Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Dessert, Paleo, Recipes
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Alright y’all, making desserts for friends’ birthdays when you can’t eat them is no easy task. One of my guilty pleasures is licking the spoon & bowl while baking, I know I am not the only one! Only a few more weeks until I can (hopefully) start to enjoy more of my own recipes. I have to admit even though I wish I could take a little nibble, it is still so much fun to bake for others! I love making other people happy, and who isn’t happy when given a homemade paleo dessert?

This one is a tried and true cookie recipe but I decided to make it a little more exciting for a birthday celebration and make it into a COOKIE CAKE! I teach in a lower school and almost every student brings in a cookie cake for their birthday so I let that inspire me.

Keep in mind that while this dessert is paleo, meaning it’s gluten free, dairy free, soy free. and refined sugar free, it is still a treat. I’ve done so much work to stabilize my blood sugar and if I ate sweet treats like this all the time then I’d ruin all that, but special occasions call for special treats!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (paleo)

  • 1/2 cup almond butter (I use raw from TJ’s haven’t tried other nut butters but I am sure they’d do just fine as long as they are somewhat runny)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (I used Trader Joe’s triple filtered so there is no coconut flavor)
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg (could try with flax egg to make vegan)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life), divide into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the almond butter, melted coconut oil, vanilla, egg, and coconut sugar.
  3. Add in the almond flour, baking soda, vanilla, and pink salt.
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
  5. Slightly grease an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil then pour in cookie cake dough.
  6. Add remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips to the top of the cookie cake.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned on top.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes and take to your next celebration, or enjoy for yourself if that’s what you want to do! It’s totally amazing with a dollop of vanilla nadamoo ice cream

xoxoxo,

V

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Stabilizing Blood Sugar: Why it is so important

Wellness

Happy Monday, y’all! I know it may be a rough one after daylight savings time. Fortunately after what seems like endless rain here in Charlotte, we are finally supposed to get some sunshine and warmer temps so even though I am sleepier than usual, I am in the best mood! The sunshine just makes me so happy. I also might be in an extra cheerful mood because tomorrow is the end of my hashimotos protocol which means I get to start reintroducing foods that were off limits during the gut phase (AIP diet) but that may healthy for ME, like eggs, nuts and seeds. I plan to do a total recap post from my protocol but I can tell you that I noticed some definite improvement (and would say I felt pretty darn good beforehand so that is meaningful!).

One of my biggest lessons from the protocol is how important balanced blood sugar levels are for optimal health! I’ve been eating a (mostly) real food, minimally processed diet for about 6 years now so although my diet was certainly healthy by most standards, I was still doing some unintentional damage simply because I was unaware. Real foods that are full of nutrients like bananas, pineapple, and sweet potatoes can add to blood sugar imbalance. PLEASE do not read this and think I am about to say these delicious foods need to be avoided because that is absolutely not what I’m saying. Instead, these higher carbohydrate foods need to be balanced with protein and fat in order to decrease the blood sugar spike and insulin response in your body. When blood sugar levels rise and fall, and insulin is constantly being secreted it causes imbalanced blood sugars which leads to a whooole lotta problems like hormonal issues (like PCOS or estrogen dominance), autoimmune diseases, inflammation, dementia, metabolic syndromes, mood disorders, brain fog, insomnia, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer (some researchers now believe cancer is a metabolic disease!). The good news? These conditions & diseases can be prevented! Symptoms serve as a wonderful tool and while they may be bothersome, they can also save you from a future of chronic disease. Listen to your body and make the changes now for a lifetime of health & happiness!

