Category Archives: healthy living

Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks

Surprise! Long time no blog……. yeah I disappeared again. But for a good reason!!!! I was all excited to start blogging again following my Candida cleanse this fall, and I DID end up going through with it and completing 8 (I think it was even 10) weeks; I even started feeling better and then……BAM.

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Woops, so Candida diet…out the window. Bring on ALL the unhealthy foods. Anyways, I don’t want to talk much about that but I do love pregnancy updates on blogs. I definitely don’t plan on doing them weekly but I did want to throw a couple up here since I can look back on it and remember.

Right now I am 17 weeks tomorrow, due July 4th (AMERICA) and I’ve had it relatively easy compared to what I heard/read about the first trimester. I was blessed with hardly any nausea and absolutely no vomiting, but really that always made me anxious that something was wrong! Now that I’m well into the 2nd tri I have less anxiety but I just can’t believe I made it through the first trimester scot free. Well not totally but I feel pretty lucky.

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Weight gained: At my last appointment (14 weeks) I had only gained 3 pounds! Again, I started worrying that it wasn’t enough (dumb). Now I think when I go next week I will probably have gained at least 5-7. I literally can’t believe I’m not whale-sized considering the food I’ve been downing.

Workouts: I took it pretty easy the first trimester but now that I have more energy I have been just aiming to get as much movement in as possible! I always did yoga every day before I was preggo and I continue to now. It’s a great way to wake up considering I limit coffee and sometimes I throw in some meditation. Then I usually am at the gym doing weights at least 1-2 X a week. The rest of the days I either make sure I go for a walk (brrrrrr) or do some 20 minute quick at home workout or something. YouTube, Tone it Up and Pinterest have been life savers! Just hoping that I can continue well into the pregnancy.

Symptoms: Like I said in the 1st tri I didn’t have much nausea but I did have wicked food aversions and cravings. Sometimes I would dry heave when smelling cooked vegetables. Man, food aversions are no joke! I found myself going off the rails (esp during the holidays) with my paleo lifestyle and eating things I haven’t eaten in YEARS! (Cheese, pizza, bagels…) But I REGRET NOTHING!!! Food aversions have calmed down in the last couple of weeks and I’m slowly moving back to real foods (mostly). I also was pretty tired in the 1st tri but getting energy back now.

Lately I’ve had terrible headaches and have been trying to hold out taking anything. I think they are sinus and tension headaches, but they’re annoying and last for days!! I’ll even go to bed with one thinking it will go away and I wake up and it’s still there. Hoping that acupuncture and chiropractic appointments can help with this.

Anxiety like crazy, but this is par for the course for me unfortunately. Trying to stay off Google for symptoms. I just started acupuncture to help with this and I don’t know if it’s placebo effect or what but it seems to be helping.

Other than that….some bloating and gas (TMI) and obviously going pee like every 5 minutes. And no, like all the books say, it’s not letting up in the 2nd trimester.

Movement: Not yet 🙁 Felt a few weird things down there but not really sure if it’s just gas, lol. This is currently giving me anxiety because I know there are some people who feel movement before where I’m at right now, but I also know some people it’s more like 20 weeks. I know everyone’s different but it’s hard to wait when everyone keeps asking me.

Food Aversions: At first it was ALL vegetables, so sad. I just ate sardines for the first time today since November. Basically anything remotely healthy I wanted nothing to do with from weeks 7-12. Now they are fading.

Food Cravings: Where should I start?

  • ALL.THE.CHEESE. I seriously didn’t even miss cheese before I was pregnant and now it’s like a major food group for me.
  • Bagels and cream cheese
  • salt and vinegar chips
  • cake (yes I made myself an entire cake and ate it)
  • soft pretzels with cheese (sensing a theme here?)
  • pickles with mustard (so cliché)
  • lunch meat (of course now that I’m not supposed to have it)

Sleep: It’s been pretty good. Besides trying to sleep on my left side. My doctor said it’s fine now and as long as I’m comfy I can still sleep on my back or right side, but every time I Google it or read online it says AFTER THE FIRST TRIMESTER DO NOT SLEEP ON YOUR BACK. AHHHHH! Who to trust, Google or the doctor?

Stretch marks?  None yet! Using lotion daily.

