Paleo Pecan-Crusted Shrimp Cakes

This recipe was inspired by my friend Sara’s amazing looking crab cake recipe. I tweaked it based on what I had at home because I needed to cook a lot to prep for this weekend. Check her recipe out on her Instagram. Here’s what mine looked like:

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Here’s how I tweaked it because I was too lazy to go shopping 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Around 15-20 shrimp deveined, tail removed, and chopped into small pieces
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • Cumin
  • Thyme
  • 1/3 cup Tessamae’s Lemon Chesapeake
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 small yellow onion chopped finely
  • 4 bundles of green onion chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of pecans; chopped finely
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients with the exception of 1 egg and your pecans. 
  2. In a bowl, whisk your second egg to serve as your egg wash.
  3. Make cakes with your mixture and dip into egg wash and again into chopped pecans.
  4. Fry in coconut oil at medium heat for about 3-5 minutes each side. (Sara suggests that it’s okay if these are a little burnt and I found that to be incredibly true and helpful! Having them a little crispy allowed for them to hold better.)
  5. You could serve this over salad or just eat as is 🙂

 

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Paleo Roasted Lemon Plantains and Plums

Yum. These are so stinkin’ good. I usually make sweet plantains because I love bananas, but I wanted something a little tart. If you’re not a fan of tart you can always add some stevia or honey (if you’re not on WLC). I think this makes for a perfect breakfast or side with some chicken or pork chops. 

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Ingredients:

  • 3 over-ripe plantains
  • 2 black plums
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil; melted
  • Sea salt
  • Juice of a quarter of a lemon

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice your plantains and cut your plums into wedges.
  3. Add your plantains first to a glass baking dish and drizzle coconut oil and sea salt.
  4. Add your plums and squeeze your lemon.
  5. At this point, if you aren’t a fan of tartness, you can add your stevia or honey. I chose not to 🙂
  6. Toss your mixture and bake for 25 minutes or until plums start to wilt. 
  7. Serve cold or hot! 

**Another suggestion I have for added sweetness is to caramelize your plums before adding them to your dish. Just saute them in a fry pan with coconut oil and pour juices over your plantains before roasting. 

Let me know how you enjoy this 🙂

Garlic, Bacon & Chive Mashed Cauliflower (Paleo/Primal/AIP/Whole30/WLC)

I don’t have too long of a post to share today because we were dumb and didn’t take pictures of our beautiful dinner. Some friends of ours had us over for a delicious paleo meal and the heat game. We had pecan crusted chicken with pesto zoodles and I made garlic bacon and chive mashed cauli and brought two bottles of cab. (Which we polished off before the end of the game.) She sent me the recipe so I will certainly be making it again and will share with all of you. 

I had never made mashed cauliflower prior to last night and I am an unfortunate soul without a food processor so I did not even think I would be capable of making it. I do, however, have a Nutribullet at my disposal which ended up working perfectly. I noticed there weren’t many recipes for mashed cauliflower using anything but a food processor, so I made one up myself!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • splash of vegetable broth
  • splash of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp of minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of chives; chopped
  • 5 strips of crispy bacon; crumbled

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 395 degrees. Then put your bacon in for about 10-15 minutes or until very crispy.
  2. Chop your heads of cauliflower into small chunks and put into microwavable dish with about a 1/2 cup of water at the bottom. Put in the microwave for around 8-10 minutes or until soft.
  3. Let cauli cool for a few minutes. Then add bits to your nutribullet with garlic, coconut milk, and vegetable broth. You only need a splash of each. ( Not all of my pieces fit into the bullet at a time, so you may need to repeat this process 3-4 times until you’ve got a nice serving size.) Blend until smooth or the consistency you like.
  4. Add your chopped chives, salt, pepper, and bacon bits to the cauliflower. 
  5. Serve hot!

** I suggest taste testing along the way. You might want to add a little of your bacon fat into the mixture for additional flavor. I personally like mine to be a little on the salty side, so I kept adding bacon and salt until I got a flavor I like. These are very versatile!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

Wednesday Trend-Day (& some extra fun updates!)

Hello loyal, wonderful blog readers 🙂 My usual frequent postings have dwindled to about once a week this past week! School is in full swing and I am feeling the stress, but trying to keep my eating as effective as possible. Before I tell you about my trend for this week, I want to fill you in on all my happenings!

I (accidently) outted my wonderful friend Chelsea’s fitness/food blog on my Instagram, so since I’ve already embarrassed myself in that light, I will continue to obnoxiously support her (maybe against her wishes) on my blog 🙂

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I probably don’t even have to tell you how hilarious and talented she is. You’ll be able to see for yourself! Check out more awesome paleo/primal recipes and follow her fitness journey here. SPEAKING of Chelsea’s great blog, I made her recipe for Sweet Potato Frittata and it was absolutely delicious. I added ground italian sausage to mine and it was to die for. In fact, I had it for dinner and then ate leftovers for breakfast the next day! It reheats perfectly and Andres scarfed it down.

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Memorial Day Weekend was so much fun that I have found myself desperately trying to relive it during my work week. (yawn.) I was academically productive which is always nice and Andres and I both had Monday off which meant we got to participate in our gym’s annual Memorial Day Murph WOD. Thanks to an awesome group of girls who pushed me along the way, I finished in 52:11 and about dragged my lifeless body through that last mile. Did any of you Crossfitters or HEWers do Murph last weekend?

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It was a really great time and I loved seeing our gym so packed. Needless to say, my legs and arms are shot and I haven’t stopped hobbling around in my heels at work, nor have stairs or sitting on the toilet felt all that great.

After our crazy WOD, we decided we had earned some beers and BBQ and had some really awesome people over to celebrate. We even stuck with our diets and used some Tessamae’s BBQ sauce, campfire sweet potatoes, grilled pineapple, incredible fresh caught Mahi from friends of ours, Applegate hot dogs, and burgers. Some non-compliant deliciousness included mimosas, beers, and (the boys’ favorite) strawberries and blueberries soaked in Fireball whiskey.

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My beautiful friends and my favorite grill master 😉

Okay, onto the trend! On my way to work today I wanted to stop and grab a kombucha so I went to Fresh Market. (I swear Fresh Market doesn’t pay me to advertise for them. It’s just a 5 minute ride from my office!) I was in the mood for a sweet snack, so I picked up a Pecan Pie Larabar and, alas, on my way to the register I saw these beautiful containers of coconut dusted dates (WHAT!?)

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I will not even TRY and pretend like $5.99/lb is an acceptable price for these suckers, but, man, they are good. (Just not to be eaten in handfuls!) In my defense, those sneaky Fresh Market employees turned all the labels around and I had already started salivating before I saw the price, so I was done for. If you’re on Whole Life or just looking for a compliant sweet snack, check these out. Don’t be intimidated by the bulk section in this store. Typically, I get coconut flakes in bulk for serioulsy $1.75 in a container this size. (I also realized that you can get to-go coffee from Fresh Market for $1! Now they need to step their almond milk game up.)

What’s your favorite natural foods market or grocery store? I want to know about others in different states! I am a deprived health-food lover in Florida, so I need suggestions on places to visit 🙂

 

 

 

Paleo Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

I am so excited to share this recipe with you all because I am not the greatest baker on earth, but I think this banana bread turned out fantastic! (And I’ve gotten several compliments on it!) Image

Yield: 1 medium sized loaf pan

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium brown bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grass fed butter melted (or you can use coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your loaf pan
  2. Combine your eggs, bananas, butter, and almond butter in a bowl and mix until smooth
  3. Add coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon and mix thoroughly. 
  4. Add mixture to your greased loaf pan and smooth evenly. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top and swirl using a knife.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes and let 15 minutes to cool. 
  6. Serve warm with butter and coffee 🙂

Wednesday Trend-Day

I am so excited to post today! I have so many great things for you guys! First of all, of course it is Wednesday Trend-Day…I had so many products that I wanted to share, that I decided to do a mass post with about nine of them. Get ready! 

The reason I’ve chosen these particular products to share is that I am fairly certain that many of the readers of my blog are currently participating, have participated, or are interested in participating in the Whole Life Challenge. All of the products posted below are 100% WLC compliant.

