Happy Monday!! It is gray and pretty gloomy over here in Spokane but I really can’t be bothered because I spent the weekend in BEAUTIFUL sunny Leavenworth! It was an epic weekend filled with time spent in nature, great climbing, awesome company and just enjoying being alive.
Hope your Monday and week are off to an amazing start!
#1 Primal Kitchen Ranch
Wowza. This stuff is GOOD. Like ranch from when you were a kid, good. I absolutely am in love with Primal Kitchen (started by Mark Sisson) and all their products. Made with avocado oil (no junky oils here!) and blended with spices and egg yolks, the ranch dressing is creamy and tangy all at the same time.
Not only do they use high quality avocado oil, they also don’t use any added sugars! Which is really awesome because I am on a Whole30 right now and this is a compliant product for me! I have been using it on salads, as a dip for vegetables and also in a casserole recipe (coming soon, it’s TO DIE FOR).
While it is a little pricy (high quality ingredients usually are…) I don’t mind spending the extra money once in a while to show companies like Primal Kitchen how much their products mean to me and make my life so much easier! Sure, I could make my own ranch but it just isn’t quite the same and the convenience of a bottle is hard to beat.
#2 Dried Pears
Move on over dried mangoes and apples, pears are in the house! I discovered these little gems at Trader Joe’s a couple weeks ago and haven’t stopped snacking on them since! The chewy texture and naturally sweet taste is perfect when I’m battling some sugar cravings and does the trick every time.
If you haven’t tried dried pears I highly suggest you do!
#3 He Shou Wu
He shou wu is an adaptogenic herb that can be used to enhance immune function, increase antioxidant activity and improve stamina. It is also great for use as a “beauty” product because it is a tonic for blood, hair and skin. He Shou Wu can support graceful aging and is an excellent source of zinc and iron (holla ladies!).
This amazing herb is extremely effective taken regularly in small doses, and the effects are gradual. I love the Sun Potion brand and am beginning to only source my herbs through them! They are extremely reputable and are truly making a difference in the world of adaptogenic and supplementation education.
I have been mixing about a ¼ tsp. into my morning matcha lattes. It is tasteless and after only about a few days of taking it I can tell I have a little pep in my step after and I just feel good! Highly recommend checking out Sun Potion and their line of supplements and adaptogens.
#4 Digestive Enzymes
I have been taking digestive enzymes regularly for the past few months and have noticed a HUGE difference in my digestion. Instead of having stomach aches every couple of days, I now feel super solid and confident in my digestion!
These have seriously been such a game changer for me and I think they are helping to break down foods that my body has a difficult time with. The brand I have been taking is Enzymedica. Getting the dose right takes a couple days, typically you would take a few after a meal and if you feel a “burning” sensation (stomach acid, which is a GOOD thing) then you would take one less next time and that is your dose.
Stomach acid is necessary in order to break down food, typically when someone has acid reflux it isn’t too much acid, it’s quite the opposite, it’s too little acid. You see, when our stomachs don’t make enough acid (whether depleted through poor diet or lifestyle factors) and therefore develop bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. This can lead to a dysfunction and weakening of the muscular valve (sphincter) that separates the lower end of the stomach and the esophagus. This is what causes acid to return back up into the throat and mouth and causes a painful burning sensation.
I have battled with acid reflux in the past and it really is not fun. After being prescribed a proton pump inhibitor (PPI or aka Nexxium) I decided to do some research. Rather than try to decrease the amount of acid even further with a band-aid approach, I knew it was time to fix the problem from the inside out.
I spent a lot of time healing my body and trying to cure my acid reflux naturally. This included a lot of apple cider vinegar to naturally boost acid production, I also cut down on typically higher acidty foods like tomatoes and chocolate. These steps did help a little but I needed something with a little more oomph to get back on the right track.
Digestive enzymes are that oomph! By optimizing my ability to produce stomach acid and digest my food fully I am hoping to repair the damage from previous years and slowly ween off of supplemental enzymes. But in the meantime I am really enjoying having optimal digestion!
#5 Hard Boiled Eggs
I am on a huge egg kick lately! They are just so easy and taste great! I had cut eggs out of my diet for quite a bit and the reintroduced them to rule out any sensitivities and it turns out they just make me feel pretty good! I am happy to have them back in my diet.
Eggs pack a serious nutritional punch. Besides being loaded with good for you fat and protein, eggs contain important nutrients like vitamin B12 and choline (important for DNA synthesis). If raised properly, like cage free or pastured eggs, the omega-3 content in eggs are incredibly important to our diet to help balance out the high about of omega-6. Read more about why omega-3 is important on my post here.
One of my favorite portable ways to include these nutrient powerhouses is to hard boil them! I have found the easiest way to accomplish this is in my trusty Instant Pot! It is super easy to control how runny (or not) the yolk is and they come out perfect every time. Another trick to getting perfect eggs is to use eggs that are a couple days old and immediately stick them in ice water after they are done cooking to stop them from cooking further (and creating that icky green ring).
I have found the easiest way to peel hard boiled eggs is under cool running water, the shells practically fall off! In the picture below are eggs cooked for three different times. The top eggs were cooked for 7 minutes, the middle for 5 minutes and the bottoms eggs with the soft boiled yolks were cooked for 3 minutes.
Personally I like them at 3 and 5 minutes. So soft and utterly delicious! How well done do you like your eggs? 🙂