Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kid-Friendly Chili

This is by far the most basic chili recipe I have ever found. I like my chili hot, spicy, and hearty. My kids, however, do not have the same pallet and it is difficult to find a nice hot chili that they can enjoy. Well, I found one! I change it around a bit (okay, a lot), and we will be adding this to our menu pretty often! This is perfect for the colder weather!!!

Super-Basic Slow Cooked Chili

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Large can tomato puree
Brown the ground beef and drain off excess fat. Add all of the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low until heated through (I like it at around 4 hours). This is a VERY VERY VERY mild chili, and in order to make it more enjoyable my hubby and I added about 1/2 tsp of chili powder to our individual bowls. This made it quite perfect for us, while the children we able to enjoy the chili just as it was! This was the first chili recipe that my children both ate completely, so we were quite thrilled. Sure, I enjoy chili recipes with a zillion ingredients and some serious kick, but for a basic recipe that I can always add to, and one that the kids will eat as-is, this is my new go-to favorite!

Pumpkin Pancakes

These are *VERY* dense and filling. They are very delicious, but totally a pancake that has a serving size of 1!

Pumpkin Pancakes

serves 4 (original recipe is here)
  •  4 eggs 
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup of almond butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
 Mix all ingredients and cook on a medium low skillet for ~3-5 minutes per side. If you are interested in increasing the protein or the carbs click on the link to the original recipe. He added vanilla to the original, but I ... well... sorta read over that part... and it was forgotten. I think they were amazing without it, so I left it out.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tapioca Crepes

Sometimes everyone needs something special for breakfast. I wanted crepes SO badly, I am thankful I found (and changed, a bit) this recipe!!! **These are super with sweet toppings. If you would like to add veggies, eggs, or bacon as a topping, just omit the vanilla

Tapioca Crepes
  • 2 c. tapioca flour
  • 2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp (gluten free!) vanilla 
  • Coconut oil (to grease skillet. If you have a nonstick skillet, this is not needed)
  • **Toppings** fresh berries or naturally sweetened berry spread
Heat a skillet over medium heat, and lightly oil with some coconut oil. Combine flour, coconut milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour 1/3 cup on skillet and heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Top with your favorite topping!

Dinner in a Pumpkin!!!

We have done this for the last two years and the kids ADORE it! (They were upset in the picture, because we told them they had to eat before trick or treating)

Dinner in a Pumpkin: (adapted from Tracy Roberts)

  • Pumpkin: size depends on how many people you are feeding. The pumpkins pictured above could have made 4x this size of recipe, but I think a big pumpkin is cuter, so I use a large one)
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb sausage
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp curry
  • 1 (or 2) cans of tomato sauce (depends on how wet you would like the consistancy)
  • 1 c. cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
Cut the top off the pumpkin; cut out all the seeds and loose pulp. Brown the ground beef and sausage. Combine all ingredients and put into pumpkin. Put stemmed top back on the pumpkin, and bake the pumpkin in the oven at 350° until heated through, about 30-45 minutes. **If you are doubling this, add more time! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping is a pretty big event around here. Well, not really... it is generally just the little boys and myself. And we menu plan. And our nutrition follows the paleo lifestyle... add these things together, and the boys often feel like they need to spice up our trips- they need adventure! Today they decided to dress themselves, and they both insisted that they wanted to grocery shop in their chosen outfits. The picture above, is what they decided to wear. Fine with me... off we went.

Kurt doesn't love when the kids dress up. I really don't mind it (as long as we aren't going anywhere that would suggest a need for regular clothing! No Buzz Lightyears at Church!!!). So, when the kids and I are flying our adventures solo, they dress the way they want. The way I see it, they only have a few more years where they can get away with it- so have fun while it lasts!!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dinner Time!!!

"Cheating" while living a paleo nutritional lifestyle is SOOOOOOO easy. With a Starbucks on every corner (Vanilla Bean Frappachino, anyone?) and three restaurants on each street (Just a tiny bit of rice for my Lamb Saagwala?), failing to plan is totally a plan to fail. Even with menu planning and weekly shopping trips we have found that there are a hundred reasons to just stop and pick up SOMETHING because we are strapped for time or motivation. That is... until after we eat. Headaches, fatigue, swelling, bloating, irritability- all of these can come from a simple "cheat" in our plan.

