Nutrition

the GOOD, the BADA$$ and…

August 12, 2013
Recently Updated

The Skintervention Guide.

A guide devoted solely to ‘Purely Paleo Skincare’. Who thought of such a wise concept you may ask?! Well wonder no further…it is the brilliant masterpiece of no other than the lovely Liz Wolfe (NTP) of CaveGirlEats. Although Liz and I have never met in person, I can just tell that she would be such a cool gal to hang out with.

Maybe we are long-lost sardine sistas!?! Who knows? I follow the work she creates on her blog and without fail, to hers & Diane Sanfillipo’s ‘Balanced Bites’ podcast every.single.week. Check out this one specifically geared towards all things skin and body ! If she is as wicked as she comes across over the interwebs…than I bet (without question), that she is just one of those folks who’s company you want to be in. Her charismatic way is admirable. Also, Liz’s passion, wit & genuine nature is in abundance, even through a computer screen and is nothing, but infectious. I do hope our paths cross one day soon…

Okay…so let’s cut to the chase. Who is this Liz gal anyways?!? What’s her deal? What’s her story?!? What is she all about?

Here are all her dets. Go check out her wicked awesomeness and get to know here a little bit better…

Website(s):

CaveGirlEats ~ http://cavegirleats.com

Liz Wolfe, NTP (her professional alter ego) ~ http://www.lizwolfentp.com

Purely Primal Skincare ~ http://purelyprimalskincare.com

 

Podcast: http://balancedbites.com/podcast

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaveGirlEats

Facebook:

CaveGirlEats ~ https://www.facebook.com/CaveGirlEats?fref=ts

The Skintervention Guide ~ https://www.facebook.com/SkinterventionGuide?fref=ts

Instagram: cavegirleats

Modern Cave Girl (book): is available for pre-order on Amazon! (not yet released)

http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Cave-Girl-Living-Concrete/sim/1936608448/2

* I also want to pay tribute and note that Trina Felber of Primal Life Organics (skin care genius) also plays a huge role in sharing her excellent expertise and offers insights throughout the guide that address various skin-related conditions. Be sure to check out her ever-growing line of nourishing skin care products here!

BACKSTORY:

SOOOOOO…way back in Jan (I know…it has been months already…very *sadface*), Liz sent me a FB msg asking if I would like a copy of her newly released ‘Skintervention Guide’. As you can see below (photo), I was immediately thrilled with this kind offering. My lag in posting this review holds no real ground for any excuse. In all honesty, I was blown away with this guide from the moment I clicked ‘download’. New job…family commitments…training…and you know, life (blah…blah…blah), I could go on…(all excuses), but the real reason for the elapsed time in posting this, was because I wanted to take in all that Liz was providing and start an experiment with myself. My desire was to absorb and apply all she was saying and start playing around. Previous to being exposed to this guide, I was curious (and making slight changes in my beauty regime), but this book gave me the inspiration and kick to take that next plunge. A dive that I can now fully support, and share and recommend with pride as it based on my own personal results. I can confidently say, that I am so elated with my ‘skintervention’ progress to date. It is a process (as Liz mentions many times in her book), and is something that cannot be rushed or hurried. Thoughtful consideration is needed.

The second excuse, I mean reason for me taking so darn long to post this, is not without good intention. This book is SO impressively packed with a crazy unbelievable amount of information. I would open it, read, close it, open it, read, close it…you get the idea. Finally, one day…the lightbulb went off…I needed to print this bad boy off. Ya, that’s right, send it to the printers and coil bind this number, so that I could mark the $hit out of it! Yep! That’s right…that’s me. That’s how I learn…I am such the ‘hardcopy’ kinda gal, who needs to be able to hold the book, highlight and do little jot notes here and there with my fancy pink marker. So…that’s what I did! And that was the perfect combo!! Utilizing the e-book especially for it’s amazing links, and adding this to my own ‘print version’ served to be an excellent companion. BTW…YES, this is legal, I asked her.

SETTING THE STAGE: (The tone of this book)

Liz makes you feel at ease while reading her book. Her approach is straightforward, honest yet, compassionate. Her delivery makes it feel like the two of you are having a personal convo. Aside from her sharing her experiences/stories, the vibe of this book is that of someone who is close to you, and ultimately wants the best for you. She does so in a non-judgmental, pressure-ey (new word) way! Her wealth of knowledge consistently holds this element of humbleness that makes you comfortable to take charge and make changes! (without feeling the slight bit intimidated)

…AND HERE BEGINS MY ‘ACTUAL REVIEW’ ~

the GOOD: (WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THIS GUIDE IN NO SPECIFIC ORDER!)

I honestly can’t say enough good things about this guide. There have been several close family members and friends who I have directed her way to help them with their ongoing skin issues. Their response = super happy! I too could go on and on and on, as it has truly helped to change the way I care about my skin and body! Read on to find out why I am so in lurv with this guide…

  • The layout of this book makes it easy to follow and navigate ~ includes a handy side bar margin, filled with reminders, tips/tricks, precautions and recommendations
  • Can you say FULLY LOADED? YEP…this digital resource is jammed packed with tons info ~ guaranteed that there is something in there for everyone!
  • It is divided into 3 logical sections – PART One ~ Nutrition, PART TWO ~ Digestion, & PART 3 ~ Body and Skincare
  • This meaningful and carefully crafted, three-pronged approach is designed to help you and your skin heal from both the INSIDE and the OUTSIDE! SO IMPORTANT!!!
  • Includes multiple hyperlinks ~ who doesn’t love clicking around and exploring the internet this way – they are SO FUN!
  • When you order…you don’t only get the original guide, BUT you also receive 2 bonus guides FREE ~ a RESOURCE guide and a RECIPE guide
  • Oh ya…because it is a digital PDF, UNLIMITED lifetime updates are also yours FREE!
  • The RESOURCE guide in itself is a total gem ~ there you will find Liz’s guaranteed recommendations + top picks!
  • As a total non-fiction lover, sub-headings/bolded text are key! Liz does a great job of breaking down each section into manageable bites of information that don’t leave your head spinning ~ not bombarding in the least!!
  • A gradual approach is reinforced throughout THE WHOLE guide ~ but I especially enjoyed the 3 levels of entry that are introduced in the ‘Body and Skincare’ section ~ 1- ‘Simply Boost’, 2- ‘Added Boost’, and 3- ‘Total Nourishment’ ~ choose your own adventure!
  • If you are in a rush…reading the ‘Simplify It’ and ‘Wrapping It Up’ sections will serve you well and help you understand the gist of things – a very clever summary-style addition!

