Raw Chocolate Nut Slice

  • 2 Cups Almonds
  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews
Blitz into a fine crumb then add
  • 1/2 cup cacao
  • 6-8 medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water (approx)
Blitz again until well combined, mixture should be quite wet and sticky. Then add
  • handful of coconut flakes
  • handful of sunflower seeds
  • handful of pumpkin seeds
  • handful chopped walnuts
  • chia seeds
  • seasame seeds
  • add anything you like, you can also add protien powder if you like for an extra protein hit.
Mix again then put into a lined (baking paper) slice tin and refridgerate for 2 hours at least. Slice how you like

Carrot Cake

Ingredients:
  • 2 Carrots, grated
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 1 tspn nutmeg
  • 1/2 tspn ground clove
  • 1 tspn ginger
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn bicarb soda
  • pinch salt
  • 130 grams chopped walnuts
Mix all these ingredients together
Then put into blender the following and blitz until well combined
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla essence
  • 8 medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 tbspn coconut oil
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
Add this to dry mixture and bake in oven at 180C for 45-55mins, until skewer comes out clean

What Will You “Look” Like on July 14?

Just for a minute consider something…

Consider who you want to be on July 14th.

If you were at the very top of your health and well-being, what would you feel like? What would your family members and friends say about you? How much energy would you have?

So fast-forward and paint yourself a picture: What do you look like on July 14th?

That’s what the Whole Life Challenge will do for you when you join my team and make a commitment to replace a few bad lifestyle habits with good lifestyle habits. (You can learn more about the Whole Life Challenge by watching the video here.)

Once you watch the videos, you can join my team here: http://www.whole.lc/wlc1705/pt/cfproficient.  For eight weeks, starting on May 20th and ending on July 14th, we’ll work on all the areas of our well-being—like nutrition, stretching, exercise, for starters.

The Whole Life Challenge is basically a game that challenges us to “try on” a whole life of health and fitness for eight weeks. As a team, we can win points and lose points (hopefully we’ll win more than we lose). And the prize is … Well, it’s who you are on July 14th.

I hope you’ll watch the videos and join my team. In fact, I WANT you on my team!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbicemIo-Sk

To join my team: http://www.whole.lc/wlc1705/pt/cfproficient

Our Team’s name: CrossFit Proficient

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups raw grated beetroot
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn bicarb soda
  • 1 tbspn apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbspns maple syrup
  • pinch salt
  • approx 1/2 cup cacao

Instructions

  1. mix all ingredients together and bake in a slice or loaf tin at 180 degrees for around 50minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

Credit: Chris Michael

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Chocolate nut butter – or make you own and add approx. 1/2 cup cacao
  • 2 Cups grated Zucchini – squuze out as much liquid as possible
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn bicarb soda
  • 1 tbspn apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbspns maple syrup
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together and bake in a slice or loaf tin at 180 degrees for around 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean

 

Credit: Chris Michael

Protein Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Almonds
  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews
  • 8 Medjool Dates (pitted)
  • 1/2 Cup Cacao
  • 3 Scoops Protein Powder
  • 1/2 Cup melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 3 tbspns chia seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 tbspns Seasame Seeds
  • 2 tbspns Poppy Seeds
  • 1 Cup Coconut Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • Goji Berries or Dried Carnberries (Optional)

Instructions

  1. Blend Almond and Cashews together until a fine crumb
  2. then add Dates, Cacao, Protein Powder, Coconut Oil and Water
  3. Blend until well combined, mixture should be quite wet.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix until everything is combined
  5. Line a slice tin with baking paper, pack mixture into tin firmly and regridgerate, should be ready to slice in around 2 hours. Best Stored in Fridge.

Credit: Chris Michael

Paleo Candy Bars

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Makes about 4 (2″ x 2″) bars
Approximate cooking time: 15 minutes, with 2 hours of refrigeration.

Ingredients
3 Tbs Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Carob Powder or Cocoa (optional)
1/2 Cup Ground Nuts (Almonds, Hazelnuts)
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1 Tbs Raw Honey (Optional, add more to taste)

Instructions

  1. Heat the honey and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once combined, add the carob, ground nuts, and coconut and mix together.
  3. Pour mixture onto a small baking tray covered in baking paper. Form into a square when cool enough to touch.
  4. Refrigerate until hardened. Cut into 4 servings.

Love to hate meal prep

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On the only day off i have with my kids, it is the thing i hate the most. While looking out the window at the hubby digging away in the garden, on the dining table is a piece of paper with the day’s of the week scribbled down one side.

