My car is now a cafe

So busy. So so so busy. That is life nowadays. We rush from place to place and grab food wherever we can. I know now that nursing school for me, is in full swing, I spend so much time on campus and then rushing around trying to get errands done. This has lead to a resurgence in fast food in my world. I can tell you, that does not feel good. While I am on fire in my workouts, I can’t out excersize bad nutrition. Not to mention I can’t afford the hit to my wallet haha. So I came up with a solution. My car is now a cafe. Before you as no, I am not open to the public, and no, I have not lost my mind
I have designed an on the go healthy eating resivour that will travel with me. I gathered snacks, utensils, hand wipes, condiment packets, and even a mini cooler that keeps things cold for 24hrs. All of this in my car will ensure that when I am out and about I have no shortage of healthy options. I have heard of others keeping food with them on the go but until now, I didn’t have a clue what to put in it. I felt blocked. Thankfully I found some inspiration and now I will share a few ideas with you. I gathered up a fun mix of carbs, protein, and fat, to make my box a well rounded source of nutrition. Some of these items are not perfectly paleo but, I still feel they count as whole food.


Indivudually wrapped dill pickles (these take care of my potato chip cravings)

Single serve hummus packs

Single serving guacamole packs 

Mama chia squeeze packs

Grass fed jerky

Single servings of nuts 

Healthy kettle corn 

Individual nut butter packs

Single serving carrot packs

Salad mix in serving sized containers

Grapes

Oranges

Apples 

Grass fed/ raw cheese

Lunch meat 

Cooked bacon slices 

Paleo wraps

doTERRA slim and sassy gum/ capsules (crush cravings and boost metabolism

Condiment packages of mustard and mayo, hot sauce, and barbeque sauce

Apple slicer, mini cutting board, Knives, forks, hand wipes and a cooler that lasts 24hrs.


These are just some ideas and inspiration for you all to use. It us born out of my personal struggle to fuel my body and leave fast food out of everyday life. When I have this in my car now, I have my own personal cafe. I can grab a snack for class, take a moment to make a crazy good salad or wrap, or refuel after a hard workout. With a cooler on hand, the possibilities are endless I can pack a soup, steak bites or other leftovers from dinner for a completely prepped lunch with no hassle. All of this in my car, on the go. 
I hope you find this helpful! If you do something similar I would love to hear what you keep on hand. I also want to see pictures of your on the go car systems. Head over to instagram and post them, just make sure to tag me in them so I can see or use the hashtag #mycarisacafe 

-Ladybug 

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Rest and Digest

This year has been a rollar coaster. I can’t wait to have a break and finally get to a few things around the house. This crazy busy time has led me to reflect on a few things though.
We spend our lives stressed out. When we are stressed our sympathetic nervous system is active. This system kicks in our “fight or flight” mode. Our heart beats faster, our blood sugar raises, our digestion is put on hold and our pupils dilate. All great things if we are being chased by a bear, not so great if we are sitting in traffic. Did you notice where I said our blood sugars raise? Imagine now what happens when our blood sugar is raised due to stress and we grab a doughnut in the morning for breakfast. Our sugars go sky high and if left uncontrolled, diabetes eventually follows.

 While many of us are not grabbing a doughnut for breakfast, we are still eating while we are stressed and that still has an extremely negative impact on our blood sugar. So how do we calm down?
The sympathetic nervous system has a partner system called the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is meant to kick in after stress is over.Often referred to as our “rest and digest” mode, this system lowers our blood sugar, returns our heartbeat to normal and turns our digestion back on. Pretty important huh? In today’s world though, the stress never seems to be over. This means we have to actually remind our bodies to manually kick on the parasympathetic nervous system. We can actually do that by breathing. Sounds simple right? See we have a nerve in our nose called the olfactory nerve and when we breathe in deeply and slowly, this nerve is activated. This nerve is directly linked to the parasympathetic nervous system. Essentially serving as a manual switch that turns the sympathetic system off and the parasympathetic on. I want to share a technique I recently learned and have empolyed with great success. 

Before eating take a deep breath in through your nose, while mentally counting to 4. Hold this breathe for a count of 10, then slowly blow out through your mouth. It is important to blow out slowly or you may feel light headed. Repeat 10 times. 

Your parasympathetic system should now be fully engaged and your body is ready to digest your food without spiking your blood sugar. This means better nutrient absorption, lower blood sugars and frankly a better eating experience. Don’t forget to put away all electronic devices and treat every meal like a special occasion. 

I hope this helps you understand the why behind relaxing while eating and gives you the tools that you need. Drop a comment below if you have questions I love to hear from my readers!

Mm mm Bone Broth

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Bone broth is magical. Remember when you were sick and Grandma would always give you chicken soup? That is because “back in the day” chicken soup was made with bone broth as its base. Who knew?!
Bone broth is derived from you guessed it, bones. Specifically bones simmered low and slow for a many hours. This allows the bones to semi break down and release all that stored up collagen, gelatin, amino acid and vitamins/ minerals into a broth for our consumption.

Some of the reported health benefits are
-younger looking skin
-repair of leaky gut
-quicker recovery from ingesting gluten  -stronger bones
-better joint health and a whole lot more.
I am a huge believer in bone broth for digestive health. Collagen is vital in healing inflammation and repairing leaky gut.

Are you ready to cook your own yet? Overall this dish is incredibly simple. All you need is veggies, water, bones seasoning and a little time. 

Here is my base recipe
*1.5 lbs of beef marrow bone
*1.5 lbs of oxtail (ask the person at the butcher counter)
4 carrots
1/2 an onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 stalks of celery
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (important to facilitate the breakdown of the bones)

*I use beef most often but you can also swap in bones from 1-2 whole chickens or a few turkey necks, lamb bones or pork. It all depends on what kind of broth you want.
I always recommend using bones from grass fed animals but, some broth is better than no broth so go with what you can afford.

Method #1- The pressure cooker.

I use the Instant pot to make mine. Precious bone broth in a little over 2 hours? Yes please!

Place all ingredients in the instant pot and pour water until it reaches the max fill line.

Select manual time of 120min at high pressure.

When the instant pot has finished and decompressed, strain out the solids and. Let cool.

Once cooled scrap off the top layer of hard white fat. Store the rest in the fridge.

Method #2 – Slow cooker

Add the bones and cover with water until the pot is about 3/4 full.

Add the apple cider vinegar.

Simmer on low/medium for 46 hours

After 46 hours add the veggies and let it go for another 2-3 hours. (Until the veggies are completely soft.)

Strain and store.

Method #3- Stove top

Get a big stockpot and place the bones and apple cider vinegar in it.

Add enough water to fill the pot and cover with a lid.

Simmer on low for 46 hours

After 46 hours add the veggies in and simmer uncovered for 3 hours. Make sure you keep it on low and that your broth doesn’t evaporate off. If your water level goes down more than 1inch, cover your pot again.

After 3 hours strain the solids and let cool.

Scrape the fat off and store.

Bone broth can be stored in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

So, there you have it. Three ways to cook up liquid gold. You can now use it with almost anything. You can use it as a bases for soups.
Swap it out for water when your cooking rice, pasta, veggies etc.
Of course you could always drink it straight. What are some ways you use bone broth? Share some ideas in the comments below!

Ginger paste tutorialΒ 

Ginger paste might seem like an odd ingredient however, many oreintal recipes call for this simple ingredient.  Whenever you see a recipe call for dried ginger, ginger powder or fresh ginger you can sub in some ginger paste.  Since this is made with fresh ginger less is always more.  Ginger paste is also called for as a headache remedy.  You can see my post on headache relief here.

You could go to the store and search the aisles of the grocery store and pay $4 a bottle for ginger paste, OR you could make your own for waaaay cheaper. 
So without further ado here is all you need to make your very own ginger paste.  


*1 knob of ginger (size doesn’t matter)

*1-3 tablespoons of water (depends on the amount of ginger you use)


Yeah, just two ingredients.  Ginger and water.  Could it be any easier?  Make sure you peel the ginger.  I like to use a knife instead of a typical peeler.  Between the thickness of the skin and all the nooks and crannies on a piece of ginger it just comes out better with a knife. (I nearly sliced my finger off trying use a peeler. 😱)

  

Here we have our ginger peeled and cut into medium sized chunks.  Blend until it looks like the picture below. 

 
At this stage we add water.  Only add 1 tablespoon at a time and blend on high. After a few seconds check the consistency before adding more water.  In order to keep your paste at the right consistency (a thick “paste” πŸ˜‰ ) only a little water is needed.  If you do add too much water you can do 1 of 3 things.  Strain it, add more ginger or simply dab your paste with a paper towel.  Because we are dealing with a small amount of stuff; you may have to stop the blender a couple times to stir. 

   
There you go!  Your very own homemade ginger paste using only two ingredients.  Store it in an air tight container for up to a month or freeze little cubes of it for up to 6 months.  If you are really worried about freshness in the fridge; add a drop of high quality lemon essential oil.  One drop will do. 


Use this for hassle free cooking in place of other forms of ginger or to ease your headache pain.  If you come up with new ways to use this in your kitchen or around the home make sure to leave a comment.  I can’t wait to see what you all come up with.  Enjoy!

-Lady Bug