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Health and Healing the Way Nature Intended
Updated: 5 days 6 hours ago

Healthy Taco Egg Bake Recipe

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 10:03

Here in Minnesota we love to bake casseroles, hotdishes, and egg bakes! You can out just about any meal into a large baking pan and bake it up all at once! We love tacos, so I decided to create a healthy Taco Egg Bake to make taco Tuesdays even easier. Plus, this can be made ahead of time and just thrown into the oven about an hour before you want too eat! I even make a double batch and bake and freeze one to thaw and warm up later. 

Healthy Taco Egg Bake Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced peppers
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded raw cheddar
  • 3 cups frozen organic hash brown potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp organic taco seasoning — where to find
  • coconut oil
Directions:
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion and peppers in 2 Tbsp coconut oil until fragrant.

  • Add ground beef to skillet and cook until no longer pink. Add taco seasoning and stir to combine.

  • Grease a 9×11 glass baking dish with coconut oil.
  • Spread frozen hash browns into the bottom of the pan.
  • Spread pepper/onion mixture on top of the hash browns, top with meat.

  • In a mixing bowl beat the eggs an milk.

  • Pour egg mixture on top of meat/onion/pepper mixture in baking dish.

  • Top with shredded cheddar.

 

  • Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown and the middle is set.

Jake LOVES this taco egg bake!

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Episode 6: Joseph Darnell – How EMF’s Impact Our Health & How We Can Protect Ourselves

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 10:03

On episode 6 of the Real Food RN Wellness Podcast, I interviewed Joseph Darnell. He is the founder of FlutterBusters and an expert on both detecting EMF in our environments and protecting us against the negative health effects!


Show Notes

Joseph Darnell’s Bio:

Joseph is a physicist and the owner of Flutter Busters, which is a company that was formed to help people identify and reduce their exposures to electromagnetic fields. He started this company after his daughter Kyanna passed away for a rare form of brain cancer at the age of 7. Through the course of treatments, he tied one of the problem areas for Kyanna was a sensitivity to electromagnetic fields. As he started reading research on this topic, he realized that the overexposure that she had was a major contributor and gave an explanation as to how a 7-year-old could get brain cancer. This exposure happened everywhere. The more he learned, the more he realized it was not just Kyanna that had problems with electromagnetic fields; there are many of us that do. His goal is to help people reduce their exposure so they might avoid what happened to him and live a healthier more enjoyable life.

Where you can find Joseph: More goodies mentioned during the podcast:

You can watch the interview on YouTube below

Other Ways to Listen:

If you like this podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher. Your reviews help us reach more people!

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Easy Grain Free Corn Dog Muffins

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 10:03

Coming up with easy recipes that my kids love is one of my most favorite kitchen accomplishments! Not only are these super easy to make, but they are full of healthy protein and definitely a kiddie favorite in our house. You can even swap in breakfast sausages in place of the hot dog for a delicious breakfast muffin! I hope you and your family love these easy Grain Free Corn Dog Muffins too!

Easy Grain Free Corndog Muffins

Ingredients: 

  • 5 uncured beef hot dogs, sliced into 5 pieces each
  • 1/2 cup almond flour — where to find
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour — where to find
  • 4 Tbsp grass fed butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice, we use raw cow’s milk
  • 3 pastured eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, combine everything but the hot dog pieces, and stir until combined.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they begin to brown on the top.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit.
  • Serve with your favorite corn dog condiments.

  • Makes 12 corn dog muffins.
  • These corn dog muffins last in a covered container for about 5 days in the fridge.
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The Health Benefits of Milling Flour in Your Home

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 10:03

Grain is often considered one of nature’s gifts due to its sustainability and versatility. Grain flour is a basic ingredient that’s accessible to most of the world’s population because it’s affordable and easy to grow. This basic ingredient is essential to creating delicious foods, and the flour varieties we now have access to have grown tremendously since our predecessors came across it. And if you’re like me, you use it every day to cook healthy meals for your family.

But, have you ever wondered about the quality and nutrition of the flour you use? Many of us don’t since it’s so available, we take for granted that quality brands and types of flours are as good as it gets. If you are buying organic flour, you know that it isn’t filled with artificial ingredients, but is that enough? Maybe you should look into milling flour.

Why You Should Mill Your Own Flour

It’s more nutritious.

The quality of your flour depends on several different things, including the milling process, the conditions the grain grows in and the size of the production. When flour is produced on a mass scale, it loses the majority of the grain’s naturally-occurring vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants, thanks to processing.

Most of the nutrition in grain is found in the bran and germ of the kernel. But commercial flours remove the bran and germ because without the oils that those parts contain, the flour lasts longer on the shelves. The grain kernel contains over 30 nutrients, and most of them are removed during the commercial milling process. Even if you buy “enriched” flour, you are only getting a fraction of the nutrition that is readily available in the whole grain.

You can choose your own grain.

When you milling flour on your own, you are in charge of what type you use in various ways in your kitchen. For example, if you need to use a gluten-free option for those in your house who have gluten sensitivity, but also want to have other alternatives available for the rest of your family, you can easily do that. I also love milling my own flour because I can use ancient grains that are hard to find already milled.

It’s more cost-effective.

Buying organic, whole grain bread is expensive. So is buying the grains to make your own. But even including the expense of purchasing an electric mill, I spend approximately 25-50 cents per loaf of bread when I am milling flour in my home. And that’s just for bread. Think of all the other things you make with flour! If you eat a few loaves of bread each week, you can easily pay for your mill in the first year!

If you are concerned about the waste that could be caused by using whole grain to mill flour, don’t be. If you keep your milled flour in a cool place, it will last a week or more. I like to keep only a small amount of milled flour stored for use in various recipes. And to make sure I don’t end up wasting a lot of it, I mill a bunch of it and then bake up lots of loaves all at once. Then I just freeze the loaves so I can pull them out when we are ready for them.

It tastes better.

All those natural oils in the grain kernel add a lightness to your flour, which means lighter, fluffier bread and other baked goods. Milling flour on your own also lets you control the texture of it. If your family likes a courser texture for some flour-based items, you can give them that easily. And of course, the fresher, the tastier. Once you enjoy a loaf of bread that you’ve made from your own milled flour, you’ll never go back to anything else! Yum!

Choosing a Flour Mill

When I learned about the benefits of milling flour at home, I was hesitant at first. The image conjured up in my mind was the huge time and energy commitment it would take.

While it’s true some people like to use a manual mill to produce their own flour, most of us are too busy and need to do it in a way that’s faster and takes less effort. I like to keep a manual mill because you never know when you might need it, for example, if you lose electricity. But most of the time I use my electric mill. Here’s the one I swear by. It’s extremely easy to use, and once you’ve plugged it in it is ready to go. On top of that, it will mill your flour extremely quickly – we’re talking minutes! Also, you can conveniently adjust the grind with a simple turn of a switch

So, we get more nutrition, better tasting, more cost-effective flour in literally a few minutes! Who wouldn’t choose this option?

How to Mill Your Own Flour

You’re most likely anticipating an in-depth tutorial for this, but that just isn’t necessary. Once you have your mill, it is actually very simple:

  1. Pour your grain (berries) into the mill – (we buy our einkorn wheat berries here) don’t overfill it though as you’ll want an even grind. Plus, you won’t want to make more than you need and risk wasting any.
  2. Starting grinding – keep this going until you have a fine flour.
  3. Use your flour.

Of course, you’ll want to follow the instructions for your particular mill, but that’s basically it. I can’t imagine not milling flour now! There’s no downside to it and the benefits can’t be beat!

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Healthy Bone Broth and Coconut Thai Green Chicken Curry

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 10:03

Curry has to be one of my FAVORITE foods! I have tried to make it as tasty as our local healthy Thai restaurant maybe one million times! It was getting to the point that they knew me by name when I called to place an order: Thai Green Curry for Kate, every time. I was determined to recreate this soup in my kitchen! Finally, the day has come, I cracked the code for Healthy Bone Broth and Coconut Thai Green Chicken Curry!

Healthy Bone Broth and Coconut Thai Green Chicken Curry Ingredients:
  • 6 pastured chicken thighs
  • 2 medium yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil for cooking the chicken
  • 2 quarts of homemade bone broth
  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk —  like this
  • 4 small zucchini, sliced into coins
  • 1.5 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 bag kelp noodles — find them here
  • 1 (4 oz) jar green thai curry paste — we use this one
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce — we use this kind
  • juice from two limes
  • 1 – 2  Tbsp honey (to add a hint of sweet)
  • 1 bunch organic cilantro
  • 1 bunch organic basil
Directions:
  • Cook chicken until cooked through, chop and set aside (I cook mine in my instant pot with a small amount of avocado oil, it only takes minutes to cook!)

  • In a stock pot saute the sliced onion in a small amount of coconut oil
  • Once the onions are clear and fragrant, pour in the bone broth and coconut milk and turn the heat to medium high
  • Add in the vegetables, curry paste, fish sauce, kelp noodles, and honey

  • Cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes
  • Finally, add in the lime juice, cilantro, and basil

  • Serve immediately!

  • Healthy Bone Broth and Coconut Thai Green Chicken Curry Lasts up to 3 days in the fridge
  • Enjoy your Healthy Bone Broth and Coconut Thai Green Chicken Curry!
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Mashed Banana Sweet Potato Toast with Almond Butter

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 10:03

Another great guest post from Lisa over at www.thygoodness.com. She is another real foodie blogger who comes up with some seriouslty amazing recipes. I am so glad she let me publish this amazing Sweet Potato Toast recipe on my website, how brilliant to top them with mashed bananas and almond butter! These are definitely a kid favorite! 

Mashed Banana Sweet Potato Toast with Almond Butter

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium sweet potato, sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slabs
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil — where to find (use coupon code REALFOOD for 10% off your entire order!)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp almond butter (or more depending on the size of your sweet potato) — we like this kind
  • 1 ripe banana mashed
  • 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 tsp chia seeds — where to find
  • 2 tsp honey — we use raw honey for its medicinal benefits
Directions:
  • Prep your sweet potato by trimming both ends using a sharp knife. Slice sweet potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slabs using a knife or mandolin slicer.  
  • Put a skillet over medium/high heat and once hot, add the coconut oil.  
  • Place the sweet potatoes in the skillet and sprinkle with salt.
  • Cook on one side for 6 minutes or until the sweet potato is slightly brown.  

  • Flip and cook another 6 minutes. The sweet potato should be soft and easily cut with a fork.
  • Top the sweet potato toast with almond butter, mashed banana, walnuts, chia seeds, and a drizzle of honey.

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Hi there! My name is Lisa. I am a Minneapolis recipe creator and food blogger. I love to try new recipes, mix and match flavors and food groups, focused on healthy eating. I love how food brings us all together. My blog is called thy goodness and it is a constant reminder of the goodness of God through food and fellowship. I believe that cooking is love made visible and the table is the heart of hospitality, so let’s get back in the kitchen!

Subscribe to my blog at: www.thygoodness.com

Follow me on:

      Instagram: @thygoodness

      Facebook: thy goodness

Pinterest: thygoodness

Twitter: @thygoodness

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Episode 5: Rachel Reimer – Medical Medium

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 10:03

On episode five of the Real Food RN Wellness Podcast, I interview Rachel Reimer, a medical intuitive. She has an amazing gift and we talk all about how she first discovered her talents and how she is working closely with medical professionals to help diagnose disease in their patients. We even go over the reading she did for me and what she found in my body! So let me introduce Rachel Reimer, medical medium…


Show Notes

Rachel Reimer’s Bio:

Rachel Reimer is a Medical Intuitive.  She was born and raised in Marion, Iowa with the ability to see two different dimensions. From a young age, she has been able to see, feel, and hear things from the spiritual realm. Every day she was extremely anxious and didn’t understand how to separate spirit from the physical world. As time has gone on, she has begun to understand her talents and has realized that she has a knack for providing information on health challenges.

She works with healthcare providers and practitioners to help communicate information and insight on cases from patients that have given consent. After receiving consent and a case from a health provider or practitioner through her password protected sections on her website, she will consult with her guides and angels to see what insight they can offer. Through years of trial and error with her gift, she has come up with a system that helps communicate what spiritual issues are going on that may have physically manifested in the body.

Where you can find Rachel: More goodies mentioned during the podcast:

 

 

 

 

You can watch the interview on YouTube below.

Other Ways to Listen:

If you like this podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher. Your reviews help us reach more people!

 

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What are the Basics for the GAPS Diet?

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 10:03

According to Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, all disease begins in the gut. And, modern medical science has proven him right time and time again. One of the ways people are healing their gut, and by extension, their entire body system is by using the GAPS Diet.

The GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet has been a phenomenal success for so many people, but it can feel a bit overwhelming to comprehend. The good news is: It only seems that way because 1) we’ve gotten so far away from eating naturally and 2) because it’s a progressive diet set up in six stages.

My goal here is to break it down so you can get started without all the reluctance because it can make a huge difference in the life of you and your family.

What is the GAPS Diet?

This diet focuses on easy-to-digest foods that enable your body, specifically your gut, to heal itself!  Healing your gut improves not only digestion but also increases detoxification, boosts immunity, and relieves nutrient deficiencies. It’s a back-to-basics food regimen that relies on whole, unprocessed foods to help the body work to its highest capacity.

The GAPS Diet was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a neurologist and nutritionist, for treating symptoms of neurological disorders in her patience. The diet is most often used to treat:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Depression and Anxiety Disorders
  • Behavioral Issues and Learning Disabilities
The Nuts and Bolts of the GAPS Diet

The GAP Diet:

  • Provides nutrient-dense foods that restore nutrient deficiencies
  • Removes complex carbohydrates that continually “feed” pathogenic bacteria in the body
  • Focuses on fermented foods and probiotic supplements to restore a healthy gut flora balance

Scientific studies prove that 80% of our immune system is in our gut and that every kind of autoimmune disease has a connection with leaky gut—a permeable intestinal lining. A leaky gut allows bacterial toxins and undigested food elements to seep into the bloodstream instead of being detoxified or digested. This creates an inflammatory response in the body, causing antibodies to be released where they surround your healthy tissue. The end result is that your entire body becomes inflamed.

The GAPS Diet allows your gut to repair itself by removing the foods that perpetuate leaky gut and rebuild body tissue through dense nutrition. Once the gut is “resealed,” the removed foods can slowly be reintroduced back into your diet.

