Thursday, May 16, 2013


Do you ever feel like you're in a food rut?  I've sort of been feeling that way recently, and I've also been unhappy with the way I feel physically.  Even though I'm getting plenty of exercise, I don't feel like my energy level reflects it.  I definitely have a sweet tooth and eat a fair amount of sugar, and I also eat a lot of bread.  My stomach has been bothering me more and more since Annabel was born almost two years ago now, and I'm wondering if it's a combination of a slight gluten and dairy intolerance.  When I was nursing Annabel, we found out that she had a dairy intolerance so I had to stay away from everything dairy in order to keep nursing her.  Since then, I can't drink milk at all, and I can only handle small amounts of ice cream, cheese, and other dairy products. 

All of that was a somewhat long-winded explanation as to why I picked up a copy of "Practical Paleo" by Diane Sanfilippo at the bookstore over the weekend.  Have you heard of the Paleo Lifestyle?  It's "gluten-, grain-, legume-, dairy-, and refined-sugar-free!"  So basically you eat meat, eggs, vegetables, and fruit.  This book has a ton of interesting research, meal plans to help with specific ailments (neurological, heart health, digestive health, etc.) and 120 recipes.  After reading up on it a little bit, I decided to try it for a little while and see if it makes a difference in how I feel.  

My new book next to my pretty overflowing bowls of fruits and veggies.

I felt bad gloating about my fruits and veggies in that last photo so I thought I better share this one...the pie that's directly beside the fruits and veggies.  It was SO good (my in-laws brought it over for our cookout on Sunday), but tomorrow it's going to work with Will.  Someone other than me will be finishing it!
Yesterday was my first full day of eating Paleo and after waiting on pins and needles after each meal to feel the familiar stomach pangs, I realized before I went to bed that I hadn't felt a thing all day.  Win!  But while I'm not quite ready to say that Paleo is definitely the answer to my problems (I think I'll give it a month or so), I am encouraged by how I felt today.  Here's what I ate:

Basically I ate the same thing for breakfast and lunch, but in different (both delicious) forms:
Breakfast:  crust-less quiche with sausage, mushrooms, onions, and spinach, mango slices
Lunch:  sauteed zucchini, onions, and mushrooms over sausage with an over-easy egg on top, banana
Dinner:  lemon and artichoke chicken, steamed broccoli, sweet potatoes, mango slices
Snack/Dessert:  apple streusel egg muffins

I was a little concerned about my kids liking dinner since neither of them have had artichokes before and they're not big broccoli or sweet potato eaters, but they both gobbled everything up just as fast as I could fill up their plates.  Tommy had two whole pieces of chicken and ate all of his vegetables, and Annabel asked for seconds of everything.  Win!

While I will definitely be sharing that chicken recipe with you next week (SO good), I'm here today to tell you about those egg muffins.  I know what you're thinking...."egg muffins?!" Yes, egg muffins.  They're egg-y and pancake-y and popover-y, and surprisingly, they're really good.  (Yes, I had my doubts, too, but I needed something that felt dessert-y (goodness that's a lot of "-y's") without the gluten and dairy.)  

Tell me you wouldn't want to eat that.
With a generous bit of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup, it's the perfect sweet gluten-, dairy-, legume-, grain-, and refined-sugar-free treat! :)

It was good.
Here's the recipe:

3 green apples cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3TBSP warm water
2 tsp cinnamon, divided
9 eggs
1 1/2 TBSP butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled
3 TBSP coconut milk
1 1/2 TBSP coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Saute apples, water, and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon until the apples begin to break down and look sort of like apple pie filling.  Allow the apples to cool before adding them to the egg mixture.

Whisk the eggs, butter, coconut milk, coconut flour, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.  When the apples are cool, add them to the mixture, reserving 1/4 cup to garnish.

Spoon the batter into muffin tins (if you don't line them, be sure to use cooking spray or oil).  Carefully spoon a tsp of the reserved apples onto the top of each muffin.

Bake for 40 minutes.


Notes:  I only needed two apples to make two cups, and I used granny smith.  Also, I peeled the apples before cooking them since I knew my kids would like them better peel-free.  I ended up adding about 6 extra TBSP of water to my pan to help the apples break down.  Just make sure you watch them so they don't start to stick and burn.  Also, to make them just a tad sweeter since I used a tart apple, I added a couple teaspoons of maple syrup to the apples.  Since I couldn't find coconut flour (I'll be checking Whole Foods next week) I used Red Mill Gluten-and Dairy-Free All Purpose Baking Flour (see photo below). My oven runs hot so I only baked these muffins for 30 minutes.

Gluten- and dairy-free!

If you're looking for something a little different, I would definitely give these a try.  It's eggs, it's pancakes, it's everything good about breakfast all rolled into one.  Also, they'll make your house smell heavenly.  Breakfast today?  Apple streusel egg muffins, bacon, and coffee.  Good start to the day.

I don't know if I'll be eating this way forever, but as I give it a try for the next month or so, I'll be checking back in to let you know how it's going.

If you follow the Paleo lifestyle, I'm curious to hear how you like it!  Any advice for someone just starting out? 

P.s.  It's almost Friday!  Whoo!

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