London is one of my new favorite travel destinations. Not only for the great Paleo food options, but also for the history, architecture, parks, museums, the Tube and the friendly people. It’s a bustling city, full of adventure at every turn. Some of my favorite sites to visit were Kensington Palace, Hyde Park and the Serpentine, Covent Garden, St. James Park, The National Gallery and Trafalgar Square. We stayed in Soho, which was a very central spot for getting around to these places and more. It’s also, a very trendy spot for dining – with restaurants close to our vacation abode, Hazlitt’s Hotel. The hotel, a series of townhomes built in 1718 that had been put together, had lots of character with slanting floors and velvet couches.
A Paleo lifestyle that includes exercise, relaxation, fun and good sleep was easy to find. In addition to the ability to walk to so much, there are also many yoga studios, massage options, bikes for rent, play and music venues, green spaces and more. I found that in all the places we went on our trip to Europe (we also went to Glasgow, Amsterdam and Brussels), people seem more laid back than in the US. Maybe it was because I was on vacation, but I think it’s more than that. There seemed to me to be a bit more of an appreciation for the here-and-now, unlike in the U.S. where everyone (including me) is always going a mile-a-minute and planning out the next 10 things they’re going to do. Continue Reading
Travelling can be a little challenging when one wants (or needs) to stick to a particular diet. Whether dietary restrictions are due to health, religion or personal reasons, there a few things you can do to make your trip more enjoyable. Because, let’s face it, no one can be happy when one is hangry and can’t find a restaurant to eat at that will allow them to meet their eating requirements. I’ve developed a few survival mechanisms for travelling and hope they help you out too! Continue Reading
Recently, I embarked on a journey to dive into my collection of Paleo cookbooks. Despite a major cookbook addiction, I often find myself making the same meals over and over again. My plan of action was to explore each of the gems which grace my cookbook shelf more in-depth in order to spice up my meal repertoire. The first one I started with was “The Grain-Free Family Table” by Carrie Vitt and it was a good choice. I’ve been eating well for the last two weeks! The recipes were ones that I could feel good about — healthy and designed for people like me with many food restrictions. However anyone would love this book, not just those with illness. The recipes are creative, yet simple and hearty.
The author suffered from severe hives and pain due to Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. By changing to a grain-free and soy-free diet, free of processed foods, she healed her body and is now in remission from her disease without needing to take thyroid medication. She developed the recipes in this book so that she could eat satisfying meals that nourished her body and didn’t leave her feeling deprived. The book’s introduction is inspiring and full of information for those suffering from illness.
One quote from her I love and can personally attest to is, “Natural healing isn’t a quick fix. It’s a long process, but it’s worth it in the end.” Well, with the recipes in this book, natural healing is a lot easier, and tastier, process. Continue Reading
In my opinion, there is nothing better than a creamy pumpkin or squash soup in the fall to round out a meal or to serve as a light yet satisfying respite from meat. This recipe was inspired by a Thai butternut squash recipe that my good friend and fellow foodie gave me. I had been thinking of what to do with a pie pumpkin that I had bought so I swapped the squash for pumpkin, made a few personal tweaks and voila…this Thai Pumpkin Soup was born!
I love this soup so much that I always make sure I have some on hand in the freezer (frozen in individual portions to grab one for work or to serve alongside my dinner). The spice level depends on how much curry paste you use. I find 2 tablespoons is perfect for me, but feel free to add more or less as your taste desires. Look for one that does not contain sugar or weird additives. Continue Reading
As mentioned in my recent post on finding Paleo breakfast options in London, I recently had the good fortune to visit the city for the first time. I fell in love with it on day one, despite the pouring rain. One thing about living in the Seattle area– it’s made me virtually immune to precipitation. We arrived by train from Glasgow, hopped in a cute black cab and checked into a charming hotel in Soho. We struck out to see the city, taking in such grand sights as Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. Over the course of 5 days, I averaged about 25K steps per day on my Fit Bit, taking in as much of the city as possible – Abbey Road Studios, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Covent Gardens and the Tower of London to name a few. The city is immense and we barely scratched the surface, but what we saw of it did not disappoint.
