Through the Paleo diet/lifestyle and the Whole30 my family, friends and I are becoming healthier! We are getting to our healthy weights, moving more, sleeping better and have better energy. We are suffering fewer mild medical issues and are just overall feeling better every day!

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days. We cook and enjoy a lot of great food that's both tasty and healthy. I hope you'll find some recipes here that you'll enjoy!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Salmon on the grill!

I bought a one pound slab of fresh wild-caught salmon at the farmer's market on Friday.  It smelled so amazing, I couldn't wait to grill it up!  I found this recipe from The Food Lovers Kitchen.  It's simple and tasty.  I cheated a little and used lemon juice out of a bottle because I was out of lemons, but it turned out good and next time, I'll be sure to have lemons on hand!
I also made this simple, fresh salad to go along with it:

1 Cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 Tomato, diced
1 Bell Pepper, diced
Onion, diced (I use about 1/2 cup)

Mix it all together in a bowl with generous amounts of salt & pepper.  It will start to make it's own juice, so stir it all up before serving!

Friday, April 27, 2012

One Month

Day 31 ~ Friday, April 27, 2012

So, it's been a month!  I admit that I have indulged a little too much this week.  I am so ready to eat clean(er) again though.  I have been researching and contemplating the Whole30 Program.  As of right now, I am thinking of doing this June 1- June 30.  I know that's over a month away, but I want to be prepared.  Also, I am trying to make sure that I don't overlap it with some other treatments that my doc is doing.  This way, I will know if the Doc's treatments worked or if it was Whole30 doing it's magic!  If anyone has any advice on the Whole30 program, I'd be happy to hear it.  If anyone wants to do it with me, that would make my month! J

I have two new goals:
  1. Eat fish at least once a week (or seafood)
    Photo Credit:
  3. Eat Veggies with EVERY meal (breakfast is the hardest one for me)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Paleo Wild Game Meatloaf

Meatloaf is my hubby's favorite dish.  I think it's ok... but would like it better with an Italian flavor or something.  However, in the past, he's told me not to mess with a good thing.  "Salt & Pepper and Seasoning Salt is all it needs".  Ok, ok, but obviously now I have to make it Paleo!  So, I used a recipe called "Simple Meatloaf" found in  The Paleo Recipe Book as an inspiration recipe.  Here's what I did (sorry, no pictures this time!):

1lb of grassfed ground beef
1lb of ground venison (local deer killed by a friend of ours)
diced onion (didn't measure, sorry!)
1C. Almond Meal Flour (this seemed like a lot, I might cut it back next time)
2 eggs
1 6oz. can of organic tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic minced
Sea Salt, Pepper & Seasoning Salt

So... how did it turn out?   Well, after Hubby's first bite, he said "it tastes funny, what did you put it in it?".  But he ate two large servings of it.  I could taste the venison in it.  We have meat from 2 different deer in our freezer and one of them definately tastes gamier than the other.  But overall, it was just as "ok" as any other meatloaf we have ever made.  Although, Hubby had been experimenting not too long ago with ground turkey meatloaves and those were pretty darn tasty (cooked on the grill!).  I think I will use this recipe (or some variation of it) again.  Possibly without the venison...  The main thing I took away from it was to use Almond Meal in place of the bread crumbs and tomato paste in place of the ketchup. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Leftovers for lunch!

Day 24 ~ Friday, April 20, 2012

This is my lunch today.

It's leftovers from Wednesday night when I made chicken with this marinade recipe on the grill and then also made this:

2 zucchini, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 tomatoes, chopped (2 would have been better, but that's all I had)
1 clove of garlic, minced
A handful of chopped onion (however much you like)
Sea Salt & Pepper
I just put it on the grill with my chicken.  It took longer than expected to cook up though.  I had it on the grill for 35 minutes and the zucchini still needed to be softer, so it would be smart to put this on the grill while you are still preparing your meat... 

So, for lunch, I just mixed it all together in a bowl and nuked it. 
Turned out even better than the first night! 

by the way, i made the marinade over the weekend and had it in a jar in the fridge, so all i had to do was put it in a bag with the chicken on wednesday morning!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Changing Taste Buds?

