Gummies are not just for kids and junk foodies. I am so into them right now. No, not the store bought, corn syrup filled ones shaped like animals. Pu-lease. I found a recipe for making gummies with just 3 ingredients: lemon juice, blueberries and Bovine Gelatin.
They are not only super easy to make and super tasty, but they also pack a powerful punch in terms of health. Let’s look at the nutrient break down of the entire recipe (I break it up into 2-ish servings):
Because of that high protein and somewhat high carb content, I’ve decided these are the perfect post workout snack. After a workout you can get away with upping your carbs, but you do want to limit your fat intake during that window. A lot of people do a protein shake for the post workout snack, but these are way more fun.
You can vary the recipe too….use other berries and/or use apple juice instead of lemon for more sweetness. Maybe add some form of sugar. Use half coconut water, half lemon juice. Add nuts, seeds or berries for texture. There is just so many possibilities! Next time I’m gonna add more bovine gelatin to get even higher protein content. A note about the gelatin: it’s a tasteless powder…it just thickens everything up in the same way chia seeds do. And the amazingly high amount of protein (12g per tablespoon) makes it super awesome. I add it to soups a lot as well…you could also throw it in smoothies if you’re into that sort of thing.
The gummies are so easy to make. Here’s how:
Heat the berries (1 cup) and lemon juice (2/3 cup) on the stove until they steam just a little, blend them, let cool for a few minutes, add the gelatin (4 tbls) and blend again, pour into a glass dish, put in fridge, wait 1 hours, remove from fridge, cut into squares.
And you don’t have to limit these to post workout…these would also be great for kids (or you) to have a healthy snack. Or for a dessert if you’re feeling the munchies at night. Beware though; they do melt in heat. But if that happens, just put them back in the fridge and harden up again. Enjoy a new, tasty way to get loads of protein!
Since going more “bulletproof”, I thought people might be curious to know what I’m eating a lot of. Again, here is the bulletproof food infographic. It is scaled based on mycotoxin load. Additionally, I am going very low carb right now to drop some pounds. It’s working.
Bulletproof coffee. Breakfast of the champs. The key here is the MCT oil I blend into the coffee. I’ve never been on crack, but I assume it’s a similar feeling. I get a huge rush of energy and mental clarity and focus. It’s amazing. And addictive. The best part is that it’s super good for your brain and body…unlike crack cocaine. I highly, highly recommend that you try it. It doesn’t have to go in your coffee; you can use it on food or just take a spoonful plain. It’s pretty tasteless, so it goes down easily with anything. I also add upgraded vanilla and chocolate. The drink is delicious, warm, frothy and fills you up with all that fat (butter and MCT Oil).
Broth. I make bone broth every week with either chicken or beef bones. It’s really easy. I’ve been using this recipe lately and it works pretty well. Broth is so beneficial to your gut and it gives you a serious dose of some trace minerals that are hard to get anywhere else; along with collagen and gelatin. I often drink it with just some nori seaweed in it. I also recently make a “chicken noodle soup” with kelp noodle, shredded chicken and veggies. And I used it in the Well Fed Chocolate Chili recipe.
Sardines. If you know me at all, or read this blog at all, you know this already. I think sardines are the most convenient, high quality source of protein and fat…forget all those densely packed bars and protein powders…just go fishy. And yes, I ate baby food. It’s another healthy convenience food. This picture was taken on a ski day; a day that convenience was important.
Duck eggs (and more seaweed). Duck eggs are THE BOMB! They taste so good. They are not only bigger, but the yolk is richer. Check out that comparison (second pic) of a chicken egg and a duck egg. Hello HUGE! Yolks are full of choline and other great nutrients and vitamins…so DON’T SKIP THE YOLK, YOU EGG WHITE ONLY EATING WEIRDOS! But do make sure you’re eating high quality eggs from pastured chickens or ducks. (Side note, choline is especially important if you’re trying to conceive or are breast feeding…like, 5-7 yolks a day important. Eat up, Mama’s!) I recently started poaching eggs and OH WOW! that yolk makes the most amazing sauce. Below, I put 2 poached eggs on some veggie curry. WINNING.
This curry paste is modern miracle. It taste good on everything. I make curry very often with just this paste, coconut milk and turmeric (my go-to seasoning because of the anti-inflammatory properties). Plus, it’s such a good price for a pretty huge tub!
Homemade ginger ale. 1/2 a lemon or lime, 2/3 a bottle of carbonated water, 1/3 bottle of ginger tea (cooled after brewing). No need for sweeteners, but you could add stevia or xylitol. Owning a soda stream is life changing…I never knew how much fun I could have with bubbles and filtered water.
90% dark chocolate, coconut flakes, tea and/or more coffee. Because you’ve got to have your “vices”.
