Category Archives: Product Reviews

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Review: Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cooker


Pressure Cookers in the 70s

I remember my mother using a pressure cooker when I was growing up. Of course hers was an old fashioned aluminum based cooker complete with the jiggling mechanism on top that spit and hissed. However, I don't recall any disastrous accidents, so I wasn't traumatized with regards to pressure cookers.

My First Pressure Cooker

In my thirties, I invested in the Fagor pressure cooker. I already knew about the hazards of cooking with aluminum so the set I bought was stainless steel. It included an 8 quart pot and a 4 quart pot. I used it on and off but not on a regular basis. I did find it to be a bit of a challenge, because stove top pressure cookers have to be carefully watched. If you have an electric stove, like I did, you have to learn the switching method where you bring the cooker up to pressure and switch to a burner which is at a lower temperature. Then you have to adjust the heat manually on the burner until the hissing regulates. It is not something you can start and leave.

However, the construction of the pot itself was awesome. Heavy duty and perfect for steaming large amounts of vegetables, or making big pots of stock and soup, or chili. I still have these pots and use them regularly.

GAPS and Pressure Cooking

Then I started the GAPS Diet in December 2009. Dr. Natasha has answered a question at her Frequently Asked Questions page regarding pressure cooking:

Question: What are your thoughts about using an old-fashioned pressure cooker to expedite preparation of meat stocks?
Answer from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride: I don't recommend pressure cooker, as it destroys food to a degree. It is better to cook food slowly on lower heat.

So I ignored anything I heard about pressure cookers for a long time.

Alleviating Concerns about Pressure Cooking Food

I heard that it was possibly a myth that nutrients were being “destroyed” by pressure cooking so I went Googling to see what I could find. Y'all know how it is on the Internet… if you want to find out if food is being destroyed you can find plenty of pros and cons. I decided to focus on the articles that said pressure cooking does not “destroy” food any more than other methods of cooking. Here are the articles I read which soothed my concerns:

I respect Dr. Natasha very highly, but I decided that I wouldn't worry too much about nutrients being damaged, since other methods of cooking also damage nutrients.

The Popular and Modern Pressure Cooker

My friends rave about their Instant Pots every so often which would get me thinking about having one of my own. And I've always loved the idea of pressure cookers, mostly since you can cook so much faster. According to the manufacturer, cooking with high pressure can reduce cooking time by up to 70%. We only have so many hours in the day… we do a lot of cooking when eating real food so the option of being able to cook faster is definitely enticing.

On Black Friday, November 27, 2015… I caved and bought my Instant Pot. I purchased the IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker. If you are planning to buy an Instant Pot, definitely watch for sales on holidays at Amazon.

My Favorite Instant Pot Recipe So Far

I've had my Instant Pot for 8 months. I have mostly used it as a pressure cooker. One of the recipes I have perfected and shared here at the blog is Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Salad Bowl (Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot). For this recipe, I used the saute/browning feature, plus pressure cooking. I am also working to perfect a chicken stock/soup recipe to share.

Carnitas (Pulled Pork) Salad

3 Things I Love About My Instant Pot

Three things I love about the Instant Pot vs. my old-style stove top pressure cooker:

  1. With the Instant Pot, you program it, and leave it (unlike the stove top pressure cooker where I had to babysit it constantly to assess when to turn the heat up or down, switching burners, etc.).
  2. The Instant Pot is silent. No hissing or spitting while cooking, like the traditional stove-top pressure cooker. (It does hiss when you are releasing pressure quickly).
  3. The Instant Pot includes a stainless steel insert, which can be removed. This makes it easy to refrigerate the leftovers.

The Other Features

Now, in addition to pressure cooking, the Instant Pot also functions in six other ways:

  • Slow Cooker
  • Rice Cooker
  • Saute/Browning
  • Yogurt Maker
  • Steamer
  • Warmer

So… you may be able to free up some space on your counter top, or in your cupboards.

With the slow cooker function, you can put the ingredients into the stainless steel insert, set the timer to begin later, slow cook for the day and when it's done, it will automatically switch to the warming function to keep your food warm. Can you imagine putting ingredients into the pot for stock and coming home to flavorful and nutritious broth?

I have also used the “rice cooker” setting to cook buckwheat, which is an advanced food on GAPS, and the saute/browning, steamer, and warmer functions.

When the weather cools down I am planning to order GI Prostart, (the starter I used to make my coconut milk yogurt) and try the Yogurt Maker function.

To help me use my Instant Pot more fully, I invested in Hip Pressure Cooking. Laura D.A. Pazzaglia is the founder of the blog hippressurecooking.com and her book has more than 240 recipes to help you get the most out of your modern pressure cooker. I will admit it has a lot of recipes that are not GAPS legal, but it is a wealth of information on modern day pressure cooking.

Instant Pot's Built-in Safety Mechanisms

The last thing I wanted to mention are the safety features in place in the Instant Pot.

Safety-mechanism-600x265

Visit the Instant Pot site to read more about each safety mechanism more fully, but here is a bullet point:

  1. Pressure regulator protection
  2. Anti-blockage vent
  3. Leaky lid protection
  4. Extreme temperature & power protection
  5. Excess pressure protection
  6. Safety indicator & lid lock
  7. Lid close detection
  8. Automatic pressure control
  9. Automatic temperature control
  10. High temperature warning

 

Click here to find your Instant Pot!

