Keto Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe is SOOOO delicious! If you feel more satisfied, sustained, and lean when you eat a lower carb (but plenty of veggies), higher fat and moderate protein diet, this recipe is for you. If you’re not sure what your best “fuel mix” is, give it a try (and also, reach out to me to talk about how to test for the best foods for your body).

I used the recipe from this site: https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/keto-shepherds-pie with slight modifications (noted below)

Ingredients

Cauliflower mash

  • 1½ lbs cauliflower (can also use riced or frozen)
  • ½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream (I used sour cream)
  • 1 egg (I’ve made it with and without the egg and there isn’t a taste difference that I could tell–the mash holds together a little better with it)
  • 3 oz. butter, melted
  • ½ leek, finely chopped (I included this with the meat rather than in the cauli mash)
  • 5 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and ground black pepper

Meaty Goodness

  • 1¾ lbs ground lamb or ground venison or beef (if you are a Santa Cruz local, Staff of Life has a blend of venison and beef that is AWESOME)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (I like Lea & Perrins)
  • 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce (wheat free)
  • ½ tbsp tabasco (I omitted this)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter, for frying

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. Wash and cut the cauliflower into smaller pieces (or use riced OR frozen cauli to make it even faster and easier). Steam until soft. Drain thoroughly.
  3. Mash the cauliflower with a hand mixer or food processor. Mix in crème fraîche or sour cream, egg (if using), butter, leek and half of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Fry the ground meat in butter. Add the sauces and the spices.
  5. Spread the meat out in an oven-proof dish, cover with the cauliflower mash and top with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Enjoy!!!

In health, Rebecca

The link between your sinuses, throat & gut health


So last week I had a REALLY sore throat. Like possibly the worst I’ve ever had. When I woke up the next morning, my left tonsil was so swollen I could barely swallow or talk from lack of space in my throat. As you can imagine, it was quite scary!
I went to the doctor immediately to see what was going on. No fever. No stuffy nose. Strep test negative. No signs of being sick, but clearly something was very wrong.

Antibiotics were recommended even though there wasn’t a clear diagnosis (though an abscess on my tonsil seemed most likely). I cannot even tell you the last time I took antibiotics. Much as I love to do things naturally, I know that antibiotics can be life saving when needed, so I was trying to keep an open mind.

I also know that some natural remedies are even more fast-acting and that I had taken some before driving to the doctor’s at 7am. By the end of the appointment, the swelling had come down. I felt like I could swallow without choking and I could talk more clearly. 

I decided that I was most comfortable with using my full natural approach arsenal of heavy duty herbs, salt water gargling, colloidal silver, Biocidin throat spray, and lots of soup and throat coat tea. I monitored myself closely and even took pictures for objective data so I would see how the swelling was changing.

Good News

It worked! My body healed within days. Bodies are great at healing after all. Why am I sharing this with you? I know a lot of people right now who are having sinus and throat infections! My story is a great example of how a healthy body will fight off an acute infection so that it doesn’t become chronic.
In today’s newsletter, I’d like to empower you with some tools for supporting your gut (oh yes, your gut has a lot to do with it) so that you can more effectively fight off both chronic and acute infections.

Your gut is truly at the ROOT of your health.

Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. It’s also where 80% or more of your immune system lives.

It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, chronic infections, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

Chronic v. acute

When something seems to come on suddenly, it’s more likely an acute infection (like getting a cold once a year). When you experience symptoms that seem to come on suddenly on a regular basis and you always feel like you are “putting out fires” with your health often, there’s likely something chronically imbalanced (like getting a cold one month, an outbreak of diarrhea the next month, sinus infection the next month). You may also be dealing with a chronic infection if there’s a symptom that never quite seems to go away (lingering stuffed or drippy nose, digestive issues, can’t lose weight).

Supporting your entire immune system

What chronic and acute infections have in common is your immune system, which as I mentioned is mostly in your gut.
You can support your entire immune system and gut in 3 ways:

  • Eating clean and hydrating
  • Transforming stress
  • Rest and sleep

Targeted testing and supplementation can also be immensely helpful for both chronic and acute infections. Herbs like garlic, echinacea, elderberry, clove, and oregano can be powerful immune regulators.For more acute infections, you can step up your self-care further (I shared the additional support I added in). Depending on what ails you and what your weakest self-care link is, you may want to double down on healing foods, or rest, or herbal antimicrobials. If you are already eating spot on, look to one of the other options to help you move your health needle, like perhaps you regularly don’t drink enough water…upping your hydration will help your immune system function more effectively. If your hydration is great but you’ve been going to bed late all week, then let that guide you. There are lots of tools for transforming stress. My favorite is HeartMath because you can do it anywhere, anytime and it’s effective.

Some additional and targeted tools for sinus and throat support, nasal rinsing, hydration, warm compresses, slippery elm, zinc, vitamin C, nettle, and apple cider vinegar can be very helpful.

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

P.S.
Email me at rebecca@choosinghealthnow.com if you suspect you are dealing with a chronic imbalance.

A jiggly gut-friendly treat

Did you ever enjoy Jell-o? Today I’d like to share a MUCH healthier version with you that is loaded with gut healing benefits. 

Because your gut is truly at the ROOT of your health.

Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. It’s also where 80% or more of your immune system lives.

It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, chronic infections, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

Gut friendly Gelatin

So here is an easy gut friendly gelatin treat that you can make that doesn’t have any harmful food colorings, flavorings, sugar or empty calories. Instead it’s high in beneficial amino acids like glutamine, proline, and glycine which are essential to gut healing, healthy hair, skin, nails and joints.
Enjoy! Here’s the recipe!

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

What’s the best gut support?

If your health isn’t quite where you’d like it to be, listen up.
In today’s newsletter, I’d like to empower you with some tools for supporting your gut.

Because your gut is truly at the ROOT of your health.

Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. It’s also where 80% or more of your immune system lives.

It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, chronic infections, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

There are all sorts of ways that you can support your gut health. Today, we’re going to take a look at bone broth, bone broth protein, gelatin, and collagen.

Bone Broth versus Bone Broth Powder

Bone broth has many health benefits including gut healing properties. Bone broth is a liquid made from cooking bones for a long time so that the nutrients are made bio-available. Bone broth is high in beneficial amino acids like glutamine, proline, and glycine which are essential to gut healing. For more info on the benefits and for a recipe, click here. You can also purchase quality bone broth in stores. Here is a current review of the best brands for both broth and broth powders.
Bone broth powder or bone broth protein powder seems like a genius idea because it is super convenient and portable. However, quality is everything. For bone broth powder to actually be comparable to bone broth, it needs to be non-GMO, come from healthy animals, be antibiotic and hormone free, processed at lower temperatures so the proteins don’t get damaged, and be free of carcinogenic chemicals, preservatives, and flavorings.
See this review of the best quality brands.

Gelatin versus Collagen

Both gelatin and collagen are powdered options for getting the gut healing nutrients we talked about.

Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen. Collagen is the basic structure of things like bone, tendons, hair, skin, and connective tissues.

To use gelatin, you must add hot water to dissolve it, it tends to have a stronger flavor, and if you let it cool, it will gel and firm up (so it is great if you are making healthy puddings, sauces or things like that). Collagen powder on the other hand dissolves in cold or hot water and will not gelatinize.

When collagen is made, the the amino acids are broken down into smaller pieces than gelatin. Some people find collagen easier to digest for this reason.

Generally, gelatin offers more gut healing benefits than collagen (aka collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen) but collagen does offer benefits to the skin (elasticity, moisture), hair, nails, joints, and supplies important amino acids for gut repair as well.

In sum, all four of these healing foods offer gut support and supporting your gut is essential to good health.

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

Have you heard of Pique tea?

I’m always on the lookout for simple ways to support good gut health.

Why?

Your gut is at the ROOT of your health.

Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. 

It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

Today I’d like to introduce you to something called Pique tea and some of its health benefits.
 

What is Pique Tea?

Pique tea are tea crystals that come in packets. No tea bags, boiling water, or waiting. You open the packet, pour it into a cup of water, the crystals dissolve, and you’re good to go. They offer black, green, and herbal tea varieties.

