Sunday, February 22, 2015

6 reasons to join me in Austin, TX for Paleo f(x) 2015!

I have HUGE, HUGE news to share with you today!!! (notice the extra exclamation points) I am headed to Austin, Texas this April 24 - 26, 2015 to participate in Paleo f(x)! Not familiar with Paleo f(x)? Let me tell you more!
It happens to be the world's largest live Paleo event, with world-class speakers, best-selling authors, physicians, nutritionists, scientists, athletes, trainers, sustainability and food activists, biohackers, amazing Paleo vendors and hundreds of like-minded health and nutrition nuts (like me) who want to soak it all in. 

                              

Need a few more reasons to attend? I've got 6 of them for you...


1. Learn all about Paleo in one weekend -- Whether you enjoy learning about the science behind the ancestral lifestyle or you are a Paleo newbie who wants to just figure out what in the world to eat, this even has something for everyone. You can get tips on being more conscious about where your food comes from and hear groundbreaking research on the latest medical benefits of a real food diet, all in one weekend.

2. Get social -- Paleo f(x) isn't about sitting in a lecture hall all weekend...not by a long shot. There is a ton of fun to be had and you won't want to miss a single minute. You'll be able to chat with your favorite Paleo authors, network with others who are passionate about health and wellness and attend delicious Paleo dinner parties. Learn more about all of the fun social events here.

3. Get fit -- Paleo f(x) has an entire stage devoted to strength and conditioning, fitness and natural movement. You'll learn from leaders in the fitness industry and also receive hands on training from top coaches. You can even try out something new like gymnastic movements or primal play. Get more information on how you can get fit at Paleo f(x) here.



4. Meet top leaders in the Paleo community -- This. lineup. is. insane. Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser, Mark Sisson, Dr. Terry Wahls, Sarah Fragoso, Michelle Tam...need I go on? This is your chance to learn from the best, live and in person.

5. Umm...hello...it's Austin -- If it's been hovering just above 0ºF where you live like it has been here, escaping the cold for a warm Texas day in the spring is sounding pretty good right about now. Besides just enjoying the outdoors, there is more live music, art, outdoor activities, food and fun than you can pack into one weekend. Did someone say barbecue? If you need more information on how to get to Austin and where to stay, click here. You can even connect with other attendees to share a ride or a room if you are looking to save some money for all that delicious food you'll be eating.

                                  

6. Cook with me -- Other than geeking out at all the Paleo awesomeness, I'll be onstage during the conference presenting a cooking demo of a recipe straight out of The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book

Even if you aren't able to attend this year, you can still take part by voting for the Paleo f(x) first ever Awards Show. Nominate your favorite bloggers (ahem) books (ahem, ahem...just joking), podcasts and more. Click here to fill out the ballot.

I'd love for you to join me for a weekend of Paleo fun in Austin on April 24-26, 2015! Click here to register now. Keep up with the latest news on the Paleo f(x) blog and Facebook page.





Note - Certain links in this post are affiliate links from which I do earn a small commission if you purchase a Paleo f(x) ticket. Thanks for your support and I hope to see you there! :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

10 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Paleo Pregnancy



I am still floating along on the happy cloud of the release of The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book so I wanted to share with you some of my favorite tips from the book and from around the web for a happy, healthy Paleo pregnancy! There are so many things you can do during pregnancy that can help to prepare for your new arrival, alleviate symptoms like morning sickness and fatigue, and to just plain enjoy this special time.


1. Don't skimp on protein - During pregnancy, your baby is constantly growing. Your own body is changing, too, as your breasts, uterus and placenta grow to provide for your baby. Proteins provides the building blocks (amino acids) to facilitate this growth, so it is important to get plenty of protein in your diet. Animal proteins are the only complete sources of protein, meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids. Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein to include, too, but they won't provide the full spectrum that you can get from meat and eggs. The key here is variety. Not only will you be getting all of the essential amino acids, each protein source provides other important nutrients, too. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids and red meat is high in iron and vitamin B12. Mix it up and include some type of protein with each meal and snack and you won't have any problem getting enough protein in your diet. Think eggs with breakfast, a handful of nuts with your afternoon snack, or a salad with chicken breast for dinner.

Some studies have even shown that eating more protein can alleviate morning sickness. This can be difficult to swallow (yes, I meant to say that) when you can't even stand the smell of bacon frying in the pan...trust me, I've been there. I can say from personal experience that eating protein and fat throughout the day helped my morning sickness. It helped to keep me full longer, which kept that gurgly, empty stomach feeling at bay. If you are experiencing frequent nausea, focus on protein sources you can stomach. A spoonful of almond butter, plain scrambled eggs, grain-free muffins made with almond flour, or my yummy Paleo Trail Mix Bars from The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book.


2. Know your non-dairy calcium sources - One of the most common Paleo pregnancy questions I get is how to get calcium if you don't consume dairy. We all know that calcium is one of the key players (along with vitamin D) in building strong bones and teeth, and we are basically raised to believe that dairy is our only source of calcium, but it just isn't true. Some of the best sources of calcium are fish canned with the bones. Yes, I'm talking about our good friends sardines and salmon. It really isn't as icky as it sounds. You can easily mix sardines into a salad or even mix with tuna to mask them a bit. Canned salmon also makes a great salad or you can make the Salmon Muffins from The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book. Just be sure they are canned with the skin and bones and you'll be getting all kinds of extra nutrition in that little can. Dark leafy greens like kale and collard greens are also good sources, along with almonds, dried figs, broccoli and even molasses.

3. Eat pregnancy superfoods - During pregnancy, a few foods really stand out as spectacular superfoods. If you can get a few of these in each day, you'll be well on your way to a nutrient-dense Paleo pregnancy diet:

  • Avocado - Not just a delicious source of fat. Avocados also contain fiber, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and vitamin K
  • Grass Fed Beef - Contains choline, iron, B vitamins, protein, selenium and zinc
  • Organic Berries - High in fiber, folate, vitamin C and phytonutrients
  • Dark Leafy Greens - Contain calcium, fiber, folate, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and phytonutrients
  • Eggs - Probably my top pregnancy superfood! Eggs are the perfect food all wrapped up in a neat little package. High in choline, iodine, iron, protein, vitamin D, selenium and vitamin B12
  • Salmon - Fresh or canned with skin and bones. It's all good! Contains calcium, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, selenium and vitamin D
  • Sweet Potatoes - Good source of fiber, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C and phytonutrients
  • Walnuts - A nutritious snack with copper, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B6 and zinc

4. Smooth skin, naturally - This tip comes from Primally Inspired's Beautiful Skin Fridays with Jenni Raincloud. Her recipe for Anti-Stretch Mark Belly Serum is all-natural and can help to prevent or fade stretch marks. It can even be used all over as a moisturizing body oil. I wish I had found this when I was pregnant. My skin was super-dry and itchy, but I did get a lot of free back scratches from Kevin out of it. :) I actually didn't realize I had stretch marks until after I had Avery because they were on the underside of my belly where I couldn't even see them! I don't mind them, they are definitely a badge of honor for everything I went through to bring my beautiful baby into the world, but I would have been happy to rub this belly serum on to keep my skin nourished and glowing and hopefully prevent stretch marks from forming in the first place.


5. Sip Pregnancy Tea - This recipe for Happy Pregnancy Tea also comes to us from Primally Inspired. This special blend of pregnancy-safe herbs tones the uterus, helps to relax and prepare the body for birth and even contains many vitamins and minerals that are important for mom and baby. It is made with red raspberry leaf, nettle, oatstraw, alfalfa and rose petals. Pay attention to the guidelines for how much to consume in each trimester. You can drink more as you near your due date and your body is preparing for birth.


6. Stock the Freezer - Before Avery was born, I spent about a week prepping two or three meals a night and throwing them in the freezer so we would have healthy meals in a flash when we came home from the hospital. I made chili, soup, egg muffins and some slow cooker meals. These lasted us a few weeks and came in really handy when we were busy, tired new parents. You can find some of my favorite slow cooker and freezer meals here.

7. Make memories - This tip comes from Trisha of Go Eat Your Beets. She has four beautiful kids and had a photographer at the birth of her youngest son. It really is a wonderful way to capture the special memories of meeting your baby for the first time. I felt like it all went by so fast that a lot of it just seems like a blur. In this post, Birth Photography: 10 Lessons I Learned, her birth photographer, Courtney, shares tips for other photographers who plan on attending a birth. If you choose to have a birth photographer, or even if a friend or family member plans to take pictures, this would be a great post to share with them so they know how to best capture the experience.


8. Get moving - Regular exercise during pregnancy is just as important as proper nutrition. Get moving for at least 30 minutes daily and you'll reduce your risk of common pregnancy complications, find relief from pregnancy symptoms and bounce back more quickly from labor and delivery. Exercise has many benefits, including fewer aches and pains, improved digestion, better sleep quality, increased energy and reduced risk of diabetes and preeclampsia.

Most forms of exercise are safe during pregnancy, including running, swimming, aerobics, weight training, yoga and pilates. If you are new to exercise, your best bet is to join a prenatal fitness class or find a personal trainer so you can get specialized, one-on-one instruction. If you already have a daily exercise routine, let your coach or trainer know that you are pregnant so they can offer modifications. Even a 30 minute daily walk will provide the benefits listed above. As always, talk with your health care provider about your fitness routine at your first prenatal appointment.

Milk coma!
9. Prepare for successful breastfeeding - This tip is from Kelly Bejelly, the brilliant mind behind A Girl Worth Saving (seriously, have you seen her recipes). As a new mom, Kelly faced many challenges with breastfeeding. The thing is, most of us do not have a perfectly smooth relationship with breastfeeding. There are ups and downs, but if you do choose to breastfeed it is important that you educate yourself so that you can be prepared for the challenges. In this post, Kelly shares her New Mom Tips for Breastfeeding...the most important one being to go easy on yourself!

10. Get comfortable - In The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book I talk a lot about loving your growing, changing body and finding clothes that help you feel comfortable and beautiful. During exercise, for example, you'll probably need a larger, more supportive sports bra and possibly even bigger shoes. During those first few days (or weeks...or months) home from the hospital, you might be more comfortable in pajamas or yoga pants as your body heals and returns to your new normal. Especially if you are nursing, you'll want comfortable nursing bras and nursing tops for easy access to breastfeeding.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Check me out on this week's Paleo Baby Podcast!


Hey there! So, if you are anything like me you listen to a lot of podcasts. When I am on long trips I much prefer podcasts to music in order to pass the time. I even listen to podcasts when I am running or working out. I listen to a ton of health related podcasts, as well as some of my favorite NPR shows like Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me and The Moth. One of my favorites as of late has been the Paleo Baby Podcast.

Hosted by Chris and Julie of Nourish Balanace Thrive, each episode covers various pregnancy and parenting related topics from stress reduction to breast feeding and even transitioning your family to Paleo.

Well, this week I had the awesome opportunity to be a guest on the podcast and talk all things Paleo pregnancy and parenting with Julie! She has her own little Paleo baby and I love chatting with people who feed their baby the same way that we feed Avery...sardines and all!

In this episode, we discussed my journey to Paleo, my Paleo pregnancy, pre-pregnancy nutrition, blood sugar regulation, the most important nutrients for breastfeeding, and so much more. Of course, we also touched on The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book and all it has to offer. We even joked about the strange craving we both had for really cold foods and drinks. Maybe this is a common pregnancy thing that I don't know about?

Head over to the Paleo Baby Podcast page or iTunes to subscribe and listen to my episode. While you are there you can catch up on past episodes and check out their other podcast, Nourish Balance Thrive.








Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Paleo Taco Breakfast Casserole

Wow! It's been a while since I've posted a new recipe. I've posted lots of fun news about my new book and upcoming launch party, but there hasn't been a recipe in sight in ages. I'm making it up to you today with this tasty breakfast casserole. 

It pretty much combines all of the tips that I give out in my nutrition seminars when I am discussing healthy breakfasts. Like many people, I spent the first 30 years of my life eating cereal or oatmeal for breakfast. The longest amount of time I spent making breakfast was probably about five minutes. It can be really tough to make the switch to a more real food based breakfast when you are used to rolling out of bed and pouring cereal into a bowl.


This casserole does take a bit of time to cook in the oven, but the prep time is minimal and it makes enough to feed your family for two or three days. I always tell people to make big meals that leave plenty of leftovers so you can cook once and eat two or three times from that same meal. True, you may have to wake up early to make breakfast one day, but then you can sleep in the next day and breakfast will just be ready and it will be MUCH healthier than a bowl of cereal.

I also love that this casserole recipe can really just be used as a base and you can totally switch up the meat, veggies and spices to use up food you have in your house or to suit whatever sounds good to you that morning. As long as you follow the general guidelines (temperature, cook time, etc.) you can play with it as much as you want.  I've made many variations of this, including my Hatch Green Chile Breakfast Casserole and the Ginger Carrot Breakfast Casserole in my new book, The Everything® Paleo Pregnancy Book.

So, if you haven't made the jump and switched to a real food breakfast, this would be a great recipe to start with. If you really want to sleep in, you could even make it the night before and dream about the delicious breakfast that will be waiting for you in the morning. :)


Paleo Taco Breakfast Casserole
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Serves: 6

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
One medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 lb ground beef
Two medium carrots, shredded
1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp each of garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Dash of salt and pepper
8 eggs
Optional Toppings: black olives, green onion, sliced avocado, salsa, raw grass fed cheddar cheese

Directions
Heat oven to 350ºF. 

Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add ground beef to skillet and cook until it begins to brown, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often to break up the meat.

Add carrots, cabbage and bell pepper and continue to cook until meat is fully browned and vegetables are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often.

Transfer beef and vegetable mixture to a large glass baking dish (9''x13'' or similar). Pour eggs evenly over top of beef and vegetables and use a fork to gently stir in eggs.

Optional: Top with sliced black olives and/or diced green onion

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until eggs are set. Cut into 6 slices.

Optional: Serve with avocado, salsa or a sprinkling of raw grass fed cheddar cheese

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's Finally Here! Let's Celebrate the Launch of The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book with a HUGE Giveaway (Ended)!


Are you a excited as I am? The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book is is no longer just a massive word document on my computer screen. It is a real, live book that you can purchase and flip through and hopefully even learn a few things from. You can even go to your local Barnes and Noble and give it a big hug like I did. :)


If you aren't familiar with the book, here is a short rundown:

----------------

A Modern Woman’s Guide to Surviving Pregnancy…Caveman Style

The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book is an all-encompassing pregnancy guide
for the Paleo mom-to-be. This book is perfect for women who are new to Paleo, as well as women who have been following a Paleo diet for years. The beauty of this book is that it goes well beyond just the nutrients that a pregnant woman needs to support her growing baby. The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book is packed with:
  • Health information backed by current research
  • Practical tips for applying a Paleo diet during pregnancy
  • Over 100 delicious recipes
  • A four week meal plan
  • Exercise recommendations
  • All-natural remedies for common pregnancy symptoms,
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Tips for recovering from childbirth and adjusting to being a new mom

                                                                        ----------------

THE GIVEAWAY
The giveaway has ended-congratulations to Michelle and thanks to everyone who entered!

The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book is already shipping thanks to some quicker-than-expected printing times, but the official release date of January 9, 2015 is only a few days away! What better way to celebrate than with an awesome giveaway of some awesome books and products that will help you through your own (or someone you love) Paleo pregnancy?


ONE lucky winner will receive the following prize package, valued at over $150.00!
I want to say a HUGE thank you to the sponsors of this giveaway! One mom-to-be will be very happy to have all these goodies. Due to shipping regulations, this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. There is no purchase necessary and there are lots of ways to enter. Good luck!

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