Whole 30 Simple Mango Salsa (Paleo, Vegan, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free)

Whole 30 Simple Mango Salsa (Paleo, Vegan, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free)

I have been getting more and more requests for easy recipes lately, so here is one that fits the bill. Simple Whole 30 Mango Salsa. Like always this one is also paleo friendly and it's also safe for the SCD and GAPS diets and a vegan diet. Plus it's made with only 6 ingredients! Yep you asked for simple, and I am giving you simple. 

Simple Mango Salsa (Whole 30, Vegan, Paleo, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free)
Simple Mango Salsa (Paleo, Vegan, Whole 30, SCD, GAPS, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free)

How was your week? Good I hope! Mine was interesting. Filled with some ups and some downs. On the positive note, I saw a Chinese medicine practitioner on Friday which I am super excited about. I am still having a few residual gut symptoms that I would like to try and settle down once and for all. I think I have done as much as I can on my own at this point, so have started to collect a team of practitioners that I am hoping can help me fully heal. This is one thing that I cannot emphasize enough and that I tell my patients all the time. You need a team to help get you better. Each practitioner will bring something new to the table and I firmly believe that taking an integrative approach to healing is the best method possible. My team includes a naturopath, Chinese medicine practitioner, osteopath, massage therapist and chiropractor. Your team may look a little different but as long as it is working for you that is all that matters. 

Before Friday, I had only ever had acupuncture once before, for a back injury so this time was a little different. Man that is powerful stuff. It's amazing how just a few, precisely placed needles can have such a huge impact. For a few hours afterwards I had headaches, some nausea and then even a couple episodes of diarrhea (sorry if that's too much for you but I tend to bare all on here so that you guys can understand that you are not alone with your health struggles). I am curious to see if I have the same reaction next time. I am also taking an herbal remedy now that is supposed to help heal my intestines even more. I am only on day 3 at the moment so it's a little early for me to know if it is helping as I am slowly increasing the dose up, but I will keep you guys posted on how it goes. 

Simple Mango Salsa (Whole 30, Vegan, Paleo, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Grain Free)

Something really frustrating happened to me this weekend. I always go to spin class at One Cycle Spin Studio on Sunday mornings. I have been doing this for years now. This past Sunday, I got there nice and early, signed up for a bike and then went and got ready for class. When class opened up I went and set up my bike and then someone came and told me I had their bike. We checked the list, and sure enough his name was now on my bike number, and my name had been completely erased from the bike list. And instead of finding me a new bike, they just kicked me out of class. Now, the class was full, but that means they have to have let someone in off of the wait list. Now, doesn't it make more sense to kick that person out (who never should have gotten in in the first place), rather than someone who got there early and whose name had been erased from the list? Man was I pissed. Not only did I waste over an hour of my time going down to the spin studio and then back home again, but I didn't even get to spin, and the staff at the studio just completely dismissed me. Oh well not completely, they did credit my account for that class. Yes, how nice of them. Man talk about poor customer service. 

Now I realize there are many worse things that could be going on in my life right now. But I was really just shocked with the lack of understanding and action but the staff. They actually told me that they cannot be responsible for watching the list to ensure that names don't get erased. Um pardon me? Are you implying that your clients should be expected to stand around and make sure their names don't get erased. I don't think so. I am waiting to see if anything else happens now. They said they would talk to management about the incident so if anything else comes of this I will update you guys. 

Simple Mango Salsa (Whole 30, Vegan, Paleo, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free)
Simple Mango Salsa (Whole 30, Vegan, Paleo, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free)

Ok I feel better now. It's amazing just how well a little rant can be at making you feel better. Right?

Now let's get back to business shall we. I know you are really here for the food. This week I am sharing a recipe for Simple Mango Salsa. This ons is so easy to make and only contains 6 ingredients. There aren't any tricky steps or equipment needed and this recipe is safe for so many different diets including: Whole 30, paleo, vegan, GAPS, SCD, gluten free, grain free and dairy free. Yes friends, no matter what your dietary needs, I have you covered! I highly recommend pairing this salsa with some Siete Tortilla Chips. Have you tried them yet? If not you NEED to! They are so good. Like so, so good. And no this post is not sponsored by them or endorsed by them, I just honestly love their products so much. Tortilla chips were one of the things I missed the most when i transitioned to the paleo diet, and I am so glad Siete has found a solution. My personal favourite is their lime flavoured chips but the sea salt are also amazing. I haven't tried the nacho flavour yet, but I have heard great things about that one too. The only problem with those chips? I can't resist eating the entire bag in just one sitting. Yep they are that addicting. 

This salsa also pairs really well with fish and chicken dishes. You can also add it to salads as an easy, flavourful dressing. And of course if you are making tacos or burritos this salsa would be a great addition to your dish. Or you could just eat it by the spoonful straight from the fridge. I have been known to do that from time to time... 

Enjoy friends! Until next time, happy eating!

Simple Mango Salsa (Whole 30, Vegan, Paleo, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free)

Simple Mango Salsa Recipe (Whole 30, Paleo, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

 

Ingredients

6 medium sized tomatoes, chopped

1 ripe mango, chopped

1 cup chopped green onion

1 cup chopped cilantro

1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste) (I use this brand of sea salt)

1/4 tsp ground black pepper (or more to taste)

 

Directions

1. Chop all the ingredients and add them to a bowl

2. Stir well to combine

3. Transfer to a large sieve to allow the excess liquid to drain off for about 1 hour

4. Serve and enjoy!

TIP: Make this the night before and chill it in the fridge. This allows the flavours to blend even more and it becomes even more delicious. 

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Paleo Bread (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free)

Paleo Bread (Nut Free, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Happy Monday! It's a good day friends. Why is that? Because just look at that bread recipe I am sharing with you today. It looks like real bread. Real, grain and dairy containing bread. But guess what? That Paleo Bread right there is grain free, dairy free and even nut free. Yes friends. I am that good to you. 

Paleo Bread (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free)
Paleo Bread (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free)

Does anyone else feel like the news lately has been especially sad? Between that horrendous apartment fire in London to Bill Crosby's mistrial I feel like its just one disaster after another. I was personally really sad to hear about the Crosby mistrial. I am sorry, but when 60 women have come forward and accused you of sexual assault there is no way that you are an innocent man. I realize that with the way the justice system works that proving guilt can be very difficult, especially in sexual assault cases, but still. My heart aches for all of those women. 

Another awful thing happened in my life last week. Well not my life. My best friend's life. But it made me realize, once again, just how precious life is. Last weekend one of my best friends was in a bad accident on her road bike. She ended up with a lot of injuries, but luckily will be okay. But it was a close call. A really close call. And she will be recovering for a long time to come. 

I am so, so thankful she will be alright, but this was just another reminder for me that you really just never know how long you get on this earth. Not all of us are going to get long, healthy lives. A sad truth. And I know that not everyday can be a good day, but this just reinforces to me the importance of telling your loved ones how much they mean to you, and to focus on doing the things that you love. It is so easy to get caught up in the negatives and tasks of everyday life: cleaning the house, going to work, paying the bills etc etc. And while these things are necessary, they aren't everything. You aren't going to look back on your life and remember all that great housework you did (well at least I sure am not), but you will remember your accomplishments, your travels and adventures, memories with friends and family and the other things that bring you joy. So try and carve out a little time each day, even if it is just a few minutes, to do something that makes you happy. 

Paleo Bread (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free)
Paleo Bread (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free)

Well I think that is enough sad news and philosophy for one post. On a totally unrelated note, do any of you watch Shameless on Netflix? If not you need to. Like now! It's totally ridiculous yet somehow completely addicting all at the same time. If you watched and liked Californication this is along the same lines. You love yet hate the main character so much, and somehow just can't wait to see what ridiculous thing he does next. I don't want to ruin the show for those of you who haven't seen it but Erik and I have become obsessed with this one lately. And we don't watch much TV so I feel like that's saying a lot. After we finish Shameless, which sadly will be soon, our next mission is to move onto the new season of House of Cards. Talk about another main character that you love and hate all at the same time... what is it with these male leads lately? There seems to be a common theme with them... 

Paleo Bread (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free)
Paleo Bread (Grain Free, Gluten Free Dairy Free, Nut Free)
Paleo Bread (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free)

Can we talk about this paleo bread? I mean come on. How good does it look? It's got that nice crust on the outside and fluffy texture on the inside. I have honestly eaten 1-2 pieces of this bread everyday since I first made it. I am addicted! I spread a little honey on it and yum! What's even nice about this bread is that it doesn't contain any nuts. I know that many of you out there are sensitive to nuts and most other paleo bread recipes out there rely on almond flour. And while I do love almost flour, it's nice to have alternatives sometimes. Instead, this bread is made with Cassava flour. Now, cassava flour is pretty new to me, but so far I have been really impressed with all the recipes I have made with it. I should mention that not all cassava flour is created equal. I have found that there is a significant different between brands. I used Otto's Cassava flour for this particular recipe. If you do use another brand I cannot guarantee that it will turn out the same. And just in case you don't have any cassava flour on hand, but are still looking for a delicious paleo bread recipe, I highly suggest trying my Paleo Carrot Cake Banana Bread instead. You will not be disappointed I promise! 

Until next time, happy eating friends!

Paleo Bread (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free)

Paleo Bread Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup Otto's Cassava Flour - Note that all brands of cassava flour are not created equally. I cannot guarantee that this recipe will work out with a different brand of cassava flour. You can buy Otto's Cassava flour here

1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP ground flax seeds (I use this brand

3 TBSP coconut flour (I use this kind)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

 

6 large eggs (always use pasture raised)

1/3 plus 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (buy here)

1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP melted coconut oil plus a little more for greasing the pan (this is my favourite kind of coconut oil)

3 TBSP local, raw honey

2 TBSP apple cider vinegar (I recommend this brand)

 

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F

2. Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well

3. Add the wet ingredients and mix well with a pastry blender or spoon

4. Using your fingers, grease your bread pan with the extra coconut oil

5. Transfer the dough to the bread pan and spread with a spoon until smooth

6. Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes (mine took 43), or until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean

7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1-2 hours (you want it to be room temperature) 

8. Serve and enjoy! 

Print Recipe

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Paleo Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Cake (Vegan, SCD, GAPS, No Refined Sugar)

Paleo Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Cake (Vegan, SCD, GAPS, No Refined Sugar)

I did it again! Another amazing paleo dessert recipe. Today it's Paleo Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Cake. Can you say yummy? And because this recipe was so special, I decided to create a whole e-book around it. A paleo dessert e-book. What I have done is collected the 10 best desserts from the blog and put them together in one free resource for you. Because some of these treats are so old that many of you have never even seen the recipes! And that's a shame. A total shame. So the Pure and Simple Paleo Desserts ebook was born. 

Paleo Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Cake (Vegan, SCD, GAPS, No Refined Sugar)
Paleo Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Cake (Vegan, GAPS, SCD, No Refined Sugar)

How was your week? Amazing I hope? Did you see my post from Friday? Yes I posted twice last week! In case you missed it, I discussed The Biggest Mistake You Can Make On The Paleo Diet. Unfortunately it is something I see my patients and readers doing all the time so I decided it was finally time to discuss it. Because I don't want you to make the same mistake. Not on my watch anyways. 

I took a stay-cation from work last week. It was amazing. I didn't do anything too exciting but I did get some much needed stuff done around the house like order window coverings (yes we have been in our place for 5 months now without window coverings - don't judge me) and chairs for the kitchen island. I still need to find a good dining room table. That is my next mission. And then a desk for my office. Oh and art for our walls! We currently have a lot of blank, white walls in our place. I think I am going to get a flower wall made for my office which I am super excited about. Do you know what I am talking about? If not check out The Flower Wall Company to see what I mean. I would love to do one of the main walls in our house in a flower wall but I don't think Erik would be too pleased with that... So a whole wall in my office sounds good instead. Yes this girl likes flowers. A lot. What can I say, they bring me joy. A lot of joy. And that is priceless if you ask me. I also think I am going to wallpaper one of the walls in our main bathroom in some black and white floral wall paper. Shh, just don't tell Erik... Something like this, or this. How pretty is that? With a great gold mirror? Yes it's going to happen I promise! The girl in me is so excited. 

Paleo Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Cake (Vegan, SCD, GAPS, No Refined Sugar)
Paleo Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Cake (Vegan, SCD, GAPS, No Refined Sugar)

You know what else I am excited about? This Paleo Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Cake! Yes guys it turned out so, so good! I never thought I would be able to enjoy ice cream cake again once I switched to the paleo diet but this cake has inspired me to make even more flavours. Because I don't know about you, but I personally love ice cream cake! Back in the day I would request one for my birthday every year. Usually one with chocolate. The more chocolate the better. I think a chocolate flavoured one is what I need to make next. Would you agree? What's great about this cake is that it is also vegan, SCD and GAPS safe. And like always it contains no refined sugars. Only healthy, real food ingredients here! 

Paleo Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Cake (Vegan, SCD, GAPS, No Refined Sugar)
Paleo Vanilla Mint Ice Cream Cake (Vegan, SCD, GAPS, No Refined Sugar)

This recipe is so special that I decided to include it in a dessert e-book that is available only to my newsletter subscribers. Because you guys are my most valued readers! I know there are a lot of food blogs out there so it means a lot to me that you take the time to visit my little blog and re-create my recipes. I honestly love hearing when you make them! So I collected my favourite 10 dessert recipes from the blog and made the Pure and Simple Paleo Dessert e-book. It's free for all my subscribers and you will be sent a copy as soon as you sign up for my list.

Inside you will find the top 10 paleo dessert recipes from the blog including reader favourites like Paleo Ranger Cookies, Carrot Cake Banana Bread, Dark Chocolate Orange Fudge, Lemon and Vanilla Cheesecake and so much more. Because the paleo diet shouldn't be restrictive. Not at all. I firmly believe that a little treat now and then is good for the soul. Life is too short not to enjoy dessert once in a while. Right? Right!  

Pure and Simple Paleo Desserts

I hope you love the book. Please let me know if you try any of the recipes. 

Until next time, happy eating friends! 

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make On The Paleo Diet

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make On The Paleo Diet

If you have spent any time on my blog at all you will know that I am passionate about the paleo diet. If you ask me, everyone should follow the paleo diet principles of eating real, unprocessed and nourishing food. However, there is one mistake that I hear my patients and readers making all the time. Seriously, ALL THE TIME! And it breaks my heart to see them trying so hard, and not getting the results they are hoping for because of this one big mistake. 

What is that mistake?

Continuing to buy conventional meat, or meat that you would find at the grocery store.

Yes, I realize it is convenient, but it is also one of the most unhealthy things you could be eating. Meat raised in today's standard fashion is extremely unhealthy for a number of reasons and I will outline each of these below. 


 

1. Highly Inflammatory

When you think about cows you picture them grazing in fields, eating grass and roaming free right? At least that's what I imagine. And that is what should be happening. And that's what used to happen. Unfortunately, the development of factory farms has totally changed the way cows and other animals are raised and fed. Cows are now kept indoors, in close proximity to one another, in unsanitary conditions and fed a diet that is completely unnatural to them. Cows naturally eat grass, however, there is not enough grass to feed cows on a factory farm. Instead, they are given feed that is composed mainly of grains (corn and soy) as well as many other bizarre, and sometimes downright disgusting additives.

In the US, 40 billion pounds a year of slaughterhouse wastes like chicken feces, blood, bone and viscera, as well as the remains of millions of euthanized cats and dogs are rendered annually into livestock feed. It was recently shown that 75% of the cattle in the US are given feed containing slaughterhouse by-products. Disgusting. 

These unhealthy living conditions and feed can lead to some very sick animals. Animals so sensitive to illness that they’re fed a steady diet of antibiotics, and so sensitive that the humans who go near them must wear space suits. No joke. These antibiotics then end up in the meat you eat. As well, many cows are given growth promoting hormones to help them grow much more quickly than is natural to them, so that more meat can be produced at a faster rate. All of this unnatural feed, living conditions and additives leads to meat that is not only nutritionally poor, but harmful to your health. 

Normally, beef from cows raised on grass produces meat that has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1-4:1. In other words, it is balanced. In contrast, beef from factory raised farms is extremely inflammatory, producing meat with an omega-6 to omega-3  ratio of 20-40:1 (depending on the study you read and the meat tested). This excess omega-6 leads to inflammation in the body, which contributes to many different health problems including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and more. So what is normally a very healthy food has become extremely harmful.

And this goes for all meat and fish that is not being raised properly. For instance, salmon is generally known to be high in omega-3 and a very healthy food. And this is true if it is raised properly, in fresh water, and allowed to eat normally. However, farmed fish is fed corn, soy and other grains making it have a very high omega-6 content and a very low omega-3 content. As well, both Canada and the US have recently approved a GMO salmon that grows to a very large size, in a short amount of time. And so far there has been no regulation requiring that this type of salmon be labelled. So always avoid farmed fish and instead choose fresh or wild fish that has been sustainably raised.

2. Low in Nutrients

Unfortunately, the story doesn't stop at omega-6's either. Rememebr all that extra crap (yes literally crap), antibiotics, and hormones that go into factory farmed animal feed? It leads to meat that basically contains no linoleic acid, beta carotene, or vitamins A and E. In other words, it is nutritionally poor. For instance, if we take a look at eggs, eggs that come from properly raised birds, in comparison to factory farmed birds, are known to contain:

  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene
  • 4 to 6 times more vitamin D3

And the story is similar for all types of meat that comes from factory farmed animals. They contain very little vitamins, minerals and nutrients. In other words, they are basically empty calories. Empty, toxic calories. 

3. High In Toxins 

All the un-natural ingredients that factory farmed animals are being fed has to end up somewhere. It doesn't just magically disappear when the animals ingest it. In fact, factory farmed meat is known to contain carcinogens, bacteria, and other contaminants that can accumulate in your body and remain there for years. These animals products are loaded with bacteria, antibiotics, hormones, dioxins, and many other toxins that can cause serious health problems in humans.

Because of the unsanitary conditions that factory farmed animals are kept in they often get sick. In fact, 50% of the antibiotcs produced today are given to animals in their feed to try and deal with these infections. And ingesting these antibiotics can lead to a whole host of health problems including changes in your gut bacteria or microbiome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and leaky gut syndrome. As well, roxarsone, an antibiotic commonly used on factory farms, contains significant amounts of the most carcinogenic form of arsenic. Research has shown that “eating 2 ounces of [factory farmed] chicken per day—the equivalent of a third to a half of a boneless chicken breast—exposes a consumer to 3 to 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic, the element’s most toxic form.” Daily exposure to low doses of arsenic can dramatically increase the risk of cancer, dementia, neurological problems, and other health problems in humans. Additionally, dangerous hormones are also found in meat and milk that comes from factory farmed animals. According to the USDA, by 1999, roughly 99 percent of cows on large feedlots in the U.S. were given synthetic hormonal implants. These hormones, which make cows grow larger and produce more milk than they would naturally, are prohibited for over-the-counter use by humans in the United States. Scientists have clearly shown that these hormones can increase the risk of developmental delays and cancer in humans.

Another major group of toxins in conventionally raised animals are dioxins. Dioxins are chemicals that are released into the environment when substances are burned, and they accumulate in animals’ flesh and milk. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 95 percent of our dioxin exposure comes in the concentrated form of meat, fish, and dairy products, because when we eat animal products, the dioxin that animals have built up in their bodies is absorbed into our own. Dioxins act as hormone disrupting chemicals that bind to cells and modify their functioning, potentially causing a wide range of health problems, including cancer, a lowered immune response, nervous system disorders, miscarriages, and birth deformities.

Finally, pesticides are also present in large quantities in factory farmed meat and have been linked to a wide range of health problems in humans, including birth defects and cancer. Although humans do ingest some herbicides and pesticides from plant foods, scientists report that animal products are responsible for roughly 80 to 90 percent of dietary pesticide exposure. Pesticides are sprayed on crops that are eventually fed to farmed animals, and like dioxins, pesticides accumulate in their bodies over time. When we eat the flesh, milk, or eggs of animals, the pesticides that they have eaten during their lives are transferred to us.


 

In other words, in order to actually start seeing the health benfits from the paleo diet, you need to ditch meat, fish and eggs that are not raised properly, because it is just plain bad for you, and bad for the animals that the meat is coming from. This is part of the reason why, when studies are done comparing vegetarian or vegan diets to the western diet, people always do better when they eat the vegetarian or vegan diet. They have removed all the health harming meat and eggs from their diets that they were previously eating. However, there are many important nutrients that you cannot obtain if you stick to a vegetarian diet, which is why I don't recommend that way of eating for long term health. For example, there are many fat soluble vitamins that are only available in meat products that humans cannot obtain through eating any other food sources. 

So by now you are probably asking one very important question:

How Do I Find Meat and Eggs That Are Raised Properly?

Well there are a couple different ways. First, you could check out your local Weston A Price Foundation chapter. They will have lists of local food producers in the area and will know where to find properly raised meat, egg and fish sources. However, if you are not interested in driving out to the farm like I do to pick up your meat and eggs (I realize you are busy, trust me), I have an even easier solution for you. 

I recently partnered with a company called Butcher Box that will deliver grass-fed and pastured raised meat right to your doorstep for those of you living in the US! How amazing is that? And for a limited time, if you sign up through my link Butcher Box will give you $10 off of your first order, as well as a FREE package of pasture raised bacon! 

Until next time, happy eating friends! 

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, GAPS, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

After last weeks recipe of Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Icing I decided I better post something other than a dessert recipe this week. Because as much as I love my paleo treats, I realize they can't make up the majority of your diet. Sad but true right? So this week we are diving into Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. Which trust me, is so, so good! 

Whole 30 Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (Paleo, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Vegan, Grain Free)
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

How was your weekend? Amazing I hope! Mine was busy. But a good busy! On Saturday I held a little Beautycounter social at my place which was a ton of fun! I made some yummy snacks, did a little safe skincare education and then the ladies got to play with all of my Beautycounter goodies! One girl even loved the products and the mission behind the company so much that she decided to become a consultant right there on the spot. It was so fun to watch!

I get asked all the time why I signed up to be a Beautycounter consultant. "Aren't you busy enough Erin? You already run a full time medical practice, a blog, and now you are selling skincare products too?" These are the questions I get asked. But for me the answer is pretty simple. My passion is in health and wellness. And right now most of us are being exposed to so many toxic and dangerous chemicals through the products we are putting on our skin, and most people have no idea this is going on. It's a simple fact that the skincare industries in the US and Canada are basically un-regulated. This means that brands are allowed to use known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, neurological toxins and other harmful ingredients and they don't even have to disclose those ingredients on the labels! It is so maddening!

Everyday I see patients who are so, so, sick without an obvious reason. We are just starting to realize the impact of our environmental exposures on many different health conditions including cancers, autoimmune diseases, neurological diseases and more. And the stuff you are putting on your skin makes up a big piece of this puzzle. Because remember, the majority of what you put on your skin gets absorbed within seconds of application into your bloodstream. Meaning those toxins can then impact every organ in your body. I could rant forever about this topic because it really does make my blood boil, but I will save you from that today. If you are interested in learning more though, please send me a message and I would be so happy to chat! You can also learn more about Beautycounter and their products by going here:

www.beautycounter.com/erincarter

It doesn't take a lot of work to be a Beautycounter consultant, and the financial benefit has been such an added bonus for me as well. If you are at all interested in health and wellness, or are even just looking to earn a little extra money signing up as a consultant may be the perfect fit for you. Again, just message me and we can chat! 

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free)
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

But that's enough skincare talk for one day. Let's chat about this Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice shall we? Doesn't it look tasty? That's because it is! Can you believe this is my first cauliflower rice recipe that I have ever posted? I know right? Because what is the paleo diet without some cauliflower rice? The flavours of this dish were inspired by my trip to Bali that Erik and I took back in October (can you believe it was that long ago? I can't!). The food flavours there were just so incredible. I already want to plan my next trip back! 

This Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice is paleo, Whole 30, vegan, GAPS, SCD friendly and is of course, gluten, grain and dairy free. It is such a great tasting side dish that pairs well with stir-fry, chicken or pork dishes. I even had some with my grassfed steak last week. Speaking of which, I have had a lot of questions from you guys recently about where to get grass-fed beef. So I have made it so much easier for you! I have partnered with Butcher Box who will deliver grassfed beef and other pasture raised meats straight to your door! So if heading out to the farm to get your meat, like I do, isn't feasible for you, this might be the perfect option. Plus, if you sign up through this link you will get a FREE package of bacon and $10 off of your first order! You can learn more about Butcher Box here

I hope you love the rice! Please let me know if you try it. 

Until next time, happy eating friends! 

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice Recipe 

 

Ingredients

2 TBSP coconut oil

zest from 2 limes

1 cup chopped green onion

1 head of cauliflower

1/4- 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

juice from 1 lime

1 cup chopped cilantro

 

Directions

1. Rice your cauliflower by first cutting the cauliflower into florets and then pulsing it in your food processor (you can also use a hand grater if you don't have a food processor)

2. Place a large pan on the stove on medium heat

3. Add the coconut oil, lime zest and green onion to the pan and satay for 1-2 minutes

3. Add the cauliflower rice and stir to combine

4. Add the salt and lime juice

5. Cook for 4-5 minutes

6. Stir in the chopped cilantro and cook for another 1-2 minutes (until it is the consistency you desire)

7. Serve and enjoy! 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Print Recipe

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Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

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Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (Whole 30, Paleo, Vegan, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Grain Free) - Whole 30 Cauliflower Rice - Paleo Cauliflower Rice - Cauliflower Rice Recipe
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Paleo Cookies Bites with Maple Butter Frosting (Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting (paleo, gluten free, grain free)

Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting. Is your moth watering yet? If not it should be because these are so, so good! I actually created these last summer and totally forgot about them! What a shame right? Well good thing I was scrolling through food photos the other day and came across these beauties. Better late than never right?


Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting (paleo, gluten free, grain free)
Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting (paleo, gluten free, grain free)
Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting (paleo, gluten free, grain free)

So how was your week? Great I hope! We had a pretty busy week and weekend. On Saturday we had two parties to attend: one BBQ celebration and one engagement party and then Sunday we had another dinner to go to. It was a little tiring. It's amazing to me how you can have a few weekends in a row without anything going on, and then one weekend is just packed with events and activities. Do you find the same thing? Did you have a busy weekend as well?

In other news, I got my car back! Yep my little Jetta hasn't totally kicked the bucket yet. But I am starting to realize it's probably time for me to give in and get a new vehicle. Sad. I have had that baby for 13 years. She got me through undergrad, medical school and residency. We have been through a lot that's for sure. And I know I mentioned this last week, but seriously if any of you could recommend a good vehicle that comes in standard I would really appreciate your suggestions! I am totally not a car person but just want something that is going to be reliable, and get me from point A to point B. I also like a little pep in my car. Yep peppy, reliable and a standard. Those are my three requirements. So all you car experts please chime in! 

And one other, even more exciting thing for me to share: my e-book is almost done! Like so, so close! I have created a 100 page guide called The Pure and Simple Complete Paleo Food Guide. In it you will be able to learn exactly why the North American diet is so bad for your health, why the paleo diet is so healthy, how to change to the paleo diet successfully, and what to expect when you switch your diet. I have included 15 pages of safe and unsafe food lists, a 7 day meal plan and 15 recipes to get you started as well as so many helpful tips and suggestions to help you succeed on the paleo diet. Because I get so many questions from both my readers and my patients about how to successfully switch to the paleo diet. It was about time that I finally put a resource like this together. 

I would like your help though. Below is a photo of the cover I am planning to use for the book. I want to hear your thoughts. Do you like it? Hate it? Think I should change anything? Please let me know! 

Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting (paleo, gluten free, grain free)
Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting (paleo, gluten free, grain free)

But let's talk about these mouth watering Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting. Because I mean, yum! This frosting is my new favourite thing. I have started making a double batch just so that I can have extra around to eat. It's great for dipping in fruit, or just eating right off the spoon. I definitely need to make some more recipes with this icing that's for sure. I am thinking donuts might be up next. Would you be interested in that? I don't have any donut recipes on the blog yet so I guess I am overdue. I am thinking either vanilla donuts with maple icing or chocolate donuts with maple icing. Which sounds more appealing to you? 


These cookies are really, really tasty. They have a nice crunchy middle and then a melt in your mouth outside frosting that just goes really well together. These make a great dessert or even snack. I like to keep them in the fridge so that the frosting stays a bit firm. But if you don't plan on eating them right away you can also store them in the freezer and take them out when you need a little something sweet. Please let me know what you think of them! I am always looking for your feedback! 

Until next time, happy eating friends! 

Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting (paleo, gluten free, grain free)

Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting Recipe

 

Cookie Ingredients

2 1/2 cups almond flour (this is the best deal on almond flour that I know of)

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut (I use this kind)

1/2 tsp baking soda (buy here)

pinch sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil (this brand is my favourite)

1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (I recommend this brand because the cans are BPA free and there are no additives)

1 TBSP organic vanilla extract (buy here)

1 gelatin egg or 1 large egg

*** To make a gelatin egg: combine 1 TBSP grassfed gelatin with 1 TBSP cold water and stir vigorously until the gelatin dissolves, then add 2 TBSP boiling water and beat well (it should make a frothy type substance) - use the Vital Proteins Green Container Gelatin for this - you can buy Vital Proteins Gelatin here

 

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F 

2. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients

3. Add the wet ingredients and blend well with a pastry blender (or spoon)

4. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper

5. Form the dough into ~1 inch balls and place on the parchment paper

6. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until golden on the bottom 

7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes

 

Icing Ingredients

1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (cashew butter would also be a good substitute) (buy here)

1/4 cup ghee from grassfed cows (this is the brand I recommend

1 TBSP maple syrup or honey

1 tsp organic vanilla extract (I use this brand)

 

Icing Directions

1. Place a small pot on the stove on low heat

2. Add all of the ingredients to the pot and allow to melt, stirring frequently

3. Once, melted, three at a time, add the cookies into the pot, and cover with the icing (I used a spoon to do this)

4. Remove the cookies from the pot with a toothpick and place them back onto the baking sheet

5. Once all of the cookies are iced, place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 15-20 minutes

6. Remove from the freezer

7. Serve and enjoy!

Yields: 20 cookies

NOTE: These store well in the fridge for at least 7 days (if they last that long)

Print Recipe

 

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Paleo Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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Paleo Cookie Bites with Maple Butter Frosting (paleo, gluten free, grain free) - Paleo Cookie Bites - Paleo Cookie Recipe - Gluten Free Cookie Recipe
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Paleo Berry Coconut Waffles (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Paleo Berry Coconut Waffles (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free)

Yes these Paleo Berry Coconut Waffles are blue. It's because they have berries in them! So don't let the unusual colour scare you. Because they taste delicious I promise. Plus I bet your kids will love eating blue waffles. Anything to make meal time fun right? And even if you don't have any kids running around at home (like in my case) there is nothing like your family members seeing a blue waffle thrown on their plate to start up a conversation.


Paleo Berry Coconut Waffles (Grain Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free)
Paleo Berry Coconut Waffles (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

You know what is the worst? Car troubles. I hate dealing with car issues. And this last week I have been dealing with a lot. It's not fun at all. So a couple weeks ago, just as I was getting to spin class, the little red light of doom started flashing in my car (you know, the one that when you look it up in the manual it basically tells you that if you don't pull over immediately you are going to implode? ya that one). So I parked my car and went to spin, hoping it would just magically fix itself after I was done with spin class (yes this is my general approach to car problems).

Well, like most things in life, of course that didn't work. I was only able to drive my car a couple of kilometres before that evil light started flashing again. So long story short I ended up having to get my car towed to the mechanic. Not the end of the world right? So I went and got my car last Friday, payed my almost $900 bill and went on my merry way. Well, not 10 minutes into my drive did that same evil little light start going off again. What the hell? (There were actually worse words coming out of my mouth at that point trust me but I will spare you from my potty mouth). So I called my mechanic back and they sent a tow truck to yet again come rescue me.

So my car is now back in the shop, and they are still trying to figure out what exactly is going wrong. I guess that's what I get for continuing to drive a 15 year old car. But I just love that thing! I am one of those rare people that loves driving a standard car, and it is just so hard to find a good replacement these days. Driving a standard is a dieing art. So if any of you out there know of a decent vehicle that comes in standard (and ideally 4-wheel drive- yes that's the really tricky part) please send me your suggestions! Because my trusted little Jetta is starting to fail me. 

Paleo Berry Coconut Pancakes (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
Paleo Berry Coconut Waffles (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
Paleo Berry Coconut Pancakes (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Ok, but on to these Paleo Berry Coconut Waffles. I hope the photos have you intrigued. I don't really know what inspired this recipe to be honest, other than the fact that I had raspberries in the fridge that needed to be used. Sometimes that's all it takes to inspire a recipe. Ingredients in the fridge that are just patiently waiting to be made into something delicious.

Ever since I got a waffle maker I have been obsessed with making waffles. They are just so fun to make! So much funner than pancakes if you ask me. So far I have only been making sweet waffles but next on my list is to create a nice savoury waffle for you guys. I'll make it happen soon, trust me. But anyways, these Paleo Berry Coconut Waffles taste so good and are mainly sweetened with fruit and coconut milk so they really are pretty darn healthy. They also have some other really beneficial ingredients ike coconut flour, coconut oil, pasture raised eggs and local honey. Yes, tasty and healthy all in one! I topped mine with some maple syrup but I have also added coconut whipped cream since these photos were taken and if you ask me that tastes even better. I also threw some cacao nibs on mine for a little extra crunch, because I personally love it when food has a crunchy texture. It's just so much more satisfying! Right? Anyone else? 

I hope you love them! Until next time, happy eating friends! 


Paleo Berry Coconut Waffles (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Paleo Berry Coconut Pancakes Recipe

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut flour (this is my favourite brand)

1/2 cup tapioca flour (I use this kind)

1 tsp baking soda (I use this kind)

pinch sea salt

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (this brand is what I use because it has no additives and comes in a BPA free can)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (this brand is my favourite

3 TBSP water

2 TBSP honey or maple syrup (remember to use raw, local honey or grade C maple syrup for the health benefits)

1 tsp organic vanilla extract

3 eggs (pasture raised if possible)

1 cup fresh raspberries

 

Directions

1. Turn your waffle iron on (this is the one that I use and love)

2. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients

3. Add the wet ingredients and blend well with a pastry blender or spoon

4. Add the batter to the waffle iron (I added about 3-4 TBSP per waffle) 

5. Cook until done (mine took 6-7 minutes - but different waffle irons may have different cooking times) 

6. Remove from the waffle iron

7. Serve and enjoy! 

Print Recipe

 

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Paleo Carrot Cake Banana Bread

Paleo Carrot Cake Banana Bread

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry (Paleo, AIP, Gluten Free)

Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry (Whole 30, Paleo, No Sugar, Gluten Free)

Stir fries are one of my favourite meal ideas because they are so, so easy to make and taste amazing. This week I am sharing my recipe for Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry. I made this recipe for the first time a couple weeks ago and let me just say that it didn't last long at all. Erik and I inhaled it! I should have made a double batch. Live and learn right? 


Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry (Whole 30, Paleo, No Sugar, Gluten Free)
Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry (Whole 30, Paleo, No Sugar, Gluten Free)

So as you guys know, my day job is being a rheumatologist. And I wanted to talk about a couple experiences I had this week because both times I was totally surprised. 

Since I am fairly new to my practice (I just started in November) I am still seeing a lot of new patients. And two of my new patients told me the same thing the other day. They both said "don't be mad at me but I started seeing a naturopath and am now on a bunch of supplements and am getting some additional testing done." My response in cases like this is always the same: "oh that's great." And in both situations my patients responded "oh I'm so glad you aren't mad. My last doctor told me that if I did something like that they would stop seeing me."

What?? Seriously?? They would stop seeing you if you worked with a naturopath or an alternative medical practitioner? That breaks my heart.

I truly believe that in order to heal you need to do whatever is best for you. And most people need a team to help them do that. A team that often involves physicians, naturopaths, psychologists, massage therapists, exercise specialists etc. We each have our own areas of expertise. I would never pretend to know the same things as a naturopath or Chinese medicine practitioner or any other type of practitioner. Never.  

I always encourage my patients to do what they feel is best for themselves. Always. No questions asked. Can I guarantee that all of what they want to try is going to help? Absolutely not. But the mind is a powerful thing, so if you believe that something is helping you, it probably is. I wish that all of my colleagues felt the same way but the longer I am in practice the more I realize that just isn't the case. It's so sad. I think we should all have the same goal: to help our patients get better, no matter what form of treatment that takes. 

Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry (Whole 30, Paleo, No Sugar, Gluten Free)
Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry (Whole 30, Paleo, No Sugar, Gluten Free)

Initially I was going to call this teriyaki chicken stir fry. But both Erik and I decided that didn't describe this dish properly. The hints of citrus and ginger were just too strong to call this teriyaki. So the name Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry was born. And it is addicting. Super addicting. I personally love anything that comes with sauce. Sauce just makes everything taste so much better doesn't it? And there are so many vegetables in this dish that absorb all that saucy deliciousness. The broccoli in particular is my favourite. 

This Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry is safe for the paleo diet, AIP diet, and gluten free diets. And it doesn't contain any un-natural sweeteners or refined ingredients. Like always, it is totally healthy and is only made with real, nourishing ingredients. And as an added bonus it is really easy to make. Because I don't want you slaving away in the kitchen to make dinner. I know you have better things to do with your time (trust me, so do I). 

I hope you enjoy this one! 

Until next time, happy eating friends! 


 

Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry Recipe

Ingredients

3 TBSP coconut oil (This brand is my favourite)

3 chicken breasts, cut into bit sized pieces

1 small head of broccoli, chopped

3 carrot sticks, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup chopped green onion or 1/2 white onion, chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

2 bell peppers (I used a red and and orange), chopped

2-3 handfuls of bean sprouts (omit if following the paleo or AIP diets)

3/4 batch of my Paleo Teriyaki Sauce (or more if you like extra sauce) (see the recipe below)

1/2 tsp sea salt 

 

Directions

1. Place a large frying pan on the stove on medium heat

2. Add the coconut oil and allow to melt

3. Add the chicken and cook for ~10 minutes (until cooked on all sides and starting to brown) 

4. Add the sauce and the salt to the pan

5. Add the green/ white onion, broccoli and carrots and stir well to combine

6. Cook for 7-8 minutes

7. Add the celery and peppers and stir well to combine

8. Cook for another 7-8 minutes

9. Add the bean sprouts and stir well to combine

10. Cook for another 2-3 minutes

11. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy

NOTES: This goes well with cauliflower rice or white rice (if not following the paleo diet) 

 

Orange Ginger Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup Coconut Aminos (buy here)

4 TBSP honey

1 TBSP ground ginger (this brand is my favourite

1 tsp ground tumeric (this is the kind I use)

3/4 chopped green onion 

 

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients into your high speed blender or food processor 

2. Blend until smooth

3. Serve and enjoy! 

Print Recipe

 

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Slow Cooker Blueberry Coconut Pork Roast (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD)

Slow Cooker Blueberry Coconut Pork Roast (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD)

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Orange Ginger Chicken Stir Fry (AIP, Gluten Free)
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Five Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Sauce (Paleo, Vegan, GAPS, No Refined Sugar)

Five Ingredient Chocolate Sauce (Paleo, Vegan, GAPS, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Five Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Sauce. I have been eating this stuff by the spoonful ever since I made it because it is so, so good And with only 5 ingredients it is so easy to make! Like super, super easy. I will even go as far as to say fool proof easy. And I don't say that very often. In fact, I don't think I have ever said it on here before... 


Five Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Sauce (Paleo, GAPS, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
Five Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Sauce (Paleo, Vegan, GAPS, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

But before we get to the recipe I decided I wanted to talk a little about respect this week. Respect is something that is super important to me. Unfortunately, the older I get the more I realize that not everyone seems to feel the same way. I have been thinking a lot about respect and disrespect this week. And here's why: One of my patients didn't show up for her appointment this week. And I should say this this is common.

I have patients that don't show up for their appointments all the time. It's something I will never understand and never be able to just let go. I realize that shit happens. But just call and tell me about it! Do you know how many people there are on the wait list waiting to see me? A years worth of people! And not only that, but I don't get paid if you don't show up for your visit. I lose out on thousands of dollars each month due to no shows. Yes thousands...

But back to my story. So this patient of mine didn't show up. And this is the second time in 3 months that she has done this to me. And the one time I did get to see her, she completely didn't listen to me. She didn't do any of the tests that I asked her to do and then stopped all of her medications on her own and landed herself in the hospital because she got so sick after she did that. Now, it's pretty darn had to look after someone if they not only don't show up for their appointments, but even when they do, they don't take your advice seriously and do their own thing anyways. I just don't understand it. Do you like being sick? Do you enjoy spending time in the hospital when it could be prevented? Is it really that hard to pick up your phone to call and tell me that you can't come to your appointment? Or that you are stopping your medicines? I know you have a cell phone. You were using it during your appointment with me. I mean seriously. You are an adult. Grow up and act like one. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to look after you and I expect you to try to look after yourself as well. Even just a little bit! 

Grr!!!

Phew. That's feels good to get off my chest. It's amazing how a simple rant session can make you feel so much better. So yes friends, even though I do make a point of trying to focus on the positive and spreading positive messages, I still get frustrated and angry just like the rest of you. But I am trying to learn to be able to let it go more easily. After all, I can't control what other people decide to do with their bodies. I can only try and help them as best as I can, and the rest is up to them. 

Five Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Sauce (Paleo, Vegan, GAPS, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Sorry about that little rant. But it just blows my mind how some people just go through life not respecting anyone else or themselves. I just cannot imagine living life that way. At all. 

But back to this Five Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Sauce. Because who doesn't love chocolate? Only crazy people that's who (joking friends, just joking). This stuff only contains 5 ingredients and only takes about 5 minutes to make. Yes, it is just that simple. You can use this sauce as a topping for dessert recipes, to dip fruit in, or to just eat plain, right off the spoon (my preferred way). And despite tasting amazing, there are only real, nourishing ingredients in this recipe. Ingredients like coconut, cacao, and honey.

Just one word of caution about honey. Please always buy local and raw honey if possible. And please, please, never, ever buy the honey in the store that comes in those little teddy bear jars. You know the ones I am talking about. Want to know why you shouldn't buy it? Because it's likely not actually honey. It's likely corn syrup that has been disguised as honey and re-labelled as such. Gross right? How companies can feel okay with themselves by re-labelling one of the most unhealthy ingredients on the planet (corn syrup) and making people believe that it is one of the most healthy, natural food sources in the world is beyond me. I know that people will do anything for money these days but it still makes me so angry when they do so at the expense of people's health. That's why you should always buy local food ingredients as much as you can. That way you know where it is coming from, and exactly what it is. So stick to the raw, honey you can get at your local farmer's market. That way you know you are only getting the best quality and nourishing ingredients that you can. 

Enjoy the chocolate sauce! And until next time, happy eating everyone! 

Five Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Sauce (Paleo, GAPS, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

 

5 Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup coconut manna (or coconut butter or coconut cream concentrate - they are all the same thing)

1/3 cup coconut oil (this brand is my favourite) 

1/3 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup honey - use local, raw honey if possible (or maple syrup for vegan)

1 TBSP vanilla extract

 

Directions

1. Place a medium pot on the stove on low heat

2. Add all of the ingredients 

3. Stir well until melted together (about 5 minutes) 

4. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy! 

Prep Time: 2 minutes 

Cook Time: 10 minutes

NOTE: Using low heat is important for this one. If the coconut butter gets too hot it will form clumps. 

NOTE: Store this sauce in the fridge for as long as you need (which won't be long I promise). It will become firm in the fridge so you will need to heat it again if you want to use it in the liquid form. 

Print Recipe

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Paleo Dark Orange Chocolate Fudge

Paleo Dark Orange Chocolate Fudge

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Five Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Sauce (Paleo, Vegan, GAPS, No Refined Sugar, Dairy Free)
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mint Cashew Crumble (Paleo, Vegan, No Refined Sugar)

Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Cashew Coconut Crumble (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, No Refined Sugar)

Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mint Cashew Crumble. I know it's a mouthful, but trust me, it's a tasty mouthful! I have been living on this chia seed pudding lately. Breakfast, snacks, treats, this dish is perfect for all of them! I have started making double, or even triple, batches of this recipe just so that it lasts longer. It's just that good! 


Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mint Cashew Crumble (Paleo, Vegan, No Refined Sugar)
Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mint Cashew Crumble (Paleo, Vegan, No Refined Sugar)

So first of all I must say sorry for my lack of post last week. I had some major computer issues that I needed help with. You see, I decided it would be a good idea to upload my photos from my computer into iCloud. Well, I had no idea that this would then automatically sync all of my photos onto my phone. So suddenly I had like 19,000 photos on my phone. And my poor little iPhone 5S could definitely not handle that. So like any logical person I started deleting them. Little did I know that this would then somehow delete them from the hard drive of my computer! Seriously, what the hell? How is the iCloud allowed to do that? My computer files are my files. Don't touch them! (If you can't tell I am still pretty angry about it). 


Anyways, long story short I lost about 400 recipe photos. I managed to get about 100 of them recovered but the rest are just lost. They have somehow disappeared into the iCloud abyss (what is that even???). It is beyond frustrating! Apple, I am not impressed. Not. One. Little. Bit. 

I honestly still do not understand any of this but all I know is that it has made me pretty darn angry. And to make matters worse, it turns out the external hard drive I had been using to backup my computer wasn't working properly so I couldn't even get my photos back from that. All, in all a total nightmare and I have spent so many days dealing with this without any real solution. Here I was thinking I was dong all the right things to keep my files safe: backing them up on the time machine plus an external hard drive and uploading them into iCloud. Apparently not.

So I have since bought a new external drive and am making sure that all my photos from now on are safe on there. Grr I hate technology sometimes. And I have been slowly re-doing the photos I lost. I am guessing this has probably cost me about 20 hours worth of time between all the time I spent photographing the recipes initially, the time I spent dealing with this and the time I have spent re-photographing the recipes. So much wasted time! Oh well, I guess it's all relative. There are much bigger life problems I could be dealing with, so I should really take a lesson from Mark Manson and do a better job of what I give a fuck about (ps. If you haven't read that book you totally need to) (pps. sorry for the bad language but it's Mark's word, not mine)

Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mint Cashew Crumble (Paleo, Vegan, No Refined Sugar)
Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mint Cashew Crumble (Paleo, Vegan, No Refined Sugar)

Okay, enough about that. I know you guys didn't come here to listen to me complain about my computer problems. You came here to get the recipe for this Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mint Cashew Crumble. I personally love chia seed pudding recipes. They are so easy to make and they have such a unique texture. And the combination of raspberry, coconut and vanilla in this recipe tastes amazing. Like really amazing! And I personally love the addition of the mint crumble to add a little unique flavour and crunch, but you could totally leave out the crumble if you wanted. But if you are like me any love everything and anything mint flavoured I highly suggest spending the extra couple minutes to make the crumble. You won't regret it. Promise! 

I eat this chia seed pudding for breakfasts, snacks and even as a treat. I have been known to eat two servings of this recipe in one day (don't judge me okay?). This recipe is gluten free, dairy free and safe for the paleo diet, vegan diet and it doesn't have any artificial sugars or sweeteners. So pretty much anyone will be able to eat it. 

I hope you love it!

Until next time, happy eating everyone! 

 

Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mint Cashew Crumble Recipe

Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mint Cashew Crumble (Paleo, Vegan, No Refined Sugar)

 

Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients

1 6oz package raspberries, washed

3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (I use this brand because it is free from additives and uses BPA free cans)

1 TBSP honey or maple syrup (Use maple syrup for vegan)

1 tsp organic vanilla extract (I use this brand) 

2 TBSP chia seeds (I use this brand of white chia seeds

 

Directions

1. Place a medium pot on the stove on medium heat

2. Add all the ingredients, except the chia seeds, and bring to a boil

3. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to break apart the raspberries

4. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes

5. Transfer the mixture to a glass or ceramic bowl

6. Add the chia seeds and stir well to combine

7. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour (or overnight for an easy breakfast)

8. Add the optional crumble topping (see below)

9. Serve and enjoy!

 

Mint Cashew Crumble Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup raw cashews (preferably soaked and dehydrated first) 

5 large mint leaves 

2 TBSP shredded coconut (I use this brand)

1 TBSP coconut oil (this kind is my favourite

1 TBSP honey or maple syrup (use maple syrup for vegan) 

 

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients into your food processor (this is the food processor I have and love)

2. Blend until the crumble reaches your desired consistency 

3. Add on top of your chia seed pudding

4. Serve and enjoy! 

Yield: 1 serving

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Print Recipe

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Raspberry Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mint Cashew Crumble
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Is Your Diet Causing Your Depression?

Is Your Diet Causing Your Depression?

Depression. Thankfully this is something I have never had to deal with. But, depression is one of the most common health issues diagnosed today and many of my patients, friends and family members have suffered with this challenging disease. In fact, depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in the general population and the most common mental health condition in patients seen in primary care.

As well, anti-depressants are one of the most commonly prescribed medications by doctors today. The pharmaceutical industry is making a killing off of anti-depressants. And unfortunately, the role that diet and nutrition play in depression is basically overlooked in the modern medical era. But, what if I told you that the food you are eating could be causing or at least contributing to your depression? What if you could get off your medication by changing your diet? Would you be interested? I hope so! 


Now, I never suggest stopping any medications before talking to your doctor. In fact, stopping antidepressants on your own can be extremely dangerous, so if you ever decide to go off your medications please do so under the supervision of a physician who can monitor you closely. 

You may be asking, how on earth can the food I am eating be related to my mood? Well, there are actually many different ways that food can contribute to depression including: 

1. Altering the microbiome

2. Causing leaky gut

3. Causing nutrient deficiencies 

4. Leading to inflammation in the body

So let's talk about each of these factors individually. 

1. The Microbiome

The microbiome has gained a lot of attention in recent years when it comes to our health. Humans live in a co-evolutionary association with huge quantities of microorganisms/bacteria that live on the exposed and internal surfaces of our bodies. The entirety of microorganisms in a particular habitat or environment is termed the microbiota, or microflora, and the collective genomes of all the microorganisms in a microbiota are termed the microbiome (yes science likes to make things sound really fancy don't they?). In other words, all of the bacteria (and their genes) that live in or on our bodies are known as the microbiome (it sounds kind of creepy doesn't it?)/ 

These organisms live in many places including on our skin, in our respiratory tract and lungs and in our gut or intestines. The population in our gut has gained the most attention because of its enormous size. In fact, the genome of our microbiome is about 100x larger than that of its human host. It's pretty incredible. 

For the remainder of this discussion I am going to focus on the gut microbiome, as that is the one that is most well studied and the one that our diet can directly impact. 

Our gut microbiome is thought to have four major functions:

1. It defends against pathogens/disease causing agents by producing anti-bacterial substances.

2. It strengthens the intestinal lining, creating a barrier between the intestine and the rest of the body. This barrier prevents bacteria and other foreign particles that we ingest from entering our bloodstream and reaching other body tissues and organs.

3. It helps us absorb nutrients by helping digest and metabolize compounds that are otherwise indigestible.  

4. It helps develop and maintain our immune system. 

In other words, it has some pretty important functions. And the proper function of the microbiome depends on the proper balance and maintenance of certain species of bacteria. Upset this balance, and allow certain types of bacteria to take over and problems start to occur. And one of the main ways that this imbalance begins, and the unhealthy bacteria start to thrive and take over is through eating the modern, North American style diet. You see, this diet, with its heavy reliance on grains, processed foods and refined sugars sets up the perfect environment for these bad bugs to thrive and multiply. Slowly starving out the good bacteria that our intestinal tract needs to function properly. And this breakdown of function then starts to interfere with all of those things the microbiome is supposed to do. Our immune system can become compromised, we can develop infections, we start malabsorbing vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients and the tight junctions between the intestinal cells start to break down, allowing the gut to become "leaky." And all of these things can ultimately impact our mood. 

Some of the best evidence that alterations in the microbiome can affect our mood come from studies where probiotics were used to treat depression. Probiotics directly change the bacteria in our intestines by adding specific strains of bacteria into the gut and have been shown to have multiple health benefits. In other words, if you add back the right bacteria to your gut, you can help treat your depression. The same can be said if you can alter the gut microbiome by eating the proper foods. The foods that allow the good bacteria to thrive, and keep the bad bacteria at bay. 

2. Leaky Gut

Leaky gut is being linked to more health issues everyday. I could spend hours discussing leaky gut alone. But I will keep it short and sweet today because I know this post is already getting long. Leaky gut occurs when the connections between the intestinal cells, called tight junctions, start to separate and breakdown. This allows bacteria, food particles, toxins and other substances that normally stay in our intestines to gain access to the bloodstream, and then potentially gain access to any organ in our body. And in some people, these substances affect the brain and central nervous system, leading to many different diseases, including depression. 

There are multiple factors that can lead to leaky gut including poor diet, certain medications, stress, alterations in the microbiome and certain infections. Treating leaky gut is a key to treating almost any chronic disease, including depression and other mood disorders. 


3. Nutrient Deficiencies 

Now, there are not many scientific studies that have looked at this. Trust me, I looked! Unfortunately, modern medicine likes to study drugs and not diet or supplements because, let's be honest, there is no money to be made in studying diet and supplements. A true but sad fact. But, that being said, there is significant evidence that both zinc deficiency and iron deficiency can contribute to depression, and that treating these mineral deficiencies can lead to decreased depressive symptoms. And the Western diet is the perfect diet to lead to nutrient deficiencies. Not only is the soil that our food is grown in these days extremely nutrient poor, the high amounts of grains, refined sugars and processed foods that people typically eat actually make it very difficult to absorb any of the vitamins and minerals contained in our food. I wrote an entire post about this topic called Why Grains Are Not Healthy, which I highly suggest you read, as there is way too much information for me to summarize it here. So many people are living with nutrient deficiencies today and they don't even know it. Many of these can be easily diagnosed by simple blood tests so if you are dealing with depression I highly suggest asking your doctor to check your vitamin and mineral levels. 

4. Inflammation  

Low grade inflammation in the body can cause a multitude of health problems, and has been linked to depression in multiple studies, and across multiple populations. And unfortunately, the modern North American diet is highly inflammatory. Our reliance on grains, sugars and processed food leads to inflammation in the body. As well, eating meat that has not been raised properly (eg. cows eating grains rather than grass) is also extremely inflammatory. Did you know that cows fed grass product meat with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 1:1, while cows raised on grains product meat with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 20:1. The same goes for fish. If fish is fed corn or other grains it actually has a very high omega 6 level and a very low omega 3 level. And since omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid, and omega 6 an inflammatory fatty acid, all this extra omega 6 that most people are consuming leads to systemic inflammation. 

But the news isn't all bad. There are many things you can do to change your diet to help address all of these issues I just outlined. And I want to show you how. In my next post I will discuss just How To Eat To Treat Depression. Now, I don't know when that post will be ready, so to ensure you don't miss it please sign up for my newsletter below and you will be informed as soon as the post goes live. 

In the mean time, if you would like to start reading about what you can do on your own, I highly suggest reading the book The Gut and Psychology Syndrome. This was one of the first books ever written that connect food to depression (as well as many other psychological issues). It is a great read. You can find the book here:

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome

And if you would like to look at some scientific studies that address what I talked about in this post here is a list of 15 references for you to check out. The evidence that depression is linked to diet is overwhelming. I could fill books just listing the scientific papers related to this issue but I hope these select few will do for now. 

References

1. The Inflammatory Potential of the Diet Is Associated with Depressive Symptoms in Different Subgroups of the General Population.

2. Food and Mood: Diet Quality is Inversely Associated with Depressive Symptoms in Female University Students.

3. Obesity-Induced Neuroinflammation: Beyond the Hypothalamus.

4. Probiotic treatment reduces depressive-like behaviour in rats independently of diet.

5. Food matters: how the microbiome and gut-brain interaction might impact the development and course of anorexia nervosa.

6. Breaking down the barriers: the gut microbiome, intestinal permeability and stress-related psychiatric disorders.

7. The role of microbiome in central nervous system disorders.

8. Modulation of Gut Microbiota-Brain Axis by Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Diet.

9. The role of IgG hypersensitivity in the pathogenesis and therapy of depressive disorders

10. Association of Mood Disorders with Serum Zinc Concentrations in Adolescent Female Students.

11. Zinc Deficiency Is associated With Depressive Symptoms-Results From the Berlin Aging Study II.

12. The efficacy of early iron supplementation on postpartum depression, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

13. The efficacy of early iron supplementation on postpartum depression, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

14. The acute-phase mediator serum amyloid A is associated with symptoms of depression and fatigue.

15. Association between C-reactive protein (CRP) with depression symptom severity and specific depressive symptoms in major depression.

Until next time, happy eating everyone! 

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

White Peppermint Smoothie (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, Gluten Free, GAPS, SCD)

White Peppermint Smoothie (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, Gluten Free, GAPS, SCD)

Hi from Florida friends! Yes I am still busy reading on the beach. But that doesn't mean I would neglect you while I am on vacation. That just wouldn't be nice of me now would it? So, while I am busy sipping on a Moscow Mule by the ocean you guys get to enjoy White Peppermint Smoothies. Yep, that's what's on the menu this week. 


 

This recipe has been sitting in the archives for a long, long time. Almost a year actually. I was going through my recipe photos the other day and realized that I never actually shared this one with you. Oops! At the time I made it I had recently posted some other smoothie recipes like my Chocolate Raspberry Bliss Smoothie Bowl and Get Your Greens Mint Smoothie Bowl and wanted to give you guys some variety. So this one has been collecting dust for quite some time which is a shame because it is actually really tasty! If only I had a blender on this trip I would make this smoothie for myself right now. Because nothing is refreshing quite like a cold minty smoothie. Right? 

White Peppermint Smoothie (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, SCD, GAPS, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
White Peppermint Smoothie (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, SCD, GAPS, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

So, what have I been up to in Florida? Not a lot. Beach runs and workouts, reading a lot of good books, soaking up as much vitamin D as I can and doing a little shopping. Oh, and eating a lot of good food! There are so many food items I have tried here that I can't get at home that I have fallen in love with. Foods like: Terra Plantain Chips, Siete Lime Chips, Simple Mills Crackers, Epic Pork Rinds and Rx Bars. Seriously why aren't these things available in Canada? It's just not fair. Maybe I should open a store that sells them? What do you think? Anyone interested? 

I have also been watching a lot of basketball (of course). In case you didn't know there is a little thing called March Madness going on right now. Which, besides Christmas, is basically my favourite time of year. I personally love North Carolina but I always like a good underdog success story too so I would be more than happy if Gonzaga won. As much as I love North Carolina, they have had their fair share of tournament wins in the past. Who are you cheering for? Are you even watching?  


White Peppermint Smoothie (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
White Peppermint Smoothie (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

But let's talk about this smoothie shall we? White Peppermint Smoothies. I ate/drank these so much last summer! Breakfast, post-workout or even as a snack or treat. No matter what time of day, this smoothie can hit the spot. It's slightly sweet with the refreshing addition of mint. And there are no added sweeteners in this one so even if you are on a Whole 30, or just trying to limit your sugar intake you can still enjoy this smoothie. In fact, this White Peppermint Smoothie is compatible with almost every special diet out there: paleo, GAPS, Whole 30, SCD, vegan, gluten free and dairy free. Please let me know what you think if you try it! You all know I love getting your feedback! 

As always I would be thrilled if you followed me on my social media pages on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest

Until next time, happy eating friends! 

 

White Peppermint Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas

1 1/4 cups full fat coconut milk (I use this brand

1 cup packed mint leaves 

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (this brand is my favourite

1/4 cup melted coconut manna or coconut butter (buy here

Optional: 1-2 scoops of grassfed gelatin (omit for vegan) (buy here

 

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients into your vitamix or other high speed blender (This is the Vitamix I use and love

2. Blend well until smooth

3. Serve and enjoy! 

Print Recipe

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

How To Travel On The Paleo Diet (Gluten Free Travel, Dairy Free Travel)

How to travel on the paleo diet (gluten free travel, dairy free travel)

Guess what? I am officially on vacation. In Florida! One of my favourite places. Basically my second home. I have been coming here, almost every year since I was 2 months old. On my first trip here apparently I slept in a drawer. Yes a drawer. I guess as a newborn I wasn't too picky. But I feel like now a days if any parent said they put their child in a drawer to sleep social services would end up being called. Things have changed a lot in 30 years... And don't worry guys, I still turnout out okay. If you think about it, a drawer is really the perfect size for a newborn. Throw some blankets in there and you have the perfect sized baby crib. At a fraction of the cost of an actual crib. Because let me state the obvious: baby stuff is expensive! Seriously, companies that make baby and kids products know that parents will fork out anything when it comes to their kids. It's such a scam. And yes, you can tell that I am not yet a parent. If I ever do have kids I am sure I will become one of those parents shelling out all sorts of money for my babies. 

One of the most common questions I get asked is how I manage to travel so much and still eat paleo friendly foods. So I decided it was time to put together my tips for how to travel on the paleo diet. Because even though you are eating paleo doesn't mean you should have to miss out on things like traveling. Because let's admit it, travelling is amazing! 


 

1. STAY IN A PLACE WITH A KITCHEN

I cannot emphasize this one enough! Whenever I travel now I either rent apartments through sites like VRBO.com or find hotels that have kitchenettes in them. You would actually be amazed to know that it is often cheaper to rent an apartment then it is to stay in a hotel anyways. By having my own kitchen I am able to make whatever I want, and then I know exactly what is going into the food I eat. Plus it is way cheaper to prepare your own meals than to eat at restaurants anyways. It's a win win if you ask me!

2. PLAN AHEAD

Whenever I travel I always scout out the city I will be staying in ahead of time. Is there a grocery store close to where I am staying? Or a Farmers market? Trader Joes? Whole Foods? Hotels are usually great at recommending restaurants and tourist activities but when it comes to some of the basics like the places listed above I have often found them to be less than helpful. So, I rely on good old google and google maps to figure out where I need to go. It really doesn't take a lot of work and I often end up exploring areas that less tourists frequent which can be a nice break.

3. PACK FOOD

Yep I am that girl whose carry on (and sometimes suitcase) is filled with food. I usually pack a couple meals to take on the plane (breakfast and lunch) and snacks. Lots of snacks! I have to say that this got much more difficult when the restrictions on liquids were implemented many years ago but I have leaned to adapt. And here is a little secret from me to you. Just don't tell anyone that you have fruit in your bag and guess what... NOTHING happens to you! I have been bringing fruit with me on planes for years and have never had an issue. I am probably violating some sort of rule by sharing this with you (it's a good thing Donald Trump doesn't read my blog) but I figure border security has much better things to worry about than the banana or apple that I have in my carry on. Just saying. The one time I told the truth and said I had an apple in my bag lead to an hour delay while I and the rest of my family were thoroughly searched and my apple confiscated. And for what? I would love for someone from customs to explain just exactly how my store bought apple poses a threat to anyone. Except for those that are allergic to apples of course... 


As for snacks this really depends on what kind of food you tolerate. I usually pack some home made baked goods like my Paleo Pecan Muffins, Paleo Carrot Cake Banana Bread, Slightly Sweet Grain Free Granola, Grain Free Bagels, or Paleo Banana Coconut Blueberry Muffins. I also bring some nuts, canned tuna or salmon and fruits and vegetables. Other great options are dried fruit, plantain chips, jerkies, paleo granola or energy bars. 

