Tag Archives | Primal

Whole 30: Week One

What surprised me most about Week One of my Whole 30 experiment was actually how little change there was to my standard diet.

I’m already dairy & gluten-free, hardly ever eat out or order takeout, and rarely eat processed foods.

The hard part for me – And one of the reasons that I wanted to do this challenge – Was cutting out sugar & sweeteners. However inadvertent they may be. Protein powder anyone? I usually eat a clean, high raw diet throughout the day, but lately I’ve been baking up a storm in the evenings. And while I’m not saying coconut sugar & maple syrup are evil – I was curious how cutting them out would affect my day-to-day life.

Obviously, starting the Whole 30 didn’t mean that my sweet tooth went away. In fact, usually telling myself I can’t have something is the best way to kickstart a serious craving. But reaching for healthier, clean choices like the recommendations below is the key to conquering the Whole 30!

Recipes:

The Whole 30 Paleo Primal Caveman Vegan Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Banana Soft Serve Ice Cream

{Vegan Banana Soft Serve}

My Sunday Prep for Week One included cutting veggies, making soup, and preparing things for quick & easy evening meals.

Veggie Soup – Cauliflower, sweet potatoes, green beans, edamame, onions, shallots, garlic & spices. Heavy on the turmeric. Simple & quick but very tasty. I ate this with a salad, stirfry, or crudité & hummus most nights this week.

Sweets – Fruit is a-ok during the Whole 30, in moderation, so I’ve been eating apples, oranges & berries to feed my sweet cravings. And in the evenings I’ve been whipping up {literally} ice cream-y protein puddings with frozen bananas, protein powder & chia seeds. Stay tuned for a recipe!

Outcome:

Sleep – Not a huge change but a little bit better. Fingers & toes crossed for a more dramatic result during week two!

Energy – Here’s where losing the sugar definitely came in handy. My energy has been incredibly even – No swings or dips. That’s a huge plus of this kind of diet.

Workouts – This was where I saw the most change. My workouts for the last month or so have been lackluster to put it mildly – I’ve had no enthusiasm or drive in the gym lately. Well that’s changed! I can’t remember being so sore and  I loved every minute of my tough workouts the past four days.

Fitness Friday Beginners Fitness Health Nutrition Fitness Lorna Jane San Francisco Fitness Blog Healthy Lifestyle Bodyweight Exercise Lunges Weighted Reverse Lunge{Beginners Fitness}

Whining:

What I’m trying NOT to do this month is complain about what I’m missing. I don’t need cookies, fruit is just fine. That being said, I have to admit that what I miss most is my usual salad dressing which has a touch of sweetener in it and my favorite weekend indulgence – A soy cappuccino.

I’ll be excited to get those back in June!

Did YOU have a favorite clean eating recipe this week?

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Whole 30: Introduction

If you’re a long-time MCLV follower this next statement might be a little startling, but stick with me.

I just started The Whole 30.

For those of you who just gasped – I’ll explain. And clarify.

For those of you who shrugged and gave a mental “huh?” – The Whole 30 is a strict Paleo 30 day food rebalance program. It’s intended as a reset versus a sustainable eating style and includes some tenants that I can get behind. Namely:

  • No alcohol
  • No sugar
  • No processed foods
  • No gluten
  • No dairy

The last two aren’t issues for me, but you’d be AMAZED just how prevalent sugar is in the things you’re eating. Even the “healthy” things! Sauces, dressings, protein powder, vitamins, supplements… The list is terrifyingly long. And while it can be a daunting prospect to cut all of those sources from your diet, I speak from experience when I say that you’ll be thrilled with the results.

The other major hallmark of the Paleo diet is the consumption of meat. It’s basically a tenant of the Paleo religion. That means that I’m going to do a slightly modified version of the program which includes tempeh, natto, edamame, vegetables, fruits, healthy coconut fats (oil, butter, meat), and some nuts & seeds.

The Whole 30 Vegetarian Vegan Paleo Primal Caveman San Francisco Food Blogger

{Whole-30-Vegetarian-Shopping-List}

I tackled this program last January {Whole 30: The End} and really enjoyed the results – Better sleep, healthier GI tract, faster workout recovery, more fun & creativity in the kitchen… All of those things sound wonderful right now after months of stress, sleep deprivation, and the resulting over-indulging.

I already eat a pretty clean diet most of the time {Clean Green Eating} so this program isn’t about making drastic changes, it’s just about focusing on my health. Actually – GASP – Thinking before eating. In my April Round-Up I talked about how April was an overwhelmingly stressful month so it makes sense to me to work on nourishing myself while I focus on distressing my daily life.

