Garlic Lemon Sage Gnocchi with Toasted Pine Nuts

Garlic Lemon Sage Gnocchi with Toasted Pine Nuts

I’m home from Spain after being gone for two weeks. My husband and I played a little “what are you most excited about doing when you get home” game and cooking was my #1 (his was mountain biking, in case you were wondering). 

We left our hotel at 5:45 AM in Barcelona Wednesday and arrived back in Denver International Airport at 1:15 AM Thursday, not walking through our front door until around 2 AM.  Yup, that’s right. We were traveling for about 28 hours. We were all about saving money on the flights so we could spend more of it on food and lodging while we were there. Was it worth it? Totally!

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Grain-Free Fruit Filled Quesadilla

Grain-Free Fruit Filled Quesadilla

I’ve been having fun thinking about the different ways I can replicate some of the meals we had while we were in Barcelona. As I mentioned on my Instagram, I ate grains during my two weeks in Spain. Before leaving, my Nutritionist at Roots Medical mentioned that he knows people with wheat sensitivities who had no problems eating it in Europe. I took a poll from my followers, and many of them said they experienced the same food freedom over there! I decided to give it a try and I wasn’t disappointed.

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Grain-Free Chilaquiles

Grain-Free Chilaquiles

I’m so excited about my version of chilaquiles. This one is made with fresh eggs, grain-free tortillas, and rainbow chard. I whipped it up in about 20 minutes before my husband and I went to get baby chicks this morning.

I had always wanted chickens and we ended up being “gifted” some older hens about two years ago when our neighbors were moving from their big house into a small, one bedroom apartment. It was perfect timing as we were about to buy our first home. The new  house came with a long run that had previously been used for dogs, and we decided to transition that into a run for our chickens.

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MACA + MATCHA CHOCOLATE ENERGY BITES

MACA + MATCHA CHOCOLATE ENERGY BITES

Matcha seems so flippin’ trendy right now. I’ve always been a coffee drinker but I decided to give matcha a try to see if it’s really worth the hype.

Okay, so WTF is matcha? It’s a fine powder ground from green tea leaves. It packs a punch of caffeine and allegedly has a ton of health benefits.

I decided to give Vital Proteins matcha collagen a try. It comes in a 12 oz plastic container with 24 servings (which will totally last longer for me because I’m sensitive to caffeine). 

 

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AIP - SIBO FRIENDLY BEEF STEW

AIP - SIBO FRIENDLY BEEF STEW

You may think getting started on the SIBO diet means you're destined for bland food, but I'm here to tell you that's not the case! This midwest gal has put together a delicious, nutrient-dense,  hardy, SIBO-friendly stew that may just become a new staple in your healing process. 

The recipe takes about an hour and 30 minutes and prepares enough stew for 4 people. You can add it to a bowl of cauli-rice (or regular rice, if that’s your thing) to make it stretch.

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AIP - Duck Fat Hash

AIP - Duck Fat Hash

What’s better than an AIP duck fat breakfast hash? Hm, nothing.  

I’m loving Fatworks right now. I used to be a vegan, so choosing brands that support humanely raised animal agriculture is important to me. I go with Fatworks because they support family farmers who use sustainable, humane and environmentally friendly practices.  They’re quick to respond when you reach out to their customer service team and, bonus, they’re a Colorado company. That means the duck fat doesn’t have to travel too far to get to me. Yay!

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AIP - Paleo Pumpkin Waffle with AIP Modifications

AIP - Paleo Pumpkin Waffle with AIP Modifications

'm a firm believer in everyone being able to eat a waffle. Well, what I mean by that is no matter where we are on health journey I think we all deserve to feel normal. It can be challenging if you're on a restricted diet because of your health, especially when everyone around you can eat whatever the eff they want. I'll never forget in the midst of my strict AIP elimination phase how freaking AWESOME it felt to go out to dinner with my husband and my pal @sarieperrie. We went to a vegan restaurant in Denver where I got kombucha and a seasonal salad with a few adjustments. It helped me remember what it was like to feel normal and taught me that even in the depths of my illness and restrictive diet, I should make an effort to maintain bits of my old lifestyle. I went home immediately afterward (cuz chronic fatigue, ya know?), but the memory of how good it felt to get out has stuck with me.

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AIP - Bone Marrow Fried Rice

The morning is gray and my heart is full as I write this.  I’ve got a steaming cup of chai tea made creamy with coconut milk, my favorite band playing in the background, and a couple of dogs at my feet. What could be better?

I enjoy blogging and using social media to gain followers. Sometimes I have a tough time with people’s social media presence because it can come off as artificial. I often find myself asking why people spend all their time talking to an audience on their Instagram stories instead of, like, living? I promised myself when I started this blog that I wouldn’t get too caught up in that, but I’m having A LOT of fun checking my Instagram every day to see who else decided to follow me on my journey.

 I couldn’t quite put my finger on why this is all so fun for me, but I think I’m realizing it’s because I’m super passionate about nutrition and helping people. If even a tiny piece of my story resonates with someone and makes them feel less alone, that brings me an abundance of joy. The connections I make through my blog and Instagram are a direct result of me doing something I love, a reaction to something I’ve created, and all of that makes me feel incredibly lucky.  

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” –Albert Einstein

So, what are you going to put energy into today? Think back to when you were a kiddo, what made you happy? I loved building spaceships out of boxes, singing, dancing, running around the neighborhood with my best friend and turning his front porch into a pirate ship. I’m trying to cultivate a life that nourishes the creativity I enjoyed as a child. What does that look like? It looks like carrying around a little notebook where I write down meals I want to make AIP and Paleo. It means blasting T-Swift on a Friday night and dancing around the house with my dogs as I belt out “Welcome to New York” over and over and over again. It means I let the dog hair on the floor collect for a fucking week because I’m busy making food, taking photos, blogging, connecting with people on the internet who suffer from autoimmune disease, and working a fulltime job. Oh, and I’m watching New Girl because no matter what people say, Zooey D. is a queen.

Anyway, here’s a recipe I’m REALLY excited about. Roman (my husband) and I went out to a fancy dinner the other night at Hop Alley in Denver and I had some BONE MARROW FRIED RICE. What? That’s a thing? Yes, yes it is. It was SOOOO freaking delicious, but my digestive system was off for a week after eating grains. I decided to give it a try at home using AIP ingredients and it turned out pretty darn good. If you’re not AIP, crack an egg in there and you won’t regret it.

 

AIP Bone Marrow Fried Rice

Ingredients:

-          1-2 pig femur bones for marrow (ask your butcher to cut these in half - -the more marrow the better!)

-          ½ cup red onion

-          ½ cup shredded carrots

-          ½ cup diced mushrooms

-          1 cup fresh peas

-          5 cups cauliflower rice

-          1 egg (optional)

-          2 Tbsp minced garlic

-          ¼ cup coconut aminos

Method:

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place bones in cast iron skillet

Bake bones in oven for 20 minutes

Once marrow browns, remove it from the bones onto cast iron skillet ( aim for about 3 TBSP)

Put bones in the freezer to use for  broth later

Turn heat to medium-low heat and sauté onions until translucent (about 5 minutes)

Add carrots and peas and sauté another 2 minutes

Add mushroom and cauliflower, sauté another 2 minutes

Add coconut aminos and garlic, stir, and place lid on skillet, check back in 3 minutes

Taste test cauliflower intermittently to see if it’s the texture you like (I prefer mine al dente)

If adding an egg, create a hole in the mixture, crack egg into it, whisk it up, and let cook for about a minute, then stir scrambled egg into the rest of the mixture

Salt to taste

Tadah!

The Best Roasted Chicken You've Ever Had

The Best Roasted Chicken You've Ever Had

 

Who’s ready for turkey day? Most years our little family road trips with friends to Flagstaff, Arizona. We pack up the jeep and head out for the 12-hour drive to our friend’s cabin there, stopping in Moab to camp halfway. Sadly, the drive felt like a bit much for us this year and we’ve decided to stay in Denver. There will only be three of us at the dinner table so I’ve opted to make a roast chicken as the main dish. I’m OBSESSED with this recipe because it’s delicious, super simple and looks and tastes way more complicated than it is.

Are you having a small Thanksgiving? Consider swapping my chicken recipe for your turkey. I don’t think you’ll regret it one bit!

