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  1. California Cobb Mason Jar Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto, paleo + Whole30 options}

    California Cobb Mason Jars Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto}

     

    California Cobb Mason Jar Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

    California is known for so many incredible things, these California Cobb Mason Jars Salads with Green Goddess Dressing featuring California Avocados essentially combines them all in one easy-to-make, on-the-go meal!

    Summer in California looks a lot different this year, but we are making the most of the current situation and of course, all the incredible goodness that California always has to offer us.

    We’ve gotten quite creative with our time outside of the house this summer, including our date nights. Weekends used to mean heading to a new restaurant, somewhere we could feel pampered, explore a new neighborhood and have a true California experience. In recent months, we have been taking drives to the ocean, picking a new beach each week, grabbing take out from our favorite local, farm-to-table restaurants, supporting California farmers and purveyors or just making and taking our own meals to-go!!

    We are always celebrating the goodness that California offers from amazing produce and signature flavors in classic recipes to the best dang views and outdoor living there is!

    One of my most favorite classic California creations is the California Cobb Salad. I am not quite sure where this iconic salad originated but today I am sharing a fun new twist so you can take it up a notch and make it portable.

    California Cobb Mason Jars Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto}

    California Cobb Salad

    A classic California Cobb salad featuring chicken, bacon, California avocado, hard boiled egg, blue cheese crumbles and various fresh produce like lettuce and tomatoes, usually lined up and arranged beautifully in a rainbow presentation.

    Here’s the thing about a Cobb salad, you can really make it your own. Add some red onions or cucumbers, maybe some chickpeas. Add in spinach, kale or arugula for more dark leafy greens. Swap out the blue cheese for more avocado. As for the dressing, there are many variations you will find here, as well, from ranch to blue cheese dressing or even a simple balsamic vinaigrettes – but today, since we are celebrating California this California Avocado Green Goddess Dressing felt very apropos to celebrate one of California’s greatest gifts, the avocado!

    California Cobb Mason Jars Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto}

    California Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

    This simple-to-make creamy green goddess dressing is THE perfect compliment to this California-inspired salad. From it’s vibrant color to the fresh, bright flavor and rich, creamy goodness. This makes more than what you need for two large mason jar salads, but keep it on hand for dipping fresh veggies, throw it over any salad or grilled veggies, over eggs, etc.

     

    California Cobb Mason Jars Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto}

    How to Make California Cobb Salad in a Jar:

    Creating and serving a salad in a jar is a game-changer for summer eats, especially on-the-go. Picnics and beach trips may not be as abundant but we’ve been maximizing our date nights with grabbing food and driving to the beach in LA for what I will venture to call the finest oceanside dining, from the luxury of our own car.

    California Cobb Mason Jars Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto}

    When creating mason jar salads here are a few simple tips to make the best salad experience possible – meaning NO sad, soggy lettuce:

    1. Start with your dressing at the bottom, anywhere from 1-4 tablespoons of dressing, depending on how much you like and how large the salad is. By keeping the dressing at the bottom you’ll prevent the lettuce and other ingredients from getting mushy.
    2. Continue to layer your mason jar salad by adding any hard veggies and fruits. I find adding tomatoes at the bottom right after the dressing helps to keep any excess water from the tomatoes away from the other ingredients.
    3. Next add your proteins.
    4. Layer any soft veggies or fruit (like avocados) mid-jar or just right before the greens.
    5. Add the blue cheese at any point in the middle, if using.
    6. Finally, add the salad greens. Salad greens such as lettuce have to always be on top to avoid them getting soggy or wilted.

    By finishing with the lettuce or greens last you can squeeze in as much as you can fit into the jar. With the greens being on top, when you turn the jar over to empty it out, you create a bed of greens.

    Mason Jar Salads are the Perfect On-the-Go Meal

    With how these salads are stored, you can make it up to a day head and just grab and go. Bringing a plate and some forks along for the ride. Most people assume you eat a mason jar salad straight from the jar… NOPE! That wouldn’t be very fun or easy.

    California Cobb Mason Jars Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto}

    How Do You Eat a Mason Jar Salad?

    Well, when you are ready to eat the mason jar salad, just…

    1. remove the cap to the mason jar;
    2. if there is room in the jar, give the mason jar salad a really shake to mix the dressing with the rest of the ingredients;
    3. either way just shake the salad into a bowl or a large plate as you pour all the ingredients out;
    4. toss as needed to combine.

    Enjoy!!

    California Cobb Mason Jars Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto}

    How Long Will a Mason Jar Salad Last?

    Most mason jar salads will last up to 5 days, if stored properly, so feel free to make ahead or even use this method for meal prepping for the week.  

    Be sure the lid is screwed on tightly so it’s sealed and store in the fridge. 

    Great for on-the-go lunches if you are heading to work, the perfect park lunch if you need a break from working from home or a fun date night beach-side dinner.

    California Cobb Mason Jars Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto}

     

    5 from 1 reviews
    California Cobb Mason Jar Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto, paleo + Whole30 options}
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, keto, options for Whole30, paleo, dairy-free
    Serves: 2-4 servings
    Ingredients
    • 2-8 tablespoons California Avocado Green Goddess Dressing (see recipe below)
    • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 to 4 hard boiled eggs
    • 6 to 8 oz of cooked chicken (shredded, cubed, etc)
    • 1 California Avocado, cut into cubes
    • 2-4 oz crumbled blue cheese
    • 6 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled or roughly chopped
    • 4 cups+ of salad greens (I used little gem lettuce, because it was local and in season)
    Instructions
    1. Make sure your two wide-mouth mason jars are clean and dry.
    2. Add 1-4 tablespoons of California Avocado Green Goddess Dressing to the bottom each jar. (it’s your preference for how much dressing you like and how many ingredients there are). These keeps the other ingredients from getting soft or mushy.
    3. Diving the ingredients between the two jars, begin layering the ingredients, in the order listed above.
    4. Tomatoes, then eggs, chicken, avocado, cheese, bacon, then lettuce.
    5. When you get to the lettuce, ass as much as you can squeeze into the jar, feel free to gently press down to make enough room for the greens.
    6. When you are ready to eat your California Cobb Mason Jar Salad unscrew the lid and shake the contents out into a bowl or plate. Toss everything well to combine, as needed so everything is coated in the dressing and the ingredients are well dispersed.
    Notes
    Anything listed above typically found in a Classic Cobb is obviously optional. Feel free to add your favorite salad ingredient, like cucumber, red onion, radish, chickpeas, a different cheese, your favorite lettuce or other greens – you can make these Mason Jar Cobb Salads your own!!
     

    California Cobb Mason Jars Salad with Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto}

    5 from 1 reviews
    Green Goddess Dressing {gluten-free, keto, paleo + Whole30}
     
    gluten-free, paleo, keto, whole30
    Serves: approx 1.5 cups
    Ingredients
    • 1 large ripe California avocado
    • 1 cup packed fresh parsley, stems removed
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup water (more or less as needed for desired thickness)
    • 3 tablespoons avocado oil mayo
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
    • 1 large garlic clove (or 1 very small shallot)
    • 3 tablespoons avocado oil mayo
    • sea salt and pepper to taste
    Instructions
    1. Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender or small food processor. Pulse a few times then blend until well incorporated and super creamy. Add more water as needed to reach your desired consistency.
    Notes
    You can use half basil and half parsley, if you’d like
    Add a small jalapeño (seeds and ribs removed) or red pepper flakes for a little heat
    Use a vegan mayo to avoid eggs, as needed
     

     

    This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission but all opinions are my own.

