Look at all this fermented food!

It is estimated that we have 100 trillion microorganisms that call our gut a cozy home.  Crazy, huh?!  Though they are not fully understood, they may have an impact on our immune system, brain health, hormone production, metabolism and much more!

When there is an abundance of “bad” bacteria, you may have experienced an interruption of the balance of your microbiota, known as Dysbiosis.  This may be due to so many reasons but here are a few:

  • a dietary change that increases your intake of protein, sugar, or food additives
  • accidental chemical consumption, such as lingering pesticides on unwashed fruit
  • an excess of alcoholic beverages
  • new medications, such as antibiotics, that affect your gut flora
  • poor dental hygiene, which allows bacteria to grow out of balance in your mouth
  • high levels of stress or anxiety, which can weaken your immune system
  • unprotected sex, which can expose you to harmful bacteria

Common symptoms include:

  • bad breath
  • upset stomach / nausea / constipation / diarrhea
  • bloating / gas
  • food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances
  • IBS (irritable bowl syndrome)
  • Candida
  • acne, roseacea, eczema
  • rash or redness
  • fatigue / having trouble thinking or concentrating
  • anxiety / depression
  • asthma, difficulty breathing
  • immune system disorders
  • compromised immune system, getting sick often

Essentially, your symptoms will depend on where the bacteria imbalance develops.  They may also vary based on the types of bacteria that are out of balance.  There is emerging evidence that what we eat, the microbes living in our gut, and our brains are interconnected. The nerves in our digestive tract, the enteric nervous system, communicate with the brain through neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Our gut microbes produce quite a lot of these neurotransmitters, which can affect our mood and may also play into food cravings and eating behaviors.  Studies are showing that what we eat affects the composition of our gut bacteria, and these bacteria can then communicate back to the brain.  Ever hear of the “gut-brain axis”? That is essentially it.  A huge factor on maintaining a happy gut home relies on what you put into your belly.  Feed it nutrient dense foods like all the veggies, fruits aaaaand something called fermented foods!

The word ferment means to incite or stir up.  So to ferment food is to create an exciting atmosphere to turn carbohydrates into alcohol or organic acids using yeast or bacteria.  Microbes are needed to turn food into it’s fermented version, which feeds on the sugar of the carbohydrate.  This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.

I went to my neighborhood Natural Grocers and snapped pics of fermented items to show you guys how many different ways you can add a little extra probiotics into your dietary regimen.

Below are beverages that most people have heard of, Kombucha.  Look at the nutritional label and look for one with the lowest sugar content.  A lot of these can actually be really high in sugar.  These also contain small amounts of alcohol, due to the fermentation process, so this may also be of concern for some.20181205_103243


Did you know you can also make your own kombucha?!?! Read more about the Fermentation Creation Kit if you have interest in giving this a shot.20181205_103115


Stir things up in your kitchen with this Body Ecology Starter kits.20181205_103030


I love LOVE love Kala’s Kuisine products! Kala is based in Austin, TX. 20181205_102916


Sriracha, anyone?!? Get it ALIVE by Wildbrine!20181205_102906


Barrell Creek Provisions make a promise “Fermented & Never Cooked”.20181205_102853     20181205_101259


Re-established in the 80’s, “Anyone Can Make a Dill Pickle, but Not Like Bubbie” is the truth!


Kraut, Kraut, Kraut by Pickled Planet, an Oregon based company that only uses organic produce.  I’ve yet to try this product since it’s fairly new to the store but I’m looking forward to their “Taqueria Mix” with carrots, onions & pickles.20181205_102809


YES! I love Farmhouse Culture kimchi and krauts! They also make SHOT! That are sooooo gooood!

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Now we’re getting into some yogurts!  This is from Kite Hill, I’m featuring their Almond Milk based yogurt, using non-GMO almonds. Their “Traditionally Cultured” means they add live active cultures.  Side note, they make an amazing dairy free cream cheese! Try the chive one! 20181205_102646

Culina, another “local-to-me” company!  Started in an Austin Tx home kitchen, now sold in many health food stores.  This thick, live cultures added, coconut cream based yogurt offers creative flavor pairings like Blueberry Lavender, Strawberry Rose and Bourbon Vanilla. YUM!20181205_102615


Ever hear of “Cashewgurt”?!? Forager nailed it with their Organic only cashew based yogurt!  20181205_102605


GT’s, the company known for their Kombucha’s expanded their line and now offer coconut based yogurts and keifer.  Cocoyo, I love this name, comes in Vanilla, Ginger Turmeric, Raspberry and Plain.  I’m really looking forward to my first serving, this 8oz jar of Vanilla only yields 2gs of Sugar. Amazing.20181205_102522



Now we’re talking Kefir, a kind of like a drinkable yogurt!

Maple Hill Creamery is 100% Grassfed and Organic.  They produce milk, delicious yogurt (which I’ve had) and kefir.  I’ve yet to try their kefir but they’re described as super creamy, mildly tart and refreshing. 20181205_102449


Inner-Eco belief is that “diversity brings stability to ecosystems”, further explaining that “Kefir cultures are one of the most diverse probiotic sources available thanks to its nearly 30 strains of friendly yeast and bacteria.”  They simply combine coconut water with kefir cultures to produce their fizzy waters. You have the option to buy a 15oz bottle for a 30 servings supply (1 Tbsp a day) or a 1oz shot bottle.20181205_101319


GoodBelly Probiotics is a “one serving dose” a day drink.  They say their drinks are just right for those who experience occasional digestive upsets and after a course of antibiotics.  GoodBelly shots come in many fruit flavors, as it is fruit juice based.  They’re packed with billions of probiotics in just one shot, as well as a whopping 9 grams of sugar.  So maby opt for the “no sugar added” option if that is discouraging.20181205_101254


While fermented foods may provide many beneficial health benefits, they don’t always settle well with some.  If you’re interested in a food or beverage,  try a taste or consume half (or less) a bottle of kombucha.  Save the rest for tomorrow.  See how your belly does.  Personally, my belly loves krauts and kimchis but I can only drink half a kombucha bottle when I decide on having some.

Pre-Workout Nutrition


Wanna be a beast in the gym?!

Heck yeah!

So fuel up right!

Have a heaping dose of carbs, moderate protein and some fats anywhere from 1 to 1 and half hours before you get started.  We need carbs to lift weights, for explosive power and to sustain our energy level throughout the length of our time in the gym.  Carbs give our amazing bodies ENERGY to do these things. The better we fuel our bodies the more awesome gym gains we’ll see.  On training days consume MOST of your carbs before and after your workouts.  For example, I’m currently consuming about 230g of carbs everyday. So, I’ll consume about 50-60% of that split between pre and post workout meals.  The remaining is spread out between my other meals, which will consist of a lot of veggies and fiber.

Consuming protein in your pre-workout meal will simply keep the body supplied with the aminos to keep the body from breaking down muscle and readily build up what we’re tearing apart during exercise.

Since fats take longer to digest, it’s smart to add a little fats to our pre-workout meal so that the carbs and protein we also eat aren’t burned up quickly, yielding a steady energy duration throughout our workout time.

So don’t be afraid of carbs! They can actually do us some good for our training sessions!

Need help finding macros? Message me, I’d be happy to help =)

Matcha Me Up


I first learned about Matcha a few years ago while working at Natural Grocers but not until recently, have I incorporated it into my daily routine.

I decided to cut back on my daily caffeine intake and started by reducing my morning cup of coffee from 2 to 2 1/2 cups to just 1 cup.  I was finding that I was struggling a bit to get through the day.  So I added a serving of Matcha as a mid-day “pick-me-up”.  I worked through this regimen for about a week; 1c of coffee in the AM then 1tsp of Matcha in the afternoon.

I have now found a nice energy balance!  I get up pretty early 3 times a week which makes for long days.  On those days, I have one cup of coffee along with a Matcha beverage mid-day.  All other days, I enjoy a warm Matcha Latte in the morning and an iced Matcha Latte midday, if needed.

1 cup of coffee yields about 95mg of caffeine

1 tsp of Matcha Powder yields about 35mg of caffeine

So I’m happy to have reduced my total caffeine intake from about 177.5mg to only 70mg!

There are many benefits to consuming Matcha Powder; Brain health via energy + calm (w/L-Theanine), weight loss & skin health (via EGCG), healthy heart (lowering LDL), Chlorophyll (detox) and #1 in my opinion is it’s potent antioxidant power supply.

Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals.  Free radicals is what your body creates when processing food, environmental exposure, sunlight, chemical exposure, alcohol, etc.  Antioxidants may break down free radicals so that they are less harmful or keep them from even forming.

Oxidative stress is when there is an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals (too many).   Various studies and theories have connected oxidative stress due to free radicals to:

Studies suggest that antioxidants cannot “cure” the effects of free radicals, at least not when antioxidants come from artificial sources.  I absolutely have an interest in fighting free radicals so I avoid common sources of free radicals, such as fried food, tobacco smoke and pesticides, as well as keep alcohol minimum.  I also eat nutrient dense foods without worrying about supplementing with antioxidants.

An excellent source of Matcha comes from a company called Encha Matcha.  Please check out their site to learn more.  They provide you with so much information and teach you about various types of Matcha which will help you decided which Matcha is best for you.

Organic Hot Cocoa w/Star Anise & Cinnamon


It’s a hot cocoa kinda night! I fell in love when I first created this lightly sweetened cup of chocolate heaven.

This recipe calls for organic ingredients and is dairy free.  It’s honey sweetened but can be substituted for 1 to drops of liquid glycerin Stevia.

Yields 2 cups

  • 2 cups of Almond Milk, vanilla, unsweetened
  • 2tbsp of Organic Cocoa Powder
  • 1tbsp of Raw Unfiltered Honey (or substitute w/1 to 2 drops of liquid Stevia)
  • 1tsp of Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4tsp of Organic Cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp of Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks

Place milk & Star Anise into a pot and warm milk over medium heat for about 5 to 7min.

Meanwhile, combine cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, honey and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix to a thick paste.

