Paleo Desserts

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Flourless Mocha Bacon Brownies!

(recipe from Practical Paleo cookbook and posted here)

 

 

 

In the past couple of years my opinion of the Paleo diet has cycled from:  annoyance/seriously these people are going to give themselves heart disease, to curiosity, to educating myself on its philosophy, to let’s give it a 30 day trial and see what happens, to finally ending back in reality but with some new favorite dessert recipes.

Paleo desserts.  Those words together are kind of humorous, a bit of an oxymoron.  Did the cavemen really have almond flour?  Paleo dessert recipes have become another internet craze, however most Paleo enthusiasts would agree that they are meant to play a small role in a healthy diet rather than be a daily event.  The overall premise of Paleo is real foods– otherwise known as foods found in nature that our ancestors relied on:  pasture-raised or wild animals, generous amounts of produce and avoiding modern-day processed junk as well as dairy, vegetable oils, legumes and grains.  Many variations exist such as low-carb Paleo or the inclusion of certain dairy products.  The shunning of legumes and whole grains is a controversial can of worms that I won’t open up right now.  All I have to say about that is some things work for some people– but we are all different.

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My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’ve made these cookies so many times that I have the recipe memorized.  Not that it was any incredible feat; it’s only got a few ingredients.  Simple is good! I’d post the recipe if it were mine but I can’t take credit.  Please follow this link to the Detoxinista’s Paleo/Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, as it is her creation.  I will tell you that all you’ll need are: almond flour, maple syrup, coconut oil (or coconut butter), chocolate chips, vanilla and salt.  I usually sub coconut butter for the oil and add a bit more maple syrup (an extra tablespoon equaling 1/4 cup total).  Sometimes I add almond extract along with the vanilla.

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You don’t need any other reason aside from their deliciousness to eat these little cookies but I will point out that they are made with awesome, real-food ingredients to support a healthy body.

Almond flour is exactly what it sounds like, almonds ground  into a flour.  It has the same nutrients found in whole almonds which are most famous for their vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, calcium and iron.

Coconut is incredibly healthy too.  I know it’s hard to let go of outdated beliefs about saturated fats being “bad” but research now points to this NOT being true.  Unfortunately it is going to take some time for this information to become mainstream.

Researchers at URI have studied pure maple syrup and say: “It’s important to note that in our laboratory research we found that several of these compounds possess anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to fight cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses.”

As always, stick with real-food ingredients and you won’t go wrong.  Stay away from refined sugar, refined flours and highly processed oils which are devoid of nutritional value.  Keep healthy foods in your house and you will eat healthy foods.  Stock up on processed junk foods and you’ll eat processed junk foods.  It’s that simple!
I’ve got my Aunt Cathy hooked on making these.  Anybody else give them a try?

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Feel Good About Your Body: Practice Gratitude, Not Judgment

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Thanksgiving is one week away.  No matter who you are, you have special things in your life to be thankful for.  Is your body one of them?

You’re not alone if you don’t feel great about your body.   There seems to be a natural human tendency to be critical of the way we look and get hung up on perceived flaws.  It doesn’t feel very good, does it?  The way I see it, life is short and feeling bad about yourself isn’t a productive or pleasant way to spend precious time.

Changing negative thoughts takes practice, just like changing any other unwanted habit.    If you’ve lived for years repeating to yourself how fat your thighs are, it’s going to take work to alter that automatic pattern of thinking.  But you can do it.   Your body is where you live.  Treat it with kindness.

Speak to it and care for it with love and gratitude and your world will change.

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One and a Half Minute Single Serving Chocolate Mug Cake

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This is cake in a hurry!!  And all for YOU!

Yes, you DO deserve cake.  If you’ve been thinking you can’t have cake because it’s “bad” then you need to keep on reading this post and realize that those thoughts need to be changed pronto because they are not true.

Quick, perfectly portioned, made with real, whole-food ingredients…. this is the chocolate cake to make when you want cake NOW but don’t want to bake a big one and refuse to settle for store-bought cake made from, let’s just call them un-ideal ingredients.  Mug cakes have been around for years but they are new to me.  If you’ve never heard of them you will be as thrilled as I was to give them a try.

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2- Ingredient Pancakes

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These pancakes are my new favorite breakfast!

I first heard about these amazing pancakes a couple of months ago on a nutrition podcast.  Curious about how the recipe would work, I gave it a try and have been hooked ever since.  So easy and sooooooooooooo delicious!  Not to mention healthier than your typical flour-based pancakes.

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Change is Good

You may think a dietitian has it all figured out for herself/himself when it comes to eating. Not so! It’s beneficial to constantly tweak and adjust eating habits. We’ve all heard the quote: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Basically, when something stops working , it’s time for a change!

When I began noticing lower levels of energy, particularly during runs, I became (extra) curious about my own nutrition.   According to the nutritional composition of my diet I was getting everything I supposedly needed, but I was frustrated with feeling like I was eating right and not feeling as good as I had. That little voice inside of me who loves to question things spoke up. Could there be nutrients (possibly unidentified yet) in animal products that I am missing? Would I feel better if I ate them? How could I ever be okay with doing this due to all I believe in? After a lot of serious thinking I decided I was ready to begin experimenting with adding animal foods back into my diet to see what would happen.

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Almond-Coconut Chocolate-Chip Blondies

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I have been experimenting with coconut flour– so far this is my favorite concoction!  It’s not a flour that you can simply substitute for regular grain flour in most recipes.  It is so rich in fiber that you need extra liquid/moist ingredients because it is very absorbent.  Coconut flour is popular with those who eat gluten-free, follow a “paleo” diet  or are carb-conscious (it is low in digestible carbohydrates).  I just love anything coconut!

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San Francisco: Vegan Food

I can now cross San Francisco off my list of places to visit.  But I am going to go ahead and put it back on because I want to go back!  It may not top Newport, RI as my favorite city, but it is a close second.

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New Changes in the Future for Food Labels

Changes are in the works for the Nutrition Facts panel found on packaged foods.  These labels, which we are all (hopefully) very familiar with, haven’t changed in about twenty years.  I’d agree that some updates are in order.

Changes like this take time; we won’t likely see the new labels for a few years.  While the exact adjustments are still being discussed, there are a few changes that I am hearing we can expect to see:

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Enough with Artificial Additives: Subway is Making Progress

I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with seeing strange, un-foodlike words on ingredient lists.  My solution to this problem is to buy as much food as I can without ingredient lists– or to make sure the ingredients are natural, recognizable foods.

This article is saying that there is hope for change:  The Food Industry Make a Major Shift From Artificial to Natural.  I like that!  More and more people are becoming concerned about the connection between artificial ingredients and their potential negative health consequences.  Subway made the news last week by announcing the removal of one particularly questionable additive in their bread:

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