Thursday, June 30, 2016

Paleo Portabello Pizza



Here goes nothing. Blogging after radio silence for what has been years.

But I still get emails, views, and requests for recipes. Occasionally I make something that looks fantastic and think to myself "I should publish this" but then that thought fades, as I am not sure if you are aware but blogging is a lot of work...

Recently I went to a local farmer's market and was ecstatic to find a Paleo company selling homemade bone broths, spice rubs, and assorted nut butters amongst cuts of grass-fed meat. These guys are from right here in the Florida panhandle and it made me proud to be a part of the Paleo community. 

The past few years I've been losing my connection to this integral part of who I am, that which is the Paleo followers I have and the other blogs that I myself am a fan of. So, here's my shot at stepping foot back into that realm.

Now that I've gotten that little rant out of me here is what I cooked up this week.

Portabello mushrooms are super versatile. I like to use them as a meat and sometimes bread substitute. Basically they make great carrying vessels for other various types of food to be shoved into our mouths. 

Let me also add, that I am not the biggest fan of the flavor and/or texture of mushrooms, so eating this as a base of the pizza may turn some of you off. Trust me or not, the mushroom flavor is really overpowered by the cheese and sauce and other toppings, I promise if you are craving pizza and you eat a slice of this faux one you will only be like 20% let down, which is not that bad when you think about it. ;)

Here's what you need for these dough-less pizzas.

Ingredients:

2 Large (preferably wider rather than thicker) Portabello mushroom caps
1 cup tomato sauce (or just canned chunk tomatoes)
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or whatever you like)
1/2 package of pepperoni (I like Applegate farms Turkey Pepperoni)
whatever else you like on your pizza....

Directions:

1.Use a spoon to take out the little center stem and scrape out the gills of the mushroom cap. Lay caps face up.
2. Rinse off that spoon and scoop tomato sauce into the caps, making little red sauce pools.
3. Sprinkle some cheese, layer on the pepperoni, and whatever else ya got.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your mushrooms, just until they are not firm anymore.
5. Enjoy

It's reallllllly easy and pretty fast to prepare.



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Crohn's Surgery and How Paleo Has Helped (Or Not)

It's been an incredibly long amount of time since my last blog post. Excuses or not, I just have not been keeping up with this blog like I used to or should be. My hobby has been drowned out by the noise of life.

So here is an update on Paleo and the role it plays in my life.

Four months ago I had surgery. A major surgery. A major, Crohn's induced surgery. It was scary. One of the most frightening times I've ever experienced in my life, unsure of how I would be when I woke up or if the surgery would truly make a difference. I never expected to have to go through this. I changed my diet, I changed my life, I had done everything in my power to be a healthy person and I had simply failed.

Rather, my body has failed me. Sure, in the past year or two I haven't been as strict on my Paleo diet. I took the 80/20 approach that so many other people endorse and boast as working so well in their lives. I had alcohol, I had sweets occasionally, and I even started ordering off of menus at restaurant without picking apart all of the ingredients and requesting ten modifications for each dish. I was simply living like a relatively normal person would. But herein lies the problem. I'm not a normal person, for I do not have a normal body. For whatever reason I was given this body of mine, in which my immune system sends the wrong signals and there ensues chaos causing inflammation, pain, and a host of other problems in my intestinal tract just for eating a food it does not like. This food does not even need to be "junk" food, it can be any non-GMO, organic, heirloom, whatever. My struggle is to keep track of what foods it does and does not accept (as this is ever changing) and then avoid those foods. Seems simple enough, but clearly my efforts to do so have so far fallen through.

Avoiding foods seems like not a big deal. After all, there are thousands of people in this country that are allergic to dairy or shellfish or peanuts. But with Crohn's it is not predictable and therefore frustrating to keep up with. I always have the option of going back to SCD (the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) but then I think about my life when I was following it to the T and I can't imagine giving up freedom again. I was a slave to my kitchen- hand preparing literally every morsel of food that touched my tongue. I had an extremely limited social life because I could not trust eateries outside of my own home and let's face it, the heart of socializing is sharing meals. I was a health obsessed and judgmental bitch toward other people. I was helping myself heal, but I was also expecting that everyone else was fortunate enough to have the same circumstances and capacity as what I had at the time. Which brings up another angle, I don't have the time or circumstance to stay at home all day and cook anymore. I have to work secularly now and support myself. Without a very solid support system I cannot imagine even attempting SCD again. In Breaking the Vicious Cycle Elaine Gottschall says her daughter stayed strictly SCD for 7 years before reintroducing small amounts of "illegal" foods. No offense to Ms. Gottschall or her family but I picture her daughter as being a miserable hermit who is friendless with no one but her mother by her side even as a grown woman. She didn't eat outside of her house for 7 years? I find that hard to believe. Either that or she found a commune of other people with autoimmune diseases who agreed with the diet and they started their own village, sharing bone broth and homemade yoghurt. If so, let me know where that is located it sounds like a good idea. The reason I transitioned from SCD to Paleo is because Paleo was more reasonable of a diet. It is based on logic and moderation, it made sense in my mind, but to my body it did not.

So now I bear the scars of an intestinal resectioning. The surgeon took out a portion of my small intestine as well as large intestine. In fact, the part that was removed was where the two meet. Which means my appendix went as well. I've never experienced so much pain in my 25 years of life. I was in the hospital for a total of four days and took pain medication for the following month and a half. The first two weeks it was almost impossible for me to walk because of the pain and I nearly fainted in the shower on several occasions. I have four scars from the laparoscopic surgery. One is rather large, two are small, and one is medium sized. Applying Vitamin E oil daily is helping with the healing of them. It's four months post-surgery and I'm still not out of my flare. It's not terrible like before the surgery (I was to the point where I could not physically eat food anymore) but I still am not feeling healthy. I'm now taking a new kind of biologic called Entyvio. It's specifically for people with severe Crohn's and UC. It's extremely expensive and I have to go to the hospital to get an infusion which takes around an hour every couple of weeks. I can't say that it is working or really doing much of anything but I am trying to remain positive.

I don't want to sound discouraging to anyone who has been recently diagnosed with Crohn's Disease or who is starting their journey on SCD or the Paleo Diet. I am simply telling my story and you can take from it what you like. It's not all negative. I believe that my avoidance of grains and soy and many sugars has helped with the slow progression of my disease. After all, it took almost 5 years from diagnosis to surgery, I believe that time frame would have been much narrower had I continued the standard American diet. But my faith in the power of foods has been shaken. I had a blind ideal fueled by online testimonies and persuasively written articles about the healing affects foods and supplements had on humans. I only partially believe this now, as I have both experienced it briefly, then watched it fail. The foods and nutrients we have available to us now just are not what we used to have. This limits their abilities to heal. Poisons are everywhere from the air we breathe, to the water we drink, to the soap we use, and roads we drive. Food is just a small part of the equation and there is only so much that is plausible to do in this day and age.

I will continue to be pro-Paleo and anti-GMO but this time with a wider perspective. Chronic diseases are just not "cureable" like some will lead you to believe. There are exceptions, I'm sure. But the general rule is that autoimmune diseases don't disappear when you start eating grass-fed beef.

The moral of this story, if you need a takeaway for my non-Crohn's audience, I guess would be to be cautious of what you hear on the Internet or other readings. Not all of the bloggers who once had a sickness get rid of their ailments by following Paleo or any other regimen and they are examples at the top of their game! Do what is best for you and your own body, don't buy into something else just because it worked for someone else. Keep your head straight, don't fall for snake oil schemes, and be happy no matter what situation life throws you into.






Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Black Friday and Holiday Vitamix Specials for 2015!



Have you been waiting for this since last November?!? An annual Vitamix sale has finally arrived! These machines rarely get discounted, but the family owned company likes to give it's customers an extra incentive to gift and use Vitamix all throughout your holiday season.

In case you need some motivation to purchase a Vitamix or use the one you already have, here are 10 Things You Can Make With a Vitamix. And without futher ado, here are the sale prices:



  • Nov 1st – Nov 21st:
    • $50 US / $65 CN special pricing FOR a container with any C or G Series purchase

  • BLACK FRIDAY Nov 24th – Nov 30th

The most impressive sale is on the Vitamix Reconditioned Standard machines which, in a nutshell, is the machine that the average person wants to have in their kitchen for everyday cooking. It can be confusing to look at all of the different kinds of machines but the Standard has the easy to use classic control knobs, with a high speed lever, patented tamper, and brand new container. Most of the reconditioned machines are simply change of heart returns (bought the wrong color, etc) and in-store display machines. Each one is individually looked at through a 17 point inspection process and deemed as good as new. These machines come with a 5 year warranty from Vitamix and a brand spanking new container. Believe me, you, and everyone else, will not realize that it is a recon. Of note: I personally buy all of my Vitamix machines reconditioned, even the ones I gift.

As always, when you order from an affiliate like me ground shipping is completely free on any purchase. 

This holiday season through the end of December you will also get a hard copy book (“Liquid Raw: Over 125 Juices, Smoothies, Soups, and other Raw Beverages”) sent separately from your blender along with a personalized thank you note from the Vitamix Corporation. 

It seems like Vitamix is also doing some great specials on extra containers for your blender- these can be used as an extra while cooking without having to clean out your original, or for different purposes such as grinding grains into dry flours.

Right now is absolutely the BEST time for you to purchase a Vitamix. You know you've been thinking about it, and no doubt doing some research. Take the final step for your health and happiness in the kitchen and order through my links now for all of the awesome bonuses.

