Friday, June 29, 2012

Tracy's 3 Month Journey to Health & Wellness!

I am happy to announce a new contributor to the Eat2Bee Healthy blog, and her name is Tracy.  We have known each other for a couple of years, but started working together on her nutrition back in December 2011 when she found out she has Celiac Disease.  I am excited to share her three month journey and continuing life changes with all of you. Tracy will be contributing paleo & gluten free recipes and many are great for those with children. 

What is Celiac? 
Celiac Disease is a gluten induced inflammation and causes damage to the villi in the small intestine.  A person living with celiac should remove gluten containing grains from their diet 100% of the time indefinitely.  Gluten containing grains are wheat, barley, rye, kamut, spelt, bulgur & triticale - just to name a few sources.  Diane Sanfilipo with Balanced Bites created an amazing guide for those avoiding gluten in their diets.  It goes into great detail and is an easy downloadable file that can be found here: 

Tracy's Journey:

My name is Tracy and I just turned 36 in March. I have suffered with endometriosis since puberty, Hashimoto's thyroiditis for 5 years, and last December I was diagnosed with Celiac disease.

When I went to my Naturopath in December 2011, I walked in with a few complaints and one goal in mind. I was having pretty severe hip/groin pain, my hair was falling out, and my sex drive was not optimal. My goal was to try and heal my Hashimoto's through diet. I had been researching how to do that and it appeared that I needed to cut gluten out of my diet. 

I informed my doctor of my intentions and she decided to test me to see if I did indeed have a gluten intolerance. She also was checking for indicators of Rheumatoid Arthritis in regards to my hip/groin pain. 

I was a nervous wreck waiting for my results to come in, as I was really concerned about my hip pain. My doctor finally called with the good news that I didn't have RA… but my levels for Celiac Disease were off the chart! Who Cares?!?! Celiac? I can control that through my diet, easy! Little did I know the amazing transformation my body and mind were about to undergo. 

I had already been eating a whole foods diet with a minimal amount of processed foods, so changing to a Paleo/Primal way of eating was a pretty smooth transition. It is unlike any "diet" I have ever transitioned to before. I constantly feel satisfied! Sometimes I lay in bed at night recollecting what I have eaten that day, thinking that I feel WAY too satisfied to have eaten only what my body needed with no indulgences, but that is exactly what I would discover. Eating humanely raised animal meats, fresh organic vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds, and healthy non-processed fats satisfied me in a way that I had never been before. Needless to say, this is a way of life for myself and my family now. 

I noticed symptoms of Celiac/Hashimoto's started to improve that I didn't even know I had...
my face cleared up around my hairline (who knew there was gluten in hair products)

  • my hair isn't as oily
  • no bloating or gas after meals
  • I can focus longer on a task - no more brain fog
  • no more painful pimples on back, around ears, and chest
  • very minimal B.O. without the use of deodorant
  • little bumps on my thighs and arms have cleared up
  • my hair is starting to grow back
  • an increase in my sex drive
  • lost somewhere around 15 pounds (I don't own a scale)
  • falling asleep under 20 minutes of lying down (used to take up to 3 hours!)
  • and last but not least, waking peacefully with plenty of energy for the day.
  • AND this all happened in the first 3 months!

In regards to my energy, I used to be a groggy, grumpy morning person that did the bare minimum for my son to keep him happy so I could rest a little longer every morning (Poor Eli!) Now, I wake up with ease and immediately start our day off by making a healthy homemade breakfast. For anyone who knows me, this in itself is a HUGE accomplishment! 

My days are full of cooking, playing, reading (something I couldn't do because of my lack of concentration or "brain fog") and living as stress free as possible. This is only the beginning and i can't wait to see where this journey goes!  

I want to thank Chrissy for helping me make this transition easier. Her knowledge and guidance has been invaluable to me! I would love to give her a huge hug for all of the help she has given me, but that will have to wait as we are 2 states away. 

