Posts Tagged ‘grain free’

paleo-gaps-blueberry-cranberry-muffins

2014 has been a good year so far for me! My new years resolution was to get seriously committed to healing my body and to follow the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet with absolutely no cheating. I’m happy to say that I am on day 54 of the full GAPS diet. I’ve lost the Christmas weight, my acne has cleared up, my digestion has improved and I generally feel so much happier. Before Christmas I was doing a bit of an 80/20 split between paleo and just gluten free and was still experiencing acne, eczema, digestion issues, candida, leaky gut, hormonal imbalances, depression and anxiety. I knew I had to kick it up a notch if I really wanted to heal fully.

The GAPS diet is really focused around the connection between a healthy gut and a healthy mind. If the state of your gut health is bad, then you will almost definitely be experiencing some type of mental illness whether it be depression, anxiety, OCD, autism, to name a few. Your gut health can be affected by the Standard American Diet (SAD), pharmaceutical medications (particularly antibiotics and birth control pills), stress, candida, bacteria overgrowth and the list goes on.

For me, I know I have done a lot of damage to my body over the years that paved the way to being so sensitive, mentally and physically. When I was a kid I got severe eczema and was lathered up in steroid cream and petroleum jelly every night.

I developed PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) after puberty and was prescribed birth control pills (Diane 35) for acne and hormone imbalance. Birth control pills can alter gut bacteria, and not in a good way. I was experiencing emotional side effects from the birth control pills so my doctor at the time decided to put me on a low dose antibiotic for acne. I then took this antibiotic (Tetracycline) for up to a year, and the entire time I had a rash on my face. I didn’t make the connection until years later, but what happened was the antibiotics destroyed and wiped out all the good bacteria in my body/gut and without the good bacteria to fight off the bad, the bad stuff got out of control. The rash on my face was systemic candida showing itself.

After that, my body went into a vicious cycle of recurring infections which were then treated by antibiotics. This went on and on for years and at this point I had also developed pretty severe anxiety and depression.

I was managing the symptoms with pharmaceutical medications and was doing alright (or so I thought) until I moved to Vancouver and our house had mold in it. Within a month my immune system and digestion was thrown into overdrive. I was experiencing all my previous symptoms tenfold, plus more. Not only was I covered in eczema, but I developed severe allergies, food intolerances, systemic candida, leaky gut, and the list goes on. Lets just say I was a serious mess. More on that here >>

Anyways, back to the point of my ramblings. MY GUT WAS AND STILL IS in some serious need of TLC. You often hear about people who cannot heal with just the paleo or GAPS diet alone, well I am one of those people. Despite them being legal on the paleo and full GAPS diet, I still cannot tolerate too many nuts, eggs, and FODMAPs. So for me, these muffins I will be sharing are a once in a while treat!

This sucks right. But here is the good news, on this modified GAPS/paleo diet alone, I can treat and heal all these things I’ve been dealing with nearly half my life.

  • PCOS – acne, hormone imbalances
  • Eczema and skin rashes
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Allergies
  • Leaky gut
  • Digestion issues
  • Candida
  • Chronic recurring infections

And to me, living my life symptom free sounds way better than being able to eat whatever the fuck I want!

Get this too. As of Friday, this is the first time I have been pharmaceutical medication free since I was around 12. If anything positive has come out of all this (and a lot has) its that I have developed a deep passion for natural health and alternative medicine.

Boom. Now here is some delicious food fo yo taste buds! Despite these being refined sugar free, it is still good to eat these puppies in moderation. Because lets face it, sugar is sugar is sugar. Sadly 😦

Ingredients:

4 organic free range eggs
2 frozen bananas, thawed
4 tbsp coconut milk OR homemade yogurt (incubated at least 24 hours)
3 tbsp organic cold pressed coconut oil
1/8 cup unpasteurized honey (or for sugar free, ditch honey and add an extra banana)
1 tbsp pure good quality vanilla extract or powder
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
Frozen organic blueberries & cranberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 360F. Prepare a muffin tin with baking cups or coconut oil.

