My Current Favourites

Today I’m sharing sone of my current favourites in the kitchen!

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Clockwise from top left:

1) Coconut Manna – this delicious butter made of ground up coconut is the original AIP version of nut-butter that is so incredibly versatile. A source of healthful fats, coconut butter is great in fatbombs, smoothies, and homemade chocolate.

2) Rise Ginger Kombucha – my all time favourite kombucha flavour is simple, humble ginger. Kombucha is a fermented tea that has a penchant for settling unhappy tummies, providing a dose of probiotics, and being a good low-sugar replacement for soda and cocktails.

3) Further Food Grassfed Collagen – if you aren’t on the collagen and bone broth train, you should consider it! Grassfed collagen contains lots of amino acids needed to build hair, nails, and joints, as well as repair damage to the skin and gut (mucosal membranes). Collagen dissolves in cold liquids, unlike gelatin, making it a great protein source to add to smoothies, salad dressings, baking, and so much more.

4) Local Raw Wildflower Honey – while sweeteners need limits in a healing lifestyle, we all need a little sweet now and then. Raw honey is a nice source that contains enzymes and phytonutrients that can heal wounds, aid digestion, and feed good bacteria. It is high in fructose, so should be used with caution on a low-FODMAPs protocol.

5) Bone Brewhouse Lemon Ginger Bone Broth – sometimes you just don’t want to make broth yourself, or you just can’t wait! This bone-broth-to-go is delicious and AIP-friendly! I also appreciate the price at $8.99CAD; lower than other premade broths at the moment. I love adding my next favourite, fennel, to this lovely, healthful broth.

6) Fennel – good old fennel is a growing favourite in my kitchen! It’s great in soups, in fresh salads, in juice, and anything else you can think of. Very much like celery, but with a sweeter, mildly licorice, and beautifully fresh flavour, try serving with lemon and mint for a dish that screams summer.

What are you crushing on lately? Let me know in the comments!

A Proper Introduction

I recently realized that Living Lovely Autoimmune is gaining traction and turning into much more than some humble ramblings on my journey with an autoimmune disease. In light of this I should probably introduce myself properly, and fill you in on what it’s all about!

I am incredibly humbled and in awe of how many of you are beginning to visit my site and try my recipes. I never once thought that this blog would go anywhere when I began, but as my passion for food, nutrition and wellness grows, so does my desire to bring that passion to all of you.

Life is always a journey – and rarely an easy one – but being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or other chronic illness can sometimes seem like a death sentence. It isn’t, of course, but it is a clear signal that our lives are changing, whether we fight it or not. So what if we try  to accept it? What if we could make changes of our own in order to mitigate the changes being made out of our control? What if we could live our life even more fully than we ever did when we were “healthy”?

These questions are what Living Lovely Autoimmune is all about.

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Like a plant pushing up through the asphalt, whether your medicine be food, nature, community, love, sound, or prescription medication, we can all have a vibrant life no matter what holds us down.

Having used dietary changes to aid my own illness, food as medicine is my most passionate love. As time goes on and I deal with the occasional inevitable flares, I am slowly learning how our relationship to food, the world around us, and even to ourselves has such an incredible impact on our health and healing efforts.

I began my healing journey with the Autoimmune Protocol, as put forward by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, and have been successful and endlessly inspired by this elimination protocol. It works on the premise that it is just as important what we eat as it is what we don’t eat to heal autoimmune inflammation. Nutrient density is a gold star phrase in this protocol, and so vegetables, bone broth and organ meats are key players in the healing of the gut lining and maximizing the vitamins and minerals we need to function optimally when compromised by autoimmunity.

Though this protocol is centred heavily in the Paleo Diet, and I am passionate about the value it can hold, I have to make it clear that there is not a single way of eating that suits every person. Not a one! And that is perfectly okay. We all come from different backgrounds and cultures, and we have all adapted slightly differently to the current state of our plates. Some of us thrive on low-carb, some of us keep our adrenals happy with higher carb, some of us feel amazing on higher animal protein, and others less so. A vegan protocol can work as a temporary  cleanse or as a life-long change: everything depends on your own body.

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That said, my food philosophy generally boils down to this:

1) Everything in moderation, even moderation. It’s not as confusing as you may think, and way more enjoyable if you don’t think about it too hard!

2) Love your food as the astounding life-giving force it is. What is life without food??

3) Play with your food, enjoy it with every sense, and let it heal you with it’s simplicity when necessary. Food is love, even if you are dealing with a chronic illness and need to avoid something for a few months or even years to heal. There are so many more options available to us from every corner of the globe and you should never feel deprived!

4) Be adventurous, be curious, be open. Food and nutrition can take you absolutely anywhere you want to go.

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Whether you are eating to heal an illness or not, these wise words from the lovely Sophie Dahl really hit home for me: “…if we take the time to be conscious of the needs and wants of our own bodies, rather than permanently fixating on what’s wrong with them, then the whole…thing immediately becomes less of a struggle” (Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights: Recipes for Every Season, Mood, and Appetite, pg 195, Harper Collins, 2009).

Happy eating, healing, and adventuring.

Em  xo

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Next Level Juicing

New Year resolutions are in full swing, and everyone is exercising, changing diets, detoxing, and juicing like there’s no tomorrow. Not to mention that after the Golden Globes the other night, we are all wistfully thinking about fitting into those gorgeous dresses and suits, and hankering after that ridiculously perfect glow all the stars seem to carry around with them like handbags.

In light of this, today’s topic is juicing.

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Drinking vegetable juices can be incredibly healthful – they are packed full of nutrients and phytochemicals like antioxidants, pigments, vitamins and minerals. These micronutrients aid many bodily processes including detoxing, bone maintenance, skin health, disease and cancer prevention, and quick nutrient delivery in compromised digestion issues such as IBS or leaky gut. They are super easy to add to your daily food intake, are hydrating, and help you get in some of those 9 cups of vegetables as recommended by Dr. Terry Wahls.

But does juicing have a downside? Potentially.

When we juice a vegetable or fruit, we’re taking away all of the insoluble fibre and potential proteins of that food. What this means to our health is that though we can now get a mega dose of the micronutrients (a great plus), we may also create a spike in glucose, equivalent to consuming white sugar. That potential for a glucose spike depends partially on how much soluble fibre is left in the juice. A spike in glucose causes a subsequent spike in insulin, and always ends in a crash about an hour later (consider a child after a birthday party or halloween – total meltdown!).

Don’t get me wrong – we need glucose in our bodies to function. But we need glucose in a steady, sustained amount so that we can perform normal bodily functions with ease. Sustaining glucose levels has been shown to prevent overeating, fatigue, brain fog, diabetes, and can aid in IBS or other digestive disorders.

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Happily, there are a few super simple ways to prevent a glucose spike from your lovely, nutrient-rich vegetable juice, so no need to throw out your juicer quite yet!

1) Avocado – blending a quarter or half of an avocado can help sustain glucose levels as its fat content and fibre slows down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. Avocado is a very healthful fruit due to the fibre, higher monounsaturated fat ratio, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B6, K, and potassium. It even has a small amount of protein.

2) Lime – this tasty citrus has the amazing benefit of lowering blood glucose levels through their soluble fibre. This is the same for all citrus, however limes also happen to have the least sugar content of all citrus fruits, so is a better addition to a health-promoting juice. Adding the juice and pulp of one lime to your fruit or veggie juice will help balance out any potential glucose rush.

These powerhouse fruits have many more benefits than preventing spikes in blood sugar, so consider featuring them in more of your meals. They also pair together so deliciously! I love avocado oil and lime juice as a salad dressing, or lime and cumin in guacamole, or avocado smeared over grilled chicken and topped with fresh cilantro and a luscious squeeze of lime.

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Other ways to reap the benefits of juicing include:

1) Adding psyllium husk to you juices may not taste amazing, but will slow absorption and balance blood sugar while making your colon happy. Psyllium husks are mostly insoluble fibre.

2) Make smoothies – either from whole fruit and veg with non-dairy milk, or use your juice as the liquid base and add healthy fats and fibre such as hemp seeds, chia, coconut or hemp oil, and blending in a whole fruit or veg of choice (avocado, berries, etc.)

3) Consume your juice alongside a balanced meal. This is one of my favourite ways to drink my juices. I know I will avoid a glucose spike from the juice because of the fibre, fats, and protein in my meal. A tasty veg juice is a great way to increase the micronutrient and antioxidant content of a meal.

