Dairy Free SUPER Fruitcake Smoothie {Paleo}

When I was a kid, I used to get giddy when we hit the last 5 days till Christmas. It meant school was out and I hadn’t a worry in the world. Plus I knew I was on the nice list. I was a goody two shoes, so Santa loved me! ;-)

Well, today that giddy feeling is kinda still there, but along with it is a feeling of being rushed. Like an “oh crap I haven’t bought any gifts yet” kind of feeling. And an “oh my gosh why are these lines SO LONG let’s hurry it up people” kind of feeling. I know you can relate, right?

Yes, I am that woman. The last minute shopper. One who rushes to get it all done in one or two days! I blame my husband. He’s super low key and saves everything to last minute, and over the course of our 7 year marriage, I’ve adapted to his ways…. hence Crazy Cotter Syndrome.

Okay okay, I don’t blame everything on him, but I do blame myself. Being caught up in “life” obligations can be distracting. It can can cause me to miss this whole “HOLIDAY” season. It can cause me to STRESS instead of slow down and DE-STRESS. It can cause me to forget to rest and digest.

Rest and Digest –> physically and mentally. Take a day, or two, or three, to digest REAL food. To let the nervous system calm down from all the hustle and bustle. To digest the SEASON (the slower the better).

This past weekend I took “DIGEST ” day.  And to kick it off, I focused on MAXIMIZING my nutrients with a festive SUPER “fruitcake” smoothie.

super fruitcake smoothie (paleo)

What’s in my SUPER FRUITCAKE smoothie?

super fruitcake smoothie (Paleo 2)

  • Grass fed Beef Gelatin ->  helps soothe the colon so that nutrients may be absorbed and reduce any reflux caused my acid binding foods. Plus did you know that it actually has an ANTI-STRESS effect? It’s TRUE!
  • Pumpkin – Vitamin A and Fiber
  • Banana- Potassium
  • Cocoa – Unsweetened. Packed with Antioxidants
  • Chocolate Nuttzo – Good Fat and Omegas (plus the brazil nuts have serotonin –> good for adrenals)
  • Coconut Milk – Dairy Free and Good Source of Saturated Fat (the good kind)
  • Blueberry Bai 5 – An antioxidant drink with Coffee Fruit (don’t worry, doesn’t taste like coffee, it’s the fruit in which the bean is grown). Coffee fruit is a amazing SUPER FRUIT rich in antioxidants and helps fight free radicals. Remember, free radicals cause cell damage. Free radicals are caused by… well… STRESS.

bai 5

See, a fruitcake in a DELICIOUS and NUTRITIOUS form!

Dairy Free SUPER Fruitcake Smoothie {Paleo}

Serving size: 1

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup coconut or almond milk
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup blueberry Bai 5 drink (Or Blueberry Juice)
  • 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp chocolate almond or hazelnut butter (I used Nuttzo)
  • 2 tbsp grass feed beef gelatin -- The one that dissolves, not gels. (or whey protein if you prefer)
  • optional add in --> frozen berries
  1. Add liquid ingredients to blender. Then add in your fruit and puree and protein. Blend and serve! YUM!
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

You diggin this yet? If not, you so should! Trust me!

super fruitcake smoothie 2 (4 of 1)

Alright friends, time to tackle the last bit of shopping. I’m feeling energized and FESTIVE! The countdown to Christmas is on, bring it!

Favorite festive smoothie? Are you taking time to digest during the Holiday season? 

Stay thirsty, HEALTHY, and have a marvelous Monday!

Looking for More MEATLESS Monday recipes? Check out Deborah and Tina’s Link up!

LC (aka Crazy Cotter)


Thai Coconut Cabbage Soup {Paleo}

Last week I spoke about my love for coconut and cranberries in a soothing smoothie (for gut health). My husband (aka the kiwi) also happened to chat about rest/taking it easy. I guess you could say a little TLC is needed these days, and that is A-OKAY by me!

This week the love of soothing foods for gut health continues, along with more coconut. But let me explain why here. Hang with me.

Thai coconut soup with cabbage www.cottercrunch.com

You see, when the body (or at least my body) is under a certain amount of stress, digestion needs a little more support. This is usually why we back of high volume or intense training, and why we focus on getting nutrient dense foods in the system. But it can be tricky. The body responds differently to certain foods for EACH person.

For us, smoothies and soup can give you more bang for you buck. Easy on the stomach but allow you add in KEY nourishment., such as herbs and spices! Adding in herbs and spices are also a great way to significantly increase the nutritional value of your meals, plus many herbs and spices serve as digestive aids.

Thai coconut soup with cabbage2 (4 of 1)

Hence my love affair with soup! It’s full of good broth, you can add in extra gelatin (see here why it’s good for gut health), herbs, spices, fats (like coconut milk), etc.

For this one, I took out the grains (like rice), and replaced it with cooked cabbage slaw. It’s soothing, nourishing, and just plain good for the soul!

Thai Coconut Cabbage Soup (Paleo)

Serves: 3-4

If you are not comfortable making your own broth, then i would use Nona Lims Thai Coconut Lime Broth
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1¾ cups unsweetened light coconut milk (15-ounce can)
  • 1 to 2 red chiles seeds removed, sliced or diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • dash of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 quart organic chicken broth or homemade stock
  • lemon grass - I tried using 1tbsp of ground lemon grass paste, but you can also use 2-3 stalks of fresh lemon grass (mash the ends)
  • 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup cabbage or broccoli slaw
  • Optional add ins: shrimp, chicken, tofu, etc., sirirachi, dried basil
  1. First, sauté your cabbage slaw in oil, lime, garlic, and pepper. Set aside. (be sure not to cook all the way)
  2. Next, in a large pot, bring to boil your herbs, spices, and broth. Let is simmer about 10 minutes then add in your cabbage and simmer another 5 minutes.
  3. Next add in your coconut milk and another protein you want to add if desired.
  4. Mix in the your peppers (chiles) and cilantro and serve with sirirachi on top.
  5. Note --> don't like cilantro? Try using sweet basil instead
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

For those of you who prefer to buy your broths, I highly recommend using Nona Lims broths! I used their miso pho and their thai curry lime in similar ways! The best!

nona lim broths

Now let’s get get cooking! Your gut will thank you.

thai coconut soup with cabbage 4 (4 of 1)

What’s your favorite type of herb to use in soup? 

Have  meatless Monday recipe to share? Be sure to link up with Tina and Deborah!




Since we are on the topic of NOURISHMENT, check out my friend Laura (mommyrunfaster) RESET program going on next month! A 21 day challenge to really RESET your health and focus on whole foods! She’s offering 10$ off the program to Cotter Crunch readers with the code COTTER! If you want to hear about last year’s program and success stories, go here!

3 Ways to Eat (or Drink) MCT Oil

MCT Oil. It’s the new craze, isn’t it? Well, at least that’s what I’ve been hearing and what I’ve been asked about over and over again. What is it? Why is it so good for us? How should I use it? Etc. Etc. Etc.

I will be quite honest, it can be confusing. All this good fat vs saturated fat talk. I am pretty sure our society is confused as well; Fat has been used in such a negative for the past 20 years. But there’s hope! Yes! All we need is a little clarification and explanation.

So let’s talk about it. Fat. Saturated Fat. MCT oil (Fat).

Ways to use MCT oil

I’ll explain how we use it and why I think it’s a great NUTRITION tool for endurance athletes. Sound good?

First things first. What is MCT oil?

MCT oil is Coconut Oil made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Medium chain triglycerides are a special kind of lipid (fat). These triglycerides are quite unique in their chemical formal (structure) in that they bypass the regular digestion: intestines, to liver to, blood.

Instead, these fats are digested fast and easily.  MCTs are absorbed right away and taken to the liver, where they are used directly for glucose. Similar to the process of simple sugar/carbohydrates absorption. It’s fast and can be converted to ENERGY STAT! This is why it’s great for endurance athletes. Instead of a spoonful of sugar, try a spoonful of MCT oil for quick energy! This is also why some endurance athletes carry MCT oil on their long rides, runs, etc.

That being said, the way each body rapidly DIGEST fats is very individualized. So it’s best to test it out for yourself first. Usually 1-2 tbsp a day is plenty. We use Barlean’s MCT Swirl and 15ml dosage.


Another reason we LOVE MCT oil is to regulate blood sugar and use insulin better. We usually take MCT in between meals for this very reason. The last thing we want it for blood sugar to spike and cause more hormonal fluctuation or adrenal fatigue. Remember that topic? see here to refresh.

