I apologize that this is 4 days late hitting the web, I genuinely do. I had become stuck in a rut and was spending WAY too much time on the computer and not nearly enough time with my children or being a good (house)wife. I unplugged for a few days and spent an astonishing amount [...]
I woke up this morning to Grady SCREAMING. I’m going to go ahead and pretend that he was just singing “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” to me at the very top of his lungs.
I reluctantly crawled out of bed and rolled downstairs to fix myself a caffeinated beverage. I contemplated some scotch too but decided 7:23am might be a little early for that. Sorry, but I need SOMETHING to deal with this attitude:
Coffee is my religion. It is something I do every single morning. I enjoy the aroma of coffee, the notes of different blends, and the way it warms you to the core, inducing an uncontrollable smile from within. Sometimes it is enjoyed while I surf the web, play a game, or read a book. Other times it is gulped down while I’m making breakfast, scrubbing egg out of someone’s hair, or while I’m hastily mopping the floor. Sometimes I just want to put it in a CamelBak and sip it while I’m pirouetting around with a broom in my hand. I drink two cups a day, one in the morning and one around 2pm. The Workaholic gets a fancy coffee schmoothie every day before work and let me tell you, folks; it is freaking DELICIOUS. And that, my friends, is exactly what I was craving this morning.
Luckily I had taken a trip to Walmart late last week to stock up on supplies for our delicious schmoothie treat. I LOVE that Walmart carries Seattle’s Best coffee. I’m from Juneau, Alaska so by default, Seattle is my second home and Seattle’s Best was the second coffee I ever had. Plus, $6 for a pound of deliciousness? Done. No contest, no question. Seattle’s Best it is. Alone, this coffee is smooth and flavorful with very little bitterness. I like a dark roast but my Walmart only had the Medium and Balanced in whole bean so I bought that. There’s something extra special about freshly ground beans in the morning.
And here’s why I need coffee in the afternoon. This kid is Houdini reincarnate.
OK so I’m not even going to lie, when I woke up this morning and attempted to fashion a gourmet drink out of thin air, I remembered why I drink coffee before doing ANYTHING. I can’ t think straight without at least 12 ounces of hot coffee coursing through my veins.
I screwed the recipe up so badly it’s not even funny. I had some Seattle’s Best coffee left in my coffee pot from yesterday. I heated it up in the microwave, chugged it and gave myself a 15 minute break from concocting the easiest, most familiar recipe EVER.
When the London fog finally lifted, I peeled myself off of my chair and got back to work. This schmoothie can be made so many different ways, with all different types of milk or nut butter. You can use cocoa powder or whatever protein powder you use on a daily basis. We make it a little different every day but I share the base recipe below.
Seattle’s Best is currently hosting a #RedCupShowdown where you can submit your very own coffee recipe for AWESOME prizes including a trip for two to NYC. I’d LOVE to win but since I’m telling you about this phenomenal contest, I can’t participate, which is actually good for you because you don’t have to go up against my schmoothie and me. Check this vid out for all of the exciting information. If you need any recipe inspiration, I have another recipe up my sleeve and I’m totally willing to share it with you if you ask nicely.
And without further ado, here is the recipe for our delicious dairy-free, sugar-free, protein-filled Banana Berry Cuppa Cocoa Schmoothie:
1 handful frozen strawberries
1 banana, peeled and cut into pieces
6 Seattle’s Best Coffee ice cubes
1-1/2 cup almond milk
2 Tablespoons almond butter (or peanut butter if you prefer)
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, adding additional milk if necessary until desired texture is reached. The banana will add all of the sweetness that you need for this shake, no additional sugar is necessary. Top with a fresh strawberry and suck it down for a healthy, protein packed, caffeine-buzz worthy way to start your day.
Then enjoy and feel your spirits soar.
To enter your own recipe into the Red Cup Showdown and for more contest info, CLICK HERE. It’s SO easy to enter. ”Like” the page and click on the red “Enter Now” circle, then follow the simple instructions. Let me know if you enter a recipe into the contest! I’d love to follow your journey!
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Seattle’s Best Coffee #CBias #SocialFabric – As always, all opinions, amazing recipes, and attitude-filled toddlers are my very own.
It’s been a while since I gave an update into our Paleo journey.
When The Workaholic moved to North Carolina and left us in Georgia for a few weeks, I slacked BIG. TIME. I packed the kitchen first because it is the most daunting room for me. I left out one pot, one pan, one cookie sheet, and paper plates. I did NOT feel like cooking so the kids ate lots of pre-made things and I ate lots of salad and the occasional bowl of cereal. I was working out while he was gone and it felt SO good to get out of the house and sweat a little bit while someone else dealt with my screaming children. Despite my lack of cooking, I lost 10 more pounds while The Workaholic was gone!
Because of all the travel that we have subjected ourselves to since February, I’ve lost and gained that same 10 pounds twice. I can’t seem to make the best decisions when I’m out to eat, no matter how hard I try.
The great thing about living Paleo as a lifestyle is that it doesn’t really matter! What matters is that we don’t eat processed food at home. We don’t have many grains here. I say “many” because Styles and Madilyn still eat gluten-free cereal in the mornings. They just can’t give it up. Anyone know of a cerealaholic support group, please let me know. We cook from scratch and are thoughtful about what we put in our bodies at home which is where we spend MOST of our time. Paleo might be “restrictive” in that you can’t eat grains or consume pasteurized dairy, but there are substitutions for everything that you “can’t” have. We are rarely without muffins and cookies in our house. The “Any Time Cookies” from “Eat Like a Dinosaur” are a staple in our kitchen. We still eat pancakes. We eat Cauliflower rice like we’re Asian. We do biscuits. We eat Shepherd’s Pie. The Workaholic and the kiddos eat potatoes. WE USE SALT! We do Chinese, Italian, Thai, and Mexican. My kids never feel deprived or like they are missing anything and neither do The Workaholic or I. Yesterday we indulged in freeze dried fruit from Trader Joe’s and dark chocolate. Yum. I understand that it’s difficult to have to prepare all of your food and be thoughtful about what you eat but it’s a decision with sacrifices that we are willing to make for better health for our family.
We met with our new Pediatrician yesterday and I told him about our lifestyle. He was surprised and pleased that my kids ate so many diverse foods. He had heard about Paleo and said that there is never anything wrong or unhealthy with a lifestyle that promotes whole foods (more often referred to as “real food” on this blog). He said for children to grow and for adults to be happy, they need a good combination of fat, protein, and carbohydrates; of which we lack none. He also went on to explain that what it all boils down to is that most grains are simple carbohydrates and break down into sugar in our bodies. Which is EXACTLY why we stay away from them. He said that as long as the kids are getting complex carbohydrates from other sources that they’re fine. Of course, Grady’s growth chart speaks for itself. He went from being in the 50% in height to the 75% in height and stayed in the 5% range for weight. All 3 of my children are tall and lean, which Dr. Fennel said is great, as long as they are following their own individual growth plans.
I’d also like to address how Paleo is “working for us”. I didn’t start eating whole foods to lose weight. That was, and still is not my motivation. My weight loss motivates other people, but it does not motivate me. I started it because I was having chronic migraines, constant joint pain, extreme fatigue, a sluggish digestive system, acne, endometriosis, excessive hair growth in areas you shouldn’t have hair i.e.: neck, and some depression thrown into the mix as well. A doctor recommended Paleo to me and after an entire day of research, I decided I’d give it a shot for 30 days to see if it worked. Within one week, I was pain free. Since then, I have had 3 migraines and each one was after consuming cookies or pasta. 3 migraines in 7 months is a hugely positive change from 3-5 migraines a month. When The Workaholic finally jumped on board, his Irritable Bowel Syndrome went the way of the Dodo. It flares up from time to time when he decides to indulge in pasta or a bagel.
The physical benefits FAR outweigh the amount of weight that we have lost, which collectively is 90lbs.
That said, because weight loss is such a motivating factor to overweight people EVERYWHERE, here is my 7 month update shot:
(REMEMBER: The “before” photo is about 9 pounds lighter than when I actually started Paleo and this “during” shot was taken 6 weeks ago when I was 7 months Paleo and 10 pounds heavier than I am now. We are now officially at 8 months Paleo but I don’t have anyone around to take a shot for me so I’m using this one.)
My advice to you is that you’re looking to become a healthier person, do some serious checking into how Paleo can work for you. If you’re just trying to lose weight and don’t really care about your overall health, keep drinking milkshakes or taking growth hormones or starving yourself. Because that’s all SO super healthy.
I am so excited to have a guest blogger with us today. Melissa is a Pilates Instructor and the mastermind behind the blog, Satisfying Eats. Her grain-free desserts and baked goods are phenomenal. If you’re new to Paleo, you won’t want to miss out on this blog so that you never feel like you’re missing anything from your former lifestyle. She has a recent post about meal planning for the week for those of you WHO WORK!!! I am SO excited about this because I know that many of you work and are having trouble trying to figure out how to work all of the food prep that Paleo involves into your work schedule. Melissa has it NAILED DOWN. She has also included a recipe for us to bake this week. I can’t wait to give these a try. I’ll be buying some pumpkin tomorrow so that I can whip these up for Sunday morning. I’m drooling just thinking about them. Without further ado, please welcome Melissa to Banana Hammocks & Tutus!
I am a happy wife and proud mother of an 8 month old son. I am originally from Metter, Georgia but have lived in Louisiana for the last 8 years. I a certified STOTT Pilates Instructor in Mat, Reformer and Chair and I also do personal training, as well as nutrition consultations. I have a degree in Kinesiology from Georgia Southern University with an emphasis in Exercise Science. I love how the body works, and how you can strengthen core muscles to change someones posture. But my true passion is food! I love food. I love eating it. I love cooking it. I love watching people eat the food that I cook! I have been cooking since I very young, but have only been cooking and baking grain and sugar free for about 5 months. It is really not that different than traditional cooking. I started my blog Satisfying Eats: Grain Free, Sugar Free & Hunger Free to help those starting a grain free lifestyle have options when it comes to eating and let them know that they can still eat the foods they love, but you just need to be a little creative, and that’s where I come in! Grains made me FAT!
I have always had to watch my weight. As a child, I was very overweight (155 pounds in the 5th grade at 5′ 1”). I ate what every kid ate, Pop Tarts, Frosted Mini Wheats, lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and lots of Kool Aid. My parents were both not skinny people either. In late middle school and early high school, I began to cut back on fats and fried foods and I became more active. Over those years, I lost 40 pounds. I gained so much self confidence. In college, I put on a few (not quite 15), but quickly lost it through a “diet” of fat free mayo, whole wheat bread and Splenda sweetened desserts. In college, my dad suffered from a stroke at the age of 46 and died within the week. It was a very tough time for me, he was such a wonderful man. I had just declared my major in college, Kinesiology, and finished my degree at Georgia Southern University then moved to Louisiana to do my internship. This is where my view on nutrition began to change. I took a Nutrition Lifestyle Coaching Course and through the course material and my fellow colleagues, I learned so much life changing information about nutrition. Then, I reduced the amount of sugar I used to bake with and started using Stevia. I would always bake desserts for people and “hide” stevia in them and they would never know! I also watched my below ground vegetable consumption, limiting my carbohydrates. I had the hang of it and I was healthy and maintaining a good weight for me. Over the next few years, I tried to avoided wheat, especially in preparation for my wedding. I was the happiest I had ever been and I felt I looked the best that I had ever looked. Over the first year of marriage, life got busy and I didn’t watch my bread consumption as closely and my attitude toward wheat was, if I could avoid it, then I would but if that was the only choice, just eat it. Well thinking like that put on 10 pounds in my first year of marriage. No big deal, I just dealt with it, I just bought bigger clothes. Then in October, 2010, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. I was so excited. I continued to eat healthy when I good and continued to do Pilates. Then the migraines hit, and the hit HARD! I was getting migraines every week for about 6 weeks and they lasted 2 days. It was horrible. I found myself picking up pizza on the way home because I thought it was making me feel better. In retrospect, it was probably making me feel worse. Then as I began to eat more grains, then I wanted more grains. It was a vicious cycle! I developed horrible varicose veins in my right leg that bulged out, and the weight that I was packing on didn’t help. When taking the glucose test, I was one point away from them making me take the 3 hour test, I begged for them not to order the test because I knew what the problem was, grains and sugars!! Two days before I had my son, I had gained 58 pounds! Hunter arrived May 29, 2011. It was a great delivery and recovery but life just got so busy that it took me months to get back to my low grain, low sugar lifestyle. Looking at pictures, I actually think I put on weight after my son was born. I started back teaching Pilates in August and I was so uncomfortable in my body. I teach Pilates, I should have not gained so much weight and it should be coming off faster, right? I was nursing and that didn’t seem to help. So in September, I started cutting back on my carbs but still eating wheat thinking, it wasn’t a big deal. The weight was slowly coming off so I was happy. Then in October, I stumbled across a cardiologist’s blog and book, Wheat Belly. Reading the book, reinforced the need to cut Wheat out of my diet 100%, and not only wheat, other grains and sugars. Day 1, no more low carb pitas which I was living on, the next day on the scale, 1 pound gone. This was good. Next day I got on scales after being wheat, grain and sugar free, 2 pounds gone. I normally do not weight myself that often but I was intrigued about what was happening. Day 3, another pound gone. Day 4 another! I was beside myself!! Why had I not started this earlier. So my lifestyle changed from that day! Not only was the weight coming off, I wasn’t craving the sugars and breads that I had before. All the while, I have enjoyed all of my favorite foods: eggs, bacon, steak, dark meat chicken, pork, spinach, asparagus, green beans, etc. and my favorite: chocolate, oh yes, I said chocolate! Some times I eat chocolate every night for a week! It all made sense, reading about how wheat stimulates your appetite and that we were not designed to eat all of the grains that the Food Pyramid suggest. I continued eliminating grains and sugars and the weight continued to fall off. I stopped using wheat four, gluten free baking mixes, sugar, honey, and replaced those foods with almond flour, coconut flour, stevia, coconut oil and bacon, lots of good bacon! By the end of December, when my son was 7 months old, I had officially lost all of the 58 pounds! Oh, happy day! I will never go back to the old way of eating or cooking again. I have been so excited to make my favorite foods without the use of grains or sugars and have other people taste the food, and love it! I have enjoyed blogging about my internet finds and my culinary creations! I hope I inspired you to start today on this new lifestyle that will change the rest of your life!
Now that is a mouth full! Every time I think of muffin tops, I think about the Seinfeld episode where Elaine only eats the tops of the muffins and starts a business selling muffin tops. She sells only the tops after removing the bottom from the muffin and donating to charity. Problems come as charity wouldn’t take them because there were no tops! lol These are so yummy and they require no special flour, only almond butter. Almond butter is a bit expensive but it has a nice, neutral flavor. It is also easy to make your own and much cheaper! Check out this easy tutorial! http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/recipes/homemade-nut-butter/ I decided to use a muffin top pan because I didn’t want these to be thick and dense. Instead, they have a nice texture, moist, but not wet. Of course, you can use a regular muffin pan, just adjust baking time. There is not much pumpkin in these muffins because it would affect the texture but the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice give it the pumpkin flavor. You can also use unsweetened applesauce as well. These would be a great breakfast, snack or dessert. I love pumpkin pie spice. It is a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and all spice. You could always make this combo at home and omit what spice you don’t like or add more of your favorite! These also reheat in the toaster very nicely just don’t leave them in there long!
Almond-Butter Spice Muffin Tops Makes 10 Muffin Tops (but won’t GIVE you muffin tops) 1 cup Almond Butter 3 eggs & 2 egg yolks 1 -1/2 tablespoon vinegar 1 -1/2 tsp soda 1 tbsp vanilla 1/2 teaspoon Stevia** (to taste – I used powdered Kal Brand) 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp more cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lube bottoms of muffin top pan.
- Mix all ingredients with electric mixer until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Measure out heaping 1/4 cup into each opening of muffin top sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until done. Be careful not to over bake!
**Start with a little less Stevia and sweeten to taste. You can always add more but you can’t take any away!
For your entry this week, leave me a comment and tell me what, if ANYTHING, you miss the most since becoming a Paleo Lifestyler!
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