Finding an indulgence that fits your biology and sweet potato brownies!

I am often asked if I ever indulge in “bad” foods.

First, I am not a believer that there is any food that is “good” or “bad”.  There are foods that do not jive with certain biologies, and there are foods that some people are sensitive to while others thrive on it.  Some people can have a slice of bread and be fine, but more than that would cause a reaction.  For some, a banana would spike their blood sugar dangerously high, while others have a higher carbohydrate tolerance and can have a few cookies without having a negative reaction. The same walnut that gives healthy fats and brain nourishing nutrients to one person would send my oldest daughter to the hospital in an ambulance.  The ice cream cone that feels like an indulgence to you would have me with a torn up digestive system and as a result, altered brain chemistry, for days.

You get the idea.  There are no “good” or “bad” foods.

That being said, my definition of food includes FOOD.  Not food like substances.  Cheetos are not food.  Pop tarts are not food.  They are edible, but they are not food.  You can feel free to disagree with me on this, but that is where I stand.  There are not good or bad FOODS.  But there ARE bad food like substances. They should be eaten in extremely limited quantities, if at all.

So how do you know what to eat to make you feel really good without those hard lines in the sand from an outside source?

You eliminate, you reintroduce, you observe, you live.

You ask yourself WHY you are craving the foods or food like substances that feel more like a self assault than a treat.

You eliminate, you reintroduce, you observe, you live.

And then you find food indulgences that jive with your biology.

Cue my favorite sweet potato brownies!!!

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I found these in The Sweet Potato Diet cook book a few years ago and they are perfect for MY biology!  Sweet and chocolatey without refined sugar, fudgy without dairy, and bound together without gluten or grains. For ME, they were perfection on Mothers Day for a sweet treat!

You can head over to the Sweet Potato Diet website for other great treats and recipes like this!  The recipe for the brownies is below!


 

Sweet Potato Brownies

(serves 12, depending on cut size)

Ingredients:

1 cup mashed sweet potato (I microwaved them and then mashed with a fork)

2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I usually skip these, but next time I might use a crushed up Hu Kitchen bar since I recently had one with no reaction)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. preheat oven to 350* and lightly coat a 9×9 inch pan with coconut oil
  2. Mix together sweet potato, eggs, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla
  3. Add in coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt
  4. Mix until well combined and pour into greased pan
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.

 

Next time I make these I will be combining it with The Fat Burning Man’s coconut ice cream!  I can’t wait!

Six Week Whole30 + Food Freedom Group starting April 29th!

I am so excited you are interested in my Six Week Whole30 + Food Freedom Group that starts April 29th!
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Below are some of the common questions about the Whole30 and What a Whole30 Coach is and what my services entail.  Also, you will some more information about what this group will entail.

 

If you are not familiar with the Whole30, please first visit the link below for more information on the program and the program rules.

 

https://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/

 

What is a Whole30 Coach?

 

A Whole30 coach is someone who has both been through the Whole30 program several times themselves and are very passionate about leading other people through this life changing program.  

 

Please see the link below for some more reasons on WHY you would want a Whole30 coach to lead you through the program!  Please note, not everyone needs a coach. And since the program is free of charge to do whenever you like, it is not necessary.  But it is incredibly helpful!

 

https://whole30.com/2018/05/whole30-coach-reasons/

 

About me

 

I did my first round of Whole30 three years ago, in fall 2015.  I was a stay at home mom to a 4 month old and a 2 year old and something needed to change.  I was tired all the time, in constant digestive distress, and was suffering greatly from postpartum depression for the second time.  I had been on and off antidepressants and anti anxiety medicine for the better part of a decade, and was at peace with the fact that I may be on them for the rest of my life.  But something happened on Day 10 of my first round. I woke up with a clear mind, my season of life seemed more manageable, and I knew right then that there was something to this Whole30 thing.  Over the course of the next 3 years I did several more rounds, was able to wean off of my medication, and found my food freedom. I then decided to make this my career and graduated with my Nutritional Therapy certification in June 2018.  I passed the National Association of Nutrition Professional Board Exam and took the Whole30 Certified Coach Training in Fall 2018. I cannot wait to hit the ground running with this career, and I feel it is my true calling in life to help people find food freedom and help them feel good through food and movement.

I bring a unique set of skills to the Whole30 coach platform as I am also a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association and Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition.  Because of this, if we hit any bumps in the road in regards to your health and Whole30 I will be able to consult in a more in depth way, giving you more value from your Whole30 experience.

You can read my Whole30 Story here.

https://kellijensenpeters.com/2019/01/05/my-whole30-story/

The Six Week Whole30 + Food Freedom Group

This particular group will launch on April 29th and will be held in a private group on Facebook! We will spend the first week diving into the prep of the program. Learning the rules, the meal template, the expectations, and how to prepare for your first few days on the program. Also, we will dive into the mental and mindset aspects as well. In my experience this is the most important part of your prep work. Having the right mindset, the right expectations, and ensuring you have developed a clear WHY is the best way to help you succeed in your Whole30!

We will start the Whole30 on March 11th and complete the program together! Each week we will have a zoom call to go over different aspects of the program from a scientific perspective. For example, what exactly happens in our digestive cascade and why Whole30 and its approach can heal this system of the body. We will also cover different topics on mindset, and how to support the struggle, and celebrate the success!

After the Whole30 has wrapped up I will work with you on how to develop your reintroduction plan, and what exactly food freedom means to you! This is the secret sauce of why the program is so amazing. Developing what food freedom means to you is incredibly individual, and learning what works for your body and makes you thrive is incredibly important.

The cost of this group is $125. 


Want to get started NOW?  Use the below payment button and expect to hear from me within 24 hours with further instruction!




Still not sure? Fill in the below information to schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation to ask any questions you like!

 

The power of Garlic!

In this blog post you will find a recap of our fight with the flu this week, why garlic is such a powerful tool in your holistic toolbox, and a recipe for a wellness shot you can make next time you feel a cold coming on!


The flu hit our house HARD this week!

We have been down and out with the flu this week.  It hit the girls HARD, and even though I tested negative for it, I have no doubt in my mind that I also had the flu.

My symptoms included extreme fatigue, all over body aches, and absolutely no appetite.  My throat and nasal passages were so swollen, and I did not even realize I was so sick until the girls tested positive on Monday and I let myself actually feel it.  The girls also both spiked fevers and had sore throats along with their fatigue and body aches.  That night we came home all gave into the fact that we were in survival and recovery mode for the rest of the week.  This virus was no joke, and really took the wind out of our sails this week.

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We spent from Monday until Wednesday on the couch watching movies and barely moving.  Only getting up to get more water, a little bit of food, and to take baths and go to sleep.

As kids do, the girls got better WAY faster than I did!  Ella went back to school yesterday and seems 100% better, and Addy is back to being her super energetic self.  I took a bit longer to bounce back, but today I am feeling all but 100% better.  It actually feels like there is a light at the end of this flu tunnel!


 

The power of GARLIC!

In the holistic world we have so many tools at our disposal for fighting sickness.  I am a firm believer in things like high quality fish oil and turmeric for their anti-inflammatory effects, oil of oregano for a strong anti fungal and anti viral fighter, and elderberry and colloidal silver for how they can support your immune system.  I believe in the power of anti oxidant rich foods like wild blueberries and kale, and that you cannot fight infections without a strong amino acid profile in the protein you eat.

But there are few things that can come close to the infection fighting power of raw garlic.  I ate several cloves this week (alongside some raw honey to make it more palatable) and I really believe it helped with my recovery.

Garlic, or more specifically the compound allicin that is found in garlic, has been found to be highly effective at killing a wide range of microorganisms. Allicin and other compounds in garlic “are thought to reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases, have anti-tumor and anti-microbial effects, and show benefit on high blood glucose concentration” (1)

Garlic is best used as an ongoing preventative supplement, and not necessarily just when a cold or virus starts to display symptoms.  In one study, subjects took either garlic supplements or a placebo for 12 weeks during cold season. The garlic takers were less likely to get a cold, and if they did get a cold, they recovered faster than the placebo group (2)

Throughout history you can find many references to the use of garlic in both the daily diet and for medicinal needs.  In the bible, garlic was fed to workmen in Egypt along with other allium vegetables, apparently to give them strength and increase their productivity.  In Greece, there is evidence that during the earliest Olympics garlic was fed to the athletes before they competed to give them strength and endurance.  And there is evidence that Hippocrates made garlic a part of his therapeutic protocols for many ailments, including pulmonary complaints  (3)

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Whenever I feel a sniffle coming on I make a wellness shot that I originally found on The Fitnessista’s blog like a million years ago.

Juice of 1 lemon

1 garlic clove (minced)

1 shake of cayenne

Take it like a champ, it tastes like spicy pizza!


I hope you all have a wonderful and HEALTHY weekend!

My Whole30 Story

Buckle up my friends!  This gets a little long, but I cannot tell my Whole30 story without weaving it into the rest of my life.  I often say that the Whole30 changed the trajectory of my life, and it did. But I did not just do a round and POOF I am changed forever.  It was the first step in many many steps. It gave me the tools to change my life. The tools, not all of the solutions. I hope you enjoy my story.  

In September 2015 I was the mom of a two little girls.  One was 11 weeks old and the other was 2 ½ . That was when I completed my first Whole30, but that is not where my this particular story starts.  To unpack this I had to look back a bit, and then a bit more.

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In August of 2013 (two years before my first round of Whole30) I had left my job as an investment accountant to pursue my love of teaching yoga and to raise my little girl (who was at the time an only child).  Over those two years I taught so many yoga classes, managed a yoga studio, went back to my old company to work as an accountant part time during busy season, and then finally found myself in the summer of 2015 as a full time stay at home mom.  I was also struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety, and was back on zoloft for probably the 5th time in 10 years. Since high school I had been on and off medication for anxiety and depression, always feeling like things were just harder for me than they were for other people.  My anxiety and depression was annoying on its best day, and crippling when it was at its worst. It wasn’t until I read Kelly Brogan’s amazing book “A Mind of My Own” (anyone struggling with anxiety and depression needs to read Kelly’s book) that I can see my particular form of anxiety and depression was my body SCREAMING to me that it had some severely imbalanced foundations of health, particularly in my digestive system.

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So in September 2015 I came home from a dear friends wedding and knew I needed a change.  I wanted to lose the baby weight (side note: While Whole30 is not a diet and focuses more on non scale victories, my original catalyst for trying the program was to lose weight.)  and take care of some bloating and digestive distress I had been experiencing for a long time (see above! I had no idea this was connected to my mental health, but it was).

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I dove right in and really loved it right from the get go.  I was finally given permission to eat all of the things I had loved for years but thought were bad for me, like steak and bacon.  I ate with wild abandon, and felt incredibly satisfied for probably the first time in my life. When I was hungry, I ate. What a concept right?  I was breastfeeding at the time, so I added some snacks to this round of Whole30. My milk was so thick and fatty, it was really amazing.  I also experienced all of the negative side effects of the first few days.  The hangover, the hate all the things, the egg fatigue. I experienced the entire full spectrum of emotions and feelings as my body shifted its focus from carbohydrates to being more fat adapted.

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And then something happened.  On day 10 I woke up with a clear brain and an open heart.  Instead of feeling like I had to fight my way through life, like every step was a struggle, life became easier.  It became lighter. It felt more manageable. All of this just from changing what was on my plate? There was something powerful to this program, and I was really just getting started.

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I finished my first round and did not properly reintroduce.  During my first round I had also not addressed any of my issues with emotional eating and when my baby girl needed surgery on day 32 I ate and drank my feelings in the form of sushi, wine, and cupcakes.  I woke up the next day with a severe sugar hangover and SWORE I would start another round of Whole30 right away.

Spoiler alert.  I didn’t. Well, I did, but I quickly slipped.  Why did this next round feel so hard? Why was I unable to resist anything not compliant?  I knew how good I COULD feel, so why couldn’t I stop myself from physically putting the food in my mouth? I think that these failed attempts at subsequent rounds of Whole30 were why I saw so much change from the program.  These two failed attempts FORCED me to examine the questions I stated above. They forced me to address my issues with emotional eating and having an addictive personality. The biggest take away for me at this time was that anytime I allowed refined sugar back into my life my brain would once again slip into its anxious state, and whenever I allowed dairy to be consumed my digestive system would be torn up for days.  

Over the next two years I completed a few more successful rounds of Whole30, but it was really those times in between that helped me in my journey toward food freedom.  It was the times without the strict rules that I saw the most growth and change. Isn’t that always the case though? When we struggle the most is when we can shine the brightest.  Those times helped me see that I was using food and alcohol to buffer from life’s big emotions. I immediately started seeking the help of a therapist and with her help I unpacked and dove even deeper into these issues.  Through this journey I re-joined a church and started to see that the way we eat and the way we live is truly a spiritual practice. I began to live that everyday, and slowly overtime, things got so much better. Whole30 was the launching pad for me to do the work that would heal my life.

Unpacking these realizations is what lead me to stop drinking alcohol on November 5, 2017.  You can read more about my sobriety journey here.

I felt so strongly about this program, and saw how my physical and mental health were transformed simply by changing how and what I ate, that I decided to become a nutritional therapy practitioner.  In June 2018 I graduated from the NTP program from the Nutritional Therapy Association and then went on to pass my board exam through the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. Around this time I also became a Whole30 certified coach.  Using my own experience and the tools I learned in school I cannot wait to lead people through this program so they too can change the trajectory of their life through food.

As you can see from my story, Whole30 was not the magic bullet.  I was not broken on day 1 and healed on day 30. It is much more complicated than that.  The Whole30 was the catalyst that taught me that I am in control of so much more in my life than I thought I was.  I did not vanish into perfection, and still have not. I never will. Just like any practice, perfection is not the goal, consistency is.  I still have really hard days and really hard seasons, and the answer to those situations are not necessarily what is on my plate. However, when I feed my body and my mind what it thrives on,  doing the work to combat those hard times is so much easier.

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This work is work worth doing.  Taking your vitality back into your own hands, and allowing yourself the freedom to thrive because you deserve to feel good!  

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