And lastly, I personally use MCT oil to get in more fat. Since having a parasite, my stomach is sensitive (at times) to FODMAPS and certain fats. Using MCT oil is easy on my gut and can help me SAFELY increase my fats. But I also make sure to take my digestive enzymes, for maximum absorption. For more on that topic, check out this article.

Okay, now we know why MCT oil is so awesome. But how can we use it? Well, that’s easy. You can use it in almost EVERYTHING.

Here are our 3 favorite ways to use MCT Oil.


First, The Coffee (Bulletproof) Smoothie. Oh yes, you’ve heard me talk about it before. Sometimes we use ghee or butter, but most the time it’s MCT oil, organic coffee, almond milk, and maybe some whey protein. Taste like a latte, but the energy lasts much longer! You can also just add MCT oil to your coffee to get it an extra PERK. ;-)

Second, i LOVE to use in baking. I don’t do it often (due to budgeting) but when i do I use in place of butter or chocolate for dairy free baking/treats. Try this homemade hazelnut latte coconut bark.

hazelnut fig bark

And last but not least, MCT oil is great to use in cooking. You can use it to sear or pan fry fish. Like we did with salted cinnamon salmon.


Or you can replace your standard olive oil dressing and use MCT oil. I made one with MCT oil, lemon, yogurt, and avocado. Simply delicious on a cranberry walnut salad!

MCT oil avo yogurt dressing

Hope this helps clarify the saturated fat and MCT oil confusion. And if you are looking for more oil blends that are good for your health, I highly recommend Barleans Specialty Swirls. Love them!

Barleans Specialty Swirls

Okay, nutrition overload. Hope you made it through the post.

Do you use MCT oil? If so, I’d Love to hear how! 



Disclaimer: Barleans sent us these products free of charge. We love them. Yes, that is both our opinions. Always.

Build a Better Breakfast in a Bowl – Grain Free Sesame Squash Porridge

Happy Labor Day Folks! Today I have one of my favorite Canadian friends (Blends) sharing an amazing recipe and her health journey here today. Christa (from edible balance) and I met at Blend 2013 but had been blog friends long before that.

Christa is one heck of a chef in the kitchen and a beautiful person in general. I’m so blessed to call her my friend. That being said, I wanted her to chat about both her passions, food and nutrition! Since I chatted about my random (not boring) breakfast porridge from last weeks food hacks post, I thought it might be good to continue that topic. BREAKFAST! Let’s beat the boring breakfast trend and start building a better and MORE nourishing one. Sound good? Okay, here’s Christa!

coconut fig rice pudding

Hello Cotter Crunch friends!

My name is Christa and I blog over at Edible Balance. I’m a whole food lover, diagnosed Celiac (for over 12 years now), Culinary Nutritionist and healthy living enthusiast.

edible balance

I met Lindsay just over a year ago at the 2013 Blend Retreat in Park City, Utah, but had been a reader for a quite a while before that.

Blend Fun 2013


There are people that just draw you in immediately because of a life experience shared, and our connection is no different. However, our love for nutrition, and our crazy husbands who are incredible athletes are what brought us even closer. My husband may not be a professional athlete, but he is quite competitive. I feel every single bit of Lindsay’s pain and frustration after a struggling performance in races and the major highs after huge successes. There’s nothing like a happy runner/cyclist/triathlete after completing a race where they have accomplished exactly what they were hoping for, and sometimes more! Am I right? Last weekend was definitely a good one for my husband…

photo 1 (4)

Alright, back to our shared life experiences. When I started really struggling with my health, most especially with my digestive health and hormone health (I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome last year), I found a support, encourager, and friend in Lindsay regardless of how far apart we are from each other. I know many of you feel the same, and I am quite sure I can speak for all of us in saying how grateful we all are for you crazy Cotter!

This time last year I was in a very different place, and I will fully admit, a scary one at that. I was struggling with extreme digestive issues and a slew of health problems that was catching up with me big time. I had just started an intense food elimination and was having a real hard time with it because it was summer and I couldn’t have most of the foods I loved, including all fruit and sugar, nuts, almost all seeds, nightshade vegetables and the list goes on. Just before I had started, I was also about 95% vegan. I couldn’t have dairy (which I was fine with), eggs, or grains either. I found pretty quickly that I had to incorporate a bit of meat in because I didn’t have much to rely on to keep me satiated and help to regulate my hormones, a big concern with PCOS.

Quite frankly, I was a mess. I also had to rotate all of my food, even more so for the leafy greens I was eating. Every single day had to be different for all foods, but I couldn’t have the same greens for four days. My whole life literally revolved around food.

I also had to journal absolutely everything. By the end of the almost six month process, I was spent. Thankfully I had the support of a fantastic naturopath to guide me through all of this, even as a culinary nutritionist, I felt so lost and downright emotional about it all.

This year I feel like a brand new woman! I’ve been able to eat almost everything that I have wanted to bring back into my daily routine and it feels pretty amazing actually. However, once in a while I feel that I need to scale back and have something simple. Something to soothe and calm my digestion down.

One of my favorite breakfasts to fall back on is a very simple squash porridge. Any squash can be used, but in an effort to keep it lower on the glycemic index I used spaghetti squash.

squash porridge 2

This recipe is quite simple, and my go to when I need to give my digestion a good break. The best part about it is that it can be adjusted to anyone’s taste. If you would rather a more savory dish, or if you want to use up what you have in your pantry, no problem! It’s incredibly versatile.

squash porridge

By now I have an extremely low tolerance of sugar/sweetener, so I don’t find that I need to add any to my porridge. You may wish to add it to your liking, or give yourself a bit of a challenge and try it without! Allow your taste-buds to enjoy the flavors of the spices and sesame seeds.

This breakfast just happens to be the most warming, grounding, comforting and delicious breakfasts I make. I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for having me Lindsay! xo

Christa Collie is a healthy living blogger and Culinary Nutritionist, who shares her love of clean, whole, nutritious food on her blog, Edible Balance. Most notably, her series ‘The Skin I’m In’ showcases her journey in balancing hormones and dealing with a PCOS diagnosis with a natural approach. Her aim is to encourage, inspire, and share her passion for healing and nourishing food.

Want more breakfast in bowl ideas?

Check out her Forbidden Black Rice Porridge.


My Banana Avocado Matcha Granola Bowl

banana avocado matcha bowl

And of course, my favorite recovery Porridge! ( I used gluten free steel cut oats)

Recovery porridge 3

What’s in your breakfast bowl today? Where are you on your Health Journey?

Cheers to a Marvelous Labor Day!


The Importance of DHEA and an Omega-3 Packed Recipe!

So I have a new motto.

keep calm and eat fish

Keep calm, and eat more F I S H. Yes, hear me out now! Ok?

You see, the Kiwi and I have chosen a lifestyle that throws us a lot of curveballs, meaning, one day everything is golden and the next all hell has broken loose. Hey, we get that. We’re almost used it. Take last weekend for instance. James is ready to race and I get to be there to help! We arrive safe and sound at our destination and relax until the day before. He starts to put his bike together only to realize it’s been damaged (TSA’s mishap). Curveball-> stress to get it fixed before race-> stressed because now we might have spent money on a trip that He cannot even race.

lake stevens bike

But those little mishaps are not in our control and we did the best we could to get it all in order again before the race.

Okay, so where am I going with this? Stress. I can’t do anything to help my husband’s situation, but I can be there to support and then make sure he gets the important nutrients he needs post race to DESTRESS.

So back to that motto –> Keep Calm and Eat Fish —>  increase the body’s production of DHEA (hormone), and hopefully bypass adrenal fatigue. We can’t have that happening if we wants to continue to race!

lake stevens tri

But WAIT!? –>  I’m sure you’re wondering… What the heck is DHEA and why is it important?  

The sherpa/nutrition specialist/science nerd side of me thinks about this.

DHEA is hormone, full name dehydroepiandrosterone. This hormone is a crucial anti-aging hormone produced by our adrenal glands. It is also a cofactor in the production of several other hormones. We peak the production of this hormone in our 20’s, and if we didn’t stress or eat unhealthy (which isn’t realistic), then we’d probably continue to produce it well into our 90’s.  Unfortunately, new research has stated that low levels of DHEA are often found in many adults due to…. ahem —> STRESS. You know, like the exhausted adrenal glands kind of stress. It is not until our 40s that we begin to feel the effects of lower DHEA levels.

Source –> and a good read.

Okay, so how do we get our DHEA up? DHEA is (technically) not found in food therefore we need eat certain foods that help increase your DHEA. If the body has enough DHEA, it will not produce any more, no matter what your diet. This is a safety mechanism controlled by the brain and the adrenal gland. Certain foods  high in omega-3 fatty acids (FISH), such as salmon, sablefish, rainbow trout and cod, can also help the body better use its naturally produced DHEA.

Blackened Trout with lime

Don’t eat fish? That’s okay, you can get omega 3 fatty acids from plant source such  flax seed, chia, walnuts, Seaweed and more! Personally,  I’d soak these nuts/seeds first so you can digest them better if you are trying to heal your gut.

We also use the vegan Barleans swirl in our smoothies to add a variety of  Omega 3 fatty acid sources to our diet. It also is easy to digest (for us).

vegan barleans swirl Omega 3

Do you take care of your DHEA levels?  I know, such a nerdy question.



What the Heck is Sablefish and Why is it So Good for Us? Plus a Recipe!

If you follow me on instagram, you’ll see a lot of pictures of fish. Yes, we love our fish (SIZZLEFISH)!


One of our favorite types of fish to eat is Sablefish. The funny thing is, not many people have heard of sablefish and often ask me about this delicious fish. So I’d thought I’d write a post about it, because I know you’re just dying to know, right? That’s sarcasm. But jokes aside, let’s face it, you are curious! As you should be. Winking smile

image (2)

Sablefish (also known as Alaskan Black Cod) has been around for years!Fishermen have been harvesting this fish since the late 1800s. It’s known as the “chocolate” of fish due to it’s delicious buttery texture and flavor! Now you’re thinking about chocolate and butter, aren’t you? Haha.

photo (9)

But this fish is actually more nutrient dense than chocolate. Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts here.

What makes sablefish so healthy?

  • Low in mercury
  • High in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have tremendous heart and brain health benefits.
  • Cold water fish – higher in good fats, which can lower blood pressure and improve overall blood cholesterol levels.
  • Rich in nutrients like Vitamin B12

Are you ready to cook with this buttery dish?

Here’s our favorite sablefish recipe. It’s pretty simple and pairs perfectly with a summer salad.

Ginger Lime and Tamari Sablefish

See, it’s easy!

Next time you’re at the store, look for sablefish! Or I highly recommend ordering from Sizzlefish. That way you don’t even have to leave your house. Ha!

Ever tried Sablefish?



Feeding the Adrenals- Cherry Sleepytime Shake and Sea Salt

Okay, we’ve covered immunity and good gut flora to help fight adrenal fatigue, so let’s get to sleep solutions and the importance of trace minerals. Now, I am not a doctor, I can’t diagnose anyone or anything, but I will continue to share what we do in these situations. Sound good?

Like I mentioned in the last post, the kiwi was showing signs of adrenal fatigue. We figured it had to be from other life stressors since his training and recovery days were balanced.


Cortisol is suppose to be high in the morning (to give us energy) and taper off at night (so we can sleep). But if you are continually stressed or overtraining, your cortisol will stay high. This can cause some pretty restless nights because your hormones and adrenals are in overdrive.

And if your adrenals are working in overdrive from producing too much cortisol, then they need extra vitamin and mineral support in order to keep electrolytes balanced. Just think of this way, in constant stress, your adrenals are being sucked dry. The adrenals cannot continue to produce the needed minerals and hormones without support, therefore the body feels tired and depleted, because it is.

adrenal health gaia

This is why good SLEEP and Natural SALT (sea salt with trace minerals like sodium, magnesium, iodine, etc.) are needed to RESTORE those adrenals. To bring them back to life! To FEED them!

Extra sleep can help lower cortisol, getting your body out of the “adrenal resistance” stage. Well, seeing that the Kiwi was having a hard time sleeping to begin with, we had to make a special “sleep solution” to get him to sleep.

cherry sleep shake

  • 4oz. Tart Cherry Juice for serotonin
  • 6oz water
  • 1-2 scoops Whey protein – slow release protein digestion and to keep blood sugar regulated
  • 2 tbsp 100% unsweetened Cocoa for antioxidants and flavor
  • 2 droplets full (around 2 mL) Valerian Liquid extract – Herb to calm the nervous system


This solution was recommend by Dr. Stacy Sims, our friend and brilliant Sport Dietitian over at OSMO nutrition. You take this drink 30 minutes before bed, and it actually tastes pretty good!

