Empowered Sustenance http://empoweredsustenance.com Eat well and heal!™ Wed, 15 Apr 2015 19:06:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 5 Steps for a Transformative Holistic Skincare Routine http://empoweredsustenance.com/holistic-skincare-routine/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/holistic-skincare-routine/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 16:48:14 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8831 What is a holistic skincare routine? As you can expect from someone who wrote a book about acne, I’m a self-proclaimed skin care fanatic. I encourage holistic skincare, which addresses the health of the skin from both the inside-out and outside-in. One of the most influential people in my journey to health skin is aromatherapist Michelle Ornstein, founder of […]

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How to transform your skin with a holistic skincare routine

What is a holistic skincare routine?

As you can expect from someone who wrote a book about acne, I’m a self-proclaimed skin care fanatic. I encourage holistic skincare, which addresses the health of the skin from both the inside-out and outside-in. One of the most influential people in my journey to health skin is aromatherapist Michelle Ornstein, founder of Enessa Organic Skincare. These extraordinarily pure, effective formulations use plant oils, essential oils, and potent plant extracts to address all skin concerns.

I’ve had the privilege to learn about holistic skin care from Michelle. Last year, we shared a discussion on the Top 8 Skincare Oils for Glowing Skin. In this post, I want to share what I’ve learned from my own skincare routine trial-and-error as well as Michelle’s wisdom. 

This post is generously sponsored by Enessa. 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.

How to practice a holistic skincare routine

Here are the 5 steps which I believe are key to create a transformative holistic skincare routine.

1. Avoid harsh, oil-stripping cleansers

When cleansing my skin, I used to believe the goal was that squeaky-clean feeling. If you aim for a cleanse that gives your face that shiny, dry feeling, however, you strip your skin of protective sebum. It is the balance of sebum – not the absence of it – that creates glowing, blemish-free skin. 

When cleansing, strive for the balance of removing makeup and impurities without drying the skin. 

In the evenings, I oil cleanse with pure jojoba oil. This is a process of massaging the oil on your face before removing it – along with impurities – using a warm cloth. If you want to use a combination of oils for oil cleansing, Michelle suggests mixing jojoba with non-comedogenic hemp seed oil. 

At night, our skin detoxes, rejuvenates, accumulates dead skin cells, and perspires.  In the morning, Michelle recommends using a gentle cleanser to remove impurities and enhance the absorption of moisturizer.  For acne-prone/oily skin types, Enessa’s Bergamot cleanser is purifying but extremely gentle.  It features natural surfactants from Coconut oil along with Aloe Vera and botanical extracts, removing excess oil without stripping the skin. 

2. Befriend Skincare Oils

Your skin needs oil. That’s why it produces oil! However, when we strip our skin of its natural oils – or when we mummify it with too much oil – we disrupt the delicate sebum balance. 

As Michelle and I discussed in our previous skincare oil post

The right combinations of of oils targeted for different skincare needs provide powerful properties to normalize oil production, reduce the signs of aging, and refine the skins texture. When blended according to skin type, natural oils do not cause oily skin or clog pores. Only when we use synthetic oils (like mineral oil) or some heavy (comedogenic) oils  do we run into these problems.

If you struggle with oily skin, don’t avoid oil-based skincare. And if you have acne, skin oils are one of the most powerful treatments! I swear by Enessa’s Clove Acne Control for reducing cystic acne overnight. 

The Rescue Blemish Control is another of my staples for treating breakouts. Although these blends feel like oils, they are made with Golden Jojoba( a liquid wax ester).  This natural liquid wax ester is ideal for all skin types, non-greasy, is very similar to our own skin’s sebum, does not go rancid and is non- comedogenic. 

For moisturizing, opt for a blend of oil suited for your skin type. I recommend Enessa’s Facial Nourishments and Iris Leaf Cell Repair

How to transform your skin with a holistic skincare routine

3. Know when to opt for expertly formulated products vs. homemade

The beauty of a holistic skincare routine is that it can, potentially, be crafted from ingredients in your own pantry. You can create a simple toner with diluted apple cider vinegar, moisturize with macadamia oil, and call it a day. Alternatively, you can use high end natural skincare products that may leave you questioning if the results will be worth the price tag. 

I’ve been on both sides of that spectrum, and landed somewhere in the middle. I do make some of my skincare products, but I invest in the products that I cannot effectively formulate at home. 

For example, I make my own oil cleansing blend by mixing 1 part jojoba oil with 1 part castor oil. For body care, I love simple sugar scrubs made with sugar and avocado oil. I also use straight macadamia oil as a body moisturizer. 

When it comes to facial toners, treatment oils and moisturizers, I can’t blend anything that measures up to Enessa’s powerful formulas. I’m unable to create Enessa’s toner with plant extracts, the ideal balance of essential oils, and hyaluronic acid, for example. Additionally, when it comes to using essential oils for skincare, I believe it is wise to leave it to experts like Michelle. Using too much or the wrong type of essential oil can sensitize the skin, cause damage or lead to photosensitivity. 

4. Avoid Over Exfoliation

In my past skincare life, I fell for the promise of glowing skin from enzyme peels and heavy-duty glycolic acid masks. I wish I knew then what I know now. While these harsh treatments do reveal softer skin, they essentially damage the skin by disrupting the acid-mantle and pH balance. 

Michelle takes a conservative approach to exfoliation in order to preserve the integrity and delicate balance of the skin. Her best-selling Seaweed Bio-Exfoliant is the only facial exfoliant I buy, and I use it a few times per month. It uses a gentle blend of very fine himalayan salt, Dead Sea salts, seaweed powder, flaxseeds, and essential oils

This facial scrub can also be used as a spot treatment for acne by applying a small amount directly on the blemish and leaving it on the skin for 10 minutes ( as a mask), rinsing well and applying the Clove Acne Control directly on the area to be treated.

How to transform your skin with a holistic skincare routine

 5. Choose the correct SPF

In the midst of writing this post, I  had a very enlightening email discussion with Michelle regarding SPF. She shared hear wealth of knowledge on the subject, and here are the most important points from our conversation:

  • Both UVA and UVB rays contribute to cell damage . Sun exposure does damage skin, but is also necessary for vitamin D synthesis. The challenge is in safely exposing ourselves to the sun, while reducing the damaging effects of UV radiation.
  •  The right type of SPF can reduce the risks of sun exposure – you definitely want to avoid sunburn. Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
  • Chemical sunscreens include one or more of the following active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. These ingredients are often linked to hormone disruption, increased estrogen levels, and cell damage. Further, these non-natural ingredients can irritate the skin and may even pass into mother’s milk.
  • When seeking SPF, use mineral sunscreen. The active ingredients in mineral-based sunscreens are zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is a possible human carcinogen (reported by the Canadian Center of Occupational Health and Safety) and may disrupt cellular communication, so choose zinc oxide sunscreens.
  • Although research is inconclusive, non-nano zinc oxide is likely safer than nano zinc oxide. Nano refers to the size of the molecule, and non-nano is less likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Zinc oxide can be drying to the skin when used daily, so seek an SPF treatment with additional moisturizing ingredients.