Not everything we do for our health and well-being is enjoyable. I love working out, I enjoy eating whole foods, and I even like meditating, but I don’t think I will ever get over my hatred for meal planning.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop.

Planning out the week’s meals is the foundation upon which our family’s healthy eating habits are built. Although I dislike it, I understand planning dinners is most important twenty minutes of my week.

My System for Easy Meal Planning
Since having kids and limited time I’ve whittled down the process to the essentials.

First, I take two pieces of paper from the pile of scrap paper next to my computer. This is where ill draft the weeks dinners before i put them on the whiteboard that lives on the fridge. Posting the week’s menu also helps avoid repeated “What’s for dinner?” questions from my 4 year old. Something about that question, especially when it’s asked at 3:00pm, sets my teeth on edge, so the list of the week’s meals avoids the entire unpleasant exchange.

The second piece of paper is my shopping list. As i plan all of the weeks meals ill look at last week to keep some variety although with 3 young kids the meals are very similar from week to week. Next, I look at the week’s schedule. If I see we’ll be home late because of work or kid’s activities, I’ll start looking for slow cooker recipes. Many slow cooker recipes can be assembled in twenty minutes or less, and result in a delicious, warm, ready-to-eat meal by the end of the day. All it takes is advance planning, which is where weekly meal planning enters the picture.

With one or two recipes in place, I start to build the week. If we’re having meat on Monday, I’ll plan chicken on Tuesday. Many times what I write down isn’t even a recipe at all. It could be “chicken and broccoli,” which means I’ll grill chicken with some lemon and olive oil and roast broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

I’m also not afraid of repeating meals or recipes week after week. Things naturally shift as the seasons change, so if we have the same slow cooker roast recipe three weeks in a row in winter, I know I’ll move to the BBQ as the weather gets warmer. We are all eating a home-cooked meal Sunday through Thursday, and that in itself is a such a victory. That’s as high as the bar needs to go for me.

While I often take out a pile of cookbooks to flip through for ideas, there may be a quicker way online but I haven’t yet found an online solution or an app that works for me. 

How to Prepare Your Shopping List
The hardest part about meal planning, for me, is deciding what to eat each night. There are infinite possibilities, and studies show too many choices can be paralyzing and cause anxiety. 

After I write down each meal, I write down the ingredients I need on the second piece of paper. This is the time to check if I have the spices I need, or to make sure I’m not almost out of olive oil. 

Next, I write down all the weekly essentials for the family’s breakfasts and lunches. These items repeat each week, so they are easy to remember. Its time to move on the next task for the week: grocery shopping. Which the hubby does at the start of the week.

Why This Is the Most Important 20 Minutes of Your Week
If I hate doing these tasks so much, why do I continue?

I continue because as much as I hate meal planning, I love having a week’s worth of meals planned out in advance. I love that on Wednesday at 6:30pm, instead of thinking with dread, “What am I going to make for dinner?” I consult my list and pull out the ingredients. I love the discipline the list inspires, which leads to a week’s worth of healthy eating for the entire family, every week.

My reward for a week’s worth of planning and cooking comes on Friday. Usually, at that point, I will have accumulated a hodge-podge of leftovers. Saturday night the kitchen is closed, unless we’re having a dinner party, but between a long work week and running around with the kids this rarely happens. So its usually the night for a treat.

If dinners are a nightly source of stress for you, get out a piece of paper, a few cookbooks, and start meal planning!

– Kim Humphrys

The Guide To Navigating a Restaurant Menu

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For most people, your first few weeks of a Paleo-style diet will involve at least one attempt – successful or not – to navigate a restaurant menu. When you’re new to this way of eating, dining out can be challenging, and often stressful. In an attempt to convert any normal restaurant menu into appropriate Good Food fare, we’ve outlined some tips and created this handy Dining Guide to help you make the most of your restaurant experience.

Today, however, we’re expanding upon our dining out recommendations, in the hopes that your next business lunch, family dinner, or special occasion celebration is easier (and more delicious). Ready to order?

Embrace the Awkward

 The first step to navigating a restaurant menu is accepting that you’re going to have to be “That Person.” You know, the one who asks questions about everything, makes about a thousand substitutions, and then still has to send something back? Yeah. That might be you.

