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Adrenal Fatigue and My Detox Journey

Posted by on 13 Aug 2015 in Health | 7 comments

Adrenal Fatigue and My Detox Journey

Earlier this year (in April) I went to see the doctor because I had been having terrible hot flashes for several months that were really impacting my quality of sleep. I went to this particular doctor because she specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement and I figured I should get my hormones tested. I’ve had all sorts of hormone issues for as long as I can remember and have been on and off many different medications for endometriosis since I was 20. She was wonderful and ended up testing more than my female hormones. She also ran an adrenal panel.

Turns out that my hormones weren’t as unbalanced as we both thought they would be, but she did start me on bioidentical progesterone to help with some estrogen dominance. The real shocker was that I was in the end stage of severe adrenal fatigue and was producing hardly any cortisol. She said she didn’t even know how I was getting out of bed in the morning, let alone making it through the day! I had just always thought of myself as a low energy person (a nice way to say lazy!) 😉 , but had never even considered the possibility of adrenal fatigue. I always thought that was just an issue for people who were super stressed or way over-trained.

Ok, so now what? I was already eating a very clean paleo diet and I quit my job (which was a major stressor) over a year ago and I was doing lots of things right for my health. What more could I do? Well, this is what I’m doing so far:

Specifically for adrenal support:

  • Doctor recommended supplements that I now take every day: high dose vitamin C, Adrenal Cortex (by Thorne), ginko, ginseng, Stress B complex (with B5 by Thorne), Rhodeola Rosea, Maca. I also take vitamin D. Omega3, magnesium and throid medication.
  • Cut down significantly on my coffee consumption from about 6-8 cups a day to one or two before noon. I didn’t realize how heavily I relied on coffee to keep me going until I started cutting back. I really struggled with significant fatigue during the first two weeks of cutting back. I like Dandy Blend as a coffee replacement.
  • Started mindful meditation using the Headspace App. I don’t do this often enough and had trouble with falling asleep every time when I first started 😉
  • I really try to get to bed by 10pm.
  • I’m trying to cut down my evening screen time on social media (but I really am addicted to my instagram!).
  • I drink this adrenal cocktail 2-3 times a week and licorice root tea a few times a week.
  • I use pink himalayan salt very liberally. Funny thing. I had noticed for several months that I was really craving salt and couldn’t seems to get enough of it. Turns out that’s a symptom of adrenal fatigue. The doctor told me to be sure to eat lots of it.

In an effort to reduce my exposure to as many toxins as possible:

To detox:

  • A big glass of lemon water every morning.
  • Dry brushing (read about dry brushing here). I love this! It feels so good, but I often forget to do it and need to be more consistent.
  • Oil pulling. I haven’t done this consistently enough to know if it really is all it’s cracked up to be, but it certainly can’t hurt. You can read about what it is and how to do it here..
  • Tongue scraping. This is another one that I sometimes remember to do and sometimes don’t. Again, it can’t hurt.
  • I did a seven day detox with Spiralps. It’s an all natural drink with spirulina, which is great for detoxing. I love that it’s a Swiss product and it’s organic. It would be a great “jump start” for anybody looking to get back on a clean eating program. You can read about the use of spirulina in a detox program here. Once I finished the seven day detox, I started on their Vitality line.

One of my big questions is ‘How did I end up here?’ I don’t feel like my life is stressful at all so I don’t think the adrenal fatigue is a result of that. The doctor said I’ve likely been in this state for a long time, so I suppose some of it could have started when my life was more stressful. Could the way I eat have something to do with it? I do tend to eat fairly low carb and I eat Whole30 style paleo most of the time. I did start tracking my calories and macros recently to see if I’m under eating and it turns out I am most of the time. I actually struggle to get above 1200 calories. That could certainly be a contributing factor. At the moment, I’m trying to eat more and to add more carbs in to see if that makes a difference. I have to be careful with the kind of carbs I eat because I tend to have blood sugar fluctuations and cravings if I eat fruit other than grapefruit and berries. You can read a bit more about diet and adrenal fatigue here and Diane Sanfilip of Balanced Bites has a good podcast which talks about the link between undereating and adrenal fatigue (link here).

It’s a journey and my doctor told me recovery could take as long as two years. All of the efforts I’ve listed above have not really impacted how I feel (yet) and I’ll need to do some follow up testing every few months to see if I’m making any progress.

I’d love to hear any advice or to hear about your experience with adrenal fatigue, so be sure to share in the comments 🙂

 

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Paleo Fried Zucchini

Posted by on 25 Jun 2015 in Recipes, Sides | Comments Off on Paleo Fried Zucchini

Paleo Fried Zucchini

I seriously earned myself some “good wife points” when I cooked these up for my husband. I really don’t tolerate eggs, so these were off the menu for me. I did, however, sneak one or two to see how they turned out and I wanted to eat them all and suffer the egg consequences…but I didn’t. Fried zucchini is a total warm and fuzzy memory food for me. My grandma used to make them for me every time I visited.

You could eat these as is, or you could make a little dip to go with them. I whipped up a quick dip using about 1/4 cup homemade kefir, 1 Tablespoon pickle juice, salt, garlic and chopped dill. The dip was super delicious and I ate it on steak and broccoli while my husband had it on his zucchini 🙂

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Paleo Fried Zucchini

Paleo Fried Zucchini

Ingredients

  • 1 medium large zucchini, diced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 heaping tablespoons ghee for frying

Instructions

  1. Put the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt and paprika into a large ziplock bag and give it a good shake to combine.
  2. Now toss in the diced zucchini and shake the bag again to coat all the zucchini rounds.
  3. With a fork, whisk together the egg and the coconut milk in a shallow bowl.
  4. Heat the ghee (or coconut oil or other oil of your choice) in a large frying pan over medium high heat.
  5. Dip each flour coated zucchini round into the egg/milk mixture and place in the frying pan.
  6. Fry for 2 minutes or so before flipping. If the coating sticks to the pan instead of the zucchini, you flipped too soon.
  7. Remove from the pan to drain on paper towels.
http://swisspaleo.ch/paleo-fried-zucchini/

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Paleo Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread (super moist!)

Posted by on 20 Jun 2015 in Treats & Desserts | 5 comments

Paleo Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread (super moist!)

My daughter sent me a picture of some zucchini bread she made the other day, and my husband has been begging me to make him some ever since. My daughter made this recipe from PaleOMG (which she said was very good). I changed it up, and was really happy with how it turned out. I think my husband was, too. He ate half the loaf in about 15 minutes. I was hoping to get it out of the house and take it to the gym to share, but I’m pretty sure it will gone by then. Sorry Gym Buddies. **We did, indeed, finish it off after our workout the following morning and I must say, it was even better after 24 hours in the fridge—so dense and fudgy!

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Let it cool before slicing

This turned out super chocolaty and moist. You could easily change the ingredients around to suit your tastes or what you have on hand. Any kind of nut or seed butter would work. Chia eggs work as an egg replacer. You could also add in chopped nuts or chocolate chips if you wanted, or you could even get fancy pants and put a chocolate glaze over the top. I used this basic recipe for the nutella.

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Super moist and chocolaty!

Paleo Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread (super moist!)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 eggs (or 2 chia eggs)
  • 3/4 cup homemade nutella (or any nut or seed butter)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 Tablespoon ground coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 C (375 F).
  2. Grate the zucchini in the food processor (or with a box grater if that's all you have). I used one medium large zucchini.
  3. Squeeze all the water out of the zucchini. I used a nut milk bag to do this, but you could use a kitchen towel or paper towels. Try to get as much water out as you can.
  4. Put the zucchini and all of the other ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into a loaf pan (greased or lined with parchment paper).
  6. Bake for 50 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely before slicing (if you can wait that long!).
http://swisspaleo.ch/paleo-dark-chocolate-zucchini-bread-super-moist/

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Whole 30 and Paleo Mini Sweet Potato Gratin

Posted by on 12 May 2015 in Recipes, Sides | 9 comments

Whole 30 and Paleo Mini Sweet Potato Gratin

 

I made a huge sweet potato gratin years ago for a paleo feast in a Swiss forest hut (read about the feast here), and it was delicious. Since I’m usually just cooking for two, I decided to scale it down and make mini portions in silicon muffin cups. Plus, like I said, this stuff is delicious and having it in “mini” form helps me with portion control 🙂

 

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These are really easy and quick to make. I eat Whole 30 pretty much always, so these are definitely allowed. Share with your Whole 30 friends; they’ll thank you.

This recipe made six mini gratins which served two people (I had two and he had four). SONY DSC

Whole 30 and Paleo Mini Sweet Potato Gratin

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of bacon, diced and browned
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced thin with a mandolin
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin with a mandolin
  • coconut milk, about 100ml/ 1/2 cup
  • salt and pepper
  • green onion for garnish

Instructions

  1. Dice and brown your bacon and set it aside to cool.
  2. Peel and slice the sweet potato thin with a mandolin. If you don't have a mandolin, you can do it with a knife but will probably end up with thicker slices (which is fine, but may alter cooking time a bit).
  3. Slice the onion thin with the mandolin as well.
  4. Get you muffin cups ready. I used silicon and did not grease them. If you are using a tin muffin pan, I would grease it first.
  5. Now lay 2 slices of sweet potato into each cup and then a slice of onion and give it a quick pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Repeat the layers until your muffin cup is filled as full as you can get it. It will shrink to about half full in the oven. The top layer should be potato.
  7. Add a few bacon crumbles to the top. Be sure to save half your crumbles to garnish with after they come out of the oven.
  8. Now pour some coconut milk over the top. I used about 2 Tablespoons per cup. You want it to drizzle down into the cup and to be all over the top potato, but you don't want it to be swimming in coconut milk either.
  9. Place into a pre-heated 375 F/ 190C oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. It took 30 minutes in my oven.
  10. Remove and let sit for 5-10 minutes in the muffin cups. Invert onto a serving plate and grnish with the remaining bacon crumbles and green onion.
http://swisspaleo.ch/whole-30-and-paleo-mini-sweet-potato-gratin/

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Paleo Skin Care with Balima Spa Oil

Posted by on 11 May 2015 in Lifestyle | 1 comment

Paleo Skin Care with Balima Spa Oil

Paleo has been a real journey for me. When I did my first Whole30 six years ago, I was looking to lose weight and increase my energy level. At the time, it was all about food and I wasn’t paying too much attention to other lifestyle factors. As I went on, paleo eating became more about nutrient density rather than weight loss. Over the years, I’ve slowly addressed other factors that contribute to a healthy paleo lifestyle. I do crossfit style workouts 4 times a week, walk at least an hour a day, try to sleep well (yes, I have those dorky orange glasses) and I try to keep my stress under control (which included quitting a job that I no longer enjoyed).

With a recent diagnosis of adrenal fatigue, I know I still have work to do. At this point, I’m working on removing as many toxins as I can from my life. I switched out plastic tupperware for glass years ago and got rid of all my teflon coated pans at the same time. I switched out my old shampoo for Morrocco Method a few months ago (you can read my review here), I started using an all natural aluminum free deodorant a few weeks ago and I’ve ordered some tooth powder from Primal Life Organics. But what about skin care?IMG_0519-1024x765

Your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs everything you put on it. In fact, lots of medications (even some heart medications) are administered transdermally in the form of a patch or cream. I’m usually pretty good about what I put on my skin and I often use coconut oil as a moisturizer, however, I’m a total sucker for lotions and potions that smell good. I have several bottles of oil and lotion with scary looking mile long ingredient labels. 

Just as I was evaluating these things and knowing I needed to ditch them, I got two bottles of moisturizing skin oil from Balima Spa. Their products use 100% natural ingredients like organic virgin coconut oil and essential oils. And they smell so good! The oil absorbs really well and doesn’t leave me feeling all oily and greasy and the great smell stays on my skin for a long time. I got two different ones: Vitality and Harmony. Vitality has coconut oil with lemongrass and frangipani essential oils. I use this one in the morning because the aroma is supposed to “stimulate a strong sense of energy to empower and galvanise the body, mind and soul.” Harmony is coconut oil with lavender oil and frangipani. I put it on before I go to bed because it’s supposed to “restore a deep sense of serenity and relaxation to balance the body, mind and soul.” Sounds perfect for my fatigued little adrenal glands 🙂

They have a few other varieties that I haven’t tried yet, but I am loving the two that I’ve got. Right now, this is only available in Switzerland as the company is based in Geneva, but I think they have plans to make their products available throughout the EU.

Yay, now I can ditch the toxic lotions and oils I was using and I can still smell good 🙂 Next up on my detox list is household cleaners. I’m sort of a fanatical cleaner and almost everything I use is totally toxic. I’m thinking of trying out Branch Basics products.

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Morrocco Method Hair Care Products Review

Posted by on 27 Apr 2015 in Health, Lifestyle | 4 comments

Morrocco Method Hair Care Products Review

I have really sucky thin hair, a receding hairline and a fly away frizzy look. I’ve tried all sorts of different shampoos over the years, I’ve tried no-poo and I’ve used Rogaine. I’ve taken supplements and one time I even got suckered in to buying some fibers that you sprinkle on your hair to make it look fuller (umm…it ended up looking like I had dirt sprinkled on my head!). I’d seen other bloggers talk about their experience with Morrocco Method, but I don’t often believe what I read on the internet. I’m a true skeptic. I was recently contacted by the folks over at Morrocco Method and they offered to send me some samples to try out. I always turn down those kind of offers if I don’t feel the product is in line with my lifestyle, but this product is raw, paleo, gluten free, GMO free, sulfate free and 100% natural. And, Morrocco Method International products are top ranked for using safe, non-toxic ingredients according to Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. I was happy to try it out.

My reviews will always be honest and I don’t ever accept paid advertising or promote products that I don’t actually use. I thought I’d give this stuff a try, but I certainly wasn’t expecting any hair miracles. Here is what they sent me:IMG_0294

First off, the natural boar bristle brush is amazing. I never knew brushing your hair could feel so good. The first few times I used it, all sorts of dry flaky skin from my scalp showed up on my black slate floors and I never even thought I had a dry scalp! After a few days of using the brush and the shampoo, no more flaky bits ended up on the floor. I guess I just always thought a brush was a brush, and the cheaper the better. This one actually works to condition your hair by spreading the oil from your scalp right down to the ends of your hair. Lauren over at Empowered Sustenance has a great post all about the benefits of the brush and how to use it. I love it and won’t use any other kind of brush on my hair now.

I got two different shampoos to try out in my sample pack; the Pine Shale and the Earth Essence. I’ve been rotating between the two and like them both. Without chemical agents to produce suds, this shampoo seems strange at first. It’s hard to know exactly how much to use because there is no sudsy foam. I used about a quarter coin size squirt diluted with a bit of water. The stuff looks like mud 🙂 and both have a nice clean natural smell to them. After the first time, my hair felt a bit gummy and heavy when it was wet and it almost had an oily feel to it. However, once dried, it didn’t look greasy or oily at all. It was smooth (instead of frizzy—YAY!) and it felt full and thick. OMG. I was in love with the stuff after just one use. I had read that your hair may go through a detox period and be kind of gross for awhile, but I didn’t really experience that. The heavy, gummy feel lasted about a week, but my hair always looked good. I’ve been using it for about 2 months now and I have noticed big changes in my hair. It’s easier to style, the style lasts longer, I only have to wash my hair once (twice at the most) a week and I actually have new hair growth along my hair line. I’m also experiencing much less hair loss (the brush doesn’t come away full of lost hair every time I brush my hair). I’m totally sold. I even ordered a starter pack for my daughter and some more shampoo for myself because I don’t want to use anything else now.

I also got a sample of the Blood of the Dragon styling gel. It’s light, smells nice and doesn’t seem to leave any kind of residue on my hair. All the styling gels I’ve used in the past have left a crunchy stiff feel to my hair, but not this stuff. I use it every time I wash my hair. The last thing I got was the Sapphire Volumizer Mist. It’s a spray-on, leave in hair conditioner. I spray it on my hair after brushing every night before I go to bed. My daughter also got some in her starter pack and she loves it. She also applies it to her skin. Many of their products are multi-use and can be used as skin care as well.

So there you have it! I can thoroughly recommend Morrocco Method products. I’ve found their customer service to be as excellent as their products. They will consult with you about your hair type and help you figure out which products may be best for you. Everything comes with instructions on how best to use it. Their web site also has a ton of educational videos and articles that are totally worth checking out.

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Whole 30 Reflections

Posted by on 27 Mar 2015 in Health, Lifestyle, Paleo Basics | 2 comments

Whole 30 Reflections

Doing a Whole30 was my introduction into paleo 6 years ago, and I’ve never looked back (so, yes, doing a Whole30 really did change my life). I was hooked the minute I read, ” Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.”Whole30-Version-31

That first time around, I actually did a Whole 90. I just felt so good that I didn’t want to stop. I was also a little afraid I’d fall back into bad habits (or face first into a donut) if I didn’t give it longer than 30 days. I learned that good food makes you feel good and I felt free—no calories or points to count, no boring bland “diet” food, no deprivation.photo (8) (1024x1024)

So, after six years of eating paleo, blogging about paleo and teaching others about real food, would I learn anything new by doing another Whole 30? To be honest, I eat pretty close to Whole 30 a lot of the time anyways.That, however, has been a real process in and of itself. I did the whole “OMG, I can do paleo baking and make awesomeness out of almond flour!”, but I’m way over that phase of my journey.  I realized that this was a very slippery slope for me and did not lead to optimal health, optimal body composition or being the best version of me that I could be. Paleo brownies make me crave more, more, more just like real brownies do. These days, I save my dessert making for special occasions (umm….Saturday is NOT a special occasion 😉 ) and I don’t need “paleo” bread, burger buns or pizza. Those things are on the ‘once or twice a year’ rotation for me.photo (7)

So, why did I decide to do another Whole 30? I have a friend at the gym who works out really hard but she’s unhappy with her body composition and is frustrated that she can’t seem to lose weight. She asked me for some help, so of course I gave her a nudge in the Whole 30 direction. I told her I would do it with her out of solidarity 🙂 Afterall, you should always practice what you preach.

Like I said, I eat pretty clean most of the time. However, I usually eat an 80% dark chocolate bar every weekend, I eat way too many dates and dried figs (in combination with that dark chocolate…total crack!) and I snack a lot on fruit and nuts. We also usually eat chestnut flour pancakes 2-3 times a month. My goals for this Whole 30 were to do it with little to no dried fruit, no nuts or nut butters and no snacking. If I’m honest with myself, I never usually snack because I’m hungry. I snack when I’m bored. I knew I needed to cut the nuts for two reasons (1) I have no self control when it comes to nuts or nut butter and (2) I’m AIP (following the autoimmune protocol)—no nightshades and no eggs–and nuts and coffee were my last hold outs to being totally AIP. I do this for my endometriosis, thyroid and joint inflammation. I considered these small goals/changes to be pretty minor compared to the changes somebody coming from a SAD diet has to make and so I didn’t really expect to see much change in how I look, feel or perform.photo (6) (1024x1024)

But, I was wrong. Even the little changes I made improved how I felt over all. No snacking meant that I was very careful to get full at my meals since I knew I had to stay satisfied until the next meal. I did snack twice, but I reached for half an avocado instead of a piece of fruit. Getting full at meal time meant that I incorporated more vegetables (I was already eating a ton, but it turns out you can always add more) and quite a bit more fat (olives, avocado and lots of coconut milk and oil). I limited my fruit to one grapefruit a day or a bowl of blueberries (or sometimes both 😉 ).

So, here’s what I noticed:

  • My mood was very stable (despite being menopausal) and  I actually feel content 🙂 I’m pretty happy most of the time anyways since going paleo, which is a huge improvement for me. This is the number one best thing I got out of changing my eating. I had several bouts of severe clinical depression back in my SAD eating days.
  • I’m 48 and going through menopause. I hadn’t had a period for 4 months before starting this Whole 30 and the hot flashes at night were killing me. I was waking up 5-10 times during the night. The hot flashes gradually got better over the month and I actually started my period on day 26 of my Whole 30. I’ll never know if this is due to the added fat or total lack of sugar which may have balanced out my hormones a little or if this would have just been the normal up and down part of the menopausal process for me.
  • My clothes are fitting better and some things have gotten too big. I’m kicking myself for not taking measurements at the beginning. I had my friend do her measurements, but I really wasn’t expecting mine to change so I didn’t do it.
  • I noticed that once you feel like you are doing everything possible in terms of feeding your body in the most healthy way, you actually feel more motivated to care for yourself in other ways. I became more consistent with my skin care routine and flossing my teeth.

But, I’m sure you want to know if I lost weight. Yes I did, even though I wasn’t expecting to. I lost 3.0 kilos (6.6 pounds).

And, how did my friend do?

I am so proud of her!! She stuck to it for the entire 30 days and plans to continue eating Paleo (YAY!). She lost an amazing 6.1 kilos (13.4 pounds) and get this….she lost 28 cm! Eleven cm (just over 4 inches) came off her waist! She is feeling great and really enjoying the food. I am just so happy for her 🙂

What’s next?

I will continue to eat Whole30 most of the time. I plan to keep being strict about it until I go to Italy in a few weeks. But gelatto is bound to happen. Gelatto in Rome is totally worth it 🙂 I will continue to leave nuts out of my diet and I think I will also leave out the dried dates and figs. I’m sure I’ll have a little dark chocolate from time to time in the future, but it’s not something I’m craving. In fact, I’m not having any sugar cravings at all and I’d like to keep it that way. I’m also going to continue the ‘no snacking’ rule.

The pictures in this post are just a few shots of what I ate during my Whole30. Nobody would look at this food and call it a “diet”!! I posted quite a few (some with recipes) on my instagram feed. I’m posting more and more to instagram (over facebook or the blog) so pop on over and check it out 🙂photo (5) (1024x1024)

photo (4) (1024x1024)

 

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Fennel and Leek Soup with Smoked Salmon

Posted by on 5 Mar 2015 in Recipes, Soups | Comments Off on Fennel and Leek Soup with Smoked Salmon

Fennel and Leek Soup with Smoked Salmon

 

This is kind of a twist on the traditional Potato Leek soup, replacing the potato with fennel. Cooked fennel has a really mild flavor and it pairs well with the leeks. I topped my soup with some poppy seed crusted hot smoked salmon to add protein and make this a complete meal. You could leave the salmon off, or replace it with any kind of smoked fish (or even chicken or shrimp) if you like. Left over roast chicken would be delicious.

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Can you spot Rosie’s curious little nose?

 

It’s raining here (again) which always puts me in the mood for soup. Funny that most people think of Seattle and Oregon as some of the most rainy places. We did an analytic comparison of  Seattle, Portland and Zürich the other day, and guess what? Zürich get more rain by far. I guess that’s the price you pay for all of the lush green we enjoy 🙂

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Easy but Elegant

 

 

Fennel and Leek Soup with Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 fennel bulbs, chopped (without the frilly green tops)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 2/3 cups bone broth or chicken stock (about 650 ml), I used home made stock
  • 50 ml ( about 1/4 cup) full fat cream or coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Smoked salmon or other protein of choice
  • Olive oil for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter or ghee in a large soup pot and add the chopped leeks and shallot.
  2. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add in the minced garlic and chopped fennel and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken stock/bone broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the fennel is cooked and softened.
  6. Remove from heat and use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the soup. You could also use a food processor or blender.
  7. Stir in the cream or coconut milk (I used full fat whole organic cream).
  8. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your preferences.
  9. Top with the smoked salmon.
  10. Add a little green garnish with water cress if you feel like getting fancy.
  11. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
http://swisspaleo.ch/fennel-and-leek-soup-with-smoked-salmon/

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Ruby Red Grapefruit Tarts

Posted by on 17 Feb 2015 in Recipes, Treats & Desserts | Comments Off on Ruby Red Grapefruit Tarts

Ruby Red Grapefruit Tarts

I love grapefruit. I eat one every single day. I always tell myself that I’ll have just half of one after lunch and save the other half for after dinner. Never happens.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day and I wanted to make something special (but had no chocolate in the house), I decided to make something with grapefruit because I always have plenty of those. I looked at the grapefruit curd recipe from Martha Stewart and used just yolks instead of whole eggs (I don’t tolerate eggs but thought I’d give egg yolks a try) and changed a few other things to make it paleo friendly. I also wanted my tart shells to have more coconut flour than nut flour and I added in a little cinnamon which gave the tart shells a graham cracker taste 🙂

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Cutting the dough into 4 equal parts

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Press the dough into the tart tins with your hands

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The curd once it’s thickened

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Ruby Red Grapefruit Tarts

 

 

 

This turned out so good! I’d like to turn all my grapefruits into this dessert 🙂 I really could have just stopped at the grapefruit curd because it was so delicious, but I went ahead and put it into little tarts. Because Valentine’s Day calls for pretty things.

You could follow this same recipe but use lemons or oranges in place of the grapefruit.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Tarts

Yield: 4 tarts

Ingredients

    For the tart crust:
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the Grapefruit Curd:
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice (juice from half a grapefruit)
  • zest from one grapefruit
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of coconut milk (chilled until it's like thick almost solid cream)
  • a little extra coconut cream and grapefruit zest to garnish

Instructions

    To make the crust:
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients together in a small bowl.
  3. Add the wet to the dry and mix well.
  4. Form into a ball and cut into 4 equal parts.
  5. Use your hands to push the dough into 4 tart pans.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated 175 C (350 F) oven for 7 minutes.
  7. Let cool while you make the curd.
  8. To make the grapefruit curd:
  9. Put the grapefruit juice, zest, honey, egg yolks and salt into a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Be sure to whisk it the whole time so it won't get lumpy.
  10. Whisk for about 7 minutes or until it becomes thickened.
  11. Remove from the heat and whisk in the melted coconut oil.
  12. Pour this into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to cool for about an hour.
  13. Once the curd is cool, whip your chilled coconut milk (just the solid part on the top---not the liquid at the bottom) to make coconut whipped cream. Fold the cream into your curd.
  14. Spoon this into your cooled tart shells.
  15. Top with a little coconut whipped cream and grapefruit zest.
http://swisspaleo.ch/ruby-red-grapefruit-tarts/

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Paleo Chicken Marbella

Posted by on 12 Feb 2015 in Poultry, Recipes | 1 comment

Paleo Chicken Marbella

This is a remake of Chicken Marbella originally from the Silver Palate cookbook and featured in Epicurious. The original recipe calls for a whole cup of brown sugar and uses prunes. It’s not that hard to take classic recipes and remake them to fit the way I eat. This requires a little planning ahead of time because the chicken needs to marinate for several hours (or all day) in the fridge before cooking.

 

 

 

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Paleo Chicken Marbella

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken legs with the thighs
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 green olives, pitted
  • 3 Tablespoons capers
  • 2 Tablespoons of the juice the capers came in
  • 4 dates, pitted and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken and everything except the white wine and honey in a large bowl or zip lock bag.
  2. Mix it all around until the chicken is well coated and then place in the fridge to marinate for several hours or all day.
  3. Put the marinated chicken and all of the marinade in a casserole dish or spread it out on a baking tray.
  4. Whisk the white wine and honey together and pour over the chicken.
  5. Place in a 180 C (375F) oven and bake for 50 minutes.
http://swisspaleo.ch/paleo-chicken-marbella/

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