4) If you suffer from IBS or other digestive issues, starting your day off with warm water and a veggie juice helps many people wake up their GI tracts in a gentler way. Veggie juices provide quick and easy absorption of vitamins and minerals, even through a compromised gut lining, so they can be a useful tool for keeping energy levels up and staying nourished. If blood sugar is an issue, following your morning juice with a light, easy to digest meal within the hour will help prevent crashes.

5) Juice is a supplement to a balanced diet! Treat it as such and keep consumption to a shot with or between meals, as you would consume a B vitamin, probiotic or kombucha.

*A note on juice fasts or cleanses: I believe a juice cleanse to be better than a water fast, however, cleansing and fasting is so dependent on the individual and their needs and does not suit everyone. I suggest keeping fasts short (not going for more than 24 hrs), or better yet, try a simple diet cleanse and  include simple foods such as broth, well cooked veg, and some light, easy to digest protein for optimal nutrient retention along with your reset.

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Sharing the Love: Ms. Health Esteem

Today I’m going to do something a little bit different and share a lovely post from health blogger Sara of Ms. Health Esteem! Despite having Graves Disease, she is a super amazing lady with an infallible zest for life that is incredibly contagious. She has a knack for saying just what you need before you even realize you need it and this post is certainly indicative of that.

So without further ado, read on for Sara’s BEST New Year’s Resolution, and afterwards check out her other amazing posts and more about her mission here and here.

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Hiya Lovelies:

Welcome to 2017! The New Year is upon us and many of you may have created a New Year’s Resolution. New year new you, so to speak? Goals, aspirations and change are all well and good, but remember that sometimes New Year’s Resolutions can also be a burden on our health. However, there is an option that can help pave the way to goodness.

There’s a problem with New Year’s Resolutions… they’re often grand, difficult if not unachievable and aimed at reinventing ourselves. And while I champion the idea of learning and growing, I also think it’s important that you know that you, as you are right now, are pretty awesome!

To quote myself (queue Inception music), from a year ago today (see my 2016 post on New Year’s Resolutions) “According to a New Brunswick psychologist, Tom McAvity, beginning the year by vowing to make often unrealistic, grand life changes can place us under a significant amount of stress, increasing our cortisol levels. Consequently, this can affect our thyroid function, weight, digestion, and suppress our immune systems (spoonie or not, this is definitely an unwanted side effect). This stress is further realized if the resolution is not achieved, reducing our self-esteem and sense of wellness.”

Does this mean that we stop making resolutions and remain stagnant? Heck no! But let’s take some of the pressure off. Let’s create a New Year’s Resolutions that will ultimately help us to achieve any future goal. Why not make the BEST New Year’s Resolution possible?

The BEST New Year’s Resolution you could make is this:

Vow to learn to Love Yourself.

Regardless of what other goals you may have, a loving, forgiving, patient and respectful relationship with yourself is the ultimate foundation. Whether it be to eat healthier, to exercise more, to follow a new career path, to find the right counsellor… having a healthy, positive relationship with yourself makes all the difference when pursuing any goal.

Why Self-Love Makes all the Difference:

When you truly love yourself, everything changes. You feed your body with kindness because it’s part of your self love language, instead of developing a strict, unpleasant diet out of a dislike for your shape or size. Self-love helps you to change your dialogue with yourself, silencing your inner mean girl/guy. You do your best to remove yourself from scenarios that bring you misery because you value yourself and know that you deserve better. And you find the right help for you when you need it, because you recognize that you deserve love and support, like everyone else.

When a love and respect for yourself exists at the foundation of your lifestyle, positive changes stick. Your well being is at the centre of your actions. And that makes such an incredible difference.

How to Make Self-Love Your New Year’s Resolution:

Like any relationship, your relationship with yourself takes time, patience, love and care. Three major things that you can do to work on self-love are:

Speak kindly to yourself. Treat yourself with kindness. Make time for the things that bring you joy.

Why Self-Love is the BEST New Year's Resolution mshealthesteem.com

Speak kindly to yourself.

The things you say or think about yourself are powerful. You are your own greatest influence on your opinion of yourself. And that opinion, in turn, influences how you feel and your faith in yourself. Be aware of negative self-talk. Combat it with positive self-talk and affirmations. Compliment yourself. Become excited about your life’s adventure. Tell yourself you love yourself. It may seem strange initially, but trust me – after a while it will become a habit. And then you’ll start to truly believe it.

Examples of positive self-talk:

“I love myself as I am”

“I am beautiful”

“My life is unfolding beautifully”

“I know that I am enough”

“I am capable”

“My body is a beautiful, biological masterpiece and I am grateful for the life it provides for me”

“I am excited for all of the wonders that have yet to unfold in my world”

Treat yourself with kindness.

You deserve to treat yourself with love by making self-loving acts a daily priority. Need help getting started? Check out this post about 20 daily acts of self-love that you can incorporate into your life.

Make time for the things that bring your joy. 

Who would we be without our passions? Make time for the things that bring you joy. It does wonders for the spirit.

Here’s to a beautiful year. May it be a lovely opportunity to become better acquainted with your incredible self. That, my friends, is the best New Year’s Resolution you could make.

Health and love,

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Thought of the day: I am worthy of my own friendship. I will make treating myself with love and kindness a priority.

Food Prep Tips for Sanity + Healthy Eating

Do you struggle to eat well throughout the week due to fatigue or time constraints? Are you a slave to the kitchen or the takeout menus all week long?

I love cooking for the most part, but many people do not. Either way, many of us simply have zero time on weekdays, or are too fatigued from illness to stand for that long, let alone plan three meals a day. When trying to eat healthily, whether for managing an illness, trying to prevent one, or simply wanting to feel better day to day, it can feel like cooking food is taking over your life.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Here are a few tricks to implement today to make eating well easier and more effective, and to get some time back for you to do what you really love.

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Prep your ingredients
Pick one hour out of your week for food prep – chop veggies for cooking or for eating straight up, assemble smoothie ingredients so they’re ready to go, pack lunches, portion prepped ingredients for a few dinners like stirfry, soup, zoodles and sauce…if you’re going to cook it, you can probably prep it!

Cook in batches
Pick one morning/afternoon to cook up a few of your prepped ingredients. You do not need a whole day for this! Cook your meat/protein options for each meal (roast a whole chicken, make meatballs/burger patties, soak lentils), make a double batch of soup and freeze half in serving sizes of choice, maybe make some bone broth out of last week’s bones. Do any baking you need – snacks, breakfasts, desserts – so they’re super easy to grab all week and pack up for lunch.

Buy pre-prepped ingredients
If needed, there are usually options at the store to buy pre-cut veggies and fruit, (for instance pre-spiralized sweet potato or zucchini has shown up at places like Whole Foods), or prepped and frozen produce. This can make life easier in a pinch, but it is more expensive if you do this regularly, so decide what is more important that week – energy or money – and don’t feel guilty! I definitely use a lot of frozen veggies to make soup a snap, and frozen fruit is the easiest smoothie/breakfast/snack/dessert option there ever was!

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Invest in some tools
Investing in a slow cooker/crockpot, a pressure cooker or an instant pot can save a lot of time and energy. I personally have a crockpot that makes my life so much more sane as I can cook broth or soup overnight, or throw some ingredients in the pot before I go to school and dinner is ready when I come home. These simple tools save time, money, energy and dishes. A food processor can also make food prep a breeze, as it can do all the chopping, slicing and mixing for you.

Make menus
Many people find that having a set menu each week takes a lot of the stress out of cooking. Knowing exactly what ingredients you need, and knowing you won’t be running out to the store for added things can be immensely helpful, especially for those who are relegated to their house due to illness or fatigue. There are lots of menu plans available online for every different dietary protocol, or you can choose your own favourite meals to make every week.

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Keep it simple
Some of the easiest meals to have throughout the week are simple salads topped with pre-cooked protein and a side of pre-cooked sweet potato or simple rice. All you have to do is grab a box of greens or a head of lettuce and your pre-prepped ingredients from the fridge! Meals need not be fancy – when you barely have the energy to get out of bed, or barely the time to eat, sometimes it is best to just get some simple ingredients in your belly to fuel you along. If you do need some flair, however, simple top your meals with a handful of fresh chopped green herbs – adding freshness, flair, and a whopping handful of healthful micronutrients and antioxidants.

Ask for help
If all else fails, ask for help! Ask a friend or family member if they can come over for a few hours a week to help you chop, cook, and portion. Or perhaps they can share a meal with you. There are also a few people out there who do this for a living – they will prep you a week’s worth of healthy food to your specifications and either deliver, or have you pick it up. This may not be cost-effective for everyone, but it can be astonishingly helpful when you’re really stuck – and you will be supporting another person in doing something they love.

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Prepping food this way can also help minimize waste! When everything is being used up at the beginning of the week for prep, and you’re only buying the ingredients you need, languishing produce is certainly diminished as much more gets eaten each week, instead of hanging on for a month (sorry sad cabbage in my fridge!).

Writing from experience, I have definitely used every one of these methods, and continue to do so almost every week. I certainly find that if I don’t put in a little effort ahead of time, I am left wallowing and making poor food choices that whole week, so I try to stay on top of it for my own sanity and health.

I hope you try some of these food prep tips, and I hope they help you as much as they help me!

Happy cooking – Em

Chocolate Macaroons (Paleo/Vegan)

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If your new year’s resolutions don’t include complete deprivation of all things dessert, or you are looking to squeeze in one more treat before the year ends, here is a great macaroon recipe that focuses on satiating fats rather than sugar.

I have found that fat-based fuel before working out or going to school is much more likely to get me through until the end than something sweet like date balls (these are better post-workout or quick glucose needs). So instead of swearing off all food for the next month or two, use food like these yummy, satiating macaroons to fuel you through the whole of 2017.

Based on my super basic recipe for Chocolate Strawberry Loves, these moreish Chocolate Macaroons will fuel your body and treat your indulgent tooth (or teeth…I definitely have more than one!), so you will never feel deprived and sad.

Chocolate Macaroons
1/2 c. coconut manna
1/4 c. cacao butter
1/2 c. coconut oil
100g dark chocolate bar (you control the sweet here, so choose your favourite)
1 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp maca powder, optional
pinch sea or pink salt

In a small saucepan, gently melt coconut manna, cacao butter, chocolate bar, coconut oil and salt. Add vanilla and whisk in maca if desired. Mix in the shredded coconut – most of the chocolate mixture should be taken up by the coconut, but you don’t want the mix to be too dry. Spoon mixture into silicone ice cube trays or container of choice. Refrigerate or freeze until solid. I store these in the freezer as they melt pretty quick! Take out servings as desired and allow to thaw 5 minutes before enjoying.

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Winter Solstice

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The winter solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year. Our ancestors have been celebrating this time, along with the midsummer solstice, most likely from the very beginning so there are many traditions to choose from. It seems that most of our current Christmas traditions stem from the solstice as it was already being celebrated just a few days before December 25th.

Christmas trees and wreaths, holly and ivy, mistletoe, mulled drinks, yule logs, mincemeat pies and more are courtesy of the Romans, Norse, Celts, French, and more. One story is that the Holly King (darkness) and the Oak King (lightness) battle throughout the year – the Oak King wins after midwinter and the days proceed to become more light as the dark recedes. The yule log was traditionally an oak log dressed with greenery that would burn through that night, leaving a little left over to kindle the next year’s log.

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As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I feel a pull to the significance of the midsummer and midwinter solstices. I feel the dark and the light so keenly, and want nothing more than to join those kin who danced and revelled in the night. For the simplest reason that the days would be brighter or the nights would be colder. Perhaps it’s the act of tradition and lost history, or maybe I fee a disconnect and crave the kinship. Either way, the act of bringing evergreens indoors, lighting candles, being with family and friends, and eating delicious warming winter foods holds a deep place in my heart.

So, whether or not the holidays hold any magic or tradition for you, I wish you all the merriest of solstices, and the happiest of christmases. Hold space for the season, and it will hold space for you.

xox   Em

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Recipe Feature – Root Cookies

 

img_5581These cool, rainy, autumn days are getting shorter and shorter. Therefore, they feel more and more like cookie days. Right?

These colourful root veggie cookies developed by my dear friend Hayley of I Eat Real Food practically scream cozy, comforting and nourishing, while also bringing a good dose of sunshine with their bright colours. They are the perfect fall treat, especially for those of us who are healing illnesses and allergies. She has even written about cookie energetics! These bright bites are flourless and sugar-free – sweetened only by those adrenal-assisting, craving-satisfying, nutrient dense root veggies. They are potentially the “healthiest” cookies alive, and are so tasty!

I met Hayley when I first moved to Victoria. She contacted me through Instagram as we were both eating/living AIP. We had tea and a walk, and have been walking/talking ever since! She is a recent acupuncture grad, and is busy studying for and writing exams for her license, she has worked creating recipes for clients, and has also studied nutrition – she’s a wealth of information!

Hayley is also the creator of the original (and seriously amazing) Zucchini Cheese, so if that doesn’t tell you enough about her amazing recipes and food creations, very little will! Check out her other recipes and valuable information on autoimmunity, nutrition, Chinese medicine, health and wellness – you won’t be disappointed.

On to the recipe! These cookies pair deliciously well with Hayley’s Herbal Coffee or my own Dandelion Coffee….

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Root Cookies

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 40 minutes
Setting time: 1 hour
Yields: 5 small cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 small sweet potatoes or 1 cup of root/tuber/taproot vegetable of choice, whole or chopped. (In the photo above: white and purple sweet potato, yam, plantain, parsnip, and carrot)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut butter
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • Dash of sea salt, optional
  • Optional additions: home-made carob chips or chocolate, sulfite and sugar-free dried fruit, shredded or flaked coconut, chopped date, cinnamon, carob or cacao powder. 
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F. Place the sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet, pierce with a fork, and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until soft. If you have chosen carrot, parsnip, kabocha squash (or other dry moderate-high carb vegetable), or plantain: peel, chop, and steam in a steamer basket until just soft or al dente.
  2. Scoop flesh from sweet potato skin or drain vegetables of choice, measure, and transfer to a small food processor. Blend with the remaining ingredients until smooth. If the mixture is too runny you can add a little bit of shredded coconut (preferably blended into flour — do not use conventional coconut flour as this results in a different texture/taste).
  3. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate the root puree until it stiffens, about 20 – 30 minutes. You can speed this up by placing it in the freezer.
  4. Use a measuring spoon (tbsp. size) and scoop. Shape into cookie sized pieces and place on a parchment paper lined baking pan or plate. Transfer the cookies to your freezer or fridge to set, about 30 minutes or so.

Armpit Adventures + Detox Mask

I’ve been struggling with detoxing lately due to some thyroid chaos and who knows what else (I’ll post about this later as I’m still trying to figure it out), which means I’ve been stinking pretty bad and NOTHING will touch it – not any deodorant or essential oil, and baking soda is giving me MAJOR rashes. This may be TMI for most conversations, but I KNOW that some of you out there are struggling with this too. Even healthy people can smell bad!

So in a moment of absolute despair I decided to try the pit detox mask recipe that has been floating around the internet (I was literally crying and bemoaning my lot in life as I mixed this up, applied, and waited for it to dry).

It stung a little since I’m so rashy, but it WORKED and I was smell free for the whole day! I’m not sure if using the mask everyday is without consequence, but every other day is working for me at the moment. I obviously have a pile of internal stuff to figure out and treat, but this mask is proving to be super helpful.

The Wellness Mama has a good post on her armpit mask trial and the whys behind doing an armpit detox, while Clumps of Mascara writes some honest truth about her pits and using a detox mask. Check them out and best of luck on your pit detoxing adventure!

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Pit-Saving Detox Mask
1 Tbsp bentonite clay
1-2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar (depending on sensitivity)
1-2 tsp water*

Mix in a non-metal dish, adding water until desired paste consistency is reached (just like a clay face mask). Apply to underarms and leave on for 10-20 mins. I found it didn’t dry much unless I kept my arms up, but it still works. Wash off gently with a warm washcloth and enjoy being non-stinky!

*If this recipe is too harsh for your tender pits, try adding coconut oil instead of water for a soothing addition, and definitely moisturize afterwards as well.

Trust Your Instincts

Yesterday I both started and quit a new job.

I have never done that before, and it was really, really hard. But I also know it was necessary.

I have a tendency to put myself on the back-burner when it comes to work…even since my diagnosis and all the extra trials and tribulations that have accompanied it, I have a really tough time saying no and putting myself first. Sometimes much to my detriment. But this time I did it, and I am feeling so relieved and a little empowered too – quietly empowered, but empowered nonetheless.

Saying no to people is probably one of the hardest parts of self care, but I also think it is one of the most valuable. Now that I have done it on a large scale (it feels large to quit a new job), I feel like I could do it again if I need to, and that is a very wonderful feeling.

You come first. Truly, madly, deeply – love yourself and know you are worth it.

Side note: if you are ever put down on the first day of a new job…LEAVE! Nobody needs that in their life – not for all the tea in China!

Stay lovely friends  ❤

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