Monday, December 7, 2015

Hello Pure and Simple Wellness Audience!
We are now in the thick of it. December is upon us and the holiday madness is in full effect. It's easy to get overwhelmed during this month because of all the company parties, gift shopping, cookie making, school recitals, cold and flu, etc. It's enough to make even the most calm of spirits loose her mind. How do we get through it... we just do. Some how it all gets done in the short amount of time between Thanksgiving and New Years. Not only do we survive to tell the tale, but we actually make some pretty amazing memories in the process. Even when I have those moments where I feel like I can't wait for January to come so I can go back to some sort of normal routine, I just remind myself how much I love seeing the sparkle in the eyes of my kids this season. There really is nothing better than hearing their laughter as they watch Polar Express for the 100th time or hearing their gasps as they run out to see what Santa has left for them. As much as December is crazy stressful, it's just plain magical too.
Of course as a Board Certified Health Coach, I want all my readers to "keep their eye on the ball" and stay healthy this month, but I also want all of you to enjoy yourselves. Have a slice of pie and enjoy every bite. That is what life is all about. Just don't eat the whole pie! As I explained in the November newsletter, the secret to staying healthy during the holidays (and all year round) is about avoiding sugar, alcohol, and starchy carbs. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy them on occasion and in moderation. The most important advice I can give anyone during the holiday madness is to try and take a few minutes each day to meditate and make sure you get enough good quality sleep. That's the ticket folks; meditate and sleep and you will thrive!

If you want to learn more health and wellness information go to my website and sign up for my monthly newsletter.  Each issue is full of fantastic information and healthy recipes.  No cost, no spam, just once a month.
Happy holidays to all of you and look for my 12-Day Detox launch in January.
Yours in health,
Jennifer Mattinson

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Here are a couple of great recipes for the winter.  The soup is just an awesome nourishing meal alone or as a side dish.  The BBQ sauce has become one of our staples.  My husband loves it more than any bottle brand at the grocery store.  It's amazing over some shredded pork.  Enjoy!

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Prep 20 mins. Cooking 20 mins. Servings 4-6

Notes: If you don’t have an immersion blender, just put the soup in your regular blender in batches.  It takes a little bit more effort, but will still yield great results.

·         1 T Cold pressed coconut or olive oil
·         1 onion, chopped
·         2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
·         1 t ground turmeric
·         10 medium sized carrots, sliced
·         5 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
·         Water, enough to cover
·         Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
·         1 can full fat coconut milk

1.       Heat oil in a pot.  Add onions, garlic, and turmeric, and saute until soft and fragrant.
2.       Add carrots and tomatoes, and cook for a minute or so while stirring.
3.       Add water, sea salt and pepper, cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until carrots are tender.
4.       When soup is ready, use and immersion blender to puree until smooth.   
5.       Stir in the coconut milk and adjust the flavors with more salt and pepper if needed.

Recipe courtesy of:

Sugar Free BBQ Sauce
Makes about 1 cup of sauce

1 C Tomato Sauce (make sure to pick a brand that doesn’t have added sugar)
1/3 C unsweetened apple sauce
2 T cider vinegar
2 T coconut aminos
1 T dijon mustard
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
¼ t. black pepper
½ T clarified butter (ghee) or coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. chili powder
½ t. paprika
Pinch of cloves

1.       In a medium bowl, whisk the tomato sauce, apple sauce, vinegar, coconut aminos, mustard, hot-pepper sauce, and black pepper until combined.
2.       Heat the clarified butter or coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, and cloves, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3.       Whisk in the sauce and bring to a boil.  Simmer gently uncovered, 25-30 minutes, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful. 
4.       Cool to room temperature before using and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.  Can also be frozen and thawed in fridge.

Recipe courtesy of: “It Starts With Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How To Stay Healthy (and skinny) Through The Holidays 

We all dread the bulge of the winter season.  You know what I’m talking about; those extra pounds that creep on during the holidays.  Not only do those extra pounds and cause our clothes to feel too small, but they actually make us sick.  That’s right… sick.  If vanity doesn’t persuade you to improve your food behavior during the winter, then the desire to be and stay healthy should.  How can excess weight make you sick you might be asking?  Sugar!

1. Sugar is the #1 killer in the United States.  The reason for that is because over consumption has been linked to not only the dreaded disease Diabetes, but also Cancer, Heart Disease, and hundreds of Auto Immune Diseases.  The problem is that our food supply is bombarded with hidden sugars.  Most people don’t read the ingredient list this article.
on labels.  But even if they did, the food companies use lots of fancy sounding names (like Agave Nectar, Malt Syrup, etc.) to hide the fact that there is added sugar.  For more information about hidden sugar, read

2. Sugar (not fat) is also the #1 cause of obesity.  Any food that raises your blood sugar, like bread (even whole wheat) pasta, candy, baked goods, alcohol, etc. is going to cause an insulin spike.  Insulin is the hormone secreted to take sugar out of your blood stream, convert it to fat, and store it in your fat cells.  That is why insulin is named “the fat storing hormone.”

3. Sugar causes heart disease.  Excess carbohydrates (sugar) in our bodies convert to triglycerides.  High levels of triglycerides are a coronary heart disease warning sign to your doctor. Especially in women.

4. Sugar wreaks havoc in your gut, which lowers your immune system.  70 – 80% of your immune system is in your gut.  If your gut is out of whack from eating too much sugar, your immune system is not going to be able to work properly.

Signs of too much sugar in the diet are…
Weight gain
Acne or skin rashes
Carb cravings
Frequent Illness

To get through holidays and winter season without weight gain and chronic illness, try to minimize your intake of sugar, alcohol and starchy foods.  Just remember that the more sugar, alcohol, and starchy foods you consume, the more you will crave them.  It’s a vicious cycle.  The reason for that is because sugar is more addictive than cocaine.  I know that sounds shocking, but it’s true.  Imagine a cocaine addict coming out of rehab and having to see cocaine in 80% of the food in the grocery store, at the gas station, check-out lines at Target, etc.  It’s everywhere.  If you have a hard time avoiding sugary food, you are probably a sugar addict.  I am.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but something to be aware of.  Your health and longevity depend on taking control of that addiction and doing something about it.  If you think you have a problem with sugar, contact me for a free health consultation.  As someone who has been there, I know how hard it is to give it up, but life is so much sweeter without it!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

3 Tips for reading food labels

I recommend to everyone on the planet that you read the labels for every food item you put in your grocery cart.  The first step toward health and longevity is to know what you are putting in your body.  Of course it is best for our health to have our cart over flowing with food that doesn’t have a label, like fresh produce, but let’s be real… we are busy people and convenience is important to us.  If you do need to buy food that comes in a package it’s vital that you know how to read a label.

Here are 3 tips that you can use during your next grocery shopping trip
1.      Look at the list of ingredients
            This should be the first thing you do.  Don’t pay attention to the calories, fat grams, or carbohydrate grams.  What matters is the quality of the ingredients and if there are artificial additives.  Food manufacturers put sneaky names in the ingredient list to fool consumers.  The rule of thumb to follow is, if you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it.  Something with a long scientific name was probably made in a lab and therefore will be foreign to your body. Foreign ingredients are what cause our bodies to “clog” resulting in hormone imbalance, weight gain, foggy brain, poor sleep, etc. 

2.      Try to stick with 5 or less ingredients
            In order fuel our bodies with the healthiest food possible, we need to eat as “clean” as possible.  How clean you choose to eat is up to you.  Think of it as a range from eating food directly from the farm (the most clean) to eating nothing but fast food and packaged food (the least clean.) Find a place on the range that works for you.  If you are going to eat food from a package, try to find food that has 5 ingredients or less to minimize the amount of artificial additives and processing.  Make sense?

3.      Look at the milligrams of sodium.
            According to the Mayo Clinic, “The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you're age 51 or older, or if you are black, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.”  - Packaged food is typically really high in sodium.  Let’s look at a can of soup.  Campbell’s chicken noodle soup has 480 mg of sodium per serving with 2.5 servings in the can.  Most people are going to eat the whole can for a meal, so that would total 1200 mg of sodium just for the one meal!  Yikes!  Too much sodium in the blood causes your kidney’s to work over time.  If your kidneys can’t keep up with the sodium you are consuming, your blood volume increases (water retention), your heart has to work extra hard, and the pressure on your arteries increases.  This can lead to congestive heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease.

If you would like more detailed information about how to read labels and what to look out for, contact me for a “Pantry Makeover” or a “Health Food Store Tour.”  Either service can revolutionize the way you shop and have a drastic effect on the health of you and your family.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Is Sleep More Important Than Exercise?

Is Sleep More Important Than Exercise?

People ask me about sleep all the time.  Should I wake up at 5am to squeeze in some exercise before I head to work?  If I’m exhausted, is it okay to skip my workout and get some extra sleep instead? A lot of folks wonder if working out trumps sleep or vise versa.  I’m here to tell you the answer… sometimes sleep is actually more important.  That was a huge shock to me when I first learned about how sleep affects our overall health.  If it was a shock to you too, then I’m about to rock your world.
Of course exercise is important.  In fact, it’s vital to our health and longevity.  (Assuming you’d like to live longer than the national average life expectancy of 75) But there are times when our body needs sleep so much more than that trip to the gym.  Why is that you ask?  According to Dr. Rubin Naiman, sleep disorders are the #1 health problem in the U.S.  We are a society that is dependent on stimulants and carbs for energy.  Without going in to a long scientific explanation, these stimulants and carbs lead to chronic inflammation, which leads to sleep disruption.  Sleep disruption interrupts our production of leptin and ghrelin.  Leptin is the hormone that tells our body we are full.  Ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates our appetite.  When those two hormones are thrown off balance by poor sleep, our appetite increases and our bodies require more food to make us feel full.  That leads to weight gain.  Does that mean that getting more sleep could result in weight loss?  In some cases, yes!
If gaining weight doesn’t scare you enough to get more sleep then consider this… people who don’t get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep per night (stress “good quality”) have a 50% increased risk of…
o   Insulin resistance
o   Obesity
o   Diabetes
o   Cardio Vascular Disease
o   Cancer
o   Arthritis
o   Mood disorders (Anxiety, depression, etc.)

Now that I have totally freaked you out, let me tell you what you can do to get a better night’s sleep. 
o   Dim the lights in your house at least 1 hour before bedtime
o   Reduce or eliminate caffeine
o   Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption
o   Reduce stress (think meditation and Yoga)
o   Reduce or eliminate starchy food at dinner
o   Make sure your bedroom is as dark as a dungeon

Now keep in mind, each of those suggestions opens a whole other topic of conversation, but at least you have somewhere to start.  Feel free to contact me if you think sleep is an issue for you and would like some help in that arena.  In a nutshell, I want you to know that sleep is imperative for a healthy mind and body and sometimes skipping the exercise to get a few more minutes of shut eye may make a huge difference.  

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Kefir is a cultured product similar to Yogurt, but not as thick.  It is high in vitamins and minerals and is one of the most probiotic rich foods that you can find.  You can make kefir out of Cow's milk, goat's milk, or coconut milk with a kefir starter kit purchased at your local health food store or online.

The reason why kefir is such a great food to include in your diet is because of it's positive affect on the microbiome found in your gut.  Over 75% of our immune system is located in our gut.  When our microbiome is compromised, from antibiotics, antibacterial soaps and gels, environmental chemicals, or a diet high in processed food, our immune system can't function properly.  This can lead to conditions like leaky gut, candida overgrowth, irritable bowel syndrome and any number of auto immune diseases.  Adding healthy bacteria into our gut by consuming fermented and cultured food like kefir can improve our immune system, heal digestive issues, fight allergies, kill candida, and support detoxification.  The Journal of Dairy Science published a study that showed regular kefir consumption stopped breast cancer growth in mice.  Now that's what I call amazing!

Now everybody go make some kefir from the instructions on my previous post and get healthy!

Best to you,
Jennifer Mattinson
Holistic Health Coach

-For more in-depth information about kefir and it's amazing health benefits, check out this article by Dr. Josh Axe.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I want to share a very easy recipe.  I can't believe I haven't been doing this for years... Homemade Kefir made with coconut milk.  It is so incredibly easy and delicious.  You can use it to make overnight oats or stir in some chia seeds for a creamy coconut chia pudding.  Delish!  

Here's what you need...

  • 1 Kefir starter kit.  I recommend the Body Ecology Kefir Starter Kit (purchase on or Don't be discouraged by the price.  It costs around $36.  In the box you get 6 packets and each packet makes 7 batches of Kefir.  So awesome!  Or you can purchase one at your local health food store.
  • 2 cans of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 32 oz mason jar
  • cheese cloth and rubber band
  • wooden spoon

Here's how to do it...

  • Warm the coconut milk in a saucepan to just warmer than room temperature.  I use a meat thermometer to watch for 92 degrees.  It just takes a couple of minutes.  If you accidentally warm it too much, just pour it in the jar and wait for it to cool to 92 degrees.
  • Once the coconut milk is the correct temp, pour it in the jar and add the packet of kefir grains.  
  • Stir gently with a wooden spoon (it's very important to use a wooden spoon as opposed to a metal spoon as the bacteria in the kefir grains don't like metal and it will spoil the batch)
  • Cover the jar with cheesecloth and use a rubber band to secure it.
  • Place on the counter undisturbed for 18-24 hours
  • Once it's done, put the lid on the jar and put it in the fridge.  
  • VoilĂ ! You have coconut milk kefir! 

Here is my favorite recipe.  It's Paleo and Vegan and will keep you full until lunch time because of the beautiful healthy fat in the kefir, chia seeds, and almonds.  Woot!

Overnight Kefir Chia Breakfast Pudding

2/3 Cup coconut milk kefir
2 T. chia seeds
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/3 C blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/3 C sliced strawberries
1/8 C almonds

Place all ingredients except almonds in a bowl.  Stir and cover with lid or plastic wrap.  Let sit overnight in fridge.  In the morning add the almonds and stir.  Enjoy!