Empowered Sustenance http://empoweredsustenance.com Eat well and heal!™ Tue, 30 Sep 2014 22:26:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Tour My Holistic Dorm Room http://empoweredsustenance.com/holistic-dorm-room/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/holistic-dorm-room/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 22:26:17 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8019 Last week I transferred to a unique naturopathic/holistic health college called Bastyr University in the Seattle area. It’s a school dedicated to naturopathy, acupuncture, midwifery, nutrition, psychology and other health sciences. I decided to live on campus, at least for the first year. I’m excited to share some healthy living posts and recipes that reflect my new […]

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holistic dorm 1

Last week I transferred to a unique naturopathic/holistic health college called Bastyr University in the Seattle area. It’s a school dedicated to naturopathy, acupuncture, midwifery, nutrition, psychology and other health sciences. I decided to live on campus, at least for the first year. I’m excited to share some healthy living posts and recipes that reflect my new college lifestyle in the upcoming weeks.

What’s in a health nut’s dorm room?

The only reality show that I watch is House Hunters, where buyers explore three potential houses before making their decision. The nosy part of me is entertained by peaking into people’s living quarters.

Here’s my version of House Hunters – I’m going to give you a tour of my “holistic dorm room.”

My dorm isn’t the average dorm. You won’t find a stash of Top Ramen or a Febreeze plug-in in here! That’s because a few years ago when my health hit rock bottom, I decided to take a holistic approach to healing my chronic health conditions. As a result, I need to stick to a specific dietary protocol and chemical-free lifestyle. It’s a challenge with a college lifestyle, but everyone at Bastyr is so understanding and supportive of natural health… so I’m at the right place!

The Beautiful Bastyr Campus

bastyr 2

The Student Housing Village on Bastyr is a recent addition to the college and I’m so grateful to be part of the community of residents here. Each student building has 12 individual rooms (with individual bathrooms!) and a shared kitchen/lounge area. The kitchens were built to accomodate people who love cooking good food – as everyone at Bastyr does! They have two fridges, a freezer, two ovens, and a huge island.

In addition to the student housing, I’ve enjoyed the beautiful campus. It’s serene and gorgeous even when it is drizzling and grey (which is often, since this is the Seattle area).

One unique feature is the Culinary and Herb Garden. Organic foods and herbs grown on campus are used for the cooking classes, herb classes and donated to the local food bank.

bastyr 1

bastyr 7

bastyr 8

bastyr 3

There is another fun feature in the garden: a Reflexology Foot Path! You walk on it barefoot and the stones stimulate the acupressure points on your feet.

bastyr 9

The Bastyr Student Housing

There multiple student housing buildings on the campus, and they are all beautifully designed. Because the college caters to students of all ages, they created individual rooms with private bathrooms (!!!) instead of double rooms and communal bathrooms.

There are 12 individual units per building and each building shares a large kitchen and a study room. Here’s a peek at the kitchen:

IMG_20140925_125102-2

What I could and couldn’t bring

Although I grew up in a couple hours north of Seattle, I had been living in Virginia for the past few years. So I was challenged to pack light (probably a good thing) as I moved my living necessities across the country.

I also relied on good ol’ Amazon, Target and Costco for some kitchen and bedroom necessities. Other things that I ordered are discussed below.

The hardest things I had to leave behind? My wellness books. My stash health-related books and paleo cookbooks all had to stay behind although we will be eventually reunited. I’ve already started an addition to my book collection after a few trips to the amazing campus bookstore here! As soon as I saw that the bookstore carried Nourishing Traditions and Rescue Remedy, I knew the bookstore would be perilous for my wallet.

What’s in my natural dorm room

dorm room 10

The first thing you’ll notice is my bed canopy. This is an EMF Bed Canopy made from a special fabric that prevents any EMFs (harmful electromagnetic frequencies, which I discuss here) from entering when the canopy is closed. The same fabric goes under the bed to prevent EMF exposure from the lower floors.

Again, this was a significant investment, but it will last a lifetime EMFs, this is very important to me. Bastyr unfortunately has a cell tower on campus, plus WiFi and cell phones everywhere. Steps I took at my parents house to reduce EMF exposure would not be feasible at a dorm, so this was the best option.

Scot from Bio Healthy Homes, who specializes in EMF mitigation in Seattle, made a stand for it with cedar 2x2s and did the set-up for me (the canopy is manufactured to be hung from the ceiling, but I can’t hang stuff from the dorm ceiling).

I will share links and details in my upcoming post dedicated to my EMF canopy – if you are interested in learning more, please stay tuned :)

canopy closed

Here are the other noteworthy items in my dorm room: 

Bedding – I got this beautiful fair trade cotton bedding set (queen size to fit the XL twin bed) from Viva Terra. (I got it when it was hugely discounted but unfortunately the sale is over).

Beautiful hamper – I got a hammered metal hamper from Viva Terra (also purchased when it was on sale but it’s no longer available). I use it as storage and a bedside table.

IntelliBED mattress topper – Dorm mattresses are notoriously uncomfortable. I had an IntelliBED mattress topper delivered the week that I moved in. IntelliBED is the non-toxic mattress that I recommend after my research into safe and natural bedding. You read about my experience with IntelliBED here.

Organic wool rug – I got a beautiful organic wool rug ordered from Gaiam while it was on sale. (I think it’s still on sale if they have inventory).

dorm room 3

Salt lamp – Of course I needed a salt lamp in my room! Salt lamps help purify the air and I love the ambient glow. You can read more in my post here.

Air purifying bag – To help improve the air quality (especially with some new things that may off gass, even though I tried to avoid off gassing items) I put a cheap Moso Bamboo Air Purifying Bag in my room.

Supplements basket – I keep my supplements in my room.

Essential oils in a travel/storage case – If you are looking for a way to store your essential oils and travel with them, this travel case is amazing! I have primarily Vibrant Blue Oils in my case.

