Workshops at Mamby on the Beach

Music and wellness join forces for an unparalleled Chicago experience… Mamby Chicago Music Festival on the Beach

Have you heard? 

This year at Mamby on the Beach, I will be presenting some thought-provoking concepts on wellness and nutrition during these live wellness workshops on Saturday, July 2nd; and Sunday July 3rd(see schedule below). 

Times are changing, and music lovers are uniting to share more than music.  They are searching for inspiration, enlightenment, and connection.  My friends over at Mamby on the Beach, a lakeside music festival in Chicago, are broadening the possibilities for festival goers by introducing the wellness stage.  Here, attendees will find experiences ranging from Silent Yoga to my Primal Living & Nutrition Workshops.  I am honored to be a part of such a movement, and working hard to create content that inspires and brings meaning to those who attend.

Here’s my schedule for all 4 wellness workshops:

Mamby on the Beach

Are you interested in these topics?  With enough buzz I may try to make these workshops available for download in the future.  Comment below and let me know.


If you’re down for some live music on the beach, and a captivating Chicago weekend, get your Mamby tickets here, and come see me!  Take a look at the musical lineup… 


What else is going on at the wellness stage? 

Solarbeatz solar powered music van

I’m pumped to announce that our stage is connected to the SOLARBEATZ music truck!  

This mobile soundstage/performance venue is a unique, thought provoking, inspirational and educational catalyst used at festivals, community events, private parties and schools to promote environmental sustainability.  A modified delivery truck equipped with advanced solar, sound and lighting technology, this “mobile spectacle” stimulates audiences and demonstrates the possibilities of clean energy by fueling an array of electronics to create an outrageous audio visual experience all powered by the sun.

SOLARBEATZ immediately converts the Sun’s powerful rays into an Earth friendly party or stores the clean renewable energy in a battery bank for use after dark. 

Sound off silent disco experience mammy

Audio at the SOLARBEATZ and Wellness Workshops Stage will be delivered by “Sound Off”; a Bluetooth headphone experience.  These wireless headsets let each attendee control their own volume and tune in speakers and music synergistically. 

This comes in handy for Mamby because the music is pumping from stage to stage!  This “Sound Off” experience was a hit with yoga last year at Mamby, so yoga is back and here to stay!

Yoga Mamby on the Beach

At approximately 3:30 and 7:30 each day, festival goers can join in on Yoga sessions led by the female yogis, Yolie, Shab, and Alyssa. 

Who’s coming with us to Mamby!?  It’s so much more than music. 

Join the M6M 3-Week Summer Blast!

Happy Tuesday!

In 2015 I teamed up with my friend Adrienne Hanover from the My6Method (M6M) Diet & Nutrition program to provide the challengers with recipes and nutritional eating guidelines.  For the first time EVER, Adrienne is starting a 3-week Summer program, versus the usual 6-week program, to keep you on track or give you the jump start you need to better health and a better physique…all at an affordable price!  I thought I’d share with you this great opportunity because anyone can do it, no matter where you live, and the results I see with M6M are amazing!  View the PDF below, spread the word, and have an awesome week…

-Marisa Moon

Download (PDF, 86KB)

My Favorite APPS for Wellness

This is the second installment of a 5-part series called:  

My Favorite Things  

Click here to see my first post called My Favorite Books, and hang tight for more lists like My Favorite Kitchen Stuff, Supplements & Herbs, and of course My Favorite FOODS…all things to help you thrive!  

 


My Favorite Apps

 

Who can deny that smart phones and apps are just a part of daily life now.  Whether we like it or not, smart phones are making our lives easier in many ways (I’m not even going to get into to the ways they affect us negatively), and podcasts & apps are a HUGE part of my wellness routine.  I cover quite a few categories here from fitness to brain function.  The information and guidance you seek is just a click away, and I’m so excited to show you the wellness apps I fell in love with…

 


 

Sleep / Meditation

sleep cycle app 2

SLEEP CYCLE – $0.99

Sleep is more important than most people like to admit, and this handy app will really show you the quality of your sleep.  I found out about this app from Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof Exec.  The things that really sold me are the fact that it wakes you during your lightest stage of sleep, and that it allows you to create a checklist of things you do that day in order to see how they affect your sleep!  For instance, I check a box that says “drank coffee after 4pm” or “melatonin” and I can see after a few nights if that is negatively or positively affecting my sleep!  Genius.  The other great thing is that it shows you on a graph how you go through the different stages of sleep (or don’t go through; like me) throughout the night.  Try the Power Nap app by them too.  A 20 minute power nap is one of the only ways I have found to reset my brain when I’m confronted with decision fatigue or straight up stress.    