Signs of Blood Sugar Imbalance

  • craving sweets, particularly after meals
  • irritability, particularly if meals are missed
  • dependent on caffeine to wake up in the morning (or stay awake at 3 PM)
  • feeling shaky or jittery
  • easily upset
  • forgetful
  • blurred vision
  • fatigue after meals
  • feeling dizzy when standing up
  • sleep problems
  • tired but wired
  • unable to fast
  • always thirsty

Keep in mind, these are by no means all of the signs of blood sugar imbalance but if you experience a few of these symptoms regularly then you should definitely take the steps listed below to balance your blood sugar levels! Even if you don’t experience these symptoms, stabilizing blood sugar levels will serve you greatly, and prevent you from experiencing these symptoms related to blood sugar imbalance.

Now let’s get to the REAL LIFE part! What can I do to stabilize my blood sugars? Well first ask yourself what your diet primarily consists of..if it isn’t real, whole food then that’s where you need to begin. Eat simply and ditch the junk! Real food makes all the difference! If you are unable to fast or feel shaky/irritated between meals then it is best to focus on eating every couple of hours to make sure your blood sugar never goes to low. After a few weeks of this, slowly try to stretch out your non-eating window and see how you feel. The goal is to eat 3 meals a day with a snack if needed. I can tell you this goal seemed lofty for me! I was constantly hungry, but after working on stabilizing my blood sugar I can now eat breakfast at 6:30 AM, lunch at 11:30 AM, maybe have a snack around 3 PM, and dinner around 6:30 PM without trouble. There is hope!! A few other key rules are…

  • MOST IMPORTANT: Never eat high-carb foods without some fat or protein. I follow the rule of pairing my carbs with protein at a 2:1 ratio (meaning if I eat an apple with 15 grams of carbs then I have an egg with about 8 grams of protein)
  • find your carbohydrate tolerance, if you feel sleepy or crave sugar after meals then you’ve likely had too many carbs
  • Take magnesium, it’s been found to improve insulin sensitivity with long term use
  • Avoid fruit juices and high-sugar foods
  • Limit caffeine (or at least do not drink it on an empty stomach or with a starchy bagel) **My tip, add some collagen to it to help mitigate any blood sugar response
  • Structure meals and snacks with protein, fat, and carbs. Meals should look like mostly veggies (can include starchy veggies like sweet potatoes), a good quality protein, and healthy fats.
  • Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bed

Now that we’ve covered how to stabilize blood sugars, let’s talk about my FAVORITE treat that won’t send your blood sugar levels over the top but still takes indulgent and gives ya a sweet little bite. My Blood Sugar Balancing Freezer Fudge! I’ve now made it two ways but let me tell you I am literally obsessed with the cookies & cream version so that’s what I am going to share here. It is so simply and will curb any sweet tooth after dinner, especially with a nice cup of chamomile tea (and unflavored Calm, always)

Cookies & Cream Blood Sugar Balancing Freezer Fudge
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 scoops collagen
  • 1.5 tbsp cocoa (sub carob for AIP)

Melt liquids together then add in powders and freeze. Keep frozen and enjoy while still keep blood sugars in check!

Please let me know if you found this informative. I hope there is sunshine wherever you are!

xoxoxo,

V

Resources:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/01/06/metabolic-disease.aspx

https://drwillcole.com/15-signs-blood-sugar-problem-exactly/

https://drknews.com/stabilizing-low-blood-sugar-key-many-autoimmune-inflammatory-brain-based-disorders/

Individual Key Lime Pies

Dessert, Paleo, Recipes
Image result for limes

Okay let me preface this by saying I rarely make pie. I’ve just never been a pie person and always preferred chocolatey brownies over anything fruit pieish. I have to admit after these cute little key lime pies and a recent obsession with lemons, my ways are changing so except more pie in my future!

This past weekend was my neighbors birthday. I live in a cute little neighborhood where all the neighbors hang out and are friends so when I say neighbor, I mean friend. She also eats mostly paleo and cannot have gluten/dairy/soy so we love trading recipes and giving each other goodies to try! I knew I wanted to make her a special birthday treat and her hubby told me he thought her favorite dessert was key lime pie (he actually said ‘Maybe Key lime pie I think.’ So I was SUPER confident that it was her fave (HA..husbands ;)). I decided to go for it and made them into individual key lime pies to make them more fun and I thought they would be cute.

