Empowered Sustenance http://empoweredsustenance.com Eat well and heal!™ Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:09:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 15 Brilliant and Simple Uses for Coconut Butter http://empoweredsustenance.com/coconut-butter-uses/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/coconut-butter-uses/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:17:50 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=6766 I love coconut butter. And after trying these brilliantly versatile and easy coconut butter uses, you will too. What is coconut butter? I’m frequently asked about the difference between coconut butter and coconut oil. Here’s an easy trick to remember the difference: coconut butter is like almond butter (or other nut butter) and coconut oil […]

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15 brilliant coconut butter uses

I love coconut butter. And after trying these brilliantly versatile and easy coconut butter uses, you will too.

What is coconut butter?

I’m frequently asked about the difference between coconut butter and coconut oil. Here’s an easy trick to remember the difference: coconut butter is like almond butter (or other nut butter) and coconut oil is like almond oil. 

Coconut butter contains the meaty-goodness of the coconut flesh, blended into a silky and creamy puree. It shares a similar texture with nut butter. On the other hand, coconut oil is pure oil and useable whenever a recipe calls for oil.

Are there other names for coconut butter?

The many different names for coconut butter may be slightly confusing. The following popular brands are all types of coconut butter, and are interchangeable:

 Where do I find coconut butter?

Actually, the most economical option is making coconut butter yourself! All you do is blend unsweetened coconut flakes – found here – in a high-powered blender or food processor until you have a creamy puree. It’s just like making almond butter from almonds. Here is a step-by-step tutorial for making coconut butter.

Alternatively, you can purchase coconut butter. These are the two that I use in my house interchangeably:

How should I store coconut butter?

15 brilliant coconut butter usesPure coconut butter can be stored at room temperature. At room temperature (above 70 degrees), coconut butter is smooth and spreadable. When heated gently, it becomes silky and poureable. Placed in the fridge, it becomes hard as a rock.

To liquify hard coconut butter, place the jar into a saucepan with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the jar. Heat and stir until smooth. (You can also use a microwave, but I don’t.) Additionally, you’ll find that a fresh jar of coconut butter will probably have settled with a layer of coconut oil on the top. Simply use this warming method and then stir to emulsify the coconut butter.

What are coconut butter uses?

1. Drizzle coconut butter on fresh fruit

My favorite way to enjoy coconut butter? Drizzled over fresh fruit – pineapple is excellent – with a tiny sprinkle of salt to bring out the sweetness. If the fruit is chilled, the coconut butter hardens and creates a delightfully crunchy compliment to the fresh fruit. 

egg free mayonnaise recipe (autoimmune paleo friendly)

2. Make an Egg-Free Mayonnaise

Looking for an egg-free alternative to regular mayonnaise? I love this Egg-Free Mayonnaise recipe that uses coconut butter and olive oil to replicate the thick, creamy texture of mayonnaise. Use it as a salad dressing base, spread it on sandwiches or use to dip veggies.

3. Spread it on pancakes

Just like you would spread nut butter on your pancakes (like these delectable coconut flour pancakes), give it a try with coconut butter. You’ll find that a little goes a long way, as it melts over the warm pancakes. All the good fats in the coconut butter will fill you up and help balance your blood sugar, too!

coconut butter pancakes

 4. Make flourless pancakes with coconut butter

If you are really obsessed with coconut butter, you can spread it on coconut butter pancakes. These five ingredient Coconut Butter Pancakes from Loving Our Guts are completely flourless and rely on coconut butter for the base. 

5. Use coconut butter as a dairy free coffee creamer

Want an easy solution for a dairy-free coffee creamer? Just stir a spoonful of coconut butter into your hot coffee or tea! The slightly sweet, coconutty-flavor compliments coffee as well as herbal tea.

 6. Make an instant creamy tomato sauce

Coconut butter also creates a dairy-free creamy tomato sauce in an instant. Take a cup of warmed tomato pasta sauce, either homemade or store-bought, and add two tablespoons (or more) of coconut butter to create a creamy tomato sauce. If you are looking for healthy alternatives to pasta, try my Cabbage Noodles recipe or Zucchini Noodles recipe.

7. Make Magic Shell chocolate coating

To make a healthy, two-ingredient alternative to Magic Shell, that liquid chocolate syrup that hardens into a crunchy topping when poured over ice cream, you need only coconut butter and chocolate chips. Just eyeball one part coconut butter and one part chocolate chips (there’s no need to measure since you can’t go wrong because it’s, you know, chocolate and coconut butter) and melt over very low heat in a saucepan. Let cool to room temperature and pour over a bowl of ice cream. It will harden into a crunchy shell topping.

8. Prepare dairy free hot cocoa in a pinch

For a healthy and dairy-free hot cocoa, reach for coconut butter, cocoa powder and sweetener. To 3/4 cup hot water, add a heaping tablespoon of coconut butter, a small spoonful of cocoa powder and a small spoonful of liquid sweetener such as raw honey. (Adjust amounts to suit your taste.) Stir briskly to dissolve the cocoa powder and enjoy.

toasted coconut butter

9. Try toasted coconut butter

Plain old coconut butter is pretty addicting. So what happens when you make toasted coconut butter? Well, you are a little bit ruined. But that’s okay, because this stuff is good for you! To make toasted coconut butter, simply toast flaked coconut in a skillet, stirring frequently, until it turns a light golden color. Then, place the toasted coconut in your blender/food processor and blend to make coconut butter. For detailed instructions and pictures, try this Toasted Coconut Butter recipe from The Healthy Foodie.

 10. Add coconut butter to a stir-fry

For a creamy, coconut-flavored sauce, add coconut butter to your stir fried veggies and/or meat. Simply stir-fry vegetables and meat as usual, then turn off the heat and swirl in a big spoonful  of coconut butter (use a scant tablespoon per serving). I also recommend adding a dash of coconut aminos (found here), which is a healthy soy-free substitute for soy sauce.

11. Add it to your morning oatmeal or porridge

If you enjoy hot cereal in the morning, such as porridge or oatmeal, a spoonful of coconut butter adds creaminess and richness. For double the coconutty goodness, swirl coconut butter into my No-Oats Paleo Oatmeal recipe.

12. Make Raw Orange Coconut Fudge

Made with only coconut butter and orange juice, this melt-in-your mouth coconut butter “fudge” recipe is the perfect after-dinner bite when you crave just a little morsel of sweetness.

coconut butter bread

13. Make 5-Ingredient Coconut Flour Bread

Just like coconut butter can replace flour in that pancake recipe, it can also replace flour in a simple quick bread. Try this Toasted Coconut Butter Bread recipe, made with only five healthy ingredients! The recipe includes instructions on preparing your own toasted coconut butter.

14. Make Coconut Berry Bites

For a simple kid-friendly finger food, simply dip berries into softened coconut butter, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze. Store in the freezer and enjoy when you want a healthy frozen treat. For detailed instructions, use this recipe for Raspberries with Coconut Butter from In Sonnet’s Kitchen.

15. Make personalized coconut butter cups

Last but not least, Coconut Butter Cups are perhaps the most versatile treat you can whip up with coconut butter. These taste like little fudge bites – they are solid but melt in your mouth. Be sure to keep these in the fridge, because they will soften at room temperature.

Coconut Butter Cups

5 minutes

Yield: Makes 8-16 cups

Coconut Butter Cups

Personalize these coconut butter cups with your favorite add-ins. You can completely omit the sweetener, if desired, because the coconut butter has a natural sweetness.

Ingredients

    Base recipe:
  • 1 cup coconut butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 Tbs. honey or maple syrup (you can use more or omit it completely and just savor the natural sweetness of the coconut butter)
  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  • Small pinch of unrefined salt
  • Optional add-ins (mix and match for desired flavors):
  • Vanilla bean seeds or vanilla extract
  • Peppermint extract or a few drops of peppermint essential oil
  • Orange, lemon or lime zest
  • Carob, cacao or cocoa powder
  • Cacao nibs
  • Instant espresso powder (just a little bit!)
  • Crushed freeze-dried fruit pieces
  • Crumbled bacon pieces
  • Chopped dates, currants or raisins
  • Chopped nuts
  • Chocolate chips or chocolate pieces

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredient and add in your choice of flavor additions (listed below). Pour into muffin cups lined with paper liners. Use 1 - 2 tablespoons of the mixture per cup. Alternatively, use mini muffin cups or mini silicon molds like these. Place in the fridge until hardened, about 4 hours. Remove from the muffin tin/molds and store in the fridge.
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16. {Bonus} Eat it with a spoon

But I probably didn’t need to tell you that…

 Do you use coconut butter? What is your favorite recipe or use for coconut butter? 

