Grab a cup of tea and sit down for some good reads. It’s the Wholesome Weekend Roundup featuring my top health and wellness links from around the web this week.


8 Ways to Beat a Cold or Flu Fast – Cold and flu season is upon us. Recover faster by fasting, using healing herbs and more. Click the link to see what else you can do to beat a cold or the flu as fast as possible.

It’s Time for Us to Help Grow More Farmers – “Who will grow our food if the farming population continues to die off and young farmers aren’t taken seriously? Where will our food come from?” Farms > Factories.

Improving Your Health by Ditching Desks and Chairs – I love the idea of a standing work station. I typed this while sitting down.

The Paleo Diet Works Better Than Standard Nutritional Recommendations – It sure does! How is this still a debate though? Why would you debate against a diet that our species consumed for hundreds and thousands of years as we evolved? Ugh! Vegans…

 8 Sneaky Ways to Burn Calories for the Days You Can’t Make it to the Gym – Stand more, sit less. Plan a walking date. Engage your core. And maybe do a burpee or two.

How Toxic Relationships Ruin Your Health, According to Science – I’ve had to get rid of a few toxic people in my life over the last several years. But I’m better off for it…and they’re still toxic. But that’s now someone else’s problem.

6 Natural Treatments for Achilles Tendon Pain – Where was this health article last summer when I was in the boot of shame?

Why Do I Gain Weight When I Exercise? – This hasn’t happened to me. However, I’ve had a few friends train for marathons and I’ve seen them mysteriously gain noticeable weight during their training process. But like this article quotes, “Exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss”.

This Could Be the Article that Stops You From Eating Non-Organic Wheat – I don’t eat wheat, organic or not. But if you do eat wheat, read this article because it’s very important to know what eating glyphosate for breakfast, lunch and dinner is doing to your health.

Is Your Body Aging Prematurely? Here’s How to Reverse It – Move, move, move! I’ve started back up with my gym routine and I already feel a lot better and younger.

4 Simple Steps to Kick Your Cravings to the Curb – When I noticed this was written by Dr. Hyman I knew that one of the 4 steps would be to eat more fat. Click on the link to find out why he thinks eating more fat will reduce your cravings.

Are You Doing All You Can to Maintain High Quality Home Air? – As it gets colder, we’re spending more time indoors. Make sure the air inside your house is clean before you hunker down for the winter.

Have a warm and healthy week!









I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I heard that Whole30 co-creator Melissa Hartwig was coming out with a new book called Food Freedom Forever.


I like food and I like freedom. But do I really need freedom from food? Forever? Does anyone?

The simple answer: yes.

We are slaves to the food industry, the diet industry, the fitness industry, etc. We step on scales more often than is sane, count our calories religiously and restrict foods that we think will make us fat. Except that doesn’t work because it just leads to binges later on down the road. I know this from personal experience. Perhaps you do too. So what exactly is Melissa Hartwig implying in this book? She’s implying that we need help letting go of bad habits, guilt, and anxiety around food (read the cover and you’ll see).

I like Melissa’s writing style. She’s straight-forward and tells it how it is. You need freedom from food. You need to stop your bad food habits and quit being anxious about your food choices. She flat out tells you that food freedom doesn’t happen overnight.

So then how do we free ourselves from bad habits, guilt and anxiety surrounding food? You need a food reset.

Now I’m almost 100% sure that the majority of you reading this have heard of a Whole30 challenge by now since it’s kind of gone mainstream. Am I right? Comment below if you’ve ever completed a Whole30 challenge. I have and I’ve been meaning to do it again. But after the holidays. Because Whole30-ing on Christmas is not food freedom at all. But I digress…

If you haven’t heard of Whole30, here’s what it is. Whole30 is a 30 day food challenge that doesn’t include calorie restriction or insane bouts of hunger. Instead, for 30 days you completely eliminate the foods that have been determined (by science and stuff) to be the most commonly problematic in the areas of cravings, metabolism, digestion, and immune system. This means absolutely no sugar of any kind (real or artificial), no alcohol in any form, no gluten, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no carageenan, no MSG, no added sulfites (bye, bye balsamic vinegar), no baked goods that resemble treats or crappy carbage, no cheating, and definitely NO SCALES!!

You can also design your own reset if you’re so inclined. Some people restrict a little more. For example, also eliminating caffeine in all forms. Some people restrict a little less. For example, maybe they know that rice isn’t problematic for them so they continue to eat it. Ultimately you do what works best for YOU.

The ultimate goal of the reset is optimal health and food freedom. It’s also supposed to help you become aware of your trigger foods. Perhaps you realize that after you’ve completed your reset that you do fine with a glass or two of wine every now and then. Cool. Drink up! Or maybe you realize that a glass or two of wine every now and then leads to a glass or two of wine every night. Become aware of what helps you thrive and what doesn’t. It’s all about awareness.

You’ll add back in foods that you’ve eliminated slowly. Ideally one at a time. Add dairy back in first. See how your body reacts. If you add both dairy and gluten back in at the same time and you have a negative reaction, how are you going to know if it’s the dairy that caused it or the gluten that caused it, or both?

If you’re looking for the answers to questions such as “What’s with my crazy food cravings?”, “Why does dairy upset my tummy?” and “Why on Earth am I eating all this dark chocolate night after night when I know I should just eat it in moderation every now and then?”, perhaps you should seek answers in Food Freedom Forever. Many of your answers are there, as well as ways to deal with setbacks like significant others, holidays and feeling left out when all the teachers in the teachers lounge are eating donuts and you’re not. Even though they went out of their way to buy you a gluten free one. But you don’t want it because you’ve found food freedom forever.


If you’ve already read this book (or any health book for that matter), please join Carrie and I today for our Healthy Blogger Book Club and post your link to a health book review in the comments below. If you can’t join us this month, that’s okay. We’d love to have you join us on January 5th when we read and review Eat Dirt by Dr. Josh Axe.

How do you define food freedom? How do you deal with cravings and all the diet crazes in the mainstream?




What I Ate Wednesday is a food gawking link-up party created by Jenn and hosted by Laura and Arman each Wednesday. Join me as I share some things I ate.


Hallo! I started learning German via the DuoLingo app this week. I’m currently 4% fluent in German according to the app. But nein. All I can say is “hallo” and “Ich bin eine Frau.” And of course, “Scheisse!”. I was saying scheisse a lot this past week because work and sugar got me down.

I had been going strong with no added sugar. But then I came across some candy and all hell broke loose. I couldn’t stop and woke up Sunday morning with a massive migraine and a hungover feeling. The worst part? I didn’t consume any alcohol and the candy didn’t contain any chocolate. So not worth it! So from now on, I’m vowing to get my sugar fix from natural sources like fruit (but not a lot of it) and real dark chocolate bars that contain at least 72% dark chocolate or more. Anyone who thinks Hershey’s special dark bars are real chocolate needs some serious nutrition education. Just saying…

Anywho…you’re here for the food. Can I start by showing you my Thanksgiving plate? Being thankful for food and friends is what Thanksgiving is all about.


I bought an organic turkey breast and attempted to cook it. I was partially successful. My tart cranberry sauce came out much better than the turkey. I also roasted up some Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, garlic and shallots for a side dish. Plus mixed greens and this flavorful dressing from Hilary’s.

Other highlights from this week of eats include a quick breakfast of tea, a hard-boiled egg and this pack of Oloves that my friend Tiffany gifted me.


I followed up this meal with a sweaty gym session and an opal apple.


I had never heard of or tried opal apples before moving to the Pacific Northwest, but they’re in every market right now. And they’re delicious.

For lunch I used some leftover turkey and made creamy turkey zoodle soup.


The base was homemade chicken broth blended up with some steamed cauliflower. Then I added diced up leftover turkey, some carrot slices, some celery, diced onion and half a zucchini.

Dinner also featured zucchini and was ground beef mixed with marinara sauce over zoodles.


I usually follow up dinner with some dark chocolate squares but I’m trying to cut back and eventually ween myself off needing a sweet treat to end my night. So instead I drank some herbal tea to help with sugar cravings.

I don’t know what it is with me. There are people who eat copious amounts of sugar and aren’t aware of what it does to them or how it makes them feel. I’ve always had this crazy awareness of what food does to my body and my mind. Melissa Hartwig once said, “Awareness is a bitch.” And she was right.

By the way, tomorrow is the first Thursday of December. So don’t forget to join Carrie and I for our Healthy Blogger Book Club. We’re discussing Food Freedom Forever by none other than Melissa Hartwig. See you tomorrow!

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you score some sweet Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals?