Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Paleo Lent- Week #4: Spicy Sweet Shrimp and an Avocado Side Salad




This Wednesday I’m sharing with you two of my favorite recipes! The first is a sweet and spicy shrimp recipe my mommy used to make for me, and it’s the best! The second is a request from my girl Shorty- the avocado side salad I served for dinner at our last girl’s night. They are both super easy to make, delicious, and beneficial to your health! Shrimp are an excellent source of selenium (helps our immune system and reverse signs of aging), they are an unusually low-fat, and low-calorie protein, as well as a very good source of vitamin D and vitamin B12. While the tomatoes and avocado in the salad can help protect your heart, lower your cholesterol, improve your vision, and prevent cancer!  So here’s to your health, and a meat-free Friday! Only three more weeks until Easter!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pantry Raid!!!!

What’s the best way to avoid temptation--- get it out of your house!



When I began the Paleo Diet, just about three months ago, the first thing on my list was to clean out the kitchen cabinets. My husband and I live in a 700sqft apartment and storage space is limited and therefore precious. The cabinets had long been a source of stress and contention. We moved in shortly before my Bridal Shower, and needless to say, the gifts I received were exponentially larger than our tiny apartment. Everything needed space in the kitchen cabinets, but they were so full of processed garbage that we did not have room for the good stuff (hello kitchen aid stand mixer, cuisinart food processor, and my prized molcajete!) It took me changing my diet and lifestyle to finally go through the overcrowded cabinets and purge all of the processed crap!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Paleo Food of the Week: Macadamia Nuts!





NJ Paleo Girl's Fun Macadamia Nut Facts:


• It takes approximately 300psi to crack a Macadamia nut. That is why they are so expensive, and you thought it was because they were so yummy.
• When chopped, the nuts resemble crack cocaine in color, they are often used by law enforcement to simulate cocaine in drug stings
• Perhaps the most unique use reported for macadamia nuts is in the treatment of sexual phobias, they are used as sexual tonics.
• Macadamia husks are generally returned to the field as mulch or used for compost material.
• In a Simpsons cartoon episode Homer and Marge want to get rid of Santa's Little Helper after the dog eats their special macadamia nut cookies.
• Because the macadamia nut shell is so hard it is ground up and used as a high power blaster for polishing aluminum and other metals.
• Macadamia nuts are native to Australia. They are named for John Macadam, a Scottish born physician and chemist who promoted the nuts cultivation in Australia.
• The Macadamia was introduced into Hawaii around 1881although the first commercial orchards of macadamias were not planted until 1921.
• Australia is now the world's largest commercial producer - at approximately 40,000 tons of nut in shell per year, with a total global production of 100,000 tons.
• Macadamia nuts are harvested by hand after they fall to the ground.
• Macadamia Nut oil content can be as high as 80%.
• Macadamias are toxic to dogs.
• Macadamia oil is prized for containing approximately 22% of the omega-7 palmitoleic acid. This relatively high content of "cushiony" palmitoleic acid plus macadamia's high oxidative stability make it a desirable ingredient in cosmetics, especially skincare.
• The macadamia tree and does not begin to produce commercial quantities of nuts until it is 7–10 years old, but once established, may continue bearing nuts for over 100 years.
• A mature tree will produce 60 to 150 pounds of nuts a year.
• Macadamia nuts are often fed to Hyacinth Macaws in captivity. These large parrots are one of the few animals, aside from humans, capable of cracking and shelling the nut.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Paleo Beauty Friday: Hair Care

This week's Paleo Beauty Friday is helping you get a healthy scalp, add volume, boost shine, and even preserve your color with 4 great hair remedies from Marie Clare that you can find in your refrigerator, and all ingredients are paleo friendly! YAY!
 


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paleo Pooch


Zelda Cave Dog Costume - Large


Don’t have the motivation to get moving at the gym, put down your car keys and take Fido for a walk; a University of Missouri-Columbia study shows it could be just as beneficial! Taking over the family dog walking duties may have you seeing weight loss that rivals what you could achieve through a gym’s fitness program. Walking the dog 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week produced an average weight loss of 14 pounds for participants in the yearlong study. Our Paleolithic ancestors exerted themselves daily to secure their food, water, and protection (modern day Paleo’s can feel good about walking/hiking/moving for 3-15 miles per day or 3-5+ hours per week). Although modern technology has made physical exertion optional, it is still important to exercise as though our survival depended on it, and in a different way it still does. We are genetically adapted to live an extremely physically active lifestyle. A sedentary existence predisposes us to obesity, hypertension, the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and most types of cardiovascular disease, whereas regular exercise decreases the risks of developing all these diseases.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Paleo Lent- Week #3: A Taste of Mexico




Wintery weather got you bumming? I know it has me down... why not escape to the sunny, warm waters of Mexico this Friday! OK, OK, I know most of us can't book a vacation and fly off to Mexico, but at least let your taste buds escape! This Meatless Friday dinner menu has you enjoying a taste of Mexico! Try a delicious, crisp, and fresh Mexican Tuna Salad or snack on Jalapeño and Lime Hummus (no yucky chickpeas here! substitute in cashews!)

No Mom, It's Not Just Like Atkins...


“Oh, it’s just like Atkins.”  This was the response I would get from my mother almost every time I went home last month. I would try to explain to her that the Paleo Diet wasn’t “just like Atkins” but usually, I would just shake my head, and say: “Yea, it’s kinda like Atkins, just without the dairy and processed foods.” Today, I’m taking the time to point out the differences once and for all. Atkins, Paleo, and Primal: No, they are not all the same…





The biggest difference separating the Atkins Diet from Paleo/Primal Nutrition is that there are no specifications as to the quality of the food you are putting in your body. The meat you eat can be organic or not, cage-free or not, grass-fed or not, hormone injected or not, and your dairy can be raw or completely processed. All the Atkins Diet says is restrict net carbs and you will lose weight. Another major difference is that The Atkins Diet is a weight loss program; it’s not invested in your fitness, its 100% weight loss and maintenance of that loss through diet. While the Paleo Diet is about weight loss too, it is also about health, nutrition, and fitness. The Paleo Diet is about having the best health one can have, and eating and moving in a way to optimize it. The Primal Blue Print on the other hand is more about a holistic lifestyle, weight loss will come with it, but it is more than just losing weight, it is about optimizing your lifestyle: health and happiness.

Monday, March 21, 2011

2 Months In: I'M WEARING MY SKINNY JEANS!!!

“And speaking of no excuses: there they were… her “skinny jeans.” The jeans every woman keeps in the vain hope that someday, she’ll fit into them again” ~ Carrie Bradshaw: Sex and the City




This is one of my favorite scenes from Sex and the City (I might be obsessed... I have all six seasons and both movies...) Maybe this is because I can relate to it... my weight has always fluctuated, and I’ve never felt "skinny" enough... No matter how hard I worked out in the gym or what diet I was trying; I just couldn’t get my body to look how I thought it should look; how I wanted it to look (it was too small on top and big on the bottom)



So after two months following the Paleo Diet, and completely SLACKING at the gym (let’s just say today, if I make it, will be my first time in over TEN DAYS! I usually go 5 days a week!) I am fitting into my “skinny jeans” (that’s down at least one whole size)!! Ok, technically these were never my jeans- they belonged to a former roommate. You see, every spring my girlfriends and I try to have a “clean out the closet, get ready for spring” clothing swap. During last year's swap, my roommate brought out a gorgeous pair of Citizen for Humanity Jeans already hemmed to perfection (she was about my height, i.e. short)! They had been her “skinny jeans” for a couple years, and she was finally giving up on every fitting into them again.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Paleo Beauty Friday: Natural Face Masks!

To me there is nothing better than spending a few relaxing minutes indulging in homemade beauty remedies. Sitting on the couch, gook on your face, good movie on TV —Ahhhhh, perfect lazy day! So today I’m bringing you a plethora of face masks; one for each of your aliments. Whether your skins feeling a little dull, dry or oily, I have the mask for you. All masks use easy to find, cheap ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboards. So if you have a couple minutes--- give yourself a present: tighter skin, smaller pores, or softer skin!



Tighten Pores with Egg Whites
De-puff Eyes with Avocado
Decrease Oily-Skin with Avocado and Lemon
Cool skin and get rid of redness with Cucumber and Avocado
Exfoliate with Pineapple
Say Goodbye to Dry Skin with Strawberries

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Paleo Friendly St Patrick's Day!

No one dish defines St. Patrick's Day quite like corned beef and cabbage--- in America that is… While many North Americans associate corned beef and cabbage with Ireland, this popular St Patrick's Day meal is not a traditional Irish food. BUT, it is Paleo friendly dish, a little high in salt, but a nice festive indulgence! So I have an easy to follow Crockpot Recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage for you!




Paleo Irish Soda Bread

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY!



I love Saint Patrick’s Day. The Parades, the green drinks (not so much beer... but lime slices in tequila soda margaritas are pretty! and white wine in a green glass is festive!), the Shamrocks, the bagpipes, the plaid, Aran sweaters, I could go on and on....

One thing I’ve been missing most with this new Paleo Lifestyle has been the traditional foods associated with Holidays (God help me when we get to Easter and Thanksgiving!), what's Saint Patrick’s Day without potatoes or Irish Soda Bread? The potatoes I can live without… but no Soda Bread? It's just not fathomable to this Irish's Lass...

So want not my fellow Mick’s! Here is a Paleo Friendly Irish Soda Bread Recipe!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Paleo Lent- Week #2





No need to stress this Friday, I have you covered with a whole day's menu of Paleo Friendly Fare that's quick, easy and delicious! Start your morning with a filling Egg and Zucchini Frittata. Don't like Zucchini? Swap it out for your favorite squash! Lunchtime brings around a Kale and Pear Salad that will leave you full and ready to tackle the afternoon! Finishing out the day with an old-time favorite--- PIZZA! Yup, that's right- pizza! Just because we're Paleo doesn't mean we can't adapt! This pizza will have your mouth watering for more. Choose one of the topping combinations I've listed or experiment and make your own! (I'd love to hear what you come up with!)


Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Paleo Food of the Week: Avocado!

NJ Paleo Girl's Fun Avocado Facts:

• Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable
• Avocados were once a luxury food reserved for the tables of royalty
• Brazilians add avocados to ice cream
• A single Avocado tree can produce about 500 avocados
• The Aztec word for avocado was ahuacatl, which means "testicle tree".
• The average avocado contains 300 calories and 30 grams of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.
• Avocados contain more potassium than bananas.
• One avocado contains 81 mcg of lutein, an important nutrient for healthy eyes.
• Once an avocado is picked, it takes between 7 and 10 days to ripen. Keeping it in the refrigerator will slow down the ripening process, while putting it in a paper bag with a ripe apple will speed up the process.
• has more protein, fat and calories than any other fruit
• The avocado tree’s unlikely cousins include bay laurel, camphor and cinnamon.
• They are exceptionally great for exfoliating masks and for facials and body massages.
• The Spanish brought it to the English.
• The Aztecs also used avocados as a sexual stimulant.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

are you achin' for some bacon?

Some Saturday Humor---

 

I'm off to the mountain to learn how to jump, jib and slide the rails! Here's hoping I don't break anything and I look like this by the end of the weekend:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Paleo Beauty Friday! Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Since starting this Paleo journey my eyes have been opened up to a whole new world, obviously, who knew I could live without bread, pasta, oatmeal, yogurt, and cheese! But today I’m talking to you about all of the natural and wonderful Paleo Beauty Secrets! There are so many awesome uses for the food we eat other than filling our bellies: so many in fact that I wanted to start sharing them with all of you. To me the paleo journey is not just about eating it's about living a more natural, organic life: inside and out!


To start things off I want to share my love of coconut oil: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. My hope is that a little, if not all of it, will rub off on you! I’m a huge fan of using virgin coconut oil for a variety of beauty-related purposes: it’s cheap, it’s ultra moisturizing and the smell just transports you to the beach, coconut rum drink in hand… can’t you feel the warm sea breeze on your face? 



My three favorite beauty benefits of coconut oil are removing makeup, conditioning my hair, and moisturizing my skin. To easily incorporate coconut oil in your daily routine buy a small apothecary dropper bottle, warm some coconut oil to a liquid (it is a solid below 76˚F) in a microwave or a hot water bath, and pour into the apothecary bottle. This will enable you to easily apply the oils as a makeup remover and moisturizer.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thirsty--- What's a Paleo Girl to Drink?


According to Dr Cordain (mack daddy of the Paleo Diet) the beverages allowed on the Paleo Diet are:


Diet sodas (These often contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharine, which may be harmful)
Coffee
Tea
Wine (two 4-ounce glasses; Do not buy “cooking wine,” it's loaded with salt.)
Beer (one 12-ounce serving)
Spirits (4 ounces)

So what does this mean for you: Soda’s out (in my opinion- all soda’s: diet and regular)! Juice, which is loaded with sugar, is out! Snapple, and all those other artificially sweetened drinks on the market, is out!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

lent means no meat! what’s a paleo girl to do?



On Ash Wednesday (TODAY!), and every Friday for the next six weeks, Christians around the world will be giving up meat! Today is the beginning of Lent in the Christian tradition. Lent is the period of the church's calendar leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is to prepare the believer — through prayer, repentance (asking forgivness for sins), almsgiving (charity work) and self-denial (giving up something for 6 weeks!) — for the annual commemoration of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Many churches in the Christian faith abstain from all animal products (including fish, eggs, fowl and animal milk) for the entire fifty-five days of Lent… Fortunately for myself, I am a Roman Catholic, and in our church it is traditional to abstain only from meat (mammals and fowl) on Ash Wednesday and every Friday for the duration of Lent: fish and dairy products are still permitted: Paleo fist pump to that! I don’t know how I’d survive without meat, fish, or eggs all six weeks--- it's hard enough for me to last the 7 days!!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

there's sugar in my....

I was on my way up to Vermont this past weekend, and in need of a Paleo snack. On the road Paleo friendly snacks are hard to come by--- only rest stops and fast food joints, not too promising for the Paleo Girl. When we stopped for gas, I popped into the convenience store and grabbed one of the only Paleo friendly snacks I could find- a bag of nuts: Peppered Cashews (sounded yummy!). Back on the road and half way through the bag, I turned it over and looked at the ingredients: Cashews, Sea Salt, Pepper, Sugar. WHAT! There is sugar on my nuts? Why the H- E- double hockey sticks would they put sugar on the nuts... when making peppered nuts at home would you think to yourself- I know what I should add to these peppery nuts- SUGAR? Of course not... so why is the manufacturer adding it! I was pissed... but also intrigued.


What else do they add sugar to?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cereal!

Wikipedia defines Cereal as : a food made more or less from processed grains, but not always, eaten with the first meal of the day. It is often eaten cold, usually mixed with milk, water or yogurt, but sometimes eaten dry or hot. Some companies promote their products for the health benefits from eating oat-based and high-fiber cereals. Cereals may be fortified with vitamins. Some cereals are made with high sugar content.




Now- what in that definition is off--- processed grains, milk, and high-sugar content!!! No thank you... We can do better than that--- by changing out the grains for chopped nuts, the dairy for almond milk, and the high-sugar content with fruits and cinnamon we have the same delicious meal with none of the harmful ingredients! 100% Paleo friendly cereal.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

the BEST Pork Chops you'll ever have!

When I first began eating according to the Paleo Diet, I hadn't looked at a recipe in years. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to cook (and bake, I'm experimenting with Paleo baking as we speak! posts to follow), I just didn't have the time. I left my apartment early, worked hard, went to the gym, took care of the dog, and by the time I realized I was starving, I'd grab whatever I could QUICKLY! I was living on sandwiches, vegetables with hummus, and pre-made meals.

Eating paleo opened my life back up to cooking, and not only cooking, but ENJOYING the time I spent in the kitchen. By only having limited resources, it was a fun and exciting challenge to see what I could come up with: the most delicious meal with the least amount of ingredients. I played this game most of January... but one trip to the grocery store I was overcome with a craving for pork chops: So that's what I brought home! I was so excited: Pork Chops and Applesauce!!! But how do I make pork chops! I ran over to my folder of recipes (I'm the type that copies down/prints out every recipe that looks even remotely "interesting", but then just let them sit in my recipe folder...)--- there it was! My favorite pork chops... and now I'm sharing it with you. Here is it: my recipe for Paleo Pork Chops!





Friday, March 4, 2011

Got Calcium?

Plenty! No thanks to Heidi Klum (no offense ms. Heidi but do you even drink milk!?!) and the masses of other stars lining up for the "Got Milk" Campaign.





A common question I’ve been asked when telling people I’ve stopped eating dairy (after hearing them go on and on about not being able to live without CHEEEEEEEEESE!) is: “But what about your calcium, aren't you afraid of osteoporosis?!” Here’s the deal: calcium is highly misunderstood. Whether it is because since we were children we’ve been taught to drink milk or else!!!! OR that people just don’t have the time to care about what it’s really about OR you hated freshmen biology... I don’t know, but lucky for you, I am a Bio Chick, and I am here to help you out. I'll make sure you understand all about the acid/base balance, intake vs excretion, and all the math that goes along with it--- ok, maybe not ALL of it, but some of the math!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chicken Nuggets and Fries!!!

Who says you have to give up chicken nuggets and fries? NOT ME! 

Here are two great recipes for those times when you are really missing those All American Staples... 


Crispy Spicy Chicken Tenders


Sausage, Peppers, Onions *Recipe to follow later this week*  with Butternut Squash Fries!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

i cheated on valentine’s day!




Unfortunately, we all cheat at something, on someone, or ourselves… and for me it was the later. I cheated on myself and my paleo ways, and I was too ashamed to admit it to you… but how is that helpful, we all stumble and fall… Life is about getting back up and trying again!



Over the past two months I cheated (knowingly and on purpose) twice; once on Valentine’s Day and once in January (I was hosting a girl’s night out party, and served sandwiches, puffed pastries, and candy!!!). Back in January, I knowingly ate sandwiches, consumed too much white wine, and engorged myself on candy conversation hearts; this was a mistake! I awoke the following morning, to the hangover to end all hangovers. Not only had I imbibed way too much alcohol, but my body was in revolt over the lethal amount of gluten, sugar, and overly processed, nutrient-lacking crap! My belly was bloated, my head floating, and I was out of commission for the entire day. NOT GOOD!