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Real Food Recipes. Sustainable Living. Shining Health.

How-To’s

Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad

Why bother massaging kale? Raw kale is super fibrous and tough to digest. Massaging it breaks down the tough leaves, transforming them into a smooth, delicate texture. Each leaf will hold more flavor from the salad dressing too. BEFORE: AFTER:   MASSAGED KALE SALAD Makes 4 servings.  1 bunch kale, any kind 1 teaspoon salt ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar DRESSING 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 2 teaspoons honey ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon[...]
Composting: The Whys and the Hows

Composting: The Whys and the Hows

San Francisco does it. Portland does it. Vermont does it. NYC is doing it next. Composting is coming to a bin near you. Are you ready? Composting is serious business. We bury 1.2 million tons of food waste in landfills every year at a cost of nearly $80 per ton. Our country is throwing out 40% of the food we grow. Poof, gone, all that hard labor, time and money into the trash. And all this garbage could be helping us. That wilted lettuce in the back of your fridge could be working for you. T[...]
2 Ingredient Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

2 Ingredient Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

I’ve wanted to make my own yogurt for years. In my dairy-eating days I would eat it every day for the probiotics. The super thick Greek-style yogurt was my staple. And I miss that tangy goodness. If you’ve tried any of the non-dairy yogurt options you know they are pathetic. Most often jello-y globs that plop out of the container. Eww. There are only two brands of coconut milk yogurt that I enjoy, Anita’s and CO YO. Both are fabulous, yet crazy expensive and hard to find in stores. Option B:[...]
How to Cook with Healthy Fats

How to Cook with Healthy Fats

Embrace the fat. The human brain is 60% fat and every cell in the body needs good fat to survive and thrive. Without fat, our cellular structure would fall apart. I've written more about how fat is critical to a healthy body here. But now, I want to share exactly how to use fats when cooking. Every fat is not created equally when it comes to heat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are sensitive to high temperatures and actually go rancid above certain levels. Olive oil and all nut and s[...]
How to Make Kombucha: Part 2

How to Make Kombucha: Part 2

This is Part 2 of the Kombucha Series. Watch the first step here and follow the step-by-step guide here.  Kombucha making can be a bit temperamental and uncooperative. If the weather is not quite right, the whole batch may fail. Let me know how I can help and leave any questions in the comments below!   [...]
How to Prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome

How to Prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome

This article first appeared on EcoCult, which covers all things sustainable in New York City and beyond. Editor-in-Chief, Alden Wicker, has become the voice of New Yorkers eager to break the stereotypes about eco-friendly living and prove that living consciously can be beautiful, fun, and desirable. A few weeks ago, I discussed natural, sustainable feminine products on Wellness Beets Podcast. Considering the risk of toxic shock syndrome, there's never been a better time to make the switch.[...]
How to Make Kombucha: Part 1

How to Make Kombucha: Part 1

Fermented foods are a fantastic way to get more probiotics into your diet. You can also drink your probiotics in the form of kombucha. This fizzy, fermented beverage aids digestion with acids and enzymes, detoxifies the body and promotes overall health. A Kombucha habit is a pricey one though, around $4 per bottle. Thankfully, it’s rather easy to make your own. First you need a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). It’s a jelly-fish, blob-like thing that’s actually living bacteria [...]
How to Pickle for Probiotics

How to Pickle for Probiotics

Crunch into a tart, juicy pickle. Pickling vegetables throughout the summer is one of the best ways to capture the season’s produce. But perhaps that approach is all wrong. Vinegar is most commonly used to achieve a sour flavor and act as a preservative. This method misses out on the entire reason the world began pickling foods. The goal is to produce fermented vegetables that turn them into healthy probiotic food.  When a brine of salt and water is used rather than vinegar, the salt reac[...]
Making Healthy Habits Stick: Part 1

Making Healthy Habits Stick: Part 1

Healthy habits come from regular practice and discipline, right? Many other co-factors make this a complicated question. Your unique personality traits actually play a big role.  How do your habits impact your health? Do you know what it takes to make a new routine stick? What if there was a way to figure this out? Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before may help. She’s identified four personality types, or tendencies, based on the way people develop habits and make decisions. I h[...]
7 Things to Consider when Working with a Health Coach

