Adele & Chili

‘HELLOOO FROM THE OTHER SIDEEEEEE’

I know, I’m an awesome singer. 

I’m happy to say that the first complete album I have purchased from iTunes, in like ever, was Queen Adele’s “25”. And may I just say that it is PURE gold. I absolutely love the entire thing, but my fav tracks include ‘River Lea’, ‘Send My Love (to your new lover)’, and ‘Sweetest Devotion’ which makes me think of my sweet husband. 

This weekend was definitely an’Adele & Chill’ weekend especially after such a busy week, a CRAZY Saturday morning, & a icky blustery forecast. 

Food to match this weekend’s weather was on the menu for today. It’s like the weather knew Adele’s new album dropped Friday, so it was feeling all the feels as well ūüė≠ūüĆß… And sobbing


So, I give you ‘Adele & Chili’. 

  
Ingredients:

2# ground meet of choice

2 green peppers, diced

3 plantains, cubed

1 medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 box Pomi diced tomatoes

1 can full fat coconut milk

2 cans black beans (optional)

4 cups shredded collard greens

2 cups bone broth

1 cup water 

4-6 TBS Coconut oil 
Chili spice mixture:

2 TBS chili powder

1 TBS cumin

1 TBS Trader Joes BBQ seasoning (has cocoa & coffee in it. YUM!)

1 tsp chipotle powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper powder

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika 
For garnish:

2 medium avocados

1/4 cup minced cilantro
————–

Directions:

1. Saut√©e green peppers, onions, & garlic in 2 TBS coconut oil. 
2. Cook ground meat 
3. Fry plantains in 2-3 TBS coconut oil until golden brown. 
4. Combine ALL ingredients (save avocados and cilantro) in slow cooker. Stir. Cook on low for 6 hours. 

  
5. Prior to serving, in a small bowl, combine avocado and cilantro and mash until texture is creamy. 
6. Serve it up, plop a dollop of avo-cilantro concoction on top and mangía!

  
———

NOTE: black beans are NOT Paleo, so if their presence in this recipe personally offends you, please skip right over them. You may be interested in replacing them with 1 medium sweet potato, diced & boiled til soft, then drained. 

———
xoxo,

Syd

Our Paleo Wedding Cake!!!

I’m sharing this ahead of time, as this has been quite the project, so stay tuned for the final product and actual pictures from the wedding. ¬†I’ve enjoyed every second of it and am amazed at how much help I’ve received from Otto’s Cassava Flour themselves. ¬†Their customer service is amazing, and I’ve greatly appreciated all the information and recipes they’ve shared with me in the process. I’m proud to be using such a wonderful product from such an amazing company on such an important day! Continue reading “Our Paleo Wedding Cake!!!”

Crockpot Whole Chicken Breasts: Turmeric, Ginger, & Cardamom

Today, along with meal prep, music discovery for class, and a laundry fiasco, and my first Fantasy Football draft at 6pm, ¬†I figured by the time it got around to dinner, I’d be wiped… So I whipped out the crock pot, and some chicken breasts and was ready to spice those puppies up. Now, choosing spices is always something of habit for me… always reaching for the same ones, which gets boring after a while. So today, I decided to choose some that I rarely use: Turmeric, ginger, & cardamom.

Continue reading “Crockpot Whole Chicken Breasts: Turmeric, Ginger, & Cardamom”

‘Paleoptimistic’: Paleo + An Optimistic Outlook on Life

What is paleo?

Many people hear paleo and think ‘Oh! The paleo diet! That means you eat like the cavemen ate, right?’ Well, sort of. Now take that idea, add in some 21st century appliances, and better hygiene, and you’re getting closer to the premise of Paleo. ¬†I loathe anything that refers to how you eat or how you live as a diet. ¬†I feel that the word ‘diet’ implicates a quick fix, a fad ‘diet’, or something that will only be followed for x amount of time. ¬†For me and my family, Paleo is a lifestyle, and it’s not a fad for us. My soon to be husband has Crohn’s Disease, and he/we has/have found that being gluten and dairy free as well as avoiding refined sugar and processed foods helps him keep flair ups at bay. ¬†In the most basic version of a half-a$$ed explanation of ‘what is paleo’ that¬†sort of¬†sums it up. ¬†However, no one explains it better than The Paleo Mom, Sarah Ballantyne, so here comes HER EXPLANATION (I straight copied and pasted with the source below, don’t get mad at me! ūüėõ ) :

The Paleo diet is a nutrient-dense whole foods diet based on eating a variety of quality meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.  It improves health by providing balanced and complete nutrition while avoiding most processed and refined foods and empty calories.

How can the Paleo diet improve health?

Clinical trials demonstrate that a Paleo diet improves cardiovascular disease risk factors, reduces inflammation, improves glucose tolerance, helps with weight loss and can even improve autoimmune disease.

By focusing on the most nutrient-dense foods available and by eliminating foods that can contribute to hormone dysregulation, inflammation, and gut dysbiosis (where the bacteria in your gut are the wrong kinds, wrong diversity, wrong numbers, and/or in the wrong part of the gastrointestinal tract), a Paleo diet can improve a vast array of health conditions. It’s also great for weight normalization, meaning that overweight people tend to lose weight but underweight people tend to gain weight.

The Paleo diet provides the foundation for a healthy digestive system.  It supports healthy growth of a diversity of probiotic bacteria in the gut through its focus on prebiotic and probiotic foods and through its avoidance of foods that contribute to gut dysbiosis (where the bacteria in your gut are the wrong kinds, wrong diversity, wrong numbers, and/or in the wrong part of the gastrointestinal tract).  It supports the health of the tissues that form the gut barrier by supplying essential nutrients required for gut barrier integrity and by avoiding foods that are inherently difficult to digest, are known to irritate or damage the tissues that form the gut barrier, or that are known to stimulate the immune system.

The Paleo diet reduces inflammation and supports normal functioning of the immune system.  Foods that are inherently inflammatory are avoided, removing this unnecessary stimulus for increased inflammation. By providing the essential nutrients that the immune system requires to regulate itself, an overactive immune system can be modulated.  By providing the essential nutrients that the immune system needs to function optimally, a suppressed immune system can recover.

The Paleo diet supports liver detoxification systems by supporting gut health and by providing the essential nutrients that the liver needs to performs its functions.  The Paleo diet supports hormone regulation by focusing on foods that contain the nutrients required for hormone balance and avoiding foods known to stimulate or suppress vital hormone systems.  Because providing the body with the essential nutrients that it needs to be healthy forms the basis of the Paleo diet, every system in the human body is positively affected by this approach to food.

A diet that’s not a Diet

The Paleo diet is also the first time a set of diet principles has been compiled using modern scientific health and nutrition research.  While the initial insight leading to the Paleo diet was gleaned from studies of Paleolithic man and both modern and historically-studied hunter-gatherers, the core support for this way of eating comes from contemporary biology, physiology, and biochemistry. There are thousands of scientific studies that each evaluate how components in foods interact with the human body to promote or undermine health.  These are the studies used to form the basic tenets of the Paleo diet.

There are no hard and fast rules about when to eat, how much protein versus fat versus carbohydrates to eat, and there’s even some foods (like high quality dairy and potatoes) which some people choose to include in their diets whereas others do not. This means that’s there’s room to experiment so you can figure out not just what makes you healthiest but also what makes you happiest and fits into your schedule and budget.

Best of all, the Paleo diet is not a diet in the sense of some hard thing that you do that requires a great deal of willpower and self-deprivation until you reach some goal. It’s a way of life.  Because the focus is long-term health, the Paleo diet allows for imperfection but educates you so that you can make the best choices possible.

Sustainability is an important tenet of the Paleo diet, meaning that this is a way of eating and living that you can commit to and maintain for your entire life.  This means that you have the flexibility to experiment with your own body to discover what is optimal versus what is tolerable, to find what works best for you and fits into your life for the long term. For some people, flexibility is achieved by following an 80/20 rule (or a 90/10) rule, which means that 80% (or 90%) of your diet are healthy Paleo foods and the other 20% (or 10%) are not.  Many people find that they are healthiest when their 20% (or 10%) continues to avoid the most inflammatory foods such as wheat, soy, peanuts, pasteurized industrially-produced dairy, and processed food chemicals.

What foods are eliminated?

The foods that are eliminated in a Paleo diet are the ones that provide our bodies with very little nutrition (especially for the amount of energy they contain), and that are difficult to digest (which can cause gut health problems and contribute to gut dysbiosis), and have the ability to stimulate inflammation or mess around with important hormones.

Generally, a Paleo diet excludes:

  • grains and pseudograins
  • legumes¬†(legumes with edible pods like green beans are fine)
  • dairy¬†(especially pasteurized industrially-produced)
  • refined and processed foods¬†(including refined seed oils like canola oil and safflower oil, refined sugars, and chemical additives and preservatives)

There are many foods that can be additionally problematic, especially for those with chronic health conditions,¬†typically referred to as ‚Äúgray-area‚ÄĚ foods¬†(see the¬†Autoimmune Protocol).

There are also many foods that might be tolerated and reintroduced to your diet after an elimination phase.¬† This is generally referred to as the ‚Äúshades of Paleo‚ÄĚ.¬† Some people enjoy white rice in their diets.¬† Others include¬†good quality (i.e., grass-fed) dairy is generally considered fine to include with the caveat that a large percentage of people are sensitive or intolerant (and might not know it).¬† The best way to know whether or not these foods work for you is to cut them out completely for a few weeks and then reintroduce one at a time and see how you feel.

source: http://www.thepaleomom.com/paleo-diet 

Visit her blog for more resources and explanations backed by science! She’s my go to when I need¬†help understanding any aspects of this lifestyle.

Now some background about my blog!

How I came up with the name: Paleoptimistic

(Pronounced ‘pay-lee-ohp-tim-iss-tik’)

John and I turned to a paleo lifestyle, optimistically looking for an¬†answer to keeping his flair ups at bay. ¬†The two words shared an ‘o’ and I smashed them together. Kinda catchy right?? We also try to carry out our daily lives with a certain level of optimism; similar to my favorite flower, the sunflower, and how they always point their faces towards the sun, following the sunshine… We too, continue to follow the sunshine when times get tough, or when flair ups set in. ¬†Plus, when you eat real food, good food, flavorful food, you tend to be happier and better fueled to take on anything &¬†everything that life throws your way! ūüôā

Yours in sunshine…

xoxo,

Syd

Paleoptimistic VIP: Subscribe for tips, tricks, secrets and savings!

Yuca is not YUCK-a! Info & a Recipe Round-up

In the paleo world, we’re pretty picky of our starches and tend to lean towards those that pack the best punch (read: are most nutritional and contain a great ratio of micronutrients and minerals to calories). But, can anybody really be mad if we’re just aiming to efficiently fuel our bodies? No? I didn’t think so… ūüėČ

Continue reading “Yuca is not YUCK-a! Info & a Recipe Round-up”

Crock Pot Coffee Pulled Pork (stuffed sweet potatoes with slaw)

Yes, you read that correctly… Crock Pot COFFEE pulled pork. ¬†The idea stemmed from leftover brewed coffee from our french press that has been accumulating in our fridge, and I decided to do something with it. Plus, I figured, everything tastes better cooked in the crock pot. ūüėȬ† Continue reading “Crock Pot Coffee Pulled Pork (stuffed sweet potatoes with slaw)”

ADD/ADHD & Paleo

As time goes by and our diet gets more Paleo and we try new diet modifications, I’m getting more and more interested in natural cures to diseases/ailments/etc. ¬†Let’s face it… Any unnatural, processed, refined additive in food is bad news bears for us to ingest. ¬†Some peoples’ systems may be stronger than others’ and be able to appear to function regularly, but others are not so lucky. Recently, I’ve decided to research into natural remedies for some of my own medical issues/ailments: ADHD-inattentive, and urticaria (cause of which is still unknown). ¬†I figure since I exploited John’s weakness (Crohn‚Äôs), it’s time to share mine as well… Continue reading “ADD/ADHD & Paleo”

Almond Butter Cups {21DSD compliant}

almond butter cups

So, these are bitter. I’m gonna start out with that disclaimer.  BUT, for someone that needed that chocolate fix at the moment, & since Brittany Angell’s PMS brownies are not 21DSD compliant, these puppies did the trick. AMAZING with black coffee and a green-tipped banana. Continue reading “Almond Butter Cups {21DSD compliant}”

Easy ‘Boat Motor’ Mayo (Plain, Ranch, & Spicy)

You’ll never buy store bought mayo again.  You can thank me later. ūüôā Continue reading “Easy ‘Boat Motor’ Mayo (Plain, Ranch, & Spicy)”

THE Chicken Salad to end all Chicken Salads

So, if any of you love Juli Bauer and paleOMG like I do, you’ve probably made her Cranberry Chicken Salad from her cookbook ‘The Paleo Kitchen’, you already know the awesomeness of this recipe. ¬†If you aren’t familiar, I’m about to introduce you…

So, her recipe includes craisins and honey which aren’t allowed on the 21DSD, so I’ve altered it to be compliant. Continue reading “THE Chicken Salad to end all Chicken Salads”