You know what I want?  Maybe even more than world peace?  Are quick healthy snacks my kids will actually eat!  Is that asking too much? As you all know, we follow a mostly Paleo lifestyle.  “Mostly” meaning about 85 percent. And to be totally honest, it drops to about 50% for the kids. I’m not going to lie; I buy mac ‘n cheese every trip to the grocery store. But I grab the all natural stuff… does that make it any better?  OK, fine, no! But it does make me feel better!  So anyway, when Whole Foods asked me to review some of their gluten-free, kid friendly snacks, I honestly thought maybe the Middle East was at peace!

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We first tried the Hip Chick Farms Chicken Wings.

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Eva liked them.  Dominic thought they were too spicy.  So of course I ate them! Next up, Applegate Naturals Gluten Free Chicken Breast Tenders.

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I have an excellent recipe for similar chicken wings… but I don’t have time to make them! So this was a perfect example of what I’m looking for to fill up my kids’ bottomless stomachs! I cooked them for 20 minutes in my toaster over. We paired them with Grama’s Sweet Chili Sauce (AMAZING!) and…. SUCCESS!  Both kids loved them! I even kept sneaking bites while they weren’t looking.  They are all white chicken meat “breaded” with rice flour. They even had a nice crunch, which is crucial for any chicken strip! So there you go! Some nice options for kids now that we are back in the “I’m home from school and I’m starving and there’s nothing to eat in this entire house” season.  Now, let’s work on that world peace thing!

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Here’s my complaint about eating Paleo.  There’s no delivery system.  The gurus of “eating like our ancestors” want us to eat meat, veggies and healthy fats.  Fine with me!  But there’s no delivery system to get them into my mouth.  Yes, yes I know.  I can make a great salad and pile it high 20140221-114222.jpgwith veggies and spinach and lean meat.  But this girl can only do so many salads… and trust me, I do a lot of them.  I need BREAD to deliver my turkey to my tongue.  I need RICE to dump my sizzling stir fry onto.  I need CRACKERS to dip into almond butter.  And guess what?  Bread, rice and crackers aren’t Paleo.  Yes, there are companies making Paleo options.  Sorry, I’ve tried them.  I can’t swallow them…. literally.  Well the other day, a miracle happened.  I was making dinner and I had some left over frozen spinach.  I also had some parmesan cheese out on the counter.  I looked at the two and thought, hey, I bet I could combine them and make a delivery system.  So here’s what I did.  I put a bunch of squeezed and thawed out spinach in a bowl.  Next, I dumped a good amount of parmesan cheese in the bowl (by the way, I follow Mark Sisson and he says I can eat Parmesan… so heck ya I do!).  I mixed it together and flattened it out into the shape of two tortillas.  First, I tried pan-frying one with some olive oil.  That didn’t work.  I put the other one on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cooked it at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.  And that worked PERFECTLY!  It came out just like parmesan crisps only slightly softer.  Next up?  I put a dollop of guacamole on it, some chicken breast and then folded it up. OMG.  Honestly, this is the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time.  I would honestly eat this sandwich over anything offered at Subway.



What can you buy for 30 dollars? A super cute new fall sweater at Old Navy. 7 lattes at your local coffee shop. A full day kids lift ticket at Soda Springs Ski Resort. You know what I got for $30? Two loaves of bread. Paleo bread is apparently made with edible gold. One was coconut, the other almond.


Here was Darrin’s reaction.  Eva felt the same way.


Domi gave it a weak smile, but that’s just because he loves me and my crazy Paleo antics.


Apparently, I had to master my own Paleo bread. And thanks to my fellow Paleo pal, Lisa, I did just that! She gave me a recipe for banana bread and it’s FANTASTIC! Honestly. I do add walnuts but that’s the only change I make to the recipe. And it makes amazing toast. Darrin and I eat it for breakfast all the time. Let me know what you think!

And thank you Elana for this great creation!






I hear one thing a lot from people who are wary of the Paleo diet.   “What about my pasta??”  I get it!  I too used to carbo load a huge plate of spaghetti before every race I’ve ever done… and this goes back to 1976 when I started swimming.  Why anyone would need to carbo load for a 25 butterfly I have NO idea!  But back to my point about the fact we all love pasta.  And typical wheat pasta is a big no no in the paleo world.   So let me introduce you to this:


Say hello to my friend Butternut Squash Lasagna.  I had to take pictures from the book Primal Cravings because everytime I’ve made this, we eat it before I can snap a shot of it.  IT’S THAT GOOD!  I’ve also made it with sweet potatoes instead of the squash.  Both are fabulous.  I do add a bit more cheese, but that’s just me.  This recipe alone is reason enough to buy Primal Cravings.  I have a direct link to it here:

 I hope you enjoy this recipe… and so many other healthy options in the book! 



















