What Are We Eating This Week?

It’s no secret that I like lazy, easy, healthy meals.  I don’t mess around with recipes that call for 947 ingredients, and I certainly don’t want to extend my time in the kitchen any longer than I have to since I’m pretty much there for hours a day already.  I’m not saying eating real whole food made from scratch isn’t worth it, because it totally is, I’m just saying Can I Live?***

If you’re here, chances are you relate.  You want to be able to prepare a meal of real whole food quickly, without hassle.  Weekday, Weekend, it’s all the same to us, right?  In and out, baby.  Let’s get this food to the table, let the kids decide if it’s a “This is the best dinner ever!  Thank you Mommy!” night or a “I know this is my favorite food ever, but not tonight!” night, so we can wash the dishes for the twelfth time today.  Am I right?

I know I’m not alone, so for all two of you who read this blog my gift to you is “What Are We Eating This Week?”

I’ll share links when needed, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Breakfasts:

Sausage Egg Cups From PaleOMG

These are for my husband, so I use hot ground sausage.  Aldi, my second favorite place on earth right behind the whole state of Alaska, has it for super cheap.

Breakfast Salad   Spinach, cucumbers, avocado, cherry tomatoes with  fried eggs on top.

(My friend Jaci at Chasing A Hundred once said that anything is better with a fried egg on top.  She’s right.  She should also start blogging again! Ahem!)   I literally eat this every day.  It’s my favorite meal.  There’s something about using the egg yolk kind of like a dressing that’s extra amazing.  Add in the creamy avocado, and bacon, and it’s making me drool all over myself just thinking about it.

Lunches:

Salads with Rotisserie Chicken

Leftovers

Tuna Salad Wraps with homemade mayo, carrots, cucumbers, and olives

Egg Salad Wraps (also with homemade mayo)

Zoodles and Meatballs

Dinners:

BBQ Bacon Burger Salads

Featuring Home Made BBQ Sauce from Happy Wife Style  It’s really the star of the show!

Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, and Broccoli

Rotisserie Chicken with Kale Chips and Salad

Bangers and Mash  (Have I mentioned that Aldi carries ground sausage for cheap?)

Slow Cooker  Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef with Swiss Chard, and Cauliflower

Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Chicken in Boston Lettuce Wraps with olives and raw veggies

(Have I mentioned how good that BBQ Sauce is?)

 

The kids love helping, and their favorite thing to make is Kale Chips.  They’re pretty much experts at this point.  I just pull up their Learning Tower, give them a bowl and watch them skillfully rip the leaves into pieces and throw the stems on the floor.  (I’m not kidding, they totally do that every time!)

IMG_7123

Kale is serious business!

***Yes, I did link you to an Urban Dictionary entry because I’m super hip.  Don’t hate.  I’m actually fairly certain that none of these things I’ve said in this line are still cool.  Please don’t go.  I’ll try my best to not be so, um, uncool?

I’d love to hear what’s on your menu this week!   What’s your go-to easy meal?  Do your kids insist on throwing food items on the ground even if you’re standing six inches away with your hands extended?  

A Paleo Cooking Show?! It Could Be With Our Help!

It’s no secret that I am a major fangirl when it comes to Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, The Paleo Mom.

When we first went Paleo, I found the podcast she co-hosts with Stacy Toth of The Paleo Parents.
I spent hours absorbing the information they shared over 100 plus episodes.  I learned so much from the show.  I specifically love the “Why’s” behind the lifestyle in a segment they call “Science With Sarah.”

I don’t think it would be totally off-base to say that The Paleo View (listen here) has changed my life. Sarah and Stacy are relateable, likable, knowledgeable.  They are real life moms who have lost over 100 pounds, are managing diseases, and still manage to parent while producing amazing content week after week.

On recent episodes of The Paleo View Sarah has been dropping hints about a television show she’s involved with, and finally made the announcement today.  Sarah has teamed up with the crew from ECG Productions (the producers of “In Search Of The Perfect Human Diet) and filmed a pilot called
“Paleo Bites.”

“Paleo Bites” isn’t just a cooking show

 It will also feature segments called Lifestyle Bites, offering tips on things like stress management, sleep and exercise, and Science Bites, which is where Sarah really shines.  She has this incredible ability to explain complex ideas and processes to those of us who are, um, not so great at science.  In my (totally expert) opinion, there is no one else who could host this show, and do it with such humor and flair and general awesomeness as Sarah.

I really, really, really want this show to air!  Not just for my own selfish reasons and fangirldom, but for the millions of Americans who need this information.  Who can heal, feel better, look better if they only had this information.

So what can we do to help?

1.  Visit this post on The Paleo Mom.
2.  Watch the trailer and read more about the show
3.  Fill out the form to send to T.V. Stations (This can be done once a day!)
      **As an added bonus, you’ll receive a free .pdf with recipes, and be entered to win a viewing of             the pilot episode.  Hopefully I’ll win a spot, too and we can meet up!**
4.  Use #PaleoBitesTV and post on social media.  Share with your family, friends, followers, anyone who can use this information 
There are maybe four people in entire world who I am such a big fan of that I would consider writing an entire blog post about, but I am not exaggerating when I say that her podcast changed my life.  That’s a lofty statement, believe me I know, but it’s true.  I want others to have the chance to feel as good as I feel.  And Paleo Bites TV is a step in the right direction, a step towards educating the public and letting them experience real health.


Paleo Kids: Snacks

People are always shocked at the things our kids eat and enjoy.  Heck, I’m shocked at the things our kids eat and enjoy most times. 

I’m really lucky that they are brave and love to try new things.  When we made the switch to paleo, they were already eating well and there weren’t too many things that needed to change, but there were a few things that we added and tweaked.  
Bree just turned 3, Nathan is 18 months, and both are grazers who prefer to snack a lot as opposed to eating big meals.  Snacking, and doing so healthfully, is so important.
Here are some of their favorite snacks:

Olives  She likes black, he prefers green.
Avocados
Sardines Straight from the tin!  Shout out to Diane at Balanced Bites for that one!
Almond butter thinned with almond milk for dipping apples, cucumbers, carrots
               
Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, persimmons
Berries  This gets it’s own category since it’s like 1/3 of our grocery budget.  They love berries!  Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries.  
Baby spinach  (Raw) 

Cherry tomatoes (Quartered, choking hazard)

Kale chips  Bree makes these for us, and I just pop them in the oven to bake!  They’re a huge hit around here.
Coconut Milk Yogurt  This falls in the special treat category, but it’s so good.
Almond Nut Thin Crackers  Also a special treat, and the replacement for goldfish.
Bolthouse Farms Fruit Tubes Perfect replacement for Go-Gurts!
GoGo Squeeze Apple Sauces 

Larabars 

Plantain Chips

Applegate Farms Salami, Ham, Pepperoni

Sea Snax Seaweed  This is their favorite snack.  I can literally bribe them to do anything with these.  They’re seriously delicious.  

Sausage, Beef & Peppers, Oh My!

Did you ever make something, and before it was even done, just know that it was going to be one of the best things you’ve ever eaten?  I did.  It was the easiest, most simple recipe, too.

For your dining pleasure, I present to you:

                                                            Stuffed Peppers.

It’s a classic.  Were you expecting something more?  Do you not know me by now?  Lazy.  With a capital “L” and not just because it’s the first letter of a sentence.  I’m not about fancy, time consuming or hard recipes.  I like simple.  I love lazy.

Why is this recipe special?

1.  It combines ground beef and ground sausage for a little something extra.
2.  It’s totally paleo.  White rice is one of those things that’s questionable, some people react to it      
     while others are totally fine.  Since we’re still relative newbies, I’m still avoiding rice until our guts
     are nice and healthy.  It uses cauliflower “rice” instead.

The Ingredients  (Makes 8 servings)

8 Bell Peppers
1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb. Ground Sausage
1/2 Head Cauliflower “Rice”  (Put cauliflower through food processor until it resembles rice)
2 Small Cans Tomato Paste
1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
1 Small Can Diced Chilies
1 tbs Oregano

The Steps

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

1.  Cook the ground beef and sausage on the stove top
2.  Cut the tops off the peppers, and discard along with the seeds
3.  Once the beef/sausage mixture is cooked through, combine all the ingredients and mix well
4.  Fill the peppers with the mixture, and cook for approximately 30 minutes until peppers are tender

See?  Easy!


The Lazy Way aka Slow Cooking

I’m all about the slow cooker.  Shocking, right?  It’s the easiest, most lazy way of making dinner ever.

