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Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! Can you believe that Christmas will be here in a week?! Wow. This whole fall and holiday season has really flown by, but it’s been a fun one! Today, I’m sharing some of my FAVORITE Paleo recipes for the holidays with you! Five years ago, I started the Autoimmune Paleo Diet to hopefully get my Autoimmune Disease into remission, and it worked like magic! Ever since, I have been doing the regular Paleo diet to keep things in check. My body and my gut feel so much better when I stick to it. I did have a stint in plant-based as many of you know, but I was struggling with the starchy proteins and my doctors thought it was best to return to Paleo. So, here I am! That’s why I want to share some of my go-to recipes that have brought me that nostalgic holiday feeling, despite being free from so many things that are often in our classic Thanksgiving and Christmas favorites!

CAULIFLOWER MASH:

Photo from “The Rookie Cookie”.

Have you guys ever had those store-bought Bob Evan’s Mashed Potatoes? I think they were on Oprah’s list of favorite things, haha! We used to get them and cheat by microwaving them for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Lol. Time gets tight and sometimes you gotta fake it til you make it, right? Well, we have long since given up processed, store-bought foods like this and make everything from scratch ourselves. Good news is, since it’s Paleo, there are very few ingredients, and it’s surprisingly very simple and easy to make! These cauliflower mashed “potatoes” taste just like the Bob Evans mashed potatoes! In fact, some people like them even better! I found this Rosemary & Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” recipe on Pinterest from The Cookie Rookie! There are no potatoes in this recipe, but you’ll be totally shocked at how much it tastes like potatoes! This photo is from The Rookie Cookie and her recipe can be found here.

*** NOTE: When using this recipe, I do not use butter or cream cheese. I substitute Kite Hill Almond Cream Cheese for the cream cheese, and I use Beyond Balance vegan butter in place of the butter, and they turn out beautifully!

BRUSSEL SPROUTS:

Photo from “Bravo for Paleo”.

Everyone loves brussel sprouts! Who knew this little vegetable would become so trendy!? But seriously, they are so delicious. If you haven’t re-tried them in your adulthood with a good recipe, you’re missing out! I’m not a fan of steamed brussels, but roasted, sauteed, or fried are insanely good! This recipe is roasted and I’ll share my quick recipe that I do as well. But, if you’re looking for a brussel sprout recipe with a lot of different flavors, I love this one by Bravo for Paleo! She is a Paleo food blogger and has great recipes to share. This Brussel Sprout Salad has dijon mustard, pecans, apple cider vinegar, and raisins to really amp up all of the seasonal notes! This is Monica’s photo and you can find this recipe here. It’s been a big hit at my holiday dinners! The flavors really mesh well together.

***ALTERNATIVELY: I like to make a simple brussel sprout recipe. Here is how I typically do them that’s quicker but still so delicious!

CRISPY BALSAMIC ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS:

  • 1 Bag of Brussel Sprouts, washed, ends trimmed, and halved
  • Avocado Oil – I love Primal Kitchen’s
  • Sea Salt
  • Organic Garlic Powder or Minced Garlic
  • Organic Balsamic Vinegar
  • Optional Bacon – chopped up into small pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F
  2. Arrange your brussel sprouts (and optional bacon) on a baking sheet evenly.
  3. Drizzle a generous amount of avocado oil over them
  4. Sprinkle salt and garlic on top
  5. Drizzle a generous amount of Balsamic Vinegar over top
  6. Put your baking tray in the oven and set a timer for 20-25 minutes. It works well if you flip them in between, but not totally necessary. Keep an eye out because ovens vary. You want them to be brown and crispy but not completely charred.
  7. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH:

I eat this recipe probably every other day, no joke! It’s so delicious and is such a great little side full of sweet flavor! It’s a nice addition to almost any meal, it’s low in carbs, and has lots of nutrients. Win, win! Here’s how I make it:

  • 1 Butternut Squash cut into small cubes, or pre-cut butternut squash cubes (this is the way to go in my opinion)
  • Avocado Oil
  • Organic Ground Cinnamon
  • Organic Garlic Powder or Minced Garlic
  • Sea Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Arrange your butternut squash cubes on a baking tray.
  3. Drizzle with a generous amount of Avocado Oil.
  4. Sprinkle Cinnamon, Salt, and Garlic over top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Enjoy!

So simple, yet so delicious!

CRANBERRY SAUCE:

Photo from “Cook Eat Paleo”.

We used to eat cranberry sauce from a can, but making it fresh is so much more fun, healthy, and tasty! This recipe from Cook Eeat Paleo only has three simple ingredients: cranberries, orange juice, and honey or maple syrup. This is Lisa’s photo and you can find the quick and easy recipe here. It tastes delicious on turkey, with stuffing, and I’m sure it’d be amazing on ham, too!

PALEO PUMPKIN PIE:

Photo from “Cook Eat Paleo”.

This is a real crowd pleaser! Everyone likes this pumpkin pie recipe no matter what diet they’re on! I’ve been making this for five years now and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. It’s soooo easy and simple, but it tastes like a lot of effort went into it. This recipe and photo are also from Cook Eat Paleo. That’s a great account to follow for amazing Paleo dishes! You can find this recipe here.

***NOTE: I use coconut oil in place of butter or ghee for this and it works beautifully!

ZUCCHINI BREAD OR MUFFINS:

Photo from “Against All Grain”.

This zucchini bread recipe is also an absolute favorite of everyone! It’s honestly very hard to tell the difference between this and real zucchini bread! This recipe and photo are by the amazing Danielle Walker of Against All Grain (a MUST follow!). I’ve been making this for five years now as well and it never gets old! It tastes amazing just on its and that’s how I typically eat it, but you could add vegan butter like Earth Balance if you wanted to. I love to make this recipe both ways, as bread and as muffins. But, it’s easier in my opinion to do as muffins for the holidays because everyone can easily pass them around or send them home as leftovers with little mess. You can find this delicious recipe here.

DEATH BY CHOCOLATE BROWNIES:

Photo from “Delicious Obsessions”.

Because everyone needs brownies no matter what diet you are on! LOL. These brownies are made in a blender! So simple. They do have a slight banana taste to them because they are sweetened by the bananas. So, if you have an adverse taste to things with banana, these probably aren’t for you, but I love them! They’re very fudgy and rich, so you get that chocolatey flavor you’re craving, but you don’t overeat on these because they are pretty rich. This photo and recipe is from Delicious Obsessions and you can find the recipe here.

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE:

Photo from “Cupcakes OMG”.

This Paleo sweet potato casserole puts all the rest to shame! It’s seriously incredible! I could eat it as dessert. It’s covered in pecans and really gives you that nostalgic holiday feeling! This recipe and photo are by Cupcakes OMG. Such a cute blog name! You can find the recipe here.

Alright guys, that’s a wrap on my favorite Paleo holiday dishes and desserts! I hope this might make your holiday feast feel a little more comfortable if you are following the Paleo diet, or a gluten, dairy, or grain free diet for the first time this year. Or, if you have been Paleo for years but are looking for some new ideas, I hope this sparked some inspo for you! If you try anything, please leave me a comment below. Thanks so much for reading and I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas!

XOXO,

Kelly Bibza

Happy Wellness Wednesday, guys! I hope you’re having a great week so far. We have been sooo busy! It’s been nuts. I look and feel exhausted. I’m ready for this Christmas “break”, haha. Nothing stops in the blogging world, there really is no such thing as a break. But, I’m gonna have to find a way to take one because I desperately need it! I’m sure you all struggle as well with finding time to unwind from all of the stress of the holidays. I hope that you too can put things down and just be in the moment and enjoy time with your friends and family and just rest! Speaking of unwinding, let’s talk about this CBD…

Today I want to share a really awesome LOCAL to Pittsburgh CBD business with you! I was introduced to Hippie & French through a local friend of mine, and let me tell you, I am so impressed! Not only are the products totally top notch and effective, but the owner, Lindsay is so incredible herself! Lindsay is a recovering opiate addict. Please don’t judge her for a moment, though! Addiction to opiates is so incredibly common and can happen to anyone, especially those of us who suffer from chronic pain and mental and emotional disorders. But, Lindsay is a true warrior woman! She pulled herself together and got into recovery and started this amazing CBD business to help other people struggling with pain, chronic illness, addiction, mental and emotional health problems like anxiety, depression, and insomnia, among others. There’s nothing I love more than seeing someone triumph over tragedy and she has surely done that and more! I am so happy to get to help support her and I’m cheering her on all the way. You should, too! She recently donated a portion of her proceeds to AFSP Western PA, which is a non-profit organization that helps raise awareness for suicide prevention. She’s taken her hardships and turned them around to better the lives of others and there’s really nothing more inspiring than that!

Here’s a little snippet of what Lindsay has to say about her story and her store… “CBD has been a game changer for my anxiety without risk of addiction. It’s a natural approach for anxiety management. I opened this store because there wasn’t a reliable CBD only store in Pittsburgh… There wasn’t a place people could go to get quality CBD and I thought I could change that.” And that she did!

Lindsay has a ton of products to choose from at Hippie & French like CBD oil, CBD pain relieving cream, facial serums, chocolate, body scrubs, and even bulk hemp flowers. All of the products and brands have been very carefully vetted so you can trust that your CBD purchases are of the highest quality, and only whole plant derived options. They’re also supplied by women-owned, small batch companies, so you’re supporting your fellow ladies when you shop at Hippie & French! YESSS! You can shop online or visit her in her adorable store on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh, PA. She even has products for your pets! My dog really needs something to calm him down, so I’m going to be purchasing the bacon and salmon flavored CBD for him!

Today I am sharing a fun holiday cocktail recipe with you, using Hippie & French’s Peppermint CBD oil! I love putting a bit of CBD oil in my cocktails. I like the flavor and I love the relaxed vibe I get from it. I have also personally noticed that I don’t get a headache as much or feel as tired the next day when I mix in a bit of CBD. I don’t drink often or much but when I do, I like to use the CBD for an extra stress-reliever. I notice that I also don’t feel the desire to drink as much when I add CBD! Not at all saying that there is any scientific evidence to support this, it’s just my personal experience and opinion. If you are a recovering alcoholic, or do not like to drink alcohol, you can absolutely leave the booze out of this drink and make a CBD mocktail!

I love holiday themed cocktails because they are so fun to serve to guests to make their experience in your home even more special during the festive season! This time of year, I like to use cranberry in a lot of my drinks. Cranberries have great health benefits and they make a mean mixer for cocktails, too! This drink has notes of ginger from the ginger beer, as well as peppermint from the CBD oil. Lots of seasonal favorites in this one.

Cranberry CBD Mule:

Servings: 2

  • 2 ounces of Vodka or Gin
  • 4 ounces Cranberry Juice (I use unsweetened because I like to keep the sugar content low, but if you prefer cranberry juice cocktail, by all means, use it!)
  • 4 ounces Ginger Beer (Ginger Beer is more like a soda, not actual beer – this drink is gluten free, of course!)
  • Ice Cubes
  • Lime Wedges – give it a little squeeze in there!
  • Cranberries (fresh or frozen works, too!)
  • 1 mL Hippie & French Peppermint CBD Oil
  • Sprig of Rosemary or Thyme for garnishing
  • Cocktail Shaker

To Make:

  1. Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes and your glasses with ice, too.
  2. Combine all of the liquids, including the CBD oil into the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.
  3. Pour into your glasses of ice.
  4. Garnish with cranberries, a lime wedge (I like to squeeze a bit in mine), and a sprig of Rosemary or Thyme.
  5. Relax & Enjoy!

I hope that you will take some time to check out Hippie & French! I know I’m not alone when I rave about the store, its products, and the owner, Lindsay. There are lots of testimonials on the website from other customers and on her Instagram that you can find here as well! CBD oil has helped me and her other customers so much with insomnia, anxiety, and inflammation. Hippie & French is an amazing brand that I use and trust. And I must mention, the taste of the peppermint CBD is pretty amazing all on its own! Be sure to give her a follow on Instagram to get alerts on sales and promotions that she often does.

Thank you Hippie & French for gifting me this CBD oil and CBD cream. I greatly appreciate it! I do not receive any commission or payment from Hippie & French. I purely just wanted to share this brand and recipe with all of you. I love to support local businesses and Hippie & French is an amazing one!

Happy Holiday cocktail sipping, friends 🙂

XOXO,

Kelly

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 🙂 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 🙂

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:   I also must mention Primal Kitchen’s Mayonnaise!  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.  Much healthier! So, if you’re going to eat mayo, make it a clean one like Primal Kitchen’s!  

 

BBQ RANCH CHICKEN STUFFED SWEET POTATOES:

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

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 🙂

Happy October, friends! I can’t believe it’s already October. I’m trying to stay in the moment and enjoy it without fearing the coming winter, haha. I love fall and all of the warm colors, tastes, and smells! Making seasonal recipes that are healthy is one of my favorite things to do. In the spirit of the season, I’m sharing this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with you today!

I love this smoothie because it is made of REAL food ingredients. It is also free of sugar, dairy, gluten, grains, and artificial sweeteners. It’s a perfect way to start your day, or end it as dessert. I always like to have protein, fat, and carbohydrates in the morning to steady my blood sugar levels throughout the day. This recipe sets you off on the right foot!

This smoothie is Paleo and Vegan (option of not being vegan, depending upon what you have and your chosen diet). But, don’t be fooled, it’s very flavorful! It’s also packed with so much nutrition! Pumpkin has lots of antioxidants and is rich in Vitamin A and C. If you add your spinach in, you’ll get iron, too. Just because it’s delicious, doesn’t mean it’s not nutritious! 🙂 Here is what you need to make it:

PUMPKIN PIE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Organic Full Fat Coconut Milk (can sub almond milk, but coconut will be creamier)
  • 2 tsp of Organic Maple Syrup (Or honey – not vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp of Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 tsp of Organic Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of Organic Vanilla
  • 1 Cup of Ice
  • Handful of Organic Spinach (optional)
  • Note: I listed all ingredients as organic because we don’t always realize how many pesticides and toxins can be in things like spices! I used to think it was not a big deal, but I did a lot of research and have found that spices are full of them! So, it’s good to start to replace them with higher quality, organic ones as you go.

Then, put all of the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth! Pour, and enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from The Real Food Dietitians. They are awesome, and you can find their recipe and website here.

I hope you enjoy this autumn treat! Happy Fall everyone! Let me know if you make it in the comments below 🙂 If you haven’t yet, check out my Pumpkin Turkey Chili Recipe!

Christmastime has always been my favorite time of the year! I think it is for a lot of us.  I know for me it’s that month of the year that I feel a little bit more alive than usual.  I look forward to the beauty of the lights, decorations, the warm, cozy smells, the beautiful music, and my favorite – giving gifts!  I love the generous spirit of Christmas.  I get so much joy from picking out things for people I love that might make them smile, and how everyone is just a little bit more spirited. So, when this time of year rolls around and you find yourself in a difficult place in your life, it hurts to not feel that same joyous feeling.  But, I think Christmastime is the perfect season to remember to hold onto hope, too. 

The first weekend of December is always our annual Little Concert that my husband organizes and puts on to benefit a local charity.  Last year, although I was still feeling very sick after my Lyme Disease treatment in September, I still sang with Ryan anyway.  We had a great night, so many people turned out, and we raised a lot of money!  The next day, I was busy online shopping for Christmas presents when I suddenly got a terrible pain in my bladder.  It was a sharp, stabbing pain, worse than any bladder infection I had ever had.  I tried my usual natural go-tos for UTIs that typically work, but for a week or so, but it persisted.  I finally went to the doctor.  They couldn’t find any trace of infection and sent me to a specialist who told me that I had Interstitial Cystitis, also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome.  It happens when the lining of the bladder becomes damaged and inflamed.  They told me it was a chronic condition and there wasn’t a cure.  There was one medication on the market for it that only worked for a small percentage of patients and the side effects were terrible.  From my experience with autoimmune disease years before, I wasn’t really looking for medications to solve the problem.  I knew that they would only mask it, not truly heal it. 

I couldn’t believe that after all of the years of sicknesses and all of the efforts I’d made to heal that I was getting yet another chronic illness diagnosis.  I’d changed my diet completely.  I was so strict about what foods I put in my body.  I ate superfoods on the regular!  No gluten, no grains, no dairy,  no sugar, no processed anything!  I only ate organically.  I took supplements and vitamins and I detoxed myself constantly.  I rarely ever drank alcohol anymore.  It just didn’t make sense?

