For Me, For You Manifesto

Sometimes we can get so caught up in caring for everyone else, that we forget to care for ourselves. But what we need to remember is that when we care for ourselves first, we can then take better care of our loved ones. You’re worth it, and so are they.

For about 10 years now, I have worked with children. From summer camps, to children with disabilities, to preschool classrooms, to being a full-time nanny, I’ve pretty much seen it all. But one thing that has struck me year after year is the devotion that parents pour into their kids. The kids are everything, and that’s great. That’s how it should be. However, it is important for the parent to remember that they matter too. All too often, the health of the parent starts to decline as the kids grow. There is less time for the little things that brought mom and dad their personal joy, and their personal health. They make sure the kids are fed, and then sneak in a snack bar or the leftover crusts of PB&Js while driving to baseball, soccer, and dance. Getting a workout in seems like a ridiculous task when there’s so much housework to be done… and plus, Lilly needs help with her homework. While in the short-term they are sacrificing their own needs to meet the needs of their children, the long-term effects may end up hindering the entire family. What happens when mommy can’t go on a family trip because her blood pressure is too high? When daddy can’t play catch after work because he is too exhausted to get off the couch? The kids, who were and are the center of everything, are suddenly missing out on family time because their parents didn’t make the time to take care of their own health. So while you maybe think that taking time to care for yourself is being selfish, think about the long-run. You’re not just doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for them.

For Me For You Manifesto

Click here for a printable PDF version of the For Me For You Manifesto

Junk-Free Beauty Overhaul

If you’re someone who is concerned with what you put in your body, you should also be paying attention to what you put on your body. I’ve overhauled my beauty routine, and outlined all of the products I use in one blog. Junk-free makeup, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, toothpaste, deodorant and soap. All made with natural ingredients and no preservatives or nasty chemicals. It’s time to make over your medicine cabinet!

Junk-Free Beauty Overhaul -- If you're someone who is concerned with what you put in your body, you should also be paying attention to what you put on your body.

I finally did it. After several month of transition, I have finally made a complete switch to junk-free skin care and I couldn’t be happier. The best part is, I get everything from only 3 companies (and it could be 2, but I like my soap).

If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time and effort being aware of what goes into your body. Of course, no one is perfect all of the time… that’s no fun and no way to live life. But I do think it’s important to make your regular habits and choices be good ones. So when I realized just how much crap was being absorbed into my skin from my makeup and shampoo and face wash, I knew I needed to make a change. In fact, I have even had clients who were told by their doctors to switch to natural, paraben-free products (especially deodorant) due to breast cancer concerns. So I did my research, and found replacement products that suited both my requirements for effectiveness, and my need for ingredients I could pronounce.

As an aside: Did you know we host a Free Energy Challenge that starts on the first Monday of every month? If you’re over-stressed and low on energy, and need a kick in the pants to get yourself going, sign up for this 7 day challenge. It’s completely free! Click here to learn more and enroll.

Here’s my list of the products I use on a daily or weekly basis, and companies that I have grown to trust. Please note that I am not being, nor have I ever been, paid to try or promote these products. I am simply highlighting products that I have found useful and hope that it helps other ladies out there! Click on any of the links below to learn more about the company or product represented. (Side note: I make my own lotion using a recipe from Wellness Mama, but I’m sure I could find one I liked from 100% Pure as well.)

Junk-Free Beauty Overhaul

Kiss My Face

1. Pure Olive Oil Bar Soap


100% Pure

2. Kelp & Mint Volumizing Shampoo

3. Fruit Pigmented Luminizer

4. Fruit Pigmented Long Lasting Concealer

5. Fruit Pigmented Eye Shadow

6. Creamy Long Last Liner

7. Fruit Pigmented Pomegranate Oil Anti-Aging Lipstick

8. Fruit Pigmented Foundation Powder

9. Fruit Pigmented Eye Brow Powder Gel

10. Kelp & Mint Volumizing Conditioner

11. Fruit Pigmented Mascara

12. Fruit Pigmented Peppermint Candy Blush


Primal Life Organics

13. Banished Face Wash (for acne-prone skin)

14. Beyond Face Serum (I use this as an overnight moisturizer/skin anti-inflammatory)

15. Dirty Mouth Toothpowder (toothpaste replacement)

16. Stick Up Deodorant


Movement Comparison Between Early Humans And Modern Humans

Movement Comparison Between Early Humans And Modern Humans

In mid September 2015, scientist Lee Berger discovered what could be the potential missing link in the current evolutionary trail of modern humans, Homo Sapiens. While exploring deep in the caves of South Africa, he uncovered an absolute gold mine for Science. He and his team uncovered a new human species that is being called, Homo Naledi. This new species has both characteristics of the Australopithecus genus of hominids and the Homo genus of hominids. Homo Naledi looks very similar to our current species of Homo Sapiens in the arms and legs, but the spine and torso are more in line with Australopithecus, more chimpanzee like. This means Naledi was simply shorter and wider through the pelvis and rib cage than are modern humans. It also means Naledi had arms of a similar length to modern humans and legs slightly shorter, but similar in bipedal movement patterns. Naledi walked like modern humans and had the ability to manipulate tools similarly to modern humans, but were closer in size to the Chimpanzee skeleton.

