Red Velvet Bars (GAPS/Paleo)

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Roasted Harvest Veggies (GAPS/Paleo)

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harvest veggies

I fell in love with roasted veggies last year and had some sort of roasted vegetable almost every day for months. I really went crazy on the brussels sprouts. I brought some for Thanksgiving at my mom and dad’s house last year and I was worried there wouldn’t be enough for everyone, especially me! Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about that because my grandpa and dad started making fun of me and my brussels sprouts. My mom, my son, and I were happy to eat them up :). So tasty.

The idea for these colorful roasted vegetables wasn’t mine. I saw them posted on Facebook sometime last year and thought they looked fabulous! So I looked on the internet for a recipe when I wanted to make them, but couldn’t find it. Whoever you are, I appreciate your idea :). Everyone I work with loves these.


*1/2 lb brussels sprouts, halved

*1/2 lb carrots, sliced about 1/4 inch thick

*1/2 lb cauliflower (about 1/2 head), cut into 1 inch pieces

*1 red onion, cut into chunks

*3 Tbsp melted butter or refined coconut oil

*sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan) to taste

Cut vegetables and spread a single layer on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with butter or coconut oil and toss vegetables to coat. Roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring about halfway through.

So there it is, the vegetable dish I’ll be bringing this year to Thanksgiving. I hope I make enough for everybody :).

Brownie Bites with Mint Buttercream (GAPS/ Paleo)

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brownie bites mint buttercream 2

I don’t use my mini muffin pans often, they usually just collect dust. But when I got the idea for brownies and mint frosting, I knew they needed to be tiny :). Very rich!

I had a few mishaps with the frosting. I used palm shortening (yucky). I made the perfect tasting frosting that turned gray when I tried to color it (lovely). And I made some pretty decent tasting frosting that turned out the color of guacamole. It was kind of pretty but not too appetizing?

The brownies were easy, I just used this recipe from Grain Free Foodies. They always turn out wonderful!

Brownie Bites

*2/3 cup honey

*1/2 cup melted pasture butter (you can sub ghee or coconut oil and add 1/4 tsp sea salt)

*1 Tbsp vanilla extract

*3 pastured eggs, room temperature

*1 cup blanched almond flour (I like Honeyville)

*1/2 cup cocoa

*1/4 tsp. baking soda

Warm the butter and the honey until just melted. Add room temperature eggs and other wet ingredients and mix. Combine dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into lined mini muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-16 minutes. Makes about 32.

Mint Buttercream

*1 Tbsp cold water + 1/2 tsp grassfed gelatin

*1/2 cup honey

*1 cup pasture butter, softened

*1 egg yolk

*1 Tbsp mint extract (see note!!!)

*dark green romaine juice, for color (optional)

In a small cup, sprinkle gelatin over cold water. When gelatin is softened, heat the mixture until liquid. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix honey, butter, egg yolk and mint extract. Add gelatin.  Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth. Add romaine juice if using until the mixture is the color you want. Pipe the buttercream onto cooled brownie bites.

Important note: I used Simply Organic mint extract. I have a feeling if you use a different mint extract, you could need a different amount! Simply Organic contains sunflower oil and mint.

This is another re-creation of one of my mom’s famous recipes, mint frosted brownies. Thanks, Mom 🙂

Let me know how it goes!

This post was shared on Healing with Food Friday.

Cauliflower Soup Topped with Bacon and Basil Guacamole (GAPS/Paleo)

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cauliflower soup

I have a thing for basil guacamole and I put it on everything: salad, meat, veggies, or even a spoonful :). So when I made bacon burgers for my family last night, I decided to try some of the basil guacamole with my soup. Unbelievable.

I’ve also never tried cauliflower soup. It tastes like a cream soup without any cream, yum!

Cauliflower Soup

*2 Tbsp pasture butter or ghee

*1-2 cloves garlic (2 cloves if you love garlic)

*1/2 onion, chopped

*1 head  cauliflower, cut in pieces and steamed
*3 cups chicken broth.
*sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan) to taste
* 8 slices of  bacon (nitrate free, sugar free)
Cook the bacon in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Set aside. Cut or break into 1/4″ to 1/2″ inch pieces.
Steam cauliflower for 15-20 minutes and set aside. Heat the broth in a large saucepan.
In a small to medium skillet, melt butter or ghee and cook onions until soft. Add sea salt to taste and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Put both the cauliflower and the onion mixture into the blender and blend until smooth. Add a little chicken broth if mixture is too thick to blend. Pour the cauliflower puree into the broth. Add sea salt  (I added almost 1 1/2 teaspoons, because my chicken broth wasn’t very salty) and mix. Serve soup with bacon pieces and basil guacamole.

