Monday, September 22, 2014

How to Stock a Grain-Free Kitchen

Now that I've told you my story about going grain-free, I thought I'd offer up my tips for keeping a grain-free kitchen. Anytime you take on a new lifestyle, it calls for cleaning out your kitchen and stocking up with new ingredients to match. Switching from gluten-free to grain-free is an easy transition. There are just a few more items to restrict but, for the most part my kitchen remains the same.

Along with all of my programs, I send my clients a "grocery list". Essentially, it's a list of what to keep in their home at all times. As you know, some household items are purchased monthly, while others are purchased weekly. Same goes for this list. When starting out, it seems like a lot. Once you're in the swing of things, it's actually a fairly simple and budget-friendly list.

I've also spoke before on my very tight grocery budget. While this list might be a starting point that you'll add to, for me it's exactly what I create my daily dishes with. Besides special menu items for my Husband, this is the extent of what I buy and is what my diet is made up of. It's how I stay healthy. It works for me! And I hope it can benefit you as well. Check it out...


  • Almond flour 
  • Coconut flour 
  • Baking soda
  • Aluminum-free Baking powder 
  • Chia Seeds
  • Ground flaxseeds
  • Sunflower seeds 
  • Nuts (excluding peanuts) 
  • Coconut flakes, unsweetened 
  • Dried fruits, no sugar added 
  • Nut butters (excluding peanut butter) 
  • Cocoa powder
  • Pure vanilla extract 
  • Broths 
  • Enjoy Life chocolate chips 
  • Local raw honey
  • Pure maple syrup 
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Sea salt 
  • Dried herbs
  • Spices 
  • Your favorite fruit and nut bar 
  • Grain-free granola 
  • Canned tomatoes 
  • Canned tomato sauce 
  • Canned tomato paste 
  • Wine for cooking 
  • Canned tuna 
  • Canned salmon
  • Canned sardines
  • Canned smoked herring 
  • Olives 
  • Canned pumpkin 
  • Arrowroot startch 
  • Sweet Potato Chips 
  • Plantain Chips 
  • Tea 
  • Coffee
  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans 
These items sit in a bowl on top of my kitchen counter. 
  • Lemons 
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Zucchini 
  • Tomatoes
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Seasonal fruit
  • Peppers
  • Pasture butter
  • Ghee
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Kale or swiss chard 
  • Eggs 
  • Beets 
  • Berries if in season 
  • Almond milk
  • Organic condiments with no sugar added 
  • Stewed fruit 
  • Mushrooms 
  • Wild caught salmon 
  • Fennel and parsley, if the budget permits 
  • Bananas 
  • Berries
  • Frozen vegetables 
  • Peas 
  • Wild game 
  • Marinara sauce 
  • Against The Grain Gourmet's grain-free rolls 
  • Almond milk ice cream, if the budget permits 
  • Leftovers 
  • I keep everything in glass containers and brown paper bags. 
  • I use homemade cleaners to sanitize my kitchen. Mostly, vinegar, lemons, and salt. 
  • I keep a separate shelf in the pantry for my Husband, as I respect his decision to eat grains. 
  • I freeze ALL leftovers. You never know when you can use something. It saves money! 
  • It helps to have all of the necessary kitchen equipment and tools. 
  • If you purchase story bought packaged foods, read the labels! 

Go check out my grain-free granola recipe at Mother Earth Living and start your grain-free kitchen makeover today! Also, keep following me here and on social media for more tips! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gut Flora, Brain Health, and My Decision to Go Grain-Free

First of all, I should probably mention (for the sake of my new readers) that I got into the health and wellness industry after a long battle with my own health. After years of different ailments and western medicine, a series of surgeries and diagnosis, and a chemo-treatment that acted as my "rock-bottom", I found holistic nutrition and chinese medicine as my savior. After more years of personal research, I decided to get my holistic nutrition certification so I could help others going through similar battles.

Since then, I've been a success story. I found good health, a hopeful spirit, restored my fertility and had a super-healthy pregnancy, and perfectly-healthy baby girl. Plus, I found love. Cherry on top? Building my nutrition business and helping people every day, which is what I set out to do.

That said, wouldn't you find it hard to believe that I endured yet another health battle? Me too.
You'd think that someone who devoted their whole life to health research and a holistic lifestyle would be some kind of unicorn-like picture of health. Well, shit happens. And unfortunately, residual post-chemo shit happens.

I gave birth to my beautiful, healthy baby girl last November. She's 10 months old now. My postpartum health and recovery was amazing. I left the hospital with a flat stomach, I felt fantastic, healed quickly, and was back to "normal" within weeks. Mama and baby were healthy and happy. About 1-2 months postpartum, I began having some questionable symptoms.

Warning- It's about to get gross. 

