Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

What Should I Eat?

health appleBeing a health care practitioner, I have come to believe that most of the health issues my patients are experiencing are to some degree related to their diet.  I’m defining the word diet very broadly to mean “what you eat.”  The health issues I started to experience while in my 20s were absolutely related to the way I ate.  My health journey has evolved from being a junk-food vegetarian to eating the nutrient-dense whole foods diet I currently enjoy.  Since it’s hard to know where to start when making dietary changes, here are some resources.  This post will the first in a series addressing the question, “What should I eat?”

I’ve always liked Michael Pollan’s quote, “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”  My goal is to help people achieve that.

Fundamentally (and ideally), one’s diet should be nutrient dense, free of refined foods and sustain life rather than contributing to chronic/degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, auto-immunity, Alzheimer’s, to name a few.  The Paleo “diet” which is really a lifestyle, is a good place to start.

The Paleo/Primal lifestyle is for those seeking general health & wellness, weight loss, greater hormone balance, and longevity etc…  Although the definition of “Paleo” is evolving (read a good article here), it is generally defined as gluten-free, dairy-free (controversial), healthy fats (including saturated fats), and plenty of vegetables with some fruit.

I like Diane Sanfilippo’s definition of Paleo in her book  Practical Paleo.   She writes, “the lifestyle is simply about (1) practical paleoeating whole foods that provide better fuel for your body and (2) avoiding processed, refined, nutrient-poor factory foods.  This means avoiding grains, legumes (beans), refined sugar, and pasteurized dairy products. ”

Practical Paleo is a comprehensive, colorful, engaging resource outlining the Paleo lifestyle but also has great recipes.  I recommend the book highly.  Diane’s website is also a great resource with recipes, links to her podcasts, and general motivational help.  She provides guides on her website detailing what to eat – very helpful.

The following website links are a good introduction into some of the more well-known Paleo authors.  Once you peruse their sites, you can determine if you’d like to learn more in of the their books.  This is not a comprehensive list but merely an introduction.

Loren Cordain aka the Founder of the Paleo Movement

Robb Wolf 

Mark’s Daily Apple

Chris Kresser


Deliciously Organic

Paleo Slow Cooking

meal planningPaleo Meal Plans:   The links listed below vary widely in what they offer for menus but are useful for those needing a bit more guidance on what to eat for each meal within the Paleo lifestyle.


Caveman Strong

Elana’s Pantry

Paleo Table

 Multiply Delicious

Next in the series, I’ll explore another nutrient-dense, whole-food diet/lifestyle based on the principles of Weston A Price.  If you’re eager to learn more, you can visit the Weston A Price Foundation website.


Using Coconut as an Alternative to Dairy

Many of my patients learn that they are sensitive to or allergic to dairy products.  Although this can at first seem overwhelming, I’m hoping that the information in this article will help ease the transition and help them realize that being dairy-free can be tasty and nutritious!

Retail products

Here are some options one is likely to find at a natural food store.  They are convenient but have fillers in them that some might find hard to digest.  I’m a big fan of homemade so most of this post is about making your own dairy-free food. 

So Delicious Coconut Milk

So Delicious Coconut Yogurt

So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream


To make your own coconut milk:

Mama Natural (video)


The Paleo Mom

The Primal Home

Nourished Kitchen

Coconut Milk Kefir:  I recommend making coconut milk kefir over coconut milk yogurt for several reasons:  it’s easier and has many more varieties of beneficial organisms (probiotics), yet it’s equally versatile.

Cultures for Health

Mark’s Daily Apple

Passionate Homemaking

Divine Health

Just Making Noise

Chris Kresser

Healthy Home Economist (video)

Cultures for Health

Cooking Traditional Foods


Living Without

Small Footprint Family

The Paleo Mom

Coconut Milk Ice Cream Recipes

The Nourishing Gourmet Chocolate

Cheeseslave Chocolate


I had originally included recipes to make your own coconut milk yogurt but I haven’t tried it myself (whereas I have tried making coconut milk, coconut milk kefir and coconut milk ice cream) and it seems really labor intensive.

I’ve included many options but these links are just a smattering of what you can find online.  Let me know if you have questions.  Have fun exploring the world of being dairy-free.

Coconut Flour – Something Different to Bake With

Coconut flour is a great gluten-free alternative flour.  I’ve been baking with coconut flour for several years, mainly because of its low-carbohydrate nature.  Plus, I’ve enjoyed the creativity others have put into developing tasty recipes.  Besides being a nice alternative to wheat flour, coconut flour has many benefits.

