compliant (free of grains, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, and nightshades) snacks that you could buy and enjoy while travelling or when pressed for time.

Well, if you’re AIP, Paleo, or just want your chance to get your hands on some delicious, allergen-free, snacks, you’ll want to enter this giveaway for Barefoot Provision’s AIP Survival pack, valued at $50! (Make sure to check out all of Barefoot Provision’s AIP-compliant foods).

This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. To enter, just fill out the widget below!

 

Asian Lettuce Wraps from ‘He Won’t Know It’s Paleo’

As someone who follows a Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet (i.e. no grains, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy), I get pretty excited when there are new cookbooks available – especially when I see a teaser for something that I *haven’t* been able to make AIP: CAKE. Ever since adopting AIP, I’ve been making the odd experimental cake now and then but it’s never quite panned out. Enter Bre’anna of He Won’t Know It’s Paleo. Bre’anna had my attention, when I saw photos of some of the recipes from the book. My eyes found the cake immediately 😉

he-wont-know-its-paleo

So far, I’ve bookmarked a dozen recipes I’d like to make ASAP, but in the couple of days I’ve had the book, I’ve only made the grape bruschetta (OMG try this right away), the flatbread, and the Asian Lettuce Wraps (below). Of the many, many, recipes on my ‘must make’ list there’s: Strawberry Layer Cake (duh), Mini Cornbread Muffins, Pigs in a Pillow, Scalloped Sweet Potatoes, White Lasagna with Turkey and Zucchini, Salmon Croquettes, Snickerdoodles and so many more.

The book is available as both a PDF ebook, or as a print book through Amazon. There are over 100 AIP-friendly recipes in He Won’t Know It’s Paleo, so if you or anyone in your family has multiple food sensitivities, you’ll want to check it out. At the very least, try these Asian Lettuce Wraps first, and then you’ll definitely want more recipes like it!

 

Asian Lettuce Wraps from ‘He Won’t Know It’s Paleo’

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons heat-stable cooking oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups minced mushrooms
  • 1 (5-ounce) can diced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 8 iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 1 package kelp noodles (optional for topping)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil.
  2. Add the chicken and coconut aminos and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the honey, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Stir to coat the chicken. Add the mushrooms, water chestnuts, and green onion and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Simmer over medium-high heat until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  4. Spoon the filling onto the lettuce leaves and eat taco-style. Serve with extra coconut aminos, if desired.

 

10 Things to Toss for Your Health

You’re going to come into contact with items and people that are harmful to your health on a regular basis. You can’t avoid everything — sick co-workers, dirty seats on the bus, plant pollen — but you can still have some control over a healthier lifestyle. By getting rid of the following items, you’ll be able to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.

1. Old Makeup
It’s understandable that if you spend money on something you want to get the most out of it. However, try to resist the urge to use up that makeup you’ve had sitting around for as long as you can remember. Makeup can go bad and be filled with bacteria that cause infections. You should replace mascara every two to three months, lip gloss every six months and foundation after no more than a year.

2. Air Fresheners
You’ll be better off getting rid of the source of your bad smells than using commercial air fresheners. When you use air fresheners, you’re essentially spraying your home with chemicals. If you’re looking for a natural way to make your home smell nice, combine essential oils with water for a natural scent.

3. Flattened Pillows
Old pillows should be thrown away for numerous reasons. Besides providing poor support for your head, old pillows are also crawling with bacteria and critters — literally. Dust mites, which are part of the spider family, like to accumulate in pillows. Many people are allergic to dust mites, meaning those year-round allergies you think you have could actually be from your pillow. There are differing opinions on how often to replace your pillows, but try to replace them at least every two years.

4. Old Shoes
If you’re an active runner, you know the importance of a good pair of sneakers. When you find a good pair, it’s hard to let go. Just tell yourself it’s for the best. Running sneakers should be replaced every 300-400 miles. After that, they’re too worn down to fully absorb the impact of your foot hitting the ground, putting you more at risk for injury.

5. Nonstick Cookware
While nonstick cookware might seem like a miracle for anyone who’s ever tried to scrub burnt food off an aluminum pan, the magic comes at a cost. Nonstick cookware contains a chemical-based polymer coating — this is what stops the food from sticking. However, when the surface is scratched, or when you heat the pan to over 500 degrees, toxins from that coating start leeching into your food. Yikes!

6. Dirty Contact Cases
Contact lens wearers who don’t regularly replace their cases are more at risk for eye infections. In addition to washing out your case daily and drying it out upside down, you should replace the solution each day for clean lenses. After three months, throw out your case and replace it with a fresh one. Your eyes will thank you.

7. Grimy Kitchen Sponges
Your sponge is not just the dirtiest thing in the kitchen; it might be the dirtiest thing in your entire house. Germs thrive in the damp environment, meaning that item you use to clean your counters and dishes is just spreading the filth around. Switch to a dishtowel instead — because it’s thinner, it’ll dry faster than the sponge. Additionally, it’s easier to remind yourself to replace a dirty dishtowel than a dirty sponge.

8. Antibacterial Soaps
Being clean is good. Constantly using antibacterial soaps is not. You could be contributing to drug-resistant bacteria growing stronger. Overuse of antibiotic soaps has also been linked to the increase in allergies and thyroid dysfunction. Using a mild (antibiotic free!) soap and warm water is just as effective at getting rid of the bad germs as antibacterial soap, without the consequences.

9. Plastic Food Containers
Even with the rise of BPA-free plastic, there’s no guarantee that any plastic you use will be 100 percent safe. Heating up food in plastic containers lets the toxins leak into your food. Even normal wear and tear can be harmful. You’ll be better off getting rid of your plastic food containers and using glass instead.

10. Expired or Unused Medicine
When we’re sick, we tend to stock up on medicine until we feel better. At that point we forget about the drugs until we’re sick again. However, depending on how much time has passed, those drugs won’t help you feel better. Old medicine that’s past its expiration date should be taken to an authorized drug collector who can dispose of the medicine. Avoid throwing away your medicine or flushing the drugs — let the professionals handle it.

Replacing items every few months is a worthwhile sacrifice to make. Your body won’t thank you for using that old cough syrup, and you won’t be happy when the old mascara you use irritates your eyes. In addition to health reasons, you’ll also be more comfortable replacing items every few months, such as getting new running shoes or a new fluffy pillow. You’ll be much happier in the long run if you take the time to rid your life of what’s holding back your health.

Read more: http://www.healthyitips.info/10-things-to-toss-for-your-health/#ixzz6GxoYEHiY

3 Phase Paleo review

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eBook review: 3 Phase PaleoThis post contains affiliate links, which means I will get paid a small commission if you make a purchase using my link. It doesn’t affect the price you pay, and I  wholeheartedly believe that this eBook would be of value to those looking into trying to improve their health through diet changes.

I’ve had the good fortune of receiving a review copy of the new eBook 3 Phase Paleo by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry, aka the Paleo Parents – who also happen to be the bestselling authors of two very excellent books: Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon. (Seriously, if you’ve got a child who has food allergies and/or must eat a restricted, processed-food-free diet, I highly recommend Eat Like a Dinosaur. The illustrations, back-story and explanations were perfect for explaining to my son why he can’t eat certain foods).

So, on to the book at hand – here’s my 3 Phase Paleo review:

3 Phase Paleo - What you'll findWho is 3 Phase Paleo for?

  • This ebook is perfect if you or someone you know is looking to improve their diet and overall health. Matt and Stacy ease you into better eating so you can take baby steps into slowly incorporating changes by phases: 1) Swap, 2) Remove and 3) Heal. This way, small changes can gradually become lifetime habits.
  • While the phases of the book may be old hat if you’re already following a Paleo lifestyle, there is still plenty of value to be had in the 78 recipes included in this book.

Because this is my honest review, here’s what I didn’t like about 3 Phase Paleo:

  • Honestly, I’ll never be able to love an eBook as much as I love a tangible, bound book that I can flip through, add sticky tabs, prop open and subsequently stain the pages of my favorite recipe. (On the up side though, the 3 Phase Paleo ebook is formatted as a letter-sized PDF so that you can easily print out the pages you do love and add it to your own recipe binder).
  • I can’t say I love the design – compared to their printed books, Eat Like a Dinosaur and especially Beyond Bacon, this book is nowhere near as visually appealing as the printed books, but to be fair, I’m a bit picky when it comes to graphic design (coming from a design background myself), so I found some of the text to be a bit difficult to read, and I’m anal enough to notice inconsistencies in formatting. However, none of these little nitpicky things take away from the quality of the content of 3 Phase Paleo.

 To be balanced, here are some things I did like about 3 Phase Paleo:

  • My favorite thing about the book is the breakdown of the different phases, and how to go about actually applying them to your everyday life. The food swap list is a great first step. This is something I can see people printing out and putting on their fridge and referring to it before their weekly grocery shop.
  • The explanations for each of the three phases are solid and Stacy and Matt included links to additional information as necessary, here is where the format of an eBook is advantageous.
  • There’s a recipe index that lists the recipes by phase, with page numbers. (It would have been nice if the index also linked back to the specific page). I also appreciate that are indexes listing the egg-free and nut-free recipes for those of us with allergies and sensitivities. (Unfortunately though, these are only lists without page numbers and again, there are no links directly back to specific recipes).

Recipe Index from 3 Phase PaleoRecipe Index from 3 Phase PaleoRecipe Index from 3 Phase Paleo

And these are things that I loved about 3 Phase Paleo:

  • It’s a great resource to have all these recipes together in one location.
  • If you don’t own Matt and Stacy’s printed books, it’s a nice bonus that some of these recipes have actually come from Eat Like a Dinosaur or Beyond Bacon

So, if you’re looking for some awesome recipes to help you and your family transition to a healthier diet, you’ll want to get the 3 Phase Paleo e-Book. The recipes alone are worth it, and then there’s the bonus of all the additional information that support the reasoning behind why you’ll want to do it; it’s good value at $22.95, and a great way to get started into healthier eating.

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Photo credits: Courtesy of Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry, aka the Paleo Parents

Vivian is the founder of the Real Food Guide and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) who believes that each individual needs to go on their own Real Food Journey to find what works. While she herself eats a diet of real food (aka a paleo diet), some people may find that they can flourish on a vegetarian diet instead. However, universal to optimal health and well-being is good quality, nutrient-dense, Real Food.

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January 17 |

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