Creamy Shrimp Scampi with Kale & Peas

I love any meal with sauce.  Especially a garlic based sauce.  And I love shrimp.  So scampi is, naturally, a favorite of mine.  I’ve made it many ways over the years and tested out many recipes, but I’ve never been fully satisfied with any of them.  Some have too much lemon; too much oil; not enough garlic; not enough sauce.  None of them are perfect. 

This one might not technically be a scampi.  You might consider it more a shrimp and garlic butter sauce, but it’s the best of everything I’ve come to love of the scampi dishes I’ve tried: Lots of garlic & parsley, a little lemon zing, and loads of shrimp. 

Mine is also swimming in sauce.  I like the sauce to be on the creamy side, so I use milk or cream from time to time. But if you aren’t a saucy person, feel free to omit that entirely. And if you’re paleo, definitely feel free to use bone broth. It will be just as tasty.

The first recipe I ever tried for scampi included paprika, but most don’t.  I found that I like it more with paprika.  I use smoked.  It adds a nice bit of depth. 

And, of course, no meal in my kitchen is complete without veggies.  I like to combine them with the shrimp and sauce, instead of serving on the side.  You know, to spread the saucy love. I usually use whatever veggies I have on hand, or whatever I’m in the mood for.  This time around, I was in the mood for kale and peas.  Feel free to use whatever veggies suite your fancy.  Or none, that’s fine, too.  Weird…but fine.   

I like to serve this over pasta.  I prefer to use quinoa pasta.  Most of them have corn flour as an ingredient, so if you have a corn allergy and are gluten free, you can use quinoa or rice. I’ve been known to serve a lot of traditional pasta dishes over quinoa. If you’re strictly paleo, you can make zucchini pasta or just eat it as-is.  If you’re not serving it over something, however, I would tone it down with the sauce quantity, unless you want to be dining on scampi soup, which, actually, now that I’m thinking about it, doesn’t sound too bad. 

Oh, I forgot to mention, there’s bacon. Delicious, tender, salty, crunchy bacon. Yum.

So, here you go.  Creamy Shrimp Scampi, coming right up. 

24 oz shrimp
1 box angel hair
8 oz kale, chopped
16 oz peas
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lemon
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 - 1 c. milk, cream, or broth
6 slices bacon

Fry bacon in a pan over medium-low heat.  Drain most of the fat, then fry shrimp in pan with a bit of the bacon fat. 

In another pot, cook kale & peas with the lemon juice, paprika, garlic, and parsley for about 15 minutes, or until the kale is tender. 

Transfer shrimp & any accumulated liquid to the veggie pot.  Add cream.  Simmer for a few minutes.

Serve over pasta, topped with bacon crumbles. 


Minty Fennel Green Juice

One thing I hate about juice recipes is that they always call for fruit and veg by the piece.  I find that this yields extremely inconsistent results.  I’m very plan oriented, and I need consistency to plan appropriately.  To combat this, I’ve started documenting the average weights of fruit and veg so that I can use weight in my recipes (or convert those I find to use weight instead).  That way I always get the same amount of juice from a recipe.  And no chaos ensues in my kitchen.  No, that never happens…   

When I buy all of my produce over the weekend, I’ll wash, cut, and bag all of the produce up individually so it’s ready to be weighed and juiced at any time, with limited prep required. I find this saves a lot of time and doesn’t change the quality of the juice or lessen the quantity.  And as much as I hate single use items and plastic bags, I do love using plastic zip top bags to store my produce.  It keeps it all very fresh, and the space they take up shrinks as I use up the produce.  I die a little inside every time I throw one away, but you choose your battles, I suppose. 

I find a lot of great recipes on the rebootwithjoe site, which is where I found this one (don’t ask me where, because I can’t find it now).  It called for handfuls and pieces and stalks, so I converted everything to ounces.  I made a couple substitutions.  I used orange instead of grapefruit, dandelion instead of kale, and I used all parts of my fennel (bulb, stems, and leaves). 

I found this to be extremely refreshing for a green juice.  Usually green juices are…uhh… well… pretty fucking nasty.  This was pleasantly sweet and minty.  I will definitely be adding this to my regular juice rotation. 

Here’s the recipe by weight and by piece, in case you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person. 

6.6 oz. orange (or 1 orange)
1 oz. mint (or 1 handful)
12 oz. celery stalks (or 6 stalks)
10 oz fennel bulb + 6 oz fennel stems/leaves (or 1 bulb fennel with all stalks and leaves)
1 lemon
16 oz. green apple (or 2-3 apples)
4 oz. dandelion greens (or ~1/2 bunch)

yields slightly more than 56 oz.

Cheers to good health!

Wondering about the nutritional value?  Here you go.  Want the TL;DR version?  This juice will give you super healthy blood, brain, bones, & skin, and might even help your vision. 

Dandelion greens give you a shit ton of vitamin K & A, a hefty amount of phosphorus, potassium, & calcium, and trace amounts of vitamin B & C, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and iron.  

Mint contains vitamin C, manganese, and copper.  Mint also aids in digestion and produces something called monoterpene which is said to slow tumor growth and prevent cancer formation in certain areas of the body. It also acts as an antioxidant and has antibacterial properties. 

Oranges, of course, contain vitamin C, but also vitamins A & B, potassium, and calcium. 

Celery contains vitamins A, B, C, K, and tons of minerals and antioxidants.  Celery also contains compounds which might help reduce nervousness and headaches. 

Fennel has quite a bit of potassium and vitamin C, and trace amounts of selenium and other minerals. The stems contain a solid mixture of B-complex vitamins. 

Apples contain B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and trace amounts of minerals. They also contain quercetin, which acts as a powerful antioxidant. 


Raw Trail Mix Recipe

I love trail mix, don’t you?  Trouble is, I can never find a premade mix at the store that I’m 100% satisfied with.  Usually they contain at least one ingredient that I want nothing to do with. Like peanuts, m & m’s, or yogurt covered raisins.  No thank you.  I’ll make my own!

I’ve been making my own trail mix for a while now.  It’s a must-have on our kayaking trips and now it’s a standby in our lunches for work.  It satisfies on so many levels.  There are the salty-smoky pistachios, the bitter-crunchy cacao nibs, the sweet-chewy cherries, and the variation in texture with almonds, cashews, and sunflower & pumpkin seeds.  

This mix is sure to please every palate.  My boyfriend even likes it, and he used to swear he only liked peanuts.  If you have some picky kids, try adding more dried fruit to up the sweetness factor.  Try banana chips, raisins, strawberries, or apples.  They might find the cacao a little bitter, but I find that the cherries (and other fruit, if you’re adding more) balance out the bitter quite nicely and you end up with a nice jolt of chocolate flavor without most of the bitter edge.  Or maybe I’m just used to raw cacao.  Not sure.  I will say that the resident child requests this in her lunch quite often.

It's jam packed with all kinds of fun nutrients, like vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, potassium, B2, B6, phosphorus, zinc, iron, biotin, selenium, calcium, and even a little vitamin A.  And, of course, tons of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. In addition to some of the vitamins and minerals already mentioned, the cacao nibs also add a few other things, like chromium (which is said to help balance blood sugar), theobromine (antibacterial), and vitamin C. They also contain some fun amino acids and many people even claim they boost serotonin. I’m not quite sure how that works, but I’ll take all the serotonin boosting I can get! 

Anyhow… to make this awesome nutrient-dense trail mix, you’re going to need:

1 c. raw almonds
1 c. raw cashews
1 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1 c. raw sunflower seeds
¾ c. salted, shelled pistachios
¾ c. raw cacao nibs
½ c. dried cherries
½ c. brazil nuts (optional)

I like to add the brazil nuts…you know…to meet my selenium quota, but you can leave them out if you’re not a fan, or if you supplement selenium or whatever.  I don’t supplement selenium because it makes my BO smell like garlic, which I think is rather repulsive. 

Toss it all into a bowl, or a bag and shake it up.  Make sure your cherries aren’t sticking together in big globs, then store the mix in glass jars.  I like to store the mix in wide mouth mason jars and vacuum seal them with the food saver.  But that’s just me.  I seal everything.  

Using the measurements listed, this recipe makes two 32 oz. jars. I consider about ¼ - ½ cup to be a serving. 

Here are some rough nutrition facts.  They're not exact, but pretty close.  Don't pay any attention to the vitamin and mineral content or the servings.  That's not accurate at all.  


Baked Egg Cups Recipe

We’ve been trying to make some transformations here in our household.  As always, we’re trying to teach the child the value and importance of a healthy diet. In doing so, we’re trying to slowly morph her diet into one that more closely mimics our own.  Or, at least, something a little closer to real food than the sugary breakfast cereals she usually enjoys and the frankenfoods the school calls lunch. This has been a transformation long in the making, and it has had many challenges.  

