Friday, September 28, 2012

Infused Olive Oil

A few weekends ago some of my girlfriends and I headed into Seattle for a day of Pike Place Shopping and dinner. Not only did we come home with arms full of flowers, but our bags were heavy with the delicious infused olive oils we found.
 Since then have been LOVING the full flavor of my sun dried tomato olive oil. Using the fresh cucumbers from my parents yard, I splash a bit of the oil over them and they are over-the-top-scrumptious! They have many flavors to choose from, and they also carry some mouthwatering balsamic vinegars. Check out their website, and the next time you are in Seattle, be sure to check them out!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Movie Time and Book Review: Our Food Choices Matter

Recently, I have been researching where my food comes from. What I have learned is that my food choice matters. From industry driven farming, to factory animal farms, the widespread mistreatment of people and animals is devastating. My first step was understanding what was going on. Insert Move: Food Inc. and book: Eating Animals here. I will be honest some of the movie and the book was emotionally hard to get through. Yet I did get through it, and I don't think I will ever be the same.
I immediately researched some local farms that raise animals with care. What I found was encouraging! (Something I really needed after the dark reality of the book and movie) Sustainable and humane farms are out there and with a little bit of extra work on our parts we can make a better choice.

I make a vote with my fork every time I go out to dinner or shop at a grocery store, and you can do the same. I would encourage you to watch Food Inc. and/or read the book Eating Animals soon. I checked both out from our local library so it didn't cost me a dime. Looking for a local farm for your beef, chicken, or pork options? has an amazing user friendly website. You can even rent a goat to come and "mow" your yard. . . uh. . AWESOME!!! Enjoy.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Pantry Soutions

The other day I was browsing through Pinterest and I found this awesome website for some inexpensive glass jars. If you have been following my blog for awhile you will know that I LOVE mason jars and use them every day to store, and transport food. So when I came across this site I was naturally stoked to see all the jars that I can use to organize my pantry. They not only look awesome, but they make it easy to see the contents. Maybe you have been inspired to start a weekend project of cleaning out your pantry! Happy Friday- enjoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stalling in your weight loss goals?

Often times I will hear people say they feel like they are plateauing on Paleo. They dropped a significant amount of weight at the beginning of their Paleo journey and now the scale is staying the same. They are frustrated and discouraged. If this is you, or if you have a friend that has said this statement, check out Robb Wolfe's explanation in this article. We have to remember that THE SCALE DOES NOT DETERMINE HEALTH. Your journey to better health is more complicated than just one dimension. Be encouraged, stick with it and improved health will be yours! Enjoy.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fresh Grilled Maple Cinnamon Apples

Fall right around the corner and I am still enjoying the BBQ. The other night I wanted something "fallish" with my BBQ chicken. I decided to grill up a few of my apples, and they made an amzaing warm, sweet and savory dessert. If you feel like being "fallish" with me, cut up some apples and fire up your BBQ!

Fresh Grilled Maple Cinnamon Apples
Apple (I cut up 4 apples, but you could do whatever you wanted)
Real Maple Syrup
Ground Cinnamon

Heat up BBQ to med-high heat. Slice apples in to 1/8 size pieces. Remove core and seeds. With basting brush rub apples with maple syrup. Sprinkle each apple with cinnamon. Place on the grill for 3-5 min per side or until apples start to soften slightly and grill lines show in the flesh of the fruit. Remove from grill, and enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The "Sigh"

I don't remember where I heard this tip, but I notice it is still in my head everytime I eat. There are times that I am distracted while eating. This could be for a variety of reasons: being preoccupied, chatting with my friends, in a hurry, working through lunch, you name it. I try to slow down my eating times and actually enjoy my food. Yet occasionally I find that I have not been paying attention to my eating.  I am scarfing my food so quickly I hadn't noticed I was full! This little tip I heard so many years ago has helped me know when to stop eating, so that I don't over do it. The next time you are eating a meal, there will be a time that you take a "sigh". Notice when that is. This natural sigh is your body telling you it is satisfied and being full is right around the corner. I usually take a few bites more and then stop eating. It may sound crazy, and it did to me too, but it really works. So try it out over the weekend and see if your body is trying to communicate with you too. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Calories That Don't Count

