halloween fruit snacks.. a guest post from Uber Fresh

*This is a guest post from Alice Ger of Uber Fresh*

Halloween is around the corner, and we started thinking to ourselves, what are we going to give the cute kiddos that are going to stop by?  We cringed at the thought of high fructose corn syrup, food colorings and preservatives parading in a pretty wrapper. What we came up with: Healthy fruit snacks from organic, raw Uber Fresh juice! [And don't forget the benefits from grass-fed collagen too!]


Uber Fresh Halloween Fruit Snacks (GF, NF, DF)

  • Servings: enough for all the kiddos
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 6 tablespoons of unflavored grass fed gelatin (I like THIS kind)
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of your favorite Uber Fresh Juice
  • candy molds – I bought several of these Halloween ones here
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons of organic, raw honey to add some extra sweetness to the vegetable juices


*Have all ingredients ready and laid out before beginning as you’ll need to work quickly once you start.

  • boil ½ cup of water
  • place ½ cup Uber Fresh juice in a medium sized bowl
  • add gelatin and stir quickly to create a paste
  • quickly add the ½ cup boiling water and stir again briskly – a thick but mixable liquid should form
  • add the honey if desired
  • pour in the rest of the 1 cup Uber Fresh juice and continue to stir
  • using a spoon as the easiest and least messy way, pour the mixture into your molds as quick as you can without spilling
  • place in the fridge for 2-3 hours. When they’re done they’ll solidify and your Healthy Halloween gummy fruit snacks will be ready to share
  • ENJOY!

…And don’t forget to save some for the cute kids (big and small)!


beef and bacon chunky pumpkin chili

Ok guys, I am not going to waste your time with a lot of jabber on this. I just have to come out and say it; I LOVE THIS CHILI. I genuinely love it more than any other recipe I have come up with. Yes, I might be a bit biased because I made it from scratch, and yes, I might have a bit of an emotional attachment to food, but there is good reason for this. And what it all comes down to is nourishment.

When you really think about true nourishment, it goes so much further than just the nutrients in food on a plate. Nourishment is physical, yes, but it’s also emotional and spiritual. In the act of creating and preparing a meal for the ones you love, you are, in a sense, giving your love in a way that is so unique. It may sound cheesy, but I really believe this. Without food we cannot live, right? Well, I believe that without love and care from our “people” we also cannot live. Sitting (or squatting) down for a meal is something that goes back as far as humans do, and since the very first meal, this act has been done with a tribe, a group of people that care for each other, sitting down to enjoy nourishment from food, community, and love.

Some of my most nostalgic memories are of sitting down with my family to dinner each and every night – without TV, without, cell phones, entirely disconnected from anything else. Those meals allowed us to be fully present, engaged in each other, and aware of the fact that we were a tribe, a family, a group of people connected to each other by blood, yes, but more importantly by the nourishment that we gave each other by caring, listening, and eating as one.

Can you tell I have been journaling? It’s cheap therapy, and it’s working….


So in spending Sunday afternoon preparing this chili… from buying the ingredients at Farmer’s Market that morning to selectively choosing each spice to add to the recipe as I went along… I was performing an act of nourishment for my people. And when we sat down to enjoy it, and my parents, the ones who have nourished me since the day I was born, my brother, who has been a permanent best friend and fellow mischief maker, and my husband, who is my biggest support and greatest love, looked at me with gratitude, love, and warmth, I knew that I was nourishing them in a way that went far beyond the physical nutrients from the ingredients in the chili. We were creating a memory, sharing our love, and building the foundation for relationships that are so unbelievably priceless.

So I will leave you with that. When you make this recipe, which I highly recommend you do, remember the nourishment that went into creating it, and carry that with you as you spread that nourishment to the ones you love, to your tribe, your people.

Because no matter what we cook, when we prepare meals for the ones we love with their health and wellbeing in mind, when we sit down in the present moment and nourish our bodies together, we are taking in more than nutrients, we are taking in nourishment for the soul.

So here you have it; Beef and Bacon Chunky Chili (for the soul). My all-time favorite recipe to date.


Beef and Bacon Chunky Pumpkin Chili (GF, NF, DF)

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1-3 hours
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • 8 slices of pastured bacon
  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion (I used spring onions because they were at my farmer’s market)
  • 1 large leek
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade beef bone broth
  • 2 TB honey
  • 2 cups roasted organic pumpkin (or 1 can of organic pumpkin purée)*
  • 2 (15 oz) cans organic diced tomatoes, drained (or keep the juice if you want the chili soupier)

*I much prefer fresh roasted pumpkin here because it gives the chili its chunkiness. Buy a small baking pumpkin. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Roast it face down on a baking sheet until it’s soft. Remove the pumpkin meat from skin, and use it in your chili (you can do this a few days before, keep it in the fridge, and use the roasted pumpkin in recipes like my granola, pancakes, or scones, all week)

Find ingredient notes HERE!


  • heat a large roasting pot or dutch oven over medium heat
  • chop your bacon and throw it in the pot to begin cooking
  • dice your onions and leek, add to bacon, and cook until bacon is a bit crispy and onions are soft
  • add in your beef, break it up with a spatula, and let it brown
  • as your beef cooks, add the minced garlic and your spices
  • once the beef is cooked through, add in your broth and stir
  • now add in the honey and stir it up (should have a nice simmer going)
  • add your broth and tomatoes
  • give it a taste, and add more salt or spices if desired
  • stir and let it simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes or a few hours (I let it simmer for 3 hours)
  • ENJOY! We grated some raw organic cheese on top and enjoyed with fresh avocado

Let me know what you think. I think this is going to be a weekly staple all season! I kind of fell in love with this chili, and it’s my current favorite. I’d love to hear if you like it! Happy pumpkin season and happy nourishing!

grain-free pumpkin granola

I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes, I Just. Want. Cereal. Especially crunchy, delicious granola. This is coming from a girl who literally lived off of granola in college. I had it in yogurt with fresh berries in the warm months (and because I went to Cal Poly, that means about 10 months of the year), and I would go for this pumpkin flax granola in the winter months, when I’d warm it in *gasp* the microwave soaked in *double gasp* soy milk. There is something sentimental to me when I think back to that pumpkin granola, and even though you couldn’t pay me to drink soy milk, I sure could go for a big bowl of that pumpkin goodness on occasion.

I have come A LONG way since those days, but that doesn’t mean I don’t crave granola anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to beat a breakfast of pastured bacon and eggs, but with the seasons FINALLY changing, so have my cravings, and suddenly, I have found myself with all things pumpkin on the brain and an itch to get in the kitchen and try out my own take on that old favorite. Who can blame me, when there are beautiful squashes like this at our farmer’s market? I ended up bringing home 5 today. Organic canned pureed pumpkin is great, but nothing beats fresh roasted pumpkins straight from the oven.


So with determination in my heart, I set out to make the perfect batch of pumpkin granola, and this recipe REALLY hit the spot. Enjoy cold or warm with whole raw milk, full fat coconut cream, or some delicious Uber almond mylk. You can even pack it on the go for a great snack! It’s free of any processed sugar and filled with healthy fats from coconut, cashews, and pumpkin seeds. Plus, it’s got some more added health benefits from cacao nibs and flax seeds. It’s super easy, and your kitchen will smell good all day. Can’t beat that!

So here you go! Introducing my Grain-Free Pumpkin Granola….


Grain-Free Pumpkin Granola (GF, DF)

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 40 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 TB extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (fresh roasted or organic canned)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cups raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raw cashews (you can sub pecans, walnuts, etc)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup organic flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup organic cacao nibs
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs (you could also use golden raisins or berries, but I love dried figs)

Ingredient notes can be found HERE**


  • preheat oven to 300 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • in a small pan, mix together honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla
  • bring to a slight boil then remove from heat
  • stir in the pumpkin and spices
  • in a large mixing bowl mix together pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, flax seeds, cacao nibs, and chopped figs.
  • pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir together (I like to use my hands here)
  • pour the mixture into the parchment paper and spread evenly
  • Bake for 10 minutes, stir it, flatten out again, and repeat every 10 minutes until it has baked 25-30 minutes. Be careful not to let it burn!
  • let your granola cool completely, place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight
  • break it up into chunks, store it in a mason jar, and enjoy on it’s own or in your favorite milk (raw whole milk, coconut milk, or my favorite Uber Almond Mylk)

Enjoy! And get ready because I have two new recipes coming in this week… paleo pumpkin bacon chili AND a new pumpkin pie recipe that will knock your socks off. Pie is just my favorite. Stay tuned!




battle of the fat camps and beef bacon bolognese

A couple weeks back, I had a client of mine send me the link to THIS article titled Embracing Fat for a Healthy Heart Is a Notion Based on Flawed Science. The writer, Dean Ornish, MD, is also one of the docs behind Forks Over Knives, a film that sets out to prove that many of the current diseases and health problems can be solved simply by getting rid of all animal products, fats, and processed foods. If this isn’t your first time visiting my blog, you know by now that I am not picking up what Dr. Ornish is putting down…

Getting rid of processed foods? Hell yes. Getting rid of animal-based products? Oh hell no. Been there, done that, and I am still suffering the consequences and working daily to heal the damage done.

It would be cool if I could end this post now. Sometimes I wish it were that easy, that I could just say “oh hell no” and you would believe me, and move on with your day content, but that’s not real life, and in fact, I am thankful that I get questions, that you want answers, and that you aren’t content to believe everything you read without seeking out the truth. It was contentment that led me to sickness, and it has been questioning and searching for answers that has brought me where I am today. It’s also built in me a desire to help others do the same. So, here I go, debunking this article, and of course, backing up my debunking with proof. Let’s dive, in shall we?

To start, here is the major claim and focus of the article, as it’s stated by Dr. Ornish:

In more than 37 years of randomized trials and demonstration projects, my colleagues and I at the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine have shown that when people with even severe coronary heart disease change to a whole-foods, plant-based diet low in fat and low in refined carbs, their heart disease begins to reverse.

First, I would like to see a link to these randomized trials and demonstration project, but there is none given. Second, though, is this: The crazy thing is that I can actually agree with this claim despite the fact that Dr. Ornish and I have clearly opposing views on nutrition and health. There is one particular line of this argument that we might just be able to see eye to eye on, and that is the part about having folks change “to a whole-foods, plant-based [stay with me here] diet low in fat [don't bail on me yet] and low in refined carbs.” Let me break this down now bit by bit.


I go into much more depth on this concept HERE, but I believe you would have a VERY hard time finding a single person (educated in nutrition or not) who would argue that real, whole foods are not a better choice than anything processed or refined. Foods in their whole form carry all the nutrients we need to live, thrive, and hold off disease and are so much more powerful than many give them credit for. When I go to Farmers Market every Sunday, I see tables of preventative medicine that just so happens to taste amazing too!


Ok, this is where things get a little weird, but stay with me. Do I think our diets should be 100% plant-based? Nope. What I do think, however, is that when you look at a plate, over half of it should be filled with bright, fresh, local, organic produce. If we do the hypothetical math here, and half the plate is filled with plants and the remaining part is filled with properly raised animal protein and high quality fat from those same properly raised animals, organic coconut, or other plants (avocado, olives, etc.) it becomes clear that yes, in fact, a healthy balanced diet SHOULD be primarily plant-based. Where Dr. Ornish gets this wrong, however, is in his interpretation of plant-based referring to 100% plant based, with no meat, little fat, and frankly zero fun. Not only is his approach to food uninspiring, it is also dangerous to your health. We need animal protein and fats in order for our bodies to thrive the way they are meant to (more on this to come).

low in fat

Again, you might be confused, but let me clarify. Not all fats are created equal, and the majority of the fats that the average American consumes are what I like to call crap oils (Thanks to Liz Wolfe for that one) like canola oil, soybean oil, and the like. These fats are cheap, easy to find, long-lasting, and of course, big money makers for the folks (Monsanto) that seem to have a death grip on the food pyramid, agriculture, and the vote. If Dr. Ornish is talking about these fats, then hell yes I agree with him. If he isn’t, well then he should be, and instead of low, he should have said “no.” For starters, there is THIS petition to get Whole Foods to stop cooking with canola oil. So that gets you thinking. Then, there is THIS great post by Diane Sanfilippo that goes into the details of canola oil making and its impact on our health: “rapeseeds + high heat processing with hexane (a chemical solvent) = a grey, awful smelling, non-smooth oil.” And this oil wreaks havoc on your insides. These man-made (non-real food) oils oxidize (go rancid) in the body, leaving your poor insides confused and unable to metabolize them, therefore, storing them in your fat cells. What do we get thanks to these nasty rancid, plastic-like oils? Inflammation. Yikes. And that’s just canola oil. There is also plentiful soybean oil that Americans also seem to consume by the gallon. These fats will make you sick, slowly but surely, but the kinds of fats I support and eat day in and day out are very different; they are whole, nutrient dense, necessary foods. More on the types of fats we SHOULD be eating plenty of can be found HERE.

low in refined carbs

And finally, low in refined carbs. Nailed it. This is an easy one that we can agree on in every sense of the words. Breaking the sugar habit can be as difficult as coming off an addictive drug (or maybe worse for some folks), but the importance of removing refined carbs from our diets is greatly undervalued (or maybe just pushed under the rug), in my opinion. The truth is that Americans are killing themselves slowly in death by sugar addiction, and this society just continues to fuel the vicious cycle.

So Dr. Ornish and I agree on a few things, but let’s get real; we couldn’t be more opposing on some major nutrition points; while he dictates removal of fats and animal protein, I am a HUGE advocate of these foods and for good reason too.