Miss Anything? Beer and wine. Since I quit drinking for the candida diet in September, then found out I was pregnant, when I have the baby in July it will be almost a year since I drank!!

Baby Items Purchased: Nothing really, just this onesie for our little baby announcement on FB.

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Looking Forward To:

Our anatomy scan next Tuesday. We are going to keep the gender a secret!!! But I can’t wait to see our little bub. It’s a great relief every time I get to hear the little heartbeat. Every time I’ve heard the heartbeat it’s been fast so the old wives tale means that’s a girl!?!?! I am hoping it is a girl and partly don’t want to find out the gender because I want to keep the possibility alive of having a girl as long as possible. I know that once it pops out and they tell me what it is, by then I won’t care! And I’m digging our gender neutral paint in the nursery too!

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Yay that was quote an unload of information, if you’re still reading congrats! Hopefully I’ll write again in a couple of weeks after our anatomy scan.

What cravings did you have during pregnancy?

Finding out the gender: yay or nay?

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Tips to get you through a food challenge

Woman with Healthy and Unhealthy Food. Difficult choice Stock Photo

 

Hello week 6 of my candida cleanse! When you decide to do a “food challenge” whether it’s a strict candida cleanse, a Whole 30 or even just a short 21 Day Sugar Detox, it most likely seems really daunting. You start picturing all the weekends and events you have between now and the end and get anxiety about how you’ll make it through x, y and z without food/drink you enjoy. Well, at least I do. I did complete a couple of successful Whole 30’s, but those were in January when everyone else is “dieting” too.

At the beginning of this six weeks I had no idea if I would actually see this through, but I was determined because of the state of my health and the hefty price tag of the program. If you’re struggling with will power or peer pressure, here are some tips and tricks I’ve told myself to power through and still live my life.

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1. The X number of weeks will still pass whether you do this or not.

I first thought about doing the candida cleanse in Mid-August, but dismissed the idea because I thought it was too strict and I could never do it. I had calculated the number of weeks it would take and figured I would end at the end of September. “That’s way too long,” I thought and put it out of my mind. Then Mid-September rolled around, and my health was still the same. And I thought, if I had just started in August, I would have been done by now. That’s what really convinced me to do it, honestly. The amount of time it will take for you to do it will pass, and at the end of it your health is going to be better, or the same. In the grand scheme of things what is a month or two of your life if it means more health and happiness in the long run?

2. What’s more important, the company or the food and drinks?

I get anxiety when I think of trying to socialize without drinking and eating. How weird is it that we’re just hard-wired to do these things when we try to hang out with our friends. It really forces you think about what you’re doing with your life….. Just kidding, but it forces you to be creative when making plans or looking for things to do instead of just saying “oh we’ll grab drinks”. It feels really boring when you’re facing it, but when you take these things away it puts more emphasis on the people you are with and the conversation you are having instead of using the social crutch of drinking and eating. I feel like this is a post for another time, but it’s definitely something to think about.

3. Don’t fall victim to the “self-actualization loophole”

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Okay, I stole this one from Gretchen Rubin. You can read about it here. But basically when we’re trying to reach a goal and temptation stands in the way, we look for loopholes to bail ourselves out of the commitment. Self-Actualization loophole is disguised as “YOLO”-ing, or “living life to the fullest”. You’re out to dinner and you told yourself that you were going to order the salad and no dessert, but when actually faced with the decision, you cave, telling yourself “You deserve this” or “life is too short to deprive myself.” Happens to me ALL THE TIME. This is actually the #1 reason why I’ve failed challenges in the past. Because it makes sense. Yes life is too short but you started the challenge for a reason. Often times when you go off the rails, and especially if you’re health depends on it, you regret it later. Gretchen Rubin suggests you think about how you’ll feel tomorrow about your decision. If you feel like you won’t regret it, go ahead, eat the dessert and burger. But most likely you will and that’s when you need to summon your will power.

4. I’m choosing not to drink/eat these foods

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Instead of telling people (when it’s necessary, hopefully I don’t have to explain my food choices to anyone) “I can’t eat that” or “I can’t have a beer”, try “I’m not drinking” or “This is a choice”. It is, after all, a choice.  You CAN eat whatever you want. But you are making a conscious choice to better your health. It reminds you of why you’re doing this. And you shouldn’t have to defend your choices to anyone. Plus, when I have the mental attitude of “I can’t have that” it automatically makes me want to have it! And it makes other people more likely to badger you “What do you mean you CAN’T!! Sure you can, YOLO!!!!!!” People don’t have much to respond to when you say “I’m not drinking tonight.”

