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It’s Canadian Thanksgiving!

In honor of Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I want to highlight my favorite Canadian blog, www.eathealthrive.ca!

I made these pumpkin squares this weekend and they are delicious! What I love about these bars is that they call for pumpkin, which is delicious and easy on our digestive systems. I have cans ready year round for my dogs to have as meals when they’re not feeling well. It ALSO uses gelatin, packing a double bunch of gut healing food. It had been so long since I had bone broth that I convinced myself I need some powdered gelatin in my life (any excuse for sweets, right?) I use maple syrup instead of honey and almond flour in place of the arrowroot powder in this recipe. Still turns out delicious, but I do suggest letting it set overnight.

This is a great addition to your Thanksgiving celebration this year! Stay tuned for more harvest  recipes this month!
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Pumpkin Pie Squares (Paleo, AIP)
Author: Martine Partridge
Recipe type: Treats
Serves: 12

Ingredients

         For the crust:

  • ¼ c coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot flour
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ c coconut oil, dry measure then melt
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extractFor the pumpkin layer:
  • 2 c pumpkin purée
  • ¼ c maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ c coconut oil
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1½ tsp gelatin + ¼ c water
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine coconut flour, arrowroot flour, and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre.
  2. Add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup or honey, water, and vanilla into the well.
  3. Stir until thickened and a dough forms. Press into an 8×8 pan.
  4. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until golden on the edges.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool.
  6. While the crust is cooling, prepare the pumpkin layer.
  7. In a small sauce pan, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and stir to melt gelatin completely. Remove from heat.
  8. Add the gelatin mixture to the pumpkin puree, maple syrup (or honey), coconut oil, vanilla, pinch of salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and coconut flour.
  9. Combine all ingredients and process until smooth.
  10. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the cooled crust and place in the refrigerator to chill for several hours or overnight.
  11. Cut into squares and serve with whipped coconut topping, if you fancy that!

Cheers to the Weekend: Autumn Cider Recipe

Autumn cider recipeMost of us are going to be locked up with our loved ones this weekend as Joaquin passes through the East Coast. I’ve recently given up wine because of how the sugar and alcohol make me feel, but I do love a cocktail on a Friday evening while cooking dinner and lounging to watch a movie while we listen to the rain on our roof. I’ve  found that ginger beer and cider (though sugary) is much better on my stomach  and has a much lower alcohol content. I have a few varieties that have no added sugar and finish with a clean, dry taste. I recommend:

– Crispin (artisinal reserve, stagger lee, and the saint) varieties
–  Woodchuck Private reserve Ginger Cider
–  ACE Pumpkin Hard Cider

Tonight, I will be mixing one of these chilled ciders in a glass with wild orange aromatic bitters, 1/2 oz. rye bourbon, and 1 sprig of rosemary or a few cloves to garnish.

Cheers to everyone trying to stay dry out there! And enjoy the FIRST weekend of October.

 

Super Soul Sunday

When I think about why I love Robert Frost, it’s because I love teaching his poetry. Its complexity can be a little complicated for high school students, so that’s why I love that a simpler read of Frost is also possible. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is actually my favorite Frost poem because of the evocative imagery, but The Road Not Taken will always speak to me in an eery way. Free Will has got me all tied up in knots sometimes, thinking about all the possible outcomes and permutations of the choices I’ve made and will make. It’s no secret that we survive by telling ourselves that the story we are writing or the path we are choosing is the “right” one, and that we create justifications  for our choices along those paths. In the end, happiness and strife are found with any road, and the human struggle continues despite our wisest or poorest decisions. My wish on this Sunday is that we be content with the roads we choose and live the life born of those choices as fully as possible each minute. For me that means longer meditations, slower walks, more intentional conversations and loving, and more teaching and learning. What does it mean for you?
PS- Check out this article if you want to more about Frost’s pom

 

Weekend Motivation

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Getting More Fiber on your Ancestral Diet

Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds

Dietary Fiber is incredibly important to  balanced health and macros and a healed gut. SO many popular sources of fiber are in cereals and whole grains, though, which my body seriously can’t handle. As I’m becoming more and more aware of macros, I found that I needed some more fiber in my diet, as MANY people do. you see fiber helps with all aspects of the digestive system and regularity.  Fiber helps control blood sugar levels, which is great for PCOS, diabetes, and weight management. t can also lower cholesterol and regulate bowel movements. These are the ways that I am packing more fiber into my diet without relying on “whole grains.” I’ve numbered my suggestions chronologically, with the most fiber per oz first! I hope you find this useful if you need help getting more fiber on your ancestral diet!

