Nourish Interview Series: Alex Konicke

In the Nourish Interview Series, I interview interesting individuals about their nutrition journeys and how they nourish to fuel themselves. Keeping with the spirit of the CrossFit Open, going on now, let’s meet another awesome North West Regionals CrossFit athlete and learn about their approach to nutrition in the second interview of the series (click here if you missed the first interview in the series). Meet Alex Konicke. My youngest daughter has said she loves Alex because he’s so smiley all the time, just like her, which makes her happy. It’s a pretty accurate description of Alex. He’s pretty much always got a smile on his face, he gives awesome hugs, and he’s one of the most motivating coaches I’ve ever had the pleasure of being coached by. Here’s more about Alex’s nutrition journey and goals.

Alex Konicke - Toys For Tots Bellevue Interbay  Throwdown 2014, Photo by Henry House
Alex Konicke – Toys For Tots Bellevue Interbay Throwdown 2014, Photo by Henry House

Please introduce yourself. Who are you, what is your background professionally/athletically?

I am a people person. I love being around people, being of service, and really just being available for those that need and appreciate me and what I do. I have been involved with sports since I knew what they were and stayed on my own path of what I wanted to do. My brother played baseball, but I wanted to try soccer and ballet. I ended up playing lots of baseball as well, but I am truly glad I became my own person and followed things I wanted to not what everyone else might have been doing. I played some high school soccer as well as Varsity Tennis. When the college years came, I wanted something new. Without looking too hard, Rugby fell into my lap and I loved every minute of the 4+ years playing. Towards the end of the college days, CrossFit was introduced to me. A very fit freshman friend of mine coaxed a few of us to try it with him and I was sold. Within the next year I had drank the Kool-Aid and was dedicated. CrossFit Nine was where my CrossFit future started (Dec. 2010). Dan Arvidson, owner of CrossFit Nine, swung me a deal I couldn’t pass up to join the gym. Within a couple months I had my CrossFit Level 1 Certificate and wanted to coach. It wasn’t until the end of 2011 that CrossFit Nine was in need of more coaches, so after a short hiatus I took to run a half and full Marathon, I was back in 100%. After 4 months, I unfortunately had a bulging disk that was giving me loads of grief for 8 months. To feel my pain, during this time I was daily dreading getting out of bed and out of the car, walking around like an old man. From this I learned to coach well with verbal cues but I was questioning my CrossFit future. I was back into good working ability with the help of physical therapists, sports rehab specialists and chiropractors. I am very motivated by the competition within CrossFit and I have goals to make it to the CrossFit Games in the near future, so I am avidly training for this.

After 2 years of solid coaching, I managed CrossFit Nine for the majority of 2014, when I left to open Reign City Fitness – CrossFit Downpour with a few others I had met on my journey. After 3 ½ Months in, we are well established with a quickly growing community of over 210 clients (110 CrossFit Clients).

Throughout college I attained a Bachelors in Business Marketing. I am currently certified in CrossFit Level 1+ 2 and USAW Weightlifting certified, and I don’t plan to stop there.

What are your current goals? Are you training for something specific or training in general?

I am training for the CrossFit Games. The first step for me is to become a top caliber athlete in my region, then from there rank in the top of the NorthWest/Canada West division, leading up the making it to the CrossFit Games. I have my own personal coach that programs workouts for me weekly to attack my own personal weaknesses among the athletic ability that CrossFit tests (Strength, Endurance & Gymnastic ability)

What motivates you?

What motivates me is being the best at something. CrossFit is new, unique, different, and euphoric. From a daily workout, to competing at Regionals, CrossFit gives me the euphoria that I felt during my years of intense sports.

Alex Konicke
Alex Konicke – CrossFit Downpour NW/Canada West Team Invitational 2015, Photo by Henry House

Tell me about your diet/eating philosophy.

I always resort to Paleo when eating. I have always been a chubby kid inside, wanting cheat meals more than I should. I have been eating 85% clean the past 2+ months after dialing in a healthy plan. My goal is 2-3 cheat meals a week, and no more consumption of alcohol over 4 drinks/week. This is great for me and I have seen great results from this certain plan. In the past I haven’t watched my diet too well, but from the past few months going forward it will be imperative to do so in order to reach my goals and have the fitness success that I am motivated by.

