Easy Shrimp and Fennel Bowl ๐Ÿค

Fennel is a gut super food and is often given as a digestive aid ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป we love to sautรฉ it with bell pepper, green onion and cauliflower rice for a yummy lunch bowl ๐Ÿ˜‡

This time we decided to add in shrimp for a good dose of protein and micronutrients such as iodine, selenium and zinc which are all important for thyroid health ๐ŸŒˆ

They also contain some omega 3 fatty acids and astaxantin which are powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Everything is married together with plenty of garlic, salt and a dollop of guacamole ๐Ÿฅ‘ or Tartar sauce ๐Ÿ˜‹

If you love this recipe, check out our chicken and fennel hash or the shrimp paella ๐Ÿฅ˜

One tip is to use left over shrimp such as shrimp kabobs or airfryer shrimp to speed things up ๐Ÿ˜…

To make 1 bowl you need:

6 ounces of shrimp ๐Ÿค I like Vital Choice but you can check out my guide to seafood here

1 small bulb of fennel ๐Ÿฅฌ

1 bell pepper ๐Ÿซ‘ (I used a mix of green, red and yellow )

Green onion to taste ๐Ÿง…

Salt ๐Ÿง‚ and garlic powder ๐Ÿง„

1.5 cups of cauliflower rice ๐Ÿš (frozen works too)

Olive oil or other ancestral fat for cooking ๐Ÿณ

How to:

Begin by heating up olive oil in the pan. Thinly slice the fennel, bell pepper and green onion. Add those to the hot oil and let that sautรฉ. Season with salt and garlic powder.

Once those have the desired texture, add in the cauliflower rice and let it all come together for a few minutes. Season again.

If you are using left over shrimp, add those in to warm them up. If youโ€™re making them fresh which doesnโ€™t take long, heat up more olive oil in a pan and sear them for about 3-4 minutes on each side, seasoning them with salt and garlic.

Serve with guacamole (or avocado if youโ€™re tight on time) and keto mayonnaise ๐Ÿคฉ

Rainbow Veggie Fritters ๐ŸŒˆ

Crispy veggie fritters are a real comfort food and always transport me back to my Omaโ€™s kitchen who often made potato Rรถsti with apple sauce for us children ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

While potatoes and apples are off the table, this yummy swap is not! We threw together a variety of summer veggies, spices, and combined it with grain free flours and delicious creamy duck eggs ๐Ÿณ which we got from the market. They have a similar nutrient profile to regular chicken eggs, but contain a bit more fat, protein, B12 and choline which are all essential for metabolism and mitochondrial health!

These are essentially a spin on our zucchini cakes ๐Ÿ˜

To make you need (2 servings):

1 purple onion ๐Ÿง…

1 carrot ๐Ÿฅ•

1.5 bell peppers ๐Ÿซ‘

1/3 cup almond flour ๐ŸŒฐ

1/3 cup coconut flour ๐Ÿฅฅ

1/3 cup coconut chips ๐Ÿฅฅ- we like dang brand lightly salted

1/2 cup chopped curly parsley ๐ŸŒฟ

2 large duck eggs or 3 chicken eggs ๐Ÿฅš

Salt, pepper and cumin ๐ŸŒถ

Duck fat or another ancestral fat for frying ๐Ÿณ

How to:

Begin by finely shredding the veggies and chopping the herbs. Season with salt, pepper and cumin and mix thoroughly with your hands. Add in the eggs and mix again.

Next, add the flours and coconut chips, and mix again, letting the batter sit for a few minutes while the duck fat heats up in a pan.

Using a spoon or your hands, scoop out some batter and form about 6 little patties. Fry them for about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until crispy brown.

Serve with bacon or smoked salmon for breakfast, or with guacamole or tomato sauce as a fat-fueled snack!

Deconstructed Lamb Gyro Bowl ๐Ÿฅ™

Like many of my lunches, this lamb gyro bowl was a spontaneous creation with the leftovers in my fridge, and tasted so so good, I had to share ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‡

I used left-over slow cooker shredded lamb but other lamb dishes like this lamb shank meat or steak would work too! For sourcing, check out my guide to lamb here!

Lamb gyros are typically served in a pita wrap with cucumber, lettuce, cabbage slaw, and lots of feta and tzaziki which I swapped for guacamole and MCT Mayo ๐Ÿ˜‹ (just as yummy)!!

To get a bit of a carby mouthfeel, I reheated the lamb meat with shirataki noodles and laid those over a bed of lettuce, cucumber cubes and lightly sautรฉed cabbage slaw. I topped it all off with crispy air fried veggies and a big scoop of guac and Mayo, and garnished with cilantro, it all really came together nicely- I surprised myself ๐Ÿคช this will definitely be made again ๐Ÿคฉ

For one bowl you need:

Shredded lamb- about 6 ounces ๐Ÿ‘

1 package of shirataki noodles ๐Ÿ

Lettuce and cucumber ๐Ÿฅ’

Shredded cabbage ๐Ÿฅฌ

Airfried Zucchini, cauliflower and bell pepper ๐Ÿซ‘

Cilantro for garnish ๐ŸŒฟ

Guacamole and Mayo ๐Ÿฅ‘

How to:

While the veggies are in the airfryer (20 minutes at 400ยฐF), reheat the lamb meat and add in the noodles! In a separate pan, toast the slaw and season with some salt and cilantro.

Cut the cucumber and the lettuce and use them as the base of the bowl. In one corner place the slaw, in the other the noodles and meat. Top with the crispy veggies, guacamole and Mayo and enjoy ๐Ÿฅ‘

If you love bowls like me, check out my other bowls like this brisket bowl, chicken burrito bowl, or these trout bowls!

Cod and Cauli Bowl ๐Ÿฅ™

This bowl is easily thrown together and is a great way to utilize leftovers ๐Ÿฅฐ

Thatโ€™s really important for us since we are always on the go, and can be tempted to grab a quick snack instead of eating a wholesome meal.

While we do have lots of healthy snacks options, check out my previous post ๐Ÿ˜‡ this meal is thrown together in minutes and utilizes left over grilled cod (or any other fish), left over cumin spiced cauliflower rice with lots of guacamole (easy right ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป)!?

Of course you can make all of this fresh as well, but sometimes we just need to throw together some leftovers, and thatโ€™s okay too ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

To make you need:

6 ounces of grilled fish ๐Ÿ - I used left over pacific cod from Northstar Bison- you can use my referral link to save 10$ on your order ๐Ÿคฉ

Leftover cauliflower rice hash – check out this recipe or make it fresh ๐Ÿณ

Plenty of fresh herbs and guacamole ๐Ÿฅ‘

How to:

This recipe is honestly just a quick assembly of youโ€™re using leftovers. Simply heat them up, scoop on the guacamole and sprinkle with herbs and optionally olive oil for some more healthy fats ๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿซ’

Making everything fresh doesnโ€™t make much time either- Plan about 20 minutes and follow the recipes linked above ๐Ÿ™‚

Umami Mushrooms ๐Ÿ„

Another yummy veggie side to go along with your favorite main course ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™ƒ

We love this with roasted salmon, duck breast or pork tenderloin for a little asian umami kick ๐Ÿฅฐ

We love to use a special umami mushroom blend consisting of royal trumpet, shiitake, oyster and pearl mushrooms, but Iโ€™m sure regular button mushrooms will do the trick too ๐Ÿ„

To make 2 portions you need:

1 lb of your favorite mushrooms ๐Ÿ„

Salt, pepper and garlic ๐Ÿง„

1-2 stalks of green onion ๐Ÿง…

Coconut or avocado oil for frying ๐Ÿฅ‘

How to:

Heat up the ancestral fat of your choice in a pan and finely chop the onions. Fry until browned and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Next , add the mushrooms, depending on the sozw you may have to chop them, itโ€™s up to the texture you prefer.

Sautรฉ everything for 5-7 minutes, season and serve ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Functional Friday: Liver Loveโค๏ธ

Welcome back to functional Friday ๐ŸŒˆ

As a certified functional blood chemistry specialist, I want to make standard labs more accessible to you all, and help you identify possible areas of dysfunction, before they become a major concern. As always, please do not take this as medical advice, and be sure to check with your health care provider before making a radical change ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ

Now letโ€™s take a look at 2 markers on the Complete Metabolic Panel which most people get run every year- the ALT and AST which are two liver enzymes that can indicate how well your liver is detoxing and/or if it is stressed.

Enzymes are supposed to be in the cells, so when they are elevated in the blood there is an indication that the cells are dying faster than they should be, which is a sign of distress.

The functional ranges for both ALT and AST is 10-20, meaning that this is where we want them to be so your body is functioning at its best.

On the other hand, if the enzymes are below the functional range, this can indicate a B6 deficiency since B6 is a cofactor for the enzymes to do their job.

When liver enzymes are elevated, we know that the liver cells are turning over faster than ideal, indicating that there is some sort of tissue destruction going on- either as a result of stress, inflammation, high toxin load, or a diet high in carbohydrates/alcohol.

This is the ideal time to help your liver detox to prevent it becoming a major issue like fatty liver disease or cirrhosis.

What can you do:

Itโ€™s always a good idea to focus on detox, but especially so when your liver enzymes are showing that they need help. However, a โ€œdetoxโ€ may not be the classical green juice cleanse you are thinking.

In Order to process toxins, our liver needs plenty of protein and fatty acids, in addition to minerals and vitamins to clean up. Itโ€™s the time to eat nourishing animal products, healthy fats, seafood and cruciferous veggies!

B vitamins, magnesium, glutathione, vitamins C and E, as well as minerals, amino acids and choline (and other methyl donors) are necessary to help the liver process toxins to make them ready for excretion. Methylation is one way that the liver processes toxins!

Additionally, bile flow is important to carry the toxins away, which is best maintained by eating lots of fat in the diet.

Toxins are excreted either through the urine or the feces, so ensuring hydration (electrolytes) and fiber intake to promote regular bowel movements is as important as supporting the liver health. We want to make sure that toxins are eliminated and not re-absorbed and recirculated.

Cruciferous veggies are especially beneficial since they contain sulfur compounds that aid in the metabolism of many toxins including excess hormones. Try to incorporate a serving once a day at least, some of our favorites include:

Curried cauliflower ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

Baked Broccoli ๐Ÿฅฆ

Mashed Cauliflower ๐Ÿ˜

Cauliflower Steaks ๐Ÿฅฉ

Cauliflower Rice Bowls ๐Ÿš

Additionally, you want to consume lots of nourishing meats rich in B vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Beef and bison are particularly rich in these, as well as organ meats. Pork is also a good source of thiamine, so ideally you rotate your proteins. We like to aim for 2-3 servings of each type of meat as well as fatty fish, every week. This way we ensure that we are getting a wide variety of amino acids and nutrients!

Some of our favorites include:

Pork Schnitzel ๐Ÿท

Roasted Chicken ๐Ÿ—

Elk Burgers ๐Ÿ”

Beef Tacos ๐ŸŒฎ

Roasted Salmon ๐Ÿฃ

Eggs are a great source of choline which we need for cell membrane integrity ๐Ÿณ they are also rich in sulfur compounds which are needed to make glutathione- our master antioxidant!

They are a staple and we all consume 2-3 almost everyday, either fried with bacon ๐Ÿฅ“, as an omelette, egg salmon salad, or as baked avocado boats ๐Ÿฅ‘

Incorporating a high quality sea salt and electrolyte supplement like LMNT can help ensure you are getting enough minerals. Unfortunately the soils are depleted making it hard to get our requirements from food alone. I also like to add trace mineral drops to my water. A little can go a long way and your body will thank you!

You can also add in a squeeze of lemon or lime into your water, to help with hydration. Teas like nettle tea and lemon balm can also assist your liver naturally.

For additional vitamins, methyldonors, and fiber, try to incorporate a rainbow of non starchy vegetables like greens, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocados, mushrooms and lots of herbs and spices ๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿ…๐Ÿซ‘

We love to make a variety of veggie sides to go with our protein:

Bell Pepper Hash ๐ŸŒถ

Zucchini cakes ๐Ÿฅž

Rainbow Veggies ๐Ÿฅ—

Tomato Salad ๐Ÿ…

And many more ๐Ÿค—

Stay tuned for additional posts about liver health, where I will be explaining the different phases and what you can do to target those areas! Now go give your liver some love โค๏ธ

Beef Tacos ๐ŸŒฎ

Happy Taco Tuesday ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒฎ! This week we are enjoying delicious ground beef tacos with lots of avocado, MCT mayonnaise and some greens all wrapped in UnBun tortillas ๐Ÿคค

I love to get my ground meat from Force of Nature or Northstar Bison. Both sell convenient pre-portioned patties that we love to scramble in the pan with some onions and peppers! Itโ€™s quick and perfect for a weekday lunch ๐Ÿ™ƒ

For other sourcing check out this post ๐Ÿฆฌ

To get your meats with a discount, you can use my referral codes:

Northstar Bison

Force of Nature Meats

For 1 serving you need:

5-6 ounces of grass-fed ground beef ๐Ÿฅฉ

2 UnBun tortillas (or another swap) ๐ŸŒฎ

1/2 avocado ๐Ÿฅ‘ or guacamole ๐Ÿฅ‘

Diced onion ๐Ÿง…

Handful of cherry tomatoes ๐Ÿ…

1/2 green bell pepper ๐Ÿซ‘

1-2 tablespoons of a seed-oil free mayonaise

Your favorite herbs and spices

How to:

In a pan, heat up an ancestral fat of your choice and sautรฉ the diced green pepper and onion. Add in the ground beef and scramble it. Cook until crispy brown.

In a separate pan, heat up the tortillas (you can also use a microwave) and spread the avocado and mayonaise on them. Full the tortillas with the meat and veggie saute, top with the diced cherry tomatoes and more mayo, and roll up ๐Ÿคค

Wild Boar Medallions with Chanterelles ๐Ÿ˜‹

We live in Texas where wild boar is an invasive species, and needs to be hunted to protect the land and wildlife balance ๐Ÿ˜…

After learning about that, I grew curious, and was able to purchase boar medallions from my favorite supplier Broken Arrow Ranch, which is known for state of the art field harvesting and quality ๐Ÿ˜‹

Regenerative agriculture is very important to me, so I like to support it wherever I can. To learn more, check out this post about meat sourcing and purchasing healthy pork products!

Wild boar is very flavorful and goes well with chanterelle mushrooms and a creamy sauce with a noodle swap, making it one of favorite fall dishes ๐Ÿ˜

For 2-3 portions you need:

1 pound wild boar medallions (cut into strips) ๐Ÿ—

Lard or another ancestral fat for frying ๐Ÿณ

12 ounces chanterelle mushrooms ๐Ÿ„

Salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders ๐Ÿง‚

2 packages of miracle noodles ๐Ÿœ

Chopped onion ๐Ÿง…

Diced zucchini ๐Ÿฅ’

1 can of coconut cream (whipping cream works too if you can have dairy) ๐Ÿฅฅ

How to:

Dice the meat and onions while heating up lard in a large pan. When the fat is hot, fry the meat to get a nice crust and season with salt and pepper. Next, add in the diced onion and season with more salt, pepper and garlic powder!

Then dice and add in the zucchini and let everything come together, about 5 minutes. Then add in the chopped chanterelles and again season.

Let it all come together for another 5 minutes and pour on the can of coconut cream ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

Season to taste and let the cream condense down a little. Then add the miracle noodles or prepare the almond flour noodles and mix them into the pan!

Serve and garnish with fresh herbs ๐Ÿคฉ

Functional Friday: Am I eating enough protein ?

Happy Functional Friday everyone ๐Ÿฅฐโค๏ธ in todays post we will be tackling the topic โ€œam I eating enough protein?โ€.

If youโ€™re new to my blog, I am Helen, a certified functional blood chemistry specialist and each week I will be making standard labs more accessible to you all ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป to check out previous posts, just click on the functional Friday section of my blog!

As always, this is not medical advice, so please contact your health care provider if you feel unsure or want to implement major changes ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ

Todays topic is all about protein, and we will be accessing if you may need to consider eating more animal protein based on two markers found on the Complete Metabolic Panel- creatinine and BUN!

Both creatinine and BUN are byproducts of protein metabolism, produced when the liver and kidney process amino acids.

When we consume protein, the liver metabolizes it into amino acids and the by-product ammonia. Ammonia is toxic and needs to be turned into urea, and then is sent to the kidneys to be excreted in the urine. Urea is called BUN (blood urea nitrogen) on blood work!

The functional range for BUN is 12-18 mg/dL

If your BUN falls below that range, it can be assumed you are not eating adequate protein to support your bodies needs.

Creatinine is a by product when created when muscles produce energy from creatine. It is filtered out of the blood by the kidneys and excreted through the urine. Both humans and animals we consume store creatine, so people with low muscle mass or those who donโ€™t consume enough animal protein will have low levels which is reflected by a low creatinine measure in the blood.

The functional range for creatinine is 0.7-1.1 mg/dL

Keep in mind that workout before a blood draw can falsely elevate your creatinine levels since you will be breaking down muscle (and creatine) for a brief time after you work out.

Additionally, those with a low muscle mass could be eating enough animal protein but their creatinine is just low since they donโ€™t have much creatine stored in their tissues. If your BUN is in range, but your creatinine is on the lower end, and youโ€™re a smaller person, itโ€™s likely your protein intake is adequate: assess your diet and decide for yourself.

What can you do:

If both of your results are on the low end, itโ€™s a good indication that you could benefit from increasing your intake of animal protein and seafood.

Try to aim for at least 0.8 g of animal protein per pound of ideal body weight. Thatโ€™s usually about 1 pound of meat/eggs/fish a day for a woman and 1.5-2 pounds of meat/eggs/fish for men! I know it sounds like a lot but our bodies depend on proteins for so many processes.

Proteins are the backbones of our hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes and make up all of our tissues and structures. We need protein to thrive!

For those who cannot eat that much, supplementing with a high quality collagen, beef protein isolate, or bone broth protein powder is an excellent option to get in 20-25g of quality protein into your diet. We love to mix in a scoop of chocolate flavored collagen into our morning coffee to start the day off right ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

You can also use collagen powder in soups and baked goods to increase your protein intake.

We are also a fan of essential amino acid supplements which are utilized to about 99% by our bodies. One serving is about as much as 4 ounces of chicken breast (about 25 g of protein) and can also be easily mixed into coffee or water. I take it daily and my muscle mass as increased substantially since! I love to use BodyHealth Perfect amino powder and you can save using my link.

Additionally, eating 3 solid meals rather than many small ones will help you achieve your protein goals. I try to aim for 35-40 g of protein for each meal in addition to my protein supplements. Thatโ€™s easily done by eating 5-6 ounces of meat with lunch and dinner and a couple of eggs with some bacon or liverwurst for breakfast.

For those who can have dairy, plain Greek yogurt or cheese are also solid options.

High quality meat and seafood can be easily sourced online: you can check out my guide here:

Grocery Tips

Meat Sourcing

Seafood Sourcing

Itโ€™s helpful to order in bulk since thatโ€™ll save some money and youโ€™ll always have a healthy choice on hand.

We really love ground meats like bison, beef and chicken to make burgers, meatballs or quick meat and veggie pans ๐Ÿคฉ

Whole chickens also make a great option, you can roast it and then use left overs for bowls and salads.

Canned fatty fish like mackerel, sardine and salmon can easily be thrown onto or turned into a salad. The possibilities are endless!

And of course the humble egg doesnโ€™t only need to be the star of breakfast. Enjoy frittatas, egg cakes, baked avocado eggs, or deviled eggs with your favorite smoked salmon or other meat dish! When eating eggs alone, you should aim to eat 3-4 minimum to hit the protein goal.

If youโ€™re eating enough but your markers are still low, itโ€™s possible the problem is your digestion. It may be a good idea to supplement with a stomach acid and digestive enzyme to make sure youโ€™re getting the nutrients your eating.

Lastly, if you have low muscle mass, this is a great opportunity to up your workout game and incorporate targeted strength training in addition to increased protein intake. Muscle is our longevity organ, and our goal should always be to add on to it ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป

Tartar Sauce ๐Ÿ 

Happy Wednesday ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜‡ today I would love to share one of our recent creations that really enhances our favorite seafood dishes like branzino, trout and salmon ๐Ÿ˜‡

Itโ€™s also a fabulous dip for roasted veggies, on fish tacos, with fried zucchini or fritters, makes a killer fry sauce with these carrot fries and burgers ๐ŸŸ or a nice toast topping with smoked salmon ๐Ÿฃ

For a small batch you need:

2-3 tablespoons of seed oil free Mayonnaise ๐Ÿฅ›

Chopped green onion ๐Ÿง…

Chopped parsley ๐ŸŒฟ (or basil, dill)

Garlic-dill pickle brine and chopped pickle chips to taste, add more brine if you prefer a runnier sauce ๐Ÿ˜Š

Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste ๐Ÿง‚

To make:

Combine everything in a shallow bowl and stir. Season to taste, and enjoy with your favorite sides ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ™ƒ

This keeps for a few days in a glass jar in the fridge ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป