Can you believe that after spending several hours creating an entire month worth of meals I totally dropped the ball on Day 1 – Meal 1?
That’s right, I went to make my Paleo Pumpkin Muffins on New Years Eve only to realize I didn’t have enough Almond Flour. And of course it was too late on New Years Eve night to go to any store that sold Almond Flour.
So we switched things up on Day 1 right out of the gate. We made smoothies and bacon because who doesn’t love smoothies and bacon? Plus it actually worked better because I made some “extra bacon” for our lunch salad. *I’m not sure there is such a thing as “extra bacon” but we resisted temptation to eat it all for breakfast and knew it would pay off for a yummy lunch.
Other than the breakfast mix-up Day 1 went as planned.
Lunch was a BLT Salad and a side of orange slices. (We are still working on creating some yummy salad dressing but today we just had some olive oil and lemon juice on top of our salad.)
Dinner was Curry Chicken topped with Avocado.
And Joe made his famous Chicken Wings for at night time snack.
Overall, I felt pretty good most of the day aside from the annoying sinus headache I’ve had for several days thanks to the crazy NC weather. I haven’t had too many sugar withdrawals or any carb cravings yet. We’ll see what today brings.
*I’ve renamed our 30 day challenge to Paleo30 because the Whole30 people weren’t thrilled that I included a few “non-approved” Whole30 ingredients in my meal plan. I don’t want there to be any confusion. I just want to help encourage people to eat better so make a meal plan that fits YOUR family needs.
January 1 starts our next Paleo30 Challenge. Last year’s Whole30 (which wasn’t Whole30 approved) was such a great way to start of the new year we decided to do it again this year.
However, this time I decided to make a meal plan for the whole month rather than week by week. It was a lot of work to sit down and plan out what is essentially 90 meals but I hope it’s worth it. Our meal plan is a basic guide we will follow and if we decide to switch things up it’s OK, at least we had a plan rather than no plan at all. I will also be preparing some freezer meals for the nights when I’m exhausted and the thought of cooking another meal makes me want to eat a giant bowl of ice cream. I’m hoping that preparation will be my friend this Paleo30.
So without further adieu here is my Paleo30 2014 Meal Plan.
I haven’t decided if I’m going to document every meal, every day yet but I will share some of our recipes, meal prep tips and the highs and lows of this Paleo30 Challenge.
Let’s do this!
I have a bit of a sweet tooth and chocolate is my weakness. Since I’ve been trying to eat healthier this year I’ve drastically cut back on the amount of sweets I’ve eaten. But every once in awhile I need something sweet to satisfy my cravings but rather than reaching for a calorie filled candy bar I make these delicious dark chocolate covered frozen bananas.
They are super simple to make and I add a bit of coconut oil to the chocolate for a rich flavor.
Dark Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas
- In a double boiler melt dark chocolate and coconut oil.
- Remove chocolate from heat and dip banana slices into the chocolate
- Place chocolate covered bananas on a parchment lined plate or tray.
- Freeze chocolate covered bananas for about 1 hour before eating
Chocolate Frozen Bananas are my favorite night time snack. I like cutting them up into bit size piece rather than dipping a whole banana because they take a little longer to eat so I can enjoy the flavor all that much more.
I was provided a sample of the Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil to assist in creating this recipe. The opinions expressed are my own.
It’s holiday baking season. I love to bake but I don’t necessarily need all of the extra sugar, so I’ve been working on a healthier brownie option. Paleo Dark Chocolate Brownies are made with all natural ingredients, are gluten free and contain NO sugar. I used honey and almond butter to provide a natural sweetness to the brownies. These have a traditionally chewy brownie texture with a slight nutty flavor. I did sneak in a few dark chocolate chips for little hints of awesomeness.
So now I can have my holiday baked goods and not feel so guilty.
Paleo Dark Chocolate Brownies
- 1 cup almond butter
- 1 cup honey
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- In a large bowl mix together almond butter, honey and vanilla. (An electric mixer is optimal since the almond butter and honey are rather thick.)
- In a small bowl mix together cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to the almond butter mixture.
- Add the egg
- Fold in chocolate chips
- Spread brownie mix into a 8X8 pan
- Bake for 20-30 minutes
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I’m so sad ya’ll, I just discovered my favorite summer salad and summer is almost over.
Cucumber, Strawberry and Watermelon salad is amaZING!
This week our produce box came filled with pickling cucumbers and I wasn’t really sure what to do with them so I just started slicing. I peeled them and thinly sliced them then mixed in some thinly sliced strawberries and watermelon and a homemade dressing and shazam… my favorite salad was born.
So let’s learn how to make this incredibly easy and amazingly delicious salad.
- 1 cup thinly sliced Pickling Cucumbers or English Cucumber (something with very little seeds works best)
- 1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
- 1 cup thinly sliced watermelon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Pompeian Red Wine Vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Combine sliced cucumber, strawberries and watermelon in a bowl.
- Wisk together olive oil, Pompeian Red Wine Vinegar and salt & pepper.
- Add dressing to salad and stir.
I seriously love the sweet of the fruit mixed with the tang of the vinegar.
Pompeian sent me some coupons to try their product so of course I had to get their famous Red Wine Vinegar and then I’ve been curious to try their new Grapeseed Oil.
Like Pompeian on Facebook
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Visit Pompeian for more delicious recipes.
This review was made possible by Pompeian. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.
Another great option for a paleo-friendly breakfast that isn’t just eggs (other than my delicious chocolate chip pumpkin muffins) are pumpkin breakfast cookies.
These are super simple and easy to change up just by simply using different “fillings” (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.) I used the rest of the canned pumpkin puree that was leftover from the muffins to make these. No waste!
The boys loved these as well and thought they were having a special treat since they were eating “cookies for breakfast.
- 1/2 Cup MaraNatha, No Stir Almond Butter, Creamy
- 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 Cup of your choice dried fruits, nuts, seeds, coconut, etc.*
(*I used pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried currants and a few dark chocolate chips as my filling.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix together all ingredients except “fillings”
- Fold in fillings
- Place 1 Tablespoon size scoops on a cookie sheet (I use a silpat non-stick baking mat)
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges start to turn brown.
I had to keep them in the oven a little longer than I anticipated until they were done to my liking so you may want to watch them near the end so they don’t burn. I really like that these cookies don’t contain any flour but are still very fluffy.
A few years ago I posted a super easy Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin “Muffin” recipe using a cake mix. Let’s be honest, they are really pumpkin cupcakes NOT muffins, the word muffin makes it sound healthier but it still full of sugar.
Since going paleo/real food we have had trouble find breakfast options, especially since Joe doesn’t eat eggs. So I attempted to make REAL pumpkin muffins and these are paleo friendly too!
These muffins use almond flour instead of wheat flour. The key to making any baked goods with almond flour is to use blanched almond flour NOT almond meal/flour. Blanched almond flour comes from peeled almonds and is a much finer consistency. If you use almond meal/flour your baked goods will most likely turn out greasy and have a thicker texture. They won’t be bad but they won’t be awesome either.
- 1 1/2 Cup Blanched Almond Flour
- 3/4 Cup Pureed Pumpkin
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 Cup Honey
- 1 Tbs Almond Butter
- 1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
- Preheat oven the 375 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips) together in a bowl until well blended.
- Fold in chocolate chips
- Grease muffin pan or use paper/silicone liners.
- Fill each muffin tin about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes
My boys loved these muffins, especially the chocolate part! You could easily omit the chocolate chips and add nuts if you prefer.
I’ve been a little slack about our Whole30 updates. We are still moving right along on our Whole30. Last week we took a staycation so I didn’t do too much documenting of our meals and we had a few non-paleo meals. However, we stayed on track pretty well and stuck with our meal plan.
This week’s meal plan has been written but not posted… so here ya go.
Sunday – Barbacoa
Monday – Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
Tuesday – Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken with Bacon Wrapped Okra
Wednesday – London Broil with Baked Sweet Potatoes
Thursday – Turkey Chili
Friday – Ribs
I did a little bit of Paleo baking over the weekend. Joe doesn’t eat eggs which makes breakfast time a real challenge for him so I baked some muffins and breakfast cookies. I will share the recipes soon.
I’ve lost a little more weight so I’m at 153lbs now. I’m actually pretty surprised because lately I’ve felt so ravenous, eating everything I could that is paleo approved. And I haven’t been doing any exercise, I really need to get on that. My current excuse is that it’s TOO HOT outside and I don’t feel like going to the gym. Lame, I know. I promise you, I will go to the gym at least once this week!
So there you have it, now we’re caught up and I’m vowing to get back on track.