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Air Fryer Obsessed (Air Fried Cauliflower Recipe)

I know appliances as gifts are normally not encouraged (by some standards) but I would have to completely disagree.

I love kitchen gadgets, but I don’t really buy them for myself so I love it when I receive them as gifts. For Mother’s Day my boys got me beautiful flowers and an Air Fryer. I wasn’t 100% sure what all I could make with the air fryer, but I was excited to give it a try.

So far we have made chicken wings, steak, french fries (sweet potato and russet), breakfast potatoes, brussel sprouts, green beans, onion rings, and cauliflower. Everything has turned out awesome! Take a look ⬇️

chicken wings green beansonion ringspotatoes and onionsbrussel sprouts

Steak and fries

I really like that you don’t have to use a ton of oil and “deep fry” anything. Steak cooks super fast, and potatoes turn out perfectly golden and crispy.

My fryer came with a manual setting where I can manually change the time and temp and also some presets for fries, chicken, steak, and even desserts. I have yet to bake anything in my fryer, but maybe that will be my next experiment. I’ll keep you posted!

Someone recently asked me the benefits of using the air fryer, and here is my personal opinion:

  • Less oil (healthier, if used correctly)
  • Deep fried foods-without deep frying
  • Quicker cook time (for most recipes)
  • Even crispness
  • Easy clean-up
  • Doesn’t heat your entire kitchen (like an oven)

I personally just think it’s fun to experiment with😊

So there you have it, my review of the Air Fryer. I have the Power Air Fryer XL. I believe my husband got it at JCPenny or maybe Sears. It was around $140. When I googled it I also saw it at Target and Kohl’s.

Here’s an easy cauliflower recipe using the air fryer. It’s so good!

Air Fryer Cauliflower

Ingredients:

*1 head of cauliflower (any color, I used orange)

*olive or avocado oil

*salt

*cumin

Recipe:

*Wash cauliflower and chop into bite sized florets

*toss cauliflower in about 2 Tablespoons of oil (just enough to lightly coat evenly)

*sprinkle on salt- to taste

*sprinkle on 1-2 teaspoons of cumin (depending on size of cauliflower)

*put cauliflower into fryer basket

*cook at 370 degrees for 15 minutes

*stir

*cook for an additional 8 minutes at 400 degrees (add more time for more crispyness)

*enjoy!

Let’s Talk (healthier “treats”)

Something I’d really like to talk about is PERFECTION and GUILT.

When it comes to healthy eating I think many of us put really strict (unreasonable) rules on ourselves. Our expectations are perfection. Never falling off track, never having a treat. Many of us have an all or nothing attitude. When we fall short of perfection our guilt creeps in and creates a huge mess.

I’ve heard many people say things like “Well I screwed up at breakfast and ate off plan so my entire day is ruined.” Or “I’ll start over tomorrow.” Or “I’m so bad, I ate (fill in the blank) today.” Or “I’m going to have a cheat day.” Or “I just blew my diet so I’m going to eat whatever I want today.” It’s such a strange relationship many of us have with food.

We beat ourselves up over these little slip ups and then punish ourselves by either jumping completely off the wagon, or putting even more rules on ourselves. Or worse, just not eating at all.

I’ve learned over the past 4 years that while eating healthy all the time is best case scenario, it’s not realistic. Life is also about balance. Why does a slip up mean an entire day is ruined? Why do we need an ENTIRE day to “cheat”??? And if we choose to have a “cheat” why do we feel guilty about it afterward?

I’m not saying eat a salad for lunch and an entire box of Oreos for dessert. Or a box of donuts or an entire pizza. And treats should be just that, a treat. Not something that you have every day with every meal. That’s not reasonable either. But there are healthy “treats” out there, and healthier options. And occassionaly, I think it’s okay to have some.

*Here’s my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe from Primal Palate sweetened with maple syrup and made with almond flour instead of bleached flour

/https://www.primalpalate.com/paleo-recipe/chocolate-chip-cookies/

I don’t blog often, and honestly, I’m not even sure if anyone even reads my blog, but if you do, and you are choosing a healthy lifestyle, please don’t plan for perfection. Please be kind to yourself and take baby steps if you need to. Realize that a healthy lifestyle is a continuous journey, not a destination. One foot in front of the other. If you slip up, just get back up and try again.

I say this all the time, but If you eat something off plan, just make better choices at your next meal.

Every meal is an opportunity to feel better. Use your opportunities wisely.

Some healthier treats:

I really enjoy a sliced banana or dried banana chips with almond butter

A couple pieces of a dark chocolate bar (72% cacao or higher) Theo Chocolates are great!

Berries

Coconut whipped cream with fruit

An occasional paleo baked good (banana sweetened muffins, almond flour cookies or Simple Mills brand cake or cookie mix)

A fruit crisp with paleo friendly topping

A Hail Merry tart (I eat half because these babies are rich and delicious!)

Hopefully some of these ideas help you treat yourself without so much guilt! ♥️

Cheers to 4 years! (BLT Breakfast Salad)

I have been eating a paleo diet since July of 2014 which means I’m coming up on my 4 year anniversary! Time sure flies!

I feel great, my skin is more clear than before, and I no longer suffer from what was probably IBS. (I was never diagnosed, but I had constant stomach issues every time I ate something). I don’t feel bloated anymore, and I have maintained a pretty consistant weight over the past 4 years.

I do have to confess that there has been one thing missing from my Paleo lifestyle though, and it’s a pretty major factor too.

Exercise.

Over the past four years I have only worked out sporadically, and really it’s only been the 2-3 weeks leading up to a vacation or trip somewhere. So this might be a total of 12 weeks in 4 years….that’s pretty bad.

I’m not quite sure why I lack the motivation to work out. I don’t really enjoy the typical gym scene. I feel totally out of place when I go to one. So I prefer to work out alone, but that’s where there’s not much accountability. I am pretty thin and have been most of my life, so I guess I just thought I could do a yoga dvd here and there and stay in shape.

Last month my husband and I were able to attend Paleof(x) in Austin Texas. We got to sample tons of new, healthy, Paleo and Keto products, hear a few motivational speeches about health and nutrition, and we had scans done at InBody, which is a body composition analysis. What I learned from my scan was pretty eye opening. While I may be thin and my weight is pretty much right on for my height, my body fat percentage and my muscle mass is not. Which means I should maintain my current weight but convert some of my fat into muscle. And this is where movement and exercise come in. It’s the one and only way to convert fat to muscle. It just has to happen.

And there is my dilemma, lack of motivation and a space that I actually enjoy working out in…Obviously I want to be healthy. I would not have been eating this way for this long if I didn’t, but I just lack that commitment to movement. Ugh. Where can I find it?!?!

Well, I’m glad to say that I joined a gym on May 14th. Almost 8 weeks ago! Its called Get Fit, and its not an ordinary gym. The workouts are different every day. They use a class setting (no more than 50 people in a class) They encourage community, and they can modify your workout based on where you are at in your journey and if you have any injuries. They use a combination of TRX, dumbbells, bands, balance balls, kettlebells and your own body weight to give you an intense but movement based full body 50 minute workout.

My goal has been to work out at least 3 times a week. I’ve mostly been able to reach that goal with only a couple weeks squeezing in only one workout, but that’s far better than where I was before.

Little by little this place is growing on me, and I’m really excited to meet some new people that have similar lifestyles. Everyone that works there has been super friendly and helpful. If the instructor doesn’t recognize you they come over and introduce themselves right away. It is quite a community, and maybe that’s the part I’ve been missing all this time! I definetly get a crazy intense workout every single time, and i feel like I’m getting a little bit stronger already. I just need to keep going!!

I’ll keep you all updated on this new part of my journey. And hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to do another InBody scan soon to see if I’ve made any improvements.

If you are local to my area and want to check out Get Fit, they have locations in Modesto and Oakdale. Their website is www.getfitcommunity.com You can try a class for free, and they also offer boot camps.

BLT Breakfast Salad

Your base can be any lettuce you like. (I prefer red romaine or spinach)

Top it with:

sliced cherry tomatoes

olive oil

pink salt

Pederson Farms (Whole30 approved) bacon

and 1-2 fried yolky eggs

Planning Ahead (frittata w/ watercress)

Christmas is very quickly approaching and things are definetly busier than normal. I’m sure you feel the same way. Buying and wrapping gifts, sending Christmas cards, planning and attending parties, school programs, parades, baking….so many fun things going on! I really love this season. The only tricky part is it is really easy to fall off the wagon this time of year. Lots of treats and drinks at events that we wouldn’t normally have….

So far I’m doing pretty well. I’ve had the occasional treat or overindulgence, but I have found the best thing to do is just get back on track. I try not to punish myself or feel guilty for eating an occasional “off track” food or meal. I have been eating Paleo for over 3 years now, so really it is a lifestyle at this point. It is my norm. It sounds so cliché to say it’s a lifestyle, but it really is true. 

I think I say this in every blog post but, what really keeps me on track and accountablev is planning and organization. It’s really simple things that I do every week that keep me moving in the right direction. 

I’m off work on Mondays so that’s my shopping/prepping day. You could do Sunday if it’s better for you. I start off sometime over the weekend writing the days of the week down first. I usually check the weather too for each day because if it’s really chilly or rainy I like to make something like soup and if the weather is really nice we like to bbq. Next I write next to each day if we have any activities that might get in the way of cooking dinner. Things like appointments after work or a school function, maybe a dinner out with friends, sports, cub scouts, stuff like that. Next I look through my favorite Paleo and whole30 cookbooks, blogs and Instagram posts that I’ve saved and plug in dinners into the days of the week that work best. If My household has an activity that interferes with cooking, I just plan a crockpot meal. Once my meals are plugged into my calendar, I also plan something for breakfast for the week that I can cook Monday after shopping. Sometimes it’s basic like hard boiled eggs and roasted veggies , and sometimes it’s a little fancier like a frittata sliced and individually packaged. I just pack breakfast and lunch in my lunch bag and eat both at work. If you can’t eat at work, at least your breakfast is basically ready for your work week, just warm it in the microwave and make a cup of coffee or tea. Simple! So, while I am picking out the recipes I am also making my shopping list for those recipes at the same time. I usually double dinner recipes so that we can have leftovers for lunch. 

Monday I take my kiddo to school and head to my favorite grocery store. I try to stick to my list so there is less food waste in my house. Sometimes there will be staples on sale like different flours or sugar free sauces or other nonparishables that I’ll stock up on, but that’s kinda rare. Anyway, I check off my list, then go home and make whatever breakfast I picked out, and that’s it. I don’t cook all day long. I don’t prep every single meal for the week. I don’t make it a huge thing. Just make a menu and a list, shop, cook/prep your breakfast for the week. That’s it. The rest is day by day, with leftovers for lunch. After a couple weeks of this it will be a routine for you too! 

Well I usually don’t make up my own recipes, but this week I was feeling adventurous and made up my very first frittata recipe! I’m very excited to say it turned out great so I’m sharing it with you here! Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Sweet Potato-Watercress-Brussel Sprout Frittata

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 sweet potato thinly sliced (i used a mandolin slicer)
  • 1 pack of Pete’s Living Greens watercress (mostly just the leaves, roughly chopped) 
  • About 2 handfuls of brussel sprouts halved (you can cook extra and have them as a side later in the week)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp granulated onion
  • 2 Tbsp coconut milk (canned)
  • 8-10 eggs
  • Avocado oil spray

Preheat over to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil. And grease a cast iron skillet.                      

Wash and slice brussel sprouts, and place on foil lined sheet. Spray sprouts with avocado oil coating evenly. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in oven and set timer for 30 minutes. 

While the sprouts are baking thinly slice your sweet potato (about 1/4 inch thick) lay the slices in your greased skillet creating a “crust” then put in the oven with the sprouts for the remaining 10-15 minutes.  While the sprouts and sweet potato are baking, whisk the eggs, salt, pepper, granulated onion and coconut milk together in a bowl.  

