Tag Archives: autoimmune

  1. 11 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

    11 Simple and Holistic Ways to Naturally Boost Your Immune System to Avoid Getting Sick (+ Tips for If You Do)

    11 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

    Simple, holistic tips to fight illness and strengthen your immunity PLUS what you can do if you do get sick, to fight it quickly.

    Go With Your Gut

    I can tell you from personal experience that the very best way to ward off chronic illness, colds, flus, infections, allergies, food sensitivities and controlling / avoiding autoimmune disease is to heal and strengthen the gut! With 70-80% of our immune system’s cells occupying our gut, this is home base for our vitality and wellness. Our gut bacteria helps the immune system’s T cells develop—teaching them the difference between a foreign substance and the body’s own tissues. Without these important immune soldiers doing their job to protect us, the nasties get in, they slip by the troops, invade, wage war, take over and it’s not fun!

    With years of comprised digestion, intestinal bacterial overgrowth and finally being diagnosed with a parasite, I personally spent a solid decade to 15 years, getting terrible sinus infections, several times a year, every year, most times it then eventually evolved into bronchitis and upper respiratory infections. I got every single strain of every cold, flu and stomach bug that passed through town – I even battled the Swine Flu when that was a thing. On top of all of that, I suffered for many, many years with a variety of environmental allergies – ALL of this stopped when I finally healed my gut and prioritized proper digestion. It’s magical really. But, it’s not. It’s simple.

    As you’ll hear echoed many times throughout this article, and if you spend more than about 5 minutes chatting with me at any given time, our gut is vital to our immune health and it’s the control center for our bodies to decide what is friend and what is foe. I highly encourage you to prioritize optimizing your gut, both for the cold and flu season ahead, as well as the future of your overall health and wellness.

    Along with tips on strengthening and healing your gut, here are some tips to Naturally Boost Your Immune System:

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  2. Paleo Breakfast Sausage Patties {Whole30 friendly}

    Paleo Breakfast Sausage Patties are simple to make at home. Just about 15 minutes of work and you’ve got ready made breakfast options for the week. With a pre-made hard or soft boiled egg (or any eggs really) and a side of greens or other veggies, you’re starting your day with quality protein, fat, greens and fiber, without any of the sketchy ingredients found in many store-bought sausages and you have a well rounded breakfast for the busy mornings, ready in just minutes.

    Paleo Breakfast Sausage Patties

    Paleo Breakfast Sausage Patties

    I find one of the best ways to feeling more in control of your meals and let’s be honest, your life, is to plan ahead. With cooking, while I don’t fully subscribe personally to meal prep or even very rigid, planned out batch cooking, I am always looking for ways to cook in abundance so I can cook once and enjoy multiple times over.

    These Paleo Breakfast Sausage are a perfect example of that. Often I will make a double batch so we have plenty on hand for the week, for simple breakfasts without the fuss.

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  3. Caramelized Onion and Bacon Liver Pâté

    Rich in both flavor and nutrients, this Caramelized Onion and Bacon Liver Pâté makes a wonderful appetizer or sandwich spread and would both be the perfect addition to any holiday spread or even just an every day weekday treat.

    Caramelized Onion Bacon Liver Pâté

    Caramelized Onion Bacon Liver Pâté

    Well, well, well. The time has come. Liver has made it’s way to the Tasty Yummies recipe archives. Who am I, even? Honestly, though, there is a version of me from 5 years ago that would truly never believe it possible. Yet, here we are. Just a girl in her 30s that has a mild love affair with good liver and how good that it makes her feel.

    A good pâté at a restaurant, this was the first time I was able to eat liver. If you’ve never had it, pâté is a smooth mousse that is deliciously served up in small portions traditionally on crostini or crackers, garnishing pricy charcuterie boards. Liver is usually quite inexpensive to purchase from your local farmer, or a trusted market, sometimes as inexpensive as a few dollars a pound.

    Liver is a highly-prized, often overlooked superfood. I find it’s a really great way to get my vitally important vitamin A, a fabulous source of B vitamins and iron, along with many crucial minerals and it even contains a not-yet-identified anti-fatigue factor. Guys, legit I have massive amounts more energy when I am eating liver, regularly.  You can read more about the many, many nutritional benefits of nature’s most potent superfood here.

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  4. Healing Golden Bone Broth Latte

    This Healing Golden Bone Broth Latte is an inflammation-fighting, immune system boosting, super drink and it’s full of comforting, healthful goodness! 