I used my bad ass food processor to whip these up but a blender would work too. Blend everything together until smooth, and then carefully fold in however many frozen blueberries and cranberries you like and pour evenly into 12 muffin cups. Bake for roughly 30-40 minutes (depending how much dough I eat before hand. Ugh I am so bad for that!) until starting to brown on top and toothpick comes out clean.Serves well with some melted butter on top 🙂

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This is one of those dishes that I have been making for a long time but never watched or wrote down the damn measurements! Yesterday I finally wrote down all the measurements while I cooked and it turned out particularly good so I think I finally perfected it. Sooooo… Now I can post it on my blog. Woooooo.

I love looking at non-paleo recipes and converting them to paleo. I knew this one was going to be good as soon as I came up with the idea.

Chow mein recipes typically call for soy sauce (which often contains both soy and wheat – not paleo friendly) but thankfully there is coconut aminos! It is both gluten/soy free and is a great healthy alternative.

Ingredients:

6 chicken thighs
4 tbsp organic butter + extra for frying chicken
1 bag broccoli slaw (340g – shredded broccoli, carrot and cabbage)
1/2 small white onion
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup coconut aminos
2 tsp unpasteurized honey
green onions

Instructions:

Fry chicken thighs in butter until fully cooked. At the same time, fry chopped onion, minced garlic and broccoli slaw on low-medium with 4 tbsp butter. Check and stir often as it can burn easily.

Chop and set aside chicken once cooked. Once vegetables are getting soft, add coconut aminos, honey and chopped chicken to the pan and fry for roughly 5 more minutes. Garnish with chopped green onions!

cacao_protein_balls

This started as one of those ‘how do I start using up all the food I have in my cupboards’ kind of situations. I had lots of cacao powder and Sunwarrior raw vegan protein powder, among other things.

They are incredibly easy to make, and I found them best served frozen or chilled otherwise they get a bit soft.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup raw almond butter
1 tbsp organic cold pressed coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp raw honey
5 medjool dates, de-pitted
1/4 + 1/8 cup raw cacao powder + extra for coating
1/4 + 1/8 cup raw Vanilla Sunwarrior protein powder
2 tsp raw maca powder

Directions:

In a food processor, mix all ingredients until smooth. If they are a bit too wet to roll, you could add more protein or cacao powder. And if they are too dry, add a bit of extra honey or coconut oil!

Roll into small balls and coat with extra cacao powder.

Freeze and eat frozen or chilled.

Boom.

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Since I posted last (a long ass time ago I know!) I have witnessed more and more of my friends and family adopting or at least researching and showing interest in the paleo lifestyle. I love it. For me this means that I get to talk about it more often and with more people! Score.

My boyfriend’s Uncle Al decided to try out the paleo diet after visiting and staying with us in Whitehorse this summer. I leant him two books that I got started with myself: The Paleo Solution and It Starts with Food. He read both and was convinced and eager to get back to Windsor, Ontario so he could clear out his cupboards and start fresh. I’ve actually asked Al to do a guest blog post on his paleo journey which will be coming soon.

My dad has recently picked up the paleo lifestyle and has lost roughly 30 pounds. He also lowered his blood pressure and has a ton of energy. The paleo diet frequently dominates our conversations these days. He’s the one sending me links to health related YouTube videos now!

Aside from Al and my Dad, my mom, brother and boyfriend are also interested. I also have numerous friends who either follow the paleo diet full time, or are researching and/or experimenting with it.

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the paleo diet being “just another trend” but I watched a great documentary recently called In Search of the Perfect Human Diet which basically illustrated that “if the paleo diet is a trend, then it’s a 10,000+ year trend”. What this means is that humans essentially ate the paleo diet right up until modern technology and increased population/demand (among other things) prompted us to start mass producing this shit we call food today… So if our ancestors ate this way for so long, it only makes sense that we should too.

There is so much research and information out there to support the benefits of the paleo diet. There is also a ton of motivating and inspirational paleo success stories out there. I think anyone who has done the research and/or experienced the benefit of the paleo lifestyle would agree that it’s the shit! Period.

