Monday, May 8, 2017

Guess Who's Back...Back AGAIN!



I have had a couple of kids since the last time I posted and I have been on and off the Paleo wagon- mostly off in all honesty. A lot of donuts, chips, chocolate and bread has been consumed since we last spoke. I just completed a Whole30 and am starting a new one today so I figured I should share some recipes and my experiences along the way. I am excited to get back to this blog. I think after doing it for SO MANY YEARS... I think at least 5 when I stopped...I kind of got bored with it and wanted to do something new. I have my other blog, www.fullofgraceandgreens.com where I focus more on Motherhood and I really enjoy writing there but I missed my good ole' Paleo blog. I miss the simplicity of just writing a recipe out and a quick blurb about my day. I also miss having the ability to reach a lot of people and hopefully inspire at least one person to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This blog started as an honest record of my first experience with eating Paleo and I think I have kept that intention through all these years. So a little reintroduction is in order- if you are wanting to eat healthier and particularly eat Paleo then you have found the right place especially if:

  • you have a good sense of humor and don't mind my random jokes (mostly bad) along with a recipe 
  • you like honestly- when I eat a piece of pizza I won't lie about it, and I won't lie about how damn good it is either 
  • you don't mind run on sentences and bad grammar- I am mostly writing these posts with two small children intermittently throwing tantrums and grabbing at my computer screen 
  • you want to be healthier and you aren't a ingredient nazi- yes I use honey. and some dairy once in a while, and sometimes whatever the heck I want so don't get your panties in a bunch if things aren't 100% PALEO ALL OF THE TIME because that isn't life and it is not MY responsibility to make sure every sauce and crumb you put in your mouth is Paleo- that is your responsibility if you adhering to a very strict protocol 
So if you are new to my blog- welcome! And if you have been here before- sorry about ignoring you for a year haha! 

Happy eating :) 



Friday, June 24, 2016

What in the world is Paleo??


What is Paleo? 

You may be thinking: "What is this "Paleo" diet anyways? Just another crazy diet where I am starving all the time? Counting my calories? Eating food that tastes like cardboard? Just another fad diet?" The answers to all of those questions are, "Noway!" I like to think of Paleo as a lifestyle rather than a diet- I know it sounds corny. But trust me if you give Paleo a 30 day try then you will think of it is this way too. Let me preface this explanation by this: I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I am not an expert. But I have done a lot of research and been Paleo for almost a year.

Let's go back in time. More specifically, before the agricultural revolution. We were hunters and gatherers. We lived a life where our existence revolved around food. Think about it. There were no cell phones, no jobs, no TV- there also weren't a lot of things that are nice like mattresses and refrigerators. But imagine your life REVOLVING around food. Our bodies were made to run off these foods that we needed to survive. I am sure almost all of their energy was put into finding, hunting, gathering and eating. Food was of upmost importance. The people back then were tall, lean, muscular and without most (if not all) of the host of diseases we have today. The way we view food has changed dramatically. Food isn't seen as a source of life. It isn't seen as a necessity for our bodies. It isn't seen as something that fuels us to be our best. It is seen as an afterthought. I know this is true because that is what it used to be for me. I would only think about food when I was hungry. And when I was hungry I would think, "Hmm..what should I have for dinner? Should I nuke a lean cuisine? Should I run through McDonalds? Ohhh or do I want Panera...and if I get a salad I can also get a bear claw..." Food wasn't something that made me who I am. It was something that if I ate less of and ran more I might be able to drop a few pounds. It was something that tasted good and that I would treat myself with when I thought I "deserved" a dessert after a long day. It was something that was an accessory to my life. I did not view it as it should be: Food should not be an accessory to your life, it should shape your life. That may sound extreme. But food really does shape our lives- it is necessary to our survival, and right now our society is doing an awful job of surviving. We are all getting fatter. We are all getting sicker. We are more depressed, anxious, stressed and unhealthy. Why? I think the MAIN reason is our diet. The crap we are putting in our mouths is making us crappier as a whole. Our focus isn't on our survival. Our focus is on whatever it is that is happening that day. Our focus isn't on fueling our bodies so they can perform at an optimal level- our focus is on who got cut from American Idol that night. Our focus isn't on maintaining our bodies or what we can eat to make it through this week- our focus is on playing Words with Friends on our i phones and getting that promotion.

So before I even get into the dirty details of Paleo lets re shift our focus and agree on these things:

1. We NEED food to live
2. It is one of THE most important things in YOUR life
3. The food we eat directly correlates with the life you will live
4. Our focus should shift from food as an ACCESSORY to a NECESSITY
5. Bad, chemically ridden food will most likely cause you to have a host of health issues ranging from bloating and gas to cancer to death.

So. Now that I have preached about modern society let's talk about Paleo.

Go to this website and read this article about Paleo: http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

Paleo is a healthy way of eating and living. It is eating the things our bodies were meant to eat. It is fueling our bodies with the purest forms of food. No more processed crap. No more fast food. No more microwave dinners.

In A Nutshell:

-No wheat
-No grains
-No dairy
-No soy
-No legumes
-No corn
-No peanuts (a legume)
-No processed food
-No sugar (besides sugar found in fruit or vegetables)
-No chemically altered food

-Lots of veggies
-Some fruit
-Meat- grass fed, hormone free
-Eggs- hormone free
-Nuts
-Fats (coconut butter)

For me- Paleo has changed the way I see food. It isn't something that I just have and eat when I need it. It is something I put a lot of thought and energy into. It is one of the reasons I am alive. It is something that can me a better athlete and a better person. Paleo has put me back in tune with my body. I never knew what healthy truly felt like until I ate Paleo. I know it sounds crazy that something that seems so insignificant can change someone's life- but that is the point I am trying to make. The way we eat isn't insignificant. It can change all assets of your life if you view it and respect it in the way humans used to. I hope this all makes sense and doesn't come off as a rant! But truly sit down and think about what you eat. You will be shocked at what will you will discover.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I AM BACK!!!!



Hey everyone! Whew. It has been quite a while. I am back and ready to get serious about eating Paleo- and finding Paleo meals that are:

-Easy
-Nutritious
-Toddler Friendly
-and a lot of the time Crock Pot friendly
-Breastfeeding friendly

Yup-breastfeeding friendly because... we have a new little guy that has joined our family!! Our sweet baby boy arrived 7 weeks ago. I am exclusively breastfeeding him- which means I am going to try to make my meals as breastfeeding friendly as possible (bye, bye turkey cabbage and broccoli). Now I know that it is safe to most vegetables and not cause any tummy problems in breastfed babies, but because little guy is only 7 weeks old I like to avoid the MAJOR culprits of gas when it comes to vegetables. As he grows and his digestive system matures I will add back pretty much everything. Other major culprits I have heard about- dairy, grains and gluten-all of which I have been eating in abundance lately. So starting Paleo now is the perfect time to get my family back on track.

We have been attempting to eat healthy but have been failing pretty regularly. One of the reasons is because we are not 100% committed to eating Paleo- which we all know makes it impossible to eat clean. I am finding myself filling my toddler with fruit snacks and Pirates Booty. It is tough to find toddler friendly snacks that are convenient. For my husband and I we have done this before and it will be tough but not crazy for us to start eating Paleo again. For my little girl though- I don't think it is fair to just start her on Monday like me and husband will. She loves her fruit snacks and all the treats she is used to getting. She does not understand what eating clean and Paleo is and why it is good of her. So my goal with her is all of her major meals of the day will be Paleo (with my husband and I)  but I will wean her off of her snacks slowly. She has a big box of snacks that my goal is to just let her have more occasionally and when the box is gone I won't restock it. Same with the popsicles in the freezer. The fun part in all of this is I have done a good amount of research on kid friendly and healthy snacks that I will start making this week! Like homemade popsicles (it is hot here in the desert) and maybe I can even find some Paleo fruit snack recipes. Or she can just eat fruit haha which would clearly be the better choice.

SO if you are looking for family friendly Paleo inspiration- along with life with a 2 year old and newborn- look no further. Please follow along on our journey (again) to eat and live a Paleo lifestyle!

You won't regret it ;)


Monday, May 25, 2015

Easy Paleo Caprese Chicken

Hey everyone!! I know I have been majorly ignoring this blog- I'm sorry! I have been branching out and posting a lot on my new blog- www.fullofgraceandgreens.com . I share a lot about being a new Mom and life in general. We have been eating on and off (mostly off) Paleo for the last year or so but I love that when I am in a bind and need a quick and easy recipe I have my Paleo cooking to fall back on. I changed this recipe from a non-paleo version and it tastes delicious and takes no time at all.

Easy Paleo Chicken Caprese

Here is what you need: 
-1 lb of thinly sliced chicken 
-3 egg whites 
-1-2 cups of almond meal 
-fresh mozzarella (optional) 
-1 big ole tomato 
-fresh basil 
-Spices (I use italian seasoning, garlic powder and red pepper flakes) 

This recipe is seriously simple. First- grab a plate and put about a cup of almond meal (*HINT I like to add about a tablespoon of garlic powered and italian seasoning and mix it in my almond meal for extra flavor*) . Then grab a bowl and put 3 egg whites in there. I like to set up a little station with the egg white bowl, then the plate of almond meal and the cookie sheet at the end.

Take your thinly sliced or pounded out chicken breast and dip it into the egg whites covering it. Then throw it on the almond meal plate and flip it around until it is coated. If you start to run low on almond meal just add some more. Once it is coated place it on the cookie sheet and repeat until all your chicken is done. Place it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. I like to add some slices of mozzarella to the tops when there is 5-10 min left of cooking so it gets nice and melty. Finish with a tomato slice, some fresh basil and a nice salad!

Hope you enjoy :)

Dad, Mom and Baby's Plates :)                                          

Monday, January 19, 2015

10 Tips To Stay Healthy This Winter Season

I love the winter season because it means Thanksgiving, Christmas, cozy clothes, warm fires and lots of family time. Winter also means colds, the flu and lots of people feeling sick in general. Due to people being inside more and huddling together for warmth viruses spread and can get out of control during the winter months. This year the flu has been deemed an epidemic due to the number of deaths and I have spent more time than I prefer at the pediatrician office with my daughter. So what can we do to avoid getting sick and how can we boost our immunity in general?

 Here are 10 tips to staying healthy this winter season.

1. Add Some Greens to Your Daily Routine
A great way to boost your immunity is to add greens, like spinach and kale, to your daily routine. A really easy way to get a lot of greens quickly is to add them to a smoothie. I love to have a green smoothie in the morning using my NutriBullet. Greens contain Vitamin C, Vitamin E and folate which are all amazing immune boosting nutrients. Adding some extra protein to the smoothie also helps keep you full. It is important to choose a healthy protein- check out the recipe for the smoothie pictured below that includes some Aloha protein powder which is vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, Non-GMO and organically grown. Check out this awesome protein powder: Aloha Protein Powder


2. Lower Your Stress 
Chronic stress can do some serious damage to your immune system. When we are stressed we leave ourselves more susceptible to getting sick. The hormones released while we are stressed have been shown to suppress our immune system. Stress effects our digestive system, our heart rate, our ability to sleep and our overall health in general. If you find you are always feeling stressed out then you should take some steps to lower that stress. One way to lower stress is to take some time every day in order to do something that helps you feel relaxed. I love to journal, take a walk or a nice warm bath to  help me feel relaxed and recharged. 

3. Stay Out of Crowded Places 
Being in large crowds or small spaces with other people is a recipe to catch a virus. I know it is not feasible to stay inside of your house all winter long but being mindful while you are out can really boost your chances of staying healthy. Instead of seeing the premiere of that movie you've been dying to see- wait a couple of weeks and see it in a less crowded theater. Save trips to the grocery store for during the week when it is less crowded- and use the cart sanitizing wipes! I like to bring a bottle of the Honest Company's antibacterial spray with me when I go out. I spray my hands when I am leaving the store before I grab my daughter or before I touch any of her toys. I know it may sound a little extreme- but during the winter when Croup, RSV and the flu are rampant I would rather be safe rather than sorry. 

4. Wash Your Hands! 
Wash, wash, wash! After getting home from being out- wash your hands. Before touching your face or mouth- wash your hands! After shaking someone's hand or playing a game of basketball- wash your hands! In general just be more aware of keeping clean.


5. Get Plenty of Sleep 
Sleep is an integral component of good health. Studies have shown a link between lack of sleep and a host of health problems. Sleep also helps reduce stress which is another enemy of the immune system. It's important to stay away from the bright screens of computers and smartphones when you're settling down for the night. The bright screens can alter the natural cycle of sleep. Quality sleep can be a great defense against the flurry of colds and illnesses of the winter season. I love to use essential oils to help me have high quality sleep (if you would like more information on essential oils contact me!). Melatonin and drinking chamomile tea are also some natural ways to help you get thpse Zzzz's.

6. Drink Water 
Drink water...drink water....drink water!!! I can't say it enough. Our bodies rely on water to function- without it we die. If you put down the soda and grab a water you will not only feel better but you will increase your chances of staying healthy. Water flushes toxins from our bodies, aids in digestion, oxygenates our cells and increases the function of our immune systems. Shoot for drinking at least 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water per day. I have found that keeping track throughout the day helps me drink enough. 

7. Eat Whole Foods 
If you have read my blog you know I have strong feelings about processed foods. I believe that our overly sugar-filled, chemical-laden and genetically modified food of today is slowly killing us. The unnatural additives are tough on our bodies and they are wrecking our immune systems. If you want to stay healthy then fill your body with colorful vegetables, fruit and high quality meat. Giving your body the nutrients it needs to function increases its ability to protect you from illnesses. Check out this site for some awesome recipes: Aloha Recipes. Here is a picture of a Paleo one from Aloha that I am dying to try:

Superfood Spaghetti Squash & Avocado Pesto


8. Exercise 
Get up and move! Exercise has been proven to make us healthier. Exercise raises our body temperature- which may aid in fighting off bacteria. Exercise also increases the circulation of white blood cells which could result in detecting viruses or bacteria faster. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress which we know is a good thing for your immune system. You don't have to be a Olympic athlete to reap the health benefits of exercise- you just have to consistently get your body moving. Exercise does not have to be a chore- find something that you love and that gets you out and about. Go out dancing, go for a hike or grab a friend and take a long walk! 

9. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
If you smoke- now is the time to stop. There is no denying that smoking is terrible for your health. Especially your lungs- and winter is the time for a lot of respiratory issues. Alcohol also has negative consequences to our bodies and our immune systems. Alcohol is usually accompanied by nights out which end in little sleep. Being in a bar that's crowded, drinking too much and then not sleeping (while dehydrating your body) is the perfect storm that really increases your chances of catching something. 

10. Consider Probiotics 
Gut (or stomach) health has been a major focus of research recently. Many studies are finding that our gut health is related to our overall health and that it plays a really important role in immune function. Balancing out the good and bad bacteria in our gut can be achieved by ridding our systems of inflammatory foods, adding fermented foods to our diets and by taking a daily probiotic. This is a very exciting area of research that I have been interested in for the past year. Although the body of research is currently in the growth phases- there is a lot of data out there that is showing us that we need to heal our guts! 


In conclusion adopting a healthy lifestyle is your best defense against becoming sick. Consistently treating your body well and giving it the sleep, water, exercise and nutrients it needs will not only make you feel wonderful- it will help you stay well. By adopting a healthy lifestyle you will also find that if you do get a dreaded winter cold your recovery time will be a lot shorter and your body will do a better job of fighting that cold! So start now and drink a glass of water, go to that class at the gym you've wanted to try, eat a healthy dinner and get a good nights sleep! 
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