To Be Read // To Be Made

Books

I asked for book recommendations the other day and you guys totally came through. Thank you! So much good fodder for my library hold list! My To Be Read list is super long right now but my library queue was low. Then the other day I stopped by and there was a jackpot of awesome material available for checking out. I love when that happens! Here are a few that came home with me:

*Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherford — I was thumbing through an old issue of People Magazine and Tim McGraw said this was the best book he read all year. Random, yes? Did I totally add it to my library hold list? Also yes.

*Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date by Katie Heaney — I keep hearing rumblings about this book and it was on the New Books shelf the other day so it came home with me. I always love a good story about a late bloomer. This could go so many ways.

*Lexicon by Max Barry — This is one of those “If you loved…” books and it’s being compared to Ready Player One which, obviously I did love, so I’m excited!

Pork Recipes

I’ve also been having fun scouring Pinterest for new recipes to try — I always find it exciting when I feel inspired to cook! I’m also have a bit of a Pork Moment (that sounded weird, but I can’t think of another way to describe it. Also, PORK HAS BEEN ON SALE, so there.)

Here are some of the recipes that have piqued my interest

*Pork Chili Verde — Because I love just about anything with Pork and Verde in the title. GUARANTEED.

*Sticky Balsamic Ribs — I’m intrigued by the balsamic addition, and also I LOVE LOVE LOVE cooking ribs low and slow on a cold, rainy day. It’s perfection!

*Southwest Chorizo Burgers — Chorizo is my love language, hands down. And I’m looking for the perfect flavored burger in which to incorporate it. I hope this is it (though I don’t have any venison, so I’ll definitely be using Grass Fed Beef.) Confession: I have a giant bag of sweet potato tots (TOTS!!!!) in my freezer so I’m thinking the two might be a match made in heaven.

******

It’s supposed to rain over the next week so I’ll give you one guess as to what I’ll be doing! I anticipate lots of Instagram food photos. You’ve been warned. :) You cooking or reading anything fun?

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Celery Salad with Dates, Walnuts and Pecorino

Post Wod-A-Thon potluck @arcfit today and I am already excited to dig into the dish I'm bringing! #selfish

This weekend at the gym was the Annual ARCFit Wod-A-Thon which, as you may have seen in year’s past, involves some dressing up in costumes, some workouts and some general hijinks. Afterward comes my favorite part: THE BBQ + POTLUCK, duh. :)

I love a good pot luck, and have some go-to favorites I like to bring, but I am adding a new one to the list so I thought I would share it.

The recipe below is adapted from an old Food & Wine recipe and it is just perfect for cool weather gatherings or holidays. The prep time is practically nothing, and it can be made up to a day ahead.

I think you’re going to love it!

Celery Salad with Dates, Walnuts and Pecorino
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6
 

Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups walnuts, toasted at 350 for 8 minutes
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 lbs of celery (roughly 1.5-2 bunches), thinly sliced (on the bias if you feel fancy!)
  • 1 cup dried pitted Medjool dates, quartered lengthwise
  • 3 ounces pecorino cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

Instructions
  1. For the dressing: combine the shallot with the sherry vinegar. Whisk in both oils and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. For the salad: In a large bowl toss the toasted walnuts, celery, dates and pecorino. Add the dressing and toss. Serve at once.
  3. A note on storage: The salad and dressing can be refrigerated separately for up to 1 day. Store the walnuts in an airtight container and add to the salad just before serving.

 

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The Four Keys to The Perfect Cup of Coffee (Giveaway Closed)

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I know I’ve mentioned this before, but in case you’ve forgotten: Coffee is My Religion. I say that only slightly kidding. Working for a decade in the specialty coffee industry in a number of different roles can do that to a person. I’ve experimented with giving it up completely, but ultimately decided that there will always be space in my life for coffee. It’s just too good to give up! The end.

