All things food: health and nutrition, books and blogs, recipes and results all set to the backdrop of my own journey feeding and loving this body I'm in!

Paleo Experiment Day 8 April 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bridgesfoodventures @ 6:23 pm
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Yesterday I waxed on about how amazingly energized I feel with a little meat in my system after years of (mostly) abstaining.  I rec’d loads of responses, comments, and questions via email, Facebook, etc.  First of all, I’d like to ask my readers to please subscribe if you’re not already, as it will ensure that you stay caught up, and also, that you consider posting your comments here so we can get a real discussion going.  Okay, enough housekeeping!

Today, I want to reflect and remind myself about balance.  I generally avoid any and all eating plans that have a name, which is why it took me so long to give in to Paleo despite how much its concepts coincided with my food choices and my body’s needs.  There is danger in prescribing to eating plans with names because they can represent a host of “supposed to’s” and a move away from listening to our body’s needs but towards listening to an other as expert.  The core of my coaching philosophy is about helping us tune in to ourselves, not how to follow the latest prescriptive diet.  I feel great on Paleo and I still insist that DIETS DON’T WORK.

This meat feels awesome to me because I am deficient.  Raw vegan feels amazing when we first take it on as an experiment because we are toxic and really needed the clean out.  The truth is, I may eat like I am now indefinitely, or I may find in a few months that I am eating meat a couple of times a month or week.  I may be experimenting with adding in certain gluten-free grains again and discover, from the inside, how they make me feel.  The 30 day experiment, however, is valuable to me because it takes some time to see how a new way feels.  Certain immune responses can take up to a couple of weeks to show up after eating said allergen, and it takes the body time to learn to reboot its fueling system from primarily plant sources to animal sources.

While I am eating “Paleo” I am holding steady to the process of listening.

On to the nuts and bolts, I thought some of you might be interested in what a “day in the life” might look like:

Morning smoothie:  Frozen blueberries, almond milk, whey protein, broccoli sprouts.

Mid morning:  Dandy Brew liver cleansing coffee substitute with a couple of tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk and a few drops of chocolate liquid stevia.  (don’t forget to visit to look for specialty products on my store).

Lunch:  A salad of romaine, celery, shredded clean chicken breast, olive oil, and Frank’s Red Hot.  A few bites of a raw, vegan, nut-based cannoli (I know, it was amazing, thanks Raw’r Laboratories).

Afternoon snack:  about a TBSP of cashew cacao butter (homemade)

Dinner:  Hungarian Mushroom Soup from Andrea Livingston at Phytofoods. With Paleo Bread.

On this plan I am finding myself less hungry and eating less frequently than I was before.  When I DO get hungry, I don’t experience my typical feelings of shakiness, panic, irritability, and cloudy thinking, but simply feel hungry.  It’s a pleasant change.

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Magic Cinnamon Rolls April 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bridgesfoodventures @ 8:37 pm
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So this morning (Easter Sunday) I set out to make these Cinnamon Rolls from Paleo Perfectly.  We don’t do the whole easter basket routine anymore, but I still wanted something special, so I woke the family with fresh, hot cinnamon rolls delivered to bed! Of course I had to tinker with the recipe some, so I’m including my version.  Not only were they fabulous, but I liked them better than any standard cinnamon roll I’ve had.  Also, they were simple enough to have them finished by the time everyone else woke up!

Preheat your oven to 350, then make the dough.  In a large bowl (I used my kitchen aid with regular mixer attachment), combine:

1 egg

1 flax egg (1/4 c warm water with 1/2 tsp flax meal)

1/4 melted ghee

1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Then Add:

2 1/2 c almond flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

Turn the dough out onto a large sheet of parchment, cover with a second sheet of parchment, partially flatten into a rectangle, and roll it out with your pin between the parchment until it’s a little bigger than 9×13, and between 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Make the filling:

3 Tbsp melted ghee

2 Tbsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp granular coconut sugar

1 Tbsp coconut nectar (or maple or honey, but a liquid sweetener).

Spread this filling evenly over the dough. It’s a little dry to spread evenly.  I globbed it on in evenly spaced dollops, then smoothed it out, being sure to get it to the edges, especially the shorter edges.  Sprinkle with:

1/4 to 1/2 cup ground pecans

Beginning with a long edge, using the parchment to help you, roll it into a nice log.  Slice into about 1.5 inch pieces, mine made 8 pretty small cinnamon rolls.  Pop in the oven and bake 17-20 minutes, until beginning to turn golden.  While it’s baking, whip of the frosting.  The frosting was AMAZING!  I made it up, but I think it will be the beginning of whole new approach to dairy and sugar free frostings.  seriously.   You’ll need the following ingredients:

1/3 cup maple syrup, gently warmed

1 1/2 tsp arrowroot, whisked into the maple

about a 1/3 cup of melted coconut butter (not oil).

