Category Archives: All Reviews

My Word of the Year is Habit

I had heard of people  picking a word of the year, but had never done it myself. What about you? Do you choose a word of the year?

I had always been resentful about establishing habits, thinking it was boring or too controlling, not to mention it reminded me a little bit too much of my teen years when I lived with a foster family.

Besides my life seemed to be going along pretty well without habits. But then I realized, “Wait a minute, I do have a lot of habits that I just don't realize are habits!” And I started to think that maybe my life could be enriched by habits. Not only my life, but also the way I feel every day. I even discovered that thinking negatively is an established habit that you want to stop reinforcing if you ever hope to stop.

In January I decided my word of the year for 2019 would be “habit” because I was learning all about establishing habits. It started with reading Atomic Habits by James Clear which led to reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and then Getting Things Done by David Allen… the more I read, the more I realized I had been fighting against myself my entire adult life! I decided it was time to try building habits and it has definitely been a learning curve!

Make It Easy

One important component to establishing habits is make sure they are easy to incorporate, and you should always clear the path to establishing the habit. Take a few minutes and think about the behavior you want to change, the new habit you wish to adopt. Let's say you want to establish the habit of putting your clothes in the hamper instead of dropping them on the floor. The dirty clothes hamper is in the bathroom, so why don't you just put your clothes in the hamper? Well, first the bathroom is down the hallway. And secondly, there's only one bathroom for your family of four, so you typically undress in your bedroom to limit your time in the bathroom. Does anyone use the bathroom laundry hamper? If some of your family do, buy a second hamper and put it in the bedroom nearby so you can easily toss your clothes in. This will help immensely with establishing this new habit.

I am super sensitive to anything blocking my path. One of the habits I wanted to establish was to swish the toilet every day. I don't like to use harsh chemicals but I think vinegar is great for cleaning so I bought an extra gallon to keep in the bathroom, instead of having to run into the kitchen to get it. I have learned that I am more likely to establish a habit if I set myself up to win.

Stack Your Habits

Another tip I learned is when you get one habit established, “stack” another similar one that you do right after that one. In addition to swishing the toilet, I wanted to scoop the cat litter box every day. So I'd do the toilet, then the cat litter box. It becomes like second nature after awhile.

Use a Habit Tracker

Another helpful tool for establishing habits is to use what's called a habit tracker. If you use a planner, you probably already know about habit trackers or the planner company may offer habit trackers included as bonus printables. I use the Passion Planner and that's one of the printables available for download. It's usually a group of squares and you check off each one.

My friends and affiliate partners at Ultimate Bundles have put together a free PDF called Five to Flourish: Simple Daily Habits to Help Cultivate a Healthy Lifestyle which includes habit trackers for five habits to establish for 30 days. There are five habits included, or you can create your own.

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

10 Gift Ideas For Someone on the GAPS Diet

GAPS Gifts

So someone you love is on the GAPS Diet and you don't know what to get them. What does GAPS even mean? Well, for starters, GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet. Many people who come to GAPS have digestive ailments, which you may or may not have known about since a lot of the time people don't share such details. Another reason people come to GAPS is because of “psychological” issues. Maybe your loved one suffers from depression. The GAPS Diet has also been known to help children with various issues, like autism.

I thought it would be helpful to share some items that a person who is doing the GAPS Diet might appreciate having.

1. Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet Book

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

Anyone who is  on the GAPS Diet should have a copy of the book that tells you all about the diet. But sometimes people can't afford to buy the book. If you discovered your friend didn't own a copy of the book, I'd suggest that as the number one thing to buy.

2. What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on GAPS Intro

What Can I Eat Now - 30 Day on the GAPS Intro ebookThere are two parts to the GAPS Diet. There is the Introduction part of the diet, then there is full GAPS. I personally feel that it is easiest to start with full GAPS because there is already a big learning curve, but sometimes people need to start with Introduction. I have written a blog post here that discusses the options: Which Should I do First? Intro or Full GAPS?  My friend Cara from Health, Home and Happiness has a great product called What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on GAPS Intro which is a great gift for someone who is planning to do Introduction.

3. Beyond Grain & Dairy: 113 recipes for GAPS

If your friend is on the full GAPS part of the diet, my e-book Beyond Grain & Dairy is going to be a great help in ideas for what to eat. I served these meals to my family and we all loved them, and didn't feel deprived at all. You can even buy this book as a gift, just choose that option after you put the e-book in the cart and hit checkout, then you can put in your friend's name and email address. And here's a coupon code for 50% off: BGDSAVE50

4. Detox Baths

You might have heard your friend talk about taking a “detox” bath. Dr. Natasha recommends that we take detox baths on a regular basis to aid the body in removing toxins.