“Are we eating paleo AGAIN????” moaned my not-so-keen-on-caveman-eating kids.

“YES!!!” I sarcastically groaned back with my paleo-loving-hands-wrapped-around-Primal-Cravings-cookbook. “We are!!” And that’s when I flipped to page 112 and read CRISPY CHICKEN FINGERS. Oh thank Tarzan! I found a recipe the kids just might get excited about.20130820-205438.jpg









Is this happening in your house?? Am I the only strung out-working full time-trying to be healthy-exhausted from complaints mom out there?? Please tell me I’m not alone. And if you’re in my boat, albeit a somewhat sinking one, then let me shine some light on your next family dinner. These CRISPY CHICKEN FINGERS WERE AWESOME!!!!!!! The kids loved them. I loved them. Darrin loved them. In fact, we all fought over them the next day for lunch. The only changes I made to the recipe is I used sunflower oil instead of palm shortening to fry them. I’ve used palm shortening before and I thought it left too much of a greasy residue in my mouth. The sunflower oil was better.


Also, I couln’t find tapioca FLOUR. So I used tapioca STARCH. Not sure if they’re the same thing or not, but until I can find that type of flour, the starch works just fine. I prepped the flour and egg wash in the morning and cut up the chicken. So when I got home from work that night, it was a pretty quick dinner to prepare. I usually get home around 7:20. We were eating before 8. That’s really good for us!


Here’s how to order Primal Cravings.  Hope you enjoy it!

And next time I’ll share the recipe that makes this book an absolute must!






Check this out! I received a preview copy of Primal Cravings by Megan McCullough Keatley and Brandon Keatley from the folks at Marks Daily Apple and Primal Blueprint Publishing Company. Apparently, I’ve arrived as a paleo blogger. I guess now I need to step it up with my paleo blogging! All these damn workouts and lung issues are getting in my way of fun stuff like writing about food!

I’ve had this book for about 4 weeks now and I’ve already tried many recipes. I’d like to share them with you all here, but I feel like that’s stealing. Kinda like when your 8th grade boyfriend made you a tape of Duran Duran’s Rio album. Of course we all took it, but really??… couldn’t we have just gone to Tower Records and paid the $8.99 to get our own? Simon, I’m so sorry! I totally pirated your goods! So because of my Catholic guilt (which apparently didn’t kick in until well after middle school) I won’t give you the recipes from Primal Cravings, BUT I WILL  give you my take on them!  Plus I truly believe we need to support these people!  Paleo cookbook authors are doing amazing work out there!!


Let’s start with the Sausage and Eggs On the Go. These are PERFECT for my truck driver husband! He leaves the house at 3am during cattle hauling days. I really do try to make him breakfast before he heads out the door… but 3AM!!!!!!!! hell no! So these little nuggets of protein goodness are great for eating while trucking.


Thanks to my friend, Lisa, for taking this picture below.  We ate all of ours before I could snap a shot of them cooked.  But aren’t they lovely in the raw too!!  (and is Lisa’s picture upside down??)


Now here’s where you’ll get my take on things.  The recipe is pretty basic, for good reason.  I’m sure Megan and Brandon wanted to appeal to everyone.  But I spiced mine up a tidge.  I put some green onions, mushrooms and a flake of parmesan cheese in each one.  FABULOUS!  You could change up the additions each time you make them for a different flavor!  Here’s how lovely the picture is in the book… and….


Here’s where you can buy a copy!  I really love this cookbook!  It’s a favorite goto for Paleo recipes! Click on the book to check it out!


Good Friday morning!!  “What’s for breakfast?”  Those are the first words out of my kids’ mouths every morning.  I cringe upon hearing them.  “Hell if I know!”  is what I want to reply.  But if I did, the rest of the Girl Scout cookies would suddenly become the breakfast of choice.  But now my problem is solved thanks to these AMAZING Paleo waffles created by the good people who wrote “Eat Like A Dinasaur.”  It’s a kid friendly Paleo cookbook.  These waffles are the first things I’ve tried from their website but they are so good, I’m going to buy their cookbook. 