Basil Guacamole

*3 large, ripe avocados, chopped
*1 clove garlic,  pressed or minced
*1 medium tomato, chopped (omit if avoiding nightshades)
*2 tsp fresh lemon juice
*2 green onions, chopped
*1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
*3/4  teaspoon sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan)
In a large mixing bowl, mash 1 of the chopped avocados with a fork. Add the remaining chopped avocados, the garlic, tomatoes, lime juice, lemon juice, green onions, basil, and sea salt. Stir to combine. This recipe might make more than you need for one soup recipe, so feel free to eat it with salad, meat, veggies, or even on a spoon like me  :).
Have fun and let me know how it goes!
This post was shared on Healing with Food Friday.

Apple Upside Down Gingerbread Cake (GAPS, Paleo)

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apple ging2

This dessert is delicious and uncomplicated. I always get overwhelmed when it comes to holidays so I don’t want to do complicated stuff. My mom always has lots of energy and makes fancy crafts and Christmas stockings and 15 different kinds of Christmas treats. I didn’t inherit that from her, I guess.

I hope my kids have some happy memories of holidays and they don’t just remember them as the time when their mom flipped out 🙂


*1/4 cup unsalted pasture butter or ghee

*1/4 cup honey

*1 Tbsp coconut aminos

*2 large apples, peeled, wedged and thinly sliced

Gingerbread Cake

*1/4 cup unsalted pasture butter or ghee

*1/2 cup honey

*4 pastured eggs, room temperature

*2 Tbsp coconut aminos, room temperature

*1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

*2 cups blanched almond flour

*3/4 tsp baking soda

*1/4 tsp cloves

*2 tsp cinnamon

*2 Tbsp ginger


For topping: melt butter and honey. Add coconut aminos, stir. Pour mixture into an 8″ by 8″ square baking pan. Arrange sliced apples over butter/ honey mixture and set aside.

For cake: Warm the butter and the honey until just melted. Add room temperature eggs and other wet ingredients and mix. Combine dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.  Pour over the apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.

Think sweet thoughts :).

Erica: A Teenager Healing with the GAPS Diet! (Guest Post)

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This post is especially exciting to me! This girl is going to change some lives :).

Erica kindly agreed to share her story. She blogs at Edible Attitudes.


Erica’s story:

When I reflect on my childhood, I don’t remember a long period of time when I didn’t have some type of aliment. I never dealt with anything life threatening but everything was cumulative and seemly unconnected.

My first health problem was at the age of six months old when I had my first infection. Between the ages of two and three I was on continuous antibiotics because the ear infections would not go away. I began to notice environmental and food sensitivities to lactose, dust, pollen, and certain plants. In fourth grade, I began to have problems with my joints, specifically my ankles.

Seventh grade was when things began to rapidly spiral downwards. It started with my knees and ankles causing me a lot of pain. At the time I assumed it was because I am a softball catcher. But soon the joint inflammation spread and caused me to be in pain on a daily basis and everyday tasks were more difficult.

By the start of my sophomore year of high school, only 3 years later, I developed tendinitis in both knees and elbows, multiple fingers, left wrist, and right bicep.

My journey has taken a lot of work and sacrifice! I started seeing a functional medicine doctor in 2011 and was taken off gluten, dairy, corn, MSG, sugar, and soy. I took supplements that helped manage the joint inflammation. This helped a little bit but I still struggled with pain and multiple other health problems. I was frustrated and ready to change my diet again if necessary. I started the GAPS Intro Diet in November of 2012 with my mom and brother. This led to my first large and noticeable change in the joint inflammation. A few months prior I had developed a deep stabbing bone pain in my foot and within the first month of starting the GAPS Diet, it was gone. My knees also felt better and I could catch longer before having joint pain. Although GAPS was clearly helping, I still had pain, numerous other health problems, and couldn’t reintroduce foods without a flare up.

In April 2013, I was instructed by my doctor to remove salicylates from my diet because I had developed a sensitivity. My diet was limited to about 20 foods for four months.

It was hard, really hard at times, but it was totally worth it. In only a few weeks all my pain was gone. Completely gone for the first time in five years! I am 17 now and a senior in high school and am proud to say that I am free of joint inflammation. This spring and summer I played my first pain free softball seasons in five years. I no longer dread walking up and down stairs or biking or using a scissors or bending down to pick something up. Daily tasks aren’t painful anymore.

I assumed that the biggest change from modifying my diet would be physical, but it has actually been a mental transformation. I have learned to have perseverance, discipline, and self-motivation. I took responsibility for my health. It is not my parents’ responsibility to micro-manage everything I eat and do, it’s my body and I learned to step up and care for it. I have also learned life long lessons such as, people’s opinions shouldn’t matter to me. I know why I am changing my diet. I know that it works and that is enough for me.