  1. Chia Seeds- This superfood is at it again, packing more than 5 grams per tablespoon! I incorporate chias into my diet by adding 2-3 tablespoons to my yogurt or smoothie in the morning. They also go wonderful with desserts like chocolate pudding or a fruit parfait.
  2. Flaxseed- I eat flaxseed in it’s ground or powdered form as apposed to its seed form because the fine powder makes it more versatile for use in my cooking. at 3.8 grams per tablespoon, this can be added when baking (one tablespoon dissolved in water replaces on egg), in your smoothies, or sprinkled into sauces easily.
  3. Lentils- Just discovering whether or not I can eat these, since not everything in the lentil family sits well with me, but since they pack 15 grams of fiber per cup, I’m trying them out in a new recipe coming to the blog soon!
  4. Blackbeans– Have as much fiber as lentils! (15 grams a cup). I miss nachos something fierce, so one of my favorite
  5. Avocados– yum! I sprinkle salt and cayenne on mine (sometimes with a spot of homemade mayo) at 6.7 grams of fiber for 1/2 of an avocado, we know why it’s a superfood!
  6. Barley– because I’m Irish. and it’s a grain I can eat….and I think this is so because Barley grains are like Oat grains in that they are more of a “bran.” 6 grams of fiber/ cup
  7. Oats- Hotly debated as appropriate for AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) diets, I do use oats sparingly in baking, when I need some fiber….though I can not down them on their own, personally. 4 grams of fiber a cup!

 

Whole 30 Challenge Details

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Some of the Super Sisters Results with their professional programs!

Hi Friends, here are your Whole 30 Challenge Details! I’m so excited to be teaming up with Super Sisters Fitness to offer this Whole 30 challenge for you from September 10-October 10th, 2015. A lot of you know that I won their Bikini Bootcamp challenge this year and am a big advocate of their programs that dually coach members in nutrition and exercise regimes in a SUPER professional manner. These women have a very esteemed background in nutrition, sports & exercise science, and personal training; you can check out all their legit certifications at their web link.

You guys also know that I have struggled with my general health because of PCOS and IBD, which causes weight fluctuation, bloating, weakness, fatigue, anxiety, and food intolerance to name a few. There were times in my health journey when I felt hopeless and faced with insurmountable odds because of  my “genetics” or “body type.” When I joined with Super Sisters, I found a cohort of women that had similar (and different) experiences, but who all wanted to lift each other up and support one another on our physical health journeys. Enlisting in this program gave me a daily workout regime that becomes addicting within 2 weeks and can be done at home OR in a gym with little to no equipment. It also provided me with nutrition and meal prep guidance every week, and most importantly,  the micronutrients that my body was missing out on from years of eating poorly and dealing with other health issues. These micronutrients, provided through a daily shake, daily shot of juice, daily supplement, and weekly cleanse, made all the difference in my results. I went from A) exercising every day and eating 1-2 cheat meals per week and losing a pound a week  to B) Losing inches and pounds, refreshing my skin, flattening my belly, ending bloat, reducing PCOS symptoms, building lean muscle, and regaining energy I haven’t had since high school. My new philosophy is to work smart and hard and that’s what this system enables you to do. It is REALLY hard to go on this journey alone, and it can take so much time that we give up on results. Super Sisters is rewarding me for my hard work and giving my friends and readers a special price on their 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge until September 10th!

In addition, I have created a “Whole 30″ Topic heading to the right, which will include some of my personal favorite Whole 30/Whole Food/”Paleo” recipes, and daily motivations and tips for sticking with your journey. The 30 Day Clean Eating Guide Book contains all your Do’s and Don’t for food and even supplies you with a convenient shopping list and weekly meal prep. I’ve outlined some of this generally on my 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge post and I plan to get more into the Do’s and Don’ts in some future postings. If you’ve heard enough and are excited to feel better next Month then Enroll in our program here.

