December 14, 2014

Cinnamon Spice Pancakes (SCD, GAPS, Paleo) and Mediterranean Paleo Cooking Review




It is no secret that I love cookbooks. I have an entire cupboard dedicated to my collection in the kitchen. And while ebooks are increasing in popularity I still prefer hard copies of cookbooks. There is just something about holding the book in my hands, seeing the gorgeous pictures up close and being able to turn the pages and ear-mark them in person that I just can't get over.

The most recent addition to my cookbook collection is Mediterranean Paleo Cooking by Caitlin Weeks, Nabil Boumrar and Diane Sanfilippo.
If you haven't seen this book in person you should know that it is gorgeous. There are pictures of every recipe and the food looks so good that I had a really hard time picking only one recipe to share with you. And let me just say that the recipe I did pick is a good one. Like really good. But before I get to sharing the recipe I wanted to give you my review of the book itself.


The Pros

I already mentioned how pretty the book is. But I just wanted to say it again. It's gorgeous. There are tons of colours in the photos and the food all looks amazing. Every recipe I turn to I want to make. Like now! There is a great variety of recipes in here as well. And the recipes are divided into multiple categories so it is easy to find exactly what you are looking for (I personally hate it when cookbooks are organized poorly). The sections in this book include Breakfast, Appetizers, Soups, Pizza and Pasta, Poultry, Red Meat, Seafood, Odd Bites, Vegetable Sides, Desserts and The Basics. There are over 150 recipes in this book too. That is a lot of food my friends! Some of the recipes that I can't wait to make include:

Cinnamon-Apricot Breakfast Cookies
Eggplant Dip
Roasted Pepper Dip
Mini Pitas
Cashew Pizza Crust or AIP Pizza Crust
Saffron Braised Chicken 
Cinnamon Braised Beef Tajine
Sweet Lamb Stew 
Paleo Moussaka 
Almond Crusted Cod
Creamy Cilantro Salmon
Fig Brownies 
Flourless Chocolate Cake 
Strawberry Tart 

As someone who has tried many different diets over the years (SCD, Paleo, GAPS etc) I really appreciate that every recipe is labelled, letting you know which diet it is safe for. And they didn't just tailor the recipes to a few special diets. All of the recipes fall into one of the following categories: SCD, low FODMAPS, AIP, Nut- free, Egg-free and low carb. And if the recipe in it's original version can be modified to fit one of these many diets they also include those variations. As a recipe creator myself I can only imagine how much longer this would have taken, but I am sure many of you will greatly appreciate this extra effort since you all follow such different diets.

The start of the cookbook has a fairly extensive introduction section where you get to learn more about the authors, their families and how this book came about. It then discusses the Mediterranean style of eating, the Paleo diet, Weston A Price's amazing body of work and how the Mediterranean-Paleo fusion recipes were created. It is an interesting read, and I definitely learned a thing or two. The book also teaches you how to shop, meal plan and outlines the specifications of all the diets this book caters to (SCD, AIP etc).


The Cons

To be honest I can't think of any. I guess if you aren't interested in the Paleo diet or Mediterranean food you may not like this book. But the food in here is all so good that I bet even the pickiest modern-way- of- eating individuals out there would like these recipes. That is how great I think this book is. 


My Overall Review

In the sake of not turning this post into a novel I will leave you with my final review. I personally think that Mediterranean Paleo Cooking is a great book. Not only for the delicious and unique recipes, but for the beautiful photographs and the valuable information it contains.  This is the first time that the flavours of the Mediterranean have been adapted to the Paleo diet, and this new type of fusion food is a match made in heaven. I highly recommend that you add this book to your Paleo Book collection. You will not be disappointed.  

I would love to hear if you make these pancakes. And as always I would be thrilled if you visited me on PinterestInstagram or Facebook! Have an amazing week everyone. Happy eating! 




Ingredients

1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp lemon juice
2 TBSP honey
2 TBSP ghee, coconut oil or butter for cooking
melted butter or ghee for serving




Directions

1. Sift the coconut flour, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the eggs, coconut milk, lemon juice and honey to the bowl. Whisk until smooth
2. Melt the fat in a medium skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot pan for each pancake, leaving room for it to spread. Cook each pancake for 2 minutes, then flip it over and cook for 2 more minutes on the opposite side. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a plate and cover to keep warm while you cook the rest of the pancakes. 
3. Top with the melted butter or ghee and serve. 

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 
Yield: 6 pancakes 
** This recipe is Nut-free, SCD and GAPS compatible and has a low carb modification

This recipe is not my own, and was reproduced with permission from Mediterranean Paleo Cooking by Caitlin Weeks, Nabil Boumrar and Diane Sanfilippo







                

December 09, 2014

The Pure and Simple Paleo Gift Guide





So Christmas is right around the corner. And maybe you are thinking about starting your own whole foods or paleo diet? Or you know someone who is already on this journey? Are you looking for some items for your Christmas List? Or ideas to buy that paleo friend of yours? Or are you looking to get in better shape but need some ideas to get you started? Well you are in luck because this year I decided to put together my own Paleo Holiday Gift Guide to help you out! All of these items are things I already own and love, or have on my own wish list.


CookBooks

I love cookbooks. In fact you could call me a collector. I have a whole cupboard in my kitchen dedicated to my cookbook collection (which my family really appreciates). This list is a compilation of my absolute favourite books, as well as a couple that are on my own Christmas list (hint, hint).



Fitness Gear

Here are a few items that are crucial to my fitness routine. I mentioned a few of these in my recent post titled "How to Stay Fit While Travelling" but I added a few others to this list, including some pretty workout gear from Onzie. Because let's face it, you definitely work out harder when you wear pretty workout clothes. Right?




Kitchen Gadgets

Some of these items may seem silly. Pastry blender? Really? Yes really! I use mine at least once a week. And it is definitely not going to break the bank. Some of the other items on here will cost you more money, but if you are looking for something special to buy that real food foodie in your life, trust me when I say they would love any one of these items. I own most of these tools but a few of them are on my current wish list (like the Vitamix and the dehydrator).





Kitchen Accents and Accessories 

Now I have to admit that these items don't really require a paleo diet. But it is no secret that I love pretty things, including my kitchen accessories. And I know I am not alone when it comes to this desire. Most of the females I know love surrounding themselves with pretty objects. The women out there know what I am talking about (and for the males reading - are you paying attention? If not you should be!).  Here is a list of items I am currently coveting for my own kitchen and am sure many of you would also appreciate.

For Your Reading Pleasure

There are a number of books that have helped me along the way on my real food journey. This list is only a partial collection but one that would be a great start for anyone looking to explore the impact that nutrition can have on health and healing.





Well there you have it everyone. That is this year's paleo gift guide. I hope you found a few things you might want to add to that list of yours, or even purchase for someone in your life. Christmas will be here sooner than we think so it's time to start collecting those gifts. If you have any questions please let me know. And as always I would love it if you visited me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram

Disclaimer: The links in this post are affiliate links and if you purchase the items through these links I will receive a small monetary contribution that helps me keep this blog running. Thank you!


               

December 06, 2014

How to Stay Fit While Travelling




Happy weekend everyone! How was your week? Do you have anything exciting going on this weekend? I hope so!

I have something a little different for you today. We are going to take a break from eating for a moment and talk about something that is also near and dear to my heart - fitness!

I don't talk about fitness very often here on the blog. But this is something that is extremely important to me. Even when I am travelling. Travelling, while fun, can also be stressful and the best way I find to relieve some stress is to sweat it out! Anyone else agree? My mind is never more clear than after a good workout.  But I realize that staying fit while travelling can be a challenge so I thought I would share my tips for staying in shape while you are on the road, the things I pack to help me stay in shape, and some of the workouts I did when I was in Boston a couple weeks ago to give you some inspiration for your next adventure.


1. Pack the Essentials 

My first tip is to pack a few essential fitness items that you can use anywhere. Now the key to packing fitness items is that they need to be light! If you are like me your suitcase is always skirting that 50lb weight limit so you don't want your fitness essentials to be the items that put you over. My first recommendation is to pack a good pair of running shoes. Now when I am at home I have different shoes for different workouts. I rely on my Mizuno Wave Riders for running and my Nike Free Tr's for interval or cross fit type workouts. But I realize that packing two pairs of running shoes is ridiculous so I usually only pack my Mizuno's when I am travelling. 

The next item I always pack is a skipping rope. Skipping is one of my favourite types of cardio. Nothing gets my heart racing quite like a great set of double unders. I have tried many different types of skipping ropes. My current favourite is this one which can be found on Amazon. There are so many exercises you can do with a skipping rope so don't be scared to change it up: high knees, cross overs, double unders, slow skips, single legs… changing up your routine will ensure you don't get bored! If you have no idea what I am talking about I recommend this book to get you started.  

Next to go in my suitcase is a resistance band. Bands are a great way to get some strength training in while you are traveling. There are so many exercises you can do with a resistance band, and the great thing is that they come in different strengths, so as you get stronger you can progress from very light to very heavy resistance. 

The most recent addition to my travelling fitness essentials are Gliding Discs. Don't laugh, but I actually saw these being used by various Victoria Secret models in preparation for the Victoria Secret Fashion Show so I decided to give them a try. And although the exercises look easy and you wouldn't think they would be that effective they really are! These are a great way to target the little muscles in your legs and glutes (ie. bum) that can be difficult areas to train. I was surprised at how sore my legs were the first time I used these. You can get them for carpet  or for hardwood surfaces and both can be found on Amazon. For my Canadian readers I actually bought mine on ebay since Amazon wouldn't ship these to Canada so that is another place to check. 

The last item that I can't workout without is a stop watch. I do a lot of interval workouts and timed exercises so I would't be able to survive without a timer of some sort. I use a sports wrist watch for this purpose. There are a ton out there and you can find very cheap options at places like Target, Wal Mart or on Amazon


2. Walk

Yes walk. A pretty simple suggestion don't you think? I rarely rent a car when I travel for conferences so I end up walking almost everywhere. Not only is this a great way to add some exercise to your day, but it is also a great way to explore the city you are visiting. If we think back to our caveman ancestors they did not have the convenience of cars, buses, trains or bikes to get them around. They relied on their own two legs. And if the whole goal of the paleo or primal lifestyle is to emulate how our ancestors treated their bodies, walking is one simple way to get back to your caveman roots. Pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes, stick a few Epic Bars in your bag (or another paleo snack of choice)  in case you get hungry and get out there! 





3. Plan a few Workouts 

As promised I wanted to give you a peak into the workouts I did when I was away. If you want to keep things as stress free as possible you can plan a few workouts before you leave. I often just listen to my body and what it wants that day when it comes to exercise but if you are new to fitness I realize that can be a challenge. You will noticed that most of these workouts take less than 30 minutes so they are very easy to incorporate into your busy days. 


Workout One - Double Under Challenge

Equipment needed: skipping rope, running shoesstop watch 

As many double-unders as you can in 10 minutes 

I did 614

Workout Two - Whole Body Challenge 

Equipment needed: Running shoes, skipping rope, stop watch

** 5 Rounds, for time:
20 double unders
20 sit ups
20 burpees
20 squats
20 pushups

My time: 16:15




Workout Three - Run 

Equipment needed: Running shoes, stop watch

50 minute run along the waterfront


Workout Four - Leg Death by 100's 

Equipment Needed: Running shoes, stop watch

** 1 Round, for time:
100 Mountain Climbers
100 Squats
100 Mountain Climbers
100 Lunges (alternating legs)
100 Mountain Climbers
100 Wide Squats
100 In and Out Squats (Alternate: Center squat, R leg out and squat, Center Squat, L leg out and squat)
100 Mountain Climbers
100 Lunges with Knee Lift (Backward lunge and pull same leg through into knee up position - alternate legs)
100 Mountain Climbers
100 Donkey Kicks - L leg
100 Mountain Climbers
100 Donkey Kicks - R leg
100 Mountain Climbers

My time: 24:10


Alright everyone that's it! I hope you found this helpful! Let me know if you have any comments or questions. Will you start packing any of my recommendations? I hope so!
And remember you can also find me on  PinterestInstagram and Facebook. Have a great weekend! 



** Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item through these links I may receive a small monetary contribution that helps me keep this blog running (and I thank you for this!)