6/23/17

The Weekly Roundup | IBD News, Clean Eating, Simple Living

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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
Thomas Edison


The Weekly Roundup is a well-curated selection of insightful articles related to health, clean-eating, the gut microbiome, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, a Paleo lifestyle, simple living, positive parenting and delicious recipes.

It's been awhile since I've posted "The Weekly Roundup" and I've come across so many good articles that have been accumulating on my computer. The Weekly Roundup is a great way for me to organize these important articles, share them with you and have a platform to reference them later if needed. Speaking of organization, it was brought to my attention over on Instagram that some of my recipes are not listed under the Recipe button. After investigating, sure enough, my labels were incorrect and not all recipes were listed. That has since been changed. I am also brainstorming some ways to organize my recipes on this site, especially since the main focus of my blog is geared towards food and SCD recipes. At this point, I am not ready to create a new website but in the future I hope to upgrade to a site that is better fitted for recipes, printable recipes and cooking tips and techniques. But for now, I have added a "Recipe Index" tab on my side bar and will list all my recipes by category. A project I hope to finish sooner than later! I'm all ears if you have any suggestions.

1. Beware! High fructose corn syrup now goes by a new, deceitful name. It is SO important to always, always read labels.

2. Parkinson’s disease, which involves the malfunction and death of nerve cells in the brain, may originate in the gut, new research suggests, adding to a growing body of evidence supporting the idea.

3. There seems to be quit an uproar over the American Heart Association's recent release warning against coconut oil. This article gives fair insight into the debate. The bottom line? Everything in moderation.

4. BUT, this clip by Dr. Mark Hyman sums up why vegetable oil should NOT be included in your diet! Vegetable oils, which include corn, soybean, sunflower, canola, and safflower oils, are all omega 6-rich, inflammatory polyunsaturated fats. Omega 6 fats not only fuel inflammation in the body, but also reduce availability of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats in your tissues, resulting in more inflammation. These oils shoes be avoided at all costs and replaced with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed organic butter and ghee.

5. Inflammatory bowel disease is becoming more common in kids. Since Jonas' diagnosis almost three years ago I am amazed by how many families I have met who have a child with gastrointestinal problems. Just from my own experiences, I can tell that these diseases are, sadly, on the rise.

Happy reading and cheers to a healthy, active weekend!

6/21/17

The Road to Summer + Little Green Radicals

Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
Little Green Radicals
“Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”

Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

It feels like the beginning of June was just yesterday, yet July inches closer and closer with each passing day. The road to summer swiftly arrived, and we happily welcomed it with open arms. But we're trying our hardest to stay on the path. We're trying to continue on the road to summer, the road to adventure and endless endeavors, the road to childhood and bliss, and most importantly, the road to memory making.

Since the arrival of summer we've barely had time to rest. We have yet to fully slow down and breath in the spirt of June; the balmy days calmed by long hours at the pool, homemade popsicles dripping down hot, sweaty cheeks, bare feet gently stained with the color of grass and scraped knees from long bike rides. We have yet to swim in the lake, touch our toes in the sand or pick fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms.

But the road to summer is here.

We are casually falling into our new routine and embracing the sense of laziness that seems to grace our mornings and evenings. I've noticed a change in my attitude; the slow leisurely pace that I carry throughout the day, my nonchalant approach to chores and responsibilities. I haven't exactly pushed everything aside, but I am channeling my inner childhood and adolescence. I want to read more this summer, I want to read stretched out on a canvas of grass in the middle of the park and I want to read with the children under the darkness of the blankets with a flashlight in hand. I want to dance across our yard with sparklers clenched tightly, leaving a trace of light as I swiftly run with the kids. I want to chase the fireflies, count them and collect them. I want to dive off the diving board, attempt a flip (even though its been ages since I've done one) swim under the moonlight, try my hand at tennis and did I mention read more this summer?

Most importantly, I want to make this summer count.
I want to make as many memories as possible so I can gift them to my children.
I want the road to summer to be memorable.
To be meaningly.
Extraordinary.

The months of June, July and August are like little treasures we collect. Those tiny shells we find on the beaches of Kelly's Island or the smooth pebbles from Friday Harbor. Small glass jars of these treasures decorate our home and they are a constant reminder of our travels. Over time I hope to fill our hearts and minds with similar treasures; the treasures gifted to us by the essence of summer.