Before Photos taken December 2011 (Left Side) - After Photos taken March 2012 (Right Side) 

As I post this message on behalf of Tracy, I got an update from her today that her latest IgA test for gluten markers went from 126 (December 2011) to 6 (June 2012).  Yay!! Her Dr decided to run a C-Reactive Protein test to confirm that her systemic inflammation has started to come down.  Fingers crossed that comes down as well!

Thank you Tracy for allowing me the opportunity to work with you, and for sharing your story with others so they too can heal from the inside out.  Live, Love, Laugh & BEE Healthy Doing It!

Chrissy Bernazzani, NE
-Certified Nutrition Educator-
Eat2BEE Healthy
p: 510-823-7785
Twitter: @Eat2BeeHealthy

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thai Style Grass Fed Beef Tacos

I am super excited to share this new recipe with all of you!! This recipe was inspired while making Curried Beef & Butternut Squash Soup last week for dinner.  My husband and I both loved this recipe, and plan to start using it as a quick staple for the summer.  It took all of 30 min from start to finish to prepare and cook.  Enjoy!

Serves 2-4

Ingredients for Thai Taco Meat:
3-4 Basil or Thai Basil Leaves - Diced
2T Packed Diced Cilantro
1.5lb Ground Grass Fed Beef  - We buy our beef from Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma, CA.  I also think this would be just as good with pastured ground pork, chicken or turkey - these can also be purchased from Tara Firma Farms as a CSA member.

Pinch Italian spices
1T Virgin Gold Label Coconut Oil - Tropical Traditions
2T Thai Red Chili Paste - Gluten Free
1/2 Large White Onion - Diced
1t Red Boat Fish Sauce - Gluten Free

Ingredients for Dressing:
1T Extra Virgin Olive Oil - We used Phileos Organic EVOO
2T Red Boat Fish Sauce - Gluten Free
1t Jalapeno Pepper Sauce - Organicville - Gluten Free
1t Chipotle Habanero Sauce - Organicville - Gluten Free
1t Honey
2T Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar - We like Bragg's

Ingredients for Toppings:
1 Organic Nectarine - Chopped - I think mango, papaya or peaches would be good too.  We bought necatarines from the farmers market so I decided to try this with the recipe.
1 Avocado - Chopped
1/4-1/2 Medium Red Onion - Diced
2T Toasted Pepitas
1-2T Diced Cilantro
4-8 Large Butter Lettuce Leaves

Directions for Thai Taco Meat:
  • Melt coconut oil in cast iron pan over medium heat
  • Add Italian spices, diced onion, cilantro & basil leaves - Saute for 2-3 min
  • Add meat - Saute for 7-8 min over medium heat

  • Add fish sauce - saute for additional 2 min
Directions for Dressing:
  • In a glass jar - Add all ingredients above for the dressing - Shake and set aside
Directions for Toppings:

  • Add the following ingredients into a mixing bowl - Nectarine (or stone fruit in season of choice), Avocado, Red Onion, Toasted Pepitas, Diced Cilantro 
  • Toss with desired amount of dressing - slowly adding/mixing together to achieve the desired consistency
 Assembly Directions:
  • Lay out butter lettuce leaves on your plate
  • Top with meat and salad toppings
  • Enjoy!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Edo's Baja Style Fish Tacos w/ Spicy Aioli

I wish I could take credit for this delicious recipe, but this has to go to my husband Edo.  He cooks with a true passion for quality food and I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful cook in my house!   Edo has inspired me over the past 10 years to experiment and have fun with cooking, this is something I never thought I would have interest in learning much about.  It's funny how certain experiences in life help/change mold you for the better, and learning to love cooking is one that I am proud to take with me for the rest of my life.  I love that I can share this fairly new skill with my husband, friends, family and clients.  Thank you for inspiring me Edo!

I hope you enjoy this delicious creation as much as we do!