I wish I would have taken a pretty picture of the waffles all plated with raspberries, a dollop of whipped cream and some  macademia nuts sprinkled all over them… but we ate them too fast.  So instead, you can look at my empty batter bowl and plain Jane waffles.  Seriously, Wendy, get some better pictures rolling!  Oh ya, and here’s the recipe:

 I recommend doubling it.  It makes enough for one good breakfast for 4.  I make extra and them put them in the freezer and toast them as needed in the days ahead.  Splash a little 100% grade B maple syrup and you are in hog heaven!






You all MAKE ME LAUGH! I write a post about being healthy with lists of great foods we should all be eating. And EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU who emailed me about that post asked the same question. Is alcohol allowed with this Paleo diet thing??? THAT’S WHY I LOVE YOU GUYS! You are all my kinda people! So here’s the dish on a glass of wine. Word for word from Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat:

“At first, avoid alcohol consumption on this diet. At a later point in time, as weight loss and dietary patterns become well established, alcohol in moderate quantities, if low in carbohydrates, may be added back into the diet.”

I’ve also interviewed Robb Wolf, author of  The Paleo Solution, and he says “less is usually better.” However, he’s quick to hand out his Paleo margarita recipe which is high quality tequila over rocks with lime juice and a splash of club soda. Delicious!

And note, I took a picture of a bottle of wine… not a glass. That’s because I can no longer drink wine, or any alcohol for that matter. My friend Amy, the one who took the crazy cake, challenged me to a no drinking contest. WTF?? Remember in college when you would challenge your friends to a drinking game?? Now that we’re in our 40s, apparently it’s a NO drinking game. She sucks. Who does that to a friend?? Side note: This wine is Berghold from Lodi. Lodi zins are my new favorite wines! Well, they will be once I take Amy down!




Just give me a list! Sometimes that’s all I want. I want someone to hold my hand and tell me exactly what to eat so I don’t have to think. I’m tired of thinking. I’m tired of doing what I think is healthy only to find out eating whole wheat bread is making us fat!!!! Dammit! At least that’s if you believe Gary Taubes. He’s the author of “Why We Get Fat.” You can read my book report here. He sights so much research, dating back to the 1800′s, I have a hard time not believing what he says. And he says don’t eat refined carbohydrates or sugar. Why? Because they are what make us fat. So now that you know what not to eat, here’s Gary’s list of foods to eat when you are hungry:

Meat: Beef, pork, ham, bacon, lamb, veal or other meats. For processed meats, go with sausage, pepperoni, hot dogs. Check the labels…carb count should be about 1 gram per serving. Chicken, turkey,duck or other fowl. Any fish, including tuna, salmon, catfish, bass, trout, shrimp, scallops, crab and lobster. Eggs: Whole eggs are permitted without restrictions.

This is a list of foods Gary says we should eat every day:

Salad greens: 2 cups a day including arugula, bok choy, cabbage (all varieties), chard, chives, endive, collards, mustard, kale, all lettuce varieties, parsley, spinach, radicchio, radishes, scallions and watercress… in other words, if it’s a leaf, you may eat it!

Vegetables: 1 cup (measured uncooked) daily including artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, jicama, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions. peppers, pumpkin, shallots, snow peas, sprouts, sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomatoes, rhubarb, wax beans and zucchini… do you think he would allow rhubarb pie which I just so happen to be eating as I type this!

Bouillon: 2 cups a day as needed for sodium replenishment.

Here’s a list of foods that should be allowed in limited quantities: Cheese (up to 4 ounces a day), cream (up to 4 tablespoonfuls a day), mayonnaise (up to 4 tablespoonfuls a day), olives (6 a day), avocado (half a fruit a day), lemons/limes, soy sauces, pickles and snacks like pork rinds/skin (seriously?? gross!), pepperoni slices, ham, beef, turkey and other meat roll ups and deviled eggs.