My awesome husband got me a new Crock Pot for Christmas, and I love it so hard.  (I also love that the old one can constantly be making nutrient dense bone broth!)

Rubies and Radishes has an amazing e-book called “Easy Paleo Slow Cooker Meals – Over 25 quick prep, nutrient dense, grain-free recipes” that I downloaded with The Family Resolution Revolution bundle that was offered by my favorite podcasters, Stacy from The Paleo View Podcast and one of the Paleo Parents.  (Word on the street is that another bundle will be offered this summer!)

The very first recipe in the book is for chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts.  My husband loves artichokes like I love sugar, so I knew I had to make it for him.  He will eat anything I make, and pretends to like most of it.  I knew we had a winner on our hands when we had this exchange:

The recipe is incredibly easy, and takes less than five minutes to prep.  Normally when recipes make those claims I double the time, but this one is seriously that easy.  
I’m not 100% sure, but it looks like you can receive the whole e-book for free when you sign up for the email list at Rubies and Radishes!  (You for sure receive a free book, I’m just not sure if you’ll get this exact one, but either way it’s a total win!)
Ready for the easy recipe?
Chicken
Jar of artichoke hearts
Jar of sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
Small can of tomato paste
Combine, and cook for 4-5 hours on low.
Then sit back, enjoy the amazing smell, and wait forever.  Wait some more.  And eventually it will be time to eat.
So yummy! I served it over a bed of spinach, and pretty much devoured it.  Yeah.  It was so good I basically just shoveled it into my mouth.   
  

I Want Candy

I’m a sugar freak.  

For as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with sugar. 
 My family loves to tell the tale of how, at five years old, I sat in front of the television with a bag of oreos and my two cups of milk** and destroyed the whole bag.  

My love of oreos, candy, chocolate, tastycakes, donuts and generally unhealthy foods didn’t end there.  During my first trimester with Aubrey, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  I ate well, and controlled it without medication.  Immediately after giving birth, I was GD free.  My blood glucose numbers were fine until my 28th week of pregnancy with Nathan.  This time I required medication since diet alone wasn’t cutting it.  After giving birth, my numbers sort of normalized, but I was still considered diabetic.
I happily took my medication, and pricked my fingers four times a day.  I knew I had diabetes, but didn’t really consider myself a diabetic.  I wasn’t sick.
Except, I was.
…………………………………………………………
Fast forward to this past summer, 2014.
I woke up one morning with a blood glucose reading of 490.  Yes, four hundred and ninety.  I called my then doctor, who said I should monitor it and come see her on Monday.  She told me to not be alone, gave me instructions on when I should head to the ER and things that my husband should look out for that would indicate I needed to be seen.
The next day my numbers were still high.  Over 500 fasting, and over 300 with meals and medication.  The solution?  “Oh, just increase your dosage!  No big deal!”
Say what?!
No big deal?  I spent all weekend thinking I was on the brink of death, or at least a coma, and now I’m being made to feel as if I am over-reacting?  What planet am I on?
I followed doctors orders for the next six weeks.  My numbers stayed high.  Still over 400 fasting, and in the 200’s with medication and meals. My A1C was now an ENTIRE point higher than previous draw.  
Guess what the advice was?  Increase your frequency.  Take this higher dose three times a day instead of two.
This didn’t sit well with me.  Wasn’t I damaging my body?  How does this make sense?   What can we do to make this get better?  To make me feel better?
Someone gave me a copy of Practical Paleo.  I looked at the meal plans, and decided to give it a try. 
And I was hooked.  Am hooked.
I’m so thankful that I found paleo, and that I’m regaining my health.  I still love sweet things (Larabars are filling that void for now) and I’m sure it will always be a struggle to avoid those things but I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.  Paleo is easy.   
I’m still working on reducing my stress level and sleeping at least eight hours a night (a nearly impossible feat with a working husband and two kids who don’t sleep through the night) but my numbers are normal.  I’m down to taking my medication once a day, and hopeful that I won’t need it much longer.  So that’s my story, my reason for giving this whole thing a try.
And the reason I avoid oreos.  Delicious, unhealthy, cream-filled goodness that was actually killing me.
** Two cups of milk?  Yes, m’aam.  “Clean” milk for drinking, and “Dirty” milk for dunking.  Am I the only weirdo who did that as a kid?  I can’t be!