I did a Liver Detox + I’m sharing my results

 

I wanted to share my experiences with the completion of my first liver support program. It opened my eyes to the importance of a functioning detox and lymphatic system and proved to be the missing piece to my current diet and lifestyle post-partum. Meals aren’t always well-rounded and sleep is certainly interrupted which limits my detox ability.

 

I also know that I’m not a fantastic detox-er by nature thanks to some genetic mutations. I’ve known this for a long time – one alcoholic drink usually leaves me feeling hungover.

 

Previously, I mocked detoxes as get-rich-quick fads that just about anyone could throw together and sell. I rarely say “never”, but I would n-e-v-e-r do a juice cleanse or other extreme detox measures. I like to chew my food, and I find those programs to be more stressful than helpful.

 


 

The program I participated in seemed doable though. I could see how it fit into my life as a new mom. It’s called Love Your Liver Seasonal Detox

 

I didn’t have to drastically change my diet – It’s quite in line with AIP actually! I just had to ADD some detox tools and focus on certain foods and tonics. I can do that!

 


My major complaint post-partum was slow digestion and difficulty digesting fats.

I also wasn’t tolerating nuts, sweeteners and decaf coffee like I used to. I knew I needed some liver and gallbladder support after the hormonal demands placed on my body going from an autoimmune flare to pregnancy to extended breastfeeding.

I also find the seasonal breakdowns very interesting. For example, they state the purpose of a spring detox is the following:

 

 

SPRING: For optimal energy, beauty, mood, and weight loss, the gallbladder and liver must be working at their best. According to Chinese medicine, the liver is related to anger. Therefore, as you cleanse your liver and eat liver-loving foods, you notice a dramatic shift in your mindset. The liver has over 500 metabolic jobs, including the production of bile, a means of natural detoxification. If there are stones or blockages in the gallbladder from storing too much toxic bile, then you become tired, irritated, and constipated.


THE LOVE YOUR LIVER PROGRAM is a…

Safe, Guided Detox

The program includes eliminating particular foods known to cause inflammation or digestive distress. If you’re following an AIP diet, you likely won’t have to eliminate anything. I re-eliminated nuts, sweetener and coffee. I continued to eat seeds and spices since those are allowed, and they do not cause me symptoms.

 

Most importantly, you add their prescribed detox tools, teas and tonics into your daily regimen. They don’t take a lot of time and I was able to include them in my day without being overwhelmed.

 

A lot of the detox tools you’ve heard of or use from time to time, but the magic appears when you combine them into a daily routine I found. Some of my favorites: oil pulling, dry brushing and Epsom baths. 

 

 

What You’ll Get

A handy detox guide with everything you need to know about the program, helpful tips, the 3-phase process of detox, all about caffeine, stress and sugar addiction, insights on gut health and mindfulness practices like journaling and meditation.

 

A recipe ebook with detox and reintroduction-friendly recipes to get you started. You do not have to follow their recipes (some contain non-AIP ingredients like chia seeds) to participate though. I find the recipes targeted more towards a veganic or vegetarian lifestyle rather than Paleo. They do suggest you add your own protein to each meal, if you’d like (which is what I did).

 

Basically, it looks like you’re eating a very cleaned up version of Paleo or AIP. For example, you may have broiled lemon dill salmon, roasted broccoli, and sauteed sweet potatoes with whatever seasonings (except nightshades) that you prefer. You’re NOT including Paleo treats or processed foods like sweet potato chips.

 


SAMPLE RECIPE FROM THE EBOOK

GRAPEFRUIT GINGER SMOOTHIE

BLEND TIL SMOOTH:

1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk

1/2 medium grapefruit, peel removed

1/2 avocado

1 large handful kale or spinach

1-inch fresh ginger OR 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

 

 

I also created this liver support smoothie for my blog readers…

 

beet berry smoothie

Drink this Beet + Berry Detox Smoothie once a day!

 

There’s a ton of recipes – and they’re all very simple. This is where you’ll find the tonics like the Cranberry Cleanser, Lemon Water Elixir & Black Beauty Drink. Remember, the recipes change up a bit each seasonal detox, so you may see different ones in your program.

 

You also receive online community support via a private Facebook group as well as daily support emails.

 

The best part about these seasonal detoxes is once you complete them, you have forever access to the recipes + guides. Bust it out in spring 2018. It pays for itself year after year!

 

 


MY RESULTS

Improved sleep. I slept more restfully, less restlessly, and felt like I had enough sleep when I woke up (average 7- 7 ½ hours a night.

More energy. With restful sleep comes more energy. I no longer need an afternoon nap or feel like I won’t make it the whole day.

Better mood. I can swing into anxiety pretty quickly and that is usually rebounded by feeling depressed. It may last only a few days, but it steals my joy. I feel much more even-keeled now. I suspect this mostly has to do with eliminating nuts and sugar (even honey) and keeping them out of my diet

No joint pain. As I mentioned, I no longer have pain in the morning upon waking. I no longer have plantar fasciitis discomfort either even though I’ve increased my physical activity (see “More Energy”)

Hormonal balance. There’s been a switch up in my hormones. My libido has increased and I’m still breastfeeding 5 to 6 times a day

Clear, bright skin. I’ve never had any major skin complaints like cystic acne but when we moved to Florida in December I developed eczema (or possibly perioral dermatitis) around my mouth and nose. The Beautycounter Cleansing Balm helped significantly but I noticed some days it would be worse than others without an obvious cause. I think it is related to pollen counts, but those reddened areas decreased 80% since starting the program.

Lowered stress response. I am less likely to get overwhelmed these days. While the program offers some mental health tools, I didn’t actually use them. The liver and digestive support helped me feel balanced enough. Now I’m the one telling my husband to chill out.

 

 

Ready to start your detox too? You can join HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

Cherry Pie Bars (Paleo, AIP, Vegan, No Sugar Added)

 

cherry pie bars paleo

 

These Cherry Pie Bars have become a classic summertime treat in our household. Perfect for the Fourth of July or any other summer holiday weekend.

 

The crust is made of sweet potatoes and coconut flour and has a buttery shortbread taste. The filling has that classic gooey, sticky fruitiness from cherries, dates and a bit of tartness from lemon. I also love how simple the ingredients are in this recipe!

 

I love how the crust is made from vegetables and the filling from fruit. These are a great option if you’re limiting your sugar intake but still want a little sweet treat to celebrate. I’ll be doing a blog post on a recent liver detox I did that eliminated sweeteners. It really reset my palate so fruit has become a dessert for me now (and one I enjoy every single day).

 

I have a lot of other sweetener-free desserts like my Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Skillet Apple Crumble, Paleo Baby Birthday Cake, Banana Ice Cream and Frosted Carrot Cupcakes too!

 

 

Want to make this using another summer-y fruit?

Try an equal amount of blueberries, strawberries or blackberries! In fact, ripe mulberries would be awesome here too! We were just in Nebraska this past weekend and I was picking fresh ripe mulberries off the trees on my runs. A little dine and dash, if you will.

 

 

Grain-free crust made from sweet potato AND tastes like shortbread with a sugar-free cherry pie filling… sign me up, sign me up, sign me UP!

 

 

Find the recipe for free HERE

 

or

With 175+ AIP recipes in my cookbook

The Healing Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

BBQ Pulled Pork with Tangy Carolina Sauce from The Healing Kitchen

bbq pulled pork paleo

 

I shared this recipe for AIP-friendly BBQ Pulled Pork with Tangy Carolina Sauce back in 2015, but it was seriously buried in a long post about The Healing Kitchen! It’s so delicious and perfect for your nightshade-free summer BBQ I wanted to bring it to the forefront.

 

If you haven’t picked up a copy of my cookbook, it’s full of 175+ Paleo/AIP recipes that are family and budget-friendly. I wanted you to be able to bring a lot of your comforting favorites along your healing journey. It’s a perfect cookbook for those starting out on AIP or those a little bit bored with their same old recipes.

 

Some of my other favorites I’ve shared here including Pesto Chicken Pizza, Toasted Coconut Cream Pops, Coconut-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Pineapple Dipping Sauce + Red Sangria.

 

 

 

 

You can still find The Healing Kitchen in book stores and on Amazon for the best price (usually about 40% off!) I’ve had a lot of friends and family members buy the book for their loved ones, clients and peers who struggle with autoimmunity and changing their diet.

As always, tag me on Instagram when you make a dish from THK and use the hashtag #thehealingkitchen so I can share your meals too!

 

 

1 review

BBQ Pulled Pork with Tangy Carolina BBQ Sauce

Preparation 00:10 2017-12-13T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 01:40 2017-12-13T01:40:00+00:00 Serves 8 to 10     adjust servings


Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, such as Boston butt
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked fine sea salt or fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup beef, pork or chicken broth
  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onions
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 3/4 cup Tangy Carolina BBQ Sauce (recipe in notes)

Instructions

PRESSURE COOKER INSTRUCTIONS

1. Slice 4 slits in the top of the meat and stuff a garlic clove in each slit. Rub the entire surface of the meat with the sugar, ginger, salt, and cinnamon. Put the broth and onions in the pressure cooker insert, then lay the meat on top of the onions. Lay the bacon slices on top of the meat.
2. Seal the lid and set the pressure cooker’s manual timer for 90 minutes. When the timer goes off, release the pressure. If the meat does not shred easily with two forks, use a knife to cut the roast into large chunks and return them to the pressure cooker for an additional 15 minutes of cooking.
3. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Drain the liquid from the cooking pot, but reserve the onions. Shred the pork and bacon by pulling two forks in opposite directions to pull the meat apart. Transfer the meat back to the pot with the onions and stir in the BBQ sauce, tasting and adding more sauce or salt as desired.


SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS

1. Slice 4 slits in the top of the meat and stuff a garlic clove in each slit. Rub the entire surface of the meat with the sugar, ginger, salt, and cinnamon. Put the broth and onions in the slow cooker insert, then lay the meat on top of the onions. Lay the bacon slices on top of the meat.
2. Cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 6 to 7 hours, until the pork can be easily shredded with two forks.
3. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Drain the liquid from the cooking pot, but reserve the onions. Shred the pork and bacon by pulling two forks in opposite directions to pull the meat apart. Transfer the meat back to the pot with the onions and stir in the BBQ sauce, tasting and adding more sauce or salt as desired.

Recipe Notes

TANGY CAROLINA BBQ SAUCE
Makes 2 cups | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 12 minutes | Total Time: 17 minutes

1 cup sweet potato puree (see Tip)
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons bacon fat
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Tip: Buy canned sweet potato puree for quick preparation.

Whisk together all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and whisk continuously while maintaining a low boil for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly thickened. This sauce is thinner than traditional BBQ sauce.

Beet & Berry Detox Smoothie

 

beet berry smoothie

 

This Beet & Berry Detox Smoothie is another recipe that turned me from a beet hater into a beet lover. My Beet, Grapefruit + Fig Salad is another delish option! I posted about this on Instagram + had a lot of you interested in the ratios! I’ve made this too beet-y in the past + barely got it down the hatch!

 

Since completing Zesty Ginger’s Spring Liver Detox program, I’ve been loving hard on beets though. They really are a superfood. Anything that has the potential to stain your hands, your countertops and your clothes, has got to be a nutritional powerhouse. Ahem, turmeric, you orange bastard.

 

Powerfully purple, this smoothie does a good job of covering up the earth-y taste of beets. It’s also incredibly budget-friendly! I get a bag of 3 organic beets for $1.99 at Earth Fare and that’s enough for 6 smoothies. Buy organic mixed berries in bulk (the large 2 pound bags) for extra savings.

 

Really the only splurge here is the Wild Foods Wild Vanilla Powder that I’ve been basically snorting. That ish is goooood. You can find it featured in my Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream posted last week.

 

Here are some quick facts about beets to convince you of their super powers!

 

 

First and foremost, they may increase sex hormone production due to their boron content. If you’re feeling a little flat, try some beets (or slip them into your partner’s smoothie!)

 

They are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, folate, potassium + magnesium, and can calm inflammatory responses. If you’re pregnant and looking for a real food source of folate – beets are your answer!

 

Beets support Phase 2 detox pathways helping to flush toxins out of your body and may have anti-cancer effects according to preliminary studies. Overall, if you’re fighting inflammation, including beets in your diet may help restore some balance.

 

 

If that doesn’t change your mind – maybe this Beet Berry Smoothie will! Add collagen for bonus points!

 

 

 

2 reviews

Beet + Berry Detox Smoothie

Preparation 00:05 2017-12-13T00:05:00+00:00 Serves 1     adjust servings
beet berry smoothie

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed baby spinach (or leafy green of choice)
  • 1 cup organic frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped beets
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon organic cranberry concentrate (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Wild Foods Wild Vanilla Powder
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 60 seconds or until very smooth. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

 You may add 1 to 2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to make this a protein smoothie. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for more liver detox recipes?

 

 

 

cherry ginger lime smoothie

Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (sweetener-free!)

vanilla bean ice cream

 

 

I feel like I have some convincing to do in this post. Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream without any sugar added whatsoever? It sounds sacrilegious and like total BS, I know. But really it’s real food MAGIC. And you’re going to be happily surprised! And you won’t believe what the caramel is made from (keep reading!)

 

 

 Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream without ANY added sugar…. seriously!

 

 

vanilla bean ice cream

 

 

I love playing around with developing treats from fruits & vegetables without using sugars like honey or maple. I haven’t talked about it much but I participated in Ginger Newtrition’s Spring Liver Detox program last month + was so pleased with the results I’ve continued to keep sweeteners and nuts out of my diet. I’m also continuing with some of the detox tools as well.

 

 

I plan on doing a post either here or on Instagram about the positive changes I saw in my sleep, mood, energy, skin and digestion from their liver support program. It is designed to do 4x a year (every season) and the program changes slightly with each season passing.

 

 

So let’s get into the deets on this ice cream! Similar to my other delicious AIP homemade ice creams, I used white sweet potato to increase the creaminess. That’s a no-brainer these days! But simply combining coconut milk (this is my favorite brand), white sweet potato and Wild Foods Vanilla Bean Powder does not render you a sweet-enough treat…. even for someone who hasn’t tasted sugar in 6 weeks! Enter the SURPRISE ingredient!

 

 

vanilla bean ice cream

 

 

Want the creamiest homemade ice cream? I use the Whynter Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker – it’s electric so you just place on counter, plug in, pour your mixture & churn in 30 minutes!

 

 

The Caramel color and flavor actually comes from…. DRIED APRICOTS! Crazy! I bought several bags of Made in Nature’s Dried Apricots the other day and they have the MOST delicious caramel, vanilla flavor of any dried apricot I’ve tried. Their prunes, dried figs + dates are also amazing.

 

When you blend softened dried apricots into sugar-free vanilla bean ice cream, it transforms into perfectly sweet Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

 

 

If you don’t believe me, try it! But please, please use those delicious organic Made in Nature dark golden gems. Did you know those bright orange apricots only look like that because of a preservative called sulphur dioxide? Choose organic preservative free dried fruit! Specifically, choose this brand for the best result!

 

 

 

Most importantly, I recommend Wild Foods Wild Vanilla Powder for this AIP-friendly ice cream! I’m always worried about the alcohol in vanilla extract causing a gluten reaction + the alcohol-free versions include soy-based glycerin which I’m allergic.

This richly flavored unprocessed Wild Vanilla Powder creates the perfect traditional vanilla bean ice cream! I also add a pinch to my smoothies every morning!

 

 

SUBSTITUTIONS

Note: For best results, use my suggested brands in the recipe! Do not replace Vanilla Powder with vanilla extract or dried apricots with fresh apricots or you will be disappointed.

 

vanilla bean ice cream

1 review

Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Preparation :10 2017-12-13T00:00:00+00:00 Serves 2 to 4     adjust servings

 

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine coconut milk, sweet potato and Vanilla Powder in a high powered blender until very smooth.
  2. Place apricots in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with water and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds until soft. Drain the water.
  3. Add apricots to the blender and blend until pureed and caramel color.
  4. Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. Turn ice cream maker off once ice cream is thick and creamy.

Recipe Notes

 I prefer my ice cream on the softer side when freshly churned. Note that homemade coconut milk hardens significantly in the freezer and requires longer thaw time than store-bought ice cream made with emulsifiers. 

 

 

 

Looking for more dairy-free, low-sugar ice creams?

 

ginger cookie ice cream

Ginger Cookie Crunch Ice Cream

 

Low-Sugar Strawberry Ice Cream

 

Macadamia Cinnamon Cookie Ice Cream

 

 

caramel vanilla ice cream paleo

 

Paleo Poutine with Bone Broth Gravy

 

paleo poutine

 

Poutine is one of the national dishes of Canada. Canadians hold it near and dear to their hearts much like Americans do the cheeseburger. So I just had to bring a little piece of my childhood to this blog with some legit Paleo Poutine.

 

While I was born in Montreal, I’ve spent the majority of my life in the states. That’s over two decades of being deprived of true Canadian poutine (okay I used to visit at least once a year, so that’s a lie). Although poutine is making a debut in America these days as trendy bar food.

Classic poutine costs no more than $5 and is eaten at 2 in the morning after you’ve had more than your fair share of nightlife.

 

But if you live outside of Canada, cannot eat nightshades, dairy or gluten, then you likely live a poutine-less life. I’m here to remediate that.

 

This Paleo Poutine is made with love. You deserve fries doused in savory brown gravy.

 

 

paleo poutine

 

 

Now I have another poutine recipe on my site called Triple Meat Poutine (ugly pic, sorry) but it is far from the classic dish. This recipe on the other hand sings all the right notes. Classic tallow fries made from white sweet potatoes. If you eat white potatoes, you can certainly sub a large russet in its place.

 

Brown gravy made completely flourless and dairy-free. That’s right – not even any starchy Paleo flours made it into this delicious, savory brown gravy. You’re welcome. All the flavor of this gravy comes from Kettle & Fire’s Beef Bone Broth. FREE BONE BROTH BELOW, PS. 

 

Now I can’t even dabble with the dairy. And I’m also not a fan of vegan or gelatin-based dairy-free cheeses. So I replaced the traditional cheese curds with tender roasted garlic cloves. Again, if you can eat dairy, then please go ahead and use real cheese curds here, you lucky dog.

paleo poutine gravy

 

The real star of the show here is the BONE BROTH GRAVY made with Kettle & Fire Beef Bone Broth!

 

 

I’ll admit it’s been months since I’ve made my own broth. I seem to always make excuses since I have such limited time in the kitchen. And quite frankly, I can never get my broth to taste nearly as good as Kettle & Fire’s Beef Bone Broth.

 

If you’re AIP & have introduced black pepper, this is the store-bought broth you want to stock up on! It is rich in color and flavor, shelf-stable, and makes the most delicious soups, stews and gravies!

 

So how did I turn 1 carton of Kettle & Fire Beef Bone Broth into a glorious, rich brown gravy without any flour or butter? Check out the recipe below! You’re going to fall in love with my LEGIT POUTINE!

 

beef bone broth

A little bit about Kettle & Fire….

 

Kettle & Fire is the premiere shelf-stable bone broth company on the market today!

It was started by two brothers who wanted to bring gut-healing broth to the masses.

They guarantee their broth is made from 100% organically sourced ingredients using the bones of grass fed cows.

The shelf-stable cartons keep unrefrigerated for up to 2 years!

Paleo & Whole30-approved!

Ingredients: Marrow bones from pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle, organic carrots, organic onions, organic celery, organic bay leaves, organic parsley, apple cider vinegar, a pinch of black peppercorn, sea salt, and thyme.

 

 Get UP TO 3 FREE Kettle & Fire’s Beef Bone Broth Cartons HERE!

 

paleo poutine

 

 

Beef tallow fries drizzled with bone broth gravy makes this the ultimate Paleo & Whole30 comfort food!