When you’re tired and overworked, junk food is easy, convenient, and appealing – So I’m committing myself to making better choices this May!

Interested in joining me or learning more about The Whole 30? I highly recommend checking out Holly Would If She Could for endless inspiration – From non-stop motivation to mouth-watering recipes to comments, confessions & observations that’ll make you giggle.

Have YOU ever tried The Whole 30? Any interest in clean eating programs?

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Healthy Sweet Treats

Sometimes the urge for something sweet just can’t be ignored. Whether you have a serious craving and don’t want to derail your clean eating plan or you want to try out a healthier alternative for your family, here are some great healthy sweet treats – From delicious weekend breakfasts to cookies and other traditional desserts.

These healthy sweet treats are easy to adapt, allergen free, and range from vegan to gluten-free to paleo-friendly.

Buttercream Frosting

Healthy-Desserts-Vegan-Gluten-Free-Nutella-Cookies

Gluten-Free Nutella Cookies

Almond Butterfingers

Cherry-Chocolate Mousse Pie

Healthy-Desserts-Vegan-Gluten-Free-Pancakes

Gluten-Free, Vegan Pancakes

Superfood Toffee Buttercups

Raw Carrot Cake Pudding

healthy-dessert-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Bars

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Please note, however, that while there are great, healthy alternatives to traditional desserts and sweet treats, they’re still desserts and should be eaten in moderation. Just because something is healthier, doesn’t mean it should be the whole meal. Usually. 🙂

What’s YOUR favorite sweet treat?

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MCLV Mange: Banana Bread Macaroons

Do you love macaroons? Do you love banana bread? Those are both rhetorical questions, obviously…

This delicious recipe filled with healthy, whole foods combines those two and brings you the cookie of 2014 – Banana Bread Macaroons.

{But really – Who’s in charge of those kind of trends? And more importantly, can I be on the committee?}

Banana-Bread-Macaroons-Vegan-Gluten-Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 2 Cups Coconut {Shredded or Flaked}
  • 1/2 Cup Flour {I used coconut, but you could use almond or cashew meal as well}
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Sweetener {Maple syrup is always my first choice!}
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions:

  • Set oven for 350 degrees
  • Combine ingredients {Simple, right?}
  • Roll batter into balls & place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes – They should start to show a little color on top when they’re done
  • Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before taking them off the baking sheet

These are almost as addicting as the Coconut Cashew Cookies that I shared at the end of December. They’re basically the perfect bite-sized comfort food that’s easy to make & filled with good-for-you whole foods.

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

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MCLV Mange: Pumpkin Biscuits

When I first got the idea of making biscuits I realized something – Virtually every recipe I could find had shortening listed as a pretty significant ingredient. Not only have I never actually bought shortening, but as a texture-sensitive person I remember being horrified by the stick of Crisco my mother kept in the fridge. {Note: I also don’t eat mushrooms or avocados for the same reason to the endless irritation of anyone who tries to cook for me.}

No thank you.

So to celebrate Thanksgiving in my own OCD way I set out to create a tasty shortening-free biscuit. Using Bubble Girl Bakes’ Sweet Potato Biscuits as a starting point I created these delicious, albeit not quite as pretty, pumpkin biscuits.

Not only are they shortening free, they’re vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, and can be made paleo with minor changes to the simple ingredient list.

Vegan-Gluten-Free-Pumpkin-Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Pumpkin
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 2 Cups Almond Meal {Or flour of your choice}
  • 2 Tablespoons Sweetener {I used maple syrup}
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Applesauce

*Note: I made both a sweet and a savory version of these little gems. You can play up either side of the spectrum with spices – Add cinnamon & nutmeg for a dessert-style biscuit, or a dash of cayenne & some cumin for a spicier savory biscuit.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Line baking sheet w/ foil or parchment paper
  • In a smaller bowl whisk together pumpkin, milk of your choice, applesauce & oil
  • In a larger bowl combine sweetener, baking soda & salt
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ones and whisk together – You’ll end up with a fluffy dough
  • Spoon out dough onto baking sheet {You can get as fancy as you’d like to shape them – Cookie cutters could work if you stuck the dough in the fridge to solidify for a few minutes}
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes {This varies depending on your oven & the texture you’d like – For a softer biscuit bake for a shorter period of time}

I’ve already made 3 batches of these since I set out on my biscuit mission and I’m still not sick of them. They’re definitely going to be on my Thanksgiving table this year. And probably the day after Thanksgiving as well if I’m being honest.

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series to see what you’ve missed so far:

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