Paleo Glazed Blueberry Biscuits Review

blueberrybiscuittrayI have said before that I am not a cook, nor do I play one on TV. But I can follow instructions and typically have things come pretty close to the recipe, even if it isn’t perfect.

blueberrybiscuitsflatThis, on the other hand, is not even close. Do you see how flat these things are? And how the color is completely off too. These are not your typical biscuits. I wanted this recipe to work so badly because these Glazed Blueberry Biscuits are a copycat recipe to emulate Bo-Berry biscuits from Bojangles, one of my favorite treat foods of all time.  Plus it only had a few ingredients in it and the picture looked really nice too. But now I think that the the picture is of someone else’s dish, and not the author’s because I was away off.  I used coconut sugar since I am Paleo, as they say in the recipe, so that is probably why the color is so brown versus more of a white. But there is no reason for them to be this flat when compared to the recipe.  I thought they tasted pretty decent, but the rest of the family couldn’t get past the presentation of the brown blobs with sugar on top.

I think I’ve determined that coconut flour bread recipes just aren’t ideal unless there is another flour in the mix as well.  So, from here forward I’ll likely look for recipes that have a mix of coconut and almond or something else to see if that makes it a little more wheat-like. I have tried banana bread with it as well, and while it works decently, it still isn’t quite as smooth as gluten-containing bread.
I definitely won’t be doing this again anytime soon, though I think if I could get them to rise a bit more and not be so spongy, it might be more likely.

Babycakes Donut maker and Cake Donuts Review

Glazed Donuts
Notice there is already one missing…

I’ve said from the beginning, we are paleo, but that doesn’t mean we don’t do things from time to time that aren’t paleo, but still gluten free.

When my family went to Orlando last year, we stopped by Downtown Disney and got a few things at Babycakes NYC. Babycakes is a vegan bakery, and the majority of their items are gluten free as well. My wife raved about the donuts, so, of course, i was on a mission to find her donuts that met the same standards. Up to this point, I have failed. But a couple of weeks ago, Walmart had their Babycakes mini donut maker for less than $10, so that was the last straw in deciding to buy the actual Babycakes Cover the Classics cookbook, that contained the recipe. They were heavenly. I made mostly vanilla glazed, but some chocolate ones too. Both glaze recipes were from the babycakes recipe book.

Chocolate DonutsThe kids thought they were awesome too and have been having them as their snacks for the past few days. We even had family over and they liked them! It is definitely a hit. And they were so easy with the little maker. Baby girl helped me mix the ingredients together, then I simply stayed in the kitchen area to drop more batter in every few minutes when a batch of donuts was finished. The easiest baking I think I’ve ever done. Even if you don’t do gluten free, you should try the recipes from this cookbook. They are great and I’m sure I will be doing more sooner than later.  Now, to find a good Paleo donut recipe to put this maker through its paces…


Why you don’t lose weight and feel good counting calories

BricksIf you went up to someone and asked them about their house, what kinds of numbers do you think they’d throw at you? Maybe the cost? Or the square footage? Maybe the acreage of their land even? But you wouldn’t expect them to tell you the number of bricks.

That is calories(the bricks) in a nutshell. It is a single marker that is definitely a valid number that can make a difference in the look and stability of the body (house), but is not the only thing that people would want to know if they wanted to know about a house. So, why do we simply count calories when trying to lose or maintain weight?

I believe I learned from The Paleo Coach that this idea is over a hundred years old and has simply been passed down through general knowledge in the health world without being challenged.  Only in the past few years has the calorie myth been refuted heavily, with some diets still relying on it because their business model thrives on it.

There are lots of things that you should count before you count calories when looking for optimal health, if that is what you want to do:

Fat/Carb/Protein Ratio – 55%/25%/20%
Omega-6/Omega-3 Ratio – Ideal 1:7
Body Fat Percentage
Hours of Sleep per night

These are just the ones that I try to keep an eye on from time to time, but there are a lot more than these that can make a huge difference in how healthy you are. So, if you want to count calories, then count calories, but look at these other items first, and see how you are doing, then look at calories. My calories typically vary anywhere from 1,700 all the way up to 4,500 depending on the day.

While it is true that a calorie restricted diet will allow you to lose weight because your body will be trying to find energy to get you through your day, it will also break down your muscle in the process, causing you to lose good muscle, instead of fat. It also builds unhealthy habits that can cause stressors on your body in the long run. Also, what are you going to do once you are done with your “diet”? Will you keep eating the way you have been eating or will you go back to your previous diet of junk?