 

 

1 review

Paleo Poutine with Bone Broth Gravy

Preparation 00:15 2017-12-13T00:15:00+00:00 Cook Time 00:45 2017-12-13T00:45:00+00:00 Serves 2     adjust servings

Ingredients

Beef Tallow Fries

  • 1 large white sweet potato
  • 3 tablespoons beef tallow
  • flaked sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Bone Broth Gravy

  • 1 16.9 ounce carton Kettle & Fire Beef Bone Broth
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves

Roasted Garlic

  • 1/4 cup peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • pinch sea salt

Instructions

For the Tallow Fries:

  1. Wash and dry sweet potato. Leaving the skin on, slice sweet potato into long French fry thick slices about 5 inches long and no more than ½-inch wide.
  2. Heat beef tallow in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Lay sweet potato slices in the skillet in a single layer avoiding overcrowding by cooking in two batches if needed.
  3. Fry sweet potatoes until golden, crispy and cooked through, flipping halfway through, for about 10 minutes. Keep warm.

 

For the Bone Broth Gravy:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring broth, onion and garlic to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and fit lid loosely on saucepan to allow steam to escape.
  2. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until onion and garlic are tender. Transfer to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer gravy back to the saucepan and bring to a boil again over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, leave uncovered, and reduce gravy for about 15 minutes until its thick enough to coat a spoon. Keep warm.

 

For the Roasted Garlic:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss garlic cloves with olive and sea salt and spread evenly on prepared sheet.
  2. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and tender. Set aside.

 

Assemble the Poutine:

Assemble poutine by layering fries in serving dish with gravy drizzled on top and garnished with roasted garlic. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

paleo poutine

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through one of my affiliate links, I may receive a small compensation.

 

paleo poutine gravy

Stainless Steel: Non-Toxic, High-Performance Cookware

 

stainless steel cookware

 

In the advent of convenience, a host of non-stick skillets, pans and pots have entered the cookware market. Made from a synthetic polymer and multiple chemicals, they may not be the best choice for the health of you and your family.

 

It’s hard to rationalize cooking your organic, fresh from the farm meat and produce on a toxic chemical-derived surface. We are exposed to environmental toxins at all angles, and I recommend cleaning up as much of your cookware, household cleaners and personal care products at home as you can afford. Do what you can within your control. 

 

I have received many questions about what cookware is the least harmful to use. My resounding answer is always stainless steel. Stainless steel is my preferred cookware choice for several reasons that extend beyond it’s safety. If you’re wondering what my second choice is…. cast-iron!

 

 

Stainless steel is the best cookware for creating flavorful, browned & tender food.

 

Stainless steel cookware heats evenly and it’s uncoated surface allows for rapid browning. The browning process is called the Maillard reaction that gives food it’s caramelized flavor.  Trust me, I’ve compared cooking with non-stick at my sister’s house to cooking with my stainless steel cookware set. It’s incredible the difference you’ll received in flavor and texture.

 

This Cuisinart 12-piece Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel set is what I use at home. This set has everything you need to transition your old stovetop cookware to stainless steel!

 

 


non toxic cookware

 

Stainless steel is the professional chef’s choice cookware for flavor and time.

Because of it’s even and rapid heating, stainless steel cookware cooks food faster than non-stick pans. I am able to saute cauliflower rice in 50% less time than I could with my previous coated cookware.

Crispy sweet potato fries straight from the stove are one of my favorite ways to use stainless steel cookware. Just heat your solid fat of choice and fry sweet potato wedges until crispy!

Stainless steel creates a nice crust on tender meats like ribeye steaks – especially helpful if you don’t have a grill but want a restaurant worthy meal at home!

 

 

Everyone’s biggest hang-up with stainless steel? CLEANING IT!

Stainless steel is easy to clean if you follow my tips!

Here are my top tips for easiest cooking & cleaning with your stainless steel cookware!

 

For easiest clean up, do not cook higher than medium heat on the stovetop.

Use enough fat to grease the pan or pot so that food does not stick.

If cooking a low fat protein such as chicken breast, continue to move the meat around until it has achieved a crust. This will help prevent it from sticking when you want to flip the meat.

Immediately after cooking is complete, transfer food to a serving dish. Run warm water over cookware and use a gentle bristle brush to scrub any stuck-on food off.

Use a vinegar cleaner to get stainless steel pans shiny and new after each use and cleaning! My favorite is Aunt Fannie’s. Just be sure to avoid a citrus scent since it can rust the steel.

Cooking eggs? Heat your stainless steel skillet over medium low or medium heat until warm. Add enough fat to cover entire bottom of skillet (1 tablespoon for a 9-inch skillet will do). Cook eggs as desired, using a rubber spatula to gentle move and lift them before they stick. Transfer eggs to serving dish and immediately run under warm water and use a gentle scrub brush to clean.

DO NOT use abrasive scrub brushes or products containing bleach or citrus-derived ingredients which can cause rusting.

 

 


 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links which I receive a small compensation if you choose to make a purchase through my site. 

Breakfast Fries with Bacon-Chive Crumble (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

 

paleo fries with bacon

The question here isn’t “Why would you eat fries for breakfast?” It’s “Why the heck not?”

These Paleo AIP Whole30 Breakfast Fries with Bacon-Chive Crumble came about on a Sunday morning. I wanted a hearty breakfast full of veggies and bacon, but I didn’t want ANOTHER skillet. I do a lot of skillets. No more skillets. JK made one today.

These loaded sweet potato fries could be eaten any time of the day. What makes them really special is the savory, salty bacon-chive crumble that is flavored with lemon & garlic! It makes all the flavors here pop so you’re not just eating a pile of boring vegetables.

You can find this recipe over on Autoimmune Wellness where I am a monthly recipe contributor!

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE

 

 

 

Looking for more Paleo fries? Check these out!

Triple Meat Poutine

+

Garlic Dill Parsnip Fries

 

 

Why I Joined the Beautycounter Movement

If you’ve been following here for awhile, you may have noticed I don’t take on many affiliates or sponsorships. I didn’t start blogging to make money or grow a business. I started Grazed & Enthused so that I could make an impact in the autoimmune community after having my life turned upside down from autoimmune disease and infertility. While this was never meant to be anything more than a free food blog, I was fortunate enough to be offered a cookbook contract after 1-year of blogging.

 

With The Healing Kitchen, I have been able to reach thousands more people who share something deeply in common: an unyielding effort to better themselves and their family through diet, lifestyle, toxin-free products and emotional healing.

 

My mission for this website is to a create a community of likeminded people who gather here with the sole purpose of improving their physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing. I have achieved my mission by offering allergy-friendly recipes every week for the last 3 years, establishing a social media community of women who have each other’s backs, and offering my personal experiences in the very public space that is the Internet.

 

Along the way, I have discovered the ways I can make the farthest reaching positive change. Beautycounter is one of those ways, and it has allowed me to connect with hundreds of women from all walks of life who want to clean up their personal care routine and protect their bodies and their family’s health.

 

I joined the Beautycounter movement 5 months ago, and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only have I gained friendships, but I am able to use my best assets to grow a business that helps to support my family while making a positive impact in other people’s lives. It’s a win-win-win.

 

After struggling with almost a decade of autoimmune disease and infertility, I have found my happy place with food, exercise and lifestyle choices like my skincare, makeup and household products. Once I educated myself on the negative impact toxic products have on our health, it was both relieving and empowering to make choices that support my health and the health of my 1-year-old daughter.

 

Beautycounter is an industry leader advocating for increased regulations in our poorly regulated personal care and cosmetics industry! They advocate at the federal level in Washington, educating lobbyists and Congress on the need for more stringent safety regulations. You can help by supporting Beautycounter in any of the 3 ways listed below.

 

Want to learn more about our Never List? Check out these Things you’ll NEVER find in any Beautycounter products!

 

How do I join Beautycounter?

Become a client, member or consultant.

I started as a client & I am now a consultant.

 

BECOME A CLIENT

Start switching your skincare and makeup products to safer and highly effective Beautycounter products. Scroll down to see my favorites! Need help color matching? Just email me so I can help. There’s a 60-day return policy on all products, even used products, so if you decide something isn’t right for you, you will get a 100% refund.

 

BECOME A MEMBER

A Band of Beauty member is a client who gains special privileges after joining the yearly membership program. I highly suggest becoming a member because your product credit can easily add up in one order to get a free product with your next!

For an annual fee of $29, you receive the following benefits:

** Free full-size product when you sign up & place an order with a $50 minimum (free gift changes every month!)

** Free shipping on orders over $100

** 15% product credit on all orders to use on future purchases – this adds up fast!

** Special deals throughout the year for members only

 

BECOME A CONSULTANT

 

Are you interested in joining my team to share your passion for non-toxic skincare, makeup and personal care products with your friends, loved ones, peers and community? Beautycounter consultants come from all walks of life. We are stay-at-home moms, nurses, therapists, nutritional therapy practitioners, functional medicine doctors, hair stylists, make up artists, small business owners, bloggers, waitresses, bank tellers, you name it. What we have in common is the drive to build a business for ourselves that makes a positive impact in our little piece of the world.

We are a direct retail company, which is different than an MLM. Beautycounter consultants are essentially the middle women for getting safer products in the hands of North Americans. This helps keep product costs lower & ensures the education piece of the movement stays intact.

 

By joining as a Consultant on my team, you will get:

** Personal mentorship by myself and our Managing Directors to help you grow and succeed. While we are independent consultants, it truly takes a village to change our beauty industry.

** 25% discount on all Beautycounter products as well as 40-50% discount at enrollment on your choice of several starter kits

** The ability to grow your own business from anywhere in the US or Canada and be part of a hugely successful and growing movement

 

How to join as a Beautycounter Consultant:

** Click this link to join today!

** Enter your email address and other required information to create your account. It will then say to “choose a mentor”, which defaults to “Beautycounter HQ.” Under that option, click “Select a different mentor”, and type in “Alaena Haber” in the first and last name section

** Add your $85 Enrollment Kit into your cart. This is the package you are required to purchase to become a consultant. It includes all of the information and learning materials you need to get started with your business as well as order forms and product catalogs

** You can also add one of the product packages at a discounted rate when you first enroll, or you can order specific products a la carte if you desire! I suggest taking advantage of the deeply discounted Starter Kits because your enrollment monthis the only time you will be able to receive such a deep discount on them!

