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!

Friday, June 29, 2012

New Recipe to Try!

I can fill in my blank dinner for Sunday, July 15 (Day 7 of my Whole30) with this Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad!  Doesn't it just sound yummy?  I think I will use romaine lettuce instead of ice burg though.  Also, I am going to try a few ranch dressing recipes between now and then... I'll let ya'll know how it turns out.

The link will lead you to several great summer recipes, so read up!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


My in-laws are here.  I have been cooking some wonderful Paleo dinners, but we've been chasing them with homemade rhubarb cake they brought along and ice cream.  I'm paying for my Paleo sins.  My gut is a mess.  Whole30 cannot come soon enough...

Here's my menu for Week 1of Whole30 (July 9-15).  Sunday is still undetermined because that's the day I plan to try a new recipe and I haven't decided which one yet.

Here is Nikki's Week 1 Menu (makes mine look lame):

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

(more) Whole30 Preperation

I re-made my Creamed Cucumber Recipe using my first attempt at homemade mayo.  I left out the sweetener (in preparation for the Whole30).  So, I peeled and sliced 2 large cucumbers, salted them and put them in the fridge for a few minutes.  Then I drained the juice off them, added 2-4 TBS of my homemade mayo and a tiny splash (1tsp?) of white wine vinegar (I never measure, just wing it!).  Mix it all up and add salt & pepper to taste!  It was really good!  In fact, it didn't really taste different from the original recipe.  I'm pleased to be able to add this to my Whole30 menu.

Here is what Nikki & I are reading today:
The Whole30 Timeline
Today's Letter: My Whole30 Journey

Yesterday it was:

I got my copy of It Starts With Food this weekend and I can't say enough good things about this book!  I'm about halfway through it and honestly, after the first few pages, I wanted to run over to Amazon and order it for several people in my life.  The book is seriously life-changing, so I can only imagine what the program will do!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Look at Me!

I made homemade Mayo!!!! 

I used this recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl.  I spent a lot of time reading comments on the Whole9 forum and essentially learned from everyone else's mistakes! I also watched a video about using a stick (immersion) blender to make mayo.  I'm sorry, but I don't remember where the video is on the web!  The main thing I took from the video was to pulse the blender on & off.  And even though some people of the forum said that the eggs don't have to be room temp when using a stick blender, I let everything get to room temp before I attempted to blend it.

So... the texture is spot on!  The taste is... so-so.  It's a little bitter (probably from the lemon juice).  I found another recipe on Everyday Paleo that uses some different ingredients.  I am thinking about using the cider vinegar from Everyday Paleo's recipe in place of the lemon juice in the recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl.  I also want to try the Everyday Paleo recipe as it is.  

I'm going to try using this mayo to make my creamed cucumbers recipe tonight and might even experiment with making dill or ranch dip with it!

Here's another recipe that I want to try which leads to this ranch dressing recipe, both from Paleo Table.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tune-up Progress

I didn't post last week because both my partner and I had GAINED!  I was too embarrassed to post about it.  But this week, I am down 3.8 lbs from last week (I honestly can't remember what my starting weight was, so, I'm not sure where I am at overall).  I gave up on the tone-up challenge.  Honestly, I have the attention span of a flea and can't stand to do the same thing day after day after day.  I need some variety!  I found this little gem of a workout from Prevention on Pinterest and I am doing it with a friend at work.  We walk at home in the morning before work and then get together at lunch and do the quick strength portion of the workout.  We top it off by sprinting around the block!  This is a 14 day thing, so I think my attention span will hold that long ;)  I have thought about picking the tone-up challenge back up a couple of days a week, but so far the Prevention 14-day workout is keeping me sore enough.

My partner and I had taken our measurements 6 weeks ago and finally re-measured last night.  In 6 weeks I lost 1-3/4" around my hips and 1" around my waist.  My thighs are unchanged and I lost 1/2" around each arm.  I'm thrilled with these results!  I can't wait to see what happens in 6 more weeks (I'll be nearing the end of my Whole30).  I'm hoping for some results at my thighs next time :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

12 Weeks!!!!

Monday was 12 weeks since I started this blog and got serious about Paleo.  I'd like to take a look back and see what good has come of this.  What progress have I made?

Since starting this blog I have:

  • Lost over 5% of my body weight (   I know that the scale isn't the best indicator of health, but I am a lover of hard data and numbers!)
  • Had to put several items of clothing away because they are too big (people commented on them being too baggy, so I quit wearing them!)
  • Have had very few episodes of the crippling GI problems that I was dealing with since November 2011.  The episodes I have had were much less painful and didn't last as long
  • Planned my meals for the entire week for the last 7 weeks and now have a LOT less stress about what to make for dinner and I make smarter choices!
  • Convinced my husband that Paleo is the way to go (he loves it!)
  • Learned that I like some things I had never tried (guacamole, zucchini, cabbage, coconut milk...etc.)
  • Discovered and decided to start the Whole30 program with my husband in July
  • Learned all sorts of things about how food & exercise affects your body (scientifically)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Whole 30 Plans (finally)!