LED Floor Lamp – The lighting isn’t great in my room, so I got this LED Floor Lamp. LED is a much safer and healthier option than fluorescent light bulbs.

Essential Oil Diffuser – I ordered this one, which I’m loving. I don’t diffuse oils on a regular basis because it can be wasteful. However, a short diffusing can really improve air quality and fragrance naturally. It’s a fabulous alternative if you frequently use toxic aerosol or chemical air fresheners.

dorm room 2

(Can you spy all my tinctures, hydrosols, oils, and essential oils? I’m an essential oil junkie, as you can tell…)

Shower filter – (I got this one.) I screwed an affordable chlorine shower filter onto my shower head, since a large amount of chlorine can be inhaled when showering.

Morrocco Method products – I love my Morrocco Method hair care! The shampoos and conditioners are the only products I use in the shower, since they both double as shaving cream or body wash.

dorm room 6

 Posters – I love art nouveau, so of course I had to put a couple of posters on my wall! Pictured are this one and this one.

Standing desk – At home, I had used cardboard boxes stacked on my desk to create a standing desk (I described the set-up here). However, I decided to invest in a standing desk that looks presentable and will last me a lifetime. This is the one I decided on. I like how it goes on top of the built-in desk and has a separate level for the keyboard (this supports proper posture). If you haven’t heard of “Sitting Disease” read this and you will want a standing desk, too!

How to create a natural dorm room!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my Holistic Dorm Room! I’ll be sharing some of my dorm-friendly meals and a discussion on my EMF canopy in future posts. 

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Warm Beet, Kohlrabi and Watercress Salad http://empoweredsustenance.com/beet-kohlrabi-watercress-salad/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/beet-kohlrabi-watercress-salad/#respond Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:26:55 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8072    From Lauren: I recently moved to Seattle and transferred to Bastyr University. While I’m busy settling into my new schedule, I’m excited to host some special guest posts. Today’s post comes from Arsy at Rubies and Radishes. Arsy is the author of two amazing paleo cookbooks, The Paleo Slow Cooker and The Paleo Foodie. I will be […]

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 Warm beet salad

 From Lauren: I recently moved to Seattle and transferred to Bastyr University. While I’m busy settling into my new schedule, I’m excited to host some special guest posts. Today’s post comes from Arsy at Rubies and Radishes. Arsy is the author of two amazing paleo cookbooks, The Paleo Slow Cooker and The Paleo Foodie. I will be relying heavily on her slow cooker recipes in my new dorm living situation! I also love following her on Instagram

Hi Everyone! I am Arsy from Rubies & Radishes. I am so thrilled to be here sharing a recipe with the Empowered Sustenance readers. I am a long time reader of Lauren’s blog myself and I have learned so much from the brilliant work that she does.

This Warm Beet, Kohlrabi and Watercress Salad offers a delightful combination of slightly sweet flavors from the beets and kohlrabi contrasted with the bracing peppery bite of the watercress. 

For those of you that are not familiar with kohlrabi, it looks similar to a root vegetable, but it is actually a member of the cabbage family. The word “kohlrabi” is German for cabbage turnip. It can be eaten raw of cooked. It is quite tasty.

Beet noodles are one of my favorite ways to enjoy beets. They are fun to eat and quick to make! You will need a spiralzier for this recipe.

Warm beet salad

Warm Beet, Kohlrabi and Watercress Salad

Warm Beet, Kohlrabi and Watercress Salad

A spiralizer, available here, turns veggies into spiralized vegetable noodles. It's excellent for making grain-free pasta alternatives with zucchini, but it also comes in handy for making beautiful salads.

Ingredients

    Salad
  • 3 large kohlrabi, both ends trimmed, peeled and spiralized
  • 3 medium beets, both ends trimmed, peeled and spiralized
  • 4 tablespoons ghee, melted (or cooking fat of choice) leaves from one bunch watercress
  • Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ?¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ?¼ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Spiralize your kohlrabi and beets using a vegetable spiralizer.
  3. Lay them on two baking sheets. Drizzle each of the baking sheets with 2 tablespoons of ghee and use your hands to toss them so they are well coated.
  4. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the beets and kohlrabi have softened. Keep a close eye to keep them from burning.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, make your vinaigrette. Whisk together all of the ingredients, except the olive oil. Once everything is thoroughly mixed, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while you continue to whisk. This will help your dressing emulsify.
  6. Immediately move them to a large bowl and add the watercress. Mix them together, so the heat from the beets and kohlrabi will wilt the watercress.
  7. Toss the salad with your vinaigrette and serve immediately. Alternatively, you can allow it to chill and serve it cold.
  8. Enjoy!
http://empoweredsustenance.com/beet-kohlrabi-watercress-salad/

About Arsy at Rubies and Radishes

Arsy-278x300Arsy Vartanian is the author & chef of the paleo recipe & lifestyle blog, rubiesandradishes.com. She is the author of  The Paleo Slow Cooker and The Paleo Foodie. In an effort to achieve optimal health & wellness, she discovered Crossfit & the paleo diet in 2008. Arsy started feeling better than ever and was eventually able to recover from health issues that she had struggled with for almost a decade. Equipped with this energy and knowledge, Rubies & Radishes was born.

When Arsy is not busy at work or being a mom to her new baby, you can find her in her kitchen developing healthy recipes for her family and her blog readers. Connect with Arsy on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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Paleo Dark Chocolate Orange Ice Cream http://empoweredsustenance.com/chocolate-orange-ice-cream/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/chocolate-orange-ice-cream/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:27:34 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8021 From Lauren: Last week, I moved to Seattle and transferred to Bastyr University. While I’m busy settling into my new schedule, I’m excited to host some special guest posts. Today’s post comes from Erin at Pure and Simple Nourishment. Erin is an MD who believes in the healing power of food and is helping spread her knowledge in […]

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dark chocolate orange ice cream (paleo and no sweetener except fruit!)

