Pork Sausage, Peppers, Onion and Apple Bake
(recipe)

I sort of halfheartedly picked up some snausage at my local food store, mainly because I was bored with ground meat.  I can’t say I was feeling inspired, but boy am I glad I did!  This recipe from Civilized Caveman is SO easy to make — I made it at 11pm so I’d have lunch the next day — and ridiculously good.

Pork Sausage, Peppers, Onion and Apple Bake

(recipe)

I sort of halfheartedly picked up some snausage at my local food store, mainly because I was bored with ground meat.  I can’t say I was feeling inspired, but boy am I glad I did!  This recipe from Civilized Caveman is SO easy to make — I made it at 11pm so I’d have lunch the next day — and ridiculously good.

Baked Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Sauce
(recipe)

Boy were these freaking great.

Baked Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Sauce

(recipe)

Boy were these freaking great.

One of my go-to paleo favorites: 
Prosciutto-Wrapped Mini Frittata Muffins
(recipe)

One of my go-to paleo favorites: 

Prosciutto-Wrapped Mini Frittata Muffins

(recipe)

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles
(recipe) 
 
These are easy peasy lemon squeezie.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles

(recipe

 

These are easy peasy lemon squeezie.

Stress Relief
…

Step 1: Heart FocusGently focus your attention in the area of your heart. If you like, you can put your hand over your heart to help. If your mind wanders out of habit, just keep shifting your attention back to the area of your heart.
 
 
Step 2: Heart BreathingAs you focus on the area of your heart, pretend your breath is flowing in and out through that area. This helps your mind and energy to stay focused and your respiration and heart rhythms to synchronize. Breathe slowly and gently, until your breathing feels smooth and balanced, not forced. Continue to breathe with ease until you find a natural inner rhythm that feels good to you.
 
 
Step 3: Heart FeelingAs you continue to breathe, recall a positive feeling, a time when you felt good inside, now try to re-experience the feeling. This could be a feeling of appreciation or care towards a special person, a pet, a place you enjoy or an activity that was fun. Allow yourself to feel this good feeling of appreciation or care. Once you’ve found a positive feeling or attitude, you can sustain it by continuing your heart focus, heart breathing and heart feeling.
 
 
Use this simple technique throughout your day whenever you feel stressed, out of balance or overwhelmed. You can also use this technique as a way to prepare for the day ahead of you so you’re better able to flex and flow with whatever pops up. We hope you enjoy this simple yet profound gift!
 

…

 
(source: heartmath.com)

Stress Relief

Step 1: Heart Focus
Gently focus your attention in the area of your heart. If you like, you can put your hand over your heart to help. If your mind wanders out of habit, just keep shifting your attention back to the area of your heart.
 
 
Step 2: Heart Breathing
As you focus on the area of your heart, pretend your breath is flowing in and out through that area. This helps your mind and energy to stay focused and your respiration and heart rhythms to synchronize. Breathe slowly and gently, until your breathing feels smooth and balanced, not forced. Continue to breathe with ease until you find a natural inner rhythm that feels good to you.
 
 
Step 3: Heart Feeling
As you continue to breathe, recall a positive feeling, a time when you felt good inside, now try to re-experience the feeling. This could be a feeling of appreciation or care towards a special person, a pet, a place you enjoy or an activity that was fun. Allow yourself to feel this good feeling of appreciation or care. Once you’ve found a positive feeling or attitude, you can sustain it by continuing your heart focus, heart breathing and heart feeling.
 
 
Use this simple technique throughout your day whenever you feel stressed, out of balance or overwhelmed. You can also use this technique as a way to prepare for the day ahead of you so you’re better able to flex and flow with whatever pops up. We hope you enjoy this simple yet profound gift!
 
 
(source: heartmath.com)
Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken Pasta
(recipe)
Yes. 

Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken Pasta

(recipe)

Yes. 

Carrageenan

Hi friends.  I figured a post about carrageenan was in order, seeing how little notoriety it seems to have, and what an impact it has had on my life.

In September 2012, I completed the Whole30, a thirty-day food regimen that cuts out gluten, grains, dairy, legumes, added sugars, and any and all food additives / preservatives.  It was militant and rigorous, but the results were awesome.  I found out that the migraines I’d been getting for years and years no longer existed, and upon reintroducing grains, specifically white rice, I realized that this former dietary staple of mine had been wreaking havoc on my insides.  I now avoid gluten and grains pretty much entirely.

