Monthly Archives: April 2013

30-day Paleo Challenge: Day 14

Well I’ve made it two weeks! Yippeeeee!! I have confession to make though. This last weekend I went to a potluck dinner party where tacos were the meal of choice. I brought lettuce (to use as taco shells), homemade guacamole, homemade plantain and sweet potato chips (I still need to perfect these…), and strawberries and sliced apples for dessert. I was EXTREMELY tempted by the homemade tortilla chips (chips and salsa are kryptonite for me), but the plantain and sweet potato chips kept the temptation at bay. Besides eating WAY too much, I also ate more than my allotted 3 daily servings of fruit. Like, a lot more. But I still stayed paleo, and I’m proud of that.

Last week I decided I needed to rein my challenge in a little more. I know this is probably not the best thing to do in the middle of a challenge like this. But I have noticed changes in my body, already in two weeks and I want to kick it up a notch. So here are the added rules:
-No nuts, seeds or dried fruit
-Limit fruit intake to two servings per day, preferably berries only
-Try not to eat within 3 hours of bedtime (this is tough)

Up to this point I have followed these rules:
-Stick to a paleo, Whole30 based plan
-No paleo-ized baked goods/sweets
-No added salt (as much as possible)
-No processed meats (meaning no lunchmeats, seasoned bacon, etc)
-No added sweeteners or sugar
-No cheat meals

My cravings were at bay for a better part of the first weeks except around day 11 or so. Pancake, brownie, cake, etc cravings kicked in full force by day 11, and it was torture. But I made it through without giving in!

I started this challenge because I really wanted to cut back on sweets. I have a huge sweet tooth. I am considering doing the 21-day sugar detox, but I want to see where this challenge spits me out. So far I know I have lost a few pounds, possibly water weight. And I’m feeling pretty good. No crashing in the afternoon. I want to continue this type of lifestyle after the challenge, as I have been eating mostly paleo since January. But I would like to reintroduce cheat meals once per week, and cut way back on baked sweets, and added sugars. Woot woot!

Paleo burgers with sweet potato buns

For once I came up with a recipe on my own…. HOOORRRAAAYYYY!!!! I’m excited to share. We cooked these up before I embarked on the 30-day paleo challenge. But I wanted to share it with you guys regardless. I could still do this on the challenge I would just eliminate some of the toppings.

We were trying find an alternative to buns that wasn’t lettuce or mushrooms. So I thought, how about sweet potatoes? I came up with these on a whim (maybe there is hope for me!), and they are so good. I would even consider having them as sides with my eggs in the morning. So yummy!

Sweet Potato Buns:
two yams, shredded
egg whites (2-4)
rosemary
fennel seed
salt
pepper
garlic powder
oil for the pan

For the buns I used yams and shredded them using the fine-shredding option in my food processor. I placed the shredded yams in a bowl with the egg whites, and seasonings then used my hands to mix the ingredients.
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Grab about a palm full of the mixture and press into patties by hand then put them in a frying pan with coconut oil.
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Press the patties down with a spatula to compress them and flip them, when you see fit. They take about 15 minutes to cook.
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We cooked up some hamburgers and I mixed up some guacamole (secret – not so secret recipe) then loaded up our burgers. These burgers were unbelievably good. I don’t miss regular burger buns one bit. I loaded my burger with chevre (I know, not so paleo), spinach, guacamole and the buns. A must try!!

My guacamole with avocados, red onions, tomatoes, sea salt, pepper, lime juice and garlic powder

My guacamole with avocados, red onions, tomatoes, sea salt, pepper, lime juice and garlic powder

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Presented beautifully!
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Ready to be inhaled. Still tastes incredible.
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Bon apetit!

Pumpkin N’Oatmeal

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I was looking for a breakfast for dinner alternative to my usual pancakes (not that I don’t still LOVE pancakes!) A Crossfitter friend of mine posted this recipe on our box’s Facebook Paleo Challenge page. I was sceptical at first. But this recipe is SOOOO good. This one is pumpkin based and is really quick! I topped this delicious concoction with raisins and unsweetened coconut with a side of apples. SO WHAT it is April! I want Fall flavors!! http://girlmeetspaleo.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/pumpkin-noatmeal-paleo-oatmeal/

Paleo snacks

I have had quite a few people ask me what makes a good healthy snack. My go-to simple snacks include the following:
carrots, broccoli and snap peas
hard-boiled eggs
fruit (berries, apples, kiwis, bananas, etc)
trail mix (homemade!)
homemade protein bars

Trail mixes are SO easy to make! I like to put all kinds of nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamias), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) and dried fruits (raisins, cherries, dates, etc). The possibilities are endless! I also like to add cacao nibs and dried coconut. Go wild with it!
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Cucumber salad is another great snack idea. I had a similar salad at a sushi restaurant in Missoula, MT. It was SO yummy. I wasn’t able to have the dressing they used because it contained soy sauce, so they put honey on it instead. It is as simple as sliced cucumber with fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and kiwi with honey and sesame seeds on top. Give it a try!
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Bananas with trail mix and almond butter makes a great high-energy breakfast or a hearty snack. Use the trail mix you made earlier, slice up some bananas and top with almond butter. So yummy!
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Spaghetti Squash Marinara

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Sometimes you crave nothing other than spaghetti and meatballs. This time around I did not make meatballs, but I stuck with a vegetarian dish. Meatballs or some hamburger added to the sauce would have been great (next time 🙂 ). This turned out SOOOOO good though.

I made a stock pot full of spaghetti sauce using Tammy Credicott’s recipe from Healthy Gluten Free Life. http://www.thehealthyglutenfreelife.com/2011/09/16/spaghetti-sauce/ This sauce is very good. I repeat, VERY good. Better than any canned sauce you can buy from the store! I’ve also used it on pizza and it is delicious. The only change I made to the recipe was that I doubled or tripled the spices. I definitely recommend doing this!

I used the spaghetti squash recipe that I posted earlier (see the avocado cream spaghetti squash recipe). This is SO yummy!! Doesn’t make me miss normal spaghetti AT ALL.

Enjoy!

A new challenge…

paleo_diet_flowchart-500x377After much thought my hubby and I have decided to try the 30-day Paleo challenge. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the Whole 30 and the Paleo Challenge to get a good idea of the standard “rules”. We are using these guidelines to make our own rules to follow. I’m a little scurred, because I know this is going to be tough. And I’m really good at talking myself out of things. But that’s why I have an accountability partner!! 😛 So, today we’re putting together the first week of meal planning, followed by meal prep this afternoon. Next weekend we are going out of town, which will make things even more difficult. But I’m excited for day 31 to see the changes!

Our “rules”:
Allowed foods include meats (fish, poultry, pork, beef), fruits (maximum 3 servings per day), vegetables (unlimited), eggs, nuts, seeds.
This excludes:
added sweeteners, unless directly from fruit and included in the serving count
processed meats
a majority of foods with a label on it, unless qualified under the Whole30
“paleo-ized” junk food of any kind – no paleo pancakes, brownies, cookies, pizza dough, etc you catch my drift…

My goal is to be down to 2 servings of fruit or less by the end of the 30 days. I have a sugar addiction, that I hope this will help me tone down!

I’ll be sharing this journey on here for sure!!

I have a lot of good eats from the last few weeks that I still have to post. They’ll be added soon!