Sugar Rush

I wanted to start off with introducing the cookbooks I am currently using:

Paleo Cookies  By: John Chatham

Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry  By: Elana Amsterdam

I will rotate these books once I’ve completed all recipes!! 2015/03/img_7199.jpg Breakfast details: the standard eggs and thick-cut bacon, a side of sautéed roasted red peppers (from Costco, I will post the image in the bottles section) and onion, a bulletproof coffee using 1tbsp coconut oil and a green shake!!!! Smoothie recipe below…

Cucumber-Mint (2-16oz servings):

3 cups cucumber

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup mint leaves

2 cups spinach

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4-1/2 cup coconut water

1 cup ice

1 tsp maca powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp monkfruit sweetener

Add to Nutribullet large container and blend until smooth, add coconut water until thick & creamy consistency is achieved.

Recipe modified and adapted from Superfood Smoothies  By: Julie Morris

2015/03/img_7100.jpg 2015/03/img_7104.jpg 2015/03/img_7102.jpg 2015/03/img_7106.jpg 2015/03/img_7099.jpg 2015/03/img_7109.jpg 2015/03/img_7105.jpg These wonderful chocolate donuts are from Elana’s Pantry, she has some wonderful paleo recipes in her book! I highly recommend making these delicious treats, I did make a substitution: instead of cocoa powder I used carob powder. And, I still found the wonderful rich chocolate flavor in these donuts. Gotta run to the gym before picking up the little one. I will have some more treats for you tomorrow!!

NOMaste.

store energy to burn.

photo 1

#friendsgiving leftovers used to pair with my standard #baconandeggs, or is it #eggsandbacon?

I have some news though, that is not a Nutribullet blended coconut oil coffee…this is a winterwonderland coffee special!!  I used one non-flavored Nespresso pod and ran it through 3 times on the “cup” setting to have more liquid.  I then added one dropper full of liquid stevia (check out the vittles section, I use the Trader Joe’s brand) and a dash of peppermint extract, honestly this drink is spectacular for the holiday season.  I will experiment with other extracts to see if I can find other flavored coffee specials without the calories and blood sugar spike.

photo 2

For a mid-morning refreshing treat I had this water (YES THIS IS WATER) followed by 1L of filtered water.  The reason this water is black is because it has fulvic acid in it, which is instantaneous energy – NO JOKE!!! I am going to be purchasing fulvic acid on Amazon to add to my water once a day (check out the hydrate section shortly to see which product I’ve ordered).  If you would like you could purchase a case of these to make it easy to take on-the-go.  They are full of electrolytes and the water is a pH of 8, thus the hydration is easily absorbed by the blood.

photo 3 copy 2           photo 4 copy

A wonderful refreshing salad comprised of garden mix sprouts, tuscan kale, pomegranate seeds, cucumber slices and rotisserie chicken chunks – toss with avocado oil & bacon vinegar (recipe for this is in the works, I will share with you when I figure out the appropriate days to ferment the vinegar in bacon fat).

photo 1

I enjoyed these sweet potato & beet Terra chips as my side with salsa.  We normally get the large bag of ridged sweet potato chips from Costco — excellent deal, but be careful they’re addicting!

While you’re waiting on dinner, engage in some physical activity…

Now go get drenched in sweat, NOMaste.

#friendsgiving

On Saturday my husband and I prepared our first thanksgiving dinner for our friends.  We were pleased with the turn out!  The following foods in a wonderful atmosphere were enjoyed….

photo 3 copy 4 photo 5 copy 2 photo 4

The napkins are actually dish towels from IKEA – a little secret, all restaurants use these to add to their “farm to table – rustic” look.  I cut off the inside label and the hanging string, ironed them and my husband rolled up the silverware!  The poinsettias are from Wegman’s and were repotted in these awesome tin cans from IKEA.  We had a fun time at IKEA the day after thanksgiving to do some non-sale shopping.

The food warming up and getting ready for your meal tour:

photo 4 copy

We must begin with the foundation of every good thanksgiving meal…TURKEY:

photo 1 copy photo 5 copy photo 3 copy 3

The turkey was purchased from Wegman’s – nothing fancy just a basic turkey that took forever to defrost!  We seasoned it with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  The turkey was extremely moist (sorry that’s the only word that properly describes the food) with delicious flavor!

