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sliced of citrus lemons
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Every. Single. Recipe. (My new Paleo Project, and a Book Review – Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind)

I managed to get a copy of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind a few days before the release date.  This is the new book of deliciousness from Vanessa Barajas.  I admit I have followed her Instagram posts for a long time and was excited to see this new book!

Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind

Now, I have to admit that I tend to pick up all of the new Paleo cookbooks as they come out, particularly the ones from the well respected bloggers in the Paleo community. I have shelves full of these books. Most of which I manage to pull 3 or 4 strong recipes from, and maybe only one or two I cook regularly. Only a very few of these books come out on a regular rotation and I use the recipes regularly…examples being Nom Nom Paleo Food for Humans by Michelle Tan, Practical Paleo by Diane San Filippo, Well Fed 1 and 2 by Melissa Joulwan to name a few of my favorites.

That being said, Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind kept me flipping the pages!  The photos are just breathtaking and the recipes not only seem dee-lishus but also not overly complicated!  I spent two evenings thumbing through trying to decide what to try first and the movie Julia & Julia came to mind, I kept thinking, I want to try every recipe in this book!  There is literally only a couple of recipes I would not normally mess with, only because  just not a favorite dish to me, but still looks appealing!

So, like some crazy fan I sent a message to the author, Vanessa Barajas, and told her my though on Instagram!  I think i heard a giggle in her response, but decided then, I am going to do this!

Ok, so I am not going to commit to a crazy time frame, but I am going to work my way through this book and post about it as I go!  I will keep posting other foods, but you will know when it is an Every. Single. Recipe. post.  So get ready, her book is fantastic!  152 delicious recipes are on the way…get ready!  Let me know your thoughts…!

AIP Chicken Salad, Re-imagined

aip chicken salad

Happy New Year Everyone!  Yes, I know it is February and I have been m-i-a for a while…busy busy and a slow falling off the wagon since last August…but a new year and new people in my life brings me back to center!

I’m involved in a little test run with AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) with my Naturopath, Dr. Hailey Heard, and some of her patients.  I do this very reluctantly.  I knew about the AIP and had the books, but I just did not even WANT to go that far.  But when you start running out of answers and solutions, you are forced to face what you might not like entirely.

Diagnosed years ago with Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism, I have been on Synthroid for years.  About three years ago I went paleo and despite falling off that wagon from time to time, it works really well for me.  I feel better.  I know what I am eating and where it comes from.  It’s all choices.  And most of the time I make good choices.

So after much griping and groaning, I jumped into the AIP group with both feet.  I am ten days in, and must say I feel good.  Not so sluggish.  My energy is up when it should be.  I am tired at the end of the day, as I should be.  I still crave “other foods” but that is diminishing.  I feel good about the things I am eating and I know this is a good path for now.

Latest news, we may be adding SiBO into the mix.  That will just turn my life upside down in the ways that it interracts with Hashi’s and my favorite foods.

But for now, sticking with the AIP.  Simply put, its a Whole 30 on steroids!  Strict Paleo.  Plus some other eliminations:  no grains. no sugars. no legumes. no nightshades. no nuts. no seeds.  It’s difficult wrapping your head around what you CAN eat….but it clicks one day.  And it’s actually very simple.

Re-Imagined Chicken Salad:

Here is what I threw on a plate, actually in seperate piles, but then decided to toss it all together and it was quite tasty!

  • roughly dice one chicken breast, prepared aip
  • slice one or two stalks of Hearts of Palm
  • dice 2 tender stalks of celery
  • dice 1/2 ripe avocado

Squeeze the juice of 1/2 or more lemon juice over all, salt and pepper to taste….toss everything on the plate together, gently….that is it!

I was eating some red grapes along with it, and think a handful of halved grapes would be very nice in it as well!

And, that’s Lunch

and thats lunch

All right, one last one for today.
Lunch kind of just happened today, but happened really well!

So, I posted earlier about a little cucumber veggie salad that I like alot made with chopped veggies, mayo, Sunny Paris Seasoning, fresh garlic, S&P and a little vinegar. Well, the nice thing about that mix is it gets better as it sits, and I had a little (very little!) left over last night, and I kept it! I decided to make a salad at lunch and a sweet potato and a little leftover grilled chicken.

I just made a salad with spinach and lettuce leaves. Added a little more veggies (more radishes, carrots, a stalk of hearts of palm) and a tiny bit of organic feta cheese (goats). I hit the whole bowl with a small dollop of mayo, a little more vinegar, and dumped the remainder of last nights salad on top! mix mix mix . wow and WOW! look at that plate! I sort of went into a trance while I was eating away, ended up not even eating much of the chicken and of course devoured that tater!

So this I guess is kind of a recipe? More of a guideline of how quick and easy paleo lunches can be! Keep easy things on hand like leftover proteins, lettuce, fresh organic veggies, and a fresh jar of your home made paleo mayo at all times!

Hope you like my pretty plate, I know I did!

My twist on Gingerbread Donuts – Paleo!

gingerbread donuts

I drooled over some facebook post a few weeks ago for “Gingerbread Donuts” and I cannot recall who posted it (it was a repost) and all I have on the author of the recipe is that it was by Cook/Baker Maria Emmerich. I stayed pretty close to the original, but changed the source of “sweet” as well as a few other minor tweaks. They cooked up so nice, and smell fantastic! I also liked the idea that they are for dipping rather than glazing them. The coconut flour in it fills you up quick so one donut is very satisfying (or two if you really are huuunnngry!)

Here is how you do it:

Lightly grease your donut pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the following by hand or with hand beater:
1/2 Cup coconut crystals
3/4 cup Kerrygold Butter or coconut oil

Then stir in:
1/2 cup Almond Milk
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice

Next add:
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour ***optional – I sub out 2 Tbsp of Tapioca for 2 Tbsp of the coconut flour…gives a “breadier” texture
1 tsp baking soda

Mix all together until well combined.

Fill your doughnut pan just shy of the top. I dump the batter into a ziploc bag, snip the tip and pipe it in….alot less mess getting the donut shapes full of batter! But you can spoon it in too!

Bake for 15 minutes, pop out of the pan and let them cool.

While they bake, make the sauce:

Melt 1/2 cup of Kerrygold butter and add in 1/2 cup coconut crystals, 1/4 cup almond milk and 1 Tbsp vanilla. A dash of cinnamon is nice here too. Whisk until blended, and pop in the fridge to cool off. It will thicken up as it cools…… dip or spread on cooled donuts!

This is some good paleo treating I must say!

Let me know what you think!

Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door

(This is off my usual topics….bear with me!)


Or otherwise known as, my name is Sweets.

I am a mystery to you.  I will not ever tell you where I began, who I was, who I wanted to be.  I was with others, I was alone.  I was hungry, I was scared.  All I knew was to keep moving.  Trust no one.  Listen.  React.  I remember times of green grass and warm evenings and quiet, but the quiet never lasted.  I listened as I slept.  And that made me very tired.  There was rain, alot of rain, and thunder.  Sometimes the dark sky would flash and make me run, make me shake.  There were others like me, and some of them were kind, for a moment.  But we were all hungry, all scared.  So we would fight, we had to be the strongest, the bravest.  And so we were alone. 

I do not know how long I was that way.  I walked and walked.  Days, weeks, hot, cold, in quiet pastures, behind the trees, over the curb and into the street where the monsters roared on giant wheels moving so fast.  I learned to run from those.  I learned that it was safer to keep moving, never rest. 

Then there were my young.  They came unexpectedly, I did not know what was happening, there was fighting, running and then hunger.   I grew large, so tired, so thirsty, and all I wanted to do was lay down and sleep.  And one day I hid and they came, my young.  But I did not know what to do for them.  Food and water was so hard to find, a treasure, and yet I wanted to give all to them.  I would hide them away and walk quickly on those very hot days, looking for anything to give me strength, and carry some back to them.  They would wimper and cry.  They were hungry and tired and I was scared for them, but scared for myself.  One day I walked so far too find the food I became confused, could not find my way.  It was hours and hours before I caught scent of where I had left them, but they were gone.  No trace of them.  I cried and I cried.  I lost my young.  I lost my way.  I laid down for a long time.  My mind was tired.  My body was broken.  I did not want to walk anymore. 

One afternoon in the hottest of sun I wandered into the shade of a tall pile of bricks.  There were people that looked at me, wondering what I was doing there, where did I come from.  They looked sad for me.  They looked scared of me.  Some tried to send me away, some just walked by.

I laid down on the cool sidewalk.  There was no water, no food.  I was so tired.  One of those monsters with wheels came close, slowly, and stopped.

That was when you looked at me, right into my eyes, and asked me things with your words, with kindness in your voice.  You walked away slowly, looking back at me, and you came back with a small bowl of water, offered it to me.  I walked to you, drank a bit, and came close. Eyes to eyes, brown to brown. And then a simple touch to my neck, my back.  I was so dirty, but I wanted you to touch me more, I felt kindness in that touch, comfort, ease.

You kept speaking to me, telling me I was a sweet girl and it is okay.

I knew you were safe.  In your smell, in your voice.

All I wanted was for you to take me with you, keep me close, make me yours.

You let me crawl into your monster with wheels, dirt, fleas, and all.  And I sat quietly, so still, looking out the window as you began to move, staring at the me I knew I was leaving behing, dreaming of the me I knew I was going to become.

You took me to safety, cleaned me, fed me, gave me a safe place, a warm cushion for my head, and calmness all around me.

You gave me a family, love, and need of nothing.

I am Sweets, I was a dog from the streets, alone with a past unknown, wandering and waiting for you, and now I am tender hearted, safe, content, thankful.  I know where I belong, and that I will do anything to keep you safe, I will give you all my love, and curl up inside your heart.



This is Sweets.  True Story.

Out of pocket

No picture today as I am away on a little adventure among the mountains and snow.  Re learning how to be a little more social than my usual hermit self, having a nice time getting to know some people from the work arena, and admitting it is okay!  I miss my daughter, and my husband, and the zoo, and wishing I could kick around the kitchen a little, trying to keep on track with food, water and the like.  There was wine last night,  not my usual thing, but still all is good.  Lots to come soon!

Here I am!

This is my first time to write a blog….set it up…wishing my teenager was here to do it way faster than I can!  So I decided I needed a place to jot down more detail about this adventure I am on down a Paleo/Primal path!  I have been tinkering with Paleo for about a year and a half now, and have learned when I stick to the plan, I feel great!  I look great!  And when I stray, well, it is not pretty, and I trudge may way back to what is delicious and healthy for me.  I started my Paleo Journey to help with my Hashimotos, alot of arthritis issues, and feeling miserable, as well as weight issues.  I will post the story later, now to the food!  So.  First post!  Here I am!  (crickets…..)  The photo here was breakfast this morning…really simple and easy to take with me as I am a working mom…I usually grab my breakfast and eat at my desk once I am settle, deleted a bunch of junk email, you know.  Hard boiled eggs…that’s easy, right? Nestled in my little lunchbot with some avocado and tomato (a quick spritz of lime juice and sea salt on top) and some leftover pumpkin spice mini muffins from last nigh.  Yes…i will get that recipe up here this week, too delicious not to share!