March 23, 2015

Roasted Red Pepper and Squash Soup (Paleo, SCD, GAPS, Gluten Free)

Hi friends! Yes I am still alive. Just living in my little study bubble I'm afraid. It's not a very fun bubble let me tell you. Have you missed me? I've missed you! I decided it was about time I took a little study break to bring you another recipe because it has been way too long since I last posted. I'm sorry! Plus before it gets too warm outside I needed to share this soup recipe with you. Because, well, it's delicious. 

And besides being delicious this soup also contains some very healthy ingredients like bone broth, vegetables and coconut milk. Plus a little bit of bacon fat. Yes you read that right. Bacon fat. Because everything is better with bacon fat. Am I right? 

As a believer in eating real food, I think it's very important for you to know what is being put in your body. That is why I am rather upset to see that the newest genetically modified apple that doesn't turn brown when sliced, has just been approved for sale in Canada and the USA. Boo! 

It still baffles my mind that these genetically modified food items don't have to be tested for long term safety before they are placed in our stores for human consumption. Does this not seem totally bizarre to anyone else? I am really hoping there will be some sort of labelling put in place so that we can avoid this laboratory created little gem of a food item. What's wrong with a little bruising on an apple anyways? I mean seriously? Although to quote the creator of this new GMO apple, "We know that in a convenience-driven world, a whole apple is too big of a commitment". Um really? I can't remember the last time someone told me that eating an apple simply required too much commitment. It's like the apple has suddenly become a long term relationship or something. 

It's no wonder people have no idea what real food really is anymore, with products like this being touted as healthy and natural. And it's only going to keep getting worse as more of these GMO foods get approved by the FDA. Apparently a bruise free potato is what's next to be served up on our plates. I just can't tell you how many meals I have had ruined by a bruise on my potato. Sheesh. And yes I know the potato isn't really paleo. Let's not even go there people.  

I could keep ranting about this forever. But I will save you guys from that. If you do want to learn more you can read the whole article here 

And before I let you get to the recipe, as always, I would be thrilled if you visited me on my other social media pages: PinterestInstagram and Facebook
Oh and I almost forgot to mention that I just started a Twitter account. So you can find me there now too (since you can never have too many social media pages apparently). 

Happy eating everyone! 


3 large red bell peppers (or 4 smaller ones), diced
3 TBSP bacon fat
2 TBSP chopped chives (or sub one small onion, diced) 

2 lbs uncooked butternut squash (I used the pre-cut ones from Costco)
2 cups bone broth
1 can full fat coconut milk (I recommend this brand
1 TBSP dried basil (this is my favourite
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper


1. Place a large frying pan on medium heat on on the stove
2. Add the bacon fat, chives and red pepper to the pan and cook until the peppers start to tenderize (the edges turn golden)
3. While the peppers are cooking place a large pot on the stove on medium heat
4. Add the squash, bone broth, coconut milk and remaining spices to the pot and bring to a boil
5. Once the peppers are done cooking transfer all the ingredients from the pan (including fat and chives) to your pot with the soup
6. Allow the soup to come to a boil
7. Once the soup is boiling turn down the heat and simmer for another 15-20 minutes
8. Remove from heat, and use your immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth
9. Serve and enjoy!  

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March 02, 2015

The Best Paleo Books (Real Food, SCD, GAPS, WAPF, Gluten Free)

Hi everyone. Sorry for all the silence around here lately. It is officially crunch time for my Royal College studying (are you sick of hearing about that exam yet?? You should be. I am rather sick of talking about it). I write the first half in 4 weeks (cue the palpitations... ) which means I won't be able to post as often as normal. I am apologizing in advance! Please forgive me.

I am breaking away from the usual recipes today to share a different kind of health related post. This one is all about books. Health and food related books to be exact. It's no secret that I like to read. A lot. Fiction, non-fiction, humour, mystery, drama, health, nutrition.... there is not a topic that I am not interested in. Ok that might be a lie. Romance. That is a genre I can honestly say has no place on my book shelf. My girly tendencies only go so far.

Over the years I have read many books related to health, food and wellness. Some of which have been instrumental to my healing journey, others which I thought were total bogus or not very helpful. And if you are just starting on your real food or health journey I know it can be overwhelming trying to find quality resources. So I wanted to weed through some of the junk out there and share the books that I think you might be interested in. And I am always looking for more reading material, so if you think I have missed an important resource please let me know!

*** Disclaimer: You can purchase any of these books by clicking on the link provided with each book title. You will be taken directly to the Amazon website. If you do purchase anything through the links in this post I will get a small portion of the cost which helps me keep this blog running, and which I thank you for! Note that the prices are the same as they normally are on Amazon.

Happy Reading!

This is the book that started it all for me. After having only minimal results by going gluten and dairy free, the health care practitioner I was seeing suggested I try the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Now I had never heard of this diet but this book explains it all. The diet was originally created for patients with inflammatory bowel disease but has since been adopted for many other health conditions. And while this isn't necessarily a "paleo" book, the diet is very similar. The one major exception is that the SCD diet allows some forms of dairy. I owe the start of my healing journey to this book, and highly recommend it for anyone who is looking to start a real food diet. This is where I first learned about the healing powers of bone broth, the importance of the gut microbiome and is how I started to think of food as a form of medicine.

2. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price

This was the second book I came across on my healing journey. I had heard about the Weston A Price Foundation through various channels and wanted to learn more about the man who started this movement. Weston A Price was a dentist who travelled the world looking at traditional cultures, their dietary practices, and how the implementation of a "modern, white man's diet" changed their dentition and overall health. And what he found was dramatic. In the span of just one generation, the detrimental health impacts of refined sugars, white flour and processed ingredients completely changed not only the dental health of these people, but their overall health as well. Obesity, acne, cancers, joint pains... all of these problems appeared with the introduction of modern style foods. One of the criticisms I often hear against the paleo diet is that there is no evidence for it. Well I don't know if the evidence can get much better than this book. While I realize that this is not a randomized control trial, or formalized study, even the skeptical scientist in me can't ignore the harsh facts in this extremely through documentation. If you, or anyone you know is skeptical about the paleo or real food diet I would highly recommend reading this book.

3. The Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (also known as the GAPS diet) is very similar to the SCD diet. However, this protocol was originally developed for neurological and mental health conditions including autism, depression, ADD, schizophrenia and many more. However, I know many people, including those with autoimmune diseases who have done extremely well with this diet. One of the main differences between this diet and the SCD diet is the greater emphasis on quality meats and ingredients (think grassfed beef, pasture raised pork etc). The full GAPS diet also allows chocolate (hooray!) but does not permit dairy. And you may wonder if you really need to read both this book and the SCD book? Well that depends. The evidence presented in each book is quite different, and if you are one who likes to see the scientific evidence behind things (like myself) then I would recommend reading both. Plus the subtle differences in the two protocols can really be a game changer for some people.

4. Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

Practical Paleo was one of the first paleo books on the market. Since publishing this book, Dianne Sanfilippo has become an authority in the paleo world, and for very good reason. This book is awesome. It is both a cookbook and a great resource. The recipes are not only delicious but very easy to make. This is usually the first book I recommend to my friends when they ask me for a great paleo resource. The introduction into why eating paleo is a good idea is extremely thorough, and she explains how to actually go about starting this diet. The ingredients you need, the tools you should invest in etc etc. And what you should see as results of the diet (there is even a poop chart to help you monitor your digestive symptoms). There is a reason this is one of the top selling cookbooks on the market (and not just in the paleo world).

5. The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan

This is by far one of my favorite books. I read this last summer and I just inhaled it. I couldn't get enough. I plan on re-reading it again once my exams are over. It is that good. Now this is not a book oriented to a specific diet or eating style, but what it is is a thorough documentation of how our current food choices have evolved over the last few decades. It is both horrifying and fascinating at the same time. Michael Pollan did an extensive amount of hands on research to write this book, and the things he saw and experienced were rather incredible. He does an amazing job of documenting how the food we are eating today has NOT been guided by evidence related to better health, but instead by corporations and individuals with political influence who have their own best interests at heart. He describes the horrific conditions in which modern animals are raised to produce mass amounts of food at low prices, and how the evolution of a few genetically modified products (namely corn) have allowed this all to happen. Ever since reading this book I have made a conscious effort to boycott any meat or animal products that haven't been ethically raised. His words are that powerful. I actually shed a tear or two reading this book. So you animal lovers out there have been forewarned. I could rave about this book forever, but the bottom line is that if you are at all interested in where your food is coming from and how it is affecting your health, you need to read this book.

6. Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe

This is one of the newer additions to my library. I got this one as a gift for Christmas and have been reading it ever since. If I had my way I would dedicate a day to read the whole thing in one sitting, but for now a page or two every night will have to do. And while I haven't quite finished this one yet, I feel confident in recommending it to you. Liz has a no-nonsense way of discussing food and how it relates to your health. Her sense of humour and non-stop jokes also make this extremely easy to read.  The book is broken up into various chapters, categorized by food group - fats, protein, carbohydrates - which make it easy to digest (no pun intended) and understand. One of the best chapters is the one on fat, where she outlines why dietary cholesterol is not the enemy, and how the recommendation for eating a low fat diet actually has no scientific backing. After I finish reading this one myself I will definitely be passing it around to my friends and family members!