One of the things you learn early on when you work in coffee for so long are the 4 Steps to The Perfect Cup of Coffee:

*Proportion — No cup of coffee will taste good if you don’t have the right proportion of grinds to water. There are lots of opinions on what is the perfect amount (2TBS per cup is my preference) but if you have ever tasted watered down mud that someone has called coffee, then you understand how important proportion is. I like my cup to be able to double as rocket fuel. :)

*Water — Did you know that 80% of your coffee’s flavor comes from the water you use? Don’t believe me? Use a metallic tasting water. BLECH!!!! And then scrub your tongue raw because, um…NASTY! The quality of your water is important when you are trying to brew a good cup. I’m not talking Holy Water here, but something that doesn’t have a flavor — so the natural flavor of the beans can shine through.

*Grind — The way your coffee should be ground depends on how you are going to brew it. There is no one-size-fits-all grind. (If you take ANYTHING from this post, please take that!) The grind affects how fast or slow the water moves through the extraction process. With a quick/pressurized extraction (like say an espresso machine) you need a finer grind, but if you were going to brew in something more relaxed like a french press where the coffee and water get to marinate together for a few minutes, then a coarser grind will do. But let’s talk about the most important, shall we:

*Freshness/Bean Quality– Freshness is obvious — please don’t drink that coffee that has been ground up and sitting on the shelf at Home Goods for the last year, ok? But I want to talk a little bit more about quality because all coffee beans are not created equal. Something that A LOT of us Paleo folk talk about when discussing what we eat is buying the best quality food we can; food that is humanely raised. Grass fed beef, pastured chicken, sustainable seafood — you know that drill. But I think it’s also an important conversation to have when you think about the coffee you are drinking. Where did it come from? Who is buying it? How was it harvested?

FAIR TRADE MONTH

This October, Green Mountain Coffee® is celebrating Fair Trade Month through the “Great Coffee, Good Vibes, Choose Fair Trade” campaign. I was asked if I wanted to participate in it, and I happily, HAPPILY accepted the opportunity to talk about this topic because I think it is a label that you hear often, but might not really know what it means.

Here is some scoop:

Q: What is Fair Trade? A: Fair Trade is a global movement to help improve the lives of farmers and their families. It provides a fair price to coffee farmers, resulting in a great cup of coffee and a better quality of life in coffee-farming communities.

Q. How does Fair Trade Certified coffee benefit coffee farmers? A: Most family coffee farmers live in remote locations and lack access to credit, so they are vulnerable to middlemen who offer cash for their coffee at a fraction of its value. Fair Trade assures coffee farmers a fair price for unroasted, green coffee. Fair Trade also links farmers directly with coffee companies like Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (“GMCR”), creating long-term sustainability.

Q: What makes Fair Trade Certified coffee high quality coffee? A: Through Fair Trade, farmers earn better incomes, allowing them to hold onto their land and invest in quality. This results in great coffee for consumers.

Q. Why is Green Mountain Coffee committed to Fair Trade? A: Fair Trade is one critical way that Green Mountain Coffee provides consumers high quality coffee while helping to ensure a better quality of life for coffee farmers and their communities.

THE GIVEAWAY

photo For part of that campaign I am hosting a fun giveaway that any coffee lovers among you will be interested in. Obviously, by purchasing Fair Trade Certified Green Mountain Coffee, you help coffee farmers receive a fair price for their beans, which means a great cup of coffee and a better quality of life in coffee-farming communities — and to bring more attention to the issue, this fall, award-winning musician Kelly Clarkson is teaming up with Green Mountain Coffee to share her experience visiting a coffee farm in Peru and the importance of Fair Trade. You can follow along with her adventures here .

In celebration of Fair Trade Month, Green Mountain Coffee is introducing Fair Trade Certified™ Three Continent Blend, which combines the flavors and aromas of three continents in one harmonious Extra Bold blend. You can enter below to win a Keurig® Brewing System and a Green Mountain Coffee® gift basket! If you are interested in entering, leave a comment letting me know: Are you a coffee drinker, and if so, would you consider buying fair trade coffee? 

*For more info on Fair Trade and Green Mountain Coffee go to www.ChooseFairTrade.com.

 

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 09/18/13-10/31/13.

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Suprising Book Recommendation: Jorge Cruise’s The Belly Fat Cure: Fast Track

bf cure A few weeks (crap, maybe months. OY!) a blog reader sent me an email after I posted about needing to get my weight loss jump started again. She recommended Jorge Cruise’s The Belly Fat Cure: Fast Track and mentioned that she emailed me the recommendation because she didn’t want to write about it in the comments and risk people being critical.

