So whats this Paleo thing again?!

I found this fabulous little run down about what the Paleo diet is about on http://www.themogulmom.com.

A few of my friends sort of understand a little of what i have been trying to do to my diet (not strictly following but 80% of my weekly intake of food is now paleo).

I must hold my hands up and admit i haven’t totally cut out the dairy yet (although i have cut down!) , and once a fortnight i have something with lentils or beans in it, but i don’t feel this is the biggest dietary sin in the world!

So for those still out there who are a little confused or are just beginning their journey to find the right diet for their body have a quick nosey!
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Tasty tempting treats

As christmas is approaching i may start thinking of stocking my snack cupboard with a few treats i wont feel so guilty diving into.

So many people find that christmas plays havoc on their waist line and if you are new to the whole “DIET” lark it is dreadful to be surrounded by all your favourite foods, watching everyone scoff their face while you sit down to your plate full of salad!

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I have decided to delve into the wonderful world of google to give me some inspiration for some tasty snacks so i don’t feel so left out this holiday season!

Here are a few of the best i have found over the last few days which i am going to try out!

Why don’t you have a go yourself?!

This recipe i found on http://atastylovestory.com (paleo, vegan, low-carb and raw food recipes!)

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Energy bars for everyone
Makes 16 bars

Almond & coconut layer
200 g almonds
200 g desiccated coconut flour
2 very ripe bananas
1 tsp ground vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp organic virgin coconut, melted

Chocolate layer
100 g dark chocolate (70 %)
1 small or 1/2 big avocado
2 Tbsp Sukrin, coconut sugar, stevia or sweetener of your choice (I used sukrin gold)
1 tsp organic extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp ground vanilla

Raw & vegan chocolate layer (alternative chocolate layer)
4 Tbsp organic virgin coconut oil, melted
4 Tbsp high quality cocoa powder
8 big soft pitted dates
1/2 tsp ground vanilla

Directions
For this recipe you need to use a food processor or very good blender. Blend the coconut flour until it becomes almost ground. Then add the almond and blend until you have a mix almond and coconut flour. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, salt, banana and blend until you have a firm and mixed dough.
Find a square baking pan, box or whatever you have on hands. Line it with a piece of parchment paper. Now use your hand to even out the dough, it should be plain and have a thickness around 2 cm (0,75 inch). Place it in the fridge.

Original chocolate layer: Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler. Blend the avocado, sugar and vanilla until it has a very smooth texture. Add the chocolate and pulse until just combined. Remove the dough from the fridge and add the chocolate in a plain layer and place it back in the fridge to set for at least 30 min.

Raw and vegan chocolate layer: Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth chocolate paste. Add more cocoa if you want a deeper flavour and darker colour. Remove the dough from the fridge and add the chocolate in a plain layer and place it back in the fridge to set for at least

Cut the ‘cake’ into 16 bars. Keep them in an airtight box in the fridge for up to a week. Wrap some of them in paper and bring them to your workout, as a afternoon snack or on long walks. You’ll get a tasty and healthy energy load without any blood sugar rush.

Heres another fab recipe this time from http://www.paleogrubs.com

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Gluten free energy bars

Ingredients
1 cup almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pitted dates
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Instructions
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to break everything up. Then blend continuously until the ingredients have broken down and start to clump together into a ball.
Using a spatula to scrape down the sides, turn out the mixture onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Press into an even square and chill, wrapped, for at least an hour. Cut into desired size of bars, wrapping each bar in plastic wrap to store in the fridge.
Notes
Servings: 8 bars
Difficulty: Easy

and another here from http://livinghealthywithchocolate.com

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Cookie Dough Bites (Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free, Low Carb)

Ingredients
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1½ tablespoons coconut milk
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ tablespoon + ½ teaspoon raw honey
¾ cup almond flour
3 tablespoons chocolate chips, plus more for drizzling
Instructions
whisk together the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and honey
using a rubber spatula, gently mix in the almond flour until ingredients are combined. Be careful not to over mix or the batter will become oily.
fold in the chocolate chips and refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes
roll chilled dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water
drizzle chocolate over each cookie dough bite
Recipe make 10 cookie dough bites. Store in the refrigerator.

