Paleo Life

It’s been a busy few weeks around here. The success of the paleo cupcakes for my husband’s birthday has sparked a renewed interest in paleo baking in the both of us. We loved making bread before this diet change and we’re excited to try some new techniques. 
This last week, we tried a paleo sandwich bread made using almond flour. The one thing I noticed right off was that since this bread has no gluten or more importantly, yeast in it, it comes together so much faster than standard sandwich bread. So, that’s a win! There’s no need for rise time, punching or kneading the dough; you basically mix it, pour it in the pan and bake! The downside to no yeast however, is that the finished product doesn’t rise very much. Vinegar and baking soda give it a slight boost, but for the most part, it comes out of the oven at the same height it went in. Drat. I was hoping for a nice, tall loaf of sandwich bread. What I got was a mini loaf, albeit a very tasty one. 


The flavor of the bread is awesome. It’s dense and slightly nutty, not too overpowering and would be perfect for sandwiches or toast, it just lacks height. I thought I could get a little more height out of it by separating the eggs and whipping the whites into medium peaks before folding them back in, but there was almost no difference in height between the two loaves. I did notice that the bread with the whipped egg whites came out a little less dense, which was nice, but not the result I was hoping for. Back to the drawing board on that one. 

I can confirm however, that as written, this bread makes amazing toast. I eat it with a little bit of butter (not paleo, I know, but it doesn’t bother me, so I’m going to keep eating it). My husband loves it with his morning eggs, so win-win!

On the upside, I’ve got (almost) paleo chocolate chip cookies AND fudgy brownies. So, so good. 

Both are made with almond flour and organic chocolate chips. The way I made them isn’t exactly paleo compliant because the chocolate chips do contain processed white sugar, but for now, that’s going to have to do. Once I run out of chocolate chips, I’ll look into making them 100% paleo.

For the cookies, I follow the recipe exactly. I did experiment by adding one cup of dried cranberries and one teaspoon of cinnamon in order to make something close to my oatmeal craisin cookies, EPIC! I’ll have to take a picture next time, I was too hungry to wait this last batch. 


For the brownies, I tried them exactly as written the first time around, but they were too cakey for my liking. I prefer my brownies to be super fudgy and moist. I thought 3 eggs seemed like too many the first time I made them, so on my second try, I cut it down to 2 eggs and that was perfect!


We’re still on the hunt for a more sandwich friendly bread; I just got a tip about cassava flour, which is already on its way to me, so hopefully next time, I’ll be able to report a success!

Whole 30, The End!

Sorry I didn’t post on the last week of my Whole 30, I had a terrible cold and just didn’t feel up to it. I ate mostly soup and bone broth that week, so you didn’t miss much. 

We made it! We’re actually almost a week past the end of our Whole 30, and it feels amazing!!! I lost just over 6 pounds in 30 days and I can’t even describe how awesome I feel. My skin is clear, my digestive issues have sorted themselves out and I’m even sleeping better at night! 

So, now what? Do I just go straight back to eating how I was before? What’s my plan for the future? Well, the husband and I have decided to make a major dietary change and go paleo permanently. Whoa. Wait. What on Earth does that even mean?The idea is simple, paleo refers to our caveman ancestors and the diet essentially consists of things that could be hunted or gathered, so lots of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Most importantly, the focus of paleo is cutting out processed foods and grains altogether. The paleo diet is very similar to Whole 30, but it is less restrictive on some things, like sugar. The Whole 30 does not allow any added sugars at all, except fruit juice. Paleo allows natural sugars such maple syrup and honey, which means we can have some sweets, (yay!). 

We haven’t decided yet how closely we want to stick to paleo guidelines. Right now, we’re considering a slightly modified version and allowing ourselves some dairy, because neither of us have any issues digesting it. We do plan to allow for cheat meals every now and then. Notice I didn’t say cheat “days”. I’ve always found the cheat day mindset to be particularly dangerous to any diet plan. I tend to go overboard on everything when it’s a whole cheat day. A cheat “meal” mindset allows us to have one non-compliant meal and then go right back to doing what we’re supposed to do as opposed to saying “well, I had a non compliant breakfast, may as well keep eating junk!”. 

Take this weekend, for instance, we went out to dinner for my husband’s birthday on Saturday. That was our cheat meal. The whole rest of the day, we stayed on plan. Before, I would have said “screw it, let’s ruin the whole day!”, and I’d have paid dearly for it the next. This way, we had some fun and didn’t feel guilty about it or make ourselves ill. Win! 

Speaking of birthdays, you may be wondering what kind of birthday doesn’t have a cake… not this one! I got a fabulous cookbook and made paleo compliant chocolate cupcakes with an equally compliant French buttercream. No one who tried them even realized they weren’t normal cupcakes until I told them, I’d say that’s a damn fine recipe. 


Ok, so you had a birthday cake. What about the Super Bowl?!? Don’t worry, I had that covered too! We made paleo friendly wings from NomNomPaleo and crispy smashed potatoes

I even got to have left over wings for dinner tonight with some roasted cauliflower and steamed green beans! Note: green beans are a controversial item on paleo; they’re legumes which technically aren’t allowed, but I say if it’s good enough for Whole 30, they’re good enough for paleo, since they’re mostly pod.


I think that’s just about it for now, more recipes and meal plans to come!

 

Whole 30, Day 22!

We are officially more than 2/3 of the way trough this round of Whole 30! 
This last week, we stuck with our breakfast smoothies, so nothing new or exciting there. 

Last week, I mentioned we had a bunch of all new recipes to try out, so here’s the run down. For lunches this week, we had a veggie laden pulled pork stew, (my own recipe, which I haven’t written out yet). I used left over pulled pork, bone broth, carrots, mushrooms, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, celery, onion and kale to make this super filling stew in the instant pot. One serving rolls in at about 307 calories and it kept me full all afternoon, win-win!


My husband wasn’t happy about the mushrooms in it, but otherwise loved it, so next time I make it, I’ll probably omit them.

Sunday, we made another new recipe: cilantro lime chicken, with roasted cauliflower and cabbage steaks.  The original recipe suggests serving this chicken over rice, but since rice is forbidden while on the Whole 30, I roasted up some cabbage steaks instead. I wasn’t sure how the cabbage steaks would go over, but they were awesome. We had a non Whole 30 friend over for dinner that night and he even enjoyed it!


Monday, we decided to make some grilled garlic shrimp with grilled asparagus since my husband was home from work for MLK Day. Oh my gosh, I love these shrimp. Not only are they super simple to put together, they are delicious! 


As you can see, with our shrimp, instead of pasta or another carby side, we had some more roasted cauliflower, (I am obsessed, not sorry), and we roasted a few of our home grown carrots, too. 

The rest of the week, we enjoyed curried shepherd’s pie. I made several changes to this recipe, the most obvious of which was using white potatoes and cauliflower in place of sweet potatoes. I also omitted the peas, since they’re not Whole 30 compliant and used bone broth rather than plain beef broth. I added in some finely diced mushrooms, a turnip and some extra cauliflower to make it a bit more filling. Next time I make this, I think I’ll add a lot more curry powder and probably a teensy bit more salt, but otherwise, it was excellent. 



Saturday was a little different this week since Aaron was working, but my good friend and fellow Whole 30 buddy, Amber came over to make dinner with me. We made NomNomPaleo’s Cracklin Chicken (sooo good!), roasted cauliflower and some kick ass garlic green beans. 


Amber brought her dog, Willow over to play with Freyja and we made a whole girl’s night of it, complete with scary movies. The only thing missing was chocolate and wine, mmmm….


For this next week, we’re having oven roasted pork ribs for dinner and chicken soup (with bone broth!) for lunches. I’ll probably be having just the soup today since my stomach is unhappy about something. Not a great start to the week, but hopefully things will be back to normal soon. 

Whole 30, Day 13


One more week down! This week was mostly leftovers, which made it super easy, but here’s a run down of what kept me going!
For breakfasts, we had smoothies! Yum. We tend to find something we like and use it until we’re sick of it, so all of our smoothies this week were the same: 

  • 90g (1 cup) frozen spinach or kale
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 70g (1/2 cup) frozen blueberries
  • 32g (2 tablespoons) almond butter
  • 1 scoop of collagen peptides
  • 6 oz coconut milk
  • 6 oz cold coffee

I use a kitchen scale for most of my measuring, which is why everything is in grams. I just find it easier to just sit the pitcher on the scale and dump everything in, plus no need to dirty extra utensils! (I am a fairly lazy creature, after all.) I didn’t really take any pictures of the smoothies because they’re not very pretty. The coffee makes it a dark, unappealing color, but damn if it doesn’t make all the difference in my morning! 

This week, I really tried to start cutting out the snacks, but the results were disastrous. I’m going to stick to small, compliant snacks and leave it alone. Being grumpy and tired is just no way to be. For snacks this week, (once I realized cutting them out was a lost cause), I had an orange in the morning, if I needed it and a handful of raw almonds and plain walnuts in the afternoon. This helped keep my energy steady and kept me from being such a sourpuss. 

So, lunch! I tried sweet potato toast! It sounds weird, but I was very impressed; it’s super simple and very yummy, so win-win!

Take a whole sweet potato and give it a good scrub. Dry it off and slice it (lengthwise) so you get long, 1/4″ slices and stick it right in the toaster!


I toasted mine for about 5 min, until they were tender but not mushy. Slather on some almond butter, sprinkle with some cinnamon and a teensy bit of sea salt and enjoy! 

On the days I didn’t have sweet potato toast, I just had the kale and potato soup from last week,(equally quick and easy, since it was already made). 

Last weekend, we made the Paleo Beef Stew with roasted beets, carrots and parsnips; those leftovers served as dinner for the week.

I did, however make fresh roasted veggies to go with it, since I’ve found that those don’t reheat very well. Roasted cauliflower is officially my new favorite side dish. It’s soooo good!! I figured it would be fairly bland and tasteless, but it’s definitely not. Properly roasted, cauliflower has its own amazing flavor. It’s not a strong flavor, it’s very mellow, a little sweet and almost cheesy. Seriously, you have to try it! 


The other dish we made over the weekend was the Carne Asada, which is definitely a favorite around here. 


We found the recipe back in July when we did the Whole 30 for the first time and we’ve been making flank steak like this ever since. We had some cole slaw and pan seared asparagus to go with it. I can’t wait to make it again with the roasted cauliflower! 

This weekend, we’re trying all new recipes, including a curried shepherd’s pie, cilantro lime chicken and a pulled pork vegetable stew, (which I started this morning and it smells amazing!). Stay tuned!

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