 


Ingredients:

3-4 lb Roasting chicken

½ lb Brussel sprouts, halved

2 Cups cauliflower florets

1 Large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 Purple onion, cut into large chunks

3 Carrots, cut into large chunks

7 Cloves of garlic, peeled

1 Tbsp melted coconut oil

1 Lemon, halved

¼ tsp salt

 

For the spice rub:

1 Tbsp dried basil

1 Tbsp sea salt

 


Method:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Mix together salt and dried basil in a small bowl and set aside
  • Place sweet potato, carrot, Brussel sprouts, onion and garlic cloves into a large dutch oven, toss with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt
  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels or clean cloth
  • Using ½ of the lemon, rub it all over the chicken skin
  • Place both halves of the lemon in the cavity of the chicken
  • Take spice rub and coat the bird in ALL OF IT (salt helps it retain moisture so don’t be shy), making sure you get in between the thighs, etc.
  • Place bird on top of vegetables in the dutch oven
  • Pop this in the oven for 30 minutes
  • Lower the temperature to 375 and cook for another hour
  • Once an hour has passed, place a meat thermometer between the thigh and the chicken breast to make sure it has reached 165 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, cut between the thigh and breast to see if juices run clear.
  • Once done, pull it out of the oven and let set for 20 minutes
  • Carefully remove bird and place on a serving dish then nestle it in with the roasted veggies

Tah Dah! If you give this a try please let me know what you think. I have been working on this one once a week for the past couple months. I think I've perfected the recipe and I'd love to hear from those of you who give it a shot. 

Lots of love,

Whitney

Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon Bits

AIP Butternut Squash Soup

I think we can all agree fall is the best. The crisp air moves in, we start to see our breath in the early morning as we leave the house for work, and it feels like the world has a golden glow. My favorite part about fall is that it’s SOUP WEATHER! Soup makes my life so much easier because I can make a giant pot of it and eat it for lunch the rest of the week.

Today I’m sharing my butternut squash recipe with you guys. Have you ever tried bacon with butternut squash? It rocks my world and I’m so psyched to share this combo with you all.  I make this recipe on the stove but you could easily throw it all in a crock pot so you can get on with your life while it’s cooking. If you go that route, you can throw the garlic and onion in raw or take some extra time to caramelize and roast. It’s totally up to you!  

I’ll be honest with you guys, until I made this recipe I was super opposed to using fresh butternut squash. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I was intimidated by peeling and cutting the thing. I was under the impression you were supposed to use a standard veggie peeler and I knew there was no way mine would work on such a thick skin. I used to buy it in bags at Whole Foods to avoid doing this, but we’re making a conscious effort to minimize waste and I couldn’t bring myself to buy it this time around. I opted for fresh and I felt a little embarrassed by how easy it was to peel it with a knife. Why the heck was I avoiding this delicious, fresh squash for so long? Please forgive me, world.

Okay, so, this is one of my most involved recipes to date. Again, if you’re the kind of set it and forget it cook, just drop everything in the crock pot and you’ll still have a delicious end result. Let me know if you try it out!


Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients:

1 Medium Butternut Squash, Peeled and Cubed

1 Large Sweet Potato, Peeled and Cubed

2 Large Carrots, Peeled and Sliced

3 stocks of celery, diced

5 large Cloves of Garlic

1 Large onion, diced

6 Cups of Veggie Bone Broth

4 Slices of AIP Compliant Bacon

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Cup Coconut Milk

Salt to taste          


Butternut Squash Soup Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place bacon in a large dutch oven and turn to medium heat
  • Cook Bacon until it’s crisp on both sides (about five minutes)
  • Remove from pan and use a paper towel or clean cloth to absorb excess grease, chop, and set aside
  • Turn heat to low and place onions in the bottom of the dutch oven, toss in bacon grease
  • Place lid on dutch oven and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add two tablespoons of bone broth to onions, stir, and let sit for another 10 minutes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan when you come back to stir
  • When the oven is preheated, place garlic (skins on)  in an oven safe dish, sprinkle with olive oil, cover with tinfoil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until soft.
  • Once onions are slightly caramelized, add celery and sauté 1-2 minutes
  • Add butternut squash, sweet potato, carrot, and (peeled) roasted garlic to dutch oven
  • Cover with bone broth and bring to a boil
  • Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 1-2 hours or until all veggies can be easily pierced with a fork
  • Once all ingredients are tender, use your immersion blender and blend baby, blend.
  • Add coconut milk and stir to incorporate
  • Salt to taste
  • Serve in bowls with bacon bits to garnish and enjoy!

Bone Broth for Beginners

Bone Broth for Beginners

So, you’re new to bone broth and you want to give it a try? I’m here to tell you it’s easier than you think. In fact, the recipe below is actually the same recipe I use as a veteran bone broth maker.  Gotcha!

I first started making bone broth when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I began eating meat for the first time in a decade and I wanted to make sure I was using the entire animal. Bone broth is a simple way to ensure that happens.  My Nutritionist over at Roots Medical also suggested I start consuming bone broth because it’s rich in collagen and glutamine, two things essential to healing the lining of your gut.

The bones used in this recipe came from a chicken I roasted last week. I love roasting chicken because it feeds the two of us for a couple days. Leftovers can be used for lettuce wraps, stirfry or for the chicken soup you make with your broth. If I know I won’t have time to make a chicken at home, I’ll go to Whole Foods and get one of their rotisserie chickens. It costs a bit more and I don’t have control over the ingredients used to season it, but sometimes it’s worth it to me for the time saved. It’s totally up to you and what works best with your lifestyle.

The veggies used in this recipe are scraps from cooking throughout the week (always organic). I’ll save them in an airtight container in the freezer until I’m ready to start bone brothing it up. The broth pictured here used sweet potato skins, carrot skins, brussels sprout ends, onion skins and bits of celery. Anything works!

This broth recipe is my go to because I love the rich flavor and dark coloring of it.

 

Bone Broth for Beginners

Veggie Bone Broth Ingredients:

2-3 Cups Veggie Scraps

1-2 lbs of Chicken Bones

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

½ Tsp Dried Oregano (or any other herbs you love)

¼ Tsp Sea Salt

 


  • Veggie Bone Broth Instructions for crockpot:
  • Add all ingredients to 6-quart crockpot
  • Fill with water to the top of crock pot 
  • Set on low heat for 24-48 hours (the longer the better)
  • Place a colander inside a large glass bowl
  • Pour contents of crock pot into the colander
  • Remove colander, compost remaining ingredients
  • Pour liquid into ball jars, freeze, refrigerate, or drink

 

  • Veggie Bone Broth Instructions for Stovetop:
  • Add all ingredients to 6-quart pot
  • Fill with water to about an inch below pot
  • Bring liquid to boil
  • Set on low for 8-12 hours
  • Place a colander inside a large glass bowl
  • Pour contents of pot into the colander
  • Remove colander, compost remaining ingredients
  • Pour liquid into ball jars, freeze, refridgerate, or drink

Bone Broth for Beginners

I prefer to make my bone broth in a crock pot because you can just set it and forget it and it smells deeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious while it’s cooking for two days. Stove top will work just fine but I’m weary of leaving the stove on when we’re sleeping or out of the house (as I should be). You can totally convert this recipe to an Instapot, but I haven’t gotten on that train yet so I’m not quite sure of the cooking time or settings.

You can replace your morning coffee with a cup of this bone broth (I used to think people who did this were insane, but there are a lot of benefits to replacing that anxiety and inflammation-inducing drink with a healing cup of broth), save it for soups, give it as hostess gifts to friends, or pop it in the freezer if you’re not ready to use it (don’t forget to leave room for the liquid to expand).  I’ve also seen people freeze their bone broth in ice cube trays so they can use it in recipes right away instead of waiting on it to thaw in a ball jar.

Okay, so bone broth is gut healing, versatile, delicious, utilizes the entire animal, gives you added nutrients from veggie scraps you would otherwise throw away, and is super easy to make. What are you waiting for? Get on the bone broth train already!

Enjoy this nourishing liquid! 

Whitney

These Are My Roots + Cinnamon Turmeric Latte

I started writing because I like to write. I started posting because I was hoping my journey might resonate with someone out there.

I started cooking when I first moved out on my own. I became a vegan because I fell into the hole of factory farming PETA videos on the internet and realized the animals I had been consuming lived a life that was very far removed from grassy farms I was made to believe they grew up on.  I don’t care where you stand in terms of eating meat, the fact that there are ANY videos depicting animal abuse means it needs to be Shut. The. Fuck. Down.

I started going to therapy at the age of 12 because I was angry, unmotivated (in the ways my parents thought I should be) and couldn’t fit in the mold my sister left behind once she moved away for college (to no fault of her own).  I continued therapy through high school after I ended up in a psych ward for 7 days because I was so unhappy with my life that I wanted to end it. I stayed in therapy because at the age of 17 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went into remission and I knew in my heart she would stay there. She died four years later, a week after her 56th birthday, in the house I grew up in.

I moved to Colorado hoping to leave behind the narrative of brokenness I identified with. I joined Americorps, became passionately involved in the feminist movement, and went to school for Women’s Studies and Non-Profit Administration. I went back to therapy because I found myself trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship that reminded me you can’t leave your broken pieces behind, no matter how hard you try to reinvent yourself.  

I met someone who cherished me. They thought I was the bee’s knees, and hey, I thought they were, too.  I went back to therapy because within the first six months we were dating, my IUD shifted and we ended up with the emotionally challenging decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. We chose to terminate  and it was heartbreaking.

We fell in love, moved in together, got engaged, bought a house, and married each other. It was healing to know there was someone who valued me for the broken bits and encouraged me to let my best parts shine through the cracks of my past. He cradled my heart in his hands exactly the way it needed to be, and I’m not ashamed to admit finding another soul to share myself with brought me to a happier place. He encouraged me to follow my dreams, be authentic, and never compromise my beliefs. I admire him wholeheartedly.

I became an advocate for the paleo diet when I found out my body was broken, too.  I had to shift from a plant based diet to one where I ate the animals I had dedicated my life to defending. Now, I was defending my life from an autoimmune disease that was attacking my body. I slowly began introducing foods like Salmon and chicken, hating the texture and hating that something had to die so I could live fully. How unfair is that? My body reacted well to eating animals and omitting other foods that were causing inflammation. I am so incredibly grateful for the lives that help save mine, although, I wish each day it didn’t have to be that way.

Life is unfair. We break, we heal, we break again. Every decision we make has an impact, every experience is something we carry with us or the earth carries with it. Becoming rooted in the autoimmune community has shown me that I have so much healing to do, not just physically, but spiritually. I can’t continue to identify as broken.

These are my roots. I am so heavily attached to this narrative and that.is. okay. What matters is where I grow with it. Do I go up towards the sun or do I stay stunted by the pains of my past? I know the *right* answer here and it isn’t the easy one.

I am trying to commit to staying rooted in who I am. That doesn’t just mean the sadness I carry with me, but also what the sadness created. It helped me to be compassionate, humble, and creative. It made me passionate about animal rights, human rights, and the planet. I’m motivated to help eliminate suffering and serve as a sounding board for others who feel broken.

I am going to do my best to blog from this lens. I am committing to not getting wrapped up in depicting how I want my life to look but how I truly live. I am not a photographer, I am not wealthy, I do not always buy organic (though I try) and sometimes I use bleach wipes. I fucking love bleach wipes.

These are the things I know to be true:

There is joy inside me

I can nourish that joy

I will nourish that joy

I care more about living authentically than having the prettiest house, the nicest car or the fanciest blog

I love my family

I love the earth and its capacity to heal my spirit

I love food and its capacity to heal my body

I love rooms with natural light

I love traditions

I love how fantastic  I feel when I do a sun salutation

I love making people feel special

I love how proud I feel when I ride my bike to work

I love a hot beverage first thing in the morning

I’m excited to use this blog to live a more intentional life, find healing, and help others out there suffering through the struggles of mental health, autoimmune disease, and loss of loved ones. You are not alone.

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey Enjoy this recipe for a warm turmeric latte. It's full of anti-inflammatory properties and is a great replacement for coffee when you're feeling like a flare is coming on. 