Some other traditional favorites:

  • Cranberry Sauce:  I mixed one 12oz bag of cranberries, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup honey and a few tbsps of coconut palm sugar to taste (see under Vittles section which product I keep in my cabinet).  I cooked this mixture for about 25 minutes to ensure all the water had been absorbed, the cranberries had popped and the sauce was adequately thick.  The sauce was a little tart, however, my taste buds prefer this flavor as I “believe” it is more natural and less man-made.

photo 4 copy 2

  • Mashed…turnips & parnsips for me and potatoes for the others.  I used this recipe for my paleo side dish:  mashed turnips and parsnips from Primal Palate.  Very basic ingredients and simple instructions, I used half an onion, instead of the full for a sweeter lighter taste… ENJOY!  The texture was thick lite and fluffy; I think I will use this recipe for our little one’s baby food!! Pictured below: paleo mash is featured first, followed by the potatoes being mashed & the final product.

photo 3 copy 2 photo 2 copy 2 photo 1 copy 3

  • Brussel Sprouts:  we dolled these bland veggies up.  They were seasoned with salt, pepper & olive oil and baked with dried cherries & pistachios,  They were enjoyed by all, even those who don’t normally eat this vegetable…SUCCESS!!

photo 1 copy 2

  • Stuffing… quinoa & red rice Williams Sonoma mix.  To make this treat more paleo friendly, I did not use butter – substituted with olive oil.  Additionally, I used half an onion, a full yellow pepper and the zest of half a lemon to add additional flavor.  Not a paleo dish as these are super food grains, however, you gotta splurge every now and then!

photo 2 copy 3

  • Biscuits:  No bread!!! We made the famous Bacon and Chive Sweet Potato Biscuits from PaleOMG.  We had made these last year and fell in love with them, after being pregnant and eating GF CARBSSS I hadn’t made them since.  We forgot how good these biscuits are and will be making them again this weekend just to have around during the week!

photo 5

  • Pecan Pie:  You just have to have some dessert!! I made Gluten-Free Pie Crust by following the recipe from Living Without Gluten Free’s online recipes.  I used Cup4Cup flour, coconut oil and coconut palm sugar and followed the rest of the recipe as stated!  The filling, I cheated, I used Williams Sonoma’s Chocolate Pecan Pie filling which is sold in a glass jar and is absolutely divine!!!  Note:  the coconut ingredients gave the crust an additional unexpected coconut flavor, which paired with the chocolate pecan filling very nicely!

photo 2

Last but not least, you must sit down and feast!!!!!                      photo 3

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!! My goal for this week… EXERCISE EVERYDAY!!!!

peace. love. paleo.

drop it like it’s hot.

Wake up, get your groove on, and GO!

GOOD MORNING NYC.

photo 4

Not sure how I acquired such a nice foam this morning with the Nutribullet whipped coconut oil coffee, but it was divine!

GOOD AFTERNOON fellow foodies.

photo 2     photo 1

Keeping it paleo at Shake Shack with a lettuce wrapped double stack burger with bacon obvs!!

GOOD EVENING to the city that never sleeps.

photo 5    Brooklyn Bridge Walk    photo 4

photo 3 copy 3    Bryant Park Festivities   photo 2

Followed by a Korean BBQ dinner at Shilla’s.  I ordered the Bi Bim Bap – as divine as I remember it being last winter when I first enjoyed this dish.  It is essentially a mixture of vegetables with ground beef and a fried egg with rice on the side.  I do have to admit I ate some of these grains, after I regretted it and should’ve kept it paleo without consuming the rice.

photo 1

Hope everyone is having a wonderful monday after a beautiful weekend like I had!

NOMaste.

revealing the Instagram #mysteryfood

It’s before noon, I can still say:  GOOD MORNING READERS!

Here is some winter, I mean fall, uplifting photos to get your through the cold, actually warm, days here in the Mid-Atlantic!

IMG_0357 PUERTO RICO (circa 2012 finale) IMG_0359

Don’t get me wrong I do love winter scenery, cold breezes while bundled up in a Canada Goose, fire place warmth and lounging on the couch covered in blankets beside your loved ones.  However, I also enjoy the escape to a warmer climate; this getaway really helps anyone’s mental state during the shorter colder drearier days.  The walks on the beach and rich healthy looking scenery helps put my mind at ease.  I find true stillness and ultimate relaxation throughout my body while walking on the beach and listening to the ocean waves crash onto the white sand shoreline.  One year I believe I managed to pack in a marathon distance walk on the beach all in a days work!  Last year I didn’t take a trip to soak up the sun (or sit by my light box) probably since I was in diapers, and I SURVIVED!!  I am looking forward to a view of paradise this year.  Our baby already hates the cold weather; I think I’ve already conditioned him to being a summer lover too!

