Recipes

Go Ahead: Eat Your Brassica's

Why cruciferous veggies should be included in a hypothyroid diet.

Brassica’s [informerly known as cruciferous vegetables: as in the likes of cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and more] are often admonished in the hypothyroid community.

First, comes the hypothyroid diagnosis.

Second, comes the list of veggies (mostly of the cruciferous type) to avoid.

Why?

Because Brassica’s are known to be high in naturally-occurring goitrogens and are often encouraged to be avoided.

In this post, I’m going to tell you why it’s important for you [even if you’re hypothyroid] to include Brassica’s in your food choices and why you might even want to eat lot’s of ‘em.

brussel sprouts pic
brussel sprouts pic

First, What the hay are Goitrogens?

Goitrogens are known to be substances that suppress the function of the thyroid gland by getting in the way of iodine uptake. Eventually, this suppression can be so great that it can cause swelling around the thyroid (also known as a goiter).

Your thyroid gland needs iodine to be able to make it’s thyroid hormones {T3,T4 and calcitonin}. Decreased iodine absorption equals less thyroid hormone.

Now, goitrogenic substances are most often found in drugs and chemicals, but they can also be found in food.

Here’s a partial list of some foods that contain goitrogenic compounds:

Soybeans, pine nuts, peanuts, flax seed, millet, strawberries, pears, peaches, spinach, sweet potatoes, bok choy, broccoli , Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, turnips.

It’s a long list of foods {mostly of the Brassica type} and it doesn’t even cover the gamut. Nixing out all these foods seems like a shame. After all, most of ‘em are vegetables that we’re talking about.

Unfortunately, most practitioners forget to tell mention that lightly steaming or cooking brassica’s is enough to neutralize goitrogenic compounds. Cooking is all you need to do so that you can have your brassica’s and eat ‘em too.

Second, what’s so great about Brassica’s

Ounce for ounce, brassica’s are some of the most loaded veggies out there. They’re loaded with conventional nutrients like vitamins A, C and K, as well as folic acid and fiber. Brassica’s even have a significant amount of protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids. For a full brassica nutrient profile: click here.

Brassica’s are helpful for hypothyroid women for 3 reasons:

1. Crazy high in Fiber: Brassica’s are known to be unusually high in fiber. All this fiber helps with digestion and elimination. This is critical for hypothyroid women as we generally tend towards slow digestion which can build a higher toxic load in our system. Keeping our systems flowin’ with high fiber foods works in our favor.

2. Detoxify the Liver: Brassica’s are known to be potent detoxifiers for the liver. See #1. Because our digestion and absorption is a little on the slow side, detoxifiers become significant. Anything that can lower the toxic load on our system is going to help in the long run. Keeping the liver free and clear, will help our liver be the smooth hormonal regulator that it wants to be.

3. Anti-inflammatory: There is loads of research out there on Brassica’s and their amazing anti-inflammatory capabilities. Researchers are not sure why {maybe because Brassica’s are high in vitamin K or because they tend to be blood sugar stabilizers}, but paper after paper confirms that these veggies reduce inflammation and thereby help nearly every dis-ease in the human body- including a low-functioning thyroid.

Third, My Favorite Brassica Recipe

I love brassica’s in all shapes and sizes, but I will admit- Brussel sprouts have a fond place in my heart. I’ll cook ‘em up any which way and my kiddos are right there chomping at the bit. Sometimes I sauté them in butter, often I’ll cook ‘em in bacon grease, and every now and then I’ll roast ‘em in the oven.

Make Sure to Pass the Brassica's

Hey....can you pass the brassica's, please? If you love your brassica's as much as I do, share this post with your friends with your fav social share link below OR send 'em a "Savory" treat via e-mail. Thanks for spreading the word and sharing the love.

Here's to healthy hormones and brassica's for all!

~ Kristin

Boost Digestion: Better Your Thyroid {and my favorite Chickpea Veggie Cakes}

chickpea cakes
chickpea cakes

One of the biggest brew ha-ha-ha’s for those of us with a low functioning thyroid is our digestion.

On one hand, it can be a big, ole pain in the tush.

And, on the other hand, it can be our brightest guiding light.

Pain in the Tush

I’m going to tell ‘ya from experience; a low-functioning thyroid tends to lend itself to a sensitive digestive tract.

We’re sensitive creatures. Eat the wrong thing and our tummies hurt,

our digestion slows and our energy tanks.

Sure, at times it can be a BIG pain in the rear.

Brightest Guiding Light

On the other hand, having a sensitive system can be a major plus.

Our bodies are great communicators. Unfortunately, they don’t talk using fancy words and philosophical phrases.

Our bodies communicate by how we feel.

Listening is the key to a long, healthy relationship with your thyroid and your body.

Give Your Belly A Boost

There’s three ways to dance around these types of sensitivities.

1. Food Fear. Simply avoiding the offending food. It works in the short term, but it doesn’t heal the underlying problem.

2. Strengthen the system. Bring on digestive aids like hydrochloric acid, fermented foods, and digestive enzymes. (Smart thinking.)

3. Make foods more digestible. Putting in a little prep time can make all the difference in your digestion.

Keep reading and I'll show you how.

Why Soak Beans

Beans are one of those tricky foods for low thyroid folks. They’re a great protein source,

and they’re also a digestive nightmare for tender tummies.

The Good Side: Beans are loaded with all sorts of nutrients from protein and fiber to

vitamins and minerals [like calcium, manganese and potassium].

The Other Side: Beans are loaded with anti-nutrients. These anti-nutrients found in the outer 

seed coat help protect the bean from the sun, insects, and predators. But the also make the nutrient loaded bean

difficult to digest and interfere with the absorption of nutrients.

The Good News: Soaking beans eliminates those anti-nutrients. In some ways, soaking mimics the

germination process that takes place in nature. It neutralizes the anti-nutrients while unlocking

precious nutrients and enzymes.

How to Soak Beans

Soaking beans is way easier than it sounds.

1. Cover the beans with more than enough water and a tablespoon of sea salt. Set on the counter overnight.

2. Rinse and strain. Add more water.

3. Pop ‘em in the crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours until beans are soft.

Now What Do You Do With Those Beans?

Add beans to soups and stews, toss ‘em in a salad OR make Chickpea Veggie Cakes! If you do prep your beans, make sure to stash some in the freezer.

You can pull them out when you're in a rush and wow your family with a quickie meal any time.

Recipes Taste Better when Shared

When it comes down to it, I sooooo believe that recipes are meant to be shared.

Go ahead, invite some friends over and share the love with these Chickpea Veggie CakesOR give your friends a

virtual hug and share these cakes in digi-form (just hit your favorite social share button below the recipe.)

To Chickpea Veggie Cakes and happy tummies!

~ Kristin

Too Busy for Breakfast? [my latest hormone balancing quick start: Gluten Free Quiche Muffins]

So long late summer nights and lazy mornings, it’s B2S (or “Back to School”) in our house.

My very veggie quiche muffins just waiting to be gobbled up!
My very veggie quiche muffins just waiting to be gobbled up!

The good: my house is cleaner than it’s been in a loooong time.

The bad: my house is quieter than it’s been in a long time.

The upside: with both of my kiddos in school, I now have a lot more time to create new recipes

and dream up even more ways to help you get ahead in your hormonal health.

They say, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

I was definitely in need.

(Picture waking up the kiddos and rolling them into the car by 7:45am- not always a pretty site.)

In case you’re new to my little corner of the internet- I’m a big believer that you can improve your hormones

and get ahead in your health with one magical ingredient: food.

Now, we’ve all been told to eat our fruits and veggies,

but the magic doesn’t always happen there. No way.

To really get ahead in your hormonal health, you have got to balance

your blood sugar from the get go (aka breakfast).

Here’s how it works:

Every time blood sugar levels spike, your pancreas swings into gear.

It produces a hormone called insulin to get the sugar out of the blood and

into the cells where it can do some work.

Eat too much sugar and your pancreas will make too much insulin.

Too much insulin in the blood will lower your blood sugar….fast.

Suddenly, that manic sugar-high feeling turns into a big. ‘ol. CRASH.

Once you crash, your adrenals have to get in the game and produce cortisol to get your blood sugar levels up again.

Do this day in and day out, and you are beating up your pancreas and killing your adrenals.

Keep in mind that once your adrenals are toast, your entire endocrine system starts to go downhill.

Over time, whipped adrenals drag down the pituitary gland and make their mark on thyroid function.