One of the last junky things to go is her breakfast cereal.  Although we do buy the stuff from the health food section without HFCS, sugar cereal is still sugar cereal.  I want something that will keep her going up until lunch time at school, but finding something quick and nutritious to prepare in the mornings has had me stumped.  Until I discovered egg cups, which are quick, easy, affordable, AND nutritious. They can also be easily customized, which is always a good thing.  

You'll need:
  • 1 dozen eggs (1 egg per cup)
  • 6 oz. filler (meat, veggies, cheese, etc., 1/2 oz. per cup)
  • liquid (milk, bone broth, water, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp. herbs & spices 

To start off, preheat your oven to 325 F.  Then grab your muffin pan and plop a little dab of butter into each cup.  Then slide the pan into the preheating oven for a short time, just long enough to melt the butter.  When the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven and rub the melted butter around each cup until well coated.

Warning Note: My pan is nonstick, so if yours is not, you might want to run to the store real quick and grab some of those foil muffin liners, then do the butter melting in the liners so they peel off nice and neat. Even with my nonstick pan, this still sticks slightly, so if you don't have a nonstick pan, the results may be disastrous. 

Next, mix up your eggs, liquid (I used milk), and spices, and pour evenly into each cup.  Then sprinkle in your fillers.  For these I used bacon, colby jack, basil, and salt & pepper.  Roughly 1/4 oz. each of cheese and bacon per cup.  

Now, you can go about baking these the safe and clean way, by lining a sheet pan with foil and placing it under the muffin pan while baking. You know, in case they decide to puff over and ooze all over your lovely, clean oven. Or you could live on the edge and just throw 'em in. 

Bake them for about 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Depending on your choice and quantity of fillers, they could take a bit longer. 

You'll end up with something resembling this:

Let them cool for a few minutes.  They might deflate slightly.  That's normal.  Take a butter knife or something and slide it around the egg to release it from the pan, then carefully plop them out.  They won't be perfect, but they shouldn't stick too badly. 

You can keep them refrigerated (if you'll eat them within the week), or freeze for future use.  If you use a microwave, they can be reheated that way, or using a toaster oven.  I haven't personally heated them up using a toaster oven, but I'd imagine running through the toast cycle on medium heat once or twice would do the trick. 

I serve two of them with 1/2 banana for breakfast, which is about 450 total calories. Keep in mind that if you use different fillers, the calories will change significantly.  We find that the child does best (cognitively and physically) with close to 2000 calories daily, so this is a nice start to the day for her.   

Enjoy :)


Curly Girl Update - 11/9/13

Hello, fellow curlies!  I've been having a run of pretty decent hair days lately, so I wanted to update you all.  I'm not currently using the products I mentioned in my last update.  AT. ALL.  Nope, I have a completely new line-up that I'm totally in love with.  I discovered the best conditioner on the planet. (Let's hope this doesn't jinx me... *knocks on wood*)

For those of you with short attention spans, here's a quick rundown of my routine.  If you want the product details, you'll have to keep on keepin' on.

  • Cleansing: use a shampoo bar every few days, and co-washing in between
  • Conditioner: use a combo of the two conditioners mentioned below, either every other day switching, or use both at the same time. Whichever feels right at the time. I rinse everything out completely. 
  • Leave-in:  apply a small amount of my leave-in until my hair feels slippery
  • Gel:  scrunch in some Alba Botanica Strong Hold Gel
  • Drying:  Scrunch with a flour sack towel, then blow dry with a diffuser

Still with me?  Ok, here are the fun details...

I was browsing Vitacost.com (btw, if you shop at vitacost through that link, we each get $10 off a purchse of $30!) and found a couple new conditioners I was interested in trying.  I was having a tough time narrowing it down, but after tedious ingredient scrutiny, I decided on Acure Organics Argan Stem Cell Conditioner and Avalon Organics Biotin B Complex Conditioner.  (Ingredient lists for both are posted at the end, if you're interested)

1: the conditioner

I decided on the Avalon because of the biotin.  Biotin is a B vitamin which is required for healthy hair, skin, nails, eyes, and liver. Since our hair, skin, and nails are the last to receive nutrients, it's fairly important to get some of this via conditioner for your hair.  It's also something I rarely see in the conditioners I've been using, so I thought I'd give it a try in an attempt to battle the brittle ends I've been experiencing. It also has aloe as the first ingredient, which I know my hair loves (although not always in conditioner), followed by a ton of fun oils.

