Thursday, June 25, 2015

Whole30 Approved


We’re very excited to announce that Grass Fed Jerky Chews are officially Whole30 approved.

Grass Fed Jerky Chews are clean ingredient beef jerky made from US-grown, 100% grass fed beef and very few spices. Our jerky meets the strict criteria of the very clean Whole30, which makes a perfect fit -- a clean product to help clean up your diet.

"The Whole30 program is excited to welcome Sophia's Survival Foods jerky to the Whole30 Approved program.” says Melissa Hartwig co-creator of the original Whole30 program. “We believe that quality meat from appropriately-raised animals contributes to a healthy overall lifestyle and we are happy to partner with a jerky company that shares our conviction." she added.

“I am very passionate about eating whole, nutrient-dense, environmentally and socially responsible food. When I started eating Paleo, I couldn’t find any jerky made using grass-fed beef without added sugar, fillers and preservatives. So I crafted my own quality beef jerky that’s chewy, satisfying, and meets most food intolerances.” says Sophia Dubrovina, Owner of Sophia’s Survival Food who created Grass Fed Jerky Chews.

Grass Fed Jerky Chews.png
“I really like that the focus of the Whole30 is on eating real food from high-quality, sustainable sources. It’s a great program to try at least once to know how different foods affect your health and well-being, and ultimately helps you develop your own nutritional template.” Sophia added.

The Whole 30 has a very strict criteria for approving products, but approving Grass Fed Jerky Chews wasn’t hard at all. The list of ingredients is so short and wholesome, it fit right in with the Whole 30 approved list. There are currently 4 flavors to suit different tastes: Original, Mild, Spicy, and Chipotle Raisin. All available on our website at

Check out the Whole 30 program at and while you are at it get their new book The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom - See more at:

21DSD: Review

I am excited to have "finished" the 21DSD couple of days ago and actually followed through with blogging about it daily. Even though I finished the detox, I continue to implement the tips and tools that have so amazingly helped reset my sugar habits.

Photo from the 21-Day Sugar Detox website
Like I mentioned on day one, I originally took on the challenge of kicking my sugar habit after my honeymoon couple years ago with great success, so I knew from my personal experience that the detox is very effective. However, this time, my situation was a bit different -- managing a growing beef jerky business while being a full-time mom to my 7-month-old, very active son. Overall, there was just more going on in my life and why I let sugar creep into my diet on a regular basis in the first place.

And I wasn't looking to detox from sugar temporarily, I needed an effective action plan to help resolve my relationship with sugar and make it stick. Here is where the 21DSD differentiates itself from all other detoxes by actually providing life-altering tips and tools to help you make a lifestyle change.

Instead of wasting your money on some gimmicky health scam that can actually harm your health, you are taking a whole-food-based nutrition approach with the 21DSD that focuses on finding a healthy balance of protein, fat, and carbs in your diet. You are not counting calories or depriving yourself, and although you will be eliminating sweeteners and most fruit, you have a great selection of vegetables, meats, and healthy fats to eat until satiated. I really like that this program considers people's different needs by providing three modification levels to choose from, so there is something for everyone. I am nursing and followed a modification with higher carbs. Just look through my posts and you will see that I ate plenty of very satisfying, balanced meals.

By implementing the right tools from the program and what I know from following a Paleo template for almost eight years, I never experienced the typical detox symptoms of headaches and dizzy spells, making the transition fairly easy. Every time a craving hit, I was able to curb it with either focusing my mind on something else, taking a much needed rest for even 2-3 minutes that my schedule allowed, or opting instead to consume a much more satisfying nutrient-dense snack high in protein or fat. These are lifestyle changes most other detox programs do not address and why they end in failure or send you back to square one upon completion.
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What I love most about completing the detox is that now I don't need to eat much sugar to satisfy my sweet tooth, and often than not, I just make a cup of herbal tea, which is a much healthier habit. It's a good feeling to have control over your health. I did notice that my body leaned out a tiny bit, but seeing my skin clear up is what really made it all worth it for me!