We (me & Hubs) have finally set a date for doing the Whole30!  I think I am going to get his input on a weekly or daily basis for the blog.  We will be starting July 9th (Monday after July 4th camping trip) and wrap up on August 8th (3 days before we leave for our trip back to our home state of Wisconsin).  The timing couldn't be any more perfect!  There are a few items I need to find before we start:

  • Tuna without soy (I did find some at Kroger called Sustainable something or another).  Does anyone have any suggestions for this?
  • I need to try out making my own mayo/ranch (looking forward to this one!!!)
  • Ghee or clarified butter (if I can't find it, I guess I can clarify my own butter or just use coconut oil for EVERYTHING!)
  • It Starts With Food book from Whole9 (it's already on my Amazon Wish List!)
I started to compile a list of our paleo dinners & sides that I have made and that we liked a few weeks ago.  I need to pull that list out and add any new items to it and then decide which ones are Whole30 approved (or can be modified).  When I have that list complete, I'll share it on here and then plug it into our Whole30 calendar.  I want to have our entire 30 days meals planned out and also want to start stocking up on food in the next few weeks leading up to it.  

What I hope to get out of this:
  • Better quality sleep
  • "feeling better" (meaning no more aches & pains, headaches, stomach/GI trouble)
  • I'm pretty happy with my weight and size, but I wan't to lose a little jiggle  
  • making permanent changes to our lifestyle
If anyone wants to join us, comment below!  Or if you have tried this in the past, we'd love to hear from you too!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Menu Planning ~ Week 6

Here it is! I'm losing my creativity, so I only have 6 days on here.  Also, some of my meals from this week turned into 2-day meals, so I'm hoping the same will happen next week ;)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shrimp Recipe Fail

photo from
I tried this simple shrimp recipe this weekend and didn't like it.  I think I cooked it too long or something.  And it needed garlic or something.

Crock Pot Cabbage Rolls - UPDATED!

I made this recipe from Paleo Recipe Book.  I've never made traditional cabbage rolls before, but I have eaten them.   From what I can tell, the recipe is similar to other traditional recipes with the only major difference being the substitution of grated cauliflower in place of rice.  This recipe is a winner!  I really enjoy these for leftovers, so they are great recipe to cook up on Sunday and use for lunches Monday-Wednesday!

12 Large Cabbage Leaves (I just use as many as I can get from a head of cabbage and save the remaining cabbage for soup!)
1 egg
1/4 cup Chicken or Beef Stock
1/4 cup Chopped Onion
1lb Ground Beef (grass-fed if possible)
1 cup Cauliflower, grated
2 cans Tomato Sauce (the original recipe calls for one 8oz can, but this is not near enough!
2 tbsp Lemon Juice (original recipe calls for 1tbsp, but with the extra tomato sauce, I add extra lemon juice)
                                                                                    Salt & Pepper

Get a large pot of water boiling.  While you're waiting for the water to boil, start carefully peeling your cabbage leaves off the head.  Once the water is boiling, drop your cabbage leaves in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes to blanch them.  Then immediately run them under cold water in a colander.  In a bowl, combine stock, onion, ground beef, cauliflower and egg.  Season the mixture with Salt & Pepper (I usually throw some garlic powder in there too!)  Count how many you cabbage leaves you have and then divide your meat mixture into that many servings.  Roll one serving of the mixture up into each cabbage leaf and place the rolls in the bottom of the crockpot.  I roll them like a burrito, folding the sides in.  Prepare the sauce by combining the tomato sauce and lemon juice together.  Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls and season with salt & pepper.  Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This Week's Menu (6/10/12)

Better late than never...

I'm looking forward to making lamb for the first time!

Banana Bread!!!!!!

I made THREE different Paleo Banana Bread recipes on Sunday!  I should start by telling you that I am one of THOSE bakers.  I don't read all the directions before I get started.  I know, I know.  So, the the first recipe from Three New Leaves was a bit of fail.  I didn't even know where my electric mixer was (I almost always use a whisk) and I wasn't prepared to make TWO loaves of bread (I only have one bread pan, and it's glass, not aluminum).  So, I made one loaf in the bread pan and another in an aluminum cake pan.  It sort of fell apart, but tasted "just ok".  (note: it tasted a little better the next day).  This recipe was the most difficult/complicated of the three and probably won't be repeated in my kitchen.

The second recipe which comes from Running to the Kitchen had more promise because it had both almond flour AND coconut flour.  It turned out "salty" tasting,, but had the texture and look closest to traditional banana bread.  If I make this one again, I will cut the salt down to 1/2 teaspoon.  I did use two bananas instead of one because one just didn't seem like enough.  Also, I  might experiment with using honey in place of the maple syrup.  This one is good with a little butter and honey on a slice!
You can see the bottom of the loaf stayed in the pan, a little
grease might have helped...

I'm REALLY glad that I didn't give up after the first two recipes because the third turned out AMAZING!  I will definitely use this Paleo Banana Muffin Recipe from With Style & Grace again!  I made about half of the recipe with walnuts and half without.  These were by far the best!

I had fun experimenting in the kitchen this weekend and have more recipes to share with y'all later this week!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tune-Up Weigh In

My partner is camping at the river, so I had to use her weight from last week.  I lost 1.8lbs, so team Lady Swamp Slayers is down .64%!  The Tone-Up Challenge is tough, but I've been doing it every day!

Turkey Burgers with Creamed Cucumbers

I sort of made this recipe on accident about 2 weeks ago and didn't get a picture, so here it is!  I start by making my grandmother's Creamed Cucumbers recipe.


2-4 cucumbers (depending on size and how big of a batch you want to make)
Mayonnaise (I use Hellman's, but you can experiment with paleo mayonnaise)
Salt & Pepper
Sugar Substitute (my grandmother always used just a pinch of sugar, I used Stevia in the Raw)

Peel and slice the cucumbers (thinner slices are better!).  Put about half the slices in a bowl and generously shake salt on them, then put the rest in and salt them some more.  Give them a stir and put them in the fridge for a while to allow the juices to run out (I put them in the fridge while I made the turkey burger patties).  Take them out of the fridge and drain the juice off of them.  I also take a paper towel and mop some of the juice up that way.  If you don't get the juice off, they will be runny rather than creamy.  Add some mayonnaise to the bowl (I don't measure, but start with about 1/8c.)  Add about 1/2t of vinegar and 1/2 packet of Stevia.  Mix it all together and then determine if more mayo needs to be added.  It should be creamy and all cucumbers covered in the dressing.  Add some salt and pepper and put them back in the fridge until dinner is ready!  These make a great side dish to any summer grill meal, but I thought they were AMAZING atop my turkey burger!

For the turkey burgers, I used 1lb of 85/15 ground turkey.  I added some garlic powder, S&P and Italian Seasoning and mixed it all up.  I then formed 4 patties out of it.  I grilled the turkey burgers and when they were just about done, I put a slice of provolone cheese on each one and let it melt (you can skip the cheese if you are non-dairy).  Then I placed a slice of tomato on top and spooned some of the creamed cucumbers on top of that!  YUM-O!

Monday, June 4, 2012

More Daily Exercises for June

I've decided to add this to my June Challenge Tone-up:

found this on pinterest

Anyone care to join me?

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

We had friends over for dinner Saturday night.  For appetizers we had raw veggies with ranch dip (hidden valley ranch packet & tub of sour cream), deviled eggs & cranberry trail mix.  Dinner consisted of the quartered cabbage recipe from the farmer's market, Grass-fed Top Sirloin Steak and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp (see recipe below)!  It was delicious!

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
  1. You need a pound of uncooked wild caught shrimp, shells removed and deviened.
  2. 1 package of uncooked  bacon.
  3. Slice raw bacon strip into 3 pieces.
  4. Wrap each piece around a piece of shrimp and secure with a long wooden or metal skewer.
  5. Repeat. You can place several pieces of bacon wrapped shrimp on a single skewer.
  6. Heat up the grill! Lay all of the shrimp and bacon skewers on the grill. A few minutes on each side is all you need for crispy bacon and juicy shrimp.  
This recipe is from Intentional Consumption.  See some of his other ideas for bacon here. I'm thinking of trying the chocolate dipped bacon!

Next time I make this I will keep the grill heat low (to avoid flare ups from the bacon grease) and allow more time.  It took a little longer than I had planned.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Menu Planning ~ Week 4!

Here it is!

The bacon wrapped shrimp recipe can be found here and the beef roast recipe here.  We're having friends over to grill out on Saturday, so I thought the shrimp would make a great snack and go well with the steaks!  Have a great week everyone!

June Challenge

I've decided to do the June Tune-up Challenge from The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.  My partner in crime will be my friend Brittany.  I will also be doing the June Tone-up (see below) which is similar to the Mad Muscle May from last month!  I will post our success every Wednesday throughout the month!  If you care to join us, grab a partner and sign up (starts today!) and let me know in the comments how you are doing.