Along with the parameters of the cheats and drinks, my diet is to be gluten free and the majority of it is Paleo. I will eat some dairy here and there, but focus on eating as many vegetables and lean meat as possible and snacking on nuts and fruit.

How are you using nutrition to help reach your goals?

If I didn’t hone in my nutrition, I wouldn’t be happy with my body type and I would be carrying around even more extra weight that I am now. This is bad for the mentality as well as on the competition floor. The heavier I am, the harder most CrossFit movements will be. They would be harder even more, if I am not burning the right fuel in my body. This will show up in worse mental drive, slower movements, and lack of energy, even body depressant with too much gluten.

I also have always wanted to be a model, so while training for CrossFit competitions, it is helping me lean out and look better. It will help out the physique side of my goals in this respect as well.

How important do you feel nutrition is to getting you to your goals? Would you still be able to achieve your goals without paying attention to your nutrition?

I for sure wouldn’t be able to. Not having good nutrition just adds more variables that can hold you back. If I am burning off the doughnuts I ate before a workout and not broccoli, I will certainly notice a difference in how my body moves, recovers, operates, and feels.

Alex Konicke - Elysian Games 2014, Photo by Henry House
Alex Konicke – Elysian Games 2014, Photo by Henry House

Tell me about your nutrition journey. How did you find what works nutrition wise for you?

I’ve done many cleanses and short diets. My favorite thing to do is juice fruits and vegetables. I will drink a freshly juiced drink (consisting of a majority of veggies) any day, any time. Convenience and price can get in the way of this easily but I am usually all over Evolution Fresh & Whole Foods in house juiced drinks.

How did you eat before finding what works for you? Did you pay attention to what you ate? How did that affect your training?

I ate what was convenient and may have seemed somewhat healthy (Subway) unless I had a strong craving, then the game was over. This is how I ate, very spontaneously. I did not pay much attention to what I ate. There were many times where I would try to track for a day or two then forget to track and lose…track, LOL. Eating this way would affect my training in a way that I may not have felt like working out that day. I might have had to take way more breaks than usual and be very confused why. In my college years I partied and drank a lot which had a serious impact on my ability to play rugby at my best.

What do you eat on a typical day? If you time your meals to a schedule, when do you typically eat?

I shoot to eat every couple hours. I listen to my body for the most part and have food handy as needed. My diet can include anything from, bacon, turkey and eggs, to salads, broccoli and hummus. I keep apples and bananas around as well as Lara Bars and other gluten free protein bars laying around for snacks, though I try to keep away from processed foods as much as possible. I’ve lately gravitated towards “Amy’s Chilli” and gluten free soups, and steamed veggies in some form everyday.

Do you count macros? Why or why not?

I have never counted macros but I feel it is the next step for my goals and healthy eating.

Alex Konicke, CrossFit Downpour NW/Canada West Team Invitational 2015, Photo by Henry House
Alex Konicke, CrossFit Downpour NW/Canada West Team Invitational 2015, Photo by Henry House

What are your favorite pre and post workout snacks?

I don’t necessarily have a pre or post workout snack. Coffee is a usual pre workout drink for me. I do try to cycle through other pre workout supplements once in a while as well to not be reliant on one certain caffeine source.

Do you plan your meals? If so, how do you plan and what tips do you have for others who might need help planning their meals?

I plan them as much as possible. It can be hard to find the time, but I usually prep for a few days. I usually just make sure I am well stocked at work for healthy snacks. I do not measure out or count calories. My tip for those needing help planning is to make sure you keep track of your Tupperware lids, they get lost so easily! On a serious note, when meal planning, what I find best is to do it Sunday and Wednesday (at least a couple days apart). This way you aren’t spending ALL day/night cooking and you wont avoid your 3-4 day old planned meals that you end up throwing away.

What is your favorite treat meal?

I LOVE pizza (Zeeks) & doughnuts! I am an advocate for sweets for sure; anywhere from Cheese Danish to Cinnabon to Chocolate. Two of my top choices for desert cheats are Mousse and Crème brûlée though.

What suggestions or advice would you give others who are trying to optimize their nutrition to nourish and fuel their bodies?

Start from scratch… Paleo. Make it your own but it’s so easy to start there. On top of this, you NEED to log your intake. Start a template of all of your meals and snacks and have your coach/trainer look at it and give you input. This is the best way to springboard onto a solid diet. This way you notice what foods you are actually eating, you can see what is good and isn’t good for you. You can identify if you should be eating different foods at different times. Lastly you can realize what foods help you lose weight, gain muscle etc., and learn which don’t.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Keep a workout regimen and diet in your daily goals. It is hard to keep on track, but keep trying things you haven’t tried before. Unhealthy and overweight issues are so treatable, if you can’t do it alone, please just put your trust into someone to help push you. Regarding diet and injuries, I always say, “the ONLY thing you can do is try things you haven’t tried yet.” Do your own trial and error. If they don’t work then great, you can now try something else and see if that works. If you keep trying the same thing over and over again you will literally go insane… “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result”.

Keep on developing yourself. We are here to learn, grow and experience. If you feel like you have stopped dead in your tracks and are unhappy, make a change.

“Do what makes you happiest”

Alex is an owner/general manager at Reign City Fitness/CrossFit Downpour in Bellevue, Washington. Reign City Fitness opened November 2014 in a gigantic 42,000 square foot facility. In addition to CrossFit, Reign City Fitness offers yoga, TRX classes, Zumba, Pilates, Barre, and more!


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Nourish Interview Series: Chelsea Nicholas

Feeding our bodies is one of the most important things we do every single day, multiple times a day. As important as this is, there isn’t one way to nourish ourselves that works for each individual. What works for one person may not work for another person. Although there are many basics nearly anyone can incorporate, it’s important for each of us to find our own path to how we best nourish to fuel. Taking into account many things, such as body composition, goals, athletic performance, allergies, food intolerances, health, you name it. Each journey is our own, but we can learn a lot from others and how they fuel their bodies. In the first of a new series, the “Nourish Interview Series”, I interviewed Chelsea Nicholas an Engineer, CrossFit NW Regionals Athlete, and awesome woman to welcome in the CrossFit 2015 Open and this exciting new series on how an individual uses nutrition to reach their goals! Over the course of the next couple weeks you’ll hear from other CrossFit regionals athletes (including one athlete who was just signed to the NPGL Grid league) as the series continues. 
Let’s get started and hear about Chelsea and her nutrition! 
Please introduce yourself. Who are you, what is your background professionally and athletically? 

My name is Chelsea Nicholas. I’m 27 years old. I grew up in Bothell, WA. I’ve always been busy with sports including gymnastics, cross-country and track and field. I earned a BS and MS in Civil Engineering at Washington State University, where I pole-vaulted on the Track and Field team for my first two years. After graduation I started working as a Structural Analysis Engineer at Boeing (December 2011). Right around this time I also found CrossFit.

Chelsea Nicholas - Cretus 2014, Photo by Henry House
Chelsea Nicholas – Cretus 2014, Photo by Henry House

What are your current goals? Are you training for something specific or training in general?

After competing on a team at the North West Regionals CrossFit competition last year, I decided I wanted to start competing as an individual to see how far I can go with the sport. I hired a coach to design my programming and have been working with her the last 9 months or so putting in 15+ hours a week. I have countless goals that vary in magnitude and depth. The main goal I have been working towards this year is qualifying for regionals as an individual. Day to day I’m also chasing personal records (PRs) in various lifts and common workouts such as a 300 lb back squat. I like to have something to train for. CrossFit is an exciting sport to participate in because everything is measurable; you can literally track your fitness. I think that’s why a lot of people fall in love with it so quickly.

What motivates you?

Initially my motivation for getting to the gym was purely aesthetics; I wanted to look good. At some point I realized that everyone has a different idea of what it means to look good and you get a lot more satisfaction if you focus on performance. That’s when I stopped “working out” and started “training.” I try to be my own motivation. The only person you should worry about impressing is yourself.

Tell me about your diet/eating philosophy.

My perception of healthy eating has evolved so much over the years and I’m sure it will continue to change. It’s all about something you can sustain and enjoy every day that keeps you energized and fueled for training. Nutrition is very personal and you have to find what works for you.

Chelsea Nicholas - Toys For Tots 2014, Photo by Henry House
Chelsea Nicholas – Toys For Tots 2014, Photo by Henry House

How are you using nutrition to help reach your goals?

I use nutrition to energize, recover, and heal. It absolutely affects performance and if I want to reach my goals I need to plan/track my nutrition (and sleep) very closely.   If you are eating right you will feel happier, healthier, stronger, more powerful, and ready to attack your workouts. This means eating enough of the right things at the right times.

How important do you feel nutrition is to getting you to your goals? Would you still be able to achieve your goals without paying attention to your nutrition?

Nutrition is essential to reaching my goals. If I want to maximize performance and uncover my full potential then I can’t ignore it. They go hand in hand.

Tell me about your nutrition journey. How did you find what works nutrition wise for you?

I started paying closer attention to nutrition about a year and a half ago. At the time I was still working out because I wanted to look good; I cared more about the weight of my body than the weight of my barbell. I started tracking my food to control calories and macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat) but was not as concerned about what foods I was eating. I set my goal numbers using a calorie distribution of 30/40/30 for protein/carbs/fat. Wanting to lose a few pounds I set daily calorie intake too low. This was effective for losing a little weight but it came at a price; I was not enjoying my time at the gym and it was completely exhausting! Ultimately it was not sustainable and at some point I stopped counting. From this initial food tracking experience I developed a concept of how many macros are in different foods. I learned that I tend to be low on protein and high on fat if I don’t pay attention. With this in mind I tried to consume more protein and continued eating what seemed healthy and training hard. When I hired my coach 9 months ago she set some new macros for me. They followed the same calorie distribution, but with protein set at my body weight which ends up being right around 2000 calories a day.   This was great for a while, my body weight stayed the same and I continued making gains in the gym. Several months later my workouts were getting longer and I reached a point where my muscles would fatigue before my lungs gave out. At this time we added an extra 100g of carbs post workout to ensure my muscles are properly nourished. I don’t eat the extra 100g of carbs every day, but I can tell if I am going to need them based on the types of workouts I see in my training week and how I am feeling. It’s nice to be in a place where you know your body and what it needs to perform at its best.

When it comes to what foods to eat and what foods to avoid I’m still experimenting. When I find things I like that are easy to prep for the week, I stick with them. I don’t have any food allergies so I was never too worried about cuttings things out of my diet. Then about two months ago I had a weightlifting accident…I won’t tell the full story because I don’t want anyone thinking CrossFit is careless or dangerous but I tore the ulnar collateral ligament in my right elbow more than 50%. Right after the injury my coach had me cut out all wheat, dairy, and sugar from my diet to help with inflammation. I also doubled my fish oil and started taking tart cherry concentrate. Cutting these things out of my diet was surprisingly easy with the mindset that it would speed up my recovery. It’s been a frustrating yet amazing process. Your body can be extremely resilient if you treat it right. I plan to continue with the new restrictions. The only thing I really miss is ice cream and that can still be a rare treat.

Chelsea Nicholas - CrossFit NW Regionals 2014, Photo by Henry House
Chelsea Nicholas – CrossFit NW Regionals 2014, Photo by Henry House

How did you eat before finding what works for you? Did you pay attention to what you ate? How did that affect your training?

Everyone has their own notion of healthy eating and there are different levels. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who eats healthy, but my definition of the word is constantly evolving. Before I started tracking my food and reading labels I think my diet was probably low in protein and high in fat. I did not cut any food groups from my diet and I did not pay attention to the timing of my carbs. I am not the same athlete I was a year and a half ago. Knowing how to feed your body is a game changer.

What do you eat on a typical day? If you time your meals to a schedule, when do you typically eat?

Chelsea's Sample Meal PrepI will include a sample of my meals for one day but basically I try to hit 150g protein, 200g carbs and 60g fat each day. The only real timing rule I have is eating carbs immediately post workout. This is for recovery; I also try to put in more carbs at night after I train. I like to start my day with protein and fat because it keeps me feeling full longer; my favorite lately is 4oz ground bison with 2 eggs. It seems like most of my calorie intake is in the beginning of the day, but most of my carbs are consumed closer to the end of the day.

Do you count macros? Why or why not?

Yes I do. I developed an excel spreadsheet with a database of all the foods I like to eat so I can plan my meals. I have a scale in my kitchen to weigh out portions. It’s not every meal, every day, all the time, but enough to know I’m getting enough of the right things. When I don’t count I tend to fall short on protein and carbs and I pay for it at the gym.

What are your favorite pre and post workout snacks?

I always keep little packets of baby food in my gym bag. Mostly things like sweet potatoes and bananas. They are easy to eat, simple, and about 20g of carbs. After workouts I usually have some kind of post-workout drink like Progenex Recovery, Afterglow, or Revive Rx Recovery. These are all powders you mix with water and have roughly a 2/1 carb/protein ratio. This is all for ease and consistency. When I get home from the gym it’s always something like 150g sweet potatoes with more protein.

Do you plan your meals in advance? If so, how do you plan and what tips do you have for others who might need help planning their meals?

I do plan my meals, in a way. On Sundays I go grocery shopping and meal prep. By “meal prep” what I mean is I cook all the foods I bought so they are ready to portion out and eat through the week. I have all my meat and potatoes cooked and veggies chopped. It makes the week a lot easier and it still leaves room for some flexibility. I have an off day from the gym mid-week and this is an opportunity for me to try a new recipe or something different. I have it easy since the only person I’m planning meals for is myself. This method works great for my lifestyle. For others, try to sit down and outline what a perfect couple days would look like before you head to the grocery store then prepare food accordingly. It’s nothing fancy but it is efficient and effective.

What is your favorite treat meal?

On Sunday mornings I go to Whole Foods for breakfast with my sister. Usually we get bacon and eggs but every now and then we’ll get biscuits and gravy. This breaks a couple of my rules but that’s why it’s called a treat. I’m lucky to be one of those people who actually enjoy simple foods. When people ask me what my favorite meal is I always say steak salad. I’d pick that over biscuits and gravy any day.

Chelsea Nicholas - CrossFit NW Regionals 2014, Photo by Henry House
Chelsea Nicholas – CrossFit NW Regionals 2014, Photo by Henry House

What suggestions or advice would you give others who are trying to optimize their nutrition to nourish and fuel their bodies?

You have to find something that you can maintain and that means DO NOT starve yourself. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt because everyone is a little different. Find things you like to eat that fit your own personal guidelines for healthy eating and experiment to find what works best for you and your goals. A good starting point is to track your food for a week and find out about how many calories you consume in a day. From there you can try redistributing your macros to fit the 30/40/30 calorie distribution of protein/carbs/fat based on your current calorie intake. Make adjustments from there based on how you feel and how you weigh in.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

We all have this vision of who we want to be and where we want to end up. But how do you know when you get there? What do you do IF you get there?? You’re not going to go back to your old ways and feel satisfied for the rest of your life; that would be completely unfulfilling. You have to learn to love the process because the process is your life.

Where can people follow you?

On Instagram @chelsnichs



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Hair Diaries: The One!

Just Natural SkincareI tried no poo and it was a failure, for me. I tried a raw made from plant botanicals brand in an effort to get the strong shiny hair I seek. While the raw products are excellent products, that my family continues to use and I continue to recommend and support, it wasn’t right for my hair. So I moved on and lo and behold, just like in a relationship, the next one to come along in the hair diaries natural hair care saga was The One!

The one turned out to be from Just Natural Hair and Skincare. Just Natural products are sulfate, paraben, alcohol, chemical, and gluten free. Made from non GMO, vegan, natural and organic ingredients that are not tested on animals. Just Natural uses the “purest plant oils, butters, botanical extracts and essentials from the best that nature has to offer.”  Their products are effective and natural, just what I was looking for. Plus the bottles of shampoo and conditioner I purchased 21 weeks ago and have used ever since still haven’t run out!

Having color treated hair I went with the Color Care Natural Shampoo and the Color Care Natural Conditioner. The shampoo is sulfate-free, salt-free, paraben-free and silicone-free to protect and preserve your hair color longer while gently cleansing the hair with oils, that also result in shiny non-greasy hair. The conditioner helps to give softness to the hair with seed oils and butters but also nourishes the hair so it is stronger and manageable without build-up. The claims are all true. My hair is shiny and healthy while the color in my hair sticks around. Which isn’t an easy task as I have tough color to maintain with my purple streak and the red tones for the rest of my hair. My stylist, who often has pink hair herself, was amazed at how vibrant the color in my hair stays between colorings once I started using this product. The added bonus of only washing my hair 3 times a week now is an excellent time saver too.

I tried the Natural Shine Polish too that uses lots of natural oils such as Meadowfoam, Olive, Daikon, Jojoba, and Fennel Seed oils to tame frizz, repair damage, restore moisture, and add shine. A little shine polish goes a long way. And I mean a little teeny bit. Otherwise I find my hair is weighed down and looks a little greasy. But a little bit is magic on those days between washes when I need a little extra something.

I also grabbed the Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, because why not? I love this stuff! It cleanses my skin gently without leaving it dry. Plus it has a gentle fresh and clean scent from the Orange Blossom, Tangerine and Bergamot oils.

Just Natural also has chemical free products for kids hair and kids body washes. There are products for people with every hair type imaginable – dry, extremely dry, oily, itchy, thin, color treated, relaxed, pre-relaxed, hair loss, mens hair. etc.  They also carry skin products such as butters, creams, lotions, anti-aging potions, and so much more. The product line is massive but everything I’ve tried so far has been beyond great. I look forward to ordering something new each time I place an order because I want to try it all.

Hair diaries success at last!

FATface Skincare

Instant Pot Beef Bone Broth

Instant Pot Beef Bone Broth Recipe (with Crock-Pot variation) and Joint Support Post Injury (or to Prevent Injury)

Instant Pot Beef Bone BrothI recently got a refresher in anatomy and medical terminology when I had to retake a medical terminology course (my previous credit was to old to count) and when I took an anatomy and physiology course. I learned all about shoulder joints and muscles such as the acromioclavicular joint, the supraspinatus muscle, and trapezius muscle. I got a refresher in all the gluteus muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus). I also got to reiterate how important joint health is for prevention and treatment of injuries.

While I’ll share with you below what you can do to prevent or treat an injury, it is always best to seek the care of your physician before starting any treatment or supplements as they may be contraindicated for you based on your personal medical history. In other words don’t do what I say just because I said it, check with your doctor first.

With the disclaimer out of the way, here’s what I recommend doing and why:

  • Triple Strength Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM (Shellfish-Free) Tablets

    • Shellfish free only because I personally am allergic to shellfish, and glucosamine supplements are often made with the shells of shellfish.
    • Glucosamine is used by the body, along with other chemicals, to build tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the fluid surrounding joints. Taking glucosamine is thought to help support this process. While chondroitin may reduce pain and inflammation. In combination they promote and support joint health and movement.
  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend
    • Regular fish oil is questionable, to me, because it is so highly processed the health benefits are often lost by the time the finished product is reached. Which is why I prefer fermented cod liver oil as the manufacturing process is less damaging to the Omega-3 oils and vitamins in the oil. There are numerous benefits to taking fermented cod liver oil (see this article by Katie the Wellness Mama or this article by Diane Sanfilippo for more information) but I recommend taking it specifically to reduce joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
  • Collagen
    • Collagen is a protein made from the amino-acids Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline and Arginine. Approximately 30% of the body’s protein consists of collagen. It can be located in the bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and connective tissue of the body and in the skin, hair, and nails. It helps gives strength and protects the body. As we age, collagen production naturally slows down resulting in loss of skin elasticity, joint stiffness, tendons and ligaments being less elastic and more. Following Hippocrates wisdom of “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” I already supplement my diet with collagen because of it’s numerous benefits (hello wrinkle reduction/prevention). Post injury I recommend increasing your intake with the following:
      • Collagen Hydrolysate, Great Lakes Gelatin
        • Collagen Hydrolysate is cold water soluble so it does not gel up like other gelatin. This makes it great to add to smoothies, guacamole (yes, I do this), puddings, into your shaker bottle with post work-out protein powder, to give bone broth an extra gelatin kick, etc. where you don’t want the jello like consistency. I add this to my morning coffee along with ghee, maca powder, bulletproof XCT oil, and coconut milk as a preventative measure.
      • Unflavored Kosher Gelatin, Great Lake Gelatin
      • Bone Broth Instant Pot Beef Bone Broth

        • Bone broth is having a shining moment with a walk up bone broth window in New York and numerous articles (here’s just one) and studies purporting it’s many health benefits. I’ve always loved how happy, warm, and nourished my tummy feels after having soup or stew made with real bone broth but it turns out I was actually getting health benefits from the broth. Bone broth helps in healing my gut, supporting my joints, boosting my immune system, and strengthening my bones too. Drinking a cup of bone broth a day is a great way to take advantage of the many benefits of bone broth. Other than Bare Bones Broth there isn’t a good way to take advantage of the benefits of bone broth unless you make homemade because commercial bone broth doesn’t have the same nutrients. Which thanks to the Instant Pot only take just over 2 hours total to make at home (see recipe below), although you can also make bone broth in a crock-pot or on the stove.
  • Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM), by Natural Factors
    • NEM contains naturally occurring glycosaminoglycans including chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, NEM also contains collagen and other beneficial proteins for joint health and flexibility.
    • Note this supplement does contain Shellfish, so avoid if you have an allergy.

That’s what I recommend doing to help support and heal your body. It is also helpful to prevent injury by giving your joints the best nutrients so they can be strong to prevent minor injuries.

Instant Pot Beef Bone Broth

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6-8 cups

  • 3 pounds Beef Soup Bones (including two knuckle bones)
  • 4 large Carrots, washed and cut in half
  • 3 stalks Celery, washed and cut in half
  • 1 medium Onion, cut into quarters
  • 6 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond, or other brand, Kosher Salt
  • 6-8 cups filtered Water, do not fill past safe fill line on Instant Pot
  • Variations:
  • Add to recipe above
  • Pho Inspired: 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce and 6 slices of peeled fresh ginger
  • Herbed broth: Add sprigs of fresh Thyme, Rosemary, and Parsley - no need to chop just add as many or as little as your taste prefers
  1. Place all ingredients in Instant Pot
  2. Put lid on and turn to closed (locked) position
  3. Make sure vent is set to "Sealing"
  4. Plug in Instant Pot
  5. Press "Soup" setting
  6. Click - (minus) time button once to reach 120 minutes
  7. After a moment the display will change to On while the Instant Pot heats up. Once the pot has warmed up the display will start counting down
  8. When finished cooking turn off or leave on Warm cycle while waiting for pressure to release, when pressure float is down the lid can be opened safely
  9. Remove bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon
  10. Strain broth through a mesh strainer
  11. Enjoy! Use for soups, to drink, to freeze for later use in storage containers or using a silicone mold freeze individual portions for later use
  12. Crock Pot and Slow Cooker Variation
  13. Add all ingredients to Crock Pot- cook on low for 16 to 24 hours. The longer the better.



Paleo Super Bowl XLIX Recipe Round-Up

Photo by Puttsk.
Photo by puttsk.

While I’d love to use some of the photos of the amazing last 7 minutes of the NFC Championship game, where the Seahawks secured a trip back to the Super Bowl, those photos don’t come cheap. Seriously it’s $49 per month to use a photo (49ers and $49 per month- coincidence?  I think not). So here’s a link from Deadspin if you want to relive the game or this link to a video of the highlights in addition to the above photo of Horseshoe Bend in Arizona. You know, since the Super Bowl will be in Arizona. Anyway… What we’re really here for today is the food for a paleo Super Bowl menu!

Chicken wings, meatballs, chili, nachos, fries, potato skins oh my! Whether you are hosting your own Super Bowl Party, bringing a dish to a pot-luck, or just want something to snack on that is paleo compliant here’s a round-up of 15 paleo Super Bowl Party recipes for the Patriots @ Seahawks in less than 2 weeks: