How to Do a Thyroid Self-Exam Neck Check – Deliciously Organic

Most of us are aware of the need to do a breast self-exam each month, but did you know you should also do a thyroid self-exam? This easy neck exam can help you identify thyroid issues such as thyroid cancer, cysts, nodules or goiter early and the self-exam only takes about 60 seconds to do.

How to do a Thyroid Self-Exam

Your thyroid is on your neck just below your Adam’s apple and above your collarbones, and spreads across your neck like a butterfly.

Here’s how you do a thyroid self-exam:

  1. Stand in front of a mirror, or hold a mirror so you can see your lower neck. 
  2. Tip your head back and take a drink of water and swallow.
  3. As you swallow, look at your neck and check for any bulges or protrusions in the area where you swallow. Remember, don’t confuse your Adam’s apple with the thyroid. 
  4. Next, using your hands, slowly feel the area over your thyroid and see if there are any lumps or bulges. You can do this with or without a mirror. 
  5. If you find any lumps or bulges, make an appointment with your practitioner.

Thyroid nodules are usually round and will move with the gland when you swallow. You might also be able to feel the nodule rolling underneath your fingers or see it when you swallow. Thyroid nodules can come and go, so don’t panic, but it is important to make an appointment with your practitioner. 

Goiter will feel like swelling or a bulge. Sometimes it’s on just one side of the thyroid, but it can also be felt on both sides. 

It’s good to keep in mind that finding a lump or nodule does not always mean you have a serious issue with your thyroid.

Here are some at-home therapies you can talk to your practitioner about for thyroid nodules, cysts and goiter:

  1. We’ve found in our practice that iodine is very helpful for almost all thyroid issues, but it’s important to take a look at your TSH and T4 levels before deciding how much iodine to take. Getting 3-4 servings of sea vegetables, wild seafood, pastured eggs, and fish are great natural sources of iodine. If you’re concerned about eating iodine-rich foods or taking an iodine supplement when you have thyroid disease, read this article.
  2. Use unrefined Celtic sea salt in your cooking throughout the day because it contains over 80 different minerals that are nourishing to the thyroid.
  3. Stay away from all processed foods and eat a nutrient-dense diet. Click here for lots of recipes!
  4. Avoid bromines found in breads, pasta, refined cereals, pool treatments and pesticides. Bromine interferes with the utilization of iodine in the body and will compete with iodine receptors, displacing the iodine.
  5. Castor oil packs done for 10-15 minutes over the thyroid daily can have a profound effect on cysts, nodules and goiter. One of my clients came to me last year with a thyroid cyst that was documented by her doctor, so she was diligent with her diet, took the proper amount of iodine supplementation for her body and did daily castor oil packs. When she went back for her follow-up appointment, the doctor was happy to inform her that the cyst had shrunk!If you would like to do castor oil packs over the thyroid, I highly recommend you first do them over the liver daily for 3-4 weeks first, and then try doing a pack over the thyroid for 10-15 minutes at time. If you get any kind of rash or your neck starts to itch, this is a sign that you liver still needs some detox. So, do the castor oil packs over the liver for an additional 3-4 weeks and then try again over the thyroid. 



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Strawberry Lemonade Muffins (Grain-Free, Paleo) – Deliciously Organic

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins (Grain-Free)
Strawberries and lemons are such a fun summer combo, so I thought it would be fun to give you a recipe for strawberry lemonade muffins! These muffins have a strong lemon flavor with fresh chopped strawberries throughout. 

Here are some muffin tips for you:

  • If you’d like you can switch out the strawberries for blueberries or even raspberries!. Whichever berries you choose, I would use fresh berries and not frozen.
  • Make the muffins ahead of time, freeze them, and then reheat in a 300ºF oven for about 20 minutes and they will taste like you just baked them! This is really helpful if you’ve got house guests. 
  • To prevent any aluminum from leaching into the muffins, use unbleached muffin liners, or use an oiled stainless steel muffin pan. 
  • When baking with honey, I prefer to use a light colored honey such as Really Raw, Y.S. Organic or Tropical Traditions because of its light flavor. In my experience, other wild honey can overpower the flavor of the recipe, but a light honey adds sweetness without any added flowery aromas.
Here are some more naturally sweetened grain-free muffins you might enjoy!

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips (these are great for travel or camping trips)
Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Carrot Ginger Muffins
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Makes about 18 muffins

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup raw honey
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil , melted
  • 1/3 cup whole plain yogurt (you can use a dairy-free yogurt if needed), room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour or 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • Zest of 2 organic lemons
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and adjust the rack to the middle position.
  2. Place the honey and eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat on medium-high for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the coconut oil, yogurt and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Slowly beat in the coconut mixture into the egg mixture.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and lemon zest. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg and lemon mixture. Gently fold in the strawberries.
  5. Spoon the batter into a lined muffin pan . Bake for 16-18 minutes until just turning golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes. Serve.

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https://deliciouslyorganic.net/strawberry-lemonade-muffins/

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Chicken Taco Salad (Grain-Free, Paleo) – Deliciously Organic

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad (Grain-Free, Paleo)

A chicken taco salad loaded with vegetables, a bit of cheese and a cilantro dressing is a fabulous meal for the warmer months. I prefer to put this salad together minus the dressing, so it can last a couple of days in the fridge or so we can pack it for a day out. 

The dressing is a slight variation on my Garlic Yogurt Dressing, with some added cilantro. You could add a little salsa to it as well! And, the crunchy Siete grain-free chips make for a fun addition to the salad. If you can’t tolerate cassava flour, then you can substitute with plantain chips. 

As you know, I make a pot of chicken broth each week, so I used the cooked chicken from the broth in this salad. It’s a great way to use up the cooked meat. 

Here are some other nutrient-dense salads you might enjoy:
Roast Beet and Walnut Salad with Kombucha Vinaigrette
Classy Chicken Salad with Dates and Macadamia
Chopped Chicken Waldorf Salad
Greek Chicken Salad
Bacon Deviled Egg Salad
Roasted Sweet Potato, Spinach and Pecan Salad 

Chicken Taco Salad (Grain-Free)

20 minPrep Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    For the Salad:

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • Meat from 1 whole chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup chopped olives
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped (seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (omit for dairy-free or paleo)
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 orange, red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups Seite grain-free chips or plantain chips
  • For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup whole, plain yogurt (use coconut or almond milk yogurt for dairy-free)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place all of the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  2. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a large mason jar and blend with a hand-immersion blender until smooth. (You can also blend the dressing in a blender.)
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss and serve immediately.

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https://deliciouslyorganic.net/chicken-taco-salad-grain-free/

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Zucchini Bites Recipe (Grain-Free) – Deliciously Organic

Zucchini Bites Recipe (Grain-Free)

Zucchini bites are a fun way to get in some extra vegetables and these are a favorite with kids! They are a combination of zucchini, parmesan cheese, ground up plantain chips, eggs, and garlic. They’re really easy to make, and while I formed them into little bites, you could also bake these into mini muffins. 

Zucchini tends to be very watery when heated, so the key is to soak the zucchini in some salt and then squeeze the zucchini in a clean dish towel. This is the best way to avoid having a wet mess come out of the oven.

The zucchini bites can be served alone, or with the sour cream dip listed below. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even for a quick snack!

Here are some additional zucchini and squash recipes you might enjoy:
Zucchini Noodles with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Hazelnuts
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Squash Fritters
Quick Shrimp Scampi with Squash Noodles

Zucchini Bites (Grain-Free)

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Ingredients

  • For the Bites:
  • 3 medium zucchini, shredded (about 6 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 3 ounces parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 cup crushed plantain chips ( Inka or Terra are good choices)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • For the Sour Cream Dip:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil

Instructions

  1. Place the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Toss to combine and let sit for 30 minutes. Pour the zucchini onto a clean dishcloth. Fold the dishcloth over the zucchini and gently press to remove any excess moisture.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the zucchini, salt, parmesan, crushed plantain chips, egg and garlic powder in a medium bowl and stir until combined.
  3. Spoon bite-size portions of the zucchini mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes until just brown on the edges.
  4. Combine the sour cream, chives and basil. Serve the zucchini bites with sour cream dip.

7.6.9

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https://deliciouslyorganic.net/zucchini-bites-grain-free/

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Easy Slow Cooker Pepper Steak (Grain-Free, Paleo) – Deliciously Organic

Easy Slow Cooker Pepper Steak (Grain-Free, Paleo)

The end of the school year can be almost as busy as the holiday season, so it’s a great time to pull out the slow cooker! One of our recent favorites is slow cooker pepper steak because it barely takes any time to prepare and at the end of the day the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender and full of flavor.

You can serve the steak and peppers over cauliflower “rice” or soaked rice (if you can tolerate grains). A small side salad that takes just a few minutes to prep is a great choice. 

Here are some other favorite slow cooker recipes for those busy days!
Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs
Breakfast Sausage Casserole
6-Ingredient Pot Roast
Chicken Fajita Bowl
White Beans and Sausage

Easy Slow Cooker Pepper Steak (Grain-Free, Paleo)

10 minPrep Time

6 hrCook Time

6 hr, 10 Total Time

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Ingredients

  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 pounds chuck roast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos or gluten-free fermented Tamari
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Place the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top the onions with the meat and then add the bell peppers. Whisk together the chicken broth, aminos, tomato paste and garlic and pour over the meat mixture. Gently press the vegetables and meat so the meat is submerged in the broth mixture (this helps prevent the meat from drying out). Cook for 6 hours on low. Serve over cauliflower “rice” or soaked rice.

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https://deliciouslyorganic.net/slow-cooker-pepper-steak-recipe-paleo/

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Triple Lemon Sheet Cake (Grain-Free) – Deliciously Organic

Triple Lemon Sheet Cake (Grain-Free)

I love a layered cake, but a sheet cake is much less work and is great to take to a potluck or a casual outdoor meal in the spring and summer. This triple lemon sheet cake is sweetened with honey and is good enough to eat on its own. But then it’s topped with lemon curd and lemon whipped cream. This is lemon on lemon on lemon and it’s absolutely fabulous!

When choosing a honey for baking, I find it’s best to stick with a light honey like this one or this one. They add a nice sweetness to the cake, but without the heavy aromas that can come with other wild honey.

And, if you want to save yourself some time, you might be able to find a good lemon curd at your local health food store. There’s nothing like fresh lemon curd, but I totally get it if you need to cut down on the time needed to make this cake.

The cake is best served at room temperature, so it’s a good idea to assemble the cake just before serving.

Here are some additional grain-free lemon recipes for you!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Lemon Icebox Pie
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins 
Grain-Free Coconut Cake with Lemon Curd

Triple Lemon Sheet Cake (Grain-Free)

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Ingredients

    For the cake:

  • 2/3 cup raw honey (see note in post above)
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (make sure it’s grain-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter or 1/2 cup coconut oil , melted
  • 1/3 cup plain whole yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • For the Curd:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter or 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup lemon zest (make sure the lemons are organic)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6-8 lemons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • For the Lemon Whipped Cream:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cream
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and adjust the rack to the middle position. Line an 11×9 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Place the eggs and honey in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat for 5 minutes until pale and voluminous. Place the almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Whisk in the butter, yogurt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour 1/4 of the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk together. Then, pour the remaining egg mixture into the flour mixture and fold to combine.
  3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-23 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.
  4. Melt butter in a double boiler set over medium heat. Whisk together honey, eggs, yolks, zest, juice and salt in a large measuring cup. Slowly, while constantly whisking, pour in egg mixture and continue to whisk for 6-8 minutes until thick like pudding. Pour curd through a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until cold.
  5. Place the cream, honey, zest and lemon juice in the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk until soft peaks form.
  6. To assemble: Spread the lemon curd evenly over the cake and then top with the lemon whipped cream. Serve.

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https://deliciouslyorganic.net/triple-lemon-sheet-cake-grain-free/

Copyright 2016 Deliciously Organic



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Grilled Chicken with Olive Tapenade Recipe – Deliciously Organic

Grilled Chicken with Olive Tapenade

When it comes to eating healthy, we often make things too complicated. We feel like everything needs to look like it does on Instagram, or we focus on all of the foods we wish we could eat, instead of the foods we actually can enjoy eating.

I completely understand the temptation, especially if you’ve just found out you have to avoid dairy and gluten, or are in dire straits and wanting to change your diet so you can feel better, but I want to encourage you to take a step back and try and simplify. Eating healthy really doesn’t have to be super complicated!

Today, I’ve got some tips that I share with my Nutritional Therapy clients to make the change go as smooth as possible.

  1. Focus on what you can eat instead of what you have to avoid. This mindset makes it easier and much more enjoyable as you’re taking steps to change things up.
  2. Focus on the major food groups – protein, carbs and fats – and make sure you get enough of each. In general, it’s a good idea to get 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. You might find you need a bit more or less of certain foods, so make sure to listen to your body and do what’s best for you.
  3. A good way to get going is to purchase meats, vegetables and healthy fats. For most of our meals, I pull out a piece of meat and vegetables, cook them in some butter, season with Celtic sea salt and I’ve got an entire meal that is satisfying and nutritious!
  4. Make soups and stews the backbone of your diet. I make one pot a week and then we reheat when needed for lunches, a quick dinner or even breakfast.
  5. Get an insulated thermos so you can reheat soups, stews, and leftovers and take them with you to work, if you’re out running errands, if you’re traveling, etc.
  6. Have a couple smoothie recipes that you enjoy, and always have those ingredients on hand for an easy meal.
  7. Grab some Farmhouse Culture sauerkraut and eat a few tablespoons each day to get in a few million probiotics in your diet. Easy, right?!

If you’re looking for more daily inspiration, I encourage you to come join me over on Instagram. By the way, you don’t have to have an account on Instagram to see my posts, just bookmark this page and check out my daily tips!

Grilled Chicken with Olive Tapenade

Here is a new, easy chicken recipe for you! The chicken can either be grilled or cooked on the stove top in a grill pan and then it’s topped with an olive tapenade. The tapenade takes just minutes to put together and you can store the leftovers in the fridge to use later in the week over vegetables or other grilled meats.

What are your favorite healthy recipes you like to cook during the week? I’d love it if you linked to them in the comment section so we can all bookmark them!

Grilled Chicken with Olive Tapenade (and Healthy Eating Tips)

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    For the Chicken:

  • 4 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Tapenade:

  • 1 cup green olives
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill to medium and season chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper. Grill until cooked though.
  2. Meanwhile, put the green olives, shallots, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and zest in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are diced. Pour olive mixture into a small bowl and stir in olive oil. Season to taste with sea salt if preferred.
  3. Place the grilled chicken on a platter and top with tapenade. Serve.

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Panna Cotta and Kombucha Jello Slice – Deliciously Organic

Honey-sweetened panna cotta is a favorite spring dessert, so I thought it would be fun to layer it with a cookie crust and strawberry kombucha jello!

Honey-sweetened panna cotta is a favorite spring dessert, so I thought it would be fun to layer it with a cookie crust and strawberry kombucha jello!

To be honest, I was a bit crunched for time last week so I used Simple Mills grain-free pecan cookies for the crust. They are made with all wholesome ingredients and taste fabulous! You can change out the pecan cookie crust for a graham cracker crust if you prefer.

