Holistic Squid http://holisticsquid.com Kick Ass At All The Things Thu, 28 May 2015 18:05:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Grain Free Mug Brownies http://holisticsquid.com/grain-free-mug-brownies/ http://holisticsquid.com/grain-free-mug-brownies/#respond Thu, 28 May 2015 03:00:15 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=25772 Though I dabble with gobs and grandma’s blueberry muffins and banana bread, I am definitely not a baker. That’s why I adore recipes that you can can’t really mess up, like these fun, grain-free mug brownies. I mean, the name alone gives away the secret that we won’t be dealing with spring pans and egg white peaks. […]

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Mug Brownies - Holistic SquidThough I dabble with gobs and grandma’s blueberry muffins and banana bread, I am definitely not a baker. That’s why I adore recipes that you can can’t really mess up, like these fun, grain-free mug brownies.

I mean, the name alone gives away the secret that we won’t be dealing with spring pans and egg white peaks. These are single serving desserts, so you can make one or twenty – and they’re a fun treat to whip up with kids too.

One of my least favorite things about baking is the clean up, and with this recipe you can mix your ingredients right into the mug. The only dangerous thing being that this could quickly become a daily ritual of ooey-gooey brownie consumption. Ready to take a risk?

Mug Brownies Ingredients (per mug)

  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter – I like this one
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey – buy local or this one online
  • 1 tablespoon apricot preserves (or you can use more honey)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder – I buy this in bulk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt – my favorite
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces or chocolate chips – I buy these
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional but definitely recommended – use this recipe to make your own)

Mug Brownies Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all ingredients directly into your oven safe mug (or use a ramekin) except for the dark chocolate pieces or chips. Combine well. Sprinkle on chocolate pieces. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  3. Let sit 5-10 minutes before eating. Serve warm (with a scoop of this).

Mug Brownies - Holistic Squid

Want more delicious simplicity in your life?

Even for the most organized families, getting healthy and delicious dinner on the table can be such a challenge.

That’s why my hubby and I created Real Plans – our new online meal planner that will revolutionize the way you get dinner on the table.

  • Stuck in a rut with the same old dinners? Our delicious, home-style recipes are kitchen-tested and family-approved.
  • Real Plans on CounterGot special dietary restrictions or tastes? We offer paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free plans in addition to traditional real food menus. Plus you can add and change recipes to your heart’s content.
  • Family of eight or party of one… We’ve got you covered with fully customizable portion sizes.
  • Dread grocery shopping? Our dynamic smart phone app makes shopping a breeze.

Plus handy bonuses like…

  • A weekly timeline to help you spend the least time possible slaving away in the kitchen.
  • Plan ahead options including a month’s recipes in advance, plus a double recipe each week to bank ‘fast food’ in the freezer.

Click here to subscribe to Real Plans now

Traditional, Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free plans available
Our 30 day money back guarantee makes Real Plans RISK FREE!

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A Sinus Rinse Recipe that Actually Works http://holisticsquid.com/sinus-rinse-recipe-that-works/ http://holisticsquid.com/sinus-rinse-recipe-that-works/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 05:26:11 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=25389 [I’ve written about how to treat sinus infections without antibiotics, but I often hear complaints from patients and readers that their usual sinus rinse is not doing the job. Today’s guest contributor, Jamie Larrison – mom and herbalist – shares her secrets for making a customized sinus rinse recipe that actually works.] This winter when […]

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A Sinus Rinse Recipe that Really Works - Holistic Squid

[I’ve written about how to treat sinus infections without antibiotics, but I often hear complaints from patients and readers that their usual sinus rinse is not doing the job. Today’s guest contributor, Jamie Larrison – mom and herbalist – shares her secrets for making a customized sinus rinse recipe that actually works.]

This winter when the flu bug made its rounds, I was sick for a day or two with a fever, but then I felt great thanks to using natural remedies. Great except for when the sinus problems hit. I was miserable! The left side of my face was so swollen, I could barely open my eye. I looked like I’d been in a bar fight.

I almost gave in and took a Benadryl, but then I remembered the neti pot in my bathroom. With a little research I was able to create a sinus rinse recipe that immediately lessened the symptoms and helped my body heal.

When seasonal allergies attack, the symptoms can become unbearable. Even the occasional cold can cause sneezing, headaches, coughs and other issues stemming from sinus problems. Fortunately it’s easy to create your own customized sinus rinse recipe. But first let’s talk about why you should go au naturale…

Why you should avoid antihistamines

Antihistamines work by blocking the body’s natural response, which can lead to long term problems. Instead of aiding the body in resolving the issue, the symptoms are muzzled. Allergy medications have been linked with depression, anxiety, impaired brain function and increased appetite leading to weight gain. (source)

Loratadine (commonly known as Claritin) is an antihistamine allergy medication. It’s classified as a category B drug by the FDA, which means that although animal studies haven’t shown a decisive connection for birth defects, there haven’t been decent studies in humans to prove its safety.

Why children’s antihistamines are worse

Certain forms of Allegra (or fexofenadine) are recommended for babies as young as six months. As it is used for children, naturally you would assume it would be safer, however, the children’s version of Allegra contains aspartame as the second ingredient.

Aspartame has been linked to muscle spasms, memory loss, hearing loss, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, birth defects and many other issues.

This study in particular found that aspartame caused free radicals in the brain, which many recognize as the start of cancer. “It is clear that long term aspartame exposure could alter the brain antioxidant status, and can induce apoptotic (programmed cell death) changes in the brain.”

Aspartame is also a class C drug, so it’s potentially more dangerous for pregnant women since “animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans.” (source) But don’t worry, because according to experts, if you can’t stand a runny nose the risks may be worth using it anyway (!).

When your sinuses are so swollen, you look like a puffball and your eyes are watering, it’s natural to desperately want relief. There are obviously some serious risks associated with over the counter medications – so what’s the alternative?

A natural, safe and effective treatment for sinus problems

A sinus, or nasal rinse is typically a saline solution that’s inserted into the sinuses, and then gently blown out. This can be done with the traditional neti pot (my preferred option), a sinus rinse bottle (Emily’s preferred option), or with a bulb syringe if using it for children. Flushing the sinuses helps to remove allergens, thin mucus and soothe nasal tissue.

This article explains how to use a neti pot for a sinus rinse. It’s not pretty, but the relief is worth it.

A rinse can be as simple as a little sea salt in distilled water. Non-GMO xylitol is a helpful addition as it “can help to penetrate through thick mucous and inhibit harmful bacteria from thriving in the sinuses.”

Myself, I’m an herb girl. There always seems to be a good reason to use herbs in nearly everything and a sinus rinse recipe is no different. The best part is, you can customize your herbal sinus rinse for your exact needs.

How to choose the herbs for your sinus rinse recipe

Renowned herbalist, Mathew Wood, categorizes irritated tissues to be in six different states. These include:

  • Hot (increased activity)
  • Cold (decreased activity)
  • Damp (congestion)
  • Dry
  • Relaxation
  • Constricted (which includes both tension and spasm)

Which herbs you choose depend on what symptoms you’re experiencing and what state, or states, your nasal tissue is in. Be sure to do a little research on an herb before using it, as there could be contraindications for your situation.

Astringent herbs

These herbs tighten and tone tissues and are useful for sneezing; itchy, watery eyes; loose drainage down the throat; and coughing caused by drainage. Some examples include: calendula, comfrey, mullein, olive leaf, plantain, sage and Solomon’s seal.

Mucilaginous, or demulcent herbs

These herbs are soothing and are useful for hot, dry or inflamed tissues; sinuses that feel dry; a painful, tight feeling. Some examples include: comfrey, marshmallow, licorice, sassafras leaf and slippery elm.

When NOT to use a sinus rinse

Sometimes the sinuses can become congested. Symptoms may include stuffy nose, swollen eyes, headache, excess mucus, usually a yellow/green color, and generally feeling tired and worn out. In this instance, its better to use an herbal steam or inhale essential oils from a diffuser. Using a sinus rinse isn’t helpful if you’re so plugged up it won’t come back out. It’s also helpful to make sure you’re consuming plenty of fluids to keep things moving.

My favorite sinus rinse recipe

I like this recipe because it’s not overly complicated, yet it still provides all the relief I need. It contains herbs that will soothe and tighten the nasal tissue, reduce inflammation, and knock out any viral, bacterial or fungal infection that is causing the problem.

This is ideal for treating relaxed tissues causing sneezing, runny nose and coughs. If your tissues are dry, then omit the plantain and increase the bee balm to one cup.

What you need:

First, be sure to have get a neti pot or sinus rinse bottle. (For kids, read the tips at the bottom of this post.)

  • 1/2 cup plantain (demulcent, mucilaginous, astringent, anti-microbrial) – get it here
  • 1 cup marshmallow root ( demulcent, anti-inflammatory) – get it here
  • 1/2 cup bee balm* (antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral)

*Bee balm may be difficult to find. As an alternative, you can use goldenseal root which has similar properties. Just be sure to choose from a responsible supplier – like this one – as this herb has been over-harvested as of late.

How to make it:

  1. Place the marshmallow root in a ½ gallon jar and do a cold herbal infusion: Place the herbs in eight cups of purified, room temperature water. Let this infuse for 4 hours before straining very well. The infusion with be a little thick and slimy, which is a good thing.
  2. Place the bee balm and plantain in a ½ gallon jar and do a hot infusion: Heat 8 cups of water to boiling and pour over the herbs. Cover and let steep for about 4 hours before straining very well.
  3. Once they’re done, combine the two infusions in a gallon jar.
  4.  Slightly warm a small amount and add a pinch of sea salt before using in a neti pot or nasal spray. Be sure to stir so the sea salt dissolves.
  5. Do this about 3 times daily until the symptoms are gone. Store any extra rinse in the refrigerator for up to a week.

How to do a sinus rinse with children

My son is one of the 99% of kids who hate nasal aspirators, but sometimes it’s necessary to get him better. Depending on the child’s age and size, you can use a sinus rinse spray bottle to put some solution up their nose. They can then blow it out themselves a few minutes later. For very little ones though, you’ll have to use a bulb syringe or the ever entertaining but effective nose frieda to remove the fluid.

 Have you tried making your own sinus rinse recipe?
What ingredients have worked best for you?

A sinus rinse recipe that actually works - Holistic Squid

Jamie Larrison blogs at The Herbal Spoon. She has a passion for herbalism and aromatherapy and creates her own plant-based, safe for the whole family bodycare items for her etsy shop. Learn more about Jamie here.

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What Would Emily Do? (5/22) http://holisticsquid.com/what-would-emily-do-522/ http://holisticsquid.com/what-would-emily-do-522/#respond Fri, 22 May 2015 19:20:53 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=25598 My inbox runneth over with questions from readers wondering – What would Emily do – about Real food and holistic health topics. Last time we talked about fermented vs. virgin cod liver oil the meaning of egg yolk colors, and more. I’ve created this Q&A to get your questions answered and for other folks to […]

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What Would Emily Do? (5/22 Edition) - Holistic Squid

My inbox runneth over with questions from readers wondering – What would Emily do – about Real food and holistic health topics. Last time we talked about fermented vs. virgin cod liver oil the meaning of egg yolk colors, and more. I’ve created this Q&A to get your questions answered and for other folks to benefit from the answers too.

Who am I to know the answers to your questions?

I’m a holistic-minded mom, a sometimes beach bum, a real food foodie, a curious health researcher, and I’ve been practicing holistic and Chinese medicine for over a decade. That said, the answers here are only my opinion, and shouldn’t be construed as medical advice.

If you read something here and have your own wisdom or opinion to add, by all means, please leave a comment so we can all benefit from your experiences and perspective.

Okey dokey! Let’s dive in…

 

Question 1: Coping with a root canal

Sara wants to know…
What should you do if you already have a root canal? I have an appointment to get the tooth extracted. It’s a very back molar so I felt it would be fine to just lose the tooth and biting surface there but now from what you said about losing the integrity of the mouth, causing headaches and TMJ syndrome, I’m not sure what to do?

Hi Sara, thank you for your question. For those new to this conversation, my dentist uses ozone therapy which allows him to preserve more of the tooth when he is doing a cavity filling. That helped me to avoid a potential root canal.

If your root canal has gone bad, you may not have another option. However, if it’s possible to keep the tooth, it will be better from the perspective of maintaining integrity in the structure of your jaw and skull. If possible, get a second opinion from a holistic minded dentist before doing anything too hastily, and be sure to implement dietary changes for optimal dental health. (I highly recommend this book.)

 

Question 2: Fermented cod liver oil not working

Cynthia asks…
My baby breaks out in bumps when he has fermented cod liver oil. Any ideas or other suggestions?

Hi Cynthia – Some folks find they are sensitive to the histamines created by the fermentation process. Though it’s more pricey, and currently only comes in liquid, I would recommend trying this extra virgin cod liver oil instead.

 

Question 3: Constipation in a 2 year old

Lisa says…
I am looking for advice to help relieve chronic constipation in my 2-year-old. We already do a daily probiotic, olive oil and all the non-constipating fruits and veggies. She doesn’t like prune juice. She’s an ovo-lacto-vegetarian. The only lacto is cheese, no milk. We’ve been giving her miralax everyday for a long time, but I want to try something more natural. Her constipation started around 10 months of age. It got so bad that she had a rectal prolapse! Any advice would be appreciated!

Hi Lisa – Without knowing more about her, I can’t say for sure, but I would probably try cutting out the dairy entirely. It would probably benefit her to work with a Chinese medicine practitioner who can prescribe her herbs to help get her bowels moving. Magnesium can be an effective and natural stool softener for the short term. I recommend this one.

 

Question 4: Treating Molluscum Contagiosum naturally

Dona writes…
My daughter has been struggling with eczema for the past 18 months, but we’re starting to see some improvement after about a month of implementing the suggestions in The Eczema Cure…so THANK YOU! However, in the past few days she’s developed wart-like bumps on the backs of her knees. At first I thought it was related to eczema, but after a little internet searching, I’m thinking its Molluscum Contagiosum. Do you have any suggestions for treating this sort of viral infection?

Hi Dona, thanks for your question and I am so glad The Eczema Cure has been helpful for you and your daughter. As for the Molluscum Contagiosum, kids really do get it all the time. It is contagious but relatively harmless. I used a homeopathic remedy called Thuja Occidentalis for my own son and it worked great.

 

Question 5 – Ear infections when you’re doing everything right

Nicole is concerned…

I’m wondering what could bring on an ear infection that requires the need for antibiotics. This toddler is healthy, was breastfed for about 2 years, takes probiotics, elderberry syrup, etc and it still happened?

Hi Nicole, thanks for your question.

You know, even when you do absolutely everything right, and you think your child is in a healthy place, they can still get sick. As they get older and start interacting with other kids, they’re exposed to a whole new host of germs and it is very likely that they will have a number of bouts of illness as their immune systems are still building up.

Specfically regarding ear infections, some kids will be more susceptible because of the structure of their ear canal until they grow up. In the mean time, here are my recommendation for treating ear infections without antibiotics.

Question 6 – Low iron levels in pregnancy

Leah is concerned…
What would you recommend for a pregnant woman who was told she needed to supplement with iron as her levels were on the low side? 

Hi Leah, thanks for your question. As I am not your healthcare practitioner, I cannot give you medical advice. However, if iron levels are truly low, I would suggest eating red meat and liver while using Chinese herbal formulas to “build Blood.” Other foods high in iron include molasses and tahini.

Floradix is a great, non-constipating natural iron supplement to try in place of synthetic pills. For a full overview on how to supplement through diet during pregnancy, read this post.

Got questions about real food or holistic health and wondering W.W.E.D.?

If you have a question for me, please first use the handy dandy search bar at the top righthand corner of this site. If that doesn’t give you the answers you need, email [questions at holisticsquid dot com].

I can’t guarantee that I will get to every single question, but I will do my best (with a priority for questions that will serve the most of the Holistic Squid community).

Also, keep in mind that I cannot and will not give you medical advice over the internet. It’s inappropriate and unethical. If you want my medical opinion about a health or nutritional issue for you or your child, I take virtual patient consultations on a limited basis via phone or Skype. You can find out more about my distance consultations here.

Got answers not included here?
Please leave them in the comments below!

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Is Sourdough Bread Healthy? http://holisticsquid.com/is-sourdough-bread-healthy/ http://holisticsquid.com/is-sourdough-bread-healthy/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 16:06:09 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=25535 [Is sourdough bread healthy? I’ve written about why I prefer white rice over brown, so you may or may not be surprised to read that I actually prefer white bread too. I found that real sourdough white bread is the easiest for me to digest. In this post, Naomi Huzovicova shares why sourdough is WAY better […]

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Is Sourdough Bread Healthy? - Holistic Squid[Is sourdough bread healthy? I’ve written about why I prefer white rice over brown, so you may or may not be surprised to read that I actually prefer white bread too. I found that real sourdough white bread is the easiest for me to digest. In this post, Naomi Huzovicova shares why sourdough is WAY better than conventional bread and may actually be good for you too…]

In the last few years, bread has gotten a bit of a bad reputation. The popularity of gluten-free and paleo diets are supported by legions of followers, experts, and best selling books like Wheat Belly and Grain Brain.

Not all bread is created equal, however, and some believe that traditional preparation using a sourdough starter can negate the detrimental effects of wheat and other grains.

What is sourdough?

Sourdough bread is made by fermentation. Flour and water are mixed to make a starter, or levain, colonizing healthy bacteria and yeast. These microorganisms feed on the flour, breaking down the grain. Carbon dioxide results from the interaction of the yeast and bacteria, and causes the dough to rise.

For the benefits of sourdough, the dough must undergo a slow fermentation process with no commercial yeast added. The amount of time necessary changes depending on type of flour used, temperature, and hydration (amount of water), but a general rule of thumb would be 12 hours at room temperature.

Why true sourdough bread is better

True sourdough bread ferments the flour, with a number of effects that render bread healthier and easier to digest. Besides being better for you, it tastes amazing, too.

Sourdough reduces phytates

Phytates are found in whole grains (as well as other whole seeds and nuts) and are the bond between minerals and phytic acid. When bound to phytic acid, we cannot absorb the minerals in food, even though they are included in the nutritional profile of a whole grain. The phytate bond must be broken in order for us to digest them.

When dough undergoes sourdough fermentation, the enzyme phytase breaks those bonds. If the acidity of the sourdough dips to pH 5.5, 70% of the phytate is reduced, availing minerals for assimilation, including phosphorus in the phytic acid. Studies show that reducing or increasing phytates has a direct impact on the assimilated amount of magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Helps the body digest protein

Not only do phytates bind with minerals, they also inhibit the enzyme trypsin, a digestive enzyme that breaks down protein. When the phytate bonds are broken, then the body can digest protein properly.

When proteins are not properly broken down into peptides and then amino acids, they can irritate the gut wall, leading to inflammation and ‘leaky gut syndrome.’ One of the main proteins in wheat flour is gluten.

Fermentation breaks down gluten

The action of the lactobacilli on the dough starts the break down of gluten. Even if you don’t have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, gluten is still a large molecule and difficult to digest.

In one study, a four hour ferment managed to break down 80% of the gluten that would be broken down in 8 hrs. Another study found that under certain conditions, a sourdough culture could break down the gluten proteins enough that they would not be toxic to those with celiac disease.

This is not to say that celiacs can go eat any sourdough; these analyses were made under controlled circumstances. These studies do, however, demonstrate the power of the bacteria and yeast of sourdough in breaking down gluten and rendering bread more digestible.

Sourdough stabilizes blood sugar levels

A comparison of four types of bread (white, whole wheat, whole wheat + barley, white sourdough) on blood sugar levels found that white sourdough had the least rise in blood sugar and insulin levels of participants. Not only that, but those who had white sourdough bread for breakfast continued to have low blood sugar levels even after lunch.

Scientists aren’t exactly sure why sourdough bread has such a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels, but they think it may be because a sourdough fermentation changes the structure of the carbohydrates in bread, causing the body to assimilate it more slowly. The starches in the dough are predigested by the bacteria and yeast, making it easier on the digestive system.

Lasting benefits of probiotics after baking

Raw sourdough dough is full of beneficial microorganisms, and even though they are killed by heat during baking, they still may be of beneficial value to health.

Preliminary studies show that these organisms can reduce the incident of the common cold, shorten the duration of diarrhea, and reduce inflammation.

Fermentation protects against mold

A number of acids produced by the Lactobacillus sanfrancisco, one of the main bacteria of a sourdough starter, have an antimold effect. Conventional bread can spoil and harbor mold before it is visible, and eating mold can be quite harmful. Sourdough bread, on the other hand, rarely molds.

Sourdough keeps you feeling full

Ever had a piece of bread and butter, and then another…and another? It can be easy to gorge on carbohydrate rich foods, and never feel full.

Sourdough bread, on the other hand, has an increased amount of satiety–that is, you feel fuller longer after eating it. I have experienced this myself. A few sourdough pancakes keeps me full all morning, while normal pancakes quickly leave me hungry. The benefit of increased satiety is that you can consume fewer calories without feeling hungry.

****

Traditional bread preparation is, as you can see, a far superior option to our modern short cuts. Some people find that, while they can’t tolerate conventional bread, they can enjoy true sourdough bread without a problem.

So, is sourdough bread healthy for YOU?
What has your experience been?

 Is sourdough bread healthy? - Holistic Squid

 

The closest Naomi has gotten to her dream farm is growing live bacteria avatar-e1393106133385in jars and wrangling her four children, including twins. A Canadian who now lives in Slovakia, Naomi writes about traditions, food, and life in Slovakia (as well as some pretty strange food) at Almost Bananas

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Roasted Red Cabbage with Lemon and Garlic http://holisticsquid.com/roasted-red-cabbage-with-lemon-and-garlic/ http://holisticsquid.com/roasted-red-cabbage-with-lemon-and-garlic/#respond Mon, 18 May 2015 20:40:06 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=25671 Lately I’ve been trying to eat lighter. (Check out my slim down for summer challenge to learn why.) But for me this doesn’t mean chowing down of low-cal fake foods, artificial sweeteners, or other junk. It mostly means cutting back on the extra starchy stuff (bread, pasta, croissants) and  filling up on well-prepared seasonal veggies (to […]

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Roasted Red Cabbage with Lemon and Garlic - Holistic SquidLately I’ve been trying to eat lighter. (Check out my slim down for summer challenge to learn why.) But for me this doesn’t mean chowing down of low-cal fake foods, artificial sweeteners, or other junk. It mostly means cutting back on the extra starchy stuff (bread, pasta, croissants) and  filling up on well-prepared seasonal veggies (to go with some well-sourced meat, butter, eggs, and other real food staples).

This roasted red cabbage with garlic and lemon has been one of my most surprising favorites. Who knew the boring old cabbage could be so ah-mah-zing!

Typically I turn up my nose at cole slaw. Boiled cabbage – blech! But this stuff… wow.

A simple head of cabbage is transformed into satisfying, savory YUM.

I love to roast this up on a sunday, then have it with my lunches throughout the week. With it’s vibrant purple hue, it would also make a fun (and affordable) side dish for a dinner party or pot luck too.

Roasted Red Cabbage Ingredients

  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • coarse sea salt, to taste – I love this sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Roasted Red Cabbage Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Pull off the outer leaf of the cabbage and cut cabbage from the top to bottom into 1-inch thick slices. Place on a sheet pan. Crush garlic cloves and spread over each cabbage slice. With a spray or brush, spread with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper over each, then half the lemon and sprinkle lemon juice over top.
  3. Roast on the middle rack for 40 minutes, until edges are brown and crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Red Cabbage with Lemon and Garlic - Holistic Squid

Want more light and savory inspiration?

Even for the most organized families, getting healthy and delicious dinner on the table can be such a challenge.

That’s why my hubby and I created Real Plans – our new online meal planner that will revolutionize the way you get dinner on the table.

  • Stuck in a rut with the same old dinners? Our delicious, home-style recipes are kitchen-tested and family-approved.
  • Real Plans on CounterGot special dietary restrictions or tastes? We offer paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free plans in addition to traditional real food menus. Plus you can add and change recipes to your heart’s content.
  • Family of eight or party of one… We’ve got you covered with fully customizable portion sizes.
  • Dread grocery shopping? Our dynamic smart phone app makes shopping a breeze.

Plus handy bonuses like…

  • A weekly timeline to help you spend the least time possible slaving away in the kitchen.
  • Plan ahead options including a month’s recipes in advance, plus a double recipe each week to bank ‘fast food’ in the freezer.

Click here to subscribe to Real Plans now

Traditional, Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free plans available
Our 30 day money back guarantee makes Real Plans RISK FREE!

Real Plans Logo

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Does Oil Pulling Work? http://holisticsquid.com/does-oil-pulling-work/ http://holisticsquid.com/does-oil-pulling-work/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 19:40:51 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=25492 [I’m always in search of effective and affordable home remedies, and while I’ve heard many great things about the health benefits of oil pulling (basically swishing oil in your mouth), to be perfectly honest, every time I’ve tried it it’s made me gag. SO…. I’ve asked my fellow health blogger, Mindy Wood, to share what […]

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Does Oil Pulling Work? - Holistic Squid[I’m always in search of effective and affordable home remedies, and while I’ve heard many great things about the health benefits of oil pulling (basically swishing oil in your mouth), to be perfectly honest, every time I’ve tried it it’s made me gag. SO…. I’ve asked my fellow health blogger, Mindy Wood, to share what she learned in her quest to find out – does oil pulling work? Enjoy!]

I have to admit, I had no real reason to try oil pulling. It was more of an experiment based on the fact that it sounded cool, and that I’m naturally skeptical about anything that is trendy. So basically, I just wanted to know if the hype about oil pulling was a big pile of boloney or not.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is old, I mean really old. With recorded origins as far as 5000 years ago, oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method of dental and systemic cleansing where you swish oil in the mouth to help pull out the bacteria and toxins. Interesting … I tend to appreciate things that have been around for longer than time itself (hence, maybe not as much of a passing trend as I thought).

Ayurvedic science says that different parts of the tongue are connected to different parts of the body, so, oil pulling eliminates toxins from the whole body through the tongue. The idea is that fat soluble toxins (like heavy metals, parasites, pesticides, preservatives, and additives) are attracted to and absorbed by, the oil because it is lipophilic (meaning oil attracts other oil and fat). Cool.

So, I decided to give it a try without any idea what benefits I might experience. I guess I was just thinking I’d be less full of toxins, which is always good, right?

Choosing an oil for oil pulling

Sesame oil is the traditional oil choice for oil pulling and is the oil choice that most studies are based on, however, you can use just about any oil, preferably organic, non-GMO, and cold pressed.

Many people choose sesame oil since it is the traditional oil used for oil pulling and it has a gentler detoxifying effect. Another popular oil is sunflower oil which has a milder taste than sesame but has a similar detoxifying element.

I chose coconut oil because it contains lauric acid which is anti microbial. Also, coconut oil has been proven to kill most strains of Streptococcus bacteria (“strep”) so, oil pulling with coconut oil packs an added punch of healing. It’s also already in my kitchen cabinet, so, no added shopping trips. (source)

Does oil pulling work for oral health?

I’ve tried oil pulling a few times. Though I haven’t been able to keep up with it every day or for weeks at a time, I have still seen benefits. I noticed whiter teeth after only a few days, however, I don’t drink sugary drinks which I think helps any whitening attempt work faster.

My overall oral health seems to have improved (no more funk mouth in the morning). I also haven’t had any cavities in years, though I can’t say that is directly related to oil pulling.

And science backs up my experience. It turns out that oil pulling can reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth and reduce cavities. In a 2008 study, oil pulling (using sesame oil) caused a reduction in the number of Streptococcus Mutans in plaque in 1-2 weeks. The chlorhexidine mouthwash removed more, but comes with yucky side effects such as staining of teeth and alteration in taste perception. (source)

In another study, 100% of participants saw reduction in susceptibility to cavities, 50% of which saw significant reduction. This change has been attributed to the reduction in bacteria in the mouth from oil pulling. So, maybe my lack of cavities is related to oil pulling?

In yet another study, oil pulling reduced plaque and signs of gingivitis just as well as the traditional mouthwash.

Oil pulling was also found to be just as effective as mouthwash in reducing bad breath (and still without the yucky side effects of the mouthwash). (source)

Other benefits of oil pulling

Another benefit I saw was some improvement of the runny nose and eczema I get when I’m not careful to avoid dairy and gluten. This was a bit of a surprise to me because I didn’t know there were benefits beyond oral health when I started oil pulling.

According to the traditional Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, oil pulling may cure as many as 30 systemic illnesses including arthritis, diabetes, colitis, Crohn’s disease, constipation, hemorrhoids, asthma and bronchitis. Some other benefits include:

  • Whiter teeth
  • Reduced headaches and hangovers
  • Improved acne and eczema
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Hormone regulation
  • Improved heart, kidney, and liver function
  • Eased sinus congestion and allergies
  • Less back and neck pain

And it makes sense that oil pulling could cure, prevent, or treat these conditions since disease starts in the mouth and a direct link has already been found between oral health and diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis. (source)

It also makes sense that if oil pulling kills bacteria and the presence of bacteria causes inflammation then oil pulling would have an anti inflammatory effect and could then ease symptoms associated with diseases that are related to inflammation.

How to do oil pulling

Oil pulling is pretty simple actually:

  1. Choose an oil. This is the coconut oil I use. In the case of solid coconut oil, it will melt quickly once it’s in your mouth.
  2. Swish for up to 20 minutes. If you get tired, swish more gently or take small breaks. It’s best to oil pull first thing in the morning before breakfast and teeth brushing (many people do it in the shower), but any time of day is fine and beneficial.
  3. Spit into the trash. Don’t spit it into the drain (or on the ground like I did), especially if you are using coconut oil, because it could cause a clog.

Start with just five minutes and work your way up to the full twenty. Many people (including myself) experience some detox side effects after beginning oil pulling.

My side effects included a mild headache, just feeling sort of icky and looking washed out. I took it as a good sign that my body was getting rid of toxins, but it’s hard to deal with feeling sick to start feeling better, ya know? So, when I backed off to five minutes of oil pulling, I didn’t feel sick. I then slowly increased oil pulling time until I reached the full twenty minutes without detox side effects.

I also noticed that after the detox effects wore off, I felt better than I did before oil pulling.

Ready to try oil pulling for yourself? This is the coconut oil I recommend.