PS. There is always a 30-day money back guarantee you will love your Vitamix! Send it back if you don't like it- they will find it a better home!







Monday, April 20, 2015

SCD/Primal Spicy Spinach and Artichoke Dip



Lately, the only thing that motivates me to get creative in the kitchen is a craving for certain foods that I can't seem to find elsewhere that are gluten-free or don't make me feel sick. Thus, this spinach and artichoke dip was invented. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

1 can artichoke hearts, drained
8oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup Greek style yogurt
3/4 cup Parmesan or Parmesan Reggiano
1 1/2 cups other mixed hard white cheeses (your choice)
2 small jalapenos, finely diced (optional)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

Directions:

Break the artichoke hearts up by hand or chop with knife.
Mix with spinach, yogurt, cheese, optional peppers, and spices in a mixing bowl.
Lightly Grease a 2 quart baking dish.
Pour mixture into dish.
Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until cheese starts turning golden brown and bubbly.
Enjoy with vegetable sticks or plantain chips.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Happy Fourth Crohn's-iversary!



Is it really that time of year again?

Flipping through my old blog posts, I realize that it's now February. That means it's time for my annual Crohns-iversary post!

Four Years.

I'm letting that sink into my own mind as I ponder of what exactly to highlight in this entry. What incredibly strange changes life can bring about, yet I feel just as fortuitous to have experienced such drastic occurrences as a health crisis, divorce, and multiple relocations, and still feel like I'm at the peak of my life.

I always like to take this opportunity to reflect on how I used to physically feel the day, week, and even months, leading up to my diagnosis of Crohn's Disease. I was a bit embarrassed to be dealing with an issue that most people shy away from immediately- that of the digestive system. But I was so desperate for help that my personal boundaries in every respect had to be broken. I felt so helpless until the doctors figured out what was wrong with me. The minute I had received my diagnosis, though, I felt empowered, for then the immediate research began and subsequently the changes in my lifestyle. When you are stripped completely to the ground, like a house, that's the best time to remodel. As I've emphasized in my previous anniversary posts- this illness enabled me to renew myself in a way I would have never imagined.

Even though I frequently will have "cheats" on the paleo diet (ice cream, rice, hell- the other day I ate about a dozen Starbursts but I'm not particularly proud of that and I won't go into details as to why I did, although it's quite humorous) I generally stick to my roots of knowing what's good and bad for me to eat. And I really do feel guilty about eating the bad stuff, although clearly not enough to keep me from doing it entirely. But hey, I never said I wasn't human.

What is emphasized most in my mind by talking with other clean-eating folks is that each individual body is different. We all look different, to some degree, on the outside, so the same can be assumed for our insides. General guidelines aside, food is not a one-size-fits-all approach, nor should it ever be treated as such. For example, I tried a keto diet- I felt really crappy. Some people swear it will cure your goldfish's cancer. Let's not make assumptions, people, let's just try to help everyone to health in the most logical and productive way. On the other hand, never think that a lemon Starburst is the equivalent of an actual lemon. Even for a second.

I'll never leave this mindset of Paleo eating and living, it has truly saved my life. I am fortunate to have the platform of this website and the support of an online community to broadcast to and correspond with. I have some wonderfully supportive friends in my life at this moment and those people combined with the knowledge I learned regarding my health make me relish every second I have.



Part I: http://www.saltedpaleo.com/2012/02/happy-crohns-iversary.html
Part II: http://www.saltedpaleo.com/2013/02/happy-2nd-chrons-iversary.html
Part III: http://www.saltedpaleo.com/2014/05/happy-third-crohns-iversary.html

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Coconut Water Comparisons

I like to think that I have good taste.

Or, at the very least, taste buds that have become acquired to real food flavors and disdain artificial ingredients.

I often get asked about the best coconut water and milk. The best way to drink coconut milk is to just make your own. It's quick, easy, and takes two ingredients.

Coconut water can get a little more tricky. With clever marketing and USDA loop-holes, just about anything can be labeled as "natural" which can be scary for the consumer in search of truly healthful foods. Take a look at this article, and others like it, and you'll never want to eat anything with natural flavorings again.

A second trick coconut water companies also use is to add sugar. Coconut water is by definition the water of green coconuts found inside once the fruit is cut open. It's only is slightly sweet, but because we crave sugar, companies often add this component just to entice our taste buds.

Here are my favorite coconut waters, thusfar, as well as the ones I would recommend not wasting your money on:



1. C2O Pure Coconut Water
$27.48 for 12 (17.5oz) cans
This is my favorite, hands down. The can is BPA-free, the coconut water is unsweetened, and the product is organic. The only ingredient is Coconut Water. I prefer the one with pulp (green can) but the one without pulp (blue can) is wonderful as well.


http://amzn.to/1yN6h0T

2. Harvest Bay Coconut Water
$13.24 for 12 (8.45oz) containers
I have found this brand in World Market and online only so far. It's organic, and made in sustainable packaging. No added sweeteners or flavorings.

http://amzn.to/16uNgIR


3. Vita Coco
$23.63 for 12 (16.9oz) containers
A little easier to find than the C2O, Vita Coco is available in gas stations and super-marts across the country. Only buy the original plain flavor, it has natural fruit sugar and vitamin C added, which is less crap than the flavored ones.

http://amzn.to/16kPA4O


4. O.N.E. Coconut Water
$27.37 for 12 (16.9oz) containers
It's 100% coconut water with no additives. Vita Coco has a better taste, in my opinion (because of the sugar added), but O.N.E. is not bad.



5. Zico Pure Coconut Water
$32.00 for 12 (11.2oz) containers
The label says 100% pure coconut water but when I drink Zico, I taste something strange. Like some kind of flavorings added, I am turned off from this product. I don't buy it.


I'll continue to add to this list as I try new brands. Leave a comment if you know of one that I forgot to mention!




Friday, January 16, 2015

Cranberry Pear Orange Smoothie



This is my FIRST YouTube video. It's a little rough. Completely unscripted. And way too long. But, you get the point. Here's the recipe:

1 cup cranberries
3 Cutie (small) oranges
1 Pear, halved
1 Cup yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract

My future videos will hopefully be more polished (I can't make any promises)- but know that I am working on them for you!

As always- get free shipping on any blender at Vitamix.com with code 06-006499 or click on my banners!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Plantain Chips Nachos



Living near a Trader Joe's is probably the best move I have ever made. For those of you not familiar with the chain, a quick Google search will tell you about the grocery store but all you really need to know are three words: cheap organic food. They also have tons of inventive real foods- like these plantain chips.

Plantains are not sweet despite looking much like a banana. They are starchy and quite bland, unless seasonings are added. These plantain chips are simply roasted and salted. And being under $2 a bag is worthy of notation as well.

Use them like tortilla chips and build your own Paleo nachos.
(sorry, plantains are too starchy and not SCD compliant)

Ingredients:

Handful of plantain chips
Shredded chicken
Grated cheese (I use the raw milk cheddar also from TJ's)
Salsa, of choice
Diced tomatos
Diced avocado
Hot sauce

Directions:

Lay plantain chips out in an even layer across a plate.
Add chicken and cheese and microwave for 45 seconds or until cheese is just melted.
Add salsa, tomatoes, avocado, hot sauce, or whatever else you want.
Eat.

Clearly, this is entirely customizable!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Simple Chicken With Broccoli (paleo, scd)



The majority of the population is on a diet right now and this is an easy, healthy recipe, feel free to use olive oil or coconut oil in substitution to the butter if you so desire. In my humble opinion, though, nothing compares to good ol' fashioned Kerrygold.

Ingredients:

 4 Tbsp butter, divided
1 bunch of broccoli (about 3 cups of florets)
1/2 large onion
1 tsp garlic salt

1.3 lbs chicken breast, cut into one inch cubes
1/2 tsp thyme

Directions:

Over medium-high heat in a large pan
Add 1 Tbsp of butter to hot pan and add minced onion. Saute until browned.
Add 1 more Tbsp of butter and add broccoli to cooked onion.
Sprinkle with garlic salt and cover.
Check every few minutes and when broccoli is tender remove from heat.
Remove from pan.
Add remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and heat to medium high.
Add chicken and sprinkle with thyme.
Cover and stir occasionally until cooked through.
Combine chicken and broccoli mixture.
Serve and enjoy.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Unconventional Weight Loss Convention 2015

https://nw217.isrefer.com/go/signup/saltedpaleo/

Being a blogger with any amount of traffic ends up getting you a lot of offers to promote stuff. And most of it is just that- stuff. I am very selective when it comes to what I promote. For instance, I really do use my Vitamix almost everyday, embarrassingly enough I shop on amazon almost everyday, and I use Tropical Traditions coconut oil more than any other brand. I often turn down opportunities to be affiliated with companies because they are something I would not use or I don't think you, my audience, would benefit from them.

However, as the new year approaches I am well aware that 98% of you are going to make a resolution to lose weight and/or be healthier.

I want to make sure that you're idea of losing weight and eating healthier does not include what main stream media will have you believing to do- diets that are not going to be maintained long term, nor do they involve paleo (whole, real food) principles.

So, for those of you looking for some advice, please consider the Unconventional Weight Loss Convention. It's a week long online course that will bring advice from 28 different holistic professionals.

Registration is completely free and you will also get a free ebook "Why We Crave What We Crave."

You will have to pay to listen to the courses, as you would with any professional dietary advisement, so to check out the prices click here.

Click on the banner at the top of this post to be taken to the website to register and learn more.