One of the first steps in taking care of your thyroid is learning how to regulate your blood sugar levels

(by cutting out sugar, my friends, ‘cause that’s where it all starts.)

That’s why I had to share my latest Gluten Free Veggie Quiche Muffin cause-I’m- running-out-the-door b’fast.

I needed a quick start to my day that would curb the sugar and up the protein all while wiping the sleepers out of my eyes.

I can’t wait to give you the recipe, but before I do, I’ve got a quickie homework assignment just for you.

Step 1. Scroll to the end of the recipe and hit the social share button of your choice.

Spread the love with your friends on facebook, pinterest, or google-plus. I really, really, really appreciate it.

It gets the word out and you might help a friends’ morning go a little smoother.

Step 2. Leave a note in the comments section and let me know what you think about this very-veggie-quiche-muffin-on-the-go.

Are you going to make ‘em? Who are you going to have them with? Sounds a silly, but this is the stuff I love to know.

With every little tweak that we make, we’re one step closer to better health. Gotta love it!

Now...here's your recipe!

~ Kristin

How to Turn Wild Cherries into a Hormonal Win{recipe: Special, Cherry Oatcake}

Down the street is our neighborhood’s giving tree.

Cherry oatcake is a hormonal win any day.
Cherry oatcake is a hormonal win any day.

In the fall, her leaves turn golden. In the winter,

she’s our gathering place. By spring, she smells of flowers.

And every single summer, she bears loads of sweet and tart cherries.

This year was no exception. We lucked out with a “bumper crop”.

Her branches were literally loaded with beautiful, red cherries.

If you’ve been a fan of my work, then you know that maintaining even blood sugar levels

throughout the day is vital to hormonal freedom. Often I encourage clients to cut down

on sweets and even limit their fruits to one piece a day.

Yes, we’ve been told to “eat your fruits and vegetables”, but I’d like to switch that moniker on it’s heels. I think it should read a bit more like this:

“Eat your veggies and savor your fruits.”

Fruits do contain vitamins, minerals and fiber that slow the absorption of sugar,

but in the end, fructose is fructose. Too much fructose in any one setting can throw

your pancreas into a tailspin and kick your adrenals into overdrive.

High levels of cortisol caused by stress (from blood sugar swings or life circumstances)

decreases thyroid function and TSH production.

So, what’s a mom to do when her kids are whooping and hollering

about cherries in the heat of the summer sun?

I say, “Pick’ em and have yourself some fun.”

I made this Special Cherry Oatcake a hormonal winner by switching things up

with these four steps to minimize a blood sugar conundrum.

1. Soak grains in yogurt.

Soaking grains helps to breakdown any anti-nutrients and hard-to-digest parts of the grain. 

Soaking may seem time consuming at first glance, but it’s really more about thinking ahead.

And soaking  grains has another hormonal benefit. Often, low thyroid equals poor digestion.

When grains are easier to digest, there’s a lot less drag on your thyroid.

2. 50-50 steel cut oats and rolled oats.

Steel cut oats are less processed than rolled oats, and both are less processed than quick oats.

With more of it’s natural juju intact, steel cut oats won’t sway blood sugar like the others.

You can up your hormonal mastery here and play with the percentage of steel cut vs. rolled oats in this recipe.

I ended up going 50/50 but I bet 75/25 (favoring steel cut oats) would work well too.

3. It’s got protein.

4 eggs and ½ cup of nuts are added to up the protein and slow down the glycemic response

of the fruit and the tiny bit of honey.

Balanced hormones start with balanced blood sugar levels. It’s not that we can’t enjoy sweetness in our life,

but those sweet flavors are best when tempered with proper ratios of fat and protein.

4. It's made in a pan.

Maybe the best part of this special Cherry Oatcake is that it’s made in a pan.

If you’re in a hormonal slump, then you know that you don’t have a whole lot of energy

to waste nor time to spare. There’s nothing like having something on hand that you can serve to

your kids or enjoy for yourself that hits the spot without throwing you into a blood sugar tizzy.

So without further adieu, here she is, my special Cherry Oatcake recipe.

Check it out and tell me what you think of my sweet-and-sour snack in the comment section.

As always, I love hearing from you.

~ Kristin

Why eating breakfast helps balance hormones [& a killer omelet recipe]

The other day I caught up with a new client.

