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Easy Peasy (super simple oven chicken fajitas)

I LOVE simple recipes! Seriously, if a recipe has more than, like 10 ingredients (including salt and pepper) I’m out. I just don’t enjoy complicated recipes. I cook dinner almost every night, so you’d think I’d be into it, but simple is best, especially when paleojr is back in school.

Being a full time mom and retail manager there’s no time for complicated dinners during the week.

Occasionally on a weekend I’ll get a wild hair and make a crazy recipe with more ingredients and more steps, but never, ever during the week!

So, last Wednesday was the official first day of school, and the official last day of summer vacation…..boo hoo!

Back to school is always so bitter sweet because I do appreciate routine, but random summer trips and lounging in shorts, tanks and flip flops really is THE BEST. Plus, my baby is growing so fast, it’s breakin my heart! I want to spend every extra minute with him, so that’s when a simple recipe really comes in handy.

Easy dinner = more time with my boys!  So tonight I am making Super Simple Oven Chicken Fajitas from Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook. They are in the oven right now, which is why I’m taking a few minutes to share this easy and delicious recipe with you, then it’s family time!! Have a great night!!

Super simple oven chicken fajitas (from Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook)

Super simple oven chicken fajitas (from Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 med red onion sliced
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • sliced limes, avocado, and cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. mix spices together in a small bowl
  3. place chicken, peppers, and onion in a 9x13 glass pyrex dish
  4. pour the melted butter over them, then sprinkle the spices on top and toss to coat
  5. bake for 30-35 minutes
  6. garnish and serve!
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Tiny House (Banana Noatmeal)

DSC_1664 DSC_1660 DSC_1645 DSC_1625 DSC_1616 DSC_1626I have been meaning to blog about this for over a month now and finally the time has come! We have a ton of leftovers from our UFC200 fight night BBQ last night, so I don’t have to cook tonight, and my house is pretty clean since we had guests over, so I have no excuses. Zero. Right now I’m plopped on the couch and I’m ready to blog! Just to warn you, in advance, this blog isn’t about paleo, but I want to tell more people about Joe’s Place, and I will share a paleo/whole30 recipe at the end.

So, last month my niece graduated from Cuesta college in San Luis. Our family drove down to Morro Bay to celebrate with her. Last time we stayed there, we booked a cheap hotel, but this time we decided to try something a little different. We went onto Airb&b and booked a tiny house for the weekend. At first we were a little nervous, not knowing what it would be like, but the idea of having a fridge and microwave was exciting to me because I was in the middle of my Whole30, which meant I could make some compliant food if I needed to . My family was up for an adventure, and what’s the worst that could happen, right?

The home owner’s name is Joe. He lives in one of the oldest buildings in Morro Bay and has the coolest piece of land. You would never even know was there if you weren’t looking for it. When we arrived he opened up the privacy gate for us and gave us a little tour of the property and the tiny house.

The house was definitely small, but had everything we needed. Joe even chopped firewood and had a fire pit all set up for us. He supplied a little basket full of coffee, cream, and sugar. He had any type of outdoor gear for us to borrow that we could possibly think of. He had bikes, surf boards, boogie boards, fishing supplies. You name it, he had it available. He had an awesome personality and made us feel right at home.

We were able to sit outside in one of the many hammocks and hear the ocean crashing just walking distance away. I was so peaceful and private. Paleojr was thrilled too because right next door was a skate park, and luckily he had his board with him. 🙂 He had a blast!

Joe’s tiny house was one of the best places we have ever stayed, and we can’t wait to go back! If you are ever in the Morro Bay area or have an opportunity to stay at Joe’s place I highly recommend it. He was awesome and so was his place.  Joe and his tiny house deserves a great review, so I had to blog about him! Thanks for reading!

And now I have a delicious recipe to share with you. While on Whole30 I ate a ton of eggs. Mostly scrambled eggs, but right at the end of my 30 days I discovered this delicious recipe on Instagram on Bethany Seong’s page @bhsfit. She calls it Banana Noatmeal. And it is AWESOME!

Banana Noatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1 smashed banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • any toppings that you like: chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond butter, shredded coconut, berries, bananas, macadamia nuts

Instructions

  1. Mash the banana in a bowl then add eggs, almond butter, almond milk, and cinnamon
  2. stir until combined
  3. warm a frying pan and coat with coconut oil, butter, or ghee
  4. cook just like scrambled eggs
  5. pour into a bowl and top with your favorite nuts, seeds, and fruit. then enjoy!
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Whole 30 Complete!! (Crockpot Mexican picadillo)

Well, my whole30 ended 2 days ago and I’m now in the reintroduction phase. I had a piece of chocolate last night and I am enjoying a glass of red wine tonight. I’m a happy girl.

I have been feeling great and have lots of energy. I think the most noticeable change for me during my whole30 is how great I sleep. The past week and a half I have slept like a rock! It is so wonderful. 

So now it’s time to be honest. Doing the whole30 was a bit challenging. There were days when I wasn’t sure I could do it. I had nightmares that I accidently ate something off plan and had to start over. Some days I was completely over it and I just wanted to quit, but I didn’t.

If you are interested in trying but can’t find a good time, let me tell you, no time is going to be “good” it’s not fun to skip dessert and wine and eating out, but you will learn so much about yourself and you will feel amazing if you try. 

If you think it might be hard for your schedule, listen to my crazy 30 days! I probably chose one of the absolute worst months to do whole30. I really set myself up for failure, but somehow I pulled through. 

The first weekend was Mother’s Day….we normally go get pedicures and lunch with my mom and sisters to celebrate, and I was so stressed out about eating, but I found a local restaurant that had compliant items and we went there and all was good. I had lettuce wrapped chicken tacos with fresh pico de gallo and a plain iced tea.

The next weekend was really hard because if you know me at all, you know that I love red wine. We signed up months ago as volunteers to pour wine at Zinfest in Lodi. Can you imagine loving wine and pouring it for 3 hours and not having any???? That sucked. But I stayed strong and made it through the day. 

The following weekend we went to my nieces graduation in Morro Bay. It was a beautiful weekend. Normally I would relax and eat yummy food and drink yummy wine, but I packed a whole30 emergency bag and survived the weekend. I even hung out in a bar and drank hot tea all night! Lol! 

My last whole30 weekend we had tickets to a concert at a WINERY. What was I thinking?!?! I packed a delicious compliant picnic and had a great time. I cooked chicken apple sausages with carmelized onions and lots of other goodies. Wholly guacamole makes a yummy compliant guac that I often are with baby carrots. The next day it was Memorial Day. Oh my goodness.. My parents had us over for a BBQ and I brought my own burger just in case. Trader Joes has grassfed burgers in the freezer section that are quite tasty. I always have them in case of emergency. 

So every single weekend I had some serious challenges. I guess if I ever do whole30 again it will be a walk in the park compared to this!

I believe that the key to being successful is planning, shopping, and smart snacking. Just decide you want to do it, then do it. Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back if it’s something you want to accomplish.

I meal planned and shopped on Sunday’s (when possible) I cooked dinner every night, or made double recipes so that I could have a break. I got the Whole30 book that has some yummy and simple recipes in it. Whole30recipes on Instagram and Facebook was awesome help too. 

I ordered Epic jerky and (no sugar added) larabars for emergency situations. Dry fruit was helpful also.  I think I ate my weight in eggs and avacados too. lacroix water was fully stocked at all times in my house. 

My first week I google searched “whole30 recipes” and got a few really delicious recipes. My favorite one was probably crockpot Mexican picadillo. My husband and son loved it too, so we ate it 3 times in the past 30 days and I’m actually eating it right now because it is so good!!

The recipe is simple and easy and I’ll cut right to it and share it with you now 🙂 

Crockpot Mexican Picadillo

1lb ground beef

2 russet potatoes peeled and cubed

1 green bell pepper diced

1/2 onion diced

1 jalepeno seeded and diced

1/2 cup diced carrots

4 garlic cloves diced 

1/2 cup salsa (whole30 compliant) 

1/2 cup water 

1tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp dry oregano 

Brown the meat then pour meat and juice into crockpot. Add remaining ingredients to crockpot. Stir and cook ok low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours. 

Mmm! So good! 

  

Whole30?

I’ve been getting many questions about whole30 and why I’m doing it. Everyone has their own reasons for doing a whole30 and I realize that it can seem strange to people who have never heard of it before. Most people assume that whole30 is a weight loss challenge. I think for some people it may be, but that is not what it was created for. I think my friends and family are confused and concerned because I am already thin, so why would I do a diet challenge? 

For 30 days I am going to remove any potentially harmful foods from my diet, allow my body and gut to heal, and then reintroduce those foods one by one and see how my body reacts to them. 
I have experienced acne my entire life and never even considered food as the cause before, It may not be, but whole30 is going to give me an opportunity to find out. I have also experienced tummy issues my entire life. For a long time I carried pepto in my purse everywhere I went because I never knew how my stomach would feel after I ate something. Never did I think to alter my diet to get rid of tummy aches, I just continued to eat junk and then take medicine if it upset my stomach. How silly is that? Doing a whole 30 challenge will help pinpoint which specific foods don’t agree with me and I think that is pretty awesome! 

So here’s the deal:

Basically you only eat whole foods for 30 days. It is like a super strict version of paleo. You can eat meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and healthy fats. No dairy, no grains, no legumes, no sugar and no paleo baked goods, even if all of the ingredients are “whole30” and no alcohol. Sounds boring, I know, but so far everything we have eaten has been delicious.  I have made about 11 brand new recipes so far and some of them I will continue to make long after my whole30 is over. I am not feeling hungry or deprived. In fact, I feel full and healthy.

I attempted to do a whole20 in September of last year and it wasn’t too bad. I didn’t really see or feel the changes that I expected, but I felt pretty good. Now I realize that I really didn’t know enough about the program to understand why it’s important to do a full 30 days. I also didn’t know all of the health benefits of eating only whole foods for 30 days. I kinda winged it for 20 days and I then I went right back to what I was doing before. I didn’t know the true “spirit of whole 30.”

This time around I have the whole 30 book. I’ve read all of it and now I get it. 

The book is loaded with information and delicious recipes. There’s even a 7 day meal plan that if you really wanted to, you could copy completely and repeat it for 4 weeks. So simple.

I highly reccomend if you are even a little bit interested you should get the book. Even if you don’t commit, you’ll have a book of new delicious recipes that you can make whenever you want. There’s no weird or hard to find ingredients either!

 The hardest part for me so far is eating out. I’m actually kinda terrified to eat out because I don’t want to accidently eat something that is not compliant and have to start over. Luckily, the book covers this subject too. Lots of helpful tips and specific scenarios are discussed.

One of the pages that I found very interesting is one they called “non scale victories” the list of potential benefits was two pages long! You could experience better sleep, whiter teeth, thicker hair, clearer skin, better moods, more energy, less stomach pain, less constipation, less diarrhea, and maybe even weight loss just by eating whole delicious food for just 30 days. 

Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?!?!

So this, in a nutshell is my “why” 

Today is day 12 and I am almost halfway done with my challenge. I am looking forward to seeing what the next couple weeks has in store for me and then on day 31 I will celebrate! 🙂

Unfortunetly tonight I did not prepare to share a recipe with you. Sorry! I will make it up to you on my next post! 

I do hope that this post answers some questions and eased some concerns and maybe even inspired some of you.  🙂 

Have a wonderful week! 

Photo of some potential benefits 

 Photo of my first 5 nights of whole 30 dinners 

Thank you (chicken bacon rice bowls)

I started this blog because after changing my diet for 30 days I was so hooked. I talked to anyone and everyone that would listen to me about paleo. I figured that all my jabber was probably getting a bit annoying so I thought blogging would be a great outlet for me.

Honestly, I’m not sure how many people read my blog. Maybe no one does. Well, I’m sure my mom does. Hahaha! Either way I find it enjoyable to share my experience with the world, and even if only one person follows, it’s worth my time.

Pretty much all of the recipes that I share here are not my own. They are just my personal favorites that I have tried that I decide to share. I have a few paleo cookbooks, and follow some paleo bloggers. I also do lots of google searches for paleo recipes. My favorite paleo blogger/author is Julie Bauer of Paleomg.com Her recipes are consistently delicious and pretty simple. I have 2 of her books, and make many of the recipes from her website. I’m a bit of a stalker…lol! Not really, I just love her recipes. You will too if you start making them!

Anyway, about a week ago, she shared one of my instagram photos that I had tagged her in. What’s crazy about it is she has over 238k followers. INSANE! It was about 11am when I logged on to find that I had 70 new followers. I thought there must have been some mistake. Or maybe it was 70 of those fake pages. The follow for follow kind or something. Turns out they were all real people that were interested in my story. How cool?!?!! I am so humbled and thankful for this opportunity to share my experience!

When this all started out I figured my family and close friends would follow me. I guessed a couple hundred people at the most. I never imagined over 650 strangers would be interested in my paleo journey. Today I have over 700 followers and the number climbs a little each day. It just amazes me!

I know that sometimes, just the idea of changing your diet is scary. It sounds almost impossible. I hope that you can find a little inspiration here. I hope that my words are helpful to you with your own journey. I am so thankful to all of you who have chosen to listen to me ramble on about my meals and experiences.

The past 21 months have been a really fun and exciting learning experience for me. I feel happier and healthier now than ever before. I am hoping that someday I can start creating some of my own original recipes too. But for now, I will continue to share some of my favorite finds. I have shared this one before, back in February of 2015, but it is so delicious, its worth sharing again. My husband and little one love it too, so its definitely a keeper! Hope you enjoy it too!                                                                     

Chicken Bacon Rice Bowls (paleomg.com)

Chicken Bacon Rice Bowls (paleomg.com)

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of bacon, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 1.5 lbs. chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 (6oz) cans of diced green chiles
  • 1 head of cauliflower, riced with food processor or grater (or a pre-riced bag from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • avocado, for garnish
  • chopped green onion, for garnish

Instructions

  1. place a large pot over med heat and add bacon. cook until crispy, then set aside on paper towel
  2. remove some bacon fat from the pan, leaving behind about 3-4 tablespoons
  3. add garlic, onion and chicken to the pan. sprinkle with salt and cook until chicken is almost cooked through.
  4. add in the tomatoes, chiles, and cauliflower. mix well, then add some salt.
  5. next add in the chili powder and red pepper flakes. mix well.
  6. lower heat to med-low and simmer for about 10 mins.
  7. stir in bacon.
  8. place in a bowl then garnish with avocado and green onions.
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Super Duper (chia pudding recipe)

IMG_8565Going away for vacation is so nice. I LOVE traveling! The only downfall is that I don’t really get to cook while I’m away. Some of you may be thinking that’s a good thing, not a bad thing, but I really, really, really miss cooking when we go out of town. (totally different from about 2 years ago. Back then I could not care less about cooking!)

Spring break was a nice little get away for us. We got to visit family in Washington State and Canada. We were able to celebrate Easter with my husband’s family, and had a really great visit. Only bummer is it was super hard for me to stay on track this trip. I found myself eating little handfuls of jelly beans (and I don’t even really love jelly beans!) We ate out quite a bit, and my options were pretty limited. Like fried chicken with fries, or fried chicken on top of some lettuce…..Obviously I chose the lettuce, although those fries sounded pretty darn good! 🙂 We also ate with family quite a bit, and sometimes I find that to be difficult as well because I feel like a complete jerk when I have to say “I can’t eat that”  I choose to say I can’t eat certain things, not because it will kill me, because, lets be real, I’m not gunna die if I eat bread or pasta, but because I’m pretty sure my body will be mad at me and my tummy will not be happy, and who wants to feel sick on vacation?? So, a few times I just went ahead and said “I can’t eat that” like a pain in the butt, and I ate a completely different meal than everyone else. But, it didn’t really seem to bother anyone, and it all worked out!chia pudding 1

So now that we are home, I am cooking all of our favorite dishes. I got right back into my normal routine, which is making my dinner menu/shopping list and going to the grocery store on Sunday, then I have everything I need to cook dinner every night. I always try to make enough so that we have some left overs for lunch the next day. I usually have eggs for breakfast during the week, but this week I decided to take a little break from eggs and make another healthy and easy breakfast. My newest favorite breakfast addiction is CHIA PUDDING. OMG it is so yummy! The cool part about it is there are endless variations of it, so you can mix it up and not get tired of it too quickly.IMG_8564

You have to make it the night before so that the chia seeds have time to absorb the liquid. They create a thick, pudding-like consistency. It can be made with any type of milk, and any type of nut butter. You can also add cacao powder, or vanilla extract, or almond extract, etc. to give it a different flavor. You can eat it plain, or you can top it with any variety of nuts, fruits, seeds, honey, shredded coconut or all of the above!

I have made about 5 different chia puddings  since I discovered it. Its so easy, and  handy to have for a quick breakfast, or you can add extra honey, agave or stevia and serve it for dessert. Such a versatile little seed! From the research I’ve done I’ve learned that Chia Seeds have a number of health benefits too. They contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils. They are able to absorb over 10 times their weight in water which makes them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies. They absorb the water we drink, holding it in our system longer. Chia seeds help you feel fuller faster, so you are less hungry, which could aid in weight loss. They are also high in fiber, and loaded with antioxidants. I guess that is why these tiny seeds are called SUPERFOODS! I think they are super duper!!

Super Duper Chia Pudding Recipe

Super Duper Chia Pudding Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk (full fat, from a can)
  • 1 cup Almond or Cashew Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of almond, cashew, coconut, or sunflower seed butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
  • You can also add in cacao powder, agave, and/or almond extract. The possibilities are endless!
  • My favorite topping combinations are: Shredded unsweetened coconut, blueberries and macadamia nuts. Shredded unsweetened coconut, raspberries, and renola (grain-free granola by larabar). Shredded unsweetened coconut, strawberries, honey drizzle and slivered almonds.

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients together (except chia seeds) in a nutribullet or blender until combined
  2. Pour mix into a mason jar, then pour in the chia seeds.
  3. Screw on the lid and shake until well combined.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Scoop out about 1/4 of the chia pudding and top with any combination of seeds, nuts, fruit, honey, paleo granola, or just eat it plain, its up to you!
  6. This recipe was inspired by Breakfast Chia Pudding from Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook.
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Carb Queen (paleo pizza crust)

IMG_8419I used to be the bread and pasta queen. Ask my family. Pasta was my go-to meal at home and out at restaurants. Bread was my best friend. Pizza was too.

90% of the time my breakfast consisted of a toasted English muffin. No egg or protein, just a buttered, toasted muffin and a chai tea latte. (Carbs and sugar) Lunch was usually pizza or some pasta or a sandwich with thick, fluffy, white bread, often times it was fast food with a soda. (Again, carbs and sugar) If I was cooking dinner it was probably one of my 5 rotating meals: tacos, tuna casserole, spaghetti,goulash or some other pasta casserole type dish. Pretty much pasta with garlic bread for a side every night. (Except when my husband cooked) and we almost always had dessert so we would end the day with carbs, and sugar.When I really stop and think about that, it’s a miracle that I wasn’t overweight. Carbs and sugar. That’s what I ate. Always.

When I started eating paleo I learned some really easy ways to skip the carbs. I started by replacing hamburger buns with lettuce. I order sandwiches as lettuce wraps too. Pasta is replaced with spiralized veggies, like zucchini. Spaghetti squash is an awesome pasta replacement too. Replacing sodas with water and having a little bit of dark chocolate for dessert help too. Honestly, I don’t miss the bread and pasta that much. There are lots of ways to satisfy the pasta cravings with healthy replacements.

I do have to be honest and tell you that I do miss pizza though. We used to order pizza about once a week. If I had to chose I’d say pizza is/was my favorite food.

We have tried a bunch of paleo pizza crust recipes over the past 20 months. Cauliflower pizza crust is good but it just isn’t close enough to the original. I’ve made a couple almond flour pizza crusts. Also good, just not quite right. I’ve ordered packaged paleo pizza mix that you just add egg and oil to. Still not my favorite. I recently tried the pizza crust recipe from Juli Bauer’s Paleo cookbook. It is so stinkin good! I swear that girl’s recipes are ALL amazing! My little paleojr says it’s his favorite and that we don’t need to try anymore recipes. 🙂 I would have to agree with him. The main ingredient is tapioca flour. The texture and flavor are great. I love it. And it’s really easy.

Obviously you shouldn’t eat paleo baked goods all the time. The point of paleo is to eat meats, veggies, nuts, seeds and fruit, whole foods. Baked goods should be a treat. I make pizza about every two weeks. I’d say we have paleo tortillas or flatbread once a week, maybe. I often make cauliflower flatbread though. It’s literally eggs, cauliflower and spices. That’s it. Simple and healthy.

I wasn’t planning to share that recipe but I’ll give you a bonus recipe tonight because the cauliflower flatbread could be a game changer for some of you out there 🙂

It’s one head of cauliflower, riced, then microwaved for 10 mins.

Then stir in 3 eggs and add whatever spices you like. I used salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and basil.

Spread onto a parchment lined sheet and bake at 400 for 25 mins. Check and bake for 5 more if necessary. If you chose to eat dairy you could sprinkle a little grass fed cheese on top before baking too! Yum!

Paleo Pizza Crust by Paleomg

Paleo Pizza Crust by Paleomg

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. In a med mixing bowl whisk together eggs, coconut milk, and olive oil
  4. In a large mixing bowl mix together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into dry and whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the dough onto lined baking sheet and spread with a silicone spatula. Dough will fluff during baking, so make the dough as flat and even as possible.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the crust is cooked through in the middle. Let cool for 5 minutes before adding toppings as desired. Add toppings then bake an additional 10-12 mins.
  7. Enjoy!
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#trysomethingnew (Paleo Chicken Carbonara Casserole)

Oh my, it has been months sice my last post! Paleo Jr keeps tabs on my page, and he has notified me numerous times that I haven’t blogged since October. OCTOBER!?! Wow, I guess I’ve been distracted. (especially if my 8 year old noticed)

So, Starting today, I’m getting back on track!

Let’s get all caught up!

We had a nice Thanksgiving with my family. Lots of teenagers and a few adults. I brought roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and they were delicious! Its a nom nom paleo recipe and we make them all the time. My 12 year old nephew would go back for thirds if they were available. Honestly, I would too! I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

December is always crazy busy in retail. I do displays so we spend months decorating the store. It’s fun and exhausting all at the same time. I did have a very nice Christmas though. My hubby and little one spoiled me. I mostly stayed on my paleo track. I did have a couple of my mom’s famous christmas cookies, but I jumped right back on the wagon. lol!

On to New Years….Not quite what we expected. My Grandma, who I am very close to was diagnosed with Bone Cancer. She moved in with my parents and started visiting a doctor at Stanford. The past few months have been a crazy roller coaster ride. Lots of ups and downs, lots of tests and procedures, and lots of prayers later, her new, final diagnosis is Non Hodgkins Marginal Lymphoma, and she doesn’t even need treatment, unless it becomes bothersome to her. Such great news! I have been praising God daily for this blessing.

So, in between the highs and lows we have been eating a lot of paleo food! I started a new thing and I’m calling it #trysomethingnew I want to try a new recipe each week so that I can add to our dinner rotation. We have our favorites like chicken bacon rice bowls, pizza spaghetti pie, and of course, paleo pizza, but its always nice to try something new 🙂

This week I really went for it with my #trysomethingnew  I made a recipe with an ingredient that I REALLY do not like. Artichokes! YUCK! There really was no way to leave them out, so I went for it. Luckily I did because it was DELICIOUS!! The recipe is from Juli Bower’s Paleo Cookbook. If you don’t have the book, I highly recommend it. The recipe is very similar to pizza spaghetti pie so I had a feeling it would be good, but it exceeded my expectations! Hope you enjoy it too!

#trysomethingnew (Paleo Chicken Carbonara Casserole)

#trysomethingnew (Paleo Chicken Carbonara Casserole)

Ingredients

  • 1 med spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 lb bacon, sliced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14oz can) artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 lb cooked chicken (I used a plain rotisserie)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 large eggs, whisked

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half and place cut side down onto baking sheet. bake for 30-35 mins.
  3. Remove the squash and lower temp to 350
  4. Grease 8x8 glass dish with olive oil
  5. Let the squash cool for 5 mins then, using a fork, remove the threads into the baking dish
  6. In a large saute pan cook the bacon on med heat until crispy then remove to a paper towel
  7. Remove some of the bacon fat, leaving behind about 1/4 cup in the pan.
  8. Cook the onion and garlic for 2-3 mins, then add the artichokes, chicken, spinach, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for 3-4 mins.
  9. Add the chicken mixture and bacon into the spaghetti squash threads.
  10. Add in the whisked eggs and stir until you can no longer see the egg.
  11. Bake for 1 hour or until the top forms a crust.
  12. Cool for 5 mins before serving.
  13. Enjoy!
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Party time! (veggie and fruit dips)

Whoa, talk about MIA. Apparently I forgot how to blog the past few weeks. Eek! 

Well, I’m back and I actually do have a lot to share 🙂 My husband and I just wrapped up our 20 days eating whole30. I know, I know, if it was only 20 days, it wasn’t a whole 30, but it’s better than nothing, right? And at least now we know we won’t die doing it next time. If we can make it 20 days we can definitely make it 30. Eventually we will do it again. The right way 😉

For those of you who don’t know, whole30 is very similar to paleo, but slightly stricter. No alcohol. No sweeteners of any kind. No grains. No dairy. Basically no processed foods. Just whole wholesome foods. Veggies, meat, fruit, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils. www.whole30.com has all the info you need and delicious recipes too. If you are interested 🙂 I definitely was able to add some brand new favorite recipes to my recipe box, which is awesome!

Okay, so the main reason we didn’t make it to 30 days was because this past weekend was my birthday weekend and we wanted to have a celebration that included red wine and chocolate chip cookies, so whole20 seemed reasonable. 

  

So, last night was the big night, and we had a great time. We were able to celebrate and eat great paleo friendly food at the same time! If you’ve ever thought about eating paleo but wondered what you would eat/serve at a party, here are some helpful hints. We had quite the spread, and 90% of it was 100% paleo. (And super easy!) 

  I think many people don’t change their diets because they are scared of how difficult it might be, or how boring, or restricted they will feel. I promise, once you get the hang of it, paleo is NOT boring. (Search  my hashtag #paleodoesnotequalboring and you’ll see for yourself) 

Okay so back to the food. We served fresh and roasted veggies, and I made a yummy veggie dip to go with them. (I’ll share the recipe below) we had fresh fruit with 3 different fruit dips. Vanilla, chocolate, and pumpkin spice. (I’ll share that recipe too) there was chicken apple sausages (aidells has some paleo friendly flavors) for dessert we had paleo chocolate chip cookies (recipe from www.primalpalate.com) fresh guacamole and jacksons honest potato chips were on the menu too,  and sheep’s milk cheese and uncured salami also. I think it’s safe to say we did not go hungry. 

  There are tons of healthy options when it comes to party foods and appetizers. Sometimes you just have to get a little creative, and sometimes you just have to go back to basics. Fruits and veggies always work. 
So here’s the part you’ve been waiting for…..fruit and veggie dips recipes! 

Tahini dip (recipe from www.paleoplan.com)

1/2 cup tahini

1/2 cup water 

Juice of 1/2 lemon squeezed

3 finely chopped garlic cloves

Pinch of salt

Combine in a bowl until smooth. Sprinkle paprika on top. Dip any veggie you want 🙂 I love it with roasted cauliflower! 

Vanilla and chocolate fruit dips (www.everydaypaleo.com)

2 ripe bananas

1 cup coconut milk (I use canned)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp coconut flour

1 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder 

Combine all ingredients (except cacao) in food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour half into a storage container or serving dish. Add cacao into remaining portion and blend again until combined. Now you have a vanilla dip and a chocolate dip. 

I did a second batch and instead of cacao for the second half I put about 2 tablespoons of Nikki’s pumpkin spice coconut butter in and blended. All three dips were quite runny, but after refrigerating they thickened up a bit. We dipped apples, bananas, strawberries and grapes in them and they were all delicious! 😍

  Hopefully you will find these ideas helpful. Even if you don’t choose to eat paleo all the time, you still can create some healthy AND delicious party foods. Hope you get to enjoy these at your next celebration! 

Snack Time!!

Hello again! I’m back! 

So this past weekend my husband and I got this crazy idea to try Whole30. To be honest we are going to do whole20. My birthday weekend was 20 days away from the day we decided to start so we thought it would be a good compromise. 

Okay, whole30 is basically paleo, BUT you have to remove all forms of sugar including artificial sweeteners, even honey and agave. Sugar will come from fruit only for the next 20 days. You also have to remove ALL dairy, even if it’s grassfed. The only “dairy” allowed is ghee. No grains of any kind. No alcohol. And no home made paleo “sweets or treats” so no coconut flour tortillas or almond flour muffins. 

Basically you need to eat only whole foods. Meat, veggies, seeds, nuts, healthy fats, and fruit for 30 days. I know, I know, sounds totally boring….but I have to be honest, the past 5 days haven’t really been all that boring, or that bad at all.

I have found quite a bit of support and recipes on Instagram. The best site so far is @whole30recipes on Instagram. Check them out if you’re interested.  The food looks sooo good! You can get more info about whole30 at whole30.com

Ok, I’m totally going to jump to a new subject now. Hopefully you will find this helpful. 

My niece is starting her second year away at college. I’m so proud of her. She sees all of my posts and recently told me that she wants to try to eat a little better. She asked me about healthy snacks, so this post is inspired by my Haleigh❤️ 

So here goes!

One of my favorite snacks is bananas dipped in almond butter. Make sure you buy an almond butter that does not have any added sugar. My personal favorites are almondipity (local to my area) and Trader Joes. 

  You can also dip apples, strawberries, carrots, or celery. All are yummy healthy choices, and pretty easy to take to-go.
Another favorite healthy, and super-easy-to-take-with-you snack is larabars. My favorite flavor is pineapple upside down cake, but it is super hard to find. Coconut chocolate is yummy too, but these 3 flavor are whole30 approved so that’s what I have right now. 

  
Nuts and seeds are also a great option. Be careful though because sugar is added to almost everything. Sometimes sugar is called dextrose or sucrolose. So watch out for those guys too. Anyway, raw nuts are great for you. You can mix them with unsweetened coconut and dark chocolate chips for a little trail mix. Or you can eat them plain. I also found this yummy “granola” that is actually nuts and seeds made by larabar that I really enjoy. Sometimes on top of some strawberries. Yum! 

  I don’t think these bars are 100% paleo but they are a pretty healthy snack too. Made by Two Moms in the Raw. We found them at Costco. 
  
Next up eggs! Hard boiled eggs are a super easy snack. Boil a dozen and they’ll stay good in the fridge for about a week. Sprinkle a little salt on them and eat up! A little trick I learned is to keep the carton and write HARD BOILED on it so that when they are in the fridge with your raw eggs you won’t accidently grab the wrong ones. That could be messy! 

  
Uncured salami is yum too. I love to roll up some sliced avacado in mine. Gallo makes this uncured salami. Not sure it’s 100% paleo or not, but occasionally we eat it.

  
Apple chips and other dried fruits are another great grab and go. Trader Joes has a lot of options. Again, watch for added sugar. Coconut sugar is okay in moderation. Coconut chips are good too. 

  
Last up, good ole veggies. Cucumber, baby carrots, sweet peppers and avacado are a few of my favs. I found a dip at whole foods called babaganoush that is great for veggie dipping. If you aren’t paleo then get a little hummus or make your own if that helps you. 

  
Bottom line is, if you want to be healthier, eat LESS sugar and processed carbs, and eat MORE fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts 🙂