Diarrhea, every day. Followed by stomach cramps. Then, bloating and distention. My stomach began to blow up larger than the size of my 9-month baby bump. This happened off and on, no matter what I ate. Then, weakened immune system, days when I couldn't get out of bed, joint pain, and just everything going haywire! Naturally (for me), I changed my diet about a million times and dove into research trying to diagnose this new issue. Reluctant but desperate, I started going to Doctor's appointment after Doctor's appointment. Referral here, referral there, tests here, tests there. I had 6 visits to the emergency room, 9 pelvic exams (at first they thought it was related to my labor), 7 different ultrasounds, 8 separate blood panels, a colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, small bowel follow through.... You name it, I did it.

9 months later... A diagnosis. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. 

I'd like to mention that I came up with this diagnosis on my own about 4 months in. I could check off every symptom on the list. I was sure it was a SIBO long before any professional told me so. Needless to say, the waiting and delayed diagnosis didn't restore my faith in the American healthcare system.

Once I knew what the problem was, I had pre-existing knowledge on the subject and began to treat it on my own naturally. Diet, herbs, etc. I also dove into more research, going deeper into the subject, and found some amazing facts.

Interestingly enough, around the same time I received my official diagnosis I was researching the link between nutrition and Autism for a client. I had pre-existing knowledge on this subject also, but I always like to freshen-up, look into current medical research, etc. As a lot of us know, Autism affects the intestinal lining as well as the brain. A lot of us also know that a certain diet is believed to "cure" Autism. Reading these basic factual (I believe) statements about Autism and looking at the foods that nourish the lining of the intestines, a light bulb went off. I started seeing the connection between the foods I was eating to cure my bacterial overgrowth and the foods that reduce the physical and mental affects of Autism.

Then, another light-bulb.

Without going too much into detail, I fought another battle these last 9 months. I'm sure my Husband can vouch for this, but my emotions were out of control! Uncharacteristically, I was suddenly negative, sad, a roller-coaster of emotions, angry, irritable, almost aggressive, and anxiety-ridden. I noticed the change and tried to use meditation, yoga, and positive affirmations to get my brain back on track. When I began putting together the pieces of this intestinal-brain health puzzle, it clicked. This was the answer to my intestinal health, my brain health, and everything in between!

My conclusion, and I'm not the first one to declare this, is that "gut flora" is directly related to brain health. The two go hand-in-hand and they communicate via the nervous system. They're both also also related to the immune system. I decided that to restore my intestinal health also meant to restore my mental health. As you might imagine, I was thrilled at this revelation!

Now that I've explained, let me break it down for you.... The foods that are GOOD for intestinal and brain health vs. The foods that are BAD.


  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Lactose-free Yogurt
  • Ghee
  • Bananas
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Cod-liver Oil 


  • Gluten
  • Wheat
  • Any grains
  • Dairy
  • Soy Protein 
  • Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Plums
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Vinegar
  • Aged meats
  • Potatoes 
  • Food additives
  • Pesticides 

Upon putting this list together, I realized how much of the "BAD" foods my 10-month old Daughter is eating every day. On top of that, she has been "hyperactive" since she began eating grains (cereals) and these different fruits. I also realized that the nights she consumed organic multi-grain cereal or brown rice cereal, applesauce, or baby food I made with potatoes or plums, she didn't sleep well. She was constantly waking up crying (I couldn't figure out why) with what seemed like tummy aches or gas.

On top of that, I've had several clients interested in helping their young children with nutrition, who complain of frequent tummy aches and have related emotional or aggression issues.

It all fit together like a puzzle.

This information could benefit anyone and everyone. Obviously, I have chosen to restrict all grains (and the other foods on the list) from my diet. I have also made the very difficult decision to raise my Daughter grain, dairy, and soy free. I've also restricted the other items on the "BAD" list that she ate previously. I've tried to re-introduce apples and potatoes to her diet, only to find that they do in fact give her stomach troubles, whether it be constipation or gas. I personally believe that restricting these foods from my diet will prevent future intestinal issues, improve my mental health, and help me maintain a positive outlook and physical life. I also personally believe restricting these foods from my Daughters diet will prevent possible ADHD (which her biological Father has been diagnosed with), promote healthy brain development, nourish the lining of her intestines, and strengthen her immune system.

I'm happy to report that I have been grain-free (I have been dairy and soy free for years) for just 3 weeks and I am already feeling AMAZING! Considering my disappearing symptoms, positive outlook, and diminished "foggy" brain, I totally believe this new lifestyle has helped me. Also, my Daughter has been grain-free for just 2 weeks and has already showed improvements. She seems to be a happier baby overall and has slept through the night (doesn't usually) several times! Hallelujah!

So, what do we eat?
I plan to write more posts on this subject. In the future I'll provide more detail on our daily diets and give you more recipes to match. So, keep checking back!