    Healing Golden Bone Broth Latte

    Healing Golden Bone Broth Latte

    Part of living life to it’s fullest and getting out there to travel and experience the world – is being exposed to things. Foods, illnesses, germs, bacteria, toxins – it can definitely take it’s toll on your immune system. I am proud that despite having several autoimmune diseases, my tireless work to maintain my health and vitality and how I’ve worked hard train my immune system and it’s little warriors to do it’s job and do it well – it’s working! I feel great, I beat illnesses swiftly, if they do take hold and I am not knocked on my ass with every little life shift, stress or travel – which, truthfully, is basically what the majority of the first 30 years of my life was all about. The fight of one illness right to another, bronchitis, swine flu, respiratory infections, every stomach virus or flu around, I had chronic allergies and all the other usual signs of a compromised immune system.

    I can tell that this month, with loads of travel and eating a bit differently that I traditionally would at home, later nights and longer days – that I have definitely asked a lot of my little immune system army in a short amount of time. And while they’ve been keeping up with their end of the deal to keep me well, I can certainly feel that my body is definitely working overtime right now to keep it that way. I love that I can chill and know that all of my hard work protecting my immune system was important and now I sit back and let it do it’s work.

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  5. Don’t Fear the Fat // The Basics

    Don't Fear the Fat

    Why Are We Talking About Fat?

    The reason I write this post, is that even though, for so many us, we have woke to this knowledge and have worked hard to reframe our approach to nutrition and no longer fearing the fat, we still have so much work to do. After many decades of low-fat propaganda, the “fat makes you fat” rhetoric is still so deeply ingrained in the collective psyche. Many people STILL greatly fear fat, even though study after study shows that fat is not only harmless 1http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract but that it is in fact, quite necessary to many important functions in the body. I myself see this fear weekly in my nutrition clients, all over the internet and in my social feeds, at the grocery store, at restaurants, at the gym, etc and of course, all of the many side effects of low fat eating – we HAVE to change this dialogue!!

    The Basics

    It is beyond challenging to decide where to even start on such a huge, huge topic. Chatting about dietary fat is a big undertaking and we are going to merely just scratch the surface with this initial post, decoding the myths and where the fat fearmongering began, along with the crucial reasons we need fat in our diet. So, let’s get to the basics.

    First and foremost you need to know that fat is a necessity in our bodies. This vital macronutrient provides building blocks for the brain, hormone and cellular membranes throughout the body, it is essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K and it is deeply hydrating!

    By adequately increasing my healthy fat intake, more than any other change I have made in my lifestyle and diet, I have personally seen profound affects on my health, from my digestion to my skin including chronic hormonal and cystic acne, from my moods to my ability to concentrate, hormonal imbalances to libido (YUP!). Fat is a powerful anti-aging food, both internally and externally. Consumed as part of a healthful diet, fatty acids (the building blocks of fat) help stabilize blood sugar – allowing your body to release fat, protect it’s lean muscle, and surge with energy. When our focus is on creating meals that are rich not only in healthy fats, but also quality well-sourced proteins and fibrous green leafy veggies, we can thank especially the healthy fats for keeping us satiated. Staying satisfied for longer means so you won’t find yourself searching for the junky, processed snacks in between these healthy, whole food meals.

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    References   [ + ]

  6. Greek Gyro Meatballs {Paleo-friendly}

    Greek Gyro Meatballs

    Greek Gyro Meatballs

    These Greek Gyro Meatballs aren’t your standard ground meat Greek meatballs, instead we are bringing the flavor and more importantly the texture of gyro meat. So you can skip the multiple steps and the need for delicate, thinly sliced meat and condense the work into these tasty bites!

    My love for Greek food runs very very deep, you guys know this. Last year when I created, basically the best homemade gyro ever, I realized that I had been sorely missing out for basically an entire lifetime. Growing up Greek there were loads of recipes and dishes that were handed down from generation to generation, things we just always grew up eating – souvlaki, avgolemono soup, lamb meatballs, pastitsio, leg of lamb, Greek Potato Salad and that list goes on and on.

    Though we all loved it very much, gyro wasn’t exactly one of those foods, it just wasn’t part of my family’s Greek food repertoire. Souvlaki was always the go to for this time of meal and if and when gyro was served, at our house, it was the store bought stuff (eeeeek over-processed, gluten-containing and not so good – so, I always passed). When I broke into the homemade gyro game, after years of being without it, it quickly became a dish that is requested every time I am home in NY visiting my family.

