Canon EOS M100 entry mirrorless crams M6 into M10’s body

In keeping with its naming schemes, where fewer digits denote higher-end models, Canon has effectively demoted its basic EOS M10 mirrorless to M100 in conjunction with its two-year update. It’s an odd choice since there isn’t a lot of room for differentiation between the M5 and M6 and the M100 that would merit opening up a naming gap — hopefully, that means there’s a change coming.

The 24.4-megapixel sensor, 49-point autofocus system, metering system and Digic 7 image processor — almost all the elements which determine the quality of the camera — have been upgraded to parity with the other models released late in 2016, making the M100 a typical line refresh model, but one with the type of specs you’d expect from its class. It retains most of the design and layout aspects of the M10’s body with just a few tweaks: a tilted shutter button, a button to initiate its new wireless communication capabilities and the relocation of the power control to a button in the middle of the mode dial.

Aside from the simplified design and feature set, the M100 also lags behind its siblings at continuous shooting — 4fps with autofocus and autoexposure compared to 7fps in the M6. However, it’s certainly a step up from the M10, which couldn’t handle focus and exposure during continuous shooting at all. That’s partly because all of Canon’s newer models have moved to its Dual Pixel CMOS sensor which focuses a lot faster and more accurately than the Hybrid CMOS II in the M10. It also inherits some of the newer features from the higher-priced models, such as HDR mode and time-lapse movies.

Canon plans to ship the M100 in October in two kits: a $600 version with the EF-M 15-45mm f3.5-6.3 IS STM lens and a $950 dual-lens kit which adds the EF-M 55-200mm f4.5-6.3 IS STM lens. It will be available in black or white. I don’t have UK or Australian pricing, but those directly convert to about £465/£735 and AU$760/AU$1,200.

6 Interesting Facts about Total Solar Eclipse 2017

The solar eclipse is coming. You may be wondering what all the fuss is about. After all, is a total solar eclipse really that big of a deal? Here are a few facts about the total solar eclipse 2017 to get you up to speed on Monday’s event.

1. The first full solar eclipse

This is the first full solar eclipse in the United States since 1979. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 1918 for a full solar eclipse that went across all of America. The next ones will not be until 2024 and 2045, so now is the time to see an eclipse.

2. Not everyone will experience full darkness

Only a relatively small part of the nation will see the full solar eclipse. If you are not lucky enough to be in the path from Oregon to South Carolina, don’t worry. You’ll still get to a partial eclipse ranging from 75% – 99% coverage.

3. You can’t look directly at the sun

This is the most important fact to know. Even if the sun is almost completely blocked out by the moon, you cannot look directly at the sun without experiencing eye damage. The damage is irreversible. You must look at the sun with special solar glasses or a solar viewing panel. Regular sunglasses or 3D sunglass are not acceptable.

4. You can still get glasses or viewers

If you haven’t gotten a hold of glasses or a viewer, don’t worry. You can make one at home very easily with cardboard, tape, and a pin. You can also check out your local 711, library, or community groups for glasses. Check with friends and co-workers for extra glasses as well. Many companies sold glasses in packs of 5-10 so someone might have an extra pair on hand.

More:

5. You can take a selfie with the eclipse

You can take pictures of the eclipse but you must always keep your glasses on. Do not look directly at the sun while you adjust your phone or camera for a shot. Your smartphone camera will not be damaged if you take a picture of the sun since it is a small lens and only lets in a small amount of natural light.

However, if you want to use your DSLR or point and shoot camera, you need to have a special filter for your lens. Otherwise, your camera will be permanently damaged.

6. There will not be an apocalypse

Some people believe that a total eclipse is a harbinger of evil or bad health for those whose birthday occurred on the day of or six months before the eclipse. There is absolutely no evidence of this being the case. While it may be eerie to experience total darkness for a few minutes in the middle of the day, it does mean there is impending doom.

Now that you know the facts about the eclipse, you’re ready for Monday! Be sure to have a plan before it begins so you won’t miss the actual event. If you’d rather stay inside or can’t make it out, you can watch a livestream online and experience a full solar eclipse from your home or office.

How to Test Your Gut Microbiome (At Home Without a Doctor)

If you have been a Wellness Mama reader for very long then you know my story and how it took me over 7 years and 8 doctors to finally figure out I had Hashimoto’s and start to find answers. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to get testing, even when you think you might know what is wrong.