Preparation is key to your success and Diane does a very good job of providing easy-to-prepare recipes and meal plans. The tips and tools in the book, combined with continued support via forums, coaches and fb group is what helps make this program so successful. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to resolve their relationship with sugar and reset their palate.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

21DSD Day 21: Father's Day Fun

What a wonder Father's Day spent outside with family and good food. I even got a nap in that lasted just long enough to take the photo. My little guy woke up and wanted to wiggle out of his car seat immediately.

Even though it is technically the last day of the 21DSD, I still got to enjoy the day to the fullest. It also happened to be my husband's first Father's Day and I was all about gifting him a fun experience.

We went to an Off the Grid Picnic in the Presidio and nibbled on some tasty food cart meals. I tried to stick to options offering meats, veggies and safe starches. The chicken skewers and white rice I selected might not have been the purest and had some added sugar in the flavoring, but I find it okay eating a limited amount once in a while with no adverse effects. Hopefully I won't breakout on my face too much; I really enjoyed having clean skin on the detox and why I'd want to steer clear of overeating certain culprits like cow dairy, sugary chocolate, Paleo treats and some seasonal fruit.

Hope you got to do something fun on Father's Day! And if you'd like to win some clean beef jerky fuel, enter the Jerky Chews giveaway on my Facebook business page Sophia's Survival Food.

My full review of the 21-day sugar detox is coming next....

Saturday, June 20, 2015

21DSD Day 19 & 20: Easy 4 Ingredient Radish Salad

Two days went by just like that. I got a few things checked off my list, and quite a few existing and new ones to tackle next week as usual. Working on updating the bag labels for Jerky Chews. Cleaner lines and up to date info per USDA regulations, which seem to always change. Grr.

Like I mentioned before, the 21-day sugar detox has simply become the norm of eating for me and I seem to cruise through meal prep pretty easily. My meals are not fancy and usually consist of the same things: eggs for breakfast, meats and veggies and starches for lunch, beef jerky (Original flavor is my favorite) and couple teaspoons of nut butter (coconut) for snacks. Dinner is usually very similar to lunch and any leftovers are often consumed for breakfast the next day. I don't really get bored of the same whole foods. If you have a nice selection of spices, you can always play with different flavors.

Today we had guests over at our house and for one of the sides I made a simple zingy radish salad; my husband's favorite. If you haven't found a way to integrate the crunchy vegetable into your meals, perhaps this very simple recipe will encourage you to give radishes a shot.


  • Radishes (1 bunch), ends trimmed 
  • 2 pastured eggs, hard boiled 
  • 1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise
  • Scallions (1 bunch), chopped 
How it's made: 

Grate the radish (squeeze dry in your hands to remove some moisture), fork the eggs, and chop the scallions.

Combine all ingredients with mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 


Thursday, June 18, 2015

21DSD Day 18: Treating a friend to a tasty meal

Grateful to longtime friends who graciously come to the rescue! Spending some time with my son while I run errands is super helpful. I feel like I got quite a bit accomplished today. Thank you friend, you know who you are :)

I treated my friend and family to a simple dinner of Organic chicken sausage fried with lightly seasoned carrot/zucchini/onion mix. Once everything was thoroughly cooked, I added couple tablespoons of Rao's marinara sauce to seal the meal with a tangy glaze that's naturally sweet due to the cooked tomatoes. Made a fresh salad instead of kraut for a change. Everyone was left feeling satisfied and happy.

When shopping at Whole Foods, I sometimes pick up guac and babaghanoush dips. We enjoy them with fried plantains or as a side plain. Yum.

Summer days are looking really great in the Bay Area. We are looking forward to spending more time outdoors with my son and enjoying seasonal food, even some of the fruit from our fruit trees, but sparingly. The 21DSD has really helped me balance my relationship with sugar and feel better in the process.

What are you plans this Father's Day weekend?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

21DSD Day 17: No more room for sugar daily

By Day 17 of the 21DSD, I'm already feeling that life without sweets is the norm. Any time I find myself in a social setting and dessert is being served, I whip out a teaspoon of coconut butter melted over a sliced green apple, or eat couple teaspoons of the butter plain, or/and just sip on a cup of freshly brewed herbal tea. It's kind of cool to see your body adapting to the healthy fats, seasonal veggies and quality protein without leaving much room for highly palatable treats. Those shouldn't have a place in your daily consumption of food anyway.

I am thinking of continuing the Detox for as long as I can, and although I will allow myself some seasonal fruit or dark organic chocolate here and there, I will resist the temptation to eat a couple servings at a time. I used to be able to eat a small, but whole-size watermelon in one sitting. Hey it's fruit, so it's healthy, right? No. After a few bites, it's easy for carb and sugar cravings to get stirred up and before you've realized it, you've eaten the entire huge fruit, nut bar sweetened with fruit, or bag of Paleo cookies.

Just because these foods are made Paleo doesn't resolve a bad relationship with food that you may have or overcome cravings and food addictions. I feel that the 21DSD is amazing at helping your recognize where you stand with your relationship with sugar. I personally know if I've had too much of something good, I start feeling lethargic and bloated soon after consumption. It always seems worth it in the moment. However the aftermath usually makes you wish you could turn back time. Making sure my diet is well balanced with the right fats, protein, and carbs is the only way I am able to kick the sugar cravings.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

21DSD Day 16: Salmon Cakes

While the world was celebrating the Warriors victory over Cleveland Cavaliers, I was putting my son to sleep and making sure I didn't burn my dinner. Remember the salmon I had prepared the day before? Well, I had some remaining, so I turned the leftovers into salmon cakes. Recipe is of Quick & Easy Salmon Cakes from Diane's Practical Paleo book. Get it, you wont be sorry!

Day 16 of the 21DSD was one of those running-out-of-the-house-in-a-hurry-to-make-a-meeting-on-time days. And there were two meeting total at different times of the day, so you could imagine how elevated by cortisol levels might have been.

Usually when I leave the house, I carry the car seat while grabbing the diaper bag and another computer bag with our lunch. Onlookers from the streets probably think I am packed for the long haul. Nope. Those are ALL my essentials, most importantly the baby. I don't have time for CrossFit outside of the few short bouts of exercises I do at home. I stay lean by simply eating lots of protein, fat, carbs, and looking funny carrying a baby and a bunch of bags. :)

I am also the one carrying the shipments of Jerky Chews to the post office from my car. It might not be the prettiest picture when there is a baby attached to me in a carrier, but I make it work. Anyone who says women shouldn't lift more than 3 lb weights probably also thinks women shouldn't have babies. My baby was already weighing close to 8 lbs at birth. Lifting is awesome for your health when done with proper form. I look forward to one day returning to yoga and weight lifting classes, but for now I'll stick to lifting my essentials. :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

21DSD Day 15: Easy salmon to the rescue

Just as I had finished my lunch of wild salmon dressed in heaps of ghee, few spices, and a side of starches, I saw a similar meal posted on facebook from Liz Wolfe (aka Real Food Liz), one of my favorite witty real food bloggers. The only difference is that she chose rice for her safe starch and I picked tostones since I've decided to stay off grains for the 21DSD.

I have to agree with her, baked salmon is hands down the easiest meal to prepare. I'm also a SAHM trying to balance family and business, so nutritious meals made simple are my #1 go-tos.

Simply season salmon with your favorite spices -- I tend to stick to the basics: salt and pepper. Add some citrus and a glob of butter and you're done! The only thing to keep in mind is to not overcook it. Remember to turn on that timer! 12-13 minutes on high temp seems to yield the best tasting salmon.

My other go-to meal is homemade mayo with canned wild salmon/tuna. I dress most meals with cucumber/tomato or a side of kraut; fresh salad just does't stay crispy around here for long unless we eat it all in one sitting, which we rarely do. We prefer meats to lots of veggies.

What have been your go-to meals that are fast to make, yet packed with lots of nutrients?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

21DSD Day 13 and 14: 4 ways to take control of your health

Hope you had a good weekend. I got a chance to relax a bit with friends and family. Instead of posting updates about my food intake, I wanted to combine Saturday and Sunday posts and share a few things that help me to slow down and focus on staying healthy.

I have found that the more I dive into expanding my business, the harder it is to find balanced over my health and time spent with family. Running a business can be very consuming and at the same time so rewarding, but it is important to find a sense of balance and hold on to the things that matter most. Listening to our body can especially be pushed to the side during crazy working weeks.

And if you're anything like me, you turn to stressful eating even on a full stomach. The problem here is that the body doesn't need a snack, but actually "hungry" for stress relief. So during the 21DSD, I've started to closely tune in to my body's needs and implement 4 things to help defuse some stress:
  1. Make a list to be more organized: My husband has been telling me for years to make lists to keep track of time spent working on something, in order to not overwork myself beyond what is necessary. I'm still working on staying consistent, but when I do this, I find myself finishing faster with some time to spare on doing something for myself. These days, a 5 minutes shower is note taken for granted. 
  2. Prepare ahead during your time off: It is very common to slip up and get off track eating well when you haven't prepared snacks and meals for the week ahead, especially when you know you will be staying super busy with work. Take some time during the weekend to write down meal plans (Practical Paleo and 21DSD book and cookbook provide pre-made plans) and stock the fridge with the necessary whole ingredients. And if you know that you will be out and about, make sure to have nutrient-dense snacks on hand. This will give you clarity and fuel to go on with an insane week. 
  3. Short workout: Lets face it, finding time to hit the gym is not always possible on a busy schedule. But dedicating 5 - 10 minutes to moving your body in short bursts of exercise can boost your mental performance. Look at sprinting, jumping jacks, or bicycling in short bursts. Mark gives good insight on the subject. 
  4. SLEEP: Something I should be doing now instead of typing this. I do take naps when my son naps a lot of the time. You just have to give your body the opportunity to restore itself again.
Just a couple of ways that help me take control over my health during stressful weeks. Feel free to let me know what has worked for you. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

21DSD Day 12: National Jerky Day

Day 12 of the 21DSD happened to fall on National Jerky Day, read our summery of the history here. I didn't even know such day existed until my assistant Rina pointed it out to me. Since I own a beef jerky company, it was only natural to throw a GIVEAWAY for you and a friend, who will each receive --3 flavors of Jerky Chews + Real Salt shaker! If you're on Instagram or Facebook, it's still not too late to enter! Winners will be selected and announced on Monday, June 15. I run such giveaways rarely due to a small inventory that sells out quickly, so you should definitely take advantage before it's too late!

Tonight, my parents invited us for dinner and made mouth-watering grilled lamb. Probably one of my favorite meats. My dad has this amazing, simple marinade for it that makes a huge difference in punching of the flavor. I will make sure to ask for the recipe and hopefully share it with his permission. This picture just doesn't do the taste justice.

Are you grill ready for the summer season? Do you have your stock of grass-fed and pasture-raised meats? If you're in California, my favorite sources are: Brandon Natural Beef, Open Space Meats, and Rockside Ranch

21DSD Day 11: The Paleofying trap

Day 11 of the 21DSD is marking the half way point of something really good for me, I'm noticing my skin clearing up. The skin on my face has always been my trouble area that even on the standard Paleo diet it has not cleared completely. By doing the Detox, I realized that I have to tweak the Paleo diet further and eliminate sugar in even natural fruit to prevent breakouts. Also the very dark chocolate that I usually have with tea end of the night can cause it. I don't think I'll give up those completely, but definitely will keep better tabs on my sugar consumption.

If you haven't already noticed or been bombarded with pictures of my food ;), I am all for keeping my meals very simple, packed with meats and veggies. Haven't made any 21DSD friendly cookies or even bought a bag of nuts. I learned early in my Paleo journey that "paleofying" very palatable high-calorie foods like cookies with nut flours can be bad for health (in my case, make me bloated). Yes, cookies made with coconut, almond, or some other nut/seed flour are much more nutrient-dense, but even a Paleo cookie is still a cookie that (if you're seeking deeper healing) should be enjoyed sparingly to really reap the benefits of such diet.

My lunch today wasn't homemade, but it was absolutely delicious and simple. You can still find something pre-packaged that's packed with nutrients, such as this satisfying sashimi plate.

Couple hours later, followed "everything but the kitchen sink" dinner of roasted veggies and grass-fed sausage. Farmhouse Kraut on the side. This is how we really eat, hashtag coined by Diane herself. :) 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

21DSD Day 10: Chewing and jaw development

Another 21DSD day on-the-go. Hard boiled eggs, check. Jerky, check. Coconut butter, check. Steamed carrots, check.

Today I had an appointment with my dentist. For the second year now, she has been diligently working every few months on expanding my narrow jaw to prevent future sleep apnea, jaw and neck pain, among other things. Something that is not usually attempted in adults without surgery but I highly recommend to seek a professional if that's a health concern of yours as well. I have the ALF appliance, which is a minimally invasive alternative to surgery.

Making sure my son doesn't grow up with the same medical-dental fate, I asked the doctor for preventative measure to take now and she pointed out the need to CHEW! Chewing tough foods is critical to proper jaw development. So anyone reading this with infants on solids, make sure your baby chews from the start. Beef jerky is traditionally perfect for the task in between meals instead of a paci that can really mess up the dental arch.

My little Jerky Chews-er!
Broad face, wide dental arch, naturally straight teeth are only partially affected by genetics. It's actually the muscles of the lips, tongue and cheeks that control whether the teeth are going to be straight or not.

I first came across this research from attending Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in 2011. I watched the presentation of Dr. Michael Mew, which you can find a summery of here. Some time later, I contacted him to elaborate on the effect of liquidized diet after weaning. Here is what he said:

"To give a quick response, at some point between birth and probably 3 years infants are supposed to move from a suckle to the swallow. This is an important for the future development of the face and the alignment of the teeth. Traditionally the infant would suckle breast milk and then swallow the relatively hard food that was available at the time (may be with a little pre-chewing from Mum- but not much) so the distinction was plain and clear cut. Soft or liquidized baby food allows the child to learn to suckle solid food and since so much of our modern diet can be "par-suckled" this becomes a permanent habit. The forces of a suckle, suck on the teeth pulling them inwards. This is affecting their position and encouraging crowding that is now endemic, previously non existent."

I find this very interesting and have been obsessed since then to learn more, get the treatment for myself, and make sure my child's dental-facial development is on the right track.

My son loves to chew on Jerky Chews. The fact that the Original flavor is the cleanest on the market, I feel good about offering the healthy traditional snack to him. It works wonders at massaging his gums (he only has 2 teeth at 7 months). I could also see the connection of learning to chew in infancy helping our children grow into slower, mindful eaters.

Here is a yummy chewy-steak dinner (following the energy mod of 21DSD) to finish the good day off!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

21DSD Day 9: Leftovers make a no-brainer meal

Today was all about leftovers mixed creatively because it was just too hot to cook! I had the following for almost every meal of the day:

Main dish was a big salad of CSA mixed greens and leftover chicken and grilled veggies dressed in Tessemae's Southwest Ranch. So good!

Also added a side of stew veggies (from this meal) reheated and blended to a perfect mash consistency.

I don't cook everyday and after 8 years of tweaking the Paleo template to my nutritional needs, I'm used to eating leftovers for any meal of the day. Just like pointed out in the 21DSD program, meals are satisfying when they include a combination of protein, carbs and fat. So simply eat real food, in whatever form that takes for you.