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1. La Croix Sparkling Water- Orange: (Pronounced: Luh- K-wah) I could drink this stuff by the gallon. If you’re an avid soda drinker and you’re having trouble making the switch to something more health conscious, this will be your vice. I love the orange flavor and I also really love the coconut and the grapefruit (pample-mousse). If you’re detoxifying from a binge (see my post on this here), add some mint to your La Croix. Delicious and hydrating. Keep in mind that this certainly should not replace actual water, but it is a great soda substitute or if you need some flavor in your beverage. It’s also a really great alcohol substitute if you’re in the mood for a glass of wine or a cocktail. There are a ton of other awesome flavors and these are cheap! You can find them at any grocery store or you can order them here

2. Kirkland’s Organic Ground Beef: For those who say eating organic is incredibly expensive, most of the time you are right. However, there are ways to find affordable organics. For meats, I go to Costco because Andres and I buy in bulk. (We eat a LOT of meat.) This is the best and most affordable option for us. One trip usually lasts us about 3 weeks-4 weeks and we probably spend $150 in one trip, which might sound like a lot, but think about a month’s worth of meat for lunches and dinners! Make sure you’re checking the labels on your meats because not all Kirkland brands are organic or unprocessed. (This is also where I get my bison meat, so check for that as well.) The pack pictured here usually goes for about $4.50 a pound, which is half as expensive as other retailers. 

3. Fresh Market’s Chocolate Coconut Macaron Coffee: I am suuuuuuch a flavored coffee junkie. (Well, coffee junkie in general) My absolute favorite flavored coffee is Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas, but, sadly, it is not compliant due to it’s sugar content. One Fresh Market trip with my friend Chelsea, we discovered this glorious find and it’s WLC approved! I know this is not the only compliant flavored coffee in the store, but it is the only one that I have tried. It’s nutty and light roasted and very good with coconut milk. If you’re looking for a good flavored coffee that is unprocessed, Fresh Market has an excellent selection and coffees are available in bulk or packaged and also whole bean or ground. I bought Andres an electric coffee grinder for his birthday (before you judge me, it was not the only thing I got him…) and we have found coffee to be so much more enjoyable when we freshly grind the beans. I also discovered the coolest thing in my Fresh Market coffee hunt…they have a monthly coffee club! You can sign up to receive a certain amount of bagged coffees for one monthly price! Some options sound a bit pricey, but if you drink a lot of coffee, it might be a nice option for you. Don’t have a Fresh Market at your disposal? Check them out here

4. MaraNatha Roasted Almond Butter – Creamy: I have never been a huge almond butter fan and I have found it very difficult to make the switch from peanut butter. This particular almond butter is my very favorite and we buy these in bulk from Costco as well. When Andres started eating primal, he noticed himself losing a lot of weight due to a decrease in intake of starchy carbohydrates and spoke with our awesome trainer Chris about what he should do. He wanted to continue to eat paleo, because he felt really great but wanted to gain muscle and keep weight on. Chris’ recommendation was to eat a ton of good fatty oils and nut butters. I buy about 4 of these suckers a month because Andres takes one whole container to work with him everyday. (I also can’t help but be slightly bitter that Andres’ problem is keeping weight on…must be a nice problem to have!) If you want these in bulk, which I highly suggest, these are available at Costco. However, if you don’t have a membership, many grocery stores carry this brand as well. Be on the lookout for those pesky processed ingredients! MaraNatha only has roasted almonds and salt. 

5. Carribbean Sunshine Jamaican Jerk Sauce: I really miss sauces on WLC and I really miss A1 Sauce on my steaks and burgers. I actually found this brand of jerk sauce by chance at Publix last week and was so happy to find the ingredients were all compliant! When Andres and I went to Jamaica we ate at Mamma Marley’s and had the most incredible jerk pork with rice and peas and I can’t wait to try and re-create a paleo version with this awesome sauce. I found this in the ethnic food aisle at my grocery store. It’s made out of Pompano Beach, FL which is super close to us so I love being able to support local companies. You can order from their website here for only $1.99!

6. Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Aminos: Can I just say that I am totally comfortable and okay with never using soy sauce again? Coconut aminos are so fantastic, I’m really not sure why I hadn’t discovered it prior to WLC. I use this on so many of my recipes like my Paleo Pad Thai. This stuff can get a little expensive at about $5 an 8oz bottle and I wish I knew somewhere I could buy it in bulk. You can order it and many other Coconut Secret products on Amazon.  

7. Kerrygold Grass-Fed Pure Irish Butter: It makes me happy that I can eat real food and keep butter in my diet. Love this stuff and I love how accessible it is. I buy this in bulk at Costco or if I need a couple of Garlic and Herb sticks or just a small container, I grab it at Publix. 

8. Coconut Secret Coconut Flour: I am so excited that this company sells coconut flour because I would’ve been buying it a lot sooner! It’s much cheaper than Bob’s Red Mill which is what I usually get and I just made this incredible paleo banana bread with it that I can’t wait to share! (It needs to be boyfriend approved before I post it!)

9. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce – Original: I never really liked spicy foods until I started to eat paleo a few years ago. This is definitely the sauce to get, although I really wish Frank’s Buffalo Sauce was compliant too :(. This is just as good and works as a great dipping sauce for paleo chicken nuggets or some of my paleo meatloaf. 

 

Do you use any of the products I have here? What other compliant things do you love?

Beat Binge Guilt! (& how to get yourself back on track)

I needed to post about this because I feel like “falling off the wagon” isn’t talked about enough. Truthfully, I’ve been suffering from my own binge guilt, so what better of a time to discuss! 

It’s important to remember that eating primal/paleo is not the most convenient option nor does it fit perfectly into our social lives. I’m the first to admit that I enjoy a good craft beer tremendously. I also really love pizza and dessert and the paleo dessert options are never quite as satisfying as the real, full sugar thing…and, can I say…I’m absolutely okay with that. That right there is why eating paleo/primal is classified as a lifestyle

With all of that being said, damn I feel guilty when I get off track. It is super frustrating to eat in a specific way and see such awesome results and then 2 birthday celebrations and a Sunday Funday and you’ve lost all the abs you worked so hard for. It’s easy to beat yourself up over lost progress AND we have to try harder to give ourselves a break now and again. I’ll be really frank…be careful of the ways in which you view food and the amount of negative energy you put on yourself when you don’t stay within food perimeters. That is how eating disorders develop and the goal should be for you to be the healthiest version of yourself on the inside out…not for vanity reasons. There is no such thing as perfect eating. Perfect doesn’t exist.

Suggesting that you’ve had a particularly difficult few weeks in your eating, here are a few things that I like to do to get me feeling better and help me stay motivated to get back on the wagon:

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My tumbler today full of mint and ice water!

  • Infuse your water and increase your water intake. Doing WLC, one of my favorite challenges was drinking half of my body weight in ounces of water. My complexion cleared, I was never thirsty, and I was hydrated and energized. After an off-track food binge, I’ve added mint to my water and noticed a huge difference in my digestive system. Herbs clean out bad bacteria of our stomachs and reduce bloating. Other herbs to try are rosemary and sage and even chia seeds. Here is a great site with some different citrus and herb combos. Water can cause bloating, but it also helps with digestion and re-vamps our kidneys. I especially increase my water intake when I’ve consumed an above average number of craft beers or glasses of wine. Hydration does wonders for our bodies and will even eliminate those pesky headaches we get after some binging. 

 

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This Asian Pear and Ginger kombucha was to die for. So flavorful!

 

  • PROBIOTICS!. Probiotics keep the good, healthy bacteria in our bellies. Taking one daily is said to reduce and prevent tumor production in our stomachs and flush our the bad bacteria (yeast) that lives in our stomachs. There are so many ways you can get probiotics into your system. You can eat them through kimchi or sauerkraut. You can drink them through kombucha or kefir. You can take a probiotic supplement. According to my research, there is no true way to intake too many probiotics. They should be avoided, however, if you have specific allergies. I take a probiotic supplement daily and I am, of course, a big fan of sauerkraut and kombucha. 
  • Start eating right. Right now. Don’t wait until Monday to start back on your eating regimen. Do it right now. There’s no better time than right now to start feeling better. Get yourself to the store and grab some fruits and veggies and proteins. Be prepared.  Remember: healthy is not convenient. You have to make it convenient for your lifestyle. 

 

I thought you might get a kick out of my tank from Lift for Meat that finally came in. It was quite appropriate for the past week. 😉 

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100% Paleo 80% of the time!

 

Don’t give up on yourself. None of us are perfect in our eating (OR in life) so we should stop pretending it’s even possible. Make good decisions for your body and plan ahead. If you slip up, guess what? Life happens! Get back up on that wagon and surprise yourself.