Once the sprouts and sweet potato are done, remove from the oven and turn on your broiler. Place the skittle on stovetopover medium heat and pour the egg mixture on top of the potatoes. Cook undisturbed until eggs begin to set then sprinkle on the watercress and nestle the brussel sprouts in gently. Broil for about 3 minutes (until eggs are cooked through and golden)

Let your frittata cool before slicing, then enjoy! 

Another Whole 30 (plus 2 recipes!)

Hello friends! I’m back! Right now my husband and I are on our 18th day of Whole30. If you don’t know, whole 30 is a 30 day elimination diet where you completely remove all forms of sugar (except from fruit) all alcohol, all grains, all dairy and all legumes from your diet. After 30 Days you go through a reintroduction process to test each food category one by one to see how your body reacts to each group. Once you’ve reintroduced the foods that you want in your diet, you can decide if they are “worth it” for you. Some people have acne caused by diary, or digestive issues from grains and/or gluten. Some people have behavioral reactions to certain food groups, and some just make you feel overall yucky. 

During the 30 Days you eat lots of veggies, meat, healthy fats, some fruit and nuts and seeds. No baked goods, even if ingredients are compliant and no weighing yourself. Sounds crazy, huh? 

Well, this is my 4th round of whole 30 in the past 3 years and I’ve gotta say it gets easier every single time. You might be wondering why I’ve done this 4 times, and the answer is to reset and refocus myself back into healthy choices, and also, when I do whole30 I feel GREAT and I sleep GREAT and it’s just overall GREAT. (Once you get past the hard part, which is the first week) 

The program wasn’t designed for weight loss, but most people do lose weight while doing it. I think it was really designed to break the cycle of eating high sugar, high carb, processed foods that make you sick (literally and figuratively) and to give you Food Freedom. As Americans we are literally addicted to unhealthy foods. 

If you are interested in more information check out whole30.com or whole30 on Facebook and Instagram. There’s also books called: It Starts With Food, Whole30 (book/cookbook) and The Whole30 Cookbook. All have great recipes, tips and tricks and explanations about why certain food groups may be causing you more harm then good and you might not even know.

So, this round of whole 30 I am completely obsessed with roasting sweet potatoes. They are so delicious and versatile. One of my absolute favorite dishes is chicken meatballs from the first whole30 cookbook. And one of the easiest but also completely delicious meals is Chicken Bacon Rice Bowls from paleomg.com 

Here’s the link to her page👇🏼

http://paleomg.com/chicken-bacon-rice-bowls

I also love Chicken Sweet Potato Hash from @vanessa_eats_clean_food 👇🏼

This one is super simple too. Just mix the spices together in a small dish. Add about a tablespoon of coconut or avocado oil to a pan. Cook chicken with some salt and half the spice mix until cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside. Add another tablespoon or so of oil to the pan and cook the potato and onion in the rest of the spices. Once potatoes are soft and onions translucent, add chicken back to pan until warmed through. Serve in a bowl topped with avocado, cilantro and even a fried egg if you like. (I personally LOVE this with a yolky egg on top!)
So there’s two healthy simple recipes for ya! I’m pretty sure I’ve shared both of these before, because they are just sooo good. 

Hope you enjoy! Have a great day!

Difficult Times (cauliflower two ways)

Well, again it’s been a few months since my last blog…and what a roller coaster ride these past couple months have been! 

My new job just wrapped up our busiest season of the year. 

My Paleojr finished up 4th grade, and we were all excited to start enjoying summer break and celebrate his 10th birthday!

June is always an absolutely crazy busy month for us, always. Tons of birthdays and anniversaries and graduations and summer parties. We try to squeeze in some vacation too!

The month started off with my Grandma, who I am very close to, having a stroke. It was very bad and she wasn’t expected to make it. That same evening we had my niece and nephews 8th grade graduation ceremony. Then we had a quick, out-of-town work trip. The day after we returned we quietly celebrated my husband’s birthday (June 5th) and then the following day she passed away. It was a rough few days leading to her passing. Such an emotionally draining and heartbreaking experience…to say that I miss her is an understatement.

Next up was Father’s Day and a huge graduation/birthday party for my sister’s 4 kiddos. Carter woke up with a sore throat, and I had my fingers crossed that it was something minor because his celebration was coming up too! A few days later my mother-in-law was flying in to celebrate with us. His throat only hurt for about 2 days and then he seemed to be completely back to normal. We had a great weekend celebrating my nieces and nephews and my dad. Monday was a normal day running errands. I do my meal prep/shopping on Mondays because I’m off, so I drug him with me. We enjoyed a chipotle lunch and shopping together. Everything seemed normal.

Unfortunetly, on Tuesday the 20th, his actual birthday, he began complaining about his tummy and he now had a low grade fever. Wednesday I went to work like normal, and let him sleep in. By the time I got home that afternoon he was feeling very yucky and his feet were swollen and in so much pain that he could not even walk! We quickly went to an after hours doctor appointment and then was quickly taken to the ER. After an x-ray, an EKG, an ultrasound, an IV, a throat swab and lots of poking he was admitted to the hospital for observation. 

His tummy pain quickly grew. The swab test came back positive for strep. Every doctor and nurse that checked him said his throat was clear and it didn’t hurt at all so I was very surprised that an entire week after a sore throat, he still tested positive. They started him on an antibiotic and we tried to control his pain. It got so bad for him that he had to take 3 different pain meds, including morphine, around the clock. This went on for what felt like eternity (4 days.) We still didn’t know what was going on. At this point we had to cancel his Birthday party. Then his wrists began to swell and hurt just like his feet. After the 4 days they contacted a rheumatology specialist. After hearing all of his symptoms she thought he had something called HSP. The only way to know for sure that it was HSP was if he developed a rash called Purpura. HSP is a form of vasculitus (swelling or inflammation of the small blood vessels, usually in the skin, intestines, and/or kidneys) It is more common in children ages 3-10 than it is for adults, and boys are twice as likely as girls to get it. From what I understand it usually occurs after a viral or bacterial infection of the sinuses, throat or lungs.  The rash is a dark purple/reddish raised rash. It is caused by the inflamed blood vessels leaking blood cells under the skin. It looks absolutely awful, but it is not painful. At this point we began praying for a rash. Literally. 

Sunday morning he woke up with the rash all over his feet. It sounds so crazy, but I was so relieved to see it! I think I burst into tears when I noticed it. Carter’s pain still wasn’t improving so that night he started steroid therapy. He got a heavy dose of prednisone and it started helping by the next morning. We stayed an additional 3 days which made a full week in the hospital! A full week of no eating and no drinking too. We were released from the hospital on June 28th, our 14 year wedding anniversary. 

We continued to manage his pain at home and after about a week he no longer had tummy pain. The rash lasted quite a while but it didn’t seem to bother him. His appetite began to come back too. We were able to celebrate the 4th of July with friends. Then 11 days later we celebrated the life of my awesome grandmother. 

My little guy is doing pretty good now. We are tapering off the prednisone, which takes a full month. His tummy pain is gone, and there is hardly any evidence of the rash. He is a bit swollen in the face and has a pretty nasty headache about 1-2 times a week, which is unfortunately a side effect of the steroid. We have weekly follow ups with the doctor for 2 months and then a few times a month for the following 4 to monitor his kidney function. So far he is doing great and he has been so brave. 

I wanted to share this story because I had never even heard of HSP before. Most people I talk to, including nurses, haven’t heard of it either. I want other people to know what it is so that they can recognize it if their child ever has it. The worst feeling in the world is when your child is hurting and you cannot figure out why….

I also share this story because while we were in the hospital not one time did any doctor talk about an anti inflammatory diet, or just a healthy diet in general. At one point, because he wasn’t eating or drinking at all really, the doctor said he could have anything he wanted. He didn’t really want anything at all, but we brought him some Gatorade hoping he might drink it. Because of his tummy pain the doctor suggested that he not have Gatorade because it contains so much sugar, and in pretty much the next breath they were giving him a 7up…..as if a soda has less sugar than a Gatorade! I guess my point here is doctors don’t prescribe healthy food. They don’t even entertain the idea that healthy food can heal. I don’t think that they are even taught much about diet and nutrition at all in school. It is our job to learn about healthy choices. We have to learn about how food effects our bodies. Google can be your best friend if you use it right. You have to read books and blogs and try some healthy recipes. And remember “You are what you eat” Really is true. 

