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I was on the fence over essential oils for a while until I tried them for my Lyme induced joint pain.  I tried EVERTHING natural for joint pain, and even unnatural things, and it seemed like nothing would help!  That was when a fellow wellness advocate really pushed me to try essential oils again.  She is a doTERRA rep so naturally this is the brand I tried, and I’ve used others since that have been pretty successful, too.  For joint pain and other pain caused by inflammation like muscle aches, I layer Peppermint, Marjoram, and Frankincense which is unfortunately not pictured here because I use it so much that I ran out.  That combination really seems to numb the deep aching and helps me to better relax and even sleep!  I also use Peppermint on my temples when I have a headache that won’t quit and it really helps! doTERRA has a great roll-on called PasTense which I also am out of, but it does wonders for headaches as well.

My favorite oils for relaxation are Serenity and Balance.  Serenity really calms me.  I like to put it on my wrists and chest with a carrier oil such as extra avocado oil or coconut oil at night time and take several deep breaths.  Instantly calming!  I also put Serenity in my diffuser at night while I’m reading in bed and falling asleep.  The Balance oil smells amazing!  I use it as perfume and everyone always tells me I smell good, haha!  I thought I might smell like a hippy, but, apparently it doesn’t come across that way to other people’s noses which is great!  My husband loves it.

I like to use OnGuard particularly when I travel!  Airports and public bathrooms make me super nervous because when you have a weak immune system, you can pick up anything and have it ruin your vacation!  I take 2-3 drops under the tongue and wash it down with water for an immune boost!  If you’re in a jam for hand soap, you can also mix it with a carrier oil and you’re good to go!  It can even be used for cleaning!  What are your favorite essential oils to use?  Drop a comment below and share! πŸ™‚

Total Body Turmeric Pain Reliever Drink

Hey, guys! Hope you’re having a great “Wellness Wednesday” so far πŸ™‚ I’ve been having a flare-up of a lot of symptoms lately, including pain and fatigue. It’s so hard with chronic illness because you’ll have a good week or two and feel like you’re finally getting somewhere! You get so full of hope and then a new week comes and smacks you upside the head and you feel like you went into a downward spiral back to where you started. You just have to keep digging yourself back out of the hole, hoping that at some point, the hole will get more shallow and you’ll gain some ground. I do think I have gained ground in the last year. It’s hard to see at times, but it takes less time for me to recover from bad flares than it used to. And by recover, I mean, back to being able to function at a better level. I still don’t live the way I want to live. Mornings and evenings are difficult for me and I’m generally exhausted. But, I keep trying new things, researching, talking to other people in similar situations, and just trying to learn as much as I can while still trying to find joy in the small things. Sometimes I feel like I am always in my head, in another world, and never totally present because I’m always thinking about the pain I’m in or how much I want to get better. I think people think I’m a bit spacey or disconnected sometimes. We do the best we can, right? I try to keep this in mind before I jump to conclusions about other people. Getting lost in a flare is easy to do. I’ve had some where it seems never-ending and I start to feel defeated. The truth is, things always eventually get better, but sometimes you have to fight even harder than you feel like you can. I wanted to share this recipe with you in hopes of helping you through a painful flare if you’re going through one, too.

I have a hard time finding things that help with the pain. I find something and it helps for a while and then it seems like it loses its potency and doesn’t work for me anymore. That’s not to say that a lot of the things I have done and tried aren’t helpful at all, they are. It’s just that they’re not long term solutions. But, something that I always go back to is this creamy turmeric drink that a fellow Lyme Warrior shared with me a couple years ago when I was in the thick of chronic Lyme Disease. I’ve been having really bad back and hip pain lately, so I pulled this recipe out and tried it again. Sure enough, it is the number one thing that is helping my pain right now!! I’ve done A LOT, so it’s kind of a miracle that this simple, inexpensive drink is what’s hitting the spot right now, but I’ll take it! Glady. πŸ™‚

We all probably know by now that Turmeric is great for decreasing inflammation! Turmeric contains curcumin. Curcumin is a biotactive substance that fights inflammation. It can be just as powerful as over the counter anti-inflammatories, but it doesn’t have the negative side effects that they do! NSAIDS, which are your standard drug store anti-inflammatories, like Tylenol and Ibuprofen, can cause damage to your stomach lining, liver, and serious problems like ulcers and bleeding if used too often. But, if you use turmeric in high doses, you can avoid all of that! You want to aim for around 1 gram of turmeric to get the full benefit.

This drink combines everything that helps turmeric do it’s antioxidant work for your body. It has healthy fats in the coconut oil which help your body to absorb the curcumin which is fat-soluble. It also contains black pepper, which has piperine in it. Piperine is a naturally occuring substance that helps your body to absorb the curcumin better as well!

I like to double this recipe when my pain is really bad. By the end of the drink, I feel a total body relaxation. It feels like my whole body gets warm and I can feel the pain slowly dissipate. You don’t need to worry about overdosing on turmeric. It’s a natural food. You do want to get yourself a good organic brand though, because spices like turmeric are known to carry lead. You can get quality sourced turmeric by doing your research. I like this brand.

This recipe is a little complicated because you have to make a paste first. But, it’s totally worth the time, and you’ll have paste leftover in your fridge for your next drinks once you make it! I usually combine this with almond milk, but coconut milk is really delicious with it, too!

This recipe was recommended to me by my fellow Lyme advocate, Aimee Miller. You can find her website here. These turmeric drink recipes are originally from Darin Olien’s plant based meal plan “The Superlife 10-Day Nutrition Program”. Thank you, Aimee for recommending this drink to me! It’s been so helpful <3

Total Body Turmeric Pain Reliever Drink

Turmeric Paste:
Makes about 1 cup (16 – 1 tablespoon servings)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp raw honey

Steps:

  • Mix pepper, ginger, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a small sauce pan on low heat mix together turmeric and coconut milk. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring to gentle simmer and continue to stir.
  • Add mixed spices and continue to simmer for 3 minutes or until a thick and smooth paste.
  • Add coconut oil and raw honey, turning off the heat. Continue to stir until completely smooth.
  • Allow mixture to cool a few minutes and transfer to a clean Mason jar. Mixture thickens as it cools so don’t wait to long to transfer.
  • Place lid on jar once it’s cooled completely. Store in refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks (mine last less than a week since using daily).

Now that you have made your paste, you can put it into some milk with the following ingredients and start de-flaming, LOL! πŸ™‚

Creamy Turmeric Drink

Prep time: 5-6 minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp turmeric paste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (find a good brand without added ingredients. Just pure vanilla extract!)
  • 8-10 drops of stevia (or 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk or other plant based milk

Steps:

  • Add all ingredients in a sauce pan and warm.
  • Use a blender or whisk until foamy
  • Pour into a mug and relax πŸ™‚

Please let me know if you try this and how it works for you! I hope that it gives you some relief. I’ve been thinking of things that have helped my Lyme symptoms for those of you who are struggling with Lyme (and other chronic pain diseases). If you haven’t yet, check out my post on the essential oils that help my joint pain! As always, this is not medical advice, just my own experience in things that have brought me some relief. Sending you lots of love and healing vibrations!! πŸ™‚

5 Easy Clean Beauty and Self Skin Care Swaps

So, I am a bit behind and I didn’t get this published yesterday for Wellness Wednesday! Sorry guys! But, it’s really a just a day, so I’m sure none of you are livid about it, haha! πŸ™‚

I wanted to share a couple of clean beauty/self care easy swaps you can start with to lessen the toxic load in your life! It can be a bit overwhelming to look at ALL of the products you use on the daily and think about having to replace everything at once. Instead, just start to switch over to better beauty as you run out of things! Here are 5 of my favorites that I use everyday and love a lot!

Schmidt’s Deodorant – I get a lot of questions about what my favorite natural deodorant is and this is hands down the best I have tried! And I’ve tried A LOT! It smells the best in my opinion, and it helps keep me drier than any other I have tried. I wouldn’t say that it keeps you completely dry in really hot temperatures, but our bodies are meant to sweat -that is how we detox things that don’t belong in our body. Most deodorants are full of nasty chemicals that add more toxins into our systems, and don’t allow us to sweat any toxins out. Most have aluminum in them to achieve this, and we all know by now that heavy metals in our bodies are a really bad thing and we have to eliminate these products we use that contain them. They can really do a number on your endocrine system which includes your thyroid, and trust me, you don’t want to mess with your thyroid. It is involved in so many of your bodily functions, including your metabolism and energy levels. Metals also feed pathogens in your body that make and keep you sick, so we gotta toss that conventional deodorant OUT, friends! (check your facial powders, too!)

Everyone For Every Body Lotion – I love this lotion! It smells delicious and is so moisturizing! It is scented with essential oils and uses natural moisturizers like coconut, sesame, and aloe oils. A lot of our lotions have fragrance in them, and fragrance is made with toxic chemicals that are harmful to our bodies, too! Sticking to lotions and scents made with essential oils is MUCH healthier!

Himalaya Botanique Tooth Paste – Natural tooth paste can be a tough one to get used to! I really like this brand, though. It tastes good and I still get the fresh clean feeling that I am used to with conventional brands. It doesn’t have the nasty chemicals that popular brands do. It is SLS, Gluten, Carrageenan, and Fluoride Free! You might think that fluoride is a good thing for you teeth, and that was long believed to be true. But, studies have found that continuous use of small amounts of fluoride over time can be hazardous to our bone, brain, thyroid health, and more. SLS is also known to cause a lot of skin irritations. If you are experiencing skin problems, I would highly recommend checking all of your products for SLS and replacing them with things that do not contain it. Carrageenan has also shown to be cancerous in studies, so that’s another one that you should be on the lookout for.

Jason Bodywash – I’ve been using this bodywash for years and I love all of the different scents it comes in! It is free from parabens, harsh sulfates, petrolatum, and phthalates! All things you do not need nor want in your soap! They are toxic and can cause skin irritation, too. I love that this comes in a big pump and lasts forever! It’s a great deal!

Alba Botanitcals 3-in-1 Cleansing Towlettes – These are a staple in my routine! I use them to wipe off all of my makeup before using my cleanser. They don’t have any texture to them, so they’re good for removing makeup on the eyes, too. They don’t have any synthetic fragrance, parabens, or pthalates. They are made with natural ingredients that cut through the makeup and really clean your skin off. They are great for sensitive skin!

I hope this helps you get started in cleaning up your self care routine! Let me know if you have any questions! I’d love to hear what some of your favorite better beauty brands and products are in the comments below! Have a great day! πŸ™‚

New Year's at Nemacolin

The last several New Years, Ryan and I have found it fun to make it special and go somewhere to celebrate in style! This year, we decided to go to one of our favorite spots year-round, which is Nemacolin Woodlands Resort! Nemacolin is a beautiful resort and spa nestled in the Laurel Highlands of Southwestern Pennsylvania. It’s a short drive from Pittsburgh, being under 2 hours. The reason I say it’s a favorite spot year round is because there is SO much to do! From hiking, skiing, golf, children’s activities, a zoo, mini golf, hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, shooting clays, swimming, art classes, yoga, a holistic wellness center, the spa, fine dining, shopping, a casino, special events for holidays, and more! It’s definitely a destination spot for couples for romantic getaways and family fun, too! Your pets are also invited! Nemacolin really has it all and they do a wonderful job of seeing to all of your needs.

Ryan and I arrived the day before New Year’s Eve. We had booked shortly in advance and let them know about my dietary restrictions of being gluten and dairy free. They were extremely accommodating! Upon entering, the main chateau was decorated beautifully on the outside with a huge lit up tree, lights all over the outside of the building, flashing different colors, all while Christmas carols played adding to the excitement in the air! It was a sight to be seen!

There are several places you can stay at Nemacolin and varying price points for each. The main chateau is where most of the action is! The rooms are very grand and luxurious. The entire place is stunningly beautiful! There are several restaurants connected to the Chateau as well as shops, a cigar room, and beautiful artwork. You can walk from your room there without having to go outdoors. It’s a massive building and there’s always something to look at on your journey to each destination. There is a bar in the main lobby and a beautiful sitting areas surrounding it. There is also a stunning patio that looks out onto the grounds. Lots of weddings happen here for good reason! It couldn’t be prettier. Inside of the Chateau is the resort’s famous restaurant, Lautrec! If you love fine dining, you will love this place! It is a 5-star, award-winning restaurant with awards for it’s wine selections to boot. More on this later!

