Categories
DIY

How To Start A Food Blog Step By Step

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] Starting your own blog can be a fun and rewarding way to share your knowledge or passion with the world. While we will be talking about food blogs specifically in this post, all the information down below can be transferred to whichever niche and passion your heart calls for! The best part? It doesn’t have to be difficult, in just half an hour you could have your very own food blog up before you know it.

Trust me, if a doorknob like me can do it -so can you!

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get right into it!

This article contains affiliate links. While at no extra cost to you, The Humble Kitchen automatically receives a small commission if you so choose to purchase a product through this blog. Thank you for your continued love and support <3

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  • Passion -No matter what you choose to write about, make sure you are passionate about it! I can’t stress it enough. If you are moderately interested in cooking but are head over heels about goldfish, then write about goldfish! (And then share it with me). The last thing you want to do is create a website that winds up feeling like a chore to manage and write about.
  • Patience – Blogging takes time. Designing your website, writing the posts, taking the photos, and not to mention the social media aspect of it take a lot of time. On top of it all it takes a long time to rank on Google, so don’t despair that the only person reading your blog for the first few months is your mom (p.s. Hi, Mom!). Create quality content and quality images and you’ll go far.

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/STV_6962.jpg” url=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/banana-pancakes-dairy-free/” url_new_window=”on” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb” title=”Three Steps to Create Your Food Blog”] So you’ve got passion and patience, that’s fantastic! Both are often the most overlooked aspects of creating a blog. Look at you -you’ve got the hang of this already! So let’s take a closer look at the steps we need to take to create our blog.

Don’t worry, it may look intimidating but I’m right here to walk you through it.

  1. Domain & Hosting
  2. Installing WordPress
  3. Make it Pretty! (The very best part!)

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Your domain is the name of your blog. I said ‘Making it Pretty’ was the best part, but honestly, this is pretty fun too!

What do you want your blog to be called?

The most effective way to come up with a name is to brainstorm as many ideas as possible. Is there a certain ingredient you like to cook with? Any descriptive words someone would use to describe you? Your favorite food? Are you dairy free, gluten free, vegan or vegetarian? All of those can play a part in creating a name that sets you apart from the rest of the blogging crowd.

Take your time. Mix and match phrases, play with words until you’ve hit the sweet spot.

NOTE: It is EXTREMELY important to pay attention to how your domain looks and sounds. Names that are very long, difficult to spell, contain made up words (such as combining two words together), or contain words that are purposely misspelled (such as Fone for Phone or Phat for Fat) can make it very difficult for readers to remember and find you!

Once you’ve found the perfect name, it’s time to decide on a host.

Hosting is a lot like renting an office space for your blog, and you need a large enough ‘office space’ to accommodate all your lovely readers. Too small of a host, and your website crashes whenever you get a large influx of readers (which is never good).

The two hosts I recommend are Bluehost and Netfirms. Both are equal in quality, so you can’t go wrong. The largest difference between the two is that (unfortunately for us Canadians) you are not able to register a .ca domain on Bluehost. On the flip side, Bluehost will give you your domain name for free if you host with them while Netfirms will not. Alternatively, if you wanted both worlds, you can always register a .ca on Netfirms and get Bluehost to host it.

For this post, we will be strictly focusing on how to get a host with Bluehost. Don’t fear Netfirm and Canadian lovers, a post on how to get started with Netfirms is on the way!

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Plan-Bluehost.jpg” url=”http://www.bluehost.com/track/thehumblekitchen” url_new_window=”on” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb” title=”BlueHost”] To begin, click “Get Started Now” and you’ll be redirected to a webpage that looks like this.

You are required to pick a package first. Which package you choose is up to you, but I would recommend the basic package when you are first starting out.

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” custom_padding=”17.9688px|0px|0px|0px”][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] Now we get to enter the perfect name we chose at the beginning! Remember that Bluehost gives you your domain for free if you sign up with them. If the domain is already taken, you may need to go back to name planning. [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Sign-up-now.jpg” url=”http://www.bluehost.com/track/thehumblekitchen/” url_new_window=”on” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” custom_padding=”4px|0px|16px|0px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] Again, be wary of names that are too long, difficult to spell, purposely misspelled and so on. Once you find the perfect, untaken name enter it and click to the next screen. Alternatively, if you already have a domain, you can enter it in the right hand box. [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” custom_padding=”0px|0px|0px|0px”][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] Next, you’ll be brought to a screen to create your account. You’ll be asked to fill out your standard personal information (name, country, and so on).

Underneath, you’ll see a screen to modify your package. You can choose to purchase your domain for 1, 2, 3, or 5 years. The longer you host with them, the lower the monthly cost and higher the savings.

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As for the add-ons, they’re completely up to you! However, out of all of them, I’d recommend the Domain Privacy Protection. The information for who owns a domain is accessible to anyone on the internet. With Domain Privacy Protection, you will remain the owner of the domain, but only Bluehost’s information will be listed for the whole world to see.

Next, you enter your payment information, create your password, and you’re well on your way to your very own blog!

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” custom_padding=”17.9688px|0px|0px|0px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb” title=”Step 2: Installing WordPress” url_new_window=”on”] Once you’ve completed registration with Bluehost you’ll need to go through the process of installing WordPress. WordPress is a blogging software, the most popular type of blogging software to be precise. As of 2014, there was 74,652,825 sites that rely on good ol’ wordpress, so it should come to no surprise that it’s also the software that I use for The Humble Kitchen. As the polar opposite of a techy person, I promise you it’s super easy to use and super easy to install to your website. Here’s how: [/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] Log into your Bluehost account and access your cPanel. Under the ‘Website’ section, click ‘Install WordPress’. [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Install-wordpress.jpg” url=”http://www.bluehost.com/track/thehumblekitchen” url_new_window=”on” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] Okay, now for the next step. Once upon a time, this was even simpler to do, but thanks to Mojo they made it a whole lot more difficult than it needs to be. One click my rear end. Thanks a lot Mojo. Don’t worry, it still is simple…we’ve just got some extra clicking to do! [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Install-WordPress-2.jpg” url=”http://www.bluehost.com/track/thehumblekitchen” url_new_window=”on” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] After clicking “Install WordPress” from the screen above you will be taken to the Bluehost Marketplace.

Click ‘Get Started’.

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] Below this install domain section is a bunch of WordPress ‘Done for You’ kits. Ignore it and save yourself the money, we got this by ourselves. Select your domain for installation, leave the directory section blank then click ‘Next’. [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/select-domain2.jpg” url=”http://www.bluehost.com/track/thehumblekitchen” url_new_window=”on” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/install-database-3.jpg” url=”http://www.bluehost.com/track/thehumblekitchen” url_new_window=”on” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] Now it’s time to enter some basic information about your website. The website name, your username (mine is just ‘Savannah’), email, and your password.

Make sure all three boxes are checked, then click ‘Install’.

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] WordPress is now installing. Let’s be real that was like at least five clicks Mojo. Once you see the words “Your Installation Was Successful” copy down all the installation details. These details are your wordpress admin dashboard link, your login, and your password. This is super important. Maybe write it down on a piece of paper and save a copy of it to your computer, just in case.

Seriously, Write. It. Down.

To access your new blog, click on the link ending in ‘/wp-admin’. You’ll then be face to face with your new blog’s log in page. Take the time to bookmark this page, you’ll be coming here often!

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Wordpress-login.jpg” animation=”off” align=”center”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] Enter your username and password then say hello to your very own blog!

Congratulations!

Many people never take the leap into the blogging world, so give yourself a huuuge  pat on the back! Turn up “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira and let’s have a little happy dance session to celebrate! [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb” title=”Step 3: Make it Pretty!”]

The very best part!

Time to let your creativity shine and make your blog an (internet) home!

