Empowered Sustenance http://empoweredsustenance.com Eat well and heal!™ Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:17:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 My New Book! Quit Acne: The Nutritional Approach for Clear Skin http://empoweredsustenance.com/my-book-quit-acne/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/my-book-quit-acne/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:17:36 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7731 Introducing Quit Acne I am excited to finally reveal my most recent project: my new book Quit Acne, which is now available on Amazon as a Kindle book! (And speaking of Kindle books, I also just moved my other books – Indulge and Heal and Quit PMS – to Kindle. You can check out Indulge […]

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introducing Quit Acne

Introducing Quit Acne

I am excited to finally reveal my most recent project: my new book Quit Acne, which is now available on Amazon as a Kindle book! (And speaking of Kindle books, I also just moved my other books – Indulge and Heal and Quit PMS – to Kindle. You can check out Indulge and Heal here and Quit PMS here.)

Here is the book summary from the Amazon page: 

Your acne is telling you something… and it’s not telling you to invest in a heavy-duty concealer or a pricey facial serum! Your acne is a symptom telling you that something is wrong inside your body.

In Quit Acne, nutritional therapist Lauren Geertsen explains, in her thorough and accessible style, the three primary underlying causes of acne. Then, she equips you with 7 effective and practical dietary practices to address the cause of acne and eliminate it. By following the Quit Acne nutrition protocol, you’ll enjoy radiant, clear skin naturally.

Quit Acne covers key topics, including:

  • Why the correct dietary fats are vital for eliminating acne, while other fats cause breakouts.
  • The ingredients for clear skin that you can only get from animal sources.
  • The one food that wreaks havoc on hormones and exacerbates acne.
  • Why going dairy-free isn’t necessarily the best option for clear skin.
  • How balanced blood sugar affects the clarity of your skin.

Quit Acne takes a research-backed and ancestral approach to nutrition and is not compatible with a vegan diet; however it can be modified for a vegetarian diet.

Check out Quit Acne on Amazon here!

Why I wrote Quit Acne

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

I never planned to write three books on health and nutrition before I graduated college. I never planned to start Empowered Sustenance, an alternative health website that would be read by over 7 million people in its two years of existence. I never planned to become a nutritional therapist (NTP) and wake up each day with the mission to change the way the world thinks about food.

But I also never planned to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease when I was 14. Or be told at age 18 that, to continue my life, I would need invasive surgery and a lifetime of potent medications. And, although my skin woes were a last priority after my more serious health issues, I never planned to struggle with chronic acne for nearly half of my 21 years on this earth.

I refused to believe the doctors who told me that surgery and medications were my only options for my chronic health conditions. Instead, I threw myself into researching nutrition and mind-body medicine.

By renovating my diet and lifestyle, I began a new chapter in my life without the threat of surgery or medications. With my nutrition research and dietary changes, I also opened another unexpected but very welcomed chapter—clear skin, for the first time in a decade!

Are you ready to experience the clear skin chapter in your life, too? Then get Quit Acne here on Amazon!

Quit Acne FAQs

Do I need a Kindle to read Quit Acne

Quit Acne is available as a Kindle Edition on Amazon, but you do not need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. You can download the Kindle Reader App here to your phone, tablet or computer to read the book.

Is Quit Acne available as a paperback?

Currently, Quit Acne is only available as a Kindle digital book.

Is Quit Acne suitable for restricted diets or vegan diets? 

Quit Acne takes a research-backed and ancestral approach to nutrition and is not compatible with a vegan diet, although it can be modified for a vegetarian diet. It is compatible with restricted diets and food allergies.

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Primal Pit Paste Giveaway! http://empoweredsustenance.com/primal-pit-paste-giveaway/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/primal-pit-paste-giveaway/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:06:01 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7789 I’ve been using Primal Pit Paste exclusively for almost a year now. Primal Pit Paste is a line of natural deodorants that don’t compromise ingredient purity or efficacy. I love this company, their products, their commitment to non-toxic ingredients, and I love working with them (this is a sponsored giveaway). This is my second giveaway with […]

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Primal pit paste giveaway

I’ve been using Primal Pit Paste exclusively for almost a year now. Primal Pit Paste is a line of natural deodorants that don’t compromise ingredient purity or efficacy. I love this company, their products, their commitment to non-toxic ingredients, and I love working with them (this is a sponsored giveaway). This is my second giveaway with them and I’m excited to tell you what is new in the Primal Pit Paste world!

Introducing Pit Primer and Pit Pump

Primal Pit Paste recently released their two much-awaited additions to their natural deodorant family: Pit Primer and Pit Pump.

Pit Primer is a silky, soothing serum that is designed to help you transition to a natural baking soda deodorant. If you have sensitive pits, this is a must-have!

Pit Pump is a convenient spray deodorant that can be used before your Pit Paste deodorant for extra power. It can also be applied during the day to freshen up. They’ve added a dash of essential oils so it smells light and amazing!

There are some things that you don’t know you need until you try them. Pit Primer is one of those things. Did you not get blessed with the “good armpit genes?” I didn’t, either. Although I have sensitive skin, my armpits seem exponentially more sensitive. That’s why I was so happy to find Pit Paste in the first place – the ingredients are safe, it actually works and it didn’t irritate my skin. Now, I love using the Pit Primer – especially after shaving – because it soothes and prevents any irritation.

Other things to keep in mind…

  • Pit Paste lasts forever. A stick lasts me 8 months.
  • Pit Paste comes in a variety of strengths and scents. The fragrances used are pure essential oils and are very light.
  • If your skin reacts to the baking soda in the regular Pit Paste, I recommend the Happy Pits Stick. It doesn’t have any baking soda and instead uses clay to help control odor. It isn’t as strong, so you might wish to pair it with the Pit Primer or Pit Pump.

primal pit paste

Primal Pit Paste Giveaway Prize

This giveaway prize includes:

  • Pit Paste jar (your choice of strength and fragrance)
  • Pit Paste stick (your choice of strength and fragrance)
  • Pit Primer
  • Pit Pump

Enter the giveaway

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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What’s in My Natural First Aid Kit? http://empoweredsustenance.com/natural-first-aid-kit/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/natural-first-aid-kit/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:53:08 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7663 I’m frequently asked about what holistic products I use on a daily basis, so this is a first in a series that will cover: What’s in my natural first aid kit? What’s in my natural makeup bag? What’s in my natural medicine cabinet? What’s my supplement routine? Many of these products are items that I’ve settled […]

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What's in a natural first aid kit?

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

  • What’s in my natural first aid kit?
  • What’s in my natural makeup bag?
  • What’s in my natural medicine cabinet?
  • What’s my supplement routine?

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

I’ve attempted to pare down my Natural First Aid kit to the essential items that I use on a regular basis. Also, the items in my “kit” isn’t neatly consolidated, but these things are distributed around my room and bathroom. If you want to create a handy kit with everything organized neatly, more power to you!

My Natural First Aid Kit contains:

Activated Charcoal Capsules - Activated charcoal capsules (or activated charcoal powder) are a natural remedy frequently used for food poisoning, detox and tummy bugs. For cases of mild food poisoning, I recommend opening the capsules and emptying the contents to get about a tablespoon of charcoal powder. Mix into water and swallow. I also mix activated charcoal with dry bentonite clay, add water to create a paste, and apply this paste to bug bites and blemishes.

Aloe Vera – I have an aloe vera plant so I can apply fresh aloe gel to soothe burns, sunburns and irritated skin.

Arnica Gel – Arnica is an herb that is traditionally used for wound healing and bruises. When I have aches, sprains or bruises, I generously apply Arnica Gel on the affected area up to 6 times per day. I experience pain relief and vastly quicker bruise healing.  I keep a tube in my ballet bag and my first aid kit.

What's in a natural first aid kit?Bach Rescue Remedy - I use Bach Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic blend of five flower remedies, both internally and topically. Designed to provide support for periods trauma and stress, I always carry a bottle in my purse so I can take a few drops when I feel anxious. For first aid, I will place a few drops directly on a cut, bruise or burn. I swear that my burns heal twice as quickly when I use Rescue Remedy on them immediately. Another of my uses for Rescue Remedy: I add it to the water for cut flowers. It makes my flowers stay fresh for much longer.

Bentonite Clay – I have both dry Redmond Clay and Hydrated Redmond Clay in my natural first aid kit. The Hydrated Clay is handy for immediate use and I reach for it when I get a bug bite. I put a big dollop on the bite, cover with plastic wrap, and let the clay help draw out the venom for at least an hour. I also use it as a spot/mask treatment for acne. One time, I cut my lip and couldn’t stop the bleeding. I slathered on hydrated clay, which stopped the bleeding. Then, I coated the cut with manuka honey (discussed below). It healed very quickly.

Calendula Salve – I love this Calendula Salve for a myriad of uses. This silky salve is made with only calendula (a healing, soothing herb), olive oil, non-GMO vitamin E and beeswax. I apply it to cuts, burns, dry skin, and scars. My knees and elbows tend to get extremely dry in the winter and I always keep a jar of this salve on my bedside table to soothe the dry skin. This is also excellent for hives, eczema and rashes. It’s a small bottle, but a little goes a long way.

Colloidal Silver – I do not take colloidal silver internally because it is a natural antibiotic (it can kill the good gut flora as well as the bad). But this is my go-to remedy for pink eye… it works in just a few hours for me! I apply a drop or two of colloidal silver directly into my eyes a few times per day when I have pink eye.

Enessa Rescue Oil – (Available here) Although this is more of an investment than some of the other remedies here, I think it is worth every penny. It’s a blend of proprietary antibacterial essential oils blended in jojoba oil. It makes an excellent spot treatment for blemishes and also works well for soothing and healing bug bites. You just need the tiniest dab… a bottle lasts me at least 8 months.

Epsom Salt – Epsom salt baths are my natural remedy for sore muscles. I also use epsom salt for removing splinters. I also love soaking in epsom salt baths to relieve sore muscles – just add 1-2 cups of epsom salt to a warm bath. Finally, it’s a natural laxative that works in a pinch.

Essential oils  - Essential oils are a hot topic in the blog world right now, and I take a pretty conservative approach when it comes to essential oils. As little as necessary, not as much as possible is my rule! I use Vibrant Blue Oil blends, which I discuss here, for endocrine and digestion support, but those blends aren’t for first aid use. For my first aid kit, I get by with VBO frankincense oil and VBO lavender oil. Both of these, when diluted with a carrier oil, are super healing for skin problems and bug bites/stings.

First Aid Salve – Make with antiseptic herbs, olive oil, beeswax and non-GMO vitamin E, I use the MJ Botanicals First Aid Salve in place of Neosporin for cuts and scrapes. In a pinch, I apply it to bug bites and blemishes. Like the Calendula Salve, I’ve used this on hives and rashes with good results.

Manuka Honey – Raw Manuka Honey (I use this one) is a special honey made from bees pollinating the manuka tree in New Zealand. It has exponentially higher levels of antibacterial properties than regular honey. I’ll often use this instead of Neosporin on a cut/scrape before applying a Band-Aid. Also, raw honey is proven to speed healing and reduce infection for wounds and burns. I’ve used Manuka honey on a 2nd degree burn and it healed much faster than it would have without it. I also love it as an indulgent mask for my acne-prone skin.

Tallow Balm – Although I don’t have eczema personally, this tallow balm is one of the few topical remedies I recommend for eczema. It’s lightly scented with essential oils and is the best smelling tallow balm I’ve found. You can also use the unscented version. Eczema needs to be addressed internally for lasting results, but tallow balm can be a very soothing “band-aid” remedy while food and digestion are being addressed. I always have tallow balm on hand to use as a heavy-duty skin moisturizer. Also, I credit tallow balm for preventing scarring when I experienced a terrible rash on my jar. I applied it multiple times a day and it drastically improved the healing time.

What’s in your natural first aid kit? Do you use any of the same remedies? 

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15 Clever Tips for Allergy-Friendly Travel http://empoweredsustenance.com/allergy-friendly-travel-tips/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/allergy-friendly-travel-tips/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:43:52 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7792 Today’s post is from my dear friend Shelby. Unlike other guest writers I’ve hosted, Shelby isn’t a blogger but offered anyway to share her tips for traveling on a restricted diet. She travels for her job each week, and we were talking about how she manages to stick to her dietary restrictions. I loved hearing her brilliant […]

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allergy friendly travel

Today’s post is from my dear friend Shelby. Unlike other guest writers I’ve hosted, Shelby isn’t a blogger but offered anyway to share her tips for traveling on a restricted diet. She travels for her job each week, and we were talking about how she manages to stick to her dietary restrictions. I loved hearing her brilliant suggestions and she generously offered to write this post for you!

shelby-8545-2Hi! My name is Shelby and I am one of Lauren’s good friends in Virinia. Like her, I’ve seen a tremendous health transformation from eliminating grains and following a mostly Paleo framework for my daily diet. Because my job requires weekly air travel, I have had to develop quite a few strategies to maintain my diet and health while I am on the road. Here are the top tips I recommend…

Things to bring…

1. A freeze-able lunch box like this one and some portable utensils like these –I don’t bring all my meals with me when I travel, but I do like to have some home cooked food with me. This lunch box allows me to keep the food cold while I am on the plane before I can put in in the fridge at my hotel. I often include it in my carry on and have no problem getting through security.

2. Protein to have on hand – Snacks like the bison epic bar, beef jerky, sardines and jarred tuna work really well if I get hungry while traveling, or if I need some quick protein for breakfast.

3. Good quality fats – I love these little packets of coconut oil that I can use to increase the staying power of meals or for oil pulling in the morning. I have also been known to fill a small glass bottle or two with good quality extra virgin olive oil before I head out each week.

4. A kit with real food snacks –Some of my favorites are dried fruits, freeze dried fruits, and Kit’s Organic Fruit + Seed Bars which are nut-free.

5. Strategic supplementation—I generally take more supplements while I’m travelling just to make sure I’m getting the appropriate amounts of nutrients, and these travel pill packs keep me organized.

6. Pure beauty products – Although I tend to be ingredient conscious about all the products I use, I try to be especially aware of what I’m using when I travel. 100% Pure makeup products are great, and I also love the travel size version of Dr. Bronner’s soap and Morocco Method sample-size shampoos.

7. Items that make my hotel feel like home – I have a travel candle and a picture from my wedding that I keep in my suitcase to make my hotel room feel more cozy.

To do while in transit…

8. Some airport food is okay to eat – Airports have recently come a long way when it comes to providing healthy food. A lot of shops have fresh fruit, fresh veggies, or dried fruit options like these chips. Several major airports also have CIBO Express stores which provide a wide array of health snack brands. The international terminal at JFK airport even has a nice salad bar.

9. While no airplane food is okay to eat – I have a strict “no eating airline food” rule. It is full of preservatives. Disgusting.

10. Make use of some airplane drink essentials – I love to add Natural Calm Packets, Matcha green tea packets, or Aloha juice powder to my water to get a nutrient boost during the flight.

At your destination…

11. Befriend your hotel – Since I usually go to the same city and same hotel each week, I store some items there over the weekend including my workout shoes and different kinds of tea. I also make sure that my hotel room has a fridge, and occasionally I will request a microwave.

12. Keep up detox practices – I can’t say I’m the best at keeping up with detox practices while travelling, but it’s very easy to bring your dry brush with you or bring a jump rope to do a little re-bound jumping. You can also bring packets of Epsom salt for a detox bath, and use your coconut oil packs for oil pulling

13. Make sure to stay hydrated – I like to bring a glass water bottle with me and try to hydrate smartly, according to Lauren’s advice.

14. Grocery store visit – When I have the time, I try to visit the grocery store in the city where I travel to pick up fresh fruits and veggies. The city I travel to now has a giant Wegman’s which has absolutely everything!

15. View menus online and call ahead when it comes to eating out – Travelling for work often necessitates a lot of eating out with co-workers. Rather than trying to avoid restaurants, I try to be strategic about it by suggesting restaurants that I think will have good quality options and that have separate gluten-free menus. It’s great that so many restaurants post their menus online so you can look at it beforehand and call with questions.

Do you travel frequently on a restricted diet? Do you use any of these tips?

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20 Plantain Recipes to De-Gluten Your Favorite Dishes http://empoweredsustenance.com/plantain-recipes/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/plantain-recipes/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:25:55 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=4131  20 Paleo Plantain Recipes I took my first bite of plantain only a few months ago, and now I’m hooked! Plantain, which is available in most large grocery stores as well as Hispanic markets, is a starchy fruit that looks like a banana. Bananas and plantains may look similar, but when it comes to versatility, […]

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plantain recipes to de-gluten your favorite dishes

 20 Paleo Plantain Recipes

I took my first bite of plantain only a few months ago, and now I’m hooked! Plantain, which is available in most large grocery stores as well as Hispanic markets, is a starchy fruit that looks like a banana. Bananas and plantains may look similar, but when it comes to versatility, plantains are the clear winner. Even better, they are cheap and healthy! 

For those cutting out the gluten, the variety of gluten-free flours lining your health food shelves may seem overwhelming. With these simple recipes, you can skip the majority of those unusual flours and rely on the unique baking properties of plantains. Some of the recipes here call for coconut flour, which is my favorite grain-and-gluten-free flour (read about the benefits of coconut flour here).

Important tip: when baking with plantains, be sure to use the directed color of plantains. Ripe and unripe plantains have different baking properties and can not be used interchangeably. Green plantains are the least ripe and most starchy, yellow plantains are more ripe, and speckled black plantains are the ripest and sweetest. If a recipe calls for green plantains, that means the plantain is unripe and starch-heavy. If a recipe calls for ripe (nearly black) plantains, do not substitute yellow or green ones.

1. Plantain Pancakes

paleo plantain recipes

Try Plantain Pancakes from The Healthy Foodie (contains coconut flour) or the Paleo Mom’s Plantain Pancakes (no coconut flour).

2. Plantain Tortillas

paleo plantain recipes

 Plantain tortillas from Fresh Tart are rollable, fillable and stuffable (and also egg free). You can also use it as a pizza crust.

3. Plantain Doughnuts

paleo plantain recipes

“Single Lady” Plantain Doughnuts with a Chocolate Avocado Frosting from Studio Snacks.

4. Plantain Rice

paleo plantain recipes

Plantain Rice from Inspiralized, made with a vegetable spiralizer, is a grain-free alternative to regular rice.

5. Plantain Lasagna

paleo plantain recipes

Try this Carribean Plantain Lasagna (a few tweaks needed to make it “real food” such as replacing the vegetable oil with a healthy cooking oil) or  Curry Plantain Lasagna from The Paleo Mom.

6. Plantain Waffles

paleo plantain recipes

Flourless Gingerbread  Plantain Waffles from Purely Twins.

7. Plantain Tortilla Chips

paleo plantain recipes

Plantain tortilla chips from Kate’s Healthy Cupboard pair perfectly with salsas or hummus.

8. Plantain Socca

paleo plantain recipes

Just three ingredients needed for this Plantain Socca – a multi-purpose flatbread – from Purely Twins.

9. Plantain Chocolate Chip Cookies

paleo plantain recipes

These Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies from Created To Be Paleo use fresh plantain and plantain flour, which can be found here.

10. Plantain Biscuits

paleo plantain recipes

These Sweet Plantain Biscuits from PaleOMG stand up to copious dollops of jam and butter.

11. Plantain Chocolate Cake

paleo plantain recipes

This grain free, egg free Plantain Chocolate Cake from A Clean Plate is topped with a creamy banana chocolate frosting.

12. Plantain Sandwich Rounds

paleo plantain recipes

Plantain Sandwich Rounds are an easy grain-free, egg-free sandwich solution from Delicious Obsessions.

13. Plantain Sandwiches

paleo plantain recipes

Jibaritos are a Puerto Rican tradition where bread is replaced by fried plantains. Try this Jibaritos recipe from The Healthy Beast.

14. Plantain Clafoutis

paleo plantain recipes

Clafoutis usually requires flour. Try this flourless Paleo Plantain Clafoutis from The Paleo Mom.

15. Plantain Nachos

paleo plantain recipes

 Plantain Chip Nachos from Against All Grain make a grain free version of nachos.

16. Plantain Brownies

paleo plantain recipes

Flourless Plantain Brownies with Caramel Sauce from So Let’s Hang Out.

17. Lemon Garlic Plantain Chips

paleo plantain recipes

Crispy, crunchy, and flavorful. Try these Lemon Garlic Plantain Chips from Meatified!

18. Plantain Fries

paleo plantain recipes

Plantain Fries from South Beach Primal.

19. Plantain Caramel Cake

paleo plantain recipes

Maple Plantain Cake from Ditch the Wheat

20. Plantain Crackers

paleo plantain recipes

Garlic Rosemary Plantain Crackers from Autoimmune Paleo.

plantain recipes to de-gluten your favorite dishes

What are you favorite plantain recipes? Don’t forget to share with your gluten/grain free friends!

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Tomato Free Barbecue Sauce http://empoweredsustenance.com/tomato-free-barbecue-sauce/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/tomato-free-barbecue-sauce/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:42:55 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7717 The Paleo Approach Cookbook is here! Today, I’m sharing a recipe from The Paleo Approach Cookbook by Sarah Ballantyne. Sarah is a pioneer in the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. This dietary approach, unlike the Western Medicine approach, targets the underlying cause of autoimmunity so the body can heal. It removes foods that perpetuate intestinal permeability – […]

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tomato free barbecue sauce recipe

The Paleo Approach Cookbook is here!

Today, I’m sharing a recipe from The Paleo Approach Cookbook by Sarah Ballantyne. Sarah is a pioneer in the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. This dietary approach, unlike the Western Medicine approach, targets the underlying cause of autoimmunity so the body can heal. It removes foods that perpetuate intestinal permeability – the commonality between all autoimmune disease – and floods the body with the nutrient-dense food required to support balanced hormones.

The primary reason I began Empowered Sustenance two years ago was to spread the message that diet is the answer to autoimmunity. Four years after my diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease, doctors told me that invasive surgery and a lifetime of medications was my only. Determined to avoid these options, I threw myself into researching nutrition. For the past two years, I’ve been completely med free thanks to a grain free diet. My current diet looks like the Autoimmune Paleo Diet.

Sarah’s first book, The Paleo Approach, has a prized position on my bookshelf. This is a must-have guide for anyone with an autoimmune disease, and I believe it should be required reading for every health practitioner. She explains the causes of autoimmunity on a practical and cellular level and discusses the steps require to reverse autoimmunity through diet and lifestyle.

The Paleo Approach Cookbook, a companion guideincludes over 200 recipes, food lists, meal plans and shopping guides. All the recipes are grain free, nut/seed free, dairy free, egg free and nightshade free! From simple weeknight dinners to baked goods, you’ll never get bored or feel like you are deprived in your food choices.

The Paleo Approach Cookbook is available on pre-order here on Amazon and will be released August 26th (by pre-ordering the book, you’ll save 30%).

tomato free barbecue sauce recipe

Autoimmune Paleo Tomato Free Barbecue Sauce

Traditional barbecue sauce uses a tomato base and seed-based spices. Tomatoes are nightshades, which contain potentially irritating components, and are therefore excluded from the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. Nuts and seeds are also excluded from the protocol, although they can usually be re-introduced after symptoms have subsided. This tomato free barbecue sauce makes a perfect pair with grilled meats or fish.

Tomato Free Barbecue Sauce

20 minutes

20 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 cups

Tomato Free Barbecue Sauce

This recipe is courtesy of The Paleo Approach Cookbook by Sarah Ballantyne, which is a companion guide to The Paleo Approach. Sarah is a trailblazer in the Autoimmune Paleo dietary protocol and outlines the protocol in her books. Because this barbecue sauce is free of the seed-based spices and nightshades found in barbecue sauces, it is suitable for those following the Autoimmune Paleo Diet.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sustainably-sourced red palm oil, available here (or substitute coconut oil)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and grated
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, available here
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Heat the palm oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, until caramelized.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and purée with an immersion blender.

Notes

According to Sarah, this barbecue sauce tastes best on meat cooked on a charcoal grill or in a smoker. If you plan to use an indoor grill or bake your meat in the oven, consider adding a drop or two of liquid smoke to the sauce.

http://empoweredsustenance.com/tomato-free-barbecue-sauce/

Enjoy the recipe and don’t forget to pre-order The Paleo Approach Cookbook here!

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DIY Hair Highlights with Neutral Henna http://empoweredsustenance.com/diy-hair-highlights/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/diy-hair-highlights/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:58:54 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=6932 Raw shampoo, boar brushes and detox… oh my! Over the past nine months, I’ve discussed the various steps in my journey to natural hair care. Before that, I struggled with various natural brand of hair care as well as DIY hair care, but I never found an option that met my ingredient standards while delivering optimal […]

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how to: diy hair highlights with henna!

Raw shampoo, boar brushes and detox… oh my!

Over the past nine months, I’ve discussed the various steps in my journey to natural hair care. Before that, I struggled with various natural brand of hair care as well as DIY hair care, but I never found an option that met my ingredient standards while delivering optimal results. As soon as I discovered the Morrocco Method,  a unique line of 100% raw hair care, I fell in love and never looked back.

The aspects of healthy hair care that I’ve covered to date include:

Today, I’m going to discuss another element that I use in my holistic hair routine: neutral henna.

What is neutral henna?

Morrocco Method offers a wide range of 100% pure plant hair colors, which you can find here. One of the unique hennas they offer is neutral henna, also called clear henna or colorless henna.

Morrocco Method uses the henna plant along with other botanicals to create the different shades of henna:

The henna in our product is Lawsonia inermis, which is naturally a red-orange dye. In order to achieve our variety of colors we use other plant powders. We have several different henna mixtures that are available, ranging from Light Blonde, which includes marigold and chamomile flowers, to Black, which includes indigo flower (Indigofera tinctoria). Our browns are mixtures of Lawsonia inermis and Indigofera tinctoria in varying ratios. Neutral Henna is pure Cassia obovata. Blonde Henna is actually Cassia obovata mixed with marigold and chamomile flowers. (Read more)

Neutral Henna for DIY Hair Highlights

Along with the other benefits for hair health, MM Neutral Henna works to DIY Hair Highlights – without any chemicals!

Neutral henna will not lighten your hair – henna just can’t do that – but for me and many people, it gives the illusion of highlights. That’s because henna coats the hair shaft, making the hair more reflective. By making hair shinier, it gives the illusion of  highlights. MM henna brightens your existing hair color and brings out the natural dimension in your hair.

Other benefits of neutral henna

how to: DIY hair highlights with henna! Deep conditions – in one phrase, a henna treatment is a deep conditioning treatment. In contrast to chemical hair dye which permeates the hair, henna coats the entire hair shaft which smoothes and protects the hair.

Adds volume – Just like the Zen Detox, MM henna delivers fabulous volume. I find the volumizing results last for about two weeks, but the conditioning/color results last much longer.

Emphasizes natural hair texture – You’ll find that MM henna brings new life into your hair texture. I have naturally wavy hair and after my henna treatment, the waves are stronger, bouncier and more defined. Henna treatments fills in the damaged pockets in the hair cuticle, strengthening the hair strands. (The added weight from true henna, lawsonia inermis, can actually RELAX wavy/curly hair.)

Non-toxicHair dye is notoriously dangerous. Europe is far ahead of the U.S. in addressing the toxins in hair coloring products. In 2007, the European Commission issued a ban on 22 hair dye substances. Unfortunately, even “natural” hair dyes often contain arylamides, which are potential carcinogens (source). Neutral henna (or colored henna) is a safe, 100% natural alternative to chemical hair dye.

There are some concerns that henna dyes contain the toxic ingredient paraphenylenediamine (PPD). This is found in commercial black henna, but not in MM henna. Also, many “henna” products contain chemical dyes or metallic salts, so always check if your henna is pure. MM henna, of course, is pure.

Lasting results - Henna coats the hair shaft and will eventually wear off. A henna treatment will generally last around 3 months, although you can fade your henna with hot oil treatments if you choose. If you use henna with Lawsonia inermis, it will lighten blonde/light hair colors.

Antimicrobial - Cassia has antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. Its active chemical, chrysophanic acid,  has been tested effective against psoriasis. Henna (Lawsonia inermis) is also antifungal and has been known to help with dandruff, ringworm and head lice (1, 2)

Affordable – MM henna is around $10 a container, and a container has enough for 2 uses or more, depending on your hair length. With a henna treatment lasting 2-3 months, that’s extremely economical.

How to use neutral henna for DIY Hair Highlights

These directions pertain to the neutral (colorless) henna, available here from Morrocco Method. If you are using colored henna, there are a few tweaks you’ll need to make to the below steps. Please read the instructions here if you use colored henna.

1. Start with clean, dry hair. If you have color-treated hair, wait 8 weeks after your coloring treatment. Use the following amounts of neutral henna depending on your hair length:

  • For fine, short hair: use 4 tablespoons
  • For fine, shoulder length hair: use 6 tablespoons
  • For thick, shoulder length hair: use 8 tablespoons
  • For very long or very thick hair: use 10 to 12  tablespoons

2. Mix your henna using a non-metallic (glass/plastic/wood) bowl and spatula. Gradually add water into the henna to create a body lotion consistency.

3. To apply the henna, I strip and stand on an old towel on my bathroom floor.  This way makes for the easiest cleanup and I don’t’ need to worry about getting it on any clothes!

Part your hair in four sections (or more, if you have thick hair) and work the henna from root to tip, fully saturating the hair.

I’ve never had a problem with the henna staining my hairline or skin, so I’m not to precise when I apply it. If you are using colored henna, then you’ll want to follow the directions HERE and be sure to use plastic gloves. 

4. Wrap your head with plastic wrap and let the neutral henna develop for 30 minutes but no longer than an hour. It can create a slight yellow tone if left for longer than an hour.

5. Thoroughly rinse your hair with warm water. It takes some time to rinse out, so just be patient. Let your hair air dry.

6. After 24 hours or more, which allows the henna to fully “set,” you can wash and condition your hair as usual. For colored henna treatments, it is recommended to wait 72 hours before washing, as the color continues to develop. I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of using MM shampoos/conditioners in conjunction with the henna, rather than a lathering shampoo. This will preserve and augment the effects of the henna treatment.

Trouble-shooting tip: You’ll find that your hair may be more difficult to brush directly after rinsing out the neutral henna. In my experience, this goes away after the next shampoo. Also, my hair feels a bit “chalky” the day following the henna treatment, but this goes away after I shampoo it. I would not recommend doing a henna treatment the day before a special occasion. I would say do the henna a week before you want your hair to be in prime shape.

How henna doesn’t work

A few months ago when I briefly touched on the topic of neutral henna in my No Heat Hair Care post, a reader left a comment that went something like this: “I want hair the same shade as Carrie Underwood, but with a slightly warmer tone. Will the light blonde henna do this? Should I pick a different color of henna?”

I’m no hair stylist, but I’m pretty sure than any hair professional would tell you that hair dye – be it artificial or henna – doesn’t work like that. Multiple factors including hair color and hair type must be taken into consideration and it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to exactly match someone else’s hair color. Neutral henna will not change the tone of your hair, it emphasizes your natural color in the most beautiful way by bringing out dimension and shine.

I spoke with my friend Katelyn at Morrocco Method and she has a great explanation of how henna color works:

Henna color largely depends on your base hair color. It’s like putting a marker to construction paper—if you have yellow-white construction paper and a red marker, the change will be obvious. If you have black construction paper and a red marker, you might see a slight tint change, but it won’t be obvious. If you have yellow-white construction paper and black marker, you might have to go over it a few times to get TRUE black.

How to color your hair with henna

If you are seeking to change your hair color, Morrocco Method offers a wide variety of colored hennas here. Again, there is not a foolproof formula for achieving a desired hair color with henna. It may take some experimentation to obtain your desired shade.

MM colored henna covers grey hair exceptionally well and can also be used to change your existing hair color. Also, you can mix two or more shades of henna to get a desired shade.

I have medium brown hair and I’ve used the light brown henna with great results. It seems to bring out the auburn undertones and brighten my hair even more than the neutral henna. I also use a blend of the black and dark brown henna to tint my blond eyebrows to match my hair color.

This chart is a general guide for selecting the right shade of MM henna, which are found here

henna_color_chart

If you wish to use colored henna, please read these very helpful tips from Morrocco Method on coloring with henna:

Where to get neutral henna + coupon

The only henna that I use and recommend is Morrocco Method henna, which you can find here.

The past MM coupons I’ve offered were such a hit that I’ve been able to get a new coupon for you! Enter coupon code “EMPOWER65″ at checkout to receive free shipping over orders of $65 at The Morrocco Method - for new and returning customers! This coupon is valid for continental US shipping only on the UPS Sure Post and UPS ground shipping options.

This is a one-time use coupon, and you must choose the option “create an account” at checkout to get the discount.  Be sure to hit the “save” button at checkout to apply the discount. 

 Have you used neutral henna or colored henna before?

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8 Ways to Improve Fat Malabsorption Naturally http://empoweredsustenance.com/fat-malabsorption/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/fat-malabsorption/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 16:20:22 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=5687 You may have fat malabsorption… and not know it Fat malabsoprtion, also called steatorrhea or fat maldigestion, is the inability to properly digest fats. Many people experience fat malabsorption without knowing it! Fat malabsorption contributes to common issues like hormone imbalance and is the primary cause of gallstones and gallbladder pain. I wrote this post […]

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8 ways to improve fat malabsorption naturally

You may have fat malabsorption… and not know it

Fat malabsoprtion, also called steatorrhea or fat maldigestion, is the inability to properly digest fats. Many people experience fat malabsorption without knowing it! Fat malabsorption contributes to common issues like hormone imbalance and is the primary cause of gallstones and gallbladder pain.

I wrote this post to explain the role of fat digestion and gallbladder health. You’ll learn if fat malabsorption is contributing to your health issues and learn how to address it.

What causes fat malabsorption?

Fat malabsorption results from poor digestion and specifically from one or more of these three causes:

  • Liver congestion – the liver can’t synthesize good bile
  • Poor quality bile – the gallbladder can’t release thick, sticky bile
  • Lack of pancreatic enzymes – these enzymes, along with bile, digest fat

Here’s how fat digestion works, if everything is working properly:

  1. The liver synthesizes bile. It packages up old hormones and toxins that need to leave the body in the bile. Then it ships the bile to the gallbladder.
  2. The gallbladder stores bile and secretes it into the small intestine when we eat a meal with fat. The bile breaks down the fat, so we can absorb it, and then the toxins in the bile exit the body with the feces.
  3. The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine. Some of these enzymes, called lipolytic enzymes, further break down the fat and allow us to absorb it.

Symptoms of fat malabsorption:

  • Greasy, smelly, light-colored and/or floating stools
  • Gas and belching after meals
  • Very dry skin (indicates fat isn’t being absorbed or not enough is being consumed)
  • Gallbladder pain (right side, under ribs)
  • Gallstones
  • Nausea after eating
  • Hormone imbalances, because fat is necessary to synthesize new hormones and eliminate old hormones

Bile: The key in fat malabsorption

When it comes to fat malabsorption, the first step includes supporting healthy bile production and secretion. When we experience fat malabsorption, it means that the bile in the gallbladder is thick and sticky. The gallbladder tries to squeeze it out, but it can’t. In a vicious cycle, toxins and old hormones are re-absorbed because the bile isn’t leaving the body.

The main factor that causes poor bile quality is a low fat diet. The presence of fats in a meal signals the gallbladder to release bile into the digestive tract, and the bile emulsifies the fat so we can absorb it.

What happens when we only have a few measly grams of fats in our meal? Bile release isn’t signaled, so bile sits in the gallbladder, turning thick and viscous. Then, if we do eat a meal heavy in fat, the gallbladder can’t squeeze out the thick bile and the fat passes through our digestive tract undigested and unused for critical tasks in the body.

Are you ready to improve your fat digestion? Here are 8 ways to correct fat malabsorption 

1. Gradually increase the good fats

Quickly switching from low fat to a higher fat diet will temporarily cause fat malabsoprtion. This results because the bile will be thick and stagnant due to the low fat diet. For some individuals, the symptoms are slight and resolve quickly. For others, this transition causes severe symptoms of fat malabsorption.

Don’t go from 20 grams of fat per day to 80 grams of fat the next day. Gradually increase your consumption of healthy fats over a period of weeks. Healthful fats include traditional, unprocessed fats such as:

  • Butter, preferably from grassfed cows
  • Ghee, preferably from grassfed cows (I like this brand)
  • Pure olive oil (I like this brand)
  • Avocados and avocado oil
  • Whole nuts and seeds, in moderation
  • Cold-pressed nut and seeds, in small amounts
  • Pastured whole eggs
  • Meats and whole-fat dairy from grass-fed, pasture raised animals

Highly processed, non-traditional fats such as canola oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil and grapeseed oil exacerbate liver congestion and should be avoided.