The last few weeks have been really hard on our family. So many changes in such a short period of time have left me feeling pretty darn unmotivated to do just about anything, let alone cook three meals every single day. However, as the week went on I kept feeling worse and worse. Not just emotionally drained, but physically ill. Reading a really great blog post made me stop and realize just how excessive my "cheating" was - and gave me the strength I needed to recommit myself to our healthy eating plan. I feel better when I only eat paleo foods- sooooo, shouldn't I make time to make it happen? YES.

Now, I am not saying I will never "cheat" again. I am saying that when those cravings come, and I choose to indulge, those episodes need to be few and far between, so that I give my body a chance to deal with the crap I am putting inside of it.

Tonight we had Chicken Tikka Masala and "Rice." It was super! Not as spicy as I generally take my Indian cuisine, but that can be altered another time. This was a super base recipe to use, and I plan on tweaking it and perfecting it as I morph it to my own tastes. Better than how delicious it was, is how I feel. Energized, light, alert- not sluggish and hazy. What more can we ask for from our food?

2 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tb Coconut Oil
1.5 lbs Organic Free Range Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size cubes
1 Sweet Onion
2 Tb freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 (14.5 oz) can Organic Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup Coconut Milk (FULL FAT!)
1/2 Tb Arrowroot powder
Sea Salt to taste

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken, onion, and liemon juice; cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink (about 10 minutes). Add all of the spices except red pepper and cook/stir 1 minutes
Stir in tomatoes and mix well. In a small bowl, stir together coconut milk, arrowroot powder, and salt until smooth. Gradually stir coconut milk mixture into skillet. Stir in Red Pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.

I served this with "Rice"

1 head cauliflower (or however much you want)
2T olive oil
Optional Spices and Seasoning:
1/2 t. ground curry
1 green onion, finely chopped
dash each of cayenne pepper, sea salt, ground black pepper
1 T. olive oil

Roughly chop and then grate the cauliflower in a food processor until it is the size of rice or couscous, either using a plain steel blade or a shredder blade. Alternatively, you can shred it with a hand-held grater, or even a knife. The key is to make it fine.
Place in saute pan and do NOT add water. Let it cook on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until it's soft. Stir occasionally but otherwise keep covered.
Saute the cauliflower in a pan with oil and any additional seasonings you desire--salt, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos, curry, or just pepper.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Muffins, Round 2!

Amazing. Delicious. Perfect. I have been trying to make something special a few mornings a week, and this was AMAZING! We used the raisins, and loved them!!! This recipe is from The Healthy Cooking Coach.

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins


1½ cup – almond flour (I used almond meal)
1/3 cup arrowroot
1 teaspoon – non aluminum baking powder
1 teaspoon – baking soda
1½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice
1/8 teaspoon – salt
1/2 cup raisins, optional
3 large – whole eggs
3/4 cup – canned pumpkin
1/4 to 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

1. Liberally grease 8 muffin tins with ghee, palm shortening, or virgin coconut oil. If you have empty muffin tins you will need to fill them half way up the sides with water to prevent warping during baking. Be careful when removing the pan from the oven to avoid getting burned by the hot water!

2. Combine the almond flour, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, spice, sea salt, and optional raisins in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggs in another bowl or the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade or in a blender. Add the pumpkin or squash and maple syrup or honey. Mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

3. Pour mix into the 8 tins.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes on the middle rack in the oven until muffins pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides and invert over a cooling rack. When cool, cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for longer storage.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mmmmm Mmmm Muffins!

Everyone needs a break from the normal. For us, that break came in the form of MUFFINS! These little muffins were so delicious, and the kids went crazy for them! They did not taste like they were missing the flour or sugar, they were perfect just the way they were!

Paleo Apple Muffins

2 1/4 cups almond meal

4 omega 3 enriched eggs

1 organic apple, diced

1 very ripe banana

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 heaping tbsp cinnamon

a handful of seedless raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mash the banana in the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
Add all other ingredients and mix by hand.

Fill foil baking cups (or grease a muffin pan, and then fill) 3/4ths full.

Top with raisins, if desired.

Bake for 15-17 minutes.

This recipe stemmed from a recipe from Everyday Paleo, but I modified it slightly and these turned out pretty darn awesome. I use aluminum foil baking cups, instead of trying to use more oil and my pan- I just think it is easier, and these popped right out of the foil cups. These were so delicious Carter and Harrison each gobbled down two!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I went to the doctor in early 2010, and when they told me the number on the scale my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe I weighed so much! After I had my children I was pretty healthy and active, and I managed to lower my weight quite a bit. I credit that loss to the fact that for six months both of my children were taking their afternoon naps at the same time, which freed me up to listen to Dr. Laura while I logged miles on my stationary bike. I was also nursing, and eating really healthy foods.

Fast forward... heavier, less active, and totally stressed out. When the nurse gave me that number, I vowed I would change it.

Dr. Laura had a saying, "eat less, move more" and that is exactly what I did. I went on hikes, took walks, ran, went to Africa, and stopped eating gluten. My weight didn't move much, and if it did, it jumped back within a few weeks. I am NOT claiming I was a saint. NO NO NO. Anyone who knew me when I lived on campus KNEW that I gained an AVERAGE of ten lbs the last month of school, so the good things I did to lose ten were quickly countered. Four hours of sleep per night, zero exercise, and a lifestyle with a large amount of pressure and stress was not working out for me.

We moved. Taking a break from school helped me some, I was able to catch my breath. But now, instead of being a busy premed I was a mother/cook/taxi driver/nurse/friend to a small home of 6! My breather didn't last long! I was more stressed than ever! In January 2011 I was back in school and this time, also enrolled in yoga classes at a local studio. I LOVED IT. I felt connected, relaxed, and calm. However... the weight didn't move.

We moved again. Living in our own place with our own little family helped. Kurt's company really stressed him to stay as mobile as possible, so we decided to lease an apartment instead of buy a home. We found a great place- it is old, full of character, and in a really amazing part of the city. Even better- our lease comes with a membership to a local health club! It took a month to get over the nervous jitters and get myself into the gym- but it was worth it =) This place is awesome! I can understand how their prices are so high ($200 per MONTH for a family membership). The kids took swimming lessons, we enjoy the golf, and the equipment and classes are all included. Perfection! I started working out... lost a few pounds... and nothing more.

What the heck?! I was not happy. I upped my workouts. I was doing an average of an hour a day at the gym- mixing weights and cardio. I watched my heart rate (okay, the fancy shmancy machines did it for me) and stayed in the "fat burn" zone. So... what was the deal? I decided I would take more drastic measures. I started to count calories.

Counting calories is fun now. With the right iPhone ap, its a breeze and the little flashy icons and thumbs up give praise for a job well done. I tried counting calories for a few weeks... nothing really happened, except feeling tired, drained, and ready to pass out all day. I felt awful. I looked the same. I was discouraged. This is not how being "healthy" should feel...

While at a girls night out I came across Everyday Paleo. I looked at it purely as a cookbook and really wanted it. I told myself that if I wanted it the next day, I would go and buy it. I did. It changed our lives.

30 days. That is all that the book asks for. 30 days without grains, legumes, dairy, and refined sugars. Tips, recipes, encouragement, and REAL advice fill the pages. Pair that with exercises inside the book, and this is a recipe for HEALTH. This book was not written for single adults with nothing but time on their hands- nope, this book was written by a busy mom of three, and has advice on how to make paleo work for everyone in the family.

I feel amazing. I went to the doctor, I am twenty pounds lighter than I was at that appointment last year. I weighed myself before the paleo transition, and I am fifteen pounds lighter just because of it. My parents met me for lunch and both smiled and said, "You look AMAZING!" I do not spend countless hours in the gym anymore. I go two to three days a week. I find myself dancing around, walking for fun, and jumping to kid songs. I have SO MUCH ENERGY! I feel amazing, and I love it!

Weight loss will happen automatically when we decide to be healthy. I just didn't know what "healthy" was. I am thankful for picking up that book, and I am thankful that I started this journey with my family. Kurt is amazed at how wonderful he feels (he always looked good!), and I have been approached by other parents when they hear my children say, "Oh, no thank you, that has sugar in it, we don't eat sugar." I did not DEMAND my children say that! I didn't train them to respond with a no! My kids just naturally realized that sugar doesn't make them feel very great, and they save sugar for special times and places, and then they generally only wait for the best (basically, trips to Grandma's house).

We didn't even give paleo 30 days. We could feel the difference on day 4. We were sold by the end of the first week. And by week 3 we knew we would NEVER go back. Kurt is out of town, and working hard to eat as many paleo foods as he can, and trying hard to omit things he knows will make him feel like crap (Kurt NEVER thought he would happily pass on gluten - now he avoids it like a plague!).

I will keep posting on this blog, especially when I start to make recipes on my own. This blog was supposed to be an accountability project for myself. But really, I didn't need it after the first few days. Feeling good, was all I ever wanted, and looking great will just come in the process =)


Today we had asparagus topped with poached eggs and BĂ©arnaise sauce. Delicious! It felt really wonderful to eat something so delicious and healthy. I loved it! With a start like this, today has to be a great day! This recipe comes from (where else?!)

Eggs in a Daze
2 perfect poached eggs
8 asparagus spears (toss in boiling water for about 4 minutes)
3 egg yolks
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
Place the asparagus spears on a plate, top with the poached eggs, cover and set aside. In a medium metal mixing bowl, gently whisk the egg yolks. Continue whisking the yolks while adding the hot water, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper to the bowl. Place the bowl over boiling water and whisk constantly until the sauce begins to thicken (about 30 seconds – 1 minute) Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Carter in the Kitchen

This morning we had scrambled eggs with a side of avocado and a few cherries. For lunch we made collard-wrapped tilapia and baked green beans. Carter LOVED helping me with the fish! His favorite part was the collard greens, and he could be heard all over the house with his loud proclamations, "I'm a good cook!"

Monday, July 11, 2011


This evening we enjoyed some Lasagna. No noodles, of course. Instead we used zucchini! This meal was WONDERFUL! Carter had FOUR helpings! It made a lot too- enough for three lunches for Kurt to take to work! Here is the recipe- I am sorry I didn't take a picture. We made this right after Church and devoured it before I remembered to grab the camera! This recipe is from Everyday Paleo online.


2 lbs grass fed ground beef

1lb mild Italian sausage

1 red onion diced

4 cloves crushed garlic

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp dried basil

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp olive oil

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes drained

1 small can of tomato paste

1cup organic black olives sliced

6 zucchinis thinly sliced(I used my slicer blade in the food processor for thin, even zucchini rounds – for more “lasagna” like noodles slice lengthwise with a mandolin slicer).

In a large soup pot saute onions and garlic in the olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add ground beef and sausage and brown. Season meat mixture with all dry ingredients and add drained diced tomatoes and tomato paste and mix well. In a big lasagna baking dish place a layer of sliced zucchini and then ladle on a thick layer of the meat mixture and top with the sliced black olives. Top meat and olive layer with another layer of sliced zucchini and top with a final layer of the remaining meat mixture. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and back at 350 for 30 min. Let sit for 10 min before serving.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shrimp Tacos!

We have been eating paleo for 2 weeks now, and we all have decided we will never go back! We feel amazing and have been doing GREAT!

Tonight we had shrimp tacos. These were delicious! Carter ADORED them, but insisted they were "octopus tacos!" Fine... fine... lol, what a little ham =)

I intended on posting on this more, but now that we have so much energy we are taking advantage! Golfing, swimming, and adventures await!

The recipe for the Shrimp Tacos can be found here. Enjoy! We sure did!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A week later =)

We have done paleo for one week- and OH MY what a difference!!! Not a day goes by that we haven't been active- it almost feels like we will burst without exercise! No naps, no bloating, its amazing! Here are pictures of some of the delicious foods we have been eating. So wonderful!!! The kids are doing GREAT!!! They are enjoying fruits, veggies, and all kinds of meats! Both of them adore fish and request it often! They stopped asking for fruit snacks on day 3- and have been asking for things like bananas and apples! They are doing so well, and they are sleeping much better!

