Welcome October, time to usher in the start of the holiday season. I have an INSANE and exciting month coming up here. I am doing my first ever bridal show, the Beer Hop Bridal Show on October 28th, so I have some prep happening for that. The One Room Challenge starts on Wednesday, when I will show you the scary before I’m working with on my mom’s kitchen, and I’m helping my friend Miranda of Thoughtfully Thrifted style a fabulous dinner party. That’s where the mood board comes in. The party will be on November 3, if you would like an invite, find @thoughtfullythrifted on insta and shoot her a DM. We are two newbies to West Michigan trying to cultivate relationships. As I mentioned, I have the honor of styling said party, which is truly an honor, because Miranda is a woman with amazing taste, I am thrilled she is trusting me to make it look fabulous! The vibe for the dinner party will be moody and slightly rustic. Since “thrifting” is in the name, I intend to shop my local thrift stores for pretty pottery dish ware, brass candlesticks and wood elements to create a cohesive moody look.
I've mentioned my shift in diet to eat a more inflammatory foods, I've also extended that goal to the rest of the family. Cutting sugar is no easy feat when mom and three year old both have a major sweet tooth. Instead of taking away dessert, I thought my best bet was to trick my little into eating a better option. I bought silicone molds and we adapted our favorite smoothies into kid-friendly, delicious summer popsicle treats.
HEALTHY PEANUT BUTTER BANANA POPSICLE
This popsicle is a riff on our very favorite smoothie. It tastes so sweet and delicious, but it's actually good for you. For the adult version I like to add a tsp of instant coffee.
- 1 banana
- heaping scoop of your favorite peanut butter
- about two tbsp yogurt
- coconut milk (until desired smoothness)
- coconut flakes (optional)
Blend all ingredients except the coconut flakes until smooth. Pour into silicone molds. If desired, sprinkle with coconut flakes to the bottom of the popsicles. Freeze!
BLUEBERRY YOGURT POPSICLE
- about a cup of blueberries
- about two tbsp yogurt
- about two tbsp honey
- coconut milk (until desired smoothness)
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into silicone molds. Freeze!
Two weeks ago I shared my new diet/lifestyle shift to follow an anti-inflammatory food pyramid. My base eating habits have been generally healthy in a traditional American sense. I'm a vegetarian, before my diet changes, I cooked a lot of pasta, and sandwiches, and loaded them with veggies. Under my new diet plan, I am trying to significantly cut gluten and dairy. I have adapted to making smoothies in the morning, packed with anti-inflammatory goodness, then for lunch I make a hearty salad. Below have been my go-to breakfast and lunches for the past several weeks.
FILLING ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SALAD
- bowl of leafy greens, I use spinach, arugula and baby kale
- 1 hard boiled egg
- sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
- warm boiled edamame
- half roasted sweet potato
- half roasted beet
- ginger dressing (recipe here)
I'm a gal, who usually accepts the bread with my salad, so making the shift away from gluten is a challenge. I try to make my lunch salads as hearty as possible, since I don't eat meet, the egg is my protein. Also, I like when the greens are a little wilted, so I try to add warm veggies to achieve a texture that is more palatable to me. I also want to note, that after diving into my anti-inflammatory shift I have also been avoiding soy and edamame, swapping with avocado.
I haven't talked about it too much here, but I suffer from the auto-immune disease, psoriasis. It actually started about 12 years ago, just weeks into living in New York. For the first 10 years it was really manageable, and I didn't think about it too much. I applied a topical steroid once a day, and visited my dermatologist about three to four times a year. I am not sure what the catalyst was, but about two years ago, the psoriasis flared up, and it was probably 10 times worse than it had ever been before that. For the past two years I have been searching for something to help and if it's natural, that is even better!
I am happy to report that in the past few weeks my patches are more clear than they have looked in years! I began light therapy treatments a few weeks back, basically a tanning booth you go in for a minute or two at a time that emits UVB rays. So I am not sure if it's the treatments, a change in environment, a reduction of stress, adjustments in my diet, or a combination, but whatever it is, it's working. And the diet is what I'm going to talk about today.
When I asked my dermatologists if there were changes in my diet I could make to help, they generally told me that there aren't any changes that have been proven to help. Then when I saw a naturopath, she suggested I try the GAPS Diet. I intimidated just reading about the GAPS Diet! So, I did some research to find something that could help and also fit my life. Enter the anti-inflammatory diet.
I based my pyramid off the one I found here, advised by nutritionist Barbra Mendez. I thought eating an anti-inflammatory diet was all about adding turmeric to everything, but it turns out there are a lot of delicious things you could be eating to help combat inflammation, and of course there are foods we all love (cheese and bread) that are no-nos.