How to Know if You Need the GAPS Diet

It’s not only those with poor digestion who should consider the GAPS Diet. If you’d like to see one or more of these health improvements, then this diet just might be for you:

  • Reduced food allergies or sensitivities
  • Cured candida yeast
  • Improved neurological/cognitive functions
  • Reversed Type II Diabetes
  • Lose resistant extra weight
  • Improved detoxification process
  • Improved symptoms of autism
  • Reduced anxiety and depression
  • Cleared up skin conditions such as eczema, acne, dermatitis or psoriasis
  • Reduced chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Improved asthma or chronic sinus infections
  • Cured acid reflux
  • Reduced seasonal allergy symptoms
The GAPS Diet

As I mentioned earlier, the GAPS Diet is a six stage progressive diet that reintroduces foods, one at a time, back over a period of usually weeks or months, depending on how your body responds.

In her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends a person stay on each stage of the Introduction Diet for at least 3-5 days. However, since each of our systems is different, you may find you can move through the protocol faster or want to move more slowly depending on how your body responds to newly-introduced foods and how severe your illness.

That’s actually one of the great things about this diet—it allows each of our bodies to determine if we are healing completely. If we notice a return of symptoms when moving into a new stage of the diet, we simply move back down to the previous one for a while longer. Symptoms to watch for include bloating, severe gas, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or a rash.

Foods that are eliminated on the diet include:

  • All grains
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Processed sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Conventional meat and dairy
  • Artificial chemicals and preservatives

These foods comprise the Introduction phase of the diet:

  • Wild caught fish
  • Organic wild meats
  • Steamed non-starchy vegetables
  • Bone broth
  • Egg yolks
  • Fruit
  • Avocados
  • Coconut oil, ghee, and olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Probiotic-rich foods (miso, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.) 

As you can see, the diet reduces or eliminates the foods we know we shouldn’t be eating anyway. The diet encourages us to eat food as close to its natural state and as fresh as possible, which is exactly what we should strive for to maintain health.

If you think you just couldn’t make yourself stick with this regiment, consider the fact that it’s temporary. Once your leaky gut is healed and your body has regained its balance of healthy tissue and complete nutrition, you can add back in the healthy foods you enjoy. If you still aren’t convinced, review the list of diseases and conditions this simple diet can cure and then decide.

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What is Microdermabrasion and Does it Work?

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 11:03

When we are young, we don’t worry about how the environment blasts our skin on a daily basis. Even if we have a kindly mother who encourages (or hounds) us to take good care of our skin, let’s face it, most of us don’t listen. It’s only when sun damage spots and crow’s feet start to appear that we realize how wise our moms were. But by then, the damage has been done and we regret all the days spent in the sun with no sunscreen, and all the nights we went to bed with our makeup on.

I have great news though! If you think you have to go in for painful, toxic treatments to get rid of those fine lines and sun damage, along with acne scars and dull skin, I’m here to tell you that you don’t! Microdermabrasion can reverse the beating our skin has taken due to lack of care or through the natural aging process. Let’s take a look at how it works.

What is Microdermabrasion and Does it Work?

Microdermabrasion is a non-chemical method of exfoliating the top layer of dry, dead skin cells. The procedure exfoliates by spraying tiny crystals on your skin and is much gentler than the common alternative, dermabrasion. Since a majority of our skin imperfections are on the surface, this procedure buffs them away, plus allows for more collagen and elastin to be produced. The result is brighter, clearer and younger-looking skin.

If you are looking for a way to reduce or eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, uneven pigmentation, dull skin, age spots, clogged pores, or uneven skin texture, microdermabrasion is definitely something you will want to investigate, so keep reading!

What’s the Difference between Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is another method of exfoliation that removes the outer layers of skin. The tool used is a rotating handheld machine that literally sands off the affected skin. Unlike microdermabrasion, it can only be done in a dermatologist’s office and requires an anesthesia. This method is used to remove tattoos and precancerous skin patches, so it obviously goes much deeper, removing more layers of skin. It is also used to treat deeper facial lines, scars, and severe sun damage.

Dermabrasion requires appropriate after-care and depending on the amount of skin you want to be removed, you will have a recovery period of up to two weeks, just as you would with a surgical procedure.

Before microdermabrasion became the go-to for Hollywood types, chemical peels or Botox were used to gain the desired, youthful complexion.  Both of these processes require toxic chemicals be either applied or injected into the skin. Obviously, not a wise way to return to your youthful appearance!

How Microdermabrasion Works

Although there are other methods of rejuvenating your skin, including the medical procedures mentioned above, as well as salon treatments, scrubs, and creams you can use at home, microdermabrasion is the least invasive and most gentle on your delicate skin. Most people have microdermabrasion done on their face, but it can also be used on the hands, chest, arms, and neck.

Our skin has two main layers to it—the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the layer on the top surface—the one that we can see. And the very top part of the epidermis is the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is actually a layer of dead skin cells on top of another layer of cells that are maturing. Once that second layer of skin has matured, the dead cells on top can be removed to allow the fresh, newly-matured skin to show. But until that underlying layer is ready to make an appearance, the stratum corneum protects our lower skin layers so that only the smallest molecules can enter the deeper epidermis and dermis.

We apply lotions and creams to the stratum corneum in an attempt to reach the deeper skin underneath so we have glowing, healthy skin. But not all that moisture gets through. Even though the stratum corneum is necessary, it’s where the small skin imperfections like fine lines, light sun damage and pimples appear.

Enter microdermabrasion. The tiny crystals, such as sodium chloride, aluminum oxide, or sodium bicarbonate, remove those little imperfections on the stratum corneum. If you have the treatment done at a spa or dermatology office, they may use a wand that also suctions off the dead skin that the crystals remove.

Microdermabrasion is quick and painless. In fact, it’s been termed the “lunch hour” skin rejuvenation procedure because it can be done in half an hour and doesn’t require all of the after-care that dermabrasion does. You may experience red, tight skin after the procedure, much like the feeling of having a slight sunburn on your face. However, that lasts as little as 24 hours, even for those of us with sensitive skin.

Like with most treatments, you may need several sessions of microdermabrasion to see the results you want—usually between six and twelve are recommended. However, since it’s much more cost-effective and mild, that isn’t an issue. There are also microdermabrasion kits and creams you can use yourself. Though these don’t offer the power that a spa or dermatology office can, it’s a good solution for people who want to keep costs down or want to do it in the privacy of their own home.

How I Personally Do Microdermabrasion

The way that I personally do microdermabrasion in my home, to save time and money, is a handheld device that has suction and a diamond tip. It is nothing short of amazing and I have been slowly fading my melasma after only using it for two short weeks. Stay tuned for updates on my skin. I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin texture, it is so much smoother and has a beautiful shine. If you want to try it out, here is the machine that I use.

Microdermabrasion keeps on giving too. Studies show it encourages the production of collagen and elastin, which we naturally lose over time as our environment breaks it down. So the increase adds to the treatment’s effectiveness in making us look younger. I highly recommend microdermabrasion as a way to feel better about the way you look without all the toxins! I use this one.

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Einkorn Sourdough Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 11:03

I must preface this recipe with telling you that this is not a health food, this is a sweet treat that I came up with trying to figure out a way to use up leftover einkorn sourdough bread! I do not like wasting food, and I LOVE to experiment in the kitchen. This makes a lovely accompaniment to a holiday breakfast, as a sweet side dish. The bourbon sauce is so delicious but entirely optional. However, the ingredients in this recipe definitely do make it healthier than the standard bread pudding recipes out there. I used real homemade einkorn sourdough bread, high-quality butter and eggs (I added more eggs to the recipe), raw whole milk, organic cane sugar (so it’s not GMO), and lots of love! I hope you enjoy this Einkorn Sourdough Bread Pudding recipe too!

Einkorn Sourdough Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce Ingredients

Bread Pudding:

  • 7 cups cubed einkorn sourdough bread, about 3/4 of a large loaf of sourdough bread
  • 3 cups raw whole milk
  • 4 large pastured eggs
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar — where to find
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins (soaked an hour or two in 1/4 cup bourbon)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Bourbon Sauce: (optional)

  • 1 stick grass fed butter
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1/2 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey (less or more to taste)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Soak the raisins in bourbon in a glass, set aside.

  • Place bread in a large mixing bowl and pour the milk over the bread.

  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

  • Pour over the bread and milk mixture.
  • Add the bourbon soaked raisins and stir to combine.
  • Generously butter a 9×13 inch baking pan — lesson learned, this stuff will stick to a pan!

  • Pour the bread mixture into the baking pan.

  • Add some extra raisins on top if you wish; I like it for presentation.

  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the liquid has set — the pudding is done when the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Optional: Make the bourbon sauce while the bread pudding is cooking.

  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on low heat.
  • Whisk the egg in a bowl and slowly whisk in the butter.

  • Add the sugar and whisk everything together.

  • Slowly cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat.

  • Do not allow the mixture to simmer or it will curdle.
  • Whisk in bourbon to taste; it will be nice and creamy.

  • Serve the bread pudding with bourbon whiskey sauce poured on top.
  • Einkorn Sourdough Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce will last up to one week in the fridge.

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Healthy Powdered Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cups

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:03

This awesome recipe is a guest post from another wonderful real foodie blogger, Lisa from www.thygoodness.com. She offered me up some of her recipes to publish over here on my website and I had to post this one immediately!!!! I have been so curious about powdered peanut butter and she put it to great use in these amazing Powdered Peanut Butter Cups! 

Healthy Powdered Peanut Butter Cups

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Layer:

  • 1/3 cup powdered peanut butter, prepared to package directions (should be a runny consistency) — where to find
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil melted — where to find (use coupon code REALFOOD at checkout for 10% off your entire order!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

For the Peanut Butter Layer:

  • 1/3 cup powdered peanut butter, prepared to package directions (should be a runny consistency)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt
Directions:
  • Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners and spray with coconut oil or non-stick cooking spray.  
  • In a medium bowl, stir all ingredients together for the chocolate layer until smooth.   
  • In another medium bowl, stir all ingredients together for the peanut butter layer until smooth and add a pinch of kosher salt.   

  • Scoop a heaping 1/2 tablespoon of the chocolate layer into each muffin cup. Repeat until you’ve filled around 12 cups. Tap the muffin tin on the counter until the layer is set evenly.
  • Scoop a heaping 1/2 tablespoon of the peanut butter layer on top of the chocolate layer. Again, tap the muffin tin on the counter until the layer is set evenly.

  • Place the muffin tin in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.

  • Note: Store the Healthy Powdered Peanut Butter Cups in the freezer!

 

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Hi there! My name is Lisa. I am a Minneapolis recipe creator and food blogger. I love to try new recipes, mix and match flavors and food groups, focused on healthy eating. I love how food brings us all together. My blog is called thy goodness and it is a constant reminder of the goodness of God through food and fellowship. I believe that cooking is love made visible and the table is the heart of hospitality, so let’s get back in the kitchen!

Subscribe to my blog at: www.thygoodness.com

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Episode #4 — Orleatha — Healthy Eating After Gastric Bypass, How to Meal Prep

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:03

Orleatha has been on a weight loss and healthy living journey for most of her life. It wasn’t until gastric bypass surgery changed her life forever. She had to address the real food issues she was battling and figure out how to eat a healthy diet, that nourished her body in small meals, and how to do this with minimal time in the kitchen

Episode #4 — Orleatha — Healthy Eating After Gastric Bypass, How to Meal Prep Show Notes

Orleatha’s Bio: Foremost, Orleatha is a wife and home-schooling mother of two children. She is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of 20 Dishes – a business dedicated to helping people get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less using a proven system of curated meal plans, customizable shopping lists, hand-picked recipes and our step-by-step meal prep guide.Orleatha is a C.H.E.K trained Holistic Lifestyle Coach. Orleatha holds a degree in secondary science education, a biology teaching credential, and Master’s degree in Education. Orleatha is also a certified facilitator for Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Orleatha has been featured in popular publications such as First For Women Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and in The Paleo Miracle: 50 Real Stories of Health Transformation. Where you can find Orleatha: More goodies mentioned during the podcast:

You can watch the interview on YouTube below

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Healthy Low Carb Keto Tortillas

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:03

These delicious low carb keto tortillas are so easy to make and come in under 0.70 grams of sugar carbs per tortilla. The lovely coconut flavor (albeit subtle) does an excellent job of masking the eggy flavor you may expect.

Be sure to include lots of protein in your filling. Some keto-friendly ideas include: scrambled eggs and bacon pieces for breakfast tortillas, grilled chicken and avocado for an exciting lunchtime option, or beef strips and peppers for a satisfying dinner.

Low Carb Keto Tortillas

Makes 6

Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Total time: 20 min

Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup rice flour — where to find
  • 6 TB coconut flour — where to find
  • 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder — where to find
  • 2 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and white pepper
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 egg whites
  • olive oil for greasing the pan
Directions:
  • Sift the rice flour, coconut flour, baking powder, ground flaxseed and garlic powder in a bowl. Season the mixture with salt and white pepper.

  • Add the almond milk and egg whites and whisk well to form a runny, wet mixture (similar to a pancake batter). If the mixture does not resemble a runny pancake batter, add a dash more almond milk to loosen it. Failing to do so will result in the mixture cooking before you have the opportunity to swirl it around the pan.

  • Heat a small amount of olive oil in a flat pan over low heat and add a portion of the batter into the center (approximately ¼ cup), swirling the pan immediately to evenly distribute the batter.
  • Cook over a low-medium heat for a minute or so on each side.

  • Remove from the pan and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Dab the top of the tortilla with kitchen paper to eliminate greasiness.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining 5 portions.
  • Enjoy your low carb keto tortillas.
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Delicious and Award Winning Grain Free Lemon Bars

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 11:03

Back in high school my friend Alisha’s Mom made THE BEST lemon bars on the planet! Completely binge-worthy! She would lure me over to her house with them. If you are familiar with anything Minnesotan, then you know we LOVE us some dessert bars! Over the years I changed up my way of eating, and my exclusions would not allow for the traditional lemon bars. But, that didn’t stop me! I came up with my own version of Grain Free Lemon Bars that are just as tasty as the original recipe!

Delicious Grain Free Lemon Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup cassava flour — where to find
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic powdered sugar — we use this brand
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 8 Tbsp chilled butter, cut into pieces

Filling:

  • 4 large pastured eggs
  • 1 large pastured egg yolk
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cassava flour
  • 10 drops lemon vitality essential oil — we only use therapeutic grade essential oils when cooking with them

Directions:

  • Heat to 325°F.
  • Grease an 11×7-inch baking glass dish with butter. Line the dish with a parchment paper sling, leaving an overhang of about 2 inches on each long side

  • Combine the flour, cane sugar, powdered sugar, zest, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse to combine

  • Add the butter and pulse until it looks like coarse crumbs

  • Press the crust into the greased pan and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes

  • Parbake the crust until light golden-brown, 25 to 30 minutes
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the whole eggs, egg yolk, cane sugar, powdered sugar, zest, salt, lemon juice, cassava flour, and lemon essential oil

  • Remove the parbaked crust from the oven and pour the lemon filling onto the warm crust

  • Return the pan to the oven and bake until light brown around the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes

  • Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting
  • Remove the lemon bars from the pan using the parchment sling
  • Use a fine-mesh strainer to generously dust the bars with powdered sugar

  • Store your grain free lemon bars in a sealed container in the fridge, they will last up to one week

My kids LOVE them!!!

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Top 10 Healthiest Foods to Add to Smoothies

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 11:03

It’s no secret that I love starting my day with a delicious smoothie – it’s quick, it tastes great, AND it nourishes my body. What’s not to love? When it comes to healthy foods, smoothies really do have it all.

There is so much information out there about what to put in your smoothies to satisfy your taste buds and give your body the maximum amount of nutrients, so I wanted to put together a list of the healthiest of 10 healthy foods to add.

Hemp Seeds

The seeds of the hemp plant contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight heart disease. They’re also good for your skin, help boost metabolism, lower cholesterol, and decrease inflammation. As good sources of iron, zinc, potassium, and protein, they’re of particular interest to vegetarians and vegans. Their nutty flavor is a good match for any smoothie – simply add a tablespoon or two to your other ingredients and blend! — find them here

Coconut Oil

From hair conditioner to cake ingredient, coconut oil has a whole list of uses. It’s great in smoothies and not only because of its mild tropical flavor – it seriously boosts your smoothie’s nutritional score. It helps weight loss because your body doesn’t store it as fat and it lowers bad cholesterol by converting it into the good kind. It’s even been shown to have an antibiotic effect! Add a tablespoon of this healthy fat to your smoothie and enjoy! — I love this brand (use coupon code: REALFOOD for 10% off your entire order too!)

Aloe Vera

We usually think of aloe vera as a gel for external use, but you can add it to your smoothies and enjoy its many benefits that way too! The gel comes from the inside of the plant’s leaves, and you can buy the gel already extracted. Aloe vera has been known to slow down tumor growth, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, prevent kidney stones, relieve muscle and joint pain, improve digestion, relieve constipation, stabilize blood sugar levels, and hydrate your body with electrolytes. And it won’t even affect the taste of your smoothie! — find it here

Cacao

Cacao is the seed of the cacao tree, native to the tropics of South and Central America. It’s the origin of everything chocolate, and the perfect way to add a bit of indulgence to your smoothie. Make sure you get raw cacao as that’s the kind that’s packed with nutrition – it contains more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea, or red wine! It increases good cholesterol, improves blood flow (which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke), regulates blood sugar levels, helps maintain healthy brain function, reduces blood pressure and acts as a mood booster (yes, it actually makes you feel better!). Add a tablespoon of cacao powder or cacao nibs to your smoothie and don’t forget to add a natural sweetener, as cacao isn’t naturally sweet! I wrote an entire post about the health benefits, you can read it here.

Acai Berries

The acai berry grows on acai palm trees in Central and South America and contains even more antioxidants than cacao. Acai berries are low in calories and high in fiber, protein, trace minerals and monounsaturated fats. They have been shown to aid weight loss, help digestion, lower cholesterol, kill cancer cells and prevent atherosclerosis. Try them in combination with any of your favorite smoothie fruits. I get the whole berries frozen from my local health food store, but you can also get the powder online.

Goji Berries

People in Nepal, Tibet, and China have appreciated the nutritional benefits of goji berries for millennia – the first reference dates back at least 2,500 years ago! The small pink berries are tangy in flavor and are packed with vitamins, healthy fats, trace minerals, and antioxidants.  They’re also a great plant-based protein source. Modern research has found that certain oils present in goji berries can even have an anti-aging effect. I wrote an entire post all about the health benefits of these amazing berries. The way that I get them into my diet every day is through this AMAZING goji berry (wolfberry) juice. We will never go one day without it!

Spirulina

It was the Aztecs of Mexico who first learned to harvest this type of blue-green algae and use it as a source of nutrition. It’s high in protein, healthy fatty acids, vitamins B, E and K, beta-carotene, zinc, copper, iron, and trace minerals. It can improve allergy symptoms, boost immunity and lower the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Spirulina has a strong flavor so start by adding a teaspoon to your smoothies and make sure you also include other strong flavors so that it’s not overpowering. I get my spirulina daily through this supplement. It’s amazing! — you can also find it here (use coupon code: REALFOODRN to get 10% off your entire order!)

Bee Products: honey and pollen

If you want to add more healthy foods to your smoothies, don’t forget about honey and bee pollen. Honey is anti-inflammatory, loaded with antioxidants, and improves digestion. Bee pollen, a mixture of the pollen that bees collect from flowers and the enzymes that they add, contains all the nutrients that people need: protein, carbohydrates, fat, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It has been found to aid weight loss, improve digestion, help people with anemia by increasing red blood cells in the bloodstream, regulate cholesterol, and slow down certain aging processes. Both honey and bee pollen will add a natural sweetness to your smoothies. — you can find pollen here and raw honey here.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are yet another ancient super food – they were already cultivated by the Aztecs in Mexico and Central America before they became mainstream in the U.S. and Europe. They are high in fiber, healthy fatty acids, and protein, and have zero cholesterol –  great for heart health. Plus, they have a high concentration of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. They’re a nutritional powerhouse! Try adding a tablespoon or two to your smoothie – they’re great for weight loss, provide long-lasting energy, and improve digestion. I have a lot of posts using chia seeds, you can find them here. You can also find chia seeds here.

Maca

The maca root grows in Peru and has been regarded as a miracle food for centuries. It boosts virility and fertility, plus can enhance your mood. Most people will feel a burst of energy within minutes or hours of eating maca. Maca is also great for vegans and vegetarians as it’s rich in protein and B vitamins. You can buy it in powder form – perfect for adding a teaspoon or two to your favorite smoothie. — you can find it here.

And here we are – the 10 healthiest foods to add to smoothies. Do you have other healthy foods you add regularly? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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Healthy Benefits of Neti Pots and Nasal Salt Inhalers

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 11:03

Ah, the nose. Such an undervalued appendage…until it’s stuffed up. Our nose takes a beating each and every day as we breathe in pollutants, germs, and allergens that build up in our nasal passages. This buildup sets the stage for congestion and infection. Fortunately, salt can save the day!

If you only use salt on your food, you are truly missing out! Salt has been used since the time of the ancient Greeks to build the immune system, develop healthy upper respiratory systems and reduce inflammation in the body. The scientific community finally stood up and took notice when Polish salt miners in the 18th century were recognized as having stronger immune systems and sinus and lung health than their families.

Salt therapy or Halotherapy (from the Greek halos, meaning salt) is now gaining popularity the world over. People travel to European salt caves to treat a variety of breathing issues, and now salt rooms are becoming all the rage in the U.S. These rooms are filled with real salt that mimics the salt caves’ effectiveness of detoxifying and cleansing nasal passages.

But you don’t have to travel to European salt caves or costly salt rooms to use salt therapy yourself using a neti pot and nasal salt inhalers! I’m going to tell you how to use salt therapy in your very own home at an unbeatable price!

Healthy Benefits of Neti Pots and Nasal Salt Inhalers

Both neti pots and nasal salt inhalers cleanse irritants and thin mucus that can go from mildly irritating to a full-blown sinus infection. Salt has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which makes it the perfect treatment for all types of upper respiratory issues such as:

  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Colds and other upper respiratory illnesses
  • Sinus infections
  • Nasal dryness
  • Sinus headaches
  • Asthma
  • Snoring caused by sinus congestion
How Do Neti Pots Work?

Neti pots have been a foundational part of Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, but they can now be found in any drug store in the West. These pots are usually made of plastic or ceramic and look like a miniature teapot, long spout and all. A simple mixture of purified water and Himalayan sea salt, or a saline wash, allows you to cleanse your nasal passages to remove excess mucus, allergens, irritants, and bacteria.

To use a neti pot, you want to stand in front of the sink and tilt your head to one side. Put the tip of the pot firmly into the upper nostril and let the solution stream until it drains from the opposite nasal passage. Let the solution stream through until the pot is empty.When finished, remove the tip of the pot and sniff a couple of times. This gets the solution into the deeper parts of the sinus cavity. Then, gently blow your nose to remove the solution and any other stubborn irritants. Then, repeat in the other nostril.

It takes some people a little getting used to using a neti pot because the sensation of water going through one nostril and out the other is kind of weird. But the benefits you’ll see far outweigh the weirdness, and after a few days, nasal irrigation will become just another part of your daily routine.

I also love adding essential oils into my neti pot to give the whole experience a boost. Plus, they smell good too! My favorite oil to add is Thieves Essential Oil, for added immune support!

How Do Nasal Salt Inhalers Work?

Nasal salt inhalers are perhaps a little more straight forward then neti pots, though they haven’t gained the same popularity yet. These inhalers hold compressed pieces of real salt inside their chamber. Once the inhaler is inserted into the nostril, the inhalation causes microscopic salt particles to release and enter the nasal cavity. The salt then does its job by lowering inflammation, thinning and drying up mucus and balancing histamine response.

One of the reasons I love my nasal salt inhaler is that it’s so portable. When away from home for the day, you may not be able to use a neti pot, (and if you did, you’d get a lot of strange looks in the washroom) but you can pull out your nasal salt inhaler and use it anywhere!

Final Thoughts

Nasal irrigation and salt inhalation are all-natural ways to deal with congestion and upper respiratory illnesses. In medical studies, salt therapy has been found so effective that participants were able to greatly reduce the amount of over-the-counter medication they had previously used to reduce symptoms.

Though none of these issues is usually life-threatening, they are darned irritating! I’ve personally found using a neti pot and nasal salt inhaler has drastically reduced my seasonal and environmental allergies. We also use them to prevent the buildup of bacteria and viruses that lead to colds and the flu. And since using both is completely safe for children, all of my family uses them.

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Top 10 Ways to Increase Lymphatic Drainage

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 11:03

Our lymph passages run all throughout our bodies. They are responsible for moving lymph carrying internal and external toxins and pathogens to be excised. Environmental toxins, as well as bacteria, viruses and cellular waste, travels through these pathways to the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes are cleansing stations where lymph is filtered and purified. When lymph becomes stagnate, our cells can’t work efficiently, causing toxins to build up, and resulting in health issues like these.

  • Edema (fluid retention)
  • Chronic pain
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Excess weight, fatty deposits and cellulite
  • Excessive sweating
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Allergies
  • Swollen glands, eyes, and ankles
  • Eczema and other skin conditions
  • Arthritis
  • Upper respiratory, including sinus and ear infections
  • Headaches
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Digestive disorders
  • Frequent colds
  • Tonsillitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer, including breast cancer

Now for the good news: increasing lymphatic drainage isn’t difficult or time-consuming. In fact, many of the suggestions I’m about to reveal are things that are just plain healthy for all of our bodily systems and our overall well-being!

Top 10 Ways to Increase Lymphatic Drainage

Drink more water

Staying hydrated is vital to keep lymph moving and draining properly. Lymph contains 95% water, which is the reason it’s so important to drink plenty of clean water throughout the day. Dehydration is the most common reason for lymph congestion and it’s easy to remedy. You should drink approximately half your body weight in ounces of water each day. One way to check you are getting enough water is to see if your urine is clear or straw colored. If it’s darker, you need to increase your water intake. If you struggle with drinking enough water, try infusing it with lemon slices, berries, and herbs, like mint and basil. Or, grab yourself a glass water bottle and add some therapeutic food grade essential oils.

Move more

Along with staying hydrated, daily workouts are the most important way to “pump” lymph through the body so it can be expelled. Daily exercise also increases your breathing rate, improves circulation, and encourages water intake—all ways to improve your lymphatic drainage. One of the best types of exercises is rebounding, which is usually done on a mini-trampoline or an exercise ball, though jogging and walking also have a rebound effect. Yoga is another great exercise for moving lymph. Stretching and twisting “squeezes” organs and tissue, naturally keeping lymph moving.

Practice dry brushing

The practice of dry brushing has been around for centuries and has recently regained popularity, perhaps because of the pitiful state of our culture’s lymphatic drainage. This technique originates from the Ayurveda medicine tradition to improve lymphatic flow and boost circulation. It’s easy to do—use a firm-bristle brush (don’t wet it) and brush your skin towards your heart. The movement encourages lymph and blood underneath the skin to move out of the organs and tissue so that it circulates. 

Use an infrared sauna

If you read my blog, you know I love my infrared sauna fiercely. It’s so relaxing to sit in, but it also provides amazing health benefits. One of those is improving lymphatic drainage. As the body heats up, it improves circulation of blood but also of lymph. While you sit and sweat in an infrared sauna, you are in parasympathetic nervous system mode (you’re relaxed). Besides this, stress is one of the culprits of slowing down lymph drainage, so relaxing in an infrared sauna does double duty.

Use a standing desk

The “sitting disease” is real and one of the major contributors of poor lymphatic drainage. Sitting for extended periods of time cuts off lymph circulation, and since the lymphatic system doesn’t have its own pump, it needs assistance to get moving again. If you work at a desk most of the day, get a standing desk or make use of the ones available in your office. You don’t need to stand all day long to see an improvement; shifting back and forth between sitting and standing will be enough to see remarkable improvement in lymph filtration. 

Eat more raw vegetables

Raw fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and antioxidants that aid the body in breaking down toxins so they can be moved out of the body more proficiently. All fruits and veggies are great helpers, though leafy greens are especially important. They contain chlorophyll, which is a potent cleansing nutrient that cleanses both lymph and blood. Many of these foods are also high in water content so they help keep us hydrated.

Eat more seeds and nuts

Lymph drainage requires plenty of essential fatty acids, specifically omega 3 and omega 6. Adding more raw, unsalted seeds and nuts into your diet is a delicious way to ensure your body is getting enough of these nutrients. They are also important for reducing inflammation and removing fat-soluble waste from the body. Additionally, nuts and seeds are loaded with fiber, which is important for removing toxins from the body in its own right. Try adding more sunflower, chia, flaxseeds, pumpkin, and hemp seeds along with almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia, walnuts, and Brazil nuts to your diet. Try making some of my grain free granola. Remember, it doesn’t count if they are roasted or covered in anything gooey and sweet.

Practice deep breathing

There are many reasons to practice deep breathing, but you may not have considered increased lymphatic drainage in the list. Spending 10-15 minutes daily focusing on breathing deeply from your diaphragm can greatly improve your lymphatic system as it creates a pressure pump to get the fluid moving. If you want, you can combine this practice while sitting in your infrared sauna to save time. By the time you emerge, you’ll be a new, relaxed woman!

Get a massage

Speaking of relaxing, I’m giving you permission to get regular massages. Yay! And don’t worry—if you prefer a lighter touch while on the massage table, you’ll still get the benefits. The lymphatic system is right below the surface of the skin, so a deep tissue massage isn’t required. A regular full body massage will get the lymph moving so that it can drain, but if you feel you need more assistance, you can seek out a lymphatic drainage massage practitioner in your area.

Burn your bra

A large cluster of lymph nodes are centered in our chest, arms, armpits and breasts. When we restrict these areas with tight, ill-fitting bras or underwire, the lymph is unable to flow through those nodes as it should. This stagnation of lymph may contribute to swollen lymph nodes, fibrocystic breast tissue and breast cancer. Breast cancer has reached epidemic status, and our culture’s insistence on wearing restrictive bras is part of the problem. Breast tissue is meant to bounce—it’s a natural rebounding for that delicate tissue. But when strapped into a tight, uncomfortable bra, that can’t happen. Unfortunately, our society isn’t ready for women to go bra-less, much to our chagrin. But I’ve recently found the ultimate solution — the Cami by Ruby Ribbon. It supports me without binding me up. I feel free for the first time in ages, and I no longer worry about constricting lymphatic drainage so that it stagnates.

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Episode 3: Samantha Lee Wright — Essential Oils

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:03

I was lucky enough to be a guest on Samantha’s #1 ranked Essential Oil podcast! She is a brilliant business woman, a mom, a doula, and an amazing podcaster. I am so happy that she agreed to come on my show and talk all about her journey!

Show Notes

Samantha Lee Wrights’s Bio:

A free-spirited, multi-passionate entrepreneur, doula, childbirth educator, and mother of two. Her mission is to put moms in the driver’s seat of life, whether that be in birth, in health, or even in business, so that you feel like you’re the one driving the ship, and less like a passenger on the roller-coaster of parenting.

Sam is the producer and host of the #1 essential oils podcast on iTunes and Stitcher, The Essential Oil Revolution, where each week, she interviews some of the world’s most innovative and inspiring experts on essential oils, health, fitness, spirituality, and science. Episodes are jam-packed full of practical advice, DIY recipes, healthy living tips, and so much more.

She maintains an active birth business working as a doula and teaching modern and fun childbirth classes in Boone, NC.

She works collaboratively with doctors and midwives to help parents have better birth experience and supports them as they transition into parenthood with unbiased and up-to-date education, emotional support, and lots of loving touch.

Where you can find Sam: More goodies mentioned during the podcast: Sam’s Top 5 Favorite Essential Oils:

You can watch the interview on YouTube below

Other Ways to Listen:

If you like this podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher. Your reviews help us reach more people!

 

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How Does Sugar Negatively Impact Our Health?

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 11:03

You may believe you don’t eat much sugar, certainly not as much as most people. Even the most health-conscious people eat more sugar than they think they do though because it’s everywhere. It’s hidden in condiments, soups, and even meat! So even if you faithfully abstain from sugary ice cream treats and sugar-laden cereal, you are probably getting much more sugar than you realize.

The average American consumes approximately 32 teaspoons of sugar per day, much of it hidden in the highly-processed foods our modern, busy society encourages by making it so readily available and inexpensive. Once we get started on the typical Western processed-food cycle, it’s hard to get off of it.

Why is it so hard?

Because sugar is addictive! In fact, it’s equated to a drug—it’s only 1 nitrogen atom away from cocaine, according to Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Nutrition.

Want proof that sugar is a hidden ingredient in so many of the foods we consume on a daily basis? Here it is:

  • Energy drinks: 32-40 grams per 20 oz.
  • Sweetened teas: 10-14 grams per 8 oz.
  • Low-fat ice cream: 7-10 grams per scoop
  • Soda: 32 grams per 32 oz.
  • Agave syrup: 50-54 grams per ¼ cup
  • Ketchup: 2-3 grams per 2 Tbsp.
  • Sugar-free syrup: 11 grams per ¼ cup
  • Granola bar: 3-5 grams per bar
  • Orange sauce: 8-10 grams per 2 Tbsp.
  • Canned fruit: 10-12 grams per 4 oz.
  • Unsweetened apple juice: 16 grams per 8 oz.
  • Fat-free dressings: 4-8 grams per 2 Tbsp.
  • Raisin Bran: 6 grams per cup
  • Granola with raisins: 8-12 grams per 2/3 cup
  • Starbucks Frappuccino: 18 grams per 9 oz.

Sure, you may never have even tasted a Starbucks Frappuccino or a Red Bull Energy Drink, but what about granola, unsweetened apple juice, or low-fat salad dressing? Eek! Aren’t those things good for you? That’s what we’ve been told. But, the companies who produce highly-processed foods have big stakes involved—they want to keep us addicted to sugar so we’ll keep buying their products.

Oh, and you know all those “healthy” low-fat foods you eat? Guess how they make them palatable? By adding sugar, of course!

Now that you are starting to get the picture of how concealed sugar is in foods we enjoy daily, let’s look at why that’s a problem.

First, we need to understand what happens when we consume sugar.

Before it hits the bloodstream coming from the digestive tract, sugar is broken down into two different types of simple sugars:

  • Glucose—is used by our bodies to create energy. It’s a natural part of all of our cells and our body actually produces it if we don’t get it from our food sources.
  • Fructose—is not necessary for any of our bodily functions and our bodies do not produce it.

So, as we continue to discuss how sugar negatively impacts our health, we are talking about fructose only.

Sugar is not only addictive, it’s hazardous to our health. Yes, it’s bad for your teeth, but it goes way beyond that.

How Sugar Negatively Impacts Our Health

Creates Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Fructose is metabolized directly into fat, which contributes to the obesity epidemic in the West because the liver can only handle so much fructose at a time. The average amount of sugar eaten by Americans daily is too much for the liver. When an abundance of fructose is stored in the liver, it is released as Very Low-Density Lipoprotein (VLDL), a form of cholesterol. The fructose stuck in the liver causes Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Feeds Cancer

Sugar feeds cancer cells, making these cells grow faster and divide faster, which causes cancer to spread quicker. 

Causes Insulin Resistance

Having too much fructose in the bloodstream causes a metabolic dysfunction, causing insulin to stop working properly in the body. This is called insulin resistance, and it leads to a multitude of diseases, including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type II diabetes.

Advanced Signs of Aging

Excess sugar causes your skin to sag, increasing the signs of aging. Once fructose reaches your bloodstream, it attaches to proteins. This process, called glycation, creates the loss of elasticity in aging tissue including your organs, arteries, and skin. The more sugar you consume, the faster this process advances.

Increases Stress

A sugar spike in the bloodstream causes the same type of fight or flight response as stress does. When our body is stressed, or we have a burst of fructose hit our bloodstream, our body releases stress hormones, specifically epinephrine, adrenaline, and cortisol. Since we don’t need to run away from a wooly mammoth, these stress hormones have no way to be released, so they cause us to feel irritable, shaky and anxious. This can easily become a vicious cycle of low blood sugar, a spike in blood sugar, causing the release of yet more stress hormones.

Causes Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

We know from childhood that sugar is bad for our teeth. It basically rots them. But did you know it also causes gum disease? If you think a good dental hygienist is all you need to stop worrying about this issue, then consider this: Research shows that gum disease is a precursor to heart disease. Researchers believe the connection lies in the relation to the how the body deals with the constant inflammation caused by the periodontal infection over a period of time.

Unregulated Blood Sugar

High fructose levels impact blood sugar in multiple ways, including the deficiency of chromium in the body. Chromium is a trace mineral responsible for regulating blood sugar. This insufficiency further weakens the body’s defense against insulin resistance.

Lowered Immune Response

Animals that have diets high in fructose have been found to have inhibited immunity, making them more susceptible to all types of infections and illnesses. The research points to the fructose causing an imbalance in the body that allows bacteria and yeast to grow, which suppresses the ability to fight off illness.

Loss of Well-Being and Increased Emotional Instability

We’ve all experienced a sugar high, which is inevitably followed by a sugar crash. This vicious cycle sets the stage for fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and, you guessed it, more sugar cravings! It’s a real challenge to break this cycle once it gets started, because, just like with a drug, you know you can make yourself feel better just by having a “hit” of sugar.

Increases Appetite

When fructose hits the bloodstream, it causes your body to produce more insulin. That additional insulin blocks leptin—the hormone that reduces appetite and increases fat burning capabilities. Since sugar is so addictive, we tend to eat more and more of it, which leads to more hunger and leaves our body unable to burn the fat the sugar is producing.

How to Get Rid of Sugar!

If you need help getting off the sugar rollercoaster, there are some really great resources. I have read a number of books on the topic and here are some of my personal favorites:

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What is the Institute of Integrative Nutrition?

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:03

One of the biggest questions I get is about where I went to school and how that knowledge landed my in a position to start my blog. My story starts way before I even went to Nursing school, but I told that part in another post: The True Story of My Nursing Career. Today I’ve decided to tell you about the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), my school, and what students who attend learn there.

What is the Institute of Integrative Nutrition?

IIN started in 1992 as a small school in New York City but is now the largest nutritional school in the world. When I attended I actually had to commute to Manhattan every month, which was really awesome! I love the city! The curriculum is now all online, and over 100,000 students in 150 countries have gone through the program. I was actually interviewed on stage by the founder, Joshua, as a part of our Health History demonstration. That interview is now part of the online program! See the photo to the right…

The foundation of the curriculum is what I share here on my blog—whole, natural foods and shifts in lifestyles can change your life for the better. Instead of focusing on medication to fix a problem, as I’d been taught as an R.N., I wanted to teach others about how they could take their health and healing into their own hands by living naturally. I firmly believed that our bodies are the source of healing, and I sought out a place that would give me the knowledge I needed to understand and express this responsibly. That’s how I came to choose IIN.

I learned about over 100 different dietary theories from some of the world’s top nutritional experts, but that was just the beginning! IIN teaches holistic health—that true health comes from not just diet, but the connection between how we eat and how we living in the world. I was encouraged to understand that each individual is different and so is the way they need to nourish their bodies to live a balanced life in a way they can thrive, not just survive.

Someone was finally speaking my language!

IIN teaches six core concepts surrounding holistic health and nutrition, so in a nutshell, this is what you learn there:

Bio-Individuality

As I mentioned earlier, the IIN philosophy is that every body is different. That’s why they teach a variety of nutritional theories. They encourage students not to judge or make assumptions about the various theories, but rather to think critically for themselves and to experience them to decide what is best for them, and potentially, for their future health coaching clients. They educate you on all of the major dietary theories so you are able to make a very comprehensive recommendation for your coaching clients, based on their individual needs! It’s awesome to learn all of these nutritional models!

Primary Food

When I say they teach holistic health, I mean the whole kit and caboodle. They teach that all forms of self-care, including meaningful relationships and careers, as well as movement, spirituality and whole, nutritious foods are the foundation of a happy, healthy life.

Crowding Out

At IIN, students are taught a totally different approach to facilitate dietary change in their own lives and the lives of their clients. Rather than focusing on avoiding this and that because it’s bad for you, they emphasize adding more good things to one’s diet. Their philosophy is that once someone adds in the new food options, gradually, the “bad” foods will be “crowded out.” What a change! No shaming, no deprivation. Just gradual change that is fueled by knowledge and curiosity!

Fitting Out

Even though IIN’s mission is a world wellness revolution, they teach being your authentic, beautiful self rather than evangelizing about eating and living a healthy lifestyle. Because, let’s face it, preaching at people to stop eating junk food and being a couch potato doesn’t work. The goal instead is to inspire others by the way graduates live their own lives—naturally and to the fullest.

 

90/10

This concept is most people’s favorite. It allows you to indulge every once in a while so you don’t feel constantly restricted and bored. Students are taught to “live a little” 10% of the time—maybe skip the occasional day of exercise or eat a fast food hamburger once in a blue moon. Then the rest of the time, live the healthy lifestyle they have committed themselves to. This gives you the experience of being in control of your life, not having it regulated for you.

Eat Real Food

As I’ve said before, IIN is all about offering you a variety of options and theories to explore without the need to judge or compare them. It doesn’t matter if you are vegetarian, vegan, paleo, omnivore, macrobiotic, Mediterranean, gluten-free, dairy-free or any combination. Students are taught the invaluable process of self-guidance towards wellness. The combination of theories, techniques and choices allows students to deepen their understanding of “health” that engenders greater patience and acceptance.

You probably caught me throwing around the term “health coach” and wonder what the heck that is. Well, one embodiment of it is what I do here on the blog. A health coach is a wellness authority who mentors others through food and lifestyle changes so they feel their very best. And as mentioned, a holistic approach to health is used, so while I focus on whole foods on the blog, I also discuss all kinds of natural alternatives, including ways of parenting.

At IIN, not only was I educated on all the wellness stuff, but I was also taught how to start my own health coaching business! They gave me real-world business training that guided me on my journey to creating the life I’d been craving—making a living doing something I love and wholeheartedly believe in! Students receive all the materials they need to start coaching clients, including a website, business cards, email templates, and more.

I can’t recommend IIN enough! If this sounds like something you’d like to investigate further, you can learn more and try out a sample class HERE, or click on the image below. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made, it literally changes the course of my life to one that I completely love every single day!

 

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