Paleo Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin breadSarah’s Rap: One of my family’s favorite baked goods is pumpkin bread. I’ve been making it since I was a twelve year old girl with an early love of baking. I was given my first cookbook, a classic Betty Crocker, and spent the next few years working my way through the recipes.  Out of all the things I made, the pumpkin bread recipe got the most use. We’ve tried various other recipes and box mixes over the years, but the classic Betty Crocker pumpkin bread recipe is still preferred by my family and always a hit with friends and co-workers.

Sadly I can’t eat this version any more, so over the last few years, I’ve tried many Paleo pumpkin bread recipes. I’ve never found one that tasted as good as our family favorite. So instead I set out to make my own based on that and I have to say that this year I finally nailed it. Continue reading

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“The Grain-Free Family Table” by Carrie Vitt

Sarah’s Rap: In a recent post, Tales From a Cookbook Junkie, I embarked on a journey to The Grain-Free Family Tabledive into my collection of Paleo cookbooks. Despite a major cookbook addiction, I often find myself making the same meals over and over again. My plan of action was to explore each of the gems which grace my cookbook shelf more in-depth in order to spice up my meal repertoire. The first one I started with was “The Grain-Free Family Table” by Carrie Vitt and it was a good choice. I’ve been eating well for the last two weeks! The recipes were ones that I could feel good about —  healthy and designed for people like me with many food restrictions. However anyone would love this book, not just those with illness.  The recipes are creative, yet simple and hearty.

The author suffered from severe hives and pain due to Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. By changing to a grain-free and soy-free diet, free of processed foods, she healed her body and is now in remission from her disease without needing to take thyroid medication. She developed the recipes in this book so that she could eat satisfying meals that nourished her body and didn’t leave her feeling deprived. The book’s introduction is inspiring and full of information for those suffering from illness.

One quote from her I love and can personally attest to is, “Natural healing isn’t a quick fix. It’s a long process, but it’s worth it in the end.” Well, with the recipes in this book, natural healing is a lot easier, and tastier, process. Continue reading

Health Crisis Part 5: Denial

Sarah’s Rap: This is the last post in this series and about perhaps the biggest hurdle of all to our health: DENIAL. This is what prevents people with illness from acknowledging the problem, committing to taking steps towards better health and/or from making changes to key contributors to the country’s (and world’s) disease epidemic: the Standard American Diet, a broken healthcare system, unhealthy lifestyle choices and environmental toxins.

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Denial is a tricky beast– difficult to overcome. If a person is in denial, he/she won’t believe it. This is the nature of denial. Even now many of you are reading this, thinking it doesn’t apply to you. And it may not. Please humor me though. I’d like you to ask you to open your mind and keep reading. Let this post help you to take a deeper at your health and lifestyle, and perhaps by the end you might feel differently. If not, and you have no health issues, that’s wonderful. Keep up the good work! Maybe you’ll think of a friend that is in denial and needs your help. Or maybe, you will admit that you are suffering from illness and want to take control of your health and happiness.

Continue reading

Health Crisis Part 4: Environment

Sarah’s Rap: If you’re like me, you barely go a day without meeting someone with health issues of their own or talking about someone they know with illness. It makes me so sad, partly because of the sheer prevalence but also because most people chalk up their illness or symptoms to genetics, bad luck or no idea. They often live a life of suffering, prescription medications and a pile-up of diseases.

Sure, genetics can play a role– some of us are more susceptible to certain conditions based on our DNA, and when we live a lifestyle that doesn’t support our own body’s needs we can flip that genetic switch on. But just because your grandmother had breast cancer, doesn’t mean you will definitely get it. The conditions have to be right. And maybe bad luck has a small part, but ultimately I feel that the majority of illnesses are caused by a handful of specific things. I’m not alone in this. Raymond Francis, author of Never Be Sick Again, believes that only two causes of disease– deficiency and toxicity. Continue reading

Health Crisis Part 3: Lifestyle

Stressed for timeSarah’s Rap: This is the third part in my series on what I feel are contributing causes behind the high numbers of disease and illness which so many Americans, and others around the world, are suffering from. If you missed them, check out my first two posts on the Standard American Diet and the “disabling” U.S. healthcare system.  It likely will not come as a surprise that unhealthy lifestyle choices are also key factors to the prevalence of disease, but sometimes what constitutes “unhealthy” may be less obvious.

I’m no saint myself when it comes to some of my own habits. In fact, I know that several are contributing factors to my own health issues in recent years. But if I don’t acknowledge the destructive behaviors and their negative impacts, I won’t continue to make (and keep) the changes necessary to get to a healthier me. I’m hoping this post can help you to do the same and take the right step towards better health. Continue reading

Reconstruction Redo: Take 2

Melissa’s Rap: Sometimes things don’t go as planned. And sometimes you do everything right and everything falls into place except one detail. Unfortunately, that is often the case with reconstruction after a mastectomy. Some women will require three to four surgeries to get the reconstruction to take.  Continue reading

Chanting for Your Health

Melissa’s Rap: Last week, we reviewed some great yoga-centered steps to reducing stress and the effects of it on the body.  One of those steps was chanting, part of a practice that is often referred to as sound therapy. Continue reading

Health Crisis Part 2: The US Healthcare System

Sarah’s Rap: The American healthcare system has long been a subject of debate, criticism and disappointment to many, particularly in recent years. No matter one’s opinion, we can likely all agree that we each feel passionately about our own views and that it is a tricky and complex situation without an easy answer. Even as I write this, I am filled with anger and frustration at some of the aspects of our healthcare system. In my last post, I dug into the problems with the Standard American Diet and the negative impact it has on the health of Americans and others around the world. Another contributing factor, in my opinion, to the increase and severity of disease in the U.S. is what I call a “disabling healthcare system”. When combined with the SAD diet, Americans are getting sicker and oftentimes the care they receive is failing to help.  Continue reading

Health Crisis Part 1: The Standard American Diet

Sarah’s Rap: Look around and you may notice that Americans (and others) are SADDLED with disease and worsening in rapid numbers. Not only are many people suffering from chronic illnesses, they’re getting worse  for many reasons, including:

Standard 
American 
Diet, 
Disabling healthcare system, 
Lifestyle, 
Environment and 
Denial

As a result of a combination of the above factors,  alarming numbers of people suffering from disease and obesity are being reported. The end result is a civilization that is unhealthy, dying, depressed, malnourished, overweight, brain-addled, irritable and stressed. I’m going to dive into each of these disease-causing factors to give you a better understanding of the risks with each and hopefully some ideas for how those suffering can turn their life around and enjoy life without the burden of these debilitating encumbrances. What would you rather be – SADDLED and led through life on a path you didn’t choose and might not be happy with, or to run free and fast, stopping to smell the roses when you want and steering your own course through life? I know which one I’d prefer, which is why I’m taking actions to get my health in order! I hope you choose to do the same. Continue reading