PhysiVāntage Supercharged Collagen for Optimal Performance and Recovery

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for helping me continue to share great products with you! I will never share products I don’t believe in 100%!


This post is long overdue! For that I apologize because I’ve been hoarding all this amazing information to myself! I have been taking collagen in some form or another for 5 years now and have been obsessed with the results I have seen. Typical collagen use boasts stronger hair and nails while improving skin elasticity, ligament and tendon strengthening.

Collagen is no new subject on this blog! Read more about the benefits of collagen here and for recipes using collagen for pre and post-workout recovery go check out my eBook Paleo for the Outdoor Athlete.

What I want to discuss in this blog post, however, are the benefits of a specific brand of collagen for athletes from PhysiVāntage called Supercharged Collagen. Since I am incredibly passionate about climbing and all things workout-related, you can bet I was stoked to jump on board when Eric Hörst (founder of PhysiVāntage) reached out to me about his new product.

I have been following Eric’s work for years now and have always regarded him as an expert in the climbing industry. He has written numerous books, blog posts and podcasts on climbing training, performance and how to become a better climber! Something I can definitely get behind and am always striving for in my own life. Eric also still crushes well into his 50s and has a wife and two kids that also climb pretty dang hard. Major respect.

After the pleasure of meeting Eric and his family at a previous job routesetting, I was always excited to see what new trips Eric and his family went on and the new training information he consistently cranks out.

With the introduction of the most recent product line PhysiVāntage and all the knowledge I have on collagen I got really excited to see that FINALLY a product was created with full potential to work with the body. What I mean by this is the fact that Eric and his team have added vitamin C to the Supercharged Collagen to double collagen synthesis.

In case you forgot, here is what collagen can do for the body:

  • build muscle tissue
  • burn fat
  • improve immunity
  • improve digestive health
  • cardiovascular health
  • reduce joint pain
  • improve sleep quality
  • fight inflammation
  • improve skin, hair and nail strength

Collagen can do so much for the body but the points I would really like to focus on are the ones that can benefits athletes and climbers the most. Muscle tissue, joints and inflammation are HUGE factors for climbers both in performance and injury prevention.

Jon Jonkers photo

From the PhysiVāntage website: “Supercharged Collagen is a first-of-its-kind tendon/ligament support supplement based on recent (and ongoing) research by Keith Baar (UC Davis School of Medicine) and Greg Shaw (Australian Institute of Sport). In vitro and human studies have shown that consumption of vitamin C-enriched hydrolyzed collagen before targeted exercise doubles the markers of collagen synthesis, while numerous professional athlete case studies have shown an accelerated return to competition after injury. Consuming Supercharged Collagen 30 to 60 minutes before rehab/prehab exercise or climbing-specific training (fingerboard, campus board, and such) will target the critical amino acids Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline, and Leucine to the vital connective tissues and muscle matrix you wish to strengthen.”

This is such big information! Let me put that in the simplest terms possible: taking Supercharged Collagen before training or climbing can actually help strength muscle matrixes. WOWZA. Okay, wrap your brain around that. This is exactly what I love supplements for. When paired with a whole foods-based diet free of processed foods, adding in additional products can be extremely beneficial to achieving athletic and performance-oriented goals.

Psyched yet? You should be! Now let me explain what makes PhysiVāntage Supercharged Collagen different than other collagens. One of the most special aspects about PhysiVāntage Supercharged Collagen is the fact that there is added vitamin C. In order for collagen production to work optimally, there must be an adequate level of vitamin C present in the body. Now, I’m not sure about you but I’m certain there are days where I don’t get enough vitamin C for whatever reason and therefore my collagen production is negatively impacted.

With PhysiVāntage Supercharged Collagen, vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid is added to make sure that collagen formation is optimal. Along the same lines, collagen is made of amino acids which are often referred to the building blocks of our bodies and help us to thrive and live our lives.

One of the nine essential amino acids (meaning the body cannot produce these on its own), l-tryptophan is not found in collagen peptide supplements unless it is added in purposefully, which is exactly what PhysiVāntage does! With the added benefit of l-tryptophan, it makes their collagen a complete protein source! Easily digestible and can be used to target specific muscle groups and tendons if taken before a workout or climbing session.

Absolutely brilliant. If you’re like me and want to up your climbing game and get stronger fingers, shoulders and tendons – PhysiVāntage Supercharged Collagen is for you! Visit their website here and use code FRIENDS15C for 15% off your purchase!! Make sure to check our their Crush formula as well for a little caffeine boost riiight before attempting your project!


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How I Broke Through My Climbing Plateau

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This is a pretty personal post to write and really made me reflect on my past few climbing seasons and analyze what has changed, what has worked and what hasn’t.

Breaking through my plateau didn’t happen overnight but it did happen with some dedicated hard work. I went from climbing v5/5.11d to sending v8/5.13b in two seasons. This certainly wasn’t just luck.

Keep in mind that everything I write about is purely my personal experience and while it works for me, might not work for you. Take everything with a grain of salt, experiment on yourself and have fun!

#1 I Started Running

This has been a huge game changer for me. Growing up I was a competitive swimmer and water was second nature. While I did play some soccer when I was younger, running never felt second nature the way swimming did. I decided I needed to start working on my weaknesses in order to improve as an athlete.

Running has never felt easy to me, sure there are people where running barely feels like any exertion but that’s not me! I always feel like running is much more of a mental game than a physical one. Rarely do my legs give out before my brain does. “Just give up, this is so boring!” But in order to push those thoughts aside, I have to stay strong mentally and focus on my goals.

One of the things that running has taught me is that nothing feels as hard as running. So, for me personally, climbing isn’t as challenging, therefore removing difficulty as an excuse! I also often find myself thanking running for giving such great endurance on longer routes and a shorter and improved recovery time.

I generally run 2-4 times a week and love to trail run. If I get a larger block of time, that’s where you’ll find me! I also mix in some sprints at least once a week to keep my fast-twitch muscles happy and increase my ability to recover under pressure.

Most of my runs fall under the shorter mileage category, I typically like to run 3-4 miles and usually won’t go over 8 miles. This is just what my body responds most positively too, and what works for me!

#2 I Get Outside as Often as I Can

Literally, I get out if I can. I have a membership maybe 3 months out of the year during the winter when the weather is the worst but other than that I make the effort to get outside.

Here in the PNW we are blessed with so much amazing and accessible climbing. While it’s not always more convenient to get outside, I make sure it’s a priority. Climbing outside will always make you a better climber outside. Make sense? Climbing indoors makes you a better indoor climber it just depends what your goals are.

Since I want to climb harder outside I prioritize getting out as much as possible. This means planning ahead, climbing in less than “ideal” conditions sometimes and a whole heck of a lot of time and energy spent getting some real rock climbing in.

Not only do I get to spend more time in nature outside, I get to really learn how to climb on each type of rock. Granite, basalt, sandstone and limestone all climb very differently and constantly exposing myself to these different rock types gives me a ton of experience.

When I prioritize climbing outside I feel much stronger going into the upcoming season. Instead of having to relearn how to climb outside a couple times a year after a heavy streak of gym sessions, I find myself getting back into the groove much, much easier.

#3 Put in the Effort

This one may seem obvious but trust me, it’s not. Climbing is hard. It’s hard psychically and it’s hard mentally. Not only do you need to be on top of your game physically to climb hard, but your mental game needs to be in check too. I could be wrong and this is just my opinion but I think climbing is at least 80% mental.

Let me explain a little. Physical strength is great and obviously useful, but what if you knew beyond a doubt that you did everything you could to prepare yourself for the route you are working on, the upcoming climbing season or trip you’re taking. If you have the confidence to know that you gave it your all, I guarantee you’ll find yourself climbing better and without reservation.

If you’ve given it your all, put in the effort then the other excuses can fall away and you’re left with yourself and the rock. And that can be a beautiful thing!

#4 I Started Believing that I Could Climb Harder

This right here is probably one of the biggest keys to success I’ve ever learned. Self-limiting behavior and talk like telling yourself you’ll never climb that route or project pretty much nails the coffin shut. Instead, try opening up to the possibility that it can be done, but that it will take some dedicated hard work.

As I stated in #3 climbing (in my opinion) relies heavily on a strong mental game. Sometimes just having the confidence in myself and knowing it is possible to climb as hard as I want makes me try that much harder to figure out tricky sequences or large moves.

To be extremely honest, I also watch pro-athletes who are similar build and height to me climb. This is incredibly motivating because it makes me realize what actually is possible with dedicated training and motivation. Being of a shorter stature, I can easily let myself get down and give up on a “big move” because it’s just “too reachy.” This defeatist attitude gets no one anywhere.

Instead I really try to remind myself that while the move might be big is is highly possible I can do it. I just need to find out the body position, level of power needed and psyche to make it happen. Seeing shorter climbers like Alex Puccio, Sasha Digiulian and Michaela Kiersch make me super psyched and make me forget that I’m 5′ 3″.

I also started to shift my mindset when I would watch males climb routes or boulders. It is easy to write off routes or boulders when you watch taller men climb. I realized that I was cutting myself off from the possibility before even trying! Instead, I now watch, take beta and tips where I can and keep my mind open. I likely won’t climb the route the same way a taller male does, but that doesn’t make it any less of a send.

#5 Climb with a Partner Stronger than You

Who do elite level athletes train with? Other elite level athletes! If you want to level up, find someone who is stronger than you and watch how they move, prepare and put the work in.

It can be extremely motivating to climb with a psyched and strong partner. I love climbing with my fiancé because he pushes me to get on routes I might not have otherwise. He believes in me when I have doubts and knows how much potential I have. This has been a huge part of my successful seasons the last few years. Without have a psyched partner I doubt I would have gotten outside near as much.

#6 I Cleaned up my Diet

I have eaten fairly clean for the last few years – I cut gluten and dairy out 7 years ago and have experimented to find what foods work the best with my body. During these last 7 years I have learned a ton. Which foods make me feel awesome and consequently which foods don’t make me feel awesome.

I decided a while ago that climbing was one of the most important things to me, and that getting better at and progressing in climbing was equally important. I want to push my body and limits to see what I’m capable of – my diet just needed to match this goal.

During the last few years, I have been working to eliminate added sugars, processed foods and nutritionally-empty foods from my diet. I often catch myself asking if the food I’m about to eat will have a positive or negative effect on athletic performance, and if it does have a negative effect I typically reach for a different food choice.

Does that mean I eat squeaky clean 100% of the time? Definitely not! I just make sure I truly want a food before I eat it and that either it will help my athletic performance or make me happy to eat it. For me, it really helps to think of my “future self” and ask “will I be happy or feel good later if I consume this food?” This typically works wonders for me, causes me to slow down and really get to the root of my decision making and generally leads to healthier choices for me.

Want to learn more about diet and climbing nutrition? Lucky you, I wrote an eBook all about the topic! Filled with information about diet, lifestyle and supplementation, Paleo for the Outdoor Athlete is something I am proud to have produced. Complete with recipes, easy to follow charts and tons of education information I am happy to have this out in the world. Snag a copy here!

I hope you enjoyed this post!


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Monday Musings 4.8.19

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for helping me continue to share great products with you! I will never share products I don’t believe in 100%!


Happy Monday from the PNW! I took a bit of a break from blogging this last week and it was surely needed! While I absolutely love blogging, sharing information and connecting with everyone on this platform, it does get a bit exhausting and every once in a while it’s nice to take a break.