My favorite Saturday Spinach Salmon Omelet
My favorite Saturday Spinach Salmon Omelet

Two months earlier, she had started on my

hormone-balancing program. And boy, was I surprised when I saw her face.

She was beaming.

She had lost 12 pounds in the matter of eight weeks.

Her hair had stopped falling out.

And she was just glowing.

So what was the big change?

Before I go into that. Let me give you a little background.

This gal is in her mid 30s. She’s a beauty, but wow, she was really dragging when she first came to see me. She has two kids, a helpful husband, but even with all the good things working for her, she was feeling overwhelmed and starting to look a wee bit haggard.

Yes, we had gotten her taking some high-quality whole-food concentrates, but here was the big kicker.

She started eating breakfast! Yep, that’s all.

This dedicated momma had been so busy feeding her family, dogs included, she didn’t get around to breaking her own fast until 10:00am or so.

Big mistake.

Studies have shown that skipping breakfast has a big wallop on blood sugar levels, weight gain, and even brain function. The study results hold true for children, adolescents, and adults of both genders.

Eating a healthy breakfast is especially important for women who want to balance their hormones naturally. Stable blood sugar equals happy hormones.

To start your engine without burning it out, choose breakfast foods that include protein, fats, and slow-metabolizing “complex,” or fiber-rich, carbohydrates.

Here’s one of my weekend favorite recipes, one that I make when I have the time to sit back, relax, and watch my kiddos play.

But before I share, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. Do you have a go-to breakfast that gets your engine running for the long haul? I’d love to hear all about it.

~ Kristin

Why your thyroid wants you to eat more seaweed [and a salad recipe you'll love]

Arame Seaweed Salad: loaded with iodine and a great lunch addition
Arame Seaweed Salad: loaded with iodine and a great lunch addition

If you knew that there was a food that was loaded with valuable nutrition 

for your thyroid, would you run out and grab some?

Sea vegetables (with exotic names like kombu, nori, and arame)

are a hot ticket to hormonal success.

Ounce for ounce, seaweeds are chock full of nutrition, including calcium, iron and B-vitamins that can help rev up metabolism. But the best part about seaweed is that they’re mineral dense, with 10 to 20 times the minerals of land plants.

Although they may not sound as warm and fuzzy as vitamins, minerals perform critical functions, acting as spark plugs for your body.

In fact, all nutrients—vitamins, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, carbs, fats—need minerals to help them do their jobs inside the body.

Minerals are necessary to build healthy bones, produce hormones, and transfer nutrients across cell membranes. Enzymes just won’t work without the presence of key minerals.

Minerals are not something that your body can make, so you have to get them in your food grown in proper soils. Essentially, minerals come from the earth.

Healthy soil is about 45% mineral rich.

Unfortunately, our modern farming practices have taken a toll. Based on a study done in 1992, U.S. soils contain 86% less minerals than they did 100 years ago.

Even if you’re eating a well balanced diet, your body could probably use a mineral boost.

Seaweeds are the answer. They’re loaded with iodine (aka, the thyroid mineral), calcium, magnesium and iron.

In Chinese Medicine and other natural healing modalities, there’s a very cool theory called the Doctrine of Signatures, which states that an herb or a plant serves the body in much the same way that the plant acts in its natural environment.

Here’s what I mean: Seaweeds are transformers. They are the magical plants of the ocean.

In Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford writes, “wherever seaweeds grow, they do not simply absorb and concentrate toxins. Rather they detoxify and transform a certain amount of toxic metals, converting them to harmless salts, which the body excretes through the intestines.”

This is exactly what seaweeds do in our bodies.

Seaweed consumption is known to soften hardened areas and masses (think fibroids, nodules or cystic tissues), and detoxify the body. Most likely due to their high mineral content, eating seaweed tends to get things moving in your body and kick biochemical reactions into gear.

Your thyroid needs iodine to be able to make thyroid hormone. So if your hair is getting a little thin, or you’d like to slim down just a bit, it’s a great idea to add foods like my favorite Arame Seaweed Salad (recipe below).

Arame has a subtle, semi-sweet flavor and firm texture. Most people find it to be quite tasty and easy to work with. This salad is a snap to make and it gets even better the next day. If you’re not a fan of the seaweed flavor, you can always tone it down a bit by serving it over a light bed of greens, such as Romaine leaves.

Now, I love hearing from you, seaweed fan or not. Tell me in the comments below, do you mix sea veggies into your cooking? If so, what’s your favorite veggie of the sea and how do you prefer to prepare it? And, if you haven’t dipped into seaweeds yet, what sort of recipe would you like to try?

~ Kristin

Why focus on resilience [& how my MAGIC chocolate chip cookie recipe can help]

gluten free chocolate chip cookies- yum, yum, super yum
gluten free chocolate chip cookies- yum, yum, super yum

When a new client comes to see me,

we chat a bit about life and health.

Then we start to dig into details.

Inevitably we end up talking nutrition. Because what you eat and how you eat it determines a lot for your health, especially your hormones.

Over 13 years of working with clients, I have discovered that what you eat regularly influences your resiliency.

I thank one of my bodywork teachers for raising my awareness of the key role of resiliency. I was in a particularly hard place and battling a nasty flu. I was feeling fragile because I had this belief that as a practitioner, I shouldn’t get sick.

She told me, “Kristin, it’s not that people aren’t going to get sick. It’s how they bounce back that determines their health”.

Hmmmmm.

Now that got me to thinking.

Your “bounce back,” your rebound, your resiliency. Whatever you want to call it, it ultimately determines the lion’s share of your overall health.

Nothing feeds your resiliency like the right food.

And what are the absolute best foods for bolstering and sustaining resiliency? ….. drum roll, please...

Foods that stabilize your blood sugars.

Your body hates drama. Over time, the highs and lows of sugar-induced peaks and crashes will break down your resiliency. It’ll beat up your pancreas and leave your adrenals exhausted. Eventually it’ll even fatigue your thyroid. It’s not pretty and I don’t recommend it.

Imagine how your resiliency could grow if your engine consistently ran smoothly, because it was getting the right fuel. Imagine how your body could repair without having to expend valuable energy trying to mop up the damage done by those silly ups and downs.

I guarantee, your body would thrive. You’d have more energy to play with your kids. You’d be more focused at work. You’d be happier with yourself. Chances are, you’d be happier in general.

So here’s the big question.

You get it. Balancing your blood sugar sounds like a great plan, but sometimes, you also really want a chewy, gooey, hot-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie?

I say, “Make ‘em!”

Go ahead and make them with almond flour and arrowroot, and double the eggs. More protein will help reduce the sugar spike. When you make your own, you’ve got control over the ingredients.

I think you’re going to love these cookies. They came out of the best baking session with my daughter. I swear we made magic with this recipe.

Oh golly, I want to hear from you. Tell me your favorite chocolate chip story. Who did you make them with? And what did you have with them? If you don’t like chocolate chip cookies, then what’s your favorite sweet treat? I’d love to hear all the warm-hot-gooey details.

~ Kristin

The #1 Secret to Easy Family Dinners—and Why Slow is the New Quick

Crockpot chicken~ super simple, super easy, and seriously yummy.
Crockpot chicken~ super simple, super easy, and seriously yummy.

If you’ve got low thyroid, you know there’s just not a whole bunch

of energy leftover—especially toward the end of a long day.

Often, the last thing that you want to do is cook dinner.

You know the drill.

Everyone is hungry.

Your house is a mess.

Kids are climbing up your legs.

Don’t you wish you had a kitchen helper?

Likely, you do, lurking somewhere in a cabinet: a slow cooker, or crockpot. To me, using a crockpot is almost like having dinner out, but you’re eating in the comfort of your own home. You know the ingredients are good and the flavors are going to be just how you like them. But you barely had to lift a finger.

Here’s my “little secret” when it comes to the crockpot: Don’t bother with special “slow cooker” recipes; use it as the world’s easiest way to cook your protein.

For me, it’s usually beef, bison, chicken, or turkey. Yes, it’s that simple!

Then, I use the meat in any which way I like. I can make tacos, Indian curry, Thai stir-fry, or plain old roast chicken, just by placing my meat and a few simple spices into my trusty crocker.

Here is one of my family’s all-time favorites. Honestly, it can’t get any easier. To sweeten the crock just a bit, it’s a two-for-one deal: Roast the chicken on day one, and make a no-work bone broth on day two.

