Sunday, October 7, 2012

Birthday Cake

Photo: Carly Johnson
We're celebrating Hero's 7th birthday with a Hello Kitty party. This is my first attempt at a Paleo birthday cake. I have to get over the fact that it's just not going to look as pretty as a fondant cake and in return it is going to be way more healthy and actually delicious.   The kids were coming back for seconds!

Birthday Cake or Cupcakes adapted from Wannabe Chef:
makes one 8" round or 12 cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F
  2. Grease and coconut flour your pan or line your cupcake pan
  3. Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix with a handheld mixer until it forms an even batter
  4. Pour into prepared pans
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch
  6. Remove from the oven. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting them
Coconut Frosting adapted from Paleo Spirit:

  • 1/2 cup grass-fed butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup organic, cold-pressed coconut oil (hardened, not liquid)
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer* and beat on low for about 30 seconds
  2. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue beating on high until the frosting is fluffy and thickened**
*If you don't have a stand mixer, use a vitamix blender - you'll need something strong to break down the coconut oil.  Blend until smooth and creamy.

**The frosting will “break” when you first start mixing it. Just keep going and it will eventually come back together and be light and fluffy like whipped cream.


Monday we celebrated our God-granddaughter, Hero's, 7th birthday.  She's such a blessing.  In honor of her birthday she got to sleep over at Grammy & Grampy's and we celebrated with a special treat.  My friend Kindra posted this recipe on my fb wall and I've been dying to try it.  I'm so glad I made it.  This is probably my most favorite thing I've made since going paleo.  It is so delicious!

Happy Birthday, Hero!

Raw Brownies - adapted from the Rawtarian:


1 cup almonds
1 cup dates
5 tablespoons raw cacao (cocoa) powder
4 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (or you can use shredded)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. Place almonds in your food processor and process until they become small and crumbly.
2. Add dates and process until the mixture sticks together and the dates are well processed.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture turns a dark chocolatey brown.
4. Scoop into a brownie pan or small cake pan and press down firmly using your clean hands.
5. Refrigerate* for a couple of hours.
6. Store in the refrigerator if it lasts that long!

*You don't have to refrigerate it, but it is much easier to slice when chilled. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Green Bean Fries

Cooper asked today (like most days) if I would take him and Carly to Yogurtland.  Of course not.  I am striving to be a champion for my kids health.  One day they'll thank me.  The next question was, what is for snack?  Both of my kids turned their noses up when I told them it was green bean fries.

Here's my recipe adapted from Delighted Momma's recipe:

You'll need:
  • Fresh green beans (even though I used leftover parboiled green beans from last night's dinner)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and garlic powder to taste (omit garlic powder to make these FODMAPs free)
  • Preheat oven to 400º F
  • In a large bowl toss all the ingredients together
  • Bake on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for about 30-35 minutes.  As they brown they'll get caramelized & crispy. 
And much to their surprise both kids loved them.  You will, too.  This snack will definitely hit the spot when you're craving salty & crunchy.  And you don't have to feel guilty about eating them all up!

Photo courtesy of Delighted Momma

Friday, September 28, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

I started attending a women's bible study with my god-daughter.  It's in the morning so the ladies attending take turns bringing breakfast for her table.  Well, now that we are such particular eaters, I really don't get to enjoy the breakfasts unless I bring them myself.  Today was my turn.

I tested these Apple Cinnamon Muffins (modified from always underfoot) on my kids, of course.  They loved them so I made them hoping the ladies at my table would, too.  I think they did.  Turns out I have a paleo friend at my table and two girls who are not eating dairy and were pleased to be able to partake in these yummy muffins.
photo: always underfoot

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon stevia
4 eggs
1/3 cup canned coconut milk 
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped
Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients.   Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in finely chopped apple. Prepare muffin pan with liners and fill cups about 3/4 full.

2 apples, cored, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons apple sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup

In a separate bowl, combine apple cinnamon topping ingredients until apples are coated. Scoop mixture over top of muffins and gently poke the topping into the muffin batter. Bake at 350º for 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Don't Give Up!

Sometimes we just need a reminder!

Baked Apple Chips

There are a few blogs I follow and check-in with often for new recipes and ideas.  Delighted Momma is one of them.  Have you checked out her blog yet?  Delighted Momma, Lindsey, is not only Paleo but a wife and mom and she shares a lot of her life with her readers.  I'm sharing with you her recipe for Baked Apple Chips.  I made them yesterday and they were so delicious.  Looks like Lindsey doesn't have an apple corer and neither do I.  So I cut my apples in half and then made thin slices until I got to the core.  The kids loved them and took them today in their lunches. You'll love them, too!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Coconut Banana Soup

This is a great, easy, and fast after school snack!  I blended together coconut milk, some cinnamon and a frozen banana.  I then poured it into ramekins and added frozen berries (blueberries for Cooper and raspberries for Carly).

I called it soup because it wasn't quite thick enough to be a smoothie or a shake or ice cream.

Carly asked why I didn't blend in the berries.  I thought the frozen berries would add texture.  I had in my mind from a Bulletproof Executive post that I would make frozen blueberries in coconut milk.  I just couldn't see my kids "eating" coconut milk with only berries added.  So I created something new.

Both kids loved it and agreed I can keep it on my list of after school snacks!  I'm always looking for new ideas for after school snacks.  If you have some paleo suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

UPDATE: I added frozen strawberries to the coconut milk, frozen bananas, and cinnamon and I skipped the berries on top.  Tastes like ice cream.  Cooper even had a friend over and he loved it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Eating Out

Ever have those days when you are worn out and don't want to cook?  Do you find yourself stressed about where you can take your family to eat healthy, fits-your-lifestyle food?

Me, too!  There are very few places we can go.  Our friends from have put together, a website where you can ask restaurants to serve paleo food.
We're slowly starting to see more restaurants understanding and embracing that people care about what they put in their bodies. You can see this with the slow increase in gluten-free options available at more and more restaurants. While it's a good start, it's not that hard to offer even just a few Paleo options, since most of them already have fresh and whole foods; dairy, grains and legumes are easily left out.
I'd love to have the same confidence eating in a restaurant I have when Brad or I cook at home but without the effort and clean up. When we do go to restaurants I'm not good at ordering specifically: "please sauté my vegetables in butter rather than canola oil" or "please exchange my potatoes for veggies".  If only you could order straight off the menu and know it would be great!


Here are some good options we've found for eating out:

Chipotle: Food With Integrity
Wahoo's: Wild Caught Fish
Freebird: Food Story
Panera: Hidden Menu

Do you have a favorite restaurant that already has some great paleo meals?  If so, I'd love for you to share with us!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Oil Pulling

Have you heard of it?  Chances are you know someone who has started oil pulling therapy.

What is it?  According to
"Oil pulling or oil swishing, is an ancient ayurvedic, simple, cost effective, natural remedy procedure that involves pulling or swishing oil in the mouth for oral and systemic health benefits.  It is claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases ranging from headache and migraine to diabetes and asthma."
My god-daughter, Tara, told me months ago she was oil pulling with olive oil.  I thought she was crazy and it was disgusting.  Come to find out my husband has been oil pulling with coconut oil.  We all know the health benefits of coconut oil so why not try oil pulling with it?

I did.  I've been faithful for almost two weeks.  Guess what?  First, I think my teeth are whiter.  Second, I got a canker sore (which isn't unusual for me).  Since I had started oil pulling the canker sore never erupted, I never felt pain, didn't use any orajel, and it went away in a few days!  I've never experienced that with a canker sore.  The true test will be my next dentist visit, mid-September.  I'm hoping for some healing of the many problems I have with my teeth.

The method?  Brad and I are swishing first thing in the morning.  We use 1-2 teaspoons of organic coconut oil and swish for 20 minutes.  This is very detoxifying so you want to do it on an empty stomach.  My second day, I forgot to swish in the morning and did it when I remembered which was right before dinner.  My stomach was queasy and I didn't feel so good.  I don't experience that problem when I swish in the morning.  After swishing with the coconut oil, we rinse with salt water (we use sea salt). says, "Salt water rinsing isn’t absolutely necessary, but is very helpful as an antimicrobial and to soothe any inflammation and proven to be effective in rinsing out any toxins which may be left out in the mouth."

Let me know if you start oil pulling and if you notice anything different!

Coconut Curry Beef

Here's a super easy dinner!

Coconut Oil
Kerrygold Grass-Fed Butter
Chopped Carrots, Celery, Onion, Sweet Potato, Kale
Garlic Powder
Sea Salt
Dey Dey's Grass-Fed Beef

In a heavy pot heat coconut oil and butter.  Saute veggies until a bit al dente.  Add spices and seasonings, stir until combined.  In another pan, saute the ground beef, drain and add to veggies and spices.  Stir until combined.

I topped it with chopped cucumber and you can even add coconut aminos if you want a more salty, soy sauce flavor.

That's it!  So easy and so yummy.

Family rated: 2 thumbs up!  Cooper even added, "Best dinner ever!"  Gotta love that.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Intermittent Fasting

Photo courtesy of Brad Johnson, "Balanced Living"
I believe the secret to my success with losing weight and keeping it off in spite of imperfect eating is intermittent fasting.  Does the word fasting stress you out?  It has always had that affect on me, until now.

Consider when you're sleeping, your body is fasting, right?  Well, in the morning, I continue my fasting and feed my body with "Bulletproof" coffee.  Did you see my second post "Butter In My Coffee"?  Every morning Brad and I have a cup (sometimes two) of bulletproof coffee.  We are satiated and don't feel the need to eat food for quite awhile.

This is from Dave Asprey's Bulletproof Executive Blog:
The healthy fats from grass-fed butter and MCT oil give you a stable current of energy that sustains you through the day. The ultra low toxin Upgraded Coffee Beans optimize brain function and fat loss with high octane caffeine. The MCT oil also serves to increase ketone production and boosts your metabolic rate by up to 12%.  This drink is so filling, we’ve had clients who drank one cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the morning and didn’t feel like eating until mid afternoon. Adding extra MCT oil will promote ketogenesis (the formation of ketones) and provide more of a mental kick.  For optimal results, you should be following the green side of Bulletproof Diet in conjunction with this protocol. Bulletproof Fasting will not save you from the effects of Poptarts and fried Oreos.
I'm not trying to sell you on Upgraded Coffee Beans.  Feel free to exchange them for the high-quality beans of your choice.  You can check out Dave's site for more scientific info and his recommendation for how you should do the intermittent fast.

I listen to my body.  When it says, "I'm hungry", I have something to eat.  If I'm doing really well, I'll have some protein, veggies, and more healthy fat (always trying to stay on the green side of the bulletproof diet).  This will usually tide me over until dinner.  No more snacking - my body doesn't need it.  I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. 

Just trying to get the hang of balanced living.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Listen To Your Body

How often do we indulge in delicious food and don't give it a second thought until later when our belly's hurt or we have a headache or we're bloated?  For years we live like this.  Our bodies are trying to tell us something but we're not listening.
Mostly we don’t know how poorly we feel until we feel better.  In fact, most of us think fatigue, digestive problems, aches and pains, allergies, headaches, and more are just annoying symptoms.  - Advanced BioCell 
In reality, they are the clues our bodies give us to let us know something we're eating is harmful.  It is important for you to take note of why your body is responding with these signals and what it is trying to tell you. 

Brad's body has been trying to tell him something isn't quite working right inside.  He has been puffy and his belly is distended.  He's got another symptom, too, that keeps him close to a bathroom on some days.  Lately, he's been looking like he hasn't lost almost 30 lbs.
Your body is your greatest source of information. In a time where there is so much technology, we can easily turn to the internet to attempt to diagnose our symptoms; however, often times it simply means listening to your body and trusting yourself to know what you feel.  - Lynn Keating LAc, Port Washington Patch, Feeling off balance? What is your body telling you? July 17, 2012

Brad is thinking he shouldn't be eating either dairy, eggs, or chocolate. He has been trying to stay away from these three things for a few weeks, but they are so tempting to him.  Today he is on day 3 or 4 of not eating these things.  This morning, when he woke up his belly was not distended.  That's a good sign.  He's going to give it a few more days of fasting these foods and then one at a time reintroduce them to his system, paying close attention to what his body tells him.

Are you listening to your body?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad

I was trying to think of something healthy I could eat at a baby shower I threw for my friend, Mandie.  This recipe is totally made up and turned out to be a huge hit.

I used a mixture of iceburg and spring mix lettuces.  Use whatever organic lettuce you like on your cheeseburger.

Brown 1-lb grass fed, ground beef.  Drain and let cool.  

Cook one package of high quality bacon.  I used Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon.  Let cool.  
Grate about 1/2-lb grass fed cheese.  I used Trader Joe's New Zealand Grass Fed Sharp Cheddar.
After the meats have cooled, combine all ingredients together and add a couple handfuls of organic cherry tomatoes, cut in half.

The dressing is mayo (learn how to make your own here), apple cider vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, and sea salt.

Mix all ingredients together and top with more cheese!

Since I served this at a baby shower, the kids couldn't give it a rating but all my friends loved it!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

We love Shepherd's Pie.  Just a few little tweaks and we can still enjoy this family favorite.
The bottom is organic, grass-fed ground beef and veggies du jour.
Cook the ground beef until there is no more pink then saute the veggies with the cooked ground beef.
Transfer beef and veggies to a baking dish.  To the skillet, and the yummy bits from the beef, add raw cream, oregano, and thyme.  Thicken the sauce with a little almond flour and add sea salt to taste. 

 Combine the beef mixture and the sauce and top with mashed cauliflower.  Add 3-4 teaspoons of grass-fed butter (we use Kerrygold) on top and bake at 350º for about 20 minutes until heated through and top is golden.

Kid rating: 2 thumbs up!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Make good choices but don't stress about it.  Then  get back on track tomorrow.

Have fun enjoying the day with your family and friends!


...because we don't eat perfectly - a glass of wine and not making perfect choices at a graduation party or birthday...

Supplements do just that - they supplement what is lacking in your diet.  For the past few months Brad and I have been trying to be more aware of the micronutrients we put into our bodies and the micronutrient depleters we are trying to reduce.

Ideally, we're making better decisions along the way in order to get the right nutrition.  We take supplements to fill the gap and fill up that extra space that we need to become micronutrient sufficient so we can prevent disease. 

This is what I'm taking which isn't necessarily what you should be taking.  You should consult your doctor to see where you are deficient and which supplements will support you for better health.

Left to Right:

ALCAR - Acetyl L-Carnitine - helps convert fat into energy.

Vitamin D-3, 2000 iu (my doctor says that women over 40 are usually deficient in Vitamin D) - helps maintain strong bones & supports dental health. Vitamin D is normally obtained from the diet or produced by the skin from the ultraviolet energy of the sun. As more people avoid sun exposure, Vitamin D supplementation becomes even more necessary to ensure that your body receives an adequate supply.

L-Glutamine - I've always struggled with digestive issues and IBS.  L-Glutamine aide in overall gut health.  It has been suggested that during stressful times your body doesn't produce enough glutamine, making it an essential amino acid, under certain circumstances.

Natural Calm -  is a natural stress relief.  It restores a healthy magnesium level and balances your calcium intake. 

B Complex, B12, B6, & Folic Acid - supports your nervous system health and energy metabolism. 

Alpha Lipoic Acid - supports all parts of the nerve cell and protects it by preventing free radical damage which is thought to contribute to aging and chronic illness.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Eat This!

Before we stumbled upon Dave Asprey, The Bulletproof Executive, we complained a lot about not feeling well, being unhappy with our body weight, and (especially the kids) our tummies hurting.  Today, we don't hear that kind of complaining.  
These infographics are directly from Dave's blog, The Bulletproof Executive.  If you enter your email address, you get free access to his toolbox, including the diet, these infographics, and shopping lists.
We still eat like this because it makes sense to us and we've seen significant changes in our physical appearance and how we feel on the inside. 
We're still working through what the best things are for us to eat as individuals. Because we are all different, what works for you may not work for me.  For instance, I can't eat raw almonds, unless they are skinned.  So, even though it is in the green section of what to eat, I need to stay away. 
We're pretty serious about this.  This is our new food pyramid. It's working for our family. 
Now, it doesn't mean you won't see me at a graduation party eating tacos, rice, beans, and red vines.  Or that I won't enjoy a glass of wine.  Or that I won't have a slice or two of churro cheesecake at the birthday party and the next day at the potluck.  I'm not a saint and you shouldn't judge.
What it does mean is that for the most part, we make better eating choices today than we did a few months ago and we feel and look better for it. 
Come on, try it with us!  Let me know what you decide and how it changes your life. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cauliflower Poppers

Easy and super yummy as a side dish or afternoon snack.

Turn on the oven to 425º and by the time your oven is preheated you'll have your head of cauliflower chopped up.

Drizzle cauliflower florets with extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.

The first time I made this my kids and their friends devoured it within seconds.  Seriously!

I tried to tell my popcorn-loving friend this would be a good substitute for her popcorn cravings but after making and eating it again, it really doesn't take care of that need for crunch.

It is delicious, though!  I hope you try it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Beef Fried "Rice"

Last night we celebrated Asher's 4th birthday with her favorite dinner, "Asian".  It gave me a great excuse to use my coconut aminos.

I followed the recipe from Enjoying Healthy Foods but without the pepper and worstershire.  Feel free to add whatever veggies you like.  In addition to the recipe I added zucchini and cabbage.  It was a huge hit - especially with the birthday girl.

The best compliment I got was from her 6 and 3/4 year-old sister, Hero.  She said, "This is the best Japanese food I've ever had".

Try it and let me know what you think.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Easy Tacos

 Sometimes you just don't feel like cooking.  This can barely be called cooking.

1 lb Trader Joe's grass-fed ground beef
Trader Joe's Salsa Verde
Trader Joe's Just the Leaves Romaine (bummer, not organic)
Trader Joe's organic cherry tomatoes
Organic avocados
Organic Pastures Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese

I sauteed the ground beef, drained the juices, and added cumin, sea salt, and salsa verde to taste (I don't use too much because my 10-year old is not a huge fan).

I put everything is separate bowls and called the kids to build their own tacos.

Another 2-thumbs up family favorite!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Peanut Butter" Cookies

I've been on the hunt for a good cookie recipe that fits in with our new way of eating.  I came across a blog and instantly liked Tara because she was so honest about how her "peanut butter" cookies turned out.  She didn't like them and she told her readers not to make them.  I felt challenged and inspired.

Here is my version of "Peanut Butter" Cookies: 

  • ½ cup chunky, organic, raw almond butter*
  • ¼ cup coconut oil 
  • 3t stevia (we use NuNaturals brand NuStevia powder) 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 ¼ cups Bob's Red Mill finely ground almond meal/flour 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Trader Joe's 73% dark chocolate candy bar, cut into big chunks
  • Directions:
  1. Cream together 1st four ingredients
  2. Stir in flour & salt
  3. Drop spoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet
  4. Add a chunk of chocolate to the top and press it in a bit 
  5. Bake at 350º for about 8-10 minutes

  • The cookies got two thumbs up from the whole family.  Carly, my 12-year old, said they tasted like almond butter.  I take that as a compliment.
  • And in spite of how her cookies turned out, you should check out Tara's blog, Always Underfoot.
  • *we don't eat peanut butter (or peanuts) anymore for a few reasons: they are one of the most common food allergens, they contain anti-nutrient lectins, and are especially susceptible to a mold that produces a mycotoxin called aflatoxin.  Read more about toxic peanuts here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Eat Real Food

"There is no one diet that will work for everyone, but if your diet doesn’t involve mostly REAL FOOD, then you are setting yourself up for failure." Yum Yum Fit

Doesn't it make sense?

We should eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, and nuts. We should choose foods that are raised, fed and grown naturally, and foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.  Shouldn't we?

It shouldn't be a “diet” – we can eat as much as we need.  We're eating for fuel to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight.  We should aim for well-balanced nutrition, eating animals and a significant amount of plants.

Eating like this will help us look, feel, live and perform our best, and reduce our risks for a variety of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions.

It seems to go against everything we've grown up learning and doing.  That's why, when Brad started eating real food, I thought he was just asking for a heart attack.  What about the USDA Food Pyramid?
Since the USDA food pyramid was released in 1992, the obesity rate has increased unabated. Take a look around you. The obesity rate is the highest it’s ever been, and almost everyone who’s not obese is “just” overweight. Diabetes is on the rise. People live out the end of their lives relying on a complicated cocktail of pharmaceuticals and medical apparati just to eke out a few more years. All this, despite the majestic, all-powerful USDA dietary recommendations informing everything we put into our collective mouths. How’s that USDA food pyramid working out for us so far, I’d like to ask. I’m not necessarily assigning a causative role to the pyramid (though it certainly plays a role, in my view) in the obesity epidemic. I’m just saying that it has done absolutely nothing to stanch the rise of diet-related illness. I’m saying it doesn’t have a real impressive track record. 
Read more:
The first step to getting our health back and our bodies looking the way we want it to is to shift what we eat toward whole foods.

We’re still in the process of learning by doing.  Hope you'll come along with us and hang in there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roast Chicken With Carmelized Shallots & Kale

I adapted this recipe from David Lebovitz.  It was super yummy and incredibly easy!  My family gave the meal 2 thumbs up. I give it 2 thumbs up as a lunch and after school snack the next day.  
  • Put salted, grass-fed butter in a hot skillet that can be transferred to the oven.
  • Add 4 shallots, peeled and chopped, 1 T coconut aminos (a soy free soy sauce - my new favorite food find), and 3 T apple cider vinegar.
  • Add your chicken pieces.  I used two giant breast and 4 drumsticks.  Make sure your chicken* is pastured.  I found mine at Sprouts.
  • Coat the pieces in the sauce and stick in the 425º oven, skin side up, for about 20 min depending on the size of your pieces.  If you don't have a skillet that can go into the oven, transfer your chicken and sauce into a glass baking dish.
  • Flip the pieces, add a chunk of butter to the sauce, coat the pieces, and put the pan back in the oven for about 25 more min.
  • Remove pan from oven and chicken pieces from pan.  Add another chunk of butter and fresh, organic kale, chopped roughly to the sauce.  Toss to moisten and slightly wilt the kale.  Add salt to taste.
  • Pour the sauce and kale over the chicken and enjoy!

*Chicken is high in unhealthy polyunsaturated fats that oxidize easily during cooking and promote oxidative stress inside the body, making chicken low on the scale of protein choices.  Chicken and turkey should be eaten sparingly.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pesto Prawns

I can't stop thinking about this meal.  It was so delicious and so easy!  I trimmed & cut fresh, organic green beans then stir-fried them in olive oil.  Just before my green beans were ready I added my wild-caught, jumbo prawns, about 1T of unsalted butter, about 2T of homemade basil-almond pesto* and stir-fried until just cooked through - do not over heat your prawns.         

Another family winner.  Cooper doesn't like pesto so he could only give the rating 1 3/4 thumbs up!  I'll take it.

*handful of fresh basil, olive oil, raw almonds, salt - blend together - add additional ingredients to taste

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wait For It...

Brad and I are celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary this weekend.  We're splurging with sushi!

I know, right?

Sushi is one of our favorite treats.  We don't go very often.  I've been gluten-free for over a year now and I haven't found a sushi place that uses tamari instead of soy sauce :).

The way we feel about it, if you're eating really well most of the time, you can afford a splurge.  Pay attention to how your body feels after your splurge.  You may need to consider different food adventures depending on your body's reaction.

I can't wait for the Mexican food splurge!


Friday, June 8, 2012

You Gotta Start Somewhere

Me, October 2011
The health of our families is important to all of us.  My family is learning to eat food for good health and striving for fresh, organic, whole foods.  What we're doing is working for us and I want to share our findings with you.
2012 started off with a cleanse.  We ate fruit, vegetables, and plant-based fats for a week then slowly over 3 more weeks added legumes, gluten-free grains, and seafood.  I thought it was a good, healthy move.  Then I chose to continue with no meat.  After 5 weeks I was so sick I couldn't even take my favorite yoga classes.  I was weak and tired and overall yucky.  Then there was my husband who at this point had started bulletproofing his diet.  He was losing weight and his body shape was changing.  Still my head said, "he's a heart attack waiting to happen and I'm making better healthy choices".  Clearly, I was wrong.

Me, end of May 2012
When I first joined Brad on his eating plan I needed to learn what my boundaries were so I could create nutritious after school snacks and healthy meals for dinner.  I was very overwhelmed with all the new information.  I was looking for something or someone to tell me what to eat.  I needed recipes and fresh ideas.  

I truly felt set free when I realized there was an outline on how to eat:  
  • Bulletproof Coffee in the morning
  • Healthy fats and proteins when I'm hungry
  • Healthy fats, proteins, and organic veggies for dinner

I could work within these boundaries but there were still so many questions.  What about fruit?  What about brown rice?  What about nuts? What about... Aren't these things supposed to be good for you?  We've been trained all our lives to eat the food pyramid.  But I'm here to encourage you to set those notions aside and try something different.   

Dave Asprey's site, The Bulletproof Executive, offers 14 steps to eating more healthy.  Change is tough so start out doing what you can.  But as Dave says, "the more you do, the better it works.  However, you'll be healthier and stronger by making even the smallest changes."
1. Eliminate sugar including fruit juices and sports drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup, honey, and agave.
2. Replace the sugar calories with healthy fats such as grass-fed butter, ghee, and MCT or coconut oil.
3. Eliminate gluten including bread, cereal, and pasta.  Do not make the mistake of resorting to gluten free junk food, which can be almost as bad.
4. Remove grains, grain derived oils, and vegetable oils such as corn, soy, and canola.  Also remove unstable polyunsaturated oils such as walnut, flax, and peanut oil.
5. Eliminate all synthetic additives, colorings, and flavorings.  This includes aspartame, MSG, dyes, and artificial flavorings.
6. Eat significant amounts of pastured, grass-fed meat from big ruminant animals such as beef, lamb, and bison.  Pair this with low-mercury fish, eggs, and shellfish.
7. Eliminate legumes such as peanuts, beans, and lentils.  If you must have your beans, soak, sprout (or ferment), and cook them.
8. Remove all processed, homogenized, and pasteurized dairy.  High fat items can be pasteurized, but they should be grass-fed.  Full fat, raw, whole dairy from grass-fed cows is okay for most people.
9. Switch to grass-fed meat and wild caught seafood.  Eat pastured eggs and some pork, chickens, turkeys, and ducks.
10. Switch to organic fruits and vegetables.  This is more important for some plants than others.  You can check out the What's On My Food website for details about pesticides.
11. Cook your food gently, if at all.  Incorporate water into your cooking whenever possible and use low temperatures.  Do not fry or use a microwave.
12. Limit fruit consumption to 1-2 servings per day.  Favor low fructose containing fruits like berries and lemons over watermelon and apples.
13. Add spices and other flavorings.  Favor herb based spices such as thyme and rosemary over powders. Use high quality ones, recently opened.
14. Enjoy your food. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012


We make a lot of protein shakes (or smoothies as we like to call them).  The kids have them for breakfast and they are often a part of a quick, lunch or after school snack.

 Cooper made his first smoothie...

 and liked it!

Here's his story:

He used a single serving personal blender 
Added Organic Pastures Whole Raw Milk
Organic cocoa powder
Organic vanilla extract
Organic cinnamon
Organic raw almond butter
MCT oil
4 Vitamin D3 drops

I'm not listing the amounts - since we're not counting calories, I don't worry about how much.   
How much you use should depend on how hungry you are and how you want it to taste.  

Blend until smooth.  
Of course, he gives his smoothie 2 thumbs up!

*Upgraded Whey Protein is pricey.  It is most important that all forms of whey protein are cold-processed.  If you are sensitive to dairy use whey protein isolate that is cross-flow microfiltered.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fish and Chips

Lots of people are wondering what we're eating.  I'm up for trying almost anything - hope you are, too.
Tilapia Meuniere and Baked Zucchini Chips
Kid rating: 2 thumbs up

Meuniere is a fancy way of saying dredged in flour.  I used tilapia because it is a fish with low amounts of mercury.  You can enjoy low-mercury fish abundantly. 

For the baked zucchini chips recipe check out Vittles and Bits

My Tilapia Meuniere is adapted from Nourished Kitchen's Sole Menuiere.

4 Tilapia fillets (or other low mercury fish)
1/2 Cup almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2 T fresh lemon thyme, chopped
salt to taste

Dredge your fish in the flour and place in a hot buttered skillet.  Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side.  I didn't have parsley or lemon so I chose to skip that step.  I bet it is delicious, though.  If you try it, let me know how it turned out.

It's that easy to have a healthy meal the whole family gave 2 thumbs up!

Butter In My Coffee

Brad and I have Bulletproof Coffee every morning for breakfast.  It took some getting used to for me.  I normally don't have a lot of cream in my coffee so this rich, creamy drink was very strange to my palate.

Here's the recipe - you should also check it out on the Bulletproof Executive blog:
  • Start with 2 mugs of good black coffee, brewed with mold-free beans.  Brad and I use Portola Coffee Lab's amazing coffee, and Alchemistic is my favorite.  Says the Bulletproof Exec (BE), "clean coffee actually fights cancer and provides antioxidants."
  • Add 2 Tbs or more of Kerrygold or other UNSALTED grass-fed butter.  Says BE, "Yes, butter.  All the benefits of healthy milk fat with none of the damaging denatured casein proteins found in cream.  Starting your day with grass-fed butter will give you lots of energy and it will give your body healthy fats that it will use to make cell walls and hormones."
  • Add 2 Tbs of MCT oil for max energy, weight loss and brain function
  • Blend with a pre-heated hand blender, Magic Bullet, or (best) counter top blender until there is a creamy head of foam
Why do we put butter and oil in our coffee?   Says Dave (and I've found it to be true for me as well), "It makes for the creamiest, most satisfying cup of coffee you’ve ever had. It will keep you satisfied with level energy for 6 hours if you need it. And because I’m having it for breakfast, I’m programming my body to burn fat for energy all day long!"

From Dave's blog:
It will take your body a week or so to fully turn on its fat digestion systems when you switch to a high healthy fat breakfast of Bulletproof coffee. If at first it is a little too rich, try using less butter at first and build up to the amount you like. Taking a betaine HCl or digestive enzyme supplement with your coffee will also help your body digest the butter.
Try this. After one drink of Bulletproof coffee, you’ll never be tempted to eat fat-free, insulin-raising, fat-storing toast and oatmeal breakfasts again!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What Are You Doing?

Rib eye, roasted zucchini, and steamed spinach with 100% grass fed butter
My husband started it.  He came across the Bulletproof Executive and began a modified paleo journey.  I thought he was a heart attack waiting to happen.  After he had lost about 20 lbs, I had to follow him.   After a month of following my husband and dragging my kids through a modified paleo diet I dropped 3 sizes.

Our friends began asking, "What are you doing?  You look so great and healthy!"  Then the next question was, "What do I eat?" It was time to start a blog.  Butter in my coffee is from the Bulletproof Executive's intermittent fast.  It takes some getting used to but the rewards are amazing.

We pretty much follow Dave Asprey's (the Bulletproof Executive) food outline.  This is from his website:
"Common dietary mistakes will sap your energy, lower your immunity, and make you cranky. Basic unsuspected foods can make you weak, soft, and fat. Replace them with Bulletproof foods that fill you up, keep you strong, and even make you smarter."
Dave and my husband are way more high-tech than I am.  I just want to know what to make for after school snacks and dinner.  Oh, and what are we feeding the kids for breakfast?  Eggs again?

My hope is to show you there are limitless possibilities and even after working all day you can come home and cook nutritious, healthy, life changing meals for you and your family - even you, Alison!

When I first began my journey I was quickly bored and overwhelmed, rib eye and veggies, again?  What helped me gain perspective was this rule of thumb:
When I get up I have bulletproof coffee and don't eat anything or take any supplements until I'm hungry.
When I'm hungry (usually around "lunch") I have protein and fat - good, healthy protein and fats: avocados, raw almonds, raw cashews, bacon, a 100% grass-fed beef or lamb burger patty, fish, protein drink, etc.  I also take my supplements now.

When I'm hungry next (usually around "dinner") I have protein, fats, and veggies.
In keeping with this theme I can easily provide meals that my family enjoys and  are good for them.