3 Easy Safer Skincare Swaps

 

One of my biggest passions in the women’s health community is to help educate and inform others about better-for-you and the environment skincare, makeup and household products.

Below you will find (3) easy safer skincare swaps to make over Thanksgiving weekend with the added bonus of free products & shipping!

 

We often think that just because something is safer to use, it’s not as effective. That is simply untrue. We have the research and resources in 2017 to create products that WORK but don’t cause a toxin overload in your body. You don’t have to be relegated to using coconut oil for everything – especially if you have specific skincare concerns that require more muscle.

 

For years, I didn’t use deodorant or foundation or fancy hair products because I thought I only had two options. Don’t use the toxic products lining drugstores and department store shelves OR use them. I didn’t know there were other options out there besides making my own products at home.

 

Honestly, making my own skincare products became pretty exhausting, and I found my skin looking less and less vibrant with my coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and jojoba routine. Fine lines around my eyes started popping up and vinegar wasn’t cutting it for breakouts.

 

Thankfully, I was introduced to a couple skincare & makeup lines I trust and love for their dedication to transparency and responsible ingredient sourcing.

 

I’m going to share with you how to swap out some of your go-to toxic products for safer versions that are effective and beautiful!

 



SWAP OUT YOUR BABY WASH

 

Newborns are already born with almost 300 toxins in their cord blood. If that statistic doesn’t knock you off your feet, then maybe the list of ingredients in America’s most popular baby wash will. Some of the below ingredients are considered safe like citric acid and glycerin but the large majority are associated with health concerns like immunotoxicity, allergies, organ system toxicity and eye irritations.

 

Johnson’s Baby Wash Contains: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Glycerin, Polyquaternium-10, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance. EWG SKIN DEEP RATING: MODERATE HAZARD

 

Beautycounter’s Gentle All-Over Baby Wash is safe for even the most sensitive skin and contains a mix of plant-based ingredients and safe synthetic to cleanse your baby without stripping away moisture or adding a toxin load to their bathtime! All of Beautycounter’s products are EWG Verified which means they have been screened through the most rigorous standards for human and environmental safety standards.

 

 

 

SWAP OUT YOUR FOUNDATION

 

Foundation is a non-negotiable makeup item for many of us. It adds an extra dose of hydration, hides blemishes, dark spots, scars and unevenness and helps set our blush and bronzers. But many store-bought foundations like Dior Nude Air Serum contain ingredients that are illegal in Europe & Canada, have a high propensity towards allergic reactions & even have legal use restrictions in cosmetics. No thank you!

 

Beautycounter’s Tint Skin Foundation is a medium-coverage, lightweight foundation that gives your skin a luminous glow without looking or feeling oily. It provides buildable coverage so the first layer feels like a tint moisturizer and the second layer has the look of a thicker, high-coverage foundation. It is one of Beautycounter’s best-selling products for good reason & one I use everyday to even out my complexion.


 

Need help choosing your color? Use our FIND YOUR SHADE GUIDE!

SWAP OUT YOUR DEODORANT

 

 

Woo-wee, this is a big one if you are dedicated to leading a lower toxin lifestyle! Conventional deodorant contains a mix of ingredients like carcinogenic aluminum and hormone-disruptors that can be problematic, especially because they are applied directly on our armpit lymph nodes and near breast tissue.

Not to worry! PRIMALLY PURE has just released an updated version of their best-selling non-toxic deodorant (made with ingredients you can eat!) that is even more powerful than their old version! It stops more stink and controls wetness more than the old formula while still being suitable for sensitive skin!

 

Primally Pure’s BRAND NEW Charcoal Deodorant has an impressive list of non-toxic yet effective ingredients including kaolin clay and charcoal to help detox underarms and tallow and coconut oil to moisturize skin. A small amount of baking soda helps stop smell without causing irritation!

 

primally pure charcoal deodorant

Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Coconut-Free)

 

 

Um… I don’t think these Coconut-Free Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies made with tigernut flour need much of an introduction. They’re basically the chupacabra of grain-free chocolate chip cookies. Coconut-free, egg-free, nut-free, and not loaded with sweeteners or sugar!

 

Well, first, I’m disappointed in myself for shying away from tigernut flour for so long. The price and my inexperience with it intimidated me. I had tried sliced tigernuts once and didn’t care for the tooth-breaking texture.

 

Little did I know Organic Gemini Tigernut Flour is the best thing that has ever happened to my sub-par baking skills. It’s light, fluffy, a little grain-y like almond meal + has a nice “whole wheat” flavor with a bit of sweetness. PS: Not sponsored. Just impressed!

Why I’m Loving Tigernut Flour Right Now

— Tigernuts are renowned for their high content of prebiotic fiber which helps good gut guys flourish

Organic Gemini’s Tigernut Flour is organic, non-gmo & made in a dedicated gluten-free facility

— The sweet, nutty flavor of the product replaced almond flour for nut-free baking

— It makes a nut-free alternative to baked goods for school events

 

 

My goal with these Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies was to make coconut-free. That’s right – nary a teaspoon of coconut oil in sight. But what’s better than coconut oil for baking? GHEE. Specifically 4th & Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee.

 

My Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies taste like the real deal (my husband brought them to a work Thanksgiving + they disappeared before all the other desserts). The combination of the 4th & Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee with the richness of the extra-virgin olive oil takes these next level.

 

Why olive oil? The monounsaturated fat in olive oil makes for the perfect (in my opinion) cookie texture when combined with Vanilla Bean Ghee. Soft yet crisp, well-formed but with a fine crumb. Straight out of the oven, these will blow your mind, and you’ll always think “salad dressing + chocolate chip cookies” = good decision.

 

 

 

I’ve only made these cookies as directed below, so I can’t make firm recommendations on substitutions but here are some ideas. I’ll say it once: you cannot replace the Tigernut Flour with coconut flour.

 

Substitution Theories

— You should be able to replace the cassava flour 1:1 with arrowroot starch for similar results (not exact of course). I haven’t tried this – I’m just assuming based on my past experiences working with the two flours.

— Yes you can use a plain ghee instead of Vanilla Bean. Just don’t use Garlic Ghee. You can probably use softened butter too. This is only a theory.

 

Okay without further ado friends… ENJOY! And Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

16 reviews

Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time :10 Serves approx 14 2-inch cookies


Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a light-colored cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until incorporated. Stir in the ghee, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until you achieve a smooth dough. Stir in chocolate chips. 
  3. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto parchment paper, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie. Using the palm of your hand, gently flatten the cookie to about 1/2-inch high. 
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, watching closely, until the edges are a light golden brown. Do not overcook or they will turn out too crunchy. Let cool (or burn your mouth on hot chocolate like I do) slightly before serving. 

Recipe Notes

 

 

 

Harvest Chicken Hash (Ebook Preview)

 

 

** YOU CAN NOW DOWNLOAD ENTHUSED TO YOUR TABLET, DESKTOP OR LAPTOP HERE**

 

This Harvest Chicken Hash doubles as a Thanksgiving side or fall-inspired breakfast hash – your choice!

 

 

Hey, it’s me, that person who used to post recipes weekly. I have been a wee absent from the blog but still posting away on ye old social media. My absence has been for good reason though – I am plugging and chugging away on my ebook that will be releasing by the end of 2017! YAY!

 

 

In fact, I’ve been so busy making recipes for the ebook that I completely forgot about Thanksgiving. Did you know Thanksgiving is next week? Oh you did? You must look at calendars or talk to humans besides an 18-month-old.

 

It dawned on me as soon as I shoved this hash in my mouth that it reminded me of a delicious Thanksgiving side dish. So I said to Grace, “Let’s put this on the blog as a ebook preview recipe before Thanksgiving!” and she was like, “Mom, that’s an excellent idea. I must get my smarts from you and not Daddy.” Daddy would agree.

 

 

So here we are, my friends! AIP HARVEST CHICKEN HASH –> make it a Thanksgiving veggie side by leaving out the chicken or serve it as is for a holiday breakfast!

 

 

You’ll find this Paleo-friendly Harvest Chicken Hash in the breakfast chapter of my ebook which I have cleverly labeled “Sunshine & Dine”. Yes “Sunrise” would make more sense, but what would rhyme with that? “Sunrise + Appetize”? Not great.

 

 

Some other breakfast recipes you will find in my ebook:

 

Vanilla & Raisin Scones that have the loveliest dense biscuit texture + a not-too-sweet flavor!

— Three kinds of Lattes (iced + hot) in some super fun flavors

Hot Gingerbread Cereal which is so warming + kid-friendly

Breakfast Sausage & Mash … maybe one of the most addicting recipes in the book!

 

The ebook will include over 60 of my best recipes (over 50 of them never published before) including loads of holiday-themed, comfort food favorites + ethnic dishes!

 

— Chardonnay-Glazed Sea Scallops

— Vietnamese Shrimp Salad

— “Cheesy” Bacon & Brussels Gratin

— Lamb Shawarma + “Rice” Plate

— Teriyaki Turkey Poppers

— Thanksgiving Meatloaf

— Fried Chicken & Waffles with Sweet & Spicy Syrup

— Salted Lemon Ice Cream with Blueberry-Basil Jam Swirl

— No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

— Apple Butter Frosted Banana Bread

 

 

 

RECIPES WILL FEATURE ICONS FOR:

ONE DISH

LOW CARB

LOW HISTAMINE

READY IN 30 MIN OR LESS

 

 

STAY UPDATED ON WHEN IT RELEASES BY FOLLOWING ME ON INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK OR JOINING MY NEWSLETTER AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE!

 

 

 

13 reviews

Harvest Chicken Hash

Prep Time :15 Cook Time :35 Serves 4

 

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fat of choice
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 pound celery root, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 gala apple, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon and onion over medium-high heat for 10 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the onions are soft and browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Saute chicken in the skillet with oregano and ¼ teaspoon sea salt until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to same bowl as bacon and onions.
  3. Add fat of choice to skillet along with Brussels sprouts and sauté for 5 minutes until browned. Stir in celery root, apple, rosemary, garlic, cinnamon and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Cook for 10 to 12 more minutes until celery root is cooked through.
  4. Add bacon, onions and chicken back to the skillet and pour in maple syrup, aminos, vinegar, and water. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes allowing the liquid to evaporate. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

 


 

 

 

Yellow Chicken Veggie Soup

 turmeric chicken veggie soup

 

The perfect gut-healing flavor bomb Chicken Veggie Soup made with broth, coconut milk, turmeric and tons of veggies!

 

 

I teased this recipe for the upcoming ebook but I had so many people message me for the details, I had to just hand it over to you! I’m still jealous of all of you in actual soup season. I walked 1/2 a mile this morning at 8 am and the thought of even a warm shower was repulsive. Florida, can you literally chill out please?

 

This post is going to be a complete stream of consciousness by the way because I’m at a coffee shop and ordered a decaf almond milk latte but pretty sure they didn’t hear the decaf part. Because girl is HYPAH. My sister teases me that Grace will have a speech impediment because I don’t use the “-er” suffix + everything is “chompah”, “lovah”, “-ah” instead of “-er”. When I ask to see her “chompahs” (instead of chompers) during teeth brushing she sticks out her tongue. It’s so cute. She’s so cute.

 

I wish all of you knew her in real life because she makes everyone smile and will turn your day around with one “monster giggle”. I guess everyone says that about their kid and rightfully so – they ARE all special. Big believer in all children being unique and worth every ounce of our attention, thought and love.

 

This Yellow Chicken & Veggie Soup sounds like it was named by a 4-year-old because I had no idea what to call it. Maybe a little similar to an Indonesian chicken soup I had years ago. It’s just yummy, it’s yellow from the turmeric and it contains chicken and lots of veggies. I almost went for Yummy Yellow Chicken & Veggie Soup or even Baby Poop Soup. JK. I got reamed for using the word ‘vomit’ in a blog post the other day. Are we 5 years old? Yes. 4 or 5. One of the two.

 

So I love that this soup includes okra. It’s such an under-used vegetables, and I love frozen sliced okra from the freezer aisle. No sticky cutting board and it’s a snip and dump way to get a new vegetable in your belly! Should I have not used the word dump either? Guys, my blog posts are completely off-the-cuff. I don’t have time to niggle and wiggle every little word that comes out of my fingertips.

Just make the recipe – I don’t put up food that doesn’t taste good. It’s why I don’t post recipes multiple times a week – I only make something that’s blog-worthy max one time per week these days. All of my other meals consist of an embarrassing mix of ghee topped dark chocolate, Chicken Vaca Frita from Latin American Paleo Cooking *the only way I’ll eat shredded chicken now*, and avocados with sauerkraut. Confession: I ate Vaca Frita with my hands for breakfast – just took a handful of leftovers and walked out the door with it.

Once I can get Grace in preschool, I’m going to start eating real food again. I did make it a goal last month to eat 3 balanced meals a day but that lasted 1 1/2 weeks. Surprisingly when I’m on vacation, I eat better and more balanced than when I’m at home. I run around like a drunk chicken at Chicken Shit Bingo (google it) until my husband gets home every night at 7 pm. At that time, I can finally breathe and go do some dang yoga.

 

I did a 20-minute Youtube barre class last night before yoga while watching the season premier of Riverdale. While the instructor’s voice and constant reminder to hydrate couldn’t have been more annoying, I could barely walk upstairs to go to bed after her class. Barre is the type of workout that hurts so bad, I physically want to punch a pillow I’m in so much pain. Burpees and sprints are much more tolerable to me.

Some quick hacks for this soup: I used Bonafide Provisions Chicken Broth, frozen sliced Okra from the freezer aisle, Aroy-D coconut milk (the best and no additives) and cooked it in my Cuisinart Classic Chef’s Stainless Steel Pot for quick and even heating.

 

 

21 reviews

Yellow Chicken Veggie Soup

Prep Time 00:15

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium yellow squash, peeled and diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 13.5 ounce can coconut cream or milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons coconut vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, bite-size cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 10 to 12 ounce bag frozen sliced okra
  • for serving: minced red onion, chopped cilantro, coconut yogurt

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute diced onion for 5 minutes until softened. Add diced squash, garlic and bay leaf and sauté 2 to 3 more minutes until garlic is fragrant.
  2. Stir in dried herbs and spices and ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Add coconut cream and bring to a simmer.
  3. Transfer half of the pot, including the bay leaf, to a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer back to the pot along with the chicken broth and coconut vinegar and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in chicken and carrots and cook for 5 minutes until chicken is opaque. Add frozen okra and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. You can cook 2 to 3 minutes longer for softer okra, depending on your preference.
  5. Serve warm topped with red onion, cilantro and coconut yogurt or cream.

Recipe Notes

 

White Chocolate Energy Bar with cardamom & orange blossom (nut-free)

white chocolate energy bar

This Paleo White Chocolate Energy Bar is made with coconut butter, ghee, four different seeds, spices and orange blossom water!

 

I had a half-empty jar of coconut butter sitting in my cabinet and for some reason it was bothering me. Coconut butter is such a multi-purpose ingredient, and I find myself getting very creative with it. I just had to come up with something nwI used it to make a Garlic Aioli with Truffle Fries this weekend too – that recipe will be in my upcoming ebook!

 

truffle fries aioli

How freakin’ good do these look? I can’t wait to share them with you!

 

Ghee is a lactose and casein-free clarified butter with many health benefits. It’s popular in Ayurvedic cooking and has a buttery, silky smooth mouthfeel and a sweet taste. For the longest time, I didn’t do well with ghee. Only in the last 6 months have I been able to consume it without getting a headache. Now that I’m able to eat ghee again, it’s my main cooking fat for me and my 16-month-old.

 

I recommend 4th & Heart Ghee which is the best-tasting and most affordable ghee I’ve found. You can find it at some health food stores but I prefer to buy it discounted on Amazon. It comes in several delicious flavors including Vanilla Bean (heavenly in baked goods or on roasted root veggies), Himalayan Salt (what I used for this recipe), Truffle (not truffle-y enough for me), California Garlic (I have yet to try) and Original (just a good ol’ plain ghee).

 

PS Just discovered on 4th & Heart’s website they will be releasing 3 cacao & ghee flavored spreads called Chocti at the end of this month (October 2017)! I’m going to get my little mitts on that as soon as it releases! I can’t believe they’re teasing me like this but I took a few marketing classes in university so I get it.

 

Well I hope I’ve convinced you to include ghee in your diet now! I didn’t even discuss all the health benefits but you can read up on them here. Noticeable improvements in my digestion & satiation since I started eating it again!

 

 

 

Okay so these bars are a new-to-me type of energy bar! Dense in texture, oh-so-crunchy, and full of my beloved Mediterranean flavors like cardamom, orange blossom and cinnamon. Imagine those warming tastes combined with creamy coconut butter, salted ghee and crunchy pepitas and sunflower seeds. It’s pretty heavenly. Oh and did I mention they contain absolutely no sweetener?!

 

These Paleo White Chocolate Seed Energy Bars are best served cold straight from the fridge since coconut melts at room temperature. They’re very satiating thanks to all the fat, fiber and minerals. You can slice them into large bars for a real hearty snack or into little squares just like fudge!

 

If you’re a fan of Lebanese, Turkish or Indian flavors – you will definitely love these seedy, crunchy, grain-free, nut-free energy bars! You can get creative with the flavors – add some vanilla bean powder, grated orange zest + ground ginger for even more flavor. I kept them fairly simple so that YOU can get creative & learn how to mix and match flavors to your liking.

 

Enjoy these sugar-free Paleo white chocolate energy bars full of gut-healing, skin-loving ghee! Have them with a cup of your favorite tea or even better: my White Tea Rose Latte!

 

 

 

 

2 reviews

White Chocolate Seed Bar with cardamom and orange blossom

Prep Time 00:15 Serves 12


Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup softened coconut butter
  • 1/3 cup ghee (I love this one)
  • 2/3 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut butter and ghee together over medium-low heat and stir to combine.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined. The mixture will be very thick and seedy. Taste and add more spices or orange blossom water, if you desire. 
  3. Line a small rectangular glass dish or loaf pan with parchment paper. Spread the mixture evenly into the dish. The smaller the dish, the thicker the bars will be. 
  4. Refrigerate until solid (about 1 hour) and slice into squares using a sharp non-serrated knife. Store in the refrigerator and serve cold to prevent melting. 

Recipe Notes

Minneapolis – a city of lakes, good eats and smiles!

 

 

Minneapolis has it all! Great food and drinks, thoughtful city design, beautiful lakes and the kindest people on the side (which side?) of the Mississippi!

 

My husband and I just returned from our 3-night stay in Minneapolis. I surprised him for an early 40th birthday gift – some time alone without Grace doing what we love to do. Namely, eat, explore and eat.

 

I chose Minneapolis because I had heard they were on the forefront of design and sustainability while still maintaining that mid-century charm reminiscent of 8th grade American history textbooks.

 

We visited at the end of September – just before it gets too chilly to ride bikes around the lake. In fact, they had quite the heat streak a few days before we arrived but thankfully we still got a reprieve from Florida’s 90+ weather. It was a comfortable 55 to 60 degrees our entire stay with a good dose of sunshine and some non-threatening drizzle here and there.

 

 

When planning this trip, I wanted to balance all of our eating and drinking with lots of city exploration and outdoor time.

 

We arrived to our hotel, The Hewing, on Friday evening, hungry and ready for a drink! The hotel isn’t cheap but it’s worth every penny to be in a neighborhood so walkable to great restaurants, coffee shops and the river. We had a king-size room for 3 nights that was just perfect. Big, beautiful shower with a separate toilet room, comfortable fluffy but not too fluffy bed, plenty of space for suitcases, large flat-screen TV and an upscale cabin feel. It’s only 10 months old too!

 

the hewing hotel

 

The Hewing is a converted warehouse with the original brick walls and wood floor. A private yoga studio, gym and spa treatment room are located in the basement along with free bikes for guest use. I used the yoga studio every day because… HELLO PRIVATE YOGA STUDIO.

 

The bar & restaurant in the lobby had fantastic people watching,  a great cocktail and cider list and the food looked quite delicious. And it’s beautiful to boot. We didn’t dine there but we grabbed a drink everyday. The front desk even gave us some drink coupons because some rambunctious wedding guests kept us up until 6 am Friday night blasting shitty club music.

 

 

Friday night’s dinner was my favorite meal of the trip! The Bachelor Farmer has it all going on. Great ambience (cozy, mature and upscale without being uncomforable), an attached speakeasy (very swanky, not totally my scene) and a little cafe for daytime treats. I had the crispiest skinned chicken thigh over the creamiest cauliflower puree outside of France. I can’t even describe how amazing the flavors were – the only non-AIP ingredients were butter and black pepper. They even started our meal with local melon seasoned with salt and pepper as an amuse-bouche. My husband had a cider cocktail and I had a glass of sauvignon blanc. The service was excellent. This is 100% a can’t-miss, don’t-miss restaurant in Minneapolis.

 

View from farmer’s market across Mississippi River to Nicollet Island 

 

We also visited the Mill City Farmer’s Market which runs on Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm through October. I’m glad we didn’t skip it because this farmer’s market is in a very unique location – along the river and an old train depot in the mill district. An old Pillsbury factory sits nearby that I believe offers tours (don’t quote me). You can  grab tacos, a green juice or a bag of local organic apples and sit on the steps watching the bikers and joggers move along the river.

 

Mill City Museum next to the Mill City Farmer’s Market

 

I picked up some incredibly fresh-pressed juice at the market. My favorite was the beet-ginger – it tasted spicy and cleansing – perfect for the morning after lots of cider sampling the night before. I also grabbed a 9-pack box of Ommie Snacks. The owner is a friendly woman who offers a wide variety of fruit and seed based snack bars with interesting flavors like Apricot Chai and Lemon Poppy. They are delicious, not too sweet, but perfect little snack squares and only about $2/pop! You can order Ommie snacks online HERE. I will be ordering & having them shipped to Florida!

 

We needed to get some activity in to make room in our stomachs for more food on Saturday afternoon. This task proved easy to accomplish as Minneapolis’ lengthy city bike system and trails connect the north loop of the city to the Mississippi to the chain of lakes to the west. We rented Nice Ride bikes for a couple hours one day and biked from Uptown (a neighborhood just south of downtown) along the charming Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun and adjoining neighborhoods.

View of Lake Calhoun from the bike path that weaves around the chain of lakes

 

The homes along the lake are a feast for the eyes – a mix between Victorian, 60s modern and 21st century sleek. There’s a separated bike path away from walkers, joggers and rollerbladers so you can speed along at your heart’s content. Lake Calhoun has a deck with concessions 100 or so people were resting on around 3:30 pm Saturday, watching the sailboats and kayakers mosey down the sparkling water.

 

I recommend downloading the Nice Ride bike riding system app if you choose to rent city bikes and getting a 24-hour pass if biking for longer than 60 minutes. You have to check them into a station every 30 minutes so it helps to have the app with a maps of stations and a timer.

 

Oysters & cider from Spoon & Stable

 

That evening we headed back to the hotel to unwind before grabbing another drink at The Hewing bar before walking to dinner at Spoon & Stable. This was my least favorite meal of the weekend but it was still quite delicious. We sat at the bar because it was slammed by 7 pm. It felt a little too pretentious in there for me and the bartender was being a bit of a know-it-all about my food allergies. I’m sorry, but they’re my food allergies, not yours, sir. We had oysters and Aspell cider to start. For dinner, I ordered the Tamarind Glazed Pork Chop which was at least 12 ounces – HUGE! It was undercooked even though they said it wasn’t. It was 100%. I sent it back and they re-plated it and it was perfect – much better. Other than those minor transgressions, I’d recommend it but it The Bachelor Farmer was a step above for sure.

 

 

Artist-designed mini golf in Sculpture Gardens at Walker Art Center

 

My top city pick though was the Walker Art Center. Situated just on the southern outskirts of the center of downtown, this modern and intellectually designed 7-story building housed some of the most kooky and ironic contemporary art I’ve ever seen. I much prefer it to the Art Institute of Chicago which is so enormous and echo-y, you need a full 8 hours to see the whole thing. Just walking through the smartly designed space is a feast for the eyes.

 

The Walker was much more digestible – and speaking of digestion – they have the cutest bar and restaurant inside called Esker Grove. The bartenders and patrons were so friendly and gave us lovely suggestions for later in the day! I grabbed a cider (Aspall Blush – an English apple cider with a touch of blackberry juice and the color of rose) before exploring the Sculpture Gardens along the museum.

 

Minneapolis bars almost always had a local or craft cider on tap!

The Sculpture Gardens seem to be the most iconic Minneapolis attraction other than the bridge. A large spoon with a cherry sits in the center while a variety of other quirky statues are walking distance around it. A giant bright blue pop-art rooster and the artist-designed mini golf course were my favorite. There’s also a beautiful basilica near the museum that we admired from afar. Next time, I’d love to go inside to check it out.

We headed back into Esker Grove to grab another cider (this time a Sociable Training Wheels) and took the suggestion of the bartender to walk south to Uptown. Yes, Uptown is south. It’s up of some town, I’m sure.

 

Uptown is the trending young professionals neighborhood full of everything the crunchy hippie part of my heart desires.

Coconut milk ice cream from Sebastian Joe’s in Uptown

 

 

We had dairy-free, vegan ice cream at two places: Sebastian Joe’s and Milkjam Creamery. First stop, obviously.

 

At Sebastian Joe’s, I got a scoop of their coconut milk strawberry and coconut milk dark chocolate (which had a funny name I can’t recall … maybe Nuclear?!) It was rich, creamy, and I couldn’t finish the whole thing. The kind of ice cream you could easily trick your newly diagnosed lactose intolerance kid with.

 

Milkjam was a more interesting experience though their ice cream was less creamy, more ice-y. While the ambience and scent at Sebastian Joe’s left a lo to be desired. MilkJam is bright, fun, and engaging. Their flavors and topping offers are much more condensed and unique – you can get a donut ice cream sandwich even! I chose the vegan (almond and coconut milk) Toasted Coconut + Black Chocolate.

 

Okay maybe it wasn’t called Black Chocolate but it was made from the darkest cocoa I’ve ever seen – literally black in color. I topped mine with a drizzle of olive oil and a flaked smoked sea salt… which they were super stingy with… the 15-year-old kid clearly did not understand my love for fat and salt. They also win on logo design.

 

MilkJam is connected to a restaurant that smelled like my Moroccan dreams called World Street Kitchen. We didn’t get to eat at it but it’s on my list for next time. The smells tied me over until then.

 

Organic cheese curds from Wisconsin and Lowry Hill Meats pickled beets for a quick snack

 

 

While in Uptown, we also visited Lowry Hill Meats and got a bag of organic cheese curds with a container of their house-pickled beets for snack. I wanted handfuls of salami and pastrami as well but I was saving my appetite for dinner at Burch Steakhouse.

At the recommendation of a bearded and kind-eyed patron at Esker Grove, we headed to Tao Natural Foods. It’s one of the coolest crunchy vegan shops/cafes I’ve ever been in. It felt like I was in a cozy wooden cave with smells of burdock and turmeric wafting through the air. There’s a small upstairs loft with an impressive selection of bulk organic herbs – everything you’ve heard of and never heard of. There’s even a small, cozy and dimly lit massage room with a lovely orange glow and scent of lavender eye pillows.

 

Tao Natural Foods’ upstairs loft herb bar

 

 

At the cafe, I ordered the best turmeric latte of my life and even grabbed the recipe from them. It was coconut milk, turmeric, cinnamon, honey and a splash of vanilla. Frothy, thick and so, so warming. Tao Natural Foods makes me want to be a 23-year-old Master’s student in Minneapolis on a cold February day.

 

For shopping, we visited Patina – this store was Urban Outfitters meets Etsy meets some Minnesota state park’s souvenir shop. I LOVED IT. And spend a lot of money. You have to visit and leave at least an hour to peruse! Pacifier in North Loop is also the cutest freakin’ baby store I’ve ever been inside. I mentally spent $2,000 there but physically bought Grace a $5.95 book. You can shop Pacifier online for gifts – I know I will be!

 

We walked around the Lowry Hills neighborhood after that and before dinner at Burch. Beautiful tree-lined streets, modest brick and shutter homes and apartments that probably cost 3x what they would in Florida. Very charming. The kind of neighborhood I’d love to live in – walkable to tons of shops and restaurants!

 

Our third night’s dinner at Burch did not disappoint. We arrived for an early 6 pm dinner and it was already packed. The smells of meat over an open flame, the sounds of a bustling city restaurant full of celebratory events, and the open kitchen was exciting. We ordered another Sociable cider, a grass-fed 6 ounce sirloin each (medium rare, charred crust) and a side of caramelized carrots with a sherry gastrique. The food was easily modifiable – the housemade A1 sauce and horseradish came on the side with pickled beech mushrooms. They left the goat cheese off the carrots – which were dessert in themselves. Caramelized in sugar water until dark brown with the perfect hint of wine-like vinegar. 7/10 for atmosphere and 9/10 for steak.

 

Grass-fed sirloin, glazed carrots & pickled beech mushrooms at Burch

 

Monday morning we walked to the North Loop Whole Foods for breakfast. It was only 3 blocks from the hotel, so I  grabbed salad there every morning for my breakfast to save some money. They have a nice local chocolate selection there too! We also went to an adorable donut shop in The Skyway (indoor mall) called Cardigan Donuts. I didn’t see any gluten-free options but my husband enjoyed his 3 (!!!) donuts and coffee. Speaking of coffee, there’s so many amazing coffee shops in the city but our hotel had delicious coffee for free…. so we didn’t go to them! But I did have a homemade almond milk latte at Penny’s!

 

 

Oh yes, and we also tried two places for lunch that I recommend for grass-fed burger salads: Red Cow and French Meadow. We also had lunch at the Minneapolis-St Paul airport at French Meadow. They made me a wild salmon and kale salad with kalamata olives and scallions that was pretty good for airport food!

 

 

This was a FANTASTIC burger salad at Red Cow! Grass-fed & well-salted beef, a whole avocado & tender greens!

 

 


WALKABILITY OF THE CITY:  7/10 from the hotel to the Walker Art Center was 1.5 miles and to Uptown another 1 to 1.5 miles. We used Lyft and the drivers were so nice – one even gave us free water bottles he had in a little cooler for his riders. Uber can suck it.

 

FOOD & DRINK: 9/10 excellent for sustainable and organic food, unique menu items, well-designed cocktails and a wide variety of gluten-free cider choices – much healthier options than Chicago or even Austin!

 

PEOPLE: 10/10 SO DAMN NICE. Is “Minnesota Nice” a saying? I feel like I’ve heard that before. If not, it needs to be… everyone was incredibly helpful, accommodating and inquisitive. They wanted to know all about you unlike NYC or even Chicago where people put their heads down and avoid stranger interaction.


Thai Lemongrass Chicken Soup + HUGE AIP GIVEAWAY!

 

 

 

Authentic Thai Lemongrass Chicken Soup is my new recipe from the BRAND NEW Freezer Cooking for the AIP ebook!

 

This ebook contains 123 AIP + FREEZER-READY recipes from over 30 bloggers! You’ll get freezing, storing and reheating instructions for every recipe.

 

*  73 recipes were created specifically for this ebook – you won’t find them anywhere else!

* Chapters include: Breakfast, Appetizers, Snacks, Soups, Stew, Casseroles, Mains, Sides & Desserts (everyone’s favorite!)

* I’m even sharing recipes from The Healing Kitchen that have been adapted for freezer cooking!

*Make ahead meals for the whole family! This book would be great for busy moms, batch-cooking before baby arrives, working singles, frenzied families & those that like grab & go options!