 

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.

Evolve Your Life Kit Bundle

I am so honored to be included in my affiliate partner Paleo Plan's Evolve Your Life Kit bundle! Two of my e-books are included, Baker's Dozen Sweet Quick Breads and Baker's Dozen Pumpkin [affiliate link] Treats.

Baker's Dozen Volumes 1 and 2

BONUS OFFER: When you purchase your bundle using my link, forward your proof of purchase to bonus@gapsdietjourney.com and I will gift you with a copy of Holiday Breads which is Volume 3 in my Baker's Dozen Coconut Flour [affiliate link] Baked Goods series.

This sale lasts for one week, ending on 11:59pm PST on July 13th.

This bundle is a collection of more than 50 e-books, and includes Nutrition Challenges, In-depth Paleo/Primal courses, Natural self-care guides, Paleo/Primal merchandise coupon codes, and much, much more!

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BONUS OFFER: When you purchase your bundle using my link, forward your proof of purchase to bonus@gapsdietjourney.com and I will gift you with a copy of Holiday Breads which is Volume 3 in my Baker's Dozen Coconut Flour Baked Goods series.

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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.

Splendid Scoop Taste Test

The Splendid Scoop Review

Splendid Scoop Taste Test

I spent part of Mother's Day taste testing with my family. I was keen to try some ice cream recipes invented by my friend Jessica Espinoza from Delicious Obsessions who is introducing a brand new e-book called The Splendid Scoop, and my family was willing to help me taste test.

Most of the recipes call for the “base” recipe, and then you add the various ingredients to make that ice cream. So, I decided to make a batch of Creamy Vanilla [affiliate link] using the GAPS modifications I've outlined below and then divided it into five parts to make five different recipes from Jessica's book.

These are the recipes we taste tested:

  • Creamy Vanilla (base recipe)
  • Cherry Vanilla
  • Bananas Foster
  • Dark Chocolate Crunch
  • Mint Chocolate Chip

Delicious! Every single one of these were a hit!

I also tested these Simple Honey Sweetened Chocolate Chips from Our Nourishing Roots and WOW! These chocolate chunks were super dark delicious in the ice cream!

Simple Honey-Sweetened Chocolate (and GAPS Chocolate Chips!)

Cuisinart Automatic 1-1/2 quart Ice Cream Maker, My Favorite!

Now for my review of The Splendid Scoop!

The Splendid Scoop

Today my friend Jessica Espinoza from Delicious Obsessions is releasing her newest e-book The Splendid Scoop and Other Frozen Treats: Delicious and Easy Dairy-free Recipes Plus Tips and Tricks for Homemade Ice Cream Perfection just in time for summer!

Click here to get your copy!

One of the first things I like to address when doing a review is to let you know if the product is GAPS legal.

Regarding The Splendid Scoop – not as written, but easily modified with minor tweaks. The four non-legal ingredients:

  • fine sugar
  • coconut sugar
  • maple syrup
  • stevia

Easily modified!

For the sugars, use half as much honey [affiliate link]. e.g. Recipe calls for 2 tablespoons sugar, you'll use 1 tablespoon of honey.

Stevia is not technically GAPS “legal” but I know that many GAPSters user it without adverse effects. If you are one of those, just use stevia, or substitute honey to taste.

For the maple syrup, substitute equal parts. e.g. Recipe calls for 1 tablespoon maple syrup, use 1 tablespoon honey.

Easy enough, right?

Some of the recipes call for chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, and I'm going to give you a GAPS legal substitute for those right here: Simple Honey Sweetened Chocolate Chips and Honey Chocolate Drops.

Here's what you are going to find inside The Splendid Scoop:

  • Tips for Homemade Ice Cream & Smoothie Success
  • What To Do If You Don't Have an Ice Cream Maker
  • Tips for Sourcing Real Food
  • Resources for Further Health & Wellness Reading

And 11 Dairy-Free recipes to include:

  1. Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream
  2. Dark Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream
  3. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  4. Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
  5. Bananas Foster Ice Cream
  6. Summer Berry “Ice Cream” Pie
  7. Frozen Hot Chocolate
  8. Lemon Banana Coconut Shake
  9. Strawberry Mint Watermelon Slush
  10. Red Raspberry Limeade
  11. Refreshing Water Kefir (or Kombucha) Ice Cream Float

Jessica Espinoza

Jessica has graciously given me permission to share one of her recipes, Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream. Thanks, Jessica!

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream from The Splendid Scoop

  • 4 cups full-fat coconut milk [affiliate link]
  • 2-4 tablespoons fine organic cane sugar or coconut sugar (whiz it up in the food processor to make it extra fine)*
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated stevia powder (optional – add 1-2 extra tablespoons of sugar if you omit this)*
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (make your own with this recipe)
  • 1-2 tablespoons rum, vodka OR cold-soluble grass-fed gelatin**
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped

*Instead of the sugar and stevia, I substituted 3 tablespoons of honey to make the recipe GAPS legal.

**I used the gelatin [affiliate link] option rather than the added alcohol.

  1. Mix all the ingredients together with a hand mixer until thoroughly combined.
  2. Chill completely, at least 4-6 hours, or overnight.
  3. Prepare according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
  4. About halfway through the churning time, add the cherries.
  5. Continue churning until the ice cream is firm.

 

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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.

Getting Started on the GAPS Diet

Getting started on GAPS can seem like a daunting task. But the trick is like they say JUST DO IT!

When I began in December 2009, I read the book through twice and then jumped in with both feet. I started with the full GAPS list of allowable foods and after four months I decided to do a round of Introduction. I'm glad I decided to go that route – beginning full GAPS first and then Introduction later. I felt that was the best way for me to manage the diet, especially since I hold a regular job. I didn't have time to get sick from detoxing (also considered “carb flu” since you are eating less carbohydrates). I have even asked Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride if it's okay for people to do full GAPS first and Introduction later and she gave her approval.

But I do feel it's important to do Introduction at some point in time, and sometimes you might want to do a couple of rounds just to get back on track. When I started on GAPS, Cara from Health Home and Happiness did not yet have her products available. I definitely would have found them helpful and it just so happens that they are currently on sale for 60% off for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY for everything you put in your cart.

Health Home Happiness GAPS Starter KitSo if you are planning to do Introduction, or maybe you have done it before and just going to do another round, Cara's Starter Package can be very helpful.

Cara has done Introduction with her children, so she knows what she is talking about. Maybe you are planning to do Introduction over Christmas break with your children, or maybe you want to get started all by yourself in January. Here's what you'll get in this starter kit:

  • What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on the GAPS Introduction Diet e-book
  • 8 Week of Grain-Free Meal Plans
  • Freezer Cooking Guide
  • Full Color Cookbook e-book

This kit normally retails for $75 but with the coupon code will be only $30. Coupon Code: BLACKFRIDAY for 60% off at checkout Thursday-Monday at midnight only. This is my affiliate link: https://gapsdietjourney.com/start-gaps

What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on GAPS Intro
If you plan to do Introduction at any point in time, you might want to pick up What Can I Eat Now 30 Days on the GAPS Introduction Diet which is regularly $20 but now just $8. That's such an excellent price you should buy it just to have it in your GAPS arsenal. https://gapsdietjourney.com/what-can-i-eat-now
If you are not planning on doing GAPS Introduction yet (or again), but maybe you are staying with GAPS for a couple years (like Dr. Natasha recommends) or maybe you are on a grain-free diet, I want you to know Cara's Grain-Free Meal Plans.

You'll get recipes for 3 meals a day plus snacks, for every single day of the year! You get grocery lists, recipes indexes and all recipes are GAPS and SCD Friendly, plus they are gluten-free and dairy optional. This is the lowest price that these plans will be and for less than $6/month you can have your meals planned all year long. Use coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY for 60% off at checkout Thursday-Monday at midnight only. Click here: https://gapsdietjourney.com/health-home-happiness

Health Home Happiness Year's Worth of Grain Free Menus

Remember that my e-books are all on sale right now for 50% off as well. Just use coupon code BF2015YES at my site here: http://www.starlene.com when you have everything in your cart. I also have five of my books on Kindle and they are at 50% off as well. Just click here to check them out.

I hope you are having a great weekend! 🙂

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.

How to Easily Get Used to the Taste of Stevia

How to Easily Get Used to the Taste of Stevia

How to Easily Get Used to the Taste of Stevia

Okay, so if you are right at the beginning of your GAPS Diet Journey, this post isn't for you as stevia is not on the approved foods list. However, I do know that many GAPSters use stevia without any problems. When you are ready to transition from GAPS, you might want to know this little trick so bookmark or Pin it for later.

The first time I tried stevia, I was like, “Ewww! That has a nasty aftertaste, I am not going to eat that. Yuck.” The next time I tried stevia I had the same reaction. And the third, fourth and fifth times. And so for many years I just avoided stevia. But I kind of secretly wished that I liked it, because it is a natural sweetener. Some people get into the weeds there because they'll say it's processed commercially and so it's no longer natural.

I'm not going to go into that discussion on this blog post. You can find plenty of debates on the Internet with a quick Google search.

Also part of my secret wish for liking stevia is because it has no carbohydrates or calories. I don't subscribe to counting calories, but I do realize that calories do play a part in weight gain. I do keep an eye on my carbohydrates because if I go too low I have issues but if I have too many I have issues.

So quite by accident I figured out an easy way to get used to the taste of stevia and I want to share that with you today.

I like to drink carbonated water on occasion. Apparently it's not a great idea to have it all the time, and especially not if you have gut problems, but I do enjoy the bubbles. I own a Sodastream and carbonate my own filtered water. But once in awhile I like to flavor the water, so I'll add some of my homemade vanilla or concentrated juice. I rarely add sweetener. My husband still drinks Pepsi and Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola and so those items are still around and every once in awhile I felt kind of sad about Dr. Pepper, one of my favorites.

I don't quite remember how, but I discovered that Zevia (Zero Calorie Soda) was offering coupons for $2 off a six pack. And the grocery store I shop had the six packs on sale for 3 for $10.00. I ended up buying a six pack of every flavor that Zevia sells.

It had been many years since I had my very favorite: cream soda. But, yuck. That stevia taste was there, taunting me.

