Monday, June 11, 2012

Banana Almond Pancakes

My kids love pancakes, but grain-free pancake recipes can kind of be hit or miss with us.  I came up with this recipe this morning, and it was delicious.  A little bit of a banana bread taste.  I topped it with honey, but I think they were almost good enough to just eat plain.  I actually don't really measure when I'm coming up with recipes, so I'm guessing a little bit on how much I used of some things.

2 eggs
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 small ripe bananas
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda

  1. Beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a medium size mixing bowl.
  2. Break off the bananas in smallish pieces into your mixing bowl.  Add 1 cup almond butter.  Blend with a hand mixer (or whatever you've got, a whisk probably won't work, though).
  3. Add almond flour and baking soda and blend again until everything's combined and you have a good pancake batter consistency.
  4. Cook. :)
This made enough to feed me and my three kids, keeping in mind that my older son can eat pancakes like nobody's business.  I think it made 24 pancakes.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"I'm Too Tired to Cook'

I'll be honest, there are some days when I really miss being able to say, "I'm not up to cooking tonight, let's order a pizza", or "I've had a really long day, let's just go out for dinner."  Now that we have cut out grains, dairy, and any processed foods, I pretty much prepare three meals a day, seven days a week.  It gets really tiring, especially on days when I truly am not up to cooking. 

So what's a person to do when they've committed to healthy eating, and want to have a bit of a break?  Here are my top five ideas for those times:
  1. Utilize your crock pot.  Yes, this is a little bit harder.  There are some days when you don't know you'll be tired or have had a hard day.  This is not for those days.  However, there are days when you know you're going to be super busy.  You know that by the end of the day, all you'll want to do is lie down on the couch and rest.  This is what a crock pot is for.  It doesn't have to be anything fancy.  In the morning, throw in a roast or some meat.  Sprinkle on some seasoning.  Throw in some baby carrots or already cut up veggies (if you want to).  This takes a couple of minutes, and then by dinnertime, you've got an already cooked meal.   
  2. Breakfast for dinner.  There's not a whole lot of cooking that is easier than some breakfast foods.  Eggs are super easy and quick.  Scrambled, fried, hard-boiled.  It's not fancy, but it'll get the job done.  Make sure you always have some veggies on hand (we like baby carrots and grape tomatoes), and you've got yourself a meal.
  3. Rotisserie chicken.  Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  Read ingredients and try to get one without unnecessary additives, sugar, or other yucky stuff.  The less ingredients, the better. 
  4. Teach your kids to cook.  My kids are always asking to help me cook.  They love it.  Help them learn to prepare simple meals, and you won't be the only cook in the house.  Your two year old is not going to be able to replace you in the kitchen, but your older kids can.  You might be surprised at what they can do, especially if you have them help you often so they know what they're doing.     
  5. Use your grill.  I've found that even when I'm not in the mood to cook, throwing some meat on the grill really isn't that hard.  And, if my husband is home, he will usually man the grill.   
All of these ideas assume that you have good, healthy food on hand in your house already.  Keep your freezer stocked with good, quality meat.  We like to get ours from local farmers, so it's grass-fed, locally raised, humanely treated meat.  You can buy a half or quarter cow and a half pig for reasonable prices and it tastes a lot better too.  If you don't have a big freezer, find a friend to go in on the meat with you.  Look here for where to buy good meat.

Also, keep already prepared, easy to grab veggies on hand.  Baby carrots are cheap and easy.  Celery is also cheap and can be chopped ahead of time.  I like to have veggies that I don't have to cook.  Ones I can just grab and add to whatever protein we have for dinner.  This really helps when you want a quick meal with minimal preparation.  I also like to make homemade guacamole and keep some in the fridge, which is great to add some healthy fat and gives you something to dip raw veggies in.  Don't skimp on good fats--your body needs them!  

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Curried Shrimp with Tomatoes

We had this tonight for dinner.  The shrimp is cooked in a lot of liquid, so after dinner I had the thought that this would also make a good shrimp tomato soup.  Here's the recipe:

Curried Shrimp with Tomatoes
(Serves 4-5)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3+ cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. curry
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 lbs shrimp

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet.  Add chopped onion and cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add garlic, curry, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, and broth and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add in shrimp and simmer for 8 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through.
That's it.  It's super easy.  I think if you wanted to make it into soup, you may need to add a bit more liquid.

Paleo Smores?

Okay, so this is not a recipe, but in the future it might be, after a bit of experimenting.  Last night I had a really ripe (like black) plantain that I needed to use up.  So I cooked it up on my stove in some coconut oil.  I've done it before, but I think the mixture of it being really ripe and cooking it up a little extra sparked something in my head.  I wondered if you could cut up plantains the size of marshmallows, and roast them up over a campfire.  The ones I cooked up crispy on my stove last night tasted a bit like marshmallows.

So now I need to experiment with and figure out a graham cracker recipe before our camping trip in late June.  I think I'll play around with this recipe and see what I can come up with.  Then we'll just need to add a square of dark chocolate, and we'd be all set.  You can't go camping without smores, but if I could come up with a healthier alternative, that'd be awesome!

Monday, May 28, 2012


Today was filled with good things and not so good things.  We started off the day with a yummy breakfast of sweet potato egg cups.  Then we decided that Kevin needed a new bike, because his was a bit too small.  So he got a fun new bike, and Ethan gets Kevin's old one.  As soon as we got home, they went outside to ride.

They kept riding around the circle, but the uphill was a bit hard for Ethan.  Kevin was so sweet to keep getting off his bike and giving Ethan a little push.

Here's Kevin with his new bike.  He is one cool dude.

Troy giving Ethan one of the many pushes he needed to get up the "hills".

And here's Ethan on his "new" bike.  I was inside cleaning up and Ethan ran inside to tell me that he could ride a bike now.  Of course I had to go out and take pictures of my big boy. :)

After bike riding Kevin asked if we could read Harry Potter.  We've been working our way through the series, and were on book three, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  I love reading together, and I think it's a really important part of having a super fit family.  We want to have fit minds, too.  All total we read about three hours today, and finished the book.  Then I cooked dinner, which was one of our favorites from Eat Like a Dinosaur, Fool's Gold, aka chicken nuggets (which I make into strips instead because it's faster).  I highly recommend this cookbook, especially if you have young children.  Delicious food all around.

And then we decided to drive down to a trail by the river to go for a family bike ride.  I was pulling Ethan in the trailer, and everything was going fine.  And then we came to a hill.  It was really steep going up, and even on the easiest gear my legs were working hard.  Then came the downhill, and both Troy and I started worrying about Kevin.  He didn't seem to quite have his breaks completely down yet, and next to the trail there was a fairly steep dropoff down to the river.  So Troy was hurrying to catch up to Kevin, to make sure it all went all right, and Kaitlyn lost control of her bike and crashed.

It was pretty horrible, but she was very good about it.  Of course, she cried.  You can look at the pictures and see why, but it took a long time before we were able to get home.  Troy had to ride back and get the truck, and we told him we'd meet him at the next pick up point.  Well, I had no idea how far the next stop was, and although I found a spot where the trail met the road, I knew Troy would never find us there.  Eventually we all found each other, and walked quite a ways to the truck.  Ethan was nice enough to let Kaitlyn squeeze into his trailer and he walked.  And like I said, Kaitlyn was a very good sport.  I have great kids.

Warning: these pictures are pretty gross!

Kaitlyn is doing okay.  Her and I laughed together in the kitchen while I worked on tomorrow's breakfast and lunch.  She's a tough girl, and I'm very glad to have her.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Avocado Brownies


These Avocado Brownies were super delicious. They practically melt in your mouth. At first many would think that avocado's would not be very good in brownies but after one bite, your idea of what good brownies are just might change. This was, in my opinion, much better than the store bought brownies that many people would buy. So, if you are craving a sweet dessert this would be a perfectly decedent choice.

We got the Avocado Brownies recipe off of Pintrest. We did not completely use sugar free dark chocolate due to what we had on hand but we hope to try this recipe sugar free next time.

~Posted by Kaitlyn

Breakfast for Dinner

Indi-talian Scrambled Eggs and Fried Sweet Potatoes.

 This recipe was an easy recipe to make.  If you like breakfast for dinner, this is a good meal. I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

If you are interested in making them here are the recipes:
Indi-talian Scrambled Eggs-
1/2 t curry
12 eggs
1 T salt
1/ 4 T pepper
A pinch of basil, Italian herbs, Thyme, and paprika.
1. Mix together (using a whisk) all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Lightly grease a frying pan with olive oil.
3. Cook eggs on medium heat.
4. Stir to get the scrambled egg texture.

Fried Sweet Potatoes-
3 sweet potatoes
2 T olive oil or coconut oil
Salt (desired amount)
1. Pour olive oil into a frying pan.
2. Dump in Sweet potatoes sprinkle with salt.
3. Cook for as long as you want (we usually like them cooked to a crisp)

Both recipes serve 5. 

