I don't know about any of you, but when it comes to making the transition to (or maintaining) a 'paleo' lifestyle one of the hardest things is giving up that morning bowl of cereal/oatmeal, pancakes, french toast, waffles, bagels, etc. Although most of the time I do not miss these foods at all (because I am perfectly happy living on a diet that allows me to devour whole eggs, bacon/sausage, avocados, and kale cooked in grease any morning I want), there ARE times when I just can't kick the craving for a sweeter, more indulgent breakfast. For this reason, I have been getting creative with a variety of different ingredients and doing A LOT of recipe tweeking to see what I can come up with.
Last week was very exciting...an attempt to make 'paleo' crepe batter was a huge success right off the bat!
The tuber, Yucca Root (right), is the source of Tapioca Flour
Vanilla paste/extract (1Tbsp)
Coconut Flour (1/4 cup)
Tapioca Flour (3/4 cup)
These flours can be purchased off amazon.com for much cheaper than in grocery stores.
Dextrose/Honey (1/4 cup)
Pumpkin pie spice/ Cinnamon
Coconut milk/Almond milk (if desired for consistency)
Coconut Oil/Butter (as needed for greasing pan)
Toppings!!!!! Ideas include coconut butter, chopped nuts, nutbutters (i.e. almond butter, cashew butter; NOT peanut butter!), Fruit, dark chocolate...
The first thing you want to do when making crepes or pancakes, is beat the eggs in a large bowl. Once the eggs mirror what so many of us are used to eating every morning (scrambled eggs, omelettes), it's time to add the reminaing ingredients. I find it works best to add the flour alternatives last, then let the magic happen.
Confession: I almost NEVER measure the amount of ingredients I use (part of the fun/creativity that is the art of cooking if you ask me), BUT, the quantities I've provided here are approximates and should work just fine.
A helpful tip when mixing in the tapioca and coconut flours (unless you need an intense arm/shoulder workout) is to add small amounts at a time. It is crucial for the consistency of the batter that the flours are mixed into the eggs very well (i.e. no lumps). This takes time and arm strength...WOD: Make homogenous crepe batter for time! If you are lucky and own an electric beater, go ahead and use it.
It is also worth noting that coconut flour is a relatively thick flour, and it tends to thicken batter over a few minutes (this is why I did not use a lot). Add the coconut flour and wait a few minutes to see how thick the batter is. This is important here because we are shooting for a thin batter- something much thinner than pancake batter. Tapioca flour on the other hand is more of a thin, stretchy-like batter (why I initially thought it would be optimal for crepe-making). It can be very messy, so be careful...or have fun and cover yourself in it. ;)
To yield the optimal batter, I recommend refridgerating the batter overnight. Honestly, this is optimal for conveniency too if you ask me. Make the batter at night, stick it in the fridge, and you can probably even sneak some crepe-making in before heading off to work in the morning.
The next morning, the batter should look something like is pictured here- pale yellow, thin, and gooey.
I was especially lucky because my mom happened to have a 'crepe-maker' laying around. If you don't have this fantastic appliance, you should be fine making crepes using a frying pan.
Once hot, the 'crepe-maker' is submerged upside down into the crepe batter until a light comes on meaning the crepe is ready. This is a fairly quick process...and would likely be quick in a frying pan as well. If crepes seem like something you would like to enjoy frequently, I would recommend purchasing a crepe-maker
Add your favorite 'paleo'-friendly toppings, roll 'em up, and ENJOY!
...I would really to hear any more ideas you have for 'standard american meals' you'd like to see be 'paleo-ized' and/or any feedback! Also, feel free to contact me regarding WHY I chose to use any of these ingredients.
As most of you know, I have been SLACKING w/ paleoscape lately...but I'M BACK (w/ a vengeance), as I officially have my Ph.D.
now! Who would have thought!?
Anyways, I have struggled the past few months with maintaining the paleo diet through writing my thesis and staying sane. Sitting at a desk for long, tedious bouts of time is draining. I work better at night, of course when all other distractions are sleeping, so my night sleep generally began around 3am on writing days. This is NOT GOOD. Physicians are now saying that 'hours of sleep a night' will soon become a vital sign, much like that of blood pressure or heart rate. Go figure...have you ever had a horrible night sleep (or barely any sleep at all) and the next day craved nothing but crap food? Sugary food? Yep...that's because lack of sleep has left your cortisol
out of whack. This makes sticking with paleo more difficult. Even worse, cortisol can make it very hard to lose weight or stay in shape, regardless of how clean you're eating. I will highlight cortisol later in another blog of its own, because those of you who know me personally, know that I love to talk about it!
Moral of the story, I am getting back on the paleo bandwagon full force AND making adequate sleep a NECESSITY (b/c it is). I will also be keeping up with the blog frequently. Graduate school has come to an end, I have obtained the Ph.D., and traveling the country has ceased for a bit. Thanks to all of you who have continued to e-mail me or send me messages related to paleo during my paleoscape blog hiatus...these things are always welcome and appreciated.
The subject of this blog is mantaining paleo-like eating while on the fly. For example, I was in airports for 12hrs on Tuesday traveling from San Diego back to Philadephila. So what did i do to avoid being infected by the standard american diet (SAD)? It is worth noting that NONE of the things I ate were OPTIMAL, but they kept me going throughout the day, and allowed me to avoid wheat, gluten, bread, corn, soy, etc. that form the basis of processed foods.
Breakfast: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissant
What is shown here is what I did NOT eat for breakfast. The terminal I sat in for the morning had no 'sit-down' restaurants from which I could order eggs and bacon, the typical foundation of my breakfast. My choices were to intermittent fast (IF), or order something that I could modify to fit my diet. I hadn't slept great, and had been under a lot of stress from constant traveling, so I decided the timing was not optimal to IF. I ordered the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, of which I only ate the bacon, egg, and some of the cheese. I avoided what cheese I could, but not having an autoimmune disease myself, I knew a little dairy wouldn't harm me too much. You know you're paleo when...you eat sandwiches with a fork!
Snack 1: Tomato Juice
It's frustrating sitting on the plane for hours when you follow a paleo-like diet because the only drinks they offer that you can drink are water, and WATER! I suppose tea and black coffee also work...but this time I went for the 100% tomato juice. For me, tomato juice seems to give me that kick of vitality I need for long travel trips. If you can stomach the stuff, I'd say go for it (afterall, its free)!
Lunch: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Airport food is NOT CHEAP! My strategy: find a place where I can order lunch and dinner together for 'cheap.' I had a 5.5hr flight ahead of me, so in anticipation of getting hungry (and in an effort to avoid eating all the food im my parents house when I arrived late at night, as was the case in my past), I bought a dinner meal with my lunch and brought it on the plane with me. I will get to dinner in a bit...as for lunch, I ordered a bowl of chicken tortilla soup, which I have to admit is one of my favorites. The soup rang in at about $3 and was an impressive portion that included big chunks of chicken and avocado. I avoided the tortilla strips and some of the gooey cheese, and overall felt good about my lunch option. For soup, it was very satiating...satisfying.
Snack 2: 85% Dark Chocolate and Starbucks (my obsession).
Almost every day I have dark chocolate and starbucks, and in fact, I often indulge in the two together...the combo is to die for! I thoroughly enjoyed this snack just prior to my 5.5 hour flight. Why? Because although most people have the luxury of sleeping on airplanes, I canNOT. Instead, I capitalize on this time as 'research' or 'work' time. Coffee and chocolate definitely help fuel that!
Importantly, the chocolate I ate had no gluten, soy, or emulsifiers. It is dark enough to provide beneficial antioxidants, and even tastes delicious. I recommend trying this bar if you can find it at your local health food store. I purchased mine on sale for $2.99 at the local co-op in Iowa City before leaving for my trip across country...good find!
No Gluten, No Soy...DELICIOUS.
Dinner (in flight): Grilled Chicken Salad
As I mentioned earlier, I bought my lunch and dinner at the same place...a convenient mexican restaurant i stumbled upon in the airport. The soup was amazing, and so was this salad. The salad had an impressive amount of chicken, avocado, green lettuce, tomatoes, fresh feta cheese, and a little bit of an oily vinegarette. For those of you with autoimmune or who are trying to lean out, I would advise you to stay dairy-free, and therefore avoid the feta cheese in this salad. Also, I am not certain of the quality of the vinegarette, or even chicken for that matter, but this option was better than other options offered at airports: fast food, pizza, bagels, candy, soft pretzels, etc. It is worth noting that including a oil on salad facilitates extraction of the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables/lettuce- a good thing! Also, a tip that I live by is that if my only options are not high quality meat, stick with inherently lean meats- in this case, chicken. Overall, for $13 I had a very satisfying lunch and dinner.
Snack 3: Custom-made Raw Trail Mix
The best way to eat cheap on the go is to bring your own food...duh. Before leaving for my cross country trip I ordered a custom-made 5lb bag of trail mix...yes 5 pounds! For those of you interested: www.nutsonline.com
, have a field day. My mix included raw nuts (macadamia, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds), dried fruit (cherries, star fruit, chocolate covered goji berries, and coconut flakes). This was a great go-to snack to have on the road, in the plane, post workout, or when I needed something to get me through a few more hours to the next meal (which is important when traveling b/c we can only afford to buy so many good meals).
I hope my 'on-the-go" menu has provided you with some options to consider next time you're on the road/ in the air. The basis of good health is eating real food. Eating real food is ALWAYS a possibility...don't sell yourself short no matter where you are...this is YOUR life we are talking about.
I'M BACK! ;)
I realize I have been flaunting these babys on facebook for quite some time now, and have actually had the oppotunity to cook them first hand for a lot of you...so it's about that time... to SPILL!
Ever since I made the switch to a paleo diet, one of the things I miss the most is PANCAKES! I am a pancake freak, and no matter what kind of diet I have followed in the past, I made sure to whip up an 'approved' pancake recipe. For example, when I learned that enriched white flour was bad, I switched over to making pancakes made from whole grain or buckwheat. Then after doing some more research and learning how detrimental wheat actually is to our bodies, I started making pancakes from eggs and oats. Let me tell you, when I found out about the havoc wrecked on our gut by grains, I ceased making all of these pancakes. This was a sad day! Until…I learned about grainless, and natural flour alternatives. The first that caught my interest was almond flour. The concept just seemed so easy to me that I had to try it. I bought a bag of almonds, threw them in my food processor, and wah lah: almond flour. Note: You will save a pretty penny making this stuff yourself rather than purchasing it in the store!
Almond flour is an okay choice to cook with because it is both filling and satisfying, but it is definitely not the best. WHY? Unfortunately, 1 cup of almonds contains ~4-5g omega 6 (“inflammatory fat”) and no omega 3 (“anti-inflammatory fat”). The polyunsaturated fatty acids are not heat stable and therefore are quickly oxidized to peroxides when exposed to high heat (because of their multiple double bonds). This problem becomes worse when almonds are crushed or ground up (as in flour) due to an increase in exposed surface area. The peroxides subsequently form free radicals and damage our cell membranes. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/cgi-bin/list_nut_edit.pl http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=65&utm_source=rss_reader&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss_feed
The BEST alternative to cook with is coconut flour
, as it is most stable at high heat. Additional advantages include that it is cheap, low carb, all natural, easy to use, and recipes do not require a lot.
I tend to blend the following ingredients in a food processor, pour the mixture in a bowl, and let it sit for a few minutes.
Example: heated strawberries for topping
¼-1/2 cup coconut flour
2tbsp honey (optional depending on ‘paleo strictness,’ but makes it taste that much better)
1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk (improved recipe!)
4 large eggs
2tbsp. pumpkin spice (divided 1tbsp batter, 1tbsp sprinkled among the cooking pancakes)
Pecans, dark chocolate chips, chopped apples, etc. if desire inside pancakes (optional)
Water if necessary to bring to desired consistency
Coconut flour thickens the mixture with time, so it is worth waiting up to 5 minutes to see the final texture of the batter before cooking. I add coconut oil (or use remaining grease from pastured bacon) to a pan on medium-high heat and pour or ladle out the batter. Sprinkle some pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon) on the batter while cooking for some added flavor. Cook as you would normal pancakes. Serve with almond butter, coconut butter, and/or berries (buy frozen and heat in a sauce pan to make a homemade fruity ‘syrup’), etc. For those of you without autoimmune issues, whole fat cottage cheese is also a delicious topping! Be creative, but step away from Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Buttersworth!
Typical Saturday brunch!!!
The whatever-you-got omelette
Bacon(from pastured pigs)
Farm fresh eggs
Almond milk (optional)
Pure unadulterated bacon
This bacon was purchased unsliced so I can get creative... chop, slice, cut it into triangles, the possibilities are endless!
Chard has anti-inflammatory properties and is packed full of nutrients. It is a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K (almost 400% daily value!), Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Zinc, and Folate, and Choline.
Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2399/2#ixzz17LOPL8TK
Extra Large farm fresh
If you like your eggs fluffy like I do, add a splash of almond milk (or coconut milk) into the mix before whisking. For those of you who are strict paleo, you may want to experiment with homeade almond milk rather than the store bought stuff. I'll document how to do this in a later post.
Cook the bacon first, and reserve as much grease as you want the omelette to be tasty and not stick to the pan when you are trying to flip it!
Add the chopped chard and finally the egg mixture
If you allow dairy in your diet as I do accasionally, a more primal than paleo way of eating, then grating some fresh pamesan is a tasty option. Flip half the egg batter onto its other half and cook a couple minutes longer. Boom- delicious, nutritious, and colorful breakfast!
NOTE: I take fish oil and a daily vitamin with breakfast as you can see in the above... stay tuned and I will discuss these in a later post.