Check out sleepcycle.com to learn more.  

isleep easy app - Copy

iSLEEP EASY – Free

Do you have busy thoughts while you’re trying to sleep?  Do you want to “meditate” but you don’t know how or when you’ll ever do it?  This free app is perfect for you.  I sleep way better when I do my sleep meditation app, and I always fall asleep before I’m halfway through the playlist.  My husband was teasing me about it one night, so I told him to just listen to it…before you know it he was passed out too!  It works I tell ya!  The teacher guides you through a sleep meditation by saying things like “Whatever was left to do today can be done tomorrow.  Enjoy the comfort of your bed.  Notice the feeling of the sheets on your skin.”  There’s something about being aware and focusing our attention on our physical body that makes meditation so magical. 

Check out meditationoasis.com to learn more.  

sleep mask

SLEEP MASK – $10-$20

Okay this isn’t an app, but it pairs perfectly with the isleep easy app (above).  I remember walking out in my living room to find my brother crashed on the air mattress wearing a sleep mask.  I laughed!  He said he thought it was weird at first too but now he loves it.  I decided to give it a try because my husband and I both had unusual schedules.  We were both hooked on the first try!  Even when it’s dark I wear them.  I am telling you you’ve gotta try it to believe it!  And the shapely ones like this are the best— if you ask me.

You can purchase this one on amazon.com


Yoga / Fitness

yoga studio app

YOGA STUDIO App by Gaiam – $3.99

I have only tried a few Yoga apps, but I am telling you this one is amazing!  It’s worth wayyyy more than $4 so don’t even hesitate.  There are endless combinations and flawless video demonstrations.  It took me a second to get used to the teacher’s voice, but it really is soothing and crystal clear.  This is perfect for anyone, beginner to novice, and sessions go from 10 minutes to 60!  Did I mention you can choose a class based on your needs?  Flexibility, strength, balance, combination.  Nice!  I should mention that it took me a long time to fit yoga into my routine because I just sucked at it.  And if you suck at something, you generally don’t like it.  I soon discovered that if you have zero flexibility, and suck at yoga, that just means that you NEED yoga more than anyone.  Stretching and challenging different muscles is imperative for longevity. 

You can learn more at yogastudioapp.com 

nike training club app - Copy

NIKE TRAINING CLUB – Free

This is hands down the best fitness app.  Do you get sick of doing the same workout?  Do you want to work out at home?  Do you wish you had more options like 15 min or 60 min?  This Nike app is free and expertly done.  I absolutely love everything about it.  Each workout is performed by a different Nike Trainer, and these women are fierce and beautiful!  Flexible times, innovative workouts, inspiring women…I’m not quite sure there’s anything left to be desired in a fitness app!

Find out more here at nike.com


Music / Reading

Spotify

SPOTIFY- Free or $10/month

Spotify is like the star-child of Pandora and iTunes.  You can download albums or playlists for free, you can stream, you can create radio stations like pandora, and choose playlists to suit your mood!  That last feature is why it’s on my Longevity list.  There are playlists to help you focus, help you be productive, lift you up, put you to sleep, make you laugh, and get you moving!  Did I mention it will play music according to the pace you’re working out at?  Love. 

Learn more at spotify.com

audible

AUDIBLE – Free to try – $15/month

I am so into Audible!  If you drive or commute a lot, or find it hard to concentrate when you read, then you should definitely get an audible membership.  Audible is an audiobook store by Amazon.  There are thousands of books available, free trials, free previews, and even returns.  You rack up credits for months that pass without downloading a new book, and you can cancel easily.  The most major benefit I just found with Audible is a section they include called “The Great Courses”.   The Great Courses is college-level audio courses taught on a wide-range of subjects by credited experts and professors.  We are talking about subjects like “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques For Retraining Your Brain”, “Raising Emotionally and Socially Healthy Kids”, and “Latin 101: Learning a Classical Language”.  These courses are averaging $60 and up on The Great Courses site, but many of them are part of your $15 audible membership.  Crazy Cool!

Try it for free now at audible.com


Brain Games

lumosity - Copy

LUMOSITY – Free & $3-$12 per month 

Have you heard of brain games yet?  Brain games are exactly as they sound but far more advantageous than a game.  We are talking about expertly designed, research-based, results-oriented games that are fun to play, and that exercise your brain.  Remember: If we don’t use it, we lose it…and there could be nothing more frightful than losing our mind.  Start using your free time to play a brain game instead of surfing social media or playing candy crush.  Lumosity is the first of 3 brain game apps I am recommending.  It is filled with more imaginative games, and perfect for first time brain gamers.  Picture colorful games full of shapes and patterns, exercising your brain in unfamiliar ways.  I like Lumosity best out of the 3 games when I’m tired or waiting in line somewhere.  If you get bored easily then this is a good brain game app for you.  This is also available on your desktop/laptop computers!  

