Tag Archives: how to

  1. How-to Make Healthier Hot Cocoa Mix {+ Video}

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Hot Cocoa Mix

    With the holidays upon us, it’s time once again that I share with you some of my favorite, simple homemade holiday gifts. This wintertime staple is a quintessential way to deal with the frosty cold weather. This homemade version is made with only a few, all-natural ingredients and the bonus to making it yourself, besides the obvious, is the free reign to add whatever you’d like to it. If you like less sweet, opt for unsweetened chocolate, looking for a little more sweetness try bitter or semisweet chocolate instead. You can add cinnamon or cayenne or any other flavors you’d like (see the bottom of the post for flavor variations). Today I am sharing my recipe for a basic hot cocoa mix with a few suggestions at the end for extra add-ins, as well as a free printable label for you to print out, customize and add to your gift.

    How-to Make Hot Cocoa Mix

    There’s nothing like giving the gift of tasty treats, made with love this time of year, but especially cozy, heart-warming decadence like this homemade Hot Cocoa Mix. Rich and luxurious without being excessively sweet. Download the included printable, customizable label, throw in some mini marshmallows, this is a great recipe if you want to make your own. Package it all up in a cute jar, include a tablespoon tied with a little ribbon or string and voila, the perfect holiday gift.

    How-to Make Hot Cocoa Mix

    How-to Make Hot Cocoa Mix

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  2. 10 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care

    10 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care

    This post is sponsored by Desert Essence.

    10 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care

    As a culture we are quite literally burning out.  I think many folks can often feel like they are too busy to take care of themselves. But without time for our self-care, stress can take over and we are inundated with exhaustion and we find ourselves a mere shell of who we could be.

    Stress is often the leading cause of most health conditions and diseases we face. Being overworked and burning the candle at both ends, this sends our body into an innate state of stress response, releasing an excess of cortisol into our bloodstream to manage the state of our body feeling “in danger”. This is “fight or flight” mode and while our body is here and in a chronic state of the sympathetic nervous system dominance, our digestion doesn’t work, our immune system shuts down, sleep is affected, our heart rate increases and we feel chronically fatigued. We gain weight and our hair skin and nails look drab, despite how hard we try and how great we eat. Our ability to tackle and manage daily tasks feels beyond comprehendible.

    Sure you can get your self-care on with yoga, drinking green juice and meditating once in a while, cramming them smack in the middle of your stressful days, but I believe that self-care is a practice much more effective when approached daily, with mindfulness and intention.

    Better yet, find a full day to dedicate to your self-care, whatever you need most in that particular moment. If I am home and free, Self-Care Sunday is a regular occurrence that serves a very important purpose to my sanity, my health and my happiness. Some Sundays are facial and hair masks, long showers or staying in my PJs all day. Some involve long walks with good friends, a late brunch and Sunday cocktails – to me it’s just about dedicating time for me, honoring the need for space, not working, not putting anyone else before me and simply rebalancing my mind, body and spirit.

    By treating ourselves with kindness and love, daily, we can approach our life, our work and relationships with a happier, more clear mind, allowing the cycle of positivity and happiness to continue to ripple out into the world around us.

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  3. Grain-free Spinach Tortillas {Paleo, Vegan, Nut-free} + Video

    Grain-free Spinach Tortillas {Paleo, Vegan, Nut-free}

    Grain-free Spinach Tortillas {Paleo, Vegan, Nut-free}

    I am so excited to share the recipe for these Grain-free Spinach Tortillas with you guys. It took a little testing to get these tortillas to where I wanted them, both in texture and pliability, but also color and taste. I have tested them many times now and I am still amazed at how simple they are to make and just how perfect the end result is.

    I know that homemade tortillas can be a tad intimidating at first, especially if you’ve never made them, but I can assure you after one or two times, it feels like second nature. There is something so meditative and soothing about the process of rolling the dough into balls, pressing, rolling, a quick cook. You get into this beautiful flow and within minutes, a stack of these gorgeous, vibrant wraps.

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  4. The Power of Gratitude + FREE Gratitude Journal Download

    The Power of Gratitude

    Gratitude is an immensely powerful force that we can use in the most simple of ways to expand our happiness and cultivate loving relationships, it can even improve our health, both mental and physical.

    Given the holiday, November feels like an appropriate month to share the Power of Gratitude, the very many powerful health benefits to a regular gratitude practice along with some tips and thoughts on how to cultivate a grateful heart, plus if you scroll to further down, I’m even offering a free download of a Gratitude Journal worksheet you can use daily, as part of your practice.

    I invite you, this week and beyond, to explore ways to support living gratefully as a way of life, not simply something we celebrate once a year.

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  5. Benefits of MCT Oil – Why I Use It, How it Differs from Coconut Oil, Liquid MCT Oil vs Powder + More

    The list of health benefits of MCT Oil or medium-chain triglycerides, a type of fat, includes fat loss, appetite suppression, increased energy, improved cognition, improved athletic performance, to name a few. Read on to see why I use it, how it differs from coconut oil, how to take it and more!

    Benefits of MCT Oil

    A balanced, nutrient-dense diet rich in healthy fats is essential to us being our very best! Every single cell in our body needs fat to function, most especially our brain cells. Our brain is actually the fattiest organ in our body at over 60% fat.  You already know my feelings on the importance of healthy fats in a well-balanced, nutrient-dense whole foods diet, but you can read more about the Benefits of Healthy Fats.

    At this point I have to imagine you’ve heard the buzz surrounding MCT Oil. One of the quickest sources of clean fuel for both the body and the brain, MCT oil is hands down one of the best ways to power up your performance or kick start a nutrition program.

    What is MCT Oil?

    “MCTs” are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has many health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. MCTs are a type of fat that can be readily used for energy by your body and do not have to be broken down before use. They are precursors to ketones and help your body burn fat instead of burning carbs. Ketones are one of the brain’s two primary fuel sources, and also a vital source of ATP energy for the body.  ATP energy is what allows every single muscle in your body to move. While ketones from fat, rather than glycogen from carbohydrates, are the primary source of fuel for those on a ketogenic diet, but you don’t have to fully go keto to benefit from MCT oil and ketones.

    MCTs get their name because of the length of their chemical structure. All types of fatty acids are made up of strings of connected carbon and hydrogen. Fats are categorized by how many carbons they have: short-chain fats (like butyric acid) have fewer than six carbons, medium-chain fats have between 6–12 carbons and long-chain fats (like omega-3s) have between 13–21.

    Most fats consumed are taken into your body then must be mixed with bile released from your gallbladder and acted on by pancreatic enzymes to break it down in your digestive system. Medium-chain fats are digested easily and once they reach your intestine they are sent via the bloodstream directly to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively alter your metabolism. MCTs even pass the blood-brain barrier to supply your brain with an instant boost of energy.  MCTs are absorbed more quickly than longer chain fats, as there is less work for the body to do, in breaking down the carbon bonds, meaning they can be used quicker as fuel, rather than being stored as fat.

    Medium-chain Fatty Acids May Help With:

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  6. The First Step to Happy Hormones

    The First Step to Happy Hormones honors the very delicate balance of our endocrine system by treating dysfunction on a foundational level rather than simply managing or masking symptoms. This is the first post in a Hormone-Focused Series from Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Brynn D’Avello.

    The First Step To Happy Hormones

    My favorite books come from the 1800s, (primarily Jane Austen’s novels), but Brontë, Dumas, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky populate my “pleasure reading” shelves as well. The common outcry of women in literature of that period was, “Oh my poor nerves!” Today’s self-diagnosis is, “My hormones are out-of-whack.” Interestingly, the nervous system and the endocrine (hormone secreting) system work together frequently. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are classified as neurotransmitters and hormones.

    When clients come to me for nutritional help to balance their hormones I tell them that it’s not a simple process and will require work on my part to investigate where the imbalance is originating to know how to support the underlying foundations of their body. It also takes commitment on the part of the client to change their habits. Endocrine function is a system of complex relationships. The goal is to support the entire system, not just to manage the symptoms. Each client has their own unique needs, and it is important to lay the right foundation for digestion, hydration, blood sugar regulation, mineral and fatty acid balance through a nutrient-dense diet.

    What Are Hormones Exactly? 

    Basically, they are chemical messengers that carry information and orders to organs in the body. They are targeted for specific cell receptors around the body and are used to keep your body in homeostasis, or in balance. We all know that hormones are a key component in reproduction, and while many of us probably only think about them in relation to PMS hormones are critical in many other body processes. Other functions hormones are responsible for are regulating metabolism and energy balance, glandular secretions, some immune system activities; they play a part in the contraction of smooth and cardiac muscles; they control growth and development, and help establish circadian rhythms.

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  7. Slow Cooker Shredded Beef – Three Ways {Paleo, Gluten-free}

    Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Recipe – Three Ways {Paleo, Gluten-free}

    Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Recipe – Three Ways {Paleo, Gluten-free}

    We have fully entered the season of busy. Easy weeknight meals are one of the things you guys ask for most, and this is also the struggle I see with many of my nutrition clients, simple, approchable meals for the busy work week. So, today I am sharing one of my favorite, simple slow cooker recipes, that comes with 3 different variations, so you won’t get bored. You could literally make this dish every single week as part of your meal planning and mix it up a million different ways.

    My favorite thing about each of these recipes are the many varying ways to serve it up:

    • lettuce wrapped
    • on a salad
    • over cauliflower rice (or traditional grains, like quinoa or millet)
    • over zucchini noodles
    • in any kind of veggie bowl
    • filling for tacos, fajitas, burritos or enchiladas with your favorite tortillas
    • sandwich
    • filling an omelette
    • nachos
    • add to soups or stews
    • stirred into a scramble or frittata
    • add to fried rice or fried cauliflower rice
    • over ramen noodles
    • just spooned straight into your face!

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  8. Why to Choose Grass-Fed Meat vs Grain-Fed

    Much like some of the other basic nutrition topics we’ve been covering recently, I know for many of you, this information on Why to Choose Grass-fed Meat, it may be old news. Feel free to skip on by and wait for the next post, but if this information is new to you or you want a refresher or to learn more, I got you. As you have heard me say, time and time again, every day, every single day, I encounter people outside my little sheltered food/nutrition bubble, who haven’t yet received this information and knowledge that many of us take for granted, being deeply rooted in our daily food choices for some time. Rather than assuming that everyone already knows this stuff, I would rather create simple posts that are easily accessible to them/you to share, inform and empower you with the knowledge to make better decisions for you and your health. 

    Why to Choose Grass-Fed Meat vs Grain-Fed

    Nutrition

    Not all meat is created equal. But, I am sure most of you know that at this point. As you also know from recents posts here on Tasty Yummies, fat can absolutely be an incredibly nutrient rich part of your diet, but this same macronutrient when of the wrong variety, can also cause numerous diseases, inflammation, digestive issues and more. The diet of the animals we eat, can greatly change the fat in it’s tissues (and consequently the meat that we eat), among other nutritional differences. According to a study 1http://www.csuchico.edu/grassfedbeef/research/Review%20Grassfed%20Beef%202010.pdf conducted by California State University’s College of Agriculture, grass-fed beef nutrition includes significantly more omega-3 fatty acids (2 to 4 times more yhan grain-fed)  and more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in grain-fed meat is much worse than grass-fed and it’s not because the omega-6 content of beef fat skyrockets with grain feeding; it is however because the omega-3 content is basically nonexistent in the grain-fed animals. Due to the modern, standard American diet (SAD), many people are highly omega-3 deficient and therefore the ratio to bad omega-6 fats is severely imbalanced due to it’s prevalence in a SAD, which can lead to a chronic exacerbated inflammatory response, a general state of systemic inflammation, and the development of the various diseases with an inflammatory root.

    Conjugated Linoleic Acid of CLA is a strong polyunsaturated fatty acid that must be obtained from our diets. CLA has been shown to discourage weight gain and build muscle, as well as support metabolic and cellular health by helping to transport fatty acids into the mitochondria and boost immune health. It has even been shown to lower the risk of cancer. 2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941017 High-quality grass-fed beef and butter from healthy, grass-fed cows or other animals are the top sources of CLA.

    Grass-fed beef, is also one of the best protein foods around, is also higher in precursors for vitamin A and E and cancer and heart disease-fighting antioxidants compared to grain-fed beef. It is also higher in B vitamins, vitamin K and trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and selenium. Grass-finished beef has higher proportions of cholesterol neutral stearic fatty acids and less cholesterol-elevating short chain fatty acids, such as myristic and palmitic acid. Grass-fed meat truly shines in the micronutrient profile for one major reason: Grass-fed cows get more nutritious food.

    Why Grass-fed Meat is Healthier

    Ideally these animals are grass-fed for their whole life. Only exclusively grass-fed cows live out their entire lives on grassland. The rest may start their lives on open pasture and are then eventually moved to a feedlot. Often meat being sold as “grass-fed” is an animal that was fed grass for a short time, early in it’s life, but finished with grain, to increase weight gain, to fatten them up and reduce costs and increase profitablity. Just 80 days of grain feeding was enough to destroy the omega-3 content of the beef. CLA content plummeted in the same amount of time. The longer the animals were fed grains, the lower the quality of the meat. This is one of the many reasons that 100% grass-fed or grass-fed and grass-finished should be sought out.

    Read more about the cost of grass-fed meat and how the labeling of grass-fed animals can be downright deceitful.  While the FDA no longer governs this label claim, you should still look for it and additionally look for seals such as American Grassfed or PCO Certified 100% GrassFed for assurance that the claim was verified and means the animals were 100% grass fed and raised on pasture. You can also look for The Certified Grassfed by AGW seal. 3http://greenerchoices.org/2016/12/30/grassfed-general-claim/ Even more reasons to get to know your farmer or rancher and ask the important questions directly to the person that actually knows. As Michael Pollan says “shake the hand that feeds you“!

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    References   [ + ]

    1.http://www.csuchico.edu/grassfedbeef/research/Review%20Grassfed%20Beef%202010.pdf
    2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941017
    3.http://greenerchoices.org/2016/12/30/grassfed-general-claim/
  9. How-to Make Cold Brew Coffee {+ Video}

    Learn How-to Make Cold Brew Coffee with this surprisingly simple process. It takes just three simple steps to the best cold brew you’ll ever have. No super special equipment needed, it’s much more affordable than your local coffee shops and you can customize the strength of your brew to your liking.

    How-to Make Cold Brew Coffee

    How-to Make Cold Brew Coffee

    It has happened slowly over the last year or so, as my body and my health has continued to shift and improve, but I have developed a pretty solid morning habit that involves a quality cup of organic coffee shortly after I rise. I have come to find that this morning routine serves many purposes for me, personally, but most importantly, I find it’s a really beautiful morning ritual, something that I greatly enjoy and always allow myself the space to honor and totally embrace, no matter where in the world I am.

    Often I am asked “is coffee good for you?” As you can probably imagine, my answer to this question is quite similar to how I respond to many other food and health related questions and that is – “it depends”.

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  10. A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    While smoothies have become a popular meal replacement, snack and all around trendy food, crafted incorrectly you can be consuming a sugar-loaded, blood sugar exploding cocktail. I am excited to share with you A Guide to Smarter Smoothies to hopefully help you understand how to better create the smoothies that are right for you.

    A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    If you’ve been reading Tasty Yummies for some time, you probably know that the archives are LOADED with smoothie recipes. Smoothies used to play a much larger role in my daily diet routine, for the longest time it was always my favorite way to start my day. Interestingly at the height of my smoothie consumption, weight loss was definitely a struggle, as were energy crashes and sugar cravings. What I didn’t know back then, but I do know now as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, is that without the proper formulation, smoothies are a blood sugar explosion waiting to happen.

    Every time you consume any carbohydrates and sugar containing foods, it causes an increase in blood glucose. How much so is dependent on the food and the individual. Simple sugars more specifically (monosaccharides), those sugars ending in -ose, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose, galactose, maltose – these are metabolized especially quickly and can often cause a big surge in insulin.

    Our body’s innate intelligence continually monitors the amount of glucose in our bloodstream to maintain balance and homeostasis. When blood glucose levels increase, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin.  Insulin increases the uptake of glucose by our muscle and fat cells; increases the amount of glycogen in our muscle and liver; increases fatty acid synthesis from excessive carbohydrates; and decreases fat breakdown and mobilization from our fat tissue.

    A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    How Bad Can a Fruit-Loaded Smoothie Be?

    With a spike in blood sugar, a release of insulin and the impending crash, no matter what food is the initial cause, this can lead to immediate hunger, mid-day cravings, energy crashes, lightheadedness, anxiety, etc. Even worse, if the rest of your day’s eating (and most days) continue on the carb and sugar path, you are absolutely creating a long term problem. Whether you are overweight, struggle with weight loss or notice blood sugar issues or not.

    Day in and day out this roller coaster can lead to a slew of health complications beyond obesity, lethargy and cravings. To simplify the worst of it, constant output of insulin is like the boy that cried wolf, your cells stop responding to the insulin that is constantly being produced and they become resistant, meaning without the insulin to transport the excess glucose to your cells for energy production, blood sugar levels remain high and this is can lead to chronic insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and eventually diabetes.

    These days, I personally prefer to opt for (and I recommend to my clients) the prioritizing of nutrient-dense whole foods, rather than drinkable meals, like smoothies or juice. Whole foods offer the opportunity for maximum nutrient absorption, which allows our digestion to work as intended, and assuming these whole foods aren’t loaded up with carbohydrates and sugar – it’s much easier on your blood sugar.

    That said, in the summer I do find myself with a much different appetite and my cravings differ quite significantly from the cooler months. I am not nearly as ravenous for more robust meals, especially on the hotter days. In the summer months I find myself wanting and craving more smoothies than any other time of the year. Knowing what I know now, my approach to creating them has drastically changed, so today I am going to share with you my Guide to Smarter Smoothies.

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  11. How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    Looking fresh faced and glowy in the dead of summer is challenging. With the heat comes the drab makeup and the blah, dehydrated skin. In the sweltering dead of summer heat, nothing feels quite like a refreshing face mist. Spritzing your face with a homemade infused face mist is cooling and refreshing on a hot day, post workout or as a pick-me-up for that mid-afternoon drop off.

    Face mists make your skin less dull and more dewy, providing additional benefits from the botanicals you select for infusing. Traditionally with facial mists that are hydrosol distillations that include the essence of botanicals and endure an involved distillation process. While some store-bought versions use this method, many can also contain synthetic fragrances, alcohol, or other ingredients that can cause dryness and irritation.

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  12. What You Need to Know About Eggs – Pasture Raised vs Cage-Free vs Free-Range, etc

    Selecting eggs these days can be a bit overwhelming. There’s Free-Range, Organic, Caged, Cage-free, Pasture-Raised. There are brown eggs and white eggs,  Omega-3 enriched eggs. Not only are there significant differences in the animal care with these various types of eggs, but in addition, depending on what the hens themselves ate and their access to sunlight, the end result in the eggs we eat, also show drastic nutritional differences, as well. Read on for What You Need to Know About Eggs. Let’s get right to it:

    What You Need to Know About Eggs - Pasture Raised vs Cage-Free vs Free-Range, etc

    Look at the difference in the color of the yolks from a conventional egg (left), to a pasture-raised egg (right).

    What You Need to Know About Eggs - Pasture Raised vs Cage-Free vs Free-Range, etc

    The Various Labels – What Do They Mean

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  13. How-to Cook Eggs in the Instant Pot – Soft, Medium and Hard Cooked

    Learn How-to Cook Eggs in the Instant Pot and forget the uncertainty of cooking your eggs on the stove top – using your Instant Pot provides consistent results and the eggs are easy to peel EVERY SINGLE TIME. Whether you want soft, medium or hard cooked, we’ve got the time figured out for you, so there’s no guessing.

    How-to Cook Eggs in the Instant Pot

    How-to Cook Eggs in the Instant Pot

    Well, I am embarrassed to say it took me far too long to finally experiment with cooking eggs in my Instant Pot. I always had a *mostly* foolproof method to hard boiling eggs on the stovetop, but “mostly” ends up being the key word. My breaking point was Easter weekend, this year. I wanted to make a bunch of hard boiled eggs, to make a post for the website, Deviled Eggs Two Ways. Things didn’t go quite as planned and my hard boiled eggs were a nightmare to peel. One of the most frustrating afternoons EVER. I was cursing over the sink as I watched about half of every single egg white stick to the shells and peel off, leaving the most janky looking, lumpy eggs behind. UGH!

    I’ve heard so many variations on how to make the perfect hard boiled eggs. I’ve heard it has to do with how fresh the eggs are, adding vinegar or baking soda to the water, boiling for less time then letting the eggs sit, boiling the entire time then right into the ice bath. All of these methods work, until they don’t.

    Several people had mentioned to me how great the Instant Pot is for hard boiling eggs, so I decided to give it a whirl and WOW – GAME CHANGER! I experimented with finding the right time and what variables affected the results. Additionally, I found the perfect time for soft and medium cooked eggs, too. Because I love a perfectly-cooked, delicious yolky soft boiled egg over veggies many mornings and the various medium cooked eggs are great when you want a little yolkiness, but not the whole runny shabang.

    I find fully hard cooked eggs to be the most sensitive to variables, since the window of a perfectly cooked hard boiled egg is just like a ripe avocado. It’s not cooked, it’s not cooked, then WHAM overcooked, weirdly dry with that green ring. Not much deviation from perfection.

    With many many many dozens of eggs and experiments later, I have worked up a simple formula with varying times. OK let’s get to it – How-to Cook Eggs in the Instant Pot…

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  14. How-to Make Easy Chia Seed Jam {+ Video}

    How to Make Easy Chia Seed Jam

    How to Make Easy Chia Seed Jam

    This Easy Chia Seed Jam is a wonderful way to preserve the fresh fruit of the season and enjoy delicious homemade jam without artificial colors and flavors or an ungodly amount of sugar. It’s a breeze to make, ready in about 15 minutes, plus there is no canning equipment necessary and you can control the level of sweetness leaving out refined sugar and instead using natural sweeteners like honey, maple or any other alternative you choose (or leave it out altogether and go al naturale).

    Best part, this simple chia seed jam formula works with nearly any fruit you’d like, so go with the best the current season has to offer and get creative. Try strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, cranberries, apples, pears, peaches, plums, etc. Experiment with blending various fruits and if you really want to have some fun, add in vanilla bean, fresh herbs or spices, rosemary, basil, fresh mint, cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger – the flavor combos are endless, really.

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  15. Cooking Fats and Oils: Which to Include and Which to Avoid

    Cooking Fats and Oils: Which to Include and Which to Avoid

    Cooking Fats and Oils: Which to Include and Which to Avoid

    Fats and oils are a necessary part of cooking, but using the right ones are down right essential to living a healthy and vital life. Just like rest of what we eat, a good rule of thumb with fats and oils is to always opt for organic and you should avoid overly-processed, highly refined fats and basically anything that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as traditional food (i.e. basically ALL highly-refined vegetable and seed oils) – but to be frank, there is a lot more to the story! Not only do the types and quality of fats and oils matter – but so does their proper use. Honoring the various smoke points and the molecular structure of the different fats is the best way to insure that you are using them appropriately, without causing damage to the fats and in turn, negative affects on our health.

    Here is a quick resource guide including the various uses for each:

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  16. 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)

    HOW IT WORKS:

    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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  17. How-To Make Grain-free Granola {Paleo-friendly}

    How-to Make Grain-free Granola

    How-to Make Grain-free Granola

    For my granola loving friends, I am super excited about this how-to and recipe. Most commercial granolas, even when gluten-free, are loaded with gut-upsetting grains, and worse yet – vegetable oils and loads of sugar. After lots of experimenting and playing around, I created the perfect base recipe for this grain-free granola, with two variations. Sweet and Savory.

    Using the formula for the base, you can get creative there with your favorite nuts and seeds and then when it comes to flavor combinations, the sky is the limit – so get creative and make it your own.

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  18. The Benefits of Wild Caught Fish and How to Source it Sustainably

    The Benefits of Wild Caught Fish

    From both an environmental and a nutritional standpoint, supporting sustainably sourced fish is something that matters a great deal to me. Just like meat that comes from properly raised animals that have access to pasture and sunshine, seafood caught using sustainable practices with an awareness for the environment should be a huge priority. From a nutritional standpoint, wild caught fish offers more benefits, like higher levels of beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids. Of course, the taste and freshness of wild caught isn’t even comparable. Wild caught fish is in a league of it’s own.

    The Benefits of Wild Caught Fish and How to Source it Sustainably

    Wild Caught vs. Farmed

    The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fat of wild salmon, is far superior to farmed. Farmed salmon has a 1-1 ratio of omega-3s and omega-6s (due to the “junk food diet” they are fed), while the ratio for wild salmon is generally between 6 and 9 to 1, which is a much more ideal and healthful ratio.

    Wild salmon swim around in the wild, eating what nature intended them to eat. Therefore, their nutritional profile is more complete, with micronutrients, fats, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants like astaxanthin (which is what gives salmon its pink or red colored, flesh.)

    In my opinion, farmed fish are the aquatic equivalent to factory farmed livestock,  or confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) animals. Farmed fish generally live in very small, crowded quarters – typically pens or cages submerged in lakes, ponds, and other bodies of salt water, but sometimes on land as well. They also produce toxic waste, and fish of inferior quality. These fish are further contaminated by drugs and genetically engineered corn and soy meal feed, and in the case of salmon, synthetic astaxanthin, which is made from petrochemicals that are not even approved for human consumption. Wild caught fish, on the other hand, are caught by fisherman out in their natural habitat 1http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/15/wild-alaskan-salmon.aspx

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    References   [ + ]

    1.http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/15/wild-alaskan-salmon.aspx
  19. How-to Make Homemade Dark Chocolate and the Many Benefits of Dark Chocolate

    How-to Make Homemade Dark Chocolate

    How-to Make Homemade Dark Chocolate

    This homemade dark chocolate is simple to make and very easy to customize and make it exactly the way you want it, from sweeteners to flavorful add-ins. With constant research showing the many health benefits of dark chocolate, this is one indulgence I plan to never give up. A food that is not only good for your soul, but your mind and body as well?! Yes please. In fact new research has even reported that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart 1https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318154725.htm.

    Sadly, not all dark chocolate is created equally. So many of the bars at the store contain soy lecithin, a ridiculous amount of refined sugar, vegetable oils, “natural flavors”, corn syrup and other unnecessary ingredients. Conventional chocolate bars filled with lots of additives will not have the same benefits as clean dark chocolate and are likely to do more harm than good! The closer your cocoa is to its natural raw unrefined state, the higher its nutritional value.

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    References   [ + ]

    1.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318154725.htm
  20. Dairy-free Ranch Dressing {Paleo}

    Dairy-free Ranch Dressing

    Dairy-free Ranch Dressing

    Ranch dressing used to be one of my favorites. There was a time in my life where my snack of choice was pretzels with two bowls for dipping. One had yellow mustard, the other, creamy ranch dressing! Ah those were the days.

    Nowadays, you know that I prefer to avoid store bought dressings, because most are just loaded with crap (the many offender being vegetable oils), so I choose to make my own. Making your own salad dressings and vinaigrettes is a very simple task, you can control the ingredients, the flavors and the quantity.

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  21. Crock-Pot® Hot Chocolate {Dairy-free, Paleo and Vegan}

    Disclosure: Post sponsored by Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker & Mirum Shopper, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

    Crock-Pot Hot Chocolate

    Crock-Pot Hot Chocolate

    With the first day of winter upon us and Christmas just mere days away, the comforts and coziness of the season are in full force. All the holiday cookies, seasonally-inspired meals, traditional cocktails and so much more. But for me, nothing brings the taste of the season like some rich, creamy, homemade Hot Chocolate.

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