Category Archives: Alternative Living Network

2015 Best of Alternative Living Network Grain Free Recipes

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I am happy to be a part of Alternative Living Network, a network of Christian natural living bloggers. At the end of each year we like to give everyone an opportunity to feature their favorite blog articles on a wide range of topics. This year I’m sharing all of the favorite grain free recipes from ALN bloggers. Please visit these great blogs and give some of the recipes a try. And be sure to leave a comment that you found them on our 2015 BEST OF ALN post!

Grain Free Recipes

Savory Paleo Waffles with Chicken Gravy from yours truly at Well Fed Family

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel topping also from Well Fed Family

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from Well Fed Family

Grain Free Pumpkin Acorn Bread from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Lemon Basil Drop Biscuits from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Fluffy Pumpkin Basil Pancakes from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Melt in Your Mouth Lemon Balm Cookies from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Carrot Sage Muffins from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Lemon Basil Poppyseed Muffins from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free To-Die-For Mint Brownies from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Chocolate Basil Cake from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Breakfast Biscuits with Rosemary from Thyme To Embrace Herbs

Grain Free Eggplant Parmesan from Simple Abundant Life

Simple Potato Egg Hash from Simple Abundant Life

Deliciously Simple Meatballs from The Pistachio Project

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Coconut Flour Muffins from Nourishing Simplicity

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake from It Takes Time

Grain Free Sourdough Cereal from It Takes Time

Tell us what your favorite grain free recipes are! What would you like to see next year?

Leave a comment here or on the ALN Facebook page.
















Finding Virtues and Wellness Wednesday

disclaimerThe Essential Oil Revolution Summit is well underway as I write this. I have learned so much already, and am looking forward to the rest of the sessions. Essential Oils are currently one of the hottest topics in the natural health world, and it’s no wonder after hearing that so many people are finding so many benefits from using them. As more moms look for ways to help their family regain optimal health, essential oils make a great complement to a healthy diet, quality sleep, healthy gut flora and a positive outlook.

Day One included a wonderful session with Dr. Sue Lawton who uses essential oils in her practice for stress management, physical ailments, immune system recovery and immune boosting.  Her talk in the summit was one of empowering us with the right mindset to live compassionate, productive, healthy lives. One quote in particular struck a chord with me and I made this infographic that I wanted to share with you today.

essential oils revolution sue lawton smaller quoteIf you would like to own Dr. Lawton’s talk along with all of the other 31 talks from the Essential Oils Revolution Summit they are available for purchase. If you want to listen for free the remainder of this week (May 11-15) they will be live each day at this link.


Now on to Wellness Wednesday! Please leave us a link with your own blog and be sure to read the other great blog links too! Share the love by sharing today’s post on your own Facebook page.

Antibacterial Soap America’s April Fools and Wellness Wednesday

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.
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Antibacterial Soaps – you find them everywhere. I’ve seen them in gas station bathrooms, hospitals, schools, friends’ homes, you name it – if there’s a high-traffic bathroom it’s likely to have antibacterial soap being dispensed. Marketed toward moms, especially those with small children, they are hyped as something that will protect us from horrible germs, especially colds and flu, and we will be much safer using them.
The truth is all that hype is just one big joke. Too bad it’s not an April Fool’s joke, unfortunately it’s real. Hand washing is a time-tested, centuries-old method for preventing the spread of disease. However it isn’t the soap that’s the most important part. The main mechanism for getting rid of germs? It’s the action of scrubbing your hands under running water for 20-30 seconds.
Soap helps get rid of actual dirt by mixing with the dirt and lifting it off your skin so it can wash down the drain. But the germs – those nasty viruses and bacteria you pick up from doorknobs, toilets, diapers and your own nose – those need good old fashioned scrubbing to get them off our hands.
Antibacterial soaps are actually harmful for several reasons. 1) They give us a false sense of security. We think that since we (or our kids) are using a medicated soap then we don’t have to worry if our hand washing technique is thorough enough. The truth is that colds and flu are caused by viruses which aren’t harmed at all by antibacterial soaps. 2) They are creating a bigger problem by encouraging antibiotic resistance.  We get in a panic over one case of ebola coming into the country and yet 23,000 people die every year from antibiotic resistant bacteria. The overuse of antibacterial substances is partly responsible for this serious problem.  3) The soap dispensers themselves are passing along more germs than were originally on people’s hands BEFORE they washed them!
Your best bet is to bring along your own clean container of plain soap, and use that with plenty of running water to scrub your hands for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday.
Now that you are well-informed on the subject of hand washing – take a look at all the other great posts on this week’s Wellness Wednesday!

Tips Good Cooks Know and Wellness Wednesday March 25

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Everyone who transitions from the Standard American Diet to eating real food discovers there is a lot more happening in the kitchen. It can become overwhelming if you don’t know some of the tips and tricks to help you use your time in the kitchen wisely. These tips came from the Splendid Table podcast and professional chef Lynn Rossetto Kasper.

1. Clean up as you go

Don’t let dirty dishes pile up. Keep a sink full of hot, soapy water. Wash your knife and your bowls as you use them and put them away. This keeps down clutter and keeps your workspace clean.

2. Organize ahead of time

The French term sounds more posh – “mise en place” – which just means everything in its place. Run through the recipe you will be making, get out ingredients and equipment you will need, prep as much as possible including chopping vegetables and measuring spices, and only after this is done do you begin cooking. If you do this prep work you suddenly realize you look like a TV chef!

3. Use the largest cutting board you can find

You can’t have a cutting board that’s too big, only one that’s too small. 24″x30″ will give you plenty of room so your food doesn’t keep falling off.

4. Keep salt handy in an open pot or dish.

When you use your fingers to sprinkle the salt from high above your food it will cascade evenly and season your food thoroughly without too much or too little in one place. Plus this is another chance to let you look totally awesome and professional. 🙂

5. Keep frequently used items handy

Get a basket or tray and place items on it that you use with every meal. Salt, pepper, olive oil, butter and anything else in constant use. Keep this tray handy when you are cooking so you don’t have to search for anything. I buy multi-gallon tins of olive oil which wouldn’t fit on my counter so I decant some of it into a smaller dark glass bottle with a pour spout that fits nicely next to the salt and pepper.

6. Don’t throw out your scraps

At the risk of sounding like a hoarder, this is actually a secret flavor tip. High-end restaurant kitchens freeze vegetable peels, pan drippings, bones and carcasses and turn them into flavorful stocks and broths which will then become a fabulous sauce or soup. The key here is to remember these bits are in your freezer and make time later to use them.

7. Save great tasting fats

Butter, olive oil and coconut oil are wonderful. But you can also save the bacon grease left after you cook a pan of bacon. Trim extra fat from your grassfed beef, pork or lamb and freeze it in baggies until you have a pot full then render it into amazing lard or tallow. Excess skin and fat from chicken and duck can also be rendered down into great tasting cooking fat. You’ve spent the money to buy quality grassfed, free-range meat so be sure to get your money’s worth by using the high quality fat, too.

What are your best kitchen tips? Share them here in the comments, and be sure to check out the great link ups with today’s Wellness Wednesday.

Wellness Wednesday and Green Smoothies

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

green smoothie titlesIt’s Wellness Wednesday! First my tip of the day and then it’s on to all of the great blog link ups. I can’t wait so let’s get started!

My Spin on Green Smoothies

Most of the green smoothies I hear about frankly sound disgusting. A whole blender full of chard with maybe an apple chunk thrown in or a handful of raw cashews. Ok, they sound healthy and spartan and full of virtuousness, but not very tasty. I also don’t want to be eating a ton of the kinds of raw greens that are so high in oxalic acid that i can’t absorb all the good minerals in my food either.  My solution is to add a handful of really nutritious super-greens to my regular smoothie recipe. I’m thrilled to be growing my own greens this spring, so it’s super easy to pick parsley, dill, mustard, leaf lettuce and a little red russian kale leaves to add to my morning smoothie.  I’m getting a whole-food vitamin and mineral boost plus the probiotics, calcium, protein, good fats and creaminess of kefir.

Wellness Wednesday


Pie for Pi Day

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

Pie for Pi Day titlesPi – the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter – is a favorite of the mathematical world. In its decimal form it is a number that never ends and never falls into a repeating pattern. Pi Day is celebrated around the world every year on March 14th. This year is special because not only is it 3.14 it is also 2015 making the date 3.14.15 so if you celebrate Pi Day at precisely 9:26 and 53 seconds a.m. you can hit the first ten digits of Pi …  3.14.15 and 9:26:53 (3.141592653)

Enough with the math – on to the food!  It is customary to celebrate Pi Day with, what else, PIE! So without further ado here is a round-up of some delectable pie recipes ripe for your Pi Day celebrating. Go all out and eat pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and raise a fork to Newton, Einstein, Pythagoras, Fibonacci, Pascal, Descartes and all the other great minds who made numbers look so easy. Here’s a baker’s dozen pie recipes, mostly sweet, a few savory. Enjoy your Pi and your Pie.

Pies for Pi Day

Cherries and silky smooth custard make Cherry Clafoutis from Traditional Cooking School the perfect choice for a breakfast pie.

Don’t like to bake? Here’s a No=Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie from Melissa K Norris.

Apple is a classic pie so here’s an Apple Crumb Pie recipe from Katie at Simple Foody.

Mouthwatering Crispy Coconut and Chocolate Pie from Deep Roots at Home will tantalize your tastebuds.

A grain-free dairy-free real food spin on the classic pumpkin – here’s a Pumpkin Pie recipe from Nourishing Home.

Need something small? How about Cranberry Apple Mini-pies from Nourishing Gourmet.

Worth Cooking does great things with allergy-free cooking ingredients like this Lemon Pie.

Honey is the sweetener for this Strawberry Pie from the Humbled Homemaker.

Don’t Waste the Crumbs shared this Key Lime Pie recipe a few summers ago and includes instructions for homemade sweetened condensed milk.

This Raspberry Cream Pie from Common sense Homesteading just screams summer.

And don’t forget the Keto dieters will love Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie from I Breathe I’m Hungry.

If you don’t want sweet how about savory like this Pizza pie from us here at Well Fed Family.

Or Tamale Pie from Farm Fresh Feasts.

P.S. Here’s a late entry for South African Peppermint Crisp Pie from Keeper of the Kitchen that you won’t want to miss!

Leave a comment on the blog with your favorite pie recipe and thank them for making your Pi Day so delicious! Then leave a comment here telling us which pie you made – and no, you don’t have to tell us the circumference or the diameter of your pie pan.




Wellness Wednesday – Feb 11

The kids and I drove from Florida to Tennessee and we are just now back home. That trip reminded me once again how hard it is to travel when you are determined to eat right – no fast food, no convenience stores – everything has to be packed from home. We were especially blessed on Sunday. We were invited to lunch after worship and this dear family went out of their way to accommodate our special diets. She even made a gluten-free cake for dessert! It really means a lot when someone shows that kind of hospitality!

Thank you for stopping by this week’s Wellness Wednesday. Please leave a comment with your favorite blog articles, and consider linking one of your own using the link button below.

Welcome to this week’s Wellness Wednesday!

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This Week’s Features:


How Blogging Relates to Our Health by 60 – The New 40

Edible-Arrangement-FeaturedDIY Edible Arrangement by Pennies into Pearls

chill out

Learning to Chill Out a Little by The Earthly Ones

Thank you for linking up! If you’d like, grab the button below and add it to your blog!

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Wellness Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015

carrots with green topsI have a quick tip for you today before getting to the Wellness Wednesday linkup. This one comes from Jo Robinson’s book Eating on the Wild Side: the Missing Link to Optimum Health.  Jo Robinson gives page after page of ways to make the most nutritious choices when buying vegetables and fruits. When it comes to carrots she advises we skip the baby carrots, which are really just cosmetically damaged full-size carrots that have been shaved into uniform size. The most nutritious part, the outer layers, have been thrown away leaving just the inner core.  For the best flavor choose full-size carrots that still have their green tops attached. (Cut off the tops when you get home and stick them in the refrigerator.) For the biggest serving of nutrition look for purple varieties, which have almost 30X more antioxidants than orange carrots.