Your new blog already comes equipped with a basic WordPress theme. A theme determines the look and feel of your website. Its up to you whether you choose to purchase a custom theme or download a free WordPress theme. Lucky for us who want to save a bit of cash, there are thousands of free WordPress themes available! Just be sure to watch the theme’s rating and try to pick one rated 4 or 5 stars, with (ideally) hundreds to thousands of downloads.

Other than that, run wild and play with as many different themes as you want!

This is your site, so pick a theme that suits and reflects you!

The Humble Kitchen has been with a premium theme provider called Elegant Themes.  I’ve specifically been using the theme aptly named ‘Extra’ since the beginning and I’ve never looked back. What sets Elegant Themes apart from other themes is something called Divi which is a visual theme builder.

No coding, no computer gibberish. Just simply write to your heart’s content, then if you need to arrange anything it’s a drag and a drop away! You’ll have complete control over how your blog looks and feels while editing your blog with this visual feature. Divi allows you to see how your blog and blog posts will look to your lovely readers in real time! No back and forth previewing, no nonsense. Perfect for people like me, who are nearly completely useless when it comes to technology but want a professional and unique blog to call their (internet) home!

Now that’s  just me, this is your internet home remember? So you do you!

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Look to the sidebar of your blog’s dashboard. Hover over ‘Appearance’ and then click on ‘Themes’. Here you will see a few theme options that are already installed on your blog. They are free to use to your heart’s content.

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Appearance-themes.jpg” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] However, if you aren’t happy with the themes WordPress has already downloaded for you, simply click ‘Add new’ and you’ll have access to the thousands of themes that WordPress has available. Alternatively, if you already have a theme installed you can upload it by clicking ‘Upload Theme’ on that same page. [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Add-Themes.jpg” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Upload-Theme.jpg” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] If a theme that has caught your eyes, simply hover over your desired theme to view the details and preview it. Do this with as many themes that spark creativity and delight! Once you love what you see, simply click ‘Install’ and then ‘Activate’. [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” custom_padding=”17.9688px|0px|14px|0px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Add-Themes2.jpg” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Activate-Theme.jpg” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] You’re nearly done! Now all that’s left is to fill it with your words, stories, and pictures. This is your story and your chance to share it with the world! 

Before I cut you loose, let’s go over how to write your very first post.

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In your dashboard, hover over ‘Posts’ and then click ‘Add New’.

You’ll be brought to a rather blank screen with formatting options that look kind of similar to Word. So hopefully they’ll look familiar to you too!

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Here is your blank canvas where you can write to your heart’s content!

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” custom_padding=”17.9688px|0px|0px|0px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Blank-Blogpost.jpg” animation=”off”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] [/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”] Don’t be afraid to write whatever comes to mind, and remember to have fun with it! To add images simply click ‘Add media’, and you’ll be able to upload any images you have on your computer. Be very careful about using images that aren’t your own though, especially ones off Google. You could get into some major trouble. It’s far better to take your own pictures or purchase stock photos through Shutterstock or something similar.

Other than that, run wild with it!

Once you’re done simply click ‘Publish’ and you’ve just become an official blogger!

P.s. You’ll notice a couple things on my screen that you won’t have, such as The Divi Builder which is the visual builder I mentioned before (unless you also decided on Elegant Themes too of course!) and the Amazon Associates link which allows me to link to Amazon. Trust me, that’s a whole other blog post… but if you want to use it too I’ve got the plugin called Amazon Associates Link Builder.

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How does that feel? You’ve created your very own blog!

Welcome to the blogging world my friend!

This is merely the beginning, there is still so much to learn and so much to discover when creating your own blog. Even now, I’m still learning and figuring out new tricks of the trade so be sure to refer back to my resource page often for up to date plugins, helpful tools for ranking on google, and of course some websites to help promote your brand new blog!

My final piece of advice?

Let your personality shine through your words and pictures. Expose your quirks, guilty pleasures (like listening to Despacito on repeat for days on end…), and your blunders along the way. We’re all human after all. Overtime you’ll grow, learn, and meet some amazing like-minded friends!

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get right into it!

