Empowered Sustenance http://empoweredsustenance.com Eat well and heal!™ Tue, 19 May 2015 18:02:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 How I Hacked My Brain Rhythms for Better Sleep http://empoweredsustenance.com/sleep-genius/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/sleep-genius/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 13:00:40 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8952 Confessions of a High Maintenance Sleeper Friends and family call me a “high maintenance sleeper” and, I must admit, it’s an accurate label. I was never the one who could instantly fall asleep on a friend’s couch. I was the ultra-light sleeper who never traveled without earplugs and a white noise machine. That is, until I tried […]

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sleep genius

Confessions of a High Maintenance Sleeper

Friends and family call me a “high maintenance sleeper” and, I must admit, it’s an accurate label. I was never the one who could instantly fall asleep on a friend’s couch. I was the ultra-light sleeper who never traveled without earplugs and a white noise machine.

That is, until I tried the Sleep Genius system. Now I travel with a compact speaker and play brain-rhythm altering music when I go to bed. 

High maintenance? Maybe. But I’m not sleeping without my Sleep Genius… I’d rather be called names and get a good nights sleep, both at home and while traveling!

What is Sleep Genius? 

In a sentence, Sleep Genius is the most scientifically advanced sleep program in the world, and was developed following our research helping NASA get astronauts to sleep in space.

I call it a brain-rhythm-altering portal into deeper, more restful sleep.

A team of sleep, brain and technology experts came together to create Sleep Genius. Among the developers are Dr. Seth Horowitz, an auditory neuroscientist who worked with NASA, and Alex Doman, author of Healing at the Speed of Sound.

Sleep Genius sounds like relaxing music but it is much more than that: it uses four techniques help transition your brain into natural sleep rhythms. 

  1. Neurosensory algorithms are low frequency sounds that create a motion-induced sensation in your brain, similar to a baby being rocked to sleep. I actually feel it in my body when I turn on my Sleep Genius. For me, it is an almost hypnotic relaxation – very powerful!
  2. Pink noise is similar to white noise, but it also has the benefit of triggering the relaxation response. This slows your heart rate and breath rate so you can drift asleep.
  3. Multiband binural beats are high tech. Let me give you the definition from the Sleep Genius website: “Binaural beats are scientifically designed stereo sounds that can induce synchronization from the brain stem to the frontal lobe.”
  4. Psychoacoustic music is scientifically-composed low-frequency harmonies. To me, Sleep Genius doesn’t really register as music, but more of a relaxing tone experience.

The combination of these four components makes Sleep Genius a powerful tool for deep sleep.

The first night I used it, I felt my body immediately shift into a deep state of relaxation. I also fell asleep faster. I’ve used it religiously ever since.

What you’ll get in the Sleep Genius package

Before I tell you how to get a FREE Sleep Genius set, let me tell you what is included:

  • A nifty travel case with compartments to fit everything snugly and safely
  • A Beacon speaker
  • An iPod shuffle already loaded with the Sleep Genius program
  • Charging cord for the speaker and iPod Shuffle
  • Cord to connect the iPod Shuffle to the speaker

sleep genius

The system is so compact, especially when you have the speaker running on battery. This is what it looks like:

sleep genius

Setting up your Sleep Genius

For a blogger, I’m ironically tech-phobic. I like to keep my technology tools as simple as possible, and I do not enjoy the initial setup of devices. It would be a vast understatement to say I was amazed by the simplicity of setting up Sleep Genius… it went from boxed to playing in 45 seconds.

  1. Plug the speaker into a socket using the USB cord. Keep it plugged in during use, or charge it prior to use (once charged, it will last for 15 hours)
  2. Connect the iPod (it’s partially pre-charged) to the speaker using the “In” port and the included cord.
  3. Turn the speaker on and turn the iPod on. Voilá! Sleep Genius is now playing.

It’s wired, so very low EMFs!

One of my major concerns with sleep technology is the EMFs (electromagnetic fields). I avoid sleep apps on my phone, since I turn my phone off during the night. I certainly don’t want my phone on, next to my body, when I’m sleeping. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: the body is most vulnerable to EMFs and toxins when asleep, since it is in full parasympathetic mode.

That is the reason why I also avoid Fitbits and other sleep-monitoring devices worn on the body.

The Sleep Genius uses a completely wired connection (not a Bluetooth connection) so the EMFs are minimal. That makes me so happy!

Get a FREE Sleep Genius Set – a $300 value!

My favorite non-toxic mattress company, intelliBED, stays on top of the latest research about how to support safe, healthy sleep. They were the ones who got me hooked on Sleep Genius. 

Through the end of May, I’m working with IntelliBED to offer you an incredible gift: a FREE Sleep Genius System, a $300 value, when you purchase an IntelliBED mattress. You will also get 10% off the mattress!

How to get Sleep Genius without a mattress 

You can buy the Sleep Genius set at intelliBED. Click through my referral link here are you will automatically get 10% off the Sleep Genius system, even if you don’t buy a mattress. Use the search bar at the top of the page to search for “sleep genius.”

Why intelliBED? 

I’ve written numerous posts, recorded a webinar, and done a video about finding a non-toxic mattress that supports restorative sleep. In a nutshell, intelliBED is my favorite mattress because: 

  • It is made with non-offgassing materials and a non-toxic mineral fire retardant (compared to traditional mattresses coated in potentially carcinogenic fire retardants) 
  • It is one of the longest-lasting mattresses, with a 30 year warranty
  • It features a unique construction to provide optimal alignment and help you get – and stay – in the deepest stages of sleep

You can learn more about my experience with intelliBED here

sleep genius promo

How to get a free Sleep Genius sound system

*This limited-time gift is only available until May 31st*

  1. Take advantage of this gift before it expires on May 31st.
  2.  Call intelliBED to place your order for a mattress and be sure to tell them Lauren sent you. That way, you’ll get the 10% off and the Sleep Genius gift. Why call them? They have amazing customer service reps who will make sure you get the right bed for your needs.

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Ginger Cod with Lemongrass Broth http://empoweredsustenance.com/gingered-cod/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/gingered-cod/#respond Wed, 13 May 2015 16:19:27 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8944 I’ll admit it… …many evenings, my meals are not Instagram worthy. (But if you want to see my meals that are, be sure to follow me here!) When my schedule gets tight (hello, midterm week), I tend to rely on my same-old-same-old veggies and proteins, spruced up with my Paleo Flavor Hacks. But when I take the time to […]

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gingered cod

I’ll admit it…

…many evenings, my meals are not Instagram worthy. (But if you want to see my meals that are, be sure to follow me here!) When my schedule gets tight (hello, midterm week), I tend to rely on my same-old-same-old veggies and proteins, spruced up with my Paleo Flavor Hacks.

But when I take the time to pull myself out of the dinnertime rut, I find nothing is more therapeutic that chopping vegetables, combining herbs and carefully seasoning a glorious piece of fish or meat. This recipe is impressively beautiful, impressively delicious, and impressively nourishing.

Ginger Cod with Lemongrass Broth

Yield: 4 servings

Ginger Cod with Lemongrass Broth

The key to this dish is a Thai-inspired sauce perfumed with lemongrass. Its brightness brings out the gingery bite of the crunchy bok choy, and gives the delicate cod a welcome depth of flavor. It's the perfect springtime meal, and although it takes less than 30 minutes to put together, it's sophisticated enough to serve at any dinner party.

Ingredients

    Lemongrass Broth
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, available here
  • 3 large shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (fresh or jarred for easier prep)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (or 3-4 small), chopped
  • 3 packed tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 3 cups chicken bone stock, recommended brand available here
  • 1 can coconut milk, recommended brand available here
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro stalk
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey, recommended brand available here
  • Juice of 3 to 4 limes (or to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Honeyed Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, thoroughly washed, cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Gingered Bok Choy
  • 10 heads of baby bok choy, cored and sliced in half
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted, recommended brand available here
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cod
  • 4 6-ounce filets
  • Salt, pepper, and cayenne to season
  • Ghee
  • Chopped cilantro, to serve, optionally

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  2. For the broth, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the shallots to caramelize slightly, 4 minutes. Add the garlic, lemongrass, fresh ginger, turmeric, and lime zest and sweat 2 minutes. Pour in the bone stock and coconut milk and stir. Add in the spices, cilantro stems, and honey. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer and let reduce, slightly, 30 minutes. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and keep warm.
  4. For the sweet potatoes, place them in a medium saucepan with the butter, honey, and salt. Pour in enough water to just cover the potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce and simmer, 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and most of the liquid has absorbed.
  5. Meanwhile, coat the bok choy with the melted oil, ginger, and salt. Place on a baking sheet and roast in oven, 5 to 6 minutes. Place the baking sheet directly in the refrigerator to cool quickly so they retain their bright green color.
  6. For the cod, when almost ready to serve, season the cod on both sides with salt, pepper, and a small pinch of cayenne if desired. Place a skillet with the ghee over high heat until the ghee is just smoking. Working in batches, place the fish in the skillet and sear until golden brown, 2 minutes. Turn and sear on other side, 30 seconds. Place the fish on baking tray and continue to cook in oven, 6 to 7 minutes.
  7. To serve, divide the cod, sweet potatoes, and bok choy between 4 bowls. Pour the broth over the cod, garnish with chopped cilantro.

Notes

This recipe was created by Merce Muse, photographed by Pau Delmont, and shared with permission from Thrive Market.

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How to get the ingredients 25-50% off

In the recipe above, I’ve linked some of the ingredients that I buy at wholesale prices at Thrive Market. (This is not a paid post, Thrive offered to share a recipe with you and I loved the recipe. The links to the ingredients are referral links, which allow you to get my 15% off deal which I discuss below).

In a nutshell, Thrive Market is like an online real food Costco combined with Amazon Prime. It offers the best brands for healthy living at wholesale prices… with free shipping, to boot!

Here are the highlights:

  • I save a ton of money, since their prices are 25–50% off retail.
  • Unlike wholesale stores like Costco, I don’t need to buy in bulk to get the wholesale prices (a plus for me, since I’m a student with limited food storage space).
  • I know I am getting the best brand for each product – Thrive doesn’t carry 12 brands of almond butter, they only carry the two brands that meet the highest standards of ingredient sourcing.
  • Free shipping over $50. Enough said.
  • I reduce my driving and errands, which means I save on gas money and shopping time!

thrive market

How does Thrive work?

It’s very similar to Costco – you pay a yearly membership fee to get the wholesale prices. You save so much that you’ll likely make back your membership fee in just one or two orders… I did! You will also get a 30-day free trial period to ensure that Thrive is a good fit for you, before you commit. 

I’m excited to be working with Thrive to offer 15% your first order when you click through my referral link here

Don’t know where to start shopping on Thrive? I’ve also shared the pantry staples that I regularly buy from Thrive in my blog post here.

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8 Tricks That Instantly Squelch Carb Cravings http://empoweredsustenance.com/carb-cravings/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/carb-cravings/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 13:00:53 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8720 Insatiable carb cravings? Trust me, I’ve been there. In my darkest moments, I *may* have come close to screaming, “Just give me some bread before I kill someone!” To stop carb cravings, we need to look at the root causes, primarily imbalanced blood sugar. When we eat a large quantity of carbs, especially carbs without the presence […]

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8 tricks that instantly squelch carb cravings

Insatiable carb cravings?