the BADA$$:

Prior to reading Liz’s ‘Skintervention Guide’, my husband and I had made a few changes here and there with regards to improving our overall digestion and the health of our skin/body. Having said that, this guide is REALLY what has gotten the ball rollin’ though! To echo Liz’s sentiments, everyone has to find a personal approach and speed that works for them. That is what we are doing and couldn’t be more excited! Picking away…and seeing results!!!

Exhilarated by the fact that Liz honestly makes you feel so empowered. I feel more in control now than ever before. Total BADA$$ mode. I have been doing this ‘paleo thing’ for 3 + years, and have the food/eating deal totally down. Having said that, I never lose sight that it is still a journey! I am still growing, improving and creating a better self. This guide makes you WANT to be better!!! The whole natural and nourishing skin/bodycare regime was something that needed to be addressed. And so it has been…

Here is my (our) ‘Skintervention Skinformation’ to date (so far):

  • We have made our eating regime (especially dinner) a priority ~ a focus on a relaxing atmosphere, sans distractions
  • Tossed out all my chemically-filled make-up (lip gloss, blush, eye-liner and mascara), and have replaced it with more ethically and naturally made products (GLUTEN-FREE)
  • I now use these products from 100% pure, Vauxhall Gardens (Brickworks Farmer’s Market) and am going to place a BIGA$$ order with Primal Life Organics SOON!
  • Ditched my old ‘commercial cleansing’ face products ~ now all I do is Liz’s recommended ‘Oil Cleansing Method’ ~ that’s right, I clean my face with coconut oil (people always look at me funny when I tell them this! Doesn’t it give you zits? Nope.)
  • Said ‘BYE-BYE’ to Dove Soap…and now use Dr. Bronner’s!
  • We started taking Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil Blend ~ LOVE IT…have noticed such a difference. Where has this been all my life!
  • Started something new – YEP…we both joined and started yoga/meditation classes ~ ohhhhhh soooo relaxing!
  • Have placed a concentration on getting in more organ meats, fermented foods and bone broth (homemade)
  • Gave up coffee (a year ago now), and have switched to drinking nourishing herbal teas and kombucha & more kombucha!
  • Have started using clay masks on a weekly basis – to target pores
  • We have re-thought our home-cleaning routine with the products we were using ~ now there it is basically a combo of water, vinegar, lemon, baking soda and essential oils
  • FINALLY…who couldn’t forget ‘dry brushing’! YES…that’s right…we have HIS and HERS and use them regularly before bathing!!!

What I (we) have noticed:

  • I (Cindy) have observed a noticeable shrinking in pores (ongoing)
  • Skin texture is more smooth in texture, moisturized and radiant ~ overall glow is starting to appear
  • My gut is starting to feel better ~ I can’t explain it any other way
  • Both of us (Cindy & Dusty) are feeling more calm, cool and chill ~ mellow yellow
  • Sleep has improved (as if this was even possible, as we were both already silent snoozers)
  • Energy levels are up ~ feeling invigorated and ready to do more!!!

Here is where we want to go! (future):

  • Convincing my husband to change the laundry detergent we use! (he does ALL the laundry BTW…lucky gal, but loves that ‘Downy Fresh smell!!)
  • Look into an alternative ‘hair colouring’ and try the ‘No Poo Method!’ (maybe haha!!!)
  • Want to find a ‘more natural’ toothpaste that we actually LOVE!
  • Create a homemade toner for my ‘skin-type’

the UGLY:

Nothing about this guide is ugly…it’s ALL beautiful ~ well except for one thing! The one ugly thing that this guide addresses, is the ‘LIES THAT WE ARE TOLD’. Both Liz and Trina discuss how we as consumers can often be duped into thinking certain products that are labelled ‘healthy’, ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ are actually benefiting our bodies in a positive way. In many cases they are not! Tons of everyday products that we use on our skin, on our body, on our children bodies and within the 4 walls of our homes are filled with nasty garbage-like ingredients. Chemical derivatives that even an ‘English Major’ has difficulty pronouncing!

 What exactly am I talking about?! This is just a small sample. Go ahead – have a read. Pethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, ethylparaben, diethanolamine, dibutyl phthalate, butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene, P-phenylenediamine, polyethylene glycols, petrolatum, cyclohexasiloxane, IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA, METHENAMINE, or QUARTERNIUM-15, ethylene oxide…and the ever famous…sodium laureth sulfate! And…this is honestly just the tip of the iceberg.

I am not trying to scare you with ‘fear mongering’ tactics, but rather the opposite! I wand to remind you (as I was) that you have the control to take the reins and explore alternative treatments. Ones that will not ‘break the bank’ (if fact you will save $) and ones that don’t focus on ‘Band-Aid’ solutions (long-lasting!) SOOOOOOOOOOOO…If you are struggling with acne, eczema, dry skin, body door, psoriasis, dandruff, ingrown hairs, discoloured patches, brittle nails, thinning hair, bad breath, cold sores, rosacea, whiteheads, blackheads, enlarged pores (me), dry skin, scarring, wrinkles, aging or dark circles/bags under your eyes…THEN THIS GUIDE IS MOST DEFINITELY FOR YOU!!! BUY IT ~ I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! START TREATING YOUR LARGEST ORGAN WITH THE RESPECT IT DESERVES. ENJOY!!! THE END!

SOME FINAL WORDS FROM THE LOVELY LIZ WOLFE (NTP)…

“I had no idea what it took to be healthy in the first place.”

“This is NOT a diet guide. It’s a NOURISHMENT guide.”

“Our skin is an integral part of every moment of our lives.”

“You’re NOT stuck with ‘problem’ skin.”

“Natural, full-fat, cholesterol-rich foods are a critical part of a healthy, skin-healing diet.”

“Our bodies and our skin need REAL FOOD.”

“Organ meats from healthy animals help support and build the same organs in our bodies.”

“Sleep is the gift you give your body each and every day.”

“You are already beautiful in shape, size and individuality.”

“Remember that cellulite is only as frustrating as you allow it to be! Our bodies can do amazing things ~ cellulite is nothing to be preoccupied with. Self judgment is far worse than cellulite!”

“Don’t apologize for your sweat. It’s natural. Embrace it.”

“Ultimately, it’s about personal preference and what you think is most important.”

I am thrilled to announce my very FIRST GIVEAWAY EVER!!!!! YAY! This WICKED ‘Skintervention’ Guide (a VALUE of $ 37) could be YOURS for FREE! All you have to do is share a comment below on my blog…telling us what you do to nourish your skin and body! CONTEST ENDS MONDAY AUGUST, 19 at 2PM. One entry per person. Winner will be contacted by email. GOOD LUCK!!! 

Appetizers, Mains, Salads, Sides

kelp noodle chicken & veg stir-fry

January 31, 2013
P1270204

Disclaimer: NO! They don’t taste ‘fishy’! PROMISE!! It took us a while to find these bad boys (aka kelp noodles), because in my head I was totally picturing something else. I don’t know why, but I was imagining noodles of the ‘hard/dry’ pasta sorta ilk. Wrong I was…they are actually a mound of soft, curly noodles, packed in water and found in the refrigerated section of your health store/Asian market. When we finally confirmed their existence…we bought a couple packages to take home and experiment with.  Another bonus is that they have a long ‘fridge life’.  Since we tried them initially (several months ago), we haven’t looked back. They are now a mainstay in our regular line-up and serve as a fabulous alternative if you are wanting that ‘noodle(ish)’ type texture, or perhaps something a little different than our good ol’ faithful spaghetti squash.

‘Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine, which kelp is well known for. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat!’ (taken directly from Sea Tangle Noodle Company’s website)

This recipe of ours is derived from something similar my husband and I used to make when we first started dating. The major difference being that back then, we were using more processed types of sauces in our stir-fry dishes, of which included gluten…derived from wheat and other nasty ingredients we couldn’t even pronounce. When we used to make this dish, the bulk of it was actually just the veggies and chicken (kinda boring)…but we have since kicked it up a notch, by adding in the kelp noodles, mixed sea vegetables, ginger and lime to give it a delightful pop of flavour! So pleasing on the palate! As many of you know…I am totally in love with trying out and testing new food items/products. For some time now, we have been using coconut aminos as a wonderful substitute when cooking and enjoying various Asian-inspired dishes, such as different stir-fry meals and also sushi. I even sneak it in my purse and bring out for dinner with us, when we go to our favourite Sushi restaurant. It serves as a fabulous and tasty alternative to ‘regular’ soy sauce, which of course is made from soy and various grains. Try it out…I think you will LOVE it! (PS – check out the above ‘coconut aminos’ link to discover some of it’s health benefits compared to soy-based sauces and additional health properties)

‘Our Mixed Sea Vegetables package contains a combination of nine different sea vegetables. Some are commonly known such as kelp (kombu), wakame, and hiziki while others are not widely available, such as seaweed stems and montagne. Sea vegetables are a tasty and great source of fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and iodine. We are proud to bring these fresh, unique and healthful sea vegetables to you.’ (taken directly from Sea Tangle Noodle Company’s website)

Note: Stay tuned for additional recipes to come, which will incorporate the use of kelp noodles to create a variety of different dishes! (both hot and cold) These noodles are oh SO versatile!!! We honestly can’t wait to play around with them a little more, to see what we can come up with!

kelp noodle stirfry
main
2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 2-4 chicken breasts - cut into strips or chunks
  • 1 medium onion - diced
  • 1 pkg mushroom - chopped
  • 3 medium carrots - coined
  • 1 bell pepper - sliced
  • 1 medium head broccoli - chopped into florets
  • 5 cloves garlic - minced
  • ginger - 1-2 inches finely grated (we used a zester)
  • 1 pkg kelp noodles - washed and chopped
  • coconut aminos - to taste (generous amount)
  • 1-2 limes - juice, freshly squeezed
  • mixed sea vegetables - to garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. begin by cooking chicken in a skillet/wok, until slightly browned (don't overcook)
  2. remove from heat, and set aside
  3. prepare all other ingredients and have them ready to go
  4. start first by adding the chopped onion to the wok, sautee until translucent
  5. next, add in the mushrooms and cook until softened
  6. after that, add in the carrots and bell pepper to the mix, stirring occasionally (used the mandoline slicer for this)
  7. then, toss in broccoli florets, cooking until slightly softened
  8. following this, add in garlic and ginger and combine to flavour
  9. after all these ingredients are cooked to your liking, re-add the cooked chicken back into the wok
  10. in the meantime, wash and chop kelp noodles into manageable strands
  11. then, add in the noodles, coconut aminos and lime juice, stirring regularly so that all ingredients are tossed together nicely (we use tongs for this)
  12. allow a few minutes for all of this to warm on the stovetop, as the last few ingredients are right out of the fridge
  13. continuing by adding in more coconut aminos, until you have reached desired taste
  14. plate and garnish with additional mixed sea vegetables (optional)
  15. enjoy!
Notes
* the brand of kelp noodles/mixed sea vegetables that we use comes are both from 'Sea Tangle Noodle Company' * the first time we made this recipe, we threw all the veggies in together, but have since revised using a more patient, step-by-step process of adding each in and cooking in a set order * leftovers (if you have any) taste really delicious, after all the flavours have had a chance to meld together - YUM!

Crossfit, Nutrition

’tis the season ~ 21 things…

December 24, 2012
cf

20 things…to consider.  One’s health is more than just eating nutritious foods.  Sometimes in all of the holiday madness, what is important to you can get lost.  This can leave you feeling stressed or unbalanced.  These are feelings and notions that can often lead to some sort of downwards spiral that may gain momentum towards the end of December.  Maintain in control and recognize the accomplishments you have made so far this year in your life.  Don’t get caught up in the “commercialism” surrounding Christmas, but instead reflect on what really makes you feel good and keep acting on it.

As you read on…you may consider or perhaps even disregard some of the suggestions that I have made.  The purpose of this post is to get you thinking, not to convert you with my ideas.  What works for you?  If it doesn’t, why do you keep doing it time and time again?  Ask yourself – what gives you balance and satisfaction?  Value yourself enough to stop and think about this, if only for a moment or two.  While coughing my face off in bed and unable to sleep, the hamsters started turning the wheels in my head.  I got up, started blogging and came up with this list of things to consider.  Many of these thoughts will help define me, not only this holiday season but throughout the entire year.

Chime in!  Now I want to hear from you.  How do you stay balanced?  What do you do to make the holidays brighter for yourself and those you love?

  1. Sweat, lift heavy and eat real food. Your body and mind will thank you! ~ Super key! Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to stop exercising. Plug through. You are stronger than you think. Push yourself.
  2. Surround yourself with positivity. Be around people that make you feel good and vice versa. ~ Ask yourself, would you want to be around you?
  3. Skip the “New Years” resolutions this year and be mindful of working at the goals that you have ALREADY STARTED. Don’t let those slip away. ~ Reinforce your goals by writing them down and posting them somewhere if you haven’t already.
  4. Even if you don’t send Christmas cards in the mail, choose one person that you haven’t spoken to in a long time and drop them a line. ~ Getting something other than bills or junk in the mail, might just make someone’s day.
  5. Take part in some sort of outdoor activity that you normally wouldn’t. Bust out a random snowball fight or try something new like snowboarding. ~ If you are not a fan of old Jack Frost, this may help the long, winter days to pass with greater enjoyment.
  6. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, do something nice for you! ~ Treat yourself to something like a facial or a massage.
  7. Keep an old family tradition and start a new one too. ~ This helps to give special meaning to what the holidays represent for you and the ones you love.
  8. Find time to read a book that you have been dying to dive into. ~ Crackling fire and cozy blanket optional, but highly recommended!
  9. Try out a new healthy recipe and take it along to a holiday party. ~ Remember – it’s okay to walk away from the dessert table. Load up on meat and veggies instead.
  10. Lose a grudge that you have been holding towards someone else. ~ Especially if you can’t even remember why you were upset in the first place.
  11. Opt out of the random 10-20 dollar gift exchange with friends, family and/or co-workers and put the money you would have spent towards helping children or families less fortunate.
  12. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’ ~ Focus on putting that energy into creating a stronger you – both physically and mentally.
  13. Get excited about tackling something, perhaps a new project or venture.
  14. Go off the grid (no cell phone, computer etc…) for a day or two. It can be quite refreshing. ~ At the very least keep your cell in your purse or coat when out for dinner or visiting family and friends.
  15. Make sure you are getting your Vitamin D. ~ Soak up some sunshine or supplement.
  16. Compliment someone, but make sure it is genuine. ~ And if someone compliments you, accept graciously and say ‘thank you.’ Not always easy to give or receive.
  17. Don’t talk badly about others behind their back. ~ Resist, even if it is that second cousin that you see once a year at Christmas, who drives you crazy. If you wouldn’t say it to their face, than don’t!
  18. Snuggle up and watch one of your all time classic favourite movies. ~ We did this the other night, and laughed our bottoms off.
  19. Drink lots of wine, I mean water. ~ Something I tend to forget if I am busier than usual. Hydrate yourself.
  20. Get quality sleep when possible. ~ And if you are tossing and turning like I was, don’t fight it. Get up and do something productive.
  21. Do something nice, like an act of kindness for someone that you don’t know. ~ Pay for someone’s order behind you in Tim Hortons’ or at the gas station. I have done this a few times. Guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Happy holidays to all and best wishes for health, happiness and new adventures in 2013!!!

Crossfit, Nutrition, Snacks

PALEOdISH prezzie guide 2012

December 16, 2012
xmas sweater2

Well hello hello hello…I mean HO HO HO!!! As many of you are this time of year…I have been a total full-on busy bee! With that said, I sincerely apologize for not checking in more often. I have been busy working, visiting friends/family & just enjoying life…you know how it is…living it up.  Last year, I had so much fun putting together my gift guide for all of you…and now I bring to your another edition…chalked full of wicked-awesome goodies. Better late, than never right?!? Right. If you are a last minute shopper (like me), hopefully you will find this post practical and useful, as you surprise someone special on your list this holiday season. Included are some of my all-time fav products/things…as well as goodies that are on my wish list as well! HA!!  Browse away at your leisure and have fun clicking away like mad on all the product links that I have provided throughout!  (Note:  I am not partial to the specific brand (except Lulu! HAHA…they are merely gift suggestions!!!)

For your bookshelf, computer or iPad…

Books e-books & apps:

Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up and get cozy while reading one of these fabulous books!  A brilliant gift for that wee ‘book worm’ in your life. I highly recommend snapping up one, two or hey even three of these wonderful pieces of work. Check out the links provided in order to purchase these bad boys. They are all written by folks I admire and several who are dear friends of mine.  Their incredible talents really shine through in each masterpiece.

Paleo Budget Shopping Guide by Robb Wolf

This awesome e-book is jammed full of simple and practical tricks, tips and strategies on how to save money while eating nutritiously delicious paleo meals.  This 70-page interactive guide, complete with original videos, audio files, bonus reading, and all the lessons like:

  • Finding free money and extra time
  • Learn to cook
  • Meal Planning 101
  • Money Saving Tricks
  • Budget Shopping Priorities
  • Making it work in the kitchen
  • Tons of resources

“Is yours for just $19.99. For only $19.99, you can learn to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year, stick to your budget, and keep yourself and your family in the best health possible.” Sidenote – you may even find ME in there too! ;)

It Starts With Food (ISWF) by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig

When I first read this book. I was fully intrigued by ISWF right from the first chapter…I literally couldn’t put the book down. A total page turner. Eyes glued for 1.5 days…and done.  Completely satisfied…but the love affair is far from over. I am basically telling anyone who will listen, that this book is honestly a MUST read. Don’t think twice about it. If you eat food and care about your health…than this book is for you or a beloved friend or family member. A perfect combo of science and wit! A no nonsense approach that will change your life! Check out my full review HERE to find out why it should be a part of your home library collection. 

 Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo 

This gorgeous gorgeous book is a true piece of art. Trust me…in all honesty – you won’t be able to take your eyes off this lovely. Each page is filled with riveting information and is arranged in a way that is so visually appealing to the eye. ‘Practical Paleo’ really does have it all. It is a massive comprehensive guide loaded with information on how food actually works within your body, many 30-day meal plans to suit specific needs/conditions, as well as lots of amazing recipes. This book doesn’t sit on my bookshelf…I use it as a coffee table book for all to see! I have and will continue to purchase this New York Times Bestseller (8 + weeks in a row!) for many folks that mean the world to me!!!

Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan

Mouth-watering recipes galore! This book is perfect for that special man or lady in your life that loves to cook. Hey – even if they are just starting out in the kitchen…this book is guaranteed to offer them some serious inspiration. Cook from this book and you will develop a whole new appreciation for flavour!!! I have made several recipes from this book…and they are all to die for! Melissa really knocked it out of the park with this cleverly designed cookbook. An added extra bonus is that this book comes in various versions – you can purchase the softcover, the PDF or even one for your kindle…you choose! “Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat is packed with 115+ original recipes and variations for food that you can eat every day. It’s 175 pages of deliciousness, with no grains, sugar, legumes, soy, dairy, or alcohol.”

Nom Nom Paleo’s iPad App by Nom Nom Paleo

“Introducing the first and only Paleo cookbook app designed and developed specifically for the iPad! This uniquely immersive culinary experience is a visual feast packed with recipes by Michelle Tam, the  award-winning blogger behind Nom Nom Paleo – all presented with her special brand of whimsically snarky commentary. Optimized for the new iPad’s Retina display, the app is bursting with over 1,500 stunning photographs demonstrating each step of the cooking process.” When we first heard about this app…we downloaded it right away onto our iPad. We were so impressed with all the work and creativity that went into making something so innovative. As such a ‘visual person’, this recipe/cooking app is sure to excite your eyes and satisfy your belly once you make some of their scrumptious recipes. This is honestly a ridiculous value for the amount of amazingness you will receive once you download this app! An excellent gift for that ‘techy’ in your life!!!

The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss

I have yet to read this book…but I am curious (it’s on my wish list). I first heard about this book a couple weeks ago while listening to Robb Wolf’s ‘Paleo Solution Podcast’, where he was interviewing Tim Ferriss. They started talking about how Tim was a ‘non-cook’, well an ‘anti-cook’ rather (in his words) and how he changed this notion up until very recently. This book is written in a gradual way, that is designed to take you through the process of learning how to cook. “The 4-Hour Chef features tips and tricks from chess prodigies, world-renowned chefs, pro athletes, master sommeliers, super models, and everyone in between, this “cookbook for people who don’t buy cookbooks” is a guide to mastering cooking and life.” 

Catalyst Athletics Book of Programs (E-book) and Performance Menu – Journal of Health & Excellence - Catalyst Athletics

PLUS –  Weightlifting Programming: A Winning Coach’s Guide by Bob Takano

Last (but not least), in the literature department, I thought that I would add in some of the amazing books and reading material that Catalyst Athletics has to offer on their site. Go peruse and shop around over there, as they have loads of terrific gift options for folks that are interesting in learning more about the fundamentals of weightlifting. You will be guaranteed to score something excellent for an athlete or coach that you have on your list this season.

Personally, I have already purchased the ‘Catalyst Athletics Book of Program’s for a friend, as well as for myself…and it rocks! ‘This handy little e-book contains 20 complete training cycles, from 4-16 weeks in length, focusing on Olympic weightlifting and containing a small amount of conditioning. (All cycles are from the Catalyst Athletics website training program.)”  There are many titles over there…go have a looksy!

For your kitchen…

Devices, gadgets & more:

Top Row (L to R) = SodaStreamCookbook StandFrench PressStand Mixer.

Middle Row (L to R) = Herb KeeperMeat SlicerMagnetic Knife Bar, Knives – Amazon or Nom Nom‘s recommendation.

Bottom Row (L to R) = Touchless Garbage CanChest Freezer, Indoor Grill, Portable Rotisserie Grill - Paleo Comfort Foods recommendation.

For your lifestyle…

Clothes, electronics & more:

Top Row (L to R) = INOV 8 Shoes, BOSE Portable Music Player/iPod, Silkscreen Wall Hangings, Anything Lululemon.

Middle Row (L to R) = iPad/iPad MiniGym Bag, Wall Chalkboard, Leather Cuffs (Just because they are vintage/handmade).

Bottom Row (L to R) = Vintage Apron, Flip Video Camera, Weightlifting Shoes, Nixon Watch (Just because I <3  & collect them).

For your belly…store-bought or homemade…

Items to stock your fridge, pantry & more:

Top Row (L to R) = BaconCoconut Pure WrapsBeef Jerky/Pepperettes Salt and Pepper Mills.

Middle Row (L to R) = Assorted Nuts/Nut ButtersGo Raw Snax – Different VarietiesCoconut ButterOlive Oil & Balsamic.

Bottom Row (L to R) = Sea SnaxKombutcha/Coconut Water – a WHOLE case, SauerkrautChocolate Dipped Bacon.

For your stocking stuffers…

Extra gems, wee gifts & more:

Top Row (L to R) = Rocking Garlic PressLemon PressKitchen ShearsVegetable Peeler.

Middle Row (L to R) = Salad Dressing MixerHeadbandsGlass WaterbottleAthletic Socks.

