Empowered Sustenance http://empoweredsustenance.com Eat well and heal!™ Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:16:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Cake Batter Collagen Protein Bar Recipe http://empoweredsustenance.com/collagen-protein-bar/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/collagen-protein-bar/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 18:23:43 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=9009 DIY Collagen Protein Bars I’ve given protein powder a bad rap, since it’s usually highly processed and denatured. Conventional protein powders contain various stabilizers, additives, and artificial flavors. When it comes to getting a boost of protein and amino acids, I recommend high-quality, grassfed collagen. I use and recommend Vital Proteins grassfed collagen – it’s a highly adaptable way to […]

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Cake Batter Collagen Protein Bars

DIY Collagen Protein Bars

I’ve given protein powder a bad rap, since it’s usually highly processed and denatured. Conventional protein powders contain various stabilizers, additives, and artificial flavors.

When it comes to getting a boost of protein and amino acids, I recommend high-quality, grassfed collagen. I use and recommend Vital Proteins grassfed collagen – it’s a highly adaptable way to increase your intake of highly digestible, nutrient-dense protein. (This is not a sponsored post, although I have worked with Vital Proteins before. I love their company and their products).

This recipe uses collagen, not gelatin. Both have the same amino acid profile, but gelatin sets (think jello) and collagen doesn’t. You want to use the blue jar of Vital Proteins for this or Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate.

This recipe is inspired by the Sunbutter Chocolate Proteins Bars by Heather at Cook It Up Paleo. She recently guest posted a fabulous recipe here – Chocolate Cherry Paleo Granola Bars.  I hadn’t come across a paleo protein bar recipe featuring collagen before, and loved her creativity.

Benefits of collagen protein powder

Why collagen over other protein supplements?

  • It supports skin health – The appearance of skin aging is partly due to our reduced rate of collagen synthesis after the age of 20. According to research by Vital Proteins, collagen improves skin health by stimulating fibroplast cells – the cells that produce collagen in the human body. Studies show that daily consumption of collagen improves skin strength, elasticity, and moisture.
  • It supports hormone balance – Traditionally, homemakers and chefs would practice nose-to-tail eating out of frugality, intuitive nutrition wisdom, and culinary expertise. Muscle meats would be served with collagen-rich sauces, aspics or broths. Interestingly, collagen-rich ingredients help to balance the amino acid profile in muscle meats. In this way, consuming collagen supports hormone health by balancing out the high concentration of tryptophan in muscle meats.
  • It supports joint and bone health – Collagen makes up to 90% of bone mass, and several studies indicate that taking collagen internally can improve bone metabolism.
  • It supports digestion and satiety – Two scoops of Vital Proteins contains a whopping 18 grams of highly satiating protein. As a matter of fact, studies show that collagen peptides consumed at breakfast are 40% more satiating than other proteins (such as whey or soy).

Sources: My sources for the above points are from studies gathered by Vital Proteins, which you can read here, as well as Dr. Ray Peat’s article on gelatin

Where to get collagen protein

When sourcing gelatin and collagen, remember your are sourcing an animal protein. If you would prioritize grassfed beef over CFAO beef, then it makes sense to seek out grassfed collagen protein.

I recommend Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (in the blue jar – their green jar is gelatin). It’s available here at VitalProteins.com, with free shipping on all orders. 

1 week only – 10% off, plus free shipping!

I have a 10% coupon for you, which is available for only 1 week, from August 3rd through the 10th. You still get free shipping when you use the coupon.

Click this link to make your purchase and the 10% off coupon should auto-populate in your shopping cart. If it doesn’t, enter code VPA-5007-AL32H-OROF into the coupon code section.

Cake Batter Collagen Protein Bars

A nutrient-dense protein boost

I’m going to get on my soapbox for just a moment and give a disclaimer to this recipe. These protein bars provide a concentrated source of assimilable nutrients, but I didn’t create them with the intention of meal replacements. Instead, I see them as a way to include two nutrient-dense ingredients – coconut and collagen – into your whole foods lifestyle.

I believe a healthy relationship with food means a relationship with the entire experience whole foods and meal preparation. No matter how “paleo” or “safe” or “clean” a protein bar, I don’t think it should replace the ritual of proper meals.

Cake Batter Collagen Protein Bars

 

Cake Batter Collagen Protein Bar Recipe

Cake Batter Collagen Protein Bar Recipe

These nutrient-dense bites feature concentrated protein from grassfed collagen as well as healthy fats from coconut butter. To up the sweetness factor, you can dip the chilled bars in melted chocolate... yum!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut butter, available here or here
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. grassfed collagen protein, also known as collagen hydrolysate - not gelatin (see above for recommended brand and availability info)
  • 1 Tbs. honey (you could likely use a small amount of stevia, instead)
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1/8 tsp. pure vanilla bean powder
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. The coconut butter should be soft enough to stir. Like coconut oil, the consistency of coconut butter varies with the room temperature. If it is solid, I recommend placing the jar in a pan of hot water, allowing the water to come halfway up the sides of the jar. Sit for 5 minutes to soften, then stir until creamy.
  2. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper or have ready a silicon mold such as this one.
  3. Note on the sweetener: depending on what sweetener you use, the consistency of the bars will vary slightly. If you use stevia, for example, the batter may be too liquid to create a free-form square on the parchment paper. You may need to divide the mixture into the wells of a silicone mold, then chill.
  4. In a bowl, combine the coconut butter and collagen. Add the honey. When the honey is added, the mixture will become slightly crumbly.
  5. Add the coconut oil, which will help "pull together" the mixture. If necessary, add another teaspoon or two of coconut oil.
  6. Add the vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and form into a square with your hands. Score the square with a knife to create small bars. Chill in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes. Then cut into bars along the scored marks.
  8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. If desired, let soften slightly at room temperature before eating.
http://empoweredsustenance.com/collagen-protein-bar/

