14- Day Calorie Challenge

Today is the day!

Laura Schoenfeld and I have been working on this challenge for months, and I’m so excited to share it with you today.

If you’ve listened to our podcast (The Ancestral RDs), you know that getting enough calories is absolutely crucial to good health.

In fact, both Laura and I have changed many of our client’s lives simply by increasing their calories.

Symptoms like fatigue, blood sugar crashes, anxiety, and more disappear practically overnight when you start eating enough. We’ve seen it happen firsthand.

In an effort to bring calorically-appropriate diets to the masses, we knew we had to create something that made it incredibly easy to eat enough.

Many of you don’t want to be counting calories, weighing your food, etc. We get it; it’s not that much fun!

So we created the 14-Day Calorie Challenge to help you. 

The challenge? To eat a balanced calorie and macronutrient-containing diet for two weeks to see how much your energy can improve.

We’ve created five two-week meal plans designed for people who want to follow a gluten-free, real food diet that fits their unique needs.

The best part about these five meal plans is that we’ve designed them to meet a variety of different needs.

So if you have a gut infection or an autoimmune disease, we’ve created a plan just for you.

We’ve also provided guidance on how to easily tweak the meal plans if you need a higher amount of calories than the range we’ve provided (between 1800-2200 per day).

Here are the five 2-week meal plans we’ve included in this bundle:

  • Strict Paleo/Whole30
  • Real Food (Gluten-Free)
  • Real Food for Athletes
  • Autoimmune Protocol
  • Digestive Health (Low-FODMAP)

The cool part is you get all five of these meal plans as part of your purchase.

That way, if you need to change which meal plan you’re using, you can get more or less strict on your food choices depending on your needs.

For example, maybe a strict Paleo diet causes terrible bloating for you. Perhaps you’d do better on the Digestive Health plan.

Or maybe you’re tired of following the Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diet and want to branch out to a “normal” Paleo diet for a while.

Or perhaps you’re unnecessarily avoiding all grains and dairy, and feel the Real Food plan is the most attractive to you.

Whatever meal plan fits best for you is available for you to test as part of the challenge.

This is a brand new product and right now we’re offering over 75% off the eventual price — that means you can get the meal plans for just $7 until Thursday, January 18th at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Starting right now until midnight (EST) on Thursday, January 18th, we’re offering the 14-Day Calorie Challenge for just $7.

Just $7 for over 70 days of real food recipes.

$7 for 10 weeks of shopping lists and meal plan calendars.

Seven. Dollars.

Is your health worth $7? (We hope so!)

If you’re ready to take the 14 Day Calorie Challenge, CLICK HERE to get your copy of the program for 75% off.

And if you’re on Instagram or Twitter, use the hashtag #14DayCalorieChallenge to show us what you’re eating.

It’s time to fuel up!

P.S. Not sure how many calories you should be eating in the first place? Use our Calorie Calculator to find out! Then hop on the 14-Day Calorie Challenge and start feeling energized.​​​​​

Lemon-Cherry-Ginger Gelatin Gut Gummies

Lemon-Cherry-Ginger Gelatin Gut Gummies

IMG_2171This is a guest post by my intern Lisa Hansen, an RD-to-be! Note: this recipe uses my lemon-ginger soda from the Eat The Good Bugs eBook that you can get for free by subscribing to my newsletter.

Who would have thought that “nourishing” and “gummy bears” could be paired in the same sentence? Definitely not me, but I’m here to change that. To throw a twist on the traditional gummy bear, add some good gut bacteria, grass-fed gelatin and you get a guiltless mid-day pick me up when you’re craving those sugar bomb gummy worms from the store. You could almost say these gummies have super powers, especially when made in dinosaur molds.

If you’ve been around the Healthy Gut Healthy Life website then you know how beneficial bacteria can be essential in maintaining your good gut health. Most of these foods revolve around fermented foods with a saltier flavor, so this recipe adds a little sweetness to the mix.

If you’re not sold on these quite yet, all you need is 6 ingredients and 15 minutes once you’ve made the lemon ginger soda.

Lemon-Cherry-Ginger Gut Gummies


  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup lemon ginger soda (you can get the recipe for that in the Eat The Good Bugs eBook here)
  • 1 cup frozen organic cherries
  • 2 tablespoon raw organic honey
  • ¼ cup grass-fed gelatin


  1. Blend cherries and lemon juice on high until smooth. Pour into a saucepan.
  2. Add honey and gelatin and whisk together until it forms a thick paste. Heat on low for 5-10 minutes while continuing to whisk. Once thin, remove from heat. Let cool slightly before moving on to the next step.
  3. Add ginger soda, pour into molds or a glass baking pan and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  4. If in molds, simply pop out, if in a baking dish, cut into slices and enjoy!

Make sure to add the ginger soda when the mixture is removed from the heat in order to keep most of the good bacteria alive, as they are sensitive to high temperatures!



Stay Hydrated With The Cranberry Lemon Refresher

Stay Hydrated With The Cranberry Lemon Refresher

It’s getting awfully hot in New York these days, and if you’re like me and try not to blast your AC all day long, you know you need to be drinking more water than usual.

