Our hormones are basically little chemical messengers that tell the body what to do. They are a communication system for the body, similar to the nerve impulse messages that move our muscles, but rather than through nerves, the message is sent by the endocrine glands secreting hormones, sending them from one set of cells to another. The balance of our hormones is a very, very delicate orchestra of lots of organs and lots of hormones (over 100 different kinds!), all playing together. A combination of nutrition, lifestyle and environmental factors can throw this delicate balance off, and it can lead to a whole bunch of symptoms.
Are you tired and fatigued throughout the day? Do you feel depression or anxiety? Do you get sugar cravings, muscle cramps or period cramps, or headaches?
I’m kind of obsessed with Moroccan flavors. This is an adaptation of a recipe from the Balanced Bites Holiday eBook that Diane Sanfilippo sends out every year, but this dish is awesome for any time of year, not just the holidays. It’s so flavorful with the cumin and coriander, and the dried figs give just the perfect amount of sweetness. This is awesome over cauliflower rice (or real rice, if you’re #teamwhiterice!)
There’s a South American proverb that “A good broth will resurrect the dead.” While that may not be literally the case, bone broth is one of the best things to give someone who is sick or recovering, since it helps boost the immune system to fight sickness, is rich in minerals, and has the building blocks needed for our body to repair its own gut lining (and 80% of the immune system is in the gut). I recently made this soup for a family friend who was recovering from surgery. When I was asked to make a meal for her, the first thing that popped into my head was a soup with a gut-healing, mineral-rich bone broth as the base.
Have you ever had Russian tea cakes? You know, the kind that are little round shortbread balls rolled in powdered sugar? They were always one of my mother’s favorite kinds of cookies and she made them frequently when I was growing up. I always loved how buttery and delicious they were. She decided recently to make them again, and I, being jealous, decided to make a batch for myself that were grain free and dairy free.
Raw sauerkraut is a brilliant probiotic food, rich in enzymes and nutrients — and it tastes much better than the pasteurized stuff in the cans from the grocery store, which are devoid of nutrients anyway! The first time I ever made sauerkraut, I was surprised at how delightfully tangy and crunchy it was, as opposed to the unpalatable sour and limp stuff I had tried before. It’s very simple to make, and if you’re wanting to get started with fermenting veggies, sauerkraut is the place I recommend you start.
Kholodets is one of those recipes that sounds really weird, but it’s actually not too weird when you think about it: it is simply bone broth poured over shredded meat, but allowed to cool so it’s gelatinous. Then, you spoon it out and eat it with mustard or horseradish mayonnaise. Meat Jello? Yes, okay, meat jello. That sounds weird, BUT there was a time when it was quite normal to eat this gut-healing, nutrient-rich dish here in the US of A! Have you heard of aspic? Kholodets is basically the Ukrainian version of that.
I am really excited to write this post, and I have been wanting to do it for a long time. But before I start, I want to say that I am writing my ‘paleo success story’ not because I want you to be impressed of the before and after pictures, or that you will think highly of me, but because I want people to understand that eating real food works. It is what your body needs. And many so-called ‘incurable’ health issues can be reversed or eliminated completely just through the food that you eat.
CHERRY GARCIA! I never thought a dairy free, egg free ice cream could taste this good, but it did. The boyfriend used to love Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, so I decided to try to replicate it as best I could using some good quality ingredients. It also needed to be totally vegan, since he was going off dairy and eggs for the month of January, and I’m off dairy and eggs until further notice (boo, IgG allergies!). I’ve had mixed luck with coconut milk ice creams because it never quite lends the same creamy consistency as real cream, and when I first made this batch with a base of coconut milk, it didn’t thicken up at all, and then when I put it in the freezer, it turned into a huge ice cube. Sigh. So, I did some Googling to see what other people did to make a coconut milk ice cream actually turn out well, and I found a trick of using arrowroot starch to thicken up the coconut milk and allowing the mixture to chill. When it freezes, it has an amazing creamy texture that I thought I’d never be able to achieve with dairy-free ice cream!
An acquaintance gave me a recipe from The Bulletproof Diet for a chocolate truffle pudding. I wanted to try to make it for Christmas, but didn’t have all the ingredients and couldn’t have the butter that it called for. So, in Rosemary fashion, I gave it a few tweaks (read: make it completely unrecognizable from the original recipe), and what turned out was perfect! I am a huge, huge fan of peppermint chocolate. I used to be obsessed with those Andes Mints back in the day (helloooo, sugar addiction!) and this reminded me of that.