“Crowding Out” the Bad…

Are your food choices educated? Who dictates what you eat?

When I ask my clients this, I get all sorts of responses. 

“TV commercials”, “family”, “colleagues” – the list is endless!

Before the blame game begins, I ask the question again and second time around, it usually hits home.

YOU are responsible for the food you eat. You have the ability to make empowered decisions about the food you put in your body. You have choices.

Now ask yourself these questions:

  • How are my junk food vices benefitting me?
  • How can I replace these items with equally delicious, yet nurturing foods?
  • How will my life change when I remove junk food?

Many people turn to junk food when they are stressed and looking for a quick energy boost. What they really need is a well-rounded meal comprised of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to nurture their bodies and provide slow-burning energy.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but adding in MORE real food could be your saving grace. When you place a strong emphasis on real food, there’s little room left for empty calories.


Replace one junk food snack with real food today:

  • Apples, oranges, and bananas are great on the go snacks. Feel free to have two if one leaves you hungry!
  • Slice of sprouted or gluten-free whole grain toast with almond butter and preserves.
  • Homemade trail mix of almonds, raisins, chia seeds, pecans, and dried blueberries.
  • Greek yogurt parfait layered with sliced fruit and Ezekiel granola.

A few secrets to ensure you won’t end up overeating junk food:

  • Always eat breakfast. Include protein to stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings.
  • Make sure that you are getting a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats at every meal and/or snack.
  • Get enough sleep! Our hunger cues are thrown off track when we don’t sleeping enough. Sleep balances leptin and ghrelin, the hormones that tell us when to start and stop eating.

Keep the concept of crowding out at the forefront of your mind. Try one of the aforementioned healthy snacks this week!

Pantry Purge Challenge!

I would like to challenge you all to a pantry purge! I encourage you to purge your kitchen of any and all junk food offenders. If it doesn’t promote health, it’s going in the trash.

Don’t be fooled by clever marketing phrases like “all natural” or “100% healthy” – there’s a lot of leeway in these claims. The goal is to get consumers to purchase the food, not to improve their health.

You’re too smart to fall for this hoax.

Donate or toss the foods you know contain junky ingredients. Pay special attention to canned foods and packaged items, which are often the worst offenders. My clients often ask, “How do I know which foods are junk?”

Here are a few quick terms that raise red flags:

  • long shelf-life; packaged in plastic containers, metal cans, or cardboard boxes
  • artificial food coloring ingredients such as red dye 40, yellow 5, and green 3
  • artificial sweeteners like aspartame, Splenda, and xylitol
  • trans fats, often called hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, or shortening
  • any ingredient you can’t pronounce

The more you stay committed to whole foods and simple ingredients, the more your health will benefit.

Sweet Potato Tater Tots from Paleogrub.com

Yesterday I posted about all the amazing health benefits of sweet potatoes so I though this recipe from paleogrub.com would be appropriate – and perfect for kids!

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
1/4 medium onion, finely diced
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup coconut oil, for frying
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Shake off any excess water.
Place the sweet potato and onion into a food processor and pulse to break down into smaller pieces. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the coconut flour, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Use your hands to shape the potato mixture into small cylinders. Place aside until ready to fry.
Heat the coconut oil in a heavy skillet until hot. Working in batches, add the tater tots to the skillet and fry until golden brown, turning carefully to brown each side. Once crispy, place onto a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining sweet potato mixture. Serve warm.

Servings: 2-4

Sweet Potato…Fall’s Perfect Food!

As the weather starts to cool off for fall, it’s important to start preparing your body for the change in seasons by changing what you’re eating. Eating locally isn’t only beneficial for our local farmers and our environment, it also encourages us to eat seasonally appropriate foods. When the weather gets cooler, our bodies crave warm, nourishing comfort foods to help us transition.

In addition to being the perfect fall food, sweet potatoes have some great health benefits as well. Not to mention, they can be enjoyed in such a great variety of ways as either main courses or side dishes.

Fiber: Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber. A serving contains almost 7 grams of fiber!

Vitamin A/Beta-Carotene: Vitamin A is a great natural anti-oxidant and just one sweet potato contains almost your entire daily recommended serving! Vitamin A is said to help in prevention of cancer as well as protecting your skin from the sun (from the inside out).

Vitamin C & E: Vitamin C & E are important antioxidants for disease prevention. They also support health hair and skin. Look good, feel good!

Heart Health: Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B6 as well as potassium, which help blood flow freely and help to lower blood pressure.

There are so many great ways to enjoy sweet potatoes…baked, sweet potato fries, in a stew or soup, even sweet potato tater tots!

Kasha…An Underused (Delicious) Grain!

Kasha is the name for buckwheat that has been roasted to a deep amber color. It is one of the oldest traditional foods of Russia. Despite its name, buckwheat is not actually a member of the wheat family, but rather a relative of rhubarb. Of all the grains, buckwheat has the longest transit time in the digestive tract and is the most filling.


  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Gluten-free
  • Builds blood; neutralizes toxic acidic waste
  • Benefits circulation
  • Strengthens the kidneys
  • High proportion of all eight amino acids, especially lysine
  • Rich in vitamin E and B-complex vitamins


Kasha has a strong, robust, earthy flavor and makes a very hearty meal. It can be eaten as a hot breakfast cereal, a side dish, or a grain entrée mixed with vegetables.


The only way to cook kasha is to add it to boiling water. This keeps the grains separate and less mushy. It also makes the cooking process faster. Do not add kasha to cold water, as it will not cook properly.

Basic Kasha

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves 4


1 cup kasha

2 cups water

pinch of sea salt


  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Slowly add kasha and pinch of sea salt.
  • Cover and let simmer 20 minutes.
  • Fluff with fork.

Paleo Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies from preppypaleo.com

What a perfectly delicious and healthy fall breakfast treat from preppypaleo.com!

Paleo Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies 

1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
1 or 2 eggs (see above)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1.5-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
2-3 cups mix-ins of choice**

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Drop by tbs. onto a greased or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Press down slightly with palm. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

**In the photo they used Enjoy Life chocolate chips, raw pumpkin seeds, hulled hemp hearts and shredded coconut for my stir-ins. Hemp hearts have a slight greenish tinge to them which you can make out in the photos (if the color had you at all concerned!)

Slow Down…Give Yourself a Break!

It has never been easier to connect with someone on the other side of the world, yet it’s so easy to feel disconnected from the people closest to us. We have more tools than ever to simplify tasks and accomplish more things quickly, yet our to-do lists have never been longer. Life is short, and time flies, especially in today’s fast-paced world.

These exercises are meant to help you slow down, enjoy life, and focus on the most important parts of your day. 

  1. Take the time to prioritize daily objectives. By focusing on the most important tasks to get done, we eliminate the hustle and stress of trying to accomplish everything at once.
  2. Cut personal Internet use by half. Technology has become a major element in most of our lives. Social networking, email, and web-surfing can occasionally cause our minds to lose focus and wander through hundreds of topics, thoughts and ideas. Try to use half your designated Internet time to explore new hobbies, exercise, or meditate.
  3. Enjoy nature. When time permits – take a five to ten minute break to step outside and breathe in some fresh air. Disconnect from the rest of the world and concentrate on the beauty of nature.
  4. Eat slower. A lot of us tend to speed through meals – missing the chance to appreciate different textures and flavors. Start to chew foods slower and distinguish new tastes, aromas, and consistencies.
  5. Connect with family and friends. We all try to make a considerable amount of time to spend with close friends and family. We discuss life events and exchange stories – but how often do we catch up while truly listening and connecting? Put away the cell phones and steer clear of noisy environments. Connect on a deeper level.
  6. Make time for yourself. When did you last spend valuable time with yourself? Take a night to find a new book, watch a favorite movie, try yoga, meditate, or cook a new recipe.
  7. Give yourself more time. Some of us like to stick to a tight schedule and plan all our daily events. Next time you’re jotting down new tasks in your planner, try to factor in a few extra minutes when estimating how long things will take. This will help you not rush through daily tasks.
  8. Take the scenic route. Next time you’re driving a somewhat long distance – try taking the scenic route. Driving through open fields, mountains, or viewing a city skyline can be very relaxing.
  9. Sit for a moment with your eyes closed when you start your computer. Even just a few moments of meditation can set the tone for the rest of your day. Try to empty your mind and take deep breaths before jumping into your day’s tasks.
  10. Remember your goals and aspirations. Each morning when you wake up, take a few moments to think about your life goals and aspirations. Try to recall the milestones you’ve already made in your life, and your drive to achieve new ones. Try doing this for about five minutes before getting out of bed to start your day.

Reasons To Go Organic…You Deserve It!

Originally, all foods were “organic.” They were grown and prepared without pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, or irradiation. Foods were unrefined, whole, or minimally processed. Since World War II and the advent of chemical farming and food processing, the soils and foods of much of the world have been depleted of many important minerals and nutrients.

