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CBD Turmeric Bone Broth

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I spend a lot of energy promoting and consuming a plant based way of eating but that conversation shifts when we start talking about bone broths.

I swear by taking bone broth for improving immunity, moods, brain function, digestion, and reducing inflammation in my body. A good bone broth is full of beneficial minerals, gelatin, collagen, glutathione, glucosamine and packaged in a form that is easy to swallow and absorb.

I make my own because it is way less expensive than store bought, I can make it in bulk, and mine is always better.

About once a month I will cook a whole organic chicken, debone it, and put the carcass and any parts that won’t be eaten into the crockpot and brew a big batch of bone broth.

Once made it can be used in all sorts of recipes or easily frozen for later use. One of my favorite ways to take it is simply to sip it plain with a little hot water, salt, and pepper.

During this month’s batch I decided to try infusing it with a high CBD (cannabidiol) cannabis kief and powdered turmeric. The results were great. I’ve had it first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day, and for dinner and no matter what it feels like I have done something good for myself.

CBD Turmeric Bone Broth

-bones and scraps from 1 organic chicken

-1T apple cider vinegar

-1 gram kief

-2T turmeric, or more

  1. Put the chicken parts in a crock pot and fill to about an inch from the top.
  2. Add apple cider vinegar and let sit over night on low. (This helps to bring nutrients out of the bones.)
  3. Remove all chicken parts and separate the liquid through a strainer.
  4. Return the liquid broth to the crockpot, add kief and turmeric, and let sit on low overnight.
  5. Use immediately or freeze individual portions for later use.

Notice that I did not decarboxylate my cannabis, which is something you may want to do before you add it to the broth. I didn’t feel the need to do so with this recipe or this particular strain of CBD (cannabidiol) rich kief.

If you are new to taking turmeric, feel good about adding generous amounts as it is beneficial for reducing inflammation, improving digestion, lowering blood sugar, and increasing bile production. It is mild in flavor and a bright yellow color that brings extra life to food.

Good health and peace to you.

 

 

Foodie Tips For Eating More Plants And Less Animals

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I woke up one day this summer with a different disposition. Change was definitely in the air and it really hit me when I went to the grocery store and got a nauseous feeling in my stomach walking through the meat section. Ugh.

Oh yes, I’ve had this feeling before. Suddenly the idea of eating animals completely grosses me out and I must adjust my food to being plant based. In the past I have quit eating all animal products for experimental and environmental reasons so when this feeling hits me now its not so bothersome because I regularly transition in and out of a vegan diet and would say 90% of my food already comes from plants.

Eating mostly plants takes practice because many of us have been raised to eat animal products as the main source of protein in each meal. Not only that the majority of food choices when you eat out are animal based: Bacon and eggs, hamburgers, hotdogs, grilled cheese, salmon dinner, steak and potatoes. If you are striving to eat less meat and more veggies, the following list is for you.

Plant-Based Foodie  Tips:

  1. Eat the Rainbow. Fill your plates and smoothie glasses with colorful plants at each meal (green, white, red, orange, purple…). Each group of colors brings to the table a different set of vitamins and minerals essential for healthy body function. Variety is key to achieving balance while avoiding food boredom.
  2. Plan for your meals ahead of time so you never find yourself starving and without an idea of what to eat until your plant palette is expanded and not eating animals as a staple becomes easier. Think about what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks this week and stock your fridge and pantry with those foods.
  3. Prep your fresh vegetables to be used for snacks when you bring them home so they will be readily available to grab anytime. Spending 20-30 minutes to prep and cook your food every few days can save time and money, if you eat the food.
  4. Eat whole fruit. Make sure you are getting the fiber by eating the whole fruit and skipping the fruit juices or watering them down to reduce the high sugar content.
  5. Be hydration conscious. Try flushing your kidneys and your digestive system with water and lemon juice upon rising in the morning for a month. Pour your water the night before to set you up for success. Eating more plants equals more fiber that needs to gets moved through you. Aim for a good 1.5 liters of fresh water per day.
  6. Freeze or juice foods you won’t likely be able to eat before they go bad.
  7. Stock up on protein staples like hemp, rice, beans, lentils so you can put together a meal in minutes.
  8. Boost your gut microbes with probiotic rich fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, kefir, etc. or alternatively take a regular probiotic supplement.
  9. Explore new vegetables and different ways they can be eaten. Most people will tell you they hate Brussels sprouts but many have never tried eating them raw before, its like a totally different food.
  10. Emphasize the whole food part of a plant based diet. You can be an unhealthy vegan by eating processed food products and not enough actual vegetables, it happens all the time.
  11. Stock up on plant fats. Think nuts, seeds, avocados, olives…foods that add texture and balance to the meal to provide long lasting energy.
  12. Treat yourself and explore the vegan restaurants in your area for new inspiring recipes and innovative ways to eat plants.
  13. Think about being the kind of plant based foodie who leads by example. There is nothing worse than that chick at the party going on about her superior way of eating but when she could be changing minds sharing amazing food.
  14. Put herbs on everything. Not only are they cleansing to your organs, herbs add the flavors that will make you forget that you don’t have delicious animals on your plate. Condiments are your best friend at the dinner table.
  15. Don’t limit yourself. This is not a restrictive, calorie-counting diet that gets you nowhere. Eating a plant based diet is a conscious choice to feed and nourish your body on a cellular level so you function at peak performance.
  16. Ask for the Vegan menu when you go out to eat. More and more restaurants are accommodating this ‘trendy’ demographic and the more you request it, the more they will serve it.
  17. Pat yourself on the back for being a conscious human on this planet.

The Positive Sides Of Scoliosis

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Scoliosis is bleak, every single part of it. If you are somebody who is inflicted with this challenging health condition you already know that living with a twisted spine can be scary, daunting, defeating, debilitating, and lonely. I feel all of that.

Since age 12 I have been repeatedly told I need surgery and have been prescribed and given samples of pain killers, muscles relaxers, and anti-inflammatories because of my scoliotic spine. I was once told by one doctor never to hang and told by the next to hang everyday. I have spent more time than I care to count wasted in physical therapists and specialists offices who did nothing for me besides tell me to keep doing what I am doing with pilates, yoga, and as a fitness trainer. They like to tell me that my spine will get worse with each aging year, until it eventually crushes my heart and internal organs and potentially collapses on itself. Like I said, bleak.

Scoliosis is much more than just a twisted spine. It is a neuromuscular disorder that may also manifest with other health conditions such as digestive disorders, muscle spasms, depression, anxiety, migraines, etc.

I put a lot of effort into the function of my spine and have since I was a teenager because I realized at an early age that I would always have to be mindful of my special back, it was never going away. I think about how I want to move as I age and move accordingly. More than once I have completely changed my livelihood, activities, and/or my food in order to manage it holistically without surgery or prescribed medications.

One of the toughest things about scoliosis is how lonely it can be. I have a lot of energy and rarely ‘complain’ about my back pain and focus on healthy things so on the outside it looks like I am a super health nut doing just fine with my spine. People don’t see the pain or discomfort that I am generally feeling because I keep it to myself. That’s no good.

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month

What is the positive side of Scoliosis?

  1. I’ve become very in tune with my body. Pain, discomfort and constantly needing to think about standing straight or straightening your clothes will do that to a person. On another level, when I’ve tuned in with with meditation and exercise I’ve been taught by my body how to cope and move through the world.
  2. I’ve been forced to be a ‘healthy person’ to function. Living a healthy lifestyle is not an option like it seems to be for most people and it can be really tough to be the only one at the party not drinking booze or eating sugar. But hey, you’re at the party! While it is tough, living healthy is a good and positive thing to keep as a priority, always.
  3. I look at body image much differently. When I am able to embrace myself as different I am also able to let go of what I think I am supposed to be and love who I am, imperfections and all. I tend to be very grateful for all I can physically do no matter how small.
  4. My spine contributes to me being highly sensitive, empathic, and wise. I can’t explain why but it just does. Spiney senses.
  5. I’ve become a powerful warrior of chronic pain with special strengths and coping skills that makes me strong enough to handle not only my own pain but also help others handle their pains. My spine is the reason that I started teaching fitness as a teenager and the reason that I went to Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2010, I have a deep desire to help people feel well.

I am participating in Scoliosis Awareness Month by writing this and sharing a picture of me beside an X-ray of my spine. Funny, it was much harder to post a picture of my bare back than to post a picture of my X-rays. I worked through it.

Sending out much love and double hugs to those who live with or support somebody with scoliosis.

Do Vegans Eat Their Chia Pets?

Chiapuddin

Of course vegans eat their chia pets! I dare say that more than one chia pet has educated the vegan foodie to sprout their chia seeds before they eat them to maximize nutrition.

Do you eat chia seeds? You might want to as they are an amazing food for your digestive system, your heart, your skin, your brain, and your immune system.

I swear by them for how good they make my sensitive digestive system feel and for the long lasting kick of energy they predictably provide. Lately, I have found myself on a chia pudding kick where I am consciously eating them every day with the intention of using them in at least one meal for the protein, essential fatty acids, and a solid dose of fiber.

When I discovered that if you soak them before you eat them they start sprouting and become more bioavailable, easier to digest, better absorbed into your system, and help to keep you hydrated I became mildly obsessed with all the possibilities of how I could use them.

Pumpkinpuddin

 

Basic Creamy Coconut Chia Pudding (4-5 servings)

1 can of coconut milk

1/2C chia seeds

1/2C of filtered water (add more water if you prefer it to be less thick)

  1. Combine all ingredients and let sit in a covered container in the fridge overnight.
  2. Eat one serving per day.

Suggested ways to customize your pudding:

Add a tsp of vanilla, use juice instead of water, sweeten with 1-2t honey or maple syrup, add chopped fruit or berries, mix with a fruit puree, pumpkin puree and cinnamon, hemp seeds, nuts, shredded coconut…the possibilities are as infinite as your imagination.

“I’ll have the chia tenderloin with a side of garlic infused olive dipping oil.” 😉

Brussels Sprouts For Breakfast

I’m in bodybuilder mode. By that I mean I’m trying to put on some healthy weight and hopefully regain some muscle that somehow disappeared somewhere. Such a project requires meal planning.

I consciously have to eat more nutrients and the only way to do that is to know what I’m having before I even get hungry. I plan ahead and do some batch cooking on Sunday to have multiple meals ready to go and make sure my pantry, fridge, and freezer are stocked for the spontaneously cooked meals that I put together later in the week. My meals plans usually work out about 90% of the time. 

I find that this type of planning virtually eliminates food waste at my house and leaves me physically running better because I have no reasons to skip meals or eat poorly due to not knowing what to have or being too busy to cook. This method also saves me a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on meals out or the purchase of unmade food that goes bad in the fridge.

This week the chosen main vegetable has been brussels sprouts and the first way that I used them was for making a breakfast bake with sweet potatoes, spinach, and eggs. I made enough for two portions and I now I also have another meal already to go for tomorrow morning or whenever.

Brussels Sprouts For Breakfast

Brussels Sprouts For Breakfast (2 servings)

1 small sweet potato, sliced into 1/4″ thick pieces

6-8 brussel sprouts, quartered

4 eggs

2 mushrooms, finely chopped

2C spinach, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Put the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts in an 8″ pan and lightly drizzle avocado oil (or oil of your choice) over the veggies and give them a stir. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  3. Mix together eggs, mushrooms, spinach, and spices and pour evenly over the partially baked sweet potato and brussels sprouts mix. Bake for about 15 more minutes or until the eggs are fully cooked and firm.
  4. Eat half and store the other half in a covered container in the fridge for up to three days.

I love a solid savory meal for breakfast. This one wins in every way. Easy, filling, nutritious, and delicious.

Here is to healthy muscles!

 

Sweet Potato And Leek Ginger Soup

With a shift in the seasons from winter to spring brings an attention to a new menu of local fresh foods. In the Pacific Northwest leeks, garlic, baby greens, peas, radishes, and rhubarb are just a few of the exciting seasonal ingredients worth adding to your menu. With that in mind I bring you my latest soup recipe that is very easy to make, delicious, versatile, and really good for you.

