Kathleen

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Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Bone Broth

Pressure Cooker Instant Pot bone broth is in its nutritional glory at the present.  Bone broth is full of health benefits and easy to make.  Bone broth contains minerals that support the immune system and contains over 19 easy-to-absorb, essential and non-essential amino acids such as glutamine, glycine and proline that provide the building blocks for protein which fuel every cell in our body. Bone broth also contains collagen which has so many healing properties and anti-aging properties it’s hard to just pick a few.  Collagen improves skin elasticity, skin moisture, reduces cellulite and stretch marks.

Collagen also reduces bone degeneration and joint pains by providing a gel-like structure that covers and holds our bones together, allowing us to move without pain. I love this recipe because it is easy and allows you to use any leftover veggies that may be a bit past their prime.  I also love adding turmeric root and ginger to the broth if  on hand.

Supplies

Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot
mesh strainer
cheese cloth or high quality paper towel

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs organic bones such as chicken, turkey, beef, bison, lamb etc will work. Ask your local butcher or grocer if you don’t have bones but I love using rotisserie chicken bones and steak bones after we prepare a dinner.
  • 2 cups of organic vegetables that you have on hand such as celery stalks, carrot, onions, garlic, broccoli stems etc.  Organic is best!
  • 1 tsp ginger (fresh or ground) (for reducing nausea and fighting the common cold)
  • 1 tsp turmeric (for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 10-12 cups filtered water or enough to cover bones- about 1 inch space from top of the slow cooker.
  • 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt (I start w 3 tsp) and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. 2-3 lbs of roasted chicken bones*
  2. Put bones and vegetables (they do not need to be chopped) into the slow cooker and top with water until just below your max fill line.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, spices, lemon and apple cider vinegar.
  4. My Breville pressure cooker has a “stock” button, which set my pressure to high and my cook time for 110 minutes.  Allow time for pre-heating and naturally depressurizing. Follow your manufacturers instructions.
  5. Turn on warm and let cool for about 30 minutes before ladling into jars
  6. Place strainer over a bowl or directly over jar and ladle broth into strainer to separate bones and vegetables from the liquid.  I sometimes also strain through a paper towel or, even better, a cheese cloth.
  7. While broth is still hot re-season with salt and pepper or get creative and add other spice blends.
  8. Do not store in fridge or freezer until broth cools to room temperature in the jars.
  9. I put mine in small jars so that I can use a little at a time and keep a few on hand in my fridge at all times.  The rest I leave in my freezer as it will keep for several months.  I just pull out small jars from the freezer into the fridge as I run low

 

*Optional (you can roast the bones at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes before adding to the slow cooker) Roasted bones impart more flavor and help release the marrow and other nutrients from the bones but if you are short on time you can skip this step.  I often use a store bough organic rotisserie chicken.

An egg is an egg is an egg. Definitely not.

Healthier eggs

This was just going to be an instagram post, but then I went down the rabbit hole of the internet.  My IG post became too overwhelming and it turned into a blog post. I was inspired by the photo above when I went to make eggs the other morning.  It is winter now.  The days are shorter and my backyard ladies are on a laying hiatus.  When I supplement our egg supply, I usually pay the extra few dollars to get pasture-raised eggs.  Sometimes they are not available, in which case, I always buy certified organic eggs. These eggs are from two separate cartons: eggs from a pasture-raised variety and eggs that are certified organic.

Keep reading to learn which egg is which.

Healthier eggs have always been at the top of my list when deciding to KNOW where the food I am eating and feeding my family comes from.  When it comes to meat, I let other people do the hunting.  However, backyard chickens and gardening was something I could dive into.

Yellow vs. orange egg yolks

Why are the eggs from pasture raised hens more orange?

Pasture-raised hens have access to outdoor pasture, with fresh clover or grass, and plenty of insects to supplement their diet. Chickens are omnivores and eat insects, such as worms, grubs, mealworms, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, ticks, and spiders.  This balanced diet gives them bright orange yolks.  The grain-fed hens lack in diet diversity giving their yolks a lack luster yellow that is typical of an egg from a commercially-raised hen or a hen with limited or no outdoor access.

Is an orange egg yolk really better?

I will write about health before humanity.

In 2010, Penn State conducted a study that compared the nutritional content of eggs from pasture-raised  hens to eggs from commercially-raised hens.  Lead investigator and associate professor of crop production ecology, Heather Karsten, referred to the results as  “striking.”

“Compared to eggs of the commercial hens, eggs from pastured hens had twice as much vitamin E and long-chain omega-3 fats, more than double the total omega-3 fatty acids, and less than half the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids,” she said. “Vitamin A concentration was 38 percent higher in the pastured hens’ eggs than in the commercial hens’ eggs, but total vitamin A per egg did not differ.”

Pasture-raised hens have access to outdoor pasture, with fresh clover or grass, and plenty of insects to supplement their diet. Chickens are omnivores and eat insects, such as worms, grubs, mealworms, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, ticks, and spiders.  This balanced diet gives them bright orange yolks.  The grain-fed hens lack in diet diversity giving their yolks a lack luster yellow.

Egg Buying Decisions

Standard Eggs

This is a typical mass produced egg operation.  There are multiple hens to a cage.  They cannot spread their wings or act like a chicken in its own environment would act. The hens eat and drink by slipping their heads through the bars of a cage.  Year-round, artificially lit warehouses keep egg production regular and constant.

Eggs from Cage Free Hens

Hens are not in a cage.  However, many of these producers let hens roam in overcrowded, constantly lit barns or warehouses.  I guess you could assume it is less stressful for the hens to not be in a cage, but I have not asked them.

Eggs from Free Range Hens

This only guarantees that poultry have the “opportunity” to go outdoors.  Most eggs labeled as “free-range” come from hens confined indoors on the floor rather than in open pasture.

Certified Organic Eggs

Hens are uncaged inside barns or houses, with outdoor access required. There are no hormones or antibiotics in the raising practice.  The hens’ diet is free from synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers.  However, some producers that are certified loosely follow the standards or are inconsistent. For example,  some producers may not provide birds meaningful access to the outdoors.

Eggs from Pasture-Raised Hens

It is assumed that “pasture-raised” means the hens have primarily outdoor access where they are free to be a chicken and forage for insects, plants and grasses.  First, I always go for the local pasture-raised option. Secondly, I can recommend Vital Farms.  I have been on the site and always see a bright orange yolk come from their eggs from pasture-raised hens.  They are California-based and have are “certified humane.” They self-proclaimed as “bullsh*t free.”  I like their style and their commitment.

Look for these labels when buying your eggs.  It is not only a healthier, but also a more humane choice.

Certified Humane Symbol Certified Organic

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought a copy of the FACT (Food and Animal Concerns Trust) Pocket Guide to Humane Food Labels would be useful to download.  After all, if you are reading this, you most likely care about where your food comes from.  Download Here.

References:

https://news.psu.edu/story/166143/2010/07/20/research-shows-eggs-pastured-chickens-may-be-more-nutritious

https://foodanimalconcernstrust.org/food-labels/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIw4CX5bKO4AIVeSCtBh2dEg-zEAAYAyAAEgLg0vD_BwE

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/renewable-agriculture-and-food-systems/article/vitamins-a-e-and-fatty-acid-composition-of-the-eggs-of-caged-hens-and-pastured-hens/552BA04E5A9E3CD7E49E405B339ECA32

7 Realities of Breastfeeding Every New Mom Should Know

The 7 realities of breastfeeding are documented here to prepare you, not scare you.  The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous for both mom and baby, but there are various hurdles some moms experience.  If mom is prepared, it could make for a much more enjoyable and prolonged breastfeeding experience.

Shortly after launching the baby from the womb, I realize that most mothers are doing their very best to just keep it together, let alone make it all happen. I was now included in this professional juggling bunch.  After I went through the trauma of almost completely ripping my perineum from vagina to rectum  (you’re welcome for the visual) while squeezing out my nine pound delight, she is placed her on my chest and now I am completely responsible for keeping her alive.  Due to a rapid decline in progesterone and a completely sleepless night, a good cry is definitely in order.  “What have I done?” 

Post-birth shock and awe subsided quickly, thank goodness.  I realize some mothers are not so fortunate. There were tasks to focus on like how to keep the baby alive. Based on the benefits, nutritional and otherwise, I wanted to give breastfeeding a try.  After three babies and over four years of cumulative breastfeeding, I thought it would be helpful to share my experience.  Of course, I am not a trained professional (or maybe 4 years of experience could make me so?)  Yes, it is a gift to be able to feed your baby, but initially there could be some ugliness that challenges your decision to breastfeed. Please do not use this post or anything included as a replacement for real professional medical advice.  

1. Colostrum comes first…

which is kind of nature’s dirty trick on mother and child.  Nutritionally, colostrum is off the charts and the immunities it delivers to your baby cannot be matched.  I guess this is the point.  The tricky part is that it’s consistency is much denser than milk and your baby has to work harder for her meal.  This means she is rarely satisfied for those first 24-48 hours of life. There may be lots of crying and questioning am I starving my baby? 

2. Some lactation specialists are amazing. Some are not.

The worry that you are starving your baby is quickly pushed aside by the lactation specialist who assures you this is completely normal and your milk will be here in no time. They will also weigh your baby and she will inevitably lose weight as she figures out breastfeeding with you. She should be back (or close) to birth weight around her one-week appointment. The lactation consultant may remind you not to give baby a pacifier.  Screw that.  Pop that pacifier in the baby’s mouth especially if you intend to breastfeed longterm.  Otherwise, you will become the human pacifier.  It will also keep baby happy in between feedings.  She will let you know when she is hungry and she quickly learns which nipple the milk comes from.  If you are not feeling the love with your lactation specialist, ask for another one.  Also, don’t forget that many of the nurses are certified. 

3. When your milk comes in, it can be a complete shit show.

I had an over supply which caused my baby to gag and choke the first 30 seconds of feeding.  Initially, I had to express milk before feeding to avoid this.  Then came engorgement.  It is when your breasts feel as hard as boulders and the only relief from the soreness is ice packs.  Some women even get fever.  If you experience this lovely truth, it will pass.  Your boobs will not be boulders forever and your milk will eventually regulate.  The only cure is to keep feeding baby from the breast because if you stop in the middle of engorgement, you have to dry up all that milk on your own.  Some mothers experience and under supply, in which case they are not producing enough milk.  The remedy for this is to also keep breastfeeding to up your milk production and even pump between feedings to let your body know to produce more milk.  Do you feel like a cow yet?

4. Breastfeeding hurts. 

This truth is something that people don’t normally think about, but as all three of my babies were learning to nurse, my nipples took a beating.  The initial latch can hurt enough to make you hit the ceiling and then the rest of the feeding gets easier.  This nipple pain does goes away after the first couple of weeks.  There are so many good organic products on the market.  I love this company because they are local to my home and use only the best organic ingredients.  Have some good nipple cream on hand.  You will need it.

5. Food sensitivities may come into play.

This happened to me with all three of my babies.  Food sensitivities usually don’t show up for a few weeks. If you feel like your baby is cranky and uncomfortable shortly after feeding, you may want to tweak your diet. The biggest offenders are dairy, soy, nuts, eggs and wheat.  Everything is broken down in your breast milk with the exception of the proteins, they are delivered whole and some babies guts cannot tolerate it.  The best thing to do if you think there might be a pattern to your baby’s fussiness after feedings is to keep a log of what you eat, make an appointment with your pediatrician and make a plan. 

6. Breastfeeding gets so much easier and more enjoyable…

…once you get through the initial learning curve.  I eventually went on to breastfeed all three my babies well past their first year of life.  Even with my special diets and initial hurdles to overcome, it became one of my most favorite things as the mother of a baby.  It gives you an excuse to sit in a quiet corner and bond your little delight before they can talk back to you.

7. Breastfeeding is not for everyone…

…and sometimes it simply doesn’t work for some mothers. If you are in this category, don’t let anyone make you feel badly for your choice or your circumstance.  We live in a modern world with high-end, organic formulas that will help your baby thrive

This post was first seen at Blossom.

The contents of our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advise of your physician or other qualified medical professional with any questions you might have regarding a medical condition.  Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read on this Website.

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HIIT: Less than an hour to a younger you

What exactly is HIIT?

As described by the American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery and typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform.

Studies show that HIIT benefits far surpasses those of the traditional workout.  Your body will benefit more from a short warm up and cool down and 15-20 minutes of HIIT than an hour or more spent on a run or another type of consistent cardio. 

Why HIIT can be classified as anti-aging

Any regular exercise helps keep us young, but the latest research confirms that HIIT, if done correctly, is the best choice for anti-aging.  HIIT stimulates the powerful HGH (human growth hormone).  HGH has been shown to slow down aging by increasing muscle density, bone density and decreasing body fat.  This is beneficial at any age, but especially after 40 when our bodies naturally lose muscle and gain fat. 

In a March 2017 study published in Cell Metabolism, a HIIT workout actually reverses some of the aspects of aging on a cellular level.  

HIIT the Calories and Fat where it counts!

A HIIT workout can burn up to 15% more calories and raises our body’s ability to oxidize fat over traditional workouts.  There is science to back up these claims. In a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training. Who doesn’t want an efficient workout and quicker results?

Personal success with HIIT for losing weight and getting fit

In 2016 my baby went to kindergarten and I went to the gym. A career fitness yo-yo-er, but a generally active person, working out was not foreign to me.  In the past, I had long-term relationships with cross fit, spinning, kickboxing, group power and even one-on-one personal training without ever really achieving my fitness goals.

Through a HIIT based workout and and a lean, lower carb diet, I lost 22 pounds over the next few months. The difference with the HIIT approach over any other workout I had ever tried is that I could actually see my body becoming more defined, I was losing fat and my cardio vascular fitness was the best it had ever been.  I was definitely drinking the Kool-Aid.  That is metaphorically speaking, of course, because there is no room for sugar-laden Kool-Aid in my renewed approach to nutrition.

How to get hooked on HIIT safely

If you want to be able to sit on the toilet post-workout, I would recommend starting out slowly.  The best part about HIIT is that a little bit goes a long way.  Avoiding injury is key so make sure you know exactly how to do each move with proper form. 

The 7-minute HIIT workout – to get you started

Yes, you read correctly – 7-minutes!  Elaine, CEO of Sonder Grace, swears by this workout. It includes 12 exercises to be performed 30 seconds each with a 10 second rest in between each exercise.  Don’t forget to start with a warm up and end with a cool down.

Equipment Needed: A chair, a wall and your body.

Jumping jacks

Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Simultaneously raise your arms above your head and jump up just enough to spread your feet out wide. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement and repeat.

Wall sit

 wall sit

Stand with you back against the wall, feet hip width apart and sightly out from the wall.  Slide your back down the wall until your hips and knees are at a 90-degree angle.  Your shoulders, upper back and butt should be flat against the wall.  Imagine sitting in a chair against the wall and the chair disappearing.

Push ups (traditional or from the knee)

push up

Get down on all fours and then place your hands a little bit wider than shoulder width apart.  Straighten your arms and your legs coming up onto your toes (or knees). Lower your chest to the floor then raise again.  Repeat.

Crunches

Lie on your bank with knees bent and hip width apart. Place your hands behind your head with thumbs behind your ears to gently support your neck. Hold your elbows out to the side.  Tilt your chin leaving a few inches between your chin and your chest. Using your abdominals, curl upward lifting your head, neck and shoulder blades off the floor. Hold for a moment at the top of the movement and lower back down.  Repeat.  Tip: think about leading with your abs through the whole series of crunches.

Chair step-ups

chair step ups

Find a sturdy chair or bench.  Step squarely into the chair so that you knee and leg are at a 90-degree angle or greater.  Step up leading with the right foot, then the left, bringing both feet completely onto the bench. Repeat.

Squats

squat

Stand with your head facing forward and chest up and out.  You can raise your hands in front of you no higher than shoulder-hight.  You may bend the elbows and/or clasp the fingers together if desired.  Sit back and down like you are sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, keep your back flat as you lower down at the knees. Keep your thighs as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels and hold for a moment. Push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position. Repeat.

Chair tricep dips

Tricep dips

Sit on a sturdy chair or bench with your hands next to your hips (or slightly under your hips).  Move your legs out in front of you until your butt comes off the chair and bend at the elbows lowering your hips near the floor.  Keep your body close to the chair.  The straighter your legs are in front of you the more challenging the exercise.

Plank

plank

Get down on all fours.  Place hands on the floor or mat shoulder with apart.  Alternatively, you can place the whole forearm flat on the floor.  This is easier on the wrists.  Straighten legs and come up onto your toes.  Make sure to keep your butt in line with your back and shoulders.  Hold.

High knees

high knees

Stand with feet hip width apart.  Face your palms to the floor hovering at about waist hight.  Launching from the ball of your feet, lift the right knee up to touch your right palm.  Alternate knees in a hopping motion. Make sure to engage your abdominals through the series.

Alternating lunge

lunges
Standing tall, step forward with your left leg and slowly lower your body until your from knee is bent at least 90 degrees, while your rear knee is just off the floor. Keep your torso upright the entire time. Pause, then push off your left foot off the floor and return to the starting position as quickly as you can. Alternate legs doing one rep with your left, then one rep with your right.

Push up and rotation

Follow the classic push up instructions above. As you raise your body back up, lift your right arm up and extend overhead. Your arms and torso should form a T as your right index finger reaches towards the ceiling. Return to the starting position and lower chest to the floor with both arms.  As you come back up perform the extension with your left arm.  Keep alternating arms from push up to rotation.

Side plank (15 seconds on each side)

Begin seated sideways on the floor with your right hand below your right should and feet staked or top foot in front of bottom foot

Once you have mastered the 7-minute HIIT workout and you want a greater challenge add another 7 minutes and do a second round of the same 12 moves and the incorporate the following tips for greater challenge. 

  • Turn your push ups burpees.
  • Alternate your abdominal crunches by placing your heads in army style behind your head and focusing on bringing your opposite elbow to opposite knee.
  • If you have a pair of light weight dumbbells, add alternating bicep curl to your chair step ups.
  • Place low weight dumbbells on your shoulders when doing squats.
  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand with arms at your side when doing alternating lunges.

Good luck and have fun!

Remember to consult your physician before going from couch potato to HIIT extraordinaire. 

This workout was adapted from the The Scientific 7-minute workout.

The contents of our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advise of your physician or other qualified medical professional with any questions you might have regarding a medical condition.  Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read on this Website.

CBD for Depression and Anxiety: A Family Success Story

When we started having conversations about launching an online CBD boutique, Elaine and I were in agreement that we wanted a brand in which women could relate.  We wanted women like us, who have super busy lives with work and family to feel good about our education and products.  Part of our model in helping with eduction and sales was to create an affiliate program to get women educating women.

The following success story was sent to us by our very first Sonder Grace affiliate, Kira Blakeley.  Kira did not just sell Sonder Grace CBD oil, she helped this family understand how CBD works and gave them confidence to make the move and give it a try.  We are so happy they tried it!! As mothers, this story brought us to tears – happy tears!

My 12-year-old daughter has suffered severe depression and anxiety for about a year now. I put her into counseling and her counselor (who is more of a naturopath) called me one day and stated that, though she really never likes to put kids as young as my daughter on medication, she would recommend getting her into a doctor or a psychiatrist because of how severe her depression had become. I took her to our primary care doctor and right away they put her on an anti-depressant. By the time my daughter had her next appointment (she was going to counseling once a week) her counselor called me in the room and said she was very concerned about the potential for my daughter to harm herself and during some of her conversations with the therapist, she had insinuated thoughts of suicide. I had noticed that since putting her on the anti-depressant the week before, she had gone from bad to worse.

Her counselor advised that I take her to the hospital so that she could be admitted for treatment. I took her immediately and they admitted her to a psychiatric hospital for a week. While she was there, she was switched to another anti-depressant (as they stated,  the first anti-depressant was causing the suicidal thoughts). After coming home,  I noticed that the antidepressant that she was on, was causing her to act extremely apathetic. She would sit in her room all night and wasn’t interacting with friends or family. I saw a post from a friend about how CBD oil can be very helpful for depression and anxiety and I wrote to her to gather more information. I also spoke to some of my friends that are physicians and decided that my daughter would stop her antidepressants and try the CBD oil instead. She started the CBD oil, which I was able to purchase easily from Sonder Grace and after giving the medicine to my daughter for only a week, the difference was night and day. My daughter has happiness and joy back in her life. She is back to having friends around constantly, being crazy with her family, and making us laugh nonstop. I cannot say it enough- how much of a blessing this product has been to me. My daughter’s counselor called me last week and said she doesn’t think that my daughter needs the amount of counseling that she has been getting, and dropped her down to every other week. Thank you so much Sonder Grace, for educating people about the incredible benefits of CBD and for being an integral part of giving my daughter her life back!

Kira is a certified herbalist who loves to deliver CBD education face to face, via facetime, phone or email.  You can connect with her on social media here.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.
*Photo is a stock photo and does not represent actual individuals in our story.

Paleo Eggplant Fries

These paleo eggplant fries are a good alternative to the fried potato version.  French fries are a basic human need.  Right?  Obviously, we can’t have them all the time, so we improvise. We love to make food improvisation an art form that tastes amazing and sometimes far exceeds the original.   These Paleo Eggplant Fries are a tasty, low carb and nutrient-rich option.  Frying them up in avocado oil is also a great choice due to its high smoke point of 520 degrees, which makes it very stable.  Avocado Oil’s heart health benefits help increase your HDL cholesterol (the good stuff) and decrease your LDL cholesterol  and triglycerides (the stuff you want to keep low).  Additionally, avocado oil includes Lutein, a nutrient that protects our eye health from things like macular degeneration and cataracts.  Lutein is a carotenoid, not naturally produced by food so including it in your diet is important.  The fact that it could be in your frying oil is a total bonus!

A couple of things to remember

Your oil needs to be just the right temperature. Like Goldilocks. Don’t let it get too hot and if it is not hot enough your eggplant will go soggy (insert sad face here).  The perfect temperature oil should sizzle just a bit when you place the fries in the pan.  The crack, snap, pop will let you know if the oil is too hot.

Ingredients

For Batter

1 ¼ C paleo baking flour (my favorite)

1 TSP smoked paprika

1 TSP garlic powder

½ TSP cayenne

½ TSP black pepper

1/2 TSP salt + more to taste

4 egg whites

I eggplannt sliced into fries

Avocado oil or olive oil for frying

For Sriracha Mayo

1 TBSP sriracha sauce

1/4 C of mayonnaise or vegannaise

1 TSP lemon juice

Instructions

1. Combine all spices in one bowl and whisk together.
2. Gently whisk together egg whites in a shallow dish for coating your eggplant.
3.  Whisk together sriracha mayo ingredients
4. Heat oil in a dutch oven or deeper saute pan over medium-ish heat.
5. Coat eggplant fries with egg white thoroughly and place in the spiced paleo flower mixture to coat completely.
6. Place in oil for ~3 minutes and then flip to immerse the other side for another few minutes.
7. Let cool for just a few minutes before serving promptly.

Do you want to know the benefits of taking the time to create these fries at home rather than eating out.  Check out Eating at Home vs. Eating Out guide from our friends at Groom + Style.

 

Are Carbs the New Tobacco?

Science always catches up with our simple human theories when comes to health and nutrition. Many of our grandparents spent much of their adult life chain smoking through their day, at work, socially and even at the dinner table. In the early 20th century, there was very little scientific evidence that smoking tobacco caused cancer. Studies followed as cancer diagnosis’ and deaths increased. By the mid-20th century, it was conclusive that smoking tobacco could, in fact, kill you.

Even with overwhelming evidence, the power of big corporations’ influence on the economy and government caused a delay in communication and popular acceptance of these generational life-altering facts. Despite all the evidence, the government (and its citizens) is slow to change.

What is killing us today?

Unfortunately, smoking can still kill you. It is listed in the top causes of cardiovascular disease, which, ultimately, is the number one killer of humans.  Stroke is a close second. High LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure are also major risk factors both of which can be directly affected by what we chose to eat.

Government pamphlets on how to eat.

In 2015, The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion published its latest recommendations on nutrition entitled, The Food Pyramid Guide. According to these government mandated recommendations, Americans should, “Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol to reduce your risk of heart attack and certain types of cancer and help you maintain a healthy weight.” In addition, the guide went on to say, “Choose a diet with plenty of grain products vegetables and fruit, which provide needed vitamins, minerals and fiber, and complex carbohydrates and can help you lower your fat intake.”

This seems straightforward enough and nothing we haven’t heard before, right?

Not according to a very prestigious group of scientists in an August 2017 Lancet study.  These  scientists investigated dietary effects on risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke. They studied 135,000 people in 18 countries across several continents. They found that their data with current recommendations to reduce total fats and saturated fats and replacing with carbohydrates was associated with the most adverse effects on blood lipids, one of the most important risk factors for heart disease.

This is not the first study of its kind over the past decade to find that no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Though it is the most comprehensive.  

The Haters.

A carb is a carb is a carb…not really. Harvard School of public health posted an article suggesting that, in the Lancet study, total carbohydrates is “over-simplified.” A breakdown of the type of carbohydrates used to replace fats and saturated fats would be the next great step in the research.Vegetables and fruit as carbohydrates are lumped in with whole grains, high sugar, and processed foods. In fact, a concurrently published review of the same data indicated that 3 servings of fruits/vegetables/legumes, decreased all-cause mortality.

How can these two findings not contradict one another? Unlike smoking which is bad at any level, a relatively small percentage of high-quality carbs are still a good part of a healthy diet. Different carbs have different effects on health. We cannot discount the evidence that it has been disproven in several recent studies that fats and saturated fats are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

How long will it take for the government to change the recommendations that, according to this study and several others, are misleading?

The ideal nutrition debate continues as does the influence of multi-billion dollar corporations who produce crappy food. Have you heard of Monsanto? Their deep pockets for marketing, lobby expenses, and regular sizable donations to both political parties’ initiatives make them a great example of this influence. They also just happen to be the largest producer of genetically modified carbs, I mean crops, i.e. crappy food, but I will save that post for another day.

I am going to take a lesson from our grandmothers’ smoking addictions and air on the side of the latest science. For me, that means sticking to the outermost aisles of the grocery store and shopping from my backyard garden.

A shout out to SoYummy.Co for first publishing this post I wrote on January 11th.

Lemon CBD Infused Curry Chicken Salad + Avocado and Toasted Black Sesame Seeds

When I was about 30, I fell in love with curry.  Yes, I was a late bloomer.  It is now in my top three spices (if I was forced to make a list).  This recipe was inspired by my mother-in-law, who has a version of Curry Chicken Salad in her cookbook, Suzy’s Recipes, that she gifted us one holiday.  It is a staple reference in my kitchen for which I am so grateful because though my own mother had many wonderful talents cooking was not one of them.

This recipe calls for our Sonder Grace 250 MG Hemp Oil Lemon Tincture. It is a perfect match with the Vegan Just Mayo that I had in the fridge.  Just Mayo by Hampton Creek is vegan, soy free, egg-free and my absolute favorite “mayo.”   Since most mayo is made with lemon juice, our lemon CBD oil steps up the lemon flavor just slightly.  This chicken salad is totally addicting.  I had to remove myself from the kitchen to stop myself from going to the fridge with a fork in hand for just one more bite from the container where I stored the leftovers.

Serves 4

 Ingredients

1 lb boneless skinless breasts of chicken diced
1/2 cup chicken stock
Quicker Option: Buy an organic rotisserie chicken: debone and shred 
2 1/2 TBSP mayonnaise or vegannaise
1 bunch green onions diced
1 TSP dijon mustard
2-3 droppers of Sonder Grace 250 MG Hemp Oil Lemon Tincture
1 clove fresh garlic minced
1/2 TSP of chili powder
1/4 TSP turmeric
1 1/2 TSP curry powder
1/4 TSP salt
1/3 almonds crushed (raw or roasted)
pepper to taste
1 avocado for topping
1 TSP black sesame seeds toasted for topping
Flakey sea salt for topping

Optional:
Bed of greens (your choice) to top with chicken salad or go for some excellent bread and make it a sandwich.

Instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lay chicken in a pyrex casserole dish.  Salt and pepper both sides.  Pour stock over top of the chicken. Bake at 350 for ~25 minutes (or until 160 degrees) turning the breasts over 1/2 way through the time. The stock will help keep the breast from drying out.  Let chicken cool. Quicker option:  debone and shred your rotisserie chicken.  Toast the sesame seeds.
2.  While the chicken is cooling, whisk together the following in a medium bowl until smooth: mayo, dijon mustard, CBD oil, garlic, chili powder, turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper to taste.  If you like more kick, step up the chili powder by a pinch.
3. Place almonds in brown paper bag or zip lock storage bag.  Use the flat side of meat tenderizer or a rolling pin to crush the almonds.  You should be left with some very small bits of almond.
4. Once the chicken is cool, dice it up to desired size.  Add chicken, green onions and almonds to the mayo mixture thoroughly mix with the intention of generously coating all it with the mayo mixture.
5. Once the chicken salad is mixed, top with avocado, flakey sea salt and toasted black sesame seeds. Serve on a bed of greens or pair with your favorite bread.

 

 

CBD Superfood Mint Chip Smoothie

This CBD infused superfood smoothie completely rocks in both taste and nutritional benefit.  The ingredients used in this recipe are all exceptional superfoods.  You can read all about the benefits below.  Who doesn’t want a heart healthy, cancer fighting, joint soothing, mood balancing and wrinkle reducing smoothie that actually tastes delicious?!

Ingredients

1 pitted date, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

½ teaspoon maca powder

1 tablespoon collagen powder

2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

1-2 droppers Sonder Grace 250 MG Hemp Oil – Peppermint Flavor

¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

3 ice cubes

⅓ cup of mint leaves

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency.

Nutritional Goodness

Dates

Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. Dates also provide a good source of energy, natural sugar, and fiber. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorussodium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc can be found in dates. They also contain vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavinniacin, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin K.

Ginger

Ginger is an ancient remedy to ease digestion, relieve nausea, treat cold and flu, reduce pain and inflammation and improve cardiac health.[2]  It is also a great source of fiber, iron, Vitamin C, potassium and protein. Not to mention it’s an excellent spicy addition when cooking (or making a morning smoothie).

Maca Powder

Maca is a root and a closely related to the radish. The benefits are almost too many too list in my brief overview, but most notably, maca balances hormones, treats issues such as PMS and symptoms of menopause. It is also well regarded as a natural remedy to increase fertility.  (Note: Maca should NOT be consumed during pregnancy).  Maca is known for improving libido and sexual function especially in men.  It is a great source of minerals, sterols and essential fatty acids, lipids, fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and amino acids.[3]

Collagen Powder

Collagen powder is thought to help mend intestinal permeability (i.e. leaky gut), a condition linked to a host of auto immune diseases.  In an article I read by prevention magazine, a recent study performed with women who incorporated collagen powder into their diet for 4 weeks, showed that they experienced a 20% reduction in wrinkles around the eye area. Some women reported reduced osteoarthritis and joint pain.

Sunflower Butter

Sunflower Seeds, used to make sun butter, are considered to be the best whole food source of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect cell membranes, brain cells, and lower the risk for chronic diseases.  Sunflower seeds reduce  “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and prevent hypertension.  Their nutritional make up of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals put them in the category of cancer prevention, reduces headaches and muscle cramps, and promotes detoxification, healthy skin, and more.

Cacao Nibs

Cacao Nibs are a superfood that help our bodies boost energy and burn fat. Cacao contains unique phytonutrients that enhance alertness and mood.  Cacao is actually the source of original, natural chocolate though many products on the market today do not contain true cacao. Your hershey bar will not deliver the same benefits.  Cacao has more antioxidant benefits than goji berries, blueberries and green tea.  Flavonoids are abundant in Cacao, delivering powerful anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits to its consumers. [4]

CBD Oil

CBD promotes homeostasis, reduces inflammation, decreases high blood pressure, and suppresses cancer cells by helping create an environment in which they can not thrive.  CBD has a plethora of psychological benefits.  Recent research [5] has revealed antidepressant, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic and mood-balancing effects.  Read our post called How Does CBD Work?

Almond Milk

Almond milk is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and calcium.  It is low calorie and has no cholesterol making it a great addition to your diet if you are trying to prevent cardiovascular disease.  It is high in vitamin E, making it a powerful antioxidant, which plays a role in fighting free radicals and aids in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

If the above was not convincing enough for you to try our superfood smoothie recipe, I can vouch that it is delicious.

Superfood References

  1. https://draxe.com/10-medicinal-ginger-health-benefits/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-961-ginger.aspx?activeingredientid=961
  3. https://wellnessmama.com/8254/maca-herb-profile/
  4. https://draxe.com/cacao-nibs/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26341731

Our recipe was adapted from this recipe by Goop.

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