One more note, I think seaweed is quite important in the diet, obviously. If you want to read more about it, see this past blog post I wrote alllllllll about the benefits of sea vegetables.
What a weekend. I flew to Spokane, WA (beautiful city!) for a full 2 day conference put on by Ben Greenfield called Becoming Superhuman Live. He flew in a ton of really smart, cutting edge speakers. I learned so much, too much…to the point of pounding headaches (or maybe that was the alcohol shared with fun, new, equally ‘nerdy about health’ friends). Here’s the headache causing deal…a lot of the speakers had contradictory ideas about nutrition. This was definitely no paleo conference in which everyone is in harmony eating their avocados and flour-less brownies. There were even vegans at this event; and one was a speaker for crying out loud. What makes the confusion even weightier is that all these expert speakers have such compelling reasons and arguments for their views.
What’s a girl to do? I’ve been so busy with work since I got back from Spokane that I had no time to really process. But I can’t avoid it any longer…the last thing I want to do is nothing. Paralysis by analysis is common in our modern world with information flooding our brains constantly. I ran across this article, that you should read, but it basically says to take it slow and do one thing at a time when moving into the vast waters of health. And stop jumping ship and trying new things too quickly. And find what works for you. Find what WORKS for YOU. FIND what works for you. FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.
So here are some practical changes I’m making in my life…and sticking to for a while to see how they work for me.
1- Contrast showers. At the end of your shower, go 10 seconds warm, 20 seconds cold for 5 minutes (10 sets). End on cold. Let your body warm back up naturally…so don’t go dive under your covers. Bonus points if you get to shivering. These are extremely effective any time, even multiple times a day…they aid in rapid fat loss, healthy hormonal release and they put hair on your chest (not really, but they will make the rest of your day easy as cake because it WILL BE the hardest thing you do all day). For a slew of info about cold therapy, check out Ray Cronise (featured in The 4 Hour Body for losing 50 pounds by getting cold) at his info-packed blog.
2- Bulletproof Diet to get into ketosis. Dave Asprey (pictured above), aka The Bulletproof Exec, spoke on the topic of mycotoxins. The Bulletproof Diet focuses on foods that are extremely low in toxins and mold. Unfortunately, we live in a world over-saturated with these little grimmy buggers. Dave has made a helpful infographic of low toxin food. He also is the guy behind the butter coffee that has a lot of buzz in he paleo world. His diet doesn’t just focus on body composition, but brain performance. BONUS. So in practical terms, for 3 weeks I am eating foods in the green on the infographic and doing morning fasts of only drinking bulletproof coffee. I am staying pretty far away from even safe starches to get myself into ketosis (rapid fat burning mode). This should also kick the recent sugar addiction I developed. After the 3 weeks, I’ll do carb re-feeds every 3-7 days that will include white rice, sweet potatoes, etc…maybe occasionally some naughty beer and/or gluten free snacks.
**Take note dear friends, if you thought I was a picky, annoying food snob before, it’s about to get a lot worse. Love ya…
3- Improve my posture at my standing desk. I was so proud when I converted my desk into a standing desk. But Ben Greenfield pointed out how important good posture is while at your standing desk. So I raised everything a little higher to avoid slouching and I’m concentrating on keeping my shoulders back, pelvis tucked and knees soft. BTW, ease into your standing desk; my feet were so sore Monday. Or maybe just work less? Also, here is a fantastic article about the superiority of walking desks (I WANT ONE).
4- Open a window when I sleep. This seems like no big deal…but it has revolutionized my sleep already. You know how I have been waking up at like 4am and not getting back to sleep? Well, I always woke up as hot as a furnace. My apartment is just a little hot box…and I never even turn on my heater. So when I was chatting with Ray Cronise about my sleep (or rather, sleepless) woes, he said I need to regulate my room temperature. I said that I have my window totally blacked out because I’m light sensitive, but he encouraged me to just wear a sleep mask and open the window. Again, this sounds like such a simple thing, I feel stupid typing it. So I bought this really comfortable sleep mask and opened my window fully…even when it snowed the other night. And good GOSH I’ve been sleeping well. So if you have sleeping issues, make sure your sleep environment is cold so your body can work to warm itself through the night. Also, no more melatonin. Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind mentioned how much that can mess up your natural hormone release.
5- MAP. I am adding this MAP supplement to my life. Dr. David Minkoff formulated this product and gave really compelling reason to get enough amino acids in your diet.
6- Listen to more music. And really listen to it…relax to it, swim in it. Phil Maffetone gave a nice presentation about music and the beneficial effects it has on your brain when you’re in an alpha brain wave state (pre-sleep, very relaxed, meditative). This has re-sparked my love for music and, subsequently, has made me want to explore my creative side more. I am going to start painting again! Also, I will be swapping out some podcast listening for good music listening. I love my podcasts, but as I stated earlier…my brain is already pretty full of info at this point.
There are about a million other things I want to start doing, but I am going to just focus on these for now…why do I do all this? Because to me, healthy is happy. It brings me joy.
Speaking of music, This song inspires me. ”She sees the world the way she wants”. Indeed, I do. Again, find what works for you.
I’ve come to the realization that I need to do a sugar detox. Here’s the thing…In January, I started adding some carbs into my diet via The Perfect Health Diet (PHD) food guide. In the book, the authors give quite compelling reasons to eat “safe starches” everyday. So I started enjoying some rice, potatoes, etc. Eating rice is pretty much my happy place after avoiding it for so long. It really enhances curries…I mean really, curry shouldn’t be eaten without some freshly steamed white rice.
But I soon found myself perusing the gluten free section at the grocery store that was full of treats made from rice and tapioca flour…I thought, oh I can totally eat these! They’re made with safe starches. I let myself ignore the little bits of sugars and other ingredients in the cookies and crackers that I started buying. So my rice and potatoes were replaced with treats. And not just A cookie or A HANDFUL of rice crackers…but A lot of both.
And let’s not even talk about the slightly sweetened banana chips I was buying and eating handful by handful by handful.
Then I found myself in the ice cream section at the store. I found some pints that were made with pretty solid ingredients…like this one from Clemmy’s. I thought, oh what a miracle! These ingredients are so perfect! So I started buying ice cream. And eating it…but to be honest, I had less of a problem with my ice cream portions than my crackers and cookies portions. Those were getting wild.
All this to say, I got off track. Sugar snuck in on me. The thing is, when I first went Primal, the only sugar I had, pretty much ever, was in my 90% dark chocolate…which is SUCH a minimal amount. But now, I have sugar coming from so many things on a daily basis. And I wondered why I’m not as lean as I use to me? DUH.
Here’s the thing, I think all these treats are fine choices, honestly. I mean, handful of banana chips is just what you need sometimes. But knowing myself, if they are in my house, I am going to eat them. Too much of them. I suppose I could keep them around and practice restraint and willpower…but that is exhausting. And my willpower might be used better in other arenas of my life. So I’m ditching the treats; I at least won’t be housing them anymore. You’ve got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em.
Out of sight, out of mind. I’ll still be eating safe starches, and occasional treats. But not daily treats. It just doesn’t work that way. Do you have thing that has creeped in on you?
Me on a Saturday morning: I am standing on my earthing mat while working at my homemade standing desk, drinking a green juice, having already had bulletproof coffee, wearing my cool fat burner vest, having just taken some oil of oregano, glutathione and vitamin D. Later today I plan to make my own hair gel with flax seeds, drink some bone broth and kombucha, eventually break my overnight fast with some fermented vegetables and duck eggs and grass-fed butter, only after doing some rebounding, of course. Which reminds me, I need to go to the farmer’s market today and buy more stock bones and duck eggs. Eventually I’ll shower after I dry brush my skin. I’ll finish the shower with as much cold water as I can stand, and then rub coconut oil all over my skin. I’ll have some intermittent bouts of juggling (a skill I’m working on), along with some reading and eventually a nap (hopefully).
A friend recently said I was very unique. After writing that paragraph, I have to wonder if unique is the right word, or if freak would be more fitting? Either way, I am happy in my pursuit of health.
I know you’ve all been eagerly awaiting a new blog post from me. First off, I love bengreenfieldfitness.com. This guy is my new guru. He has so much good information on his blog and in his podcasts. And I am going to his Become Super Human Live Event in Spokane, Washington in a few weeks! I cannot wait to geek out on all things health and fitness related with other people like me.
But on the subject…as you may know, I have had sleeping issues on and off for years. This week I started tracking my sleep this wekk using Sleep Time by Azumio on my iphone. It’s pretty cool technology; you just turn the app on and set the phone face down on your bed for the night. It also has an alarm function that wakes you up within 30 minutes of the time you set, based on when you’re in a light sleep. Here is a sample night (my most efficient night, actually) and then the whole week:
I have some good things going for me…I’m falling asleep pretty quickly. I believe that is because I started a bed time ritual of taking magnesium and reading a few pages of a fiction book in low light. Boom. Puts me right out.
The other good thing I have is that I spend a good amount of time in bed. I never go to bed past midnight, and most days I have the luxury to sleep in (if my body would let me, that is).
But, as you can see, no matter what time I go to bed, I have this fun little awake time every morning around 5am. REALLY ANNOYING. I certainly don’t want to rely on Time Release Melatonin…I would much rather have good, hearty all natural sleep. So I’m trying out some things to make me a more efficient sleeper. Here’s a couple good recommendations from my guru, Ben Greenfield:
I have started teaching some classes at Colorado Kettlebell Club (CKC). Those of you that are familiar with me and/or kettlebells, know I have been trained in the RKC method of kettlebells, also known as Hard Style. Well, there is another pretty legit way to use kettlebells, Sport Style. The owner of CKC, Nico Rithner, actually teaches a certification for this style, and he hosts sport competitions. The certification program is called USAKL (USA Kettlebell Lifting). I am now certified in this style, as I took Nico’s course last weekend. It was intense! I learned about this totally new (to me) style.