But now I’m back, back again, and ready to share more fun things that I’ve found this week! I hope you enjoy my finds!

#1 Microgreen Growing Kit

I am really enjoying growing my own sprouts and microgreens lately! It has been a really fun project with an added benefit of being able to eat what I produce.

While my microgreens aren’t fully grown yet it has been so fun to watch them sprout and take shape into cute little stems and leaves! I can’t wait to use my microgreens on a big salad and know I am getting a ton of nutrition.

Similar to sprouts (I wrote a whole post about growing your own sprouts here) these little microgreens pack a big nutritional punch. High in vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin C these little microgreens have the perfect crunch to top any salad and I especially love them rolled up in some deli meat with bit of mayo and a touch of mustard. Perfection.

Microgreens also contain polyphenols which can help prevent the buildup of harmful free radicals in the body. That’s a good, good thing. The brand of microgreen growing kit I bought is from Mountain Valley Seed Company and was super affordable! Under $8 and it comes with the seed mix, soil, growing container and a mini spray bottle.

The kit comes with detailed instructions and all you have to do is water the microgreens 1-2x a day, give it some sunlight and voila they grow! So simple. And super satisfying to watch them grow!

#2 Celeriac Rice

Have you tried celery root – also known as celeriac yet? It’s an amazing little root veggie that has a subtle yet uniquely awesome flavor! To me, it’s a mix between a turnip and a potato except it’s a lower carb alternative. It’s perfect.

I have been using it almost daily to either throw into a stir fry or make noodles out of to round out my dishes and increase my vegetable content. You can usually find celeriac at any grocery store just look for a fist sized knobby greenish-tan ball and it’s likely celeriac! You can always ask at the store if they carry it as well.

In order to make “rice” out of the celeriac I use a 3 step process. Yes it takes a little time but it’s so worth it! First up, I peel the celeriac until all the brown skin is gone and the white flesh is exposed. Second, I use my spiralizer to make “noodles” out of the celeriac. I use the smallest setting so I get thin noodles instead of thick ones. Third, I run the noodles through a food processor quick for about 5 seconds total to get the “rice” texture! And boom. Ready for cooking.

Stay tuned because I will for sure be coming up with recipes for this amazing little veggie! I love the crisp and fresh flavor it has even after cooking it and find myself picking up more every time I go to the store now!

#3 Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins from PaleOMG

I made these muffins this weekend from Juli over at PaleOMG and was not disappointed! They were awesome. I have been looooving using the Chocolate Coconut Fuel from Primal Kitchen lately and figured why not bake with it?! I think Juli used a vanilla flavor but I love chocolate more so I used it and the muffins turned out great!

I also added in some Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate chips and thought they were perfect without being overly sweet! I’m not a big fan of all stevia-sweetened products but these chocolate chips are the real deal.

Juli is a legit genius for creating these muffins. I am so happy she did all the experimenting for me and I just get to enjoy some amazing protein filled muffins! Go check out more from Juli over on paleomg.com and try not to drool. Oh wait, not possible.

#4 Cook and Savor Method for Roasting Sweet Potatoes

Guys I am never going back to roasting sweet potatoes any other way. These are PERFECTION! Jenny Castenada from Cook and Savor is brilliant and I love how much she loves food. She is so fun to watch on Instagram with her Sunday meal prep sessions. I always get so inspired after watching her cook!

As far as vegetables go, sweet potatoes are my all-time favorite. Like I could eat them every meal, every day for the rest of my life and never get sick of them. I love them that much. So when I saw Jenny’s new method of roasting potatoes I knew I had to try it out! And it did not disappoint!!

Perfectly crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Head here to see how I made these beauties and be sure to check her out on Instagram @cookandsavor to get inspired by her awesome meal preps!


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Sausage, Kale and Potato One Pan Skillet

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for helping me continue to share great products with you! I will never share products I don’t believe in 100%!


I am super excited to share this recipe!! It’s a little fire-cracker and a one pan dish. Perfect combo? I think yes! The last time I shared a one pan skillet you guys loved it so I definitely see more in the future!

Another reason I am so excited about this post: I have been using Mulay’s Sausage constantly lately and I LOVE IT! Like seriously, this sausage is so dang good. It is paleo, has super clean ingredients and it comes in different varieties! For this recipe I used the Original Italian Sausage but I have been really obsessing over the Chorizo and Breakfast Sausage too. Yuuum.

I love Mulay’s even more because they keep their standards really high. In my mind it is just as important to eat well sourced meat as it is to eat organically raised vegetables, if not more so! Mulay’s uses antibiotic free Heritage raised pork that is Certified Gluten Free, free of the top 8 allergens and they support sustainable farming practices by getting all of their pork through ONE supplier. Wow, just wow.

Can you tell I’m just a little excited about ethically raised meat?! While I have linked where you can buy Mulay’s online, you can always ask your favorite local grocery store to bring brands like Mulay’s in if you want some amazing quality meat ASAP. Most grocery stores will be more than happy to bring products in for customers – especially since the meat arrives frozen to ensure maximum freshness, it isn’t a highly perishable item.

Phew, so much excitement there! Now let’s talk about the recipe! This one pan skillet meal is super versatile and can be eaten at any time of the day! It is perfect as an egg-free breakfast option as well as an easy dinner dish. While it is reminiscent of a breakfast hash (without the eggs!) there is a layer of potato on the bottom that gets perfectly crispy and elevates the dish even further!

Feel free to substitute in another green, leafy veggie for the kale – spinach, arugula or Swiss chard would all taste great too! For this recipe I used my trusty Magic Mushroom Powder but if you don’t have that regular sea salt will work just fine. You could also swap out the red potatoes for whatever kind of potatoes you like best – Yukon gold, russet or any variety of sweet potato! Get creative!

Sausage, Kale and Potato One Pan Skillet

(PALEO, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, WHOLE30)
SERVES 3-4
PREP TIME: 10 MIN.   COOK TIME: 25 MIN.

Ingredients:

1-2 tbs. cooking fat of your choice – olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee would all be great here – I used ghee

1 lb. Mulay’s Sausage Original Italian Sausage, defrosted (I leave mine in the refrigerator for 1-2 days to fully thaw out before using in a recipe)

5-6 red potatoes, shredded using a cheese grater or alternatively you can cube the potatoes into 1″ pieces

1 head kale, leaves torn from stems into bite size pieces

½ tsp. Magic Mushroom Powder or you can just use plain sea salt

Method:

  1. Place cast iron skillet on a burner and turn the heat to medium high. Add in your fat of choice and heat until the fat is melted and coats the pan. Ignore this step if your skillet is already greased and ready to go!
  2. Once hot, start to cook the sausage and cook until there is no more pink, breaking up the sausage as it cooks.
  3. When the sausage is cooked through, remove from pan and set aside in a bowl or on a plate. While the skillet is still hot, add in the shredded or cubed potatoes.
  1. Sprinkle with the Magic Mushroom Powder (or sea salt) and stir every couple of minutes for about 10 minutes. Don’t worry if the potatoes stick to the skillet, they will come up easily later!
  2. After 10 minutes, add kale to the skillet and cover with a lid to steam lightly for 2 minutes.
  3. Once kale has wilted, add the sausage back in and stir to combine all the ingredients. Let cook for 2-3 more minutes, remove from heat and serve!!

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Monday Musings 4.1.19

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for helping me continue to share great products with you! I will never share products I don’t believe in 100%!


Hello and happy Monday! I hope you had a relaxing (or productive) weekend and got to enjoy some beautiful weather! It has been 60s and sunny here in the PNW and I can’t get enough of it!! Absolutely stunning weather and even better for climbing. I am so ready for climbing season to fully kick in and have been loving every minute that I get to spend outside lately!

#1 Sea Seasonings Sea Salt with Sea Veg

Yuuuum. I am so happy I found this product!! I have been slacking on my iodine intake and really have been wanting to step it up a notch, read here to see why it’s so important! I also am obsessed with sea salt so this combination with sea vegetables is a perfect salty mix.

I have been using it as a finishing salt on most of my meals lately – it goes really well with beef, chicken and pork! I’m sure this blend tastes awesome on seafood as well 😉

#2 Four Sigmatic Mushroom Latte Mixes

I have definitely talked about Four Sigmatic before and I’m talking about them again because they just keep coming out with more awesome products!

Functional, or medicinal, mushrooms have been used for centuries to help improve life in many different aspects. These mushrooms aren’t common mushrooms that you would find in a grocery store like porcini or portabella. Instead, medicinal mushrooms need to be grown and then extracted to become functional.

Some cool things mushrooms can help support: immunity, energy levels, brain clarity, stress relief, hormone balancing and much more! Different mushrooms have different properties and support different aspects of the body. So cool, right?

I have been using the Mushroom Golden Latte Mix with shiitake and turmeric mid morning and always love adding more turmeric into my diet (read here to learn about the amazing benefits of turmeric). Because who doesn’t need a little help modulating inflammation? Answer: pretty much everyone. And as a nightcap I have been using the Mushroom Chai Latte Mix with reishi and turkey tail to help me relax and wind down at the end of the night.

One of my favorite parts about the mushroom latte mixes is the fact that the single-serve packets are so convenient. I can stash them in my purse for whenever the feeling hits, just mix with hot water and I’m good to go! Since I don’t currently drink coffee these are a fun alternative and won’t leave me feeling jittery.

#3 Ultimate Electrolyte Replenisher

Lately I have been feeling pretty depleted midday and have tried almost every trick in the book to try and feel better – drinking more water, eating enough, sleeping enough and just being generally healthy. I figured it might be an electrolyte imbalance and started to experiment with different electrolyte forms.

I have loved using Trace Minerals 40,000 Volts Electrolyte Concentrate but unless I mix it with some lemon, it’s pretty dang salty. I have been using these awesome little packets from Ulitma and have been so impressed so far! Most electrolyte and hydration supplements have some pretty crappy ingredients.

But not these!! They are lightly sweetened with stevia and they taste ah-mazing. I have been a-okay adding some stevia back into my diet and I think being hydrated and having balanced electrolytes is more important than worrying about a little stevia anyway! I am loooooving the lemon flavor and have also loved the orange and raspberry flavors! I feel so much better throughout the day if I have one midday and especially before exercise. Way stoked to have found such a clean supplement that I can feel good about using!

#4 Butter Cauliflower via Affordable Paleo Cooking in Your Instant Pot by Jennifer Robins

This recipe is insaaaane. By now, you should know that I love to cook out of other people’s cookbooks. I have always loved making what other people have created and often I put my own twist on the dishes! I’ve never been one to follow rules to the T.

I have made this recipe multiple times in the last few weeks and it never disappoints! It’s so easy and cost effective to make! Cauliflower, tomato paste and a little coconut milk come together with warming spices to create a comforting dish that’s ready in a snap. Anything I can make in my Instant Pot is always a huge bonus in my book!

Seriously, if you haven’t looked into this book by now you need to!


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How to Grow Your Own Broccoli Sprouts

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Happy Friday if you are reading this on the day it is published! I am currently sitting in Leavenworth waiting to get some climbing in! I drove over last night and somehow forgot my climbing shoes… ha! Luckily enough, I have been manifesting the shit out of money lately and was able to buy a new pair of shoes this morning without worrying about it.

Want to learn more about manifesting money? I highly recommend the book by You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero and just doing some basic research on manifesting, mantras and how to pull more positivity into your life! I also recommend Christina Rice’s newest episode where she talks all about this topic on her podcast Wellness Realness.

Okay, back to our main topic of BROCCOLI SPROUTS! Yay I am stoked for this. Broccoli sprouts are so easy to grow yourself at home and are super nutrient dense.

Why might you want to grow and eat broccoli sprouts? For their amazing positive effect on the body! When consumed, broccoli sprouts are transformed into glucoraphanin, which is a precursor to sulforaphane. Studies have shown that sulforaphane can help to support the heart, bones and respiratory system. Sulforaphane might even prevent cancer and help to fight cancer! Now that’s big. If you want a more science-y article for how this works and happens head here.

Broccoli sprouts contain 100x the amount of sulforaphane than mature broccoli does. Along with being low-calorie and low-carb, broccoli sprouts contain 60% of our RDA for vitamin C, 10% of the RDA for vitamin A and 6% of the RDA for calcium! How cool. If you don’t consume diary, it can seem difficult to get an adequate amount of calcium in your diet. Broccoli sprouts also contain a small amount of iron and 4 grams of fiber!

All that from a little sprout? Oh yes! The only downside is that broccoli sprouts must be consumed quickly after harvesting which makes purchasing them from the store tricky. Enter: DIY! Do-it-yourself broccoli sprouts at home couldn’t be easier. This method will save you lots of money vs. buying them from the grocery store where they can range up over $6 a bag.

To get started you will need:

That’s it! These little sprouts don’t need sun and are pretty dang hearty, I have grown them in both warmer and cooler temperatures and they always turn out great! Ready to start? Let’s do this!

  1. Place 2 tablespoons broccoli sprout seeds into the mason jar and cover seeds with filtered water – important because you want your sprouts to be the healthiest possible!
  2. Let the seeds soak in the water for 8-10 hours.
  3. Next, drain the soaking water and rinse the seeds with fresh filtered water and let sit out on the counter. Note here that the seeds are not soaking anymore! Just rinse and drain the water off.
  4. Make sure the sprouts are completely drained – you don’t want them sitting in any water! You can even tip the jar into a bowl when storing on the counter to get more of the water out.
  5. Repeat step #2 for two to three times a day for 5 days. You will see your little sprouts start to grow!
  6. Sprouts are ready to harvest around day 5 – 7 where the sprouts are a darker green color and around an inch long. At this time you can place them in a sunny window to get a nice deep green color thanks to chlorophyll!
  7. Before eating your sprouts be sure to completely dry them off – I like to use paper towels and store them in the refrigerator before I use them.
  8. Store broccoli sprouts for up to 3 days and enjoy the heck out of them! I love them on salads, on top of any meal and even plain for fun crunch!


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Smashed Potatoes (Paleo)

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I am all about easy recipes these days. One dish, under 30 minutes and Instant Pot recipes have all been saving my tushy in this busy life season. Since food is my love language and one of the most important ways I take care of myself I make sure to have a delicious form of protein, carbohydrates and veggies prepared each week to grab from when I have less time to cook.

This week I’m all about POTATOES! Since I am a Rebel (take this quiz to find out your tendency) and can’t stand being held to a plan, I love having the option to choose whatever I’m feeling like in a given week! Plantains on sale? Cool, stocking up on those! Fresh yuca just come in? Yes, please! Having the freedom to rotate carbohydrate sources means I’ll never get bored of what I’m eating and also means I’ll get a variety of nutrients.

Let’s talk potatoes, especially white potatoes (sweet potatoes and yams are typically more accepted) for a sec… because at least in the Paleo community they have certainly had their fair share of conflicting nutrition advice. Are they healthy, are they not healthy? Potatoes have had a reputation for being calorically empty, spiking insulin and thanks to new low carb diets, has been deemed a high carbohydrate food.

While it is true that potatoes (especially white potatoes) are higher in carbohydrates, they are also chock full of micronutrients! 28% recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin B6, 27% RDA of potassium, 26% RDA of calcium and manganese are just some of the nutrients you’ll find in a single baked potato. Pretty cool if you ask me! Especially if you are following a dairy-free diet, calcium can become pretty important! Other forms of dietary calcium can come from leafy greens, canned fish with bones, nuts and many more foods! Not sure about you but a potato seems like a really tasty way to get calcium!

Switching gears to glycemic index, this is a measure of how much of an effect food has on our blood sugar after consuming it. While this is contextual and varies on the method of preparation, I certainly think there are times when higher glycemic index foods are beneficial: post-workout, during times of high stress and breastfeeding stages just to name a few examples.

There are easy ways to reduce the glycemic index of potatoes by simply changing the preparation method – cooking and cooling a potato before consuming allows resistant starch to form. Resistant starch is a highly-fermentable insoluable fiber. This just means it doesn’t fully break down during the digestive process and instead becomes a slow-burning source of carbohydrates and have positive effects on the gut microbiome.

Basically, potatoes are your friend! Sure there are more beneficial times to consume them like after a workout or during dinner to help prepare for sleep and recovery but they certainly don’t deserve to be demonized! I love eating freshly baked or cooked potatoes and always make extras for leftovers so I can get that beneficial resistant starch! Don’t over think it.

Now, on to this recipe! This is one of those recipes that I’ve made hundreds of time and have just never put it down on paper. Crispy edges, soft centers, these potatoes are so dreamy! In my opinion, if your potatoes aren’t crispy, you’re doing it wrong! My number one trick to getting crispy potatoes every time is to broil them for a few minutes at the end of cooking. Criiiiissspppy perfection.

Smashed Potatoes (Paleo)

(PALEO, WHOLE30, 21DSD, GRAIN FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE)
SERVES 4
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

Ingredients:

2 lbs. red potatoes

1-3 c. water depending on cooking method (see below)

1 tbs. olive oil or ghee

1/2 tsp. sea salt or mushroom powder

Method:

  1. Start by placing the potatoes and 1 c. water into the Instant Pot. Seal the lid.
  1. Select “steam” on the Instant Pot and set timer to 8 minutes.
  1. After the cooking cycle has finished, manually release the pressure by turning the knob sideways.
  2. Alternatively, use a steamer basket and a saucepan on the stovetop and steam potatoes for ~20 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Turn oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. Toss potatoes with olive oil or ghee, sea salt or mushroom powder and mix until coated evenly.
  2. Place potatoes on the baking sheet and carefully take either a fork or bottom of a plate/cup and press down lightly on each potato, smashing it open gently.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and turn oven on broil (500°) the last few minutes to ensure a nice crispy crunch!
  4. Top with cilantro if desired and devour!

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Monday Musings 3.25.19

Disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links and I may be compensated, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for all your support!


It’s Monday once again! That means it’s time for another Monday Musings! Time to show you guys my exciting new finds for the week! I love sharing new things and hope I can get you excited for new and different foods and see that health can be fun!

And as always, my PSA for taking some time for yourself to fill your cup back up and make you feel fulfilled. Today I am committing to making sure I am fueled up properly by prepping nourishing meals to eat at work. Being prepared in this way gives me peace of mind and makes eating healthfully so much easier!

Meal prepping and making food ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute takes some of the decision-making out of the equation and instead of relying on “will power” can give a sense of relief that we are nourishing our bodies the best way possible.

I am all about that meal prep life!

#1 Antipasto Mediterranean Vegetables

These veggies are so killer!! So happy that I picked these up from Trader Joe’s the other day! I was shocked to find such clean ingredients! Just semi-dries veggies like tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant soaked in olive oil, herbs and garlic. It tastes like eating a pizza but they are just veggies!

Soooo obsessed. I ate them plain but I imagine they would be out of this world amazing on a cheese platter, with crackers or on a real pizza! Downright tasty. If you don’t live by a Trader Joe’s, you need to drive to one because they really do have some gems!

#2 Kitchen Aid Immersion Blender

Guys I’ve found a new favorite kitchen appliance!!! I am so excited to have gotten this from my amazing fiancé. He surprised me one night after work and I have been loving it! What is it you might ask? It’s an immersion blender!

What’s so awesome about this immersion blender is the fact that it can emulsify in seconds and you don’t have to pour anything into a standard blender first! It’s awesome and super convenient for things like soups, homemade mayo and more! I’m just getting statues experiencing.

Last week I made a super simple recipe 3-Ingredient Broccoli Soup and have many more soup plans in the works! I’m such a sucker for soup year round and I don’t seem to crave it any less when the weather warms up! It’s just so easy and nutritious!

#3 Spicy Thai Relish

I am such a big fan of condiments. Like I have 2 entire shelves of my fridge full of them. Obsession level 100. Dressings, ketchup, mustard, coconut aminos you name it I have it! So when I found this little Thai relish the other day I was STOKED!

The ingredients are super clean and it’s even onion-free! Not that I don’t love onions, they just don’t tend to love me back and leave me feeling pretty junky. The only ingredients are cucumbers, vinegar, hot chilies, lime juice and garlic!

So far I have used it on some stir fries, tuna salad and with some tacos! So not disappointed. While there are so many options for this relish, it certainly plays best with other Thai flavors. Curries, rice noodle dishes and satay dishes would all be a great vessel for this relish.

#4 Thai Kitchen Curry Pastes

Speaking of curry… I’m not sure I have shared this before but all the best curries I have made have been because of Thai Kitchens Curry Pastes! They are so dang good!

I normally switch between the Red Curry Paste and the Green Curry Pastes and think they add amazing depth of flavor to the dish! I have yet to make a curry as good as when I use these pastes. And with them being so affordable, I see no reason to, ha!

I’m a big fan of the ingredients too. Just spices, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, salt and lime peel. So simple. These concentrated little pastes go a long way and I typically get 5-6 servings per jar. Since I’m probably not about to go buy the individual ingredients to make my own pastes, Thai Kitchen is an amazing option.

I made this curry over the weekend and it was similar to my Emerald Green Chicken Curry except I used leftover pork roast, a cruciferous veggie mix from Trader Joe’s and lots of lime. Curries are such a great way to get in a ton of veggies!

#5 Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour

This is one of those products that I have been eyeballing for a while now and it was finally on a good enough sale for me to pull the trigger!

While this mix tastes AWESOME it has proven to be a little tricky to bake with so far. While I wouldn’t say it’s a 1:1 substitute for normal flour, it has been a nice substitute for other gluten free flours.

So far I have tried a egg-free quick bread type recipe and a muffin recipe. No concrete recipes yet because they still need more testing but I wanted to share about the flour in case anyone was looking for an easy shortcut for baked goods. The Paleo Baking Flour is awesome because instead of buying upwards of 3 different flours and then trying to figure out their ratios, the baking flour already comes pre-mixed and ready to go!

I will definitely be recipe testing more with this Paleo Baking Flour and post a recipe as soon as I have something I am happy with!


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7 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight

Disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links and I may be compensated, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for all your support!


This post is aimed primarily at athletes and those wishing to improve their body composition. I have worked with many athletes and am one myself. I know how hard the pressure can be to “look a certain way” and to perform our best at all times. Sometimes that pressure can lead us into unhealthy behaviors in order to achieve a certain goal.

I am by no means saying that having aesthetics goals are wrong or unimportant. I do think that there is potential for aesthetics goals to become all-consuming and turn into the focus of one’s life. I wanted to share some common road blocks to losing weight and offer solutions to individual prices of the puzzle. Keep in mind weight loss is highly individualized and often needs multiple healthy lifestyle factors to become effective.

Below I have listed some of the most common reasons I get while working with clients and their frustrations in weight loss. Please keep in mind that my primary client population are athletic women ages 18-45. Enjoy!

#1 You Aren’t Eating Enough

Hear me out on this one. We’ve all heard the old saying “calories in = calories out” right? Well I’m here to tell you that it’s complete bullshit. You heard me right. Calories in does not = calories out.

Other external and internal factors can work to either burn calories or cause us to hold onto calories. You see, it’s not as easy as diet culture and mass media wants us to believe. You cannot simply eat more and weigh less. This tactic might work for a short period of time and create a caloric deficit that promotes weight loss but this is not sustainable in the long-term.

In order to lose weight, our bodies must feel “safe” and in a position to do so. Feeling safe is different for every body and generally happens when you are eating a diet that agrees with your body (for more on this see #7), have low levels of stress and fuel your body properly.

When we don’t consume enough calories out bodies go into panic mode, also known as starvation mode. This could be a gradual shift or happen very quickly, but when our bodies aren’t getting the nutrition it needs to regenerate, rebuild, repair and function on a daily basis, things can really start to go downhill.

#2 You Are Over-Exercising

This goes hand in hand with under-eating. Exercise is a form of stress on the body. Pure and simple, the body does not differentiate between different types of stress, simply levels of stress. Pushing our bodies to the limit through exercise can seem like a great way to “burn off excess calories” to stimulate weight loss.

However, just like under-eating, over-exercising can cause our bodies to hold onto excess weight. This weight is typically in the form of inflammation weight. When we are overusing our bodies and under-recovering the muscles tissues become inflamed without adequate recovery time and can create a “puffy” look or feeling.

Ever feel like you should be more thin or weigh less because you’re exercising so much? It’s likely you’re exercising too much! Muscle fibers, tissues and tendons can only become stronger with rest. Exercise works to break down tissues and fibers creating small tears. These tears are crucial for building strength and stamina but only if they are given enough time to rebuild.

#3 You Aren’t Fat Adapted

Being fat adapted can be a huge bonus for the body. Our bodies only burn two things for energy: carbohydrates (sugar) and fat. All sugar breaks down into carbohydrates in the body and while these are great for quick energy, an excess amount of carbohydrates can be problematic. If carbohydrate intake doesn’t match activity level then carbohydrates will eventually turn to body fat. Don’t get freaked out here!

We need carbohydrates, athletes especially! They are a great source of fuel for activity, hormone balancing and feel-good for the brain. We can become fat-adapted and use carbohydrates to our advantage when timed properly and in the correct doses.

Ever feel hangry (hungry + angry) and feel like you NEED FOOD NOW? This could be due to not being fat-adapted and primarily relying on quick-burning carbohydrates as a fuel source. Fat used for fuel is a much slower form of energy and can keep you feeling full longer while keeping hunger (and hanger) at bay.

How do we get fat-adapted? Easy! Eat more whole food forms of healthy fats! Avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil and ghee are all fantastic and healthy forms of fats that our bodies can use for energy. Once you can go longer between meals and snack less throughout the day you know you are fat-adapted!

#4 You Don’t Have Extra Weight to Lose

This one is so incredibly important! Those “last 5-10 lbs” that you just can’t seem to lose might be so incredibly important to your health. Maybe those last few pounds are helping you keep your menstrual cycle, keeping hormones balanced or keeping you from obsessing about food.

Sometimes the weight we think we “should be” isn’t a weight that our bodies thrive at. Surviving and thriving are two very different things. If your body weight seems to come back to or stays at a certain naturally then this is a pretty good indicator that this is a good weight for your body.

Pushing below this number for either an extended period of time or trying to lose too much weight can cause a whole host of problems: poor quality sleep, irritability, amenorrhea (loss of menstruation), hair loss, brain fog, muscle mass and strength loss, dizziness, mood swings and much more.

While it is true that there are health benefits to having a lower body weight, there are also negative health consequences to being too thin (for your own individual body). While a lower body fat percentage might seem ideal, many women lose their periods around 12% and this is highly individual. Some may be able to have a lower body fat percentage and feel fine while others may lose their cycles around 20%.

Get honest with yourself and maybe you will find that the “last 5-10 lbs” isn’t really even there.

#5 Your Hormones / Thyroid Aren’t Functioning Properly

While this certainly applies mainly to women, thyroid and hormonal problems can happen to men too. However, I will primarily be addressing women in this section. As I stated in the above section #4, having balanced hormones is crucial to a healthy menstrual cycle. Why does this matter? Because a woman’s cycle is one of the best markers of health. A relatively symptomless period is an excellent indicator that hormones are balanced.

In order for hormones to be balanced, the body needs to be able to process hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol. These hormones give feedback to the brain and control what our bodies prioritize like: reproduction, digestion, weight loss, strengthening the immune system and much more. If our hormones are unbalanced and are constantly giving that feedback to our brain, our bodies become chronically stressed and weight loss goes on the back burner.

What can we do about this problem? Get educated! This article is awesome by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne as well as Beyond the Pill by Dr. Jolene Brighten. Start reading, experiment with seed cycling (I have a post here), get your hormone levels checked and find ways to reduce stress in your life.

#6 You Aren’t Sleeping Enough

Have you noticed how obsessed with sleep I am yet? If you aren’t clocking at least 8 solid hours of sleep a night your body is unable to repair and rebuild properly. Not to mention all the neurological effects that come with chronically under-sleeping: increases insulin sensitivity, increases risk for obesity, increases hunger hormones and more.

Hormones again? Oh yeah. Sleep is crucial for keeping our hormones in balance and can negatively affect hormones insulin, leptin, ghrelin and cortisol.

Insulin is the hormone responsible for transporting glucose from our food into our cells. This signals the liver to convert excess glucose to glycogen to be used for immediate energy and also into triglycerides to be stored as body fat.

Insulin is also responsible for communicating to the brain about how much we should or should not eat and how much body fat we have. See how this could be a negative if we are chronically sleep deprived? The communication between insulin and the brain can easily become confused and inaccurately relay how much body fat we have or need.

Leptin is similar to insulin in the way that it communicates with our brain how much fat we have in our bodies and helps our brains to calculate how much we need to eat.

Ghrelin is sort of the opposite of the insulin and leptin in the fact that it is the satiety hormone and helps to regulate our hunger sensations. Ghrelin is released once the physical contents of our stomachs are empty and stops being released once the stomach is full of food again.

Finally, cortisol as mentioned above, communicates with the brain what bodily processes are most important and could care less about weight loss when cortisol levels are chronically elevated.

Soooo how do we sleep more? First of all, prioritize it! It can seem easier to blow sleep off but it is just as important if not more important than diet when it comes to a healthy body composition.

Sleep in a cold, dark room and limit screens ~2 hours before bed to help the brain naturally wind down and prepare for rest. Get in tune with your circadian rhythms (rise with the sun, sleep with the moon) and try to get to bed at a consistent time every night. While naps can be awesome to catch up on sleep, consistency is key here.

#7 You Aren’t Eating in a Way That Agrees With Your Body

While there are countless diets on the market and way of eating out there, it is incredibly hard to make any blanket statements about what the perfect diet is. Everyone is so different and unique and while one way of eating might be awesome for one person, it could accelerate disease in another person.

This being said, there are some things that aren’t debated and are generally considered to be healthy: eat vegetables, get outside and get moving. Beyond this it’s hard to really nail down any concrete health advice.

However, I firmly believe that eating real, whole foods is beneficial for just about every person out there. I’d be hard pressed to find a person that thrives off processed and junk foods.

How do we chose how to eat in a world full of diet culture and information? I’ve got a simple (and yet not so simple) answer: get educated and get experimenting. I highly recommend reading books like Genius Foods by Max Lugavere, Food: What the Heck Should I Eat by Dr. Mark Hyman, Wired to Eat by Robb Wolf and Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. After that, get experimenting with yourself! Try eliminating foods, try adding different foods, play with macronutrient ratios and start becoming an expert at what makes YOU feel awesome.

Knowledge is power and this is no exception. Having the wisdom and insight into what fuels your body best is valuable information. Once you determine your boundaries you can get so creative and start feeling and performing at your best.


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3-Ingredient Broccoli Soup (Paleo)

Disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links and I may be compensated, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for all your support!


Yes, this is a legit 3 ingredient recipe and I could not be happier about it! Of course there are always optional ingredients you could add in or put on top but the 3 ingredients that are essential make this soup luxurious and damn tasty.

Also, spices don’t count, ya feel me? I have been loving this soup for an extra veggie boost and have been all about that broccoli lately! I just can’t seem to get enough! Cruciferous vegetables are my favorite. The cruciferous or brassica family of veggies includes: horseradish, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, turnips, rutabaga, arugula, watercress, radish, daikon and more! I just listed the most common but the cruciferous veggie family runs deep.

Let’s chat for a second on why cruciferous veggies are so great. First, they are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that when chewed break down into antioxidants inside the body. Further, some of these antioxidants can help to improve thyroid function! Also commonly containing goitrogens, the cruciferous veggie family can play a significant role in thyroid health. For more on that head here for a much more scientific take on the matter.

Our bodies need sulfur-rich foods for many biochemical processes, sulfur is a structural component of many proteins and is necessary for the function of many enzymes and antioxidants. So let’s be sure to eat our cruciferous veggies, yes?

The second really great part of this recipe is that I got to use a new toy!! My fiancé got me an immersion blender that I have been wanting for some time now and I couldn’t be happier with it!! Seriously so excited. An immersion blender is a hand held blender perfect for making soups, sauces and other foods that you don’t want to use a blender for.

I have found the immersion blender to be particularly useful for my morning matcha, soup and making my own mayo! It has been great experimenting with it and is a fantastic kitchen accessory. Though not crucial for this recipe, you could absolutely use a regular blender, the immersion blender is quick and I am able to use it right in the stainless steel insert of my Instant Pot.

3-Ingredient Broccoli Soup

(PALEO, WHOLE30, 21DSD, GRAIN FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE)
SERVES 4
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

Ingredients:

2 lbs. broccoli, florets only

1 c. bone broth (use this recipe from my website or a store bought brand)

2 tbs. full-fat coconut milk

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Optional to top:

Ghee

Pumpkin seeds

Cilantro

Instant Pot Method:

  1. Start by placing the broccoli and bone broth into the Instant Pot. Seal the lid.
  1. Select “steam” on the Instant Pot and set timer to 2 minutes.
  1. After the cooking cycle has finished, manually release the pressure by turning the knob sideways.
  2. Using either an immersion blender or regular blender (you might need to do this in batches so it doesn’t overfill the blender), blend until the broccoli and bone broth are combined and as smooth as it can get.
  1. Add in the full-fat coconut milk and sea salt. Stir or blend again to combine.
  1. Top with ghee, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, more veggies (roasted veggies would be bomb here!) or any protein you like! I added pulled pork the other day and I was in heaven!

Stove Top Method:

  1. Place broccoli in a steamer basket, or straight into a saucepan to steam the broccoli. Add 1 cup water to the sauce pot.
  2. Turn heat to medium-high, bring water to a boil, once it reaches a boil, turn heat down to medium-low, cover the pot and let steam for 5-8 minutes.
  3. Once broccoli is fork tender, remove from heat and drain off the water.
  4. Add broccoli to a bowl and add bone broth, coconut milk and sea salt.
  1. Using either an immersion blender or regular blender (you might need to do this in batches so it doesn’t overfill the blender), blend until the broccoli and bone broth are combined and as smooth as it can get.
  1. Top with ghee, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, more veggies (roasted veggies would be bomb here!) or any protein you like! I added pulled pork the other day and I was in heaven!

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