Making People Wrong Doesn’t Make You Right

SHAMEI’m a little bit fired up. Okay, a lot fired up.

In the past week, I’ve seen two instances on social media of messaging that was not only not helpful to the intended audience, it sought to make the audience wrong. And they came from professionals.

Instance number one: Guy says that walking is not exercise, that you burn no more calories than sitting around.

Instance number two: Guy says that dieting is about deprivation and must therefore suck.

Instance one is both ignorant and dangerous. Instance two makes me wonder how that’s working out for you.

But the thing that really, really irritates me is that these two assertions use shame as a motivator. Both are rooted in scarcity – you aren’t working hard enough, you aren’t suffering enough. You aren’t enough.

I have to call BS on that.

Movement: Start where you are. Move in ways that you find fun (because if you enjoy it, you’ll do it). I would much rather you go for a walk than endanger yourself by pushing too hard too fast. And if you’re an experienced exerciser, you’ll know (hopefully) where the line is between pushing just enough to continue to see progress and slacking (which isn’t the same as active recovery or honoring your body).

Mindful Nutrition: Dieting doesn’t work, so don’t do it. Period. Find a way to eat that honors your unique nutritional needs and find your ideal balance. Yes, this takes some time and it takes effort, but the end result is sustainable weight loss (if that’s what you’re after), mitigation of any health issues, and perhaps the best thing, zero deprivation*.

*Of course there is an asterisk – because we each have unique nutritional needs, some of us do end up eliminating certain foods from our diets. But I promise that not only is it worth it, if you find you do still want those things, we can come up with substitutions. And you may find that on rare occasions, that there are few “worth it” items that you can handle. This requires work and troubleshooting though. You also may find that eliminating those foods breaks any connection you had to them and you no longer want them.

I’m not the only one fired up about shaming people and making them wrong though. In the past week, two articles have come across my social media feeds that address this in different ways and I have to share them with you all as well:

Why Diets Fail and “Eat Less, Move More is Bad Advice

Your Diet Plan Isn’t Working? New Baylor Research Explains Why

The bottom line is this: shame has NO place in health and wellness. If someone seeks to shame you into compliance, I lovingly suggest you reconsider your association with that person. You ARE enough and no one gets to tell you otherwise.


Where are you struggling in your life right now? How can I help you? Whether you are looking for feedback on a some changes you might make to your diet or are looking for longer term accountability as you tackle some big things, I offer one on one coaching options that suit your needs. Click here to schedule your session and get started creating your amazing life.

The Basics: A Well Stocked Kitchen

A couple of weeks ago I was caught unprepared at lunch time. Fortunately, my pantry came to the rescue, which led to me thinking about the benefits of keeping it well stocked. But what does well stocked mean and what does it include?

These are the types of things I keep in my pantry:

  • Canned fish – salmon, sardines, tuna
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut and cans of coconut milk
  • Oils – olive, coconut, roasted sesame, avocado, extra virgin olive oil
  • Vinegar – white wine, red wine, rice wine, apple cider, balsamic
  • Tomatoes – boxed whole or diced, paste, fire roasted
  • Artichoke hearts in water
  • Olives
  • Hot sauce
  • Herbs, Spices, & Seasoning Mixes (I consistently use: dill, cumin, oregano, crushed red pepper, Penzey’s Fajita Seasoning, Simply Organic Steak Grilling Seasoning, & Simply Organic Vegetable Grilling Seasoning)

In the refrigerator:

  • mustard – yellow, stone ground, Dijon
  • BBQ sauce – I don’t eat this but my son does
  • salsa – red & verde
  • homemade mayo
  • curry paste – green & red (Thai Kitchen is clean & Whole30 safe)
  • sundried tomatoes
  • capers
  • pickled jalapeños
  • Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Almond Butter

In the freezer:

  • one whole chicken
  • 1lb of ground beef or turkey
  • vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli, green beans (because this is what I eat; the point here is to have veggies you like that you can grab)
  • bone broth
  • nuts – usually walnuts and pecans because they don’t get eaten as quickly as the cashews (I keep them in the freezer because nuts go rancid over time)

Obviously, there is a lot of leeway in this list. This is just what I use and what I like. I can get very specific about the quality of each (yellow fin tuna due to sustainability & toxicity, as much as possible ingredients devoid of sugar, etc), but this is meant to be an outline, not a directive.

The whole point of a well stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer is preparedness. If you have this to fall back on, you’ll always be empowered to make the choices that keep you on the path to the life you want.

The Basics: Bone Broth

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Ah, liquid gold…

There are many benefits of bone broth and many ways of making it. I use it for gut healing as my microbiome is still a bit off and the collagen for my skin and joints. I use chicken bones for mine as it ends up being very cost effective for me and I’ve never been a huge fan of beef broth. This isn’t really a recipe. It’s more of a guide so that you can tweak it to best suit you and your resources.

I use a 6 quart slow cooker to make mine as it’s what I have and I like the hands off nature of it. I save all the bones from making Nom Nom Paleo’s Cracklin’ Chicken and then supplement with chicken soup bones that I can purchase at my local Whole Foods. I probably end up with between 5 & 6 lbs of bones, enough to mostly fill the crock. I then fill it with enough filtered water (you don’t want the chemicals from your water supply in this – you won’t get the healing properties) to cover the bones, add 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar, turn it on and walk away.

I do use two stages in the cooking though – 2 -3 hours on high (depending on whether or not my bones where completely defrosted or not), then 20 hours on low. My slow cooker runs hot and it will simmer the whole time while on low.

So what are you looking for when it’s done? You should be able to squish the bones in your fingers like Play-Doh. You will need to strain the broth through cheese cloth layered in a fine mesh strainer (I suggest doing this into a quart liquid measure for ease of pouring) to get all of the bone waste out of it. Then you can freeze it in the jars – but please leave room at the top for expansion. I’ve learned this the hard way…

So what do you use bone broth for? You can make soups with it, some people drink it as is from a mug, or use it where recipes call for a bit of stock. You’ll notice I don’t put salt in it. I do this so that I can customize the level of salt in each thing I make with it. You can always add more salt. I like to heat up a jar with a minced clove of garlic, a knob of ginger shaved with a Microplane, a pinch of sea salt, and a squeeze of lemon. It’s just right for a night where you want something but nothing heavy.

The Basics: Mayo

There is no shortage of mayo recipes on the internet, but it is one I’m constantly asked for, so here you go.

From an equipment perspective, this is the perfect recipe for an immersion blender. Why? Because you can literally dump all the ingredients in and blend until thick and creamy. Of course you can use a standard blender, you’ll just need to drizzle the oil in slowly as the mayo will break if you do put it in too quickly. This is really, really basic and a great beginner recipe. A good mayo is the base of so many great sauces so this is really a staple.

1 large room temp egg (best quality you can get)
1/2 tsp ground mustard
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
pinch of salt
1 and 1/4 cups olive oil or avocado oil (you can use EVOO, but it’ll be very green and the flavor of the oil stands out)

That’s it. If you are using a standard blender, blend the 1/4 cup of oil with the other ingredients first, then drizzle in the rest of the oil.

If you want to make this aioli, use lemon juice and add a clove of garlic. Fresh herbs make a lovely addition when topping a burger or sandwich, as does roasted garlic. If using dried herbs, make it ahead of when you’ll use it so the herbs can permeate the mayo. I also like making chipotle mayo by mixing in some chipotle hot sauce and my buffalo dipping sauce is just mayo and Frank’s. Easy peasy.

The Basics: Coconut Milk

Welcome to the first installment of The Basics. I often am asked how I make certain things or for recipes for others and often times these are what I would consider basic ingredients or recipes, things everyone should know how to make regardless of where they are in their health journey.

I’m starting with Coconut Milk largely for selfish reasons: I wanted to see if I could make it for less than I was spending on the multiple cans I go through each week. Because I’m dairy sensitive, I use coconut milk in my coffee. I first started doing this about a year and half ago with my first attempt at a Whole30. Drinking my coffee black was, and still is, something I just cannot do.

Turns out I can and I like my homemade so much better.

This was my second batch. I’ve made two more since I took these pictures and I’ve finally got my method down. The key is the length of time you blend. It makes a hug difference in the end result.

All you need is 8 ounces of unsweetened dried coconut (organic if it’s within your means, though this bag is organic from Trader Joe’s and was only $1.99 – less than a single can of coconut milk), 3 cups filtered hot water, and a blender. That’s it. One of the best things about homemade coconut milk is that there are no emulsifiers, something that many people seem to be sensitive to.

Dump the coconut and the hot water in your blender and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Then you get to blend the heck out of it. Blend for a minimum of 10 minutes. Longer is better if you want it even creamier.

The optional equipment here is the nut bag, but I strongly recommend getting one if you intend to make this with any regularity.

The next step is the strain and squeeze step. If you aren’t using a nut bag, you’ll need several layers of cheese cloth and a fine mesh strainer. If you are using the nut bag, the fine mesh strainer is more for a resting place. Pour the coconut milk into the cheese cloth/nut bag. If it’s cool enough to handle, you’re then going to squeeze as much liquid from the coconut as possible. If not, let it sit until it is and then squeeze. Yes, I know this sounds obvious, but I did actually try to squeeze it hot. I do not recommend it…

Let everything rest for 15 to 20 minutes (this is kind of a lazy recipe). Come back and squeeze again. This is a good test for your grip strength. You want the coconut to be as dry as possible when you are done squeezing. And that’s it. Pour into jars and refrigerate. This should keep for 3-4 days. If you aren’t going to use it all, freeze it.

One of the things I noticed was that mine stays fluid, which I love. A quick shake and it’s ready to pour in my coffee. But I only got it to do this with a longer blend. I think my first two batches I blended for just under 10 minutes. Both times the cream solidified in the refrigerator.

A quick note on the leftover coconut: this is what coconut flour is made from. If you use coconut flour, do not throw this away. All it needs is a few hours of drying in the oven at about 200 degrees F, then a whirl in a food processor to make it into flour. If you don’t want to do this right away, just put it in the freezer to come back to at another time. But I have to say that this is one of things I like about this process: zero waste. If nothing, you can make Paleo pup treats. Because our doggies aren’t meant to grains…

**A small housekeeping note: I’m still playing around with the functionality of this site. This means some changes you might notice, others you (hopefully) won’t. Please know that it’s not my intention to confuse or annoy you. If you have any suggestions, things you’d like to see, functionality that really doesn’t work for you, shoot me an email. I’m always happy to take suggestions: barbara@whathealthcoacheseat.com. **