Now that we’ve got the sleep solution covered, let’s talk about the salt. We always add sea salt to our meals, but more is definitely needed in this situation (restoring trace minerals as mentioned above). What’s our solution? Simple, 1/2 tsp of sea salt or pink salt in a glass of purified water.


Sounds gross, but I add a little lemon and orange juice to it and let the salt drink sit overnight. Then we drink it first thing next morning. I notice a huge difference in energy when we add in our salt drinks. It’s like my adrenals are doing a little happy dance because of the trace minerals being replenished! But warning, too much salt can stimulate digestion, so I wouldn’t recommend drinking too soon before a workout, haha!

Well, that’s it for today. Friday I have a bacon and honey rice cake recipe, which of course will go nicely with our carb intake insulin release talk, right?

photo 3 (2)

Do you have any special sleep remedies? Are you getting your Adrenal Support?




You might want take advantage of the Sizzlefish special going on now through Memorial Day! Free Shipping on our Omega 3 Blast combo (salmon & sablefish/blackcod)

Kid Friendly Cookie Dough Smoothies and Summer Camps

I often think that true inspiration comes from your inner kid, especially when it comes to health and fitness. I can’t tell you the number of times my niece has pulled my hand outside to play and I find myself pretending like I’m a kid at summer camp again. No worries in the world, just FUN in the sun!

photo 1

Or the number of times my nephew has asked me to make him cookie dough healthy bites and anything else that has to do with chocolate or peanut butter. Which made me get creative in the kitchen and think up this recipe.

cookie dough smoothie

This is what I call “KIDSPIRATION!”

When kids inspire you to stay active, have fun, and ENJOY health!

Which leads me to my next KIDSPIRATION –> Kids inspiring kids to be Strong Powerful Athletic Rockin’ Kids. SPARK!

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Camp Spark.

Camp Spark is a successful summer sports camp that started in Dallas 2010, in a backyard.

Who was is started by?

KIDS! Well, high school kids, but still kids to me. Winking smile

They now locations all over the country and helped over 500 campers nationwide, including TEXAS (Austin, Dallas, Houston, Plano).

What does the camp entail?

  • Kids can sign up for one week, two weeks, or by the day. Which makes it easier for their family.
  • Activities are with kids their age and include SPARKsports, basketball, soccer, football, wiffleball, lacrosse, swimming and many other fun activities for the boys and SPARKsports, arts and crafts, swimming, dancing, soccer and cheerleading for the girls.
  • Every Friday there is a special schedule full of surprises and awards.
  • A certified life guard is on duty all day there is one supervised staff for every six campers.

This is what KIDSPIRATION is about. This is what being YOUTHFUL all about, kids INSPIRING each other to BE active, have fun, create friendship, and feel strong!

For more information please visit Camp Spark HERE

Go to locations and select the camp that you are interested in.  Once you are there you can register at the bottom of that specific page.

Interested in opening a Camp SPARK in your city?
Please follow the link below and fill out the survey. Once completed, please email CampSPARK@gmail.com. Link to Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RFX26Q6

For all my Austin Locals:

  • Austin Boys: 6D Ranch (11100 Bee Caves Rd) for two sessions: June 9-
    13 and June 16-20; hours are 10am-2pm
  • Austin Girls: 6D Ranch (11100 Bee Caves Rd) for two sessions: June 23-
    27 and June 30 – July 4; hours are 10am-2pm

You can check out all the fun happenings on their Facebook page and instagram as well!

Do you believe in the power of KIDSPIRATION? And just for fun, favorite summer camp memory?



Are You a Health Blog Junkie?

You know what they say? Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Kind of like coffee or wine. A little is good for heart, but a lot can backfire the benefits for the mind and body. So I guess I treat reading health blogs like my consumption of coffee or wine. A little each day, one glass, one cup.


If you asked me this five years ago, I would have given you a whole other story.  I was in the middle of trying to treat a parasite along with food allergies, I was anxious, I was restless. I probably googled the heck out of my situation and symptoms, which only made me more confused and anxious.

This health blog junkie needed a Health Blog DETOX, because sometimes less is more. Actually, a lot of times LESS IS MORE, even for someone who has studied nutrition since she was 18 (ahem, me).

Well, thanks to a fellow nutritionist and dear friend, I properly reduced my “need to know” and “overfix” syndrome. I simplified and chose a more mentally nourishing approach to health blog reading.

Here are my CORE FOUR. Four health blogs that I SUBSCRIBE too and have been reading for many years now.

health and wellness blogs

Mark’s Daily Apple – We love Mark. We met him back in 2008 at the Malibu Triathlon. He is a former elite runner and triathlete. I love his recipes, his stress free living tips, and his primal (not paleo) approach to life.

marks daily apple

Chris Kresser- This guy brings out the science geek in me! I love how thorough he is with all his studies, research, etc. I relate to his health story so much and he truly is a mastermind for functional medicine. Plus he is so gracious with sharing his ebooks for free!


Maria Mind and Body – I have had the privilege of speaking with Maria. She is always there to help others and share her knowledge as a nutritionist. Her recipes are creative, kid friendly, and delicious! She focuses on grain free and low carb. She’s my go to for a good grain free recipe swap!

maria mind and body


Wellnessmama – Katie is so down to earth. I love how she feeds and nourishes her family. She has written a lot of posts about thyroid, gut health, and shared many natural remedies for certain health ailments. My favorite topic is the fermented foods of course!

wellness mama

Why these blogs?

  • Because I (we) can relate to their journey/story in some way.
  • Because they have done their research, share their sources, and give proper credentials.
  • Because they are genuine and honest.
  • Because they are not a one size fits all approach to healthy living
  • Because they have ALWAYS shared great recipes and the purpose behind each recipe (nutrition wise).

But here’s the thing. We don’t follow their lifestyle choices or advice 100%. It’s not about that. It’s about taking bits of pieces of each and applying it to what we believe works for us. Is there one right or wrong way to living a healthy/balanced life? I don’t believe there is.. just the one way that FITS you, not overwhelm you.

Maybe you need a little health blog detox, maybe not. But either way, simplifying your approach to health and fitness is always needed. Wouldn’t you agree?

What are a few of your favorite Health/Wellness blogs? Do you need to “detox” that list? 




The OVER FIXING Syndrome

I had it all planned out, drafted and all. I wanted to share a post about core. Heck, even the kiwi spent part of his weekend taking pictures for his “foundation” routine. Yes, we had a plan. He was going to share his routine and then I was going add it to my core post. Brilliant! Go TEAM COTTER.

And then I tried to “fix” a few things and add more plugins/widgets to his site for him. I call this “OVER FIXING” syndrome. Well, I ended up deleting the whole post by installing a faulty plugin. To top it off, I also crashed his site. Ha! Death of the white screen.

Luckily, he’s pretty easy going so he didn’t care. But I did! Why did I try to fix what was working just fine before? Why did I try to tidy up what probably was better left, untidy?

Read this devotional.


And it hit me. I have so many untidy spaces that I often want to fix up or just delete. But maybe it’s time to embrace the untidy and real places. That’s pretty bold, yes?

bold blogging

What if we didn’t try to OVER fix or meals? You know, the “no filter needed” meals? But instead, kept it simple, delicious, and nourishing? Rice, and lentils and curry. Ugly, but good.

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What if we stopped trying to OVER fix our health? Maybe we are on the right track anyway, why overcomplicate? Shouldn’t we just learn to keep it simple and enjoy it?


Now, you know I am all about gut health and healing, but I also have learned that FOOD shouldn’t consume our every thought and stress us out more, yes? I’m taking my own advice here.

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What if we stopped trying to fix our schedules and cram everything in? What if we were able to get stuck in more good moments? No need to delete those!

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What if we stopped trying to fix or redo the past? What we should have done or could have done?

What if we started MAKING things new today?

New beginnings quote

What if we stopped trying to change each other? In our marriages, relationships, etc.? What if we didn’t try to delete the what GOD created that person (including ourselves) to be?

crazy cotters

There’s my thinking out loud, a day early but that’s okay, I won’t fix it.

Let’s embracing the UNTIDY! No delete or fix it button necessary.