Category Archives: nourishment

Recipe: Steak in Chocolate Chili Sauce

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This is what I just had for dinner and it combines all the best things in life: butter, chocolate, steak, tomatoes, onions and bone broth. ¬†I’m getting the goosebumps just thinking about it!

Steak in Chocolate Chili Sauce

What you’ll need:

3/4 stick of Kerrygold garlic and herb butter

1-2 onions sliced

2 cups homemade bone broth or 3 cups store bought broth

1 cup water if you’re using homemade broth

1/2 – 1 pound of beef, preferably in steak form ūüôā

1 can of diced tomatoes 

1 Tablespoon of chili seasoning

1 Tablespoon on unsweetened cocoa powder

1.  On medium heat, melt the butter and add the onions.

2.  Stir every few minutes, keeping an eye on the onions.

3.  When the onions are translucent, add the bone broth, tomatoes, water, chili and cocoa powder.

4.  Mix well.

5.  Turn down the heat and let that simmer for 15 minutes.

6.  Add the meat.

7. ¬†On low, cover and allow it to simmer for an hour. ¬†(Yep, an hour. ¬†Go wash your hair, take the dog for a walk, do your taxes, shave your chest….whatever.)

8.  Pull the steak out of the sauce and ease it onto a plate.  Cover with the sauce.

I didn’t make anything to go with it tonight. ¬†It would be lovely with some greens or roasted squash.

*You will need your fork and spoon. ¬†I thought that I’d need my knife to cut the meat but it was fork tender.

Recipe: Dessert or Meal? Cherry “Sundae”

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This is one of my favorite things to eat lately! ¬†If you follow me on Instagram or see my feed on my page of the book of face, you may have noticed. ¬†This is barely a recipe. ¬†However, I will highlight it here because the taste sensation is (to me) unreal! ¬†I’ve had it as a dessert and as a meal.¬†

Cherry “Sundae”¬†

What you’ll need (per person):

3 raw, soaked overnight and dried Brasil nuts, chopped fine (do yourself a favor and do a bunch at a time! ¬†ūüôā )

1/4-1/2 cup of frozen cherries

Handful of salted pistachios

1-2 raw egg yolks

1/2 -1 cup coconut milk

Splash of vanilla

1 pinch of sea salt

1/2 -1 tspn of pink peppercorns

Put it all together in a bowl. ¬†(See barely a recipe at all! ¬†My friend Michelle told me once that I don’t cook but rather “build” meals. ¬†Since I can’t follow a recipe, I think she’s right.)

You can stack the ingredients however you want in a bowl or parfait glass in layers or put them all together and mix well with a spoon to make it more like melted ice cream. ¬†ūüôā

Enjoy!

Words that Mean Nothing

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There are so many words that get tossed around in the alternate universe that is called “wellness” that really stick in my craw. ¬†I find that when I share my annoyances, they dissipate a little and I don’t have to obsess over them….as much. ¬†So, join me in the aggravation shall you?

natural: as in “natural foods”, ‘natural flavors”, etc. ¬†This is the most seductive of them right now. ¬†You want stuff to be natural, I’m sure. ¬†However, the dictionary delineates between things we find in their raw state as natural and something manmade as not natural. ¬†So how can any boxed/packaged food claim to be natural? ¬†They can’t. ¬†Not by definition. ¬†Of course, neither can a good chicken soup be considered natural because it’s been processed by your dear sweet grandmother. ¬†On the other side of things, this also seems to imply that whatever man does is not natural. ¬†Why is a beehive natural and a skyscraper not? ¬†Why is a dog snarling when cornered natural and a woman screaming in rage when abused not? ¬†The constructed delineation between what is natural and what is not allows for the madness that a boxed, sugar coated, puffed cereal grain can be marketed as “natural”. ¬†This word means nothing, is what I’m trying unsuccessfully to point out. ¬†Next time you’re walking through the grocery store, just notice what is marketed as natural food. ¬†It’s not the meat and produce and grass-fed butter. ¬†It’s the chips, energy bars, whey powders….in short, it’s just a marketing tool to steer you away from the things that are authentic to your species and to spending more money on a myth.