Let me tell you, this pie is super easy BUT hand squeezing limes is NOT FUN. I would totally recommend buying super soft limes or pre-made lime juice if you are short on time or strength. My hands were sore after! I used the crust from Elena’s Pantry that’s only almond flour, coconut oil, salt, and egg. Then I made a custard-like filling with coconut cream and some other goodies. I love that the crust is not sweetened at all because it offsets the sweetness of the filling. If you prefer more sweet, you can always add a date or two to the crust base! This is the perfect summer dessert. It’s super refreshing, light, and I love the tang from the lime. I’m definitely moving towards a pie kick!

Individual Key Lime Pies

  • 3 eggs, 1 yolk
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, 1 tbsp raw honey (whipped cream)
  • 2 cans coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp salt(1/2 for filling, 1/2 for crust)
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, + some for greasing muffin pan
  1. Heat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together 2 cups of almond flour, melted coconut oil, 1 egg, and salt in food processor or high speed blender.
  3. Grease muffin pan with coconut oil before pressing pie dough into the muffin tins.
  4. Gently mold dough to the inside of the muffin tin, pressing down and up (want it to be about 1/8 inch thick on bottom).
  5. Set crust aside (unbaked).
  6. Mix together 2 eggs, 1 yolk, 1 can of coconut cream, and honey. Add the lime juice once eggs and coconut cream are well mixed.
  7. Fold in the arrowroot flour and salt. Mix well.
  8. Fill each muffin tin close to the top, leaving some crust uncovered.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes. Then place foil or a baking sheet on the rack above the pies and allow to cook for another 10 minutes. (the foil keeps the crust from burning)
  10. Take out once it no longer jiggles. Let cool for 30 minutes to one hour.
  11. While the pies cool, mix together the other can of coconut cream and 1 tbsp honey (I use chilled coconut cream for better results).
  12. Top each pie with a dollop of whipped coconut cream! Add some lime zest for a little more fun.

I hope you enjoy these as much we all did! What type of pie should I make next?!

xoxoxo,

V

Simple Seared Scallops

AIP, Paleo, Recipes
Cycling Syncing Dinner- Phase 1

I have to admit this was my first time ever making scallops! I love them and my mom used to make them growing up. They are definitely a top choice for me at a nice restaurant as well but I guess I kinda overlooked the fact that I could make them at home. Does that ever happen to you? Like you love a certain thing but never even think to make it at home? Yeah, I don’t know why but for me that was scallops…until this past weekend!

To be honest, I can’t even really take credit for the idea to make these. I recently read WomanCode by Alisa Vitti, because I am never not reading or learning about health/wellness, and found some of the recommendations very interesting. She outlines an entire lifestyle/food protocol based on when you are in each cycle. People have raved about the benefits so I figured I’d give it a try. There’s definitely no harm! At the very least it forces me to eat a more diverse variety of foods and step outside my box a little (I’ll post more on this after a few cycles implementing the protocol). This is where the scallops come in! I was recipe planning for the weekend using her food outline for the first phase of the cycle and saw scallops so I decided to give them a whirl. I’m so so glad I did!

I personally feel like scallops are pretty well liked. They’re mild in flavor but offer a nice richness about them that makes them feel fancier. They are perfect for a date night in or a dinner party! They also cook up super fast so they won’t keep you in the kitchen for hours on end, but still give off the vibe that you’ve worked really hard to make a nice meal.

These pan seared scallops are almost too easy to make! They have the perfect outside sear with a smooth, buttery inside. I served mine over sauteed kale, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and onions. I made my hubby some rice pilaf (that he said tasted like risotto so that may have been a rice pilaf fail but overall rice win). They’d also be amazing with a creamy cauliflower mash (or regular potatoes) or a simple arugula salad.

Simple Seared Scallops

  • 12 oz scallops
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/2 lemon
  1. Pat dry scallops.
  2. Mix the garlic, black pepper, and salt together.
  3. Coat the scallops on both sides with the seasoning mix.
  4. Add avocado oil to metal pan and put on medium-high heat.
  5. Once hot (should sizzle), add scallops. Cook for 45 seconds-1 minute then flip. Cook for another 45 seconds-1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat. Add parsley and lemon juice.
  7. Ready to serve!

What is one dish you never make at home but always seem to order when you go out?!

xoxoxo,

V

Traveling WELL

Wellness
Morning Run Views in Sausalito

Happy Tuesday, y’all! I traveled to California last week and am still adjusting to the time change. Does anyone else struggle BIG time coming west to east? I can go east to west so easily, but coming back home is always rough for me…like usually it is a good two days before I feel like myself again. However, what makes this transition better is the fact that I somewhat stayed in routine on my trip. This might not be your thing and you could be thinking, uh that’s why I go on vacation? If that is you, then read no further! I am the type of person that likes consistency so planning when I travel is essential for me to make the most of the trip. I like feeling my best on trips so that means taking care of my body as best I can when traveling! That’s what I like to call traveling well!

Traveling Well Tips

  • Keep up your daily habits! For me this means warm water with lemon every morning and magnesium in my tea at night (this means packing magnesium, which TSA might give you a funny look for ;))
  • Bring snack options and protein powder! I always bring a baggie with Garden of Life grain free protein for each day mixed with a tbsp of chia seeds and a few single serve packets of collagen. For snacks, I pack Chomp sticks, plantain chips, and fruit/veggie bars.
  • Find the closest Whole Foods/Market! When traveling, I always like to have some green juices on hand. Veggies can be a hard thing to get in so I love green juice to ensure my veggie intake is still strong. I buy the green one with the lowest amount of sugar no matter where I go.
  • Research restaurants in advance! I research the area I will be in and find the best options around. I love reading wellness/healthy bloggers local to the area. They usually have great recommendations for healthy options!
  • Stay active! I love exploring a new city on foot. Usually I research hikes or parks in the area to explore. I also move my body every morning, whether that’s a morning run or walk around the area or hitting the hotel gym. I always feel 1000% better after a little morning movement!
Lunch at Blue Barn in SF
Hike in Marin Headlands

These travel tips help me enjoy my travels and feel my best while traveling (especially when I drink a few too many glasses of wine, hellllo Napa!). This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy myself or indulge, because I certainly do! I just make sure to balance it out with my other healthy habits so I don’t leave feeling like a wreck.

What are your favorite healthy travel tips?!

xoxoxo,

V

Plantain Bread

AIP, Breakfast, Paleo, Recipes, Snack
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Plantain Bread

Happy Tuesday, y’all! It is cold here in CLT. I realize some of you are dealing with single digit temps and lots of snow but 45 degrees in March for us southerners (since 5 years ago ha) find it almost fridig! On the bright side, I always feel like baking when the weather is icky or cold. Since I have been doing a specific protocol since January 1st, I have not done much baking because baking without sweeteners like honey or maple syrup can be tricky. On top of this, I have been focusing a ton of blood sugar balance (which I will do a whole other post on but has been tremendously helpful for hormonal breakouts!!). Baked goodies, even paleo treats, are often high in sugar and carbs. Because of all of these reasons and 1034 more, I have not done a ton of baking. However, the weather this weekend called for baking so I went out on a whim and made some AIP plantain bread! It was delicious with some coconut butter and berries! Nut butter/butter and cinnamon would also be a yummy topping.

Plantains are similar to bananas in texture and flavor, just less less sweet. Think of this bread as banana breads less sweet sister. I used coconut flour in this recipe since I am doing AIP and it is fairly low in net carbs and doesn’t require much because it is so absorbent. Seriously, it like sucks all of liquid- it’s crazy! I also added some collagen to a little protein boost. When consuming carbs, it is best to pair  them with protein and fats to keep blood sugar levels stabilized. For this reason, I like to add collagen to many baked goods but if you are vegan or don’t have it on hand, it’ll be just fine without it. Overall, this plantain bread will satisfy your sweet tooth without putting you into a sugar coma. I’d say that’s a win, win!

