CrossFit Mamas Blog – 15 Minute CrossFit WOD

I just wanted to post a quick link to CrossFit Mamas Blog.  No big deal, it’s just an ass-kicking blog that features incredible 15 minute CrossFit type workouts that you can easily do at home with minimal or no equipment.  If joining a box doesn’t do it for you, or you just don’t have the time to commit to a rigid CrossFit program this is an incredible resource for you.

Continue reading “CrossFit Mamas Blog – 15 Minute CrossFit WOD”

Portable Paleo Breakfast: Simple Nut Cereal

Paleo Simple Nut Cereal
I miss Grape-Nuts. Yep, I’ll admit that cold grain breakfast cereal doused in milk and topped with bananas or raspberries is one thing I truly miss before Paleo. I’m sure you have seen other (more nebulous) Paleo breakfast cereal recipes before, but what follows is my recipe which replicates Post Grape-Nuts breakfast cereal as closely as possible while still being completely Paleo. Continue reading “Portable Paleo Breakfast: Simple Nut Cereal”

Paleo Omelets: The Blackberry and Honey Omelet

The humble egg.  Its healthful benefits, versatility, and simplicity might just make it the perfect Paleo food.  Eggs are an excellent source of good fats and are packed with vitamins, protein, amino acids, and choline.  Eggs are just a great for everyone, and perfect for Paleo.

Paleo Omelets

Omelets are simple to make, pack you full of protein, and get you ready for the day ahead.  This is a simple recipe which adds a touch of fresh sweetness to the savory egg.  It reminds me very much of a sweet crepe.  Very tasty.

Blackberry and Honey Omelet

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs;
  • 2 tbsp water;
  • 4 tbsp butter, ghee or coconut oil, divided;
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries;
  • 4 tsp honey;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;

Preparation

  1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl with the water and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet over a medium heat, add 1 tbsp of the cooking fat (your choice) and pour ¼ of the egg mixture into the skillet.
  3. Use a spatula to stir the omelet gently while it cooks and to allow uncooked parts to run underneath.
  4. When the omelet is set, reduce the heat to low, place ¼ of the blackberries on half of the omelet.
  5. Drizzle 1 tsp honey on top, fold the omelet in half over the blackberries and cook for another minute, covered.
  6. Reserve and repeat the process for the other omelets.

Source: The Paleo Recipe Book by Sebastian Noel

Paleo Breakfast Bars: Paleo Mornings on the Go

My Un-Paleo Grind

If you are like me, your work week starts early and moves fast.  I am at work by 7:00 AM every day through the week.  Typically I get in, sit down in my cubicle, fire up my PC, open my lunch box, and unwrap a store-bought breakfast bar.  I know, I know… it’s not Paleo.  The factory made stuff contains processed or synthetic sugars, soy products, peanuts, etc.  I’m not proud of this, but it is the cruel reality of my busy day.

A Paleo Repair

Fortunately I have begun to phase out these foil-wrapped laboratory experiments and replace them with home made Paleo breakfast bars.  There are various Paleo breakfast bar recipes around the net, but IMHO the breakfast bars recipe from Elana’s Pantry is the best out there.  She just calls them Gluten Free Breakfast Bars but I call them…

Paleo Seeds & Raisins Bars

Makes 12-16 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup blanched almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup almond slivers
  • ¼ cup raisins

Preparation:

  1. In a small bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
  2. In a large bowl, combine grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla
  3. Stir dry ingredients into wet
  4. Mix in coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almond slivers and raisins
  5. Grease an 8×8 baking dish with grapeseed oil
  6. Press the dough into the baking dish, wetting your hands with water to help pat the dough down evenly
  7. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes
  8. Serve

These bars are very quick and easy to make with minimal prep time.  Make them on Sunday evening and enjoy them for a quick breakfast on the go, or as a quick and portable Paleo snack all week.

Photo and Recipe Courtesy: Elana’s Pantry

Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes

Fluffy Coconut Flour Paleo Pancakes - Title Photo

This is the second Paleo pancake recipe that I have made with coconut flour (first was the Insane Chocolate Coffee Paleo Pancakes), but it is by far one of the most practical and simple recipes that I have found. I saw these fluffy coconut flour pancakes on PaleoSpirit.com via NourishingDays.com weeks ago but finally got around to making them over the weekend.

This is a fantastic Paleo pancake recipe. For someone new to Paleo, these coconut flour pancakes are very easy to make and have a taste and texture somewhere between a traditional grain-based pancake and a crepe. Despite some people having problems with the batter in the comments sections on both sites, I had no problems. I did let the batter set up and thicken for about ten minutes after mixing, so that may have made the difference. Still, the batter is very thin compared to most Paleo pancake batters. I also didn’t include any Stevia or coconut nectar as both original recipes suggest. I did use honey in the batter and a drizzle of maple syrup on top. Here is my version which includes some slight tweaks.

Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Coconut oil for cooking fat

Preparation:

  1. Preheat frying pan or griddle over medium-low heat. In a bowl, mix eggs together well until frothy. Mix in coconut milk, vanilla, and honey.
  2. In a second bowl combine dry ingredients by whisking together the coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt thoroughly. Mix wet and dry ingredients together well.
  3. Add coconut oil or cooking fat of your choice to griddle or pan. Pour or ladle enough batter to form a small (2-3 inch diameter) pancake. Cook until edges start to dry and firm then flip and cook through. Different pans and griddles cook differently, so your first pancake is your trial piece.
  4. Keep pancakes warm in a warming drawer or 200F oven until ready to serve. Top with real maple syrup, honey, or fruit of your choice.

Photo: EasyPaleoMeals.org

 

3 Easy Steps To Lose Fat And Get Started On The Paleo Diet Right Now

Fitness Walkers CC

Approaching the New Year, it always seems like so many people want to make some ridiculous commitment to a new diet or a weight loss goal. Inevitably most people will fail or (even worse) possibly achieve some level of success then immediately revert back to the same old habits that were not making them happy to begin with.

Are you about to make that resolution? Stop yourself right now. Don’t bother proclaiming some unobtainable weightloss goal or ridiculous excersise regimen that you know you will only follow for two weeks then be totally burned out on.

As human beings, we acknowledge that old habits die hard and forming new habits is even harder. To try to completely turn your world upside down overnight and jump into a drastic change in diet or exercise will end in tears for most people. Instead I propose that you commit to a small change. Something that will reap great rewards while simultaneously moving you in the right direction and opening the door for more small changes over time. Here are my top three (virtually painless) baby steps that you can take to make a change and make a transition to a Paleo or Primal diet (or any diet for that matter) much easier without going all-in from the start.

Note that these are also great practices for those preparing to commit to Whole30, and will make Whole30 that much easier.

1. Eliminate Soda From Your Day
Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, etc. are the biggest contributors to obesity, high blood sugar, and too many other negatives to get into here. Eliminating even one soda from your daily routine will help you feel better and let your body begin functioning as it should. I’m also talking about removing diet sodas from your diet. Their detrimental effects are also significant.

Try replacing every soda with unsweetened iced tea or water. You will be surprised how much better your meal tastes and how much better you feel. If you really hate water or tea, try adding citrus to your water. Try a wedge of lime or orange instead of lemon for something different. Use soda water to add some carbonation without the sweetness. Try some different teas from the grocery store or specialty shop to find something you like, hot or cold. If you have to have some added sweetness, avoid artificial sweeteners and sparingly add in some honey or real maple syrup. Be creative and find things you love.

2. Buy Fresh Fruit
Make it a habit to buy fresh fruit every time you shop. This habit alone will make fruit available in your home at all times. You will find that when you have fresh fruit readily available and easily accessible, you will be more likely to eat it every day. The natural sugars in fruit are what your body was designed to process efficiently and the natural fiber will keep you feeling full longer. Apples and grapes are easy to grab and pack well for work or school. If you can replace at least one crappy snack a day with fruit, you are establishing a great life habit for you and your family.

3. Walk
This is the most painless way to consume calories that I can think of. Challenge yourself to park your car as far away from the grocery store entrance as possible. Park at the outer reaches of your work parking lot. Anywhere you go, provide yourself the opportunity to walk some extra steps. Take the stairs and avoid escalators and elevators. Avoid using handrails as much as you can to help focus the use of your legs and increase core stability. You would be surprised how much this alone will help you feel better and reduce back pain by strengthening your large leg and core muscles.

