Monthly Archives: January 2014

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BOOK REVIEW: Solving the Paleo Equation


SO, I will start this post by saying that if you read this and other ‘real food’ blogs, you probably already know most of what is in this book. Matt Stone has been a great advocate for healing your metabolism and ditching mainstream trends and even bad nutritional ‘science’. This book won’t have many surprises for real food enthusiasts, but I REALLY hope it will seep out into the general public with its straight forward solutions to common weight and health issues. Below is the review I wrote for Amazon and Goodreads as requested by the guys at Matt’s site 180degreehealth.com in exchange for a review copy. It might be old news to some of you because you are already well on your way to healing. The book is *almost* ready to order on amazon. Check it out HERE.

**Solving the Paleo Equation** goes FAR beyond the benefits of eating a Paleo diet. Dr. Garrett Smith and Matt Stone cover everything from repairing your damaged metabolism to protecting yourself from harmful radiation in everyday life. If you are looking for a comprehensive guide on living a life of good health, this is the book for you.

The book is nicely divided into sections of Stress, Nutrition, Exercise and Sleep/Recovery. Matt Stone and Dr. Smith have their own experiences outlined in neat boxes that are helpful and engaging.

You may be surprised at some of the information given on each topic because it does not go along with the mainstream hype of fads and quick fixes. This book gives a solid foundation for real health and well-being and gives great examples and references to back up the advice.

The section on exercise changed the way I think about ‘working out’. I am looking forward to moving more in ways that I enjoy rather than straining and overtaxing my body. If you find yourself pushing your body so far that you are exhausted, you should definitely check out this section. Dr. Smith and Matt Stone give great solutions to the common problem of overdoing physical activity.

If I had one criticism, it would be that there is a little too much over-analyzing in the Fats section. Paleo followers tend to know that fats are essential and know how to choose the right kinds. In my opinion, getting into which fats have more arachidonic acid and linoleic acid is not necessary if you stress the importance of quality meat, eggs, dairy and fats from grass-fed, free-range, foraged animals.

I highly recommend this book for those looking to improve their overall health.

I received an advance copy of Solving the Paleo Equation but was not otherwise compensated for my review.

Fresh Breath FAST – Naturally Flavored Toothpicks


Sunday mornings on the way out the door to church, I used to grab a stick of gum to make sure my breath was nice and fresh. It was usually sugarless and fruity or sugared and cinnamon. When I switched to real food and tried to eliminate toxins from my life, I realized the gums and breath mints I was using had some nasty ingredients. Some that have even been linked to cancer.

I looked for ‘healthy’ gum and found a few like this and this, but they weren’t the same. Not bad, just not what I wanted anymore. I still wanted fresh breath without having to bring my toothbrush or mouthwash along.

I found the solution at the health food store! Flavored toothpicks. The ones I found were only available with tea tree oil and I am not a fan of tea tree in my mouth. It’s a great oil. I use it for a lot of things, like my molluscum contagiosum treatment blend and as a topical anesthetic, but I do not like the taste of it. That led me to this bright idea!! I can make them myself! I have oils in various flavors that would work. I just needed toothpicks. I chose a natural sustainable bamboo toothpick I found at my local health food store. These toothpicks are pretty close and super cheap.


I chose cinnamon and vanilla for a bit of a ‘cinnamon roll’ flavor. You can also use peppermint, citrus, clove, etc. for different flavors. I put the drops right in the bottom of the container. (*Caution: cinnamon oil is strong and can be a skin irritant, so be careful while using it. I have not had a problem with the cinnamon being too strong once it is dried, but if you are concerned, dilute with a carrier oil. Wash your hands after handling the oils and toothpicks and don;t touch your face or sensitive areas. And because of a concern from a reader, I will mention that these and all oils should be kept out of the reach of children. Also mentioned by the concerned reader, wintergreen should not be used internally.)


I added a couple of drops of vanilla and put the toothpicks back in the container. They immediately started to wick the oils and soak them up.


After a couple of hours, I took 10 or 12 of them out and dried them flat on a paper towel. I figured I’d leave the rest in the container to keep soaking up the oils and dry them as I need them. I took a rollerball container and removed the roller ball and the toothpicks fit right in. I can stick these in my purse and have a quick non-toxic way to freshen my breath anywhere. They are cheap and easy to make and store.


What I Ate on GAPS Stage 2


By now, you might know I’m doing the GAPS Diet. If you wonder why, I will refer you to my previous posts HERE and HERE.

I just finished Stage 2 and have moved on to 3 with no problems. My headaches have gone away and everything is going great! 10 lbs down in 6 days is pretty nice, too. The food…still a bit boring, but doable for sure!!

Here’s what I ate on GAPS Stage 2:

Day 3
Chicken broth with boiled chicken
2tbsp homemade 24 hour ferment yogurt
touch of raw local honey

Ground beef in broth w/raw egg yolk
spinach in broth
lacto fermented pickles

Squash and Ground Beef Casserole (Recipe in THIS BOOK!!)


Day 4
soft boiled egg
Beef Broth

Chicken Soup w/raw egg yolk

Beet, cauliflower and chicken casserole (w/broth – can you see a theme?? BROTH, BROTH and more BROTH!!)

Day 5

Soft boiled egg

Meatball soup in beef broth
Lacto fermented vegetables

Beef Stew


Again, not all that exciting, but it is really not that bad. I could never do the Master Cleanse or something like that, but this is OK. I look forward to every stage as it comes and I appreciate the things I can add. It makes me more grateful for food and variety. The weight is coming off, but more than that, I haven’t needed to take a supplement to manage joint pain since we started this. I have needed a digestive enzyme a couple of times. (I use this one).

I feel pretty darn good so far and we are moving through the stages quickly. We don’t have any major digestive issues because we’ve been working on those slowly over the course of a year, so we’re able to sail through the stages. We’re giving each stage 3 days just to be sure we’re hitting all the points. My husband isn’t big on fermented foods, so pickles are his only food probiotic right now. He’s taking a probiotic in pill form, but I am doing fermented veggies and dairy for my probiotics. On to stage 3! (As soon as I finish the stage 3 post…the link will be HERE!)

What I ate on GAPS Stage 1


Eating whatever real food I wanted whenever I wanted it for the last year was pretty great. Butter, cream, meat, fruit, veggies, and even SUGARS. YUM!! My body was happy with me and my autoimmune pain decreased a LOT. And then I decided to obliterate it by going GAPS on it.

The GAPS diet is specifically set up to give your digestive system a gentle break from its hard work to let it recover and repair damage to the gut lining and replenish good bacteria.

It is VERY restrictive for the first few stages. VERY. Goodbye butter. Goodbye cream. Goodbye everything else – except bone broth, boiled meat and boiled vegetables. Yeah. That’s pretty much it. So…what do you eat for breakfast? Broth and vegetables. What to you eat for lunch? Broth and meat and vegetables. And for dinner? Yep…you guessed it. Broth and boiled meat and vegetables.

You can try to make it more interesting, but it’s still boiled. There’s a great book on what to eat for the first 30 days HERE.

Here’s what I did to get through it with a bit of flavor.

Day 1
Room temp water w/ lemon (although the lemon might be just for FULL gaps, not Intro)
Beef bone broth
carrots in beef bone broth


Beef Pot Roast (boiled, not roasted)
Cup o’ broth


Pureed Soup w/bone broth, carrots, cauliflower and chicken

Day 2
Carrots, cauliflower, pot roast in broth (exciting, I know)

Creamed cauliflower soup with meatballs (pretty good actually)

Spaghetti squash with boiled broccoli, chicken, chicken broth (w/ garlic and onions)

Day 3
Meatballs and zucchini in beef broth

Ground beef and spinach in beef broth

Chicken Soup

And there you have it. Super exciting meals. And how did it go?

Not too bad, really. I had headaches for the first 4 days. My husband had nothing. As usual. The food was decent and didn’t really feel like a diet because there was so much fat in it. My bloated tummy went down pretty quick and I lost 7lbs in 3 days. I will say that I was glad to move to stage 2. Even of the only things we got to add were pickles and casseroles (same stuff, but baked with broth instead of boiled).

Check out the next stage here.

You Need This Camera


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You can enter here AND at the other blogs listed below to increase your chances.

A winner will be chosen via random.org. We will announce the lucky winner on January 31st, 2014. The winner will have 48 hours to reply to an email with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone! (Open worldwide. However, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.)


1. Check out the camera by clicking HERE!

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