The vast majority of people will go back to the junk food diet because they never learned how to eat, only how to restrict and eat different processed food than they were before. It is a much better use of your time and energy to learn to eat healthy following something like a Paleo template that you can maintain over the long haul so that even if you don’t stay completely paleo, you aren’t veering back to a Standard American Diet that will derail your progress.

So, the question is, what will you count? Will you keep counting calories and burning calories by running on the treadmill for hours? Or will you eat a nutrient dense diet that will satisfy you and teach you how you were supposed to eat, and be able to maintain it for a very long time?
The choice is yours.

Paleo Deep Fried Chicken with Creamy Lime Sauce and Kale

Deep Fried Chicken lime sauceOnce again, I decided to take on Thai as I am still really trying to make my way through the Everyday Paleo: Thai Cuisine book and try all of the recipes that appeal to us.

The picture of mine actually looks fairly close to the picture in the book. The last few haven’t, but this one was pretty right on. This one is a basic tempura battered chicken, very similar to the Deep Fried Fish batter, and then a nice lime sauce that goes over the top, though we ended up using it as a dipping sauce as well. It also has a recipe for crispy kale, but we like ours a bit more chewy, so we did kale our typical way instead of messing with a good thing. This one was very tasty and exactly what I expected. My daughter thought this was the best chicken ever, and my son liked it as long as it didn’t have too much breading on it.  My wife and I both thought this was a good asian dish. It took quite a while to make simply because we ended up doing about 2 lbs of chicken, so frying all of those in a pan takes time. But the recipe is super easy, just time consuming to fry.

This is one we may do again. It’s simple, and if we hadn’t made so much, would have been much quicker too.

Paleo Sweet and Sour Stir Fry and Union Square Zucchini Review

sweetsourchicken and zukeI know, three nights in a row with Thai recipes. Just let me know when you get tired of Thai, but I don’t know that I will.  My wife said it was my call on what we did, so I chose this Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry from Everyday Paleo: Thai Cuisine.  This is one that we just doubled as the portion sizes in the book seem to be quite small, so for my wife and I, we doubled the recipe and had a Chinese/Thai dinner. We put it over rice, and along with the chicken, my wife chose the Union Square Zucchini recipe from the Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss.

We haven’t ever had the chicken before, but the Union Square Zucchini will be done much more now that Zucchini is about to be in season and we have multiple plants that are very healthy and likely to give us lots of veggies this summer. I thought the chicken was pretty good. Very authentic tasting sweet and sour without the msg or red food dye.  It wasn’t as flavorful as what we wanted though, once again, since what we are used to is the chinese version, and this was a little bit different. My wife commented that there was more veggies than meat in this meal, which there were. If we had done a tapioca breaded chicken, similar to the Beer Battered Fish, instead of just the chicken by itself, it likely would have had a bit more of the texture and feel of the chinese version.

I’m not sure that we will do this again, but it was a neat look at how the dish is made, and as I said before, quite authentic.


Paleo Thai Larb Chicken Review

Larb chickenI know this is the second Thai recipe in a row, but this is actually what we had with our Glass Noodle Soup, and this is always really tasty. The kids can’t eat enough, and neither can my wife or I since it is just so flavorful and tasty.

We have gotten Larb Chicken at our local Thai place for some time and are really happy every time we get it. We found a recipe for Larb Chicken that we think is pretty awesome. It always turns out great, and has so much flavor. My kids just eat it with a fork, but  my wife and I put it in some lettuce or cabbage and eat it sandwich-style.

A few changes that we make are, instead of the Thai roasted chili paste, we use Sriracha. We don’t use thai chiles or mint leaves either. We forget how much we like this meal until we make it everytime, and the best part is that we can make it beforehand and just grab it afterward as a quick meal, or a great lunch.

Glass Noodle Soup Review

Glass Noodle SoupOn the facebook page, I had said we were going to try out some of the recipes out of the Everyday Paleo Thai Cuisine book, and so we started with soup. My wife and daughter just love soup, I, on the other hand, am pretty picky about soups that really stand out to me.  This is the Glass Noodle Soup from the Everyday Paleo Thai Cuisine book that I have been waiting so patiently on, and it was pretty good.

My wife absolutely loved it, and my daughter thought it was okay. I suppose I should have known by the ingredients, but it wasn’t really what I expected. It was more of a comfort food than anything as it was a thai chicken noodle soup in all honesty. I had a nice heaping bowl of it, but it wasn’t as flavorful and different in the way that I have gotten used to Thai dishes being, so I was a little bit disappointed, but my wife went back for a bowl (or two) so she obviously loved it.  We actually used kelp noodles with this dish and that turned out quite well. We had never had kelp noodles, and were pleasantly surprised with the results as they took in the flavor of the soup, and did not taste salty like I expected kelp noodles to taste.

I’m not sure if I will do this again for us for supper, but come winter, this will likely be made in our house for someone other than myself.

What is the 80/20 rule in Paleo?

When you hear someone say they are eating paleo, they may quantify that with a percentage. It may be 75% or 80%, or maybe even 90%. Why do people say these types of things? Most of the time, it is a way out for a few reasons.

1) Because they aren’t really serious about eating a real food diet.
2) In case someone sees them eat something they know is not Paleo so they don’t sully the idea.
3) They are in transition to full on Paleo-mode.
4) So they can know, in their own minds, why they aren’t getting all of the results and can keep moving forward.

I know that eating full paleo is difficult. I totally get that in our highly processed, totally convenient, ultra palatable culture it is hard to find real food, which is extremely sad. But you shouldn’t feel you have to quantify how often you eat real food. The whole point of Paleo is eating the things that make you feel good, and avoiding things that don’t.

If you want to eat a piece of gluten filled cake, then eat it, but if you truly have been eating paleo for some time, keep in mind that you may feel the effects of the sugar and gluten. You may not notice the effects right away, but after a couple of days, you may notice the difference in the way you feel. You may see a blood sugar drop later that day, and stomach issues over the next 48-72 hours as your body tries to get rid of something your body doesn’t like.  So, hopefully what you have done is put together a solid whole 30 to start the process and introduced questionable foods slowly to see how your body reacts so that you know what foods you might want to have along the way as treats that might not normally be on the menu.

It seems all of the big names in the Paleo world totally endorse the idea of an 80/20 rule because the Paleo “diet” is not a diet in the modern sense, but in more the biological diet of what you eat day to day as a standard. It is meant to be your lifestyle, not something to drop pounds, then go back to eating junk at every meal. It is meant to change your life and the way you look at food. Unfortunately when you go out to eat with friends, there may not be any good Paleo choices at the restaurant you go to at which point you have to decide what you want to do. Do you want to deviate from the plan and eat some standard fare; skip the meal completely and just visit with your friends; or eat something that is simply less than ideal that is just not full paleo? It’s your choice, and you don’t need to be restricted by what is and isn’t Paleo, but instead should enjoy life and food, with the knowledge of how your body reacts to different foods.

Robb Wolf has said on multiple occasions that he and his family eat corn chips and corn tortillas all of the time when they go out for Mexican food because it just isn’t an issue for them, and Mark Sisson talks about enjoying life while Chris Kresser has said that 80% of the time is enough to make your way to good health. Your percentage will likely be higher as you keep moving forward because you will learn what you want to have that is outside of the norm, and most of the time, it just won’t be worth it. At work last week, a lady from work made monkey bread. Not monkey bread in the Paleo sense, but instead the real deal using the cheapy canned biscuits. Since this was one of my favorite things, I had a bite. And when I say a bite, I do mean a bite. One thing I have learned since moving to a Paleo diet is that I do have self-control when it comes to food, and I can choose my portion sizes. Just because someone cuts a huge portion, doesn’t mean I have to eat it. And many times, with sweets, you can simply get a taste or two and be just as satisfied since it isn’t meant to fill you up, but simply stimulate your taste buds.

I guess the question isn’t what percentage of Paleo are you, but instead how far down the path to real food are you?  Don’t miss out on life just because you eat differently than your friends, while at the same time keep in mind how your body reacts to inflammatory foods, and you can choose how you want to deviate. When you see reviews and recipes on here that are not Paleo, those are part of my 20% that I know may cause a blood sugar spike, but won’t derail my progress and leave me in the bathroom for two days.

So, what is your biggest hardship when looking at an 80/20 rule? Is it getting back to eating real food once you have deviated? Or maybe it’s finding things that you want to deviate with that aren’t going to do harm to you? Whatever it is, enjoy life, and enjoy food, just enjoy it more responsibly than you had in  your former life.