Perimenopause: Is it Causing Your Heavy Periods, Anxiety, Insomnia, and Weight Gain?

Hormones are extremely complicated because they are changing all day, there are lots of them, they are hard to test in a meaningful way, and they take time and effort to balance.  However, they can also produce some symptoms that many women would really love to reverse, like yesterday!  So, I’m going to do my best to cover some basic concepts on what’s normal, one of the most common hormonal imbalances women encounter before menopause, and some insight on how to tackle it.

What’s a Normal Female Cycle?

Every month, women go through a hormonal cycle in attempts to create a window where they can get pregnant.  (We are animals after all).  We see 2 major things happening during that 28-31 day time period:

  1. Increase in estrogen in the first half of the cycle
  2. Increase in progesterone the second half of the cycle

These two hormones work in tandem and have a yin and yang relationship meaning if one is out of whack, everything goes off the rails. I’ve written about birth control before, so if you are currently on hormonal birth control, please read that now!  If you’re not taking synthetic hormones, then we can move on.  Many times, low progesterone is causing issues in a woman’s body, and it’s giving her symptoms of too much estrogen.  The catch here though, is that you may have normal levels of estrogen, but if progesterone is in the tank, you’ll have symptoms like you have too much estrogen because they aren’t in good balance. This is important to note, because if you start treating those symptoms like you have high estrogen, trying to lower it, you won’t be fixing the problem.

Symptoms of Low Progesterone

  1. Heavy Periods
  2. Autoimmunity or Allergies developing out of nowhere
  3. Anxiety
  4. Inflammation
  5. Weight Gain
  6. Insomnia
  7. Body pain syndromes
  8. Brain fog or memory issues

Tell-tale Symptoms of High Estrogen

  1. Breast tenderness
  2. Heavy periods
  3. Migraines

In perimenopause, which is about 7 years prior to menopause, you will see a drop in progesterone levels before you see a drop in estrogen.  That will mean you could experience all of the above symptoms.  Awesome.  However, toward the end, estrogen will lower too and you won’t experience most of things once you’ve reached menopause, which is typically around early 50s.

Should I Test My Hormones?

In many ways, symptoms are the best way to determine what your hormones are doing because they vary so much throughout the day, month, and years.  Sometimes trying to do everything based on testing can feel like a moving target.  Testing can be beneficial, but I would start with symptoms and lifestyle intervention first.

How can I fix low progesterone?

One way to address low progesterone is to take a bioidentical version of progesterone called Prometrium or Utrogestan.  However, I encourage you to see how you feel after 3-6 months of commitment to lifestyle changes because you may be surprised how far you can go without the prescription!

  1. Regulate that blood glucose and insulin! 
    1. That means cleaning up your diet to eliminate excess sugar, alcohol, refined carbs and making sure to include protein at every meal.
    1. In this way, testing your A1C and fasting insulin may do more for you.
  2. Avoid dairy
    1. Dairy can contribute to hormone imbalances for many reasons including animal hormones but also via activating mast cells which are connected to migraines and heavy periods
  3. Decrease stress
    1. Start a meditation or yoga practice, eliminate excessive commitments, hire a house cleaner, don’t feel guilty about getting a baby sitter, and go in nature.
    1. Here, heart rate variability is an easy thing to track through a wearable device or your phone.
  4. Lift weights
    1. Any exercise is beneficial for your hormones, but lifting weights or doing body weight resistance training seems to do the most for perimenopause, maintaining the muscle necessary to sustain metabolism, and aid in bone health.
  5. Avoid chemicals that are endocrine disrupters
    1. Every beauty product, plastic, and chemical in your home or on your body could potentially influence your hormone receptors and sensitivity, so use ewg.org/skindeep to determine if that’s a huge issue for you
  6. Consider supplementation of key nutrients like Magnesium, Taurine, Zn, Vitamin D Vitamin C.
  7. Consider the use of herbs such as Chasteberry, aka Vitex.

Feel free to see my favorite supplement blends and dosing here.

That sounds like a lot, but the good news is that the hormone fluctuation leading up to menopause won’t last forever and the healthier your lifestyle choices, the smoother the ride should be.  However, don’t be afraid to find a functional doctor that works with bio-identical hormones to assist you after implementing these lifestyle changes because bio-identical hormones can be a life-saver for many woman!


Starbread (Not Paleo)

Every year I make a couple of traditions with regular flour to bring to gatherings.  While I enjoy paleo baked goods, if it’s not your lifestyle, then people definitely miss the texture a little gluten lends to the treats!  This makes the entire house smell like cinnamon, tastes like a cinnamon roll, is made from scratch, and has that “wow” factor because it looks like it’s really complicated to make!  Shhhhh, it’s pretty easy.

So, if you’re on a healing journey and want to avoid gluten, this recipe is not for you.  If you have to meet people in the middle sometimes and want to explore a new tradition, here you go!

Starbread
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 cups organic, all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 Egg, whisked (if you want an egg wash to make the finish shiny)
Directions:

Combine the warm water, instant yeast, and 2 Tbsp sugar and let it sit in the mixing bowl for 5 minutes.  Then, add the 2 Tbsp softened butter, salt and 2 cups of flours to the bowl and mix on low with the paddle attachment until combined.  Switch to the dough hook, and add another cup of flour on low until combined. Add the last cup of flour and mix on medium until it combines and slaps the bowl (you’ll know what I mean when the dough starts making a smacking sound) which is about 5 minutes.

Remove the hook and cover the bowl with a dish towel and let rest near the oven for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine ½ cup sugar, 1Tbsp cinnamon in a small bowl.  Melt your 4 Tbsp of butter.

Once rested, take the big ball of dough and form 3 smaller balls that you will roll out into 12 inch discs.  No rolling pin?  Use a wine bottle.

Place the first 12 inch disc on parchment paper and brush with melted butter, topping the butter with ½ of your sugar cinnamon mixture.

Place the second 12 inch disc on top of you first seasoned disc and brush with butter and top with remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place the third disc on top.

Then use a ball jar top and place it in the middle of the stack of discs.  Cut 16 strips in the stacked dough from the edge of the circle out to the outer perimeter.

You will take 2 cut strips that are side by side in either hand, twist them away from one another two times and pinch the ends together.  Repeat until you have 8 star twists.

Let it rest for another 20 minutes.

Brush it with your whisked egg right before baking and bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown.

Feel free to sprinkle with powdered sugar!


Natural Solutions for Osteoporosis

Let’s straighten out a few things about bones…

Bone are alive and they have a part in your body physiology just like the rest of your organs!  Your diet impacts them, your childhood impacts them, your hormones impact them! We don’t usually talk about them unless one is broken or you get a bone loss diagnosis like osteoporosis.  However, if you get a diagnosis like osteoporosis, you must consider WHY.

There are two main cells keeping your bones in balance: osteoblasts (who are building) and osteoclasts (who are degrading).  When they’re in balance, all is good.  When you are degrading more than building, you see loss of bone density. You have the most bone density that you’ll have for your entire life around the age of 35…a little longer for men and a little shorter for some women.  You’ve accumulated 80% of your bone mass by the age of 18!  When you consider that up to 30% on people who have a hip fracture will die within 1 year, this is a topic you should care about ESPECIALLY SINCE YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

I’d say there are 4 main things to consider when preventing or treating osteoporosis or bone density issues in general:

  1. Hormones: Women’s loss of estrogen in later years contributes to bone loss and the loss of testosterone in men does the same thing.  Always aim to optimize hormones, even thyroid, which also impacts bone density.  Even high stress hormones like cortisol fuel bone degradation.
  2. Inflammation: In the presence of inflammation, you see a lot more activity from the cells breaking down bone (osteoclasts).
  3. Nutritional intake: If you don’t have adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and collagen, you can’t expect the outcome of the final bone product to be any good.
  4. Exercise: The single best thing someone can do for their bones is do weight-bearing exercise, even fast walking is helpful.  The stress of gravity and impact actual signal to build bone.

The solution, therefore, isn’t really a supplement per se, but an entire lifestyle that supports health for any condition!  Supplementing with nutrients necessary for bone health can support areas of need and help intervene on cases of poor DEXA scans, but they won’t be a magic bullet without the lifestyle components, too.

When considering supplementation, the following nutrients are your best bet:

  • Vitamin D3: make sure your Vitamin D levels are between 40-70 because the conventional ranges don’t reflect what’s optimal. 
  • Vitamin K2: To compliment your vitamin D, you’re going to want some Vitamin K, too.  This was discovered to be crucial in Weston A. Price’s work when studying tooth health around the world.
  • Minerals:  like Calcium, magnesium, and zinc.  Minerals are required for bone formation, and our diet and soil is depleted of these important compounds. 
  • Collagen: Bones are brittle if they can’t adapt, which makes them prone to breaking.  Collagen in bone keeps it flexible, and with more ability to respond to stresses on the bone structure.

Having said that, fat soluble vitamins and minerals are most abundant in animal products and when considering collagen, it’s not different.  Therefore, if you favor a plant-only type of diet, supplementation may be absolutely necessary to keep your teeth and bones strong over a lifetime!

Some of the worst offenders to bone density are:

  • PPIs: heartburn medication has a severe impact on bone density and considering there are natural ways to address this successfully, try and avoid proton pump inhibitors
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Lack of movement
  • Soda
  • Glyphosate

You don’t have to accept the diagnosis without any control of the outcome.  The lifestyle part of osteoporosis is extremely important and there’s no pill that can mimic those results!


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Cinnamon Crumble Topping

Every coffee shop I have walked into this fall has had this in the case, and I wanted to create a paleo/primal version!  So, after one attempt, a love affair was born.  I used real cream cheese but if you can’t handle dairy, then use Kite Hill.  I have used Kite Hill to stuff muffins before and it works, I just happened to have the real deal on hand!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Cinnamon Crumble Topping (gf)
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Filling

  • 1 block of cream cheese at room temp
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Topping (optional)

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp cold butter
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325F. Combine all the ingredients besides the filling and toppings.  Once combined, set aside. Use beaters to whip the cream cheese and maple syrup together.  Also, in a food processor, pulse the topping ingredients until crumbly.  Now grease 12 muffin spaces in a tin or use silicon baking cups.  Put a dollop of batter in the bottom of each muffin space, put a dollop of cream cheese mixture (a Tbsp?) into each muffin space.  Now top with the remaining batter.  Place the crumble topping over each muffin.  Place in oven for 35 minutes and once cooked, brown the topping by broiling on low until golden brown.  Allow to cool at room temp for the next hour or two.

Beer: Could It Be a Healthy Part of Life?

Beer the most widely consumed fermented beverage in the world.  Let me repeat: The most widely consumed fermented beverage in the WORLD.  And when you come from a functional medicine perspective, the word fermented is like gold.  Fermented foods and beverages have been around as a method of preservation for food since before refrigeration and using bacteria and yeast to turn food into probiotic powerhouses makes them healthy for us.  That probiotic content is something people pay big money for in the world of supplements because of the profound impact it has on the health of their gut microbiome, and in turn, many disease processes like Crohn’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, anxiety disorders, and even obesity. 

Beer is simple, but the art is in crafting something tasty out of essentially water, starch, brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and hops.

{Side note: The starch listed above is where the grains come in.  Glutinous grains are traditionally used and trying to accomplish the same outcome with gluten-free options is a very difficult task. Tip your hat to your local brewers if they’re able to make your gluten-free beer dreams come true, because it is a next-level art.}

And here we are, back at the table, talking about how we have more bacteria in our gut than cells in our body and the health and diversity of those communities of bacteria are how we stay healthy as a human species.  Undeniable at this point, but where does beer fit in?  It’s a fermented beverage and tons of people drink beer, but many of them are NOT healthy.  Does it have a place in this conversation?  What parts of beer are the healthiest?  Does beer really help breastfeeding and hormones?  Did you know they’re even talking about this in the cancer world?  Isn’t alcohol unhealthy?  Are there better beers to choose than others from a health perspective? Can you overdo it….I’m asking for a friend.

If you’re a science geek, I’m going to make you cry by skipping over all the details and references because at the end of the day, it takes hours to cover all that, and if you’re like me, I really just want know I can trust the assessment and then give me the conclusion.  So, that’s where we’re at: my opinion based on the hours of going down the rabbit hole for fun.

There are 3 things to consider when talking about beer for health:

  1. The influence on the microbiome
  2. The method of production and consumption
  3. The interaction with hormones

Is Alcohol Healthy?

No.  But there are interesting data around blue zones showing moderate consumption contributes to health and longevity.  So, it begs the question: Is it the type of alcohol or the way it’s consumed?  My opinion is that unpasteurized, fermented beverages like traditional wine, beer, and ciders are better for you than other options, in moderation, and consuming them WITH people complicates the benefit around what we know about community, conversation, friendship and the physiological and biochemical changes that come with that alone.  Red wine has been shown in studies to have the least detrimental impact on inducing leaky gut, and unfortunately, we can’t say the same for my spirit of choice: gin.

Nutshell: traditionally fermented options are best, in moderation, WITH friends

Now that we have the elephant out of the way, let’s have some beer…

What makes beer healthy?  {because I would love to tell my doctor}

I want to focus on one component of beer here: hops.  Hops are plants which contain compounds like polyphenols.  These may sound foreign, but it’s some of the same stuff you know about wine! Resveratrol is the polyphenol in wine that has gotten all the love over the years, boosting wine sales significantly after the research was published.  Hops have up to a 14% polyphenol concentration in the dried cones and while that encompasses phenolic acids, catechins and proanthocyanidins, I’m mostly obsessed with the flavonoids. 

{If you ever read my article on UTI’s, then you know it’s the proanthocyanidin content (PAC) in cranberries that work some magic on E.coli. Read here.}

In terms of flavonoids in hops, xanthohumol is where it’s at.  It contributes to the bitterness in taste but it is probably more important that when that compound hits your gut, your microbiome takes it and transforms it into a different compound.  Here’s the kicker, the genus responsible for this is Eubacterium.  This kind of bacteria is one of the largest butyrate producers in your gut, which for those that don’t know, butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that acts as fuel for your intestinal cells to thrive, keeping leaky gut at bay. You may have heard of them when talking about PREbiotics; the stuff that you get when you eat fibers to feed healthy bacteria in your gut.  Polyphenols do the same thing to some extent!  If you or your doctor have done a stool test on you, you may be more familiar with these bacteria being in the phylum of Firmicutes. 

{Side note for clinicians: If you see absent Firmicutes, you are not only likely seeing low diversity in your patient, low butyrate production, etc, but you are also seeing someone who may be deficient in their ability to benefit from polyphenols that require that bacteria to transform them into other compounds for a health outcome!  This area is something that I feel strongly about in terms of personalized and precision medicine in the future.  We are already studying the differences in drug metabolism based on someone’s age, sex, genes, and MICROBIOME, but we should be exploring the same principles to herbal medicinal interventions, too.  It does no good to provide someone a compound that they lack the ability to transform if transformation is necessary for the health outcome. Back to regular scheduled programming…}

They have done studies to watch the microbiome shifts using alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of wine to try and determine where benefits are coming from, and sorry guys, they see more benefit in the microbiome shifts of people drinking polyphenol-rich beverages WITHOUT the alcohol. 

Nutshell: Wine and beer have these healthy polyphenols, but if you were trying to be perfectionistic, you’d prioritize non-alcoholic versions to have healthy impact on your microbiome. 

What are the best options to choose?

Prioritize the following:

  • Craft beer may ensure more traditional methods of production
  • Buying from smaller brewers locally, on tap, may improve the health aspects due to lack of pasteurization
  • Consider choosing non-alcoholic hop beverages for all the polyphenol benefits without the alcohol down-sides
    • I’m not sponsored in any way, but I am obsessed with HopTea, which is a tea brewed with hops and carbonated to give you all the feels of a beer, without the hangover

Beer and hormones?

I didn’t even get the fact that hops are considered a galactogogue, which basically means, helps breastfeeding moms with milk production.  They are also a phytoestrogen, which means they have estrogenic influence.  Yes, estrogen is so important that even plants make them.  This is often used in menopausal women to retain hormone balance to help hot flashes and brain neurodegeneration.  

This could be an entirely different blog for an entirely different time.  For now, I just wanted to share what I was learning about hops and the microbiome as my obsession for research in autoimmunity and my love of HopTea grows.  Until next time!


Spiced Banana Bread {Paleo}

Apparently the most googled baking phrase during the quarantine is “how to make banana bread” and I ironically made paleo banana bread today without even knowing that!  I’m here to share the recipe with you in case that’s what you’re trying to figure out during your time at home! I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite primal cookbooks: Primal Cravings.  If you like the texture, feel free to adapt the recipe to make whatever flavor you like!
Spiced Banana Bread
Ingredients:
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
2 mashed, ripe bananas
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325F, and line small loaf pan with parchment paper.  Combine the wet ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and pour batter into loaf pan. Bake until the edges are golden and middle is cooked through, which is about an hour.  Let it cool in the pan before removing.

EMFs: How WiFi Impacts Your Health and Practical Ways to Address It

Whether you believe that WiFi is the worst thing that’s ever happened to humans or the best thing that ever happened for business, you’re right.  Well, using extreme words like “worst thing ever” may be excessive because who’s to validate the superlative?  Either way, it DOES impact you in a POSITIVE and NEGATIVE way.  I like to do some simple education about what something is, connect some dots around your health concerns, and give you practical advice on how to do your best without living in a bubble. 

What are Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)?

The word EMF is simply referring the radiation that’s being emitted from something, and there are 2 forms: ionizing and non-ionizing. Non-ionizing is generally seen as safe and ionizing is categorized as toxic for humans due the DNA damaging abilities (think cancer). It may make you feel warm and fuzzy to know that most of your electronic devices fall in the non-ionizing category, but as research is evolving and more patients are being treated for EMF sensitivities, many countries are taking measures to remove their citizens from this exposure for health reasons.

In fact, in 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified EMFs from cell phones and wireless devices to be potential human carcinogens.

How does this impact your body?

Let’s just make a list:

  • Using your cell for a minimum of 30 minutes a day on one side of your head for 10 years increases your risk of brain tumor formation by 40-170%.  That’s a broad range because 3 studies that have been conducted have varying outcomes, but all show increased risk.
  • WiFi decreases melatonin production which is NECESSARY for sleep and is a very powerful hormone and antioxidant in the body impacting virtually everything.  This is a large reason why sleep issues are often connected to EMF as an environmental issue for patients.
  • EMFs increase free radicals in the body, which basically means increases damage from oxidative stress, driving systemic inflammation
  • EMFs contribute to leaky blood brain barriers, allowing toxins the ability to encounter the brain when the barrier would normally keep it safe and secluded
  • In the case of heavy metal issues in a patient due to amalgam fillings, consuming fish with mercury regularly, or heavy metal exposure due to where they live, work, or play, you see increased sensitivity to EMFs
  • If you have a metal surgical implant, it basically acts like a radio frequency antenna, causing major symptoms in some patients, especially those with implants in/near the spine
  • Children are at much higher risk of forming long term health issues due to exposure…

3G wasn’t a thing until about 2005, and the latency period for brain tumors is about 25 years.  Do the math.  Data will come.

How you can decrease risk without living in a bubble:

  • DISTANCE! As you double your distance from a device, you decrease exposure by 75%.  Try your best to stay 1 meter away from your devices, minimally…that’s about an adult male arm’s length.
  • Text. Don’t call.
  • Turn off your wireless router when you aren’t using it. In addition, the router is a big source of EMF, so place it in a room you don’t use much.
  • Ditch wireless baby monitors. 
  • Move your bed away from any walls that have a fridge on the other side. 
  • Don’t carry a cell phone on your person.  Men, you’re the biggest offender here because you don’t carry purses.  They have even shown bone density changes in the femurs on the side of the cell phone pocket.  My guess is that you store yours next to other important bodily parts.
  • Do not allow cell phones in the bedroom.  You spend 20 years of your life there….
  • Turn your phone on airplane mode when you don’t need to use it.
  • Disable blue tooth capabilities.
  • Ditch wireless headphones.

I know this seems like a lot, but when you consider the timeframe of wifi and cell phone existence, we’ve done a pretty great job existing without these things for a long time.  Just like you, I work and conduct business via electronic devices, and I couldn’t be happier to have information from all over the world at my finger tips (it beats that encyclopedia set I had to use in school).  However, the little things you can implement to decrease load will only contribute to your health, the health of your kids, and the health of your neighbors (have you ever tried connecting to their router?! We’re in this together). Especially if you have headaches and sleep issues that don’t improve despite living a healthy lifestyle, you may want to take inventory of the home.


Sweet Potato Brownies

This was an old friend that used to pop up at every party at my gym years ago.  I wanted to log it on the blog simply to capture the recipe, so I never forget it!  Julie Bauer was the brain child behind this creation, although this recipe isn’t exact to her original.  They are moist, hiding veggies, and hit the sweet tooth spot!
Sweet Potato Brownies
Ingredients:
  • 1 Sweet Potato, cooked (I poke holes with a fork, throw it in the microwave for 3-5 minutes, and scoop out the inside)
  • 1/4 cup grassfed butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 pan.  Mix all your ingredients together and pour into baking dish.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Let cool, and serve!

Cauliflower “oatmeal”

Cauliflower is one cruciferous veggie that is great for detoxification!  Cauliflower includes antioxidants that boost Phase 1 of detoxification, which is all about turning toxins from fat-lovers looking for storage and prepping them to become water-loving chemicals that are easy to eliminate. Cauliflower also has sulfur-containing nutrients that boost Phase 2 detoxification, which is where they get fully transformed into water-lovers. It also contains phytonutrients called glucosinolates, which activate detox enzymes and intensify their activity. Can I just also mention that it contains something called  indole-3-carbinol, which breaks down bad estrogens in the body to help with hormonal harmony!
For those keeping track of carbs, cauliflower is the low carb sub for potatoes in dishes, and it contains some fiber to health regulate bowels and blood sugar.
BUT, have you ever considered cauliflower for breakfast?! Now you can try it, even if just for your new year reset.
Cauliflower “Oatmeal”
Ingredients:
One bag of frozen cauliflower rice
Coconut milk/Almond milk
Pinch of salt
TBSP or more of cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Toppings: feel free to top with berries, coconut, nuts
Optional additions: add nut butter or protein powder
Directions:
Pour the bag of cauliflower into a pan on the stove top and add about 1-2 cups of milk.  Start with less and decide what you like in terms of consistency.  Add you cinnamon and simmer for 10 minutes.  Cook longer for more mushy consistency.  Take off heat and add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Top with your favorites and enjoy!

Paleo Pear Crisp

It’s pear time! And while apples get all the attention, pear can be just as good!

Paleo Pear Crisp:

  • 4-5 pears, cored, and sliced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder

Topping:

  • half stick of butter (or 1/4 cup coconut oil)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of apple pie or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour

Directions:

Mix the filling ingredients together until coated and put in an 8×8 or 9×13 depending on how thick you want it.  Crumble the topping ingredients together and cover the filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.  Turn the oven to  broil and brown the topping  for about 3 minutes!