Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grain-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I found this recipe doing a Google search for a Grain-Free Pumpkin Muffin, and found the posting on Mark's Daily Apple about this recipe on Balanced Bites

I LOVE pumpkin! Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Spice Lattes (my ultimate weakness), Pumpkin name it, I love it! There is just something about them that screams Fall which happens to be my FAVORITE time of the year! Cute cozy clothes, leaves changing colors, crisp nights, Halloween...I could go on forever!


These definitely had more of a "muffin" texture than the Blueberry muffins. They were soft and fluffy and did not crumble. They kind of seemed a little on the "eggy" side in first it wasn't appealing, but then I think I got used to it. I think I am going to experiment with this recipe and see if maybe adding less eggs or more "flour" will make the texture a little better.


1/2 C Butter or Coconut Oil (I used butter), melted
6 Eggs, beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 C Pumpkin Puree
1/4 C Honey or Maple Syrup (I used Honey)
1/2 C Coconut Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Nutmeg/Allspice
Pinch of Salt

Preheat oven to 400 F

Grease your muffin tin with butter or coconut oil.

Combine wet ingredients in a bowl: butter, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, honey (make sure the butter is not too hot or it will cook the eggs)

Mix in the dry ingredients. As you mix the dry ingredients, the batter will continually get thicker until it's kind of paste-like.

Spoon into your muffin tin.

Bake for 15-18 mins or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12

Grain-Free Blueberry Muffins

I found this recipe browsing through several different Paleo blogs and websites. This one I found on Organic & Thrifty

I have never been much of a breakfast eater. My parents were ALWAYS trying to get me to eat before school. They tried everything from cereal to french toast sticks. Nothing ever appealed to me. I just wasn't hungry in the mornings (let alone even awake!). To this day I really don't eat breakfast. We've all heard that its the "most important meal of the day", but getting up earlier just to eat something I don't even feel hungry for or even having to actually cook something before I left just doesn't work for me. 

I have to have steady hands for putting on individual lash extensions, and there are days when I will get shaky (presumably from not eating), and with as busy as I am I have absolutely NO time to eat in between clients. I would usually end up not eating my first meal until around 7 when I got home.

So in order to make it easy on myself, I decided I'd try and make some muffins to grab and take with me in the mornings. That way there is NO cooking involved before I head to work, and I can eat it in the car on the way there. 

Right out of the oven these babies are delicious! They are definitely more crumbly and messy than your average muffin, but still hold up fairly well. They DO NOT rise when they are baking, so don't expect that. They ended up looking like little biscuits when I pulled them out of the tin. It also seemed like a lot of the blueberries kind of sunk down to the bottom, so when I pulled them out of the tin they were kind of juicy and didn't have much of a bottom. DEFINITELY grease your tins well! I used butter and that worked really well.  

I think I am going to play around with the ingredients and see if I can come up with something that feels a little more like a muffin and not a biscuit. Taste-wise they were pretty good- not too sweet, but  maybe could have used just a touch more honey as the blueberries gave it a a little too much tartness for me. 

One other thing is figuring out how to store them... I let them cool completely then put them in a zip lock bag. But the next morning when I went to grab one they were kind of moist like they had sweat (if that makes sense). 


2 1/2 C Almond Meal/Flour
3 Large Eggs 
1/4 C honey
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 T Vanilla Extract
1 C Fresh Blueberries

Preheat the oven too 300 F

Grease your tins with coconut oil or butter. 

Mix the ingredients together until smooth. Gently fold in Blueberries.

Scoop the mixture into the muffin tin. (Batter will be pretty thick)

Bake for 30-40 mins (It was closer to 30 mins for me and they were pretty browned)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Zucchini Lasagna

I saw this on Pinterest and decided I wanted to give it a try. I LOVE Zucchini, and since it was kind of cold and gloomy yesterday I was feeling some comfort food. I adapted this recipe to fit my tastes, and it was amazing! I got home fairly late, so to make it a little less time consuming I used some short cuts to make the cook time a little shorter. I also try and make things as "natural" and organic as possible, but it can get expensive so there are things I sometimes compromise on.

1 lb Lean Ground Beef
3 Medium Zucchini, thinly sliced
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
1 package Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
1 Jar Tomato Sauce (I used an all natural, gluten free, no sugar added brand)
1 can Tomato Paste
1/2 T Minced Garlic
2 T Fresh Basil, chopped
1 T Parsley
2 T Oregano
1 T Butter
1/2 T Sea Salt (or to taste)
1 Tsp Pepper to taste
1/2 C Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 C Shredded Parmesan

Preheat Oven to 350 F

In a large sauce pan brown ground beef (drain excess liquid).