I’m one of those people who tends to forget to drink – I can literally make it to the end of the workday having barely had anything to drink. Not good! While there’s some debate over the “correct” amount of water to drink, I certainly don’t think it’s a good idea to be going that long without water.

To trick myself into drinking more, I’ve been making this yummy concoction that I like to call the Cranberry Lemon Refresher. It’s super easy to make and it looks appealing and refreshing, so I’m more likely to drink it!

To make the Cranberry Lemon Refresher, all you need is water, a half a lemon, and 100% cranberry juice (not the cranberry juice “drink” that includes sugar or other juices). I like the cranberry juice from Trader Joe’s – it’s affordable and delicious!

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To begin, simply put a splash of the cranberry juice in your cup or jar (I love using a quart-sized mason jar for this!). Take a look at the picture below to see how much I put in a quart jar – it’s not a lot.

2015-06-22 21.44.13 (1)

Then add the juice of a half a lemon and fill it the rest of the way up with water. I love using a straw for this drink too, since I tend to drink more when I use a straw (they’re fun!).

2015-06-22 21.48.56


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The Paleo Foodie Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

The Paleo Foodie Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

photo-6If you’ve read my article What “Paleo” Means to Me, you’ll know that I see community as one of the biggest draws to eating a healthy diet. To make and share a meal with friends is truly one of the best pleasures in life. But if you have food sensitivities, this can be hard. You need to watch out for hidden grains or gluten, and the whole experience can become a lot more stressful. Well, Arsy Vartanian, the author of The Paleo Foodie Cookbook makes eating with a grain or gluten sensitivity a breeze. Better yet, she makes it a delight.

This cookbook is one that will be on your shelf for decades, with the pages worn and dog-eared, food splatters and all. That’s the sign of a good cookbook – one that looks like it’s been in the kitchen for your whole life.

The book starts with a brief introduction to a Paleo/Real Food diet from Amy Kubal, a wonderful Registered Dietitian who I’ve had the pleasure of working with. That means you can gift this book to someone who isn’t quite familiar with Paleo and they’ll still hear the why behind a real food diet.


Up next are the appetizers, a delicious array of foods perfect for a snack at home to bites you’d be proud to bring to any party. Some of my favorites include pancetta-wrapped figs with walnuts (YUM), sardine spread (nutrient-rich goodness), sweet potato salmon cakes (actually a wonderful breakfast!), and spicy sausage-and-walnut-stuffed mushrooms (is your mouth watering yet?).


Next come the entrees…ohhhh, the entrees. They are amazing. The Paleo Persian Kotlets offer an easy, delicious way to use ground beef, with the flavors of onions, cloves, turmeric (hello, anti-inflammatory herbs!), and sage. Arsy’s take on Osso Bucco is just amazing; perfect for a cold, winter day when you’re feeling decadent. If you’re a duck lover like me, you’ll die for the Macadamia-Crusted Duck Breast with Spicy “Soy” Ginger Sauce. Mmmmm…


Salads can get a little boring if you’re constantly eating the same ones over and over again. Luckily, The Paleo Foodie Cookbook offers a plethora of salads to choose from, from the Fig, Pear and Prosciutto Salad; to the Curried Cabbage Salad; all the way to the Roasted Bone Marrow with Arugula and Parsley Salad. You’ll never be bored of salad again.

Soups and Stews

Who doesn’t love soup? Not only is it such a comfort food, but it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can go for. Personally, I love creamy soups so the Curried Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup sounds like heaven. The Slow-Cooker Hawaiian Oxtail Soup looks amazing, and I’m always a sucker for something I can throw in the slow-cooker!

Side Dishes

I’m always on the lookout for new side dishes. Food variety is so important for a healthy diet, so I always encourage my clients to eat as many different foods as possible and not get stuck eating the same foods again and again. The side dishes in this book definitely inspired me! The chorizo cauliflower rice sounds like an amazing pop of flavor – I can’t wait to try it. I also love brussel sprouts and am always looking for new ways to cook it. Arsy’s Shredded Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta…I can’t even contain myself they look so good.

Sauces and Salsas

This section is awesome. I love learning how to make sauces from scratch because they can truly make or break a dish. I’m dying to make the Pistachio Pesto and the Four-Herb Spicy Chimichurri! I also have been using canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to make sweet potato chipotle soup, but now with Arsy’s recipe to make it myself I’m going to do just that!


This cookbook is definitely a keeper, which is why I’m so happy to give one copy away to a lucky reader! Enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cozy Up to Fall with Homemade Coconut Milk Chai Tea

Cozy Up to Fall with Homemade Coconut Milk Chai Tea

teaThis is one of my favorite drinks of all time. Seriously. It’s spicy, warm, and soothing all at the same time. Perfect for a relaxing Sunday morning when all you want to do is sit around and read. Bring it out on the porch and enjoy the crisp fall air and let this chai warm you right up.

I love coconut milk in my chai because it adds another layer of flavor that’s missing with regular milk. Plus, it makes it a great option for those who are dairy free. Sweeten it up with a bit of raw honey and it’s to die for.

When I make chai, I use a mortar and pestle to grind my spices but you can also put them in a plastic baggie and smash them with whatever hard object you happen to have in your kitchen. You want to start with whole spices vs. ground as the flavor is much better and you want to be able to take the spices out once you’ve boiled them in the water.

Makes 1 large mug of chai


  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 green cardamon pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 allspice
  • 2 triangles pulled off a star anise (i.e. don’t use the whole star anise as it will be too strong)
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • water
  • loose or bagged black tea (if using tea bags, use 1 tea bag)
  • raw honey to taste


  1. Crush spices except cinnamon stick with mortar and pestle or in plastic baggie. Make sure you’ve cracked all the cardamon pods open.
  2.  Add coconut milk and about 1/2 cup filtered water to small pot. If you don’t think this will be enough liquid to fill your mug, you can add a little extra water.
  3. Add crushed spices to the pot, along with the cinnamon stick.
  4. Set on high until it starts to boil, then put on low. (Keep an eye on it, as coconut milk sometimes likes to boil over the top of the pot!)
  5. Continue to simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and add tea bag or loose tea (what you would use to make one cup of tea). Steep for 3 minutes.
  7. Strain mixture into mug, taking out the loose tea and spices.
  8. Add raw honey to taste.



Caramelized Orange Juice Carnitas

Caramelized Orange Juice Carnitas


[yumprint-recipe id=’2′]Secret tip: orange juice. Seriously, it makes these carnitas to die for. Yes, you can make carnitas without it, but don’t.IMG_1489

Kitchen equipment:

  • Dutch oven or slow cooker


  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder, chopped into big cubes (you can easily do a bigger roast, just add a little more of all other ingredients. Trust me, you’ll want leftovers)
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbs lard
  • salt and pepper
  • lettuce for wraps
  • any other toppings you’d like!


  • If you’re starting with a full pork shoulder, trim the skin and chop the meat and fat into large cubes. 
  • Coat the bottom of the dutch oven or slow cooker with lard
  • Chop onion and poblano pepper and add to dutch oven
  • Add pork shoulder
  • Sprinkle on all the spices and toss
  • Squeeze orange juice and grate some zest into the dutch oven
  • Mix it all together
  • Let simmer on low for ~2-3 hours with cover on
  • Once the orange juice has evaporated and the fat has rendered, take off the cover and turn up the heat to let the meat crisp up in the fat
  • Put meat in a lettuce wrap and add whatever toppings you’d like!



Recipe: Kimchi!

Recipe: Kimchi!

IMG_1075Fermented foods are a wonderful addition to any diet. They are teeming with healthy, beneficial bacteria (more commonly referred to as “probiotics”) that aid digestion and help regulate the immune system. Fermented foods are perfect for keeping our gut happy and healthy. Eating just a small amount of fermented vegetables daily will help you on your way to having a healthy gut.

One of my favorite fermented foods is a Korean dish called kimchi. It is traditionally made from Napa cabbage, which is what this recipe will use, but you can substitute other vegetables such as bok choy, cucumbers, and many other vegetables – get creative!

Kimchi is a great food to eat before a meal, or to throw into a stir fry (just don’t cook it otherwise you’ll harm those wonderful little bacteria – you’ll want to add the kimchi after the stir fry has cooled slightly).


  • 1 head Napa cabbage
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or more depending on your taste – this isn’t something I usually measure, I just go by how it smells!)
  • 2 large cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup red pepper powder (depending on how spicy you like your kimchi!) – this is something that you should be able to find at a local asian market, or online
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons whey (or just add extra salt if you don’t have whey on hand – the whey just helps to speed up the fermentation process)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


  1. Peel leaves off your cabbage and rinse in warm water
  2. Chop cabbage into 1-inch squares (I actually end up chopping it more because I like it a little finer). Place in a large bowl.
  3. Thinly slice the green onions and add to the cabbage
  4. Grate the ginger and add to the cabbage mixture
  5.  Crush two cloves of garlic into the mixture
  6. Add two tablespoon of whey to the mixture if you have it. I was a little bit lazy and just took the liquid off the top of some whole milk yogurt, so it’s still a little milky since I didn’t strain out the whey. Again, if you don’t have whey, just add extra salt (an extra tablespoon).
  7.  Add one tablespoon salt to the mixture
  8. Add 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  9.  Add 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  10. This is the fun part! Now, take a kitchen tool – usually I use a wooden rolling pin with no handles – and beat the heck out of the mixture!  You want the mixture to release its moisture, so it should get pretty watery.
  11. Add 1/8 – 1/4 cup red pepper powder. In this recipe I added 1/8 cup because I was feeling a like a little bit of a wuss today and I had a slightly small head of cabbage.
  12. Beat your mixture some more to mix in the powder. Finally, when your mixture is all mixed up, pack it in a jar. You want liquid to be covering the top of the mixture, so press the kimchi in the jar until the liquid comes to the top and covers the cabbage mixture. You’ll need to keep the jar at room temperature for about three days, at which point it should be delicious 🙂 You’ll want to refrigerate it after that in order to preserve it longer.