Chard Asparagus Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Easiest Cauliflower Pizza Crust (Streamlined No Steaming Required!)

Chard Asparagus Cauliflower Pizza Crust

One of the most popular posts here at GAPS Diet Journey is the Cauliflower Crust Pizza post. However, I have some exciting news to report. Some time ago I learned that it's not necessary to steam the cauliflower! My husband is the one that figured this out and I was so happy because the original recipe was a time-consuming process. Having to steam the cauliflower, then the added step of having to wring the moisture out of the cauliflower, and the burning of the hands.

It was definitely worth the extra work but now that I know different I thought I would share with you my brand new updated, streamlined recipe.

Before we get started, I have a few things to mention:

  1. You must have parchment paper or a silicone pizza mat for this recipe.
  2. Do not attempt to use parchment paper a second time. Well, you could if you were desperate but just know that the parchment paper will get really soggy and your crust may stick to it the second time around.
  3. You do not have to use Swiss Chard, you could substitute spinach or similar leafy green or you could omit it altogether.
  4. Feel free to omit the asparagus. This recipe works perfectly fine with only cauliflower, but I thought I would “adult” it up a little.

Chard Asparagus Cauliflower Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place parchment paper on a pizza pan. Lightly grease with butter or bacon grease.
  3. Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, then wash.
  4. Shred the cauliflower. I find it is easiest to do this using a food processor. Break the head into small pieces for ease into feeding through the shoot.
  5. Remove the stems from the Swiss chard, cut into small pieces.
  6. Cut two inches of the top of a bunch of asparagus, then cut into 1/2″ pieces.
  7. Add these ingredients to a large bowl for mixing.
  8. In a smaller bowl, add the four eggs.
  9. Whisk, then add the pepper, garlic and salt.
  10. Pour over the cauliflower mixture.
  11. Mix together.
  12. Remove half the ingredients to the pizza pan.
  13. Press and form the vegetables into a flat, round shape.
  14. Be sure to press firmly so that the crust holds together.
  15. Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
  16. Remove and flip the crust to the other side.
  17. Bake 25-30 minutes longer.

The crust should hold together perfectly.

Add your favorite ingredients to the top. My favorite sauce is my Italian Sausage Hamburger Pizza Sauce (no Italian sausage required).

We usually don't use cheese, but remember there are a few kinds of cheese you can use if you're doing the GAPS Diet and those are: Asiago, Blue, Brick, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Havarti, Limburger, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Parmesan, Port du Salut, Roquefort, Romano, Stilton, and Swiss.

Here is a picture of the ingredients mixed together, before adding the egg.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Here is a photo of the crust before it was baked, notice how it is pressed together firmly and holding its shape.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Easiest Cauliflower Pizza Crust (Streamlined No Steaming Required!)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cauliflower (mine weight 2 pounds 3 ounces with the leaves intact)
  • 4 ounces Swiss chard or similar leafy green, optional
  • 2 ounces asparagus tips, optional
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place parchment paper on a pizza pan. Lightly grease with butter or bacon grease.
  3. Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, then wash.
  4. Shred the cauliflower. I find it is easiest to do this using a food processor. Break the head into small pieces for ease into feeding through the shoot.
  5. Remove the stems from the Swiss chard, cut into small pieces.
  6. Cut two inches of the top of a bunch of asparagus, then cut into ½" pieces.
  7. Add these ingredients to a large bowl for mixing.
  8. In a smaller bowl, add the four eggs.
  9. Whisk, then add the pepper, garlic and salt.
  10. Pour over the cauliflower mixture.
  11. Mix together.
  12. Remove half the ingredients to the pizza pan.
  13. Press and form the vegetables into a flat, round shape.
  14. Be sure to press firmly so that the crust holds together.
  15. Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
  16. Remove and flip the crust to the other side.
  17. Bake 25-30 minutes longer.

 

 

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.

Meditation Calm Lake

Why I Finally Started Meditating and How It Helps

Meditation Calm Lake

I avoided meditating or even the idea of meditating for a long, long time. Decades.

Then in January one of my son's mentors recommended that he implement meditation to help manage work-related stress.