Wait a minute, people being anonymously critical on the internet? THAT NEVER HAPPENS! :)

Well, luckily it doesn’t happen too much around here (LOVE YOU GUYS FOR THAT) but I knew where she was coming from. Especially because my first thought was “UGH. Jorge Cruise? Isn’t he the 8 Minute workout dude? I don’t know about this.”

I am kind of over Info-tainment health people, you know? Nutritionists on Good Morning America, Doctors hosting TV Shows, Celebrity Trainers — OH MAN, don’t even get me started on Dr. Oz. I am 100% NOT a fan, but that is a conversation for another day. Maybe never. Dang, it gets me riled just thinking about it. Anyway, all of that to say: I was a skeptic. But I also love blog-reader recommendations (Seriously. Email me anytime) and so I immediately put it on my Library Hold List like the good little book nerd that I am. No harm, no foul — if I hated it, I would just return it to the library. Win-win.

When I picked it up I was pleased to see that it looked fun: square and spiral bound — almost a mini-binder instead of a book — but it still had Jorge Cruise’s giant picture on it exclaiming we could all lose 14 lbs in 14 days. I mean, listen — I lost 30 lbs in a month when I first started eating Paleo, so I know it can happen, but when a diet-book puts that on it’s cover I am EVEN MORE skeptical. But I began flipping through the glossy pages…

The first thing I found was the foreward was by Christiane Northrup – who I LOVE LOVE LOVE. She’s a doctor who talks about chakras! Rock and roll! Such an awesome combination of women’s health/hippie healing and I love a good advocate like that. I have a bookshelf stocked with her books that have changed my understanding of my own body and I have to admit I was a little surprised to see her addressing what I thought was going to be a gimmicky diet book.

Next, the book delves right into the causes of weight gain and how to avoid it. I expected to read a mix of recommendations encompassing the Eat Less, Move More mentality, but lo and behold the entire first chapter explains simply and succintly that if you want to lose weight, you need to understand how insulin works in your body. Period. He immediately calls out sugar (and even more insidiously) hidden sugars as enemy number one. He doesn’t demonize carboyhdrates, but he does break down how they work in your body, and how they relate to weight gain. I was starting to get on board.

But this is also the chapter where he discusses the concept of “Losing 14 lbs in 14 days” and whether or not it is healthy, and I still wasn’t sure I’d be down with that. Right from the start though, he owns the fact that losing 14 lbs of fat in 14 days is NOT healthy or desirable (or frankly even possible, really.) But he talks about the idea that there are many things involved in weight gain, not only just fat. In this chapter he introduces a concept called “Hidden Belly Fat” that I can totally identified with and understood. He goes on to explain that “Hidden Belly Fat” isn’t really fat but it sure looks like it. (You may know it too — that soft spare tire layer that springs up out of nowhere after a few weeks of eating garbage.) In reality it is a sign of that metabollic disconnect that happens to a lot of people (myself included!) when they don’t keep the insulin/hormone situation in their body in check, and I have to applaud Jorge Cruise for discussing some of the consequences of Metabollic Derangement in such easy to understand terms. I think this is one of the most revolutionary concepts in his book and I was happy to think about it with new analogies. (Sidebar: Stacy from Paleo Parents wrote a great blog post on this exact topic of hidden belly fat, although from a different perspective, that I think is a really worthwhile read.)

The next section is pages and pages of testimonials and pictures of people who have completed the program (he has yet to outline it at this point, but of course all of the results pictures are pretty impressive) and then he finally gets on to outlining what the Fast Track program is based on. I was really intersted to see — would it be an elimination diet, would it be about timing your food intake, would it be more of this “eat 5 small meals a day by properly combining foods” crapola — WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE??? I was very curious at that point. Curious and surprised. Surprised that I was enjoying his voice and that so far all I had done was nod my head at his information and his references.

Speaking of references, each chapter begins with a quote — and when he gets into the section about what to eat — guess what person he choses to quote?

Mark Sisson.