Trust me, I’ve been there. In my darkest moments, I *may* have come close to screaming, “Just give me some bread before I kill someone!”

To stop carb cravings, we need to look at the root causes, primarily imbalanced blood sugar. When we eat a large quantity of carbs, especially carbs without the presence of fat or protein to slow digestion, we spike our blood sugar. This is followed by an insulin surge and a blood sugar crash that leaves us riding the roller coaster of carb cravings.

Transitioning to a grain free lifestyle reversed my acute autoimmune symptoms and even allowed me to taper off my medication. Unlike the side effects of my medication, I welcomed the side effects of my nutrition changes, especially the eventual disappearance of sugar and carb cravings. 

Perhaps you are making big changes in your diet, such as reducing your sweeteners or reducing your overall carb intake. You may find yourself craving carbs when you are not hungry, because you miss the sugar or bread that used to be a foundational part of your lifestyle. Also, emotional eating often takes the form of carb cravings.

I swear by the following recipes to squelch carb cravings within a few minutes. I think you will find them helpful, too!

If you are craving something sweet, try one of the following:

1. Healthy Buttermints

8 tricks that instantly squelch carb cravings

Made with nourishing fatty acids, peppermint oil and just a touch of sweetener, my Healthy Buttermints nip sugar cravings within a few minutes and, thanks to the good fats, provide profound satiation. The tiny amount of refined honey in the recipe satisfies your sugar cravings but won’t spike your blood sugar, because it is balanced with fats. 

Get the recipe here. 

8 tricks that instantly squelch carb cravings

2. Coconut Butter + Cinnamon + Salt

This trick works just like the Buttermints above. Coconut butter is chock full of fat-burning and hunger-satisfying fats called medium chain triglycerides. It also tastes naturally sweet, with negligible carbs. Don’t confuse coconut butter (this stuff) with coconut oil – it’s the same difference as almond butter vs. almond oil.

I love sprinkling on a bit of cinnamon, which augments the sweetness, and a pinch of salt. Just a spoonful will do ya!

3. Carob “Mousse”

8 tricks that instantly squelch carb cravings

Once again, healthy fats from coconut come to the rescue! You won’t miss the lack of sweeteners in this coconut-cream based frosting. It’s originally a frosting recipe, but you can also call it mousse to justify eating a straight spoonful of it. That’s my reasoning, at least.

It uses only three ingredients: naturally sweet carob powder, coconut cream and vanilla extract.

Get the recipe here. 

If you are craving something starchy, try one of the following: 

4. Sautéed Mushrooms

8 tricks that instantly squelch carb cravings

My newest food addiction is sautéed shiitake mushrooms. But there is a secret to preparing them in a way that brings out the most incredible toasty flavor and a chewy bread-like flavor, making them a low-carb solution to carb cravings. The healthy fats also play an important role here, like in the recipes above.

Here is the trick to making the mushrooms, courtesy of my friend the chef: Heat a thin layer of ghee in a sauté pan. Add quartered shiitake mushrooms in layer that covers the bottom of the pan. Don’t stir until they smell toasty and have taken on a golden brown color on the bottom. Then stir and repeat the process a couple of times, until the mushrooms still have a meaty, chewy texture but taste lovely and toasty. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy.

5. Sandwich Rounds

8 tricks that instantly squelch carb cravings

If you want bread but not the carbs, you’ll love these grain free sandwich rounds. I find that they satisfy “starchy carb cravings” but are low in carbs and made with vegetables! The recipe requires only about 3 minutes of prep time and works with any savory sandwich filling.

Get the recipe here.

6. Cauliflower “Mashed Fauxtatoes”

8 tricks that instantly squelch carb cravings

Have you made cauliflower mash before? The texture and flavor is uncannily similar to mashed potatoes, sans the carbs. You’ll find that this comforting dish works a charm on starchy carb cravings. It has density and healthy fats to fill you up, too. 

The technique is simple: steam cauliflower florets until tender, drain, and blend in a food processor or high powered blender with a dollop of ghee/butter and salt!

7. Roasted Green Beans

8 tricks that instantly squelch carb cravings

I made this for the first time a few weeks ago and thought, “Where has this been my whole life?!” As someone who hasn’t eaten potato chips for two years – so my perspective may be slightly skewed – I said, “These are as good as chips!” If you are craving chips or crackers, try this.

It’s a super simple recipe: Coat fresh trimmed green beans lightly in a melted ghee or coconut oil. (You need just a tablespoon or so of oil). Add some seasoning salt, if desired. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for an hour, stirring halfway through. Voila!

8. Cauliflower Tater Tots

8 tricks that instantly squelch carb cravings

Cauliflower to the rescue again! These are low carb, but taste like crispy, pillowy pockets of potato goodness.

Get the recipe here. 

8 tricks that instantly squelch carb cravings

Do you have any other healthy food ideas for carb cravings? And please share this post if you found it helpful! 

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Autoimmune Paleo Brownie Cookie Bars http://empoweredsustenance.com/autoimmune-paleo-brownie-bars/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/autoimmune-paleo-brownie-bars/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 16:29:36 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8929 From Lauren: Please welcome Marissa from Joy Filled Nourishment! A nutritional therapist in training, Marissa uses an autoimmune paleo approach to manage her health. Check out her blog for more creative and beautiful AIP recipes!  Marissa’s Journey with AIP I never imagined that I would be eating the way that I do now. Growing up, […]

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autoimmune paleo brownie 1

From Lauren: Please welcome Marissa from Joy Filled Nourishment! A nutritional therapist in training, Marissa uses an autoimmune paleo approach to manage her health. Check out her blog for more creative and beautiful AIP recipes! 