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Cinnamon Turmeric Latte Ingredients:

1 1/2 Tbsp Turmeric

1/4 Tsp Ground Ginger

1.5 Cups Coconut Milk (I use Arroy D coconut milk because it's void of gums and thickening agents)

1 Cup Water

Splash of Vanilla (omit this if you are AIP)

1 TBSP Maple Syrup (or sweetner of your choice)

1/4 Tsp ground cinamin 


 

Cinnamon Turmeric Late Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in saucepan and turn to medium heat
  • Whisk ingredients together
  • Let heat for approximately 4 minutes, do not let boil
  • Pour into mug and sprinkle with cinnamin 
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Avocado-Free AIP Tuna Salad

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Tuna salad is my go-to for a quick lunch. I like to make a big batch of it so I can eat it throughout the week.  I know there are a ton of AIP recipes out there that suggest adding avocado to make the texture creamy, but my digestive system doesn't allow for that. This recipe is super simple. Check it out! 


Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Fresh Dill, chopped

1/2 Cup Diced Celery

1/4 Cup Diced Onion

2 Tbsp Diced AIP Compliant Pickles or Relish

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Cans Wild Caught Tuna

Salt to taste


Tuna Salad Instructions:

  • Drain liquid from tuna
  • Break up tuna into smaller chunks
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate
  • Salt to taste
  • Add on top of salads, cucumber rounds, or put it in a lettuce wrap

Give this one a try and let me know what you think! 

Love,

Whitney

Female Hair Loss + Tips on Getting Through It

Female Hair Loss and Tips on Getting Through It

Losing hair sucks. It sucks and there’s not much anyone can say or do to make you feel better about it. Watching hair come out in your brush, finding stragglers in the sink, multiple strands on your shower wall, and falling out between your fingers is traumatizing.  Whether you start off with luscious locks or a thinner head of hair determines how long it takes for others to actually believe what you’re going through.  It’s brutal listening to people try to comofrt you by saying they lose hair all the time, too. Hey, I know some people lose up to “100 hairs a day," but I also know what’s normal for me, and I wouldn't be this sad if I was used to have a receding hairline and bald patches. 

To anyone who has told a friend or family member “I lose hair all the time, too” in an attempt to make them feel better, don’t worry. Part of being human is trying to connect with people when they’re suffering and show empathy. When someone tells me they know what I’m going through because their body naturally sheds excessive amounts of hair, it DOESN’T make me feel better, though. In fact, it makes me feel worse knowing they can lose just as much hair and not have nightmares they look like Benjamin Franklin.

So, what if you're reading this post because your friend has been diagnosed with a disease that makes them lose hair? I feel best when my friends just say “that really sucks. I’m so sorry” or “I hate that you’re going through this. Let me know if you want help researching ways to get your hair to grow back.”  I even had a friend send me tons of headbands in the mail to help cover one of my bald spots. Those people validated my feelings without normalizing what I was going through.

So, you’re losing your goddamn hair? Ugh, I feel you boo. My hashis, PCOS and Alopecia has wreaked havoc on my once beautiful head of hair. I’m able to keep it looking full-ish with the following tricks.  I’m a white gal with bald patches and a receding hairline, and these are tricks that have worked with my slightly wavey hair:

1.       Find a stylist you trust. Ask for recommendations from friends, look in hair loss support groups and “date” stylists until you find a good fit. If you’re in Denver, make a date with Angela at Indie Six. She’s the best.

2.       Dye your hair. I LOVE my natural dark brown hair color, but it made my widening part more obvious. When you add bleach to your hair it damages the strands making them appear thicker and fuller AND helps camouflage your scalp.  

3.       Add layers. Adding layers gives your hair movement and makes it feel  lighter.

4.       Blow-dry your hair every day. I am the kind of lady with a low-maintenance beauty routine and used to walk out the door with a wet mop. Sadly, I can’t do that anymore. Blow-drying my hair ensures it lies nicely, covers my alopecia spot, and makes my hair less stringy. Wake up 15 minutes earlier each morning and give yourself a blowout. You won’t regret it.

5.       Use a clarifying shampoo once a week. This helps strip your hair of any extra product and makes your hair lighter. Follow this with a lightweight conditioner though, as it can really dry out your hair.

If you’re experiencing hair loss and you can afford it, find a therapist. My therapist makes me say over and over again “even though I’m losing my hair, I still love and fully accept myself.” I know losing hair is emotionally draining and I'm sad to say, you may end up struggling with it for the rest of your life. A therapist can help you work on healthy coping mechanisms to get you through these disappointments.

Finally, love yourself. Love yourself so fiercely that you can come to terms with the fact your hair does not define you.  It may be a sign of health in our society but it is not a sign of worth. At the end of the day, no one is part of your life because you have nice hair. Hang in there and feel free to contact me if you need to vent to someone who understands.

All my love,

Whitney

EASY-PEASY AIP MEATLOAF


Easy-Peasy AIP Meatloaf

I loved meatloaf growing up.  I guess you could say one cool thing about my autoimmune disease is it required me to shift my diet and and enjoy foods from my childhood. Meatloaf is an easy, delicious way to prep AIP-friendly lunches for the week. Let's get started.


Meatloaf Ingredients (all organic)

1 lb Ground Beef 

1 lb Ground Pork

1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1/2 tsp Sea Salt (divided)

1/2 tsp Dried Oregano

1/2 tsp Dried Basil

1/2 Cup Onion

1 Tbs Fresh Garlic

1 Cup Shredded Zucchini

1 1/2 Cup Diced Mushrooms

3/4 Cup Diced Carrots

 

Topping Ingredients:

1 Large Sweet Potato

1/4 Cup Veggie Stock

 


Meatloaf Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of sea salt on shredded zucchini and let sit for 5-10 minutes until some of the water is extracted. Place on clean cloth or paper towel and squeeze to absorb excess liquid
  • In a large cast iron skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat until hot
  • Add chopped onions and cook about four minutes until they start to become translucent
  • Add garlic to onions for another one minute, stirring intermittently 
  • Add zucchini, garlic, and mushrooms to pan and  saute approximately 4-5 minutes until the carrot is tender 
  • Remove from heat and transfer veggies to separate bowl to let cool
  • Once veggies have cooled, use another paper towel or clean cloth to absorb any excess liquid that was released during cooking
  • Combine ground beef, ground pork, veggies, oregano, basil and remaining salt into a mixing bowl
  • Using your hands, mix all the ingredients (really GET IN THERE to make sure everything is well distributed)
  • Transfer mix to a lightly greased (coconut oil!) 9x5 inch loaf pan
  • Pop that baby in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until your meat thermometer reads 165 degrees
  • Let the meatloaf sit for about 10 minutes 
  • Remove from loaf pan and place on serving dish

Sweet Potato Topping Instructions:

  • Fill a medium saucepan 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil
  • Peel and cube sweet potatoes and carefully add to boiling water
  • Allow water to boil again, then reduce heat to low
  • Once sweet potatoes are fork tender (roughly 20 minutes) carefully drain hot water from saucepan
  • Add veggie stock to sweet potatoes
  • Using an electric mixer on low, carefully blend ingredients together until smooth (you may need to add a bit more liquid)
  • Once your sweet potatoes have cooled down a bit and your meatloaf has set for 10 minutes, pour sweet potatoes into a piping bag and make a design on the top of your meatloaf. Another option is to just spread the sweet potato on there like a frosting

 

I used the leftover sweet potato as a side with my meatloaf and it complimented the dish really well. The next day, I got a text from my husband at work saying "meatloaf is soooo good" accompanied by the prayer emoji. PRAYER EMOJI. That means it's real good.

Enjoy this nourishing meal! 

Love,

Whitney

 

 

 

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Getting diagnosed with Hashimotos and PCOS was one of the most surprisingly relieving things I’ve experienced. I began losing hair in a small patch in February of 2015. I noticed more hair than usual coming out in my hairbrush, but I didn’t think much of it until I discovered a bald patch the size of a quarter on my scalp. First, I panicked. I legit lost my shit. In a world that is so focused on health and beauty, here I was losing my goddamn hair. After a bit of a sob sesh, I started doing some research. I quickly learned that while research is helpful, it can also invoke a hopelessness inside you upon looking at all the worst case scenarios. Alopecia totalis? “Omg I’m going to lose all my hair!” Treatments for alopecia? “Steroid injections” or “nothing” or “eliminate stress.” HUH?

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