     

  2. Grilled Marinated Chicken Thighs with California Avocado Basil Pesto {paleo, Whole30, keto}

    Grilled Marinated Chicken Thighs with California Avocado Basil Pesto

    Grilled Marinated Chicken Thighs with California Avocado Basil Pesto

    Grilled Marinated Chicken Thighs with California Avocado Basil Pesto

    With grilling season upon us and my love for simple whole food meals made easy, I am so excited to share this super simple recipe that is packed with flavor and sure to WOW this summer – without any fuss!

    Grilled Marinated Chicken Thighs with California Avocado Basil Pesto

    Marinated Chicken Thighs

    This simple marinade takes just a few minutes to prepare and brings so much flavor to the chicken. Marinade overnight and with a quick 20 minutes or less on the grill you have a quick meal with more flavor than you can imagine.

    Grilled Marinated Chicken Thighs with California Avocado Basil Pesto

    California Avocado Basil Pesto

    While this easy-to-make sauce is amazing on these grilled marinated chicken thighs, it’s also an incredible addition to a grilled burger (beef or poultry), with grilled shrimp, scallops or fish, on top of grilled vegetables, as a dressing on your favorite salad, smeared on your favorite toast, flatbread or pizza, serve over pasta, rice, quinoa or another grain, swirled into mashes potatoes, in or on an omelet or frittata  – the possibilities are endless.

    Speaking of endless possibilities, besides being one of my favorite, nutritional, functional foods, California avocados, in my opinion are the most versatile summer fruit, with a long list of ways to prepare and include in your summer meals. 

    Even if avocado is a side dish or an accessory it somehow still always becomes the star of the show.

    We always have avocados around our house, to add healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and of course, so much flavor. 

    Read the rest of this entry »

  3. Grilled Pineapple and California Avocado Salsa {Paleo, Whole30, Keto, Vegan}

    This easy Grilled Pineapple and California Avocado Salsa recipe makes everything tastier!  It’s made with fresh pineapple, California avocado, red onions, jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice.  

    Grilled Pineapple and California Avocado Salsa

    Grilled Pineapple and California Avocado Salsa

    While June feels like the official kick-off of grill season, it is also California avocado month, and I am already getting creative with what we are putting on the fire (though, let’s just be really honest, here in California it’s always grill season).

    Grilling is my favorite. It has become a bit of a weekend activity around here. We pick a dinner (or brunch) project and we make a whole thing of it. Because, I think we can all agree that everything is better grilled.

    Grilled Pineapple and California Avocado Salsa

    Included in that – AVOCADOS. Have you ever grilled an avocado? It’s magical! Avocados are a fabulous, versatile fruit that lends itself to savory and sweet dishes of all kind, but did ya know they can be grilled, too! When grilled in their skins, avocados take on a really spectacular smoky flavor and their flesh becomes soft and warm. Beyond this salsa recipe you are about to become obsessed with, grilled avocados are amazing just as they are served up with some salt and pepper, fresh lime juice and a spoon. Grilled avocados are also delicious smashed up into an epic guacamole or just spread on toast for an avocado toast to end all others.

    Mixed into a delicious salsa, the creamy, fatty flesh of the grilled avocado is such a welcomed contrast to the bright flavors from the lime and the pineapple and crunchy textures from the pepper and the red onion.

    Combined with the pineapple it all comes together perfectly in a stand-out, impressive dish that is sure to wow.The pineapple beautifully caramelizes as it grills – it gets soft, sweet and it transforms into a smokey, caramelized version of itself.

    Serve this Grilled Pineapple and California Avocado Salsa with chips as an appetizer or snack, on top of your favorite grilled protein (it would honestly be delicious with chicken, fish, pork or steak), over your favorite salad or to put the finishing touch on your favorite tacos!

    It is a delectable balance of sweet, spicy and smoky.

    Grilled Pineapple and California Avocado Salsa

    Recipe Options:

    • Make the pineapple salsa without the avocado and serve the salsa in the grilled 1/2 avocado “boats” for a fun presentation at your summer dinner party.
    • Wanna take it up a notch, grill the onion and jalapeños, too
    • Serve over grilled proteins like fish, chicken, pork chops or steak. Add to tacos, salads or any other dish that you want to bring a little flair to.

    Grilled Pineapple and California Avocado Salsa

    5 from 1 reviews
    Grilled Pineapple and California Avocado Salsa
     
    gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, paleo, keto, whole30
    Serves: 4+
    Ingredients
    • 1 small whole pineapple
    • 2 medium ripe California Avocados
    • 1-2 tbs olive oil
    • ¼ cup diced red onion
    • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
    • ½ lime, juiced
    • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, more or less to taste
    • 1-2 tbs finely minced jalapeño, optional (can also use bell pepper or other peppers)
    • black pepper, to taste
    • Heat your grill (or grill pan) to medium-high. Allow to pre-heat for long enough so the grates get super hot. Slice the pineapple into rounds or sliced vertically. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit.
    • Brush both sides of the pineapple slices with olive oil. Brush the flesh side of the avocados with olive oil. Grill the pineapple until caramelized on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side. Grill the avocado on the flesh side for 5-7 minutes.
    • Remove both from grill, let cool slightly. Remove the core on the pineapple slices and dice the the pineapple into 2 cups of bite-sized chunks. Save any extra grilled pineapple rings for a tasty dessert, to serve over yogurt, etc. Dice the avocado into tiny cubes.
    • In a large bowl, toss together 2 cups of the diced pineapple and avocado with the jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime juice and sea salt.
    • Serve with chips, over your favorite grilled fish, chicken or pork, use on tacos or atop a salad
    • This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission but all opinions are my own.
    Instructions
    1. Heat your grill (or grill pan) to medium-high. Allow to pre-heat for long enough so the grates get super hot. Slice the pineapple into rounds or sliced vertically. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit.
    2. Brush both sides of the pineapple slices with olive oil. Brush the flesh side of the avocados with olive oil. Grill the pineapple until caramelized on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side. Grill the avocado on the flesh side for 5-7 minutes.
    3. Remove both from grill, let cool slightly. Remove the core on the pineapple slices and dice the the pineapple into 2 cups of bite-sized chunks. Save any extra grilled pineapple rings for a tasty dessert, to serve over yogurt, etc. Dice the avocado into tiny cubes.
    4. In a large bowl, toss together 2 cups of the diced pineapple and avocado with the jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime juice and sea salt.
    5. Serve with chips, over your favorite grilled fish, chicken or pork, use on tacos or atop a salad
    6. This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission but all opinions are my own.
     

     

     

    This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission but all opinions are my own.

  4. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 51: How to Deal with Your Stress + Get Anxiety Proof

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    No. 51 | How to Deal with Your Stress + Get Anxiety Proof with Michelle Shapiro

    In this episode I am joined by my friend Michelle Shapiro and we are digging into dealing with stress and getting anxiety proof. In this episode we dig into navigating this stressful time, how to allow yourself the grace and space to feel your feelings but not totally crippled from anxiety and fear. We discuss both perceived and physiological stressors, Michelle shares tips for kicking anxiety’s ass and so much more.

    Covered in this episode:

    • why rapid weight loss and extreme dieting can lead to anxiety
    • how to recognize the whispers from your body before they become screams
    • the stress bucket
    • identifying threats to your safety
    • recognizing when healthful choices become the breaking point
    • tips for getting started with managing stress and anxiety
    • knowledge isn’t power, intuition is power
    • how to make meditation to work for you
    • balancing effort with ease plus inviting and allowing vs. controlling
    • navigating food and body fear or anxiety along with emotional eating
    • and so much more.

     

    About Michelle Shapiro

    Michelle Shapiro is an Integrative/ Functional Registered Dietitian in NYC specializing in body-neutral weight changes, and the holistic healing of stomach issues and anxiety. It is her joy and passion to serve her clients in living fulfilling lives in all aspects.