 

DOWNLOAD NOW &

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY (DETAILS BELOW!)

 

 


 

Some of my favorite exclusive recipes from Freezer Cooking for the AIP include my Thai Lemongrass Chicken Soup which I’m sharing with you below… as well as:

+

Chicken & Herb Dumpling Hot Dish

recipe & photo by Jaime Hartman of Gutsy by Nature

 

 

 

Creamy Beef & Rice Casserole

recipe & photo by Cristina Curp of Castaway Kitchen

 

 

 

An AIP take on Hail Merry Snacks…

“Be Merry” Strawberry & Dark Carob Tarts

recipe and photo by Andrea Wycoff of Forest & Fauna

 

 

Orange Pork Meatballs with Red Cabbage

recipe & photo by Kristina Risola of Food & Sunshine

 

Garlic Balsamic Beef

recipe & photo by Laura Vein of Sweet Treats

 

 


 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS!

ENTER NOW UNTIL OCTOBER 9TH, 2017 TO WIN OVER $900 OF AIP PRIZES!

  • $250 gift certificate to fill your freezer with gourmet frozen meals from Paleo On the Go

  • A Hot Logic Mini Deluxe with Pyrex and Car Adapter ($70 value) to heat your frozen meals anywhere

  • Curated bundles of AIP-compliant food products from ShopAIP

    • The Starter Kit ($63 value)

    • Baker’s Dream ($61 value)

    • Snack Attack ($68 value)

    • Savor the Flavor ($61 value)

  • A full free year subscription to Autoimmune Strong ($180 value)

  • Free membership to AIP Batch Cook ($47 value)

  • The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott ($35 value)

  • The Phoenix Helix ebook collection by Eileen Laird ($45 value)

 

 

2 reviews

Thai Lemongrass Chicken Soup

Serves 2 to 3 (easily doubled)


Ingredients

  • 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2-inch piece dried galangal
  • 2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pound chicken breast, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups thinly sliced kale leaves
  • Lime juice, to taste
  • Ingredients for serving: Chopped cilantro

Directions

Preparation

  1. Blend coconut milk, lemongrass, garlic, and ginger until smooth using a high-speed blender. Transfer to a large saucepan or stockpot along with the chicken broth, galangal, fish sauce and sea salt. pan>
  2. Bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the chicken, mushrooms and kale and cover with a lid. Simmer for pan>10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms are tender. pan>

3. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.pan>


Freezing

Transfer soup to large glass container and refrigerate loosely covered until cool. Seal with a lid and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. pan>

Serving

  1. Allow soup to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. pan>
  2. Heat in a saucepan over medium-low heat until warm. pan>
  3. Garnish with chopped cilantro. pan>

Recipe Notes

Poached Salmon Salad with Dill Vinaigrette

 

 

 

White wine poached salmon flaked over refreshing romaine & cucumber with a light dill vinaigrette makes for the perfect end of summer salad!

 

 

Salmon salad makes it to my mouth repertoire at least once a week. While sometimes in the form of canned salmon mixed with greens and avocado, nothing beats the taste of fresh wild-caught salmon!

 

 

For this recipe, I’ve poached the salmon in white wine with lemon slices for a more interesting flavor. While the alcohol from the wine cooks off, you still get the flavor. I go for a dry chardonnay when making this recipe – nothing too fruity or sweet!

 

 

White wine poached-salmon is then tossed with crisp romaine, refreshing cucumber noodles and a fresh dill vinaigrette flavored with shallot and lemon! If you’re having company over and want to serve them light and classy fare, bookmark this AIP-Friendly Poached Salmon Salad with Dill Vinaigrette!

 

 

Head over to Autoimmune Wellness to get the recipe!

 

 

Dairy-Free Apple Pie Ice Cream

 

 

 

This Dairy-Free Apple Pie Ice Cream is made with coconut milk, coconut butter and sweet potato for extra creaminess without any of the cream!

 

 

 

By now, you are not surprised to see a dairy-free ice cream recipe on my website that contains sweet potato. I’ve tried to make coconut milk ice cream in my electric ice cream maker without it. It just never turns out as deliciously creamy.

 

 

 

Traditionally, ice cream is made with cream (fat) and egg yolks (fat) which decreases the chance of ice crystals forming. Fat doesn’t freeze “hard” like water does. What’s in coconut milk? A lot of water!

 

 

If you’ve found your coconut milk ice cream on the icy side, this is why. Another solution is to use the cream from two cans of coconut milk. I just hate to waste all that water & never think to save it for smoothies.

 

 

 

So why do I add vegetables to my ice cream? Adding cooked white sweet potato results in that familiar creaminess by binding with the water. This decreases the amount of ice crystals that form. Simple science, delicious results!

 

 

 

apple pie ice cream paleo

 

 

 

Can you use regular sweet potato? Sure, but the ice cream will be a more orange color. I don’t suggest using canned sweet potato because it has a tinny taste to it. For some reason it works in pie but not in ice cream.

 

 

 

Now I couldn’t call it Dairy-Free Apple Pie Ice Cream just because I added Primal Palate’s Apple Pie Spice. Which is so comforting sprinkled in a cup of black tea by the way. I had to serve it with warm apple pie filling, or this would be downright fraudulent. I love contrasting flavors, textures and temperatures in my food. Warm, spiced apples over cold, creamy ice cream. There’s a reason apple pie a la mode is basically American food religion.