7 Things to Consider when Working with a Health Coach

I asked my friend, Kelsey, to share her insight into how you go about selecting a health coach. This can be a completely overwhelming process so read through her list to get some fabulous tips.  Kelsey Albers is a Certified Health Coach and owner of Ignite. Nourish. Thrive. Health Coaching.  Trained in holistic nutrition from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Kelsey helps people dedicated to a healthy lifestyle achieve their personal goals.  Her programs include online p[...]
Dairy-free Ice Cream

Dairy-free Ice Cream

On Sunday I took my first hike of the season. It was a spectacular, sunny day and and the whole time I was thinking: ice cream! So when I got home I went straight to the store to buy everything needed to make dairy-free ice cream. The summer is torture for a dairy-free girl. Ice cream trucks are sending their melodic call, new gelato places open-up, kids are passing with cones dripping down their shirts and I can’t have any of it. A few coconut ice cream brands are on the market but they’re on[...]
What is Autoimmune Protocol & How does it help Autoimmune Diseases?

What is Autoimmune Protocol & How does it help Autoimmune Diseases?

Science discoveries continue to revolutionize the medical world and more studies are focusing on the healing properties of food. Food can be powerful medicine. We’ve known it for centuries. And for some diseases it can mean the difference between a vibrant life and a pain-filled one. What if your medication offered no cure and left you with crippling side-effects? This is the reality for millions suffering from autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are a complicated category in medical te[...]
Are you Eating Complete Meals?

Are you Eating Complete Meals?

What are the makings of a complete meal? Before I began this health journey I thought anything could be considered a meal as long as it had enough calories. Chocolate chip cookies for breakfast? Why not? Salad with lemon juice only dressing for lunch? Entire bag of popcorn for dinner? That used to be my life and I was unsatisfied all the time, snacking constantly throughout the day. A meal must be complete in order to achieve satiety and eliminate that desperate urge for snacks four times per da[...]
Baked Sweet Potato Chip Nachos

Baked Sweet Potato Chip Nachos

Last weekend, I made a huge batch of my sweet potato dark chocolate mousse to feed a hungry crowd. All the skins had to be removed to achieve the right consistency and since I’m someone who can’t stand the thought of throwing away nutritious food, I saved all of them. The potato skins filled my already too-full refrigerator. I had to think of a creative recipe quick. And then it occurred to me. I could turn all those lovely peelings into chips! I honestly do not remember the last time I had na[...]
Still Trying to Get into Those Skinny Jeans

Still Trying to Get into Those Skinny Jeans

That pair of jeans you keep in the back of your closet. The ones you wore confidently as a thinner version of yourself. Jeans that have been stuffed into a storage box for ten years. You hold onto them waiting for the skinny you to come back. You know you still have them. I did until today. Today marked the end of “someday they’ll fit again.” I choose not to live that way. I love my body today, not what it was ten years ago. Ten years ago I was at the height of my eating disorder. Anorexia[...]
Video: How to Make Homemade Mayo

Video: How to Make Homemade Mayo

1 minute. Honestly. It will take you longer to watch this video than to make this recipe. Condiments overflow my fridge. Right now, ten kinds of hot sauce, five specialty mustards and three types of salsa line the inside doors. The shelves are sparse though. The Hubs and I share food control issues. If it's there, we eat it. Keeping food in our house is hazardous to our health. So instead we indulge in condiments. Our fridge was missing out on mayo for years though. I could never fin[...]
Eat More Food with Nutrient Boot Camp

Eat More Food with Nutrient Boot Camp

We all want to eat more food. Well at least I know I do. I relied on restricting diets to determine my health for far too long and I never achieved the results I desired. That’t the top reason I shifted my food choices to prioritizing nutrient density. How many different fruits and vegetables do you eat in a day? How many do you eat in one week? If you’re like most people you stick with what’s familiar and stay inside your food comfort zone. The average American only fits in from five to ten di[...]
Self-Care Tips for Traveling

Self-Care Tips for Traveling

Spring break is over and signs of the new season are popping from the Earth. Bits of green grass and flowers are persevering over the lingering cool weather. The sun is lengthening the days. And my body is going through adjustments. After a bitterly cold winter and traveling throughout March there is much I want to shed before stepping into the new season. The cold drove me indoors more than I like, leading to less socializing and the travel has left me depleted. Between juggling time differenc[...]
Rice Free Sushi

