2 cups nuts (any combination of walnuts, pecans, and almonds – slivered work best)
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup large coconut flakes, unsweetened
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup erythritol (like Swerve) or spoonable stevia to taste (about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 organic egg white, whisked until frothy
Core Plan Option: 1 cup dried fruit (unsweetened cranberries, raisins, dates)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Take off heat and stir in ginger, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Combine nuts in a food processor and pulse several times to chop the nuts roughly. Transfer nuts to a large bowl. Pull out any large chunks and re-process. Add pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes and dried fruit (if using) to the nuts. Toss to combine then pour the oil mixture into the nut mixture and mix well. Whisk egg white and pour over mixture and combine with a spoon or your hands, making sure everything is coated well.
Transfer granola onto baking sheet, spreading it out into one even layer.
Bake granola for 20-25 minutes until dry and golden (watch it closely so it doesn’t burn). Don’t stir, but you may need to rotate the pan if it is growing unevenly.
Remove the parchment from the hot pan and let the granola cool completely (it will get even crispier as it cools).
When the granola is cool, break it up into chunks. This can be stored for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
As a snack on its own.
As a cereal served with almond milk, coconut milk or raw milk.
This recipe is nothing short of amazing. They taste and look just like traditional brownies but these are actually nutritious and loaded with protein due to the almond butter and whey protein. Make these to share at your next potluck or party.
1 (16) ounce jar raw almond butter, smooth unroasted
2 organic eggs
1 cup erythritol or stevia to taste (liquid – start with 2 teaspoons and add from there, spoonable – start with 1/4 cup and add from there, pure stevia – start with 1/2 teaspoon and add from there)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 scoop chocolate or vanilla Perfect Protein
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 stevia sweetened chocolate bar (like Lydia’s or Coco Polo), chopped
In a large bowl, blend almond butter until smooth with an electric mixer.
Blend in eggs, then sweetener and vanilla.
Add in cocoa, protein powder, salt and baking soda, and coconut milk, then fold in chopped chocolate bar.
Line a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish with parchment paper and pour batter into dish. It will be thick so you may need to press it into shape.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
There are many pervasive myths that have been misleading people in the natural health field for many years. Some of these myths continue to be the mainstream thought even though science has clearly demonstrated that they are untrue. Understanding these health myths and the real truth sets you free from a lifestyle of sickness and disease.
Myth: Eating Fat Makes You Fat:
The truth is that diets high in omega 3 fatty acids and saturated fats are linked to lower rates of obesity and better overall health. Man-made fats (trans-fats) and refined vegetable oils are inflammatory and disrupt metabolism. Good fats help to build healthy cell membranes. These membranes are able to utilize good hormonal communication signals to appropriately manage metabolism.
Diets rich in sugars, grains, hydrogenated oils and omega 6 fats inflame the body and damage the cell membranes. This alters insulin and leptin signaling leading to insulin & leptin resistance, weight gain, diabetes, & chronic inflammation. Diets rich in good fats (saturated and omega 3) anti-oxidants, electrolytes, & trace minerals de-inflame the body and allow for proper insulin/leptin signaling resulting in weight loss, stable energy & disease prevention.
Myth: Saturated Fat & Cholesterol in the Diet are Bad For Your Heart:
The truth is that saturated fat & cholesterol are powerful nutrients that the body uses for hormone function, calcium metabolism and cellular structure. They act as stabilizing units that protect the body from inflammatory damage. The Massai & Rendille Tribes in Africa have some of the lowest rates of heart disease yet they consume a diet consisting of 65% saturated fat and loads of cholesterol through red meat & fermented grass-fed dairy products. The Eskimos/Inuit consume a 75% saturated fat diet (whale blubber) yet have extremely low rates of heart disease.
Myth: Lots of Exercise = Better:
Most people believe that running long distances and lifting light weights for many repetitions is good. Running 10K’s and marathons are healthy. The truth is that long distance cardiovascular exercise increases cortisol secretions which inflame the body and damage joints & ligaments leading to injury/overtraining and possible weight gain. High Intensity, short time period training (HIT) boosts growth hormone that allows the body to build muscle, burn fat and build a greater anti-oxidant reserve. Train 4-5 days a week for 10-20 minutes each session at a very high intensity.
Myth: I Feel Good so I must be Healthy
The truth is that every cell is hit by over 10,000 free radical interactions every second. We never feel this. The heart rebuilds all 60 billion cells every 7 months. We never feel this. Between 10,000 and 100,000 cancer cells are building in our body every day. We never feel this. 60% of heart attack patients never thought they had a heart problem until they ended up in the emergency room. Early Detection testing for cancer cannot find abnormal growths until they are nearly 4-10 billion cancer cells large…this is 7-15 of development.
Myth: Health is my natural condition until I get sick, injured or have an emergency.