 

 

 

I’ve also given you an AIP-friendly Apple Pie Spice blend below. I will say – don’t be afraid to reintroduce seed-based spices as soon as you feel ready! They really open up your flavor options and allow you to cook authentic food from a variety of ethnicities. I’m a human who can’t live without cumin. And now I want that on a tshirt.

 

 

 

apple pie ice cream

 

 

 

Last ingredient note: you should be able to find apple butter at nearly every grocery store now that it’s fall. Look in the jam/jelly aisle. I’ve linked one of my favorite organic brands in the recipe! Just apples! When mixed with the cooked apples in the Apple Pie Topping, it tastes exactly like someone dumped the innards of Grandma’s pie on your dairy-free ice cream. Bonus points if you can find apple butter at your farmer’s market!

 

 

 

And there we have it! The perfect summer-fall transition treat especially if you live in the south. I’ll really want to be your friend if you find a way to add pie crust to this recipe too. Enjoy!

 

 

 

If you love fall treats, you will love THE BEST PUMPKIN PIE I’VE EVER HAD!

 

 

 

1 review

Dairy-Free Apple Pie Ice Cream

Prep Time 00:10 Serves 2 to 3

 

Ingredients

  • 1 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup cooked and mashed white sweet potato
  • 1/3 cup apple butter
  • 1/3 cup well-stirred coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Primal Palate Apple Pie Spice (see note below for AIP)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Apple Pie Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 medium gala apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons apple butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a blender, combine all ice cream ingredients until smooth. 
  2. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the Apple Pie Topping. In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil. Saute apples until tender 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in apple butter and ground cinnamon to thicken. Keep warm and serve atop the churned ice cream. 

Recipe Notes

AIP Apple Pie Spice: 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon + 1 teaspoon ground mace + 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (you may also add 1 teaspoon ground ginger for added anti-inflammatory benefits!)

 

 

 

apple pie ice cream aip

Why Your Body Didn’t Bounce Back Post-Partum

post-partum weight loss

Because humans aren’t made of rubberbands.

 

And you’re not a kangaroo in reverse.

Because you, you, and only YOU grew an entire being with a heart, kidneys, liver, GI tract, brain and the cutest butt dimples known to mankind.

Because you have more important things to do than obsess over your calorie intake, exercise regimen and body fat percentage.

 

One of those “things” is putting all of your heart into raising a child who will leave this world a better place than when they entered it.

Just slightly more important than the size of your hips. Just a wee.

There’s a hormone called prolactin that actually increases fat storage so that you can provide your baby all the nutrients he or she needs in the first 6 months of their life and beyond. 

Because estrogen and testosterone are suppressed during breastfeeding which makes it difficult to gain muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat. You know that.

But muscle doesn’t tell your body to feed your child the best way it knows how. It just looks nice to you.

Because that’s what the media told you to think.

You’re sleep deprived because you’re up every night letting your baby know you will always be there for them.

You’re sleep deprived because you’re up every night feeding your baby so they have all the nutrients they need to achieve their goals – even if that goal is rolling from left to right the next day. 

You’re sleep deprived because you’re up late worrying about the extension of your being in the crib or co-sleeper next to you.

 

You’re worried about bringing them into a world where terrorism, political unrest and natural disasters make the news everyday.

You’re worried because you want to protect your baby from anything that could hurt them whether real or imagined. 

Because the female body wasn’t created to be finely tuned and obsessively controlled.

 

It was created to create and sustain life.

Because you spend 40 to 60 hours a week working on your career, another 56 sleeping and the remaining 52 hours rolling around on the floor with your child, laughing until you pee your pants  (because you always forget to do your pelvic floor exercises, oops)

Because comparison is an imagined state of reality based on past experiences, society’s positive reinforcement, and a lack of acceptance and love. Because it’s always been “in” to change yourself but seen as “complacency” to accept yourself, stretch marks and all.

Because no blogger, author or “guru” can make money by telling you to accept yourself in this present moment. There’s no $19,99 manual, 21 day fix or “challenge” in your self love journey post-partum.

Finally. You have the inner strength and confidence to recognize and reject the massively contorted and garbled information you are fed every day. You know your body participated in the miraculous cycle of life that billions of women before you have also participated.

 

For thousands of years before you existed and before social media and magazines existed, women did not have a puzzle piece figure they were “supposed” to fit into by 6 months post-partum.

 

Or 60 months post-partum.

Have compassion for yourself and other women for existing in a world where women are told to find their worth in a measuring tape and scale. And then give those notions a giant middle finger. 

 

Send love to your past self, your present self and your future self. Stare into your baby’s eyes and find your purpose, their pureness, and decide on your definition of beautiful. Chances are being a compassionate, eternally loving and immersed mother, partner, friend, daughter, sister, peer and neighbor will give you a lot more confidence than losing 12.5 pounds.

 

And guess what? You can do that while still exercising and eating well.

Without obsession. Without self-criticism. Without comparison. 

 

 


LOVE, 

A mother with one breast size A the other size C. A mother with cellulite who still wears a two-piece bathing suit in public and isn’t on a diet.

A mother with a closet full of clothes that fit her 15 pounds ago and remind her of the experiences she had while wearing those clothes, not the way she looked in them.

A mother who has learned over the last 15 months that she is a more beautiful, more intelligent, more impactful and generous woman than the girl she used to be.

And she can thank her baby for that.

(Oh, and also a mother who works everyday on reminding herself of ALL OF THE ABOVE.)