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  1. Coconut Vanilla Bean Shaken Hibiscus Iced Tea Latte {Paleo, Keto, Vegan}

    This Coconut Vanilla Bean Shaken Hibiscus Iced Tea Latte was initially spawned from from the idea (visual) of the Starbucks Pink Drink. But I call mine the PANK DRANK! But unlike the chain’s version, this one has no sugar, no terrifying fake sugars, it’s made with organic herbal hibiscus tea and it has flecks of real vanilla bean. This millennial pink tinted bevvie has quickly become my afternoon treat, replacing caffeinated beverages and bringing joy all the while.

    Coconut Vanilla Bean Shaken Hibiscus Iced Tea

    Coconut Vanilla Bean Shaken Hibiscus Iced Tea Latte

    With nearly 4 weeks without any caffeine at all, I’ve been getting super creative. I have changed my morning rituals, a bit, rather than getting out of bed, grabbing some water and counting down the minutes to coffee, I’ve been leaving my phone off for the first hour I’m awake and instead choosing to meditate. Sometimes I’ll pour a little decaf coffee or some tea before my morning training session, but most mornings, as of recently, I have totally have forgotten about my old morning habit and instead have relished in my new routines.

    Read more about my 14 Day Caffeine-Free Challenge and you can request to join the Tasty Yummies Tribe, our private Facebook community, to stay connected with anyone else doing the challenge.

    Coconut Vanilla Bean Shaken Hibiscus Iced Tea Latte

    While afternoon coffee wasn’t an everyday thing for me, I often found myself mid-day looking for a little caffeine kick. From coffee or matcha, so I decided in celebration of breaking these habits, that I would create a new afternoon drinkie! This Coconut Vanilla Bean Shaken Hibiscus Iced Tea Latte is bright, refreshing, sweetened to your liking (or not), with a little coconut milk and flecks of vanilla bean – it’s just magical.

    I know it’s a little less than ordinary, but you gotta go with me on this one. It’s just the perfect treat.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  2. Grilled Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Skewers with Pineapple Turmeric Salsa {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

    Ready in no-time, these Grilled Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Skewers are fast, simple, and so crazy-flavorful. Turmeric adds a boost of health benefits and flavor depth to both the marinade and the Pineapple Turmeric Salsa served on the side. This recipe is gluten-free, paleo, whole30 and keto compliant. 

    This post and recipe were created in partnership with MegaFood®. I am proud to work with brands that care about the health of its consumers and the planet. As always, all opinions, ideas and text are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Tasty Yummies.

    Grilled Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Skewers with Pineapple Turmeric Salsa {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

    Grilled Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Skewers with Pineapple Turmeric Salsa {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

    There’s something so special about the food of summer. At our house, we opt for lots of easy-to-make, all-encompassing meals that don’t require too many pots and pans or heating up the kitchen. But more, I LOVE celebrating all the vibrant colors and tastes of the season. And we are ALWAYS down for a grill-centric meal over here.

    By now you folks know I am all for getting in ample superfoods and supplements, be it classically in tablet or powder form, tossed into smoothies – I have some very important supplements that are part of my everyday routine, no excuses. That said, there is something I love so much more about foods and supplements working together in harmony. Often, there are other nutrients found in our foods that work symbiotically with these supplements and other nutrients to ensure the best chance for assimilation and absorption. 

    Grilled Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Skewers with Pineapple Turmeric Salsa {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

    Grilled Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Skewers with Pineapple Turmeric Salsa {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

    Turmeric is one of those foods/supplements that I don’t ever miss! I’m serious, I take it every day. I have personally seen improvements in the health of my joints and muscle recovery post-workout by consistently including turmeric in my diet over the past few years*. In fact, I can almost always feel a marked change if I miss even a single dose. It’s pretty wild. 

    Read the rest of this entry »

  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Understanding these Essential Fats

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential and incredibly important for your body and brain. They are essential because they MUST be obtained through our diet. Read on for science-based health benefits of omega-3s, why they are so important and everything else you need to know.

    Understanding Omega-3s

    At this point, you know how I feel about fats and the importance of including quality fats in our diet. Today we are going to talk more specifically about essential fatty acids. The two most well-known polyunsaturated fats are omega-3s and omega-6s. Both are considered to be essential fatty acids, because our body needs them and we cannot produce them on our own. It is important that we get these essential fats from our food. The human body can create most of the types of fats it needs from other fats or raw materials, but for these essential fatty acids, this isn’t the case.

    Since we’ll be talking almost exclusively about omega-3s in this post, I do want to quickly first address about the “other” EFA. The essential fatty acid, linoleic acid (LA) is an inflammatory omega-6 fat. While that word “inflammatory” may sound bad to you,  this is your reminder (we’ve talked about it before), that inflammation is quite important in our body, as part of proper healing. For example, you whack your head and get a swollen goose egg, that little bump is just one example of inflammation and it’s actually quite important to the healing process, as the inflammation sends nutrients and blood flow to that area for it to heal. Adequate omega-6 fatty acids, make this inflammation possible. That said, an excess of omega-6 fatty acids, as you can imagine can promote chronic and excess inflammation, which we all know can promote a wide array of diseases.

    While both omega-3s and 6s are essential to the body, due to our modern diets that tend to effortlessly be abundant in omega-6 fats, most people are severely deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, so the ratio is severely imbalanced for many. Let’s talk about how we can fix that and why it’s important.

    Understanding EFAs and Why Omega-3 Is Most Coveted:

    The omega-3 fatty acids were first discovered in the early 1970’s when Danish physicians observed that Greenland Eskimos had an exceptionally low incidence of heart disease and arthritis despite the fact that they consumed a diet high in fat. These early studies established fish as a rich source of n-3 fatty acids.

    EFAs are the good fats necessary for hormone production and they are important for normal growth, especially of the blood vessels and nerves and to keep the skin and other tissues looking youthful and supple as a result of their lubricating quality. Omega-3 fats are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions. 1https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/

    In the typical America Diet it is far easier to get omega-6 EFAs (linoleic acid) than the omega-3 EFAs (alpha-linolenic acid). While omega-6 on it’s own from quality sources, isn’t a villain, for most people their excessive omega-6 consumption is coming from non-whole food sources like highly refined plant and seed oils (including corn, canola, safflower, sunflower and, soybean oils), which we already know to be toxic, food-like-substances we are best to avoid. These are the oils most typically found in restaurants, fast foods and other foods of convenience, like packaged, processed foods. Most folks are getting hit with omega-6 fatty acids from many places, while simultaneously not consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids. Other sources of omega-6 fats are grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, poultry (even the organically grown) and industrially raised meat. So it makes sense that adequate (if not far more than) levels of omega-3 fats are effortlessly consumed.

    • The human body does best with a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats somewhere in the range or 1:1 to 1:4. Unfortunately most Americans are existing in a ratio upwards of around 1:20, and many have NO detectable level of omega-3 fats, at all.
    • Balancing this ratio takes special care to reduce the amount of highly-refined,  non-nutrient dense, omega-6 abundant foods in our diet (processed foods, fried foods, fast food, vegetable oils, etc) and consistently including more preformed omega-3 rich seafood (or algae).
    • For what it’s worth, grass-fed meat contains 5 times the omega-3 fats as conventionally raised meat and lower levels of omega 6 fats. 2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2846864/ Grass fed beef’s ratio of of omega-3 to omega-6 is 1:1 where as the ratio in conventionally raised meat is more like 1:7.

    Slow Roasted Citrus Fennel King Salmon with Crispy Fried Lentils

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids are Important:

    • Omega-3 essential fatty acids reduce inflammation, promote cardiovascular health, protect your brain and help prevent metabolic syndrome and chronic diseases.  3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23794360
    • The human brain is primarily made up of fat and it has a high requirement for DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Low DHA levels have been linked to low brain serotonin levels, which are connected to an increased tendency for depression and suicide. Several studies have established a correlation between low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and depression. High consumption of omega-3 FAs is typically associated with a lower incidence of depression, a decreased prevalence of age-related memory loss and a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease 4Kalmijn S. Dietary fat intake and the risk of incident dementia in the Rotterdam Study. Annals of Neurology. 1997;42(5):776–82. doi: 10.1002/ana.410420514. [PubMed] [Cross Ref] 5Yehuda S, Rabinovtz S, Carasso RL, Mostofsky DI. Essential fatty acids preparation (SR-3) improves Alzheimer’s patient’s quality of life. International Journal of Neuroscience. 1996;87(3-4):141–9. doi: 10.3109/00207459609070833. [PubMed] [Cross Ref] 6Hibbeln JR. Fish oil consumption and major depression. The Lancet. 1998;351:1213. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)79168-6. (April 18 1998) [PubMed] [Cross Ref] 7Hibbeln JR, Salem N. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and depression: when cholesterol does not satisfy. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1995;62:1–9. [PubMed] 8Stoll AL. Omega 3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry. 1999;56 407-12-415-16. [PubMed] 9Calabrese JR, Rapport DJ, Shleton MD. Fish oils and bipolar disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry. 1999;56:413–4. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.56.5.413. [PubMed] [Cross Ref] 10Laugharne JDE. Fatty acids and schizophrenia. Lipids. 1996;31:S163–S165. doi: 10.1007/BF02637070. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
    • A lack of omega-3s can lead you to a higher risk of heart disease and chronic inflammation. Deficiency has also been linked to higher chances of dementia and alzheimers, ADD, arthritis, poor cognitive function and brain development, joint pain and more.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    References   [ + ]

    1.https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/
    2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2846864/
    3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23794360
    4.Kalmijn S. Dietary fat intake and the risk of incident dementia in the Rotterdam Study. Annals of Neurology. 1997;42(5):776–82. doi: 10.1002/ana.410420514. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
    5.Yehuda S, Rabinovtz S, Carasso RL, Mostofsky DI. Essential fatty acids preparation (SR-3) improves Alzheimer’s patient’s quality of life. International Journal of Neuroscience. 1996;87(3-4):141–9. doi: 10.3109/00207459609070833. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
    6.Hibbeln JR. Fish oil consumption and major depression. The Lancet. 1998;351:1213. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)79168-6. (April 18 1998) [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
    7.Hibbeln JR, Salem N. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and depression: when cholesterol does not satisfy. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1995;62:1–9. [PubMed]
    8.Stoll AL. Omega 3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry. 1999;56 407-12-415-16. [PubMed]
    9.Calabrese JR, Rapport DJ, Shleton MD. Fish oils and bipolar disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry. 1999;56:413–4. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.56.5.413. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
    10.Laugharne JDE. Fatty acids and schizophrenia. Lipids. 1996;31:S163–S165. doi: 10.1007/BF02637070. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  4. Sacred Self Care Guide for July 2018

    Rising River Wisdom SchoolSacred Self Care Guide for July 2018 from Rising River Wisdom School

    In all the worlds’ mythology and culture, there have been wisdom keepers, those who looked to the natural and the hidden worlds as a guide for life on earth. Within these seekers are stargazers, who ascribe meaning to the “stars” and their movements through the solar system.

     Though Earth’s Moon is no star, it reflects the brightest light we can see in the night sky. Its phases are a part of human consciousness, and its movements affect systems on earth and sea. When we align our activities to the Moon’s cycles we find a greater connection to both our bodies and intuitive wisdom. Read on for some self care wisdom inspired by the new moon. 

    Rising River Wisdom School is an immersive program for those looking to step into their own power and carry wisdom for themselves and the world around them. Below you will find some Sacred Self Care insight for July from Rising River Wisdom School’s incredible teachers – we’ve got you covered for setting intentions with the upcoming new moon, to seeking insight from animal guides, plant medicine to oracle readings, plus lots of guidance for mindfully navigating the world with your vibrant well-being in focus.

    Sacred Self Care Guide for July 2018

    New Moon/Partial Solar Eclipse in Cancer Thursday 7/12/18 7:47 PDT By Michelle Prentiss

    Happy New Moon!

    Eclipse season is upon us as this New Moon/ Solar Eclipse will be followed by a Lunar Eclipse July 27th and another Solar (Full) on August 11th.

    Eclipses symbolically correspond to a portal or threshold space for significant internal or external events. Solar Eclipses are when the Moon’s position obstructs the Sun’s solar rays on earth. This New Moon also happens to be in the sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon, making this even more potent. With a Solar Eclipse, expect that events of the future (Sun) will be impacted by our instinctual or emotional self/past (Moon). There are notes of destiny and purpose revealed too. Prepare for both endings AND re-births as new information and feelings are brought to light. Cancer’s karmic focus is illuminated. Families, our foundation and security both personally and collectively- there is a sense of deep purpose as we are witnessing something greatly important along these themes. 

    The Chart of our New Moon Solar Eclipse is exactly opposite Pluto, too.

    The dwarf planet Pluto in Astrology represents evolution through any means necessary, and Pluto in Capricorn has been destroying authoritarian structures (Capricorn) since 2008. This week something comes to a head in a long process of breakthroughs and fresh starts through loss. 

    Although we have an opposition, Both Cancer and Capricorn are the Zodiac’s “cosmic parents” and crave security and stability. Though many long-term structures may be changing now – in a long pattern of natural evolution, there is a feeling of nostalgia and longing regarding the stability of the past. Another interesting element in the chart of the eclipse is two Grand Trines, one in water and one in earth element.  Trines are called “easy” planetary aspects. This mean the planets are in a supportive position to each other and essentially “ get along”.  

    Grand Trines can often function like a closed circuit, plugging away without any effort. They bring an element of helping energy to allow us to possibly see a “way out” of our dilemmas. However, Astrologer David Arner adds, “they can act like whirlpools. It is easy to get drawn into their energies and find yourself in patterns you did not necessarily plan to be in and thus cannot get out so easily.” 

    This New Moon try NOT to be complacent if you see a pattern of dysfunction in your life.  Call upon your perceptive, intuitive and feeling nature (this is different to your instinctive emotional response) to inform your habits or disciplines that can evolve situations you may feel stuck in or want to change.

    We also have many planets in retrograde this summer. Remember that retrograde periods CAN bring us the wonderful perspective of re-alignment with our inner self. 

    Rest and review how your thoughts become beliefs and these beliefs become habits – which then become your life! 

    This eclipse cycle we have a tremendous opportunity to begin to evolve by reviewing and potentially re-wiring our thoughts and responses to life’s challenges.

     

    Here are some suggestions to transform around our eclipse from Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage (via the Buffer Blog):

    Scan daily for 3 positives. At the end of each day, make a list of three specific good things that happened that day and reflect on what caused them to happen. The good things could be anything — bumping into an old friend, a positive remark from someone at work, a pretty sunset. Celebrating small wins also has a proven effect of powering motivation and igniting joy. As you record your good things daily, the better you will get and feel.

    Give one shout-out to someone (daily). Take the positive things you’re getting better at recognizing and let people know you’ve noticed! Take a minute to say thanks or recognize someone for their efforts, from friends and family to people at work. A great way to go about this is by sending 1 daily email to someone. It can be your old school teacher, whose advice you are now appreciating every day, a co-worker or someone you’ve only met. Show courage and say thanks, 

    I love doing this and just checking in with a nice note.

    Do something nice.  Acts of kindness boost happiness levels. Something as small and simple as making someone smile works. Pausing to do something thoughtful has the power to get you out of that negativity loop.  You can do something that is small and concrete like buying someone a coffee. Put this on your to do list – have you done anything nice for someone today? I love this technique and it’s one of the most amazing ways to feel happier.

