Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Favorite Homemade Guacamole

          Guacamole is one of my favorite snacks! The best part is that it can be made in less than 5 minutes, and it doesn't require too many ingredients.

  • 2-3  large, ripe avocados
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 1/3 c onion
  • 1-2 Serrano peppers
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
       *Sometimes I will add 1-2 tbsp of salsa for extra flavor. It tastes great either way!

  1. Chop the onion and peppers into fine pieces.
  2. Remove the pit from the center of the avocados, and scrape out the remains into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the lime juice and cilantro next. Be sure to mix it well.
  4. Finally, add the sea salt, peppers, and garlic powder. Some people may want to add more/less salt or pepper to appeal to your taste buds!
          I love to make this at least once a week! With a little tweaking from another Paleo food loving friend, Jessica, I have found the perfect guacamole recipe for me. You can eat it with homemade sweet potato chips, as a topping on your favorite meats, or just as a side by itself. With summertime coming into full force, this can be the go to snack to bring to a cookout with friends/family! I have another great dip recipe, Paleo Spinach Artichoke Dip, coming soon! I would love to hear feedback from your favorite recipes or new treats you have tried!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Paleo Meatloaf and Veggie Stir Fry

          I have one more delicious recipe to share before I head out of town for the weekend. I made this two nights ago, and everyone loved it. One of my closest friends, who does not eat Paleo, actually told me that she loved this more than regular meatloaf that she has had before!


Paleo Meatloaf

Ingredients: (Meatloaf)
  • 1 package of natural ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c almond meal
  • 1/2 c yellow onion
  • 2 small baby bell peppers
  • 2 tbsp dry parsley
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive/coconut oil
Ingredients: (Sauce)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5-6 tbsp organic ketchup (Regular ketchup will do as well if that is what you choose to use!)

           *I purchased this ketchup from the Healthy Life Market in Barboursville by the Huntington Mall. It is the most Paleo ketchup that I have found, besides making my own. It is a great alternative whenever you may not have time to make some yourself and you want to keep it Paleo! I will be posting a Paleo Ketchup recipe soon!

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.
  2. Dice the onion and baby bell peppers into fine pieces.
  3. Mix ground turkey, eggs, and almond meal together in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Next, add the onions and peppers, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano to the meat mixture.
  5. Lather the baking pan with a little olive oil to keep the meatloaf from sticking.
  6. Add meat to the pan and bake for 45 minutes.
  7. While the meat is baking, mix the olive oil and organic ketchup in a small bowl. You may want to add a little salt and/or pepper.
  8. After the meat cooks for 45 minutes, take it out of the oven, and add the sauce evenly to the top of the meat.
  9. Place back in the oven for 20 minutes.

Veggie Stir Fry

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 c broccoli
  • 1 c cauliflower
  • 1/3 c onion
  • 1/3 c mushrooms
  • 1/3 c carrots
  • 1/3 c bell pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  1. This preparation is simple! Add olive oil to a medium/large pan.
  2. Chop the vegetables in 1/2 inch pieces or smaller depending on what you like.
  3. Add the vegetables to the pan, along with the lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  4. Sauté for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are golden.
          *The ingredients for the stir fry can vary. I have used sweet potatoes, different kinds of squash, beets, and many more vegetables. The preparation is the same. I love to change up the ingredients to give the stir fry a different kick every time!

          Have a great Memorial Weekend everyone! Safe travels if you are headed on any trips. I would love to hear what recipes you all are cooking up! Please send them to me so I can share them with everyone else and try them myself! (:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins and Dark Chocolate Chip Bread

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c almond/coconut flour
  • 1/4 c water (may vary depending on the thickness of your batter)
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 tbsp olive/coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 c walnut pieces
  1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a muffin pan with olive or coconut oil.
  3. Smash the banana in a mixing bowl. Use a little water to help soften the banana and make it easier to mash.
  4. Add the almond flour and eggs until you create a liquid mixture. This is where I will add some extra water if it is too thick, but usually the two eggs are enough.
  5. Next, add the cinnamon, agave, and walnut pieces.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until the muffins are toasted on top.

          This is a very quick and easy recipe for a delicious dessert. These muffins taste identical to regular banana bread unfriendly to the Paleo diet.

Paleo Dark Chocolate Chip Bread         
          The ingredients for this bread is identical to the ingredients for the banana nut muffins above, with two exceptions.
  • Replace the walnuts with 1/3 c of Sunspire Fairtrade Organic 65% Cacao Chips. These can be found at Kroger in the healthy food section.
  • I do not always use the whole banana with this bread. I will only use 1/2 to 3/4 banana.
           The preparation is also the same as the preparation for the Banana Nut Muffins. I made the Paleo Dark Chocolate Chip Bread in a loaf shaped baking tin, but either of these recipes can be made any way you choose, as muffins or as bread.
          Both of these Paleo friendly recipes are great for a sweet tooth! I try to only make Paleo desserts one time a week. They are a perfect way to change up the diet, while keeping it healthy, but they are still not good to eat in excess.  

Why Not Have These Everyday?         
          I have had many conversations with Tiffany, one of the Dieticians who inspires the members at our Crossfit box, and my friend, Allison, about why one should eat Paleo treats in moderation. Allison showed me a link to the site, Humans Are Not Broken, which discusses the reasons why one should not make too many Paleo desserts. Here is a condensed excerpt from this site:
          "The major problem with elaborate Paleo foods and desserts is that they are calorie-rich and low on nutrition. This is exactly why SAD (Standard American Diet, such as pizza, processed foods, and junk food) doesn’t work. And here we have Paleo folks mimicking the SAD approach! Unless you are a growing, active child or you have trouble with putting on weight, these foods should not be on your everyday menus.
  • Avoid Paleo processed foods. Nut flours, oils, butters, etc. are processed foods. That doesn’t make them toxic, but it does make them easy to overeat. Do you think human beings have had a chance to evolve a mechanism for detecting when too much coconut oil, almond butter, or coconut flour has been consumed? I don’t.
  • Avoid snacking between meals. Admit it, before you learned how to make Paleo muffins, you rarely snacked between meals. And when you found out Larabars were Paleo? Fuhgeddaboudit. Even if you did snack a bit, the foods were less calorie dense and probably more nutritious."

          I still plan on using Paleo flours and nut butters in some of my recipes, but this is why you should not make them a main food group of your diet. Do not worry, there will be many more Paleo goodie recipes to come. Sticking to the main Paleo eating guidelines is the perfect way to go. Do not be afraid to add a little Paleo sweets in there every now and then, but try not to overdo it!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Making Paleo Shopping Easier and The Whole 30 Preview

          While reading the Crossfit Journal, they stated that keeping your buggy around the perimeter of the grocery store, while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Your body doesn't want to ingest foods with extensive shelf lives. You want to stick to the meats, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. I am doing a clean out of our pantry and refrigerator today to remove the rest of the secretly unhealthy foods in our house.

          I recently began the Whole 30 Challenge. It is not much different from my usual Paleo eating, with the exception of taking away my Paleo treats, such as pancakes, muffins, etc. It is simply more strict and tough for those with a Paleo sweet tooth like me! If anyone is interested in this challenge, or simply seeing some other foods and additives to avoid on a regular basis; here is a partial excerpt straight from the Whole 30 Program Website.

Our Whole30 Program, as outlined.
  • Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.
  • More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program;
  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial, alcohol or tobacco products, grains, legumes, dairy, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites, white potatoes, Paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life. 
                Also, a fellow Paleo Blogger/Crossfitter from our area, Dinah Houston, shared this photo on Facebook recently. These are a few hidden ingredients in foods that we all should try to avoid. I had heard about the dangers of a few of these ingredients before, but some of the warnings were new to me!

Dinah has many fantastic recipes on her site! Check out her blog for some yummy Paleo meals/snacks.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Scottish Eggs

          My mom made these for the first time last spring, and we always complained that they were not made enough! It is a great breakfast all mixed into one.