Marissa’s Journey with AIP

I never imagined that I would be eating the way that I do now. Growing up, my eating habits resembled the ‘standard american diet’ with heavily processed foods and sugar galore. I really didn’t even learn how to cook from scratch until a few years ago. After years of health struggles ranging from awful stomach pain, eczema, insomnia, and acne, I decided to try changing my diet. In October of 2013, I jumped into the Paleo diet and have not looked back. About a year later, I began my journey with the Autoimmune Protocol in order to find further healing and focus on lifestyle changes. 

A whole new world and wealth of information caused me to become incredibly interested in food and how our bodies work. This propelled me to pursue nutritional therapy and start blogging. I love preparing nutrient dense food for my husband and I, and I look forward to helping others do the same. 

Autoimmune Paleo Brownie Cookie Bars

These brownie cookie bars are not what I would call ‘nutrient dense’. However, they are a melt in your mouth delicious treat with an incredible flavor profile.  You really can’t go wrong combining cookie and brownie dough, am I right? Promise me you won’t skimp on the maple butter though. This glorious spread gives the brownies their depth of flavor and provides a wonderful topping on the finished product. You can leave off adding extra maple butter on top if you desire, but I’m telling you, it’s so worth it.

autoimmune paleo brownie 2

While I don’t propose treats as a normal occurrence on the AIP, I do think it’s important to have options for when a special occasion occurs or you just get the hankering for something sweet. While it may seem like this recipe is intensive, they come together fairly quickly. Additionally, they freeze beautifully which means you can freeze half of them (or more!) for a later date without having to make them again. Win win! I like to pack myself a little square if I know I will surrounded by sweets that I can’t have. This makes it so that I don’t feel left out and I still get to enjoy a delicious treat!

Autoimmune Paleo Brownie Cookie Bars

Yield: Makes 16 brownies

Autoimmune Paleo Brownie Cookie Bars

Cookie dough layered with brownie batter... does it get any better? This recipe calls for a few unique ingredients with which you may not be familiar. Carob powder tastes similar to cocoa powder and is AIP-compliant. Tigernut flour is made from nutrient-dense tubers (it is not a nut-based flour, the name is misleading). Maple butter is a creamy sweetener made from maple syrup.

Ingredients

    For the cookie dough
  • 2/3 cup tigernut flour, measured then sifted available here
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbs coconut flour, available here
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbs coconut sugar, available here
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated palm shortening, available here
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 gelatin egg substitutes (see method below), recommended gelatin available here (select the Collagen Protein in the green jar)
  • For the brownie dough
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbs coconut flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • ¼ cup carob powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup non-hydrogenated palm shortening
  • ¼ cup maple butter, available here
  • 1Tbs coconut butter, available here
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 gelatin egg substitutes (see method below)
  • Additional maple butter to spread on top, if desired

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking pan with coconut oil and preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. For the cookie dough: In a medium bowl mix together the tigernut flour, coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt, and coconut sugar. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the palm shortening, maple syrup, and vanilla with a hand-mixer until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until combined.
  3. Prepare the gelatin egg substitutes: In a small mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons gelatin with 2 tablespoons cold water by whisking thoroughly. Add 4 tablespoons boiling water to the small mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until the mixture becomes frothy. Quickly mix the gelatin egg substitutes into the prepared cookie dough.
  4. Spread dough into prepared 8x8 inch baking pan, pressing down with the back of a spatula to evenly spread.
  5. For the brownie dough: In a medium bowl mix together the coconut flour, arrowroot, carob powder, sea salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine palm shortening, maple butter, coconut butter, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla, mixing with a hand mixer until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until combined.
  6. Prepare the gelatin egg substitutes: See method above.
  7. Quickly mix the gelatin egg substitutes into the prepared brownie dough and spread the dough on top of the cookie dough in the 8x8 inch prepared pan, pressing down with the back of a spatula to evenly spread.
  8. Bake 16-18 minutes at 350 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. Spread maple butter on top of brownie cookie bars if desired and enjoy!
http://empoweredsustenance.com/autoimmune-paleo-brownie-bars/

MarissaAbout Marissa at Joy Filled Nourishment

Marissa is a wife, believer, and real-food enthusiast. She is healing her body through the autoimmune protocol to fight IBS, eczema, leaky gut, and difficulty sleeping. She is a nutritional therapist practitioner in training and loves helping people to see that real food can be utterly delicious and healing. In her spare time she loves hiking, painting, board games, drinking tea, and geeking out over nutrition and chemical-free skincare.

Connect with Marissa at Joy Filled Nourishment, Instagram, Facebook and Etsy!

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10 Convenience Foods that Make Paleo Easier http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-convenience-foods/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-convenience-foods/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 19:19:43 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8875 Occasionally, a website will come along and forever change your life. For example, Netflix. Or Thrive Market. Two weeks ago, I placed my first order at Thrive Market. After the shopping experience and receiving my order, it may be an accurate prophesy to state that Thrive Market will have a vastly greater impact (and no doubt a […]

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paleo convenience foods

Occasionally, a website will come along and forever change your life. For example, Netflix. Or Thrive Market.

Two weeks ago, I placed my first order at Thrive Market. After the shopping experience and receiving my order, it may be an accurate prophesy to state that Thrive Market will have a vastly greater impact (and no doubt a more positive impact) on my life than Netflix.