I was floored. Was Jorge Cruise about to espouse eating Paleo? I read on…

Turns out Jorge Cruise is all about an Ancestral Diet. Who knew? (I sure didn’t, clearly.) He leans more towards a Primal approach (including dairy and wine…woo hoo!) but his book outlines very well researched (the appendix at the end is large) nutrition advice that is not only completely sane and unscary or restrictive sounding, but the book also includes meal plans and recipes at the end that look really delicious. And he even talks a little bit about high intensity exercise and why it is such a more effective replacement for chronic cardio, so obviously he got some points for that!

The Belly Fat Cure: Fast Track is smart, easy to understand, and is a new interpretation of Paleo that isn’t so tied to food politics and nutrient density. It’s mostly just a functional weight loss book that doesn’t really espouse any food philosophy, so I think it might appeal to people who are scared off by the words Paleo or Primal but want an easy guide on how to lose weight that also explains how your body works. I’m obviously very pro-Paleo, so I don’t really mind that label, but not everyone is down for that so I think this book could have good mass appeal. I was so happy that I read it and really, really surprised I liked it. Maybe you know someone who might too?

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Fun Food Inspiration

Fun Food Inspiration // Holly Would If She Could

It always surprises me that with the arrival of fall I always feel pulled to get back into the kitchen. Probably the fact that it’s no longer 900 degrees outside and the oven is no longer the enemy has a little something to do with it — Guess that’s no surprise! :) But lately I’ve been pinning up a storm of food inspiration because I’m ready to get back to cooking for pleasure AND for health. WOOT!

Also, Garrett and I have decided to embark on another Whole 30 in September. We’ve been wanting to do one for a while and my friend Karie mentioned doing one recently and September seemed like a month that would work for us. Then of course there was that whole Circus Animal Ice Cream Situation so, you know, it’s probably time. Doing another Whole 30 could be (gasp) FUN!

The Whole 30 always requires planning so the other day I set out to reorganize my Pinterest boards. This is what I do when I have a week off of work…how sad is that? ha! It was so much fun though the entire time I was doing that I just kept thinking “OH DELICIOUS TIME SUCK, I LOVE YOU!” ha

The things we come to think of as luxuries. :)

Anyway, I did a little reshuffling and now my food Pinterest boards are nice and organized! Within them you will find Paleo recipes that fall in three camps:

*Strict Paleo recipes
*Primal recipes that include dairy (we eat dairy on occasion, though obviously not when we are doing a Whole 30) and
*Un-Paleo recipes that are very easy to adapt (ie: I’ll pin a recipe with soy sauce and call it paleo since coconut aminos are a super simple swap.)

******************Also, completely separate, if you are looking for a SUPER strict Paleo board I do have a Whole 30 board full of recipes and inspiration for completing a Whole 30. I plan to keep updating it as I prepare for September’s challenge.*************************

I was so pleased with them when I was finished (Organization FTW!) but I also wanted to share them here because when I deleted my old, giant, disorganized “Tasty Paleo Things” board I noticed there were thousands more people that followed that board than who are now follow the individual board. Maybe you were one of them? If so, or if you are just interested in some fun food inspiration, check out the boards I put together below:

*Paleo Recipes – Chicken
*Paleo Recipes – Beef + Bison
*Paleo Recipes – Pork
*Paleo Recipes – Turkey
*Paleo Recipes – Seafood
*Paleo Recipes – Treats
*Paleo Recipes – Breakfast
*Paleo Recipes – Vegetables
*Paleo Recipes – Soups + Stews
*Paleo Recipes – Bread Like Things
*Paleo Recipes – Condiments, Dressings + Sauces
*Paleo Recipes – Superfoods
*Paleo Recipes – Round Ups

Then let’s get cooking!

PS — You can follow any and all my Pinterest boards here.

Original Photo Source

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Paleo Bread

The world does not lack “Paleo” Cookbooks and lately I have one of two feelings about this:

For one, I think it is so exciting to see awesome glossy photos as inspiration for this way of eating that has truly changed my life. Three years ago when I started down this path, the inspiration was a little bit lackluster. It didn’t feel like having a shelf full of beautiful cookbooks could overlap with a Paleo diet. That has truly changed.

But as with all good things, there comes a bit of a saturation tipping point. And sometimes when I see the Next! Best! Paleo! Cookbook! I’m going to be honest — I get that cynical feeling like “Oh great, another book telling me to wrap bacon around something and pretending it’s a mind blowing idea.”

This is probably not a popular thing to say, and who knows, maybe the cookbooks I receive from publishers may slow down because I say it — but I have to think some of you may feel the same way. I think we are sort of in this tenuous time where the QUANTITY of books available is slightly disproportionate to the QUALITY.  This isn’t something I’m losing sleep over, and I’m certainly not the arbiter of good Paleo taste, so in the big scheme of things, who cares what I think. But I do think it is important to mention because I want you to know when I talk about a cookbook on this website, I am doing it because I appreciate the QUALITY of a cookbook, and not just because I just want to say HEY LOOK, I GOT THIS COOKBOOK TOO!

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.  I feel like we are all friends here, so I want you to know when I tell you about a cookbook I really enjoy (or anything else for that matter)  I want you to know that I mean it.

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Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry  just recently came out, and it is blowing up the internet right now. But here’s the thing: Elana Amsterdam has been making Paleo Cooking look cool even before it was cool. In fact, the first grain free cookbook I ever bought was her Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook and when it showed up at my house I just remember sighing with relief. I could enjoy a slice of bread still! I could bake a tart! Gorgeous birthday cakes were at my fingertips without being full of crappy gluten and ridiculous amounts of sugar.

That sigh, of course, was because back then I thought Paleo was 100% or NOTHING, and while I have loosened up on those percentages, I still so appreciate the idea of  gorgeous food inspiration and dishes you once loved –  without the grains.

Amst_Paleo Cooking from Elanas Pantry

 

This is why, when I heard Elana was writing a Paleo cookbook I was ECSTATIC and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, instead of furrowing my brow and thinking “ho-hum, will these be more bacon wrapped recipes?” She makes very simple, delicious food that is incredibly accessible. And on a completely superficial note – I just love the way her cookbooks look and feel in my hands. They are square-ish, soft covered and with clean design and nice photos. It’s a cookbook you want to look at and use and it fits neatly in any kitchen cupboard. Also, her ice cream recipes are what helped me rationalize my recent ice cream maker purchase. Thanks, Elana! :)

OBVIOUSLY I was game to talk about it on the blog but I just want to be clear with my disclosure: I was provided a free copy and one to giveaway, but was in no way obligated to write post about it. All opinions are my own and no one is compensating me to give them  (although the Amazon link to her cookbook is an affiliate one. Thank you contributing to the coconut milk fund in our household. You are singlehandedly fueling our Paleo Ice Cream addiction.  OHMAHGAWD YUM!)

The Giveaway

If you are interested in owning this cookbook (and as you can tell, I think you should be:)) Ten Speed Press is giving away one copy to one of my readers.

  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 and older.
  • Enter by leaving a comment on this post telling me what your favorite flavor of ice cream is — or anything else you feel like, frankly.
  • One entry per person
  • The giveaway begins today June 20, 2013 and ends on June 24, 2013 at 12:00 am pacific time.

No purchase is necessary.  Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.  The winners will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email.  The winners will have 24 hours to respond.  If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen.

The Paleo Bread Recipe

I thought I would share Elana’s recipe for Paleo Bread. Don’t you just want to toast this and slather it with Kerrygold?  Meeeeeee toooooooo!PCEP Paleo Bread image p 35

5.0 from 1 reviews

Paleo Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: Makes 1 Loaf (12 slices)
 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup golden flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 7 by 3-inch loaf pan with coconut oil.
  3. In a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the eggs, coconut oil, honey, and vinegar and pulse until thoroughly combined.
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Let the bread cool in the pan for 1 hour, then serve.

*****

Happy cooking!

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5 Things To Do With: ZUCCHINI

5 Things To Do With Zucchini // Holly Would If She Could

There is nothing better than summer zucchini. Nothing, I tell ya.

I mentioned on my Summer Bucket List that I need to work on not being depressed about our lack of garden this year, so part of my solution to that is buying COPIOUS amounts of zucchini at our farmers market.

And here is what I’m planning to do with it:

1. Make a Lasagna

Paleo Lasagna from Eat Drink Paleo

Paleo Zucchini Lasagna

I love a good zucchini noodle, and it is surprisingly delicious to make a lasagna without pasta! If you do well with dairy, you can DEFINITELY work in some cheesiness. If not, it is still really really awesome. And the smugness you get from eating a mostly vegetable dinner? AMAZING. :)

2. Make Zucchini Boats with Bacon Gremolata


Zucchini Boats with Bacon Gremolata from BHG

Zucchini Boats

I’ve avoided making a gremolata mostly because the name bugs me. Look, I don’t always make sense, ok? But gremolata just sounds a little bit gross. But bacon makes everything better, yes? Gremolata included, I think.

3. Make Chocolate Muffins Healthier

Chocolate Zucchini Paleo Muffins from Fresh for Five

chocolate muffins

This looks way more fun than your standard zucchini bread, right????

4. Make Zucchini Ribbon Pasta


Paleo Pasta from Multiply Delicious

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta

Vegetable noodles are THE BOMB, you guys. I mean look, no one is ever going to convince me that spaghetti squash tastes like pasta, so I’m not trying to tell you that zucchini tastes just like spaghetti — but zucchini is freaking delicious! And throwing some other fun stuff together in a bowl completely increases both the yum and comfort factor.

5. Make Pancakes


Zucchini Pancakes from Project Granola Mom

Zucchini -Pancakes

We at these ALL. SUMMER. LONG. last year and as a matter of fact, I don’t know why we stopped. I am going to rectify this soon.

*****

Need even more inspiration?

*My friend Sarah recently posted her zucchini boat method
*I can show you the UGLIEST way ever to prep zucchini
*AndreAnna makes a mean zucchini garlic hummus

So tell me…what is YOUR favorite way to use up zucchini?

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Easy Detox Mocktail

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Can I confess something? I don’t really love the word detox. It sounds like this magical transition that you can achieve by drinking some special tonic and well, the human body is so much more complicated than that! But Easy Summer Drink That’s An Alternative to Plain Water That Isn’t Full of Sugar Artificial and Otherwise That Can Also Help Support Some of Your Major Organs just didn’t have the same ring to it, so…Detox, it is!

A friend mentioned the combination on facebook the other day and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand, so I mixed myself a glass and was completely sold. It’s tart, refreshing and kind of makes you want to drink it with your pinky in the air — which I can’t always say about a glass of ice water. See how easily influenced I am? Glad she wasn’t drinking a bourbon milkshake or it would have been straight to the liquor cabinet. :) Juuuuust kidding. OR AM I?

Anyway, here’s the method if you would like to try one for yourself:

Easy Detox Mocktail
 

Ingredients
  • 12-16 ounces of Ice Water
  • The Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 oz of Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
  • 1 teaspoon of Organic Ginger Juice
  • A Few Pinches of Cayenne Pepper

Instructions
  1. Fill glass with ice water
  2. Add Juice of 1 Lemon
  3. Add Cranberry and Ginger Juice
  4. Add Cayenne
  5. Stir!

See? Totally NOT rocket science. Yet equally impressive, I’m sure. :)

I like the Ginger People Ginger Juice (in my grocery store it’s sold by the vinegars) and make sure to buy the UNsweetened cranberry juice. It’s very easy to find but somewhat expensive as far as juice goes, but it will last A LONG TIME because you just use the tiniest bit!

Ginger is full of anti-inflammatory compounds, lemon supports digestion and liver function, cranberry helps out your kidneys and lymphatic system and cayenne promotes healthy circulation. But let’s not get too academic about all of this — it is also just beautiful, delicious and easy to make and because it is basically a giant glass of fancy water (try it with sparkling water, too — YUM!) A little Cran-Raspberry La Croix action? AHHHH-MAZYING!

It’s very simple, and it’s a bit of a play on Liz Wolfe’s Skin Care Beverage that she recommends in The Skintervention Guide (GREAT read, by the way!) and something to shake up your everyday water drinking. If you enjoy it, let me know.

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Q2 Check In // Staying Inspired + The Primal Life Kit

You guys, it is already April. How the heck did that happen? I feel like we just set some 2013 goals and already we are down one quarter of the year. I’ve been talking a lot lately about how I’m feeling out of sorts and so when I woke up yesterday morning I was determined to get re-inspired and re-energized. Enough was enough, it was time to get the train back on track!

This might sound silly, but for or me, the quickest way to turn my frown upside down is to learn something new. The act of feeding my brain new information often jump starts my creativity, which always has a positive trickle-down effect on my attitude and accomplishments. So as I was drinking my morning coffee, I flipped through The Science of Good Cooking. I don’t have hours to experiment in my kitchen right now, but I figured I’d just stockpile that info for later, which got me excited for the next time I do have a spare second.

Then at work today I caught up on some episodes of the Balanced Bites Podcast. What I love about that podcast is that it isn’t dogmatic at all, and it’s mostly just FULL of useful information. I get a lot of great suggestions and “crazy” ideas from that podcast because they talk about things in such a casual way that it is actually really easy to understand. Seeking out a little bit of new information already has my brain spinning, my synapses firing, and I’m starting to feel more like myself.

Curiosity: It works every time.
Plutarch Quote

On the off chance that you are similar What Am I Doing/Where Is Time Going kind of place, I wanted to share something that my friends over at Paleo Plan have put together. I know these bundle sales show up everywhere at the same time and sometimes that can be a turn off, but you guys know I don’t write here to sell tupperware and shit, so let me tell you why I wanted to participate.

I met Neely of Paleo Plan back in September when I was in Colorado speaking and I always love when a new post pops up over there. She is a smart cookie, has a really fresh perspective and a no apologies attitude about healthy living IN REALITY. I love that about her! And she has gathered an awesome bundle of information that may snap you right out of that second quarter funk. Or if you aren’t in a funk, the information (and OMG the discounts!) will totally make your day, I promise. Retail therapy FOR THE WIN, Alex!

Introducing The Primal Life Kit: 30 Products and 8 Discounts for $39



What’s The Primal Life Kit?

So…what the heck is included? Well, I’m glad you asked. When you purchase the $39 Primal Life Kit, you get $485 worth of the most popular and life-changing Primal and Paleo products. There are a ton of useful tools and resources, not to mention great food for thought. Here is a small list of what’s included:

  • 22 ebooks
  • 2 meal plans
  • 3 magazine subscriptions
  • 2 fitness programs
  • 1 short audio book
  • and 8 discount codes

As you know, with bundles like these, you are getting a serious bargain. All of the materials are being sold at more than 90% off their original retail value for one week only – April 2 through April 9!

Specifically included in this awesome bundle is a meal plan made by Primal Blueprint, a recipe ebook from Bill and Hayley over at PrimalPalate.com, a fitness program by Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo, and a subscription to Paleo Magazine, among many other awesome products. If you have been bopping around the Paleo Blogosphere for any amount of time, you know these people really know their stuff.

(Sidenote for my mom: All the ebooks are in pdf format, so you can read them on your computer or the e-reader of your choice. :))

Here’s the full list of what you’ll get when you purchase this bundle:

This $39 kit will give you all the tools you need to eat, cook, work out, and live Primally.

12 Recipe and Meal Planning eBooks

 

4 Autoimmune and PCOS eBooks

 

5 Informational and How-To eBooks

 

2 Meal Plans

  • 6-week Paleo Meal Plan – 1 free 6-Week Paleo Meal Plan from Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson (author of Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born to Eat and co-author of The Paleo Diet Cookbook) at paleoista.com.at paleoista.com ($59)

 

2 Fitness Programs

 

3 Magazines (Online Subscriptions)

  • Paleo Magazine – Free 6-month online subscription (3 issues) and access to all back issues ($29)

 

2 Bonuses

 

8 Discounts

  • Primal Life Organics – 20% off organic, Paleo, gluten-free, vegan skincare products, hair care products, and deodorant until May 1st, 2013
  • Squatty Potty – 15% off all products through April and 10% for the rest of 2013.
  • Sport Journals – 20% off WODbooks (for recording your workouts) until May 11, 2013

 

It’s a retail value $485 (and not in a sleazy infomercial kind of way) for just $39.

Seriously.

