Monday, September 24, 2012

Paleo Strawberry Coconut Cream Cheese Cupcake

Well, i hope that picture got your attention.
I love eating paleo, feeling thinner,  losing weight, eating delicious meats and vegetables, and more fruit than my husband :)

But every girl's got a craving - and mine has been cookies.

But cookies are verboten.  I don't like using unnatural ingredients :), and i thought there must be *some* way to get a yummy dessert without spending my cheat night card :)

So, i got out my Serene Allison cookbook, but i didn't see exactly what i was hoping for - my mind was saying "nut crust with butter", topped with cream cheese something?

So, with much fear and trembling, i started to assemble what i wanted to eat.  I wrote it down as i went in case it actually was eatable, and lo and behold, it was actually.... delicious.

The crust is actually completely fulfilling  my cookie urge, and the strawberry creamcheese filling on top is just the icing on the cake!

Stephanie's Paleo Strawberry Coconut Cream Cheese Cupcake
1 cup dried coconut
12 dried dates
1/2 tsp coconut oil

Vitamix this until it's a very fine powder.  Press into eight holes of a regular sized muffin tin (leaving four empty.  Sorry if you have OCD...  I was being parsimonious in case it was inedible!)

Next, vitamix 6 ripe strawberries with 1/2 c. dried coconut

Whip 1c. whipping cream, and fold in 4 oz cream cheese.
Add in the strawberry/coconut mixture and blend well.

Spoon the whipped cream mixture into the eight muffin tins and freeze/chill.

I hope you like this recipe as much as i do!  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Paleo Hospitality

I have been wanting to work on hospitality, to be better at it.  But it honestly is one of the hardest parts of eating paleo.

Eating paleo makes me feel so good, it is a really hard thing to eat something that i know will make me feel bloated, tired, and draggy.

But it is hard at public gatherings to go through the buffet line and ignore all the pasta, breads, and just grab all the "good things" - meats, salads, nuts :) and leave the rest.

and it's equally hard to invite someone over and serve just meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts.  It's not crazy, it's not bad, and it can be delicious.  But your choices are much more restricted, and i've had trouble feeling okay about hospitality, paleo style.

My friend Terry sent me a link to a blog that detailed a woman's "hospitality pantry" and it made me think.

 That it's not as simple as popping a frozen lasagne in the oven to "reheat" - it takes about 45 min to cook...

Same with chicken pies etc..  Although they are only about 30 min i guess...

Coach T does have a weakness for treats!!!  So, out of love for him, i do not buy packaged cookies/treats/sweets.  If i do, i buy them planning to use them immediately (i.e. that day or the next day at the latest), and if i buy, say, a bag of Oreos for the children - they get the whole bag at once.  (There are seven who can eat Oreos, so it's not like anyone is dying of sugar poison!)  And then there are none left to tempt  me or Coach T.

That makes the idea of a hospitality pantry problematic.  I did a lot of these ideas (which my friend Amanda shared with me, too!) - and they are great - but for me, hospitality does mean either a last minute dash to the store, or picking things up the day before, things we would not usually eat.

I AM planning to do a hospitality pantry in my own food language - which would mean, having treat balls made and hidden (sesame seeds, a little honey and a little oil,  or ground almonds, a little maple syrup, and a little oil - possibly dipped in very high cocoa chocolate), having salted nuts, keeping a few fancier cheeses (brie, that Irish one from Costco, the one with all the tiny holes, maybe some fresh goat cheese.. and meats on hand - sliced and ready to roll or serve. (i really really could use a meat/cheese slicer!  It would help make this diet so much more *beautiful* :), having fruits on hand (i have been buying those boxes of 20 lb of peaches - thinking i will can them, but 20 lbs of peaches last two days in my house, and that's in addition to the ~20 lbs or so of fruits and snacky veggies (carrots, cucumbers, celery that children will eat raw for a snack).  Crackers don't work for us, but jerky is a nice treat for us, although not too nice looking for guests.  Dehydrated apples are nice "chips", and kale chips are yummy, but again, weird looking to serve to people...  Salad can be a nice thing to serve, if it's full of fruits or cheese or meat and a yummy dressing.

