Ancestor’s Stew

The blood of my ancestors is in this crock pot stew. Kidding. But seriously, I did some DNA testing a while back and found out I’m 50% British/Irish… so there is really nothing better for me than beef stew (other than whisky of course – kidding again)!

Stew is a comfort food for me. I spent many, many years hating beef, but I always loved the stew my grandma made. I think she would be pretty proud of this recipe I concocted, as I once told her I would never ever cook with raw meat (it totally disgusted me).

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I used beef bone broth as the base (because gut health), switched out extra potatoes for a turnip and some radishes, and added my favorite herbs – oregano, thyme, and ROSEMARY. Continue reading “Ancestor’s Stew”

Gut-Friendly Breakfast Cookies

My kids LOVE sugar and gluten. But their guts don’t. So I was thrilled when I first discovered this recipe for breakfast cookies that are free of sugar, gluten AND dairy (depending on the chocolate chips you use)! I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe, and I have to say, they’re pretty dang good!

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Start by mashing up bananas with a fork and then add the coconut oil and vanilla. From there, dump in the dry ingredients and mix it all around with a fork. I never even need to use a spoon, and hey – that’s one last thing to load in the dishwasher right? Check out this happy banana-masher I had today:

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Oats are a little controversial for some, as they can potentially contain gluten if they aren’t labeled “gluten free.” But there are many studies that link oats with the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which is always something I’m a fan of! The walnuts in this cookie are a nice brain-boosting touch, and you could also add in dried fruit or even blueberries, another brain-boosting food.

The chocolate chips do add some sugar, but it’s minimal when you consider the typical breakfast food item for kids these days. It’s hard to find chocolate chips free of soy, gluten and dairy. I like the Enjoy Life brand or Lily’s because they contain stevia! Continue reading “Gut-Friendly Breakfast Cookies”

Why Diets Never Worked For Me

Diets. I hate the D word. They started in high school. I went on my first antidepressant my sophomore year and gained 30 pounds in under two years. It was devastating and embarrassing. I used food to cope with unhealthy emotions. Once I could drive, I hopped in my 1990 baby blue Chevy Caprice and hit up Sonic happy hour for cheddar peppers and slushes. I stocked up on sour watermelon candy at Target and late night Whataburger taquitos. I never felt full, but I loved the dopamine high the food would give me. I knew food had a pull on me I couldn’t escape.

So I tried South Beach, the Zone, and finally, Atkins. The latter helped me lose the “Zoloft weight” and gave me new confidence. But restriction made me bitter. I developed PTSD from salads. I made the act of eating a moral decision – there are good foods and bad foods. Fattening and non. Healthy or not. And I let the shame of indulgence give me value, just as I allowed my size or the number on the tag of my jeans give me value. Continue reading “Why Diets Never Worked For Me”

Living With a Stigma

little me

This little girl didn’t know that in 10 years she would wish for death. She loved her family, her new siblings, and Jesus, too. Much like the Tom Petty song, she was about to take a free fall – down the path of a broken brain.

She was a preacher’s daughter with a genetic disposition to mental illness. Add on to that various health issues like chronic ear infections, asthma, allergy shots, antibiotics and steroids… and a budding sugar addiction, due to poor gut health. She was all energy and filled with curiosity, wanting to know the how and why of everything. So one day, when the darkness closed in, she would questions why she couldn’t just pray it away.

Continue reading “Living With a Stigma”