These are a couple from emails that I have randomly received over the years that I wanted to share. With their permission, I wanted you to see just how diet can change your life…
“After 2 1/2 years, 20 unhelpful doctors and specialists, today I got the message i have been praying for from Jackie: “i can go through the day without feeling terrible”. Thank you to Landria Voigt, miracle nutritionist, CentreSpringMD, and most importantly God who has answered our prayers. Rejoicing today. Praise God.” -SB
“I was very strict with my gluten/dairy free diet through the spring and it was the first time in over 10 years that I did not have any “seasonal” allergy problems, first time I’ve been without a raging sinus infection in forever! I’m getting choked up and teary eyed as I type this; I have felt like a prisoner for years. Every single time I went outside between March and June I would get uncontrollable post nasal drip that always led to a months long sinus infection; absolute misery. This year I didn’t even have to clear my throat. I have seen multiple allergists, had all the skin prick tests, labs drawn etc no one could ever tell me anything. And honestly the whole experience was just an unexpected bonus. My inflammatory issues have all but disappeared. In fact just a couple weeks into my new diet I went on a 3 hour hike with my family and my husband whined and moaned the whole time about his knees. For most of that 3 hours I carried one or the other of my kids and at one point I even carried both of them for a mile or so. It didn’t occur to me until the next day that I had absolutely no pain AT ALL! My muscles were a little sore but my joints were FINE; again it brings tears to my eyes to think about how I had been living.
My friend, who you worked with, also saw immediate and transformative results with her son who has Crohn’s. Within a few weeks he was off steroids, no more bleeding and his attitude and emotional well being took an extremely positive turn. I know she is incredibly grateful for your guidance, you gave her hope and an action plan at one of the most heartbreaking and vulnerable times in her life. “AM
“I wanted to let you know that after 4 months of being completely gluten and dairy free(1st of the year) I finally felt a ton better. Oct-Jan I lost about 8 lbs. now I am at about 2lbs a week! Total weight loss to date around 15-16 lbs! I have deemed this my “Recovery Year”. I forever grateful to you!” – DF
“Truly I say thank you! Last night was the first time in months that I did not have a stomach ache and gas!!! I didn’t have any gluten and cut out dairy except for the eggs in the muffins! I gobbled down one and then actually felt hungry for the amazing chicken!!! Bone broth cooked all night and I could drink it by the gallons it is so yummy!!!! Just wanted to encourage you and let you know I am so grateful!” MC
I hope everyone had a great Spring Break week whether you stayed at home or traveled. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with the family in Palm Springs and Santa Monica, and what a great trip it was!
I actually surfed too but will save you from the pics of me in a wet suit (and busting it too many times to count)..
The Santa Monica pier and our amazing cousins…
I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA on the blog lately, but I’m pretty excited to share our new favorite drink, kombucha. As Robb Wolf describes it, “Kombucha is a fermented tea that is a recognized probiotic. In simple terms, the production involves making sweet tea, adding a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), and letting the SCOBY consume the sugar to produce a drink full of B vitamins, amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, and probiotics.”
Okay, I know I may lose some of you on this post, and I get that. The process of making kombucha, can be a bit…gross, and so it took me years to finally take the plunge. Getting to the point of making something as peculiar as kombucha was an evolution for me. It started with cooking whole healthy foods, then moved to up to making my own bone broth, and well, I’ve since graduated to making kombucha. As some of you may know, I won’t make something unless it’s pretty simple, and well, this is really simple to make!!
For my son, who was born via C-section, I am always trying to increase any good bacteria (article on c-section/bacteria) he can get into his body. I am fortunate that he can swallow a pill so he will take a probiotic on a pretty regular basis. And even though it’s a strong one (20-112 billion cfu), it still can’t compare to things like kombucha, kefir, fermented vegetables, etc. I want Tate to have the benefit of eating fermented foods (since they contain trillions of healthy live bacteria) and well, he doesn’t love sauerkraut, pickles, or my coconut kefir so this kombucha was really my last hope. Why kombucha you may ask? Some of the benefits by adding the good bacteria includes:
Reduces Joint Pain
Cleansing and Detoxification
Here and here are some more detailed benefits of kombucha.
Needless to say, I was ecstatic when he said he “LOOOOOVED” his new drink. He actually said, “it tastes better than Sprite, mom!”.
In order to make kombucha, you need is SCOBY. You can either get one online from Cultures for Life, you can make one, or you can come get one of mine if you’re in Atlanta (I have about 10 so I’m happy to share)!! First come first serve!