But first, let me tell you about some of my favorite paleo pantry staples and then I will explain why you need to check out Thrive.

These items are what I consider “paleo convenience foods” and they fit into the Treat Category. I certainly don’t recommend making a regular meal out of paleo-friendly trail mix, avocado oil mayonnaise, and jerky. However, I wish I knew about these products years ago, because they can smooth the transition from a grain-filled to a grain-free diet.

Pantry staples that make Paleo easier

paleo convenience foods

You know I am not a fan of the refined vegetable oils, such as canola oil, found in mayonnaise. Until recently, I thought the only option for a canola-oil free mayonnaise was making it… and I’m not ready to play Martha Stewart when I have a craving for egg salad. That’s why I love this mayonnaise made with avocado oil!

paleo convenience foods

If you want a soy-free alternative to soy sauce, I suggest coconut aminos . It boasts a similar salty-umami flavor and is slightly sweeter.

paleo convenience foods

Potato chips cooked in healthy coconut oil instead of icky vegetable oils. Guys, these are COCONUT OIL POTATO CHIPS.

paleo convenience foods

Basically, this is the superfood cousin of Nutella. Featuring easily-digestible sprouted hazelnuts and coconut sugar, it tastes a million times better and is junk-food free.

paleo convenience foods

These paleo buffalo jerky bites are sweet and salty. Perfect for traveling and also when you need a shelf-stable protein source for a quick meal.

paleo convenience foods

I don’t know where these have been my entire life, but they will certainly be a part of the rest of my life! These raw dehydrated Botija olives are chewy, salty, and extraordinarily flavorful. I eat them straight from the jar or add them to salads.

paleo convenience foods

Paleo granola!!! Perfect for topping fruit, yogurt or smoothies. You can also enjoy it with coconut milk for a paleo-approved cereal option (although that should be considered a treat rather than a daily breakfast). Take note that it is not nut-free, however.

paleo convenience foods

Epic Bars – I love the Bison Cranberry flavor – are like jerky bars made with the highest-quality ingredients. I always have one in my purse and my car.

paleo convenience foods

Organic canned sweet potato puree is one of my pantry staples for grain free baking. You can use it in baking recipes that call for pumpkin puree or applesauce.

859888000684-1

Raw Coconut Lime Crisps pack the healthy goodness of raw coconut into a convenient and tasty package. It’s a satisfying combination of crunchy and chewy. High in fiber and healthful fats, and low in sugar, it’s a nourishing and portable snack that fills me up for hours.

Why should you try Thrive?

So, getting back to Thrive Market… here is why I am hooked:

You know you are getting the best of the best. Thrive’s business model is based on selling only the highest quality, healthiest options for each product offered. For example, they don’t carry 12 brands of almond butter, they only carry the one or two that meet the highest standards of ingredient sourcing and manufacturing.

Save a ton of money. Thrive products are 25 – 50% off retail. As a full-time student and blogger, I’ve found more than a few ways to save money while eating whole foods. So I couldn’t believe how much I cut my grocery bill the first week I shopped at Thrive – the average discount on each product is 35% off retail.

Free shipping over $49. Enough said.

Super intuitive shopping experience. I have a low tolerance for clunky and non-intuitive online shopping websites. Thrive meets my extremely high standards!

Access ingredients without hours of driving. Many of my favorite products at Thrive at not available at my nearby grocery store or even my closest natural foods store. If you live where a health foods store is not convenient, shopping at Thrive will save you a ton of driving.

Discover new healthy living products. Would you be interested in trying stevia-sweetened chocolate chips? Or what about cricket flour protein bars (for real!)? Or how about raw pecan butter? Then you’ve got to start browsing Thrive!

Thrive gives back. With every membership, they sponsor a low-income family!

thrive market

How does Thrive Market work?

First, sign up here to browse Thrive and get 15% off your first order. (By signing up with that link, you’ll  also be entered to win a $250 shopping spree to Thrive!) With your first order, you’ll begin your 30-day free trial period.

Then, you can join Thrive for just $59 a year. You’ll likely make back your membership fee in just one order (I did!). Here’s how it works:

At average discounts of 35% to retail, with just $110 worth of purchases on Thrive Market, you will have made back your initial membership fee. That means that if you’re an average American family of four, buying just 25% of your monthly groceries at Thrive Market will pay back your membership fee in under one month.

Once again, here is the link to save 15% and enter to win the shopping spree.

I know you’ll enjoy Thrive as much as I do… have fun shopping!

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Italian Sausage Paleo Flatbread Pizza (AIP) http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-flatbread/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-flatbread/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:23:11 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8909 From Lauren: Meet Alaena Hubber, the blogger and recipe creator behind Grazed and Enthused! I always look forward to trying Alaena’s recipes and one of my favorites is the Birthday Cupcakes she shared on The Paleo Mom. If you are on the search for creative autoimmune-friendly recipes, go visit Grazed and Enthused.  Italian Sausage Paleo Flatbread […]

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italian sausage paleo flatbread pizza!

From Lauren: Meet Alaena Hubber, the blogger and recipe creator behind Grazed and Enthused! I always look forward to trying Alaena’s recipes and one of my favorites is the Birthday Cupcakes she shared on The Paleo Mom. If you are on the search for creative autoimmune-friendly recipes, go visit Grazed and Enthused

Italian Sausage Paleo Flatbread

After 15 months following the Autoimmune Protocol to treat Hashimoto’s, leaky gut, and histamine intolerance, there is one craving that has yet to take a hike. Originally cited as my favorite food on a 6th grade biography poster, pizza has and will always be the key to my heart. After watching my husband bathe in the glory that is thin crust pizza recently, I just about had it with the torture. Okay, torture is an exaggeration… it’s more like a mild mental discomfort. I wanted to create a flatbread thin-crust style pizza that is just as nutrient dense as the average AIP meal. This pizza contains 5 different fruits and vegetables! For those of you that have tried one of my most popular recipes, AIP Rosemary & Prosciutto Stromboli, this recipe will make up for any thin crust cravings that remain!

