In life, it’s the little things that count. Not the great big momentous occasions, but the daily moments that all strung together, make up your own personal circle of life. We cannot measure the quality of our lives by the big events like birthday celebrations, weddings, baptisms and graduations. It’s the day-to-day stuff that makes up your life.
This is also true with eating. It’s not just the big meal occasions—dinner out, Thanksgiving, birthday cake and such. Becoming a healthy eater has everything to do with daily decision making over what will go in your mouth, rather than worrying about a special occasion (I say, splurge and enjoy it! The next day, do penance and throw in a little extra exercise and pare a few calories off your daily intake for the next few days.)
But it’s those daily decisions that count; to choose not to drive thru and wait an extra 15 minutes to get home to real food. It’s choosing fruit over donuts; water over soda and not to have that bowl of ice cream watching TV. Those are the little decisions that matter much more so than eating an extra piece of pie at Thanksgiving. Yeah, overindulging is hard on your body and we talk about being “Thanksgiving full” as the ultimate test of fullness, but the daily awareness of what you put in your body is what the definitive cause and effect of how your body looks, feels and operates.
Sometimes it’s easy (like the above example of fruit over donuts). Other times, it’s harder to know what to do. Here are some easy swaps to help you to save calories, your health and your sanity, too, so you know that what you’re doing will make a difference!
Instead of a blueberry muffin (which, let’s be honest, is really a cupcake with blueberries in it!) have a cup of Greek yogurt with 1/2 a cup of blueberries stirred in. Save yourself 249 calories (and some considerable carbs!).
Instead of a 2 slices of whole wheat bread, have 1 Orowheat Sandwich Round (whole wheat also), saving yourself 140 calories!
Instead of 1 cup of white rice, have 1/2 cup of brown rice mixed with chopped steamed broccoli. You’ve just saved yourself nearly 100 calories (and ratcheted up the fiber count, too!).
Instead of a pork chop, go for an equal serving of pork tenderloin and save yourself 50 calories (plus a lot of fat grams!).
It’s not that difficult to make a big difference a little bit at a time. Awareness counts as much as calories do. Keep that in mind as you hit the grocery store this week!
Our Dinner Answers menu planner allows you to completely personalize your grocery list and do your grocery shopping from your PHONE! Check it out!
You can’t have the holidays without pumpkin EVERYTHING!! But for those of us trying to stay away from dairy, gluten, and refined sugar – the holidays can feel like the 7th circle of hell – running into temptation at every corner!
So after some recipe testing, we finally found a delicious holiday classic that’s actually PALEO APPROVED!!! May we present our Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie and Maple Cardamom Coconut Whipped Cream:
Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie
3 cups mixed nuts, toasted (we used walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews – you don’t have to use those, but just make sure you choose some nice softer and buttery types of nuts!)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 (14.5 ounce) can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 generous tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, grind down toasted nuts. If you do not have a food processor, you can use a rolling pin to crush them (it’s easiest when they’re still warm after getting toasted). Toss with coconut sugar and then press into a pie dish. It can crumble easily, but it’s also buttery enough to stick together well so gently press it up the walls and throughout the bottom of the pie dish evenly.
Put in oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until a darker golden brown, and then remove. Be careful not to burn crust!
Pull out and allow to cool while you make the filling.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for filling. Whisk together well until thoroughly combined. Pour into nut crust, and place in the oven. Bake for an hour, or until filling sets and doesn’t leave traces on a toothpick.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving, maybe whip up the cream…
Maple Cardamom Coconut Whipped Cream
1 (14.5 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk (OR coconut cream, if your store carries it) – if you can’t find coconut cream, it’s not a big deal, but try to find a full fat coconut milk that’s super thick! You can usually tell by shaking the can and if it feels solid, you’ve got a good one!
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
a dash of cinnamon (cause you can never have too much!)
In a medium bowl, scoop out coconut milk. If you found a nice thick one, then the water should’ve separated from the cream! ONLY scoop the cream into the bowl and discard the remaining fluid. Add in all remaining ingredients (syrup through cinnamon) and whisk well until desired consistency!
Serve a huge dollop on top of your Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie – or even on top of your coffee! OR both!
By: Leanne Ely
Not only are they gorgeous, but cranberries are full of nutrition: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, iron, magnesium and folate. They also contain antioxidants and phenols that can protect you against all kinds of things, including urinary tract infections.
Since it’s cranberry season, you should stock up on as many of these gorgeous (tart) red orbs as you can. Don’t forget that cranberries freeze beautifully, so buy them now when they’re nice and fresh, and store as many as you can for the winter!