Anyways, back to the purpose of this post… food!

Ingredients:

1 rutabaga
Roughly 2 tbsp coconut oil, butter or ghee
Sea salt

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Peel the rutabaga and slice into fries. In a large bowl, toss fries in melted oil/fat and spread on foil covered (or oiled) cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Flip fries and then turn the heat up to broil and continue baking for 5 minutes or so. Take out when fries have started to brown up on the sides.

Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and serve immediately!

P.s. these are delicious with any type of sauce 😉

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I always hear of people using a portobello mushroom as a vegetarian burger patty. It only seems appropriate to try it as the bun with a beef burger! Paleo style.

I also figured that adding homemade guacamole and nitrate free bacon would make it double awesome, and I was right.

I’ll give the ingredients for 1 burger so multiply as you wish!

Ingredients:

2 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1 all natural gluten free beef burger patty
2-3 slices tomato
2-3 slices nitrate free bacon, cooked
A healthy serving of homemade guacamole
a few rings of sliced red onion

Instructions:

BBQ both the portobello mushrooms (with stems removed) face down, as well as the burger patty. I found they take about the same amount of time, but keep an eye on the mushrooms and take them off when they suit your liking.

While those are on the BBQ, fry the bacon, prepare the homemade guacamole and slice the tomato and red onion.

Pile your mushroom high with your burger patty, bacon, sliced tomato, guacamole and red onion. Top with the other mushroom. Eat it like a regular burger, if you can fit it in your mouth!

You could try this with any other paleo friendly toppings too.

guac

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this before because this is one of my oldest recipes of all time! Since I came up with it, I have been making it at least once a week. It’s a classic.

Ingredients:

2-3 ripe avocados
1/3 cup chopped tomato
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 minced garlic clove
juice of 1/2 lemon
himalayan salt to taste
minced chives (optional)

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together in a food processor or put everything in a large bowl mash with a fork until you achieve the consistency you desire! Serve right away and top with minced chives (optional).

I like this dish served with paleo lettuce tacos, portobelllo mushroom burgers, and lettuce BLTs. And lets just be honest here, this shit is good with pretty much anything!

Enjoy 🙂

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First off, I have to say how sorry I am about slackin’ hard in the blog post department! Life gets so crazy sometimes, and important things get put on the back burner.

I think this recipe and the next (paleo portobello mushroom burger) will make up for my slacking! So, here we go.

I’m actually quite enjoying typing this out on my new bluetooth iPad keyboard. Now I can sit on the couch and watch shows while I post new recipes. No more excuses Tara! Today its Kitchen Nightmares. Man, these restaurant owners are unbelievable.

Now, onto the most important part… food!

The measurements I am giving here are based on one serving of salad, but the dressing makes enough for 3+ servings, so increase measurements for salad and dressing as needed.

Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups organic field greens and/or spinach
1 small tomato
1/4 cucumber
1 small avocado
2 tbsp red onion
3 slices bacon
1 small chicken breast

Directions:

Bake or fry your chicken breast until fully cooked. Fry bacon, dry on paper towel, crumble and set aside.

Chop tomato, cucumber, red onion and avocado as well as cooked chicken.

Fill large bowl with greens, chopped vegetables, chicken and crumbled bacon.

Dressing

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1 tbsp organic gluten free mustard
1 tbsp honey (unpasteurized)
salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small blender or food processor and blend until fully mixed. You can also use a small whisk in a bowl.

Pour as much dressing as you like over the salad and serve!

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It is really tough to find good paleo chocolate chip cookie recipes I find. I have to give credit for this recipe to Cupcakes OMG because I originally stumbled on the recipe based on a friends suggestion! I have made her recipe at least 3-4 times before and loved it. A few days ago, I wanted to make the recipe but I didn’t have any almond butter so I subbed in a mixture between coconut oil, butter and coconut flour and it turned out great!