From Lauren: Last week, I moved to Seattle and transferred to Bastyr University. While I’m busy settling into my new schedule, I’m excited to host some special guest posts. Today’s post comes from Erin at Pure and Simple Nourishment. Erin is an MD who believes in the healing power of food and is helping spread her knowledge in the medical community!

Hi Empowered Sustenance readers! My name is Erin (Dr. Carter to my patients) and I run the blog Pure and Simple Nourishment. I am thrilled to be posting here today for Lauren. I have been a fan of her blog for years now so you can only imagine how excited I was to have the opportunity to share a recipe with you all.

I started eating a whole foods diet a few years ago after struggling for years with diarrhea prone IBS. I tried many different treatments, both from conventional and alternative medicine practices, none of which helped.  Through my own research and a lot of trial and error, I have learned how to treat my condition with nutrition.

I recently finished my internal medicine residency and am currently completing my training in rheumatology. I have seen dietary changes make huge differences for the patients I treat, and I firmly believe that nutrition should play a central role in the treatment of any chronic condition. Lauren is an amazing example of how using food can help your body heal. Unfortunately, most physicians still do not realize the impact that nutrition can have as a treatment strategy, and I am hoping that through my blog I can slowly help spread this knowledge throughout the medical community.

Pure and Simple Nourishment is a place where I explore areas related to health and wellness, with a main focus on recipes that follow paleo, SCD and GAPS guidelines. It is my mission to show you that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring! You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Today I am sharing one of my favorite ice cream recipes with you. I have always loved the flavor combination of orange and chocolate so I decided to create my own ice cream version. This Dark Orange Chocolate Ice Cream is dairy free and safe for the paleo and GAPS diets. It also doesn’t require an ice cream maker so all of you should be able to make it with the kitchen tools you already have at home.

I know that many of you (me included) try to avoid added sweeteners when it comes to recipes, so good news for you, this recipe requires no added sweetener. It is made sweet by the fruits and coconut butter that are in it. I have added the option to include a couple tablespoons of honey if you want this to be slightly sweeter, but I rarely ever include that myself.

Now I realize that winter is just around the corner, so I hope you have time to make this one before it gets too cold for ice cream (although I personally don’t think it is ever too cold for ice cream). I would love to hear what you think of this one. Enjoy, and happy eating everyone!

dark chocolate orange ice cream (paleo and no sweetener except fruit!)

Dark Chocolate Orange Ice Cream - Paleo

Yield: Makes 3-6 servings

Dark Chocolate Orange Ice Cream - Paleo

This creamy, flavorful ice cream uses bananas for natural sweetness. If you prefer a sweeter taste, add the 1-2 tablespoons of honey. When made with carob powder, which tastes similar to chocolate, this ice cream is suitable for Autoimmune Paleo diets.

Ingredients

  • 2 large, ripe bananas 
  • Zest from one orange
  • Juice from one orange (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter (available here)
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp organic orange flavor (available here)
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 TBSP organic carob powder (for autoimmune option) OR cocoa powder
  • 1 TBSP grassfed gelatin (available here)
  • Optional: 1-2 TBSP honey

Instructions

  1. Place a medium sized pot on the stove and turn the burner to medium heat
  2. Place all the ingredients except the cocoa powder and gelatin into the pot and allow to melt, stirring occasionally
  3. Once the ingredients are melted together and smooth add the cocoa powder and mix well
  4. Turn off the heat and add the gelatin, stirring well until it dissolves
  5. Pour the mixture into a freezer-proof bowl
  6. Place the bowl in the freezer and freeze for 60-90 minutes, stirring every 20-30 minutes until it has the texture you desire
  7. Remove from freezer, serve and enjoy!

Notes

If you don't eat this all right away it keeps well in the freezer for up to 5 days  

http://empoweredsustenance.com/chocolate-orange-ice-cream/

P1020295About Erin Carter

 I’m Erin: MD by day and paleo blogger by night. Through my own health struggles I have come to realize the healing power of real food. Pure and Simple Nourishment is a place where I share recipes and health information, and hopefully I can show you that healthy doesn’t have to be boring! You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

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Fermented Elderberry and Honey Soda http://empoweredsustenance.com/elderberry-soda/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/elderberry-soda/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 18:13:48 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8028 From Lauren: I recently moved to Seattle and transferred to Bastyr University. While I’m busy settling into my new schedule, I’m excited to host some special guest posts. Today’s post comes from Ariana at And Here We Are. Ariana recently released her grain free digital cookbook And Here We Are At The Table. In a word, it is delightful! […]

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elderberry soda made with honey

From Lauren: I recently moved to Seattle and transferred to Bastyr University. While I’m busy settling into my new schedule, I’m excited to host some special guest posts. Today’s post comes from Ariana at And Here We Are. Ariana recently released her grain free digital cookbook And Here We Are At The Table. In a word, it is delightful! If you want to infuse your grain free meals with international flavor, you’ll love this book. Ariana included a coupon for it below! 

My family is currently living in the English countryside, and elderberries are everywhere right now, ripe for the picking! There are a lot of ways to use elderberries, and it’s no coincidence that they are abundant right at the start of cold and flu season. Fermented fruit sodas are really simple and fun to make, and they are delicious.

I do a lot of home brewing of ciders and wines, but it’s really nice to have something quick and kid-friendly on-hand, too. This is a great way to use foraged berries. You can use this method for any fruit, really, and it’s very similar to my method for making fermented rhubarb & honey soda.

elderberry soda made with honey

elderberry soda 2

 

elderberry soda

Fermented Elderberry and Honey Soda

Yield: Makes about 8 servings

Fermented Elderberry and Honey Soda

What is extra-special about this Elderberry & Honey Soda is that it’s a great one to have around during cold and flu season– both the honey and the elderberries are powerful anti-virals. The soda is a probiotic, so it’s a very well-rounded, healthy drink for the whole family!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh elderberries (or 2 cups dried elderberries, available here)
  • 3/4 cup raw, local honey or sugar– brown or sucanat would be nice
  • Some kind of culture– you can use sauerkraut juice or whey from strained yogurt– you only need a tablespoon or two
  • A demijohn, an airlock, a funnel and swing-top bottles.

Instructions

  1. Put the elderberries into a pot, and add 4 cups of water. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat, then cool. I have left mine overnight before, but you don’t need to.
  3. Strain out the elderberries. Press with a spoon to extract as much juice as possible.
  4. Add the honey or sugar and stir until dissolved. I used about 3/4 cup, which made it very, very sweet. Keep in mind that the sugars will be digested to create the fizz, so you do want to start with it much sweeter than you would like the soda to be. You can also just save this as blackberry syrup! This is a nice way to make another batch later– you can freeze, then dilute when you want to make another batch, quickly. Dilute the syrup with water to get a good juice flavor and consistency.
  5. Pour the “juice” into a sterilized or very clean demijohn, pour in your whey or sauerkraut juice and add your airlock. (I have a small swing-top container that I used for making a smaller batch than usual. An airlock fits in the top. Some people have had success with putting a balloon over the top of the demijohn with a pin hole in the top to mimic an airlock. Worth a try in a pinch!
  6. Let it sit for about three days, and taste it. Mine fermented pretty quickly, but there are some variables– the temperature of the room, the strength of the culture you used, etc. Taste it and let it ferment until it’s only a little sweeter than you would like it to be.
  7. Pour it into your swing-top bottles, and store in the fridge. (The type of bottle is important, as they allow the ferment to give off some small amounts of Co2 and won’t explode.) You could leave them out at room temperature if you’d like to drink them sooner, but I usually pop them into the fridge to slow down the fermentation process.
  8. You will want to drink them within a few weeks, or risk losing most of your Elderberry Soda to the “geyser effect.” If you’re storing it for a while, I’d just check in now and then to see what kind of pressure is building up. Your beverage will get drier, more tart and fizzier the longer you wait. It will eventually develop more of an alcohol content, too, so you might want to taste it before giving it to your kids if you’ve been storing it for a while! Enjoy!
http://empoweredsustenance.com/elderberry-soda/

Thank you, Lauren, for letting me share this recipe with your wonderful readers! And Here We Are at the Table Cookbook

I wanted to let you all know that I just published a digital cookbook full of delicious and unique grain-free recipes, And Here We Are At The Table. Part memoir, part travelogue, and full of vibrant recipes from around the world, it is all about good food and the experience of a welcoming, abundant table.

I’d like to offer you a special 20% discount to Empowered Sustenance readers for the next two weeks– just use the code EMPOWERED at checkout! Learn more about the book here.

About Ariana Mullins at And Here We Are

ProfileAriana Mullins is an American writer, cook, explorer and photographer. She shares her family’s stories of challenge and adventure as expats in Europe, as well as inspiration for living a simple and meaningful life. She has a passion for restoring lost kitchen arts and loves to share her experiences in foraging, butchery, home brewing and anything new she can get her hands on in her English kitchen. Connect with her on andhereweare.net, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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Paleo Asian Chicken Meatballs with Teriyaki Glaze http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-asian-chicken-meatballs/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-asian-chicken-meatballs/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:52:43 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7966 From Lauren: Last week, I moved to Seattle and transferred to Bastyr University. While I’m busy settling into my new schedule, I’m excited to host some special guest posts. Today’s post comes from Shanti at Life Made Full. Paleo Asian Chicken Meatballs We’ve got a pretty large family. Seven people, one dog, three sheep and one llama, […]

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asian chicken meatballs with teriyaki glaze

From Lauren: Last week, I moved to Seattle and transferred to Bastyr University. While I’m busy settling into my new schedule, I’m excited to host some special guest posts. Today’s post comes from Shanti at Life Made Full.

Paleo Asian Chicken Meatballs

paleo asian chicken meatballs

We’ve got a pretty large family. Seven people, one dog, three sheep and one llama, to be exact. Thankfully, I only have to cook dinner for the seven of us. But having 5 kids with a variety of tastes inspires creativity in the kitchen. 

My kids are great eaters, and it seems that my kitchen has a constant flow of little mouths meandering through. By the time it comes to dinner time, I am usually pooped and ready to relax, so I’m all about simple. And inexpensive.

I came up with these Paleo Asian Chicken Meatballs to help meet both those needs: simple and inexpensive. They’re packed full of flavor, and were loved by all my kids. That’s saying a lot!

paleo asian chicken meatballs

Paleo Asian Chicken Meatballs with Teriyaki Glaze

Paleo Asian Chicken Meatballs with Teriyaki Glaze

Enjoy these Asian-inspired chicken meatballs with cauliflower rice for a simple grain free side dish.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 2 Tbs. sesame oil (can substitute coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 2 Tbs. coconut aminos (a soy-free alternative to soy sauce, available here)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 recipe homemade teriyaki sauce, get the recipe here
  • 5-6 green onions
  • Coconut oil or ghee for cooking

Instructions

  1. Combine the chicken, sesame oil, ginger, coconut aminos, garlic, 3-4 of the green onions, and pepper flakes in a food processor and pulse until pretty smooth (you want to be able to form it into meatballs).
  2. Heat oil in a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat.
  3. Form chicken mixture into golf ball-sized balls and place into skillet (you’ll probably need to do a couple batches).
  4. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side, reducing heat a bit if necessary.
  5. When meat is cooked through, remove from skillet and place onto serving platter.
  6. Drizzle generously with homemade teriyaki sauce and top with some chopped green onion, if desired.
  7. Serve over cauliflower rice or on its own!
http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-asian-chicken-meatballs/

shanti headshotAbout Shanti at Life Made Full

Shanti Landon is the founder of Life Made Full, a website dedicated to sharing grain-free recipes, family tidbits, and stories of faith. She is an adoptive and homeschooling mom of five children, wife to her husband of 16 years (who has Celiac Disease) and has a passion for helping other women reach their full potential physically, emotionally and spiritually. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and her Blog.

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My next steps… to Bastyr University! http://empoweredsustenance.com/my-next-steps/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/my-next-steps/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:20:35 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7658 I live by the motto, “My live didn’t turn out as I planned, and that’s what makes it so wonderful.” Three years ago, when I graduated high school, I planned to go to a small college and pursue a business major and dance minor. But I couldn’t follow through with that plan when my autoimmune […]

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next steps

I live by the motto, “My live didn’t turn out as I planned, and that’s what makes it so wonderful.”

Three years ago, when I graduated high school, I planned to go to a small college and pursue a business major and dance minor. But I couldn’t follow through with that plan when my autoimmune disease suddenly became unmanageable with the various medications prescribed by my doctors.

Most of you know the story: when I was told surgery to remove my colon was my only option, I was determined to find a different answer. That answer turned out to be food! I started a grain free, dairy free diet and my symptoms disappeared.

Since I discovered the healing power of nutrition, my life’s passion became empowering others with this information through Empowered Sustenance and my books.

My newfound passion for nutrition and mind-body medicine led me to recently change my education path. Although I’ve been doing online college courses for the past two years, I’m overjoyed to be healthy enough to return to a college campus. I’m going to get a Health Psychology degree (psychology with a mind-body focus) at the mecca for mind-body and naturopathic medicine: Bastyr University in Washington!

Wish me happy travels, because I will be flying out and moving to the campus this Saturday! I will be moving from Northern Virginia.

What’s changing?

Although I’ll probably have to cut back on my blogging time when I resume school full-time in a week, I will absolutely continue blogging! Some of my posts will reflect this new stage in my life. Here are some of the posts I’m looking forward to writing:

  • What’s in my holistic dorm room?
  • What do I cook and eat in a dorm setting?
  • Tips for healthy living on a student budget

Also, you may have noticed a couple more advertisements on my blog. I would prefer not to run the ads because I don’t have control over the content of the ad (Google does). However, the revenue from the ads makes it possible for me to continue blogging and I needed to place a few more ads now that I’m juggling the increased expenses of college. Thank you for understanding.

Can you help me?

I have a favor to ask you. I’ve spent the last few years living in Northern Virginia, although I spent most of my life living about 2 hours north of Seattle.

I’m not familiar with the area within 30-40 minutes around Bastyr. Are you familiar with the Kenmore area or surrounding areas? I’m looking for practitioner recommendations for acupuncture, massage, craniosacral and other forms of body work.

I’m sad to leave my acupuncturist and BodyTalk practitioners here – they have helped me so much with my health – and it’s always tough to find a replacement for a good practitioner.

I would also love any recommendations for local real food resources such as stores, restaurants, family farms or CSAs. Are there nearby restaurants that have options (or flexible chefs!) for grain free, allergy-friendly meals? Or even allergy-friendly meal prep/delivery? If you are involved in any natural living or real food groups or anything like that, I would also love some recommendations to help me get plugged into a community.

Please leave your recommendations in the comments of this post. I may not be able to reply to each comment, but I read all of them and appreciate it greatly. Thank you so much!

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How to Stock a Natural Medicine Cabinet http://empoweredsustenance.com/natural-medicine-cabinet/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/natural-medicine-cabinet/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:16:06 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7668 What’s in my natural medicine cabinet? I’m frequently asked about what products I use on a daily basis, so this is a first in a series that will cover: What’s in my natural first aid kit? Read it here What’s in my natural medicine cabinet? What’s in my natural makeup bag? Coming soon What’s my supplement […]

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how to stock a natural medicine cabinet!

What’s in my natural medicine cabinet?

I’m frequently asked about what products I use on a daily basis, so this is a first in a series that will cover:

  • What’s in my natural first aid kit? Read it here
  • What’s in my natural medicine cabinet?
  • What’s in my natural makeup bag? Coming soon
  • What’s my supplement routine? Coming soon

Many of these products are items that I’ve settled on after trying numerous brands. All of them fit my strict ingredient standards for purity and sustainability.

A few of these items, like the bentonite clay and tallow balm, are also considered part of my Natural First Aid Kit. That’s what I love about simple, natural remedies – they boast so many uses!

What I have in my natural medicine cabinet:

Castor oil – I use organic castor oil for oil cleansing in the evening. (Here are directions for oil cleansing, a method of deep-cleansing the face. It’s excellent for balancing oily and acne-prone skin). I also make a moisturizing body oil by mixing 1 part castor oil with 3 parts macadamia oil (discussed below). Feel free to add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for fragrance.

Bentonite Clay – I use Hydrated Redmond Clay as a face mask once a week. It is a staple in my Natural First Aid kit as well, and I use it on cuts and bug bites.

Earthpaste – Did you know that the glycerine found in many natural toothpastes (including Tom’s of Maine) can coat the teeth, preventing the healthy mineralization process of your teeth? I use Earthpaste, which is made with only clay, sea salt, essential oils and a bit of Xylitol for sweetness.

Enessa Clove Acne ControlEnessa Clove Acne control, a proprietary blend of essential oils in jojoba oil, is the only topical treatment I’ve found that drastically reduces the inflammation and redness of cystic acne overnight. I’ve used it for years and am never without a bottle. A little goes a long way (apply it only to the cyst) and a bottle lasts me at least 7 months. 

Enessa Rescue OilEnessa Rescue oil is formulated for non-cystic breakouts. Only apply it directly on blemishes, definitely not to the entire face. It is pricey, but the best thing I’ve found for blemishes. A teeny-tiny dab goes a long way and a bottle lasts me many months. I also use it for soothing bug bites.

Jojoba oil – I use organic jojoba oil mixed with macadamia oil as a daytime facial moisturizer. These are the only oils I can use on my face because they don’t break me out. Many people can use coconut oil, shea butter or other natural oils as a facial moisturizer, but these don’t work well for me. It’s important to find what works best for you.

how to stock a natural medicine cabinet!Macadamia oilMacadamia oil makes an amazing face, body and hair oil alone or mixed with jojoba oil. I love it because it absorbs quickly without a residue, and is lightweight and non-comedogenic for the face.

Morrocco Method products – I use only Morrocco Method shampoos and conditioners – which I discuss here in detail – as well as the ultra-lightweight Styling Pomade to help define the wavy texture of my hair. Bonus tip: any of the MM shampoos and conditioners also double as shaving cream or moisturizing body wash!

MyChelle Skin Clearing Pads – I use these willow bark pads to treat/prevent ingrown hairs after shaving. Works like a charm!

Primal Pit Paste – I love Primal Pit Paste deodorant because 1) it contains safe ingredients, 2) it actually works, and 3) it comes in a convenient tube.

Raw honey – I use raw honey to wash my face in the morning with The Honey Cleansing Method, explained here. Manuka honey is the best because it contains vastly higher levels of antibacterial properties, although it is more expensive. Feel free to whatever raw honey you have on hand!

Rose water – I use pure rose water as a luxurious and balancing facial toner. I put it in a glass spray bottle to spritz my face.

Tallow balm – Nothing beats tallow balm for soothing dry skin, chapped hands or ragged cuticles. It is also the best topical treatment for eczema (which can’t be truly treated topically, but it helps to have something soothing and anti-inflammatory to use on the skin). I love this handmade Tallow Balm, which has a beautiful and very light fragrance from a blend of pure essential oils. A tiny dab goes a long, long way. In the winter, I’ll use it as a body moisturizer.

I hope you enjoyed this peak into my medicine cabinet! Do you have any of the same things in your medicine cabinet? 

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3 Ways to use Pearl Powder for Clear Skin http://empoweredsustenance.com/pearl-powder-for-skin/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/pearl-powder-for-skin/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:33:05 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7387 Move over, pretentious diamond facials Recently, I read a blurb about a spa in New York offering facials featuring a diamond-based microdermabrasion, with each treatment accompanied by an exorbitant price tag. I thought this fad of using jewels for skin care was new, until I recently learned about the benefits of pearl powder for skin. Interestingly, […]

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3 ways to use pearl powder for skin health

Move over, pretentious diamond facials

Recently, I read a blurb about a spa in New York offering facials featuring a diamond-based microdermabrasion, with each treatment accompanied by an exorbitant price tag. I thought this fad of using jewels for skin care was new, until I recently learned about the benefits of pearl powder for skin.

Interestingly, pearl powder has been used both internally and externally in China for thousands of years. The only female empress of China, famed for her impeccable complexion, used pearl powder as a skin care preparation and cosmetic. Today, many skin care creams and masks in Asia feature pearl powder.

At first, I balked at the mere thought of slathering my face with pearl powder, due to the assumed price tag of this treatment. Using pearl powder may sound luxurious, however, but it is a relatively economical option as far as effective and natural beauty remedies go. I have been blown away by the results of using pearl powder as a skincare treatment and natural cosmetic. The pearls that are unsuitable for jewelry due to imperfections are carefully ground into a superfine powder, with a constancy resembling cornstarch, to use in cosmetics and beauty creams.

Where can I find pearl powder for skin?

pearl powderI played eenie-meenie-minie-moe when picking out a brand of pearl powder for the first time, but ended up with a product with which I’m happy. I made sure it said “100% pure pearl powder” on the package and also picked a package that had the label written in English rather than Chinese, so I could read it.

I got these Pearl Powder capsules, which are convenient for both using it topically and internally, as I explain below. I emptied the capsules and put them in an empty glass jar, as shown in the pictures.

 3 ways to use pearl powder for skin health

1. Make a pearl powder mask

The first time I tried this divine treatment, I couldn’t believe how effectively it calmed the redness in my skin! It leaves your face silky, matte, soft and soothed.

Directions: Empty one capsule of pearl powder into a bowl and add water of rose water, a few drops at a time, until you have a thick liquid that you can apply to your face with fingers. Let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing. I use only one capsule of this pearl powder per mask, so one bottle contains enough for 100 masks.

2. Use pearl powder as a finishing powder

Do you use a pressed powder to mattify your skin or set your makeup? Ditch the compact and switch to pearl powder! It sounds crazy, but pearl powder could be considered “mineral makeup” because pearls are minerals. Pearl powder makes an ideal face powder that diffuses imperfections and adds a shine-free luminosity.

I have a fair skin tone and it doesn’t leave any noticeable color, probably because the pearl powder is so fine. I believe it would work equally well on darker skin tones, too.

Directions: To use pearl powder as a face powder, I empty a capsule of the pearl powder onto a saucer, dip in a fluffy makeup brush, and very lightly brush it over my face. As an added bonus, you’ll reap the skin care benefits of pearl powder by using it this way. You can even apply it before bed, and it helps soothe skin and absorb excess oil during the night.

3 ways to use pearl powder for skin health

3. Supplement with pearl powder

100% pure, high quality pearl powder may be taken internally to support skin health. I have not yet tried taking pearl powder internally, primarily because I’m already juggling a smorgasbord of supplements, but the unique benefits of supplementing with pearl powder intrigue me! According to acupuncturist Patricia Pilot, these are the benefits of pearl powder supplementation:

  • Pearl powder contains an antioxidant that boosts the efficacy of superoxide dismutase, one of the strongest antioxidant enzymes in the body
  • Pearl powder contains signal proteins that stimulate the regeneration of collagen
  • Pearl powder contains a concentrated source of the most bio-avaiable form of calcium
  • Pearl powder is rich in amino acids and more than 30 trace minerals to support health (source)

Have you used pearl powder before? Would you be up to taking it internally? 

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7 Ways to Balance Melatonin Naturally http://empoweredsustenance.com/balance-melatonin-naturally/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/balance-melatonin-naturally/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:58:21 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7921 “Why are you wearing construction glasses?” my sister asked me months ago, when I first donned what I call my Melatonin Glasses. After I gave her a lengthy explanation about blue light waves, circadian rhythms and melatonin, she turned back to the book she was reading. “Oh, I get it. It’s just another one of your […]

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7 tips to balance melatonin naturally

“Why are you wearing construction glasses?” my sister asked me months ago, when I first donned what I call my Melatonin Glasses. After I gave her a lengthy explanation about blue light waves, circadian rhythms and melatonin, she turned back to the book she was reading. “Oh, I get it. It’s just another one of your crazy health things.”

Yep, that about sums it up!

How light disrupts melatonin

Melatonin is commonly thought of as The Sleep Hormone, but this is a vast oversimplification. Melatonin isn’t necessarily responsible for inducing sleep, but it does share a crucial pattern with the circadian rhythm. Melatonin is lowest in the morning and peaks at night and is closely regulated by the light in our environment.

Did you know that light governs your melatonin levels? This is one more example of how intrinsically the human body is tied to the cycles of nature. Since humans first created fire, we’ve used it for light at night. Since we’ve been evolving with with firelight, the orange glow of firelight does not mess up our circadian rhythm.

On the other hand, artificial light from light bulbs and electronic screens is interpreted as daylight to the human body.  When we are exposed to artificial light after sunset, it lowers the healthy rise of melatonin at night.

Importance of balancing melatonin

  • As discussed above, melatonin plays an important role in balancing the circadian rhythm which governs our sleep patterns.
  • Melatonin is a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent (source).
  • Melatonin is a powerful anti-cancer agent. Melatonin has been showed the slow the growth of cancer cells as well as cause cancer cells to self-destruct (source). The disruption in melatonin levels may be why shift working is linked to a wide array of health issues including cancer. The World Health Organization classifies shift working as a possible human carcinogen (source).

 How I support healthy melatonin levels

1. I do not take melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a powerful hormone, not a sleeping pill. When we take a hormone into our body, it has the ability to not only disrupt our regulation of that specific hormone, but many other hormones. Yes, melatonin is important for sleep. But that’s were lifestyle changes are valuable. Melatonin supplements should absolutely not be dolled out like candy for sleeplessness, although there may be grey area where the supplements can be helpful for jet lag. For more details, please read my post 3 Reasons to Avoid Melatonin Supplements.

2. I wear my “melatonin glasses” at least an hour before bed, but preferably from sunset to bedtime. I first learned about amber glasses in Chris Kresser’s post, How Artificial Light is Wreaking Your Sleep. The orange tint of the glasses cancels out the blue light from both the lighting in your home and the light from electronic screens. These glasses are also excellent during the day if you suffer with eye fatigue when reading a computer screen.

There are a few options for the glasses

  • These Uvex glasses, shown in the picture above and below. They are available here.
  • Wrap-around Uvex glasses, which may block light more effectively but I find my version works just fine. They are available here.
  • Gamma Ray Computer Glasses, which look like regular glasses with slightly tinted glass. They are available here. I haven’t tried these get, however I just ordered them and look forward to trying them.

Last week on Instagram (yes, I finally got started on Instagram! Follow me here) I lost my selfie virginity and shared my first selfie featuring my melatonin glasses:

melatonin glasses

3. I keep my bedroom pitch black at night with heavy-duty blackout blinds. I also use a towel to cover the crack of light under my door. For optimal melatonin levels, your room should be so black that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. However, I crack my blinds three nights out of the month to correlate with the full moon, and this helps balance my menstrual cycle. This is called Lunacaption, and I explain it in this post. It’s another example of how light can manipulate our hormones!

7 tips to balance melatonin naturally4. If I wake up during the night to use the restroom, I put on my melatonin glasses before turning on my light. Even brief exposure to light in the middle of the night can disrupt your melatonin balance.

5. I light my room with the orange glow of candlelight or a salt lamp before bed. I need a relaxing nighttime ritual to help turn off my brain before bed. At least 30 minutes before bed, I light my room with only one or two beeswax candles or my salt lamp. These produce an orange-ish light that mimics firelight and, as a result, will not disrupt melatonin. During this time, I will listen to an audiobook or music while I do some gentle yoga.

6. I have f.lux installed on my laptop. f.lux is a free program you can download and it removes the blue light from screens after sunset. The screen will look slightly orange, but it is not at all distracting. You can also install this program on your iPad or iPhone, but you must “jailbreak” the device to do this, which cancels the products warranty.

7. I don’t use electronics before bed. But if I do want to watch TV before I sleep, I make sure to wear my melatonin glasses.

*If you work a night shift or rotating shift, supporting healthy melatonin levels is a bit more complicated but even more crucial. Wearing melatonin glasses during the night will help keep your circadian rhythm somewhat balanced.

Sources and further reading:

How artificial light is wreaking your sleep – Chris Kresser
The Many Health Benefits of Melatonin – Dr. Mercola
LowBlueLights.com

 

Do you wear melatonin glasses or take other steps to balance melatonin? 

