Salmon Avocado Poke

Fish are one the healthiest foods I can think of that so many of us are lacking. Omega 3 fatty acids are inflammation fighters and nourishing to our brains. Stress and inflammation have aome of the biggest impact on fertility and your ability to conceive. I highly encourage everyone, but especially pregnant women to get enough healthy omega 3s in their pregnancy to not only support the babies growing brain (especially in the 3rd trimester) but to protect their own brain as consuming enough fish oil in pregnancy has been shown to combat post partum depression. 

Omega 3 fats are highly susceptible to oxidation and going rancid. So this recipe is a great way to protect all the healthy fats and is just wonderful on a hot day. It is so quick to put together, it took me less than 15 minutes. You can decide to do handrolls if you want or make a "deconstructed" handroll like I did in the second picture which saves more time. Enjoy!

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Salmon Avocado Poke

Ingredients:

1lb raw salmon, debone, skin and cut into 1/2" chunks (should be previously frozen for 2 weeks)

1 small avocado, dice

1/8 cup sesame oil

1/2 cup coconut amino

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp ginger powder

4 green onions chopped

1/4 cup cilantro chopped

1 lime

Nori sheet

1/4 cucumber slices into spears

1 tsp roe

Use either cooked rice about 1/2 cup or cauliflower rice leftover

Combine oil, aminos, spices, green onions, and cilantro in a bowl. Set aside. Debone and skin the salmon, then dice into 1/2" cubes. Dice the avocado and add it and the salmon to the liquid. Cut cucumber and set aside.  Now squeeze lime of one juice and stir together. You want to add the lime right before eating so the acid doesn't "cook" the salmon too much before eating.

To make handroll a cut a nori sheet in half and press rice/cauliflower rice thinly over half the sheet. Place about 2 tbsp of poke over the rice, add a few cucumber spears and a 1/2 tsp roe, then roll! Repeat until done. Or if you are like me and don't have patience for all that you can add your preferred rice to a bowl, serve yourself half the poke on top, arrange some cucumber, and tear up strips of nori to go with it! 

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If you try this recipe please share how you liked it! Enjoy. 

Sweet potato Eggmuffin

Ever been in a rush and needed to take your food on the go? No? Me either. 😉 Let's face it life is busy and life with kids is well jus chaos slightly controlled. So I made up this little ditty for just those days. You can freeze ahead, pop in the oven while you get dressed and have a warm meal on the go. Just make sure you take three deep breaths and SMELL your food before you eat! It really helps you digest your food better even when you are in a rush, we've all got to breath right? 

You can really play around with these egg muffins, changing the flavors to your liking. For instance you could make these "sweet" instead of savory by adding cinnamon, nutmeg, some vanilla, and perhaps coconut and apple chips. Get creative! You can add some chicken to them and Southwest seasonings, just lessen the sweet potato a bit in proportion to the chicken you add. 

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Makes 1

Preheat oven 350.

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, grated (about 1lb)

12 egg

3 green onions choppe

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

3 garlic cloves, mince

2-3 tbsp hot sauce (I use Crystal it's my guilty treat)

Grate your potato and then place in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix together. Spoon off into a greased muffin pan so each section is full. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. These freeze well. Enjoy!

Hearty Meatballs

I'm a huge fan of organ meats, it is no secret. They are packed with nutrients and contain a mixed and balanced variety of amino acids to helps us make healthy neurotransmitters. Everyone is better off with healthy neurotransmitters believe me. I'm always trying to think up different ways of incorporating it into my family's diet as not everyone appreciates organs as much as I do. 

My son ran into the kitchen while I was making these and screamed, "BACON! I want bacon!" So that inspired me to add bacon to these meatballs. Everyone loves bacon, unless, well you don't.  

These are made with beef heart which is exceptionally high in CoQ10 a nutrient that does wonders for your own heart.  Beef heart is also a rich source of selenium, thiamine, folate, and B12. Eat up!

