Ingredients FAQ

The following list consists of common ingredients I use and their benefits, as well as miscellaneous information I find worth sharing, all organized alphabetically.  I like to think of it as a “Cheat Sheet”.  Leave a comment if there’s something I’ve mentioned that you’d like to see here!

Almond Butter:

  • Ingredients should include almonds only, no additives
  • I buy mine from the bulk section in Whole Foods (they offer organic and conventional) or HEB
  • I use this instead of peanut butter – other options include cashew butter, sunflower butter (but I’ve personally only used/cooked with almond butter)

Almond Milk – I would like to attempt a homemade version eventually, but for now we prefer to buy the Silk Unsweetened Original (to use in any type of dish, but specifically cauliflower or potato mashers, salty dishes etc) or Silk Unsweetened Vanilla (for sweet dishes) for it’s flavor and GMO free

Apple Cider Vinegar:


  • Grass fed – helps to meet a local farmer
  • You can save your bones to make a broth (need to expand on gelatin health benefits)

Bison – “It is all grass fed” says the guy at Whole Foods with a smirk.  I guess I’m the dummy.

BPA – Bisphenol A:

  • Found in resins lining canned goods and in plastics
  • FDA states possible danger to fetus, infants and young children if in high exposure
  • Could possibly effect the thyroid, reproductive organs, neurological function, concerns for tumors and different types of cancer – the amount a person is exposed to on a daily basis is difficult to measure, so there are many studies out there

Butter – See “Ghee”

Cayenne Pepper:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Spiciness caused by “capsaicin”, a substance studied for its pain relieving effects, cardiovascular benefits, and ability to prevent ulcers – and it’s what assists in the clearing of your sinuses!
  • Might help reduce blood cholesterol, increase cardiovascular function
  • 2 tsp provides almost half of your daily Vitamin A

Chia Seeds – High in Omega-3, Fiber, Calcium, Antioxidants, Protein


  • Organic fed
  • Free range/pasture raised
  • Air chilled (worth noting, but not a “must”) – keeps bacteria at a minimum during slaughter process, also results in a more juicy, tender and flavorful dish.  “Great for roasts” as stated on the Whole Foods website.

Chicken broth:


  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-microbial (stops growth of bacteria)
  • If paired with sugary/high carb foods, lowers the impact on your blood sugar levels
  • Scent alone increases brain function/attention (based on some studies)
  • I buy this one, but I have my eye on a Ceylon cinnamon at a local spice shop when I run out

Coconut Milk:

  • Organic
  • Found in International/Asian food section at my grocery store or I buy in bulk via Amazon here
  • Full fat is nice and thick

Coconut Oil:


  • Organic
  • Cage free/pasture raised – chickens allowed to roam outdoors under the sun, while eating a more natural diet of plants and insects resulting in high levels of Vitamin D, omega 3’s and beta carotene found in the yolks
  • Eat the yolks!


  • Grass Fed – I buy this one
  • Contains collagen – help prevent and improve wrinkles, stretch marks, joint care

Ghee (aka:  clarified butter):

GMO – Genetically Modified Organism:

  • Soy and Corn and Canola products are almost always GM, even if “organic” – have foreign genes forced into their DNA to make a plant/crop more resistant to pesticides, diseases and insects in order to increase crop production and sales
  • GMO’s should be avoided – can be found in most all processed foods
  • Can cause inflammatory reaction and other potential health risks
  • Increased allergic reactions in foods containing GMO vs natural foods


  • Local, raw (I buy this from my farmers market)
  • Can help prevent allergies
  • Anti-bacterial, Anti-viral, Anti-fungal
  • Do not heat to high temps – it will break down the benefits

Kale – High in Vitamin K, A, C, Calcium, Beta Carotene, Antioxidants

Liquid Aminos – Bragg’s brand:

  • Contains 16 Amino Acids
  • High in protein
  • Use in place of soy sauce

Milk – (see Almond Milk or Coconut Milk)

Nutritional Yeast – High in B Vitamins

Pork – it helps to know a local farmer!

  • We do eat bacon (nitrate free) and save the lard for cooking other meals
  • On the rare occasion I make a pork loin-type meal, I buy the “Natural” pork fed vegetarian diets without hormones


  • Wild Caught
  • I prefer Alaskan
  • “Atlantic” almost always mean farm raised
  • If you buy canned, look for BPA free cans


  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidants

Vanilla Extract:

  • Gluten free
  • Organic

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