But if you’re going to venture out and stay your healthiest, you’re going to have to do your due diligence. Instead of feeling self-conscious about the requests you’re making, take ownership! Let your waiter know that you a) understand that you’re being specific about your food, b) are willing to wait patiently while they ask the kitchen or the manager about anything they don’t know, and c) really appreciate their help (make sure you show your appreciation, too, if you know what I mean). If you’re patient and respectful with the restaurant staff, they’ll show you the same courtesy.

Do Your Homework

 If you’ve got any advance warning, do a little research about the restaurant. The more time you have, the more you’ll be able to find out. (And if you’re able to choose the restaurant yourself, even better!)

  • 5 minutes: Browse through their menu online, take note of any table-side specials (like warm bread or chips and salsa), and note any special policies – no substitutions could be a problem for you in this situation.
  • 10 minutes: Give the restaurant a call. Ask about their cooking fats, if they offer an allergen – or at least gluten free – menu.  Let the staff or manager know you’re coming and that you’ll have some specific food requests.
  • 15 minutes: While you’ve got a manager on the phone, take a couple of minutes to ask about how their ingredients are sourced. Do they purchase from local farmers or through a wide area distributor. Are their meats pasture-finished or conventionally farmed? The manager may not know the answers to these questions . That’s okay, but their ignorance probably answers your questions anyway. Most restaurants that feature local, organic, or appropriately raised ingredients are proud as punch of their commitment and are happy to share that information.

Prioritise Your Proteins

This seems like as good a place as any to talk about which proteins are your best choices* when dining out. (Hint: it’s not always the burger.)

*For the record, these are our personal recommendations, based on what we know about the factory-farming system, and the effect of this system on the health of the animal, and the health of the meat. If you disagree about our ranking, we’re okay with that – at least it shows you’re thinking about this stuff.

If you discovered during your research that the restaurant serves any form of responsibly-raised meats (grass-fed, pastured, organic), you have our permission to do an embarrassing happy dance in your seat, and choose whichever responsibly-raised “best choice” protein options sounds best to you.

If they don’t have a grass-fed burger, but they do have an organic, free-range chicken, prioritize the health of the animal (and your health) over your taste preference and order the chicken. Make sure to use your common sense, however – organic fried chicken is still not a healthy choice, because of the breading and the frying oil.

If, like most restaurants, the meat is conventionally sourced (factory-farmed), you’ll have the make the best of a less-than-optimal protein situation. Use this hierarchy to help you decide what to eat:

  • Good choice:  The best protein options on a restaurant menu are steamed or grilled fish or seafood, or lean cuts of red meat (like sirloin steak). Remember that toxins consumed by factory farmed animals can be stored in their fat, so choosing a very lean protein and trimming all visible fat will help you avoid some of these.
  • Okay choice: Look for grilled chicken (without the skin), or fattier cuts of red meat (like ribs or a ribeye steak). The standard burger-no-bun falls in this category too – not your best choice, because of the cooking method and oil.* Eggs fall here too – a better choice for breakfast than your traditional meats.
  • Avoid: We cannot recommend the consumption of factory-farmed pork in any form (especially bacon and sausage), anything fried (especially in batter), skin-on chicken (like wings or drumsticks), or meat swimming in mystery sauce. We’re not even going to discuss conventional hot dogs here. These are your least-healthy choices, so even if you like bacon on your burger, we strongly encourage you to do without.

*You’ll often have no choice but to consume vegetable oils when dining out, as even high-end restaurants cook with them. But if you can choose a healthier option that requires less (or no) oil, that’s your best bet.

Bring the Heat

In most restaurants, ingredients are prepared using a wide variety of cooking methods.  While some of them sound self-explanatory, a chef’s job is to make the food taste as yummy as possible, and sometimes that means adding not-so-obvious ingredients here and there.

Ask questions to make sure you’re satisfied with the description and process of each cooking method before choosing one. Also, many restaurants are happy to sub out a cooking method if you ask. If you see a protein listed as fried, ask for the protein grilled, steamed, or baked instead.

