Healthy Moms Favorite Mother’s Day Menu

Healthy_Mother's_Day_Menu

So I was thinking about a Mother’s Day post and decided to share my favorite mother’s day menu with you. Keep in mind I’m spoiled. But, I work hard, and I deserve to be spoiled every now and then – and so do you! Hopefully you are lucky enough to have a hubby who will prepare a nice, healthy meal for you. My kids will help me make the chocolate covered strawberries and will cut the asparagus and make the dressing for my husband, but he will do the rest. I’m lucky that way. My menu starts with tomato and fresh mozzarella salad with homemade balsamic dressing, followed by surf and turf (boiled lobster and grass-fed beef tenderloin) with garden fresh asparagus, finished off with chocolate covered strawberries. I can’t wait!

Favorite Healthy Mother’s Day Recipes

Caprese Salad with Paleo Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressinghealthy_tomato_mozarella_salad_recipe

I love tomato and fresh mozzarella with fresh basil and balsamic dressing. YUM!!! The recipe below is for an easy homemade Paleo Balsamic Dressing. I find that using all extra virgin olive oil in homemade dressings doesn’t always refrigerate well. Instead, I use a half and half blend of EVOO and avocado oil and have never had any problems refrigerating dressings. Avoid the unhealthy oils like soy, canola, peanut, etc. because of over-processing, hydrogenation, and GMOs.

Paleo Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c avocado oil
  • ½ c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning or dried oregano

Directions:

1. Slice organic tomatoes into 1/4 ” to 1/2 ” slices and arrange on a plate.
2. Slice fresh mozzarella to about the same thickness and put one slice on each slice of tomato.
3. Wash fresh basil and pull several larger leaves off the stem. Lay them one atop the other. Roll them all together and slice several times to make thin lines of basil. Place two or three of these basil strips onto each piece of mozzarella.
4. Drizzle with Paleo Balsamic Dressing right before serving.
5. Enjoy!

Easy Beef Tenderloin to Die For

Easy_grilled_beefg_tenderloin_recipeThis recipe is so easy and so good!

  • 4-5 lb grass-fed beef tenderloin (we’ve done it with smaller pieces as well)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika (we’ve used hot paprika for a great kick)
  • Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

1. Use hands to coat tenderloin with EVOO.
2. Rub spice mix all over.
3. Place in sealable container, or ziplock baggie, for at least one hour.
4. Grill to desired temperature.

Boiled LobsterHow_to_boil_lobsters

I don’t think I really need to give directions for this do I? OK, the quick version. Fill a pot 3/4 with water. Salt if desired. Boil the water then add the lobsters and bring back to a boil. Cook for 6-7 for the first pound, then an additional 3 or 4 minutes per pound. The lobster should have an internal temperature of 135° – 140° and be bright red when done. Check temp by inserting meat thermometer into the base of the tail close to the body. Don’t forget to melt butter for dunking pieces of lobster. Enjoy!

Go Green Tip: Lobster shells are compostable and good for your soil!

Grilled Garden Asparagus

Grilled_asparagus_recipeAsparagus is a perennial that is very easy and prolific in a home garden. It takes a couple years to get established, then it takes off and is almost like a weed – a very tasty weed! This recipe works in the oven, too – just lay on cookie sheets.

Directions:

1 Wash and cut white, tough bottoms off.
2 Place asparagus in single layer on a sheet of aluminum foil.
3 Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with course sea salt. Fold up the foil and seal the ends. The asparagus will no longer be in a single layer.
4 Grill for 3-4 minutes, then flip and grill another 3-4 minutes. Open the top of the packet and make sure they are a nice bright green and tender. Grill a couple extra minutes if necessary.

Yummy Paleo Chocolate Covered StrawberriesPaleo_chocolate_covered_strawberries_recipe

So chocolate is a very tough thing to make Paleo and spectacular. Real chocolate is a tricky thing to make from scratch. I’ve been working with different recipes for the past year and this one seems to be good for sugar free chocolate covered strawberries. If you don’t have to go sugar free, then use Enjoy Life chocolate chips for easy chocolate covered strawberries. That brand is free of the many allergens and toxins found in most chocolate chips. But, if you’re being really good and want good Paleo chocolate covered strawberries, then try the recipe below.

  • 1 lb organic strawberries
  • 2 Tbs organic cocoa butter
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
  • 2 – 4 Tbs confectioner’s sugar alternative. I like Swerve brand, which is erythritol.