Rice Free Sushi

When I eat sushi, I want all the sushi. Ideally I’d love for the chef to bring out a beautiful boat prepared with colorful fish, vegetables carved into intricate figures and abundant sushi rolls. The artistry required for it’s creation leaves me in awe every time, but then I get over it and dig in. Sushi is true food art. My attempt at these rolls is less than amateur. If you’ve seen the documentary, Jiro Deams of Sushi, then you know the 85 year old sushi chef, Jiro, still strives for perfect[...]
Selecting the Best Olive Oil

Selecting the Best Olive Oil

The land of perfect tomato sauce, prosciutto, cheese, gelato, and olive oil, Italy is a foodie’s paradise. I spent last week touring and tasting my way across the country. Northern Italy is all about the simplicity of flavors, highlighting the food in it’s purest form. And known for it’s health benefits of course. The Mediterranean Diet is touted as disease preventing and a cure for many of our modern ailments. I was most intrigued by the olive oil. Oils are quite fragile and if not processed pr[...]
How to Make Cauliflower Rice

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a great invention for nutrient density. Rice does not offer much in terms of nutrition. It’s purpose it to fill us up and leave us satisfied. If a vegetable can do that too then that’s my preferred option. Rice takes on the flavor of any spices and sauces it’s paired with. Cauliflower rice acts in a similar way but I think it actually absorbs twice as much flavor as plain rice. I’ve served it with pot roast and all the lovely juices soak right into the cauliflower with none [...]
Top Paleo Travel Foods

Top Paleo Travel Foods

March is right around the corner and you know what that means?! Adult Spring Break! I think we all deserve a break after February to serve as a marker for transition into the new season. Especially after this snow-filled, icy cold winter. This year I have some exciting trips planned that include very long flights. To prepare, I made a list of all the travel foods I’ll need for the journey. Airport food has progressed a great deal in the last five years and you can actually find some healthy op[...]
Not Going Nutty Over Nuts

Not Going Nutty Over Nuts

Nuts generally fall under the health food category, touted for their healthy fat content and as a good source of protein. Then why do they make me feel bloated, gassy and sometimes itchy? Almonds, walnuts, pistachios and all other nuts may just be all hype. Why to not to go nutty over nuts Nuts are designed by nature to protect themselves, their function is to reproduce and keep their species alive. In certain animals nuts can even pass whole through their bodies to ensure reproduction. Becau[...]
How to Make Gluten Free Pasta

How to Make Gluten Free Pasta

Gluten free noodles have become abundant and widely available. There is no shortage of options when you want an alternative to white flour fettuccine. But from a nutrient density perspective, the boxed gluten-free noodles you find on the shelf are not the best option. Rice noodles are most common and offer nominal nutrition. If you think outside the box though, the solution can be found in vegetables. This video shows you a one ingredient option for gluten free and grain-free pasta. I'd l[...]
28 Uses for Coconut Milk: The Ultimate Dairy Alternative

28 Uses for Coconut Milk: The Ultimate Dairy Alternative

Coconut is a dairy-free girl’s best friend. It’s that huge sigh of relief when you realize creamy ice cream can still be a part of your life. I did a little dance the first time I tasted coconut whipped cream. I wanted to shout, “Yay! My tastebuds are no longer deprived!” Coconut makes a delicious alternative that’s rich in key nutrients. High in magnesium, 1 cup of coconut milk contains 88.8mg and this combined with it’s content of calcium keeps muscles and nerves functioning properly. It is [...]
Video: How to Make Dairy Free Whipped Cream

Video: How to Make Dairy Free Whipped Cream

Going dairy free can be complicated when you don't know how to substitute for your favorite foods. I've spent years of trial and error to find the foods that work best. This is the first of a series of videos showing examples of easy food swaps for dairy.  I had to begin with something extra delicious, whipped cream! I'd love to know your thoughts on this video. Please share with me below! [...]
Sugar Woes and Avoiding Added Sugar

Sugar Woes and Avoiding Added Sugar

Chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, glazed donuts, coconut cream pie, who can resist the temptation of sugar? Not many. It’s strongly linked to the raising obesity rates throughout the world. Sugar is addictive and once we introduce it to our bodies every day, our brains begin to tell us we need it. A hundred years ago, US adults consumed 2 pounds of sugar per person per year. Fast forward to present day and the average person eats 150 pounds per year. That’s half a pound of sugar per day. Half [...]
Spicy Spanish Tomato Sauce