That’s why I’m excited about emerging research and innovative new companies that are working to bring comprehensive testing to our homes. The best part? No doctor or blood test required!

Personalized Medicine: The Future of Health?

If you heard the recent 100th episode of The Healthy Moms podcast, you know that I strongly feel that there is not a single perfect diet that works for everyone or a supplement that will fix all your problems. We all need sleep and community and sunshine, but the rest is very personalized based upon each individual’s needs.

What works wonderfully for one person may make someone else feel worse. I feel great when I take a lot of magnesium. Some people experience low blood pressure from taking it. I don’t feel good if I eat a lot of carbs. Some people feel amazing on a relatively high carb diet.

At the end of the day, we each have to figure out the foods, supplements, and lifestyle factors that are best for us.

But how?

We can do testing like 23 and Me, which shows our genes. This is helpful, but most of us aren’t geneticists and don’t know what the results mean. I know I have MAO-A and an MTHFR mutation, and thanks to research I’m able to make some dietary changes based on this, but the research is still new. They also only show half of the picture.

Gut Metatranscriptome & Microbiome Analysis

I’m super excited about a new kind of testing that allows us to have a deeper picture of what is happening inside the gut. We’ve all heard the studies about the importance of the gut and how it impacts every single aspect of our lives, and now we can actually get a glimpse of what is happening inside the gut and know how to impact our own gut environment.

Microorganisms Rule Our Body

There are trillions of microorganisms in your gut. About 40 trillion to be exact. We have more bacterial cells than human cells and these bacteria drastically affect our lives on a daily basis.

These organisms help us digest food, produce beneficial or harmful chemicals, control infections by pathogens, regulate the immune system, and even control emotions (ever have a gut feeling?).

Studies consistently link these microorganisms—which make up your gut microbiome—to many chronic conditions, including diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, coronary artery disease, psoriasis, lupus, and even autism. Basically, if we want to be healthy and happy … our gut bacteria needs to be healthy and happy too!

The Science of Microbiome Composition

Every living organism produces RNA molecules from their DNA.

Tests like this one sequence all of the RNA in the stool (poop) to identify and quantify all of the living microorganisms in the gut (bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages, archaea, fungi, yeast, parasites, and more) at the species and strain level.

The end result?

A more in-depth view of your gut microbiome than has ever been available before. Instead of just looking at bacteria and parasites, we can now sequence RNA in the gut. The nerd in me is so excited about this technology, but even if you aren’t interested in the science, I think you’ll be excited about how technology like this can improve all of our lives!

The Function of Metabolites in the Gut

Identifying the microorganisms in your gut is important, but understanding their function is what lets us use them to our advantage.

This is because the microbes in your gut produce thousands of chemicals, called metabolites, that affect your overall wellness. Some of these metabolites are beneficial to health, such as B-vitamins and short chain fatty acids. Others can be harmful, such as Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which is linked to coronary artery disease.

Gut Microbiome Testing to Improve Health

Analyzing the genes that microbes express lets us identify which metabolites they produce. This helps determine their role in your body’s ecosystem. But all of that isn’t helpful if it is just data. When we understand metabolites, we can also understand how to affect them with food, lifestyle, and supplements to change the gut bacteria.

This is the first time we have the ability to fine-tune the function of gut microbiome. This helps minimize production of harmful metabolites and maximize the production of beneficial ones.

The metabolites in our gut give us a shortcut to know what to eat and what to take to improve wellness in the fastest way possible.

How to Test Gut Microbiome at Home

Now for why I’m so excited… about testing poop!

Until recently, most gut testing cost thousands of dollars and had to be ordered through a doctor. Testing also provided an incomplete picture of gut health and used the old 16S method of sequencing.

The 16S method analyzes the bacteria in the gut, but as I showed above, this is an incomplete picture. To fully analyze the bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages, archaea, fungi, yeast, parasites and other organisms, a more complete testing is needed.

Viome: Gut Testing in Your Own Bathroom

That is until a company that recently emerged changed all that. Viome is a new company that uses an advanced form of testing to analyze gut health and provide personalized recommendations of supplements, diet and lifestyle factors.