You might not realize it, but there are all kinds of uses for cranberries outside of turkey!
Here are 8 surprising ways you can make use of cranberries:
•Toss 1/3 cup of cranberries to your next smoothie. This measurement will make sure the tartness of the berries won’t totally overpower the drink.
•Smash some cranberries in your cocktails to take down the sweetness a bit.
•Shake things up by adding a cup of cranberries to your next apple pie.
•Add a few cranberries to your breakfast in your oatmeal or yogurt.
•Make your cranberries savory, and roast them with some shallots and a couple cloves of garlic.
•Chop a handful of cranberries into your favorite spicy salsa.
•Boil your cranberries in water with a bit of added honey. This will give you a lovely reduction to serve over pancakes or waffles.
•Puree a cup of cranberries, and whisk them into a your favorite balsamic vinaigrette for a healthy, delicious and beautiful salad dressing.
PS–2015 is coming to a close, and it’s clear you had some favorite mealtime solutions that you loved above all! For a limited time, I’ve brought back my favorite deals from 2015 and you can get them all at 10% off the original sale price! Click here to learn more
By: Leanne Ely
Hands up if you plan to have a turkey in the oven at some point over the next couple of days.
I know you’re probably not thinking about what to do with that leftover turkey yet, but I want to catch you before you toss out that beautiful turkey carcass in the trash.
Instead of throwing the carcass away (please don’t throw it away!), you can use it to create wonderful, delicious and nutritious soup stock.
We absolutely love turkey soup in my house, and I know if you try this recipe, you’re going to love it, too!
The trick to making turkey soup is to roast the carcass.
If you are too tired after entertaining family for Thanksgiving Dinner, put the carcass in a freezer bag until you have a couple of hours to give it the proper treatment it deserves!
When you’re ready to get down to business, pull the carcass apart and put it in a roaster with some roughly chopped carrots, celery, onions, and 8 or 9 whole cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, and roast at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, take the roaster out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Turn on one of your largest stovetop elements and place the roaster on top. Cover the carcass with cold water and boil uncovered for an hour. NOTE: METAL ROASTERS ONLY! If you’ve roasted your carcass in a different type of roasting pan, transfer the bones and vegetables to a stockpot for this step!
After an hour of boiling, strain the whole mess and pop it in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, remove the layer of fat from the top and get ready to make a big pot of delicious Roast Turkey Carcass Soup!
Roast Turkey Carcass Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Roast Turkey Carcass broth (see above directions to make)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of thyme (depending on taste and quantity of soup)
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil till hot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook 5 minutes till soft and translucent. Add the carrots and celery, and cook another five minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper well to taste.
Now add the Roast Turkey Carcass broth. Bring everything to a rolling boil; don’t cover the soup. Add the thyme and enjoy!
This recipe does offer some flexibility. Go ahead and add any other vegetables you like, or toss in some noodles. Or you can even use the broth to replace canned broth in other soups and stews, like in this recipe from our new 10-Day Blitz:
Chicken Rosemary Sweet Potato Stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
5 cups low sodium chicken broth, or use homemade roast turkey carcass broth
4 cups chopped kale
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
In a large pot over medium heat, heat coconut oil. To the pot, add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes then add the chicken and sweet potato. Cook for 5 minutes, until chicken is brown.
To the pot, add the remaining ingredients (broth through lemon zest) and stir. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Serve warm.
PS–You can find more delicious recipes, just like this one in our BRAND NEW 10-Day Blitz. It’s the final blitz of the year, and you can still get access with any purchase of Perfect Paleo Protein. Get yours today, and pay nothing for shipping.
By: Leanne Ely
Oh, how I adore Thanksgiving. Family and feasting and giving thanks-what could be better than that?
Here in the US, our Thanksgiving marks the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season, too, so it really is an exciting time.
Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away, and you may be thinking about what is on the menu. If you’re eating Paleo, you might be wondering how you’ll survive this food-focused holiday without your non-Paleo favorites, but have no fear! It’s not as difficult as you might think to survive Thanksgiving as a Paleoista, and I’m going to prove that to you right now!
So, let’s take a look at some favorite traditional Thanksgiving standbys and I’ll give you some Paleo-friendly substitutes.
Turkey. No need to take turkey off the menu, as you know! You’re free to add as much butter and bacon to that bird as you like! If you’re not sure about how to roast a Thanksgiving turkey, check out this webisode where I show you exactly how to cook your holiday turkey to perfection.
Dressing. If you are avoiding gluten as part of a lifestyle choice, and not because of a celiac condition, you don’t have to offend anyone at dinner by skipping out on the famous dressing. By all means, have a bite or two if it won’t do you too much harm! But, if you’re preparing the meal, go ahead and experiment! Dressing doesn’t have to involve bread. Get creative in the kitchen and see what you can do with some pork sausage, diced sweet potatoes and apples, pecans, cranberries, mushrooms, celery, etcetera, etcetera.
Mashed potatoes. White potatoes are one of those items that can cause debate between Paleoistas-some of us eat them, some of us don’t. A scoop of mashed potatoes isn’t going to send you to Paleo Prison, so if you feel so compelled, go ahead and enjoy a bite. If you’re preparing the meal, see if you can find some purple potatoes to boil and mash to serve on your Thanksgiving plate. Purple potatoes have more nutrition in them than their white counterparts, and they are so pretty on the plate! If you want to avoid spuds all together, whip up some faux-tay-toes by steaming cauliflower and whipping with butter, heavy cream and seasonings.
Sweet potato casserole. By all means enjoy a sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving this year! Just don’t add brown sugar and marshmallows to it. Peel and slice four or five sweet potatoes and toss into a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and lemon pepper. Add about half of a thinly sliced red onion on top so it looks like there are pretty purple ribbons on top of your sweet potatoes. Drizzle again with olive oil. Bake at 400 for about 35–45 minutes until everything is golden brown. Even non-sweet potato lovers love this. My own brother was tricked into thinking these were carrots at one Thanksgiving dinner!
Cranberry sauce. Most homemade cranberry sauce is made from sugar with sugar added to sugar and more sugar. But what is Thanksgiving turkey without cranberry sauce? For a delicious Paleo-friendly cranberry sauce, add some fresh or frozen cranberries to a saucepan. Cover the berries with orange juice and add honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar to your taste. Add in lemon zest or orange zest for color and a bit of extra citrusy zing. Once you start making your own cranberry sauce, you’ll wonder why you haven’t always been whipping up this simple sweet dish!
Turkey gravy. Many gravies involve cornstarch or white flour-neither of those items are Paleo-friendly. Sometimes I like making a simple au jus out of pan drippings, butter and a bit of chicken broth. But you can find dozens of Paleo gravy recipes online. You may was to start experimenting with recipes now, so you’ll have just the right one down pat for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Here’s something that will make you smile–it’s our BRAND NEW Paleo Thanksgiving Menu-Mailer! The menu is yours for F*REE! Just click below to download.
Paleo Thanksgiving Menu-Mailer
By: Leanne Ely
Once upon a time, the only potato option on the Thanksgiving Dinner table was your standard white mashed potatoes.
But today, we know that white potatoes aren’t the be all and end all in a starchy mash. There are several options in potatoes (and non-potatoes) for us to explore, so let’s take a look!
Traditional Mash. The key to the perfect mashed potato is cooking the right variety of potato. Maybe you didn’t realize there were different varieties of potatoes, and maybe that’s the reason why you haven’t yet perfected mashed potatoes! Start your mashed potatoes by using a variety like Yukon Gold or Russet that are best suited for mashing. Once the spuds are cooked through (fork tender), go ahead and mash the heck out of them with butter and cream or milk.
Traditional Mash (Purple Style). Take the nutrition of your traditional white potato mash up a couple of notches by using purple potatoes instead! Purple potatoes will cook up the same as a standard white potato mash, but their nutritional profile is much higher, thanks to that purple color. When you eat purple potatoes, you’re getting lots of antioxidants into you.
Sweet Potatoes. We go through a lot of sweet potatoes at my house. While they’re still a little high on the starchy side to be overindulging in, they are full of nutrients. I prefer the taste of roasted sweet potatoes to boiled sweet potatoes, so for a delicious sweet potato mash, bake your sweet potatoes in the oven first and then mash butter into them, along with whatever seasonings you like (salt, pepper, cinnamon, etc.).
Faux-tatoes. If you’re a hardcore Paleoista, and you’re limiting the amounts of carbs in your diet to the extent that you have a zero spud rule, you can still have a mound of creamy, buttery goodness on your Thanksgiving Dinner plate with faux-tatoes! The trick is that you use steamed cauliflower in place of the potatoes. For a decadent faux-tato dish, chop a head of cauliflower into bite sized pieces and steam those florets until you can easily pierce them with a fork. Drain the water off after they’re cooked, and pat the cauliflower florets with a clean towel to remove some of the excess moisture. Then, blend with butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper for a very delicious side dish.
Here’s something that will make you smile–it’s our BRAND NEW Thanksgiving Menu-Mailer! The menu is yours for F*REE! Just click below to get the menu.
Paleo Thanksgiving Menu-Mailer