Recommended Grocery List

If we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Eating healthy begins with a good grocery list and having an idea of what meals to make for the week ahead. More tips and advice below.

Produce – focusing on seasonal produce and organic if possible

  • Veggies – lots and lots!
  • Sweet potatoes – great for sweet potato chips or just oven roasted with butter or coconut oil.
  • Mushrooms – use these in everything, from eating raw to throwing in eggs.
  • Wild green
  • Broccoli – usually buy frozen in bulk, therefore, no stress on consuming it before it may spoil.
  • Zucchini, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, all pending on the planned meals for the week.
  • Cauliflower – use as cauli mash or cauli rice.
  • Fresh herbs – can really change the way a meal tastes, and provide antioxidants and helps detoxify our body.
  • Avocado – helps heal us from the inside out.
  • Frozen berries – for those nights I want something sweet – coconut cream, cocoa nibs and berries.
  • Bananas – so good frozen
  • Jicama – full of fiber and great for dicing in a stiry-fry, salad or slice cylinders and use as a chip.
  • Lemons/Limes

Health Tips:

Eat fermented foods daily. You can find options at Whole Foods (including Kombucha), fermented vegetables at the farmer’s market and online at

Overall diversify the types of produce you eat weekly, even simply rotate the type of salad greens you eat.


  • Anything grass fed/free range at a good price – beef, lamb, venison, pork
  • Nitrate free bacon – shortcut or Canadian bacon
  • Organic, free-range poultry – opt for skin-on, bone in. Both of these elements are mineral rich and good for our body.
  • No nitrate, hormone free, gluten free deli meat (Boar’s Head, Applegate, Columbus
  • WILD Salmon, tilapia, scallops, calamari, tuna, cod, shrimp – usually buy frozen and some fresh if eating same day.
  • Sardines

Health Tips:

If you don’t have access to quality protein sources there are some great online stores and possible local CSA’s. I recommend US Wellness Meats, Tropical Traditions, Vital Choice (awesome seafood) and Eat Wild websites. Amazon is great for getting certain ingredients, including jerky.

Choose wild caught fish and not farmed. The nutritional profiles in wild are better and contain fewer toxins.


  • Organic (grassfed is even better) butter
  • Full fat, organic and grassfed cheese
  • Free range, organic eggs

Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture contain: 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega- 3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene.*


  • Pickles
  • Oils such as coconut, macadamia nut and high quality olive oil
  • Nuts – store them in a cool place, heat can turn them rancid
  • Coconut flour and cream/milk
  • Dark chocolate and cocoa nibs
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • Hot sauce and spices
  • Tea and coffee (organic coffee)
  • Raw honey (real raw honey)
  • Salsa ( no corn or wheat ingredients)
  • Chia, hemp, whole seeds (soak chia seeds overnight in water or unsweetened almond milk/coconut milk to have a porridge like texture)
  • Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

Lopez-Bote, C. J., R.Sanz Arias, A.I. Rey, A. Castano, B. Isabel, J. Thos (1998). “Effect of free-range feeding on omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-tocopherol content and oxidative stability of eggs.” Animal Feed Science and Technology 72: 33-40.

10 Years Ago

I am (still) in the process of moving – staying put come October 1 – and along the way I have been doing that fun routine of going through old boxes, from who knows when, and filtering away the things that have no reason to be kept. And tonight, I came across a scrapbook from my last year in high school.

This book has pages dedicated to best friends, dances, you name it. Yet, there were a few pages with script. After reading an entry I wrote about what I have learned in life, at the age of maybe 17/18,. I surprised myself. These words and thoughts mean the same to me today, but with much more experience, successes and challenges between the years. So here goes, this is what young Kelly drafted 10 years back but still stands by today.

What I Have Learned 

One of the hardest things in life is to love everything about yourself.

From the color of your eyes, to the true person you are.

I have learned not to lose hope in my goals;

Everything that happens, happens for a reason.

I have learned to not lose faith,

Life is a lot harder without Him.

And that every day, is a new day.

I have learned to stop worrying about the small things.

The only outcomes are stress and poor health.

Smile, no matter what mood you are in, in any circumstance it always cheers you up a little bit.

Be nice to everyone you meet, you never know what they are dealing with.

Always put your best forward,

You are blessed with such talents for a reason.

Set some time aside for yourself regularly,

And not get too caught up in everyone else and forget who you are.

(May 16, 2002)

Blood Type – Do I Eat Right?

Do you believe in the idea that we should all eat for our blood type? I think there is some truth to it, but should not be the only thing considered when designing someone’s or your own diet. Most recently I confirmed that I have type O positive blood. According to the literature for a type O positive blood type, I should be doing the following:

  • Avoid gluten containing grains (Check! I avoid gluten like the plague.)
  • Eat dark, leafy greens rich in vitamin K (Check!)
  • Eat lots of animal protein (Check! Bring on the meat.)
  • Restrict legumes and beans (Check! Beans are not the magical fruit.)
  • Restrict cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard green (Ughhh – I love my cauliflower. Perhaps I conduct an n=1 experiment on myself and see how I feel restricting then introducing this vegetable.)
  • Avoid nightshades (I could make a stronger effort here.)
  • Avoid dairy (I go easy on dairy, but again, could make a stronger effort.)
  • Avoid eggs (Oops – I nearly eat these daily. Perhaps I can do another n=1 experiment. I recently did this with nuts, and wow, I am feeling different in a good way.)
  • Restrict heavy consumption of nuts (Check! See above.)
  • Avoid corn (Check! Every so often I will have some corn chips, but avoid corn the best I can; it’s everywhere.)

If my current food intake was graded against these guidelines, I would get, I say, a B. I have a diet clean of gluten and legumes and rich in vegetables but have a few other tweaks to make, if I choose to take this information literally. Overall, it’s something fun to consider. I mean, it is ironic I don’t handle gluten well and apparently this is the norm for someone with type O.

Overall, I am adding nutrigenomics to my lab wish list. Yes, I have a lab wish list. Once I get some true DNA indications, I will take the eat for your blood type to heart (no pun intended). Have you dabbled with nutrigenomics? I predict it is the next big thing for the diet and health industry.

Cheers to you and good health,


Shop With Reason This Season

I, along with many others, see the importance of shopping locally and since moving to Australia where I have a farmer’s market on my doorstep, I see the benefits of shopping seasonally. The hardest thing to overcome when desiring to shop with the Fall, Winter, Spring, etc is learning what is “in season.” Today’s post includes a cheat sheet for the month of June. I have noted a (*) for the enlisted produce that is also in season in the Northern Hemisphere this month. Overall, July is much more resourceful in the Northern Hemisphere than June. Many of the listed fruits and vegetables are in peak season next month back in the US.

FRUIT – Southern Hemisphere:

Apples, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, custard apple, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemon, lime, mandarins, pears, oranges, passionfruit, paw paw, and strawberries*.

VEGGIES – Souther Hemisphere:

Artichokes, green beans, bean shoots*, bok choy, broccoli*, brussel sprouts, cabbage*, capsicum, carrots*, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, fennel, leek, lettuce*, mushrooms*, onion*, parsnip*, potatoes, pumpkin, shallots*, silverbeet*, snowpeas, tomatoes, and zucchini*.

I am loving roasted pumpkin right now. It is so satisfying – I throw it in a salad, pair it with chicken or even just mix in some cinnamon and sea salt and call it a day. Pumpkin does not have to be sweet – like my childhood birthday pie around Thanksgiving.

What is your favorite dish this season?

Cheers to you and good health,



Monday Movers – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

After wrapping-up some must needed domestic duties this weekend, I found myself reading one of the most interesting and epic studies of the year – the research was all about smiling.

In a nutshell, doctors Marc Gillinov and Steven Nissen reported on a study rating the smiles of 230 baseball players (pre-1950 athletes) from the Baseball Register. Can you guess what they found when cross-checking these player’s smiles to their longevity?

  • No smile = age 73
  • Partial smile = 75
  • Full smile = 80

Pretty interesting, right? This study is consistent with other data addressing emotional health to heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight. Optimistic people have half the risk for cardiovascular diseases when compared to the least optimistic folks. Stress does more than just turn the wheel in our heads. It has been associated to harm our arteries and our tickers. Shall we let the science speak and turn all frowns upside down?

If only it were that easy.

But it can be. If you are having a tough time right now, relax. If you are frustrated about something, try to let it go, or work it out. But do not fret; too much.

A smile may not be a game-changer but our outlook on each day may be. This data along with other supporting research on mental health share a common denominator of a positive, optimistic outlook on life and each day.

Mondays are no fun nor are cold days (it’s winter in Australia) but they can be. A change in perspective is all it takes. Find out what you like doing, who you enjoy hanging out with and what invigorates you and do more of it.

This Monday I have booked a yoga class for the evening and plan on walking to work (LOVE walking). What is on your agenda? I hope it is something that makes you smile.

Cheers to you and good health!

Alternative Health

Perhaps “alternative medicine” is a better term since health is such a loose word, but medicine seems so intimidating and foreign.

Most recently I have been surrounding myself in some new practices – acupuncture, Chinese herbs and meditation. All of them have been great, especially since my glass is currently spilling over with stress while we are figuring out our visa situation here in Melbourne and considering a move back to the US in August. Yes, that is about 3 months away and we have no confirmed plans, nor know where we will move to or what/if I will have a job. It is no bed of roses, but I have been trying to enjoy the confusion. Oh! And I will be having jaw surgery again in July. 

Life goes on and why not try meditation and acupuncture to cope, right?

Sure enough, it has helped. I am pleasantly pleased with the outcome of both meditation and acupuncture. I think the expensive Chinese herbs could fall by the wayside though. I am not sure if I notice anything different when drinking them in dissolved warm water and I cannot fail to mention how awful they taste. Has anyone else tried them? Do you have any insight to share?

The meditation is so interesting too. It is actually funny how I got involved in this. I purchased a yoga voucher and quickly learned there was more focus on breathing, etc than downward dog poses.

However, anything I do, I try to go into it with an open mind regardless of what it is. At my first session, I sat there thinking to myself, “I know how to breath, why do I need someone to tell me to take a deep breath and scan my body while listening to some weird sounds?” But gosh by golly! By the end of each session I feel pretty content. I have since been, a handful of times, and plan on continuing some sessions every month. Overall, I have realised I handle stress better, I go with the flow better and live in the moment a bit more.

I highly recommend meditation and suggest doing it at least a few times. It is a great way to shut off any chaos in your life and feel more comfortable in your own skin. 

Now onto acupuncture – why did I try this out?

Besides Robb Wolf preaching how great it is among many other health advocates, I wanted to reduce my hay-fever symptoms (I take anti-histamines every day and want to wean that down), try something new and see what it did for my diabetes (type 1). On a side note, I strive to eat paleo every day but sometimes that does not happen. When it doesn’t I often see fluctuations in my blood sugars and pay for it. So overall, I wonder what acupuncture can do for my cravings, circulation and over blood sugar stabilisation.

So far, things feel pretty good. After session one I felt engerized and invigerated. It’s not everyday someone sticks a needle in the top of your head and forehead wrists and tummy. I have session two this weekend and look forward to what differences, if any, I feel. I will be sure to provide an update on anything surprising.

Overall, the prices for alternative medicine are a little high, but I think they are worth it. They are natural and a new approach for caring for yourself. I am personally all about touting the benefits of a good diet and often forget the other sides of health including stress, sleep, movement, and fertility. These alternative health practices have helped me bring my well-being full circle.

Cheers to you and good health!

Silly American: #5

With some help from my husband, we have come up with the below. This information is helpful all and anyone traveling to Australia, particularly from the USA. Note-to-self, opt for cider, you will have a much larger variety of gluten free options.

Cheers to you and good health!
The O’Schmidt’s

  • Pot 285 ml (10 fl oz) – Small sized beer in Melbourne (yes, Sydney and Melbourne have different size beers)
  • Schooner 425 ml (15 fl oz) – Small sized beer in Sydney
  • Pint 570 ml (20 fl oz) – A pint is pint
  • Stubby – Bottled beer (example, I want a “stubby” of Corona)
  • Light Beers = low alcohol beers (don’t order a light beer unless you are on probation)
  • Blonde Beers = light beers in the US, (example Pure Blonde = Bud Light)
  • Shout = round of drinks, Australians take this very serious, see video for some info on shout “politics”

No Excuses

Whether or not you are on the Dukan Diet, the Paleo Diet, Weight Watchers or Fast Food only, you are in the power of your own well-being  No one can defend your health better than yourself. Not your doctor, not your partner, husband or wife and not your mother. You know your body better than anyone and you cannot neglect the opportunity to feel your best, perform your best, sleep your best and be your overall best person. Clearly it is not easy, yet, the overall effort is well worth it.

If you think you could tweak your state of health in any way (diet, fitness, sleep, stress), I empower you to make change now. If time is the problem, start small by adding a little more fitness in your day, staying hydrated, putting aside time for enough sleep, surrounding yourself in a positive environment and more.

Everyone’s needs are different including fitness patterns and eating regimes. Yet, it is not as clear to know what exactly works for our individual DNA. This takes a conscious effort to understand and time.

If I could offer one piece of advice on diet, it is to do a personal experiment to figure out what food ingredients make you feel your best. How? There are various ways of doing this but the quickest results can be revealed with a modified elimination diet. This includes the removal of dairy, legumes and/or grains (including all sugar) from your diet for 3-6 weeks. If this is too much, try removing just one of the 3 food groups listed above.

Am I crazy? Yes. But I care about your health just as much as mine. I certainly get push-back with this modified diet idea but, more often than not, by the end there is always some sort of success through the transition.

Are you on-board to give this a shot?

Maybe some background information can serve as inspiration. Once upon a time I attended a convention, Food As Medicine, put on by many credible health and medical experts. During the seminar, at some level, the practitioners preached a gluten and dairy free diet. As a registered dietitian I sat in my chair taking notes thinking 1) “These doctors have to be nuts, who would avoid whole grains and cheese? And, 2) “Thank goodness I am not intolerant to these foods, I can never imagine living without them.”

Fast-forward to today – if I had as much of a crumb of bread I am put out for at least 2 days. I may bloat, I get skin blemishes, I become depressed (and I am happy person), I get endless food cravings, sleep disturbances and my blood sugars become unbearable to control. On the flip-side  my diabetes is much more stable on a gluten free, dairy free and legume free diet AND I require less than half of the insulin I needed on a ‘balanced diet’. This is amazing, especially since many endocrinologists find type 1 diabetics require more insulin with age. Most days I average 9 units of basal insulin (Novolog) and thinking back to my high school days, I used to require 20-24 basal units of insulin per day. I am also 10 years older since I graduated from high school.

Regardless of present symptoms or lack of, these foods (dairy, gluten, legumes (lectins)) can cause inflammation in our bodies, which simply leads to bad things and poor health outcomes. Three to six weeks of an elimination diet can help put the proof in the pudding and help you understand what really makes you feel your best.

This personal inclusion is to help demonstrate how food can affect us. Proponents of a ‘balanced diet’ of whole grains, low fat dairy and legumes, argue that consumption of novel Neolithic and Industrial era foods is responsible for the current epidemic levels of obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer in the US and other contemporary Western populations.[1]

Have a think about it. This is just an idea for anyone looking to feel better and better manage blood sugar levels.

If you think it is something you want to give a shot, it is important to be strict for the whole 3 weeks (at least), allowing for no variables. Once the 21  or 42 days expire, slowly add in any of the restricted foods you have missed and ask yourself how you feel. If you notice any intolerance, reach for many other nutrient dense foods like seasonal vegetables, grass fed meat, seafood, coconut milk, nuts, seeds, berries, dark chocolate, fruit and more.

Food is one of the best pleasures in life; just make sure the choices you make are worth it.

Cheers to you and good health! If you need any help. that is what I am here for. There are no excuses in neglecting your own well-being.




Legumes, Why Should I Stop Eating You?

Legumes, also known as hummus, refried beans, chick peas, black beans, peanuts, soy beans etc, all contain lectins (specialized proteins). Indeed, all plant foods contain lectins but the lectins in grains (such as wheat), dairy and legumes cause an inflammatory response in your body and are resistant to cooking and digestive enzymes.

Overall, research on legume lectin is young and there is a lot more to be explored. However, for this post I have pulled some data for those of you trying to eat paleo day in and day out while ‘digesting’ the biochemistry of Neolithic food.

Lectins are inflammatory, toxic or could be both.  Mark Sisson writes in his new book, “Lectins are natural plant toxins that suppress immune function, interfere with normal protective gut barriers, and promote inflammation (skin, joint, reproductive, allergies and more health related issues) by allowing undigested protein molecules to infiltrate your digestive tract and trigger an autoimmune response – a situation characterized by the familiar term, leaky gut syndrome.”

But what if I have just a small portion of beans or a spoonful of peanut butter, would there be much harm? Yes.

In the Lancet, Dr. Wang and colleagues revealed that lectins can get into the bloodstream in as little 1-4 hours after subjects ate a handful of roasted, salted peanuts, and these lectins can cause damage beyond the gut – commonly in joints, brain, and skin of affected individuals.

But I already have type 1 diabetes and I am grain intolerant; the damage is done. Can I not possibly have a little bit of peanut butter? No.

Research supports the strong possibility that mild stimulation (inflammation) can further worsen gut injury and autoimmune disease. Avoidance of certain food lectins can help achieve optimal health and heal a damaged gut. This serves as a basis for ongoing research and probable success of the paleo diet.

There you have it, “Goodbye peanut butter. I will miss you but challenging my health just is not worth it.”

Regardless if you have an autoimmune disease or a food intolerance, dairy, legumes and grains contain toxic ingredients (lectins) and intolerance can be asymptomatic (silent). If eating paleo is not suiting you at this time, just try your best to eat your best. More great research on the paleo diet in relation to inflammation, disease and performance can be reviewed here.

Cheers to you and good health,


Additional articles on this topic:

Ringing in the New Year with Paleo Eating

I could guess you have made a resolution or two this year. Am I right? Well this year, among many, I have made a few and I have inspired a hand full of folks to join me on the paleo journey. Hopefully in the next month I can share their experiences on here as though they are case studies. Below I have listed a few resolutions and let me know what yours are or if you are interested in joining the paleo lifestyle for at least 30 days.


  1. If there was anything I learned from 2011, it is I need to live in the moment and appreciate the smallest of things. I am making a conscious effort to love what is going on in my life at that time.
  2. Strict paleo for 30 days. This would entail what I have been doing minus any desired diet coke, chewing gum, cheese, or gluten free dessert or bread. My co-worker Shanan @shanan_g helped me put the paleo list below for those interested in joining this resolution.

Cheers to you and good health!


  • Meats and poultry -important to be free range / or grain fed (skin ON). It is important to eat the whole piece of meat and if tolerable all parts of the animal. The fat in free range and grass fed meat is optimal for our health, improving the omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio in our bodies.
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Kangaroo
  • Duck
  • Rabbit
  • Quail
  • Venison
  • Seafood
  • Bacon, biodynamic
  • Eggs (free range + omega3) no limit on how many per week
  • Olives
  • Ham
  • Salami
  • Pickled foods
  • Smoked, dried and salted fish & meat
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil, not heated but used in dressings. When heated at a high temp the fatty acid structures convert and you will lose the health benefits of the oil. Use coconut oil in high heat.
  • Green tea, black tea, any tea and if possible wean yourself from caffeine
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios (unsalted)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk and cream
  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Dark chocolate, 70% or greater

Best fruits:

  • Avocados
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Lemon
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Fruits still okay (limit to 1 or less per day):

  • Grapes
  • Passion fruit
  • Pineapple
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cranberries
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lime
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
  • Rhubarb
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Capsicums
  • Broccoli
  • Courgettes
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Radish
  • Seaweed
  • Watercress
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke
  • Parsnip
  • Broccolini
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Buk Choy


  • Canola -do not let this cross your lips or any vegetable/soy oil (found in dressing)
  • Diet sodas/fruit drinks/soft drinks
  • Beer and most spirits. Vodka and tequila are okay.
  • Coffee, okay in moderation
  • Cereal
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Wheat (bread, rolls, muffins, noodles, crackers, cookies, cake, doughnuts, pancakes, waffles, pasta, tortillas, pizza, pita bread, flat bread, fried foods, bread crumbed food & all processed foods made with wheat or wheat flour)
  • Potatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Miso
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanuts
  • Snowpeas
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Soybeans
  • Kidney beans
  • Mung beans
  • Red beans
  • String beans
  • Tofu
  • All dairy (If dairy is eaten, always eat full fat)
  • Ice cream
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Frozen yoghurt
  • Yogurt
  • Powdered milk
  • Ice milk
  • Low-fat milk
  • Whole fat milk/cream
  • Goat cheese better than cow
  • Sausages with preservatives. Non preserved sausages are okay – you can find these at farmer’s markets.
  • Milk, white chocolate
  • Lollies/candies
  • Honey
  • Sugars
  • Sugar substitutes
  • Canned tomato sauce – usually always it is fortified with sugar

Cheers to you this year and to your health!