Cake Batter Collagen Protein Bars

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Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-mint-chocolate-chip-ice-cream/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-mint-chocolate-chip-ice-cream/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:41:33 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=9109 Today’s recipe comes from Tess, the creative and inspiring blogger at Hold The Grain. I feel a kindred connection to Tess, as well Macy from last week’s guest post, because her serious health symptoms arose in high school. She  turned to nutrition to heal herself, and began blogging to share her recipes with others. Ice […]

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paleo mint chocolate chip ice cream

Today’s recipe comes from Tess, the creative and inspiring blogger at Hold The Grain. I feel a kindred connection to Tess, as well Macy from last week’s guest post, because her serious health symptoms arose in high school. She  turned to nutrition to heal herself, and began blogging to share her recipes with others.

Ice cream has always been my favorite treat, and dairy free ice cream has naturally taken its place now that am dairy-free. I share quite a few dairy free ice cream recipes on my blog because I’m a tad obsessed, and because what better treat is there in the summer?

paleo mint chocolate chip ice cream

Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

This ice cream is creamy and packed with the mint, chocolaty flavor that you get from classic mint chocolate chip ice cream. The carob chips have a slightly different flavor than chocolate chips as carob is fruitier than bitter chocolate, but this is the favorite chocolate chip replacement that I’ve had. Sweet and rich, the carob bars were loved my both myself and chocolate-eaters. If you can eat chocolate, feel free to substitute the carob powder with cocoa powder to taste or replace the carob bars with chocolate chips. And don’t worry about the avocado- the flavor is masked by the mint, coconut and honey, and you won’t taste avocado at all.

carob chocolate bar

Paleo Mint Chocolate/Carob Chip Ice Cream

Yield: Makes about 2 cups of ice cream

Paleo Mint Chocolate/Carob Chip Ice Cream

This dairy-free, honey-sweetened paleo ice cream relies on a surprising ingredient for color and a silky texture: avocado! But don't worry, you won't end up with ice cream that tastes like guacamole. It just lends creaminess and the bonus of healthy fats.

Ingredients

    Carob chips:
  • ½ Cup coconut butter, available here (not to be confused with coconut oil)
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar, available here
  • 3 Tablespoons carob powder, available here
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons coconut oil
  • Ice cream:
  • 1 (14 oz) can full fat coconut milk, (recommended: this one, which is creamier but contains guar gum, or this one, which is additive-free)
  • 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 6 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Medium Hass avocado
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Use the homemade carob chips in this recipe or substitute a heaping 1/2 cup of dairy free chocolate chips. The carob chips make this recipe autoimmune-paleo friendly.
  2. For the carob chips Fill a small pot with 1-2 inches of water over medium-high heat. Set a medium sized bowl over the pot (the bowl should be big enough so that the water is not touching it).
  3. Place the ½ Cup coconut butter in the bowl, stirring as it melts. If the water is boiling rapidly, reduce the heat. Whisk the carob powder and coconut sugar into the melting coconut butter. Whisk in the coconut oil.
  4. Once the mixture is melted and combined, remove the bowl from the pot and turn off the heat. Line a small freezer-safe dish with parchment paper or use a chocolate bar mold. Pour the carob mixture into the mold/dish and freeze until set (15-20 minutes).
  5. For the ice cream Place all of the ice cream ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn per its instructions.
  7. While the ice cream churns, remove the carob bars from the freezer. Roughly chop the carob into “chocolate chunk” pieces and reserve 1/3 of the chips. Store the remaining chips in the freezer.
  8. When the ice cream has thickened and has about 5 minutes left to churn, pour the 1/3 cup of carob chips into the ice cream.
  9. Scoop the finished ice cream into a freezer safe container. I use a metal loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Freezer for 2-4 hours for a hard ice cream texture. Enjoy straight from the ice cream maker for a soft serve texture.
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tess headshotAbout Tess at Hold the Grain

Tess is the author, cook and photographer behind the website Hold the Grain. She shares new gluten-free, grain-free and allergy-friendly recipes each week. You can connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

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How Lunar Hair Care Transformed My Hair http://empoweredsustenance.com/lunar-hair-care/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/lunar-hair-care/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 18:50:35 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=9131 My experience with Lunar Hair Care I’ve been practicing lunar hair cutting for two years, since being introduced to the concept by The Hair Shaman himself, Anthony Morrocco of Morrocco Method. I’ve told you that Morrocco Method natural shampoos transformed my hair and scalp, but I haven’t told you how lunar cutting played a huge role. As […]

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lunar hair care: an ancient technique for optimizing hair health and growth

My experience with Lunar Hair Care

I’ve been practicing lunar hair cutting for two years, since being introduced to the concept by The Hair Shaman himself, Anthony Morrocco of Morrocco Method.

I’ve told you that Morrocco Method natural shampoos transformed my hair and scalp, but I haven’t told you how lunar cutting played a huge role. As a matter of fact, using Anthony’s lunar hair chart and his recommended blunt-snip technique transformed the parting, cowlicks, and wave patterns of my hair.

Six months into my routine of lunar hair cutting, I noticed that the wave patterns of my hair had dramatically and beautifully shifted. It was most dramatic the day after I cut my hair. I realized that the natural part of my hair changed to the other side of my head, in a way that was completely new and surprisingly complimentary for my face shape.

I had to try lunar hair care to believe it. I still don’t completely understand how it works, but I’m a believer.

Anthony explains lunar hair care

Anthony was in Seattle last week and we caught up over lunch. I gave him an update about my results with lunar hair cutting and began picking his brain about the mechanisms at play.

In summary, it’s all about the subtle energy of the body, as well as the magnetic energy of the moon cycles, working synergistically to promote hair growth and scalp health. Anthony touched on how traditional cultures saw hair as a powerful energetic extension of the body. An article on Anthony’s personal website says,

Not only does hair in people, including facial hair in men, provide an information highway reaching the brain, hair also emits energy, the electromagnetic energy emitted by the brain into the outer environment. This has been seen in Kirlian photography when a person is photographed with long hair and then rephotographed after the hair is cut. (Read more).

He also shared with me the history of how he made lunar hair cutting the foundation of his business. Below is a snippet of his story from his personal website TheHairShaman.com:

The most powerful lesson of my four years at Kenneth’s [Salon in New York] came from a Brazilian client who awakened me to Lunar Hair Cycle methodology.  Like a match to fire, this moon-based technique ignited my passion to follow the Hair Shaman path.

[…] I started with a move to Italy, exploring countless small villages where local barbers would eagerly show me hair techniques handed down through generations.  Each also shared the details of their local lunar hair cycles.  After a nomadic year in Italy, I ventured northward to further my quest for hair knowledge.  Traversing Europe, I met residents of the renowned Findhorn settlement in Scotland.  They introduced me to the ancient natural science of Ayurveda, which would become the basis of my Five Elements Hair Care.

When Anthony was a hair stylist, he scheduled his appointments according to the lunar hair calendar. Now, he manufactures his hair care line according to moon cycles, a practice of medicine makers and herbalists from traditional cultures across the globe.

How I Practice Lunar Hair Care

Here are the steps I follow to practice lunar hair care:

1. I trim my hair, using the blunt-snip technique above, each month according to Anthony’s Lunar Hair Chart.

2. I avoid all synthetic hair products and use only a boar bristle brush to style, which keeps my scalp healthy and nurtures the natural wave patterns of my hair.

lunar hair care imageI’m not one for selfies, but I wanted to show you my results. In the picture, I have only washed and air-dried my hair (I didn’t smooth it with a boar brush for this picture). It has no layers, but looks thick and full, because the blunt-snip technique allows the hair to fall naturally. 

If you are interested in practicing the process of lunar hair cutting that I use, and that Anthony recommends, I will tell you the vital importance of using non-synthetic products and a boar bristle brush (I use MM’s boar brush). 

Synthetic products disrupt the balance of the scalp and weight down the hair. Of course, I recommend Morrocco Method products for shampoo and conditioner.

Boar bristle brushing is the only styling tool I use. It acts as a deep-conditioning and smoothing treatment for the hair by distributing the scalp sebum. Here are the 6 Benefits of Boar Bristle Brushing that I’ve already discussed.

Blunt-Snip Cutting and Lunar Hair Care

Anthony recommends blunt-snip cutting your own hair according to his (free) lunar hair calendar here.

When I previously shared the below video of blunt-snip cutting, I received comments that it was not a the ideal hair cutting technique. I brought this to Anthony, who is the world-class expert on the subject. He assured me of the value in this technique. Blunt-snip cutting removes layers, which – contrary to what you may expect – encourages the natural wave patterns and creates the illusion of thicker hair.

I’m telling you: trust Anthony on this. He worked at the top hair salon in the country, Kenneth’s in New York, where his clientele included celebrities such as Jackie Kennedy. Kenneth, the founder of the salon, was famous for mastering the blunt-ship technique, which he used for his celebrity clients including Katherine Hepburn.

In the video below, Anthony demonstrates how to blunt-snip your hair, which should be cut according to the Lunar Hair Chart. I have been following this method for two years and my hair has never looked thicker and healthier.

Even better, when it comes to styling, all I need to do is brush out my hair with a boar bristle brush. Then, my hair falls into its natural shape without the need for damaging and time-consuming heat tools.

July 2015 Blue Moon

I wanted to share this info about lunar hair care now, so you can take advantage of the July 2015 Blue Moon. A Blue Moon occurs when there are two full moons in one month, a rare occasion. Traditional cultures saw blue moons as energetically powerful. Anthony says the energetic effects of lunar hair cutting during this blue moon will be amplified ten times, compared to a cutting on a regular moon. 

Coupon for Lunar Hair Care packages

I know many of you have been waiting for a coupon for Morrocco Method, and I’m happy to share one with you in celebration of the blue moon.

thicken-floating-earth

For two weeks, from July 20th through August 3rd, use coupon code BLUEMOON at checkout to receive free shipping on all lunar hair care packages. Select the FedEx Smart Post option when using the coupon.  The packages are currently 20% off, so you’ll get free shipping plus a huge discount. 

Whether you are a Morrocco Method convert or a newbie to the Morrocco Method of holistic hair care, these packages allow you to buy a targeted combo of products at a discount.

Are you up for trying lunar hair care? 

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Lemon Paleo Madeleines http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-madelines/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-madelines/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 16:15:07 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=9102 This recipe for Paleo Madeleines is shared by Macy, the inspiring 17-year-old blogger behind Paleo Crumbs. Macy has faced serious health challenges with her empowered and positive spirit, and I’m honored to share her work with you today.  I am so excited and happy to be guest posting on Lauren’s blog today! My name is Macy and I […]

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Lemon paleo madelines recipe

This recipe for Paleo Madeleines is shared by Macy, the inspiring 17-year-old blogger behind Paleo Crumbs. Macy has faced serious health challenges with her empowered and positive spirit, and I’m honored to share her work with you today. 

I am so excited and happy to be guest posting on Lauren’s blog today! My name is Macy and I blog over on Paleo Crumbs.

Lemon paleo madelines recipe

Lemon Paleo Madeleines

Today’s recipe is inspired by my love for France’s amazing and beautiful food, especially their gorgeous pastries. I was blessed to go with my family on a trip to Europe a few years ago, where we visited Paris-the “city of love” or as I like to think the” city of desserts.” One of my many favorite memories there was all of the amazing bakery windows filled with tons and tons of breath taking sweets. I love recreating recipes that are inspired from such fond memories from this trip and thought these Lemon Madeleines would be perfect to guest post today. 

 Lemon paleo madeleines recipe

My family loved these little cakes and their sweet burst of lemon flavor. These Lemon Paleo Madeleines are great on their own or with a cup of tea (or coffee). Enjoy!

Paleo Madeleines

Yield: 24 cookies

Paleo Madeleines

These traditional shell-shaped cakey cookies are paleo-ified with a combination of arrowroot and coconut flour replacing the wheat flour.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two madeleine pans (available here) well with coconut oil or ghee.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the coconut flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda, baking power, salt, and lemon zest.
  3. Crack the eggs separating the egg whites from the egg yolks into two separate bowls. Using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites into light and fluffy, set aside.
  4. In another bowl, beat together the egg yolks, raw honey, and vanilla. Mix in the coconut milk and lemon juice. Then pour in the melted coconut oil, while mixing on low.
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  7. Use a cookie scoop to evenly divide the batter among the greased madeleine molds in the pans. You should fill the madeleine molds just about entirely.
  8. Place the madeleine pans in the oven, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until baked all the way through and a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes before turning over on a wire rack to take out of pan and cool. Enjoy with a cup of tea or on their own!

Notes

Make sure to grease pans well so that the madeleines come out easily. Put madeleine pans on a baking sheet to make it easier for putting in and taking out of the oven.

http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-madelines/

macy headshotAbout Macy at Paleo Crumbs

Chronic illness forced a detour along Macy’s high school path leading to a hospitalization, multiple diagnoses and a feeding tube. This led Macy to create her blog, “Paleo Crumbs.” Macy believes in making the best of situations. She has discovered a new passions for photography, the power and knowledge of real food, and deepened her life long love for being in the kitchen. Although gastroparesis keeps Macy from consuming much in quantity, she finds it important to make every bite (and sip) count by packing it full of goodness and nutrients! Connect with Macy on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram

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Coconut Cherry Paleo Granola Bar Recipe http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-granola-bar-recipe/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-granola-bar-recipe/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 16:30:51 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=9078 From Lauren: Today’s recipe is a guest post shared by the talented Heather from Cook It Up Paleo. I love her ingenious grain free recipes, including her famous Paleo French Bread. Go check out her blog! Hi everyone! My name is Heather and I am so excited and honored to be guest posting on Empowered Sustenance! […]

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Chocolate cherry paleo granola bars recipe

From Lauren: Today’s recipe is a guest post shared by the talented Heather from Cook It Up Paleo. I love her ingenious grain free recipes, including her famous Paleo French Bread. Go check out her blog!

Hi everyone! My name is Heather and I am so excited and honored to be guest posting on Empowered Sustenance! I have been blogging at my blog, Cook It Up Paleo, for about two years now, and I love to create delicious paleo recipes for my family and friends.  My favorite thing is when I can create something healthy that even non-paleo eaters can enjoy.

Chocolate cherry paleo granola bars recipe

Chocolate Cherry Paleo Granola Bar Recipe

Enough about me though; let’s talk about these granola bars.  I can be fairly busy sometimes, and occasionally I have to wait longer than usual between meals.  I love the concept of having a delicious and nutritious bar in my purse.  Problem is, most packaged bars, even the nut and seed kind, have agave or puffed grains or some other yucky ingredient in them.  Plus they cost an arm and a leg.

That’s why I enjoy making my own snack bars.  These bars are full of nutritious seeds and dried cherries, and you can make them as sweet or not sweet as you like.  They taste like a delicious granola nut bar, but they don’t have any grains or nuts in them! They are held together with egg instead of rice syrup.

Hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!

Coconut Cherry Paleo Granola Bars

Yield: 12-14 bars

Coconut Cherry Paleo Granola Bars

Traditional granola bar recipes often rely on copious amounts of sweetener and oats. This grain-free recipe uses coconut as a base and is sweetened with a touch of honey and dried fruit.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9 inch by 11 inch glass baking dish with a bit of coconut oil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the banana chips, cherries, coconut, seeds, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs whites, egg, vanilla, and honey.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. Press into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool and cut into bars.
  6. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil over low heat and stir. Drizzle over bars and let harden.
  7. Enjoy!
http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-granola-bar-recipe/

heather-resler6About Heather at Cook It Up Paleo

My name is Heather Resler and I am the 18 year old blogger at Cook It Up Paleo.  I was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 16 and have regained health through a gluten-free and paleo lifestyle.  I am passionate about cooking and nutrition.  When I’m not in the kitchen, I am taking photographs, learning the science behind nutrition, or watching Psych on Netflix with my family and our dog.  You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+.  Find my cookbook, Grain-Free Family Favorites – 70+ paleo recipes that everyone will love on Amazon Kindle.

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Golden Milk Smoothie http://empoweredsustenance.com/golden-milk-smoothie/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/golden-milk-smoothie/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:00:50 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=9080 Last week, I shared one of my favorite ways to get a dose of turmeric into my day: Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Bombs. Coincidentally, shortly after I first created that recipe, I was introduced to an even more convenient way to get a hit of turmeric: TurmericBoost, from Gaia Herbs. This post is generously sponsored by Gaia […]

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Golden Milk Smoothie with turmeric and herbs to support anti-inflammation

Last week, I shared one of my favorite ways to get a dose of turmeric into my day: Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Bombs. Coincidentally, shortly after I first created that recipe, I was introduced to an even more convenient way to get a hit of turmeric: TurmericBoost, from Gaia Herbs.

This post is generously sponsored by Gaia Herbs. Like always, it is my strict policy to only share content that reflects my genuine experience and I only recommend products from companies that meet my high standards for integrity.

Gaia is currently running a #LiveLifeBrighter campaign to encourage vibrant and healthy choices in your day. To participate, share your brighter life with the hashtag #LiveLifeBrighter before July 10th and you can win prizes, including a brand new Vitamix! (Giveaway details are below.)

What is Golden Milk?

Golden Milk, a traditional Ayurvedic beverage, features a blend of warming herbs and turmeric in hot milk. While it may seem unexpected to pair a savory, astringent flavor such as turmeric with a sweet beverage, there is method behind the madness.

In a recent lecture from an Ayurvedic herbalist, I learned that in the Indian tradition, food is matter-of-factly consumed as medicine. Plants and herbs with medicinal qualities are incorporated into every aspect of a meal. A bite of food is expected to deliver health benefits as well as flavor.

Further, the herbs used in Golden Milk create a multi-faceted flavor profile, a feature of Ayurvedic medicine. In the Ayurvedic tradition, a meal should provide all six flavors: sweet, astringent, salty, sour, pungent and bitter.  For example, the turmeric lends an astringent quality/flavor/energy, and black pepper along with ginger creates a pungent quality/flavor/energy.

With the warmer weather, I find myself craving cooler beverages over a mug of steaming Golden Milk. This smoothie delivers the nutrient-rich herbs found in Golden Milk along with nourishing fat from coconut.

TurmericBoost from Gaia Herbs

Golden Milk Smoothie with turmeric and herbs to support anti-inflammation

If you want an easy way to incorporate turmeric and Ayurvedic herbs into your day, Gaia Herbs just released their TurmericBoost line. TurmericBoost is a blend of turmeric extract and carefully formulated herbs to support anti-inflammation, energy, mental clarity and digestion.

Because TurmericBoost contains no sugar or sweetener, it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Don’t be thrown off by the association of chai spices with a sweet beverage – think of all the savory curry recipes that use these spices! TurmericBoost makes a superfood addition to:

  • Smoothies
  • Tea (I now stock my purse with the convenient single-serving packets to mix with tea or hot water)
  • Bone broth
  • Soups
  • Rice (or cauliflower rice!) or legume dishes

TurmericBoost is available at the Gaia Herb Shop or at Amazon.

Golden Milk Smoothie with turmeric and herbs to support anti-inflammation

TurmericBoost Restore contains traditional chai spices and a prebiotic base.

  • Turmeric powder and turmeric extract pack a potent punch of curcumin, a compound displaying anti-inflammatory properties in thousands of studies
  • Black pepper extract works synergistically with the turmeric to improve curcumin absorption. Studies show that curcumin is more powerful when paired with black pepper. Golden Milk recipes include a pinch of black pepper along with warming spices and turmeric.
  • FOS, short for fructoogliosaccharides, are prebiotic – providing nutrients to foster the growth of healthy gut flora.
  • Warming herbs including ginger, cinnamon, star anise and cardamom are traditionally used for supporting digestion and metabolism by “stoking the digestive fire.”

TurmericBoost Uplift features herbs known for their adaptogenic and energy-balancing qualities*.

  • The synergistic blend of turmeric powder, turmeric extract, and black pepper extract is found in both the Uplift and Restore versions.
  • Gotu kola is revered in India as one of the most rejuvenative Ayurvedic herbs. In the Western herbalism tradition, Gotu Kola is used to support a balanced nervous system and aid mental clarity*.
  • Holy Basil, also known as tulsi, is known for its adaptogenic qualities – it supports a healthy response to stress in the body*.
  • The Uplift flavor also features ginger, cinnamon, star anise and cardamom. In the Ayurvedic tradition, these Ayurvedic herbs provide warmth and balance due to their flavor profiles.

*Like all the statements on my site, this statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. TurmericBoost is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Also, this was an icing-on-the-cake factor for me: the TurmericBoost plastic canisters are made with 100% plant/mineral/compostable materials… no petroleum-based plastic.

Golden Milk Smoothie with turmeric and herbs to support anti-inflammation

TurmericBoost Giveaway

Want to win a variety of TurmericBoost, along with a Vitamix Blender (yes!!!!) thrown in? Gaia is currently hosting a #LiveLifeBrighter giveaway on their Facebook page. Enter the giveaway here!

