Thanksgiving, Paleo-Style

Try tasty Paleo versions of some Thanksgiving favorites.

I love Thanksgiving. It seems that frequently when we get together with family, there are presents involved. Whether it’s birthdays or other holidays during the year, very often my parents or my in-laws are giving the kids a present for some reason or another. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful to have such great people in our lives, but Thanksgiving is a time when there are no presents and the focus is reflecting on what we have and how lucky we really are.

I also love the food on Thanksgiving. But, many of my favorites have been traditionally made with canned soup, canned beans, sugar, and bread, which are no longer part of my diet. A little scouring of the internet and some kitchen creativity was needed to find tasty alternatives to some of my favorite recipes.

Paleo Stuffing

Paleo_stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf low-carb coconut flour bread (recipe below)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 large apple, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried ground sage
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup homemade chicken broth, or broth of your choice

Instructions:

  1. Roughly chop bread into bite-sized pieces. Place the pieces on a large baking sheet and place in preheated 300° oven. Cook on low temperature until dried out, about 50 minutes. The bread should be a bit more moist than croutons, but not soft. This step will help the bread retain its shape in the stuffing, so don’t skip it! Alternatively, you can dehydrate in your dehydrator, 130F for 24 hours.
  2. Place the bread chunks in a large bowl, toss with fresh parsley and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a casserole dish with oil of your choice, I used Perfect Coconut Oil.
  4. Heat butter, or oil of your choice, in a large pan on medium-high heat.
  5. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add celery, thyme, rosemary, sage, pepper, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add apple and cook a couple more minutes until just tender.
  6. Remove from heat and add vegetable mixture to bread and toss to combine being sure not to over mix.
  7. Pour the broth over top of the bread. Again, be sure not to over mix just toss, then add to the prepared casserole dish.
  8. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and let sit with the cover on for 5 minutes. If you like a moister stuffing, add more broth to taste.

Low Carb Coconut Flour Bread

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ⅔ cup full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup Perfect Bovine Gelatin
  • ¼ cup melted Perfect Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking soda
  • ¾ tsp Himalayan rock salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Lightly oil a 9×13 loaf pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
  3. Add egg whites to a mixing bowl. Whisk on medium-speed for 2 minutes, until frothy.
  4. In a separate bowl, add egg yolks, coconut milk and gelatin and beat on high, until smooth.
  5. Combine the above two and add melted coconut oil, vinegar, and coconut sugar. Mix until just combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  7. Transfer batter to a prepared bread pan. Smooth out with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 45-50 minutes in preheated oven, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Low-Carb Bread & Paleo Stuffing recipes inspired by healthfulpursuit.com.

Paleo Cranberry Sauce

Paleo_cranberry_sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 4 Tbsp coconut sugar (start with 2 and add more depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Perfect Bovine Gelatine
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Blend cranberries and juice in blender or food processor until very smooth.
  2. Place in a pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Add coconut sugar and stir. Adjust sugar amount to desired sweetness.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the gelatin to 1/2 cup water and let it sit 1 minute. Add to cranberry mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Check for sweetness and add more sugar if desired. Remove from heat.
  6. If putting in molds, coat the inside with melted Perfect Coconut Oil (cranberry sauce comes out of the mold easier). Pour into molds or dishes and place in refrigerator until well chilled. If having trouble removing from molds, then place mold in hot water for a couple minutes to loosen it up.

Inspired by mommypotomus.com.

Paleo Green Bean Casserole

Paleo_green_bean_casserole

This recipe was a huge hit with everyone, even people who don’t usually like Green Bean Casserole! It is a combination of recipes from wellnessmama.com and fedandfit.com.

Ingredients:

  • Prepared onion topping (recipe below)
  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 8 oz roughly chopped mushrooms
  • 5 large strips of bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic, not too big
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1.5 cups cream or coconut milk or almond milk
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour

Instructions:

  1. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Cut green beans in half and boil for 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.
  2. Add chopped bacon to a hot buttered or oiled saute pan and cook till just crispy.
  3. Add shallots and saute till slightly clear.
  4. Add the garlic, saute a couple more minutes.
  5. Add the mushrooms and stir frequently until they have cooked down.
  6. Remove mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  7. Using the same pan, add 1 Tbsp EVOO and 1 cup of the cream, coconut milk or almond milk and stir with a metal whisk. Add 1/4 cup of the almond meal and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the cream and almond meal, whisking over a medium simmer.
  8. Add the salt and pepper
  9. Whisk in tapioca flour and stir until the thickness of heavy cream.
  10. Reduce heat, add the mushroom mixture back in and stir.
  11. Add the green beans and stir.
  12. Pour the mixture in a medium size casserole dish.
  13. Top with prepared onions and cover.
  14. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  15. Enjoy!