7. The Wahl's Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls

I have so much respect for Dr. Wahl's. She is a physician who was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), ended up wheelchair bound, and through her own extensive research developed a protocol of nutrition and supplements that has allowed her to walk again and reverse many of the symptoms of her disease. Talk about will power and determination. She spent countless hours researching the advice that is given in her book, which covers everything from diet, to exercise to the supplements you should be eating. And while the book was written with MS in mind, the lessons in here can be applied to many other autoimmune conditions. This book also goes further into functional medicine than any of the other books that I have recommended. Not familiar with this form of medicine? In brief, it is almost like "personalized medicine" where treatments are based on your bodies biochemical test results. This is a very simplified explanation, but it would take an entire post to explain it properly. The bottom line is that many people who cannot find solutions through conventional medicine often find success using functional medicine principles. Like Dr. Wahls. So again, if you are interested in the science behind why diet and supplements work, this is another great one for you to add to your book collection.

The Books I Can't Wait to Read

Below are some of the books I have waiting for me on my nightstand when I finish my Royal College Exams. These all come highly recommended from both friends and other paleo bloggers who I reached out to for reading advice. 

Are there any other books you would have added to my list? Please feel free to share your suggestions!

And as always I would be thrilled if you visited me on PinterestInstagram and Facebook!

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February 17, 2015

Slow Cooker Coconut Lime Shredded Beef (Paleo, Gluten Free, Beef)

Happy Tuesday! Did you have a good long weekend? I sure hope so!

I love long weekends. I really think that every week should have a 3 day weekend. In my future life, once I have control over my schedule, I really would only like to work 4 days a week. Doesn't that sound amazing? I would also like to live on a beach and win the lottery. Some of these dreams may be a little more realistic than others...
If I did only work 4 days a week just think of all that extra time I would have to spend on the blog! I could probably start posting twice a week. Crazy! Now I just need to make it through the next 2 years of my training and then I will be free to do as I please. That time can't come soon enough!

I wish I had some fun stories to tell you from my weekend. But as per usual it was spent studying. And cooking meals for the week. I am living such an exciting life right now I know. So I won't bore you with any more of the details.

In happier news... Valentines Day was on Friday. Did you do anything special? Or get any special gifts? To be honest I think that Valentine's Day is a total Hallmark holiday - a big scheme to get people to spend more money after the post-Christmas shopping lull... BUT, I also do like the idea of a day that celebrates your relationship. I just don't think you need to go spending crazy money to show someone that you love them. Erik got me flowers this year, and being the flower lover that I am this made me a pretty happy girl. Flowers, kitchen gadgets, chocolate and anything from Anthropologie. Those are the keys to this girl's heart.

In similar news, and totally un-paleo related, did you know that it is New York Fashion Week? One of my favourite times of year! Along with Christmas and summer time of course. Now normally I would be stalking each day to see all the pretty clothes. But sadly, all this Royal College studying is taking away from my precious online clothing viewing. It's tragic! I will definitely be catching up come spring don't you worry. One day I would love to go to New York Fashion Week. Seriously, that would be a dream come true. It would just be so hard to pick only one designer to see! They are all so amazing. Bucket List dreams my friends. Bucket List dreams...

Ok moving right along to food. I can't believe I forgot to share this recipe with you! It has been sitting in the archives for a few months now collecting dust. And that's a shame because I really liked this one. And it is super easy. It is made in the slow cooker and so it only takes a few minutes of preparation and then you're done! I don't think I would have survived this year if it were not for my slow cooker. That may sound dramatic but when you are working 60-70 hours a week and studying 30-40 more hours, that doesn't leave a lot of time for food making. Or anything else for that matter. And considering that most slow cookers cost less than $40 that is money well spent if you ask me. If you haven't invested in one yet I highly suggest that you do. No real food kitchen is complete without a slow cooker in my opinion.

Well my friends I think that is enough babbling from me for today. I hope you like the recipe! I would be thrilled if you visited me on my social media pages,  PinterestInstagram and Facebook. And if you have any comments or questions please feel free to get in touch. 

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Happy eating everyone! 


1 grassfed cross rib beef roast (~4 lbs)

1 can full fat organic coconut milk (I suggest this brand because it is BPA free) 
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 TBSP organic coconut oil (this is my favourite kind

1 TBSP packed lime zest
2 TBSP chopped chives
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt 


1. Turn your slow cooker onto high heat
2. Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker
3. Cook for 6-8 hours
4. Serve and enjoy!

*** NOTE (Added February 25, 2015): I have had some questions regarding the cooking time for this recipe. Mine worked out fine cooking it on high for 8 hours, but if you are worried you could cook it on high for 4 hours and then on low for another 4 hours (I have also done it this way and haven't noticed a difference in the final product). Keep in mind that these times may be completely different if you aren't using grassfed beef.

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