Grain-free Baja Fish Taco Bowl {Paleo}

Grain-free Baja Fish Taco Bowl {Paleo}

For most of my life, I have always had a (totally rational) fear of fried foods, something I can say I happily accepted and followed. It wasn’t until this past year or so that I finally experimented with for-real frying at home, beyond a simple pan-fry. Besides the occasional french fry indulgence, I never really found myself drawn to deep-fried anything. It just was never my thing. But to be totally honest, beyond the fact that I intuitively never liked how fried foods made me feel, it was mostly because of the scary calories and fat. And while calories and fat should absolutely be a valid concern, in excess, after spending time truly learning about fats and oils in nutritional therapy school program, I have learned what we should really fear more than these numbers, instead are the oils themselves and the havoc that they can wreak on our bodies and our health. That old saying ‘quality not quantity’, has really never been more appropriate.

At most restaurants, even the nicest of places and honestly in most people’s homes, fried foods are generally cooked in denatured vegetable and seed oils. These are usually highly refined polyunsaturated fats that are highly unstable, especially in high heats. Often they are hydrogenated and when exposed to heat they oxidize and go rancid very quickly and form free radicals. “These chaotic, skewed fatty acid molecules, now in the form of free radicals, wreak havoc on the body attacking and damaging DNA and RNA, cell membranes, vascular walls, and red blood cells, all of which cascade into deeper physiological damage such as tumor formation, accelerated aging, arterial plaque accumulation, autoimmune imbalances, and more!”[1] WOAH – just woah, right? My life-long intuition-led opinion on fried foods was definitely not for nothing.

Now, before we get into this recipe, I am certainly not advocating that fried foods, even in healthful oils, are something we should consume often. Like sweets and treats, even of the more healthy variety, this type of cooking falls into the category of once-in-a-while eating. But, being totally afraid of something and never being able to enjoy it, that doesn’t really feel good either and it certainly isn’t a lifestyle I ever want to live or promote. However, these curiosities for a better option, this is usually how I manage to come up with an alternative, a new way to enjoy something one-in-a-while that I never get to, but in a much more health-minded approach.

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Slow Roasted Citrus Fennel King Salmon with Crispy Fried Lentils

Slow Roasted Citrus Fennel King Salmon with Crispy Fried Lentils

Recently I was approached by someone I met at a party, when discussing the work I do with Tasty Yummies, with one of the questions I dread most – “What are you?”. I am always taken aback by this question, to be a smart ass, I usually want to reply “a woman”, “I am human”, “a lady boss”, “a feminist” – or something of the like.

Now, I am smart enough to know exactly what they mean, but I always play dumb – “sorry, what do you mean?”. To which they usually reply “well, are you vegan, vegetarian or paleo, or like, what are you?”

While I have many wonderful friends, whom I greatly respect, that fit into each of those categories and so many others, I have always personally chosen to leave the labels off of my living. I jokingly always say “labels are for packages”, but I honestly, truly feel this way. This choice doesn’t come with judgement for those that choose to label their diet, but for me, I prefer to simply live my life and follow whatever “rules” or “non-rules” I have taken on at that specific time. But this is an ever-evolving set of “rules”, if I can even call them that. Evolving as I am. I also rarely feel as if these self-professed rules are hard-fast set in stone laws that I MUST abide by. What kind of living is that?

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Spring Green Minestrone Soup with Basil Pesto {Gluten-free}

Spring Green Minestrone Soup with Basil Pesto {Gluten-free}

I have a newfound appreciation for Spring this year. California has decided to play coy and it hasn’t jumped straight into the heat, for once! Such a wonderful and welcome surprise. We’ve certainly had some very hot and sunny days, but we’ve also been blessed with some cooler, windy, spring-like days as of late and it’s been magical. So much is in bloom and there is so much beautiful green stuff at the markets, I am crushing extra hard on this incredible season. The lingering coolish weather has brought on cravings for soups and stews and comfort food featuring all of the beautiful new, delicate spring produce.

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Get a More Restful Night's Sleep with Bedtime Yoga and a Boosted Sleepy Time Tea

Get a More Restful Night’s Sleep with Bedtime Yoga and a Boosted Sleepy Time Tea

My yoga practice, while ever evolving, has played a role in my health and healing for about 10 years now. The beauty of the practice, whether it’s a powerful 90 minute vinyasa flow or a 30 minute restorative session of just a few long-holding poses – yoga has the power to refresh, to heal and to replenish the body.

I have shifted from the more powerful, long, morning vinyasa practices of my past to instead beginning my days with strength training sessions at the gym in the morning, with light yoga asana weaved throughout and these days I try to always finish my day with a little restorative yoga before bed. I have a new found appreciation for yoga’s power to ease me into a restful and quality sleep, through deep breathing and the physical release of tension.

No matter what poses you include and no matter the reason you were brought to your mat in the first place, yoga always places an emphasis on the combination and synchronization of breath and movement. This combination activates your parasympathetic nervous system which helps to alleviate stress and calm the body, together these can make a regular bedtime yoga practice a very effective sleep remedy.

Sleep is such an important and often neglected part of our lives, but this is when our body repairs on a cellular level, it digests and detoxifies, removing toxins, so it’s vital that we be getting 6-8 hours every single night. Maybe you can’t shut your brain off or maybe you toss and turn all night struggling to get comfortable. Whatever the reason, there are studies galore that prove the increased health risks associated with sleeplessness.

Give yourself 10 minutes before bedtime to include this simple sequence of gentle poses paired with this boosted sleepy time tea featuring Vital Proteins‘ Collagen, to let go of your day and prepare for a lovely night’s rest. You can even get yourself set up right on the bed, so you can stretch it out and roll right under the covers for your savasana.

Before your start your bedtime yoga ritual…

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