a new and improved Food Pyramid

Well, hello there! It’s been FOREVER. I know. It’s totally my fault. I am a bad friend : (

I have no excuse really, just that life got busy: roommate switcharoo, mad spring cleaning  spree for days, oh and my computer charger bit the dust. In the meantime, I became a little bit uninspired to photo bomb you with my food shots. Here I am though, and because I’m a bit rusty on the writing and slow on ideas, I am going to share with you a great blog post from SavingDinner, another cool site I’ve recently stumbled upon. Read this if you want to know what’s good for you! Here you go……Rethinking the Food Pyramid

More soon, promise!

Sauerkraut Class

Impress your friends with your own delicious homemade sauerkraut! Learn all about the health benefits of fermented vegetables and how to make a traditional sauerkraut. You will learn a basic recipe that can be modified at home to create your own unique varieties.

When: Sunday, April 13, 3-4pmk7440831
Location: Alma Education and Movement Space
1233 SE Stark Street, Portland 97214

Cost: $30 per person, includes recipe, fermentation handout and samples! Reserve your spot today, with payment in advance.
Call 503-703-1181 or email bodymindthrive@gmail.com

Zucchini Pasta!

zuccpasta3Okay, I present to you another crazy good meal I made the other night with my handy new favie tool: the Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler.  I have tried numerous times to find something that can make a vegie into pasta-like substance and this baby gets close! I love that it is easy to clean and more importantly, it is safer to use than other julienne-type kitchen utensils, like a mandolin, for instance. Yikes!  Mandolin + Allison = Blood Everywhere. Not pretty, especially for a massage therapist : ( Then I have to wear those horrible gloves and that’s just not fun for anyone…..


Anyhoooooooooooo. Ah yes, I’m having a glass of vino, probably not the best time for trying to write. So please forgive my typos. Back to my pasta.

I started with raw zucchini and julienned the heck out of it, then I  made a simple red sauce with grass fed ground beef, strained tomatoes and various spices. I like to use POMI tomatoes that come in a box when it’s not tomato season, because every now and then- I want a tomato in the winter, call me crazy. And the fresh tomatoes from Mexico or wherever else a billion miles away weren’t looking too good. So POMI is a good alternative because it’s just tomatoes, nothing else. Here’s the recipe.

Zucchini Pasta!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 2-3 zucchini
  • 1 box POMI tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Fresh or dried basil and oregano
  • S&P to taste, maybe a dash of cayenne


  1. Chop onion, saute in about 2 T. coconut oil or duck fat.
  2. Add beef, spices, cook for a few minutes to brown meat then add your tomatoes.
  3. Add garlic and herbs.
  4. Simmer for a good 20 minutes or longer to bring out flavors.
  5. Pasta:
  6. Prepare your zucchini using your julienne peeler.
  7. Add a little olive oil and sea salt and toss to mix.
  8. Top your zucchini pasta with the sauce, garnish with nutritional yeast. Eat. YUMMY.

food intolerances

I have known about my food intolerance and sensitivities for over a year now. I am intolerant to dairy and have a gluten-sensitivity. To top it off, I have an intense inflammatory reaction when consuming grains within 4 hours of potato. I know living in Portland, everyone has some kind of food they can’t or won’t eat. It’s become mainstream. There’s even a Portandia episode about it. It’s pretty dang funny.  Because of how cool Portland is, living here with food baggage is not so bad,  but there still is a lot of eye rolling that goes on when people hear you have a food allergy.

What is really going on here? When food can’t be broken down, it forms toxins that hang out and cause inflammation and make your liver work harder, which just makes you feel like YUCK. Symptoms can include joint paint, muscle aches, tendonitis, skin problems, digestive issues, fatigue and brain fog. No fun….Who wants to feel about 100 years old? Not me, not anymore.

So, food intolerance, food allergy or food sensitivity?? What the heck?! I was a little confused myself about all these kinds of food issues, so I decided to help clarify it for you. Here you go.

Food Intolerance Food intolerance is completely different from food allergy although the symptoms are often similar. The difference is that food intolerances do not involve an immune reaction but occur because the body cannot properly digest the foods. Food intolerances can also be genetic and are found to pass from generation to generation. Either way, the body was never designed to digest the foods either due to enzymatic issues or absorption problems in the intestine. A simple blood test, called the Carroll Food Intolerance test can determine if you are intolerant to certain foods.

Food Allergies True allergic reactions to food involve the body’s immune system. When the body identifies a food as “foreign”, it produces antibodies against that food. When we ingest that food repeatedly, the body mounts an immune response causing the release of histamine and other chemicals that trigger allergic symptoms. This can also determined by a blood test.

Food Sensitivities Food sensitivities are energetic reactions that the body can have against a specific food. Reactions can range from digestive disturbances to skin or systemic symtoms. Food sensitivities are different than allergies as they do not produce a typical antibody response. They are different than food intolerances as there is no lack of any enzyme designed to break down food. Food sensitivities are most frustrating because they occur even after many blood tests have ruled them out.  It is often determined by an elimination diet where you remove all the suspected foods and then slowly add them back in and see if a reaction occurs. (I know this one! I learned by trial and error. And a lot of denial….)

Well, then. There you have it. Super serious post. But look how much you learned, smarty mcsmartypants…..;)


A week of grain free breakfasts/holy #@!* I eat a lot of eggs…..

A question that people often ask me is, what do you eat for breakfast if you don’t eat gluten or dairy? I decided to document a weeks’ worth of breakfasts for a post and came to the realization that the answer is overwhelmingly………EGGS!!

photo-16 IMG_2436 IMG_2139 IMG_2029 IMG_2672  eggs2 eggs3

The egg is a beautiful food.  It has many health benefits, this lil’ nugget of goodness.

Here are some fun facts about eggs…

  • Eggs provide a complete range of amino acids (the building blocks for making protein)
  • All B vitamins are found in eggs, including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, choline, biotin, and folic acid
  • The nutrients found in an egg are distributed fairly evenly between the yolk and the white, which is a common characteristic of whole, natural foods and why consumption of whole eggs is recommended (So, egg-white only people: you are getting ripped off!)
  • Omega-3s are low in the average U.S. diet, and whole eggs from pasture-raised chickens can provide significant amounts of these anti-inflammatory fats

Select your eggs carefully. It can be a bit confusing. The good ones will be vibrant, sunny and make fluffy scrambled eggs and non-runny mayo. They won’t contain any of the misery or bad ju-ju of a poor chicken raised in a crowded, dirty factory farm.  Check out this handy little chart I borrowed from a great website called  World’s Healthiest Foods.

Shopping for Eggs
Stick with organic Organic standards help lower risk of contaminated feed and organic eggs usually have higher nutrient quality. However, remember that organic by itself does not guarantee a natural lifestyle for the egg-laying chickens.
Ask for pasture-raised Go beyond organic by asking for pasture-raised. Don’t get sidetracked by the confusing array of labeling terms. You are likely to find phrases like “pasture-raised,” “pastured,” “free-range” and “cage-free” on egg packaging, but labeling laws allow products to display these terms even if the egg-laying chickens spend little or no time outdoors in a pasture setting. Talk to your grocer or the chicken producer and find out how the chickens were actually raised.
Consider local farms Organic, pasture-raised eggs may be available from local farms with small flocks and a natural lifestyle for their chickens. Two websites that can help you find small local farms in your area are www.localharvest.org and www.eatwild.com. Both sites are searchable by zip code.

Another option is to raise your own chickens! Hey Portlanders, now there’s a new idea for you…..; )

How to make juice without a juicer!

juice4juice 3 juice2juice1I love the idea of juicing everyday, but for years I’ve put off buying a juicer. Mainly because I’m really particular about THE ONE and I haven’t found room for it yet in my budget. *in other words- my priorities are whacked*

Anyhow, if you too find yourself buying bottle after bottle of vino, rather than saving for that juicer-do not fret! You can make a yummy juicy with your trusty old blender and a wire mesh strainer. Easy peasy. And I am here to tell you how.

I like to make my juice with as many veggies as possible, and rarely ever add fruit. I also recommend taking it easy on the carrots and beets too, because they are higher in sugar and without the fiber of the plant, will cause your blood sugar levels to go through the roof. So don’t go too crazy on these or you might as well head over to the mall for a Jamba Juice…(blech)

Here’s the scoop:

  • Add all your veggies to the blender with 1-2 cups of filtered water
  • Blend just enough for it all to form a nice puree *Avoid ‘overblending’ to save the nutrient integrity of the veggies
  • Pour it through your strainer into your glass (or bowl because it gets kinda messy)  *You may have to stir/scrape the mixture while it is in the strainer to allow all the liquid to pass through

I like to add a spoonful or two of the pulp back into my juice for a little fiber, a couple squeezes of lemon, and a pinch of sea salt and that’s it. Done. Delicious, you’re gonna love it….

Sweet Potato Buns

Here is a fun little breakfast treat from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, another great blog with amazing recipes! I’m now trying to avoid all grains, not just wheat/gluten, and one thing I really miss  is sandwiches! Especially a nice breakfast sandwich. So when this recipe popped up on my screen, it totally caught my eye.  I had to try it.
I tweaked it a bit, of course, but that is the beauty of cooking food yourself–you can do whatever you damn well please, thank you. I used arugula, tomato, avocado and scrambled eggs for my sammie and I’m not gonna lie, it was super messy to eat but SO delish. I think if I could have made the ‘buns’ crispier, it might have been easier to eat like a sandwich. No matter, a fork worked perfectly.  So go here for the recipe and really beautiful pictures of  Sweet Potato Buns. Stay here for a second and see how mine came out…..Not as pretty in pictures, but oh, so tasty.

