Weekend breakfasts

I always like to switch things up on the weekend for my breakfast/brunch options. It feels more exciting and fun to whip up something new or interesting on a Saturday or Sunday morning as opposed to trying to squeeze in a new recipe find on a weekday morning.

Lately I’ve been recipe testing a lot of things I’ve found online (note: just because it’s online DOES NOT mean it’s a good recipe…I’ve been learning this a lot lately ;))

I’ve found a niche lately with morning omelets after making some of PaleOMG’s breakfast sausage! Such an easy, quick, delicious recipe. I made a batch last week and have been adding it to my omelets to punch up the eggs in the morning. Pairing that slightly spicy sausage with kale, spinach, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, and grape tomatoes is SCRUMPTIOUS!

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However, Sunday mornings tend to be big breakfast mornings in our house. Pancakes. Waffles. Eggs. French toast. Muffins. Toast. Etc etc etc.

Since going paleo (and finally getting myself off my smoothie everysingleday kick), I’ve wanted to join in on the fun so I try out recipes on Sundays for things like paleo waffles, paleo pancakes, paleo breads and muffins, and lately– paleo porridge/n’oatmeal/hot cereal!

Now, I know it’s only August still, but I LOVE FALL, and it’s been on the cool side for summer so whipping up a batch of quick n’oatmeal or porridge is a great morning option or cozy late-dinner option.

These are my current faves:

  1. I tried Coconut Porridge this morning and it is the closest thing to oatmeal as I think paleo can ever get! If I hadn’t made it myself, I would have thought it was made from oats! I am definitely planning to make it again, maybe even tomorrow! Yum yum yum
  1. The second my mom and I have been enjoying lately is fastpaleo’s Creamy N’Oatmeal. Again, tastes pretty much like oatmeal– similar consistency. Not JUST LIKE it, like the coconut porridge, but delicious and filling! This one has bananas in it, which sometimes bother my stomach so I only make this one sparingly, but it’s yummy and filling, especially topped with some homemade preserves and almond butter MMM

 

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Now that fall is coming, I’m on the lookout for more cool-weather recipes of all kinds– mostly pumpkin, but I’m up for anything! Hot cereals, autumnal/seasonal eats, etc.

BRING ON THE FALL!

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The blogger problem (and a summer recipe roundup!)

This always seems to happen to me

1. Get an idea to start a blog

2. Devote many weeks building up said blog, enjoying the thrill of the “new puppy/new toy” effect

3. Eventually peter off and abandon blog, forgetting why it was so exciting to blog

4. Remember about blog and think “I should start blogging again!”

 

This happens with almost every type of blog I decide to start. This dates back to my oh-so-embarassing xanga phase in high school and also includes a cool poetry blog I have also since abandoned (sad face!)

 

I’ve been cooking up A STORM over the past few months, especially the summer months and feel the need to share my experiences!
My boyfriend, Daryn, was here for the past 5 weeks, spending the summer out here with my family and myself. Long distance relationships aren’t easy, but when we get opportunities like that, they are incredible!

Having him here meant two things for me and the kitchen:

  1. I could experiment with new recipes and treats and Daryn would be well-fed (and healthily fed, for the most part– I cook paleo meals for him about 80% of the time he is with me and I know he appreciates it and I love knowing he’s eating well!)
  2. And I could serve him whatever I made and he would eat it! HAPPILY!

These two things allowed me to get crazy in the kitchen (and spend lots of money at the grocery store….but that’s another story….)

 

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PIctured above: 

  • PaleOMG Cinnamon Banana Waffles (not featured in the post below, but also scrumptious / my first paleo waffle recipe– check em out! Just google em!)
  • PaleOMG jam making! First try– amazing!
  • Practical Paleo Blueberry Lemon Muffins– so yum!
  • Bonus: I’ve taken to eating my almond butter & jelly on apple slices now. It’s like a better version of a sandwich and I suggest trying it

So here is a roundup of my favorite recipes as of lately:

  • PaleOMG’s Carrot Breakfast Protein Cake – this stuff is like CRACK cake, okay. I made it for breakfast this week and it’s so sinfully delicious, I feel like I’m a little kid sneaking dessert every time I indulge in a slice!
  • Civilized Caveman’s Paleo Banana Bread — this is hands down THE BEST banana bread recipe I’ve ever made, paleo and non-paleo alike. I’ve made it twice and I plan to make it again soon so I can test out new flavor combinations. The original banana plain variety is scrumptious and is great alone, with almond butter, with jelly, with coconut, grilled for breakfast, and surely as french toast if that’s your thing. I also made a cinnamon raisin walnut version that was wonderful!
  • Civilized Caveman Almond Butter Banana Pudding — as per Daryn’s request for banana pudding, I qhipped up this recipe. While it doesn’t have the exact consistency of normal pudding, it’s delicious all the same! It didn’t last long in this house…
  • PaleOMG Smoky Bacon Chili — easy, hearty, healthy, and delicious? SIGN ME UP! Made this last night for dinner for my parents and it was devoured! And it’s super easy to prepare. We love bacon in this family so bacon + chili was a no brainer!
  • PaleOMG Raspberry-Blueberry Jelly — this one is a GEM! I have now started making my own custom jars of jelly and am hoping to give them as gifts this Christmas and maybe even start selling them locally. That’s how DANG GOOD this jelly is! AND IT IS EASIER THAN COUNTING TO 100– okay, maybe not, but it’s stupid easy and delicious. Test it out. Try different flavor combinations. Win over family members. Champion at life :)
  • The Girl Who Went Paleo Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies (or as I like to call them, sticky pumpkin breakfast cookies ) — These are so daaaang delicious! As you can see, I’ve been making lots of treats ;) But I’ve wanted to try so many things and I had a willing audience to be my guinea pigs. Also, I’m still in the process of winning over a couple of not-so-sure-about-paleo family members and BOY did these do it! Sticky and gooey and mmm. Also– I’m obsessed with pumpkin things. And I know it only just turned August, but I’ve made more pumpkin things in the past 2 weeks than I maybe did all last fall so. This fall…LOOK OUT WORLD
  • Paleo Parents Spaghetti alla Carbonara — this recipe I can’t link to, as it’s in the Beyon Bacon cookbook, but I suggest getting your hands on the book or at least a copy of the recipe (ask a friend!) It was delicious! I typically eat everything so spicy I’m crying by the end of every meal AND I LOVE IT, so my taste buds were in for a change with this recipe. It wasn’t spicy at all– indeed it was savory and delicious though! It takes a bit to prepare and has a lot of steps and takes about an hour from start to finish, but it was a crowd pleaser at dinner that night!
  • Paleo Parents ELaD Waffles (Frozen Waffles) — Made these for breakfast one morning and now that I am armed with a waffle iron, it’s hard for me to not make waffles every morning! These are also great if you’re doing a 21DSD or just don’t prefer a super sweet treat. 
  • PaleOMG Pumpkin Waffles — okay these are HANDS DOWN my favorite waffle recipe. Ever ever EVER! Like I said: pumpkin obsession. I made them for myself one morning and I had to remind myself to only eat 1-2 servings because I wanted to save the rest for later and not feel like a fatty ;) HOWEVER saving them for later was an amazing idea because they work so well as a sweet bread alternative. I made an almond butter & jelly sandwich snack with these waffles and wow, never ever will I want to eat bread ever again (not that I did, but this made my decision to stay grain-free solid )
  • PaleOMG Lemon Poppyseed Waffles — while no pumpkin waffle, these were still delicious. My boyfriend loved them and they made the house smell incredible all morning! I want to try them out again and make them even MORE lemon-y so, lemon poppyseed waffles, I’m comin back for you!
  • Elana’s Pantry Lemon Poppyseed Mini Muffins — aside from being absolutely scrumptious, these little muffins are SO CUTE! I could probably pop 6 in my mouth in a row if I wasn’t exercising self control…..super easy, light, aromatic, and yummy! Boom. 
  • Practical Paleo Blueberry Lemon Muffins — my boyfriend really has a thing for this combination and when I had bookmarked a recipe and never tried it, the timing was perfect! These are the perfect balance of flavor and taste wonderful with some of that homemade jelly and even a swipe of almond butter! Mmmm. The recipe is from the Practical Paleo cookbook, which is a nice, started cookbook with informative charts, steps to becoming paleo, and tips and tricks for virtually any issue/concern
  • Roasted Broccoli or Caulifower — oh, something that isn’t a treat/cheat?? Yes. This one is a side dish that is too good not to pass along! I love broccoli, probably more than most people you’ll ever meet. But I was getting bored with just steamed or raw broccoli so I cracked open my Paleo Comfort Foods Cookbook and flipped through the pages I had flagged months ago and VOILA! It’s a nice change to roast that broccoli or cauliflower in some olive oil, pepper, and salt. Just slightly crispy and crunchy with some flavor? Yes please
  • And lastly, of course, another pumpkin recipe! PaleOMG’s Pumpkin Granola — HOLY WOW, this stuff was in the oven as I typed this and I just took it out and YUM YUM YUM I cannot wait for it to cool so I can eat a bowl of this with some ice cold almond milk. The first bite hooked me (not that PALEO PUMPKIN GRANOLA didn’t hook me initially, but that first bite– yowza) and I am going to have to hide this stuff from my family and myself so it lasts more than 24 hours…! EEP! PUMPKIN SEASON IS COMING! I AM READY!

That’s it for now, but know more roundups are coming! I haven’t done too many originals lately– just kind of throwing things together to make delicious dishes, but nothing formal lately. However, I am working on a little cookbook just for Daryn, as he requested some easy paleo-ish recipes that he can make now that he’s back home and cooking for himself again so maybe some more originals are coming…?

On a related note, if you don’t regularly check out PaleOMG and Civilized Caveman’s sites and/or social networking outlets, do yourself a favor AND DO IT!

Juli of PaleOMG is flipping hilarious! And her recipes never disappoint!!
George of Civilized Caveman is also a warm, friendly, witty dude (not that I’ve met him, but interacting with him via his website and instagram accounts gives me this impression. Plus, I witness the gracious, funny way he interacts with other paleo community members and I just know he’s the greatest dude around)

I also follow much of the activity that the Paleo Parents display on their various networking outlets, as well at Danielle over at AgainstAllGrain and Jenni @ theurbanposer! I get almost all my recipes from these wonderful, paleo resources, or else I just click around the internet and see if anything strikes my fancy!

 

 

Hope all is well and healthy
Best,

Stephanie :)

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Branching out

Between Instagram, wordpress, Pinterest, and all the other places I follow and find paleo and wellness and fitness and health tips and recipes, I’ve recently stumbled across a plethora of things that interest me– namely: NUT BUTTERS!

Now, as y’all can probably tell already, I love them! And seed-butters etc, the whole nine.
Since going strictly to the raw and sugar-less varieties, I’ve had some difficutly getting the right taste. Before I realized I had been eating ones with added sugars (yes, the “organic cane sugar” IS STILL SUGAR!) I was eating them by the spoonful and just enjoying every second of almond-y, sunbutter-y goodness!
But now that I only buy the raw, roasted, organic, and natural flavors, I’ve been wanting to branch out and try some new things….

I switched over to the raw almond butter and I CANNOT STAND IT!! Without that added sweetness, or at least sea salt, it doesn’t taste good to me at all unless I hide it in a smoothie…

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I switched to the roasted kind last week and it’s better than the raw, but I still can’t eat it alone or even dip my fruit in it– yuck, not my fave!

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So I went online today to browse through my other options.

I recently saw someone post about this thing called Nuttzo
I’d never heard of it, but it sounded awesome so I googled it and found it for a semi-decent price (there’s never really a great price for nut butters, unfortunately…)

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I ordered it and I should be getting it next week yay! It’s like an EXPLOSION of ingredients, but no additives or sugars and I cannot WAIT to try it!! And this is their only peanut-free product so hooray!! Just look all all that goodness packed in– ahhh!

 

I also ordered Trader Joe’s Hint of Sea Salt Almond Butter– which is EXACTLY how I like my almond butter! I’m hoping it’s good because I really have been in this love/hate relationship with almond butter lately….and I made sure to read all the labels before ordering anything to make sure I knew what I was buying and wasn’t going to get a surprise with any hidden sugars!

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Once these babies come in next week, I’ll be digging in asap! And hopefully I’ll be working on experimenting with some new recipes using these new products! Hooray spending money on things that will be worth it!

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Friday feels good

It’s Friday night. I worked today and drove all around doing a favor for my brother his afternoon and still squeezed in a workout before 8 pm! Phew– I’d say that’s a feat in and of itself!

As I was coming through town I spotted a sign advertising a 5k and 10k river run at the end of the month and I thought to myself “why didn’t I know about this AND WHY AM I NOT SIGNED UP???”

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So, on a whim, I registered! Maybe it was my solid workout despite my body being sore and trashed from the exertion I’ve put on it the past two weeks; maybe it was the killer breakfast for dinner scramble I whipped up for dinner; maybe it was the combination and the fact that these days I feel incredible about….life!

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Anyways, I signed up and I may have gotten my dad to join me! Ladies and gents, I call this a good day!

And now I shall resume my Friday night in with some old friends

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Who says you can’t enjoy a quiet Friday night in, watching animated films, in your comfy clothes, eating brinner?! ;)

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6 months

Today marks 6 months that I’ve been paleo! WOOHOO! *throws confetti and does jumping jacks*

This is an incredible point in my life and a cause for great celebration! 6 months ago I decided that I was going to focus on my fitness and overall health and I am so glad I took on the challenge. It had made me the happiest I’ve been in a long, long time

 

For those of you who don’t know much about my back story, I’ll briefly take this time to fill you in, as it pertains to my paleo and fitness journey

I have been battling an eating disorder for almost 5 years now. It’s a combination (EDNOS, as some call it– eating disorder not otherwise specified). At points I was anorexic, at points I was bulimic, and I have had a dangerous pattern of binge eating.
I’ve also dealt with all kinds of health issues in tandem– stomachaches, bloating, nausea, fatigue. These were all associated with my eating disorder and, consequently, how I dealt with it (which was not well)

I finally started to eat better and treat my body better by picking up an exercise routine and slowly trying to eat better.
However, it wasn’t until I officially decided to go paleo in tandem with doing p90x that things really changed and I saw massive improvements in my health and daily life!

 

Today, these are the things I owe to my personal dedication to my health and wellness over the past 6 months:

  • I have dropped 14 pounds
  • I rarely ever have stomach issues due to eating (and if I do, they’re nowhere near where I was for the past 5 years…)
  • I have gotten physically strong, fit, toned, and lean and can do things I never believed possible
  • I have reevaluated my relationship with food; this is probably my biggest feat. I no longer see food as the enemy, or feel that I need to exercise like a maniac to “punish” my body for eating. Rather, I enjoy eating and find joy in cooking and experimenting with new recipes and introducing myself to new and healthy food
  • I eat foods I never did before and never thought I would! The amount of healthy food I eat now astounds me and has made me reflect on my past eating habits and I am happy to be where I am now
  • I have discipline, strength, and good habits that will stick with me 
  • Above all else, I feel incredible and love the way I look and feel and am proud and glad that I decided to commit to my health and fitness

While I’m still in recovery (and probably always will be— eating disorders are always a battle and I accept that I realistically will be battling it a long time) and have my days that I sometimes get discouraged or frustrated, these last 6 months have changed my life and I hope to continue to enjoy this new lifestyle I’ve chosen to lead

And I want to thank everyone who supported me throughout this entire journey and those who will continue to support me! And all of you who have been with me the past few months through my blogging journey documenting my progress and recovery, thanks and I hope you stick around! :)

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Back in the kitchen

I feel like it’s been ages since I spent a solid amount of time in the kitchen cooking or baking…anything! Being out of town and then it being the holiday weekend, it seems like months when it’s really only been a few weeks since I’ve called the kitchen my domain

But this weekend I reclaimed my territory

Saturday was wildly productive! Not only did I knock out a 3 mile run (for the first time since November, I might add), but I also whipped up a new hybrid cookie recipe!
My boyfriend has been dying for me to bake him some treats and send them to him, but since he’s been working on cutting his sugar intake and I’ve been helping, we agreed I would make him either a clean eating cookie or a paleo one! Since going paleo, I haven’t made many cookies and the ones I have tried have been paleo and have been HUGE fails! Pre-paleo, I was the cookie queen and could basically wing it for any recipe to create something weird and scrumptious and new!
I managed to find a recipe that I adapted to make one of my best cookie creations yet…and it’s paleo(ish)

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I call these Daryn’s Trail Mix Cookies (now my boyfriend has a cookie named after him– lucky guy!)

For my base recipe, I found an awesome one over at tgipaleo.com

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To make my Trail Mix Cookies, I used this base recipe with Soy Nut Butter– they tasted JUST like peanut butter cookies, moist and chewy and “nutty!”
Yeah yeah, I know, the soy thing isn’t paleo, but shhh– you could use any nut butter and get a delicious cookie, I assure you!

My additions were as follows:

  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped raw almonds– for crunch!
  • 1 serving prunes (about 7 prunes)
  • Milk chocolate chips (I used whatever we had in the pantry– this is the only non-paleo part, but honestly, the chips weren’t even necessary! I ate around them)

I adjusted my time to 12 minutes and baked on 350, which produced a perfectly browned and moist, chewy cookie
I KNOW I’ll be making these again– and keeping them for myself ;)

 

 

 

Today I whipped up a quick lunch after church. I’d had breakfast earlier, but Sundays always seem to make me crave breakfast food all day long…
So I threw together a quick brunch scramble using:

  • 2 eggs
  • Oven roasted thick carved turkey breast
  • Extra lean ham
  • A splash of almond breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup of raw spinach
  • 1/3 of a tomato
  • And PLENTY of pepper, sea salt, adobo powder, chili powder, and crushed red peppers– I like everything with a KICK!

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And of course, a sliced pear on the side!

This weekend has been wildly productive, healthy, and fit. I feel incredible and am happy with everything in my life right now. Paleo power, y’all! Am I right???

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A blizzard for a sunny day!

As in the dessert blizzard, that is!
It was 50+ degrees yesterday and G O R G E O U S here in Illinois where I’ve been all week for “spring break.” My boyfriend and I spent all day outside (he working on his motorcycles, me reading and laying in the sun)

Weather like this makes us crave ice cream-y treats (well, I always crave ice cream, but that’s beside the point)
Yesterday afternoon we took a walk and passed a tasti-freeze type stand and I got a wicked craving for greasy, sugary goodness, but alas, we refrained!

So instead, I whipped up a treat for us that I’ve been planning to make all week and hadn’t gotten to yet. Finally yesterday seemed like the perfect time to make it!

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I’ve been learning that there are some really amazing vegan recipes that are also paleo or can be adapted to be paleo and this one fits the bill!

I found the recipe on pinterest and knew we had to try it

I modified it slightly. Now, I’m pretty weird about texture. The whole protein balls IN the blizzard was….odd for me, and for my boyfriend as well so we decided to just throw everything together and drink it like a healthy, delicious shake/smoothie/ice cream freeze instead, which is basically what it is!

Here’s my modifications:

  • Like I mentioned above, I just tossed everything together instead of making the little balls and putting them in for texture
  • We bought sea salted cashews instead of raw which added a hint of a salty-sweet flavor combination
  • Instead of coconut milk, I subbed an equal amount of vanilla unsweetened almond milk, as a personal preference
  • And I also didn’t add any extra sweetener like honey, agave, etc because I think that the dates and bananas make things sweet enough– I’ll pass on anything added!

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Mmmm this blizzard was delicious! You could drink it with a straw or eat it with a spoon– her tip of putting it back in the freezer for a bit was great! Made it that much better! That one needed a spoon, for sure, but we devoured our treats! I know I’ll be making this treat again (or just modifying my morning smoothie one day to have this as a guilt-free treat!)

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