    Any condition that Michelle works with is something that she has proudly battled herself. After a weight loss of 90 pounds as a teen, Michelle thought all of her problems would be solved!  But what came as a result from rapid weight loss and disordered eating was chronic illness and a LOT of body judgment. And even more than that, she had crippling panic attacks which deprived her of so much of her joy. It took years of research, growth and self work for her to proudly say she is in a healthy, anxiety free- body that she now loves.

    She works to bring the lessons she learned, both academically and personally to all of her clients. And more than that, she aims to provide a safe space to share for each and every one of them. Her goal is to “hear” each person who feels like they haven’t been heard before. Listening is her real passion. It is now her life’s mission to prevent her clients from making the same mistakes she did. She works to give her clients tangible tools to reverse anxiety and digestive issues while still ditching restriction and negative thoughts about food and their bodies and finally learn to eat more authentically and intentionally.

    She works with clients one on one in her private practice both in person and virtually, as well as in her 8 week online program, “Anxiety Proof.

    More from Michelle Shapiro:

    www.getanxietyproof.com

    MichelleshapiroRD.com

    Follow Michelle on Instagram

     

    Additional Resources:

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

    (Listen on iTunes)

     

     

    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

    Read the rest of this entry »

  5. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 50: Honoring your choices, remaining in the present & staying conscious in the face of fear

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    No. 50 | Honoring your choices, remaining in the present & staying conscious in the face of fear

    This shorter format Bites episode shares a little insight on why I chose to take a few weeks off from posting new podcast episodes. I am also sharing a bit about how I have been personally navigating this challenging time and managing feelings of anxiety and overwhelm, including my favorite methods for staying conscious in the present moment and avoiding getting lost in fear and unknowns.

    Covered in this episode:

    • why I took some time off from the podcast
    • how I recognize what has to go
    • honoring where I have choices
    • a few simple tools I use to navigate anxiety in this current climate
    • staying in the present when faced with fear
    • and so much more.

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

    (Listen on iTunes)

     

     

    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

    Read the rest of this entry »

  6. California Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad

    This creamy rich, California Avocado ranch chicken salad recipe is a delicious, easy, everyday dairy-free recipe, it is also Paleo, Keto and Whole30 compliant!

    California Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad

    California Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad

    When it comes to easy meals on the go, for me, it always starts with quality protein and healthy fat. A meal that starts with these two staple macronutrients means more balanced blood sugar, adequate satiation and satisfaction levels and less of a need for all day snacking.

    Whether you follow a paleo approach to your eating, keto or low carb, if you are simply focusing on a balance nutrient-dense, whole foods diet, this simple recipe can be made with leftover batch prepped shredded chicken or a roasted or rotisserie chicken and it’s great for prepping ahead for the week for easy quick lunches or even a quick breakfast option.

    Serve on top of your favorite greens in California Avocado boats, on your favorite toasts or with crackers, however you want to enjoy it.

    California Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad

    We love chicken salads for easy, fast meals. Most weeks I prep a few pounds of shredded chicken in the Instant Pot or we grab a rotisserie chicken at the market, this makes for fast meals and lots of versatility.  You can also buy pre-cooked chicken, or make shredded chicken in a slow cooker with enough chicken broth to cover and cook it for 4 hours on low.

    California Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad

    This California Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad features my easy-to-make, dairy-free avocado ranch dressing with California Avocados as the star of the show, bringing rich, creamy goodness without dairy or eggs. Best part, you can use this amazing California Avocado ranch dressing here in the chicken salad, or whip it up quickly and thin it out a bit to dress your favorite salad or leave it on the thicker side for a delicious dip for fresh veggies.

    I love how quickly this can get put together with minimal ingredients and so much satiating and flavorful goodness.

    California Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad

     

    5 from 1 reviews
    California Avocado Ranch Dressing
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, egg-free, nut-free, whole30, keto, AIP
    Serves: approx. 8 oz
    Ingredients
    • makes approx. 8oz dressing
    • 1 Fresh California Avocado, seeded
    • ¼ - ⅓ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk*
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon chives
    • ½ teaspoon dried dill
    • ½ teaspoon garlic
    • ½ teaspoon onion
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • Black pepper, to taste
    Instructions
    1. Add all the ingredients to a food process or the butcher of a high speed blender. Start with the ¼ cup of non-dairy milk, continuing to add more as needed to reach your desired consistency, you may want to add upwards of ½ cup for a thinner dressing. You can also use a hand-held immersion blender.
    2. Cover and refrigerate; eat within 3-5 days.
    Notes
    Recipe notes:
    Add as much non-dairy milk or water to thin to your desired consistency
    You can use fresh herbs in place of dried, I recommend approximately 1 tablespoon of each of the herbs. 1 small clove of garlic and 2 tablespoons fresh onion
    Depending on your dietary preferences, to make your California Avocado Ranch dressing creamy like a traditional ranch dressing you can also add in ¼ cup greek yogurt or ¼ cup avocado oil mayonnaise
    California Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad
    5 from 1 reviews
    California Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, paleo, Whole30, Keto, AIP
    Serves: 4 servings
    Ingredients
    • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced, chilled
    • ¼ cup diced celery
    • ¼ cup dice red onion
    • ¾ cup California avocado ranch dressing (more or less to taste)
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    Instructions
    1. Add the chicken, celery and onion to a medium mixing bowl. Add desired amount of avocado ranch and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve in California Avocado, on toast, over a salad or enjoy as is.
    2. Refrigerate, eat within 3-5 days.
     

    This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission but all opinions are my own.

  7. 3-Ingredient Dark Chocolate California Avocado Truffles

    3-Ingredient Dark Chocolate California Avocado Truffles

    3-Ingredient Dark Chocolate California Avocado Truffles

    3-Ingredient Dark Chocolate California Avocado Truffles

    These decadent and delicious Dark Chocolate California Avocado Truffles can be made with just 3 simple ingredients. Plus, with the added bonus of the avocado you get all the amazing nutritious goodness of one of my favorite functional foods. 

    Rather than heavy cream or butter you’d usually find in a traditional chocolate truffle recipe,  avocado steps in and takes this simple recipe up a notch. Best part, you don’t even taste the avocado, all you taste is the rich dark chocolate, but it gives the truffles a decadent, creamy texture and it takes your dessert to the next level. Read the rest of this entry »

  8. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 49: How To Find Nutritional Freedom

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    No. 49 | How To Find Nutritional Freedom with Claire Siegel

    In this episode I am joined by Claire Siegel and we dig into discovering nutritional freedom, learning to navigate intuitive eating while healing with food, how to redefine your relationship with food and practical first steps to take when you are feeling stuck between the extremes of anti-diet and diet culture.

    Covered in this episode:

    • The false dichotomy between anti-diets and non-diets, diet culture
    • Why a client focused approach is necessary
    • How to take the good from diets and see the benefits
    • Practical first steps when you are feeling stuck in the dichotomy of diet culture and anti-diet rhetoric.
    • How can intuitive eating and healing diets co-exist?
    • What to do when self-healing fails you?
    • Healing diets role in autonomy?
    • The importance of neutralizing foods.
    • Removing the identities we hold onto around food & enjoying food for what it is.
    • Avoiding comparison and practicing unlimited empathy towards other’s experiences.
    • How to find peace with food.
    • and so much more.

    About Claire

    Claire Siegel is the founder of Nutritional Freedom, an online nutrition and mindset coaching practice designed to help women learn to ditch diets and get healthy for good. After spending over a decade on diets herself, Claire discovered the transformational power of an intuitive eating approach that integrates one’s own lived experience and individual needs with sound nutrition science. Since opening their virtual doors, NF has helped hundreds of women find their own nutritional freedom.
    Claire attended the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a dual degree in Nutrition and Plan II Liberal Arts Honors. She also completed a supervised practice through the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

     

    Download the Making Meals Easy FREE ebook.

    A  Simple How-to Guide for Cooking, Prepping + Making the Most Out of Your Food + Skills

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

    (Listen on iTunes)

     

     

    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

    Read the rest of this entry »

  9. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 48: Making Meals Easy – How to Fridge Forage and Make the Most of Your Food

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    No. 48 | Making Meals Easy – How to Fridge Forage and Make the Most of Your Food with Stephanie Vanlochem

    In this episode I am joined by Stephanie Vanlochem and we do a deep dive into getting into the kitchen with confidence, learning how to make the most out of what you’ve got in the pantry and your fridge, best practices for food storage and how to channel your inner makeshift meal, fridge foraging badassery!

    Covered in this episode:

    • What is fridge foraging
    • Using food to bring people together
    • The top 3 tips for organizing your fridge so food doesn’t go to waste
    • Creating habits in the kitchen to stay organized
    • Making the food and cooking a team effort
    • Tips for freezing food
    • Navigated imperfect, bruised, moldy and older food
    • Why you shouldn’t use recipes
    • and so much more!

    About Stephanie

    Stephanie Vanlochem, BA, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and Whole30 Certified Coach is the founder of Cook By Color Nutrition, a practice that teaches the power of cooking real food as nourishment for both mind and body.  Stephanie helps clients find sustainable and individualized practices to feeding themselves, and their families for health and enjoyment!  As a real food advocate, she believes that eating for both health and pleasure is possible, as the two are not mutually exclusive and fridge foraging is a practice that will help everyone get there.

    Follow Stephanie on Instagram @CookByColor

    or online at www.cookbycolornutrition.com.

    Resources mentioned:

    Download Stephanie’s FREE COVID-19 Resource Packet

    Download Beth’s Making Meals Easy Guidebook

    Enroll in the TRUST + THRIVE ACADEMY 

    Book your FREE Chemistry Call with Beth

     

    Download the Making Meals Easy FREE ebook.

    A  Simple How-to Guide for Cooking, Prepping + Making the Most Out of Your Food + Skills

     

    Learn more about and apply for TRUST + THRIVE ACADEMY

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

    (Listen on iTunes)

     

     

    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

    Read the rest of this entry »

  10. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 47: Title: No 47 | The Psychology of Behavior Change with Kasey Jo Orvidas, Ph.D. Mindset, habits and what to do when everything changes.

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    No. 47 | The Psychology of Behavior Change with Kasey Jo Orvidas, Ph.D.
    Mindset, habits and what to do when everything changes.

    In this episode we dig into the psychology of behavior change and how to navigate times of adversity through habits, mindset and behaviors.

    In this episode we cover:

    • Habit discontinuity
    • Aligning your choices with your goals and using lifestyle shifts to your benefit
    • Motivations, willpower, self control or even just intentions – habits overrule all of them
    • The power of habits
    • Fixed vs. growth mindset
    • The double-edged sword affect of growth mindset
    • Thinking emotionally vs. logically rationally
    • Walking through negative thought patterns from a cognitive behavior therapy perspective
    • How to harness the stress and energy you are feeling right now
    • Using times of adversity as time to establish new behavior changes and habits
    • Using cue, routine, reward
    • Habit stacking
    • Reframing, acceptance and awareness
    • and so much more.

    About Kasey Jo Orvidas

    Kasey is a certified health and fitness coach and also holds a PhD in psychology, her expertise is in health behavior change. She has transformed hundreds of lives (and minds) in her coaching career, while also being published in multiple peer reviewed research journals for her work exploring the relationship between mindset and healthy behaviors.

    Kasey places a strong emphasis on the importance of not just what we say to our clients, but how – and uses her unique background to efficiently and effectively communicate with clients. She teaches other coaches how to do this too, via mentorship programs.

    In addition to coaching, Kasey is a writer and member of the scientific review board for Legion Athletics, where she shares her knowledge and passion for all things fitness, nutrition and psychology.

    Visit Kasey’s website

    Follow Kasey on Instagram

     

    Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

    Kasey’s FREE Habit Formula

     

    Download the Making Meals Easy FREE ebook.

    A  Simple How-to Guide for Cooking, Prepping + Making the Most Out of Your Food + Skills

     

    Learn more about and apply for TRUST + THRIVE ACADEMY

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

     

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    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

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  11. Bacon and Chive Spaghetti Squash Fritters with California Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

    Bacon and Chive Spaghetti Squash Fritters with California Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

    Bacon and Chive Spaghetti Squash Fritters with California Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

    I try very hard to not play favorites with foods, but that’s a lot easier than it sounds. I will always have favorites, not just from a a flavor standpoint, of course there are foods that hold emotional attachments, memories and traditions and as a Holistic Nutritionist, there is a great long list foods I also really love from a functional perspective.

    Avocados are one of my favorites that cross all three. There is not a week that goes by that we don’t have avocados available in our home. Besides being totally obsessed with how they taste and how versatile they are, they can go from savory to sweet, with ease, I also love what a functional and healthful food avocados are.

    With nearly 20 essential vitamins and nutrients avocado are also a good source of fiber and folate, potassium, vitamin E and B vitamins. As well, as a source of healthy fats, avocados they play a vital role in a balanced, nutrient-dense diet and health fats essentially work as a nutrient-booster enabling fat soluble nutrients in foods eaten alongside the avocado, to become more assimilated and absorbed, nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K.

    I had the pleasure, a couple years back, of visiting a California Avocado grove not too far from my own home and I was so honored to see these beautiful fruits growing in their natural habitat, being cared for and tended to by a family of growers right here in my own state. The lab of love for this fruit, picked by hand by families who have been growing to and tending these trees for years, gave me a new appreciation for one of my favorite foods. Walking the groves I got to, first hand, see the patience, the love, care and craftsmanship and taste the difference and my love grew deeper.

    Bacon and Chive Spaghetti Squash Fritters with California Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

    I have a long list of ways that I love to enjoy avocados, but I especially love a delicious sauce like this one, to highlight the flavor of this delicious fruit. These crispy, flavor packed bacon and chive spaghetti squash fritters are taken up a notch thanks to this flavorful, creamy sauce that you are absolutely going to want to put on anything and everything.

    With the addition of the lime and a tangy yogurt, besides flavor and a little punch, the acidity also works to prevent the avocado from browning, keeping this delicious dipping sauce, vibrant and fresh.

    Bacon and Chive Spaghetti Squash Fritters with California Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

    This California Avocado Lime Dipping sauce is also great as a creamy salad dressing, it’s amazing drizzled over roasted veggies. Use it as a marinade for chicken or as a sauce a top your favorite fish or other protein. It also makes a great veggie dip or a dip for your favorite crackers or chips.

    These simple Bacon and Chive Spaghetti Squash Fritters with California Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce is a quick recipe to make and a great option for leftover spaghetti squash. They make a delicious side dish or a super fun starter / appetizer.  I think you are really gonna love these.

    I like to make the dipping sauce first and place into the fridge to chill while making the fritters.