Our food these days, whether of vegetable or animal origin, is not only deficient in nutrients, but also full of pollutants and farming chemicals. The modern process of denaturing foods via heavy refining and chemical treatment deeply affects the life force of our food supply, making it difficult to foster equilibrium and health.

Pesticides have been shown to create extra work for the immune system, causing cancer and disease in the liver, kidneys, and blood. Pesticides accumulate in the organs, resulting in a weakened immune system, allowing carcinogens and pathogens to filter into the body[1]. Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict natural procedures.

Top six reasons to buy and eat organic foods:

  1. Pesticides are poison, designed to kill living organisms. Many pesticides were approved long before extensive research linked them to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is a way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, water, and food supply.
  1. Future generations. Children are four times more sensitive to cancer-causing pesticides in foods than adults.[2]
  1. Pesticides pollute over half of the United States’ primary source of drinking water.[3]
  1. Organic farmers. Three billion tons of topsoil erodes from croplands in the U.S. each year, and much of it is due to conventional farming practices, which often ignore the health of the soil.[4] Organic agriculture respects the balance necessary for a healthy ecosystem.
  1. Save energy. More energy is now used to produce synthetic fertilizers than to till, cultivate, and harvest all the crops in the United States. [5]
  1. Help small farmers. Although more and more large-scale farms are making the conversion to organic practices, most organic farms are small and independently owned and operated. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can demand fair prices for crops. 5

[1] National Resources Defense Council, Trouble on the Farm; Growing Up with Pesticides in Agricultural Communities, chapter 1 from an article on http://www.nrdc.org/health/kids/farm/chap1.asp

[2] Pesticides: Health and Safety .” United States Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental Protection Agency, 12 Sep 2011.

[3] “Pesticides in drinking water.” National Pesticide Telecommunications Network. N.p., 01 Jul 2000.

[4] . “Organic Farming Yields Far Better Crop Resistance and Resiliance.” Land News. Land News Newspaper, 27 Nov 2010. Web. 12 Dec 2011. <http://land-news.com/photos/organic-farming-yields-far-better-crop-resistance-and-resiliance/>.

[5] Huff, Ethan. “More farmers going organic to improve soil, save energy, and produce better food .” Natural News. N.p., 20 Jun 2011.


Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes from Paleogrub.com

These Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes from Paleogrub.com are the perfect Autumn breakfast!
  1. 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  2. 3 tbsp almond milk
  3. 1 tbsp honey
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted, plus additional for pan
  6. 1 tsp vanilla
  7. 1/4 cup coconut flour
  8. 1 tsp cinnamon
  9. Pinch of nutmeg
  10. 1/2 tsp salt
  11. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – the coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda. Then in a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients – the pumpkin puree, almond milk, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir together until just combined.
  2. Heat a griddle or non-stick skillet to medium heat. Coat pan with coconut oil. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet. Cook for 2-4 minutes until the bottom is cooked through, and then flip. Cook for another 2-4 minutes until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm and enjoy!
  1. Servings: 7 small pancakes
  2. Difficulty: Medium
By Rebecca Bohl (PaleoGrubs.com)

Energetics of Food…You Are What You Eat

Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on using foods to prevent and treat disease. Knowledge of food energetics can help one build a stronger sense of health and well-being by eating different foods that impose different effects[1]. Like the saying, “you are what you eat.”

The principles of macrobiotics involve creating a yin and yang balance in all aspects of life – including the food combinations we choose to eat.

Eating from your own garden or buying your produce from the local farmers’ market will leave you feeling more connected to your home or local community. When you eat seasonal, locally grown produce, the body is more able to maintain balance from the inside out.

It is beneficial to take advantage of cooling fruits and lighter greens in the summertime, when they are at their peak in harvest. At the same time, heartier vegetables, such as deeply rooted carrots and squashes, grow more abundantly in the wintertime, and are going to add warmth to the body. It’s good to maintain a balance of eating seasonally as well as locally, as much as possible, to stay in harmony with the natural order of things.

   Quality Food Preparation


Root vegetables

Sweet vegetables

Meat, fish



Pressure Cooking





Leafy greens

Wheat, barley, quinoa


Raw foods




Gas stove cooking






Microwave cooking

Electric stove cooking

Factory farming



Organic foods

Whole foods

Local foods

Brown rice

Home cooking

Home gardening


[1] Leggett, Daverick. “The Energetics of Food.” Journal of Chinese Medicine. 56 (1998): n. page. Print.