I still have a restrictive diet because I am still working through other health problems, but I have been able to reintroduce salicylates without joint inflammation returning.

If I hadn’t been encouraged by my mom to change my diet and if I hadn’t taken responsibility, I can’t imagine how different my life would be now. Hardly anything about taking ownership of your health is easy, but it so worth it when you start to feel better and have a better quality of life.

If this sounds like you or someone you know and would like to read my whole story, you can purchase my book, A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions: A Practical Guide to Keep from Going Crazy. (Kindle version)

This post was shared on Healing with Food Friday.

Soft Gingerbread cookies (GAPS/Paleo)

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gingerbread cookies

I tried making gingerbread cookies using “date molasses“, but  Alaina  tasted them and said they were NOT yummy :(.

So we tried making a batch using honey instead. They’re a little too good!

These are NOT cookie cutter cookies.  You will have to make the shapes like you’re playing with playdough.


*2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (or ghee)

*1/2 cup honey

*1 pastured egg + 1 egg white, room temperature

*2 Tbsp coconut aminos, room temperature

*2 3/4 cups almond flour ( I use Honeyville)

*1-2 Tbsp ginger (we used 2 and they were very gingery, the way we like them)

*2 tsp cinnamon

*1/4 tsp cloves

Cream together room temperature butter or ghee and honey. Add the egg and coconut aminos. Mix well. In a separate bowl, mix almond flour and spices. Mix wet and dry ingredients and refrigerate (at least 1 hour).

When dough is chilled, shape the dough any way you like. Alaina made Mike Wazowski :)Try to keep the shapes an even thickness of 1/3″ to 1/2″. Decorate with raisins (or pieces of raisins). Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes on the top rack of the oven (to prevent burning the bottom of the cookies). Let cookies cool before removing them from the cookie sheet. I’ve found that these are even better the next day.

Have fun! I can’t quit eating these!!!

This post was shared on Healing with Food Friday.

Why Change What You’re Eating?- Lauren Finds Balance with Real Food (Guest Post)

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Yay! I have another food healing story to share. This is doubly awesome since my computer died and I’m in the process of finding a new one. So THANK YOU, Lauren 🙂

Lauren lives in beautiful Summerside, Prince Edward Island.  She has a job she LOVES in healthcare and recently adopted a bunny named Binky. Some of the stuff she shares on her blog: whole foods, home cooking, fermentation, probiotics, natural birthing and fertility, alternative medicines, and homeschooling.

Check out her blog at Naturally Living in the Maritimes.

Lauren’s Story 

I’m always growing in my real-food diet. It’s been a journey from the first time I picked up a book on veganism and renounced meat for good, working in a used book store to now, through a struggle with my eating disorder, to now – confidently eating and cooking organic veggies, grains and meats.

I was a vegetarian for 4 years, and a vegan for a year and a half of that time. I was 19, I had left an unhappy home and it was a stressful time. I was starting out on my own in my new apartment, a vegetarian because it was cheaper and easy to cook. I had a two burner stove top, a microwave, and an Easy-Bake Oven sized toaster oven. My diet consisted of veggie chicken nuggets, pierogies, garlic bread and alcohol. I was running every night and had started to become concerned about my weight.

That winter, I was the victim of a sexual assault. It went unreported and I didn’t talk about it. It was someone I’d seen every week and I was so stressed, I was beginning to unravel. I needed something in my life I felt I could control. I found myself falling, very quickly, into purge-type anorexia. The weight gain from hormonal birth controls coupled with the pressure on my body of eating processed foods, day in and day out caused me to gain ten pounds. Apparently, those ten pounds were what set me over the edge. It was a really dark time.

After about a year of hiding my diet-pill-and-diet-coke diet and two hour workouts, seven days a week, I decided I’d change my mind about veganism, and “go paleo”. I didn’t understand what paleo was, and I figured that my best bet was just to eat lots of meat because that would help me put more muscle on, and more muscle meant that my basal metabolic rate would be higher, burning more calories daily. It didn’t work because in order to have enough meat to get me through my new high-protein diet, the quality of meat suffered. I gained weight, and that was more stressful.

After about six months of this, I found my first blog on “Real Food” eating. I decided that the best thing I could do for myself was to make real food – quality vegetables (organic if possible), limiting chemicals and boxed products, humanely-raised local meat, and cooking things myself. I sat my fiancé down and had a conversation about how we could afford these foods and we determined that we could do everything but the meat – it was too expensive. So, we set about on our new, real food, vegetarian diet with the promise that I would become accountable to my fiancé about my calorie intake and my purging habits.