When milk is warm and a little bubbly, add the cocoa mixture to the pot and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Turn off the heat and serve with one star anise & one cinnamon stick in each cup.


Morning after cocktails


Because I had a couple of cocktails last night I wanted to make sure I replenished with lots of water and a big breakfast meal.

I sauteed raw baby spinach then mixed in 1 cup of egg whites. Topped it with homemade tomatillo salsa, avocado and beet & cabbage sauerkraut. I’m also having rolled oats with almond milk, PB powder and honey as well as 1/2c of blueberries.

This meal is loaded with:

🍃Spinach nutrients like Vit A & E, zinc & iron

😊Fermented beets & cabbage by @wildbrine provide probiotics, nitrates and immune boosting benefits

🥑Avocado provides Omega-3 fatty acids, lutein & beta-carotene

✳Blueberry nutrients like potassium, folate, & Vit C as well as flavonoids with potent antioxidant capacity

🍯Raw Unfiltered Honey is also loaded with antioxidants as well as riboflavin, manganese, and calcium

Happy Sunday ✌🏼
#breakfast #sundaymorning #fermentedfoods #nutrientdense #recovery #rehydrate #healthyfats #antioxidants

Post Workout Eats


So you just finished crushing a workout, guess what?! Time to refuel!

Eat PROTEIN and CARBS within 30-45min after training, this is the precious time-frame that leads to the best recovery.  The primary goal post-workout should be to provide your body with an immediate fuel source to prevent it from breaking down muscle tissue for energy.  We want to replenish our glycogen stores with fast digesting carbs so that our precious muscles can refuel for our next training session.  We want this happen quick so ditch the fats because fats will slow digestion.  Consuming protein will help repair muscle and encourage muscle growth.

I always have a scoop of Amazing Grass Protein Powder or Garden Of Life Whey in a shaker bottle in my gym bag. So all I’ve got to do is add water and kick it back.  I also have a container of my favorite cereal (because I LOVE cereal) in a container and snack on that as I make my way out of the gym.  My favorite cereal right now is Nature’s Path Honey’d Flakes, it yields 48 total grams of carbs for just one cup. So I have two to help meet my total carbs for the day.  Plan to consume your highest yielding carbs pre and post workout for best carb timing.  Carbs for the rest of the day should be fibrous carbs from fruits and veggies.

Get an Immune Boost

inCollage_20181114_063308609Elderberry is a very popular go to supplement to strengthen the immune system during the winter and flu season as well as recover from flu-like symptoms in rapid time.  I recommend incorporating Elderberry as soon as October hits. It’s now mid-November but its not too late!

Researchers have found that people who have taken elderberries have higher levels of antibodies against the influenza virus, showing that not only may the berry be able to treat flu symptoms, it may also be able to prevent influenza infection.

Elderberries contain hemagglutinin protein. This protein has been shown to stop a virus’ capability to replicate by inhibiting its ability to penetrate the cell wall, thereby preventing the virus from causing infection if taken before exposed. If elderberries are taken after infection, that keeps the virus from spreading, which reduces the duration of influenza symptoms.

Elderberry also contains a compound called Flavonoid which gives it its beautiful rich purple color. Flavanoids are high in antioxidants that may protect your cells from damaged caused by free radicals (oxidative stress).

Elderberry is generally safe for the entire family. You may purchase it at any health foods store or online.  It can consumed in syrup form, capsules, gummies and the whole berry to make yourself.

Here’s a recipe by Wellness Mama for Homemade Elderberry Syrup:

How to Make Elderberry Syrup to Avoid the Flu
prep 5 mins – cook 1 hour – inactive 15 mins – total 1 hour, 20 min

yield 4 cups

A simple elderberry syrup recipe made with dried elderberries, honey and herbs for an immune boosting and delicious syrup. Can be used medicinally or on homemade pancakes or waffles.

2/3 cup dried black elderberries, or 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen
3½ cups water
2 TBSP fresh or dried ginger root
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp cloves or clove powder
1 cup raw honey

Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a quart sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.


Romanesco Broccoli, Beautiful!

Look what I found! It’s called a Romaneso and it’s a broccoli/cauliflower. It is bright green in color, has amazing fractal patterns and tastes like….broccoli and cauliflower.

I steamed this bad boy last night for about 7-8min using a vegetable broth then topped it with grass-fed butter, a little sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. It was not only delish but fun to prepare, a great way to change things up! This complimented seasoned Tilapia and Couscous quite nicely.

Find this at Natural Grocers right now for $3.99/lb




First time cooking black rice

Check this out!

Gound beef, browned in no special way with no spices…grass-fed beef doesn’t need it!
Heirloom forbidden rice, I’m diggin’the black rice! It’s got kind of a sticky quinoa texture and a taste similar to Jasmine rice.  1c dry yields 3c cooked so this stuff will last!
Baby Bella Mushrooms sauteed in butter, grass -fed, of course 🙂
Lacinto kale sauteed in MCT oil, garlic, onions and potatoes.
I topped it off with broiled organic Roma tomatoes!