Friday, August 16, 2013


Early morning chicken chores are just a day to day norm around here. Keeping chickens gives the kids their very own very important responsibilities. It also enables us to know where our breakfast comes from and to take responsibility for that as well.

These beauties are the product of happy healthy well cared for hens. We treat them well and in turn they feed us well. Eggs are a very large part of our diet around here.
It was a very happy day when these new books arrived. I've already made three things from Against all Grain. We have a portion of a pig coming in a month and I plan on putting Beyond Bacon to work then.

One of my very favorite things is butternut squash soup. I am particularly fond of the recipe in Practical Paleo. I had someone give me two big beautiful butternuts and I used one to make this batch. I love pairing this soup with a steak that has been grilled to perfection. The flavors compliment each other so well.

And in keeping with my love of orange veggies, I made some spectacular sweet potato hash. Aren't vegetables pretty?

I am sorry to admit that I didn't succeed with my Whole30. I'm not going to make excuses. I'm not going to beat myself up. I did not completely fall off the Primal wagon. But I haven't been super strict Whole30 either. When I feel like the time is right, I will give it another go.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Whole30 Restart

Tomorrow I am restarting my Whole30. Although I have kept it very clean there have been a few circumstances where I am pretty sure I ingested an off plan ingredient.

Like that burger at the theme park. Bunless as it was I am convinced it was just a soy patty masquerading as a sirloin burger. Or the dinner at a friend's house. I think there was some dairy in there.

Tonight is our  anniversary so I am going to raise my glass and toast seven long yet wonderful years of marriage. At least the beer is homebrew and we know what went into it.

Tomorrow will be the start of another Whole30 attempt so September 6th will be my official end date. I always do better with even numbers anyways. But its too bad because I had just gotten used to drinking my coffee sans cream.

To add some visuals to this post, here are a few meals I ate over the past 5 days of almost perfect Whole30 eating.

Salad eggs are a favorite. Obviously.

Egg salad made with Paleo mayo from Nom Nom Paleo's fabulous recipe collection.

A yummy chicken dish from Practical Paleo with a sweet potato topped with ghee.

Salad eggs and a bit of ham steak.

Chicken topped with a coconut veggie reduction and a sweet potato on the side.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Whole 30 Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of the Whole30. I attempted one of these a few months ago and didn't make it past day 2 before giving into the temptation of a glass of wine. I'm a bit more motivated now and am really and truly interested to see what my body can accomplish with 30 days of no dairy, alcohol, or sugar. I cut the grains out a long time ago so that is a non issue.

Day 1 consisted of black coffee. Salad eggs for breakfast. Carnitas and avocado for lunch. A peach and two slices of Applegate farms turkey as a snack. And one giant ribeye with mushrooms and sweet potato for dinner.

Good luck to any and everyone participating in a month of uber clean eating!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back From Vacation!

 In my last post I talked about staying on track while on the road. Warren and I had the chance to exercise that when we took an overnight trip to Oklahoma City.

But eats from the day before. I started the day off with some scrambled eggs, guacamole, and market sausage. This is a picture of my plate after I devoured half of it and remembered to take a picture. Appetizing...I know.

I was pretty busy packing and cleaning so I gulped half a Naked Green Machine and gave the other half to Warren. I also flipped through this book looking for new ideas.

The chocolate chip cookie recipe from Against All Grain's website kept popping up on my radar. I decided to give it a try. Chocolate chip cookies is definitely a treat my family has been missing.

Whoa! We were not disappointed. This was the best grain free treat I have ever tried. Amazing. In fact the kids are bugging me right this minute to make some more.

Dinner that evening was a collaborative effort. Warren had brought home about 8 ribeye steaks that were about to go out of date and we had cooked them in the dutch oven low and slow. He made a Paleo gravy after looking up how to achieve the proper thickness. Add in some sautéed veggies and dinner!

The next morning....roadtrip! I packed a cooler with a ton of primal snacks so we wouldn't have to eat out too much. Leftover sausage, apple slices, brie, Larabars, Applegate Farms turkey slices, string cheese, guacamole, pistachios, wine, coconut water, and kombucha. We had breakfast on the road.

About lunch time it was time for a stop. We came across choc brewery in Krebs, OK. This is a their bar room.

My homebrewing husband is always in heaven when we make a brewery stop.

I totally broke my beer fast. It was worth it.

It's good to get away with the love of your life.

And this band was the whole reason for the trip. We had 4th row tickets. Insanely amazing!

The next morning we had lunch at Kitchen 324 in downtown OKC. The building was gorgeous but I was not impressed by the food. At all.
And back to reality and home cooking! This morning I seared some pork chops and had mine with scrambled eggs, apple slices, and brie. I'm trying to get all my favorite cheeses eaten up before I start my first Whole30 on August 1st.

Dinner was part of a T-bone with steamed broccoli, nearly burnt sweet potatoes, and sour cream steak sauce. The potatoes were good despite me forgetting about them. The past few days I've been going down to only two meals a day. I'm just not hungry around lunchtime. Probably because I often don't eat breakfast until 10am or so. I am truly interested in intermittent fasting and I think I could probably do it but I'm not sure if I should be eating more at my two meals or not. Any suggestions?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Eating Out Primal

or at least moderately healthy....

The kids and I took a little roadtrip at the beginning of July. We left our beautiful Arkansas, headed West through Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, then North into Colorado. Our final destination was Durango.

The underlying theme on this trip was education. Learning about the places we were and about the culture and history of the people we met. We tried to fit in as many amazing things as we could. We visited places, such as Cadillac Ranch (the one touristy place you must stop), Echo Amphitheater in New Mexico, Georgia O'Keefe's house in Abique, Mese Verde in Colorado. Once we made it to Durango, we spent time at the local river and on more than one occasion I made them walk the 14 block roundtrip downtown to see the locals and do some shopping. I also included them in all my visits to the local natural grocers. It still cracks me up to see how excited my kids get when they go in a grocery store and know they can have almost anything in there. They are so used to not being able to eat over half of the products carried in a traditional store. So visiting natural grocers on vacation is a true treat for them.

I was in for a surprise myself when we stopped in a tiny little gas station/feed store/café/grocer in Abique, New Mexico. We were in the middle of nowhere, had just stopped at some ruins to do some exploring and were hot and thirsty. I went in hoping to find something cold to drink besides water. As much as we love water, we were just really in the mood for something else. I wasn't expecting much from the looks of this place but inside I was pleasantly surprised. They had an amazing amount of fresh produce. Lots and lots of all natural snacks and then I came upon the holy grail. Or what my kids would consider the holy grail. Virgil's Root Beer. I grabbed them each one and then grabbed a bottle of this for myself. Holy heck it was yummy!

I certainly didn't fail to notice that feeding my family in line with our lifestyle was much easier the farther West we drove. Colorado was especially accommodating. There were more options to choose from, healthy fare was the norm.

Here are some of our eats from the trip.

4 hours on the road at this point. Jason's Deli did not disappoint.
El Salvadoran Pupusas. I basically just told the waitress to give me anything without
wheat in it. I wasn't being picky about corn on this trip. This dish was amazing.
The beet, carrot, and cabbage slaw was served cold and complemented
it so well. The kids had the most amazing gluten free buttermilk waffles.
We even went back on our last day in Santa Fe and ate breakfast here again. The Tune Up Café
is now on our permanent list of best restaurants.

I couldn't help but squeal with delight when saw this in our hotel. They had a very nice
restaurant called Red Sage that we ate dinner at one evening. It of course had an amazing wine selection.

Dinner at Red Sage in our hotel. This was an amazing glass of a Rhone that I can't remember
the vineyard name. This is also a perfect picture of how traveling alone with three kids can get
sometimes. She wasn't screaming, just making sure I understood she was serious about our conversation.

Duck fat fries. I nearly died.

I ordered the filet, rare. It came with no veggies. So of course I ate the duck fat fries.

Both the boys had buffalo sliders. They were topped with a spicy chile sauce and I was surprised
the little dudes still liked them. My kids are primal about 80% of the time. But this was
vacation, and I let them live it up.

We were in desperate need of a bathroom stop and on a whim I stopped
in here. It was one of the coolest natural grocers I have ever been in. If you
are ever in Pagosa Springs, CO give it a try. They had a exceptional deli area with a ton
of prepared foods ready to go. We stocked the cooler and the smoked salmon I got was
out of this world!

I picked this up at the little market above. I won't even try and stock these in our
store for fear I will eat the entire case myself.

On the day we visited Mesa Verde, we packed our lunch and after our hike
to see the ruins we stopped at an overlook for a picnic.

This was part of our spread. Turkey, cheese, gluten free pretzels. Simple.

There is a fabulous restaurant in Durango, CO called Ken & Sue's. They have a nice gluten
free selection, farm to table food, and your to go bag is an actual reusable shopping bag. This was an
appetizer of mussels in a coconut lime sauce. I wanted to lick the plate when it was gone.

Stuffed chicken over greens and mashed potatoes. Also at Ken & Sue's.

We also ate at our standard places like Panera and I couldn't turn down a Starbucks iced coffee on the road. Overall I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to stay as primal as possible. Renting a house with a kitchen helped a lot. We got very sick of eating out after the first 3 days. That first dinner we cooked in the rental house was comfort food for all of us.

Eating clean on the road is totally possible and can even be easy if you know what to look for.

Eats Day 6 & Fall Garden Hopes

I have really noticed a major increase in energy over the past day or so. I put it to good use with a 3.5 mile run at 7 am, followed by working at our business for about 4 hours (our monthly organic delivery came!), did some major major grocery restocking, came home and proceeded to build a raised bed in the backyard.

We have lived in our home about 5 years and have had variable luck with gardening. One year we had more squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and jalapenos than we knew what to do with. This year, everything I planted was killed by a late frost, and everything I replanted became so overgrown with weeds that I gave up. Before I went on vacation I noticed a few squash plants holding on but by the time I got back they had succumbed to the heat.

I have been dreaming of a collection of raised beds for some time now and yesterday I got out the tools and scraps of wood from our shop and got to work. Hopefully I can get some stuff in the ground to have a small fall crop. Turnips, and kale, maybe acorn or butternut squash.

A few of my hens were hanging around watching me build the raised bed.
Chickens are actually really sweet.

Tired and glad I was able to construct a box without my husbands help, also very glad I didn't lose a finger to the saw.
Or break my wrist with the drill.

After the run, I was starved but had to rush to open the store. My sweet husband made us a big Sunday breakfast and called me to come home and eat. We live very close to our business so I was able to run right over and enjoy having someone else cook for a change. Funny thing was, he made Paleo pancakes and instead of using coconut flour he used shredded unsweetened coconut. They tasted fine but the consistency was off. He kept commenting on how they weren't cooking right and then I noticed what he had used. It was comical but he was very adamant about how I should start labeling my mason jars better since we have coconut in 7 different forms in our house. Shredded, flaked, fresh, flour, water, milk, and oil....all coconut!
Breakfast was still delicious. I topped my pancakes with a bit of organic blueberry jam and a splash of maple syrup.

For lunch I had some Wild Planet sardines in marinara sauce, with pickled asparagus, and a nectarine.

After this amazing lunch I pulled the dutch oven out of the well....the oven. It had been hard at work braising some ribeyes. Benefit of having a grocery store....lots of meat to eat!

I shredded it and nibbled on a little and then put it away for dinner later. I had a spoon full of Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut butter and a bottle of GT's Kombucha. I fixed dinner for the family but skipped it myself. I just wasn't hungry. Energy and not feeling hungry all the time? Well, its pretty awesome I have to say.

Giant platter of meat. Yum! We now have emergency protein for days.