If you have questions please shoot me an email or comment below!

Bikini-Bootcamp-Part-2-Before-and-after-front--Elisabeth-L

My 30 Day Results

 

 

Vegan Chocolate Truffles to Die for

These are just so freakin’ delicious and I’m excited to make them for my doTERRA + LulaRoe party in a couple weeks! This 100% cacao is amazingly rich and delicious, and the combination with the creamy fat of coconut milk and sweet richness of maple syrup is to die for. the recipe actually got a little famous on EatLiveLife.com, which is a fun recipe blog for other healthy foodies out there! I’m going to SPICE things up a little bit next time I make these by adding some fall spices: cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, you can do anything you like; just sprinkle into your rolling powder mixture! Enjoy!

What you need:

  • A double boiler or glass bowl that fits over your boiling pot
  • Ghiradelli (or another excellent brand) 100% cocoa powder and bar
  • 1 cup of almond or coconut milk (I’ve used both)
  • 3 Tbs. Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup organic maple syrup
  • 2-3 pitted dates

Directions:

  1. Drop dates in 1 cup of boiling water and let simmer for 10 minutes until dates are expanded and loose. Blend dates in a food processor, blender, or hand mixer until they form a paste**
  2. Place double boiler (or glass bowl) on top of pot, bring water to a boil
  3. Melt together coconut oil, 8 oz. cocoa BAR, vegan milk, and maple syrup
  4. Continuously stir mixture so that it does not burn, add date paste. As soon as the truffle mixture is smooth, remove from heat
  5. Spread the truffle mixture onto a flat pan or cookie sheet. Very thin, but not transparent.
  6. Let cool in the fridge for 4 hours.
  7. Sprinkle 4 oz. 100% cocoa powder on a plate
  8. Remove from fridge and immediately begin to scrape chocolate into a standard sized spoon. When you have a good clump, roll it in your hand until it is a smooth ball and roll that ball in your cocoa powder.
  9. Repeat until you have used all your chocolate, hopefully a good amount of truffles to fill a plate! Refrigerate again before serving so they can firm up. The heat from your hand will make them a little melty

Weekend Motivation

It’s the Weekend! I struggle to remember my health goals on weekends some times. It is our much needed time after a busy week to meet up with friends for drinks, rest from all my weekly cooking and recipe creation, and sleep in.  On Fridays I sometimes need some Weekend Motivation  This weekend motivation reminds me that it’s OK to relax and let loose and DO LESS, but that can still be done in a healthy way: a long yoga class on Sunday after I wake up late at 10 am (Free at Lululemon!), a long and beautiful hike with my love and my dogs to be in nature, opportunities to try out the new health food restaurants in my area or just go to my favorite: old, faithful Whole Foods Prepared Food Section! This Weekend I will be at the beach, so relaxation and long walks with the one I love should be easy! But I’m also giving my body a break from alcohol so that I can better heal in my back and stomach, and increase the zest in my daily workouts since I’ve been out two weeks with my back injury. Wish me luck! And I hope this Weekend Motivation Meets you where you need it!

Weekend Motivation

Primal Food and Spirits, Durham: Gluten Free restaurant review by a Local Foodie

Primal Food and Spirits, Durham: Gluten Free restaurant review by a Local Foodie.

Primal Food and Spirits, Durham this weekend!