My favorite detox bath consists of hot water and Epsom salts. When I'm really focusing on helping my body to detox I'll take one or two hot baths every week and add two or more cups of Epsom salts each time. Your friend is probably going to be taking quite a few detox baths, so she might appreciate having a bag of Epsom salts.

5. Spiralize Your Veggies

There is a lot of cooking with the GAPS Diet and lots of soup. Soup, soup, soup and more soup. One of the ways I keep soup interesting is to change up how I make it. I might make spiralized zucchini which is super easy with a spiralizer. This handy kitchen appliance is usually less than thirty dollars and is such a great help in creating substitutes for noodles or spaghetti. This spiralizer has seven blades, boasting various shapes like angel hair, fine and coarse shredding, fine or coarse “wavy” noodles, and a thicker “curly fry” blade.

6. Food Processor that slices AND dices!

Another handy appliance is a food processor that dices in addition to slicing and shredding. It really can make the different between one more boring pot of soup and one that's interesting when you change up on the way you prepare the vegetables. Dicing in a food processor is so much faster than doing it manually, you'll never go back to using your knife.

7. Natural Skin Care Products

One of the things we need to think about as we do the GAPS Diet is to decrease the toxins we are exposing our bodies to on a daily basis. Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients list on your favorite lotion, lip balm or soap? I would be willing to bet there are colorants, chemicals and things you can't even pronounce. One of my favorite companies is owned by Renee Harris. I am an affiliate for Renee but she is also a good friend, and I love her products. I appreciate that they are all-natural, most items are five ingredients or less and every ingredient can be pronounced. Her flagship product are her hard lotion bars and they work wonders with dry skin. I also love the muscle balmlip balm, and the goat milk soap. Your friend that is on GAPS should be actively working toward reducing her toxin load, and MadeOn Natural Skin Care Products can help with that.

8. Chocolate Treats (Yes, chocolate is allowed  on GAPS!)

Chocolate Treats

In Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's book she stated that chocolate is not allowed; however, a couple of years after the book was published she updated her views at her FAQ, and hip-hip-hooray we can have cocoa on GAPS after digestive ailments have subsided. Baker's Dozen Chocolate Treats is one of my e-books and all the recipes are GAPS legal or can be easily modified so that they are. It was a very happy day for chocolate lovers when Dr. Natasha made this modification. Check out my post with more than 20 chocolate recipes, all GAPS legal.

9. GAPS Guide by Baden Lashkov

When I start learning about something new, like GAPS, I find it helpful to have at least two books on the subject. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Dr. Natasha's book is required reading. But I also found Baden's GAPS Guide to be very helpful. Baden implemented the GAPS Diet for herself and her son and from her experience wrote a comprehensive guide to clarify the steps for her fellow parents and others supporting those with mental and physical symptoms.

10. 24-Hour Yogurt Maker

Yogurt is one of the fermented foods your friend will want to have while on the GAPS Diet. It's very important to allow the yogurt to ferment at least 24-hoursallow the yogurt to ferment at least 24-hours which reduces the lactose significantly. My favorite appliance for making 24-hour yogurt is the Instant Pot! Your friend might have heard that Dr. Natasha doesn't approve of pressure cooking, but the Instant Pot has a lot more functions. Admittedly its biggest claim to fame is pressure cooking but most models make delicious 24-hour yogurt, function as a slow cooker, steams and sautes and more. And… your friend will one day transition off GAPS and could incorporate the pressure cooker aspect. I have done some research on using an Instant Pot and I personally feel it is a very helpful tool in my kitchen, especially for making broth.

I hope you find something you can buy your friend or loved one who is on the GAPS Diet (even if that happens to be you!).

I'd love to hear from you in the comments if you are doing GAPS. What would YOU love to receive as a gift to help you on your GAPS Diet Journey?

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Add Variety to Your Soup

Add Variety to Your Soup With These Simple Ideas

Add Variety to Your SoupOne of the things you may encounter while doing the Introduction part of the GAPS Diet is that you may end up feeling bored with the food. Soup, soup and more soup. You may even begin to dread the thought of eating. This is not the best situation when you are working to heal your gut!

It is very important to enjoy the food that you are eating so here are some ideas to incorporate to make your next bowl of soup fresh and new.

Cut the Vegetables into Different Shapes

One thing you can do to  stave off the boredom is to cut the vegetables in different shapes. Slice vegetables into thin or thick rounds. Dice, coarse chop, slice, the shapes and sizes are endless.

For example, if you're putting carrots in your soup, as you are selecting the carrots you will be using consider choosing slender carrots that are finger-sized,  and then slice them very thinly.

Or you could divide the carrot in half, use the thin end to slice very thin and the thick end to cut into small cubes.

There are food processors that will dice vegetables and they are a wonderful tool to add some variety to your soup. Sometimes I dice everything going into the pot: carrots, onions [affiliate link], celery, squash, etc.

