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 2017-10-17T00:05:00+00:00 Serves 1     adjust servings
beet berry smoothie



  • 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


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!




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 2017-10-17T00:00:00+00:00 Serves 2 to 4     adjust servings




  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 2017-10-17T00:15:00+00:00 Cook Time 00:45 2017-10-17T00:45:00+00:00 Serves 2     adjust servings


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


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!





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.



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.



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




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



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!


Our Tongue Tie Revisions Story!


Roasted Bone Marrow Spread on Grain-Free Toast (Paleo, AIP)


bone marrow spread



Days that involve roasted bone marrow are days that I hope my faulty hippocampus remembers. Because they are the best days. Seriously, I have the worst memory out of anyone I know, and it has been severely compromised further since I had Grace. I can feed her, put her in her playpen, then 5 minutes later wonder if I fed her or not. We have been getting better sleep since I nightweaned a month ago, but I’m still drowsy a lot of the day. My adrenals are run down – I don’t know how you get through the first year of keeping a human alive without tanking your adrenals. Enter nutrient-rich foods like bone marrow.


I do have some tried and true methods for keeping me as alert, functioning & as capable as possible that do not involve caffeine though.


— My adrenals prefer a higher fat diet, but my nursing supply needs it’s carbs, so I switch between higher fat days and higher carb days to keep things balanced.

— Getting a daily dose of organ meat, even if it’s just a lil bite of Grace’s liverwurst, really does wonders for my energy.

— I also feel revived if I go sit out in the sun for an hour while she naps in the middle of the day, sleep until 7 am (I have been getting up at 6am to work out, but I’m going to cut back the number of days I do that to only 2-3 a week), and eat more frequently than I would if I weren’t breastfeeding.

— Being more diligent about either ingesting or topically applying magnesium – I usually see results almost instantly with supplementation.

— Coconut water helps balance my electrolytes and helps me stay hydrated when water seems to not cut it.



One of the easiest ways for me to get my energy in these days is with these Mission Heirloom Yucan Crunch crackers!

You can find them on Amazon and they qualify for free shipping! They are paleo & AIP which means free of grains & just 1 ingredient (yuca)!



I keep a 4-pack of Yucan Crunch wrapped tightly in my pantry & it lasts me at least 6 weeks like that. You can toast your crunch, or you can eat it par-baked the way it comes. My favorite way to toast it is in a 300 degree oven brushed with garlic-infused olive oil until lightly browned (I don’t use a timer – just keep a close eye on it). Most days I just eat it par-baked with something delicious smeared on top like smashed avocado, liver pate or smoked fish. 



But I’ve had a package of grass-fed marrow bones sitting in our deep freeze for a month, and bone marrow is one of Grace’s favorite foods (and one of her first foods) so I wanted to come up with a unique way of eating it that we both could share. She doesn’t eat the crackers of course – I just spoon teaspoon size balls on her tray and she picks them up and licks it off her fingers.



bone marrow butter paleo



This Sweet Bone Marrow Spread is made by combining freshly roasted bone marrow with baked sweet potato and coconut oil. It doesn’t have the super creamy texture of butter, but you could achieve that by just blending your roasted bone marrow with a whole avocado and refrigerating it until firm rather than using sweet potato here.



Instead, it is more of a smear to top crackers or use as some of the most nutrient dense baby food on the planet. The sweetness of this Bone Marrow spread will make it more palatable to babies as well (although Grace used to eat gloopy bone marrow by the handful at 6 months old, she no longer prefers it by itself).



If you think bone marrow sounds too fancy for you to make, it’s not! It really is just one of those high-priced items on steak menus that can easily be made at home, and snuck into your purse in a small glass container, and then quickly lumped onto your steak when the waiter walks away. Budget tips.



bone marrow gluten free




You can share this Bone Marrow Spread with your kids or hoard it all for yourself!




1 review

Sweet Bone Marrow Spread

Preparation 00:05 2017-10-17T00:05:00+00:00 Cook Time 00:20 2017-10-17T00:20:00+00:00 Yields 1/2 cup     adjust servings


  • 2 marrow bones, about 6-8 inches long
  • 2/3 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • for serving: flaked sea salt and ground cinnamon (optional but sea salt is recommended)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roast marrow bones for 20 minutes or until the bones are browned and some of the fat is bubbling. Let rest until cool enough to handle.
  3. Use the long handle of a spoon to scoop all the marrow and fat out of the bones into the bowl of a food processor. Combine with sweet potato and coconut oil until very smooth.
  4. Refrigerate until firm for the best texture. Serve on Yucan Crunch or other crispy vehicle of choice with flaked salt and cinnamon sprinkled. For babies, you can serve warm on a spoon or cold.





bone marrow paleo


Real Food Guide to St. Petersburg

We have been back in the Bay Area for 6 months now, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the new gluten-free and Paleo-friendly offerings here since we moved away 4 years ago. I know the Tampa Bay area is a frequent tourist destination for familes and spring break, and I’ve gotten a ton of emails and messages about where to eat here! While I don’t go out to eat more than once a week, I have cultivated a nice little collection of restaurants I think you’ll enjoy. These aren’t all super AIP-friendly but if they are, I make a note below. You can eat Paleo at all of the places below with guidance from the kitchen and your server. These places are all located in St.Pete but some places in Tampa to check out include: Oxford Exchange, Boca Kitchen & Bar, Daily Eats & Ciccios/Water.



Coffee, Treats, Sandwiches & Soups

First, Craft Kafe is a bakery, coffee shop and restaurant that is 100% gluten-free and does not bring gluten-containing flours into their kitchen. They stone-grind their flours in house & make an impressive display of fancy treats every day. The owners have a Greek heritage so you’ll get hints of the Mediterranean in their pastries and energy bars. I enjoy the Energy Balls made from walnuts, dates, coconut and cacao powder and my husband is obsessed with their Vegan & GF Blueberry Loaf. What really makes Craft stand out is their open-faced sandwiches loaded with eggs, avocado, chorizo sausage and cheese (if you eat dairy of course). They also offer vegan soups, salads and homemade almond milk for coffee and tea that is made with water, almonds, dates and vanilla. Seating is limited at the beachside location but they are opening up a larger spot downtown soon!





Grassfed Steak, Grilled Veggies & Wine

One spot we like to frequent downtown for special occasions is Rococco Steakhouse. We first sampled their food at the Food & Wine Festival a few years ago and were super impressed with their composed dishes. These daysI stick more to the basics because the basics are oh so good. I get the grilled grassfed ribeye with grilled broccoli and asparagus. They also have a higher quality selection of wines and cocktails. It is a romantic atmosphere, so I recommend reserving this place for date night.



Fresh Seafood & the BEST Grilled Octopus

The owners of Craft also own Selene – one of the best restaurants on the beach. Come here at sunset and sit outside to get views of the gorgeous orange, yellow and pink skies. On the weekends, there is a low-key live band outside. The menu is influenced with Italian & Greek cuisine. They label GF options on the menu and there are also several AIP-friendly options as well. I get the Grilled Octopus every single time – it is addicting and is large enough to be an entrée if you aren’t sharing with a side of vegetables. I usually order the Grilled Catch of the Day with sautéed veggies on the side. I’ve had snapper, salmon & wahoo. All have been super delicious! Make a reservation because this place gets super packed on weekend nights – service is a hit or miss too!




Coffee, Coconut Water, Smoothies, Juices & Cider

Cider Press Café is an adorable vegan restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg that offers tons of veggie-filled dishes, smoothies, juices, fresh coconut water (my fave), kombucha, coffee and tea. Their homemade almond milk is my favorite in the area and their almond milk Americanos are a must-have! I haven’t been able to eat here yet because it is a pretty nightshade-heavy menu (vegans love their nightshades) but their smoothies are really fun & interesting and hefty enough for a light meal.



Yummiest Real Fruit Popsicles Around

We have several healthy popsicle companies in the area but, in my opinion, none of them compare to The Hyppo. I love the décor just as much as the pops – it’s fun, whimsical and very kid-friendly (and dog-friendly too!) They have a rotating selection of 500 (5 HUNDRED) popsicles and right now offer 3 juice pops that are completely AIP & Paleo friendly since they don’t contain added sweetener. I get the Kale Apple Cucumber juice pop for Grace all the time while my favorites for myself include Starfruit Basil, Pineapple Cilantro, Grapefruit, Cucumber Lemon & Coconut Avocado.





Healthy Grain-Free Fast Food

There’s one restaurant group in the area that pretty much owns the bank accounts of every Millenial here. They know what people want – fresh, fast and tasty food on a budget. Ciccio’s & Fresh Kitchen are owned by this group and they are great family-friendly places to grab protein and veggies. The only downside is they use canola oil mixed with their olive oil, but hopefully they’ll move away from that the more I complain about it? At Ciccio’s I always get the Citrus Chicken Bowl, leave off the tomatoes, add extra avocado and steamed broccoli and have it over spaghetti squash. Fresh Kitchen offers some neat bases for their bowls like sweet potato noodles, mashed sweet potato & kale slaw. They also label menu items as gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free which is helpful!



Favorite Healthy Grocery Store for Snacks & Prepared Food

Rollin’ Oats is where I WISH I could shop everyday – it’s a little too pricey for that but I always make a run over there each week to stock up on products I can’t find at our grocery chain here. For snacks, they have toooooons of energy bars, dried fruit, kale chips and chips like Jackson’s Honest and the new coconut oil Terra plantain chips. Last night for dinner, I grabbed their coconut oil roasted salmon and grilled vegetables (had to pick bell peppers out of them) and an energy bar. They have a big selection of ciders, wine, organic produce & cosmetics too.



Creamy Kale Salad with Mango & Figs

creamy kale salad




Whoo! It’s been a little bit since I posted a new veggie-heavy recipe! I love inspiration for new salads and side dishes, but it seems like most of my readers prefer main dishes and treats, so I tend to post those more often. But we cannot underestimate the value of a tasty kale salad that you actually look forward to eating!


I eat salad every single day but not because I am in love with the taste – I just know how much better I feel when I get a large amount of greens in my day.


This kale salad couldn’t be easier to whip up and is really delightful. The tangy avocado creamy dressing softens the kale while the mango and figs add sweetness and texture & the shallots add a little pop of flavor! Trust me – shallots and mango below together. You’ll see.


Yesterday we got home from a mini trip to my parents who live 3 hours away. It was just me, Grace & Rafael and our first time on the road together! On the way there, Grace screamed her head off for a solid hour until I finally was able to pull over and check on her. She had thrown her pacifier overboard and her face was bright red. I could see the blood vessels bursting out of her forehead & then I started to cry.


I felt so bad for not pulling over sooner, but I thought she would tucker herself out and take a nap (she despises the car seat even for short trips to the store so this is her normal). Once I soothed her and gave her Lamby back – she slept for a good portion of the remaining drive.


But then I realized I forgot her Pack n’ Play at home (where she was going to sleep at my parents) and her pajamas! So I had to stop at Target and buy another dang Pack n’ Play for the child. Traveling with a child ain’t easy…. I don’t know how people go to Europe & Asia with their kids. I envy their patience.


We also made a pit stop at an outdoor shopping mall so that I could do some retail therapy after the stressful drive. I find the best clothes when I’m stressed (I also ate a bar of Alter Eco Salted Dark Chocolate on the drive that was supposed to be part of my mom’s Mother’s Day gift…. well guess what, THIS mom needed it more. Gramma understood.) The chocolate and a new romper, dress and clutch did the trick!


I’m starting to overhaul my wardrobe. I used to dress really well and then when I went through a Hashimoto’s flare and gained a shit ton of weight, I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes anymore so I just bought a bunch of stretchy loose things that aren’t that flattering.


Then I went straight into pregnancy and post-partum from that flare, so it’s time to get back to enjoying clothing. I’m a pretty low key dresser – a combination of moderate boho with a lot of athleisure thrown in but I like a good, figure-flattering dress more than anything.


It feels confidence-boosting to start focusing on that little piece of me once again. I’m sure every new mom understands!


Looking for some other KALE RECIPES?


Golden Chicken & Kale

golden chicken and kale

Kale Pesto Chicken Soup

kale pesto chicken soup





This easy creamy kale salad will get your whole family to eat their greens thanks to the sweet additions of mango and dried Turkish figs!



2 reviews

Creamy Kale Salad with Mango & Figs

Preparation 00:10 2017-10-17T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 00:00 2017-10-17T00:00:00+00:00 Serves 2     adjust servings
creamy kale salad


  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 cups chopped kale (stems removed)
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • 6 dried Turkish figs, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot


  1. In a food processor, combine avocado, oil, lemon, vinegar and sea salt until smooth and creamy.
  2. In a large bowl, toss chopped kale with avocado dressing until well-coated and slightly wilted. Toss in remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve immediately or let flavors marry for 30 minutes prior to serving (my preference!) either room temperature or cold.