It is a challenge to think "hospitality" without wheat or flour.  Maybe you all have some ideas for me?


Monday, September 10, 2012

Workout : Tabatas

Awesome workout tonight.

First, Coach T had me do some deadlifts with a 50 lb kettlebell while he finished his heavy lifting.

Then he put on the ultra annoying music mix that signals tabatas.

Ultra annoying?  You thought Coach T was perfect?  Well, yes, he is.  But tabata workouts mean 20 seconds of high intensity, 10 seconds of rest.  Those small intervals of time are a pain in the butt to measure, so there are a lot of tabata workout mixes that have two songs that incongruously butt up against each other - 20 seconds of Black  Sabbath followed by 10 seconds of Vivaldi, for instance.  The Worst.  You can't sing along, even in your head.

Here are some links to tabata workout mixes:
this place sells mixes -
or you can download mixes someone else made
or look on youtube for mixes like this one

Anyway, the great thing about tabatas are that they are a quick, but powerful workout.

We did four rounds, each with four exercises

I did: pushups (20 seconds)
 ten seconds' rest
kettlebell swings with 1 5 lb kettlebell (20 seconds)
ten seconds' rest
squats (bodyweight) (20 seconds)
ten seconds' rest
Jump! (20 seconds)
ten seconds' rest

... times four.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fuel : Lunchtime salad

Coach T says that if i'm still hungry, it's because i need more fat in my diet.

I love chicken skin and bacon as much as the next guy, but I've got eight children and there just plain isn't enough skin to go around :)...

Other great ways to increase your fat intake is: olive oil dressings, butter slathered on roasted meat, nuts (salted or not) and nut butters, coconut oil.

But one of my favourite fat sources is avocado.  It's full of minerals, has a delicious, smooth taste, can be added to eggs, sandwiches or salads, and fills you up!

Plus, I find that as mom i can either feed me or feed the troops, and eight little mouths certainly outvote my paleo tummy...  So i end up making carby foods for their breakfast, and grabbing quick whatever i can find to fill my tummy as they get going.  This morning (and lunch) it was a peach and some leftover ham!

This salad is super easy to make with leftover salad, taco fixings, or to just make up for a one person salad bowl.  A plain oil and vinegar dressing is great, but add in some mashed avocado, and a little dab of dijon mustard, and it's a whole 'nother world.

One more delicious trick is grinding up sesame seeds into a paste in the blender, and using the pea sized chunks as "croutons"...

Fast and easy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Workout : Getting Complicated

Okay, i will be posting less now that school is officially back in session.  The last two weeks my Coach has been back to work, not full time, but more and more, and now this Tuesday marks the beginning of real school for him, students and all...  So our workouts will be less, his workouts at the big gym will be happening more, but hopefully i will still get both workouts and clean food...  My goal is two posts a week - one workout and one fuel idea!

Our last workout i posted on fitocracy, and i honestly don't even know how to begin to title it.  But i will try to describe it.

First of all, squats (i just used the bar, which weighs 45 lbs).  Coach T is trying to get me to squat LOW - and lighter weight makes this easier for now, for me to learn the proper mechanics.

I did 20 low bar squats.


barbell presses - i started with two barbells each weighing 15 lbs, but Coach moved me up to 20 lbs each.  I guess i am getting stronger.

I did "as many reps as i could" per set - four sets.


a ladder - this time, ring pull ups and then to the mat for pushups - i did ten of each, then nine of each, then eight, 76,5,4,3,2 and finally a set of one and one.

I am really liking for the intangible encouragement.  I know it's basically like a robot telling you you're awesome (okay, it *is* a robot telling you you're awesome...) but somehow the random allotment of "points" that might push you to the next "level" seem to be a motivating factor for me...

And now, to get back to my workout!