    Bacon and Chive Spaghetti Squash Fritters with California Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}

     

    5 from 1 reviews
    California Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}
     
    gluten-free, keto, paleo, whole30, nut-free
    Ingredients
    • 2 California avocados
    • 4 tablespoons lime juice (from 2 limes)
    • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
    • ¼ cup yogurt (non-dairy yogurt works just fine here)
    • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (more to taste, as needed)
    • black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste
    Instructions
    1. Add all of the ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor and blend until well combined. An immersion blender will also work.
    2. Season with salt and pepper to taste (just a little at a time), then blend again and taste. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Store the sauce in the fridge in an airtight container and give it a good stir before serving. It will keep and stay fresh for upwards of 3 to 4 days.
    Bacon and Chive Spaghetti Squash Fritters with California Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}
    5 from 1 reviews
    Bacon and Chive Spaghetti Squash Fritters with California Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce {gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto}
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, keto, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free
    Serves: 12 fritters
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups cooked spaghetti squash threads
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
    • ¼ cup coconut flour
    • 2 large eggs, whisked
    • 4-5 slices bacon, cooked, drained of fat, and finely chopped (1/4 cup)
    • 2 tablespoon chives, finely minced
    • 1-3 tbsp ghee, refined organic coconut oil or preferred cooking fat for frying
    Options to add:
    • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
    • ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
    • Cook in bacon fat for extra flavor
    Instructions
    1. Remove the "spaghetti" from your spaghetti squash with a fork and place in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Add the mound of squash to a clean kitchen towel (or a few paper towels) and squeeze out any excess moisture. Really give it some good squeezes. Don’t skip this step, it’s worth it for finished product - you will be surprised how much excess liquid comes out. Add the garlic and onion, power salt, pepper, and coconut flour. Add in the whisked eggs, the bacon and the chives.
    3. Mix really well with fork until all ingredients are fully combined.
    4. Using your hands, form into 12 equally sized patties, made with approximately ¼ cup of the mixture each.
    5. Flatten and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue forming until all are ready to be cooked.
    6. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add your ghee or coconut oil. Once the pan is hot, please the fritters in.
    7. Once they'e browned on one side, flip and brown on the second side.
    8. Drain on paper towels and continue to fry in batches, as necessary, adding more cooking oil as needed.
    9. Serve right away with the avocado lime dipping sauce and enjoy!
    Notes
    Leave out the bacon to make these vegetarian.
     

     

    This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission but all opinions are my own.

  12. Easy Pantry Staples {options for Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-free, Keto}

    How-to Stock a Healthy Keto Pantry

    Today we are chatting all about how to stock a nutrient-dense pantry with easy pantry staples for paleo, Whole30, gluten-free and keto/low carb. But also a little spoiler alert for you…. these pantry staples are NOT exclusive to any one nutritional or dietary approach, this pantry list is all about a focus on real food, easy, budget-friendly shelf-stable nutrient-dense proteins, healthy fats, smarter snacks and foods that will support your vibrant well being!

    Having a well stocked pantry is the best way to stay ahead, be prepared and have what you need to throw together easy meals, no matter what life throws your way. I’m sharing some of my favorite real food pantry must-haves along with the best and most affordable ways to stay stocked up! So this way your pantry will be full and your wallet won’t be empty.

    Keep this list of healthy pantry staples handy, this is the list I share with all my nutrition clients looking to have a well-stocked pantry with the best-of-the-best real food basics!

    Most importantly, I want to show you that eating healthy and eating well doesn’t have to bankrupt you. We know the cost of health foods is an investment in our future and our health, but sometimes if feels like we need a second job just to pay for it all. But, by planning ahead and having a system in place to stock your healthy pantry, you can keep these healthy foods on hand, and keep your costs down.

    EASY PANTRY STAPLES – A HOW TO GUIDE TO STOCKING A NUTRIENT-DENSE, BUDGET-FRIENDLY PANTRY:

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  13. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 46: Hormone Healing Part 1 with Amanda Montalvo

     

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    No. 46 | Hormone Healing Part 1 with Amanda Montalvo, RD, FDN-P, Women’s Health Dietitian

    In this episode we touch on the foundations of hormone healing with Amanda Montalvo a women’s health dietitian that helps women get to the root cause of hormone imbalances and have healthy menstrual cycles.

    In this episode we cover:

    • Healing hormones and why they are often last to respond when healing
    • The implications for thyroid imbalances
    • Looking at lab results that are “in range” or “normal” vs. using “functional lab ranges” and symptom presentation
    • Simple metrics to track for assessing progress with hormone health
    • Symptoms that point to hormone imbalances
    • Where to get started with healing your hormones
    • The importance of tracking
    • Eating enough and why it matters so much
    • The importance of consistency
    • Functional foods to support hormone health
    • Implications of mineral testing
    • Gut health is a root cause, but what else is going on that could be affecting your healing?
    • The impact that our gut health has on our hormone health
    • What non-food related factors and other lifestyle impact hormone health
    • and so much more.

    Stay tuned for Hormone Healing Part 2 with Amanda

    Please submit any questions you have for Amanda for Hormone Healing Part 2 here

    Visit Amanda’s Website

    Follow Amanda on Instagram

     

    Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

    Tempdrop Thermometer

    Femometer

     

     


     

    Sign up for Go with Your Gut – the FREE 5 Day Bootcamp 

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

     

    (Listen on iTunes)

     

     

    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

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  14. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 45: The Process with Emily Schromm

     

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    No. 45 | The Process with Emily Schromm

    I am so happy to be joined by Emily Schromm. Emily Schromm is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, personal trainer and serial entrepreneur who helps others empower themselves by way of food and movement. Her journey with nutrition began after realizing she could use food to heal from the inside out, and her passion for teaching others how to do the same, specializing in gut heath, adrenal repair and herbal remedies, has led to a career spanning five companies and three verticals of business including online programming, physical products and a brick and mortar gym, Platform Strength in RINO, Denver. She most recently self published her first book, The Process and launched an online monthly digital publication, EMPRESS.

    In this episode we cover:

    • Why this book now?
    • Realizing the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t getting any closer
    • The beauty in the work
    • Creation without expectations
    • Something you might be surprised to know about Emily
    • Finally learning how to just be
    • Do – Feel – Know – Make
    • Moving through doubt
    • When you come up against limiting factors
    • Going with the co-creation flow
    • Being in complete control is your limiting factor
    • The louder you are, the less you are heard
    • Noticing the changes and the details
    • What reality TV taught Emily about social media and removing yourself from external validation
    • Can we strive for creating without strings attached?
    • Is vulnerability weakness?
    • How can you be more you?
    • Emily reads her favorite pieces from The Process
    • and much more!

     

    Visit Emily’s Website

    Get the book The Process

    EMPRESS – Emily’s New Monthly Publication

    Finding a Balance of Life and Work: Between Meals Podcast Bites episode 03 with Emily from NTA Conference

     

     


     

    DOWNLOAD THE FREE GUT HEALTH 101 GUIDE BOOK HERE

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

     

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    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

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  15. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 44: Healing Chronic Skin Conditions and Uncovering Common Root Causes

     

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    No. 44 | Healing Chronic Skin Conditions and Uncovering Common Root Causes

    with Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

    On this episode on the Between Meals podcast we are joined by skin health and gut health expert Jennifer Fugo. We are talking all about the health of your skin, managing chronic skin rashes, discover missing pieces that could be contributing and moving beyond conventional medicine to get relief.

     

    In this episode we cover:

    • Jennifer’s journey with chronic eczema and what she learned along the way
    • Why Jen developed a platform and podcast to talk about skin health
    • Digging into root causes
    • Why what works for one person won’t necessarily work for you
    • What are the 16 most common root causes for chronic skin rash conditions
    • What to do when you feel overwhelmed by the possible causes of your skin issues
    • How gut health affects your skin
    • What is leaky skin?
    • Taking a deeper look at digestion
    • Hidden infections and pathogens
    • When lab work can be helpful
    • There are some issues that are not “food fixable”
    • Food can be medicine, but it’s not the only medicine
    • You probably have not tried everything
    • How can you support your own body, where it is right now with what it needs?
    • How can you look outside of your skin at other symptoms can be related?
    • Feeling empowered by finding your answers
    • 4 things you can ADD IN to support healthier skin

     

    Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

    Best Labs

    DIY Low Stomach Acid Test

     

    Where to Find Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS:

    http://www.skinterrupt.com

    https://www.jenniferfugo.com 

    Healthy Skin Show Podcast

    Facebook

    Pinterest

    Instagram

    Youtube

     

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    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

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  16. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 43: TOUGH LOVE: You’re Not So Special That You Get to Skip the Work!!!

