Holy Guacamole! (or How Taste Buds Can Change)

Holy Guacamole! (or How Taste Buds Can Change)

I never really liked avocado. But somewhere in my teenage years I heard that taste buds change every three years, so I kept on trying avocado despite it being a “thumbs down” for me each time. And while the research I’ve done recently on taste buds and taste development does not support this theory of the three year turn over, I am happy to say that somewhere in my twenties, because of my commitment to continue trying foods I wasn’t fond of, I began to love avocado! It all changed with this amazing guacamole dip that I tried deep in the heart of Texas. I have three small children — 7, 5 and about to be 2. What I’ve learned about taste from them is that it is possible train a child’s palate. Many parenting books tell you that kids may need to try foods anywhere from 10-15 times before they will accept the taste and texture as good to them. It may have something to do with the sensitivity of these new “taste radars” they’ve been equipped with. My kids eat pretty much everything under the sun. I credit this not only to consistently trying all different kinds of foods with them during their toddler years, but also to having a dinner table rule that says they must try at least one bite of everything on their plates. Even if the last time they ate it they didn’t like it. Like magic, salad has become acceptable on the dinner plate! And, remarkably, things like broccoli and spicy foods and coconut curry have always been on the menu for them. As we go through pregnancy and menopause (ladies) and as we age our taste...
Why Am I So Tired on This Cleanse?

Why Am I So Tired on This Cleanse?

I’m currently facilitating a three week cleanse and elimination diet via a Facebook group for about 55 people and today we’re on Day 5. The glorious Day 5! The day when most detox symptoms begin to disappear and we generally hit the “flow” of clean eating. Headaches float away, muscle and join pain subsides, nausea vanishes, bloating is a thing of the past. Can’t you just hear the angels singing off in the distance? Maybe you can’t because you’re still so stinking tired. Fatigue can be a major symptom when you make drastic changes to your diet, especially when you exclude one or more food categories. There are a few reasons why this could be happening to you. And there are certainly some things you can try to get the pep back in your step even while continuing on a cleanse program. Here are four: You have excluded virtually all food-based stimulants from your diet. With the pace of life the way it is these days, many of us have learned to rely on caffeine and sugar to get through the day. We use these foods to wake up and get moving and we use them to stay moving by mid-afternoon. On a cleanse, caffeine and sugar are removed from the diet. If you’re doing an elimination component then things like dairy, wheat, corn and processed foods may also be removed. These foods contain or break down into sugar as well, so they have become part of our energy equation. To combat fatigue resulting from removing stimulants from the diet, try upping your water consumption and making sure you are consuming enough...
“You Can Do This” Chicken Bone Broth

“You Can Do This” Chicken Bone Broth

I want to start with this simple (and true) statement: YOU can do THIS! Practically with your eyes closed. Not even kidding. You just need a few ingredients, a big pot, a stove and time. That’s it. First, let’s start with the Why: Bone broth is extremely healing, especially for those who have gut issues, joint pain, allergies or brain related issues like ADHD and Autism. The primary benefit of bone broth is its ability to rebuild the gut lining and connective tissues in the body; collagen and various minerals being released from the bones and connective tissues are responsible for these regenerating qualities. Check out this post by Paleo Mom to read more about the specifics of why it is so healing. And if you want a little more in general on the topic, check out this post by Wellness Mama. I’ll just say that I have had digestive issues for most of my life and have found that just one day of consuming bone broth significantly calms my symptoms. It’s really that powerful. There are many recipes out there, but I’m going to give you one for a chicken bone broth that you could do in your sleep (in fact, it does most of its cooking while you do just that — sleep!). You can also make a bone broth from beef bones or fish bones and shells. With beef bones you will want to roast them in the oven for a bit before you boil/simmer them with veggies and herbs and spices, and then you’ll want to simmer it for up to 48 hours. Yes, 48 hours. Chicken...
Why I’ll Sweeten with Raw Honey, Not Fruit Juice

Why I’ll Sweeten with Raw Honey, Not Fruit Juice

  Our family embarked on the Whole30 last Wednesday. It’s been a mixed bag of results so far, some really good and some not so good. I’ll be posting about some of the not so good results during the week and talking about the adjustments we’ll be making to our plan. But one of the adjustments I knew we would make from the outset was to reach for honey as a “touch of sweet” in our cooking as opposed to fruit juice. Let me give you my three reasons why. Honey is a whole food. Fruit juice is not. The originators of the Whole30 are very clear that a major part of this program is to remove sugar and things that break down easily into sugar from the diet. You can read their book, It All Starts with Food, if you’d like to understand the fundamental workings of this priority. But suffice it to say, too much sugar wreaks havoc in pretty much every system of the body. And “too much sugar” is a lot less than what we might think. So the founders of this program say it’s okay to use fruit juice as a sweetener in dishes where it’s an absolute must, and they say it’s because they “had to draw the line somewhere.” But I would argue that this is not where the line should be drawn. The line should exclude fruit juice and include honey. Because honey is a whole food and fruit juice is not. Fruit juice is a component of juice. When the juice is extracted it leaves behind all of the fiber and...