I also like to use my spiralizer to turn vegetables into long thin spaghetti-like strips. My favorite vegetable to spiralize is zucchini squash, but you can also spiralize carrots, onions, beets (easier to spiralize if you steam until fork tender), turnips, celeriac, etc. Leave the strips super long or cut into shorter strips.

If you don't have a spiralizer, a julienne sliceris another great way to get skinny strips of vegetables.

Consider using a potato peeler to make noodle-like strips of vegetables.

I love cutting cabbage in wide strips – this to me is very much like having egg noodles in my soup.

Maybe for one pot of soup you will make all of the vegetables diced, another pot you will make all of the vegetables in thin strips like noodles, or spiralized. You could make your soup with big chunks of vegetable or create a mixture of different sizes and shapes.

If you're cooking for children consider using special shape cutters to make the soup especially appealing.

Change Up the Taste with Spices

They say variety is the spice of life and if you've been through my Broth Challenge you received a free download with 25 different ways to spice up your broth. This of course works wonderfully with soup!

Here are two of my favorite ways to season broth:

Taco Seasoned Broth

Cold Buster Broth Combo

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves [affiliate link] fresh raw garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger [affiliate link]

Creamy Blended Soups

Blended soups are creamy and so delicious! A stick or immersion blender comes in handy for these soups, if you're not opposed to a few tiny bits and pieces. You may even find you prefer a little texture. For super smooth soups use a regular blender. If you are blending hot soup, do not fill your blender pitcher more than half full and be sure to use the blender lid and hold it down for an extra measure of protection. Not only do you not want to be burned by soup splashing out, but it can make a huge mess and no one wants to deal with that!

Add some Variety with Dairy

If you are on the GAPS Diet, there is a limit on the types of dairy you can have. Mainly properly aged cheeses, and 24-hour yogurt. Click here for a list of cheeses you can use. Properly fermented yogurt is very tart, but tastes suprisingly delicious added to soup. If you're trying to preserve the benefits of the yogurt's beneficial bacteria, consider having your soup lukewarm.

Experiment with the Temperature

There are plenty of soups that are eaten cold on purpose. Trialing this with your own GAPS soups can lead to more variety.

Healthy fats are an important component to GAPS but once in awhile it's okay to skim off the fat, especially if you want to try eating the soup cool enough that the fat hardens. If you don't like how it tastes lukewarm or cold, simply heat it up a bit more!

Use a Variety of Meat

My favorite broth is chicken, but that can become boring week after week. You may be on GAPS Introduction for a month and you're going to want some variety. Start with an easy pot of chicken soup, or maybe you want to try making chicken soup in your Instant Pot, but remember to oncorporate a variety of meat. Beef, pork, turkey, lamb and fish are readily available at most stores. If you have access to other kinds of meat feel free to experiment. Maybe your husband hunts and you have deer on the bone in your freezer, or maybe you can get goat meat on the bone where you live. On GAPS Introduction you want your meat well cooked, two to three hours minimum. Remember to save the bones because you can use them later on to make bone broth. Remove all the little bits and pieces of skin, cartilege, etc. and if you're a picky eater, or feeding picky eaters just blend these bits up until super smooth and add back into the soup. No one will know but you.

Also remember to change up the way you serve the meat. Leave it on the bone, remove from the soup and serve on the side so the meat can be picked off or eaten like a drumstick, or cut the meat into chunks, small dice or “pull” it with two forks into strips.

Presentation and Pretty Dishes

Last but not least, don't forget presentation. If there's one thing I've learned from watching Gorden Ramsay it's the importance of not only the way the food looks, but also the dishes. One of my favorite things to do is shop thrift stores for unique and pretty bowls and plates. I especially adore oval shaped bowls and plates.

A sprig of parsley [affiliate link], sprinkle of shredded cheese or dollop of yogurt can go a long way to make a bowl of soup look much more appetizing.

Remember that silverware and napkins can also make the meal look more appealing.

I would love to hear from you in the comments, let me know if this post has inspired you to come up with some new and fresh ideas for making soup!

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Energy Course

How to Manage Your Home Even with Low Energy (The Energy Budget: Time Management for the Chronically Ill or other Long-Term Roadblocks)

Energy Budget

I've had low energy my entire life. As a child, I spent a great deal of my free time reading books. I needed glasses from the age of nine and I can still remember the optometrist saying “There's more to the world than one square foot” meaning I should stop reading so much.

I had an extreme dislike for physical education. I still don't like exercise to this day. As an adult, I've struggled to keep my home in order. As a young mother I found the SHE (Sidetracked Home Executives) System and could really relate. A couple decades later I tuned in to FlyLady, who is licensed to use Pam and Peggy's SHE system. Eventually, I realized these systems only worked for me during the times when I had “bursts of energy” which were far and few between. When I finally felt energetic again, it was so overwhelming that I didn't know where to start. And things were so far out of control that I knew my energy wouldn't last long enough anyway, so I ended up feeling hopeless.