Wait, isn’t canola oil heart healthy? And doesn’t the cholesterol in butter clog arteries? Nope, you’ve got your fats mixed up! We know from study after study, as well as the dietary patterns of traditional cultures, that unprocessed fats support all aspects of health. I share the science in my post 10 Reasons Why Low Fat is Not High Nutrition.

2. Include coconut oil in your diet

Coconut oil, one of the most healthful foods ever, consists primarily of medium chain fatty acids. Coconut oil fights candida, boosts the metabolism, fuels weight loss, and supports skin health. Because of the fatty acid composition, coconut oil is absorbed without bile. 

This is a good and bad thing. If you struggle with fat malabsorption, you will likely be able to absorb at least some of the fat from coconut oil. But because it doesn’t stimulate bile, you should consume it in addition to sources of animal fats.

3. Supplement with ox bile to improve fat malabsorption

8 ways to improve fat malabsorption naturallyOx bile is what the name implies - bile from oxen. Because it is so similar to human bile, it works by breaking down fats in your digestive tract. As a “band-aidsupplement,” it improves bile quality so you can digest fats better in the long run.

Take 1-5 tablets of ox bile – I recommend this one – with each meal. Use it for 2 weeks and up to 2-3 months. After 2-3 months, take a break from it for at least a couple of months, otherwise your body can get reliant on it and stop producing its own bile.

If you have had your gallbladder removed, then you need a permanent bile replacement to digest your fats. In that case, most natural health practitioners recommend taking ox bile with each meal.

4. Say Goodbye to “Healthy Whole Grains”

When we lack an healthy digestive system, as in the case of fat malabsorption, grain consumption causes problems. “Healthy whole grains” like fiber cereals, whole wheat breads and pastas contain numerous anti-nutrients such as phytic acid that only stresses the body.

Grains fuel a vicious cycle called carbohydrate malabsorption. This wears down the filaments in the small intestine, called microvilli, that are responsible for absorbing our food. As the microvilli become damaged, it leads to a syndrome called Leaky Gut when the tight junctions between intestinal cells loosen. This allows undigested food to leak from the small intestine into the blood stream, causing inflammation and food allergies.

All of the recipes on Empowered Sustenance are grain free, and you’ll find thousands of more grain free recipes on my Pinterest boards.

5. Use Gallbladder Flow™ Essential Oil

When I struggled fat malabsorption, I saw improvement within a week of using Vibrant Blue Essential Oil Blends. These pristine essential oil blends match the frequency of a healthy organ to help bring that damaged organ into balance. Since the benefits of essential oils are absorbed transdermally, I recommend using oils as part of therapy when digestion is damaged – such as the case of fat malabsorption.

The Gallbladder Flow™ blend  is designed to improve the viscosity of the bile. The first time I applied it, I immediately felt faint gurgling in my gallbladder! For best results, use it twice per day for at least two weeks  (learn how to apply it here). The bottle goes a long way, you only need a drop at a time. Also, it also works if you open it under your nose and inhale for 3-4 breaths.

Another complimentary oil from Vibrant Blue Oils is the Pancreatone™ Blend. It supports the pancreas and the production of pancreatic enzymes, including the lipolytic enzymes that digest fat. A diet high in refined carbs exhausts the pancreas, so it can’t keep up with producing enzymes. Like the Gallbladder Flow™, you can apply it topically or inhale it.

6. Enjoy fermented foods to help fat malabsorption

Naturally fermented foods pack a potent dose of probiotics, those friendly bugs that help restore balance in the digestive tract. Additionally, the enzymatic activity in the raw foods drastically increases during the fermentation process. These active enzymes support pancreatic health and improve digestion.

Low-fat, sugar-laden yogurts may claim “a rich source of probiotics” but don’t buy into this marketing hype. These highly-processed options pale in comparison to slowly fermented dairy and vegetables. Better options include making your own fermented veggies and dairy products.

Alternatively, you’ll find healthful options at your health food store. Look for naturally fermented sauerkraut and pickles, in the refrigerated section. Grassfed, full-fat yogurt and kefir also provide nutrient-dense options.

7. Supplement with pancrealipase for fat malabsorption

Pancrealipase is a pancreatic enzyme that helps digest fat. I use the supplement Beta-TCP, found here, in my Nutritional Therapy practice. It contains porcine-derived pancrealipase and this supplement makes a wonderful “transition supplement” to improve fat malabsorption. It can be taken alone or in conjunction with ox bile.

A general recommendation is 1-6 tablets with each meal, for a period of 1-3 months. After 2-3 months, take a break because your body can become reliant on the enzymes and get lazy with its own enzyme production. You can also take 1-6 tablets right before bed, to support liver health. As always, I recommend working with an experienced health practitioner when taking various dietary supplements.

For best results, chew the Beta-TCP tablets instead of swallowing them whole. They taste, um, not so good. But you can do it! When I used this supplement, I would chew them while holding my breath, swallow, chase with a sip of water, and then breathe. This helps :)

8. Improve overall digestion with hydrochloric acid

The stomach is supposed to be an acid tank. A very acidic stomach digests food and triggers the chain reaction of digestion. When the stomach isn’t producing enough acid, pancreatic enzymes and other digestive secretions are not signaled.

Doesn’t stomach acid cause heartburn? As a matter of fact, 90% of people with heartburn suffer from to little stomach acid! In this post, I explain how to correct low stomach acid naturally with foods and specific supplements including hydrochloric acid supplements.

 Do you think you may have fat malabsorption? Have you tried any of these steps? 

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{Autoimmune Paleo} Chewy Banana Spice Cookies http://empoweredsustenance.com/autoimmune-paleo-cookies/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/autoimmune-paleo-cookies/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 13:35:46 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7594 Gelatin as an egg substitute  I’ve been experimenting with gelatin as an egg substitute for about a year, since I posted my Chewy Ginger Cookies. I love those cookies, but they contain ground sunflower seeds which don’t agree with my digestive tract. Also, I prefer not to bake with nut/seed flours due to their anti-nutrient properties. […]

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Chewy Banana Spice Cookies (autoimmune paleo)

Gelatin as an egg substitute

 I’ve been experimenting with gelatin as an egg substitute for about a year, since I posted my Chewy Ginger CookiesI love those cookies, but they contain ground sunflower seeds which don’t agree with my digestive tract. Also, I prefer not to bake with nut/seed flours due to their anti-nutrient properties.

This recipe is also partly inspired by Jennifer’s Silky Banana Bread Bites, which also use gelatin instead of eggs. I was also inspired by  the guest post I shared two weeks ago  for autoimmune paleo lemon cookies that also feature a gelatin egg substitute.

These not-too-sweet cookies provide a welcomed treat on a very restricted diet such as the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol, which I follow and recommend. I know how much of a comfort it is to eat any type of baked good on this healing protocol!

About the ingredients

Chewy Banana Spice Cookies (autoimmune paleo)Gelatin – Gelatin acts as the binder in this recipe and provides the chewy texture. You must use gelatin, another egg substitute will not work as I designed this recipe specifically around the gelatin. I prefer to use this gelatin from grassfed cows. Due to its amino acid profile, gelatin is uniquely healthful and supports balanced hormones (read about the benefits of gelatin here).

Coconut flour – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – coconut flour is my favorite flour! This grain free flour absorbs a considerable amount of liquid, so only a small amount of the flour is required in this recipe.

Arrowroot flour – A small amount of arrowroot flour, also called arrowroot powder, helps bind the cookies and keeps them from getting too sticky. I’ve made the recipe without the arrowroot flour before and it works okay, but the texture is not as good.

Chewy Banana Spice Cookies

Yield: Makes 12 cookies

Chewy Banana Spice Cookies

Free of grains, dairy, nuts/seeds, eggs and refined sugar. these cookies are suitable for the Autoimmune Paleo protocol. I enjoy the cookies without the sweetener and find that the banana and cinnamon is sweet enough. If you are used to sweet treats, however, you will probably prefer the version with sweetener.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium well-spotted bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup mashed)
  • 2 Tbs. water for a not-very-sweet cookie OR 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs. dry gelatin, I like this grassfed gelatin
  • 30 grams (1/4 cup) coconut flour - use a kitchen scale for the most accurate measurement
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. arrowroot flour, which you can find here

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together the mashed bananas, dry gelatin and water OR maple syrup in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
  3. Roll the dough into balls and flatten into 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden around the edges.
  4. Cool at least 30 minutes before removing cookies from the parchment-lined baking sheets (otherwise, the cookies will tear).
  5. These chewy cookies are best consumed the day they are made however you can store them in an air-tight container at room temperature for a day or so.
http://empoweredsustenance.com/autoimmune-paleo-cookies/

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End this war. http://empoweredsustenance.com/end-this-war/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/end-this-war/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:47:38 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7621 “I’m in the fight against cancer.” “I’m battling diabetes.” “I’m threatened with high blood pressure.” “I have an autoimmune disease, so my body is attacking itself.” This is what I call body war language. Our language so often falls short of describing truth, which may leads to minor misunderstanding or catastrophic results. In the case […]

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End body war

“I’m in the fight against cancer.”

“I’m battling diabetes.”

“I’m threatened with high blood pressure.”

“I have an autoimmune disease, so my body is attacking itself.”

This is what I call body war language.

Our language so often falls short of describing truth, which may leads to minor misunderstanding or catastrophic results. In the case of body war language, I believe that we set ourselves up for disaster by using totally inappropriate words to depict what is actually happening.

Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habit. Watch your habit, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” Lao Tzu said. When it comes to body war language, we reach the same conclusion in a different pattern:

Watch your words, they become your thoughts. Watch your thoughts, they becomes your health. Watch your health, it becomes your destiny.”

I am not a war zone

When I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis,  an autoimmune disease, doctors told me it would be a lifelong battle to prevent my body from further attacking itself. I envisioned my body as a war zone, with my healthy colon tissue being destroyed by an innately evil part of my physiology, that had, until now, laid in wait. 

Just like our thoughts determine our words, our words shape our thoughts. When we use “war language” to describe health conditions, we illustrate a battlefield inside our body. We begin to understand our inner workings through a lens of “good vs. bad.”

In the case of cancer, we perceive the tumors as “bad” and other cells as “good.” When it comes to something as mild as cellulite, we describe our thighs with a torrent of negative language. Cottage-cheese thighs. Fat and ugly.

But I am not a war zone. You are not a war zone. 

Disease is not bad. It does not mean something went wrong. It means our body is working as it should, drawing on protective measures to prolong our life in the short-term. The human body is innately intelligent and each day, it prioritizes how to extend our life in the short term.

When our body is bombarded with stress, environmental toxins, poor nutrition and negativity, it is forced to borrow health from our future to keep us alive. When we provide our body with nourishment and balance, we furnish the materials it needs for immediate health so that the innate intelligence can invest in our long-term health.

Make love, not war, with your body

Here are four subtle but profound ways to kindle a relationship of love, not war, with your body:

1. Change your thoughts and language

Stop referring to your body as a battlefield. Don’t think of the duality of “good vs. bad” in your body. Rather, focus on balancing the areas of dis-ease. Instead of thinking, “I’m battling diabetes” you could say, “My body has trouble keeping my blood sugar balanced.”

2. Send love to your affected body part

Love is an action. Love is a feeling. Love is also a vibration, a vibration of profound healing energy. When we send love to a body part, we practice self-healing.

In the same way, hate is a powerful vibration capable of destruction. By hating a body part or body system that is imbalanced, we further impair our ability to heal.

Consider the (albeit controversial) “Rice Experiment” conducted by Dr. Emoto, in which rice pleasantly fermented when given words of love, but rotted when given words of hate.

If you have hypothyroidism, for example, don’t hate your thyroid, send it love. If you have a tumor, tell yourself that you love each cell in your body. Tell yourself that you love that your body is capable of re-balancing and healing.

3. Don’t take ownership of a disease

Sometimes this is unavoidable for the sake of practical conversation, but I try to avoid saying, “my Hashimoto’s” or “my ulcerative colitis.” By telling myself that these are “my” disease, my body will see these imbalances as a part of my identity.

They are not my identity. They are not my diseases.

4. Practice The Golden Rule

Do unto your body as you would have others do to you. Would you want others calling your stomach pudgy? Then don’t call your stomach pudgy! Don’t even think it. Love your body unconditionally and it will love you back.

Please join me in making body love, not body war!

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