Posts Tagged ‘ Paleo ’

Sweet Tooth? Yeah, Me Too.

I’ll be the first to admit, I have a sweet tooth. Scratch that, I have a sweet mouth. When I tell people about it, explaining that is turning into a problem, they usually just roll their eyes and say “yeah right, I’ll show you a sweet tooth.” But I am serious. I would rather forego any meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner, anything for a sweet treat or some chocolate. I  don’t care how much fat, how many calories…just give it to me.

Ok, enough of the cookie monster. See what I mean? My fiance has even admitted that he thinks I am addicted to chocolate. Whenever I talk about my chocolate cravings he usually just shakes his head and tells me that there is something wrong with me.

So you are on doing this Paleo thing, you’ve weened yourself off sugar but still feel like you have an inner cookie monster who dying to come out now and then? Well lucky for you, many other Paleo-ers feel the exact same way. And lucky for me I have been able to find great paleo ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without getting a jumbo sized Caramello. (if you don’t know what a Caramello is, for goodness sakes…drop everything right now and go buy one for yourself at the gas station…oh my chocolately caramel goodness) ok…ok. Sorry. I’m back.

Anyways, like I was saying, they are great ways to stick to your eating plan and still enjoy life. This time I tried some muffins, Paleo muffins of course.

Disclaimer: just because a “sweet” is Paleo does not mean you can sit around and eat as much as you want. Moderation is the key. If you are making muffins, make mini muffins instead of regular sized to ensure that you aren’t overdoing it. A lot of these sweet recipes call for some pretty high fat/calorie content foods and if you are trying to lose weight, eating a batch of Paleo Chocolate Chip cookies is going to do more harm than good, whether or not it has gluten or diary in it. So pace yourself.

Ingredients!

I had to alter the recipe a bit due to some nut allergies in our house. So I will put the original recipe here and then in blue put my substitutions. Enjoy!

 

Paleo Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups almond flour (I used 1 cup coconut flour)

3/4 cup puree pumpkin (you can used canned, but make sure to get just plain pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling) (I added a bit more, about a cup)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3 eggs

1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup or honey depending on your sweet tooth

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I had no “official pumpkin pie spice so instead I made my own mixture -Makes 1 tsp

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • I didn’t have clove- but would have added 1/8 tsp clove if I had had it.

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped cranberries (I used a cup of dried cranberries)

1/2 cup water- (mine were a little dry upon mixing so I added some water to moisten.

 

Adding the Coconut Flour

 

 

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix together all the ingredients except for the cranberries until smooth. Fold in the cranberries.

Spoon batter into greased muffin cups (I use coconut oil) and bake for 25 minutes. They turn out soft and cakey, but are delicious in the mornings with some coffee!

 

Adding the Crans!

Ready for the oven!

There you have it! Something a little different for your palate! Hope you enjoy! As always, Stay Active, Stay Healthy, and Smile!

 

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The Struggle to Stay Balanced

I am very happy to announce a new blog that I am excited and honored to be a part of: Hot Dish Health! A few of the ladies past and present that were/are a part of Crossfit Jenks decided to get together and write about something we are constantly talk about: staying and eating healthy. We found ourselves talking about food and nutrition 24/7. Every time we saw each other we would bring up new things we learned, recipes we tried, or lament about what we “accidentally” ate that weekend. We found that most of us were in a struggling battle to find balance between eating healthy and becoming obsessed.

Finally one day our Hot Dish Nicole decided that if we were all feeling the same way about food, how many other people in the world were having the same daily struggle? Enter: Hot Dish Health, a forum to talk about those struggles, get feedback from loyal readers like you and a place to start the conversation that no one wants to have but we all obsess over. So I hope you can find some useful information in both of these blogs, Healthy Living in the 918 and Hot Dish Health. Hopefully one post or another will speak to you, give you inspiration or just a much-needed laugh.

So enjoy! Stay active, stay healthy and smile!

Holy Jicama! | Hot Dish Health.

Stereotypical New Year’s Title

The New Year is here and like every year, each and every tweet and blog post asks, “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” When confronted with this question on the screen I usually turn and hide. I don’t even want to think of resolutions because typically resolutions are the exact things that you DON’T keep in the New Year. Sorry to be Pessimistic Patsy but statistically most people do not keep their resolutions past week 2, and even less after a month.

