Saturday, May 31, 2014

Summertime and the livin's easy... {iced goodness to go}

If you know me, you know I love coffee. It's genetic. My whole family drinks the stuff like they should drink water. I'm actually the one who drinks the least amount of coffee because I usually stop drinking before lunch and continue with water until bedtime, but trust me, I get my dose in before noon each and every day!

I start each morning off with a Bulletproof Coffee. Then, when I get to work, I brew a generous half pot of coffee and drink it throughout the morning. This has worked perfectly for me, except now the weather is warming up and hot coffee just isn't quite so appealing to sip on all morning long.

I therefore decided to start bringing ice coffee to work with me, and sip on that throughout the morning hours. And the genius part of it all? I also make coffee ice cubes to chill it, thereby ensuring pure coffee goodness right down to the very last sip!

This worked perfectly for me about about two weeks, then I decided to take a real food approach to healing my gut from what I believe to be SIBO {Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth}, and have therefore decided to limit my daily coffee intake.

I still start my day off with a delicious Bulletproof Coffee, but now I bring along an iced black tea for my morning sipping pleasures!

First, I brew some tea. To do this, I simply place two tea bags in a large jar, fill it with water, and place it in the fridge. I always allow my tea to brew at least overnight, but longer is better. You can also adjust the number of tea bags to suit your tastes.

When the tea has brewed, I fill up an ice cube tray with it and place in the freezer. Then I make more tea :)

Each morning, I empty my ice cube tray of tea cubes into my to-go cup.

Then, I fill the cup up the rest of the way with cold tea from my tea jar. Any tea left in the tea jar is used to fill up my ice cube tray. The ice cube tray goes back into the freezer. The used tea bags are replaced with fresh ones and I fill the jar back up with water, placing it once again in the freezer.

To do this with coffee, I follow the same steps, but I use one of my coffee concentrate recipes, regular or cacao flavored.

And, when I drink this, I make sure to use a drink coaster as my to-go cup "sweats" a lot! Condensation can ruin a tabletop pretty easily - but at least I have these amazingly absorbent cloth coasters lovingly made for me by my Aunt D :)

Feel free to play around with this technique, such as using fruit flavored infusions or differently flavored ice cubes. If you like milk in your coffee or tea, try freezing homemade coconut milk in ice cube trays and adding that to your drink. The possibilities really are endless :)

Friday, May 30, 2014

I want my baby back, baby back... {ribs}

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ribs...

Who hasn't seen this? I believe there's a legitimate TV commercial using this jingle as well, for Chili's Baby Back Ribs, but this movie clip is much funnier.

Anywho, moving along now...

I wanted ribs. If you follow me, you know by now that I don't like sweet meats, and most rib recipes require dousing the ribs in a sickly-sweet BBQ sauce, or rubbing it down with an equally dessert-like spice mix. Ugh. Neither are for me. I love saucy ribs, and I love dry-rubbed ribs, but neither can be sweet.

Now, I recently invented a rather savory and very tangy sauce, lovingly dubbed Meg's 27 Sauce, and I thought about using that. But then I remembered the effects this delicious sauce has on my digestive tract. You see, I just can't handle sugar at all for the moment {I possibly suffer from SIBO, read here for more info}.

I was all ready to start a Google search to see what the world of paleo ribs had to offer when the image above popped up in my IG feed.

It was like Michelle had read my mind. I quickly clicked over to the Cavegirl Cuisine website and read through the recipe. It. Was. Perfect.

I threw all the ingredients together {leaving out the sugar} and pulsed it all in my food processor. Then I lined a glass baking dish with bacon to add extra smoked flavor and added a bit of bone broth to cover the bottom to ensure perfect juiciness. I cut my ribs in half, rubbed them down on all sides with the Cavegirl Rib Rub, and placed them on the bacon. I then covered the dish with aluminum foil and placed it in the fridge to marinate.

A few hours before eating, I pulled the dish out of the fridge to allow it to reach room temperature, then baked it low'n'slow style... yielding the most flavorful, fall-off-the-bone ribs I had eaten in a very, very long time!