I recently discovered a simple way to use fresh ginger to create a broth and have since been creating different versions of this soup loaded with beautiful colors and packed with nutrients. The ginger and garlic add a nice spice and serious immunity boosting qualities. The abundance of vegetables provides your digestive system with a healthy serving of fiber.

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Sweet Potato and Leek  Ginger Soup

4 inch piece of ginger, scrubbed and thickly sliced

2 leeks, chopped

1 lg sweet purple potato, cubed

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

2-3 carrots, chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

salt and pepper

  1. Put the ginger in a large pot of hot water and and simmer for about 20 minutes while prepping the other veggies. Your option here is to remove the ginger before adding the rest of the ingredients, be hardcore and eat the ginger in the soup, or pick it out as you eat.
  2. Add all other ingredients to the ginger broth and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Serve immediately and store leftovers in the fridge for about 3 days or freeze for future quick meals.
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This batch of soup was made with white sweet potatoes.

Cheers to a happy and healthy spring season!

 

Blueberry Hemp Cake

I’m in a minor cake mode. I’ve made a new cake every week for the past few weeks and this last one came out with a muffin feeling but since it was made in a cake pan, I’m calling it cake. Perfect for breakfast, snacks, and in the freezer for later.

Recipe positives:

-gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly, no processed sugar, full of nutrients, easy to make, takes delicious.

Blueberry Hemp Muffin Cake

1/3C coconut oil

1/4C maple syrup

1t vanilla

4 eggs

1/t baking soda

1/2t salt

1/3C hemp seeds

1.5C almond flour

1C fresh or frozen blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8 inch pan or line with parchment paper. Cream together coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix eggs into mixture.
  2. Add all dry ingredients mix until combined.
  3. Stir in blueberries.
  4. Spread evenly into the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick stuck into middle comes out clean.

It has been in my thoughts that this recipe would work great in a loaf pan or as actual muffins although I have yet to try.

As you may know, I like to use hemp in my diet. I first discovered it when trying to find healthy sources of plant based protein and it has turned out to be a great one for my sensitive digestive system. Hemp comes with other bonuses like omega-3 fatty acids and B-Vitamins which rounds out the beneficial nutrient profile needed for a healthy brain and nervous system. I highly recommend it.

Happy Health to You.

 

How To Change The Health Of A Nation

Hi. Welcome to my latest blog, Butterfly Sessions. This place is a continuation of my big dream to help others feel better now and also help the next generation grow up feeling healthy and having ample access to less processed food than what is currently available for many in the current standard food system.

My vision starts by helping people who provide food to children to know more about  and have access to healthier food. It continues with sharing how to create easy access to food by growing it yourself. It is complete when the masses change the current food system with their almighty dollar and demand healthier choices.

Why is this my dream? The answer, you see, is because I grew up as a sickly child. I repeatedly had earaches, tonsil infections, bronchitis, and then grew into migraines and scoliosis. To their credit, my parents fed me well. The majority of the meals in our house  were made from scratch, grown in our garden, and cooking was a normal part of daily life. I was exposed to a lot of varieties of vegetables and foods and I could not only see how they were raised but butchered, harvested, and prepared.

Fast forward a bunch of years and I found myself as an immigrant in the USA trying to understand why the food down here has so many additives and chemicals. I’m stunned to discover that I am sensitive to many of the processed foods that most people here eat as their regular food. I still have chronic health conditions and focusing on food makes a major difference in the quality of my life.

I’m also still a personal trainer after 20 years and know all to well the struggles of managing a healthy body while dealing with ailments that will never go away. I’ve learned first hand and seen through the experiences of clients that living healthy is about making sure your soul is being filled with as many good things as your plate.

 

So what is it that you want or need to change to feel better? Do you need to remember to drink more water? Do you need to move more than you are? Do you need to go to the beach and relax? Do you need access to fresher food and know what to look for at the grocery store?

I want that for you too. I believe big change starts with little actions. So, how can I help you? If you are looking for help finding more energy, a better night’s sleep, the ability to feel more joy, and real food choices without going on a diet give me a shout. I’ve helped hundreds of people maneuver their way to feeling great.

If you’ve read this far I say, Come with me! Let’s learn about food together and how we can create positive change in our own health and that of our nation. Sign up for my blog and never miss a beat.