Bottom (L to R) = Vauxhall – Assorted Handmade and Natural Beauty Products (Brickworks)Bodum Travel PressHair Elastics, Wool Socks/Leg Warmers.

…and if you still need more ideas…

Other Experiencey Type Gifts:

Gift Certificates or packages for:

  • a health food store
  • massage/reflexology
  • spa treatment
  • favourite restaurant
  • butchering classes
  • food prepping/wine tasting
  • dance classes
  • gym membership/bootcamp classes etc…
Finally…ideas from some of my readers…
Top Row (L to R) = Magic Bullet, Mix n’ ChopGPS Run Watch.
Bottom Row (L to R) = Epsom Salts, Parallettes, VitamixSpiromat.
What?!? You are still stuck??? No worries…have a peek at my gift guide from last year for additional help!!!

HAPPY SHOPPING & ALL THE BEST FOR A MAGICAL HOLIDAY SEASON TO YOU & YOURS!!! Cindy & Dusty

Nutrition

20 mins with ‘Hitch’

October 15, 2012
hitchandcorina1

On June 20, 2012 ~ Ken Hitchcock won the Jack Adams Award for NHL coach of the year. Pictured with his wife Corina.

Pre-Game Skate ~ The Backstory.

Growing up in rural Ontario, nestled a house which included my sports-loving dad and two younger brothers…we would watch hockey every single Saturday night. Common to many hockey lovers, this was simply – a ritual.

Bowls of popcorn in hand, we cozied ourselves together as a fam, as we settled in for an evening in-front of the tube. Staring back at us, was the TV stand’s shelf that was lined and completely filled with the entire collection of Don Cherry’s Rock ‘em Sock ‘em hockey videos.Throughout these years, my brothers played competitive hockey.  Back in the day, my ability to list the names of professional players/coaches from various NHL teams, impressed many hockey fanatics and non-hockey breathing friends alike.  Not much changed when I got married.  My husband is a die-hard hockey fan as well.  He is keeping the dream alive, while playing in his Tuesday night men’s league and may or may not be known for yelling a few choice words here and there at the television as we tune into ‘Hockey Night in Canada’. As you can tell…hockey was…and still is a huge part of our life. Heck…we even met for the first time, while out watching the hockey playoffs at a neighbourhood pub. Read on as I express my gratitude for having the opportunity to chat with a very genuine, humble and honest man.

First Period ~ The Prologue.

Enough about me. This post is about Ken Hitchcock – 2012′s NHL coach of the year and Jack Adam’s award recipient, and his associated success of bringing a Paleo lifestyle into his world.

REWIND. STOP…and PLAY…back several months ago now. My husband and I were curled up on the couch watching television one evening and a TSN video clip came on. It was an interview with NHL’s St. Louis Blues Head Coach, Ken Hitchcock. We were glued to the screen, as he spoke openly and candidly about his struggles with weight/health issues and his new(ish) appreciation for CrossFit and the Paleo Lifestyle. Literally that evening, I posted a link to this video and another related article on my PALEOdISH Facebook page…and it turns out the 2nd person to comment on the link was (is)…Ken’s wife Corina!!!

My post on Facebook and follow up comments went like this…

Me: @TSN_Sports_Buzz – just watched an interview with @StLouisBlues coach Ken Hitchcock…and discovered he does #crossfit and follows a #paleo lifestyle. ‘it has already helped him take off 60 pounds and has left him feeling better than he has in years!’ SO WICKED!! YEAH! ♥

Corina: He has actually lost over 90#! We started crossfit together at Desert Crossfit in Palm Desert. We changed our nutrition in May of 2010 and haven’t looked back! #heismyhusband #lovesyourcoconutcurrychickensoup

Me: WOW!!! THAT IS INCREDIBLE! Ken Hitchcock is your husband? CONGRATS to BOTH of YOU on making such a wonderful life change!!! ♥ VERY INSPIRING! =D

Corina: Thanks! He is doing great! We wouldn’t be able to do it without blogs like yours. I have scooped many recipes from it and have developed a greater enthusiasm for cooking as a result! Paleo community rocks!

Me: Holy smokes…super flattered! THANK YOU for following my blog!! YES…you are right…the paleo community does ROCK! I have met and learned so much from so many fabulous people along my journey. I feel so fortunate!! Thanks again…PS – I remember you posted the comment about the link to my coconut chicken soup not working now! LOL =P

Corina: You know what is funny, is I went to make it the other day and it didn’t come up again. I was going to bug you again, but decided not to. I tried to do it from memory, but something was a bit off. Hitch liked it anyway, but you may need to check that. Next time I will copy it down! Keep up the creativity and the great work :)

Me: I pm’d you! =)

From there, Corina and I continued chatting back and forth via email. After several conversations…I asked her if she thought Ken (AKA ~ ‘Hitch’) would be willing and interested in taking part in an interview with moi. He agreed and guess what??? KEN HITCHCOCK PHONED ME!!! Yep…you heard me! One afternoon, while I was bringing in some groceries or putting away dishes (worst memory and all a blur!)…the phone rang…and I answered it. I think I picked up a little snippily (I thought it was a telemarketer HA!) and was totally embarrassed when I heard his voice and realized who it was. He asked if NOW was a good time?! The flustered and crazy spazz that I am…actually asked if he would be able to call me back! DOH!!!! Who does that? *facepalm* I think my giddiness got in the middle of my rational thinking here. On his end…he was totally ‘cool as a cucumber’ and replied with “sure…I will call you again in a couple hours after I get back from the rink!” When I hung up the phone, I felt fully silly and embarrassed. I finished doing what I was doing and had a chance to pull out the questions I had come up with and go over them. A man of his word…later that day…the phone rang again. Recognizing the number, I greeted him with a much more composed hello. And there began my ’20 mins with Hitch.’

Second Period ~ The Phone Interview. 

Me: How did you first hear about the Paleo type of lifestyle?

Ken Hitchcock: To be honest with you, we started doing CrossFit in the Palm Springs area in early 2010. Corina and I had been doing this for about 2 months or so I think, at which point Dr. Gundry came in to our gym to do a presentation related to health and wellness. During his presentation he introduced a ‘different’ sort of eating plan (to us), where he discussed the specifics of a Paleo/Primal lifestyle. He talked about turning off your genes through food. We then found Mark Sisson and he talked about something similar. From there, we were off and running! After all of this, we became really interested in learning more about Paleo…and decided to give it a try. The take home point here was that after we made it through the adjustment period, things got so much easier. After the first 3 weeks, it actually became ‘no big deal’. 

Me: What motivated you to make this incredible lifestyle change back in May 2010? 

Ken Hitchcock: Like I mentioned, while taking part as active members at our CrossFit gym, we attended a presentation on the Paleo lifestyle and from there made the decision to take part in a ‘Paleo Challenge’ with a group of people from this location. Following the decision to make the switch, many positive results followed. With a combination of exercise and healthy eating, I definitely saw initial changes in body composition, due to weightloss. I was able to lose weight, but importantly, this type of eating allowed me to actually sustain it – week to week, while keeping the weight off. 

Me: Since changing your lifestyle, what are the most noticeable benefits that you have seen/felt in yourself to date?

Ken Hitchcock: By making this change and eating right and exercising, I have eliminated the yo-yo notion that many people experience. I have been successful in building muscle mass. More than anything, both physically and mentally, I just feel healthier. I love feeling that increase in energy and that you don’t need a nap. There is just this ‘clear’ feeling, it is difficult to describe. I have also noticed that I haven’t had as many colds or allergy symptoms. I feel like I have so much more stamina too!  To sum it up – I feel like I am in the zone…and I don’t ever want to get out of that zone!!!

Me: What advice might you offer someone who is reading this, who may be wondering about the first steps in initiating change?

Ken Hitchcock: I feel like so many people think it is only about portion control, but it really isn’t. It is about fueling your body with nutrient dense foods. The last thing you want to do is feel as though you are constantly ‘taking things away’. I don’t feel deprived when eating this way, no one does. Instead it is more helpful to think about eating larger meals, while consuming foods that are going to leave you feeling satisfied and provide you with more get up and go. For me that is key.  Speaking to the benefits once again, I find I have much more energy and recovery has improved. I am sleeping through the night more often than not, and I am not relying on medication. I feel GREAT!  This whole thing has been such good experience form me. I don’t ever want to go back to the old way. I love this healthy lifestyle that we have started and I just want to keep going…

Me: While spending so much of your time with your ‘St. Louis Blues’ family, have any of the other coaching staff or players noticed your successes? If so, have they been intrigued to dabble in Paleo or give it a go themselves? 

Ken Hitchcock: Yes, some of the coaches that I work with have started a 30 day Paleo challenge and are making changes. We also do CrossFit together as well. Also, when we go on the road, everyone is very respectful of the way I eat and they actually tend to gravitate that way.  

Third Period ~ The Epilogue. 

Me: What would be your closing remarks on how to successfully implement a paleo lifestyle on the go?
Ken Hitchock: You have to be determined about what foods need to be eliminated from your thought process. Grains, processed foods and refined sugars for example. If you eliminate some of those foods, it becomes quite easy to be successful. When we are on the road it is actually fairly simple because our meals are set and you just make the appropriate choices. It’s a little different for me because I have the opportunity to be with the team, and meals as fuel are a priority. For me, I have to watch myself and be sure I don’t grab for things when I am frustrated or stressed. I know I have to be mindful with that, but for the most part, I do well there too.
 
*** Latest Update: I am continuing to do really well. At present, it is somewhat different because there are no highs and lows because of no NHL season! Overall I feel good. Just bored at times and I miss the competition. 
 
 
Overtime ~ The Shootout.
 
Bacon…YES or NO:  Yes, crisp!
Favourite Paleo meal: Chicken fried cauliflower rice
Most satisfying NON-Paleo treat: Ted Drewes frozen custard here in St. Louis
Favorite workout: Long chipper with rowing.
P.O.P (% on paleo): 90 %
The paleo lifestyle in one word: ENERGETIC!
Post Game Commentary ~ My thanks to Ken (& Corina too!)
 
For your time, I am so very appreciative and grateful. In a busy world, Ken and his wife Corina have been so down to earth, accommodating and a real pleasure to talk with and get to know. I continue to be flattered when I find out folks like you are enjoying reading blog posts on my site. That makes me smile. I am glad both of you are part of this incredible community. I really hope our paths cross in the future, as I would love to share more stories in the flesh. Until then…best thoughts and wishes are being sent your way for continued health, success and adventure! Here’s to hoping the NHL’s season will get underway in the next while, so we can see you in action! (fingers crossed) THANKS AGAIN!!!

Behind the bench. (May 5, 2012 - Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America)

Breakfasts, Mains, Nutrition, Salads, Sides, Snacks

rid the back to school lunch blues with these ideas…

September 2, 2012
Desktop13
Here is my lunch bag set up – my PlanetBox (which comes with 2 containers and cool carrying case), a 16oz Klean Kanteen that I use for water, and a 12oz Klean Kanteen that I use when I am bringing hot food (e.g. soups or stews).

Guest post by Cynthia Roulston ~ This September will mark my 12th year of teaching. As an elementary school teacher, the start of a school year often feels more like the beginning of a new year then it does on January 1st. It is often a time I set new routines as I try to balance my life in a way that does not end up with work taking over every aspect. As part of that organization, it is also a time to think about how to continue my awesome success with a paleo lifestyle. I have been paleo for about 3 years and friends and family often bombard me with the same 4 questions:

  1. What do you eat for breakfast?
  2. What do you eat for lunch?
  3. What do you eat for dinner?
  4. What do you eat?

The last question is probably the easiest one to answer. I eat real food. I avoid grains, legumes and processed food. I seriously limit/avoid dairy. That means I eat the best quality protein sources I can afford, lots of veggies with a bit of fruit, and some nuts and seeds. Pretty simple, and yet when I manage to convince my friends to try a Whole30, to give the paleo way a try, these same questions surface.  One of the key elements to being successful with this way of eating is dropping your preconceived notions of what a meal is. I no longer look at foods in terms of “breakfast”, “lunch” or “dinner”. Most of the time I am successful eating 3 meals a day, and I simply look at them as that – meals. I view meals as the food that will nourish my body, and fuel it in the healthiest way possible, to sustain me throughout the day. This mental shift has shown me that no food is off limits just because of the time of day.

Cindy has invited me to write about lunches as we prepare to get back to work. So whether you are a teacher like ourselves or some other professional, a student, or have children attending school, hopefully there will be some ideas in this post that you can use. I will also include some photos (show casing my awesome Planetbox) of some easy awesome lunches I made recently.

One of the most important ways I keep on track with my paleo lifestyle during lunch is having awesome containers to pack my lunch in. I never really need an excuse to buy myself a present – but being able to keep your food fresh and tasty is going to help you enjoy it much more. Last year I discovered Planet Box lunch containers and they are fantastic! They are environmentally friendly, and keep your food fresh! The only down side to the lunch box I purchased is that it only works with cold meals. They have recently changed this in their newest version which is also a bit larger then the one I bought (darnit!). However, I have also discovered Klean Kanteen, which is another amazing environmentally friendly product that can hold hot or cold beverages, as well as leftover meals like stews and soups. The 8-12oz Klean Kanteen perfectly holds a warm meal (I heat it up in the morning before work and it is still super hot by lunch) and fits snuggly into the pocket of my Planetbox Lunch bag. I also have a 16oz Klean Kanteen that I use as my water bottle throughout the day. I have also tried and still occasionally use an impulse purchase I made at Deserres bento lunch box which looks pretty funky but isn’t as useful as the Planetbox, and doesn’t have a matching carry case. It’s amazing what you can find at the checkout line of an art supply store!

So now that you are equipped with an awesome lunch bag – it’s time to fill it with awesome food.  This diagram comes from Planetbox (a USA – based company), but I wouldn’t be surprised if Canada’s food guide were turned into a plate it would look very similar. I do like that they have made an attempt to market such an amazing lunchbox while encouraging environmental sustainability as well as healthy eating. Obviously we significantly differ on what we consider healthy eating.

If I was to re-create this diagram for my Planetbox to reflect a more paleo/primal balance it would look like:

The obvious difference is the removal of the grains and dairy groups, and larger portion of veggies as the main carbohydrate source.

General Meal Guidelines:

  1. I like to base each meal of my day around my protein source. Protein ideas are endless – fish (I like salmon fillets, or tuna salad with my own homemade mayo), boiled eggs, poultry, beef…you name it! I also like nitrate-free deli meat when I can get it. Using meat for wraps is one of my go-to favourites. Find a good local butcher – we love Royal Beef  as they have the best deli ever in addition to their other amazing quality meats.
  2. Next I choose my fat source. Sometimes my fat may already be incorporated in my meal – e.g in a stew if I am reheating leftovers. Otherwise, I may need to add some.  Fat Sources I like -  Olive oil, or walnut oil I frequently use as a base in my salad dressings, a handful of nuts, or a couple of table spoons of almond or cashew butters are great for dipping fruit in. Avocado, olives, coconut milk and coconut flakes are great, easily portable fat sources too.
  3. Lastly – I go to town on the veggies. I like to experiment with variety as I look for different combinations that work with my protein sources. Carbohydrate Sources are even more endless – I always like to favour things in season, although lettuce leaves for wraps, as well as carrot, celery and cucumber seem to pop up a lot in my rotation because I love them and they are easy. No one can claim boredom here though!! Ways to prepare veggies are as numerous as there are kinds! As for fruit I try not to go too crazy. I use it more like a garnish/condiment or dessert. Definitely a smaller portion compared to veggies. As with my veggies, when it comes to fruit I also like to be adventurous and experiment with what is in season.

Top/Left –> Clockwise ~ * Hormone/antibiotic free ham slices wrapped around sliced tomato and avocado, coronation grapes, almond butter for dipping apple slices into and some cucumber * Grassfed roast beef, carrots, banana with almond butter for dipping, kiwi slices, 90% Lindt cacao chocolate * Tuna Salad Wraps in a Bento Box * Leftover roast chicken, cashews, cucumber slices, watermelon pieces and 90% Lindt Cacao chocolate

Still hungry? Make up some homemade baggies of this or something similar! Also, check out PALEOdISH’s last blog post for loads of additional snacky(ish) ideas that are perfect to pack in your lunch box!!!

Emergency Snack mix – grassfed beef jerky, prunes, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds

Other Lunch Suggestions:

  1. Be prepared – I like to make a plan for the week and I assemble my lunch as part of my evening routine so that in the morning I can just grab my lunch from the fridge and go.
  2. Sunday Night Slow Cook – I like to prepare a large cut of meat (e.g. a roast or whole chicken, spaghetti sauce, chili, soups or stew) where I know there will be lots of leftovers and I’ve got an easy yummy protein source ready to go for at least 2 lunches during the week, or can be frozen for later. It’s nice starting the work week knowing you’re set up for the first couple of days.
  3. Leftovers Rule – During the work week I will often make extra amounts of my third meal (dinner) which lends nicely to lunch-able leftovers.

Cynthia Roulston has been an elementary school teacher for 12 years. With a MSc in Nutritional Science she has also worked as a clinical research associate in breast cancer prevention trials at Princess Margaret Hospital. This background in nutrition is what led to her interest in the paleo diet.  A former national and world-level Ultimate Frisbee player, and former track athlete, physical fitness has been a significant part of her life.  Cynthia currently competes in kettlebell sport. As a part-time Movement Coach at StrengthBox, she derives satisfaction by helping others achieve their personal best. She’s a great motivator and specializes in making workouts fun. She firmly believes in setting a positive example for her students, and continues to amaze them with her feats of fitness and strength. She recently became a MovNat Certified Trainer and enjoys as part of a paleo lifestyle, encouraging and teaching her clients how to move naturally with ease, power and grace. Check out her blog, which includes some good stuff related to MovNat, kettlebell training and living a paleo lifestyle.