The weather here in the Midwest likes to engage in a bit of trickery. Last week, it was sunny and in the 70s and this week, well, it feels like winter. It’s time to pull out the hats and coats as well as the ingredients for making some warming, cozy beverages. Here are some recipes to fit the season:
Our Dairy-free Hot Chocolate was a staple recipe nearly every evening last winter. Whether we were reading a favorite book or magazine or watching holiday movies and the Great British Baking Show, hot chocolate was by our side.
For those who don’t want to have to choose between hot chocolate and coffee, we have a most excellent collaboration between the two: 5-spice Hot Choffee (choffee being a portmanteau of hot chocolate and coffee)
This program was a game changer for me. I knew I had food sensitivities and thought I had cut all of them out of my diet, but yet I was still sick. I learned that I had a reaction to some of the healthy things I was eating daily [emphasis added]. I finally have a list of foods to stay away from, no more guessing at what might be the issue. I stay clear of these, plus some additional food intolerances, and I feel great.
What surprises and new strengths have you gotten from this experience?
I have my health back. I’m starting to enjoy food again instead of dreading eating and getting sick. I was just sticking with the same items that I thought were safe, not wanting to try new recipes.
My diet has opened up to more options now that I know what to avoid. I’m surprised at how much more variety of foods I can eat now. Even though there are quite a few foods I need to steer clear of (for now), I still have more options than I did before. I’ve just recently gone back to recipes in my cookbooks that I loved in the past, but thought they were making me sick. I can eat them again with no issues.
What is the thing you benefited from and/or enjoyed the most so far?
Getting my health back!
I had hoped to find out all the foods I had a food sensitivity to and to relieve my symptoms. I didn’t know I could feel this good again! It’s wonderful to be able to consistently feel good and not have to worry about my symptoms interfering with my day and holding me back from the things I want to accomplish.
I really appreciate our time together and definitely hope to stay in touch (I just referred someone to you last week).
Imagine something ‘healthy’ you eat almost everyday – like a banana or maybe some kale – and it actually being the culprit behind your symptoms! This is one of the reasons why it’s important to assess for food sensitivities and intolerances – a problem food could be flying beneath the radar because it’s a ‘health food’. Luckily, Teresa has figured out some of the major ones and her symptoms have improved! Could identifying potential food sensitivities do the same for you? Find out here and schedule a complimentary, 20-minute Discovery Call to get started!
Being more of a ‘pitta’ type, according to the ancient science of Ayurveda, our fiery, driven nature has often been amplified by the hot summer season. With the energy of a squirrel possessed, we would run around, overwork, explore and adventure, and constantly be Doing. This year has been different, even strange, in a way. We know something crucial: stacking heat – such as intense exertion in high temperatures – can lead to heat stroke or even burnout. With the latter, we’ve been there before and never want to go back. What to do? Instead of speeding up and pushing the speedometer to 120 mph without rest, we’ve challenged ourselves to exit off the highway of hustle culture and slow down.
Has it been easy? Heck no. Resisting the urge to avoid our feelings and inner lives by salsa dancing, overwork or keeping endless social commitments has had rather dire consequences for our mental and emotional health (not to mention physical). If you too have been feeling a bit burned and frayed around the edges, join us in putting the brakes on. Here’s how:
Increase Downtime & Rest
Most mornings we have an intense exercise class and, though the kinetic energy can continue for hours, we tend to get sleepy in the early afternoon. In past years, we would have dosed up on some sugar, coffee, or chocolate to keep going. Not only that, but the critical voice in our head would have shoved us back into productivity. We’d hear: “You don’t have time – there’s too much to do! Rest later!” Luckily, age has come with wisdom as well as discernment of lies and truth. Now, we give ourselves permission to rest or nap for about 20 minutes. How might want more downtime look and fit into your life? Here are some ideas:
Take a break in the middle of the day for ‘tea time’ – even iced tea and a few moments to connect eye-to-eye with your kids, your partner or even your dog
Give yourself the gift of an earlier bedtime
Transition yourself from work to home life by taking a short walk or a few deep breaths with your eyes closed
Create a bedtime routine you enjoy
Read a favorite, relaxing book with some hot tea in the evening
Give even just 5 minutes of meditation a try, any time of the day, to get re-centered
Monitor your Mental Health & Bring back Joy
If recent news about mass shootings, gun and abortion laws have you rattled, maybe don’t add to it with local, constant news about burglaries or random acts of violence. Also, good news may not make the headlines the way fear does but there are many kind & thoughtful people in this world working for positive change. Consider the thought that there is no such thing as the ‘good old days’ because every period in history has had its positive advances and its social ills. We are all here now so let’s do the best we can to improve our environment and foster community & connection while we hurl through the galaxy together on spaceship Earth.