As the pain continued,  I felt completely hopeless.  I had just been through the Lyme Disease Treatment three months prior, (and had finally gotten my autoimmune disease into remission after 6 years prior to that!) and while those symptoms were very gradually improving, this new bladder condition was raging on with a wicked vengeance.  It felt like life was just screwing with me and I was never meant to get out from underneath the boulder of chronic illness.  I was terrified of living the rest of my life in that much pain!  I joined Facebook support groups and SO MANY women had been living in this pain daily for decades!  I’ve had all kinds of pain and so many varying (usually on the extreme) degrees.  But, this was the absolute worst.  There was nothing that brought relief.  Day in and day out.  Night after night of sleepless, horrendous pain. 

Months went by, and I spent every waking moment searching for answers.  I probably spent several thousands of dollars in trial and error treatments and pills.  I even went to physical therapy.  I meditated, did gentle yoga and stretching, and completely changed my diet yet again.  I was journaling, repeating positive affirmations, soul searching, getting energy healing sessions, and I was only eating about six different foods for months, avoiding anything that might cause more pain.  Six months went by and I was still hurting.  

One day in my rife machine Facebook Group for chronic illness and cancer, someone responded to my post about the die-off symptoms I was feeling from one of the detox programs I was doing on the machine (Spooky2 Rife Machine – look it up, it’s pretty incredible!).  He said that he could help me with his radionics machine.  I didn’t really think anything of it, or know anything about it for that matter. I told him to go ahead and try it (this happens remotely – also absolutely incredible!), and I wasn’t expecting anything at all.  Within a couple of hours my heavy fatigue, excrutiating joint pain, and headache had lifted!  So, I continued to pick his brain about what else we could do to get me on the road to healing.  He had used radionics himself to get back to health after his own bout with chronic Lyme Disease.  So, we started treatments to detox my body of all of the pathogens and toxins that feed them and were likely causing my bladder pain.  

At the same time, I also started a raw fruit and vegetable only diet.  I stuck to this for a few months, and along with the radionics treatments, I was starting to feel more energy than I had in YEARS!  My bladder pain was also coming down.  Where it had been a 10 out of 10, it was more like a 5.  It was an incredibly difficult time, but I kept reassuring myself through positive affirmations that I was going to heal.  I’m not always the strongest person.  I don’t let people see my weakness often.  I completely broke down at least once daily.  But, I always kept the smallest glimpse of hope in my heart, and kept fighting every day.

Now, a year later, I’m almost completely bladder pain free.  I don’t take any prescriptions for it.  I just use diet, supplements, and radionics, and my bladder is so much stronger!  I used to not be able to drink a few sips of water without having to run to the bathroom because of the pain.  I now can sleep through the night with only having to get up once or twice, instead of fifteen or more times!  I can eat things I couldn’t before.  I can even have a glass of wine, or cocktail without pain!  I’m not 100% healed, but I am most definitely on my way there.  I’m so happy to say that I’ve enjoying this Christmas more than any other in so many years!  I feel so blessed and grateful to have less pain in my life.  I never thought I would be in this place just one year ago.  

So, what I really wanted to tell you is, that even when life feels like a living nightmare, there is still hope for things to completely change for you!  You just have to hang on and keep fighting.  Don’t ever give up on yourself!  I can’t tell you how many times I felt like I couldn’t go on another minute.  But, if you really set your heart and mind to changing your circumstances, I do believe that things will change for the better for you.  It’s like I say so often on my blog and social media posts… the energy that you put out will always come back to you.  I don’t believe that you can work so hard for so long and never see results.  Dig deep, find your grit, hold on, and fight like hell!  You’ll get to where you want to be.  Sometimes it means thinking outside of the box and stepping outside of your comfort zone.  Try things you’ve never even considered!  Change doesn’t come without making changes.  And so often we think we can’t do things.  We are limited because of “this or that”.  Stop letting those things get in your way and get creative as to how to solve the road blocks.  Asking for help isn’t the end of the world, and you’d be surprised at the number of people out there who are willing to lend a hand.  Remember that you are capable of anything you truly set your mind to.  Believing in yourself is half of the battle!

I hope that this story brought a little beacon of hope to any of you suffering this Christmas season.  I really wish for this to find it’s way to the people who need to hear it most.  I know how it feels.  I know much it hurts.  But, things can and do change.  Keeping hope in your heart and positive, forward thinking thoughts are so important.  You CAN do this!

Finally, I promised to share my favorite Paleo zucchini muffin recipe!  I love this recipe! It could seriously fool anyone at your holiday table – gluten free or not!  They are so light, fluffy, and perfectly sweet!  If you’ve never heard of Danielle Walker and her series “Against All Grain” you should definitely check her out!  She has amazing Paleo recipes of all kinds.  Her recipes are my favorite Paleo recipes of all!  You can make this zucchini bread recipe in bread pans or as muffins!  My mom and I both think that making it in a mini bread loaf pan works better than trying to do it in a bigger loaf pan.  But, the muffins always turn out great!  You can find the recipe here.

Being on an anti-inflammatory diet for health reasons, or just wanting to eat clean to stay healthy, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some dessert, too!  I’ve been to many a holiday gatherings where I’ve felt like everyone gets to indulge and I’m left to the dried out carrots on the mediocre veggie tray.  You know which ones I’m talking about!  When they’re all white and cracked after having sat our for several hours.  NOT APPETIZING.  So, over the years I’ve learned that if you want to enjoy the party like everyone else, you gotta bring your own desserts!  Trust me, you’ll feel much more satisfied at the end of the meal when you have your own treat to indulge in, too.  Plus, you get to show everyone at the party how eating healthy doesn’t mean you deprive yourself of delicious indulgences!  You’re setting an example and hopefully inspiring others to change their eating habits, too.

These 4 Ingredient Pecan Pie bites are my current favorite!  (Shout out to one of my bffs, Valerie, for the inspiration when she so kindly brought something similar to my house for a party!  So thoughtful!) They are vegan, gluten free, dairy free, grain free, sugar free, whole30, and paleo! They are so simple to make and seriously taste so ooey-gooey, you won’t even miss the pie!  Plus, the ingredients are chock full of health benefits.  Dates  and pecans contain vital minerals like maganese, copper, potassium, iron, and calcium!  They’re also rich Vitamin A, B, &  E.  Both dates and pecans have lots of fiber, anti-inflammatory properties, and dates can help fight infections.  They both contain a high amount of anti-oxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body, making them great choices for people suffering from autoimmune or other chronic illnesses.  They’re heart healthy, too!  Coconut oil is also a heart healthy fat, known to raise the good HDL cholesterol.  It is great brain food, helps to increase metabolism, and heal damaged tissues and organs!  So really, this “dessert” is more like a powerful healing agent.  No guilt here! 🙂  I seriously eat like 6 at time and feel good about it, lol.

Now, here’s the how to:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pkg Organic Pitted Medjool Dates – I find a great little container at Whole Foods in the refrigerated, pre-cut fruit section
  • 1 7oz container of Organic Pecans
  • Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place desired amount of dates you want to make on a cookie tray.  Slice them open on one side so you can stuff them.
  3. Add a tiny amount of coconut oil inside of each opened date.  No more than 1/8 of a tsp.  (You can also omit the oil for a plant-based treat! and it tastes just as delicious, just not as gooey)
  4. Sprinkle Pumpkin Pie spice over the dates.
  5. Smash up your pecans with a meat tenderizer.  Depending upon how many dates you are using you can decide how many pecans you need.  If it is a smaller batch you definitely won’t need the whole container.
  6. Stuff the dates with the pecans.
  7. Sprinkle a little more Pumpkin Pie Spice over the dates.
  8. Close the dates up.
  9. Bake in oven for 5 minutes.
  10. Cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!  These taste great when completely, cooled, too!  (I actually eat them raw, too and they’re so delicious that way as well!)

These are a great treat to take to any fall, Thanksgiving, or Christmas party!  Everyone, whether they’re a clean eater or not will love them.  Let me know what you think if you make them!  Enjoy 🙂

4 Ingredient Pecan Pie Bites GF, DF, SF, Vegan, Paleo, Whole30

 

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