I encounter a great deal of stress in my job as well, and January and February were packed with stress in my home life. I won't go into the details, except to share that I got sick and my asthma symptoms came back in full force, my husband got sick (he rarely gets sick), our elderly (“heart”) dog started to fail and eventually passed, and I had a dental cleaning scheduled. Don't laugh, going to the dentist has become a very difficult task and I was determined to follow through with this recent appointment since I'd made and cancelled several during 2017.

When my son told me he was going to start meditating, I decided to take a closer look. One of the reasons I've avoided meditating is because of my faith in Jesus Christ. My understanding is that meditation derives from Eastern religions and should be avoided. I have spent the last thirty years working to unlearn the damaging beliefs I was taught in the Pentecostal religion for the first two decades of my life. My son is also a believer but he was not exposed to the cult-like churches that I was as a child, so he is in a much better place with regards to religion. By the way, our family considers ourselves to be mid-Acts Dispensationalists, if you are curious.

I decided to mention the religious aspect in this post because I shared a simple breathing technique with my mother. She experiences a lot of anxiety from projecting worst case scenarios and I felt it could help her to quiet her mind since it has worked well for me. Not five minutes later she met up with a friend of hers and asked me to share. The friend shot the technique down while looking me in the eye and said, “I used to meditate 20 years ago, but then I became a Christian.”

Ugh. Thankfully I was able to respond that I was also using an app called Abide, which is specifically for Christians. Still, that got me all nervous that I was doing something “wrong”. Uh-oh, gonna get struck down!

So I had a conversation with my sister, who told me about Calm, the app which she has been using for the last year. Obviously being raised in the same home, she was exposed to the same damaging control issues surrounding religion. She pointed out that the Calm app is not oriented to any religion and due to the 7-Day programs it is very similar to having a brief cognitive therapy session each day.

I've been meditating every day using the Calm app for 48 days. I started on January 30th and have gone through several of the 7-Day programs. I usually meditate first thing in the morning, I don't even get out of bed, I just lay on my back with my earbuds and listen and breathe. The sessions run from 11-13 minutes and I find Tamara Levitt's voice to be extremely soothing. Tamara had a rough start in life, and meditation helped her turn things around. You can read her story here at the Calm blog: Tamara Levitt – Head of Mindfulness.

By the way, much of the Calm app is locked unless you pay for a subscription but I like the 7-Day programs so much that I feel it is a valuable investment. I pay for the annual subscription which is currently $59.99. I can't really recommend any other meditation apps as this is the only one I've used regularly. 

I am feeling a great deal calmer, and more in control of my life. Things don't seem so bad. Honestly, they weren't that bad to start with! My life is good, but when my mind is racing from one negative issue to the next or I can't get to sleep because of thoughts (THOUGHTS… just mere thoughts, not reality!!) or I feel anxious because of the worry it is hard to realize how good my life truly is.

Here are some of the ways that meditation has helped me in the past few weeks.

How Meditation Helps

Stop the mind from racing

It is normal for our minds to project the worst so focus on the process of breathing in and out to stop thoughts.

In one of the 7-Day programs – I think it was the 7 Days of Calming Anxiety – Tamara says that we tend to imagine every worst case scenario because we think we can control the future by projecting. But a great deal of the time, those terrible things we imagine rarely or in many cases never happen so we spend a lot of time playing this sinister “what-if” game which tends to create a great deal of fear and negativity which leads to anxiety.

I have learned it is very effective to focus on breathing. In and out. In and out. I know it sounds too simple, it did to me also. It is harder than you would think to just focus on your breathing and it does take practice to master this simple technique. It is very much like exercising a muscle. Sometimes as I breathe in and out, I think with each inhalation and exhalation: “In. Out. In. Out.” Sometimes I think, “Thank you. Jesus. Thank you. Jesus.”

Understand that it is normal for the mind to wander onto other topics, while focusing on breathing. During the meditation session, Tamara reminds us that this is normal and to not be hard on yourself, but gently pull your mind back to focusing on your breathing every time you realize it's happened.

It takes a practice to master and it's worth the effort. I was very glad to learn that it is normal for the mind to wander because I thought I was doing something wrong, or that my mind is different than anyone else.

Helps with Getting to Sleep

Does your mind decide it's time to worry about everything when you're trying to fall to sleep?

Maybe your mind awakes you in the middle of the night, like mine tends to do.

“Oh, were you sleeping? Wake up! It's time to worry about that upcoming appointment or how to get everything done at work, or maybe the roof needs repair because it might rain, or I'm AWAKE, not sleeping, tomorrow is going to be so hard without enough sleep” and on and on and on.

It has been a game-changer for me to start to focus on my breathing as soon as I realize my mind wants to race from one stressful thought to the next.

It really works! My husband is one that if he can't sleep he'll just get up and stay up until the next night. One night he was restless and moving about and I told him about focusing on his breath and he fell asleep shortly after. The next morning he told me he'd never known that just focusing on one's breath could help you fall asleep.

Time Slows Down

Does it seem like time is racing by for you? The weekdays zoom by and then it's the weekend. Saturday and Sunday are over so fast, did you get anything done?

This has been a complaint of mine in the past few years. It seems like my life is racing by so fast that I don't know where the time has gone. Everyone says this is normal, this speeding up of time but I think I've figured out how to slow things down.

After about five weeks of meditating, plus the use of another app called Fabulous it feels like my time has slowed, or at least my perception of time has slowed down.

The weekends are now enjoyable as it feels like they leisurely drift along. Before it felt like hours would pass without my knowledge and I was scrambling every minute struggling to stay on top of things, but not really getting much done.

That's just a few of the benefits I've personally noticed from meditating. Do you meditate? What are your thoughts and what benefits have you noticed? I would 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.

Treatment Plan for my Teeth

Gum Disease Can Happen Even If you Brush and Floss Daily

In my last post I admitted that I was shocked – and to be honest – disturbed by the dental hygienist's announcement that I had gum disease. I thought since I was brushing and flossing regularly – meaning at least once a day and sometimes twice – that my gums should be great. But obviously that's not the case! I've been doing a lot of research and there is a lot of information to digest.

In the meantime, let me share what I've learned so far:

If your hygienist finds bleeding when she probes your gums, and pockets deeper than 1 mm you've got gum disease. I think I can safely say your gum disease is in the first stages but you definitely want to start paying attention because healthy gums are tight against the teeth with a pocket measuring 1 mm or less, and there should be no bleeding when the gums are probed.

I have mentioned this to a few people and the automatic response was of course there's going to be blood, she just poked you with a sharp instrument. But what I've learned is that healthy gums should not bleed, and if they do, you have some degree of gum disease.

Why is gum disease bad? Well, on a very basic level you've got an active infection in your mouth. Having an infection anywhere in your body is going to affect the way you feel. And I never really put this together, but did you ever realize that your oral health is directly related to your gut health? Dr. Tom O'Bryan is one of the speakers in the summit and his talk is entitled: Digestive Solutions: The Oral Gut-Health Connection. I will definitely be tuning in for this one (Day 4 March 15th Thursday).

It seems to be generally accepted (in the “regular” dental world) that the pockets can be from 1 mm to 3 mm and as long as their is no bleeding, everything is just fine. However, Dr. Behm (a holistic dentist) states “In healthy gums, the depth of the sulcus is less than 1 mm. If the pockets exceed 1 mm it tells you and the hygienist that bacteria are getting the upper hand, entering the sulcus, attaching to the tooth and tissue forming a biofilm, a hard layer of protection around the bacterial colony.” Source: The Secret to Healthy Gums: How to Keep Your Teeth for the Rest of your Life.

What are these pockets? The technical term is sulcus (the term Dr. Behm used above) and it's the area between your gums and teeth. Ideally there is no gap there at all, but when there is, bacteria like to hang out there. One of the goals of brushing is to disrupt bacteria in this area at least once every 24 hours, otherwise they can begin to take hold and the pocket will grow bigger. My understanding is this all has something to do with the waste that the bacteria give off (so… these bacteria dudes are um… going potty in the sulcus?) And I'm realizing that it's also important to get your teeth cleaned regularly, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I totally get it. Remember I'm the one that doesn't go to the dentist for 2, 3, 4, 5 years in a row? Ugh.

I am going to be 55 this year, and never knew there was a proper way to brush one's teeth. I'm going to link to this video again from OraWellness where Will is going to demonstrate the proper method.

By the way, if you learn that your pockets are measuring over 1 mm you'll need to do more than just brushing and disrupting the bacteria on a daily basis. With my newfound knowledge that the bacteria are toileting in my gums I guess this is like flushing the toilet… yeah… uh…

Please do take a few minutes to jump over to Dr. Behm's post: The Secret to Healthy Gums: How to Keep Your Teeth for the Rest of your Life

In the past week, I have flossed and brushed morning and night, faithfully. I know it's not enough though and I plan to incorporate The Secret again once I build up my stamina because it's a commitment!

In my last post, I shared that the hygienist said the improvement to my gum disease was remarkable. In that post I mentioned my progress but wanted to create a visual representation to show the comparison of improvement between the recent visit and the one from a year ago.

There are six positions around each tooth on the gums where the hygienist checks (probes) for bleeding. Left, right and center at the front and back of each tooth.

The image below indicates where my gums were healthy (not bleeding) vs. unhealthy (bleeding) for teeth 1 through 16 using red boxes with the letter “B” to indicate bleeding, with pink boxes and the letter “N” to indicate no blood.

If you squint while looking at the image you can see that the bottom grid has much less red.

Periodontal Chart Comparison

57 positions with bleeding in 2017. 39 healthy.

I have almost 50% less bleeding now with 30 positions bleeding, and 66 healthy.

Next here is the grid showing the gum bleeding on teeth 17 to 32 (notice that it goes backwards as that is how the periodontal chart is laid out).

58 positions with bleeding in 2017. 38 healthy.

Currently only 33 positions are bleeding, with 63 healthy.

I am determined the restore the health of my gums and I really want to reduce the depth of my pockets.

If you are also interested in gum disease and what you should know and can do from a holistic point of view, the Holistic Oral Health Summit (it begins Monday March 12th and it's completely FREE) features two speakers who will be talking about gum disease. Get registered and then mark your calendars:

  • Day 2 Tuesday March 13th – John Rothchild DDS – The Truth about Gum Disease
  • Day 3 Wednesday March 14th – Lane Freeman DDS – Gum Disease: Signs, Symptoms and Solutions
  • Day 4 Thursday March 15th – Dr. Tom O'Bryan – Digestive Solutions: The Oral Gut-Health Connection

Each day there are five talks with five different experts and you can listen free throughout the day. On Day 8 of the summit, just in case you miss one of the talks, you will be able to listen to any of the talks.

If you have to work, like me, you may want to consider buying the summit so that you can download all the talks and have unlimited access. That's what I'm planning to do!

If you are interested in oral health from a biological and holistic perspective please take a moment to register now so that you can take part in this free online event.

The Oral Health Summit is COMPLETELY FREE for seven days. You'll have the opportunity to glean current and innovative information from 35 of the best holistic Dental Health experts in the world.

Register now to attend

You're going to learn about: 

  • Gum Disease
  • The connection between Oral Health and Cancer
  • Root Canals
  • Wisdom Teeth
  • Mercury Detox and Amalgam Removal
  • How to Have Great Oral Health
  • How to Find a Biological Dentist
  • Why You Should Avoid Regular Dentists and more!

 

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 Hygienist said Gum Disease Improvement was Remarkable

She said it twice! At that moment I was finally able to relax a little.

2017 – Gum Disease Diagnosis

Last year on February 21st the dental hygienist kept nothing to herself as she cleaned my teeth. By the time she was done I was a nervous wreck.

I hadn't had my teeth cleaned for a few years and she informed me in no uncertain terms that I had gum disease. This came as a shock since  I brush and floss regularly, some days morning and night. My routine is to first brush to remove food, then floss and brush again. I really thought that I was doing a great job. But apparently that is not the case… the periodontal examination revealed a lot of bleeding (of 192 position probed, 114 were bleeding – that's over half at 59%) with pockets as deep as four and five. She recommended debridement to which I agreed; however, I declined the recommendation for deep scale cleaning as I have read that it can make things worse.

It took a few days for me to recover from getting this news, but I knew the first place to visit was OraWellness.com. A few years ago they put together the HealThy Mouth Summit – which is when I first learned about them. I have been very impressed with their products and their website, they always offer amazing information about all things oral.

OraWellness offers a product that is specifically designed to help reverse gum disease. I ordered one of the applicator kits,  more Healthy Mouth Blend oil and several more of their special Bass toothbrushes. One of the things I learned from OraWellness is that my brushing technique was wrong. Here is a video from OraWellness on how to brush your teeth correctly.

I started to use the applicator kit once it arrived but it is a lengthy process, taking about 20 minutes to do the protocol. I am sorry to say that I stopped using it after about a dozen times. I did continue using the Healthy Mouth Blend oil. I had stopped using toothpaste much earlier because I learned that glycerin in toothpaste coats your teeth which prevents your teeth from remineralizing.

In addition to using the Healthy Mouth Blend oil with the Bass toothbrush, I oil pulled, water pulled, and sometimes used a Sonicare toothbrush. At my recent appointment the hygienist says she likes the Sonicare and encouraged me to use it over manual brushing. 

I also started the protocol called “The Secret” from holistic dentist Dr. Behm who is located in Florida. Dr. Behm says this protocol can reverse gum disease and help you keep your teeth for your whole life. 

There are three steps to Dr. Behm's protocol and I only got so far as the toothbrush which is Tool #1 and floss, which is actually Tool #3. Although I purchased Tool #2 I never incorporated it and in reading the protocol again it is pretty important!! Tool #2 is the Butler Rubber Tip Gum Stimulator. Dr. Behm also recommends use of water irrigation as Tool #4, if you can afford it.

For several months I kept a gum healing protocol chart on the wall in the bathroom so I could mark off every little box of what I was doing to help improve my gums. Feel free to download a copy if you would like to track your gum healing progress.

And the last thing I want to mention which I believe played a part in my gums improving was drinking broth almost every day of 2017. Last year I hosted five broth challenges and estimate that I drank broth 300 days out of the whole year.

Dr. Alison Siebecker in her article Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease Townsend Letter states: “Calcium (broth) can be considered for use in the following deficiency signs, symptoms and conditions: pain and inflammation, cramps, muscle spasms, delusions, depression, insomnia, irritability, hyperactivity, anxiety, palpitations, hypertension, high cholesterol, allergies, brittle nails, periodontal and dental disease, pica, rickets, osteomalacia, osteoporosis and any situation that creates bone loss such as aging, immobilization, post-menopause, and caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol use.”

 

I had planned to go back and have my teeth cleaned at the 3-month mark (May 2017), but every time I made an appointment I totally chickened out. Finally in November I told the office to call me back in January and I would schedule an appointment for February to get my teeth cleaned.

Try to think of something special that you can do afterwards to put a positive spin on your visit.

I was still feeling nervous about going to the appointment so two weeks prior I decided I needed to find some way to reward myself for keeping my appointment. An online friend had moved from California to Arizona about 3 years ago but we had never actually gotten together in person, so I sent her a message to see if she she was available to meet up. She was, yay!

2018 Cleaning Appointment

Back to my cleaning appointment… After a few minutes the hygienist asked if I had been to a different office to have my teeth cleaned and how long it had been since my last cleaning? Ironically it had been one year to the day and I confirmed that I had not been to a different office. That was when she told me that my gums had improved and it was remarkable how much better they were especially considering that I hadn't had a cleaning for a year.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief and told her that I was so thankful because I had been working very hard to improve the condition of my gums. She said that I did still have some bleeding, but overall there had been remarkable improvement.

I asked for my new periodontal charting so that I could compare it with the 2017 cleaning. Before my appointment I was freaked out that there would be no improvement or that my gums had gotten worse.

When I compared the two, I was disappointed to see that most of my pockets were the same, a few had gotten better and a couple were worse. But more importantly the bleeding had improved and that means less inflammation and gum disease.

At the 2017 appointment out of 192 positions (32 teeth times 6 positions), 114 were bleeding (59%). This time there were only 64, down to 33%. That's pretty good, or shall I say remarkable! 🙂

I did not know until I started doing some research that it is generally accepted that pockets with depths of 1 mm to 3 mm with no bleeding are not considered to be a problem. However, please note that Dr. Behm states, “In healthy gums, the depth of the sulcus is less than 1 mm. If the pockets exceed 1 mm it tells you and the hygienist that bacteria are getting the upper hand, entering the sulcus, attaching to the tooth and tissue forming a biofilm, a hard layer of protection around the bacterial colony.” Source: The Secret to Healthy Gums: How to Keep Your Teeth for the Rest of your Life.

From my understanding of reading about Dr. Behm's protocol, it is possible to reduce the depth of the pockets, so I am definitely going to be working more on using his protocol.

To summarize what I did over the last year:

I am very excited about a FREE event which is right around the corner!! The Oral Health Summit is online from March 12th to March 19th. If you are also interested in oral health especially from a biological and holistic perspective I encourage you to register now.

The Oral Health Summit is COMPLETELY FREE for seven days. You will have the opportunity to glean current and innovative information from 35 of the best holistic Dental Health experts in the world.

Register now to attend

You'll learn about:

  • Gum Disease
  • How Oral Health and Cancer are related
  • Root Canals
  • Wisdom Teeth
  • Mercury Detox and Amalgam Removal
  • How to Have Great Oral Health
  • How to Find a Biological Dentist
  • Why You Should Avoid Regular Dentists
  • and more

Holistic Oral Health Summit

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.

The Importance of Sleep when You're on a Healing Journey

Is Sleep Important When You’re on a Healing Journey?

The Importance of Sleep when You're on a Healing Journey

Most definitely. Since the body does a lot of important work while you sleep, it's vitally important to get enough sleep when you're on a healing journey.

I became interested in sleep at the young age of 16. Up to that point in my life, I'd lived with my family of origin and we slept fairly normally, as far as I could tell. We had a regular schedule for the weekdays and typically slept in on the weekends.

But then my life changed dramatically… basically my mother gave me away but for brevity let's just say I was placed with a foster family.

The foster mother had the strong belief that sleep was a major waste of time. I can't tell you how many times I heard “You're sleeping a third of your life away!

Up to that point in my life, I'd not thought much about sleep but it quickly became a source of contention. She regularly waxed nostalgic with stories of how in her teen years she went to school, then worked part-time after school, came home and cared for her bedridden parents, cooked dinner, cleaned the house and finally started on her homework around midnight. She believed that four hours of sleep was more than enough.

But I digress… is sleep important when you're on a healing journey?

Most definitely.

Giving Your Body the Chance to Recover

Have you ever heard of the term “convalesce”? Here's the meaning from Merriam-Webster:

convalesce: to recover health and strength gradually after sickness or weakness 

Decades ago people actually gave their bodies the chance to get better. They literally went to bed for days or weeks at a time and sometimes they weren't even sick! It was simply accepted that sleep and rest were vital requirements for recovery and good health.

What do we typically do in this day and age? Well, I know I've met my fair share of people who pride themselves on getting by on 5, 6 or even fewer hours of sleep each night. If they get sick, they pop a pill or drink some over-the-counter medication which masks symptoms and they keep going.

As a young person, I discovered that over-the-counter medications rarely worked for me. I often felt worse rather than feeling better. As a result, I avoided them, choosing to use more natural means of assisting my body in healing and sleep has always played a huge part.

Bedridden for One Month

One time I decided I had to keep going, and it resulted in my becoming sicker than I'd ever been in my entire life.

We were moving to a rural area, and it wasn't really an option (or so I thought) to stop everything and stay in bed and get better. I decided to take a cold and flu suppressant which suppressed my symptoms and allowed me to push myself past the point of exhaustion.

The end result was a very bad case of bronchitis (I'd never had a lung infection in my life) which progressed into pneumonia. I ended up having to stay home from work and was literally bedridden for an entire month.

We had managed to move one truckload of things to our new home and ended up staying at the old place three long weeks, mostly because I was so sick that I was terrified of being too far from an Urgent Care or hospital. This from someone who avoids doctors like the plague!

After I was finally able to stay in an upright position for more than a few minutes at a time, it took months for me fully recover my former energy levels. I continued having a hard time breathing and was eventually diagnosed with asthma and put on prescription medications for almost 10 years (I was able to get off these medications within a year of starting on GAPS).

Suffice it to say that I became even more convinced that getting sufficient rest and sleep plays a huge part in maintaining health.

What Happens When We Sleep?

The body goes through several phases while sleeping and is extremely busy in spite of sleep being considered “a waste of time”. Muscles are repaired, skin goes through intense repair and regeneration, memories are consolidated,  hormones are released which manage insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, levels of ghrelin and leptin (all which affect hunger and appetite, and in turn our ability to maintain or lose weight). Recent studies are showing that our immune system fights disease while we sleep and sleep deprivation inhibits that fight.

That's just a few things that our body does when we sleep.

How to Get Better Sleep?

If you are on a healing journey, or even just trying to stay in good health… let's say everyone at work is sick. Now's the time to get more and better sleep. Here are some of the things I do and recommend that you try.

Try to Stay on the Same Schedule

Establish a routine of going to bed and getting up and try to stick to it. I would suggest creating a bedtime routine that may last 1 to 2 hours and then allow yourself 9 hours to sleep, with the goal of sleeping a good solid 8 hours.

As an example, if you have to be at work at 9 am and it takes 15 minutes to get to work and an hour to get ready, that means you need to get up 1 hour and 15 minutes before due at work, so 7:45 at the very latest. It is probably a good idea to give yourself half an hour to get to work, so that would mean waking up by 7:30. Plan to start your 1-hour bedtime routine by 9:30 pm and get into bed by 10:30 pm.

7:30 Wakeup, eat breakfast, make lunch and get ready for work

8:30 Leave for Work

9:30 pm Begin bedtime routine

10:30 pm Get into bed

11:00 Lights out

I know it's sometimes difficult, but nothing will screw up your sleeping routine faster than staying out way past your bedtime. This becomes even more important if you are on a journey to better health. Try not to let anything or anyone get in the way of your regular bedtime.

Your bedtime routine might look something like this:

9:30 Turn on healing music. Brush and floss teeth.

9:35 Pick out clothes you'll wear to bed and tomorrow. Start water in the tub.

9:40 Turn on the salt lamp in the bedroom and turn down the covers.

9:42 Put Epsom salts into tub, undress and get in. Light candles, if desired. Continue listening to healing music.

10:00 Get out of tub, dress. Make sure doors are locked and windows are closed (or open if you live in an area where it's safe and you want to let cool air in the house while you sleep)

10:05 Sit at the table and work on your latest Zentangle Art creation, or snuggle up in your favorite chair and read a real book.

10:30 Get into bed. Continue reading or spend time with your sweetie.

11:00 Lights out.

Reduce Lighting in Preparation for Sleep

Have you ever noticed when camping you start feeling sleepy much sooner than your normal bedtime? Especially when you are in a quiet dark forest with a campfire. The darkness tells your body it's time to go to sleep.

Start your evening bedtime routine by lowering the lights in your bedroom. I love using my salt lamp, it reminds me of campfire light and really helps me to start feeling sleepy.

Limit “Screen” Time or use a Blue Light Filter

I dearly love to watch television in bed, sometimes Netflix on my Kindle Fire or phone. But it's really not a good practice. If you must, use a blue light filter on your device to reduce the effect. Reading – a real book – is ideal for a bedtime routine.

Sleep in the Dark

It is important that we sleep in complete darkness as much as possible. You may want to use heavy curtains to block the light.

If you have any devices plugged in that light the room, unplug or cover the light. I find that the blue power button lights are especially disrupting and seem to light up the whole room.

If you are a woman of childbearing age, some sources sleeping by the light of the moon to improve fertility.

 

Use a Sleep Tracking App

I use a sleep tracking app called Sleepbot. It helps me to know where I'm at sleep-wise. I feel a lot better when I'm getting enough sleep but knowing my sleep debt helps me to know that I might be a little more sensitive about things than normal and to be extra nice to myself. I can also make a point to take a nap, or sleep in a little on the weekends.

Listen to a Bedtime Story

Sometimes I just can't get my brain to stop worrying and bringing up every little thing that's upset me throughout the day. When I can't fall asleep within a reasonable amount of time I enlist the help of Scooter to banish the “brain bots”. Scooter is a great help when it comes to calming my brain. Check him out sometime when you can't sleep: Sleep With Me Podcast.

Listen to Healing Music

I have very recently started to listen to healing music. I purchased the CD which comes with a free MP3 version from Steve Halpern. I started out by listening in my car on the way to work because my job is very often so stressful. I feel like it is helping me to feel more relaxed.

My question for you: What do you think about sleep?

References:

Energy Budget e-course

Energy Budget e-course – Get it Done Even with Low Energy

Rachel Ramey is the creator of Energy Budget e-course and blogger at Titus 2 Homemaker.

Rachel created the Energy Budget because she suffers from chronic illness. She had a plan for keeping her home running fairly smoothly but as her condition worsened, so did the condition of her home. So she had to find a new plan.

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, etc. – these are all situations where the standard methods don’t always work.

Click here to learn more about the Energy Budget e-course

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.

 
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.

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.