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Preheat oven to 400

Ingredients: 

1/2 lb beef heart, chopped into small 1/2" chunks then food processed

1 lb ground water buffalo (use beef or bison, this is what I had!) 

1/2

lb bacon processed with heart

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp pakrika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp Italian seasoning  

1 egg

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until they are well combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form small 1" round balls and place on pan. Bake for 20 mins. These will also freeze well.  Enjoy!

 

Anti inflammatory Cauliflower rice

We love our cauliflower rice around here, but let's face it it can get a little boring if you don't add some variety now and then. I decided to use my new favorite cooking oil as the base of this dish for its highly therapeutic properties, Turmeric Superghee. If you don't have this product, rush out and get it seriously it is amazing. You can of course make your own, but I've yet to find the time to make my own ghee although I know it is simple, I have one phrase: 4 year old. They get into everything, so if there is this lovely product I'm going to use it and pinch pennies elsewhere. 

Turmeric is a wonder when it comes to squashing inflammation. One of the ways that is does this is by increasing your livers glutathione production which is a potent anti oxidation nutrient. Turmeric has been shown to improve your brain's ability to get oxygen which in turn has benefits on your memory and overall brain health. Turmeric has been shown to help in reversing insulin resistance and even to be effective at lowering glucose, even when held up against Metformin. Turmeric is basically all over wonder herb and has many uses. One word of cause though, it is high in oxalates so if you have been told to avoid them or if you know you are sensitive to oxalates you would be wise to avoid it. As always one person's medicine can be another's poison, no one food or drug is right for all. 

 

I threw this this meal together in less than 30 minutes, would have been quicker if I'd prepared the cauliflower beforehand. By the way that is a great idea that saves a lot of time when you get all your veggie for the week and prechop things. I just got the cauliflower today so It was a mute point.

This dish went really well with fresh cherry tomatoes, cilantro garnish, avocado, sweet potato fries and a grass fed beef burger as you can see. Just the right flavor combinations and textures. Everyone was happy.

An idea of how to serve it, with a burger and fries. 😉 

An idea of how to serve it, with a burger and fries. 😉 

Let me know if you give this a try!

Ingredients:

1 large cauliflower, riced in food processo

3 green garlic, chopped (can sub green onions)

4 small bell peppers, choppe

1 tbsp turmeric superghee

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp coconut aminos

2 tbsp coconut milk

1/2 tsp curry powde

1/2 tsp cumi

1/2 c halved cherry tomatoe

1 tbsp fresh cilantro sprig

*if you do not have the superghee use ghee instead and add 2 tsp turmeri

Chop the cauliflower into small pieces and add to food processor, pulse until "rice like". Add to a hot pan with the ghee melted. Stir and cook on medium heat. Chop up all other veggies and add. Add spices and liquids. Stir to combine well. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Serve with halved cherry tomatoes and fresh cilantro garnish.

Probiotic Coleslaw

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I got some Olykraut Spicy Garlic Brine the other day as I've heard people take an ounce or so as a tonic and digestive boost. It packs a punch! I enjoy the kick, but my partner not so much. So I decided a dressing might be a good place to disguise this powerful health tonic. The following comes from that inspiration and my desire to do as little as possible with heated cooking for dinner. 😊 Here is a delicious, probiotic rich coleslaw, with lots of nutrient density packed in a small space. I had you enjoy!

 

Probiotic Rich Coleslaw

Ingredients: 

1/3 head green cabbage, finely shredded

2 carrots

1 small golden beet

1/3 c chopped cilantro

Dressing: 

1 small avocado

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp Gomaiso seasoning

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 large garlic clove

1/2" ginger, minced

1 tbsp coconut aminos

2 limes juiced

1-2 tbsp Olykraut Spicy Garlic Brine

1/4 tsp onion powder  

 

Using a peeler make "noodles out of the carrots and beet, then toss all vegetables in a bowl. Using a blender or food processor (I used our Blendtec) blend all dressing ingredients. Add water if needed for desired thickness. Then toss dressing with veg and enjoy!  