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  7. Cast Iron Crispy Chicken Thighs

    These Cast Iron Crispy Chicken Thighs are insanely simple, plus ready in under 30 minutes this super crispy, crackly and epically tasty chicken is a great weeknight dinner option.

    Cast Iron Crispy Chicken Thighs

    Cast Iron Crispy Chicken Thighs

    In my continued efforts to bring you more of the simple, easy dishes that I cook on the weekly here in our house, along with solid fuss-free options for those of you transitioning to a more whole food focused, real food lifestyle – today, I give you a personal favorite of ours: Cast Iron Crispy Chicken Thighs.

    These crispy, crackly-skinned chicken thighs are a staple around here and with varying spices and flavors, along with your desired sides, these are a simple weeknight option that you will never tire of. Plus it’s ready in under 30 minutes.

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  8. How-to Make Sauerkraut {+ Video}

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty YummiesHow-to Make Sauerkraut

    Sauerkraut and all it’s live culture, raw, funky smelling goodness, it’s been a favorite of mine for sometime. But, it wasn’t until this past year, while taking on the arduous task of healing my gut, that I have truly learned to love and appreciate this stuff for all of it’s magical healing qualities. I have shared this simple tutorial at workshops, including retreats I have hosted and cooking demos. It’s a very simple process, a food that has been around for thousands of years that produces incredible, tasty and healing results. While not very cumbersome at all, sauerkraut is a timely process, but I can tell you that patience is very much a virtue in this game. It’s worth the wait. For those new to sauerkraut, I do recommend starting out consuming a very small amount, a tablespoon or two, used as a condiment of sorts. As with any fermented or probiotic rich food, too much too soon, even when it’s good bacteria, can have some gnarly affects on your gut. More isn’t always better. Take it slow.

    This tutorial offers the step by steps on making small batch sauerkraut, in a glass mason jar. To make a larger batch in a fermentation crock, you can just double or triple the recipe, as necessary.

    How-to Make Sauerkraut

    All You Need:

    1 or 2 quart wide mouth glass canning jar or 3 pint size glass jars, with tight fitting lid(s)
    1 medium head organic cabbage
    1 tablespoon sea salt
    additional spices, vegetables or fruit you wish to add
    glass mixing bowl
    sharp knife and cutting board (or food processor with shredding plate)


    Letting the cabbage ferment at room temperature invites beneficial bacteria to grow via lacto-fermentation. These microorganisms feed on sugars in the vegetables and raise levels of lactic acid, giving fermented foods their tang while also preserving them. Most commercial sauerkraut is required by the FDA to be pasteurized—which effectively destroys all the bacteria in it, including the beneficial bacteria— so making your own sauerkraut at home is definitely a better choice to improve your digestive health.

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  9. Grain-free Basil and Mint Zucchini “Noodles”

    Grain-free Basil and Mint Zucchini "Noodles"

    Being in the blogging world over 6 years now, I have had the pleasure of meeting some very incredible people along the way. But some, they walk into your life and you know that they were placed into your path with a purpose. I met Amie Valpone last year, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a busy conference. We spoke like half-witted high school girls, catching up, giggling, sharing and connecting over our personal healing journeys. Amie has an infectious lust for life and for living that instantly resonated with me. As someone that has spent the past 10+ years dealing with various (though very minor in comparison) health struggles, I very much appreciate how Amie has chosen to use her struggles as a means to help others, through her website thehealthyapple.com, I also admire that she has used her very challenging healing journey to fuel her passion to teach others that your health and vitality lies in your hands and that you DO have the power to overcome. I feel like the word “inspiration” is hardly enough for this firecracker.

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  10. How Stress, Energy and the Subtle Body Can All Play a Role in Your Healing

    I’m very excited that as Tasty Yummies evolves in 2016 and a brand new website is on the horizon, to be bringing you more content, beyond food, to support your individual healing journeys. I hope you enjoy.

    How Stress, Energy and the Subtle Body Can All Play a Role in Your Healing

    How Stress, Energy and the Subtle Body Can All Play a Role in Your Healing

    Over this past year my ongoing healing journey has taken on many different faces and the path has very much evolved along the way. I have shared bits and pieces here on the blog, but so much of this past year was so up in the air and very changing, that most of the time this was something I chose to keep to myself.

    Having been diagnosed with an autoimmune form of kidney disease late in 2014, my main goal in 2015 was to figure out what I needed to do to get this disease into remission. At the start of the journey, the biggest struggle for me to overcome, was the fact that I seemed to have no real outward or debilitating symptoms of the kidney disease, it was only discovered through a routine life insurance physical the year prior. However, after a brief time where my fear got the better of me and went the western medical route, including several rounds of varying pharmaceuticals, slowly this symptom-free girl found herself with a lot more issues. In turn, I had also found myself overcome by fear and feelings of helplessness.

    As my state of mind shifted, so did my health. I began seeing a naturopathic doctor in January 2015 and we began the slow and arduous process of healing my body, first by approaching what could be (and for most people usually is) the underlying problem, my digestion. After the several rounds of prescriptions drugs for my kidneys, my gut was quite unhappy and the rest of my body also began suffering because of it. My naturopathic doctor suspected leaky gut, among other possibilities and this began the shift in my focus towards gut healing.

    I spent the better part of the year trying out various protocols, elimination diets, supplements and so on. There were periods of great relief where I had felt better than I had in a very long time, as well as many stretches where I felt terrible, my body likely responding as it does, to the healing process. In the times of struggle it was hard for me to keep a positive mind. When I felt like I was doing absolutely everything I could, life began feeling limited because of the various protocols and plans I had committed to and my healing became, at times, at the center of my consciousness – my life truly felt like it was in a holding pattern because of it. I began to identify as someone being imperfect and I put things, goals, on hold until I “felt better”. It is inevitable that I hit my breaking point in the later part of last year.


    For me, the true realization that my healing goes beyond physical, began as I chose to honor myself more deeply and recognize unhealthy habits, that I was inadvertently choosing to ignore. My amazing naturopathic doctor often asked at the start of my appointments what my stress levels were and most times I exclaimed “Oh, me? I have no stress, I am good! Life is great”. I have news for you, just because you are positive person, if you choose not to acknowledge or dwell on stress or emotional distress, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t there doing harm, deep in the darkest depths of your soul. It’s there wreaking havoc, I can almost promise you. Ironically, the realization came for me during one of my school lessons in the Nutritional Therapy Program I am currently enrolled in. As we covered the digestion module, we talked at length about the need for our bodies to be in a parasympathetic state when eating. Our digestion works best when we are in a rest and restore/digest state vs the very common sympathetic fight or flight mode.

    I realized how often I was actually eating meals under stress. While cleaning up the kitchen from a long day of recipe development, while reading, watching TV or standing over the kitchen counter cooking another recipe or some other unnecessary task that had my mind preoccupied. In doing so, my body wasn’t truly acknowledging, honoring or respecting the fuel I was feeding it. Even on a physical level, you chew less and quicker, swallowing larger bites and giving your digestion even more work. This for me, was step one in realizing that healing my body required so much more than taking a few supplements and changing my diet. Any healing protocol needs to be multi-layered approach, to be effective.

    Just in this single realization alone, honoring the body’s need to be in a more relaxed state for proper function, I saw instant results in my digestion and I also began to acknowledge other areas of my life I was holding onto stress and other stagnant emotions. I am not saying this solved my underlying problems or cured me for good, but it was a small first step in a large overall problem and I was happy to see that a small change, could make such a large improvement. Stress can manifest itself in many different ways for all of us, but recognizing it’s presence, acknowledging the source and taking steps to lessen it, are vital in the healing journey.

    How Stress, Energy and the Subtle Body Can All Play a Role in Your Healing


    As a yoga teacher, I was already very aware the roles that the subtle body plays in our health and vitality. Yoga, meditation, exercise, these have all played a big role over the years, in my choice for a more mindful lifestyle. All bringing a deeper awareness of the flow of subtle energies in and around the body, I have always honored the role that these subtle energies play into my health and vitality. If we can look to our life force energy as a source for our overall balance, health or ease, then we can assume it’s lack is the cause of imbalance, illness or dis-ease.

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  11. Autoimmune Protocol Waffles (Cassava Flour)


    I am aware that this is basically the least sexy name possible for a recipe, I think it sounds like something you would be served at a hospital as a means to hide some sort of treatment. My husband Mark said this sounds like some sort of superhero food. Regardless, for those that are following AIP and might be desperate for a different breakfast recipe, I wanted you to find it as easily as possible. Who knows, maybe you are even landing here on this page because of this very not-so-sexy name.

    While I am personally no longer strictly following the Autoimmune Protocol, after following it very hardcore for over 30 days, I can tell you that it changed me. This diet rocked my world and healed me, in all the most amazing ways possible. It was everything that my body needed, right when I needed it most. As I was searching for ways to heal my gut and deal with my autoimmune condition, as well as the terrible fall off my health took after taking prescribed drugs for my condition, I was working with a naturopath, taking supplements and trying various elimination diets and nothing was quite dealing with this underlying condition of not feeling like myself and desperately wanting that to change. I took it up upon myself at the time to research all the various more extreme ways to help my gut, to remove foods and to get back to a place where my body could focus it’s energy on healing. I followed the protocol by way of Dr Sarah Ballantyne and Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt, their websites, the various books and cookbooks and any and all the other resources I could find.


    While many people find themselves needing to follow AIP much longer than 30 days, I was fortunate that I wasn’t dealing with a severe condition nor debilitating or life-threatening symptoms, so I am grateful to have found great relief in that short time. As I continue my personal healing, I have also stuck to many of the principals of the protocol that have resonated with me and I have had great luck and results by continuing to listen to my body and what it is telling me it does and doesn’t need.

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  12. Spiced Coconut Squash Breakfast Porridge

    Spiced Coconut Squash Breakfast Porridge

    Sometimes, I find the hardest thing about having restrictions on my diet is the uncontrollable cravings for a dish that is simply off-limits. Try as you might to quiet them, but I can promise you your Pinterest feed and Instagram feed will be filled with that very food, for days on end, mocking you until you either give in or find an alternative! (Not that I know from personal experience, or anything) Regardless of retraining your brain to look at food differently to cater those thoughts to your current needs, oftentimes we just can’t help those random hankerings. We are, after all, human.

    I find this breakfast porridge to be the perfect stand-in for traditional oatmeal, while still being free of grains, dairy, nuts and seeds. It’s warm, comforting and creamy and the texture is spot on. I tend to alway have a spaghetti squash on hand, so if I cook one up for dinner the night before, I will save half to make this breakfast the next morning.

    Spiced Coconut Squash Breakfast Porridge

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  13. Strawberry Hibiscus Jello

    Strawberry Hibiscus Jello

    Happy 5th Birthday Tasty Yummies!!!

    This week we are celebrating Tasty Yummies’ Birthday / Anniversary / Blogaversary!! I seriously cannot believe it has been 5 years since I sat down to share the first gluten-free recipe here. Where, oh where has this time gone? From the deepest depths of my heart, I thank each and every one of you for supporting me and this website over the last 5 years. I can say in all sincerity, this blog and my life wouldn’t be what they are – without all of you!!

    Besides the usual feelings of excitement surrounding a big anniversary like this, it has also stirred up some unique emotions, as well. Given the state of things currently, I am reminded fondly on this special day of the idea that this blog was built from my desire to create a space, a virtual community where I could share my journey and my creations! I also always had the hope that in the process of sharing, I might help to empower others to find strength amidst a less than ideal situation with their health and diet. Here we are, 5 years later, continuing our journey together, with new struggles and challenges unique to us, yet still reminded that we are not alone.

    Strawberry Hibiscus Jello

    Sometimes in life, you have to shift your focus and your energy, finding the positive in whatever situation you are in, no matter how challenging. Being in the middle of the autoimmune protocol, I have actually been finding so much joy in the restrictions. I get so excited I find myself dancing around the kitchen when I can pull together a delicious recipe that not only fits the long list of things that are not allowed but actually tastes good and makes me as happy as any other recipe would. This has all been so much more rewarding than the usual creations. With each recipe I develop, it feels like I have completed the most challenging board in a video game, I get my gold crown and I get to move on to the next level. I’ve actually have been quite enjoying this forced shift in my perspective, the encouragement and motivation to be creative in the kitchen – it’s all so invigorating and it makes each step and each day easier!

    Strawberry Hibiscus Jello

    I won’t lie to you though, with all of the many restrictions on my diet currently, I nearly let this special celebration pass. I was worried that without some grandiose, pinterest-worthy baked good, a layered cake or dainty little cupcakes with cute little number 5s on them – that it wouldn’t feel much like a birthday. But that just simply isn’t true! So what, I can’t have my favorite grain-free chocolate cake right now? There is still so much celebrate and it’s just as special of a holiday, chocolate or not!

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