January 25, 2016

Dairy Free Chocolate Mocha Ice Cream (Paleo, Egg Free, GAPS, No Sugar)

Do I have a treat for you guys today or what? Chocolate Mocha Ice Cream! And what's even better? It's dairy free. Yes even though you don't tolerate dairy doesn't mean you have to miss out on ice cream. Because ice cream is just too yummy to not get to eat. At least in my opinion. I remember back in the days when I was still swimming competitively, coming home and eating a bowl of ice cream as an afternoon snack after school. Mint Chocolate Chip used to be my flavour of choice. When I think of all the corn syrup, refined sugars and processed ingredients that was in that ice cream it makes me cringe! My poor taste buds had no idea what real food was. I always wonder how much better I might have swam had I been feeding my body differently back then... Hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it? 

So what else is great about this ice cream? It doesn't require an ice cream maker for one (I still have yet to invest in one), it doesn't have any added sweeteners, and is also egg and nut free. How does it have no added sweeteners do you ask? It's naturally sweetened from bananas and coconut butter that's how. So no, this is not super sweet like most modern day store bought ice creams, but has just the right amount of chocolatey sweetness to satisfy your after-dinner sweet tooth.

But before I let you get to the recipe I better give you an update on my week. Because I know the real  reason you come here is to hear all about me (joking guys). My week was pretty busy I must admit. I am madly working on a research paper that is due in February, so that's taking up a lot of my time right now. Soon you will be able to ask me anything you want about lupus epidemiology, costs and socioeconomic disparities (because clearly you are interested). But I still managed to fit in a couple spin classes this week and I am actually writing this post from the Toronto airport. I was in Toronto for 48 hours for a rheumatology review course. Think 9 hour days in lecture followed by a practice exam. Sounds fun doesn't it? Yep, living the residency dream folks! It's not all bad though, I also made it to a new lounge in Calgary called PRLR this week. Think old fashioned drinks, moody decor and fun music. I will definitely be going back! 

Okay but enough about me. I will let you get to the recipe that you are eagerly waiting for. I would love to hear what you think of this one! And as always I would be thrilled if you followed my social media pages on  Instagram, FacebookPinterest and  Twitter.

Dairy Free Chocolate Mocha Ice Cream Recipe (Paleo, Egg Free, GAPS)


1 cup brewed coffee (ideally organic and fair trade) 
2 ripe bananas, broken into pieces
2/3 cup melted coconut butter (or coconut manna or concentrate
pinch sea salt

1/3 cup cacao powder
1 TBSP grassfed gelatin (buy here or here)


1. Place a medium sized pot on the stove on low heat
2. Place the first 6 ingredients into the pot and heat until melted
3. Stir to combine, breaking apart the banana pieces
4. Add in the cacao powder and stir well until dissolved
5. Optional: If you still have too many banana chunks, use your immersion blender to blend
6. Stir in the gelatin until dissolved
7. Transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl
8. Place in the fridge and let cool for 3-4 hours
9. Serve and enjoy!

NOTE: This ice cream stores well in the fridge for at least one week 

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January 18, 2016

Peppermint Smoothie (SCD, GAPS, Vegan, AIP, Paleo)

Hi friends! How has your week been? Mine was good. It's actually my birthday today (I can't believe I am 30 today - that sounds so old!). I have to admit that I am a little stressed about turning 30. A little mid-life crisis happening over here at the moment. There are just certain things that I imagined would be very different at this point in my life. Lately I have become very aware of all the sacrifices I have had to make over the years for medicine, mainly in my personal life, and I really have a lot of regrets when it comes to this. I honestly don't think all the time I have had to spend away from my relationships, and all the events I have had to miss has been worth it. It seems like my twenties have been a blur of living in the hospital, doing homework, lacking sleep and missing out on a lot of fun and important things with my friends and family. Things and memories that I will never be able to get back. No career in the world is worth that if you ask me.

But, I don't want to bore you with all of my personal stressors at the moment, and in trying to keep a positive attitude I was busy celebrating over the weekend. I had dinner with some of my closest friends on Friday night at one of my favourite restaurants, Open Range. I had a duck dish that was super tasty and then a trio of sorbet for dessert. Have you noticed that duck is always amazing at restaurants? Whenever I see duck on a menu I always order it. Just a little advice from me to you.

Then on Saturday my sister and I went to a dance show called Shaping Sound. It was so good! And the music in it was amazing. Do you watch So You Think You Can Dance? Once of my favourites, Travil Wall from the show was in it. The show is currently touring North America and if you have the opportunity to go I would highly recommend it. Definitely a good night of entertainment.

Finally, on Sunday my mother, sister and I went to the Vance Joy concert. One word: amazing! He was so good live! If you don't know his music you must go and listen right now! Seriously right now!
Oh and of course I went to spin class on Sunday. Part of my regular weekend routine these days (when I'm not working of course). All in all it was a pretty darn good weekend!

But moving right along to this weeks post. I realize it's been a couple weeks since I posted a recipe for you guys. Shame on me right? To think I call myself a food blogger! I just had so many other things to share. But it's back to food as usual today my friends. And in case you are still detoxing from all those holiday treats I have the perfect recipe for you today: a Peppermint Smoothie. Not only is this one super simple to make, but it is filled with nourishing ingredients like spinach, mint leaves, bananas and coconut. Nothing complicated here folks. This one contains only five ingredients, is ready in less than five minutes, and is safe for many diets including a vegan diet, the paleo diet,  AIP diet, GAPS diet and SCD diet.

I would love to hear what you think of this one! And as always I would be thrilled if you followed my social media pages on  Instagram, FacebookPinterest and  Twitter.

Peppermint Smoothie Recipe (Vegan, GAPS, SCD, Paleo)


2 ripe bananas 
2 cups packed fresh spinach
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup full fat coconut milk (I recommend this brand)
1 tsp peppermint extract (omit for AIP)

2 TBSP grassfed gelatin powder (This is my favourite brand) (omit for vegan) 
1-2 tsp spirulina powder (omit for SCD and AIP)


1. Place all the ingredients (except the optional additions) into your high speed blender
2. Blend well until smooth
3. Stir in the optional ingredients if using them
4. Serve and enjoy!

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January 11, 2016

My Goals For 2016

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was a pretty good one I am happy to say. Although it was filled with a lot of mixed emotions for me. One of my best friends who eloped last year for her wedding had a big celebration for their one year anniversary up in Lake Louise. It was super fun! It was so great to get to celebrate and share their love with them. Their happiness is just palpable and they have been so amazing for each other. However, there is nothing quite like a wedding to bring up the painful memories of a recent breakup. I have definitely shed more than a few tears this weekend.

It was also really nice to get out of the city for the weekend and spend some time in the mountains. Other than the fact it was freezing! Brr! Think -25 C both days. Not ideal if you ask me. It just meant extra long underwear, my trusty Sorels and my down parka that's for sure. On Saturday we spent the afternoon snowshoeing and the friend who I was staying with brought her 1 year old puppy. And boy did he love the snow! There is nothing that can put a smile on your face quite like a puppy bounding through a snow bank.

Here are a few photos from my adventures this weekend! (And yes my hair is frozen - that's how cold it was!)

Today's post is a little different than normal. Nothing food or health and wellness related here. This one is all about me and the things I would love to accomplish this year.  Now, I am not one to set new years resolutions. I don't really believe in them to be honest. I know they work well for some people but I am not one of them. However, I do believe in constantly setting personal goals and working on self-improvement. There are a few things I would really like to focus on this year, so with that in mind I have put together My Goals For 2016.

1. Live in the Moment

This may sound silly to some of you but this is a really important goal for me. I have always been a planner and have never done well with last minute changes in plans or spontaneous decisions. It's just the way I am wired. However, I do believe that I miss out on certain things because of this trait and probably have less fun because of it. So one of my goals for 2016 is to try and be more spontaneous and be open to change or things that I haven't planned on happening. I am excited to see what opportunities this change in mindset opens up for me!

