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!