Now it’s your turn. Do you love your crockpot, or is she just sitting there in the back of your cabinet? I’d LOVE to learn about your favorite crockpot recipes. Leave a comment below and while you’re at it, tell us a little story about how you manage to feed your family well with all the hustle and bustle of life.

~ Kristin

Thai Curry Lentils

Two unexpected events happened for me this week.

First, my husband graced me with a “spa” weekend.

Now I said, “unexpected”. So no, I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t book a two-hour massage or get a facial, but I did get loads of downtime. He happily whisked the kids away and I found myself home- alone, for hours!

Second, because of unexpected event #1, I had the chance to dream up my family’s latest favorite lentil recipe.

A few weeks ago we had an amazing dinner over at a friend’s house. She happens to be Thai, so my kiddos had the chance to try the “real” thing. Guess what? They loved it.

So, I got to thinking. I could take these same flavors and use it on some of our old favorites and see what happens.

This past weekend was my chance. I had all the ingredients on hand and no one was calling for momma. I’m calling this fun little dish a winner since my little girl went for thirds and her younger brother finished two whole bowls.

We served our Thai Curried Lentils over a bowl full of garlic greens, but I bet it would be delicious over sweet potato dimes or even a steamy bowl of rice. The only trick in making this dish absolutely perfect, is to think ahead and soak the lentils. No need to soak overnight, even 6 hours for lentils is just right.

~ Kristin

Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Ganache

If you’re ever a little bored during the winter, you must stop by our house. We churn out the celebrations like nobody’s business. In February we celebrates the kids’ birthdays and our anniversary. And in March, we round out the celebrations with Jim’s and my birthdays.

It’s a lot of candles and all things “sweet”. And of course, I’ve mastered just about every alternative dessert from “chocolate” dipped strawberries to vanilla cupcakes.. When Jim requested a banana cream pie to celebrate his big day, I nearly croaked.

I’ve never made a banana cream pie (nor even tried one) in my life!

I searched all my favorite sites [Against All Grains and The Nourished Kitchen], and I finally landed on Elena’s Pantry. Elena is kind of like a gluten-free Martha Stewart. She’s got easy, go-to recipes that are fun to switch around. My only advice when working with her recipes is to halve the sugar and replace grapeseed oil with melted butter. All in all, she’s got my vote and I usually use her formulas as a base.

~ Kristin

Can it really be this easy?

I totally get it. You’re tired and busy and there’s oh-so-much-to-do. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and it’s even easier to drop some of our self-care tricks when life is full swing.

It’s been a really busy time for me and my sweet family. We had a little girl turn into a big girl of 8 and our “dude” is now sporting 4 years. There was Valentine’s in the middle there, and of course we’ve had a few winter sniffles and tired days on our side too. Life gets busy. It’s real and it happens. But it doesn’t have to get in our way, does it?

I’m all for cooking up a storm. I kind of like it. But I’m also a major fan of having just a few “go-to’” meals that are super easy to whip out for when the going get’s tough.

When my life gets all crazy, I lean on my sidekick in the kitchen, my crockpot. I admit I own three of these gems in different sizes. One for grains (when I eat ’em), one for soups (when I make ‘em), and one for just about everything.

The last one is my red one and she is my favorite. She’s a pretty simple gal. She’s got a high, low, and warm switch that’s all. She’s nothing fancy, but she’s a good size, and she cooks a killer chicken.

Seriously, it’s a no fail dinner every single time. My kids love it, my husband begs for more, can it really be this easy? Yes!

P1020263
P1020263

Here’s how the recipe goes. You’ll need 4 ingredients total; one whole chicken, salt and pepper, and poultry seasoning (or your favorite blend). Yep, that’s it. It’s almost embarrassing to admit how easy this can be.

Next, I rinse off the chicken and place the backbone down inside the crock. Then, I rub the seasonings on. And last, I turn my red girl on high. And I let her do her thing for 6-8 hours. No micromanaging, no fussing, I just let her cook away on the counter. I turn her off when I see the meat pulling away from the bone just a bit, and that’s just about it. Easy right?

Now how do I make this a meal? If I’m in a serious time crunch, I serve my roast chicken with a side salad. If I happened to look ahead just a little bit, I’ll throw a few potatoes in the oven and serve them baked with butter. Super simple, super easy, and seriously yummy.