And if you are looking for some pre-made options some of my favourites are:


4. BRING A WATER BOTTLE

Just remember to leave it empty until you get through security! I always carry water with me and I feel much better if I use a washable one rather than relying on disposable water bottles that just end up filling up the landfills. Plus I like to put lemon in my water and lets face it, those disposable water bottle tops just aren't big enough to hold a lemon slice!

5. BRING TUPPERWARE

This one sounds ridiculous I know but I have found that most places, while well stocked with kitchen utensils and cooking needs are often lacking in tupperware! I don't mean for you to go crazy here but I usually throw a couple containers in my bag to store things in once I get to my destination. The same goes for ziploc bags. Throw a handful in your suitcase and trust me you will end up putting them to good use!

6. ASK YOUR FRIENDS

Do you have any friends who are also eating paleo or gluten free? Ask them for advice! Have they ever been to where you are travelling? If so, where do they love to eat? I have a Facebook group full of other paleo bloggers and I am always asking them for advice when I have a trip coming up. I have discovered so many great restaurants and coffee shops this way. It never hurts to ask! 

Well friends, that's it. My tips for how to travel on the paleo diet. 

As always I would be thrilled if you followed me on my social media pages on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest

 

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How to Travel on the Paleo Diet (Gluten free diet, travel tips, healthy living)
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Paleo Carrot Cake Banana Bread (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, No Refined Sugar)

Paleo-Carrot-Cake-Banana-Bread

Paleo Carrot Cake Banana Bread. That's what we're snacking on today. This recipe took me 6 tries to get right. Yes six. I almost gave up, but I was determined to make it happen. I have never had to work so hard to get a recipe perfect. But you guys are worth it. Plus I love banana bread and carrot cake so much that I was determined to make this combination a reality. This recipe is gluten free, grain free and dairy free. Yes friends, that creamy looking icing is totally dairy free. You can thank me later. 


Paleo-Carrot-Cake-Banana-Bread
Paleo-Carrot-Cake-Banana-Bread

Guess what??? I leave for Florida on Friday. God I can't wait. I live for beach vacations. Literally live for them. I am eagerly collecting all the books that I am going to take with me to read. There is almost nothing that makes me happier than laying on the beach with a good book. I usually read about 10 books in the 2 weeks that I am gone. Yes, I am most definitely a book worm. So if you have any book suggestions for me it's not too late for me to add a couple more to my stack! Speaking of books, I just finished reading The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. Have you read it yet? If not I highly recommend it. Definitely a good one.   

Besides all the books that I am brining I am trying to leave my suitcase as empty as possible so I can stock up on the things I can't get here and bring them home with me. Goodies like Anthony's Almond Flour, Otto's Cassava Flour, Vital Proteins Grassfed Gelatin (I can get that here but the shipping costs hurt my soul), Beautycounter's Sunscreen and eye pencils, and Target swimsuits. I for one still wish Target was still here in Canada. If only they hand't messed up so badly. Store shelves that are constantly half empty and limited sizes of clothing items will never equal success. I don't know who was in charge of their Canadian launch but they sure dropped the ball on that one. Does anyone else in Canada wish that Target was still here? And besides the few goodies that I listed I am sure I will find a couple other treasures to bring home with me. Normally I buy a ton of stuff at The Limited, but they have gone out of business too. Man, all my favourite stores are dying... I was super surprised to here that The Limited had filed for bankruptcy. They had such nice stuff! I have a closet full of clothes from them to prove it. Although my closet is already bursting at the seams, so it's probably a good thing that I won't have as many brands to tempt me... 


This will be my first trip to the US since Trump became president. Ugh. That man literally makes my skin crawl and blood boil. Listening to him talk is like listening to a 5 year old. I will honestly never understand how he made it into power. Never. But I'm curious to see if I notice any difference when I do travel. As a blonde, white girl I highly doubt that I will (apparently in Trump's eyes that makes me a safe traveller) but I will be eagerly talking to some of my Florida friends to get their opinions on how things are now that he is in charge. I am already baffling at many of his decisions. And he has only been in power a few months. I can only imagine (and dread) what is yet to come... 

Paleo-Carrot-Cake-Banana-Bread
Paleo-Carrot-Cake-Banana-Bread
Paleo-Carrot-Cake-Banana-Bread

Ok, but I know you guys don't come here to listen to my political view points. So let's get to the real reason you are here. This Paleo Carrot Cake Banana Bread. Because yum! Is your mouth watering looking at the photos? I hope so! This might be one of the best recipes I have ever created. Ever. Two of my favourite recipes combined into one. It is so hard to get grain free bread recipes right but the texture of this one is just like real, grain filled bread. I promise. And the icing! Very reminiscent of cream cheese icing (which I used to love), minus the dairy and refined sugars. This bread is totally paleo friendly meaning there are no grains, gluten or dairy used. Only real, nourishing ingredients in this one friends. Because healthy food should still taste delicious! 

And because this recipe took me so long to perfect I decided to only make this one available to my loyal subscribers. So if you would like the recipe make sure you sign up for my newsletter below and it will be sent directly to your inbox! 

As always I would be thrilled if you followed me on my social media pages on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest

Until next time, happy eating friends! 

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Could Your Perfume Give You Cancer? (Health Information, Skincare)

Could Your Perfume Give You Cancer?

Could your perfume give you cancer? The answer is that it might. So could many of the skin care and makeup products that you use. Scary right? Unfortunately the answer is not totally black or white. There are many exposures that can contribute to cancer development, but most people never consider that the things they are putting on their body could be potentially harmful so I thought it was important to address this issue. Because how could something that smells so good be bad for you? Let's talk about it.


First, some quick cancer statistics: 

Currently, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will have a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. That is terrifying. As well, currently 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. This has increased from 1 in 20 just 40 years ago. Changes in our genetics cannot explain these significant increases. It is all due to our environmental exposures, with our skincare and beauty products being one significant piece of that puzzle.

So, how on earth can the stuff you put on your skin or spray on your body possibly contribute to cancer? Well, you may or may not know that our skin is our largest organ. And much of what we put on our skin or spray on our body gets absorbed into our bloodstream within just seconds of application. Yes seconds. So, what we put on our skin doesn't just have local effects, it can potentially impact every single organ in our body once it gets into our bloodstream. And this wouldn't be a big deal if everything we were putting on our skin was known to be safe. But this couldn't be any further from the truth. 

Since World War II over 85,000 chemicals have been introduced into commerce. And only 10-20% of those chemicals used in skin care products have ever been tested for safety. Yes, only 10-20%. Could you image if only 10-20% of the drugs I prescribed as a physician were tested for safety. It would be a complete disaster and would never be allowed. But, for some reason the personal care industry has basically gone unregulated for many, many years. For example, the last time a Federal law was passed regulating the personal care industry in the United States was in 1938 (yes that is almost 100 years ago). As well, the European Union has banned 1400 ingredients from their skincare products while the US has banned only 30 and Canada only 600. And since there is so little regulation, currently when products are tested, 1 in 5 ingredients in skincare products actually contain ingredients that are known to cause cancer. Let that sink in. 1 in 5 ingredients in our skincare products are known to cause cancer. 

So, back to your perfume or cologne. 

Do you have any perfume or cologne in your house? If so go grab the bottle and look at the label. If you don't have perfume, scented body lotion or any scented skincare or hair product will also do. What words do you see on that label? Probably a few things that you can't pronounce, that sound like they were created in a lab (and they probably were) but I want you to look for a couple words that probably don't look that dangerous: "Fragrance" and "scent". 

Do you see them? If so, I highly urge you to throw that item out immediately (and recycle the bottle if you can of course). 


When you see the words "fragrance" or "scent" on a product, these terms are considered to be trade secrets. That means that companies don't have to disclose the ingredients in that product on the label. And right now, over 3,000 chemicals can be used to make up a fragrance, and you don't get to know what any of them are. Again, terrifying. How can you know if what you are putting on your body is safe if you can't even see those ingredients? The fact that companies can hide ingredients behind an innocent seeming word like "fragrance" just to make some money makes my blood boil. And it should make yours boil too. 

Beyond fragrances, there are also many other ingredients found in skincare products that are known to cause cancer. A few common ones are:

  • Lead: this known neuro-toxin and carcinogen is commonly found in color cosmetics as a contaminant. And right now there is no requirement for brands to test for heavy metal contamination in their products. In fact, if products are tested, right now 95% of lipsticks on the market contain lead. Yes 95%. 
  • Parabens: these compounds are used as anti-bacterial agents and stabilizers in skin care and cosmetic products. These chemicals are known endocrine disruptors which can contribute to hormonally based cancers such as breast cancer. In fact, one study showed that 99% of those with breast cancers had paraben accumulation in their breast cancer tumors. 99%. 
  • Formaldehyde: this is a known carcinogen that is commonly found in hair dye, relaxers, straighteners, shampoos, conditioners, and hair extension glue.
  • Tricloscan: this ingredient is used as an anti-bacterial agent and is commonly found in products like deodorant, body wash and toothpaste. It is also a known endocrine disruptor which can cause problems like infertility, thyroid disease and cancer. 

So, what can you do to help protect yourself and your family? Well, choosing products that only use safe ingredients is key. Unfortunately it is not always easy to do. One of my favourite resources to check if products or ingredients are safe is EWG's Skin Deep Database. You can look up individual ingredients there, or search for full products. You can also download the app which allows you to scan product bar codes when you are out shopping as well. 

You can also choose to buy products from brands that are 100% committed to safety. Personally I use and trust Beautycounter and all of their products. There are many reasons why I recommend Beautycounter products: 

  • Beautycounter is 100% committed to only using safe ingredients in their products. They have banned 1500 ingredients from their products (a list of ingredients they call their "Never List") and will always err on the side of safety. If an ingredient is questionable in terms of its safety data, they will always err on the side of caution or safety and not use it. One common example is retinol, an ingredient commonly found in anti-aging products, that has conflicting safety data. Some data says it's quite safe, while other data indicates it can be quite harmful, causing cancers, heart disease and other health problems. Beautycounter's stance is that until there is better data saying it is either safe or harmful, they are not going to use it as they cannot be sure it is safe for use.  
  • Beautycounter is actively trying to change the regulations for the skincare industry at the governmental level. Their ultimate goal is to help change legislation so that one day we can all walk into a drugstore, pick a product off the shelf, and not have to worry about whether or not that product contains health harming ingredients. Since November 2014, Beautycounter has had over 200 meetings with congress, made more than 2,500 phone calls and sent 40,000 emails in their efforts to start changing the legislation in the skincare industry.
  • Beautycounter discloses all of the ingredients on their labels. 
  • Beautycounter was one of the first companies to become EWG verified. 
  • Beautycounter has some of the most rigorous testing of any company in the skincare and beauty industries. They test all of their products for contaminants and the ingredients on their Never List to ensure their product safety. They also test every batch of their color cosmetics three times (yes three times) for heavy metal contamination which is more than any brand on the market that I am aware of.

If you love Beautycounter's mission as much as I do, there are a few ways you can get involved with the company:

1. Shop with Beautycounter: You can easily shop for products online at www.beautycounter.com/erincarter
We offer a 100% money back guarantee on all of our products within 60 days of purchase. If you are looking for specific product recommendations please contact me and I would be happy to help (email me at erin.carter.md@gmail.com). Or you can fill out my Skin Quiz and I will get back to you with product recommendations. 

2. Become a Band of Beauty Member: The Band of Beauty Membership is an annual membership that costs $29 and gets you free shipping on all orders over $100US or $125CAD, a free product at the time you sign up (as long as you spend $50 US or $75 CAD on your order - the free product changes monthly so just get in touch with me to find out what it is) and 15% back on all of your purchases in the form of a product credit. This program is such a great way to save money on products. You can sign up at www.beautycounter.com/erincarter - simply scroll to the bottom where it says "Get Credit for Shopping."

3. Become a Consultant: Joining Beautycounter as a consultant is such an amazing opportunity. The company is so young and growing at a tremendous rate. It is one of the only jobs out there that offers the chance to earn a significant income while at the same time having a significant social impact, all while making your own hours and working from home. There are many consultants in this business earning six figure incomes, and many of them are stay at home moms. It really is incredible. As consultants, we consider ourselves educators. Our biggest role is to educate as many people as we can about the importance of choosing safe skincare and beauty products, and the lack of regulation in the industry. I highly suggest you consider becoming a consultant if any of these apply to you:

  • You are looking to earn more money (whether thats a few hundred dollars a month or a full time income)
  • You are tired of your current job
  • You no longer want to work 9-5
  • You are a stay at home mom or dad
  • You are interested in health and wellness 
  • You have a big social network
  • You like educating and empowering others
  • You are business minded and driven 
  • You are a blogger looking to increase your revenue 

Becoming a consultant is simple. It costs $85 to sign up and this gives you access to printed materials to get your business started, plus an online business in both Canada and the US. There are no minimum monthly sales requirements and you can work as much or as little as you would like. The only requirement is that you sell $1200 of products in 6 months (and all of your own purchases count toward this requirement) and only $250 of that has to be from another person. As a consultant you will be fully supported by myself and my full team to help you achieve your goals with your Beautycounter business. Whether that's earning a few hundred dollars a month or a full time income. You will be generously compensated for your sales, earning between 25-35% on the products you sell.

If you want to learn more about this amazing opportunity please send me a message at: erin.carter.md@gmail.com
or if you want to sign up right away you can do so at www.beautycounter.com/erincarter - simply scroll to the bottom where it says "Join the Mission." 

Please let me know if you have any questions! As always I would be thrilled if you followed me on my social media pages on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest

References:

1. Human exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds: Their role in reproductive systems, metabolic syndrome and breast cancer. A review.

2. Methylparaben stimulates tumor initiating cells in ER+ breast cancer models. 

3. Parabens can enable hallmarks and characteristics of cancer in human breast epithelial cells: a review of the literature with reference to new exposure data and regulatory status.

4. Epigenetic alterations induced by genotoxic occupational and environmental human chemical carcinogens: A systematic literature review.

5. Review of the Formaldehyde Assessment in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens.

6. Triclosan in water, implications for human and environmental health.

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Could Your Perfume Give You Cancer? (Health Information, Skincare, Natural Remedies, Cancer, Beauty Products)
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, No Added Sugar)

Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Paleo, Whole 30, Gluten Free, No Added Sugar)

Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails. That's what we are sipping on this week. Don't they look delicious? 

Can you believe this is the first drink recipe I have posted on the blog? Seriously how have I let that happen? Other than smoothies you won't find any other drink recipes in the archives. Huge fail on my part. But don't worry, I plan on posting drink recipes more regularly from now on. Promise. 

I have been craving everything citrus lately which is why I created these Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails. They are so refreshing! Plus they have the gut health benefits of added kombucha. For those of you who are new to kombucha, it is sweetened tea that has been fermented with a colony of bacteria. Kombucha has many health benefits including helping the liver with detoxification, helping reduce arthritis pain, improving digestion and gut health and helping boost the immune system. One of my favourite authors, Real Food Renegade has written a great article about kombucha which you can read here.

Kombucha is honestly one of my favourite things. Anyone else? I go through a lot of it. Like a lot. My favourite kind is GTs Original and Gingeraide (and no this post was not sponsored by them). I really should just start making my own. I actually have access to an amazing course that teaches you how. My friend Sarah put it together. You can access it by clicking here as well. I would save so much money if I started making it myself! Seriously so much! 


Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added)
Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added)

Sorry I didn't get a chance to post last week. Life has been a little crazy. But good crazy! I did my first in person Beautycounter social last weekend! Eek! I must admit that I was a little nervous to do an in-person event but I totally didn't need to be. It was so much fun! And I got to meet such an amazing group of women. Honestly that has become my favourite part of this business. Meeting and connecting with like minded, goal driven, women. Plus the little bit of extra money I've been earning hasn't hurt either... 

I have never liked speaking in front of a crowd, but after years and years of mandatory presentations as a resident I have gotten much more comfortable with it. And it turns out it's much easier to talk about something you are passionate about, rather than something you are forced to speak about. Over the last 6 months I have become more and more passionate about educating others about the importance of choosing safe skincare and beauty products. The more I learn, the more and more horrified I become about the lack of regulation in this industry and all the potential health consequences that our skincare products can have. Problems that so many of us are dealing with like cancers, infertility, hormone imbalances, neurological problems and behavioural problems. It makes me so mad that I didn't receive any education around environmental health during my medical training. Such a shame. As a physician I think it's important for me to educate my patients around many aspects of their health, including the impact that their food and environmental exposures can have on them. I don't want to just treat their diseases. I really want to help them heal. Unfortunately, our medical system is really not set up for this. I have very little time to spend talking with patients about nutrition and environmental health. We are too busy putting out fires because by the time someone gets to see me, usually they are pretty sick. If we are ever going to turn our healthcare system around we really do need to start paying more attention to preventative medicine. I just don't know how our broken system is going to make that happen... Sad but true... 

Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added)
Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added)
Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added) s

But let's move on to these Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails shall we? Has anyone else been craving citrus these days? I can't get enough of it! I have been eating grapefruit and oranges almost daily. So I decided it was time to combine them into a drink. A really refreshing and tasty drink. These Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails are super easy to make and can be made with or without alcohol. The slight mint flavour combined with the citrus base just goes really well together. And this recipe can be made with, or without alcohol depending on your dietary restrictions. Depending on how you make it this recipe is paleo, Whole 30, gluten free and doesn't have any added sweeteners. 

Now I know that alcohol is a controversial topic on the paleo diet. Some paleo authors don't allow any, and some do. I personally drink alcohol occasionally. Although, when I first changed my diet 6 years ago I did completely eliminate alcohol for about 2 years when I was doing the majority of my healing. But eliminating alcohol forever is just no fun. I am a strong believer in balance, and as long as you don't notice any ill effects from the occasional glass of alcohol I say go right ahead! Just make sure you are choosing grain free alcohols if you are trying to follow the paleo diet. And like paleo treats, moderation is key. 

Please let me know what you think of this one! 

Until next time, happy eating everyone! 

And as always I would be thrilled if you followed me on my social media pages on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest

Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added)
Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added)
Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added) s

Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails Recipe

 

Ingredients

2 cara cara oranges, peeled (you could also substitute navel oranges) 

1/2 a grapefruit, peeled

1 cup chilled kombucha (I used this kind) (Or learn to make your own here

20 large mint leaves

1 TBSP organic vanilla extract (I love this brand) (omit for Whole 30)

pinch sea salt

Optional additions: 2 oz rum or grain free vodka (avoid if on Whole 30)


 

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients into your high speed blender (I use this Vitamix and love it

2. Blend well, until smooth

3. Serve and enjoy! 

 

Print Recipe

 

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Citrus Mint Kombucha Cocktails (Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added)
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins

I am so excited about the recipe this week! Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins. And why am I so excited? Well, not only do these muffins taste amazing, they are kicking off my new blog series called Calgary Favourites where I focus on working with, and highlighting some of the amazing local artisans and brands in and around Calgary. Because there is so much talent in this city! Honestly, it's incredible. And my first collaboration in this series is with Drizzle Honey


Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins
Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins

Drizzle Honey is a brand of local, raw honey produced in Calgary. Drizzle was started in 2015 by Aja Horsley after she recognized the need to support the Canadian honey industry and after she became drawn to the luxurious colours, aromas and flavours that naturally occur in high quality honey. Drizzle's goal is to bring you boutique, sustainable honey products that support local beekeepers. Drizzle's natural honey varieties come from pollen and nectar gathered from flowers and hives in different locations and seasons. Because Drizzle is only lightly filtered and unheated, healthy enzymes, vitamins and minerals remain plentiful in the honey.

Drizzle Honey

As you guys know honey is my sweetener of choice when it comes to natural sweeteners and paleo baking. This is because it is not only easier on the digestive tract than some other sweeteners but because of it's other added health benefits. Honey has so many potential health benefits including its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, its ability to help heal wounds and skin irritation, its use as a cough medicine, its ability to help boost your energy and athletic performance and its ability to reduce symptoms of allergies (if using locally produced honey). Honey has also been linked to improved sleep, better diabetes management and weight loss. Plus it is full of antioxidants. And it does all this while tasting amazing.  

Drizzle Honey

Aja was kind enough to gift me a jar of her Summer Drizzle Honey for this recipe post. Beyond that I should mention that I have not, nor will not receive any other compensation for this post (I know it's sad that I have to specifically state this but I wouldn't want to make the internet police mad).

And this honey tastes amazing. I have been trying to make my jar last as long as possible because it has such a unique and beautiful flavour. Sweet, yet not overwhelmingly so, with hints of floral notes. Seriously it is delicious. And the Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins that I made with this honey turned out so good. Erik and I ate our entire batch in less than a week. Yes they are that good. We at them mainly as snacks because they are so easy to throw in a lunch bag and go. But they also make a great breakfast or brunch addition, or even a little treat. 


Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins

And because honey is so great for skin, I also purchased a jar of the Honey Face Mask that Drizzle has made in conjunction with another local brand, Wild Prairie Botanicals. Honey is one of my favourite natural skincare products for helping heal acne, and it is also really hydrating which is so great for our skin during these dry winter months here in Calgary. So far I have used the mask a couple times and love the way it makes my skin feel after I wash it off. The honey also acts like a gentle exfoliant so it leaves my skin feeling really soft and smooth. Plus my puppies love when I have it on my face (nothing like a little honey mask to bring on the puppy kisses). 

Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins

I would love to hear what you think about these muffins if you make them. And if you are in Calgary, definitely check out Drizzle Honey and all of their amazing products. You won't be disappointed. 

And if you are a local artist, designer, or entrepreneur with something you would like featured on the blog please get in touch! I absolutely love collaborations and meeting the amazing people behind products that I love. 

Until next time, happy eating everyone! 

And as always I would be thrilled if you followed me on my social media pages on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest

Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins

Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins Recipe (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Grain Free, No Refined Sugar) 

 

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups almond flour (buy here

1/2 cup tapioca flour (I use this brand

1/4 cup coconut flour (this brand is my favourite

1 TBSP ground organic cinnamon (I use this spice brand

1 tsp aluminum free baking soda (I use this kind

1/4 tsp sea salt

 

2 ripe bananas 

3 large eggs (choose free run) 

1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (I love this brand because they don't add any emulsifiers and the cans are BPA free

1/3 cup honey (choose local and raw if possible) 

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (this brand is my favourite

 

1 cup chopped pecans 

 

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F

2. Add all the ingredients (except for the pecans) into your standing mixer (this is the one that I have and love)

3. Blend until well combined (I used the low setting)

4. Stir in the chopped pecans

5. Line a muffin tray with silicone muffin cups (buy here

6. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups so that they are heaping

7. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are browned and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean 

8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes 

9. Serve and enjoy! 

Yield: 12 muffins 

Print Recipe

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Paleo Banana Pecan Muffins (grain free, gluten free, dairy free)
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

The Best Paleo Friendly Restaurants in Calgary

The Best Paleo Friendly Restaurants in Calgary.png

I've had a few of my friends and patients ask me recently, "where do you go out to eat in Calgary?" so I decided it was time to put together a list of my favourite paleo friendly restaurants in Calgary.

Now, I should say that none of these restaurants actually claim to be paleo or paleo friendly. But the reason I chose these places is because they focus on local meat and produce, seasonal ingredients, are extremely accommodating when it comes to dietary restrictions and still make delicious food. Can I guarantee that they aren't using cane sugar instead of honey or coconut sugar in their food? Absolutely not. But I have eaten at most of these restaurants many times and not gotten sick. So that says a lot. Whenever I go out to eat at restaurants I always tell my server that I have allergies to gluten, dairy and soy. I have found this to be the most effective way to find foods that are safe (at least for my needs). You may have to modify what I do depending on your own restrictions. Now, there are some restaurants on this list that I haven't eaten at yet. I will make note of which ones below, but I have friends who are paleo and belong to the Weston A Price Foundation who have eaten at these places and told me they were really good. So I am taking their word on that. 

And before you get to the list of restaurants I should say that this post was not sponsored by any of them, and these venues don't even know I am writing this post. I want you to realize that this is a totally unbiased review based on my own experiences. And if you think I have left any restaurants off of this list please let me know.  I am always looking for new places to try! 

So if you need any last minute restaurant ideas for Valentines Day tomorrow maybe try giving one of these places a call to see if they have any room left. Happy eating friends! 


 

The Best Paleo Friendly Restaurants in Calgary 

 

1. Open Range

This was one of the first restaurants I dared to eat at after switching my diet and I have been back many, many times. I highly recommend the Chili Rubbed Baby Back Ribs, the Local Duck Breast and the Apricot Glazed Wild Boar Rack. They also have sorbet for dessert which is both gluten and dairy free.  

2. Market

This was the first place that I ever tried pork belly. And let's just say I am now hooked. Although I haven't managed to make it well myself yet... I'm still working on that skill. If you eat here I recommend The Duck, Beef or Pork Belly (which I realize isn't currently on their menu as their menu changes frequently). Erik also loves (literally loves) their duck tacos, so if you tolerate corn this would be another great addition to your meal. 

3. Notable: The Restaurant

I just ate here for the first time a few weeks ago for my birthday. Our new house is actually about 4 blocks from this restaurant so it is going to become a new staple for us that's for sure. And besides being able to just eat in their restaurant they also offer some great "to-go" options including "happy chickens" which are great for those busy nights when you just don't have time to cook. I ate the Alberta Bison Flank which was super good. Erik had their Crispy Potato Rolls (definitely not paleo) and the Lamb Sirloin, both of which he said were amazing. 

4. Charcut Roast House

I have eaten at this restaurant a couple times and I think I ate the same thing both times. The Butcher Steak. I just can't say no to a good steak. Now, I don't believe this steak is grassfed which isn't ideal. It does bother me when I know I am eating animals that haven't been properly raised, and may not have been ethically treated. But, in order to keep my sanity and not say no to every event that I am invited out to, once in a while I figure it's okay to eat something that isn't perfectly paleo, but is still local. 

5. The River Cafe

This restaurant is a Calgary icon. It is located on Princess Island Park and has been around for a very long time. It even survived the horrible floods we had a few years ago and has come back stronger than ever. I personally love this restaurant and their philosophy. They are dedicated to sourcing the best tasting local ingredients that are available in season. They connect directly with growers and producers at their farms, gardens and ranches, and carefully choose purveyors who are responsible stewards of the land. Now it doesn't get much more paleo than that does it? Now their menu changes frequently and since it has been more than 6 months since I last visited I don't think anything I have tried before is still on the menu. I guess that means it's time for me to go back! 

6. OEB Breakfast Co.

This is one of the restaurants on this list that I have yet to try. But one of my best foodie friends highly recommends this place. As you can guess from the name this is a breakfast focused restaurant, with an emphasis on local ingredients. They even raise their own hens for their eggs! How cool is that? 

7. Char Bar

Besides the food at this place, the location is also something really special. Char Bar is located in the Old Simmons Building which was just restored a couple years ago. It's located right on the river so depending on your table location you could have an amazing view. They also have a rooftop patio which is incredible. I have only eaten dinner here once and it was here that I was first introduced in chimichurri sauce. And theirs is amazing. I had the Wood Fire Grilled Half Chicken for my meal and I couldn't even finish it. So I got two meals for one. Which is even better! I love tasty restaurant leftovers. It really is time for us to go back to this restaurant. 

8. The Nash

I am sad to say I haven't eaten here yet either. But I believe (and I could be wrong) that the same people that own The Nash also own Notables, so if the food at Notables is any indication, the food at The Nash will also be delicious. Looking at their menu there are so many things I would want to try including the Grilled Octopus, the Pan Roasted Duck Breast, Seared Scallops and Pork Belly, and the Pork Tenderloin. 

9. Deane House 

I was just told about this place by a friend and so I still haven't eaten here. This restaurant is run by the same group that runs The River Cafe so I know their food is going to be incredible. When I look at their menu I see many items that I would love to try: Salted Red Cabbage, Alberta Lamb Ribs, Seared Pacific Rockfish, Ranch Longhorn Beef and the Lamb Loin. 

10. Ten Foot Henry 

One more restaurant that I have yet to try. But many of my friends have eaten here and just raved about the food so I felt I had to include it. I will be going here soon I promise. If you have eaten here please give me your recommendations! 


 

Alright friends that's my list of the Best Paleo Friendly Restaurants in Calgary. As you can see there are a few of these places that I still need to try myself but I trust the words of my friends and once I make it to these remaining restaurants I will update this post with my thoughts. And if there are any places you think I have missed please let me know and I am happy to update this list. 

Until next time, happy eating friends! 

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The Best Paleo Friendly Restaurants in Calgary
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

Coconut Mushroom Chicken (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free)

Coconut Mushroom Chicken (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free)

We're taking a break from all the desserts I've been posting lately and are getting back to a main dish this week. This Coconut Mushroom Chicken was inspired by the trip to Bali I took a few months ago. I can't believe it's already been 3 months since I was there. In some ways it seems like it was just yesterday, yet so many things have happened since then there is no way that it was just yesterday. Things like starting my rheumatology practice, moving into our new house and launching my new website. So many big, exciting things! 

 


Coconut Mushroom Chicken (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free)
Coconut Mushroom Chicken (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free)

So Erik and I have started a new tradition. Sunday night movie dates. It turns out that Sunday nights are a great time to go to the movies. The theatres are never that busy, and there are no children running around because they are all busy getting ready for bed and school the next day. It's perfect! In the last three weeks we have seen La La Land, Gold, and The Founder. Of those three, La La Land was definitely my favourite. Put Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling together in a movie and you just know amazing things are going to happen. Does anyone else have a little girl crush on Emma Stone? I don't know what it is about that girl but I love basically everything she does. Not to mention she is absolutely gorgeous and has an amazing sense of style. Yes, as I said, total girl crush! 

Coconut Mushroom Chicken (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free)
Coconut Mushroom Chicken (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free)

But let's talk about this chicken shall we? This Coconut Mushroom Chicken is great for those on the paleo diet, GAPS diet, SCD diet, a gluten free diet and the Whole 30 diet. It has both lime leaves and lemon grass in it, two ingredients which were commonly used in the foods I ate in Bali. And man was the food there good. Like so good. And for the most part Erin friendly which is saying a lot. There aren't many places in the world that I can travel to and safely eat the local food. It was a pleasant surprise I must admit because I really didn't do any research into the food situation before I left. That's so not like me, but I was way too busy studying for my rheumatology exams at the time so I just didn't have the time.  

Now, I can't say that I ate everything in Bali. I didn't dare try any street food and there were many dishes that did contain gluten in them that I had to avoid, but for the most part it really wasn't that hard to find food for me to eat there. And ingredients like coconut, lime, turmeric and ginger were in almost everything. Such delicious ingredients, with such amazing health benefits. So I decided it was finally time that I start making some dishes inspired by Balinese dishes. Starting with this Coconut Mushroom Chicken. I hope you like it as much as Erik and I did. 

Until next time, happy eating friends!

Coconut Mushroom Chicken (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free)
Coconut Mushroom Chicken (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free)

 

Coconut Mushroom Chicken Recipe

 

Ingredients

1 cup full fat coconut milk (I love this brand

1 package pre-cut cremini mushrooms (or other mushroom of choice) (mine was 454grams) 

12 lime leaves

2/3 cup chopped green onion (or sub 1 small white onion, chopped) 

1/4 cup chopped lemon grass

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper 

6 chicken thighs from free-run chickens (buy here

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F

2. Add all the ingredients to a glass or metal baking dish and mix well 

3. Cover the pan with tinfoil

4. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes 

5. Remove the tinfoil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes

6. Serve and enjoy! 

Print Recipe

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Coconut Mushroom Chicken (Paleo, Whole 30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten Free)
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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

January Favourites

I've decided to start a new series on the blog. My Monthly Favourites. And first up, my January Favourites. Each month I'm planning to post the things that I have loved that month. This will include food, beauty products, kitchen gadgets, clothing and workout gear. Because my life (and yours too) revolves around way more than just food. 

Please let me know what you think about this new addition to the blog. I always love getting your feedback! 


 

KITCHEN GADGETS

S'well Water Bottles: So I have to admit that I had admired these water bottles for quite some time because of their pretty designs and sleek look. But, the price tag always scared me away. But I finally saw one with a pattern that I just couldn't resist (it's this one) and decided to give this brand a try. And well, I am a total S'well convert. These bottles keep my drinks cold FOREVER. Seriously it's incredible. I haven't used mine for any warm beverages yet but I am told they keep warm drinks warm for an extremely long time as well. So yes, while these water bottles may be more expensive than what you are used to, but they are totally worth it in my opinion. They come in so many colors, designs and sizes. You can browse them here.  

Food Huggers: Okay, whoever invented these little things is a genius! Seriously where have these been all my life. I drive Erik crazy with all the half cut vegetables and fruit that I leave on the cutting board or in the fridge, that just end up getting dried out or going bad in just a couple days. Well no more. These little guys keep your cut up vegetables and fruit fresh for days. Plus they look so cute! I got a few different sizes from my relatives for Christmas and have since stocked up on even more of them. These would make such a great gift for that foodie in your life. There are many different brands that make these clever items, but these are the ones that I have

Dehydrator: This had been on my wish list for a long time. But I just never got around to buying one myself. Well, Erik got me the 9 tray Excalibur Dehydrator for Christmas and it's awesome! We have been making dehydrated nuts, dried fruit and veggies and will be moving onto beef jerky soon. This will come in so handy for making safe snacks for travelling that won't go bad in my carryon or suitcase. We decided on the Excalibur brand after doing a lot of research and talking to some of my fellow paleo food bloggers and almost all of them recommend this specific dehydrator. It may be a bit more expensive than some of the other brands out there but so far it has been totally worth the investment. You can shop for the one we have here


 

CLOTHING

Sorel Boots: It has finally started to get a little warmer here in Calgary, but for much of December and January it was bloody freezing here. For weeks I wasn't venturing out in anything but my down parka and Sorel Boots. I have a couple different pairs that I have stocked up on over the years and love them both. I have tried a few other winter boot brands and they just never work as well as my Sorels. They aren't as warm, comfortable or waterproof. All of which are a requirement for a good winter boot if you ask me. I have linked a bunch of different Sorel options below. A couple of them I may just need to invest in myself... 

Blanket Scarves: These are by far my favourite winter accessory. They help keep me so warm! My dog walks just wouldn't be the same if I wasn't bundled up in a blanket scarf under my down parka. You can wear blanket scarves in so many ways, and they come in so many prints, colors and patterns that you can find one to go with any outfit. I have linked many different options below. 

WORKOUT GEAR

Nike Free Runners: These are my favourite runners to train in. They are light weight, come in pretty colors and have been great for all the boxing I have been doing lately. I managed to get a new pair during the boxing week sales after Christmas and have been wearing them non-stop since then. I have linked a bunch of different options below because I know everyone will have a style and color they like better than others. 

 

Zella Leggings: I recently discovered a new workout clothing brand: Zella. Have you heard of them before? It was Juli from PaleoOMG that first introduced me to them. And their leggings are amazing. Soft, thick, fun patterns and they have high waisted options.  Oh, and they aren't slippery! I hate slippery workout leggings. Who wants their pants sliding down in the middle of their workout? Not this girl thats for sure. They sell this brand at Nordstroms and you can also order them online. And just so you know they tend to fit small. I take an xs in the high waisted options and an xxs in the low waist options (for reference I wear a lululemon 4). 

 

SKINCARE and BEAUTY

Beautycounter's Cleansing Balm: This stuff is everything. Seriously everything. This winter has been so cold and dry and this is the only thing that is keeping my skin hydrated. This cleansing balm can be used as a cleanser, a hydrating face mask/overnight moisturizer, and even a spot treatment. I use it every night as my overnight moisturizer. I put it on top of my Balancing Face Oil. I also use it as a cleanser to remove my makeup on the days that I do wear makeup. And I know it may seem like an expensive item. But this stuff lasts forever. It is actually much more affordable than other beauty balms I have tried, just based on its size alone. 

Manuka Honey: Yes this belongs in the skincare and beauty section. Honey is so good for skin. It has antimicrobial and healing properties. And it is especially great for those with acne. I do a full face mask with this once per week and also use it as a spot treatment every few days. It is also great for those (like me) that have a tendency to skin pick. Nothing is a better deterrent from picking your face than having your hand come away with sticky honey on it. There are many brands of Manuka honey out there, but this is the kind that I personally use. 

Beautycounter's Charcoal Mask: Those of you that follow my social media pages have probably heard me rave about this product from time to time. It is honestly amazing for those with acne. This mask not only contains charcoal but other powerful ingredients like salicylic and lactic acids that not only help heal acne but also help shrink pores and soothe the skin. I use this as a full mask twice per week plus as a spot treatment every night. I wear this so much now that Erik jokes that he has forgotten what I look like without black stuff on my face. And yes, he uses this mask too. Because couples that mask together stay together right? 

Primally Pure Body Butter: I first discovered Primally Pure a couple years ago. They have a few products that I use and love but right now their body butter is my favourite. It is so dry in Calgary during the winter and this stuff is saving my poor skin. I am currently using the Citrus Mint scent and it smells so good (and no I am not affiliated with this brand, I just love their products and love what they stand for). 

 

FOOD 

Paleo Lemon and Vanilla Cheesecake: I just posted this dessert last week in honour of my birthday and I have to admit I've been snacking on this cake almost daily since I made it. Honestly it's one of my new favourite desserts. And it's made with no refined sugars or artificial ingredients so it'a a dessert you can actually feel good about eating. Because even though you are heating a healthy, paleo diet doesn't mean you have to miss out on cake on your birthday. At least not on my watch. 

Roasted Honey Dijon Pecans: This was my favourite snack that I posted last year. It was also one of your favourites. This was one of the most popular recipes of 2016 so if you haven't tried it yet you are missing out. These Roasted Honey Dijon Pecans are super easy to make and have such a unique, crunchy flavour. So far I haven't had anyone tell me they don't like them (so please don't be the first). 

10 Minute Blueberry Pork Chops: I have been making a batch of these pork chops almost weekly. They are just so easy and they taste so good. I have been pretty busy lately between working, running my Beautycounter consulting business and taking care of this blog. Needless to say it hasn't left me a lot of extra time to be making elaborate meals. So quick, yet tasty meals have been my go to lately. Plus who doesn't love blueberries? They are one of my favourite fruits. 

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DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!