My Reading List

Here it is, all my past and current favorites along with my current reads! 

What I'm reading now...

If you don't want to read through my descriptions, you can also find them all on my Amazon store. Just click on "Good Reads." 

Farmacology: Total Health rom the Ground Up (Daphane Miller, M.D.)

  • A really great read if you're interested in WHY it's important to eat local for your health. It really takes a closer look into the microbiome and how eating closer to home can have a positive impact on our colony of good bacteria. The author travels to various farms and provides stories that really connect your health to a "farm to table" type concept.  It reads like a story, you don't feel like you're reading a "health" book. As someone that tries to buy locally for a variety of reasons, this really hit home for me.

Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health (Jo Robinson)

  • A wonderful tool if you're interested in learning more about the nutrient content of different produce items. The author provides ways to prepare and store produce to maximize nutrient content and absorption. It is divided into chapters, you are able to jump around depending on what you are interested in learning about at that time. The author provides A LOT of information, I think it's a great book if you are already semi-comfortable with getting your veggies in.

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix

  • My new kitchen guide. This one came recommended by a fellow CSA member who was asked to share tips and tricks on using his seasonal vegetables. It is amazing, the description refers to it as a "recipe generator" and that is exactly what it is. He provides several ways to prepare each protein/veggie/starch, along with dips and its so pretty. I am SO excited to use this over the winter, and even more pumped to use it next summer when Im getting more local produce. I think this is a great starting tool for a kitchen newbie, but also an amazing addition for someone with a lot of experience. I have a feeling this will have a permanat spot in my kitchen. 

Long Time Favorites to Improve Your Health

Recipe Books...

Practical Paleo (Diane Sanfilippo BS, NC)

  • This was my game changing read. It's what really started my entire real food journey. It wasn't just because it was "paleo," I had read paleo books before. It's because it was easy to understand while being SO informative. Even if you're not interested in "going paleo," this book should have  a spot on your shelf. The first half is about nutrition in general- digestion, inflammation, food groups and lists. The second half is loaded with meal plans, if that's your style, and SO MANY recipes. I have never been disappointed with the recipes. This is the book I use in my healthy eating groups, everyone always loves it.

Well Fed (Melissa Joulwan)

The 21 Day Sugar Detox (Diane Sanfilippo BS, NC)

  • This is the textbook to the program that I have used in the past with clients. It is life changing. I know most of you realize how addictive sugar, but not everyone realizes where it's hiding. This book and program teaches you not only about food but also about your own dietary habits. I'm including it because there are a lot of great, easy recipes for ANYONE in it...even if you're not on a "sugar detox." She uses proteins, vegetables and healthy fats as a base for the book...with NO sugar added. There is also another book, The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook with even more nutrient rich, no sugar recipes. 

Knowledge is Power...

Grain Brain (David Perlmutter, MD)

  • This book was written by a neurologist who has treated patients in the past with diet and digestive support. He really goes into the science behind gluten, excess carbohydrates in the diet and probiotics, explaining why they have such a large role in cognitive health. If you are seriously considering giving up gluten (or grains) but aren't sure why, this is for you. If you are at risk for neurological diseases, or are dealing with one, this is for you. If you have depression, anxiety or any type of mental health concern, this is for you. Basically it's for everyone. 
  • He also has a follow up book, Brain Maker, with even more information about the diet and lifestyle changes he recommends. 

Eat the Yolks (Liz Wolfe NTP)

  • I feel bad this is all the way down here on the list- trust me it needs to be up on top! The author is HILARIOUS, she's sarcastic and funny while referring to our current health trends. She also goes into the science behind why healthy fats are essential. This is an easy read, great for someone starting their journey...but also very informative for someone who likes a good health read. 

So that's it for now! Add these to your wish list for yourself, or give someone a healthy read as a gift. You can click on the links above to see the books, or head over to my Amazon Store, just click on "Good Reads."

I do receive a small percentage from you using my links, so thank you!







Bone Broth..."eat what ails you."

Bone Broth.  "Eat What Ails You."

I think that bone broth is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can consume. Although I appreciate all the amazing bone broth products on the market, I think that it's still the best to make this at home. Don't get me wrong, in a pinch I'll buy some bone broth from the store. 

For any negative Nancys that may be reading this- No, Im not saying bone broth is going to cure you of anything. I am saying that it contains nutrients that support many things in your body. There aren't many foods that come close to the nutrient profile in this "superfood." Not to mention the fact that you're using the entire animal by making broth- nothing is going to waste. 

Here are some of the nutrients that you will typically find in your bone broth-

  • Collagen (protein matrix in bones, tendons, ligaments, etc.) is broken down into gelatin in the cooking process. This nutrient is critical for connective tissue (tendons and ligaments), remember you're only as strong as your weakness link! Who doesn't want to support their joints? Its also critical for healthy skin, hair and nails. This is probably my favorite thing about broth.
  • Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). What in the world is that? There are several, the most common one is hyaluronic acid, a joint lubricant. This special gem may also help with skin, helping it to retain more moisture. 
  • Healthy fats, when you're bones are from grass-fed/pastured animals. Don't stress if you're not using bones from these animals, just make sure you skim the fat off the broth and throw it away. Unfortunately it's a more inflammatory fat when the animals are conventional raised. If you're able to get grass-fed/pastured bones- you're in luck! The fats have some anti-inflammatory properties, leave them with your broth! Healthy fats also help to calm the gut and aid in healing. 
  • Loaded with MINERALS- calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, etc. These are all critical for bone health, electrolyte balance and cardiovascular health. The amazing thing is that these are in their natural form, coming with all the components in the bones; SO much better than just "calcium" by itself. Let's get everything you need all at once!
  • Glycine, an amino acid that can assist in stomach acid production and aid in digestion. 
  • Glutamine, an amino acid that aids in the healthy turnover of gut cells. Your need for glutamine also increases as stress on your muscles increase. A great benefit for athletes or anyone looking for an aid in workout recovery.

So what do you do now? What will you need?

  • 6-48 hours in the crockpot. The longer you let it cook, the more gelatin rich it will become. It will also reduce more and more, so don't be surprised if you don't end up with much broth. You may want to start with just 12 hours to get comfortable and see how you like it.
  • Cheesecloth
  • Mason Jars and/or silicone storage tray


  • Bones. Chicken, beef, etc. Ideally these are coming from a local source, grass-fed/pastured is preferred (see fatty acid information above). For this post, I used bones from stew hens that I purchased from Weber Ranch in Ohio. Check them out HERE! I have also purchased beef bones from Canal Junction Farmstead, another local farm that you should look into if you're in the Toledo, Ohio area. You can also use bones from leftovers or meals throughout the month. As we have meals with bone in chicken, etc. I save them in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. Once I have enough to fill the crockpot- its time to make broth!
  • Water
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Seasoning and Veggies (optional). I like a few peppercorns, garlic cloves, carrots and an onion. I keep it pretty simple, you're going to filter most of this out anyways. 

1. Put bones, apple cider vinegar (or lemon), salt, veggies and spices in crockpot. Cover with water. 

2. Turn on HIGH and wait until water boils, then turn on low for the duration of cook time. 


3. Turn off, this could be anywhere from 6-48 hours later. Let cool until room temperature or manageable. 


4. Scoop large bones and veggie pieces out of broth, discard. Strain remaining broth over cheesecloth into mason jar or sealable container. 

5. Once its cooled, fat may be at the top. Remember, if your making broth from healthy bones then keep the fat! If you're using conventionally raised animals I would recommend skimming it off and discarding it. 

6. The broth will keep for 5-8 days in the refrigerator. If you have more then you will consume in that time period, I would recommend freezing it. I use these silicon trays. This way I can freeze the broth in small amounts, store in a bag in the freezer and pull out 1-2 frozen blocks at a time.


How do I use this Super SuperFood?

  • Sip on 2 ounces as a "sipping broth" or "tea." I warm some water and dilute the broth before drinking. Its actually a nice calming beverage in the fall and winter.
  • Use when you're cooking! Add to stir fries, other soups or add a little when you're cooking rice. Its a great addition to most meals, super flavorful and nutritious. 

Cheers to Broth!








3 FREE Things You Should Start Improving Today

After speaking with hundreds of people at Bassetts Health Food Store every week about their health concerns, I've come up with 3 things everyone could work on.

The most common concerns/questions from people...

  • I need more energy, what can I do?
  • I need help with sleep, what can I take? 
  • I need to improve my digestion, maybe I should take some enzymes?
  • I want something for weight loss.
  • I want something for my immune system.

No quick fixes here! These are all issues that need to be addressed at the core. Here is where I suggest you start...

1. Drink water.

Sip on it ALL day. Add lemon, lime or some fresh herbs...but no sugar/sweetener/artificial flavoring. DO NOT try to play "catch up" at meals, drinking too much fluid with food can impair digestion. Don't like water? Too bad, you're a grown  have to learn to like water.

2. Sleep.

It's important, not just to help you feel more energized, but to help with healthy hormone production, cardiovascular health and eating habits. Just 4 nights of inadequate sleep can impact the hormones that tell you that your "full" and impact insulin resistance. Your goal should be 7-9 hours in a DARK room! Try decreasing evening screen time (phone, television, tablets) if you're having trouble falling asleep. 

3. Be a MINDFUL eater more often than not.

Calm down when you're eating. Don't think about stressful situations/tasks, I know its easier said then done. Do not eat in your car, when you're running around or while you're watching television. Thinking about the food you eat helps the digestive process, stimulating certain enzymes and hormones. It also helps prevent over eating and improves nutrient absorption. I know this isn't possible all the time, BUT aim for "most of the time." When you're in a stressful situation you're activating your flight or fight response and decreasing the attention that needs to go to your digestive system. 

These are things that all of us need to work on! 

Homemade Gelatin Gummies

Nutrient Power House!

Gelatin from grass-fed/pastured animals is SO good for you! Definitely something I consider a superfood, healthy for your digestive system, rich in protein and great for your joints!

I make these to snack on, just a few a day will do the trick!


1 Cup water (divided in half)

8 Tablespoons gelatin powder, ideally from grass fed cows (you can check out some of my favorites in my Amazon store HERE, just click on "supplements.")

1 1/2 Cups juice (I like blueberry or grape juice)

1 1/4 Cups puréed berries (I use thawed frozen berries)

1 Tablespoon honey (or more if you have a sweet tooth, the ones I make aren't sweet) - optional


-Please make sure you read through all the steps first and have your ingredients ready. This recipe works best when you move quickly! Have your fruit pureed and everything measured prior to starting!

1. Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Place other 1/2 cup water in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add gelatin slowly to the "room tempertute" water, mix well until it is like a paste. You will have to do this quickly.

3. Add the boiling water and keep mixing!

4. This will form a paste like substance.  If you're using sweetener, you can add it now. 

5. Add the fruit juice and the fruit puree and stir again. I use a whisk or large fork and it seems to work well. You want to make sure that there aren't any "gelatin clumps."

6. Add the gelatin mixture to your molds, or in a flat pan (you can cut into squares later). Let set in the fridge for 3-4 hours, or until solid. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.