Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Eating Enough...

Getting enough calories can be a challenge for me.  Well sort of.  I don't eat grains, dairy, sugar, or legumes, so that limits the types of calories I am getting.  I don't eat snacks usually.. they mess up my blood sugar levels and then I get crazy cravings.  I exercise.  My body needs some good wholesome fuel intake.  So how do I maximize the good stuff, stay satiated and satisfied?

Here's the low down. I eat at meals.  I eat a LOT.  I'm serious.  When I started eating this way I looked at all the food on my plate and thought there is no way I can eat all this.  I did.  And amazingly I wasn't hungry until the next meal.  My blood sugar levels stayed stable.  I was good.  Life is great with big glorious meals.

How do I get enough calories?  Besides eating a lot?  Whole 30 was my inspiration for my meal planning.  Here is a link to their synopsis of what and how much to eat.  Their easy images helped me figure out portions to begin with.  And YES, eat all the healthy fat you can.  The fat makes a HUGE difference.

It is a little embarrassing to admit, but here goes.  I eat eggs and bacon almost every day for breakfast.  4 medium eggs or 3 extra large eggs-- JUST FOR ME :)  Fried in 1 Tablespoon (sometimes more) of coconut oil.  Topped with 1 Tablespoon (or more) of crumbled bacon (I buy the Costco bag).  Liberally sprinkled with salt and pepper, it is my breakfast of champions.

I ignore my own advice every morning and skip the the veggies-- unless I feel like adding in some peppers and tomatoes and onions to my eggs.  I eat breakfast at 7:30 and this keeps me full and satisfied until lunch at noon... Even with a good hour workout between those meals.

Each day I pack a baggie of veggies.  Celery, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes... whatever I am in the mood for. Your average sandwich zip bag can hold 2- 2 1/2 cups of veggies.  That is a good start to your lunch.  I eat my daily celery with a little serving dish of almond butter for some good fat.

I also pack a baggie full shredded, unsweetened coconut.  Plain coconut takes a while to chew, digest and process in your body.  It is relatively low in calories when you think about how long it takes you to eat it.  I  mix in a small handful of almonds with my coconut to get some extra crunch.

I add to the veggies and coconut/almond mix my "protein" rich main dish.  Jarred chili, lunch meat sandwich, leftovers from the night before.  Whatever strikes my fancy.

If I am still a little hungry, I'll finish off my meal with a small piece of fruit and a hard boiled egg.

I try not to eat snacks too often.  If I am really hungry, I'll eat what I wasn't able to finish at lunch time.  Or I'll eat a breakfast type food.  Pumpkin pancakes, veggie & fruit smoothie (with extra amino acids) or some "Granola."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dinner Time Tips

How I serve dinner. (Steak & Potato Salad)
Anyone can eat a healthy dinner and still feed their family well too.  Here are a few tips that have kept my family happy while I eat what I need too.

  • Serve things separately:  I mix together the things I can eat and serve the rest in separate  dishes.  The kids can pick what they want to mix together on their  plate.  We all can eat and enjoy without the fighting.  It helps a lot with my picky kids to tell them they have to pick a protein and a veggie to put on their plate.  The rest of the food is optional.

  • Modify your favorite foods: We love curries and stir fries.  But my standby recipes had flour and food starch.  My family has been able to adapt to not so thick sauces.  I omit the thickener called for in the recipe, and just let the liquids evaporate.  The sauces aren't as finger licking thick, but the flavor is still amazing.

  • Plan for lazy mom days.  When I am pinched for time, or I emotionally or physically can't cook a good meal (those days happen to us all!), I buy my kids $5 pizza or cook up some boxed mac and cheese, and I just eat some good for me leftovers.  Yup, laziness happens.  PLAN FOR IT!  and you won't be tempted.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pumpkin Pancakes-- Revisited

If you're a regular you'll remember my apple pumkpin pancakes.  They are great when I feel like really working, but on mornings or afternoons when I am more, well, lazy, this variation of pumpkin pancake is a great fix.

There is some apple sauce and banana pureed into the party and some coconut and almond flour help keep this pancake less eggy and give it a heartier texture.

Pumpkin Pancake Part 2
1 banana
4 eggs
1 cup pumkin puree
1/4 cup applesauce
3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup almond flour
2 Tablespoons coconut flour

Puree all the ingredients together in a blender.  Cook pancakes on a greased griddle over medium to medium low heat.  Flip pancakes when the bubbles solidify.. about 2-3 minutes per side.  These guys take a little longer to cook than regular pancakes.  Don't fret if  one falls apart as you flip it.  It happens to the best of us.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Steak and Potato Salad

Dinner at my house starts out like this...    and ends up like this.

I'm a modified "paleo" eater and my family is typical American.  So working together in the kitchen to cook for for all of us takes a little planning and preparation.  This meal, Steak and Potato Salad, is great for the whole family.  The ones who love their grains chow down on them.  Me, I turn everything into a salad or a wrap.  It works for us.

This recipe I modified from an old Pampered Chef cookbook.  The recipe calls for cooking it all on the grill, but I have to be a little difficult...

Steak and Potato Salad
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 lbs boneless beef steak, cut 3/4" thick
3 tablespoons balsamic vinager
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 lb potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 onion, sliced
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
6-12 cups romaine lettuce (varies by family)

Fire up the grill.
Combine garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper into a paste.  Spread all but one tetaspoon of the mixture onto the steaks; set aside.   Stir together the garlic mixture with the vinegar, olive oil and mustard.  This will be your dressing.

Brush the potatoes with 1 tablespoon coconut oil.  Cook steak and potatoes on the grill, uncovered for 13-16 minutes, or until the steak is cooked to desired temperature, and the potatoes are tender.

I like to sautee my onions on the stove, while the meat and potatoes are cooking on the grill. Heat up a skillet and melt the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil.  Sautee the onions until they are tender and sweet.  I add a pinch of salt just before serving.

Bring everything to the table and let the family eat as they desire.

Menu Ideas

Steak & Potato Salad
I've had a couple friends say, how can you do this?  What do you eat?  Easy answer... Food.  But really they are asking what is my menu like.  How have I incorporated my "clean," "free" food into my family's lifestyle without causing immense pain for everyone involved.

So this what works for me.  My kids eat cereal and sandwiches and typical "american" food for breakfast and lunch and snacks.  Dinner we eat my style.  Yeah they like pasta, and I won't lie.  Pasta is a quick meal for the family.  If we are going to eat pasta for a dinner they eat it and I serve the "good for you" sauce separately for me.  They like dinner.  I eat food that is good for me.  Win Win.

Most of the time, I can cook a dinner without having to cook two meals.  I simply have to be smart about not combining ingredients, and cooking/serving some things separately.  If I am cooking Chinese food, I keep the rice on the side and I just eat the chicken and veggie stir fry with the yummy good for my body sauce.

Ready to check this out? Here we go...

Now honestly, I don’t eat with this much variety.  I almost always eat eggs and bacon for breakfast.  You might like more variety though so here are things that I toss in when I want a little change.

If you want more information about how I incorporate healthy fats and snacks, check out this post.

In the next few days I will link up my recipes to this menu.  Happy Eating and thanks for your patience as I type everything in.

Eggs & Bacon
Lunch Meat Lettuce Wrap
Asian Lettuce Wraps & Egg Rolls
Coconut Porridge
Hard Boiled Eggs
Tacos (Salad for me)
Pumpkin Pancakes
Tomato Soup
Malibu Chicken with roasted peppers & onions
Fruit & Veggie Smoothie
Sweet Potato Fries
Meatball Subs*


Caribbean Pork Roast

Japanese Curry

Coconut Curry

Sausage Peppers Penne*

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Buffalo Chicken

Pan "fried" Buffalo Chicken, no sauce

Who doesn't love a good buffalo chicken salad, wrap or sandwich.  This recipe works for all applications and is sugar, gluten, grain and additive free.

The chicken is delicious with or without the sauce. Serve it with a salad (with bacon and pineapple YUM!), as a wrap or just eat it before it gets to the table for dinner... I won't tell.

Buffalo Chicken
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breast pieces
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon coconut flour (optional)

Buffalo Chicken Salad
Toss the spices in a large zip bag and combine.  Cut chicken into small strips.  Toss chicken into the bag and shake to coat the chicken in spices.

Preheat the oven to 425.  Bake coated chicken for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.

You can also pan fry the chicken for an amazingly delicious seared crust, but I don't always want that hassle.  It is fast and easy to toss it all into the oven and multitask while it is baking.

Buffalo Chicken Sauce optional
3 teaspoons hot sauce (AKA Tabasco)
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon lemon
salt and pepper

Combine ingredients.  Toss over cooked chicken.