  • Grilled: Grilled foods (usually proteins) are cooked directly over heat, often on a metal rack. Many restaurants at a little fat to their lean grilled meats for the sake of flavor.  Sometimes proteins are cooked almost completely in a pan, and then finished on the grill.
  • Steamed: This one’s pretty obvious – foods that are steamed are cooked using hot water (steam). Again, this is usually applied to veggies, but it may also be used in relation to fish or seafood.  Steamed options generally show up in the “lighter eating” portion of the menu (ie: less fat), but that doesn’t mean you can relax here. Always ask questions. Sometimes these foods are more heavily seasoned to compensate for the lack of fat – make sure the seasonings don’t include wheat, soy, sugar, etc.
  • Sautéed: Sautéed foods are cooked in a small amount of fat. This is going to be the cooking method of choice for vegetable sides in most restaurants. Unless the menu states otherwise, you can assume your veggies are sautéed. You can request an acceptable fat option, or ask for your vegetables to be steamed or wet sautéed – cooked with water instead of fat – and served undressed.
  • Roasted: Foods that are roasted are cooked in a dry heat environment like an oven or over a flame. These foods are almost always basted with a fat (sometimes a different liquid) to enhance flavor and keep them from drying out.
  • Fried: Fried foods are almost always cooked in horrifically unhealthy, really hot fat, generally in the form of vegetable oil. There is no chance you’ll find an acceptable fried option at any conventional restaurant – and probably not at your fancypants downtown bistro, either. Moving on…

Read Carefully

This is the part where you begin to narrow your search and keep a mental list of questions you’ll want to ask the waiter.  Try to pick out three meals that appear to be primarily compliant and easily customisable.  Make sure they each include an acceptable protein and have the option of veggies as a side. Then, use the terms you just learned and the waiter’s (or manager’s) knowledge to help you make the best decision.

Keep in mind what you learned in your research about the cooking fats the restaurant has available, and do your best to keep your substitution requests reasonable. You can (and should) ask to swap out a baked white potato for a sweet potato, or ask the kitchen to leave off the rice and sub extra broccoli, but you shouldn’t expect the chef to make you zucchini noodles to sub for another form of pasta – get it?

Eat, Drink and be Merrily

Once you’ve ordered your meal, you can relax, knowing that you’ve done all you can do to keep your meal compliant. Sometimes, though, something gets missed in the communication, and your meal will still come out wrong.

If it’s something simple like croutons on your salad (and you’re not highly sensitive to the food in question), just pick them off and enjoy your meal. If you do have to send your meal back, don’t assume it’s your waiter’s fault, and don’t make a scene. Chances are your order wasn’t simple. Many Paleo meals require substitutions or special requests that kitchens aren’t used to handling. Calmly and clearly explain what was wrong and thank your server for taking care of it. Treating restaurant staff with respect paints a great picture of our community (and keeps people from spitting in your food).

When the meal is over, show your appreciation to the waiter and a glowing comment card for the kitchen staff. You may even want to thank the chef personally. This lets everyone know that their hard work was noticed and goes a long way toward improving tolerance of, and even acceptance of, people whose eating plans fall outside the “everything in moderation” norm.

And with that, you’re ready to take your happy, healthy self out on the town! 

Butternut Pumpkin Lasagna

photo-601.jpgPrep time:  20 mins

Cook time:  30 mins

Total time:  50 mins

Serves: 6-8

 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium or 1 large butternut pumpkin
  • 500 g lean ground beef or pork
  • 1000g canned tomato sauce 
  • 100 g tomato paste
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup sliced olives
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Salt & pepper
  • Coconut oil or fat of choice

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the diced onion in a spoonful of coconut oil until it’s softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pork, garlic and oregano and raise the heat to medium-high. Saute until the pork is cooked through.
  3. Add the olives, tomato sauce and paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low and simmer while you prepare the squash. [Note: this makes a tasty meat sauce all on its own or for use in other recipes.]
  4. Peel the butternut pumpkin. Slice into very thin rounds by laying the squash on a cutting board. I tried to make mine about ⅛” thick. The key is to make the slices as uniform as possible so they cook evenly. You could also use a mandolin to make them evenly sized. Be sure you have a sharp knife! Other recipes call for the squash to be sliced lengthwise into long sheets but this is very hard to do with a knife. The rounds enable quicker prep time and the result is just as tasty.
  5. Now it’s time to prepare the lasagna: start with a bit of sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Then place the pumpkin in a single layer (I used small pieces from the bottom of the pumpkin, which I had to cut into half moons to remove the seeds, to fill in the gaps between the rounds). Now add another layer of sauce. Don’t skimp because the moisture from the sauce is what cooks the pumpkin. Now add about ⅓ of the scrambled egg and smear it around. It will look gross. Stay the path. It’s going to taste awesome and gives the appearance of cheese.
  6. Repeat the pumpkin-sauce-egg sequence one or two more times, depending on how much you have left (I used two 9″ round pans so each ended up with two layers).
  7. Finish with a light layer of sauce. I also used up some of the extra pieces of pumpkin as decoration. Fancy 🙂
  8. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the pumpkin.

Source: Stupid Easy Paleo