 

Let me me know if you give this a try! My family devoured it. Be well.  

 

Reflections on 2015 and Intentions for 2016

I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions, but this process of reflecting on the past year and making intentions for the year to come really called to me. My teacher Katy Bowman recently went over these questions on her podcast, "Katy Says".  I'm inspired to do the same and chronicle it here in writing so I can look back on this at the end of 2016 or any time between now and then for a refresher. Won't you join me?

What was your biggest health triumph in 2015?

I decided early in 2015 that I was going to make this the year of saying yes to things. Yes to everything I'd previously denied myself or thought too unattainable for me. One of those things was going to Holland for a week long certification course on Restorative Exercise. I'd come up with a lot of excuses in my head as to why I wasn't ready for the training that I'd been studying for 2 years. When I made the decision to go, I had recently miscarried. I had lost a lot of blood and was extremely weak, no where near as healthy or robust as I had been a mere few months before. So it was a bit of work to dedicate myself to the corrective exercises daily to rebuild slowly my strength so that I could go knowing I'd done my best. More so it gave me a goal to reach for while I was nurturing and caring for myself after such a loss. I am SO proud of myself for doing that. It was a huge deal to me to fly across the world and attend an "exercise class" type training in front of lots of strangers and mirrors. Not only did I do it, I rocked it. I learned so much and met so many wonderful people. 

What was the smartest health decision you made in 2015?

To focus on moving my body more often. I think physically moving more helped my brain start to move forward in other areas of my life too and in letting go of what doesn't serve me.

What one word best sums up and describes your 2015 health expereince?

Perseverance

What was the greatest lesson about your health you learned in 2015?

Health is not just one thing, it is multifaceted. I learned that one of the most important things I can do for my health is to remind myself daily that I'm enough and I matter. You take care of someone better when you feel that way about them! I realized I don't always feel that, so I go out of my way to remind myself. 

What was the most loving service that you performed last year?

Ho'oponopono. I started saying this prayer towards myself on a consistent basis recently. It is a Hawaiin prayer: I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. 

What is your biggest piece of unfinished health business from 2015?

I'd really like to increase the mileage that I walk each day. I've started to increase it recently by finding a walking buddy or several. We go for walks either early in the morning before my kid wakes up or after he's gone to bed in the evenings. 

What about your health are you most happy about completing?

The week I went to Holland to certify as a Restorative Exercise Specialist. It really inspired me to new heights and sparked my curiosity for more movement in my life. I also decided to take a walk in the woods while I was there and ended up getting lost. I walked 11 miles that day, a big feat for me at the time. I thought I'd be a wreck for class the next day, but I was perfectly fine. Thanks to some corrective exercises and the yoga tune up balls I packed. ;)

Who were the 3 people with the greatest impact on your health life in 2015?

My son, my husband, and my brother.

What is the biggest health risk you took in 2015?

When I miscarried in early January I had the choice to either wait for things to happen on their own or to get assistance. My body had "missed the abortion" is what they call it. I was nearly 12 weeks when we discovered the baby had passed, but it had passed around 8 weeks. I was in emotional agony and wanted to move on so I took medication to start the process. I did not realize at the time how much blood I would lose or how challenging that process would be to my body. It was risky. I don't regret my decision at all though, but I had massive respect for my body after that experience. 

What was your biggest health surprise in 2015?

This summer I had a recurrence of plantar fasciitis (hadn't experienced this in over 10 years) and it was a doozie. I had to find creative ways to work around it and heal, which meant taking a major step backwards.

What important health relationship improved in 2015?

I would say because of the hardships my body went through this year I've developed a much deeper respect for it. I treat my body with more care and love than ever before. 

What compliment would you have liked to receive but didn't?

This is a hard one. I think everyone wants to be recognized for their hard work. I feel like I stumbled and fell on my face a LOT this year. But despite the falling I got back up each time, maybe slowly, but I got UP. I'd have liked someone to say I'm inspired by your perseverance. 

