A Little Nutritional Wisdom from one Mom-To-Be to Another…

Hey friends… happy-post-Mem-day weekend! Hope you all enjoyed an extra day off and are feeling less sluggish than me today… we spent the weekend working in the yard, enjoying a couple dinners out, and painting the rest of the downstairs (picture me cutting-in for hours after a lovely chest and triceps workout at the gym… OUCH!). I’m beat, but no time for naps! This girl has studying to do… yawwwn!

A little while back, once I had graduated to the second trimester, I wrote a post on my crappy first-trimester diet. Curious as to any wisdom that I’ve uncovered since then? You’re in luck… today, I’m a featured blogger on We’re Talking About Food and I’ve shared my top 5 bits of advice for healthy nutritional habits during pregnancy (and beyond!). Hope you enjoy!

xx

e

 

Advertisements

Vive le Vendredi: 5 Faves

Let’s take a little break from nutrition school, shall we? It’s Friday which means, time for something a little lighter.

Here are five things I’ve been loving lately:

  1. Bija Body. Specifically, Bija Body teas and their Daily Body Serum. A friend of mine introduced me to this stuff (she’s actually one of the babes practicing yoga on a paddle board on the top of the Body Care page!)… her friend owns the company and every morning of our yoga teacher training, she was always drinking the Daily Beauty Tea, in her cute little loose leafe tea tumbler (they sell those too, and you bettabelieve I have one). The Daily Beauty Tea is spicy, herby and delicious, but what I’m into these days is the Baby Mama Tea, of which I happened to have a sample from my first order of tea a while back. It’s a little milder, comforting, and still the same herby goodness.
  2. The Target Cartwheel App. Okay, so my sister introduced this gem to me and I have to admit, I was not into it at first. Mainly because I was trying to use it in the middle of the store (neglecting to use their free wifi hotspot, duh) and after 15 minutes of attempting to upload and crashing and using up all my battery while standing in the duvet cover aisle, I decided saving a few pennies wasn’t worth it. But seriously. Let the mastah show ya how to get it done. (Movie reference anyone?) Upload your coupons at home on your computer and then just open your app at the store for the barcode. It is seriously awesome. However, it mayyyyy be resulting in more frequent trips to Target. Those sneaky Target masterminds. 
  3. My old lululemon No Limits tank. This was THEE FIRST tank I bought when I first started working at lululemon back in the day, and then suddenly Power Ys and Cool Racerbacks became my favorite and I never wore it again. Also, I had bought a size too big (before I knew what size I was), so the bra was a little loose and it just looked sloppy. Well let me tell you something. The girls are filling up that once-too-big bra quite nicely these days, and the extra room in the belly combined with a super soft and stretchy band around the hips is just what the preg-fashion doctor ordered. I am in love with it all over again and I MIGHT even wear it to the gym. JK, I will.
  4. The book, Put Your Heart In Your Mouth, by Natasha Campbell-McBride. Okay, crap I said I was taking a break from nutrition, but I lied. If you or anyone you know suffers from heart disease or has been told they are at risk for heart disease, and especially if you and that person still think a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet is healthy and will prevent heart disease… get your head out of your arse and read this book immediately. Sorry, not sorry. It’s SO informative and SO good and will get you all fired up. Or maybe just me.
  5. My new blue wall in Sherwin Williams, Drizzle. As in, fo shizzle, mah drizzle. This was such a quick, one-wall job that I was able to tackle it myself this week while Tim was traveling. I even did it while listening to a two-hour audio lecture on probiotics! Crap, I said break from nutrition, break from nutrition, Erin. Get it together. Whatever, I’m a nerd and I like it. ;)
2014-05-14 18.45.54-1

Complete with messy couch pillows and a blanket that WAS folded… thank you, Vinny.

What fun things have been on your favorites list recently?

xx

e

Revisiting The Primal Blueprint

2014-05-14 13.25.19

I’ve mentioned in a few posts recently that I’ve been reminiscing about living in our first apartment in Jupiter, how it has me homesick for Florida and the life we had there. Without getting all philosophical and emotional about the past and present and blah blah, I will say that I’ve been doing a little soul-searching to figure out why things feel so different now and guess what came up for me repeatedly? A major – and I mean MAYY-JORR – contributing factor to living the vibrant, healthy, happy life we enjoyed there was – SHOCKER!! – our diet and workouts. You’d think as a yoga teacher and nutritional therapist, this would be old news to me, right? I mean, duh, Erin. Duhhh.