Let me change subjects here… FOOD!

The first thing I will cover is the mystery food that was featured on Instagram.  This was a remake of an appetizer from Patowmack Farm, which would have been discovered in an earlier post – Kale Chips with Nutritional Yeast.  Basically we ripped the meatier sides off the main steam of Tuscan Kale and placed the pieces in the dehydrator until completely crispy.  After removing them from this device we sprinkled on Nutritional Yeast, which actually is not as hard, as we thought, to find.  The taste is interesting, but a great rich flavor – if my husband will eat this then it isn’t too earthy and actually has a taste other than dirt.  A recommendation:  since the kale is very crunchy, when you bite into a bigger piece the yeast flies in the air and makes a mess.  We quickly learned that making smaller bite size pieces rather than longer strips is actually easier to eat.

photo 3 copy 3

You could also use the nutritional yeast sprinkled on a kale salad and dressed with olive oil.

photo 1

Following this kale treat, you could indulge in another kale app – might as well bulk up on your nutrients today!

photo 4 copy 2                 photo 3 copy 4

This is a carrot paper wrapped skinny veggie roll for all you vegetarians and vegans out there!  We sliced avocado and cucumber, ripped of the sides of Tuscan Kale into long strips and sprinkled on a Garden Mix of Sprouts.  The carrot paper was bought at Wegman’s in a pack looking like this:

images

I do have to be honest though – there is some soy protein isolate in the ingredients.  Now that we have experimented with this product and would use it again I will look for a paleo friendly version!

Following these random appetizers we enjoyed a roasted chicken from Wegman’s (please excuse the one legged chicken pictured below, someone got into it before we sat down for dinner) and a Creamy Paleo Bacon Pumpkin Soup from Fed & Fit.

photo 2 copy 3photo 5 copy 2 photo 1 copy 3

We were not sure if the recipe called for bacon fat.  We added some of the remaining lard to the soup just because we are obsessed with bacon, like the rest of mainstream Americans.

And to polish off a good meal you must indulge in dessert, no matter how full you are – am I right?!

photo 1 copy 2photo 2 copy 2photo copy 4

I, yet again, doubled the recipe.  I tend to do this so the treat will last for the whole week since it is hard to make a new batch every few days.  The pictured dessert is Living Healthy with Chocolate’s Raw, No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie.  I enjoyed the mixture of cookie and brownie flavors, however, I find myself eating the brownie first and then gobbling the cookie dough section.  I am not one to mix all my foods, I like to savor each flavor.  Both, cookie and brownie, are pretty much spot on with regard to resembling the taste of conventional Toll House Break n’ Bake products without the unhealthy aspects.  This is a great item to make as it will keep in your refrigerator for quite some time without going sour – that’s if you can keep them around long enough to enjoy at a later point in time!

Before eating all this food you might want to engage in a workout because you will be couch bound after this feast!

I just found out that Safari does not support my videos all the time – if you see a blank black screen that reads blocked plug-in, try opening my webpage in another browser, such as, Google Chrome.

Sweat, Eat, Be Merry.  NOMaste.

weekend recap y’all.

lazy sunday.

Breakfast: sweet potato & pork hash with a poached egg

Made by my wonderful husband (I will have to work on getting the secret recipe ;p ).

photo 5

Lunch: Frankie’s meatballs, tomato sauce & spaghetti squash

These meatballs are a modification of Frankie Spuntino’s Meatballs (click on link for recipe) – we omitted cheese.  Guilty, we used gluten-free bread, next batch I would like to omit that ingredient as well.  Thankfully my husband bares with my diet restrictions and kindly adjusts the recipe for himself and I.  The tomato sauce is simply whole canned tomatoes strained and cooked on medium heat until thick consistency meets your liking.  Refer back to squash post for preparation for spaghetti replacement:  spaghetti squash (click on link for cooking instructions).

photo 3

Dinner: sausage with bacon & apple cider vinegar kale and parsnip fries.

