Tag Archive: paleo


I had a request from a facebook friend to post a recipe with either spinach or squash. I am not big on squash (it is honestly one of the only veggies I don’t really like), but I love spinach. And my husband LOVES spinach! There are very few things that are as healthy and as quick and easy as sauteed spinach. This isn’t much of a recipe, but for those of you who don’t really know what to do with your spinach besides making a salad, this is for you.

Here are all the ingredients you need: spinach, red pepper flakes, salt, and fat of choice (I like coconut oil)

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Heat up your oil in the pan on medium/low heat, throw in your spinach. Cook more than you think you will need, it shrinks like crazy. These pictures I am using a half of a bag of the pre-washed grocery store bags. This makes about 1-2 servings. Add salt, red pepper flakes. Cover and stir occasionally. It only takes 3-4 minutes for the spinach to wilt.

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Transfer to a plate and top with crispy prosciutto chips or bacon (you could always cook the bacon up first and then cook the spinach in the bacon grease- oh baby!) The spinach is a little spicy, full of flavor, and of course jam-packed with vitamins.

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If you wanted to do the sauteed spinach with some fish, you could top with a little lemon zest. If you wanted to have the spinach with chicken, you could top the spinach with sun-dried tomatoes. Really there are a million different combinations. I LOVE FOOD!!!

What do you do with your spinach?

(I got the recipe/idea for the crispy prosciutto chips from Nom Nom Paleo. Really you are just putting prosciutto in the oven to crisp it up and then you can crumble it on salads, veggies, eggs, etc.)

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Hello everyone! I am in a great mood. The kind of mood you can only get in when you have a delicious dinner that is healthy and that everyone eats together around a table WITHOUT complaints. It was one of those meals that reinforces all the work I have done trying to get my family to eat in a healthy way.

I really don’t have a word to describe the way that we eat. I use ‘Paleo’ a lot because that is the closest fit. But, we do eat some dairy (beginning this year with raw milk and I can’t wait to see if it makes a difference in the way we feel), I occasionally give the kids corn and corn tortillas, I will use potatoes, I put sugar in my coffee, and I allow the occasional sweet treat (weekends, special occasions, etc.). If you are new to the blog or if you are trying to improve your health in 2014 I would recommend: drastically cutting wheat/bread/gluten if not eliminating it, drastically increasing your veggies, cutting out ALL- Yes ALL- processed foods, switching to full fat dairy, and trying to buy grass fed/pastured meat. Eating old school… I’ll work on coming up with a clever name.

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Tonight’s dinner was family style. As you can see from the picture, I made a big ol’ platter of food for all of us to share. The only rule was that they had to have a little chicken (figures, that chicken is the food that I have to encourage them to eat). Everyone dug in. Will loves kale and tomatoes, Ellis loves kale and ‘green beans’ (asparagus), Brent loves kale and chicken, and I love kale, chicken, and asparagus. My proudest moment was that the only thing left was the corn (although everyone but me had some).

I hear a lot of people talk about how this diet would be ‘so hard’ or ‘my kids would never go for it’ or ‘my husband would go crazy’ etc. They are so many options and the food is so good. There are also good short cuts available. The only things on that platter that I made tonight were the kale and asparagus. The chicken I got cooked from the grocery store yesterday (we all like cold chicken), the tomatoes were raw, and the corn was reheated from yesterday. Simple prep, not expensive at all, and stupid yummy.

The more we eat this way, the easier it gets for meal planning and buy-in from the family. If you are just starting out, please don’t get discouraged. It takes time. You will go through a withdrawal from the breads/treats/sodium-packed-nightmares you were eating before. And, remember- those of you that follow a lot of the popular blogs out there, many of them have been doing this for years and love to cook. Not everyone at home is going to have that skill set or dedication. You do NOT need to create a masterpiece every night. You are not always going to have a complicated and delicious breakfast/lunch/dinner. Just work on the basics (protein, fiber, veggie, healthy fat). You can get fancy later.

I am working on a meal planning blog, but since it is not my strong suit either, be patient with me. This is the year! (I said that in my head like “I proclaim this ‘the summer of George!'”)

Post any questions you have in the comments and check out my food related posts in the categories section.

food pyramidAs anyone who reads this blog probably knows, I am border-line Paleo/gluten-free. This is not a diet to lose weight (although I have lost a good amount of weight), it is a way of eating that makes me feel better. I have more energy, I have control over my cravings (for maybe the first time in my adult life), and I am never hungry. I say border-line because I still cheat, I still allow some dairy, and I’ll never give up pizza and beer. But, 90% of the time, I am pretty good.

Even though I believe this way of eating works for me, there is a TON of controversy about this ‘diet’. Do a little research and people will tell you a million reasons why it’s bad. You’ll see comments like ‘too hard to maintain’; ‘too much cholesterol’; ‘everything is fine in moderation’. This post is here to answer some of that criticism, as well as explain why, for some of us, this is a great option, and tell you how to fail at paleo.

First, How to fail….

1. Replacing ‘bad’ foods with ‘gluten-free’ foods. This is probably the #1 problem with this way of eating. People give up wheat bread and replace it with gluten-free bread. Give up regular cereal for rice cereal. Give up regular cookies for the wheat-free varities. Not only will you not lose weight this way, you will not get healthier! Not even a little. Sure, these are great options for people with wheat allergies or celiac disease, but for the average joe or joanne, this is a bad option. If you want to do well on this diet for weight loss and health, skip the breads, cereals, and cookies all together. How do you know what to avoid? Anything that comes in a package or has a commercial should be skipped.

2. Thinking that you can’t have toast so you just eat cheese and bacon. Remember the Atkins diet? That is why there was so much criticism about Atkins: people took out bread but continued to eat horribly unhealthy foods. They still lost weight, but their cholesterol shot thru the roof and they probably never pooped. Just because it doesn’t have wheat or carbs, doesn’t mean you can or should eat it. Potato chips, burgers, bacon, cheese, diet pop, etc. are all things that should be eaten in moderation or, in the case of pop, avoided all together regardless of what diet you are on.

3. Getting caught up with ‘Paleo’ desserts/pancakes/cookies…Just look at pinterest for the perfect examples. Did you know you can make Paleo chocolate cake in a cup? Did you know you can make Paleo pancakes, cupcakes, brownies, muffins, etc? Again, just because it is Paleo, doesn’t give you a pass. These are great options for the occasional celebration if wheat products upset your stomach, but not good for daily eating.

The idea of Paleo eating is eating with common sense. Is it a fruit or vegetable? Good. Is it a healthy form of animal protein? Good. Was it created in a lab? Bad. Was it processed, packaged, marketed? Bad. Does it last for more than a week on a shelf? Bad. I think you get the point.

Now to address some of the criticisms.

1. Too hard to follow: Sure you are giving up a lot of foods that you formerly loved (bread/pasta/treats), but after that part is accepted, there isn’t an easier diet on the planet. I have never counted a calorie, worried about my portions, or felt deprived since eating this way. If you follow the basic rules, it is simple to follow. I don’t worry about how much fat is in an avocado, because it is good fat. I don’t worry about the size of my dinner, because it is more than half vegetables. I don’t worry about counting carbs, because my carbs are fruits and veggies.

2. Too much fat and cholesterol: If you actually do the research on this way of eating, you’ll know that this is not a big deal at all. 1. Majority of the fat is healthy fat. 2. Your body begins to get its energy from fat instead of carbs and therefore you can have more. 3. Fat is filling and you end up eating less food as a result. 4. Like I mentioned before, it is not a free pass to eat bacon all day every day (although, many paleo-peeps don’t worry about the saturated fat at all). 5. Many people actually see a decrease in weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol on this diet because they have cut out all the other CRAP (not to mention improved digestion). With that said though, you have to eat the right way- veggies first!

3. Everything is fine in moderation: I agree. Totally. The problem is, I don’t eat bread in moderation. If you gave me a loaf of french bread and a stick of butter, I could finish it with no problem. To you that might sound crazy. To me it is crazy that someone could finish a pint of ice cream in one sitting- yuck! But, I bet for some of you that would be a metaphorical piece of cake. We all have our issues. Just like you can’t tell an alcoholic that alcohol is fine in moderation, you can’t expect me to hold back with bread. It’s so good when it hits your lips….

Since eating this way, my husband and I have both lost weight, and my blood work is perfect. My children are eating tomatoes and kale and onions and almonds and fish. They are learning to like and appreciate ‘real’ foods. Sure they would still prefer lucky charms to eggs, but they are kids. It is my job as a parent to make sure they getting the foods they need to help them learn and grow and become healthy adults.

***stay tuned for more how-to blogs over the next week***

Recently a friend had a big event coming up and wanted to really focus for 3 weeks on slimming down and eating perfect. She asked me if I would come up with a meal plan for her to take the guess work out of it. For her, I really focused on cutting out salt and dairy because this was a short term strict ‘diet’. For the average person, eating this way is already cutting out SO MUCH salt/sugar/bad fat, that you don’t really need to focus on limiting more. I eat a lot of fat now: avocados, meat, nuts, oils, etc. If you have high blood pressure or really have a lot of weight to lose, you might want to limit the salt and dairy too.

My intention with this post is to give you ideas for real life, something that you could maintain moving forward. This is NOT a short term plan to lose weight. This is a life time plan to improve your health, have more energy, have fewer digestive problems, and yes….lose a little bit of weight. (If you are not a cooker and need more specifics, just ask. I love talking about this shit! I will help you.)

Breakfast:

Eggs- limit salt and dairy. A little cheese is okay, but make the cheese count! Good quality, full flavor!

Spinach, tomato, peppers, mushrooms, lean meats, etc. (You can pre-make these either in quiche form or in a muffin pan, and heat up when ready. I like to do a quiche with peppers, onions, broccoli, and spinach, with smoked gouda. My husband likes omelets with sundried tomatoes, feta, mushrooms, and spinach. My kids like scrambled eggs with ‘flat turkey’ (aka lunch meat) and spinach.)

Smoothies- Use plain full fat yogurt, milk, fruits, and veggies. Here are a couple I like.

Yogurt, milk, banana, almond butter, spinach, chocolate syrup (yes, I know, but I like it), and ice

Yogurt, milk, banana, apple (skin on), almonds (5-7, raw, no salt), cinnamon, spinach, and ice

Yogurt, milk, banana, raspberries, spinach, and ice

Chicken/apple sausage (Applegate farms, I love these!)- eat with a handful of berries

Apple with Almond butter, and hard boiled egg

Lunches and Dinners:

Turkey Burgers with lettuce, tomato, avocado, sprouts, etc. No Ketchup! No mayo! (Sear on each side and finish in oven since turkey burgers get so dry). I also like to chop up a granny smith apple really finely (skin on) and mix it in with the meat to keep it juicy and add fiber.

Chicken or Tuna salad over greens (no additional dressing besides the mayo and lemon juice in the chicken/tuna)

Turkey/cheese/bell pepper roll ups (3 slices turkey, 1 slice of cheese divided in 3, and 3 strips of a bell pepper in the middle), with an apple or berries, and some nuts (pistachios, almonds)

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup. I buy the low-sodium one in the health food aisle in the rectangle carton. I then add a bunch of shredded chicken, a can of diced tomatoes (use fresh in season, no salt added if from can), red pepper flakes for heat, and avocado (add when serving).

Chicken Breast with homemade quac (avocado, red onion, cilantro, and tomato-not salsa unless its fresh- and lemon juice)

Chicken/apple sausage again with either 1. Raw carrots/broc/celery with yogurt based ranch, 2. Celery and almond butter, 3. Pistachios and fruit

Pork tenderloin and veggies

Chicken and veggies

Burgers over portabello, tomato, avocado, sprouts, carmelized onions, spinach, butter lettuce, and/or anything fresh that you like.

Stuffed peppers: ground turkey, onion, cheese, spinach, pablano pepper, diced tomatoes

Skirt steak sliced over big salad, hard boiled egg, veggies, avocado, olive oil and lemon juice dressing (or oil and vinegar)

Chicken pesto over greens or with roasted veggies (Roasted veggies= broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and kale= so yummy!)

Steak with chimichurri (You can google recipes for chimichurri, its very simple. If you’re not familiar it is usually a sauce made with olive oil, garlic, and a bunch of fresh herbs/spices).

Chicken legs with chimichurri (I don’t love chicken legs but my husband does. Any chicken cut is great for this. The bone-in cuts will be juicier, but cook slower).

I didn’t separate lunch and dinner b/c there can be so much overlap. This diet should be combined with lots of exercise and water.

Also, I’d like to be clear on one thing… No soda! Not even diet. Soda is always bad. It causes cravings, and is filled with chemicals. If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times: Besides water, coffee, and a little bit of milk…if it doesn’t get you drunk, don’t drink it. J

taco 2taco 1Tonight’s post is just a quickie. I have struggled lately to find time for blogging. It is amazing how busy your life can become in the blink of an eye. Our new way of eating is definitely more time consuming and I am still learning the short cuts. So, this post is just the recipe for tonight’s dinner. Sometimes a quickie is just as good, right?

I call them Paleo(ish) Tacos because I use cheese. I love cheese. I have seen conflicting information on what kind of cheese is okay and what is not. It doesn’t seem to bother my stomach at all so I eat it and enjoy the crap out of it.

I take butter lettuce, top it with my homemade guac, rotissierie chicken, goat cheese, and cilantro. I roll it all up like a taco/burrito and then down the hatch. So easy! So delicious! So healthy!

Here is the homemade quac recipe. I am not much of a measurer, so this is all approx. Adjust as you see fit.

Avocado
Halved baby heirloom tomatoes (whatever tomato you like!)
Red onion
Salt, Pepper, garlic powder
Red pepper flakes
Lemon juice

The big lesson here is every ingredient is a REAL food. Nothing processed (except the spices, but I pick good ones without all the crap in them)

The kids are a little pickier and I am trying not to ruin their childhood so they were served: quesadillas made with corn tortillas, shredded mexican cheese, chicken, and spinach. Cooked on the stove with coconut oil.

My husband was busy ‘working late’ so he just ate his. He came down stairs, not realize I am typing this right now and honestly just said, “Wow, those were crazy good!” Nothing makes me happier than that!

Any paleo or wheat-free recipes you want to share?