In my mid-30s, I remember being at a friend's home… her daughter and I were trying to solve a computer issue. After not too long, the young woman stood and stretched, claiming she had to get up and move. I remember thinking “kids these days” and how they have no staying power… thinking I had a lot of stamina for staying planted in that computer chair and doggedly pursuing the solution.

Enter GAPS… my energy levels improved, which made me realize it wasn't stamina that allowed me to sit at a computer for hours on end, but low energy!!

I do have more energy, but not as much as I need. I still struggle with housework and getting everything done, and am always looking for help with staying on top of housework. Recently I've been working my way through an e-course which is designed specifically for those of us struggling to get what needs to be done in spite of our low energy. One thing I can tell you from living with low energy – some things are best tackled daily, even if they seem low priority.

Tackle Some Things Even Though They Seem Low Priority

Three examples:

  1. Brush my hair daily (7 minutes): I have long straight hair. Low energy is one of the main reasons I allow my hair to grow long. It's the easiest way for me to manage my hair. Twist it up in a bun every morning, takes 10 seconds. Voila! I wash my hair once a week. I don't have to fuss with blow drying, styling or going someplace to get my hair cut. However, it tangles easily, especially if I wash my hair and don't brush after it's dried. Brushing my hair is something that I need to spend 2 minutes on every morning and 5 minutes in the evening (brushing and braiding, yes, I timed it). It's so easy to twist my hair into a bun every morning (without brushing) and then let it down to sleep. But doing this means my hair bevomes more tangled each night. THEN it hurts to brush! When it gets to this point, I have to wait until I'm in the right mood to be able to handle the inevitable pain from removing the tangles. For me, it actually causes me to feel stressed and depletes my energy to have to remove tangles.
  2. Swish the toilet every day (under 1 minute): I have finally learned that due to our hard water and the fact that we allow “yellow to mellow” I absolutely must swish the toilet bowl at least once every day. Even with scrubbing the bowl daily, calcium and lime begins to take hold so once a week I pour in a couple tablespoons of vinegar and leave sit overnight. Doing this under 1-minute chore once daily prevents me from having to scrub by hand (since I refuse to use toxic chemicals).
  3. Rinse pots, pans, dishes immediately (3 minutes): Making dinner from scratch (as we do much of the time on GAPS) can take a lot of energy leaving one exhausted when it comes time to do the dishes. At minimum, rinse dishes, pots and pans as soon as you are done with them. Otherwise the food sticks and now you have to scrub, or leave them soaking for awhile. I don't recommend filling the sink with water and dishes – if you run out of energy, the water can become gross and stinky before you get to it.

The Energy Budget: Time Management for the Chronically Ill (And Others With Long-Term Roadblocks)

Energy Course

The Energy Budget e-course was created by Rachel Ramey, the blogger at Titus 2 Homemaker. Here's what Rachel says in Module 1: “I suffer from chronic illness myself. It wasn’t too bad at first, so I just slowed down, but over time my condition became worse – and so did the condition of my house. One day I looked around and thought, “this isn’t working“. See, I had a plan for keeping my home running (fairly) smoothly, but I was no longer able to work the plan. I needed to find a new plan that was designed to work around my unpredictable energy levels.” 

Reading Rachel's words… that could have been me. When I entered the workforce again after being a stay at home mom for five years I started out working three days a week, now I'm working five days. My job is stressful and I often feel drained emotionally and physically and I definitely need to make adjustments for my energy levels. After a particularly grueling week, I sometimes find it's necessary to spend all day Saturday or Sunday (sometimes both days) in bed, which is incredibly frustarting but occasionally that's what I have to do in order to recover for the past week and regroup for the upcoming week.

Maybe you don’t have a chronic illness. Although this course was written with the chronically ill in mind, there are others in similar situations who may find some of these strategies useful. Hard pregnancies, recovery from injury, lengthy-but-not-chronic illnesses such as mononucleosis, parenting chronically ill kids, even being a first-time parent and learning this very important job on the fly, managing a full-time job with low energy and keeping a home in order, etc. – these are all situations where the standard methods don’t always work.

In the Energy Budget e-course, Rachel is going to guide you through figuring out what needs to be done in your home, how important it is for you and your family and most importantly taking your energy levels into consideration.

The Concept of an Energy Budget

Most households have financial budgets, but the idea of an “energy” budget is a concept that is rarely considered. Most of us recognize that we typically have a finite amount of money to work with, but we seldom recognize that our energy has varying levels. Especially if you have low energy, I've noticed that most of us with chronic illness or low energy work ourselves to exhaustion, but continue to push ourselves, trying to meet certain standards.