So what’s the difference?
Hard Style is just that, hard. You use maximum body tension for most moves. On a swing, for instance, you’re exploding from the hips as powerfully and fast as possible, locking your knees and tightening your muscles at the top of every swing. This gets exhausting fast; as it’s meant to. With a sport swing, you’re not exploding, you’re not locking. You’re swinging in a very relaxed way….so relaxed you could drink a cup of tea with your free hand. You also do a lot of absorbing with your whole body on the way to down.
The purpose? Sport style is for endurance. It’s like running a marathon…you’re working to conserve energy in every way you can so you can last 26 miles. Hardstyle is like a sprint. You go as hard as you can so you can only last a short time. Jogging vs. Sprinting.
I think it’s important to have knowledge of both styles.
1- 15 minute meals. I’ve been pretty good about this! Not perfect, but good.
2 – Wait 5 hours before spending money online. I don’t always wait exactly 5 hours, but I do consider my purchases a lot more. And I’d definitely venture to say I’ve spent less online this month.
3 – Learn/Use Adobe Premiere and Suite software. Notta.
4 – More Social Time. I felt pretty social this month! Which involved drinking a lot of beer.
5 – 2,000 pull ups. I’m at 170. Some days they happen easily, other days they feel hard.
6 – Take Ping Pong Lessons. Not yet. But I found out about free lessons at Zing on Monday and Tuesday nights; so I’m going to be hitting that up soon.
7 – 100 Yoga Classes. I am at 10. Mostly Hot, some Vinyasa.
8 – Make Rebounding Videos. Have not made one yet. But I have been rebounding.
9 – Volunteer. Have not.
10 – Conquer the Overindulgence Dragon. Super stoked to have started reading Mindful Eating by Jane Chozen Bays, MD. I read the Foreword, the Preface, and 4 pages of the actual book and I already love it. Here’s a great paragraph from the Preface:
Research shows that no matter what diet people undertake, no matter what kinds of food they stop or start eating, they lose an average of only eight to eleven pounds and then gain it back in about a year. Only a few individuals are successful in losing a significant amount of weight and not regaining it. We can see that dieting is not the answer.
I love eating Primal/Paleo. I don’t intent to ever stop doing so…but just because I eat the “right” foods doesn’t mean I eat the right “way”. What I intend to do is change the way I eat…I want a healthier relationship with food. Which, to me, means enjoying every bite of a sustainable amount, and not continue looking for, hoping for, wishing for, indulging in more.
But the thing is, as an adult, you set your own rules. So it’s actually fun to follow them. In the book The End of Overeating by David Kessler, he talks about rules vs. willpower. Here’s what I got from it:
- Rules are guided by a higher brain function (so they work better than willpower)
- Specific rules are easier to follow (as opposed to loose, generalized ones)
- Practicing rules will turn them into behaviors (automatic habits)
- Your ability to follow your own rules will eventually carry it’s own rewards (yay!)
An example: If you want to reduce the amount of late night eating you do, set a very specific rule such as, “I don’t eat after 8pm.” Write it down, tell people, repeat it to yourself when staring into the refrigerator before bed. Expose yourself to that rule as often as possible until it becomes a set behavior. The reward of following that rule will be a sense of pride and probably weight loss. Make sense?
Rule setting is endless. Your rules could be “I don’t eat grains”, “I only eat organic tomatoes”, “I never miss a day of stretching”, “I go to bed by 10:30pm”, “I only drink 2 beers in one night”, “I don’t eat seconds”, ”I strength train on Tuesday and Thursday”, “I walk around my block every night after dinner”, “I am a slow eater”, “I don’t watch more than 1 hour of TV a day”, “I only eat 1 piece of chocolate a day”, “I never forget to take my supplements”, “I meditate for 2 minutes when I feel stressed”….etc etc etc. Of course you’ll break the rules sometimes, but then you just keep practicing them. The point is turning rules into habits.
I’d recommend not setting too many rules at once. Just work on one or two that are very important to you until you feel your behavior becoming automatic. Then set a new rule. Keep going. Rewards will be a plenty.
I had Thai food the other night with a friend. It was delicious. I got curry…totally the most primal thing on the menu. Then I tore open my fortune cookie and got this very applicable fortune. I proceeded to throw the cookie in the trash saying, “I’m not eating this because it’s full of crap ingredients.” To which my friend replied, “Um, did you even read your fortune?” I got told. By a fortune cookie and a friend.