Want to up it one more notch? After dinner, I’ll strip all the chicken from the bones. Fill my crock back up with water and turn her on high again. Sometimes I add onions and carrots and celery- and sometimes I don’t have the time. I’ll have her cook again, while I’m sleeping and in the morning I’ll wake up to a crock full of chicken stock that I can use in soups or add to greens. All I have to do is strain and store. Seriously, that’s easy!

Now it's your turn. I want to know, what's your favorite crockpot recipe? Leave a comment and tell me how you manage feeding your family well with all the hustle and bustle of life.

~ Kristin

What's for dinner?

I am downright giddy.

Remember my friend, Chef Annie Volk? She’s back and she’s ready to celebrate with me. I told her that I’m pretty darn psyched about all that's percolating in my practice and I asked her to come up with a special recipe. Something that will nourish your soul and make your toes tingle even though the holidays are “over”.

It happens doesn’t it? We put so much energy into the holidays being perfect and then, the ball sort-of drops when it’s all over. So this little number is a bit of inspiration and fresh air for you, your family and your friends. It's a simple recipe to anchor your meal. It's got a little bit of sweet and a lot of savory (...just how I like it).

In the comment section, let's tell Annie what you're really hungry for. Are you craving a special dessert or do you need a simple fish recipe? She's right here to help, just let her know what you need.

CranPorkMeatballs
CranPorkMeatballs

Now, Here's Chef Annie:

This is a fun recipe. The flavor combination of celery, onions, sage, thyme and sweet cranberries kind of remind me of traditional thanksgiving stuffing. I often make this recipe in my holiday cooking classes for those of us who don't/can't/won't eat bread.

I like to pair this dish (like most of my meals) with a lemon, salt and oil massaged kale salad or with a citrus mashed sweet potato.

~ Kristin

Meet Annie Volk - My HeartBeet Chef

There always comes a time in life when you’re ready to expand, take flight and do some things a little different. This is one of those times for me.

Over the years, I’ve run into my fair share of amazing practitioners and gifted folks. And I’m at the point in my work where I just can’t wait to share more and more with you. Yes, I’ve loved working for myself. I get to call the shots and essentially the buck stops right here. But now, I’m ready to open up and shine the spotlight brighter.

Each month, I’ll be featuring resources from different practitioners, culinary wizards, and other experts in their field. Everyone will have their own tips and pearls to share regarding hormones and the wonders of health. We’re going to be getting our hands in down and dirty, and who knows, this really could expand into something bigger (yes, I’ve got a pretty cool idea up my sleeve- we’ll just see if she wants to be birthed).

Without further adieu, I am so excited to introduce you to my first guest. Her name is Annie Volk and she’s the culinary whiz behind the HeartBeet Chef. Check her out here.

Take a look at these Paleo Cinnamon Rolls- and check out the ingredients, my friends. She made ‘em just how I like ‘em. No refined sugars here, just maple syrup and a whole lot of love.

This gal has stolen my heart and I’m one of her biggest fans. She’ll come to your house and deliver a week worth of super nourishing, gourmet meals. And, if you haven’t already guessed, she’s a paleo whiz.

~ Kristin

What's all this about soaking nuts?

Have you ever had that “big ball of rocks” feeling in you belly after eating one too many nuts? You know, that really uncomfortable, heavy sensation.

Nuts are loaded with enzyme inhibitors that can really slow down your digestion to a creeping halt. Yes, our awesomely nutritious, most handy snack- the nut- contains facts that actually get in the way of your digestive enzymes.

Bummer.

I learned about these digestive inhibitors in my all-time favorite cookbook, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. This book is a must have for anyone who has the slightest desire to improve their health.

I commonly tell my clients to go ahead and buy Nourishing Traditions and go ahead and keep it in the bathroom. I know that sounds totally crazy, but believe me when I say Nourishing Traditions is a wealth of information. Reading the first 80 pages is almost like getting a Ph.D. in nutrition. And once you get through those first pages, the rest of the book is loaded with recipes and astounding food facts from nutrition masters around the world.

Now back to nuts.

Don’t worry. All is not lost. Nuts can still be a very nourishing food when prepared properly. Soaking nuts in salt water neutralizes the digestive inhibitors, so you can enjoy all the benefits from your favorite snack food and skip the belly-ache.

~ Kristin