I can't wait to test this recipe out on the hubster to see what he has to say about it - he's a die-hard sweet BBQ sauce rib fan! I took advantage of his absence this week to try out my kind of ribs - maybe this recipe will be enough to convert him though...

Perfect Dry-Rub Ribs

  • 1 batch of Cavegirl Rib Rub (or your favorite dry-rub mix)
  • 1 rack of bone-in ribs
  • 2 slices of thick-cut smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup of bone broth (more or less, depending on the size of your dish)
  1. Place the bacon in the bottom of a glass baking dish. Cover the bottom of the dish with bone broth (do not cover the bacon).
  2. Cut your ribs to fit your dish, then season generously with your dry-rub.
  3. Place your ribs on top of the bacon, cover with aluminum foil and allow to marinate several hours in the fridge.
  4. Take the dish out of the fridge about 3 hours before you intend to eat, allowing it to come to room temperature (about 1/2 an hour).
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Cook the ribs for about 2 hours. Remove the aluminum foil and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  6. Serve drizzled with the sauce from the bottom of the baking dish.

Nutritional Information (for the entire batch of dry rub, no sugar): 
  • calories: 59
  • fat: 2.4 g
  • carbs: 10 g (net carbs: 6.2 g)
  • protein: 2.3 g
For those of you using My Fitness Pal to track your macros, this recipe is already entered in the database. Simply search for "Cavegirl Cuisine - Cavegirl Rib Rub".

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Everyone's asking about it... {my daily cup of Joe}

As seen on Instagram - follow me for more inspiration.
At least every couple of days, someone asks me what's in my awesome zebra mug. And my answer is pretty much the same each time, so I thought I'd throw together a quick recipe post explaining how I make my everyday cup of Joe.

I mimic the increasingly popular Bulletproof Coffee marketed by Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof Executive. Now, he claims this is his original idea, and I've even seen him post uppity snippets about copycats on his Facebook account, but I honestly don't think he was the first person to think about putting fat into coffee. But I digress...

If you want to go the official route, hit up his website and order his products. It'll probably make him a super happy camper.

If you want to go your own route, just do what I do - put grass-fed butter {I use Kerrygold or locally sourced, unsalted butter} and coconut oil in your coffee. It's sure to make you a happy camper.

There are so many recipes out there for imitation Bulletproof Coffee because everyone has their own personal preferences. Your best bet is to experiment for yourself and find what works for you. I would suggest starting out with very little butter and oil though, as the high dosage can have immediate laxative effects if you're not used to it :p

And for those of you that would like a bit of guidance, here's a great chocolate flavored bulletproof coffee recipe that's perfect for beginners. If you'd like to take it to the next level, give this yummy concoction a go.

And if you're a seasoned veteran such as myself, try out my latest, go-to bulletproof coffee I drink nearly every morning now.

Cinnamon Spice Bulletproof Coffee

  • 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • A splash of coconut milk
  1. Blend everything together using a blender, milk frother, etc.
  2. Drink immediately.

Want an even faster {and dare I say yummier?} method? Whip up some fat bombs and throw a couple into your coffee each morning! The tahini in my recipes makes the coffee super frothy and smooth tasting! I have a Chocolate Tahini version and a Cinnamon Coconut Tahini version.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Healing My Gut {The Diet + a new fat bomb}

As if paleo didn't already take me some time
figuring everything out... :p

After reading through Diane's SIBO guide {as well as an uncountable number of blogs, forums and websites} I decided to do as she suggested and follow a real-food diet that combines principles from both the SCD and Low FODMAPs diets, all while sticking to my strict paleo template.

Essentially, this means I will be:

  • Saying no to all fruits, sugars and starches. {Starches here include things such as tapioca flour as well as sweet potatoes.}
  • Avoiding high carb veggies - as a general rule, those that grow underground will be off-limits.
  • Giving up nuts and cacao. I will finish eating my Chocolate Tahini fat bombs, given the fact that the amount of cacao in them is minimal, but no more after that. And, while coconut is technically not a "nut", I will be giving up coconut flour as well.
  • Drinking less coffee. I will drink a cup of bullet proof coffee in the morning, but will replace my morning ritual of sipping on two iced coffees with sipping on two iced black teas. 

That may seem like a lot of "nos", especially if you're new to the paleo lifestyle, so here is a list of what I will be enjoying for the next four weeks before I start reintroducing certain foods:

  • Low-carb veggies, which generally means those that grow above ground.
  • Quality protein, such as beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs...
  • Small amounts of seeds, especially sesame.
  • Coconut milk and cream, as well as other healthy fats such as ghee and avocado.

I'm not sure how reintroduction will go as of yet, but I'm thinking along the lines of first coconut flour, then higher-carb veggies such as carrots, work my way up to sweet potatoes, then try berries and then maybe fruit. I have 4+ weeks to think all of that over though... :p

So, after all this, I decided to work on a new fat bomb. I took inspiration for my last one from Natalie of Primal Foodie, and while they were delish, they were also missing a little substance. I decided to take heed of what Alanna of Planks, Love & Guacamole has been telling us: coconut cream makes the best fat bombs. I looked through her IG feed for inspiration, and I read this blog post as well, for her Brazilian Craving Bombs, and finally I decided on the way I was going with my new fat bomb...

Oh. My. God.

These were perfect. They were exactly what I was looking for. Even before they hardened I was licking the spoon and loving it. These fat bombs are creamy, full of flavor and filling! I got 12 pieces out of this recipe, and after eating one, I was stuffed! And satisfied. I can't wait until I'm hungry again so I can eat another one...

So thank you, Alanna, for insisting that coconut cream was the way to go. As for the rest of you, go whip up a batch ASAP so you can see for yourselves! These can even be made into vegan fat bombs, if you like that sort of thing, by simply subbing more coconut oil for the ghee.

Coconini Cinnamon Fat Bombs

  1. Melt together the ghee and coconut oil.
  2. Stir in the other ingredients.
  3. Spoon into silicon molds, or simply plop onto a plate, and place in the fridge or freezer until hardened.
  4. Enjoy one whenever your sweet tooth calls or you need an energy boost.

Nutritional Information (for the entire batch, no sweetener): 
  • calories: 1,163
  • fat: 120.7 g
  • carbs: 20.6 g (net carbs: 11.8 g)
  • protein: 13.1 g
For those of you using My Fitness Pal to track your macros, this recipe is already entered in the database. Simply search for "Be Paleo and Thrive - Coconini Cinnamon Fat Bombs".

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bacon Braised Endives {or, "Chicons" as we say}

The name "endive" makes no sense at all. I mean, it is the vegetable part of the chicory plant, not the endive plant. Second, it was invented {on accident} in Belgium, not in France, and "endive" is the French word, not the Belgian word. So, let's just call it what it is: a chicon.

Chicon is delicious. I love it raw and dressed with homemade mayo as a cold side dish. I love it baked and wrapped in ham as a hot veggie. And now I love it braised and mixed with bacon.

Of course. Bacon makes everything better. And this was no exception. I actually didn't make enough, so make more than you think you'll need, trust me.

The hubster deemed it, "delicious," which means that it's really, really good.

And there are only three simple ingredients. There really is no excuse stopping you from making these right now :p So go throw some together and add some major flavor to your next meal.

Bacon Braised Endives

  1. Chop the slices of bacon into small pieces and fry in a pan until cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, roughly chop the endives into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Add the endives and bone broth to the bacon, stirring to combine.
  4. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer until the bone broth has reduced by half.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Healing My Gut {Real Food for SIBO Healing}

SIBO: Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.

When I first heard about SIBO, I thought to myself, "hey, that could explain a lot..." But I kind of half forgot about it and continued on with my relatively problem-free life. Since going full paleo, I've seen nearly every bodily discomfort I've ever had disappear.


Each and every time I eat a piece of fruit, some sugar or really anything with any sort of notable carbohydrate level at all, I feel discomfort. It varies in both intensity and sort depending on what I eat, but the most common immediate reactions are:

  • Bloating, usually to the point of looking like I'm several months preggers {I've even gotten many "when are you due?" comments}.
  • Abdominal pain or a feeling of being "stuffed" {without overeating}.
  • Gas, and this could be in either direction, if you catch my drift.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness, usually followed by brain fog and slight nausea.