  • Dozen of eggs
  • 1 package of sausage (I used nitrate/hormone/antibiotic free from The Wild Ramp.)
  • 1-2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 c almond flour
  1. Boil 8-10 eggs over medium to high heat. Peel once they have cooked and cooled.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while you prepare your boiled eggs.
  3. Crack one egg into a large bowl. Add the sausage, almond flour, as well as the salt and pepper.
  4. Take an egg sized portion of sausage (perhaps bigger) and cover the outside of the egg. You do not want any part of the boiled egg to be visible. The sausage will still be sticky, even with the almond flour, but it will stay put if you mash them into a ball shape around the egg.
  5. Cook on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes. They will seem cooked on the outside, but you want to be sure to cut into them and check that the inside is done. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Sweet Potato Hash

          This was our dinner last night (and Tom's lunch today)! I saw many of the Crossfit Thunder ladies posting about making this, and Tom and I had to try it ourselves. I will be making this again later this week.

Ingredients: (Bacon Wrapped Chicken)
  • 1 package of all natural or free range chicken tenders/breast
  • 1 package of nitrate free bacon
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken tenders or breasts with the sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, olive oil, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Have one piece of bacon for every piece of chicken and wrap it around its width. I would wrap two pieces around larger breasts.
  4. Place in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. You are looking for the bacon to be crisp. Cut into the chicken to make sure it has cooked all the way through.

         This is a simple recipe that can spice up our regular chicken breasts! Now, on to the second part of our dinner.

Ingredients: (Sweet Potato Hash)
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 c white onion
  • 1 mango (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  1. Add the olive oil to a pan, and warm over low heat.
  2. Soften the sweet potatoes in the microwave then slice them into 1 by 1 inch pieces. Add to the olive oil in the pan.
  3. If you would like to make your hash a little sweet, slice a mango in the same 1 by 1 inch pieces. Add to the sweet potatoes.
  4. Cut the onion into fine pieces. Mix in the potatoes (and mango, if used). Increase the stove top to a medium heat.
  5. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the mixture, and continue to stir every few minutes.
  6. Cook until golden (fried) and then serve!

          This recipe is similar to the Butternut Squash and Apple Hash recipe, but you want to be sure that the potatoes become more golden brown to have a more crunchy texture. These will resemble fried potatoes more than the butternut squash. I will be posting many more sweet potato recipes for the other sweet potato lovers out there!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Butternut Squash and Apple Hash

  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 5 pieces of bacon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp olive or coconut oil
  1. Rinse the squash and apple with cool water.
  2. Chop both into 1 by 1 inch pieces. You may need to soften the squash in the microwave to make it easier to slice.
  3. Place a skillet over the stove and grease with olive or coconut oil.
  4. Add the butternut squash and apple. Cook over medium heat for ten minutes or until hash is tender. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  5. While the squash and apple is beginning to cook, add bacon to a separate skillet. I use nitrate free bacon found at Kroger.
  6. Once the bacon is crisp, remove from the skillet and crumble the throughout the squash and apple mixture.
  7. Add extra salt and black pepper if needed.
  8. Continue to cook the mixture until apple and squash is golden.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

         This is a great recipe for the breakfast lovers! It resembles fried potatoes, but tastes even better! It is a quick fix and makes around 8 servings that can last for days. If you are wanting to make a little extra, simply double the amount of squash, apple, and bacon, because I know this meal goes quick in my house.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What is Paleo?

          How would I sum up the Paleo Diet in a few words? Meat and vegetables with some nuts and fruit. The biggest issue that I have had with this diet is my own ignorance on what all is and is not Paleo. I would be eating what I thought met the guidelines then later discover that I could not have been more wrong.
          To be successful on the Paleo Diet, one needs to eat a lot of protein, fats, and some carbs from vegetables and fruits. As far as meat is concerned, grass-fed and antibiotic/hormone free meats are the best choice. Our local Kroger stores carry a lot of different types of these Paleo friendly meats. Also, there is a newer health store in Huntington, The Wild Ramp, which is located in Heritage Station. They have some grass-fed and antibiotic/hormone free meats, and organic veggies from local farms. Vegetables are very important in this diet as well. Nutrient dense organic veggies should be the main source, but I personally love my sweet potatoes. They are more starchy, so one may not want to eat as much of them. I still usually have a sweet potato in some form every workout day. Avocados, olives, coconut, and nuts are great sources of healthy fats. As far as fruits go, I eat them especially when I have a sweet craving. These fats and fruits are both good in moderation. Beverages are more limited; water, organic black coffee, and some organic teas.
          Foods to avoid on the Paleo Diet include: grains, legumes, sugar, processed foods, dairy products, corn, and all oils besides coconut or olive. While this list may seem small, these ingredients find their way into many foods that Americans eat every day. Premade dressings are almost always not Paleo, but you just need to check the ingredients to be sure. I have found a few organic sauces from stores online.
          I am not suggesting that every one follow a completely "strict" Paleo Diet. You need to do what is best for you and your body. It can be kind of pricey and difficult to find, and purchase, only organic meats and vegetables. It is also hard to discover how your food is made at restaurants and where it is from. My suggestion is that you figure out what foods you will and will not allow for yourself then try your best to stick to it. For example, many people still include dairy products and some whole, gluten free, grains. I recently have begun a completely strict Paleo challenge, because I want to see if there will be differences in how I look and feel. Listen to your body.
          Now, on to the first recipe of the blog! This was one of the first true "Paleo" recipes that my boyfriend, Tom, and I tried.


