Mar 01

Crush of the Month – Chicago Bone Broth

I had a mug of broth this AM before breakfast, and it was honestly amazing. I can easily sense the passion and patience put into the broth sourced from Chicago Bone Broth. While (I think) I am pretty decent in the kitchen, my broth hasn’t ever been anything to write home about. The flavor I enjoyed this morning was the offered spicy broth – and it is not a cheap Franks Red Hot spicy, it drew me to believe specific herbs and vegetables were chosen, selectively to give the balanced and enjoyed flavor. And don’t get me wrong, I love me some Franks, just used in the right places; like chili!

If you can’t tell, I am truly crushing on this healing food, and love supporting a local Chicago company. Head over to Chicago Bone Broth’s website to learn more, and if you want to have some of your own, plug in “paleoKelly” for a discount. They have various pickup locations in the city and feel good about your purchase as it also they are partnered w/ Inspiration Corp., whose mission is to help people improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency though social services, employment, placement and housing.

What are you treating yourself with this month? #TreatYoSelf

Jan 25

National Heart Health Month & Our Friend Diabetes

February is all about the heart. From the Hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day to advocacy and awareness of heart health. In relation to diabetes, heart health and the former share some common ground. For worse, one complication increases the risk of the other, yet, on the positive, these health conditions provide a push to take extra care of our health and food choices.

In the least, here are some small steps that can aid big health results for blood sugar control and caring for our heart.

  • Nurture sleep. Tis the secret sauce of our health. We should act like we are getting paid to sleep; because in the end, we really are regarding health. When we are sleep-deprived, we are not only sparking a cascade of events in hormonal imbalance, including insulin resistance, but we are also throwing our cravings for a loop. Even if you are not able to pack in the needed 8 hours of sleep by catering to a bedtime, etc., then strive for quality sleep. How? Make sure your room is cool (68F), pitch black, quiet and calm. Get blackout curtains if needed, use some ear plugs if you are a city slicker like myself and detox from electronics a good our before making it to your pillow. Lastly, look into trying a magnesium supplement. Every night I have a routine of sipping on some tea with some unflavored Natural Calm (a magnesium drink).
  • Choose each meal based on a combinations of vegetables and some fruit. From there add in high quality protein. Indeed, make the target of vegetables 2 cups per meal and select of variety of color.  Does this recommendation sound familiar? It not only stems from my philosophy of eating more real food, but rides on the recommendations of one of the top-rated diets in the last 6 years, the DASH diet. 
  • Measure your current weight, and then take that number and divide it in half. The number you get is the value of ounces you should drink within a day. And sorry, the liquids from coffee/tea do not go into this estimation. Find a good water bottle and take it along with you EVERYWHERE.
  • Get up every 60 minutes. Sitting in the modern cigarette. It’s hurting our health on a daily basis. If you follow the tip to drink more, you very much so will be getting up to use the loo more. Either way, cardiovascular health isn’t about hitting it hard in the gym, although that can be a plus if monitored in a healthy dose, but just moving more each hour of the day can please your body, improve blood sugar control, production and more.
  • Lastly, it’s not only about what we feed ourselves with food, but it’s also about what we feed our mind. Pay attention to how you talk yourself, and if the tone can be more gentle or nicer, start changing your thoughts. Be kind, supportive and reassuring.

Jan 14

Crush of the Month – Roasted Cabbage

Sure I’ve seen roasted cabbage on Pinterest a zillion times, however, never did I ever until now try it. And good golly, it’s amazing. Loaded with fiber and nutrients that aid our liver for detox, this extremely economical vegetable needs some promotion and love. Curious for more health information on cabbage? Check out this write-up I did in months past. 

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When I roast cabbage I so easily reach my goal of 6-10 cups of vegetables a day. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go without delay.

RECIPE:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a piece of foil over a baking sheet. Spray a light layer of olive oil onto the foil, then place the sliced cabbage on the foil.

Spray another light layer of olive oil on the top of cabbage and sprinkle on s/p. Bake for 20 minutes, flip cabbage over, and bake for a final 20 minutes.

Dec 20

Local Chicago Company – Sustainable Jerky

While at a holiday party this month, I ran into the owner, Ricky Hirsch, of Think Jerky and was a bit blown away when tasting a sample of his turkey jerky, among other sustainable flavors. Our conversation flowed and I asked if Ricky could share a little of his story on my blog. Enjoy!

Per Ricky: “Jerky has always been my favorite food until I was old enough to realize that it just wasn’t healthy. Gas station jerky has always been pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives. I gave up eating it because I thought that’s how jerky had to be.

Two years ago I came to the realization that jerky is just baked protein and has the potential, if made properly, to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Since I’m not a cook, I partnered with three of the best Chefs in the country to make the recipes. Our Chefs include:

  1. Laurent Gras | Three-Star Michelin Chef
  2. Gale Gand | Food Network Host
  3. Matt Troost | Farm-to-Table expert

We are the first company ever with a collection of Chefs like this and the first company ever with a three-star Michelin Chef. Think Jerky only uses sustainable-raised proteins, with restaurant quality ingredients in recipes by famous Chefs. All of our ingredients are gluten free, Non-GMO, all natural, no nitrites, and have no added hormones or antibiotics.