And some of the mid- to long-term reactions aren't that pleasant either:

  • Intense sugar and carb cravings which nearly always lead me back to the road of BED {Binge Eating Disorder}.
  • Rapid weight gain and/or water retention {I'm not sure which it is, but I can go up several pants sizes in a very short period of time and it takes me at least double the time to get rid of it}.
  • Extreme bitchiness and lack of patience with anyone or anything that doesn't do exactly what I want when I want it done.
  • IBS {Irritable Bowel Syndrome}, and this can swing from one end of the spectrum to the other!

I have recently adopted a low carb, keto-esque lifestyle, in an effort to combat these discomforts and while I feel amazing when I stick to it 100%, every slight deviation brings all these symptoms back, full-force. This makes me believe there is an underlying cause and that experiencing these symptoms is akin to a psoriasis flare up.

That's when I received Diane Sanfilippo's Simplifying SIBO free eBook {available only to email subscribers, so if you're interested in reading it as well, go sign up for the Balanced Bites newsletter!}.

I found myself nodding my head, information after information that I read. I recognized myself in everything that was written and finished the entire eBook in one sitting.. Could this be my problem? "Simply" an overgrowth of what is normally considered to be friendly bacteria in my gut?

I then headed over to Dr Allison Siebecker's website, SIBOinfo, and read the entire site, clicked on every link, explored every bit of information I was presented with. I was sure I had found an explanation to my woes.

I spent the next couple of days on Google, reading every blog and forum I could find not only about SIBO but also about how people cured themselves from it using supplements, keto, low FODMAPs, SCD, GAPS and more. And now, after all my research, I have a game plan of my own:

  • I am going to continue my keto lifestyle, but eliminate sugars entirely for the next four weeks. This means no honey, no fruit, no starchy veggies, no flours. I will be using the 1-page Guide to Real Food for SIBO Healing Diane has so kindly included in her eBook to help, well, guide me.
  • I will make a real effort to leave 4-5 hours between meals, to give my body the time necessary to "empty" itself, thus reducing the amount of "backed-up" food I leave for my buggers.
  • I am going to supplement with garlic {6 weeks} and probiotics {30 days}.

And since I'm one of those annoying people that does something the second they say they will, I'm starting today. {Well, actually, tomorrow, as I bought the supplements this afternoon and will begin taking them tomorrow morning. But I have a laminated copy of the Guide to Real Food for SIBO Healing hanging in my kitchen already :p}

I will be writing up a separate, in-depth post for each of the topics above {diet, feeding schedule and supplements} as this one is quite lengthy as it is and will be doing my best to keep you all updated with my progress as well.

For now, wish me luck!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Walk for Better Health {10,000 Steps}

I always knew that daily exercise was essential for good health, especially walking. I mean, besides the fact that everyone told me walking for good for my health, it didn't take much reasoning to figure out that prehistoric man probably spent a lot of his time walking around, either to hunt animals, to gather fruits and vegetables, or to change locations.

Once I adopted a paleo lifestyle, I wasn't surprised at all to discovered that daily, low-aerobic exercise was one of the major principles all the primal-lifestyle advocates suggested we follow.

But if you're anything like me, you're probably wondering just how much walking is enough... and also why walking is so great for us in the first place.

I had first heard about the magic number "10,000" on Mark's Daily Apple in this article outlining 17 health benefits of walking. There are some obvious things, such as helping to keep your buttocks firm and toned, as well as some less obvious ones, like walking being good for your brain and memory capacities. Plus, this article says that active people preform better at work - and just generally function better all around!

Walking is simple enough for most to do as well - and everyone has the equipment to do it! {Yes, there are exceptions to this, I realize that.} Walking can be done anywhere and at nearly anytime.

But. No one's walking anymore. In fact, 25-35% of American adults are classified as "sedentary". But just what does sedentary mean? Here is the breakdown by number of steps per day:

  • Less than 5,000 steps/day: sedentary
  • 5,000 - 7,499 steps/day: low active
  • 7,500 - 9,999 steps/day: somewhat active
  • 10,000 - 12,499 steps/day: active
  • More than 12,500 steps/day: highly active

I have always considered myself to be a fairly active person, and when I read that 10,000 steps was "only" about 5 miles, I assumed I couldn't be too far from that mark. I decided to buy a pedometer one day, just to see more precisely exactly how active I was. I didn't try to walk anymore than usual as I wanted to see how much I walked in a normal day.

The number at the end of the day shocked me: 6,396.

I was "low active". And on the lower end of that scale as well. That's about 3 miles. Before seeing that number, I had the impression that I spent a lot of my time walking around - I mean, I'm a teacher! I spend all day on my feet! I was wrong though, and set out to raise that number!

The next day I was at 8,270 steps. The day after that, 7,775 steps. The day after that brought me to 8,337 steps. And, finally, the next day was the day I had been waiting for: 10,446 steps. Yes! I was an "active" person!

Now, I do realize that one day of reaching my 10,000 step goal isn't enough to classify myself in the "active" category, but it does show me that it's a perfectly attainable goal for me to have and strive for. It also reassures me to know that the number I see each evening is lower than my actual days' count: I don't wear the pedometer during my daily HIIT sessions. {The instructions that came with it clearly stated: No Running. I assume that jumping is also forbidden...} Therefore, if I hit the 10,000 step mark, I know I'm well into the "active" lifestyle range. 

And that makes me, and most likely my heart, happy :)

So I'd like to challenge you all to walk more. Buy a pedometer, wear it every day for a week and track the number of steps you take each day. At the end of the week, add them together and divide by 7: this will give you your daily average. Now for the second week, your task is to beat that average every single day. A good goal is to do better by a 20% boost. {To find your goal, multiply your daily average by 1.2 - this should be your new goal each day.}

No one says you have to hit the 10,000 step mark right away, even just walking more than you usually do will do you some good!

Happy walking!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Low carb means I get to eat fat bombs {chocolate tahini fat bombs}

I function best on a low-carb, high-fat diet. I feel and preform better. My skin looks better. My food choices are better. I sleep better. My relationships are better. On and on and on... everything is better!

And while I know and understand that my body absolutely hates sugar in all its forms, I still have the urge every so often for something sweet. That's where fat bombs come into play.

Now, some of you may be asking yourselves just what exactly a fat bomb is... and the answer is: a bomb of fat.

Basically, you make a base of healthy fat sweet tasting and enjoy a small piece every time you need a bit of energy or a sweet fix. There are many recipes out there, but I took direct inspiration from this recipe by Natalie.

These little bombs of fatty goodness are perfect for a low-carb or a keto diet, and the high fat content should leave you feeling satisfied instead of craving more. {Note - a low-carb, low-fat diet WILL NOT WORK. You need calories, i.e. energy, to make it through your day. Fat bombs could be an easy way for some to assure a high enough level of healthy fats in their daily diet.} You can choose how sweet you want these as well. I used liquid stevia in this recipe, but honey or maple syrup would work just as well.

So far fat bombs seem to be working well for me - I pull a couple outta the fridge when my sweet tooth starts bellowing, and slowly allow small bites to melt in my mouth. It's a heavenly experience :)

Chocolate Tahini Fat Bombs

  • 200 grams melted coconut oil
  • 50 grams tahini paste
  • 10 grams cacao powder
  • A splash of homemade vanilla extract
  • *optional: fave sweetener to taste
  1. Melt everything together and mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour into silicon molds and allow to harden in the fridge or freezer.
  3. Store in the fridge or freezer indefinitely.

Nutritional Information (for the entire batch, no sweetener): 
  • calories: 1,988
  • fat: 224 g
  • carbs: 14 g (net carbs: 7 g)
  • protein: 9 g
For those of you using My Fitness Pal to track your macros, this recipe is already entered in the database. Simply search for "Be Paleo and Thrive - Chocolate Tahini Fat Bombs".

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Whole30-ish Life {sugar}

I recently finished my second round of Whole30. I was grain free, sugar free, dairy free, alcohol free and SWYPO free for 41 1/2 days. I also limited my fruit and nut consumption to almost nil.

And I felt amazing!

I loved my Whole41and1/2. I loved how great it made me feel, how wonderfully it relieved many symptoms I was suffering from, and how much healthier it helped me look.

But all did not remain well and rosy in my life...

The Banana

On day 41, I ate about 5/6 of a fairly ripe, smallish banana. I slowly bloated throughout the day, to point where I had to remove my belt as it was cutting into my stomach. The next morning {21 hours after eating the banana} when I woke up for my workout, I decided to measure my midsection... and was shocked to see the number! I carried on with what I was doing - and proceeded to "pass gas" with every step I took

After my 10 minute HIIT session was up, I decided to remeasure my midsection, to see if the flatulence had "done" anything... I was down 6 centimeters! Now, I wish 6 centimeters around the stomach could be lost after a good HIIT session, but I know this was just my bloat finally going away! 

The banana continued to work its magic, gifting me with a not-so-pleasant trip to the toilet a full 32 hours after eating it!

How do I know the banana was to blame for all this? Because I am a creature of habit. I love change, but I also love eating my favorite foods. Over and over again. My breakfasts and lunches were identical all that week, and I didn't try anything new at dinner either. The only difference was that pesky banana. Until...

The Sauce

On day 42, I invented a sauce. This sauce may very well be my favorite sauce in the whole wide world, but I just might never eat it again. I purposely made it low sugar for two reasons: I don't like sweet sauces on my meat and I know I'm sensitive to sugar.

This recipe had 2 tablespoons of molasses and 2 teaspoons of tamarind concentrate. I used about 1/3 of the recipe in my dinner, of which I ate about half. This means I ingested about 1 teaspoon of molasses and 1/3 of a teaspoon of tamarind.

I woke up the next day bloated. I measured my midsection once again, did my HIIT, gassed up the living room, remeasured - and I had once again "lost" several centimeters.

I also woke up grumpy. Unmotivated. Discouraged and just generally depressed. In other words, exactly how I woke up every morning pre-Whole30...

The Marzipan

The hubster's grandmother, Mamy, had made me special marzipan "eggs" coated in cocoa powder for Easter, since I couldn't have the traditional store-bought chocolate eggs. I was in the middle of my Whole30 at Easter, so I promised her I would store them in the fridge and eat them after.

Day 43, I woke up grumpy. Unmotivated. Discouraged and just generally depressed. I went about my daily duties, then I realized my stomach was rumbling at about 4 o'clock. Once again, I am a creature of habit. My food has been the same all week. I wasn't hungry at all the other days of the week at this hour. Pre-Whole30 though, when I was eating higher carb, I was always hungry and dying to eat each afternoon.

I made myself a deviled egg and sliced up some chorizo. I ate it. It wasn't "enough". I ate another egg. Still not "enough". I ate more chorizo. Even that wasn't "enough". I opened the fridge again and noticed the marzipan eggs. I ate one. It didn't even taste as good as I remembered marzipan tasting, but all I wanted to do was shove them all in my mouth. So I forced myself to shut the fridge and walked away.

Shortly after, I experienced what I call a "carb high" where my head literally spins and I feel dizzy and fuzzy headed. And just for the record, the marzipan egg was the size of a traditional, small, chocolate Easter egg.

The Conclusion

I'm getting the impression that sugar, in any form, bothers me. Natural sugars found in fruit {the banana}, refined sugars such as molasses and tamarind paste {the sauce} and even lesser-refined sugars such as honey {the marzipan}.

The Game Plan

  • I intend on going back to a Whole30 template for a few days, then try sugar again, probably in the form of different fruit {strawberries are sounding good to me right about now}.
  • I also intend to read the SIBO guide Diane from Balanced Bites so generously provided for her newsletter subscribers, free of charge! Ever since first hearing about Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth, I've suspected having an issue with it - now may be the time to find out for sure!
  • I intend to look into FODMAPs / SCD lifestyles again. I always found the diet guidelines to be too restricting, but I'm coming to the conclusion that maybe that's exactly what I need - especially if I can heal my gut and reintroduce certain foods later on.

I don't especially want to ban all forms of sugar from my life, but if eating sugar means I am bloated and uncomfortable, grouchy and depressed, as well as dizzy with brain fog, I will gladly pass on it.

Diet is so personal, and will be completely different for everyone. Don't take my bad experiences to be the only way there is - but if you're experiencing similar symptoms, know that you're not alone. I hope to find a solution to my problem, and maybe even help someone else out as well.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I don't like sweet meat... {Meg's 27 Sauce}

I never was into sweet on my meat. Sometimes a bit of honey with duck, but that's about as far as I will happily go. And don't even try to get me to eat a fruit-based sauce. It's just not going to happen. 

Therefore, I was never a fan of BBQ sauce. While my whole family would happily squirt BBQ sauce over everything, I was only happy with my bottle of Heinz 57 sauce. It was tangy, a tad spicy and very savory. It made everything I ate that much tastier. There was always a bottle in the fridge for me. And it truly was just for me - when I went back to visit my folks this summer, there was nary a bottle to be seen!

And so while my love for Heinz 57 was true and deep, our relationship had to come to an end when I adopted a clean eating lifestyle. If you've never looked at the ingredients list on the back of a bottle, here they are:

Tomato Paste, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Malt Vinegar, Distilled White Vinegar, 
Salt, Raisin Concentrate, Mustard Flour, Soybean Oil, Turmeric, Spices, 
Apple Concentrate, Guar Gum, Potassium Sorbate And Sodium Benzoate (As Preservatives), Caramel Coloring, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Natural Flavors.

Yikes! There's a lot of stuff in that list that I don't want to be eating!

I sadly finished the bottle I had, then immediately set about trying to duplicate the taste I so loved.

And I failed. And failed again. Over and over, recipe after recipe, I just could not get the taste right. 

Until today.

I wasn't even thinking about this sauce. I actually had thought about it in a very long while. I was just perusing BBQ sauce recipes, comparing ingredients and playing with proportions. I threw a few things together and mixed them up. Then I tasted it. And everything came flooding back. This. Was. My. Sauce.

So, if you're into the tangy, spicy and savoriness that is Heinz 57 sauce, you will absolutely love Meg's 27 sauce. {Tid Bit - 27 is my favorite number :p} Throw some together today - but be sure to double or triple the recipe as it's sure to go fast!

Meg's 27 Sauce

  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tsp tamarind sauce
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  1. Mix everything together well.
  2. Refrigerate covered for up to two weeks.

Nutritional Information (for the entire batch): 
  • calories: 500
  • fat: 25 g
  • carbs: 64 (net carbs: 58 g)
  • protein: 8 g
For those of you using My Fitness Pal to track your macros, this recipe is already entered in the database. Simply search for "Be Paleo and Thrive - Meg's 27 Sauce".

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Eating the Whole Plant {radish greens}

I used to think I hated radishes, but really, I just don't like store-bought radishes. I'm not quite sure what difference it makes, but every variety of radish I've eaten from the store has been too strong and too icky for me... yet every variety of radish I've eaten that has come from someone's home garden or my weekly veggie basket has been delicious!

Up until recently, I'd only ever had the radish root to work with. Then a beautiful bunch of radishes were delivered in my veggie basket - complete with their leafy green tops!

I was super excited by this because, A, I love {garden fresh} radishes and, B, I was going to get to try a new veggie - radish greens!

I scoured the Internet looking for a recipe to try but finally just decided to go the simple route - my basic mustard vinaigrette and chopped hard boiled egg on top of a bed of the leafy green goodness.

Verdict? The greens are just as yummy as the vibrant red roots!

Radish Greens Salad

  • One bunch of radish greens (about 2 cups)
  • 4 average-sized radishes
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  1. Wash and chop the greens and radishes. Peel and chop the egg. Dress two plates with the salad.
  2. Mix together the mustard, oil and vinegar (a small milk frother works wonders here!). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salads and serve.