  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • A pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 5 or 6 large eggs
  • 1 package of meat of your choice
* We have used both ground turkey and ground beef. Also, they have organic tomato paste available at Kroger.

  1. Place a large skillet over a medium heat and use a little olive (coconut) oil to grease the surface of the pan. Chop the onions and bell peppers then add. Sauté for five minutes. Mix in the garlic and continue to cook until the vegetables become tender.
  2. Next, add whatever meat you have chosen. Allow to cook until brown.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste to the skillet, followed by the chili powder, paprika and cayenne pepper. Give the mixture a taste and add any additional spices, as well as the salt and pepper to your liking. Allow the mixture to simmer for around 5 minutes. You may want to lower the heat to prevent the mixture from boiling.
  4. Now crack the eggs into the skillet on top of the tomato mixture. Make sure they are spaced evenly. Cover the skillet and cook for anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. You will know when the dish is ready as the eggs will be white and no clear liquids will run.
  5. Once the eggs have cooked through, allow the mixture to set for a few minutes to set up. It should then be ready to eat!

          This is one of our absolute favorites to make, and we have tweaked it as we go. I would say this is a universal meal. It makes a good breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is just as great heated up. I know many people may not have time to make extravagant breakfasts, so Shakshuka can be a delicious breakfast to heat up in the morning.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Food, My Passion.

          In the past year, I have desired to be everything from a writer to a psychologist. I was interested in many different subjects, but I was clueless when I pictured where I really wanted to see myself in five years. I found my answer in one of the last places that I would have expected, Crossfit Thunder. Crossfit has been a big part of my life for almost twelve months now, especially this Crossfit box. Through my experience with this sport, I have made many incredible friends. One of the most important aspects of Crossfit is the diet. My mother first introduced the Paleo Diet to me last summer. At first, I thought it was nothing more than an obsessive new fad. Once I actually gave a few meals a chance, I realized that I had been missing out. For the past few months, I had been eating about 80/20 Paleo, give or take. Now, I have begun to make this diet a strict lifestyle.

           Most of the credit must go to a wonderful woman at my Crossfit box, Tiffany. She is a registered Dietician, a great Crossfitter, and an even better person. We had made small talk about healthy habits for months, and with each conversation, my interest grew. She is a strict Whole Foods eater. She has shown me the importance of not only eating according to the Paleo guidelines, but the benefits of trying to keep your diet organic and smart for your body. She is one of the best role models to have, and thanks to her, I have found something that I am truly passionate about. I am studying Dietetics thanks to these type of influences, and I could not have chosen a better field. I keep learning more about food and what is best for our bodies, and I can not get enough.

           Long story short, I created this blog in order to share my insight as I learn, my experiences, and most importantly, to share Paleo food ideas. Many people get discouraged with the Paleo Diet, simply because they run out of meals to try. I do not want that to have to happen to anyone again. I get many of my recipes from other blogs, websites, cookbooks, and the random ideas I come up with on my own. I would love for anyone with other recipes to please post them to the blog or send them to my email. I want to give you credit, and your recipes the spotlight!

In this blog, I have finally found the perfect combination for me; writing, food, and friendships.