The Energy Budget e-course takes your level of energy into consideration when determining what needs to be done to keep your home comfortable. Rachel also realizes what needs to be done vs. what can slide a bit is going to vary from one home to the next. For example, maybe dusting and removing cobwebs is something that you can put off for awhile; unless you're one (or maybe has a family member) who has an allergy to dust mites. Then it will need to go much higher on your priority list.

Rachel is going to help you figure all this out in the Energy Budget e-course. Here are the modules you're going to see along with a brief description:

Introduction
Why This Course? Minimum Maintenance and Budgeting Strategies

Strategy 1: Fixed / Variable Fixed / Optional Expenditures
Determining what MUST be done (fixed) vs. what can be done sometimes and what is optional.

Strategy 2 – Prioritizing
What's most important for you and Tweaking the Method

Strategy 3 – Minimum “Income” (Energy)
Figuring out your energy levels

Strategy 4 – Dual Budgets
Two strategies for low energy vs. higher energy times

Strategy 5 – Saving Excess
Using the energy surge on the “good days”

Strategy 6 – Budget Cuts
Minimize the effort for getting chores done

Click here to check out the Energy Budget.

Energy Budget Rachel Ramey

Do you have a chronic illness and low energy? Do you find it a challenge to get everything done? What has helped you? 

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Food Allergy Freedom Collection Bundle

The Food Allergy Freedom Collection from Ultimate Bundles

Food Allergy Freedom Collection Bundle

The Food Allergy Freedom Collection is a brand new bundle that is on sale for only 2 days, Monday November 13 and Tuesday November 14 2017. This bundle is 8 e-books and 1 meal plan, collated especially for the holidays!

Let me highlight four of my favorite resources in this bundle. Note: the first two are 100% GAPS-Legal but the other two you'll need to pick and choose recipes.

Christmas Border Bottom

 

TWO DAYS ONLY FLASH SALE!!!

Monday and Tuesday (November 13 and 14). Ends at midnight!

“Pay What You Want” Bundle!

Pay as little as $1 $3* for 8 e-books, 1 meal plan and if you pay at least $20 you'll gain access to Traditional Cooking School's Master Class on Allergy-Free Cooking.Holiday Buy Now

Christmas Border Top

Baker's Dozen Holiday Quick Breads

First up, Baker’s Dozen Holiday Quick Breads. This is Volume 3 in the  Coconut Flour [affiliate link] Baked Goods series. Inside you'll find a baker's dozen worth of baked goods recipes that are suitable for holiday gatherings, or maybe you just want a loaf for breakfast or to take with you on the long trip to Grandmother's house! These loaves are grain free and gluten free with honey [affiliate link] for the sweetener so they are suitable for GAPS.

Coconut Flour Baked Goods Volume 3 Holiday Breads

Holiday Buy Now

 

Nourishing Holidays

Nourishing Holidays contains over 50 GAPS diet-friendly, grain-free, gut-healing recipes that your family will love! It has every recipe you need to get a “traditional” Thanksgiving Dinner on the table. You'll find recipes like: perfect cauli-rice and homemade cream cheese, on down to pecan pie and honey “wheat” dinner rolls. This book (normally $24.97) is part of the Food Allergy Freedom Bundle which is only available for 2 days.

Nourishing Holiday e-book

 

 

Paleo Vegan Sweets and Treats

Do you miss sweet treats especially during the holidays (which are RIGHT around the corner!!)? This Paleo dessert book has more than 30 delicious holiday recipes for cakes, cookies, ice cream and more. Note that not all of them are GAPS legal but most of the recipes will work for those on full GAPS.

Holiday Buy Now

Traditional Cooking School‘s Allergy-Free Cooking Masterclass

Are you wondering how to prepare traditional foods when you have to work around food allergies and can no longer serve wheat or dairy products? Wardee of GNOWFGLINS will show you how in a Masterclass, presented in  a 5 part video format. Her easy to understand presentations will answer many of your questions.

NOTE: Not everything in this presentation is compatible with the GAPS diet, but it is easy to adapt the principles to GAPS legal foods. This class is only available to those who spend at least $20 on this bundle. Considering this class normally sells for $40, this is a deal!

This sale is on for just 48 hours, head over and get your bundle now while you're thinking about it! 🙂

Holiday Buy Now

*I'm terribly sorry, we were told the amount would be as little as $1 but at the last minute Ultimate Bundles realized they needed to make the minimum at least $3. You're still getting an amazing deal though. My sincerest apologies as I didn't get the notification in time to make changes to my posts and newsletters. ~Starlene

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Mini Zucchini Avocado Burgers

Adorable Mini Zucchini Avocado Burgers

Mini Zucchini Avocado Burgers

In a recent post I wrote how I was using intermittent fasting and drinking broth to lose weight. I also touched on another component that I found has been very important for me… apparently in order to lose weight I need to stay very low on my carbohydrates.