Serves 2 -  (2 hardy tacos per person)

1lb Petrale Sole Filets
4-8 Butter Lettuce Leaves
4 Green Onions - white/green parts diced
1/2 Large Avocado - Diced
Cilantro - Diced - to taste
Broccoli Slaw (Optional)

1 Pastured Egg - Room Temperature
2T Gluten Free Stoneground Mustard
Pinch of Italian Spices
Pinch of Sea Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper
1/2T Paprika
3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium Lemon - Squeezed Juice
3 Cloves Garlic
1T Organicville Sriracha (Gluten Free)

Directions for Preparing Spicy Aioli:

  • Add egg, 1T mustard, pinch of Italian spices, sea salt & black pepper, juice of 1 medium lemon, 3 cloves garlic, 1T sriracha (gluten free), 3 diced green onions (white & green) into your blender - We use our Vitamix that has multiple speed levels.
  • Blend on medium (level 5 of 10 on Vitamix) for 5 seconds
  • Slowly add EVOO into blender on medium/high speed (level 7/8 of 10 on Vitamix) - Continue to add until you get a creamy consistency.  Be careful not to add to much olive oil or it will turn into a thick mayo.
  • Taste & re-add ingredients until your desired taste has been achieved.
  • Set aside for later use or store in the fridge for use up to 5-7 days.

Directions for Preparing Fish:

  • Marinate petrale for 20-30 min - 1T Mustard, 3T EVOO, 1/2T Paprika - Brush on both sides of fish and set aside for 20-30 min before cooking.
  • Heat cast iron griddle for 3 min on High 
  • Place marinaded fish onto the griddle - cook 3-4 min each side depending on thickness.  You are looking for a little crunch - but not a lot.
Time to Assemble the Tacos!
  • Lightly coat broccoli slaw w/ Spicy Aioli (Optional)  - If you choose to avoid the slaw just drizzle the top of your taco w/ the spicy aioli at the end before serving.
  • Lay out 4 Butter Lettuce - Add fish, slaw, green onions and avocado - top w/ cilantro.  
  • Top with additional butter lettuce leave - wrap & enjoy!  I like to use an extra lettuce leave, but my husband likes to eat his with just one.  
  • Enjoy!

Raw Cashew Butter

3 Cups Soaked Raw Cashews (Soak for 4-5 hrs rinse and ready to use)
1/3c Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Kasandrino's
2T Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil
1/4-1/2t Sea Salt


  • Put all ingredients into Vitamix or Food Processor (adding/tasting salt as you go)
  • Blend slowly and increase as mixture becomes more smooth
  • Blend until desired consistency
  • Store in fridge - Oil will move to the top.  You can choose to either dump excess later or keep for added delicious healthy fats.
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why soak/nuts seeds? Recipe: Pesto Walnuts - Great Snack!

I made pesto(click here for recipe) earlier this week and decided to make some travel nuts for my trip this weekend.  This recipe takes a little time because the nuts will need to be soaked prior to use.  You are probably wondering why it's important to soak all raw nuts/seeds prior to eating them.

Why soak nuts/seeds?
  • There are toxic enzyme inhibitors in nuts & seeds.  Soaking them neutralizes the enzymes allowing to easily digest the nutrients from them. Note not everyone can tolerate nuts/seeds and even soaked ones sometimes can still give problems when someone has a compromised immune/digestive system.
  • Soaking allows the vitamins from the nuts/seeds to be readily absorbed in your body once consumed.  Chewing them until soft is key - about 20-30 times before swallowing.  
  • Reduced phytic acid allows absorption of minerals instead of depleting them in your body.
What are the steps in soaking nuts/seeds?
  • Nuts will expand as they soak, so it is important that they have a bowl large enough.  A good measure is using a bowl that is only half full when you put the nuts in without water.
  • Add the warm filtered water to just below the top of the bowl
  • Add a touch of Sea Salt - For every cup of nuts 1/2t of Sea Salt is used.  Why? The salt activates the enzymes that help de-activate the enzyme inhibitors.
  • Soak for recommended time for your nut of choice.
    • Walnuts, Pecans, Pepitas, PineNuts, Hazelnuts(skinless), Almonds, Macadamia & Brazil Nuts - Soak 7-12 hrs or put in water before going to bed and when you get up the next day they are ready to go!
  • Drain nuts & rinse really well in a colander
  • Dehydrate 
    • Oven: Heat oven to lowest setting 150-180F is ideal for this method - for 12-24 hrs depending on the nut/seed 
    • Dehydrator: This is my favorite method and the one I use.  It's almost like fix & forget it motto - 18-24hrs at 105F
  • Enjoy!
Now for the RECIPE!!  - Pesto Walnuts

  • Mix ingredients together well w/ your hands in a medium bowl
  • Spread onto lined dehydrator sheets or cookie sheet  - You want the nuts to get their crunchiness back.
    • Dehydrator: Dehydrate for 18-24 Hrs
    • Oven: 12-24Hrs
  • Storage: Put in air tight container and keep in the fridge - if you don't end up eating them all at once! They are so tasty!
  • Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Arugula & Hazelnut Pesto

Yields 2-3 cups

2C Soaked Hazelnuts (Filberts) - Soaked in water for 8-12 hrs prior to use.  Any nut or seed can be used in replace of the hazelnuts. 
3C Arugula (Packed Tightly)
1 1/2c Extra Virgin Olive Oil - We use Kasandrino's Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic
2T Gluten Free Nutritional Yeast or Lewis Labs Brewers Yeast (Optional) - Adds zesty cheese flavor
2T Organic Parmigiano Reggiano - If you can tolerate dairy
1/2t Dulse Granules (optional)
3/4t Sea Salt (If you don't use dulse or smoked sea salt - you'll want to add additional sea salt to taste)
1/4t Smoked Sea Salt (optional)
1t Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Soak hazelnuts for 8-12 hrs & rinse well with water before using, put into vitamix, food processor or high speed blender
  • Add arugula, 1C Olive Oil, Garlic, Nutritional yeast or Parmigiano Reggiano, Dulse, Sea Salt, Smoked Sea Salt - Blend until smooth
  • If consistency is still very thick slowly add your remaining 1/2 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil until the desired consistency has been maintained.
  • Enjoy!
Today I put the pesto on soaked walnuts and they are now in the dehydrator for an on the go snack for my upcoming trip this weekend.  Also, I am planning to make chicken drumsticks in the oven that have been marinated in the left over pesto for dinner tonight.

Pesto can be used in so many recipes, experiment & have fun with it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Salmon & Farm Fresh Salad w/ Spicy Aioli/Dressing

We absolutely love the canned salmon from Vital Choice, and decided with this warm weather a farm fresh salad w/ a homemade spicy aioli/dressing would be divine!  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.  Almost all of the veggies used in tonight's salad were grown in our co-op garden out back.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients for Salad:
1 Small Head Baby Gem (tastes like a combination between romaine & butter lettuce) - Chopped
1 Small Head Romaine Lettuce (Red or Green) - Chopped
1 cup Arugula - Chopped
3 Red Radishes - Diced
3 Green Onions - Diced (white & green parts)
1T Chopped Cilantro
1 Large Carrot - Diced
Sea Salt - to taste
Black Pepper - to taste
1/2 Large Avocado - Diced
2 Cans Vital Choice - 3.75oz - Boneless Salmon (Vital Choice - Site)
3T Toasted Pepitas  - Toast over medium heat in cast iron pan - set aside to use in salad

Ingredients for Spicy Aioli/Dressing:
1 Pastured Egg
1T Gluten Free Stoneground Mustard
1T Gluten Free - Organicville Sriracha
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Green Onion
1 Small Lemon - Juice
1/2T Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
Sea Salt - to taste
Black Pepper - to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Kasandrino's Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Add lettuce, arugula, radishes, green onions, carrots, avocado, pepitas into a large mixing bowl
  • Blend pastured egg, mustard, sriracha, garlic, onion, lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt and black pepper 
  • Slowly add extra virgin olive oil until desired consistency is maintained for the dressing
  • Set aioli/dressing aside
  • Drain canned salmon and add to mixing bowl and mash with 2T Aioli 
  • Add Salmon & Aioli/Dressing and toss salad
  • Enjoy!