5. If you slip up, it’s not the end of the world.

Sh*t happens, and nobody’s perfect. It’s easy to feel like EVERYTHING IS RUINED if you get glutened at a restaurant or fall into the self-actualization trap once during your challenge. I feel like one of the bad reasons challenges are so popular is because they are “all or nothing” and people just want to go back to the way they were eating before when it’s over. So if you mess up, the whole jig is up and the challenge is over. This is an unhealthy way to look at challenges. You’re supposed to be changing your lifestyle for the better, and continue the habits after the challenge has ended. So one slip up in the scheme of things isn’t a huge deal. It’s what you do in the long term that matters.

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Candida-Friendly Granola Bars

Woahhhh….the first recipe I’ve posted in over six months. Feels weird. But also feels good to get back to blogging a little. I caught you up to speed in how it’s going with my candida cleanse. Again, I feel like I basically want to quit everyday and eat a box of apple cider donuts. And pumpkin beer. I’ve really craved apple fritters or cider donuts more than anything. Probably because it’s fall and I haven’t been able to have any of it.

ANYWAYS, you have to survive somehow with no sugar, coffee or alcohol. So I made these granola bars! These are very similar to the regular granola bars I blogged about here and make my husband nearly every week in his lunch. A version is also in my cookbook. I just left out the honey or sugar. Gluten free oats are allowed on the candida cleanse I am doing, in moderation. I like to use homemade cashew butter and it makes them kind of taste like cookie dough bars! The result is a gluten free, sugar free, dairy-free candida friendly snack. Best of all there are only four ingredients! Super simple and worth the small amount of effort.

You could add chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit if you’re not on the cleanse as well.

Candida Friendly Granola Bars

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You’ll need:

1 cup nut butter (sugar free!) *I like homemade cashew

1 and 1/2 cups gluten free oats

1 egg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

1.Pre-heat oven to 350. Melt the nut butter in a large, glass, microwave safe bowl for 1 minute.

2. Mix your oats in and stir until well incorporated.

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3. Add the egg and cinnamon and stir again until well combined.

4. Pour the mixture into an 8X8 baking dish that is greased, sprayed with non-stick spray, or lined with a silicone sheet. I like my silicone baking sheets so much! Nothing sticks.

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5. Press the mixture down until it is even in the pan.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. After cooled, cut into bars!

Makes 8 bars.

If you’re not used to sugar-less treats just be aware that these have NO sweetener, so they might take some getting used to. If you’re on the candida diet or have been away from sugar like me they should taste just fine.

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Candida Cleanse- Week 1

Ahhhh! I can’t believe I’m actually writing a blog post. This is crazy. It’s been since March. I don’t have any good reason why I stopped blogging. I have some ideas (I won’t bore you) but I am getting the urge to blog a little bit more so I decided to just do it today.

I guess part of the reason I’ve not been blogging for the past 6 months is because I’ve just felt kind of crappy. I don’t know why.  I don’t want to put on a facade of “everything is just perfect” when it’s not. I’ve been dealing with symptoms like anxiety and depression, fatigue and just not feeling “myself”. I’ve been going to a naturopath and have been tested for everything under the sun….you name it…. MTHFR, Adrenal Fatigue, Thyroid issues, hormones, parasites, etc. Everything negative. Great right???? Yeah I guess, but it doesn’t explain why I still feel crappy.

So I don’t know, I don’t think there’s one “answer” or “diagnosis” that I am looking for anyway. I have always been known to have a little bit of hypochondria, so I try to go about my life and just not focus on it. Google is enemy #1.

Again, I don’t think that this is the end-all be-all answer to everything, but I came across Christa Orrechio’s Candida Cleanse program from listening to The Balanced Bites podcast (duh). When I first read about candida I was like “whatever I probably have it but there’s no way I could do that for 8 weeks”. Candida is technically “yeast” but sometimes it can become overblown in the body and affect other body systems. It is caused by overuse of antibiotics and over consumption of processed sugar and carbs. (This is a very simplified explanation. Read more here).

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An overgrowth of Candida can definitely be causing some of these mystery symptoms I’ve been having. There isn’t really a “lab” test for it but I did her spit test and I did test positive. I mean it makes sense. I used to take antibiotics a ton when I was little, I tend to get really addicted to sugar and I was on birth control for over 6  years (also a factor).

So I’m to to point now where I’m like….okay….this is going to be hard but it’s not going to hurt. Over the past couple months I’m like back and forth between “why am I restricting food, this is stupid, I am making myself miserable” and “I really have to do this for my health”. I decided to just go ahead and try the candida cleanse. It’s not going to be easy. Because I tend to really torture myself once I start these food challenges and my mind tries to convince myself that it really isn’t worth it. Lately though I have been feeling like every day is a struggle to get through and I really think this is worth a shot. Do I think this is going to be the end of every health struggle I’ve ever had? No. But if there’s one thing I know for sure about myself through all of my health and food journeys is I have a sugar problem. I always feel great when I cut it out. So if an overgrowth of candida is a problem in my body, I bet trying to starve and kill it will definitely make me feel better. At worst I don’t think it will hurt. Physically at least.

I wanted to do a blog post to somewhat hold myself accountable. Plus I miss blogging :). The diet isn’t all different than how I usually eat (Paleo).

  • No grains
  • No dairy
  • No sugar (honey, maple syrup, etc)
  • No fruit except green apples, berries and citrus.
  • Limit starches
  • No alcohol

I was pleasantly surprised to find you can eat starchy foods, you just have to limit them. Same with fruit. Traditionally I have the most trouble cutting out alcohol for long periods of time. I can go a couple weeks here and there but social pressures usually make me want to have a drink at some point. For the past month I haven’t even really been drinking because I have been trying to figure out all these health issues, so I’m not even nervous about that part. I know it’s going to be tough mentally but since the program costs money, I really need to give this a shot. SO today I spent all day prepping and making food for the upcoming week.

20150920_165149This is a coconut flour crusted quiche with swiss chard, sweet potato and BACON. I  love using all of my homegrown ingredients (including the chard, eggs and BACON!!!).

20150920_165208Brussels sprouts for lunch. I am going to make tuna salad to go along with this.

I also made some coconut milk ice cream for dessert. It helps having lots of fresh ingredients that I can take right from my garden! This year was awesome for the garden (I guess I’ll save for another post). Here was today’s harvest:

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Anyway, hopefully I will remember to do weekly updates, and I hope this inspires me to start blogging again. I miss writing!

What is the biggest challenge you have with “food” challenges involving restriction? For me it’s social pressures and FOMO.

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Should you give up coffee?

You’re probably wondering WHY in the world would anyone ever give up coffee, am I right?

I was one of those people, just a short time ago. So why did I give it up?

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Rewinding a bit, to give you a background I cut back my coffee from roughly 3-4 cups a day to 1 cup a day about a year and a half ago. I was never one to say that I totally needed or depended on it, but I really do love the taste and smell and ritual of coffee. I just couldn’t totally give it up.

In January I saw a naturopath who told me I should try avoiding caffeine. I have been dealing with pretty bad stress and anxiety, and coffee is a stimulant which causes cortisol (stress hormone) spikes. I pretty much rolled my eyes and thought to myself- ‘yeah right ’ at the time. Besides, I only had one cup a day, and seriously how bad could that be for you right?

You’ve probably heard that coffee is good for you (I latched onto those articles to justify my addiction….). It probably can be. There have been studies linking it to all sorts of good stuff….all you have to do is type in “coffee benefits” and see what happens.

I guess about a week after I saw the naturopath I woke up one day and I was like “I’m not going to drink coffee this week and see what happens”. So I did it! I was having such crippling anxiety at that point I felt like would try anything.

So what happened? Honestly, not much. I didn’t feel like it had an effect on my anxiety and stress. If anything I kind of felt MORE depressed. It’s pretty hard to go teach a group of 20-25 eighth graders in the morning without coffee. I found myself just with no pep in my step that I usually had in the morning.

But I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t that bad. I didn’t die. Besides the lack of pep, I pretty much didn’t see any effects of giving up coffee- good or bad. I read that I would sleep better. That didn’t really happen. I read that I would have terrible headaches. That didn’t happen. But once I went a week, and then two weeks, and then a month I didn’t really feel the need to start drinking it again. I know there’s something not right with my health right now and I don’t feel like I should compromise it by relying on caffeine. I feel like I’m fine without it or just drinking half-caf so I’m not going to make any moves back to it when it’s not necessary. I think coffee is for healthy people, and I don’t feel that way right now, so I’m not going to chance it. Hopefully soon I can get to the bottom of the health issues I’ve been dealing with.

In the meantime, I’ve tried some other coffee alternatives that have worked out quite well! This is Teeccino, if you haven’t heard of it. It is herbal tea that “tastes” like coffee. Some people love it and some hate it. I found it to be a great alternative. I mean, it’s not coffee people, but it’s still a warm, delicious drink in the morning.

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I also have tried my share of loose leaf tea. My cousin got me a tea set for Christmas and I have been using it often.

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This is another coffee alternative- dandelion root. I think it’s a generic version of Dandy Blendtea. This is also alright, but not coffee.

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And there’s always decaf! Which I’ll have a couple of times a week. I have half caf occasionally as well.

I think cutting out caffeine is something everyone should try at least once. If you feel like you need coffee to live, it’s probably a clue that something else is off in your body. When your body is truly healthy then you can decide if you want to add it back in!

Here’s some other resources from trusted people talking about coffee:

Chris Kresser: Is drinking coffee good for you?

Robb Wolf

The Coffee Manifesto: Whole 9

Do you think you’d ever be able to give up coffee?

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What I ate {and drank} in Key Largo

I’ve mentioned before that I feel that vacations are all about the food. My husband and I had a disappointing food experience at our honeymoon (Dominican Republic) and after that I vowed that I would never do the all inclusive thing again! It’s just not my thing. I’m not a “quantity over quality” type of person when it comes to my food.

The food in the Keys did NOT disappoint!  Omg, fresh seafood and delicious key lime pie. Not to mention the drinks. I know you’re just dying to find out what I ate. I endured being “that person” taking pictures of every meal and drink for this so enjoy!

I think the first night there I had my best meal at Snappers. The whole time on the plane I was craving a margarita so that’s what my first drink was! It was fine but pricey for how small it was! My meal made up for it though.

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It was the restaurant’s special- Hogfish (I’d never heard of it before) with a conch (pronounced CONK) crust and a key lime sauce. OMG! It was supposed to be over mashed potatoes but I subbed sweet potato fries because duh.
I obviously had to end my meal with key lime pie.

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The next morning we hit up a restaurant for breakfast that had great reviews on Yelp (Made to Order Cafe). It also had some of the best food we ate there. We ended up going twice! The first day I had the “Country Eggs Benedict” which was eggs Benedict with BBQ pulled pork underneath. I had to have grits on the side since I was in the south! The grits were probably just boxed and not really worth it but the eggs Benedict was out of this world.

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That afternoon while laying on the beach I had to indulge in this:

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Because why not?

In Key West we went to another recommended restaurant called Pepe’s cafe, which looked like nothing from the outside.

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But it was amazing!! I started the party with the drink special which was a strawberry blueberry screwdriver. Had a couple of those, one accidentally ended up on my (and my husband’s) lap.

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For breakfast I went with the special which was another version of eggs benedict. It had scrambled eggs on the bottom, hogfish with hollandaise sauce and spinach and tomato. On the side was a scallion potato pancake.

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That night at dinner in Key West was pretty good. Another yelp recommendation- Southernmost Point Cafe. The view was excellent. I got pork tacos with corn on the cob. I don’t know why I didn’t stick with the seafood theme!

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We also got some great key lime pie in key west at Kermit’s Key Lime but I was too busy shoving it in my face to take a picture. It was the best key lime pie I had there (or ever).

And I guess I didn’t take any pictures of my food the third day! We ended up back at the same breakfast place since it was so hard to decide the first time we were there. And I think I was too cold at dinner to worry about taking a picture! The view was nice but the wind was cold!

I love doing these recaps because it makes me realize how much fun I had! And how much food I ate and drank!