2. Stop Skin Picking

This is a hard one for me to write about. It's not an easy thing to admit: I am a skin picker. And while I have never been formally diagnosed I am sure that I have what is called skin picking disorder (also called excoriation disorder). This is a condition characterized by repetitive skin picking, squeezing, pinching or scratching that leads to physical damage of the skin, emotional distress and/or functional impairment. The condition is more common in women and the prevalence ranges from 0.03% to 9.4% depending on the study you look at. It is also a very hard condition to treat. I have started using habit reversal training strategies and once I am finished residency, and have more time, will likely try cognitive behavioural therapy if it is still a problem. I have already seen improvement in my condition and have been able to stop picking the keratosis pilaris (KP) lesions on my arms. The next goals for me are to stop picking my face and cuticles. It sounds gross even writing about this and I am extremely ashamed and embarrassed to admit this about myself, but I hope that by admitting it here I can open a dialogue that will help others who may be suffering from the same problem. Another strategy I am using is self-love and appreciation. A lot of skin picking is driven by the need to "fix" any little imperfection on the skin, and I definitely have this tendency. I also notice that my skin picking is worse when I am under any kind of emotional stress. So one strategy I am using is that any time I find myself about to pick my face, instead of picking, I will either give myself a face massage or apply facial oil so that I am still "fixing" something, but in a positive, rather than negative way. I also remind myself that "my skin is perfect just the way it is, and can fix itself." Repeating this mantra in my head really seems to help. I plan to do a full post on this topic in the future but wanted to introduce it here first as this really is a huge goal of mine and probably the one I would be happiest to achieve this year.  

3. Spend More Time with Friends and Family

Throughout residency I have had to miss out on a lot of events with both my friends and family. It is something I regret on a daily basis and it definitely makes me resent my residency training and all the sacrifices I have made. However, I only have 6 more months of residency left and my schedule this year is much more reasonable than in years past so I have already been able to see my friends and family more this year than in the last five years. I can't wait to continue this trend in 2016!

4. Improve my Photography Skills

I am constantly looking to improve my picture taking skills, and would really like to focus on this over the next year or so. And not just my food photos for the blog (although improving these is also really important to me). I would like to start taking more photographs in general. Think people, scenery or whatever catches my eye. I recently bought a new lens for my camera and it has made a world of difference in my photographs already! I have had many people comment on what a difference they have seen in my pictures lately and I owe it all to this lens. I would also love to take a photography course one day, but I think that will probably have to wait until residency ends. A goal for 2017 perhaps?

Alright everyone, there you have it. My personal goals for 2016. Can you related to any of these? What are you hoping to accomplish this year? I would love to know!

As always I would be thrilled if you followed my social media pages on  Instagram, FacebookPinterest and  Twitter.

Until next time, happy eating everyone! 

January 04, 2016

The Top 10 Posts of 2015 (Paleo, Health and Wellness, Natural Skincare)

Hi friends! It's officially 2016 which means this is the first post of a whole new year. Crazy hey?

2015 was filled with ups and downs for me. It marked the very emotional end of my long term relationship, the hardest year of studying I have ever done for my internal medicine exams, and the year my grandmother got diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. I have probably shed more tears in 2015 than in any other year of my life. But, out of those emotional struggles has also come healing and self acceptance. Two things I am still working on on a daily basis.

On the positive side, I got to be a part of my best friend's wedding, I passed my internal medicine exams (thank god!), I have been able to spend more time with friends and family, and have seen some pretty great growth on the blog. Now I realize my blog is still itty bitty in the grand scheme of things, but I am pretty proud of keeping this thing going during some of the busiest times of my life. And I plan on continuing this trend for as long as I can!

And in honour of the new year I wanted to share the most popular posts of 2015 with you. I have never done this before, mainly because my blogging was so sporadic in the past that there wouldn't have been enough posts for me to pick from. Not anymore! There is quite a variety here, everything from food dishes to natural skin care to an emotional book review. I love that you guys support whatever I post on here. When I first started the blog it was only for recipes, but total health is much more than what you are eating, so I have been trying to post more variety in the last few months, and plan to continue this trend into the new year. I am also interested in so many other things beyond food that I would like to start integrating those other interests here as well (think fitness, fashion, and other lifestyle related topics). So if you have any topics you would like covered just let me know! I am always looking to hear your thoughts. I am also looking to continue improving my photography next year because I know you guys appreciate those pretty pictures (and so do I).

So without further adieu I give you Pure and Simple Nourishment's Top 10 Posts of 2015. Enjoy friends!

As always I would be thrilled if you followed my social media pages on  Instagram, FacebookPinterest and  Twitter.

Until next time, happy eating everyone!

1. How I Healed My KP Naturally

2. Plantain Waffles with Berry Compote

3. Citrus Arugula Pesto

4. The Most Emotional Post I Have Ever Written

5. Coconut Blueberry Paleo Oatmeal 

6. Coconut Cinnamon Cereal 

7. Paleo Vanilla Ice Cream

8. Chocolate Mocha Banana Bread

9. Texas Slow Cooker Beef Chili

10. Date Night Burrito Bowls 

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