Viome does a specialized form of testing called metatranscriptome sequencing. It looks at the RNA, metabolites, and the deeper picture of the gut.

Here’s how it differs from the old 16S method:

What Viome Gut Tests Reveal

Viome looks at the gut in all the ways I just explained. It also does a metabolic intelligence test (that you can do from home). This helps you gauge your blood sugar, insulin levels, stress responses, and more by looking at urine pH, saliva pH, blood sugar, heart rate, and other metrics.

I just completed the Viome test and will now be doing the test on all of my kids.

Here’s How the Test Works:

Order the test kit from Viome here.
Viome sends a test kit to your home.
You complete the test at home (don’t worry… it’s easy!).
Then you mail your poop to Viome (yes, really) and record your metabolic results in their app.
A few weeks later, Viome provides personalized analysis of your gut and recommendations to help you improve chronic conditions, feel better, and keep your gut microorganisms happy.
Become a Citizen Scientist …

I’m so excited about this and other emerging technology that helps us all do our own research. With every chronic disease on the rise, these are problems we need to address right away. Companies and tests like Viome help us understand our own personalized needs in a way that helps us improve our lives in a drastic way.

How to Avoid the Waiting List

Viome is a new technology, using advanced testing developed at Los Alamos Lab (that was originally part of national security). It has become so popular so quickly that they have a long waiting list. I met their founder, Naveen Jain, at a recent health event and he agreed to let Wellness Mama readers skip the wait list.

Learn more about Viome and skip the waiting list at this link.

I’ll be sharing my own personal results in a follow-up post soon. I’d love to hear your thoughts … what do you think?

More Research & Why I Care:

Gut health is intricately tied to all aspects of health. If you’re interested in the science and emerging connection between gut health to overall health, here are a few recent studies for further reading:

The Influence of the Gut Microbiome on Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome and Gastrointestinal Disease
The link between the Microbiome and Autoimmunity
Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome
Microbiota associated with type 2 diabetes and its related complications
From gut dysbiosis to altered brain function and mental illness: mechanisms and pathways
Gut microbiota are related to Parkinson’s disease and clinical phenotype
Symptomatic atherosclerosis is associated with an altered gut metagenome
Reduction of Abeta amyloid pathology in APPPS1 transgenic mice in the absence of gut microbiota
Microbiota-based model improves the sensitivity of fecal immunochemical test for detecting colonic lesions
Indoles from commensal bacteria extend healthspan
No guts no glory: Harvesting the microbiome of athletes
Are you as excited about this new technology as I am? Ever tried any at-home tests like this before? Weigh in below!

Critical Thinking in a Social Media World (What You Didn’t Learn in History Class)

Today we’re talking about a topic that fascinates me personally: how to learn critical thinking in an age that accepts the latest meme or “fake news” without question.

I started out as a journalism major, and at the time I believed I could help the world by getting “the right answers” and putting them out there. Now I understand it’s not that black and white. We all know that news sources often bring their own political agenda to the table.

It takes clear thinking and a degree of skepticism to discern fact from fiction … not to mention everything in between. So how can we cultivate these abilities? Do our schools teach them? How can we as adults learn them in a rapidly changing world and how can we teach this skill to our children?

Tom Woods on Critical Thinking for the 21st Century

Economist, historian, and homeschooling parent Tom Woods explains why critical thinking is increasingly important in a social media and buzz feed world. With 4 Ivy League degrees (yes, 4!)—one of them a PhD in History from Columbia University—Tom Woods has the credentials.

But he didn’t stop there.

Tom Woods has made his life’s work to teach as many people as possible to be out-of-the-box entrepreneurs and problem solvers by teaching critical thinking. History and economics matters to everyone, he argues, because they are the keys to how the world works, and why.

The result of his efforts? Tom Woods is followed by a huge virtual community interested in applying critical thinking and creative solutions to political problems.

I love what he has to say, and I hope you do too!

In This Episode, You’ll Learn

why understanding economics shouldn’t be for an elite few
how to learn to think critically in a “fake news” world
a simple explanation of the power of the free market
convincing reasons why knowing history matters in today’s society
the problems Tom Woods thinks government faces over the next few decades
why Social Security isn’t the only government program with major problems
one pitfall of democratic societies (can you guess?)
ways to educate yourself on the history, art, culture, and economics you may have missed in school
resources for sharing your worldview with your kids
why government solutions actually can rob us of an opportunity for creativity
Tom’s perspective on mainstream news outlets (and how to choose news sources wisely)
what’s needed to prepare kids for the politics of college environments
whether the higher education system still has value
why knowing how to create a profitable YouTube channel might be just as important as a college education
what Austrian economics is, and what it has to do with America
common misconceptions about states’ rights … and what American history really has to say
Even if you disagree politically, here’s one of Tom Woods’ messages we all probably can get behind: we can each accomplish great things without being forced to do so.

Resources We Mention

TomWoods.com
The Tom Woods Show
The Tom Woods Show, Episode 44: Free State Project
5 Paths to Online Income (Free e-book)
Real Dissent: A Libertarian Sets Fire to the Index Card of Allowable Opinion (2014)
Nullification: How to Resist Government Tyranny in the 21st Century (2010)
Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse (2011)
Praxis – An alternative way to start a career (without college)
Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom – Online adult curriculum to teach the history, economics, and logic skills you might not have learned
Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum – K-12 curriculum on finances, history, economics, and entrepreneurship in the digital age.
Mises Institute – the hub of the Austrian economics school of thought
Your turn! What do you think about what Tom Woods has to say? What do you think makes someone a good critical thinker?

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me mention them before. I have been using and loving and Instagramming their products for years. They have an amazing instant mushroom coffee.

I know it sounds weird, but hear me out! It’s not only the best instant coffee I’ve ever tried, it’s also pretty high up on the list of best coffee I’ve tried, period! It’s made with superfood mushrooms like Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Chaga mushrooms. And these mushrooms have some big health benefits, plus give you energy and mental clarity without the jitters from traditional coffee.

If you aren’t a caffeine person, they also have a variety of mushroom teas and other caffeine-free products. I love them so much that I reached out and they agreed to give a discount to my listeners. So, go to foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama and use the code “WellnessMama” to get 10% off.

This episode is sponsored by Kettle and Fire Bone Broth. If you love the benefits of bone broth but don’t love the time it takes to make and how tough it can be to find quality bones to make it, Kettle and Fire is for you! Their bone broth is a regular staple in my kitchen these days, and it was what I used to create the recipes in my new bone broth e-book (releasing later this year).

So they use only bones from 100% grass-fed pasture raised cattle that are never given hormones and antibiotics. It’s also unique because they focus on bones that are especially high in collagen, which is one of the healthiest things you can put in your body. You can find them in many Whole Foods on the west coast and you can also order online at Kettleandfire.com/mama.

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Review

I’ve talked before about how much we use coconut oil and shared my list of 101 uses. We use coconut oil in everything from deodorant to toothpaste to cooking. I even use it in my coffee…

I often get asked and wanted to share my favorite brand of coconut oil: Tropical Traditions Gold Label. (check out the bottom of this post for a free coconut oil gift)

Tropical Traditions offers several different types of coconut oil. I like the taste of coconut so we use the gold label for everything, but their chart shows the difference in the various types:

Some of the reasons we’ve decided to use Tropical Traditions coconut oil:

All of their coconut oils are organic and non-GMO
All are made without the use of chemicals (unlike vegetable oils)
Coconut oils are not hydrogenated and don’t contain trans fats
Coconut oil contains high levels of Medium Chain Tryglicerides and Lauric Acid- good fats that support health
Gold Level is hand made and has high levels of antioxidants
All TT coconut oils are packaged in glass instead of plastic to preserve the quality of the coconut oil and keep any plastics from leaching in to the oils
We’ve completely removed any vegetable oils from our house and only use coconut oil. I love that my kids are getting beneficial fats in everything that I cook and it works great in homemade lotions and body products.

Their expeller pressed coconut oil doesn’t have the taste of coconut so it is a good option for those who don’t like the taste.

FREE Gift

Tropical Traditions has offered to give you all a free copy of their Virgin Coconut Oil Book if you decide to buy something from their site (minimum purchase $16, first time order only). Just use this link and you will get the book free if you purchase at least $16 on your first order. You get the book free and I get coupons towards their products (which are a tremendous help to our family). Note: If you decide to purchase anything from Tropical Traditions through my link, I do receive coupons that can be used toward Tropical Traditions products and your price is the same. If you do, thanks so much for helping support my blog!