Does oil pulling work for you?
Let us know in the comments!

Does Oil Pulling Work? - Holistic Squid

Mindy Headshot squareAfter getting caught up in the go, go, go, and buy, buy, buy, of modern living, I found myself unhappy and exhausted. I soon embraced a slower life and now write about simple living at PurposefullySimple.com.

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Join the Slim Down for Summer Challenge http://holisticsquid.com/join-the-slim-down-for-summer-challenge/ http://holisticsquid.com/join-the-slim-down-for-summer-challenge/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 19:42:43 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=25604 I’ve made it pretty clear around here that I’m not a fan of dieting, and I am a huge proponent of healthy body image. For most months of the year, I’m happy to enjoy as much butter, bacon, ice cream (and even chocolate croissants) as my heart desires, choosing from great grass-fed, organic sources whenever possible, of course. […]

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Slim Down for Summer Challenge - Holistic SquidI’ve made it pretty clear around here that I’m not a fan of dieting, and I am a huge proponent of healthy body image.

For most months of the year, I’m happy to enjoy as much butter, bacon, ice cream (and even chocolate croissants) as my heart desires, choosing from great grass-fed, organic sources whenever possible, of course. For the most part, carrying a few extra pounds is fine with me when I am feeling good and enjoying my life.

That said, I am also a woman who wants to look good and feel confident when I put a bikini on at the beach this summer. You know what I mean?

To top it all off, I happen to be turning 40 in just over a month, and I have a personal goal to slim down and be feeling pretty fabulous when my fourth decade of life rolls around.

So, I’ve decided to throw my version of an introvert’s party – a cyber celebration in the form of a Slim Down for Summer Challenge. This is my way of getting you and a bunch of other girlfriends all together to motivate, inspire, and just keep each other company as we use swimsuit season as a good reason to take charge of the areas of our health, diet, and fitness where we may be slacking.

What’s healthy and fit mean to me?

Before we dive right in, I want to get a few things straight. When I say “Slim Down for Summer”, I am NOT talking about fad diets, dangerous calorie restriction, over-exercising, or doing anything else that is unhealthy or unwise.

I also believe there is no one single formula for weight loss, since we all have different bodies with different needs.

These are the principles that I stand by:

  • Eat real food. No processed junk, artificial sweeteners, low fat nonsense. No exceptions.
  • Move your body. This will mean different things to different people on different days. But movement is life.
  • Heal (and protect) your metabolism. This is absolutely essential to maintaining a healthy weight and overall good health.
  • Be good to yourself. Unlocking ways to destress and break unhealthy patterns and habits – including getting enough sleep – cannot be underestimated on the road to optimal health.
  • Be your own detective. There’s no one right way to be healthy, it’s up to you to figure out what your body needs.

By adopting the principles above, I’ve been able to shed some winter layers, have more energy, and feel better in my skin. My biggest challenges that I’m still working on are stress management and getting enough sleep.

Where could you use some extra help?

Let’s work together

Whether it’s losing weight, getting fit, or simply feeling better in your skin – we could all use some support reaching your healthy living goals.

Personally, I know I do better when it comes to fitness and health goals when I have a buddy. So what better way to get motivated than getting y’all to join in with me?

How it works

It’s super easy. Simply enter your email address and name in the form below and you’re IN!

Then leave a comment (if you’re so inspired) to tell us what your goals are – little or big, specific or general – it doesn’t matter.

Every few days, I’ll be sending out my top tips for healthy weight loss. Not just your run-of-the-mill “eat less, exercise more” nonsense, but helpful, insightful things that have worked (and still are) along my own journey to a healthier me.

Along the way we will have opportunities to come together to support one enough and share ideas for reaching our Slim Down for Summer goals.

Ready?

Join the Slim Down for Summer Challenge now




 * required

What are your goals for the Slim Down for Summer Challenge?

What are your biggest obstacles
to losing weight/getting fit/feeling healthy?

Join the Slim Down for Summer Challenge - Holistic Squid

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Paleo Pizza on Portobello Caps http://holisticsquid.com/paleo-pizza-on-portobello-caps/ http://holisticsquid.com/paleo-pizza-on-portobello-caps/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 16:03:16 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=25536 Whether it’s gluten-free deep dish pizza or grain-free cauliflower crust, I love dreaming up ways to make a healthy pizza recipe that satisfies my standards for comfort, fun, and flavor. My most recent adventure has been perfecting paleo pizza – a task that proved to be harder that it first seemed. When it comes to grain-free […]

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Paleo Pizza with Portobello Cap Crusts - Holistic SquidWhether it’s gluten-free deep dish pizza or grain-free cauliflower crust, I love dreaming up ways to make a healthy pizza recipe that satisfies my standards for comfort, fun, and flavor. My most recent adventure has been perfecting paleo pizza – a task that proved to be harder that it first seemed.

When it comes to grain-free pizza, there are lots of creative options out there – and I’ve tried them all. Let me just spare you from trying to make ground meat into crust, a.k.a. “meat-sa”. It is essentially a very large burger and does not resemble pizza in the slightest. My gluten-free pizza crust is remarkably good, but it contains potato, rice, and corn flours that are definitely not paleo. While crusts made of nut or root flours are often passable, they almost always seem like a mediocre substitution for the real deal.

This paleo pizza on portobello caps is – by far – my favorite. The mushrooms create a perfect holder for whatever topping you can dream up. Personally I love to load them up with a flavorful Italian sausage, a simple tomato sauce, and a smattering of kale.

Portobellos add extra flavor and texture that doesn’t need to apologize for it’s lack of traditional crust-ness. And if you happen to be eating dairy, you can sprinkle on some grass fed mozzarella to take your pizza experience to a primal level.

Paleo Pizza ingredients

For the crust:

  • 8 portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse sea salt, to taste – this is my favorite sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

For the toppings:

  • 1 pound Italian pork sausage, from forage fed hogs
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Primal option: 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Paleo pizza method

For the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to broiling.
  2. Wipe dirt off dry mushrooms, remove stems, and use a spoon to gently scrape the gills from the underside of the caps.
  3. Brush olive oil inside the cap of each mushroom.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and broil for 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350F.

For the filling:

  1. Mince the garlic. Remove sausage from casing. In a bowl, combine pork sausage, garlic, sea salt, and pepper. Mix with hands until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a medium saucepan, cook the sausage mixture until browned (about five minutes) using a wooden spoon to break apart and turn over continuously to ensure even browning.
  3. Strip leafy greens from the tough spine and discard the roughage. Finely mince the kale and steam in a small saucepan with a splash of water covered. When bright green remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Gently distribute the meat mixture evenly into each mushroom cap.
  5. Stir basil and oregano into the tomato sauce and pour sauce over the meat in the mushroom caps. Sprinkle on kale and optional cheese.
  6. Return caps to the oven for 3-5 minutes to allow sauce to warm (and optional cheese to melt until bubbly).
  7. Serve hot, or make a big batch to have for quick and easy meals throughout the week.

Paleo Pizza with Portobello Cap Crusts - Holistic Squid

Want more paleo/primal dinner inspiration?

Even for the most organized families, getting healthy and delicious dinner on the table can be such a challenge.

That’s why my hubby and I created Real Plans – our new online meal planner that will revolutionize the way you get dinner on the table.

  • Stuck in a rut with the same old dinners? Our delicious, home-style recipes are kitchen-tested and family-approved.
  • Real Plans on CounterGot special dietary restrictions or tastes? We offer paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free plans in addition to traditional real food menus. Plus you can add and change recipes to your heart’s content.
  • Family of eight or party of one… We’ve got you covered with fully customizable portion sizes.
  • Dread grocery shopping? Our dynamic smart phone app makes shopping a breeze.

Plus handy bonuses like…

  • A weekly timeline to help you spend the least time possible slaving away in the kitchen.
  • Plan ahead options including a month’s recipes in advance, plus a double recipe each week to bank ‘fast food’ in the freezer.

Click here to subscribe to Real Plans now

Traditional, Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free plans available
Our 30 day money back guarantee makes Real Plans RISK FREE!

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6 Surprising Health Benefits of Fermented Foods http://holisticsquid.com/6-surprising-health-benefits-of-fermented-foods/ http://holisticsquid.com/6-surprising-health-benefits-of-fermented-foods/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 13:00:16 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=25337 I’ve written lots before on the health benefits of fermented foods, and for good reason. Apart from weird crunchy mamas like me who serve my kids sauerkraut with breakfast, make my own cultured ketchup, and have kombucha brewing on my countertop, fermented foods are a part of traditional diets that have been all but forgotten in our modern convenience-driven way of life. I believe […]

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6 Surprising Health Benefits of Fermented Foods - Holistic Squid

I’ve written lots before on the health benefits of fermented foods, and for good reason. Apart from weird crunchy mamas like me who serve my kids sauerkraut with breakfast, make my own cultured ketchup, and have kombucha brewing on my countertop, fermented foods are a part of traditional diets that have been all but forgotten in our modern convenience-driven way of life.

I believe it’s time for a resurgence.

The practice of deliberately letting foods sour or ferment, outside of refrigeration, (also called lacto-fermentation or culturing) not only makes foods diversely delicious, it also improves their digestibility and introduces essential beneficial microbes into our diets as well.

The more we re-connect with these foods, the more we realize that the health benefits of fermented foods extend far beyond a healthy tummy.

Learning from our ancestors

Nearly every traditional culture has enjoyed fermented foods as part of their regular diet. In Asian countries, fermented soybean paste and pickled fruits and veggies pair with most meals. In El Salvador they ferment the core of pineapple into vinegar. In Eastern Europe, sauerkraut and pickles pair with many dishes. Many cultures enjoy cheeses that have live cultures intact. Fish ferments into lox. Beef cures into pastrami. Even wine and unpasteurized beer are fermented.

Show me a traditional culture that thrived in human history, and I’m sure we can point to at least one – if not several – fermented food that they regularly consumed.

These days, traditional food prep practices have become less of a necessity, as we’ve opted for so called ‘easier’ techniques that provide long shelf stability. We use vinegar to pickle cucumbers and pasteurized everything to make it more shelf-stable.

Growing up in the 80’s, the only fermented food I consumed on a regular basis was non-fat yogurt. It was something, but probably not enough to prevent teenage acne and mood swings, and a host of low level digestive imbalances.

These days, fermented foods are starting to make a comeback. It’s not unusual to find health food store shelves stocked with kombucha, kimchi, miso, and traditionally prepared sauerkraut. On a good day, I can even buy unpasteurized soy sauce or coconut water kefir.

Aside from simply enhancing their nutritional profile and improving digestive health, you may be surprised to learn of some less well-known health benefits of fermented foods.

6 surprising health benefits of fermented foods

1 – Fermentation increases nutrient absorption

Eat all of the “good food” that you want, but if it never gets broken down and absorbed properly, the nutritional benefits are minimal.

Raw fermented foods create active organisms that get to work as soon as they enter our bodies. They help balance your gut bacteria (with probiotics), deliver important enzymes, and balance your stomach acid pH, all of which increases your ability to break down foods so nutrients are more available to you. (source)

Study after study has found that fermenting foods increases the bioavailability of minerals through the breakdown of phytate (an “anti-nutrient”) and the fortification of folate, among other effects. (source) An increase in the intake of foods such as sauerkraut and homemade yogurt has been shown to increase the bioavailability of B vitamins and K2 in the body.

Other nutrients found to be more bio-available through fermentation include biotin, riboflavin omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid. (source)

2 – Fermented foods can improve brain function

When it comes to psycho-emotional conditions, western medicine offers some band aid solutions, but none that actually address the root cause. Fermented foods may be part of a lasting solution.

Research shows probiotic activity can help improve brain function which can lead to a positive effect on mood and fatigue. The presence of the helpful bacteria in the gut can increase the body’s production of certain neurochemicals, like gamma-aminobutyric acid which relieves anxiety, improves mood, reduces symptoms of PMS and has been found to treat ADHD. (source)

GABA (a.k.a.Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is actually a supplement readily available in health food stores. Although supplements can be helpful in the short term, you can begin to address the root cause of mood-related conditions with a nutrient dense diet rich in well-sourced saturated fats and protein and fermented foods.

3 – Fermented foods promote healthy skin

It’s no mystery that the health of our skin is linked to what we put in our bodies.

A 2007 Swedish study showed that infants with low levels of healthy intestinal flora were more likely to develop eczema.

Additionally, an overabundance of toxins and undigested material in our intestines can contribute to “leaky gut syndrome.” This can cause an inability to eliminate these materials correctly. Our body needs to purge somehow, and this happens through the skin in the form of anomalies like pimples, bumps, rashes and eczema.

Beyond fermented foods, be sure to consume a diet that includes homemade bone broth and plenty of well-sourced animal fats to help support healthy, radiant skin.

4 – Fermented foods can help with weight loss

Research shows that healthy gut flora has a significant impact on the regulation of weight loss and energy availability. The rate at which we metabolize calories is increased when the amount of probiotics in our system is higher.

Additionally, it has been found that when our intestines are damaged by bad bacteria, inflammation and poor digestion increase the chances of metabolic disorders known to be connected to weight gain and a decreased ability to burn calories efficiently. (source)

5 – Fermented foods can fortify your immune system

Your gut is one of the first places unwelcome and detrimental organisms enter your body. About 70% of your body’s immune cells reside in your gut. (source)

When your gut is an unhealthy environment that supports bacterial bad guys (high sugar intake, etc), you are more vulnerable to colds, flus and other infections because your body is working overtime just to regulate things.

With an increase in good bacteria, it follows that there is less room for bad bacteria to flourish. The more you replace bacteria and the compounds that feed them with healthier organisms, the less chance you’ll end up with disease causing inflammation and other reactions the body has to foreign substances.

6 – Fermented foods can help reduce the risk of some cancers

Inflammation is suspected to be a large contributing factor is many cancers, and as we’ve discussed, a diet that includes fermented foods can decrease inflammation in our bodies.

In addition to significant evidence that, in general, many foods we eat can contribute to cancer prevention, it has also been found that eating raw cultured vegetables helps prevent colon cancer because of the lactic acid’s ability to inhibit cell mutation. (source) Specifically, fermenting cabbage into sauerkraut or kimchi increases glucosinolate compounds that are believed to have cancer fighting properties.

Ready to make your own?

These days you can find an array of probiotic rich, fermented foods at your local health food store. If you’re ready to get started making your own, you’ll find that homemade ferments will save you a ton of money (and are fun too!).

Here are a few:

Not ready to make your own? Click here for a great source to order fermented veggies online.

Surprised by the health benefits of fermented foods?
Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Fermented Foods - Holistic Squid

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GIVEAWAY: $250 Shopping Spree to Thrive Market http://holisticsquid.com/save-money-on-groceries-thrive-market/ http://holisticsquid.com/save-money-on-groceries-thrive-market/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 17:21:46 +0000 http://holisticsquid.com/?p=25469 The longer I write this blog, the pickier I get about products and services that I share with you. So today I’m super excited to announce a special giveaway from my favorite new company – Thrive Market – my new-found secret to save money on groceries with zero hassle. If you haven’t heard of them yet, […]

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Thrive Market Giveaway - Holistic SquidThe longer I write this blog, the pickier I get about products and services that I share with you. So today I’m super excited to announce a special giveaway from my favorite new company – Thrive Market – my new-found secret to save money on groceries with zero hassle.

If you haven’t heard of them yet, Thrive Market is a new membership-only site that delivers non-perishable real food, supplements, personal care, beauty products and home goods straight to your door at wholesale prices with FREE shipping on orders over $49.

Health-conscious, convenient, and shockingly affordable

As a busy mom, I’m a huge fan of convenience. But as a crunchy, healthy conscious mom, I am super picky about the quality of food and household products I buy. You can often find me researching the perfect can of tuna or non-toxic dishwashing soap or scouring labels to make sure my seaweed snacks and potato chips don’t contain canola or other nasty polyunsaturated oils.

Here’s a little fact you probably already know:  Living a healthy lifestyle requires precious time to research the best choices at the best prices.

Which brings me to my good news… Thrive Market specializes in bringing you healthy products with easy ordering and quick delivery. The best part is that it’s all for WAY cheaper than you could have gotten it at your favorite health food store or online retailer.

Did it really help me save money on groceries though?

Check it out…

For my most recent order at Thrive I purchased:

  • 2 bottles of Red Boat Fish Sauce, $6.45 each
  • 6 cans Wild Planet Albacore Tuna, $3.45 each
  • 1 case Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip LaraBars, $18.95
  • 6 bag of Jackson’s Honest Coconut Oil Potato Chips, $4.45 each
  • Truce Wood Cleaner, $4.95
  • 24 Sea Snax Grab and Go size, $0.95 each

My grand total came to $107 (before I applied an extra 20% off coupon that I received in my inbox).

Ok… Seemed reasonable and it was convenient, but just out of curiosity, I hopped over to Amazon (where I usually shop for pure convenience) and plugged in the same order.

For the same items, my total came to $170.23 – nine bucks of this was because one of the items wouldn’t ship for free with my Amazon Prime membership.

Holy moly. A 37% savings (before my coupon) was enough to make me,  Miss-Convenience-Over-Price, do a happy dance.

Why Thrive Market is worth it

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably asking – What’s the catch? I don’t get wholesale prices, just because, right?

Like Costco and Netflix, Thrive Market is a membership community. By paying the equivalent of just $5/month, your membership fee makes it possible for Thrive to search high and low for the best products, buy them directly from suppliers, and pass on a savings to us.

After a 30-day free trial an annual Thrive Market membership costs $59.95. But, before you decide it’s not worth it, consider that on my first order alone, I saved $63.23!

TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Plus, with every paid membership, Thrive sponsors one low-income family to have access to these great products and prices too, making healthy choices affordable to more people.

Not only will Thrive make your life easier, but you’ll be helping another family save money on groceries too.

Enter to win a $250 shopping spree to Thrive Market

One of you, my lucky readers, is going to win a $250 gift certificate to Thrive Market. And not only that, but 10 more of you will win a free one-year membership. That’s a whole year to shop natural and organic products for 25-50% below retail prices.

Once you enter the giveaway, you can start shopping with your free 30-day trial. AND your first order is 15% off the already wholesale prices.

Click here to enter the $250 giveaway

Hurry! This contest ends Monday May 11th at midnight, so enter now!

Thrive Market Giveaway $250 - Holistic Squid

 

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