SO, long story short, I thought back to when I first started getting into fitness and healthy eating, and decided to revisit the first book I ever read on the Paleo diet/lifestyle – that changed the way I looked at food and working out, might I add: The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation.

primal blueprint book

Okay, ignore the cheesy cover – this book is legit.

I first found the book by poking around the internet googling something along the lines of “eat like a female bodybuilder”… I KNOW, I know, make fun of me now, I’m fine with it. I had started working out more (Tim was traveling a lot and I was only working part-time so it became something to fill gaps in my day) but I wasn’t noticing much change in my body. I didn’t actually want to be a body-builder, but I knew my body type was muscular (aka, I was not designed to look like a super-skinny VS model) and I wanted to see what I could do with it. But I was still weak and knew it probably had something to do with my diet because, at that point all I knew of nutrition was the mainstream low-fat, whole grain nonsense… I was clueless (like the majority of the population) about feeding myself for optimal wellness and in this case, athletic performance.

ANYWAY. In my google search, I came across this article, which I could totally relate to… and which led me to this article, which broke down the Paleo diet so I could understand it… which then led me to Mark’s Daily Apple, Mark Sisson’s website. After poking around a bit on his site, I downloaded the 21-Day Total Body Transformation and, as I said above, my life was changed.

Tim and I implemented the lifestyle immediately. I was already getting an organic produce share every week, so my grocery trips to Whole Foods and sometimes Costco meant stocking up on quality meat and fish, healthy fats like organic coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil, and a variety of spices and primal-friendly pantry staples like coconut aminos and almond meal.

20120911-180834.jpg

20120918-114033.jpg

The mother load.

I continued my workouts and noticed changes in my strength and endurance in the first week. I was adding weight to my sets consistently and feeling strong and energized at the end of my workouts instead of depleted and dizzy.

20120926-113847.jpg

HA! Nice face. Remember this?! Check my guns, yo!

We followed the advice of the book and started enjoying exercise more by finding things we liked to do outside the gym, participating in group beach workouts and going for bike rides together.

20120916-124312.jpg

20121001-154259.jpg

Six days a week, we ate every meal according to the primal blueprint guidelines, enjoying a glass of red wine here and there, a square of 90% dark chocolate almost every night, and one night a week, usually on the weekend, we’d enjoy a meal at one of many local favorite restaurants. While we tried to stick close to primal blueprint guidelines when we ate dinner out, we knew we couldn’t control what was going into the dish and we didn’t obsess about it. And sometimes, we didn’t stick to the blueprint at all. We were crazy fit, healthy, energized, and happy! Life was seriously our oyster and we were eating it right up… because those are allowed, heyyyy.

Enjoying a burger, fries, and beer (off-meal) after a long bike ride on the beach... and, from the look on his face, also enjoying ESPN on the bar TV. ;)

Enjoying a burger, fries, and beer (off-meal) after a long bike ride on the beach… and, from the look on his face, also enjoying ESPN on the bar TV. ;)

IMG_0306

Eggs (in one of many forms) and veggies for breakfast were ARE the new norm.

***

SIDE NOTE TIME! Now, I will admit that being pregnant has me a little more body-conscious than normal right now, (and that my current total weight gain of 6lbs feels like 20 on my 5’3″ frame) but this isn’t about that. It’s about getting back the energy, the clarity of mind and body, the zest for life, and preparing myself not only for the delivery of a healthy baby, but also for my rebound into a successful run with breast-feeding and optimal post-preg wellness for both me and the babe.

So that is what inspired me, a couple weekends ago, on the way home from our road-trip to Raleigh, to take the 4.5 hours in the car as the perfect opportunity to revisit and refresh my memory of the Primal Blueprint. So that A) I could get re-motivated to clear my kitchen of any lingering first-trimester junk food and replace it with healthy primal-friendly stock, and B) so that I could share with YOU the basic gist of the Primal Blueprint and perhaps persuade you to look into trying it for yourself. (I promise, you won’t regret it!)

2014-05-05 16.06.24

SO, without further rambling (geez, I know, sorryyyy, that was a long intro), here it is.

The Primal Blueprint is about getting the greatest health and fitness benefits you can with the least amount of pain, suffering, and sacrifice […] Today, my goal is to look super fit without having to follow an exhaustive, time-consuming exercise regimen, [and] enjoy the heck out of my meals without the slightest hint of deprivation.  – Mark Sisson

I’m going to outline the key concepts for you here. You can find more information about the lifestyle by visiting Mark’s Daily Apple, or of course, by getting one of the many books he’s written on the Primal Blueprint. (Nope, I’m not being paid to say that.)

Out with the OLD

The Primal Blueprint involves changing your lifestyle, but let me just say this once: IT IS NOT HARD. So get it out of your head that it is. For starters, here’s what you can leave in your past:

  • Grains, sugars, sweetened beverages. All of it. Processed carbs drive insulin production which can lead to inflammation and fatigue among other issues.
  • Hydrogenated oils. There’s the obvious heavily processed snack foods and packaged baked goods along with deep-fried foods, but this also means no more margarine or “spreads”, canola, corn, or vegetable oils either. All this stuff sets the stage for cancer and heart disease, no matter what it says on the label about being heart-healthy, so pitch it! You’ll have plenty of other primal-friendly options in terms of healthy fats that will leave you way more satisfied.
  • Beans and legumes. These babies are just hard to digest, period. They can mess with your gut big time and therefore your immune system and health in general.
  • Dairy. You don’t haaave to get rid of it, but here’s the thing: most commercial dairy isn’t good for anyone. It’s loaded with hormones and other impurities. If you’re lactose tolerant, opt for organic, pastured butter and heavy cream. YES, that’s right. BUTTER. And HEAVY CREAM.
  • Chronic exercise. I’m talking to you, chick on the elliptical. Time to reject your hours spent in the gym and the idea that reaching a certain number of miles, hours, or weekly workouts is the key to fitness. It’s not.
  • Sedentary patternsNow I’m talking to you, chick in front of the computer. Google “sitting disease” and tell me what you find. How about a lot of fat storage, elevated risk of heart disease, joint pain, muscle weakness, and lack of energy? Get up and move.
  • Poor sleep habits. Just go to bed already. Leave the phone plugged in downstairs, use a real alarm clock, and “shut down” at least an hour (preferably more) before climbing into bed.
  • Somber, spartan approach to lifestyle transformationGet it out of your head that you have to count calories, have rigid portion control and specifically timed meals, limited menu choices, guilt, or binging cycles. Does this sound familiar? Well, it’s over. There’s no strict workout regimen, no struggling, and no suffering. Like I mentioned before: IT IS NOT HARD. You’re welcome.

In with the NEW

Is this starting to sound like something you might be interested in trying? Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It is that good. Here’s what you can look forward to with  your new primal lifestyle:

  • Primal foodsMeat! Fish! Poultry! Eggs! Veggies! Fruits! Nuts! Seeds! High-quality fats! Eat it up and love your life! Guess what else? You can even enjoy your red wine and dark chocolate, too!
  • Primal eating philosophyEat as much of your primal foods as you want, when you want, however often you want. You’ll begin to notice you’re satisfied with less, after meals you don’t feel stuffed or bloated (you feel amazing), and you can indulge sensibly without having the urge to binge because you’re able to enjoy life guilt-free. If you’re anything like me, this will be HUGE for you.
  • Increase daily movementNotice this doesn’t say, “do this exercise five times a week”. Nope. Did you not read that part above? NO MORE of that. Do what makes you happy. Do what you enjoy. Walk more. Use stairs. Take frequent breaks when you have to sit for a long time (i.e., at work, etc). Basically, get off your behind and move around.
  • Brief, intense workoutsThis may be a curve ball or something new to some of you but give it a shot – it’s essential for maintaining high energy levels and a healthy heart and lungs at any age. Go harder but less often and for less time. So, like a 30-minute (or less) strength workout. Sprint intervals for 15 minutes (or less). That’s all… it’s easy, and you don’t have to do this every day.
  • Calming evening rituals. Like I mentioned above, wind down at night to prepare yourself for a healthy night’s sleep. Turn off the tv, put away the technology, dim the lights, use candles, read, chat with your loved one, take a slow neighborhood stroll. You get the idea.
  • FUN approach to lifestyle transformation. This is your chance to explore exciting new foods, recipes, and establish new eating practices. (Side note: I will never forget the first time we tried sun-chokes or kale… and how my cookbook collection expanded to include what are now some of my favorite recipes of all time!) You’re going to start exercising for fun and energy, and best of all – NO MORE OVERTRAINING! You’re going to PLAY more! And probably best of all, you’ll start to enjoy life more with your loved ones, because you’ll be inclined to be less “connected” and more appreciative of spending time with your family and friends. This really does happen, people! (This is the part where I could go on a tangent about diet and digestion and protein and fat and related neurotransmitter production and mental wellness… but I’ll spare you.) ;)

erincastle

20120913-005431.jpg

20120913-230726.jpg

What to expect…

So aside from the energy levels and new zest for life you can expect to experience by going primal, what are some other benefits from adopting this new way of life? So glad you asked.

  • Anti-agingI can’t explain this as well as Mark does here.
  • AppetiteYou won’t overeat anymore. You just won’t. Adopting the Primal Blueprint literally cured me of my binging tendencies.
  • Blood markersExpect to see some improvement in your cholesterol. But how can that be, eating red meat and butter?! I’m rolling my eyes at you right now. Get your head out of the low-fat-high-carbohydrate-garbage diet myth you’ve been fed for years and start doing your own research.
  • Body fatYou will lose body fat. Can I say that any more simply?
  • Diminished cravings. People don’t believe me when I tell them I just didn’t want grains, junk food, or sweets any more. Sure, I indulged on occasion, but I didn’t miss them in my daily life. Don’t believe me? Guess you’re going to have to experience it yourself.
  • Digestion. If you didn’t already know, your digestion is probably impaired… yours and nearly 90% of Americans’. The Primal Blueprint follows the guidelines of the diet I recommend as a nutritional therapist for optimal digestion, and optimal wellness. Period.
  • Drug-free. This can mean so many things… you’ll soon be ready to ditch your OTC antacids and pain relievers, then, with your doctor’s support, you’ll be able to work toward eliminating many if not all of your prescription meds, too.
  • Immunity. This goes hand in hand with digestion: healing your digestion leads to optimal immune system function. You’ll probably notice getting sick less often and recovering more quickly if you do happen to get run down.
  • Measurements. If you happen to be keeping track, you’ll see these change, too. Your clothes will fit (and look!) better and looser as you decrease body fat, reduce systemic inflammation, and get rid of the bloating and water retention! Where will you see this first? Tush, hips, thighs, waist – the primary storage areas for fat. (YAY!)
  • Muscle mass. Increase or maintain and sculpt muscle mass while dropping body fat. Um, isn’t that basically ideal and what everyone wants? Awesome.
  • SleepYou’ll fall asleep faster, sleep better and more soundly, and begin to awaken naturally (without an alarm), refreshed and energized. No joke.
  • StressDiet alone affects the way our body and mind respond to stress. The Primal Blueprint will help regulate this and reduce fatigue, burnout, and dysfunction that seems to go hand in hand with a hectic modern life.
  • Total fitness. The Primal Blueprint involves functional exercise and a diet that develops and supports a balanced physique and broad physical competency. See that picture above, the one of me doing my best meathead impression and taking selfies in the gym? Ha. Okay take a close look at the picture of me standing. For most of my life, carrying most of my weight around my hips (like many people), I never used to look like that… even and muscular and balanced from head to toe. And I’ll never forget my mom’s reaction when I carried a huge la-z-boy recliner up a flight of stairs by myself. Simply put, you’ll look good, and you can do more – physically – without risk of overtraining or injury.
  • Optimal wellnessEverything listed above and more. Improved bone density. Glucose tolerance. Insulin sensitivity. Improved blood pressure. Hormone balance. How will you know about all of this if you’re not being tested for it? Simple. You’ll feel the best you’ve ever felt.

So… wow. There you have it. Man, I don’t know about you but revisiting this book has me totally reenergized to get back to that lifestyle.

And you? What are you waiting for?! Get the book and join me!

xx

e

P.S. Nope, I wasn’t paid for writing this. (Sadly!) My opinion is legit. I really do love it and recommend it with all my heart. Go for it.

DIY Fruit Snacks: Green Juice Gummies

IMG_0973

Remember this post?
I wasn’t kidding! Earlier this week, I whipped out my trusty Breville and got to work makin’ juice, son. If you say that out loud in your best rapper voice, it sounds like I mean money, but I really mean actual juice, honest. Aaand I just wanted to make you say it. Out loud. No? Just me?
Moving on…
Here’s the recipe, adapted from this one:

  • 4 tbsp. unflavored gelatin (it ended up being 5 packets of Knox)
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh juice (I used a combination of celery, green apple, and lime)
  • optional: 1-2 tbsp. raw organic honey (the original recipe calls for honey depending on the level of sweetness of your juice… I debated, because I like the clean, grassy flavor the celery contributes to the juice, but wasn’t sure what the final product would taste like in gummy form, so I opted for 1 tbsp. Next time, I might add a little more.)

As called for, I poured my juice into a small saucepan and sprinkled the gelatin over top, giving it a minute to bloom (when the gelatin absorbs fully into the liquid and it looks all wrinkly and crazy-like). Once absorbed, I placed my saucepan on medium-low heat and whisked just until the gelatin had melted and the liquid was no longer grainy… I wasn’t trying to cook it. At this point, I added a little honey and whisked until that melted, then poured my green concoction into an 8×8 baking dish (that I had sprayed with a little Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray just in case – I didn’t want to run into sticking).

IMG_0979

And there you have it! Green juice gummies. The verdict? They are preeeetty good. I will say they are a little less fruit-snack-esque and a little more reminiscent of another childhood favorite – the jell-o jiggler (which we called “knox blox” at my house), but they are still a tasty treat.  Also, my juice was a little heavy on the celery but I’m weird and I kind of like that. And – best part – I don’t have to feel bad about eating them ALL!

xx

e

A Lesson in Non-Attachment: Confessions of a First Trimester Diet

Hi, my name is Erin, and I’m a first-trimester-crappy-food-aholic. 

[Hi, Erin.]

Time for a confession, friends! Maybe one you’ve been wondering about, sitting back and waiting for, and perhaps one any fellow moms-to-be will be relieved to hear. So here goes nothing:

I haven’t eaten like a nutritional therapist for three months.

I’ve eaten foods at which I would otherwise turn up my nose, foods I would never dream of putting in my grocery cart, foods I would NEVER in a million years recommend to any nutritional therapy client, foods I would – and did – feel guilty feeding myself, my husband, and my unborn child. *hangs head in shame* Oh, the drama.

I feel blessed and cursed with my bout of first-trimester morning sickness… blessed in that I know some friends who had experienced far worse than what I did, and cursed in that… well, let’s just say none of it is particularly pleasant. For three months – pretty solid, starting around week 5 – I woke up every day feeling hungover, and if and when I did get out of bed, that any sudden movement might throw my stomach into somersaults. The feeling lasted from the moment I woke up until I laid down at night. It was not pleasant.

As a result, I didn’t want to eat – anything. After a few days of even water making me feel nauseous, I caved and asked Tim to pick up some gingerale. Yep, high fructose corn syrup-laden gingerale, in all it’s carbonated, sugary glory. It tasted like nectar of the gods and though I was well aware that it was nothing I would normally put in my body, I took comfort in the temporary relief it brought.

After about a week of eating barely anything (aside from a few cardboard-y saltines, yep, those too), I felt nauseous but starving and panicked that I was doing the growing bean inside me a major disservice by depriving it of food all together. Now I know that that’s not exactly true, but at the time, and even now still, it’s anxiety-provoking to think that now I was responsible not only for my own nutrition but for another life as well! YIKES! NO PRESSURE!

The Pizza Incident

I should probably mention that, by the time I felt like I was ready to try eating, the entirety of my normal paleo diet suddenly seemed repulsive to me. Red meat? Forget it. ANY meat? Not a chance. Eggs? Don’t even say the word. Lettuce, vegetables, anything remotely healthy? No, just no. The only thing that sounded good to me was a salty, brothy bowl of packaged, msg-laden ramen noodles, a cheesy bowl of kraft dinner, or a plain, not-too-saucy slice of cheese pizza. I KNOW, people, I know. Shut it.

So when I confessed my guilty desires with Tim, he promptly ordered a pizza (come to think of it, he was probably all-too-eager, after basically fending for himself for any and all meals for an extended period of time). What happened when I took that first bite surprised me: instead of my stomach turning into a hot queasy mess, my entire body relaxed. It was as though I was finally giving it something it wanted – needed – and it was thanking me with complete and utter relief. I will never forget the feeling – it was so odd!

A Lesson in Non-Attachment

From that point on, I cut myself a little slack. I didn’t go completely crazy and give the excuse that I was eating for two or that, welp, this is all I can stomach, so I might as well eat ALL THE CARBS. No. I cut myself a little slack. I let go of the idea of perfection, because that’s all it is – an idea. I made a commitment to be non-attached to my previous lifestyle as a nutritional therapist, to be present and accept where I was at the present moment, and to understand that this, too, shall pass, that it was temporary. I wouldn’t feel this way forever. (Thank you, yoga.)

It’s hard to remember, especially when it does feel like it will be forever. But it was important to just take it day by day.

I am particularly grateful for my healthy diet and awareness of my body leading up to my pregnancy and that I have been able to maintain that awareness to a certain extent. What I noticed as time went on, as my appetite began to improve little by little but as I continued to allow myself to eat breads and grains and sugars, was that it was no longer just “first trimester” sickness I was experiencing. This is the part where some of you seasoned moms will roll your eyes or maybe even stop reading all together, because I’m going to tell you that the uncomfortable bloating, the fatigue, the lack of energy, the joint pain, the acne – all commonly considered normal, unavoidable pregnancy symptoms – that, I believe, those symptoms, for me, were diet-related. And I say this because, after a week of getting back to a 90% paleo diet, most of those symptoms have subsided for me. In the last week I have been less bloated, more energetic, my skin is clearing up, and I’m sleeping better (aside from the 37 times I have to get up to pee, of course).

I am beyond pleased to share that the 14-week mark has come and gone and that first phase of misery (and my stint with malnutrition) is over.  Here are some of the delicious, primal-friendly meals we enjoyed last week:

  • chicken sausage with roasted sweet potatoes, eggplant, and zucchini
  • roasted spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and homemade grass-fed beef Italian sausage
  • RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME grilled green chicken with sweet potatoes, roasted red peppers and portabello mushrooms
  • crock pot pork shoulder with tangy creamed swiss chard and caramelized onions
  • leftover shredded pork with red peppers, romaine lettuce and avocado over cilantro lime cauliflower “rice” (a la, Chipotle’s carnitas bowl – YUM!)
2014-04-27 19.06.44-2

Hooray! Meat and veggies are back on the menu!

What’s next?

Because of our (yes, our, Tim has been in this with me, obviously) compromised diet over the last three months, we both feel ready for a little detox. Before you get your panties in a twist, I should probably reconsider my choice of words. We’re not exactly doing the Master Cleanse over here, so relax. So what will our detox look like? Probably a few weeks of 80-90% primal blueprint, easing into a 21-day sugar detox to rid ourselves of the sugar cravings we’ve both been feeling (Trader Joe, if you tempt me with your dark chocolate peanut butter cups, I swear!). More on the 21DSD in a future post… stay tuned!

I know everyone has a different experience when it comes to morning sickness and pregnancy in general.  What was your first trimester like? Did you feel guilty about eating junk? How did you get back on track?

 

xx

e

Magic Potion? Healing Elixir? Tummy Soother?

How about, all of the above?

Spring is in the air, my friends, and with spring cleaning and open windows and rushing out into slightly warmer temperatures* in less-than-usual clothing… OH, and with a hubby who frequents airports and other cities and comes in contact with a zillion people a day… that means, GERMS are in the air, too.

While we can usually boast about our hearty immune systems and hardy digestive systems to kill off any bugs we might consume (thanks to yours truly, the resident nutritional therapist keeping us both in tip-top shape, ahem!), wouldn’t you know it, the sniffles and sore throats somehow made their way through our household last week and kicked our little butts.

Enter the magic potion of all potions, my favorite thing to have on hand at all times for any given number of recipes, the great gut healer and digestion booster-extraordinaire, lovingly known to some families as Jewish penicillin, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

Bone broth.

bone broth

Bone Broth!

By now you’ve probably heard about how good bone broth is for you, but do you know why?  For starters, when bone broth is prepared properly (low & slow, with a dash of apple cider vinegar) it is insanely nutritious, full of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which the vinegar helps to draw from the bone, cartilage, and marrow of your carcass of choice. In addition, bone broth is rich in gelatin, which acts as an aid to digestion and has actually been used (successfully) in the treatment of many intestinal disorders, such as colitis and Crohn’s disease.  Though gelatin isn’t a complete protein, it acts as a helper when it comes to digesting protein specifically, which is why it is extremely beneficial for those who have trouble with meat in their diets… who am I kidding, that pretty much means it’s good for anyone who has meat in their diet!  In addition to gelatin, other important ingredients in your bone broth include cartilage (which has been used in the treatment of cancer and bone disorders) and collagen (used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other joint ailments). AAAND modern research has confirmed that bone broths actually help prevent and lessen the severity of infectious diseases!  Phew, good thing I made some!  Just two mugs later, I can feel my sore throat going away as I type!

Bone broth is a staple in my freezer, and it couldn’t be easier to make.  Whether you search on Google or Pinterest, you’re bound to find a dozen or more variations on a recipe, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science, people.  I tried a few different recipes the first few times I made it and now, I just make my own very basic version which goes a little something like this:

STEP ONE: Take a couple chicken carcasses out of your freezer. (Because now you know to save/freeze the carcass when you cook a whole chicken, or to save the bones when you cook bone-in chicken parts.  Of course it’s best if you’re using a free-range, organic chicken, but I feel like that goes without saying.  Also, you can really use any bones, beef, pork, chicken, it doesn’t matter – they all work and they’re all delicious in their own way).

STEP TWO: Throw the chicken carcasses, skin, random parts and all, into your slow cooker and cover them with water, making sure they’re fully submerged.

STEP THREE: Add a tablespoon or two of organic apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs.  The vinegar is what helps draw the minerals from the bone to give your broth super magical healing powers – true story).

STEP FOUR: Put the lid on and set that bad boy to cook on low for up to 24 hours (or more, go for it.  Eight hours minimum, but you really can’t overcook this stuff.  I like to throw a crock pot together after dinner and set it for 20 hours or so… it will be ready in time for dinner the next night).

And there you have it.  How simple is that?  Somewhere toward the end I like to salt my broth, though some people prefer not to, or to salt it when they use it.  Other recipes call for garlic or other aromatics like carrots and celery, but I find my broth tastes best just plain and simple.  If I want to make chicken soup with it later, I can add whatever I want at that point.  Once I strain out the bones and bits, I like to store my broth in mason jars in the freezer – the jars make for perfect portions whether I’m thawing and heating the broth to split between two mugs or whether I’m using it for a recipe.

Enjoy your comforting cup of broth and stay healthy this spring!

bone broth mug

xx

e

 

*Slightly warmer temperatures? You must think I’m joking. No jokes here, kids! We made the move from balmy South Florida to South Carolina almost a month ago and let’s just say… hitting the 70s this past week was a welcome heat wave in comparison to the 40s-50s for which we had to break out the sweaters when we arrived!  Adios Miami, and… hey y’all, welcome to the Lowcountry! ;)

 

Highly recommended resources: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD

 

Makin’ moves.

20131228-125244.jpg

Hiya, pallllls. As you probably have noticed, my website is currently in the process of getting a makeover! Don’t worry – it’s all good!

Heyday has taken on many faces over the past few years, first starting out as a personal blog and website devoted to my career as a freelance and wedding hairstylist, then evolving into a fitness, yoga and lifestyle blog during my time working with lululemon and as I went through my yoga teacher training. Some of you have been with me from the beginning and watched as I stretched through growing pains throughout these different phases of my life and career(s), and as I look back, I have to laugh and shake my head at the changes that have taken place in just a few short years. Who knew how fast life could change, and how drastically?

I am so happy to say that although it’s taken a bit of searching along an ever-winding and unconventional path, I am… happy. I’m finally studying something that has always interested me and the fact that it goes hand in hand with how I have come to love to live my life is just… extraordinary. I’m really excited to be transforming Heyday into a wellness and lifestyle site, and over the course of the next few weeks (and beyond!!), I will be FILLING it to the brim with powerful information and resources on food and nutrition (including recipes), yoga and fitness and health, and living a life filled with joy, peace, and wellness.

Thanks for sticking with me through the ups and downs… I am so excited to be turning a page on the site and can’t wait to share more with you very soon. Stay tuned!

xx

e