I know my tastes have changed with age, but the last few weeks have been pretty amazing!  Remember when I said I didn't like the taste of coconut milk in my smoothie?  Well, I bought another half gallon and guess what?!  The other night I poured a glass of it and drank it!  WTH?!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

3 week Goal Review

DAY 22 ~ WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012

I mentioned some goals in this post and this postSo... how am I doing?  Let's see:

  • I'm still drinking a lot of water, but I've slacked off some the last few days.  Need to get back on track.
  • I haven't used artificial sweeteners in over 3 weeks!  This has by far been the best change I have made!  I have had sweets a few times, but I count them on one hand (3 times actually!).  I hardly crave any sweets anymore!
  • I quit using my fitness pal, so I have no idea how many grams of fiber or protein I am eating.  I know I am getting more fiber though, because I am eating several servings of fruits and veggies a day :)
  • I have only purchased grass-fed beef in the last 3 weeks.  This one is easy.  Even Hubby says he doesn't ever want me to buy meat at the grocery store again!
  • I have tried SEVERAL new foods in the last few weeks, including:
  • I have avoided eating almost any processed foods.  Other than ketchup, mustard, mayo and ranch dressing.  I do plan to make my own mayo and ranch dressing eventually...
  • I have had hardly any grains.  I had chips at the mexican resturaunt twice and fried pickles once.  I think that about sums up my grain consumption over the last few weeks.
  • I have reduced my dairy intake to cheese once or twice a week.  No milk, no yogurt...
  • I bought my first jar of ORGANIC coconut oil! 
  • I bought my first few dozen cage-free eggs and even a package of cage-free, hormone-free chicken breasts!
  • I've been reading a lot of material and purchased a lot of paleo cookbooks.  Also, joined a local paleo/zone recipe sharing group on fb!
  • Been buying more organic food/produce.
What do I still need to work on?

  • trying more new veggies
  • getting the courage to go gluten free for 21 days (my doc says it's the best way to see if I have a sensitivity or not)
  • pushing my self when I run or workout.  I think I did a good job of that here, but I need to do that more often!  Like at least 3 times a week.

Easiest Chicken Crockpot Recipe EVEH!

*this post has been edited*

This is the easiest recipe ever.

What you need:
a whole chicken (3.5-5.5lbs)
seasonings of your choice
veggies (onions, carrots, celery) 

Thaw the chicken if it's frozen, then clean it as your normally would (take the liver and neck out of the inside and rinse it under cool water).  Sprinkle the seasonings of your choice all over it on all sides liberally (on the inside too if you want).

Cut up your veggies (I like mine in big chunks) and put them in first.
Then just put it in the crockpot (breast up) like this:
If your chicken doesn't fit after you've put the veggies in, just
cut the chicken into quarters (using a kitchen shears) cut down
the center of the rib cage and remove the thigh/leg parts.
That's it.  I'm serious.  Turn the crockpot on low for 4-5 hours.  Don't add any liquid.  It will make it's own.  When you take the chicken out, it will be falling apart and moist and there will be juice like this left in the crockpot:
I know this picture looks kinda gross... sorry.
The "juice" left in the pot can be strained (to get the veggie chunks out) and used for stock later!  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Paleo Zucchini Bread

I made a ton of great paleo recipes this weekend.  I will feature one every day this week.  The one I am most proud of is the paleo zucchini bread that I made for my hubby.  Of course, he wasn't thrilled with it.  It's definitely NOT your grandmother's zucchini bread, but I really liked it.  Some other people that tried it said it tasted like gingerbread.  One paleo said she didn't like, she loved it! :)  It's very moist and tastes great by itself or slathered in butter!
I started with a med. size zucchini and my shredder
(still need to purchase a food processor)
This is what it looks like shredded (using the smaller end of the shredder)

all the wet ingredients
The coconut oil kept wanting to turn solid.  No matter how
much I mixed and whisked!

dry ingredients mixed
after mixing dry ingredients with wet ingredients
(see the lumps of coconut oil???!!!)
ready to go in the oven!

ready to eat!!!!!!!!!!!!


I did this workout yesterday evening:

I don't recommend trying it unless you don't plan on using your arms for anything the next day (like washing your hair or putting your seatbelt on).

It really wasn't that bad.  I plan to do it again (when I can raise my arms above my waist without crying).  I would like to change it up a little though.  Perhaps instead of crunches, I could do leg raises or bicylces?  Or add weight to my crunches...?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 17 already!

Ok, so I shared some deep fried pickles with my lunch buddies today, but I still I am making progress!  In fact, next week, I plan to revisit my goals from a few weeks ago and see where I've made progress!


If I was reading this blog a year ago, I would have been overwhelmed.  I would have been discouraged by ALL the changes that I needed to make.  I hope that my friends & family that read this aren't feeling that way, but I am sure some of them are.  So, I want to encourage you, if you are considering a healthier lifestyle, to make little changes.  One or two at a time.

A year ago, I was drinking diet soda and dumping splenda or sweet & low in my coffee and tea.  A year ago, I was eating whole grain pasta and "low-carb" breads/buns.  These were all "healthy alternatives" to what I had been eating a year before that.  I'm a work in progress and you are too.

When I think back to when I lost 46lbs on a low-fat points-based program, I shudder to think about how much processed food I was eating (and drinking!).  I also shudder to think how that number on the scale became SO important.  However, I did learn some valuable lessons and habits!  I learned about portion control, the importance of fiber, water and exercise, and I learned to try new things!