Do you splurge on food and drink while on vacation?
What are some good places you’ve been in the keys?

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What I ate Wednesday: Pulled Pork

I ate some pretty delicious food that I couldn’t help but share today, so I’m linking up with Jenn for What I ate Wednesday!

Another crazy thing was me actually remembering to take a picture of (mostly) everything I ate (Tuesday) Be sure to check out the link up to check out her and many many other blogger’s eats for the day.

I’ve been trying out A LOT of different things for breakfast since school started in the fall. First I started with just smoothies since I was working out in the morning….then when I stopped working out I started doing full on meals again (went well with my Whole 30). This week I am doing hemp smoothies with two hard boiled eggs for some extra protein. We were away last weekend and I wanted something quick and easy instead of prepping my usual egg casserole. I am enjoying this fast and easy breakfast as opposed to trying to stomach a whole huge meal.

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I use three tablespoons of Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein, a tablespoon of cocoa, a banana, coconut milk and a tablespoon of flaxseed. Not the sweetest, milk-shakeyest smoothie out there but full of real food!

(Two un-pictured hardboiled eggs!)

Lunch- leftovers from the night before

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{Cilantro Shrimp Stir-Fry from the 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook}

Yes that is some white rice! It was only about 1/4 cup. This was the first time I included white rice with my dinner since going Paleo! It’s usually a food-with-no-brakes for me. It was mostly laziness. Cauliflower rice is SO messy!

Also with the leftovers for lunch I enjoyed a yummy salad of greens topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, LOVE beets, and roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes I cooked up on Sunday. Sprinkled with pumpkin seeds.

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When I got home I had a chiropractor appointment, so I enjoyed a quick spoonful of Paleo cookie dough before running out the door. I rushed to the appointment only to sit there waiting for a half an hour. #aintnobodygottimefodat

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Dinner was really what took the cake…..all day I had a huge pork roast in the crock pot (I followed the kalua pork recipe from Nom Nom Paleo Cookbook) which resulted in this pulled pork deliciousness:

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{cue Hallelujah music} I don’t know if people realize how easy pulled pork is. I had this sitting in the crockpot all day and came home and it was done! Love easy dinners like that.

I made BBQ sauce from Well Fed 2and topped it with jalepenos. Alongside some plantain fries, of course.

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Such crappy photography, but such delicious food.

And after I finish this post I will end up eating some banana bread from The Paleo Kitchen. SO that’s everything I ate Tuesday. So delicious! I have been feeling a bit more upbeat lately and I’m glad. Maybe it has to do with the fact I WILL BE IN FLORIDA IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS! Yes we just got hit with a snowstorm but I feel like I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Anyway, enjoy your hump day!

*Some of these links were affiliate links
What was the best thing you ate yesterday!?

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Paleo Cookie Dough + Weekend Eats

Everyone has time for a blog post when it’s a snow day! I really did just need a good snow day. One more day to ignore responsibilities of work, languish around doing nothing and not feel bad about it. That’s what snow days are for!

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I could definitely use one considering we did a lot of traveling and were out and about in Syracuse this weekend. It was an amazing weekend filled with friends and eating all the things. Also, my first sip of alcohol since New Years. Contrary to what I said or promised on January first, I’m not never drinking alcohol again. March is coming.

Anyway I got a chance to try out a great new restaurant and an old favorite this weekend- Notch 8 in Jamesville.

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I was going back and forth between this (Salmon with arugula salad and sweet potato puree) and a burger. This was absolutely delicious albiet I was still hungry afterwards! My sister got a burger that I was subsequently drooling over. But it left room for gelato for dessert! No picture, sorry.

The next day we visited the obvious Syracuse choice, Dinosaur BBQ. OMG is pretty much all I need to say.

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Ribs, BBQ brisket, coleslaw, turkey neck collard greens and cornbread. The cornbread was everything. Obviously, my Whole30 is dunzo. I had a beer along with my meal that was called “Smoked Dino Porter”. The waitress said they use the wood that they use to smoke the meat to make the beer. Yum. After that we hit up Middle Ages Brewery for some more deliciousness. No picture again, sorry I fail.

After that weekend I was glad to get a call this morning letting me know I had another day off! Snow days call for breakfasts like this:

snow day breakfast

Eggs with hot sauce, plantain fries with sun butter. Perfect!

Anyways I was bored and had some random leftover ingredients left to make a delicious “paleo” treat. I was supposed to make snack balls but when I pulled it out of the food processor it really looked like cookie dough so I went with it. If you’re craving an egg-less paleo friendly cookie dough you can enjoy right off the spoon- this is it! Super easy to make and just has 4 ingredients! It’s gluten free, refined sugar free and BS free!

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paleo cookie dough

 

Paleo Cookie Dough
Serves 1
Eat it with a spoon! Just 4 ingredients!
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup raw cashews
  2. 1/4 cup coconut butter
  3. 5-6 dates
  4. Handful of chocolate chips * for full dairy and soy free use Enjoy Life
  5. *If you have super-human self control or want more servings this can be easily doubled or tripled!
Instructions
  1. Place the cashews and the dates in a food processor and pulse until the mixture starts coming together.
  2. Add the coconut butter and keep processing until the mixture is uniform.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips. Enjoy!
Pencils and Pancakes http://pencilsandpancakes.com/
What do you like to do on Snow days?

Have you ever been to Dinosaur BBQ?

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What I’ve been eating lately Wednesday + Thoughts on Whole 30

I really haven’t been putting much time into the blog lately, and I definitely have not done a WIAW in a bit, but I had the urge to share what I’ve been eating lately in relation to doing the Whole 30. I decided that with the blog, I am not going to force myself to blog. When I feel like it, I’ll do it! That’s what I’ve been doing. I don’t know why but the past year it’s been up and down with feeling the urge to blog and honestly I don’t want to force out stupid blog posts just to get something up. I hope you’ll stick with me! Here’s some tidbits about what I ate and my thoughts about the Whole 30 I’m participating in this month:

What I Ate Wednesday Button

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{typical breakfast: kale, tomato and bacon quiche with parsnip fries and sauerkraut on the side}

Sooo…Whole 30…it’s not going as great as it was last year. I am hungry ALL THE TIME. This is normally not me. Over the past year I really have settled into routine and developed really NORMAl eating patterns as opposed to how I used to be in restricting food and calories and obsessively worrying about it. So yes, the Whole 30 last year was like a jump start for me and over the year of 2014 I really did develop much more natural, healthy eating patterns. Like, I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. Very novel idea.

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{Lunch- tuna sushi rolls and salad}

However the Whole 30 (although it is very very similar to how I regularly eat) has extra rules I don’t normally follow- like not being able to eat dessert or paleo baked goods. To tell you the truth, these rules are stressing me out. Like normally I would just eat dinner to when I’m full knowing that I am going to have a little snack later. Now during the Whole 30 I’ve been like “better eat as much as possible for dinner because there’s no snack” mentality, which isn’t really healthy. I thought I had abandoned this mentality.

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{Excellent Dinner- Venison steak taco salad with jalepenos, avocado, tomatoes, peppers, onions and plantains}

So to tell you the truth, I really wanted one of my husbands gluten free granola bars this weekend, so I ate one. Oh well. I am still following Whole 30 for the remainder of the month, but I’m not going to let these rules stress me out, especially when I’ve worked so hard to not have them. So if I want to eat something of plan, I am consciously making that a decision and not punishing myself for it. I highly suggest everyone do the Whole 30 strictly at least once in their lives. However, this just isn’t where I am on my journey of eating, so I’m not that strict about it. Mostly the lesson learned is- do what works for you!

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{Another yummy lunch- Liver/Pork Meatballs and Sage noodles from The Paleo Kitchen<<Sooooooo Good! + a salad}

 Another thing I’ve noticed is that if I’m really going to eat enough at each meal to not snack in the afternoon, I have to eat a LOT. It’s possible but I really don’t have a ton of time to eat in the morning and shoving down that huge breakfast you saw above is difficult! Oh well, there’s no laws against snacks in my world!

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{typical snack- figs with coconut butter YUM!}

 That will be it for what I’ve been eating. Kind of random, but many delicious things. Hope your Whole 30 is going well!

How do you feel about breaking the Whole 3o rules??