 I warmed the maple and whisked in the arrowroot by placing it in a small stainless bowl over the oven vent while they were baking.  Not sure if this mattered to the ultimately perfect icing or not, but at least use it a room temperature. I added the warm, melted coconut butter a little at a time until it suddenly all thickened a bit and became more opaque.  Besides being a different color, it was the actual consistency of a traditional, creamy icing.  Spoon the thickish icing over the hot rolls and serve.  I will be amazed if they make it till lunch time.  I didn’t photograph these, but the family is lobbying for a batch next weekend, so who knows, I may be adding a photo VERY soon!


My Paleo Experiment–Day 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — bridgesfoodventures @ 8:57 am
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Today is day 7 of my 30 day experiment of eating “Paleo“.  I generally distance myself from any diet prescriptions, because as an Intuitive Eater (IE) I prefer to take my queues about what best nourishes me from my body than from books or experts.  I also am in the business of helping others learn to listen to their own bodies’ internal messages and to do away with the diet paradigm altogether in favor of a more organic approach to nourishing themselves.  So what’s a lady like me doing going Paleo??

On my IE journey, I am continuously learning more and more about what foods make my body feel its best and thrive.  Approaching this work form an IE perspective, grounded in self-love rather than the body hatred that tends to drive the diet industry, changes I make really stick.  The first thing that happened was that I stopped eating dairy for real (disclaimer, I’m a 90:10 girl, so when I say stop, I mean 90% of the time) after years and years of going on and off of the stuff.  Once I really understood that it made me feel like crap, that was it.  Sugar and it’s buddy alcohol came next, followed by gluten.  Through these changes, I fell back in love with cooking and with food.  I never let myself feel deprived.  My sleep improved, my energy and libido improved, my ears stopped itching, my poops became regular, and I had fewer stomach aches.  Any revisits into these foods, and I quickly was reminded of the connection between what I ate and how I felt.  A few things were stubbornly not changing, I was still experiencing hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, and weight-loss resistance, and very high fasting blood sugar (95 at last check).  In other words, I still wasn’t maintaining stable blood sugar.  Frequent, evenly spaced, sugar-free meals high in fat/fiber/protein would work for most to reverse this circumstance, but in my case, it wasn’t enough.
When searching the web for great new gluten, dairy, and sugar-free recipes I have often been led to Paleo sites, because Paleo fits the bill.  In my perusing, I learned more and more about the Paleo lifestyle.  I still sort of hated it.  I kept equating it with Atkins in my mind, and with the diet industry in general, and with bloggers obsessed with getting tight asses and six packs.  At a major nutrition conference I had the pleasure of listening to sessions fromMark Sisson, author of the Primal Blueprint, and Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat.  Both of these really got me making some more connections between what I was learning and the condition in my own body.  As a pescatarian, I was getting a tad of my protein from fish, but the majority from high quality grains and legumes (again, these are great for many of you).  This was leaving many of my meals still apparently too high in carbohydrates for MY BODY to minimize insulin production.  So I decided to ride the paleo train and take them up on the notion of a 30 day experiment and see how I’d feel.
There are no before pictures, or before measurements.  For me it is critical to maintain my focus on wellness, and to keep my measures of a food’s impact on me INTERNAL.  Anyone who has dabbled in disordered eating or IE knows that scales and tape measures can send us spiralling into the depths of unconscious eating and external measures of what is good enough. 
So, if there is to be any real assessment, it will come in the form of the qualitative narrative.  Now that I am on day 5, I see that this is quite the potent experiment and worth sharing, so I’ll be updating regularly.
PALEO Day 5:  This week I bought and prepared clean chicken, grass-fed beef and bison, all for the first time, after 20 years of being mostly veg.  Each time I prepared meat I was HILARIOUS!  plastic gloves, permanent disgusted scowl, discarding more chicken parts than I was willing to eat to end up with NO WEIRD COLORS OR TEXTURES!  Every time I was cooking I was thinking “this was a horrible idea.  this is disgusting, I am handling chopped up muscles, I can’t do this!”  Then I tried my first meatball in 20+years and I was sold.  I devoured six of them.  On theNight of the Red Meat I had a level of energy I had only previously experienced either in my 20’s or immediately after leaving a Micheal Franti and Spearhead show.  I was PUMPED!  My husband and I both experienced some cloudy-headedness the first couple of days.  Mine cleared up fast, his continued…so he’s getting more fruit and startchy veggies, while I’m keeping pretty low there.  One of the most notable differences:  I am so much less hungry. I am experiencing no cravings, no yearnings (granted I baked Paleo Bread, and Coconut Bars to be proactive).  I used to always always always get starving at 10 am.  I am not anymore (and my breakfast hasn’t changed!).  I used to snack in the evenings, I don’t anymore.  Last night, I only had a snack instead of dinner because I just wasn’t very hungry.  And the interesting thing is, I have already been eating a diet rich in nuts and oils, with plenty of protein.  The only difference is the switch to more animal proteins (although eggs never made me feel so, so…satiated.  All I can say is, so far so good.  Stay Tuned for regular updates!