The truth is that health is a dynamic condition that you are either building or losing every moment. You are either moving toward or away from 100% God-given maximal function with every decision and lifestyle choice you make. The key to health is to continually think well, eat well, move well and take care of your spine and teeth with the help of a highly qualified chiropractor and holistic dentist. Loving relationships, spiritual pursuits and a life of service keep you invigorated and on purpose to live your best life now.
Resolutions and fads don’t work because they start with a superficial motivation that can never stick with you long term. On Maximized Living’s upcoming Max Life Call, you will learn how to find lasting motivation from something deeper—and get the results you’ve been looking for.
Join Dr. Ben Lerner and Dr. Eric Shuemake as they share valuable insight into the root of all change – the answer to your big WHY.
Discover the difference between inspiration and motivation
Learn the key to overcoming yo-yo dieting
Learn how to avoid self-sabotage
Discover how to uncover your purpose and passion for life
Recipe provided by Kimberly Roberto, co-author of Maximized Living Nutrition Plans.
A quick and easy dinner recipe with tremendous flavor! Great for both family dinner or dinner parties.
1 pound organic chicken breasts
1-2 tablespoons of pesto sauce per breast (homemade or storebought. Make sure that they use olive oil and not any damaged oils that are outlined in the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans book)
4 roma tomatoes, sliced
sea salt and ground black pepper
shaved parmesan cheese, optional
sliced black olives, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Trim any excess fat from the chicken and place between pieces of parchment paper. Pound chicken to even thickness (approximately 1/2 inch) with a meat mallet. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and transfer to a baking dish. (General cooking hint: you want the chicken to fit snugly for best cooking – you do not want a lot of extra space in the pan)
Spread pesto sauce over the top of the chicken breasts and cook for about 20 minutes than add the sliced tomatoes and parmesan cheese if desired. Continue cooking until chicken is cooked through (about 15-20 additional minutes). Add slices olives as garnish if desired, and serve.
Organic – First and foremost, look for organic butter. This will ensure there are no growth hormones, antibiotics, harmful pesticides and GMOs being fed to the cows. Growth hormone or rbGH that is used to raise cows conventionally is linked to cancer and often accumulates in highest concentration in animal fat. One organic brand I’m suspicious of however, is Horizon, they are owned by Dean Foods (the same company that owns Land O’Lakes). The Cornucopia Institute has filed complaintsfor labeling their product organic while maintaining factory farm production methods. I won’t buy Horizon organic for that reason.
Grass-fed – Grass-fed or pastured raised cows are going to be more nutritious than cows raised with grains. Remember, the highest amounts of the most beneficial CLA and Omega 3 fatty acids naturally come from grass-fed cows. Also grass-fed cows produce butter with 50 percent more vitamin A and E and 400 percent more beta carotene (which gives the grass-fed butter a deeper yellow color).
Ghee – Ghee is clarified butter where all the proteins, milk solids and lactose is removed. This makes the butter more digestible, concentrated with nutrients and really great for immunity building. Ghee does not need to be refrigerated, it can stay on the counter for a few months without going bad. People with dairy allergies or sensitives often do ok consuming this type of butter. Pure Indian Foods, Purity Farms and Ancient Organics have the best offerings in that they are both high quality, organic and grass-fed.
In an ideal world, you would be able to find butter that is both organic, grass-fed and no additives like Organic Valley (in the green foil wrapper) , but sometimes that’s just not the case. In that circumstance, I would go for either an organic butter or grass-fed butter like Kerrygold (please note – Kerrygold uses some grains that could be GMOs a couple of months out of the year because grass doesn’t grow year round in Ireland – they admit that 3% of their feed could contain GMOs). Choosing regular organic butter will lessen your exposure to pesticides but will also provide less nutrition since the cows will mostly be fed organic grains vs. grass. Regardless, these choices are superior choices over conventional butter and both options (in light green on the chart above) will lessen your exposure to GMOs.
Beware of butter mixes with labels like “with olive oil” – 9 times out of 10, these butters will have one or more GMO ingredients like soybean, corn or canola oil. These mixes may have questionable additives in them too – check the ingredient list just to be sure!
6.Don’t Eat Butter? Here are some Vegan Substitutes – If you are vegan, skip all the “butter like” or fake butter spreads like Smart Balance that contain GMO oils, artificial ingredients made from petroleum and unnecessary preservatives. Instead, choose 100% coconut oil, olive oil, red palm oil (that is sustainably harvested from Ecuador and does not hurt the rainforest) or hemp oil instead. Also coconut manna, or butter works well too, when slightly heated it spreads just like butter. (These are also much healthier than organic spreads like Earth Balance that are usually a combo of inflammation causing oils).
Ten years ago sugar wasn’t even on the radar as a harmful substance. Back then, health officials weren’t thinking about the significance of sugar consumption and its serious effect on our body. Since then, we’ve seen dramatic changes in the world of health and we now know sugar’s impact on our internal system. More and more individuals are showing interest in eating better; they’re eliminating sugar and including whole, organic, non-processed foods in their diets. The Maximized Living Nutrition Plans were born from this movement in 2009. Now, several individuals still have a lingering question: “What is Paleo? And is it a good choice for me?”
A Paleolithic diet is made up of whole, unprocessed foods — largely meat and vegetables with a limited amount of fruit and nuts and no grains or sugar (basically, anything that can be hunted or gathered). “Paleo”, or the Paleolithic diet, can be confusing. In her article, Seven Shades of Paleo, Amy Kubal speaks to the murkiness around what it means to be Paleo and reviews several classifications of a Paleolithic lifestyle1. Generally, individuals who choose a Paleo diet cut carbohydrates and processed sugars, but because there are so many different styles of Paleo, it’s difficult to precisely define. In fact, because the terminology has become so popular, it is my opinion that there isn’t a diet more ambiguous, yet so widely followed.
The Paleo movement was first popularized in the mid-1970s when a gastroenterologist named Walter L. Voegltin promoted a very primal way of living. His nutrition plan encouraged eaters to consume grass-fed pasture meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and exclude grains, refined salts, refined sugars, processed oils and dairy products2, because, according to Voegltin, our ancestors ate this way and were able to sustain their health for a much lengthier period of time than we do today. People like Loren Cordain and Dr. Ron Rosedale who promote the “caveman diet” argue that people in the Paleolithic era thrived on such a diet and would never have consumed grains because there was no form of agriculture in that time period3. The accepted Paleo framework laid out by Voegltin diet is a step in the right direction, and the Maxmized Living Nutrition Plans provide clarity in the application of Paleo principles.
Maximize Your Life
In Maximized Living Nutrition Plans, there are two different nutritional plans to fit different lifestyles:
The Core plan is meant for everyone.
The Advanced plan is designed for individuals who are looking to achieve specific health goals, or for those who simply function better without consuming anything that turns into sugar.
There are a few (and these few are significant) refinements to the Paleo diet in the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans that make a substantial difference in the health of those who follow it.
Maximized Living places a very strong emphasis on the quality of meat that is consumed. While many of today’s Paleo followers would happily eat shellfish and pork, these types of meats have been left out of the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans for because of their high toxicity.
Shellfish are bottom-feeders, and absorb a significant amount of toxic waste from the ocean floor.
Pigs live in an unclean environment. They have a very basic digestive system, and because they are unable to produce sweat and eliminate toxins that way, they store toxins in their fatty tissues.
Because of these feeding and environmental issues, these protein sources will contain higher levels of toxins and are therefore to be avoided in order to maintain optimal health.
Fruit and Sugar
Some Paleo eaters consume moderate amounts of fruit. While acceptable on the Core Plan, I encourage people to consume very little, if any fruit on the Advanced Plan. Fruits with higher sugar content dump more sugar into the body than most people need, preventing them from utilizing fat as their No. 1 source of energy.
Maximized Living doesn’t present a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, it allows for some variability based on a person’s activity levels, genetic background, and overall health goals. So, if you’re going to consume fruit on either plan, stick with lower-sugar, higher-fiber fruits like berries and green apples, consumed in very small servings.
Reducing simple sugars leaves Paleo eaters with a challenge when it comes to eating sweets. They meet this challenge by using a wide array of lower-glycemic sweeteners in “Paleo” desserts. It is my opinion that nutritionists have too long exclusively used the glycemic index of sweeteners to determine which are “good.” Therefore, it’s not uncommon to find agave nectar, honey, coconut sugar, blackstrap molasses, and even raw organic cane sugar consumed by some Paleo dieters. That’s not Paleo—and definitely not Maximized. It’s just a little safer on the glycemic index.
There are other factors to consider when it comes to sweeteners: acidity, inflammation rating, quantity of fructose and with what they are being consumed. So, when not using actual, whole fruit to sweeten meals, I endorse the stevia leaf from the plant kingdom.
Maximized Living emphasizes choosing organic foods. Vegetables, fruits and meats that are not organic contain pesticides and hormones that can create serious damage in the body. Not only do these toxins load your system with unnatural stress, they generate a dangerous risk for several diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes. Reducing the risk of toxin exposure is a core value in the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans.
Dairy? It’s a heated topic in the natural health world. We do profess that the closer the product is to its natural source, the fewer troubles it will create in most people’s bodies. If you choose to consume dairy, get it from organic, naturally-raised sources that have undergone as little processing as possible. This Maximized Living approach settles the ongoing dairy debate seen in the Paleo community. And while some of our Paleolithic ancestors may have consumed healthy forms of dairy, others may not have. Don’t forget to take your genetics and personal sensitivities into consideration when tweaking your diet!
By Dr. BJ Hardick, Co-author of Maximized Living Nutrition Plans
Help us with our Food Drive by Bringing in a Frozen Turkey/gift card (for People) or Dry Pet Food/gift card (for Paws) and RECEIVE a certificate for yourself or a friend to get an Initial Set Up Exam, Scan, and X-Rays for $75.00 (a $400.00 value).
The Food Drive will be held from November 6 thru November 22, 2013.