     

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    No. 43 | TOUGH LOVE: You’re Not So Special That You Get to Skip the Work!!!

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE I URGE YOU TO LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE.

    This is a short but sweet episode that comes with a little bit of saltiness, too!! Don’t worry the tough love comes with a lot of compassion and personal experience.

    BIG TAKEAWAY: STOP COMPARING YOUR DAY 5 TO THEIR YEAR 5.

    Quit the comparison game and realize that you aren’t so special that you don’t get to skip the work and jump straight to the finish line! It’s insulting to assume you “should” be where “they” are if you haven’t put in the time.

     

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

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    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

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  17. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 42: Gut Healing 101 and Why I am Healing My Gut… AGAIN!

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    No. 42 | Gut Healing 101 and Why I am Healing My Gut… AGAIN!

    In this episode we go back to basics with gut healing and gut health, plus I am sharing why I am back to healing my gut… again, including the testing I use and recommend and my foundational tips for getting started.

    In this episode we discuss:

    • Why Gut Health Matters SO MUCH!
    • Why I am Healing My Gut… AGAIN.
    • Signs and Symptoms You May Need to Heal Your Gut
    • What Causes Gut Issues?
    • Getting Started With Gut Healing
    • The 4 Rs of Gut Healing
    • What You Can Do When Elimination Diets Aren’t Working
    • Functional Tests I Use in My Practice to Get to Root Cause Issues
    • What Can You Do After a Round of Antibiotics?
    • Tips for Fat Digestion
    • Recommendations for Gastroparesis
    • Is There a Holistic Plan for Coming Off PPIs?
    • Why Am I Still Getting Heartburn if I am Supplementing with HCL?
    • How to Know When Gut Healing Is Working?
    • How Long Does Gut Healing Take?

     

    Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

    Apply to work with Beth 1:1 for gut healing, functional lab testing, including the GI Map DNA Stool Test, MRT Inflammatory Food Testing

    Digestion 101 – 5 Part Series

    Gut Healing Articles in the TY Archives

    5 Tips for Eating Mindfully and Why It Matters

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

    4 Reasons to Avoid Vegetable and Seed Oils

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

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    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

    Read the rest of this entry »

  18. The Basics of Blood Sugar

    Are you concerned about your blood sugar? What is blood sugar and why does it matter so much?

    It is possible, you have heard the term “blood sugar” before this article. Most people think of blood sugar and they think about the “blood sugar crash” we’ve all experienced before – feeling low energy, raging hungry and maybe even feeling shakey or experiencing those annoying tension headaches. What most people don’t realize is that this blood sugar low, it is almost always a result of a previous blood sugar high. The blood sugar spikes are what inevitably lead to those major crashes, but we are rarely talking about “blood sugar spikes” and what leads to them.

    Before we get into the nitty gritty of blood sugar, it’s important to note that blood sugar isn’t just ‘a diabetes thing’ and it isn’t just an obesity thing. Every human, no matter their size, their age or their body type has blood sugar and any human can have blood sugar imbalances.

    What is Blood Sugar / Blood Glucose?

    Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is the amount of glucose present in your blood stream. Glucose in the bloodstream is affected most by the foods you eat. Your body creates glucose in the bloodstream by digesting these foods into a sugar that circulates in your bloodstream. Our body will then use that blood sugar for energy, then what isn’t currently needed for energy will get stored in the cells for later use.

    Blood glucose levels are raised most significantly with carbohydrate foods, foods made from refined grains, breads, noodles and pastas, baked goods and pastries, sugar and sugary foods, but these carbohydrates also include grains in their whole state, starchy vegetables, fruits, etc. Yes, some of these carbohydrate foods can absolutely be a part of a healthy and well-balanced diet, it’s all about how much of these foods you eat at once and in what combination – this is what we need to be most aware of when it concerns blood sugar imbalances.

    What Goes Up, Must Come Down

    Where blood sugar (AKA blood glucose) is concerned, every single time you eat your blood sugar will rise, this is a natural, human response to food and energy production, how much so will depend on both the kind of food you are eating including the macronutrient profile of the food (which we will get to), as well as the quality and the quantity of that food and of course, the current health state of your body.

    Unfortunately, thanks to the modern diet rich in simple carbohydrates (a diet common for many folks), the balanced, even blood sugar that our body has adapted to handle and manage with ease is far less common than not. A large influx of simple carbohydrates in a single meal, think pancakes with syrup at breakfast, a bagel, cereal, toast, a gigantic bowl of pasta for lunch, etc – this will lead to a swift rise in blood sugar levels. With a quick rise in blood sugar, our body sees this as an emergency that must be dealt with immediately.

    How does the body deal with these blood sugar spikes? Let’s get into the basics of blood sugar regulation.

    Blood Sugar Regulation

    ‣ When blood sugar rises this stimulates the pancreas to release insulin to help bring down blood sugar levels by storing away excess glucose as glycogen and triglycerides to be used later for energy.
    ‣ But insulin can overcorrect, causing blood glucose levels to drop too low (called reactive hypoglycemia), which the body also sees as an emergency.
    ‣ The central nervous system then signals the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, followed by cortisol, to bring up blood sugar levels by converting glycogen and amino acids to glucose.

    Especially when we over-consume simple carbohydrates — which is very easy to do, for a variety of reasons including our genetic programming, the instant mood and energy boosts that we are often craving (thanks to stress, lack of sleep and blood sugar imbalances) and easy access to hyper-palatable processed foods — this same cycle can repeat over and over again throughout the day, eventually leading to blood sugar dysregulation, insulin resistance, possibly adrenal / HPA Axis issues (thanks to the excessive output of cortisol) and a myriad of symptoms associated with each of these.

    The big players in the blood sugar system:

    Most people don’t realize this, but the brain is the primary organ of blood sugar regulation, which in turn directs the activity of the following 5 primary peripheral organs and tissues via the:

     

    • Pancreas
    • Adrenals
    • Adipose Tissue
    • Liver
    • Skeletal Muscle

    AKA  (the “PAALS”)

     

    As well, the central nervous system works in tandem with these 5 primary hormones to help regulate blood sugar levels:

    ‣  Insulin – Insulin is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas and plays a very important role in regulating blood sugar levels. Insulin is essentially the key to unlock out cellular “gates” to let energy in, meaning the excess glucose found in the blood. The excess energy (glucose and fat) gets stored away in the cells of our liver, muscles, and fat tissue.

    ‣  Glucagon – Glucagon is produced by the alpha cells of the pancreas and it promotes the breakdown of glycogen to glucose in the liver. Glucagon balances insulin. When blood glucose levels drop sometime after eating this stimulates the release of glucagon for more energy. This cycle tells your cells to then release stored glycogen for energy to hold you over until your next meal. This cycle repeats itself throughout the day. Glucagon is essentially key that unlocks our cellular “gates” to let glucose and fat out of our cells.

    ‣  Epinephrine & Norepinephrine – Both epinephrine and norepinephrine are released when the body experiences a stress and it fears for it’s safety. Whether an external physical threat or internal, such as low blood sugar, these are part of the central nervous system’s fight or flee mechanism, designed to keep us safe. Epinephrine stimulates glycogenolysis in the liver, which converts glycogen to glucose, as well as lipolysis, which releases fatty acids from triglycerides stored in body fat and finally gluconeogenesis, which converts lactate, glycerol, and amino acids to glucose in the liver. All as a means to have the energy to fight or flee.