This mild italian sausage was purchased from Wegman’s (their own brand), no additives.  The kale was sauteed in bacon grease and topped off with finely chopped bacon of two pieces and apple cider vinegar (add until your taste buds appreciate the flavor, I used about 4 tbsp on my serving).  My husband made parsnip fries again, twice fried in avocado oil.  This round he made the slices a bit thicker – I thoroughly enjoyed the “meatier” fry compared to the thinner crispy fries.  However, I do have to say both are excellent and I highly recommend making this side.

photo 2 paired with photo 3 and photo 4

Dessert: Paleo Lemon Bars

These yummy treats were made from the recipe on Paleo Cupboard’s website:  Paleo Lemon Bars.  This is the second recipe I have tried for paleo lemon bars.  This recipe produces bars that hold their shape and are firmer, given that tapioca flour is used.  However, I do prefer the taste of the lemon filling from the other recipe I have tried – I will share that recipe with you the next time I make them. Maybe I could mix and match recipes… use this crust and the filling of the other recipe!  Experimenting in the kitchen will happen!!

photo 1

Along with this food collection I have some home exercise routines you can do while your baby is awake and not stirring.  The Baby Bjorn is a fabulous accessory!  Place baby in this pouch and begin… squats, lunges, squat walks, heel raises, tree pose ya-da-ya-da-ya.  Followed by a casual stroll, you and your baby will be happy as clams.

happy monday:

peace. love. paleo.

went all out today…

photo copy 3

Some days there just isn’t time for breakfast or lunch, it was a brunch kind of a day.  With the 30 minutes I had to quickly scramble around and try to accomplish as much as possible before the little one woke up, I chose to eat.  I had eggs that should have probably been cooked a little longer, a tad bit too “wet.”  I thought to myself, if we eat eggs with a runny yoke I should be safe from the salmonella demon.  I gobbled them up with my avocado slices, side of bacon (nitrate free of course) and left over sweet potato slices my husband had made for dinner last night.  This was completely satisfying of all the essential fatty acids.  My snack to hold me over until dinner was this amazing bar (you have to splurge on the prepackaged items, it’s all about convenience some days):

photo copy 4

Another addition to our pantry this week was home-made cashew butter.  I enjoy making my own nut butters with the Nutribullet.  We purchased the cashews in the large container from Costco last week and could probably make 3-4 jars of this butter.  These nut butters have gotten extremely pricey, some selling for over $10-15.  There is no way I could rationalize paying that kind of money for a jar of cashew butter when I could make more than one jar for that price.  The container from Costco is roughly $15 and you could make 3-4 batches from it, depending on how many cashews you eat before breaking out the Nutribullet.     🙂

image

Waiting for the little man to wake up before we embark on an afternoon walk, so I will leave you with:

peace. love. paleo.

PUMP IT UP!

A pet peeve of mine is when bloggers post about the previous day, but now I get it – sometimes there just is not time!  Yesterday I ran, my pace was a crush to my ego, but I chalked it up to being proud that I actually continuously ran up and down hills towing a baby & a stroller for an hour.  Here we go:  progress, not perfection.  There will be a day when I am back in fighting shape, until then I have to be patient with myself.  I have a bunch of songs that I’ll share with you that really let my mind wander and uplift my soul as I exercise.  These songs are currently the ones that give me that extra pump to push my out of shape self.

*Taylor Swift: Shake It Off

*Sheppard: Geronimo

*Alesso: Heroes (we could be)

*Avicii: The Days

*Nico & Vinz: Am I Wrong

*Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne : Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)

*CHVRCHES: The Mother We Share

*The Script: Superheroes

*CHRCHES: Tether

*One Direction: Steal My Girl

*Calvin Harris, John Newman: Blame

*Echosmith: Cool Kids

*MKTO: American Dream

The baby was a bit fussy yesterday, trying to eat was a bit challenging – I will share with you some easy meals that moms can easily prepare.

Breakfast: 

image

Featured is: Bacon – made on the stove top, however, you could make it in the microwave.  Poached eggs were made using this handy gadget shown below.  This device is placed in the microwave for a minute and voila your eggs are poached – well kind of, but you know what moms that are just trying to get a bite to eat can’t be too picky on how perfect their poached eggs are!  Mixed greens with avocado oil and balsamic vinegar – get some acid in your belly to really fire you up for the day.  Big ole glass of water to help hydrate, along with a cup of apple & celery juice – made the day before for easy access.

imgres

Lunch:

image copy 3 image copy 4

I asked my husband to grab me these the other day on his Costco run after work.  I used to eat these all the time when I lived in the dorms at Georgetown University.  Take one out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes and place it on top of a mixed greens salad with cucumber, tomatoes and avocado, toss with olive oil and red wine vinegar.  At this point you can tell that I probably have heartburn between two doses of vinegar and a crying baby — don’t worry I took my calcium supplement today AKA TUMS.