This article contains affiliate links. While at no extra cost to you, The Humble Kitchen automatically receives a small commission if you so choose to purchase a product through this blog. Thank you for your continued love and support <3

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Categories
Health

In Defense Of Food | Movie Review

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EAT FOOD. NOT TOO MUCH. MOSTLY PLANTS

Michael Pollan takes on a no BS, cut and dry approach to a problem that plagues us -the obesity epidemic. I was hooked from the very beginning and must say that it’s brilliantly refreshing. What is the simple solution to eating healthy?

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

In this documentary, Michael calls out the big food corporations who not only confuse us with misleading labels but actively villainize things like fat, gluten, and sugar (all while they make a buck, Cha-ching!).  No wonder so much confusion exists about what we should and shouldn’t eat when boxes are literally screaming “FAT-FREE”, “GLUTE- FREE”, “LOW FAT”, “SUGAR FREE” just begging to be picked.

Not only does he cut through all the corporation nonsense, throughout the whole movie Michael gives us several tips to guide us on this journey to healthy food and healthy eating, and believe it or not this is just a few of them! P.S The last one is definitely my personal favorite!

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So if you’re a foodie like me and ready to curl up with a good, BS free documentary then look no further! Climb into your fuzzy pajamas, pop some gourmet popcorn or grab some No Bake. No Fuss. Energy Bites, and snuggle up to your favorite blanket.

Here’s a little teaser, and the best part? It’s on Netflix right now!

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I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did, and remember: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

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Categories
Recipes

Homemade Chocolate Recipe | Dairy Free

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By now I’m sure you’ve all caught on about my love of chocolate and seriously dangerous sweet tooth… well… It’s back guys. Once again, mere days after of the chocolate binge which will now be formally known as the incident of ’17, (which left my hands absolutely destroyed thanks to my friend, Eczema) I found myself once again plauged with the burning desire for chocolate.

Except for the incident of ’17, I’ve spent over a month (going on two!) without chocolates and sweets…Don’t judge me guys, that’s a long time for a sweets addict! I already gave up my dear ice cream, what more do you want from me!?

As with the incident of ’17, I spent days mentally fighting off my sweet tooth. I did everything in my power to hold it off -from bribing it with assortments of fruits to down right ignoring it. Of couse, it remained. It wanted chocolate, and nothing less. However, not wanting to repeat my terrible mistake I figured there must be something I could do to get my sweet tooth to lay off.

Knowing I absolutely can’t have dairy, I began a rather short playtime in the kitchen. As long as it kinda tasted like chocolate, I was golden. I‘ve got no shame guys; I got so excited about this chocolate recipe AND the fact that I could actually eat something chocolately that I was literally stuffing my face. I got carried away and absolutely COVERED. My shirt, my hair, my face. All of it! 

For a visual I kinda looked….exactly like this:

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No Regrets.

So if the chocolate bug’s gotten to you too, turn up “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” by Eurythmics and let’s just get right into it!

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  • 1 cup of 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup of  maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of Himalayan Pink, Sel Gris, Alaea (or any other mineral sea salt)

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In a small bowl mix, whisk all ingredients together.

Pour into chocolate bar molds, cover with a layer of plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Break apart the chocolate and enjoy!

Or

Line a bread pan with parchment paper and pour the chocolate mixture into the pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Slice into bite sized chunks and enjoy!

Or (what I personally did)

If you’re old school like me fill a saucepan with 2 inches of water and place a glass bowl inside. Turn the burner to medium-low heat. Pour chocolate mixture in the glass bowl and stir occasionally.

If you’re not old school, and actually have a fondue pot – use that!

Slice up your favorite fruits and enjoy a quick fondue enough to satisfy any tough craving. Plus, you’re eating fruit so that makes it kinda okay…right?

NOTE: Just a heads up -this chocolate definitely has more of a darker, bittersweet flavor rather than the sweet milk chocolate!