Then I decided to try another long time favorite: Dr. Pepper, although Zevia calls theirs Dr. Zevia. Still the stevia taste, but I noticed when I poured the Zevia soda over ice, I didn't notice the taste as much.

Next I tried the Zevia root beer. Mmmm… tasty… still noticing the stevia, but not as much.

I tried the orange and grape, but didn't like those at all. Then again, I'd never been an orange or grape soda fan.

I tried the cherry cola. That was pretty good. And the black cherry.

My mom really liked the ginger ale.

Before long, I realized that I wasn't really noticing the stevia flavor. I had accidentally acclimated myself to the taste!

I was pretty happy about this because now I can cut some calories and carbohydrates by using stevia instead of honey [affiliate link].

Do you like stevia? How did you get used to it or have you just always liked it? Do you think you'll try getting used to it by drinking Zevia soda?

 

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.

My husband, Spiderman

Easing Back into Exercise After Illness


My husband, Spiderman

Most adults who are doing GAPS are not in good health. And if you are a parent with a child who is on GAPS, you probably aren't in super good health yourself. You probably don't have enough energy to exercise. Especially if you have adrenal fatigue, you really have no business exercising. But we do need to move to keep our bodies limber and in good shape. The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle has a whole category for Fitness and Weight Loss and I'm going to highlight some of those products in today's blog post which can help you ease your way back into being fit.

My husband is fond of saying, “Just eat right and exercise.” He's just stating a fact as far as he is concerned. He abhors gyms and thinks anyone who goes into one is just a big sissy (he's going to love the products in this bundle since they are geared toward working out at home!). He's one of those guys who is naturally strong and can do Spiderman kinds of things without hardly trying. That's him in the photo above. He's balancing on the edge of the roof of our home… a few years ago one of his sisters watched him shimmy his way up a metal light pole to get on the top of a building! You have to have a lot of strength to accomplish a feat like that!

I have to admit that it irks me just a little when my husband says that. (Just between you and me, I think he knows it irks me and he loves teasing me). It is such a blanket statement and there are hundreds of ways to “eat right” and exercise. I happen to think eating “real food” is the right way, and I think that fits for most people, but even then there is more tweaking to do for each individual. For example, I simply cannot tolerate too many carbohydrates (it's so hard for me to accept that!!!). I can't go too low carb or it affects my sleep, and honestly I still haven't found the sweet spot for me and how many carbohydrates I need. One reason I say that I can't tolerate too many carbohydrates is that I will steadily gain weight. The biggest problem for me is that I have a hard time eating just a “serving” of high carb foods. I have also found that many carbohydrates are “trigger” foods for me. I can't eat just one bite. So anyway, you also have to find the right ways to tweak your real food diet.

I started to transition off of GAPS last year around this time and I've gained weight. I was down to 163 for a couple of weeks, but then stabilized around 170. I stayed there for quite a long time… until I started eating more carbs last fall. Now I'm pushing 190. !!!! I'm not terribly excited about it. I'm not being mean to myself for it (I definitely need to re-read Love Your Body: The Imperfect Girl's Guide to Positive Body Image), but it is hard trying to figure out what works for me to keep my weight steady. For the most part I still eat from the full GAPS food list, but I will eat some things like popcorn or potatoes, or white rice. These white carbohydrates are not my friends.

When it comes to exercise… me and exercise, we have never gotten along. I have never been one to exercise. I've always hated, I mean really HATED running. My siblings used to roller skate circles around me while I tottered along trying not to fall down and break something. I walked quite a bit when I was in grade school and high school but only because living two miles from the school was too close to ride the bus. I remember detesting P.E. and sucked at it. When we played softball I always asked to be way out in center field where I knew there was little chance of having to catch a ball. And then I'd sit cross-legged and look through the clover and try to find one with four leaves. I was the last one chosen when the team captains were choosing. Unless my best friend was a team captain but I digress. To this day I tend to be sedentary for the most part. Although I do walk a lot at my job as I found out a few weeks ago when my chiropractor asked me to start using a pedometer. And I want to learn to line dance! I feel like I've recovered from my adrenal fatigue to the point where I am ready to get into a daily exercise routine, especially to help strengthen my core, which I know will help to prevent my lower back pain from recurring.

Now as for my husband, he just naturally gets a lot of exercise. For example, one thing he loves to do is dig holes. I just told him it at the bottom of my favorite things to do list and he said, “Really? It's very close to the top of my favorite things to do!”

Yes.

He'll tell me, “I'm going out to dig a hole for awhile.” Thankfully we have 3.5 acres so he can dig to his heart's content and sometimes he turns the hole into something, but mostly he's just digging. He'll be out there in the middle of the summer, sweat dripping, digging and digging and digging. It's good exercise, I do know that first hand especially since our ground is not soft. And I've spent my fair share of time digging in the garden.

But digging isn't my forte. That said, I am now 52 years old and I know that staying fit is going to make my life easier as the years fly by. I've already seen what can happen by the lower back pain experience and I'd like to avoid more of that, if at all possible. You know how they say the teacher will come when the student is ready? Yeah! I was really excited to see the Ultimate Bundle has a Fitness and Weight Loss section.

There are 10 e-books e-courses (retail value $338.90):

  1. 27 Body Transformation Habits You Can’t Ignore from Tyler at Garage Warrior ($9.00)
  2. 7 Day Diet Plan from Katherine at Green Thickies ($25.00)
  3. Foundational Five from Beth at Fit2B studio ($19.95)
  4. Healthy Moving Core Workshop from Jennifer at Healthy Moving ($79.00)
  5. Love Your Body: The Imperfect Girl’s Guide to Positive Body Image from Elizabeth at The Nourished Life ($8.00)
  6. MASH Up 45 Day Challenge Digital Bundle from Jamie at Mashup Conditioning ($45.00)
  7. Metabolic Bodyweight Blasters from Funk at FunkMMA ($49.00)
  8. Never Gymless from Ross at Ross Training ($19.95)
  9. OPENutrition Challenge from Heather at OPENutrition ($37.00)
  10. Thrive90 Fitness Program from Dustin at Engaged Marriage and Tony at One Extraordinary Marriage ($47.00)

Foundational Five

Not being an exercise minded person, I was not at all sure where to start so I used my perk power – as a contributor to the bundle this time I'm part of a Facebook group with the other contributors so I asked for some input.

Beth Learn from Fit2b piped up with her expert opinion and I was super glad as I mentioned yesterday that I was already interested in her course since it mentions strengthening the core, which I already know I need. Beth says I have a LOT of fit2B members who are also on the GAPS diet and love us because we’re so low-key yet effective.”

Foundation Five

Beth suggested starting with her e-course The Foundational Five Plus. It includes 8 video routines and 14 simple lessons plus you get access to the first five basic warm up routines. Beth specializes in safely strengthening and toning traumatized tummies that have been through diastasis recti, hernia, cesarean section PLUS her exercises are very knee-friendly, too! You also have lifetime access to this e-course, and there is a private Facebook group for support.

Love Your Body & Finding Food Freedom

Beth recommended pairing her e-course with reading Love Your Body by Elizabeth Walling and Finding Food Freedom by Allison Nichols.

Next she suggested the Healthy Moving Core by Jennifer Hoffman, paired with Live Pain Free by Robin Konie, combined with the Open Nutrition Challenge by Heather Kelly.

Healthy Core Workshop SeriesIn the Healthy Moving Core e-course by Jennifer Hoffman you're going to get one year of access to TWO full-length core workshops, one year of access to 15 Daily Movement challenge classes (most days this will be a short 2-3 minute exercise you can do multiple times during the day – set your smart phone timer for this!), the healthy core plan which is a downloadable PDF demonstrating 3 levels of core exercises and access to a private Facebook community to get group support and encouragement.

Open Nutrition Challenge

The Open Nutrition Challenge by Heather Kelly is a five week nutrition challenge which includes meat plus vegetables plus fat (VERY GAPS friendly!). Heather Kelly is going to tell you which foods to focus on, how much to eat, and when to eat in the next five weeks. She's going to explain in detail the whys and hows. Heather is going to help you make some drastic improvements to your health and your relationship with food. Just by listening to the first twenty minutes she explained to me why carbohydrates work against my body. I know this but needed to hear it again! Oh, and did I mention that my husband stays pretty much at the same weight while eating all kinds of carbohydrates and commercially produced foods? AGH! Do you know how hard it is avoid popcorn when SOMEONE is popping it several times a week?

Live Pain Free

Living Pain Free by Robin Konie includes 60 Somatic Exercises to Enhance Mobility & Stop Chronic Pain.

Beth says the other courses have more advanced motions which – after laying a solid foundation – you would be MORE than ready to tackle!

There are 10 e-books e-courses (retail value $338.90):

  1. 27 Body Transformation Habits You Can’t Ignore from Tyler at Garage Warrior ($9.00)
  2. 7 Day Diet Plan from Katherine at Green Thickies ($25.00)
  3. Foundational Five from Beth at Fit2B studio ($19.95)
  4. Healthy Moving Core Workshop from Jennifer at Healthy Moving ($79.00)
  5. Love Your Body: The Imperfect Girl’s Guide to Positive Body Image from Elizabeth at The Nourished Life ($8.00)
  6. MASH Up 45 Day Challenge Digital Bundle from Jamie at Mashup Conditioning ($45.00)
  7. Metabolic Bodyweight Blasters from Funk at FunkMMA ($49.00)
  8. Never Gymless from Ross at Ross Training ($19.95)
  9. OPENutrition Challenge from Heather at OPENutrition ($37.00)
  10. Thrive90 Fitness Program from Dustin at Engaged Marriage and Tony at One Extraordinary Marriage ($47.00)

What are your thoughts? Which course looks good to 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.

Decadent Roasted Peach Blackberry Smoothie

Decadent Roasted Peach Blackberry Smoothie

Decadent Roasted Peach Blackberry Smoothie

Yay! I finally bought myself some glass straws! I've been curious to try them ever since they came out several years ago. I like the uniqueness of the product, and I love when I can buy something once that can be used again and again.

I finally took the leap with my $15 bonus coupon from the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. I decided to get the Starter Set recommended by Strawesome for folks who are new to glass straws.

I'm going to share my recipe with you – scroll down for a little more about the straws and what I think of them.

Peaches are in season, as are blackberries. The peaches have been amazingly delicious, the juice just drips when bitten into, and they are so sweet.

This recipe (for me) is sweet enough with only the fruit. Feel free to add your sweetener of choice. You may want to roast the fruit the day before, but you can do everything in the same day.

Decadent Roasted Peach Blackberry Smoothie

Cut peaches in half, remove the pits. Cut into 1″ thick slices. Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of a casserole dish and line with peaches and blackberries. Place in oven preheated to 375°. Allow to roast for 30 or 40 minutes, until peaches are tender.

Remove from oven. Place fruit onto a large plate to cool. You can also put them into the refrigerator at this point.

Add fruit to blender. Add coconut milk [affiliate link], vanilla [affiliate link] and ice. Blend 10-30 seconds.

*I make my own coconut milk, click here to make your own in just six minutes!

Strawesome Glass StrawsI am totally loving my new straws! My set is crystal clear but they have all different kinds. There is really quite a large selection to choose from. Some straws are colored and some have special decorative designs like the ones in the image above. Some are “barely bent” and some are straight. The length ranges from the short (6″) to the blender smoothie straw (12″). There are skinny diameter (7mm) straws all the way up to the “bubble tea” straws which are 15mm in diameter and they even have carrying cases to take your straw with you wherever you go.

I'm now wishing I had decided on one of the super long decorative straws to call my very own!

It is a completely different experience using a smooth glass straw vs. a disposable plastic straw. It is hard to describe but part of it is the sensory aspect in that a plastic straw has a sharp thin plastic edge while the Strawesome straw is completely smooth with a thicker rounded surface.

The Starter Set cost $26.95. Shipping was $6.64. So after the coupon discount I paid $18.59 for four straws, one each of the following plus the cleaning brush:

  • See-Thru Short Straw 6″ 9.5mm diameter
  • See-Thru Short Smoothie Straw 8″ 9.5mm diameter
  • See-Thru Straw 8″ 12mm diameter
  • See-Thru Smoothie Straw 8″ 12mm diameter

Here are some facts about these straws:

  • Strawesome straws are made of borosilicate glass tubing which is the strongest commercially available glass. This is the same glass that Pyrex® is made from.
  • Borosilicate glass is non-toxic, so you can feel confident when drinking hot or cold liquids that no toxins are leaching into your beverage.
  • Annealed (slowly cooled to make it tougher and less brittle) so that it is dishwasher safe.
  • Handmade in the USA
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t love your straw, send it back to Strawesome for a full refund.
  • Lifetime guarantee against breakage. If you break it Strawesome  will replace it. (Is that so cool?!)

 

Decadent Roasted Peach Blackberry Smoothie
Author: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large peaches
  • 6 ounces blackberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ice
Instructions
  1. Cut peaches in half, remove the pits. Cut into 1" slices. Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of a casserole dish and line peaches and blackberries. Place in oven preheated to 375°. Allow to roast for 30 or 40 minutes, until peaches are tender.
  2. Remove from oven. Place fruit onto a large plate to cool. You can also put them into the refrigerator at this point.
  3. Add fruit to blender. Add coconut milk, vanilla and ice. Blend 10-30 seconds.
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.

The Depression Sessions in progress now!

I know it's been over two months since I've posted – so much has happened but here is the biggest thing: My mom is in her own apartment now and getting settled in very nicely. I am so grateful that I was able to help her get away from the situation she was in and recover to the point where she can now regain her independence. Also I'm very thankful that my brother is in a place where he has been able to step in and help my mom so that I can step back and take a breather. I have to say that the last almost two years has been very challenging to say the least! I've missed connecting with you here and I'm very interested in continuing to help spread the word about GAPS, healing with food and various healing modalities and trying to ease myself back into a routine. I took a few weekends off once my mom was moved just to adjust and when I thought I was ready to gear myself up my Internet Service provider just decided to go out of business! I've been without the Internet at home since June 5th! If all goes well I'll be connected again by this coming weekend.

Right this minute I'm typing while at work, taking a couple of vacation hours during lunch to put this post together because I wanted to be sure you know that my affiliate partner Sean Croxton has a new “session” in his Second Opinion Series. This one is called the Depression Sessions.

Depression has played a part in my life since my teen years, and in fact it was one of the reasons I decided to try GAPS in the first place. Those of us working to heal and seal our guts are on the right path since gut dysbiosis is very often at the root of depression, although sadly most doctors don't make that consideration. It is very common that they simply prescribe medication to alleviate symptoms. Sometimes it really blows my mind how most allopathic doctors pay no mind to the food we eat and how much our gut bacteria plays a part in our health and symptoms. Although I have to say I can kind of understand why because so many people are unwilling to change their diet and give up their beloved favorite foods. I have to admit I was there once upon a time, and at times still struggle to stay away from foods which I know are not good for my body. But at least now I know better!

I'm very excited about this online event and have already purchased my digital pass in case I don't have a chance to listen in every day. (I always buy so that I have lifetime access plus the option to download the audio and the PDF transcripts. My commute is a minimum of two hours daily and sometimes 3 hours depending on traffic, so I love downloading the audio and listening through my car speakers using my iPod – really makes the trip go so much faster).

The line up of speakers is very impressive for the Depression Sessions and you can watch or listen free from June 14th to June 27th. Click here to register to listen in free.

Here is the lineup:

Sunday/Monday June 14th and 15th

scottTrudy Scott, CN

Balancing Brain Chemistry: Targeted Individual Amino Acids for Anxiety and Depression

Discover:

  • The “forbidden” food that, according to the research, is most connected to mental health.
  • How to use amino acid supplements to lift your mood … in 5 minutes or less!
  • Why no one should ever take Xanax! (Plus, the best plan for tapering off Rx benzo drugs.)
  • Major problems with urinary neurotransmitter testing, and what to do instead.
  • A simple protocol for easing (and maybe reversing) social anxiety and introversion.

carnahanDr. Jill Carnahan, MD

Mind-Altering Microorganisms: How the Bugs in Your Gut May Be Affecting Your Mood

Discover:

  • A gut bacteria that sends Valium-like messages to the brain.
  • How stress, infections, and bad bacteria can send your serotonin production off the rails!
  • Why eliminating gluten is the first recommendation for patients with depression.
  • Why candida overgrowth and mold are hidden causes of depression.
  • Specific must-get nutrients that fight depression and promote brain health.

rolizGerald Roliz, CNC

Confessions of an Ex-Pharmaceutical Sales Rep

Discover:

  • How pharma reps use high pressure tactics and “spin selling” to encourage doctors to prescribe their drugs.
  • Why “mood and energy follow blood sugar.” Plus, the forbidden nutrient with the most profound, positive effect on your blood sugar and mood.
  • How drug companies manipulate studies and drug trials to gain acceptance and FDA approval.
  • The neurotransmitter-building macronutrient your doctor overlooked.
    The safest way to wean off of psychiatric medications.

Tuesday/Wednesday, June 16th & 17th

Click here to register to listen in free

Click here to purchase your digital pass

kalishDr. Daniel Kalish, DC

The Truth About Antidepressants: Hurting or Helping?

Discover:

  • Neurotransmitters 101: How brain chemicals command your thoughts, feelings, and moods.
  • Why psychiatric medications STOP working or eventually require higher dosages.
  • The shocking powers of “sugar pills”.
  • Four theories for how SSRIs work. Which do you believe?

lynchDr. Ben Lynch, ND

Depression: Is It In the Genes?

Discover:

  • An incredibly common genetic mutation that may cause depression.
  • Why leafy green vegetables may be the key to boosting your mood.
  • The autoimmune condition that can trigger depression.
  • Inexpensive and accessible tests for uncovering identifying genetic mutations.
  • The #1 nutrient deficiency that keeps SSRIs from doing their jobs

wentzDr. Izabella Wentz, PharmD

Misdiagnosed: How Thyroid Problems Mimic the Symptoms of Depression

Discover:

  • How psychiatric medication may ruin your metabolism, leading to weight gain on par with eating an extra 1000-1500 calories per day!
  • Why people with mood disorders have significantly greater rates of thyroid antibodies.
  • EXACTLY which tests accurately measure your thyroid function. Plus, get the optimal ranges!
  • Why your tap water may the primary course of hypothyroidism.
  • Can thyroid meds act like antidepressants?

Thursday/Friday, June 18th & 19th

Click here to register to listen in free

Click here to purchase your digital pass

gedgaudasNora Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT

How to Rewire Your Brain and Beat Depression with Neurofeedback

Discover:

  • How to see your life through the lens of biochemistry and the brain’s electrical wiring.
  • The perils of “The Prozac Paradigm”. (And how new research is moving away from it.)
  • How brain technologies, like neurofeedback, can permanently rewire the brain.
  • Nutritional Dos and Don’ts: food reactivities, blood sugar, and adrenal function.
  • Why a fat-based diet can dramatically improve circulation in the brain.

vittiAlissa Vitti, HHC

PMS, PCOS, and Postpartum: A Woman's Guide to Depression

Discover:

  • The 5 hormonal shifts predisposing women to depression.
    Postpartum depression: What causes it and what to do about it.
  • The 2 “magic bullet [affiliate link]” supplements for maximizing your mood.
    What every woman (and her man!) MUST know about the menstrual cycle.
  • The big problem with birth control and your libido.

schulerDr. Corey Schuler, MS, DC, LN, CNS

Damage Control for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Discover:

  • How much anxiety is normal … and what’s not!
    The overlooked brain chemical that may be driving anxiety.
  • Why caffeine and anxiety don’t mix. (It’s NOT the caffeine!)
    How inflammation, dehydration, and blood sugar precipitate anxiety.
  • The essential oil proven to be as effective as prescription anxiety drugs.

Saturday/Sunday, June 20th & 21st

Click here to register to listen in free

Click here to purchase your digital pass

nakayamaAndrea Nakayama, CNE

Reframing Depression: A Functional Nutrition Approach

Discover:

  • How to form an empowering “partnership” with your health practitioner.
  • A 3-step approach for assessing and successfully treating mental health issues.
  • Triggers and timelines: How to pinpoint what is causing your depression … and when.
  • How to prioritize underlying dysfunctions (digestion, detox, etc.) to find your starting point.
  • Andrea’s “signature brain health system” for combatting depression.

tetaDr. Jillian Sarno Teta, ND

The Microbiome-Mood Connection

Discover:

  • How the digestive system — aka “the second brain” — drives serotonin production!
  • Specific tests for finding your “bacterial fingerprint” and uncovering hidden infections.
  • How GMO crops negatively impact mood-boosting proteins in the food supply.
  • Diet and lifestyle strategies for optimizing your microbiome. (Plus, probiotic tips!)
  • How antidepressants are “hijacking” your brain and leading to addiction.

childersDr. Ann Childers, MD

How to Boost Your Mood with Foods and Fats

Discover:

  • Why cholesterol is GOOD for your brain! And why carbs are NOT brain fuel.
  • The connection between blood sugar, frequent eating, and mood regulation.
  • Why kids with ADHD respond to a high-fat diet.
    Dr. Childers’s top mood-boosting and mood-busting foods.
  • How iron deficiency may lead to attention deficit disorder and depression.

sandersMatthew Sanders, MS

How to Lift a Heavy Mind

Discover:

  • The 3 Ps of Depression: Navigating the fine line separating sadness and depression.
  • Simple pleasure-tapping shifts to “shock the system” and break out of an emotional flu.
  • How to put your negative self-talk on the stand and deconstruct the lies it’s telling you.
  • Dos and dont’s for breaking the cycle of fatigue and isolation.
  • Losing Love: How to deal with the end of a relationship.

Monday/Tuesday, June 22nd & 23rd

Click here to register to listen in free

Click here to purchase your digital pass

jiSayer Ji, Founder GreenMedInfo

Natural Antidepressant Alternatives

  • Discover:
    The ancient herb that fights cortisol and has an anti-depressive effect.
  • The power of flowers: how prescription drugs are based on natural plant compounds.
  • An misunderstood, calming plant that safely treats anxiety and depression.
  • Exciting, new findings on sunlight and the production of cellular energy.
  • Why gluten consumption can be the primary trigger for depression.

broganDr. Kelly Brogan, MD

Depression is NOT a Serotonin Deficiency

Discover:

  • The “flawed logic” underlying our current understanding of how antidepressants work.
  • Why “belief” may be more powerful than the medication itself.
  • Why “doing nothing” can be more effective than taking a drug.
  • Can the effects of antidepressants be due to their anti-inflammatory properties?
  • Must-get test markers for depression-driving inflammation. Plus, their optimal ranges!

cassDr. Hyla Cass, MD

How to Transition Off of Psychiatric Medications

Discover:

  • Why depression is NOT a condition, but a symptom of an underlying issue.
  • Specific nutrients your body needs when tapering off of psychiatric medications.
  • 5 doctor-recommended tips for menopausal women going through hormone-related depression.
  • The horrifying link between antidepressants and violent behavior.

Wednesday/Thursday, June 24th & 25th

Click here to register to listen in free

Click here to purchase your digital pass

cohenSuzy Cohen, RPh

Drug Muggers: How Rx Drugs Steal Mood-Friendly Nutrients

Discover:

  • How to “think outside the pill” when struggling with depression.
  • How pharmaceutical companies create new diseases to sell their drugs.
  • Specific drugs that deplete your body of mood- and memory-friendly nutrients.
  • Why excess coffee [affiliate link] consumption may cause anxiety … in some people.
  • 7 natural supplements (and an antidepressant tea!) proven to boost your mood.

datisDr. Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MNeuroSc

How to Find the Root Cause of Your Depression: A Clinical Perspective

Discover:

  • Why there’s more to correcting mood disorders than boosting neurotransmitter levels. A lot more!
  • Why traumatic brain injuries often show up as depression years later.
  • How chronic gut inflammation can cause brain inflammation, leading to depression.
  • It’s never just depression. How your “other symptoms” (like insomnia, blood sugar problems, brain fog, and anxiety) can help determine why you’re depressed.

malterreTom Malterre, MS, CN

Toxins, Free Radicals, and the Drastic Rise in Depression

Discover:

  • A common “stress” that stops the conversion of 5-HTP to tryptophan in its tracks.
  • A specific nutrient deficiency that robs your body of tryptophan.
  • The nasty toxin that degrades your vitamin D and downgrades the immune system.
  • A fascinating food compound that unlocks your body’s antioxidant reserves.
  • Anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet TODAY!

Friday/Saturday, June 26th & 27th

Click here to register to listen in free

Click here to purchase your digital pass

davidMarc David, MA

The Gift of Depression: A Deeper Psychophysiological and Spiritual View

Discover:

  • Marc’s best tips for taking action on the information presented in these sessions.
  • The value of listening to “the brilliance” of  your depression.
  • How to identify the hero within.
  • A common mood buster potentially lurking in your home.
  • How to work with the anger and rage that coincide with depression.

banyasDr. Carol Banyas, MD

Natural Treatments for Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder

Discover:

  • Common lab markers that can tip you off to the cause(s) of depression.
  • Why single-dose nutrient therapy rarely helps with depression.
  • Distinguishing the two types of bipolar disorder … and how to treat them.
  • A little-known micronutrient supplement that may treat bipolar naturally.

law-duaneDuane Law, LAc

Depression’s Lessons

Discover:

  • Out-of-the-box (and inexpensive) treatments for depression you've never heard of!
  • How to identify what depression may be teaching you about your life.
  • The Chinese medicine view of depression … and how to overcome “stagnation”.
  • A simple supplement tip for banishing cravings and balancing blood sugar.

Hope to “see” you there! 🙂

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.