PYRAMID BASE: GREENS AND HEALTHY FATS
The most important food for lowering inflammation? Leafy greens and cruciferous veggies, Mendez says. In her opinion, the more spinach, broccoli, romaine, cabbage, collard, and kale, the better. The reason? Greens are loaded with antioxidants, which rejuvenate weak cells, she says.
Besides leafy greens, the most powerful inflammation-fighting foods are salmon, walnuts, fermented foods, like kimchi, garlic, and yes, turmeric. Ideally, you want a serving of fermented foods and walnuts every day,. Because salmon can contain mercury, limit it to two servings a week.
Adding garlic and turmeric into your cooking and juices is a good way to incorporate into your diet. Here is a recipe for turmeric oil I found.
SECOND LEVEL: DOUBLE DUTY VEGGIES & FRUITS
Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple and papaya, is both an inflammation-fighting agent and digestive aid, one serving of either fruit per day is recommended, in addition to a serving of berries per day. Incorporate beets, sweet potato and squash into bowls or salads two to three times a week—like greens, they help repair damaged cells.
And if you’re serious about addressing inflammation, Mendez recommends drinking two to three cups of ginger tea a day and incorporating flax oil into a daily salad or smoothie.
THIRD LEVEL: AVOID NIGHTSHADES
Nightshades are specific set of flowering fruits and vegetables that can be tough to digest, especially for those of us with autoimmune diseases. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes are all nightshades and should be avoided. Good bye salsa (but hello guac!).
TOP LEVEL: INFLAMMATION NEMESES
As you can expect, the most important foods to avoid include gluten, dairy, sugar and processed foods, as well as corn and peanut butter, and meat that you don't know where it comes from, AKA full of hormones. All the fun stuff, right?
The thing I love about this system is that it's not a rigorous diet, it's a guide line. Stress is a trigger for autoimmune diseases, so stressing over what to eat defeats the point. Trust me, I've been down that road before.
Here's how I've been adapting my diet to align more closely with this pyramid: I have been incorporating greens into as many meals as possible, my morning smoothie, a bowl or salad at lunch and a green salad with dinner. I've taken to kimchi or kombucha as an afternoon snack. I add nuts and avocado to my salads and I do my best to avoid the top two levels when I cook at home, but when I eat out, I give myself grace and allow myself to indulge, because it's all about balance, right?
Do you like this kind of content here? Should I share some of the recipes I've been trying?
As a busy mom with a long commute I am always looking for something delicious for breakfast that I can grab and take with me on the train. I'm not exactly a meal preper, but I also don't have time in the morning to make anything complicated, or even anything at all. I hunted down 10 healthy breakfast options that would even please my little!
PALEO CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN DOUGHNUTS
CHOCOLATE CHIP PEANUT GRANOLA BARS
via: Marathon Mom
PEANUT BUTTER & STRAWBERRY MUFFINS
via: Food, Faith, Fitness
PUMPKIN BREAKFAST BITES
via: One Little Project
BLUEBERRY OATMEAL BREAKFAST BARS
via: Delightful E Made
COCONUT CHAI QUINOA BREAKFAST BARS
via: E. Sloth
COLD BREW OVERNIGHT OATS
via: Love & Zest
PUMPKIN OAT CHOCOLATE CHIP BREAKFAST COOKIES
via: Cooking Classy
BANANA BLUEBERRY COCONUT OATMEAL CUPS
via: Spoonful of Flavor
I've been a vegetarian for 20 years, two thirds of my life. I like to pride myself in being an easy vegetarian guest. I am not picky and am fill up on sides, assuming the stuffing isn't filled with gizzards and brussles sprouts with bacon. Also, assuming that the veggie dishes are substantial enough to tide me over until second dinner. I have hosted Thanksgiving, both vegetarian and not, and tried lots of recipes that will please everyone including meat lovers. Today I'm sharing ten of my favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes (a few are even vegan). Guests will certainly be asking to take leftovers.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND KALE RISOTTO
recipe: Naive Cooks
BUTTERNUT SQUASH EMPANADAS
VEGAN POT PIES
recipe: Minimalist Baker
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE PIE
recipe: Delicious Magazine
POLENTA WITH SPINACH AND ROASTED MUSHROOMS
recipe: Diary of a Lady Bird
VEGAN BUTTERNUT SQUASH STUFFED SHELLS
recipe: Love & Lemons
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH CORN BREAD CROUTONS
recipe: Southern Living
SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND SWEET POTATO SALAD
recipe: A Couple Cooks
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND MUSHROOM LASAGNA
recipe: Foodie Crush
BRUSSELS SPROUTS, WINTER SQUASH AND QUINOA SALAD
recipe: Grown to Cook