One thing I haven’t been avoiding so much is dairy.  Especially on the paleo diet, I like to indulge in high-quality, organic, grass-fed dairy products when I can.  Since I’m human, this also translates into low-quality dairy products when I’m out at a restaurant or at a party.  I can’t have that bruschetta?  Let me just eat the mozzarella balls instead, thank you very much.  In doing this, I began to notice a pattern, especially when indulging in ice cream.  Sometimes I could eat it and feel perfectly fine; other times I would feel downright awful the next day: flu-like symptoms, an absolutely excruciating migraine, the inability to stay awake for more than five hours.  A complete waste of a day, no focus or ability to do much of anything at all.

After having this happen a few times, I began to check the ingredients in the food I’d eaten the previous day.  The first time I did it, the only thing I’d eaten that I hadn’t prepared myself was ice cream.  Carrageenan showed up on the ingredients list.  Huh.  Looked it up: a seaweed extract, used as a thickener and to “enhance flavor”.  It’s made of seaweed, so it’s natural, right?  Next time I felt like death, I’d eaten a chocolate mousse my mom made.  Looked at the ingredients in the heavy whipping cream: carrageenan.  Huh.  Next time it happened … you guessed it.  My buddy, carrageenan.  That led me to do some research on the stuff … oh yeah, and to avoid it like the plague.

Here are some fun facts about carrageenan:
-Carrageenan is a commonly used food additive that is extracted from red seaweed by using powerful alkali solvents. These solvents would remove the tissues and skin from your hands as readily as would any acid.
Carrageenan is a thickening agent. It’s the vegetarian equivalent of casein, the same protein that is isolated from milk and used to thicken foods. Casein is also used to produce paints, and is the glue used to hold a label to a bottle of beer. Carrageenan is the magic ingredient used to de-ice frozen airplanes sitting on tarmacs during winter storms.
- In the 1940s, carrageenan, a polysaccharide made from a type of seaweed, was recognized as a dangerous allergen. Since then it has become a standard laboratory material to use to produce inflammatory tumors(granulomas), immunodeficiency, arthritis, and other inflammations. It has also become an increasingly common material in the food industry.
- Carrageenan has been used in thousands of biological experiments over several decades, because it predictably causes inflammation. Inflammation is well-known to be the basis for many human diseases and is associated with over 100 human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and arteriosclerosis, and inflammation is also linked to cancer.
- Since carrageenan is present in most dairy and dairy-replacement products (almond, soy and rice milk products), many people are convinced they have a lactose intolerance when, in fact, they are just having a bad reaction to a completely unnecessary food additive. 
Even if you are in perfect health, I urge you to check the ingredients in your foods, especially things that might need “thickening”: organic milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and related products.  It may just save you a headache, some digestive distress, or worse disorders in the long term.  Carrageenan can even be found in toothpaste, terrifyingly enough.  Here is a really helpful list of common foods that contain the C-word:
http://www.cornucopia.org/shopping-guide-to-avoiding-organic-foods-with-carrageenan/

Carrageenan


Hi friends.  I figured a post about carrageenan was in order, seeing how little notoriety it seems to have, and what an impact it has had on my life.

In September 2012, I completed the Whole30, a thirty-day food regimen that cuts out gluten, grains, dairy, legumes, added sugars, and any and all food additives / preservatives.  It was militant and rigorous, but the results were awesome.  I found out that the migraines I’d been getting for years and years no longer existed, and upon reintroducing grains, specifically white rice, I realized that this former dietary staple of mine had been wreaking havoc on my insides.  I now avoid gluten and grains pretty much entirely.

One thing I haven’t been avoiding so much is dairy.  Especially on the paleo diet, I like to indulge in high-quality, organic, grass-fed dairy products when I can.  Since I’m human, this also translates into low-quality dairy products when I’m out at a restaurant or at a party.  I can’t have that bruschetta?  Let me just eat the mozzarella balls instead, thank you very much.  In doing this, I began to notice a pattern, especially when indulging in ice cream.  Sometimes I could eat it and feel perfectly fine; other times I would feel downright awful the next day: flu-like symptoms, an absolutely excruciating migraine, the inability to stay awake for more than five hours.  A complete waste of a day, no focus or ability to do much of anything at all.

After having this happen a few times, I began to check the ingredients in the food I’d eaten the previous day.  The first time I did it, the only thing I’d eaten that I hadn’t prepared myself was ice cream.  Carrageenan showed up on the ingredients list.  Huh.  Looked it up: a seaweed extract, used as a thickener and to “enhance flavor”.  It’s made of seaweed, so it’s natural, right?  Next time I felt like death, I’d eaten a chocolate mousse my mom made.  Looked at the ingredients in the heavy whipping cream: carrageenan.  Huh.  Next time it happened … you guessed it.  My buddy, carrageenan.  That led me to do some research on the stuff … oh yeah, and to avoid it like the plague.

Here are some fun facts about carrageenan:

-Carrageenan is a commonly used food additive that is extracted from red seaweed by using powerful alkali solvents. These solvents would remove the tissues and skin from your hands as readily as would any acid.

Carrageenan is a thickening agent. It’s the vegetarian equivalent of casein, the same protein that is isolated from milk and used to thicken foods. Casein is also used to produce paints, and is the glue used to hold a label to a bottle of beer. Carrageenan is the magic ingredient used to de-ice frozen airplanes sitting on tarmacs during winter storms.

- In the 1940s, carrageenan, a polysaccharide made from a type of seaweed, was recognized as a dangerous allergen. Since then it has become a standard laboratory material to use to produce inflammatory tumors(granulomas), immunodeficiency, arthritis, and other inflammations. It has also become an increasingly common material in the food industry.

Carrageenan has been used in thousands of biological experiments over several decades, because it predictably causes inflammation. Inflammation is well-known to be the basis for many human diseases and is associated with over 100 human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and arteriosclerosis, and inflammation is also linked to cancer.

- Since carrageenan is present in most dairy and dairy-replacement products (almond, soy and rice milk products), many people are convinced they have a lactose intolerance when, in fact, they are just having a bad reaction to a completely unnecessary food additive. 

Even if you are in perfect health, I urge you to check the ingredients in your foods, especially things that might need “thickening”: organic milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and related products.  It may just save you a headache, some digestive distress, or worse disorders in the long term.  Carrageenan can even be found in toothpaste, terrifyingly enough.  Here is a really helpful list of common foods that contain the C-word:

http://www.cornucopia.org/shopping-guide-to-avoiding-organic-foods-with-carrageenan/

Coconut / Almond Oil Hair Treatment
To preface, my hair is a hot mess.  I’ve been dyeing, blowdrying, flatironing, and washing it every single day for a very long time.  Incredibly damaging.  It hasn’t been until recently that I began letting my hair air dry more and brushing it every evening with a boar-bristle brush to distribute the natural oils, which allows me to go longer between washings.  That alone has helped quite a bit.
Doing an oil treatment will give you AWESOME shine for a few days.  Once a week would be ideal for keeping your hair super soft and shiny on a regular basis.  Believe me, I was afraid to load my hair with oil at first, but it washes out really nicely with a good shampoo and leaves your hair looking freaking magnificent.  
I used a combo of coconut and sweet almond oils, but you can experiment with different natural oils as well!  Coconut oil is great as a hot oil treatment, as you need to warm it to melt it anyways.  
… 
1. Brush Dry HairOils will penetrate dry, thirsty hair better than hair that’s been freshly washed and conditioned. Brush hair thoroughly to distribute its natural oils, and drape a towel over your shoulders to catch drips.
2. Go Section by SectionWork the oil into your hair one section at a time. Starting at the ends and using your fingers, work it into the hair until it’s saturated. Pay particular attention to dry and damaged areas, which will absorb more oil.  Your hair will look and feel pretty disgusting during this process.  Ignore Pinterest tutorial photos that may suggest otherwise.
3. Lock in the MoistureThis is optional, but blow-drying will help the oils penetrate the hair shaft. Using a dryer with a nozzle attachment on a medium-high setting, direct heat down the hair shaft and away from the scalp. Your hair will absorb much of the moisture it needs when heated; if it still drips, blot the excess with a towel.  Another suggestion is to wind your hair in a bun at the top of your head and go outside if it’s sunny and warm. Let Mother Nature do her thang!
4. Sit Back and RelaxIf you haven’t already, wind this mess into a bun on the top of your head, clip, and go do something productive, like give yourself a pedicure.  It’s recommended that you leave the treatment in anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours. For a truly deep conditioning treatment, leave the oils on overnight — just make sure to cover your pillow with a towel and be prepared for some messiness!
5. Shampoo, Then RinseApply a heaping handful of a natural shampoo to hair. Work it into the hair and scalp for 3 to 5 minutes.  Rinse.  Repeat if necessary.  Enjoy.

Coconut / Almond Oil Hair Treatment

To preface, my hair is a hot mess.  I’ve been dyeing, blowdrying, flatironing, and washing it every single day for a very long time.  Incredibly damaging.  It hasn’t been until recently that I began letting my hair air dry more and brushing it every evening with a boar-bristle brush to distribute the natural oils, which allows me to go longer between washings.  That alone has helped quite a bit.

Doing an oil treatment will give you AWESOME shine for a few days.  Once a week would be ideal for keeping your hair super soft and shiny on a regular basis.  Believe me, I was afraid to load my hair with oil at first, but it washes out really nicely with a good shampoo and leaves your hair looking freaking magnificent.  

I used a combo of coconut and sweet almond oils, but you can experiment with different natural oils as well!  Coconut oil is great as a hot oil treatment, as you need to warm it to melt it anyways.  

… 

1. Brush Dry Hair
Oils will penetrate dry, thirsty hair better than hair that’s been freshly washed and conditioned. Brush hair thoroughly to distribute its natural oils, and drape a towel over your shoulders to catch drips.

2. Go Section by Section
Work the oil into your hair one section at a time. Starting at the ends and using your fingers, work it into the hair until it’s saturated. Pay particular attention to dry and damaged areas, which will absorb more oil.  Your hair will look and feel pretty disgusting during this process.  Ignore Pinterest tutorial photos that may suggest otherwise.

3. Lock in the Moisture
This is optional, but blow-drying will help the oils penetrate the hair shaft. Using a dryer with a nozzle attachment on a medium-high setting, direct heat down the hair shaft and away from the scalp. Your hair will absorb much of the moisture it needs when heated; if it still drips, blot the excess with a towel.  Another suggestion is to wind your hair in a bun at the top of your head and go outside if it’s sunny and warm. Let Mother Nature do her thang!

4. Sit Back and Relax
If you haven’t already, wind this mess into a bun on the top of your head, clip, and go do something productive, like give yourself a pedicure.  It’s recommended that you leave the treatment in anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours. For a truly deep conditioning treatment, leave the oils on overnight — just make sure to cover your pillow with a towel and be prepared for some messiness!

5. Shampoo, Then Rinse
Apply a heaping handful of a natural shampoo to hair. Work it into the hair and scalp for 3 to 5 minutes.  Rinse.  Repeat if necessary.  Enjoy.

Plaintains, sweet potatoes, and bacon
(Based on this recipe)

Plaintains, sweet potatoes, and bacon

(Based on this recipe)

Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice
(recipe here)
Don’t think I’ve made anything from Nom Nom Paleo that hasn’t tasted amazing.  This rice is no exception!  I’ve been a little down lately (winter blues, etc) which translates into being pretty uninspired in all aspects of my life.  I couldn’t even bring myself to do my full grocery shopping run this weekend — thankfully it didn’t matter, this recipe is so simple.  As long as you have eggs, bacon, cauliflower and some other assorted veggies in the fridge, you’re all set.  So good, and surprisingly great for breakfast the next day!

Photo and recipe courtesy of NomNomPaleo.com

Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice

(recipe here)

Don’t think I’ve made anything from Nom Nom Paleo that hasn’t tasted amazing.  This rice is no exception!  I’ve been a little down lately (winter blues, etc) which translates into being pretty uninspired in all aspects of my life.  I couldn’t even bring myself to do my full grocery shopping run this weekend — thankfully it didn’t matter, this recipe is so simple.  As long as you have eggs, bacon, cauliflower and some other assorted veggies in the fridge, you’re all set.  So good, and surprisingly great for breakfast the next day!

Photo and recipe courtesy of NomNomPaleo.com