Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chocolate Pomegranate Smoothie (paleo, vegan)



Rich, thick, and delicious. Makes a decadent snack or post dinner dessert.

2 frozen bananas
2 Tbsp cacao powder
2 cup pomegranate seeds

Place in Vitamix on high for about 90 seconds, or until smooth.
Use tamper to press into blades, if necessary.
Drink cold.

Note: cacao is not SCD legal, sorry.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top 10 Paleo Gift Ideas



Because we all can use some suggestions on buying for the caveman in your life...

1. Le Cruset Dutch Oven

Because anything Le Cruset is amazing and dutch ovens are perfect for making carnitas.



2. Veggie Spiralizer

If they don't already have one, they are envying all the bloggers online that post recipes using one. They're fun. And they make vegetables into pasta. 'Nuff said.



3. Vitamix

Shameless self promotion, I know, but seriously- every foodie wants one. With my affiliate code 06-006499 you can get free shipping, access (online only) to refurbished machines at the lowest prices possible (see details here), and a bonus gift of 3 spatulas ONLY available from purchases through an affiliate like me!*



*(spatulas will be shipped separately and will not show up in your shopping cart- but you will get them!)

4. Lunch Crock Pot

Cavemen no like microwaves. Caveman want food to stay hot all day. Caveman like this.



5. Better Than a Frisbee

It flies really, really far. And cave people like to be active. Throw it really far and teach your dog or husband to retrieve it.




6. Hard Cider Kit

Because they don't drink beer.



7. Kitchen Aid Mixer

Classic.



8. Light Saber Chopsticks

Things that glow make everything more fun.



9. Himalayan Salt Lamp: Air Purifier

To learn more read this. All the cool cave people want one, trust me.



10. Berkey Super Awesome Water Filter

Seriously, they will use it everyday... forever. And love it.







Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Black Friday 2014 Vitamix Deal!

https://secure.vitamix.com/redirect.aspx?COUPON=06-006499

Perhaps you've noticed the new commercials on TV that feature easy and quick preparation of holiday meals with Vitamix. Then, perhaps, you went to Vitamix.com and saw the price of the new machines and mumbled to yourself "in my dreams..." and then went to Google better deals on Vitamix. Perhaps, that's how you ended up here.

In any case, you have come to the right spot. As a Vitamix affiliate I have the honor to tell you first that there is a Black Friday special running for the entire week. From November 24, 2014 to December 1, 2014 the price for a certified reconditioned standard will be $285 (black, white & red only).

A new Vitamix 5200 is $449.00. This is a $164 savings!

Includes:
5200 Model Base Machine
Soft Grip Container (Brand New)
Getting Started Cookbook
Tamper
5 Year Warranty
30 Day Money-Back Guarantee
Free Shipping Both Ways 
Use code 06-006499



Vitamix machines are engineered to last lifetimes. Buy one and pass them down to your children and maybe even grandchildren. The company is over 90 years old and 4th generation family owned. Health (not profit) is the bottom line for Vitamix, and they obviously know how to make the ultimate blender. Blend smoothies, soups, juices, and sauces; chop, crush, and puree anything you can imagine for years and years to come.

For more information on my story with Vitamix and why purchasing one is a worthwhile investment please see my link here. I (and the company) honestly do not want you to buy a Vitamix and not use it. Use it. Everyday. You will find ways. You will love it. Email me with questions, comments, or concerns.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Grape Chia Smoothie (scd, paleo, vegan)



In my humble opinion anyone can make a fruit smoothie taste good. If you put nothing but fruit and ice in a blender there is a 99% chance that it is going to turn out decent. That's an actual statistic that you can quote me on. The trickiest and most healthful parts of smoothie making? Adding vegetables and protein and still having it palatable. After some kitchen experiments I arrived at this concoction. I like it, I think you will too:

Ingredients

1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 large frozen banana
1/2 small zucchini
1/2 medium apple
1 cup frozen grapes
1 cup ice

Directions

Put all ingredients in a Vitamix blender in said order.
Blend on high for about a minute, using the tamper to press ingredients into blades if necessary.
Enjoy.

*FYI the Vitamix Fall Special is still on: From today through November, you can purchase a Certified Reconditioned Vitamix Standard blender starting at $299. This is a $30 savings off the normal reconditioned price and $200+ off a new Vitamix blender. These reconditioned blenders come with a new container and a 5 year warranty and go through a 13 point inspection. As always, use my code 06-006499 at checkout for free ground shipping!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Vitamix Mango Salsa (paleo, scd, vegan, raw, Vitamix)




I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Vitamix headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. I spoke with the current CEO, Jodi Berg, about the struggles of having Crohn's Disease (she, too was diagnosed at a young age) and the part that real food has played in leading us both to health.

I also got to eat dinner next to the head chef of Vitamix and attend a class given by the professionals from their kitchen. This little video is just a snippet of the information I took in. This mango salsa was great with chips but would be even better on chicken. It's innovative, healthy, fresh, and easy. Enjoy.

Straight from the Vitamix website:

Mango Salsa 

Ingredients


  • 2 semi-ripe mangos, pitted, chunked, unpeeled
  • 1 cup (16 g) fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 medium red onion, peeled or approximately 3/4 cup chopped
  • 1 jalapeƱo, halved, seeded
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice or lemon juice
Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 4.
  4. Blend for 15 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. If necessary, use the tamper to push the ingredients into the blades while processing.
This recipe has been written for the Vitamix 5200 with Standard 64-ounce container. If you are using a different Vitamix machine or container size, you may need to make adjustments to the Variable Speed, processing time, and/or ingredient quantities.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Confessional


photo evidence

I ate pizza.

Real pizza.

With gluten. And soft cheese. And sauce that I didn't know all the ingredients to. And peperoni that may or may not have had additives that I can't pronounce.

There, I said it.

How did we get to this point? Good question.

It all started with me pushing my paleo boundaries earlier this year. I had finally reached, what I felt like, was the climax of my health. My Crohn's symptoms were long (as in many months ago) gone, I felt happy, energetic, and at the top of my game strength-wise. Then work began to pick up and with that came less time to prepare the meals I knew I needed to be prepping.

Little cheats on paleo/scd started to creep in and were positively reinforced when I didn't display or feel any physical repercussions. A few bites of rice, ordering from menus without scrutinizing the seasonings, little stuff like that.

Then came bigger cheats like taking shots of mystery alcoholic beverages (some kind of glowing blue color), eating a few of my friend's fries from the drive-thru at Arby's, and thinking that Quest Bars were somehow going to be acceptable. Nope.

Then I started to experience symptoms of my autoimmune disorder again.

Back on the paleo-wagon-band-track (I know I said that wrong) I went, and just like I knew it would happen- I got healthy again. Our bodies are truly amazing.

So lately I've been keeping most things pretty close to strict paleo/scd (about 90%) and have been feeling very fair. Then I put myself to the ultimate test of going on a 5 day cruise. Yep, boat food that's completely out of my control.

Thankfully Royal Caribbean offers a lot of gluten-free options at all of their meal times, so I stuck to that section of the menu and did terrifically well.

Then I started to get ballsy. For a girl, anyways.

I wanted ice cream.

For a couple of reasons. #1- I'd eaten foods like chocolate that had a percentage of sugar-cane sugar in them and knew I could handle them. #2- Ice cream seems to be a frequent cheat of those in the paleo community. #3- My grandma eats ice cream almost daily and she's the healthiest old woman I know.

So, I was walking through the quaint streets of Key West and read a review on Trip Advisor of an authentic gelato must-try pizzeria. No, I didn't eat the pizza here. That comes later. I ate two different flavors of gelato and I think the room started to spin. It was delicious. No immediate stomach rumblings either, and I honestly at this point just was pushing myself to see how far I would have to go in order to get a negative reaction. (I have literally brainwashed myself for the past almost 4 years to believe that if anything with a non-paleo or an illegal scd ingredient even comes near the food that I put into my mouth my body will start convulsing and my stomach will explode. Clearly that didn't happen so now I'm curious.) Wandering down the street another block, I see a "We Have Gluten-Free" sign in the window of a key lime pie shop. I'm in Key West. And you know what they say, "When in Rome..."

Yep, I ate gluten-free key lime pie on the same day I ate authentic Italian gelato.

Fast forward to a couple of days later, I'm still on vacation. In Miami. We need somewhere to eat dinner so the person I'm with decides to Google "Paleo eateries Miami Beach."

This page on Paleo Porn is found and the decision is down to two places: A paleo-friendly full kitchen restaurant that on any normal given day I would be ecstatic to find exists. Or. A pizza place that does not claim to be gluten-free in any sense but does have organic ingredients and seems to be a pretty reasonably moral spot to eat from.

I'm still not in pain from eating from a cruise ship all week, gelato, and key lime pie. I'm 24 years old.

What the hell, I figure. Give it a shot. The worse that can happen is that I spend the next day back home curled up in the fetal position near a bathroom taking a lot of recovery probiotics. (Sounds terrible but this was once a normal drill for me.) You only live once, right?

Pizza it is.

So, that's how I ended up at Blocks. I got a slice of pepperoni pizza and it was everything I remembered it to be from way back in 2011.

Do I feel guilty? Slightly. I understand that gluten is still the enemy and that this way of eating simply is not a choice for me to make it a norm.

However, I don't live with regrets and that would be a stupid thing to regret anyways.

Food is food. It's fuel for good or bad. No one is perfect, I can't even pretend to be.

I know better than to do this too often but it's a nice feeling to be slightly normal again. I'm not condoning paleo rebellion or suggesting that anyone who is still in recovery mode on SCD or AIP to even think about doing what I did. At least, not yet. But this post will serve as evidence that paleo works. And for those of you who are journeying back to health- things absolutely do get better.

There, now you know. And don't feel so guilty about your cheats. (You can tell me about them in the comments below, I won't judge.)


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall Vitamix Special for 2014

https://www.vitamix.com/Shop/Default.aspx?COUPON=06-006499


Just a quick note to let you guys know that there's a sale going on in Vitamix land right now, since this doesn't happen all that often.

From today through November, you can purchase a Certified Reconditioned Vitamix Standard blender starting at $299. This is a $30 savings off the normal reconditioned price and hundreds off a new Vitamix blender. These reconditioned blenders come with a new container and a 5 year warranty. As always, use my code 06-006499 at checkout for free ground shipping!

Click any of my banners to have this code automatically applied or click the link here.

Contact me with any questions! Happy blending!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Paleo Apple Pancakes (scd)



It's officially after Labor Day so that unofficially means that fall is here. Best part about fall? Apples. Yep, I'm a foodie. Next best thing to apples? Pancakes. Put them both together and it's breakfast bliss.

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp coconut flour
6 Tbsp melted butter (or coconut oil)
6 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 1 1/2 cup grated apples (skin-off)

coconut oil for frying
honey for topping

Directions:

Coat pan with extra coconut oil over medium heat.
Blend together ingredients in said order. Add apples last, folding in.
Let batter sit for 5 minutes before pouring dollops into hot oil.
Flip when bubbling and pancake edges are golden brown.
Serve hot with honey to drizzle.




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How To: Make Kombucha (fermented tea)



So, if you follow me avidly on Facebook you will know that lately I've had some comical occurrences at my local health food store. Where I live, specific bottles of kombucha require that the purchaser be over 21 years of age (since they contain over 0.5% alcohol). Apparently, I look young to some people so I had to show my ID to buy my weekly supply. Over and over and over again. Although the people selling these bottles of fermented goodness to me were the same faces that I would interact with on a weekly basis, they assumed I had Benjamin Button syndrome and my age was actually reverting to a pre-21 year old state. Long story short, I decided to make my own kombucha. 1. Because everything made at home is generally better. 2. I can quality control what goes into my brew. 3. It is going to save me about $120 a month vs buying the bottled kombucha.

First, what is kombucha? Simply put- it's fermented tea. Basically you make sweet tea (using *gasp* real sugar) and add this thing called a scoby to it. Then the scoby eats up the sugar, making the tea fermented and full of lots of beneficial stuff. After 7-14 days the final brew is known as kombucha. Most people do a second brew of 2-3 days by adding fruit juice or spices to the kombucha. After this second process the kombucha becomes carbonated and can be viewed as a "soda" of sorts.

What does it taste like? Surprisingly delicious. I have always hated sweet tea. I was thusly ridiculed growing up in the South, but kombucha tastes less like sweet tea and more like hard cider. Depending on the flavor and length of brew, it's sweet and has a slight bite at the finish. It's good. More importantly, it's good for you.

How to make kombucha:

Supplies:

A large container made of ceramic or glass (I use this one)
A cloth to cover the top of the container that will keep pests out, yet allows the brew to breathe (I use a dish towel, secured in place by a rubber band or if you get the above container it comes with a plastic piece that hold it appropriately)
8 tea bags per brew
1 cup sugar per brew (real sugar, not honey or stevia or anything else)
2 gallons of filtered water per brew
1 scoby, to start (you will only need to purchase/ located this once, after that you can continue to use the same scoby for future batches of kombucha)
1 cup white vinegar (for initial brew, to keep out mold)
Glass bottles with plastic or other non-metal caps
Fruit juice or spices like ginger for second brew

Steps:

1. Boil water and steep tea bags. (I boil 1 gallon of water because it's easier and steep all 8 tea bags in it. After step 3 I add the other gallon of filtered water)
2. Discard used tea bags and add sugar to tea. Stir until dissolved.
3. Let tea completely cool and add to brewing container. Add vinegar.
4. Gently place scoby into tea, it should float to the top (eventually).
5. Place towel over the top of the container and secure.
6. Wait 7-14 days, check periodically to make sure that the scoby is growing and there is no mold.
7. When the brew is complete, bottle.
8. Leave about 20% room in each bottle to add spices and/or juice for second brew. Secure caps tightly and let sit at room temperature for 2 days.
9. Place in refrigerator when second brew is complete. The kombucha should be carbonated.
10. Enjoy.

For further details and how to keep a perpetual kombucha brew going see this article here and here.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Ground Beef Stir Fry (paleo, scd)



I've really been into one-dish meals lately, I truly hate kitchen clean-up. This dish smells so good while it's cooking, it will have everyone in your house asking what's for dinner. (The taste stands up to the smell, too.) A stir-fry is a great way to use up that produce you have from your garden or farmer's market. Lots of color and flavor and super easy to make in a hurry.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs lean ground beef (93/7)
4 large peppers (I used New Mexico Big Jim Chili Peppers)
2 small summer squashes (I used a local variety)
1/2 jar sliced kalamata olives (3 oz)
1 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp Spanish paparika
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
salt, to taste

Directions:

Chop squash into one inch cubes. Slice peppers into half inch strips.
Throw all of the above ingredients into a large frying pan over medium high heat and use spatula to mix around.
Keep over heat until ground beef cooked through, about 12 minutes, then reduce heat to simmer for another three minutes.
Serve hot.