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25 Brilliant Three Ingredient Paleo Recipes http://empoweredsustenance.com/three-ingredient-paleo-recipes/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/three-ingredient-paleo-recipes/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:55:14 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7443 Three ingredient paleo recipes, no chemicals allowed Recently, Buzzfeed trapped me on their site with a post of cat memes when I found a clever compilation of Genius 3 Ingredient Recipes there. But my heart sunk when I saw that most of the recipes called for chemical-laden processed ingredients like cake mix, whipped topping, shortening, pre-made pie crusts and […]

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25 brilliant three ingredient paleo recipes Three ingredient paleo recipes, no chemicals allowed

Recently, Buzzfeed trapped me on their site with a post of cat memes when I found a clever compilation of Genius 3 Ingredient Recipes there. But my heart sunk when I saw that most of the recipes called for chemical-laden processed ingredients like cake mix, whipped topping, shortening, pre-made pie crusts and chocolate wafer cookies. I was bummed, and decided to use the idea to create a list of three ingredient paleo recipes. Grains, dairy, refined sugar and chemicals aren’t invited to this party. Happy three-ingredient cooking!

P.S. Salt and pepper are “freebie” ingredients and don’t count :-)

1. Cauliflower + Eggs + Curry Powder = Cauliflower Wraps

three ingredient paleo recipes

Perfect for enjoying with your favorite filling. Recipe here.

2. Banana + Nut Butter + Chocolate Chips = Chocolate Banana Bites

three ingredient paleo recipes

A healthy snack to satisfy your sweet tooth, and also something kids love to make. Recipe here.

3. Strawberries + Bananas + Ginger = Strawberry Ginger Sorbet

three ingredient paleo recipes

A delicious summer soft-serve made with fruit. Recipe here.

4. Coconut Butter + Garlic + Olive Oil =  Egg Free Mayonnaise

three ingredient paleo recipes

Perfect for dipping veggies, using in sauces, and spreading on sandwiches. Recipe here.

5. Bell Pepper + Tuna + Mayonnaise = Tuna-Stuffed Peppers

three ingredient paleo recipes

A super quick meal. Use homemade mayonnaise made with coconut oil/olive oil for paleo-friendly mayo without vegetable oil. Recipe here.

6. Coconut oil + Honey + Coconut Milk = Caramel Sauce

three ingredient paleo recipes

Silky, dreamy, sweet. Recipe here.

7. Almonds + Hazelnuts + Vanilla Beans = Toasted Almond Hazelnut Butter

three ingredient paleo recipes

Homemade nut butter is so much more flavorful than store-bought – and cheaper, too! Recipe here.

8. Pecans + Dates + Chocolate Chips = Chocolate “Turtles”

three ingredient paleo recipes

It couldn’t be easier to create a healthy alternative to Turtles candy. Recipe here.

9. Coconut Flour + Shredded Coconut + Banana = Paleo “Oatmeal”

three ingredient paleo recipes

This oat-free “oatmeal” is a warming breakfast porridge. Recipe here.

10. Watermelon + Coconut Milk + Garnishes = Watermelon Cake

three ingredient paleo recipes

The frosting is made with coconut cream, which is the thick part that separates to the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk (this one is my favorite brand of coconut milk). Recipe here.

11. Cocoa Powder + Honey + Coconut Oil = Chocolate Cups

three ingredient paleo recipes

Fill with fresh fruit or ice cream for a cute dessert. Recipe here.

12. Tulsi Tea + Gelatin + Honey = Hormone-Balancing Tulsi Geleé

three ingredient paleo recipes

Tulsi tea and gelatin (particularly grassfed gelatin like this one) both boast hormone-balancing properties. Learn about these ingredient and get the recipe here.

13. Pumpkin + Eggs + Coconut oil = Pumpkin Pancakes

three ingredient paleo recipes

A quick and delicious breakfast! Recipe here.

14. Apples + Caramel + Coconut Cream = Caramel Apples

three ingredient paleo recipes

Who knew caramel apples were so easy to make with healthy ingredients? Recipe here.

15. Banana + Chocolate + Pistachios = Banana Sushi

three ingredient paleo recipes

Adorable concept and kids love personalizing their “sushi” with a variety of toppings. Recipe here.

16. Plantain + Baking Soda + Egg = Plantain Waffles

three ingredient paleo recipes

Three ingredient waffles? Sign me up! Recipe here.

17. Avocado + Basil + Lemon = Avocado Pesto Sauce

three ingredient paleo recipes

This would be delicious served with Zucchini Noodles or with spaghetti squash for a paleo pasta meal. Recipe here.

18. Apricot Preserves + Coconut Aminos + Apple Cider Vinegar = Sweet and Sour Sauce

three ingredient paleo recipes

Coconut aminos taste very similar to soy sauce, but contain no soy. Recipe here.

19. Coconut milk + Eggs + Banana = Banana Custard

three ingredient paleo recipes

Top with nuts and maple syrup, if desired. Recipe here.

20. Bananas + Eggs + Instant Coffee = Coffee Pancakes

three ingredient paleo recipes

Get your morning coffee and pancakes in one bite. Recipe here.

21. Portobellos + Proscuitto + Eggs = Baked Eggs in Mushroom Cups

three ingredient paleo recipes

A new way to enjoy your morning eggs. Recipe here.

 22. Coconut Milk + Sweetener + Probiotic Capsule = Coconut Milk Yogurt

three ingredient paleo recipes

A creamy and dairy-free yogurt. Recipe here.

23. Bananas + Almond Butter + Honey = Almond Crunch Ice Cream

three ingredient paleo recipes

No ice cream maker needed! Recipe here.

24. Cocoa + Coconut Milk + Maple Syrup = Chocolate Mousse

three ingredient paleo recipes

A thick and creamy mousse without dairy or eggs. Recipe here.

25. Dates + Non-Dairy Milk + Unsweetened Chocolate = Chocolate Fudge Sauce

three ingredient paleo recipes

Is your mouth watering yet? Recipe here.

25 brilliant three ingredient paleo recipes

 Have you tried any of these three ingredient recipes? Don’t forget to share the post if you enjoyed!

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