The paleo flatbread crust could not be easier to throw together. I suggest making a double batch since you will have extra Italian Sausage and Sweet Herb Sauce. Please ensure you are accurate with the crust ingredients as too little or too much flour can noticeably alter the texture. The texture of the crust improves as it cools, so be patient before diving in! Truffle salt adds an extra depth of flavor but it is perfectly fine to use a high quality fine sea salt too. I have also used this crust to make White Pizza and Pesto Chicken Pizza with fabulous results. Just be sure to lay a sauce down first or your topping ingredients will not stick to the base. Enjoy this savory treat and get creative with your own version!

italian sausage paleo flatbread pizza!

Italian Sausage Paleo Flatbread Pizza

Yield: 6 servings (1 complete flatbread pizza with leftover sauce and sausage)

Italian Sausage Paleo Flatbread Pizza

Ingredients

    Flatbread crust
  • 2/3 cup arrowroot flour, available here
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp Coconut flour, available here
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • ¼ tsp Truffle salt, available here (or use sea salt)
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • ½ cup Warm water
  • Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb Ground beef or pork
  • 1 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • ¼ tsp Granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp Truffle salt or sea salt
  • Veggie Toppings
  • 8 oz Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Yellow Squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Rosemary, fresh
  • Sea salt
  • For the sweet herb sauce
  • 1 Large Carrot, ½ inch slices
  • 1 Large Pear, ½ inch cubes
  • 2 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • ¼ tsp Truffle salt or sea salt

Instructions

  1. For the flatbread crust Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Slowly pour in the olive oil, stirring as you pour. Mix in the warm water thoroughly until a smooth ball of dough has formed.
  3. Place dough on a pizza pan or baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay another sheet of parchment on top of the dough and use your hands or a rolling pin to smooth the dough into a circle about 1/4 inch thick and approximately 10 inches wide.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes until crispy. Set aside while you make your toppings.
  5. For the sausage Brown ground beef or pork in a large skillet set over medium-high heat for 3 minutes without disturbing. Stir in remaining ingredients and let finish cooking 5 more minutes until cooked through and well browned. Sprinkle with additional sea salt. Set aside.
  6. For the veggies Cook mushrooms in large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil for 5 minutes until they begin to cook down and release their liquid. Add squash, rosemary and sea salt to the pan and cook for 5 more minutes until mushrooms are soft. Set aside.
  7. For the herb sauce Fit a steamer basket over a saucepan filled with two inches of water. Add carrot, pear and garlic to basket, cover, and bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Steam for 15 minutes until pears are easily pierced with a fork. You want them to be very soft since you will be pureeing them in the next step. Reserve cooking liquid.
  8. Transfer to a high-powered blender or food processor and add remaining ingredients. Turn machine on low and slowly pour in ¼ cup of reserved liquid. Blend sauce ingredients until they are pureed.
  9. Assembly Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the cooked pizza crust. You will have leftovers for a second pizza. Top sauce with cooked mushroom and squash and press them into the sauce lightly with a spatula. Sprinkle on half of the Italian Sausage. You will have leftovers as well.
  10. Bake for 5 more minutes in the preheated oven until warm and crispy. Let cool a few minutes prior to slicing. I use an herb rocker knife for the cleanest slices.
http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-flatbread/

Alaena-Haber-230x300 About Alaena Haber at Grazed and Enthused

Grazed and Enthused is a Paleo & Autoimmune Protocol blog by Alaena Haber that has three requirements: recipes must be creative, accessible, and make others excited about nutritional healing. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram where she shares both tiny and victorious moments in her healing journey.

 

 

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Paleo Chocolate Pots de Creme http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-chocolate-pots-de-creme/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-chocolate-pots-de-creme/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:19:29 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8894 From Lauren: I’m excited to share with you another guest recipe today, and it is created by the extraordinarily talented Laura Vein at Sweet Treats Baking. Laura, a pastry chef and photographer, uses her culinary background to make the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) a gourmet and beautiful experience. This recipe is suitable for the re-introduction phases of AIP. This […]

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paleo chocolate pots de creme

From Lauren: I’m excited to share with you another guest recipe today, and it is created by the extraordinarily talented Laura Vein at Sweet Treats Baking. Laura, a pastry chef and photographer, uses her culinary background to make the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) a gourmet and beautiful experience. This recipe is suitable for the re-introduction phases of AIP.

This month, I’ve been privileged to share many guest recipes (including Caramel Blondies, Apple Oven Pancake, and Spinach Artichoke Dip) from some of my favorite bloggers. First, I want to introduce you to other bloggers and new resources for your healing journey. Second, my school load has been very intense for the past few weeks and I haven’t had time for my own recipe creation. I hope you are enjoying these recipes!

Laura’s Journey with AIP

Going from a Standard American Diet (SAD) to the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) is a huge challenge of personal will power & culinary creativity. I made this change in one giant step in April 2014–one day I was eating a reduced gluten SAD diet, and the next day, on the recommendation of my doctor, I fully committed to AIP. This transition had its challenges, especially since I’m a pastry chef by trade & a former culinary school instructor. AIP forced me to completely change my baking mentality. But thankfully, the elimination stage of AIP doesn’t last forever.

After a period of healing & seeing dramatic improvement in my symptoms, I cautiously started adding back a few items. Two of my successful reintroductions, which are found in this recipe, include pastured egg yolks & dark chocolate (dairy free/soy free).  I don’t eat my reintroduction items necessarily on a daily basis, nor do I eat them in large quantities, but it is really satisfying to expand my options, especially for special occasions.

My husband has been incredibly supportive of my AIP eating  lifestyle changes–I suspect he’s mainly excited about how much more meat & veggies we eat these days! He even follows almost all the AIP guidelines I follow when eating at home, including some reintroductions. But when he had a sinus procedure a couple months ago, I wanted to make him a comforting treat, while still promoting optimum healing. He requested chocolate pudding.

Paleo Chocolate Pots de Creme

Pudding falls into the custard family of desserts, which also includes such items as creme brûlée, pastry cream, creme anglaise, flan, panna cotta, some ice cream varieties, and more. Traditional custards are comprised of flavored (and usually sweetened) dairy that has been thickened with ingredients like eggs, starch and/or gelatin. Custards are not terribly difficult to paleo-ify either, by swapping the dairy for coconut milk (or almond milk, or perhaps even tigernut milk), by replacing the white granulated sugar with a paleo-friendly option like honey or maple syrup (and often reducing the amount of sweetener), & by thickening the custard with high quality eggs, and/or paleo friendly starches, and/or gelatin, depending on what your personal lifestyle allows. The texture of the custard depends greatly on the ratio of dairy to thickener. I decided to make a more grown up version of pudding by creating a paleo chocolate pots de crème custard.

Pot de crème is one of the softest, richest custards (traditionally made with just yolks) & is usually made and served in small individual cups. The custard is started on the stove & finished in the oven, not requiring as much hands-on preparation as some custards need. Once baked and chilled, it can be served either as is, or with additional garnishes. While these custards may be small, they are very, very rich.

I’ve made many desserts over the years, but my husband has declared these chocolate pots de crèmes as one of his favorites of any dessert I’ve made, paleo or not. He laments their small size–he could possibly eat at least half a batch in a sitting, but I think they’re the perfect size for a once-in-a-while indulgence.

paleo chocolate pots de creme

paleo chocolate pots de creme

Paleo Chocolate Pots de Creme

Yield: 4 servings

Paleo Chocolate Pots de Creme

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (recommended brand available here
  • 90 g (1/2 c) Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Chips (such as Enjoy Life chocolate chips, available here)
  • 3 Egg Yolks (pastured, if possible)
  • 42 g (2 Tbl) honey
  • generous pinch sea salt
  • Optional: Coconut Whipped Cream for serving
  • Optional: Cacao powder, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk over medium heat until just below a simmer--bubbles form around the edges & small wisps of steam are visible; do not boil. Remove the pan from heat & add the chocolate chips. Whisk together until the chocolate has completely melted into the coconut milk. If not all the chocolate melts, return the pan to the burner & heat slightly.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the yolks, honey & salt. Temper the hot coconut chocolate mixture into the yolks/honey mixture by pouring the liquid in a slow stream into the yolks/honey, while constantly whisking. If the bowl moves around too much during this process, place a silicone pot holder/oven mitt or wet paper towel under the bowl to keep it in place. Optional: pour the custard mixture into a large liquid measuring cup or other vessel with a spout.
  4. Place 4 small cups or ramekins into a larger baking dish or roasting pan. Divide the custard mixture evenly between the cups--a little more than 1/3 c of the mixture in each cup. Pour water into the baking dish, around the cups, to help insulate the custards & protect the cups during the baking process.
  5. Carefully transfer the baking dish of cups into the preheated oven & bake until the custards are set, 30 to 35 minutes. When done, the custard should still have a bit of jiggle when the pan is gently shaken.
  6. Cool the dish for a few minutes, then remove the cups from the water bath & refrigerate until cold.
  7. Serve on their own, or with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and/or a dusting of cacao powder. Keep any leftovers covered & chilled in the refrigerator.

Notes

The mini latte bowls used for the custards in these photographs are from Anthropologie (not available online) and are 3 oz in volume.

http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-chocolate-pots-de-creme/

laura veinAbout Laura at Sweet Treats Baking

Laura is a pastry chef, stylist, designer/photographer, & former culinary school instructor who found the Autoimmune Protocol, with the help of her doctor, after her health began deteriorating from the effects of interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, gluten intolerance, IBS, allergies (and probably other yet-to-be-diagnosed conditions). She is passionate about showing the world all the delicious and good for you options the Autoimmune Protocol can offer. She doesn’t want anyone to feel deprived, no matter what their food limitations are. She loves telling stories through food & providing encouragement. In her spare time, she often “falls down online rabbit holes” researching various topics, health-related or not, and brainstorming future projects.

Laura recipe develops, styles, photographs & writes at Sweet Treats, a former dessert-turned-AIP/Paleo blog. She is also very active on InstagramPinterest, Facebook and Steller

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Confessions of a Recovering Health Perfectionist http://empoweredsustenance.com/health-perfectionist/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/health-perfectionist/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 03:44:26 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8848 A bad case of writer’s block Writer’s block comes in many forms. For me, it has taken the form of a sparkling clean bathroom, a batch of cauliflower tater tots, and an empty inbox. Returning to this blank page after completing all of the above, I hope I will manage to translate my thoughts to […]

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health perfectionist

A bad case of writer’s block

Writer’s block comes in many forms. For me, it has taken the form of a sparkling clean bathroom, a batch of cauliflower tater tots, and an empty inbox.

Returning to this blank page after completing all of the above, I hope I will manage to translate my thoughts to coherent sentences. I think the difficulty of writing this post indicates to me the great importance of writing it.

I want to begin by telling you a story with which you may be familiar:

There was a 14 year old girl who got very sick with an autoimmune disease. For four years, her doctors gave her various medications which allowed her to scrape by, but delivered more side effects than benefits.

The medications stopped working altogether when she was 18. Her doctors told her that surgery would be required to remove part of her colon. The reality of living her life without her intestines seemed awakened an innate tenacity deep within her soul. She committed herself to finding another solution. She would make herself healthy.

She discovered that drastic dietary changes stopped her acute symptoms within a matter of days. Within a few months, she decided to taper herself off her medications. Within two years, she had achieved the goal she set for herself: through a natural approach, she was off medication and healthy enough to return to college. In addition, she was empowering others on their journey to wellness through her blog Empowered Sustenance.

The End. Not.

That is not where the story ends. And if I have led to you believe that is the whole story, I have done you a great disservice.

I have not “made myself healthy.” I have learned that, ironically, it is not healthy for me to live with this linear image in my mind, this straight path that takes me from point A (unhealthy) – to point B (healthy).

I am not superwoman.

A few months ago, I received a reader comment that my mind has persistently repeated. It went something like this:

“With all that you do for your health, such as your diet and all your treatments and gadgets, do you feel as healthy as Superwoman? Or are you still having health issues?”

No, I am far from Superwoman, and yes, I still have health issues. I feel compelled to tell you that. I don’t want you to have this image that I went from sick to completely healthy. I used to think was how it was supposed to happen, and that led me to discouragement when I felt like my health was slipping off that linear path.

The Transformation

This past quarter, I took a thought-provoking class called Myths, Rituals and Health. One statement the professor repeated stuck with me:

“Look at your life in terms of your personal myth, which is another way of saying your life’s journey. Where is the transformation? Real healing doesn’t occur unless there is transformation. And transformation is not saying, ‘I want to be healthy so I can go back to normal.’ If you go back to normal, you have not transformed, you have not taken the opportunity to grow spiritually.

I thought the ultimate transformation in my life would be transforming into ultimate health, the kind of health 9-year-old Lauren had. Boy, I was one extraordinary healthy and energetic little kid.

Now that I’ve recognized my linear-healing vision, I have been able to slowly shed that dysfunctional assumption of healing.

I no longer want to “go back to normal.” I want to embrace my health progress as well as gratefully receive my ongoing health challenges. These health challenges lead me to continually learn – they are a profoundly empowering factor in my life.

What are my current health challenges?

Why am I writing all of this? Because I want to tell you that I am not Superwoman. I’ve had some significant health struggles for about the past year. Healing is circuitous. It involves stripping away layers in order to address the many components of mental and physical health. 

Now that my ulcerative colitis is fully managed with my diet and lifestyle, I’m discovering some underlying issues and their accompanying symptoms. The challenges that seem most daunting to me right now are Hashimoto’s disease, copper toxicity, and mineral imbalances.

You would think that, after my successful experience addressing the ulcerative colitis, I would feel empowered to face my current health challenges. Ironically, I often feel like a failure.

It would make sense for me to approach my symptoms with this mindset: 

“I’ve been on this road before, I know it is a process of learning and adjusting. It is uncomfortable not knowing all the answers, but that is life. It takes time, but I’ll figure things out.”  

Instead, my thought process tends to look like this:

“I know so much about nutrition, I unendingly research healing, I see experienced practitioners, and take such meticulous care of my health. Why aren’t my health challenges resolving instantly? Why am I dealing with symptoms that are so uncomfortable and inconvenient?  I must be a failure.”

Perfection doesn’t equal empowerment

I quickly admit that I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’ve learned that mixing perfectionism with health creates a disastrous pit of quicksand.

I can’t tell you how many times this week I’ve fallen back into the dangerous thought pattern of equating my wellbeing with perfect health. I often catch myself equating unresponsive health issues with failure. 

When this happens, I ask myself, “Why do I feel like a failure?” The answer is, simply, “I’ve failed to be perfect.” And then I recognize how utterly absurd that sounds.

Do you know what is even more ridiculous? I arrive at this conclusion over and over, yet I am still learning the lesson.

The lesson

If there is one thing I want you to take away from this post, it is this:

Healing is not about reaching perfection. It’s about constant adjusting and reorienting oneself in order to maintain balance.

The goal of perfect health is completely incompatible with mental and physical wellbeing. Approaching health challenges as a growth opportunity and balancing act is deeply empowering.

Do you – like me – find yourself glorifying perfect health? I want to encourage you to gently ask of yourself reorientation instead of perfection.

I am not superwoman. Neither are you. So we don’t need to hold our health up to a standard of perfection. I think that is a monumental relief, don’t you?

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

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How to transform your skin with a holistic skincare routine

What is a holistic skincare routine?

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

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

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

How to practice a holistic skincare routine

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

1. Avoid harsh, oil-stripping cleansers

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

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

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

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

2. Befriend Skincare Oils

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

As Michelle and I discussed in our previous skincare oil post

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

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

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

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

How to transform your skin with a holistic skincare routine

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

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

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

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

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

4. Avoid Over Exfoliation

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

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

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

How to transform your skin with a holistic skincare routine

 5. Choose the correct SPF

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

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

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

How to transform your skin with a holistic skincare routine

Enessa’s Skincare Routine Giveaway + Coupon

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

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

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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

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

Apple Paleo Oven Pancake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paleo Oven Pancake {with Coconut Flour}

Yield: Makes 4 generous servings

Paleo Oven Pancake {with Coconut Flour}

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

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

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

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