Paleo Banana Mocha Shake

Paleo Banana Mocha Shake

Before being diagnosed with celiac disease* I was in a “no man’s land”. Maybe you’ve been there too. It’s the place you end up when you don’t know what is making you sick and no one – including doctors – knows how to help you. It’s not a fun place to be. Back then, even though it was not clear what was making me sick, I must have subconsciously known it had to do with food. I simply felt better when I didn’t eat! Clearly we have to eat to live so this was not sustainable. Regardless, I got into the habit of skipping breakfast or only having coffee or a latte. To be more precise, the Triple Venti Latte (usually with an extra shot) at Starbucks was often my breakfast of choice.

Fortunately, I found a better option than skipping meals in order to feel good. As long as I don’t eat grains and gluten I generally feel pretty well. These days breakfast usually consists of eggs over-medium fried in ghee with fresh tomatoes and avocado or maybe bacon and berries. There’s typically some type of protein, veggies and/or fruit and a fat. But lately I’ve been making these paleo banana mocha shakes (or smoothies) for a change of pace. The shake goes great with a couple of eggs in the morning in place of my usual coffee. But I also like to have one in the later afternoon and use some of the leftover French-pressed coffee still in a thermos from the morning. The frozen banana gives this dairy-free chocolate shake body and sweetness and it combines well with the flavors of chocolate and coffee. It’s a great way to use up those bananas you froze when they got a couple of dark spots and no one would eat them. (At least that’s what happens in our house…) Continue reading

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Paleo Banana Pancakes and a Day in the Snow

The snow started early on Friday and did not relent until the following morning. Upon waking, we were met with the sun peeking into our bedroom windows giving the promise of a beautiful day. The promise was fulfilled with sun, warmer weather and just enough snow to make sledding, snow ice cream and snowmen possibilities.

But first, before venturing out, we shared a special breakfast together.

paleo pancakes in the window

We fortified ourselves with paleo banana pancakes made with almond and coconut flours, mashed banana and eggs. They were the perfect accompaniment to our wonder at the beauty of God’s creation in the snow.

Nat with Paleo PancakesWindchimesSnowy Branches

After devouring pancakes and bacon, and feasting our eyes on the snowy morning outside our windows, we decided to head to a nearby estate-turned-park known as Natirar. The crystal blue sky, the sparkling white snow and the giant sycamore trees greeted us.

Natirar in the snow

Natirar Waterfall

We thought it would be fun to make use of the pristine snow and venture sledding on the rolling hills.

It turned out a few others had the same idea.

Sledders at Natirar

Cross-Country Skiers

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Girls SleddingBlack and White Sledder

Snowball

by Shel Silverstein

I made myself a snow ball as perfect as could be.
I thought I’d keep it as a pet and let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas and a pillow for it’s head.
Then, last night it ran away.
But first — it wet the bed.

Nat and sledLea scarf

It was a fine day in the sunshine and snow filled with the beauty of nature and the joy of life exemplified by frolicking children and adults.

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Paleo Breakfast Porridge

I came across this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt recently.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature but beautiful old people are works of art.

A lot of meaning can be drawn from this particular statement. But in the context of health, it reminded me how we often take our wellness for granted. In our youth we may treat our bodies in a way that is less than ideal because we can get away with it. Eventually, the signs of abuse and/or neglect start to take their toll. When we start eating better, exercising, taking time to pray and/or meditate we may have the best of intentions but still struggle to stick with our new resolutions. Let’s take heart that the things we are doing now to take better care of ourselves, mind, body and soul will eventually pay off. We are investing in a future of better health and wellness. We are creating works of art.

Paleo Breakfast Porridge

Paleo Breakfast Porridge:: Paleo Spirit

Two years ago our family started down the path of creating a better, more healthful future for ourselves. As part of that, we began transitioning* to a grain-free diet. This paleo breakfast porridge recipe really helped us out during that time. Most people have never considered the possibility of a grain-free “cereal” and before going paleo we had not either. Our first “paleo porridge” was in a simpler form – just bananas (or plantains), coconut milk, almond meal and flax meal. It was born out of desperation – the desperation to make something that remotely resembled oatmeal or other types of hot cereal to replace what we were losing.

Since those early days, our paleo porridge has turned into a more complex dish. We began adding spices and all different types of toppings to the porridge. We always eat it as a side dish with a source of protein like sausage or eggs. It’s great with added berries, unsweetened coconut flakes and nuts. The sweetness will vary depending on the ripeness of the bananas you are using. We don’t typically add any additional sweetener but you have the option of drizzling a little maple syrup or raw honey on the porridge before serving if you like.

This paleo breakfast porridge recipe is easy and serves anywhere from 2-4 persons.

Paleo Breakfast Porridge Recipe

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Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Many of us started a month of Strict Paleo eating (aka Whole30) recently. This recipe for Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus helped our family get through day one and we hope it will find its way into one of your meals soon. One thing is clear, following a paleo way of eating is not going to mean deprivation. Just look at our breakfast. I mean, really. This is good stuff.

prosciutto-wrapped asparagus

Before getting to the recipe I wanted to mention G’s last post. In it, my husband wrote about his fall off the “paleo wagon”. In order to enter his giveaway he asked that readers include a comment on one of their New Year’s resolutions. It’s been really interesting reading the comments and I know many of you are excited, like we are, to start with a clean slate in the New Year. Several people noted their resistance to making “resolutions” feeling this could be a set-up for failure. Instead, there are lots of people who set “goals” which is probably a better way to look at it. No matter what time of year, it’s always a good idea to strive for health and wellness.

Here are some highlights of comments we’ve seen so far:

  • Loss weight and/or add muscle
  • Complete a month of strict paleo eating (Whole30) without cheating
  • “Run an 8 minute mile”
  • “To believe in myself”
  • “Make our children healthier”
  • Be able to “keep up with” kids and grandkids
  • One random act of kindness once a week
  • and many more…

I’m really glad G posed the question because we have enjoyed reading the responses very much. So thank you to all who have participated so far. (There’s still time to enter as of this writing!)

Now for the recipe for these tasty morsels!

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus: Paleospirit.com

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Basic Paleo Egg Muffins

Well, I managed to survive my first week back at work. Thank you to everyone who wished me well and offered a prayer. I really appreciate it. Making my transition a little easier was my pleasant surprise at the windowed office with a nice view. Yea trees and grass!

The drive is pretty substantial and it’s a good thing I drive a hybrid because otherwise a big chunk of my paycheck would go just for gas! The longish drive gives me the opportunity to listen to audiobooks again. This something I did years ago and really enjoy because it’s a great way to multitask. (I get my books either from the library or from www.audible.com) Right now I am reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. It’s one of those classic novels that I somehow managed to NOT read during school years. There’s a movie coming out in November so I figure now is the time to do it. Hopefully, the 38 hours (yes, 38 hours!) of audio will make my commute more tolerable.

One of the things I have noticed about being back at work is how awkward it feels to sit for most of the day. I SIT in my car then SIT at my desk for hours then walk to lunch or to a printer occasionally but mostly….I SIT. For the last two plus years I have been active from sun up to sundown. Aside from sitting here at my computer writing or editing photos, I am almost always standing or walking. So this is going to take some getting used to. Hmm. Maybe a standup desk is in order….

Here’s a shot of my feet from Saturday morning. It felt so wonderful to get back into my Lululemon leggings and Vibrams after a week of high heels and business suits. Aaah, heavenly comfort on a frosty morning.

Vibram Fivefingers

After this photo was taken I popped down to the local farmer’s market and found a few lovely ingredients for paleo breakfast. The following recipe for basic paleo egg muffins comes from those ingredients and my need to make breakfast fast and easy now that I’m more pressed for time. It’s one of those recipes that has the potential to get really fancy with the addition of various spices and veggies. I’m keeping it simple because this is the way my kids seem to like it best.

basic paleo egg muffins

You can make these egg muffins ahead of time then reheat in the morning for a quick meal at home or on the go. All you need is a pound of (ideally organic pasture-raised) pork breakfast sausage and a dozen eggs. With just those ingredients and a little oil, salt and pepper you’ve got breakfast – double it and you have enough for a few days.

basic paleo egg muffins

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