Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Banana Bread

I've been experimenting with a lot of different recipes lately-this is one of my favorites. It's perfect for breakfast or as a desert with coconut milk ice cream.

3 ripe bananas (spotted) 
3 eggs 
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour 
1/4 cup coconut oil 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup walnuts 
1 tablespoon cinnamon 

1/2 cup pecans 
2 tablespoons maple syrup (the good kind)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 375. Add coconut oil to an 8 inch cake pan and let it melt in the oven while you make mixture. 

In  mixing bowl, mash bananas well. Add eggs, vanilla, a cinnamon and stir. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and combine mixture well. Take the pan out of the oven and pour the mixture in. The warm oil makes a yummy crust on the cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. 

*Optional- I like to add maple pecans to mine for added flavor and texture. To do this I toast pecans in a sauté pan and once they're warm I add a few sprinkles of cinnamon and the maple syrup to candy them. While the cake is cooling I add the nuts to the top so they stick. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Part 1 of 3: Preparing for a Juice Cleanse

A cleanse is a great way to kickstart Paleo because you give yourself a chance to flush your system and then you can slowly incorporate healthy foods back into your new diet, I like to do them once a month. Some people like to buy a vegetable juicer and do their juices on their own- I don't personally have the time for this so I go to two local juice bars- most cities have them so you can search for one near you and most Whole Foods grocery stores now have a juice bar. 

You shouldn't go into a juice cleanse thinking of it as as a quick weight loss solution. I think of them as a way for my body to "reset" and detox. According to Nekter Juice Bar in Newport Beach, "Over time our bodies compile foreign chemicals and heavy metals- these come from our food, our environment and our skincare products. However, even our own cells produce toxins that are not disposed of properly when our systems are not fully functioning because of toxic buildup...The following symptoms are misdiagnosed and can simply be caused by toxic buildup:

• Inflammation 
• Constipation
• Fatigue 
• Allergies

• Repeated illness 
• Depression 
• Irritable bowel syndrome 
• Trouble sleeping

Nekter gives a good pre-cleanse regimen that I like to follow the day before I start. Your diet the day before should be something like this:
Breakfast: eggs with sauteed mushrooms and onions, a little bit of fruit 
Lunch: Salad with tuna or a lean protein, avocado, light dressing with no sugar. 
Dinner: Fish with steamed veggies. 

You can also snack throughout the day on fresh fruit, nuts, or an apple with almond butter. They also suggest cutting out caffein so skip the coffee so you don't get a headache during your cleanse-in my experience this is definitely smart, you can drink green tea to ease yourself off. You also want to eliminate sugar and dairy and they suggest incorporating a vegetable juice somewhere in there to kickstart things.It's really important to try and do this leading up to a cleanse so you can get the most out of it and it will make it easier for your system to adjust. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

What I Ate Today

A friend of mine asked me to give her an idea of what I usually eat...so here's an example of a typical Paleo day :-)

2 pieces of bacon (not pictured- my sister made extra and as soon as I smelled it I obviously ate it)
1 Paleo Bar™ (I will tell you more about these guys once they're available for purchase!) 
Kombucha Green Tea (good for your immune system and digestion)  
Fish Oil 

Vegetable juice from Whole Foods- I've been on a huge juice kick for a while, primarily because I'm sick of eating salads and this is an awesome way to get a ton of veggies in your body. I made my own today with spinach, carrot, cucumber, celery, beet, and lemon. It sounds terrible but don't know it until you try it. It gives you so much energy and is surprisingly tasty. 

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower (preheat oven to 425, add cauliflower drizzled with olive oil and chopped garlic, bake for 30 mins- so simple and insanely delicious) 
Leftover carne asada from yesterday's lunch. 

Ice Cream in the afternoon? Yep. Coconut Ice Cream made from Coconut Milk with crumbled Paleo Bar™ on top. 

Baked Salmon with tomato and basil
Sweet potatoes with rosemary and garlic
Coconut Water 

Paleo Pancakes

One of the hardest things for me with eating Paleo is finding good breakfast alternatives. We're so conditioned to eat high carb/low protein things like bagels, toast, cereal etc. These pancakes take about 5 minutes to make and keep you full from the protein in almond flour. 

1/2 cup Almond flour
1/2 cup Arrowroot
1 egg 
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla extract 
1 tablespoon Agave 
1 cup water 
1 teaspoon baking powder* 

Add arrowroot, almond meal and baking powder to a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl combine egg, vanilla, and agave and pour into mixing bowl with dry ingredients. Adding the water is a little tricky and you need to do this slowly so that you can judge the amount you need based off of the viscosity (how "thin" or "thick") the batter is. I start by adding half of the water and combine all ingredients and continue to add water until it has the consistency of regular pancake batter. 

I've found that the best pan to cook these on is a cast iron skillet, on medium high heat. Grease the pan lightly with coconut oil and ladle batter onto pan. Cook until the edges start to set, about 2 minutes, and flip. I like mine with apples, cinnamon and drizzled with agave. 

*Baking powder is optional, as it is not Paleo, but makes batter "fluffy" and is such a small amount.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Paleo Perfect Skin

Women's Health- Healthy Skin From the Inside Out

I read this article a while back from Women's Health about healthy skin and since that have made an effort to eat more of the power foods they suggested-not surprisingly, these foods are what Paleo is all about. They make the point that in order to really have healthy skin you have to start with what you're eating. WH advisor Lisa Drayer, R.D., author of The Beauty Diet, says "Unless your skin is getting the nutrients from food that it needs, it just won't look its best." I've tried every product, peel, laser treatment, etc. and nothing comes close to the glow you get from nourishing your body with the right foods.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Banana "Ice Cream"

Want a seriously quick and easy Paleo Desert? Well here you go...

2 Frozen Bananas
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

Combine in a food processor until smooth and creamy and enjoy.

Soy- Friend or Foe?

Good article about soy and why it's not actually a health food: Evils of Soy Prove Paleo Diet