~Posted by Kaitlyn

Tropical Fruit Gazpacho



 This Tropical Fruit Gazpacho was a recipe we tried from the "Make It Paleo" cookbook. It was delicious, it is good for hot summer days and reminds you of vacations on the beach. This recipe was very delicious but hard to make fresh. 

~Posted by Kaitlyn 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Quest for a Superfit Family

I think the first post on a new blog is always the hardest.  Do you just jump right in, and assume everyone knows (or doesn't really care about) the purpose of your blog.  Do you do an introductory post?  Is this probably something I'm needlessly worrying about, therefore I should stop talking about it and just get on with it?  Okay, then.

Being fit has always been important to me.  It's just that sometimes my body didn't show it, because while it was important, it wasn't important enough to make a priority.  As so often happens, after I got married I gained a lot of weight.  Never enough to feel overweight, but enough that I didn't really feel like me.  In my head I was still the same size I had always been, and in great shape.  I was always a little surprised when I looked at a picture of me and I looked bigger than I thought I was.  

Over the years I've done plenty of "diets".  Plenty of working out.  And I'd lose weight, sometimes getting close to my goal weight, but always gaining it back.  Because I was never really focused on being healthy.  I was focused on being thin.  That never works.  You know that saying, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels"?  That's a load of crap.  If that were true, everyone would be skinny.  If being skinny is your goal, you might reach it, but it's probably not going to stick.

Now being healthy is another story.  A few months ago I stumbled across the paleo/primal diet.  At first I scoffed.  No grains?  No dairy?  That's not healthy, at least according to what we've been told for years and years.  But something kept pulling me back to it, especially to the Whole30.  So finally, at the beginning of April I decided to try it.  Why not give it a go?  I was already close to where I wanted to be weight-wise, so I wasn't looking to lose a whole lot of weight.  I just wanted to be healthier.  I wanted to not have stomach problems like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, etc.  Which I had a lot of, I'm sorry to have to tell you.

I jumped right in, and it sucked.  I felt horrible.  I started feeling depressed.  I was eating really healthy, and I felt worse than ever.  Well, maybe not worse than EVER, but not good at all.  It took a little evaluating and looking for advice on the whole30 message boards, but I figured out the problem.  I was eating too little.  I had cut out grains, dairy, legumes, and sugar, and I didn't really know how to fill that space.  So I was light-headed and foggy, getting headaches all the time.  Once I figured out that and adjusted, I started feeling fantastic.  Better than ever.  And the best part was I knew that I wasn't eating junk, which was what kept me going even when I wasn't feeling well.

And I've made my family make the switch too.  If it's not good for my body, it's not good for theirs either.  The results have been really good.  Here are just a few:
  • I've lost 8 1/2 lbs, even though I didn't really have weight to lose. 
  • My husband has lost 11.5 lbs, and is almost at his goal weight.
  • I have very little fat around my mid-section, which is something I never thought would happen.
  • My kids don't ask to go out to eat anymore--they know better.
  • My young boys have learned the phrase "sugar is poison for your body", even though they sometimes still have sugar, they know it's not good for them.
  • We eat a ton of veggies and fruits, much more than we did in the past.  Snacks around here are no longer fruit snacks and crackers.  We have fruit, veggies, and nuts, and olives.
  • I can do handstands and pull-ups.

But are we all as healthy as we could be?  I don't really think so, and that's why I started this blog.  To chronicle my family's journey to becoming Superfit.  We're all like superheroes in training.  We've already got the food part pretty much down, although there's always room for improvement.  But I want to get outside more.  Play, hike, do the kinds of things I would have done when I was a kid.  When exercise wasn't about going to the gym and running on the treadmill or lifting some weights.  It was just part of life.  We played.  Kids don't really play much anymore.  Too many video games and TV (and we're definitely guilty of that).

The problem is that adults who played when they were kids think they've grown out of that.  They've graduated to "workouts".  And with the technology we have today, nobody is moving as much as we should be.  So when I want to go out and run with the zombies, and my kids want to come with me like they did last time, I will say heck, yes.  So I don't really get to jog.  We don't even walk very fast.  But we're out there.  We're moving.  We're playing.

But saying we're going to be a superfit family is easy.  Actually doing it is the hard part.  So that's why I'm sharing, to keep  me accountable.  If you've read this far, thanks, and I hope you'll stick around.