In addition to the wonderful things to see and do in London, restaurants are plentiful and varied. However, if you’ve ever had to travel with food restrictions you know that sometimes it can be a little stressful finding a place to eat that can accommodate your needs, even in as metropolitan of a city as London. I managed to find several places that fit my needs for a Paleo diet and wanted to share them here on the blog in case others can benefit from my experiences there. Continue Reading
I have discovered a heavenly pairing of two fall vegetables- kale and delicata squash, made even better by roasting with shallots until the squash and shallots are slightly caramelized and the kale is crispy, then finishing it off with a liberal sprinkling of bacon. This side-dish is gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo, but full of flavor and very versatile.
It will make an excellent accompaniment to any meat or fish entree, or can serve as an entree all on it’s own. For my own dinner last night, I had it with chicken sausage and asparagus. Fresh from the oven, the kale was crispy and made the dish really stand out. Today, I ate leftovers for breakfast with a fried egg – the kale had softened, which actually was a better compliment to the egg, and the bacon flavor permeated the squash more as they’d apparently gotten to know each other better overnight. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Feel free to mix up the seasonings to your taste.
I have to fess up. I have a major addiction. Well… two addictions. Okay, okay, maybe a few more than two, but that’s all I’m going to fess up to now! What two you ask? Well, chocolate is one and muffins are the other. I love them both dearly and these are two things I cannot give up.
Now that I eat a Paleo diet my muffin recipes have changed, but they are close to consistency and flavor of traditional muffins and I find them incredibly satisfying. I recently developed this recipe for Paleo Chocolate Muffins and am eager to share it!
If you can’t eat chocolate, don’t worry! You can substitute carob powder for the cocoa powder, which I often do as it makes a sweeter muffin and I am very sensitive to the caffeine in chocolate. Since I often eat these for dessert with a dollop of whipped coconut cream on top, I prefer to steer clear of caffeine so as not to interfere with my sleep. I find substituting with carob powder is very close in flavor to chocolate, particularly when made with “toasted carob” powder. Continue Reading
As promised, here is recipe #2 in my exploration of beef alternatives. This one uses bison, which is the closest taste to beef that you’ll get. This is one meat that I’ve cooked with often as my family has often preferred it to ground beef.
Recipe #1 in the “Where’s the Beef” series, Elk Burger Extraordinaire yields a rich and satisfying dinner, however I can admit that it requires multiple pans and coordination for all those yummy toppings. That is usually the type of cooking I save for a weekend as my weeknight cooking time is fairly limited if I want to eat dinner at a decent time. My second meal to share with you is therefore an easy one as it can be prepared in a single pan. I steamed haricot vert on the side of mine so I used two pans, but there’s no reason you can’t just throw smaller-cut veggies right into the mix with the cauliflower and saute them instead.
Here is my final recipe shared as part of my “Where’s the Beef” series. For the first two recipes, check out Weeknight Bison Stir-Fry and Elk Burger Extraordinaire. This recipe replaced beef with wild boar in my meatball recipe, and in my 2nd attempt included a few additional tweaks that suited the pork, which technically wild boar is. Given that, my conclusion drawn from experimenting with this recipe is that wild boar is not a similar taste replacement to beef, but better suited to a commercially-raised pork substitute. Seasonings that would therefore pair well with wild boar are the same that would compliment pork- ginger, garlic, apples, mustard, cloves, soy (or a coconut amino alternative) and sage, for example. I’ve used several of these seasonings in this recipe as opposed to the traditional Italian seasonings I normally use in beef meatballs, which paired well with the zucchini and summer squash noodles. Continue Reading
Time sure has been flying by! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week. It is one of my family’s favorite holidays. We will miss spending it with our extended family on the East coast, but are fortunate that several friends will come share a meal with us. I’m sure you know by now if you follow my blog that I eat a strict Paleo diet for health reasons, but also I truly enjoy it. This means that my Thanksgiving meal will be full of delicious vegetable dishes, meats, nuts and fruits. Many of you may be thinking… a Thanksgiving without bread, macaroni and cheese and sugar?! How is that even possible? Well, it’s actually pretty easy considering the umpteen ways to prepare vegetables, all the cookbooks and websites offering Paleo recipes and the plethora of grain, dairy, sugar and gluten alternative ingredients at the grocery store. There are so many wonderful dishes you can make using wholesome ingredients without having to be in the kitchen for a week straight. Be thankful for your health by rewarding it this Thanksgiving with a delicious, and surprisingly simple, Paleo meal. I know I will!