So here are two of my favorite healthy recipes! One of my favorite vegetables these days is cauliflower. I know, a lot of people don’t like it….but it is so versatile! Here are 2 ways to prepare cauliflower. Both are extremely easy, and I promise, if you have an open mind, you will enjoy them. 

CAULIFLOWER RICE

Wash and “rice” a head of cauliflower with a food processor. Or buy pre-riced cauliflower at Trader Joe’s, Costco, Sprouts. 

Add about a tablespoon of ghee or oil to a pan. Add cauliflower to the oil and cook until warm. 

Season with salt, pepper, and/or garlic powder. 

Enjoy however you would white rice. Alone or topped or fried with spices 🙂 


ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Preheat oven to 400

Wash and chop 1-2 heads of cauliflower into florettes. 

Line a baking sheet with foil. Toss cauliflower in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, a good sprinkle of salt and cumin.

Roast for 30-40 minutes. Stirring occasionally. I prefer my cauliflower very brown and Crispy on the outside and soft inside so I cook it longer. Just keep an eye so it doesn’t burn. 

Enjoy as a side dish, alone, or dipped in your favorite savory sauce.  

Tree hugger (paleo friendly products)

I’m not sure why I haven’t been blogging….I could talk about food and recipes and products all day long so why don’t I take the time to type it out??? Who knows!

Anyway, today I am sitting here thinking about how many companies are getting on board with healthier products. There are so many new paleo-friendly goodies out there now. It’s so awesome!

 I’ve been on my paleo journey almost three years now. It gets easier and easier as more products become available. I think more and more people are seeing the importance of eating healthy, and using healthier, more eco friendly products.

When I was younger I thought it was so weird to be the “healthy, tree hugger, granola, grow-your-own food” person, but as I’m getting older, and learning more about a healthy lifestyle, I’m kinda becoming that person, and I love it. Weird is the new cool! Plus, having a garden and chickens is awesome!! 

So now, I shop at “Whole Foods” type stores, have backyard chickens, attempt to grow my own food in a small backyard garden,use natural deodorant and sugarless toothpaste. And I’ve never felt better! Those tree huggers were right all along!

Unfortunetly, I don’t have an actual Whole Foods anywhere near me. In fact, I have to drive over an hour to get to one, so I have to hunt a little more for the goods. My go-to stores locally are Sprouts and Trader Joe’s. The combo of the two are almost as good as a Whole Foods. I have found a lot of great things in these two stores!

I have a ton of must haves and could probably go on all day, but here are some of my favorites:

Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning. Great on pretty much everything, but my personal favorites are eggs, potatoes, avocado toast, cauliflower rice and as a salad topper. 

This is the riced cauliflower that I buy. All you do is warm it in a pan with a little ghee or olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and garlic if you want. Super simple! I bought the riced broccoli too but not quite sure what to do with it yet. Maybe a broccoli cauliflower combo fried rice type dish would be good?! I’ll have to invent that one for ya. Stay tuned! 

Oh boy, this one is the newest addition to my staples. Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut butter. Just Nuts and salt. It’s great in smoothies, cookies, in noatmeal, on a banana or strawberries or on top of chocolate! Yum! 

Trader Joe’s also started carrying RXBar in a couple flavors. They are a great price too. Cheaper than anywhere else that I’ve ever seen. My location always has blueberry and the coconut flavor. TJs started carrying these awesome Chomps snack sticks recently too. I always have these in my pantry because they are super clean and junk free. A perfect little protein snack. I pack them in my little paleojr’s lunch bag, and throw one in my purse when I go on road trips.

Sprouts has this Coconut Matcha water. It is so yummy and sweet with some caffeine from the Matcha. Sometimes they have the coco aloe flavor too. Both are amazing. And it’s nice to have caffeinated and non caffeinated choices. 

Sprouts also has a pretty good selection of LaCroix sparkling waters. We usually have 2-3 flavors in our pantry at all times. Sometimes you just need a carbonated drink, and this one is guilt free! 

Since we are on the subject of beverages, this rebel kitchen chocolate coconut milk is like a healthier version of nestle quick. Wow! Awesome in a smoothie or alone. I try not to buy these too often because they are quite sweet (from date syrup) but what a treat! I made a chocolate, banana, mixednut butter smoothie with this last night. Yummy!!

I rarely need or eat mayo, but once in a while a paleo recipe will call for it, and if you don’t have time to make your own, this Chosen Foods Mayo is made with avocado oil and no sugar so it’s paleo friendly. I’m happy that Sprouts carries it. 

My last item for today is these frozen grass-fed burgers from Trader Joe’s. They have been a life saver so many times. I always have a pack or two in my freezer. If we forget to plan a meal or have a change of plans these can be pan cooked still mostly frozen. Lettuce wrapped with a yolky egg on top is the best!! They also make a spicy chicken version that my family loves too. They are a little pricey, but really nice to have when you’re in a pinch. 

So, sorry, I don’t really have a recipe for you guys this time. I am excited to create one with the riced broccoli though. Hopefully I’ll have some time this weekend to do a little experimenting! And then I’ll have another great reason to get on here and blog about it! Have a great day!! Get out and hug some trees!! 

Paleo-where do I start?

A friend of mine recently sent me a message asking about paleo and whole30. My response was extremely long, and I realized I have a lot to say when it comes to food, so I decided I’d share it here in my blog  in case it can help someone else. Here’s our conversation.

Hi!! How are things? I wanted to pick your brain if you don’t mind.. Lindsey and I need to cut out gluten. We had her tested and thankfully she was negative for Celiacs but they are concerned she has a major gluten intolerance. I have been contemplating Whole 30 for a while, since I seem to be sensitive to everything, but now seems like a good time. We are already dairy free but my naturopath wants me to cut out sugar as well. I’ve done a bunch of research but am feeling super overwhelmed. You always post such awesome recipes and ideas! I am wondering if there are a couple cookbooks or books that you would recommend for a beginner? Any thoughts would be so appreciated 😊
Hey! Man….I’m so sorry to hear that. But, the good news is once you convert your pantry and get in a routine everything will feel normal again. 🙂 

So whole30 is amazing, but it is extremely strict. It might be overwhelming to do 100% with a child, but the benefits are worth it if you can stick with it. The Whole30 cookbook is a must read if you want to do the program because it explains everything you need to know, including why you should do it. Plus it has a bunch of delicious recipes too. 

I love Juli Bauer from paleomg. She’s on social media and has paleomg.com She is my favorite paleo blogger/author. Her recipes are consistently delicious, but she does have a lot of tempting paleo baked goods and desserts sweetened with honey, maple syrup, agave or coconut sugar (which might be ok, but not sure if your naturopath wants you to cut out all forms of sugar?) She has The Paleo Kitchen cookbook and Juli Bauers Paleo Cookbook. (I have and love both!)

There are so many people out there that have healed their bodies with food. You might want to follow @livinglovingpaleo @daniellewalker aka Against All Grain (she has a great cookbook too. I don’t have it yet, but I asked Santa for it, so we’ll see 😉) @rockinmomskitchen @thewholesmiths and definitely @paleomg for inspiration. 

If you decide not to go the Whole30 route, just google paleo recipes, pick one out that sounds good, and go buy all of the ingredients for it. You’ll slowly convert your pantry each time you make a new recipe. Also, don’t feel bad tossing the regular sugar, flour, chips, pasta etc. from your pantry 🙂 once they are gone, you won’t be tempted to use them anymore! You can replace pasta with spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash. And over time you’ll be surprised that you won’t really crave the chips and junk anymore. 

Ok, obviously I’m pretty passionate about healthy food, so please feel free to ask any questions anytime. 

I hope this was helpful for you! 

One last bit of advice, and this might be the most important, you have to be organized and plan out your meals. 

I make a menu/list and shop for everything on Sunday so that I don’t have to think about it at all all week. (Sounds time consuming/complicated, but I promise it’s worth it 😉 ) You have to plan ahead and shop, especially if you are going to do Whole30…otherwise you’ll be more tempted to eat “off-plan” foods. 

Ok, now that I talked your ear off….I hope everything goes well for you! Keep me posted on your progress and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help! 

And Merry Christmas!!! 🎄

Having fun!

It’s not often that you hear someone refer to cooking or food as a work of art, but last night, as I was chopping mushrooms, I noticed how beautiful fresh produce is. The shape and color of the mushrooms and the red peppers that I was putting into the green bean dish were so pretty. I started to think that cooking really is an expression of who you are. Most people cook what they like, what they enjoy, what makes them feel good. The foods we choose to cook are a reflection of where we’ve been, what we’ve done, experiences and cultures that we’ve seen.

  Prior to going paleo, over 2 years ago, I was not a good cook. I did not enjoy cooking. Cooking intimidated me. Occasionally I’d attempt to cook but the experience wasn’t enjoyable.

Boy have things changed! Today I’m in my 25th day of my second round of whole30. I cook dinner almost every single night. I have fun in my kitchen. I love to enjoy a glass of wine and listen to some great music while I cook, and it is so fun! Not only that my family gets to enjoy yummy food after all the fun.

I think that I used to take cooking too seriously. I was afraid that the food wouldn’t turn out and everyone would be disappointed. But you know what? Who cares if it doesn’t turn out! Scramble up some eggs and try again tomorrow! Have some fun!

I encourage everyone that reads this to find a new recipe that you want to try this week. Look in your favorite cookbook or look online. Just google search something that sounds good. Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel to Spain or Italy, pick a recipe that represents one of those places. Then, go to your favorite store and buy the ingredients for your recipe. When you are ready to cook your food, grab your beverage of choice and turn on your favorite tunes. Have some fun in your kitchen 🙂 and if it doesn’t turn out don’t stress! If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Cooking should be fun!

Changes (sweet and crunchy green beans)

It’s been a while….again. I have had some crazyness at work lately preparing for some very important visitors and by the end of the day I barely have had enough energy to cook dinner, so blogging was just not going to happen.

Luckily I have my routine of shopping on Sunday with a menu for the week or I’m pretty sure we would have ordered takeout multiple times the past few weeks! Thank goodness for routine! (And a helpful husband 🙂 )

So visits are over and things are settling down at work. Retail is harder then it sounds! And speaking of work, my career is actually about to change!

In case you don’t already know, I’ve worked retail as long as I can remember. My first job was retail at a video rental store and from there I jumped from a department store job to a vendor representative to visual at Macy’s. I’ve pretty much been in retail for 21 years.

Wow….that makes me feel old.

Anyway, in two weeks from now will be working for an awesome company running some customer service stuff, but mostly creative stuff and I am way excited!

My passion is art and creativity and it is very exciting to be chosen to help a company with those things. I think my future is very bright on this new path. 🙂

So this weekend feels like my first weekend of downtime and I was able to try a few new recipes. I had been dying to make some new desserts and I was also missing green beans a bit so tonight I made both!

If you don’t already own Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook I highly reccommend you buy it. Every single recipe that I have made from it have been amazing! I absolutely love it!

Tonight we made coconut cashew chicken fingers and Sweet and crunchy green beans for dinner. So good! Here’s the recipe for the green beans 😉

1 lb of green beans (ends trimmed)

1/2 lb bacon

1/2 med yellow onion chopped

1/2 cup coconut aminos

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Boil green beans for 10 mins, then place in ice water

Sauté bacon over med heat until crispy then remove and chop into small pieces

In about 3 tablespoons of bacon grease cook the chopped onion until translucent. Then add coconut aminos and cook until reduced and coats a spoon.

Add beans back to pan and stir until warmed.

Pour into a dish and top with almonds.

Serve immediately.

Yum!