Our jerky is perfectly portioned in single-serve 100 calorie bags that have 16g protein and only 6g carbs, and is the perfect snack for traveling and the 2pm snack.

We are just launching this week and completed our Kickstarter where we ended up a top 5 most backed food ever. We have already been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Eater, Crain’s, Paleo Magazine, WGN TV, Splash, Chicago Tribune, Michigan Avenue Magazine, and many more, pretty crazy for a product that’s not fully launched yet.

You can find our jerky online at www.ThinkJerky.com and locally in Chicago

Thank you for letting me share a little of our story and hope your readers can easily find our product and enjoy the benefits, including flavor!”

Ricky

Dec 01

Crush of The Month #Instacart

Have you heard of Instacart? It’s a new go-to in my health toolbox. With road-trips and holidays away, I simply draft up some meals for the week following my return home and place an Instacart grocery delivery upon my arrival. The best thing, I think, about this convenience tactic is I always place an order of organic rotisserie chicken with my grocery order and have a healthy dinner ready to eat while unpacking. Win, win.

What are some of you modern day “tools” for health these days?

 

(And while I understand Instacart is a local Chicago offering, I do believe many groceries are now offering such services to have delivery in other cities).

Nov 18

Find A Rhythm in Gaining Better Health

If only we could wake up daily to minimal stress, pure healthy food, in the perfect quantities, exercise, sunshine, we would all be well on our way. In reality, many of us struggle to get out the door on time, let alone have a balanced meal before we hit the day running. It’s too easy to be reactive with our health by choosing lunch by whatever cafe or fast-food joint is nearest, and prioritizing our job and or kids.

Yet, the road to health needs a proactive approach with a soft plan of fitting in weekly exercise, mind-body practices, bonding with peers and suggested meals/snacks. Looking at research of what habits help most people attain a healthy weight and overall sense of wellness, here are a few ideas to emulate.

  • Plan you Meals – no need to make this harder than it is. And surely do not map out a diet meant for a bird. Have a balance of produce and ingredients full of fat and protein at each meal. Make the meals attractive to your palate, as eating well includes a component of satisfaction. A few ways I do this – I take out a small dry erase board I have stashed on the side of the refrigerator and think of 4 meals to make for the week. I always double the recipe to have for a following lunch/dinner. Another strategy I use to plan out weekly meals  is I will briefly play on Pinterest and select a recipe that looks good (and easy!) and add it to my Notepad on my phone, where I also keep my grocery list. Having a list on my phone makes it a lot harder to leave a physical list behind. Rarely do I get anywhere without a phone.

balanced meal

  • Batch Cook – meals eaten at home do not require hours in the kitchen. Use tools like a slow cooker, roast a cookie-sheet’s worth of vegetables for the week, increase a recipe to cook once, eat twice, set aside an evening to chop vegetables and fruit for grab and go snacks. Make a massive salad to pair with planned meals for the week and more. I often use frozen vegetables for roasting. Frozen vegetables can be healthier than fresh, as fresh produce depletes of nutrients as it ages. At breakfast I often compile lunch. At dinners, I often put together ingredients in a blender, to then set in the refrigerator overnight for an AM smoothie. Meal prep needs to be easy and efficient, or else it can feel like a chore or project. Keep the task simple.

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  • Nurture sleep – kids aren’t the only ones who get cranky when they stay up past their bedtime. It’s funny as adults, we push ourselves to stay up to watch a show and or ignore our tired ques just because the clock tells us it’s too early to tuck ourselves in. Cutting sleep less than 8 hours is not doing ourselves any favors – our hormones are thrown off, including leptin/ghrelin (hunger hormones), cortisol, insulin, we crave more carbs and sugar, and the list goes on. Beyond the quantity of sleep, work on the quality. Make sure your bedroom is cool, use blackout curtains, eye masks and ear plugs if need be. Have a bedtime ritual so you fall asleep quickly and even concoct a bedtime cocktail of bone broth, sleepy time tea or enjoy some Natural Calm with collagen.
  • Don’t skip meals, or starve yourself. Losing weight or maintaining a healthy one is not about eating less, it’s about eating smarter. Understand your true hunger verse cravings and strive to eat mostly real food.

smoothie

  • Drink water. Did you know being hydrated can actually make us appear younger, prevent fatigue, better regulate blood sugar, digestion, mental clarity, lose weight and the list goes on. Have a water bottle on you. Always.
  • Don’t stress over the small things. Practice 80/20 with choosing the right food. Enjoy the 20% with no guilt.
  • Develop habits that can be maintained long-term. Avoid fads and shortcuts. Make changes small enough that they become part of a lifestyle, not a to-do list.

Happy holidays, safe travels and please share any actions that help keep you on tract.

Nov 02

Paleo & Cholesterol Concerns

A client just sent me an email last night w/ some lab work. While she is just one person, using a real food template for her diet, there is many other stories and research out there that can help calm any worries in eating healthy yet cholesterol containing foods and attaining ideal cardiovascular health. Email verbatim below; and with her permission. Thanks Eileen for sharing and being transparent for my readers as well.

“Hi Kelly! I know I usually e-mail you from my Gmail, but I had a health assessment at work and wanted to share my results below. I’ve always had pretty low cholesterol and despite eating 3-4 eggs a day since I first saw you ~18 months ago, I still have healthy cholesterol. I just wanted to share, not that you needed proof, but in case there are any doubters out there—the screenshot below is proof!” (Click image to enlarge).

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Oct 28

Paleo Infused News to Use

Veggies. A food group that the vegans, Adkins followers, paleo folks, etc will all agree on, are crucial for optimal health. My tip today indeed relates to not only how to incorporate veggies at every meal, but how to keep them fresh throughout the week.

Tip #1

Salad spinner. Storing your leafy greens in a salad spinner helps extend the shelf-life. Give it a try and enjoy salads all week, start to finish. Take this one step further and chop up a large salad every Sunday so you have something quick, nutritious and high volume for evenings when you are quite hungry and need something quick. A salad can compliment any meal. My gym even serves a side salad with breakfast orders.

Tip #2

If you do not have a salad spinner, put a clean, dry paper towel in the container or bag that the leafy greens came in. I just did this minutes ago after I purchased, then used, Costco’s Power Mix leafy greens in my smoothie. Just putting a paper towel in the resealable bag, and changing the paper towel for a fresh one every 2-3 days, can really extend the freshness of these veggies.

Tip #3

Do not be afraid to have veggies at breakfast. More so, make it a habit. If you are on the go or whipping up something nice at home, there is no good excuse for not eating veggies to start the day. Some ideas 1) One to 3 cups of leafy greens in a smoothie, 2) ever had a paleo pancake? There are numerous recipes out there, but I most often take half a banana, 3 eggs and 1 cup of leafy greens, cinnamon and toss all the above in a blender until I get a smooth batter like consistency. With such, I warm some coconut oil in a skillet and make 2 real food pancakes. 3) An american breakfast with eggs and meat and some leftover veggies from the night before. Or roast up a cookie sheet-worth of veggies each Sunday. The examples of how to include more vegetables in the AM can easily go on, but find a way to eat 6-10 servings of veggies a day, and start with breakfast.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

Oct 13

Crush of the Month #StevesPaleoGoods

As I aim to set some themes for monthly posts, I have come up with a title which highlights something I have been crushing on lately.

If you are on the journey of seeking out more real food, including some convenience food, you have likely heard of Steve’s PaleoGoods. Not only are the products the highest quality, but they go to a great cause. Fifteen percent of the proceeds of each purchase goes to Steve’s Club National Program. That’s what I call a win-win; eating well and helping others.

So why am I writing about Steve’s Paleo Goods now? Full disclosure, they did contact me about trialing some of their products, but the truth be told. I always thought highly of the company but being a “paleo” RD I made many of these food products on my own. Yet, just 4 months ago, I had my second child and more than ever appreciate things that are high quality and convenient. More so, I don’t have to spend more time reviewing, checking product, etc to know it meets my expectations. Most recently, I have tried some of these, along with my toddler (he loves the dried strawberries and “granola” bars!).

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In the last month I have traveled to NOLA, Cancun, Ohio, Traverse City, MI, Grand Rapids, MI, Ohio and back to Chicago. You can easily guess how handy these snacks were, especially the jerky. I paired the protein sources w/ some portable fruit and I was well on my way. The “granola” was awesome on Greek Yogurt, and the Honey Mustard, which is predominately olive oil, made some of my latest salads come alive.

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I have confidently recommended Steve’s PaleoGoods products to my clients as they are delicious and nutritious. Beyond what is captured above, please know they offer a slew of products including bone broth.

Thank you Steve for setting the bar for high quality food, making it easy for consumers to choose sound ingredients by simply placing orders online.

On that note, next month I am going to highlight my latest way to make grocery shopping efficient, while being modern.

Sep 15

Healthy Office Snacks

Last month I had a request to answer what my top office snack would be. My reply included the below, among another 30+ suggestions from health experts. For more information, click here.

“My favorite snack to have in the office varies depending on what my or a client’s current health goal is. If my goal is weight loss, which is true as I am still shaking the baby weight from my second child born this summer, I’d pack large organic carrots.

Having a portable, healthy carb and crunchy snack like this will help me follow true hunger. Having something healthy like carrots prevents me from eating something out of boredom, stress or thirst.

Other ideas include portioned 1-2 ounce nuts (I love the raw almonds sold at Trader Joe’s). This snack is great if I know I have 5-7 hours between my lunch and dinner. And lastly, dark chocolate. This is a great thing to have on hand in an office where treats, baked goods and birthday cakes are debuted all too often.

A healthy treat like dark chocolate can be a good swap for something dessert-like without derailing health goals. Of course baked goods are fine to have when a client or myself really want it, but it’s also good to only indulge when those things are really worth it.”

 

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