The results?

We cooked better, we found great recipes, we felt healthier. Both of us lost the weight we’d put on – for me, it was about 15lbs, for him it’s been almost 20lbs, and he’s still losing. I felt more confident about myself, not due to me being skinnier, but about the fact that eating had become a method of fueling myself and I truly enjoyed the act of cooking. Eating is not scary, it’s not something to be calculated and counted and stressed over. It is now an art and a hobby. Grocery shopping is something I look forward to every week. I’m even looking at becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist! Aubrey took up baking breads, and we started working towards self-sufficiency together. I’d be lying if I said a negative-thought about food never crossed my mind, but I now put it aside and think about the positive things that I love about eating real food. Today, at 22, I’m feeling the healthiest I’ve ever been, I feel I’m being responsible to those animals I read about almost five years ago that made me turn my back on meat to begin with, and I feel like I’m honoring myself. I love my body, I love what food does to heal me, and I’m proud to be an example of how food can not only physically heal your body, but emotionally heal your soul as well.

Best wishes on your real food journey and I hope my experiences can be a push to heal yourself as well!

Why Change What You’re Eating?- The Story of a Boy With a Starving Brain (Guest Post)

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The past couple of weeks have been amazing and exhausting! I had my finals and graduation for my Nutritional Therapy program!!! Yay!  Add in all of my procrastinated homework, my regular day job,  and birthday parties for my daughter and I’m pretty beat. But grateful !

Everyone at our graduation celebration had a chance to talk about how changing what they ate changed their health. I’m a total sucker for a good healing story, and there were a lot of them :).

Drastically changing what you eat isn’t an easy thing, so most people just don’t do it. Food is a BIG deal! Your mommy gave you food to take care of you and show you love. Our culture is built around food, eating out, convenience, addictive foods.

So over the next few weeks I’m going to share some stories of people who transformed their lives by changing what they were eating. Like I said, I love a good story so I’m pretty sappy about the whole thing. The first one is by Kristen of Live Simply.


                                                 By Kristen @ LiveSimply

This post is long overdue.

A story I have been wanting to share, but just haven’t had the courage to sit down and write.

A story about my son Piper, a speech disorder, a starving brain, and how real food and a key nutrient played a key role in his rehabilitation.

This is Piper’s story…

In 2009 I found out I was pregnant. The thought of carrying life inside my belly for nine months seemed to be a daunting task.  I, like most mothers, wanted to provide my child with the very best start in life. One area life that was not ideal was food. I ate a Standard American Diet of heavily processed foods, low-fat everything, and lots of take-out. You can read more about our real food journey here, but in short, after spending many nights watching documentaries like Food Inc. and reading countless Micheal Pollan books, I was convinced a dietary change had to be made. I cut all the processed foods from our life and went a step further, a huge step, I eliminated all animal products from my diet. The only animal product I consumed was honey.

Keep reading….

This post was shared on Healing with Food Friday.

Honey Toffee Shortbread (GAPS/Paleo)

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toffee shortbread

I don’t think I have anything to say (which is rare, ask my friends!) So, here it is 🙂

Shortbread Thumbprints

*2  cups packed almond flour (I like Honeyville)

*3/4 to 1 tsp sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan)

*1/4 cup unsalted pasture butter -or- ghee

*1/4 cup honey

*1 pastured egg

Cream together room temperature butter or ghee and honey. Add the egg and salt and stir to combine. Add the almond flour and mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on a cookie sheet. Put “thumbprints” in the cookies. Sometimes the dough cracks a little when you do the thumbprint, just stick it back together :) . It’s because almond flour doesn’t bind like grain flour. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes on the top rack of the oven (to prevent burning the bottom). This makes about 18 cookies.

Honey Toffee

*1/4 cup unsalted pasture butter

*2 Tbsp honey (1/8 cup)

*1/4 tsp sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan)

Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on medium heat until bubbly. Turn to medium-low and continue stirring until temperature reaches 235-240 degrees. Remove from heat and let cool for a minute. Spoon into the thumbprints in the shortbread and let cool.

IMPORTANT: I’ve noticed something interesting about the salt in the shortbread recipe.  I love salt like most people with adrenal fatigue :).  But the cookies taste salty to me on the first day.  The flavors seem to blend perfectly the next day. Weird.  And make sure to use unsalted butter. I’ve had more than one person accidentally try it with salted butter and it was way too salty with the amount of salt added. It makes a difference!

Now that I’ve tweaked and perfected this recipe, it’s definitely one of my best!!!! Tell me how it goes.