Spicy Spanish Tomato Sauce

Back in my college days, I’d buy those gallon sized pasta sauce jars and packages of tortellini for quick meals. It was all about convenience and it never occurred to me that I could actually make a tomato sauce. The concept was unapproachable. Today there are very few jarred sauces that fall into my good foods list so I have to make my own. A homemade tomato sauce is about the easiest thing to create. Throw all the vegetables into a pan and let it simmer for a bit and you’re done. This sauce w[...]
Nourishing Benefits of Fish Broth

Nourishing Benefits of Fish Broth

Fish broth has been on my to-do list for months. The medicinal and nutritional properties blow all the other broths out of the water. Not only does it help build strong bones like the others, it also contains iodine, thyroid-strengthening substances and fat-soluble vitamins. For fish broth you use the whole head and carcass of any non-oily fish. Most white fish are non-oily, like red snapper, sole, rock fish or halibut. The oil from fish like salmon or tuna are susceptible to rancidity. Omega[...]
Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

This week I brought home the spaghetti squash to feed a village. The thing was at least 12 pounds! Check out the photo is you don’t believe me. It would be a big, blue ribbon winner in any county fair. Needless to say, I needed some recipes to use up all that squash. First I made Brittany Angell’s Bacon Carbonara sauce with chicken. So delicious! The coconut milk is the perfect substitute for cream and I didn’t even miss the cheese. Now that’s a huge game changer. I thought creamy pasta sauce[...]
Finding Calm in Magnesium

Finding Calm in Magnesium

  “It’s the most, wonderful time of the year!” Christmas songs will be ringing through my ears from now until New Years Day. They bring me a big, fat bowl of J-O-Y. Yet, I also lean on these tunes for emotional support and to help guide my mood. Type A during the holidays means creating dozens of DIY decorations, entertaining multiple times throughout the month, cooking exceptional meals, selecting the perfect presents and baking holiday treats for everyone I know. That’s quite the exhaust[...]
4 Tips for a Guilt-Free Holiday (Eat the Pie!)

4 Tips for a Guilt-Free Holiday (Eat the Pie!)

It's Thanksgiving week. Let the overeating begin! Are you already worried about the excess food you'll consume and how you'll burn off those extra calories? I am. Or at least that's my old brain talking. In the past I would strategically prepare for the big meal. Practically starve myself the week before and work out like crazy to burn as many calories as possible. Then wake up early Thanksgiving morning to work out for an hour and get in a walk post meal. After all that, I’d still beat myself u[...]
5 Reasons to Buy Organic & Local this Thanksgiving

5 Reasons to Buy Organic & Local this Thanksgiving

I choose local, organically grown foods. Mostly because I’m a control freak. I like to know exactly how my food was raised. And I also want to know the foods I’m eating are nourishing me. Conventional produce and meats are not able to offer the same standards. Before I get into the other reasons why I buy organic, I have to explain one misconception. Foods labeled organic are not the only organically produced foods. Many small farms practice sustainable farming but do not carry the USDA Organic[...]
Milk Allergy vs Lactose Intolerance

Milk Allergy vs Lactose Intolerance

Last week I dragged myself into the allergist doctor. I've been delaying this appointment for years. Unfortunately I've become leery of specialist doctors. There are only so many misdiagnosis a girl can take though. It all began with the rash on my scalp. When I was 15, the thing popped up almost overnight, covering the back of my scalp and a sliver of my neck. I can’t tell you how many topical creams, shampoos and oils I tried to get rid of the thing. And here I am at 29 with the same rash ex[...]
Fat: the Good, the Moderate, the Ugly

Fat: the Good, the Moderate, the Ugly

Friends often ask me, "what's the most important thing to change about my diet?" I tell them to eat the right kinds of fat. This has been the biggest shift in my cooking. I've learned that fat is not the enemy. In fact, every cell in your body needs good fat to survive and thrive. So why then did I avoid it like the plague for years? The health community touted the low-fat diet as the be-all, end-all for years and I absorbed every piece of nutrition advice from the media. I think the general co[...]
Paleo Parents, The Paleo Mom and Stefani Ruper in NYC!

Paleo Parents, The Paleo Mom and Stefani Ruper in NYC!

On Saturday I had the opportunity to meet four people who have hugely impacted my health journey, Stefani Ruper, Sarah Ballantyne, Stacy Toth and Matt McCarry.  I've learned a tremendous amount from them and I'm so inspired by their work. When I found out they would be in my city for a book signing, I squealed with excitement! And then Stacy asked me to do a guest blog post for them. Amazing!! So here it is, reposted from Paleo Parents Blog. Check out the original here. I was so thrilled[...]
Halloween Treat Honey Marshmallows

Halloween Treat Honey Marshmallows

As a kid Halloween was the highlight of my year. I got to wear a ridiculous costume, run around the neighborhood with my friends, and get a bag full of candy. Could it get any better than that?! It was fun overload. Once home, I'd pour my candy onto the floor and meticulously sort each piece. Gobstoppers, Nerds, Lemonheads and Starbursts were at the top of the pile. I was the rare kid who hated chocolate so all the mini candy bars were quickly discarded. My mom loved this of course. In colle[...]
Dairy Free & Nut Free Cheese

Dairy Free & Nut Free Cheese

Cheese and I had a special bond for many years. It was my go-to quick afternoon snack that kept me going until dinner. At some point I'd even read an article that influenced me to eat a piece of cheese before dining out at a restaurant. That one piece was supposed to prevent me from over-eating. I stuck to this rule for years and I think all it did was make me constipated. I gave up most dairy in 2007 and felt incredible. Until that year, my body had been inundated with lactose, which I d[...]
Fegato alla Veneziana (Liver & Onions)

Fegato alla Veneziana (Liver & Onions)

It happened the first time while watching cartoons with my cousin. My grandmother brought us a huge plate of liver and onions. I was seven. Most kids my age would have turned up their noses. I was a strange kid though. I loved everything I was supposed to hate and vise versa. A few of my favorite foods included turtle soup and oysters. Pizza, french fries and ketchup were never on my plate. They just weren't in my palate. I wanted the "adult' food. So my grandmother made me liver and onions[...]
How to Bake a Sugar Pumpkin

How to Bake a Sugar Pumpkin

Baking a pumpkin can be intimidating and awkward. They're oversized, heavy, cumbersome and can make a huge mess. But fresh pumpkin can make all the difference in a recipe. It's actually easy to prep and bake. Just follow this step-by-step tutorial below. Makes 4 cups. 1 sugar pumpkin 2 tsp real salt 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil  ►Preheat oven to 350 degrees ►Rinse the outside of the pumpkin and cut off the top as you would when making a jack-o-lantern ►Slice the pumpkin in [...]
Bone Broth: Why & How To

Bone Broth: Why & How To

It's getting back to the philosophy of using the whole animal. No part is wasted. Making broth from bones is steeped in as much tradition as it is in nutrition. Broth serves as the base for key cultural dishes the world over, from French Onion Soup to Shoyu Ramen. My only memory of any sort of broth making was with the turkey carcasses post Thanksgiving. My grandmother is of the farming generation that lived on the land and knew the importance of using every animal part. She would simmer [...]
Bloglovin

Bloglovin

It's official! Go follow me on Bloglovin for more up-to-date recipes and nutrition info. Just click: Follow my blog with Bloglovin Thanks for the love!   [...]
Grocery List: Buying Real Food

Grocery List: Buying Real Food

This is the result of a successful shopping trip. A few items are missing that are camera shy, including liver, coconut yogurt, arrowroot powder and nutritional yeast. Here's the entire list: Red Cabbage Broccoli Rabe Carrots Ginger Native Forest Coconut Milk Native Forest Coconut Cream Coconut Aminos Sparkling Water Figs Avocados Zucchini Butternut Squash Ginger Lemon Juice Sugar Pumpkin Turnips Nutiva Coconut Flour  Real Salt Wild Caught Sardines in Olive Oil Grass-fe[...]
Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Pick up a tomato and bite right into it. If the juices drip down to your elbows then you know you have a good one. I once passed a road side farm stand in Arkansas that read, "elbow licking good!" I pulled over and bought two bags. Now that I'm in Brooklyn, I'm tasting the bounty of the Northeast. And I must say the tomatoes up here are just as flavor-packed as the Southern ones. The colorful heirloom variety are my favorite and I tend to get overzealous when I see beautiful produce. That[...]
Almond Milk

Almond Milk

For all of us in the world who cannot tolerate traditional dairy, we must turn to some sort of alternative. I choose to be soy-free, cow-milk-free, and grain-free. The only option left then is nut milk. Once I took my first sip of chocolate almond milk, I was hooked! That stuff is dee-lish! Then I looked at the ingredient list. All that sugar! Ahh! No good for this gal. I had to make my own. Almond milk is simply almonds and water. You soak the almonds in water and then blend it together.[...]

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