Monday, June 11, 2018

Want to Go Gluten Free...It Can Be Easier (Updated)

I remember drastically reducing my gluten in-take in 2009 by reducing intake of foods with gluten by switching to spelt flour to then go completely gluten-free in 2012. I can say it was one of the best top ten decisions of my life. Removing gluten eliminated the migraines. Finding out what inflames your body is paramount. Feeling bad is not normal and should not be accepted. Taking pain relievers every day is not a way to live.

 It has been a wild ride, and fun at times with experimenting with recipes seeing what works and what does not. I realize for many that they would not include the adjective fun in the topic of going gluten-free. What I'd like to do in this post is to break down the process a bit so if you're the person reading this who knows they need to bite the bullet, then this is for you.

Everyone has a problem with emmer wheat. That's the wheat used in almost everything today. It's biologically not made for our digestive systems. The protein is off the charts high due to mass hybridization. It should be avoided. It is way too inflammatory. It is affecting you. If it is not portrayed physically, then the inflammation usually manifests emotionally before eventually turning into a physical result. Read more about it in the book Wheat Belly authored by Dr. William Davis. Our emotions are tied to our gut, and when our gut health is poor, that bumps into our other body systems, especially our endocrine system, which is all about the hormones. Everyone has a different sized "people cup", and whatever and whenever it becomes full, it will pour out. If good things went in, then good things will overflow, and vice versa.

According to Dr. Kelley Reis, from The Natural Medicine Center of Raleigh, everyone with autoimmune disorders should be 100% gluten-free. Our immunity is tied directly to our gut health. When our immunity is compromised, so is our gut. For those who do not have an autoimmune disorder, you might consider einkorn wheat. It is much less processed, considered ancient wheat with a much healthier profile.

Five Things To Know About Going Gluten-Free (It Can Be Easier)

1) Know that this change is bigger than not eating gluten. If you just make it about foods with gluten, then you will inevitably fail. Make it a conscious decision and be adamant about an attitude of wellness. Begin by inviting the Lord Yeshua into the process. (If you do not believe in God or Yeshua, then you may choose to ignore this step.) Do not do this on your own strength and do not be deceived that this is too small for God. He is thrilled that you are interested in taking better care of yourself. Your health is a gift entrusted to you by Him. Pray each day asking for the Holy Spirit to guide your steps. Keep your mind and heart open to receive His instruction.

2) Restrain from replacing everything you ate with gluten with a gluten-free product. I know that is instinct, but understand many of those products are not any healthier than their gluten counterparts. Be creative and focus on fresh veggies and fruits for snacks. Whole foods are the best choice for nutrient density. Lettuce wraps are awesome! Remember again, you made this decision to live healthier.  Doing things differently is a positive thing! The less boxed and canned foods we consume, the better. It might sound common sense, but it really is a change in lifestyle. Fortunately, options and choices are much healthier, especially with the Paleo and grain-free options. If you are like, well then what do I eat? Go through my recipes on this blog. They are all gluten-free and super duper healthy!!!

3) Learn to love whole, gluten-free whole grains and pseudo-grains. Although we go grain free a lot of the time, we also really enjoy quinoa, sprouted or soaked brown rice, black rice, certified gluten-free oats, buckwheat, and millet. Soaking these overnight will aid the body in digesting them better. Place them in a glass dish, cover them with filtered water, and add a healthy splash of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and soak overnight. Feel free to give them a strain and quick rinse, then cook as usual. A wonderful resource to learn about how to safely, and properly prepare foods for the best digestion is in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

4) Do not get too cosy with corn or soy. Gluten-free is not just about removing gluten. The focus should be on removing articles in the diet causing inflammation. While these foods are gluten-free unless certified organic they are almost guaranteed to be genetically modified, are both extremely harsh on the digestive tract, and most soy is processed in which causing hormone disruption. Your digestive system directly affects your immune system. Keep in mind certain foods can cause similar inflammatory reactions in the body as foods with gluten even though they are gluten-free. They are called cross-reactive foods. For a lot of people corn, oats, and quinoa can fall into this category. Listen to your body. If you eat corn, make sure it is organic and sprouted. The sprouting will support the digestion. If you eat soy, choose organic fermented soy like natto or tempeh. Fermented soy does not compromise hormone health and is typically real, whole foods offering a lot of nutrition. You can learn more about how soy can endanger our health in The Whole Soy Story by Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel.

5) Get familiar with reading labels. When we need to examine premade products, always for the words wheat, barley, and rye first. After that, it can get kind of tricky. I'll go through a more in-depth blog post on how to be a gluten detective next week.  I am aware that it might sound cliche, however, keep in mind that most of the foods on the outer realm of the grocery stores do not contain gluten naturally, this includes most meats (stay away from already marinaded meat), eggs, dairy, fruit, and vegetables. Respectfully, these are your healthiest choices (sans the processed dairy and grocery store eggs). Your health is the reason for going gluten-free in the first place, no one does this as a hobby. You are worth it.

Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event

Are you new to the gluten-free lifestyle? Would you like to learn even more? Do you live in the Raleigh, NC area? Would you like to win tickets? You'll get the opportunity to be exposed to gluten free brands and have free samples, as well as shopping opportunites. I'm giving away 2 free pairs of tickets. Tickets are normally $10 a piece. In order to be entered to win follow the instructions below.

1) Share this blog post on your personal social media pages like Facebook. Make sure the post is public so that I can see it.

2) Comment below on this blog post that you shared and where.



Are you gluten-free? What is your biggest struggle?

Helping you to be a good steward of your health,

Marie Brock, HHC

Naturally Clearing the Toxins Out (Series Introduction Part One)

It was almost 9 years ago when my body began to recover from 18 years of chronic health issues. After much prayer and guidance by the Lord, it was through giving my body the tools that it needed to repair itself through real, whole, healthy foods and removing chemicals from my home that transformation began. Environmental toxins wreak havoc in the body and cause disease.

Choosing to eat well for your body is one of the most essential and important things that we can do to promote our wellness as well as the wellness of our family.  It's only the first step though. Our bodies are affected physically and emotionally by everything we inhale as well as what we touch and enters our pores then going into our bloodstreams. Along with the synthetic chemicals in our food, we must also be aware of our cleaning products, cosmetics, medicinal choices, and body care products. I will be doing a series over the next several weeks on how to rid our homes and families of toxins that we may not even be aware of that we use, touch, and inhale every day. I will make suggestions on more natural options that we can use instead from things we make ourselves to safer, more ecologically friendly pre-made products.

11 Household Items That Need to Be Ditched and Switched

1) Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets
2) Store Bought Detergent
3) Deodorant
4) Bug Spray
5) Sunscreen
6) All Purpose Cleaners
7) Make-Up
8) Toilet Bowl Cleaner
9) Window Cleaner
10) Air Fresheners
11) Oven Cleaner
12) Hand Sanitizers

Clearing Toxins from the Body

In addition to making those switches, it is important to be cognizant that those synthetic chemicals linger and hang around in our bodies especially in adults because we've been using them for a long time. Our bodies have amazing filters, but they can only take so much. A disease is an outpouring of toxic overload from the environment, emotions, and poor eating. There are natural, safe ways to help clear out those toxins from the body and support natural body function.

1) Exercise (enough to break a sweat)

Our wonderful Creator gave us a body so that we could move. Our sweat glands are extremely important and need to be used. When we sweat our body releases stress as well as toxins. You do not have be drenched, but if you see or feel moisture that is a really healthy outcome. Never wear antiperspirants that deny the body of sweating. Ideally, choose a movement that will not wear down the adrenal glands such as constant pounding like running. It's okay to run occasionally, but longtime running daily is very hard on the body. As a regular choice integrating high-intensity short burst workouts and even hot yoga are positive options. If you break a sweat while intensely walking that works as well.

2) Dry Brushing/Skin Brushing 

If you have never heard of dry brushing or skin brushing it is a simple practice that anyone can do, is very supportive, and free after the cost of the brush. Use a brush with natural bristles. I dry brush every time before I shower. Some advise it daily, but to support my immune system I do not shower daily. Dry brushing is not a new practice. It dates back as far as Hippocrates and the early Greeks.