Add onions, mushrooms, and garlic and saute until soft and thoroughly cooked.

Add tomato sauce, paste, basil, parsley, oregano, butter, salt, and pepper. Simmer on low.

While the sauce is simmering, slice the zucchini into thin rounds.

Use a 9x13 pan. Put a little of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay zucchini slices in rows on top of the sauce. Add about half of the sauce on top of the zucchini, and repeat. You should have 2 layers of each.

Top with both cheeses and stick in the oven for 30-45 mins or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Let sit for 10 mins and then serve.


Ready, Set, GO!

At the week and the start of my Primal lifestyle I had a potential bump in the road. I met up with my colleague and a friend for happy hour to talk business and have a little girl time. At first we were supposed to go to I Love Sushi. Immediately I was worried about what I'd be able to eat. Then I just decided I'd eat some Nigiri Tuna (which is one of my favorites). Once we got there my colleague decided she wanted more for happy hour drinks so we headed to Lot No. 3. Once we got there I was anxious to see what was on the menu as I had never been there. I lucked out and saw that there were a few things that looked OK. We ended up ordering and sharing the "Roasted Cashews", "Meat and Cheese Board", and "Goat Cheese Toast". I know that alcohol is to be limited, and there are more favorable choices than others, so while I munched on the cashews and meat and cheese I sipped on a glass of Pinot Noir. I left feeling pretty good even though it was tough to avoid the yummy toast. 

One of the things that my colleague had been using for her fitness goals was a FitBit. I loved the idea of having something that would help me track my steps taken, floors climbed, total miles, calories burned, and sleep activity. I went straight over to Best Buy after happy hour and bought my very own for $99. Its only been a couple of days, but so far I LOVE it! I find myself motivated to do more and be more active to get my numbers higher. I highly recommend getting a FitBit if you would like to more closely track your activity and calories burned. I especially love the sleep feature since I generally have problems with getting enough sleep every night. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Going "Primal"

What's all this talk about "going Primal"? 

Go back thousands of years to the time of our ancestors, the "caveman". We were lean, mean, fighting machines. Life was not easy when you were always battling the elements and never sure of when and where you're next meal was coming. We lived off the land hunting and gathering. Everything we ate came from nature: meat (including plenty of fat) from various game, birds, fish, eggs, leafy greens, veggies, tubers, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Agriculture (wheat, gluten, and grains) and processed foods full of sugar, and ingredients and additives that we can barely pronounce were completely absent in our diet. Our bodies are designed to turn the food we eat into the fuel that moves our bodies and provides the building blocks to create strong muscles and sustaining life. 

Here is a fun and visual guide to eating paleo/primal:

The Path I've Chosen: The Primal Blueprint

As my blog title and description suggests, I am and have been addicted to carbs my whole life. My favorite foods have always consisted of: all kinds of breads (french bread and baked goods especially), pastas, chips/crackers with dip, and my ULTIMATE favorite, popcorn! Of course I have a soft spot for candy and ice cream, but first and foremost those aforementioned carbs are my kryptonite. Choice between French Toast or a Ham & Cheese Omelet; French Toast all the way! Time for lunch and I'm faced with the choice of Grilled Cheese or a Tossed Salad; bring on the cheesy buttery goodness! 

So why make the change and give up all my favorite, mouth-water inducing, "get. in. my. bellaaay" foods? The simple answer is to lose weight and look good. The more complex answer would be to get healthy and hopefully conquer some of my more obnoxious and persistant problems like psoriosis, my "night-owl" syndrome, chronic fatigue, "female problems", and lack of motivation to get off my butt and out of the house (walk the dogs, be more social, and do the things I need to do). 

There are many amazing varieties of the "caveman" diet, but I have chosen to follow Mark Sisson's "Primal Blueprint".  Throughout my blog I will use many of his findings, recipes, and articles as references (as well as other supporters of the primal/paleo lifestyle).

Will I miss scones, creamy pastas, dinner rolls, and chips? HECK YES!!!! Are you kidding? After 26 years of eating my favorites, it will take ALL my strength and will power to kick my addiction to carbs and sugar. There will be days of hair-pulling frustration and sadness, epic fails, and thoughts of giving up. BUT I know that if I can take it one day at a time and get through those tough days, things will get a little bit easier each day until I don't even bat a long, fabulous eyelash at my diet. 

This blog is meant to keep me accountable to myself and others by sharing my journey to a healthy lifestyle (the good and the bad days), to be a support and resource for others who are also on this journey or thinking about taking the leap, and to reach out and be a part of the Primal/Paleo Diet community.

Tomorrow marks the first day of the rest of my life living the Primal lifestyle! 

Stay Tuned!