Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Saute

Things have been crazy busy lately, as evidenced by my lack of blogging, but I’m making my way back, never fear, ha ūüėȬ†Since my schedule has been so full, food has been whatever happens to be the easiest, lately. Last week I threw this random saute together for dinner, Chicken Sun Dried Tomato.

Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Saute

  • 1 bag of broccoli slaw
  • Pre-grilled chicken (or your choice of meat)
  • Melissa’s sun dried tomatoes
  • Salt/pepper
  • Oil of your choice (coconut preferred)

I started by sauteing the broccoli slaw with salt and lots of pepper, in the pan until it had cooked down. Once it had, I took two pre-grilled chicken breasts and my kitchen shears, and cut the chicken up into bite size pieces directly into the pan. I then did the same with the sun dried tomatoes. So much easier than cutting; no knife, no cutting board, etc. I continued sauteing until everything was warmed, and then ate a bowl for dinner (and brought a bowl to work for lunch a couple days later)!

Helpful tip: If you’re nightshade-free (obviously you wouldn’t use tomatoes here), but, using a lot of black pepper with broccoli slaw, makes it crazy spicy!DSC_0605

“Natural Flavors”

In my quest for health and wellness, I’m trying to understand everything I put in my body and what’s an issue for me. I don’t eat a lot of things that have an ingredient list, but one thing I do consume a lot is hot tea. I love it, I think it’s beneficial for my health, and has antioxidant properties.

I ran across a huge sale on Tazo teas recently and was thrilled, so I stocked up! I bought several boxes and have been enjoying them, but upon further investigation, I’d like to know in the ingredients what they include in “natural flavors.” My first thought is if you add something back in, it isn’t natural, and second, this ingredient (I don’t like calling it that, it’s more like a category) can include a whole mess of stuff. So I emailed Tazo.

My email to Tazo on January 31:


I am an avid tea drinker and LOVE Tazo teas, however, I am discovering some allergies to certain spices/additives. Can someone please provide a breakdown of the “natural flavors” listed in most Tazo teas, or what makes up that category? I know that “natural flavors” typically encompasses different things. I realize they may vary by kind, but I really appreciate your help.

Thanks so much,

Linds Swanson

Their reply on January 31:

Hello Lindsay,

Thank you for taking the time to write.  Your search for enlightenment into the world of Tazo is to be admired.  With this first step on the path, may you find answers you seek.

While we understand that some customers may have a need to know specific ingredient information prior to consuming a product, unfortunately we are unable to provide more in-depth information than what is currently available in the ingredient statement. If there are concerns about this product possibly containing an ingredient that you do not wish to consume, we would recommend that product not be consumed.

Thanks again for writing us.¬†¬†If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.



A Tea Enthusiast Advisor

Seems pretty corporate to me, no? Honestly, I guess I wasn’t that shocked, but as soon as my Tazo teas are gone, I’m not buying anymore. Things like this are frustrating for me, when I’m trying to pinpoint and solve issues with my health and body (do the “natural flavors” include nightshades?). Furthermore, if you won’t tell a consumer what you’re putting in a product, it’s a red flag for me. I think I have a right to know what I’m eating and drinking, right, especially when I’m paying for it?

So long, Tazo!

So long, Nightshades Follow-up

Here’s a follow-up post to my effort at being nightshade free for 15 days now, including the positive things I’ve noticed and one mishap.

I’ve remained nightshade free except for¬†inadvertently¬†going for Thai food the other night with my husband. He’d had a really long day, I was hungry, neither of us felt like cooking that night, so we ran out quick. Once we got there and sat down, I was quickly reminded that I wasn’t eating anything on the menu-grrrr. Just didn’t think about it.

I ended up getting a pumpkin curry, and didn’t eat the bell peppers (they were the obvious nightshades), however, I know there was chili pepper, and probably paprika included in the curry. I was bummed, and probably more so because within 10 minutes, I was literally crawling out of my skin and my stomach had inflated to the size of a big balloon :-/ I guess, for me, maybe there is something to them. Sigh. So now I’ve restarted the no nightshades, and I’m doing fine with it (was doing fine before too), although I’m bummed that I accidentally ingested them. I will say that my joints and inflammation is almost non-existent excluding nightshades from my diet; both my massage therapist and chiropractor noticed unsolicited that mobility and tissue feels completely different to them.

I had planned on starting the full AIP today, however I’ve delayed that for a couple of reasons: 1) I still have some non-AIP foods at home that I’m not willing to let spoil, or throw away (like Kale, other leafy greens, nuts), and 2) I still need to do a little research on what is and is not included so I have a better understanding and will be successful with it (like which spices are seed based, etc.).

I’ll keep you posted ūüôā

So long, Nightshades

For as long as I can remember,¬†I’ve¬†had digestive issues.¬†I’ve¬†gone through every diagnostic test available, tried every OTC and prescription medication possible and not one thing has helped. Where does that leave me? Food (because what else is there and why didn’t I realize all this sooner? Aaahhh well.).

I’m getting more and more into Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, which might be the best book ever. Her approach to healing through food is absolutely fascinating. The book is extremely user-friendly and not overwhelming at all (P.S. I’m attending her workshop with a friend here in San Diego, this coming Sunday and I am beside myself!).

Anyway, back to nightshades, this is how she explains them: ‚ÄúNightshades are a family of plants that contain specific alkaloid compounds that can be irritating to those suffering from joint pain and inflammation. Tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers (all kinds, bell and hot), and eggplants are the most commonly consumed nightshades. Black pepper and sweet potatoes are not nightshades, however‚Ķsome other, less frequently consumed nightshades include tomatillos, tobacco, goji berries, cape gooseberries (not normal gooseberries), ground cherries (not regular bing or rainier cherries), garden huckleberries (not blueberries), and ashwagandha (an herb)‚Ķif you suffer from joint pain, joint inflammation, arthritis, cracking, or any other joint-related issues, eliminate nightshades from your diet for at least thirty days.‚ÄĚ She goes on later in her book to talk about how you should avoid nightshades if you‚Äôre trying to heal your gut, which is exactly what I‚Äôm setting out to do.

I begin the journey to healing my gut (with the added benefit of helping my joints), by eliminating nightshades today (surprised with my consumption of tomatoes from the garden, I haven‚Äôt turned into one yet‚Ķ). Why did I pick nightshades? Because there are a handful and it seems less overwhelming to me than say, FODMAPS. Baby steps. It¬†isn’t¬†about deprivation; it‚Äôs about health and feeling good.

Reference: Practical Paleo, Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC, Victory Belt Publishing, 2012.