What else do you need to do or say to become complete with 2015?

Letting go has been the hardest thing I've had to do this year and I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. I'd say my mantra in 2015 was "let it go" and I feel like I can say, "Ok" now. 

What would you like to be your biggest health triumph in 2016?

I would like to be walking and getting outside each and every day. 

What health advice would you like to give yourself in 2016?

Don't worry if you mess up, that is how you learn. Carry on.

What major effort are you planning to improve your health?

I'm creating community and finding creative solutions to find support for what I need. Walking buddies to keep me moving towards my goal of more movement; my husband chopping veggies with me so all the veggies get prepped for the week; early waking so I can meditate.

What would you be most happy about completing in 2016?

I would like to walk 33.5 km for my half birthday in August.

What major health indulgence are you willing to experience in 2016?

I've discovered the miracle of moisturizing and intend to oil my skin nightly. My skin loves avocado oil right now.

What would you most like to change about your health in 2016?

I'd like to improve my overall flexibility and strength. Starting small, with my feet and hands, and small movements for my core. 

What are you looking forward to learning about health in 2016?

I'm looking forward to all the learning I will be getting in my cranio sacral course and completing it in the fall of 2016. It's been eye opening thus far and I'm not even half way through.

What do you think your biggest health risk will be in 2016?

Amping up my walking also means consciously opening my feet and working on my plantar fasciitis. I can't go to fast or I move backwards. 

What about your health are you most committed to changing and improving in 2016?

My outlook. I've spent much of my life trying to fix something that was broken instead of loving and nurturing what is. I want every step I take, every bite or drink I consume, every thought spoken/thought/written to be in acknowledgement of my own inner goodness and that of others. 

What brings you joy and health and how are you going to have more of that in 2016?

Nature. Wind, rain, warm sun, sand between the toes, the smell of spring flowers I intend to spend as much time as I can basking in it all. Taking it all in. 

Who or what other than yourself are you most committed to loving and serving in 2016?

My husband. He's been my rock for well over 10 years now and it was a TOUGH year for us in 2015. So much sadness and stress. 2016 I'd like to focus on showing him each day how loved he is and how much I appreciate his steadiness through my darkest moments. 

What one word would you like to have as your health theme for 2016?

Nourish

Pineapple Ginger smoothie with coconut whip

GF, DF, Vegan, Paleo

GF, DF, Vegan, Paleo

It's getting hot here in Seattle and as a treat we decided to make some smoothies today. I don't normally eat a lot of fruit, but when I do I like to sneak some extra nutrition in. Beet greens are exceptionally high in folate and coconut milk helps to slow the digestion of the sugar from all that fruit so that our blood sugar will stay even. You could replace the orange juice with water, I'm sure if would more than sweet enough!  I modified my recipe from this blog post on One Healthy Life . Mostly the modifications came from what I had on hand. 

Pineapple Ginger smoothie 

1 c fresh, cubed pineapple

1" fresh ginger, peeled, and finely chopped

1/2 c frozen beets greens (I lightly steam my greens before freezing)

1/3 c sliced and frozen banana slices (no need for them to be frozen, this is just what I had)

1/2 c orange juice

1/2 c coconut milk

Blend in blender. Top with coconut whip* optional

Walk with me

As I kick off the first month of my business on Capitol Hill in July, I want to celebrate with you by walking. If you've been following along with me on Facebook you will recall I just attended a Restorative Exercise training in May. One of the services I will be offering in my practice are Restorative Exercise private sessions. A major component to Restorative Exercise is teaching people the benefits of whole body, symmetrical movement, aka walking. 