In addition to your scoby, the only other things you need are:
some glass jars (1/2 gallon jar, 1 gallon jar, and 1 or 2 glass jars to store the kombucha once it’s made-see pics below)
8 tea bags (green and/or black), I typically use 4 bags of each
1 cup organic cane sugar (you cannot substitute for coconut palm sugar)
1 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar or some store bought unflavored unpasteurized kombucha (for the first batch). Use the kombucha from your scoby hotel from here on so be sure to always add extra to your scobys before you move the the second ferment (with the tall bottles)
10 cups of water
2 coffee filters and 2 rubber bands
1 cup of fresh OJ, pomegranate juice, tart cherry juice, etc. or a handful of fresh berries of choice (we love to use strawberries, raspberries and blueberries- about 5 of each)
I like the tall bottles (far right) best for storage since they help save space in my already overstuffed refrigerator.
Start by bringing 6 cups of distilled water to a boil. Once it boils, turn the stove off and add 1 cup of sugar. Stir well until dissolved.
Then add 8 tea bags and let it seep for 12 minutes.
Here is a list of teas and a post from FoodBabe if you need some guidance on which tea to use for your kombucha.
Then add the additional 6 cups of cold water and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes in the refrigerator or 25 or so on the counter top.
Pour your tea into the gallon jar. Then, add 1 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar or store-bought unflavored, unpasteurized kombucha or if you have some, use starter kombucha (from the half gallon jar with your scoby from your “scoby hotel”). Next, with your freshly washed hands, add your scoby to the tea. Cover the jar with a coffee filter and rubber band and allow to sit for approximately 2 weeks in the winter (somewhere it can get some sunlight inside the house) or about 7 days in the summer.
During the week or two of fermentation, a new scoby with evolve on the top of your tea (see below). Once it’s at least 1/4 inch thick, it’s ready to add the finishing touches. Take the scoby out and move it to the half gallon jar and pour about half a cup of the tea from the gallon jar. Cover with coffee filter and rubber band and store it on your counter. I know, it’s not the prettiest counter-top decoration but it certainly is a conversation starter.
Now, with the rest of your tea (from gallon jar), pour it into smaller bottles or glass containers (see above) and add your juice. We like the taste of pomegranate juice or the anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherry juice. Everyone’s taste buds are different but we usually use about 1 cup of juice or enough to let the kombucha equal to approximately 10% juice and 90% tea. You could also add a handful of fresh berries if you’d like. My next batch I am going to try using a handful of strawberries and a few slices of lemon. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Anyway, allow it to sit and brew with the lid on for another 1-3 weeks (the longer it sits, the more fizzy it will be) and then you are good to go!
Now…you’re done. I promise, it gets easier and easier each time you make it and honestly, besides the boiling, seeping and cooling, and fermenting time, it’s only about 5 minutes of actual work. See, I told you it was easy!!
Look at that thing. It makes me so happy!!
I also have used the larger wide mouth jars (see far right) for storing my kombucha. I got my glass jars from Target since they have so many different options.
Go for it! Continue that food evolution and enjoy a fabulous tasting and super healthy drink!
1 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar or some store bought unflavored unpasteurized kombucha (for the first batch). Use the kombucha from your scoby hotel from here on so be sure to always add extra to your scobys before you move the the second ferment (with the tall bottles).
approximately 1 cup juice (or to taste) of orange juice, pomegranate juice or a handful berries
Combine hot water and sugar in a glass jar.
Stir until the sugar dissolves.
The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling.
Place the tea bags in the sugar water to steep for 12 or so minutes.
Cool the mixture to 68-85ºF.
Remove the tea bags from the liquid.
Pour into your gallon glass jar.
Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid. If you do not have starter tea, distilled white vinegar OR some kombucha from the store that is unflavored and unpasteurized may be substituted.
Add an active kombucha scoby.
Cover the jar with a coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
Allow the mixture to sit somewhere in the house where it can get some sunlight for 7-14 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
Take the scoby and put it in the half gallon jar and add some tea to it (about 1/2 cup) to use as starter tea for the next batch.
Pour the rest of the tea into your glass jar or bottle and add juice (to taste), if desired. Allow to sit or brew for another week or so (the longer it ferments the more fizzy it will get) and then enjoy!
For trouble shooting, check here for a great resource: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha-troubleshooting-frequently-asked-questions-faq
It’s nice having a good soup around, especially for when the kids come in from playing in the….rain. I’m still so bummed that we actually didn’t get any snow in Atlanta!! Our kids have had how many “snow days” now without any snow? Pitiful. Anyway, here is a great, simple soup. Tate said it was (with some Pete’s hot sauce) his very favorite!
And yes, there are some white beans in this soup which I know are not Paleo. Free free to omit them from this recipe if you’re avoiding legumes right now. So I’ve been following Paleo for over 6 years now and while I think eating the Paleo way is a great way to reduce inflammation, I also think it’s a good template or good starting point. I think once the gut has healed, it is good to experiment with your diet by add in things like beans (especially ones with resistant starch – my latest fascination) and some gluten free grains once in awhile to see how your body tolerates them. This was my first experiment and so far so good!
If you cook your chicken in the slow cooker and you cook it on “high”, it will be more like shredded chicken (we clearly cooked this on high). But if you cook it on low, it will be more like a rotisserie chicken which I actually tend to prefer.
Oh and have you tried these dark chocolate chips sweetened with stevia? You can get them at Whole Foods or vitacost.com. I promise, even with zero grams of sugar, there isn’t any weird aftertaste. They have the perfect amount of sweetness! You’re welcome…and I’m sorry!
Easy on those Tate…At $7 a bag, I’ll be hiding those in my stash!
Hi all, sorry I’ve been MIA in announcing the winner for the cookbook. It’s been a crazy week. Anyway, I am excited to say that I was able to choose two winners for Super Paleo Snacks. They are:
Michelle Schiess and Liza Gressle!!
Michelle and Liza, please email me your mailing address and I’ll get you a copy ASAP!
On to the food…
After going to True Foods, I realized that I had to have their Shrimp Panang, well, all of the time. I have been craving it ever since and knew my husband wouldn’t be too cool with me eating there 3 times a week. So, I realized I had to figure out how to make a panang sauce. After looking up many recipes to get an idea of what I would need to make this sauce, I realized I would have to get some Kaffir Lime Leaves and Panang Curry Paste. I couldn’t find these ingredients at our Publix and apparently only some Whole Foods carries them so I went to ole reliable Amazon to place my order.
I was going to use some frozen wild shrimp and broccoli I got from Trader Joe’s to make the dish, but, then I was at Costco and they had small lobster tails and I just couldn’t resist. So tonight, after 5 minutes of prep, one of my favorites dinners was reincarnated. Really, 5 minutes. I opened a bag of lobster tails (you could also use wild frozen shrimp, chicken -but then you’d have to cook it and I was feeling extra lazy tonight) and added some frozen broccoli crowns and the ingredients below. It might have been the easiest meal I’ve made in awhile, and I usually always make pretty simple meals, but it was also really good. It was actually pretty spicy (years ago I would never have guessed I could eat a meal like this with my an autoimmune in my gut) but I was able to eat it. The only side effect was it made my face sweat! I should be embarrassed, but honestly, I was more excited that I could actually eat something spicy! Who says you can’t heal your gut!?
So…I just got the totals for my book sales, and I am beyond thrilled. As of just last week, the marketing team from my publisher has just begun their efforts, so I have to assume so many of those sales are from y’all. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your support!
To celebrate my book sales, my new site layout (what do you think?) and Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do a giveaway as just as a simple thank you!
To enter the drawing, all you have to do is enter your name in the comments section below. The winner, chosen at random, will receive a copy of my book, Super Paleo Snacks, for Valentine’s Day. The giveaway is for US participants only (sorry!) and will end on Valentine’s Day at midnight.
Also, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share with you another recipe from my book that includes THE BEST tasting (paleo) cupcakes you will ever eat, bar none. No one will know these are gluten free, dairy free, and low glycemic. Oh and they’re nut free so safe for any school! With the addition of the psyllium husk powder (Whole Foods, Amazon, health food stores), the texture, taste, and consistency is to die for, and the frosting is one that is super easy to make but not easy to stop eating. These would make for a great Valentine’s Day treat, or even a nice Valentine’s Day breakfast (similar to donuts but way better for you!).
Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!
We used some fun sprinkles without artificial colors and colored only with beet juice….
Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Then in another medium bowl, beat the egg and then add in the melted butter and vanilla. Once that is mixed together, add it to the dry ingredients bowl and combine.
Next, either grease your muffin pan or use muffin liners. Then fill each cup about
two- thirds of the way full. Cook for 20 minutes or until you can stick a butter knife in the center of the
muffin and it comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely and then add chocolate frosting.
● 6 tbsp coconut milk, full fat
● ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
● 1 tsp vanilla
In a metal bowl, pour the chocolate chips and set the bowl over the a sauce pan with boiling water, and let the chocolate begin to melt. Then, stir in the milk and vanilla. Just before all of the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from heat and stir until smooth. Allow to cool for approximately 5 or so minutes. Then top the cupcakes with frosting using a butter knife.