One of the best things, for me, about Paleo eating is that I no longer feel enslaved to my food. I don't have to weigh or measure each bite. I don't have to get out my cardboard calorie counter while I am out to dinner to try to decide what I should or shouldn't eat. I just. eat. real. food. The End. The freedom of that statement is still liberating to me. The truth behind that is that I still have to be mindful of they type of Paleo food I eat. I cannot expect to be in good health eating watermelon all day. My body won't function well working through 4 cups of almonds in a serving. Often times we can get caught up into the concept that some calories don't count, or that because it is "Paleo" we can go crazy and eat all we want to. Check out this article by the Primal Docs refocusing us on the purpose of our Paleo diet and the encouragement to walk away from the bite of birthday cake. There isn't a magical food or prayer that will make the calories disappear. What we put into our mouths will be digested and affect our bodies. It is a good reminder for us on our Paleo journey. Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Citrus Brine

I love to make these little chickens. They are just the right size for my family and they don't take all day to cook. Last week I tried out this citrus brine and it was to die for. You can adjust this for the size of your bird, and it would work well for turkey too.

Fresh Citrus Brine:

1/2 cup salt
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2 sprigs of fresh bay leaves
1 T dried thyme
1 T black pepper
1 gallon of water

Rub salt on your bird. Place remaining ingredients in a large pot with the bird. Fill with water. Place in your refrigerator overnight. Discard brine from bird before cooking. For more flavor, add the oranges, lemon, onion and bay leaves to the edges of your baking dish. For my little chicken I cooked it on 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Perfection!

Before. . .
After. . .

Friday, September 7, 2012

Refreshing Crips Water

A few months ago a parent in my classroom gave me some sparkling flavored water. I had tried them years ago and didn't like them, but now that my pallet has been cleared for so long of pop and juice I had a completely different reaction to it = LOVE! I have been treating myself to lots of different brands and flavors ever since. The "natural flavoring" often comes from essential oils. Wondering where essential oils come from? Check out this link for a detailed explanation. The fizzy drink also offers some added minerals for a health boost. Check out this bit of information on one brand. If you haven't tried it recently I would encourage you to do so you may surprise yourself!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sugar Update

Oh sugar, you sneaky friend. Like they say in the movie, Mr. Deed's "I fear I have underestimated your sneakyness- you are beary, beary sneaky." Check out the updated Sugar Manifesto from Whole9. It may be time you revisit the concept on sugar, because if you are like me, that sugar sneaks up on me again and again!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fried Eggplant

I think eggplants are just about the most beautiful veggie out there. Let's be honest they beat the sweet potato any day. The trouble is, I just haven't found a way to enjoy them without the lasagna. I figured out this simple recipe and made it with eggplant. I bet this would be good with zucchini or any other veggie. It is so simple you could whip up an impressive appetizer for your next dinner party. Even if that party is your family, they will love it too!

Fried Eggplant

Eggplant cut into slices about 1/8 inch thick.
Olive Oil (or oil of your choice)
Almond flour
Egg white
Sea Salt
Optional: Parmesan Cheese

In your skillet or fry pan, warm oil. Meanwhile, coat each eggplant in the egg white. Place almond flour, and salt on a plate. (At this stage feel free to add any other spices: garlic, herbs, seasoning salt etc). Lay egg covered eggplant on the plate and coat both sides with flour. Set in skillet. Do this until pan is full of eggplant. Cook for a few min per side or until the flour starts to brown. Don't overcook, this will make the eggplant soft and mushy. If desired, add cheese to the top layer of each side before placing in the skill. You will see one picture with the cheese and one without. Enjoy!
Without Cheese:

With Cheese: