Holiday Stress-Reducing Tonic Recipe

Typically, during this time of year, I put out a post with a roundup of great holiday recipes. Well, there are a lot of food bloggers doing that already.  Instead, I decided to give you a recipe for my personal holiday stress-reducing tonic.  After all, many of us could sure use that, instead of another way to cook sweet potatoes.

Holiday Stress-Reducing Tonic Recipe by Tara Perillo

Holiday Stress-Reducing Tonic Recipe

In the real world, the holidays are often a stressful time for many of us.  We get caught up in a flurry of gift buying, food preparation, budgeting and goodness knows what else. Sometimes, we are forced to deal with toxic or negative family members, we try to avoid during the rest of the year.  There is not enough wine in the world to help you through a holiday meal with one of these people. LOL! Instead of reaching for the alcohol, give my holiday stress-reducing tonic a try.

Holiday Stress-Reducing Tonic Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 serving



  1. Add tincture drops to already steeped cup of herbal tea.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Add stevia or honey to taste.
  4. Stir.
  5. Sip tonic slowly.


*Begin with only 10 drops of Valerian Root. Increase by 2 drops at a time, if 10 drops are not sufficient. If sleepiness occurs, decrease dosage. Can also be used as a sleep aid, in dosages of 20 to 30 drops.

A few words of warning about my holiday stress-reducing tonic: (1) Only drink one cup, until you know the effects on your body. If you notice sleepiness, instead of calm, reduce the amount of Valerian root. (2) Don’t drive, until you know the effects on your body. Should you become sleepy, you don’t want to be behind the wheel of your car. (3) Don’t use more of any herb than I’ve directed. More is not always better when you’re taking herbs. Some can have negative effects in higher doses. (4) Drink your tonic about 20 to 30 minutes before stressful activities (or stressful people’s arrival), to give the tonic time to move into your bloodstream. Enjoy your zen!

Also, I wanted to let y’all know about the Black Friday weekend deal I have going. If you purchase my ebook, Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide at, you get my AIP Paleo Cajun Cookbook for FREE with discount code: BLACKFRIDAY16.  The discount will only be given through the bundle link  You must enter the discount code in the appropriate box and click update cart at checkout. You will then get both ebooks for only $6.99. Offer expires 11/28/16, at 11:59pm CST.

Black Friday Deal! Buy 1 Get 1 FREE!

Black Friday Deal! Buy Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide, Get AIP Paleo Cajun Cookbook FREE!

My Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide is not just a fitness guide.  There are tons of tips to help you reduce stress, get better sleep, and make batch cooking easier.  These are all tips we could use around holiday time.

I wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season. Remember to take lots of deep breaths, do a little yoga, and drink a cup of Holiday Stress-Reducing Tonic.

Healthy Instant Pot Cajun Red Beans Recipe

In the spirit of broadening my diet to include more healthy foods, you will be seeing me add some previously taboo foods to my recipe collection.  When I started to think about the foods I missed most, beans (especially red beans) was at the top of my list.  The last time I had red beans and rice was in October 2013, right after my lupus diagnosis.  At the time, I was visiting New Orleans, where my sister, Alyssa,  had just given birth to my nephew, Grayson. My other sister, Alaina (yeah, they’re twins), had made me a big pot of red beans and rice, to celebrate my visit back home. I hadn’t made the switch to paleo yet, only gluten free.  The fact that I remember that story, in such detail, makes red beans the perfect choice for me today.

Healthy Instant Pot Cajun Red Beans Recipe by Tara Perillo

Healthy Instant Pot Cajun Red Beans Recipe

Now, beans can be a tricky food to reintroduce into your diet. How many of us have experience the gas, bloating, and indigestion that can come from eating a nice big bowl of beans? I think we would all like to skip that part of enjoying beans.  So, I set out to reduce those unwanted symptoms.

Beans contain anti-nutrients, like phytic acid, which produce the ill effects, such as gas.  By soaking dried beans for 24 hours or more, we can remove most of the anti-nutrients from the beans.  I recommend soaking your beans for at least 24 hours, in a bowl of filtered water and a teaspoon of baking soda, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. If possible, rinse and change water at least once while soaking.  When soak time is over, thoroughly rinse beans before cooking. For some reason, kidney (red) beans seem to be “dirtier” than others. Make sure you change the water and rinse completely, at least a couple of times.

The ingredients I’ve chosen to add to the beans, also aid in removing any leftover toxins or anti-nutrients in the beans. Celery, parsley and garlic are all anti-inflammatory.  They contain nutrients, vitamins, compounds or minerals that can bind to toxins, to safely remove them from the body. This can help our bodies to digest beans more effectively, and draw out nutrients in the beans, for our bodies to use.

Healthy Instant Pot Cajun Red Beans Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 28 minutes

Total Time: 48 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 pound dried kidney beans, soaked and rinsed*
  • 1 yellow or sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 links gluten free smoked sausage or kielbasa, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • filtered water** to cover beans


  1. Place all ingredients, except water, in inner pot of Instant Pot.
  2. Slowly pour in filtered water, until beans are just slightly covered.
  3. Secure lid.
  4. Press “Manual” button.
  5. Set cook time to 28 minutes by pressing “-“ (minus) button.
  6. Allow to cook.
  7. When cooking complete timer sounds, press “Off” button.
  8. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes.
  9. Carefully, open lid.
  10. Stir beans, while mashing some beans against sides of inner pot, to thicken sauce.
  11. Once desired consistency is reached, serve over favorite rice, quinoa, or riced cauliflower.


*Soak beans for at least 24 hours. Rinse repeatedly before cooking. **May use chicken or bone broth instead of filtered water.

Having a healthy gut, before you enjoy a bowl full of beans, is also key in not having any ill effects.  Taking digestive enzymes or pre- and pro-biotics before your meal can help your gut process foods better. It’s well worth it to use all of the tools available to us. More tools = less toots!

Hope y’all enjoy these Healthy Instant Pot Cajun Red Beans.  It may take longer to soak and prepare your beans; but, you….and those around you, will thank me later. LOL!

Don’t have an Instant Pot yet? Treat yourself on Black Friday or Cyber Monday! I’m sure you’ll be able to get a great deal!

*This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase from one of these links, I may receive compensation. Thank you for helping to support my blog.- Tara Perillo

Changes Are Happening!

Hello Everyone! I just wanted to pop in to let you know about a few changes that are going down at Paleo Cajun Lady. I made this quick video for you, to help me explain things. I have some wonderful things coming your way; and, I’m really excited. I think everyone will be more comfortable in this new space.

Changes Are Happening at Paleo Cajun Lady! Tara Perillo

Changes Are Happening! Let’s get stronger together!

I would love to get your feedback on these changes. Please share, in Comments, any topics you would like me to discuss or highlight. I welcome your thoughts.

For those of you on the AIP, click HERE, for blogs and websites specializing in autoimmune disease and the AIP. All of my AIP recipes will remain on this site.

Thank you for joining me through your health journey. It’s exciting that I will now be able to help even more people to improve their health. Let’s build a world of healthier, stronger people!

AIP Paleo Instant Pot Beet Fennel Soup Recipe

While I was vacationing at La Quinta Resort & Club, in California, I had the pleasure of dining at Morgan’s In The Desert.  Morgan’s is an upscale, farm to table restaurant, home to chef Jimmy Schmidt, a pioneer of the farm-to table movement, and three time winner of the James Beard award.

AIP Paleo Instant Pot Beet Fennel Soup Recipe by Tara Perillo

AIP Paleo Instant Pot Beet Fennel Soup

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