Yum yum yum…

Just a quicky tonight to share with you one of my newly discovered favorite recipes!

I posted this ‘recipe’ on my personal Facebook page and was met with lots of ‘are you pregnant’ style remarks….

Well 1. No I’m not and 2. Don’t knock something until you’ve tried it….. (Unless its something fennel based then whatever it is I knock it way out of the park….urg)

So here it is…..( please excuse my lame presentation, I never said I was a chef or a photographer!)

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Mango and avocado with bacon…. ( and a little side salad.)

I don’t need to give you any more directions than that…. it’s simply what it says on the tin.

No need for dressing on the salad as the sweet mango mixed with the scrummy bacon adds enough flavor…

So what are you waiting for, go make some up, I guarantee it will become a firm favorite! 🙂

A few of my favourite things…

Hello to all.

The sun is shining down upon us in ye olde Zurich today, summer is finally here!
Unfortunately its not just warm, its scorching hot, which is fine if you are on a beach or on holiday somewhere, its not really particularly nice for those bodding about getting on with their every day business.

I know, i know, one minute we all complain it is too cold and the next its too hot….well, i’m British and we like to talk about the weather!!!

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But anyways, todays blog isn’t about ‘Weather’, i’ve decided to share a few more recipes with ya’ll out there!
Ok, they may not be my favourite recipes but they are nice recipes, paleo and low carbalishious!
AND….the first is one of my OWN concoctions, a bit of a throw it in as you go along dish, so excuse the lack of exact measurements!

Paleo Pork, Apple and Cider Casserole

4 pork chops cut into cubes
2 Apples, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
1 onion thinly sliced
1 small Celeriac cut into batons
2 Sweet Potatoes cut into batons
1 Tin of Tomatoes
100mls of chicken Stock
Mixed Herbs
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 bottle of Bulmers Apple Cider.

Now here is the tricky part……shove it all in the slow cooker for 6 hours or so and done.
( minimum fuss food!)

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Paleo Chicken Curry

4 organic chicken breast
4 slices of bacon (nitrate free)
Medium pack of prawns
5 carrots (peeled and chopped)
1 head of cauliflower (chopped)
2 cups of cubed sweet potatoes.
1 med. sweet onion(sliced)
2-3 garlic gloves (minced)
2 tbsp of ginger (minced)
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp curry
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
Garnish with shredded unsweetened coconut.
Instructions
Fry bacon until crisp and dice.
In a separate frying pan, fry onions, garlic, and ginger in coconut oil untill onions are translucent, 5-8 mins on med-high. Add spices, stir, then add coconut milk and bring to a light boil for 2-5 m ins. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pre heat oven at 375
Cube chicken and place in an oven safe casserole dish, peel, add prawns to casserole dish. Add all vegetables and spread evenly. Pour sauce over everything, sprinkle bacon over everything and bake for 40-50 mins. Remove halfway to stir.

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(adapted from the recipes on http://cavemanstrong.com/2011/02/paleo-curry-chicken/ as i had no shrimp and had more guests to feed so doubled the chicken!)

Paleo Chilli – Kiddy Approved!

1 zucchini
handful of carrots
1 acorn squash
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1 mason jar homemade chicken stock or beef stock
2 lbs ground beef
salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili powder

Warm up the squash and carrots any which way you like. If you are not opposed to microwaving, it will take a fraction of the time you spend doing it otherwise. Scoop the squash out of the skin. Dice all vegetables into bite sized pieces and toss them into a hot pan with some bacon grease or butter or coconut oil.

Add the canned tomatoes, and cook everything for a few more minutes. Now add everything to a food processor or blender, and process everything until it’s a thick veggie sauce/soup.