The pictures above were not only delicious, but were totally paleo! The pancakes were made from almond meal and coconut products. SO DELICIOUS! The children LOVED them!

We really are impressed by the difference we feel in our bodies. We feel energized and happy. We feel WONDERFUL!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 2- Easier...

Day 2 was much easier than day 1. I am giving up blogging ON the days, and going to do it the next day or a few days later, so I can really assess how the day went.

Day 2 was on a Sunday, and it was Kurt's day off. We started the day with leftover Breakfast Cupcakes that we had frozen, and the kids requested more eggs- so we scrambled some of those too. Hungry boys!!!

When snack time rolled around Harrison wanted peanut butter, Carter wanted apples- we gave each child half an apple with some peanut butter, and they dipped their way to happiness! They really enjoyed it! Next time, we will try almond butter.

For lunch we took organic salad greens, topped them with warmed leftover chicken from our roasted chicken, and drizzled a homemade olive oil based dressing on top. The dressing was AMAZING. Olive oil, capers, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, fresh rosemary, and a few other ingredients made our salads ANYTHING but boring! Carter and Harrison had salad too!

Dinner was DELICIOUS. We had steak with bell peppers and zucchini, with a side of "rice." This was not really rice- it was actually an AMAZING recipe that used cauliflower in a way that created a rice-like texture. Yeah... I was nervous... but it smelled so good... and when we tasted it we all were in shock! SO GOOD! Seriously, the Everyday Paleo book's recipes thus far have all been GREAT! (I did omit the shrooms tho... I am eating fish... one day I will tackle shrooms... but today is not that day).

At the end of the day Kurt and I each had a slight headache. We indulged on mango with blueberries drizzled with coconut milk and topped with shredded coconut. Drinking lots of water. Doing well!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Today I woke up a bit earlier than usual and dressed right away. Going downstairs I printed my breakfast recipe:

Egg Cupcakes
10 -12 eggs whisked well
1 green onion
2 zucchini
3 big handfuls of spinach
1/2 a jar of roasted red and yellow peppers
6-8 slices of COOKED bacon
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 and grease with olive oil two muffin pans. Whisk all your eggs in a big bowl. In a food processor throw in the green onion, zucchini, bacon, and peppers and process until finely chopped but NOT smooth (yuck…). Add this mixture to your eggs. Throw your spinach into the processor and finely chop and also add to your eggs. Mix the egg mixture well and using a 1/4 measuring cup, fill the muffin pans (you’ll be able to make 18-20 cupcakes). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set in the middle. These are great to take on the go and I like mine with some sliced avocado and green salsa.
This recipe is on the Everyday Paleo website.

I made these "cupcakes" and have to say- they are VERY delicious! I was a bit nervous because the serving size is two, and they are not the biggest things ever. However, I sat down with my kids (Kurt took his to go!) and while we talked and I took the time to savor the delicious flavor, I found I was TOTALLY satisfied with my 2 little cakes! These are not like cake, they are basically crust-less quiches. Delicious. SO delicious.

Harrison happily ate one, and requested another... and another! I cut him off after the first one, and offered him some blueberries instead, which he happily ate. Carter had a difficult time with just one. He wanted waffles. Kurt mistakenly announced, "we don't eat waffles anymore" and that made Carter break down in tears. The kid LOVES waffles! Well, once Carter had a few bites and knew it wasn't horrid he finished his "cupcake" but was pretty upset. I offered him some coconut flakes to try- he was reluctant, but thrilled once he tasted them! He ended up eating a few tablespoons of them before having his water and going to play.

I was scared of lunch... I wont lie. I am not a fish person, and would have happily skipped all of the fish recipes in this cookbook, but Carter has been BEGGING me for fish. Finally I agreed and I had told Carter we would have fish on Saturday. Carter has counted down the days- literally. He somehow skipped a day yesterday (wait, is there one day left, or is today the last day??) and insisted that yesterday MUST be Saturday. No... no, it wasn't. I had to ask a random stranger to tell me what day it was just to TRULY convince Carter I wasn't skipping his beloved fish day. Now before you get proud of me for having kids to love fish- I should explain. Carter has NEVER had fish... ever... ever in his life. I was so nervous to make the lunch "Wild Salmon Salad" on the menu for this week. Sure, I have had a few kinds of fish and lived through it, but salmon is a pretty fishy fish.. I was scared.