Do you know what joy is? Where does it live in your life? So many of us are not sure how to answer that question these days. It’s worth exploring and pondering what brings you joy as it adds an element of ‘juice’ to your energy tank. Joy can put a bounce in your step as you run errands and be a buffer against the storms of life. Whether it’s playing soccer, baking, writing calligraphy, dancing, oil painting, playing with pets or children, see how it might be possible to add a little bit of joy-generating activities to your life.
We saved the most challenging, and yet most rewarding, for last. It’s a fact: our past experiences can and do influence who & where we are in the present. While we needn’t spend all our time in what some would call the ‘basements of our minds’, visiting traumas and slights you’ve experienced can help explain how the old beliefs established back in the day are playing out today. Whether that’s numbing out with food or alcohol, acting out in anger or rage, distracting with ‘busy’ activities, or a myriad of other ways, we often have no clue where we picked up these deeply-embedded and unhelpful coping mechanisms. We love the title from Sarah Wilson’s book First, We Make the Beast Beautiful which comes from a Chinese proverb about conquering a beast (e.g. bad habit, anxiety, etc) by deeply engaging with it. The aphorism has been apt during the past month while we’ve been digging back into a self-healing therapy modality whose exercises have brought us into profound inner connection and understanding. Be forewarned: inner work can be mentally and emotionally exhausting & may require the assistance of a therapist.
Before we all know it, autumn will be here – not just with its pumpkin spice everything, but with harried school preparations and planning for holidays. Take a moment, a few hours, days or a month to slow down in whatever way feels best for you. We promise that ‘productive’ rest (not laziness – here’s a refresher on the difference) and recovery will allow you to speed up once again, this time with a sense of rejuvenation.
You know your health and body image aren’t where you want them to be. You also realize that short-term resolutions and yo-yo dieting is not the answer.
The Build a Better Body Bootcamp is a 6-week program designed to help you improve the elements of your diet that lead to sustainable changes in body composition and weight loss. During these 6 weeks, we will cut through the confusion and provide the tools you need to jumpstart your better body. Topics include:
Deceptive marketing and nutritional confusion
Navigating nutrition facts labels
Building better meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
MyPlate and portion sizes
Healthier snack and dessert options
Measuring and tracking your success
Sodium, sugar and fat
Navigating social events with ease
Better restaurant & fast food options
Styles of eating
Many of us have been stuck in nutritional confusion for so long (“are eggs good for me? What about coffee? Am I eating too much fruit?”) without support to actually make the changes we desire.
By using the tools and getting clarity and support from our private community, you’ll be able to take this dedicated time to springboard yourself into healthier habits. Benefits include:
Jump-starting your new eating protocol, not a fad ‘diet’
Learning how to feed yourself, and your family, better
Changing your body composition – feel stronger, leaner, and more toned
Having more energy
Better digestion and regular bowel movements
Improvement of chronic health issues
Here are the details. The 6-week Build a Better Body Bootcamp starts on Wednesday, April 27th and ends Wednesday, June 8th.
Includes weekly live meeting with Integrative & Functional Dietitian-Nutritionist where we breakdown topics into bite-sized action steps
Fast-action BONUS: for those who know they are ready to make the changes and sign up by Monday, April 18th you’ll be able to join our next Sugar Detox Challenge, beginning May 22nd, for FREE! (Valued at $197)
You definitely don’t need it to be a Tuesday to enjoy these tasty tacos, but “Sunday Tacos” doesn’t exactly have the desired alliteration. We like to call these the Anytime Tacos – the ‘t’ sound is still in there and it’s much more freeing – but social convention is a powerful thing. Regardless, have this crunchy, delicious, and nutrient-dense meal whenever you’d like. Remember the “Got Milk” slogan? Well, this calcium-rich meal actually does a body good. Enjoy!