In short, here's the foods I have been eating most of lately:

  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Grain-free baguettes and rolls
  • Avocados
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Smoothies
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Peas
  • Dairy-free yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Organic meat with no hormones added
  • Sardines
  • Ghee
  • Bananas
  • Almond butter
  • Almond milk ice cream 

Here's some baby food combo's I've been putting together for my Daughter:
(Please note- all babies are on their own eating schedule and it is best to consult your pediatrician before following my advice for your child)

  • Sweet potatoes, broccoli
  • Peas, avocados
  • Bananas, avocados
  • Pineapple, mango, chia 
  • Peas, carrots
  • Spinach, mango, pineapple
  • Coconut milk, bananas, strawberries
  • Spinach, parsnip
  • Broccoli, parsnip
  • Peas, carrots, parsnip
  • Butternut squash, peas 
  • Egg yolks, avocados
  • Egg yolks, spinach 
  • Lentils, spinach, carrots
  • Lentils, coconut milk, carrots, peas 
  • Lentils, avocados
  • Strawberries, avocados, pumpkin 
Here's some great information on a study that confirms gut flora affects your brain health:

1 Cup almond flour
1/4 Cup almond butter
1/4 Cup pasture butter, melted
1 Egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1/4 Cup honey or maple syrup 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseeds 
3/4 Cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips 

  • Preheat your oven to 350. 
  • In a medium-sized bowl, melt the butter and whisk in the almond butter and honey or maple until smooth. 
  • Add the chia seeds, egg and vanilla extract. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture. 
  • Fold in the chocolate chips. 
  • Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto a two cookie sheets, about 1-2 inches apart. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes. 
  • Let cool for 2 minutes, then use a spatula to place cookies onto the cool counter or a wire rack. 
  • Enjoy! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hatch Chiles & My Chicken Chile Verde

I'm sure I don't have to tell you it's hatch chile season.

If you've stepped foot in a grocery store, talked to human beings in general, watched tv or use social media, you've heard the news somewhere. People go mad for these chiles! And for good reason. Along with all the chatter, you can find thousands of recipes out there to make use of these green beauties.

Yesterday, I saw on a Facebook group that my local Albertson's had a line around the building, made up of people waiting for roasted hatch chiles. I skipped the line and broiled mine in the oven. We all have our favorite way to use em. Mine happens to be my chicken chile verde.

Before I give you the lengthy, yet super-simple recipe, some health information... All of the hype is about the unique flavor and short season, but did you know hatch chiles pack a major nutritional punch?

Turns out, they're LOADED with Vitamin C! A hatch chile and chicken soup might be the way to go for any of you battling a cold as a result of the changing seasons. They're also high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate (pregos!), niacin, lysine (guys!), and vitamins A, B12, and B6. And like many other chiles, they're great for lowering blood pressure. All of that goodness is worth standing in line for!


5-6 tomatillos, peeled and halved
3 large hatch chiles
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 Cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon maldon salt
Pinch cinnamon
1 lime, cut in half
1 Cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts
4-5 chicken thighs
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons oregano
tortillas or lettuce for serving

  • Place the hatch chiles and the halved tomatillos on a baking sheet and place under the broiler in your oven. Broil until the tops of the chiles are starting to char. Remove from the oven. 
  • Place all of the ingredients, except the cilantro, in a crockpot and turn to low. Cook for approximately 5 hours, or until the chicken can be easily shredded with a fork. Stir in the cilantro when it's finished. 
  • Serve on tortillas or in lettuce wraps. 
  • Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Apple & Chocolate Snack Cake

I'm going to let you into the mind of Malorie for a minute here. 

People often ask how I come up with so many recipes and especially how I do it on a whim. 

Here's how it goes...

"It was kind of cold this morning. I feel like baking. 

Oh yeah! I have that mushy apple I didn't know what to do with. 

Hmm, but I feel like chocolate! 

Yum... chocolate...

Oh shoot, I forgot to pay that bill. 

Gosh, I really love chocolate. 

I wonder if I have...Oh yeah! I do have almond flour. 

Awesome. Paleo snack time it is. 

People should really bake with chocolate and apples more often. 

Ooh! Remember those chocolate covered apples from the farm up north? 

Do I want crispy and chocolate? Or, warm and melty chocolate? 

I wonder if a caveman would have liked paleo baked goods? 

Yum... warm and melty chocolate..." 

So, that's how that goes. Then, I usually grab two bowls, preheat the oven, and whip something up in the next 10 minutes. 

After that unusual but typical conversation with myself, I mixed up a "paleoish" Apple & Chocolate Snack Cake. It's a lot like a banana bread, but I used grated apple and baked it in a 8x8 glass dish. 

Whether you're bored talking to yourself, in need of a satisfying and healthy snack, or have company to bake for, this cake is sure to please. 


1 Cup almond flour
1/2 Cup coconut flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 small apple (I used gala) grated with a cheese grater 
3 eggs 
2 Tablespoons of honey or maple syrup 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1 banana, mashed 
2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 Cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I used a heaping, almost 1 1/2 cups, cup) 
1 Tablespoons flaxseed meal (optional, I do this for added nutrients) 
1 Cup chopped walnuts (optional) 

  • Preheat your oven to 350F. 
  • In a bowl, stir together the apple, coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt, and flax with a fork. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey or maple, vanilla, banana, and coconut oil. 
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. 
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and the walnuts. 
  • Grease an 8x8 baking dish with coconut oil and pour in the batter. 
  • Bake for 35 minutes and serve. Will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.