Lautrec
resort's newest accommodations at Falling Rock

Ryan and I have stayed at the Chateau several times, so this time we decided to try out the resort’s newest accommodations at Falling Rock. Falling Rock is located just down the road from the Chateau. It is a smaller hotel with only 42 rooms. However, don’t think that means less luxury! The rooms at Falling Rock come with butler service! That’s right. You have your very own butler to assist you with any of your needs during your stay. You can press a button and someone will come and draw a bath for you. Or call and request it to be drawn when you arrive home from dinner. Pretty nice! We felt guilty utilizing all of the butler services at first. But, that’s what you pay for when you go there and that’s what they want you to indulge in to make your experience that much more relaxing and enjoyable. And that it was! They bring you freshly baked cookies (they even made mine gluten and dairy free, and they were the most delicious gf, df, cookies I’d ever had!! Oh my gosh! I’m drooling just thinking about them now!) every evening. There is always room service available and breakfast items delivered to your room that are included in your stay. When we first arrived, I had a button pop off of one of my dresses and the butler service came and fixed it in minutes! We also enjoyed a beautiful fruit tray and champagne upon our arrival. The service here was beyond excellent!

most delicious gf, df, cookies

In our experience the rooms at Falling Rock are a bit larger yet equally beautiful to the ones at the Chateau. There is a difference in the decor style. But, it’s just as lovely. It is definitely a bit quieter at Falling Rock being that it is a smaller hotel and there are less activities in the building. There is a fabulous restaurant called Aqueous located there. They have excellent steaks and seafood. You enjoy a view of the golf course from the dining room as well. Attached to the restaurant is a bar and lounge where you can also order the same food available to you at the restaurant. For the golfers in the family, there is a pro shop on the main floor equipped with all of your golfing needs!

One thing you might want to note is that you should make reservations at the restaurants prior to your trip, especially on busy holidays. Be sure to make reservations for their amazing brunch as well! You do not want to miss that and there is a limit on seating for it.


On the first night of our stay, we got dressed up and headed over to the Chateau to check out the decorations and have dinner at Lautrec. The lobby of the Chateau was decorated so elaborately, I was in heaven! They do such an amazing job with their decorating for holidays! We have been to their Easter celebration as well and both New Year’s and Easter were so beautifully done! This time there was a big, white, ice sculpture-like building set up in the lobby with gorgeous floral arrangements and blue lighting surrounding it, made specifically for photo opportunities! (This place is very Instagrammable! :D) The kids can also play inside of the sculpture! They really do think of everything. There were Christmas trees lit up exquisitely inside in each room with lots of gold and garland. It was impeccably done!

The beautiful entrance to Lautrec.

After getting some pictures, we were seated at Lautrec in a cozy, quiet, dimly lit spot. Perfect for the quiet romantic getaway we had invisioned! This is where things got so fun! The menu for the night was called “Leap of Faith” which was the chef’s seven course dinner. They gave us an envelope with a sheet of paper enclosed with several different ingredients to choose from. We were to take the quill and ink pen from the table and circle ten ingredients that you like the most and then the chef would prepare the seven courses for you and your guests with those ingredients! It was such a fun, interactive, and unique concept! We loved it! Kudos to Chef Kristin Butterworth! She has been at Lautrec for 8 years. She has received the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awards every year since 2011, and it’s easy to see why! She was also recently chosen as one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40, how cool is that? Also deserving of mention is one of the main servers there, Terry. I don’t know exactly how long he has been there, but we have been going for 6 years now and he’s been present every time. He is the most amazing server you will ever have in your life! He’s so kind and so knowledgeable. There is no air of stuffiness about him, or any of the servers at Lautrec. But, he always makes the experience that much more special and we appreciate him so much! <3

At Lautrec, you always have the option of doing a wine pairing. We have done this once and it was amazing! However, I cannot drink very much alcohol, so we did forgo that option this time. But, the food was absolutely amazing! My favorite courses were the halibut (which I apologize I got really excited for and forgot to take a picture until I was halfway finished with it), and the beef! But, the best of all had to be the gluten and dairy free dark chocolate pine cone dessert to top the meal off! It so decadent! The chocolate was soft on the outside and thick and fudgy on the inside. It was surrounded by toasted marshmallows, little bites of sugary cocoa, and warm cherries. It was the best dessert I have had perhaps EVER! (Sidenote* I know that I talk a lot about eating Paleo which means NO SUGAR, but I do indulge in a little during the holidays – but that’s seriously IT! If you are new to Paleo or AIP and aren’t in remission, I wouldn’t suggest doing this!)

After dinner, we took the bus back to Falling Rock. They have nice buses with comfy seats and pleasant drivers that are constantly running around the property. There is rarely ever a wait. The entire resort was lit up for the holidays which made riding around on the bus a treat in itself! There was a stretch of lights that we drove through that feels like you’re in a tunnel of Christmas lights! So cool!

The next morning Ryan had a nice breakfast at Aqueous, while I slept in and ordered some food up to the room. They have great selections for those of us with food allergies! I had oatmeal, fruit, and tea. But there was plenty of other choices I could have had that fit my dietary restrictions, too!

nice breakfast at Aqueous

Then, we headed over to the Woodlands Spa. It is such a gorgeous spa! When you enter you feel like you’re in a different world. There are waterfalls, natural light, and lots of natural finishes that make you feel connected to the Earth and so tranquil! The service here was top notch, too. We were greeted and given glasses of champagne and strawberries. They help you to the locker rooms and guide you down to where your designated waiting area is. There are men’s and women’s relaxation rooms to wait in before your treatment. If you are there as a couple, which we were, they take you down to the indoor pool, where you can sit together. From there, our massage therapists came to get us and walked us down into the couple’s massage room. Walking through the halls of the spa is an experience in itself! It’s such a beautiful place with so many peaceful waterfalls, decorations, and artwork to look at.

We both had the 80 minute Woodlands Massage, which you can tailor to your liking. We did deep tissue, swedish, and hot stone massages. They were heavenly! I’ve never had a massage at Nemacolin where I felt like I didn’t get what I needed out of it. The pressure was great, and it was also relaxing at the same time! Just how I like it πŸ™‚ They use essential oils like lavendar to de-stress the body and relieve fatigue. They also used eucalyptus to open up our sinuses when you are turned on your stomach which I thought was so nice! I always get stuffed up when I turn over and my face is in the head rest. Something about being in that position always causes congestion. But, the eucalyptus really helped! The massage was wonderful. We both felt so relaxed and peaceful.

We went upstairs to another one of their relaxation rooms. There were several fire places with big comfy recliners and couches covered in fur blankets. So cozy! I could’ve stayed here all day! But, we had to get back and showered to get ready for our New Year’s Eve Ball.

There were several parties going on at Nemacolin for New Year’s. There was a family dinner party in one area, a band playing at the casino, a party just for kids, live music in the main lobby where there is also a bar, and of course, the Masquerade Ball at Lautrec which we attended πŸ™‚

The Masquerade Ball was really nice! Everyone got dressed to the nines and were seated with their parties. We were all asked to choose masks and then we were served drinks and hors d’oeuvres. There was a live singer doing classic hits and taking requests. She was awesome! I loved her. She was rockin’ out to No Diggity, No Doubt! LOL! She pulled it off, too! So fun. Then, we were seated and the four course dinner started. They were very accommodating to my diet for this meal as well. I got to eat everything that was served at dinner, which is great!

The first course was a take on the Ferrero Rocher candies. They made a “Foie-Rero Rocher” of farm foie gras with apple butter, salted roasted hazlenuts, and maple, topped off with a 10k gold wrapper! I appreciated the creativity, and it was quite tasty, too. The second and third courses were Chilean Sea Bass and a Japanese strip loin and a four hour braised short rib. Very delicious! To top off the meal, there was an entire room dedicated to JUST desserts! Pretty decadent!

I can’t talk about dessert at Nemacolin without telling you about Lautrec’s dessert cart! After you are finished with your meal and dessert, they bring around a vintage dessert cart with assorted novelty candies like swedish fish, candy cigars, and gum drops, as well as macaroons, chocolate truffles of all sorts, and several other cookies and chocolate covered items! You will never leave there hungry even if you try.

After dinner, they opened up the dance floor and the bar was flowing all night. Everyone danced to the likes of John Legend, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, and Chris De Burgh (Lady in Red!). There were families there with their older children and lots of couples, too. It was a nice quiet party. Nothing too loud or boisterous. We rang in the New Year with champagne provided by Lautrec. It was a really lovely night!

Love Couple

We left Lautrec and headed down to the main lobby where there was more live music and lots of people hanging out by the bar and beautiful seating areas around it. We met some really nice people! It was a super fun way to spend New Year’s Eve and we would gladly do it again!

The next morning we attended one of Nemacolin’s famous brunches! The brunches here are out of this world! They are also hosted at Lautrec in the Chateau. The spread is unreal. They serve up mimosas and Bloody Mary’s, everything you can imagine! Salads, chilled seafood, pastries, breads, roast beef, fish, shellfish, chicken, steak, pastas, omletes, waffles, other breakfast items, and an entire table of incredible desserts! They specially made entrees for me and brought out gluten and dairy free breads and muffins. It was the perfect way to end our stay! Needless to say, we will be returning again soon. It is a perfect place to celebrate anything or just get away for some much needed rest and relaxation! Thank you to everyone at Nemacolin for a wonderful New Year’s celebration and for making our stay so memorable!

Nemacolin memorable dish

You can visit their site and check out all of the amazing accommodations and things to do here. I am also linking my dress and accessories below! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year and wish you much happiness and health in 2019! πŸ™‚

Happy Wellness Wednesday, ya’ll! Hope you are having a great day. Today I’m so excited to share one of my favorite clean eating brands with you: Primal Kitchen! I’ve been using Primal Kitchen products for years ever since I started the Paleo diet. Their items are always super clean and healthy and compliant with the Paleo Diet and often Plant Based, Keto, and Vegan Diets, too! I love that they never use gluten, dairy, grains, soy, refined sugars, oils, or nasty additives and chemicals that cause inflammation, gut irritation, and chronic disease. They recently sent me a big box of new and classic products of theirs to try! Here are a few of my favorites…

Unsweetened Organic Ketchup: Well, this just made my entire life! LOL! I come from the land of Ketchup lovers… Pittsburgh, PA is known for being the home of Heinz Ketchup. I grew up covering french fries and chicken nuggets in this delicious sauce. But, as I got older and learned more about nutrition and how to read ingredient labels, I quickly learned that it is full of nasty ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and sugar which lead to heart disease, inflammation, diabetes, and weight gain to name a few! On the Paleo diet, I can only eat sugar in natural forms – i.e. fruit and honey. So, high fructose corn syrup and refined white sugar in conventional ketchup are out. Meanwhile, in comes Primal Kitchen with the cleanest ketchup on the planet to save my homemade sweet potato fries from being sauce-less! It has six simple, organic ingredients: Tomato Concentrate, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, and Organic Spices. It’s delicious and I don’t miss the Heinz anymore! Many thanks to Primal Kitchen for understanding how desperately the world needed a clean ketchup πŸ™‚ Highly recommend this!

Organic Spicy Brown Mustard: I love a good spicy mustard! When you are eating really cleanly, incorporating flavor with spices and sauces is essential to you sticking with the lifestyle change. If you don’t love the way your food tastes, you are less likely to stick with it, right? I love using spicy brown mustard mixed with honey for dipping sauce, or just on it’s own on a burger with a lettuce wrap! Primal Kitchen’s Organic Spicy Brown Mustard is sooo good and it only has five ingredients: Water, Vinegar, Mustard Seeds, Salt and Turmeric! Simply delicious.

Protein & Collagen Bars: If you have watched my Instagram stories lately, you have probably seen me talk about how bad the protein bar options are at health food stores. Most all of them have hidden sugars or inflammatory oils among other additives and unhealthy ingredients. They look healthy and they say they’re healthy, but when you look at the ingredient list and the sugar content, the writing is on the wall. They’re not. My choice for protein bars has always been Primal Kitchen’s Dark Chocolate Almond Collagen Bars! They are so delicious. They remind me of tootsie rolls! Primal Kitchen also just recently introduced new protein bars in a variety of flavors. They sent me the Almond Spice to try and it’s very tasty! They’re less chewy than the collagen bars. They have a much softer texture. They’re also nice, small squares, so you can easily fit them in your pocket, bag, or car. My favorite is still the Dark Chocolate Almond Collagen, though. Those are a staple in my handbag on the go! Both are sweetened with a tiny bit of honey, no refined or cane sugar, and are gluten, grain, sugar, dariy, and soy free! Plus, they are keto friendly!

Collagen Fuel: I’ve been using Primal Kitchen’s Collagen Fuel forever it seems! I love that the Vanilla Coconut Flavor is AIP friendly! It’s hard to find protein powders that fit the Autoimmune Paleo Diet, but this one does. I love to mix it with fruit or avocados, coconut or almond milk, and some spinach or other greens in a smoothie. They also sent me the Chocolate flavor which is equally delicious in a smoothie, water, or coffee if you can tolerate it. You can drink it hot or cold. Collagen is great for the skin, hair, nails, and joints! I’ve noticed my nails have been really long and strong lately. Thank you, Primal Kitchen πŸ™‚

Salad Dressings: Another gripe I have with health food stores is their lack of clean salad dressing options. It’s crazy how many poor ingredients are in them! Almost all of them use canola oil and sugar. Canola oil is usually made from GMOs and is very inflammatory. That’s why I love Primal Kitchen’s dressings because they use only the best and cleanest ingredients like avocado oil in their dressings. I really love the Lemon Turmeric which is vegan, and the BBQ Ranch which is Paleo. They can be used as marinades, too! I’m going to share a recipe with you below using the BBQ Ranch. They have a lot of other awesome dressings you should definitely check out as well.

Avocado Oil: If you haven’t started using avocado oil yet, you need to get on board! It’s one of the best oils you can use for cooking because it has a high smoke point of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that it won’t break down and release toxic fumes and free radicals that can damage healthy cells in your body like other oils such as coconut and olive oil. Coconut and olive oil are great oils, but they should not be used at high temperatures for this reason. That’s why I love and use Primal Kitchen’s avocado oil so much!

Mayo:Β Β  I also must mention Primal Kitchen’s Mayonnaise!Β  Conventional mayonnaise has all kinds of gross ingredients you do not want to be eating including canola oil, which is a trans fat that leads to heart disease. Primal Kitchen’s mayo uses Avocado oil which is an oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.Β  Much healthier! So, if you’re going to eat mayo, make it a clean one like Primal Kitchen’s!Β Β 

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BBQ RANCH CHICKEN STUFFED SWEET POTATOES:

I love a good, simple crockpot recipe and this is as easy and tasty as it gets!Β 

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs (2 large) Organic Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Bottle of Primal Kitchen BBQ Ranch Dressing & Marinade
  • 4 Sweet Potatoes
  • Red Onion
  • Parsley Bundle

Directions:

  1. Put your chicken breasts into your crockpot. Cover with 1/2 cup of BBQ Ranch Sauce.
  2. Set your crockpot to cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.
  3. Bake your sweet potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.
  4. Wash and chop your red onion and parsley
  5. When the chicken is done, simply shred it, leaving it in the sauce.
  6. When your sweet potatoes are done, take them out and cut slits in them.
  7. Take your shredded chicken and put half in each sweet potato.
  8. Top with the chopped onion and parsley and drizzle the remaining BBQ Ranch sauce over top.
  9. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this super simple, clean, Paleo recipe! Thank you to Primal Kitchen for sponsoring this post today! Be sure to check out their website here and all of the delicious products they offer. I have been a big fan for a long time and only recommend things I use and love with you all. Primal Kitchen is a standout company and I definitely see myself using their products for a long time to come πŸ™‚

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