Try the free membership and see how you like it!  www.lumosity.com

fitbrains - Copy

FITBRAINS, by the creators of Rosetta Stone – Free & $3-$10/month

 In case you didn’t read above, I’m repeating the same intro: Have you heard of brain games yet?  Brain games are exactly as they sound but far more advantageous than a game.  We are talking about expertly designed, research-based, results-oriented games that are fun to play, and that exercise your brain.  Remember: If we don’t use it, we lose it…and there could be nothing more frightful than losing our mind.  Start using your free time to play a brain game instead of surfing social media or playing candy crush. 

Fitbrains is the second of 3 brain games I’m recommending.  Fitbrains app focuses on what you’re weakest at, and recommends even more specialized apps to focus on your needs.  If you’re the type of person looking for results and likes a challenge, try this app.  Fitbrains is available on your desktop/laptop too!

Try the free membership at www.fitbrains.com

elevate - Copy

ELEVATE – free to start & $3-$8/month 

In case you didn’t read above, I’m repeating the same intro: Have you heard of brain games yet?  Brain games are exactly as they sound but far more advantageous than a game.  We are talking about expertly designed, research-based, results-oriented games that are fun to play, and that exercise your brain.  Remember: If we don’t use it, we lose it…and there could be nothing more frightful than losing our mind.  Start using your free time to play a brain game instead of surfing social media or playing candy crush. 

Elevate is the last of 3 brain games I’m recommending.  This game is very different than the other two.  I love it and I hate it at the same time, and I’ll tell you why.  Elevate is more focused on reading, writing, and exercises that work on memory, communicating your thoughts, listening, and vocabulary.  This is all very applicable in real life, and you immediately recognize your gains and weaknesses.  But honestly, it takes me back to school.  Some of the exercises remind me of state exams with a fun twist.  I find that this game is the most important to me.  I’m using it more and more each week, but if I don’t do it in the morning, I usually won’t ever get to it.  So I highly suggest this to anyone looking for immediate gratification, practical skills, and a caffeine alternative (play brain games in the morning and your brain will instantly snap into reality).   

Try it for free at elevateapp.com

How Trees Help Us Live Longer

Shaggy bark Closeup

Trees help us live longer. They actualize our lives.

Articles are everywhere now citing research that actually proves trees, and plants, make us substantially healthier. 

“It is becoming increasingly clear that trees help people live longer, healthier, happier lives—to the tune of $6.8 billion in averted health costs annually in the U.S., according to research published this week. And we’re only beginning to understand the nature and magnitude of their tree-benevolence… New research says the closer you can live to trees, the better off you are. ”

James Hamblin, The Atlantic (2014, July 29).  The Health Benefits of Trees

In Japan they even do something called…

‘”Shinrin-yoku“, which can be defined as “taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing”, has been receiving increasing attention in Japan in recent years for its capacity to provide relaxation and reduce stress.’

Environ Health Prev Med. 2010 Jan;15(1):27-37

“The results of [forest] walking experiments provided similar results…demonstrated that immune function was enhanced by forest therapy in middle-aged employees who volunteered to participate in these experiments. Natural killer cell activity, an indicator of immune function, was enhanced by 56% on the second day and returned to normal levels. A significant increase of 23% was maintained for 1 month even after returning to urban life, clearly illustrating the preventive benefits of forest therapy. 

Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2014;69(2):122-35

shirin-yoku hawaii

Now, research is showing that visiting a forest has real, quantifiable health benefits, both mental and physical. Even five minutes around trees or in green spaces may improve health. Think of it as a prescription with no negative side effects that’s also free…While we breathe in the fresh air, we breathe in phytoncides, airborne chemicals that plants give off to protect themselves from insects. Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal qualities which help plants fight disease. When people breathe in these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number and activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells or NK. These cells kill tumor- and virus-infected cells in our bodies. In one study, increased NK activity from a 3-day, 2-night forest bathing trip lasted for more than 30 days. Japanese researchers are currently exploring whether exposure to forests can help prevent certain kinds of cancer.”

Immerse Yourself in a Forest for Better Health.  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

phytoncides

If you haven’t heard the story about how my family ended up in the Country, then it’s time I tell you…

My husband Eric and I loved the city (notice the past tense…okay, we still have a place for the city in our hearts, but it’s not the same kinda love). We loved living in all the action and right where the newest restaurants and bars were popping up on every corner. Living in a beautiful high-rise condo, on the 21st floor, we still had this feeling that something was missing. We thought maybe it was because we needed a dog.  So, of course, we adopted a 10-week old puppy named Koa. 

We spent much of our time training Koa to be a loving, well-behaved dog (still working on that; she’s sweet, but a little nuts).  I loved taking her for 1 or 2 hour walks in Chicago, in hopes of giving her the life she deserved.  I noticed quickly that there wasn’t a single place I could walk Koa on the grass.  She loved the grass!  But, get this: dogs aren’t allowed on the grass in the city!  Honestly, there’s not much grass at all, and there aren’t many trees either.  


This experience with our dog is what really planted the “country seed”.  It started to hit me and Eric at the same time!  Now, imagine being Eric; he grew up around lush plants and natural elements, in Hawaii, well into his 20’s.  As for myself, I can think back to the times I would relieve daily stress by rollerblading in the forest preserve where I grew up.

There’s something about nature that you can’t quite explain, but we NEED it.

Seeing my dog roll around in the grass, like a pig in the mud, was a HUGE wake-up call for me.

All across the generations passed, and the millions of years we’ve existed as a species, we have lived our lives as one with nature!  Amongst nature.  Surrounded by nature.  Guided by nature.  

Most of us are so far removed from nature now that we think it’s disgusting to step foot outside without our shoes on (Hi.  I’m raising my hand here too because this was me up until just about a year ago).

Koa In Grass

Welllll, fast-forward a couple of years, and we decided to make the leap.  We left the city.  We found an amazing home, tucked away in the woods, inside 10 acres of wild oak-wood forests; and we’re only 45 minutes from Chicago.  

Life is good.  

We have a new sense of purpose.  A new satisfaction in life.  An all-around good feeling.

It’s like we’ve been reborn…we have so much to learn, so much to be grateful for, and we’re surrounded by wonder.

This is what life is about.

 

Six-Spice Butternut Squash

Six-spice butternut 2 edit The butternut is more than just a squash.  It is a long-lasting, flu-fighting, time-saving winter veggie.    Dice up this golden beauty and you have a super simple side dish just when you thought you were out of veggies.

I’m talking about that day when you have used up all your greens, all your potatoes, and all your produce.  You look over at your pantry and think, “there’s gotta be some canned artichokes in here or somethin!”  Nope.  Just when you’re about to give up and skip the veggies, you see something out the corner of your eye.  It’s been decorating your kitchen with this fall harvest ornamental flair, and you think to yourself, “YES!  BUTTERNUT!  I am so glad you’re here!”  I absolutely love butternut squash, but don’t even tell me for a second you can’t relate.  Sometimes I forget it is in my kitchen, and then boom!  Two weeks later that baby is still standing tall and ready to be put to use (right when I need it the most).  If this hasn’t happened to you then you need to just buy one, and set it aside, and wait.  It’ll happen.  

Winter SquashWe shouldn’t leave winter squash on the sidelines, however, because these starchy, hearty vegetables have some powerful immune-boosting properties that we should take advantage of. 

Sweet winter squash doesn’t need much attention from the cook.  But, considering it’s much less sugary than its tuberous friend the sweet potato, it makes sense to spruce it up with some sweet and spicy flavors.  I only used a few ingredients here, but many of them may be new to you. 

First, I will mention the spices.  Have you heard of Five-Spice Chinese Powder?  I first purchased a bottle of this spice blend years ago when making one of Eric’s favorite foods from his homeland in Hawaii.  Shoyu chicken.  It is a dynamite dish of stewed chicken thighs in a sweet and salty umami bath.  (If you’re feeling adventurous or have longed for a good shoyu chicken recipe, I recommend this one from Reggies Kau Kau Time blog .  I am definitely going to make a longevity version of this dish for the blog one day.  It’s on the list!)  Chinese Five-Spice is typically a blend of Cinnamon, Clove, Peppercorn, Fennel, and Star Anise.  I recently bought a version containing ginger, but traditionally it is made without.  A little goes a long way, and you’d be surprised how useful it is in the winter!  I seasoned the squash here with five-spice powder, and some warming ground cumin.  If you’re not familiar with cumin, I’d have to disagree with you (huh?).  It’s the name “cumin” that people are unfamiliar with, not the taste.   Cumin is the most important flavor in every taco seasoning packet ever!..so I’m sure you will recognize the flavor quite well.  I LOVE IT. coconut aminos

Lastly, I’d like to introduce you to Coconut Aminos.  It is a sweeter alternative to soy sauce that is prized in the paleo world, and new to the culinary scene.  It’s basically salty coconut sap, but without the coconut flavor you might expect.  One bottle will last you a while (unless you go coconut aminos crazy like some of us do at first) so I suggest you go for it!  Tossing the butternut squash in this sauce really helps bring all the flavors together.  Are you nervous about trying all of these new flavors???  I sure hope not.  If you like Thai Food, or Indian Food, Moroccan Food, or trying new things, then you’ll love this dish!

PS I admit I ate it cold several times right out of the fridge.  mmmm.      

 

 

Six-Spice Butternut Squash
Butternut squash coated in a warming blend of spices including cumin, cinnamon, clove, star anise, ginger, and fennel.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 small Butternut Squash, under 2 lbs
  2. 2 Tbsp Ghee, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, or Lard, melted
  3. 2 tsp Coconut Aminos (or 1 tsp fish sauce + 1 tsp coconut sugar)
  4. 2 tsp Coconut sugar
  5. ½ tsp Cumin
  6. ½ tsp Chinese 5 spice
  7. ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  8. 2 fresh Basil leaves
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Cut off both ends of the squash by root and stem, and peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler.
  3. Cut the squash in half crosswise. Then, cut both halves lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  4. Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the melted fat with the coconut aminos, coconut sugar, and the rest of the spices except for the basil.
  6. Add the squash to the mixing bowl, and toss well to coat
  7. Roast for 25 minutes, turning the pieces after 15 minutes.
  8. Thinly slice the basil by stacking the two leaves, rolling tightly like a cigar, and slicing across to create ribbons. Carefully mix the basil ribbons into the hot squash.
Notes
  1. Enjoy this sqush on the side of a juicy steak or any tender braised meats.
  2. The spices compliment many asian and latin flavors.
  3. Try it with my Lime Marinated Grass-fed Skirt Steak.
  4. We also ate the leftovers for breakfast in a one-pan scramble of eggs, kale, and the six-spice squash.
  5. Tag me in your squash photos! @mylongevitykitchen #mylongevitykitchen
My Longevity Kitchen http://mylongevitykitchen.com/

Fiery Sundried Tomato Pesto

sundried tomato pepper pesto

I think hot sauces, and salsas are my favorite foods ever.  And doesn’t just the word “Pesto” make your mouth water? 

Why don’t you imagine now a pesto that is hitting you from every corner!  It’s hot, it’s smoky, it’s tangy, it’s fragrant, and it’s salty.  Oh, and the garlic.  Oh yes.  We’ve got organic, sun-dried tomatoes, bunches of peppery fragrant Italian basil, only the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil you can find, fresh spicy jalapeno peppers, smoky aleppo pepper flakes, and salty briny capers.  Mmmmm hmmmm…

Don’t you even think for a minute that this pesto has to be paired with something bland because of its mighty super-tasty powers!  This pesto is to Italian food like sriracha is to Thai food.  Don’t believe me?  Make it yourself and slap it on everything you eat.  Ahh-mazing.

Before you dive in and start this recipe, I must introduce you to my favorite sun-dried tomatoes.   These bagged tomatoes are much different than the oil-packed style you’re used to seeing (and eating).  Try these, and you’ll be amazed how delicate the flavors are while still bringing you what you would expect of a delicious sun-dried tomato. 

 

Sundried-Tomatoes-814985000135

Have fun with the recipe and try using all sorts of peppers!  Especially if you can get your hands on organic fresh peppers.  Add some olives, nuts, and even Parmesan!  Invite me over for dinner would you? 

Fiery Sundried Tomato Pesto
A mouth-watering combination of fiery fresh jalapeno peppers, Italian basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, Aleppo pepper, and of course Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This 5 minute pesto will add heat and dimension to your favorite foods like you could never imagine.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Organic Sundried Tomatoes (packed without oil), roughly chopped
  2. 1 Cup Fresh Hot Peppers, such as Jalapenos, roughly chopped
  3. 3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped or minced
  4. 1 Bunch of fresh Basil, stemmed
  5. 3 Tbsp Aleppo Pepper, or crushed red chili flakes
  6. 1/4 Cup Capers, drained
  7. Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
  8. 1/2 to full cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Add the tomatoes, fresh hot peppers, and garlic to the food processor and pulse several times to finely chop and incorporate each ingredient.
  2. Now add the Basil, Aleppo Pepper, and Capers, along with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pulse several times to crush all the ingredients together. Add a splash of oil if the mixture is too thick to process.
  3. Taste the pesto for salt.
  4. Scoop the pesto into glass jars, and cover the pesto with oil.
  5. Stir the jars carefully to saturate the pesto with oil, and refrigerate.
Notes
  1. This mixture should last two weeks in the fridge as long as it remains covered in oil
  2. Variations: Try olives instead of the tomatoes or capers. Try any type of fresh peppers. Try Adding Parmesan and pine nuts.
  3. Tag me with your creations! @mylongevitykitchen #mylongevitykitchen
My Longevity Kitchen http://mylongevitykitchen.com/

Homemade Ghee

Ghee

If you haven’t heard of this popular cooking fat that is making a comeback right now, I would be very surprised!  GHEE is everywhere!  But WHY? 

This ancient form of clarified butter has been used as a healthy cooking fat for longer than documentation can confirm.  Ghee is essentially strained brown butter, resulting in “butter oil“.  When the butter is slowly warmed on the stove, the water evaporates, milk solids and proteins begin to separate from the fats, and you can easily separate these fats to retrieve the clarified butter (clarified butter is the star ingredient in the mother sauce, known as Hollandaise).  Now, cook that butter a little longer, and browning begins to occur.  Soon, you develop a nutty depth and complexity that can only be found in Ghee.  Both Ghee and Clarified Butter have incredible health benefits.  As long as the butter is from a healthy source (such as cows raised on pastures, fed grass, free of growth hormones and antibiotics, fed non-gmo supplemental feed), the resulting “butter oil” is high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA combats cancer and cardiovascular disease, and inflammation), Vitamin A, Vitamin K2, beta carotene (you can tell this by comparing the golden color of grass-fed butter next to the pale white color of conventional butter), and has a far better Omega-3 fatty acid ratio than conventional butter.  You should also note that most of the milk solids and proteins (lactose and casein) are removed during the process of making ghee and clarified butter.  This means nearly everyone but the most sensitive individuals can enjoy the benefits of ghee in their diet.  Did I mention that ghee and clarified butter have a much higher smoke point than regular butter?  You can pan fry and roast foods in ghee without causing damaging free radicals! 

Sure you can buy grass-fed organic ghee at the supermarkets now, but they are more than $1.00 per ounce!  You can make your own ghee for less than half that price.  Try out this step by step tutorial, and let me know how it goes!


 

Homemade Ghee

Step 1:

Using a small sauce pan, melt 8 oz of butter on low heat. (you may dice the butter to rush this step)

Step 1Step 2:

About a minute after the butter is all melted, the top layer will become fluffy foam.  Step 2 cTo encourage the water to evaporate, and allow air to escape, you can rest a slotted wooden spoon upside-down like the second photo below. Or gently move the foam around, by skimming the top, to let air escape.

step 2 b

Step 3:

About 2 minutes later, you will notice the foam is no longer fluffy, and starts to bubble more and separate.

Step 3

Step 4:

Continue cooking, and if you tilt the pan, you’ll notice almost all of the white milky solids will have fallen to the bottom of the pan, while the top is still bubbling and foaming again.

Step 5

step 5 9minStep 5:

In these next few minutes (around 9-12 minutes into the process) the milk solids will be browning at the bottom of the pan.  

Step 6:

Tilt the pan to check on the browning. Keep cooking until it is dark brown, and remove the pan from the heat when it looks like it might begin to burn.

Step 6Step 7:

Allow it to cool for 10 minutes, and then skim off all of the remaining foam that floats on top.  This is what you are left with:

Step 7 coolStep 8:

Pour the ghee through cheesecloth or a coffee filter resting on a funnel.

Step 8 filter

Congratulations!  You made your own GHEE! 

fiinal

Ghee is safe kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month, or you may refrigerate it to prevent any possibility of spoiling.  Make a bunch so you can stock up!  You can freeze ghee too. 

*To make Clarified Butter (which has a cleaner, more neutral taste, and shorter processing time), carefully skim all of the foam off the top in Step 2.  Once you have cleared off as much foam as possible, without disturbing any milk solids that settled to the bottom, you may ladle or pour out the remaining fat (carefully avoiding the milk solids on the bottom).  Clarified Butter may not last at room temperature for more than a couple of weeks since it is not strained like ghee is. 

 

 

Paleo Thousand Island Dressing

Paleo Thousand Island Recipe

I’m going to go ahead and proclaim “Thousand Island is the best American salad dressing!”  Yes, even versus ranch dressing.  Try this recipe and you’ll soon agree. 

McDonald’s can keep their poisonous special sauce, because I have a homemade version that will make you forget any other existed.  You can eat my dressing like a dip for your veggies, slather it on wraps and burgers, serve with my salmon sardine cakes, enjoy it with potatoes, use like a salad dressing of course, and more!  Don’t forget about a tasty rueben.  This is so easy to make, and you’re family will thank you for it! 

thousand island burger
Now that’s what I call a Big Longevity Mac!

 

Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients.  It’s so easy to throw together, especially if you already have the mayo.  I keep Primal Kitchen Foods Mayo, or Sir Kensington’s Mayo, in my pantry as a backup, but I always make my mayo homemade if I have the oil on hand (Primal Kitchen Foods Mayo is the healthiest mayo on the market, but only available online and very few select Whole Foods; Sir Kensington’s still uses sunflower oil which is generally unhealthy because it is high in omega-6 fatty acids, but this will still be better than any other mayo in the store).  Making homemade mayo is quick and easy if you have an immersion blender.  Follow this recipe by “The Healthy Foodie”, but the only thing I would change is use the yolk only.  Not the whole egg. 

There’s hardly a single bottle of salad dressing sold in stores that I would buy or eat these days.  Go ahead and check your fridge, and read the bottles of dressing in there.  Even the organic brands like Annie’s have soybean or canola oil as the base.  The only brand I do know of that actually uses olive oil is Tessamae’s All Natural olive oil based salad dressingsIf you want to live a long and healthy life, it’s time you learn about your healthy fats, and ditch the “industrial seed and vegetable oils”.  Marketing and Media did a fantastic job making us believe industrial seed and vegetable oils like soybean oil and canola oil are healthy for us…but they are dead wrong. 


Want to know the whole story about why and how we’ve been deceived?  Check out Mercola’s article called “The Great Con-ola”Watch this video if you’d like to see what the rapeseed has to go through to become Canola Oil on the shelf.  You’ll be disgusted to see the chemical washes and bleaching that must be done before the canola oil is ready for sale (ignore the health claims, and skip to after 1 minute to see the factory processing). 


In a nutshell, American’s excessive consumption of these oils (such as soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, and sunflower oil) is now believed to be largely responsible for the rise in liver disease, heart disease, obesity, allergies, asthma, mental illness, bowel disorders, and cancer (more references and information can be found in my favorite, most trusted diet book called the Perfect Health Diet, in Chapter 11: The Dangerous Fats: PUFA). 

Toxic Oils

“But Marisa, what are we supposed to use if we can’t use these oils?” 

Healthy Fats

It’s time to take back control, and fill our kitchens with wholesome ingredients that have been keeping our ancestors healthy for centuries. 

Post your questions in the comments below.  I know what it feels like to learn about toxic oils for the first time.  You’ll have many questions about how and why and what to do!  Start small and work your way up.  The most important thing is to be aware, and continue to educate yourself because repetition will help you remember and find a deeper understanding.  Bookmark this page, pin these images, and spread the word.  Let’s help keep our loved ones free from cancer and disease, starting with this delicious homemade dressing! 


Read this article by “The Healthy Skeptic” Chris Kresser to learn more about toxins in our food.  If you don’t have time now, bookmark it and read it later.  This is important information to understand and apply if you want to live a healthy life and fight chronic disease. 

Paleo Thousand Island
Make your own thousand island dressing from scratch, and you'll get high fives all around. This dressing is made with wholesome ingredients, and it lasts in the fridge for at least a week. Use it as a dip for veggies, salad dressing, burger topping, or just like any other condiment!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups homemade Mayo (Primal Kitchen Foods Mayo, or Sir Kensington's in a pinch)
  2. 1 cup organic Ketchhup
  3. 1 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar (or 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar + 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar)
  4. 1 Tbsp Vietnamese Fish Sauce (or organic worchestershire)
  5. 3/4 C finely chopped Pickles (or natural relish)
  6. 3 Boiled Eggs, finely chopped
  7. 3 Scallions, finely chopped
  8. 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, minced
  9. Fine Sea Salt, 1 tsp
  10. Cracked Black Pepper, 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together with a fork (too chunky for a whisk).
  2. Try not to eat all of it at once.
  3. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for a week.
Notes
  1. Buy a bottle of Fish Sauce if you haven't already. It lends a salty tangy dimension, like soy sauce and worchestershire combined, and is a healthy source of omega-3's. The best brand is Red Boat Vietnamese Fish Sauce.
  2. Quality eggs should be high on your longevity list when grocery shopping. Factory/conventional eggs are very high in omega-6 and contribute to many of the same issues caused by toxic oils, as I explained in this blog post (not to mention the higher likelihood of pathogenic bacteria). Never buy conventional eggs. Buy Organic Pasture Raised eggs whenever possible, or at the very least, buy eggs from hens fed extra Omega-3's or raised by Amish standards.
My Longevity Kitchen http://mylongevitykitchen.com/

 

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

goat cheese mushroom platter 2

I’ve always been a stuffed mushroom fan. You can really stuff them with ANYTHING.

I remember when my husband Eric and I first tried paleo, maybe 6 years ago, we used to make these all the time as a snack! He was amazed how easy it was, and how we could “wing it” with whatever we had in the fridge. That’s actually how I ended up using dried sausage for the filling…that’s all we had!

I feel like this calls for a quick story on why we tried out paleo 6 years ago. Eric and I have always bonded over dieting, staying in shape, and taking care of our physiques. I was the one that found it hard to stick to such a regimented workout schedule, which means I would be left scrambling to tone up at the last minute before a body-baring vacation or boat party. Eric introduced me to the low-carb diet because you can easily lose a significant amount of body fat if you cut out carbs and eat more protein and fat. That is a sure thing for anyone and everyone. I was not gluten free at the time, and was a typical dieter that believed low fat and whole grains would keep me thin. This low-carb thing blew my mind!!! Especially when I saw results, I was just amazed. Back then, we would only do low-carb to lose a few pounds, and then we would return to our regular “extra-lean jenny-o ground turkey and brown rice diet”. The immediate results of the low-carb paleo diet is one of the reasons why it was easier for me to transition to gluten-free and paleo when the time came for such a major shift in my lifestyle.

Back to the mushrooms…shall we?White Mushrooms -

One trick to add to your mushroom-stuffing arsenal is to marinate them, like you see here in my recipe below. This allows you to add flavor to the bland mushrooms (don’t take offense mushroom lovers…it must be the delicious stuffing that typically makes them taste so bland) and add moisture, so you don’t have to add a splash of water to the baking dish like you’ll usually see in other stuffed mushroom recipes.

Don’t be afraid to play around with the ingredients here! If you don’t eat cheese, add some mashed avocado (What?). And if you don’t like goat cheese, then try it again because it’s awesome.  Kidding, not kidding. I was surprised how many people want to try this recipe even though they don’t like goat cheese. Well, the goat cheese is the star player here…so if you want to try something new then I suggest mixing half goat cheese, half mascarpone or cream cheese. I have made these before with mascarpone, and they are incredible! If you are using one of these soft cheeses instead, then you’ll want to add the cheese in with the sausage at the end, when you add the parsley. That way it will all melt and mix together into a lovely creamy mess.

I added fresh cranberries this time around

Happy Stuffing.

Speaking of stuffing, don’t skimp on it just to get a pretty mushroom. Stuff those babies until the stuffing is all gone! Pile it across the neighboring mushrooms like you’re spreading frosting on a cake, and thank me later for the deliciously irresistible “scrumplings” that you will be eating off the bottom of the pan after baking. That is the best part!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms closeup

 

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
This sophisticated take on a classic will have your goat-cheese-loving friends and family oo-ing and ahh-ing over the creamy, tangy filling. Use this preparation for any stuffed mushrooms and play around with the fillings for more variety! You can freeze the mushrooms before or after baking, for future use.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2- 8 oz container stuffing mushrooms (large white or baby bella work best)
  2. 1/2 to 1 full cup (4 oz or more) cured sausage such as salami, soppresatta, or spanish chorizo, finely chopped
  3. Butter or fat to saute
  4. 3 Tbsp White Wine (divided 2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp)
  5. 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  6. 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  7. 1/2 Jalapeno, small dice (leave this out for milder heat)
  8. 3 Scallions, sliced fairly thin
  9. 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  10. 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced (you may sub any delicate greens spinach or fresh herbs here)
  11. 1 Egg
  12. 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (keep chilled until needed)
  13. Salt & Pepper
  14. Optional: Grated Italian Cheese such as Parmesan, Peccorino Romano, or Grana Padano
  15. Optional: Gluten-free flour or breadcrumbs for additional binding (such as potato starch, brown rice breadcrumbs, almond meal, etc...)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Clean the mushrooms any way you wish. Running water, bowl of water, paper towel, whatever! Don't listen to the hype about not washing your mushrooms.
  3. Prepare the mushrooms by removing the stems, and set them on your cutting board.
  4. Create your marinade in a bowl large enough for the mushrooms by mixing 2 Tbsp wine, 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vin, 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the Mushrooms and toss to combine.
  5. Heat 2 Tbsp Butter in a saute pan on medium heat and add your diced sausage.
  6. Dice up your mushroom stems fairly small, and set them aside with your jalapenos, scallions, and garlic.
  7. Checking back on your sausage which should be browning nicely, give it a stir, and now you may add your stems, jalapenos, scallions, and garlic. Give it a little sea salt and mix around until you smell all the yummy garlic, and the stems and jalapenos start to soften.
  8. Add 1 Tbsp white wine to the pan, and stir around to incorporate. Let the mixture cook 2-3 more minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated. Taste for Salt.
  9. Turn off the burner and remove the pan from the heat so it can begin to cool. Mix in the minced parsley or herbs now.
  10. Meanwhile in another bowl, beat the egg, and add in the goat cheese.
  11. Find a pan that will fit the mushrooms rather snuggly, so they don't slide around. Line the pan with parchment or foil for easy cleanup.
  12. Add the cooled sausage mixture into the bowl with the egg and goat cheese. If using parmesan or grated cheese, add 2 Tbsp or more. Mix well and taste the mixture. When in doubt, add a bit more salt because the filling needs to be slightly salty to compliment the mushrooms.
  13. If your mixture is too loose or warm, you should refrigerate to help tighten it up before stuffing. You may also add a binder such as gluten-free flour or breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. I highly recommend refrigerating the mixture for 10-15 minutes.
  14. Begin stuffing each mushroom and adding it to the baking dish.
  15. Once you have stuffed each mushroom, start adding the remaining stuffing across the tops of the mushrooms so they are overflowing. Everyone wants more stuffing, so use it all!
  16. Bake the mushrooms uncovered for 20-25 minutes. You may broil the mushrooms for a short time at the end if you'd like more browning on top (not recommended with parchment paper).
  17. Sprinkle with fresh parsley when serving.
Notes
  1. For a more mild flavor, the goat cheese can be mixed with mascarpone, or cream cheese, or swapped out all together. These creamy substitutes are best stirred into the hot pan right before you remove it from the heat.
  2. Tag me on instagram with your stuffed mushroom photos! #mylongevitykitchen @mylongevitykitchen
My Longevity Kitchen http://mylongevitykitchen.com/