  • Low in carbohydrates
  • High in fiber
  • Rich in protein
  • Very filling

 Keep in mind that since coconut flour is not grain based and contains no gluten, it does not perform like wheat flour.  Because coconut flour is very absorbent, only small amounts are used.  Sifting coconut flour is a good idea because it tends to clump.  And lastly, coconut flour is dry so any recipe you see will require lots of eggs.

 I have bought coconut flour at Whole Foods but I’ve found it less expensive to order online.

Tropical Traditions – they also have hundreds of recipes using coconut flour

Wilderness Family Naturals

Bob’s Redmill

Benefit Your Life

 I’ve even made my own coconut flour.  Here’s how.

 Most of the recipes I’ve used are sweet rather than savory recipes.  I’ve made most of these recipes listed below.

 Sweet Recipes

Chocolate Cupcakes

Fudgy Brownies

Chocolate Cake & Cupcakes

Anytime cookies


Blueberry Muffins


Coconut Flour Bread from Nourished Kitchen

Cake with Coconut Frosting

Strawberry Muffins with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting


Red, White, & Blue Cupcakes

Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

Coconut Flour Cake from Nourished Kitchen

Spiced Apple Muffins

Banana Bread

Cranberry Walnut Bread

Miscellaneous coconut flour recipes

 Savory Recipes

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffins

Cheesy Biscuits


As a health care practitioner, I have evolved over my career regarding my thoughts on diet.  But for the past few years, I have learned, appreciated and explored the world of traditional foods.  My nutritional mentor for this is Weston A. Price.  Organizations such as the Weston A. Price Foundation  and the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation have been instrumental in my education.  In the past I’ve been a junk-food vegetarian, vegan (what was I thinking?), completely fat-free and a diet Coke addict.  I’ve been recovering my health over the past few years and am feeling better than ever.  I’ve learned that the human body can do just fine without grains (wheat, oats, rice, etc) but that we also need to eat fat in our diet.  I remember the no/low fat craze of the 1990s and took that information to heart, only to end up gaining weight, dealing with depression, and having all over joint pain.

I’ve also learned that eating the way we did long ago i.e. no processed foods, vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners or food additives is  best for the human body.  I’ve included a few recipes below to get your started with ideas on food that is not only tasty but very healthy.  I’ve only included a few recipes but encourage you to explore some of the blogs and websites by some pioneering and very creative traditional food advocates.

Some of my favorites include:

Nourished Kitchen



Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Cooking Traditional Foods

I’ve not tested all the recipes listed below but I’ve used recipes from the websites.  One caveat is that if a recipe calls for low-fat cheese or sour cream, I recommend using whole fat instead.  Organic is always better and raw is even better than that!


Roast Chicken

Chicken Mole Wings

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

White Bean and Chicken Chili

Bacon, Chicken and Green Beans

Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine WithChickpeas And Root Vegetables

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Curried Honey Mustard Chicken

Chicken and Rice

Chicken Salad

Baked Lemon Chicken


Summer Garden Beef Soup


Greek Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

Cottage Pie with Mashed Yams

Texas Chili

Beef Pho

Hamburger Helper Alternatives

Mexican Lasagna

Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary

Stuffed Zucchini with Beef, Rice, Pepper and Basil

Marinated Beef Kabobs

Cuban Flank Steak


Slow Cooker Garlic Pork Roast

Crockpot Pork and Beans

Arugula, Bacon, & Cheddar Quiche (gluten free option available)

Pork with Paprika & Mushrooms

Pork Chops with Balsamic Glaze


Teriyaki Salmon

Baked Fish Sticks

Fish Tacos

Fried Fish

Spice Rubbed and Roasted Fish

Grilled Fish

Herb Encrusted Grilled Salmon


Lentil Sloppy Joes

Rosemary Lentil Soup

Nourishing, Tasty Salads

Salads can be so much more than the iceberg lettuce with thousand island dressing salads that I grew up with.  The websites listed below epitomize salad creativity.  To me, the most interesting salads contain a combination of vegetables, lettuces, meats, grains, or cheeses.  The possibilities are endless.  One caveat is that I always recommend making your own salad dressings.  Commercial salad dressings are problematic because so many of them contain highly processed and/or rancid oils in addition to a variety of forms of MSG.  A great introductory video on the “health” of salad dressings plus a tutorial on how to make your own, visit the Weston A Price Foundation website.  I encourage you to be creative with your salads but if you are intimated on where to start, check out the following websites for an abundance of ideas. 

Kayln’s Kitchen is a vast resource for salad ideas.  She has dozens of recipes for salads with vegetables, fruit, meat, grains, cheese, etc.  I’ve tried many of her recipes and they were all so tasty!

The Nourishing Gourmet has less traditional salads.

For the Foodie, Nourished Kitchen offers more gourmet salad options

Gnowfglins offers a variety of salads, including many gluten-free grain salads.