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What you can add to your chocolate is pretty much endless (although I admit I’ve never tried adding this to a fondue mixture, but who knows, maybe it’s fantastic!). Try adding some or all of the following to your homemade chocolate for some added love:

  • Shredded coconut
  • Chopped nuts (peanuts, almonds, ect)
  • Cinnamon
  • Rasins/Crasins
  • Pumpkin seeds/Sunflower seeds
  • Crushed Pretzels

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So there we have it, the answer to my prayers: Chocolate without dairy. Now with a satisfied sweet tooth, I’ll be able to get on with my life for at least a couple more days before the monster craving comes back. Hope you found the answers to your prayers and enjoyed this as much as I did!

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

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Categories
DIY Health

How To Keep A Food Diary for Food Sensitivities

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Over two thousand years ago Hippocrates, the father of medicine said “All disease begins in the gut”. While claiming that all disease begins in the gut is a bit of a stretch, we can certainly appreciate the gut-heath connection. After all, 70% of our immune system is located in our gastrointestinal tract.

Though often used for weight loss, food diaries can be an extremely beneficial and often overlooked tool for eczema (as well as IBS, and leaky gut syndrome -just to name a few). A food diary is often accompianed by an elimination diet, however it’s up to you whether you decide to cut out the main culprits for a basic elimination diet or whether you push through and start avoiding food based on your reactions.

That being said, most food sensitivities are a result of an unhealthy gut. Giving your tummy a break (for 23-30 days) from refined sugary foods and major triggers can go a long way to helping repair your gut!

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  • Keep you accountable – Especially when on an elimination diet. Bye bye sneaking delicous off limit foods and devouring chocolate. See: I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake.
  • Give you a hard copy of your symptoms – So you can do some detective work and figure out your food culprit(s).
  • Moniter heath – Stress, mood, and good ol’ #2.

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Pick up any old notebook and a pen. Ideally, the notebook will be on the small side and will fit comfortably in a coat pocket or purse – You want to bring this thing everywhere. As with anything in life, the more thorough you are -the better.

Start by taking note of everything going on with your body: Rashes, nausea, bloating, itchy-ness, energy level, fogginess -you name it. Write it down. This will give you something to refer back to.

Write down everything you eat and drink: Every bite, every sip, ingredients, even condiments. Don’t disregard a food or drink just because you thought it was a small amount, even a little bit could cause a reaction.

Write down what time you ate and what time symptoms appear: Food intolerances and sensitivities can be tricky;  in most cases symptoms don’t appear until several hours later. When they do show up, rate the severity of your symptoms from 1-10. One being slight irritation and ten being unbearable.

Your food diary will remember everything, so you don’t have to. This will make it far easier to make connections between symptoms and culprit foods versus depending on memory alone.

Write down #2: Yup, good ol number two. Although an awkward subject to talk about, there’s no better way to track how your body is handling food on the inside than by noticing what comes out on …the outside. Rate the bowel movement from 1 to 10. One being normal and ten being severe constipation or diarrhea. Check out Wellness Mama’s Guide to Poop and Digestive Health.

To keep snoops from reading about my bodily functions (since I carry it everywhere), I simply write 2 __ and whatever the rating was. Sneaky, sneaky.

For an extra measure: Make a note whenever you are particularly stressed and how you felt throughout the day.

Overtime, you’ll start to notice patterns emerging. You’ll learn what foods make you feel good, and what food makes you feel bad.

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While you can continue on your merry way with the food diary, I strongly believe that this entire process is incomplete without an elimination diet.

Here is a very basic elimination diet process: 

Ideally, you would begin by eliminating the top triggers, as well as refined sugar and alcohol. These are:

  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts & Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat & Gluten
  • Fast Food & Refined Sugars
  • Alcohol

Scary, I know.

It’s important to note that while these are the top triggers, everyone is different. There are reports of people reacting to anything from nightshades to herbal tea, thus it is important to keep up a food diary even when doing an elimination diet.

If that list terrifies you: Keep a detailed food diary for a couple weeks, then use your mad detective skills to figure out what foods make you feel good and which ones worsen your symptoms. Avoid all the feel bad foods. Note: Efforts should still be made to avoid alcohol and refined sugars even if you don’t react to them as sugar helps yeast and bad bacteria in your gut thrive.

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Why 23 days? Hold on, it’s about to get sciency in here:

Antibodies are protein molecules made by the immune system. They are produced to counteract antigens which are toxins, foreign or harmless substances that induce an immune response. The lifespan for these antibodies is roughly 23 days, hence the 23 day guideline.

Once at least 23 days are over (I go for 30), you can gradually re-introduce the troublesome foods one at a time and see if you react.

For example: If you were avoiding dairy, gluten, and nuts then on the 24th day you would introduce one food group.

We’ll start with dairy.

Maybe on the 24th day we’ll drink a glass of milk and eat some slices of cheese throughout the day. This is not the time to dig into pizza or anything else that has multiple triggers, or that could get confusing! Eat a serving or two of dairy throughout the day (along with your healthy, safe foods -of course) but keep avoiding the other triggers.

Moniter your reactions -if any, for 2 days.

During those two days, you’ll go back to avoiding all trigger foods. If you had no adverse reaction over those two days,  you could safely add dairy back into your diet. Then you would move onto the next food group, repeating the same process, testing one trigger group for one day and gauging the reaction over the next two.

If you do react, then you’ve likely located a food intolerance or allergy and measures should be taken to seek out alterantive options or sources for that food group to ensure you continue getting all your essential vitamins and nutrients. A nutritionist will be able to help.

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Keeping a food diary may seem like a lot of work, but it quickly becomes a powerful tool for proactively managing your eczema (IBS, leaky gut, or whatever else it may be), and preventing nasty flare-ups or symptoms. When combined with an elimination diet, many people go back to eating the foods they once loved without any adverse reactions after healing their gut (ice cream, I’m coming for you!).

Whether you choose to create a food diary or not, I hope you find health at the end of the road.

Health & Happiness,

Savannah 

P.S I just want to let you know that I am not a medical doctor, nurse, and so on. I have based my writings upon my own experiences, opinions, and extensive research regarding the topics in my blog. Therefore, read my disclaimer and use the information within my blog appropriately and at your own risk 

 

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Categories
Recipes

Picnic Potato Salad

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Hey Boo Boo! Looks like we’ve got ourselves a picnic potato salad! Not only is this red potato salad recipe creamy (and delicious), but it’s incredibly EASY. Let’s get started by putting on “Take me home tonight” by Eddie Money, and get ready to master this classic once and for all.

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Serves:  8   Prep: 10 minutes   Cook: 20 minutes   Total Time: 30 minutes

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  • 8 red potatoes, diced into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (for boiled potatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon of Rosemary Sea Salt (for boiled potatoes)

 

DRESSING

  • 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink or Sel Gris Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs
  • Parsley

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Peel red potatoes if desired (you’ll be missing out on some nutrients if you do, plus not peeling is less work. Gotta love that!). If you aren’t peeling them, scrub the skin thoroughly. Dice potatoes into bite-sized pieces.

In a large pot add diced potatoes, chopped rosemary, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil and cook until soft -roughly 20 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.

If you don’t have hard boiled eggs handy, start them now. Place eggs in a pot covering them in 1-2 inches of cold water. Turn burner to high heat, bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, remove pot from heat and let them sit in the hot water for roughly 10-12 minutes. Strain and rinse eggs in cold water to stop the cooking. Place in fridge until ready to use. In a large bowl, mix together mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Add cooled diced potatoes and diced celery stalks. Mix until potatoes are evenly covered. Peel and slice hard boiled eggs, stir into potato mixture. Sprinkle with parsley for color. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days. [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”http://thehumblekitchen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/potatosalad2.jpg” animation=”off” sticky=”on”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_blurb admin_label=”Blurb”]

That’s all there is to homemade creamy potato salad! You’re well on your way to being picnic ready. Put on some shorts, lay down a checkered blanket, and get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

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Categories
Health

How To Eat At Friends And Loved Ones Homes With Dietary Restrictions

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It’s amazing how a gathering that’s supposed to bring so much joy and laughter can become such a challenging and awkward situation. Being lactose intolerant (and with dairy being my number one eczema trigger), I swear my hands start itching when I watch milk being added to a dish.