The shape and size of the skeleton and the position and origins of the musculature are necessary to understand the evolutionary design when analyzing movement differences throughout hominid evolution. So with that in mind, let’s quickly explore movement patterns of current Homo Sapiens.

Current movement patterns for us humans today are extremely efficient and elegant, which is how dance came about. For the Homo Naledi and Australopithecus, movement was probably closer to a waddle, such as that of a penguin, but more elegant and not as severe as that of a penguin waddle. This probably came from a reduced separation between the rib cage and the pelvis, slightly shorter legs and a slightly wider pelvis. Being an upright animal and having a reduced ability to climb trees in comparison to the earlier evolutionary primates, humans basically lost a survival mechanism of hiding in the trees. Instead, we were more on the ground and now had to adapt to a different form of protection.

The new form of protection came in the way of speed. If humans could out run predators, they would be able to stay alive longer. When it comes to out running a wild animal, you just have to out run your buddy! OK, all jokes aside, the next question is how did we get faster?

Sapiens are taller than Naledi because of the mechanical stresses placed on the body. Over the years and generations, Nature found that longer leg bones and a slightly narrower pelvis could produce greater speed in humans. More speed placed the body under a great deal of mechanical stress, which sent a rippling effect throughout the entire body forcing it to adapt to the repeated stress of movement and increased energy demands. As with all adaptations in this world, the musculoskeletal system got compressed and pulled in different ways and eventually rearranged itself in a new orientation that would better manage the consistent mechanical stresses to ultimately produce a new equilibrium and an energy efficient system. The body’s goal is to always find a state of equilibrium when exposed to repeated stress so it can repair itself from previous damage. Once the bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons adapt and get stronger, bigger, more flexible and more coordinated, they are better able to manage the stresses from movements, gravity and the sun to name a few.

Something that is truly fascinating is how the physical parts of the body adapt to external pressures, forces, and stresses. Muscles react to bones sliding off the joint surface by lengthening to “catch” the joint slipping, as joints are basically frictionless. The stress forces the brain and nervous system to innervate all other muscles around the slipping joints thus creating a coordinated firing pattern of the electrical signals in the nervous system to bring forth elegant and effortless movement. For example, as the knee joint “slips” off its surface between the tibia and femur, the knee will bend or flex. Upon flexion, this will lengthen the quadriceps muscle group and force the quadriceps to shorten itself to bring the knee joint back to a place of stability. Sure enough, this is precisely the role of the quadriceps – knee extension, or knee straightening. By taking this principle of muscle lengthening to “catch” the sliding action in a joint and applying it to every joint in the body, you can begin to imagine or picture the beauty of human movement. Over thousands of years of evolution and subtle tweaking of the motor neurons in our body, we have adapted and evolved into one of the most pristine animals to ever exist on the surface of the Earth.

Before wrapping up this post, it is important to realize that the human body can easily get injured when pushed beyond its mechanical limits. However, when it is kept within its mechanical limits and is fueled with the right raw materials (high quality foods from the Earth), the human mind and physical body can be an absolutely magnificent thing to watch and observe. And that, in my opinion, is why so many humans of the world are drawn to sports and other events that test the brilliance and limits of the human body. Because I have a passion for how the human body operates, I enjoy studying and hypothesizing about it to make progress in our understanding of what makes us human and then relaying that information to the rest of the world to help them regain their health and movement efficiency.

In summary, most modern humans (Homo Sapiens) have postural imbalances and poor mechanics, which become very obvious when you consider the number of people each year that get injured while performing even the most basic of movements. That said, those are just my thoughts on the evolution of mechanical behaviors of Homo Sapiens. What are your thoughts on why humans move the way they do?

Cheesy Flatbread (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)

Sometimes you need cheesy bread. It’s a great snack or side dish to have on, say, a Sunday football afternoon with a fruit and veggie platter and other various finger foods. This flatbread is full of flavor, it’s creamy and gooey, and it has a crispy outer edge that just screams “comfort food.” Plus, it’s made with quality ingredients like grass-fed cheese and avocado oil, and is also gluten-free and grain-free!

Cheesy Flatbread Gluten Free Grain Free Nourish Wild

We’re into Day 3 of being snowed in here in RVA. The sun is finally shining after a solid 36 hours of legitimate blizzard conditions, but the roads are still crazy bad at the moment because Virginia has no idea how to handle snow. Most of the Richmond area got about 12 inches, but my friends in the valley got closer to 2 feet. I can’t imagine how long they’ll be stuck at home! As for us, we can’t even get out of our parking lot (we’ve watched many of our neighbors try and struggle or fail), so we’ll just be over here eating. As usual.

Luckily, I planned ahead and bought lots (and lots and lots) of food. I was one of those crazy people fighting for a shopping cart and waiting 30 minutes to check out at the grocery store. We could probably be snowed in another few days and be a-okay in the food department. The sanity department though? Not sure about that.

Cheesy Flatbread Gluten Free Grain Free Nourish Wild

One of the must-haves this weekend was this Cheesy Flatbread. I used to make this with store-bought pizza dough at least twice a week in college. These days, however, I make my own flatbread dough– that way it’s both gluten-free and grain-free. Less junky ingredients, less guilt in my book.

Cheesy Flatbread Gluten Free Grain Free Nourish Wild

Who doesn’t want a nice crispy crust topped with spices, ricotta, and parmesan? No one I want to be friends with, that’s who.

Cheesy Flatbread Gluten Free Grain Free Nourish Wild

Is that drool? You may want to check yourself…

Cheesy Flatbread Gluten Free Grain Free Nourish Wild

Want to learn more about how you can make healthy lifestyle choices that you can live with? Plus eat food like this cheesy flatbread and not feel guilty because you know it has health benefits too? Check out our eBook, The Groundwork Guide: A Beginner’s Guide to Human Nutrition and Movement for Every Day Life.

Groundwork Guide Cover

Cheesy Flatbread


  • 1 cup tapioca OR arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 yeast packet
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 free-range egg


  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup grass-fed parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grass-fed ricotta cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, activate the yeast by combining the 1/4 cup warm water, the yeast packet, and the 1/2 tsp of honey. Mix and allow to rest according to the yeast packet (approximately 15 minutes; the yeast will start to foam).
  3. To the yeast mixture, add the tapioca/arrowroot, avocado oil, baking soda, baking powder, and egg. Mix until combined. The mixture will be very loose and pourable. Let this mixture rest for about 15-30 minutes to let the ingredients combine and the yeast start to rise.
  4. Pour the mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Use a rubber or off-set spatula to spread the mixture over the parchment paper into a rectangular shape. The batter should be about 1/4 inch thick, and the rectangle should measure about 8 in x 10-12 inches. Again, let it rest for about 15 minutes to let it rise slightly again. Note: This dough will only rise a little, not a lot.
  5. Bake the flatbread at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
  6. Top the baked flatbread with an even distribution of the cheeses and spices.
  7. Place the flatbread back in the oven under broil, until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Enjoy!

5 Things You Should Be Doing Now To Lay The Groundwork For Your Future Health


5 Things You Should Be Doing Now To Lay The Groundwork For Your Future Health

Did you know that what you do now, today, in this moment, has an impact on your future health? It can be a positive impact, or a negative one. Wouldn’t you rather it be positive? We’ve put together a list of things you should be doing now in order to set yourself up for future health success.

  1. Drink more water. It has been estimated that 75% of American suffer from chronic dehydration. This is particularly alarming when you consider 60% of our bodies are water, including over 90% of our blood over 70% of our brain being comprised of H2O. (Source) A generally recognized recommendation for daily water intake is 50% of your body weight in ounces (ie. if you weigh 120 pounds, you should be drinking around 60 ounces of water). Keep in mind that we do get water from other sources, such as vegetables and fruits; however, we also lose water from dehydrating activity, or diuretics such as caffeine.
  2. Read ingredient labels on food products. In the last few decades, convenience has become our #1 priority in the kitchen. Unfortunately, with that convenience, there has also come an onslaught of preservatives and other chemical ingredients in our food. While chemicals do have their place (such as in life-saving medical science), our bodies often do not readily recognize these foreign substances. Instead, the body is wired to resist such foreign invasions with its own warfare. This often leads to inflammation, and can even result in chronic illness. One of the most important things you can do for your future health is to read ingredient labels and put anything with ingredients you do not recognize back on the shelf. Your body wants real food grown from the Earth… nourish it!
  3. Pay attention to the products you put on your skin. This goes hand-in-hand with tip #2. We all know your skin is your body’s largest organ. It’s a pretty amazing organ that protects us the best it can, but it also can be a gateway for harmful substances if we’re not careful. Your skin absorbs a lot, all day every day. And if what is being absorbed isn’t something you’d be willing to eat, you need to start looking for new skin products. Check the ingredients on your soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste makeup etc. Does it have a bunch of 14 letter words that you can’t even begin to stumble through? Just remember that a lot of those ingredients are going to end up inside your body, especially if they are being used every day. If you wouldn’t ingest it, put it back. And then find products with great ingredients. My favorite skin care products come from Primal Life Organics and 100 Percent Pure.
  4. Get some rest. Approximately 50-70 million Americans suffer from some sort of sleep disorder, and 30% of adults report getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night. (Source) Not getting enough sleep can be linked to tremendous health issues, such as hypertension, depression, obesity and even cancer. Lack of sleep also results in decreased effectiveness in daily tasks such as concentration, memory, and skilled tasks such as driving. (Source) We all know that adults need about 8 hours of sleep per night (and teens need 9-10 hours), but we need to start making it a priority. Without sleep, we are not our best selves. Don’t the people in your life deserve the best version of you?
  5. Make your gut happy. Did you know that the health of our gut directly effects the health of our brain (and our immune system, and many other aspects of health)? The enteric nervous system is what experts call our “gut brain,” and there have been studies that show that this system can directly effect our brain chemistry. For example, it has been shown that Irritable Bowel Syndrome can contribute to the development of depression and anxiety– chemical imbalances in the brain. (Source) In 2015, researchers at the University of Virginia discovered a direct link between the brain and the immune system. Given the gut-brain axis already known to exist, they can affirmatively link gut microbes, the brain, and the immune system. Gut microbes have been linked to things like your daily mood and even Autism. (Source) So, how do we make our gut happy? By feeding the bugs! Fermented foods and probiotics can help promote good gut bacteria growth, while things like excessive sugar intake and antibiotics will destroy the good bacteria and leave your body struggling. Eat your yogurt and drink your kombucha, kids!
  6. Bonus: Get The Groundwork Guide. If these tips were beneficial to you and you’re ready to take your health in a better direction for life, but you want to know the scientific “hows” and “whys” of the lifestyle changes you should be making, Andrew’s new eBook The Groundwork Guide: A Beginner’s Guide to Basic Human Nutrition and Movement for Every Day Life is a great next step for you. This guide will arm you with the very basics of human health, and help you be able to navigate the often muddy waters and mixed signals we are given every day about our bodies. Perfect for those who want to understand the most foundational levels of nutrition and movement, you can learn more about what is included in this very special manual here. Questions? Email us at

