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  1. Big F*ckin’ Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn’t Suck

    Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

    If you’ve followed me on Instagram for some time, you know that the Big F*ckin’ Salad is a total staple in my kitchen, and yah ok, my potty mouth is also a staple in well, life – but I do my best to keep is mostly PG-ish, most of the time! Nearly every single day, in the Brickey household, we rip a colossal nutrient-dense salad for a meal. It’s a great way to get it loads and loads of important nutrients in one sitting, it’s filling, easy to make, fun to get creative with and they are just dang yummy! I actually feel like if I build an amazing B.F.S. at least once a day, I can be certain no matter what the rest of my day looks like, I am getting a huge dose of super important nutrients. Generally in the summer months, it’s what’s for dinner most nights, but oftentimes it’s lunch and I’ve even been known to crush an epic Big F*ckin’ Breakfast Salad, too! One of my favorites.

    Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

    I am finally walking you through my basic formula for building the perfect loaded up Big F*ckin’ Salad, so you can be a B.F.S-building Queen (or King). As far as I am concerned, all you need for a successful B.F.S. is quality greens, protein, fat, some crunchy stuff (from extra raw veggies or other add-ons) and an amazing homemade dressing. That’s it.

    Best part about a daily B.F.S? You can be sure you are loading yourself up with tons of plant based nutrients, lots of fiber and of course some quality fat and protein. Follow my formula and make yourself a B.F.S. every day to get in your nutrients and I promise you will never ever get bored.

    First things first, get yourself a SOLID gigantic bowl for your B.F.S. I love our huge wide bowls for Ikea (seen here), but I am not mad about a big salad being served in a gigantic mixing bowl (glass OR metal), either.

    Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

    GREENS + PROTEIN + VEGGIES + FAT + DRESSING
    (+ extras if you want ’em)

    First major rule of the B.F.S. Club:
    there are NO RULES!!

    Read the rest of this entry »

  2. Grain-free Thai Beef Bowls {Paleo, Whole30, Keto}

    Grain-free Thai Beef Bowls. This is an easy, one-pan meal, ready in just over 15 minutes, and it’s a weeknight staple in our house. Garnish all pretty-like to create colorful masterpiece, serve over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles or go with  regular rice or noodles.  This recipe is paleo, whole30 and keto friendly. 

    Grain-Free Thai Beef Bowls

    Grain-Free Thai Beef Bowls

    I know for many of you with families and busy schedules, though the summer is supposed to be about relaxing and chilling, somehow before you know it, the schedule fills up and you are going non-stop. Dinners are eaten on the run and you are quite literally setting up your digestion for a rough go. While it’s far easier said then done, to slow down, I think much of this action can take place with meal planning and preparing meals that can me made start to finish in under 30 minutes.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  3. Sacred Self Care Guide for August 2018

    Rising River Wisdom SchoolSacred Self Care Guide for August 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 August 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 August 2018

    New Moon/Solar Eclipse in Leo August 11th 2018 2:57am PDT- By Michelle Prentiss

    “ Eclipse of The Heart”

    Recently I had a vivid dream that I was dreaming- and I was speaking aloud in the dream about all the planetary retrogrades- and how they are a necessary part of the magical mix of expanded self-awareness, which can be accessed now, at the portal that is the Solar Eclipse in Leo. 

    We have had a very bumpy ride energetically this eclipse season and though, there is one more Eclipse left in the Leo/Aquarius cycle (in January 2019), this Saturday is very much a culmination of the themes started last year. 

    The Leo/ Aquarius polarity has given us much of their shadow recently. We have seen mis-use of power, arrogance and rampant egoism as well as alienation in groups and communities, chaos, fear and lack of empathy. Experiencing these themes in our lives personally and collectively has given us pause, asking us to heal ourselves and our world by illuminating that which needs to be brought into balance and integrated with love.

    This Leo New Moon is conjunct Retrograde Mercury asking us to re-consider the connections we have made recently – Is there a way to review our thoughts or beliefs about themes in our lives? Can we bring heart into Judgment?  Can we see how our thoughts and communication can hurt both others and ourselves?

    Can we give ourselves the love and acceptance we need?  

    Jupiter squaring the lunation compels us by stating, “ Expand your Awareness and find your TRUTH” 

    Asteroid Pallas Athena is also conjunct this New Moon. Considered to have rulership over feminine wisdom, strategy, the ability to perceive over-arching patterns and creative intelligence, her energy bridges the Leo/ Aquarius polarity with a wholistic view and observes the parts of it that do not fit. 

    This New Moon there is a tremendous sense of us all on an energetic, internal plateau, which exists in a space between the past and future – as issues/memories/ situations rise up from our personal and collective unconscious and need to be processed.  As you experience this, The KEY to healing/integrating is first bringing your awareness to the present moment and holding space for your heart’s intelligence combined with a wholistic view and flexible mindset. If we don’t see that which we DO NOT want in our lives, we won’t know how/ where to eliminate it from our structures.

    The Solar Eclipse is partial and functions a bit like a re-boot on a computer. As we see, through the friction of opposition that we which we do and do not want in our lives, we can have the opportunity for a new start which becomes much more integrated and compassionate, inclusive rather than exclusive, creative and loving – embodying the most evolved aspects of our Leo Archetype.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  4. Banh Mi Salad {Keto, Paleo, Whole30}

    Banh Mi Salad. This is a delicious take on Vietnamese classic sandwich, the Bánh mì. Keto, paleo, Whole30 and gluten-free, this deconstructed take on one of my favorite sandwiches is loaded with flavor, fresh crunchy vegetables and so much color. I cannot wait for you to try this one.

    Banh Mi Salad {Keto, Paleo, Whole30}

    Banh Mi Salad {Keto, Paleo, Whole30}

    Alright all my keto, paleo, Whole30 pals, you didn’t think I would leave you hanging on this whole Banh Mi thing, did you? I shared my delicious gluten-free Banh Mi Sandwich a few weeks back, as part of a Sammie Smackdown Contest with Canyon Bakehouse, all for a very good cause, but a lot of you, like me, are generally on that grain-free train. I feel ya, I feel better that way, too! But, there’s no reason we can’t get it on these sammie vibes, in our own way. Enter the Banh Mi Salad, my new favorite thing!

    Banh Mi Salad {Keto, Paleo, Whole30}

    Banh Mi Salad {Keto, Paleo, Whole30}

    I entered my tasty take on this classic Vietnamese sandwich, the Banh Mi, to try to win $10,000 for my charity, Joyful Heart Foundation. Joyful Heart is a leading national organization with a mission to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse and support survivors’ healing. Through healing, education, and advocacy, they are paving the way for innovative approaches to treating trauma, igniting shifts in the way the public views and responds to these horrific acts of violence and reforming legislation to ensure justice for survivors – and ultimately working to end this violence, forever!

    Voting is still open. It remains open until August 20th and you can vote up to 3 times a day for my sandwich, with extra votes coming in if you share on social media and sign up through email to win a years worth of gluten-free bread! Head over to the Sammie Smackdown contest on Canyon Bakehouse’s website and help me by voting EVERY SINGLE DAY until the contest ends on 8/20. It would mean the world to me to win this money for this incredible, privately funded organization, doing such important work. 

    In the meantime, if sandwiches and bread aren’t so much your thing, you need to make this epic salad, inspired by that sandwich. All the flavors, tastes and vibes, without the bread. (And yes, I am aware that Banh Mi literally translates to bread, so this becomes an oxymoron of sorts, but I am OK with that.) If you are following a paleo or keto approach to your eating or maybe just doing a Whole30 and looking to have something fun, this salad is for you!!

    Read the rest of this entry »

  5. Keto Loco Moco Breakfast Bowl {Paleo, Whole30, AIP-option}

    This Keto Loco Moco Breakfast Bowl is a lightly updated version of a classic Hawaiian comfort food. We swap the traditional white rice with cauliflower rice and with  flavorful Umami grass-fed beef patty from TRIBALÍ Foods and epic mushroom gravy make this a savory dream come true.

    Keto Loco Moco Breakfast Bowl {Paleo, Whole30, AIP-option}

    Keto Loco Moco Breakfast Bowl {Paleo, Whole30, AIP-option}

    If you haven’t been able to tell by recent recipes here on Tasty Yummies over the last 8 or so months, I was incredibly touched by my two trips to Hawaii in the last year. The food clearly made a major impression on me, among many other things. Beyond the flavors, of course, I love the varying cultures that inspire the cuisine, as well as the locally accessible foods that influence the food.

    One dish that continuously peaked my interest (AKA haunted me) on both of my visits to the islands was the Loco Moco bowl. Loco Moco is classic Hawaiian comfort food. Traditionally made with white rice, a burger patty, an over-easy or fried egg, and a generous serving of beef gravy, often with mushrooms, it’s basically a Beth dish, if there ever were one. Savory, unfussy, non-pretentious, comfort food with an undertone of umami. GAH! Dream status. The bad thing, I could never ever ever enjoy one while I was on the Islands, the gravy ALWAYS contained gluten, every single restaurant, I would ask.

    So, I creepily creeped on anyone that ordered it near me, took mental notes, maybe drooled a little and couldn’t wait until I could recreate one at home in a way that I could enjoy.

    Keto Loco Moco Breakfast Bowl {Paleo, Whole30, AIP-option}

    As usual, besides the given of recreating a recipe without gluten, I wanted to created something that was totally grain-free and as always, prioritized quality ingredients, most importantly the beef! You all know how important the quality of my animal proteins are to me. You can read more here about the differences between grass-fed and grain-fed beef and why I choose to make this a focus of my nutrition.

    I know prioritizing quality of food can often feel overwhelming, but we cannot afford not to make as many attempts as we can for better quality, our health depends on it. I am also intensely passionate about supporting the companies prioritizing not only better quality but also transparency in their supply chain. TRIBALÍ Foods was created by Holistic Nutritionist, mom and former vegetarian, Angela Bicos Mavridis, who merged her passion for wholesome, nutrient-dense foods with globally-inspired flavors for a delicious, healthy meal option. After meeting with Angela in person and bonding instantly over our Greek heritage, our connection ran even deeper as we shared our health and healing paths and our commitment to high-quality, sustainable foods that actually taste good!! I fell in love instantly with TRIBALÍ and Angela.

    Keto Loco Moco Breakfast Bowl {Paleo, Whole30, AIP-option}

    TRIBALÍ Foods‘ patties feature 100% organic grass fed and finished, pasture-raised beef and 100% organic free-range, air chilled chicken, all meat is humanely raised on family farms without any added antibiotics or added hormones, and blended with locally sourced herbs and vegetables like shiitake mushrooms, poblanos and fire-roasted garlic. You can buy TRIBALÍ Foods online (use coupon code YUMMY to save 20%), or find them in the freezer section of select Super Targets from coast-to-coast, in Southern California at natural retailers like Bristol Farms, Lassen’s, Lazy Acres, Erewhon and Gelson’s and now all of the Natural Grocers locations across America. I get mine locally at our Whole Foods and you can check out the store locator to find a retailer near you.

    The Umami Grass-fed Beef Patties were the perfect choice for these bowls, having fire-roasted garlic, onions, and woodsy Shiitake mushrooms — with a tangy hint of nori seaweed, a dash of Red Boat fish sauce, and umami spices. I love that they are paleo, keto and Whole30 friendly, but they are also AIP compliant. WOAH!

    With the umami rich beef gravy the punch of flavor if this comforting Keto Loco Moco Breakfast Bowl is unreal. I cannot wait for you to experience this, too! Breakfast just got a whole lot better and better for you, too! Read the rest of this entry »

  6. Between Meals Podcast // Bites 04: How-to Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself

    How-to Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself. Are you shoulding all over yourself? Do you find yourself in the constant trap of shame and guilt because you feel like you should be doing better? 

    I should be more successful.
    I should be skinnier.
    I should be fitter.
    I should go to the gym.
    I should have more followers.
    I should know better.
    I should meditate more.
    I should be happier.
    I should be healthier.
    I should make better choices.
    I should appreciate what I have, more.
    the list could go on and on and on….

    We all do it.
    Whatever the particular “shoulds” on your list are, they always add up to the very same “should” – You should be better! 

    As far as I am concerned word ‘should’ is just a nasty sneak who gently reminds us daily, that we AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH.

    Constantly shoulding yourself is a dangerous trap that keeps you from distinguishing what you truly want for yourself and for your life.

    Stop asking yourself what you SHOULD be doing, and instead ask yourself what makes you feel complete, happy and alive!

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

    Below are My 5 Tips to Help You Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself: 

    Read the rest of this entry »

  7. Grain-free Spicy Cauliflower Fritters {Keto, Paleo, Whole30}

    These Grain-free Spicy Cauliflower Fritters are an amazing way to embrace the cauliflower love, taking the cauli-rice trend to a whole new level. These versatile patties can be adapted to whatever flavor and spice blend you’d like and served with your favorite sauce, we like Chipotle Lime Aioli.

    Grain-free Spicy Cauliflower Fritters

    Grain-free Spicy Cauliflower Fritters

    Veg based fritters have always been a favorite of mine, either as a quick bite appetizer or snack, or atop a large bed of greens as a main dish, I find them to be quick, simple, cheap and versatile. Since I have removed both grains and beans from my diet, due to my autoimmune conditions and my digestive issues, I haven’t really messed with too many veggie-based fritters, cakes and patties in recent years. But, after a recent exploration with cauliflower, which is one of my favorite, versatile, low carb, starch-like veggies – these fritters were born and they have quickly become a new fav.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  8. How I Treat a Gut Flare Up / My Gut Healing Go-tos

    A few weeks back I was in the thick of a pretty annoying gut flare up. Bloating, gas and excruciating stomach aches with nearly every meal, the whole nine! For those of you that follow me there, I shared a bit on Instagram about what I was dealing with and also used this as an opportunity to remind you that even us “experts”, the nutritionists, health coaches and others working to help people in their health journeys – we aren’t immune to these kinds of set backs.

    With the amount of questions and interest those posts created, I pulled together an email and sent it out to the Tasty Yummies list, sharing my personal gut healing approaches when I deal with an acute gut flare up. Because it was so well received and many of you mentioned how helpful this information was for you, I wanted to compile it into a permanent post here on the website, that would be much easier for you to reference, whenever you need it.

    How I Treat a Gut Flare Up / My Gut-Healing Go-tos

    Healing Isn’t Linear and It’s Often Not Pretty.

    Before we get into my personal gut-healing tips, I want to remind you that that your health and your wellness is not a linear journey, it’s not black and white and often it’s not too pretty, either. Healthy isn’t a destination! It isn’t a level you achieve, a peak you reach, that you only ever move forward and onward from. Things happen and this journey is ever-evolving. But, something tells me, many of you already know that.

    Unfortunately, the set backs and the flare-ups happen, this is all part of the journey and for many of us, especially those of us who struggle with autoimmune issues, oftentimes it feels somewhat inevitable. But, I also try to stop in these moments and remind myself this is why I have worked so, so hard to prioritize my health, to listen to my body and to continuously educate myself – because as these setbacks emerge, I am now armed with an arsenal of tools to go into battle with and I find I bounce back far quicker than I ever have before.

    In the event that you missed the conversation in my Instagram stories that week (you can catch a pulled together replay version of it here) – in a nutshell I was speaking about exactly all of this, so I won’t repeat myself too much. The feedback from you all was beyond amazing, though and hearing your own personal stories and struggles, it truly touched me! So thank you – for showing up, for sharing and being vulnerable in return.

    As you may have seen in those stories, I mentioned that at the time, I was personally in the middle of a gut flare up, nothing crazy major, not a full on autoimmune crisis – but my gut was pretty dang angry. Could have been related to the episode where I got “food poisoning” in Mexico back in April or it could be a response to new supplements I had introduced or a reaction to a new food. Not too sure the cause or origin of the flare up, but, what I do know is that I have the knowledge and I am empowered to take control and implement the various gut soothing and healing approaches, to calm these flare ups as they happen.

    And as a reminder to all of you, even those of us that are “wellness experts”, nutritionists, health coaches, etc, it can happen for us, too. We aren’t immune nor are we perfect – we don’t have it all 100% fully figured out, either.

    Customized Wellness. Personalized Nutrition. 

    You’ll notice, I am not selling or sharing any of this as a protocol, a diet or a reset. Some of this looks like the autoimmune protocol, other parts look like a low-FODMAP or the SCD approach, some reminiscent of GAPS. This is because with WELL over 13 years of gut-healing under my belt, with experimenting, experiencing, trial and error – I now have a bit of a personalized gut healing tool kit that is customized just for me. This is why I am SO BIG on this idea of honoring your individuality, because there is NO ONE catch-all remedy for everyone and anyone that tries to tell you or sell you otherwise – is lying to you. Especially when it comes to the gut, my gosh there are a slew of factors to consider when it comes to gut health.

    That said, below is some of what works for me, for gut healing and soothing. I share not because I believe if you are struggling that you should do exactly this and you will find relief, but more I want to inspire you to feel in control, in charge and to feel open to experimenting with your own approaches, so you too can create your own tool belt that you can use whenever necessary.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  9. Take Banh Mi: Gluten-free Roasted Pork Belly Banh Mi Sandwich

    Take Banh Mi – A Gluten-free Roasted Pork Belly Banh Mi Sandwich that will blow your dang mind!! Guaranteed! This is my take on all the classic flavors of this traditional Vietnamese sandwich, updated to be gluten-free. 

    Take Banh Mi: Gluten-free Roasted Pork Belly Banh Mi Sandwich

    Take Banh Mi: Gluten-free Roasted Pork Belly Banh Mi Sandwich

    Thinly sliced ham piled high, slow roasted caramelized pork belly, cucumbers, jalapeños, sriracha mayo and a handful of aromatic fresh herbs.  That’s right! This is my take on a classic Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich. Hence the Take Banh Mi! Yup, a straight-up sandwich recipe, on actual (gluten-free) BREAD on Tasty Yummies. What is up?

    First off, it has to be known that I am not some crazy food perfectionist. F perfection! While my mission with this website and the work I do is to offer healthful recipes, to give you all tons of options, to hopefully you inspire to move away from the often common, nutrient-depleted fare – I am also not a monster. Sometimes I will have a tasty AF gluten-free sandwich, if the mood strikes. With this happening a mere few times a year at this point, I still feel really good about my life choices. My aggressive consumption of Big F-ing Salads far outweighs the occasional GF sammie! Beyond all that, creating an epic sandwich for a good cause – that’s definitely my style.

    Banh Mi Sandwich. A Sandwich for a Good Cause.

    When my pals at Canyon Bakehouse asked if I would take part in The Sammie Smackdown Challenge, with the potential for a $10,000 grand prize being awarded to the charity of my choice – how in the world could I say ‘no’?

    So, I put my philanthropy hat on, along with my sammie-making hat and decided I would go all in! No holding back. I thought about the single best sandwich I had in most recent times and I went to town. My entry, the Take Banh Mi Sandwich was born and here we are with an epic Gluten-free Banh Mi Sandwich.

    Take Banh Mi: Gluten-free Roasted Pork Belly Banh Mi Sandwich

    Joyful Heart Foundation.

    For my charity I chose the incredible Joyful Heart Foundation. Joyful Heart is a leading national organization with a mission to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse and support survivors’ healing.

    Through healing, education, and advocacy, they are paving the way for innovative approaches to treating trauma, igniting shifts in the way the public views and responds to these horrific acts of violence and reforming legislation to ensure justice for survivors – and ultimately working to end this violence, forever!

    I Need Your Help.

    Here’s the thing. I don’t want this to all this sandwich creating to be for nothing, but most importantly, I really want to see my  charity, The Joyful Heart, be the recipient of this amazing prize! As a 100% privately funded, non-profit organization I know it could make a huge impact in the very important work that they do – so this is where you come in! Their work is only made possible through donations. So you have to vote for my sandwich to win. And guess what, you can vote once a day for this month long campaign. So, set your reminders and get those votes in daily!! And spread the word, ask your friends and family to vote, too. This is important!! Plus, if my sandwich wins, I will come to all of your houses and make you this sandwich.*

    How to Make the Take Banh Mi Sammie the Winner:

    • VOTE for my Take Banh Mi sandwich in the Sammie Smackdown contest on Canyon Bakehouse’s website. You can vote once a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY until the contest ends on 8/20. 

    • Spread the word! Share my sammie / the video on my Instagram and encourage your pals and followers to vote for my sammie, too!

    • Make my Take Banh Mi sammie. Share your sammie photos and videos encourage folks to vote, then tag me, so I can repost!

    BONUS: with every vote, you are entered to win a year’s supply of gluten-free bread, too!

     

    Read the rest of this entry »

  10. 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 »

  11. 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 »

  12. 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]
  13. 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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  14. 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 »

  15. 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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  16. 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 »

  17. 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 »

  18. 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 »

  19. 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.

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  20. 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.

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  21. 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.

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