    ‣  Cortisol – Cortisol is a steroid hormone released when stress levels are high or blood sugar levels are too low. It increases the fuel (or energy) available to the heart and skeletal muscles in the same ways that epinephrine does, through stimulation of glycogenolysis, lipolysis and gluconeogenesis. However cortisol is slower to respond, taking minutes rather than seconds, since cortisol relies on the complex process of the HPA-Axis. (Another amazing topic for another day).

    A really easy way to remember all of this: if blood sugar regulation were an orchestra, the central nervous system would be the conductor and the PAALS, the instruments.

     

     

    How the Food You Eat Affects Your Blood Sugar

    Every single food we eat can be broken down into three macronutrient groups:

    ‣ Carbohydrates

    ‣ Protein

    ‣ Fat

    Foods found in their whole food state are almost always dominant in one of these macronutrients over the others, but many foods contain a mixture. As  mentioned previously, while all macronutrients will cause some increase in blood glucose levels, as you can see above carbohydrates will cause a larger increase than others, meaning the post meal crash that results will also be larger. Being aware of not only what types of foods you are consuming and how it affects your blood sugar is the first and easiest way to start balancing blood sugar levels and avoiding big spikes and huge crashes.

    While you may be able to, at this point, do some simple reasoning and see how a meal of JUST carbs can cause an extreme blood sugar spike and crash, you may not still understand what foods fall under which categories, so let’s look at some other common foods.

     

    Some examples of various foods and their dominant macronutrient group:

    • Sweet potato: unrefined carbohydrate
    • Boneless skinless chicken breast: protein
    • Broccoli: unrefined carbohydrate
    • Bacon: protein and fat
    • Bowl of pasta: refined carbohydrate
    • Apple: unrefined carbohydrate
    • Eggs: protein and fat
    • Steak: protein and some fat (more or less fat depending on the cut)
    • Spinach: unrefined carbohydrate
    • Whole Grain Rice: unrefined carbohydrate
    • Avocado: fat and some carbohydrates
    • Beans: unrefined carbohydrate and some plant-based protein
    • Ice cream: refined carbohydrate and fat

     

    In nature, carbohydrate-rich foods, in their whole food state almost always contain significant amounts of fiber. The fiber found in unrefined carbohydrates will actually slow down the effects on blood sugar as compared to a refined carbohydrate like a pastry, baked good, bread, pasta, juice, dessert, etc. which often have little in-tact fiber remaining. While fiber itself is a carbohydrate, it should not cause an increase in blood glucose or insulin as it is not digested by the small intestines and instead they make it to the large intestine where they are broken down by bacteria. In some cases fiber can actually decrease glucose and insulin levels. Fiber can been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, decrease heart disease risk and foster beneficial bacteria in our guts. Another benefits to fiber is that it “bulks up” and helps you to feel satiated and full.

    In this same way when we combine our whole food carbohydrates with protein and fats, which we will get to in just a moment, the fiber found in whole food carbohydrates can provide an additional blunt to the blood sugar spike we would get from the carbohydrates alone. When we refine foods away from their whole food state, grains made into flour for baked goods, fruits that get juiced, sugar that is stripped of any nutrients, we are taking a direct hit of sugar to the blood and you know what comes next.

    Added processed and refined fibers added to packaged and processed foods aren’t exactly the same as the in-tact fiber found in whole, unrefined foods as they are found in nature. Often these products advertised as low or no carb (because of the net carb approach) and they will often be loaded up with fibers, but it doesn’t mean these products are a good choice. Fibers added to processed foods like these may not cause the same response in the body that fiber found in whole foods will. Meaning it may still cause a glucose and insulin response and in some cases it may also cause some aggressive digestive issues. The FDA is currently investigating many of these “false fibers”.

     

    PLEASE READ THIS AND THEN READ IT AGAIN:

    Nutrient-dense, non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, celery, cucumber, eggplant etc etc – these foods, while they are certainly more dominant in carbohydrates than protein or fat, they are so low in carbohydrates and so rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals — that these should be consumed in unlimited abundance at every meal, without concern for blood sugar levels.

    It’s also important to note that these main macronutrients are not the only foods / things that can cause a blood glucose spike. One randomized trial study showed that caffeinated coffee can impair the body’s ability to manage dietary glucose, resulting in higher blood sugar levels.1https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/87/5/1254/4650389 so it is important to always stay curious. In part two of this series we will be talking more about these other factors.

     

     

    The consequences of constantly eating high sugar and high carb foods

    As you can see, starting the day off with a carbohydrate-rich breakfast sets the tone for the day right out of the gate with a big blood sugar spike. Then comes the drop and if your choice for a snack, for a quick jolt of energy to bounce back is carb or sugar rich, you can see how the cycle continues. Your first meal sets the tone for the day and having balanced blood sugar levels all day means controlled energy levels, balanced moods, less cravings, no crashes or headaches and you aren’t continuously chasing your hunger.

     

    How to Get off The Blood Sugar Roller Coaster – What Can You Do?

     

    ‣ Eat Enough Healthy Fats and Quality Proteins

    Fat and protein have very little affect on blood glucose levels, compared to carbohydrates. Protein and fat also blunt the insulin release from the carbs on your plate. Protein and fat also send signals to your brain that you are full via important hunger hormones that help you avoid overeating. At every meal, prioritize a quality protein on your plate first, be sure you are including some healthy fats (read more about health fats here) if the protein you are eating is lean and doesn’t include enough on it’s own and fill the rest of your plate with nutrient-dense, colorful, in season non-starchy veggies. Dark leafy greens are one of my favorites for lots of important nutrients and fiber.

     

    ‣ Reduce Your Refined Carbohydrate Consumption and Avoid Excessive Sugar

    Focus on quality of carbohydrates, balance of macronutrients (carbs not being the dominant), bio-individuality, everyone needs different amount of carbohydrates. Prioritize nutrient-dense whole food carbohydrates, think of a food that you could eat that you can imagine growing in nature, exactly as it is on your plate. These foods should be prioritized as your source of carbohydrates over refined carbohydrates and sugar-rich foods. The amount of carbohydrates each individual may need will depends on many factors, hormone health, HPA-axis health, age, gender, activity level, etc.  If you determine that you do want/need to include more carbohydrate-dominant foods in your day, I recommend saving your starchy-veggies or carbohydrate-rich foods for your last meal of the day, this way, any drops in blood sugar are happening at a time of day where your energy would naturally be dipping to prepare for bedtime, any cravings that result won’t be a struggle. You will be asleep. Start the next day with a strong, protein and fat-rich breakfast so you can continue to keep things level and balanced throughout your day, with ease.

     

    ‣ Avoid Unnecessary, All-Day Snacking

    Continuously eating, all day, will keep blood sugar levels either continuously elevated which means elevated insulin all day or it will be stuck in the loop of going up and down, all day. It’s not that snacking is inherently bad, but if you struggle with energy issues, if you crash halfway through the day, if you experience high highs and low lows that make you feel like you need to snack – this could be an indication you aren’t eating enough or properly at meal time or that your blood sugar is significantly imbalanced. Consider eating more at meal time and prioritizing protein and fat over carbohydrates and be sure you are eating enough. If you are eating protein and fat as the main focus of your meals and you are still feeling the need to snack all day, that this means you are likely not eating enough food. Focusing on both of these should help with the need to snack. If reducing your refined carbohydrates and sugar is a new way of eating for you, snacking may be helpful until your blood sugar levels are more balanced, so it is suggested that you consider protein and fat forward snacks when you you do snack. This post includes lots of options.

     

    ‣ Move Your Body

    In our current, modern lifestyles where stress and sympathetic nervous system dominance becomes the norm, if we remain sedentary we the cortisol being released into our blood streams to keep circulating longer than it should. This can have detrimental long-term consequences but at the very least it can further dysregulate blood sugar levels. Physical movement can help stress management overall, but it can also help process out stress hormones that are present in the body more quickly, but movement is also an incredible method for using up excess blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity. Even just one 30 minute session has  been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by decreasing glycogen synthesis.2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3381815/

     

    Looking for more support?

    ‣ Strong All Day Long

    if you are experiencing daily energy crashes, hanger, cravings, mood swings and you are looking to make a few simple, easy-to-implement shifts right away, this 5-day program and 7-day meal plan are for you!! I am giving you the 5 big solutions I share with EVERY one of my 1:1 nutritional therapy clients, these shifts bring huge results with minimal efforts. There’s no diet, there isn’t a list a foods to avoid and nothing to track. You will learn how to create healthy plates of food, go more in depth on the various delicious quality proteins and fats to include, tips for meal planning to make eating easy, plus hidden sources of sugar and lots more. This is a focus on the foundations, simple approach to getting your blood sugar under control!! Learn more and get instant access to the program and your meal plan here.

     

    ‣ Keto for You

    this program is designed to assist you in using a food-as-medicine, healing ketogenic approach to support your body is switching away from relying on sugar as it’s source of fuel. If you are the constant blood sugar roller coaster has resulted in metabolic dysfunction, an inability to lose fat, inflammation and joint pain, hormone imbalances and beyond and you are ready to get on the other side of these once and for all – this fully personalized nutrition program and masterclass will help you in finally taking control of your health and ditching the constant dieting roller coaster of on-again / off-again extreme restriction that never works. This 8 week program is full of customized nutritional protocols, supplement recommendations, 8 weeks of meal plans and recipes, weekly mindset practices, amazing expert guest teachers and in-depth learning so you can create a sustainable lifestyle that will be right for you. Learn more and sign up now here.

    This program is designed to support you in using a ketogenic approach as a powerful intervention and healing tool to guide you in creating a sustainable fat-fueled lifestyle for yourself for long-term, so you can adjust and shift as life changes – so you can finally ditch the sugar fueled, blood sugar crashing, inflammation-causing approach that hasn’t been working for you. Head here to learn more and sign up. Enrollment is open for just a short time and the program will not be available again until later in 2020. If you aren’t sure if keto is the correct approach for you, you can watch this FREE online workshop Is Keto for You? to learn more or book a FREE 15-minute call with me and I am happy so answer your questions.

     

    ‣ 1:1 Nutritional Therapy and Health Coaching Support

    If you are concerned there is more going on at a root cause level, possibly gut imbalances or pathogens, food sensitivities, complications from autoimmune disease or if you are looking for more direct 1:1 support including personalized action plans, lab testing and interpretations, supplemental support, if you are craving accountability and someone to help you dig deeper along side you, with nutritional support, lifestyle recommendations, mindset and mindfulness practices and more – working together one-on-one would be a really great option for you. You can apply to be a client here. Once I review your application, I will contact you about scheduling your FREE discovery call and we can decide if we are a good fit for one another.

     

     

    PLEASE NOTE: Low post-meal blood sugar levels can happen to folks with normal fasting blood sugars, it can happen to someone who is insulin resistant and obviously in individuals with diabetes but it can also be a symptom of some types of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – with all of these scenarios, this type of low blood sugar is referred to, as mentioned above, reactive hypoglycemia. In most cases this type of low blood sugar can be treated with a lower carbohydrate approach, to balance blood sugar levels. Medically diagnosed hypoglycemia is different and should be treated with a health care practitioner, if you experience consistently low blood sugar levels and you are a diabetic on medication you may need to work with your doctor on changing your medication levels to match your carbohydrate intake. Ongoing low fasting blood sugar levels can also occur in people who do not have diabetes and can be the result of a serious underlying medical condition. If you have continuously low fasting blood sugar levels and do not take diabetes medications, you should see your healthcare provider.

     

    Please Stay Tuned for Additional Articles in this Series Where You will Learn:

    The Long-term Consequences of Imbalanced Blood Sugar

    How Stress Affects Blood Sugar

    Other Factors to Consider that Could Raise Your Blood Sugar

    and More.

    Got questions you want to be sure get covered in future articles, leave your comments below.

    References   [ + ]

    1.https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/87/5/1254/4650389
    2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3381815/
  19. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 41: Learning to Love and Forgive Yourself

     

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

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    No. 41 |  Learning to Love and Forgive Yourself

    In this episode I am joined by Meg Doll and we chat all about learning to love and forgive yourself and how self acceptance is the key to moving beyond needing to be fixed.

    In this episode:

    • Meg reflects on  the first time in her life, feeling the need to be fixed and feeling like she wasn’t good enough.
    • Struggling with disordered eating, beginning at the age of 10.
    • Why we need to be nourished in order to thrive.
    • How Meg finds gratitude for the pain she experienced through disordered eating.
    • When the fear of food escalates.
    • How to recognize if the patterns are disordered eating?
    • Disassociating from your thoughts.
    • The importance of taking care of yourself.
    • When does control become the issue?
    • How control expands into other areas of your life?
    • Realizing the number on the scale is B.S.!
    • You are the ONLY one who can dictate how you feel about yourself.
    • Finding body neutrality.
    • Diving into the beliefs you are holding onto that / subconscious / old narratives and beliefs.
    • Self forgiveness and placing loving where there wasn’t loving before.
    • Using your intuition.
    • Signs that you are underfed.
    • Eating intentionally vs. intuitively.
    • Looking at your body through a new lens.

     

    Meg Doll is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Restorative Wellness Practitioner, and Certified Spiritual Coach passionate about leading women to mental strength, emotional intelligence, and a loving relationship with self through consciousness, self compassion, forgiveness, and loving. Visit her website here. She has a weekly podcast, Unbreakable You, and you can always find her on Instagram at @iammegdoll

     

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

    (Listen on iTunes)

     

     

    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

    Read the rest of this entry »

  20. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 40: Trust vs. Control and Learning How to Trust Yourself

     

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    (Listen on iTunes)

    No. 40 | Trust vs. Control and Learning How to Trust Yourself

    Finding a sense of autonomy and discovering how to live and eat well with confidence for YOU requires trusting yourself. Control becomes the choice when there is a lack of self trust, control promises a false sense of safety and often results in a desire for rebellion.

    Learn the differences between control and trust and simple tips for how you can learn to trust yourself so you can eat with confidence and create a sense of consistency.

    Download your FREE Food and Mood Journal Here.

     

    Join the Strong All Day Long 5 Day Video Program Now

     

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

     

     

    (Listen on iTunes)

     

     

    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

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  21. Between Meals Podcast. Episode 39: The Struggle and The Strength in Slowing Down

     

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    (Listen on iTunes)

    No. 39 | The Struggle and The Strength in Slowing Down

    With busyness commonly being over-glorified and the “hustle” often being a measure of success – I don’t think slowing down gets nearly enough credit or recognition! Learn how to create a larger impact in your life and honor what your body needs so you can continue to live your life in balance and showing up as the best you!!

    In this episode we’re talking about why we tend to struggle so much with allowing ourselves to slow down and how to find strength in giving yourself space to do so.

    I am sharing the 5 big ways I can personally tell when I am approaching burn out plus my 7 simple tips for slowing down – including some invitations and questions to ask yourself.

     

    Join the Strong All Day Long 5 Day Video Program Now

     

     

    LISTEN NOW ON ITUNES

     

     

    (Listen on iTunes)

     

     

    You can now subscribe to the Between Meals Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, Spotify and Stitcher

    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING:

    Since we are still pretty new on iTunes, please do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE and of course, we would be honored if you took the time to rate and review the show, this will help more people find us and help the show to grow!  If you liked this episode or others, please share on social media and tag us, share with friends and family, etc – this means the world! 

    Read the rest of this entry »

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