Groundwork Guide


Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Honey Glaze (Gluten-Free)

Is your New Year resolution to get healthy, but you don’t want to give up life’s guilty pleasures? Try this healthier version of a cinnamon roll! Gluten-free and filled with whole grains, these rolls are made with brown rice and oat flours, and then topped with an orange honey glaze. These guilt-free cinnamon rolls will satisfy your fiber needs and your sweet tooth at the same time.

Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Honey Glaze (Gluten-Free) -- Nourish Wild

Happy 2016! It just feels like it’s going to be a good year, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the beginning of a new year. Something about the freshness of it all. It’s like hitting the reset button. You can do and be anything!

Speaking of which, if you’re interested in hitting the reset button on your health, check out our Free 7 Day Challenge! It’s totally and completely free, and can be customized to any level of current health. With topics like real food, posture, hydration, sleep, meditation, screen time and more, you’re sure to learn something and get your health in check in the process. The next challenge starts on Monday, January 11th, and you can find out more and sign up here.

7 day challenge

Now, onto the goodness that is this delicious cinnamon roll. Cinnamon rolls are an interesting thing to take on at home. They aren’t exactly speedy, but they aren’t particularly difficult either. I would certainly start this process about 2 hours before you want to eat though, as they require an hour to rise in addition to putting them together and baking them. Or make the dough ahead of time, store in the fridge, then allow to rise in the morning before baking them.

But can we talk about how they’re totally worth it? Because they are. Especially if you are trying to eat healthier, and find yourself drooling in front of Cinna-Bon. They are chewy, hold together perfectly, and have that cinnamon/butter goodness oozing out of the center like any self-respecting cinnamon roll should. However! They also have 2 types of whole grains, no white flour, no gluten, no white sugar, and noooo junk.

Oh yeah, we’re busting into 2016 (but not busting out of our jeans).

Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Honey Glaze (Gluten-Free) -- Nourish Wild

The dough of this roll has very little sugar in it, so the sweetness has to come from the cinnamon sugar center, and the orange honey glaze. Thankfully, the only types of sugar used are coconut palm sugar and honey, and the overall sugar content is significantly reduced from your standard cinnamon roll.

I mean, can we talk about the texture of these things? It’s really exactly what it should be:

Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Honey Glaze (Gluten-Free) -- Nourish Wild

In other exciting news, Andrew wrote a book! Nourish Wild’s very first eBook in fact! The Groundwork Guide: A Beginner’s Guide To Basic Human Nutrition and Movement For Every Day Life. And it’s going to be released for sale right here on in the next couple of weeks. Want to learn more about it? Click here to check it out.

Groundwork Guide Cover

Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Honey Glaze


  • 1 2/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup oat flour (I grind rolled oats to make my own)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 3 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (from a can)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 6 Tbsp room temp softened grass-fed butter (I use Kerrygold)
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Orange Honey Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice

Makes 8 cinnamon rolls

  1. Grease a 9″ round pan (I prefer coconut oil for greasing).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the 1 tsp of honey in the 1/4 cup of warm water. Once dissolved, add the yeast packet to the mixture, and proof while putting together your other ingredients (the mixture should start to foam as the yeast activates).
  3. In a small mixing bowl combine your dry dough ingredients (tapioca starch, oat flour, brown rice flour, 3 Tbsp coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt).
  4. In the large mixing bowl with the yeast mixture, add and mix together your remaining wet dough ingredients (avocado oil, coconut milk, eggs).
  5. Slowly add your dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredient mixture, mixing constantly. Toward the end of adding the dry ingredients, the mixture will become very thick, and you may need to finish mixing/kneading with your hands. Once completely combined, the dough should hold together well and you should be able to form a big ball with your dough.
  6. Create your filling by mixing the softened butter, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
  7. Using a rolling pin, roll out your dough ball between two pieces of parchment paper. You should roll the dough until it is in a long rectangle, about 14 inches long, 8 inches wide, and between 1/4″ and 1/2″ thick.
  8. Spread your filling mixture evenly over the rolled out dough.
  9. Using the bottom sheet of parchment paper, roll your dough into a tight log.
  10. Check out this video if you need more assistance with steps 7-9 (Rolling starts at the time 9:10 in the video)
  11. Cut the dough log into 8 equal pieces. Tip: I use a piece of sewing thread to cut the dough; it’s a much cleaner process than trying to use a knife!
  12. Distribute the 8 rolls into your greased round pan, with the swirl side facing up.
  13. Cover the pan with a cloth and place in a warm, dry area to rise.
  14. Allow the rolls to rise for 1 hour.
  15. Preheat the over to 375 degrees F. Once risen, bake the rolls for 18-22 min, until they no longer have any give, and are golden brown.
  16. While the rolls are baking, make the glaze by gently heating the 1/4 cup of honey with the 2 Tbsp of orange juice. Mix until combined.
  17. Let the rolls cool, then pour the honey glaze all over! Enjoy!

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake (Sweetened With Honey)

This seasonal favorite has been given a healthier upgrade by using honey instead of white sugar. Filled with chocolate and peppermint goodness in addition to the traditional tang of a vanilla cheesecake, this dessert is a great addition to your holiday parties.

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake Sweetend with Honey -- Nourish Wild

Peppermint bark and cheesecake. If that doesn’t sound like a winning holiday combination, I don’t know what does. There’s just something about the cool peppermint, rich chocolate and tangy cream cheese flavors that feels like Christmas in a bite. It’s decadent, but this version is slightly less guilty with honey instead of white sugar.

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake Sweetend with Honey -- Nourish Wild

Christmas is only 2 days away, which means New Year’s and New Year Resolutions are creeping up quickly. If you’re like most people, your resolutions probably include some type of health upgrade. Which is awesome! Wanting to get healthier is always a good goal. Of course, the trick is making it last longer than the month of January.

If you’re looking for a free, short and sweet kickstart to a healthier lifestyle, join us on January 11th for our Free 7 Day Challenge!

7 Day Challenge Poster

Ready to join us? What do you have to lose… It’s free!

If you have any questions, you can always contact us at We hope you join us! Tell your friends, let’s do this together!

But first, finish off the year with this guy:

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake Sweetend with Honey -- Nourish Wild

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake


I used this recipe from Gluten Free On A Shoestring. I halved the recipe, then cooked it in one giant cookie. Once baked, I crumbled up the cookie into crumbs, and added about 2 Tbsp of melted butter. Of course, you can use your favorite crust recipe if this one doesn’t do it for ya.


  • 2 pounds (four 8 oz block) of grass-fed cream cheese (I use Organic Valley), softened completely to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of unfiltered honey (Depending on the initial consistency of your honey, you may need to gently heat the honey until it is a pour-able consistency.)
  • 4 free-range eggs, room temperature
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 crushed candy canes
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life), melted
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract


  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2-3 crushed candy canes
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and grease a 9″ springform pan (I like coconut oil for greasing pans). I also like to put a round cutout of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan for extra non-stick insurance.
  2. Press your crust mixture into the bottom of the pan. I’m not into the fancy edges. As long as it covers the bottom evenly, I’m happy.
  3. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Prepare the filling. Use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese and honey in a large bowl.
  5. Add your eggs, one at a time, to the cream cheese and honey, mixing continuously at a low speed. Also add in the vanilla and 4 crushed candy canes while mixing.
  6. Stop mixing and take 1 cup of this cream cheese mixture and place it a separate, small bowl.
  7. To this small bowl of batter, add the 1/3 cup of melted chocolate, and 1 tsp of peppermint extract. You now should have one large “vanilla” cream cheese mixture, and one small “chocolate peppermint” cream cheese mixture.
  8. On top of the crust, pour all of the large “vanilla” cream cheese mixture and make sure it is evenly distributed.
  9. Using a spoon, plop dollops of the “chocolate peppermint” cream cheese mixture on top of the “vanilla” cream cheese mixture. Now all of the cream cheese batter should be in the springform pan.
  10. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the chocolate peppermint dollops with the vanilla cream cheese mixture. This will create a marbled effect, with pockets of chocolate peppermint distributed throughout the vanilla batter. Make sure to not scrape the crust while doing this.
  11. Bake the cheesecake in lower 1/3 of your oven at 325 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes, until the middle is just barely under-cooked. (I ‘m not concerned with a water bath for this recipe since it will be topped with chocolate and cracks in the top won’t show anyway, but if it makes you feel better, you can add a pan of water in the oven as well to create a steam effect.)
  12. After 1 hr 30 minutes, turn off the oven and crack the door, leaving the cheesecake in the oven. Allow the oven to cool completely with the cheesecake still inside. Once the oven is cooled, remove the cheesecake and let it continue to cool (still in the springform pan) on the counter until close to room temperature.
  13. Create the topping by mixing the 1 cup melted chocolate chips, avocado oil and peppermint extract. Pour this mixture on top of the cooled cheesecake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
  14. Refrigerate the cheesecake (still in the springform pan) overnight before serving.

Bacon Leek Rice with White Wine Butter Sauce

This bacon and leek rice is the perfect grown-up stunner that can serve as an entree or side dish. With a decadent white wine and butter sauce, plus veggies and brown rice, this comforting bowl of goodness can be easily cooked up with relatively minimal hands-on cook time, and is a good blend of healthier choices and holiday cheer.

Bacon Leek Rice with White Wine Butter Sauce Nourish Wild

If your family is anything like mine, Christmas and the holiday season brings on several pot-luck dinner events. My strategy is to always bring something that I know I want to eat a lot of, just in case the other options are not quite agreeable to my little tummy (people tend to like cheese in everything, and I ain’t about dat lactose yo). So this past weekend when I heard the main side was going to be mac-n-cheese, I knew I needed to bring something that I could pile high on my plate and be a happy (not hangry) camper for the rest of the day.

I’ve made a similar dish with pasta a few times for dinner, but I wanted to change it up and make it a little more refined, so I took the bacon and leek combo to the next level. I also know that my palate is a little different than the majority of everyone else in my family, so I wanted to up the decadence points in hopes that it wouldn’t taste too “healthy.” Enter wine and butter. If that doesn’t say “happy holidays!” I don’t know what does. Wine, butter, and bacon… Close your mouth, you’re drooling. Don’t worry, there are some peas in there for good measure.

Bacon Leek Rice with White Wine Butter Sauce Nourish Wild

This recipe is meant to be shared, so it makes a pretty decent amount of food. If you’re making it for 2-4 people, I would cut this recipe in half.

The rice I used is brown rice, and I always try to get sprouted grains for more easy digestion, but you can use any kind of rice you prefer. If I were making this for just the two of us, I would have used wild rice, but I thought that may have been a little too “out there” for a pot luck event. Do your thang, whatever that may be.

With Christmas coming up this week, the New Year is right around the corner! And we have lots of exciting things coming that you should check back for in the New Year including:

The Groundwork Guide ebook: We are really excited about this and Andrew has been hard at work putting the finishing touches on his shiny new project. If you feel like you just need a good starting point to begin your journey of living healthier, and you want tips of how to incorporate healthier choices (both nutritionally and activity-wise) into your every day life, this ebook is the perfect beginner guide.

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Bacon Leek Rice with White Wine Butter Sauce Nourish Wild

Bacon Leek Rice with White Wine Butter Sauce

  • 2 cups uncooked rice of choice (I prefer brown or wild sprouted rice) + the amount of water recommended on package
  • 5 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 2-3 leeks, chopped into 1/4 inch strips (check out this video for a demo)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1/4 cup stock (I used chicken stock)
  • 1/3 cup white wine (I used sauv. blanc)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the rice according to the package. Note: you will add in the following sauce the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  2. Start making your sauce by first cooking your bacon in a medium sauce pan. Cook until the bacon is crispy.
  3. Once the bacon is crispy, add the olive oil, butter, leeks, garlic, wine, lemon juice and stock to the sauce pan with the bacon, and bring to a simmer. Let this sauce simmer until the leeks are soft and cooked down.
  4. When the rice has 10 minutes remaining to cook, add the prepared sauce and the frozen peas to the rice. Mix together, and allow to cook all together for the remaining 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Can Dad’s Food Choices Influence His Child’s Genetic Expression?

Can Dad’s Food Choices Influence His Child’s Genetic Expression?

We know Mom has a big influence on the child since she is the one carrying around the unborn child for 9 months. The question becomes, can Dad influence his future child’s genetic expression? Notice I said genetic expression, instead of genes. One thing is for sure. The child’s genetic sequence came a little from Mom and Dad, but mostly from the many generations of humans dating back to the first Homo sapiens. What is unsure is how those genes get expressed in the child. This is where the parents truly come into the equation in determining the outcome of junior.

The parents both lived their lives and accumulated toxins and naturally had to rid the toxins. However, I can guarantee you they were not thinking about life as toxin in versus toxin out. Odds are the toxins were more accumulated than eliminated and therefore in a state of imbalance. When both parents are imbalanced, the female egg may not have a sufficient amount of certain minerals or amino acids. Likewise is the male sperm. If the Dad ate poorly and had poor lifestyle habits, then his sperm could easily be deficient in certain amino acids and minerals as well.

If the egg and sperm are both deficient in certain nutrients, the fetus will not develop as well as it should. This increases the likelihood of the born child being deficient in these same nutrients, therefore causing any number of disorders or dis-eases.

One important thing to note – Zinc is critical for every cell to pass on DNA to the future cells. Zinc should be at sufficient levels in the male sperm if the fetus is to develop as a healthy born child without any issues. If Zinc is deficient, many issues will surface in the years to come. These issues are what we call altered gene expression.