Brown the ground beef thoroughly and season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Add all ingredients into a slow cooker, pour in the chicken or beef stock, and season as you like. Not all kids are into cumin, so you could leave that out. You’ll know your kids best. As I said before, none of the kids were aware of all the great stuff in this chili (although I did tell my own kids later and they thought that was awesome!).

You’ll want to cook your chili in the slow cooker on LOW for about 3 to 5 hours.

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(With Thanks to http://fastpaleo.com/kid-friendly-and-approved-chili/ and the kids really did enjoy this!)

Let me know what you think of the recipes if you get to try them out yourself!

In the mood for food?

I realised yesterday that i have only posted one recipe type blog on here, and so thought it would probably be a good idea to share with you a few of my favourites!

A few friends have been asking me ‘what do you eat then if you don’t have cereal, bread, pasta, potatoes or rice?’. It does sound daunting to cut out all of these and i can understand the confusion of ‘whats left to eat?’ . Being someone who ate a very carb heavy diet before hand i did wonder how i would cope myself!

And much to the delight to some of you i’m sure, i don’t just live off fruit and leafy salads! I’m not a rabbit!

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One recipe which is a sure fire hit in my household, even with the kids is so simple! It’s more of a lunchtime recipe really and if you aren’t totally mean and still letting your family have some carby foods then its great with fresh bread!

Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Soup

2 large sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into small cubes)
2 red bell peppers, ( cut into small chunks)
1medium onion ( chopped)
2 large garlic cloves (crushed)
200ml coconut milk
Half a glass of wine
Half teaspoon salt

Boil up the sweet potato, peppers, onion and garlic in a pan of water for 25 mins.
Remove the water into a separate pan ( can use it to water down the soup to taste)
Add in the wine, coconut milk and salt and puree the mix either in a food processor or a hand blender.
Some people like a thick soup, some prefer thinner so add the ‘old’ water from earlier to make soup to your liking.
Done, quick and very tasty.
As serving, add pepper to taste!

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Plantain & Sweet Potato Curry

1 large onion
4 garlic gloves
1 inch of ginger
1 Plantain
2 small/Medium sized Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sized Florets from a Cauliflower
3 Bay Leaves
8 Cardamon Pods
8 Cloves
Half teaspoon of Cumin Seeds
Half teaspoon of Ground cinnamon
Half teaspoon of Ground Coriander
Half teaspoon of Turmeric
1/2 Glass of Wine
400ml Coconut Milk
Olive Oil
1Tin of Tomatoes

Put the oil, cardamon, bay leaves, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric in a pan and heat up to release the flavours, be careful not to burn them! You just want to heat them!
Chop your onion and put in a blender with your peeled garlic cloves and peeled ginger, blend into a paste.
Add paste to the spices and cook for a few minutes, add in the wine and cook for about 5 mins with regular stiring.
Cut your plantain into thin slices, cube (1cm)your peeled sweet potatoes and chop your cauliflower florets into small pieces.
Throw them into the pan with everything else and stir well, add in 200mls of water and cook for 10 minutes.
Add in the coconut milk and tomatoes and leave the curry to simmer for an hour with stirring every now and again!
This curry is quite a sweet curry, and I’m sure you can add chillies, i chose not to as i don’t like ‘Hot’ food! You could even use spinach instead of cauliflower?
I don’t serve mine with rice, i think its enough of a dish itself, for my family i serve it along side a grilled chicken breast.
Enjoy!

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I’ve got the Shrinks

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Well, sort off…..maybe not the same sort of Shrinks the Twits suffered from, but my weights still coming down!

I had the absolute joy this week of pulling out a bag of clothes i have not worn in 5-6 years and trying them on.
I have always had a love for Monsoon dresses and in my ‘skinnier’ days owned a few beautiful summer dresses.
Much to my husbands frustration at times i’m sure, i kept hold of them, i wasn’t prepared to throw my dresses out, always living in hope that one day i may got back into them, i couldn’t give up hope!