So what are we to do? Say screw it all to any type of resolution that may help us be better, stronger, healthier, smarter  in 2011? No, absolutely not. But when you are making your resolutions think really hard before you set them out. And try to remember these three things:

1. Don’t give yourself too much to do in 2011. Try to focus on one or two resolutions that are manageable and that you could attain at any time in the year, not just the first. There are many grandiose ideas I have for 2011. I want to be fluent in Spanish, I want to do a 100 m handstand walk, I want to eat clean 100% of the time. I want to quilt. Sheesh, I have a lot to do and when I start to look at this long list of resolutions or what I call “wants” for 2011 I start to have a panic attack. How the hell can I possibly attain all of these things starting January 1st. So what did I do? I took a big step back and went over my list, forcing myself to pick one thing I can commit to, only one. Yes, I would love to promise myself that I will do everything on this list and if I can do that, great for me. In all actuality, the new year will hit and I will be so busy with everything else that most of this stuff won’t ever get wings to get off the ground. So my one New Year’s Resolution: Paleo. That’s it.

2. Grab your friends and get going together. Many people say they can hold themselves accountable, and maybe they can. I myself find that I am a lot more accountable when others are relying on me to follow through. So what better way to start the new year than finding a few friends that want to share your goal. This could be eating healthy, working out more, learning spanish, training your dogs, whatever! Just grab some friends and keep each other accountable. Plus, usually this stuff is a lot more fun when you aren’t doing it alone!

3. Don’t hate yourself if you fall back a few steps. January 1st is arbitrary. Yes, it is the beginning of a new year, and a great platform to start new things, but who decided that this is the only day of the year when you can start a program to make yourself better? Exactly, no one. Janaury 10th is just as great of a day as January 1st, and February 20th is good too. So if you decide January 1st holds too much pressure to get your butt into gear then give yourself a week to get started. The main idea is that you start, and if you fall off the wagon just make sure you brush yourself off and get back on, immediately. Don’t focus on the fall focus on the future goal and most of all make sure you are having fun.

Happy New Year everyone! 2010 was a great year, here’s to making 2011 even better!

Cheers to a bigger, better, stronger, healthier You!

Yum! Yum! Shrimp!

I had a delicious paleo meal last night and I must share. I spent the day searching for a good recipe that both my fiancée and I could enjoy. He definitely watches what he eats and works out every day but he isn’t strictly paleo. He still eats grains but ever since I started this paleo diet  back in June he has definitely become more conscientious about what he eats. Plus I do the cooking on most nights so he kinda has to eat what I cook 🙂 So, goal for the day, find a new recipe that wouldn’t be too difficult, would work for both of us, and would be different! I am so sick of eating chicken and turkey every single night.

And as I am sure all Paleo junkies do, I have a go to bookmark folder at the top of my browser where I have earmarked great Paleo websites that I have stumbled across in my search for new and exciting recipes. Jumping straight to that folder I began my search. I found a ton of things I could cook but they just didn’t seem right. And then, out of no where I found it, Shrimp! I haven’t cooked shrimp in a coon’s age (ha ha) and I conveniently has a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer. (No, frozen shrimp isn’t the most ideal choice, but sometimes you have to go with what you have). So, with a few changes and tweaks to the recipe below I had a very delicious paleo meal.

So here it is. Graciously grabbed from Everyday Paleo, hands down one of my favorite paleo websites!

Shrimp Tacos

1 bag of frozen already cooked tail removed shrimp – thawed and drained

1 cup cherry tomatoes halved

1 green bell pepper sliced

1 tbsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 handful of cilantro

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 a jar of salsa verde

1 head of iceberg lettuce leaves for taco shells

Cut the thawed shrimp in half and set aside.  In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the cilantro and bell peppers until tender, add the cherry tomatoes and saute for about 1 minute.  Add the shrimp, the spices, and the salsa, mix well and cook just until the shrimp are warm.  Serve in the lettuce leaves with sliced avocados and shredded purple cabbage.

There you have it! Enjoy!

Stay active, stay healthy, and smile!

 

5 Tips for Eating Paleo on a Budget

So one of my biggest problems/aversions to Paleo is the significant cost increase in all of my food. Before Paleo I could go to the grocery store and for just me, spend around $50 and get a great week’s worth of meals. When I first began this I was shocked at the money I was spending at the store, every week, not including the small trips to the store to pick up extras for dinner here and there. I couldn’t believe that eating healthy, although great for your body was so bad for your bank account, and I don’t even buy all of my food at the local Whole Foods! I couldn’t imagine how bad that would be for my budget, especially when things such as avocados are about $3 a piece! NO thank you. 

 I know there are a ton of Paleo-ers out there who buy gobs of grass-fed beef, snack only on organic fruits and veggies, and I applaud you. That is great. However, my budget and lifestyle does not allow me such luxuries. So, as clean and as “organic” as I can get it has to fit into a tight budget. And although I am not an expert on saving money or paleo for that matter, I thought I would give a few tips that have helped me during this challenge.

1. Buy veggies and fruits in season. This is the first and most important tip. As you all know fruits and veggies make up about 70% of our diet which means it makes up about 70% of the money we spend. So a good way to stay eating great fruits and veggies is to eat what is in season. When I began this a few months ago apples were in full bloom meaning that I could buy a pound of apples at times for about a $1.00. I would stock up on apples and forgo something like strawberries which looked delicious but would have costed me about $3.50 for a small carton (think about 15 strawberries). Those strawberries would have been gone in a day but for $2 I could have apples all week. Buying fruit in season can also be a bit boring. I am sure after about three weeks of apples I was done, but it is a great excuse to get creative! Instead of just slicing up an apple, I would dice it and put it in salads, or slice long thin strips and bake them for some delicious apple chips sprinkled with cinnamon. Now, fast forward to today, I can go to the store and get a carton of strawberries for around $1. So buying in season will save you money while still allowing you to buy great produce.

2. Always look for the sale. This seems quite elementary, but can save you a ton of money at the register. Think about it in the same light as you do ‘buying in season”. I can tell you that there are some weeks when I am craving some bell peppers, but not the green ones, those beautiful big red, yellow, and orange ones. Oh my,  I can just sit around and think of all the ways I would like to use those in my meals. And then, bubble burst when I arrive at the store to see each pepper is running about $2.00 each. Excuse me?!? No, thank you. But believe me, one of those days I know I will go and look and they will be on sale for about $.80 each and then you better believe I am stocking up. Sales make a huge difference in your bottom line so look for the produce with the big red sale sticker and you should reap the benefits.

3. Plan out your meals ahead of time. Besides saving you time during the week, especially in the mornings, this can also be a big help at the grocery store. Planning out your meals, specifically dinner, can help you stay within your budget and eliminates extra food you might throw into your basket. I know I am guilty of having an impromptu grocery store night and showing up without a game plan. I tend to walk around the store trying to devise meals as I go, buying way more than I need, because maybe one day I can make this…or I should get these because I might make this one night. And yet, it never fails, I either do not get enough ingredients to cook what I was thinking in my head, or the food just goes to waste because I have gotten more than I can eat. Sigh, money wasted. So, before you even think about going to the store, plan out your food and what you will need for each meal and stick to it. Don’t buy that extra eggplant for $2.95 because you think one night you could grill it. Believe me, 9 times out of 10 you won’t.

4. Buy meat in bulk to last the week. I tend to find that my meat selection is usually the highest price on my ticket. Although it only makes up about 25% of my grocery shopping, it is still quite a large chunk of change. To offset the high price of meat I try to look for the bulk size packs of meat. Instead of buying a small amount of chicken for $6 that will feed me for that night’s dinner, I will get the bulk pack for $2 or $3 more and it will last me the week, for multiple meals. Instead of buying one filet of salmon, I try to find the halibut or tilapia that comes with 3 or 4 filets. I then can cook one that night for dinner and put the rest in a ziplock bag for a quick meal later on in the week.

5. Plan out your grocery shopping night and try out a few stores if necessary. . This last tip sort of wraps up 1-4. A night of grocery shopping, although tedious and usually unpleasant, should be scheduled into your weekly activities so you can get the most out of it. I find that some nights I may have to try a few different stores to get everything that I need. A sale at one grocery store, may not be at another. Therefore I might buy a few sale items here and then slide on over to the other neighborhood market where I know the veggies are regularly cheaper. Don’t force yourself to get everything done in one spot, you will spend more money than you have to. Your meal plan for the week will help out in this situation. You can highlight the foods for one location and underline the ones you can get cheaper at another location. If you know you can only get your brand of cashew butter at Whole Foods, put that stop on your list as well. Being prepared and knowing your local markets will help. Get online and look up the sales for the store that week, and hey they might even have a coupon or two!

