Friday, December 12th, 2014
Golden Immunity – Fight the Flu!
Over the past few months I’ve been researching the topic of herbal antivirals and herbal antibacterials. I’ve learned a lot to say the least. My family’s supply of immune boosting tonics, tinctures, herbs, etc is damn impressive, and if our house ever caught on fire, I’d probably grab as much of those as I could instead of my laptop, etc. Ha! Seriously though, I feel empowered to kick anything’s ass that comes my family’s way.
Entered into our home: the flu.
We had the flu in our house with our little one recently, and in my determination to heal her in record speed (which she did), and preventing my husband and me from getting it, I created this crazy wonderful drink, Golden Immunity. It’s filled with everything the body needs to nip the flu virus in the bud or help you prevent getting it, if you’re around people with influenza.
I made the drink on the spicy edge so I didn’t give it to Kamea. For Kamea, I did a number of other things from probiotics to lyposome encapsulated vitamin C plus vitamin D3/K2 drops, various tinctures like this Cherry Bark, this Astragalus, and this Dr. Christopher’s Echinacea Angustifolia, and homemade elderberry syrup (plus more) multiple times a day. (If you don’t make your elderberry syrup you can buy it here.)
Making Golden Immunity is a 3 step process to make it, but beyond worth it. There are no amounts listed in my rough outlined recipe, but I made a batch with 3 cups which Greg and I shared. Just eyeball everything because as long as you’re getting the following ingredients in, it’s immensely beneficial.
Read More »
Friday, December 5th, 2014
Improve your life with Fat
Fat is your friend, my friends. Today, I share why you should have this deliciousness in your life with a guest post by an expert in biohacking and optimizing human performance, Dave Asprey. I was honored to be a guest on his top-ranking, popular podcast which I wrote about here.
The Bulletproof Diet Book
Well, this is a special week for Dave Asprey because he launched his much anticipated book, The Bulletproof Diet. All of Dave’s followers are excited to finally have this book in our hands, and I started it last night. I immediately jumped to the chapter on supplements and learned a few things such as which quantities of Vitamin K2 to take of each (not vitamin K1), as well as appreciating his story on sinus infection and high dose vitamin C. I am also going to biohack with his advice on supplemental iodine. Although I haven’t read the whole book, I expect it to be great.
In support of this book launch, I’m sharing a guest post by Dave where he details the truth about fat. I selected this topic because I’ve been wanting to cover it myself but just haven’t had the time. So, I’m happy to have an expert like Dave Asprey come on my blog to share some wisdom on FAT. Enjoy….
The Truth About Fat by Dave Asprey
It’s a key component of a healthy lifestyle. It has dictated the existence and extinction of many animals on our planet. In the human world, diet – although geographically unique – all have focus on nutritional value. So why for so long have there been so many hapless attempts from diet fads to teach us the right way to eat healthy. More importantly, why do most dieticians and nutritionists diminish the role that saturated fat has in making us healthier, happier and more efficient as humans.
In 1950 a scientist by the name of Ancel Keys rocked the world of nutrition by claiming, with some pretty convincing research, that saturated fat caused heart disease. The low-fat diet craze immediately stormed the scene and has unfortunately stuck around ever since, despite the fact that we later learned Keys threw out data that didn’t fit his model. More simply put, Keys manipulated data to corroborate his theory. He lied.
This might very well be one of the biggest lies in diet history. A lie which not only warped our nutritional understanding of fat, but resonated for over a half century to this day, where the fear of fat is still common in even some of the most educated, healthy people.
Due to faulty research, fats have gained a bad reputation, but the right types of fats are healthy and essential for life. All nutrients are converted inside the body before being used. The right fats are a clean burning, nutritious, and satisfying energy source that keeps your body and brain functioning at maximum capacity.
Firstly, fat contains more energy per gram than any other food, so it is most effective at delivering energy to the parts of your body that need it. Compared to protein or sugar, fat also has the lowest impact on insulin levels. Low-fat foods containing sugar spike insulin levels in the bloodstream, which leads to energy crashes and weight gain. Furthermore fat – unlike protein or carbohydrates – doesn’t raise the stress hormone cortisol, which increases blood sugar and suppresses your immune system. Eating fat increases the stomach’s bille production, which in turn allows it to release more toxins. This can be compared to a car having an oil change. To put it simply, healthy fats are an important component of the human body. It’s what we’re made of. The healthy female body is comprised of about 29% fat, while men are about 15% fat. Portions of every part of our bodies are made of fat, including our brains. This means that low-fat diets starve not only our stomachs but also our brains.
A large amount of people who quit their diets owe it to the waning of their will power. One of the main reasons people fail on so many dietary goals is that they feel like they’re being tortured and simply give up and go back to eating the foods they actually enjoy. Humans are like psychological misers, we have limited attention and willpower and once we meet our threshold we are likely to break. Saturated fats not only improve your bile turnover which as previously mentioned allows your body to excrete toxins more effectively, but it is also prevalent in some of your favorite, most delicious foods! This is music to struggling dieters ears. Rather than struggling through the fat-free agony, you can instead reap the health benefits of a high-healthy- fat diet and wake up every morning thrilled about the food you’re going to eat that day.
Like many big decisions in our lives, dieting deserves careful research before jumping in.
The reality is that saturated fats are both healthy and key for dieting. They balance hormones, help in excreting toxins, and are found in some of the most delicious of foods. Doing your research on incorporating saturated fats into your diet, will not only make you feel better in both mind and body, but will allow you to conserve your willpower and make your dieting experience more effective and tolerable.
Fat is the foundation of The BulletProof Diet, an incredibly in depth dietary guide created by bio-hacker and best-selling author, Dave Asprey.
Dave Asprey is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur who spent 15 years and $300,000 to hack his own biology, losing 100 pounds, upgrading his IQ, and lowering his biological age. He runs the No. 1-ranked iTunes health podcast and The Bulletproof Executive blog about using biohacking to increase human performance — and he invented Bulletproof Coffee.
You can find more about biohacking, the art of changing your environment and your biology so you perform better in his new book The Bulletproof Diet, and also on The Bulletproof Executive website, Facebook and Twitter.
Friday, November 28th, 2014
Mama Mia Braised Meatballs
One of my favorite recipes to make is meatballs. Simply, it connects me to my Italian heritage and gives me a warm feeling in the kitchen. As I drop each meatball into the tomato sauce, I think of past generations… wondering what they were thinking about as they made meatballs.
This is an easy recipe that can be thrown together quickly with a few ingredients and some grass-fed ground beef. I intentionally created the recipe with only a smattering of ingredients to inspire myself to make it time and again.
Mama Mia Braised Meatballs is one of my family’s favorite dinners, too. Kamea has fun eating the meatballs because, well, they’re balls. And, Greg? He just chows down without saying much between bites, and then proceeds to lick everyone’s bowl of leftover sauce. Read More »
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
Pumpkin Pie (Gluten-free Grain-free Almost-Paleo)
I love the holidays because they’re my time to indulge. But, if you know me at all, I never get too crazy. Instead of eating a gluten filled, extra sugary pumpkin pie, for example, I’ll make my own with ingredients that get my approval… and I’ll eat 2 slices (maybe 3… OK 4 tops!). :) That’s my kind of extra indulgence.
My family loves this pie and I’ve been making it for a few holidays now. It makes an appearance a few times each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My favorite part, other than the quality ingredients, is that it’s really easy to make. My (now) 4 year old loves helping me make it.
The crust in my Pumpkin Pie is based with organic blanched almond flour with grass-fed butter. Hence, it’s not paleo because I have the butter in it. These days though, I see a lot of paleo lovers venturing more into the “Bulletproof-type” diet, which I guess is like paleo, but with butter and rice. Don’t quote me though. If I HAD to label my eating, which I really do not like to do, I’d say we’re eating more Bulletproof than anything else… paleo with lots of grass fed butter, some rice at times (like when I mod my Chipotle bowl or when we eat these rice ramen noodles), and we definitely eat raw grass-fed cheese (which is not really Bulletproof according to Dave Asprey, but we find health in it).
Let’s get to this easy Pumpkin Pie recipe.
Pumpkin Pie (Gluten-free Grain-free Almost-Paleo)
Yield one 9-inch pie
- 1 Pie Crust (recipe below – make pie crust first)
- 1 (16 oz) box organic pumpkin puree
- 3 pasture-raised eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
- 1/2 cup unrefined sugar
- 1/4 cup grass-fed Upgraded collagen*
- 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon organic pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Blend all of the ingredients on high until smooth.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the chilled pie crust (recipe below).
- Put on a pie shield if you have one, and bake the pie for about 45 minutes (until the center is slightly jiggly). Sometimes my oven is way off and I end up needing to bake this for almost an hour.
- Open the oven door a bit, turn off the oven, and let the pie stay in there for 5 minutes before taking it out to cool completely.
* If you must, you can do without the collagen.
Pie Crust (gluten-free grain-free)
Yield one 9-inch pie crust
- 2 1/4 cups blanched organic almond flour
- 2 teaspoons dried organic orange zest
- 1 tablespoon xylitol (or sugar)
- 4 oz salted (grass-fed) butter, cold, cut into 8-tablespoons
- Briefly process the almond flour, orange zest, and xylitol using a food processor, fitted with the S-blade.
- Add the butter and pulse a few times. Then, turn on the food processor, and let it stay on just until the dough barely forms into a ball. Don’t over process.
- Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a pie dish.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes. Make the pie filling while it chills.
Saturday, November 15th, 2014
Coffee Shake Ice Cubes
Want another way to get your morning buzz? Try Coffee Shake Ice Cubes.
I am a fan of Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee recipe which I drink frequently. I also put my own spin on it (read my coffee shake elixir variations here).
Another thing I do once in a while is make a batch of my Coffee Shake and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Then, I transfer the frozen coffee cubes to a glass mason jar and store them in the freezer.
To enjoy: Simply throw a few of those cubes and a little hot water into a blender. Blend it up and enjoy. Alternatively, heat the Coffee Shake Ice Cubes in a small pot on the stove.
Saturday, November 8th, 2014
Homemade Vanilla Coconut Milk (paleo. vegan.)
Making your own coconut milk is galaxies better than buying it from the store, at least in most cases. The reason is that when you make your own it’s: 1) fresh, 2) doesn’t have any preservatives or additives, and 3) it tastes so much better. Give yourself and your family a real treat by making it yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
I like my Homemade Vanilla Coconut Milk heavily doused in my coffee, tea, and used in preparing raw or cooked foods. And, of course, a big ol’ glass of it straight up.
Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Coconut Milk
Vanilla Coconut Milk
Yield 1 quart
- Soak the shredded coconut with the hot water for about two hours in a large bowl.
- Transfer the mixture to a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, and blend for a minute.
- Strain through a good nutmilk bag (discard the pulp). <– I haven’t used that bag but it gets nice reviews.
- Enjoy! This keeps for a few days in the refrigerator. It will separate so simply shake it up before consuming.
* I use freshly boiled water from my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker.
Saturday, November 1st, 2014
Dried fruits and herbs for Beautiful Berry Nourishing Heart Tea #HerbalMedicine
It’s not a surprise anymore that I love herbal medicine. I’ve been writing a lot about it the past months. I wanted to share some pictures of things I’ve been buying recently for herbal medicine and beauty. Everything is from Mountain Rose Herbs which is where I’m an affiliate and source almost everything (unless they’re sold out of something). They offer such great prices on their stuff and the staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable.
Organic Herbal Teas (tisanes)
These teas are remarkable blends that I love drinking. My daughter loves them, too. I use my big bad-ass french press to brew a big ol’ batch of herbal medicinal tea. (Read more here.) I’m particularly fond of the Dream Tea (it really works), the Vita-Blend Tea, Lemon Tea, and the Moon Ease Tea really works, too.
Organic Essential Oils and tinctures for robust health and to help fight illness.
You know I love tinctures (I teach you how to easily make your own here). I buy some blends and I make some of my own. Since the tincture making experience, easy as it is, takes time to process, I sometimes buy pre-made blends if I don’t have something ready of my own. Or, if there’s a single herb tincture that I don’t feel like making myself, I buy it. For example, I always buy Mountain Rose Herbs’ Ashwaganda Tincture and Astragalus Root Tincture.
I’ll also never be without Black Cumin Seed oil for its crazy ridiculous benefits… it’s from a powerful medicinal plant which enjoys a robust reputation for healing a lot of things. It has a long history (especially in Egypt) of being used for many ailments from headache to toothache to sick stomachs to beauty (and a ton more).
“Classic” Sampler of Essential Oils
I also source a lot of essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs (I also love Living Libations but they’re usually more expensive, but oh so amazing. Their lemon oil was life-changing for me with Wild-Caught Salmon Roe). I use essential oils daily in our home vaporizers / aroma diffusers (I haven’t tried this one, but it’s on my Amazon wish list). I like to have one in the bedroom, office, kitchen, and family room. They work miracles for energizing when I use peppermint and rosemary … or calming when I use lavender … or disinfecting at flu time when I use eucalyptus, tea tree, and thyme. I also use essential oils for a plethora of other things. I have an epic blog post coming soon on how I use essential oils. I like the small vials (pictured above) in Mountain Rose Herbs’ Classic Sampler for my first aid kit.
Bulk herbs and spices for herbal medicine.
Here are a few great choices for soups, tinctures, and teas. I use the rose hips in many of my tinctures to add a beautiful boost of Vitamin C.
I use Schizandra berries in my longevity and beauty tinctures. I read something interesting about Shizandra. According to the little gem of a book, Herbs for Long Lasting Health (by Rosemary Gladstar, my favorite author on herbal medicine), “Schizandra is often associated with the sexual organs, as it’s known to increase the staying power of men and to revitalize women’s sexual experience. When taken over a period of three to four weeks, it’s said to give a warm, tingling feeling to the vagina.” Um… OK!
And, astragalus root? That’s a potent longevity root that I will never be without. It has a stellar reputation for building immune strength and energizing the body. I use it in soups and stews primarily, like my Longevity Bone Broth (recipe here). I simply drop some slices into any simmering stew or tea and let it enhance my creations with longevity vigor. I aim to be a centenarian, after all. (Strain it out before consuming the soup, stew, or tea.)
Herbal Organic Beauty and First Aid
Last, but not least, beauty (and first aid). I buy a mix of their oils so I can create my own blends for oil cleansing and healing (I have a post coming about a new twist I’ve added to my oil cleansing routine that upgraded it significantly — spoiler alert: this thing).
Mountain Rose Herbs also has awesome hydrosols (basically herbal water sprays for face and body… some are edible for food too, I think). These products are great for anti-aging, hydration, and just making me feel good. One of my favorite hydrosols is the rose water. I buy it, by the big size, and transfer it into smaller bottles, one of which that I carry in my purse at all times. I spritz it on my face to freshen up my makeup, give me a bit of hydration, and calm my senses with the smell.
Monday, October 27th, 2014
Food Journal (#RealFood)
Here are a few days from my omnivore “Real Food” food journal.
Breakfast: BulletProof-ish Iced Coffee… iced upgraded decaf coffee, Dandy Blend, HVBO, upgraded vanilla, grass-fed butter, organic coconut oil, 1T grass-fed whey, 1T grass-fed collagen, and MCT oil.
Lunch: large Salad w herb vinaigrette, cucumber, shallot, and kelp.
Dinner: Grass fed Ribeye steak cooked in my sous vide. Roasted red potatoes and leeks cooked with grass-fed organic ghee topped with fresh chives. Boiled broccoli smothered in lemon thyme grass-fed butter. Chocolate covered strawberries. Decaf bulletproof coffee
Read More »
Monday, October 20th, 2014
Kristen Suzanne in apple cider vinegar
, gluten free
, MCT oil
, raw dressing
, salad dressing
, wild caught salmon
Wild-Caught Sweet-n-Sassy Sockeye Salmon on Salad w Honey Avocado Mustard Dressing
I admit, 6 months ago I wouldn’t have had the courage to cook wild-caught salmon whole, but, today, I do. And, guess what? It’s wonderfully easy. Easy. Easy. Easy.
Plus, bonus, buying a whole wild-caught sockeye (or king) salmon is cheaper than buying it in pieces. I buy my wild-caught sockeye (and king) salmons from Vital Choice. I opt for the boneless with skin-on. They have an amazing product and fabulous customer service. I called them recently to ask them what to do with the prawns I bought from them. The gal on the phone told me step by step. Awesomeness.
Whole Wild-Caught Sweet-n-Sassy Sockeye Salmon
This recipe doesn’t require much work at all. The hearty crisp romaine lettuce is tossed in a delectable creamy avocado dressing that is both sweet and savory, which pairs well with the salmon, having it’s own sweet and spicy elements. My 4-year old loved it. My husband loved it. I loved it. Say no more.
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Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Kristen Suzanne in books
, food journal
, grass fed beef
, hemp seeds
, Kristen Suzanne
, MAC knife
, pastured eggs
, raw eggs
A mini-van almost packed to the gills, ready to roll.
We are a family who loves to travel, and our most recent epic road trip took us to Michigan. But, travel can wreak havoc on anyone’s best attempts to eat healthy. Not always. Check out my post below where I show how we traveled across the country while (almost exclusively) staying on our Real Food Foodie Lifestyle (i.e., we ate really healthy in spite of being on the road). It meant extra work, which isn’t always the thing you want to do after a day of being in the car, but I’m simply not willing to eat crap food which is most often what’s served in restaurants.
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