Altered, or mutated, genes are a part of life’s natural selection process and could be placed all throughout each human’s genetic code. The key is to only allow the beneficial proteins and enzymes to be produced. If the person’s biochemical needs are met, then every gene will either get expressed or not expressed depending on which consequence is more beneficial to the human.

In an optimally healthy human, his/her genome will act beautifully by regulating the expression of every gene without much interference. When the regulation of genetic expression gets interfered with however, the expressions could result in abnormalities of body functioning.

So, when Dad can provide sufficient amounts of minerals and amino acids to his part of the equation, it helps the new born child have a more easily balanced biochemical composition throughout life. If the biochemical composition is more balanced, the body will function more smoothly and with fewer complications.

On the other hand, if the biochemical composition is more prone to deficiencies, the symptoms of these deficiencies will present themselves in times of stress. There is no telling which genes will malfunction, so there is only one way I can think of to possibly solve this problem – trial and error.

Trial and error is probably the best way to learn something inside and out. Some times it can be fatal, but usually when done in a relatively controlled setting, the results will be tolerable. Trial and error for your own biochemical composition requires you to fully commit to the process. You must drink filtered water or mineral water and must eat a variety of wild fish and wild or grass fed land animal meats plus eggs. This will provide certain bio-chemicals necessary for human survival. You must then eat a variety of plant foods to get sufficient amounts of other bio-chemicals and fiber to help eliminate the used, or wasted, minerals. The fiber and water are what will flush out all the used and unwanted materials. If this did not occur the unwanted toxic material would cause a backup and therefore inflammation and bio-chemical imbalances.

In addition to cleaning up your eating habits, you need to make a major lifestyle change and commit to the change. Change is not an easy thing to do, because obstacles will be in the way and you must find a way to overcome them in order to succeed. This could be to quit drinking alcohol, coffee, soda, or pretty much anything except water and herbal teas. Another example is to quit using addictive chemical compounds, as they will deplete the body of many minerals. Once you have overcome the obstacles and begin understanding your transformation, your health comes back in waves. It is during this part of the process that the body has found its necessary level of bio-chemicals in order to reach optimal health.

The hard part becomes maintaining these unknown predetermined levels of the bio-chemicals throughout your lifetime. If trial and error is successful, you will have a better understanding for what foods yield the correct proportions to match your biochemical analysis. Simply eating the foods that provide the right amounts of every nutrient (for you as an individual) will put you far ahead of most humans. This can only happen should you decide to fully commit to regaining your health, which takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline. Should you accomplish this feat, I can promise you will feel like a far more superior human being than your old self. I have always said, “You will never know what is out there unless you make the jump with confidence.”

To wrap up this post, let’s briefly summarize. A child’s genes are his/her genes. Nothing can be done about that. The child’s ability to regulate the expression of his/her genes has been linked to the biochemical imbalances of the father AND how healthy the child keeps his/her environments (i.e. food and lifestyle choices) throughout his/her lifetime. The best and safest way to figure out your biochemical needs for optimal health is through trial and error. Clean up your eating and lifestyle habits, reduce your stress, get more sleep, and start listening to your body communicate signals to you on what it needs to fully regain its overall health.

Ladies, if you’re looking to get pregnant soon, you better make sure your man is healthy. As for the rest of you, maybe this helped explain some things that you had always thought were similar with you and your parents but you couldn’t quite figure out how things were connected. What are your thoughts?

A Conversation Between Nerves

A Conversation Between Nerves: How your nervous system plays a role in your health

A Conversation Between Nerves

In a space that is so microscopically small there still lies a vast sea of unknown territory for the life of a neurochemical. The journey from one nerve cell to the next can many times be a slippery slope and significant things can go wrong.

What is it that Murphy’s Law states again? If something can go wrong, it will go wrong. The conversation between two nerve cells as you will begin to understand can be difficult, yet extremely fascinating to people like me.

When the transfer of neurochemicals becomes disrupted, humans manifest symptoms in the form of inflammatory responses such as skin issues, digestive issues, sleep disorders, and elevated stress hormones. So how does this process get disrupted? Let’s take a deeper look at the conversation and the process should get clearer.

A nerve cell is made from proteins, and some minerals like potassium and sodium. This nerve cell has a nucleus with DNA in it to tell it which type of information to deliver to the next nerve cell during their “conversation.” Nerve cells don’t actually touch, but instead they have a small gap between them called synapses. The synaptic space between the nerve cells is the unknown territory for the neurochemicals.

When one nerve cell has a message to deliver to the next, the conversation must be initiated. The initiation begins by an electrical voltage being sent to the end of the first cell, which was caused by a change in the amount of Potassium and Sodium. The voltage forces the release of Calcium ions in order to open up the containers that hold the message. These containers are called vesicles and the chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters.

Naturally when you try to start a conversation with another person, your mouth must open to put together a string of sounds that humans call words and speech. The first nerve cell opens its mouth so to speak by moving the vesicles to the membrane and pushing out the chemical messenger in the synaptic space between the cells. These chemical messengers are many times Acetylcholine, Glutamate, or GABA. They can be other messengers too, such as Dopamine, Serotonin, or Norepinephrine.

Just because your mouth opened and you made some sounds doesn’t mean the message was communicated clearly and received well by the other person. The same thing can happen between nerve cells. Nerve cell 2 may not receive the message very clearly. The amount of chemical in the synaptic space must always be accurate and it usually is, however the conversation may have a tendency to get interrupted at the reception doors of nerve cell number 2. A certain amount of the neurochemical needs to be received in the cell receptors in order to activate the next nerve cell and prompt it to carry on the message so it can reach its final destination.

However, the process doesn’t end right there. Now that nerve cell number 1 has opened its mouth and released its message and cell number 2 has received this message, it appears that the conversation is over. That is not the case. There is almost always more information released than the second nerve cell actually needs and this is another opportunity for the conversation to be disrupted. Once the delivery has been received by the second nerve cell, the extra information still in the synaptic space must be readmitted into the first nerve cell for storage and possibly for later use. You very well may need to deliver that same message again at some point soon.

The conversation must come to a close, so the extra information needs to return to the first nerve cell. This usually happens via suction like proteins that act as transporters and vacuums the extra chemical messengers back inside the first cell. If the transporters are not produced on the cell though, the extra information cannot make it back inside the first cell and stays in the synaptic space between the two cells. This extra information is going to keep talking to nerve cell number 2 well after nerve cell 2 has received the message. Because nerve number 2 is friends with nerve number 1, nerve cell 2 will continue to let nerve cell 1 deliver the extra information. This will undoubtedly cause extra stress on nerve cell 2 and therefore cause inflammation.

If nerves get overworked as in the case of the above conversation between nerves, they begin to get burned out. When the human nervous system burns out, it will cause tremendous pain to the host organism.

The next logical point is to discuss how to get the right fuel so the nerve cells are able to communicate effectively and efficiently with each other to prevent burn out. In order to know how to prevent burn out, it would be ideal to know which food sources provide the materials to prevent burn out. This surely will help produce an efficient process of communication.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter used to help the brain shut down and sleep deep enough to repair any damaged tissues throughout the rest of the body. Acetylcholine is produced with the precursor Choline, which is found in eggs. Eat those fresh pasture raised hen eggs, because they the most significant source of this protein compared to any other food sources.

Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that is used to excite every nerve cell in the assembly line to maintain the strong electrical signal the whole time allowing for proper delivery of the message to the end organ cell. Glutamate is an amino acid and can be found in most proteins, but is abundant in animal sources of protein.

Opposite of Glutamate is the neurotransmitter, GABA. GABA inhibits or prevents a message from being communicated to the next cell. Many times it is important to apply the breaks to a message we don’t like. During these times it is necessary to have the materials to prevent any furthering of a signal that is unwanted past a certain destination point. The GABA neurotransmitter can be made from a string of amino acids that all come in proper ratios in animal foods, but can be produced through the addition of a variety of plant sources.

A quick note of importance is that animal foods provide all 9 essential amino acids in a good ratio for the human body. Plant foods on the other hand provide these 9 essential amino acids plus many others in varying combinations. Due to the variance in combinations of amino acids received, the body could more easily find itself in an imbalanced state. This is why it is wise to eat meats and eggs in addition to lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Another important neurotransmitter, Dopamine, delivers a “feel good” message to the next nerve cell it encounters. This “feel good” hormone keeps you coming back for more. It is heavily involved with addiction issues that many humans face on a daily basis. Dopamine is made directly from the non-essential amino acid Tyrosine. Humans don’t need to obtain Tyrosine from the diet because the body can produce it from the essential amino acid, Phenylalanine, which must come from the diet. Therefore Phenylalanine can indirectly make Dopamine.

Dopamine is unique in that it has its own roles as a neurotransmitter, but it is also used to produce Norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a chemical compound that transmits messages regarding a sense of danger or fear surrounding the host organism. It fires the alarms throughout the body to be on high alert.

Lastly, Serotonin is another transmitter that is important to the human sleep-wake cycle. Serotonin is produced by the amino acid Tryptophan, which comes in animal foods, especially turkey. This is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Serotonin keeps the body in a continuously wake state until the sunlight goes away for the night. Serotonin is then transferred and used to produce Melatonin, which helps the brain sleep so the other chemical transmitters can perform their duties and help your body repair all of its damaged goods.

A conversation between nerves can be quite complex regarding the information that must be delivered and received from cell to cell. All parts of the process are important in order for the nervous system to perform its job optimally. This entire process doesn’t have to be complex. When humans get addicted to certain detrimental habits is when the information process gets complex. Keep it simple by eating the right whole foods that provide the raw materials for the chemical messages to be delivered effectively. If you treat your connections like you did your favorite toy as a child, then your connections will treat you with respect manifesting in beautiful health.

Eventually you’ll need to have “the talk” with yourself. What kinds of conversations are your nerves having every day?