How are you using coconut oil for your family and friends? Share below!

The Primal Blueprint Review

The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson was one of the first books I read on the primal/paleo way of living. I had already arrived at many of the same conclusions but was glad to find such a well researched and well written summary.

Though Mark approaches healthy eating and lifestyle from a slightly different perspective, we agree on all the basics. His website is a great resource for healthy recipes and health information. He also has a huge archive of success stories from other people eating the way you are (grain free, sugar free, lots of healthy fats, etc) if you need any inspiration!

From how to make your own cultured butter to a completely new take on breakfast casserole, Mark has great resources for anyone. Mark’s blog is fun to read, and at over 60 years old, he is proof of how a healthy lifestyle can keep you looking young. (he looks decades younger!)

The Primal Blueprint was his first book and it explains the benefits of removing certain foods (grains, most dairy, vegetable oils, beans, etc) and how to optimize important lifestyle factors (sleep, stress, exercise, etc).

I like that Mark approaches health and diet with a whole-person mentality and takes complex topics (like gene expression) and makes them easy to understand and applicable for the average reader.

Who is this book for: While Mark’s writing appeals to many readers, he definitely seems to really connect with men, especially younger men with fitness goals. I would give this book as a gift to anyone just starting off in this way of eating and to several guys who could benefit from his info.

Mark’s other book is called The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation and as with his past books, it is well written and easy to read.

I felt like it was an easy read and that it was simple to follow. I personally didn’t like it as much as his original The Primal Blueprint but I don’t know if that is just because I have already been eating this way for several years so it seemed more basic to me now (whereas I read The Primal Blueprint early in my real food journey).

From Mark:

It’s a practical, action-oriented guide for how to eat, exercise and live Primally – a step-by-step, “cut to the chase” resource to make a smooth and quick transition into a healthy lifestyle. In it he tells you exactly what to do every day for 21 days to take control of your health for the rest of your life. Mark explains what this new book is all about, what’s in it and who it’s for here.

I like that it has actionable steps for each day, much like my own Wellness Challenge and that it makes the switch to a healthier lifestyle less overwhelming.

Nothing in The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation is really new information if you’ve already read The Primal Blueprint or Mark’s blog, but the info is good and I can see this being especially helpful for those just starting off or those who need some additional help in making the switch.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? Share below!

My Favorite Health Books

I’ve always enjoyed reading and when I started on my family’s health journey many years ago, I poured through as many health books as I could get my hands on in order to try and find answers to the questions I had. Over the years I’ve read hundreds of books in the health and wellness space, some really good ones, some pretty boring, and others full of terrible advice.

These are my favorite health books that have had the biggest impact on my outlook and family’s health:

Deep Nutrition

A great resource that details how pre-conception and pregnancy diet can have a dramatic impact on a child’s future and how to optimize these factors. Dr. Cate Shanahan delves in to the subject of epigenetics and talks about the four core foods and how they impact health:

“The “Four Pillars of World Cuisine” as Deep Nutrition explains them, are four dietary principles found in traditional and primitive cultures that manage to achieve this advanced level of health. These four nutritional commonalities occur in populations (past and present) around the world who have much better health than modern society. From the legendary Hunzas to the modern Japanese, Shanahan shows that while the specifics of their diets varied, they all had these four things in common. They consumed:

Meat on the Bone
Organ Meats
Fermented/Sprouted Foods
Fresh, Uncooked Ingredients (very specific ones!)
Gut and Psychology Syndrome

“The protocol in Gut and Psychology Syndrome is basically an intensive nutritional program to heal the gut lining. It focuses on soothing and healing the gut lining with foods like bone broth and beneficial fats while boosting beneficial gut bacteria with probiotics and fermented foods.

Depending on the severity of the patient, one either begins with or works up to the Introduction Diet, which is the strictest part of the protocol, focused on intensive healing. There are then stages as the person begins to introduce other foods. The most difficult factor of the GAPS diet is that in order to be effective, especially in the beginning, one must be 100% compliant. This means a lot of preparing foods at home, as practically any foods prepared by someone not familiar with the protocol will have things that can aggravate the gut.

The website, GapsDiet.com, outlines some of the protocol, but the book is a much more comprehensive source of information.”

Cure Tooth Decay

I’ve talked a lot about oral health from the inside out and the body’s ability to regenerate a tooth. This book, Cure Tooth Decay, was the one that started it all for us and that let to my husband and I both reversing cavities. As I explained in a past post:

“Ramiel Nagel researched the information that later became the book Cure Tooth Decay when his daughter suffered from severe tooth decay at less than 2 years old. Much of the information he found was from the works of Dr. Price who studied the oral health of many people around the world.

Nagel found and tested the idea that tooth decay could be reversed and later shared this information in his book. It details a system of specific supplementation and nutrition focused on providing the body with a high concentration of minerals and nutrients that allow it to heal teeth.

As a mom, this book was especially helpful as Nagel addresses the specific protocol that is helpful for children and talks about how oral health for a child begins in the womb and the various steps an expectant mother can take to give her child’s oral health a boost in utero.

He details a specific dietary protocol (much like the one I recommend here) with limited or no grains, sugars, beans, and limited nuts while the teeth are healing. He recommends foods like coconut oil (check), grass-fed meats and pastured dairy (check), and lots of vegetables (check).”

Practical Paleo

Practical Paleo is a helpful resource, especially for those new to Paleo or those with autoimmune problems. Diane created this very involved resource guide that is full of information:

“Practical Paleo is a wealth of information and has specific dietary suggestions for various conditions including:

Digestive Issues
Thyroid problems
Autoimmune problems
Neurological health
Blood Sugar Balance
Heart health
Cancer Recovery
Fat Loss
MS, Fm or CFS”
How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor

An old book but a good one. This book is written by a doctor and gives age-old advice for parents on how to raise a healthy child without sweating the small stuff, and how to know when something isn’t the small stuff….

“Mendelsohn gives advice and encouragement to parents for handling most minor illnesses at home, and gives a helpful checklist at the end of each chapter for when an injury or illness requires medical help.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I agreed with How To Raise A Healthy Child on topics of illness treatment (or non-treatment), strep throat treatment, ear aches, active children, and many other points.

How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor even touches on healthy birth (home vs. hospital), vaccination, and how most skin and respiratory problems (asthma, allergies) actually stem from food intolerances!”

Other Health and Wellness Books

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Bath Back To Health by William Davis (Dr. Davis is a great guy and even agreed to do an interview with me!)

Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso – This is a great book full of great recipes and fun workouts. Sarah is an inspirational woman and I was also honored to guest post at Everyday Paleo, Sarah’s Blog. Check it out if you haven’t already!

Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes – A well researched critique of conventional wisdom on diet and nutrition.

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes- A more in-depth version of “Why We Get Fat.” It was actually written first, and then simplified in “Why We Get Fat” but it is a great read and it will indulge the inner scientist in you

Lights Out by T.S. Wiley- Though I don’t agree with everything in this book, it cites some good studies about the importance of sleep and is good encouragement to start getting enough!

The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith- A great read, especially for anyone on the fence about vegetarianism.

Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet- Don’t agree with all of his ideas (like safe starches) but he makes some good points.

Protein Power by The Drs. Eades- A great read by a great husband and wife team.

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price- A little dense at times but I highly recommend this book! He was one of the first to suggest many health ideas that are becoming mainstream today and this book is often referenced within the health community.

The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife- As if you needed more reasons to consume coconut oil… if you do, check this book out!

Power to the People by Pavel- A fitness book about kettlebells from the master himself.

The 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss- I loved some of the strength protocols in this book and the promotion and way the book were written are as fascinating as the content!

Food and Cookbooks

Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield- Some fun and easy recipes.

Make It Paleo by Bill Stanley and Hayley Mason- More good recipes!

The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam- The definitive guide to almond flour baking! Not all are low-carb, and I wouldn’t suggest using the agave (use honey or omit) but some great recipes overall.

Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals by Mark Sisson- The quality of the recipes in his original cookbooks but in much less time.

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz – An interesting read and some fun recipes and ideas for natural fermentation.

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon- A highly comprehensive cookbook of traditional foods. I just ignore the sprouted grains part…

Other Books

A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot- Another book I re-read every few months. I occasionally get asked how I am able to keep up with blog, kids, etc. and this book is a large part of it. It is definitely geared toward at-home moms but is a great encouragement to keeping structure and order in your schedule and life.

The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss- While motherhood can never be a four hour a week job (and who would want it to!) this book helped me keep business work in its proper place and keep deadlines from taking over family time!

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk- A guy who made his name in the wine industry reminds of the importance of giving back and offering quality product and service.

What are your favorite health and wellness books? Share below!

Paleo Pals Book Review

I was excited to get an advance copy of Sarah Fragoso’s new book, “Paleo Pals: Jimmy and the Carrot Rocket Ship” to review.

It actually came while I wasn’t home and when I got back, I had to wrangle it from my kids to read it and review it.

Just like Sarah’s other book, Everyday Paleo, her children’s book is engaging and conversational. My kids really enjoyed it and were able to understand the message, even at their ages.

As my five year old summarized “Basically (his favorite word) it means that if you eat healthy foods like meat and vegetables that you will be able to play sports better and think better.”

If you’ve been looking for a way to introduce healthy foods to your kids, this book is a great solution. The book follows the Paleo Pals as they help Jimmy learn about real foods and how to make healthy food choices.

Paleo Pals takes kids through a food plant where foods are produced with chemicals and ingredients they can’t read to a farm where they see natural food being produced. They then travel to a farmer’s market where Jimmy gets to pick out healthy vegetables and fruits to eat.

Then, the Paleo Pals take Jimmy to a school yard where he sees how the kids who chose to eat healthier have more energy and can play better. It discusses how food is fuel for the body and why whole foods are a good choice.

The book helps kids understand that healthy foods support their bodies and let them be strong like their favorite super heroes. We already eat the way Sarah recommends in the book, but my kids have asked a few times this week if a certain food would help them be a super hero or not.

I like that this book focuses on the positive side of eating healthy and gives kids practical ways to choose healthy foods. It doesn’t portray foods as “bad” but explains how foods with chemicals aren’t optimal.

At the end of the book, Sarah has some great kid-friendly recipes with kid-friendly instructions so that your kids can get excited and involved in planning and eating healthy foods.

Overall, my kids loved Paleo Pals and I would definitely recommend it! It’s available for pre-order now for 35% off the regular price!

Have you read Paleo Pals to your kids yet? What other health books does your family enjoy?

Eat Like A Dinosaur Book Review

One of the questions I get the most by email and in the forum, is how to help kids make a switch to healthier eating in a world where unhealthy options are marketed to them and pushed on them constantly.

Certainly, it seems that many take the position that kids “just won’t eat” the healthy foods or vegetables, so they just pacify them with junk food until the kids get old enough to somehow make good food choices themselves. Unfortunately, this theory wouldn’t work with discipline or education, and it doesn’t work well with nutrition either.

That being said, it often is much easier said than done to encourage kids to eat healthier food, and it is even more difficult to get them excited about eating healthy.

This is one of the many reasons I’m excited about “Eat Like a Dinosaur” – the great new book by the Paleo Parents, Stacy and Matt.

Eat Like a Dinosaur

I was excited about this book before I even got a chance to read it because (a) Stacy and Matt are an awesome, inspiring couple who have lost over 200 pounds combined and who have three absolutely precious boys who have also seen health changes by improving their nutrition and (b) their website, PaleoParents.com is a fountain of great information and delicious recipes.

I also feel like Stacy and I would be great friends, as she is incredibly sweet and also a natural birthing, natural living, breastfeeding mama!

The Book

I loved Eat Like a Dinosaur and so did my kids! I loved how they have a chapter geared toward the kids, and a chapter to help parents make the adjustment with the kids!

And, oh… the recipes!

As a recipe junkie myself, I was excited to see all the great recipe ideas Matt and Stacy included! They have some great and creative recipe ideas… my kids were literally looking through the book saying “Can we make this one” … “Oh, and this one!”… “And this one!”

Each recipe also included specific ideas and suggestions for getting kids involved in preparation, which is one of the best tactics I’ve found for getting kids excited about eating healthier foods. Each recipe has a quick reference for any common allergens it includes (nuts, shellfish,etc.) , along with a chart of all the recipes and their possible allergen ingredients in the back.

All of the recipes were deliciously grain and dairy free and were ones that I would (and will!) cook for my own family.

So far, we’ve loved the 50/50 bacon burgers (yes, bacon mixed into the burgers!!) and the Honey-Barbecue Ground Beef Jerky!

Chocolate Milkshake?

Yesterday, my kids were relentlessly asking for the chocolate milkshakes that are in the “Special Treats” Section of Eat Like a Dinosaur, and since there weren’t any objectionable ingredients and the weather was great for eating them outside, we decided to try them.

This milkshake is basically a mixture of coconut milk, ice, banana, avocado, cocoa powder and dates for sweetness. No sugar, no dairy, no questionable ingredients!

My oldest was a little skeptical at first since he helped put the ingredients in and knew that the recipe included avocado, but after his siblings quickly threatened to drink his milkshake, he got over his new-found disdain for avocados (he eats them in food all the time without knowing it!) and decided to try it.

He loved it and told me that while he still doesn’t like avocado (he does) that he does like them in smoothies! The texture was amazingly creamy and just sweet enough without being overly sweet. I loved that the kids were getting all the healthy fats and they just loved the milkshake!

I’d definitely recommend “Eat Like A Dinosaur!” All the recipes we’ve tried have been excellent, and my quality control department definitely approves

It’s available for pre-order on Amazon right now for almost half off the regular price and will ship in just a couple of weeks!

If you’ve been struggling to help your kids get excited about real foods, I’d suggest enlisting Matt and Stacy’s help through “Eat Like a Dinosaur.” Their personalities shine through, even in the recipes, and reading through the book and seeing the new recipes helped my kids (who have to eat vegetables all the time) get excited about eating them again!

(Please excuse my messy kitchen in the pictures, and ignore the fact that my two year old is shirtless… in March. I’ve basically come to the realization that when it comes to eating, I’d be better off just taking his clothes out of his drawer, rubbing food on them and sticking them straight in the washing machine… at least it would save time!)

So, check out Eat Like A Dinosaur on Amazon and drop by PaleoParents.com and say hi to Stacy, Matt and their cute kids!

Have you read Eat Like a Dinosaur? Ready to pick up a copy for your kids? Share below!

Make Peace With Your Plate Book Review

I recently had the chance to read the book “Make Peace With Your Plate” by Jess Ainscough of The Wellness Warrior. I found her blog recently, and her story is inspiring!

She is a writer, holistic health coach, and cancer survivor (she did it naturally!).

Almost four years ago Jess was diagnosed with a very aggressive, rare form of cancer called Epithelioid Sarcoma, in her left hand and arm. After having a high dose of chemo pumped through her arm following scans showed she was clear of cancer. Little did she know it would come back, not even a year after going into remission.

After being told by the scary men in white coats that her only real chance of long-term survival would be to have her arm amputated at the shoulder she decided to take matters into her own hands. She politely refused their offers of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation and began searching for natural, alternative cancer treatments.

The way she saw it she had two choices. She could rely on the slash, poison and burn method offered by the medical profession and become stuck in the ‘cancer patient’ category for who knows how long, or she could take responsibility for her illness and bring her body to optimum health so that it can heal itself.

For Jess it was an easy decision. Chemo and radiation do not have great success on the type of cancer she has, and there is no way she was going to let them cut her arm off. Jess quit her magazine job in Sydney, swapping a lifestyle of back-to-back parties for one of relaxation and meditation.

Ditching a diet that consisted mostly of champagne, canapés and late night Lean Cuisine she  packed up and moved back to to live with her family and began devoting all her time and energy to restoring her health. Along the way, Jess developed a obsession with passing on all of her newly learnt wellness wisdom to anyone who was parked in front of her for long enough to listen.

The BookJess recently released a great eBook called “Make Peace With Your Plate” that discusses her journey, how she detoxed and healed from cancer, and the methods that she used. It also addresses the mental and emotional aspects of eating, which are tremendously important and often overlooked.

While many of us won’t have to use all of the measures necessary for cancer treatment, almost all of us could stand to eat (or drink) more green veggies. Jess has some great veggie recipes, and they are a great replacement for the grains and processed foods we’ve been removing from our diets.

I especially like Jess’ Blog for her uplifting and inspiring outlook on life and health, despite the tough experiences she had.

Have you read Make Peace with Your Plate? If so, what did you think? Share below!