Dinner:

I was lucky enough to have my husband home for this meal – I have been wanting to try this recipe since I saw it on the Food Network one lazy afternoon.  Another recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell {Crispy Herb Crusted Halibut with Curly Celery and Haricots Verts}.  Some modifications were made to the recipe, instead of using halibut (my husband searched high and low for this fish and couldn’t find a piece anywhere!) we used mahi-mahi.  This type of fish paired very nicely as it is very mild, no fishy taste and is a fluffy light white fish when cooked.  Instead of using green beans, formally known as haricots verts, we made parsnip fries.  I have recently have had a hard time eating green beans due to their texture, it’s like chalk on a board when I bite into them.  The first picture, below, is the preparation of the egg rinse and potato flake & herb dip – we decided to coat the entire fish, not just one side as the recipe calls for.  This preparation gave the fish more flavor.  Additionally, this photo has the curled celery; I honestly was doubtful that this would actually work, but as you can see it does!!! I sliced the celery the night before with a Mandolin slicer and the next morning I added ice cubes, water and the juice of half a lemon to the plastic container.  By the time we were ready to prepare dinner the celery was perfectly curly.  The final two photos are the end products of our meal.  I left the table feeling satisfied and refreshed; nothing too heavy about this meal, despite frying the parsnip slices in avocado oil instead of baking them in the oven.

image image copy image copy 2

Now go cook, listen to music & run as you think about:

peace. love. paleo.

what chu know about SQUASH?!

Just a few bites of this Vitamin A rich food provides a plethora of health benefits, including:  prevention of cancer, cataracts, gall stones, and hypertension.  Sounds like reason enough to keep munching on these bright bites.  I have a reason for being MIA so soon, I have been on a squash binge.  Let me share with you my newest dishes.

#1: Butternut Squash (breakfast following the roasted butternut squash side-dish from dinner on the prior post)

image copy

simple egg recipe:  heat a non-stick pan on HIGH for a few minutes, add olive oil or avocado oil in a pan, season with salt & pepper, pour in beaten eggs and quickly begin folding eggs with spatula as they will cook extremely fast at this temperature, keep them slightly wet, they have more texture and flavor – don’t cook them well done as they’ll be extremely dry.

#2: Spaghetti Squash

image copy 3

This is a magnificent dish – it is modified from Anne Burrell’s recipe {Braised Short Ribs}.  We bought the boneless short ribs (instead of bone-in, which the recipe calls for) at Costco and placed them in my husband’s new Le Creuset Dutch Oven which we picked up at the Williams Sonoma Outlet the night before.  We enjoyed this cut very much as it was less work to cut the meat away from the bone, it cuts the cost and tastes exactly the same!  Another modification we made was placing the dish over spaghetti squash instead of over mashed potatoes (as Anne Burrell pairs with this meat) or polenta (a variation my mom is fond of).  To cook the spaghetti squash, my husband cut the veggie in half length wise (I’m scared of cutting any large object).  The messy inside was scrapped out, we left the skin side facing upward on the cooking sheet, placed the tray in the oven and baked the squash for 40-45 min at 400 degrees.  This meal takes a while to prepare as the meat is braised (4 hours give or take), however, it is totally worth the wait!!!

#3: Acorn Squash

image              image copy 2

I’m sure some of you are wondering what the heck the contraption in the image on the left side of your computer screen is.  Let me introduce you to a new gadget in our kitchen – a dehydrator, yup probably one of the best items purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond.  We attempted to dehydrate acorn squash, however, we were unsuccessful – we are working on the best timing.  We cut the squash in half, scrapped out the seeds, placed guts side down on a cooking sheet, and baked it for approximately 30 min at 350 degrees (we also washed the seeds, placed them on the cooking sheet, as well, salted and cooked them).  Once removed from the oven we sliced the halves in half again and sliced the quarters into “chip” size pieces.  Each piece was placed on a tray and they sat in the dehydrator for approximately 8 hours – our mistake… too long!! The fibers in them were dried too much it was impossible to chew the “chip,” they ended up in the trash; a very sad moment for all.

As the weekend comes to an end, meditate on:

peace. love. paleo.