Health Benefits of Pique Tea

Good for your gut!
Your gut contains over 100 trillion bacteria. Well, tea is really high in plant compounds called polyphenols. Polyphenols are a prebiotic-type substance that feed healthy gut bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.  Having a healthy balance of gut flora supports every aspect of your health including digestion, weight loss, and immune function. Pique tea has 12x more polyphenols than other teas (verified by 3rd party testing). It also has been screened for toxins like heavy metals (unfortunately common in lower quality teas), mold and other toxins.

May help reduce cravings!
Catechins are a flavanoid and antioxidant. Catechins in tea can help with regulating the hunger hormone ghrelin and reduce hunger cravings.

Reduce stress!
Tea is high in L-theanine, an amino acid that is a precursor to GABA. GABA is a brain chemical that helps you handle stress better, reduce feelings of anxiety, and sleep well.
 So you may want to give Pique tea a try. I’m also a big fan of high quality teas that come in a regular bag (like Gaia, Traditional Medicinals, and Numi). Besides the actual ingredients which can yield numerous health benefits like supporting good digestion, helping regulate the stress response, and supporting detoxification, there’s something to be said for the ritual of pausing and enjoying a cup of tea. Taking that daily pause is something every single one of us can benefit from.

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

Gut Health, Weight & Low Energy: Your Symptoms Are Clues!

What your symptoms are trying to tell you…


What do low energy, bloating, gas, digestive issues, and imbalanced weight all have in common?

They are all symptoms. They’re a problem but they aren’t “the” problem. They are precious clues that your body is giving you because it’s trying to tell you something is off balance.
You’ve heard the expression “don’t shoot the messenger” before, right? Well, it’s really easy to get annoyed, upset, or resentful of symptoms. It’s convenient in the short-term to slap a band-aid on the symptom and go about your day.

But you already know that the symptom usually comes back and over time, gets worse and multiplies with other symptoms.

Why?

The symptom isn’t the problem. It’s the clue that there is a problem: that things aren’t able to function normally in your body anymore, so this symptoms is showing up. Your body will always do the best that it can. So if your best includes symptoms, that’s because things have broken down and until you address the root of the problem, not the symptom, you’re going to keep having symptoms.

Your gut is at the ROOT of your health.

Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. 

It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

Meet Your Gut-Brain

Did you know that your gut has its own brain? The enteric nervous system (ENS for short) is an amazing network of nerves in your gut that control all sorts of things including the movement of food through your body, releasing enzymes to digest your food, and even pain perception.

When your ENS isn’t working well, you can experience an array of symptoms ranging from excess weight, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, heartburn, nausea, high blood sugar, low energy, and inflammation.

Your Brain-Gut Connection

Psychological stress plays a MAJOR role in the function of your ENS.
Your heart, lungs, brain and gut are all connected via the vagus nerve (the longest nerve in the human body).
Some symptoms of chronic stress are constipation, anxiety (GABA is a brain chemical that gets depleted with chronic stress–this can prevent your brain from “shutting off” the worry signal, can interfere with sleep and can also slow down your digestion and contribute to constipation), and weight gain (stress hormones imbalance your body’s ability to properly manage blood sugar which can lead to weight gain or weight that feels impossible to lose).

As you can see, your gut health is SUPER important for quality of life. And as you’ve seen, there’s a HUGE connection between your gut health, your thoughts, and your feelings. I refer to this relationship as your Gut-Stress Trio. We all have it. What makes us different is how we support it!

There’s a lot that you can do to support the Gut-Stress Trio. A great place to start is to take a look at the methods that you have to daily manage the way these 3 pieces relate to each other. Are you eating the right diet for YOUR body? One-size-doesn’t-fit-all! How do you create a healing mindset daily? How do you reset your stress button during the day? How are you repairing your gut from previous damage?

Your answers=your stress resilience toolkit. You can build resilience to stress, it’s not fixed. You can heal your gut, it’s not broken.

If you’re struggling with symptoms, your toolkit may need some updating.

This is something I can help you with. Email me and tell me what symptom(s) you are having, what you’ve tried so far that doesn’t seem to be working, and we’ll go from there. My email is rebecca@choosinghealthnow.com

The good news is that both your body and your mind have an amazing capacity to heal!
You really were designed to be healthy.

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

Keto Beef Short Ribs

Oh my gosh, these ribs turned out amazing and they were SO simple.

Ingredients:

  • 3 full beef short ribs
  • 1/2 cup bone broth (optional; can use instead of or in addition to the butter and olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon organic butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I like Lea & Perrins)

How to:

Add all ingredients to a crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs or until super tender.

Enjoy!

Super Simple Garam Masala Chicken


Today I’d like to share a very easy and tasty recipe with you. What you put into your body MATTERS. What you eat is what makes “the soil” for your garden to grow (think of your health as the garden in this example).

Creating quality soil within your gut through proper nutrition is such an important health pillar.

Without this solid foundation, you can’t thrive.
With the right ingredients though, you will thrive.

It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

Garam Masala Chicken Recipe

Here’s a fast and easy one pot meal that tastes like it’s been cooking all day.Ingredients:

  • 6 free range boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1-3 tsps garam masala spice (depending on how strongly flavored you like it)
  • 2 cups organic spinach

How to:
In a large pot, cook coconut milk, thighs and spice over medium heat for 20 minutes or until thighs are done. Add spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes so that it wilts rather than overcooks.
That’s it! You don’t need to babysit this meal at all.
Other veggies that go well with this dish are zucchini, shiitakes and carrots. You can add them in addition to or instead of the spinach. 


Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

P.S.
If you are tired of being on the hamster wheel with your symptoms and you’re ready to take your health to the next level FOR GOOD, I’d love to connect with you. Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

The Gut-Weight-Inflammation Connection

My Gut Does What?!


Today you’re going to learn how your gut acts as the gatekeeper for both inflammation and weight.

Before we dive into that, last call to get registered for my free Solutions to Permanent Weight Release Masterclass: How to have freedom from diets, yo-yoing, and self-sabotage! 

This Masterclass is going to be seriously awesome!  I’ll be going deep into mindsets that prevent permanent weight release and I’ll be sharing 3 simple yet incredibly powerful steps you can take for releasing extra weight for good!

Claim your spot today by clicking here (plus there’s a free gift when you register!).

So what’s all this about your gut, weight and inflammation?

Your gut is at the ROOT of your health.

Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. Your gut also houses over 80% of your immune system (and your immune system is in charge of regulating inflammation!).

It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

What’s my gut got to do with weight and inflammation?

Good question. Everything!
Let me introduce you to lipopolysaccharide, LPS for short. LPS is the major component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, of which there are many in your gut. As part of normal metabolism, LPS is shed from bacteria. And this is no big deal when your gut is working properly.
But when your gut isn’t working properly, LPS passes into your bloodstream, creates inflammation, insulin resistance, metabolic disorders, and (of course) can contribute to weight gain.

Research suggests that LPS sets the tone for insulin levels (the hormone that controls your blood sugar and fat storage), diabetes, and the onset of obesity.
 

Take care of your gut

As you can see, your gut health is SUPER important for quality of life. When your gut isn’t working right, things like LPS can pass right on into your bloodstream and wreak havok on your system which sets the stage for pain & inflammation, metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes, and weight gain.

How do you make sure you’ve got a healthy gut? Well a great first step is to mind what you eat. Your food plays a tremendous role in your gut health. Drinking plenty of clean, filtered water daily, moving your body, getting 7-8 hrs of sleep/night, and managing your stress are all parts of the healthy gut foundation as well. It’s good to start with the basics and make sure you’ve really got those dialed in.

I meet people every day who think that they’ve got the basics dialed in, but when we explore, they really don’t. So dialing those basics in first is super important before taking additional gut healing measures. Throwing herbs, probiotics, and other supplements into the mix when you don’t have the basics dialed in is a waste of your time and resources.

If you’re having symptoms like gut issues, weight imbalance, diabetes, fatigue and you’re ready to take your health to the next level, I’d love to connect with you. Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

How “healthy” foods can make us fat and sick


You’ve heard that one man’s medicine is another man’s poison, but did you know that one person’s health food is another person’s junk food?

Millions of Americans suffer from at least one food intolerance/sensitivity. You can be intolerant to any food: apples, lettuce, chicken, and even olive oil. Besides making it impossible to lose weight, food and food chemical intolerance has been found to play a role in many chronic health conditions including:

  • Celiac Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Weight imbalances
  • Cravings
  • Skin conditions such as eczema
  • Heartburn/GERD
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Chronic diarrhea

Food intolerance is also considered a major stressor to the adrenal glands. Unhealthy adrenals can wreak havoc on gut health, immune system, detoxification capabilities, hormones, fertility and muscle and fat gain and loss.

What is food intolerance?

Food intolerance is a negative reaction to food that happens when your body is hypersensitive to a food and launches an attack with mediators (chemicals from your immune system such as eosinophils, basophils, neutrophils macrophages, T-cells and NK cells). Every time the trigger food is consumed, systemic disruption takes place and can cause chronic inflammation in the body resulting in a variety of symptoms (see above).

The difference between food intolerance and allergies

Food intolerance is different than food allergies in a couple of ways. One is the way that the body responds and the other is the speed in which the body responds.

With an allergy, your body’s immune system (mast cells) reacts to the offending food very soon after exposure. Food allergies occur in 2-4% of the population. The body releases histamine, prostaglandins and other proinflammatory mediators. If you have a strong enough allergic reaction, exposure to the allergic food can result in life-threatening anaphylaxis. Because the reaction occurs so quickly after exposure to the allergic food, most people who have food allergies are well aware of what they are allergic to. Food intolerance or sensitivity can be much trickier since the reaction is delayed. You can also have a food intolerance that doesn’t give you clear symptoms unless you have a lot of it or eat it a few days in a row. This is why it can be so challenging to figure out!

Food intolerance pathways

There are many, many ways that the body can react to an intolerance because there are multiple hypersensitivity pathways. The four main categories of hypersensitivity are: Type I, II, III and IV. Types III and IV are much more common in people than Type I reactions; 15-25% of population compared to 2-4%.

  • Type I hypersensitivity categorizes true food allergies as given in the above example. It is also called an IgE reaction.
  • Type II hypersensitivity has not been found to be linked to adverse reactions to food.
  • Type III hypersensitivity includes IgG reactions (commonly tested for by most food intolerance tests). Type III reactions usually take place 3-8 hours after exposure.
  • Type IV hypersensitivity is the most common pathway for adverse food reactions and yet many tests do not test for Type IV reactions. In Type IV reactions, the T-cells react with offensive foods and symptoms occur anywhere from 4-72 hours after exposure. Herein lies the challenge with identifying delayed food intolerances. How many people are going to make the connection between not feeling well with what they ate 72 hours earlier?

Finding out if you have a food intolerance

There are several methods for food intolerance testing.

  • Finger prick IgG can be done easily at home and mailed to a lab if ordered by your doctor or nutritionist. Many doctors and nutritionists in the can facilitate this method of testing.
  • Serum IgG involves a blood draw and must be done at a medical clinic. This testing is more commonly done with naturopathic doctors, but if you do not have an ND, can be requested by any doctor.
  • Serum IgG and Type IV tests offer the broadest spectrum of pinning down food intolerance trigger foods. Oxford Labs offers a test called the MRT (Mediator Release Test), which is currently considered one of the best, most accurate food intolerance tests (also tests for food chemicals). This test is offered through licensed nutritionists such as myself with special certification in Functional Diagnostic Nutritionand Metabolic Typing

To heal your body, you’ll need to get a good plan for replacing your trigger foods with gut healing, anti-inflammatory foods. Getting those stressful foods out of your diet for awhile may allow you to eat them later without it causing inflammation and all those other symptoms we talked about.

Your body is designed to be healthy. Sometimes it needs a bit of extra help so you can look and feel your best. As you now know, food intolerance is a major obstacle that may be getting in your way and causing you symptoms. You don’t need to keep wasting your time and energy struggling and guessing. Let’s figure it out together and help you feel like your best self again!

In health,

Rebecca