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Oat-Free Paleo Oatmeal – made with coconut! http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-oatmeal/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-oatmeal/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:23:57 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=5324 Paleo Oatmeal with Coconut This oat-free breakfast porridge hits the spot when you are craving a warm, nourishing bowl of oatmeal without the oats. Because oats are a grain, they are excluded from the Paleo diet as well as other grain-free protocols. As a matter of fact, oats a relatively inflammatory food because it contains […]

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paleo oatmeal, made with coconut

Paleo Oatmeal with Coconut

This oat-free breakfast porridge hits the spot when you are craving a warm, nourishing bowl of oatmeal without the oats. Because oats are a grain, they are excluded from the Paleo diet as well as other grain-free protocols.

As a matter of fact, oats a relatively inflammatory food because it contains a very large amount of phytic acid, a compound that blocks the absorption of minerals in the body. This is why traditional cultures who consumed oats, like the Gaelic people studied by Weston Price, soaked their oats overnight to make their daily oatmeal more digestible and less inflammatory.

The texture of this paleo oatmeal is softer and less “chewy” than true oatmeal, but I feel like it is a delicious and healthy substitute. Feel free to adorn this faux-oatmeal with your favorite toppings, such as maple syrup, butter or coconut oil, dried fruit, and chopped nuts.

Paleo Oatmeal: The Ingredients

paleo oatmeal, made with coconutCoconut flour - Rich in healthy fats and protein, coconut flour provides the base for the paleo oatmeal. At first, the mixture will look too thin, but the coconut flour absorbs a great deal of liquid and thickens the “oatmeal.” Get coconut flour here or at your health food store.

Finely Shredded Coconut - Use only finely shredded coconut, which you can find here or at your health food store. You can also whirl large shredded coconut in a food processor until it resembles coarse sand and use that.

Coconut milk – feel free to substitute milk of your choice, but I do not recommend using non-dairy milks that contain toxic vitamin D2 or carrageenan (here’s why). Read your food labels, always! You can also use water, but the result will not be as flavorful.

Eggs – I’ve created an version of this paleo oatmeal with egg and an egg-free version. The one with the egg is slightly thicker and heartier and contains additional protein. The egg-free version uses mashed bananas, which lend sweetness and creaminess. If desired, you can use both the egg and the mashed banana!

Paleo "Oatmeal"

Yield: Makes 1 serving (multiply recipe if desired)

This creamy, satisfying bowl of coconut porridge may remind you of traditional oatmeal. This makes one serving, but the recipe is easily multiplied to serve more people. Enjoy with your favorite oatmeal toppings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk PLUS 1/4 cup water OR 3/4 cup homemade coconut milk OR 3/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbs. coconut flour (get coconut flour here)
  • 2 Tbs. finely shredded coconut (get finely shredded coconut here)
  • 1 pastured egg OR 1/2 banana, mashed for egg free option
  • Oatmeal toppings of your choice

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, mix together the liquid, coconut flour and shredded coconut. Bring to a boil (mixture will be thick), cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir halfway through.
  2. Off the heat, crack the egg into the saucepan and whisk quickly to prevent the egg from scrambling with the heat. Then, return to the heat and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  3. For the egg free version Follow the instructions above but don't add the egg. Instead, whisk in the mashed banana and stir briefly.
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15 French Diet Secrets for Health and Happiness http://empoweredsustenance.com/french-diet-healthy/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/french-diet-healthy/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:06:25 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=5805 Dietary wisdom from a French shopkeeper When I was 11, my family and some close family friends traveled around Paris and the French countryside for a week. I remember that everything looked – and tasted – as if I was wearing the proverbial rose-colored glasses. Although we enjoyed the essential tourist activities, my favorite part […]

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15 French Diet Secrets to steal from the French to be healthy and happy!

Dietary wisdom from a French shopkeeper

When I was 11, my family and some close family friends traveled around Paris and the French countryside for a week. I remember that everything looked – and tasted – as if I was wearing the proverbial rose-colored glasses. Although we enjoyed the essential tourist activities, my favorite part was slipping out of the tourist-filled city into the countryside, where we stayed at a small inn and walked through the town.

At one household shop, my dad began a conversation with the grandmotherly shopkeeper. She spoke good english and they got into this enthusiastic discussion about the differences between the French and American lifestyles. “It’s quite simple,” she stated matter-of-factly, “We French live in the moment. You can’t eat in the moment and drive in the moment at the same time. But Americans drive while eating all the time.” We all listened as she made similar comparisons, all of which made perfect sense to explain America’s obesity epidemic and the general health of the French nation.

Does the French diet keep you thin?

Recently, I read French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano and it immediately took me back to that Paris trip.

As a typically slender French girl, Mirelle Guiliano went to America as an exchange student and came back fat. That shock sent her into an adolescent tailspin until her kindly family physician, “Dr. Miracle,” came to the rescue. Reintroducing her to classic principles of French gastronomy plus time-honored secrets of the local women, he helped her restore her shape and gave her a whole new understanding of food, drink, and life. The key? Not guild or deprivation but learning to get the most from the things you most enjoy. – From the books cover

It provided a thoroughly entertaining and eye-opening read while outlining the ultimate non-diet for losing weight with French principles.

The unparalleled success of the French diet rests on nutrient-dense ingredients and the celebration of food as ritual. With insights from Mirelle’s book, as well as my own research into healing nutrition and my experience in France, here are 15 French diet secrets that I believe everyone should know – and practice – for lifelong health and happiness.

1. Eating is always mindful

Mindful eating increases satiety, digestion and pleasure while reducing caloric intake, stress hormones and weight gain. The French cultures encourages mindful consumption of each meal and even snacks. This is one of the most important factors in French health.

We can only digest when the nervous system is in parasympathetic mode, the “rest and digest” state. When we are stressed, eating on the run, eating in front of the TV or eating in a hurry, we cannot properly digest our food because we are in sympathetic mode. Undigested meals mean we feel unsatisfied and experience a host of uncomfortable symptoms like bloating and gas.

The French see food as a ritual. A meal calls for an accompanying wine, family or friends, discussion, laughter and reverence of the delicious food. By eating slowly over a period of courses, the French enjoy excellent digestion and feel satisfied without ever overeating.

2. The French know and accept the price of quality food

Americans – and those in other Western nations facing epidemic illnesses – need a paradigm shift. We pay little for quality food, but then end up spending more on healthcare and medications in the future. Instead, we need to invest in healthy food to prevent illness costs in the future.

According to Forbes,

In 1901, according to a 1997 Bureau of Labor Statistics study, the average family spent almost half of their budget on food. Just 3% of that went to meals away from home. Today, we only spend an average 13.3% of our budgets on food–but 42% of that money is spent in restaurants.

French families know the art of stretching the food budget by preparing wholesome foods at home and utilizing every morsel that offers nutrients and flavor, including bones and organ meats. With that said, the French don’t balk at paying more for quality food. They know that quality food means pleasure in the short-term and health in the long-term. 

3. The French enjoy market trips

Fresh produce from resource pageThe French frequent their local markets numerous times a week and sometimes once per day. This accomplishes two factors vital to the nation’s health: local food and seasonal food. 

By purchasing from vendors at their market, the French enjoy unprocessed, nutrient-dense and fresh foods. They know their producers and understand from where their foods comes. Additionally, shopping at the market restricts their produce purchases to seasonal produce. The French scorn tomatoes in the dead of winter, because they know only summer vine-ripened tomatoes are worth paying for. Even salmon is a seasonal food in France, because the French prefer fresh and wild fish over farmed or frozen options.

4. The French don’t eat foods with a TV commercial

How many foods in your pantry and can you see in a TV commercial? One cardinal rule of health eating is, “Don’t eat any food that has a TV commercial.” The French lifestyle complies with this rule as a matter of course.

Because the French shop primarily at markets for day-to-day groceries and favor seasonal, local foods, they choose artesian products over mass-produced ones. For example, they go to the local butcher’s shop for a roast, then visit the bakery for bread and finally make a trip to the fromangerie for cheese. As a result, the food is densely nutritious without the chemicals and preservatives of highly-processed alternatives.

Contrast this to a typical American’s shopping trip. The American will buy bread, packaged lunch meat and individually-wrapped cheeses all in one stop at the supermarket… and can watch these foods advertised while they eat their meal in front of the TV.

5. The French diet emphasizes quality over quantity

Westerners are trained to value quantity over quality when it comes to our food. We buy light ice cream, a flavorless mass of skim milk powder and chemical stabilizers, because we can eat more of it than the deeply decadent full-fat option. We choose chemicals over quality ingredients so that we can eat more of the chemicals, even though it tastes mediocre?  This is just messed up.

The French are truly satisfied by quality over quantity. They choose a single square of divine chocolate rather than a hunk of cheap milk chocolate. They choose to split dessert two or three ways rather than enjoy the unsatisfying “light” option all to themselves.

Fortunately, we are hard-wired to enjoy quality over quantity, we have just over-ridden that setting with a preference for the act of eating, not the joy of eating. By eating slowly and mindfully, you can re-set your innate desire for quality over quantity.

6. There is no such thing as sinfully delicious

Mireille explains in her book that the term “sinfully delicious” is a ridiculous oxymoron in French cultures. Food is simply delicious. To enjoy good food is a deserved pleasure. No matter how much butter or sugar a dish contains, the knowledge of that does not diminish the rapture of eating it.

Because they eat without guilt, the French are free to enjoy food and wine to maximum enjoyment. And enjoyment means feeling satisfied with less food. And, because they never feel deprived, the French do not slip into patterns of binging. Are you seeing a pattern here?

15 French Diet Secrets to steal from the French to be healthy and happy!7. The french diet includes organ meats

Americans and other westerners wince at the words “sweetbreads” or “liver paté.” Offal – organ meats including brains, livers, tripe, kidneys, heart and tongue – have a key place in the modern and traditional French diet.

Organ meats not only stretch the budget, but they provide key nutrients that we lack by consuming only muscle meats. For example, we need the B vitamins in liver to fully utilize the protein in steak. As a matter of fact, liver is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet.

Paté, a French favorite made with liver, egg yolks, and butter or cream, provides the vitamins and minerals from liver along with the fat-soluble vitamins found in egg yolks and dairy. If you are looking for a nutrient-packed indulgence, look no farther than homemade pate.

8. The French diet is traditional

What is a “traditional diet?” Dr. Weston Price, a dentist with a passion for nutrition, traveled the globe to discover the secrets of healthy, happy people. He recorded his findings in the 30′s in the landmark book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. From the Inuit in Alaska to the Maori in New Zealand, Dr. Price revealed that the diets traditional to each culture, although dependent on geography, followed a strict set of dietary laws. This included a very high consumption of fat-soluble vitamins and enzyme-rich foods. Additionally, traditional diets all saw animal foods as sacred and vital to health.

Obviously, the French diet includes a fair share of white sugar and white flour, ingredients with health-robbing properties. However, their strong digestion (thanks to mindful eating) and traditional, nutrient-dense foods, the french diet in whole obviously outweighs the consequences of the pastries.

The French diet adheres to many traditional diet guidelines. Consider the modern french diet compares to the french diet from the 1800′s… or even 1600′s! We find the commonalities of seasonal and varied produce, artisan breads, local dairy products, and plenty of vitamin-rich organ meats and animal fats.

If we compare the Western diet to that of our great-great-grandparents, we find a great contrast. We’re eating light ice cream, fat free mayonnaise, agave nectar, canola oil, Egg Beaters, soy protein cereal… all with a fair share of GMO’s thrown in. Great-great-grandma would’t recognize our ingredients!

9. The French eat a wide variety of foods

Because the French diet focuses on local and seasonal foods, it encompasses a wide variety of ingredients. Instead of choosing between fresh or frozen green beans in the grocery store, they face the selection of five different types of heirloom green beans at their market. Instead of choosing between light and full-fat cheddar, they choose between hundreds of artisan cheeses at the fromagerie.

A wide variety of ingredients means that meals are exciting and provide a range of nutrients. French children eat what is given to them, although this occasionally entails withholding dessert before a food is adequately sampled. Most French parents would never give their children the option of a hot dog instead of eating the “grownup food.”

10. Wine is an experience

While there are always exceptions, the French don’t drink just to drink. Sipping a cocktail to kill time? Guzzling a beer in front of the TV? L’horreur! The French use wine to elevate food and vice versa. A French meal is not complete without a glass of wine, and a glass of wine is not complete without a suitable food pairing. Alcohol is very, very rarely consumed in the absence of food.

11. The French diet includes raw foods

The French are masters of the Yin and Yang of cuisine. They pay utmost attention to the balance of sweet and sour, soft and crunchy, and hot and cold. In order to enjoy balanced textures and flavors, they include plenty of fresh and raw foods. Raw foods, whether raw egg yolks in a salad dressing or raw frisse in a salad, provide a unique profile of nutrients including all-important enzymes. 

The enzymes in live foods actually help us digest and breakdown the food in our meal. When we consume only cooked foods, we can stress our digestion. Traditional cultures usually enjoyed a raw component in each meal and often this was a fermented food which also contains beneficial probiotics.

12. The French don’t count pounds

The rest of the world envies French women for their figures and sense of style. “How can they eat all that butter and wine and stay skinny?” we ask. Well, it is partly due to the butter that they stay skinny (see #14). With that said, they do monitor their weight to maintain a figure that makes them happy.

scaleFrench women don’t step on the scale each morning. Instead, use the fit of a tight pair of pants (what Mireille calls the Zipper Syndrome) or a tape measure to stay on track. This is the ideal way to watch one’s weight, because scales can’t take into account muscle or normal weight fluctuations during the month.

What happens if the zipper is tight? French women never diet, they simply make compensations. This preserves their metabolism and health in the long-run. Yo-yo dieting and crash dieting absolutely devastates the metabolism, because the body senses a period of starvation and then burns calories more slowly to conserve energy.

If her pants start to feel tight, the French woman will simply cut back on pastries or chocolate for the week. She will never let herself feel deprived and chooses when to carefully indulge, even during this compensation time. Another act of compensation may include eating a lighter dinner after an indulgent lunch.

13. The French don’t count calories, either

Calorie-counting accomplishes three things:

  • It de-emphasizes quality
  • It falsely simplifies healthy eating
  • It promotes stress, not satiety.

Obviously, the act of calorie-counting in its entirety clashes with the philosophy of French eating. The French diet leaves no room for calorie-counting, and one result is a nation of fit, healthy people.

14. The french eat lots of good fats

small egg yolkThe French Paradox is used to describe how the French eat copious amounts of saturated fats while remaining healthy with low rates of heart disease. The saturated fat intake of the French actually explains – not mystifies – the health of the nation.

Although we’ve been misled by very poor science in the past, we know now that old-fashioned saturated fats protect health. Cholesterol from egg yolks and butter is an important nutrient, not something to avoid. The eggs, cream, cheese and lard that kept our ancestors healthy keep the French healthy. Saturated fats play a vital role in gallbladder health, hormone balance, detox and weight loss (here’s why!)

15. The French diet excludes fake foods

Americans and other Western cultures eagerly jump on the bandwagon of “new and improved” foods. Why stick with plain old butter when you can buy calorie free canola oil spray? It doesn’t matter than canola oil is a non-food and that butter contains vital nutrients and health-protective properties. Why eat eggs for breakfast when you can enjoy ultra-processed soy protein cereal sold by your favorite celebrity on TV? It doesn’t matter that soy ruins your thyroid and messes with your hormones.

The French don’t fall for “new and improved” when it comes to their food. Because the art of cooking is passed on from generation to generation, the French value traditional preparation methods and the same real foods that nourished their great-great-grandparents.

Do you practice any of these French diet guidelines? Have you ever visited France and experienced the food rituals? 

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Paleo Lunchbox Ideas + Waste-Free Lunch Set Giveaway http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-lunchbox-ideas-giveaway/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-lunchbox-ideas-giveaway/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:16:19 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=6711 A Waste-free, non-toxic lunch Do you bring a lunch to work or pack a lunch for your kids? Have you ever considered how to reduce both the waste and the chemicals in these lunches? For example, plastic baggies, plastic utensils and paper napkins can all be replaced with durable, re-usable options to reduce waste. Also […]

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paleo lunchbox ideas

A Waste-free, non-toxic lunch

Do you bring a lunch to work or pack a lunch for your kids? Have you ever considered how to reduce both the waste and the chemicals in these lunches? For example, plastic baggies, plastic utensils and paper napkins can all be replaced with durable, re-usable options to reduce waste. Also importantly, plastic containers can leach questionable toxins into food and many lunch bags contain toxins including PVCs and phthalates.

Because I work from home, I don’t pack a lunch on a daily basis. But due to my dietary restrictions, it is extremely challenging for me to eat at a restaurant or on-the-go. As a result, I’ll often find myself needing to pack a meal when I will be away from home for an extended period of time. That’s where my non-toxic, waste-free lunchbox supplies come in! Here’s what I use to pack meals without questionably harmful materials. Additionally, no refrigeration is needed – these essentials keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot until mealtime. 

lunch 6

Tripoli Foogo Vacuum Insulated Leak-Proof Food Jar – This stainless screw-top jar is completely leakprook, making it ideal for everything from beverages to soups to moist foods. I’ve used it for yogurt, stew, soup, pudding, applesauce, stewed fruits and more. It keeps food cold for 7 hours and hot for 5 hours, so I can pack warm soup or hot broth in the morning and it will be the perfect temperature at lunch time. For extra insulation, I always put it in my insulated lunch bag.

Glasslock Glass Lunch Cubes - These durable, heavy-duty glass food containers are also leakproof and work well for sauces, dressings, salads, fruit and proteins. Unlike plastic containers, you don’t need to worry about any toxins leaching into your food. 

Lunchbot Stainless Food Container – Divided into three sections, this rectangular food container fits perfectly into a lunchbox and keeps lunch items separate. It’s not water-tight, so this works well for pieces of fruit, meat, avocado, and vegetables. Because it is safe stainless steel, there is no concerns about plastic leaching toxins into food.

Bamboo Utensil Set – Complete with a fork, spoon, knife and chopsticks and a handy case, this utensil set eliminates the need for plastic cutlery.

Insulated Lunch Bag – Dandelion print- Did you know that many plastic lunch boxes may contain PVCs, phthalates and lead? Icky! This lunch bag, as well as all the other lunch bags and boxes on MightyNest, are tested to be free of these toxins. Additionally, this lunch bag is double-lined, so you can slip some ice packs in between the liners to keep food cold for hours. The removable inside liner also makes cleanup a snap.

paleo lunchbox ideas

Win this waste-free lunch set from MightyNest, a $100 value!

Want to win these healthy lunchbox materials – a $100 value?  MightyNest supports your mission to a toxic-free, reduced-waste lifestyle with their wide selection of kitchen ware, household products, kid + baby items and safe lunch sets. They are kindly sponsoring this giveaway as a way to share their commitment to helping families live healthier lives.

Take the pledge below and sign up for MightyNest for Schools to start earning points today. All you have to do is take simple actions that support the environment, from teaching your kids to appreciate nature by taking a nature photo safari, to reducing your trash output. It’s an easy, fun, and educational way to do something good for your school and good for the earth. No purchase is necessary, and your school could win up to $100! Additionally,  MightyNest for Schools encourages healthy living alongside raising funs. Their school fundraising site, blog, and newsletter engage your school community with interesting challenges and useful information. Finally, MightyNest supports your school by donating a whopping 15% of your purchase.

To enter this giveaway, all you need to do is make the pledge with the button below. You’ll be automatically entered to win all the products featured here AND you automatically enter your school to receive $100 if you win the giveaway! 

Note for homeschoolers: You can still enter, just select a school from the list in your area that you would like to support :)

paleo lunchbox ideas

Paleo Lunchbox Ideas for Kids and Adults

  • Avocado (sprinkle it with apple cider vinegar to prevent it from getting brown!), meatballs, melon slices, coconut milk yogurt (pictured above – yogurt is in the jar)
  • Three ingredient pancakes (these are still delicious at room temperature) with sliced avocado, fresh fruit, and grain-free sausage patties
  • Baked salmon, roasted sweet potatoes drizzled with coconut butter and sprinkled with cinnamon, carrot sticks
  • Hardboiled eggs, cucumber slices, coconut flour muffins, apple slices with nut/seed butter

Do you pack a lunch to work or do you pack lunches for your kids? What are your favorite healthy lunchbox ideas? 

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Macadamia Oil: My secret for healthy skin and hair! http://empoweredsustenance.com/macadamia-oil-skin-hair/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/macadamia-oil-skin-hair/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:24:56 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=6665  Macadamia oil for skin care and more Are you afraid to use oil on your skin? Before my journey into holistic skin care and natural health, I used to diligently avoid any skincare product that contained oil. The right types of skincare oils, however, work better than oil-free products to normalize oil production, reduce the […]

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How to use macadamia oil for skin care and hair care

 Macadamia oil for skin care and more

Are you afraid to use oil on your skin? Before my journey into holistic skin care and natural health, I used to diligently avoid any skincare product that contained oil. The right types of skincare oils, however, work better than oil-free products to normalize oil production, reduce the signs of aging, and refine the skins texture. When selected 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.

How to use macadamia oil for skin care and hair careIn the past, I’ve experimented with numerous oils commonly used for skincare: coconut oil, avocado oil, almond oil, argan oil and many more. Greatly disheartened, I experienced breakouts with all of these oils and I found that jojoba oil was the only oil that did not break me out. Recently, when I tried macadamia oil (this exact one) with no high expectations, I was amazed that it didn’t break me out. I began using macadamia oil in my skincare routine with fantastic results.

While all skin types and individuals react differently to skincare oils, macadamia oil seems to be excellently tolerated by the vast majority. I’d encourage you to give macadamia oil a try if you are looking for an natural, economical and one-ingredient skin and hair care solution. 

You can find macadamia oil in most health food stores, but I got this brand online from Amazon here. I recommend getting the organic, cold-pressed oil.
 

Why I love macadamia oil for skin and hair

  • It doesn’t break me out and actually speeds up the healing of my breakouts and post-acne marks
  • It moisturizes my skin while balancing oil production
  • It absorbs quickly without leaving an oily or greasy residue like so many oils
  • It leaves a satiny – not oily – finish to the skin
  • As long as you don’t use too much and don’t apply it to the roots, it makes hair shiny, silky and moisturized

How I use macadamia oil for skin and hair care

Facial moisturizer – In my popular post 7 Secrets that Cured My Acne Without Chemicals, I discussed the importance of using an pure facial oil to rebalance oil production and repair the skin. I previously used straight jojoba oil (this one), which is an excellent option for oily and acne-prone skin types. Now, I use straight macadamia oil as my facial moisturizer and I love it! If you like, experiment with mixing jojoba oil with macadamia oil.

Makeup Remover – You can also use macadamia oil to gently remove makeup, even stubborn mascara. Follow my 2-Ingredient Makeup Remover recipe but substitute macadamia oil instead of the jojoba. Or, if you like, use half macadamia oil and half jojoba. I get great results with any of these options.

Eye serum – Because it absorbs so quickly, macadamia oil makes a moisturizing and reparative eye serum that you can even use under makeup. Use just the smallest amount and gently pat it around your eyes.

Facial cleanser – Not only will macadamia oil remove your makeup, it will gently but effectively cleanse your skin. As I discussed in my Cure Acne without Chemicals post, I use the Oil Cleansing Method, explained here, to deep cleanse my face in the evenings. For my oil cleansing blend, I use equal parts of this organic castor oil mixed with this organic macadamia oil.

Body Moisturizer – I use macadamia oil as an allover moisturizer when I get out of the shower.

Hair moisturizer – Thanks to the 100% raw Morrocco Method products, which I’ve discussed recently here, my hair is soft, healthy, voluminous and growing back thicker. But if you struggle with heat-damaged or dry hair, I would highly recommend using just a few drops of macadamia oil on the ends of your hair. It works wonders to soften and moisturize!

 Do you have a favorite skincare oil? Have you used macadamia oil before? 