Golden Milk Smoothie

Yield: Makes 1 serving

Golden Milk Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 very ripe banana, peeled and then frozen
  • 1/4 cup diced mango, frozen (prepare yourself or find in the frozen fruit section)
  • 1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 1 packet TurmericBoost or 1 tsp. TurmericBoost powder (use either flavor), available from Gaia Herbs or Amazon

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until creamy. Voila! An instant way to incorporate turmeric and Ayurvedic herbs into your day.
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Paleo Honey Sesame Chicken http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-honey-sesame-chicken/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-honey-sesame-chicken/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:00:51 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=9070 I remember enjoying takeout only a few times in my life. I grew up in a rural area, where restaurant delivery was out of the question. And when I moved to an area of reasonable proximity to takeout options, I was following a restricted anti-inflammatory diet. So, I had basically given up hope of ever stuffing my […]

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paleo honey sesame chicken recipe - quick, easy, kid-friendly, and healthy meal!

I remember enjoying takeout only a few times in my life. I grew up in a rural area, where restaurant delivery was out of the question. And when I moved to an area of reasonable proximity to takeout options, I was following a restricted anti-inflammatory diet.

So, I had basically given up hope of ever stuffing my face with takeout classics like pad thai, moo goo gai pan, orange chicken, or fried rice. Until this week.

Paleo Takeout by Russ Crandall

This week, I got my hands on a book that will make up for my lifetime of takeout deprivation: Paleo Takeout, by my friend Russ Crandall. You likely know Russ from his recipe-packed blog, The Domestic Man

paleo honey sesame chicken recipe - quick, easy, kid-friendly, and healthy meal!

I receive many cookbooks to consider sharing with you, and Paleo Takeout immediately made the cut. For me, these are the highlights of the book:

  • ptocoverPaleo-friendly versions of ethnic recipes from around the world. Russ will take you to Thailand with Thai Red Curry, then Japan with Tempura, then China with Sweet and Sour Chicken, and then America with a classic breaded chicken sandwich.
  • Simple, practical preparation techniques. These recipes are for real people who have real time constraints. To sum up the theme of the recipes: family-friendly weeknight meals. 
  • Even the Asian recipes use accessible ingredients found at well-stocked health food markets. The more unusual ingredients are toasted sesame oil and fish sauce, which you can find at any large grocery store.
  • Gorgeous photos for each recipe that immediately put my salivary glands on overdrive
  • A complete picture recipe index

I hope you enjoy this recipe that Russ agreed to share from his book. Don’t forget to check out  Paleo Takeout cookbook here

Paleo Honey Sesame Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Paleo Honey Sesame Chicken

Looking for an easy, kid-friendly dinner idea? Here you go! This recipe is shared with permission from Paleo Takeout by Russ Crandall.

Ingredients

    Sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine, available at well-stocked grocery stores in the Asian isle, or mirin
  • 1 tsp tamari (wheat free soy sauce. Substitute coconut aminos for a soy-free option)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper dash of black pepper
  • Chicken Meatballs
  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch, available here
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce, available here
  • 1 tsp tamari (wheat free soy sauce. Substitute coconut aminos for a soy-free option)
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar, available here
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • Slurry
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch, available here
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • Garnish
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, divided

Instructions

  1. 1. In a saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently to allow the flavors to marry while you prepare the chicken.
  2. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken meatball ingredients with your hands, then transfer to a food processor and pulse until the mixture turns into a tacky paste. With wet hands, form 40 balls.
  3. 3. You can either pan-fry the chicken meatballs in batches over medium heat or grill them over direct medium-high heat. If pan- frying, put the cooked chicken in a warm (200°F) oven while you make the other batches.
  4. 4. Once the chicken meatballs are cooked, stir together the arrow- root starch and cold water to create a slurry, then stir half of the slurry into the sauce. Increase the heat to medium, bring to a sim- mer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes, adding more slurry if needed. Taste and add salt if needed, then stir in half of the ses- ame seeds.
  5. 5. In a mixing bowl, toss the chicken meatballs with the sauce, then transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds over the chicken and serve.

Notes

This recipe can also be made with egg-battered chicken breast pieces. Follow the instructions in my Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe (page 64 of The Paleo Takeout Cookbook), but use this sauce. Or you can use velveted chicken breasts (see page 44 of The Paleo Takeout Cookbook). Finally, consider pan-frying some cut-up chicken thighs and tossing them in the sauce. Easy!

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Two Ingredient Paleo Truffles http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-truffles/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-truffles/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 20:12:23 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=9010 Adjectives fail me… I wish I could describe these truffles with the extravagant adjectives in perfume or wine descriptions. These little bites of bliss deserve more than the introduction of downright delicious. I’ll give it a try: Intensely silky, the deep chocolate base boasts undertones of caramel and vanilla, highlighted by the crisp and fruity character of pomegranate. That […]

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paleo truffles 3

Adjectives fail me…

I wish I could describe these truffles with the extravagant adjectives in perfume or wine descriptions. These little bites of bliss deserve more than the introduction of downright delicious.

I’ll give it a try:

Intensely silky, the deep chocolate base boasts undertones of caramel and vanilla, highlighted by the crisp and fruity character of pomegranate.

That sounds pretty good, right?

Paleo truffles, with just two ingredients!

paleo truffles 4

Warning: you may be sorry after I introduce you to the following ingredients. Because once you invite them into your life, you will find it extraordinarily difficult to uninvite them.

paleo truffles 2

Love Bean Fudge is dark chocolate fudge in a jar. A silky, profoundly intense chocolate experience. Even better, it boasts the benefits of coconut oil! Paleo-friendly, it’s sweetened with mineral-rich coconut nectar (think maple syrup from a coconut tree).

Love Bean Fudge offers different varieties, and I used the Essentially Raw version for this recipe. The ingredients include: Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Nectar, Organic Ecuadorian Cacao Powder, Organic Vanilla Bean Powder.

You can add Love Bean fudge to smoothies, put it on ice cream, melt it and drizzle it over fruit, use it as a crappy-ingredient-free Nutella substitute, or use it for frosting.

Love Bean Fudge – Essentially Raw is available here.

Organic Pomegranate Powder is exactly that – powdered pomegranate seeds! Divinely sweet and tart, it boasts a range of concentrated phytonutrients including folate, vitamin C and potassium.

See my post 10 Ways to Use Pomegranate Powder for more inspiration utilizing this superfood.

Nativas Organic Freeze-Dried Pomegranate Powder is available here at Thrive Market (which is like a synthesis of a health food Costco/Amazon Prime) or Amazon here. I recommend registering for Thrive because they have the best prices.

Two Ingredient Paleo Truffles

10 minutes

Yield: 12 small truffles

Two Ingredient Paleo Truffles

These melt-in-your-mouth truffles meld decadent dark chocolate with a hint of sweet-tart pomegranate powder. The color combination of the deep chocolate with the pink pomegranate powder is simply striking. One taste and you'll be hooked.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. The fudge should have a thick, malleable consistency. If it is a hot day, you may need to place the jar in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm. It's easy to work with, just experiment until the consistency is optimal.
  2. Pour a small amount (a few tablespoons) of pomegranate powder into a small bowl. Use a teaspoon measure to scoop out a teaspoon of fudge, then roll it into a ball with your hands. Place the ball into the pomegranate powder, roll around, and then place the truffle on a plate.
  3. You can make as many as you like - 1/4 cup of the fudge will yield 12 small truffles. Of course, you can make the truffles larger if desired.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Let soften slightly at room temperature before serving.
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paleo truffles 5

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20 Things You May Not Know About Me http://empoweredsustenance.com/20-things-about-me/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/20-things-about-me/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 18:43:09 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8969 Recently, my friend George Bryant (whom you know as The Civilized Caveman) wrote a profoundly vulnerable post called 26 Things You May Not Know About Me. I admired him deeply for writing it and showing his strong soul. Inspired by George, I want to share some things with you. 1. I’m 22.  2. I was a really healthy […]

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20 things about me

Recently, my friend George Bryant (whom you know as The Civilized Caveman) wrote a profoundly vulnerable post called 26 Things You May Not Know About Me. I admired him deeply for writing it and showing his strong soul. Inspired by George, I want to share some things with you.

1. I’m 22. 

2. I was a really healthy kid until a period of trauma at age 11. Up to that point, I didn’t expect chronic health challenges to be a part of my future. 

3. I never expected a blog to be in my future, but – since middle school – I dreamt of being a writer.

4. Growing up, I continually received the message – both verbally and non-verbally – to be less sensitive. As I child, I thought something was wrong with me due to my heightened sensitivity to everything and everyone around me.

5. I learned about the term empath when I was 18. It refers to a person who physically and/or energetically experiences other people’s emotions. Suddenly, I had an explanation for otherwise unexplainable experiences in my life.

6. Both reading and writing stories and poems has gotten me through the most difficult and most joyful periods in my life. The artistry of words on paper allows me to process experiences and emotions.

journal

7. I know my emotional and environmental sensitivity predisposed me to health challenges, but I believe it also led me to explore writing – including writing Empowered Sustenance – as a processing and coping mechanism.

8. I’ve experienced both sides of the spectrum of restrictive eating. At one end, it led me into a spiral of toxic control when I struggled with anorexia at a young age. At the other end, it saved me from an impending surgery and a lifetime of medication.

9. I call myself a recovering health perfectionist. I have learned that it is not healthy for me to live with a linear image in my mind of a straight path that takes me from point A (unhealthy) – to point B (healthy).

10. At 14, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. After a week of passing bloody stools up to 20 times a day, I was hospitalized for two weeks. I didn’t fully process the diagnosis for months after, and I didn’t consider what it would mean to my future.

11. During one of my worst flare-ups, I spent a month nearly bed-ridden and wasn’t able to leave the house for about a month and a half. This was the summer before I was headed to college.

12. When I was 16, I wrote a gluten free cookbook for kids, got my hands on a current edition of The Writers Market, and sent query letters to 10 publishers. I was declined, but believed book writing would somehow be in my future.

13. I began at what I thought was my dream college while on steroids for the colitis, which made the transition even more difficult due to the emotionality, mood swings, and embarrassing physical side effects of the steroids (such as a swollen face).

14. I stayed at this college for one semester. I tried desperately to hide my health challenges. No one knew that my periods had stopped and I had blood in my stool daily.

15. Too weak to continue school, I returned home. A physician once again put me on the dreaded steroids and told me that the next step would likely be a surgery to remove part of my colon.

16. I religiously followed a gluten free diet for years, at the recommendation of a naturopath. Because that didn’t improve my colitis, I nearly gave up hope on addressing my health through nutrition. I came across a copy of Breaking The Vicious Cycle  three years ago and began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, feeling apathetic about it. My acute symptoms disappeared within three days and, within 6 months, I decided to quit my meds and use nutrition to manage the colitis.