Dr. Ornish comes from a background that has led him to believe, buy into, and now teach what mainstream government and media would like to have everyone believe, and I have now decided to dedicate a large portion of my energy into proving him wrong. HERE is a great post on “4 Superfoods the Media Tells you are Unhealthy.” Imagine that; all 4 of these foods have research to back up their superfood properties AND each comes from an animal. Pastured eggs, grass-fed ruminants, organ meats from properly raised animals, and lard from the same happy creatures. Whether it’s the omega-3s and CLAs, the  B Vitamins and Vitamins A and D, or selenium, choline, iron, and riboflavin, each of these superfoods is PACKED with nutrients and healthy fats that your body literally NEEDS to survive, repair, and grow.

In THIS hilarious, albeit incredibly spot on, critique of the movie that made Dr. Ornish so well known, Denise Minger breaks down one of main arguments presented in Forks Over Knives. This bit is probably my favorite (though I recommend you read the whole review). She takes a line from the movie that clearly puts the producers and doctors behind the film in their place:

13:06—But when we consume dietary cholesterol, which is only found in animal foods like meat, eggs, and dairy products, it tends to stay in the bloodstream. This so-called plaque is what collects on the inside of our blood vessels and is the major cause of coronary artery disease.

And then follows with a witty argument against this claim:

Yikes! Did we slip and fall back into the ’80s? For starters, cholesterol from animal foods does not have some magical ability to set up permanent camp in your bloodstream and turn into plaque, just by sheer virtue of its animal-foodness. This was a common line of thought decades ago, but as research progressed, we figured out that the body is actually pretty awesome at regulating cholesterol production in response to what we ingest from food. As this paper from 2009 explains, the supposed link between dietary and serum cholesterol stems from studies that had fundamental design flaws, failed to separate the effects of cholesterol different types of fat intake, or were performed on animals that are obligate herbivores (hey there, rabbits!). The doctors in “Forks Over Knives,” it seems, are among the few stragglers who still believe dietary cholesterol is harmful.

It’s clear as day really, and it’s time all doctors, educators, RDs, parents, and law-makers got on board and put health before money, especially considering today’s kids are the first generation that is not expected to live longer than the generation before them. It’s heartbreaking really.

I would like to leave you with THIS amazing article courtesy of the Russells of CrossFit HQ. It provides the perfect example of why you can’t believe every “study” you read about because behind every study is a fallible and most likely very biased team of folks eager to prove their hypothesis and ready to “tweak” the findings to do so. In this case, an ACSM Fellow tries to de-bunk the Paleo diet and fails beautifully in the process. Ultimately, you can read every peer reviewed study you’d like to (and I recommend you do get your eyes on a few), but the real study that matters is the one you perform on yourself. Cut out the crap, increase the healthy animal fats that you consume, eat moderate amounts of protein to fuel your individual needs, and see how you feel. Add in more organic, local produce to your diet. What’s the outcome? If it works, well then keep on doing it. If it doesn’t try something else.

And ALWAYS feel free to reach out for help. With technology at our fingertips, there are so many bloggers, educators, Nutrition Consultants, and friends to reach out to for advice, support, or ideas. Don’t hesitate to ask for help because there is someone out there who wants to help. Heck, I am one of those people, and I am just a comment or email away!

Now, in honor of the celebration of the many benefits of FAT, here is a recipe for delicious, fat-filled beef bacon bolognese that will fill up your stomach and your soul, all while delivering the many health benefits of fats.


Beef Bacon Bolognese (GF, NF, DF)

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 90 min
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • 1.5 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 3 TB butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped pastured bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 TB tomato paste*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • the equivalent of 2 cans whole meaty tomatoes*
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon
  • 1 large organic spaghetti squash

*make sure you go for a brand that is organic and has no added sugar or preservatives

More notes on ingredient choice can be found HERE


  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • heat a large dutch oven or pot on the stove top and add 2 TB of cooking fat
  • cook the ground beef and bacon until cooked through
  • use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and set aside (leave the juices!)
  • cook the carrots, onion, garlic and oregano until soft in the meat juice on medium heat
  • add the tomatoes, tomato paste, meat a sprinkle of salt and pepper and bay leaf (make sure you add salt as you cook, not all at once)
  • bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, tasting, and adding salt if needed
  • now, cut your spaghetti squash in half length-wise and remove the seeds
  • rub the rest of your butter or coconut oil on the halves, place them cut side down on a baking sheet, and put in the oven for about 30 minutes
  • check on them at around 25 minutes with a fork. It should easily break in strands to form pasta (make sure you don’t overcook them, or you’ll have mush)
  • pull spaghetti from squash with a fork (this should happen easily) and serve in bowls
  • spoon generous portions of your meaty, bacony sauce on top
  • garnish with fresh tarragon and ENJOY!!


There is something so deliciously simple about spaghetti squash and bolognese. Plus, leftover spaghetti squash is delicious all week long, topped with whatever your heart desires! Go enjoy  your fat today! Comment below with the benefits you have seen since adding more fat (and getting rid of sugar) in your lives.


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