organic: Ugh, something is organic because it is a carbon-based life form. ¬†Do I need to say more? ¬†Everything you eat is organic. ¬†Every fruit, leaf, slice of steak…a carbon-based life form. ¬†They get you because by saying something is organic, the theory is that its not been sprayed or treated with anything inorganic (not a carbon-based life form). ¬†Which is of course WONDERFUL! ¬†LIfe forms eat other life forms in general until you work your way down the web and something is just absorbing sunlight. ¬†(Thank you chlorophyll! ¬†We love you!) ¬†The problem is this. ¬†A cow eating organic (unsprayed, untreated) grain and not receiving hormones or antibiotics is of greater quality than one that isn’t treated this way is still not getting to be a cow. ¬†What I mean is this. ¬†Cows eat grass. ¬†They want to eat grass. ¬†When they get to eat grass and be out in the sunlight and walk around, they get to be cows. ¬†(This also goes for plants. ¬†Plants do well when they grow with other kinds of plants and not so well when they are mono-cropped, so you vegetarians aren’t in the clear.) ¬†Organic is certainly a higher rung on the ladder but organic in its common usage still doesn’t mean that the animal or plant gets to be itself.

chemical: Everything is chemical. ¬†When you see something advertise itself as chemical free what does that even mean? ¬†It would be a box or bottle of nothing if it were true. ¬†What they mean to say, I’m assuming, is no added chemicals. ¬†You are a chemical being. ¬†So, chemical free doesn’t mean anything at all. ¬†You need to read and find out what chemicals are authentic to us and can be absorbed or come into contact with no harm and what can’t.

spiritual: Here it comes. ¬†Spiritual means something sanctioned by a religion or church. ¬†Yeah, surprising, right? ¬†Contrary to what you’ve been spoon-fed since birth, you do not need a spiritual component to your life in order to be healthy. ¬†What a lot of people call their spiritual practice is just otherwise known as being authentically human. ¬†What I mean by that is that:

We need to go outside.

We need to eat things that are authentic to us and that get to live lives that are authentic to them.

We need quiet time to not think about much of anything.

We need time with others.  We are a primarily social species.

We need to play.

We need to learn new things.

We need to move.

We need to express ourselves and be heard.

We need to sleep in safety.

These are some of our needs. ¬†The different ways that we meet those needs that our culture sanctifies and codifies become what we call “spirituality”. ¬†But, you don’t have to. ¬†It’s…funny?…to me that we are taught to be so afraid of the body’s needs that we can only allow ourselves to meet them by labeling them spiritual. ¬†It’s not. ¬†It’s physical and authentic and not at all mystical.

purity: ¬†On the heels of that last rant. ¬†Purity and “pure” make my bile rise and burns the back of my throat. ¬†Pure water has no nutrition. ¬†Pure oxygen will kill you. ¬†Pure environments will starve your immune system. ¬†Purity of the body is an impossible, deluded fantasy that can easily become an obsession so dangerous that it will kill you. ¬†Purity of the blood is at the heart of every genocide. ¬†This word also means nothing…well, nothing good. ¬†It always gives me the heebie-jeebies. ¬†Purity of thought leads to stasis and lack of creativity. ¬†Pure also means that something else is dirty. ¬†This is also dangerous. ¬†Pure emotions are compassion and happiness and joy. ¬†Dirty is anger and fear? ¬†Except of course, anger is a really good way to know that something has violated you and fear will keep you alive.

These are a couple of things that keep me up at night.  And, because language is important.

Recipe: Pickled Eggs

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I found this recipe on wildernesschilde.blogspot.com. ¬†I adapted it very, very slightly. ¬†It’s one of my favorite ways to have handy snacky protein around. It’s also a great way to preserve a bumper crop of eggs if you get lucky enough to come into one.

Pickled Eggs

What you’ll need:

Eggs-at least a dozen

Wheat Free Tamari/Soy Sauce

Vinegar (balsamic is super nice, but pricey so I mix it with apple cider vinegar)

1 large onion

4 bulbs of garlic per jar

Kombu

Canning Jar or old big pickle jar (1/2 gallon holds about 1 1/12 dozen eggs)

You know how I roll around here by now. ¬†I’m not all into measurements and those sorts of crazy constraints. ¬†Maybe that’s one reason that I eat paleo. ¬†I don’t have to bake and get specific.

Okay here we go:

1. Boil your eggs.

2. While your eggs are boiling, slice your onion into thick rounds and peel the garlic.

3. Peel your eggs.  (This is easier if you take the freshly boiled eggs and plunge them into ice water.  This shrinks the egg away from the shell.)

4. Take your clean jar and put one-two large pieces of seaweed in the jar.  (I used kelp this time.)  As you peel the eggs, plop them in the jar with the seaweed.

5. ¬†While you’re peeling eggs, take equal parts vinegar and tamari (the amount you need will be according to the size of the jar), the garlic and the onion slices (reserve one) and boil them in a pot.

6.  When the vinegar/tamari mixture is brought to a boil for a minute or two, carefully pour it all over the eggs into the jar with the garlic and onions.

7.  Take the piece of onion you had reserved, and place it on top and close the jar.

8.  This will keep for a long time.  A couple months at least.

I love to make egg salad from these.  Deviled eggs.  Or just eat them as is.  I LOVE them.

Have fun!

Reader Question: Toxins

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What toxins are in our bodies and how to get rid of them? -Victoria

This is another great question from Victoria.

This entire concept of toxins has really spawned an entire industry based on cleansing the body.  Cleanse.  Clean.  Pure.

“Toxin” is one of those words that I’d like to see eradicated for a while. ¬†It has created so much fear and a certain attitude of war against the body.

I’m not denying that we live in something of a cesspool of our own creation, most definitely. ¬†However, we focus our energy on cleansing the body of the individual instead of stopping the toxic things at their source. ¬†For example, a large part of the toxins that we ingest are in our water. ¬†Instead of us getting really angry about that, we’ve allowed corporations to charge us money for “clean water” in bottles (plastic of course which are toxic).

Okay, reining myself back in. ¬†That wasn’t really the question.

We are contextual beings. ¬†What that means is that our body cannot be separated from its environment. ¬†If you’ve ever looked at single celled organisms through a microscope, you now that they are “swimming’ through a solution of something. ¬†There’s not just empty space between them. ¬†It’s the same idea with us. ¬†The “empty space” that you see between yourself and the person next to you or the tree a few feet away is not empty at all. ¬†It’s swirling with life, dust, pollen, and all sorts of other things. ¬†So, we are only as “non-toxic” ¬†as our environment.

Our bodies co-evolved with everything else in our environment. ¬†This means that we evolved all sorts of “cleansing” mechanisms naturally and within ourselves. ¬†We have several organs who do that: the skin, the liver, the kidneys, the intestines, the lungs, etc. ¬†A well nourished healthy body cleanses itself naturally.

However, we as a species have been very busy creating new toxins to fill that “empty space” between things. ¬†The body may need a little additional help.

The things that we now have to deal with are pesticides in our food, radiation in the air and water, sugar, vegetable oils, genetically modified foods and strange chemical combinations created by industry.  These are the biggies.

Some of these are pretty easy to control.  Stop eating sugar and vegetable oils and GMO foods.  Source your water from a spring or use a filter for the tap.  Get angry about industry and see what you can do about your local area.  (This is hard.  Very, very hard.  Money and politics are strong forces in this day and age.)

Here are the other things that you can do:

1.  Eat well.  You eat to very literally create yourself.  What you eat is broken down and used by your body to repair and make more of you on a cellular level.