Primal Food and Spirits, Durham is a fabulous addition to our local dinner repertoire! Primal opened last summer around the corner from us, and I’ve enjoyed their brunch and dinner with friends and family in all seasons. Primal is a must-visit for anyone with Celiacs or Gluten Intolerance and really anyone on a primal, whole food, locally, sustainably sourced regime. Even their bar is void of glutenous beers and liquors! You’ve got to try this place if you are in the triangle. HOWEVER, I have some qualms. First, I’d like to see more grain-free flours used, like coconut flour or arrowroot powder. They currently use a lot of rice flour and tapioca starch in their baked goods. Of course, there are a lot of true paleo options, which is necessary with a name like “Primal.” On that note, I also really believe that a name like “Primal” is attracting a certain customer, and often that customer is concerned about fats and oils used in cooking preparation and sugar content as well, so it would be nice to see some transparency with that. Portion sizes here are NORMAL, which is refreshing. I can actually eat everything on my plate most of the time, which never happens, SO if you have a big appetite, you may opt for an appetizer. My final gripe is about the price for portion. We have this issue when we go to Mateo Tapas downtown as well. Matt has to shell out some serious $$$ to be satiated and that can be tough on a budget. Guess what guys? If you are drinking and/or exercising regularly and you don’t eat grains esp. wheat, then you need some substance! I recommend going to Primal Food and Spirits for Brunch, like we did this weekend! The portions are perfect for early in the day, and the lack of heaviness from wheat  leaves you feeling light, but satisfied.

If you are just gluten free, I recommend the Stuffed French Toast (sweet) or Arepas (savory)
If you are paleo or totally grain free, I recommend the Mushroom & Kale Omelet or the Spicy Beef Lettuce Cups

Bon Appetit!

Super Soul Sunday!

Sundays are dichotomous for me. Both my favorite and least favorite day. So much to reflect on and relax about and be joyful about, on one hand. And not the other hand, it means another Monday-Friday at work. I love this quote because it reminds me of all the ways that I am making EVERY DAY SUNDAY for myself and my family in the future. Thanks for reading! Happy Sunday! EyesOffAngelou

Weekend Motivation!

So normally I wake up on the weekends, excited to get in a long, great work out and go on a long hike with my dogs before settling into the kitchen to test some recipes. This weekend, I’m nursing my sprained lower back and missing my friend Theresa’s Wedding Reception 🙁 I really needed this weekend motivation today. Comment below if you have experienced the same route to success!

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12 Week Super System Opportunity

As you may remember from my post from two weeks ago, I won the last installment of Bikini Bootcamp with the Super Sisters, largely because of my great nutrition foundation that I share with you all, but also because of the amazing accountability system and exercise plans made by The Super Sisters, Liz and Sara Germain.

Yesterday, the next 12 week journey began, and they have momentarily reopened registration for their awesome programs. I can not tell you how excited I am for the journey of the next 12 weeks. As summer turns to fall, I am going to feel leaner, fitter, stronger, and have more energy–all this while coming up with new, healthy fall recipes and sipping my dairy-free, sugar-free Pumpkin Lattes. I REALLY want my friends to go on this journey with me, and start off the Halloween-thanksgiving-holiday season feeling the best you ever have.

Sign up here if you want to go on my next 12 week adventure with me!!

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Coming Soon!

I’ve been developing some NEW recipes using my awesome CSA veggies and I’m excited to share then with you this week! Stay tuned for: Grain-Free Lasagne with Eggplant Noodles, Cucumber & Tomato Salad, Green Tea Detox Juice, Almond Flour Focaccia, Horny Melon Smoothie, and Elk Spaghetti with Zoodles!! Coming soon 🙂

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Super Soul Sunday

Mondays are extremely difficult for me because I am currently still in a 9-5 work grind that is not fulfilling. Sundays have to be held sacred for me to make it through my work week, and the main way I do that is through practicing, yoga, gratitude, and meditation that begins with an early walk with my dogs….and usually ends with (yes, it’s true) the Oprah Winfrey Network and Soulful lessons from great theologians and sages like Eckhart Tolle. Start your week off with a bang!

Healing Herbs: Beginner’s Guide

Are you interested in incorporating herbal health into your daily routine? There are a lot of easy ways to do this with friendly herbs that you know well and probably have lying around your kitchen anyway. I used to buy fresh herbs for a certain recipe and then watch, helplessly, as they disintegrated in the freezer or turned bad in the fridge. These are some ways that I incorporate healing herbs and below is a great table to refer to! I’m excited to share an intermediate guide next week!

1. One clove of garlic every day. Either pop it into your mouth or include it in your morning smoothie/juice. This is incredibly important for anyone with heart disease/stroke in the family.
2. Turmeric sprinkled on EVERYTHING- not a strong taste to effect your spice profile, but so many benefits!
3. Cardamon is warming, like cinnamon, but much better for digestive health and liver detox. I use it when I bake to replace sweetness of sugar, honey, or cinnamon, and sprinkle it on all my sweets.
4. Peppermint oil drops are excellent if you have any acid reflux or heartburn issues. Please try this before using any over-the-counter option. You can apply directly to tongue or take in capsules.

When you’re using herbs and spices for health, make sure they are fresh and quality. You won’t get anything out of a stale or processed herb. Penzey’s is a great resource for spices. And check out your local farmers markets for fresh herbs!

Herbs

Super Soul Sunday

The heavens make me feel so small, but so powerful. Did anyone else see the crescent moon pass under the crescent Venus last night? Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars.

Eat Live Life

If you go over to Eat Live Life there are a bunch of fun Paleo, plant-based, yummy recipes and tips, including my guest posts for Modern Nicoise Salad  + Vegan Truffles! The vegan Truffles need more love/sharing y’all. I don’t think people get how GOOD these things actually are and how MUCH just ONE can curb any craving for a decadent dessert.

Photo cred from Eat Live Life

Photo cred from Eat Live Life

Beets by Weez

Weez is my affectionate nickname and today your Whole 30 Tip is for Beet chips!!!

These are not only beautiful, they are delicious and sweet. Summer is DIP season, right? We’re talking salsa, guacamole, queso, ceviche, and hummus galore. Unfortunately, the old celery stalk doesn’t always sufficiently replace our “chip” cravings when we are working toward  a whole food, plant based  lifestyle.  I personally had a serious stomach ache after 4th of July tortilla chip indulgences. Or was that the tequila?

Beets are cheap and keep for a long time in the fridge; they are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory,  and good for digestion (!?!) So eating your guacamole with beet chips is arguably better for you than your usual celery or carrot replacement.

Recipe

The key to a good beet chip is an even slice from a food processor or a mandolin. That’s the only labor.  Slice up  4 or 5 large beets. After that, just toss them in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, spread them on a sheet pan, pop them in a preheated oven on 450 for about 15 minutes, sprinkle with sea salt (and some thyme for good immune support) and enjoy!

I’m going to a Mexican restaurant tonight, and putting some in a baggy so I get to enjoy some guacabole with my friends!

Beets are available year round at farmers markets! I got these beautiful candy cane beets for free from my friend Lesley!

Beets are available year round at farmers markets! I got these beautiful candy cane beets for free from my friend Lesley!

 

PS Was anyone else obsessed with these Beats by Dre commercials like me?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUj0Ta44DI

 

 

Welcome to My New Site!

If there is anything I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s that most journeys, especially ones toward health and well-being are taken one step at a time. My aim is to be able to share my steps toward holistic health daily, in the hope that my experience will reach someone and make a real difference in their quality of life, the way mine has been forever altered.

My new posts will include recipes, ancestral health tips, archaeological stories & findings, adventures of my doula training, thoughts on sustainable and natural living in the home and garden, and herbal and essential oil remedies. There’s something for everyone, and I’m excited about this new chapter.

Let me know what you think of the new look and if you have any recipe or topic suggestions for the coming year! I’ve got a bunch of fabulous ideas that I can’t wait to share!

Be Well,

Elisabeth

set your life on fire

Natural make up for cheap; no toxins included

This weekend for my doula friend Amber’s birthday, we decided to make some natural lip glosses. Since removing toxins from my food and environment, I feel like I can taste the formaldehyde on my lips from the bright pink lipstick I like to rock some days. I think buying natural products is awesome, but in reality, it’s not awesome for my budget. Lip gloss ingredients are as follows:
– beeswax pellets
– shea butter
– coconut oil (if you don’t already have this in your home, then…run! go get it)
– and beet root powder, cocoa, and cinnamon for tinting

All you have to do is melt the ingredients down and syphon them into your preferred stick or pot container! This is such a great and easy first step to going natural! And it tastes amazing!

lipsticks

A rainbow of lipgloss!