Our daily lives have become exceedingly inactive. We drive to work, sit while at work for hours on end, drive home, eat dinner sitting, and then usually sit on our couch to unwind before we sleep. Even if you drive to the gym before work and get your 1 hour of exercise in that leaves you with the vast majority of your day in stillness. We are just not designed to be still that often. When you stay in one position for too long (in this case let's say sitting) your body adapts to joint positions by shortening the muscles. A short, tight muscle cannot generate optimal force, is low on circulation of both blood and lymph, and you lose innervation (a fancy way of saying you lose a little bit more of the ability to communicate with that part of your body via the nervous system). When we walk we use our bodies in a symmetrical, whole body engaged way. Walking has the ability to move us with the most musclular involvement. I work with people through Restorative Exercise to help realign their bodies, so that their muscles have restored lengths that are able to generate force and get them moving. Some other benefits of walking to name just a few:

When walking in better alignment you boost your metabolism

The largest amount of lymph tissues are located at the groin, which means walking helps you remove waste in a big way.

Walking is soothing to the nervous system, relieving stress

Walking improves digestion

Walking in better alignment will strengthen your posterior musculature, i.e. build a butt!

Walking is whole body movement, meaning you are actively delivering oxygen to the maximum number of cells. Oxygen is cell food, so this is nourishment from the very first most basic and crucial level!

I decided to open my practice on Capitol Hill not only because of the amazing group of healers I have found to work with, but because it is less than 3 miles from my home. I plan on walking to and from my office. That is a total of 5.6 miles. Our ancestors walked on average 5-7 miles each day. This is the way we evolved, our bodies expect it! Not every day would be a long walking day, they would be varied. Some days only a mile or two, some days longer 10-12 miles. I plan on varying my walks throughout the month of July and aiming for an average of 5 miles per day. If you are currently not walking at all or very minimal, I suggest you start small. Try .5 a mile one day, then slowly increase to 1 mile. Pace yourself, just be consistent and keep working at it. I have been scheduling a morning walk for myself before the rest of the family wakes up to ensure that no matter what happens that day I get at least some walking in each day. So what do you say? Will you join me? Will you make July 2015 the month you started moving more and in a way that supports human health optimally? I think if you take on this challenge you may find it becomes the best part of your whole day and you won't want to stop! 

Eating for Fertility

Managing your blood sugar levels is one of the keys to reducing infertility. Increased levels of blood glucose have been linked to developing endometriosis and polycystic ovaries. Too much sugar pushes out beneficial bacteria in our guts which cannot survive in its acidic environment and allow harmful pathogens to flourish. A healthy gut alive with beneficial microbes is needed for our body to produce necessary neurotransmitters which are hormone precursors. Some foods that have been studied and linked to regulate blood sugar are maitake mushrooms and bitter melon. Being sure to eat equal amounts carbs and protein with adequate fat will ensure the sugar released is time delayed. When we eat too much sugar or too many carbs (especially processed) our poor pancreas is worked to the max to pump out more and more insulin. Down the road this can lead to insulin resistance and eventually, if unchecked, to type 2 diabetes.

Here are some foods that I'm singling out today as promoting fertility:

Coconut oil has been shown to be very beneficial in regulating blood sugar levels because a type of fat found in it, MCT (medium chain triglycerides). MCTs are able to be utilized by the brain as ketones immediately without further work from the body. Eating a tablespoon of coconut butter between meals can keep blood sugar levels even and do just the trick to keep you running smoothly. 1

Foods that promote your body's natural production of precursor hormones (pregnenolone, DHEA, and growth hormone) are healthy fats (ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc), wild yams, and fermented cod liver oil. 2

Sauerkraut: Rebuilding your gut flora with fermented foods is critical, and variety is key. Different strains of bacteria have been found to live on different vegetables and fruit, so mix it up! Some ideas: beets, carrots, turnips, salsas, and kimchee. Our bacteria are necessary to help us manufacture neurotransmitters!3

Egg yolks: Contain choline which is crucial for healthy brains (precursor to acetylcholine). Choline converts to betaine in the body and assists in the conversion of homocysteine to methiononine. Homocysteine is a marker of inflammation and has been linked to recurrent miscarriages and increase risk of cardiovascular disease.  Choline deficiency during pregnancy is common. Adequate choline may have life-long implications on memory and brain function from infancy to adulthood. Daily requirements during pregnancy are about 500mg/day. There are about 129mg of choline per chicken egg and my favorite, duck eggs have a whopping 184 mg/egg!

Organ meats, liver: these are one of the highest sources of bioavailable folate, preformed vitamin A, zinc, copper, B12, and other B vitamins. Vary the livers you eat as they are all different in what they contain. For instance, beef liver is very high in copper, so I may suggest that some clients eat chicken liver instead which has a ratio much more favorable to zinc as many people are low in zinc. Lamb liver is amazingly high in B1 which helps with carbohydrate metabolism. And most livers provide a good dose of vitamin E, which is a wonderful nutrient that supports fertility by ensuring high quality egg and sperm.

There are so many rich, nutrient dense foods that support fertility. I hope that these have given you some ideas and resources. Be well!

 

Sources not linked to: 1,2,3 Brighton Baby.

Dandelion Root Iced Tea

Recently I shared a photo on Instagram of an iced tea I was drinking. Well it was so good that I decided to share with you all how I made it and along the way talk about why I chose those ingredients. 

Dandelion is one of the best herbs for its beneficial actions on the body. It is common, easy to identify, easy to find and oh so nutritious. For such a common, often called weed, this plant really is a super star. All parts of the plant can be used, the flowers, leaves, and roots. For this recipe I used the roots, but the leaves and blossoms could just have easily been used. I also added to my drink, fresh lime juice, sliced cucumbers, fresh mint, and collagen peptides. 

Dandelion roots are traditionally thought of for liver and gallbladder support. It has a tonifying affect of these organs, meaning it helps our livers and gallbladders do their jobs more efficiently and is best when taken over a long period of time, the benefit builds in other words. Dandelion is also a powerful diuretic, which is not as commonly known. This helps the kidneys flush extra toxins they've been holding onto, flush excessive water, and inhibits microbial growth in the urinary tract. *As with any diuretic be sure you are replacing fluids lost with extra water. 

Dandelion is one of the best sources of potassium, which has a major role in regulating your blood pressure. It helps to lower inflammation in the gallbladder and encourage bile secretion which allows you to better absorb your dietary fats. Animal studies show it may even help boost the immune system, helping you ward off colds and flu.

Dandelion is certainly one of the stars in this drink, but I also included some other goodies. Lime juice helps to get the digestive juices flowing signally the body to begin digestion. Lime is also useful as a deterrent of urinary tract microbes taking up residence. Cucumber were added for another benefit of staying hydrated:glowing skin. Cucumbers contain silica which is wonderful for the skin. They also contain vitamins and minerals that help you to absorb the water better into your cells which will aid in that glow. Silica also keeps muscles happy. Mint may be beneficial in helping combat seasonal allergies. It contains rosmarinic acid which has been shown to be effective treatment for seasonal allergies. And finally I included collagen peptides for many different reasons, but today primarily for my skin health. Collagen peptides have been clinically shown to promote younger looking skin, improve skin smoothness, and increase skin suppleness for some reasons. It also contains the amino acid glycine, which is essential for helping manage stress as it helps to calm us. 

So without further ado, here is how I made this drink.

Dandelion Iced Tea Recipe:

Makes about 1 quart

You'll need:

4 roasted dandelion tea bags (I use this)

1 quart water, boiled

a few fresh mint sprigs

1/2 small cucumber sliced

1 scoop Collagen Peptides (this is what I use)

Juice of 3 small limes

First make the tea. Boil water and add to the tea bags in a quart mason jar. Cover and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Cool tea down (I put in fridge overnight), before doing so add collagen peptides. You can add them at any point, this is just easier for me to remember. After the tea has cooled at the mint, cucumber slices, and lime juice. Depending on taste, you may water it down a little to taste. Enjoy! 

Highlighted Food: Onions

In my quest to teach people about the many benefits of food and eating to support our health, I think it is crucial to include those foods we take for granted. After all, it is the more common foods that will be more readily available and possibly cheaper for you to purchase. I recommend my clients eat 8-10 servings a day of veggies so I'm looking out for your check book here! 

So a simple onion could be a powerhouse for my health? Yes! Onions are an extremely healthy food that delivers a big punch for little cost. Onions are a sulfur rich food, which has a myriad of benefits, most notably sulfur's role as a methyl donor in our bodies processess of detoxification. Onions are high in an antioxidant, quercetin which has been shown to support healing of the lining of our small intestines (possibly why it is so helpful with allergies, reducing intestinal permeability has been shown to improve allergy symptoms). 

Onions share a lot of the benefits of garlic, being apart of the same family. Onions have been shown to decrease blood pressure, have a significant impact on lowering blood sugar, prevent clot formation, and decrease blood lipid levels. You will receive these benefits from all types of alliums: leeks, garlic, red/white onion, green onions, etc

Onions are a good source of Vit C (eat raw for this benefit), B6 (helpful at helping our livers process hormones efficiently), biotin, chromium, dietary fiber, a folate, B1, and K1 (note plants store K1, which we have to convert to K2 after eating. Animal sources of vitamin K are K2, some of the work is done for us). 

There a surely as many ways to prepare onions as there are stars in the skies. It is such a versatile vegetable. What are your favorites ways to incorporate onions? Here are some links to recipes that really let the onion shine through:

 

Paleo Onion Rings

Roasted Garlic Spread

Paleo Curry Leeks

Asian Chicken Salad

Ghee Bombs or as my toddlers calls them, "Yummies"

Wondering why I would be making something called a ghee bomb? Let me introduce you to ghee, if you haven't made an acquaintance with it yet, I hope you will become fast friends. First for those of you that are lactose and/or casein intolerant, ghee is clarified butter which means that most of the milk solids have been removed. Really this just opens the door to butter for a larger group of people. :)

Ayurvedic medicine has long touted the many benefits of ghee, finding it helpful for all doshas. Ghee and for that matter, butter have long been used to help lubricate connective tissues and promote flexibility. For men interested in enhancing the quantity and quality of their semen for preconception preparation, ghee has also been shown effective. 

Ghee is high in fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). It helps convert fiber in the digestive tract into butyric acid which promotes healthy intestinal flora. Ghee has been shown to help stimulate biliary secretions which is good news for those that have difficulty digesting their fats. 

The second piece of this recipe that makes it a true star, is Fermented Cod Liver oil (or FCLO for short)! Now why am I excited about this? FCLO is an extremely nutrient dense, whole food rather than isolated Omega 3's found in fish oils. It is high in Vit A, D, E and K just like ghee and this is important because all of the vitamins are fat soluble (meaning that can not be absorbed properly without fat) and they are synergistic, meaning they are better absorbed together rather than isolated. This is why I recommend so heavily whole foods for our nutrients. Nature has it already worked out for us, how best our bodies will be able to use the materials, together not isolated! Not to say there is no place for high quality (this is crucial) fish oil, I just find we absorb nutrients better in whole food form. We also need to chew our food a bit and get the saliva, which should be rich in salivary lipase, to start breaking down and digesting those highly oxidation prone Omega 3/6 fatty acids. So I am really happy that this food item you need to chew a little as it is hard. 

Without further ado here is the recipe!

I found this recipe for ghee bombs from the Paleo mama and had almost everything required, but a few things so I changed it up for what we had. Her recipe was for cinnamon flavoring, but my family loves mint and our Fermented Cod Liver oil is mint flavored, so I used that and extra peppermint oil for flavor, otherwise I left her recipe unchanged. Be sure to check out her recipe above for the cinnamon version! 

What you will need:

1 cup Ghee ( I used this brand at her recommendation, OMG it is SO good!)

3 TB raw local honey

2 TB Fermented Cod Liver oil (I used the Arctic Mint flavor)

1 tsp Peppermint flavor ( I used this one )

1 sandwich sized ziploc bag

1 cookie sheet

Non bleached parchment paper to line cookie sheet

Directions:

1) Combine all ingredients in food processor or mix by hand.

2) Once mixture is well combined, add to a small ziploc bag.

3) Snip small section off of a corner of the bag, have your lined cookie sheet underneath you when you do this!

4) Begin making small "dots" on the parchment paper. Once you've emptied the bag, put the cookie sheet in the freezer until they are hardened. Maybe 10-20 mins?

5) I popped them off with a spatula or small knife and stored them in a larger ziploc in the freezer. Enjoy!

Highlighted Food: Fennel

Each week I will pick a food to focus on and share with you all. You'll learn the highlighted foods many virtues, what it has to offer in terms of healing, and its nutritive value. I'll also add in a few ideas on how to prepare it. 

This week I'd like to turn the spotlight on lovely fennel. Have you cooked with fennel before? It is a superstar in my book and oh so healing in a foundational way. I often focus heavily in my nutrition practice on clients ability to digest their food. After all if you aren't breaking all that goodness out of the food it isn't doing you as much good as you think and may even do a little damage along the way out (irritating your intestines).

One of fennel's abilities is to aid in toning and strenghtening the stomach. A toned stomach helps you break your food down into the tiny components your intestines are primed to absorb. Fennel is also soothing to the intestines, helping to relieve spasms or cramps. Fennel helps to expel gas. Fennel contains a compound to relieve or soothe pain. Fennel is an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. It also supplies a decent amount of phosphorus and folate. In the mineral department, fennel is a good source of magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, and molybdenum. Do you see why fennel may make a helpful addition to your meals? It's no wonder it is a favorite in so many dishes around the world!

If you've never cooked with fennel, you may never have had to pick it out at the store. You'll want to select fennel with both the bulb and stems for maximum freshness. It should be whitish or pale green and its stalks should be firm, not limp or bending. Flowering buds indicate it is past its maturity. Use within 3 days of purchase and keep in your crisper.

To prepare, cut the stalks away from the bulb (these can be used for soups, stews, stocks) and slice vertically through the bulb. Be sure to remove the harder core before cutting into it. 

You can slice raw fennel and serve with avocado, oranges, and greens to create a fresh salad.

Braised fennel goes very well along side fish.

Try something new, and add slices of fennel to a sandwich in place of lettuce and tomato. 

If you give fennel a try this week, please share how you've enjoyed it. Have any favorite fennel preparations? Comment below. I'd love to hear them!

Virtual opening!

I have made many exciting plans for Seattle Food Movement in 2015. I'm opening my virtual doors to begin accepting Skype clients for nutritional consulting in March. In late April I will begin the certification process to learn CranioSacral Therapy. I've been a massage therapist for years and always dreamed of taking the plunge into learning this powerful technique. I will be learning over the next two years how to become an expert in it.

Then in late May I l fly to The Netherlands to a "homecoming week" which will allow me to certify in Restorative Exercise ™, a program near and dear to my heart. I've been studying this work of Katy Bowman's for nearly two years now and will finally take the steps necessary to complete the certification process so that by this summer I will be a Restorative Exercise ™ Specialist. 

It has been a long and arduous journey to get to this place. I've made many discoveries along the road to my own healing and many bumps and bruises were made along the way. It is these "setbacks" that teach us what life is all about, the yearning to keep going. As hard as it is to keep going or get up from a fall with support we can. There truly is no limit to what this life has to offer us, we just have to be thirsty for it and open to where it may take us. 

I invite you to join this movement with me. Learn with me with what it is to fully nourish our bodies via whole, delicious, nutrient dense foods, whole body movement in more aligned bodies, and bodies free from some of the restrictions that may have held us back in the past. Let's look towards the future together and not think of our past as mistakes but blocks for which we stepped upon to lead us to where we are going. 

Thank you as always for reading!