I decided on the Acure Organics because of the argan oil, and the fact that it uses argan stem stem cells. I hear people raving about argan oil all the time, and have yet to try it. A few other ingredients of interest were the glycerin, protein, panthenol, and a few oils and butters. My hair doesn't like glycerin in large quantities, but when it's the ninth ingredient down, it's usually escaped hair-rebellion territory and entered the welcome-slip zone. Usually.  I also don't tend to like butters so much, but this was also very (very) low on the list.

2: the shampoo

The third new addition to my routine is a shampoo bar.  I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but I was having a lot of trouble with limp roots when I was using the lower quality conditioners as co-washes (Suave, Tressemme, etc.). I was sort of in the midst of a hair crisis when I realized that the only thing, pretty much, that I hadn't tried was a shampoo bar. I had heard a lot of curlies talking about how they start off working, but eventually kill your hair, and blah blah blah.  But I also heard a lot of low-porosity curlies talking about how much they LOVE their shampoo bars. So I tried it. And I loved it. I'm still not 100% sure that I am going to stick with THIS shampoo bar, but I will continue using shampoo bars. (Currently I'm using a Nettle, Mint, and Goat Milk Bar from The Northwoods Goat on Etsy.)  I'm using this every other, or every third day.  In between I'm using Yes to Cucumbers as a co-wash.  I never liked it as a full on conditioner, but as a co-wash I'm really fond of it. Most of my products are unscented, so my hair rarely smells like anything, but this has a pleasant scent that lingers and keeps my hair smelling fresh on those in between days.

3: the leave-in

The fourth and final new addition to my routine is a leave-in conditioner. I was looking for something to mimic the Infusium-23 stuff I used to use before going silicone/sulfate free. I found something by a company I had never heard of before. Innersense Organic makes a lightweight leave-in called Sweet Spirit. It comes with a spritzer cap, so I thought it would be liquid. It's thicker than I expected, almost the consistency of a lightweight conditioner.  I think the spritzer cap keeps me from overdoing it, so I don't end up a looking like an oil factory.  In fact, once dry, my hair is nice and soft, not oily at all.  I'm super in love with this stuff. At least for summer use, anyway. We'll see how it stands up to Pennsylvania winters.

So, that's that.  This has been working for me for months now, so I have high hopes for it. I might have to switch it up and go back to using the Alba Styling Cream instead of gel. But I think this routine is pretty solid.

If you've ever used any of these products or have any shampoo bar recommendations, let me know in the comments section!

Happy Hair Days :)

Avalon Organics Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice(1), aqua (water), decyl glucoside, sodium coco-sulfate, coco-glucoside, sorbitol, xanthan gum, avena sativa (oat) kernel extract(1)*, calendula officinalis flower extract(1), chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract91), citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit extract, daucus carota sativa (carrot) root extract(1)*, persea gratissima (avocado) fruit extract(1)*, rubus idaeus (raspberry) fruit extract91)*, serenoa serrulata fruit extract(1)(2), solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruit/leaf/stem extract(1)*, styrax benzoin resin extract, tanacetum vulgare extract, canarium luzonicum gum nonvolatiles, cedrus deodara wood oil, cedrus atlantica bark oil, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, citrus limon (lemon) peel oil, copaifera officinalis (balsam copaiba) resin, coriandrum sativum oil, copaifera officinalis (balsam copaiba) resin, coriandrum sativum (coriander) fruit oil, eucalyptus citriodora oil, eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, ferula galbaniflua (galbanum) resin oil, geranium maculatum oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil(1), lavandula angustifolia (lavendr) oil, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil(1), zingiber officinale (ginger) root oil, babassu oil polyglyceryl-4esters, bisabolol, citric acid, hydrolyzed wheat protein, inulin(1), sodium sulfate, tocopheryl acetate, alcohol(1), benzyl alcohol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, limonene, linalool.1) Certified Organic Ingredient2) Saw Palmetto Extract*Known as Biotin carrier.

Acure Organics Ingredients: Organic euterpe oleracea (acai) berry, organic rubus fruticosus (blackberry), organic rosa canina (rosehips), organic punica granatum (pomegranate), organic fair trade certified rooibos, cetearyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, stearylkonium chloride, vegetable glycerin, glucono delta lactone (fermented sugar), organic argania spinosa (argan) oil, cetearyl glucoside (from corn and glucose), guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride (guar gum conditioner), glyceryl stearate (vegetable-derived), L-arginine (amino acid), organic fair trade certified theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, sorbitan olivate (from olives + sugar), panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), cellulose (plant derived), d-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), lactic acid (vegetable derived), hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) seed oil, organic curcubita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil, ubiquinone (CoQ10), argania spinosa (argan) stem cells, glycerophosphoinositol lysine (from sunflower), prunus dulcis (almond) extract, cinnamomum aromaticum (cassia bark) oil.

Yes to Cucumbers Ingredients: Water, (aqua), cetearyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, cetyl esters, passiflora edulis seed oil, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, camillia sinensis leaf extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, spinacial oleracea (spinach) leaf extract, prunus armeniaca (apricot) fruit extract, glycoproteins, guar gydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, glycerin, fragrance (parfum), trimethylolpropane tricaprylate/tricaprate, potassium benzoate, citric acid, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol.


Meatball Recipe

It seems I spend every waking minute of my life in the kitchen.  I usually spend my weekend prepping our lunches for the upcoming week and cooking big elaborate meals which I don't have time for on weekdays.  My boyfriend and I usually pack soup and fresh veggie juice for lunch.  Last weekend I made pasta fagioli as our "soup of the week."  One of the meats in this soup is meatballs, so I decided to share my recipe for meatballs!

Look at those tasty meatballs swimming in that fagioli!

What you're gonna need:

large chunk of bread
2 lbs ground meat
2 eggs
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tbsp chipotle pepper powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste

Here we go.  Start off with a large chunk of bread (the size of your hand...ish).  Now get it soaking wet.  Yes, that's right.  We need wet bread.  Nice, soggy, dripping wet bread.  Whatever bread you have on hand will probably work, but I usually use a chunk from a fresh loaf of Italian or ciabatta.  Hold it up over the sink until it stops dripping, then squeeze out a little bit of the excess.  Now crumble that into a bowl until you have a pile of what looks like soggy bread crumbs.  I don't ever measure anything, but I suppose if you wanted to be really precise, this pile might be something like 1 heaping cup.

Now throw in your two pounds of ground meat, eggs, and spices.  I like to use 1 lb ground turkey thighs and 1 lb ground beef chuck roast.  Mash everything together.  Yay.  Squishy burger goo.  You're probably wondering why there are two pics of my squishy burger goo.  I forgot some stuff the in the first pic...and I decided to add more chipotle and paprika.  Things rarely go smoothly in my kitchen. Don't judge me.

Roll this squishy burger goo into little balls.  I like them to be this size...

Now place them on a lined baking pan.  Well, really, who am I to tell you what to do.  Line it or don't, but I highly recommend you do.  

Turn your oven on to the broil setting and put a rack in the top slot.  Slide the baking sheet of balls in, and broil those suckers for about 10 minutes.  When they're nice and golden brown and sizzly, take them out and flip them...or do whatever you can that's as close to flipping as possible.  These guys don't really like to flip.  They are balls, after all.

Then cook them for another 10 minutes or so, or until the other side is nice and golden brown and sizzly.  Then slice open one of the larger balls and make sure it's not pink inside.  If there are any signs of pinkness, throw them back in for a few more minutes.  Rinse and repeat until no more pinkness.  But, don't really rinse.  These are meatballs, and that's just a saying...

Now eat these delicious suckers!

What's your favorite way to eat meatballs??  I need some ideas!  I have extra and I'm not a big fan of meatball subs...


Paleo, Raw, or Gluten-Free?

I've been making a lot of changes to my diet lately. My journey into a healthy lifestyle of self-healing started out being very confusing and overwhelming.  Now I find myself almost back where I started years ago, but with a few tweaks.  Let me explain.  


I started my healing journey by converting to a mostly raw diet, which worked for me for quite a while, although I had cooked meats sometimes with dinner.  I was going whole hog with it.  Green smoothies for breakfast, fruits and veggie snacks throughout the day, a gigantic salad for lunch, raw dehydrator crackers and snacks, then another green smoothie for dinner, or whatever I was cooking for my family.  This was great for a while, but I was super bloated by the end of most days (I think I was eating too much fruit), and I was craving a lot of meat and soup.  


To combat the being bloated thing, I bought a juicer and started mixing up fresh veggie juices.  Somehow, I was on an almost completely liquid diet before I knew it.  I was drinking almost 48 oz of fresh juice per day, then coming home and eating a cooked meal for dinner, which consisted mainly of meat and veg, maybe some rice.  As crazy as it might sound, this was actually very satisfying.  I would snack on some nuts in between juices to keep me satisfied, but the juice was surprisingly filling.  Eventually, my boyfriend hopped on my juicing bandwagon, and I had to reduce my juice intake.  The grocery budget demanded it.  We simply could not afford the vegetables it was taking to produce 48 oz of juice per day for 2 people.  That's like $100+ just for juicing veggies per week.  Sorry Charlie, we just can't afford that.  

To compromise, I started making about 16-32 oz of juice for each of us per day, and taking soup for lunch, and nuts and fruit for snacks.  This was working well.  I was also by this time, unintentionally, not eating many grains.  I was pretty much not eating any processed foods, except for the occasional slices of bread for a sandwich here and there.  By "here and there" I mean something like 1 sandwich per week, usually eaten for lunch at the farmers market on the go while shopping with the fam.  


I was eating plenty of meat at this time, as well.  Lots of meat in my lunch soups, and plenty of meat with our dinners.  I had stopped buying CAFO meats from the grocery store and started buying healthy local meats from the farmers markets.  Yes, this is like 3x as expensive as meat from the grocery store, but trust me, it's totally worth it...flavor and quality-wise.  And, as and added bonus, it's way more environmentally friendly!  No more styrofoam trays!  Yay!  

By this time, I was feeling GREAT.  Very little endometriosis related pain to speak of.  I'm sure it was everything (juicing, avoiding processed foods and sugars, healthy meats, raw foods, etc...), but for some reason at the time I attributed it mostly to the grain-free (which translated into gluten free, in my mind) eating habits I had recently acquired.  So I started avoiding gluten.  


Jump to last week, I was in a rush for breakfast foods because I didn't have time to juice, so I raid the cabinets, find some KIND granola and decide this will be a suitable, well rounded breakfast, paired with a banana and some raw milk.  After all, the child eats cereal every day for breakfast and she doesn't explode, so I figure I'll live.  

I get to work, figuring this day will be a misery of throbbing pelvis and cramped back... but no.  No pain to speak of for the entire day.  Hmmm...mysterious.  So I repeat the next day.  Same thing, no pain.  Super.  Repeat all week long...and I'm still feeling great.  I'm convinced it's the raw milk, but now I'm also convinced that I'm not as gluten sensitive as I had once thought.  But then again, perhaps 1 cup of "healthy" grains (not to quote the KIND slogan) per day isn't so bad.  *scratches head in confusion* 


To sum it all up, basically, I really don't know what the hell I am doing with my diet anymore.  I know I'm more discriminative about what I bring into my house to feed my family.  Although I thought I was healthy before, I feel completely different about "health food" now.  I look at food through a completely different lens now.

I thought I was raw/vegan, then I thought I was paleo, then I thought I was gluten free.  Then I realized I was some strange hybrid of all three.  I picked from each what worked for me, because honestly, I don't really think any of those things are for me.  At least not 100%.  I do look for paleo friendly recipes because I know that they are going to contain foods and ingredients that I'm actually comfortable feeding myself and my family.  I do cook my veggies with dinner (I know I'm killing the enzymes and I don't care).  I do not strictly adhere to any one diet.  I do what feels right and makes me feel good. Right now, eating the way I do, I feel great and effortlessly maintain a healthy body weight without counting calories or nutrition facts.  I've done a lot of research, read a lot of books, and studied nutrition endlessly for months on end.  After reading the China Study years ago, I was convinced meat caused cancer.  Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.  I know that I've read a lot on both sides of the meat debate and many other controversial dietary issues, and I'm now comfortable with my dietary choices, eating meat included.

Currently, I:

  • avoid processed junk
  • am careful with my omega 3/omega 6 ratio balancing
  • eat healthy, local meat
  • make bone broth
  • am eating more fresh vegetables than ever (through juicing and with dinner and snacks)
  • eat very little fruit (except in green smoothies)
  • eat tons of saturated fats and do NOT avoid cholesterol
  • avoid soy
  • eat sugar sparingly

Whatever you want to call that, I call it a healthy diet which makes me feel great.