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes, depending on number of condiments offered
Rinse beans from a can and then put in a small pot over low heat. Add taco seasoning and stir; simmer for about 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees for the tacos. While waiting, prep lettuce, avocado, cilantro, tomatoes and limes. Follow directions on hard taco shell box for how long to heat them up in the oven (about 2-3 minutes). Plate tacos and allow each dinner guest or family member to decorate their own tacos with the condiments provided. Lime juice provides a nice splash of flavor and acidity to the meal. Your taste buds might just shout ¡olé!
Ever since completing the pantry organization project, the fridge has practically been begging for a deep clean. With cold weather encouraging indoor activities – and with spring around the corner – we decided it was time to load up our favorite music as we worked towards the vision of a gleaming fridge.
Time: about 45 minutes total, including back of the fridge
Materials needed: paper towels, vinegar or cleaning spray, vacuum for back of fridge and floor, organizational bins (optional), your favorite music and beverage to hydrate
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission.
Step 1: Pull everything out of your fridge. Keep a cooler nearby and fill it with the fresh meats and other temperature-sensitive perishables. Throw away any old, moldy ‘science experiments’ that have taken residence at the back of the fridge.
Step 2: Remove the shelves and clean them; wipe down the sides and doors inside of the fridge.
Step 3: Because the fridge is lighter without food inside of it, this could be a good time to carefully pull fridge out a few feet to gain access to the back (this took two people for us). Unless you’ve cleaned the area recently, there’s probably everything from dog hair to Nerf gun balls and crumbs. And that’s just the floor. We were surprised by what we found too, relics of previous inhabitants:
Unplug the refrigerator before doing any sort of maintenance or cleaning to avoid electrocution. Vacuum the floor and the coils. We used canned air to get ours clean too. You might also want to wipe down the area behind the fridge, including walls and floor. Ah, that’s better.
The coils help keep your fridge cold and when they are covered and dirty, the fridge has to work extra-hard to do its job. You’ll likely notice better-performing, quieter fridge operation. Your electricity bill might be lower too. All types of winning here! Now you can plug your fridge back in, roll it back into its proper place, and pat yourself on the back.
Step 4: Put bowl or box of baking soda inside, near the back fridge, to help absorb odors. Put fresh paper towels into drawers; use or obtain plastic bins for organization and easier clean-up in the future. We used Bino Stackable Storage Bins XL (4 pack).
Step 5: Quickly check expiration dates and wipe down bottles and jars of various food items as you add them back in.
Step 6: Wipe down the top, sides, and front of the fridge after removing any old coupons, save-the-dates, and magnets. Cut and curate, then place desired artwork or magnets back.
Now that you’re done, step back and admire your handiwork.
How long will the gleam last? Probably not long enough, but there are some ways to keep your fridge fresh between deep cleans. How often should a deep-clean be done? Quarterly. Put it in your calendar and start working on your energizing playlist now. You might want to check behind the fridge every quarter to every six months to ensure the coils aren’t covered in dust and dirt. In the meantime, here’s what to do monthly:
Keep up with your first-in, first-out system.
Consider replacing drawer linings with fresh, absorbant paper towels to help with moisture and any leaking from forgotten foods.
It’s not quite a heavenly experience, but opening the refrigerator doors and the seeing light bouncing off the clean surfaces and colorful foods might just make you smile.
As the lucky recipient of Mr. Chef’s iterations of Hasselback potatoes, we couldn’t wait to share the deliciousness of this recipe. Beware: you may be used to our quick, delicious, and nutritious options and this is not how Mr. Chef operates; he pours a half-hour into making a salad and a few hours of labor and slow-cooking for a curry soup. What can we say? Opposites attract. If you have the patience of a saint or an oyster, give it a try. The pearl is worth it.