** Once you finish the enrollment page and complete your order, you will be all set. I will be notified that you have joined my team, and I will be here to help you! You will begin receiving a series of emails from me and our team leaders with EVERYTHING you need to know to get started!

 

 

Questions about joiningas a client, member or consultant? Email me at alaena@grazedandenthused.com

 

 

My Safer Skincare & Makeup Favorites!

 

Beautycounter’s full Sun Protection line is my topchoice for adults and children over age 6 months old! It contains non-nano zinc oxide which is the safest mineral based sunscreen available. It’s important to avoid chemical-based sunscreens, which you can read more about in my article Safer Sunscreens for Your Family. 

 

 

beautycounter sunscreen

 

 

The Rejuvenating Collection is a highly effective anti-aging line that includes everything you need to combat fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, puffiness and dark circles! The Rejuvenating Eye Cream is a must and has helped my crows feet and puffiness significantly.

You can get the whole line in a discounted package or get each product individually. This line does NOT contain any harmful chemicals found in most anti-aging lines like Retin-a, parabens, phalatates or synthetic fragrances.

 

 

 

 

Beautycounter’s Tint Skin Foundation is a medium coverage, buildable moisturizing foundation that also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It gives your skin a bit of luminous glow without making you look shiny. It is gorgeous & instantly gives skin a beautiful boost!

 

 

Our Kid’s Bath Collection includes shampoo, conditioner and body wash made with safer ingredients that moms can trust. The colorful, kid-friendly pump bottles contain gentle yet effective bath time favorites and kids will love the berry and orange-vanilla scents! If you have a child under the age of 2, you may want to consider the Baby Bundle Collection which is what I use on Grace!

 

 

 

Looking for brighter, even and more vibrant skin? The No.1 Brightening Collection taps into the skin-boosting powers of vitamin C combatting sun spots, age spots, scars and dark spots. I’ve used it to heal old acne scars, sun damage from growing up in Florida & for glowing skin. 

 

beautycounter vitamin c collection

 

 

Why You Can’t Lose Weight Breastfeeding

 

 

Post-partum weight loss seems to be top of mind for many new moms. Part of this is an innate drive to return to our previous physique but I would argue the majority of our motivation stems from external influences.

 

These unrealistic expectations have wired our brains to expect a magical post-partum shedding of baby weight by simply breastfeeding or chasing after our toddlers which is the answer every celebrity named Jessica gives when asked how she got her body “back”. Note my sarcasm.

 

While some women are able to lose weight breastfeeding, there are many women who do not.

 

This can be a hard pill to swallow for those that are frustrated with a limited wardrobe and in the process of working through post-partum body image. Not only are we familiarizing ourselves with a totally new identity as a mother, but we also may feel internal or external expectations to return to a previous version of ourselves (physically and emotionally).

 

Compounding frustration may be stories of friends, family members and peers who say the weight just melted off with breastfeeding. I really think this tends to be more the exception than the rule though.

 

I personally have not lost any weight since 5 days post-partum.  I exercise most days of the week and eat a diet full of vegetables, seafood, meat, broth, fruit & adequate snacks. I am a healthy weight for my frame, able to sustain my milk supply to nourish my daughter at least 7-8 times a day, and fuel myself with enough food to energize my workouts. I am still 10 pounds over my normal weight and am 5-feet-tall. It’s noticeable and wardrobe-limiting, but more importantly it means my body is supporting my breastfeeding relationship by reserving its energy stores from something far more meaningful than a few aesthetic pounds.

 

Those are just 3 of many ways I feel healthy and happy in my “new body”. No it may not look the same – my breasts sag (one is quite a bit larger than the other due to her feeding preference), my hips are wider and I still don’t fit into some of my old pants, but I have nursed my daughter almost 4,000 times in the first year of her life. And that feels a lot better than any skinny jean would ever feel.

 

But after participating in several motherhood groups, I realize that many breastfeeding women are still frustrated with their weight despite being fully immersed in the joy that is motherhood. I wanted to do a little digging during my acceptance process (it’s been a difficult one and still is some days) because I enjoy learning about the physiological state of my body and hormones.

I’m writing this article in hopes that other breastfeeding women who feel frustrated with their weight loss resistance understand the strong influence lactation hormones have on our physiology and begin the process of acceptance of their beautiful breastfeeding bodies.

 

With this knowledge, we can continue to support and love our bodies through nutrition, movement, sleep, laughter and our favorite self-care activities. By understanding the incredible diligence of our lactating bodies, we can honor our current physical state with respect, love and nurturing, just like we do with our babies.

 

Some days will be harder than others. If you can tip the scales towards a more positive body image the majority of the time, your mental health will improve. Nothing feels worse than occupying our time and thoughts with an obsession about how we look. We’re missing the point of life (and joyful moments with the life you created). We’re only on this earth in this body once – how much time of it do you want to spend thinking about your appearance?

 

When those hurtful thoughts enter your mind, don’t just ignore them or let them fester and ruin your day. Address them. Ask yourself what just happened to cause that thought to occur? What is the underlying emotion – a feeling of inadequacy? Feeling under-appreciated by others? Mourning your previous life? You may have an unmet need that requires a fairly simple solution. My body image improved post-partum when I hired a nanny 6 hours a week and was able to leave the house do whatever I wanted – go to the beach, the gym, a coffee to shop to work. My weight hasn’t changed, but my sense of self has.

 

You not losing weight is not your fault. It is your body’s way of protecting your child by protecting your supply. Exercise and diet does not override your hormones.

 

Prolactin is the main hormone responsible for lactation. Prolactin is elevated during pregnancy along with estrogen and progesterone which prevent the production of breastmilk during pregnancy despite the presence of prolactin.

 

After a woman gives birth, estrogen and progesterone drop dramatically and a few days later our breastmilk comes in as prolactin remains high. The continued suckling of a baby sends a signal to your pituitary gland in your brain to produce more prolactin, subsequently maintaining your breastmilk supply. As long as you continue to nurse, your brain will continue to make prolactin and to a varying level suppress progesterone and estrogen. Prolactin levels are also dependent on pre-existing maternal conditions, genetics and stress.

 

You may have noticed that with the return of your post-partum period you see a dip in your supply a few days prior and during. That’s because estrogen and progesterone are no longer suppressed continuously and are cycling up and down as you ovulate and menstruate.

 

This inverse relationship between female sex hormones and prolactin may be a cause of weight loss resistance since adequate levels of estrogen and progesterone promote the metabolism of fat.

 

More importantly, prolactin decreases the ability of our tissues to metabolize fat according to a Swedish study of 30,000 women and men. Now the cohort in this study weren’t breastfeeding, so that’s my only issue with the study design, but it does give us potential insight into lactation-induced weight loss resistance.

 

Other lifestyle factors that contribute to weight loss resistance post-partum include the lack of time available for energy expenditure through exercise. Prior to giving birth, I had time to do a 45-minute circuit everyday and take my dog for 2 long walks, one in the morning and one in the evening. These days, my goal is to do something activity 30 minutes a day, which means I’m about 6 to 8 hours less active each week.

 

A breastfeeding woman also has an increased demand on her energy and nutrient stores. We must listen to our hunger signals to sustain our supply and properly nourish both ourselves and our babies. This isn’t the time to diet and cut calories, or we may compromise our supply and our health quickly.

 

I’ve seen this time and time again with friends. They want to lose the baby weight and subsequently their milk supply falls and they end up weaning their baby as early as a couple months old. This is likely the reason me and my sisters didn’t receive the benefits of extended nursing. My mom said she didn’t produce enough milk, but we both agree it’s because she wasn’t taking care of herself nutritionally. This lack of flexibility in our energy intake in order to maintain supply is another contributing factor to our decreased ability to return to our previous size.

 

So what’s a nursing mama to do?

 

Understand the physiological reasons for your inability to lose  weight or fat. Your body is smarter than you are & wants to preserve its back-up energy source via fat stores. The human body does not thrive in a famine, and it will do what it needs to prevent a famine environment, especially when a baby is involved.

 

Respect your body for what is has given this earth. You have created a life-giving force that will change this world. What it looks like in a mirror, or to other people is irrelevant to the health of your child and the lifelong love and bond between the two of you.

 

Do your best to nourish your body with the food and energy it needs to recover from pregnancy, maintain your supply, and keep your mood balanced. It’s 100% okay if your nutrition is not “on point” every single day. That is an exhausting expectation to put on yourself. If you think you “should” be eating certain foods, remove that negative energy expectation from your mindset. Instead, choose to eat nourishing foods, or choose to eat ice cream for dinner. But don’t feel guilty about your choice either way.

 

Move your body in ways that feel good to you. Same goes for exercise as it does for food: choose activities that you genuinely enjoy even if that means not renewing your Crossfit membership and walking an hour a day instead. This may not be the time to PR your deadlift or train for a marathon. You are doing the work of Mother Nature right now – and that is plenty of energy expenditure for a human body.

 

Find clothes that fit. I’ve had to overhaul key pieces of my wardrobe several times since conceiving. Breastfeeding and motherhood changes the shape of many women’s bodies. My bra size, shoulder width and hip width is greater now. Instead of stuffing myself in clothes that don’t fit properly, I decided which staples I couldn’t live without and found flattering pieces. For summer, several comfortable dresses, shorts and cute sandals go a long way.

 

Give comparison the axe. It’s easy to compare ourselves to other women. We may have feelings of jealousy when we see women without children, or women with children with body types we envy. Or we may compare our current self to our previous self – the most harmful comparison of them all. Something I have learned in my adulthood is the way someone looks has little to no bearing on their happiness, health, integrity, or heart. A woman who secretly struggles with disordered eating may look beautiful to someone else, but she may be wracked with anxiety and in chronic state of depression. Or a new mom who looks like she has it together may be struggling with her body image, marriage or maternal identity. When we judge others and compare them to ourselves, we are telling a double lie. Focus on your health, your baby’s health and the beautiful bond and family you have selflessly created.

 

Looking for more baby articles?

 

Check out of my post on how I introduced solids to my real food baby!

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Our Tongue Tie Revisions Story!