Directions:

1. Start by washing the strawberries and setting them on a towel to dry. You want them as dry as possible as any water in the chocolate will ruin the texture.
2. It is hard to measure exactly 2 Tbs of cocoa butter when it comes in big hard chunks, so estimate and start it melting on low heat in a double boiler. When it is melted you can measure out the 2 Tbs. Put the left over in a parchment lined glass bowl to harden so you can put it back in your bag for later use. Put the 2 Tbs you are using back in the double boiler.
3. Remove double boiler from heat. Add coconut oil to the cocoa butter. It should melt in a minute or two. Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar alternative and stir until smooth. Start with 2 Tbs and add more to taste. Sugar with big granules won’t melt properly and maple syrup or honey will change the texture due to the water in them. This mixture will be very thin and watery.
4. Grab a strawberry by the leafy green part on top and dip in the chocolate until desired coverage is achieved. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat with all berries and place in fridge for 15 minutes or until set. Because this chocolate is very thin, you will want to repeat this process 3 or 4 times. The chocolate will stay melted for a very long time because of the cocoa butter. If it starts to get too think, warm the water back up a bit.
5. After the final layer has set, place on a nice dish for presentation or place in a covered container in the refrigerator. They will last a couple days in the fridge. Ours never last that long because they get eaten so fast!

Have a Happy, Healthy Mother’s Day!

Beat Mosquitos Without Killing The Planet

Mercola_Natural_Bug_Spray

More and more people are changing their lifestyles and eliminating as many chemicals and toxins around them as possible. But, since chemicals are all around us from the beauty products and cleaning supplies we use to the food we consume and the air we breathe, it is not that easy to do. Every little bit helps, and some changes are easier than others, like using naturally-made DEET-free mosquito control and repelling products over chemical ones.

Pest control products like bug sprays, mosquito fogger systems and insecticides are very toxic, especially to the environment. So by switching to the more natural versions of these products, you will be able to decrease the amount of chemicals that are polluting our rivers, lakes and even air. Let’s look at the some of the main differences between natural and synthetic mosquito repellents and also how to properly use natural bug spray to get the most out of the products.

Chemical vs. Natural Mosquito Repellents

Fresh Citronella Leaves On Wooden BackgroundAs you might guess, the main difference between natural and artificial insect repellents is the ingredients that are used to produce each type of product. If in chemical sprays the main active ingredients often are either DEET or Picaridin, then in green bug sprays the mosquito repelling abilities of the products come from different essential oils, usually oil of lemon eucalyptus, citronella oil or lemongrass oil.

How do Natural Mosquito Repellents Work?

Now, you might be wondering, how can these natural plant oils deter mosquitoes? Well they do that thanks to their aroma. All of the most common essential oils used in natural mosquito repellents have distinct scents. They usually smell citrus-like and fresh. And, since mosquitoes distaste these types of aromas, and would much rather go for flowery, sweet scents, once you apply the natural insect repellent on your skin or clothing, mosquitoes will keep away from you.

DEET: Not good for People or the Planet

The second difference of the two types of repellents is how healthy they are in regards to human health as well as the environment. As we already established, synthetic insect repellents usually contain laboratory-made chemicals. DEET is a member of the tuolene chemical family which are solvents used in plastic and rubber cements as well as paint removers. They can pass through the skin and into the bloodstream, getting all the way natural_bugspraysto the gut. It is also harmful if inhaled or consumed, or sprayed on other living creatures, like cats and dogs. The most troubling concern is the adverse effects it can have on the nervous system. The combination of DEET and permethrin, another common mosquito spray ingredient, has been shown to lead to motor deficits, and learning and memory disorders. Is this something we want to spray on our children? Of course, sprays made of natural ingredients may have an adverse effect on some people. Those with sensitivities may get a skin rash or experience other reactions if they are allergic to one or more of the ingredients in the natural bug sprays. However, the likeliness of that happening is much smaller than when you use insect repellent based on DEET or any other chemically-made bug deterring ingredient. Which I think is a reason enough to go for natural insecticide.

Natural Bug Sprays Can Be Just As Effective, If Used Properly

And the third big difference when it comes to chemical and natural pest control is how efficient each type of product is and for how long it will be able to repel mosquitoes. Although, chemical bug sprays may last longer than natural ones, their efficiency is a different story. Many natural bug sprays are just as efficient as chemical sprays, but they don’t last as long and have to be reapplied more often than their synthetic counterparts. To me, the fact that I’ll have to reapply the repellent a bit more frequently doesn’t bother me compared to the damaging effects of chemical bug sprays on my family and the environment. But how do you make sure that you are using your natural repellent to its full potential?

First and foremost, read the label of the product. There should be information about how you should apply the product, how often it needs to be reapplied, if it is waterproof or not and other important bits of knowledge that will help you get the most out of your spray. Secondly, don’t forget to reapply the mosquito repellent, because, you will probably only get a few hours of efficiency after which the mosquitoes will start bugging you again. And thirdly, don’t overdo it with the application of the repellent – it won’t make it magically work better. All it will do is create an unnecessary layer of repellent on your skin which can start to irritate it.

Which Brand Of Natural Bug Spray Do We Recommend?

We love the Mercola Bug Spray for the whole family, including our pets! I use it daily on my dogs to keep ticks off them. I still find a tick on them here and there, but certainly not daily anymore. My sister uses it on her cat for the same reasons with equally good results. There are only four ingredients, oil of citronella, lemongrass oil, peppermint oil and vanillin. It has a pleasant lemony scent.  The best news is it beat DEET in a lab test Mercola_Bugsprayperformed by BassFan Lab. The results are below:

  • Unprotected group: 16 bites per hour
  • DEET group: 2.78 bites per hour
  • Mercola Bug Spray group: < 1 bite per hour (1/5 bite per hour)

Mercola Bug Spray was the clear winner and is an excellent choice for you and your family and pets. But, as stated, it does need to be applied every 2-3 hours for best results.

Overall, choosing to use natural bug sprays over chemical ones does have more pros than cons to you as well as to the environment and everyone around you. But, of course, ultimately it is your decision.  And no matter if you do decide on organic bug spray or stick to a synthetic one, wearing any type of pest control in the spring and summer is much better and safer than not using any at all.

Guest blog by Insect Cop

Save Your Pits! Avoid the Dangers of Toxic Deodorants & Antiperspirants.

Schmidt's_Natural_Deodorantby Kerrie Bross

If you’re looking to eliminate toxins in your everyday life, then toss your villainnous deodorants and antiperspirants. Most deodorants and antiperspirants are loaded with toxic ingredients linked to many diseases. Check out the list below to see what toxins may be lurking in your stick. Or skip right to the end to see our new all natural deodorant line.

Common Toxins in Deodorants & Antiperspirants

Aluminum-Based Compounds – Aluminum compounds are the ingredients responsible for clogging the pores in the underarm area, thereby reducing sweating. Studies suggest there is a relationship between underarm antiperspirants/deodorant use and the development of breast and prostate cancer due to the aluminum compounds messing with estrogen levels. Other studies suggest that increased aluminum compounds in the avoid_toxic_deodorantbody may disrupt proper neurological function and can lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Need another reason to avoid deodorants with aluminum? Aluminum kills the less odor-causing bacteria in our armpits, making it so the more odor-causing bacteria can thrive. That’s right, the use of deodorants and antiperspirants with aluminum actually make us more smelly. Natural deodorants with no aluminum will automatically help with odor because they don’t kill the beneficial bacteria in our armpits.

Parabens – Parabens are the preservatives most often used in the skincare industry. They get into our system quickly, even when applied topically, and mimic estrogen. Although they are only found in minuscule amounts in deodorant or antiperspirant, they are found in so many products that it can add up quickly. The big concern is the cumulative damage done from years of repeated daily exposure. Interfering with estrogen has been linked with breast cancer, in both women and men, and prostate cancer. Look for natural deodorants, sunscreen and other skincare without nasty parabens.

Phthalates – Phthalates are often hidden on skincare labels as “fragrance” but are plasticizing chemicals often used for their texture and their ability to help dissolve other ingredients. Phthalates is actually a huge class of chemicals, and not nearly all of them have been studied, but those studied have shown scary results. In the past few years, researchers have linked phthalates to multiple neurological issues like low IQ, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders and other neuro-developmental issues & behavioral issues. They have been connected with breathing problems like asthma. Some other biggies researchers found links to are breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, as well as altered reproductive development and male fertility issues. Clearly, the less we get of these in our bodies, the better! A good natural deodorant will not contain any phthalates or artificial fragrance.

Propylene Glycol – Propylene Glycol is another ingredient that has multiple questionable health risks. It is a common food additive and is often used as a base for many skin care products. Although it is FDA approved, toxic levels have been associated with cancer, heart  disease, reproductive issues, developmental abnormalities, and endocrine complications. Many people get skin irritations or have allergic reactions to this common ingredient. Infants cannot properly process Propylene Glycol, meaning they can get toxic levels in a much shorter amount of time than adults. Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid it. Lastly, Propylene Glycol helps the body better absorb anything it comes in contact with, making it easier for other toxins to enter our bodies. Again, check your labels. Natural deodorants will not contain this toxic chemical.

Triethanolamine (TEA) & Diethanolamine (DEA) – TEA and DEA are known carcinogenic chemicals that can permeate the skin and negatively affect the liver and kidneys. Europe has already banned the use of these chemicals because of their known cancer-causing risks. And so have all the manufacturers of quality natural deodorants.

What Should You Use Instead of Toxic Deodorants & Antiperspirants?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk around a sweaty, smelly mess to have healthy armpits. Just switch to a non-toxic product like Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant. Schmidt’s Naturals was started in 2010 when the founder was pregnant and on a mission to develop a natural Schmidt's_sensitive_skin_natural_deodorantdeodorant that was actually effective. And we think she did a fantastic job of it!

Schmidt’s invests in research and testing to ensure their deodorants are all natural, non-toxic and free of any controversial or filler ingredients. Schmidt’s developed their award-winning formula to naturally and effectively neutralizes odor without the use of aluminum or any other toxic ingredients. And it is 100% made in the USA!

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant is enriched with natural minerals and essential oils, contains no artificial fragrance, and is easily absorbed so you only need to use a small amount. What’s more, they use natural powders to help absorb wetness. Schmidt’s Deodorant is also cruelty- and gluten-free and certified Vegan.

We Put Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant to the Test!

The last natural deodorant I tried gave me quite an irritation and even a weird bump under my armpit after using it for a while. These went away when I stopped using it, so I blame the deodorant. I’ve tried other brands that seem more like I’m spraying on a nice fragrance to mask my own smell. They didn’t really work on odor or wetness. I decided to try Schmidt’s Geranium Sensitive Skin Formula for myself because of my reaction to the last natural deodorant. I am extremely impressed!  Firstly, it goes on very easily, very smoothly. I tried a couple different brands that the texture was so bad – too thick and sticky even – that I had to toss them. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorants have a great smooth texture that goes on easily.

I know what you’re thinking. Nice texture is all well and good, but does it work on odor and wetness? Well, we got our initial order of Schmidt’s Naturals at the end of last week, right before a weekend of skiing at Attitash Mountain and dancing our butts off. It is late in the season, soNatural_antiperspirant it was a little warm for skiing in the Northeast, in the 40’s. But, it withstood the potential stink of a teenager skiing on a warm day! And, Saturday night was a huge party and dance night with a super fun 70’s band, Motor Booty Affair. I was out on the dance floor shaking my booty, literally shoulder to shoulder, with a crowd of people. At the end of the night I was not stinky and I had no sweat stains under the armpits of my silky long-sleeve shirt. So impressed!

Test Schmidt’s For Yourself!

We put it to our tests, and think you will be equally impressed when you put it to your tests. Give any Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant a try, and if you don’t like it, send it back. We have a 60 day money-back guarantee on all Schmidt’s products. Let us know what tests your Schmidt’s Natural Deodorants pass!

Which Superfoods Are Missing From Most People’s Diet?

purple_superfoods_acai

Purple Superfoods and You

For many of us, the science of nutrition can be a scary beast.  There‘s a great deal of information out there, and with so many sources of information, some of it is outright confusing or contradictory.  Trying to digest this information and come to an informed opinion can then be tricky, as even simple questions have multiple answers. In this respect, most of us know the basics: fruit and vegetables are healthy. But beyond that things are less clear as to what is the very best of these foods available.  Here’s a handy introduction to the ‘purple superfoods’, one of nature’s very best foods for your body.

What are purple foods and why should I care?

It is no coincidence that the healthiest fruits and vegetables tend to be of a darker hue. The dark coloring and unusual shape of a beetroot or aubergines (eggplant) may deter some people, but this distinctive appearance is nonetheless synonymous with a plant rich in nutrients. Many berries also fit in the purple superfood category, like blueberries and acai berry. Purple superfoods come in a variety of shapes, sizes and forms, from large picked veggies, to powders, specifically designed to be consumed as a supplement.

There are reliable guides as to what constitutes a purple (and other colored) superfood. Portions of such foods should be included in the diets of absolutely everyone, whether you’re a fitness freak or not. Most of these foods are familiar and are easily picked up in markets for use in standard recipes – red onions and blueberries, for instance. Others, like aubergines and beetroot, may require a little more culinary imagination.

The question must therefore be asked: what makes purple foods so great? To answer this is hardly a secret, they are rich in antioxidants, a substance which carries many health benefits. Thanks to the presence of these, purple superfoods help prevent cellular damage, and have been proven to be highly effective at combating ‘free radicals’, unstable molecules known to cause so-called ‘oxidative stress’.  This stress can cause, or exacerbate, a variety of conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  It therefore pays to understand (and eat!) purple foods.

Less is sometimes more.

If you cannot stand fruit and vegetables in large doses, just a small quantity of the stuff can still improve your health. For example, a cup of blueberries a week can enhance grey brain matter, thereby improving memory retention and general cognitive functions. Meanwhile, a diet rich in purple superfoods can mitigate the effects of aging, especially the appearance of wrinkles as those malicious elements that degrade your skin over time won’t find it so easy with such a strong defense in place. Just ensure that any purple foods you do buy to add to your diet appear on your plate – around 45% of all fruit and vegetables purchased end up in the trash.  As our food options increase so does the likelihood that some of that food ends up as waste. Being smart about food means not just knowing the health benefits but also understanding food economy and how your wallet can benefit as well as your health.

However, purple superfoods are unlikely to end up as waste if you are smart about what role they serve in your diet.  For instance, they are a useful source of vital nutrients for those with allergies or particular dietary requirements.  Vegetarians can eat beetroot if they want a viable alternative source of protein. Acai berry is most often found as a supplement and can easily be taken in capsule form without worrying about how to prepare it. We like Perfect Acai best because it is organically grown, sustainably harvested and fairly-traded.

The golden (or purple) rule.

As with most things in life, moderation is key. Purple foods will improve your health as part of a balanced lifestyle, but they are not miraculous – if your diet or lifestyle is poor then the effect of these foods will be negligible.  But if wisely incorporated, either as a side dish or within recipes, they boast some impressive health benefits, especially as part of a weight loss program.  Furthermore, because they are less popular than their more famous fellow fruits and veggies, they tend to be inexpensive and easy to find. The issue for many consumers is that they seem to occupy a tricky niche as regards recipes- many of us wouldn’t be too sure what goes best with beetroot or red cabbage.  Fortunately, however, there are a whole host of recipes for purple foods just waiting to be discovered by an intrepid chef.

If you are looking to make a healthy addition to your meals or are simply looking to diversify your diet, purple superfoods are an excellent option – endlessly flexible and enormously beneficial. What’s not to like?

Almond Butter Brownies: Try Not to Eat the Whole Pan!

 

paleo_blondie_brownie_recipe

Dr. Erica Lepore, naturopathic doctor and creator of the 21 Day Detox Program, posted this recipe on her Facebook page and I had to try them. She said her family ate the whole pan in one sitting. I had to hurry to get the pictures done before my family ate them all! They’re that good – scout’s honor. The recipe is more like a blondie because it has chocolate chips and no cocoa. With the exception of the chocolate chips, which have a bit of evaporated cane juice to sweeten them, this recipe is Paleo-friendly. It is also gluten free and Vegan. And very addictive. We can not be held responsible for weight gain due to over consumption of these yummy goodies. Good luck not eating the whole pan!

Almond Butter Brownies

recipe from foodbabe.com
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed + 3 tbsp water or 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of “Enjoy Life” mega chocolate chunks

note: If using unsalted almond butter use 1/2 tsp salt

 Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line the bottom of an 8×8 dish with parchment paper or grease it.
  3. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a mixing bowl
  4. Add chocolate chunks, give a few stirs and pour batter into pan
  5. Bake brownies until dark golden brown – 20 to 25 mins
  6. Remove from oven and try to wait at least 10 mins before cutting

The Healthy Truth About Chocolate: It’s Good for You!

paleo_sugar-free_chocolate_candy_recipes

Good Chocolate is Good for You

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and that gets everyone thinking about one of my all time favorite things: chocolate! We talked all about many of the health benefits of chocolate in this blog post, Get Your Chocolate Fix! But, recently, a new study suggests that eating chocolate may make you smarter. Check out this article on PsyBlog, a website dedicated to figuring out how the mind works and founded by psychologist and author Dr. Jeremy Dean. In a nutshell, the study followed over 1000 people for over 30 years and found that people who regularly ate chocolate performed better on tests of reasoning and attention as well as tests of working memory. Not like I need another reason to eat chocolate, but, woohoo!

Yummy Sugar-Free Chocolate Candy Recipespaleo_sugar-free_chocolate_recipes

Now, most chocolate isn’t good if you are following a Paleo Diet, Primal Diet or any diet that eliminates white, processed sugar. But, I’ve been making these fantastic Paleo-friendly chocolate delights the past few months – since my last 21 Day Detox in November. I first introduced them to my extended family on Thanksgiving and they’ve been a big hit ever since. I always have a batch of one of these recipes in the fridge at any given time. Right now it’s the fruit and nut clusters. OK, so now I have to go get one because just talking about them makes me want one – or three!

Paleo Almond Joy Bars

inspired by detoxinista.com
Crust:
1 cup almond meal ( fine ground almond flour is ok, but rough almond meal works better)
1 1/2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs organic unrefined coconut oil (more solid the better)
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
pinch of sea salt
Coconut Filling:
1 cup shredded unsweetened organic coconut
3 Tbs pure maple syrup
2 Tbs organic unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp Bovine Gelatin dissolved in 2 tbs hot water
1/3 cup halved raw organic almonds or organic Brazil nuts (optional)
Chocolate Topping:
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (substitute half with organic cocoa butter for firmer chocolate)
2 Tbs organic maple syrup
6 drops stevia liquid (optional)
pinch of  sea salt

Instructions:
Before starting, get the cocoa butter melting if you are using it, see step 9.
1) In a glass bowl, add almond meal, maple syrup, almond extract and salt.
2) In a small glass dish, melt coconut oil in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds or on the stove in a double boiler. Add to other ingredients and mix well.
3) Line a small glass pyrex dish (7.5 x 5.25 x 1.75) or bread pan with parchment paper. Dump the crust mix into the dish, spread it out and press it firmly into the bottom of the dish with a fork. Put in freezer to set while you make the coconut filling.
4) I always just use the same glass bowl for this next part to save on dish washing. Add the shredded coconut and maple syrup to the bowl. Melt the coconut oil as before and add to the bowl.
5) In a very small glass or mug, dissolve the Bovine Gelatin into the 2 Tbs hot water. Use hot water so it dissolves completely and mixes better with the rest of the filling. Add to filling and mix well.
6) Remove crust from freezer and pour filling on top. Spread out and again press it firmly into the bottom of the dish with a fork.
7) If you are adding the nuts, cut each in half and spread on top of the coconut filling. Press into the filling with a fork. You want them to be halfway in and halfway out of the coconut layer. Return to freezer while you make the chocolate topping.
8) I again use the same bowl, although if you mind tiny bits of coconut in your chocolate layer, you may want to use a clean bowl. Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup to the bowl.
9) I originally made this recipe using only coconut oil for the chocolate topping, but found it to be a little on the soft side. So, I’ve been making it with 2 Tbs coconut oil and 2 Tbs melted organic cocoa butter. To melt the cocoa butter, grab a deep frying pan or wok and add about an inch or so of hot water, set the heat on low to warm the water further, but don’t boil it. Place the cocoa butter chunks in a small glass dish or mug and place that in the frying pan. Start this early because it takes a while to melt. Once the cocoa butter is melted, add the coconut oil directly to it, it will melt in the hot oil. You don’t want the coconut oil to be super melted or the chocolate comes super thin. If the coconut oil doesn’t mix enough, then zap it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt it a bit more. Whisk till well blended.
10) Add oils to the bowl and whisk to mix well. Don’t forget to add salt to taste – it adds a really nice touch to this recipe. Add stevia to taste if you like it sweeter.
11) Remove dish from freezer. Use a small spatula to pour chocolate onto the top and spread evenly. Return to freezer to set for at least 15 minutes.
12) Remove from freezer. Remove from dish by pulling the parchment paper up and out of the dish. Pull sides of parchment paper down and place the whole block on a cutting board. I cut it in half the long way and then I usually make 6 cuts the short way for a total of 14 pieces. Which immediately turns into 13 pieces or fewer depending on how many people are standing there waiting for me to finish. Store left-over candies ( if you have any) in the fridge.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cup Bars

This can be made Paleo or primal by using any other nut butter instead of peanut butter.

inspired by detoxinista.com
Both Chocolate Layers (make two batches separately):
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil or softened grass- fed butter (substitute half with organic cocoa butter for firmer chocolate)
2 Tbs organic maple syrup
6 drops stevia liquid (optional)
pinch of salt
Peanut Butter Filling:
Use any other nut butter for a Primal version.
1/2 cup crunchy natural organic peanut butter (the kind with no sugar or oils added)
2 1/2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 Tbs  coconut oil or softened grass-fed butter
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup organic nuts (optional)

Instructions:

1) I originally made this recipe using only coconut oil for the chocolate topping, but found it to be a little on the soft side and it added a mild coconut flavor that I didn’t really like with the peanut butter flavor. So, I’ve been making it with 2 Tbs grass-fed butter and 2 Tbs melted organic cocoa butter. To melt the cocoa butter, grab a deep frying pan or wok and add about an inch or so of hot water, set the heat on low to warm the water further, but don’t boil it. Place the cocoa butter chunks in a small glass dish or mug and place that in the frying pan. Start this early because it takes a while to melt. Melt enough for both layers of chocolate.
2) Line a small glass pyrex dish (7.5 x 5.25 x 1.75) or bread pan with parchment paper.
3) Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup to a glass bowl. Once the cocoa butter is melted, add the butter or coconut oil directly to it, it will melt in the hot oil. You don’t want the butter or coconut oil to be super melted or the chocolate comes out thin. If the oils are starting to cool and thicken, the chocolate comes out thicker.
4) Whisk to thoroughly combine and it’s a nice thick texture. Don’t forget to add salt to taste – it adds a really nice touch to this recipe. Add stevia liquid to taste if you like it sweeter.
5) Use a small spatula to pour chocolate out of bowl into parchment lined dish. Spread evenly and put in freezer to set.
6) I use the same bowl to mix up the peanut butter filling because a bit of chocolate in my peanut butter layer is OK with me. Add the peanut butter and maple syrup to the bowl. If using softened butter, add to bowl. If using coconut oil, melt it slightly, like 15 seconds in the microwave. Stir so texture is consistent and thick, but not chunky. Add to bowl and mix thoroughly. Salt to taste.
7) Remove base chocolate layer from freezer and using a spatula, pour peanut butter filling onto chocolate layer and spread evenly.
8) Add nuts evenly to top and press into the peanut butter layer. Put back in freezer to set.
9) Follow steps 1 and 3 to make another batch of chocolate.
10) Remove dish from freezer. Use a small spatula to pour top layer of chocolate on the peanut butter layer. Spread evenly. Put back in freezer for at least 15 minutes to set.
11) Remove from freezer. Remove from dish by pulling the parchment paper up and out of the dish. Pull sides of parchment paper down and place the whole block on a cutting board. I cut it in half the long way and then I usually make 6 cuts the short way for a total of 14 pieces. Store left-over candies ( if you have any) in the fridge.

Paleo Fruit & Nut Clusters

Chocolate Base:
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
1/2 cup organic unrefined coconut oil (substitute half with organic cocoa butter for firmer chocolate)
4 Tbs organic maple syrup
12 drops stevia liquid (optional)
sea salt to taste
Mix-ins:
3/4 cup dried organic fruit and nuts
My most recent batch has unsweetened coconut flakes, cranberries, pecans and cashews. A really tasty combination was dried cherries and pistachios, YUM!!!

Instructions:

1) To melt the cocoa butter, grab a deep frying pan or wok and add about an inch or so of hot water, set the heat on low to warm the water further, but don’t boil it. Place the cocoa butter chunks in a small glass dish or mug and place that in the frying pan. Start this early because it takes a while to melt.
2) Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup to a glass bowl. Once the cocoa butter is melted, add the butter or coconut oil directly to it, it will melt in the hot oil. You don’t want the butter or coconut oil to be super melted or the chocolate comes out thin. If the coconut oil or butter doesn’t melt nicely into the cocoa butter, you can microwave it for a few seconds to melt it a bit. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Add to bowl and whisk and to a nice thick texture. Don’t forget to add salt to taste – it adds a really nice touch to this recipe. Add stevia liquid to taste if you like it sweeter.
3) Add dried fruit and nuts to the bowl and mix till all is coated in chocolate. Spoon out bite-size portions onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes or set in fridge for a few hours. Store left-over candies ( if you have any) in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

Rosita_Extra_Virgin_Cod_Liver_Oil

What is Cod Liver Oil?

Cod Liver Oil is a popular dietary supplement whose touted benefits are supported by centuries of documented clinical research. It is historically remembered as the vitamin D source used to prevent rickets in children, attaining popularity for both medical research and general consumption in the early 1900s due to the esteemed works of Dr. Weston A. Price.

What does Cod Liver Oil Do?

Cod Liver Oil is an excellent source of vitamins A and D, nutrients that are difficult to get in sufficient amounts through modern diets. It also provides heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids with a good-sized portion of the daily recommended allowance of EPA/DHA. Multiple research studies have shown that this combination of vitamins from a 100% natural source, such as cod liver oil, has a significantly positive effect on overall health and wellness. What’s more is its potential to both prevent and treat a large variety of illnesses and diseases.

Who can benefit from using Cod Liver Oil?

Everyone! Cod Liver Oil is routinely recommend by all kinds of doctors and specialists as a daily nutritional supplement for its preventative and restorative health benefits. Its high Vitamin D level is essential for strong teeth and bones. Vitamin D also plays a role in nervous system and brain development, helping to prevent learning disorders in children. It is widely recognized as an immune-boosting antioxidant. Vitamin A promotes growth, vision, the immune system and reproduction. The Omega 3s, EPA and DHA, are also vital to brain function, the nervous system, cell membranes and much more. Raw cod liver oil contains numerous other nutrients as well, all working together to benefit people of all ages. Many people and doctors have praised cod liver oil for helping with the following:

  • Joint Pain
  • Heart Disease
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Mood Disorders
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Tooth Decay
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Hormonal Acne
  • Eye Issues

Which Cod Liver Oil do we think is the best?

So now that you have a little history of what cod liver oil is and why it’s good for you, which cod liver oil should you choose? We love Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil for the following reasons.rosita_cod_liver_oil

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

1) Time Tested Process

As many as 1300 years ago, the Scandinavian Vikings relied on fresh cod liver oil to get them through the cold, dark winter months. The oil was cherished for its strength and healing powers. Cod liver oil was used to ease sore muscles and joints, alleviate rheumatism, and cure illnesses such as gout and rickets. Later, cod liver oil became common for fighting the effects of malnutrition. Today, cod liver oil is a staple of the Paleo diet, the Weston A. Price diet and other healing, whole food diets.

Rosita uses an all-natural, secret method passed down by the Ancient Norse people to extract the oil from the cod livers. It starts with artisan fishers in Norway who use sustainable methods, line catching the fish and carefully harvesting them on their small, open boats. The time-tested process is heat free and uses no freezing, chemicals, solvents, bleaching, or decomposition. The process is done under low light conditions free of oxygen. The final cod liver oil retains all the vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients that give high-quality cod liver oil its numerous benefits.

2) Comes From Fish Caught in Super Clean Water

Rosita fishers catch cod in the crisp, clean arctic waters around Norway. A cleaner living environment makes for less toxic fish and, therefore, less chance for toxicity in the final cod liver oil.

3) Raw Cod Liver Oil is More Nutritious

Most of the Cod Liver Oil supplements manufactured for the market today are molecularly distilled. This is a chemical process involving high heat which basically denatures a high percentage of nutrient value of the cod liver oil. It is the most cost-effective and fastest way to process cod livers, therefore many companies switched to this process, but at the cost of the nutrient value of the finished product. The ancient process noted above leaves Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil raw, thereby it retains ALL the healthy, beneficial nutrients.

4) No Synthetics Ever Added!

Cod Liver Oil manufacturers realized that their money-saving process was effecting the nutrient value of their fish oil. To combat the reduction in potency and replace the vitamins and heat-sensitive Omega 3 fatty acids, these inferior oils are refortified with synthetic versions of certain nutrients. Rosita only adds minimal amounts of natural antioxidants to slow the oxidation process and keep it fresh once the bottle is opened. The only ingredients are raw, wild-caught cod liver oil, and tiny amounts of rosemary and natural vitamin E oil.

5) Top Cod Liver Oil Brand Recommended by both Chris Kresser and the Weston A. Price Foundation

Rosita is Paleo health guru Chris Kresser’s number one pick for cod liver oil. The Weston A. Price Foundation also recommends Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil as a top high-vitamin cod liver oil supplement.

Now, two convenient forms to take it!

Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil now comes in either the traditional liquid oil form or new softgels. The new Rosita softgels are the same great Rosita Cod Liver Oil, but encased in 100% fish gelatin capsules.