Happenings this Week:
Hello again! First I just want to say I am having a ton of fun writing these posts and being able to share all this amazing information; I really hope you will all find it useful in some sort of way! Thank you everyone for your positive feedback in person or on the box’s Facebook! I HIGHLY encourage everyone to post to the comments on this blog or anywhere else for that matter; I want to hear from YOU!! Manda mentioned to me that some of you are ready for a new nutrition/ health challenge. I am going to start putting together some ideas and get all of my stuff in line so that I can make the next challenge an exciting and successful one for you all. I am thinking March would be a great time to start the challenge in order to kick the spring off with a BANG. I want to go all out with before and after pictures, a great Paleo prize or two (in addition to the pool money), some group “meetings”, recipe handouts, and a potluck! Those are just a few things in the works. Watch for further announcements, sign ups, and get ready to make some big changes! WHO’S IN??! Also, I would like to share how overjoyed I am about the people who have been coming to me about how I have helped inspire a change in their diet, or to push themselves a little harder at the box; I greatly appreciate each and every one of you and am glad I can help even in the smallest of ways. Lastly, I want to mention that throughout this post there are several links that appear in bold type so don’t forget to click them!
Paleo, Paleo, and MORE Paleo: Resources
First off, please take a few moments to look in the right hand column and check out all the awesome links I have gathered for you. These are all amazing resources that I follow weekly and get my information, recipes, and inspiration from. Along with the different websites and blogs there are plenty of helpful books that I have also come across in addition to Everyday Paleo and Rob Wolf’s The Paleo Solution Diet.
The first book I would like to talk about is a cookbook called Make it Paleo by Bill Staley and Hailey Mason whom are also the lovely couple behind the blog The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate. You may have heard me talk about this book; I love it so much. It has a ton of amazing versatile recipes that can be tweaked to fit anyone’s taste. There are recipes for simple everyday foods as well as party and dinner ideas, and even a ton of sweet treats for special occasions. I cook from this book almost daily, and am always pleasantly surprised at the outcome of the different flavor combinations. One of the most important elements of Paleo cooking is the incorporation of different flavors in order to keep things interesting to keep you on a successful path of healthy eating. You can find more information about the book here and you can purchase it on Amazon.com. I highly recommend purchasing this book.
The next book I would like to mention is one I came across recently called Wheat Belly by William Davis. This book puts a lot of things about eating wheat into perspective in a very easy to understand scientific manner. I have yet to finish reading it (I promise it isn’t because it is a bad book I just never have any time!), but what I have read is incredibly interesting and can also be purchased on Amazon.
Cooking Tips: Spices, Herbs, and Oil
I have found great sucess in Paleo eating through keeping it simple while having lots of variety. You could have chicken every day of the week and it taste like a different dish each time by simply changing the spices you use or the way you cook it. I picked this as my number one cooking tip because taste is important, and many people are afraid to “go Paleo” because they are scared of getting bored with the same ol’ food choices of meat and veggies. Take some time to go through your spice cabinet, drawer, or rack. Throw out anything that is more than 2 years old, and make of list of any you may be running short on; I cannot tell you how many times I have ran out of cumin mid- recipe. Some spices and herbs I keep on hand and use almost daily are cumin, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, chili powder, dried ground yellow mustard, cayenne, cinnamon, chipotle, curry powder, dried oregano, and dill weed. Ones that I use less frequently are nutmeg, cloves, allspice, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and basil. Of course a pepper and sea salt grinder, as well as garlic powder (NOT GARLIC SALT) are musts. Another useful approach to Paleo cooking is to always make sure you have some fresh garlic and fresh herbs available. I LOVE fresh herbs in anything and everything (eggs especially) and they are a great way to add a little extra flavor to things that are made frequently such as salads, eggs, chicken, meatloaf, and hamburger patties. I always make sure I have fresh basil, rosemary and oregano on hand in the refrigerator. Do not be afraid to try different flavor combinations on your foods! Lastly I would like to talk about oils. There are two types of oils you should always have and use frequently, Coconut oil and Olive oil. NEVER EVER use Vegetable, canola, or other highly processed oils; here is a great link explaining why as well as a complete chart. You should use coconut oil for cooking and baking, and olive oil for dressings and “dips”. Purchasing coconut oil can get a little confusing and also depends on what you prefer; here is some helpful information about purchasing it. I myself am not a fan of the taste of coconut so I purchase Tropical Traditions’ Expeller Pressed Virgin coconut oil. Subscribe to their newsletter and they will send you all kinds of discount codes for such things as free shipping and buy one get one free. For baked goods you are going to want to use unrefined coconut oil, which actually has the sweet taste of coconut (I don’t mind it when chocolate is involved). Butter is also great to have on hand, grassfed is of course ideal and you can find it Vons, Fresh & Easy, and Trader Joe’s. The brand is kerrygold, it comes in a bright gold wrapping, and also in a yummy garlic herb variation that goes great in some mashed cauliflower. Butter is dairy so be careful and tread wisely if you have sensitivity to dairy products.
Recipe for the week: Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs
(photo courtesy Food Lovers’ Primal Palate)
This recipe comes via Food Lovers’ Primal Palate and is one that I make frequently. I had never thought to use smoked paprika on chicken before and was amazed at the taste of it; don’t be afraid to eat the skin! You can find the recipe HERE as well as in their book. Pair this with a simple salad, some mashed cauliflower, or sauteed asparagus.
Happy Eating All,