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Health Updates: H. Pylori, FODMAP intolerance, Die Off http://empoweredsustenance.com/health-updates-h-pylori-fodmap/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/health-updates-h-pylori-fodmap/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:40:16 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=6691 Today, I’m sharing a casual post with some recent health updates. I frequently get comments and emails requesting more of these type of posts, but I push them to the bottom of my To-Do List (sorry!). Yesterday, I was able to jot down what’s been happening with me… The super-condensed prequel If you want some […]

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health updates

Today, I’m sharing a casual post with some recent health updates. I frequently get comments and emails requesting more of these type of posts, but I push them to the bottom of my To-Do List (sorry!). Yesterday, I was able to jot down what’s been happening with me…

The super-condensed prequel

If you want some background into my health, My Story explains why and how I became severely ill with ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease. I began the GAPS Diet which allowed me to avoid impending surgery. I additionally removed dairy and egg whites from my diet about 8 months ago. Because I’m unable to do any type of nut/seeds besides coconut and I avoid nightshades, my diet looks pretty similar to the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol right now. (I eat egg whites about once a month, but more frequently still causes problems). I use these steps to address my adrenal fatigue and follow metabolic hydration to improve my hypothyroidism.

Some recent challenges

I’ve struggled with some unexplained digestive issues for the past three months, and it’s been getting progressively worse. For the first month, it was mild bloating and belching. In early March, these symptoms worsened into very uncomfortable bloating and constant belching.

For the past two weeks, things have been very difficult with extreme brain fog and fatigue on top of those symptoms. I’ve been back and forth between my chiropractor and acupuncturist, trying to get some relief. It’s been so challenging to “keep up with life” and I feel extremely emotionally volatile.

 Is it H. pylori?

Many health practitioners estimate that 50% of Americans are affected by H. pylori overgrowth. H. pylori is a pathogenic bacteria that grows in the stomach (it usually takes hold when gastric juice production is already compromised) and then turns off stomach acid production. That’s a big problem, because stomach acid is vital to digestion! H. pylori is the leading cause of peptic ulcers and can create a myriad of other issues, including indigestion and bloating.

Given my health history and symptoms, I learned after much research this week that an h. pylori infection is a very strong possiblity. Oddly, I kept stumbling upon the words “H. pylori” over and over in so many random ways, so I decided God was trying to tell me something.  So, this morning, I was able to get an h. pylori stool test kit (which is the most accurate test according to various sources whom I trust). I will have the results back in about 4 days. Why did my research lead me to suspect h. pylori?

  • My belching/bloating seemed to worsen as I’ve increased my hydrochloric acid pills (here’s why I take HCL). However, if I start to decrease the pills, I do not digest my food and I get heartburn. Because H. Pylori turns off stomach acid production and buries deeper into the gastric lining in the presence of acid, I think the inceased HCL could be aggravaing the H. Pylori and creating some symptoms. 
  • My health history includes a series of extremely strong prescription medications for my autoimmune disease, including acid blockers, antibiotics and corticosteroids… all of which set the stage for H. Pylori overgrowth. 

What am I going to do if it is H. Pylori?

H.pyloriWading through research while in the murky depths of brain fog proves a formidable challenge, but I’ve been able to create a tentative game plan. If my stool test comes back positive, I’ve lined up a protocol of various herbs and mastic gum, which I’ll discuss in a follow-up post. I have my friend Caroline, at Gutsy, to thank for all of her research and experience on the topic of H. Pylori, which you can read about here.I will also incorporate weekly coffee enemas to help detox toxins and pathogens.

FODMAP Intolerance

FODMAP stands for “Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols.” Accoding to Sarah Ballentyne, The Paleo Mom:

FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates rich in fructose molecules which, even in healthy people are inefficiently absorbed in the small intestine.  I know you’ve heard the limerick “beans, beans, the magical fruit…”; the punchline refers to the large amount of FODMAP carbohydrates in beans (or any of other vegetable that has a reputation for being “gassy”) that are only partially absorbed in the small intestine.  When this excess fructose enters the large intestine, which is full of those wonderful beneficial bacteria we love so much, they feed the bacteria allowing for overgrowth of bacteria and excess production of gas.  The presence of FODMAPs in the large intestine can also decrease water absorption (one of the main jobs of the large intestine).  This causes a variety of digestive symptoms, most typically: bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion and sometimes excessive belching.  In individuals with FODMAP-intolerance, a far greater portion of these sugars enter the large intestine unabsorbed, causing exaggerated symptoms.  In fact, some researchers believe that Irritable Bowel Syndrome is purely a case of FODMAP-intolerance 1,2. Read more.

 garlic-1433526-mAs I fit the pieces together, I realize that I’ve always had trouble with some high-FODMAP foods, particularly onions, garlic, apples and pears. I seem to be better with high fructose foods (like fruits and honey) but struggle with the fructan foods. There’s a great chart in Sarah’s post listing the problematic foods for FODMAP intolerance.

Fortunately, FODMAP intolerance frequently resolves itself when the gut and digestion has a chance to heal with a grain-free nutritional protocol.

pau d'arco

Die-Off and Pau d’ Arco

A few days ago, I began taking two cups of Pau d’ Arco tea (this exact one), which targets pathogens and candida in the body, and I think it’s giving me die-off. The next day I had super-duper brain fog, dizziness, and a stuffy nose. I think things are calming down, now. I think this herb may deserve a whole blog post because it is powerful stuff!

plantain chips

 Food Re-Introduction

I recently re-introduced sweet potatoes and plantains and both seem to be in the all-clear zone… yay! I’ve been pan-frying plantain slices in coconut oil, as you can see above. Delicious! It feels liberating to put things back into my diet rather than keep taking things out…

Both sweet potatoes and plantains have starch, so they are avoided on the SCD/GAPS diet but they are allowed on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. These dietary protocols are all very powerful for resolving both autoimmunity and mental disorders even though they vary slightly. The various protocols may be better for various individuals. Looking back on how I’ve tweaked my diet, it seems like Autoimmune Paleo was the way to go for me. However, I was unable to incorporate sweet potatoes and plantains a year ago, so I needed this extra time to further heal my gut before adding starches.

So that’s where I am… can you relate? Have you been tested for h. pylori and did you take the natural route? Were there any specific herbs or supplements that you used with success?

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Cauliflower Tater Tots – Paleo http://empoweredsustenance.com/cauliflower-tater-tots-paleo/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/cauliflower-tater-tots-paleo/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 12:55:32 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=6623  Paleo Cauliflower Tater Tots, no potatoes needed! Meet my few food obsession: Cauliflower Tater Tots. With a crispy exterior and fluffy, tender interior, you won’t believe that these tots are tater-free! When it comes to replacing flour or potatoes, I’ve come to rely on cauliflower with great results. It provides a wide range of textures with […]

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Paleo cauliflower tater tots! Not deep-fried, either.

 Paleo Cauliflower Tater Tots, no potatoes needed!

Meet my few food obsession: Cauliflower Tater Tots. With a crispy exterior and fluffy, tender interior, you won’t believe that these tots are tater-free!

When it comes to replacing flour or potatoes, I’ve come to rely on cauliflower with great results. It provides a wide range of textures with a pleasantly sweet but not distinct flavor.  One of my favorite uses for cauliflower is my flourless Cauliflower Wraps.

Paleo cauliflower tater tots! Not deep-fried, either.This recipe started out as an attempt at cauliflower fritters but I found that when made thicker and smaller, it replicated tater tots. I love that this recipe requires no deep frying. I’ve seen many recipes for homemade tater tots that call for deep-frying in coconut oil, which eliminates the unhealthy aspect of frying in vegetable oil. Still, I find deep frying intimidating, expensive and time consuming. I much prefer this easy pan-fry method.

You can enjoy these cauliflower tater tots plain or with your favorite dipping sauce. Homemade ketchup would make a more traditional pair, but I whipped up an easy Lime Avocado Sauce for dipping. You only need an avocado, a lime and a pinch of salt!

Cauliflower Tater Tots: the ingredients

Cauliflower, the star ingredient, replaces the potatoes with a shockingly similar texture and flavor. It creates a moist, tender inside with a crispy crust.

Eggs work as the binder and allow the inside to become tender and fluffy. Egg substitutes will not work in this recipe.

Coconut flour is my flour of choice for grain free baking. It plays an important role in the cauliflower tater tots by absorbing excess liquid to prevent soggy tots. The whole recipe uses only 4 teaspoons of coconut flour, but even though it’s a small amount, it is important.

Paleo cauliflower tater tots! Not deep-fried, either.

Paleo cauliflower tater tots! Not deep-fried, either.

Paleo Cauliflower Tater Tots

Yield: Makes 25-30 tater tots (2 generous servings)

Paleo Cauliflower Tater Tots

Tender inside and crunchy outside, these taste surprisingly like "real" tater tots! Use with your favorite dipping sauce but my favorite is this Lime Avocado Sauce.

Ingredients

    Tater Tots
  • 1/2 head large cauliflower
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil/butter/ghee
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tsp. coconut flour (stir the flour with a fork, then measure) (get coconut flour here)
  • 3/4 tsp. unrefined salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence, crushed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons (about) coconut oil/ghee/lard for cooking the tots
  • Lime Avocado Sauce, for dipping
  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt, to taste
  • Recommended tools
  • Mini ice cream scoop, find it here or at a cooking store

Instructions

  1. Piece the cauliflower into florets, then place the florets into a food processor. Pulse for about 10 seconds, until it resembles fine grains of rice.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the 1 Tbs. of oil over medium heat. Add the crumbled cauliflower, stir to coat, then cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until softened. Turn off the heat and let cool until no longer hot.
  3. Optionally, transfer the cauliflower to a bowl, but I prefer to save the time and I mix up the batter right in the skillet. Add the coconut flour, eggs, salt, and optional Herbes de Provence to the cauliflower mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Heat another skillet over medium heat and add a spoonful of cooking fat to coat the bottom.
  5. To make the tater tots, I highly recommend using a mini ice cream scoop, which is also called a "cookie dough scoop" and you can find it here. This is an easy way to get uniformly-sized, ideal-height tater tots. Using the scoop or just a spoon, drop the batter onto the hot skillet. If using a spoon, use 1/2 Tbs. of batter per tot and make it about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Cook until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes, then flip and cook until the other side is golden. (To flip the small tots easily, I push the tot to the side of the skillet and use the side of the skillet to tip the tot onto the other side.)
  7. Add more fat to the pan and repeat with remaining batter.
  8. Enjoy while warm with optional Lime Avocado Sauce. To make the avocado sauce, blend the ingredients in a food processor until creamy.
  9. Tots are best within an hour or preparing. Store leftover tots in an airtight container in the fridge and warm briefly in a skillet or in the oven before serving.

Notes

Feel free to double the recipe, but you'll need a large skillet to cook the whole cauliflower in one batch. If necessary, you can cook the cauliflower in batches if it doesn't fit into your skillet.

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Do you use cauliflower as a potato replacement? What is your favorite use for cauliflower? 

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No Heat Hair Care: 10 ways to style, add volume, and stop frizz http://empoweredsustenance.com/no-heat-hair-care/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/no-heat-hair-care/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:56:55 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=6535 Why No Heat Hair Care? After my recent post on detoxing your hair, the conversation in the comments wandered into the topic of no heat hair care. Many readers understood that no heat hair care was undeniabely healthier for their hair, but they didn’t know how to fully  implement this change. I approach my own […]

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10 tips for getting healthier hair with No Heat Hair Care

Why No Heat Hair Care?

After my recent post on detoxing your hair, the conversation in the comments wandered into the topic of no heat hair care. Many readers understood that no heat hair care was undeniabely healthier for their hair, but they didn’t know how to fully  implement this change.

I approach my own hair care with the goal of scalp health minimal maintenance. I’ve been practicing my own version of no heat hair care for the past year and I’ve finally found a routine that works for me. In this post, I’ll discuss what I do for my own hair but also give tips for different hair styles and hair types. 

I believe the most important factor in finding your own No Heat Hair Care Routine is going with, not against, the natural texture of your hair. While naturally straight hair can often be curled well with no heat methods, it is not possible to achieve flat-iron straight results if you have a naturally curly locks. With the following tips, you will be able to improve natural curls, add beachy waves, tame frizz, polish straight hair and add volume… all without damaging heat tools. 

1. Stop the foaming shampoos and heavy conditioners

We equate shampoo with lather. All those bubbles means clean hair, right? Nope! Unfortunately, if your shampoo lathers, it is not doing your scalp any favors. Even natural and organic shampoos contain synthetically-derived foaming agents to create lather. The result is that the foaming agents strip the scalp of the natural oils, and this disrupts the entire cycle of the oil production of the scalp. Regular conditioners are also problematic, because the synthetic ingredients can weight down the hair.

When it comes to No Heat Hair Care, the goal is usually shinier, softer and healthier hair. That’s why I recommend starting from the roots –  pun intended – when making the switch to no heat. If you’ve been reading about my natural hair care journey, you will know that a post about hair care is not complete without me professing my adoration for Morrocco Method products. This is the only line of hair care that I use because there is not another brand that fits my strict ingredient policy and holistic approach to scalp health. The entire line of shampoos, conditioners and styling products form Morrocco Method contain only 100% raw ingredients without foaming agents or synthetics to disrupt the scalp. Check out my discussion on Holistic Hair Care here for more details!

Now is definitely the time to try Morrocco Method, because I was able to get a very special coupon for free shipping PLUS 10% off Morrocco Method for you. It expires April 11th. See the coupon details below.

A common question that arises when I discuss non-foaming shampoo is the No ‘Poo Method (baking soda and water “shampoo” followed with an apple cider vinegar rinse.” While No ‘Poo works well for some people, I already discussed why I’m not a fan of No ‘Poo here. P.S. It’s all about the pH balance… and lack thereof. If you’ve been struggling with No ‘Poo, I know you will find Morrocco Method products a welcome relief.

2. Squeeze water from your hair, don’t rub it with a towel

If you want to practice no heat hair care, you’ll probably start washing your hair in the evening (unless you are fine with going to work in wet hair). No one wants to sleep in soaking wet hair, however, so here’s an interesting tip I learned from a stylist years ago: when you are towel-drying your hair, press and squeeze the moisture from the hair without rubbing the towel. When you rub the hair to dry it, you can damage hair and create frizz. Gentle squeezing removes more moisture and keeps the hair cuticle smooth.

3. Boar bristle brushing tames frizz without heat

boar bristle brushA boar bristle brush carries the sebum from the scalp and evenly distributes it to the ends of the hair. This not only reduces the oil build-up at the scalp to prevent greasy roots, it moisturizes the entire hair shaft since sebum is the best conditioner and anti-frizz serum ever invented. A high-quality boar bristle brush (any of these), is more of an investment than a regular hairbrush, but one brush literally lasts a lifetime.

I’ve been using my Morrocco Method Boar Bristle + Nylon brush (this one) and following the instructions in this video with Anthony Morrocco (it’s important to follow the directions and brush from root to tip with each stroke). The nylon bristles help detangle and make it gentler on the hair, while the boar bristles distribute the natural oils.

One thing you’ll likely notice is that your hair poofs out immediately after boar bristle brushing. This alarmed me the first time, but it is actually a result of the boar bristle contacting each strand of hair. If you have straight or wavy hair, give your hair a gentle twist to relax it and it will become smooth and fall naturally.

4. Try Sapphire Volumizer Mist and Zen Detox for no heat volume

10 tips for getting healthier hair with No Heat Hair CareYears of very severe health issues left my hair extremely thinned. Thankfully, I’m experiencing regrowth with my dietary changes and Morrocco Method products. In the meantime, I can really use all the help I can get in the volume department. I’ve had fantastic results with the Sapphire Volumizer Mist, found on this page, and Zen Detox, found here, from Morrocco Method to achieve fluffy, natural volume.

I’m someone who normally shies away from using any type of styling products after washing my hair, because is usually weighs down my hair or makes it greasy. So I couldn’t believe the results after using the Volumizer Mist, made with grapeseed extract and essential oils, for the first time! Bouncy, full and natural volume without any residue or added weight. 

Made with volcanic clay, plant proteins and a proprietary blend of raw minerals, Zen Detox provides an extremely deep and rejuvenating cleanse for the scalp. It also delivers volume like nobody’s business. My friend recently used Zen Detox after hearing me rave about it and was floored by the results. Check out my tips for using Zen Detox here.

5. Get no heat beachy waves with epsom salt

I recently began using epsom salt for more than my regular detox baths… I use it in my hair whenever I want to enjoy beachy waves!

You’ll find reviews and use tips for epsom salt spray here on MakeupAlley. I mix together 1 cup of warm water and 2 Tbs. epsom salts until dissolved. Then I put it in a spray bottle and mist my hair. Voila, instant volume and beachy waves! For a more moisturizing version, try this Beachy Waves Spray recipe with coconut milk.

6. Detangle and add shine with Instant Crystal Mist, no heat needed!

I find that I don’t require any conditioner when using MM shampoos. With that said, I do love using the Heavenly Chi Conditioner, found on this page, in the shower and then using the Instant Crystal Mist, found here, on my damp hair. It works like an instant detangler while adding shine and taming frizz. If you have fine, curly or coarse hair that tends to tangle after washing, I highly recommend using Instant Crystal Mist. It’s also nourishing and moisturizing if you are trying to repair heat-damaged hair. Just a few sprays will do you – I find that if I use too much, especially at the roots, it makes my hair a bit greasy.

Because Instant Crystal Mist is naturally antimicrobial and extremely soothing, you can spray it directly on areas of dandruff or irritation on the scalp. It works great for me if I have a flaky or dry patch on my scalp, I just spray it a couple of times and gently massage it in.

7. Brush and set your hair for a polished, no heat result

If you want to polish the natural texture of straight or wavy hair, try this brushing and setting technique shown by Anthony Morrocco. It takes just about 5-10 minutes for the hands-on part, then you let your hair set while you do your makeup, answer emails, eat breakfast and do whatever else you do in the morning.

8. Straighten straightish hair without heat

No heat hair care means following the natural texture of you hair. I wouldn’t recommend trying to achieve no-heat, stick-straight hair if you are blessed with curls. If your hair tends to be on the straighter side, however, and you find that it looks a bit unfinished when simply air-dried, I found this creative technique to straighten your hair without heat.

9. No Heat Curls

There are so many ways to achieve no heat curls. The simplest, and my go-to method, is simply twisting my freshly washed but dry hair in a bun and letting it sit for a couple of hours. (Freshly washed hair, either wet or slightly damp, will hold no heat curls better than day-old hair.)

I’ve also had success with the following two methods of no heat curls, both of which are comfortable enough so I can sleep while my hair curls overnight. Although I have naturally curly/wavy hair, I find that using one of these no-heat curl techniques creates a more polished effect.


(Find the flexi-rods used for this method here on Amazon)

10. Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel and Pomade

If you are looking for more control and hold, I recommend the Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel, found here, and the Styling Dragon Pomade, found here. Like all MM products, these are 100% raw and extremely nourishing for the hair. For the pomade, think texture and shape. For the gel, think smooth and shine. 

The styling gel can be use on wet or dry hair to provide gentle or moderate hold. When used on my wet hair, I  find that is helps define the natural curl. Don’t use too much – you just need a dab. I’ll use it on dry hair to smooth out flyways. It is not sticky nor does it leave hair crunchy, instead hair is still soft and touchable.

The pomade works beautifully for me to hold and define my wavy hair. To use, wet your hands and rub a small amount, about a dime-size (use a quarter-size if you have thick hair), between your hands. Then, use your hands to shape and texturize your hair. Without any heat, I can twist and arrange my hair into a natural style that holds all day. If I need to quickly refresh my hair, I just wet my hands and re-set the hair. I always reach for this pomade on humid days because it works wonders to prevent frizz. The pomade leaves my hair toucheably soft with natural movement, but enough hold to keep the style and curls.

No Heat Hair Care products

11. Bonus – Henna for body, texture and shine 

I’m counting this last point as a “bonus” because, although I experience fantastic results with it, results vary depending on your hair type and concerns. Previously, I assumed that henna was a natural hair dye that turned hair red. Through Morrocco Method, however, I learned that henna can improve hair texture, volume and shine with or without changing hair color. 

There are a few important facts to know before jumping into henna. First, if you want to use a colored henna, color results vary and may require a couple attempts to mix your perfect color fit. MM henna will not necessarily give your hair a red or orange tint, and MM offers a variety of colors here including Colorless, Blonde, Light Brown, Dark Brown, Red and Black. The color variations are obtained by mixing the leaves, stems and roots of the Lawsonia plant – the “henna plant.”

colorless hennaUnlike hair dye, henna coats the hair shaft instead of permeating it. This means it wears off evenly without roots being a different color. This is also what allows the henna to nourish, volumize and condition the hair. You won’t be able to dye your hair with a regular hair dye until your henna completely wears off, which takes about 8-12 weeks. Also, it is my understanding that you can’t use henna on conventionally-colored hair (you have to wait until it grows out).

I don’t want to color my hair, but I absolutely love using the Colorless henna, found here, every 3 months as a styling treatment. For me, the results are amazing! It noticeably brings out my golden highlights and adds shine. In addition, it enhances the natural curls/waves of my hair and drastically improves volume (which I appreciate, as I struggle with thinning hair). The results diminish slowly over the next couple of months.

If you have non-color treated hair and are looking for shine and volume, I’d highly recommend giving the colorless henna a shot. If you are more adventurous, experiment with the Blonde henna or Light Brown Henna (browse the colors here) to bring out even more highlights. The MM hennas are very affordable as a deep conditioning treatment, which can cost $60 and up at a salon. One container of colorless henna costs $10 and lasts me 2-3 uses!

Please read these henna tips and instructions from Morrocco Method before use:

Don’t forget my coupon!

The last coupon I got for you met with such an enthusiastic response that I was able to get another one for you. Enter coupon code “EMPOWERED15″ at checkout to receive 15% your entire order at The Morrocco Method - for new and returning customers! 

Be sure to hit the “save” button in order to apply the discount at checkout. No discounts will be issued once the order is placed.

Do you practice no heat hair care? Are you making the switch? Do you use MM products? 

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Primal Pit Paste Coupon and Giveaway http://empoweredsustenance.com/primal-pit-paste-coupon-giveaway/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/primal-pit-paste-coupon-giveaway/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:00:50 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=6555 Natural deodorant sounds like a good idea… But it doesn’t always smell like a good idea. When I first learned that my antiperspirant contained aluminum, a neurotoxin connected to a host of mental disorders, I took a trip to my drugstore and scoured the deodorant isle for natural options. When my pick from the drugstore […]

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primal pit paste

Natural deodorant sounds like a good idea…

But it doesn’t always smell like a good idea. When I first learned that my antiperspirant contained aluminum, a neurotoxin connected to a host of mental disorders, I took a trip to my drugstore and scoured the deodorant isle for natural options. When my pick from the drugstore failed me miserably, I next tried various options from my health food store. Stick deodorants, spray deodorants and crystal deodorants all worked well… until I actually sweated.

Next, I moved to DIY options. Fortunately, this managed to keep the stink under wraps, but I found it slightly inconvenient. I’m all for DIY solutions, but sometimes I just get tired of making my own toiletries like toothpaste and deodorant! #hippieproblems

Recently, I made the switch to Primal Pit Paste after hearing the rave reviews from my natural blogger friends. The customizable strengths plus the stick deodorant hooked me immediately! No matter what your concern when searching for toxin-free deodorant, be it sensitive skin or stubborn odor, Primal Pit Paste offers a solution.

Toxins need to escape, but odor doesn’t

When it comes to choosing underarm hygiene products, remember the cardinal rule: pits sweat because they are supposed to sweat. Sweat releases toxins, so when we use antiperspirants, we impair this important detox mechanism of the body. Primal Pit Paste offers the solution with their effective, soothing blends that stop odor but don’t trap toxins.

Primal Pit Paste Ingredients

  • Baking soda is the powerful and natural odor-blocking ingredient
  • Arrowroot powder absorbs moisture and soothes the skin
  • Coconut oil moisturizes and soothes
  • Fair Trade Shea butter also deeply moisturizes and soothes the skin
  • Pure Organic Essential Oils gently fragrance the product, but the smell does not linger on the skin
  • Beeswax found in the stick form, not the jar, firms up the deodorant
  • Kaolin clay, found in the Happy Pits stick, provides an odor-absorbing substitute for baking soda if you experience sensitivity from the baking soda.

primal pit paste

Why I love, love, love Primal Pit Paste

I’m a life-time Pit Paste convert. Here’s why

  • It completely, 100% stops odor (I use the regular strength)
  • It doest irritate my sensitive skin
  • It doesn’t sting if  I apply after shaving
  • It comes in a tube! This is a big deal for me, because I greatly appreciate the convenience of a tube for travel and because it’s quicker to apply. It is a perfect texture and ideally suited for a tube – it’s a smooth balm, not sticky or greasy. I seriously adore the tube deodorant – you’ve got to try it!

Finding your perfect Primal Pit Paste match

primal pit paste1. Do you prefer a stick deodorant or a jar? You’ll find the various strengths in either a stick here or jar here.

2. Decide on the strength of the deodorant. It’s recommended to start with the Regular strength. If you have very sensitive pits, try the the Light option which contains less baking soda. If you struggle with stubborn odor, try the Strong option which contains more baking soda.

3. Do you have very sensitive skin? The baking soda can irritate extremely sensitive underarms, so that’s why Primal Pit Paste offers the Happy Pits stick here. It contains a blend of mango butter, shea butter, arrowroot powder, beeswax, magnesium, essential oils and kaolin clay. The kaolin and magnesium helps control odor without irritating the skin.

4.  Need to fight odor “down under”? Primal Pit Paste offers a soothing and effective PoPo Body Powder to stop odor from the apocrine glands in the groin area.

5. Use Primal Pit Paste’s Body Whip to moisturize from head to toe. It contains shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil and various organic essential oils. Here’s my tip for smooth, bump-free underarms for the ladies: use a gentle washcloth to gently exfoliate your pits before shaving. After shaving, apply a small amount of Body Whip to sooth and soften the skin, then apply your Pit Paste. This is what I do to prevent unsightly underarm ingrowns.

6. Swipe on the ultra-moisturizing Pucker Paste for soft lips! Pucker paste is buttery and smooth without being too waxy or shiny.

6. Coming soon: Pit Primer and Pit Pump! I’m eagerly awaiting the next two additions to the Primal Pit Paste Line, expected in May. First, Pit Primer is a balm that you can apply before your Pit Paste. If you skin is sensitive to the baking soda, the Pit Primer will allow you to reap the odor-preventing properties of the baking soda-based Pit Paste without irritating your underarms. Second, Pit Pump is a spray deodorant for those who prefer a spray over a jar or tube. It’s also convenient to throw in your gym bag and use on-the-go.

Primal Pit Paste Coupon

Primal Pit Paste is not only generously sponsoring this giveaway, they are providing you with a coupon for 25% off all purchases! Yes, 25% off… how generous is that? You will love Pit Paste and both my friends at Pit Paste and I are eager for you to try it.

  • Use code “#GOPRIMAL” (make sure to include the #) to receive 25% off your order. Be sure to hit “update” in the cart after entering the coupon code so that the coupon is applied.

Besides stocking up on Primal Pit Paste Jars and Sticks, this coupon applies to all other Primal Products, including the Body Whip (my favorite body moisturizer!), Body Powder and Pucker Paste.

 Giveaway: $100 Gift Card for Primal Pit Paste

Want to win $100 for Primal Pit Paste products of your choice? That’s enough deodorant, body whip and body powder to last your family for a year :) Here’s how to enter:

1. Click here to sign up for my weekly newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time but to be eligible to win, you must be subscribed when the giveaway closes.

2. Click here to sign up for the Primal Pit Paste monthly newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time but to be eligible to win, you must be subscribed when the giveaway closes. (Neither Primal Pit Paste nor I will ever share your email address.)

3. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Egg Free Mayonnaise Recipe from The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook http://empoweredsustenance.com/egg-free-mayonnaise-recipe/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/egg-free-mayonnaise-recipe/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:21:23 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=6642 Mickey’s Egg Free Mayonnaise recipe I’ve sung the praises of Mickey Trescott’s book, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, numerous times before. Recently, Mickey released her expanded digital cookbook as a beautiful hard back book, available on Amazon here.  To celebrate the book launch, I’m sharing her recipe for Egg Free Mayonnaise from her book. What is […]

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egg free mayonnaise recipe (autoimmune paleo)

Mickey’s Egg Free Mayonnaise recipe

I’ve sung the praises of Mickey Trescott’s book, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, numerous times before. Recently, Mickey released her expanded digital cookbook as a beautiful hard back book, available on Amazon here.  To celebrate the book launch, I’m sharing her recipe for Egg Free Mayonnaise from her book.

What is Autoimmune Paleo?

The Autoimmune Paleo Protocol, shortened to Autoimmune Paleo or AIP, is also referred to as The Paleo Approach and is outlined in Sarah Ballentyne’s book The Paleo Approach. It’s a short-term, intensive healing diet designed to health the root cause of autoimmunity.

I’ve explained this healing protocol in detail before, first in an interview with Mickey Trescott here and just last week in a post called Getting Started with Autoimmune Paleo.

 The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook  is currently my most-used cookbook in my kitchen. The recipes are all grain/dairy/nut/seed/egg/nightshade free to comply with Autoimmune Paleo, but the wide variety options will never leave you bored. Additionally, the recipes are all simple and practical – elegant without being overly-detailed or time-consuming. The book includes:

  • aip cookbook shopFood lists, including pantry items to keep in stock
  • Recipes for Autoimmune Paleo kitchen basics, like fermented foods and coconut ingredients
  • Two complete months worth of Autoimmune Paleo meal plans with shopping lists and recipes
  • Over a hundred recipes (with gorgeous photographs for every recipe) for everything from entertaining-worthy appetizers to comfort food main dishes to healthy desserts
  • Creative cooking techniques replicate off-limits ingredients. For example, this egg free mayonnaise made with coconut!

Egg Free Mayonnaise: The ingredients

This is a multi-purpose condiment which I use as a dip for baked vegetable fries and grilled veggies. I also drizzle it over meats and seafood. Finally, I enjoy it as a creamy sauce for my zucchini noodles. It’s definitely a staple in my kitchen!

Coconut concentrate

Mickey uses the term ‘coconut concentrate’ in her cookbook, but this ingredient can also be found under the name of coconut butter or coconut manna. It is a creamy puree of coconut meat. It is not interchangeable with coconut oil, which is the pure oil. Think about the difference between almond butter and almond oil – the same difference pertains to coconut butter and coconut oil.  Find coconut butter here to use in the recipe or make your own by pureeing coconut flakes in a food processor. Here’s a recipe for making coconut butter.

Olive oil

Did you know the majority of olive oils imported from Italy don’t meet industry standards, meaning these oils are rancid or cut with cheaper oil such as canola oil? (SourceProducers frequently cut olive oil with cheap seeds oils, usually canola oil, and this additive remains undisclosed on the product label. In many cases, you’ll have better luck purchasing a good olive oil if it comes from California, not Italy.

Many people suggest using the “fridge test” to see if your olive oil is pure. If the oil is pure, it should solidify in the fridge due to the monounsaturated fat content. However, even pure olive oil may not solidify if it comes from low-wax olives like Mission olives according to author Jenny McGruther in The Nourished Kitchen. Refrigerating olive oil may also dampen the fruity flavor.

I use this olive oil in my house because I know it is pure. There are many, many other options for pure olive oil, but this is the one I’ve researched and trust. Your best bet is sourcing olive oil from small producers whom you can contact directly to discuss their purity standards.

Enjoy this egg free mayonnaise and don’t forget to check out The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook!

Egg Free Mayonnaise from The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Yield: Makes 1 1/4 cups

Egg Free Mayonnaise from The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

This egg free mayonnaise makes a tasty dipping sauce for homemade fries and grilled vegetables. I also like to whisk it with a little bit of apple cider vinegar use it as an autoimmune-paleo-friendly salad dressing. Mickey shares a recipe for coconut concentrate in her book, an ingredient used frequently in her recipes. It is interchangeable with coconut butter, which you can find here or learn how to make it by blending coconut flakes in a food processor here.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut butter (also called coconut manna or coconut concentrate), slightly warmed. Find coconut butter here or learn how to make it by blending coconut flakes in a food processor here.
  • 1/2 cup warm filtered water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon unrefined salt

Instructions

  1. Place the coconut concentrate, warm water, olive oil, garlic cloves and salt in a blender and blend on high for a minute or two, until the sauce thickens. Let cool for an hour at room temperature – alternately, you can place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. If you would like to use the sauce in a cold dish, thin with water until the desired consistency is reached.

Notes

This keeps well in the refrigerator, but it hardens. Let come to room-temperature or warm gently before using.

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