17. I began blogging because I was still gaining strength after my most recent colitis flare, and was unable to resume school or activities outside of my home. I felt isolated in my experience and wanted to connect with people facing similar health challenges. Blogging provided a platform for this connection. 

small quit pms   small quit acne   Indulge and Heal digital cover new

18. By 21, I had self-published three books and received contract offers from various publishers.

19. I just finished my Junior year at the holistic college Bastyr University studying Health Psychology. In April of this year, I suddenly realized that I am compelled to change my education path. I am grateful for every minute I’ve spent on the Bastyr campus and for the incredible friends and mentors I’ve met here, but I do not have a passion to learn psychology.

bastyr 2

20. This year, I learned that I am not able to be a full-time student and manage Empowered Sustenance. I have a history of blinding myself to the health consequences of chronic stress with chronic stress, and I made that mistake again this year. Blogging and being a full-time student was too much for me and did impede my healing, so I’ve lightened my school load (taking less credits at a time, over a longer period of time).

I have new learning adventures in store and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you. This year, I’m planning to train in herbalism, train in kinesiology, and pursue my passion for creative writing through writer’s workshops. 

Thank you for being a part of my journey, and thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you!

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Turmeric Bombs: DIY Turmeric Supplement http://empoweredsustenance.com/turmeric-supplement-diy/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/turmeric-supplement-diy/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 13:25:40 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8993 Did you know there are over 7,000 studies researching the efficacy of turmeric and it’s active component curcumin? You’ve certainly heard the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric touted by practitioners, blogs, and wellness publications. I believe this highly-pigmented herb belongs in everyone’s wellness arsenal, both as long-term maintenance and acute inflammation relief. Here’s a simple way to get […]

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Turmeric bombs: an anti-inflammatory turmeric supplement

Did you know there are over 7,000 studies researching the efficacy of turmeric and it’s active component curcumin?

You’ve certainly heard the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric touted by practitioners, blogs, and wellness publications. I believe this highly-pigmented herb belongs in everyone’s wellness arsenal, both as long-term maintenance and acute inflammation relief. Here’s a simple way to get turmeric into your day!

DIY Turmeric Supplement

I add turmeric to curries and vegetable soups on a regular basis, but, while this is certainly providing some benefit, it is not a highly concentrated dose of the herb. When I was in need of acute inflammation help, I added a couple tablespoons of turmeric in half a cup of water and gulped (or rather gagged) it down. If you’ve ever eaten straight turmeric, you know how bitter it can taste.

Now, when I feel the need for a turmeric hit, I’ll reach for these turmeric bombs. They are an easy way to get the benefits of turmeric without the bitter flavor. Even better, they contain a couple special ingredients to work synergistically with the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric.

This concept of turmeric-honey pills was recently told to me by my friend Anna Matriotti, an experienced herbalist, nutritional therapist and president of the Washington chapter of the American Herbalist Guild. She shared this tip in her presentation at the 2015 Green Gathering, an herb/wildcrafting workshop.

How to increase the efficacy of turmeric

Did you know that certain ingredients can increase the bioavailability of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric? I’ve incorporated the following ingredients into the Turmeric Bombs to up-the-turmeric-ante:

  • Quercetin, a bioflavenoid, inhibits an enzyme that decreases the activity of curcumin.
  • Black pepper contains the potent alkaloid piperine, which has been shown to increase the bio-availability of curcumin up to 150%.
  • Fatty acids have been shown to increase the bioavailability of turmeric (source).

Turmeric bombs: an anti-inflammatory turmeric supplement

Two variations for Turmeric Bombs

I’ve included two variations for turmeric bombs: one made with honey and one made with coconut oil or ghee.

Turmeric bombs: an anti-inflammatory turmeric supplement

The honey variation is easier to swallow, so it is better suited to children. The honey also masks the bitter taste of the turmeric when the pill is swallowed. I would recommend starting with this option.

The coconut oil/ghee option has the benefit of being sugar free and also includes the fatty acids that improve the absorption of curcumin. However, the pills flatten slightly on the baking sheet into rougher shapes, which may be more difficult to swallow. They also have a slight flavor when swallowed.

Turmeric Bombs: DIY Turmeric Supplement

Yield: A lot... I think it made around 50, but I didn't count each one.

Turmeric Bombs: DIY Turmeric Supplement

The active compound curcumin, found in turmeric, has been widely studied for its potent anti-inflammatory effects. These DIY Turmeric supplements contain quercetin and black pepper, two ingredients shown to improve the bioavailability of curcumin.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with the unbleached parchment paper. Make room in your freezer to put the cookie sheet for a few hours when the Turmeric Bombs need to set.
  2. If you are like me and have a tendency to spill things, wear an apron! Turmeric powder stains clothing, and the powder can get on your clothes if you stir the mixture too vigorously.
  3. Select one of the binding agents. You will need approximately 3 tablespoons. If you choose raw honey and it is thick, melt it in a saucepan over very low heat until it is pourable. Do the same with the coconut oil or ghee so it is liquid, but not hot.
  4. In a bowl, stir together the turmeric, quercetin, pepper, and binding agent. If using honey, you should have a thick and pliable mixture. If using oil, you should have a thick mixture with which you can form pills.
  5. For the honey variation, pinch of small amounts of the "dough," roll between your palms, and place on the baking sheet. For the oil variation, use a spoon to scoop small pill shapes onto the baking sheet.
  6. Freeze until firm, then transfer to a storage container and keep in the freezer.
  7. Take the turmeric bombs as needed. You can't overdose on them. However, if you take a lot of the oil-based ones, the fat content may upset your stomach. It using the honey version, keep in mind that it does contain sugar (albeit unrefined and enzyme-rich sugar).
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Turmeric bombs: an anti-inflammatory turmeric supplement

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