That’s normally the price of just one or two of these products! I bought it for myself just for the Primal Life Organics discount, I mean HELLO!  haha I’ve raved about many of these products already right here on this blog (ahem Well Fed ahem) and what excites me a ton is the opportunity to balance some of the food stuff with FITNESS STUFF! You know I love my CrossFit gym, but I get that not everyone wants to pay that kind of money. Here is a GREAT opportunity to get not only meal plans, recipes and info — but also WORKOUTS! (And WODbooks! I’m so excited about WODbooks!) Ok, I’ll stop now. :)

But seriously: GET THIS STUFF!

*When you click here to purchase the kit, you’ll be sent an email with a link to all of the downloadable products, as well as the coupon codes for all of the discounted products.

NOTE: It goes without saying, but since The Law requires me to, these are affiliate links. Thank you in advance for supporting this website of mine if you do purchase all of this awesome stuff! Due to the short duration of this sale, there will be no refunds. These products are downloadable ebooks, online magazine subscriptions, and discount codes. You will not be shipped any physical goods with your purchase of the Primal Life Kit. Please contact neely@paleoplan.com with any questions about the Primal Life Kit.

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Random Things I Learned From The Everyday Paleo Seminar

Cooking demo this morning with @everydaypaleo over at @arcfit

On Saturday I spent most of the day at the Everyday Paleo Seminar that my gym hosted listening to Sarah Fragoso and Jason Seib speak about the science behind Paleo and real life strategies for incorporating it into your life. Since I’ve embraced Paleo living for almost 3 years now I wasn’t expecting to go in and have my mind blown, but I was hoping to get a little re-energized.

For about 6 months I’ve been feeling stuck, health wise. I guess you could say I’ve been in a little bit of a rut. Mostly, to me, this means that I am making less forward progress than I would like and instead am doing more floundering than usual. But every time I start to feel upset with myself about all the floundering I’m doing, I think of this:

photo

This is so true, right?

When I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels I try to realize that it is all a part of the process and then I just look for an opportunity to re-energize myself to move forward. This seminar really helped me do that.

It is a pretty great introduction to Paleo if you are not super familiar with it, but like I said, I already came pretty armed with the basics. I did write down a few notes and found myself evaluating a things I could do a little differently moving forward so I thought I’d share my random list of things that made me say “Oh, really?” This isn’t chronological in any way, or even good cliffs notes, but rather just a few facts I learned and bullets that got me thinking:

*I should to get back to my Vitamin D supplement
I used to be super good about this and then I got a little lazy. It’s pretty important though, so I’ll probably start supplementing again. I’m actually mostly anti-supplements (unless they are targeted and temporary), but this is an exception – and the dosage I used to take was recommended by my Naturopath so it wasn’t arbitrary. Jason recommended Liquid Vitamin D drops as the bio-availability is far superior.

*Chicken/Pork and Turkey are slightly higher in Omega 6s than Beef & Seafood
I thought this was interesting. Their recommendation for the best protein sources were good beef and wild caught cold water fish. Of course they weren’t saying ONLY eat those two things, but to just consider that when selecting your variety.

*Selenium makes the Mercury in fish inert
This was kind of a fun fact too, I thought. If you are getting enough selenium, you really don’t need to be fraught with worry about mercury in your fish.

*Focus on Fat Loss and not Weight Loss
I’ve mentioned this sentiment numerous times here but the more I hear it, the more I want to pump my fist in the air when people say it. And Jason walked through the science of why lifting weights is so good for your body and why “cardio” does a lot more harm than good when it comes to getting healthy. Of course I can’t explain it in an articulate way, but it did make me feel a little more energized to lift.

*Skinny is not the opposite of fat. Healthy is the opposite of fat. Healthy is also the opposite of skinny.
Pursue health over aesthetics and the aesthetics will come.

*You can eat super clean and work out really hard but if you are not managing stress and getting good sleep, none of it matters
This was especially powerful for me to hear. It is something I know, and something that I have worked hard on in the past (especially getting good sleep — and now I’m a pro! haha) but definitely with this new job I need to make sure I am keeping my stress in check! Jason recommended this book and I ordered it from Amazon while I was still at the seminar. I love technology!

*****

So, like I said — not great cliffs notes or anything, but just a few of the things I left thinking about. It’s nice to get re-energized about your health and this definitely gave me some new food for thought. It’s nice to be thinking about some of this stuff again.

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