Here is what we made:

Wild Salmon Salad
Salad greens of your choice
Already Cooked Wild Caught Salmon from Trader Joe’s
Roasted yellow and red peppers diced
1 organic apple diced
handful of slivered almonds
1 avocado diced
Olive oil, black pepper, dried dill and lemon juice to taste
A splash of white balsamic vinegar.
Toss all together and EAT!!
This recipe is also from the Everyday Paleo website. I halved the recipe above.

I cringed when I smelled the salmon. Carter was THRILLED. He wanted his fish on the SIDE of the salad. Fine. So, I separated their fish portions first, and then made the rest of the salad and put it on their plates... and my own.

Took a bite. WOW. It was good!

Kids took bites. And GOBBLED it down!!! They ate 1/4 cup of PLAIN salmon each! And then they ate their SALADS! Salads with NOTHING other than what is listed above! Carter kindly requested more lemon, and had a blast squeezing it onto his greens- he said, "Mama! The salad tastes like lemon! I like it!!!" PERFECT! They each ended up having additional helpings from my own plate! I have two naturally born fish lovers! I am so glad!!!

Tonight I am going to make a roasted chicken with lemon, onion, and thyme. There was a GREAT sale on whole chickens, so I bought a few and even though I am doing one in the crockpot tomorrow, chicken never goes bad in this house! So, roasting it up! I will serve it with a side salad made with the other half of the Wild Salmon Salad above. Perfection! For "dessert" I am going to cut up one mango and put a little bit of coconut and coconut milk on top. That should give each of us a little something to help satisfy our sweet tooth.

(For snacks, the kids have been munching on trail mix made with nuts, berries, and beef jerky - less than 1/4 cup is all they need to be fully satisfied!)

These are pictures of our dinner!

*** Added on 6/27/11
Okay... now let's talk about the hard part. At about 2pm for Kurt and 4pm for me- the headache came. Dull, pain. Then shakes. Then SERIOUS irritability. I was shocked. I KNEW that this would be hard- but to feel such serious sugar withdrawals so quickly?! The kids were awful, Kurt and I were pissy- it was terrible! I am so thankful that Kurt and I are such stubborn people, because each of us kept challenging the other, "you SURE you don't need to quit?!" and both of us are so competitive neither wanted to be the first one out. It was bad. Really bad. My stomach was satisfied but my mouth demanded more! Nothing tasted better than that mango. Thank Heaven for mangoes!!! I can HONESTLY say day 1 was hardest for us. As we all sat there, writhing in our own misery, I calculated the average amount of sugar we consume during the day. It was high. Don't get me wrong- we consume probably less than the "average" American family- but still, it was a heck of a lot higher than this day. I don't know how those Atkins diet people do it without being able to consume all the fun fruits and veggies we get to have! Yeah.. day 1... awful. So so so so so so so glad we stuck with it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 1... REDO!

Our first day as a paleo family was AWFUL! Why in the WORLD did I think that grocery shopping ON the first day was going to work?! UGH! The whole day was pretty much scrapped...

That's fine, because after our grocery trip our home is more full of beautiful foods than ever before!!! And I am convinced that tomorrow will be the REAL start of our paleo journey, and our 30 days =)

Our refrigerator is stocked (isn't it pretty?!) and we are ready to go! After all was said and done I was a bit shocked that we only spent about $50 more than we generally do. Organic produce, omega-3 rich eggs from free range chickens, and beef from organic grass fed cattle who live in open fields. Worth it, I think.

Excited for tomorrow!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pre-Paleo Ponderings...

I first heard about paleo dieting from a good friend of mine. As she and I were anthropology students, we were familir with the diets that were common to ancestral humans and hunter gatherer tribes, and the entire philosophy of paleo seemed to "make sense" to us. She, more than me, was excited about the idea and wanted to try it. I was reluctant. I had lived gluten free for a full year and the idea of giving up what few grains I had left (mmmm, quinoaaaa) just didn't appeal to me at all.