Resolve to Make Small Resolutions This Year
These three steps will not rock your world, but they will make you feel better and you will see a change in how you look and feel over time. More importantly, they begin to change your habits which makes it a lot easier to take on bigger changes later on. Don’t commit to becoming a Crossfit rock star or Paleo evangelist at the strike of 12 on New Year’s Eve. Quietly commit to these small changes and take more profound steps as they feel right to you.

Happy New Year!

Image: Flickr o5com

Three Easy Paleo Food Switches You Can Make Today

Since I had so much positive feedback on my last post about New Year’s resolutions and three ridiculously easy changes you can make right now to improve your chances for success on any diet, I’ve put together another top three list. This time I am detailing three Paleo foods that you can immediately use to replace non-Paleo items you regularly use. Consider this post as a second step in easily transitioning into a Paleo diet, Primal diet, or any other healthy diet for that matter.

Also consider these three Paleo switches as great practice for anyone looking to start Whole30.  If you are afraid of committing to Whole30, these simple switches will give you a small taste of what to expect and make things a little easier.

1 – Replace Peanut Butter with Almond Butter

Get rid of your peanut butter. Okay, use it up first if you want to, but when it’s time to replace it switch to almond butter. Peanuts are legumes and are not part of a Paleo diet. Why remove peanuts from your diet? Well the health reasons are myriad and you’d be better served by reading this page on Paleo Hacks. However the biggest reason I can think of for tossing peanut butter out of your pantry is all the sugar and preservatives contained in commercial peanut butter. Almond butter is better for you, I think it tastes far better, and it is a key ingredient in many Paleo pancake recipes.

Recommendation: MaraNatha Natural Almond Butter
Marantha is all natural and readily available at most grocery stores or Amazon.

Tip: If you aren’t ready to give up your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches yet, use some almond butter instead. Even better, use whole grain bread, almond butter, and fresh raspberries in place of jelly for a killer change without added sugar.

Indulgent Option: Justin’s All-Natural Maple Almond Butter

2 – Replace Dairy Milk with Almond Milk

Dump your questionable homogenized, pasteurized, and who-knows-what-ized dairy milk and buy or make some unsweetened almond milk. The majority of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. You may or may not be, but if you have been drinking dairy all your life without any reprieve you would never know any different unless you take a month and live without it. It’s time to challenge yourself to a month without dairy, take note of how you feel, then go back and monitor yourself again. You might be surprised what you find. Dairy is a gray area in the Paleo or Primal diets, this is a great post about it on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Recommendation: Silk Natural Almond Milk
As far as commercially available almond milk goes, Silk is readily available in most grocery stores for a reasonable price. Buy the unsweetened version to avoid extra sugar. Almond milk has a thick consistency and a flavor that is hard to describe. It’s slightly nutty and rich. If you are used to 2% milk fat dairy, Silk will almost seem like a milk shake in consistency. A favorite in our household. Great with Paleo pancakes too.

Indulgent Option: Make Your Own Almond Milk

3 – Replace Vegetable Oil with Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil EPM

Avoid vegetable oil and shortening at all costs. Hydrogenated products like Crisco are crap you do not want in your body. Common vegetable oils are made from soybeans (legumes), and products like canola are made by processing rapeseed with petroleum products, acids and bleaches (and most contain GMOs)There are too many reasons to get into here, but these cooking fats are loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids and should be avoided like the plague that they really are.

I suggest using coconut oil (in general) because it is great for general cooking use from low to relatively high heat. Perfect for Paleo pancakes. For low and no heat try high quality extra virgin olive oil and for high heat cooking try palm oil.

Recommendation: Spectrum Naturals Coconut Oil
Spectrum is readily available at many grocery stores and reasonably priced for an organic product. This is my cooking fat of choice. Great olive oils are readily available anywhere but you pay for what you get. Spend your money wisely and buy extra virgin olive oil in green or brown bottles which protect the oil from light which may break it down. Buy the freshest that you can find (check the dates!).

Indulgent Option: Wilderness Family Naturals Palm Oil

Making these three changes to your pantry will go a long way to preparing you for a Paleo/Primal/Ancesteral (or any) diet, but more importantly they will immediately impact your daily health and nutritional habits significantly. The best part is that all three changes listed here taste great and are really easy to make!

Photos: iPhone Photos of Items from my own Pantry and Fridge