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Getting Started with Real Food

Yep, it’s the start of the new year and everyone is going to get HEALTHY! Right? I know, it’s so cliché but I know I definitely need a detox after the holidays and I have had several people asking me where to start when it comes to getting healthier or getting started with Paleo or whole foods. I’ve found some amazing resources people have been putting out there this week because of new years and I decided to compile them all here in case you’re brand new to Paleo and looking to get started. First, some tips from me!

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Tips

1. Plan out your meals! I make a detailed food and meal list every week and go shopping for the foods I need. Not only does this save me money but you’ll never be wondering “what do I  make for dinner” on a random weekday and succumb to ordering out.

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2. Food prep. I also take 2-4 hours every Sunday to make the lunches, breakfasts and some snacks for the week. I make the same thing for breakfast (like a casserole or quiche) and eat it for the five days. I usually make soup for lunch. I know it seems like a lot but there’s really no other way in my opinion. This is the ONLY way I am able to eat real food all week. It’s hard when you have kids or other obligations on Sundays but think it about it: it’s your health! It’s worth it! (Pick another day if Sunday doesn’t work for you.)

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3. Use the crock pot/leftovers during the week for dinner. The Crockpot is a magical tool. I put things into it at 6 am and it comes out delicious at 6 pm. This way I don’t have to spend too much time prepping dinner. I actually do enjoy cooking but it does become stressful sometimes during the week. Another trick I’ve used is to make extra of a meal then eat leftovers the next night. So that way if I’m using the crock pot for two nights then making another meal that has leftovers I’m really cutting down my hardcore “weeknight cooking time” to 1-2 nights.

yankee pot roast from Nom Nom Paleo

4. Don’t be hard on yourself if you “slip up”. The biggest problem I think with New Years resolutions is that people act like it’s an “all or nothing” deal. Like once you have one cookie you might as well give up and eat whatever (I used to be like this!!). Health is about what you do 80-90% of the time. One cookie is not going to ruin your life more than one salad is going to make you have perfect health. Just move on and make a better decision next time, no big deal!

5. Get ready to deal with naysayers. Don’t let people give you crap or make you feel like what you are doing is weird. Just be proud and always think of the reason you’re doing this to begin with. Your health. Your life and your family. People around you may make fun of what you’re doing or think it’s weird because they don’t understand it or for some reason are jealous of it. Where I live virtually no one is familiar with the type of diet I eat. I’m teased for bringing in things like sardines and chicken liver to lunch. But in my opinion it’s nobody’s business what I eat just like it’s not my business what they eat.

Books

My favorite Paleo books help me learn about real food, get out of a food rut when I’m bored, and inspire my own recipes!

It Starts with Food: The first book I read before I even knew what Paleo was.  I am doing a Whole 30 in January and I highly recommend you get the book before you decide to do it!

Practical Paleo: Duh. You can’t do Paleo without this book. I recommend it to everyone that asks me about Paleo.

Eat the Yolks: This is more informational but if you’re really interested in the WHY of real food, it’s a must read.

Resources

My all time favorite Paleo blog is PaleOMG. Her latest post is also how to start with Paleo- go figure!

The Lil Honey Bee has a lot of great tips for prepping food on the weekends and keeping it super- simple. If you’re not a fancy recipes, tons of ingredients kind of person I highly recommend following Amy’s blog.

Mark’s Daily Apple will give you information about fitness and health, with a more scientific feel.

NomNom Paleo is another great recipe blog!

There’s also been some great slow cooker recipe round-ups floating around out there to help with your food prep!

Primal Palate just published a blog post about how to go Paleo for a month.

I listen to the Balanced Bites Podcast on ITunes. I am absolutely hooked on podcasts now. It’s like we’re going back to the radio. Anyways, this is with the same author’s of Practical Paleo and Eat the Yolks. I love those ladies!

I also listen to Jason Sieb and Sarah Fragoso’s pod cast Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness. They are gym owners and trainers that talk about not only food and fitness but more the lifestyle factors of Paleo.

 (Some of these links were affiliate links- which means I earn a small amount if you click and buy. I only recommend products I myself use and love!)

Well I think that’s a pretty comprehensive list of resources right there! It’s pretty much everything I’ve read/seen/listened to on my journey. I wish you luck if you’re just starting and remember just stick to it and don’t worry if you don’t get it right at first. You’re doing this for the right reasons!

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