1/31/19

Healing Cabbage Soup + Tips To Stay Healthy During Cold & Flu Season | SCD + Paleo

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As we head into February, we also head into the heart of the flu and cold season. I always try my best to ward off those awful germs, but we do take a few extra steps during the winter months to ensure that we stay healthy. My oldest son, who was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when he was nine years old, takes an immunosuppressant drug (Imuran) to treat his autoimmune disease. With autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body’s own tissue. Because immunosuppressant drugs weaken the immune system, they suppress this reaction by tricking the body, which in turn reduces the impact of the autoimmune disease on the body. Unfortunately, since immunosuppressant drugs compromise the immune system, my son is constantly at risk of contracting whatever bug is floating around the school, the soccer field, the basketball court and pretty much anywhere we go.

To help prevent sickness we take these few extra steps during the winter months to stay strong and healthy.

Wash Your Hands
I can't say this enough! I encourage the kids to wash their hands during school and the first thing we do when they get home from school, sports and activities is wash their hands. I try to avoid hand sanitizer because it's hard on the skin, but I do carry THIS natural sanitizer with me at all times. Remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds! Even though my kiddos are older, we still single Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and it does the trick.

Wipe Down Your Desk, Doorknobs, Computer, Phone & Steering Wheel
I try to wipe down the items we touch most often at least once a week. You can use disinfecting wipes like THESE or even make your own natural cleaner using essential oils. I'm sure I'm missing a couple on my list, but take a moment to think about what you touch daily. Doorknobs, steering wheels and phones are essential to clean.

Eat the Rainbow
When you incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet you reap the benefits of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that act as powerful defenders of health, both for the plant and the person consuming the plant. Studies have shown that people who eat more plant-based foods have reduced risks of chronic disease, heart disease and cancer. And, these phytonutrients can even help rid the body of toxins, fight inflammation, boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure and help fight disease.

Exercise
Staying active and fit is key. Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways which may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise also improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases.

Get Enough Sleep
Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

Healing Cabbage Soup
Yield: 10 servings
Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-free, SCD, Paleo

INGREDIENTS:
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil or avocado oil
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
4 Tbs ketchup (We used THIS)
5 cups bone broth or chicken stock
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt & pepper
10 ounces frozen peas & carrots
10 ounces frozen green beans

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat a dutch over over medium high heat. Add the oil and onions and sauté until translucent.
2. Add the cabbage and cook until soft.
3. Add the stock, ketchup and spices. Simmer 10 minutes.
4. Add the peas, carrots and green beans and simmer another 10 minutes.
5. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with avocado slices, sliced radish and parsley.



1/24/19

Grilled Peaches With Whipped Cream & Blueberry Reduction

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Well, it may not be peach season, but this recipe would be equally yummy with pears so I thought I would go ahead and share. Plus, my goal for this year is to actually share more of the recipes I create and write down so I figure I should just start now versus waiting for the later. While I love to bake cakes, muffins and goodies, my son is not a huge fan of baked goods. He seems to prefer custards and fruit desserts. Fresh fruit, preferably in season, always makes an easy go-to dessert and often travels well if you are on the road. The whipped cream can be made a day in advance, but it is best enjoyed fresh. We also love eating a bowl of fruit topped with this creamy, rich whipped topping.

Essentially, this whipped cream is a probiotic yogurt that is packed with healthy benefits for your body. Probiotic foods are made through the process of fermentation. As bacteria chemically alter the food, in this case turning the heavy whipping cream into yogurt, they secrete enzymes, organic acids and proteins. Some of the potential health perks of probiotics may be due to those compounds. Benefits of yogurt and fermented foods include: healthy digestion, increased bone density which may help prevent osteoporosis, boosts the immune system, reduces high blood pressure, reduces bad cholesterol and may help treat chronic pain and brain-related illnesses.

GRILLED PEACHES WITH WHIPPED CREAM & BLUEBERRY REDUCTION
SCD, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:
4 peaches (or pears), cut in half
2 Tbs butter, melted

DIRECTIONS
1. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of all the peaches (or pears) with the melted butter
2. Grill until soft and tender.
3. Remove from the grill. Plate up by placing 1/2 peach on each plate, top with the prepared whipped cream and then drizzle with the blueberry reduction. Garnish with basil.
**Make sure to make the blueberry reduction and whipped cream in advance. See directions below.

BLUEBERRY REDUCTION
Ingredients:
1 Cup water
2 Cups blueberries
4 Tbs honey
1 Tbs red wine vinegar

1. In a Vitamix or blender, mix the water and blueberries.
2. Add the blueberry mixture, honey and red wine vinegar to a sauce pan.
3. Bring to a boil; lower heat and gently simmer until thickened.
* You don't have to use the blender, but I wanted a smooth sauce versus a thick and chunky blueberry sauce.

SCD WHIPPED CREAM
Ingredients:
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1 pack yogourmet yogurt starter
3 TBS honey
1 tsp vanilla

1. Heat the cream over medium heat and watch closely as it reaches 180 degrees.
2. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
3. Mix 1/2 cup of the cooled milk with the yogurt starter until it is thoroughly combined. Add the rest of the milk (cream) and stir well.
4. Transfer to your yogurt maker and allow to ferment for 24 hours. Place in the refrigerator and chill until set, I usually do this overnight.
5. Once chilled, add the cream to your standing mixer. Add the honey and vanilla, beat until soft peaks form and it is the consistency of whipped cream.
6. Best served immediately.

1/22/19

How To Calm Your Anxiety And Fear Of Flying

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I have a secret to share, one that I'm not really hiding, but one that I don't talk about often. I have a fear of flying. I didn't always feel anxious about flying. In fact, I have traveled to France, all over Eastern Europe, California, Mexico and more with no problems what so ever. But something changed after having kids, and it has progressively become worse over the years. Last year when Jonas and I travelled for his national soccer team, I finally came to the realization that I needed to face my fear because it was having an impact on my family. I worried that when we flew together I was turning to him for support and help in calming my nerves. I also worried that my fear would cause him to become scared. Either that or he would think his mom was crazy.

I'm fortunate that I have never experienced a panic attack, but the feelings that overcome me when I fly feel like they could mirror one. My hands become clammy, it's hard for me to swallow, I'm extremely jittery and the littlest bump will send me into worst case scenario mode. You definitely don't want to hold my hand because I most likely will have the ultimate death grip. I also catch myself in irrational thoughts. The last time we visited Friday Harbor we decided to forgo the ferry and take a plane to the island. If I would have known that the plane only seated nine passengers I probably would have never even considered it. I was convinced the pilot was ninety, in reality he was probably sixty, and that he was going to have a heartache while flying and all would be over. I honestly thought that! Crazy, right?

I may have a fear of flying but I refuse to let that keep me from traveling and embracing journeys. Over this past year I have slowly learned how to deal with my anxiety and I have found a few ways to keep calm and at ease while on a plane. The anxiety has not gone away, but if I put a little work into it on my end, it does ease up.

Create A Playlist
I'm a music person, and music always affects my mood. As soon as I board the plane and take my seat, I throw on my headphones and listen to a playlist I create in advance. I opt for music that is soothing and slow, usually a mix of Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Bon Iver and Mumford & Sons.

Keep Yourself Distracted
Take advance of upgrades, especially if it's a longer flight. Consider upgrading your seating. I also always purchase the wifi so I can watch a movie to take my mind off the flight. I have also noticed if I'm into a good book my mind will not wander towards anxiety. Distract yourself so you don't overthink the situation.

Sit Toward the Front of the Plane
According to JetBlue, the front of the plane is quieter, which could help ease anxiety. And if you think about it, riding in the back of a bus, van or car tends to be bumpier than the front, I'm guessing it's the same with an airplane.

Meditate
I have recently started to meditate daily, and have found just five minutes can bring peace and calmness to the mind. I have been on the search for an app, and so far I have tried out Breathe and Calm. You can upgrade both apps for full access, but at this point I just use the free portions. They are limited, but for right now they work. Using a meditation app on your flight is a great tool for calming the mind.

Medicate
Anxiety is real. Do not ever feel ashamed or embarrassed, and if you get to the point where you feel it is spinning out of control, consult your doctor. I usually have a glass of wine or a cocktail on the flight, but my anxiety with flying may be to the point where I need to talk to my physician. Please keep in mind, if you are taking medications you should not mix them with alcohol.

Just last week we took a trip to Breckinridge, CO and I tried of few of these techniques on the flight, and you know what? They actually worked! I felt the most at ease and calm which gives me a great sense of hope when it comes to beating my fear of flying. What about you? Do you experience anxiety when it comes to flying? How do you handle your fears?

1/8/19

Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon + Himalayan Salt | SCD, Paleo, Keto

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Throughout all the testing we have had done through Functional Medicine, one element has always remained consistent; my son's omega-3 levels have always been good. In fact, the doctor is always so surprised that they are high because they see several patients who test low in omega-3's. We rely on fish weekly as a source for protein, and one of my goals for my family this year is to reduce our red meat intake and increase our vegetable intake. In addition to eating a well-balanced diet that is high in fish, we also take omega-3 supplements. THIS product was recommended to us by the Cleveland Clinic's Functional Medicine Department, and while it is not technically 100% SCD compliant, we have had no problems and do use this product.

Benefits of Salmon
1. Salmon is one of the best sources of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
2. It is an excellent source of protein.
3. Salmon is high in the B vitamins and Potassium.
4. Astaxanthin, an antioxidant found in salmon, may benefit heart, brain, nervous system and skin health.
5. Helps fight inflammation.
6. Both fatty fish and fish oil have been found to reduce depressive symptoms, protect fetal brain health during pregnancy, decrease anxiety, slow age-related memory loss and lower the risk of dementia.

So how do I buy a healthy smoked salmon that is compliant with the SCD diet?

The first thing you want to do is check for any added ingredients, such as extra salt, sugar, starches or flavors. The smoking process naturally adds plenty of flavor, so the healthier option is to buy smoked salmon with no added extras. Look carefully because almost all brands of smoked salmon have added sugars! You'll also want to consider a product that has the oceans eco-system in mind. We often buy our fish or meat and don't ever think about where they come from or what they are fed. Unfortunately, the regulations for farmed fish are very loose. I like to follow the Seafood Watch website, which is supported by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and they also have a great app for easy convenience.

Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon
Yield: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS
2 avocados, mashed
2 small tomatoes, sliced
1/2 lemon
6 pieces toast, I use Liberated Specialty Foods Cashew Crème Bread
4 ounces smoked salmon*, I use Blue Circle brand
1 tsp Himalayan Pink salt
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Toast your bread and spread the mashed avocado on each slice.
2. Add two tomatoes slices to each piece, drizzle with olive oil, and add the salmon.
3. Add a squeeze of lemon and touch of salt and enjoy!

1/4/19

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.

Cheers to a new year! We had a wonderful holiday season, but secretly, I am ready to get back into the routine of life. We have stayed up far too late on several occasions, we've splurged on food and, in my case, wine and dark chocolate and I haven't been the best about hitting the gym and working out. I am slowly getting my home back in order and taking down the seasonal decor. I am making it a point to exercise daily, in fact, I just dowloaded the new Daily Om app OMFIT. I'm trying the free trial now and I'll let you know how it goes for anyone who is interested! It's back to clean eating for me and focusing on a heavily plant-based diet with some clean meats.

In 2019 I plan to clear my mind, detox my life and minimize my home and belongings.
I look forward to our journey and sharing our adventures here with you!
Cheers to health, fitness and clarity.

1. Are you spending time with the right people for your health and happiness? Developing strong relationships can be far better for our health than we think. This article reminded me of this important factor in our wellbeing and serves as a gentle reminder that we should strive to rid our lives of any toxins; whether they are toxins found environmentally in our foods and products or whether they are toxic relationships that weigh us down. Both are equally bad for our health.

2. This is actually a study that I am saving for my personal reference. Chronic granulomatous disease mimicking early-onset Crohn’s disease with cutaneous manifestations. While this study is from a few years ago, 2014, I feel it is a valid and important read to keep on file. In fact, I have a copy printed out for my GI. Jonas' diagnoses of Crohn's disease is based on inflammation markers, scopes verifying the inflammation and the key factor in his diagnosis is granuloma cell formation present in the ileum. I was told that granuloma cells are automatically indicative of Crohn's disease, but according to this study, that is not the case.

3. We have actually used the idea of a "Technology Basket" in our home for the past few years. We have a large basket that stores iPads and phones and when we have family night or when I've just had enough with the screen time all technology goes in the basket. I love this idea!

4. Do you have kids in sports? This is a must read. Very interesting points and perspective.

5. A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley.

6. These Flourless Pumpkin Bars are definitely on our list to bake this weekend!