The benefits are support for the lymphatic system and natural cleansing from the skin and reduction in cellulite. While our blood brings in our nutrients, the lymph takes out the trash from our bodies. This is one body system that tends to need extra help because of how much junk it deals with today.

Ideally, you would do this in the morning with more vigorous strokes because it is warming and energizing to the body. You can do it at night. If so, you do need to do it at night then you would take a little extra time and do it slowly so that it is more relaxing than stimulating. The best place is to do it in the shower completely naked before the water is turned on because your body will shed skin when you do this and then you rinse off the dead skin. Always do this with completely dry, unmoisturized skin. You do not need to push too hard, you are not trying to break the skin.

There are actually several different versions of how to skin brush properly. As a health coach, I would say if you decide to skin brush, pick a method that works for you, and be consistent at brushing at least twice a week because overall it is beneficial.

You will want to clean your brush occasionally. You can use Young Living Thieves or Lavender Foaming Hand Soaps or Dr. Bronners Unscented Castille soap with a few drops of Young Living Thieves or Lavender essential oil. You can get your Young Living products here. Feel free to email to ask questions about purchasing options.

I have personally created a simplistic version of the two methods that I do twice each week before showering. I will put that video below.

Dr. Bernard Jensen (USA Method)

You begin low at your feet and brush all the way up your body in short strokes. Do make sure to carry the strokes upward toward the heart for healthy blood flow. Once you get to your abdomen you can rub the brush in a clockwise motion several times over the intestines, then from the bottom of your ribcage to the top do several strokes, and then resume strokes on your arms starting at your fingertips going up your arms. The only time other than your abdomen that the direction of the strokes will change from your upward strokes is once you reach your shoulder the stroke will go down toward your heart over your chest.

Dr. Bruce Berkowsky (European Method)

This method is more intricate and follows the lymphatic path in the body. You will do each set of strokes or circular motions 7 times. Start on your left side because that's where the most lymph glands reside. Then you will repeat on the right side.


  • Lift your arm to reveal the pit and brush in a circular clockwise motion 7x's
  • Then the top of shoulder down through the center of the chest 7x's, then take the brush down and around the breast to the armpit 7x's, then under the same breast out to the armpit again 7x's
  • Placing the brush in the middle of the shoulders on the back take the brush up and over the shoulder down to the chest 7x's
  • Place brush on the back of the neck and take it around to the front under the jar 7'xs
  • Go to the hand and start at the fingertips in a circular motion all the way up to the wrist 7x's
  • Flip the hand over and do the other side 7x's
  • Turn over the hand again and brush each finger individually then up to the wrist 7x's
  • Place the brush at the elbow and do long strokes to the shoulder all around the arm 7x's
  • Place the brush at the wrist and go up to the elbow all around the arm 7x's  
  • Place the brush by the groin area and do circular motions up to the hip bone 7x's
  • Place the brush on the belly button and in a clockwise motion cover the whole abdomen 7x's
  • Place the brush on the spot where it ended and go in a reverse motion to end back at the belly button 7x's
  • Place brush on the lower back and go up to the shoulder blades 7x's
  • Place brush on the heel of the feet and go in circular motions, then on the ball in circular motions 7x's
  • Place brush on the top of the foot on the toes up to the anke in circular motions 7x's
  • Go from ankle to knees in long strokes all around the leg 7x's
  • Go from knees to top of thighs in long strokes all around the leg 7x's




3) Water

Our kidneys' job is to flush out toxins from the body. If we do not drink enough water then our kidneys are not about to work properly and then those toxins stay inside us. Read here to learn more about the importance of water. Water also lubricates our intestines and softens the stool to leave our body.

4) House Plants

We could not live without plants, no surprise there. They are an extremely important part of the daily diet. Another incredibly important factor is plants give us oxygen and cleanse the air. When the air is cleaner our respiratory system thrives and we can actually exercise and move better. If you don't have any or many houseplants this is a great incentive to get some. Certain plants even remove specific pollutants. If you are new to plants, then start with spider plants and peace lilies. Read the official NASA study on air pollution reduce by plants here.

5) Essential Oils

They make my heart beat and are truly my passion. I remember first learning about Thieves essential oil from Paul Nisan in 2010, natural health and raw food guru. I was fascinated by how he described the type of immune support it could provide. I had used products with lavender it in before, but that was the extent of my knowledge. As my passion grew I began to experiment and use them often, and eventually even teach classes about them at my part-time job. The truth was that I never received the results I was looking for from any of the brands or varieties I used. Something told me not to give me on them. I'd no idea about quality or the deception in this industry until using the bottles of Young Living Essential Oils that my best friend from CA sent to me. I opened those bottles in May of 2013 and never used another brand again. These are the only ones I recommend due to high quality, testing, and standards.

As far as natural cleansing in the body there are many oils from the Young Living Vitality line that can assist the body in healthy, natural cleansing processes. I would only trust Young Living Essential Oils internally. One drop of lemon oil in your water each day can support the liver, one of our most important filters. You get triple duty when diffusing essential oils because they cleanse the air, reduce stress, and help the body resist break down from positive ions that deplete our systems (more to come in another blog). I like to diffuse blends like Purification, RC, and Raven for happier air quality. Due to the fact that essential oils are lipid soluble, meaning they go into our fatty areas well in the body, and many toxins, especially heavy metals like to settle in our body's fatty deposits, that means that high-quality therapeutic grade essentials oils can have a conversation with those toxins and tell them to move out. Adding essential oils like lavender, cypress, and black spruce to a combination of Himalayan salts, baking soda, and Epsom salts is an easy enjoyable way to promote cleansing. Contact me with questions about bringing Young Living into your home.

6) Himalayan Salt Lamps

Real salt is a natural purifier in an of itself. Halotherapy is an old practice of inhaling the air when surrounded by chunks of pink, Himalayan salt used to reduce or eliminate infections, unhealthy skin conditions, and more. Many people with different conditions will visit salt caves today. A way to take part in this therapy is using a salt lamp. Through the warmth of the lamp the salt attracts the water vapor in the air and the water vapor that contains any toxic elements, pollutants, or mold is then eliminated or severely reduced. Again anything that contributes  to increased air quality allows the body to operate at a higher functioning level. Some say that negative ions are released from the salt as well there reducing the negative effects of electro-magnetic waves, but not enough conclusive studies have been done to prove this to be true.

You want to choose an authentic Himalayan salt lamp. There are unfortunately phonies on the market that are far less beneficial. Make sure your lamp is certified and comes with a return policy. They are not durable or strong, they break easily, so if yours takes a hard tumble and doesn't crack or break, be suspicious. Real Himalayan salt comes from mines in Pakistan, so look for that on the certification.

The lamps come in different sizes, so if you have a large room, choose a larger lamp. Do not place the lamps near water or essential oil diffusers. They can be in the same room as a diffuser, but not too close in the same space. They are sensitive to moisture and it can make it break down too quickly.

 7) Saunas

Many doctors, such as Dr. Mercola, today are suggesting saunas be used to eliminate toxins out the body by sweating, utilizing the largest organ in the body, similarly to exercise. Here is one study discussing the high amounts toxins especially heavy metals excreted when the body perspires. Heavy metals do not contribute to the health of human beings at all, but rather deliver disease and disorders. Saunas are essentially recreating the natural process of the body having a fever. When the body is trying to rid itself of an unfriendly virus or bacteria, often times it will create heat causing a fever or spike in temperature in an attempt to push out the invader by causing the body to sweat. Since many toxins as mentioned earlier set up residency in our lipid or fat tissues and heat raises the metabolism, the sauna therapy allows the toxins to dissolve by burning fat.

Conclusion

There are other options that can be done like chelation and cryotherapy, but I chose to discuss these ideas above because anyone can have access and utilize most of them methods. Do you already participate in any of the methods above?


Please let me know how the information blessed you,

Marie Brock, HHC




Saturday, June 2, 2018

What I Brought to the Birth Center for Lukas' Delivery



This is a long overdue post. When I was pregnant, a lot of people asked me what I was bringing with me to the birth center. I would say about a month before Lukas' delivery I started preparing my bag. Below I will go through what you see in the picture and why I brought it with me. Incidentally, I started this blog after shortly after having Lukas, but was unable to finish it due to adjusting to life with a baby again along with everything else. I'm so thrilled to be blogging again. I really missed it.

Diapers 

While we planned to cloth diaper, I didn't want to jump into something unfamiliar until we'd at least had our sweet one home for several days. A family member of ours always waited until the cord fell off to start cloth with her babies, that made sense to me, so I opted to try Earth's Best chlorine and fragrance-free diapers. I have to be honest, these did not really work well for us. I know some diapers do better on girls versus boys. I think this may have been the case. I swapped them out for Seventh Generation and I like them much better. (Update: We did cloth for 6 months and went back to disposables. At that point, we chose Honest diapers and when Thrive Market came out with their own brand of diapers we switched again, and have stuck with them. They are a great price and compare well to Honest in being safe and toxin free.)

Wipes

In the picture, you'll see BabyGanics wipes. I've since switched baby wipe brands as well to Young Living's Seedling's Baby Wipes. Young Living has a whole baby line now. It's really great. I'm obsessed with the wipes, they smell so good. I love them for hands on the go and to take makeup off too. They are truly the best wipes I've ever tried.

Essential Oils & Diffuser

I do not go anywhere without my essential oils. In addition to my go-to have to have with me everywhere case that is always in my bag, displayed above were the oils I blogged about here. I created a perineum skin regimen using the book Gentle Babies as a resource. I wanted to continue the regimen there in addition to using a few more oils for other needs to make our experience exceptional. They make our quality of life so much better emotionally and physically. I would never go back to not using them.

Due to the highest quality and standards, our family only uses Young Living Essential Oils. Did you know that Young Living tests their essential oils with a minimum of 11 tests 3 times at the begin of the process and 3 times at the end of the process? Did you know that Young Living does not use the land until it's been cleared of herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides for a minimum of 50 years? USDA organic standards are only 7 years clear. Did you know organic standards permit pesticide use, they are just "organic" pesticides, said to be much less toxic than conventional ones? Young Living doesn't use any pesticides. Did you know that you can visit many of the Young Living farms and distilleries? Did you know that as wholesale members you can even take part in the harvesting process? It all blows me away. There's nothing else like them.

Maxi-Pads

You really want to bring your own due to the same synthetic chemical problems with baby diapers. Conventional pads are loaded with toxins that can contribute to heavier bleeding and hormone disruption. I opted for the Seventh Generation brand since that's what Thrive Market carried. During the end of my pregnancy, I really appreciated anything that could be sent to my door. My belly was so big that it became difficult to drive.

Homeopathics

I am a huge fan of homeopathy. If you are not familiar with this wonderful form of medicine, then get acquainted. On a very basic level, it operates from the perspective of like to like. Treatments are extremely specific and they are lovely because they do not interact with anything. Although it is recommended by some practitioners to space out homeopathic treatments from essential oil usage. I used arnica pellets to support my body in pain and bruising reduction.

Water Bottle

I purchased a new water bottle due to the recommendation of my midwife. She advised me to use one with a straw so that I could easily sip the water instead of having to worry about tilting it during labor. I opted for the LifeFactory glass bottle with a straw. I love this bottle and still use it today. It is my favorite water bottle. I didn't want to sip my water from a plastic container. The birth center had a cold water filtration unit, so it was easy for my husband to fill for me.

Snacks 

At my natural birthing center, I was allowed to eat whenever I wanted. While I wound up not wanting to eat during labor, I was very hungry afterward. I packed a few organic Lara Bars and fresh fruit with me from home. I think fresh fruit is one of the most amazing gifts that you can give a new

Homemade Favorites

I love to make balms, butters, and herbal salves for the skin with essential oils and other natural, safe ingredients. In the picture you can see my Baby & Mama Salve, peppermint lipbalm, and my Belly Butter.

Where did you deliver your baby...at a hospital, birth center, or homebirth?

Helping you to be a good steward of your health,

Marie Brock, HHC




Friday, June 1, 2018

Green Smoothie Bowl


While I love the simplicity and health value that a smoothie holds, sometimes I want to chew my food. I still need simple, but occasionally like to step it up a notch, my choice: smoothie bowls. Have you ever made one? It's not rocket science. It's just a smoothie poured into a bowl with toppings. You can get excessively fancy or keep it simple.

You can get so much get nutrition into a smoothie. If you are not making them, then you are missing out. Yes, I can get smoothied out and I do take breaks when I get bored. I think it's thoroughly important to be mindful of our emotions and thoughts because they can trick us and tempt us into doing something that is not advantageous such as going through the drive-thru. While I believe in eating to live and not living to eat, there's nothing wrong with enjoying our food. So when boredom sets in, then it's time to do something different. Choose life!

I've made many different smoothie bowls. As I make more I'll take pictures and share my steps and ingredients. I really enjoy taking advantage of utilizing superfoods in my smoothies. They make it easy to maximize my nutrients.


In the picture above you can see the ingredients that went in the blender. 

Smoothie Ingredients:

2 Cups Tightly Packed Organic Kale (Costco)
1 Frozen Organic Acai Packet (Trader Joes)
2 Cups Filtered Water
1/2 Cup Frozen Organic Cherries (Costco)
1/2 Cup Frozen Organic Mango (Costco)
1/2 Banana
1 Tsp Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder (Trader Joes)
9 Sunfood Chlorella & Spirulina Tablets ( Thrive Market)
1/4 C Hempseed (Costco)
1 Tbsp Chia seeds (Costco)
1 Medjool Date (Costco)
Ice if desired
2 Drops Young Living Lime Vitality Essential Oil

I don't put the same items in every smoothie because I do like to change it up. I do love the ingredients above though so I thought I'd share why. Acai berries have an extremely high ORAC score. That means they contain an abundance of antioxidants, which means we are healthier. I like adding maca because it's great for hormonal balance. A key to life and vitality is consuming chlorophyll, basically, plants own superfood. Chlorella and spirulina are both algae packed with chlorophyll. They support natural detox and cleansing in the body as well. 

Directions:  

Put everything in the blender and blend, really difficult, right?! Pour it into a pretty bowl, and then top it.


The topping choices are endless. Choose what you like. Pictured above is dried unsweetened coconut, 1/2 banana, organic raw pumpkin seeds, Purely Elizabeth Blueberry Granola (I buy it at Thrive Market, or either Target or Whole Foods when on sale). I don't usually buy granola due to the fact that it's usually really unhealthy. This brand is fairly impressive with a low glycemic sweetener being coconut sugar and a healthy fat with organic coconut oil. It's organic and certified gluten-free...so happy!

If you have questions about the ingredients, need any tips, or want to share your favorite smoothie recipe, please comment below.

Helping you to be a good steward of your health,

Marie A. Brock, HHC



Monday, May 28, 2018

Power Pesto Egg Salad



I recently created this recipe because I'm always trying to add plants to my meals, plus I already had pesto prepared in the fridge. I'm not vegan or vegetarian anymore, but plant foods are my favorite. The vitamins, minerals, and life we receive from them is an incredible gift from the Lord. He is so good to us!

So here's something you may not know about me, I love egg salad. I have this odd excitement that happens when I am about to eat it as if it is some rare delicacy. Weird, I know, like extremely, nonetheless there it is, I told on myself.

FYI, in case you are wondering the crackers are grain free from Simple Mills. I bought them at Thrive Market. Sometimes I get them from Whole Foods Markets when they go on sale.


Normally, I make my own mayonnaise, but lately, our local Costco has been out of avocado oil a very important ingredient in my homemade mayonnaise (recipe will be in my upcoming cookbook), so because I know I'm a mayonnaise head, I grabbed this at Costco to be safe. I was happy to feature it in the blog because and have wanted to for some time so you can see a healthier option for store-bought mayo. If you do keep that versatile condiment in the house, consider making your own or purchasing the Chosen Foods brand. Most brands on the market are really unhealthy with soybean or canola oils. If you are still cooking with those oils too, it's time to ditch them. Read about healthy fats to keep in your kitchen here.  Mayo gets a bad reputation for being unhealthy due to eggs and fats from the oil, but if it's made with organic eggs from free-range pastured chickens and the oil is a good choice, then it's really a winning traditional food condiment. I use mayo in so many recipes. It works wonders.

My husband and I are huge fans of pesto, especially when we make it at home. I have a few different recipes since I've made it several ways. My favorite recipe will be in my upcoming cookbook this year. Here's a pesto recipe you can try though it's a bit unorthodox. 



I'm obsessed with hard boiling eggs in my Instant Pot now! So simple...just put in 1.5 cups of water in the pot, put in the rack that comes with it, put in however many eggs you want, and put on the lid. Close the vent on top, I often forget that step. Set it on the manual setting for 5 minutes. Take out the eggs with tongs so you don't burn yourself, put them in a bowl with cool water for 5 minutes. You will have the EASIEST ever eggs to peel. Do you have an IP? I use mine almost daily, several times weekly for various foods/meals. It's so helpful for healthy, quick meals. 

These lovely eggs are from my favorite farmer, Lynn Andreas by the way! Check out Lynn's website here especially if you are in the local area. She is the only farmer in the area that I know of who uses organic soy-free feed for her chickens.

In case you are wondering that is a Pampered Chef egg slicer. It's gotten a lot of love over the years.


Always use good salt in your kitchen. What I mean by that is regular table salt, the white stuff is stripped of minerals, bleached with um bleach (yeah you are eating bleach), and is pretty much toxic to the body. I will do a more in-depth blog on salt. I cannot believe I never have. The short story is better salt choices are Himalayan, Celtic, or Real Salt. You can purchase these at Thrive Market also. I get my Himalayan salt at Costco.


Use as much mayonnaise and pesto as you like. I put amounts below, but it's really a matter of personal taste. 


Power Pesto Egg Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

3 Hard Boiled Eggs, sliced
1/4 C Red Onions, finely diced (I did not add these because I was all out of onion, but this would've normally been a non-negotiable)
1 Large Long Rib of Organic Celery, chopped or sliced
3 Tbsp Pesto (can be store bought or homemade)
3 Tbsp Mayonnaise 
1/4-1/2 Tsp Himalayan Salt
As Much Organic Black Pepper As You Would Like

Directions:

Everything goes in a bowl and gets mashed and mixed together. That's it!

This is fabulous in organic lettuce leaves for wraps!

Tell me below if you make it and love it! How else do you like to serve your egg salad?

Helping you to be a good steward of your health,

Marie Brock, HHC






Vegan Gluten Free Pasta Primavera


Some of my favorite meals are simple and plant-based. That is exactly what I needed last night something light, but super nourishing. Dishes like this are great because you can be flexible with whatever you have on hand typically unless the fridge is naked. I've been there :) 

I do not have a fancy story or meaningful experience to go along with this one. So I am going to get right to the recipe for you. I have always loved pasta and I do not intend to ever give it up. I am so glad that there are healthier options available today to enjoy it. We eat gluten free organic pasta probably once per week, sometimes we skip it, but we are a family on budget eating clean, so pasta helps to create a lower budget meal. I do not like to overdo it or eat too much though because it isn't the highest with nutrition.


I was craving a highly plant-based tasty meal for dinner, but I needed it to be quick. Quick equals sauteed veggies and either quinoa or pasta. This time I reached for pasta. I like to change up the gluten-free pastas that we use. My teens' favorite is the Trader Joe's organic brown rice penne. When they are at their Dad's house, I like to do something different and use organic red lentil pasta. I use Trader Joe's gluten free pastas because they are the most economical, and they cook up the best. 

The diced tomatoes I use are from a company called Jovial. I really love them because of two important factors they are organic and packaged in glass. This is very important from a health aspect with tomatoes especially. Many conventional tomatoes today are genetically modified. When we eat genetically modified foods we are not giving our bodies the nutrition it needs, and we are eating toxins that cause unhealthy mutations in our guts causing digestive and immune system distress. I used to buy tomatoes in cans until I learned that the acid that is in the tomatoes causes the cans to leach and creates a toxic reaction. The best way to eliminate that is to only purchase tomato products in glass. I order mine from Thrive Market to save money.


You can use the veggies you have in your fridge at home and what works for you. Do not limit yourself, have fun!


In case you've never used nutritional yeast before I wanted to show you the package. I also like the brand Braggs (the same as the raw apple cider vinegar). Nutritional Yeast is an inactive yeast, that offers vegan dishes a cheesy like flavor. I use this in a lot of my recipes. Try throwing it in sauces, soups, and on top of sauteed veggies. You can even make a vegan parmesan substitute with it. Check out that recipe here.


I adore this stuff! Coconut aminos is an excellent condiment to replace unhealthy soy sauce. It has a taste crossing soy sauce and teryaki sauce with much, much less sodium. It is a sustainably harvested product and tastes so good! I use it in so many recipes. As you can see I purchase the Thrive Market brand. I really love getting high quality healthy grocery items at Thrive Market. It is convenient since the items are sent right to my front door, shipping is free with a $49 order, and the items are always less expensive than the local store.

V/GF Pasta Primavera Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Package of Trader Joe's Red Lentil Pasta 
2 Organic Yellow Squash, diced
2 Organic Zucchini, diced
1 Red Onion, diced
3 Fresh Garlic Cloves, minced
3 TBsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 Jar Jovial Brand Organic Diced Tomatoes
3 Tbsp Trader Joe's Nutritional Yeast
1 Tsp Himalayan Salt
1/2 Tsp Dried Organic Basil
1/2 Tsp Diced Organic Oregano
2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (I used Thrive Market's brand, but the Coconut Secret brand is great too)
*Optional: Pinch of Organic Cayenne

3 Handfuls of Organic Baby Spinach

* Optional: Sprinkle with Organic Pine Nuts in the serving bowl.

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to the directions. While it's cooking chop the veggies. Strain the noodles. Saute the veggies in the same pot. Add all of the fresh veggies (except for the spinach) and oil. Once the veggies have softened well add the noodles back in the pot. Add the rest of the ingredients from the tomatoes to the cayenne and mix them well and cover on the lowest heat for 8 minutes. Add the spinach, and once it wilts it is ready to serve. Top with pine nuts if you like them. 

*Healthy Tip: Get your kids in the kitchen to help make this with you. They will be more inclined to eat the veggies if they work hard to prep it. Tell them the nutrients each food contains that you are using. 

Helping you to be a good steward of your health,

Marie Brock, HHC



Sunday, May 27, 2018

Overnight Oats...




I love oats so much, I cannot even express how versatile, and wonderful they can be in the kitchen. I, sadly, cannot consume them too very often. They are not a food my body loves too terribly much, so I try not to overdo it. Nonetheless, they offer quite the nutritious punch, and I will enjoy them on occasion. Such an awesome source of fiber! I always purchase certified gluten-free and organic. Oats have been shown to be highly genetically modified so look for that organic label. Oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat, so it's important to tell someone with a sensitivity or allergy to wheat whether or you use certified gluten-free oats or not.

So I super love breakfasts that I can prepare the night before to make my life more simple in the morning. Well in walks in all the foodie bloggers rage...overnight oats, so appropriate. I wanted to share how I prepared them the last time. It was super yummy, so much so that I prepped the next day again to have them the same exact way in the morning.

I always soak my oats with water and apple cider vinegar the night before to increase nutrient absorbance potential as well as making them more digestible. Here's how I typically soak them. I love that with overnight oats you do just that except just a tad bit differently.



Overnight Oats Recipe

You'll need the following for your base...

1 16oz Wide Mouth Mason Jar
1/2 Cup Organic Certified Gluten Free Traditional Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Organic Full Fat Coconut Milk
1/2 Tsp Fresh Organic Lemon Juice (helps with making oats more digestible)
4 Drops Organic Stevia (WE use Trader Joe's)
3/4 Tbsp Organic Chia Seeds

Mix the above ingredients in the jar. Then layer the following ingredients in this order. I do this every time I make them. What comes after this may vary.

Toppings...

1 Handful Frozen Organic Raspberries
2-3 Tbsp Raw Chunky Almond Butter (We use Trader Joes)

Top with dairy free yogurt. I used Kite Hill Greek Almond Yogurt. Place it in the fridge. In the morning drizzle with raw honey on top and add such fresh fruit like I did with the bananas.

You can get really creative and top them with all kind of yummy options.

Have you made overnight oats? What toppings do you like to use?

Helping you to be a good steward of your health,

Marie Brock, HHC