I’m missing the cheese fondue from his lists. And where is the chocolate lava cake? How about a chip? Unfortunately they didn’t make his list but certainly are on my “Every once in awhile” list. I mean we only get one crazy ride on this merry-go-round we call life. So a greasy hot pastrami on rye with fries will still be eaten by this gal! But I have to say, eating carb and sugar free (OK, “free”‘ is a stretch… how about carb and sugar “limited”) has been successful in my family. Remember when I mentioned I had headaches for about 10 days straight… it was during the time frame I cut out most sugars and almost all refined carbs. I truly believe my body was going through a detox. Darrin lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks with zero exercise and eating lots of food! That’s one thing about Paleo eating, you’re never hungry. I’ll start sharing some of my favorite recipes I’ve cooked up over the last few weeks. But many of you have mentioned you want the chicken nugget recipe from Paleo Spirit I posted on Facebook a while back. So here you go! I doubled the recipe and made half regular and half with the hot sauce. My entire family preferred the hot sauce nuggets! I say go for it! Enjoy!




Remember about a month ago…OK, more like several months ago, I promised you guys 2 things:

1) I would post my workouts once a week in the hopes of motivating you to workout yourself.

2) I would do a book report on a book called “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes. This book was given to me by an exercise nutritionist who works for a well respected weight loss program in Reno. It isn’t a beach read… and since I’ve been spending some time on beaches lately, this book was tough. I could hang with Taubes’ endless research examples early on. But after one Mai Tai I found myself reading the same line several times to fully understand it. Two Mai Tais and the book was put down! But look for yourself. I did read it. I earmarked more pages than I left unbent.


I even underlined passages that were important. The problem is, this whole book is really important. But if reading what amounts to 294 pages of scientific research (the guy has 22 pages of resources he quoted in the book! He didn’t mess around) doesn’t sound fun to you, then you’re welcome! Because I did read it and here’s my book report.


He basically debunks the modern day theory of calories in calories out. You have to expend calories that you eat if you want to lose weight. He sighted countless examples of how this simply can’t be true. One example is the Pima Indians of Arizona. Today, they have one of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the U.S. But when they were living on the land alone back in the 1850′s, a U.S. Army battalion surgeon described the Pima as “Sprightly” and in “fine health” with the “greatest abundance of food” That food was local game, clams out of the Gila River and other meat sources. By the 1870′s the Pima’s natural state of existence ceased because Anglo-Americans and Mexicans began settling in their region. The Pima entered their “years of famine.”  You would think they would became thinner, emaciated.  But they didn’t.  They grew to be obese.   They were now living on government rations of white flour, sugar and coffee. They had considerably less food to eat but they were getting fatter. So fat, by the early 1900′s anthropologists were studying them. One argued, well, they are more sedentary. But the women, who did all the hard manual labor, were the fattest of the Pima. They concluded it wasn’t the quantity of what they ate… it was the quality.  They went from a high protein diet to a diet of refined carbohydrates and sugar.  And that’s what made them fat.  This is a picture of an obese Pima woman.


For dozens more examples like the Pima, you have to read the book. I’m moving on.

Taubes says it all boils down to carbohydrates and sugar. Those are the two things that make us fat. Fat doesn’t make us fat. Protein doesn’t make us fat. Carbs and sugar make us fat. And they make us fat because of how they are processed in our bodies. Here is a combined paragraph from the book explaining what happens in our bodies when we eat carbs and sugar.

“First, when insulin levels are elevated, we accumulate fat in our fat tissue; when these levels fall, we liberate fat from the fat tissue and burn it for fuel. Second, our insulin levels are effectively determined by the carbohydrates we eat…. the more carbohydrates we eat, and the easier they are to digest and the sweeter they are, the more insulin we will ultimately secrete, meaning that the level of it in our bloodstream is greater and so is the fat we retain in our fat cells. In other words, the science itself makes clear that hormones, enzymes and growth factors regulate our fat tissue, just as they do everything else in the human body, and that we do not get fat because we overeat; we get fat because the carbohydrates in our diet make us fat. The science tells us that obesity is ultimately the result of a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one-specifically the stimulation of insulin secretion caused by eating easily digestible, carbohydrate-rich foods: refined carbohydrates, including flour and cereal grains, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, and sugars, like sucrose (table sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup. These carbohydrates literally make us fat and by driving us to accumulate fat, they make us hungrier and they make us sedentary.”

So there you go!  According to Taubes, it’s as simple as that.  In my next post, I’ll give you his meal plan for a day.  Plus I’ll post a GREAT recipe for chicken nuggets… A lot of you have been asking me for it!  

Let me know your thoughts on this book.  This should open a fascinating conversation!