The middle layer is panna cotta and then I topped it all off with homemade kombucha jello. I chose strawberry, but you can change out the flavor of kombucha or the berries on top depending on your taste.

Here are some other springtime desserts you might enjoy:

Tres Leches Cake
Strawberry Sherbet
Angel Food Cake
Frozen Yogurt
Chocolate Berry Tart

Panna Cotta and Strawberry Kombucha Slice (Grain-Free)

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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and adjust the rack to the middle position. Place the cookies and butter in a food processor and pulse until crumbled and moist. Press the cookie mixture into an 11×7” baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake for 11 minutes. Cool and then put in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour 1 cup coconut milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle evenly with the gelatin. Let the milk sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the gelatin to soften. Heat the milk and gelatin over medium heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved and milk begins to steam. Stir the remaining 3 cups coconut milk and honey into the warm milk and whisk until all the ingredients are dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. When cooled, pour all but 1/2 cup of the panna cotta mixture over the cold cookie crust. (Pour the remaining 1/2 cup panna cotta mixture into a small bowl and enjoy it by itself later) Put the baking dish into the refrigerator and chill for 2 hour until mostly set.
  3. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup kombucha and gelatin in a measuring cup and let sit for 5 minutes (this allows the gelatin to bloom). Heat over low while stirring constantly until the gelatin is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the remaining kombucha. Cool completely. When cooled, pour it over the chilled panna cotta and top with berries. Place in the refrigerator and let chill for at least 5 hours until set. Slice and serve cold.

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https://deliciouslyorganic.net/panna-cotta-and-kombucha-jello-slice-grain-free/

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Peppermint Bark Recipe (Dairy-Free) – Deliciously Organic

Peppermint Bark is an iconic Christmas treat, so I tweaked things a bit to bring you a real food and dairy-free version!

Peppermint Bark is an iconic Christmas treat, so I tweaked things a bit to bring you a real food and dairy-free version!

There are lots of different options with this recipe. First, you can follow the recipe as is. Or, if you can’t do brown rice syrup, then you can omit the candy canes and use all-natural red sprinkles to make the candies look festive. Just choose whichever version works best for you.

I highly recommend using a food grade peppermint essential oil for this recipe. Peppermint extract contains some peppermint oil, but is combined with alcohol, so you won’t get as big of a peppermint flavor. I personally use doTERRA Peppermint essential oil and I find it lends the perfect flavor!

Another thing to note is that the white chocolate will remain mostly firm at room temperature, but isn’t quite as solid as regular white chocolate. So, I recommend storing the candies in the fridge and then leaving them out at room temperature for an hour before serving.

I hope you enjoy!

Makes one 11×7 pan of peppermint bark

Dairy-Free Peppermint Bark

20 minPrep Time

60 minCook Time

1 hr, 20 Total Time

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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Line an 11×7 baking dish with parchment paper (the paper needs to come up the sides of the baking dish. Place all, but about 3/4 cup of chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pot with simmering water (or use a double boiler) until melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and add 1/3 of the remaining chocolate chips to the hot chocolate, and whisk until the chocolate chips are melted. Repeat this two more times with the remaining chocolate until all of the chocolate is melted. If your chocolate isn’t melting, you can place the bowl back over the hot water for about 10 seconds at a time. Whisk in the peppermint essential oil and the pour the chocolate into the prepared baking dish.
  2. Let the chocolate sit for 10 minutes at room temperature and then place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place the cocoa butter in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (or use a double boiler) until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cashew butter, maple syrup, vanilla and peppermint oil. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes to cool.
  4. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and pour the white chocolate mixture over top of the dark chocolate. Place back in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, then remove and sprinkle the crushed candy canes overtop, gently pressing them into the white chocolate. Refrigerate for another hour. Cut into squares and serve.

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Copyright 2016 Deliciously Organic



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Braised Beans with Tomatoes and Herbs

Braised beans are an ultimate comfort food in the wintertime and I love that they make for great leftovers!

Is it ok to eat legumes and nightshades when you have a thyroid disease? I get this question often and have found there is a lot of confusion around the topic.

With our clients at Biodynamic Wellness, we’ve found that properly prepared legumes are a healthy addition to a thyroid-healing diet for most people.

Carbohydrates are important for the health of the adrenals and also for the liver in converting the thyroid hormone T4 to the active form T3. Of course, you don’t want to eat a super high carb diet, because that can have negative effects on the body, but around 100g of carbs spread throughout the day is a good amount for most people.

An ultra low-carb diet may be trendy right now, but if you have thyroid disease, this isn’t the best idea. Too few carbs can backfire and leave the adrenals fatigued or cause low thyroid conversion in the liver. This is why I’ve always used legumes in my recipes here on the blog and in my cookbook.

If you’ve been on a strict low-carb diet and aren’t seeing the results you’re looking for, then I recommend talking to your practitioner about adding some properly prepared legumes, lentils, and possibly gluten-free grains back into your diet and see if that changes your symptoms.

What about nightshades?

If you struggle with arthritis or pain in the joints, then it’s best to avoid nightshades. Some common nightshades are eggplant, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. But, in our practice, we’ve found that if you don’t have these symptoms, then nightshades can be a healthy addition to a thyroid-healing diet.

Braised beans are an ultimate comfort food in the wintertime and I love that they make for great leftovers!

Braised beans are an ultimate comfort food in the wintertime and I love that they make for great leftovers! I cook them on the stove, but I bet this recipe would also work well in the slow cooker.

Braised Beans with Tomatoes and Herbs

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight* (you could also use white navy beans)
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas , soaked overnight*
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 24 ounce jar crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 head Lacinato kale, chopped (you could use chard if you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. *Place the cannellini beans and chickpeas in a large bowl. Cover with water and add 2 pinches of baking soda. Let soak overnight at room temperature.
  2. The next day, drain and rinse the beans. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, drained and rinsed beans, rosemary and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook until the beans are tender, about 4 hours.
  3. About 20 minutes before serving, bring a pot of water to boil and add the kale to the boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes and then drain. (This step removes the goitrogens which can inhibit the uptake of iodine in the thyroid. For a video explaining the benefits of this, check out my Instagram feed page and see my IG story titled “kale”)
  4. When the beans are tender, stir in the cooked kale, sea salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano and serve.

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My Favorite Non-Toxic Mattress – Deliciously Organic

While the bed isn’t organic, it’s a choice that I felt comfortable with because it fit my criteria for a nontoxic mattress that is supportive for the body and with almost zero off-gassing.

When it was time to replace our mattress last year I really wanted to get an organic mattress that would offer great back support, but as I was began reading and talking to my friends about organic mattresses, I realized that maybe it wasn’t the best option.

I learned that organic mattresses break down pretty quickly. If I was going to pay a premium, I wanted something that would last and was free of synthetic fire retardants, such as formaldehyde, which can cause thyroid problems. I tried different foam mattresses in the past and really didn’t sleep well on them, so I knew a foam mattress wasn’t an option.

While shopping around, I happened to be chatting with Sara Pope and she recommended I try the Intellibed. Sara really does her homework, and I turn to her website often to get the real story on health-related issues, so I gave Intellibed a call.

Before I purchase a product, I’m that annoying person who calls the company and asks all sorts of questions like: Does it off-gas? For how long? What materials is it made of? Why did you choose ______ material? Can you send me a sample so I can see if it smells or I have a reaction?

The rep at Intellibed was kind enough to answer my questions and here’s what I learned:

  1. Intellibed mattresses aren’t sprayed with any synthetic chemicals. Most mattresses are sprayed with chemicals such as formaldehyde and fire-retardants which are damaging to the endocrine system and are carcinogenic. Instead of synthetic chemicals, Intellibed uses nontoxic silica thread, which is actually the ingredient in those little white packet inserts in supplement bottles.
  2. The materials used in an Intellibed mattress are CertiPUR-US which means they are analyzed by an independent and accredited testing laboratory to be free of ozone depletes, PBDEs, TDCCP or TCEP flame retardants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and phthalates and are low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound).
  3. The off-gassing from an Intellibed mattress is very, very minimal! Their foams are low VOC and their patented Intelli-Gel is an inert, non off-gassing material. This medical-grade gel is also used in hospitals for bedridden patients and burn victims to reduce pressure and promote healing.While the bed isn’t organic, it’s a choice that I felt comfortable with because it fit my criteria for a nontoxic mattress that is supportive for the body and with almost zero off-gassing.
  4. The Intellibed mattress supports the body in a way other mattresses cannot. Foam mattresses, such as Tempur-Pedic®, are made of layered foam. A supportive mattress needs to support your back and push on your hips to keep the body in alignment. A foam core mattress softens over time and loses its resiliency which reduces the ability for the foam to push on the hips. Intelli-Gel behaves differently than foam. The gel collapses under the heaviest parts to the body which relieves pressure on the body. And, if you can relieve pressure points, your body won’t need to move as much during the night to relieve that pressure.
  5. The small amount of foam that wraps around the mattress gives the bed strength and is certified to be pure and toxin-free.
  6. Given that a nontoxic mattress is quite an investment, I was happy to learn that Intellibed offers a 30-year warranty and they also have a 60-day guarantee. If you don’t like the mattress, you can return it and they will pay for the shipping.

 

While the bed isn’t organic, it’s a choice that I felt comfortable with because it fit my criteria for a nontoxic mattress that is supportive for the body and with almost zero off-gassing.
Because there wasn’t an Intellibed store nearby, I first asked if they would send me a piece of the Intelli-Gel so I could make sure it didn’t smell and that I wouldn’t have any type of reaction to it. A few days later an Intelli-Gel sample arrived on my doorstep, free of charge! I actually sat on the Intelli-Gel while working at my desk for a few days to make sure I didn’t have any negative reactions to the material. I’m very sensitive to toxic materials so, for me, this test was enough to show me that I wouldn’t have any kind of skin reactions, migraines, etc. from sleeping on one of their mattresses.

While the bed isn’t organic, it’s a choice that I felt comfortable with because it fit my criteria for a nontoxic mattress that is supportive for the body and with almost zero off-gassing.

Before the mattress arrived, I told my husband I was still skeptical as to whether it would be comfortable. I was thinking we’d send it back after a week work two. To my surprise, the mattress is supportive yet soft, and truly the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever slept on.

We like the Intellibed so much that we just purchased an additional Intellibed mattress and plan to replace all of the mattresses in our home with Intellibed.

They also make Intelli-Gel pillows and a mattress topper. The topper is a great option if buying a new mattress isn’t in the budget right now, or if you want to add some extra non-toxic cushioning to your current mattress.

Because I’m a huge fan of their mattresses, I’ve become an affiliate so that I can offer you a discount. For 10% off any mattress, use my code DeliciouslyOrganic10.

While the bed isn’t organic, it’s a choice that I felt comfortable with because it fit my criteria for a nontoxic mattress that is supportive for the body and with almost zero off-gassing.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by Intellibed. I am an affiliate for Intellibed. If you purchase a mattress and use my discount code I will receive a commission.



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10 Holistic Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

We’ve all heard the usual tips like, limit caffeine and alcohol, exercise regularly, etc., so today we’re going to avoid the common tips and look at 10 holistic tips for a good night's sleep.Sleep is the time each night when the body repairs, heals and restores. If you’re not getting enough, it can put you at risk for all sorts of various health issues including: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid issues, depression, adrenal fatigue, etc.

We’ve all heard the usual tips like, limit caffeine and alcohol, exercise regularly, etc., so today we’re going to avoid the common tips and look at some of the root causes as to why you aren’t sleeping well.

Here are my 10 Holistic Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep:

1. If you tend to get a second wind at the end of the day, or when you lie down you can’t sleep, eat a small snack such as a piece of raw cheese or spoonful of almond butter right before bed. A second wind, or not being able to go to sleep, is usually due to high cortisol levels, so if you eat something, this can help drive those cortisol levels back down.

2. If you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t fall back asleep, again, eat a small snack such as a piece of raw cheese or spoonful of almond butter. Why are you waking up? This tends to happen when blood sugar levels get too low when you’re sleeping which triggers the adrenals to send out cortisol into the bloodstream. When you eat a small snack, this will help drive the cortisol levels back down so you can sleep. Click here to read more about adrenal health.

3. Before you go to bed, rub 1 drop of Cedarwood and 1 drop of Lavender on the bottoms of your feet and then diffuse the same oils in your bedroom. I’ve shared this blend with thousands of people and I can’t tell you how many people come back telling me how well they slept using these two essential oils!

4. Turn off your Wi-Fi and put your phone in another room, or at least put it in airplane mode to reduce electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Man-made electromagnetic radiation can cause sleep issues so it’s a good idea to take simple steps to reduce your exposure. You can put a timer on your Wi-Fi, so that it turns off when you’re sleeping. If you absolutely have to sleep with your phone in your room, make sure it’s on airplane mode.We’ve all heard the usual tips like, limit caffeine and alcohol, exercise regularly, etc., so today we’re going to avoid the common tips and look at 10 holistic tips for a good night's sleep.

5. Do you wake up in the middle of the night because you need to go to the restroom? This is a sign of blood sugar imbalance, so take steps to reduce your sugar intake. Make these buttermints to curb cravings and your sleep should become much more restful and void of any midnight bathroom trips.

6. Do you wake up sweating or nervous? This is usually rooted in adrenal fatigue, so read this article and see which steps you can start taking today to calm your adrenals.

7. Make sure you’re getting enough magnesium. Magnesium is calming for the central nervous system and helps us rest, but many of us are deficient. This deficiency is most often caused by too much stress or being in a fight-or-flight mode too often. When we are stressed, the first mineral the body burns through is magnesium, so this explains why so many of us need more of this important mineral! A super easy way to increase magnesium stores in the body is to take an Epsom salt bath for 20 minutes. Or, if you need supplements, I prefer Dr. Ron’s Mag Max.

8. Vitamin A plays an analogous role in setting our circadian rhythm. “When blue light from sunshine enters our eyes, Vitamin A translates it into a signal that tells our brain it is daytime. When this signal wanes, our brain knows that it is nighttime. This means that Vitamin A plays an essential role in helping us fall asleep on time, get high quality sleep, sleep long enough, wake up feeling rested, and stay alert and energetic throughout the day.” So, make sure you’re getting plenty of Vitamin A from animal foods such as eggs, grass-fed meats, organ meats, cultured dairy, etc.

9. Use essential oils such as Lavender, Frankincense, Wild Orange, etc. throughout the day to reduce your stress. Stress plays a big role in blood sugar balance and, as I mentioned in #2 and #6, blood sugar balance plays a role in how well we sleep each night. If you haven’t given essential oils a try, you really must. I was skeptical for so many years and then when I learned how to properly use them, they were a game changer! I’ve got a free online class on this topic that you can register for here.

10. Lastly, evaluate your bedroom conditions. Are you sleeping on a supportive mattress? If not, consider finding a new non-toxic and supportive mattress. Is the room dark? If not, consider blackout shades for your windows, or unplugging electronics in the room. Is the room too hot or too cold? A small fan or hot water bottle can make all the difference!

Have you found any tried-and-true tips for a good night’s sleep? Please share in the comments below!



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