My favorite sunscreen that meets Michelle’s requirements? Enessa’s Sol Anti-Aging Moisturizer, featuring moisturizing plant oils along with non-nano zinc oxide.

How to transform your skin with a holistic skincare routine

Enessa’s Skincare Routine Giveaway + Coupon

Michelle is generously giving away a Basic Skincare Kit - a $125 value!

  • One winner will receive their choice of either the Geranium Skincare Kit (for normal/dry skin) OR the Cypress Skincare Kit (for normal/oily skin)
  • The kit includes an Enessa cleanser, hydrosol, facial nourishment, and bio-exfoliant
  • The giveaway is open from April 15th through April 22nd. Use the widget below to enter, and good luck!

Michelle is also offering a generous coupon for the week of the giveaway:

Use coupon code EMPOWER15 at checkout to receive 15% off your order! It’s valid from 4/15/15 through 4/23/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Apple Paleo Oven Pancake {with Coconut Flour} http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-oven-pancake/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-oven-pancake/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 22:01:19 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8796 From Lauren: I’m excited to share this recipe for Apple Paleo Oven Pancake from the all-star George Bryant, also known as The Civilized Caveman! Not only is George a #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Kitchen, he is a rarely genuine and incredible human being, and I am honored to call him my friend! His […]

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Apple Paleo Oven Pancake, made with nutrient-dense coconut flour

From Lauren: I’m excited to share this recipe for Apple Paleo Oven Pancake from the all-star George Bryant, also known as The Civilized Caveman! Not only is George a #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Kitchen, he is a rarely genuine and incredible human being, and I am honored to call him my friend! His recent post 26 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me is a testimony to his strong soul.  Follow George at Civilized Caveman Cooking, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. And don’t forget to check out The Paleo Kitchen – it is one of the essential cookbooks that I reach for again and again. 

Apple Paleo Oven Pancake

I was so excited when Lauren asked me to share a recipe. She stopped by Civilized Caveman Cooking to share a delicious recipe for Fruit Juice Caramel Sauce last year and my readers loved it and so did I. Now I want to return the favor. One of the things I focus on creating is tips, tricks, recipes, and meal plans to help everyone save time in the kitchen.

These delicious apple cinnamon oven pancakes were created to have another simple breakfast option on hand to grab and go for those busy days. They can even be a delicious dessert. As much as being a blogger seems glamorous, we struggle to get delicious food in most of the time and I live off leftovers. That is why I make sure my leftovers are always delicious.

Another tool that I use weekly is our free meal plans and shopping lists. We created these to take the guesswork and stress out of having food for the week. We handle all the research, recipes and shopping lists and then send them out to you every Friday. These apple cinnamon oven pancakes will be included soon.

Apple Paleo Oven Pancake, made with nutrient-dense coconut flour

I love breakfast foods, which is where this recipe came from. If you are like me, you probably miss and love cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip pancakes, biscuits and gravy, etc. Great news is that I missed them so much, I made them and put them in my book The Paleo Kitchen so we can eat healthy and have fun doing it. You can pick it up in your Barnes & Noble, Costco or Amazon.

Apple Paleo Oven Pancake, made with nutrient-dense coconut flour

Paleo Oven Pancake {with Coconut Flour}

Yield: Makes 4 generous servings

Paleo Oven Pancake {with Coconut Flour}

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice, such as almond milk or light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp 100% Pure maple syrup
  • 2 apples of your choice, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 4 Tbsp oil of your choice, such as coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. In a blender combine eggs, coconut milk, coconut flour, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth.
  3. Place oil in 9x13 inch baking dish and place in preheated oven for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and add apples to dish and place back in oven, and leave in there for 3-4 minutes. Don't let the apples brown
  5. Remove from oven, remix your batter to make sure it hasn't settled, then pour batter over apples in the baking dish and place back in oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until done.
  6. Remove from oven and I would serve it with a drizzle of maple syrup and some sprinkling of cinnamon.
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About George Bryant

george bryantGeorge Bryant is a professional Husband, Bonus Dad and family man. He is also the New York Times Best-Selling author of The Paleo Kitchen and creator of the wildly popular Paleo food blog “Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations.” After spending the first 20-something years of his life in a constant battle with his weight, and then nearly losing both his legs while on deployment as a US Marine, George took matters into his own hands and began his own Paleo-journey. What started as a simple place to post recipes for friends has since turned into an award-winning food blog. After being in the Marines for 12 years, George has since been medically separated and is enjoying working fulltime creating delicious Paleo recipes, while hoping to change as many lives for the better by making REAL food recipes simple and tasty.

Follow George at Civilized Caveman Cooking, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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Salted Caramel Paleo Blondies (AIP) http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-blondies/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-blondies/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:43:20 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8800 From Lauren: It’s my pleasure to host this beautiful recipe from Kari at Whole Life, Full Soul. I know you will fall in love with Kari’s creative autoimmune-friendly recipes and gorgeous pictures as quickly as I did! You’ve got to check out her site, especially if you are looking for grain, egg and nut/seed free recipes. Growing up […]

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Salted caramel paleo blondies! And even autoimmune-friendly.

From Lauren: It’s my pleasure to host this beautiful recipe from Kari at Whole Life, Full Soul. I know you will fall in love with Kari’s creative autoimmune-friendly recipes and gorgeous pictures as quickly as I did! You’ve got to check out her site, especially if you are looking for grain, egg and nut/seed free recipes.

Growing up I was the child who when asked what I wanted to eat for a snack answered with “cucumbers and tomatoes”. Of course now, following the Autoimmune Protocol tomatoes are a no no. Truly, I had this love early on for these two foods that I can’t really describe. I just knew at the time that’s what my body wanted. I never enjoyed candy much, if at all. There were a few types that I liked, but mostly I was uninterested. My Halloween candy lasted until Valentines Day and by that time I had given most of it to my sister. My Valentines candy most often ended up in the trash or in the mouth of my sneaky and mischievous pup. Then when Easter came around my Mom would realize how much candy I already had and instead give me something fun or different like a movie! I know, this is not the normal for most kids, but it was for me. My palate wasn’t fond of the overly sweet, but instead of the salty sweet combination.

So here’s where I crack. Give me something that’s both satisfying my salt cravings and has a tinge of sweetness to linger on the tongue, you won’t see much of it saved, or shared for that matter! Some of my favorite combinations are foods like prosciutto and melon, apples and pate, and of course sea salt and caramel. Caramel is just one of those flavors that was created to be coupled with salt. Am I right? When I first created this recipe for caramel I used it as a dip for apples, plantain crackers with pate, by the spoonful (guilty). It’s SO good, you’ll want it at every party you’re attending and I highly suggest you be the one to bring it, your friends will think your “diet” is anything but restrictive.

Since beginning AIP I don’t have many baked goods or sweet treats. It’s not always convenient, economical, and certainly could defeat purpose if I chose to eat them all the time. But sometimes it’s just nice to have something around that’s not too sweet and satisfies the craving for a baked good, because it’s nice to be able to make the choice to eat something sweet without feeling burdened by the choice.

Salted caramel paleo blondies! And even autoimmune-friendly.

Salted Caramel Paleo Blondies

These Salted Caramel Paleo Blondie Brownies are perfect to bake and freeze. I’ve frozen them several times, and when I reheat them in the oven or toaster oven they thaw completely and taste just the same as they did after being first baked. This way I have individual portions and if the need arises, I can feel zero guilt in treating myself to one. This adds balance to equation as well by allowing yourself to know that you can have a treat if you want one, without having to bake a new batch every single time.

Salted caramel paleo blondies! And even autoimmune-friendly.

Salted Caramel Paleo Blondies

Yield: Makes 1 9x9 pan, for 12 - 16 blondies

Salted Caramel Paleo Blondies

The brownies are soft but dense in their texture just as a Blondie brownie should be. The caramel on top adds a creamy and luxurious texture. You’ll be thanking yourself every time you have the salty sweet hankering and bite into one of these Blondies!

Ingredients

    Batter
  • 1 cup coconut flour, available here
  • ½ cup arrowroot flour, available here
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin, available here (select the Collagen Protein, not Collagen Peptides)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup organic palm shortening, recommended brand available here
  • 1 cup room temperature water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla
  • Maldon sea salt flakes, available here
  • Caramel
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (additive free), recommended brand available here
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Cover dates in water and let soak for 2-3 hours. The skins will begin to shed from the tender inside.
  2. Remove skin and strain dates from the water.
  3. Add dates, coconut milk, and apple cider vinegar into a high-speed blender and cream until smooth. Save for later use.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325. Line a 9x9 square pan with parchment paper
  5. Measure all dry ingredients; in a bowl sift the coconut and arrowroot flour (sifting is important to get the clumps out and make for a smooth batter). Then add the cinnamon and cloves and stir to incorporate the dry ingredients. Reserve the baking soda.
  6. Next measure the wet ingredients and add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla to the mixture. Begin to stir together as the mixture comes together.
  7. Next, add the gelatin to the mixture stir it to combine, and then add a cup of water to the batter, the gelatin will begin to dissolve so stir together the batter. Then add the baking soda, continuing to stir and lastly add in the apple cider vinegar while you stir. The mixture should be coming together more at this point.
  8. Lastly, add the shortening in separate chunks at a time. Begin to mix until the batter has fully taken to the shortening and it becomes fluffy.
  9. Spoon the batter into the pan. You’ll want to take several spoonfuls and then spread the batter together in the pan. It may seem slightly sticky to handle but that’s okay. Level out the batter to be about a half inch thick. Then take the caramel and add dollops all over the top of the batter, swirling it in if you like, smoothing it out or just leaving it in different designs.
  10. Put in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on the top. Sprinkle Maldon Sea Salt over the top of the Blondie brownies and allow them to cool before removing from the pan, cut and enjoy!
http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-blondies/

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAbout Kari at Whole Life, Full Soul

Kari is a writer, self-love advocator, nutritional coach in training and self-proclaimed health foodie who uses a nutrient dense lifestyle to counteract her autoimmune disease Ankylosing Spondylitis. Having lived with this disease for nearly a decade she’s determined to help other’s in their journey to restore their health who feel alone in their battles to find the strength and support they deserve. Through her blog Whole Life, Full Soul she shares delicious recipes following mostly the foundations of the Autoimmune Protocol, how you can listen to your body, how through the power of your mind you can connect with your own power to restore your health, and how these practices became her lifestyle! 

Follow Kari on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

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5 Amla Powder Uses for Stunning Hair and Skin http://empoweredsustenance.com/amla-powder-for-hair/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/amla-powder-for-hair/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 23:42:35 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8755 During my recent trip to the Morrocco Method headquarters in San Luis Obispo, I had a blast finally connecting with the MM team in person. In between perusing the local farmer’s markets, getting a tour of SLO, and enjoying a company party at Anthony Morrocco’s home, we did manage to work on some fun collaborations. […]

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How to use amla powder for hair and skin - a cheap and fabulous DIY treatment!

During my recent trip to the Morrocco Method headquarters in San Luis Obispo, I had a blast finally connecting with the MM team in person. In between perusing the local farmer’s markets, getting a tour of SLO, and enjoying a company party at Anthony Morrocco’s home, we did manage to work on some fun collaborations.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my post here to see pictures of the trip! I show you behind-the-scenes of the the MM headquarters.

During the trip, I was also privileged to try their newest product, amla powder, before it became available on April 1st. Now, you can order it here at Morrocco Method. I’ve been dying to tell you all about it since then!

What is amla powder?

Amla powder, available here, is dried and powdered indian gooseberry. Revered in Ayurvedic medicine, it’s been used for thousands of years as one of the most potent and nourishing herbs in India. While there are numerous benefits to consuming this herb, amla powder naturally supports healthy, shiny hair and glowing skin. 

1. Amla powder gives Red and Brown Henna Hair Dye cooler tones

If you want to reduce the red undertone of the Morrocco Method red and brown henna hair dye, add amla powder to the henna. 

The MM red and brown henna use a combination of indigo flowers and the actual henna plant (Lawsonia inermis). The indigo has a blue-black dye and the henna has a red dye. When mixed in different ratios, they create a brown or red hair dye.

Amla powder creates a cooler tone to these hennas by preventing the indigo from fading and by reducing the red tone of the Lawsonia. Follow the directions here to mix amla with your MM henna treatment.

And here is the color selection for MM hennas.

2. Amla powder enhances and conditions when used with Blonde and Neutral Henna Hair Dye

Morrocco Method Henna Hair Dyes are a combination of various plant powders, formulated to create different tones. The Neutral and Blonde Henna Hair Dyes don’t contain actual the henna plant (Lawsonia inermis). Instead, these dyes use a plant called cassia.

Cassia can slightly dry the hair when used frequently, and, depending on your hair color and type, can create a slightly brassy tone. To combat this effect, add amla powder to your henna treatment. Follow the directions and ratios here.

3. Amla powder boosts natural curls and waves

If you’ve used henna hair dye on your naturally wavy or curly hair, you may have found that it relaxes your hair texture. Because henna coats and conditions the hair – which is what adds the gorgeous shine  - it can have a relaxant property.

I enjoy this property of the henna, because I find it calms my flyaway and boosts volume. However, I also love playing up my natural waves. That’s where amla powder comes in! You can mix it with your Morrocco Method henna treatment to reduce the relaxant quality of the henna. Follow the directions here for using amla powder with MM henna.

Alternatively, use amla powder as a stand-alone hair treatment for curl power. I was blown away after doing this treatment for the first time a few days ago! It strengthened my natural waves without weighing down or coating my hair.

I explain how I did this alma powder hair treatment in the below point.

4. Amla powder enhances hair volume 

I loved the volumizing results after my first amla treatment. It left my hair soft and fluffy, without undesirable puffy volume.

Here’s how I did my amla powder hair treatment for curl-boosting and volumizing effects:

  1. I mixed one packet of amla powder with filtered water to create a lotion consistency.
  2. I applied it to my entire head, starting at the roots and working it down through the hair. (It’s best to do this in the shower to keep your bathroom floor clean!)
  3. I let it sit for 30 minutes before thoroughly rinsing it. Gently massage your head and rinse and extra time to ensure that your hair is clean. There is no need to use any shampoo or conditioner before or after – the amla cleanses and conditions.
  4. After air drying, I completed my simple no-heat styling with my boar bristle brushing routine.

How to use amla powder for hair and skin - a cheap and fabulous DIY treatment!

5. Amla powder makes a rejuvenating facial treatment

Amla powder is a traditional facial treatment in India, due to its exfoliating and antioxidant properties. Simply mix amla powder with your choice of liquid to create a facial mask. Try mixing it with:

  1. Raw honey, which moisturizes and treats breakouts
  2. Yogurt, rich in lactic acid and probiotics
  3. Facial toner, such as rose water

Simply mix the amla powder with the base to create a spreadable consistency. Apply to your skin, let sit for 10-30 minutes, the gently rinse. Your skin will be cleansed, soft, and silky!

Empower Your Hair Package Re-Run!

empowered-package2

As an introduction to the amla powder, as well as my other favorite MM products, we decided to re-run the exclusive Empower Your Hair Package, available here. When we first introduced this limited-time package in December, everyone loved it.

The Empower Your Hair Package Re-Run includes:

Together, these products would be $62 but I worked with Anthony to get this package down to $49… that’s more than 20% off my favorite MM products! (Due to the deep discount, it cannot be combined with coupon codes.)

Don’t forget to watch my Holistic Hair Webinar here with Anthony Morrocco. You’ll learn everything you need to know about getting started with truly natural hair care.

This package is available here for only 10 days, from April 2nd through April 11th.

How to use amla powder for hair and skin - a cheap and fabulous DIY treatment!

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Behind the Scenes at Morrocco Method (And staying in a castle!?) http://empoweredsustenance.com/morrocco-method-trip/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/morrocco-method-trip/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 18:27:01 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8753 Sure, there are downsides to being the blogger behind Empowered Sustenance. For example, experimenting with a homemade lip balm recipe and disastrously clogging up your own dishwashing machine in the process. Or the many (many, many) times I have said goodbye to precious amounts of coconut oil and coconut flour when my recipe testing utterly […]

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MM trip 1

Sure, there are downsides to being the blogger behind Empowered Sustenance. For example, experimenting with a homemade lip balm recipe and disastrously clogging up your own dishwashing machine in the process. Or the many (many, many) times I have said goodbye to precious amounts of coconut oil and coconut flour when my recipe testing utterly fails.

But there are also highlights of my blogging journey that make all the mishaps and struggles fade nearly out of memory. One of the brightest highlights was spending four days of my spring break with Anthony Morrocco and the Morrocco Method team at their headquarters in San Luis Obispo!

As you probably know, I’ve been a passionate Morrocco Method advocate for more than a year. It all started when I tried their 100% raw shampoos and was immediately hooked. I wrote the post 5 Tips for Holistic Hair Care with Morrocco Method and it all began.

When Anthony invited me to San Luis Obispo, I leaped at the chance to to meet the MM team in person and see how the products are made.

While everything about this experience was a highlight, here are a few of the moments that stand out:  

- Staying as a guest in Anthony’s castle! He refurbished a mansion that was a replication of a Bavarian castle. But what is even more extraordinary is that he lives and breathes his passion for reduce, reuse and recycle. Nearly everything in his home, from the dinner china to the handblown chandeliers to the antique French armoires, were purchased from thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales. If something is available used, then he will buy it used. His entire closet, comprised of designer labels, was also thrifted!

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- Can you believe this view from his patio?!

equinox_img-3-b

- Soaking in the breathtaking scenery of SLO and the surrounding area. From the sandy beach at El Morro Bay to the nearby state parks to the rolling hills of quaint farmland,  I felt like I was soaking the beauty of the location into my bones.

- Visiting the MM headquarters to meet the whirlwind team behind Morrocco Method. I knew almost all of them through email conversations, but it was wonderful to finally connect in person. I also toured the production area to see where the items are handmade from raw ingredients to final product.

MM trip 6

 – Did you know that the shampoos and other hair products are mixed according to the lunar cycle? This is a time-honored ritual practiced by ancient medicine makers from across the globe. Products were not being mixed on the days that I was visiting, for that reason, but I did see all the raw ingredients and how they were packaged.

Here are shampoos being filled by hand:

MM trip 5

And this is the huge mixer where the ingredients are combined for the products:

MM trip 7

 You’ve likely seen Blood of the Dragon on the ingredient list of various MM products. Here’s what it looks like in its raw state – it’s a fluffy, bark-like texture:

mm trip 4-2

 – Doing the Lyme Disease challenge at the MM office.

- Farmer’s marketing in San Luis Obispo… home of the most incredible produce I’ve ever tasted. The locally grown food, seafood and meats are some of the best in the world, due to the rich soil and climate.

mm trip 2

Eating – or attempting to – every meal with chopsticks. Anthony has eaten every meal for the last 40 years with chopsticks. I found that it creates an elevated and mindful eating experience.

- Getting to try the newest MM product, amla powder, before it launched. I will have a full post about it on Tuesday!

amla-powder-2oz

- Having a blast at with the MM team in Anthony’s wine cellar, called the Cava, for a staff party (I evidently have a huge bite of delicious food in my mouth for this candid picture!).

mm trip 3

When I first started using MM shampoos, I knew the bottles contained something extraordinary beyond the purity of ingredients. Why was I so draw to a shampoo with immediate enthusiasm?

When a company is truly passionate about a mission, I believe this passion can be experienced through their product. Morrocco Method infuses their products with their integrity, and it shows. Anthony, Katelyn, Katie, Connor, Colin, Curtis, Margo, Israel, and Richard… I couldn’t be more grateful for my time at Morrocco Method, thank you!

Empower Your Hair Re-Run!

empowered-package2

In between all the eating and beach walks and farmer’s marketing and more eating, we did somehow manage to work on a couple fun collaborations.

To celebrate the launch of Morrocco Method’s newest product, amla powder, we decided to re-run the Empower Your Hair Package. When it was available in December, it flew off the shelves. This limited-time exclusive package contains:

Together, these products would be $62 but I worked with the MM team to get this package down to $49… that’s more than 20% off my favorite MM products!

 It’s available here for only 10 days, from April 2nd through April 11th. It cannot be combined with coupon codes. For information on how to use the products, don’t forget to check out the Holistic Hair Care webinar I did with Anthony Morrocco.

I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes view of Morrocco Method!

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Paleo Spinach Artichoke Dip http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-spinach-artichoke-dip/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-spinach-artichoke-dip/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:02:21 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8741 Did you know that food bloggers with dietary restrictions get excited when they come across a recipe they can eat? At least this one does. It can seem like a constant game of guessing and trial-and-error to determine which foods my body will tolerate. Due to my compromised gut health – even though I’ve made […]

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paleo spinach artichoke dip recipe

Did you know that food bloggers with dietary restrictions get excited when they come across a recipe they can eat? At least this one does. It can seem like a constant game of guessing and trial-and-error to determine which foods my body will tolerate.

Due to my compromised gut health – even though I’ve made leaps and bounds in gut healing – my body is prone to becoming sensitive to foods. I’ve found it essential to remove potential trigger foods, such as eggs, during times of increased stress, such as traveling. I’ve also realized the importance of varying my diet. For example, when I discovered tigernuts, I enjoyed them daily for a while. Then, I took them to my nutritional/energy practitioner and discovered that my body wanted a break from them.

So, with that said, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that…

  • Offer a wide variety of flavors and preparation techniques
  • Introduce new ingredients I can enjoy
  • Avoid potentially problematic foods for me

Enter Nourish: The Paleo Healing Cookbook by my friend and fellow blogger Rachel at Meatified!

Let me summarize my excitement about this cookbook:

  • Over 120 recipes suitable for the Autoimmune Paleo Approach.  But you don’t need to be following that protocol to enjoy the recipes! All recipes are grain, dairy, nut/seed, refined sugar, and egg free.
  • While the book does in include some AIP-friendly treats to satiate your sweet tooth, it focuses on savory dishes and a variety of vegetables. This is reflects an ideal healing diet - it’s all about the nutrients and veggies, with the occasional homemade dessert.
  • Rachel’s recipes provide an accessible introduction to ingredients from which I’ve shied away, including beef tongue and chicken hearts. She uses simple preparation methods and shares the secret to making these ingredients palatable for everyone in your family.
  • These recipes will get you out of a protein rut, which is an all too common conundrum. Tired of baked chicken and salmon? Mix it up with beef cheeks, canned sardine fillets, and more!

Paleo Spinach Artichoke Dip from Nourish

Rachel is kindly sharing a recipe for Paleo Spinach Artichoke Dip from the book. I know you’ll love the recipe, and don’t forget to check out Nourish, available on Amazon! It will also be hitting bookstores soon.

Paleo Spinach Artichoke Dip

Yield: Makes 1 3/4 cups

Paleo Spinach Artichoke Dip

This dip doesn’t need dairy or coconut products to replicate the creaminess of this much-beloved appetizer. In fact, this recipe uses even more vegetables than normal to create the smooth, delicious, scoopable texture… which means we just won’t tell any tiny humans how good for them this recipe really is! This recipe is such a crowd-pleaser that I usually make it in a double batch, like I did here, so feel free to scale the recipe down to suit you, if needed. (Recipe shared with permission from Nourish: The Paleo Healing Cookbook.)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) coconut or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup (45 g) diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (120 g) peeled summer squash
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 6 oz (170 g) drained jarred artichoke hearts
  • 2 tbsp (8 g) nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp ground mace
  • 6 oz (170 g) package of frozen spinach, thawed

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic to the pan while you peel and chop the summer squash. Cut the summer squash into pieces that are the same size as the diced onion, then add to the pan and stir to coat with the oil. Cook until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally so the squash doesn’t brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer the softened vegetables to a blender and add the chicken broth. Gently squeeze the artichoke hearts to release any excess water before you weigh them out. Add the artichoke hearts, nutritional yeast and mace to the blender – process until you have a thick, smooth, “creamy” sauce.
  3. Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and return to the stove top at a low heat. Drain the spinach and squeeze out any excess water, then chop finely. Stir the frozen spinach into the sauce and simmer until the dip is warmed through. The dip probably won’t need any additional salt because of the artichoke hearts, but taste now and add any extra salt if you wish. Serve the dip warm and enjoy. Try pairing it with Pita Wedges (page 222 of the cookbook).
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paleo spinach artichoke dip recipe

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Icebox Cassava Flour Cookies http://empoweredsustenance.com/cassava-flour-cookies/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/cassava-flour-cookies/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 14:52:30 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8712 From Lauren: I’m eager to share this beautiful – and beautifully simple – recipe for Paleo Icebox Cookies from Gabriella at Beyond the Bite. I love the rest of Gabriella’s recipes, they are always Autoimmune Paleo friendly and absolutely delicious!  Icebox Cassava Flour Cookies I love absolutely love making, creating, and experimenting with allergen-free cookies.  […]

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Icebox cassava flour cookies

From Lauren: I’m eager to share this beautiful – and beautifully simple – recipe for Paleo Icebox Cookies from Gabriella at Beyond the Bite. I love the rest of Gabriella’s recipes, they are always Autoimmune Paleo friendly and absolutely delicious! 

Icebox Cassava Flour Cookies

I love absolutely love making, creating, and experimenting with allergen-free cookies.  Therefore, as the cold winter months slowly grow warmer, I decided to utilizing the tantalizing nature of clementine, and make a light and refreshing dessert. 

Truly, these cookies could not be easier, as one can simply freeze, slice, and bake them off anytime, anywhere.  That being said, despite the easy process and few ingredients, the resulting taste and texture of these clementine icebox cookies are amazing, so much so that even my older brother couldn’t wait to devour them.  Overall, these cookies were voted as absolutely scrumptious, with a light, flakey, yet durable texture, and a slight zing from the clementine zest, making them the perfect spring treat for any occasion.  

Paleo Clementine Icebox Cookies

Paleo Clementine Icebox Cookies

These paleo slice-and-bake cookies feature grain free cassava flour, which is made from the same root from which tapioca flour is made. Do not confuse the two, however. Tapioca flour is pure starch, while cassava flour - made with the entire yuca root, minus the peel - acts more like regular wheat flour. I have yet to find cassava flour in a store, so I get it online here. If you enjoy grain free baking, I think you will love cassava flour!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Otto's Cassava Flour, available here
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated palm shortening, available here (see note below)
  • 1 tbsp clementine zest
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice of 2 clementines
  • Maple sugar, optional, for sprinkling (available here)

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, or high speed blender, pulse together cassava flour, sea salt, clementine zest, and maple syrup until combined.
  2. Pulse in palm shortening, then add vanilla extract, and clementine juice until a dough forms.
  3. Transfer cookie dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, forming into a log that is 1 1/2 inches wide, and then allowing it to chill in the freezer for, at the least, 2 hours.
  4. Once the cookie dough has chilled completely through, turn the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Remove the dough from the freezer and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, until it is soft enough to cut into 1/4 inch slices.
  6. Place each slice on a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with optional maple sugar, and place in the preheated oven, allowing the cookies to bake until golden around the edges, 15-120 minutes.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Coconut oil, ghee, or grass-fed butter can be used in place of the palm shortening. Clementine zest and juice can be replaced with any citrus fruit on hand.

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Icebox cassava flour cookies

gabriellaAbout Gabriella at Beyond the Bite

My name is Gabriella Schneider, and I am the teenage blogger behind Beyond the Bite, where I spread awareness and hope to Chronic Lyme disease, share recipes for those with health conditions like myself, as well as primal-aligned health articles.  Throughout the years of battling Chronic Lyme, my passion for science, the human body, and how food and lifestyle factors affect it, has grown significantly.  This ultimately lead me to utilize a personalized Paleo approach to not only get myself through each day, but manage symptoms, decipher root causes for my illness, and ultimately start from the ground up in my healing journey.  

Don’t forget to follow Gabriella at Beyond the Bite, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

Have you heard of or used cassava flour before? 

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10 Things Everyone Should Know About the Power of Food http://empoweredsustenance.com/power-of-food/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/power-of-food/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 17:15:25 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8696 The Healing Power of Food Nutrition changed my life. I could even say that nutrition probably saved my life. But it would be more accurate to say that nutrition gave me life… a life that I want to spend enthusiastically educating others about the power of food. Did you know that food has the power to do the […]

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10 things everyone should know about the healing power of food

The Healing Power of Food

Nutrition changed my life. I could even say that nutrition probably saved my life. But it would be more accurate to say that nutrition gave me life… a life that I want to spend enthusiastically educating others about the power of food.

Did you know that food has the power to do the following?

1. Diet changes can reverse tooth decay and cavities

Oral health begins in your kitchen, not at the dentist! Dr. Weston Price, a dentist in the 1930’s who traveled the world to discover the secrets of healthy people, found that nutrient-rich diets dictated oral health. Cultures adhering to the traditional, local diets of their ancestors had almost no tooth decay, even though they didn’t practice oral hygiene.

Building off the work of Weston Price, Ramiel Nigel wrote Cure Tooth Decay. It outlines a protocol for remineralizing the body, which is the foundation for healthy teeth. With adequate minerals consumption and absorption, the body can remineralize teeth and reverse tooth decay. You can see examples of before and after pictures of this protocol here.

2. Nutrition effectively addresses autoimmune diseases

I remember my sitting in the doctor’s office when I was 14, receiving a life-changing diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, a severe autoimmune disease. “We have different medication options,” I was told, “and it it gets extremely severe we will resort to surgery.” My doctors told me there was no alternative options, and that dietary changes would entail too much effort without results. 

8 years later, I’m here to tell you that nutrition DOES work! Changing my lifestyle and diet allowed me to avoid surgery, stop my pharmacy-worth of medications, and regain my health.

When it comes to autoimmunity, diet works for two reasons: 1. it removes foods that trigger inflammation and antibody activity and 2. it floods the body with nutrients required for healing. Read more about my experience and how to get started in my GAPS Diet discussion and my Autoimmune Paleo discussion.

3. Eczema responds to dietary changes

Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, holistic practitioners agree that the underlying cause relates to leaky gut and food intolerances. Many people try eliminating processed sugar, dairy or even gluten to tame their eczema, but then they don’t experience relief and conclude that food doesn’t help. That’s because it requires a more comprehensive dietary approach. 

Like autoimmunity, eczema can be traced to poor gut health and fatty acid imbalance. A grain free (not just gluten free) approach, such as a paleo-based diet, can address the foundational issues of leaky gut and inflammation.

4. You can clear your skin with nutrition

10 things everyone should know about the healing power of foodYour acne isn’t telling you to invest in a pricey serum, it’s telling you to change your diet! Like eczema, acne is your body’s way of communicating inflammation.

For example, fatty acid imbalance is one of the factors in breakouts and hormonal acne. The correct dietary fats will calm breakouts, while other fats promote acne-producing inflammation.

Check out my book Quit Acne: The Nutritional approach for clear skin. It’s a quick and accessible read that immediately equips you with seven effective dietary principles to address the roots of acne.

5. The power of food fixes PMS

Like acne, severe PMS was an issue with which I struggled for years. I was determined to find a natural solution, and I learned how to use food as medicine for PMS.

PMS is not normal – indicates hormonal imbalances that can be addressed through some simple nutrition changes. When given the necessary building blocks, our hormones fall into equilibrium and PMS disappears.

I cover this topic in my book Quit PMS: End your menstrual misery naturally, which is available here on Amazon. Quit PMS discusses key aspects including hormone interplay, dietary changes, detox support, supplementation, and hormone-balancing recipes.

6. Nutrition can improve seasonal allergies

bee pollenSome people are more prone to seasonal allergies than others, but severe pollen allergies are not necessarily a life sentence. Your body’s response to allergies is determined by numerous factors including gut flora balance and histamine response.

Genetics, stress, food, and environment all impact the balance of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria in our digestive tract. When we have an overgrowth of problematic bacteria, these bacteria produce by-products and toxins. As Sarah The Healthy Home Economist clearly summarizes in her post on allergies,

When these microbes grow unchecked in the gut due to a lack of beneficial flora, they overproduce histamine causing many functions in the body that react to histamine to go haywire as excessive amounts pour into the blood.

 Balancing your gut flora allows your body to properly regulate histamine response without relying on anti-histamine medications. So don’t forget your probiotics and fermented foods during allergy season! For a more heavy-duty approach, I recommend the paleo diet or The GAPS Diet to drastically reduce the pathogenic bugs.

7. Nutrition can reduce sunburn and help you tan

This point is definitely anecdotal, but I believes it deserves a mention. One of the most startling “side effects” of my dietary changes was noticing that I was less prone to sunburn! My Sandanavian-fair skin has never tanned, and never will, but I was shocked that I could enjoy longer periods of sunshine without burning.

I’m certainly not the only one to experience this. I’ve heard from readers and bloggers with similar experiences. Katie at Wellness Mama has an interesting post on her experience, too. She found that her dietary changes helped her skin tan instead of burn.

What is the mechanism behind this phenomenon? I believe it is reducing inflammation by supporting fatty acid balance. When I increased the healthy fats in my diet and eliminated processed fats like vegetable oils, I reduced my omega-6 intake and increased my omega-3 intake. A lower omega-6 and higher omega-3 ratio spells anti-inflammation.

8. Arthritis can be addressed with nutrition

Arthritis results from leaky gut and inflammation, which stem from gut flora imbalance (do you see a pattern yet?). With a leaky gut, toxins from the digestive tract escape into the bloodstream and attach themselves to collagen molecules in the joints. As a result, the immune system recognizes the collagen as toxic, so it mounts an immune response and attacks it.

Arthritis has been managed effectively by people who choose to use nutrition instead of (or with) medication. One dietary protocol that has been successful is the GAPS Diet. With this gut-healing protocol, the body will be able to properly manage inflammation – the inflammatory process with help cleanse the collagen of toxins, but the body will know when to turn off the inflammation to protect the collagen. Further, the arthritic process will not be perpetuated when the leaky gut is sealed.

9. Nutrition can address a wide range of mental disorders

Did you know that many people have successfully used food – both alone and in conjunction with medication – to treat everything from ADHD to depression to schizophrenia to bi-polar disorder? 

Mental disorders trace their roots to brain inflammation, which stems from systemic toxins, which all begins in the gut. This is a helpful overview on how the gut affects the brain, and vice versa. That guy Hippocrates hit the nail on the head when he said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

Once again, restoring brain health comes down to balancing gut flora and flooding the body with nutrients. GAPS and AIP are powerful options.

10. The power of food can transform the health of the human race

Do you think that is a sensationalist statement? It’s not. It’s a truth that needs to be shouted from the rooftops. This generation of children is expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents, and I think that is a horrifying prediction we can change through the healing power of food.

As Dr. Price recorded with incredible photographs, the best gift children can receive is well-nourished parents and grandparents. When their ancestors consumed a nutrient-rich diet, and the children themselves consumed nutrient-dense foods from birth, children were physically strong, mentally healthy, and had strikingly beautiful bone structure:

weston-a-price-povos-primitivos

When parents strayed from the traditional diets of their tribes and when children grew up consuming refined foods, it led to poor bone structure and tooth decay:

healing power of food - weston price     healing power of food - weston price

I believe Dr. Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, is the most important book on nutrition ever written and should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

Now that the human race faces an onslaught of environmental toxins and chronic stress, it is more important than ever that we nourish our bodies. We can give the gift of health to our children and children’s children.

It sounds like an overwhelming task, but it boils down to simplicity. Buy ingredients, not productsEat real food. Prepare meals at home. 

Please help me spread the message about the healing power of food – use the sharing buttons below! 

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25 Paleo Flavor Hacks: Add flavor without sugar or chemicals! http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-flavor-boosters/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-flavor-boosters/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 23:36:13 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8422 It’s not me… it’s you, ketchup Growing up, my family did eat much healthier than the average American family. But we still relied consistently on sugar-laden condiments. When I was 5, if you had asked me about the different ethnic food I consumed, I would have reported that I ate the following variety: Tex-Mex (ranch dressing) All-American (ketchup) […]

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paleo flavor boosters - add flavor without sugar or chemicals

It’s not me… it’s you, ketchup

Growing up, my family did eat much healthier than the average American family. But we still relied consistently on sugar-laden condiments. When I was 5, if you had asked me about the different ethnic food I consumed, I would have reported that I ate the following variety:

  • Tex-Mex (ranch dressing)
  • All-American (ketchup)
  • Southern (barbecue sauce)
  • Asian (teriyaki sauce)

These processed sauces all have one thing in common: they’re highly processed! Even natural options are filled with sugar – organic ketchup isn’t any lower in added sugar than regular ketchup.

If you want to transition your family to healthier meals but are stumped in the flavor department, try the following options for easy flavor boosters.

 25 Healthy Flavor Boosters

1. Caramelized onions – recipe here – When I want to crank up the flavor and add a deep, caramel sweetness to a dish, I quickly caramelize some onions in ghee or coconut oil. You can make a quick sauce for meats by blending caramelized onions, broth and a pinch of salt.

2. Truffle saltavailable here or at gourmet food stores – I recently got desperately hooked on truffle salt. One whiff of this pure umami condiment and there was no going back! I use it on roasted veggies and fish. It also works perfectly with eggs.

3. Mushroom powder - recipe here – Another way to add a quick infusion of umami into any dish? Add a sprinkle of homemade mushroom powder. It adds an amazing layer of savory unctuousness. I love it on vegetables and chicken.

4. Tomato pasterecommended one available here - Tomato paste carries concentrated flavor without all the refined sugar in ketchup. Stir it into stews, soups, and spreads. You can also add a spoonful of it when I’m deglazing a pan to add deeper flavor.

5. Herbamareavailable here - This is my favorite seasoning salt, made with a blend of sea salt, garlic, onion, and green herbs (all organic). It seems to compliment all proteins and vegetables. If you eat quinoa, it makes a killer quinoa seasoning.

paleo flavor boosters - add flavor without sugar or chemicals6. Roasted garlicrecipe here – Roasting garlic tames it’s bitterness and mellows the flavor into a slightly sweet flavor. I love tossing zucchini noodles with a simple sauce of olive oil mashed with roasted garlic. You can also add a few roasted garlic cloves to stews.

7. Grain Free Gravyrecipe here - This is a decadently flavorful gravy made with only ghee/olive oil, onions and broth. I love it on vegetables, meat and seafood.

8. Homemade bone brothrecipe here – If a recipe calls for broth or stock, you can increase the flavor factor a hundred times by using homemade bone broth.

9. Anchovy paste - recommended one available here – If you want to add deep, salty kick, try a small squirt of anchovy paste. It’s a must-have for homemade Caesar dressing.

10. Flavored olive oilrecipe here – To make a flavorful finishing oil, infuse olive oil with your favorite herbs and spices.

11. Coconut aminosavailable here – I choose to avoid soy sauce, because I’m not a fan of the anti-nutrient properties of soy. Coconut aminos taste very similar to soy sauce, and I actually find the slightly sweeter flavor preferable.

12. Coconut sugar - available here – The title of this post mentions adding flavor without sugar, and I’m referring to processed sugar and sugar-laden condiments. Coconut sugar makes a much healthier substitute for white sugar in your recipes, and a spoonful can add sweetness and depth to sauces. It has a molasses undertone.

13. Herb + olive oil cubesrecipe here – These are a fabulous way to preserve fresh herbs. Just add a couple of cubes to a stew or soup for instant flavor!

14. Ginger salt – recipe here – This pantry staple in my kitchen is an easy way to add fresh ginger flavor to salads, soups, vegetables and proteins.

15. Cashew sour cream – recipe here - If you are in need of a dairy-free option for finishing soups or mashed potatoes, try homemade cashew sour cream.

16. Refrigerator pickles - recipe here - The recipe couldn’t be simpler or easier! Add to salads and sandwiches.

17. Apple cider vinegar - recommended one available here - Good old apple cider vinegar. I always add a splash to soups and when I deglaze a pan.

18. Balsamic reduction - recipe here – Balsamic reduction makes a killer salad dressing when whisked with olive oil. Also try it drizzled over fresh strawberries… you will be in heaven.

19. Fish sauce – recommended one available here – I love how clean that ingredient list is: just anchovies and salt. It’s instant umami.

20. Smoked sea salt -  available here - Where has this been all my life? It’s like adding slow-smoked flavor to meats and vegetables in less than a second!

21. Real Salt seasoningavailable here – This is by far the best seasoning salt I’ve ever tasted, made with a blend of Real Salt, onion, spices and herbs. It’s a perfect balance of salty, savory and a hint of sweetness from the onion. It does contain nightshades, however. I can’t use on a regular basis because I’m sensitive to the nightshades.

22. Toasted coconutrecipe here – When sprinkled on both sweet and savory dishes, toasted coconut adds a warm, fragrant, buttery flavor and lovely crunch.

23. Toasted coconut butterrecipe here - Toasted coconut butter is pure divine goodness. Stir it into sauces – especially asian sauces. I like using it instead of peanut butter or almond butter in satay sauce.

24. Pesto – Pesto can nearly always come to the rescue in the flavor department. You can make it with the traditional basil, or a more peppery green such as arugula or dandelion greens. And there is no need to add parmesan cheese if that’s not your thing – just add an extra handful of nuts (cashews, almonds, Brasil nuts,  macadamias, pine nuts… the list goes on) in the recipe.

25. Umami gravy - recipe here – Umami is a term for the sixth taste, which is a meaty/savory flavor. Umami gravy is a paleo-friendly sauce which will leave your tastes buds in rapture.

 Do you have any other ways to add flavor without processed condiments? 

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The Non-Toxic Bedroom Checklist http://empoweredsustenance.com/non-toxic-bedroom/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/non-toxic-bedroom/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 15:21:18 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8647 Do you have a non-toxic bedroom? Your bedroom should be a place of peace, relaxation and comfort to support restorative sleep. If you want to support all aspects of healthy sleep, it’s essential to consider the sources of toxins in your bedroom. I believe the bedroom is the most important room in the house to […]

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non-toxic bedroom checklist

Do you have a non-toxic bedroom?

Your bedroom should be a place of peace, relaxation and comfort to support restorative sleep. If you want to support all aspects of healthy sleep, it’s essential to consider the sources of toxins in your bedroom.

I believe the bedroom is the most important room in the house to detoxify. Why?

When we are sleeping, our bodies are in full parasympathetic nervous system mode. This is the “rest-and-digest state” which means our defenses are down. In this vulnerable state, we are most susceptible to the damages of pollutants and chemicals.

A low-toxin bedroom is even more important for babies and children, since they are growing quickly, higher respiration rate (potentially taking in more air-borne pollutants) and have smaller bodies more susceptible to toxins.

Here is a checklist to use as you detox your bedroom to support healthy sleep.

Air quality

Remove sources of indoor air pollutants

  • Paraffin and soy candles (they release toxins from the wax and fragrance)
  • Artificial air fresheners, including arose sprays, reed diffusers, and plug-in room fragrance
  • Toxic cleaning supplies
  • Artificially fragranced laundry detergent and dryer sheets used on bedding and clothing

Add some natural air purifiers

Consider a high-quality air purifier (particularly if you have asthma, allergies or a compromised immune system)

  • I’m writing a follow-up post the air purifier I use, because it’s a bigger topic than I can fit in a couple of sentences. Stay tuned next week if you are interested.

Non-Toxic Mattress

If you’ve read any of my posts on mattress toxicity and sleep quality, you’ve heard this story… the worse flare-up ever of my autoimmune disease correlated to the week that I began sleeping on a new mattress. Coincidence? No!

non-toxic bedroom checklistYour mattress may be the most toxic component in your bedroom. Regular mattresses are coated with highly poisonous fire retardants that off-gas. Even worse, popular memory foam mattresses are make with numerous other components that off-gas toxins, especially when the mattress begins to break down.

I got connected with intelliBED because they create the best, safest mattress I’ve found. After struggling with insomnia my whole life, my quality of sleep drastically improved overnight when I switched to intelliBED, because the mattress supports proper alignment and restorative sleep. Most importantly, I know that I am not inhaling off-gassing chemicals because I am sleeping on a non-toxic surface.

I worked hard with intelliBED to create an education resource about mattress toxicity and sleep quality that is as clear and concise as possible. We created this Holistic Sleep Webinar, which I think you will find very helpful.

Non-Toxic Bedding

As a rule of thumb, I opt for natural fibers, specifically wool and cotton, for bedding instead of synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers may contain chemical residues from processing, which is why I also prefer natural fiber clothing.

Iuse a wool and organic cotton comforter after looking into the other options for natural bedding. The one I is from Holy Lamb Organics, a small company dedicated to sustainable and organic materials.

Why wool for a comforter?

  1. Comfort and temperature - Wool is the most breathable comforter filling and helps regulate body temperature. 
  2. Hypoallergenic – This is the primary reason I choose wool. It is more resistant to dust mites than other natural bedding materials, specifically down (which attracts dust mites). I’ve read two reasons why wool repels dust mites: 1. it has microscopic bristles on the wool fibers and 2. it has lanolin which repels the mites.
  3. Long-lasting – with proper care, a wool comforter will hold up well for decades.
  4. Renewable – Wool is an renewable resource, and I support Holy Lamb Organics because they source from sustainable farms.

Special gift – get a FREE wool comforter, a $405 value!

comforter 1If you are interested in intelliBED and non-toxic bedding, this is the time to make the investment – I’ve been working on a special gift for you! 

I’ve been working on this surprise for a while now and here it is: intelliBED is giving a FREE Holy Lamb Organics wool comforter – up to a $405 value – with your purchase of a mattress. You will also get 10% off the mattress.

 Click here for the detailsThis gift is available through March 31st, so you have some time to contemplate but don’t wait too long – when it’s over, it’s over.

Electronics and lighting

Reduce sources of EMFs

EMFs – harmful electromagnetic fields – are a ubiquitous household toxin, but not often considered. EMFs are biologically toxic electrical frequencies that disrupt electrical communication in the human body and have been shown to cause serious health issues ranging from diabetes to cancer. Here is my overview on EMF dangers and steps to reduce the damage.

Again, since we are in full parasympathetic mode when sleeping, this is when we are most vulnerable to the DNA-altering effects of EMFs.

  • Turn of the WiFi before you go to sleep
  • Turn off your phone before bed
  • Switch to corded landline phones instead of cordless home phones
  • Avoid digital baby monitors if possible, which are a high source of EMF. Use a wired or plug-in version or, if possible, move baby’s bedroom.
  • Don’t use your laptop or tablet on your lap, where the radiation is concentrated over vital organs. I use a DefenderPad to block this radiation.
  • Use full-spectrum or LED lights instead of fluorescent lighting

tablet in bed

Reduce light pollution

  • Take a “screen fast” at least an hour before bed. The blue light from electronic screens has been shown to disrupt melatonin levels, contributing to sleep issues
  • Alternatively, install f.lux on your devices to block the blue light after sunset
  • As another option, consider wearing “melatonin glasses” if you watch TV before bed
  • Use blackout blinds to create a pitch-black sleeping environment
  • If you struggle with hormone balance, you can do these simple tweaks to the lighting in your room at night to support balanced hormones

Have you checked off items on this checklist? Are there other steps you take to detox your bedroom?

The post The Non-Toxic Bedroom Checklist appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

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