sweet pot
Tada! Looks like toast…





Duck Fat and More

IMG_1819     I love this stuff. After finding out about my dairy intolerance, I have been on the search for a safe fat to cook with.  I love coconut oil but I sometimes want something that has the similar warm, rich taste of butter for cooking. I have known about the benefits of different animal fats for awhile now, just finally got around to trying duck and chicken fat in 2013. YES. You read that right. I said benefits of animal fats. The truth is our bodies need healthy fats to function properly and animal fats happen to be a stable source to use for cooking. Not to mention they are delicious, satisfying and add a certain depth to your meals like no other.
    The big problem is that we have been mislead. There are many oils people are using to cook with that are simply not safe when heated and some not good to ingest at all. The no-no’s include canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and vegetable oil and heaven help us all…..any type of margarine. These oils are extremely processed usually with harsh chemicals and heat. They are most often made from genetically modified ingredients and are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated which creates harmful trans fatty acids. Basically putting these into your body equals a small machete hacking away at your arteries….OUCH.
    Here are some good articles that explain more about different kinds of fats and oils, benefits of fats to our health and also the crazy processing that occurs with commercial vegetable oils. Don’t just walk away from your computer now, for the sake of your health- READ THESE!!



Oh, and for sure don’t skip this one. This Doc is a real hottie……


Equally as unhealthy as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils,  are oils that have gone rancid. Good oils for cooking are the more saturated types because they are more chemically stable and less prone to rancidity when heated.  Some options are coconut oil, palm oil, and animal fats like duck fat, butter or ghee. Oils like extra virgin olive oil, unrefined sunflower oil,  and flax seed oil are best for drizzling over foods and should not be heated. They are unstable oils and can become rancid with heat and light. This means more free radicals for your poor body to deal with. Stop it now!

Here is a guideline of what to look for when choosing your fats and oils:

  • first pressed or cold pressed
  • unrefined
  • dark colored glass jars
  • organic and/or non-genetically modified
  • some oils, like flax seed or fish oils should always be refrigerated

And when searching for animal fats, the key words to look for are fats rendered from grass-fed or pastured animals, organic and hormone-free. I am lucky to live in Portland, Oregon and I can find these at local grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Search around your markets, start with the meat department or try asking local farmers in your area. Good luck and happy eating!



Paleo/Primal Eaters: Don’t Forget Your Veggies!

Last night I was thinking about how interesting it is that people always ask me if I’m a IMG_1765vegetarian. It happens all the time, even though I’ve been eating meat for years. I was talking with my parents about it, and my mom said it’s because I always eat a lot of vegetables. Well, I guess mom was right. I feel like something is missing when I have a meal without my beloved green things.  The truth is…..I *heart* veggies!

Sometimes the thought of a primal/paleo/low carb way of eating conjures up images of huge drumsticks, fatty strips of bacon, steaks, eggs, etc. I eat all these things as well, as long as they are coming from a good clean source. This means grass-fed, and pasture raised if possible, or at least hormone free.  Just say no to factory farmed meats. I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want to support that industry in any way. And for that reason, I once did try to be a vegetarian. (That lasted about two seconds, then I started dating a guy who was a chef and it was all over.) Wow. I’ve changed so much, from the girl who didn’t really like meat and was scared to eat an ounce of fat. Anyways, I can talk about bacon for days, but back to the veggies…..

My point is that just because we are eating more proteins these days, doesn’t mean not eating lots and lots of veggies! If you are not filling up on starchy carbs or dairy products, then you need to eat more than just meats. Otherwise you are missing out on tons of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Not to mention probably eating way too much protein. Vegetables fill you up so you won’t feel the need to overeat. The biggest mistake is letting yourself get too hungry, because then we tend to reach for sugary snacks or processed food for a quick fix. Plus veggies make your plate look pretty : ) I like to think of my greens or veggie as my bread, rice or pasta and use it the same way. For example, pasta sauce over spaghetti squash or lightly steamed greens. And as much as I like warm food in the cold months, I make sure to include some raw vegetables everyday too.

So, the moral of the story is: your momma was right. Eat your veggies!

Late night baking

damn good brownies…..

Ok, so you know when it’s dark and cold outside and you’ve had dinner and all the sudden you get  the hankerin’ for something sweet and delicious? Well, this happens to me, usually around 10 pm. I know. I probably should not be baking or eating this late, but whatev, ’tis the season, right? I usually don’t listen to those voices in my head that say no. I do what I want. So there. But at least I’m trying Paleo friendly treats, well mostly…..I don’t think the chocolate chips count but in general these brownies are a little bit healthier than they could be. So try these next time you want to whip up something tasty super fast. Happy Holidays!!

Chocolate Spice Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 2 T Coconut Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • Pinch o' Sea Salt
  • 1 T Cinnamon
  • 1 T Molasses
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips


  1. Using a food processor, puree walnuts and coconut oil until smooth. (Congrats, you've just made nut butter!)
  2. Now, add all ingredients, except chocolate chips to a mixing bowl and whisk until you have a nice consistent batter.
  3. Add chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into baking pan lined with parchment or coconut oil.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-17 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
  6. Brownies will set up as they cool, so they key is not to overcook!