That low-fat points-based program wasn't a lifestyle that I could maintain.  I was so sick of counting points that I was ANGRY.  And I gained back more than half of what I lost!  I tried low-carb and zone without being able to maintain them either.  I feel like eating paleo is something that I can do all my life (of course, this is still fairly new to me, and we are always enthusiastic when we first start something new, aren't we?!) Only time will tell, but I feel so good and to be honest, the idea of eating highly processed foods actually kinda repulses me.  I have no desire to drink a soda (diet or regular) ever again.  And unlike when I tried these other "diets", I don't feel deprived.  I mean come on, I eat steak and bacon and veggies!

So, wherever you are in your journey to become healthier, please know that the most important thing is that you chose to go on the trip in the first place!  While I wish that everyone I know and love would jump on board, I understand that most people won't go from eating fritos and coke to grass-fed beef and veggies. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Measurements of Success!

Day 16 ~ Thursday, April 12, 2012

I know that the scale is not the way to measure my health.  I still use it though.  I am working on that...

Today I am wearing a pair of dress pants that were given to me about 2 years ago.  They were too tight to wear at the time.  Now they fit like a dream!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

THAT'S how I measure success! 

Image Source:

UPDATED! almost paleo burritos


Dinner last night looked like this...
...and tasted AH-MAZING!

Before Paleo our burritos would consist of:
ground turkey (store bought)
Black beans or Refried beans
cheese (lots of it!)
taco seasoning
Xtreme Wellnes High Fiber/Low Carb tortilla shells
reduced fat sour cream
if we used refried beans, we would have chips and dip them!

After Paleo:
grass fed ground beef
black beans (technically not paleo, but I had a can left to use up)
burrito seasoning packet (technically not paleo, but I had a packet left to use up)
green peppers
Wholly Guacamole
Living Lettuce (Butter) Leaves
Small amount of shredded cheese (debatably paleo?)
shredded lettuce for the salad

We're having leftovers tonight! :)
Next time I make these, I will leave out the beans (and possibly the cheese) and make my own seasoning using this recipe!.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Hubs has been requesting zucchini bread.  I've never made it in my life.  I know, I know... my palate has been VERY limited.  So.... I'm going to make him zucchini bread.  PALEO zucchini bread!

Zucchini is on sale at Kroger this week... Gonna give it a try.  Stay tuned...

Numbers Geek

I'm a numbers geek... (that's why I love My Fitness Pal so much!)

I haven't eaten bread 15 days
I haven't eaten pasta in 16 days
I haven't drank soda or energy drinks in 25 days
Since the beginning of the year, I've lost 6.6lbs (Wish I would have taken measurements, but I didn't)

I don't miss any of the above items.  I'm sure I will occasionally eat some whole grain pasta and possibly have some bread every now and then, but if/when I DO eat bread, I want it to be worth it!  I want it to be fresh baked, delicous bread! 

New Recipes

Day 15 ~ Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I've tried 2 new recipes!  Last night with our grass fed beef brats on the grill, we had Mashed Cauliflower from The Paleo Mom.  Neither one of us was impressed with it, BUT... in it's defense, I didn't use "traditional chicken broth" (more on that in a minute*) and I forgot to drain it before I started mashing it!  So... I will try it again.  But not for a while. :) 

I also made the blueberry cucumber smoothie from yesterday's post this morning.  It was a little too "cucumbery" and it made A LOT.  I added about tablespoon of honey to sweeten it up (I DID taste it first to see if it even needed it).  I will probably make this again, but with only one cucumber which will reduce the cucumber taste and the overall amount of smoothie that it makes.  It was very "refreshing" and would be perfect on a hot summer day.

*About my chicken "broth".  I often buy those little 5lb chickens when they are on sale and toss them in the crockpot.  It's really simple, just clean the chicken, season it and toss it in.  You don't have to add anything to the crockpot with it (although sometimes I throw carrots and celery in just for fun!)  The chicken is always moist and delicious.  This leave about 2 cups of liquid (chicken juice?) in the crockpot which I sometimes use to make soup or gravy.  Last time I just poured it into a plastic dish with a lid and froze it for later use.  This is what I used in our Mashed Cauliflower last night. 

Tonight I'm putting a new twist on an old favorite!  Will post pix and recipe tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blueberry Cucumber Smoothie

Totally going to try this!!!!!

Going grocery shopping after work...  can't wait to try this!

a few of my favorite things...

Day 14 ~ Tuesday, April 10th 2012

One of my favorite things on earth is ranch dressing!  Of course there are recipes for homemade paleo ranch dressings/dips!  It looks like I will have to master the paleo mayonnaise first... Here are some recipes that I found!

I will post on here when I try it out! 

My first day without using My Fitness Pal (yesterday) felt like coming down from a crack binge.  I admit, there were SEVERAL times throughout the day that I was tempted to go ahead and enter all my food and exercise.  I think I'm obsessed!  I especially wanted to enter the 2 miles I walked at lunch and the 1.3 miles I walked after work!  I love to brag and feel good about exercise :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Health and Holidays

Days 10 thru 13

I'll make this quick.  The last 4 days have been sucky.  I spent Wednesday night and Thursday writhing in pain.  I had a colonoscopy on Friday (the Demerol was nice!)  Saturday was a bit better and Sunday was ok.  Of course, Sunday being Easter, I over-ate and even splurged and had some pie and ice cream!  I did fill up on vegetables, deviled eggs and ham as well! 

I look forward to getting back on track today.  I have decided to take a break from using My Fitness Pal for this week.  I need to concentrate on EATING THE RIGHT FOODS and getting my health in order.  I want to try "freezer cooking", so I looked up some good Paleo Crock Pot Recipes this weekend.  I haven't looked too closely at them, but bookmarked the following sites:

30 Nights of Paleo Crock Pot Meals


Paleo Secrets

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Reflections and Corrections

Day 9 ~ Wednesday, April 4

In a previous post called Introduction, I showed off my fancy pie chart in My Fitness Pal and talked about percentages of calories from fat, carbs & protein.  I should mention, those guidelines are more Zone Diet, than Paleo.  Most Paleos don't count calories (or carbs...etc.).  I did find one guideline that states that you should eat a gram of protein for every pound that you weigh (daily).  I also found something stating that about 75% of your daily carlories should be fat.  So... I should probably just throw away My Fitness Pal and just EAT.  Or I might go crazy trying to "eat right"!  I still have an addiction to my scale and will probably continue to use My Fitness Pal as a "food journal" so that I can see where I am making improvements...etc.

In yesterday's post I mentioned that everyone's interpretation of Paleo is different.  So here's what paleo means to me (Right now, my views/opinions are subject to change!):

  • It means eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods of a high quality, rather than processed, unnatural, low quality foods.
  • It means not drinking "crap".  In other words, no soda, sugared teas, fruit juices (other than the occasional organic stuff), and limiting my alcohol intake (special occassions only!)
  • It means knowing about and caring about where my food comes from.
  • It means trying new vegetables and fruits often!
  • It means eating so that I feel good and have optimum health.

ps... I had a teeny tiny bit of brown sugar today!  I was dying for some oatmeal... :) 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

First Week!

So, yesterday marks a week since "day 1".  It's not a week of me eating "strict paleo", but it's a week of me educating myself more, and making big strides to be "more paleo".  Through my research I have found that what it means to be "paleo" differs from person to person to person.  So this blog should be called "My Path to MY Paleo" :)

Here are a few things I would like to note (and some I just want to brag about):

  • After only a few days of not consuming artificial sweeteners, I have NO sugar cravings.  Trust me, I've been tested!  I made an entire batch of cake pops without so much as licking my fingers!  I am still eating some sweet foods, such as fruits, berries and honey, but I don't crave anything sweet!  This is AWESOME!
  • This born-and-raised-in-the-dairy-state girl left the cheese off of her burger last night (and the bun of course)!  I am still on the fence about whether to include dairy in my diet or not.  Some people say they have seen the best results without it and others are "paleo plus dairy".  I will see...  Either way, the grass fed beef that I have been getting is so damned tasty, it needs no cheese!
  • I did add a tablespoon of this amazing local honey that I got to my smoothie yesterday and it was delish.  If you look closely at the photo of the ingredients in the blender, you might be able to see the golden deliciousness of the honey...


Day 6 ~ Sunday, April 1
Today I made my first frittata. I used bacon & Spinach and being a girl who was born and raised in the dairy state, I topped it with cheddar cheese. My husband turned his nose up when I told him what I was making. He even said that "eggs and spinach don't go together". He liked it. :)

I could not for the life of me get this photo to rotate.  So, cock your head to the right when viewing it, please :p

I also made my own vinnegarette dressing. It's a little sweet and "wangy" for my taste, but I can blend in nore ingredients before I use it again.  I purchased organic extra virgin olive oil and organic balsamic vinegar and added some other items that I had in the kitchen using this recipe.

Yesterday we went to a movie. I am a sucker for movie theater popcorn and I didn't resist. I did, however, forgo the soda for a bottle of water! Go me! Also, on the way to the theater, Hubby drove through Dairy Queen and got ice cream. I resisted :). I am also making a double batch of cake pops this week. So far I have baked the cakes, blended them with frosting and not tasted a single bit of it! Not even a lick off my fingers. I really think that not using artificial sweeteners has given me more will power over sweets. And it hasn't even been a week yet!