Image result for plantain

Plantain Bread (AIP)

  • 2 ripe plantains
  • 1.5 tbsp avocado oil (could use coconut, or butter if not AIP/vegan)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash plantains in a large bowl until there are no clumps (could blend if you prefer a smoothie consistency).
  3. Mix mashed plantains with other liquid ingredients except for the ACV. Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in that order. Then add ACV.
  4. Pour into 2 mini-bread load pans or one regular sized bread loaf pan (will take longer to cook).
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set. The top should be browned and it should not jiggle much when tapped on the side. If baking in one load pan, I’d suggest checking every 5 minutes after 40 minutes, but I have not made it in this size.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then enjoy with some fresh berries, chocolate chips, or any toppings you’d like!

Have you ever made plantain bread?! Please let me know your thoughts and whether you prefer plantain or banana bread. I’m still undecided!

xoxoxo,

V

Avocado Basil Pesto(nut free)

AIP, Dinner, Paleo, Recipes

Image result for basil

Happy Monday! After what feels like weeks on end of rain here in Charlotte, the sun FINALLY came out yesterday afternoon. It was long awaited and definitely celebrated! I spent as much time outside as I could. There are few things I love more than sunshine! I took Layla (pup) for a 5 mile run, finished my book on my porch, and went for 5 mile walk with my neighbor and our pups…would you believe me if I told you my dog STILL had energy after a 5 mile run, 5 mile walk, and 2 2ish mile walks? Because she did.. 😉

Now let’s get to the good stuff, FOOD! I am now onto week 5 of my gut protocol (week 9 total) and only have 2 more weeks left overall in my hashimotos protocol. I cannot believe how quickly it has gone and that I am almost done. I will do a full blog post recap of the entire process and progress I made along with the way, but for now check out my post on gut health to get a better idea of how I’ve been healing my gut along the way.

I’ve been eating AIP as part of the protocol. This means paleo with additional restrictions such as eggs, nuts, seeds, and nightshades. Your typical pesto is a no-go for me so I decided to attempt to make an AIP pesto that I could enjoy without any tummy troubles! I had tons of ripe avocados and avocados make everything better so I ended up using olive oil and avocado as my sauce base. It turned out perfectly! I lathered it all over my zoodles, and topped my salad with the leftover pesto the next day. It’s so good on just about everything!IMG_0333

Avocado Basil Pesto (nut free)

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 4 gloves roasted garlic
  • 2-4 tbsp chives
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and roast garlic gloves for about 20 minutes
  2. Blend together all of the ingredients for a few minutes, until nice and creamy!
  3. Add to zoodles and enjoy!

I also added a squeeze of lemon juice because I am obsessed with lemons right now. It pulled out the flavors even more. I highly recommend adding a bit to yours! I hope you enjoy this AIP pesto!

xoxoxo,

V

REAL food Poptarts

AIP, Dessert, Paleo, Recipes

Okay y’all I should preface this by saying I did NOT eat Poptarts growing up. They never appealed to me and my mom didn’t really buy that kind of stuff (one time I asked her to buy me a lunchable & she refused). So I can count on my hand how many times I’ve eaten them. I didn’t necessarily intend to make Poptarts but after making a fruit-spread filled treat, that’s what it ended up resembling most…which seemed to make a lot of people very, very happy so I am glad these turned out as ‘real food poptarts’! With that being said, they are made with REAL food so they aren’t going to be exactly what you imagine from your childhood days…in my opinion they are much, much better! They are paleo, vegan (omit collagen), and AIP. They also contain minimal natural sugar so they are a good low-sugar treat for those of us working on blood sugar levels! All you need is some Japanese yam, coconut flour, coconut oil, no-sugar added fruit spread (or make your own, like I did), collagen (optional), and a little bit of salt..oh and coconut butter for the ‘icing’ if you’d like!

REAL food Poptarts

  • 2 medium Japanese yams baked (1 hour at 375)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp coconut flour
  • dash of salt
  • 2 scoops collagen (I use vital proteins)
  • 1-2 cups of fruit spread (I stewed 2 cups blueberries, collagen, 1/2 lemon then smashed berries)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mash baked sweet potatoes (remove from skin after baking) in medium bowl.
  3. Add in melted coconut oil, coconut flour, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Roll out individual squares about 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Spoon about 1-2 tbsp into the center of the square leaving about 3/4 inch on each side .
  6. On a separate piece of parchment paper, roll out dough to lay on top. This should be about 1/8 inch thick as well.
  7. Use parchment paper to transfer on top of the bottom piece & filling.
  8. Gently press the edges together to enclose the filling. Use a fork to combine edges as well.
  9. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  10. Top with a drizzle of melted coconut butter!

I hope you all enjoy these! I would love to hear about your creations. Next time, I want to try filling them with cinnamon apples. YUM!

xoxoxo,

V

How I am healing my gut..

Gut Health, Wellness

Related image

Hey y’all! It has been SO beautiful outside this past week. I am loving the spring-like weather. I hope you are having a fab week wherever you are! If you follow me on insta (aka you are 1 of the 500 ha) then you know I’ve been on a pretty strict protocol since January 1st. The protocol is specific to my autoimmune disease, hashimotos thyroiditis, and focuses on three main areas of the body: liver, adrenals, and the gut. These three organs/systems are often compromised in those of us with autoimmune disease so in order to calm the immune response, they must be addressed. While I could go on and on about the entire protocol, today I want to focus solely on the GUT! I believe many many maaaany people suffer from poor gut health (not just those of us with autoimmune disease, although leaky gut is a precursor for autoimmune disease and some experts argue that autoimmunity cannot occur unless the gut lining is impaired).  SO if you’re reading this thinking uhh my gut is just fine, take a look below before hitting that X…

Symptoms of Leaky Gut

  • digestive issues like gas, IBS, bloating, constipation, loose stole
  • food sensitivities/allergies
  • brain fog
  • acne/rashes/skin issues
  • seasonable allergies
  • autoimmune disease
  • hormonal imbalance
  • anxiety/mood disorders/irritation
  • joint pain
  • weakened immune system

When thinking about symptoms, it is important to think outside the box here. The connection between the gut and essentially everything else in our body is so intertwined that seemingly unrelated symptoms, like constantly wanting to punch your hubby in the face for leaving his shoes out, may point to a bigger issue than him just needing to learn the darn ways of the house. Can anyone else relate? Obviously any digestive issues are huge red flags and you can just go ahead and assume you have leaky gut in these are common symptoms for you!

My steps in repairing leaky gut…

  • According to literally almost every functionally trained practitioner the first step to repair leaky gut is to REMOVE reactive foods. I already followed a paleo template diet, with some dairy and grains here and there, so removing gluten, dairy, legumes, grains, soy, and sugar wasn’t hard. But I had to dig a little deeper and remove nuts/seeds, eggs, nightshades, alcohol, and caffeine. The alcohol and caffeine part aren’t really a challenge for me, but going to an even more limited diet seemed scary at first. To good news is, these foods do not have to be eliminated forever and will be reintroduced after 6 weeks (assuming I feel great!) to see how my body responds. If I react to something then I know it doesn’t serve me, at least for the time being. Truthfully, it hasn’t been bad at all and I’ve focused on what I CAN eat, which brings me to the next step..**I realize an AIP diet may seem incredibility overwhelming if you are currently eating like a majority of Americans. If this is you then start with gluten, then dairy, then soy, and note how you feel as you go.
  • When I shifted my mindset from ‘what I can’t have’ to ‘what I can have‘ I realized I still had so many wonderful, nutrient dense, and delicious options. I’ve been eating lots of organic, grass-fed meat, healthy fats like coconut oil, avocados, and olive oil, veggies (except nightshades), starchy veggies like sweet potatoes and squash, and a couple of pieces of my favorite fruit each day! There are definitely days where I want to make some of my paleo banana bread and enjoy a decaf iced coffee, but overall it hasn’t felt too limiting (and I remind myself of the end product).
  • I’ve also focused on giving my body a little extra support during this time. Our bodies should produce enough acid on its own to help us break down our own each time we eat, but sometimes that doesn’t happen so food goes undigested and that $25 salad from Whole Foods was essentially wasted money. Because of this, I’ve added in digestive enzymes to ensure my body digests my food properly and I get the most out of each meal/snack. Additionally, taking time to really chew my food has been a big thing. Without chewing food properly, our bodies cannot digest it as it should be. I try to chew each bite 20-30 times, but ya know, sometimes I’m engaged in a conversation with my hubby and just don’t. Which is where enzymes come in handy!
  • I’ve reduced my running volume by A LOT. I am running about four days a week now and for only about 3-6 miles. Strenuous exercise can wreak havoc on your gut lining so this has been an important piece of the puzzle for me.
  • I take a strong probiotic, drink warm lemon water daily, drink about 100 ounces of water a day, and drink bone broth and use collagen daily.

Overall, I am feeling really great about my healing! I have literally no digestive upset, feel full of energy, and my irritation level has dramatically decreased. I cannot wait to continue on this healing journey! What are your favorite ways to give your gut a little love?!

xoxoxo,

V

Resources

  1. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10908/9-signs-you-have-a-leaky-gut.html
  2. https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/importance-gut-health/
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/leaky-gut-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean-for-you-2017092212451
  4. https://www.amymyersmd.com/2017/10/leaky-gut-autoimmune-connection/

 

 

Week 7- Charlotte Marathon Training

Running

Now I finally feel like I am in the middle of marathon training. The long runs are getting longer and the muscle fatigue is making an appearance..I knew once I started hitting 40+ miles a week I would start to feel like I was training for a MARATHON (which means my legs get sore from time to time ha). This week I had a pace run followed by my longest run yet this cycle (16 miles) and I have to admit my legs were pretty tired most of the my long run. It’s rare I don’t love a long run, but I didn’t love this one. I think the 98% humidity coupled with the distance the day after a pace workout just had me feeling off. Like I said, this doesn’t happen often so I just tried to remind myself that this is SUPPOSED to happen. My legs are supposed to feel tired and I am supposed to push my limits, particularly mentally.

This is MARATHON TRAINING. It isn’t easy, it isn’t always fun, sometimes your body doesn’t want to take another step, but you keep moving forward. Some runs will feel effortless, and some will feel way too hard but that’s what makes it that much more exciting. Week 8, bring it on!

Monday: 8 miles @ 8:29 pace

Tuesday: 4 miles @ 8:27 with Layla

Wednesday: 5 x hill repeats, tranquil to be exact-if you live in CLT I am sure you know this one :), 4 miles @ 8:22 pace with L

Thursday: long morning walk with Layla and evening power yoga class at the Dowd with L

Friday: 8 miles at pace (7:28)

Saturday: 16 very humid miles at 8:31…thanks to my pup and hubs for joining for some of these. I was NOT loving this run and needed a little love and support along the way. Then I spent the day at the lake swimming after my pup (triathlon anyone?!)

Sunday: 3 recovery miles with Layla. I left my watch and phone at home and just ran a 3 mile loop. It was so enjoyable to not worry about pace or binging at each mile or hitting pause when Layla stops. I need to go technology free more often!

What fun runs do you have scheduled this week?! I have a mid week tempo and then 17 Saturday! Cooler temps appear to be heading our way and I am SO SO SO happy to experience a little reprieve from the heat (and hopefully humidity).

xoxoxo,

V