I hope that these quick five down and dirty tips help you feel more confident about eating Paleo on a budget. Sticking to these has really helped me keep my Paleo foods within a range that I feel comfortable in and can afford. So happy shopping!

A few thoughts

Paleo this week has been great! I have been able to stick to the eating plan and keep it clean! I went shopping on Monday night and grabbed a ton of great fresh things including zucchini and squash, cilantro for my cilantro shrimp and a ton of fruit including this beautiful picture here: Oh my Strawberry/Blackberry heaven! Usually blackberries are way too overpriced for me and I frequently have to pass them up. But Monday must have been my lucky day because sitting in front of me at the grocery store was a huge box of them (not those wimpy ones that hold like four blackberries, but the big mamajammas) and it was only $3!! Yay! Perfect for my budget paleo meals. So grabbing a nice beautiful box of those and two boxes of strawberries I was set for a delicious week of snacks!

This discovery couldn’t have come at a better time. About 3 weeks ago I had an intervention. I finally hit rock bottom and actually admitted to myself that I had a problem. I was addicted…addicted to cranberries and cashews. UGH. I absolutely had to cut them out. I was going through way too many cans of cashews and I wasn’t seeing any results being restrictive on Paleo. It had to be my sweet sweet delicious mixture. Since then I have been cashew/cranberry free and I feel great! I do still put cranberries on my salads but only about a teaspoon and occasionally I eat them with an almond so I can choke it down (yuck!) but alas, no more mindless munching and haphazard handfuls. I had broken away! Thank goodness. And now with summer I am hoping to eat more and more fruits and veggies!

On a side note. I have been having a particularly hard time at Crossfit. My performance in the workouts has been fine and some days even great. But one crossfit movement has been evading me. The Muscle Up..dun dun DUUUNN. Yes, the dreaded muscle up. I just can’t get those darn things to click. I have done a few legit ones in my day, a total of four or five, but I have entire days when I fail over and over again. It is so frustrating. So. My new goal is to focus on getting a muscle up and hopefully each day I will get to practice them and they will click. Fingers crossed!

I’m late, I’m late for a very important date

I think the words “busy week” might be an understatement for how my week has been going. I never actually realized how inconvenient eating Paleo was until now. Has anyone else ever had a week from hell that has left them driving around wondering where they could ‘forage’ for some cave man food. Because, that is what I was doing tonight. It was too late to go to the grocery store and cook something and I couldn’t think of one restaurant that had anything Paleo friendly in the slightest.

Coming off of a weekend away leaves one’s refrigerator bare. Especially if there aren’t any processed foods lying around. Obviously all of my food is fresh and has a finite lifespan, meaning it was like, “hurry up and eat it because it won’t be good on Monday” mentality. Well that was true and Monday came along with only a few eggs and some packed tuna for meals. Sigh.

Now it’s one thing to come back from vacation and have a bare refrigerator. Then it is an entirely different scenario to come back from vacation and be unable to go to the grocery store because you’re just too darn busy. Enter my life. This week just happens to be one of the busiest times for me at work. Part of my job includes event planning and this week is our agency’s biggest fundraiser of the year and guess who is planning and facilitating the entire thing?? Your’s truly. Yep, I’ve been slammed. So slammed that going to the grocery store seems like the absolute farthest thing in my mind. After long hours at work, trying to get in a WOD here and there, my fridge has been left bare and lonely. It actually creeks when I open it. I feel like I am on a crime show when they open the fridge and all that is left in there is a carton of old chinese and a beer. (ok, that is not what is in my sad lonely fridge, but it currently holds only a jar of salsa and some lemon juice.

So to say I’ve been scrounging for breakfast, lunch and dinner is an understatement. Tonight, like I said was the worst. My mind started to wander back to the old days when I could just pop over to a local fast casual restaurant, grab something and eat in 15 minutes. Oh how I longed for those days. But they are in the past, and I am in the Paleo present. Begrudgingly I went to the Deli down the street from me and ordered their “nutty mixed up salad” sans feta and dressing. It was a good mix of greens, cranberries, walnuts, apples, grapes and chicken. I added my own lemon dressing at home and viola, dinner in a gif. Now, would I have rather cooked my own meal, of course. But desperate times call for desperate measures and my stomach was definitely saying it had reached desperate measures.

Do any fellow Paleo-ers out there have any good tips for a Paleo solution after a long, stressful, bare fridge day?