Onion Topping

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 medium onions, sliced very thinly
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tb heavy cream or coconut milk
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup Perfect Coconut Oil for frying

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan.
  2. Beat eggs and cream or coconut milk.
  3. Add onions and make sure they are thoroughly coated.
  4. Put 1/2 the almond flour on a plate
  5. Use tongs to grab a bunch of the onions from the eggs. Let it drain a bit so it’s not dripping and drop onto the almond flour plate. Toss until evenly coated.
  6. Move to frying pan and fry until crispy, stirring frequently. Move to paper towel lined bowl or plate and set aside. Repeat until all onions are cooked.

By Kerrie Bross

Paleo Holiday Recipes

Paleo_recipes

So, if you’re like me, then most people you know still have a modern diet and holiday parties are filled with lots of enticing foods that are loaded with flour, sugar and processed oils. I feel a little better when I bring something that is both tasty and healthy. I know I can eat that one dish, at least, without any guilt. The chocolate cream pie is now a new favorite and I’ll be making a few over the next couple weeks. Need an easy healthy cookie recipe for your party? The chocolate macaroon cookies below are no-bake and delish! There are links at the end to other recipes we’ve done that would be good for holiday parties, as well. And, if you’re not much of the make-from-scratch kind of person, then a big veggie tray is an easy, healthy addition to any party. My family’s favorites for the veggie tray are snap peas, sliced red peppers, grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and cauliflower. I’ve included below an easy ranch dressing made from avocado mayonnaise, so it’s Paleo-friendly. Enjoy your holidays and all the parties!

Easy Paleo/Primal Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup avocado mayonnaise (Try Primal Kitchen MAYO)
  • 1/2 tsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • Optional Primal Ingredient: 1/2 cup organic plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Caramel_Chocolate_coconut_cookie_recipe

Salted Caramel Chocolate Macaroon Cookies

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, & Vegan. Inspired by GI365.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, (from the can)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups finely shredded coconut
  • 1 cup big flake coconut
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (I used 80% dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup almond or cashew butter (optional)
  • 1/2 cup whole raw almonds (optional)

Instructions:

In a large saucepan, combine the coconut sugar, coconut oil, and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 2-3 minutes until the caramel thickens, stirring constantly to keep the caramel from sticking.

Remove the caramel from the heat and add the vanilla, sea salt, and coconut. Stir to combine. If you’re using the almond or cashew butter, mix it in thoroughly.

Finally, add the almonds and chocolate chunks and combine, stirring as little as possible to keep the chunks intact. No worries, though – it’s still very good even if the chocolate melts.

Portion the cookie on a parchment lined baking sheet and let cool. This version of no-bakes takes a full 3-4 hours to fully set up, but you don’t have to wait that long because they’re really good warm and gooey.

Note: To keep this recipe 100% dairy free and vegan, be sure to use a chocolate that is dairy free.

paleo_chocolate_silk_pie_recipe

Paleo Chocolate Silk Pie

I had to find a great chocolate cream pie recipe because it’s my step-father’s favorite. This silky, decadent Paleo chocolate cream pie fits the bill! The pie is dairy-free as long as you use coconut oil instead of butter. This one’s for you Kenny!

Inspired by lafujimama.com.

For the chocolate almond crust:

  • 1 2/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil or butter

For the chocolate silk pie filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk or pastured milk

For the coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 (13 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Make the chocolate almond crust first.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, and coconut sugar in a medium bowl. Add the egg and coconut oil to the bowl and beat with a mixer until a crumbly dough-like mixture forms. This may seem a little dry or hard to mix, but that’s normal. Just get everything well combined.

Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then let the pie crust cool completely before filling. Refrigerate to speed the cooling process if necessary.

2) Make the chocolate silk filling.

Place the eggs, honey, and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted; do not overheat the chocolate!

With the blender running on low speed, pour the hot chocolate milk in over the other ingredients. Blend until the mixture is smooth and completely incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

3) Make the coconut whipped cream.

Refrigerate the coconut milk at least 24 hours before making the whipped cream. The makes the thick cream separate from the liquid and firm up. Chill a glass or metal bowl in the freezer 20 minutes before making the whipped cream.

Remove the lid from the can of coconut milk. The coconut cream will be very thick on the top. Gently scoop this part out and put it in the chilled bowl. Save the watery liquid for another recipe.

Using a mixer, whip the coconut cream until it is light and fluffy and peaks form, then mix in the honey and vanilla extract. Scoop on top of the pie and use a spatula to spread, or use a pastry bag to decorate the top of the pie with the whipped cream.


Holiday Special: Take 10% OFF Perfect Coconut Oil, detox supplements, probiotics, and eco-friendly stocking stuffers/non-toxic personal care with coupon code: HealthyHolidays


More Holiday Party Recipes

Check out these delicious, healthy recipes, perfect for your upcoming gatherings!

By Kerrie Bross

Which Superfoods Will Protect My Eyesight?

superfoods_for_eye_health

Our eyes are under a lot of strain and sadly, for some of us, this will lead to serious damage and even blindness later in life. The culprit? Blue light emitted from our personal digital devices, computers and lighting. Over time, these harmful rays can cause degeneration of our retinas and lead to sight loss.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Scientists at Harvard University have shown that certain superfoods actually protect against the damaging effects of blue light and can protect our eyesight in the future.  

What’s the science?

The reason blue light is so dangerous is that is has a much higher frequency than other visible light. This means the light rays vibrate more violently as they enter your eye, causing damage to your retina. Specifically, they damage your macula – a highly-pigmented area at the back of the retina.

The macula acts as a filter to blue light. It’s packed with yellow pigment, which fends of those harmful rays. Repeatedly having to do this takes its toll however, leading to what is called advanced macular degeneration. This condition is the leading cause of blindness in the West, affecting a staggering 30% of people over the age of 75. And we can only assume that, in the age of the ever-present smartphone, this figure looks set to rise.

How can superfoods help?

The Harvard study found that the nutrients in certain superfoods have a significant benefit to the health of our eyes. It followed the visual health of over 100,000 participants over the course of 20 years to conclude that two nutrients are vital in protecting against macular degeneration: lutein and zeaxanthin.

Researchers showed that people eating a diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are 40% less likely to suffer from advanced age-related macular degeneration. The reason? These two little carotenoids contain the yellow pigment the macula needs to be able to filter out blue light. Pretty clever huh?

Which superfoods should I be eating?

Fermented_Kale_supplementTop of the list is superfood favorite, kale. We always knew we loved these nutrient-dense greens and it can feature in a wide range of dishes from stir-fry to smoothies. If you’re not keen on its earthy taste don’t worry, there are also clever products and supplements that make eating your greens so much easier. Try Perfect Fermented Kale to quickly and easily get concentrated kale into your diet.

Other foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin include raw cress, raw spinach, cooked spinach and green peas. And in a slightly disappointing myth-buster, carrots were found to have relatively low levels of eyesight-protecting nutrients.

So, it looks like eating your greens is a must when it comes to protecting your eyesight. But exactly how many greens do you need to eat?

How much lutein and zeaxanthin do I need?

At this point in time, there is no established Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for either lutein or zeaxanthin. However, in another study into visual health – the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2) –  just 10mg of lutein and 2mg of zeaxanthin per day were found to have significant benefits to macular health.

In the study, this was provided in the form of a supplement but just one cup (or 100g) of cooked kale is thought to contain around 20mg of lutein and zeaxanthin. Five portions a day of other green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and peas, would also provide you with sufficient levels of these very special carotenoids. That’s a pretty delicious way to protect your eyesight!  

AMD and superfoods

Image Credit: Focus Clinics

All-Natural Ways to Improve Your Kids’ Focus This School Year

Natural_focus_tips_for_kids

We all want our kids to have happy, healthy days all year long. However, that wish goes double once the school year starts! If your little ones are going to get a quality education that serves them well, they need to be healthy, focused, and alert. But is a healthy diet and a good’s night sleep enough to keep your child well until summer comes along?

Keeping your kids healthy during the school year involves much more than feeding them healthy meals and imposing an early bedtime. After all, they go through a lot during the year — mental exercise, germs from other kids, not to mention the physical stress from their backpacks! As parents, we need to feed them the right healthy foods to help them thrive. These foods can include:

Bacopa

Herbal Healing Tea From BrahmiAccording to LiveStrong, the Indian herb bacopa helps enhance neurotransmitters that are integral to paying attention. This herb reportedly affects several neurotransmitters in the brain, including acetylcholine, serotonin and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). These neurotransmitters can help keep your child calm, focused, and happy in an all-natural way. In fact, there are some recent studies which suggest that bacopa could be an effective natural remedy for ADHD.

However, it is important to note that the science on less common herbs like bacopa is not conclusive. While it could be an effective way to help your child focus during the school year, it may not work for every child. Make sure you continue using methods that work (omega-3-rich diets, plenty of sleep, etc.), and don’t be afraid to try other safe herbal remedies, too.

 Cod Liver Oil

 If you take supplements yourself, you know how much they can change how you feel from day to day (mentally and physically). Many of the effects you notice in your own supplements can be effective for children too. Fermented cod liver oil (FLCO), for example, can work wonders with a child’s ability to focus. Taking FCLO as a daily supplement could be incredibly useful in any child whose mind tends to wander.

Once again, this natural supplement comes with a note of caution: FCLO can lead to vitamin A toxicity if taken in excess. Make sure you talk with your child’s doctor before you give him or her any sort of supplement, so that you administer the proper dose for the child’s growing body. And of course, monitor your child and stop using the supplement if you notice any adverse effects.

Omega-3s

Oils_with_omega_3Studies show that kids who get plenty of omega-3s in their formative years have a better time concentrating in school and an easier time remembering information. A wealth of omega-3s in our youth can even help improve memory and neural pathways as we age, which makes it one supplement you can never have too much of. Give your child a brain boost with this fatty acid!

A high-protein diet with lots of fatty fish will give your child all the omega-3s he or she needs to boost that brainpower. We recommend Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil for kids to give them a good boost of Omega 3’s every day. However, if you have a particularly picky eater, there are many other foods that serve a healthy dose of omega-3s. If your kids won’t take cod liver oil because of the taste, then Walkabout Emu Oil is a better choice as it is mild in flavor and can be hidden in other food like smoothies or yogurt very easily. Additionally, tofu, spinach, even chia seeds are a great way to give your kids the essential nutrients for truly excellent concentration in the classroom.

Keeping Active

Family running on beach smilingThere’s a reason that most people utter the words “health and fitness” in the same breath. An active body is integral to a healthy, thriving mind. While most schools do their part by mandating physical education, it is also important that parents encourage their kids to keep those fitness levels up every day – be it through organized sports, family walks, or simply running around in the yard.

There’s even significant research on the effect exercise can have your child’s ability to focus. The brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex helps eliminate distractions after 30 minutes of exercise, which can help a child succeed in memory and concentration. Regular exercise will help your little one improve test scores, retain information, and even finish his or her homework faster. Best of all, playing outside is the most natural thing in the world for a child to do!

Of course, not all these methods will work like magic. Your child may need to use these supplements for a while before you see results. However, you can be sure that none of these natural methods will be damaging, and in time your child will reap some incredible benefits from regular supplements, a healthy diet, and daily exercise.

While you’re picking up school supplies, and packing those lunches, remember to incorporate some of these natural supplements and methods. Not only will you watch your child’s grades improve, you’ll watch as he or she becomes a healthier child all around – and at the end of the day that’s what we all really want, isn’t it?

 

Author Bio – Alex G Forrester is a content marketing and SEO professional who enjoys the challenge of driving sales through blogging while creating awesome and useful content. In the beginning of 2016, Alex quit his day job and ditched his plan to head to law school all so that he could start his blog and launch his freelance career.  When Alex is not at work for clients or coaching business owners and solopreneurs on how to start a website and earn money online, he can be found on the beach with his black lab, Louie. Say “hi” to Alex on Twitter!

Beyond Bulletproof: This coffee or tea is a low carb, filling snack or meal.

Beyond_bulletproof_coffee

By now, we’ve all heard about bulletproof coffee. It is also know as fat coffee, rocket fuel or buttered coffee, or even yak tea. Essentially, you add a couple tablespoons of good, cultured grass-fed butter (or other high quality oil or fat) to pump up your morning cup o’ joe. Adding processed sugar or pasteurized cream is frowned upon. People who have tried buttered coffee swear it tastes good, and gives them more energy and a better ability to focus. Dr. Oz even recommended buttered coffee for improved energy and to fight burnout. For a basic recipe click here.

Lately, I’ve been trying to drastically cut carbs, and have started drinking a few different varieties of fat coffee or yak tea in lieu of lunch. I find it really works to stave off hunger and keeps me energized for the rest of my work day. I add a scoop of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen for protein, and a couple different kinds of healthy fat plus a good fiber source to keep me full. Adding ground chia seeds adds great fiber. Cacao powder and turmeric add nice flavors and tons of healthy antioxidants and other health benefits. Below are my favorite beyond bulletproof recipes. The basic recipe is coffee or tea, protein powder, a fiber source, and two servings of healthy fats.

Chocolate Sunbutter Fat CoffeePeanut_butter_coffee_recipe

This recipe uses collagen for the protein and sunflower seed butter, coconut milk cream, and coconut oil for the healthy fats. I really like adding unrefined, organic, virgin coconut oil because it’s loaded with medium chain triglycerides. MCT’s are used as energy rather than getting stored as fat and are important for brain health.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz organic fair trade coffee or tea
2 Tbs unsweetened coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
2 Tbs unsweetened cacao powder
2 Tbs unsweetened sunflower butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia (or non-sugar sweetener of your choice)
5 ice cubes (optional for anyone who likes frozen coffee drinks)

Directions
Place coffee in a blender, then add coconut milk and nut butter. Blend on high a few seconds until well mixed. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until well mixed. Pour into a mug or glass and enjoy.

Mint Chocolate Mocha Mealmint_chocolate_butered_coffee_recipe

This recipe has a refreshing minty lift for those days you are dragging. Always add coconut milk or other cool ingredients to coffee first to cool it down a smidge before adding other ingredients. Some supplements lose nutritional benefits if heated too much.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz organic fair trade coffee or tea
2 Tbs organic coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
2 Tbs organic fair trade cacao powder
1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia or unprocessed sweetener of your choice
2 – 4 drops peppermint essential oil
5 ice cubes (optional if you like frozen coffee drinks)

Directions
Add coffee and coconut milk to a blender. Combine a couple seconds. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until well combined. Pour and enjoy!

Turmeric Fat Yak Teabutter_tea_recipe

This recipe adds flavorful turmeric for a fantastic nutritional boost to your buttered beverage.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz green tea or organic fair trade coffee
1 Tbs grass fed butter
1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1 tsp Gaia Turmeric Boost
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia or non-sugar sweetener of your choice

Directions
Blend green tea, butter and coconut oil for a few seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined. The butter in this will make it nice and frothy. Enjoy!

Beyond Bulletproof: Easy Coffee & Tea Meals or Snacks

So, to recap, to turn your buttered coffee or tea into a meal, you need to add a few ingredients to your brew.

  1. A good source of protein which helps power you through the next bunch of hours. I like Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen best because it is virtually flavorless and adds 10 grams of protein in every 11 gram scoop.
  2. Add two servings of healthy fat. My favorites are 1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil, 1 Tbs grass-fed butter, 2 Tbs nut or sunflower butter and 1/4 cup coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream.
  3. Adding a good source of whole food, fiber – not grains – helps us feel full longer and is beneficial for digestion, the heart, balancing blood sugar levels and more.

Don’t have a blender handy? Shake it up instead.

You can make many beyond bulletproof coffee recipes in a shaker, leave out nut butters, and melt the oils in your hot beverage, then shake up all the ingredients. Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen comes in handy single serve packets for easy travel to work or anywhere. Or, you can combine all but the coffee in your shaker before you go to work. Add the hot beverage and enjoy!

Do you have any great beyond bulletproof Coffee suggestions? Let us know your favorites!

 

How to Choose the Best Probiotic for You

Best_probiotic

The benefits of probiotics have been known for thousands of years. The use of fermented foods for intestinal and digestive problems was written about in ancient Rome, the Middle East and Asia. People knew to use probiotics for health before they ever knew probiotics were the beneficial part of the fermented foods.

Today, information on probiotics is all over the internet. Some of it is conflicting information, so, how do you know which probiotic to choose? Below, we’ll discuss the different kinds of probiotics and what ingredients to avoid to help you choose the best probiotic supplement for you.

Probiotic Basics: The Tried & True

probiotic_foodsThere are many microorganisms that have the distinction of being probiotic. Many of these are native to our digestive tract, while others do a wonderful job once they get there. The first probiotics that were identified were the lactobacillus strains back in the late 1800s. These are found naturally in the human gut and fermented d foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. The Lactobacillus strains that are most prominent are L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. Casei, and L. johnsonii. Lactobacillus strains have been used to aid GI problems since their discovery. They are tried and true, but some studies show that they don’t often live through to the lower intestines, getting killed off by stomach acid and bile salts. For better longevity, make sure your Lactobacillus probiotics are combined with bifidobacteria and prebiotics.

Bifidobacteria strains are also naturally found in the human gut and were identified very early on in probiotic research. They are necessary for a healthy gut. As with Lactobacillus strains, the Bifodobacterium don’t have a great survival rate in the stomach Mercola_Complete_Probioticsand small intestines, so make sure to take a probiotic supplement with strains from both that also contains prebiotics for better survival in the upper GI. We like Mercola Complete Probiotics because it fits all these criteria, and is free of all potentially harmful fillers I’ll discus shortly. It contains 9 strains of Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium probiotics, along with prebiotics, and was formulated to be resistant to bile salt and acid breakdown.

Probiotic Basics: The Powerful Newcomers

In recent years, a new form of probiotic supplements has emerged that addresses the problem of survival in the stomach and small intestines. Within the last ten years, soil based probiotics have taken the market by storm. Soil-based organisms, or SBOs, are actually spores and are sometimes called spore-forming bacteria or spore-forming probiotics. Though they are not native to our gut, they develop a symbiotic relationship once there and have been shown to be very beneficial.

While soil-based probiotics have not been popular for long, humans have been eating SBO’s as long as there have been humans. Ancient humans used to ingest lots of SBOs in their diets naturally from eating fruit, vegetables, roots and whatever they gathered. Preindustrialized people ate freshly farmed food and worked and played in the dirt. The rise in processed food production, modern urbanization and the rampant use of pesticides have left our diets virtually devoid of these hearty, beneficial bacteria – so much so that a soil-based probiotic supplement is a very good idea.

The characteristic that put soil-based probiotics in the limelight over the past years is their ability to survive better into and through the intestines without any special treatment or coatings. Also, they are very shelf stable in heat and cold, which makes them easy to store and safe for travel.

Prescript_Assist_soil-based_probioticsAt Nourishing World, we sell a few very good soil-based probiotics. The one I take daily and the only probiotic I have ever tried that keeps me regular is Prescript-Assist. It contains 29 strains of microflora and prebiotics to ensure viability throughout the entire digestive tract.  Prescript Assist has been shown to:

 

 

  • Ease abdominal discomfort, nausea, and indigestion
  • Regulate bowel patterns
  • Keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy
  • Decrease bloating and flatulence
  • Restore healthy microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Promote overall health

Latero-Flora_soil-based_probioticsBecause what works best for one person may not for another, we sell a couple other soil-based and spore-forming probiotics. Global Healing Center’s Latero Flora is a single strain of microflora shown to naturally inhibit a number of pathogens including candida. Research shows that Latero-Flora has significant effectiveness in easing gastrointestinal symptoms as well as food sensitivities, while enhancing digestive efficiency.

just_Thrive_spore_forming_probioticsThe newest probiotic to grace our shelves is just Thrive Probiotic & Antioxidant. This brand is different because it markets itself as a spore-forming probiotic instead of soil-based. What’s more, it was formulated to stay in the gut for the entire 21 day life cycle. This means the microflora has time to colonize in the gut, where it can revitalize digestive bacteria, restore immune balance and aid in the creation of powerful disease-fighting antioxidants for a healthy body and mind.

What to Avoid in Probiotic Supplements

Because there are so many choices of good supplements on the market, it is hard to narrow down choices. Here is a list of ingredients to avoid when purchasing any supplement, including probiotics. I recommend avoiding these because they are questionable at best, and some have been shown to cause serious health problems.

Flow Agents – Look for magnesium stearate, steric acid, vegetable stearate and other stearates. Another flow agent to avoid is Magnesium Silicate. These are added simply to speed up the processing of supplements – without regard for the harm they may cause. There is a ton of controversy all over the web about their safety and their potential harm to humans.

Artificial Colors – I don’t think I need to discuss the many potential side effects of artificial colors. We try to avoid them in food, so try to avoid them in supplements, as well.

Titamium Dioxide – This is a metal used in supplements and cosmetics as a pigment. It has been linked to problems with immune function. Avoid any supplement with this ingredient.

Fundamentals of Taking Probiotics

People often ask what is the best time of day to take probiotics and is it best to take them with food or without. Taking probiotics at any time, with or without food is going to benefit you, but for maximum benefit, take it within 30 minutes of eating something with at least a little bit of healthy fat.

relaxing_yogaThe best time of day to take probiotics for maximum benefit seems to be individual. Ideally, you should take them when you will be able to relax and be stress free for a few hours. For many, this is around bedtime. But, some people may be early risers who get up and have a nice relaxing morning. These people may get the maximum benefit taking their probiotic supplement during their morning routine. I take mine in the morning because that is when it fits in my schedule. I notice the benefits when I do this, so I know it’s working. I rarely remember to take supplements at night, so even though that may be the best time of day for me to take them, if I forget to take them they do me no good. As I stated earlier, taking them at any time of day can be beneficial. With a little experimentation and some willingness to pay attention to your body, you can find out what the best time of day is for you. Or take them when it’s convenient – you will still benefit.

There are a couple things most experts agree on when supplementing with probiotics.

  1. Probiotics should be taken during and after a round of antibiotics. Antibiotics do not discriminate between good and bad microflora and kill off everything, leaving the body devoid of beneficial bacteria along with the infection. One article I read for this post said it can take over a year for our bodies to completely rebuild the healthy bacteria colonies after a single round of antibiotic treatment. With supplementation, this time frame can be greatly reduced.
  2. Don’t take probiotics within two hours of taking antibiotics (or supplements with strong antibiotic properties). Lets face it, if you’re taking antibiotics, your probiotics are not going to work optimally. Every time you take an antibiotic pill or the pink goo you will kill some microflora. To give the probiotics a fighting chance to get into your system for a bit, you want to make sure you have a two hour window on both sides. If you are taking antibiotics morning and night, then take probiotics two hours after the antibiotics so it has many hours to work before you take the antibiotics again.

Most people I know don’t eat fermented foods daily. I don’t eat fermented foods daily, so I take a good probiotic supplement (Prescript Assist) to help maintain a healthy digestive tract and improve my immune system. If you’re like me, and don’t eat fermented foods daily, then supplementing with a good probiotic is a good idea for you, too.

 

How to Cope with Zucchini Overflow or What to Make With an Abundance of Zucchini.

Paleo_zucchini_recipes

If you have a vegetable garden then this has probably happened to you. One day you go out and everything is still too small to pick. You go back what seems like only a couple days later and you have zucchini the size of baseball bats! Well, that happened to us this week, so we’ve had an abundance of zucchini to eat and give away. We tried a few new recipes and adapted a few old recipes to bring you some great Paleo, Primal, and Gluten Free recipes for all that squash.

Spiralized Zucchini spiralized_zucchini_recipes

OK, I don’t know how I ever lived without a spiralizer before. This handy little gadget turns all kinds of vegetables into long strings that are similar in width to spaghetti. I bought a $30 professional grade one at Bed Bath & Beyond. The low end models there started at $20 and were all plastic. I thought for $10 more, the professional one had a lot more metal pieces and looked sturdier. I love spiralized zucchini! It is very versatile and easy to eat raw. Below are 3 recipes we made in the last few days as we went a little crazy with the spiralized zucchini. I also spiralized a summer squash that was a bit hard because it sat on the plant too long. This worked great, also – perfect way to use hard summer squash.

Before we get into the recipes, let me give a little advice about how to spiralize squash. If you have huge pieces like we did, then cut them as long as you can to fit your spiralizer. Make sure you have an end piece on the end closest to the handle, or it can dig into the soft part with the seeds and just makes a hole there instead of pushing the vegetable into the blade. If this happens, don’t fret too much, you just have to hand spin it without the handle. The spiralized zucchini noodles still come out great!

Spiralized Zucchini with Paleo Meat Sauce

Recipe inspired by jaysbakingmecrazy.com

Paleo_meat_sauceIngredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 organic red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 pounds grass fed ground beef
  • 1 29oz can of plain tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 Tb Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 7-8 cups of raw spiralized zucchini (One extra large zucchini or 3-5 smaller ones)

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and saute for a minute to release the flavor. Make sure not to brown or burn the garlic.
  2. Add the bell pepper and saute until softened.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until brown. Break up any large chunks.
  4. I had quite a lot of oil in my browned meat, so I removed some. To remove or not is your preference. Leave some for flavor.
  5. Add in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, coconut aminos, and spices. Stir well and cook for 20 minutes for the flavors to mix.
  6. Serve over spiralized squash. I like my spiralized zucchini raw, but if you want it warm, quickly rinse it in hot water. It gets mushy if you overcook it and makes for poor consistency as spaghetti.

Shrimp Scampi Over Spiralized Squash

Paleo_shrimp_scampiIngredients

  • 1 pound large raw wild caught shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 7-8 cups of spiralized zucchini (One very large zucchini or 3-5 smaller ones)

Directions

  1. Heat a saute pan. Add the butter and olive oil. When the butter melts, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute for just a minute to soften and release flavors – don’t let it burn!
  2. Add the shrimp and wine. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer and cook 3-4 minutes on each side – until they’re good and pink all the way through. The heat should be high enough so the sauce is bubbling, but not burning.
  3. Once cooked and the wine reduced a bit, remove from heat and add the lemon juice, parsley and black pepper. Toss to combine all flavors.
  4. Serve over raw or slightly cooked zucchini noodles. Enjoy!

Spiralized Zucchini Greek Salad

Primal_Greek_salad_recipeIngredients

  • 2 Tbs  extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs organic lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/8 tsp dry mustard
  • 2-3 Tbs red onion, diced small
  • 2-3 zucchini spiralized, about 4 cups
  • 1/2 large organic tomato, diced
  • 1/2 organic cucumber, diced
  • 15 kalamata olives, halved
  • 2 oz feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • 2 Tbs chopped organic raw pecans

Directions

  1. Whisk the first seven ingredients together for the dressing. Add the onion and set aside for the flavors to combine.
  2. Spiralize, chop and combine all other ingredients.
  3. Pour the dressing over the veggies and cheese and enjoy!

Paleo French Meat Pie Stuffed Zucchini

Paleo_stuffed_zucchini_recipeMy Mémère used to make the best French meat pies. That tradition has been passed to my aunt, and this year I made a few. I’ve altered the recipe a bit to include sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes and added celery for the stuffing. I also only used grass-fed ground beef instead of a combination of ground pork and beef. The rest of the recipe is all Mémère’s. Hope you like it as much as we did!

Stuffing Ingredients

  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 Tbs grass-fed butter
  • 2 medium organic sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp Bells Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Peel, boil and mash the sweet potatoes. Don’t add anything to the potatoes. Set aside
  2. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Melt the butter and saute the onion and celery until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add hamburger and cook until meat is no longer pink, stirring often to break up the large chunks. Add a little water if it starts to get dry.
  4. Add 1/2 the mashed sweet potatoes. Check the consistency. You want just enough to hold it together. Add more if needed. You may not use all of it.
  5. Add the cloves, salt and pepper, and poultry seasoning. This part is really to taste, so feel free to change the measurements.
  6. Grab your zucchini. Slice in half the long way and scoop out the seeds. I used one XL zucchini because that is what I had. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. You may have to slice a bit off the bottom to get it to sit flat on the tray.
  7. Spoon the stuffing into the zucchini, overflowing it.
  8. Cover with foil and cook at 350° until the zucchini is tender, but not mushy. My XL zucchini took close to 1 hour, but smaller ones should be checked after 1/2 hour or so. Remove from oven, slice and serve.

Paleo Zucchini Bread

recipe from theroastedroot.net

Paleo_zucchini_bread_recipeCan’t do a zucchini recipe post without a good zucchini bread.  I like chocolate chips in my zucchini bread, so I added it to the recipe. This recipe is great with a cup of coffee for breakfast or dessert.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup full fat canned coconut milk or almond milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups grated zucchini 1 medium zucchini squash
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate chips, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and use coconut oil to lightly oil a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. Grab a medium mixing bowl and whisk together the first five ingredients until well-combined. Add in the grated zucchini and stir until well combined.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate chips), the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Add chocolate chips, and gently stir. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Place on the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until loaf tests clean in the center.
  6. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool for at least 20 minutes. Turn the bread out onto a cutting board and enjoy with butter and honey.