Making my Way Back to You!

Wow what a journey the past months have been!  I will update my bio section as some of the recipes featured in this blog will change a bit!  I am on a dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free diet due to Lyme Disease.  The part of the proceeding that’s been really hard for me (and I still have some cheat treats here and there) is no SUGAR!!! I love making desserts and sweetening them with honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, maple sugar, etc. Finding new sweeteners was always fun because I LOVE SWEET TREATS!!!  Stevia is my friend now – getting used to the taste, but sometimes I feel like it makes me feel sick.  It is a detox agent for Lyme so it’s the only one right now.  I am on the hunt for good dessert recipes using stevia – hopefully I will be able to feature some on this blog!!  In the mean time I did make tapioca pudding using french vanilla flavored liquid stevia from Whole Foods – I can’t complain!

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For this recipe I followed the instructions on the back of the box.  I doubled the recipe so I would have a week long treat.  Personally I like my tapioca a little on the thick side.  I usually decrease the amount of liquid to tapioca ratio. For doubling the recipe, it would have called for 1/2 cup of tapioca & 6 cups of coconut milk.  However, I did 1/2 cup of tapioca pearls & 3 cans of coconut milk (roughly that is almost 5 cups).  I have also experimented with different coconut milks and it seems that the following works the best in the sense of consistency:  thick & creamy.

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Okay moving on!

Let’s talk about oral care!  I have switched to paleo mouth products.  Super exciting to announce I am totally digging all the products!!  Here are some toothpastes, mouthwashes & powders I have started to use – check back later this week & I will post reviews in the main heading section of “beauty.”

Below are two different mouth washes – they are completely different in texture & compound.  I believe that having two different products to target different bacteria (promote the good, rid the bad) is always great!!!  You can use one as a morning rinse after breakfast and one as an afternoon rinse after lunch… or if you have kids & work you can just do it whenever it is convenient for you!

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Below are new toothpastes (Hello Products – they also make kids’ paste) I found at our local Wegman’s!! I was so happy to see paleo products there!! GO NATURAL OR GO HOME!  As you can see I have used the pink one.  I love it so much that I have been banging the container on the counter for the past two days in hope of getting every last drop out; and, you will be happy to know I have succeeded!  For your reference, the pink tube is “sensitivity relief” and the grey tube is “whitening.”  I have no tried the whitening one yet, but I did notice some improvement from the pink tube.  I have tried every OTC sensitivity toothpaste including prescription strength fluoride toothpastes, etc. and nothing has worked.  I was excited to find that this did help a little, not much, but it’s better than nothing!!  Give them a try, great taste, natural ingredients!

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… and of course Taylor’s tooth powder (featured in the beauty section already) is an absolute favorite.  I did start doing some coconut oil pulling – not sure if it is having any benefit, but if you want to try it all you do is put a big dollop of coconut oil in your mouth, swish for 20 minutes & spit!

 

One last thing to overwhelm you with in this random post about everything!  A new nut butter featured at Costco has me going crazy!!!

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Oh my gosh I am obsessed!!! I have 1-2 tbsps of NuttZo throughout the day instead of turning to my sugary paleo sweet treats!!! Love this so much, highly recommend – it’s a great blend of a variety of nuts.

Tune back friday!

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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

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NOMaste.

In like a lion, Out like a lamb.

Welcome March!  I am hoping you bring lots of warm weather this month!! I have a full week of sweets coming up!! The following week I will switch to savory dishes – make sure you stay tuned!  I have to been going to the gym as much as possible and have supplemented in a few YouTube videos and barre classes.  It takes a while to shlep to Gold’s Gym, some nights it is easier and faster to do a workout at home.  I have also been forcing myself to try some workout classes at the gym.  I don’t like being in a classroom setting with routines to follow, because personally I am horrible at keeping up.  I never had the skills to memorize routines quickly.  When it came to school plays during the middle school and high school days I really was not one for a main character dancing around the stage.  I have pushed myself to be uncomfortable and attend the classes that involve routines that are choreographed to specific songs.  Unfortunately, for me, I have also not been able to stand in the back every class – other people seem to be just as uncoordinated as me, so it appears!!  When I don’t get my cozy corner spot in the back of the room, I realize nobody is starring at me and outwardly criticizing me, so I might as well get in a good workout and stop worrying about what others think!  Thus far I have tried the Insanity, BodyPump, BodyAttack, HIIT, and RPM cycling classes and have fully enjoyed each moment of them all.  If you are like me, attempt to go to a workout class even for half of it – just give it a try.  You might find that you enjoy jumping around a room looking ridiculous along with everybody in the class.

Today we will review a wonderful paleo granola I created.  The recipe calls for a cup of raisins, a cup of whole almonds, a cup of cashews, 1/2 cup flax seeds, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4-1/3 cup honey and 2-3 tbsp coconut oil (you can adjust the honey & oil amount to ensure all fruit, nuts & seeds are coated with some liquid).  Mix everything together and spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cook the granola at 300 degrees for 30-45 minutes – cook until the mixture does not have a sticky texture and tastes “roasted” (yes, samples are allowed).  Once cooled, break apart the big block and it will quickly resemble granola.  I sprinkled this delectable treat over some coconut cream.  Thai Kitchen makes a great full-fat coconut milk – the cream is on the top and literally looks like fage yogurt.  If you scoop the cream out you will see liquid on the bottom.  I pour this into ice cube trays and freeze the remaining part of the coconut cream.  I then will use these coconut cubes in smoothies for coconut flavor.

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With the snowy days here I will be baking quite a few items; be prepared for sugar overload!!

I have been browsing my cookbook collection and have realized that I need to start using them – they’re getting dusty.  I have found myself always researching recipes online – for the obvious reason: the computer is so convenient and easy.  I have tried to remove myself from some social media to focus on “the present time” and play with my son.  With this I have felt more relaxed and have gone ‘back to the basics.’  I have begun to realize it is wonderful to flip through a cookbook.  This being said I have picked a savory and a sweet cookbook to make literally every recipe from cover to cover.  Once this is done, it’s onto the next one!  My husband loves cookbooks, he is the same way as me; he personally “likes to look at the pictures.”  I want him to get through his books too!  I encourage you to dig through your cookbook collection and start cooking some delicious dishes.

Stay warm & dry during the snow storm…. don’t forget to BAKE!!!

peace. love. paleo.

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.

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

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

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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:

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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.

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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?!

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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.