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Well, not only did i ‘try’ on my dresses but for the first time in 6 years i could do them up!!!!
Lets just say i’m very glad i decided to keep them!

The journey is not yet over, i still have a lot of work to do and i have to admit that i really should start looking into some exercise.

Although i have dropped a dress size, ( two in the case of the dresses, sadly, a way off dropping another jean size though!!) i still have some toning up to do and a little extra weight needs to be dropped from the tummy and hips.

I’m really not one for exercise, even though it is part of the whole lifestyle change I’m after, i just struggle to find the time and motivation to do any.

The gym bores me to tears, a place full of sweaty people who never crack a smile and look pained as they concentrate on their own workouts. Maybe its also the fact i really have no clue what to do and how to do it and the whole idea just bores me a little?

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When it comes to exercise at home, again i don’t feel particularly inspired, being an at home mum, you think i have plenty of time to throw in a bit of exercise here and there, and i do i guess…. But its nice to get out of the house and do something for me, not just be stuck inside!
I think i am more suited to social exercise, so i need to spend a little time researching what is available and where! I’ll get there in the end i’m sure, and even one day, maybe stop all the excuses!

I have to say this quotation i found says it all really, no excuses!

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You can clean your teeth….

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Todays blog isn’t about brushing your teeth, its about why its better to eat sugar or natural products than replace them with chemical impostors, mainly Aspartame!

“You can clean your teeth, but you can’t clean your brain!”

I can’t remember where i got this quote from, i’ve been saying it since i was about 16!

I found out quite young that i was allergic to Aspartame and naturally, my family decided to read up a little more about it and i have done the same as i grew up!

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What reactions did i have that were so bad? Mood changes, blisters in my mouth, memory loss, hyperactivity, feeling unable to breath. You get the gist, it is not the best thing for me to consume!

So am i a rare case? Do many people suffer from reactions to Aspartame? Do you actually know what it is? What it is in? What effect it may be having on you?

Well i can tell you, i am not a one off case, and yes, many people suffer from many different problems once they have consumed products with this in. Some have reactions straight away ( like myself) and others can have it build up in their bodies and be affected later.

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Aspartame is one of the most popular sugar replacements found in food and drinks. You can find it in most “diet”, “tooth kind” or “low sugar” products on sale, Including products that are directly marketed at children. It is also known as Nutrasweet or Aminosweet so keep a close eye on those labels, the producers have obviously cottoned on to the fact consumers may be avoiding the word ‘aspartame’ on their food labels. I tend to look out for the warnings that can be found on all food/drink packaging stating what potential risks your product holds, for example….. ‘this product contains a source of Phenylalanine’ (this tends of mean Aspartame).

Aspartame is actually 200x sweeter than sugar, so only a little is needed to sweeten the 1000’s of products it is in, obviously helping provide a cheaper alternative to natural sugars!

Aspartame consists of Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid and Methanol!
When ingested Aspartame breaks down to potentially lethal components. One being Methanol,(wood alcohol) which then breaks down further to Formaldehyde (embalming agent) and formic acid (found in venom of bees). None of which sound particularly healthy and the sort of thing you wish to knowingly put into your bodies!

In 2005, a laboratory study found more lymphomas and leukemias in rats fed very high doses of aspartame!

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So why is Aspartame still available in 90 countries world wide? Take a look a this article i found that covers Aspartames journey of being banned twice before it was finally legalised for use in the food industry!
http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/01/19/the-shocking-story-of-how-aspartame-became-legal/

So please take note, understand that removing refined sugars from your diets doesn’t mean you replace them with chemical alternatives which only cause other issues in your body. Its better to have natural sugar products like raw brown sugar, honey, maple syrup and clean your teeth well than have products full of sweeteners which will ‘rot your brain’.

Aspartame is just one of the many artificial sweeteners on the market so do our research and when you look at your diet, look at what your putting into your bodies and take care of you!

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