Friday, September 14, 2012


When I first started the Paleo Diet, I thought I'd never taste chocolate again until I read that it's OK to have chocolate with a cacao content of 70% or higher. Thank the Gods.

I had to share this chocolate bar with you because it's FANTASTIC and saves me when I'm craving something sweet and decadent.

The Cacao Nib (70% cacao) Fine Chocolate Bar from Indulgence Chocolatiers is perfect.  It's not bitter, it's smooth & rich, it's got a little crunch from the roasted cacao nibs, and it keeps me coming back for more.

Chocolatier, Julie Waterman, set out in 2007 to bring fine artisan chocolate to the Milwaukee area and I'd say, she's succeeding.  I prefer to buy from local businesses as often as possible, so the fact that Indulgence Chocolatiers is based out of my neighboring town, Waukesha, WI, makes this chocolate that much more sweet!  Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jicama Citrus Salad

I call this my Jicama Citrus Salad because the Jicama and grapefruit are the stars of this tasty show!

You're no stranger to salads when you're on the Paleo Diet. As a matter of fact, I'm beginning to think I'm having a love affair with a salad.  At least green is my favorite color.

In order to keep this food junkie interested, it's important for me to find new takes on the traditional salad.  This is one of my favorites so far...

Jicama Citrus Salad
  • Salad Base
  • Jicama
  • Grapefruit (wedge over lettuce so all the juice helps to dress the salad)
  • Avacado
  • Onion
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Balsamic Honey Dressing 
  • Good Vibes
Salad Base
When I chop lettuce, I chop enough for a few days and add shredded carrot, cucumber, and snow peas (a legume, I know.  They don't aggravate my colitis, so I eat 'em.... sue me).  This is typically the base for most of my salads.  I change up the types of lettuce and will occasionally add purple cabbage.  I store it in a big zip lock bag and it keeps well.

Balsamic Honey Dressing
The measurements here aren't exact ... I just mix it up until I like it!
1/3 c. Balsamic Vinegar
2/3 c. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Honey
Garlic Powder

Obviously, you can make this salad as large or small as you'd like, changing things to suit your taste.  It's a refreshing, scrumptious salad.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kale Chips

When you're longing for the nearest bag of potato chips, Kale Chips are a great nutritious alternative that will keep your Paleo Diet on track! They are light, crispy, and more tasty after each bite. They'll have you & the kids singing, "Can't stop eatin' them kale chips!"

Kale is packed with vitamins A & C and provides a decent amount of calcium and iron too! Check out the complete nutrition facts for cooked kale, here.

Here's how you make them:

  • Wash and dry your kale thoroughly (Drying is VERY important.  If it's not dry, it will steam and turn brown rather than stay a nice bright crispy green).   
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Break kale into larger than bite-size pieces, removing the large stems (It will shrink when you bake it).
  • Toss in extra virgin olive oil.
  • Lay them in one layer on a baking sheet
  • Sprinkle very lightly with sea salt
  • Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes (each oven is different so keep a close eye on them the first time you make them).
I plan to try making beet chips and parsnip chips in the near future, so stay tuned!! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Paleo Cereal-Dessert OH My!

The reason I say Paleo Cereal-Dessert is because this is truly a dual-purpose cereal. Depending on what time of day I'm enjoying it, it's either a cereal or a dessert!

I came up with this one all on my own, but I'm sure there are 1,000+ other Paleo-dieters out there shaking their heads at their monitors, shouting out to anyone that will listen with claims that this originated in their kitchens because it
Just. Makes. Sense.

Here's what I will typically use to make it.  The beauty of this is that it would be great 1,000 different ways, so we can all agree that the idea was a group effort.

Paleo Cereal-Dessert

  • A small handful of rough-chopped pecans, almonds, and walnuts
  • A small handful of unsweetened coconut flakes.  Get crazy and go organic if you must.
  • Some raisins or craisins
  • Chopped apple & banana.  You could really go crazy here and change up the fruit occasionally.
  • The tiniest drizzle of honey
  • Sometimes I do a dash of cinnamon, sometimes I don't
  • Top it all off with your favorite almond or coconut milk
  • Good vibes
There ya' have it... simple & scrumptious as that.  Enjoy!

My Why...

Many of you may wonder WHY I decided to try this diet. My brother and I both suffer from Ulcerative Colitis (me for 15 years and my brother for close to 5).  My brother started reading about the benefits of Paleo and the results other UC patients had experienced and decided to give it a try.  He was on a load of pretty strong meds that were keeping his UC at bay, but he didn't like the side effects.  Because he wasn't flaring at the time he started the diet, it took him a couple of months on the diet after stopping his meds to determine whether or not the diet was working.  Typically, he would flare after about 6 weeks off meds.  I decided to let him be the guinea pig for this one and will forever be in debt to him for his discipline and tenacity when it came to this diet.  

Once my brother reached about 8 weeks off meds without flaring, I decided to give it a try. I'm such a food junkie that I had been mentally preparing myself for the change for about a month before I actually started.   I have been on Prednisone and Lialda since May; however, they weren't controlling my UC very well.  I was still seeing blood, mucous, and loads of horrible gas.  Within 3 days of being on Paleo, I noticed SIGNIFICANT changes with the gas and started seeing less blood.  I've now been strict paleo for 3 weeks and it's been a MIRACLE. Virtually NO GAS, no blood, no mucous ...NORMAL BM's I don't recall seeing in YEARS.  I know the details here may be a bit much for some, but anyone who suffers from UC can appreciate my enthusiasm, I'm sure.  

Currently, I'm on the final leg of my Prednisone taper and I've cut my Lialda dosage in half with plans to discontinue use once this bottle is gone.  I want to stand on the highest mountain and shout out to all those who suffer with UC to TRY PALEO.  The fact that it's worked for both my brother and me is wonderful.  Not bad odds for those of you considering it.  Is it easy to change your diet so drastically?  Not really...BUT, when you see the results and start to feel normal, it's totally worth it.  Those foods that make you sick, don't seem so appealing anymore.  Not having to take note of where the nearest bathroom is wherever I go or not having to worry about dropping a load in my pants has been beyond worth not being able to scarf down a donut.  

If you suffer from UC, I would STRONGLY recommend you try this diet.  What do you have to lose?  Well, except all the meds and symptoms that come along with UC.  I still stand amazed at the results; it's almost unbelievable.   Definitely starts to make one wonder about doctors and pharma companies and what their motives really are.  Not one doctor in 15 years suggested diet change to me and even discouraged my brother when he asked...seems crazy after seeing these results.  When you think about it though, why would docs and pharma companies want you to be healed by diet alone?  

Everyone should take a moment to play with their food every now and then...

What is the Paleo Diet?

Since starting this diet 3 weeks ago, I'm often asked, "What is the Paleo Diet?"  If you Google Paleo Diet, the Google Gods will provide you with multiple links to peruse at your leisure. In short, the Paleo Diet primarily allows Paleolithic Era foods and eliminates or greatly limits Neolithic Era foods.

Robb Wolf, is one of the world's leading experts in Paleolithic nutrition and his website is a good starting point if you're looking to learn more about the benefits and details of this diet.

Here's a brief list of what's OK to eat and what you should avoid:

OK to Eat...

  • Lean Meats & Seafood
  • Fruits & Berries
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Healthy Fats 
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • ALL Grains
  • Processed Foods & Sugars
  • Legumes
  • Starches
  • Alcohol
A more detailed list can be found, here