I must admit, these cookies don’t stick together very well but I don’t care, I would seriously eat them with a spoon. Actually… I have.

You won’t believe the taste of these bad boys! They, quote: “Taste like regular chocolate chip cookies” – Liz from work. Boo yeah.

Ingredients:

1/3 – 1/2 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup unpasteurized honey
1/4 cup butter (organic)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 egg (organic)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (good quality, no added sugar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup enjoy life chocolate chunks

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325F.

Melt the butter and coconut oil and add to large bowl. If you are sensitive to dairy, you can use all coconut oil. To start, add 1/3 cup coconut flour (save remaining for end) as well as all remaining ingredients and mix together until smooth. The dough will be pretty thin, but if it is too runny, add the remaining coconut flour.

Divide dough out into about 9 cookies on an oiled baking sheet, or on parchment paper. Bake for roughly 14 minutes, but check them around 10 minutes. These have a tendency to burn easily so keep an eye on them. Once they have started browning nicely, they should be done! Put cookies on cooling tray until they start to firm up. They are sooooo good warm.

paleo chicken bacon soup

It feels like I haven’t posted for so long! Oh right, that is because I haven’t.

I actually came up with this recipe a long time ago, and had posted it on my facebook page before I had a blog. I went back and tried it and figured, why not post it now? It’s delicious!

One thing I tried differently this time was I added parsnips. This seemed strange to me at first, but I had seen it done online in a few other paleo chicken soup recipes. Why the hell not.

I would highly recommend using Chicken Bone Broth for the stock. It has all kinds of health benefits! Plus… its the bomb!

Ingredients:

7 cups chicken bone broth
6 chicken breasts
6-8 pieces of bacon
2 tbsp bacon fat
1 large white onion
4 garlic cloves
4 parsnips
6 large carrots
6 stocks celery
2 cups spinach
1 stock green onions
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

Directions:

If you are using chicken bone broth, you will want to start it 1-2 days before so you can slow cook it until you get all the good healthy stuff out of the bones!

Bake the chicken ahead of time, and cook until done. Also fry the bacon while the chicken is cooking and set aside. Save 2 tbsp of bacon fat. Yep, you heard right.

Put your bone broth in a large pot on the stove at medium-high heat. Peel and chop up your onion, garlic, parsnips, and carrots and add to the pot. Let boil for a bit until everything starts getting soft. Chop your celery and add it in along with the spinach, green onions, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper and let cook a bit longer until everything is soft. I find herbs can get intense pretty fast so I don’t use too much but feel free to add more basil and oregano.

Cut up your cooked chicken, crumble the bacon (if you haven’t eaten it all already. Ugh, I do that all the time) and add to the pot along with the bacon fat. Trust me, its delicious.

Serve right away or let cool and store in glass containers in the fridge for lunches!

seaksalad

Last week I was browsing the internet for paleo recipes and I came across a recipe for steak salad on the Health and Mojo website. I took some inspiration from this recipe and also made some changes and made it my own.

The salad recipe makes one serving, but the sauce recipe makes enough for roughly 4 salads so you can keep making them throughout the week! I fried up 4 wild deer chops so I would have leftovers for a few more salads too.

You could use any type of wild game, or even beef for this recipe.

Steak Salad


Ingredients: 

3 cups organic field greens
1/8 cup diced cucumber
2 tbsp finely diced red onion
1 small avocado, peeled and diced
1/4 cup diced tomato
1 steak, cooked (wild game or beef)
4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
chives, finely diced

Directions:

Fry up the steak while you are cutting the veggies and preparing the salad. Also fry the bacon and then dry and crumble it. Blend up your sauce when everything is almost done and serve immediately.

Garlic Herb Dressing


Ingredients:

1/3 cup olive oil
1 egg
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove
1 tsp organic, gluten free dijon mustard (or 1/4 tsp ground mustard seed)
4-6 fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine everything in blender and mix until it starts to thicken up. Keeps in the fridge for a few days. Pour roughly 1/4 of the recipe on top of your salad. Sprinkle chives on top!