Great news for Diane (creator of the 21DSD) today. She showcased her first live TV appearance! In one clip she talks about the detox program and in the other about Paleo and quick food swaps to make the transition easier. Pretty cool stuff!

Monday, June 8, 2015

21DSD Day 8: Summer smoothie

Today was one sizzling hot day here in Northern California. I've been doing pretty well at keeping sugar cravings at bay with lots of protein, healthy fats, and carbs (some in starch form because I'm breastfeeding). But maybe because I was still melting past dinner time and my sweet tooth cravings seem to usually appear at night, I all of a sudden had the urge to make a cold treat before bed. The following is my modification of 21DSD Chocolate Mousse. Clean and quick smoothie recipe that satisfies every time.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter diluted with 1/2 cup calming warm tea to make herbal infused coconut milk
  • 3 - 4 ice cubes
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened Cocoa powder (I had only baking variety available and don't have much of a craving for chocolate, but feel free to add more)
  • 1/2 green banana 
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately for the freshest and yummiest bedtime treat. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

21DSD Day 7: There is more to food

Another great day spent out and about. We attended a family event at a park celebrating Jonathan going to college. Jonathan, who was an incoming junior in high school at the time, spent one summer interning for me. He helped me make delicious new recipes and wrote content for the blog about (what else?) everything beef jerky. Jonathan has matured into a bright, responsible young man who is eager to do well. I am proud of his achievements and wish him well in this next chapter of his life.

Although I took photos of the Paleo and 21DSD food options available at the celebration, I don't want this post to be about food for once. Food is not the only ingredient (pun intended) to living a happy and healthy life. Spending IN PERSON time with people who matter the most to you by taking time away from the interwebs allows you to enjoy the moments of actual living more fully. Using all our senses to engage with our surroundings can be quite fun and fulfilling. And if your body is running on healthy, whole foods sans sugar, food is no longer the only thing on your mind between meals. Granted, you are well "armed" with healthy snacks in case hunger pays a visit.

My family doesn't always find the time to go out in nature, but when we do, it's so nice to take in the nature with all of the senses. Here is a candid shot of us strolling through the park while our little guy takes a nap.

How do you carve out time away from the computer to live in the moment?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

21DSD Day 6: Eating out

The weekend is here, which means we have places to be and people to see. Eating clean doesn't mean we can't be social. We just don't make it about the food and focus on enjoying the friendly company we're with instead. Opting for drinking water and giving booze a break. This sugar Detox wont last forever. It is just a reset, so we can be more conscious of the foods we eat and how they affect our wellness.

Our friends hired a Taco Man to cater their birthday celebration. Tasty food I could enjoy, just hold the tacos and certain toppings that are not 21DSD compliant. Here is my plate of just meat and lots of guac. I had several servings. I eat homemade meals 90% of the time, so it's a treat to eat out occasionally. Just making smart choices so I don't skip out on my healthy goals.

What I really love about Paleo is that you can customize it to your health goals and can be in control of the clean ingredients going into every meal. It takes getting used to, but after some time you get a hang of it and it simply becomes part of life. The above meal of protein, fat, and some carbs filled me up for a couple hours. I finished the night drinking tea and eating half of a green apple with melted coconut butter on top. Yum. All nutritional needs were met and my belly is feeling happy. Til next time! 

21DSD Day 5: Cooking for guests

This post is a day late because yesterday was a hectic day of getting work done, tidying the house, and cooking up a storm of real food deliciousness for a lovely company of friends we were expecting at night. Trying to get my little guy to cooperate with my busy schedule was a bit troublesome, but little Michelle came to the rescue and occupied his time with her witty humor and kickass cooking chops! If Sheldon Cooper taught us anything about collectables is that Mint in the Box is serious business and a toy should never be taken out. I might have also been lazy about unpacking it. :)

At some point, I had to employ more babysitting help to make sure I could get everything done in time. And still, I was finishing things up soon after our guests arrived. I have no idea how mothers of multiple kids do it?

Since I didn't have time to sit down for a meal, I ate while feeding J salmon and veggies with fish broth. I re-heated a big enough portion for us to share.

As I was prepping dinner, I did snack on some jerky, steamed carrot, and half an avocado to keep my energy up. I opened the 8oz-size bag of Original Jerky Chews you can find on the homepage, and munched on that without guilt. Original is only 100% grass-fed beef, salt, and vinegar -- all ingredients are 21DSD compliant. In fact, Mild and Spicy are good, too!

For dinner, I made Nom Nom Paleo's Oven-Braised Beef Stew. My favorite for special occasions and it's always a crowd pleaser. It's tough to screw up. I omitted a couple ingredients I didn't have, like celery stalk, shallots, and canned tomatoes (used Rao's Marinara sauce I had stored in the fridge from another recipe), and it still came out delicious. Added sides like cauliflower rice and pickled cabbage veggie dish (per my grandma's recipe that my mom tackled couple days ago and shared with us -- involves a long step-process that seems daunting to take-on for a busy bee like me). But if I ever do, I'll make sure to share it! Oh, and I did have some vino, which surprisingly didn't bring on sugar cravings. I'm feeling good.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

21DSD Day 4: Bone Broth in Tea

Since the start of the 21DSD, I've been on a bone broth kick. I have swapped it for my usual piece of fruit I tend to reach for in the morning. I brew a fresh cup of herbal tea and dilute a few tablespoons of my homemade gelatinous broth. Touted for its health-promoting benefits due to high content of collagen, magnesium, calcium and other important nutrients critical for reducing inflammation and improving gut, joint, and skin health, no wonder why it's become the trendiest morning drink. I also find it quite satisfying.

You can search online for many ways to make it and I've even posted my variation many moons ago that to this date remains my most popular post. Hmm cool trend and hope it will stick around!

Mid-day I enjoyed some leftovers and coconut butter on homemade tostones. I did eat a green-tipped banana for a snack, after which I dozed off while my little guy napped. It was a much-needed rest after having been woken up by my human alarm at sunrise couple days in a row. Good thing my baby's circadian rhythm is looking good. :)

Dinner was quite colorful. Fried salmon cakes and skin (yum!), fresh green salad, roasted eggplant/tomato side. Continuing to focus on nutrient-dense foods to stay satiated throughout the day.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

21DSD Day 3: Making it through a long meeting

You know it's a good day when you can go three or four hours without experiencing a sugar crash between meals. Knowing I'd be up this morning early for a meeting, I made sure to have some hard boiled eggs prepared the night before. I had those on-the-go with some avocado, and packed jerky in case I needed more fuel.

While people at the meeting munched on tropical fruit and granola, which are not so bad when in most scenarios you'd expect to see only doughnuts or/and bagels available, I didn't feel tempted to take part. If I wasn't on the 21DSD, I would have happily made a plate of fresh fruit for myself as well. But I am so happy I didn't. I was able to sit at the long meeting wide-awake and tune into the intelligent conversation without feeling lethargic.

Later in the day, I had leftover tasty sliders and seasonal veggies. For dinner, I quickly made Diane's Lemon Rosemary Broiled Salmon with a side of grain-free green cabbage pancakes and some veggies. Loving how I've been feeling and realizing that the usual urge to go for something sweet is more out of habit than necessity.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

21DSD Day 2: Easy Chicken and Beef Slider Recipe

I had a really great time yesterday reconnecting with Michelle of Nom Nom Paleo. My little guy couldn't help keep his hands off her pretty swag. I got my Nom Nom Paleo book signed. Love to cook out of it and even more browsing through the inspiring stories and gorgeous imagery.

We were at Books Inc. in Palo Alto for Diana Rodgers' Hopegrown Paleo Coockbook Tour. Diana did a remarkable job pouring her soul into a book that hopefully will revolutionize the Paleo movement. The focus is not on having 6-pack abs Crossfit style, but on knowing where your food comes from and how you can take charge in growing whatever you can yourself. There is something for everyone. I personally have wanted a chicken coop for the longest time, but Diana was frank about it needing space which we SF Bay Area dwellers don't really have. Instead, she recommended to start an herb garden that's more manageable and doesn't require much space. 

I love the wonderful work these ladies are doing and wanted to show my support by sponsoring a few giveaways of Jekry Chews for their fans. Here is one lucky winner with the beautiful ladies and handsome Big-O. 

Today is the second day of 21DSD and all I had time for was to make a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs and grass-fed beef liver. My 7 mo son J chomped on that like a pro. I say introduce them young to as many nutrient-dense foods as possible. 

We then headed to work on processing beef jerky orders. My mom came to the rescue and prepared her signature meaty sliders (in Russian they are called kotleti) that we happily enjoyed with baked sweet potato/zucchini mix and salad.

Ingredients to make around 20 sliders (great to freeze for later):
  • 1 lb of each ground grass-fed beef and ground pasture-raised chicken/turkey or all three
  • 1 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped in a food processor 
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed in a press
  • 2  teaspoons of Real Salt (one I use in my jerky as well) 
  • Ground black pepper to taste 
  • Coconut or another healthy fat of your choice, for frying
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for coconut oil. Blend well (using your hands) into a uniform mixture. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. 
  3. With wet hands, shape the mixture into 2 inch sliders. Working in batches, fry the sliders for about 3 - 4 minutes per side. They will turn brown and become rather hard as a sign that they are done. 
Enjoy them hot, warm, or cold. Easy peasy, and so delicious! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

21DSD Day 1: On-the-go

Simple meal and snacks prepped for day 1 of 21DSD
Today we are starting Day 1 of the The 21-Day Sugar Detox (21DSD) by Diane Sanfilippo. You can get the guide and cookbook on Amazon and it's never too late to start! Come join us! There is a huge community of support you can find out all about here.

My husband and I first tried and successfully completed the detox after our honeymoon a year and a half ago. Unfortunately, I wasn't all that successful documenting my experience. I wrote just a few posts you can read about below and under this tab. Hopefully I'll actually stick to posting for 21 days this time.

The only difference between doing the detox then and now is that this time we are also joined by our 7-month-old son J. He just started eating a variety of veggies and meats, but since his taste buds haven't been tampered with much sugar yet and he is only a baby, don't worry about me restricting his real food intake. :) J's diet will include fruit and I will do my best to resist finishing it. Bye-bye super ripe bananas. I should mention that I've been following a Paleo template for almost 8 years and for the most part our diets have been comprised of real food. This Detox is just to help limit the intake of chocolate, fruit, and other sweets made from whole foods that we tend to enjoy a little too often.

Although I will part ways with ripe fruit (you are allowed a green apple or green-tipped banana), I probably wont limit starches like green plantains and sweet potatoes as I am breastfeeding. I find that I really need the carbs!

Todays is turning out to be a busy day. After completing orders and other biz related stuff, my son and I will head to Books Inc tonight to support awesome Paleo bloggers and book authors you might have heard of: Diana Rodgers of Sustainable Dish and Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo fame. I'm planing to be there with some giveaways of Grass Fed Jerky Chews and you should come if you are local. Find event details here.

Since I will be on the go for most of the day, I will be armed with Jerky Chews, lunch of baked sweet potato/cauliflower mix and beef/turkey sliders, coconut butter for when those sugar cravings hit, and Farmhouse Kraut (not pictured). This is a great combo of grass-fed protein, nutrient-dense carbs, healthy fats, and fermented veggies. My son will also enjoy veggies and ground beef/turkey meatballs cooked in nutritious chicken broth. Whatever he doesn't finish, I will eat. Dinner is most likely wild salmon with salad and some serving of veggies. Keeping it simple is the way to go!