Thank you Little Green Radicals for working with me on this post/review. For those of you who have never heard of this company I highly suggest checking them out. Not only is the clothing ethically made and organic, but the pieces are high quality and true classic designs. Their organic farmers, based in India, get a guaranteed price for their cotton and they don’t use nasty pesticides. The employees in the factories get fair wages, maternity leave and several other benefits that, unfortunately, most factory workers overseas do not get. Over the years this ethical, organic and Fairtrade company has blossomed into an award winning beautiful brand. Little Green Radicals combines fashion with comfort and delivers a quality line ranging from newborn to eight years of age. And make sure to check out their organic skincare line as well!

Click the links below to shop.

Little Green Radicals // Website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

5/26/17

Raw Raspberry Coconut Bars

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There is always something nostalgic about long holiday weekends; the moments spent with friends around the pool, the backyard dinners with family and the late conversations over soft music on the patio. Memorial Day weekend is a time to celebrate the end of a long school year, it's a time to remember the men and women who died while serving our country, and it's a time to reflect on the treasures in our own lives.

After spending last weekend in Florida with friends, I feel refreshed and renewed. Being away for just a few days made me realize how blessed I am to be the mother of my precious children and the wife of my amazing husband. While I was gone, I saw friends and family pitch in and help out and I realized how grateful I am for this generosity. It also made me realize that I want to be generous and self-less. I want to put the needs of others first. I want to mother with my whole heart and I want to continue to grow in my marriage. Of course, you need time for yourself but it's all a balance.

“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return,
but because of who you are”
Harold S. Kushner


I want to strive to be a better person. Not just in my own home, but a better person for society. I want to give back and contribute, which is part of the reason why I blog and share our journey with health and clean eating. I want to help others and I want to find my meaning and purpose. But in the meantime, I know this weekend is meant for family and friends and I look forward to spending quality time with my loved ones. And of course, eating lots of good, clean food and enjoying a glass of wine.
Cheers!

Raw Raspberry Coconut Bars
SCD, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-free, Raw 
yield: 20-24 squares

INGREDIENTS: 
2 cups medjool dates, chopped
1 ½ cups pecans, or other nut of choice
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup coconut cream
¼ cup honey *
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp Himalayan salt
1 cup plus 3 Tbs shredded coconut
¼ cup raspberries, puréed

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a food processer combine chopped dates and pecans, pulse until the mixture is combined and sticks together.
2. Press evenly into the bottom of an 8 x 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper. *
3. In a food processer, add the cashews, coconut cream, honey, melted coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Process until smooth.
4. Fold in one cup shredded coconut and spread evenly over the date, pecan mixture.
5. Spoon the raspberry purée over the coconut mixture.
6. Sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons of coconut flakes.
7. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and freeze for two hours. Allow to thaw for 10 minutes before serving.

*TIPS: You can use up to 1/3 cup honey for a sweeter treat. In addition to lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, grease the sides with coconut oil.

5/24/17

My Facial Skincare Routine

Skincare Routine
Skincare Routine
It's been a little silent over here. Between our spring soccer schedule, tournaments, school and my trip to the beach with girlfriends, I have been extra, extra busy. But now that I am back I'm feeling refreshed and ready to get to work!

I've actually been meaning to post my facial skincare routine for awhile, and after a trip with girls I figure the timing is right. This June I'll be another year closer to the big 40, and even though it's still a couple years away, I'm having a hard time with this one. Turning thirty was easy and exciting, but forty is a bit harder to grasp and embrace. When I think about it, it's not the actual age that bothers me. I feel no different (for the most part) than I did in my twenties; I'm active and fit, healthy and always ready for an adventure. What does bother me, and this is me being honest, are the visible signs of aging. The lines that have popped up around my eyes, the now visible wrinkles that spread across my forehead, and on and on. Even as I type this, I catch myself thinking, "How shallow and superficial you sound."

But I'm being honest.

These signs of aging bother me, but I try to see past them. I try to turn these signs into memories with hopes that I will age gracefully. For now, I've decided that altering the aging process is something I want to avoid. While I have no problems with Botox, fillers and peels, I don't think it's for me. I'm focusing on clean eating, including phytonutrient spectrum foods into my daily diet, exercise, sleep and living a stress-free life. If anyone has the key to a stress-free life I'm all ears! But don't get me wrong, I'll go to great lengths to keep my skin looking healthy and youthful! I take a daily dose of collagen, which I highly recommend. Not only is it good for your hair, skin and nails, but it helps the intestinal lining and is great for joint pain. My son and I have been using Vital Proteins and are extremely happy with the results.

I am also meticulous about my skincare routine. Here is a breakdown of my morning and nightly regimen.

MORNING ROUTINE
I wash my face every morning with Mineral Fusion facial cleanser. It is very gentle on the skin, yet removes dirt and makeup residue. I then spray my face with a toner, these days I've been liking Alaffia Facial Mist, which is ethical vegan and paraben free. Once dry, I apply a small drop of Biossance oil. I sometimes mix in a small scoop of Philosophy Turbo Booster C Powder. Turbo Booster C Powder is a 99.8% high-potency topical, vitamin C powder that helps prevent premature aging by acting as an antioxidant and promoting collagen synthesis, which helps improve the skin's overall tone and texture. I then apply My Chelle eye cream, which is very light weight and refreshing. Next is my moisturizer, which ALWAYS has a SPF. I love Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Moisturizer 50 SPF but I recently picked up My Chelle unscented SPF 28 and did like it as a back up. After these steps I am ready for makeup if I decide to wear any, most days I'm makeup free, not as a choice, but mostly because I am on the go and usually don't come home after the gym.

NIGHTLY ROUTINE
Again, I wash my face with Mineral Fusion facial cleanser and follow up with Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads. These hydroxy acid and peptide facial peel pads gently exfoliate the skin to support natural cell turnover. For night time, I like to use a nourishing eye cream and have been using Algenist anti-aging eye cream. I then apply SUNDAY RILEY Luna Sleeping Night Oil. Facial oils are probably my favorite products on the market. I love oils and this one in particular is wonderful to use at night. I'm a little sensitive to scents, and it's not my favorite scent, but it leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated. If I apply other products I wait at least fifteen minutes before doing so because I want to make sure the oil is fully absorbed into my skin. In the winter I use a nightly moisturizer, but with the warmer weather and humidity the oil is capable of keeping my skin hydrated. Lastly, right before jumping into bed I apply Needles No More by Dr. Brandt. This product is worth the investment! I have noticed visible results when I wake up in the morning and this seems to be the one product I continue to purchase.

When it comes to the concept of minimalism, I seem to do well in all aspects of my life except beauty products. I'm such a sucker for good products and always love tot try new ones. What are your "must haves" and favorite products?

“I've enjoyed every age I've been, and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I've been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don't want a "perfect" face and body; I want to wear the life I've lived.”
Pat Benatar, Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir

*This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts on products are of my own personal opinion and I did not receive compensation to write this, however this post does contain affiliate links.

5/8/17

Oven-Baked Salmon Cakes

SCD salmon cakes
SCD salmon cakes
SCD salmon cakes
Seafood is definitely a staple in our home and we usually end up eating fish two to three times a week. My go-to is always oven baked fish; usually salmon, halibut or sea bass, and occasionally we'll sauté scallops, especially when Nantucket Bay scallops are in season. If you've never experienced a Nantucket Bay scallop I highly recommend you do. They are smaller than sea scallops and exceptionally sweet; they literally melt in your mouth! Since the season is so short (usually November to March) they are considered an extra treat and because of the fresh quality you can actually consume them raw. They are perfect for making ceviche, which just gave me the idea of sharing a recipe for next season! But on to salmon cakes.

This dish is simple to make and the patties can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to a couple months. We usually don't add a sauce but the aioli below is very easy to make and a great accompaniment to the salmon cakes.

Oven-Baked Salmon Cakes
SCD, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-free
yield: 8-10 patties

INGREDIENTS:
15 ounces Wild Alaskan Salmon (I like Natural Sea non-gmo BPA-free can)
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced
2 Tbs coconut oil
1/4 cup packed spinach, finally chopped
1/2 cup almond flour
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp garlic powder or fresh garlic (I omit because I'm allergic)
1/2 tsp cumin

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat the coconut oil in a sauté pan over medium heat; sauté the onion, carrots and celery until translucent. Remove from heat.
2. Drain the canned salmon and remove any bones.
3. Add the salmon and cooked vegetables to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add in spinach and mix well. Then add almond flour, egg and spices and stir until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I like this brand.)
5. Form the salmon mixture into small patties and place them on the parchment paper.
6. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden.
7. Serve with a lemon aioli.

Lemon Aioli
SCD, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-free

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup SCD legal mayonnaise (I like Primal Kitchen)
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 fresh garlic clove, diced (optional, I omit due to allergies but I know everyone loves garlic!)

DIRECTIONS:
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Store in an airtight container for up to five days.