Very low carb = Ketogenic Diet. While taking a closer look at this protocol via the site called Rule.me I discovered that not only was I getting too many carbohydrates but I was eating too much food. This is mostly due to the fact that my job requires a lot of concentrated sitting in front of a computer so my caloric needs aren't as high as they might be if I were working a job that was more physical.

While doing the Intermittent Fasting Challenge with Jennifer Dages I learned she had had to go very low on her carbohydrates to lose weight (under 30 grams daily) but I finally decided to research the Ketogenic Diet because my friend Renee Harris reported liking the protocol, and I was especially encouraged by her mentioning that she was not feeling hungry or deprived. I hate tracking calories but I finally decided to give it a go.

Here's the good news: It is definitely possible to do the Ketogenic Diet in combination with GAPS.

I am pleased to report that I have lost 24 pounds since May!

If you are interested in combining GAPS with Keto it's pretty simple. Stick with the full GAPS list of foods. You'll want to pay attention to the vegetables as they are your carbohydrates. Then start tracking your calories and carbohydrates. I like to use MyFitnessPal, an app that I can use on my desktop computer or any mobile device.

To start you out, here's a GAPS-friendly recipe I found inside 30 Keto Meals in 30 Minutes30 Keto Meals in 30 Minutes. Louise Hendon is the author and she has given me permission to share this recipe.

30 Keto Meals In 30 Minutes

4.5 rating
30 Keto Meals in 30 Minutes (GAPS Friendly Rating 4.5 stars)

I have looked through Louise's e-book and found it to be quite GAPS-friendly plus mostly dairy-free and ideal for the Paleo Diet. The few issues I found:

  • It mentions using the microwave in a few recipes
  • It calls for Stevia in the Desserts section (this is only four recipes)
  • Some recipes include tamari sauce, I would recommend substituting coconut aminos
  • The only dairy I found was ghee

The recipe I am going to share is Mini Zucchini Avocado Burgers and they are just adorable and look so tasty and you can have dinner on the table is less than 30 minutes!

Due to the “mini” feature, I'm betting the kiddos will also enjoy these!

Mini Zucchini Avocado Burgers

Serves 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

  • 1 large zucchini, chopped into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices (around 14-16 slices)
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) ground beef
  • 1/4 avocado, cut into small slices
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil or avocado oil for greasing baking tray
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) coconut mayo (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) mustard (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
  2. Grease a baking tray with olive or avocado oil and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt across it.
  3. Place the zucchini slices on the baking tray.
  4. Form small balls from the ground beef and press into patties – around 7 or 8 patties – and place on the baking tray.
  5. Place baking tray into oven and bake for 15 minutes. Alternatively, instead of baking them, you can grill the zucchini and beef patties or pan-fry them in some olive or avocado oil.
  6. Put the mini burgers together by placing the burger patty in between 2 zucchini slices and adding the avocado slice, mayo, and mustard to the patty.

 

Adorable Mini Zucchini Avocado Burgers
Author: 
Recipe type: Keto
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7
 
Cute little "mini" burgers. Have dinner for two on the table in under 30 minutes. Keto-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Paleo-Friendly and GAPS-Legal.
Ingredients
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped into ½-inch (1 cm) thick slices (around 14-16 slices)
  • ½ lb (225 g) ground beef
  • ¼ avocado, cut into small slices
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil or avocado oil for greasing baking tray
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) coconut mayo (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) mustard (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
  2. Grease a baking tray with olive or avocado oil and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt across it.
  3. Place the zucchini slices on the baking tray.
  4. Form small balls from the ground beef and press into patties – around 7 or 8 patties – and place on the baking tray.
  5. Place baking tray into oven and bake for 15 minutes. Alternatively, instead of baking them, you can grill the zucchini and beef patties or pan-fry them in some olive or avocado oil.
  6. Put the mini burgers together by placing the burger patty in between 2 zucchini slices and adding the avocado slice, mayo, and mustard to the patty.

 
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Are Your Shoes Causing Your Lower Back Pain?

My back was strong all my life and never gave me any problems. I was proud to have such a strong back. I could lift just about anything I set my mind to – within reason, obviously I couldn't lift a car! I should shove a refrigerator into place bracing my body against it and not give a second thought. At the age of 21 I could lift a 70 pound tank of gas onto the back of a forklift. That was pretty impressive for a 5'4″ 125 pound young woman.

And then one day in 2014 for no good reason my back started to hurt. Real bad.

And I did what I had always done with pain. Of course I powered through.

When it comes to back pain, I discovered that was the WRONG tactic. That evening I was in an extreme amount of pain, so much that I was unable to find a comfortable position to sleep. It took another time or two of my back “going out” to learn to NEVER power through with a back that's “gone out”.

I first blogged about my back “going out” in conjunction with sharing about my current chiropractor experience which continues to be a very positive experience. Today I want to elaborate a bit more on this whole back pain situation as I've had a few more experiences that are helping me to get a more in-depth understanding of what's going on with me.

Stress – A Factor in Back Pain

I have read that stress can be a factor in back pain, and I know from recent personal experience that it is a factor in my own back problems. July was a very stressful month for me. We have our annual dance for clients at my job and I also had decided to go to a line dancing convention at the end of the month. (What was I thinking? Actually take a vacation?!) Between my normal tasks, the preparations for the dance and working overtime trying to make up in advance for missing five days at work I was very stressed out. I was waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety. I started each day feeling panic that the day was already getting away from me.

My back had been hurting for a few days and it had been getting progressively worse. And then, the morning of the dance I woke up with my back hurting really bad. I was terrified that something internally was in trouble, like my liver or a kidney. I decided to see if my chiropractor could fit me in and thankfully (of course) she was able to put my mind at ease by telling me exactly where those organs are located (duh).

Anytime my back starts to hurt I can't help but feeling scared that it might “go out” to the point where I'll be incapacitated. On this particular day, I worried because there was no one to take my place as the coordinator of the event. My back has gone out to the point where I can't sit or drive, let alone walk or stand so that had me feeling very concerned.

Massage Therapy Alleviates Back Pain

I decided to get a massage before the adjustment and thankfully the massage therapist had an opening.

I was very surprised afterward to discover that the pain had almost completely disappeared.

I was a little nervous for the remainder of the day that my back would erupt with full blown pain, and “go out” but it didn't. I felt extremely grateful that I had been spared, and happy to learn that a massage can relax me enough to prevent worse pain.

The next week I went on my vacation, and I lined danced and had a great time and my back was pretty good but still a little cranky. I had been worried it might go out while I was gone! I don't know what I would have done!

Now when I say my back was cranky, I mean that it was still bothering me. The pain was concentrated mostly around my hips. It felt like cramps and hurt more on the left side than the right. It wasn't real bad, but there have been times when my back was hurting just a little and the next thing you know, it would go out. So, I'm paranoid now that any little pain could blow up into full blown pain and being basically crippled. I hate feeling paranoid like that, because I worry that I am bringing it on myself, you know?

The last time my back went out I was taking a shower getting ready for work and I promise you I did nothing out of the ordinary and BAM. My back went out. I knew better than to power through, but usually I can sit and drive. This time, I not only couldn't sit and drive, I could barely walk. It just so happened that day I was scheduled to drive the van to pick up clients at my job and someone else had to take my place. Later that day my husband drove me in to see my chiropractor (50 miles away) and I had to lay in the back seat because I couldn't tolerate being in an upright position. I don't even know how I managed to get into the back seat. That is the last time my back went out – November 30, 2016. Wow, I've almost made it an entire year this time! That's fantastic! I can't help but wonder if drinking broth almost every day of this year has been a factor?

Worn Shoes Cause Back Pain

A couple of weeks ago one of my coworkers asked me if I could look for a pair of sandals that she likes online (she is an older woman and doesn't shop online) so we were looking at Amazon. We were talking about shoes in general and she mentioned that her shoes were getting worn on the heels and she was sure her back pain was related. I took a look at my sandals and they were worn in the heels, too! Not  too badly though. I bought this pair last year in July. They are the Naturalizer Convey.

Naturalizer Convey Sandal

So I decided right then and there to stop wearing these shoes.

It only took a day for my back to start feeling a lot better. Thank goodness. Now this is one of those things that I need to pay attention to in the future. If my back starts hurting across the hips, it could be my shoes.

Back in July 2016 I bought those sandals (Naturalizer Convey) from Famous Footwear at an outlet mall so I decided to try to find them again, only this time I tried looking at the Famous Footwear online sales site. I was able to find them, this time they were $29.99 rather than $41.99. I also found a tan pair, Naturalizer Cailyn.

Style #70927 Cailyn Sandal Famous Footwear

So… now I have two new pairs of sandals. And my back feels stronger and better every day. With this in mind, while reviewing the products in this year's Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle I found Mark Sisson's Amazing Feets! How to Safely and Enjoyably Transition to a Barefoot-Dominant Life. It is a book which lives up to its title, an amazing tool designed to help anyone transition into a barefoot-oriented lifestyle. You know that saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”?

Well, Mark's book came at the perfect time for me.

In reading it I came to a deeper understanding of why my back begins to hurt when my shoes wear out. It totally makes sense!

Here's a pertinent quote, “Barefoot enthusiasts also report relief from all manner of pain and chronic injuries to the lower extremities, particularly conditions that respond poorly to conventional treatments and even seemingly unrelated conditions such as lower back pain.”

Amazing Feets by Mark Sisson

Mark says, “The human foot is a sensitive, capable, highly mobile appendage packed with an intricate network of nerve endings, muscles, tendons, ligaments, 52 bones and fascia that respond and react to the environment in order to help you walk, stand and run gracefully. The alignment and function of your knees, pelvis, spine, and upper body are all heavily reliant on the effect balance, stability, impact absorption, weight transfer, and propulsion provided by your feet.”

If the shoes I'm wearing have worn out, my alignment is going to automatically be thrown off balance. This makes so much sense! I'm so glad to have found this book.

Amazing Feets! is available for a limited time in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle which is on sale for just a few days. Inside this year's bundle (brand new, nothing from previous years!) you'll find 68 eBooks (this includes my 30-Day Broth Challenge e-Guide!!), 28 eCourses, 10 printables & workbooks, 1 membership site, and 1 summit. The bundle is a 99% savings from retail value. You would spend $3,708.80 if you went and bought all these products one by one.

However, for just a few days you can get all these items for just $29.97! That's less than 28 cents per product! Plus, there are physical bonus items – one is Fire & Kettle Chicken Bone Broth. You've got to check it out and see for yourself.

And if you purchase using my link, I'm going to gift you with my newest e-book Baker's Dozen Savory Quick Breads! Just shoot me an email with your proof of purchase (email receipt) at bonus@gapsdietjourney.com and I'll get a copy right back to you.

Special Offer Savory Quick Breads

Take a look at what's in the bundle and you may find just one thing that will bring value into your life. Click here to use my affiliate link: Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

So basically here's what I'm going to try to do… go barefoot as much as I can and whenever I can, and the rest of the time that my feet have to be enclosed in shoes I'm going to make sure the shoes are in good condition and supportive.

What about you? Do you have issues with your back hurting? Do you think it could be your shoes?

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Soup Socks

Soup Socks Review – Save Time When Making Bone Broth or Stock

Soup SocksI actually bought these Soup Socks two years ago. I cannot believe I've had these time savers tucked away in my kitchen, just sitting there!!

Since leading the first 30-Day Broth Challenge in January, I've continued to make broth every weekend. When I miss having my daily broth, it is extremely apparent. After just two or three days the joints in my hands begin to ache. Pain relief is quite an incentive to drink broth regularly! I recall experiencing discomfort in my hands for much of 2016, but I had grown accustomed to it, taking it in stride and dealing with it.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for something in my kitchen and came across the Soup Socks. I thought… OH! I should try these! So the very next weekend when I made broth I used two socks. I had roasted two chickens and having removed the meat was putting the carcasses into the Instant Pot. I had one carcass in there when I remembered I wanted to try the Soup Socks. So I bagged up the second carcass which was already in pieces and used a second sock for the vegetables. Since the manufacturer claims they are reusable, I tied a loose knot in the top of each sock.

When I make broth I use a big slotted spoon (it's huge and at least 50 years old, it was from my Grandpa's Fish and Chips restaurant he owned when I was a little girl) to scoop all the meat and bones and vegetables out of the pot and place on a cookie sheet to cool.

After a few minutes, I'll grab my tongs and start picking through everything and putting the vegetables aside to use for blending into the broth during the week (this creates an amazingly delicious creamy tasting broth).

Sorting Chicken Meat

But with the Soup Socks, I can simply grab hold of the top of the bag (I use the tongs to grasp the knot, then twist up a couple of times like I'm twirling spaghetti onto a fork) and place in the strainer.

Vegetables in Soup Sock

Before, the vegetables would be covered with bits and pieces of skin and other unappetizing bits.

Vegetables Sans Soup Sock

But now, with the protection of the Soup Sock, not only is it simple and easy to sort out the vegetables, but the bits and pieces are on the outside of the sock. Now, if you are doing strict GAPS, you should be taking all those bits and pieces and blending right into the broth to get all the goodness. I usually freeze the bones and extra bits to make bone broth at a later time.

Vegetables in Soup Sock

I have used one sock twice in the Instant Pot (under high pressure) and have washed it with plans to use it a third time. So far it is holding up just fine. Since I'll be making broth every weekend for probably the entire year, I'll be able to see just how many times I can reuse one soup sock.

They are fairly inexpensive (about one dollar each when you buy 9 at a time) and I understand that some people toss them after one use. However, they do proclaim to be reusable and I'd like to recycle them.

To wash the Soup Sock, I just rinse it in warm soapy dishwater and pick off any little bits and pieces that are stuck to it. Pour a little dish soap and scrub it gently in your hands. Be sure to rinse several times with clean water to remove all the soap. Then lay the Soup Sock on a clean dish towel and roll it up and press so that it's almost dry. Then I hang it in my kitchen to allow it to air dry. You could also put it on a clothesline outside to get some sunshine.

Have you ever tried soup socks? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.