2. ¬†Nourish your organs. ¬†Your organs regenerate. ¬†Your skin, your liver….you basically get new ones every few weeks to months. ¬†So, give your body the best nutrients to build organs that are capable of cleansing the body, not just limp along trying to survive.

3.  Eat clay.  Find some edible clay and take a little bit in each day.  Just a bit.  I make toothpaste with mine.  Other times, I dissolve a little bit in my water.  This really helps with radioactivity, but it also helps with other poisons and is full of minerals.  Other mammals do this and its a traditional practice in nearly all cultures.

4. ¬†Sweat. ¬†A sauna is such a nice passive way to do this. ¬†Moving intensely and with purpose is also really nice. ¬†I’m not a big fan of gyms. ¬†I find it far more satisfying to sweat doing something really productive. ¬†Carry the groceries up the 5 flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator. ¬†Scrub the kitchen floor with a brush. ¬†Really allow your body to live in your life.

5. ¬†Look into herbs. ¬†There are herbs that correspond with particular organs. ¬†I prefer to use herbs that nourish my liver or my skin instead of stronger, really medicinal ones that have an actual cleansing effect on the body. ¬†I’d rather that my body know it has allies that are working with it instead of substances that are nearly as toxic as the substances that it is trying to detoxify itself from.

Cleansing when the body is compromised in any way can be harsh and further break down the body’s vitality. ¬†Instead, find ways to nourish the body in little ways daily. ¬†Keep your environment authentic.

And, remember that dirty and toxic are not the same thing.  Going outside and rolling around in the mud or playing in the dirt is actually really good for you.

Disclaimer: Everything here is my opinion and for information purposes only.  What you do with that information is your responsibility alone.

Easier said than done.

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Health tips are happening on my Facebook page lately. ¬†It’s just evolving in that direction. ¬†Yesterday’s was the following:

“Eat when you’re hungry. ¬†Don’t eat when you’re not.”

Yeah, groundbreaking stuff, there. I could almost hear the collective muttering, “duh” in a hushed exhale.

I concede that it’s not news. ¬†It’s not avant garde. ¬†It’s not the latest scientific breakthrough.

In my defense, however, chances are mighty, mighty good that you’re not following this old, ratty advice. ¬†Chances are pretty good that you are probably trying to find ways to eat less than you are actually hungry for a lot of the time and eating way past that full signal other times. ¬†How do I know that? ¬†What, am I made of stone? ¬†These things I speak of are things with which I am familiar, my friends.

Of course, in some part of your mind, or maybe a lot of your mind, you think that you can’t follow this little “rule” because there’s something quite wrong with you. ¬†I mean, really, it’s so easy a kid could do it. ¬†And before we cram crazy messages into their tender brains, they all do.

So if you can’t do it, what’s wrong with you?

Nothing. ¬†Absolutely nothing. ¬†That’s right. ¬†There’s nothing wrong with you.

There is probably something wrong with the nourishment that you are receiving though. ¬†I’ll bet a shiny new quarter on it, actually.

Here are the reasons that I think following this most obvious and simple guideline is so difficult:

1. ¬†We’re told that the body is not to be trusted. ¬†We get this message from early on from everywhere. ¬†So, when it’s 10:30 on a Tuesday morning and you’re still not hungry but stuff down some breakfast because you’ve been told that “it’s the most important meal of the day” or it’s 8:15 on a Monday night and your stomach is growling but you ignore it because “you’re not supposed to eat past 7”, you do this because you don’t trust your body.

2. ¬†You are malnourished. ¬†You will continue to eat until you get the nutrients that you need, not the calories that you need. ¬†This is a crucial distinction. ¬†We’ve shifted in the past 100 years to the caloric model of eating. ¬†You can eat a pint or more of low-fat ice cream during a commercial break. ¬†Just TRY and eat that much liver. ¬†And if liver is gross to you, you can change that to steak. ¬†Your body wants nutrients first and foremost. ¬†You understand this. ¬†A tablespoon of white sugar is not the same thing as a tablespoon of just about anything else. ¬†The calories may be the same but the drive to eat more will not be sated with the sugar. ¬†There are no nutrients. ¬†None. ¬†And worse, foods such as sugar and white flour actually use up your stores of other nutrients to digest. ¬†So, you’re not getting “no nutrition”, you’re getting “negative nutrition”. ¬†And what do you need? ¬†Positive nutrition in order to feel full, good, and healthy.

3. ¬†Malnutrition is not just a matter of food. ¬†If you feel agitated, you may need to go for a walk or punch a pillow. ¬†Cake will not allow the emotion to move through. ¬†Cake will numb it and repress it and that can feel helpful at times, but the agitation is still there, just buried under cake. ¬†The starvation you feel when loneliness overtakes you? ¬†French fries really don’t give a flip about your struggles. ¬†Friends do. ¬†The craving you have for affection will not be met by squirting the whole can of whipped cream in your mouth. ¬†This cycle only creates more agitation, more loneliness, more cravings for human touch. ¬†In the same way negative nutrition creates deeper and deeper deficits, using food to do something it’s not meant to do, creates deeper and deeper emotional deficits.

4. ¬†Portion prescriptions. ¬†Once you are able to connect with your hunger, portions are the stupidest thing EVER. ¬†There are days when I eat 5 snacks a day. ¬†None are big enough to be called a meal. ¬†Others, I eat the traditional 3 squares. ¬†Some, I eat one big meal with a steak so big it can’t fit on the plate. ¬†Once in a long while, I only want a smoothie for the whole day. Portions as mandated from the heavens assume that you are the same, day in, day out. ¬†They assume that your level of activity is identical every day. ¬†They assume that your hormones never fluctuate. ¬†They assume that you at 18 is the same as you at 45. ¬†Yes, I know there are “formulas” that allow for variance, but, really? Formulas? ¬†How hungry are you today? ¬†Well, eat. ¬†If you’re not, don’t. ¬†You don’t have to eat 5 meals a day if you’re not hungry five times a day.

I could probably go on and on but this will dissolve into a rant instead of something useful REAL quick, so I’ll stop there. ¬†In short, eat when you’re hungry. ¬†Don’t eat when you’re not. ¬†Basically, Nourish yourself into Freedom.

If you haven’t joined us for #30daymove, yet, it’s not too late. ¬†Never too late!

Recipe: Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Raspberry “Gravy”

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Raspberry “Gravy’

I had this as a side for my steak the other day. ¬†It was so good so I thought I’d pass it on to y’all.

What you’ll need per person:

For the potatoes:

1 sweet potato

2 cloves garlic

1 Tablespoon of coconut milk

Water to cover

For the “gravy”:

1 cup of bone broth or stock

10 or so raspberries

1/2 Tablespoon mint leaves

2 pinches dried thyme

1 pinch dried rosemary

Juice of 1/2 lemon

To make the potatoes:

1. Peel and cube the potatoes tiny for faster cooking.

2. Peel the garlic.

3. Put the potatoes and garlic in pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.

4.  When tender, add coconut milk and either using a fork or a blender, mash and mix well.

5.  Salt to taste.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the ‘gravy’.

1. Put the bone broth in a saucepan.

2. Add raspberries.  (I use frozen.)

3.  Add mint and other herbs.

4.  Allow the broth to reduce by half and mash everything together.

5. ¬†Incorporate lemon juice. ¬†(I like the tang so if you don’t, use a little less juice.)

6.  Salt to taste.

Spoon the gravy over the potatoes and nosh on, my friend.  Nosh on.

I like the chunkiness over the smoothness of the potato but you can also pass through a sieve to get a clearer, smoother sauce.

(Make plenty more if you would rather this as a main dish!)

Enjoy!