Springtime Chicken Salad Recipe

Tis the season of great produce. Everything is sprouting up and more and more fruits and vegetables are approaching their peak season. It’s time to put aside the slow-cooker and pull out new recipes such as this Springtime Chicken Salad. Enjoy!


  • 3 chicken breast, organic, free range
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, organic
  • 4 mandarin oranges, diced
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers
  • 1 cup halved green grapes, organic
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • OJ


Marinate the chicken breast in orange juice over night.

The following day, or 4-6 hours later, boil chicken on medium for 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain chicken and set aside to cool.

While chicken chills, chop the celery, mandarin oranges, and grapes. MIx all ingredients together, including almonds. Shred chicken by hand or with forks and add to the mix. Lastly, add mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Add more or less to your preference. If you intend to keep the chicken salad over a few days, have some mayonnaise on the side to add later, to prevent it from tasting dry.

Enjoy this over a bed of greens or just plain. Perfect for a picnic, wedding shower, packed lunch, etc.

Cheers to you and good health,


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,


Food4Thought: Nitrates

At a girls breakfast the other weekend, I was telling one of my friends (who also avoids grains, dairy and legumes) about some awesome bacon I found at the market. We both seek out bacon sourced from free-range pork, but this recent find of mine was free-range and nitrate free (I tastes AMAZING). 

After gushing over this breakfast staple, I failed to consider my friend’s perspective on Nitrates. She did not have a clear understanding of what nitrates are nor what they mean for our health. So allow this post be an opportunity for me to geek out on bacon, I mean nitrates…

What Are Nitrates?

Nitrates are produced for use as fertilizers because of their high solubility and biodegradability. Common forms include: ammonium, sodium, potassium, and calcium salts. In the food supply, nitrates are used to preserve food. They can be found in drinking water, meat and produce (fruit/veg).

What Are Some of the Health Risks in Consuming Foods with Nitrates?

Nitrates have been studied for decades and overall claims have not been substantiated. However, the lack of data does not let me bat an eye at munching away on Nitrates. Nitrates themselves are not know to be harmful but when heated and converted into nitrites, some health risks have been observed:

  • Cancer Risk – nitrites can form into carcinogens when heated. The carcinogens can increase the risk of oral cavity, urinary bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain cancer.
  • Pregnancy Risk – research has shown women who consume large amount of nitrates have a higher risk of nueral defects.  
  • COPD – increase the chance of lung disease.

Kelly, What Do I Do?

I recommend taking this research with a grain of salt. Eating PERFECTLY is not good for you and it is hard to watch for every questionable ingredient in our food supply. However, seek out nitrate/nitrite-free cured meats, shop as closely as you can with the Dirty Dozen guideline in-minds, and continue to eat a variety of foods.

Cheers to you and good health! If you need any help, that is what I am here for.


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,



My Hypoglycemia Go-To

As someone with type 1 diabetes and always on the go for work and fitness, I need to be armed with something to deal with low blood sugars (hypoglycemia). My go-to item to have in my hand bag are raisins. They are small enough you can judge just the right amount you need to lift your blood sugar, they are portable, surely last and can sit in your kitchen cabinet for ages.

My new virtual friend, Tracy, at California Raisins emailed last week offering a library of information on raisins and I could not help but eat it up; no pun intended.

Raisins are a staple item on my grocery list and it is nice to know that beyond a natural sweetness enhancer for recipes and snacks that they have many health benefits such as: lowering blood pressure, high in antioxidants, have signficant amounts of potassium, iron and dietary fiber and more.

Raisins fit nicely in most recipes especially casseroles, meats, salads, eggs (yes I said eggs) and trail mixes.

Next trip to the market consider an economical purchase of raisins to brighten a favorite meal.

As clearly mentioned above, raisins pack a healthful punch but all good things should be consumed in moderation.


What? That is Breakfast?

Have you ever put strawberries in an omelette? Have you ever put fruit in your eggs?

I know, I know. Sometimes I surprise myself with what I eat…

This morning and for the past week or so, I have come up with something pretty creative in the kitchen. Anyone willing to give it a try?

Straw-crazy Breakfast:
Begin by heating a skillet with coconut oil
Throw in 2 free-range eggs, over easy style but more done than not
While eggs cook, add in fresh ginger, sea salt, sliced mushrooms and 2 sliced strawberries

Viola. Try it. trust me. It is good. And good for you.

Cheers to you and good health!

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!

Dear Food Diary – 30/11/11

Today, Wednesday, I ate:

Breakfast: 8AM
2 poached eggs, free range
2 mushrooms, large, button, raw
1 spoonful of mashed avocado
Fish oil

Lunch: 1:45PM
1/2 kangaroo burger
Spinach, raw
Sauteed onions

Snack: 4PM
Coconut cream, organic
15 blueberries, fresh
1 spoonful of sunbutter

Exercise: 5 mile walk

Dinner: 7:15PM
Salmon, wild
Salt and pepper, olive oil
Raw mushrooms

What do you think of this day of intake? Personally, I think I did pretty well. I could have drank more water and reduced the salt on the salmon and morning eggs. Is reading a dietitian’s daily intake helpful for you?

Cheers to you and good health!

Dear Food Diary – Day 2

Today, 18/11/11, I ate…

Breakfast: 7AM
Quite hungry this morning
Blood sugar = 83 mg/dl
3 egg version of Sweet and Savory Eggs
Allergy meds

11:25AM blazing hot (90 degrees F), walking home from my appointment for my jaw, craving (and not proud of it) a Diet Coke.

Noon: Not hungry yet
Blood glucose 134 mg/dl.
Dissolved some Glutamine in water; assists with healing (jaw)

Lunch: 1:45PM
Leftover steak, about 3 ounces
Leftover sauteed cabbage

Exercise: 1.5 mile walk
Blood glucose 124 mg/dl

Snack: 5PM
Jello, fortified with Glutamine
10 fresh blueberries

Dinner: 7:30PM
3/4 glass of NZ Pinot Noir
Salad with tomato, avocado and sweet potato
1 natural oyster

Snack: 9:45PM
Blood glucose 116 mg/dl
Surprisingly not satisfied with dinner. Being spoiled with amazing food in Melbourne, I like to think I have mature taste-buds or you can just say, “I have acquired a bit of food snob in me.” Yet, the flavors in my meal just did not seem to work.
1/2 banana
1 mini square of 85% dark chocolate

Another Reason to Get More Raw (Food) In Your Life

Have you ever thought about the nutrient value of food before and after it is cooked? If you are reading this blog, I am going to assume yes, but did you know that cooking food can increase the overall amount of energy, meaning calories, in the food and alter the mineral and vitamin content? Thus it is much easier to break down cooked food and therefore requiring fewer calories for digestion. Above all, the concept of cooking food verse not will skew our perception of what we see on a food label.

Cooking may increase the energetic availability of food, meaning that energy assessment for food labeling could depend on how a product is prepared, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Relating this to the Paleo concept, cooking certainly could have been a survival mechanism. There is a good documentary on this topic and I recommend watching Food Matters.

Dr. Mercola has highlighted some great points on what cooking does to food and also what eating raw does for our health. Since he detailed this information so well, I have borrowed it for this post. Reference click here.

Mercola’s disadvantages of cooking food:
– The food’s life force and nutritional content is greatly depleted and its biochemical structure is altered from its original state. Up to 90 percent of water soluble vitamins (vitamins B and C) and lipid soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) are lost.
– The water content of food is decreased
– Toxic substances and cooked “byproducts,” including carcinogenic and mutagenic substances and free radicals are created, especially when frying or grilling.
– Cooking destroys enzymes (more information on enzymes below).
– Cooked foods cause a tendency towards obesity through overeating because your cells don’t get enough nutrients, leaving them “always hungry” and “demanding” more food. Cooked food is also less likely to be properly metabolized, which is another factor in excess weight gain.
– After eating a cooked meal, you will experience “digestive leukocytosis,”a general increase in white blood cells in the blood and a change in the relative proportions of different blood cells.

Mercola’s advantages of eating raw food:
– Increased energy and improved skin appearance – Raw food contains more vitamins and minerals that give you more energy and are good for your skin.
– Better digestion and weight loss – When you increase your intake of raw foods, you will feel more satisfied and full because raw food has the best balance of water, nutrients and fiber, reducing your chances of overeating. Cooked food has been depleted of nutrients, leaving your cells feeling “hungry” and “demanding” more food.
– Reduced risk of illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer – More fruits and vegetables mean more phytochemicals to fight free radicals.
– Helps you avoid trans fats and saturated fats

Today’s Takeaways:
– Add some raw food to each of your meals (possibly replace all grains with raw vegetables and/or fruit???)
– Be responsible for your own health. You know your body better than anyone and you need to take charge yesterday.
– Understand what you are eating in all of it’s forms. For example juicing is wonderful but you will miss the fiber, cooking alters the nutrient content, frying should be a treat, etc.
– Make it a healthy and fit day

Cheers to you and good health!