    Let’s be the change we want to see in the world. Let this new moon show you the way!

     

    Sacred Self Care Guide for July 2018

    New Moon in Cancer Plant Spirit Advice with Jacqueline Zajdman:

    The summer season in Los Angeles has turned up the heat.  With temperatures reaching 109 degrees in my own neighborhood this past weekend, I have been reminded to “keep calm, and carry on.” I’m resigning, chilling out, moving slowly, and getting into receptive mode.  Summers are usually very leonine and fiery for me, and yet something is very different this time around.  With the Cancer new moon and the first solar eclipse of the summer, there is a call to step into this lunation with a sense of watery environment; going with the flow, tapping into your emotions, and acting like a chalice for the future transformational waters to fill your cup with metamorphic wine.

    Cancer being a water element sign speaks to the sacral chakra; an energy channel in the pelvic region that governs movement and flow.  This is a space of intuition, sentimentality, emotional intelligence and boundaries.  While it’s zodiacal opposite, Capricorn can be very realistic and goal oriented, Capricorn also inspires rooting and staying grounded, calling in the energies of root chakra medicine.  The axis of opposites can be extremely complimentary in inspiring balance through plant medicine.  Working with plants that can support both feeling grounded in the physical body while staying receptive and flowing in the emotional body is the perfect combination to beating the heat and staying calm during these intense cosmic changes.

    I have been recommending a beautiful mix of Stinging Nettles and Red Raspberry to my students at the RRW School this month.  Both plants hold me in such a mothering and nurturing way – while grounding and keeping me feeling a balance of masculine/feminine energies; not too passive or aggressive.  I’m hydrated, rooted, but still feeling soft and trusting in this energy I can’t see, but feel.  Whatever comes, I’m open and know it will be for my greatest good and growth.  Raspberry leaf speaks to the idea of “boundary medicine,” as the thorns on the red raspberry bush create a healthy space around volatile energies.  It is astringent, cooling, chalk full of vitamin C, and very nourishing to the womb space that calls in a feminine receptivity.  Nettles also have a protective sting but are extremely mineral rich, grounding, and aid fatigued adrenals.  Nettles bring in the earth element; being here, now.  The two create a beautiful dance of protection and guidance.  Brew a hot infusion by filling your quart of water with a handful of blended herbs.  Let sit over night, or 8-12 hours.  You can drink it cold in the morning or iced throughout these scorching days.  The magick is in the medicine.

    Sacred Self Care Guide for July 2018
    New Moon Animal Guide – By Brook Albrigo

    This next cycle brings in the energy of White Dove. Wings spread, riding on a sunbeam, wrapping you in her wings of Love and Grace. Like a beacon of Hope, the Dove comes at times of grief, fear and to ease troubled minds. Dove has been associated with many Goddesses throughout history due to her maternal and feminine strength. She is symbolic of Mother Earth and all that needs nurturing and what more do we need in the world right now? Love, compassion, forgiveness, hope, understanding. Dove is the medicine we are being given, but will we allow ourselves to receive it? In what ways are you attached to your suffering that keeps you from accepting this gracious gift Dove brings.

    The Dove’s mournful cooing at dawn and dusk, the hours when the veil between worlds is thinnest, asks us to release our emotions like a beautiful song paying tribute to our grief. For only when we let go of these unprocessed emotions can we make room for new life, birth new projects, partners and aspects of ourselves. Dove brings a message of prophecy so pay attention to signs, synchronicity, and dreams during this cycle, as they will be extremely informative.

    When your external world is in such turmoil, it is important to remember there is a peaceful place that resides in all of you that can never be lost. It may get buried a bit but it’s there with you always and you need to tap into this place as much as necessary this month whether through meditation, deep breathing, music- how ever you can sink into that inner peace. Remember to nurture yourself and one another and find appreciation for the simple things in life. Dove brings in a burst of light. A healing balm for your wounds. All you have to do is let her in!

    We will be in this Dove energy for a one month cycle until the next New Moon in August, another eclipse! If you would like to connect with Dove on a more personal level, feel free to do a meditation inviting her in and ask what specific medicine she brings you at this time. You can also keep an image or small statue around or even watch nature documentaries with Dove and pay attention to how they move and act.

    Sacred Self Care Guide for July 2018

    New Moon Tarot Wisdom from Kristi Prokopiak

    I see you! You have been doing your work and loving on yourself and trying your best to do all the self care care you can think of. All the mindfulness and growth and shadow work and self love… Yet somehow the pesky habits, the tricky thought patterns and the old ways of thinking almost always creep back in. The Eight of Swords is no joke! It can feel really frustrating when you know you are doing the work but somehow you find yourself caught in the stories that no longer serve you. All these retrogrades and Cancer feels are surely causing you to revisit and relive some things you thought you had laid to rest. Never fear though, because the Sun is here to shine light on all the good things that are working for you.

    Allow yourself to spend just as much time thinking about the things that are flowing smoothly, that bring you joy, and generally make your world light up. Whenever we get snagged, we have to allow that emotion to come up, feel what we are feeling, and then take some inventory. Fear can sneak up at any time, but you have the power to put it in it’s place. Sure, things may feel frustrating at times, but there is ALWAYS something good that’s going on. Let that give you the courage, strength and stamina to keep going. And don’t forget to have some patience. Your work is not for nothing, and even if you can’t immediately see results, it doesn’t mean amazing things aren’t happening. Our culture wants the quick fix, the avoidance, the denial and the bypass. None of that actually works for the deep, sustained, beautiful soul growth that is self love and acceptance. Keep doing your thing, stay grateful and trust that all of the work you’ve been doing is making a difference, even if it can’t be measured in the ways you’re used to measuring it.

    Cards used: The Illest Tarot by Kristi Prokopiak

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  5. 15-Minute Paleo Taco Skillet Dinner

    This 15-Minute Paleo Taco Skillet Dinner is ready in just about 15 minutes and it’s loaded with quality protein, fibrous leafy greens and if you top it with avocado, you’ll get some bonus healthy fats. A perfect, low-carb, one pan meal to please all!

    Super Easy Taco Skillet {Gluten-free, Paleo & Whole 30-friendly}

    Super Easy Taco Skillet {Gluten-free, Paleo & Whole 30-friendly}

    I have been loving a good one-pan meal these days. Despite the, I am sure, blanket assumptions that when you don’t have kids, you have all the time in the world for meal planning, it can actually be quite hard, even still, in a child-free home. Without the forced structure and routines that comes with having little ones, we can often flail and have to just “make do”.

    I am not that great at planning ahead some weeks and I am often not that methodical with our meal planning, so there are always staples that we have around, so there are always those staple-inspired meals. You know the ones – they aren’t all that glamorous and they are more about the function than the fashion.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  6. Keto Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries and Basil Whipped Coconut Cream {gluten-free, paleo}

    What? Low Carb Keto Strawberry Shortcake? Yup, you read that correctly. This dreamy, classic summer treat gets a bit of an update with grain-free, low carb biscuits, tasty balsamic roasted strawberries and a basil infused whipped coconut cream. Real food, no weird ingredients. Just some tasty, clean whole foods.

    Keto Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries and Basil Whipped Coconut Cream {gluten-free, paleo}

    Keto Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries and Basil Infused Coconut Cream {gluten-free, paleo}

    Let’s start off by saying, if you think I’ve lost my mind and if you want to keep this classic dessert more simple and traditional, you can very very easily follow this recipe, opt simply for fresh strawberries or just roast the strawberries without the balsamic, but if you’ve never had balsamic roasted strawberries, yet, you truly aren’t living. And as for the basil infused coconut cream, will change your life. That has to be said.

    This recipe is quite fuss-free, despite the amount of characters required to accurately describe it. Make the easy, grain-free low carb biscuits ahead and while they are baking you can prep the strawberries to go into the oven next and then finally, whip together that delicious, basil infused whipped coconut cream while the berries roast.

    Keto Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries and Basil Infused Coconut Cream {gluten-free, paleo}

    Keto Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries and Basil Infused Coconut Cream {gluten-free, paleo}

    As far as I am concerned, strawberries are the quintessential summer fruit. They have such fond memories attached to them, for me. From strawberry picking with my mom and my sisters, to bowls of fresh berries being brought outside out for dessert after a delicious summer meal, enjoy al fresco. My mom loves to bake and she made an incredible strawberry shortcake, with fresh baking soda biscuits, which she always made to seem so effortless. Strawberry shortcake reminds me of backyard meals, towels wrapped around our chilly bodies from spending the entire day in the pool. It brings back memories of no school, being outside all day and late sunsets.

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  7. Is Collagen a Good Source of Protein?

    With the popularity of collagen and gelatin protein, often I get asked “Is Collagen a Good Source of Protein?” While I am a big fan of both, I think it’s important to note that it may not be the best option for a source of protein.

    Is Collagen a Good Source of Protein?

    With the popularity of collagen in recent years, so too have I seen an increase of the use of collagen as a meal-replacing protein. While I am a big fan of collagen and personally aim to consume a high-quality grass-fed collagen protein in some form, nearly daily, myself, and I definitely recommend collagen to many of my nutrition clients for a variety of therapeutic and supplemental reasons – I wanted to take a moment to share why I don’t recommend that collagen be counted as part of your daily sources of protein or to used as a post-workout, rebuilding and recovering protein.

    Why is a Complete Protein Important?

    The human body is primarily made up of water, protein and fat. Second only to water, proteins comprise most of our tissues in the form of amino acids. And in all those amino acids, about half is collagen.

    There are 22 standard amino acids. Of those 22, 9 are “essential,” meaning they are not made by the body and must be obtained through our diet. Another 6 are “conditionally essential,” meaning our bodies can make sufficient amounts without getting them directly from diet, but only when circumstances are optimal.

    Our bodies NEED protein to sustain life. Protein is responsible for building every single cell in our body. The full panel of essential amino acids are necessary to help us build and repair every structure in our body. We build them up, break then down, over and over and over again. A great amount of dietary protein every day is necessary for this to be done efficiently and effectively.

    Lean muscle is made entirely of complete protein as well, and is key for optimal well being. Lean muscle improves metabolism, helps burn body fat, regulates body temperature, as well as keeps you strong, healthy, and supported.

    Muscle needs protein and getting adequate, quality protein (ideally from high-quality, properly raised, animal sources) supports strength, injury prevention and longevity. Protein also helps with a higher metabolic rate, greater insulin sensitivity, and building that lean, sculpted, sexy physique, you babe, you. Protein is also responsible for satiety and reducing cravings and hunger.

    A complete protein is comprised of, at the very least, the 9 essential amino acids. These are referred to as ‘essential’ because you MUST obtain them from your diet; the body cannot synthesize them on its own. Complete proteins can be found in a wide variety of animal foods and a few plant foods.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  8. Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg {gluten-free, keto}

    This Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg is inspired by a delicious meal I had at Tasty n Alder early this year to Portland, Oregon. This salad straight up swept me off my feet and left a lasting impression on this self-proclaimed salad-a-holic!

    Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg (Gluten-free, Keto}}

    Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg (Gluten-free, Keto}}

    Traveling is one of my very favorite things to do. I feel alive when I am exploring new places and I always return to the home I love so much, feeling inspired by the people, the cuisine, the history, traditions and stories.

    This year has already been off to a really great start for my travels and as always, my cooking and my recipes that I create after I return to my kitchen, are absolutely inspired by the places I visit.

    All that to say that I would LOVE to take credit for the brilliance of this incredible Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg. But alas, this one comes by way of an epic meal I had while traveling. Of course. This from a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, the mecca of amazing, inspired, seasonal, real food eats. This salad is my recreation of quite possibly one of THE best salads I have ever had in my entire life. Right? I know, that’s a pretty HUGE statement, especially for a self-professed salad lover such as myself.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  9. Lettuce Wrapped Chicken Souvlaki {Paleo, Keto, Whole30}

    Lettuce_Wrapped_Chicken_Souvlaki

    Lettuce_Wrapped_Chicken_Souvlaki

    Blog Post from May 2017: After 4 weeks of loads of travel, I am back home and getting back into real life. Interestingly, I have never been more organized with my content when traveling, especially before 4 weeks of on and of travel. I  had plenty of content to share posts just as regularly while I was gone. From this time last month, until right now, I have been in Mexico, Portland Oregon and finally, Buffalo, New York. I’ve been down the road and back again, to say the very least.

    This final leg of travel, which I just returned from last night, began as an innocent surprise trip home to see my family. I somewhat randomly selected this week, though it was my Mother’s birthday and my nephew’s first birthday, but it was just all a good excuse to come home and surprise everyone.

    Lettuce_Wrapped_Chicken_Souvlaki

    Sadly as the trip crept closer, I received word that my Grandfather had fallen ill and it wasn’t looking great this time. His body was failing him and it was his time. He was in Hospice. I kept checking in with my mother, from my trip to Portland, asking how he was and managing the wonder of what would happen if he passed if I was in Portland, mere days before my scheduled surprise trip. Could I book a rush trip back to New York from Portland? I would also have to spoil the surprise that I had worked so hard on and it would be a challenge cancelling a non refundable trip, just to come a couple days sooner.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  10. Safer Sun Protection. From Sunscreens to Superfoods. How to Protect Yourself in the Most Non-Toxic Way.

    Safer Sun Protection. From Sunscreens to Superfoods. How to Protect Yourself in the Most Non-Toxic Way. Check out this post to learn more about non-toxic sunscreen, how much sun is too much, how to eat to support your body’s natural defenses and more.

    Safer Sun Protection. From Sunscreens to Superfoods. How to Protect Yourself in the Most Non-Toxic Way.

    The topic of sun protection, like SO many things, has gotten a bit confusing for folks. “The sun is bad”. “The sun is good and absolutely necessary to avoiding vitamin D deficiency.” “Sunscreens are necessary, don’t ever leave the house without sunscreen on.” “Most sunscreens are loaded with so many toxic chemicals that they may be more harmful to our bodies than the sun itself.”

    Recently, reports from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Consumer Reports have warned consumers against using many types of conventional sunscreens, especially on children.  Of the 1,400+ sunscreens tested by the EWG, only 5% met their safety standards and over 40% were listed as potentially contributing to skin cancer.

    So, where do we go from here for safer sun protection?

    With 1 in 5 Americans being affected by skin cancer, it’s amazing to learn that the majority of folks aren’t wearing sunscreen daily or worse, there aren’t doing anything at all to protect themselves appropriately.  By simply wearing a non-toxic, protective SPF sunscreen daily, we can prevent skin cancer and premature aging. But, we need to know what to look for and what to avoid and all the many ways beyond sunscreen that we can support our body for safe sun protection and safe sun exposure – while still reaping the necessary benefits of the sun.

    Safer Sun Protection. From Sunscreens to Superfoods. How to Protect Yourself in the Most Non-Toxic Way.

    Why Most Sunscreens are Harmful

    Chemical Sunscreens vs Physical (or Mineral) Sunscreens. 

    There are two ways that a sunscreen protects the skin from sun damage – either with a mineral barrier or a chemical one. Chemical sunscreens contain compounds, which create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin. They are often referred to as chemical or organic absorbers. Chemical sunscreens are technically sun filters. Mineral sunscreens typically include ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which create a physical barrier to protect the skin from the sun, they sit on the surface of the skin and physically bounce or reflect sun’s rays away from the skin. Mineral sunscreens are great for people with sensitive skin as well as babies and kids.

    Chemical Sunscreens

    Chemical sunscreens, the type you’ll most often find at the store, contain a slew of chemicals, including oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are absorbed by the skin and both of which are linked to health hazards and have been shown in scientific studies to harm coral reefs. (These are the two chemicals Hawaii recently banned in all sunscreens, effective in 2021). Additionally, many sunscreens also contain avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene and homosalate. Laboratory studies indicate that some chemical UV filters may mimic hormones, and physicians report sunscreen-related skin allergies, which raises important questions about unintended human health consequences from frequent sunscreen application.

    Spray sunscreens have also become quite popular in recent years, and these carry their own additional dangers, especially when inhaled.

    Many sunscreens also contain methylisothiazolinone, which has been found to be a top allergen.

    Here’s a scary statistic: The chemical oxybenzone, that has been shown to pose a hazard to human health and the environment, it is an allergen and a hormone disruptor that soaks through skin and is measured in the body of nearly every American – in 2018, over 12 years after first reports from EWG were published in regards to this chemical – it still appears in 2/3 of the commercial sunscreens on the market. The reason that hormone and endocrine disruptors are so scary is because they’re especially harmful in small amounts, as they mimic the hormones our body creates daily and can interfere with everything from our reproductive systems to our metabolism. They’re particularly bad for young ones whose systems are rapidly developing.

    Recent research shows that many chemical sunscreens may carry more of a risk than moderate sun exposure, so it’s best to simply avoid these sunscreens, unless you have absolutely no other option, there is no shade and you have no cover-up options with clothing. But I would suggest this to be a last ditch effort simply to avoid overexposure and extreme sunburn.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  11. Paleo Buffalo Ranch Dressing {dairy-free, whole30, keto}

    Like my classic dairy-free ranch dressing, this Paleo Buffalo Ranch Dressing has turned into a bit of a staple around here. It’s creamy, rich and loaded with the flavors of classic Buffalo Chicken Wings, without the dairy or sketchy ingredients of most store-bought salad dressings. 

    Paleo Buffalo Ranch Dressing {dairy-free, whole30, keto}

    Paleo Buffalo Ranch Dressing {dairy-free, whole30, keto}

    At this point, we all know how I feel about Buffalo-style foods. After 30+ years in that city, it certainly left a mark on my heart, well, I suppose in this case, my palate. I’ve been in Southern California over 5 years now and I will ALWAYS have a large bottle of Frank’s Red Hot sauce in the fridge. Because when in doubt, make it Buffalo-style. I love a few dashes of that stuff on my scrambled eggs, on simple grilled meats and of course, on my Big F-in Salads.

    Paleo Buffalo Ranch Dressing {dairy-free, whole30, keto}

    This Paleo Buffalo Ranch Dressing adds the spicy flavor of classic Buffalo wings to classic ranch and it will add a kick to any boring salad, it’s a great dip for raw veggies, it’s perfect for roast potatoes or homemade french fries (your standard potato AND sweet potato) and I even love drizzling it over a big huge bowl of roasted veggies, like Brussel sprouts or broccoli.

    Paleo Buffalo Ranch Dressing {dairy-free, whole30, keto}

    Of course, if you are making some crispy Buffalo wings, (might I suggest Mark’s crispy grilled chicken wings) this Paleo Buffalo Ranch Dressing is the perfect compliment for even more flavor. I am not trying to tell you what to do, but definitely if you are making my Crispy Paleo Chicken Tenders, this Paleo Buffalo Ranch Dressing is an absolute must there, too.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  12. Sacred Self Care Guide for June 2018

    Rising River Wisdom SchoolSacred Self Care Guide for June 2018 from Rising River Wisdom School

    In all the worlds’ mythology and culture, there have been wisdom keepers, those who looked to the natural and the hidden worlds as a guide for life on earth. Within these seekers are stargazers, who ascribe meaning to the “stars” and their movements through the solar system.

     Though Earth’s Moon is no star, it reflects the brightest light we can see in the night sky. Its phases are a part of human consciousness, and its movements affect systems on earth and sea. When we align our activities to the Moon’s cycles we find a greater connection to both our bodies and intuitive wisdom. Read on for some self care wisdom inspired by the new moon. 

    Rising River Wisdom School is an immersive program for those looking to step into their own power and carry wisdom for themselves and the world around them. Below you will find some Sacred Self Care insight for June from Rising River Wisdom School’s incredible teachers – we’ve got you covered for setting intentions with the upcoming new moon, to seeking insight from animal guides, plant medicine to oracle readings, plus lots of guidance for mindfully navigating the world with your vibrant well-being in focus.

    Sacred Self Care Guide for June 2018

    New Moon Wisdom from Michelle Prentiss:

    New Moon in Gemini Wednesday June 13th 12:43 PM PDT

    The Sign Gemini’s “Ruling“ planet is Mercury- so named after the Roman
 God of Messages, Communication, Commerce, and Travelers. The energetic
 style of Gemini seeks to make connections and values information and
 movement, variety and experience.
 Our New Moon this month is an interesting lunation in that it makes no 
“important” aspects to planets this time. Instead, we have the New
 Moon / Sun’s ruler Mercury doing all the “ interacting”.  The fast 
moving planet is out of bounds in its orbit, too. This is telling and
 puts EXTRA emphasis on new and innovate ways of “connecting the dots”
 between our thoughts and ideas, data and hypothesis, our opinions and
others.

    Mercury is currently in the watery and emotional sign of 
Cancer, bringing an overall cast of nostalgia, sensitivity and
 compassion to the week. We also have a tight and friction filled
 connection to the “ wounded healer” Chiron in Aries and stern
 taskmaster Saturn in Capricorn.
 Fortunately, there’s also a positive beam from Mercury to Uranus in
 Taurus. It’s possible we may not want to speak our truth for fear of
 being hurt; but communicating carefully and sensitively is key to 
expressing ourselves as well as receiving another’s expression.

    Try not to take things personally and attempt to see from a new 
perspective now – this will help mitigate misunderstandings.
 Don’t retreat either, another common defense when things get 
sensitive, you can have a breakthrough this week if you allow space 
for your pain to be healed with understanding. 
On June 15th, Mercury opposes Saturn. Again, it’s essential to take
 responsibility for our decisions and get realistic about the plans we
 make. Try to avoid being overly critical- all the facts aren’t really 
in yet.

    Typically on a New Moon we sow the seeds for new ventures and
 external manifestation of our dreams and ideas. This New Moon however 
is surrounded by outer planets in retrograde motion including Saturn,
 Jupiter, and Pluto with Neptune retrograde June 18th and Mars June
 26th (both are now in their shadow retrograde period) Retrograde
 periods give an internal focus to our manifestations. 
Our minds, thoughts, emotions and communications are open for new
 understanding and insights, on this New Moon it’s time to bring these 
tools inward and perform a personal housecleaning of any thoughts, 
emotions or communications that you wish to purge.

    Now is the time to
 integrate what you “know and think” with what you “feel and see”.
 Breakthroughs in awareness and insight occur and new ways of being can
 be born when we make these connections within and dream a new dream 
for ourselves.
 Make New Moon Wishes on Wednesday around releasing hurt or miscommunications
 and gaining insight in the area where you have Gemini in your chart.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  13. 10-Minute Grounding Meditation

    This 10-Minute Grounding meditation is a guided practice incorporating a combination of breath, awareness, and visualization to connect you to the battery pack of the earth. Grounding allows you to draw up prana, energy, or life-force from Earth in order to become rejuvenated, revitalized, and restored. This is a great practice to use anytime you are experiencing times of stress, overwhelm or if you feel out of focus. Get comfortable and get grounded.

     

    10-Minute Grounding Meditation

    10-Minute Grounding Meditation

    Meditation is an excellent way to reduce stress, reconnect with your body, mind and spirit and improve your health and well-being in a variety of ways.

    When we meditate we rest the mind and attain a state of consciousness unlike our typical wakeful state. Rather than being focused on the external world or events taking place around us, we instead allow the mind space to become relaxed, clear and focused inward. Meditation gives us an opportunity to slow down and focus on self-awareness.

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

    You can also listen on Soundcloud

    Grounding

    Grounding is the physical connection between the electrical frequencies of the human body with Earth’s. Practicing a guided grounded meditation will allow you to focus your mind on the present and learn to feel more balanced and aware. Grounding reconnects us with that felt sense of stability that resides within us all, it connects us to a foundation and roots us in stability and firmness.

    When your mind is unfocused, you can feel uneasy, restless, and uncomfortable. Often just from the daily stresses of life we can feel scattered, overwhelmed, disconnected and spacey.

    Grounding yourself can help you feel calm, peaceful and centered. This guided grounding meditation brings the opportunity for you to connect with the earth and experience a transfer of energy. By plugging into the Earth’s energy this helps to bring us back to our natural electrical state which is vital to our health as we are electrical beings.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  14. What is Glyphosate? And What Does Glyphosate Residue Free Labeling Mean?

    If you have paid any attention to health and wellness, nutrition and environmental impacts, you have likely heard the word “glyphosate” at this point. If you haven’t yet, let’s do a quick debriefing. Read on to get answers to your question: What is Glyphosate? Why you should care, plus learn what Glyphosate Residue Free Labeling really means.

    What is Glyphosate? And What Does Glyphosate Residue Free Labeling Mean? 

    What is Glyphosate?

    Glyphosate is the number one herbicide and antibiotic used in the US; its use has skyrocketed over the last decade with the introduction of GMO crops. Glyphosate works as a broad spectrum systemic herbicide that kills weeds and is used as a desiccant. Glyphosate is used heavily in GMO Agriculture and in conventional growing (it’s sprayed on grains at harvest to desiccate them and make them easier to harvest and process i.e. oatmeal, grass grains, wheat), It is also used in home gardens and commercial parks, schools, etc. but is banned in organic agriculture. 

    A typical GMO crop gets many treatments of glyphosate over time (every few weeks through the summer). It needs to be continually applied to be effective. A growing number of countries are banning its use, as well as the promulgation of GMO crops. In 2015, 89% of corn, 94% of soybeans and 89% of cotton produced in the US were genetically modified to be herbicide-tolerant. 1https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx

    Despite multiple claims that glyphosate is safe, the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic in humans” and it is linked to lymphoma. Additionally, the California Environmental Protection Agency has added glyphosate to the Prop 65 list of carcinogenic chemicals and it is now identified as “known to the State of California to cause cancer.” Glyphosate may also be contributing to the Monarch Butterfly decline. 

    While the industry research miraculously touts glyphosate as “safe” and we can anticipate an ongoing scientific debate – for my taste, there is far too much research that says the contrary. As far as I am concerned, too much independent research points to it being unsafe and I am not willing to take the risk.  

    What is Glyphosate? And What Does Glyphosate Residue Free Labeling Mean?

    Why Should You Care About Glyphosate? 

    • Glyphosate is regularly found in our food and water 2https://detoxproject.org/glyphosate-in-food-water/. Even on non-GMO food, if it is grown in proximity of farms that use glyphosate, there is a chance that residue will still be present. Traces of glyphosate can be found in conventionally grown crops as well, because some farmers use glyphosate as a desiccant to dry out crops just 7 to 10 days before harvest, so the residue is present in the final food product as it goes to market.
       
    • Numerous scientific studies conducted independently of the agricultural biotechnology industry have found that the toxic effects of glyphosate, even in small amounts, include disruption of hormonal systems and beneficial gut bacteria, damage to DNA, developmental and reproductive toxicity, birth defects, cancer, and neurotoxicity. 3https://detoxproject.org/glyphosate/how-safe-are-safe-levels-of-roundup/ 4Antoniou M, Habib MEM, Howard CV, et al. Teratogenic effects of glyphosate-based herbicides: Divergence of regulatory decisions from scientific evidence. J Env Anal Toxicol. 2012;S4:006. doi:10.4172/2161-0525.S4-006. 5Antoniou M, Habib M, Howard CV, et al. Roundup and Birth Defects: Is the Public Being Kept in the Dark? Earth Open Source; 2011. 6Vandenberg LN, Colborn T, Hayes TB, et al. Hormones and endocrine-disrupting chemicals: Low-dose effects and nonmonotonic dose responses. Endocr Rev. 2012;33(3):378-455. doi:10.1210/er.2011-1050. 7Séralini G-E, Clair E, Mesnage R, et al. Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environ Sci Eur. 2014;26(1):14. doi:10.1186/s12302-014-0014-5. 8Romano RM, Romano MA, Bernardi MM, Furtado PV, Oliveira CA. Prepubertal exposure to commercial formulation of the herbicide Glyphosate alters testosterone levels and testicular morphology. Arch Toxicol. 2010;84:309-317. 9Gasnier C, Dumont C, Benachour N, Clair E, Chagnon MC, Séralini GE. Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines. Toxicology. 2009;262:184-91. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2009.06.006.
    • The way that we are growing and producing our food is destroying the top soil. Glyphosate is a patented antibiotic sprayed on the living structure, the plants and soil. The soil our food is grown in, much like us, has a delicate microbiome. The health of the soil directly affects the health of the food grown in it, which in turn affects our health. Being a broad spectrum antibiotic, glyphosate is used to kill weeds, but it is also destroying the microbiome of the soil. 10https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2017.00034/full11http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2017/06/aristildeglyphosate

    Read the rest of this entry »

    References   [ + ]

    1.https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx
    2.https://detoxproject.org/glyphosate-in-food-water/
    3.https://detoxproject.org/glyphosate/how-safe-are-safe-levels-of-roundup/
    4.Antoniou M, Habib MEM, Howard CV, et al. Teratogenic effects of glyphosate-based herbicides: Divergence of regulatory decisions from scientific evidence. J Env Anal Toxicol. 2012;S4:006. doi:10.4172/2161-0525.S4-006.
    5.Antoniou M, Habib M, Howard CV, et al. Roundup and Birth Defects: Is the Public Being Kept in the Dark? Earth Open Source; 2011.
    6.Vandenberg LN, Colborn T, Hayes TB, et al. Hormones and endocrine-disrupting chemicals: Low-dose effects and nonmonotonic dose responses. Endocr Rev. 2012;33(3):378-455. doi:10.1210/er.2011-1050.
    7.Séralini G-E, Clair E, Mesnage R, et al. Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environ Sci Eur. 2014;26(1):14. doi:10.1186/s12302-014-0014-5.
    8.Romano RM, Romano MA, Bernardi MM, Furtado PV, Oliveira CA. Prepubertal exposure to commercial formulation of the herbicide Glyphosate alters testosterone levels and testicular morphology. Arch Toxicol. 2010;84:309-317.
    9.Gasnier C, Dumont C, Benachour N, Clair E, Chagnon MC, Séralini GE. Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines. Toxicology. 2009;262:184-91. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2009.06.006.
    10.https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2017.00034/full
    11.http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2017/06/aristildeglyphosate
  15. Super Quick Coconut Red Curry Soup {paleo, keto, Whole30 Veg Options}

    This Super Quick Coconut Red Curry Soup is ready in just about 15 minutes and it’s highly adaptable. Add chicken or shrimp, drop in whatever veggies are in season and you have on hand, add noodles, or don’t. It’s creamy, rich and a breeze to make.

    Quick Red Curry Soup {Gluten-Free, Paleo, Veg Options}

    Quick Red Curry Soup {Gluten-Free, Paleo, Veg Options}

    In continuing with the simple weeknight meal ideas, I bring you one of my go-to, super quick meals. I make and share this often on my Instagram stories and I am constantly receiving messages for the recipe. It hardly seems like a recipe to me, given what a breeze it is and how I rarely even measure, but here we go.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  16. Beef on Weck Salad with Horseradish Caraway Dressing {Paleo, Keto, Whole30}

    Beef on Weck Salad with Horseradish Caraway Dressing {Paleo, Keto, Whole30}. Classic fare from Buffalo, New York the Beef on Weck sandwich might be a regional food, but I think we need to change that. Taking the flavors of this Western New York favorite, I grew up with, I created a version I could eat, with greens and a delicious dressing – it brings all the flavors without the bread!

    Beef on Week Salad with Horseradish Caraway Dressing {Paleo, Keto, Whole30}

    Beef on Week Salad with Horseradish Caraway Dressing {Paleo, Keto, Whole30}

    If you’re from Buffalo, New York, than you will get this, right away!! Fully. The Beef on Weck Sandwich. If you aren’t from the City of Buffalo or have never visited Western New York, then let me tell you a little bit about this iconic almost totally unknown (outside of Buffalo) sandwich.

    It’s not like your usual French dip or really any other roast beef sandwich for that matter. Beef on Weck is slow roasted beef, hand-sliced thin, piled high on a Kimmelweck or a Kaiser roll – a hard roll that comes crowned with flakey sea salt and caraway seeds. To that the sandwich gets just a bit of jus (or it’s served on the side for dipping) and a little spicy horseradish, too. It’s the roll that sets this sandwich apart from the crowd.

    Beef on Week Salad with Horseradish Caraway Dressing {Paleo, Keto, Whole30}

    I realized on the most recent trip back home to see my family in Buffalo, so much of the local fare are foods I haven’t been able to eat for over 13 years now, being gluten-free. Buffalo isn’t exactly known for it’s health food fare. I actually come back home and I crave the home cooked Greek food I grew up on, while all the other former Buffalonians are loading up all the local eats like chicken wing and pizza, chicken finger subs, Mighty Taco and the like. But I always feel like I’m missing out a little, too, if I am being totally honest.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  17. The 14-Day Caffeine-Free Challenge // Reset Your Caffeine Tolerance

    This 14-Day Caffeine-Free Challenge serves as an opportunity to break the caffeine addiction for good or as a temporary break to give your neurotransmitters a hard reboot. Consider it a reset to your caffeine tolerance.  

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    The 14-Day Caffeine-Free Challenge // Reset Your Caffeine Tolerance

    To read more about how-to take a break from coffee / caffeine and why you may want to consider it check out this full and in-depth post.

    To simplify it, as your body becomes accustomed to consuming caffeine, you need to consume more and more of it to experience the same energy boost. Acting in a similar manner to anti-depressants, high doses of caffeine on a regular basis acts as central nervous system stimulant and can flood the brain with neurotransmitters, creating neurotransmitter resistance or long term receptor damage 18. Olekalns, N. (1996). Rational addiction to caffeine. Journal of Political Economy, 104(5), 1100. 

    Reasons to Take a Break From Caffeine and Reset Your Caffeine Tolerance:

    • Caffeine no longer affects you the way that it once did
    • You crave caffeine and NEED it to start your day or to get through the day 
    • Your daily caffeine consumption amounts are insane
    • You are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, anxiousness or adrenal fatigue
    • Your sleep health has been suffering
    • It’s leading to health problems
    • Doctors orders

    How-to Beat the Coffee Addiction

    The good news: to kick the caffeine habit, you really only need to get through about 7-12 days without drinking any caffeine. During that time, your brain will naturally decrease the number of adenosine receptors on each cell, responding to the sudden lack of caffeine ingestion. If you can make it that long without a cup of joe or a spot of tea, the levels of adenosine receptors in your brain reset to their baseline levels, and your dependence will be broken. 2https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/this-is-how-your-brain-becomes-addicted-to-caffeine-26861037/

    You can certainly go cold turkey on cutting out caffeine for this 14-day challenge, but if you are a hardcore caffeine consumer, you may want to consider preparing by cutting back gradually and replacing your traditional caffeinated coffee with either half decaf or more gentler forms of caffeine, found in quality teas like green or black tea.  I personally really LOVE a Matcha White Hot Chocolate as a gentler alternative to caffeinated coffee, such a treat.

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    How-to Take a Break from Caffeine and Reset Your Caffeine Tolerance:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    References   [ + ]

    1.8. Olekalns, N. (1996). Rational addiction to caffeine. Journal of Political Economy, 104(5), 1100.
    2.https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/this-is-how-your-brain-becomes-addicted-to-caffeine-26861037/
  18. How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    Are you feeling that afternoon slump and reaching for coffee or other caffeine to power through? Is your sleep inconsistent and often interrupted? Are you finding yourself needing more and more coffee to get through? Follow along to learn How-to Take a Break from Coffee and Why You May Want to Consider It.

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    I am not one of those die-hard, ride or die coffee drinkers who’s been at it every morning for many, many years. There was a very long time, during the middle of my healing journey that I wasn’t able to handle any coffee at all. Even a single cup would cause extreme jitters and serious feelings of anxiousness. 

    After I healed my gut, went through an extensive liver detox and rectified my adrenal fatigue, among many other things, I did a little experimenting and low and behold, me and coffee were friends once again. We would connect occasionally when I was craving it. Generally it was Boosted, as I found this lessened any jitters straight up black coffee might cause. Overtime I created my own Healthier French Vanilla Coffee Creamer  for those folks in my life that wouldn’t give up the sketchy store-bought stuff. I learned to make my own cold brew at home and I even fell in love with a Mint Mojito Iced Coffee number and found myself adding it to keto granola. But, some time last year my occasional cup of coffee, only when it sounded good, turned into an every single morning thing. It became part of my morning routine and the ritual of it became as much a part of the craving (or more) as the caffeine itself.

    Then my one 8 ounce cup of coffee in the morning turned into 12 ounces. Suddenly my life included the occasional afternoon coffee. Sometimes even an evening cup. This evolved into me craving coffee when I felt that afternoon slump hit and I would actually at times find myself smelling it, even when it wasn’t around because my brain was lusting after it so deeply to give me that boost. I was finding myself traveling and making plans for how I would get that perfect cup of coffee on the road.

    It was fine. Because in my mind, coffee has so many wonderful health benefits and if a light caffeine reliance was the worst thing I had going for me, I would say I am doing pretty good in life. After all, at this point I have chosen to basically all processed foods and for the most part all grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, etc etc all to manage my health and autoimmune symptoms. Just let me have my dang coffee. 

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    The Benefits of Coffee

    Coffee has many brain-protective compounds and an abundance of antioxidants, polyphenols and bioactive compounds. Coffee contains vitamin C, magnesium, polyphenols, catechins, flavonoids, and chlorogenic acids. and it’s generally regarded quite favorably by recent research. 1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26784461

    Read the rest of this entry »

    References   [ + ]

  19. Lemon Tahini Dressing {Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, Keto}

    This Lemon Tahini Dressing is a kitchen staple food for us. It’s naturally paleo, vegan, keto, nut-free and Whole30-compliant, so it’s a really great option for entertaining. Creamy, flavorful and so quick to whip up it makes an amazing dressing, dip or sauce with just a few ingredients.

    Lemon Tahini Dressing {Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, Keto}

    Lemon Tahini Dressing {Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, Keto}

    If you haven’t sensed the theme, this year on Tasty Yummies, it’s been all about getting back to basics. Both with the foundations of cooking and in our health. I think both have gotten somewhat unnecessarily complicated. I find that having a solid base of pantry staples, meal prep and batch cooked recipes, sauces and dressings that you always have on hand –  this is key to being prepared and ready to take on the busy weeks with your health and well-being at the forefront. No excuses.

    Lemon Tahini Dressing {Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, Keto}

    I have been taking notice of the kinds of foods we make week in and week out, in our house. The uncomplicated, not-so-fancy, easy-to-make foods that keep us organized and feeling in control. We have several non-negotiables around here, top of that list, is always having a solid, super tasty, homemade, dressing on hand. Since we have Big F-ing Salads just about daily around here, having a tasty dressing already made and waiting, makes it even easier to make good choices.

    For us, it goes between Dad’s Greek Dressing, Homemade Dairy-free Ranch Dressing, 5-Minute Green Goddess Dressing and this tasty Lemon Tahini Dressing. This thick and rich dressing is one of my personal faves, because I will forever love a good creamy dressing, but definitely prefer to avoid dairy. Not only does this Lemon Tahini Dressing not have any dairy, but there’s no mayo or eggs, no nuts, just simple ingredients. Tahini is a paste made from toasted and ground sesame seeds. This dressing is paleo, vegan, keto, Whole30 compliant, nut-free, etc etc so it’s great for entertaining a crowd.

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  20. Sacred Self Care Guide for May 2018

    Rising River Wisdom SchoolSacred Self Care Guide for April 2018 from Rising River Wisdom School

    In all the worlds’ mythology and culture, there have been wisdom keepers, those who looked to the natural and the hidden worlds as a guide for life on earth. Within these seekers are stargazers, who ascribe meaning to the “stars” and their movements through the solar system.

     Though Earth’s Moon is no star, it reflects the brightest light we can see in the night sky. Its phases are a part of human consciousness, and its movements affect systems on earth and sea. When we align our activities to the Moon’s cycles we find a greater connection to both our bodies and intuitive wisdom. Read on for some self care wisdom inspired by the new moon. 

    Rising River Wisdom School is an immersive program for those looking to step into their own power and carry wisdom for themselves and the world around them. Below you will find some Sacred Self Care insight for May from Rising River Wisdom School’s incredible teachers – we’ve got you covered for setting intentions with the upcoming new moon, to seeking insight from animal guides and plant medicine plus lots of guidance for mindfully navigating the world with your vibrant well-being in focus.

    Sacred Self Care Guide for May 2018

    New Moon Wisdom from Michelle Prentiss:

    Taurus New Moon 5/15/18 6:47 AM PDT 

    Tending our Garden”

    A NEW MOON is when the Sun and Moon are co-joined. This month our lunation is in the sign of Taurus and will be joined later in the day by rebel planet Uranus, who will stay in the sign for almost 8 years!  This brings extra emphasis to the new moon’s power in the manifestation process. Expect possible signs of what will be revolutionized collectively and personally over the next years.

    Taurus is the sign most closely connected to Earth and it’s resources. It is  the container that allows energy to manifest on the physical plane; it draws the creative spark of Aries into form. It submits instead of subdues, it favors nurturing over destruction and harmonizes with the greater whole.”* 

     Taurus is our sensual world, it’s smells, tastes, and it’s products. 

    It is the “green world”, our planet’s gifts and resources.  Taurus is the ecological steward! 

    Earth Moons always put us in touch with our physical and sensual body. Going slow, we can experience how our body feels, which may not have been the same as yesterday or how it will be tomorrow. This gives us receptivity to our changing experience and prompts grounded growth through awareness. 

    Though we are slow and sensual in this Moon time – we have friction between Mars and Uranus at 29 degrees Capricorn/ Aries.

     The 29th or last degree of any sign is considered to be the critical one – it’s unstable as it changes into a new form. Themes of volatility are present in the flux.

    Mercury is conjunct Uranus too – Money and communications may be affected.  This could be in shocking and revealing ways. Venus is strong though-and we can look to her for a key to getting the most out of the intensity. 

     To begin, we plant the seed of intention for everything we want to manifest by getting grounded. Stop and Breathe!  Venus essentially represents the law of attraction and one’s personal pleasure in BEING.  Taurus and Venus are very much about feeling, balance and centering as well as contact with our earthy reality. 

    In a Manifestation practice (a VERY Taurean activity) we first pay attention to what we desire, from there we put our will into motion in a step-by-step way, with ritual and activity.

    Delve into what you personally need for peace and stability this week – for some it is action and variety and for others quiet harmony. Go within and listen to your body’s wisdom to the find your center.  No matter the changing in our collective (and it will be changing quite a bit more!) this will provide the most sustainable resource of all – a deep well of inner guidance and a foundation of healthy connection to your personal source of equanimity and security. 

    Know that you are a magical manifestor! Cultivate the concept, work with law of attraction and watch your garden grow!

    Here is a little ritual for connecting to your body on the moon from The Chopra Center:

    Exercise: Get Grounded

    One powerful way to expand your awareness is to ground yourself in your body. Whenever you feel distracted or triggered by a situation or event, tune into the feelings in your body. For instance, if you receive an unexpected bill and your normal reaction would be to feel angry or anxious, try this simple yoga pose known as Tadasana or Standing Mountain.

    1. Begin by standing* with your feet hips width apart, the big toes slightly turned in. Engage your thigh muscles and lift the knee caps.

    2. Align your body by having the knees above the ankles, the hips above the knees, the shoulders above the hips, the ears above the shoulders. The crown of your head is reaching up toward the sky.

    3. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Lift your ribs up from the waist. Your feet are firmly rooted on the ground. As you feel your connection to the earth beneath you, you become as steady as a mountain. Slowly lower your hands to your sides.

    4. Now take a deep breath, close your eyes, and let yourself feel the sensations in your body. Focus your attention on the waves of sensation until they disappear.

    By pausing and becoming aware of your body and the present moment, you’re breaking a conditioned pattern of stimulus-response. As you breathe, your body is reminded of its natural state of harmony and self-regulation, and this grounds you.

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  21. Safe Whole Home Eco-friendly Insect Protection

    Safe Whole Home Eco-friendly Insect Protection

    Moving to California I knew that we would initially have to make some sacrifices and deal with some major life changes. After all, living here couldn’t be any more different than living in upstate New York, in so many ways!

    Little did I know that one of the biggest things I would have to prepare myself for would be the pests and the bugs. I guess with the Mediterranean-esque / ocean-side climate and without the major change in seasons or an epic yearly chill, like I grew up in, this place is heaven for insects. I mean, we have no plans of leaving here, why would they?

    I am all on board for those little buggers livin’ life as it is intended – outside of my home. Mother Nature has that on lock, they all serve very important purposes in the circle of life. But, spiders, moths, ants – OH MY! Over the 5 years living here, we’ve seen them ALL (and more) in our house and I have tried so many different approaches to ridding our home of them. Besides the health of myself and my hubby, with having two cats and a dog, my main concern is always the toxicity of any pest control. With so many being loaded with harmful chemicals that are toxic to pets (and children), I have tried nearly every homemade, all natural, DIY approach there is and I can say that most fall pretty flat when it comes to efficacy.

    Beyond not always being super effective, some alternative approaches to insect protection can sometimes use oils that aren’t safe around pets. It always makes me a tad weary and definitely requires some homework on my part.

    Safe Whole Home Eco-friendly Insect Protection

    Zevo: An Alternative for Harmful Pesticides – The Whole Home System

    Zevo’s new Whole Home Protection System offers a safe and powerful solution to protecting your home, family and pets from indoor pests. Instant Action Sprays kill the insects you see while the Flying Insect Trap eliminates the ones you don’t see. You know, those extra sneaky ones that like to come out and crawl across you on the couch, while you’re home binge-watching the Real Housewives and your hubby is out for the night.

    Safe Whole Home Eco-friendly Insect Protection

    Zevo Instant Action Sprays

    Zevo Instant Action Sprays provide safe and powerful insect protection that can be used around people and pets* without harmful chemicals. There are four formulas: crawling, flying, stinging, and multi-insect. Our Instant Action Sprays are made with common essential oils. The active ingredients are cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, and geraniol.

    This Clean Insect Protection uses a safe bio-science formula to quickly paralyze and kill insects by targeting a nervous system receptor only active in bugs. Without harm to people and pets.

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