Russet (or other) Potato – one per customer Olive oil (or butter, for non-vegan customers) Herbs – rosemary or thyme preferred – to taste Vegan feta OR goats cheese (again, that would be non-vegan) Oregano – a must in my mind
1. Make an oil/butter infusion: low temp heat oil/butter with herbs for as long as you can bear 2. While that’s going, a) put a potato on a cutting board, put chop sticks (or some other “stop” on the cutting board along its longest dimension b) Slice along the longest dimension to make a flat surface for the potato to stand firm while c) begin cutting at 1/8″ or 1/16″ intervals straight down (the thinner the better!). The chop sticks prevent cutting it into separate slices. The goal is to slice downward finely but not to cut the potato into slices – keep it whole. d) This will represent a lot of slices – as always, prep is the labor-intensive part. Be careful to keep the blade perfectly perpendicular to the cutting board as you slice. This might tax your knife skills a bit. It’s worth it. Carry on. 3. Cover potato(es) with oil/butter infusion, place in pre-heated oven at ~430 degrees Fahrenheit. A parchment paper-covered flat baking sheet is best. 4. Wait an excruciatingly long time, like an hour or perhaps more depending on the volume of potato(es). 5. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, apply vegan or anti-vegan cheese. Cover in oregano. Try to sort of “push” herb topping into the crevices formed by slicing. Serve.
The outside should be crispy, with a circular gradation into the center becoming almost as smooth and soft as mashed potatoes. While eating, the layers should fold into interesting patterns as the knife/fork scoop them up.
I’d never eaten one but discovered it while researching thanksgiving sides. I am somewhat obsessed now. It won’t be on the menu this year because it takes so long and requires a cooking temperature way over what’s recommended for a turkey. Maybe save this for a quiet night in when time is no object. But do it!
There are all sorts of nutrients that your heart needs in order to be healthy, including: magnesium, polyphenols, omega-3s, fiber and folate. However nutritious your food choices, there is a nutrient of supreme importance – vitamin L.
How is this vitamin different from the A, B, C, D versions you’ve heard about? One, it’s not a physical nutrient. Two, it is among one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Three, when you have it, and share it, your heart beats with pure joy. Vitamin L is vitamin Love. Unlike a pill, you can’t just ‘take’ love. In fact, you have to give in order to receive it.
Could you use a little, or a lot more, of Vitamin L in your life? Let’s start with perhaps the hardest one.
Love for self. Does this surprise you? Most people get a bit flustered or even breakdown crying when asked if they love themselves. It’s such a simple question, but even we were perplexed the first time a holistic doctor asked the same question. Do you love yourself? How do you know if you do? Scrape off the first few layers of how you dress, the car you drive, what you buy for yourself, or the spa treatments you might get – do you truly and completely love and accept yourself? Don’t feel bad if the answer is “I don’t know” or even “no”. You’re certainly not alone. Many of our clients have hidden behind a form of ‘over-performing’ and strict eating and living principles. But really this wasn’t self-love or appreciation, it was a form of self-flagellation. It was shame or guilt that motivated their ‘healthy’ actions. Religious upbringing can play a part in this, but that’s a story for another time.
Imagine if we nourished ourselves with love, appreciation, and joyful experiences. It’s something a green smoothie can’t even touch, in terms of deeper nourishment. So then the question clients want to know the answer to is “how Do I love myself more?” As you might expect, it needs to be personalized, like knowing your own love language.
It might be helpful to image yourself as a separate human being. Would you tell this person, immediately upon seeing them, “boy you look horrible today, and damn girl, look at those thighs”? Probably not. Then why do you say that to yourself in the mornings, upon gazing into the mirror? Being kind to ourselves, in thought and in words, is a form of self- love. Take that vitamin daily. Maybe even double the dose.
Again, imagining yourself as a loved one, would you say “oh, you’re tired? Well, you can go to bed after you clean and organize the whole kitchen, eat the bag of chips and watch another episode, or finish your taxes” or would you say to her “you seem tired and you’ve accomplished a lot today; get some sleep and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to start again tomorrow”?
It’s possible that so many of us were given messages that our worth was in being “good” – as in pleasing others, never asking for what we needed, hiding unpleasant emotions from the public (and ourselves), warning against vanity (through Greek mythology and Narcissus, a man of unparalleled beauty, who fell in love with his own reflection and caused his own demise) and therefore never saying nice things to the person in our mirrors. These factors, and more, can play into how we speak, feel, and act towards ourselves.
Love for others and greater humanity. Aim for positive interaction which each member of your family, with your spouse or partner, your children and your friends. No one is perfect but we can extend kindness nonetheless and give a benefit of a doubt. The best part is that, if you’ve incorporated more vitamin Love for youself in your life, it will spill over into other areas more effortlessly. When you pour from an empty pitcher, you give to others but there is a sense of resentment and depletion. When you pour from a pitcher that is constantly being refilled by your own nourishment, there is plenty to go around, with more joy too.
When we care about our brothers and sisters throughout the world, we make choices about the clothes we buy, the companies we support, and money we donate. Though we will never solve all of humanity’s ills, we can start lessening them. Get into microlending to support small business abroad, say no to fast fashion and buy quality pieces from companies whose dyes don’t pollute waters, refuse to buy from companies who buy water rights and deny clean water to local communities, share information and knowledge to help people improve their own lives.
Share some vitamin L(ove) today and start a new, positive ‘pandemic’ in your own house, community, and perhaps a ripple effect throughout the world.
Heat 1 cup of non-dairy milk in a small saucepan. Whisk 1 tbsp of cacao powder in the hot milk and bring it to a boil. Then add vanilla extract and let it simmer for a few minutes on low heat. Pour into a cup and add 1-2 squares of dark chocolate. Stir and enjoy!
If you’re one to make New Year’s resolutions, the list may look something like this:
Gain better control over blood sugar
Fit into my clothes better, look and feel great!
Instead of taking a shotgun approach to improving our health, focus on one simple thing (which is one of America’s top health issues) and poo better. Everyday. If you can improve your digestion and get the garbage out of your body better during the next 365 days, you are bound to see beneficial changes in your digestion, weight, skin, cholesterol levels and more.
So, my constipated comrades, let’s start the new year off by pooping like pros!
You see, by just focusing on having a good poo each day, you can reap the benefits of better blood sugar regulation, lower cholesterol, and a decrease in bloating and body weight. It also lends itself to having better energy when you don’t have a bunch of garbage in your gut.
We’ve explained it to children as young as 2 and to adults; assuming a healthy digestive capacity, when you eat food, your body absorbs the nutrients and sends the remainder to the colon. It’s imperative to take out household trash regularly and so it is with getting the garbage out of our bodies. Hence, pooping.
Bowel movements are a completely necessary bodily function that, in removing waste, also create more space in the digestion system. Like emptying your bathroom wastebasket regularly allows room for you to put more stuff into it.
The act of defecation has both physiological (it stimulates the pudendal and vagus nerves) and psychological beneficial effects. A really morning good poo can make you feel like a brand new person, ready to conquer the world.
So how do we accomplish better poos in 2022? Easy.
Start by noticing the frequency and quality of your poos. Use the Bristol Stool Chart to keep notes.
Learn the elements necessary to have the perfect poo.
Implement tools to deal with stress. The body doesn’t do its trash-removing duty well during periods of Sturm und Drang, heightened emotions and stress.
Set up a morning routine which includes bowel-stimulating drinks or food as well as time to sit and have a Good Morning Poo
Remember that you may need to address any underlying thyroid issues, food sensitivities, stress sources and managment, and sleep quality. Always speak with your doctor or healthcare provider if you notice bloody stool, severe constipation or abdominal pain, and other troublesome symtoms.
This ONE change of having better poo can set you up for this year, and many to come, in helping you achieve your goals of attaining better health and taking better care of your body.
Haven’t joined our Go with your Gut Facebook group? Now’s the time. Need results sooner?
Our 10-day Express Detox will guide you through the process of removing extra sources of toxins from your diet (and hygiene products) along with and assisting your body’s detoxification processes. The whole-foods, plant-based approach is a great jumpstart into your new year.
We have formulated the daily menu plans and built the process into easy-to-follow steps. By removing most of the major food allergens and incorporating a plethora of nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, and legumes, the 10-Day Detox assists the body in ‘rebooting’ in a healthy way.Our masterclass takes place on January 2nd so you can make healthy changes in early 2022!