I hold my breath while I listen to the host’s ingredient list being rambled off praying for a dish I can eat itch and worry-free…

“…potatoes…onions…cheese”

Dammit.

Been there? Me too. It’s awkward being the one people have to accommodate for, but here’s how to survive it.

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Don’t be afraid to gently remind your host about your dietary restrictions.

Try to do so the moment they invite you so that they have adequate time to prepare. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve already told them, or that you think that they should remember ‘by now’. People are far too busy with their own lives to worry about you and your diet.

Did the dish still wind up being something you can’t stomach?

Don’t take it personally, just because they didn’t remember doesn’t mean they don’t care. Keep in mind that not everyone has a pantry full of substitutes for dairy, gluten, or whatever else it may be.

 

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 Help out your host (and you!)  by offering to bring a dish, and be sure to make enough to share. You’ll be guaranteed to eat without worry, and who knows -maybe it’ll leave your loved ones begging for more!

Not sure what to make? Here’s a bit of inspiration:

 

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 Now I don’t mean kicking, screaming, crying, and otherwise just having a major tantrum on the floor… I mean I suppose you could, you certainly wouldn’t have to worry about being invited back over anytime soon…(so maybe?).

What I actually mean is take small portions of the dish your host generously provided and pick through your food (and around your all your ‘no-no’ foods).

We’ve all seen kids pickily go through their food, have we not?

While this means you may not be the one at the table with the most manners, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. Keep in mind that just because you are channeling your inner 3-year old it doesn’t mean you have to also make a fuss and draw attention to yourself by disgustedly pushing food to the side.

(Unless  of course, you don’t want to be invited back… so again… maybe?)

Fill up the rest of your plate with veggies, salad or anything else that’s sure to make your tummy happy.

Smile wide and say your (as my 3-year-old cousin would say) “pwease and tank yous”

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 So there is literally absolutely NOTHING tummy and itch safe on the table?

The host’s main dish has milk laced throughout, EVERY SINGLE bun in the entire house is already buttered, dessert is 14 scoops of ice cream, and by God there’s even cheese melted over the salad!

Melted cheese on a salad? Are they trying to kill me!?

So what now -as the guilt starts building up inside of you– is there to do?

Pull up your big kid panties and walk over to the host. Graciously apologize and explain that, as much as you would love to dig into their delicious cheese salad… that you just can’t do it. Chances are right then and there, your lovely host will at the start pulling out anything they think could work for you.

Try not to let the guilt eat you up, it’s alright.

From there, go on and get your hands dirty. Your host has done more than enough for you, so insist on putting together your own plate of goodies from the tummy safe food they provided.

Be sure to whole heartily thank them.

 

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This is a habit I’ve picked up recently, but not exclusively for going over to people’s houses.

The whole habit started once I chose to cut out dairy. While my loved ones could just pull into any fast food joint or sit down at any restaurant, I had to be a little more careful about what was in my food (does everything have cheese on it nowadays? Good gracious!).

Let’s just say I learned the hard way that I can get real hangry real quick if I go without food. So in order to save myself and my loved ones,  I constantly have a stash of safe snacks in my purse, in my car, and at least one in my jacket.

Now when that salad quit sticking to your bones, and everyone around you is scooping up bowls of ice cream (R.I.P. my favorite and forbidden dessert), you can go to your jacket and pull out a treat for yourself.

I’d love to have a wide variety of suggestions for you, but I don’t. The only snack I carry with me is my No Bake. No Fuss. Energy Bites. They’re naturally sweetened with honey and are usually just enough to get rid of a dessert craving (even when you still long for ice cream).

So there we have it, five eating out survival tactics. Let me know if you’ve got another tactic, and let me in on your favorite emergency snacks!

Health and Happiness,

Savannah

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