Welcome to this week’s Wellness Wednesday!

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This week’s features are:


Happy Hair Tea: How-to by A Gypsy Herbal

Organic Dairy Yellow Butter an Ingredient for Cooking

Why You Should Be Eating Grass Fed Butter by Lavender and Cream


Shaking the Sugar by The Earthly Ones

Thank you for linking up! If you’d like, grab the button below and add it to your blog!

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Number Two Immune Boosting Food – Wellness Wednesday

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It’s Wellness Wednesday – I’m sharing about another great food for boosting your entire immune system, then at the end there is a link for you to share your own wellness-related blog. Don’t forget to check out the other fine folks who’ve linked up here too!

Immune Boosters

Recently I gave you the Number One immune boosting food – you can read about it here. Today I’m revealing the food in the Number Two slot. This one also plays a powerful role in rebuilding and maintaining a healthy immune system. If you were surprised by #1 then this one may also surprise you. This list is from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D., is a neurologist, and creator of the GAPS diet, a successful nutritional protocol used in healing both physical and neurological disorders such as autism, auto-immune diseases and heart disease.

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Immunity Booster #2: Cold pressed oils such as olive oil, fish oils, nut and seed oils

While fresh animal fats and cholesterol-rich foods are stellar when it comes to building strong cells and creating important stress-coping hormones, there are many other healthy fats that we should incorporate into our daily diet.

We’re all familiar with extra virgin olive oil, and many of you are also aware of the benefits of fish oils (especially cod liver oil). What you may not have heard about are which of the nut and seed oils truly are healthy, and which ones are toxic.

Just as with animal fats, the fats from plants are also mixtures of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – there is no naturally occurring fat that is only one type.Coconut, palm kernel, and cocoa butter are all rich sources of plant-based saturated fats. Olive, avocado, almond, pecan, cashew and peanut all provide generous amounts of monounsaturated fats. Cold water fish oils like cod and salmon; along with flaxseed,  non-GMO soy, canola, corn and safflower are primarily polyunsaturated.

Just as with animal fats, the sources of plant fats are extremely important. Many seed oils come from genetically modified plants and carry with them the pesticide and herbicide residues as well as other questionable factors.  Nearly all soy, corn and canola in the U.S. is GMO.

Unlike animal fats, however, there are many methods of extracting fats and oils from plants. The extraction method chosen is extremely important – in fact, even if your plant source is 100% biodynamically-beyond-organic, but you extract the oil incorrectly you will have ruined it, made it toxic.  Care must be taken when extracting plant oils. If powerful chemical solvents are used to extract the oils then you can be sure the oils will retain the toxins from these chemicals. When high heat methods are used for extraction, especially on the fragile polyunsaturated oils, these oils are damaged and turn rancid.  This is why the #2 Immune Booster must come from cold pressed oils.

Any oil that is primarily polyunsaturated should be kept chilled and stored in a dark container to protect the fragile nature of this type of oil. If you find a polyunsaturated oil in a clear container sitting out on a grocery shelf just leave it there! It is already rancid and has no place in your body. It’s not an immunity booster – it’s just a big bust!


So to summarize: Choose your plant-based oils from organic, cold-pressed sources. Read the labels for any expiration date. Keep polyunsaturated oils refrigerated and use them up before they expire. Never heat polyunsaturated oils, keep them for salad dressings or adding to smoothies. Coconut oil and olive oil can be kept at room temperature, but it is still important to keep olive oil in dark containers as the enzymes are light sensitive. Saturated and monounsaturated plant oils can be used for cooking, but save the higher heat applications for the mostly saturated ones.

Now it’s your turn! Share with us on Wellness Wednesday – here’s all the info…

Book Review: The Paleo Cure – Wellness Wednesday

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Welcome to another edition of Wellness Wednesday! Today I’m sharing a book review of Chris Kresser’s Paleo Cure. Below the book review you’ll find links to last week’s featured Wellness Wednesday articles plus a link to add your own to this week’s blog hop!

The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser
“Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health Needs; Prevent and Reverse Disease; Lose Weight Effortlessly; Look and Feel Better Than Ever”

Author Chris Kresser is an Integrative and Functional Medicine Practitioner with a practice in Berkeley, CA. He also runs the popular health website and hosts the Revolution Health Radio podcast. This book was originally published in hardback under the title Personal Paleo Code in December 2013. The paperback version carries the updated title, but both books are identical otherwise.

The introductory chapter bears a bold title: “This Book Can Save Your Life”. I suppose he makes this nervy statement to grab your attention right away – “This book is no ordinary diet book,” he seems to say. In many ways he is right, because this book does not advocate the One Single Way to be healthy, and as you work your way through the chapters you are repeatedly encouraged to trust yourself, listen to your body, and go at your own pace.

“Here’s the truth: There is no single formula to follow that will guarantee you perfect health in three weeks – or seven days, or any other arbitrary number you find on the bestseller list. As seductive as that sounds, it just doesn’t work that way. The only formula I want to give you is the formula for figuring out how not to follow a formula! If my clinical experience treating patients has taught me one thing, it’s this: there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to diet and lifestyle. After all, the fossil record indicates that not all Paleolithic people ate the same way. So why should we expect a single program to be the perfect fit for everybody?”

I love the early chapters that give dietary examples of traditional cultures such as the Inuit or Aboriginal Australians. It was refreshing to read a logical explanation of what it means for a food to be nutrient dense, and I was glad to see that diet was not the only focus, but that exercise, gut bacteria, stress management, healthy sleep, correct sun exposure and social connections were also addressed as being equally important factors in a healthy life.

I enjoyed the real-world stories from patients who found healing using The Paleo Cure. In addition to Chris’ personal story we read about a woman with diabetes and high blood pressure, a young man crippled by Crohn’s disease, an elderly woman with mobility issues and brain fog, a 20-something woman with thyroid disease, a woman unable to get pregnant, a middle-aged man with constipation, another who was struggling with depression, a corporate VP with chronic skin issues – all of these people and many more were able to find healing using the protocols outlined within the pages of this book.

Chris unapologetically challenges conventional wisdom. Instead of going with the flow, he looks at the evidence provided in quality research, and applies a good measure of critical thinking skills. You will find real information on saturated fat, cholesterol, eggs, red meat, and other controversial foods revealed in this book. I especially appreciated the charts on various kinds of fats to use and to avoid.

The 3 steps to discovering your own personal diet/lifestyle solution for health.

#1 begins with a Thirty-Day Reset which removes the major offenders in causing weight, allergies, and other health problems. This is the most strict portion of the diet, and yet after more than a week following this with myself and my husband, I have yet to feel deprived or hungry, instead I’m feeling pretty good!

#2 allows you to slowly reintroduce healthy foods that may work for you such as white potatoes, dairy, or certain grains. If you find yourself feeling sick again this is your clue to remove the offenders again. If they work, then you are one step closer to building your own personalized health plan.

#3 guides you through the final steps of tweaking the diet so it works just the way you need it to, but it is also the time where you address the remainder of your lifestyle decisions including stress management and sleep.

The Paleo Cure includes a Seven-Day meal plan with recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner compliant with the 30-Day Reset. As a bonus there are also three more weeks of menus available online. In addition to the extra menus the online bonus materials include entire chapters addressing specific health topics such as leaky gut or adrenal fatigue. More online bonus material includes a guide to supplements, links to sources for healthy meats, snacks, and Paleo-friendly doctors. There is also a forum section where you can start up a conversation with others also working through the diet.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us your favorite post from last week’s Wellness Wednesday, leave a link to your own blog, or use the social media buttons at the top to share with your friends!