January 2019 Ask Me Anything

I might do these periodically! The new “questions” feature on Instagram Stories makes it really easy for folks to ask me questions and it can remain anonymous. I recently did one and I got so many good and frequently asked questions, I thought I would post it here! If you have any questions that weren’t addressed here, feel free to leave a comment or email me!

 

ask me anything

New Year AMA (Ask Me Anything)

 

What medicine do you take for your Thyroid?

My specific issue is that my Reverse T3 is higher than my T3. My TSH and T4 levels are fine. What my doctor gave me was T3, only 5mg/ day. I am taking that, but also am taking steps to figure out the root cause of that imbalance. The goal is to remedy that root cause and not be on the T3 prescription long term. I am working with Dr. Becky Campbell, author of The 30 Day Thyroid Reset to figure this out. We’ve done a SIBO test and a Gut Map Stool Test, we are yet to go over the results.

 

What do I think about the celery juice craze that’s going on?

I think Anthony Williams, the Medical Medium has helped a lot of people. Whether it’s correlation or causation, I don’t know. I mean, anytime you get people eating unprocessed foods it’s going to help. But I don’t buy into magic pills, even in the form of celery juice. Could it help with some things? I mean, it can’t hurt. While I like my share of woo-woo things, from my understanding, he talks to dead people or spirits that tell him these healing things…  I don’t know if I can get behind that.

 

Low budget here, need one good food processor with wicked power!

Hmmm…. I am a die-hard Vitamix fan and have used those blenders for decades. I am hearing good things about the Instant Pot Ace Blender though, could be a more affordable option.

What’s a good coconut sub? My 4-year-old can’t have coconut but we need to stay AIP.t3.

For coconut milk, there aren’t many AIP options to sub, but you can make your own tiger nut milk. I don’t know what the consistency is like because I haven’t made it myself. In savory sauces, you can do a cauliflower cream or a base of steamed veggies blended with bone broth to thicken sauces or soups. As for coconut flour, tiger nut or cassava flour are your best bet.

 

What’s your go-to dish on a busy weekday?

Sheet pan meals, usually roasted veggies, and a protein. Or taco bowls. I love ground beef with cauliflower rice, cilantro and avocado.

 

How do you find motivation? I’m in the cycle of brain fog and exhaustion and can’t find the energy.

Start small. Try to sticks to simple meals and avoid your trigger foods. Sleep and take care of yourself as best as you can. Avoid sugar and over caffeinating to compensate for the fatigue. Energy will come eventually.

 

I would love to know more about what you’re studying right now?

I’m enrolled in the Nutritional Therapy Association’s Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Certification program. It’s a 9-month online course with 3 in person, 3-day workshops. It’s very comprehensive, the curriculum covers digestion, blood sugar regulation, hydration, mineral balance, fatty acids… we also learn about the evolution of the modern diet, how to do a functional evaluation and how to work with our clients to discover their bio individual nutritional needs and give proper dietary, lifestyle and sometimes supplement recommendations to help them.

 

How’s your NTA program going?

It’s going really well. I’m learning a lot and my prior experiences I the field play really well into the curriculum. I have a lot of new questions too. I am eager to connect all the dots! Luckily I know a lot of smart people that I can learn from and bounce ideas off of.

 

How much time per day do you dedicate to your NTP course?

I don’t do school work daily, but I a lot about 20 hours a week to it. Usually 3 days a week.

 

NTP vs NTC, I want to have an online presence but I want the in person functional training…

A lot of folks I know only do the NTC (nutritional therapy consultant), because yes, if you’re only doing online coaching you won’t be seeing clients in person- but I do want to see clients in person. Online too, but I really love the functional evaluation and that can only be done in real life. Either way, I think the information you learn in the program really arms you with so many resources to help anyone on their way to healing through food.

 

I need all the HS Tips!

Everyone is different, but from what I can see in the HS (Hidradenitis Suppurativa) circles, groups, threads and more… AIP (autoimmune protocol) and/or keto are most effective for people. Sugar in all forms and nightshades seem to be a VERY common trigger among us.

Find out your trigger foods and avoid them at all costs.

Use non-toxic mild soaps and comfortable, soft clothing.

Apply coconut oil mixed with a drop or two of tea tree or oil of oregano on the affected area (careful with oil of oregano- it’s strong and it may sting).

 

Is there an herb or supplement that helps HS scars heal faster?

If there is, I haven’t found it.

 

When will your second book release? In 2020! I’m so excited to start working on it!

 

What are you looking forward to most in 2019?

Graduating from my NTP program and turning in my second manuscript. Also, traveling! Finally taking a real vacation with Justin this year.

 

Lower GI Help: Cramping and Burning when I have a bowel movement, suggestions?

Find an NTP to work with!  If you want to troubleshoot on your own I would do an elimination diet. Try keeping a food journal and see if you can find a correlation between cramps and painful bowel movements and food choices.

 

What deodorant do you use?

Primally Pure! All day, every day! I am obsessed. Code CASTAWAY10 for 10% off!

 

Must do list for Hawaii?

On Oahu: North Shore to see the sea turtles and the surfers and get some bulletproof coffee at the Sunrise Shack across from Sunset Beach. Must go to Kailua beach, get a kayak if you can and kayak to the Moke’s. Lanikai Pillbox hike,  Koko Head Stairs, Tantalus, drive in the mountains, you can hike there too.

 

I know your big on ancestral health. Have you ever explored genetics (ie. MTHFR mutation)?

I did my 23 and Me with the genetics and my doctor has tested for all that stuff too. I don’t have the MTHFR.

 

I just want to say THANK YOU for the seriously amazing resources you put out!

THANK YOU!

 

What protein powder do you suggest?

I like Equip Prime Protein or Paleo Pro. I’m also going to make my own soon! Stay tuned for the recipe.

 

Has your hair always been so thick and beautiful? Mine is just starting to grow back in.

I’ve always had a lot of hair, but it hasn’t always been healthy. I lost a lot of hair after my pregnancy, and when my autoimmune stuff flares bad my scalp gets very scaly. I had an allergic reaction to antibiotics once and lost a fistful of hair, a quarter-sized chunk came right out of my scalp, it was scary. But I truly believe that when nutrient deficiencies are addressed, leaky gut is healed and hormones are balanced…. Hair health will optimize.

 

Do you know the links between having carbs and our monthly cycles and having carbs during certain times of the month?

During your luteal phase, ovulation to day 1 of your cycle, we need around 200 more calories than usual, and often that comes in the form of cravings. The days the body can use more quick energy, like glucose, vs slow burning energy like ketones, are the days when our hormones are flatlined and as such, so is our energy. That is day 28 to day 1 or 2 of your cycle when hormones drop to begin your flow and then again day 16 to 19 depending on when you ovulate, but the post-ovulation hormone drop can also be brutal for energy.

If you are severely insulin resistant, having some carbs on these days for energy might be counterproductive, but for those who don’t get lethargic with safe carb consumption, it works well. I intuitively do this.

 

Fastest keto dinners that kids will love?

The lazy moco from my cookbook! Also the London broil and brussel sprout recipe from the blog. Another favorite is hamburger soup, also on the blog.

 

What bloggers/Instagrammers are influential to you?

@peaceloveandlowcarb

@healthfulpursiut

@tastyyummies

@thewholekitchensink

@realfoodbymars

@dianesanfilipo

@stephgaudreau

@drjolenebrighton

@alimillermd

@feedfeed

@food52

 

Curious about your current stance on Whole30?

I think the program works for those who need hard and fast rules, black and white, to get out of a rut or as a reset or elimination diet, as it’s meant to be. I think it can get away from people, they don’t do proper reintroductions or adopt lifelong habits but instead fall into a cycle of using Whole30 to yo-yo. It was useful to me, and definitely a big part of my healing journey- but after 6 rounds I learned that separating food and emotion doesn’t work for me, also that it wasn’t dark chocolate or the occasional treat that drove my sugar dragon it was insulin resistance. So, I think the program helped me in the sense that I outgrew it, I think you’re supposed to eventually.

 

What are your best tips for amazing winter salads?

Ooooh! Good one! Seasonal produce! Citrus is a winter fruit. I love grilled orange segments or citrus dressings. I also like adding a warm component to my salads in the winter like warm grilled fish or steak, maybe some toasted nuts or roasted cauliflower rice.

 

How long did it take you to quit alcohol when you began changing your lifestyle?

It took almost a year to finally realize that wine or the occasional cocktail wasn’t worth it for me. Now, 2 years of pretty much no booze at all, I can have the occasional drink, but no more than 2 or 3 or again, not worth it.

 

How do you determine your macros on keto?

I don’t track anymore, I am really, truly becoming more and more convinced that eating intuitively is the way to go. However, like the Whole30 question, I think that some people, at some point in their journey, need the structure or rules to figure it out. So…

I like to start with protein, at .5 to 1 gram per pound of body weight. Lower end if you’re not active, higher end if you are. That’s a goal. From there you add your carb limit. Somewhere between 30 to 50 grams of total carbs a day. So you have your protein goal, your carb limit, now the rest of your calories will come from fat. Add fat to your meals or choose fatty cuts of meat etc. Eat to satiety, or you can just aim for 100-150 gram of fat a day, that works for most people, from there adjust accordingly, less or more as you see fit.

 

How to “let it flow” emotionally (I keep hearing advice about saying in the flow)?

Don’t let people tell you how you should feel. I have no idea what “they” mean my “let it flow”…. But it implies something that happens organically, so, I don’t think you can force it. Repetition creates habit and habits can flow I guess… so maybe they mean, finding your groove or getting used to things. Everything in life takes practice, even a healthy lifestyle or positive thoughts.

 

How to get past SAD food addict relapse post-AIP, even when physical pain is caused.

Get back to the basics. Maybe the AIP triggered some disordered eating patterns. Try to focus on what makes you feel food and getting your mindset right. Forget guilt or shame around food choices or looking at foods as compliant or not compliant. Keep it simple. Pick foods you enjoy and that make you feel good, try eating in a relaxed state and be mindful of chewing slowly and being present with each meal. Check out my TLC Challenge! 

Hope you enjoyed these! Any questions that weren’t listed, drop them in the comments!

Growing Up Fat: How I Experience the Health and Wellness Space

*explicit language warning*

More and more I am becoming aware of how growing up fat has shaped who I am today and how I experience the world around me. I know, what a sad thought, that my life has been lived through this filter, that I would experience things differently had I not been overweight.

big baby

First, let me say that I didn’t always know I was fat, and I think before then, life was lived on the same plane as my siblings.

However, at some point in my childhood, it was made very clear to me that:

1- I was fat.

2- It’s not a good thing.

Now, let’s call that what it is, bullshit. Because a persons size isn’t good or bad, it just is and if said person is happy and thriving it’s none of our damn business what they eat or how they look.

cristina curp child

However, as a child, this was my reality. I was fat, fat wasn’t good, I was less than. This sensation of not being good enough was the theme of my life. I talked too much, I took up too much space, I wasn’t worthy of the real estate.

 

The details of how I became to believe these things is fuzzy. Could it have been TV, telling me that fat is bad? Could it have been a kid in school making fun of me? Could it have been an observation? Comparing my body to my sister’s and seeing the difference, noticing the small, subconscious behavior of those around us?

This is important for people to understand, yes, you are treated differently when you are fat. Not all the time, but often enough and it’s very apparent when it happens. It always leaves a little mark on you. Like an invisible scar.

Growing up fat,  as a kid, I wasn’t picked first to be on anyone’s team. I couldn’t borrow or share clothes with my sisters or girlfriends. I didn’t want to go shopping with them as it was hard to find my size in most of the stores they went to. Growing up fat meant not having a boyfriend in the 5th grade or a crush. It meant acting uninterested in the boys in my class because I knew they were not interested in me. It was being guarded because the rejection was imminent. Growing up fat meant limitation, can’t wear that, can’t do that, shouldn’t eat that.

It was being a friend and not the girlfriend. It was overhearing conversations about you and not identifying with the person being described. It was being heartbroken a million times. It was being left out. It was being publicly humiliated or even worse, being invisible.

How does someone who grew up hurting, someone who still holds on to those scars, how do we move forward? How do we heal? How do you begin to love a body the world has taught you to hate?

fit plus size

This is where shit gets weird, but stay with me… you don’t have to love your body to be happy. You don’t have to love all of your body to be happy. You can appreciate it, honor it, be thankful you are alive.

But the pressure to love yourself, that’s just it…MORE PRESSURE FROM AN OUTSIDE SOURCE. Keyword: OUTSIDE.

 

Every article about calorie deficits screams at you that you eat too much. Every picture of a very fit, and conventionally attractive woman telling you to love your body subliminally saying… but only if you look like me. Every study on obese people, and chart and doctor and well-meaning health guru saying that you’re wrong, a mistake, that you will die young because of your weight.

self love

What? Like I’ve never not been fat, so I’m this walking talking poster child for disease and death?!?!?! GTFOOOOOOO!!! Nope. All that crap, it’s all making you buy into diet dogma. It’s all part of that big money-making machine that keeps you buying books, and products and programs so you can “fix yourself.” Goal number one: get to a place where you feel confident enough to walk away, to tune it out, to say…. You’re not talking to me. Not today Satan, not today! So… how do we get there…?

 

How do I learn to love myself (even if that doesn’t include loving my figure)?

That is the kicker. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not a line you cross and never go back. It’s a muscle, you have to grow it, flex it, work it out. Sometimes you forget how and you need to re-learn.

self love

Hate is like a drug, you need to wean off and sometimes you will relapse. Self-hate likes to control you. It’s seductive. It lets you give up on yourself. It lets you listen to the messages you are constantly flooded with. It taps into your need to fit in, your need to be part of the tribe, your need to survive. That doubt, the knot in the back of your throat, it’s addicting. We love to torture ourselves with the what ifs, the one days the if only.

 

This is the thing, that space, the self-loathing, doubting, hypothetical space, it thrives off of your fear. It keeps you picking yourself apart because staying there is safer… safer than going out and living the life you want.

 

Dreaming but never going after it, that’s the safe space. Because if you don’t try, you don’t fail. But if you don’t fail you don’t learn and if you don’t learn you don’t evolve.

 

Listen, it’s not easy and it’s not painless and it sure as hell isn’t a straight line, cut and dry or even tangible… but LIVING YOUR LIFE with integrity, with self-love with self-worth…WE ALL DESERVE THAT. WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF IT.

 

So going back to your body body… because after all, we do live in these vessels right? I have a theory! Once you really flex those Zen muscles. You work on just being happier because hot damn, you are ALIVE today. Because you CHOSE to give ZERO FUCKS about social media, the Kardashian’s and whoever else makes you feel like you are not good enough. That is a choice.

weight loss

Start by clearing up your feed. I only follow people who make me feel good.

And if I have to unfollow that one account with the really cute girl who is always posting self-love messages from the gym with her perfect hair, and makeup and outfit and it’s all a little too glamour shots to be real and omg it triggers some shit… .…. then unfollow!!!!

Just because an account is a self-described #selflove #bodypositive guru or whatever, doesn’t mean that they SPEAK TO YOU. Find your people. Surround yourself with messages that give you the warm and fuzzies, that put some pep in your step.

 

Now… if once you get your ish in order. You’re feeling pretty good about life. You fully appreciate this body of yours even if you don’t love it. Like you’re cool, you’re on speaking terms. Great. You have compassion and all that. Now, and only now are you truly ready to take on the tremendous commitment to lifestyle changes that may result in body composition changes.

 

Note: LIFESTYLE CHANGES THAT MAY RESULT IN BODY COMPOSITION CHANGES.

 

These words are chosen very carefully. Here’s why: DIETS DON’T WORK. Also, if you have been overweight since forever, or a really long time, you may diet and see results and then you will gain all the ish back and earn yourself some metabolic damage too. So!

self love

You buckle in for the long haul. Commit to starting by making healthy choices that work for you, that make you feel your best. Wanting to change the way you look isn’t a bad thing. You’re not a shitty person and you aren’t failing at self-love.

 

But you know what IS SHITTY? Constantly complaining or wishing or expecting something to change without actually changing anything! I tell people this all the time, NOTHING WILL CHANGE IF YOU DON’T CHANGE.

Y’all… clear as day: YOUR BEHAVIOR, your actions, YOUR CHOICES are everything.

 

So on that note: EPIGENETICS. Gene expression. With how we live, eat and think we are telling our genes how to express. While humans haven’t evolved in 10,000 years, we have turned on or off some switches. Moral of the story: we all have some rad DNA that wants to be healthy, that wants to thrive, we just have to act in a way that lets our genes express that optimally.

My Healing Story: AIP and Keto and Self Love

And here is where I go from woo-woo to actionable.

 

  • Treat yo self right. That includes eating right. And eating right means eating whole foods, unaltered ingredients, properly prepared. Eat enough to fuel your body. Move your body. Walk, stretch, yoga, cross fit, ride your bike, swim… move however you can. Fuel your body enough to balance hormones, to repair, to give you energy.
  • Don’t overeat. No binging. No starving. Fuel your body properly. The message to not overeat is not a pass to under eat. It’s really not that complicated. But we need to kick binge eating habits. Make sure you get sufficient calories in your body. Eating whole foods and avoiding hyperpalatable processed foods will eventually get your hunger signals working properly again. Aim to eat satisfying meals so you can go 3-5 hours between them, ideally. So load up your plate baby.
  • Quality matters. I’m sorry, drive-thruhru free pass here. I call it like it is. Crap food is crap food and you can make all the excuses you want for the reasons “YOU NEED TO EAT IT SOMETIMES” but that’s exactly what they are, excuses. Plus, this high calorie, low nutrient food messes with hunger signals. Leaves you nutritionally starving. No one, ever, needs McDonald’s. You will invest time in cooking and shopping. You will have to learn to cook. Facts. It doesn’t work without that, unless you can afford a private chef.

 

Feeling good about your choices, how you are living your life. Honoring your body by nourishing it can really heal a lot of the wounds of the past. I used to binge eat when I left like shit about being fat. Smart right? But that was it, food was my comfort, but it was also a form of self-harm. I spent so much time feeling ashamed of food, ashamed of what I hate, how much I hate. A vicious cycle of shame, guilt and punishment. So when I wanted to lose weight I would starve myself. I would do these crazy diets. Take pill, wraps, teas. People….I TRIED IT ALL.

 

What I learned about myself and learned about a lot of people in this community… Food is only the beginning.

So with this post, I hope to inspire you to look inward first. To come from a place of compassion with yourself. To mend some of those wounds of the past before you jump into weight loss goal-oriented lifestyle changes. No matter how I look somedays I still feel like a fat little girl. Inside, I often still hurt and doubt,  I work really hard to overcome that, and it’s an ongoing process. But along the way, with a healthy lifestyle, by having energy and balanced hormones that help stabilize my mood on a chemical level I am better equipped to deal with the emotional baggage that I carry.

I get it. I am you. I have felt every pang, every hit, every time someone made you feel less than because of how you looked. I carry those memories with me still, they are etched in my brain. I used to think that when I got healthy, that when I lost weight they would magically go away, or not bother me anymore. They’re still there. But you know what, those memories don’t define me and I feel stronger. I know that if was in the same situation I would stand up for myself. Although we don’t get re-dos in life, we do get chances, and I urge you to take this chance to live the life you want.

 

Taking responsibility for my own actions vs. deflecting all blame and letting life happen to me.

Committing to educating myself, putting in the work, reading the labels, Googling shit, truly taking ownership of my own body and what I put in it. Not expecting handouts, free rides, passes or for any of this to be easy, because it’s not. Knowing that if you have made it this far, that if you have survived the trauma, the bullying, the emotional abuse from peers and family members that you are strong AF and you can do this. Your scars don’t make you broken, they make you bulletproof.

 

My body has changed, slowly, but it has gotten strong and lean and healthy and the lumps and bumps I used to see when I looked in the mirror… hey, some of them are still there… But I also see a tall, curvy, sexy figure with (omg totally new to me) muscle definition. It’s like seeing my body for the first time, emerging from this physical and psychological baggage I have carried with my entire life.

I stopped comparing my body to other bodies because my body is unique to me. NO one out there has “my dream body” because no one out there has my body. No more comparison. No more looking at magazines and sighing. Know that when you make healthy changes that will sustain your emotional well being, as well as your physical well being you will evolve to have an even deeper appreciation for that miracle that is your body. Thousands of chemical responses, electricity and regeneration, an ongoing eco-system with one purpose, to keep you alive!

 

The magic here is that whether the changes happening are physical or emotional or a little bit of both… I see myself with new eyes.

 

So think of how you see yourself. Think of why you see yourself that way? Has the world hurt you? Do you feel vulnerable, unwanted, scared? I get it. And wanting to change to not feel that way is normal. Remember YOU HAVE THE POWER. How you experience the world is a choice. Choose to fill your life with those who support you and honor you. Find a place of self-love and body neutrality. From there, from a place of peace and compassion, that is when you are primed to make lasting lifestyle changes.

 

You can design the life you want to live and who you want to be. That’s the beauty of this world, there is only ONE YOU, and you decide how you get to live! Take up space, be loud, speak up, wear the red lipstick, by the dress.

You are worthy. You are enough. You are beautiful.

Hormone Rollercoaster: How to work with your cycle, not against it!

Do Calories Matter? (weight loss on a whole food lifestyle)

Is Keto Right For You?

The information here is not meant to replace medical care
or advice. Please consult your doctor before making 
dietary changes.

Keto (Ketogenic Diet), the latest rage in fix-all diets, right? Wrong! There is no ONE right way for everyone as we discussed on the Food As Medicine Page. However, keto can be a powerful healing and weight loss tool. But it’s definitely not for everyone, so if you have tried it and did not feel right. Don’t despair.

Keto is like a big overcorrection for the overconsumption of refined carbs and sugars in our society.

Decades of consuming 100-200lbs of sugar, per person, per year, led us to be a vastly diabetic or pre-diabetic society. This is why keto is working for so many people, because yes, SO MANY PEOPLE have blood sugar regulation issues.

How does keto relate to ancestral health?

Our ancestors, whether they adhered to a low carb, high protein, or vastly plant-based diet all had the metabolic ability to use fat as fuel. Living in a time where food sources were not readily available, eating only what they needed to survive, primal humans often fasted, whether intentional or not. They would thrive on the resources available to them and overconsumption was not a problem they had. They also didn’t suffer from chronic illness or obesity.

Metabolic flexibility seems to be the goal.

Or at least it should be. To train your body to use fat as fuel. No small feat in an era where we have been stuffed with grain and refined sugars our entire lives. ALL processed foods contain some form of sugar. Post the agricultural revolution our diets became primarily grain-based and all of a sudden very low in protein, fat, and nutrients.

So keto looks to correct this. Used in clinics, by doctors for over 50 years. There are powerful medical benefits of ketosis to treat diabetes and neurological disorders. I believe that a whole foods approach to keto is not only safe but very nutrient dense!

A keto diet starves the body of glucose, omitting the grains and sugar it has been addicted and dependant on for quick, cheap, abundant energy your entire life and trains your body to use fat as fuel.

When the body no longer has stored glycogen to use it will metabolize fat in the liver to create ketones. Ketones are like slow burning fuel. Think of sugar as kindling and fat at logs. When your body can burn fat for fuel it doesn’t need food every 2-3 hours, you don’t get sugar high and sugar lows. You have mental clarity and sweet cravings all but disappear.

Metabolic flexibility is when you can use fat for fuel, and your body prefers it (fat adapted) but when glucose is present (from whole food sources like tubers or fruit) your body will use it up quickly and then go back to burning fat without skipping a beat (think high-intensity workouts). This is the sweet spot!

However, many people need to adhere to a rather strict low carb keto approach before getting there. After all, you can’t repair a damaged system overnight. Again, I stress that Dr. Price’s rules still apply. Fats, primarily from animals, properly prepared. Whole foods. Non-negotiable.

Popular keto sites and recipes boast loads of processed dairy, sugar-free soda, and non-caloric sweeteners. While I think that some of these sweeteners (the food-based ones) have their (very moderate) place in a keto diet, especially during the time of transition. Becoming addicted to a sugar replacement instead of real sugar isn’t any better.

A standard ketogenic diet consists of your calories coming mainly from fat 60-70% (which is much like our ancestors), 5-10% from carbs (whole food/ vegetable sources), and the rest from protein, about 20-25%!  I’m not militant about it, and I think people can become fat adapted within a wide range of ketogenic macronutrients because we are all so different.

Other benefits to ketosis is that ketones can be anti-inflammatory. I have combined AIP and Keto to reach my personal healing goals. You can read more about that HERE and HERE.

Is Keto right for you?

  • I get very tired after meals
  • I need to nap around 3 or 4 pm daily
  • I have read Wired to Eat and did the 7-day carb test and I am insulin resistant
  • I am a diagnosed type two diabetic or diagnosed with insulin resistance
  • I store a lot of body fat in my midsection and it won’t budge!
  • I don’t react well to starches and sugar, even natural sugars like honey
  • I suffer from severe brain fog and can’t focus
  • I have suffered from a head injury, neurological disorders or have a predisposition to Alzheimer’s
  • I don’t run marathons or do any high intensity or endurance sports, but I like to stay active
  • I have tried paleo and other whole food approaches to healing and weight loss and have not seen the results I’m looking for.

If you said yes to any of these, you might want to consider a ketogenic approach to paleo/ whole food living!

Go Back:  Food As Medicine Page HERE. 

Keto Resources:

Keto Recipes:

-Carne Asada Meatballs

-Swedish Meatballs

-Keto Wings

-Blueberry Pancakes

-3 ingredient mug cake

-Coffee Creamer

-Sunshine Fat Bombs

– Beef and Broccoli with Sunshine Fat Bombs

Keto Veggie Buns 

Eat With Intention: ditch the diet mindset

I get it, sometimes we need all the rules and the structure to get us to a better place. But sometimes, we lean to much on these rules. We thrive in their structure and fall apart our own. Classic helicopter parenting mistake. You have to make your own mistakes, fail- get back up and do it all on your own to really learn.

If you’re ready to let go of the proverbial diet hand and walk on your own two feet into a lifestyle that you can live with…  I challenge you…

#eatwithintention 

 

How is this different than a Whole30 or AIP Keto Reset?

There are no rules here. No restriction. You can eat with intention all the time, you can do so in whichever way you feel the need to.

Resets, elimination diets, detox programs… they have their place. Maybe that is where you are now?

Do you seek a lot of structure, rules, restrictions or parameters to feel in control of your eating or successful in your efforts? That’s cool. We need that sometimes. That’s why SHORT TERM… 21, 30-day programs are PERFECT for you.

Once you’ve graduated from that phase in your life and your healing… sometimes you are jiving with your food freedom and you feel good. But you still yearn for that purpose. It feels kinda nice to be mission oriented… or you know… life happens… food is just food and sometimes we lose sight of our goals or just get a little careless.

Which, guess what? IS A-OKAY! You don’t have to live your life always working on eating a certain way. But sometimes you’re in the upside down… or you know… that in-between phase.

You have been in your groove for a while, but you still have some goals. You like to keep some pep in your step. You still have in the back of your mind that feeling of… what if one day it all goes off the rails, the whole ship burns down…. Or not… you’re human. We all are.

Keto vs. Paleo

So what is this eat with intention thing?

 

We all have to eat. So instead of looking toward rules or restrictions, I challenge you to be mindful. To create your meals with the intention of ________ (that’s your cue, fill in the blank).

 

Heal.

Grow.

Gains.

Be satisfied.

Eat without fear.

Enjoyment.

Get more greens.

Get more protein.

Eat more colors.

Feel good.

Cook more.

Cook less.

Freedom.

For EXAMPLE… my intention for next month: recover better from workouts and gains so I’m going to be more mindful of protein intake. I also want to optimize gut health and digestion, mitigate some bloating. So I’m going to skip keto sweeteners for now. Not to say that I won’t have sweets (hello dark chocolate). I’ll be eating fermented foods and lots of collagen, bone broth and what not.

My Healing Story: AIP and Keto and Self Love

Intention> Action

 

I can DO all the things. The POWERFUL thing here is my intention to grain muscle and heal my gut by not adding restrictions or rules to my diet. The power here is in the intention, the very thought and belief that what I am doing is what I want and need to do to reach my goals, be happy etc.

 

Intentions over Restriction. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace. Know that you ARE worth it. #eatwithintention 

 

 

 

Staying On Track On The Road (Healthy Keto Travel Hacks)

healthy keto travel hacks
This post is embedded with affiliate links that keep Castaway Kitchen afloat. Thank you.

How I survive traveling for 10 days on an AIP Keto Lifestyle? Here are my best healthy keto travel hacks!

As many of you know, I just went on a book tour for my first ever book, Made Whole!

One thing about being on the road and finally getting to meet so many of you in person is that not only did I want to feel my best, but I wanted to look my best! Yes, the pressure of making a first, in real life, good impression is so real.

While some things I could not foresee or control, like my chapped lips from the dry West Coast weather, I was overall really impressed with how well I fared.

No weight gain, no bloating, no flares. Mental clarity. High energy. Good sleep!

So how did  I do it? 

  • Planning + Fasting
  • Making the best of it + Supplement Support
  • Resting + Moving my body

 

Planning + Fasting

No surprise here. Planning ahead is important. I booked my hotels, communicated with my hosts and did a little internet recon on stores in the areas. Not sure how much of a healthy keto travel hack looking up health food stores neary by is, but it’s one thing I do everywhere I go.

 

For short flights, I prepared to have my fatty coffee before or during the flight and made sure to have water and salt with me. No food packed for these because I prefer to fat fast when I fly. It keeps me sated without having to worry about food choices on the go. Also helps with water retention and bloating.

 

I also packed my Primally Pure beauty cream and complexion mist to keep my skin hydrated (ps. last day to save 10% on Primally Pure with code CASTAWAY10).

 

For longer flight or evening flights, I would fat fast during the day. Eat one large meal before the flight and pack a light snack like an Epic Bar or a hard-boiled egg. Water, always. Drinking hot tea on the flights also helped.

 

I always kept Vital Proteins Collagen packets, Wild Foods Cacao Butter and Dark Chocolate in my purse at all times. With these 3 items, I could turn any hot beverage into a delicious, fatty mocha that would hold me over until viable food options were available. Honestly, I need a battery powered frother, it would up my game.

 

Making the Best of It and Supplement Support

 

Because I was only staying 1-2 nights in a city and had a budget on my per diem set by my publisher, I decided to skip the AirBnB this time around, so no kitchen.

I did, however, find a health food store (Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) and made my way there, usually after I got my hair done at the nearest blow dry bar. I would pick up kombucha, coconut yogurt, pre-made burger patty. A few select items to tide me over in the hotel room.

The Whole Foods in Dallas has pre-made hard-boiled, cage-free eggs. Those were an awesome score! Think simple, think portable, think okay to eat cold. Read labels!!!! On anything pre-made, even by the store, just to double check.

 

Since I was only eating one meal a day, plus a hotel room snacks, I only had to worry about getting one decent hot meal a day. From the airport Radisson to the Doubletree I always chose a simple protein.

Steak, no seasoning, only salt. Salmon, no seasoning, only salt. Pan seared.

Plain salad or seasonal veggies on the side. All dressings and salads on the sides.

I did have to pick tomatoes out of a dish in Dallas because they weren’t listed on the menu.

Supplements to help me along the way were also integral.

Fish Oil and Turmeric to ward off inflammation.

Digestive Enzymes (before meals) and Activated Charcoal (one a day) to clear out toxins from my gut.

 

Magnesium glycinate before bed to sleep well.

 

Electrolytes or electrolyte water to keep me hydrated.

In Miami I went to my mom’s gym. Old Bull Athletics!

Rest + Move

 

When you are traveling sleep is king. Don’t worry about working out if you’re not getting enough sleep.

 

I was fortunate to get in quite a bit of sleep on my travels, so much so that I missed a flight! That being said, I also got in a few workouts. Not nearly as much as I would have had I been home, but enough to keep me feeling good.

 

How did I get so much sleep? Just say NO. No to unnecessary social engagements. No to another drink, round, etc. Might seem lame or boring, but when you feel like death the next day, you will be wishing you had just gone to bed. Bonus, when you do speaking engagements like I was going, meeting and connecting with so many people, it’s a lot of energy! You give and receive energy with everyone you meet and that can leave you feeling wired. Heading home early to unwind is a smart choice.

 

Here are some options for getting your sweat on when you travel:

Guest at a gym. Ask your local friends to take you to their gym with a day pass. Call ahead to some local gyms and see if they do day passes. Scope out hotels with gyms or even the awesome fitness suite I booked at the DoubleTree.

 

Find trails. Long walking paths, hikes, parks. Get outside. Walk around, run. Play.

 

Walk around the mall! Seriously. If you’re somewhere cold or rainy. Find the mall, and window shop. Even try on clothes! Just get your body up and moving.

That’s All Folks! Keep it simple. Focus on real food. Sleep. Hydrate. If you can, move your body. Safe travels!

keto travel hacks

 

My Healing Story: AIP and Keto and Self Love

How to Create an Easy, Sustainable Meal Plan on Keto

 

 

Birthday Post: the things I learned when I was thirty two

I guess I’m an hour early… but… Thirty-Three. Today, or well June 20th, is the day, another trip around the sun. I want to talk about a few things, a few themes that have really stood out in the last year for me.

 

  • Body positivity
  • Hormone health
  • Inflammation, the reduction of it
  • Accepting that I can’t control everything

 

So let’s start with that last one and we’ll work our way up shall we!

 

Let it gooooo….

In the last year we were assigned a new duty station, so for about six months of the year I had no idea where we were going to live and every few weeks we would obsess about the available options and imagine creating (or coping) a life there and then, nope. Not chosen, wait again. Until finally at the very last minute… Virginia. Which is where we are now. I rode that emotional roller coaster for two months until I just said… F that! Whatever will be will be.

 

So many other things in life just happen once you decide to accept that whatever the outcome will be, it will be what is meant to be and that you can make it work.

 

In January of last year, for the third time in my culinary career, a friend of mine said… I’m going to tell my publisher your idea… just for them to get back to me with another no. Yup… I might have a book about to come out, but it didn’t just fall in my lap. After several NO’s… another friend, another opportunity arose, months later… and you know the timing was even better. My message was clearer, my narrative more positive. It was meant to be, and in just 27 days my cookbook will be out in the world.

 

You know what I did when I got turned down by those first publishers… I said… let me focus on my work, on honing my craft, on helping people. Eventually, my work will get the attention it deserves a book will happen. So I let go of the idea for a while and focused on building up other areas of my life and in turn, it circled back to fulfill my dream!

Get my book baby here. 

There’s an old Latin saying… Cuado esta pa’ ti, esta pa’ ti… When it’s right for you, it’s just right for you.

 

Food Related Inflammation vs. Stress Related Flares

Say what? Yes. In the last year, I have seen my dietary related inflammation disappear almost completely. I have honed in my food intolerances both digestive and hormone-related. Keto has really been the final nail in that coffin.

 

Did you know ketosis has an anti-inflammatory effect? Not to mention the level insulin levels and balanced hormones, all play into really helping with that. However, regular keto is not what I do. This is my AIP(ish) , real food, dairy free keto. It’s truly a lifestyle built on four pillars. Nutrient density. Intuitive Eating. Movement. Sleep.

Now… sort of going back to part #1, you know, about control. I like to control my health and I like feeling like I am doing, eating, sleeping and moving in ways that make me feel good. So when I do all of those things… and then… dun dun dun…. Swelling… or Something hurts… I FREAK OUT JUST A TINY BIT. I’m at the point where I am not scared of food nor do I see it as the cause of all inflammation. Stress people. We don’t give it enough credit.

 

But guess what? Moving from Hawaii to Virginia is STRESSFUL. Writing, photographing, editing a cookbook is STRESSFUL. Releasing a year’s worth of work to the world. Writing that is vulnerable. Hundreds of recipes all at once, in print, that you can’t go back and edit, that have to be perfect …. Is STRESSFUL.

 

Stress makes you more insulin resistant, stress impedes digestion…chronic stress messes with our sex hormones causing some crappy symptoms like weird periods, inflammation, cramps and more. And while I have some great coping mechanisms in place, other than giving myself grace, and making damn sure I stick to my health habits… there is not much I can do to mitigate this.  So this anti-inflammatory thing will probably be an ongoing battle, but as long as I’m winning most of the time, I can live with that. Which brings me to our next section…

HORMONES!

I’ve learned a lot about how diet affects our hormones in the last year. I have been able to get my estrogen dominance under control. I think to the point of overcorrection honestly. But in general, tracking my cycle. Knowing the symptoms of ovulation, of my follicular phase and my luteal phase has really deciphered my body. I also now can gage when there is a change really well. I can tell how food directly affects my cycle and what kinds of food I crave during different times.

 

For example, during my follicular phase, especially in the first few days I could live off of animal protein, offal, fat and dark chocolate. Pretty sure this is me needing B vitamins and iron.  Once I ovulate I begin to crave more vegetables, light foods and once I’m full on luteal I really crave soups, roasted veggies, and seeds!  Which is an indicator that my body needs a little glycogen, fiber, and probably some estrogenic compounds from the seeds with that post ovulation hormone dip.

 

As far as stress and hormones go… my sister is pretty sure I have pregnenolone steal going on. All this book business + a move took a number. Pregnenolone steal is when you are chronically stressed and you can’t produce any more cortisol so your body steals sex hormones since they are a secondary function to keep this fight or flight response going. This is a major oversimplification… but it’s how my brain understands it. Really good post about it HERE.

 

Once my life isn’t bananas I will create a plan of action to address this and will share more info with you all. But for now, I will say I have been taking a lot of magnesium and trying to rest more, physically and mentally.

More posts about hormone health HERE and HERE. 

I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt…

Yes… Body Positivity.

If you could not tell by this hilarious photo shoot… which.. BTW I took myself, #selfportrait because I found this amazing formal dress at TJ Maxx on sale and I had to have it to wear at my cousin’s wedding and hot damn I felt sexy in it. So I did my make up and set that self-timer and had myself a little party. It was awesome, and also a workout! Ha!

So in the last year I really, truly, finally let go of the notion that I need to weigh less. This realization came when I hit my lowest weight ever, and was so so so so so so sooooooo happy about it.. to the go back up… and then bounce between my lowest and 8lbs more. Forever. But then I also felt strong. Looked good. I was seeing definition and I was feeling myself.  I loved the food I was eating… I wasn’t willing to change or to restrict anything for that damn number.

So I said, hey body, you’re doing pretty damn good, let’s just keep this going. And you know what… I’ve gained muscle. I’ve gotten fit and strong and I’ve dropped a dress size. I’m not really smaller. My body doesn’t shrink and I don’t want it to. Where my waist cinches, my thighs bulk up and my back gets defined. But I’m happy. I’m learning that even with a 60lb weight loss. Even with building a lot of muscle… even with… xyz… bodies all look different and I need to love the way my body looks now instead of pursuing some image I saw on IG once.

So love your self-today. You’ll be happier. Want to reach your goals… manifest them. It’s half knowing you can get there and half knowing you sort of already are….

Overall 32 was AMAZING!

 

It’s the year my business took off. It’s a year I helped hundreds if not thousands of folks find health, confidence, and happiness. It’s the year I made my dreams come true. I wrote a freaking book!!! Ahhh!!!

 

I continue to learn, to grow, to evolve. I am still passionate and determined more than ever to spread the message that food is medicine and it should taste damn good.

 

I want to empower everyone, but especially women to move your bodies. Get strong. Feel bad ass. I want to help you BURN THE WAGON. Create lasting change and find the food freedom I have.

 

I want to keep helping you and others and I am more inspired than ever!! If you want to meet me, I like to give hugs! RSVP to my book your here: BOOK TOUR. 

 

Keto vs. Paleo

Made Whole: more than just dairy free keto cookbook

Keto and Hypoglycemia

Why I Should Have Prioritzed Post Partum Self Care

What is the AIP? A complete guide to the autoimmune protocol

AIP

What is the Autoimmune Protocol?

Autoimmune protocol, autoimmune paleo or AIP for short is an elimination diet designed to heal leaky gut and reduce inflammation with the purpose of reversing symptoms caused by autoimmune disease. It is also used so that one can find out which foods are the aggravating their symptoms, causing inflammation and essentially making their autoimmune disease worse.

 

What is an Autoimmune Disease?

Essentially an autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body. Yup, your body is attacking itself. For people with Hashimoto’s it’s the thyroid, multiple sclerosis the nerves, arthritis the joints and so on.

There are more than eighty autoimmune diseases, they are notoriously difficult to diagnose, and many people with autoimmunity live with their diseases for decades without getting much help from their doctors. This is why the AIP community is so prolific. Vast, growing, and very active. People in forums, blogs and communities helping each other navigate this world of healing through diet a lifestyle changes. 

 

 

How Does The AIP Help?

The autoimmune protocol eliminates specific foods based on their levels of antinutrients and gut permeability. The list of food to exclude seems extensive, but remember, you need to eliminate any and all possible triggers foods. All the foods on the list have the potential to irritate the digestive system, damage the gut, and, when leaky gut is present, even seep through the intestinal wall and trigger inflammation.

 

Now, let’s not VILIFY any foods. The foods OMITTED are POSSIBLE irritants. We will discuss the details later on. These foods are not bad or good, it’s just science. Pretty much everything we eat has the potential to harm up and heal us. Some more than others. This elimination diet is meant as a baseline, a template for you to work with to find out what works for you.

How can you live symptom-free, pain-free, inflammation-free? Find that sweet spot! Then you can start testing food to add back into your diet.

That’s right, elimination diets aren’t meant to last forever. Even the autoimmune protocol…  It’s a TOOL, to learn your trigger foods so you an avoid them, and go on living your life. The more variety of foods in your diet the better!

How to Start The AIP

First, choose your approach. Some folks rip the band aid off. They go head first, cold turkey. Some folks need to ease into it. I took me several months to do it. I did a Whole30 first. Then I stuck to a paleo template. Eventually, I committed. I got rid of all non-compliant foods. Meal prepped. Bought all the meat and veggies, bone broth etc.

Whichever method you decide… it’s okay. We’re all different. Having information is your greatest tool for success. You will need to prepare all of your meals. Freezer, AIP, meal prep are your new BFF’s. This company sells and delivers frozen AIP meals, and they are good too!

Digital Resources:

AIP KETO MEAL PLAN

AIP MEAL PLANS

PRESSURE COOKER EBOOK

FREEZER EBOOK

 

 

 

 

 

Hard Cover Books:

Autoimmune Paleo

The Healing Kitchen

The Paleo Approach

Made Whole 

 

Foods to omit on the AIP:

Coffee (I know, it’s brutal)

Cacao

All grains

All legumes (even green beans)

All nuts

All seeds

Seed and Berry based spices (e.g., cumin, peppercorns)

Eggs

All dairy (even ghee and butter)

All nightshades (peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes—sweet potatoes are fine)

Processed sugars (honey and maple syrup are fine)

Artificial sweeteners (even stevia)

Processed foods (check labels for preservatives and emulsifiers)

 

Foods accepted on the AIP:

All animal proteins

All vegetables and fruits (except nightshades—see the “omit” list)

Coconut and coconut products (e.g., coconut milk, coconut flour)

Lard

Bacon

Rendered animal fats

Avocados

Olive oil

Salt

Herbs

From THE EXPERT HERSELF… THEPALEOMOM.COM 

AIP food list

 

The first medical study on it was conducted last year with patients who had inflammatory bowel disease, and 73 percent saw improvement or remission! Here’s what the researchers said: “Clinical remission was achieved by week 6 by 11/15 (73%) of study participants, and all 11 maintained clinical remission during the maintenance phase of the study. [This] rivals … most drug therapies for IBD.”[1]

I understand that seems impossible, it can be stressful, which is why I am a big proponent of choosing your own start method. My biggest piece of advice is to give yourself time. You won’t see results in a few days or even a few weeks. It takes time to reverse leaky gut!

You have to be patient.

You need to keep a detailed food journal. What you ate, when, how you felt. Also, journal any and all symptoms. It’s the only way to map out the correlations and be sure of the foods that could cause issues.

What to Look For?

Short of an autoimmune flare, you know, your autoimmune disease rearing its ugly head… there are some subtle signs a food isn’t jiving…

A headache, runny nose, fatigue, digestive distress, itchy skin, bloating, gas, burping, hives.

Please note… if you’re already sick with a cold, and you have a runny nose, it’s the cold, not the food. If you are super stressed or overworked… the fatigue is probably that, not the food. Don’t go crazy blaming EVERYTHING on food. You have to be honest with yourself about lifestyle factors.

When To Begin Re-Introductions

The rule of thumb is when your flare free more often than not. Do you feel better? Are you in remission or almost there? It’s really a personal choice.Be honest with yourself. Here is a good resource to help you… 

 

 

What are Anti-Nutrients?

Lectins, solanine, saponin: Found in beans, nuts, wheat, and most vegetables with skin and seeds, these antinutrients survive digestion and can penetrate the gut lining.

Gluten: The most difficult-to-digest protein, extremely irritating to the gut.

Tannins: Enzyme inhibitors that prevent the proper digestion of protein.

Oxalates: Found in coffee, sesame seeds, beans, these can interfere with nutrient absorption.

Phytic acid: Found in grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and coconut, this can interfere with the absorption of minerals and inhibits the digestive enzymes that break down starch and proteins.

Antinutrients are found in all plants; however, many foods, like those allowed on the autoimmune protocol, contain lower levels, and the benefits greatly outweigh any possible, harmful effects, after all, we have to eat something! 

The good news is that there are many ways to further reduce the anti-nutrient content of foods so even though you may not be able to enjoy nuts or seeds now, perhaps after healing leaky gut you can enjoy them sprouted! Look at how our ancestors prepared foods, sprouting, fermenting, soaking; preparation methods which makes foods much easier to digest!

Other foods like eggs and dairy are omitted because these foods easily permeate the gut lining and hitch a ride on the bloodstream causing all sorts of havoc! 

 

Troubleshooting During the AIP

Are autoimmune protocol compliant foods making your flare? Have you given it at least 3 months and still not seeing results? Here are some other factors to consider….

Insulin Resistance: When your cells no longer respond to the insulin secreted by your pancreas. This can also tax the liver. I think keto is a great tool to improve insulin sensitivity. I have an AIP + Keto Reset HERE.  Or my Keto-Paleo cookbook with over 110 AIP recipes HERE. 

SIBO: Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. You need to starve the bad bacteria in your gut. Take a probiotic. Avoid starchy foods, fruit, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus and leeks (as well as other AIP non-compliant foods).  More info HERE. 

Low Fodmap: Some folks need to avoid foods high in Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. Implementing a Low Fodmap would mean to avoid all onion and garlic, most fruit, cauliflower, cassava, celery, taro, juices, fermented foods! More Info HERE. 

Candida: If you’re suffering from thrush or a yeast overgrowth you need to avoid sugars and foods with naturally occurring yeast. On top of the AIP, avoid fruits, sweeteners, berries, pork and tuna. Be wary of vinegar, kombucha, and other fermented foods. 

You may talk to your healthcare practitioner or research and deduce that you may have one of these or many of these issues going on, along with your autoimmunity. Combining the appropriate protocols, the autoimmune protocol ++ is what I like to call it, can be tough as hell, but also very useful. Remember… it’s not meant to last forever! 

Closing Thoughts

Elimination diets, healing diets and protocols are my jam. I have done several and constantly experiment with them as my body heals. I have also been at this for 3 years and while I have seen great improvement I am not done. I still can’t eat a lot of things… and I am okay with that. Remember to also work on the emotional side of healing. Do not resent your body, hate it or be angry with it. You need to practice self-love, grace and appreciation for the knowledge and tools at your disposal as you go forward to heal yourself. 

Related Posts:

 

My Healing Story: AIP and Keto and Self Love

Keto vs. Paleo

Living La Vida AIP 

How I Healed my Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Healing Is Not Linear

TLC Challenge 

 

AIP

[1] G. Konijeti et al., “Efficacy of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease,” Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 23, no. 11 (November 2017): 2054–2060.

Made Whole Cookbook (Dairy Free, Nightshade Free, Nut Free)

 

I am honored, thrilled and absolutely blessed to present to you

Made Whole: More than 145 Anti-Inflammatory Keto Paleo Recipes to Nourish You from the Inside Out 

Get Your Copy Now

dairy free keto cookbook

How This Book IS Different

Made Whole is a collection of recipes that are seriously intent on benefiting you. I take the guesswork out of creating meals that will nourish you, heal you, help you and that taste freaking amazing.

Not only are ALL of the recipes dairy free (when butter or ghee are used it is ALWAYS OPTIONAL), the whole book is free of nuts, nightshades, grains, gluten, sugar or alcohol. However, ALL of the recipes are full of flavor. They are inventive and inspiring. They use EASY TO SOURCE INGREDIENTS.

The book does not require any supplement or specialty ingredients past collage/gelatin. I include ONE MASTER SHOPPING LIST. That’s right, you can cook from ANY page in the book with this one master list, on page 50.

I did this because I am a mom, I am on a budget, I am like you. Even writing this book those factors were at play. It made it easy to buy the same thing week and after week (changing out my proteins) to create new recipes for the book.

I have gotten in the best shape of my life writing this book. Healthier than ever. Inflammation down. The 6 months it took me to write this (record time, I know), were so damn transformative for me. Inside and out!  That passion is woven into these pages! I want this for you.

Ingredients in this book are very carefully chosen. Each recipe crafted to fill a need. To nourish your body, mind, and soul.

Order Now!

Editorial Reviews for Made Whole Cookbook

“One of my biggest gripes with the keto lifestyle is that people can still eat crap and technically be in ketosis. Eating trash and having high ketone levels is not healthy. Cristina does an amazing job at making a keto diet nourishing by using clean, anti-inflammatory ingredients that promote health and ketosis.”

– Anthony Gustin DC, MS, CSCS Founder Perfect Keto, Equip Foods

“Made Whole is a must-have for anyone that has ever struggled to find their way in the keto, paleo world. Whether your goal is healing from the inside out, or weight loss, this book has you covered. With delicious recipes, and comprehensive resources, this book is a one-stop-shop. Cristina is a forward thinker, a master tinkerer, and a flavor profile genius. This book is an absolute masterpiece! I am so proud to call her a friend and a peer.”

-Kyndra Holley, International Best-selling Cookbook Author and Founder of Peace, Love and Low Carb

“Cristina has turned “food-as-medicine” into a delicious lifestyle that adapts to your body and your family’s needs. As a functional medicine practitioner who prescribes elimination diets with an emphasis on a paleo approach to keto, I am often limited in the resources available to encompass my whole foods approach. This book takes you on a journey of clean eating and gut restoration focusing on removal of AIP ingredients while ensuring an abundance of therapeutic nutrients and antioxidants. Careful attention is put into each dish, preventing roadblocks with chefs notes and substitutions allowing you to tailor it to fit your body’s needs potentially adjusting ingredients as your body becomes more resilient. Each recipe takes an innovative approach to combine clean ingredients to nourish your body and heal from the inside out from Hard Cheese with cauliflower gelatin base to Roasted Beet Marinara my mind is buzzing with the healing potential and my belly says ooooo yes!”

– Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE, functional medicine dietitian of Naturally Nourished and author of The Anti-Anxiety Diet

“For anyone looking to heal their body, Made Whole is the perfect place to start. We go years of our lives without thinking about the foods we are putting into our bodies and how they impact us, but with Made Whole you learn that real, whole food can be delicious, rich in nutrients and restorative all at the same time. Cristina makes a healthy lifestyle approachable for everyone, which is why this a staple book in our household. She reminds us that most of our symptoms and lifestyle choices all tie back to the foods we eat, and her dedication to others and passion for cooking come through in each page. The best part about this book is that it feels like it was written for us and when you hold it in your hands you will understand the feeling. From the section where she shares “secrets” from her mother’s kitchen to all the detail and thought put into each recipe, you’ll feel like Cristina is right there in the kitchen cooking alongside with you!”

– Megha Barot + Matt Gaedke, Authors of Keto Made Easy and Founders of Keto Connect

“I love Cristina’s passion in the kitchen and her dedication to her health and delicious food.”

– Teri Turner, Founder of NoCrumbsLeft

“Anybody who’s interacted with Cristina has felt the authenticity and unapologetic optimism she radiates…. This relentlessly vivacious spirit has become Cristina’s calling card- and is the common thread that runs throughout this book, her greatest creation yet. Made Whole is an absolute knockout.  Just like it’s author, it’s approachable, easy to relate to and prioritizes what matters most: making damn good food that’s good for you…. It’s like a Primal Swiss Army Knife.”

– Mark Sisson, Bestselling author of author of The Keto Reset Diet & The Primal Blueprint

The Recipes

They range from one skillet, sheet pan, slow cooker, instant pot easy …. to some multi-step creations. Simple enough for novice chefs, but daring and creative enough to keep the seasoned cook entertained!  So much more than just a dairy-free keto cookbook… these recipes are curated for optimal nutrition and maximum enjoyment!

dairy free keto cookbook

I have a hefty Staples chapter, building blocks for the recipes… cauliflower alfredo, cheese sauce, pistou, coconut yogurt!

Small + Snacks for appetizers, parties, quick bites. Ranging from Deli Skewer with Green Goddess Dressing,  Ceviche, Smooth Chia Pudding, Protein Porridge and Croquetas de Jamon. This versatile chapter has recipes to meal prep for post work out nutrition or light meals to keep on hand.

Soups + Salads section has some amazing creations! From the ever-popular Feel Good Soup to A Chicken and Dumpling Soup! Salads range from fancy Curried Crab Cakes to Castaway Chicken Salad, which let me tell you, is the best damn chicken salad you will ever eat. Thai Coconut Soup, Creamy Broccoli Soup… Asian Slaw to Taco Salad!

The mains are divided up between Eggs, Beef + Lamb, Poultry, Pork, Fish and Seafood. The majority of the recipes are in the Poultry and Beef categories as these are the most popular! I only included one organ meat recipe, lol, I know. It’s not Pate!

These main dishes have range. Persian Fritatta, Eggs Benny, Shredded Jerk Chicken, Orange Chicken Skewers, Arroz Con Pollo. Slow Cooker Shwarma, Suya Stir Fry, Multinational Beef Stew to Steak Pinwheels! Lazy Loco Moco, The perfect Pan Seared Cod to a Salmon and Noodle Casserole. Braised Pork Chops with Creamy Green Beans. Crispy Kalua Pork with Crunchy Asian Salad and Shrimp and Grits… to name a few… SERIOUSLY VERSATILE.

Sides + Beverages are full of fun options. For one a legit, squeaky clean Nut Free Keto Bread, Savory Flax Waffles, Street Taco Tortillas (made of cauliflower!), Spiced Broccolini with a Cool Cilantro Sauce…  Butter Coffee, Coconut Matcha Latte and Korean Cinnamon Tea!

MOST of the recipes have variations for coconut free, AIP, egg free where possible etc.

Prep Time, Cook Time, Left Over Storage Info. I also have Time Saving Tips, Chef’s Notes and more throughout the book.

Macros are included for every recipe. There are 4 meal plans with shopping lists!

This is a dream come true and I have been planning this for a long time people! Order HERE. 

dairy free keto cookbook

The Resources

Much more than just recipes. I share my own trials and tribulations with the positive, encouragement you have come to know from me. Talk about the emotional side of healing and weight loss. I get science-y. Oh yeah.

I explain what AIP is. What Paleo is. What Keto is. I explain the how and why of my journey. I talk about insulin resistance, gut health, liver function, and hormones.

I break down the nuts and bolts of a balanced keto diet and my recommendations for finding out how to make keto work for you. I keep it real, I keep it simple, I crack a few jokes along the way.

After you get all loaded up on knowledge, I give you all of my kitchen secrets. I talk serious kitchen intuition, the right tools, shopping, sourcing, I include not only what ingredients- but where to find them! Safeway/ Kroger, Costco, Whole Foods, Amazon…

There are FOUR meals plans. Each meal plan is 2 weeks long! We’ve got an AIP meal plan. We’ve got Kid-Friendly Meal Plan (you’re welcome mom’s), Meal Prep Meal Plan aaaandddd a Keto Reset Meal Plan (no treats, no baked foods etc).

You guys… I did this ALL FOR YOU! Now here is some food porn to really seal the deal! 

Order Now! 

Sneak Peak Inside This Dairy Free Keto CookbookDAIRY FREE KETO COOKBOOK

dairy free keto cookbookDAIRY FREE KETO COOKBOOK

 

dairy free keto

dairy free keto

 

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Thank you all for your support, for being a part of this community. I hope to continue to grow, learn and heal together for years to come!!!! xxoo, Cristina 

Amazon Reviews

made whole review made whole cookbook gluten free cookbook dairy free low carb

 

 

My Healing Story: AIP and Keto and Self Love

keto transformation

How I Ended Up with Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity

Where do I begin? How long should this be? I often share fragments of my story and am yet to put it all together like this. Two reasons for that, it’s multi-faceted, it’s not linear and there are a bunch of tangents, two, do you really care? To read it all, to know from the beginning… here it is… I would like to mention that my life has not been this epic sob story although this story does highlight my hardships. Isn’t that life though, real life, the light, and the dark? I want to share my story, to tell you how AIP and Keto and self-love changed my life forever in hopes that it might inspire you, motivate or teach you.

 

I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember. Even as a baby I was bigger than my older sister and ate more than her too. Of course, as a kid, you don’t know you’re fat or that it’s not accepted by society until someone makes it clear to you. I can’t recall that exact moment, but I know it happened at some point. I remember as early as the third grade coming home in tears from school.

overweight

Even before then my otherwise happy childhood was marked by bouts of illness. Hospitalized with pneumonia at 8 months old. Chronic bronchitis, reoccurring strep throat. I remember the inhalers and antibiotics. I remember the fevers that would burn me up in cold sweats. I was sick a lot. I remember taking Dimetap and it tasted like grape Jolly Ranchers. The mineral oil spoonfuls and rectal suppositories for severe constipation.

 

We didn’t know back then, no one looked at health this way, but even as a child from ear, nose, and throat to my bottom, from one end to the other my health issues screamed of leaky gut. I could have been the combination of C-section birth, soy formula and a full course of vaccines. It could have been the anti-biotics and my family’s predisposition to autoimmunity. I could be the inherited stress from my grandmother and mother who lived and fled a communist country. Whatever the reason, of all the kids in my family- I was hit the hardest.

 

Fast forward to being a teenager with full-blown self-esteem issues, body dysmorphia and a sadness I could not explain. Desperate for people to like me, I would take the shirt off my back for anyone. Although most would remember me as upbeat, high energy and happy, I always felt a disconnect, I felt like an outsider, unwanted and unsure. I know now this was all in my head. I was living my whole life with this filter on and it was the source of so much strife.

 

My go-to source of self-harm or self-medication was food. I would sneak leftovers and snacks. I would open the fridge and gobble up food before anyone could catch me. I would eat my plate and then my sister’s leftovers. I was put on every diet ever. I cried and my mom wanted to help me so she did it the only way she knew how. As an avid dieter- yo-yo-er herself we would do these diets together.

 

I will say my mom’s culinary skills and her love of real food were a bonus, at least our diets didn’t consist of shakes or frozen meals. Although, there was that one week on the South Beach Diet where all we ate was chicken and lettuce.

 

This pattern of ultra-restriction (with rapid weight loss) and then falling off the wagon in some epic way is surely what has fucked up my metabolism and hormones.

 

Add into this 10 years binge drinking, cigarettes, and some casual drug use. Oh boy! I wish I could go back and tell my 16 or 18, shit even 23-year-old self to SSSSTTTAAAPPPP IT.That girl was in so much pain. Emotional and physical. Navigating social gatherings, beach days, boat parties, flirting, intimacy, sex with low self-esteem, body issues, and my hidradenitis suppurativa was nerve-wracking.

Ashamed of my body fat, my scars, trying to hide the hideous painful boils of my autoimmune disease, being intimate, or showing certain parts of my body was a super scary thought. One which I numbed with substance abuse. I never even spoke to anyone but my mother, sister and a few doctors about my skin condition until I got married and even then, I would hide a lot of my pain and my scars. I was like a duck. Seemingly cruising on the pond while frantically kicking beneath the surface.

 

The Turning Point

Pregnancy, having a baby, motherhood have a way of putting things into perspective. I stopped giving a F about hiding my HS around my husband, especially because it got worse. Much worse. I am not sure if it was the sleepless nights, the hormone and emotional roller coaster, the stress of motherhood. but my health took a downward spiral while my body fat just kept climbing. When we moved to Hawaii and I finally weaned my son after nursing for two years, I was at an all-time low.

 

Swollen, depressed, feeling achy, tired and worn out at 29 years old I took to the internet for answers and found an article by Tara Grant on Robb Wolf’s website. She has my same skin condition. She put it into remission through diet. She talked a lot about nightshades. I bought her book, The Hidden Plague. 

 

Finding out this disease was autoimmune, that it wasn’t my fault, that I COULD do something about it was the most empowering moment of my life. However, the journey has not been linear, it has been like climbing up a steep mountain with a windy road. Hidradentitis Suppurativa is a mystery, and it is notoriously hard to put in remission and keep in remission! So many factors at play.

Add to that giant goal the need to lose weight, get fit and healthy and I had a big job to do!

So how did I go about this seemingly impossible task?

I began by educating myself as best as I could. I researched nightshades. I brushed up on my knowledge of paleo. This lead me right to the AIP (autoimmune protocol) door. I won’t lie, it scared the shit out of me. It seemed absolutely impossible. All spices, eggs, coffee, and nuts… how in the hell?? Remember back then, although I was gluten free and mostly dairy free I was still eating grains and potato and alllll the tomatoes and peppers!

 

However, I was curious, I knew in my gut that it was what I needed to do. As my 30th birthday neared I decided to start with a Whole30. It seemed more do-able. I consciously reduced my nightshade intake and did the 30 days. It was amazing. I lost 13 pounds with that first Whole30 and felt so much better, my depression began to lift. So I stuck it out with paleo throughout the summer and finally, that fall I committed to doing the AIP.

Serious About Healing  

Yes, it took me nearly three months to muster up the grit to get through my first AIP. It was finally clear to me, that even though I was eating paleo, with all the paleo treats, the occasional wine, and nightshades, my skin was not improving at all. It was time to get serious about my health.

 

The AIP is quite the endeavor. An elimination diet that excludes all grains, dairy, gluten, beans, seeds, nuts, eggs, processed foods, and nightshades. I began the AIP as outlined in Tara Grant’s book which keeps coffee and cashews in as long as you see progress. I saw some progress, but eventually, I gave up coffee and cashews too. I saw more progress. I kept a very detailed journal.      Time, date: What I ate. How I felt immediately after and any notes following 24 hours of that meal. I logged in symptoms, sleep, stress.

 

I’m glad I kept the journal. It would have been difficult to quantify my progress. As I was still suffering from some fatigue and my hidradenitis wasn’t completely in remission I had moments of doubt, frustration. I cried a lot. But when I looked at the bigger picture I realized that my flares were farther apart and they were shorter. Lasting only 1-3 days, as opposed to weeks or months.

 

I added in one food back in at a time, coffee, eggs, wine, then nuts and seeds. Eventually, I added ghee too. I never tried to add in gluten or nightshades as even touching these foods caused my hands to itch, and I have since had a full-blown reaction when accidentally eating these foods.

 

Over the course of those first 6 months, I lost 35 pounds. I began to workout. I began to love to workout. Zumba, HIIT, weightlifting, spinning. I was on a roll. Then something happened…

 

I hit a wall. Progress came to a screeching halt. I stopped losing weight, I even began to gain some back. I was tired all the time again. I was bloated and I felt off. I had monster cravings and even though I had completed various Whole30’s (each time learning something new about my habits)  I wasn’t seeing the progress I wanted in my energy, health or body.

 

The Low Carb Life

Through research, I deduced I was having symptoms of SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), when you have too much bad bacteria in your small intestine, which feeds off of starches and sugar. So I began to cut those out.

 

Naturally, I looked into lower carb paleo and found Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint. It made so much sense and seemed to be just what I needed. So I stuck to squash over sweet potato and berries over banana. I kept researching and troubleshooting. I read Robb Wolf’s Wired to Eat and did the 7 Day Carb Test as outlined in this book.

 

I gave up alcohol altogether. I wasn’t doing me any favors and I finally had to be honest with myself about that one. I had gotten comfortable with my eating habits, hoping I was one of those lucky people who healed in a few months. I wasn’t. I finally admitted to myself that I still had healing to do. I embraced the fact that I abused my body for years and this damage would not be undone in just a few months or even a year. I let that sink in. 2016 was a year of learning and reflection. It was also the year my HS finally went into remission.

 

Once I let go of the notion that I would one day be able to eat whatever I wanted without reckless abandon and focused on the positive changes in my life and my health things changed!

 

I focused more on self-love, on acceptance. Then making changes to my diet, to tweak as needed to feel my best didn’t seem like this great trauma or sacrifice. The changes I was making registered as my new lifestyle, as gifts to myself, as a celebration of delicious nourishing foods and healing my body.

sugar free pickled beets

When I began Keto…

 

From the 7 Day Carb Test, I learned that I was, in fact, insulin resistant. Which is when your cells stop reacting to the insulin secreted by the pancreas. It just keeps secreting insulin into your bloodstream, but the gylcogen isn’t being used for energy so it is stored as fat. In my case, I suspected the reason for the visceral fat on my body. Going down that research rabbit hole brought to light so many other things I had to work on. An overworked liver. Estrogen dominance. It was all connected. So, I took it one step at a time. I had my hormone levels tested in January of 2017, my estrogen was off the charts. My integrative medicine doctor confirmed my insulin resistance and estrogen dominance suspicions and we discussed going from paleo to a more keto approach. He was into it. He gave me The Epi-Paleo RX by Dr. Jack Kruse (a super interesting but intense read).

 

what are ketones. Ketosis and the ketogenic diet.

 

I went head first into keto-paleo without nightshades. I added grass fed butter back into my diet because honestly, I couldn’t afford to keep buying ghee and at the rate I was using it, making it was also cumbersome.

 

All went well. All of my symptoms began to subside. After a few weeks of the infamous keto flu (aka I thought I was dying), I was in ketosis. I had energy. My joints no longer ached druing my luteal phase. My skin never looked better. My hangry-ness went away. I could go hours without snacking or eating and sweet baby Jesus! The scale began to move again! I was hooked. The stable energy, the delicious food, the bulletproof coffee! Gimme!

 

After a few months of rapid progress, I hit that wall again. Not just on the scale but in feeling better… but at this point, I knew the culprit. I had gone almond butter happy… yup…my old food abuser ways had crept into my keto diet. Too many treats, not enough real food. Way to many nut-based foods and sweeteners. I digress, it is hard to change your eating habits. Especially in my life of work which includes looking at food all day. Knowing what everyone and their mothers is eating. It’s hard not to compare. Yes, maybe some folks were seeing great results eating fat bombs and keto cookies all day- that wasn’t me. So I did my first Whole30 + Keto. Absolutely not condoned by the program, but it’s my body, my rules yo and it was awesome.

 

After that, I went back to the basics. Back to my AIP roots. I omitted nuts from my diet and reduced sweeteners too. I dabbled in Stevia and Monk Fruit. Both are okay, erythritol hands down performs better though.

 

I became really committed to this whole food keto approach. I tried different macros. I tracked on and off. I still do. I made sure to eat quality proteins. Himalayan salt in my water for sodium and trace minerals which help with hydration.

 

I focused on a balance of above ground vegetables, healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil or MCT oil for my meals, less seed based fat bombs. More complete meals. More color. I played around with more or less protein and my workouts. I found a happy middle ground between AIP and Keto.

 

If you follow my Instagram you see how I eat. There is an ebb and flow. Some days a way higher in calories and fat while others are more protein heavy. Sometimes I eat root vegetables like beets or carrots, but mostly avoid starches. I like the sweet treat as much as the next person but have finally broken my addiction to them. So while I still use stevia or erythritol it is in moderation and that works for me.

 

 

At this very moment, I am doing an AIP KETO RESET (learn more HERE). A short term reset that combines AIP and Keto. I’m a sucker for self-experimentation and it is also my job to help other people. I firmly believe this powerful combination can do just that.  All the autoimmune protocol restrictions on a keto template, so sans sugar or carbs and honestly I feel the best I have in months! I’m excited to see what the reintroduction phase will bring!

 

Here are some guidelines to a Whole Foods Approach To Keto for Optimizing Weight loss, Reduction in Inflammation and overall Vitality!

 

  • Stick to ingredient meals: avocado or bacon, protein, greens and add sauces, fermented vegetables, and herbs to jazz things up. My favorite condiments are chimichurri, mayo, pickled veggies.
  • Learn to drink unsweetened coffee or tea in the morning. It’s all about getting used to it. By omitting this one source of sweetener in your every day you set the stage and train your taste buds to not expect or need that sweet flavor. I hate sweetened coffee now! It’s crazy. The trick about unsweetened coffee is that it has to be good coffee. I like a light roast. Use a French press to make it. Blend with coconut oil or MCT powder, a little coconut cream and gelatin, add cinnamon too! Yum!
  • Go to bed early! I don’t care how clean your diet is, if you don’t sleep you will feel like shit regardless. Also, when you’re sleepy your hunger signals are all out of whack.
  • Don’t focus so much on the scale. The scale can’t measure your muscle mass, your BMI or yourself worth yo. Take before and after pictures, keep a journal of your non-scale victories!
  • If you have an autoimmune issue I suggest you start with the AIP KETO RESET or at least a dairy and nut free keto. Go from there. I also avoid nightshades because they make me react but that can be very inflammatory to a lot of people, from acne to joint pain. You might want to try eliminating those for a bit too! All of my recipes are nightshade free.
  • Do not compare yourself to others. Do not obsess over pee strips or macro numbers or what so and so said. How YOU FEEL will always be the most important indicator of your health. Look at your skin, your energy levels, your cycle and bowel movements. Pay attention to your body, it’s talking to you.
  • Meal Prep, Cook Once, Eat Twice. Stock up your kitchen. Set yourself up for success. Having delicious foods at the ready will be your ticket. Don’t get stuck in a cycle of eating lame, fast or cheap options. While those are okay in a pinch you can’t live off of pre-packaged foods, beef jerky, and pickles.
  • Don’t panic. There will be stalls. Healing crisis. Setbacks. Detox. Stress. Life. More forward. Stay the course. Re-examine as needed, tweak and carry on.
  • Keep it simple. You don’t need fancy products or supplements, all you need it good food. However, I do find that supplementing with magnesium glycinate helps me sleep and I take a daily probiotic.
  • If you have any questions feel free to comment below or email me castawaykitchen@gmail.com

TLC Challenge: Two Weeks To Lasting Healthy Habits

Yes, that is T-L-C, as in TENDER LOVE AND CARE. A little cheesy I know, but I really want to drive home the fact that this is not about diet. I talk to hundreds of people a month about what they eat. One reoccurring theme is the feeling of failure. I messed up, I cheated, I quit, I couldn’t do it. Over and over again people come to me because they feel they are failing with their dietary goals. So let’s ditch the diet for real. No restrictions. No rules. We will strive to DO positive things every day. We will focus on what we CAN do, not what we can’t. Let’s ditch that word all together. CAN’T. Bye, Felicia.

Let us think instead of self-love and self-care. I challenge you to love and care for yourself every day for two weeks. I will provide you with a daily TLC check list. Ideally you can do them all every day, but three minimum is okay too. We are all about DO-ABLE. SMALL. LASTING CHANGE. 

Remember What About Bob? Baby Steps. You can baby step your way into anything. 

Because You Are Worthy

I speak a lot about INTENTION. Anything you do, anything you wish to accomplish will have a much better chance of success if you work from a place of love and positivity. If you want to lose weight, put on muscle, heal your leaky gut, kick depression, be more organized, get stronger or just have a more positive outlook on life you can’t start from a place of punishment, resentment or despair.

Everyone hits rock bottom sometimes, but let’s pivot, let us implement change for the sake of self-care and self-love instead of the desire to be different. Evolution will come organically. Make the time for these small goals every day and take note of the other positive changes which ripple throughout your life.

 

REMEMBER THESE ARE DAILY GOALS. YOU CAN SURPASS THEM OR ONLY DO AS MANY AS YOU CAN. THERE IS NO FAILING HERE. NO PRESSURE. NO REPERCUSSIONS.

THESE ARE JUST GENTLE SUGGESTIONS.

THE TLC CHECKLIST: 8 CAN-DO HABITS 

ONE: Daily Affirmations (repeat to yourself at least 5 times) everyday.

“I love myself. I deserve health. I am worthy of happiness. Today I will thrive.”

You can say it out loud infront of a mirror, in your head as you shower or drive to work. However it feels most natural. Talking to yourself might feel silly the first few times, but having a dialogue with your inner self is key for self-awareness and healing.

 

TWO: Shake Your Sillies Out! Move your body for 15 minutes everyday.

This can count toward your usually workout routine. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator. Dance in your kitchen. Take your dog for that extra lap around the neighborhood, do the old chair dance, swim… take 15 minutes to consciously move your body. Even if it’s just stretching. Move in a way that feels GOOD for YOUR body. 

THREE: Eat Your Veggies! AT LEAST 3 cups of green vegetables everyday.

This is not as hard as it seems. One large salad will cover you. Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, herbs, avocado all count. Juices, powders and smoothies don’t. I want you to chew these bad boys, get all the nutritional goodness and fiber they have to offer. You got this.

        Advanced Food Goals (OPTIONAL):

2 servings of quality protein a day.

1 serving of offal a week

2 tablespoons of good fats a day                  

(coconut oil, grass fed butter, ghee- can be what you cook with)

1 piece of dark chocolate or equally satisfying, low sugar treat a day

Limit caffeine to morning hours (will help with sleeping)

 

FOUR: Elasticity! One cup of bone broth or one scoop of collagen peptides/gelatin a day.

Other than being a great source of protein the goodness in pastured animal bones makes your hair, skin and nail look fabulous and can literally patches up leaky gut. Add the collagen to your tea of coffee. Sip on the bone broth anytime of the day or add it to your meals. Make your own, it’s cheap or pick up some legit Pho (always made with bone broth). 

If you’re vegetarian consider drinking green tea, matcha or vegetable broth. Something soothing and nourishing. 

FIVE: Smile! Read a comic, talk to that funny girl from accounting, watch some cat videos, find something to smile (or even better LAUGH about) every day!

No explanation needed.  Laugh, you’ll live longer.

SIX: Go To Sleep! Even if it means going to bed at your toddler’s bedtime, aim for 10 hours of sleep at least once a week (daily would be even better, but I know it’s not realistic).

10 hours might seem like a lot, but I’m giving you some wiggle room. For me this means going to bed at 8pm. That’s cool. We all have an early dinner, I have to shut off work, skip my TV shows and head to bed. It’s one night (a week) you can pick which one. That day you’re dragging ass in the afternoon, that’s a good day for it. Tip, skip afternoon caffeine. You’ll fall asleep right away.

SEVEN: Do something just for you. Get a massage. Go swimming. Have dinner with friends. Go on a date. Read a book. Go to the museum or the zoo. What makes you happy? Do that, at least once during this challenge (2 weeks).

EIGHT: Daily Honesty Check (with yourself). End each day with an inner dialogue which explores the root of your choices for the day. Establish your intentions. Pivot if needed. Wake up the next day renewed and ready to kick ass.

Optional: An emotional tool I use when I need a little intention overhaul is ho’oponopono, an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation. I repeat this to myself as I fall asleep:

I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you and THANK YOU.

 

My hope is that you will implement these small changes in your life, that they will take on a form which works for you and become habits which you take with you. As we seek to heal, inside and out we need to learn that changes comes from within. You hold the power, the key, the answer to all your wants and desires. Do not look to the world or your neighbor for the answers, for you already have them.
Whether you do each of these things regularly or as often as you see fit, I am confident there will be a positive outcome. For when you work from love it spreads. Changing your outlook on health and wellness can transform your perspective on many things. Let the positive vibes grow, let is spread.
Be your own light.

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I will begin my first TLC CHALLENGE December 1st, 2017, will you join me? I will post daily on my Instagram Stories and to my TCK community on Facebook.