And then, nothing happened.

Allow to me elaborate...

My husband and I had moved to a sweet 3 bedroom on the bench in Reno, Nevada. We loved our little community because it was full of bikers, runners, and hikers. We wanted to be a part of the activity, but coming from less than active families, we didn't really know all the ropes. So, we picked up books on backpacking, I scheduled a trip to hike the Inca Trail in Peru, and in addition to our gluten-free diet we crossed over into organics. Add to that putting in at least 5 hours at the gym, and we thought we were pretty darn healthy...

And then, nothing happened.

We didn't lose weight. We didn't feel more energy. We just felt blah.

Why?! According to everything we could read we were healthy. It didn't make sense! We started to calorie count...

And then, nothing happened.

What the heck?! Talk about frustrating! We were "healthier" than we had been in years (personally, than I had been in my life) so why were we always tired, grouchy, foggy, and bloated?

I came upon the book, Everyday Paleo, when I was at a bookstore. I carried the book around with me and glanced at all the beautiful pictures next to each recipe. That was what first appealed me- I love cookbooks with pictures. And this one had a picture for every recipe! My second thought was that paleo cookbooks would, naturally, be gluten free! No more wheat-free cookbooks with their horrid specialty flours or mystery grains! How nice! I bought the book on my Kindle and read it in less than a week. I loved it! Not only did the book have great recipes, but it also talked about paleo living, feeding kids, and *gasp* paleo exercise?! PERFECTION! The book broke it down step by step and proclaimed itself to be a diving board into the world of paleo- there are so many ways to make it your own! All the book suggests is giving paleo a try for 30 days (it even provides the menu and grocery shopping list!). And this is the topic of this blog.

Tomorrow is our first paleo day. I am excited, and nervous. Sure, we don't eat gluten, but I have been known to obsess over meringues! 30 days without refined sugar? 30 days without rice? 30 days without cheese? It sounds strange even for me to think it- but then I remember the words in Everyday Paleo: take it one meal at a time.

I am luckier than most. We already cut gluten and my kids don't go to school- so that eliminates a lot of the battles already. I am a stay at home mommy so I have the time to make delicious meals from scratch each day, multiple times per day. My husband works hard at his job and provides an income that allows me to toss (or donate) half of the items in my cupboard and restock with organic paleo selections. I have a husband who happily nods and allows me to do what I want with our family diet, and I already have one son who happily adores every fruit and veggie ever tasted. Lucky!

Because tomorrow is our first day, I am making an effort to clear our home of all things that are non-paleo. My brother lives near here, and is a bachelor, so many things will be gifted to him. His wonderful girlfriend also doesnt eat gluten- so my gluten free specialty foods will go to her. One would think that I am just ready to jump in with both feet, right? No... not really. When I was loading grocery bags and boxes I felt sad. There were cute cake decorations and specially ordered crystal sugars that had memories attached to them- memories of scones and cupcakes. Go ahead and laugh- no, we dont eat those types of foods since giving up gluten a year ago- but something in me mourned for their loss. I had to put the box down and walk away- just take a break.

I sat down and pulled up my facebook, trying to get a boost. That morning I had happily announced my intention to eat paleo, and was ready to hear all the praise and "good for you!" that normally file in after a healthy decision. Instead of encouragment, however, I was SHOCKED at the open criticism and discouragment! I am a Mormon stay at home mother, who gave up a promising career to be a homemaker. I am an attachment parent who believes that kids should play in dirt. I don't immunize, I am slow to medicate, and I buy organics. I homeschool. So... of ALL of those things for people to pick on... paleo? Really? I was surprised. And somehow- thrilled. I love a challenge, and I welcome this one. Less than a handful of my facebook friends support my decision- I plan on making them proud!

So. Today I am armed with my shopping list. I am prepaired with a paleo kitchen. I am ready to take this final step.

Each day I will be blogging what we eat, and how we feel. I will blog about my thoughts, and my kids' reactions. I want this to be my outlet. It will be difficult, at times, I am sure. But I know that this is a healthy decision, and I know that we can totally give this a shot. So... 30 days... here we come!